Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bill Moyers, Iraq and Big Oil

"It Was Oil All Along." Here is a piece from Bill Moyers Journal.

Many are saying such things and I quote Moyers because of his fine reputation.

But I still think Derrick Z. Jackson's piece in the Boston Globe recently is the Grand Prize Winner on this subject. "It took five years, the deaths of 4100 US soldiers, and the wounding of 30,000 more to make Iraq safe for Exxon. "

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Matt Taibbi on John McCain

The transformation of John McCain is captured succinctly in this piece by Matt Taibbi, as quoted in The Washington Monthly, with a forward by Kevin Drum.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Show Up Where It Hurts

Woody Allen famously said that ninety percent of life is just showing up.

Why haven't you Barack, just shown up in the midwest flood areas? McCain did.

You are working so hard to come back to the middle that you are risking what took you to the dance.

I'm worrying more and more that you are succombing to those who sunk Kerry the last time around. The told him that he should come across as all things to all people. You got to the dance on your own, for who you are and for what you stand.

My first disappointment was your speech to AIPAC. While I understand why you and almost all other politcians fear their power, kneel before them and kiss their ring, I am sickened by your kowtowing to that mafia type pressure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Medicare, Congress, Health Care Suppliers and Lobbies

This is the stuff which makes for a very bad day. Perhaps we know more now why Conservatives say Medicare is too expensive.

What is so nauseating is that the Dems have a majority in Congress, albeit a small one if any in the Senate, with Slimy Liebermann sliding back and forth as the winds he favors blow.

But Congress passed the legislation to begin with, and only now is backtracking under pressure, to be sure threats of losing campaign funding, from the suppliers and their lobbyists.

Makes me just sick.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

The Pentagon, the GOP, and Perpetual War

Read here the Pentagon's report on Afghanistan, likely the beginning of the cover they need to keep us at war. The GOP needs a war to stay in power, and one that is more defensible than Iraq.

This has McCain's finger prints all over it. He needs this fear mongering to get elected. Bush II pulled it off in 2004 and it looks like they'll try it again.

There will likely be a draw down of US troops in Iraq in the near future, and Afghanistan is where they will go. Most will not be coming home.

Gates knows he can't sustain two wars. Now that Iraq has been made "safe for Exxon", as Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe so pithily wrote yesterday, we'll keep sender our soldier fodder into battle against the Taliban, the enemy we beat and left to return so we can fight them again.

I am so cynical when it comes to the Pentagon and the GOP that I expect that they will "find" Osama bin Laden before Bush leaves office, and trot him out in chains from some dark prison somewhere, where they have him stashed for another Mission Accomplished show. Bush recently challenged the military to "find" him, with a kind of Yale cheer leader pep rally message.
Perhaps he did that knowing he already had him.

McCain needs that to get elected and keep us at war for all the millions of dollars it generates for the CEO's of defense contractors, and for the Pentagon to justify it's obscene power over the budget paid for with American tax dollars, and debt to foreign countries.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What It Took "To Make Iraq Safe For Exxon"

Today's Must Read is Derrick Z. Jackson's column in the Boston Globe.

He writes, "It took five years, the deaths of 4,100 US soldiers, and the wounding of 30,000 more to make Iraq safe for Exxon".

That's as pithy a line as I've read in some time.

But wait, there's more. You've got to read it, and never forget it.

And then do all you can to keep McCain out of the White House.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Nature of Nature

Here, is a link to an important contribution on the subject of climate change.

It's not at all a surprise that people take sides based on their preconceived notions. We often want to agree with those who agree with us.

And it's not a surprise, if one takes the time to think about it, that some of us humans like to think of ourselves as being outside of Nature, rather than examples of a currently surviving species, named, by our own scientists, Homo Sapiens, Sapiens; who are, by definition, a part of Nature, not outside of Nature, no less and no more.

More simply and directly put, our species is so very stuck on itself that we act like gods, and then create God in our own image to justify our actions.

Early members of our species told tales of Creation in their attempt to understand that which was not and which is still not understandable at this stage of our evolution. The biblical Book of Genesis is a wonderful example. It has two creation stories; one has God creating the world, including the flora and the fauna, followed by the creation of Adam and Eve. Another has Adam created first out of dirt and Eve created next from Adam's rib. At it's best it is poetry, but clearly it is not science.

Genesis 1:26 includes words written by member(s) of our species, who lived several millennial ago: "Go and subdue the earth". This was early evidence that some of us think of ourselves as outside of Nature, as godlike, perhaps because we wanted to think of ourselves as children of God, hoping to find direction and meaning as we looked for from our physical father, the male in charge of us, who trained us, disciplined us, and hopefully cared enough about us to teach us how to live and survive in a dangerous world.

In our own time this has become "Go and rape the earth", a very small step from subdue, and might be explained away by those who like to follow the injunction of our ancestors, as merely a semantic difference.

Our ancestors were in need of trying to understand the mystery of existence. They saw Nature in the raw, the survival of the fittest, and with their evolved powers thought that their God has given them dominion over all other creatures.

Those of our current species who continue to use their power over others, for their own selfish gain, like to quote the Bible, while all along knowing that they do so to justify their actions.

Those of our species, long ago, who created stories in their attempts to understand, and which ultimately were written down after perhaps eons, had no benefit of the science available to us today. They killed animals and uprooted plants for survival. No criminals there. In fact, as recently as a few hundred years ago, American Indians praised and worshipped the Great Spirit for what they were given, and thanked the buffalo for their sacrifice.

Yet, today, there are still examples of our species who defend their rape of the earth, in spite of, and with the full awareness of today's science. Some of these rapists like to cite Genesis to justify their actions. These are the real criminals.

The advantage we think of ourselves as having, which might also be so disadvantageous as to cause our own extinction in time, is that we, as our own scientists who study our brains tell us, are aware that we are aware; thus the Sapiens, Sapiens parts of what they call us. The repeat of the word is not a redundancy, nor an accident. It is intentional. Loosely translated it says that we are aware that we are aware, an evolutionary result of our coming out on top in the survival of the fittest process, what we label Evolution, and which we resort to naming it Nature.

Like the label, The Big Bang, it's still the best we can do when we come up against the limits of our evaluational ability to understand.

But those who rape the earth, with, but in spite of, the full availability of earth science, and who claim that they are just following the Biblical injunction, and even saying that God has directed them to do so, should be accused of and indicted for crimes against humanity, and tried in the legal system that they have so purposefully and intentionally stripped of decency and justice.

Naming names: Bush II, Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, and all their neo-con cabal courtiers. This is not to be seen as an extensive and complete list.

If the abuses and torture at Abu Graib, Guantanamo, and secret other prison sites are reminiscent of Nazi camps, even in the slightest way, those who authorized such should receive no less justice as those who were subject to the justice system at Nuremberg.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Human Psyche and Guns

This is by far and away the best piece I've ever read on the subject of the Second Amendment. It transcends politics and exposes the lure in the human psyche for guns. No surprise that it's written by James Carroll.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Journalism At Its Best

Here is a very special essay by a very special journalist. I commend it to you.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, June 13, 2008

Figures Don't Lie, but Liars Do Figure

This is one of the oldest of chesnuts, but it occured to me again tonight when I heard the News Hour report that the"CORE" inflation rate was about 2%, excluding the increases in energy and food costs. If the increases in the cost of education and healthcare were excluded from the so-called "Core" inflation rate, the inflation rate could be manipulated to be zero or negative.

Over the years I've heard a lot about the collective wisdom of the citizens. My faith in that wisdom was severely challenged by the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004.

I guess I am hopeful that most of our citizens don't watch The News Hour, but will vote in November based on what they are experiencing day to day.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Say Ye to This, Mr. Bush

Read here an article about Iraqis wanting the US out, what they say is a necessary prerequisite to their sovereignty.

Bush used to say we'll leave when they want us to. But he's said a lot of stuff which, as the decider, has decided to forget.

Impeachment should have been begun a year ago. It would make a mess of the campaign at this late date.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Discouraged, To Say The Least

The best face I can put on my mood today is "discouraged". Obama, my choice for president, chose, as almost the first thing he did as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party, to kowtow to AIPAC, assuring that powerful Israeli lobby that as president he would do whatever is needed to support Israel, essentially unconditionally.

I watched him make that speech and was sickened to see my guy say what he said. It could have been Cheney at that podium. Good Grief!!! and Oy Vey!!!

The Chris Hedges essay on this issue quotes the various parties' public utterances. Pay particular attention to what Olmert said after meeting with Bush recently.

Many months ago I wrote some posts in which I concluded that not much will change in the Middle East, regardless of who wins the White House. Since then I had begun to hope that Obama would provide positive change. I'm now back to my cynical earlier views.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Vet the Vetter

We definitely don't need this.

What was Obama thinking, if he was thinking at all?

I wasn't happy to listen to his kowtow to AIPAC either.
I know, I know, he's trying to ease the so-called Jewish fears
that he isn't a friend of Israel's.

Hillary helped by telling that group that Obama would be
a good friend to Israel.

The Israel-Palestinian Conundrum

Read here an important addition to the dialogue about Israel, the Palestinians, the US and AIPAC.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Iraq to Bush, No Way

Here is a report on Bush's push for 50 military bases in Iraq, control over Iraq's air space, and some other items he wants Iraq to agree to so he can keep US presence there for the foreseeable future.

Seems the Iraqis won't agree without a timetable for troop withdrawal. He can't veto this one can he?

I also recall that he's said way back that when Iraq wants us to leave we will leave. But the he's a congenital liar.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, June 6, 2008

Eliot Ness, Please Respond

The current administration, which I have called the elected mafia for some time now, is threatening Iraq, the client state it occupies, with the equivalent of the protection money racket if it doesn't knuckle under, say "Uncle Sam", and sign an agreement which legitimizes 50 US military bases, US control of its air space, and shields US military, and para-military participants from prosecution.

In the good guy, bad guy stories of the Untouchables TV program of years ago, there were three players; the government was on the side of the threatened and frightened making up a pair of good guys. The Mafia were the bad guys.

It seems to me that we've got a serious and troubling role reversal with respect to the US and Iraq. The US government has adopted Mafia tactics to pressure Iraq, the threatened and frightened.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, June 2, 2008

With Reverends Like These-----------

How sad it is that the phrase, The Audacity of Hope, comprised of four simple words, but which in combination are so powerful, has been taken away from Obama because the man who initially uttered them, and provided Obama with the power of them, turned out to be portrayed, justifiably or not, as a radical element of society.

Obama's message is all about healing. Jeremiah Wright's statements, though clearly quoted out of context, evoke fears of racial confrontation and hate, giving those who will not vote for a black candidate just what they needed to justify their racial prejudices.

JW's emotional statements added fuel to the fire of those whose mission in life is to stoke the fires of hate, confrontation and division. It's more likely that their self promotion, with the goal of making lots of money by being well known in the media, and thus paid well for being famous or infamous.

Jeremiah Wright aspires to the media limelight of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I choose not to address any of them as Reverend.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Kristol

Read here a startling example of rank hypocrisy, gag reflex inducing false humility, class warfare language, and all this written by a New York Times columnist.

William Kristol takes Obama to task for not including military service as a way to serve one's country in his commencement address at Wesleyan University recently.

Kristol, like so many neo-cons, performed no military service himself. Cheney had how many deferments? Bush II avoided harm's way through family influence.

However, it's not surprising that a neo-con would write such crap. Their first choice for achieving power, influence, hegemony anywhere they can is war, as long as they don't have to risk their own sorry asses.

I wrote an email to this particular sorry ass in response to his column, and thoroughly enjoyed writing it. Perhaps you will too, if you read the column.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Victory Speech

I tried to make the title of this post the name of the Island which held its primary today. And I realized that the only thing I know about this place is that it is an island to the south of the continental US, it has an airport in a city named San Juan. I know this only because years ago I was in that airport, to change planes for another destination.

My only interchanges with the people were with those authorities which had the power to send me on my way, or block my passage. I was anxious to make my stay on their turf as brief as possible. That experience was no better and no worse than the experiences we all have in airports today.

This afternoon I learned that Hillary Clinton will make a "victory" speech on that island. Projections have it that she will "defeat" Obama in that island's primary, 2 to 1.

I also heard and read that it won't make a difference in or to the outcome of the Dem race for nominee.

If I'm anything, I'm curious, sometimes called nosey.

What is it about that island, or more importantly, the people of that island, of which San Jose is the capital, which motivates its voters to support Hillary over Obama, 2 to 1?
Race, gender, past experience?

A curious mind wants to know.

Google search tells me that the spelling of that island is "Puerto Rico".

If they have the vote, why is their island not a state?

If they have the vote they must be US citizens?

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper