Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Jews of Poland: Joseph Polak's July 28, 2007 editorial "The Silence Lifts on Poland's Jews" lauding formal acknowledgment by Polish leadership of its country's long held anti-Semitism and its attendant murder of Jews, I wax thoughtful about a phenomenon that has been called the world's longest hatred. After reading this article I did not know whether to shout bravo or shake my head in utter disbelief as to why, after so long, it is still necessary that the acknowledgment of a pervasive, rancid and unyielding Jewish hatred still needs to be acknowledged and an apology rendered by those who throughout the centuries were the perpetrators.

The hatred of the Jew is certainly not unique to Poland or to its past. It has been and still is a world wide pandemic with no permanent vaccine in sight. It has existed and still does in nearly every land, on every continent, among most all the world and there is no end in view. Where anti-Semitism allegedly no longer exists it rises from the dead. In countries which have no Jews the age old caustic canards of Jewish hatred can be heard. You don't even need Jews to have anti-Semitism.

A hatred born of early Christianity and certain New Testament texts progresses to the modern age and dogs the Jewish people nearly everywhere. The Middle East, an explosive tinderbox, uses anti-Semitism as one excuse to perpetrate its horrors. Jews there are threatened with yet another extinction. When will the malignancy end? When will these acknowledgments not be necessary? A tiny fraction of the world's population, the Jewish people have suffered far beyond what their small numbers might dictate. Anti-Semitism is a plague. I am waiting patiently for a cure.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Keith Olbermann, whom I watch faithfully on MSNBC and usually love, delivered an apology to Senator Vitter's wife for comments about her appearance he thought were unjustly made on his program while he was on vacation. I thought the apology was not warranted and said so. Senator Vitter (family value's Republican from Florida) stands accused of placing calls to known prostitutes.

I love Keith Olberman. He was a mench for apologizing to Mrs. Vitter but I do think his apology was not warranted. Mrs. Vitter was just as hypocritical as her husband. She was oh-so-accusatory toward Hillary Clinton during the Lewinsky issue. I think Mrs. Vitter is fair game and I thought she looked 150% ridiculous and humorous in that leopard skin outfit when she appeared at an apologetic speech delivered by her husband who stands accused of frequenting or at least placing calls to prostitutes. What was she, in fact, saying? Whether we like it or not we live in a media age and people do not usually dress without some projective motive. It's often calculated by men AND women alike.

I am glad people like Vitter (Republican from Florida), et al get themselves knee deep in excrement because the hypocrisy they espouse is responsible for a GREAT deal of misery and suffering. They, their party and the thousands of right wing religious fanatics who have held political sway about, for example, the glories of heterosexual marriage and the family, have led some who cannot conform to that standard to even consider suicide because they saw no way out of what they felt. For years the echelons of power dictated they go to the back of the bus. Those dictates still, in some places, prevail.

The Vitters are not innocent. Mrs. Vitter shared those views and stated as such. I believe any indictment of her or even the way she presents herself is richly deserved. Hypocrites must be taken to task any way we can not so much for their behavior but because they expect conduct of others which they do not expect of themselves. So many on the right have not practiced what they so abhorrently but effectively have preached. I applaud those comments against the Vitters and all those like them. They are well deserved!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Venality of Michael Vick--dogfighting: What kind of person, what quality and content of a human being's character would allow one to participate in the utter animal abuse of dog fighting? What kind of an organization would let a person, if Vick is found guilty, continue to play for its team? Is it only about the lousy buck, is it only about how many Mercedes one drives, or how many things one can buy with all the millions? Is that the only value in this American life?

I am not a believer but I wish so there were a God because, in this instance, I would take solace that someone who could be involved in the gambling and animal slaughter of dog fighting would get their just reward from a higher power since their soul would be so putrid, feted and ugly the only place for humanity like that would be hell.

Whether one believes in a higher power or not, Michael Vick, in my opinion, has committed, if found guilty, a sin comparable only to the sin of child molestation. I cannot think of a worse milieu than that of dog fighting or a worse thing to perpetrate than that unconscionable act. If guilty he should be fined millions and thrown out of the Atlanta Falcons. That is the only just reward mere mortals can exact for this utterly despicable act. If true, and found guilty, Vick is a despicable excuse for humanity and the Atlanta Falcons organization should act accordingly!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Masterpiece of Moyers: If you haven't seen Bill Moyers's PBS discussion with conservative constitutional scholar Bruce Fein and liberal writer from The Nation, John Nichols you ought to. "Tough Talk About Impeachment" was a thrilling discussion and one everyone ought to review.

I find it a rare instance, indeed, when I am at a loss for words. Bill Moyers is the absolute best in broadcasting. I love him like I love my country. I love it, as his guest Bruce Fein brilliant conservative tonight conveyed, to the very core of my being, to the depths of my soul. I have never in my years of television and news viewing seen or heard a more wonderful broadcast than I did this evening. It made me so proud of my country because he and his guests this evening -- Democrat and Republican alike; conservative and liberal alike were united and one in their understanding of exactly what we are about as a people, what the genius of the Founders knew about monarchical tyranny and what is at risk in this country now as we face a Constitutional crisis. You would do well to listen to and study the discussion about impeachment and the glory of our Constitution's fathers for iterating it six times within that document. It was more than superb. It was beyond the ability of my meager words to convey. Listen to it and heed as our very Republic is at stake. I attach the link below!

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html











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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The case for impeachment: David Boies, you probably know, was counsel for Al Gore in the famous 2000 election debacle and case arising from that i.e. "Bush v. Gore". He is a prominent Washington attorney and was on MSNBC's Scarborough Country last evening. Curiously he along with Pat Buchanan were against impeachment. I was surprised at Boies's opinion. I wrote him a letter.

Dear Mr. Boies: I listened to the interesting interview and debate between Pat Buchanan, Elizabeth Holtzman and you conducted by Dan Abrams on Joe Scarborough Country last evening about the issue of presidential and vice presidential impeachment. It was an excellent debate moderated superbly by Dan Abrams. It is refreshing to listen to people who are experts and who were not screaming at each other. It was an intelligent discussion and that was unique.

I do, however, question your view. I believe Ms. Holtzman was eminently correct. You are right impeachment should not be used frivolously as it was, in my opinion, used in the case of President Clinton. His offense, while disturbing, I believe, did not rise to the level of "high crimes" as instructed in our Constitution.

That clause in our Constitution is, however, open to interpretation. That was, I believe, the genius of our Founders. The ambiguity they left made room for interpretive debate. In so far as one accepts that as true, presidential foreign policy decisions, while clearly left by our Founders to the Chief Executive to make, still require an honest justification ESPECIALLY if those decisions mean leading a population to war.

We are not talking about policy decisions which will be forgotten after a president leaves office or even before. We are talking about the actual invasion of a country which did not attack us, killing thousands of human beings, upending American families and uprooting millions of Iraqis. We are talking about monetary costs to our people in the trillions. Moreover, the long term regional effect in one of the most volatile parts of the world is immense. I believe we were deceived into a war which has had catastrophic implications.

I supported the decision to go to war initially only to be most chagrined and angered to see that all the justifications for war were not true and, in fact, were probable lies or at least cherry picked evidence to initiate a policy long desired by many in the Bush administration including the President and Vice-President. George Bush iterated those lies to Congress and to the American people which has resulted in extraordinary death, destruction, crushed bodies and spirits. I think that rises to EXACTLY what our Founding Fathers meant when they used the words "high crimes."

Simply because the president has the Constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy and wage war does NOT give him the entitlement to lie us into a preconceived war which has catastrophically affected this nation and albeit the world. It does not give him the license to make a huge foreign policy blunder based on lies resulting in the deaths of thousands. If the high crimes and misdemeanors impeachment clause in our Constitution is not for the many egregious illegalities conducted by this administration to take our country to war and even expose a CIA agent then that clause, it seems to me, should be written out of the Constitution because it has no meaning for our time and place.

Many within the Axis powers of the 20th century were found guilty by a Nuremberg court which said their policies were out of bounds and, indeed, immoral. Had those heads of state lived they would have been subject to the jurisdiction of a court and undoubtedly convicted and rightfully so. Even though they were chief executives they did NOT have the right nor the moral gravity to unilaterally assault so much of humanity unjustifiably. Some human behaviors by especially those in power cannot and should not stand. I believe the parallel is apt.
George Bush and Richard Cheney were at the eye of the storm conducting those policies which have caused so much death and destruction to not only the American public but, indeed, the world. The cost has been huge. Although, it is unlikely George Bush and Richard Cheney will have to answer for their decisions or their lies and deceptions, I support the impeachment and conviction of both.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Legacy of Libby: It is astoundingly difficult to fathom the extent to which this administration has gone to perpetrate clearly unconstitutional behavior in order to secure their elements of power. What is more surprising, though, than power trying to secure its place, is how removed the American public is to the tremendous illegalities and the systemic constitutional affronts which have taken place. From lying to go to war costing thousands of lives and billions of wasted dollars to suspending habeas corpus, perpetrating warrant-less wiretaps and now, commuting and probably ultimately pardoning a political crony, I. Scooter Libby, to save its own posterior, this administration has been guilty of some of the most heinous and corrupt behavior in the history of this country. Why are only the few incensed? How can truly treasonous illegal activity in the highest levels of our government be ignored by the masses and impeachment of both Cheney and Bush by the Congress be off the table?

I do keep reminding myself that all of these usurpations of power have as their bulwark the attacks of 9/11 and the fact that there are forces who, no doubt, want to do us great harm and would, in fact, consider using unthinkable methods to do so. The nuclear age sometimes, I suspect, makes behavior, otherwise considered impossible, possible. Still, with that in mind, I believe wise leadership could have carved out a much more credible and intellectually astute response to 9/11. It could have captured global hearts and minds by instituting significantly more prescient leadership. It could have saved lives. Instead it lost those hearts and minds it had in the palm of its hand and alienated the world in the process. It created an Al Qaeda in Iraq which never existed before, threatened the stability of the entire Middle East and dismantled those liberties at home which once were sewn into the very fabric of the American system by those sagacious men of the 18th century.

The legacy of Scooter Libby, I believe, is this: We are a different nation than we were a moment ago and the fact that a Scooter Libby can get away with his heinous crimes without a national uproar is reflective of that difference. At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" He said "A republic if you can keep it." I certainly hope we can.