Saturday, February 27, 2010

Take your Pick: Honest to god (so to speak) IF I were a believing person -- which I am NOT -- but let us just say for a moment I WERE a believing person and a Christian to boot subscribing to the New Testament Book of Revelation, I can see where those believers would tout the events especially since 9/11 as the beginning of the End Times.

When one thinks present time about the climate changes, the melting of the ice caps, the floods, the fires, the earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts and generally EXTREME bizarre weather phenomena, hurricanes galore, tornadoes and snow where there was heretofore little, it does seem like something is out of whack. Those things alone could bankrupt a nation state. Oh yes, that reminds me, dare I forget the plunging economy which still presents huge unemployment and loss of savings with no health care for many. Worse, when one thinks the banks are doing the EXACT same things with little regulation and experts have said another 2008 crash is nearly a certainty; salt and pepper in a clash of civilizations with a nuclear war hammer held above man’s head and, oh yes, the possibility of a pandemic flu, I can see where Bible toters would think to get ready for Jesus who will be coming on a cloud to take the believers up to heaven.

If one were not a Christian who would never subscribe to a belief in Jesus even assuming one believed in god, one might see those events in rational, scientific terms and not in myth. One might say 3/4 of these extreme events are man made. I believe global warming is in large part man made through man’s progression toward and embrace of industrialization, its attendant emission of gas choking carbon dioxide both to man, animals, to our fragile atmosphere and ultimately to the balance of nature itself. I believe carbon should be capped. I believe filthy oil and energy should be changed to CLEAN energy. I believe the extreme weather events come from a temperature increase which accounts for global warming and that its upset of the balance of nature is man made.

I SURELY believe the economic catastrophes are man made and believe the US is the epicenter of that. I believe war, too, is, of course, man made waged in an age where war NEVER will be won. I believe the economic collapse of 2008 and future ones should be placed squarely in human laps of an unregulated Wall Street gone wild holding hands with their government money-soaked enablers.

So, one can sit back and just let er rip to wait for Jesus to come down on a cloud to take believers to heaven and send non-believers to hell OR one might use one's cerebral intelligence evolution bestowed upon us, which accounts for man's great survival despite the harshness of nature, to, in combination with government and the private sector, solve these problems, save the planet and us as inhabitants thereof. Take your pick. It's up to you. I know what I would choose!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bipartisanship shmaipartisanship -- Glen Greenwald gets it correct yet again: I would just like to know if Glen Greenwald gets anything wrong [see link below]. To me at least it appears he does not. I would add a few things about this plea for bipartisanship on bended knee by Democrats seeking it from Republicans.

As usual bipartisanship works ONLY in one direction. The Republicans are absolutely INTRACTABLE and loath to the idea of bipartisanship lest their base have cardiac arrests thinking that one of their own actually compromised with a Democrat, liberal, progressive, socialist, Communist, Nazi.

Not so on the opposite side of the isle for the very points Glen mentioned. Democrats do not give a second thought to alienating THEIR base as Rahm Emanuel smugly says Obama should not worry about the Democratic base.

So Republicans worry about their own base to avoid being sent home but Democrats do not have to worry about their base so they keep voting yes to things Republicans want like war funding, civil liberties encroachment and soon to be a so called "bipartisan" consumer protection agency. All of a sudden President Obama says well we can craft "bipartisan" consumer protection within another institutional entity to save money when it is ever so CLEAR having it in one agency devoted to consumer protection is what is needed to avoid another catastrophe as stated by the preeminent Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel on banks and the TARP bailout, Elizabeth Warren.

So bipartisan shmaipartisan when it only works for one side it's called Democratic spinelessness to STAND FOR SOMETHING as they shake in their pants.

I say to Rahm Emanuel, DON'T always count on your base to come through. I'M one of your base and I just MAY sit the next election cycle out.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brown's Balancing Act: I agree with Scott Lehigh (Boston Globe February 23, 2010 editorial "How is Brown doing?" Link below), the reviews of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown's performance, so far -- he's been in the Senate only one month -- are mixed. In addition to getting his facts straight, Senator Brown will have to dance a precarious policy dance. If he leans a little to much to one side he gets slammed by those on the other side; lean too much on the other side and he gets slammed again by the opposite side. He must bob and weave from one side to the next while staying smack dab in the ever-so-narrow middle like the Fiddler on the Roof. It can be done but it will take incredible balancing act to do it.

Good luck to Senator Brown, being in such a polarized Senate, like Tevya's fiddler, he walks a tightrope. Lean too much one way or the other and he will fall off the roof! It is a sad commentary of our time that one needs an ideological litmus test to gain entrance into the exclusive Republican Party club.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/02/24/how_is_brown_doing/

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Points to Ponder: I saw “Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” a documentary narrated by an older Daniel Ellsberg which I recommend for those who not only love documentaries about the Vietnam era but who also love to think about the challenging moral questions presented. They are questions which confront our politics to this day. Maybe they are even questions with which mankind has had to grapple since man could conceptualize right.

What does it mean to be a moral person? What does it mean to be a patriotic person? What does it mean to question one’s government in the face of its perceived immorality? Does one have the moral obligation to do so despite the risk? Did Nuremberg stand for anything? Is this country an exception to universally accepted behavior during war time? Are the government’s lies as expressed in the Pentagon Papers about the justification of the Vietnam War, first published in the New York Times, the same as the alleged lies perpetrated to justify the Iraq War or do the events of 9/11 change our moral compass? How important are the dictates of the international balance of power when it is part of the justification of foreign policy?

Does our government require the individual to accept its foreign policy without the questioning of one’s own personal dictates of conscience especially when one is employed by the government? What is freedom of speech and does it apply when a country wages war? Are our government and our nation the moral yardstick by which the world should measure itself or are we, really, in our own mind’s eye, the exception to the rules by which moral men and nation states should live?

These are important questions for one to ask and these are the questions which have plagued me from the moment I first became politically aware as a child of 9 viewing the documentary footage of the Camps of Europe Eisenhower and others liberated in May, 1945. Those actions of a supposedly “civilized” German nation state shaped my political philosophy to the present day. In light of that as I matured it became monumentally important for me to answer the questions of what constitutes moral right? Who is morally right and who is not?

Subsequently, the Vietnam invasion, its attendant Mei Lai massacre, the invasion of Cambodia, the Iraq War with its accompanying atrocities at Abu Grahib, to the present day bombing of civilians in Afghanistan, suspension of civil liberties including the admitted use of torture by the former Vice-President of the United States make me stop to ask those important questions. I need answers.

Would I follow an order which I believed to be immoral? I truly do not know. I hope, though, the answer to that question would be no. No, I would not do simply anything because my government told me to do it nor would, I hope, I commit acts outside the internationally set legal boundaries of wartime behavior. Our Founders KNEW the frailties to which power was heir. They KNEW what government possessing that power was capable of doing but they could never have known the ENORMITY of that power and our capacity to destroy the earth with us in it many times over.

How do we differ from our perceived enemies or, perhaps, we truly do not differ once the facts are exposed to the light. Do our own people really care if international law was broken? 2 MILLION Vietnamese died, 58,000 American soldiers died, the earth of Vietnam was covered with Agent Orange a defoliant and burned. As stated in Wikipedia, “According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, a cancer causing defoliant resulting in 400,000 deaths and disabilities, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.” Congress, because of intense popular protest, finally, would not fund the Vietnam War any longer. It spanned four presidencies.

Is history always written by the winners? What do I owe my brother and if I am not my brother’s keeper who is? Points to ponder.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sentient Beings: The HBO film "Temple Grandin" about Prof. Grandin's autistic life was truly amazing. One who is different in other ways can relate. I thought it profound, emotionally moving and it reminded me of the Russell Crowe film "A Beautiful Mind." It makes one, I think, appreciate how difficult it is for one who does not conform to the "normal" world to be taken seriously and treated humanely. It is a tribute to Prof. Grandin that she rose above her limitations and, actually took advantage of the gifts her difference bestowed. It led her to design humane ways to treat cattle destined for slaughter.

I, personally, am uncomfortable eating animal flesh to live and try to be as vegetarian as possible. I eat no red meat although a few times I will allow myself chicken and fish. I have become increasingly, in my adult years, cognizant of the sentient beings we send to slaughter. As a matter of fact it was the slaughter scenes in the film that I could not watch.

It is true, as Prof. Grandlin says, nature is, indeed, cruel but humans with our singular intellect can choose a different course. I believe our health would SIGNIFICANTLY improve if human beings rejected animal protein and chose other nutritional methods to obtain it. This country in particular, unfortunately, has an extreme affinity for meat. I believe one is what one eats and the incidence of the epidemic of diabetes, unhealthful eating and lack of exercise, in general, accounts for, in part, our national health care crisis.

I salute Prof. Grandin's attempt at making the slaughter process as humane as possible. The ultimate humanity for me would be if our nation swore off meat altogether. I am not unmindful of the fact that will probably never happen.

It was an excellent and emotional film as I thought it welded two concepts of treating humanity -- all humanity -- and the animals with which we share this planet as humanely as possible while accentuating the things one CAN do as opposed to the things one cannot. I highly recommend this movie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Anarchy of Anger: Joseph Stack blew HIS stack, burned down his house with his wife and child in it. He then took a plane and crashed it into a Houston building which housed the IRS, an emblem of government. This is a political statement to be sure. What is the statement he was trying to make? His note wafts in anger sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left in its fury. He is angry about his tax disputes which, by his perception, cost him thousands. He is angry at alleged “taxation without representation.” He is angry at the loss of his 401K and he is angry at the intractability of the health care industry and the stagnation of political debate. He is angry at insurance companies and the banks walking home with pockets stuffed full of bonuses gleaned from taxpayer money allowed seemingly by an uncaring and inscrutable Congress.

While there is an irrational anger in Mr. Stack’s unforgivable actions to be sure, his thoughts written in his note are not emblematic of madness. I think his political statement is reflective of the anger in the country as a whole. It comes, as his note reflects, from the left and it comes from the right. The so called Tea Bag Party movement is a hodgepodge of fury coming from, seemingly, everywhere. Progressive anger and intractability, too, keeps the Congress paralyzed as do Blue Dog Democrats who seemingly do not give an inch. What is it all about? Who are these angry groups? For that matter who WAS Mr. Stack? No one can really be sure because anger often knows no logical expression. Even Mr. Stack admitted his note of suicidal and homicidal justification was rambling. The depth of his anger, though, was crystal clear.

It is sometimes understandable to be angry even furious at moments of seemingly senseless irrational political reality. History has seen this many times. Leaders rise and they fall. Empires hundreds of years standing supposedly invincible succumb to events beyond anyone’s control. Countries live and countries die. The reasons for their death are innumerable and often disputative. Hopes rise and hopes fall with each successive regime and leadership. If one takes a panoramic view of the historicity of events it leaves one, I think, dumbfounded and unable to understand why we cannot all just get along. One fact, I think, is clear. It is very easier to be red hot angry than it is to govern a country – especially one of over 300 million – and make it work (a fact a relative of mine made me think about when I got angry at events.) Perhaps, Mr. Stack should have tried to do just that before the anarchy of his anger took innocent life, a home and a building down with him.
Come out of the woods -- Tiger's Woods's Apology: I thought Tiger Woods's apology was well done. In the end this is about HIS life, HIS wife and HIS children. Someone said on another blog site if Tiger has let YOU down, you really need to rethink YOUR life. I agree.

Personally, I do NOT care one whit if he slept with one woman, a hundred women or a thousand. It makes NO difference in MY life whatsoever. Whether Congress passes a public option, however, is HUGELY important to MY life and all those I know. These are the matters that count.

A golfer's sexual behavior makes absolutely NO difference to me. I will not become wiser, stronger or certainly more financially secure by the things that happen to Tiger Woods. In the end he may make even more money because of this which matters NOT in my life either except that I wish I were born with that kind of talent and had the blessings that that talent bestows.

I say, he who has not sinned cast the first stone as the press and many others self righteously grab on to this story for the money it can make them.

Good luck to Tiger and good luck to ALL of us who live in one of the most divided of nations since the Civil War! That fact is more important to me than any sexual salaciousness a sports figure may have committed. Scandals come and go and America's memory short. It will be forgotten in due time. The effects of a stagnated, angry and irretrievably divided nation, however, will be more profound to all of us for generations to come.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This was in response to the Joan Vennochi February 11, 2009 editorial: Teblow ad 1, detractors 0

Tebow 0, detractors 0: I was one of the one's who lamented the politicizing of the Superbowl by the Tebow commercial. I felt it was a game for god's sake, it's supposed to be fun and why CBS wanted to inflame the pro choice and anti-abortion sides, like we do not have enough polarization to last us through eternity if we make it that far, I will never know!

However, I did what I vowed I would not I gave it a chance and viewed it. I viewed the entire Superbowl as well which was a wonderful experience. I deemed ALL the ads no big deal. The Tebow ad was minimalist and I gave CBS kudos in the end. Yes it celebrated life which both sides do even us pro choice advocates like the idea of life and exalt the mature woman's life who is most impacted by a pregnancy. The claim of sexist by NOW and other feminist venues, in my opinion, is ridiculous. It is as tired as the anti-choice mantra. I watched the ad with Betty White and Abe Vigoda which I thought was hilarious. I laughed for many minutes after it. Some ads were good and some were not so good, some funny and some not. Humor is in the eyes and ears of the beholder and listener. In the end it falls into the who cares category anyway.

I disagree with Vennochi only in her end paragraph where she states: " No supporter of Roe v. Wade can escape the truth. With one choice you could end up with a strapping son; with another choice you don't." I would amend that a bit and say no supporter of Roe v. Wade can escape the truth. With one choice you could end up with a strapping son, with another choice you could end up with a genetically deformed or intellectually compromised child for the rest of its and your life; with yet another choice you don't"!

The mistake the so called "Focus on the Family" makes is that they do not tell you each incident of pregnancy is different and some pregnant women are caught in a web of dangers which could result in a horrifically compromised fetus incurring huge costs -- often NOT picked up by insurance companies -- for life and even could result in the death of the mother. Safe, legal abortions avoid any of those sometimes tragic consequences of pregnancy and no one but the mother has to endure those consequences. It is just not that simple.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Key: I have just finished a book entitled “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosney. I am usually not a reader of fiction. I like non-fiction with a historical or political theme. This is historical fiction, however, so it fit my taste. The book riveted me from the beginning to end.

It is not exquisitely written as is some classical writing but it is interestingly written capturing my focus from the first pages. The novel has as its historical underpinning fascist Vichy, France during the Nazi occupation in 1942 and shows the willing complicity of some if not most of the French populous surrounding the fate of French Jewry during the Holocaust. Forgotten by some are the historical roots of anti-Semitism in France, as reflected in the famous 19th century Dreyfus affair and depicted in the film J’ Accuse. The basis of anti-Semitism in France, not always admitted and hard to face by some, runs deep and allowed for their willing participation in the 20th century mass slaughter of Jews.

The novel centers on a little known event in France called the Vel d' Hiv or the July 16, 1942 roundup of Jews by the French themselves per order of Marshall Petan under the auspices of Nazi occupation. It provided for the deportation of France's Jewish population to transit camps and ultimately to the killing machinery in the camps of Auschwitz. In this particular roundup 13,152 Jews were arrested, 5,802 were women, 4,051 were children and the rest were men. In reality all were murdered. They were separated men from the women and women from their children, stripped, heads shaved, belongings confiscated to meet their fate ultimately in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. One can only imagine what they felt and if one had happened to survive how permanent the trauma would have been.

In this fictional account, the ten year old child, Sarah, escaped and was saved by a few French people who did not have the heart to contribute to the suffering of a child. Jews sometimes use the term righteous Gentiles, an appellation reserved for those who hid Jews often at great risk to themselves sometimes even raising the Jewish child as their own.

Sarah had, during the, Vel d' Hiv roundup hidden her younger brother in a secret cupboard of her home, locked him in with a key which she kept in her pocket in hopes that would keep him safe from the French police who pounded at the door of their home forcing them to leave. The novel centers on her daring escape from the transit camp, a way station to Auschwitz to return to her home in Paris so she could, in her child’s mind, let her brother, whom she loved, out. The novel explores the feelings of an innocent child who cannot understand why the people she loved and knew would be doing this to her. Anti-Semitism was not even discussed in her own family in its attempt to retain her innocence and not expose her to its devastating psychological effects.

It is about, too, the occupants of her former home and their zeal to save her and a journalist's attempt to uncover the story by wading through much denial, obfuscation and refusal to face facts. The writer not only investigates this horrific story but finds she is connected to it through a series of discoveries.

It is riveting and is interspersed with data of the child Sarah and of the journalist who is writing the story about the Vel d' Hiv as the novel’s short chapter by chapter rendition going back and forth from past to present. It reflected some of the many facets of the Holocaust first through the eyes of those who experienced this historical monstrosity and those who perpetrated it but most importantly from the perspective of the brave few whose moral compass compelled them to act against it despite putting themselves and their family in grave danger. It also explores how some who were born significantly after the Holocaust and who are not necessarily Jewish, still have the moral compunction to remember and never forget it.

The novel gives rise to the eternal questions of why some simply go along and even advocate for man’s inhumanity but others see its moral bestiality, are consumed by it and act in ways to negate it.

The human animal is indeed a curious one as the Holocaust provides analysis of man’s complexity and the eternal human moral dilemmas he faces. One is forced, I think to ask oneself honestly, how would you have acted, how much would you risk and most importantly why.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Not so Stupid Super Bowl. There is anti-intellectualism in football and its crowd. This IS an anti-intellectual nation but that is a huge generality, of course. Football does ooze machoness, god, family and country complete with the Air Force spectacle, of all things, wasting taxpayer money by flying over the Bowl which seems ridiculous. What is this an international war? The Bowl is often garish, glitzy and gaudy. STILL, having said that I love football and I LOVED last night's particular game.

Why do I love football? I cannot BELIEVE the physical agility, strength and talent of those men. I marvel at nature's construct of the human body and how much punishment it can take IF it is young, male and in the prime of youth. But it is even more than that. The intellect behind the strategy, minutiae and the announcing of it is complex. I am amazed at people who know and understand it all. It is difficult, when the game is over, to recount all the individual plays, who did what well and who missed. I know the basics and sometimes what to expect on each play. There are surprises that will live forever, too, like coach Sean Peyton's prep and the execution of a rare onside kick, the first in Super Bowl history NOT in the fourth quarter, that turned the game around for the Saints. It was GREAT fun.

Moreover, I LOVED the commercial of Betty White in her 80's where she got creamed playing football with young big men in the mud until she ate a Snickers bar which gave her energy. Tears of laughter rolled down my eyes for a LONG time. It was just plain hilarious!

One more thing, it was a victory for the downtrodden city of New Orleans and for all those who have suffered beyond measure in that city. It was symbolic of and a metaphor for a city coming back. It was a testament to the resilience of those people who are an example of the nature of the country itself. This was a Cinderella game where the last finished first. Americans (including me) LOVED that. Americans are, at our heart, I believe, a goodhearted positive people. Moreover, the Saints are made up of decent men especially the quarterback Brees who gives of himself to charity all the time and Scott Fujita who is a humanitarian in his political views. All reasons, I think, to support the Saints.

So what, I cried at America the Beautiful sung exquisitely by the black woman Queen Latifa and the national anthem sung beautifully by the white woman Carrie Underwood. It was an amalgamation of black and white. Our country has, indeed, come a long way.

Even the anti-choice ad didn't bother me. It was small, it was quick and there were OTHER ads selling other things which, I thought, had some homosexual overtones. So kudos to CBS the thing I was the most critical of didn't amount to a hill of beans. I am an unabashed liberal and feminist but I allow myself to enjoy the staggering feats in football. I would LOVE to be so strong!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Huffington Post had a blog entitled "Share Your Story" which asked people to write about how they discuss politics so, naturally, I obliged. It may be posted or not.

I am 61 years old. I became political when I attended the so called "Berkley of the East," Boston University in the late 60's. It was a turbulent era and I loved it. I listened and hung on every radical word of the most leftist professors, had all night bull sessions with fellow classmates and talked politics non-stop. I thought we were ushering in a new era with peace, love and flowers in the air always; when there would be no more war and wealth would be more evenly distributed. I truly thought men would always have long hair and most would walk around the world bare foot. The change I thought would be permanent. It wasn't but I never, since that transforming time, stopped thinking or talking about politics as I tried to figure out who was right, who was wrong and what the difference between left and right was anyway. I am still thinking about it. I loved that time and consider it the best time of my life by far.

I changed, of course, grew older, grayer, and suffered losses of parents, family and close friends. I never did become the radical I thought I always would be as moderation overcame my youth with age.

Because of that time though, I became freer, more in tune with my environment, am more health conscious and environmental friendly. I also managed to find a person who unconditionally loves me. Through it all I toughed life out despite its disappointments and because of the disability of polio, an anachronism now, that took its toll as I aged. I worked hard in the legal field until I could not work any longer as my will said yes but my body negated it. I worked not because I loved it because but because I had to. So when I retired I began to do what I always wanted to do and that is write political and social opinion. That is what I do 24/7 or just about.

I still discuss it with those who will suffer through it and I write opinion and blog continuously. The professors at BU like the deceased Howard Zinn gave me the desire to experience another day because of the window onto the political and historical world that they opened. The computer gave me the vehicle to write about it.

I cannot believe there will come a time when I do not exist and will never know how much of it turns out. I cannot believe that my era someday will be the ancient history that the Romans and Greeks were to me. It is hard to conceptualize one's end and because I never had children the only legacy, if I want to call it that, will be the things I write if someday, perhaps, some historian studying this era comes across in some dusty corner the many opinions I have written. Well, I can hope anyway. Otherwise, for me, what is life all about?
My Depth of Despair and My Heights of Anger -- I am emotionally spent. After the health care debacle and the Coakley election, all the hard work so many of us put in week after week, day after day, hour after hour, creating emails, letters, articles to papers, telephone calls, conversations and anything else one could do only to see our causes fail. I am SO dismayed and so sad about our president's lack of effective leadership and how to USE the power of the presidency and shape Congress I am thinking about stepping on my own toes and backing away from the political fray. The president INEFFECTIVELY in an attempt to return the balance of power to a Congress which does not know what to do with it handed power over to them with little direction. Congress has conflicting interests beholden to big pharma, big insurance or their own states, gets little done on the big issues of our time: bank regulation, jobs, and health care. Both parties, as Bill Moyers said, are equal opportunity employers of big corporate lobbyists and money. The lobbyists are gracious and will give to any party. It is beyond insane that in the middle of a near Depression and when health care and jobs for Main Street are in the mix to help get us out of this quagmire, to decide one is going to return power to an entity, Congress, that is spinning around blindfolded not knowing what to do next even begging for White House leadership.

This is NOT Harvard Law Review and it's not 1789 with a country of only thirteen colonies. It is 2010 with country population of over 300,000,000 on the heals of a near Depression with lives and generations hanging in the balance. If health care and a solid jobs bill die, my heart is dead for this president. I will not invest the time, money and emotional effort to support him. I have to see a change in him returning to what I thought he was in the first place especially on the big ticket items. I feel like a jilted lover. I am upset, furious, demoralized and just plain sad how a Democratic Party could squander the total control it had of Congress AND the presidency with a mandate from the people for change. This WAS my dream come true. The dream is turning into a nightmare because, I believe, the president has NOT led effectively. He speaks loftily with or without a teleprompter but he does NOT lead. He apparently does not know how or is relying on poor advice from his minions which turn its back on the desperate needs of the people. Maybe, too, big pharma and big insurance are simply even bigger than he.

Whatever the reason, he is the leader of our party. Yes, he has done some things that are laudable BUT on the big things he has fallen woefully short. How the Democratic Party did not see the handwriting on the wall with the Coakley election until it was MUCH too late, I will never know. The National Democratic Party and the president as its leader FAILED to keep Ted Kennedy's seat. I STILL cannot believe it. Teddy Kennedy would not believe it either that a party and a president could fail SO dismally when power was at their feet -- and still is -- waiting for them to grab it. It is a damnable thing to those of us who care about human rights and humanitarian principles. I thought Barack Obama was on our side. Often, I do not, so far, see that he is.
I just read on Huffington that Obama admitted health care may not pass. I am FURIOUS. I am FURIOUS because I invested so much time in this guy and I was WRONG about him. You know. I LOATH him now because his modus operandi is USELESS for the 21st century. This is not 1789. I am glad he is for the separation of powers OH SURE I AM NOT. That moronic over thought idiocy will mean people will die with no health care and I lay it at HIS feet. And the Republicans a huge MINORITY gloat with a HUGE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY which we will NEVER have again. He did NOT and does not know how to work congress...he is INEXPERIENCED and does not know how to do it. What a shame. Yes, other peripheral things he got but it is NOT enough. On the BIG things he is a FAILURE and he was MUCH too late to rescue Coakley or better still have gotten a better candidate. Brown changed everything and Teddy is rolling around in his grave. What a TRAVESTY for Democrats. For the first time in my life of voting 40 years I will vote 2012 out of spite Republican even IF I have to step on my own toes to do it. Unless the Dems put up another candidate for 2012...I consider him a NON entity. ALL those hours and hours I spent either working for him or writing or sending emails by the hundreds.. He is ALL flowery talk and lousy leadership. My thoughts are stream of conscious. Speaker Pelosi is the ONLY one who knows how to use power and do it effectively. This criticism is NOT about her. It is about the president and other toxic members of the Congress.

NO one knows how much I hate Republicans BUT I am going to step on my own toes and work AGAINST Obama. I LOVED this guy and I am disappointed beyond repair unless something passes on health care. HE IS IMPOTENT...his method of using power is IDIOTIC This is NOT Harvard Law Review AND this is NOT 1789....THIS IS A COUNTRY THAT NEEDS GUIDANCE it needs a STRONG executive. I wasn't so much against Bush's ideas of a strong executive as I was against HIS POLICIES but Obama's policies I am for. HE WILL NOT NOT NOT get my vote in 2012. I will work against him that is how angry I am. I am a Democrat's Democrat but with all the hype and positive talking heads leading us into NOTHING I am FURIOUS..I don't care if the Republicans put up Attila the Hun...I am going to work HARD against Obama because of this health care MADNESS...how many wasted absolutely WASTED hours!!!!!!!!!!He stinks and many in Congress ESPECIALLY the Senate stinks. I will work against Obama because he has shown NO leadership for the 21st century on the BIG issues. This is NOT the 18th century!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The STUPID Bowl -- the politics of religious extremism at the Super Bowl. On the issue of choice, I am pro choice. My position is if you do not want an abortion, fine, do not have one BUT allow this serious decision to be between the woman and her physician. Each circumstance is different and it should NOT reside with the government or be influenced for all people by a religious entity. These right wing groups are dedicated, even if it takes 100 years, to make abortion once again illegal, relegated to back alley abortions which were performed often in filthy conditions. Some want it illegal EVEN in the case of rape, incest, fetal deformity, intellectual deformity or if the mother's life is in danger. They will possibly have the corporate money to advocate for it. They can now even ADVERTISE for it which they are doing during this Sunday's Super Bowl. I have provided a link below which describes the ad.

What ever your views SURELY we can agree that a Super Bowl ad financed by an extremist right wing group like Focus on the Family devoted to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the ruination of our interpreted right to privacy does not deserve air time during the Super Bowl, an event that is SUPPOSED to be fun. I suggest if it is allowed than a warning at the end of that should be required to say that a decision to bring a pregnancy to term, in some cases, may result in the death of the mother and the death or deformity of the fetus. Short of that an equal and opposite response by Planned Parenthood, NARAL (National Abortion Rights League), NOW (National Organization for Women) or others should be offered. As far as I know it is not.

I urge you to contact any of the numbers or web sites below to advocate for this position or find one of your choice. MOST ESPECIALLY let CBS know that if you watch the Super Bowl you will turn off that commercial and others during it OR that you will not watch the Super Bowl at all if the anti-choice Tebow commercial is aired unless disclaimers, disclosure or an opposition to it are allowed to be shown as well.

We cannot sit back and think the right wing will rest. It won't. I hasn't. Our rights on this issue have been chipped away one by one. Moreover, abortion providers have been killed. Whether a woman has an abortion or not should NOT be the prerogative of the public but should be between the woman and her doctor alone!


Online contact: CBS Contact: http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml?tag=ftr

CBS No.: 212 975 3247-- VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION

Planned Parenthood No.: 212-541-7800 -- Ask them to provide an opposing ad. They are a huge entity which surely must have the funds for at least one oppositional ad. They have very wealthy clientele in the likes of Norman Lear, Barbara Streisand, Stephen Speiberg and many others.

Planned Parenthood explanation and response to the Tebow commercial:


http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/local-press-releases/1310-lesson-tebow-family-story-respect-trust-women-make-important-medical-decisions-themselves-31405.htm?__utma=1.48141533.1265384460.1265384460.1265387410.2&__utmb=1.28.10.1265387410&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1265387410.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=%28organic%29|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=Planned%20Parenthood&__utmv=-&__utmk=211296533

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

APOLOGIES: I just got an email from Scot Leigh of the Globe it WAS a spoof article. Whew. I feel better BUT I would not give ANYONE food for thought. It's too dangerous.
Scott Brown for President?? I am disappointed in Scot Lehigh. I thought better of him unless, of course, his editorial "Get ready for President Brown" in the February 3, 2009 Boston Globe is a spoof. If serious, that would be like my voting for Barack Obama because he was black. No, I voted for Barack Obama because I suspected that he was intellectually brilliant and infinitely more capable than anyone else the Republican party had to offer. He was and is driven by a sense of introspection and studious rigor about which President Obama's Republican opposition could only dream.

I suspect the enthusiasm for Scott Brown would be different if he looked like, for example, Henry Kissinger. His rugged good looks, brown suede jacket, truck and seemingly perfect family is, I believe, the kindling fuel that ratchets up the presidential timber tag. Presidential timber? What house nationally or even internationally has Scott Brown built? The answer is none but I am sure, sadly, people will be following this man for president not because we know he has the intellectual heft the presidency should require but because he looked great on the front page of Cosmo. How many books does Scott Brown read and what are they? What are his articulation abilities? Most importantly, what and how much does he know? We have no idea because he has not yet even taken his senate seat and Scot Lehigh, editorialist for the Boston Globe, is predicting Brown as president? Shame on you Scot Leigh I thought you were better than that.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Strategies: A bunch of thoughts in the order my mind thought of them on how we get our message out and the good messengers to support.

The President did SUCH a good job at his question period with Republicans. He is INFINITELY more capable than the cerebrally compromised Bush.

Does the American public see the OBVIOUS truth to that as Republicans and some Independents too think Fox News is the most trustworthy...OH SURE. That is infinite stupidity. No matter what the President does he will NEVER NEVER get Republican "bipartisan" help. They want to defeat him at all costs so they go with their tried and true as they insist Dems are tax and spend even though the deficit soared under the Bush because of his rotten tax cuts for the rich which curiously he was able to get Congress to agree using reconciliation and his totally horrendous, illegal, immoral and by many standards inhumane Iraq War. Wars cost HUGE amounts of money and the defense spending cannot be included in cost cutting. It's separate.

So what does anyone expect? A huge amount of the deficit could be eliminated if we curtailed our defense spending significantly. But the Republicans only want to cut so called "entitlement" programs that actually HELP PEOPLE and work. They want to privatize Social Security and Medicare .... in my posterior NO ONE will want that especially those who have paid into it. Can you imagine with the tanking of the economy brought on by another piece of work Reagan through policies of Bush even helped by Clinton (who I have great reservations about now) how seniors now would be affected if Social Sec. were gutted? Plus Bush took money to finance his war from Social Security and borrowed the rest from China. Their philosophy is really no government spending on anything but defense they really want to end all government spending on humans who need help that is what Republicans are REALLY about as an anti-tax "conservative" crusader Grover Norquist says.

Obama was handed a plate of you know what but the Republicans try to hang all the deficit on him with their tax and spend tired mantra. Salt and pepper in the OBVIOUS racism levied at the president and it's just a toxic situation. I have never seen such insulting and often racist disrespect for a president ... EVER.

STRATEGIES:

I think some GREAT strategies now are to call out Fox News and the Republicans for the liars they continuously are. That is the only way. Keep harping on it and harping on it. Call radio talk shows even conservative ones like XM Patriot and our liberal ones too like Sirius Talk Left or even Sirius Indy talk. I think A.M. radio has some rabid conservatives too although I don't know because I only listen to XM. Air America I think is going off ... not sure when. It's too bad as they have some good ones like Ron Reagan. Stephanie Miller is a very funny liberal commentator. I think The Young Turks with Cenk Yugar is on XM and online. Bill Press is wonderful as is Thom Hartman on XM, and there is PBS and PBS radio as of course is Bill Moyers a particular love of mine but it probably is playing to a selective audience. We want to reach the most people we can.

Blogs are another way to get your opinion out. Make it smart, not nasty if you can, and brevity is always good not that I personally follow those rules but they are good ones. Also try blogging or writing editorials (make them as well written and short as possible) as I have written many times on the Metro West News, the Globe, Times,Washington Post, McClatchy News, Newsweek and others. Metro West Daily News blog has a shortage of liberals. Many blog at the end of each article. I have done it so much that I stopped blogging in the MDN. It does get very tough to read comments against you so beware but the more of us out there the better, grow a thick skin if you can. Huffington Post too is great as is Salon.com ... another site I love is Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. Support for good liberal authors like Jane Mayer, Tom Ricks, Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine), JeremyScahill on Blackwater an expert, Michael Isikoff, NYT editorialists Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, Gene Robinson. Jeff Scharlet wrote "The Family" an expose on "C " Street religious fundamentalists and the Washington Congressmen. A Ugandan connection there too getting the kill/imprison the gays legislation in Uganda believe it or not. Support liberal publications like the Nation, Mother Jones, or internet Moveon.org. Glen Greenwald is BRILLIANT from Salon.com There are many others. Especially there are military guys out there who are wonderful. I can't think of their names at the moment but probably the Rachel Maddow site has them. Also some are involved in getting rid of the Don't Ask Don't Tell insanity like Dan Choi ... read them and support them if you can.

Some conservative stations if they screen calls and you are critical of them they won't let you on. So I say I just want to discuss such and such and don't sound angry and you might get on. Visibility is what the Democratic party and progressives need it for 2010 and 2012. I cannot BELIEVE that anyone with 1/2 a brain especially if they are middle class or blue collar would want to vote against their OWN economic interest and go back to a Republican party which is not about them, and fundamentalist religious wing nuts to boot and a party which nearly catapulted us into a severe Depression maybe worse than 1929 and possibly could have meant the end of this country as we have known it as a Depression that was avoided by the bailout could have been utterly disastrous. The potential for that was that huge. We do not realize how bad it really was and it was on Bush's watch. McCain sarcastically says BOB -- blame it on Bush .. well YES OF COURSE blame it on Bush who else? If the situation were reversed and it happened with Clinton can you imagine how they would play it and do?

Thank God for Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and even Chris Matthews on MSNBC 7:00 p.m., 8:00 pm. and 9:00 pm. respectively. Try to watch them frequently if you can and write in supportive comments. See the Internet for their email. Rachel's is rachel@msnbc.com.....Be SUPPORTIVE they are the ONLY ones who point out night after night the hypocrisy and are supremely entertaining and BRILLIANT ... especially Rachel...she is a ph.d and it shows. She is just the best as she has on even those who disagree and holds their feet to the fire!

Support our PROGRESSIVE Journalists and media. OOPS almost forgot Ed Schultz on XM at 3:00 p.m. AND MSNBC at 6:00 pm. Onward.

Natalie

p.s. I am in mourning for my former professor, mentor and email correspondent Howard Zinn who recently died. I miss him every day! His book A People's History is excellent. He influenced my political philosophy like no other ever could. I just loved him. He was kind, inspiring and dedicated to a humane philosophy. I did not always agree with everything he said but his dedication to his basic principles of speaking truth, humanity and justice could not be doubted.