Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama's Speech to Marines About Iraq

You will find here a most remarkable post by Pat Lang on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis. At the top of his post is a link to Obama's speech to Marines about Iraq.

Please treat yourself to a welcome experience in reading what this decent, honest and honorable man, who is now our president and Commander-In-Chief of our armed forces, said to our Marines.

Pat Lang is a retired Army Colonel, with years of experience in Intelligence Service in the Middle East. That he chose to say such things as found in this post should command our attention. I'm also fascinated and frankly relieved by his positive view of General Barry McCaffery.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Kristolized GOP

Here's a link to a William Kristol piece which removes all doubt as to what is going on with the GOPhers.

There should be no slack given the Republican Party, except for three Senators, at least recently. No one should give them any credibility for being concerned about the country.

Obama knows this and he's likely to pour coals on their heads by killing them with kindness. The citizenry gets it, at least the part of it, about two thirds now, who want something better in government than the Hatfields and the McCoys routine.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Roger Cohen on Iran

Here's a link to another of Roger Cohen's essays on Iran.

Now if he just had the clout that AIPAC has in the U.S. But that takes big money which is used to buy politicians. Not Cohen's style.

Until Rev. Sally Norris came to my little church here on Cape Cod my favorite preacher was Dr. Vernon Broyles at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. One of his philosophies was that he would keep answering questions that people weren't yet asking, in hopes that eventually they would. I suspect that's what Cohen is doing with these essays on Iran.

That fact that he's a Jew saying these things should not be lost on anyone.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, February 20, 2009

Idiots and Propeller Heads: David Brooks

Here's a link to David Brooks' column in today's Times. I'm wondering what you think of it.
I posted a reply in the Comments section.

Seems one's an idiot for providing 16 years of college education for four sons, only to become disabled and forced into unplanned retirement.

Seems one's an idiot for buying a home, and then having to sell it at the bottom of the market to avoid foreclosure, because the income the mortgage was based on dried up.

Seems one's an idiot for having used credit card debt, exacerbated by banks imposing 20% "finance charges" on old balances, not just new charges, because Social Security is one's only source of funds. If it weren't for Social Security, Medicare and Plan D who knows where one might be, or if one would even be.

Brooks is all about Boot Strap behavior, and only grudgingly accepts Safety Net provisions.

How self righteous of him. But then he needs to stroke his right wing patrons in order to maintain his own likely substantial income.

He sometimes plays the role of arm chair cultural anthropologist, only to come across as the proverbial pseudo intellectual. His right wing ideology is not so easily disguised.

If you'd ask me I'd tell you what I really think.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, February 19, 2009

But What Do You Think?

Some years ago a perceptive minister with whom I was having a conversation about philosophy, religion and all manner of abstract stuff asked me a question which caught me up short and to which I'm still working on how to respond. I suspect that he knew it might take me some time to answer, and that whatever my answer, it would not really be an answer so much as it would be a response.

Somewhere in the publications of the Federated Church of Orleans, a Christian church of the United Church of Christ denomination, I read recently that those of us who gather as a congregation do so without having to pledge allegiance to any particular creed, and that each of us who gather is understood, encouraged and supported to do so as part of a personal and individual search.

To that minister from the past I would respond today that I am agnostic on the subject of the existence of God, if a requirement for belief in God requires an acknowledgement that God is an anthropomorphic being, male, and that he created man in his own image.

Such beliefs are holdovers from hundreds and even thousands of years of human existence on this planet, when early humans didn't understand what caused the good things and the bad things in their lives. They only had their own experience with fathers and mothers to go by, and
assumed that there was and had to be a Great Father, Great Spirit, Creator, Shaker and Mover looking down on them from some awfully high place, so high that he could not be seen. Actually biblical scholars tell us that the One God, a so-called monotheistic being, was not the creation of the earliest humans, but that many gods were thought to be in control of many unexplained things, from storms to food to good fortune, etc.. and that they needed to be appeased. And appeasement often meant blood sacrifice, from animals to other humans. This God, at the last minute, in the story of Isaac and Jacob, stayed the hand of the father, who was testing him for his loyalty.

What's strange to me is that, in spite of the huge advances in knowledge through science of what causes good and bad things to happen, so many humans insist on keeping alive the archaic thoughts of primitive peoples.

In church, speaking as one who was baptized a Christian, we continue to speak in the most pagan of ways and words, by saying Jesus died for our sins. He was a blood sacrifice like the earlier lambs, (Lamb of God). It's been claimed for two millenia that he sacrificed himself, and, strangest of all, that he came back to life, and stranger still that he was transfigured and rose to Heaven in clouds, to live forever with that Super Human type God which he called his Father.
That God the Father did not stay the hands of his executioners though.

So vast millions of Humans continue to need myths to account for what has been explained by science, Creationism and Intelligent Design, but also to admit that we don't have a clue as to why the Universe itself appears to exist.

Our mental faculties, as incredible as they are, are limited to thinking in terms of space and time, which require that there is a beginning and an eventual end to all things. After all we each have a beginning and an end. How else can we think, except to believe that we will live forever after we die, and that we will be conscious of that, and even in a bodily sense, and it will be wonderful or horrible, based on what that Super Human God the Father decides, unilaterally, is our faith.

Did we please him or displease him in life? We, as children, are taught such stuff, rather like the Christmas tune, 'Oh you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list, checking it twice, going to find out if your naughty or nice.___________'. Hello? By about third grade, or earlier we learned that we were lied to, but it was a nice myth for awhile, and so we conspire to keep it going for the next generation. We're doing that in Sunday and Sabbath Schools everywere.

So how is it that such a model persists for so many people throughout their entire lives? The last stanza of a poem I wrote in 1999, entitled A Riddle, goes like this. 'The Riddle goes unanswered/
For me I must confess./The only progress I have made/Is God is there, I guess." The last two words are my simple rhyme words to express the dictionary definition of "Agnostic": One who holds the view that ultimate reality(as God) is unknown, and probably unknowable".

That's what I think. But what do you think?

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

More Cohen on Iran

Here's Roger Cohen's latest post from and about Iran. He continues to make the most sense of anyone I know.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cohen's Iran

Here's another gem from Roger Cohen.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Hypocrisy of the Right

Here's a link to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog on the Intellectual Dishonesty of the Right.

It's an excellent summary of the hypocrisy with which the GOPhers are attacking President Obama. They have in fact become Repugnatins.

It seems that the Limbaugh led GOPhers are hoping that the entire country has suddenly come down with a terminal case of amnesia about the past eight years.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If It Smells Like a Skunk

This smell like a skunk, and could be another ploy to embarrass the president. Gregg should not be admired for a so-called "change of heart".

Obama's message to foreign opponents that he will extend his hand if they will unclench their fists should be sent loud and clear to his domestic opponents, the GOPhers, the Repugnatins of this country.

Fortunately Obama is viewed by most Americans as a decent, honorable and smart man, and it will not be lost on them that he has kept his campaign promise to work toward a government without rancor, and that he's been rewarded for his efforts by this kind of spiteful response.

The phrase "reach across the aisle" needs to be brought up to date to read, "stick your neck out across the aisle".

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Geithner Should Go

When E.J. Dionne is critical of anything Obama it's time to take a long hard look.

Timothy Geithner embarrassed his president, embarrassed those who voted for Obama and embarrassed his friends and family on Cape Cod where I live, first for his tax non payments, and now by his inability to breed confidence that he's not still a member of the club of wealth in the banking system.

He's not the right guy for the job. Obama should not have stuck with him. If he had been the second or third nominee to be outed as having tax problems he would have been cut loose as was Daschle.

But his latest failed efforts to instill confidence are his real liabilities.

Paul Volcker should be given, if not the job, then at least a loud voice on the problem. Up to now Obama has let Lawrence Summers and Geithner block his influence.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Irans's Inner America

Here's a link to a view of Iran that the neocons, Israelis and AIPAC(but I repeat myself) don't want you to consider.

Roger Cohen is an important observer and voice for reason on all things Middle East.

He is a Jew, a naturalized American, now hails from New York City, has written for the International Tribune in Paris and now is a columnist for the New York Times.

One indication of his value is the quality and thoughtfulness of those who leave comments on his columns. Compare them to others. Usually they degenerate into really stupid rancor among the commenters themselves.

When you come across his stuff it's worth your time to read it. He just might be the wisest of journalists today.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Sentiments Exactly

Here's a piece of straight talk that is exactly what is needed right now.

Hat tip: Minstrel Boy

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, February 5, 2009


When I got my degree in college, the next thing I had to do was to go to work to make a living.

What a shock!

My immediate boss told me to steal my competitor's catalog and price book if I could. He told me to submit false, as in inflated, travel expense accounts for reimbursement so as not to expose his other subordinates to charges of false, inflated expense accounts.

I got out of that job by going to boot camp at Fort Knox.

What a shock!

Sleeping in a barracks with West By God Virginia hillbillies, hassled by DI's, cooks, CO's and Platoon Sergeants.

I got out of that job by getting married.

What a shock! I'll not elaborate on that one.

Obama is in boot camp.

What a shock! The Commander-in-Chief, hassled by crooked business people. neocon warlords and his own Pentagon. They all want to give him the boot camp buzz cut, and force him to get in line with their ways. It's called humiliation which is supposed to breed camaraderie.

What a shock!

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Citi/Mets Deal

Ordinarily I wouldn't give this kind of piece the time of day, but this one exposes one of the dumbest comments I've read recently.

A Citi spokesperson might actually believe that challenges to its marketing deal with the Mets are not justified because no TARP money will be used.

I suggest that this idiot look up the word fungible. I'll bet he thinks, that because he's swimming in the water at the shallow end of the pool, he's not using the water in the deep end.

Then again, he might be assuming that there are enough of dummies out there who will be satisfied by his cynical statement.

Figures don't lie but liars do figure.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, February 2, 2009

Does Limbaugh Speak For Me?

Of course not. But here is a solicitation for money to fund opposition to Limbaugh's diatribes.
To send money is to ensure that Limbaugh will continue to be a presence in the media.

The most effective response to people like Limbaugh is to ignore him. He thrives on the controversy he generates, and he gets under the skin of decent people enough that he provokes the heated reactions he needs to stay relevant, that is to say, profitable to the stations and sponsors who keep him on the air and the online and print media that thrive on their opportunities to castigate or praise him.

It goes without saying that he will get over the top far right wingnut support. For a profile of such people check out the movie Deliverance.

The media love him because he provides them with the controversy they need to sell their papers and Web Sites.

The best way to marginalize him, render him irrelevant and mute, is to haul off and leave him alone,


Since he's the current day manifestation of The Wizard of Oz, and he fears that those whom he tries to frighten will look behind the curtain, expose him as the fraud he really is.

Neither is likely to happen so long as the media continue to see him as a source of revenue.
Expect this to become even more egregious now that the media is experiencing losses due to reduced advertising revenue. The checkout counter tabloid racks will likely expand.

"Extra, Extra, Read All About It!" And, "Rush exposes Michele's deep dark past. "

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Ethics or Not?

I'm a left of center Independent voter who was delighted that Obama won.

But I'm now questioning whether I can continue to have faith in Obama's mantra, "Change We Can Believe In".

Here are some links to written views, reportings and observations which give me pause.

Sic Semper Tyrannis


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Barney Frank on "This Week"

Here's a link to an article on Washington Monthly about Barney Frank's comments Sunday morning.

It's so refreshing when someone who knows he's correct refuses to back down when told he's off point.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, February 1, 2009

With Friends Like These_____________________?

I'm disgusted with the behavior of people in whom Obama has placed trust, but who, for some reason(denial, hubris or stupidty?) have withheld obviously problematic, if not damning information about their personal liabilities, which can only result in great embarrassment to Obama, the man who was elected president for many reasons, not the least of which was a belief on the part of the American people that he actually wanted to rid the federal government of corruption and disdain for the rules most Americans, especially those of us who voted for him, try to live by.

What to do? What do you think?

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper, aka llk

Frank Rich on the GOPhers

Here's Frank Rich's thorough disgust with the GOPhers.

I've been posting on this recently on this blog, but, thankfully, Rich is read all over the world.

I hope he's right, that they'll regret what they're trying to do. It's hard to believe the groveling at the feet of Limbaugh.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Joe Lieberman, Sleaze-CT

Senator Joseph Lieberman redefines sleaze.

Read his latest tasteless wisecrack here.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper