Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today's Mental Health Break

Here's one ya just gotta love.

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even if it's with hands covering your face.

With apologies to any offended,


Monday, December 20, 2010

One of His Best

Here's one of James Carroll's best ever op-ed pieces.

Clearly today's must read.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Politics of Fear, Hallmark of the Right

Here's just one paragraph from an important essay about Right Wing Extremists' use of the threat of terrorism to frighten(terrorize?) Americans.

It's another of many trenchant posts on, an online progressive source for articles and essays about American Imperialism and the United States of Fear. Its publisher and editor is Tom Engelhardt whose bio is found at

I continue to recommend what Tom Engelhardt offers at his website,which is affiliated with The Nation Institute.

This entire essay is worthy of serious attention. Please read it. Access it here.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friedman Hits One Out of the Park

Here's Tom Friedman's view that America should get out of the Israeli/Palestinian conundrum. "You can't want peace more than the parties themselves", he writes.

Perhaps the view of this Jewish American journalist will have a needed impact on American policy.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Galbraith Calls It Like He Sees It.

Here's a trenchant piece on the failure of our leaders to do the right thing. The author is James K. Galbraith, a truly learned economist of the progressive persuasion.

Using an old and often trite phrase, he calls it like he sees it.

And it's disturbing.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Krugman Gets It

Paul Krugman gets it here, in his analysis of the Obama tax deal. It needs no further comment from me.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pictures, Cartoons and Words

Everything I need to know about politics I learn each day from the political cartoons of David Wasserman in the Boston Globe and Tom Toles in the Washington Post.

In an earlier post today I showed Wasserman's.

But here it is again(you will need to scroll down a bit to see it) followed by Tom Toles' cartoon.

See if you agree that these two guys capture the essence of the public's reaction to the stories of the day.

Be sure to read the Toles blog just below his cartoon, and also click on the Ezra Klein link.


This is Good. This is Really Good

Here's Tom Friedman's reaction to the deal Obama cut with the GOPhers.

He's looking at the big picture, the view from 40,000 feet. His analogy to a family economic dilemma is good, is really good.


"Remember - this is a Compromise!"

Here's Wasserman's Boston Globe cartoon of Obama in short pants. And Wasserman is a liberal, progressive political cartoonist!!!

Reluctantly, I have to agree with his depiction of Obama as a school child being mugged by GOPher bullies.

The Daily Beast points out here that the Dem base is more angered by how the deal was reached than the specifics in the deal. After all reinstating unemployment insurance and some of the other parts of the deal itself make it at least palatable.

I guess making backroom deals is what a community organizer does. Historians, able to assess long term results and effects, might make him look good, but in the here and now it appears that Obama has abandoned his role as head of the Democrat party, by not attempting to sell the plan to the Dem politicians and his liberal constituent base. That doesn't go down well.

His televised self righteous condemnation of Dem politicians and base is at least unfortunate. He appears to have betrayed them by caving in to GOPher demands that nothing will get done without extending tax cuts to the enormously rich. That's the nauseous gag factor in all this.

Some are pointing out that it's only for two years. Don't count on it. Two years from now Obama will be running for a second term. This isn't going away any time soon.

And finally, here's Maureen Dowd's take on it. She nails it.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Them's Hard Sayin's

Please read here the Sunday Times opinion piece by Frank Rich. He is considered a progressive journalist, somewhat left of center, so it's an eye opener to read his clear cynicism about Obama's behavior.

I've been of this mind for some time now and to have an in-touch journalist of the likes of a Frank Rich articulate what I've been trying to is reassuring that I'm not just a crank curmudgeon.

The Stockholm Syndrome seems a bit over the top, but when you think about it, Obama is actually exhibiting either that psychological behavior, he's just too naive to play the game of politics and/or he needs to be liked too much to take a strong stand for what he told us he believes, and for which we elected him.

The most recent example of course is the one Rich refers to, the meeting of GOP heads, Dem heads and Obama in which pleasantries were passed, followed quickly by the GOPHER manifesto delivered the very next day, stating total obstruction of Obama efforts, regardless of merit, until their GOPHER patrons,those richer than Creosus, are paid off with a continuation of their obscene tax cuts.

I never expected Obama to be ineffectual, and I'm not happy that I seem to be experiencing him that way. James Carville was correct, if crude, when he said(I paraphrase) that if Hillary gave one of her jewels to Obama, they'd both have two.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Here's Tom Friedman's tongue-in-cheek diplomatic cable from China's Embassy in DC to Beijing.

Ya gotta read this.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Ed Show

Have you seen the Ed Show on MSNBC? I just stumbled across it and am surprised that the MSM has not paid much, if any attention to it, while Glenn Beck, Hannity, etc..on Faux News get lot of press.

The host is Ed Shultz who is clearly a Progressive TV personality, in the mode of the Becks, Hannitys and O'Reilys on the Right Wing Side.

Finally, we have a guy on our side who says it like it is.


American Exceptionalism: What Is It?

Here's a fine piece by Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post on how the GOPHERS are twisting what Obama has said about 'American Exceptionalism' to raise questions about his values and belief in America as the leader of the world.

In my mind the phrase 'American Exceptionalism" at its best refers to the principles enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, those things that set America apart in the world; like "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

At its worst it is used as an arrogant statement of hubris by some Americans, currently embodied by the GOPHER party, which brings to mind the old phrase, "The Ugly American", which captured the arrogance of some Americans as they were experienced by citizens of other countries which arrogant Americans visited.

Today it is used almost exclusively by GOPHER pretenders to the presidency. Tumulty cites examples of things said by Palin, Romney, Gingrich, to name a few of the right wing, hypocrites who are committed to making Obama a one term president. Anything goes, Obama and his administration are all fair game for these hateful hunters. They are truly today's Ugly Americans, right here, in America.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's What I'm Sayin'!

Here's Pat Lang's opinion on the main reason for war. Lots of money to be made.

Also I recommend Frank Rich's piece in today's Sunday NY Times. "Still The Best Congress Money Can Buy".

Read it here.

My constant voice crying in the wilderness is making me hoarse.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Roger Cohen on "The "Department of Fear"

Here is Roger Cohen's trenchant warning that American freedom and even the soul of the nation is threatened by the imposition of false security measures. Sadly, perhaps even tragically, he is likely to be ignored as just another voice crying in the wilderness. But one can hope that his use of the term "The Department of Fear" might get the attention of some Americans who haven't yet caught on to the scam.

People who can't see the forest for the trees are succumbing to, even cheering on, the impositions they are experiencing. They don't see that the long road to the erosion of liberty begins with the first incremental steps falsely labeled "Security".

As usual, "follow the money" is the best clue to what is really going on. That's made abundantly clear by Cohen's exposure of Michael Chertoff's personal greed. The former Secretary of Homeland Security is capitalizing on the insider influence gained from his role as a so-called public servant. He has become just another lobbyist-peddler, selling his snake oil elixir, "Right here in River City". That's Washington on the Potomac.

And greed shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Protecting AIPAC, the Criminal Behavior of the Israel Lobby.

Here is a piece by Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis on the corruption of our government at the hands of AIPAC, the strongest Israel lobby in this country. He cites AIPAC's stranglehold on the Main Stream Media which prevents the truth about Israel's espionage and their bribing of elected and non-elected government officials coming to light.


Another True Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Here is a sober warning from Chris Hedges on creeping American fascism.

Sadly, history has it that his voice will only be heard in the wilderness that is human beings' denial.


Truly a Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Chalmers Johnson, who passed away this week, was a frequent contributor to, an Internet voice against American imperialism.

Here is a trenchant piece about his warnings to Americans about the consequences of the militarism which has characterized our country since WW II. In it there are several references to James Madison's timeless teachings.

Chalmers Johnson was truly a voice crying in the wilderness.

Once again, I recommend visiting to read what a number of insightful writers are offering on the subject of American Imperialism and the likely tragic consequences for American democracy.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

And He Thinks of Himself as a Patriot!!

Today's news keeps telling us stuff which is so outrageous on the part of our elected officials that it makes me ill.

Here's a post on Sic Semper Tyrannis of a statement by M.J. Rosenberg, an American citizen and a Jew who works hard in opposition to right wing, Likud supporters who are occupiers of Palestinian land, as we are of Afghanistan land.

He calls out Eric Cantor for essentially committing treason by telling Netanyahu that he and the Republicans will side with them versus Obama.



Today's Must Read, If You Care About Our Troops

Please be sure to read this opinion pieced by a well respected journalist, Richard Reeves.

It shines a very bright light on the absence of attention to the wars in Iraq and particularly Afghanistan. The author makes a startling statement that our troops are fight for each other, not the sick visions of Obama or Bush.

The elephant in the war room is "Occupation of a foreign country". Churchill said something like, "We shall fight them in the streets". That's what citizens of occupied countries do, always have, always will.

Why is that so hard to understand? Reeves points to what Americans did in 1776 under the threat of the British occupation.

The Neocon war mongers are actually war criminals, guilty of shedding the blood of our young volunteer military women and men. Why do they do it? Follow the money made by the military/industrial/Pentagon complex.



"Hedge Fund Republic"?

Update Below.

Here's a well written opinion column on the threat to our republic by the vast accumulation of wealth in the hands of the very few, and at the expense of the many.

We need a third party led by a serious, well respected person who cares about the soul of America.

Until that happens we will be held hostage by, not the kings, but the king makers. Our votes will continue to be cast for the lesser of two evils, even if we could figure out which one that is.

In today's America both major parties are in the pockets of the super rich who have no interest in the safety net needs of those who have tried to make it on their own, but who have lost their jobs, run afoul of the bankers, hit by unexpected serious health costs, to name a few.

These people need unemployment insurance, single payer health insurance and protection from unscrupulous financiers. It reminds me of the old cartoon of a helpless person tied to the railroad tracks, screaming, "But I can't pay the rent".

Tain't no longer funny McGee.

Here's another fine entry to the discussion.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Such a Deal ! II

More justification for outrage over how the USA is being manipulated by the Israeli Likud.

Here's a new post on the topic at Sic Semper Tyrannis.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Such a Deal !

Here's Pat Lang's latest evaluation of American/Israeli relations, in light of the recent announcement that we will give Israel millions of dollars worth of military hardware in exchange for their agreement to try to get their government to agree to a lousy 90 day moratorium on West Bank settlement building.

I could not agree with him more.

The way Israel is manipulating the USA is disgusting.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Extortion, Thy Name is Israel

Here's a piece which should be troubling to everyone hoping for a decent end to the Palestinian/Israeli problem.

I just can't understand why this country is giving in to the extortion racket which Netanyahu plays.

The only thing I find positive is that the military aid is contingent on a peace deal.

In 90 days? I don't think so.

Pat Lang at SicSemperTyrannis has it right. Obama should tell Netanyahu and Abbas that we out of this and you're own your own. If you ever get serious, you have my number.

Please tell me why that position is wrong.


Monday, November 1, 2010

American Heads in the Sand

Here's another great piece on hiding the horrors of war from the public.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let's Make a Deal

Here's a report about a recent deal made between North and South Korea which triggered my Psych 101 inspired interest in Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

The people of North Korea are motivated by their physical needs, for the basics of survival, food and shelter. Bottom course of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

The people of South Korea are motivated by their relationship needs, for contact with their family and friends. Several courses higher on the pyramid.

Consider this as an invitation to an open thread discussion.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Here's a Dilemma I Didn't See Coming

Here's a piece about a dilemma I didn't see coming, but probably should have.

A quick search, using the Voice In The Wilderness search engine, yielded numerous entries which indicate that this subject has really interesting implications; not just militarily, but socially, culturally, politically, maybe even economically, but especially constitutionally.

We have first amendment stuff, separation of church and state stuff, to name just two for starters.

What else occurs to you?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Tom Toles Says It Well

Here's a link to the Toles cartoon and following blog post. It's the blog post that articulates my own personal appraisal of the mid term election campaigning.

I am disappointed in the Obama administration for trying too hard to appease the opposition, which is unappeasable. Too much naivete' has exposed a very real weakness in the tough business of governing.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Obama To Abbas And Netanyahu:.

'You're own your own boys. You have my number.' According to Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis, that's what Obama should say to Abbas and Netanyahu.

I agree. ' Chase the balls you can catch' is an old axiom which Obama has forgotten.

Here's Roger Cohen's fine analysis of where things stand. Note the beginning and ending. Not a sanguine view of things, but a very objective one.


Where's The Anger II?

Here's a piece by Jim Hightower which should evoke some real anger. It probably won't with most of the American populace, because, as Hightower points out, only 1% of the American people are fighting the war in Afghanistan.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where's The Anger?

When someone robs you, mugs you, rapes you, anger is good. Where's the anger in the American populace which has been robbed, mugged and raped for many years now?

Here's a case in point, a piece by Amy Goodman entitled When Banks are the Robbers.


Lies Upon Lies: Iraq and Afghanistan

Here's a link to a piece by Nick Turse at on the building of military bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan, clear signs that the Pentagon plans even longer occupations of those countries.

We, the American people are paying with our tax dollars the billions being spent on these bases, while whoever is president, of whatever party, lies to us about their plans. Obama is telling us that he will start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next July, while Gen Petraeus, recently becoming known as St. David, spins his own tale about that, and the Pentagon keeps building bases with money that should be used to repair and rebuild the aging and collapsing infrastructure right here in America.

Talk about jobs being shipped overseas!! Human beings are building these bases, manning the fast food store drive-up windows, working in the Post Exchanges, the Post Offices, the movie theaters, etc. that make these places like Anytown, USA. These are not Potemkin villages, these are towns and small cities designed and built to last for years. Guess why.

It is criminal that our money is being used to pay the wages of these people, not to mention the payroll of the military proper, when this country is suffering so much from the lack of jobs here at home, jobs that would be created by the investment of our taxes to pay for the deferred maintenance of our infrastructure. Deferred maintenance never gets better, only worse, only more costly. If your roof is leaking it has to be fixed. If it's lost a few shingles, it's tempting to wait, but at a huge potential cost.

Tom Engelhardt of recently observed that all things, even these seemingly intractable things, must come to an end. It seems it can only end badly.

Sometimes I wonder if our penchant for watching and attending pro football, pro baseball, pro hockey and pro basketball conflicts(euphemistically called games) serves as a way to let out our frustration over the lies we know are being fed to us. Such outlets might be preventing the kind of street outrage and consequent violence we are witnessing in France right now, and have seen recently in Greece.

Our democracy has been bought out. The Neocon/Pentagon/Military Industrial Complex is having its way with us. It is nothing short of rape.

Voting, democracy's tool for fixing what ails us, has come to be only a way to change the actors, not the play. The politicians are owned by the big money which has come to be so obscenely concentrated at the top one tenth of one percent of the population. We have become a plutocracy.

I think it was Jefferson who observed that a revolution is a good thing now and then.

Aux Barricades?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"The Perfect Storm"

Here's a link to an article which speaks for itself, and needs no comment from me. However I am prompted to call what the article reveals "obscene".


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Resurrection We Can Believe In

Just in the off-chance that you haven't been paying attention, here's a link to a story about 33 miners, presumed to be dead 60 plus days ago, rising, literally, from what was presumed to be their grave.

"The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer."
Old Human Proverb.


Combat Soldiers and Lumberjacks

Here's a quote from Andrew Bacevich's essay on our war quagmires:

"Now, assigning combat soldiers the task of nation-building in, say, Mesopotamia is akin to hiring a crew of lumberjacks to build a house in suburbia. What astonishes is not that the result falls short of perfection, but that any part of the job gets done at all."

You can find this essay in its entirety at I recommend it.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

If There Was Ever A Need To Question-----

Here's a link to an article about food from MacDonalds not appearing to spoil, even after a long time.

Life affords us, presents us, with continual opportunities to ask questions. If there were ever a report in need of a question it might be this one.

Generally I try to stay away from questions which begin with "Why", because the one asked a question beginning with "Why" can feel challenged and is likely to be put on the defensive.

Generally I prefer to ask questions which begin with "What", because the only reasonable reply must contain information. So, what's in the food that keeps it from spoiling and even smelling?

Reasonably suspicious people want to know.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Tom Toles' Cartoon and Advice

Here's a Toles cartoon which depicts the disastrous effects of the recent SCOTUS decision opening the flood gates for corporate money to influence political campaigns.

Below the cartoon is some good advice about what to do when a news program starts speculating about the potential effects of the story they are covering. Tune it out.

That goes for The PBS News Hour just as much as Fox and Friends.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Government Cover-Up

I hate to read this kind of reporting. It's about what seems to be another report that makes one wonder if there is anything really different in the Executive Branch since Obama took office.

Obama is going around chastising his base for being cynical and withdrawing support from the Democrat party, but this kind of news undercuts his message.

It reminds me why I don't register to vote as either a Democrat or a Republican.

I am to the left of moderate, but I'm also aware that it seems not to matter who is in power when it comes to dishonesty. What seems always to matter in this day and age of continual campaigning is pleasing the sources of huge deep pocket campaign money.

The trouble with saying often that one must "follow the money" is that it can begin to come across to those who don't like to think as a trite, tell me something new, carping.

Yet it's really true.

I have more and more liberal friends who are beginning to say that the GOPhers should be condemned to win the 2010 election and maybe even the 2012 one, so that they will reveal themselves as just another bought and paid for party, as much beholden and in the pockets of the big money industries(Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Insurance,Big Oil, Big Utilities) as the Democrats; having to deal with the results of the mess they created during the Bush eight years, and having to take ownership of that mess.

The brilliance, if not the political genius of what is today labeled the Republicans, has been in their taking advantage of the short memory of those who don't want nor have to think about governing philosophy, to make it seem that everything is simple, black and white, good or evil. As George Bush said, "I don't do nuance".

The most recent example of government cover-up to please big money is the apparent understatement of the amount of oil still contaminating the Gulf of Mexico. The sleepy minds want to hear that the crisis is over, and so they are given this kind of disinformation to help them go back to sleep.


Redefining Cruelty

Here's a link to an article I never expected to see in my America.
"My country, tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing", it is not.

Sick and obscene cruelty. What kind of people act this way?
Did they not fight the fire only because the homeowner didn't
pay the fee, or is there more to it than that, like retribution and
vengeance for an ongoing conflict? This sounds like the proverbial
Hatfield and McCoys fight.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't Look For This in the MSM

Alternet gives us this report on the iconic journalist Bob Woodward.

I doubt that you'll find this in the Main Stream Media.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Tell Me Why I'm Wrong

Here's a link to Pat Lang's blog Sic Semper Tyrannis conclusion that we should walk away and let the idiots in the Middle East fend for themselves and fight it out. Those 'idiots' are the so-called leaders of the two sides, and should not be confused with the human beings who are the targets of the propaganda from both sides.

Tell me why I should not support that position.


Same Old Parent/Child Game: Look, Oil All Gone

How long does one have to live, or at least pay attention, before one gets it that figures don't lie, but liars do figure?

Here's a report by a scientist that half of the oil still exists in the gulf. This conclusion flies in the face of the government's conclusion that the oil is gone.

If the government worries at all that this guy's information might gain traction it's likely that we will be fed, by that government, dissembling which might take the form: Yes we know that is true, but it's no longer a hazard and that's why we said it's gone.

Wouldn't it be loverly if everyone stopped to ask a simple question: Who benefits from
the information one reads or hears?

Though I'm inclined to belief the scientist here, it's fair to ask that question of a scientist too.
He's not the Messiah. He has a life also, and it might just be that his life and world could benefit from his gaining the ascendancy in the competition for funding. After all it seems that "follow the money" is the essential mantra of those who maintain a healthy cynicism about the motives of those who spread their information of choice, a euphemism for subjective opinion.(Of course all opinion is, by definition, subjective.)


Monday, September 20, 2010


Here's Douthat's take on the Vatican. To dismiss criticism of the Vatican as" fashionable opinion" is appalling.

He doesn't know the difference between a pillar and an anachronism.


Obama Should Speak "Krugman"

Here's Paul Krugman's straight talk about the obscene behavior of the rich. Obama should make this speech to the country. Call it like he sees it, that is if he sees it this way. He won't make this speech because it would be political suicide; but he should, and thereby take his place in the pantheon of the great leaders. So far he's been just another politician.



James Carroll's final column in his six part series on the Israel/Palestinian struggle is literally terrifying.

That's why it needs to be read and shared.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole

It's a really strange world when one finds truth in what a really bad person says.

Try this from Ahmadinejad for example. Of course it's just propaganda
and spin to make him seem like a reasonable man.

Still, it's a strange world.


Education, Liberals and Elites

Here's an interesting piece about the right wing fear of, and consequent attack on, liberal education and educators.

The author of this piece has an interesting blog.


Monday, September 6, 2010

What Is It They Say About History?

Oh Yeah. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. (There seems to be a variety of versions of this George Santayana "quote", but they all convey the same warning.)

Paul Krugman rubs it in here.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Getting In The Heads of Netanyahu, Abbas and Obama

Here's an interesting piece about what Netanyahu, Abbas and Obama might have been thinking
as they started yet another round of so-called peace negotiations.

The author seems to have it right, or so this perplexed goy thinks.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unemployment Insurance: Good or Bad?

Robert Reich, here, argues for the benefits of Unemployment Insurance and calls out a Harvard professor who says it's the cause of long term unemployment.

Care to weigh in on this one?


Tom Toles: The Worth of Both Pictures and Words

Here's Tom Toles latest cartoon. Don't miss his written comments just below the cartoon. He starts with a Yogiism: "Predicting is hard, especially the future."

I often get my mental health break by checking out Toleisms.


Hosni Mubarak on PeaceTalks

Here's the Egyptian President's appeal to all sides for successful negotiations.

To me it is well written and seems sincere. I suspect that there are folks who will cite behaviors on his part to make this ring hollow, and who will accuse him of hypocrisy. I hope not.

As always the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and actions speak louder than words.


The Mind and the Grid

Here's a Robert Wright short essay, once again humorous and accurate; this one on how being connected to the grid can get into your head.


Monday, August 30, 2010

If It's Really This Obscene We Must All Be Afraid, Very Afraid

Here is an essay about the most obscene practices I've heard about on the part of right wing Zionist zealots. Max Blumenthal, who I believe is a Jew, should be given great credit for exposing such horrible nastiness. Seems our MSM won't do it.

Three guesses why, and the first two don't count.

According to the tirades he quotes, he, himself, could be targeted for assassination.


Friday, August 27, 2010

"Washington Rules"

The title of this post is the title of a just published book by Andrew Bacevich, Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University, and a retired professional soldier. His two careers, and what motivated him in each, are what makes this essay so credible.

Here's the Introduction to that book, which I found at

It's somewhat longer than most pundit columns found in newspapers, but it is worth every minute required to read all of it.

This essay is about what it takes to come to grips with what one has assumed to be conventional wisdom. It's about real education, often requiring a turning away from dogma and making up one's own mind about what matters. Often it takes great courage.

Andrew Bacevich has displayed such courage. If you only have time to read one piece on how American Imperialism has dominated our foreign policy since 1945, regardless of which party is in power, this should be that one.

This is much bigger than partisan politics.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Max Blumenthal Versus George Will: No Contest

Here's an interesting piece by Max Blumenthal, as posted on Sic Semper Tyrannis.

What he reveals about Netanyahu, Sr. should be read within the context of Jeffrey Goldberg's piece in the Atlantic this month.

Ben Zion Netanyahu, is the 100 year old warrior who, according to Goldberg, cows his son Benyamin into behaving in a like manner, at least in his sabre rattling posture.

Clearly, we need more Max Blumenthals to expose the right wingers as the nutcases they truly are. and he does it with marvelous humor to boot. There's a certain ring to it(sorry) don't you think?


Viscious Attacks Against an Entire World Wide Religion

Frank Rich here does the country a great service by calling out the hypocrites screaming against an Islamic Community Center, with a prayer room. The first lie is claiming it's a mosque.

The cynical ploys of Murdoch's Fox Propaganda Machine, the sickening "stab in the heart" Palinisms, the outrageous Nazi shouts from Gingrich, the hypocritical rantings of Limbaugh and Beck are all exposed, their vicious lies and traitorous false patriotism on display here for all to see.

It's more than sad, it's horribly true, that Xenophobia still lives in the hearts of the ignorant and the gullible in America, obscenely exploited by demagogues who display a frighteningly twisted and malignant conscience.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan will always be right. One is entitled to one's own opinion, but not one's on facts.

Those Voice hopes readers will spread the facts.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran

Some articles are more important than others. This one by Jeffrey Goldberg, in the Atlantic is one of those.

It has generated a large number of responses, critiques and criticisms from many well known thinkers just because it is especially unique in its rarity.

Who knows whether Israel will, with or without Obama's blessing, attack Iran? Who knows if we will?

This we know. Cheney convinced Bush that he needed to attack Iraq, and all the rest was commentary; or rather subterfuge, propaganda leading the public to get used to the idea.
Included, and a main stay in that propaganda, was that Saddam had WMD, which we now know was a lie.

Does Iran have the bomb? Most think not now, but will. When? A year from now according to SecDef Gates, or longer according to the IAEA . Is this subterfuge, propaganda to get the public used to the idea of bombing Iranian nuclear sites, either by Israel or the U.S.?

Those who forget history-------------------.

I don't equate Obama with Bush, but then I didn't expect him to escalate the war in Afghanistan, continue the policy of classifying almost anything as a secret, or keep Gitmo open either.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why We Have A Constitution

I don't think I've ever provided a link to a Fox News program before. Here's the first.

It's the interview on Fox of Ted Olsen by Chris Wallace. That they are on opposite sides in anything is newsworthy in and of itself.

But in this case the reason I want to spread this news around is that Ted Olsen enlightened me on some of the reasons why we have our Constitution. It protects the right of all minorities against the possibility of a majority vote against certain individual rights.

That's huge.

It raises two questions in my mind. One, what is the correct view about whether the Constitution is a living document or not. In this case about human rights I side with it not being a living document. On the question of gun laws I side with those who think it should be construed as a living document.

So what's the difference, and why is that important?

The argument for the Constitution being a living document in the case of the right to bear arms is that its framers likely did not envision the parabolic, exponential explosion of technology which has happened since it was written. In the case of arms that's about the unforeseen invention of automatic weapons. In the case of human rights it should not be a living document since human rights are inherent, "inalienable" and not subject to change over time, except for progress in including more humans under its protection.

I've been fascinated with the arguments for and against different views about how the Constitution should be viewed; a living document, amendable within the context of changing reality, versus a document as immutable, even sacred, like the Ten Commandments.

I could argue either side and would be fairly judged as both right and wrong on both counts.

Humans long for immutable truths, which are, unfortunately, like beauty, beheld only in the mind of the beholder.

The author of the Book of John in the Christian Bible has it that Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Whether that scene is a fact of history or a scene which the author of the Gospel of John wanted his readers to accept as historical fact, for reasons of his own, the question posed, in and of itself, confirms to us that human beings, at least for the last several thousand years, share, even in our differences, the quest for answers to unanswerable questions.

I've somehow known for a long time that I am at least two people, if being of two minds makes one into two; one enjoying the quest for how everything works, and one fascinated with the quest for what everything means. The quest for answers to how everything works is likely to yield better results over time than what everything means. A brief history of science confirms that.

But still-----------------


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kagan Voting

Here's a link to the Daily Beast on Kagan's confirmation. The tally of who voted for and against is interesting.

Ben Nelson is a Democrat in name only, and Scott Brown's vote against her had nothing to do with Kagan, only with appearing to be a faithful GOPher obstructionist. He makes decisions by sticking his wet finger up in the air to see which way the wind's blowing. Why else would he vote against a nominee from his own state?

His vote will not be forgotten.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No More Mr. Nice Guy,

Here's Bill McKibbon's straight talk piece on what is needed to fight greedy corporations, and shame the whoring politicians who service them, to get meaningful legislation for battling disastrous, accelerating climate change.

He's come to realize that it's time to get angry. Seems the manners you learned from your mother, saying please and thank you, won't work with the greedy and corrupt who aren't about to volunteer to euthanize their golden gooses.

It's now crystal clear that if we ever hope to take time to smell the roses we'll have to make time to save them.


Seems It's Again Time To Be Afraid

Here's a link to former intelligence officers', VIPS, memo to Obama about the duplicity of Netanyahu and warning the president that only he can now stop Israel from attacking Iran.

I doubt that they're crying wolf. They got it right about Iraq.

God knows what would happen if Israel were actually to attack Iran. Seems, like in Iraq, the goal is regime change, and the threat of nuclear bombs in Iran is like the WMD's of Iraq, a ruse to justify war.

Where could decent people turn if Obama gets duped by Netanyahu like Bush was duped by Cheney?


Tom Friedman Gets It

Tom Friedman, here, puts his finger on the real reason the Mosque at 51Park should be good for us.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Draft Or Not To Draft?

What a question!

One irony of wars like Iraq and Afghanistan has to do with who fights them. An all volunteer army is essentially a mercenary army, and they need work. A case has been made that the Crusades were a way to keep the various kings' paid militias, the so-called knights, busy, giving them something to do. They were trained to kill, not build or make anything and they were prone to causing trouble domestically when they couldn't find work which required their killing skills.

A draft is a temporary army, and the goal of most draftees is to get the fight over with and get back to the productive lives they were skilled at pursuing.

A professional army, as is the case with volunteers, needs work to do. If they were all Army Engineers the work would be more constructive.

This article makes the case that our wars of choice might not be happening if there were a draft, something I've been writing about for quite a long time. These wars of choice keep some of the professional killers occupied, not prone to causing trouble domestically. Clearly they are not what you would usually call professional killers, like in hit men. Are there hit women? In bad economic times, like we have now, many volunteer because it's the only paid work they can find. Makes me wonder if the Neocons of the military/industrial complex aren't secretly pleased with bad economic times.

And, at least as important, back in the day, it required an act of Congress to declare war. No doubt that requirement birthed the saying, "It would take an act of Congress", when something really controversial is on the table, as controversial as declaring war and instituting a military draft.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Please Read This

If you're only up to reading one piece about Afghanistan, please read this one. It's a view of the war there not generally discussed in public, and certainly not by public officials.

The uniqueness of it has to do with who wrote it. Ann Jones has been a war correspondent in Afghanistan since 2002. She is at least 65 years old, and has spent most of her time there embedded with Afghanistan civilian women, and only recently filed this report as a journalist embedded with the US Army.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

America, The Sucker in the Game

Tom Friedman's column in today's Times exposes a rationale for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that is news to me.

If he's correct then we really are the sucker in the game, and it's long past time to fold.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Blood on Whose Hands?

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, sitting alongside Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had the gall today to say that Mr. Assange of Wikileaks might have the blood on his hands of a soldier or citizen in Afghanistan because he released secret documents exposing the absurdity of our making war in that tribal, corrupt, failed imitation of a civilized nation state.

If any have blood on their hands it's the Neocons, the cheerleaders of the Military/Industrial Complex, who love and promote war somewhere, all the time, for the $Billions made in making war.

(Who are the Neocons? That's a good and justified question. Here are the names of some of those I would assign to that category. It's important to know and understand that I can only make these judgments based on what people have had the guts and/or the gall to state publicly. I am certain that there are many more who don't want to be identified and whose motives and agendas are innimical to the values and hopes of decent people all over the world).

In my view SecDef Gates gets an unmerited pass by many Americans who view him as a reasonable man, in contrast to the cynical, shoot from the hip, former SecDef Rumsfeld of the Cheney/Bush cabal. I agree that he makes a good impression, but I also believe that he drinks the same Koolaid as those in Congress and the Administration who seem trapped into playing their role in the War Games tragedy staged by those Neocon criminals, whose loyalty and agenda is to money and power, at the sacrifice of the people of the United States. Gates should be judged, not by his words, but by his actions.

When it comes to judging people by their actions, not their words, that goes for Obama as well. Gates and Mullen serve at his pleasure. Or do they? If not his, whose?

Who really has the blood of America's youth and future on their hands? I think I know. Do you?
It's important that you do.


The Old "Picture's Worth A Thousand Words" Thing

It's true. All you need to know about making war in Afghanistan you can learn by just looking at this cartoon pictorial.

Not all cartoons are meant to be funny.


Making Sense

Paul Krugman makes sense to me with this down to earth analysis of Obama's frequent reluctance to deal with the reality that the GOPhers are not his friends and his all too frequent snubbing of those who are.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Value of

Tom Engelhardt, the creator of the blog, continues to publish the very best of essays on the threat of American Imperialism.

Here's the latest, this one by Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University. Tom observes that it's about "Giving up on victory, but not war".

The final paragraph is especially important in its shining a bright light on the shadows of massive corruption in American politics, including our current politicians, of all stripes, and at all levels, from the highest to the lowest.

In my opinion, the Pentagon has become the fourth branch of government, after the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court. It's the military part of the military/industrial complex which President Eisenhower warned us about in the late 1950's.

It's become almost trite, even naive, to say, "Follow the money", as Deep Throat observed, yet it's still the clue to the Elephant in the Room nobody wants to acknowledge; the rampant corruption in our politics. When we complain about Hamid Karzai's corrupt government it's the pot calling the kettle black. It might be compared to the Mafia, the Cosa Nostra, fighting among its own families, the Americans versus the Sicilians.

The depressing thing is that the Neocons' unending war, somewhere, all the time, has become the modern American way of life; volunteer soldiers and mercenaries trying out the toys dreamed up and manufactured by the Industrial part of the Military/Industrial Complex, and financed by the other half of that complex, the Pentagon's so-called Defense Department; the label which redefines "euphemism".

One can only hope that investigative journalism like what Dana Priest and William Arkin of the Washington Post gave us last week, will arouse the ire of the American public enough to worry bought and paid for politicians that they could lose their jobs if the public were to get on a roll.

That's not likely unless we institute a military draft like we had during the Vietnam War. Then the entire populace became worked up by the reality that families were being torn up by the dead and the disabled against their will.

Today, the Neocons, the Cosa Nostra of our Military/Industrial Complex, would use their vast lobbying money to buy off politicians who might be inclined to vote for a draft, because they don't want to wake that sleeping dog which is the American voter.

There ought to be a sign over the entrance to the Capitol Building in D.C., like that over the entrance to Hell. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Still, hope springs eternal.

Surviving Member of a Homo
Sapien species long assumed
to be extinct.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where Are The Adults? Here Are Three

There are at least three adults to call a spade a spade in their exposure of Neocon fantasies, one of which is that we can and should "change the world".

William Pfaff, Robert Sheer and Eugene Washington can usually be counted on to speak the truth, loud and clear, when other pundits want to look away, plug their ears and try to pretend that those whose favor they curry are making sense and doing the right thing.

Here is a link to where you will find the current essays of these truth seeking opinion journalists.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Israeli Coverup

Here's a fine piece by Roger Cohen in a Times column today. It's heartening to read a Jew talking straight about Israeli coverups of anything potentially damaging to its reputation.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shedding Light on Sherrod

Bob Herbert here writes what needed to be said about what the White House didn't do for Shirley Sherrod, and what the bigots did to her. It speaks for itself.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Truth With Lies

Here's the best essay I've read about the idiocy of our warring in Afghanistan.

When you read and/or hear the spin coming out of DC and other world capitals about how it's going there and how it's a crucial place for us to be, remind yourself that it's all lies.

It's nothing short of Bullshit.

Pakistan loves it, OBL loves it, China loves it, Iran loves it, Russia loves it, Saudi Arabia loves
it(that's news to me). In other words all those who would like to see the U.S. humbled love it. It saps us of money, prestige, and blood. No one likes a bully and the U.S. is perceived to be an arrogant bully all around the world.

Add to that noxious mix the reality that our own Neocon/Pentagon/Military/Industrial Complex loves it for the $Billions they rake off by waging war, somewhere, all the time, at the expense of the American Taxpayer whom they don't want to wake up to understand what is really happening to them.

With friends like these ------.

This has almost nothing to do with Dems or GOPhers. It's now clear that whoever sits in the White House in these times is in on the fix.


Don't Tell Anyone.

In the recent expose' by Dana Priest and William Arkin of WaPo we learn that 854.000 employees of the vast American intelligence network have Top Secret clearances.

Are you serious? How likely is it that 854,000 people can keep a secret?

What a world. Where are the adults?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oops. Sorry About Botching Our Latest Attempt To Deceive

Seems BP is just pissed that they got caught in another subterfuge.


Mental Health Break

Check out Tom Toles, the WaPo cartoonist par excellence, here. The funniest part is his dream tale following the cartoon. He describes all the weird. telltale, revealing aspect of a true dream.


Mining Afghanistan's Treasure

Here's a sensible, if polyannish wish, for how to deal with the recently reported mineral treasures in Afghanistan.

A year or so ago, Derrick V. Jackson of the Boston Globe said we were trying to make Iraq safe for Exxon. That didn't work out so well.

I suspect that it won't work out so well in Afghanistan for Big Mining either.
Tribal customs and corruption as a way of life are sure to dash any such hopes

I am beginning to wonder though if those mineral treasures might be the real reason we're in Afghanistan. Michael Klare, professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, wrote an excellent and insightful book a few years ago called, Resource Wars. It might be a good time to take a new and closer look at his premise.


Thinly Disguised Neocon Subterfuge

Here's David Brooks' thinly disguised attempt to divert attention away from the recently published excellent investigative journalism of Dana Priest and William Arkin of the Washington Post.

His last sentence is cheap soap opera drama. The French Revolution was not about bureaucracy so much as it was about the obscene hording of wealth and the greed of those in power.

Come to think of it, perhaps his last sentence is appropriate.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Follow The Money and Cui Bono

Here are two terms used by Kevin Drum, of Mother Jones, who has dipped his toes into the dangerous waters of how the very wealthy control what happens in our society. Read his careful wording here. I would add, for the benefit of the voters, Caveat Emptor.

This is encouraging. He's a pundit with a fairly wide following. Look for some others to follow if and when they get up their nerve.


Looting The Candy Store

Update Below.

When will the adults take back the candy store?

Read this and weep. $7.5 Billion aid to Pakistan for drinking water and infrastructure? Hey, how about us? And for non-military purposes? Oh, please. Cut the bullshit. It's nothing more than a bribe.

Good Grief and oy vey.


Adding insult to injury is the message in this piece which tells me that not only are we providing aid to a foreign country which we need very badly ourselves, but apparently it's "needed" by Pakistan because their own leaders are the wealthy elites who, the article says, are adept at shielding themselves from paying taxes.

Sound familiar? The GOPhers say we cannot help out the needy in this country because it increases the deficit, but we must reinstate the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, saying that doesn't increase the deficit.

Talk about being adept!



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Those Dim and Small

Last year Garrison Keillor called George W. Bush, "That dim, small man".

Here's a report of those dim, small people, GOPhers, Tea Partiers, Conservatives, whatever, picking on Obama for taking a weekend off in Maine, the state that claims it's how life should be. I lived for four glorious years in Midcoast Maine. I'm not pissed at Obama, just jealous.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Pay Attention To Roger Cohen

I pay close attention to what Roger Cohen writes, assuming it's also what he really thinks. His column in the Times today calls out the Obama team on it's poor use of really good talent and it's over use of the mediocre.

Who knows how bad off we would have been by this time if McCain had won? Really bad off I suspect.

But I can't help but feel growing disillusionment with the Obama administration. There's just too much continuance of all the things Bush supported, especially in the foreign affairs portfolio. Yes, he got health care through, and yes he got financial reform through, and even though they are watered down to please GOPhers they can be improved over time.

On the economy he is up against the the politically motivated obstructionist GOPhers on every front, from unemployment insurance extension to the spending needed to avoid backsliding into more recession like what happened in the late 1930's. That's when Congress lost its nerve and cut off stimulus too soon.

Railing about the deficit is the bullshit the GOPhers are using to convince the gullible voters that the Dems should be thrown out this year as they, the GOPhers, were two years ago. It's the height of hypocrisy to claim that continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy doesn't increase the deficit. That's a ridiculous and absurd bald-faced lie.

But it's the wars for me. The loss of precious lives and billions of dollars is an obscenely high cost to pay for pretending that America's security and foreign interests are sufficiently in danger to justify unending war, somewhere, all the time.

Paul Krugman, today, calls tax cuts for the wealthy Voodoo economics. That term should also be applied to waging unnecessary war. It's Voodoo foreign policy. Both black magic policies are designed to line the pockets of the very wealthy even more, especially the pockets of those who accumulate vast wealth through their investment in arms and all manner of war materiel.

Obama is confirming the GOPhers' appraisal of him as weak, and unable to stand up to their selfish greed.

He says he'd rather be a good one term president than a poor two term one. But he's acting like he, like most politicians, is more worried about keeping his job than governing based on his principles and values. I hope that's not giving the devil more than he's due.

I guess whether one is disillusioned with Obama or not depends on the major reason(s) one voted for him. For me the disappointment is about his appearing to have been rolled by the Pentagon, and his ignoring the threat of the Neocon/Pentagon/Military/Industrial Complex Ike warned us about in the late 1950's. And Ike, as Supreme Commander in WW II and then as Commander in Chief, clearly would have known and understood that threat.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's About Time

Finally, someone, in this case Senator John Kerry of Mass., has made public secret discussions relating to the unnecessary war in Vietnam, showing the clear parallels between that war and the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here is an editorial in today's Boston Globe on the subject. Figures don't lie, but liars do figure. As always, war is about making huge profits on the backs of the American people and the lives of our young men and women.

Why were these meetings held in secret? If you have to ask you'll never understand.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

American Imperialism; Alive and Well

The politicians, from top to bottom, deny it, but the facts on the ground, as they are wont to observe, prove that the U.S. has been on an imperial march since the end of WW II. Historians might even conclude that we've been embarking on modern day Crusades. It doesn't take a spin doctor long to identify Infidels wherever they want to.

More likely they will conclude that we have been just another example of a country which might have been what its founders imagined, but which succumbed to the greed of its military/industrial establishment's penchant for waging unending war, somewhere, all the time.

Here's a great essay on the subject. Read it and weep.


War Without End, Amen

Here's the best expose' and analysis I've read of the war without end conspiracy, oops, hidden agenda of the Neocons' promotion of unending war.

Brigadier FB Ali is no kook. He is a retired Pakistani military officer who has made several trenchant contributions to Col.(Ret.) Patrick Lang's blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis. He speaks the truth.

Unfortunately his hope for a rising up and public outcry like we experienced over Vietnam will not occur this time around, at least anytime soon, because we have no draft to take our kids unwillingly off to war. Neocons would block a draft with their ownership of Congress, because they don't want to wake the sleeping dog which is the American public.

The money's the thing wherein they've killed the conscience of the king.

For truly predictive literature on this subject I recommend Rudyard Kipling's poem "Recessional" and Taylor Caldwell's 1970's novel, "Captains and the Kings".


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Old Time Religion

Update below.

Here's a piece that prompts me to sing, virtually, as follows.

Take back your old time religion, your old time religion, take back your old time religion; it's just too sick for me.

Big government is bad, salvation is good. We have big government and we need salvation, so big government threatens salvation. Sadly there are enough idiots out there who will swallow this bullshit, and shout AMEN.

Then there's this. Holy shit!


Is There No End To The Idiocy?

Update below.

Here's a story about how the Taliban are laughing all the way to their AK47 supply store.

How much more idiocy will it take to get the message that this is not a war we should have any part of?

Perhaps it doesn't have to be a military draft, sending our kids to war unwillingly, to get the ire of the public. Perhaps the public will revolt when it gets around that its tax dollars are being used to pay extortion to the Taliban, so that we can wage war against them. Recall the story of extortion and bribes needed to get our supply trucks into Afghanistan from Pakistan.

You can't make this stuff up.

Update: Now this. You can't tell the players, even with a program. Sick!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

"God Has A Plan." Sharon Angle

Sharon Angle, running as a Republican for the Nevada Senate seat of the incumbent Democrat, Harry Reid, says, "I am a Christian--------".

Read the rest of that quote and the context in which it was spoken here.

What does it mean to be a Christian? I was baptized a Christian. If to be a Christian I am supposed to have the same beliefs as Sharon Angle, which she seems to imply by prefacing her position on abortion by saying she's a Christian, I'd have to resign from that club.

Like Woody Allen said, "I would never join a club that would have me as a member".

Let's hear it for the separation of church and state.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Funny or Obscene?

Here's Gail Collins' wit dealing with the obscenity of the power of money in politics.

Who knew that Richard Blumenthal's wife's family owns the Empire State Building?

Who cares?

Perhaps we should when he portrays himself as a hard working guy for the people, making a measly $100k+ salary as his state's attorney general.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

America's War Now

Here's a post from the fine blog, Minstrel Boy, and following it is a comment I left on that post.
Also after the P.S. is a link to another on the topic from the fine blog

Apparently the Brits don't have the Neocon/Pentagonlike/military/industrial complex we
have which promotes war somewhere all the time because of the huge quantities of money made in arms and all manner of war materiel.

The British learned in the late 18th century that fighting terrorists(or patriots if you choose) is a losing battle. There are so many ironies in history. Why haven't we learned our own lesson? It's because "we" have the Neocon war mongering criminals. They did learn that lesson, and the lesson is that fighting against terrorists is a losing battle which means that there is no end to war. Just what they want.

It's best not to call this a conspiracy because that gets one branded a nut. But call it the hidden agenda, hidden from the gullible and "could- care- less" citizenry which is not about to get worked up over this when there is no draft to drag their kids off to war unwillingly.The Neocons don't want a draft for that very reason. Without a draft it's not likely that politicians will have to face angry citizens over Afghanistan as they did over Vietnam.

In the meantime we continue to borrow from the Chinese, to pay for Middle East oil and extortion to the Taliban and Pakistanis to keep the supply trucks rolling.

Sorry for the rant but I get really pissed when I hear and read stories about how Petraeus is going to be Obama's General Grant, after firing his Gen McClellan, as if military strategy and tactics were what it's all about.As always, what it's all about is MONEY!

Leanderthal; surviving member of a homo sapien species long thought to be extinct.


Here's a post by Retired Lt. Col. William Astore on this very topic. Great minds think alike? I wish.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If I Were King

If I were king I'd require every one of my subjects to read the essay by Chris Hedges which you will find here.

Oh, and this one too. Roger Cohen might be the most interestingly articulate writer of our times.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Who Knew?

Here's a fascinating, to me at least, bit of history I knew nothing about.

The reason it appears in the New York Times as an op-ed column today is obvious.

Its best value might be in shedding light on the colonial ancestors of those who stood up to and rejected the Crown years later.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sadly He Speaks The Truth

Col.(Ret) Patrick Lang here, sadly, speaks the truth about Afghanistan. Time to rid ourselves of denial, the belief that we'll bring the troops home, beginning a year from now. Not gonna happen.

Neocons won't let it happen. There's too much money at stake.

It'll take an uprising like we saw in the '70's over Vietnam to get us out of that black hole, and that won't happen without a draft. Good luck with that.


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Wisdom and Cry in the Wilderness of James Carroll

James Carroll has the unique insight and skill at articulating that insight shared over history by a select number of other prophets.

Here is his latest and best, an evaluation and warning about the too seldom recognized trauma on a people caused by war.

This page is visited by a small number of readers, but I'm thrilled each week to see that some visitors come from far off lands. It's unlikely that they would know about the wisdom of James Carrol, and it's my wish and hope that this post might help with that.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

How Much Cynically Selfish Greed Will It Take?

How much cynically selfish greed will it take to cause an uprising against it? I'm aware of a large number of folks, by virtue of our blogging exchanges, who continue to be, like me, aghast that so many of the disadvantaged financially continue to vote against their own interests.

Here's a piece which exposes the dark matter which is the essence of the GOPhers: "I got mine, get your own". The truly morally sick aspect of this is that such a cynical, contemptuous and condescending opinion of the have nots is obvious in the life style of those who inherited their good fortune by the hard work of the have nots of their ancestors.

That's what makes me really nauseous.

It's now more than clear that those who have it made, especially those by virtue of the hard work of their progenitors from whom they already have inherited big time are not at all interested in helping those who once had a shot at making it big, but lost it, due to the deep pocket corporate interests of the shameless greed, greed so innate to those who are financially immune to economic downturns that they are morally disconnected from those who they have used, as cheaply as possible, to make them so.

My troubled thoughts go back to the unbelievably heartless pronouncement of Barbara Bush in her evaluation of the plight of those confined to the virtual concentration camp that was the Super Dome due to the ravages of Katrina. How out of touch, how morally disconnected can one be?

Well the GOPhers today managed to provide us yet again with another example of that moral disconnect.

When I refer to GOPhers, I'm referring to politicians in the employ of big money suppliers. It used to be that we. the voters once empowered by the democratic system established by those mythological heroes, our founders, could determine who represented us in this representative democracy.

Sorry to have to tell you that we voters who have for years counted on those who sought our votes to be essentially as honest as the mythical Abe Lincoln, are now asked to select our representatives based on the spin, propaganda and mythologies paid for by those who have no interest in the plight of the disadvantaged, and actually celebrate when those they have bought and paid for have garnered more votes than those they know would not agree to be the whores they had tried to solicit

History has it that the haves will continue to be the haves, until the have nots find a leader. MLK was that leader when the American citizen have nots needed their larger citizenry to face their blind eye to the crimes against humanity which was rampant and unchecked raceism.

Robespierre was that leader when the French citizen have nots needed their larger citizenry to face their blind eye to the crimes against humanity which was rampant and unchecked greed.

Here's another article which grabbed my attention and once again stuck in my craw.

Leanderthal : A label used to identify a specimen of a homo sapien species, long assumed to have gone extinct.

Friedman's Appraisal of Israel's Use of Intermittent Periods of Peace

Here's Thomas Friedman's fine piece on Israel's use of intermittent time outs between wars, and why they need to change.

This should be read in its entirety to get the full flavor of his analysis.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's Passed Time For The American Pastime To Level The Playing Field

What's it going to take to get the attention of MLB managers, general managers, owners and execs to restoring parity to baseball, by either making the DH a part of both leagues, or eliminating it for both leagues?

It's seemed to me to be a strange anachronism for quite awhile, but recent events have got my attention enough to try to get the attention of those who have the position of power to make this right.

Recently I watched an inter league game played in the ball park of an American League team in which the National League team manager had the option of using a DH whose batting average in his own league was less than mediocre or letting his pitcher, whose batting average in his own league was more than respectable. The manager sent his DH to the plate with predictably negative results.

Tonight, watching the Boston Red Sox versus the San Fransisco Giants I witnessed the talented Boston pitcher Clay Buchholtz hit a single, and then come up hobbling when forced to run to second base by what the next batter did.

He , the pitcher, had to leave the game, with a four run lead, achieved to that point in the game by virtue of his pitching savvy and skills.

That talent is at least partly due to his being able to practice and strengthen his pitching savvy and skills with little or no need to practice and strengthen his savvy and skills in hitting and base running elements of the game.

How long, Oh Lords of the Game, must we wait for you to restore a level playing field to this game?

Leanderthal, AKA a surviving specimen of what had thought by many to be an extinct species.

What Are We Doing Here, Part 2

It's good that a well read columist like Bob Herbert, writing for a well known publication like the New York Times is becoming relentless in his exposing the futility and the waste of the war of choice which is being half heartedly waged in Afghanistan.

Here's his latest. Believe him and spread the word.


Friday, June 25, 2010

On The Other Hand

I've written repeatedly about the selfishness, greed, contemptuous and condescending behavior of the haves and their effect on the have nots.

Just about when I get head up about this something in my background, perhaps my education at the hands of my parents, teachers and professors, brings me up short, and I hear in my head the admonition that there is nothing new under the sun.

I'm reminded what I have read in the verse, poem, Desiderata. "No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it 'should'." I've always wondered about that as a truth. The use of the word "should" perplexes me. How would the message of the poem be changed if the word used by the poet had been "will"?

One way or the other, I wonder if I should feel chastised for my disappointment in those of my own species, often wishing I could disclaim any membership, or if I should just let it all go.

A kind of solace might be that I'm not the first nor the last to wonder.

Tis a mystery. Existence would be so boring without mystery.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Real Reason For War, Any War

Here are three New York Times Columns which make me believe even more that no one is willing to point to the real elephant in the room, Neocon/Pentagon/Military/Industrial Establishment, as the actual cause for wars of choice. Ike warned us about this cabal after WW II. As the song goes, "When will they ever learn?"

The real reason for war, any war, not just Iraq and Afghanistan, is the loyalty, of those who make and sell arms and the needed resources to sustain wars, to money to be made, not loyalty to the country of their citizenship. These are the greedy bastards responsible for the obscene deaths and casualties of our American troops and those of our allies. These are the greedy bastards who milk hard pressed citizens for tax money to pay for wars; money that ends up in their shady and rotten bank accounts of ill gotten gain.

Tom Friedman calls it correctly here.

Maureen Dowd calls out McChrystal here.

Bob Herbert, probably weeping as he writes, exposes the deepest cuts to our soul as a people, here.

It's going to take an uprising of the populace to get us out of the two wars of choice, like what got us out of Vietnam. Only when politicians from top to bottom realize that they will lose their jobs, if Americans finally wake up to the toll wars are taking on their pocketbooks and on the fabric of
America, will they stop, at least for awhile, waging wars of choice.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Are We Doing Here?

The title of this post is a quote by a certain Pfc. who posed the question to Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Here's the article which quotes Pfc. Jared Pautsch. The Pfc. shares the opinion of many civilians back home who are equally frustrated that we are pouring unnecessary blood and treasure down the rat hole which is Afghanistan. The scarce resources are needed to rebuild our own nation.

This article confirms my belief that the Pentagon, Petraeus and McChrystall really don't hold Mr. Obama in very high regard.

Glad to see Stanley is being called on the carpet.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Thinking Is So Old Hat

Albert Einstein is reported to have said, "The significant problems we face can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Recently the Pakistani -American citizen who tried to kill indiscriminately many people in Times Square pleaded guilty to all counts brought against him. Apparently he enjoyed, even took delight, in doing so and became impatient with the judge who wanted to be sure that he understood each and every count brought against him.

On the surface this might appear to be good news; that this guy wasn't going to put up a defense, and that his case might be adjudicated quickly and that he was likely to be put away in prison for a long time, if not for life.

Case closed.

Or is it, and should it be?

What's wrong with this picture? Why is it somehow troubling to some of us; taking responsibility personally, why is it troubling to me, when it should be satisfying?

Perhaps it's because I believe that we, our species, have to begin to think outside the box which has limited our perception to an old paradigm, an assumption which still informs us, at our peril, that our enemies are soldiers, military leaders and heads of nation states which have visions of conquering other nation states, and taking over their territory; which has meant taking possession of the conquered states' valuable-to-the-conqueror resources.

Whence came these resources? They are the previously considered detritus of earlier species created and left behind by Nature, which is not limited by any time constraint, nor influenced by any of its creatures.

Nature just is. Nature is not immoral but clearly is amoral. Why, because Nature and Nature's processes just are what they are. When we look for someone or something to blame we look for something created by Nature, usually someone of our own species. In so doing we condemn ourselves because we are also creatures of Nature.

Sorry to have to tell you that.

Ironically it's through the death and destruction of Nature's own creatures that these resources are deposits created by their deaths long ago. Oil comes first to mind.

Now we hear that in Afghanistan there are deposits of other remnants which Nature had created over millenia, and which might be the targets of those who covet the idea that they could, with support of the right influence and power of our government and military leaders, claim them by some, any means, arm twisting diplomacy, look the other way pay offs, as in corruption, or military force.

Until and unless we wake up to the abomination of the threat posed by the greed at any cost of the Neocons, members of our own species, we will remain helpless in our ignorance to see and understand that we are turning a blind eye to what is destroying us from within.

The horrendous irony is that it's only the brains of the species called by itself "homo sapien"(knowing men), and "homo sapien, sapien"(knowing men who know they know) which invented the technology that depends on the inherit energy deposits which resulted from the deaths and ultimate extinction of a vast number of species, like our own, in accordance with what our species has correctly come to understand as The Law of Nature.

So it seems that we are using the remains of previous species to cause the deaths and the ultimate extinction of ourselves.

Tragically, it serves us right.

Leanderthal (A temporarily surviving specimen of a species widely thought to have gone extinct long ago)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Manute Bol; A Big Man In Many Ways

Here's a link to an article which we all might wish to find more often.

The contrast between the story of this man's life and the stories of others with a head and shoulders advantage is both heart warming and sad; sad in the sense that others who had such an advantage got headlines for comparatively less than admirable behavior.

Read it and know how this man used his advantage, both physical and subsequently financial, for the benefit of his disadvantaged people.

This particular story got my attention because, as a 6' 6" male at age fourteen, my coaches and mentors worked with me to get the most out of my height advantage in high school to be the center of the Fairfield, CT 1955 New England Basketball Champions, played at the old Boston Garden.

The only thing I have in common with Mr. Bol is that we both passed from the celebrity scene at the end of our basketball playing days. I deserved that anonymity, but Mr. Bol did not.


Why Are We Still There?

Col.Ret. Pat Lang posts his and a soldier's remarks on the idiocy of the rules of engagement in Afghanistan here.

The government in that poor excuse for a country is corrupt beyond redemption, there is no win possible when the locals either laugh at us or a terrified by the Taliban.

So why are we still there? Pride? Bullshit.

The neocon/Pentagon/military/industrial establishment makes billions of dollars in wars like this. That's why we're still there; shameless greed and a complete disregard for the risks to the troops.

Seems only civil disobedience like the kind we saw during the Vietnam war will bring the president to his senses. At this time he's still being rolled by the Neocons.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Fear And Loathing At Executions

I cannot adequately describe how my reading this first person witness account of yet another execution of a living being affected me. The closest I can come is to say that I imagine, as if it were my own, the terror that must overwhelm the condemned who knows that he has been rendered so helpless as to be even deprived of the fight or flight instinct inherently afforded by Nature to all living beings.

Anyone who has given over to the hands of a vet an incurably sick loved dog or cat companion who will euthanize it understands this. Whether one holds his loved companion while the vet injects the lethal cocktail, or watches the loved companion look back at you over the shoulder of the vet carrying it away, wondering what's going on and counting on you to help, knows the feelings I'm trying to express.

It's been a part of me since early childhood to feel horror at even the idea of a helpless being tortured and/or killed. The planned, scheduled and carried out execution of even a person who has admitted to having committed the most awful and heinous of crimes elicits in me, now as an adult, a reaction much like I had as a child when watching a movie of pirates running through people with their swords. I hid my head. I just could not watch. I experienced the the fear, the horror as if I were the helpless one.

There are so many times now that I want to disassociate myself from membership in the species Homo Sapien, even though I know that I have within me the same instincts to hurt, render helpless, frighten and kill other beings.

I wonder if my horror at even giving my loving companion pets over to a vet for merciful relieving it of its pain and suffering, in a strange way, a kind of salvation.

But I wish I knew and could be sure that the being I condemned wasn't overcome with fear.

I wish I knew. I wish I understood.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Interesting Essay on Religion Today

Here's a link to an essay which I found interesting, provocative and grist for the mill of a good discussion.

It is best to focus on the content and not the title which clearly is meant to be controversial, if not polarizing.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

What Will It Take to Leave Afghanistan?

Bob Herbert's column is an accurate statement about the absurdity of the war in Afghanistan, that is until his final paragraph in which he claims that it's the public, that's us, who are really to blame for this.

I don't know about you but I have tried to believe in the democratic system of voting for officials to represent us. When it comes to making war it seems that no president is immune to being rolled by the military/industrial/neocon/Pentagon machine which makes billions in war making.

Obama is no exception.

If the public is to blame perhaps it's because the public doesn't want "Aux Barricades" to be its rallying cry. But maybe that's what it will take. Something like that happened over Vietnam, though it was not as bloody in America's streets as it was in those of Paris in the late 18th Century.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Going To The Heart Of The Matter; Energy That Is

Now and then one sees and hears someone who articulates the heart of the matter in a way that generates hope.

On the PBS News Hour just now I watched and listened to the thoughts of John Doerr, a Venture Capitalist with an impressive record of backing a Who's Who of high tech companies, who captured the essence of the crisis which can become an opportunity, the yin and yang of world economics.

He said that he and his partners are optimistic that American innovative companies will realize the opportunity in the reality that today America is borrowing from China to buy oil from the Middle East and burn it across our country and, in the process, damaging the environment.

We should all hope to hear and see more of this man.


Punishment To Fit The Crime

When my stomach turns looking at pictures of helpless creatures of Nature like the one in the article at this link I want to bring back tarring and feathering of the really bad people in Big Oil.

That would be a fitting punishment for the crimes they've committed for far too long.

We could start with Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and Tony Hayward.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Spread This Word Far and Wide

Here's a brilliant essay on the uniquely human problem of our brain's inventiveness surpassing its ability to cope with the products of that inventiveness.

For those of you who don't have easy access to James Carroll's essays or are not yet aware of them, this one's for you. It is my hope that you will further spread its word.

He writes a column for the Boston Globe most Mondays;


Saturday, June 5, 2010

On Speaking Out

Here's a piece from Col Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis on the Likud sect in Israeli, and its American supporters.



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Amos Oz, The Wisest Jew, Oops, Israeli

Amos Oz shares his much needed wisdom here.

Update: My Jewish friend, The Old New Englander, cautioned me that I would be better off to call Oz the Wisest Israeli; that I shouldn't want to get into a debate about the wisest Jew. Good advice.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Bully of the Mid East

Here's Col. Pat Lang on calling Israel a bully, a label I've used for the Likud sect of Israel for some time now. I hate bullies, small and large, near and far. They are to be stood up to. Nothing else ever exposes them as the cowards they really are, whether it's on the six grade playground or in international waters.

Irony: The name Netanyahu apparently comes from the same root as the word for the ancient god of Israel, Yahweh; that according to author Robert Wright in his 2009 eye opening book, The Evolution of God. Like father like son?

Man creates god in his own image, the image he needs to justify his actions depending on the reality of the facts on the ground at any given time. The right wing settlers in the West Bank continue to justify their unjust actions by claiming that God gave them this land millenia ago. How convenient for them. Never mind who lived on it at other times, before and after.

In the U.S. the powerful Likud backing right wing Israel lobby AIPAC continues to buy off politicians to render unlimited, unconditional support for right wing Israel. Also in the U.S. the more moderate Israel lobby J Street, and the Israel Policy Forum are working to gain support for a two state solution in that land. One can only hope that they will win the day, someday.

In the meantime the truly just people of the world should continue to condemn the right wing leadership in Israel for being and acting like the bullies they truly are, claiming God's instructions. "Love your neighbor as yourself" was an admonition to Israelites to love other Israelites. All bets were off when it came to those neighbors on their borders.

Yahweh will not mind his being characterized as a peaceful god someday, any more than he minded millenia ago when the Israelites needed to cool it with those who lived on their borders now and then. He is truly a flexible god. More power to him, or her, or it. Whatever.