Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The Age of Nefarious"

Update Below.

Like it or not Glenn Greenwald shines a much needed very bright light on the shadowy practices of the Obama administration, continuing the kinds of nefarious practices of the Cheney/Bush administration which I've been railing against among my fellow progressive friends for three years now.

Be sure to read it here.

Though it is a bit longer than the usual essay it's worth a full read.  He does a really good job of exposing the head-in-the-sand mentality of so many of us progressives who just want to avoid looking at the reality of what the Obama administration has done and is still doing.  We are so worried that a truly awful Republican could win that we are willing to give Obama a pass on practices and policies which most progressives abhor. 

Will I vote for Obama?  Yes, of course.  But like Greenwald says, it's about the lesser of two evils.

The Occupy movement needs the support of all progressives because those civil disobedient folks are railing against the pernicious practices of both the last administration and the current one.  Don't fall for the claims that these folks are trouble makers who need to bathe and get a job.   That's the salacious work of the 1% and their servile, so-called public servants.

It's instructive to note that, to my knowledge, Obama has not taken a public stance on the Occupy movement.  Why? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

We look away at our peril.

It is the dawning of "The Age of Nefarious".  (Can't remember who said that first, but I wish I had.)

It's now 11:15 PM, Dec. 31, 2011.  Have a Happy New Year!  Let's do what you can to make it a good  one.

Update:  Here's  Ross Douthat of the Times with a similar,, albeit briefer, point of view on the strange value of Ron Paul's candidacy.


A Fun and Funny Read

Here's a fun read; Krauthammer and Achenbach on looking for other life in the Universe.
There's fun in both pieces.

Just be sure to read the Achenbach comment.  That's where the funny is.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cohen on Hitch

Here's a fine example of why I continue to admire the writings of the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen.

In this piece he eulogizes Christopher Hitchens better than any of the other several journalists' attempts I've read.

I think Hitchens was correct in his belief that religion came to be because of humans' fear of death.  His claim that it is a product of a time when "nobody had the smallest idea what was going on" might be his best contribution to those of us who don't believe in a god who intervenes in the lives of human beings.

I am atheistic on the belief in that kind of god.

I am  agnostic  *("One who holds the view that ultimate reality, as God, is unknown and probably unknowable.") on the belief in a creator of the universe.  The ultimate question is 'Why is there anything anyway?'  "Tis a mystery" and it's good that it stays so.

*Merriam Webster Dictionary definition.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

"An Invented People"

Here's a fascinating narrative about the Palestinian and Jewish peoples.

Richard Sale is a frequent contributor to Sic Semper Tyrannis, a blog published by Col.(Retired) Patrick Lang,  whose military career included years in intelligence work, many spent in, and focused on, the Middle East.

I have more curiosity about, than  knowledge of, the history of these two peoples. If you read this, please take a few minutes to critique it using the comment option at the end of the post. 

What is fact and what is myth, understanding that there are elements of truth in both?


On the Nature and Makeup of the Occupy Movement

Here is a fine essay by the well credentialed authors and respected cultural critics, Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, on the nature and makeup of the 99%.

They put the lie to the claim of the 1%, and their servile public servants, that the encampments are dangerous, violent, festering and unhealthy places, needing to be removed, forcefully if necessary. 

It seems that the encampments are actually places where all levels of the society and culture which comprise the 99% come together to teach each other about their common needs, their common humanity and their mutual newly awakened awareness of the unmitigated greed of the 1% whose  policies, actions and financial clout are used to destroy the lives of those on whom they feed.  The authors  use the term "greased chute" to describe the slide of the 99% into a state of desperation.  This term is used in contrast to "safety nets" which more humane cultures provide.


The Hitch Is Dead

Update below:

There have been numerous eulogies to Christopher Hitchens since his death a few days ago.  Most have been glowing, focusing on his intellect and wit.  They seem to be from people who profess to being his long time friend.

Glenn Greenwald has a different take on this  Read it here.  He starts with his objection to the deifying of Ronald Reagan, setting that up for comparison to the glowing eulogies for Hitchens. 

As a self-confessed agnostic I read Hitchens' atheist diatribes about religion with interest and curiosity,  though I think he didn't give enough credit to the good things people in many churches do.  What he was correct about was his stance against the pernicious practice of most versions of religion around the world to justify horrible behavior and to turn a blind eye to the inexcusable universal abuse of innocents by clergy and fundamentalist extremists.

Update:   Here is another opinion about Hitchens by Kevin Drum of Mother Jones.  He focuses more on Hitchens' politics than his vitriol on religion.  But both Drum and Greenwald would seem to agree that "the hagiography(I had to look it up) is getting a little too thick to bear".



Where is the Peace?

Mr. Fish's No Good Peace of Crap.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Glenn Greenwald, A Much Needed Voice

I've modified some of the language of the earlier post.  Hat tip to The Old New Englander(TONE). 

Here's a link to a really important column by Glenn Greenwald of Salon on the pernicious problem of liberal Jews being smeared as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic by those whose unconditional support of Likud, right wing, extremist elements in Israel is so blatantly tribal, putting the interests of that element of Israel ahead of the interests of the American people. 

Progressive Jews like MJ Rosenberg,  formerly an AIPAC official, frequently observe that the behavior of the right wing element in Israel is actually not in Israel's long term interests, nor in America's.

Glenn Greenwald himself is to be commended and applauded for his openly critical stance against those whose goal is to destroy any writer who dares to question any behavior of Israel, no mater how heinous. 

His is surely one of the most important voices crying out in the wilderness of honest, decent, truth-speaking-to- power journalists.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Juan Cole's History Lesson

Here is Juan Cole's excellent and enlightening history lesson on the Palestinians.  His main purpose is to expose our government's complicity in destroying what should be Palestine, and how Newt Gingrich articulates exactly what the US is actually doing to support Israel in that effort.

This is the best I've come across on the issue.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cynicism Redefined

Here's Gail Collins tale of the sordid actions of Congressional Gophers in blocking any nomination by the president. 

These people do not  deserve to be called Congressmen or Senator.  They are not interested in governing, only in blocking anything initiated by President Obama.

They need to be rooted out and sent home to spend more time with their families.

What a sick country we have today.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wars of Choice

Here's a link to an important essay on America's wars of choice.  I send it out to you who might not have come across it at TomDispatch. com.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Fifty-first State

Here's Roger Cohen's chilling piece on Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

It starts out with mild criticism, but be sure to read to the end.

If  Israel were in fact our fifty-first state, and it seems like it is based on the US government's uncritical support of it's behavior, it would be a poster child for those who scream for states' rights.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Dog Chases Car. Dog Catches Car. What Then?

Here's Paul Krugman's assessment of the GOPher qualifications.

Don't miss it.  It's priceless.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Insight From Glenn Greenwald

Be sure to read this piece by Glenn Greenwald on moral relativism, the predisposition of nationalists and all tribal groups to demonize those considered their enemies.  The pot calling the kettle black.

Greenwald sees this in how the US and Israel demonize Iran.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A True Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Glenn Greenwald is a true voice crying in the wilderness.  Here is his profound and trenchant essay on the mind set of all actors in today's globally militant culture, the We Are At War mindset, which is characteristic of the US fringe extremists as well as the  Islamist fringe extremists.

It's worth a full read.  I strongly recommend it.   This phenomenon needs to be understood by all Americans. 
We need to come to grips with the fact that the militant fringe extremist element of our nation is wasting  blood and treasured and America's reputation in our name. 

It used to be that it was a Bush/Cheney thing.  Now it's apparent that the Obama administration has taken  up the same cudgels, and in doing so, have sacrificed our freedoms in the name of unending war. 

We need an army of Voices Crying in the Wilderness.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Social Darwinism

Be sure to read this piece by Robert Reich on the Social Darwinism  being espoused by the current GOPher presidential candidates. It's an eye opening essay, or at least it should be, on what Social Darwinism would mean as it pertains to our culture's future.

Reich reminds us how it worked out before the more egalitarian changes of the twentieth century.

What's especially interesting to me is that those who preach this approach are also the ones who are most vociferous in denying evolution, the survival of the fittest, as the force which resulted in the appearance of human beings on the planet. They preach that God created man in his own image, the fairy tale of all fairy tales.

They also rail against abortion as murdering human beings, but support the death  penalty.  Huh?

How can any thinking, rational person support for president anyone who hold such truths to be self-evident.

As Ron Paul says of Gingrich, they are serial hypocrites, as is he.


An Honest Self-Described Fat Cat Speaks Truth

Here's a most refreshing piece about why fat cats can't replace the lost purchasing power of the middle class.

It's written by a self-described fat cat.

Oh, how good it would be if he were to be joined  in this view by the other fat cats.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

POTUS Qualifications

If one of the qualifications to be POTUS is dishonesty, Romney certainly passes that test.

Here's a  great example of that.

This guy is such a hypocrite and a phony!  He will do and say anything to get the nomination.  But then
so would the rest of the Ghopher pretenders. 

Think Progress gives him equal time here.  This is good, this is very good.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Tom Toles Friday Rant

This is good.  This is very good.

Tom Toles is a WaPo political cartoonist, but also a really good writer.


"Send in the Clowns. Don't Bother, They're Here"

Here's the best piece I've come across on the topic of the GOPher Clowns who pretend to the job of ring  leader.

Timothy Egan gets it.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Weaponized Keynesians

Thank my guy Barney Frank for this label and concept.

Here's Paul Krugman's piece on what Barney was talking about.

Government spending is good for the economy except when it's bad.
Now if we could just get every one of the 99% to read this.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

George Will on Romney

When George Will criticizes a GOPher politician I take heart.

Here's his WaPo column on Romney, whom he labels the unelectable candidate.


May 21st

So what is the  significance of May 21st?

For some, the followers of the cult preacher, Harold Camping, it is the day the world was supposed to end,
but the he pushed it forward to October 21st.  Since that didn't happen either, they, his followers, playing with a deck several cards short of full, apparently have decided that the rapture actually did occur on May 21st despite and contrary to evidence, facts on the ground, what most of us accept as reality.

I'm one who wants to know as much as I can about how everything works, but I'm also one who understands that if we homo sapiens(wise men) ever understood it all we would find ourselves adrift in a kind of frightening sea  which only Herman Melville an Stephen Crane have dared to confront.

So, if someone disappears before your eyes, perhaps it's because the rapture has already happened.  But blink and look again before you spread that word.

As for the significance of May 21st, it just happens to be my birthday.  I wasn't taken up into the clouds on that day in 1937, unless of course being born to life on this Earth is actually the rapture. Who's to say?


That's What I'm Sayin'

Here' a report on the pay checks of Military/Industrial CEO's.

Obscene is the nicest word I can  think of to describe such taxpayer thievery. 

These are the war profiteers.  They want you to think it's for your safety.

It's for their greed.

I've been saying this on this  page for a very long time now.

Here's the data to back it up.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I started this post a few weeks ago, and am now just working on making it a message I'm willing to put out there.

Troy Davis was murdered last night, just a few hours after I retreated to the safety and comfort of my bed.

I woke up sick at my stomach this morning, anticipating that the news would be about his
execution.  The state of Georgia, USA, murdered Troy Davis last night. The only solace
for me is that his long ordeal ( the fear, the sheer horror of being strapped down on a gurney so that  another human being can kill him with a lethal injection) is over.   And this is legal!!!

Whenever I have been exposed to news of another living being's helplessness at the hands of other living beings I always project my feelings on that person who must have experienced the most horrific feeling of helplessness upon knowing that there is nothing one can do to escape death..

Most other countries have eliminated the death penalty.  We're supposed to be a humane society. Apparently  only when it comes to our household pets. 


Essays by Anti-Zionist Jewish Writers

Here's an essay by a Jewish American writer, the essence of which is critical of the American and Israeli stonewalling of the Palestinian's request for statehood recognition  at the UN.

I've been  heartened, and somewhat surprised, by the recent straight talk coming out against the hard right Likud leadership in Israel, from the minds and hearts of those who might be called speakers for the liberal, progressive, non Zionist Diaspora Jews.

Tom Friedman, and Glenn Greenwald, to name those Jewish journalists whom I, as a Gentile, a goy,  consult on such matters, have pulled few punches lately when criticizing, if not condemning, the right wing, hard  line, Likud party leadership for their clearly undemocratic treatment of  Palestinian leadership.


What a Question?

Here's a piece which asks the question, Does Obama deserve credit for killing Qhadaffi? (I don't care how it's spelled. It's a small mind that can spell a word only one way.)

I try to stay away from moralist positions, but the facts on the ground, or in the air as it were, recently point to a pattern, which if accepted as OK, that is to say no one speaks out against it, makes me again "accepting", the fifth and final stage of grieving,  that I don't have to live forever, and sad for what kind of world my children will have to explain to their children, my grandchildren.  I know, I know, it's a story of doom as long as there have been people to tell the story.

In one of my poems in the collection, The Poet and the Pendulum, I wrote about this. It has to do with the nature of Nature. Nature doesn't care that we shit in our own pew, she'll repair all and anything we manage to
damage in our shitty little time on Her Earth.  In contrast to our Narcissistic view of ourselves, we exist and are only alive for a nano second of geological time, and who knows, Nature's/Creator's time.

I've often wondered about the axiom "fight fire with fire". That can be momentarily appealing ,especially in the abstract in places like Yellowstone National Park, with intentionally set fires as backfires and controlled fires,. as both a short term tactic, and a long term strategy. It upsets me when helpless creatures of Nature are killed in the process and accepted as collateral damage. That's the PETA part of me.

The humanist part of me, a self described agnostic, just makes me sad that human beings, of which I have to sadly admit I am one, haven't ever, still can't and likely won't ever stop killing each other, sometimes seemingly, just for the sport of using new weapons.

On  a more grounded, or elevated, as it were, basis, the justification for killing an enemy seems to rely on what the enemy identification is; if enemy combatant, take him out of circulation by killing him.   So what constitutes an enemy combatant?.  A soldier in the uniform of another country which  is acknowledged by all as an enemy is an easy call. That is so last century though. Our current enemies, those we choose to call them such, aren't likely to be wearing the uniform of any country, but are likely to be the kind who hide behind the "camouflage" of no uniform.  They are what our military leaders call terrorists, so those who promote war somewhere all the time have defined our enemies by coming up with a universal term which is so broad as to defy its vulnerability to challenge.

The Mafia is a terrorist organization, as is any militia, as were those who went up against the English in our own  revolution, shooting from behind trees, initially in their own civvies, not a uniform.  One man's patriot is another man's terrorist. How soon our Neocon/Pentagon/Military/Industrial complex cavemen choose to forget.

But I digress.  My real problem is that moral one, the one I'd prefer not to acknowledge; the practice of our own government, under the guise of protecting us, of setting up a group of human beings who are tasked with identifying individuals who are "our enemies" by some subjective standard, subjective because the standards are outside our own ratified Constitution and its Amendments, and who are targeted for elimination, assassination.  No due process under the Constitution or the Geneva Convention for these bad guys.

The fact that the weapons set loose are now often drones, essentially robots controlled by
star wars trained technicians continents away from their human targets, is not a big surprise.  Killing is killing, assassination is assassination by whatever means.  While it's not a big surprise for me it is a chilling reminder that homo sapiens have always, do now, and will always look for more efficient ,more deadly and less risky, ways of killing those other living beings, whether animals for eating or humans for conquering.

(The spear in the hands of a practiced thrower, compared to the bludgeon in the hands of the one who got up close and personal, (read vulnerable),  might be the earliest known example.)

If there ever were an American Exceptionalism worthy of respect, it existed, historically, during the time when the documents, which we like to remind ourselves are us, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were actually honored, respected and for the most part
became the standards for which and under which we Americans did our best to live.

Those were the times in which we, our American ancestors, chose our leaders when they more or less tried honestly to represent us, their voters. We, as a new nation, who had just thrown off the tyrannical and occupying force of what was then the acknowledged military dominant nation on Earth, tacitly adopted a world view to avoid getting involved in problems all over the world.  

Sadly  that seems to be challenged today, as it eventually has been over recorded history of our species .In  today's edition it's seen by those who have a serious personal financial  interest in maintaining their status,  as behavior of a fringe group, a giving up on "real Americans", and at least a  lack of patriotism, if not the behavior of a traitor.

These are the Neocons, those who stir the pot of tribalism to  create a crisis, to be sure there is always a place to wage war in which they make millions of dollars. Gullible Americans drink the Koolaid that they are being  protected by our military.

So who should get credit for killing Qaddafi?  What a question.  That anyone should get credit for killing another living creature is a sickening cultural meme.


Tom Toles, New Age

Tom Toles here introduces us to a new age.  It is the dawning  of the Age of Nefarious.

That's good, that's very good.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

American Exceptionalism in Action

Here's Glenn  Greenwald's take on what Americans are so excellent at that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Like Assassinations.


A TomDispatch Must Read

Here's a message which needs to be shouted from the rooftops.  Tom Engelhardt of exposes the extortion of the elected mafia that is the Pentagon and it' cabal of cronies.


It's a Start

President Obama must not authorize the tar sands pipeline.  That would be a start on living  up to his campaign pledge to end  the "tyranny of oil".

Here's an essay on the Koch Brothers' interest in getting the authorization.   Game over for the climate?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Don't Know But I've Been Told

Terror plots are getting old.

Who's more credible, the Obama administration or Greenwald?
I'm going with Greenwald on this one. And it pains me to say that.

Here's Greenwald's piece on the latest terror plot exposed by the DOJ and the FBI.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Strange Bed Fellows

How about Ron Paul and Rachel Maddow agreeing on anything?

That NRA, non-repetitive-anomaly, isn't likely to stoke speculation
that they will go find a motel room together.

It does remind us that birds of different feathers can agree to perch
next to each other on some kinds of hot wire issues, if only for a brief time.

Here's a piece which focuses on the questions Maddow raises about
the legality of assassinating an American citizen, and
here's one by Ron Paul.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Necessary Roughness

This is not a topic with which I regularly engage on these pages, the ups and downs of major players in the world of sports.

Having said that, I am one who is guilty of enjoying watching really good college teams, but at the same time
am appalled at the hypocrisy of those who condone and look the other way at secretly remunerating college players, when it's clear that they are aiding and abetting college athletics as essentially a farm system for professional sports.

One has only to read the reports about the CEO's, (that's calling a spade a spade) of  NCAA Division I institutions on their comments about what conference in which they want their teams to compete.

Sadly, as usual, it's all about money, in the form of attendance revenues, but mostly TV contracts. 

Perhaps there will come a time when there are enough people who, like me, have enjoyed watching real talent perform at the college level, but who take off the blinkers when it comes to looking the gift horse in the mouth.
Too many college athletes have been sacrificed at the altar of the almighty dollar, cast aside, scholarships cancelled, when they didn't perform as expected or when the NCAA eligibility ran out.

How is that different in principle from professional athletes being let go by the teams which have become disilussioned with their performance.  Fact is each has been fired.  The part about getting a college education is of no consequence, and is ignored. 

So far the NCAA/College referees have called such actions "Necessary Roughness".

Once again I think that when  historians write about our era they will likely conclude that the word, Hypocricy
might capture the human element.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall From Grace

Chris Hedges interviewed the Reverend Jeremiah Wright recently.  Here's what Reverend Wright had to say about Obama.

As I've written here recently, when historians want to tell the story of our last several decades one word which will likely occur to them as symbolic of that era is "hypocrite".


"This is War"

The title of this post, "This is War" is the label which gave to its piece about Paul Ryan, the GOPher who is making a name for himself in GOPher politics.  The "War" refers to what Ryan calls Obama's proposal to tax the super rich; "Class Warfare".

One still valid axiom, which I can only paraphrase, admonishes us that if we ignore history we will be condemned to repeat it.  Well, that's a pretty lugubrious statement.  Why is it that we are condemned to repeat it?  Why is it not that we are blessed to repeat it?

Could it be because history, at least in the recorded sense, begins with the ability of humans to record it.
And what about humans?  Some think, as I do, that the worst thing that happened to Earth is the evolution which led to our species, homo sapiens. Why, because homo sapiens, us, have the ability to discern what is good or evil, and too often, choose evil, which, because it always results in horror and death, is the bain of all life on earth.

But back to Paul Ryan's throwing down the gauntlet in calling Obama's proposal to tax the super rich as a way of restoring health to America, Class Warfare. He actually advocates increasing taxes on the Middle Class.

To call that "out of touch" is too tame a response. 

Often, on this blog, I have likened our politicians  to
an elected mafia.  They are willing to hold hostage
those who can't and/or won't pay to buy them out.

The word is "extortion".



Eugene Robinson wrote this column in the Washington Post.

Pay special attention to his comment about the
"yeah"  reaction to Dr. Ron Paul's initial response to a question
about who pays for health care.

Good doctors try to heal folks. I guess a Libertarian doctor lives
up to his Hippocratic Oath to Do No Harm by doing nothing.

This is just one of many examples which are out there for all to see.

The far right GOPhers, some of whom hide behind their
Libertarian mores, are all about themselves, and take no
responsibility for, let alone ownership of, the needs of the unfortunates in our society.

They must think  that high  wire performers should work without
a safety net,  if they are to be consistent in their belief that  one
must count on  his or her own skills,  and  not look for help
when the unexpected occurs.

Their motto, not yet widely exposed, is  "I've got mine, get your own".

There are those of us who have a care about folks who have done all they
were raised to do but still have fallen on the kind
of hard times from which it is essentially impossible to recover on one's own,
in a society and culture which turns its back on those who can't
cut it.

If there is one word which might stand out for historians who
deign to understand enough of our era to write about it honestly,
that word would have to be "hypocrite".


Compare and Contrast

Remember the instructions from the teacher or professor to write an essay comparing and contrasting two points of view? Well here's your chance to do it without worrying about the grade you'll get or passing the course.

Compare and contrast these two columns by generally liberal leaning journalists.  One is James Carroll and the other is Glenn Greenwald.  What can be accepted as given is that both pieces are critiques of the Obama administration. 

James Carroll

Glenn Greenwald


Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Is Truth?

For me, I know it when I see it.  It's a belief which doesn't have to go through awkward gyrations to explain away contradicting facts. 

Here is Col.(Ret) Pat Lang's take on the consequences which will follow from our government vetoing the Palestinian request for state membership in the UN.  Col. Lang is a retired Army officer who experience includes working with Intelligence Agencies on the Middle East, most notably  Israeli intelligence.
I believe that his credentials give him credibility in these matters. He makes the points which make the most sense to me.

I do have to say that I don't understand the title of his post, something about we should give our veto in the UNSC to Israel. 

Also for important reading on this issue, here are Juan Cole's  thoughts on why  Palestinians need recognition as a member state in the UN. Again, like Lang's, Cole's points make sense to me.


Friday, September 16, 2011

"Our Form of Justice" Rick Perry Govenor of Texas

It seems that Rick Perry continues to believe that his country is Texas, not the USA.

He's quoted as saying that Texas has its own form of justice which we think is appropriate.

He was cheered recently at a GOPher debate when the number of executions he has overseen was announced.



It's The Oil Stupid

Michael Klare, writing for, helps keep alive the truth about oil in this essay.

Klare is the author of several books shining bright lights on the shadowy workings of those whose lives and fortunes are tied to oil.   One of his best efforts is "Resource Wars".

Years ago the airline industry ate the lunch of the railroad industry because the latter didn't understand that they were in the transportation business, not the railroad business.  One wonders how life would be different if those in the oil business understood that they are in the energy business. 

Another tragic example of not paying attention to history?


The Decline and Fall of The American Empire

Here's an essay from which states what I've been saying about U.S. duplicity and the treacherous course which will ultimately lead to the decline and fall of the American empire.

What's that line about being condemned to relive history?


Good Grief

This should be  enough to discredit this guy once and for all.  He has a right to believe it, but he's way out of bounds in recommending it to his flock of sheep.   I guess Newt Gingrich and John Edwards would agree with him.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Devil Is Not In The Details; It's In The Intent

Here's another crucial, realistic and sensible essay on what we as a people have let ourselves be manipulated into becoming  since 9-11-2001.

We have been seduced by some of our human brothers and sisters, people whose behavior constitutes the acts of  war criminals, whom we must acknowledge we actually elected, and who have exploited our most basic emotions, those which scientists tell us reside in the evolutionarily oldest parts of our brain; known as the limbic system it's that part of the brain  which we still share with the most fearsome of our earthly ancestors; crocodiles are a particularly useful example.

I believe, as journalists like Eugene Robinson, Chris Hedges and Joe Nocera believe, that we were justified in going after Al Qaeda and their Taliban protectors in Afghanistan.  We won that war in a few short weeks.  We scattered Al Qaeda and sent Osama fleeing into hiding. And I don't apologize for the hunting down of that evil man and killing him as we, yes we, did recently, because both actions were directly tied to the horror of 9/11 which he orchestrated.  He was an  enemy soldier.  I abhor capital punishment, but this is what they call the exception which proves the rule, though I've never understand why that is so.

Over the eons of evolution, human beings, homo sapiens, what we label our species, exist with brains which have evolved to the extent that we who possess them, seem to act in a way which helps us decide if something we encounter is positive or negative, the context always being about the risk of being or not being.

Like Papa Bush who wisely decided not to pursue Saddam back to Baghdad after he ran him out of Kuwait, we should have had the wisdom to stand down after we accomplished our objective in Afghanistan.

But the cabal known as Neocons, comprised by the likes of  Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith and Wolfowitz, had been itching for a war with Saddam for many years, and they saw this horror as the perfect excuse to invade a country which they lied to us as being behind 9-11, realizing that they could strike while the iron was hot, that hot iron being the human instinct for revenge, and which, if excited into a crowd and mob mentality, would provide them with the necessary support to back more reasonable and less warlike politicians into a corner.  To object and God forgive even oppose was to be branded unpatriotic, risking their political careers and marginalized, if not kicked out of office.

The instinct which the war criminals exploited, in its most violent form, always subjugates logic to its
more emotionally violent purposes.

Why do  these people do this?  Because they can.  How is it that they can?  Because they have the money to buy what they want.  The trite aphorisms are: money is the root of all evil, the golden rule is that those with the gold rule, if you don't understand something follow the money. The behavior of people like this is found in their actions which can be reduced to the most cynical of world views. "I got mine, get your own". Even people like George W. Bush, who lives off the money made by his ancestors has the gall to act like this. (He comes by it naturally, at least from his mother, who famously announced during the horrors of Katrina, that those huddled masses in the Superdome were doing well when compared to the lives they had before the storm.

How out of touch, even unconsciously, can one be?

My anger is reserved for those who consciously manipulate people and circumstances for their own personal and like minded group gain.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone, who has the intellect and uses it, to realize  that what the least educated among us, those who are the most vulnerable to  the con of the war criminals, don't, can't see, is that the evil ones who in their selfish intentions actually do evil, and are the devils on earth.

It should be obvious to anyone who bothers to think about it, that human beings have projected both good and evil onto mythical beings, God and Satan, based on behaviors which human beings have observed and encountered in their own personal lives here on earth.

Why, though, do the concepts of good and evil still reside in and are still ascribed to mythical beings, even among the most educated humans?  Denial perhaps?  The realization that each of us has lived as human beings who have come into being through the most basic of instincts, sexual intercourse, used to perpetuate the species, as bequeathed to us over the eons of time so vast as to be incomprehensible to our minds as evolved so far, by the process of evolution.

I realize that I am an advocate for trying to understand how everything works, having given up on the idea that I can understand what everything means.

The question which likely will always go unanswered by those of us who seek to know what everything means or how everything works is,

Why is there anything any way? 

To the extent that I can accept that this is the ultimate unanswerable question which our minds, as stimulated by the current evolved status of our brains, I will strive to continue to do the "To Be" thing.

Surviving specimen of a Homo Erectus species
long considered to be extinct.

Roger Ebert on Death and Dying

I identify with much of what he wrote here, though I'm agnostic about the ESP experience.

He's the only one other than me, to my knowledge, who actually said something about being OK before birth.
That's the reason I expect to be OK after death.  OK in that sense must include nothingness. 

People ask me if I miss sex after the treatment for prostate cancer killed my libido.  My response is, "If you don't miss it you don't miss it".   I expect that I won't miss life when I'm dead, any more than I missed life before I was born.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glenn Greenwald on the 9/11 Day Observance

Here are Glenn Greenwald's  thoughts on the knee jerk right wing, and even  one left wing, reaction to what Paul Krugman wrote on 9/11/2011, condemning the political celebrationist behavior in the observance.

I support Krugman in his stance.  I also found Chris Hedges' essay that we have become what we loath compelling.


Useful Essay on the UN Palestinian Resolution

Here's an essay which helps me understand what is going on re: the Palestinian effort to become a member state in the UN.

What is still hard to understand is what I see as the flimsy reason the US is citing for vetoing the resolution.  This is especially true when I read in the essay that Israel reviles the US president, even though they want US help with their Saudi relations.

It just has to be the huge money Israel throws around to reward or punish US politicians.  AIPAC really should be required to register as an agent of the foreign government, Israel.


Why Veto the Palestinian UN Request?

The old saw is, "If you don't understand something, follow the money trail".  That's the only reason I can think of to explain why the US will veto the motion in the UN to grant Palestine state status.
Israel continues to be the tail wagging the US dog.  And  it's gotta be because of the millions, if not billions of dollars Israel spends to buy off US politicians.  It's a really dirty business.

Here's a good essay by William Pfaff on the issue.  Unfortunately it stops short of justly accusing Israel of extortion, a serious form of bullying, the ugly behavior of any stripe which I detest.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Your Friends Are Says A Lot

Here's a story which reveals a lot about Ron Paul.  His supporters shouted in support of letting a man without health insurance die. 

These are likely the same or at least the same sort who cheered recently when the number of executions in Texas, while Perry has been  governor was announced.

As Chris Hedges wrote recently we have become "what we abhor".

Yes, I've been disappointed in Obama's seemingly feckless leadership, but I will vote for him again.
The possibility that one of the GOPher candidates becoming president is truly frightening.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

How sick a society, a culture, do we need to be before we "get it" and decide to take steps to deal with it?

Sadly , it doesn't appear to be anytime soon.


Needed Back Talk on 9-11-2011

The emotional banality we are enduring today, the ten year anniversary of the horror inflicted on us,
is understandable.

We as a nation had not experienced such gall from an enemy since the War of 1812, and that seldom rises to the level of conciousness in anyone, save historians.

Pearl Harbor was a day of infamy which got our attention big time,  and yet it was not an attack on  America as we perceived it to be in those days.  Hawaii was a chain of islands in the Pacific. Few if any Americans forsaw or considered that it would become a state, and even since it is,  it is still thought of as a territory, as is Alaska, in the mode of Puerto Rico.

But New York?  DC?  That's different.  That's us! That event was like a mugging in our own neigborhood, a place long considered safe from those who we thought wouldn't dare come into where we actually live.and take a chance that they could succeed. 

What changed?  It is a change which defies and goes against what we have long thought to be the mostly normal human instinct to survive. Some humans,  it seems, can become convinced that their
future is brighter after death than in this life.

We have only to try to understand why some of us consider taking our own lives, to grasp what is going on in the minds of people who sacrifice their own lives. 

Some long for death because in life they are in constant pain, physical and/or emotional.

Some long for death, even look forward to dying, because they have become convinced that their
release from the horrible reality of their lives depends on their killing others whom they have been told to believe are those who are responsible for their horrible and intolerable existence.

We were given a warning about this, to us, aberration,during WW II.  Many Americans died when Japanese suicide bombers crashed their planes and themselves into American Navy ships.

Still, that was years ago.  Surely we didn't still have to be on guard for that right here in New York.

We were so wrong, and our error in not anticipating the actions of humans beings intent on killing themselves in the process of killing as many others as possible in the process will continue to haunt us as a people, a nation, until we as particpants in our culture as voters, endorse and elect leaders who are willing to  say and do what is the right thing to do, even if it results in their defeat for re-election

So, what is the right thing to do? If you need to ask, you wouldn't understand it.

Was Does Winning Look Like?

Eugene Robinson, columnist at WaPo, points out that we won the war started by Al Qaeda on 9-11-01. It might even be called a necessary war, that one at least.

And yet we're still  fighting wars in the Middle East. Unnecessary wars.  Why?

Read here what Gene Robinson has to say about that.


Read It And Weep

In the sharpest of contrasts to the eulogies for heroes so prevalent and ubiquitous today, here is Chris Hedges' view of what horror that 9-11 horror invoked in us, as perpetrated by our leaders.

Any additional words from me would only add to the banality of the  discourse we are having to endure today, 9-11-2011.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cheering for Executions

Here's a link to Glenn Greenwald's excellent essay on the disgusting cheering at last night's GOPher debate, when the number of executions in Texas during Perry's reign was announced.

The irony is that GOPhers say evolution,  the survival of the fittest of species, is a hoax.  These same people practice that principle of evolution in their daily lives and world view.  They are also the ones who say abortion is murder.

Sometimes I'm ashamed to admit to  being of the same species as these horrible people.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roger Cohen on Israel's Abject Government

Here's the Jewish New York Times columnist Roger Cohen on Israel's refusal to apologize for the killings aboard the Gaza bound flotilla.
As I've stated here several times, I detest bullies of any stripe. The far right Likud and their American agent, AIPAC, is made up of bullies.
I also have a big time problem with Obama who, like all recent US presidents, is cowed by those bullies.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Perry's Book Signing

Here's a piece which I can't wait to see what Jon Stewart and his writers will do with it on the Daily Show.

Apparently Rick Perry has been autographing copies of Bibles for people during his visit in S.C.

Who does he think he is? God? Christ?

Of course this is all ludicrous. It just goes to show those of us who still have not lost our senses that this guy needs to be sidelined as just another narcissist.


"Leading From Behind"

Sometimes a simple phrase says a lot, like a picture worth a thousand words, but can also result in unintended consequences.

The phrase, "leading from behind" implied, according to its author, the unwritten words "the scene". It was a phrase intended to draw a stark contrast between Obama's leadership style in the Lybian situation and the bravado, out front, cheer leading style of Bush, as exemplified by his Mission Accomplished bravado after the" shock and awe" invasion of Iraq. Link
The hungry right wing jackals jumped all over the phrase as it was written, without those two words, using it as propaganda, citing it as admission of what they claim as Obama's weak leadership.

I make no apologies here for Chris Lizza, the author. He should have known better.

This piece helps shines the Cape Cod Lighthouse beacon on those dark prowling jackals for who they really are and what they will stoop to do to attack Obama.

As I've opined several times before on this page, I really do hope that those who have assured us over the many years of our democracy that the people, as a whole, can be counted on to get it right, are themselves right.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dawkins on Perry


Rarely have we been offered such a smack down of an ignorant politician by a brilliant scientist.
Richard Dawkins puts Rick Perry in diapers and short pants.

Read it here.

This is a real treat. Enjoy.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Color Me Suspicious

Patrick Lang, Col, Retired, posted this on his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog. You can find the credentials he claims as a military officer with serious INTEL experience with the machinations peculiar to the middle east, by visiting his blog. Google will direct you there.

AIPAC, from all that I have and could read, is a powerful(because of its money clout) lobby apparently, from many reports, made up of American Jews who want our government(that's us because we elect it) to back Israel in whatever Israel does which today means unconditional support financially, politically, for the far right Likud bullies.

Lang has frequently called for AIPAC to be required to register as an arm of a foreign government, in this case of course, Israel.


Saturday, August 6, 2011


It's said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. So what will a supercommittee design?

Let's hear your imaginative guesses. Share using the comments option.


Friday, August 5, 2011

No Other Conclusion

Tom Toles, the WaPo political cartoonist also writes a blog.

Here is his eminently correct and to the point essay on GOPher hypocrisy.

So why does it work, when it's so obviously a campaign of lies?

The elephant in the room, the presence of which no one wants to acknowledge, is the hoards of Americans who need everything laid out for them in as simple a manner as possible. The genius of the GOPhers, going back at least to George W. Bush and Cheney, is that they understand this and exploit it.

How do they accomplish this? By making everything seem as simple as black and white, good versus evil, right versus wrong, etc.. As George W. Bush told a journalist once, "I don't do nuance".

The sad irony is that the Democrats should be the party which appeals to the people, because it has traditionally been the party which has passed the most legislation which benefit people.

But the GOPhers have cooped that advantage by convincing the people that their country is going to the dogs because of those programs, thus appealing to another maxim in the general population that one should not spend more than one makes. Never mind that a sensible rule for individuals is not always a sensible rule for governments. That requires an understanding and acceptance of nuance; the missing ingredient in those who need it most.

Those who need life made simple buy into the GOPher strategy of repeating lies often enough that they become facts, the tried and true principle of advertising. The consequence is that the GOPhers have caused the people most in need to vote against their own interests.

That's genius.

Unfortunately, in my not at all humble opinion, I believe that there is something even darker going on, no pun originally intended. Many of these same people just can't abide a black man sitting in the White House. If one has that view, however subconsciously held, it doesn't take much to swing them against the party a black president represents.

We must constantly remind ourselves that Mitch McConnell, the GOPher leader in the Senate, openly and without nuance said that the main objective of the GOPhers is to insure that Barack Obama is a one term president. They remember that a sick economy made George H.W. Bush a one term president and they learned the lesson well.

So many people vote out of pure frustration and fear of personal financial disaster.

The Democrats simply have to come up with a message that gains back the trust of the frightened American people. How to do that and keep it simple too? I wish I knew.



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Let's Hear it for Curmudgeons

This is good.

Wish I had the courage to act as cantankerously as I feel.


Sunday, July 31, 2011


Here's a piece which takes us through the give and take leading up to yesterday's MLB self imposed trade deadline.

Unless you have been living under a rock you don't need to be reminded about the acrimony leading up to the US government's self imposed debt ceiling deadline.

Would that our politicians acted as decently as our MLB teams.


Mercy Knows No Religion

It's not often that we hear about this level of foregiveness.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preaching to the Choir

"Preaching to the Choir" might just be an appropriate blog title as "A Voice Crying in the Wilderness".

If a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a voice cries in the wilderness, and there is no one there to hear it.
does it make a difference?

Thanks to the few of you who have made a difference.


First, Let's _______All The Fanatics

I was going to target the Zealots, but decided against it because its definition referred to a group of early Common Era Jews. I don't want to go there.

Nevertheless I can't help but think of the fanatics in our political system as zealots, whether sectarian or secular.

Here's how my online dictionary defines zealot. Note that the word fanatic is a synonym.

Here's how that dictionary defines fanatic. Note the words "extreme" and "uncritical".

I left the verb word blank in the title of this post. Why? Because I was tempted to quote the Bard on what he suggested we do with lawyers.

I abhor capital punishment, and resist using the word "kill", even though I suspect that the Bard might have been using that word metaphorically, to get rid of or isolate what he viewed as the pernicious influence of the lawyers of his day.

What word would you choose to fill in that blank? "Vote them out of office" is not
an option in the solution of today's crisis.

Your word


Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Be So Sure

Here's a report that humans crowded out Neanderthals, resulting inLink their extinction.

Sorry to disabuse you of your assumptions, but
you missed some, at least one; that of a mutated strain:-)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

War Is A Racket

Here is an essay that should be taken seriously, but won't be because it's all about human nature which is embedded in our DNA and our mythologies.

This is likely the most prophetic message of a Voice Crying in the Wilderness.


Tom Toles, the Cartoonist, Writes a Blog

Here's Tom Toles, the cartoonist's, blog on Gridlock.

The best line, and the God's truth, is the one about what it takes for Congress to tie its shoes in the morning.

I don't let Obama off the hook for being willing to give away the store. Nobody likes an appeaser.

But the GOPHER goal is to make him a one term president, openly stated by the Senate Minority Leader.

When someone is determined to take you down they're hard to stop. All stops are being pulled to get him, and the workings of the Congress are devised to make that happen. Blue Dog Dems are a huge part of the posse.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

Here's an interesting opinion piece by Bernie Sanders on the need for a third choice in politics.

However appealing it might seem, the desire is not likely to be matched by the commitment of huge money needed to finance such a so-called populist movement. It is not likely to attract the financial support required to pay for the campaign, e.g. media ad placement, etc..

"Populist movement." That name which previously had been the property of the liberals has been bought and paid for by the adherents of the so-called Tea Party, what seems to me to be a kind of cult in the GOPHER party. What might be the most misunderstood phenomenon of the Tea Party is that it seems to be made up of a wider assortment of people than the Dems have been willing to acknowledge.

The genius of the Far Right's strategy, as illustrated by the huge power of money from the Koch brothers, is that it grabs and holds people by the short hairs of their reality: I'm out of work, I can't pay my bills, I'm losing my house.

People in that situation, condition and state of mind are the most vulnerable to black versus white propaganda, and are the most easily recruited to the ranks of us versus them.

They fall prey to those who, for their own greedy and manipulative purposes, take advantage of their so-called populist constituency by preaching and repeating that it's a bad thing to actually think about and consider the possibility that all is not so easily separated into the good and the bad,the positive and the negative, the black and the white.

George W. Bush famously said, "I don't do nuance".

It's been my observation that the purveyors of such fallacious propaganda come from the ranks of the wealthiest Americans, who will do almost anything to protect that wealth. Their motto is" I got mine, get your own". They have been joined by the dim witted who have been lured aboard the Tea Party wagon, financed by the Koch brothers and their ilk.

What drives me crazy is the willingness of such people to vote against their own interests.

More Crying in the Wilderness.



Here's is an interesting essayson the current behavior of the GOPHERS.
And here's another.

Tell us what you think readers.

I, for one, would be interested in any defense of the GOPHERS against these accusations.

I will publish any and all comments which pass the test of decency.


Makes Me Want to Scream!!!

I've often wondered just how low politicians will go to protect their asses, their cushy jobs, and ignore the needs of the people.

Today I found out. There's no bottom to how low they will go.

Here's a report revealing that Harry Reid has given in to the GOPhers' demand that huge cuts in spending be made, but with no new revenues, meaning no increased taxes on the super rich who own Congress.

It just makes me sick, viscerally. It's not only immoral; it's illogical, without reason. It redefines extortion.

And it validates my identifying with A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

David Brooks' Road Not Taken

Here's David Brooks on the road the GOPhers have chosen not to take, and why that has made
all the difference.

It's rare that I agree with this neocon columnist, but he seems to have identified the worst of the GOPhers and what they are doing to block any reasonable progress in D.C.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Moody's: Eliminate Debt Ceiling

Here's the confirmation I was looking for that the U.S. is one of only a few countries which has a law establishing a debt ceiling.

Galbraith, as seen in my post yesterday, provided the history of how and why it happened here. The law is not essential, and as Moody's says, it causes periodic problems, like panic, in the financial markets.Link


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Galbraith on Debt Ceiling Nonsense

This essay should be required reading for all registered voters.

Though I can't seem to find it right now, I'm quite sure that I read,
I thought in this essay, that we are the only developed country with
a debt ceiling law.

Galbraith tells why we have one, and dates from the Civil War, and then
WW I, to assure all that our leaders will be prudent in the use of debt.

As it's said these days about the Internet, this piece should go viral.



This is the best news I've heard coming out of D.C. in a very long time. And also here.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Israel Can Do No Wrong?


This is the kind of political pressure which makes me sick.

Ed Koch actually accuses Obama of not being an Israel supporter. What would he think of Obama if the president had the balls to tell the Israelis that they don't get a free pass to do anything they want to do? As it was, is now, and seemingly ever shall be, Israel can do no wrong.

Getting re-elected, which means getting as much Jewish support and big campaign contributions as possible, always seems to trump doing the right thing.

I guess I'll never totally understand how a group which constitutes just 3-4% of the American population, can exercise such power. Actually perhaps I do understand. I wonder what the percentage of wealth in the Jewish population is compared to all Americans. Likely a lot higher than 3-4%.

That Jews might have more wealth on average than other Americans is not the problem. I defend anyone's right and admire their having the smarts to become wealthy. I do suspect that a large segment of American Jews believe that they should support politicians which will support Israel, unconditionally.

It's the unconditional piece that should be unacceptable to anyone who believes in justice and fairness.

AIPAC should be required to register as an agent of a foreign government, but that's another, though related, story.

I expect that these thoughts will offend my Jewish friends. Sorry about that, but Ed Koch's hubris and arrogance on this issue really pisses me off. He's rubbing Obama's face in the dirt of
bought and paid for politicians.


A Loud Yes! Heard Round the World

Here's a report of a Human Rights watch calling on all governments to prosecute the main players in the Bush/Cheney administration for war crimes.

Yes, Yes, and more Yes!


SecDef, Leon Panetta, Continues the Bush Lies

This is inexcusable!

Leon Panetta spouts even more lies in his new capacity as SecDef.

It doesn't seem to make a difference for which party you vote anymore,
at least with regard to Espionage and War Making.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Glenn Greenwald's Troublesome List

Here is the most complete list I've come across of actions and policies attributable directly to Obama, in many cases a continuation or escalation of what I used to call abhorrent Bush policies.

It's become more and more difficult for me to be supportive of Obama, and this essay lists the reasons why.

I will vote for him because otherwise it would be Send in the Clowns.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Orin Hatch: The Poor Should Do More

Redefining Out-of-Touch, Cynicism, Hypocrisy and just plain meanness.

Here's Orin Hatch's answer to the debt problem.

It's breathtakingly ____________.
(Fill in the blank with a word or words which work for you.
Please leave it as a comment. Go to the bottom of the post and
click on the icon to leave it as a comment.)

In a democracy we have to trust that the overall opinions of its citizens, as measured by
their votes, will be good for the democracy. I'm actually pleased that statements like this
one from Orin Hatch are made public. To the extent that this dinosaur represents the GOPhers,
surely decent people will reject him and them at the polls.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And Why Not? It's Already a Three Ring Circus

Here's a report that David Duke might run for president in 2012.

Might as well. It would simply add to the long list of clowns already running or talking about it.

The more clowns the better for Obama. He'll come off as the only normal human being in the race.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thems What Has Gets: SCOTUS

This essay by E.J. Dionne is all about the Right Wing Supreme Court siding with the powerful, moneyed interests in our land.

It's nauseating. Essays like this should go viral.


Tom Engelhardt on Why I'm So Disappointed with Obama as president.

Here's an essay which discusses the part of Obama policy which is the source of my most serious disappointment in the man I strongly supported for president; his being had by the Pentagon/military industrial complex.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Aiding and Abetting Criminals

Here's a Glenn Greenwald Salon essay on Obama's shielding the powerful from being brought to justice for "enhanced interrogation", the euphemism for what is commonly known as torture.

One aspect of law holds that aiding and abetting criminals is itself a crime.

Obama continues to disappoint.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bachmann's Two Faces

If this gets around it should sink her.


Tom Toles Sermonette

Tom Toles, political cartoonist for WaPo, also writes well.

Here, in his sermonette, is his view on the influence of religion.

Pay special attention to the end of paragraph two.
It's so historically accurate, but so historically ignored.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Obama Criticism

I continue to be impressed by the insights of Roger Cohen.

Here is his column in today's Times.

As an enthusiastic supporter of Obama in 2008, I've become a disappointed supporter in 2011.

Maureen Dowd took him to task a few days ago, and Roger Cohen does so today. Both are clearly progressive/liberal in their political orientation.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friedman Just Seems to Get It

Here's Tom Friedman on "It Starts With Them", the accurate observation that good things happen when our Feds stay out of the way.

So why don't they? It's obvious. Intervening in foreign affairs makes billions of dollars for the neocons and their Pentagon enablers.


Mo, You Go Girl !

Oh, this is good, this is really good.

Maureen Dowd on Obama's need to come out of the closet.



Check out this cartoon by Wasserman in the Boston Globe.

I wonder how many government agents are worried about the success
of the FBI in finding Whitey Bulger.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Voice of Experience

Charles Blow, in his NYTimes column today, shares his personal experience at being poor.

This is a rather poignant message, and one which should be read by the "pitiless" GOPhers, and the " pitiful" Dems.


Tom Toles on Our Mindlessness

Known for his political cartoons, he also has a blog. This is his Friday rant. I recommend it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Most Important Message of Our Times

Please read Thomas Friedman here. He published the most important message of our times in his column in the NY Times today.

His proposed solution is likely not workable. How about taking a lesson from the Australians who I think limit the length of political campaigns. Pols might like it since it would take away the enormous pressure to raise huge campaign funds, and they might just get something done with all the new time on their hands.

I know, I know, I'm also dreaming.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Obama Impersonater at a GOPher Convention

If you take the time to watch this video you might wonder as I do why the GOPhers escorted the guy off the stage.

What struck me is that the humor was much like what Obama himself might have used at events like those DC White House Correspondents Dinners. It think the guy's pretty funny and good. I suspect that the GOPhers didn't like his jokes on them.

For some unexplained reason, to me at least, the video hung up before anyone appeared to escort the guy off the stage which the TPM piece mentioned.


Maybe Pols Should Be Celibate and Priests Should Be Married

This is good. This is really good.

Don't miss Maureen Dowd's roasting of her church's leadership over gay rights and priest pedophilia.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Executive Branch Power Consolidation

Dear Readers,

I can't recall which pundit wrote about this first during the last presidential campaign, but one thought struck me at the time and has stuck with me since. It seems that it was an accurate prediction of the inevitable fight for power in our nation's government, at this stage of our political history.

That thought was, with respect to the shift in political power from Congress to the Executive Branch, it probably really didn't much matter which party won the White House in 2008. The next occupant was not likely to object to the increased powers of the executive branch which had been strengthened by the political strong arm methods of the Cheney/Bush administration.

As a strong supporter of Obama during the 2008 campaign I have often taken myself back to that observation during his first term as president. If you read about and follow politics you don't need me to recite the examples, though I will cite just a few to support my position: waffling on Iraq draw down, surge in troops for Afghanistan, continuing the detentions in Gitmo, and continuing the agenda of the need for secrecy when he promised openness of government, and the attack on American citizens' right to privacy with renewal of the euphemistically hypocritical Patriot Act.

Here is a link to an article I read which aroused my ire and stirred my need once again to do my crying in the wilderness thing, in the hope that some of you are still listening to such voices as mine and others, and might even also be stirred to send these thoughts along to your own others.

As a retired CEO of an industrial company, a Work/Life Coach to Executives and now retired, I understand the temptation of the executive to retain as much power invested in his position as possible. The one with the power wins. That kind of power can work if the person in power understands that he/she can remain in power so long as those in his power don't abandon him.

The top executive of our Federal government has Congress and the Supreme Court to deal with, and which can be in competition with him or her for power. This is especially a problem when the three branches are beholden to different political parties. We are seeing that today.

So, it should be no surprise that our president should covet as much power invested in the executive branch as possible. The problem can be that it puts that person in a position of temptation to try to rule, not to govern.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Redefining Stupidity, or Worse, Criminal Behavior

I have read far too many stories recently of corruption. lying and other examples of malfeasance on the part of our politicians. I crave a story about an honest, authentic, decent politician to begin turning things around.

Begin by doing what? It should be obvious. Begin holding Bush, Cheney, et al Cabal to account for all manner of malfeasance, the victims of which were and are still, all Americans; we who were mislead, no, really and actually lied to, by a cabal of bought off politicians, comprised of most members of Congress, Bush and Cheney, who rewarded their friends in Big Oil, and the Neocon/Pentagon/Military-Industrial Complex who will stop at nothing in their nefarious and monstrous assault on any level of decency and morality, and willing to do anything to advance their cause to make for themselves as many Billions of dollars possible, hang the cost to American citizens.

Well, the cost is counted up and tallied in a multi-layered, cross section of the American socio-economic every day lives of our people. It includes thousands of lives in our military, billions of dollars of our taxpayer's hard earned wages and salaries, billions of dollars borrowed from other countries, China specifically, whom our elected officials seem to want to aggravate militarily.


Today we read and heard in the media that Obama once again is courting the Wall Street magnates, those he called "Fat Cats" not too long ago, hoping that they will once again reward him with their $Millions for his re-election campaign. The operative question of course is, what is he promising them in exchange?

What is the takeaway message from all of this ?(I really can't come up with just the right word or phrase which captures the extent of the obvious calumny at work here, which is against the efforts of most, and mostly decent, Americans).

I would really like to "hear" from my readers.

In truth, I would really like to hear from anyone who believes that what I have been preaching, as a Voice Crying in the Wilderness, needs to be heard.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Move Over AIPAC, Make Room for Enlightenment

It just took a little bit of looking around to find some elements of the media which abhor Netanyahu's right wing anti-peace approach to the Palestinian question. Some are clearly of Jewish heritage, like The Tablet, and some are not specifically Jewish, but take a progressive/liberal view of how to establish a two state solution to the Jewish/Palestinian problem.

Here's something from The Tablet.
Here's Juan Cole's contribution from his blog Informed Comment.
Here's Col. Patrick Lang's piece from his blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Then there's J Street, a liberal Israel lobby which opposes the hard liners like Netanyahu and AIPAC.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the right wing Israel apologists get more press than those of the liberal/progressive view. Is that true, and if so, Why?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Netanyahu 29; Obama 25

The title of this post reports the score of 29 to 25, in a competition pitting Netanyahu against Obama in how many standing ovations each got recently from a joint session of Congress.

Here's another piece by Glenn Greenwald about our bought and paid for senators and congressmen siding with a foreign leader versus their own country's leader.

This is more than shameful. It's enormously distressing.

How has it happened that Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, has actually succeeded in capturing the allegiance of our elected officials, who have to know that that comes at the cost of lost prestige, influence and humiliation of our own President?

The answer of course is to follow the money trail. The Israel lobbies in this country, especially AIPAC, have successfully bought the allegiance of our elected officials, just as if they had been elected by the citizens of Israel. That has happened in spite of the reality that Jews comprise only about three or four percent of the American population. The portion of Jewish Americans
who condone this influence peddling are supporting people who behave like the Mafia, engaged in selling protection, rackateering, bribing and black mailing.

I blame not only AIPAC and the other Israel lobbies, but our own hypocritical, dishonest, integrity-poor politicians. They are behaving in a treason-like manner and have been doing so for longer than I'd like to admit.

And here's a Boston Globe article on how this conflict is playing out at a local level.

The result of this, of course, is that the current right wing Likud led Israel essentially has almost unchallenged influence on the foreign policy of the United States. This is an obscene state of affairs.

To say this openly, especially for public figures, is to run the risk of being at least ostracized publicly and worse, to risk losing their jobs and being tarred with the old but still effective anti-Semite brush.

I keep hoping that the relatively new J Street Jewish lobby will come to be seen as the more important influence on our foreign policy, especially with respect to our interactions with Israel. This moderate/progressive alliance of American Jews supports a two state solution to the Israel/Palestinian stand-off, is against illegal settlements, and for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

The obstacle to this happening is that J Street likely would have to outbid AIPAC in bribing American politicians. As long as our politicians have to raise $millions to pay for their never ending election campaigns, they will be vulnerable to being bought in exchange for unquestioned support of right wing Israeli behavior.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Calling Out Netanyahu Over His 1967 Borders Tirade

Here's Juan Cole's straight talk about Netanyahu's tirade over Obama's declaration that the 1967 Borders, with land swaps, needs to be the basis for establishing a Palestinian state.

This man needs to be put in short pants by Obama. Unfortunately the US Congress gave him several standing ovations when he addressed that body today.

Here's Glenn Greenwald's sad tale about that.

Follow the money is still the operative perspective.

Our elected officials act like they were elected by the far right citizens of Israel. How did we get ourselves into this predicament? More importantly how can we get ourselves out of this predicament, that the tribe, as the Jewish magazine Tablet refers to Jews, representing just three or four percent of American citizens(depends on who one asks) can dictate foreign policy for America?

As I've said several times over the past few years, I am not an anti-semite, but I am an anti-Zionist, in the sense that the far right Likud sect of Israel is what passes for Zionism today.

More accurately, I am anti-bully of any stripe, and I believe Netanyahu and his henchmen are bullies. All bullies need to be stood up to. That won't happen with members of Congress because it would require too many of them to have the guts to confront these bullies.

I have been heartened recently to observe Obama demonstrating a stiff spine. I hope he will not back down on this, and, hope beyond hope, I don't want him to veto any upcoming UN declaration establishing a Palestinian state based on the '67 borders with agree upon land swaps.

As long as our politicians need $millions in campaign funds which AIPAC and it's kind are happy to provide as bribes, and as long as getting elected and re-elected matters more to politicians than honesty and integrity, we'll be stuck in this predicament.

Where are the real American statesmen? Continuing to support Israeli occupation of seized Palestinian land is not a position which honest American politicians would countenance.

Unfortunately, America is occupying Afghanistan now, and has been for a decade.

Hypocrisy abounds.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End of the World On My Birthday?

This is not the way I'd like to celebrate my birthday.

Here's a piece at on the end of the world coming next Saturday, which will be my 74th birthday.

Seems some religious nut job has cooked up a formula, based on his interpretation of some numbers in the Bible, that predicts the rapture and Armageddon on May 21, 2011. Apparently he also had predicted the end of the world back in 1994, and when it didn't happen he said he misinterpreted some numbers.

Figures don't lie, but liars do figure.

So all of those hordes of people who might have sent me presents now have an excuse not to.
But wait till next year:-)


Juan Cole on Victor's Justice

Here's a really good piece by Juan Cole on what he calls the "hypocritical world of victor's justice".

He sides with Glenn Greenwald on the need to bring Bush, Cheney and their henchmen to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He asks the big question, how are Bush and Cheney different from Slobodan Milosevic?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

WAR CRIMINALS or war criminals?

Here's Glenn Greenwald on the reality of dual standards
when it comes to deciding who is a war criminal.

If Bin Laden deserved what he got, why not Bush and Cheney?

This is an ages old argument which will never be settled simply because
the one who wins makes the rules. But I for one am grateful that people like
Greenwald try to make us uncomfortable with our two faced moralizing.


Friday, May 13, 2011

On Taking the First Pitch

No website to link to on this one. It's just my need to exercise the voice crying in the wilderness on one of my own pet peeves.

Most people would assume that a major league pitcher can throw a strike almost any time he wants, if he is pretty sure that the batter will "take it". I understand the rationale for "taking" whatever the pitcher can throw when the count is 3 and 0. Make the pitcher prove he can throw a strike.

What I don't agree with is the almost sacrosanct acceptance of taking the first pitch for the purported purpose of getting a feel for what and how the pitcher is throwing.

With all the statistics which our announcers and analysts have at their disposal it would be interesting to note who benefits more by this practice.

How often has that worked for the benefit of the batter?
How often has that worked for the benefit of the pitcher?

To me it seems obvious that more often than not the batter puts himself in a 0-1 hole "right off the bat", which gives the advantage to the pitcher. The on deck circle is the right place to try to get a feel for what and how the pitcher throws.

I'm just sayin'.


In Your Face Politicians

This is just so disgusting that it truly is nauseating.


Monday, May 9, 2011

This Level of Ignorance is Breathtaking

Read it and weep for enlightened religion. Then again, perhaps "enlightened religion" is just another oxymoron.


21st Century Old Testament Prophet

Here is James Carroll's opinion on the killing of OBL.

I actually had the same reaction to his prophecy that I
have had while reading the warnings of the Old Testament

Truly James Carroll is the real Voice Crying in the Wilderness.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

George Will on Being 70

As a 74 year old I really enjoyed this column. I disagree with his politics, but he sure can write.

I want a lot more of that house money.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nothing is Certain Except Death And_____.

Nothing is Certain except death and ____.

How's that for an introduction to an open thread?

I look forward to what you all come up with
in filling in the blank, which used to be "TAXES",
but based on recent evidence, is no longer certain.

Humor me, take a shot.


Monday, May 2, 2011

"Don't Cheer Boys"

Here is the response to the news of the death of OBL which I admire most, and which speaks for me.

My Blogging friend, The Old New Englander, should be cheered for his wisdom.



Two Speeches on One Event

Here is one speech on the killing of OBL. This one by President Obama.

And here's another, this one by Chris Hedges.

Can they be reconciled? Is one right and the other wrong; if so which is which? Are they both right;
if so how can that be?