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.