Friday, April 30, 2010

The Cartoon Speaks For Itself

Here's Wasserman's Globe cartoon of Friday, April 30, 2010.

It speaks for itself and says volumes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Firefox, the web browser, keeps crashing on my laptop, originally once or twice a week, but now several times a day. I get a dialogue box option to report it, and an apology, but am not sure if it's a Firefox problem or my laptop problem.

Anyone out there dealing with this too?

I've gone back to IE for now.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Hath Cheney Wrought?

Here's a piece which outs Halliburton's former KBR group for more outrageous practices in war zones.

If I were a Christianist Fundamentalist looking for the anti-Christ I would have to look no further than in my own sick culture to see Dick Cheney as the obvious embodiment of that messenger from Hell.

He started wars and paved the way for the company he headed (before sitting in the cat bird seat as Veep) to make billions off war paid for by gullible taxpayers who fell for his pseudo-patriotic flag waving propaganda nonsense.

I'm one who voted for Obama in the vain and mistaken hope that he would prosecute Cheney and his Neocon cabal colleagues for crimes against humanity and war crimes. I see Bush as just another member of the cabal. He was, and I guess still is, in Garrison Keillor's words, "That dim small man".


Blockading Bastards Redux

Sometimes the bastards who block are in it just to be recognized, even recognized as ornery bastards.

Here's Sen. Coburn's recent proof of being an ornery bastard. He actually held up the Earth Day resolution which praised former Senator Gaylord Nelson for his environmental work.

Narcissism lives.


Ben's and Buffets' Big Bucks Blockade

Here's yet another follow the money shameless ploy. Senator Ben Nelson, D-Neb, goes AWOL again from his own party, this time in blocking the Dem campaign to regulate the outrageous behavior on Wall Street. Seems billionaire Warren Buffet would like Nelson to do what he can to protect Buffet's billions from such regulation.

Buffet you see is a Nebraskan. Buffet got my admiration awhile back in teaming up with Bill Gates on his philanthropy efforts. He's blown it with this subterfuge.

What's the matter with Nebraska?


Facebook Fraud

Here's a piece which has been long in coming, and should get lots of attention from gullible people
who actually believe that Zuckerman just wants to help people connect.

What he really wants to connect is business interests and peoples' private information. This is blatant data mining and rivals Bush's intrusions into the lives of citizens.

As usual follow the money.

Cynicism is alive and well in both the government and the "private" sector.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Raison D'etre for Blogs

Here's a post on Pat Lang's blog Sic Semper Tyrannis which is a great example of why blogs are important.

This is the second of two articles by Philip Giraldi on his concern that Lani Kass, born and educated in Israel and an Israeli intelligence officer, has the ear of Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and, by association, is presumed to have the ear of President Obama as well.

Giraldi cites examples to support his concern that Kass is a hard line Israeli, now with high security clearance and functioning as Mullen's assistant in the highest echelons of the Pentagon.

One raison d'etre for blogs is their airing of stories which aren't likely to be aired in the Main Stream Media, certainly not on the page, and if covered at all might be buried somewhere in a section of the paper which deals with less controversial issues.

The topic of this post has to do with Intelligence matters, and has credibility especially because the blogger, Pat Lang is a retired Army colonel with in depth experience in military intelligence and especially in Israel and the greater Middle East.

This is a story which should not be ignored and certainly not buried.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Betting Against the House

Playing Black Jack on Wall Street is betting against the house; a fool and his money are soon parted. No where is the old saying, 'Read 'em and weep', more appropriate than when warning against playing games in those crooked casinos.

The SEC has finally blown their cover.

If they were trying to be even a wee bit honest they would add shows with nearly naked females, foul mouthed stand up comics and slots by the exits.

To read the lurid details check out here.


Geithner Needs to Go

Here Geithner vacillates and backs away from a chance to make a straight forward accusation against Goldman-Sachs. He's far too cozy with the Wall Street crooks. In their world it's heads I win, tails you lose.

I look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when he says he needs to spend more time with his family. But then that will be a euphemism for his emulating James Rubin by going through that infamous revolving door to a hugely lucrative job with one of those shady, self serving Wall Street casinos.

Birds of a feather.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fiddler on the Rock(and a Hard Place)

Here's Richard Cohen of the Washington Post chastising Obama for not telling Israel enough times and in enough ways that the U.S. is a committed and faithful partner.

Tevye sings to Golde, "Do you love me?". Golde responds, "For twenty-nine years I've washed your clothes, darned your socks, ------". Tevye sings again, "But, do you love me?"

Setting aside that Tevye is a far more deserving fellow than Netanyahu, the current right wing leader of Israel and his apologists, Richard Cohen, Elie Wiesel and numberless others, seem to be demanding a constant repetition of a declaration of never ending love.

More pitiful than even poor old Tevye.

Never mind that, like Golde, the U.S. has given Israel $2 Billion in annual aid for years, provides it state of the art military armaments, pledges an unbreakable bond, etc., etc., and so forth. Still Netanyahu and his hand maidens cry out, "But, do you love me?".

Obama loves many peoples, not just Israelis, but today's Israeli leaders are over the top jealous. Any profession of even mere admiration and compassion for the Palestinians is viewed by Netanyahu and his minions as unfaithful behavior, deserving of being chastised, kicked out of bed and publicly humiliated.

Obama needs to say to them, publicly, "For years we've been far too forgiving of your own broken vows: infidelities, embarrassing public displays and fickle behavior. Read your own Declaration of Independence of 1948 and compare your on and off and most recent behavior to those vows you made 62 years ago.

Give it a rest you bottomless pit Zionists. We're doing all we can, at our own peril, to tell and show the world that you're number one, that, forsaking all others, we've worshipped and protected you against all enemies, in sickness and in health, and unless we tell you otherwise, we will continue to do those things, so long as we both shall live.

Enough already!



Here's a story that should be a wake up call about the declining health of our oceans and its creatures. The writer calls it unsettling. More like scary frightening to me.

This poor creature must have had the mother of all stomach aches. This is not funny, and I'm not laughing.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Redefining Hypocrisy and Treachery

Here's a bit about Joe Lieberman doing more of his famous grandstanding. And I used to admire Susan Collins but she's gone off the reservation too many times of late.

These are two who are enjoying being courted by Obama and the Dems. They're using their reputation as seeming to be open to persuasion to their maximum advantage.

In fact Lieberman, of the two, is the one who most clearly redefines hypocrisy and treachery. He's likely to take the position, most any position, which gives him the most clout and leverage, with no regard for conviction and/or ideology. And I don't see how he could claim that he's doing the will of his Connecticut constituency. His constituency is AIPAC, Neocons and anything he can pontificate about.

Perhaps, we could emulate Keith Olbermann and call Lieberman The Most Hypocritical Man in the World.


The Sleazing of America

Here's a story about an upcoming TV show called Cheaters which is designed to catch celebrities with their pants down.

Honestly people. How low can TV go? I'm no prude but puleeze. The last thing we need is to give sleazy people more exposure; that's an unintended pun.


Government Distrust

Here's a piece about the problem of government distrust.

And here's what I think about it.

The Republicans are in the minority but not out of power. Successfully undermining Obama with obstructionism and political cynicism are elements and indications of power. Having a majority today doesn't equate to being the party in power. Republicans have nothing to lose by lying, since the people believe that all politicians lie anyway. Republicans fall in line, but Dems fall all over themselves, and by doing so appear to the public as indecisive, lacking in moral conviction and weak. Their problem is not lacking in conviction, it's having too many conflicting convictions. The GOPhers aren't hindered by moral convictions to make them fall out of line. They have an instinct and a determination to march in lock step against the enemy which humiliated them in the last election.
The party in "power" is the only target voters have, so Obama could lose his Congressional majority in November big time. Then in 2012 it could reverse again, with the public taking out its frustration on the GOPhers, especially if they are seen as the current corrupt group at that time, against which the public can turn.
It's not the two frustrating wars by themselves which are causing the anger. It's the unemployment problem which scares people. Even those who still are employed, are looking over their shoulder, and wondering when they will get the ax. That's the acute pain people are feeling. The wars, sadly enough, have been relegated to being felt like chronic and nagging discomfort, making one cranky pretty much all the time.
On an even more subconscious level we now have earthquakes on a global basis, global warming, the Israeli/Palestinian intractable problem, not to mention an obstreporous volcano. Talk about an inconvenient truth!
But "it's still the economy stupid", which makes people, who might generally feel just out of sorts, angry and looking for someone to lash out at. (Oops, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. New England academic elites tell me I should write, "looking for someone at which to lash out. Loses something in translation don't you think?)
In retrospect I'm glad we made a first step toward providing affordable health care for most people, though polls indicate that health care for all has not been seen by the electorate as crucial to its own interests. Those who will benefit most from HCR. while huge in terms of absolute number, are a small percentage of, and perhaps the least influential in, the electorate.
Obama might get some needed regulation passed to reign in the narcissistic high rollers on Wall Street, especially if the Feds handle the Goldman Sachs thing wisely( don't hold your breath). But here again the GOPhers will get away with blatant lying that Obama and the Dems are the only corrupt party and too cozy with Wall Street. Geithner and Summers are convenient examples of cozy.
The nation discounts lying as already expected, and so many people who don't, won't or can't think, buy into the lies and vote against their own interests, just because they're pissed off in general. I think that's what the Tea Party is taking advantage of and why GOPhers in office are not disassociating themselves from it.
Obama must be thinking, "I can't win for losing". Perception, as they say, is everything.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Worthy Column From Kristof

I found this piece by Nicholas Kristof in today's Times on his view that there are two Catholic Churches worthy of spreading around and passing on.

See if you agree.


Friday, April 16, 2010

A Cartoon Is Worth A Thousand Words

Here's Wasserman's latest masterpiece in today's Boston Globe.

Only the words in the cartoon are needed.


Obama on Campaign Versus Obama as President

Some of my progressive friends say that I should not give up on Obama. They remind me what it would be like now if McCain had won. They make a good point.

But here's a piece by Glenn Greenwald at which gets me roiled up. (That seems to happen a lot lately.) Greenwald provides details in his strong criticism of the Obama administration's DOJ for prosecuting whistle blowers, while granting blanket immunity to the Cheney/Bush cabal for what amounts to treasonable acts.

No one should reasonably expect a president to do everything he promised on the campaign trail, but some of Obama's actions as president are flagrant violations of important pledges he made while campaigning. The most despicable have to do with those he chooses to prosecute and those he chooses to grant blanket immunity. He's granted immunity to the Cheney/Bush cabal for war crimes committed while in office, and he's chosen to prosecute individual whistle blowers who shine a bright light on the shadowy actions of those who promote invasion of privacy of American citizens.

That's just not right. He campaigned in part on running an open government. Not all things can be entirely open of course, but prosecuting Americans for blowing the whistle on practices which have the potential of violating the privacy of all Americans is a betrayal of large proportions.

Glenn Greenwald seems not to play favorites. He's apparently progressive in his politics, but it's no holds barred when he finds either a GOPher or a Dem going off their respective reservations.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Man in Kabul; Disaster Waiting to Happen

Once again offers up a must read essay. This time it's about the disturbing similarities between the debacle of Vietnam(and other past interventionist disasters) and what's going on in Afghanistan today.

I hope you will read all of this; it's worthy of your time and your attention to its premise.

There is a major exception to the similarities between the two wars as outlined in this essay, and it's the draft. We had a draft when fighting and dying in Vietnam. We have no draft today.

Why is that a major exception? American parents, grandparents, wives, husbands, children and friends are only affected by worry and grief if they are related or close to a member of our all volunteer military. That makes the ground swell of an angry citizenry, instrumental in our getting out of Vietnam, unlikely as an instrument for protesting our misadventure in Afghanistan.

It's difficult, at least for me, to read this piece without getting somewhat roiled up. I don't wish that on the reader, but, until enough people get roiled up about the disaster which is Afghanistan, the Pentagon and its Neocon sympathisers will continue to have its way with Obama and the Congress.

Back during the campaign I wrote several times about my doubts that much of anything would change in the Pentagon and its military/industrial complex regardless of who won the White House and/or won majorities in Congress. Sadly I believe I was correct in that prediction.


Pentagon Mole Outing? Woodward and Bernstein or Joe McCarthy?

Here's an essay which deserves to see as much light of day as possible. It is a post by Col.(Ret.) Pat Lang on his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog which has quite a strong and loyal following, but still a blog, not a wide circulation national newspaper.

The title I've chosen for this comes from my inclination to look for hidden agendas in what whistle blowers say and write. This one is likely legit, more like Woodward and Bernstein investigative journalism than the Joe McCarthy witch hunts of the cold war. I don't sense that this author is motivated in the same way and by the same zeal as Joe McCarthy.

The right wing Likud types seem to have the propaganda upper hand in Zionist Israel these days, and it's been proved that Israel has spied on the U.S. (likely the U.S. has spied on Israel as well).

The Neocons seem to have the propaganda upper hand in the U.S., and it's no big surprise that they are cozy with the Israeli Likud and Likud supporter types, like AIPAC for example. This essay is quite thorough in it's detailing of Kass' credentials and work history, which gives it, to me at least, a level of credibility deserving of further investigation.

Personally, I don't trust the Pentagon as far as I could throw it. It is what James Carroll of the Boston Globe called a "House of War", the actual title of his 2006 tome on that institution. The subtitle is, "The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power".

The Pentagon operates like a fourth branch of the U.S. government with window dressing oversight at best and with an obscene budget. Supposedly it's under the direction of what is euphemistically called The Defense Department. During WW II it was called The War Department. That title still accurately describes it's mission; wars of choice, somewhere, all the time.

Based on the needed outing of this Elephant in the Room, and the credentials of this Israeli bred woman who has the ear of the top leaders of our country, it seems prudent that this essay should be as widely read as possible. Don't hold your breath that it will appear in the Main Stream Media any time soon, at least not above the fold of, or even on, Page One.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This essay on the SCOTUS and the Constitution is excellent. I endorse it and recommend it to your attention.

To my chagrin, to my four white Southern GOPher, though well educated, sons, it's anathema.

OH, the pain!


What's Up With Earthquakes?

As repeats go, once is a coincidence, twice is an anomaly and three or more a pattern.

It won't be long now before we begin to get wind of public grumblings, concern, about the recent spate of earthquakes all around the globe.

The Tea Partiers will blame it all on Obama, the Dems will hold hearings, and the sensationalists in the media will cry the, "sky is falling". Never mind that the sky appears to be acting just fine. It's the earth under our feet that's behaving badly.

The Christianists/Fundamentalists/Creationists will shout that, as a warning, God, the architect, is showing His power by shaking up his Creation with a phenomenon of Nature, His general contractor of choice to build the Creation He designed. Quite a nice metaphor actually, but one is on shaky ground when taking it literally.

Speaking as an armchair scientist it's tempting to wonder if these events are actually connected in some way. Are the violent shakings transmitted through the earth's mantle and, if so, are they sufficient to set off additional quakes in other already unstable locations?

Current administrations all around the planet will issue public statements that all is well, so as to calm the nerves of the public which is itself in a constantly unstable state, ready to shake, rattle and roll.

Homeland Security will claim that they are always at the ready should some isolated(?) act of_________(God, Nature; fill in the blank) spoil every one's day.

Serious scientists will check their theories and admit yet again to their inability to predict earthquakes. They will caution society in general about the dangers of living in locations of known faults. What is still and always true in all aspects of real estate, the three most important factors to consider are: location, location, location.

But it won't be long before humans rebuild on the same shifting sands.

In the meantime, thousands of lives are lost, dislocated and scarred for life, at least emotionally if not physically. If there's a need to thin out the herd it's clear we don't need wars. Nature and/or God will provide if we're patient.

When will we ever learn?


Monday, April 12, 2010

More On The "I Got Mine, Get Your Own" GOPher World View

It gets old fast, the GOPher total obstruction of crucial provisioning of financial safety nets, even for people who have done the best they could to stay solvent and take care of themselves on their own. This group includes the long term unemployed in a terrible employment market and those who have fallen prey to serious health conditions and their attending impossibly expensive health care treatments.

The word "conservative"used to have a positive connotation. Not today. Now it stands for a cynical world view of those who sneer at people in need. GOPhers, with their total obstructionist agenda, are transparently politically motivated. Their goal is to make Obama look ineffectual, and therefore unre-electable, and to take back Congress in 2010 and 2012. They are trying to do this by blocking anything Obama and the Dems stand for and propose, such as by continuing to block an extension of unemployment benefits, short term health care assistance, a social security one time small benefit and probably more heartless and selfish stuff that I'm unaware of.

The provisions the GOPhers are blocking are not of the old Welfare variety which encouraged being on the dole or appearing to fail accidentally but on purpose, and which, mercifully were killed off years ago. These are truly safety net provisions. Safety nets are, by definition, put in place to prevent serious injury and worse for those who fall accidentally.

These nasties also blocking votes on virtually all Obama's nominations which require Senate approval, plus generally anything else with Obama's name on it and Dem backing.

We find ourselves living in an obscene period in human history. There is an all too prevalent nihilistic attitude globally. In our own country the GOPhers' nihilistic attitude is actually truly startling. As James Carroll wrote today in his Boston Globe column, there seems to be a complete absence of a Commonwealth view and appreciation on the part of those who claim that their so-called Conservative agenda is good for America.

As recent as today, House minority leader Boehner is calling for a continued fight to repeal the new Health Care Reform law, claiming Americans didn't want it, and that it will do more damage to the budget deficit. He's wrong of course on both counts. As it is said, he's entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Just wait till Obama nominates a replacement in the SCOTUS for Justice Stevens. A nomination of Jesus himself, even if he had a Harvard Law degree and years of bench experience, would be filibustered, in spite of the right wingnut, Tea Party, fundamentalist, evangelical propaganda that they spout, claiming that they are the real and patriotic Americans.

For GOPhers it's clearly not only OK but absolutely essential and necessary to bail out Wall Street, but, for Heavens sake, not Main Street. Tragic.

Here are links to two essays on this topic: One by a pundit I don't know a thing about and one from the highly regarded James Carroll's Boston Globe column dated today.


Caveat Emptor, To Say The Least

Here's a story about what goes on in the OTC Derivatives market. Don't know what OTC Derivatives is all about? Neither did I. Seems it's the name of an arcane marketing practice which relies and thrives on a lack of transparency about what one is really buying.

Apparently transparency is the Devil Incarnate for all those who make lots of money by making an understanding of what it is one is buying almost impossible.

Some folks are smug, dismissive, condescending, even irritated that there is an almost total lack of trust of Wall Street on Main Street. No surprise that they are often those who work in or for the Financial Services industry, or politicians who are on its opaque payroll.


Oh, This One's Good, Real Good, For A Few Laughs

Here's one for a good laugh, a GOPher suggesting that one can barter with the doctor, by which she seems to mean bargaining. Check out the scenario envisioned by the author of the piece.


More Ranting

Seems I'm on a roll this morning, roiling and ranting even more than usual. Blame it on several friends who tell me that ranting is good and like it when I get roiled up about something going on in our world. God, what a world!

Here's a piece which got me a tad roiled up, and which pours light on what comes out of the woodwork when it's dark. Cockroaches.

The far right fringe wingnuts keep adding to their infestation of far right fringe wingnuts. The frightening realization is that this kind of vermin is always around, but only come out of hiding when they think there's enough safety in numbers; like a swarm of cockroaches.

These nasties are like gangsters, wanting, needing, to belong to gangs. They gang up on people, using any means they can, usually immoral if not illegal, to beat up others they see as belonging to other gangs, and which, by their warped definition of "other", connotes enemies.

Tea Partiers are a gang of thugs. All one needed to do to understand that was to observe their gangster behavior during the last campaign. Their hitmen are narcissistic showmen: Limbaugh, Beck and Palin, for example. Their leaders are mafia type dons, politicians hiding their criminal actions and minds behind store front facades of faux respectability: McConnell, Beohner, Kyl , McCain, for example. Their cheerleaders in the print media are Krauthammer, Hiatt, Hannity, Kristol and Brooks to name a few. Yes, I include David Brooks in that cabal, he who is perhaps the most like a wolf in sheep's clothing of them all. He hides his Neocon ideology behind a facade of intellectualism, psuedo philosophy, humor and manners. That might make him one of the most deceitful of all the Neocons. You can add a few more from their minor league wannabees: Gerson, Jacoby and any other of the Fox News hangers-on, come to mind.

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list, but it is a list of the most obvious(to me) group of venal hypocrites who spout their deadly poison on a daily basis.

This particular article is about yet another cockroach crawling out of the woodwork when he thinks it's safe. He can be added to the minor league squad.

Come to think of it, I just remembered a few more: Pawlenty, Barber, McConnell(Va. gov.) Perry, Jindal. I'll quit there before the list begins to resemble a Biblical genealogy, something to be sure to skim only, if not actually skip over entirely.

This newly infesting cockroach is merely just another member of the GOPher chorus, singing from the libretto of Conservative Fundamentalist oratorios. The themes have become numbingly and maddenly familiar, like Ravel's Bolero: Obama's not really a citizen and therefore is an illegal president; the economy is in ruins because of Obama's stimulus; the deficit is huge because of Obama's liberal tax and spend policies; he spent a year "ramming through" the Health Care Reform Act which the American people didn't want.

Talk about convenient memory. Bush started the stimulus and the deficit is huge because he started the two foreign nation building wars we're spending billions on instead of rebuilding our own infrastructure. The real deceit was and is that the wars are necessary in order to keep us safe from terrorists. Bullshit. The wars are necessary to the military/industrial complex in order to keep them making millions in profits, paid for by us taxpayers.

Where have all the flowers gone? Gone to graveyards everyone. When will we ever learn? When will we e-----ver learn?

Guys like the one in this article join the gang, the swarm, and start scurrying around when they think they just might grab some attention, not for anyone else's benefit, but for their own sake; for recognition, political ambition and the goodies which accrue to those who flop down on their backs like prostitutes when the Pentagon and the Neocons wave big money at them.

Now I'll try to bring myself back down from a boil to at least a simmer by remembering the wisdom of the guy, currently thought to be a Rabbi from Cincinnati, and once thought to be "anonymous" from Old Saint Paul's Church somewhere(Baltimore?), who wrote Desiderata. It begins "Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence", and ends "No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should".

What a world!

Leanderthal, aka A Voice Crying In The Wilderness

Much More Than Crying Over Spilt Milk

Here's another trenchant piece by Glenn Greenwald of It doesn't need anything from me, except to say that Greenwald is shining a bright light on the shadowy practices of our military, and their inexcusable attempts to pretend that their own criminal acts are nothing to get worked up about. After all, it only takes two sheep to mollify the survivors of a family mistakenly killed by our own soldiers.

And what about the mental health of those soldiers who did the killing? If they survive their war battles they will come home to fight their own mental battles.

well, it seems that I've got a head of steam going after all.

Why are we in that poor imitation of a nation? Some say that it's because there are lots of decent people there and we need to help them. But there are millions of decent people living in bad conditions in many other places on earth. Why Afghanistan? At one time it was to punish the Taliban for giving sanctuary to the 911 terrorists. That was almost nine years ago and we got it done then. But we're still in there and escalating the war, surging. The excuse given by the Obama administration is that by surging we can get out sooner. Sure sounds like a Bush excuse to me. (I thought we were finally rid of that Neocon nonsense. That's what I voted for anyway.)

Hello? Does anyone really buy that crap? If so there are some bridges they could by and some waterfront property they could purchase in Florida. It's a nice place, with a great view. It's called the Everglades. If one prefers Georgia it's called the Okefenokee Swamp.

People!!! Wake up!!!


From the Land Intentional Bad Puns

Here's an article, only the title of which is the subject of this tongue-squarely-in cheek post.

First we had Madoff( could be pronounced made-off?) and now we have Rakoff(could be pronounced rake-off?)

The first is behind bars and the second belongs to bars.

The first 'made off' with millions of dollars of investors money. The second is intent on putting behind bars, if he could have his way, those Wall Street criminals who 'raked off' huge salaries and bonuses when in charge of financial institutions deemed too large to fail by our complicit financial regulators.

Sorry about this. I just couldn't resist.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ugly Israeli Exceptionalism; With Apologies to Jews of a Progressive Inclination

Here's a piece by Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's Neocon columnist, pontificating as if Israeli Exceptionalism is a universally justifiable truth. It's at least as arrogant and narcissistic a nationalistic attitude as that of dangerous and ugly American Exceptionalism.

Truly believing that one's own shit don't stink is at least revolting.

Jacoby cites all kinds of figures to prove, in his never-so-humble opinion, that main stream America, as represented by "real Americans", is still an uncritical friend of Israel. He goes on to claim and conclude that GOPhers, his crowd, are the real defenders of Israel which he claims is a "flourishing democracy". (Strange how the Palestinian people aren't likely to buy into that nonsense.) Democrats, always his whipping boys, are of course out of touch with Palin's "real Americans". (Strange how I don't buy into the nonsense of my not being a real American just because I hold in lowliest esteem the right wingnut fringe of American society.)

It's understandable why Israel was created as "the only Jewish state in the world". Centuries of unimaginably cruel and horrible persecution seemed to indicate a need for that as a "solution" after WW II. I've often mulled the idea though that the Nation of Israel might just be another Jewish ghetto on the grandest of scales, complete with all the historical memes of Jewish culture over the ages; separate but unequaled victims, along with actions which reveal tribal hatreds centuries old, plus the convenient claim that God named them His chosen people, entitled to their own land, regardless of the fact that the land they covet has also been the homeland of other peoples for centuries. It's also convenient to claim that those other peoples were and are outside of God's covenant with the Jews.

The Old Testament is replete with stories of God instructing the Israelites to smite their enemies and take their lands. Apparently there are those Zionists in Israel who still claim that kind of behavior as justified because it is a God given truth and gift. Thus we see the continued building of Jewish settlements in what the rest of the world calls Israeli occupied Palestinian land. Surprise, and so what else it new?

Jacoby uses the tried and true Neocon/Cheney/Bush tactic of accusing their enemies of the very same thing of which they, themselves, stand accused. He blames the Obama administration for "going out of its way to pick a diplomatic fight with Israel" following the Israeli announcement of more Jerusalem settlements during Vice President Biden's visit; clearly an offensive, rude and crude undiplomatic snub intended to humiliate the Obama administration, and visited on Biden as Obama's envoy. Such a thinly veiled, actually transparent in retrospect, political ploy is not becoming of any head of state, especially a state which claims that America is its best friend in the world.

There's an old axiom which has it that a great way to make an enemy is to loan money to and/or bail out a friend. Since Israel is the annual beneficiary of two Billion dollars in American aid, perhaps they are confirming the validity of that wisdom of the ages in the here and now.

There is a justifiable need to condemn the right wing, Likud, fundamentalist Israeli Jews and their apologists, such as AIPAC and ideological journalists like Jeff Jacoby, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer. As with all fundamentalists of any stripe, they get their creds with their own people by reminding them and the rest of the world's citizens that what once was, should again be, just because it is their right, and only theirs. Sorry about that, but God told them to make it so.

The column is so full of other offensive nonsense that I won't take the time or trouble to cite any more examples. See for yourself.

When the tail thinks it can keep wagging the dog with impunity it should be washed, cleaned up and brushed off.


P.S. Be sure to read, especially, the second-in-line comment on Jacoby's column by zking25. Talk about wisdom!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Progressive's Lament

Here's a column in which the author, Glenn Greenwald of, speculates on the reasons Dawn Johnsen withdrew her name from consideration as Obama's nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel.

In doing so Greenwald exposes what many progressives complain about, Obama's increasingly apparent shift to the right, and away from his more progressive campaign ideology. (Surprise, surprise. So what else is new.)

Johnsen represents, and was consistent with, the campaign ideology, and now is out of step with Obama's actions in office, evidenced by his decisions to extend many of those Bush policies which are consistent with an increase in executive powers.

So it appears that this woman's withdrawal from the political fray is a kind of bellwether of Obama's presidency.

I find it interesting that a single action like this can be so accurate a symbol of a much larger issue. Greenwald has seen the big picture and has provided an important message by sharing his insight.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Popeability is the defensive shield against culpability on the part of the Infallible Pope. It's similar to the Popemobile in its purpose.

There are some things floating around the Internet making fun of the Pope. He deserves it all in my opinion.

Here's one: A chanting cartoon.

Here's another: A statistical analysis and its interpretation by the Vatican, according to The Onion

Then there's this serious piece by James Carroll in The Boston Globe.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maureen Dowd Speaks Her Truth

Here's Mo's excellent piece on the crisis confronting Catholics.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Exploiting The Fog of War

Here's an essay from which details the extraordinarily profligate spending by the U.S. on war.

We've all heard the shibboleth The Fog of War. In my mind it has had mostly to do with friendly fire deaths and such. One of the characteristics of incidents often blamed on The Fog of War is cover ups of what really happened. Pat Tillman's killing comes to mind.

This article provides Believe-It-Or-Not examples of another kind of behavior which is also obscured by The Fog of War; the uncontrolled spending on things like military bases and all their complements, making them actually small cities complete with what any small city is likely to provide its inhabitants: restaurants, ball fields, mini-golf courses and the like, for the amusement of the troops. It helps them to avoid focusing on what they're actually doing in a foreign land. The piece also catalogs the huge inventory of vehicles and all manner of war materiel, all of which must be moved somehow, to somewhere.

The logistics of drawing down our so-called footprint in Iraq is likened to relocating an entire city the size of Buffalo.

These very tangible things are all a part of the cost of war which is hidden from the public, the bill payers for all this, by the Fog of War. The Pentagon, the military/industrial complex and the Neocons love war, somewhere, all the time because wars can be conducted, veiled in the fog which obscures the profligacy of its prosecutors and the corruption which follows all war caravans.

The Pax Romana was characterized by this same kind of obscene behavior, paid for with the high taxes imposed on the citizens of Rome and its conquered and occupied territories. We are no different it seems.

There really is nothing new under the son. It's all part of Human Nature. To rail against it is to spit in the wind, yet rail we must and should. We might still be in Vietnam if it weren't for the railing of the public.

It probably would take a military draft to awaken the public from its stupor to start an arousal sufficient to get the attention of Congress. That's not going to happen any time soon. The Neocons don't want the public to wake up and notice. That would spoil all their fun and games and expose their crimes by blowing away the Fog of War in which they hide.


Monday, April 5, 2010

The Pentagon: House of Lies and Home to Murderers

Glenn Greenwald here covers the cover up by the Pentagon of Afghan cold blooded murders at the hands of our military.

Such obscene behavior on the part of some of our troops, and the lies the Pentagon told about it, is so atrocious as to defy my trying to use any words to describe it. It's the horror of My Lai, Vietnam all over again it seems.

This revelation comes at the same time as a news story emerges about Karzai threatening to go over to the Taliban unless the West( yep, that's us folks) stops pressuring him to clean up his act.


What in the world are we doing even being in that poor imitation of a country, why on earth are we tolerating its corrupt leader and what can be done about the outrageous behavior of the Pentagon?


It Was the Best of Votes. It Was the Worst of Votes

In November, 1999 I cast my vote for Ralph Nader for president. How, you might ask, could I have done such a thing?

I thought George W. Bush was a sick joke, and my skin crawled when I saw and heard Al Gore speak. I also recall that Nader's mantra was about the need for another political party as an alternative to the two corrupt ones, the Democrats and the Republicans.

It seemed as if the choices were all bad; three clearly self-righteous males. Name your poison.

Contrary to the hues and cries of those who claimed that I helped elect Bush, since we still have the electoral college system, not a truly democratic popular vote system, I claim innocence of those charges. And also since we have that electoral college system, the SCOTUS (from the early Neanderthal SCROTUM, smelly sack) appointed Bush as president. As I recall Gore won the popular vote regardless of my and others' protest vote.

Now, in retrospect, it was the best of votes. As supporting evidence of that seemingly unrealistic claim I urge you to read Chris Hedges' essay on the subject of Nader and his corporate executioners, and which you can access here.

It's been said that we go forth on the feet of heretics. Nader was seen by most, including me at the time, as an out of touch voice crying in the wilderness. One could be forgiven for not taking him seriously. However his claims and accusations have been more than borne out. It's no longer considered seditious to point accusing fingers at elected politicians on the take. That's been well documented. Non-elected persons, lobbyists, now write legislation and pay off elected politicians to vote for it. In the late 1990's that was not yet widely believed and understood, which was one of Nader's problems.

Another of Nader's problems was that he was seen by many as a real pain in the ass, one whose ego was so huge that he thought of himself as a savior. (It fell to Bush actually to talk and behave like the Messiah.)

Hedges points out that corporate America took Nader very seriously, and spared no expense in bringing him down. They realized he was, and still is, a genuine threat because he spoke truth to the public about the power of corporate money.

Nader's true downfall came when big money realized that, as it is said of unpopular ministers in religious circles of the South, "he done quit preachin' and gone to meddlin".

Nader should not and will not be president. If you worry that Obama is struggling to keep his party "faithful" in line, in spite of his attractive personality, one might call it charisma, Nader would be a total disaster as a leader. Charasmatic he is not.

That said, I've been wondering what role he should play in our political/economic culture, now that his accusations have been borne out. He'd never get Senate approval of a nomination for a cabinet position. The lobbyists are too strong, and have too much ownership of the Senate for that to ever come about. He's a lightening rod for corporate controlled media, so he's not likely to get a job as a columnist for any main stream media publication.

Perhaps he's where he should be and wants to be; the gadfly. But gadflies are not often in good repute with, nor appreciated by, the public. And it's the public which needs to come to the realization that he speaks in its interest. Progressives like me wonder why so many members of the public continue to vote against their own interests.

My good friend Thomas, who writes to the blog,, has asked me how I deal with my own realization that, as Chris Hedges pointed out in another recent essay, we are standing on the precipice of a disaster waiting to befall our civilization. My response, not necessarily an answer, is that humanity has been approaching and retreating from this kind of precipice for thousands of years.

Humanity is not perfectible, though many scientists and evangelicals believe it is ,all the while professing different and diverging roads for accomplishing and realizing that end.

Evangelicals believe that faith is the only true path to perfection. Scientists argue that knowledge is the only reasonable way. Evangelicals believe that only faith can save us from sin. Scientists argue that only knowledge can save us from ignorance.

It's neither sin in the religious sense nor ignorance in the scientific sense that blocks our way.

We are descended from all the life forms which have existed, and preceded us, on this planet over the eons. They survived as species according to, and by virtue of, the evolutionary mechanism of survival of the fittest. We, as their progeny, inheritors of their genes and anthropological/cultural memes, are prone, nay destined, to prey on others for what we need, believing, convinced that what we need is what we want and deserve.

The Evangelist says that God loves those who give cheerfully; the scientist says that Humanists love those who study diligently; I say that Nature loves those who prey.

As it is said in Desiderata: "Go quietly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence--------, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should".

Peace be unto you.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mark Shields Gets It

Here's a link to Mark Shields' honest, if sobering, evaluation of today's current economic/political reality. As usual he states his opinion in a refreshingly straight forward manner.