Friday, October 31, 2008

A Witness to History: Our nation is on the brink of history. For so many years I yearned for a better nation. For years I wondered where the era from which I was politically born, had gone. I wondered what happened to those values which promised the eternal flame of justice, truth, humanitarian ideals and no more war. I worried and even cried that our nation could be so divided and thought it eternally doomed so that I would never see what my parents loved about the FDR of their time. I worried that I would never again be inspired with hope and never again see the inherent humanity of our nation which I knew I saw once in America. I began to think we were eternally relegated to never-ending fear, never ending anger, never ending division, and never ending conflict.

It has been a long hard road traveled and we are not quite there yet, but, finally, if my suspicion is correct, those of us who care about the welfare of the many, the humanitarian rights of the powerless and the inherent decency of this nation, will be on the precipice of greatness once again. We are at the doorstep of hope just when I thought all hope was lost. Over the past, seemingly eternal, eight years, our country fell precipitously from its heights. Its principles were shattered, its Constitutional genius wasted, and an isolated America dug itself deeper in the hole of injustice every minute it could not shake off this tyranny.

A possibility, though, of renewal and reverse-course is at hand. The genius of America still exists and this is the moment I have lived for all of my life. The book of centuries of the cruelest and saddest moments in American history is turning a page into a new era. It is a new New Deal, a new New Frontier and a new Great Society. We are, indeed, a new nation of Americans united and standing up for and in love with our great American experiment.

Our nation, plagued by a stubborn racism which digs its heels into our DNA and contaminates our body politic by forces which pander to hatred and by ideologues who take advantage of its festering sore for their own enrichment, is rising from its simmering embers once again.

I believe Barack Obama will be our nation’s first black president and the 44th president of these United States. It is about time. I hope he stays safe and I hope his policies are wise for, I believe, he is not the great BLACK hope, he is not the great WHITE hope but he is the hope of ALL of us. We are, I believe, on the brink of history, the world is watching and I am ever so thankful I am witness to it.
Questioning Power: I offer two criticisms of the Catholic Church. It is not Catholicism itself I criticize. I criticize always the policies and tyranny of the few who are given power over the lives of many. There are two church policy issues with which I take exception today:

First: Today Pope Benedict suggested that a "test" should be given to future prospects for the priesthood which would look for any psychopathology before priests are accepted for ordination. The worrisome psychopathology about which the church ruminates since the costly sex scandals has to do with, obviously, sex. The church wants to see how intrinsic is a prospective priest's sexuality and, of course, most importantly, it wants to know if he harbors any homosexual inclinations. It especially wants to know if he has exhibited homosexual behavior within the past three years. Three is the magic number. If one can hold off on one's homosexual appetites for three years from when an application for the priesthood is received then the all clear whistle apparently sounds.

The utter ridiculousness of this prospect staggers the imagination. One would think, obviously enough, the very nature of sexuality IS intrinsic i.e. once one has determined one is homosexual he will be homosexual all of his life. Conversely, when one determines one is heterosexual one is heterosexual all of his life as well. One cannot pray homosexuality away as study after study shows and after legions of testimony exist from homosexuals to that fact. One can cover it up and one can overrule it but one cannot never erase it. Many have tried to overrule their bodily inclinations and failed. What is sexuality if it is not intrinsic to the core one's being? It is by its very nature intrinsic. The church's thought processes are disturbing. Sexual proclivity is SO strong and so all encompassing that it is inconceivable to expect a human being would deny its overwhelming and undeniable call. To do so, I submit, is difficult and, indeed, rare. A unisex institution with no opportunity for the adult male to appropriately channel his desires with other adults I submit fosters aberrant behavior sometimes of the most heinous and illegal kind.

Second: The beatification of Pius the XII, the pope who during World War II failed to shout out vociferously his opposition to the Nazi perpetration of its genocidal policies which would implement murderous remedies for the so called "Jewish question," has now been suspended. The Vatican today said it is putting on hold attempts to make Pius the XII (Giovanni Pacelli) a saint until it has enough time to "study" the papers relating to his era as Pope during the Nazi period. It does, however, still refuse to open up for public scrutiny ALL documents of that era it holds in its archives.

I become suspicious when a government, a church or any other institution of great power fails in transparency. I believe there is a right of its populous or -- in the case of a religious institution -- its parishioners to view its machinations as its adherents give it strong belief and mountains of money in support. When an institution hides documents, I believe, the institution has something to hide. If there is nothing to hide then why would the Vatican not want to show the papers for all to see reinforcing the Vatican's desire to make Pius XII a saint? I also wonder IF that institution would plod through those very documents with its own biased staff in order to dispose, shred or burn evidence which could be harmful to it. The many should harbor much suspicion of power as those in power have much control over the many.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The science of safe: It has been, throughout the centuries, a long hard slog to eschew the dark forces of superstition, untrue assumptions and reactionary often religious thought which kept man down. I have always thought this journey was a progressive one and that he would not regress. This administration and the development of its arm of religious fundamentalist extremists have proven my assumption false. In an instant, centuries of human progress can vanish as if it never existed at all. Mystical, mythological, superstitious and unproven reasons passed off as truth can kill.

The Bush administration has not only been guilty of denying science but of falsifying it. Whether it is through blocked out passages of scientific memos clearly identifying the relationship between green house gases and global warming or the treatment of the belief of creationism the same as evolutionary fact, the Bush administration has tried to deceive the masses. This should be an abomination to all when science can actually SEE and prove evolution at work. It can see DNA and it can see how DNA morphs over time. It can see the DNA of the AIDS virus as it changes no matter what chemicals are thrown against it. Science can see and actually calculate the age of the earth. It can prove the billions of years of the earth’s evolution.

Scientific truth is in front of our eyes but some would rather believe myths and superstition over truth simply because it makes them feel good. Religion is religion and science is science. The two are not the same and can never meet. Religion should be separate from the state for all time as, I believe, most of our Founders would have desired. Science will free us, cure us from disease, and make our lives easier. Religion will make us FEEL we are safe when in fact if we deny science “safe” could not be further from the truth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PERFECTION: The link below by Jane Smaley in Huffington Post is possibly one of the best, most cogent, correct and spot on articles I have EVER read. It says it all. I agree with every single paragraph 100% and then some. Smaley is a wonderful popular writer as well as a terrific analyzer of contemporary events. I urge you to read it and savor EVERY paragraph. She is EXACTLY correct in everything she says. I could have written (perhaps not as wonderfully as she) the same thing and wish I had!


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-smiley/goodbye-cruel-world_b_138755.html

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OOPS: I must have missed the very end of H.D.S. Greenway's editorial when he stated that perhaps Barack Obama is more like Mr. Smith. Now that's more like it. I concur!
Emperor's No Clothes: H.D.S. Greenway's October 28th article Character Trumping Experience comparing Sarah Palin to James Stewart's clean Gene character in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is ridiculous. While Mr. Smith and Ms. Palin's words may find a home on the populist ear, Mr. Smith really WAS clean. Sarah Palin is a sham. She lies, divides, eschews pork and then takes a big barrel full. She accepts a bridge to nowhere but when it becomes unpopular returns it but keeps the money. Sarah Palin is about glitz with no substance. Mr. Smith was about substance minus the glitz. He stood for something. Sarah Palin's words mean nothing and, therefore, she doesn't really stand for anything. Sarah Palin is much like the rest of her party. She is the, in this case, woman behind the curtain along side the emperor wearing no clothes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Tide Is Turning: Today, I stood in rather chilly weather aside a busy highway in my town with others carrying signs supporting Barack Obama. By my estimate, I believe, we heard fifty car honks and thumbs up approvals for Obama to one thumbs down against him. It was, to say the least, for me, gratifying. I, however, do not want to be overconfident, know about October surprises, national nightmares and even the press miscall of the 1948 Dewey/Truman contest. I cannot help now thinking, though, my long dark national nightmare of Republican rule may finally be coming to an end.

If Barack wins it will be for a multitude of reasons. At the top of rationale list is, of course, the nosedive of an unregulated economy gone haywire, government bailouts of huge corporate entitles and an administration which says one thing about the little guy but offers that little guy no relief from foreclosed homes, tanking 401Ks and healthcare burdens while the corporate giants fly away with humongous golden parachutes in hand to California resorts.

Republican candidates never have been about Joe the Plumber. They have always been about AIG and Lehman big wigs and their Senate mouthpieces like John McCain, his good pal Phil Grahm deregulator supreme and Bush & Co. jogging right along side. The genius of the Republican strategy since Nixon has been the brilliant scheme of getting the American public to believe the Republican Party is about the majority of them. The Party convinced them by wrapping itself in the American flag, telling the public that no one is as patriotic as Republicans and that Joe Six Pack and patriotic hockey moms everywhere should come along with them for the morality ride. Many marched to the tune of that cacophonous beat for over thirty years.

Sarah Palin is a metaphor for that party. Her beauty pageant adorable image and her so seemingly patriotic aura is a sham. In reality the woman behind the curtain and her party are incompetent unreflective unqualified hypocrites as they march off, seemingly under the public purview, to Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and other high-end stores to dutifully spend $150,000 bucks on clothing for her and her family about which the average American can only dream.

Add to the Republican malfeasance a war on terror gone sour, wasted lives in Iraq and the scandal plagued presidency of George W. Bush the brew has been a toxic Republican stew. For all those reasons and so many more, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I believe the tide is finally turning. I can only fervently hope Barack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This is a response I gave to a friend who had written on her blog which talked about the 'material girl' who is none other than Sarah Poor Palin and her $150,000 wardrobe. She says in her blog 'I do not yet have clarity as to why this woman grates on me so.' I understood her feeling.

http://yomamaforobama.wordpress.com

My response: I share with you an unmitigated disdain for that woman. Its NOT her beauty as I have met plenty of beautiful women and not disdained them. I suppose, if I had to search my soul for the rationale behind my fever it is that the one thing above anything else I value is intellect. I would, if given a choice, pick intellectual ability and a Faustian knowledge of everything over gobs of cash any day. Sarah Palin has less intellectual ability than the third grader whose question of just what a VP does she could not answer. It is shameful. I would be ashamed NOT to have a McCain sign on my lawn with HIS name on it but to have a sign with the name of know nothing Palin right underneath.

McCain's Choice of Palin as VP, as conservative intellectual Peggy Noonan so presciently alluded, has sealed his fate. He will never be President of the United States and I predict Palin's return to ignominious hockey mom governor of a distant state and to the primordial ooze from whence she came.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Exceptionally Unacceptable: Wonderful article by H.D.S. Greenway in the October 21, 2008 edition of The Globe entitled "The Grand Illusion of American Power." He refers to BU educator, historian, military man and conservative, Andrew Bacevich, who now takes exception to the prevailing myth in American culture of American exceptionalism. Even Sarah Palin, perhaps albeit coached, still talks about American exceptionalism. She, of course, unequivocally believes in it and so do her followers.

I have long had a tug of war with my own conscience as to whether I do. Howard Zinn, historian and eminent professor at Boston University, in the late 60's, first introduced me to the concept of American exceptionalism and its folly when I listened to lectures by him in the late 1960's critical of US policy in Vietnam and elsewhere. His influence never left me. I was shocked at that time that American government policy could even be questioned. I assumed the US was always right in everything it did domestically and, most especially, internationally. I believed it was, indeed, exceptional. Professor Zinn , however, encouraged me, to possess an omnipresent doubt NOT of our country's values but of government policy which carries out its own interpretation of those values.

Vietnam, in that era, was the first time I conscientiously asked if our government was doing the right and moral thing. Since then other policies in many other areas of the world including the present day bombing of Iraq I deem not only questionable but immoral. My stint at Boston University at that time began my sojourn which prompted me to question government and speak my truth to power. The United States of America has done much good in the world that, I believe, cannot be denied but its government policy has often fallen short. When the heretofore exceptional becomes unacceptable it is time to reevaluate it and change course.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Worst of the Worst: Responding to Alex Beam's front page question in the Living & Arts Section of The Globe: Is it possible that George W. Bush isn't the worst president in our nation's history?

The answer is NO it is not possible. George Bush has been responsible for killing thousands, horrifically wounding tens of thousands of soldiers some for life, killing and wounding perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents, displacing another million, ruining a country which did nothing to us thereby destabilizing the entire Middle East. He ran up trillions of dollars in debt while taking our country to a war based on lies, giving no bid wasteful contracts to cronies who were failures at doing much of their work, failing to attend to our veterans health issues including the scandals at Walter Reed Army Hospital, failing to prevent 9/11, failing to capture Osama bin Laden, failing to create a prescient foreign policy with which to attend to the war on terror, diverting our attention away from Afghanistan, failing to promote an Israeli/Palestinian peace, losing US stature in the world, employing torture and weakening if not eliminating the Geneva Conventions, spying on innocent Americans wasting taxpayer money, failing to fix problems of infrastructure, failing to act during one of the worst hurricane devastation in US history, failing to change the US health care system -- one of the worst systems in the western world --, presiding over a Republican controlled Congress rife with scandal, using the Department of Justice for political purposes, destroying the concept of habeas corpus the pinnacle of a free society, expanding the powers of the presidency to monarchical proportions, and he is responsible for one of the worst economic catastrophes since the Great Depression plunging our country and the world into significant recession. Add to those indictments the numerous scandals within the administration, the guilt of exposing the identity of a CIA agent to ramp up an unnecessary war and, oh yes, lest one forget, the dubious handling of the anthrax attacks, the 43rd president of the United States has been responsible for the deaths and misery of thousands. George Bush's paucity of intellect, stubbornness and inability to weigh options, make George W. Bush, in my opinion, the worst president in US history bar none!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palin, Patriotism and Perfection: Sure, if one loves utterly empty-headed mindless blather hiding behind the national anthem and the American flag, Sarah know-nothing and say-nothing Palin is your candidate of choice. I have more qualifications to be president than she and I have none.

That cerebrally vapid, vacuous and meaningless blabbering she utters is responsible for the domestic and international catastrophes we find ourselves in today. The trillion buck debt she talks about was ushered in by her party. Her bridge to nowhere was accepted by her before it was rejected but she kept the money anyway and built a road to nowhere. She is a hypocrite supreme. As long as she says things we love to hear, though, and she looks great saying them she'll get some ardent fans. Could we think for 1 and 1/2 seconds before accepting everything someone says because it sounds and makes us feel oh so good?

Some like her because they don't like to self reflect and critically examine the history and policy of this country. They want the country to be Leave it to Beaver land. Well, reality speaks. The country is not Leave it to Beaver land and it never was. It surely never was if one was black or Indian or female living a second class citizen life for centuries. Maybe patriotism is tinged with a bit more cynicism when those of us who understand history really examine its substance and objectively look at its truth without all the soothing glitter.

If one looks at Sarah Palin and John McCain's audiences they are nearly all older and white. This country, though, is changing its hue and I suspect that group does not like what it sees. So Sarah Palin's rhetoric calms their palpitating hearts and makes them feel so much better. Sure cotton candy looks so good but in truth its empty calories are bad for you. Patriotism without critical reflection is easy but it is distinctly toxic as it values mindless superficialities over substantive analysis. The right wing patriotic supremes had their chance for the past eight years. Their imperfect platitudinous policies are why we are in the mess we are in, that is why picture perfect Palin will not prevail, and that is why Barack Obama with a new kind of patriotism will win in November!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Divided Nation: I believe we are a profoundly divided nation and have been for a very long time. It took a civil war of decidedly Herculean proportions to unite -- albeit reluctantly -- two sides of the slavery and its secessionist states rights issues. Lincoln's true genius, I believe, resided in his determination not only to keep the country together but his ability, after the Civil War, to try to unite the divide. His plans for renewal and healing during the reconstruction period were dashed, of course, upon his assassination. The elimination of white supremacy and eradication of the sentiments of interposition and nullification died with him. History has meaning and, thus, I believe we pay the price, still, for President Lincoln's untimely death. Race continues to be the Achilles heel, the sore that festers, and the ugliness which shows its face through a democratic facade.

It has been, I think, the tragedy of this nation that leadership in the modern era never emerged which had the ability to galvanize our nation to ameliorate this rancid division and concentrate on the issues of our time. Not only did leadership not have the ability to rectify our seemingly eternal divide it, indeed, exacerbated it by using it to capture one group to gain the power of the presidency. Beginning most extraordinarily with the presidency of Richard Nixon who used his euphemistic moral majority law and order code words against the black civil rights uprisings of the late 60's and ending now with the campaign of John McCain trying assiduously to tie Barack Obama preposterously to a man named Ayers, a sixties radical who committed his misdeeds when Obama was eight years old, Republicans have lassoed and hog tied one-half of a mostly white southern and Midwestern electorate to hoodwink them into thinking the Republican Party is about them. They dupe them to believe only they will save them from the black menace and the BLACK man possibly entering the WHITE house. They do not say that outright, of course, but the message is evident all the same. Just who is Barack Obama John McCain asks stealthily. Sarah Palin, a woman of ethical mishaps and a paucity of intelligence screams, too, in her inimitable way with a wink and a beauty contestant smile, and raises suspicions that Barack Obama cannot be trusted. People at their rallies yell, scream terrorist and ask for Obama's life. His life mind you.

Finally, John McCain has raised his voice against the cacophonous hate -filled rants. Perhaps, he does not want to be accused, if God forbid, there is an attempt on Obama's life, of being responsible for inciting a horrific violence which could end this nation as we know it. Nonetheless, he continues his media ads. His unqualified vice presidential choice piercingly suggests ad nauseum the ridiculous suspicions about Obama.

As patriotic as the right wing would have us believe it is, it is a stew of extraordinarily violent unconscionable beliefs where someone somewhere possibly exists who will be encouraged by a mob -like mentality to commit a dastardly violent act to eliminate a perceived threat and consider himself a patriot by doing so. Our leaders often play with our lives and then think a few words can erase all the damage they have done.

Instead, wouldn't it be nice to finally put our national malady to rest and have a leader emerge to resurrect Abraham Lincoln's quest to erase our racial divide which has paralyzed our nation? It would be nice in our perilous time if a John McCain would emulate his so called "party of Lincoln" and say what Lincoln said in his second inaugural address in 1865: "with charity for all and malice toward none let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds ... ." Wouldn't that be nice?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Second Debate -- Another Home Run: It was so clear and so evident by last night's debate who is the better candidate to be president of the United States. Now, in our perilous times, electing Barack Obama, is the most important occurrence in the history of our country and, indeed, for the survival of our planet. Government, as entrusted by our Founders in our Constitution, is to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. Without effective government we will not have safety and security, a functioning economy, a healthy population, an intact infrastructure or even a planet. Without government none of these life sustaining mandates will be possible. I submit government has NOT been the problem it has been and is a necessary solution to the huge imperatives of our time.

These problems are so huge that government is the only vehicle we have which can make a difference. Senator Obama was firm, Senator Obama was decisive, Senator Obama was most of all acutely intelligent and correct. He provided clear statements of purpose, did not not ramble in vague generalities and give us an empty cheerleader pep talk as, I believe, Senator McCain did.

Those generations who succeed us and depend upon us to solve the problems of our day will thank us if we elect Barack Obama. By employing government policies in partnership with and oversight of our economic system, we can construct policies that work. A change in leadership through Barack Obama has not only the ability but necessary and, I believe, correct philosophy that will determine our survival. It is THAT important. Our time awaits a new New Deal and I believe Senator Obama can provide it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sarah Palin, while surprising some after the debate, did not surprise me. She remains, in my opinion, utterly unqualified for the job of Vice President of the United States, one heartbeat away from an aged man who has had four bouts of cancer. As I watched the debate, I could see how she made a wonderful beauty contest contestant. I could also envision her as cheerleader or majorette in a Thanksgiving Day Parade. Envisioning her as president, however, sent chills down my spine.

Governor Palin did not answer questions and by fact checking one could easily observe she got many answers incorrect or, perhaps, she downright lied. She showed she was excellent at robotically parroting and remembering talking points drilled into her for days by conservative experienced politicos. She failed, however, to generate specifics on issues or show a seasoned understanding of the complexities of policy. Her rote reciting of script at break-neck speed while reading the notes before her made me feel like I had just ingested five cups of coffee. I wanted at times to turn the on switch off or at least ask her to put periods at the end of sentences. The 36 year veteran of the Senate, Joe Biden, unequivocally ruled the debate and showed an understanding and grasp of policy which Governor Palin could not remotely approach.

In addition, there were many questions which the moderator, Gwen Eiffel, did not address either initially or in follow up. GovernorPalin's religious apocalyptic views are of supreme importance. Her views against abortion, staggeringly even in cases of incest, should have been asked. Of all her qualities which make her one of the most unqualified candidates to ever run for the second highest office in the land her fundamentalist religious beliefs are the most worrisome. Not only are they responsible for an utter lack of understanding and knowledge of scientific veracity on issues like evolution, stem cell research and most importantly global warming but her apocalyptic views of the so called "end times" could, indeed, lead her to believe that by pushing the nuclear button she will usher in the return of Christ. This should give every thinking, rational person who loves science and truth pause when they even consider pushing the voting booth button for Palin!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My economics maven cousin's analysis. Sounds correct to me but then again I'm no math/economics wizard as most of you know!

The Goose and the Gander


The major, overwhelming mistake our government made in the so-far failed bailout is not including the American public in their deliberations. The administration, Paulson and Bernanke, and our legislators, while totally willing to saddle the taxpayers with almost a trillion dollar debt, meet behind closed doors, offering us no transparency on their decisions.

This is exactly what we have been subjected to over the last eight years, especially with the war in Iraq: secrecy, smoke-filled room decisions. There have been no explanations of, or accountability to, their many special interests and corporations who reaped the only rewards from these murky, hasty decisions. So now Joe and Jane America have loudly voiced their disapproval of any bailout. Their (mainly Republican) lawmakers have heeded those warnings because we do have an election right down the road.

This is perhaps the ultimate irony. After Bush, crying “wolf” one time too many, has warned us repeatedly about this crisis or another, the public is very reluctant to believe him about the imminent financial unraveling now. Truth be told, and believe me I DO NOT have a great grasp of this situation, we probably DO need some kind of governmental, regulatory package. Many freighters are sitting in ports all over the globe waiting to be refueled, which can not happen until their line of credit opens up again. The same holds true for commercial airlines: their constant need to refuel is based on a line of credit from their suppliers. Also, many municipalities can not raise the funds needed to make new infrastructure investments or repairs to the existing ones. They need to fund these projects with new bond issues. These new municipal debentures, in this tightened and iffy credit reality, can not get funded. Thus, the repair and new construction of schools, roads and other municipal obligations are not happening. Also, this drying up of municipal funds has serious effects down the road with respect to job creation. So without knowing the extent of specific repercussions of this credit crunch, there is and will be some very negative effects. The severity of this crisis is probably somewhere between the dire predictions of the Feds and the “screw Wall Street” attitude of the public. But how ironic is it that now, when we most likely really DO have a crisis on our hands, the members of Bush’s party refuse to believe him and take action?

Which brings to mind another observation: yes, an unaccountable and greedy government and Wall Street definitely must take a large part of the blame. BUT SO MUST MAIN STREET. Their mindset of take while the taking is good has been just as culpable. Not only has the government been irresponsibly spending money it doesn’t have, but so too have individuals. What is the average American’s credit card debt? $10,000? $20,000? When offered a mortgage that seems too good to be true (damn the small writing that makes those mortgage payments double, even triple, in three to five years), Joe and Jane signed on the dotted line without first doing their homework.

So now Joe and Jane want a bailout too. I do believe that after all of these years of trickle DOWN economics, we should try the trickle UP sort. So start with the public, instead of Wall Street. But know, that just as their must be CONSEQUENCES for greed based, stupid behavior on the monumental scale of the government or corporation, so there must be CONSEQUENCES on an individual basis. It is just like a bratty kid who, in order to change his horrible behavior, must suffer some consequences followed by consistent vigilance.

So of course, help out the average American. Give him some peace of mind by raising the FDIC insurance on bank accounts to $250,000. Do away with some of those taxes that unfairly hit the middle class. But by all means, do not remove all the consequences of his naive, if not greedy, behavior that got him into this predicament in the first place. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the government and corporations need to be accountable for their irresponsible behavior, so must the average American.

Let us institute new regulations to stem the possibility of future debacles and do our best to enforce them. For the short term let us indeed put into place those policies that would safeguard our economy and financial well-being. But the greed and foolhardiness, exhibited on a governmental, corporate and individual level can not, MUST NOT be totally erased. Some pain must remain, some consequences must result.

The government, big business AND the regular American must work together on these issues. The American taxpayers must be included on the debate and policy formation, not just handed the bill for it. When that happens, IF that happens, maybe the resulting shared responsibility can lead to shared goals and shared prosperity. Or at least, government, corporate and individual solvency. I would settle for solvency, wouldn’t you?
The goose would, and so should the gander.
The sickening views or -- LACK OF THEM -- of Sarah Palin are astounding. Even I, an amateur, formed political opinions after honing them over decades. The opinions I maintain have been determined after much study, much interest and a HUGE amount of continuous reasoning. I did much study in college but continued that study life long. My opinions, too, required standing on the shoulders of many giants who make up authoritative thought on different sides of the political debate. How a Vice Presidential candidate could be SO ignorant and so unable to enunciate a complexity of thought or of any thought is incredible to me.

Some of the questions she was asked could have been finessed easily. She was asked what Supreme Court cases she considers important BESIDES Roe v. Wade. She could not answer. I would have thought the FIRST Supreme Court case for her could have been Bush v. Gore. This case is probably the rationale that she is running on the McCain ticket today.

How about Marbury v. Madison? Any student of government knows this was THE landmark case during the nascent years of our nation in 1803 which made possible the right of judicial review and established the Supreme Court as an interpreter of our Constitution. There are, of course, EASY ones known to high school students such as the Dred Scott Decision reinforcing our most long-lasting racial divide which lead eventually to the Civil War, one of our country's most defining moments.

I thought of the 1962 decision of Baker v. Carr which began the judicial mandate of one person one vote. I also thought of Griswold v. Connecticut establishing a right to privacy not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Of course, one of the MOST important landmark cases Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the long standing separate but equal decision of Plessy v. Fergusson she SURELY should have known. These cases are basic to the foundation of our Republic. CERTAINLY a vice presidential candidate should know them and it is nothing less than staggering that she knew none.

MOST unbelievably, though, she could NOT name MAGAZINES when Couric asked her which ones she read. At least she COULD have said Time Magazine or Newsweek. Okay, maybe the New Yorker or the Atlantic would be too liberal or Reason Magazine, Foreign Affairs or Le Monde would be a bit cerebral. HOWEVER, Sarah Palin is a Vice Presidential candidate one heart beat away! Perhaps she could have said the conservative National Review reflecting her own alleged point of view. Maybe she does read Field and Stream. What does that magazine have to do with being a Vice Presidential candidate? It has as much to do with being a VP candidate as the foreign policy experience she said Alaska's geographical proximity to Russia gave her. I rest my case.