Friday, December 31, 2010

Peace in our time: We know a lovely family which is composed of a Palestinian husband, a Jewish wife and their three lovely children. My words are beyond their ability to do justice this family's goodness. I was wished a happy New Year from them and responded in kind. I can only hope what I said to them is what transpires for all of us in a New Year. If I had the power I would make it happen. Collectively we can if we want it fervently enough and simply address our hearts and minds to its occurrence. We must strive to do better and retract the claws of intransigence and hate.

I said to them and I post on my blog for public reflection to all for the New Year:

You are surrounded in a sea of love and that is a wonderful thing.

We are privileged to get this one chance, albeit short, to view the awe inspiring wonder of our earth, the wondrous expanse of the universe and the beauty in each other. Man is truly a work of phenomenal art in both his body and mind. The next step is to perfect that beauty and work together for peace in our time!

A happy and peaceful New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Supremely Good Choice: I wrote to the NYT the following opinion which was in response to its article entitled "Sotomayor Guides Court's Liberal Wing." (Link below)

This is exactly why to those of us who call ourselves progressives the election of a Democratic president Obama was CRUCIAL. I thank god or fate every day that someone occupies the oval office with a brain. I do not always agree with him on some policy but his elevation of two eminently qualified justices to the highest court in the land is a breath of fresh air and testament in and of itself why elections matter. I only hope fervently for our president to have the possibility of naming (and having confirmed) one or two more. Even just one would change the balance of the Court from a long time national progressive nightmare corporate Republican lackey activist Supreme Court to a significantly fairer court which would have the middle class and the poor more at heart. Most importantly, it could reverse the rancid Citizens United decision which put money at the heart of American politics as if it were not there enough already. Now it is there on steroids!

The elections as they exist now are and will be bought and paid for with OODLES of corporate cash. It is the worst legal quid pro quo our nation, ever in its history, including during the time of the robber barons, has experienced. It, in my opinion, nullifies one man one vote because in Orwellian "Animal Farm" fashion although all men are equal, we know some men with hundreds of millions in cash are infinitely more equal than others!

Thank you, Mr. President, for two solid intellectually stellar justices who come with, I hope, a progressive bent. We desperately need it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

GAAHEAD MAKE MY DAY!: In reference to the Globe article 12/24/10 about the Republican possible Tea Party primary challenge to Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown because of his vote Yes on DADT and the START treaty, I have one thing to say: Gaahead make this Democrat's day! Kudos to Scott Brown for not marching in lock step towing the Republican right wing extremist party line and for putting his country first!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eating Crow?: Obviously all that the president and his administration pushed through in the last two weeks of a lame duck congress is impressive to say the least. I support him and will continue to do so into the 2012 elections. Having said that, MSNBC telejournalist Lawrence O’Donnel on his show “The Last Word” which you can Google, interviewed four authorities, journalists and policy interpreters that one could say are part of President Obama’s ardently liberal base. The question was asked in view of this landmark legislation including the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, START, the 911 responders successful legislation and more, do they feel that their criticism of him is now muted.

I will write more on this subject because my criticism of some Obama policy and, indeed, criticism of the systemic institutional decay of our nation and the world resulted in a significant disagreement with a relative whose opinion I value. They are an ardent Obama supporter, who takes umbrage at my criticism of him and the perceived aura of negativity that she thinks I often, display. There are methods to my madness. I do not need affirmation of my position but it is helpful to hear others more qualified than I still have similar indictments. The four people Lawrence O’Donnell questioned shared much of my opinion assessing the Obama presidency so far. I cannot go into detail now but will try later to give the minutiae of what they said, some of which even surprised me. Indeed, I am not alone holding a microscopic lens over anyone who occupies the most powerful position in the world even if it is the current president whom I more often than not support. More to come.
A Letter from Michael Moore: The following is a letter I received from Michael Moore, the documentary film maker. It shows just how far power will go NOT to help those whom they serve but to protect their OWN power. It is why we must be ever vigilant no matter who holds the reins which determine who shall live, who shall die and what the fate of our country and world will be. They literally play god with our lives. The letter he wrote which left me both incredulous and, its opposite, not surprised, I paste below and after that I enclose MY own response to him:

Subject: Another WikiLeaks Cable from the Bush Administration About My Movies -- a note from Michael Moore
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Twice within four days, my name has popped up in the Bush-era secret cables uncovered by WikiLeaks. Lucky me. Though nowhere near as earth-shattering as the uncovering of American misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, these classified cables provide a stunning and bizarre peek into the paranoid minds of the Bush White House when it came to the subject of one Michael Francis Moore.

And considering how WikiLeaks has released only 1,826 cables of its planned drop of 251,287 -- and I've already played a starring role twice -- I can only say I await with bemused anticipation how the moi-storyline will play itself out.

The most recent secret cable revelation is in today's Guardian newspaper of London. It's entitled, "US Intervened in Michael Moore NZ Screening." Oh yeah, baby! New Zealand! That's where we'll stop Moore and his band of evildoers!

The date was July 30, 2004. 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was already a huge hit in the United States. Just to give you an idea how huge, it had hit #1 at the box office, the only documentary to have ever accomplished this feat, and had made more on its opening weekend than 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.'

But it was no easy path to get there. Disney (which owned Miramax) was apoplectic when they saw the final cut. So they pulled the film from its theatrical schedule. Then they put a permanent block on its release, insuring no one would see it. But then the New York Times, in a front page story, reported that the real reason Disney hated 'Fahrenheit' was they were worried about the tax breaks it got in Jeb Bush's Florida for Disney World. This caused some embarrassment, so Disney then sold 'Fahrenheit' to the Weinstein Bros., who said they'd spend their own money to distribute it.

The release of the film caused concern at the White House, as this was the re-election year. They hired a pollster who told them the film might tip the election. That was enough for them to swing into action. Much of July was a nonstop barrage of attacks on me and the movie. But that just resulted in more tickets being sold.

Which brings us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. There are few nations on earth further away from us. A local chapter of the ruling Labor Party apparently had decided to do a fundraising screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' It was to be hosted by the Prime Minister's Cabinet Secretary for the Environment.

Well, when the U.S. Embassy in Wellington got word of this, it was like all heck broke loose. America was offended! Phone calls were made to the Prime Minister! Then to the Cabinet Secretary! We ... are ... not ... happy!

Apparently, the Kiwis backed down and the Cabinet Secretary withdrew as the host. A sigh of relief whiffed its way through the American embassy. Moore stopped! The cable back to Washington showed the embassy had no problem taking credit for putting the kabosh on yours truly:

"... it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls -- it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

So here's my question:

Really? I mean, seriously -- really? This is how the Bush State Department was spending its time -- on a single screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' in freakin' New Zealand? Was this kind of interference happening just to New Zealand? Call me crazy, but I gotta feelin' it doesn't stop there.

Just as a health insurance executive has now come forward as a whistleblower to reveal the millions spent to smear 'Sicko,' I can't help wait for that day when the whistleblower from the Bush White House comes forward to tell the fascinating tale of how the Bush team believed they had to do something -- anything -- to stop 'Fahrenheit.' Or worse (like the "Plan B" the health insurance companies discussed -- to "push Michael Moore off a cliff."). I didn't want to think about what the Bush Plan B would be. Just wasn't worth the crazy-making. So I ignored the things I'd hear, kept my head down and motored on.

But, it does make you wonder. And I ask you, is it fair to pose the question: If they were this focused on some insignificant screening in New Zealand, what else were they up to? And I don't mean in regards to me. I mean anyone who was on their enemies list ...

I can't wait to read more classified cables.

Michael Moore

P.S. Of course, given the false claims the State Department made in the other "secret" cable about my movie 'Sicko,' I guess anything was possible.

P.P.S. Don't miss the REAL revelations from just the first batch of WikiLeaks cables. For instance, the Obama administration worked together with Republicans to kill an investigation by Spain into Bush's torture. Pfizer hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on the Attorney General of Nigeria. Bush's ambassador to France planned to "retaliate" against the country for standing up to Monsanto. And we're less than 1% of the way through [the leaks] ...


Michael so many love you (including me) and depend on you for the revelatory information you expose through your appearances and through your documentary film making. When you are on any programming (radio, TV, film, or if you are sending smoke signals) I watch or listen!

Keep doing what you are doing and, PLEASE stay healthy because many love you, need you and people like you to shed the truth. I worry about you as I do ALL people whom I think are SO important to be our voice of REASON, artistic excellence and who are instrumental in speaking truth to power. You have changed the importance of the documentary film because you shed light on those who create madness with their toxic, self-serving, cruel, deceitful, explosive and often illegal use of power they should never have had but did and probably will again because the people do not know the truth.

It is wonderful we, who do not have much power, have people like you and many others who bring light to the darkness and show the insects which depend on that darkness for life, scurrying for cover.

Long may you live!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Summing up--Leadership of the Possible

A relative, who is an Obama supporter, to put it mildly, writes opinion. I am an Obama supporter too as those who know me could attest but at times, when warranted, I levy criticism. I am going to paste in what I said to my relative when they summed up the two-year Obama presidency. My relative sees things realistically pragmatic and emphasizes the good this progressive president has done especially given the divided nation in which we live. Everything is a work in progress to which I wholeheartedly agree.

I do not, however, believe in political self-censorship. I believe in speaking truth to power no matter who it is. It is not only ideal it is pragmatic and the essence of the democratic system in which we live. A president or at least his administration must know the criticism especially when it is criticism within the base of the party. The Internet affords the public the unique possibility, not enjoyed by the electorate of bygone eras, of conveying sentiment instantaneously both to the administration itself and to the public at large. This is distinctively characteristic to our time. Those of us who vote in party primaries serve to ultimately choose a candidate. I believe it is my duty to praise and make public that praise but also my duty to criticize power when I deem it necessary. I do and will, of course, not stop. I offer support and have many times when it is my opinion. I did so in my response to my relative's blog below and to offer an end of the year summary in response to that as well.

I wrote the following:

I cannot help but LOVE your perspective even though I may be a curmudgeon at heart.

Yes, we are a split down the middle divided nation and we MUST get our Democratic side out to vote in 2012. A Republican president is what I am afraid of most. I am a pessimist out of mainly fear even though, my hero despite his shortcomings, FDR said that is the only thing we do have to fear.

Another relative of mine told me that the Obama naysayers should just shut up or they WILL get a Republican president next year. The image I had of myself is a little kid maybe like Peanuts or Linus with head lowered, walking away sucking his thumb and dragging a blankey feeling just a bit cowed. Sometimes, indeed, the glass is half full and we should enjoy the drink.

When one ties everything up in a bow it truly is amazing that the president has managed to do what, in fact, he has done including hate crimes legislation, DADT repeal, The Lily Ledbetter law, two progressive female SC justices, and probably a SALT treaty and more. The opposition he had would have overwhelmed any another man even the strongest. I do stare at him sometimes in amazement.

I am happy but I am worried. If one thought these two years were difficult with an intractably hateful other side of the isle, just think what is in store in the next two years. In one of my posts I asked the president to keep his handy dandy veto pen close at hand. Thank god or fate that a Democrat is sitting in the oval office to be able to use it. Remember Sarah Palin? She is always out there making one realize how good it is to have defeated the likes of her.

I, a proud member of Obama’s liberal base, still support him enthusiastically for 2012. The alternative simply chills me to the bone and yes, he has done much good and presented us with a new definition of leadership of the possible. He saw a path to compromise and did so! We did get some rather than getting stuck with none. More than even that is he is a historical figure of monumental import elected to our highest office in our time. I am most happy I had the chance to live to see that, indeed!

Happy Holidays and Happy Healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wall Street’s Theft and Its Hold on Power: Back to reality after the high of the DADT overturn. Good feelings cannot last forever especially since the American public’s Wall Street ire has seen fit in its infinite wisdom to elect Republicans (the party of Wall Street) who are double the right wingnut extreme of the last Party of No in the 111th Congress. This one will provide, I suspect, even more hair ripping moments for people of my political persuasion. Moreover, since many of the state legislatures are in Republican control the Congress for the next election may prove even more difficult for Obama’s 2012 hoped-for victory. My good mood, therefore lasted exactly 24 hours.

Quoting from MSNBC:

The 2010 census report coming out Tuesday will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to re-elect President Barack Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections.

The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its once-a-decade report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

I love the NYT economic editorialist Paul Krugman. Mr. Krugman has a way of putting one of the most complex Wall Street theft stories and its parasitic hold on power into simple terms the Everyman can understand. I believe what he says in his NYT editorial last week. I link his post “Wall Street White Wash” below.

I have thought from Day 1 of the Obama presidency and during his ultimate selection of the banksters for his economic advisers -- the foxes who got the chickens nearly killed -- that he should have put Dr. Krugman and forces like him who are allied to the middle class and not to Wall Street, at his side. Krugman's predictions so often are correct.

President Obama did not do all I thought he would when I voted for him. The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has tempered my otherwise down-in-the-dumps feelings but I have for two years been scratching my head and wondering why he is not the man I thought I knew whether it was about health care, tax cuts, civil liberties or war. Here is some of the analysis about which I gave a great deal of thought:

I believe the president knew from the moment he stepped into office that there are forces of money and power in Washington, in the country and, indeed, in the world that even the president cannot control. He realized in no time that they, in fact, controlled him. I believe he, too, has a compromising personality as his time on the Harvard Law Review suggested. The tax deal and health care were symbolic of his understanding that legislation is about compromise. The question becomes, however, will the other side accept that premise too especially in our new even more decidedly “conservative” majority House and with the Republican gains in the Senate as well. Mr. President, keep your handy dandy veto pen in close proximity.

Washington is bought, sold and owned by huge corporate banking and industrial (often military) moneyed interests. While the fact of this monstrosity may not have been Obama's cup of tea he had a proclivity to politely drink what he was offered knowing it was probably an offer he could not refuse.

He knew he could not overrule the banks and their lobbying interests stuffed with cash. Moreover, (I'm going out on a limb) maybe he even feared for his life if he challenged them. Recently, I have been reading a book entitled "Family of Secrets" about the Bush family dating back to W’s grandfather and H.W. Bush’s father, Prescott Bush.

Their Yale Skull and Bones comrades and other good-ole-boy connections with their attendant right wing political and business ideological rigidity always remained secret but a source for the acquisition of monumental power. Many of their connections were in banking and oil and, in the book, there is speculation, albeit unverifiable, about their relationship to the JFK assassination. The author suggests that a cozy clandestine relationship of right wing business and government interests had a desire to see JFK removed from office. The author submits that certain high powers within our government thought JFK was not sufficiently committed to their military, industrial, anti-Communist acquisition-of-oil from-South-America purposes. Who knows if there is truth to the author’s writing? I suggest you read the book. Let’s just say, I am reasonably satisfied that what is true about the JFK assassination is not contained in the government-produced “Warren Report.” Kennedy made a lot of enemies especially on the right.

Perhaps, the president senses the real truth of government power, has a personality amenable to compromise, and ignored much of his take-for-granted base which he gave a few but nonetheless important tidbits. Much of his presidency is an extension of the oligarchy that has, in truth, existed for decades and it will, indeed, pay any price and bear any burden to keep that power and wealth situated in the same hands of a few at the expense of the many.

If we as progressives cannot win policy even with formerly the most liberal member of the Senate elected to the pinnacle of power then we, perhaps, never will. Unless there is a true non-violent uprising of the people for humanitarian purposes on the left and not just the corporately bought off white tea bagging often ignorant nationalist clones on the right, we might have a better chance! Until then Wall Street’s theft and hold on power will be, seemingly, eternal.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Press Pass – Fact not Fiction: I wrote this in response to an MSNBC story “Will Wikileaks Prompt Crackdown on Journalists.” link below.

One of the biggest culprits in the run up to the Iraq war against people, who were not involved in 911 and who did nothing to us, was the press. The press may be even guiltier than the ones who actually perpetrated wholesale slaughter for nothing because the press collectively did not do its Fourth Estate job, an imperative in a democratic state. How some at the Washington Post and the NYTimes (the big journalist guns) can sleep at night I will never know.

Those of us who have huge consciences when our nation becomes a perpetrator of war waged for no damn good reason have trouble sleeping. It makes me thrilled I never entered federal government service because I would have died of sleep deprivation. It bothered me when I inadvertently killed a bird that flew into my car window. Yes, I laud myself for that because the essence of who I am is that I could not hurt even a fly. This should not be an extraordinary human characteristic.

What is wrong with our humanity? Did we flush morality down the sewer? If I live to be 120 I will never understand the inhumanity of man against man. Nothing is worth unjustifiably taking a human life that is not yours to take. War should be the last option not the first and this country and any country should think long and hard before the first bomb is launched. Most importantly, pertinent to this article, is that the press should have examined scrupulously whether a violent action is justified and whether government is telling its people fact. The press should not hesitate a millisecond to uncover lies and speak truth to power. War is not worth the price paid by our brave troops who, ultimately, when they die, get lost in time and to other innocents who are taken way before their time if war is not fought for profound truths such as, in the case of Iraq, the existence or non existence of WMD.

Shame on much of the press for not asking the necessary penetrating questions to uncover the truth about the facts of the Iraq War, before not after the dastardly deed has been done. The press's Fourth Estate law should be, in fact, a preemptive war of the word so that we the people who do not have access to the truth can know it. It is better than a nation waging a preemptive war that kills thousands without close scrutiny of the rationale for doing so. The press could actually have saved these thousands of lives if it had doggedly pursued the rationale or lack of it for war. But the press, indeed, got a pass. They chose to cower in fear of power instead of confronting it. They are guilty of stupidity or collectively they are an immoral accomplice to wholesale murder or both!

Those who are in the echelons of power should be held accountable but they never will be because this nation’s new mantra of moving forward ignores looking backward to those who unnecessarily killed thousands, unleashed a civil war, destabilized an entire volatile region, handed our arch nemesis, Iran, hegemony and exiled over a million in our name. All of you in the press who ignored the truth that there were no WMD are as guilty as are our leaders of perpetrating an unjust, illegal, immoral war based on lies while our people slept. Next time, show some spine. Investigate and discriminate between what is fact and what is fiction. All of our lives may, indeed, one day depend upon it!
DO ASK AND DO TELL: DADT will be repealed! FABULOUS!! I am crying from joy. Lt. Dan Choi and so many others who have been at the forefront of the effort at great risk to themselves and who have been so oppressed, come out come out wherever you are. YOU ARE FREE! Finally, a simply difficult 111th Congress has done the right thing and without the president who will sign it this could not and would not have been done.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SALT of the Earth: I held off sending this because it is extraordinarily serious. Then I watched NBC News with Brian Williams talking about the preparation one can do if confronted by a nuclear blast. Is NBC News kidding when they had Brian Williams say "maybe duck and cover wasn't such a bad idea". Really? Really, Brian Really? Our government does NOT tell us the truth. We could not even cope with Katrina which would make a nuclear blast look tame. I was So enraged by this utter NONSENSE story I decided to send the following. Make sure you DO click on the link below to UNDERSTAND what nuclear war really means!

I send this link below not because I am a pessimist, although I often am, but because I am an optimist too as the reality of nuclear war is so unfathomable, so utterly devastating, so easily could wipe out civilization on earth and even, perhaps, obliterate the earth itself, that I believe man, as inhuman as he can be at times, will be sane enough to realize nuclear war is not only unwinnable but unsustainable to life itself.

Others responded to my sentiments I sent previously to the NYTimes site and one included this link below which I think all should study. I am sure there will be those who will ignore the site because it is so frightening and that is everyone's prerogative. I say, ignore it to our peril. It is why this latest SALT treaty signed by President Obama awaiting ratification by the Senate is so gravely important. It is, though, certainly not an end to the nuclear threat but part of the beginning looking forward to the end. All foreign policy experts from all sides of the political spectrum all over the world want it. It should be ratified in as short a time as it takes to send this link.

This anti-nuclear link is phenomenal. I have never seen anything quite like it because of its thorough complexity and user friendliness. It is why everyone, everywhere in all corners of the globe should push for an end to global systemic and unsurvivable war. All war even conventional war has the potential, in our age, to lead to nuclear war. This site is a testament to the mind of man. If man's mind can create such things surely our minds can work for the greater good.

We are the only ones who can stop this madness and stop it we must and, CERTAINLY, duck and cover will most emphatically NOT be enough! I attach the link below but caution those whose children are computer savvy that this may be disturbing. This is, however, the reality we face and as Openheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project during World War II which created the nuclear bomb, said when he was interviewed about it later on a television program:

"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.' "

Two quotes from "Nuclear Darkness"

Deterrence will continue to work only as long as all sides remain rational and fear death. Many extremist groups, however, are undeterred by any credible threat of retaliation, regardless of how large that threat might be. And history is filled with examples of irrational leaders and decisions which lead to war. Nuclear weapons combined with human fallibility not only make nuclear war possible, they will eventually make it inevitable.

Should we choose to accept the assertion that “there is no realistic path to a world free of nuclear weapons”, then we sentence the children of the world to a dark future indeed. We must instead reject this 20th century mindset, which is still driving us towards the abyss, through an understanding that nuclear weapons pose a threat to the human species.

I think this just about says it all!
THINKING FOR ONCE: The New York Times printed an article today (December 16, 2010) entitled “US Rethinks Strategy for the Unthinkable” (Link below) which is about surviving a nuclear blast. Through interviews of various “experts” the article suggests that more can survive a nuclear blast by not leaving one’s house but by going to one’s basement. Yes, that’s right … one’s basement! The article states:

"Taking shelter in a place with minimal protection, like a car, would cut [the death] figure to 125,000 deaths or injuries. A shallow basement would further reduce it to 45,000 casualties. And the core of a big office building or an underground garage would provide the best shelter of all."

I promised a relative I would not use caps. Forgive me this lapse. The NYT article was so explosive to me (pardon the pun) I could not help but break my new promised rule just one more time. I blogged in less than my usual perfect prose (I jest) on the NYT’s site the following:

Excuse me but can I say something impertinent? This article is NUTS! Are you really kidding me? Running to one's basement MAY reduce harmful radiation and maybe more could be saved but the question is who would WANT to be saved and in what kind of Twilight Zone world would we be surviving?

I remember well the "duck and cover" age of the 1950’s. I look at past newsreels of these "teachable" moments on old films of it and laugh. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? School kids ducking and covering under a desk to "save" themselves from a nuclear blast is, to say the least, LUNACY.

Assuming we are "saved”, what kind of disruption to society do the bright bulbs in our government or ANY government think will make surviving simply the radiation a prudent goal to "save more than we think?"

Guess what you unthinking lack of cerebral ability robots? A basement will NOT save you! A nuclear BLAST -- a true BLAST -- will destroy MOST EVERYTHING of what we know and count on to survive in life. Even the article itself states

“A nuclear blast produces a blinding flash, burning heat and crushing wind. The fireball and mushroom cloud carry radioactive particles upward, and the wind sends them near and far.”… Moreover, a bomb’s flash would blind …”

Where will the supermarkets go? How will food be delivered? Will it be uncontaminated by radiation? What will happen when the gas stations explode or the oil is not delivered or worse non existent? What if the electricity is gone? What if the media is unable to broadcast or no one can tune into an HTDV or ANY TV? I assume Brian Williams may be hiding in his basement too or he may be dead! What if the police get killed and the police stations are destroyed? Let’s talk about doctors and hospitals. Are the doctors somehow caring for the injured while they expose THEMSELVES to radiation? Are the hospitals destroyed as well? Where will they practice medicine? What about sanitation, what about going to the bathroom, taking a bath, or doing ALL the routine things one does to make life livable. And oh yes, what about the children, granny, aged relatives, the disabled, and, of course, our pets? I assume they will just fend for themselves in fine fashion. Yes, let's just all huddle in our basements that will save us -- NOT.

Nuclear war is NOT an option and it is NOT survivable as much as insane men cannot wait to push the button to see the fireworks or employ their "that'll teach ya" message. It teaches nothing except it teaches death and it teaches that man lives on a precarious balance as a fiddler on the roof every day. Yes, sending us all to our basements (and by the way MY basement has no heat or water and I live in snow and ice area) will do VERY little if society is blown apart from the blast and firestorm.

Moreover, if, God forbid, it did happen here I ASSUME the nation would retaliate. If Iraq is any indication of what kind of conventional war the US wages think about what the US would unleash on ANYONE who tried a NUCLEAR blast on this country? Whatever carnage is sent to us multiply the retaliation by 10,000 or 50,000. Their civilization and ours will be GONE in the instant it takes to push the poisonous button. Hiroshima was an example of a SMALL bomb. It was an atomic bomb and not a hydrogen bomb which is much worse. I assure YOU and THEM it is NOT heaven that will await.

The question becomes NOT how to survive the blast but who would WANT to survive the blast. Count me as one of those who does not! Now it's morning here and I think I will eat my oatmeal -- while I HAVE it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No Taxation Nation: I utterly fail to see how this tax package can be anything but horrible for the ledger sheet of our country. The Republicans and most especially the tea baggers are supposedly about the mantra that one cannot spend more than one takes in. And yet Congress with significant Republican support, thought to have gotten the ever-so-big message from the American people, will pass a near 1 trillion dollar unfunded tax bill, borrowing the money from who else but China to explode the deficit even more. Worse, the bill is filled with earmarks and pork. I simply do not get it.

The problem is the American people have no idea what it means to trim the budget and how they must sacrifice while doing it. They want, proverbially, to have their cake and eat it too. They cannot. The method for reducing the budget is simple without even touching Social Security and Medicare which so many thank god for every day of their life. A tax cut for the top 2% is insanity. It will not trickle down to create jobs as it has not done in the past and the Republicans darn well know it. The tax cuts for the middle class will be like a drop in the ocean. It will not mean a thing.

What we really need is for the tax cuts to be allowed to expire for each group or, if that will explode the minds of too many Americans, then the tax cuts should expire for the top 2% wealthiest in the nation who can afford it. Couple that with other spending cuts in the military industrial endless black hole (about which even President Eisenhower spoke) with its trillion dollar expensive eternal wars must be reduced to, let's say in Grover Norquist, the president of the Orwellian-named Americans for Tax Reform, fashion, the size of a postage stamp! I am sure spending cuts of other non-essential programs could be figured out as well.

The extra tax revenue the government adds to its ledger sheet when the tax cuts expire should be used by government to spur the growth and repair of infrastructure, create alternative energy and other projects of necessity to create jobs. The tax cuts and even unemployment insurance of this bill will create few jobs. It is a temporary feel good fix.

There is, however, a method to Republican madness. The Republicans are eventually, of course, hoping for the economy in 2012 to still be in the tank. An American public which has about a minute and one half attention span will blame it on Obama who will occupy the oval office then. This time Obama will not be able to say unemployment was not on his watch because it will be and the Republicans will get their true wish which is to defeat the nation’s first black president.

In 2012 my prediction, if the tax cuts are extended two more years, is an economy still in the sewer and maybe worse. Republicans with their tax cut boring mantra which does not work but gets the public all goosepimply will win the whole enchilada – the House the Senate and the presidency. They then will extend the Bush/Obama tax cuts permanently. Republicans will say not enough tax cuts were pursued and unemployment insurance created debt. When in control they will then seek to cut more. Say hello and goodbye to Social Security and Medicare, vital social safety nets for over seven decades first passed in 1935 by FDR after the Great Depression. This is exactly what the Republicans have wanted -- no Social Security, no Medicare, no economic regulation, health savings accounts bought from Wall Street, and taxes for the military only.

Good luck America with that. The Wall Street bubble, soon to be seen again, will by most economic experts’ concurrence eventually burst another time. All that retirement account investment in lieu of Social Security to the tune of trillions for which Wall Street salivates will go into the pockets of Goldman Sachs’s Blankfein, J.P Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and other corporate CEO’s like them – you know, the top 2%. They will laugh all the way to the bank (pardon the pun) with their profits and bonuses courtesy of you and me. We the middle class who are left standing will be standing in bread lines. It is deja vu 1929 all over again. Happy New Year? Nothing happy about it!
The Herculean Holbrook: A relative of mine wrote well about the amazing Ambassador Holbrooke. It sparked some of my own thoughts too. Many of you may know Ambassador Richard Holbrooke died this week. Those of us who follow international relations and US foreign policy certainly knew about him. He had a mountain of experience in the diplomatic arena. He was in part responsible for the Dayton Accords which brought peace to the war-torn genocide of Bosnia/Herzegovina Yugoslavia. Mr. Holbrooke was a towering force for peace in many other world wide conflicts as well. Although some say no one is irreplaceable, I believe he was one of the few who is. He was a strong and an insistent sower of peace for decades. His goal was to end grinding hostility in many places of a world of war and discord. His tasks were not easy!

I was praising Mr. Holbrooke when another writer iterated over and over again to me that I was just part of the sheeple population accepting propaganda about which I had no understanding. Naturally, he was not very complimentary toward Ambassador Holbrooke. I suspect he is wrong on the sheeple part about me but no matter. It reinforces the scientific law that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

How can we know all things? I never knew a person who did not have a side about which I was not thrilled. I have read Ambassador Holbrooke was, indeed, a tough man. Look at with whom he had to negotiate. I might call them tough -- very tough. When some lefties wax extreme and anti everything that is the United States and Israel, my blood runs cold and I freeze myself out of the debate. Nothing is black and white. There are always shades of gray. To quote another humanitarian: “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I do not know of a nation on earth that is not deserving of critical analysis and the US is certainly no exception. In our own personal human relationships and experience, however, we weigh the good against the bad on the scales of justice. Even Jesus had another side when he furiously tipped over the money changers in the Temple but he also said “In so much as ye do it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.” I’ll take that part of his legacy over any other. It is a metaphor for my feelings about Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. In the final analysis, I think this Herculean diplomat tried do the best for his country and the world in very difficult circumstances. It probably cost him his life. Was he perfect? No. Who of us is? Thank you, Ambassador Holbrooke, for a job well done!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Art is in the Eyes of the Beholder: The following is a blog supporting the brilliant NYT editorialist Frank Rich who wrote the December 11, 2010 article "Gay Bashing at the Smithsonian." It is a cry against the hypocritical censorship of a piece of art which depicts one artist's feeling about AIDS which was killing him and killing so many artists two decades ago. It indicts societal institutions especially religious institutions and so called Christian believers who cast a blind eye to mostly homosexual suffering including the artist's own at that time suffering with AIDS. I link the piece below and I stated the following on the NYT blog.

When one is so enamored by our country's fundamental free speech value, it becomes so tiring throughout the decades to realize that the censorship of art -- especially religious art -- STILL must be fought even in our enlightened time. When will it ever end? The true irony is that The Family Research Council and the William Donahues of the Catholic League in our age are the true hypocrites as they make a mockery of Christ's true message of acceptance and love of all of nature's creation. Christ who, if he lived in our time, would RAGE against a church who stood deaf and blind to its scourge of hierarchical hypocrisy and the abuse of children no matter what the priests' sexual orientation. It matters not that all the reputable science in the world teaches sex abuse is NOT inherent in homosexuality and that most abusers are INDEED heterosexual but Mr. Donahue would not know truth if it hit him over the head in broad daylight.

Groups and people like them make me shiver with rage. Art often is the critical cultural expression of institutions which need critical analysis. It is questioning, it is damning and sometimes it is accepting of the vicissitudes of life which are ushered in by man's corrupt hypocritical nature and ones which are merely a declarative sentence of the way life is.

Whatever its purpose, art must be allowed total freedom as art is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder. One man's art is another man's poison. I view Mel Gibson's \"The Passion\" not as art but as a violent film which serves only to attract through its violence inflammatory anti-Semitism perpetuating centuries of unjust and sickening anti Jewish hatred. Others, like Donahue will love that film because it is used to indict the Jew, a minority in all time, but indicted by a Christian majority throughout centuries culminating in the orgy of the Holocaust which Donahue does not mind depicting but, indeed, lauds the film. The Jew who during the Passover/Easter Passion season used to dread its coming especially in Europe because Jews knew Christian violence might be and often was perpetrated upon them for the fantasy and myths indicting Jews as Christ killers. Indeed, here are two different views of so called art.

Donahue and those vitriolic perpetrators of hate against homosexuals and other minorities find refuge in the new Republican Party with its narrow mindedness, stupidity, racism, homophobia, anti-rationalism and yes, in some corners, even anti-Semitism. These spewers of venom MUST be fought and established institutions such as the Smithsonian must NOT capitulate to their ultimate tyranny. If they do these purveyors of censorship and evil will, in fact, triumph as we more progressive questioners of the status quo fight this never ending sometimes losing and tiring battle for the expression to breathe free! Yet again, Frank Rich, with his Dickensian name speaks the richness of truth. It would do well for a society that calls itself free to listen!
For those of you who have doubts PLEASE read: This article by Colbert King in the Washington Post "Memo to the Left" (link below) convinced me. I have been recently coming more and more to a realization of exactly what he said and that is IF President Obama is challenged in any way in 2012 we are through as a Democratic party in many important elections both federal and state for decades as the Republicans will be circling the entrails and pick up the carcass.

Even though Barack Obama sometimes has not done all that I, a progressive, wanted he has done a LOT (enumerated in King's opinion) AND it is a truth, as the president said himself, he is governing a HUGE country. We are not the only ones. Look at the contention he has had to face coupled with horrendous racism. He could withstand a challenge BUT he would be weakened and the birds of prey, the Repbulicans, would be waiting to eat. His far left philosophical base is NOT enough to propel him into a second term IF he is weakened. The other parts of his base, African Americans men and most especially women as well as Hispanics (who will be increasing) in 2012 too are part of his base. They will NOT come out for anyone else like they did for Barack Obama as we evidenced by the horrible midterms. We ALL need to stick together and take advantage of the wonderful diversity that comprises the Democratic party.

King is, I think, correct as he enumerates ALL the president HAS done in two short years and what would NOT have gotten done if it were a McCain/Palin presidency. Please read it and pass it around to all you know. We CANNOT let what Mr. King so insightfully says will happen if the left (including me) sinks the rest of the party. We MUST see that compromise is the ONLY way and it is a way that appeals to the majority of the American people as well. If Barack Obama IS elected to a second term, who knows, we may get MUCH more of what we so desperately as progressives want since we will get a president who is much freer to act on his core beliefs and not risk losing another term.

Mr. King got a convert today -- ME! It is a wonderful article. Please read.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

GUILTY: Joanna Weiss wrote a very insightful piece entitled “The boo of the bored” in the Dec. 7, 2010 edition of The Boston Globe (Link below). She talked about our superficially driven instant gratification demanding generation by analyzing what took place at a recent discussion led by the comic and satirist Steve Martin (tickets costing $50 each) which evidently did not go well. Expecting, I think, a lot of razzel dazzle instantaneous humor that Steven Martin is known for the audience received a more serious format which seemingly lost them. They immediately, of course, voiced their displeasure and subsequently were offered their money back. Martin was angered and "Tweeted" it. Read the article of Ms. Weiss for her further discussion and analysis of what occurred. I offered, to the Globe and Ms. Weiss, my comment:

Dear Ms. Weiss, you wrote an excellent opinion entitled, "The boo of the bored," yesterday, December 7 in the Boston Globe. I finally had the time to read it today. Of course, my life was filled with things to do yesterday so I did not have even the nanosecond it took to read your perceptive piece. As an incessant blogger and fluid opinion writer, I am able to give MY well thought out opinion at the drop of a hat. Curiously, I began to feel ever so guilty of exactly what you iterate in the article. I am utterly HOOKED on the instantaneous gratification of the Web and the information it gives immediately if not sooner. I write editorials and have my own egotistically driven blog. Naturally, what I write, is well thought out (or not) opinion. In reality -- if I can allow myself a more introspective look -- much of what I write is knee jerk reaction of Vesuvian feeling about one hot button issue or another which may offend or appeal to my prefabricated politically progressive sensibilities.

Now I feel guilty! Of course, what other feeling is there for the nice Jewish woman I am to have? I swear it is ethically driven by my Jewish DNA (if there is such a thing.) After generational years of being pummeled in every land the Jew took root where he or she could, learned to cower and waited for the next blow to arrive. OF COURSE it often did. I begin to think every malady on earth is ALL my fault. I jest, of course. Yet, there is truth to some of that statement which further reinforces my guilt for disseminating too many opinions without carefully thinking through each idea. Guilty as charged.

Realizing this fact, after reading your article, may I offer the explanation that we are the McDonalds's generation no matter which generation we are. We expect instantaneous everything from food, to cures, to love, to acquiring money, to solving the deficit without thinking through thoroughly the choices we make.

McDonalds, if we eat enough of it WILL, in fact, PROBABLY kill us (or maybe it won't.) Buying homes with sub-prime loans thinking tomorrow is another day and we will, as the Popeye cartoon character and hamburger-loving Wimpy would say, surely be able to pay tomorrow what we cannot pay today (or NOT.) We will pay alright; right into the poorhouse of the streets with no money, no bank account, no shelter, no health care to keep us safe. Next step the grave. Now THAT'S a FACT and, if given enough time, I most probably can prove it (MAYBE.)

Excellent article and certain worthy food for thought!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Laramie, A Labor of Love: We went to see the play "Laramie Project" at Framingham High School Saturday evening. It was a SPLENDID play about, of course, the torturous death of the young gay man, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 at the hands of two homophobic brutal malcontents. The performance was POWERFUL. It was sold out and we understood why. We absolutely loved it. The actors and the community that showed its incredible support were nothing short of wonderful. It made me proud to be from my town as we drove past the candlelit crowd standing up to the forces of hate exemplified by Fred Phelps and his merry family from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas holding their "God hates fags", "God hates Jews" and God hates everyone except us signs. Somehow he thinks he is the only one God loves.

It is astounding that these wretched human beings have the unmitigated gall to actually hold those rancid signs up in front of families mourning the death of our soldiers and their loved ones. How dare they commit such an atrocity? Yes, it is Phelp's free speech rights that our country is loath to curtail. It is the very foundation that makes this nation what it is. That those signs were not ripped apart and Phelps & Co. led off in hand cuffs for incendiary speech is tribute to our system, indeed. We do not do things that way in this country. We simply let these mentally sick misfits hang themselves with their own words.

A THOUSAND kudos to the actors, the director, Ms. Wresinski, and the town. Ms. Wresinski's sentiments that "life isn't about the breaths one takes, but the moments that take one's breath away" echoes our own. We did not join the hundreds that came out in candlelight support and love before the performance. Our hearts were with them though if not in body most certainly in spirit. My mind evokes the lines of one of my favorite poets, John Donne, in his "Meditations": "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."
Science, Truth and God: Interesting article from "Politics Daily" linked below entitled "Does a New Life form Mean God is Dead?" Its subject is about the recent discovery of a new form of bacteria which has arsenic as part of the DNA genome rather than heretofore thought all necessary ingredient for DNA life element phosphorus. Life now, it has been verified, can exist without the phosphorus molecule. To the layman this, perhaps, is not a big deal. It is though. It is a VERY big deal in the scientific realm. Some are using this as proof that a god is not the creator. I, however, see it differently. I believe it does not matter (pardon the pun) and said so on the "Politics Daily" blog. I also include the article from the NYT "Microbe Finds Arsenic Tasty; Redefines Life" to explain what the new discovery is about and why it is important. I wrote the following:

It does not, in my opinion, matter what science discovers in terms of its work to analyze the origins of man and his universe. The existence of a god as a creator will, I propose, NEVER be found. Whether life can use the molecule arsenic or the molecule of phosphorus in stabilizing its DNA matters not. Until evidence is found in substance and form of an actual being or thing that one can observe, others can duplicate AND pray to in order to get results then nothing changes the war between truth of science and fantasy of mythical beliefs which make people FEEL oh so good and oh so protected but are, in truth, the fiction of a human's very creative mind.

In reality the ONLY protection are those things which man and science have discovered to ensure man's survival. Other than that one can pray from morning to night and in between to some morphed or amorphous being it will not matter one whit because whether one is lucky enough to have escaped a tornado is so because the laws of physics have determined it to BE so. His poor good friend with a sweet faith-driven wife and six kids across the street who were torn limb from limb and killed by the same tornado has nothing to do with a sky god protecting one and not the other but has EVERYTHING to do with the science of physics to explain why that doomed family could not escape the tornado's wrath!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Wikileaks Dichotomy: I have mixed emotions about Wikileaks. Are Mr. Assange's motives as noble as he THINKS they are? I do not know. I feel differently toward his dumping hundreds of thousands of secret US State Department documents than I do about the POTENTIAL (although I have seen NOTHING yet) of dumping of big bank documents.

I simply do not see foreign policy as black and white. Who is Mr. Assange helping Al Qaeda? Would he REALLY like to be involved in Al Qaeda or live under an Islamic or any other religious tyranny? The US has been guilty for years of clandestine sometimes illegal behavior of that there is no doubt. My question to Mr. Assange is WHICH COUNTRY IS WITHOUT SIN and WHICH political organization is not guilty?

The calculation of foreign policy, while sometimes irreparably devastating and even murderous like Bush's Iraq invasion, I assess it in a lesser of evils modality. IF the dumping of those documents gets people killed then how is Assange different from those he purports to want bring to justice? IF what he has done gives assistance to Islamic radical or ANY radical organization from the right OR the left ANYWHERE than that is an egregious consequence which, I believe, should NOT happen. There are other ways to expose bad behavior of governments too numerous to mention here.

I would choose western culture and thought over what many other parts of the world have to offer. US illegal or torturous behavior is impossible to defend but, truthfully, those who would act against the US are NO paragons of virtue. To the contrary they kill at will and they kill THOUSANDS of innocents every single day. They even kill their own people.

Maybe Mr. Assange is not mature enough to see the folly of his beliefs and understand political realities. One does the best one can to move the arc toward justice making sure not to do the very thing for which we criticize power. While criticism of foreign affairs is good, IF it compromises the safety of us AND indeed the world what GOOD is IT? Western cultures are some of the freest on earth. It is why we grapple so ardently with the protection of civil liberties against the reality that those who want to do the most devastating harm to us do not think even TWICE about such things.

Religious fanatics always think heaven awaits. We who are much more inclined to reason and base our thought in a reality oriented universe with physical laws KNOW heaven does not await but destruction does. Anything nuclear in the hands of those who have been given permission by their religious leaders to use it is UNACCEPTABLE. Why would he court the danger of such a thing? What good will it do?

I think DIFFERENTLY about Assange exposing the banks. I FEEL the intense anger that so many feel when I try to understand the tornado of destruction these economic purveyors of greed and UNETHICAL behaviors have committed. They compromised an innocent public in pursuit of their own fortune and take unseemly bonuses at taxpayer expense. The taxpayer saved THEM but who saves the taxpayer? NO one.

Government we see -- EVEN Obama government to which I held out the HIGHEST hopes -- is absolutely IMPOTENT in the face of HUGE Wall Street money and the power of government it buys. I would LOVE nothing more than to see those at the top of this feeding frenzy chain of avarice and those who sold unmitigated fraudulent securities, hedge funds, junk mortgage securities as well as the securities rating companies with their fake ratings go to jail permanently.

The Congress will not even vote, nor does seemingly the president have the ability to wield power, to grant a measly extension of unemployment benefits during this holiday season. I KNOW Congress and the Wall Street banksters will have a FINE holiday filling their bloated bellies while the innocent among us go hungry and homeless after losing jobs, 401K retirements, pensions, health insurance and even, in some cases, because of those losses will forfeit their own lives from the loss of those necessities that sustain life. Many will even, I have no doubt, kill themselves and the banksters are responsible for ALL of it!

If Wikileaks exposes those banking powers who NEED to be punished for their dastardly deeds I look forward to seeing what documents Assange puts forth, if any, to accomplish that goal. At this point I see nothing. The more quickly these ambassadors of pain and hurt who are responsible for the economic ruination of millions know justice the better many of us will sleep at night as I know those who are responsible for all the sorrow of others absolutely do!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Dixicrat Blues: "Politico" reports: "Democratic South Finally Falls" (link below).

This loss of Dixie for the Democrats is really nothing new. There is a strain of anti-intellectualism and anti anything academic that is and has always been popular in the rural south. It has been evolving as such for a long time most especially since 1965 as President Johnson predicted his Civil Rights legislation would lose the south for Democrats and, ultimately, it did exactly that. The Republican takeover has today progressed to the state legislatures of the south as well. Even state politics in the south has become federalized.

If that means that Democrats gain votes among more intelligent, more literate, more progressive, more equitable human beings, and more academic truth-tellers than I say it is OKAY by me. Take a slicer to the south and, oh yes, by the way if they do NOT want health care then good, let them not buy into it so there will be more for us Yankees. I will NOT be singing the Dixiecrat Blues anytime soon.

Someday (MAYBE) the poor whites in the south will wake up and realize the Republican party is what it has been for a long time -- the party of big corporations, big pharma, and BIG BIG Wall Street. If poor southern whites can identify with that group good luck to them. I have always said about the middle classes and below that the REPUBLICAN PARTY IS NOT ABOUT THEM! But gaa head vote for the party that represents the wealthiest top 2% of the population and then see what death panels for granny really mean. In true laissez faire "Gone with the Wind" fashion: Frankly my dear I don't give a damn!
Wikileaks a reassessment: As more becomes evident my opinion changes. The leak, albeit no surprise to those of us who follow policy, is quite possibly NOT a good thing. Is the government a lumbering hulk?. Is this country impossible to govern and too big for one man no matter how gifted? Why does this even occur? Why does the US Government not have the best security money can buy to ensure this NEVER can happen? The question also becomes who does this help? Too many questions and all has not even been released yet.

How many Private Mannings (the leaker to Wilileaks) are there? More to come as I revisit my thoughts.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wicked Leaks -- Defending the Right: The news of the day is the release again by Wikileaks of thousands of pages of State Department documents. There is a hurricane of commentary on the blogs both pro, con and in between. The NYTimes is taking a particular hit as it was one of the first to obtain the documents from Wikileaks and decided to release them. I added, of course, one more opinion. It was written in haste.

The New York Times is a news organization. It is OBLIGATED to report news it deems of consequence. Many were SO critical of the Times during the run up to the Iraq War as it was accused of being a lap dog for Bush administration policy. Well, now they open up the floodgates to perhaps YEARS of rotten US policy so they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

My sincere belief is that the root of US problems internationally post WWII has been so dangerous because its policy has been SO toxic and made to prop up the worst of the worst dictatorships in the name of freedom. FREEDOM? Really? It's NOT about freedom. There was NOTHING about freedom with respect to US policy and Iraq. Men and women die NOT for freedom but for economic, political and industrial hegemony in the world.

Having said that I believe the US does nothing different from what policy has been for centuries. The problem is the consequence of bad policy now comes back to bite us in the posterior because we are SO huge and our military is spread all over the world. In history the US and other nations could get away with an invasion or two and it would NOT be on the radar screen of anyone except those who bore the brunt of it -- certainly NOT Americans. We live in a different age and it is a different world. We obviously are not the only ones to have the means to obliterate the world but it appears we act as if we do.

Personally, I would NEVER give to those who want to do the US harm the ammunition to use to do that. The US, though, needs to examine HOW it makes policy, what policy it makes and who bears the brunt of the wrecking crew. The US should NEVER be in a position where it must defend its covert actions because of illegal tactics. In the age of the Internet it is NOT business as usual. Obama talked about CHANGE....well I would LOVE to see that change. It should include a return to the values that allowed us to defeat HUGE German/Japanese armies because we had right on our side and the might to defeat hideous monsters.

Our culture is WORTH saving, WORTH preserving and WORTH defending because the alternative that religious fanatics want to impose on us is UNACCEPTABLE and often so is our foreign policy. Wikileaks may in the end be a good thing IF the US scrupulously examines the etiology of its foreign policy and uses its might ONLY when it must. Our might TRULY must defend the right!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New News: I recently became acquainted with and joined an excellent left-of-center news site entitled “The Real News.” It is funded by public contribution and not supported by commercial or governmental money. THAT means a lot. Most of the news we ingest should NOT be for public consumption but, truthfully, it is the ONLY news accessible to many. CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and even PBS depend on commercial and governmental sources of funding. Consequently, we do not get the whole unvarnished truth. “The Real News” offers a difference. I list it on the link below. You can peruse it and see what it has to offer. I decided to join and by joining I contribute toward receiving news that is not sugar coated syrup made to help the distasteful medicine go down more palatably. I also had the option of getting a DVD of my choice. I chose “The National Security State” which is narrated by several national security experts as well as historical novelist Gore Vidal. Both the late Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky have their own DVDs from which to choose.

I also link another article from “The Real News” entitled “US Intelligence Thwarted Attack on Iran” by Ray McGovern, a 27 year agent with the Central Intelligence Agency. It is not only a political critique of the Bush presidency and his allegedly self written book, “Decision Points,” McGovern also provides other links to psychological analysis of the former “commander-in-chief.” It is, to say the least, fascinating. I wrote the following blog in response to it:

How much can the little guy really have an impact on American politics? Americans, sadly, are known for their disinterest in activism. Even when irate interest is stoked it is often lost in a short time, perhaps, through one election cycle.

Worse, however, than even that, the grass roots protest for which people like the late Howard Zinn and others on the left advocated is, in reality, now decidedly right wing. It does NOT see government as having the ability to help. The populist Tea Baggers are an ANTI government, anti tax, ultra nationalist group. This is NOT, I believe, what Zinn had in mind. The Tea Baggers at times share the left’s fury about government propping up big corporations at tax payer expense but our similarity of views ends there. The remedies for the desperate state of our nation are altogether different.

I believe the left side of the political spectrum has its limitations. There simply are NOT enough of us rabidly committed to make policy stick. Worse, we are thought of as unpatriotic. We, therefore, lose a LARGE chunk of the culture wars to right wing extremists. We are the ideological opposite on social issues policy which fuels so much of the fervor on the religious right. There does not seem to be enough emotional juice attached to the left to preserve its power ESPECIALLY when leadership has been, as Ray McGovern says, invertebrate.

We face a HUGE conundrum. Can we work with those on the right who hate corporate control of everything political as we on the left do? I suspect we cannot because there is too much of a social and ideological chasm that separates us. How can the left, then, sustain power? We must sustain our base as we did in 2008 and STAY committed to what we believe. We MUST advocate fiercely for people of color, Hispanic people, the poor, blue collar workers, the immigrant, the middle class, those of different sexual orientations and to save a woman's right to choose. We must harness the power of moderates and progressives of all social classes who KNOW that government is the PARTIAL solution NOT the ETERNAL problem.

Either 1 or 2% percent of the population gets ALL the goodies or we REALIZE the American Dream should be more equitably distributed. It is our choice. Sitting home and staying quiet are NOT acceptable. New news organizations that receive no government or corporate funding SHOULD be the wave of the future to avoid the tsunami of lies that has been the ever-present past!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something is Rotten in Denmark: I cannot even describe how despondent, vanquished and utterly furious I am about the confluence of electoral events. What has transpired is my worst nightmare. Where do I begin? In January these utter monsters will be taking back the House not just by a slim margin but by a HUMONGOUS margin, indeed, the largest electoral turnover ever. It is more than my mind can absorb because not only did the coin flip it disappeared from sight.

Where do I put the blame? I place it, generally, in TWO categories. The first is an American public that is utterly CLUELESS to political policy. Most had NO idea for whom they voted. They just knew they had to “throw the Democratic bums out.” Main Street may as well have committed suicide. It is not bad enough that they voted for Republicans, the party of HUGE corporate power, but they voted in the fanatical extreme Republicans who are ideologically immovable, uncompromising, extreme and socially backward. In Horatio Algerian laissez faire fashion they want you to sink or swim, live or die on your own. Life is SO hard isn't it? -- Tough. The public generally voted against its OWN interests. A study which was released recently said a majority of this woefully uninformed public did not even know the Republicans had taken over control of Congress! How do people in this country remain so ignorant? A better question is WHY are they so ignorant? Mencken's quote "You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public," rings true. It is STUNNING.

Another aspect to this Republican House takeover is racism OF COURSE. White older voters will do ANYTHING to defeat the black Barack Obama. The white giant has awoken from its 2008 slumber. Over the holidays the Republicans even refused to extend unemployment benefits while the corporations rake in TRILLIONS from the necessary bailouts under Obama AND Bush. With few jobs and unemployment remaining high white America can take the black man Obama down by Republicans giving him NOTHING that he wants thereby sealing his fate to lose in 2012. Not understanding what is at stake, the American public bounce from Democrat to Republican like they are picking a hamburger over a hot dog. The treasonous Republicans even refuse to ratify a sound nuclear treaty with Russia which includes not only cutting civilization obliterating nuclear weaponry but also would give us the ability to monitor Russia’s loose nukes as well. This could save lives and prevent the unthinkable -- nukes in the hands of a terrorist network. But it is a treaty signed by the black man Obama so something that was pushed during the Reagan years is rejected now unilaterally by an almost all white party!

The SECOND part of the blame rests with the president himself. I should have realized he was not who he said he was when he invited Rick Warren, the Evangelist and homophobe, to his inauguration. It was a metaphor. Our president is like a Jewish prisoner during the Holocaust at a camp trying to seek mercy from the merciless who would show NO mercy even if one gave them gold. He has been trying to kiss the behinds of people who want to throw dirt in his face and take him down. I do not know WHY he feels he wants to be a Republican or bipartisan with people who do not want him in their club. He left Main Street to die thinking that the corporate swine will love him and create jobs because of the trillions he allowed them to keep fraudulently earning. His Wall Street cabinet hypocrites prop up their cronies and then that same Wall Street withholds money from the masses because the lack of jobs and housing foreclosures will sink the president. They will use the dissatisfaction of the population to defeat Obama making sure the awakened white know-nothings vote Republican in 2012. The Wall Street crowd savoring their Citizens United Supreme Court victory and dripping with unlimited corporate cash for Republicans COULD sew up their power in the House, the Senate and the presidency in perpetuity with weak opposition as far as the eye can see. The president hung around with the Wall Street cronies of his treasury cabinet who had a plan for eternal control of Republican corporate power but both HE and WE are NOT included.

Moreover, the president did not mount a HUGE campaign over the summer promoting his health care package. When the Tea Bag insanity took hold he did not vociferously argue against it. He left his fellow Democrats to hang out to dry in anarchistic town hall events promulgated and funded by the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brothers, the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Armey. The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts was the canary in the coal mine. If Massachusetts, a bluest of blue state, went red for a senator then there is SOMETHING rotten in Denmark. The late George Carlin got it right! “We are DUPED,” he said (with more profanity than I would use) “Don't expect anything from government because you won't get it. The game is rigged,” he declared. “It's a club and guess what? YOU ain’t in it.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yes, I know it's Thanksgiving preparation time but ... This is an article written by Dan Froomkin (link below.) It is so thorough and so well done that I am compelled to share it. It is entitled "The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies of George W. Bush’s Memoir" surrounding his plagiarized book "Decision Points" that Bush is running all over country trying to sell. London told him he better not come to Europe lest he get arrested for war crimes!

If you ever wanted to acquire well supported evidence for the Bush lies surrounding Iraq, this is it. Okay, sure it might take a little bit to read it but my goodness, if as he says "More than 4,400 members of the U.S. armed forces have perished, with nearly 32,000 wounded in action, and somewhere in the ballpark of 500,000 more suffering from brain injuries, mental health problems, hearing damage and disease. Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated to number at least 100,000 and more than a million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes" is not reason enough then I do not know what is. These decisions must NEVER be allowed to happen again in this country IF we have any country left after the Bush annihilation presidency and now the takeover of the House by the wingnut-worse-than-Bush Republicans!

2012 may see the Republican take over the Senate and the presidency. Is it possible for something so reactionary to happen in the most powerful advanced nation on earth? In the film "Judgment at Nuremberg" one of the defendants in the German hierarchy who was charged with war crimes during the Nazi period asked his fellow inmate if it was possible that the culturally advanced German people could construct such a massive killing machine in such a technologically precise and sophisticated manner. The answer he was given: It's possible.

In the words of Edmund Burke "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Palin the Pathetic: A Review of Palin's Alaska

Here's my review:

I watch NOTHING Palin -- zip, zero, nada -- nor do I watch her family of hypocrites on anything. She is a NOTHING and knows NOTHING. The thought of her being given credence by a media that is bought by the corporate money makers and its Wall Street shareholders makes me want to VOMIT. She is ONLY news NOT because she knows anything -- what she knows could fill a thimble -- but because she looks good. It says everything about our nation's infatuation with superficial sensationalism. It is, INDEED, pathetic. When her looks fade, AND THEY WILL, the media will drop her like rock!

I am NOT a Republican that is obvious BUT if one wanted to concentrate on cerebrally worthy presidential candidates among the Republicans one could spotlight Romney, Huckabee, and Pawlenty (for whom I would NEVER, of course, vote). They are, though, at least intellectually and experientially worthy of the office. Palin is HYPE and that is all she is. She does NOT care if she gets the presidency. She cares that she has reaped MILLIONS from John McCain's IDIOTIC choice for a one-heartbeat-away-from-the presidency VP nominee. McCain is DESPICABLE. He would sell his mother's eyeballs for a vote. He is an UNSCRUPULOUS politico times infinity. A "maverick" he is NOT!

I would NEVER in principle contribute to Palin's bank account. No one who professes to LOVE this country would EVER promote this unqualified idiotic DUNCE to a position which could and probably would get us all killed. SHAME ON YOU media and shame on me for this taking up 5 minutes of my time to write about this divisive, hateful and unconscionable jerk. I will NOT do that again!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Highly Recommended: Narrated by Matt Damon "Inside Job" is, I can attest, an excellent documentary. I took Bill Moyer's advice and ran (well not exactly) to the West Newton Theater today to view it. It gives a peripheral glimpse at the etiology of the 2008 economic tsunami. It is well worth viewing. Yes, take your blood pressure meds beforehand if you feel as I do, angered, saddened and frustrated at the pure evil and greed that was unleashed by the few upon the unknowing and innocent global many. The heroes and the villains are clear as the makers of the documentary use their vocal weapon of choice to indict EVEN the most prestigious economics professors at the most renown colleges and universities. Yes, they are in on the scam too and even advocate for its principles so that the bomb keeps ticking. The titans of Wall Street have captured many Congresses and presidents in a system of pay-to-play politics heretofore unknown in the western world. It stuns even the most seasoned skeptic of the American political process which sanctions the top 2% in wealth reaping UNJUST rewards with the American taxpayer funding their yachts, homes, Lamborghinis and BMW's. There was and is, indeed, NO trickle down to us but a trickle UP to the rich to get richer without making a single product.

I believe a reckoning day is approaching at least I HOPE it is. I will not be happy until the likes of Blankfein and his Goldman Sachs cronies, along with Richard Fuld of Lehman, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack and many others at the top are indicted for their alleged monstrous offenses. Curiously, it is the ones at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum who may be spilling the beans. This could be poetic justice at its best as the songbirds could be as base as the prostitutes and cocaine dealers who may add to the chorus of pin the blame on the elephants in the room who simply loved the game of risk even bedding down call girls and paying off cocaine dealers to add to their slimy ways. It was damn the torpedoes full steam ahead no matter whom one may crush in order to reap the ill-gotten gains. The little people never matter BUT they may matter now.

I will believe justice when I see it though. One should see this documentary before the fur begins to fly so one can sit back and enjoy the squirm. Naturally, these titans of greed will be lawyered-up so I am a BIT pessimistic. Still, there is a lot to tell and I think even if they get off with a trivial fine it will be worthwhile to see them sweat as MILLIONS in this country face unemployment, foreclosures and medical catastrophes with a Congress that remains deaf to their suffering. This may be the only justice the victims of a HUGE Ponzi scheme receive. In any event, sit back, watch the film and enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trumped up Traitors: Every single day of my life, I get up in the a.m., try to pull myself together and dare to read the news. Do I dare click on Huffington Post? Do I dare click on MSNBC? OR do I dare to read sanity, the New York Times. Krugman has been my guru. Still to read even him today is depressing (See link below for his editorial.) The ENTIRE state of EVERYTHING is DEPRESSING.

We are a nation catapulting toward depression because the ones who have labeled themselves the true patriots -- the Republican party -- want to see this Democratic president fail. Of course, we all know the color of our president's skin matters not to these middle aged red state whites. Oh sure, my posterior it does not. It is the one single factor that these NON patriots use to lynch a darn good, smart, brilliant man who wants desperately to do what he can to save his country from the abyss.

Where were these white patriots when Bush was sending this nation over the proverbial cliff and waging a trumped up war? How quickly the patriots forget. Armed with a zeal never seen since, I believe, pre-civil war, these so called patriots are salivating for the failure of our president EVEN THOUGH IF HE FAILS WE FAIL. They are NOT the patriots they falsely claim they are. They are TRAITORS!

Monday, November 15, 2010


To be read after taking your MEDS!

You and I have been ROYALLY had. A wonderful friend sent me the link to a lecture given by my guru Bill Moyers at Boston University. I place the link to it below. It says SO much and summarizes the giant economic pickle we are in. In addition, he suggests people "run not walk" to a fabulous documentary which I believe has not shown up on our shores ... YET. It is entitled "Inside Job." I link that below as well.

As usual if you cannot click on these links merely highlight them, then cut and paste into your browser at the top. I can assure you if you enjoy knowing the ENTIRE truth and not the sugar coated syrup you get from regular and even cable news then links such as the ones below will provide you with just that. You can take it. I know you can. We have just taken the greatest economic mishap ride with the exception of PERHAPS the Great Depression and it STILL is not over. In the long run, if we live to see it, it may be worse than the 1929 crash as America CONTINUES to elect the same people who threw this country and the globe over a cliff except they are doing MORE of it. Republicans AND Democrats are in Club Fed but guess what? MOST IF NOT ALL OF US AREN'T!

Then below that I link Matt Taibbi the WONDERFUL reporter and exposure of economic criminality from Rolling Stone. I urge you to click on the Utube in the article that explains Quantitative Easing. Never heard of Quantitative Easing, not to worry MOST haven't including yours truly until I looked into it. Basically it means the Fed PRINTING MONEY and buying bonds from guess who? NOT YOU OR ME but yes, Goldman Sachs. SURPRISE!! Yeah the guys in the Obama Administration. Whoa, funny huh? Did I hear the word oligarchy anyone? The Utube will explain it in VERY VERY simple terms and you may laugh if it were not so ruinous and you don't cry.

So to summarize -- I guarantee it's FUN reading...truly...I think:

Moyers lecture at BU:

Trailer of Moyers suggested documentary viewing "Inside Job"

Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone economic genius --Quantitative Easing--WELL WORTH IT and FUNNY too if it were not so serious!!

Matt Taibbi the foreclosure UNETHICAL PREPOSTEROUS MESS

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Sorrow of Soros -- Glen Beck owes an apology: Mr. Beck: I do not know what beast has invaded your brain but it is incredible for me to believe a man to be so corrupted and sick that he ends up on a major cable network inciting so many to violence while making millions from them for profit. Maybe I am naive. My conclusion is that you, with an assist from the dripping-with-cash Fox Network, know EXACTLY what you are doing. The scripts written by you and for you are a deliberate attempt to foment division and discord in this nation and IF violence erupts so be it; it will encourage your minions to listen even more to your vitriolic madness.

Your dialogues, at times, are comical to me. Most times I cannot listen to your polluted rants. The latest one about George Soros is abominable. In some perverted way you have contrived that George Soros is the master puppeteer whose "evil" liberal politics is PROVEN in that he sent his own people to the Nazi ovens during the Hiterian era. Your words are so over the top they drip into the psychopathology realm. Could it be that your past drinking has corrupted your cerebral cells to such an extent that it allows you to spew such lies? Worse, those on the right who do not carefully examine thought, investigate and THINK about what someone says hear the words Soros the Jew and a financial takeover which confirm, in an odd Shylockian way, their own virulent anti-Semitic inclinations about Jews as the ultimate manipulator -- the REAL man behind the curtain -- pulling the strings. Your sentiments are poisonous.

You claim to be a man who LOVES this country. That is decidedly doubtful. What you love is your bank account. You have found a way to take advantage of the proclivity of some, perhaps even many, in this nation who lean extremist right and to capitalize on that by spreading consummate lies to the non-discerning many. It is difficult to imagine in our culture, no matter how much the media has perverted it, a man who reaches the pinnacle of success but does not care that his rhetoric is, in an extraordinarily large part, contributing to his nation's hostile even violent climate and the possible takeover by right wing extremist elements that this angry unreasonable verbiage encourages.

What you say besmirching a mench (a GOOD human being) like George Soros is a sin. You maligned the Jew George Soros as the controller and manipulator of all things to accommodate those in your base who feel that about Jews anyway.

Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast explains the truth and the sorrow of Soros behind the right wing myth: "... when Soros was 14 in Nazi-occupied Hungary, his father bribed an agriculture official to pretend that the boy was his Christian godson. Soros once had to accompany his protector to inventory a confiscated Jewish estate. Asked by 60 Minutes if he felt guilty about it, he said no, because he wasn't at fault. The slander that he was a Nazi collaborator has proliferated on the right ever since."

Your rant against Mr. Soros is UNCONSCIONABLE. It is ironic that you throw around the word Nazi like confetti on New Year's eve but the true fascistic-like appeal is on your own side of the political spectrum. Consider this quote from Mein Kamp, Hitler’s written manifesto, to which you so often love to refer: "For a lie [to be] so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously that they would get the majority to believe the preposterous assertion" is the goal of a perfect propagandist. That, Mr. Beck, would be YOU!

To quote Mark 8:36 a New Testament text you SAY you adore “What profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his soul”? You owe Mr. Soros and ALL Jews a COLOSSAL apology. For once in your sorry life with all your millions, Glen Beck, be a MENCH and give one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Must Read: I saw an author, Russ Baker, interviewed. He has written the book is called "Family of Secrets." I CANNOT put it down. I downloaded it to my Kindle. It is an analysis which was ten years in the making of George W. Bush. This author presents him like no other author I have read who has written about George Bush that fully explains the enigma, the complexity of the man and his background which formed one of the worst presidencies if not THE worst presidency in US history. If you think you don't want to know anymore about this unqualified man who allowed 911 to happen, invaded Iraq, a country which had done NO harm to us, tortured and catapulted this nation into the greatest recession it has ever known then please THINK again. This author seems to have documented all there is available to know. He has complied 500 texts on both George W. and his father H.W. which the author says he had to read and research to understand the father and thereby understand the son.

It is a page turner. You can download it to a Kindle if you have one or get it through or Barnes & Noble. If you have any interest in our country's history at the dawn of the 21st century and want to know the many many things that have been heretofore enigmatic about the Bush failed presidency this book provides substance. Moreover, it gives a little taste as to why EVEN Obama is not living up to his campaign rhetoric. I haven't gotten to that part yet but I can assure you I cannot wait.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why? If you want to understand and get the BEST progressive analysis of what happened in the November 2 Republican House takeover listen to the interview of Glen Greenwald by Greenwald writes for and has also appeared numerous times on MSNBC and other venues analyzing contemporary politics from a civil libertarian perspective. According to his biographical data on Salon he "was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of two New York Times Bestselling books: "How Would a Patriot Act?" (May, 2006), a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, and "A Tragic Legacy" (June, 2007), which examines the Bush legacy. My most recent book, "Great American Hypocrites", examines the manipulative electoral tactics used by the GOP and propagated by the establishment press, and was released in April, 2008, by Random House/Crown." He is one of my all time favorite political commentators. Although I do not agree with everything he postulates, I agree with him 99.999% of the time.

The link to his interview is the following:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bush’s Book: IF a Democrat made decisions which were murderous to his own people based on lies, IF he took an ENTIRE nation to war based on lies, IF he took the "coalition of the willing" to war based on lies, IF a Democratic president was guilty of the murder of thousands of innocents based on lies and destabilized the entire Middle East handing power to the alleged arch enemy Iran, IF a Democratic president did those things not only would he have been impeached he would have been tried and convicted of war crimes.

LOOK at what that man did! Look at the horror and the RUINED lives of our soldiers who volunteered for this dastardly war because most did not understand the truth. Many are wounded in body and spirit and many are dead. I ask FOR WHAT did they die -- for a lie? Bush says in his interview with Matt Lauer to push Bush’s book that we were NOT attacked on his watch? OH really, Mr. Bush, REALLY? Lauer, does NOT hold Bush’s feet to the fire. Why am I NOT surprised? I thought 9/11 WAS an attack on BUSH’s watch. Bush was warned by the presidential daily briefing about an impending terrorist attack within the US and he did NOTHING. Moreover, it was NOT true that everyone thought Hussein had WMD. MANY in the academic and professional foreign policy spheres doubted it. Bush/Cheney planned and calculated this move that they wanted to perfect even before 9/11. 9/11 provided the EXCUSE to commit a policy SO toxic, SO cruel, SO INHUMANE and SO unwise it RUINED the lives of millions, put the world at risk and it STAINED the reputation of our nation abroad.

I aver we are NOT at LESS risk of another attack but MORE because the hornets in the nest are furious in a fiery part of the world. The blood STILL runs in the streets of Baghdad every day.

Further, wars are expensive. War makes the very few very rich but it impoverishes the many. We will be in Iraq because an entrenched military/industrial complex wants eternal war for profit. It has cost trillions and is still costing this taxpaying nation BILLIONS each day in perpetuity!

We are getting out of Iraq? I DON’T think so not with THIS president who is sometimes a mirror image of the predecessor he VOWED he would not be. This president promised systemic change. He PROMISED he would be different. The president breaks his promises day in and day out on a plethora of policy. The conservatives should LOVE him. He is in a state of denial about those who hate him and want to see him BROKEN -- broken of position and broken of spirit. He WILL get both.

I LOATH that I was deceived, I loath that this president is NOT what I thought he would be, and I LOATH the disappointment. We DESPERATELY need a third party to hold a politician to his promises. The president is NOT holding himself to his own promises and alienates his base day by day. The red hot charismatic campaigner has turned into dull glacial ice.

Republicans and tea baggers LOVE it but Obama's base DOES NOT! I feel like I have been the victim of a BATE AND SWITCH selling. He is NOT the candidate I and millions of others bought. If he does NOT grow a spine, he WILL, in fact, be a one term president. If the ENTIRE Democratic Party does not grow a spine the Republicans will take BOTH houses of Congress back, perhaps, PERMANENTLY.

If Bush was "the decider" Obama is "the compromiser." Republicans, UNCOMPROMISING and EXTREME, are uncorking the champagne now. The president is playing RIGHT into the opposition's hands. Does he KNOW this or is this a plot agreed to by Democrats? I am NOT a conspiratorialist but either he or the Democratic Party has agreed to keep corporatists happy OR they both are absolutely DEAF to the criticism of the Democratic base and the Independent middle. I hope it's the latter but I wish it were neither.

Monday, November 08, 2010

THIS IS WELL WORTH READING Click on the link to the title underlined or cut and paste the title into your browser.

> Subject: The K.F. Stone Weekly: "When Lunatics Take Over the Asylum"
A CORRECTED BIO of the author. Apologies, I had a few things about the author incorrect:

1. He worked in the Senate, the House and for Gov. Jerry Brown;

2. The "Boca" campus he teaches at is Florida Atlantic University. He also teaches at the latter's Jupiter campus and at Florida International University as well;

3. He has had a chavurah -- a synagogue "without walls" for the past decade. It meets in Coral Springs Florida for services, hagim (festivals), Torah study and Hebrew school, which is done out of his home.

"When Lunatics Take Over the Asylum," deals with last week's election and posits that it was neither as frightful as some fear nor as blessed as others believe.

> (Blog]
> [Website]

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I feel bad about my neck and my cheeks, and my hands and and and

This was in response to an editorial about the wonderful writer, producer and director, Nora Ephron, who was interviewed by Salon says "Nora Ephron gets serious about sagging necks and wrinkles and talks about aging in her new book "I Feel Bad about my Neck." She talks about aging and does not wax sappy.

What IS so great about aging? Damned if I know. Cher said one of the most honest things I ever heard from a star. Most stars when asked that question about aging on aging supercilious talk shows say something like oh really I don't mind getting old because well it gives you so much more perspective, it enlightens you, it makes you wise, it beats the alternative etc. etc. etc. Or worse some say I'm glad I have cancer it taught me how to live! REALLY? REALLY? I do NOT want to get cancer to teach me a THING. Cher once said in plain English "aging stinks" and I quite agree. Sure death beats the alternative but we will get the alternative for much longer than we are alive.

The most profound comment I have heard about death recently is that someone equated it with being on the Titanic. YES I said I feel EXACTLY the same way. The iceberg is ahead no matter how many Dr. Oz shows you watch, no matter how well you eat, no matter how many vitamins you take or no matter how much you exercise ... death will still get you in the end.

I HATE the idea of aging. I HATE my body betraying me. I feel I am the same person in thought but my organs, brain, heart and lungs, bones etc. say NO you are not! I wish there were a face lift for the heart or the brain or the liver. The thought of illness terrifies me almost more than death itself.

The only difference between any of us and a man on death row is that he will be dead sooner. BUT we will ALL be there whether we like it or not. The iceberg is ahead and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

Personally, I do not believe in a hereafter nor in any kind of a supernatural being so the best advice I can give people like I is smell the flowers while you can. I wish when I was younger I realized the brevity of it all. If I had I would have started learning everything there is to learn sooner instead of playing kick ball in my elementary school playground.

I cannot believe there will be a time when I won't know what happens or who is president or that there will be a time when I do not know people, most especially those who share my life and the things that were so much a part of my life. Seeing those I love die is almost worse than contemplating my OWN death ... it IS worse than contemplating my own death.

Since I do not have children the only thing I will leave to the world is my writing and my reputation. I am hoping that some day in 2180 (IF civilization makes it that far) someone who is studying this era will see my writings. I hope, too, that I have transmitted to others the thirst I have for learning and academic achievement. That's it. Beyond that I TRY to be as decent a person as I am able. I know I fall short but I try. If someone some day soon after my death realizes that or cries for me, well, I am hoping for that but truly I will never know.

I cannot believe Carl Sagan is dead or Stephen Jay Gould is dead or Paul Newman and Bea Arthur are dead or hundreds of other famous people I knew of are gone. THAT bothers me. Those who have contributed in incredible ways to the advancement of man should NEVER die and yet they do and so will I.