Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Only in America

How's this for irony? Clinton talks freedom of expression while watching Ray McGovern hauled away and beaten for expressing himself silently.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Music Men

Well ya got trouble my friend, trouble right here in River City.

Here are the observations of Music Man I, Bob Herbert, about the growing gap between the haves and the have nots in our own country.

How many of us exulted in what the Egyptian downtrodden underdogs accomplished this week, without making the big picture connection to the similarities of their plight to the middle class and the poor in our own land?

Though the similarities are more in kind than in the current size of the gap, the changes in the size of that gap in America have been accelerating for years now.

The old truths are still, and always will be, instructive and relevant in human societies. Money talks and the ones with the gold rule.

Like it's been in Egypt for decades, those with financial clout ,and who
"get it" that there's gold in them thar military/industrial complex hills, induce politicians to be beholden to them by paying them off with huge campaign contributions, to vote for anything associated with national security.

Those who can only think in black and white, yes or no, you're either with us or you're not terms, promote the up or down, yea or nay approach to what should be governing, but
is in essence, ruling.

The current example is the need for the Congress either to extend the Patriot Act, or not to extend it. That law, by definition, makes legal the violation of civil liberties of all Americans.

I fail to see any substantial difference in authorized powers between the
American Patriot Act under President Bush and President Obama and the Egyptian
Emergency Law under President Mubarak. Both laws can be used to detain its own citizens who, in its sole opinion, are considered to be dangerous, if not enemies, of the state.

In the years since 911 we've heard stories of extraordinacy rendition, and the torture of citizens of the world at the hands of powerful people(power rooted in extraordinary wealth).

The Tunisia thing apparently emboldened the Egyptian thing. Most pundits are speculating
about what other dictator controlled Arab states will be next.

Update: Bahrain, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Libya.

Here is a question:

When will our own American citizens have had enough, like the Tunisians and the Egyptians? When will we wake up that the American dream is cynically being kept alive by those who have the gold to rule. When will we wake up and realize that we have been lulled to sleep by slogans about small government, and slogans about national security, slogans about boot strap individuality, slogans dumping on folks in dire need of financial rescue to be able to pay for and sustain the most basic needs to support life. More and more frequently those in dire need have tried to do their best, but have been overwhelmed by unexpected and devastating health care expenses.

Reminds me of the old silent movies about a helpless woman being tied down to railroad tracks by an unscrupulous banker who shouts at her, "You must pay the rent!", and she screams, "but I can't pay the rent!"

Charles Dickens' "Bleak Street" and "Tale of Two Cities" exposed the world of the heartless
money worshippers of his day. Sadly they have been prolific in creating equally nasty progeny.

Here's a report from Music Man II. He spells out in great detail what trouble we have, right here in River City. It should be required reading for all who vote.



Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Always Been About the Oil

This story is news to me, probably because it wasn't supposed to be widely known; but then you'd have to ask Rumsfeld, Ray Hunt, Cheney and W. about that.

I also had never made the connection between the Rockefeller's founding of the American University in Beirut and Big Oil. Again, probably because I wasn't supposed to.

As Derrick V. Jackson wrote a while back in his Boston Globe column, thousands of our military died and many more thousands suffered grievous wounds to make Iraq safe for Exxon/Mobil.

This is a rather long article, but you can get the gist of it early on.


Social Security Facts: What the Bought Off Politicians Don't Want You to Know

Here's Robert Reich's piece, setting the record straight on Social Security. He reveals his credentials for why you should believe him. This is the kind of credibility which is sorely needed in Washington, D.C.

I don't understand why this information is not more widely disseminated. It's the truth and it puts
the lie to the GOPhers, whose ass kissing of the wealthy is simply obscene. Perhaps it's because the Democrats also kiss a lot of ass.

Here's the Anne Telnaes cartoon in today's Washington Post which illustrates the matter rather clearly.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Required Reading For All Who Need a Primer on the ME and Muslims

Here's a very illuminating article on the different kinds of Muslims and what their differences mean in terms of their focus.

It's the most comprehensive piece on the hot topic of these days which I've come across.


Painting With Words

James Carroll, columnist for the Boston Globe and author of several books, paints beauty with a pen, not a brush.

Here's his latest. It's not your usual Hallmark Valentines Day message. It's a lovely work of art.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Virtual Confession

Here's a laugher.

Maureen Dowd, an Irish Catholic by her own confession, skewers the reality of an app for virtual confession.

You've got to read this.


Monday, February 7, 2011

James Carroll Does It Again

Week after week James Carroll rewards his readers with his intellect and incredible ability to articulate the deeper truths.

Here he speaks about change and it's many possible manifestations. The quote of the day has to be, "It is the business of change to be dangerous".


A Voice Which Should Be Heard

Roger Cohen's voice should be heard around the world. Here is his latest opinion about Egypt, and the West's reluctance to admit that it's culture, reflected in the actions of it's general population, can be trusted to bring a stable democracy into being.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bushwacked in Switzerland

Here's a link to a story which Old Dude referred to in a comment he left on my Palinism post.

Like he said, what a legacy for an American president. Sheesh!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Palinism

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Here's a Palinism which tickled me. It's a Quote of the Day
from Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.