Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I attach a link -- http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinion/letters/x2109423246/Rosen-Hope-for-the-futurel
to the Metro West News where there are some oppositions to my opinion letters supporting Obama. I inclusively responded to them the following:

It is impossible to talk about THIS election without mentioning George W. Bush or John McCain. This election is, after all, ABOUT electing either John McCain or Barack Obama. This election is in RESPONSE to the presidency of George W. Bush and Republican party policies. Unfortunately, to court the religious right, McCain whom I admired in 2000, is an anathema to me now because he tries very hard to reflect that less-than-thoughtful mostly religious base of the Republican party. It is impossible to address issues without mentioning both George Bush and John McCain. They are nearly mirror images of one another. In my opinion, George Bush has ushered in the most corrupt and utterly tyrannical administration in this history of this country. He has put all of us at great risk. The policies one spoke of (including 9/11) that were so disastrous happened on his watch. Pelosi, et al while admittedly APPEARING weak in some ways did not have the numbers to overrule the Bush disaster.

Moreover, I am, after 59 years, most assuredly not so naive as to think Barack Obama is the savior for everything. Of course, I know that. I regret if I gave that impression. I do not think that. I do not believe in messiahs. However, last civics book I viewed mentioned that third parties were rather ineffective in this country. In view of that, the choice now is between two candidates. I do believe of those two that Barack Obama is by far the better choice. He is, of course, younger and, in my opinion, more intellectually astute. He will support not only a foreign policy I agree with more but a social policy that is more acceptable to me as well.

I can assure one insulting blogger that when taking 'civics', I did NOT 'look out the window'. My minor in college was political science. That most assuredly does not make me an expert. It does though, I would like to think, make for opinion that, hopefully, has a background of expertise which cultivated it. Over decades I have given my opinions much thought as I waxed throughout the years from the left to the right and back again.

We define differently what we think is good policy for our nation. I want a more just, more humane, and less belligerently bellicose country. I think that Barack Obama and the Democratic party can best provide more of what I want than can John McCain and the Republican party. Barack Obama certainly, though, cannot and will not do it all. George Bush and his cronies have assured us of that.

I added another comment addressing a point I omitted.

Calling Obama Osama is not only insulting to the senator it is juvenile. It reminds me of children on a third grade playground. If I said More of the Same Pain McCain, for example, people would criticize me and quite rightly so.

In addition, Biblical quotations are ineffective when arguing politics. For every quotation one can find and equal and opposite Biblical phrase. The Bible is filled with contradictions. As stated in my previous response, I do not think Senator Obama is a savior and I do not believe human beings messiahs. Rather, Senator Obama promulgates policy and belongs to a party that is more in accord with my political beliefs. He has voted, by my standard, correctly on most issues.

I do realize that both the Republican and the Democratic parties are guilty for the mess our nation is in. However, it is clear, and has been for decades, that there is a DECIDED difference between the two parties although both admittedly depend inordinately on monied interests for their survival. Despite that, I submit, for example, the Iraq invasion and occupation would NEVER have occurred if Gore had been the victor in the Supreme Court presidential choice of 2000. We would have four thousand men, who are now dead, alive. Moreover, we probably would have captured Bin Laden, the REAL perpetrator of the 9/11 tragedy. I even postulate that 9/11 may NOT have happened since a President Gore would most likely have heeded the myriad of clues and one prescient memo which said 'Osama Bin Laden to attack the US.' Bush smugly and stupidly ignored that crucial memo and a number of other warnings from outgoing Clinton administration officials regarding the danger of Al Qaeda.

I can point, too, to other social issues which might have been different had a Democrat held the reins of power. A relative of mine, a former Harvard College, Harvard Medical graduate, a physician and person of professional/personal excellence has a debilitating disease similar to Lou Gherig's disease which shortened his career, placed him in a wheelchair, and relegated him to a life of much suffering. A Gore presidency might have helped, through stem cell research, cure his tragic malady. Our nation could have been, for the past eight years, at the forefront of research and cures for hideous diseases through the use of stem cells. Can you imagine, too, the effort a Gore administration would have devoted to the environment and reversing global warming? Instead of life AFFIRMING policies the Bush administration has been responsible for the unnecessary death of thousands many of whom are children and other innocents. For ALL these things and so much more, I believe the Democratic and Republican parties are more than SIGNIFICANTLY different. They are LIFE SAVING different.

I disagree with you. All politicians are NOT the same despite many being placed into office by corporate interests. The common people like you and I (as you put it), do occasionally get a vote.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Audacity of Joan Vennochi: For those of you who do not know Joan Vennochi is a very popular Boston Globe columnist. Often I agree with her sentiments but it seems the times I disagree with her I do so with great ire. Her article in the Sunday, July 20, 2008 Boston Globe entitled "The Audacity of Ego" was such a time. She brazenly stated, among many other unflattering things, that "Obama has a crush on Obama." She goes on to give her irrational rationales. I stated the following in an email to her:

Try as I might not to be paranoid about the real mission of the corporate media to defend its own corporate interests and keep things Republican, I cannot. Although many articles you write are well done yet again I find myself enraged by your Sunday editorial The Audacity of Ego, concentrating on the alleged uber ego of Barack Obama.

Now, really Ms. Venocchi, I do not know of a political candidate, now or in history who does not or did not have an abundance of ego. In fact, I might aver that a certain amount of ego is necessary. I cannot in all of US history find the meek among our presidents. I am quite sure Senator Obama has ego but I am MORE than sure John McCain has a substantial amount of that as well. In addition, if what I read in the news and from what people I meet say who actually have had contact with John McCain is true, not only does he have ego but he has an abundant supply of profanity and insults toward most especially women. In addition, I have heard from some reputable sources that he treats his support staff abysmally and generally has a mean temper-filled temperament.

We know, too, that he has not done much to ensure the sanctity of marriage as he divorced his first wife and married his second turning in his first wife for a healthier and younger specimen. His oft-told vituperative profane comment to his current wife is well known and a recent horrific joke he does not deny saying but has conveniently forgotten is up for discussion and allegedly verfied by some. This truly says something about John McCain.

John Mccain has MUCH to answer for that Senator Obama does not. Whether its his constant flip flops on policy, lack of knowledge of international events and facts, lack of understanding on things economic or his profane behavior towards women I'd say John McCain has audacious ego and PLENTY of it!! How about commenting on that?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Joke is on us: I am no apologist for John McCain. I am an ardent Democrat and support the Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama. However, whether it is McCain's bad joke or the New Yorker Magazine's bad cover page, we must eschew the media's attempt at sensationalizing and pop culturizing absolutely EVERYTHING a candidate says and every movement he makes. It is the media's attempt to get viewers to watch and by doing so it is their attempt to make themselves very very rich.

Ad infinitum commentary on a joke, a fist bump, a turban picture, a minister's utterances have no importance in relation to the desperate issues facing our country and the world today. We are a nation facing an abyss. Wasting time talking about things ridiculous will be tragic for our nation. We face a probable recession if not depression, we face eternal war, we face killing and dying, we face a planet melting, we face systemic corruption and an erosion of the essence of what makes us free. In short, we face a tyrannical Orwellian world. The American public must take an interest in the forces of history and understand just what it will mean if a particular candidate takes office. We must recognize what is important and concentrate on the nuance of policy not the insanity of superficiality. We must discuss the issues and the issues alone. Our lives, our planet's life and our country's life depend upon it. Wake up, America, before it is too late.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our Only Hope: I had polio in 1954 which left one leg completely paralyzed. I, through, my father's work with the March of Dimes and his love for Franklin Roosevelt, saw the wonder of the profound changes one man could bring. The changes Franklin Roosevelt initiated affect my life today. Because of three fractures of my polio affected leg and complications of post polio syndrome I no longer could work at a job I did for nearly 30 years. I can see how one man influenced for the better the lives of millions as his work walked from generation to generation. Without social security I would be lost.

We live, I believe, in a mirror image of that catastrophic time where looming war fused with disastrous economic conditions is born out of corrupt Republican policies and philosophies which do not work. Those policies did not work in 1929 and they do not work now. Government is not the ONLY answer but it is ONE IMPORTANT answer to profound difficulties which are beyond the ability of the suffering many to improve. We have an economic system because of the disastrous policies of George W. Bush which has run wild and we have a war which will cost trillions. Recession if not depression is looming and horrendous debt emanating from a war which should not have been waged is the reality. Barack Obama truly is our hope. The hope in me was born from a man with polio whom I never knew. He lifted this nation up, restored its vitality and GAVE us a reason to hope.

I never thought I would see again the hope my father saw in FDR those many years ago. I was wrong. I DO see hope again. Hope is here. Hope is now. I can only pray the country sees it is here too by electing Barack Obama its next president. Lives are at stake, our country is at stake and the world awaits a better day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Killer: HBO's "Generation Kill" is phenomenal. It is a dramatization of an embed experience with US soldiers while en route in 2003 to Iraq. As the series progresses it is supposed to reflect the milieu of the US soldier as they slog through the Iraq War experience. I do not know how the film crew got the logistics together so expertly or how they acquired such a perfect cast but they did. It is probably one of the best if not THE best docudrama ever shown.

The violence, at least in the first episode, was NOT an issue for me as the episode concentrated on the relationships and the character of the group more than what they were there to do i.e. kill. Despite the possibility of watching violence as the war unfolds, I believe this drama is a must see.

I have very mixed emotions. I am a realist. I know the realities of an often brutal world. Our soldiers, I believe, are the only ones standing between us and world assault against us. However, their culture as depicted in the film, and often their views, are hard for me to take. This film presents an image of our military which while showing its incredible strength and phenomenal professionalism also shows a condescending cruelty, some extreme right wing political philosophies, love for the fight and love for killing to which I cannot relate. There is plenty of white supremacism thrown into the mix with the verbal constancy of crude vicious hatred of all things homosexual and insults spewed often towards women.

Their views toward Iraqis are often ones of indifference and a lack of cultural understanding. They are incredulous by what they see. The military hierarchy in its ineptness sees fit to give them but one Iraqi translator. Didn’t someone in the Pentagon think that our soldiers just might want to communicate with those they confront, capture or wound? I cannot even imagine how an Iraqi felt as they cowed their head in fear of the alien American assault. The two humanities saw each other but did not understand what they saw. It seemed as if the two peoples were from different planets.

Perhaps underneath all of the crudity, profanity, significant racism and sexist comments lies a profound fear for what the Marines are about to encounter. Perhaps, in the final analysis, our soldiers are more than Marines. They are human beings and young boys with incredible energy, Herculean bodies and brute strength playing the war games they loved as a child. This time though the stakes are higher. They cannot end the game when they want and go home to mom. War transcends the macho machismo that feels and looks so good. War means death, it means disability, it means fear and it means tragedy. It means making the once invincible vincible. It means encountering things made only of nightmares. No war can avoid that. I think these Marines despite their bravado know that deep down underneath. These soldiers are in the military because they WANT to be. Why they do is beyond me. This program is riveting. It is, uniquely, television at its very best.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bill Moyers on his blog asked the following: "We're asking our guests and our viewers what is their vision for the future of the American Dream — and how we can achieve those visions."

The American Dream, in my opinion, has always been and, I believe, continues to be an idea of hope. It is the hope that one's economic progression can can spread and, indeed, improve from generation to generation. It is the idea that the achievement of a comfortable existence can cut across class and social lines. The old rigid class monarchical structure that was much European and world history is not, at least ideally, cemented in the American system. Our system allows for the possibility or at least the hope that one can, irrespective of class and, in more recent history, race, incrementally achieve a better life. It is the hope that the ossification of a rigid class system will not prevent that achievement.

The ideals of that hope, though, walk hand-in-hand with the freedoms and Constitutional protections our form of government provides. The security that prevents the threat of government usurping those freedoms without just cause makes, in my opinion, our American Dream possible. It allows the individual the opportunity to devote his or her energy to that personal improvement and to that pursuit of happiness making the expenditure of the adrenaline imperative of basic physical survival unnecessary. Our Constitutional protections ALLOW us the luxury to develop our own happiness. I believe, the American Dream is not possible without one ensuring the other.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Nuclear Nightmare: A UTUBE of Ron Paul discussed the absolute eventuality of a blockade, an attack and an eventual nuclear attack of Iran. He makes a convincing case that it is at hand. I responded on that possibility in a blog.

It is beyond my imagination that this country, after Afghanistan and the debacle of Iraq with little capacity to wage more war, would even contemplate striking Iran much less bomb them ultimately with nuclear weapons. I feel completely powerless. What can the average person do? Ron Paul is in the Senate, has some power, has a somewhat large following and yet he really is impotent when one looks at the national stage. Libertarians and progressives simply do not make up enough of the national psychic reality to reverse our course.

I believe there is a segment of this country especially within the Republican party which loves war. Let me rephrase that. They love the victory of war. Unfortunately, since WWII those victories have been few and far between because American foreign policy since then has been so stupidly and without foresight conducted. I think most Americans are angry for 9/11, so angry for the failure in Iraq (and Vietnam too), so angry at the pulsating furor of the Arab/Middle Eastern world against the west, and so angry for huge oil prices that they truly want to annihilate. I think many, if honesty could prevail, want to visit a nuclear obliterative war upon the Middle East without regard and without understanding the nature of their own desires, the countries involved and what the consequences will be.

Ron Paul has said and I believe it is true, Iran WILL strike back in some capacity. Other powers, albeit nuclear powers, may engage and our troops, 160,000 of them, will be caught in the middle. The Israelis will be caught in the middle too as nuclear dust and nuclear winters have regional and even world-wide consequences. Nuclear fallout knows no boundaries. The price of oil, of course, will be in the stratosphere and the dollar will be worthless. Our country, too, is not immune from the physical and medical consequences of a nuclear exchange.

I am reminded of Shakespeare's Macbeth: "If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twer well, it were done quickly" as we will all suffer the hellacious consequences. Severe burns, starvation, disease, cancer and death are some of the poisons nuclear war will bestow. Ridiculous to even say, no one will be converted and lifted into heaven. The destruction of billions of years of evolved life and the ruin of our beautiful planet is impossible to understand but understand it we must. I simply hope that somehow the better angels of our nature prevail among those who have the real power to do something. There are a few voices who want to stop this insanity. We must become the many before it is too late as the hour I fear draws near.

Friday, July 04, 2008

What is Patriotism?: The word patriotism comes from the Latin patria which, of course, means country. Patriotism has come to mean love of country. But what does that mean? To be sure patriotism in Russia or Syria means something quite different than it does in the United States. Why? It does, it seems to me, because the tenets by which our nation functions bestowed by history to which most here subscribe are wholly different than they are in many other countries of the world. Love of country, in my opinion, means more than simply a love of this government or that which happens to occupy the seats of power. Love of country, I believe, means love of those rights and responsibilities which are enumerated Constitutionally and without which we would be subject to the abuse of government. Love of country means something different than love of the government. Patriotism to me means MONITORING the government watching ever vigilantly how it uses the power the governed bestows upon it. It means loving not the particular government or its policies but loving the FORM of government which our prescient Founders and men of the Enlightenment carefully crafted and which they hoped would last.

That form of government encompasses many things. Love of that form of government for me is the essence of patriotism. I love our freedom to speak, to write, to worship (or not), I love being able to petition the government for redress of grievance, I love habeas corpus so that the whim of some government cannot simply lift you from your home whisk you off to a place unknown to do as they wish without bringing you to a court to give you the opportunity to state your case and provide you with a defense, I love that government troops cannot be quartered in one's home, I love that we are free from government intrusion without cause in our personal life, I love our trial by jury, I love our separation of powers and the specific construct of our government. Love of our country means loving all of that because, in short, THAT is what our country is about.

Those precious rights so many take for granted are now under assault. Men of this particular government have sought to use this moment in history with all its attendant fear, to ignore those rights which are the foundation of all things patriotic. We MUST be vigilant. It is our duty to monitor tyranny when we see it. To do anything less is NOT patriotic. Benjamin Franklin when asked what form of government the Founders had constructed said: "we have a republic IF you can keep it." Patriotism is, it seems to me, making sure that we do.
FISA Ferment: We have only two candidates from whom to choose. The presidency literally can mean the difference between life and death in our nation and, indeed, in the world. Whether it's a national health care plan we so desperately need as a nation, the absence of war we so desperately need as world citizens, environmental clean-up we so desperately need as a planetary civilization, a Supreme Court which will ensure individual rights over corporate rights, racial fairness over subliminal racism, the right to choose what we do with our own bodies, the right to determine whom we want to love and with whom we share a life and yes, the sanctity of our civil liberties over unbridled power and because of a thousand other issues, we must, even though we may not like a few specific policy points, avidly support the election of Senator Obama. We must, as difficult for some as it may be, ignore a few disputed issues because we support his position on many other issues. Not to do so is to divide us and ensure the election of John McCain. We MUST NOT do this. The stakes are too great and our civilization is at risk. More of the same McCain is UNACCEPTABLE. I can live with the few policy issues with which I may disagree because I AGREE with so many others. If John McCain is elected I will agree with none. The choice is ours. The choice is change NOT more of the same. To me it's that simple.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It is hard to believe nearly seven years after 9/11 and the search for Bin Laden that he may be dying of kidney disease. Bin Laden will, of course, be a martyr to his minions. For at least two of those years directly after 9/11, I looked on the Internet every single day sometimes in the wee hours of the morning to see if our forces captured that monument to evil. What a colossal disappointment and an example of team Bush's utter ineptitude that after so many years Bin Laden may be dying of natural rather than US military causes.

This country looks impotent as the REAL perpetrator of the horrors of 9/11 lives out his natural life. His henchmen breath free too while the US got embroiled in an endless unnecessary war in Iraq for oil completely unrelated to 9/11. The war goes on in perpetuity with even one presidential candidate, John McCain, supposedly with foreign policy as his strong suit, saying we could be an occupying force for 100 years. The devaluation of the dollar while we borrow ad infinitum to pay for this war, the waste of this country's resources not to mention the incalculable expenditure life is unfathomable and utterly disgusting!

Our entire foreign policy MUST be revisited. Oil must be eliminated as humanity's existential holy grail for survival. Alternative sources must be developed quickly. Wars for oil such as Iraq I and II with its attendant quagmire and intercontinental maze of bad policy puts our nation and the world at great risk.