Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Reality in Three Minutes: I URGE you to either click on this story by McClatchy one of the BEST news gathering organizations and one of the most ethical and even handed. Or go to McClatchy on Google and you will get it. Link below.

The video will tell you all you need to know in three minutes about just what the corporate swill is all about. It is why I am a TRUE liberal who is in favor of truth, justice and the American way. This is what your governments for decades have perpetrated on an unknowing unsuspecting public. It is WHY YOU MUST be aware and involved and NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. Teabaggers are NOT the way. They are used by the corporations and DUPED utterly DUPED by them using everything from race to fear and hand it off to the politically unaware who carry their signs and think they know. They DON'T.

It's all a game and most of you are NOT in it. Take back your country YES, but put it in the hands of honest, ethical people who LOVE this country and would NOT do it in for a billion bucks. The few have been blessed by administrations who care about them and do NOT care about the average person. They care about people lining their pockets who vote according to THEIR own pocketbooks and would just as soon move to Dubai as stay here. WAKE UP and KNOW who REALLY is at fault and it is not people who tried to buy a house but the fault is at the FEET of the men who were behind the curtain manipulating everything from Wall Street directly to the White House to the Congress to the Courts. They BOUGHT it all and NOW look at where we are. We are in the primordial soup. All we have is our vote. Vote for those who REALLY care about your interests NOT about Wall Street and certainly not about the military industrial complex which has a vested interest in perpetual war. I include our present powerful as well.

Watch this you may just learn something if you do not already know it.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/29/96779/goldman-admits-it-had-bigger-role.html?mi_pluck_action=comment_submitted&qwxq=3917760#Comments_Container

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stare Decided: What a horrible position Solicitor General Elena Kagan is in or, in fact, ANYONE would be in who is vying for a Supreme Court position. She is damned if she does in some instances and in other instances she is damned if she doesn't.

How nice it would be not to hear the stupid words stare decisis (the thing having been decided stands.) That phrase which Justice Roberts used SO often surely did not apply to the case of Citizen's United. I guess he LIED. Sure, they are all for a NON activist court as long as the issues are not about issues, corporations or people they care about. Clearly Republicans care about corporations before the average citizen who does not possess great wealth and therefore power. It is too bad Solicitor General Kagan cannot come out and unequivocally say that Citizen's United was indeed an ACTIVIST decision and say I probably would vote against something like that if it comes before the Court again. The importance of reversing a decision like that will, of course, NOT come from Kagan. It will come from whomever takes the seat given up by a justice from the activist right and who the president is who may decide who that utterly important justice will be.

Too bad she cannot be honest and say there are a set of principles I favor. I favor human beings over corporations or I favor the environment over corporate polluters, or habeus corpus over indefinite detention without benefit of trial etc. Then we would get the truth which most of us already know. It is also too bad she cannot say that the Constitution is an interpretive document and changes over time. We are not STUCK in the 18th century one HOPES. Moreover, there are situations which call for a strong executive and other situations which call for a division of power. It all depends on your point of view and the specifics of the case.

Ms. Kagan is so obviously MORE than qualified for this position. Her resume reads like a who's who in great American academic scholars. So what's wrong with that I might ask since part of the country has a case of agida over academics? Thank God SOME in this country can THINK more profoundly about issues than about Lady Gaga or Tiger Woods!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Third Depression's psychotropic remedy: Paul Krugman's NYT article "The Third Depression" (See Link below) is, as Dr. Krugman always is, incredibly prescient. His predictions over time are usually proven correct. If Paul Krugman knows what he is talking about it is hard to understand that political leaders of some depth and insight do not at least read what he has to say and if they want to avoid further catastrophe, in fact, DO what he says. I simply do not get it.

Why oh why Barack Obama chose to stick with the advice on the economy of the very people who brought us to the economic abyss I will never know. I, too, will never know why, as the handwriting seems to be on the wall and unemployment benefits dumped, he does not ditch his economic team for new batting champs. I vote for Team Krugman.

Surely, in this country of 300 million people we can do two things: (1) plug the leak in the Gulf and (2) enact policies which will turn the economy around. Mr. Obama, Paul Krugman has your back and you do not even seem to know it! Please, Sir, listen to him. It may save your presidency and our nation from entering another quagmire and the hellish quicksand depths of yet another LONG Depression!

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Minute and One Half: I never fail to read excellence when Frank Rich writes it in the NYT. Perfect editorial. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/opinion/27rich.html?hp

When everyone was ruminating and hand wringing as to how a general with McChrystal's savvy could be so stupid as to utter the things he did to a seemingly lowly newspaper like "Rolling Stone" (the ONLY paper which is able to tell it like it is and get the scoops -- economic debacle, the Interior Dept. Gulf leak idiocy or McChrystal interview -- correct) I thought there is a method to McChrystal's madness.

He did it for a reason maybe two, three or more. It surely did gather attention, showed the insanity of this war and PERHAPS just perhaps got McChrystal off the hook for a policy which he KNEW this country nor any other can win in the no-win Afghanistan. He won't be blamed but will be able to do a lot of I told you so's.

My worry is that the attention span of the American public is about a minute and a half. Once McChrystal is gone and Petraeus in, Afghanistan will be forgotten again UNLESS American casualties rise horrifically. (Truly, even one more life after NINE years is too much.)

9/11 should have been met with the force it did when it happened and the ability then to capture the perpetrators like Bin Laden and Mullah Omar when we absolutely could have done so in Tora Bora. We didn't so Bush could begin another insanity called Iraq. How we get ourselves into the WORST of predicaments I will never know. NOW we have two insanities to monitor -- Iraq which is NO paradise, the hot war in Afghanistan and, oh yes, make that three do not forget the nuclear equipped Pakistan. WE ARE STUCK, like the pelicans in the Gulf, we cannot move and the fact that we cannot move seals our own sorry fate.

That is what happens when a country elects INCOMPETENT leaders. The price is heavy in blood and treasure. That is the ONLY thing we DO know. God save us, bless General Petraeus and hope, unlike recently when he fainted during his testimony before Congress, he keeps WELL hydrated!
An email to Rachel Maddow. Saw your Friday show. I did love the rendition of what Obama has achieved. We need that BUT we also still need laser focus on the things on which he disappoints his base -- war, civil liberties, imprisonment without trial, Guantanamo and rendition not to mention what you did the public option on health care. There are many other things. The president CAN forge the policy and I do not buy the oh he's not that powerful argument.

Please see Glenn Greenwald's email to me. I passed it along and posted it on my blog. I believe too McChrystal knew EXACTLY what he was saying and did it for the troops to change this policy of insanity first by Bush and now incredulously enough by Obama. I read Glenn Greenwald every day. There are FEW times I disagree with him. Occasionally it does happen I disagree especially with respect to Israel but more often than not we are in the same corner. I value his comments and think they are ESSENTIAL.

I was hoping even though I knew it would be unlikely that Glenn would be offered the 10:00 MSNBC spot after Rachel. Larry O'Donnel got it. Larry is good but he is NOT Glenn. Probably O'Donnel is a bit more mainstream. It's too bad we NEED Glen's articulate and excellently formed opinion!

As you know I more than value your opinion. You and Keith are necessary to my sanity!
“We’re losing this thing”: I get sent many emails. This one below is from Glenn Greenwald, a WONDERFUL writer who posts for Salon.com. He is excellent and has a few words to say about McChrystal, Afghanistan and the never ending war. I suggest you click on it and listen. Here's the link: http://webmail.aol.com/32131-111/aol-1/en-us/Suite.aspx#. This war MUST stop. It MUST to save our blood, innocent's blood and OUR treasure. Even McChrystal KNEW it is lost which I think is why he said what he said. It probably came out of desperation. Well, he DID get his thoughts out in the Rolling Stone Article. You should read that too (here's the link to Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/).

We have spent BILLIONS upon BILLIONS to a trillion on never ending wars. I propose a draft to get people to care when it is their own son/daughters having to fight perpetual wars! Better still END the wars and keep a volunteer force fighting implementing ONLY surgical strikes, which are deemed absolutely necessary. These can be very effective and kill INFINITELY fewer in addition to the use of special ops. There is no question we need to defend against those who would want to hurt and destroy us BUT minimal and PRUDENT strikes have always been the answer. Ground forces in Iraq, the surge there, Afghanistan and the surge there have been FAILURES. Just because NBC news shows you an improvement here or there does NOT mean that the wars worked. They did not. Watch films made by those who do NOT have a commercial interest in war if you really want to get the truth!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silly Me: Add to my last opinion which included a list things the President USED to support but no longer does the civil libertarian priorities of habeus corpus. Glen Greenwald brilliant reporter for Salon.com (See link below) writes that this egregious Bushian-like offense has been given a significant extension by the Obama White House and states:

"Even in the context of America's wretched civil liberties abuses over the last decade, the case of Mohamed Hassan Odaini stands out. He was 17 years old in 2001 when his father sent him from Yemen to study at a religious university in Raiwand, Pakistan, and when a campus house in which he was staying there was raided by Pakistani authorities in early 2002, he was turned over to the U.S. and shipped to Guantanamo, where he has remained without charges for the last eight years (he's now 26). A federal court this month granted his habeas petition for release, finding that the evidence "overwhelmingly supports Odaini's contention that he is unlawfully detained." Worse, the court described the multiple times over the years -- beginning in 2002 and occurring as recently as 2009 -- when the U.S. Government itself concluded that Odaini was guilty of nothing, was mistakenly detained, and should be released (see here for the court's description of that history).

Despite that, the Obama administration has refused to release him for the past 16 months, and fought vehemently in this habeas proceeding to keep him imprisoned. As the court put it, the Obama DOJ argued "vehemently" that there was evidence that Odaini was part of Al Qaeda. In fact, the Obama administration knew this was false. This Washington Post article this weekend quotes an "administration official" as saying: "The bottom line is: We don't have anything on this kid." But after Obama decreed in January that no Yemeni detainees would be released -- even completely innocent ones, and even though the Yemeni government wants their innocent prisoners returned -- Obama DOJ lawyers basically lied to the court by claiming there was substantial evidence to prove that Odaini was part of Al Qaeda even though they know that is false. In other words, the Obama administration is knowingly imprisoning a completely innocent human being who has been kept in a cage in an island prison, thousands of miles from his home, for the last 8 years, since he's 18 years old, despite having done absolutely nothing wrong.

It really is hard to imagine many things worse, more criminal, than imprisoning people for years whom you know are innocent, while fighting in court to keep them imprisoned. But that's exactly what the Obama administration is doing. Every day that Odiani is kept in a cage is a serious crime. Just imagine what has happened to his life by being shipped off to Guantanamo for 8 years, starting in 2002 during that camp's darkest days, with absolutely no justification. ..."



If you care about our country's DNA then you should care about this. We are not what we SHOULD be without the Bill of Rights. If we give this up what have we become? I THOUGHT when we elected Barack Obama we were returning to our genetic roots. Silly me. I actually believe what some politicians say!

For Glen Greenwald's entire article(s) with links see link below:

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shattered McCrystal: The paragraph quoting Rolling Stone Magazine's article "The Runaway General" (link below) sums up a great deal of Obama's Afghanistan strategy and even his presidency:

"Today, as McChrystal gears up for an offensive in southern Afghanistan, the prospects for any kind of success look bleak. In June, the death toll for U.S. troops passed 1,000, and the number of IEDs has doubled. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the fifth-poorest country on earth has failed to win over the civilian population, whose attitude toward U.S. troops ranges from intensely wary to openly hostile. The biggest military operation of the year – a ferocious offensive that began in February to retake the southern town of Marja – continues to drag on, prompting McChrystal himself to refer to it as a "bleeding ulcer." In June, Afghanistan officially outpaced Vietnam as the longest war in American history – and Obama has quietly begun to back away from the deadline he set for withdrawing U.S. troops in July of next year. The president finds himself stuck in something even more insane than a quagmire: a quagmire he knowingly walked into, even though it's precisely the kind of gigantic, mind-numbing, multi-generational nation-building project he explicitly said he didn't want."

The things the President says he does not want like meaningless inadequate off shore ecologically catastrophic oil drilling, an expanded Vietnamesque Middle East war and its consequential civilian collateral damage death he gives a thumbs up. The things he said he DOES want like a public option health care, civil libertarian priorities like habeus corpus, support for Main Street against Wall Street with wholly revamped regulatory economic policy he, so far, folds. Mr. Obama stirs the pot of a soup he made. Can YOU figure him out? I'm STUMPED!

As for McCrystal's motives for what he said and Obama's response to it, the president is damned if he fires him and damned if he doesn't. The psychological etiology of McCrystal's verbal fire only he knows. Was his goal to embarrass the administration, voice dismay for its war strategy thereby hurting the US war effort or to get himself off the hook for its failure? I need to crawl into McCrystal's brain to figure that one out. One thing is clear he succeeded in doing most all of those things and both his military career and Obama's policy(ies), so far, are shattered glass.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390
Something or nothing: I have written much through the Obama campaign and during his first year as president. I was feverishly but enthusiastically writing. The emphasis was on the word enthusiasm and I felt it.

I have been stopped dead in my tracks. I write occasionally when the mood overcomes but as I sit here this morning and read the news I have become UNMOTIVATED. I was part of Obama's base and now I sit here with no enthusiasm. I'm STUCK. I'm stuck in a country that is STUCK right along with me. The oil monstrosity is a metaphor for a stuck nation. The problems are huge with their etiology in administrations past but the country has an extraordinarily short memory and our country's ills too immense for anyone to contemplate radical solutions. The country is poised in 2010 to possibly overturn Democratic majorities to do more of what – more of the same?

What this country can do VERY well is bomb the enemy de jour even if that nation is not really our enemy. Who cares? Show them how strong we CAN be. We are a can do nation after all – aren’t we? Heck some even want to nuke the oil leak. That’ll show it! Who cares about radiation from a nuke. We can take anything. While we are at it, let’s begin another risky drill but this time in the Arctic. I can hardly wait to view the fun and see how BP, of all companies, will drill thousands of miles down in rough seas, temperatures of below zero with 50 mph winds and drill it horizontally to boot! Wow what a blast (pardon the pun.)

Have we gone nationally mad? Tearing down is easy, building up oh so difficult and we, I believe, have lost our will. I diagnose this case as a case of severe national depression. We as a country and those in power are lost and do not know what to do. Worse we are utterly divided as to how to do anything. It is sad. Franklin and even Teddy Roosevelt may not have always done the right thing but they did SOME thing. A few of the electorate kicked and screamed but even they, it appeared, wanted the best for the nation and supported it despite disagreement. With the 24/7 news media talking heads talking at each other not with each other and rabid radio talk, it seems we cannot do even that now.

Either we raise our arms in hapless surrender, ineffective compromise, or we get out our "Don't Tread on Me" silly flag and threaten gun-toting nationalist revolution while dragging out old Jeffersonian quotes of a revolution every 20 years as if an eighteenth century Jefferson could envision a twenty first century nation of 300 million with many diverse and competing national and international interests.

Okay so someone begins this revolution then what? What will they build then? Who will they help -- NOTHING and NOBODY. We are in quick sand and we cannot get out. I understand the feeling. I feel it myself. It is a sad thing to watch, because this country usually at times of peril elects leadership with the ability to dig us out.
Mr. Obama, if you do not have the enthusiasm of your base what and who do you have -- Nothing and nobody. Nothing and not something is the operative word of the day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

View from a Room: A friend of mine sent me an email in response to my waxing morose about the fact that those things I thought were so important in the Sixties had gone and the hope I placed in Barack Obama emanating from those times has not been realized. He said to me, in essence, the Sixties were not all that great because his wife who went to Berkeley during those turbulent years told him so as did another friend who went to the University of Michigan. So I suppose that must be proof positive that the Sixties were not so wonderful and had no impact. He said I should not pine away for something that is gone and will never be again but rather I should concentrate on good works in the present.

I thought about that for awhile and decided I would take issue with him. While I agree one should not get stuck in the past and do good works in the present, I believe the Sixties was a time that had a crucially important historical impact on the present. Every historical period has an impact upon those who come after it. History is a continuum, after all, of human behavior and events. World War I had a direct impact on World War II and World War II had an impact on the generations that separated these events.

In truth, the Sixties have never been over but simply morphed over time much like rock formations which in the past were one thing but in the present evolve into something else. The liberalization of the culture as we know it today is an outgrowth of the Sixties. There are many examples of how important that era was:

The fact I can go anywhere dressed in most anything I like without fear I will be ostracized for dressing “incorrectly” is liberating. Human rights gained much of its impetus from the reality of the Sixties. Rights for blacks, the disabled, women, homosexuals, and others came out of the Sixties. The environmental movement may, if progressives get the chance, save the planet, also came out of the Sixties. The anti-war movement, the end of Vietnam and the elimination of the draft were part of the response to protests of the Sixties. The fact that Sarah Palin was on the vice-presidential slot on a major party ticket is due to the women's movement of the Sixties but she would probably like to ignore that fact. The House of Representatives has many women elected to it. Our Secretary of State is a woman as was George Bush's Secretary of State. Women are Supreme Court justices and in other high offices all due in part to the impact of the Sixties.

Marriages that were abusive and women who bore the brunt of that abuse are treated differently now. They can get help instead of keeping silent thinking they were some sort of societal anomaly that the 1950’s suggested they were. The cookie cutter society that imprisoned many was shattered and, to me, happily so. If in previous eras a girl had become pregnant she went to a home for unwed mothers. That sounds RIDICULOUS now but it was true and I can point to one that existed in Boston at that time. Movies such as “Blue Denim” or “A Summer Place” depicted the utter shame of an unwed pregnancy; the kind of shame which should have been reserved for the most egregious antisocial act. What about the male who impregnated her? No home for unwed fathers? He got a get out of jail free card.

Thankfully, in my opinion, abortion was legalized at least for now. It saved full term human beings i.e. women’s lives. The pill, too, liberated behavior. Of course, the fact that homosexuals finally could feel like they were not pariahs saved lives as well. The Gay Liberation Front had its beginnings in the late Sixties. Many who were renown in Hollywood or politics were mortally afraid their sexuality would be exposed and were subject to blackmail and other threats.

Importantly, blacks owe representation in every sector of society because of the giants of the black power movement and its demands promulgated especially in the late Sixties. The laws against miscegenation fell. The Jim Crow laws fell. De jure segregation fell. If one looks at TV or movies from the 1950's and early sixties one barely sees a black person and if one does they are almost invariably servants of whites. That changed.

There has been no draft since Vietnam. The Sixties, for one of the first times outside of the Civil War draft riots, allowed some to question power and question their country's life and death policies.

Yes, there were drawbacks of the Sixties such as a loosening of the sexual mores and its excesses which had some negative consequences as did drugs. No era is perfect. Moreover, and, in my opinion, worst of all, the radicals of the Sixties created a backlash in the form of Nixon’s Moral Majority, Farwellian uncompromising and extreme right wing religious fanaticism, antiintellectualism and, today, the cerebrally challenged teabaggers representing a most divided nation.

I, though, loved the Sixties for its political statements and because it set me free. Am I thankful for the Sixties? YOU BETCHA. But I can change a little bit of my analysis of it and the disappointment I feel because Barack Obama has not been all I thought he would be … yet. There has been much written on the Sixties such as former radical Todd Gitlin’s excellent book "The Sixties: Days of Hope Days of Rage." Or read as stated in my prior blog Michael Tomasky’s "Against Despair: How our misreading of history harms progressivism today." http://democracyjournal.org/article2.php?ID=6760&limit=0&limit2=1500&page=1 In

MY own final analysis: it all depends on one's perspective and the view from the room where one sits.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Righting My Despair: My cousin sent me this article written by Micheal Tomasky entitled "Against Despair" for the magazine Democracy a Journal of Ideas. Some are concerned about my despair of things political and perhaps are waiting until I commit Hara Kari. I surely will not but it is hard to hide my sadness. This article is an attempt to right a liberal's spirit and explain where liberals like I have misjudged events and also misjudged those heroes of our particular history. It is worth reading because it puts things in perspective by illuminating, I think, a truer reality.

Still, I was a college student in the late 1960's at one of the most radical universities with the exception of perhaps Berkeley in California. My university was, in fact, sometimes called the Berkeley of the East. I cannot help but look at politics through that oft distorted lens and wish longingly for an era that cannot be but I nonetheless want once again. Maybe I want that because it was the happiest time on this earth for me bar none. It was a time when all things humane seemed possible and a time when my view of life from the numb often stupid 1950's was turned happily upside down. It was a new time, it was a revolutionary time and I thought it was correct. It is hard to face a reality that perhaps never was or was different than I thought and would not last as long as I thought it would. Reality when one's dreams are altered significantly is very hard to admit.

This is a wonderful article especially for those of you who fall into the progressive category and walk around sad as I do wondering how things went so askew. Maybe things were not exactly as I thought they once were. The link below may help to answer why they probably were not.


http://democracyjournal.org/article2.php?ID=6760&limit=0&limit2=1500&page=1
Okay Strike That: Strike the sentence about secession in my last opinion. It was an emotional shoot from the hip feeling and, of course, not thought out well. This spill has made me so upset (as if I needed more of that) that irrationality takes over. I am though, adamantly progressive, and for decidedly more progressive academically oriented politics!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An American Tragedy: After the president's anemic speech on the Gulf spill, the 20 billion dollar escrow fund BP is putting aside for the disaster's victims helps my mood -- a little. BP CEO Tony Hayward's testimony before Congress was laughable if it were not so pathetic and the disaster not so serious.

I cannot rev myself up to comment on this fatal catastrophe again but its importance demands I must. My heart is broken for the people, the birds, the animals, and now the largest fatality, a whale, yes, a whale that huge gorgeous mammal is no competition for the damn, filthy, poisonous oil covering the deep. Damn Tony Hayward, damn BP, and yes, damn the administration for giving a thumbs up to off coastal deep water drilling without clear oversight and independent expert certainty that a spill, if it were to happen 3000 feet deep, could be contained. Damn Salazar for not overhauling effectively the Department of the Interior as he promised. He knew, as many did, that MMS, the part of Interior responsible for issuing the permit was, from the Bush years, deeply saturated with corporate and even criminal corruption. It gave BP a pass to drill dangerously deeper than ever before with no oversight. Damn them all. There is nowhere for us to turn. The Republican party is, I can assure you, infinitely worse.

The blow out of the rig and filth washing up on the beaches of so far five states are metaphors for the putrefaction of our political process. So many in our electorate are downright stupidly ignorant and do not care. Our system is a pitiful giant unable to walk as the lumbering Senate takes its sweet time avoiding the passing a comprehensive energy bill. It is like pulling teeth. These right wingnut morons cannot see the forest through the proverbial trees. Someday, sooner than we think, there will not be any trees through which to see.

Sometimes I wish secession had occurred one hundred plus years ago. The backwardness of the red states and even some in blue is an albatross around the neck of academic excellence and progressive politics which should be a natural outgrowth in a 21st technologically advanced century in the most powerful nation on earth. No matter how many times whether the corporations -- with government acquiescence -- commit egregious acts of corporate rape of the economy, corporate rape of health care or corporate rape of our environment they simply get away with it. They get away with, literally, murder and no one but no one can stop them not even Barack Obama, the former most liberal member of the Senate. I do not know what happened to the Barack Obama I THOUGHT I knew. It is an American tragedy.

I am hoping this is not the beginning of the end of our now utterly vulnerable nation. You should know because politics is bought and sold by the corporately corrupt that God forbid if disaster strikes again, it will be every man for himself. It will be a Darwinian odyssey. WE are NOT in this together as the Gulf spill and Katrina before it elucidated so well. If anything more catastrophic happens you are and we all will be desperately on our own!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The President's Speech STUNK. One gets the feeling that no matter WHAT he says NOTHING will change! This is what happens (me included) when you elect a president in which the job is over his head like the moron Bush and now Obama while smart and even brilliant does not know WHAT he is doing and worse has surrounded himself with people who are corporate lackeys! Disappointed does not BEGIN to state how I feel at the moment UNLESS something can turn around and FAST!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

[Written stream of conscious] Interesting article in the LA times (link below) by Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger "Foreign Flagging of Offshore Rigs Skirts US Safety Rules":

Call me crazy but isn't it a dangerous thing to do given our terrorist climate to have foreign construction of an oil rig ESPECIALLY in the Pacific Islands i.e. the impoverished Marshall Islands and in South Korea (Next to N. Korea!)? The further something is to US construction by a US company or on US land then the more easily one could get in to subvert it. Please tell me I'm being paranoid!! Has anyone thought of one person or a few outside the country being able to subvert a process like this?

I DON'T LIKE it. It has NOTHING to do with Obama whom I supported and worked for although I was totally against his allowing DEEP off shore drilling in the first place. Honestly, this is like an attack on our country. It's almost like 9/11 and maybe possibly worse in that if one looks at how many states already it is impacting including Florida the oil leak is HUGE. IF this rotten oil goes up the loop then lets say we in even New England Cape Cod COULD conceivably be affected. I am starting to get worried. Beyond that I am devastated for my countrymen in LA, Alabama, MI and Florida where my relatives live and the unbelievable nauseating horror to the animals not to mention the ruination of the Gulf ecosystem. This is an UNSPEAKABLE crime which is never ending and I am not even sure this rig they are building to cap it will do the job. God forbid what if the blow out explodes again and it does the same thing?

This is simply utterly CATASTROPHIC and it goes back to this damn construction of EVERYTHING known to our country overseas. HORRIBLE. EVERYTHING I buy is cheap crap made in China or some other god forsaken place. I HATE IT. I TOTALLY hate it and I consider myself at the liberal end of the political spectrum. Our ENTIRE country and the way we do business has GOT to be brought back to our own people so we can see, inspect and know who the hell has control of what. I just bought a pair of earrings from simple gold studs ... MADE IN CHINA naturally ... the backs fell off in about 14 seconds and I've lost the earrings. I buy a shirt it looks cheap and needs ironing every second, buy a cover for my bed and it frays in a month. My point: there is NO US quality control except by business which wants to get away cheap and manufactures everything in countries which pay for cheap labor and no benefits. Corporations do not care about us. ESPECIALLY after 9/11 it is criminal that this country has little control over what comes into this country or how it is made and can be subverted with ease.

I am angry at how this country does business now ESPECIALLY as far as manufacturing is concerned. NAFTA and GATT have proven to be simply horrible and unfair for the US worker. It has driven US corporations out with no taxes to pay in foreign lands. It is risky as well especially in this dangerous age.

We need American goods, made on American soil with American workers so we can supervise who is making them, supervise the construction of things and have control over who/what comes in and goes out and REFORM NAFTA AND GATT. This Gulf leak is simply UNFORGIVABLE and everything is tied in to everything else! Our economics, climate change, horrific oil leak, a Congress bought off and ad infinitum hearings that go nowhere! People need to go to jail and FAST for this unspeakable thing! Here is the article:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-inspection-20100615,0,3043517,full.story

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dismayed, Disgusted and Demoralized: The following link is to Rolling Stone Magazine Tim Dickenson's article entitled "The Spill, The Scandal and the President." It is worth reading the entire article despite its length. It is easy to see why I am dismayed, disgusted and demoralized. It will put the monumental Gulf oil spill catastrophe into perspective and it will give you a better idea why on planet earth the president gave a thumbs up to off shore drilling, a policy he opposed during his campaign.

It is a story of the consequences of placing your IMPORTANT ideals on the chopping block of compromise to be sold to the highest bidder in hopes of getting something else. In this case an all systems go sign was given by the administration to BP, a corporation which was littered more times than any other drilling company, with citations, fines and penalties for numerous spills and oversights which cost human lives in exchange for, convenience, greed and profit. This time eleven men's lives and our entire Gulf coast, and even possibly beyond, is being sacrificed allegedly so the president could court votes to pass a climate bill with money, of course, in the mix. It is ironic, indeed, that this deal with the devil is responsible for the greatest environmental cataclysm that this country in its history has ever seen. It is the Chernobyl of our time. Its effects will be felt for decades and beyond even, perhaps, forever.

I URGE you to read it and to express your disgust to your representatives in Washington along with your STRONG opposition to further off shore drilling. If you truly care about your life, your children's lives, your country's life AND the life of the planet, its animals and its ecosystems it is the least you can do.

The link to the mind numbing story is the following: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965?RS_show_page=0

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The All Pervasive Chorus of Anti-Semitism--A Response to Boston Globe's Joan Vennocchi. Please See Joan Vennocchi's 6/10/10 editorial (link below) "Will Beck and Limbaugh be next?": I am an ardent supporter of Israel. I also loved Helen Thomas and think that her career spanning decades and cracking the glass ceilings should not be overlooked. Still, to me, her clearly anti-Semitic statement will tragically obviate much of what she has done and it will be the last statement for which this woman of nearly 90 years will be remembered. That is sad. I truly liked her irreverence toward power.

I was one among a chorus, even though, I consider myself liberal, of those whose blood pressure soared at her comment. I wrote many opinions calling for her immediate dismissal. Did I feel a little bad? Yes I did. It is hard for me to journalistically kick the sentiments of a ninety year old woman especially when she has contributed so much.

Joan Vennocchi says one surely can criticize Israeli policy without being an anti Semite. I do not think that is generally true. I remember Martin Luther King's comment "Scratch an anti Zionist and you will find an anti-Semite." I think he was presciently correct. Criticism of the Jewish state, for me, falls into a different category than does criticism of any other nation state and is why I often give Israel a pass on its behavior. The Holocaust, over 60 years ago, and the killing of the innocent six million is the prime ingredient for the establishment of the Jewish state. If there were no Holocaust there would be no State of Israel. It is really that simple. One CANNOT nor SHOULD one critically divorce this fact from assessment of its actions.

When people threaten the existence of this state and say they want Jews eradicated from the face of the earth or pushed into the sea as Hamas and other Islamic choruses have sung or that they even more disgustingly want Jews to return to the ovens of Auschwitz from whence they came as was implicit in the Thomas statement, then these vitriolic statements and criticisms of the State of Israel cannot be rent from the stitching of anti-Semitism of which the Holocaust is an integral part.

In the Jewish mind and in my mind the essence of the State of Israel is a Darwinian evolutionary struggle for survival of the Jew. Anti-Semitism spans THOUSANDS of years and is the longest hatred known to man. It exists on the left and on the right as the examples of Thomas, Beck and Limbaugh Vennocchi mentions reflect so nicely. Israel is DIFFERENT from all other states and those who criticize Israeli policy or think that the US should switch sides have the same motivation, I believe, that Helen Thomas did. She added after she said they should get out of Israel and go back to Poland or Germany "or they can go to America or anywhere else.” In truth the Jewish refugees of the Holocaust were not wanted anywhere else INCLUDING in America and Helen Thomas probably knew that. She MEANT, I believe, that they should return to the ovens of Auschwitz in Poland and liquidation in all of Europe from Britain on the west to the Soviet Union on the east and from the death camps everywhere in between from whence the "lucky" ones who survived fled.

The State of Israel is UNIQUE because its rationale for its existence is the human monstrosity of the Holocaust. Its actions are based on its own defense and survival. If you are not Jewish you cannot understand our eternal struggle. Ms. Vennocchi objectively states that criticizing Israel does not mean one is anti-Semitic. I submit, underneath it all, in MOST cases, to me, it clearly does!

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/06/10/will_beck_and_limbaugh_be_next/

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The INCREDULOUS Jeff Jacoby -- Better lives WITH OIL?: Jeff, your column today "Oil Fuels Better Lives" (June 9, 2010)(Link below) proclaiming the virtues of oil like it was the Salk Vaccine is so utterly preposterous, so infinitely stupid, so blood pressure soaringly insane that I simply could not believe what I was reading. Perhaps it is because the arguments against drill baby drill and big oil are so utterly OBVIOUS -- climate change and all -- if they came down and hit you on your head they could not be any plainer.

To see what oil has done to us as a nation, how its rancid puke spewing out of everything from MILLIONS of our automobiles and smoke stacks poisoning EVEN our soup bowls should be enough as should seeing innocent wildlife painted in gobs of DEEP smothering oil struggling to take their last breath. I would LOVE to give you the money to go down to the Louisiana Gulf and to a stay in one place for a month and BREATH deeply as deeply as you can. Then pick up the oil from the beaches, and feel its softness. Then wade into the Gulf sea and take a swim. You can always shower later IF there is clean water. Compound this spill by thousands for over a hundred years all over the globe and you get some idea of the rancid effects this disgusting vomit fossil fuel has on humans, animals, the air we breath, the water we drink and the planet we depend on for life and the only one we know of to call home.

So I want you to go down there and breath the odoriferous air -- dispersant and all-- and just keep breathing -- DEEPLY. Oh yes, bring your kids and/or grandkids with you. Then I want someone to study your blood and follow you every day for as long as you live which probably because of this toxic soup won't be long. Breath it in WELL and let's start the clock to see what kind of cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, blood or lung disease and god knows whatever else disease you will get. And oh yes bring your kids along with you so they can study them too to see what kind of oil induced disease cuts their life short as well. So you advocate for these big oil murderers all so you can live a life of such ease. You may live a life of relative ease but after breathing that swill I guarantee it will be SHORT.

What a lousy deal with the devil you have waged and all so you can sit on your comfortable couch, watch your 3D HDTV, drive your expensive car, and ride in your plush boat so you can have such an easy life I don't know how anyone could resist. As long as we all have gas masks we should make out swimmingly.

Honestly, Jeff, sometimes, I would love to know from under what rock or from what primordial soup did you emerge!

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/06/09/oil_fuels_better_lives/

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Doubting Thomas: This week I watched two EXCELLENT and unique Time/Life documentaries one the birth of the Nazi state and the second about the details surrounding the development of the Auschwitz extermination camp, a mere 60 plus years ago. I see again and again why I think the way I do. That the Jewish people for millennia have survived to create a prosperous, beautiful, technologically advanced state is nothing short of miraculous.

Despite those who call for us to rid ourselves of the Holocaust rationale for Israel I say they SHOULD view what I have viewed and read all I have read about the two thousand year fate of the Jewish people. Moreover, they should go there to see reality for themselves. There is NO question in my mind the Holocaust was and is the single most important rationale for the emergence of the State of Israel and the reason to defend it at all costs. That Hamas and its allies will NOT leave this tiny nation and people alone is testament to the cruelty, inhumanity and dogged determination of Israel's enemies.

Anti-Semitism is alive and well. I was utterly SHOCKED, since I happen to love Helen Thomas, a dogged 90 year old White House journalist, when she made one of the most egregious statements I have ever heard a journalist make suggesting angrily that the Jews leave Israel and return to Germany and Poland. I will NOT give her a pass for this one because of her age!

In one nanosecond she spit in the face of the victims of the Holocaust. It took someone of her age to reflect the sick sentiments of anti-Semitism which span generations. What she said was tantamount to relegating the rest of Jews who sought sanctuary in Israel to return to the ovens of Auschwitz in Poland and the liquidation in Germany once again. This cruel and insensitive remark is the VERY reason the Jewish people MUST act in our own self interest.

If Helen Thomas's feelings were unique I would say chalk it up to a ninety year old woman's battered mind but they are NOT unique and she does NOT have a battered mind. Many share her feelings and THAT is why the State of Israel must defend itself by any means necessary to ensure its survival that it remain an oasis for a people who have known the UNTHINKABLE and UNFORGIVABLE results of comments like hers!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Broken Promises":While I was surfing the web looking for ideas which adequately convey my reasons for being so disgruntled and unhappy with the Obama presidency, I came across a blog I link below. Barack Obama was a man, initially, I loved and for whom I harbored mountains of hope. For some time now, I have been very critical of a president I THOUGHT I adored. I was willing to overlook the plethora of compromised policy and chalk it up to the Herculean difficulty of political negotiation, the art of compromise and Congressional intractability.

Then the Louisiana spill occurred, and my feelings of love and pride in him were thrown completely overboard. Not only has he reneged to environmentalists by flip flopping on off shore drilling failing so IMPORTANTLY to even secure that first-of-its-kind drilling with proper oversight and regulation, not only did he fail to totally overthrow the Bush administration’s monumentally corrupt Department of Interior placing an oil crony Salazar as its head, not only did he renege on substantial economic reform which would rein in derivatives and too-big-to-fail banks putting the greediest of foxes in charge of the proverbial chicken coup, not only did he renege on the vital public option basis for health care reform, but he also MOST importantly has reneged on his commitment to Fourth Amendment fundamentals of due process. He has turned his back on his base and, most egregiously, he has reneged on the very FOUNDATION of a Democratic government. He has thrown overboard the life jacket of a democracy and its very reason d’ĂȘtre spilling the life blood of the republic thereby weakening it. He continues the Republican tradition of putting in place a secret oligarchy (corporate control of government) which pays lip service to liberal ideas but in practice does quite the opposite. Obama is Bush dressed in a new suit. In other words he lied and continues to do so.

It is INCONCEIVABLE to me how I could read a president so wrongly. Then again, I have surely been wrong before on big issues. I profusely say mea culpa when I make those errors and I suspect I have made a big one on what I thought a Barack Obama presidency would look like. I do NOT like what I have seen so far beginning with the invitation of the religious right wing fundamentalist Rick Warren from the Saddleback Church to speak at Obama's MOST historic inauguration. Rick Warren's invitation was a STRONG metaphor from the very beginning of the Obama administration for the kind of presidency Barack Obama would reflect. He would COMPLETELY turn his back on his base.

The oil spill broke this camel's back. BP Oil is in the business of oil drilling no matter where it exists because it is a corporation designed to do one thing -- make money. No one drills because they love drilling. They drill to make a buck. I absolve BP of the major responsibility for this catastrophe of epic proportions and place it at the feet of our president who when he gave thumbs up to off shore drilling (and continues to issue permits for it) committed the worst, most long lasting and devastating crime against our country, its humanity, the people of Louisiana, other states and even possibly the world.

I came across the following article written by Lou Ralls. I know nothing about Mr. Ralls or his blog and I do not agree with all he says most especially his thoughts on resignation but I know certain sentiments with which I do agree and which I enumerated above. He says pertinently to me the following at the beginning of his blog:


"We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory.”

The link for the entire blog is:

http://pumasunleashed.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/when-will-obama-resign-or-will-he-wait-to-get-thrown-out-of-office/

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

There is NO Doubting Dowd: Yet again Maureen Dowd continues to be one of America's FINEST journalists. See link below for her June 2, 2010 editorial "A Story Teller Loses the Story Line." When her name appears my computer mouse is programmed to read her.

She is brilliant and this editorial is just another example of that. My best advice to the president is to voraciously read the New York Times (since he is infinitely more intellectually astute than his pathetic predecessor Mr. Obama probably automatically does.) He should pay PARTICULAR attention to Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich. It may improve his now sad sack image. I voted for him, worked for him and loved him but how in practice someone could be SO different from what I thought I was getting I will never know. Either I am utterly stupid or Mr. Obama KNEW what it took to get elected but does NOT know how to govern. How could I ever know that?

The Republican opposition is utterly UNACCEPTABLE and worse so because it is a right wing extremist party which will most ASSUREDLY spawn an incompetent or a corporate lackey and ruin this nation even more than George Bush surely did if that is possible. Barack Obama on his worst day is better than any Republican on their best so what I want to know is where do we go from here?

My mother used to say where there is life there is hope. I suppose it's better than saying where there is life one can count on human beings screwing the whole thing up!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/opinion/02dowd.html

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Relief for Israel: The below link to UTube was sent by a family member living in Jerusalem. Please click on it so Utube will not remove it.

Naturally, the Israeli attack on the relief ship for Gaza is receiving world wide condemnation. Of course when Islamic fanatics blow themselves up ALL over the world taking thousands of innocents with them one hears BARELY a peep of criticism. I do not think Israel is always right BUT I do CERTAINLY not think it is always wrong. It bears a heavy burden that of existential survival. The truth is there is an ongoing blockade of Gaza because Hamas which rules Gaza has NO intention of letting the Jewish state live, has bombed it repeatedly, sent suicide bombers into Israel to wreak havoc and killed many. Israel did not know if that relief ship had hidden guns and men to launch an attack when it docked (possibly with Iranian technology nuclear or otherwise aboard.) It surely was a PR trap for Israel. What could it do?

Israel in turn will NOT let ANY state, international waters or not, interfere with its embargo of Gaza UNTIL and ONLY until Israel receives a signed promise from Gaza that hostilities will cease and that Israeli sovereignty will be recognized. The US imposes embargoes ALL the time on rogue states which pose a threat. Israel has no less an obligation to the safety and security of its people by any means necessary.

No, this is not the traditional left wing line. Well, I am in lock step with no one. I know free states when I see them, I know western like advanced states when I see them too. I KNOW when the emperor wears no clothes and when he does. For all of its faults Israel is the freest, most democratic, most technologically and scientifically advanced secular state in that sad region of the world. I do NOT want to see Palestinians suffer BUT I DO want the State of Israel to be recognized and left alone so a real peace process can ensue. It is high time for that to occur.


http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk