Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shout It From The Rooftops!

Here's Bob Herbert's Times column on the oil spill. It's the kind of truth which needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

For Hayward to call this criminal event a natural disaster is more than shameful.

I don't believe in capital punishment, but perhaps hanging a few of these guys in effigy on the mall in D.C. might help. Make up a few effigies of oil execs, Wall Street execs, health insurance execs and pharmaceutical execs, the leaders of the Crime Ring.

Humiliation's the thing which catches the conscience of the ring.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mark Shields on Blumenthal Lying About Military Service

Mark Shields' Friday column is here. He rightfully condemns Richard Blumenthal for lying about serving in Vietnam.

This is a sorry state of affairs. I had been in favor of Blumenthal being elected to the US Senate. He has a strong track record as AG, and is a brilliant mind apparently, according to his credentials.

But Blumenthal lied, not just once, but on several occasions, and over an extended period of time, that he served as a Marine in Vietnam. Mark Shields does a thorough, if unhappy, job describing why this kind of lie should not be overlooked.

To say "I misspoke" is bullshit weaseling. We don't need more bullshitting weasels in Congress.

Such behavior exposes a worrisome character flaw. The stupid part is that he didn't need to do this. He's been viewed accurately as a strong supporter of those serving in uniform, and a fine individual on his own merits and track record. On the other hand he went for several military deferments during Vietnam. Frankly I would have also if I had been draftable in those days. But now to lie about actually serving in Vietnam in the light of those deferments is hard to overlook.

Apparently CT Dems disagree. He was confirmed as the Dem nominee yesterday in spite of his outright lies.

This is even sadder when one looks at the credentials of the GOP frontrunner. She's a sick joke.

As a liberal, progressive, or whatever label might be used to describe my support of policies which include a prudent government role in the well being of our citizens and which Blumenthal endorses, I'm at least disappointed in Blumenthal's past and continued unfortunate behavior on this particular matter.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some Still Simply Need To Use Their Heads

"How many skeletons and fossils do we have to dig up before evolution seems more plausible than the story of God sleeping in after six days of hard work?"

This is a wonderful question from Helen of the Margaret and Helen blog.

And here's a link to her entire post on right wingnut idiocy.

Think, damn it, think!!! If everyone used their head not their prejudices the world would be a better place. Unfortunately the species homo sapien, sapien is not capable of doing that consistently, a truism that a voice crying in the wilderness has difficulty accepting.


Boehner The Bum

How in the world does this creep keep his job? Are his constituents idiots?

Here's a piece on Boehner's efforts to block legislation to save teachers' jobs, calling it a bailout.

Obscene political hypocrisy.

George Carlin once said that when you grow up you realize there are no adults.

Boehner is one of those who makes one believe it just might be true.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Check Please: Reality Check, That Is.

If you watched the News Hour interview with General Stanley McChrystal tonight as I just did please make your thoughts about it known by using the comments option at the end of this post, or write them and send them along to

If you missed it here it is at this link.

Why do I ask this?

It's because I found that exchange to be fascinating, and at least interesting, if not intriguing. To watch and hear the General whom Obama has put in charge of that war talk about it had me wishing that I could articulate all the thoughts which occurred to me.

I suspect that you, the curious, thoughtful and gentle reader(s) of this blog, are more up to that task than I.


Lewis Black on Glenn Beck

Lewis Black breaks me up. His over the top outrageous shtick gets me every time. Here he is on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart mocking Glenn Beck's comparing everything to Nazi Germany except the AZ law which is perhaps the one thing which is really like Nazi Germany.

Making fun of the Becks of this world is probably more effective than arguing. Arguing is what makes these faux journalists lots of money. They have no interest in the truth. Their audience loves to hear and believe complete and total nonsense. Sadly that audience is huge, which gives Beck great ratings and attracts advertisers who care only for the affect of their advertisements, and could care less about what they are supporting.

Anywho, give yourself a good laugh and watch Lewis Black's routine on Glenn Beck. It's today's mental health break. I know, I know; even this is good for Beck's ratings and he'll cry all the way to the bank. Watch it anyway.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Amazing Grace

Who would have thought? Jeff Jacoby's column in today's Boston Globe chastises Republicans for their knee jerk support of the draconian Arizona immigration law. He is to be commended, not only for his enlightened thinking on the matter, but for his willingness to disagree with the GOPher party line. Normally GOPhers fall in line, but this time one of them, Jacoby, has stepped out of line.

Good for him. In this instance he has demonstrated an amazing grace.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Drones; The War Department's ATM's

Here's a strange article about the Pentagon. On the surface it appears that they do frugal. But they are actually complaining that by Congress paying our soldiers too much they don't have enough money to buy weapons.

Like banks who love ATM's because they don't need a lot of human tellers to do their work, the Pentagon loves drones because they don't need a lot of human soldiers to do their work.

Now here's a debate in which I could take either side. In this cowardly new world killing people on the ground with unmanned lightening from the skies could save the lives of lots of our soldiers. But it could put a lot of our people, like American soldiers, out of work.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Fair and Balanced" R----I----G-----H-----T----

I guess the FCC rules support a station's right to be selective in ads it accepts and runs. And consumers of news have a right to be selective in what we watch.

The name 'Fox News' is at least a euphemism. "Fair and Balanced" is an out right lie.

In the actions-speak-louder-than words department, this article speaks about their actions exposing their bias in the clearest terms. At least they put their money where their mouth is. I'll give 'em that.

And "bias" is too accommodating a word for the Fox in respectable clothing.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ammunition for the Nativists

It's unfortunate that a Pakistani born and naturalized American citizen is in the news as the suspect involved in the Times Square bomb that fortunately fizzled the other day.

Here's a link to a Times article on it.

The far right, wingnut, nativists among us will jump all over this at a time when Arizona just passed a law which has the potential of giving people in police uniforms license to act like Gestapo.

Look for there to be a hue and cry against immigration to the extent that shouts for border closings might be heard.


"White Noise" Please Read This Essay

Here's a fine essay on the absurdity of Screaming "Socialist" at Obama.

One line especially grabbed me.

Sickness, poverty, unemployment were more and more seen to be someone’s misfortune rather than their fault.

Strange. I didn't intend for this quote to grab you with the larger and bold font. I just tried to copy it from the original and paste it here. Guess it copies the font as well as the text. It does tend to get one's attention though. Shades of Deus ex machina?


Monday, May 3, 2010

Amateurs or Rookies?

Here's an interesting piece by a history prof at Brown on the positives and negatives of the practice of term limits for politicians.

He refers to a "rotation of amateurs" at the end. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call them rookies instead of amateurs. Children, at least those of only a few years of chronological age, are not elected to office. Adults, as least those of requisite chronological age, are and by virtue of simply existing have experience which can be applied to important issues. They might even have been elected or appointed to local or state level positions.

Consequently they are not usually amateurs, but many are rookies, as those who are finally called up to the big leagues are known. A succession of rookies can be a good thing for the health of the team. A rotation of minor leaguers often is not.


More Than a Master of Metaphor and Alliteration

Here's James Carroll's masterful essay on modern, impersonal war, as in "death by droning".

My jaw dropped as I read. This has to be one of his best efforts ever, among a throng of best efforts. And it's not just about his use of metaphor and alliteration, however powerful. It's about his ability to encapsulate essence within few words, much like the special poets.

If this seems to be a paean to Carroll it's because I experienced a certain awe in reading this particular essay. He's to be forgiven for not publishing last week.

Critics of the Tea Party variety will no doubt focus on his use of the phrase "we Americans" in the last sentence. They will accuse him of treason, or at least a hatred of America and a slap in the face of what they believe passes for true patriotism.

Carroll could have said "we humans", but that's not Carroll's way. He is critical of Americans just because he is an American, wishing for the best from us, and being frequently disappointed; a contemporary Socrates. His experience, through his father's work in the Pentagon, led to writing "House of War" published in 2006, the sub title of which is "the Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power".