Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let's Get Al Gore: All my life I have yearned for a presidential candidate whom I could love. There were none. There were some I liked but none I could embrace as my parents embraced Franklin Roosevelt. I never loved any president as completely as they loved him. I wondered what that would be like. FDR was, of course, before my time and it was, indeed, a different time.

Suddenly, however, it perhaps has happened. Have my yearnings been answered? I don't know. What I do know is I love Al Gore. I have always thought our country lucky to have, in its darkest moments, a leader who emerged to pull us through. It happened in the revolutionary period, of course, with Washington, the Civil War period with Lincoln, during the Great Depression and WWII with Roosevelt but in 2001 when our country was so viciously attacked and indeed threatened with catastrophic damage there was ultimately no one there to lead.

Indeed, it was our country's misfortune to have a leader in the oval office who was so woefully inept, so sadly not up to the task of governing this nation, so communicatively challenged and intellectually incurious during this epically important time. Worse, the leadership that followed him as president into the office of the vice-presidency and Congress was phenomenally dishonest, violent and uncaring about illegalities and abridgments of power. We lost our innocence on 9/11 and we lost our ideals as a nation in its aftermath. Bush and his minions instead of doing the most important task of uniting us, turned their back on anyone who questioned their policies, catered to religious extremists, concocted an unnecessary war, disempowered and thus divided this country nearly worse than during the time of the Civil War period.

In my opinion, too, there is no Democratic candidate who is up to the task of assuming the presidency. Although I like Obama, Hillary Clinton and others, they simply, in my opinion, cannot win and are now beset by the child-like cattiness of infighting. Our Congressional Democratic victory in 2006 is not enough. We face the prospect of yet another Republican presidential possibility who will keep us quagmired in a business-as-usual mode which our country now can ill afford. We face another great divide and worse we face a catastrophic future.

We need if not a New Deal a New Day. We need a reverse course of years of horrendously dangerous policy both domestically and, most certainly, internationally. Perhaps things happen for a reason. Perhaps, Al Gore did not attain what was rightfully his in 2000 because he needed to do even more important things until the time was right for him to use that greatness he has acquired to finally lead our nation and reverse its suicidal course. We are running off a cliff and there is not much time.

I want Al Gore to claim his rightful place as President of this nation. Our nation needs him. We desperately need the intellectually savvy, verbally adept, honest and secure leadership he could provide. Nothing less than our survival is at stake. I believe we must prevail upon him to run. Someday maybe my faith can be restored in the historical greatness that I always thought was America and my dream of experiencing a great presidential leader will be fulfilled.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Jesus Tomb: These arguments are ridiculous. There is absolutely NO, I repeat NO evidence that Jesus even existed. There is no historical evidence whatsoever. The Gospels are NOT, I repeat NOT historical evidence since they were written a good deal after the time Jesus is alleged to have lived. The Gospels are stories, folklore if you will. Each differs from the other and none is an account of the actual happenings. There is not even any evidence that Pontius Pilot controlled Judea or that Caesar Augustus ordered everyone to be taxed. He didn't. Nothing, no coins, no artifacts nothing exists to prove the existence of Jesus. Those who say there is are pure and simply lying or fantasizing. Even Josephus a supposed Jewish historian whom many claim said Jesus Christ lived has long ago proven not to be true, his writings about Jesus a forgery. Even IF somehow somewhere some way proof could be gleaned it would not make much of a difference. Who said Jesus' entire body had to rise? Perhaps people would say it was his spirit which rose. When it comes to verifying the historicity of the existence and factual exploits of Jesus it is NOT going to ever happen unless some document somewhere is unearthed that says unequivocally with a detailed description there was a man named Yeshua who claimed to be the son of God and was crucified. There are MANY stories from the ancient world that claim the same things that the New Testament claims as attributes of Jesus. The last ossuary found which "unequivocally" proved Jesus had a brother James was a forgery. The Jesus story cannot be proved. It is a story. An ossuary with names means nothing. Money means everything...natch.

Friday, February 23, 2007

This is sent in response to an article critical of the AJC written by Rabbi Wascow of the Shalom Center which seems to be going around the Internet. I offer this response.

I do not know one thing about the American Jewish Committee. I am a skeptic through and through especially if it has to do with politics or religion. I went to the American Jewish Committee web site and I enclose the link to it http://www.ajc.org

It carries the remarks by Larry Lowenthal at his 18th year celebration. You can read the text of his speech. There is really not much to disagree with and there is not much I really can disagree with as far as Rabbi Wascow's email which you sent as well except for one sentence.

To me the proof is often going deeper. Even George Bush's speeches often sound good on their face but delve a little deeper into what this man has really done, who makes up his entourage and if possible what they say in private then it becomes a different story.

I try to look at both sides of issues. There is no question to me that American foreign policy has committed egregious acts. Acts, through which, we reap what we have sewn. It MUST be reassessed and reworked if we are to live on this planet without perpetual and at some point, I think, catastrophic war. There must also be a solution to the Palestinian issue. Personally, I believe in a two state solution too.

However, angels do not exist anywhere. The problem is that religion uncompromising and extreme throws up roadblocks to peace everywhere. There is no arguing with people who think God is on their side, God put them where they are and there is especially no arguing with suicide bombers who kill thousands upon thousands of innocents and will not even argue their beliefs in the first place. There is no criticism of or rapprochement by much of the academic left or albeit in the Muslim world of Muslims who decapitate, burn and slaughter so many even of their own religion. Occasionally one hears a few but certainly not an outcry.

We must wade through, in my opinion, the supernatural hocus pocus sewers that are the monotheistic religions in their pure form. A daunting task. I am not even sure it can be done. Religion in my opinion is the single most threatening force known to man besides nature because it keeps free thought down and closes the door to dialogue and scientific truth. This is true probably of some in the AJC and it is no less true of certainly many in the Islamic world as well.

The sentence in Rabbi Wascow's article that I do not like was: "Indeed, they attacked a Jewish poet, playwright, and historian for questioning the possibility of a two-state solution when the most vigorous underminers of such a solution -- even more vigorous and more effective than murders by Palestinian terrorists -- have been the Israeli government." THAT I have a problem with. Both sides commit atrocities. Palestinians commit horrendous atrocities even against their own people. I venture to ask if Israel were to cease to exist as a Jewish state (a possibility) would there be peace in Palestine? I would not bet my wallet on it.

Many in all of the Islamic world, too, are not kidding when they say they want a second Holocaust and Jews should be driven into the sea. I take them at their word. The Jewish state unless annihilated (a possibility) is a reality. A two state solution is, in my opinion, the most desirable BUT when the left, as they so often do, start using phrases like the Israeli government is worse than terrorists they lose me and incur worse wrath of a lot of Jews. The title of Jimmy Carter's book did the same thing. If he truly wants peace he would not have used the title he did which sold his book but alienated a lot of others. A true mediator looks at both sides and tries at least to treat them equally and not inflame. Rabbi Wascow's title
"F*****T, the AJC" did nothing to advance his cause. It looked on the face of it profane.

There must be quiet dialogue with an attempt to diffuse not ignite. So far, on both sides, I see very few willing to do that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hearing Anna Nicole: What a circus the Anna Nicole burial hearing was. I can only wonder what Saturday Night Live, Jay Leno, and Letterman will do with a judge actually crying about the verdict. The judge, while I'm sure is a decent guy, was significantly less than professional. His court was theater of the absurd and his discussion was often ridiculous in the extreme. That proceeding could have been cut in half. I suspect the judge was crying not really for Anna Nicole but for himself because of the intense, in my opinion, deserved criticism of his own histrionic behavior. Judge, the proceeding is NOT about you it is about a dead woman and her burial. Fewer personal comments by the judge and more control over the proceeding should have been the order of the day!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Troop Trauma: The fact that our troops not getting the BEST care from our government makes my blood burn and smoulder. This government which is wasting billions on no bid contracts to their cronies and contributors talks a wonderful game in front of the cameras. Behind the cameras it is a different story all together.

They, as I have said in many writings, do NOT dive a damn about the little guy OR the soldier. Bush and his cohorts in crime care about one thing only MONEY. When will the people of this nation see -- I mean REALLY see? Republicans in general are not about us they are about the huge corporation and the billions of bucks it generates for THEM and their campaigns but NOT for us. They do NOT care about us. We need to yell that loudly at the ballot box. They need to be swept out of office entirely and for good and if/when Democrats are elected they too cannot be allowed to cater to the money givers whom they need to get elected. They must put their money where they say there mouth is and cater to the people who need protection and government services. That is what government should be about.

The sale of Iraq is a COMPLETE abomination and the inattentiveness to the needs and safety of our precious soldiers who give up their lives is nothing less than criminal. Criminals and treason occupy the White House. Is this who we want to care about our soldiers who are spilling gallons of blood for a policy that is INSIPID and unwinnable? When will America wake up? Our life's blood is draining out of us and we cannot even get a useless non-binding resolution passed.

A mature nation realizes its mistake, stops the mistake and moves on. We desperately need a SMART, capable, communicatively adept leader in office. That is NOT who we have living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. We have living there quite the opposite. Shame on this leader for not providing our troops with everything they need and shame on us for "electing" him not once but twice!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Anna Nicole Mania: I suppose by the very fact that I am blogging about this I contribute to the news frenzy about Anna Nicole Smith. So much news so much of the time about her! It is pathetic indeed. I try to analyze this phenomenon. What is there about this country that it feeds so incessantly on the meaningless? So much money has been made by the media with respect to this woman's death. I ask why. What has she done in her life, short of nothing, to deserve this attention? Someone must want to know these things. The news about her sells and sells big. It puts huge amounts of cash into media moguls' coffers. One thing I do know is it puts NO cash whatsoever in MY coffer. It puts no cash in anyone else's coffer except for the few involved directly in the case. So what is it about that attracts us so much?

If Marilyn Monroe, Jack Kennedy, or Robert Kennedy were alive and youthful today could they ever have gotten away with so much of their behavior. If Marilyn Monroe were young today and died as she did how much news would be devoted to that? My guess is she would be covered 24/7

I think Anna Nicole Smith tried and indeed did remind so many of Marilyn. People in this country have, I think, never let go of the Monroe phenomenon. People still want her resurrected from the dead. In lieu of that, Anna Nicole Smith will suffice. Now the media, growing in technological sophistication, can give many what they want ... another Marilyn. This time though we can examine all the minutiae of her life and death something which at the time of Marilyn's death was not possible.

After the Smith saga has ended we will, of course, like Billy Flynn suggests about the character Roxie in the movie "Chicago," go on to the next bit of news junk. Instead of the public wanting to examine the complexities of American foreign policy or the metamorphosis of the history of Islam and the western thought, the superficialities of our culture will prevail and we will be glued to the next Anna Nicole Smith saga wherever that may be. It's sad because Smith's life is over but our lives, although not over yet, hang in the balance of war and diplomacy but our public wants entertainment and six party talks do not provide that!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Libby the Liar: If I were on the Libby jury the fact that three other journalists said that they had learned about Valerie Pflame from Fleisher, Rove and Armitage would in no way let Libby off the hook. As a matter of fact I would be more inclined to think that there was a concerted effort high in the administration to out Pflame by nearly everyone within the administration's hierarchy so why wouldn't Libby be among those high officials who did the very same thing to try to get Pflame's name out to journalists to discredit Joe Wilson revelations that part of Bush's state of the union speech was a lie to justify invading Iraq. To me it just reinforces Libby's guilt. It will stagger me if, because of money and influence, Libby gets away with perjury. For him and all the others in that administration, though, including our vice-president the charge really should be treason!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rebecca Riley: I do not know the guilt or innocence of any party with regard to death by an overdose of medication of four year old Rebecca Riley. There is no question, in my opinion, that physicians are too quick to dispense especially psychotropic drugs. There is, it seems to me, no clear understanding of what psychotropic drug to prescribe or what amount of a drug a physician should give. Psychotropic drugs it seems are thrown into a hat, picked out randomly and given to patients some of whom may be children, to try. We are told psychiatry is not an exact science. Its often trial and error.

It is also true we suffer from an obsessive American quick fix disorder. The doctors and the drug companies dutifully oblige. Our media is saturated with never ending, ceaseless drug advertising. Money is always in the equation. In my opinion in the case of Rebecca Riley, it will be determined that she was short changed by all parties involved i.e. the psychiatrist, the pharmacy, DSS and most especially her fractured, dysfuntional mentally disturbed parents. It does seem to me that a bright red flag should have gone up to the physician when a mother, of dubious mental stability, asked for more and more refills as the drugs became allegedly lost or allegedly degraded by water. Then again, doctors do what they have always done pushed pills for the drug giants. Many may, indeed, have good intentions and want to help people. In the case of this little girl, however, lack of profound oversight and error cost a little girl her life!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mary Cheney's Baby: Mary Cheney is right her baby is a blessed event. She should tell that to her right wing buddies that jet propelled her father and his friend George into the executive branch. The fact that her baby is an anathema to the religious fundamentalists gives Wolfe Blitzer every right to comment upon it. Blitzer was not commenting on the right or wrong of homosexuals raising babies together. He was asking how she feels about doing something that her father's so called base thinks is abhorrent. How could Mary Cheney think that a John Kerry would have been worse than this Republican administration with respect to her and her partner's particular interests? Her father and Bush owe the fact that they occupy the White House to that very group that would like to negate her, her partner and their baby's existence and think that what she is doing is next to blasphemy in its evil. I am stumped as to how Mary Cheney supports her father's party without shooting herself in her very foot. Something does not compute. Obviously, Mary Cheney does not see it that way. The question is why.
What to do in Iraq: Money should be appropriated to support the troops already there redeploying them to other appropriate areas and not put other so called "surge" troops in harms way. Iraq needs to be divided into the three main ethnic compositions and the oil reserves then further divided fairly. The ENTIRE war has been a mistake from beginning to end costing dearly in lives and treasure. It was NOT executed properly in so many ways and probably should not have been executed at all. Sadam Hussein, as cruel a leader as he was, kept that country together. It is now fractured beyond recognition, millions have fled and thousands continue to die. Is this better than even Sadam Hussein? I think not but the Hussein era is dead and we must deal with what is. The war blunder is proof positive -- if we ever needed one -- as to what happens when a country has a cerebrally inept, intellectually bankrupt, communicatively challenged, incurious person holding the highest office in the world. In the final analysis the buck stops not with him but with us, the people, for electing a nincompoop and a nincompoop's entourage that goes with him in the first place.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Debacle that is Iraq: George W. Bush has sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. However horrendous Sadam Hussein was, he kept that country together through the use of force. Is the force that the US has used and the thousands of tonnage of bombs dropped on Iraq made Iraq better? It is much worse there than Sadam Hussein could even have imagined perpetrating. The US never invaded Iraq for WMD's, nor to spread democracy but for a combination of revenge for 9/11, a neocon philosophic fantasy and, of course, the omni-present oil. Now Shites, Sunnis, and many many others are exacting their revenge on each other and sadly upon the US, our allies that are left and our unbelievably brave soldiers. We are at an existential impasse. There is, as Jean Paul Sartre would say, NO EXIT!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Supreme Court -- PBS DOCUMENTARY: I wrote this to Justice Roberts after his interview for this documentary. If you have not seen this documentary I suggest you do not miss it.:

I watched PBS documentary about the Supreme Court. Although, I am not politically aligned with Justice Roberts, I wanted to email to say how much I enjoyed the various segments of his interview. He is obviously very well versed in the history of the Supreme Court and made, I thought, an excellent presentation and representation of the Court.

The foundations of our democracy are a wonder to me and are testament, even to this day, of the brilliance of these 18th century men of the Enlightenment. It is so interesting to see how the Supreme Court has evolved from barely an entity to one of the most powerful forces of US history. Our Constitution remains an exquisite document which lends itself not only to the law and its rigidity but also to the interpretation of that law and its flexibility. I thought Justice Roberts conducted a wonderful and informative interview. I yearned for more!