Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tea and Crackers anyone? Yet again Matt Taibbi has hit the nail on the head in his latest Rolling Stone article "Tea and Crackers" (Link below). Just WHO are the Republican Tea Party array of malcontents, scooter riding, oxygen puffing white skin angry elderly sad sacks? He will tell you. Nothing wrong with elderly scooter riding, oxygen puffing white skin angry elderly sad sacks maybe I am close to being one of them BUT when they want to destroy programs which help millions (INCLUDING THEM), their story gets ugly. It is a WONDERFUL article which I urge you to read and send to anyone you want.

Just who ARE these tea partiers? Matt Taibbi went to Kentucky to find it out. It is a riveting article which sheds light on the stupidest of stupid movements American culture has seen in a long long time and that's going some!

Sit back, relax, enjoy and then get your posteriors in gear and GET OUT PEOPLE to vote for Democrats to defeat these moronic duped jerks before they gain power and burn the whole place down. Their scooters government Medicare bought and paid for will go along with them. Do they know that? NO. They just know they "want the country back." I ask from whom? Do you think the black man in the oval office has anything to do with their war cry? If you answered YES you are quite right! Read it and then call any Democratic candidate you want around the country, work for them, email, donate to their campaigns, offer to make calls or send up smoke signals. Just DO SOMETHING!! Otherwise, welcome back to the glory days of yesteryear pre 1865 and we will have ONLY ourselves to blame for it!
American Exceptionalism on the Chopping Block: Glen Greenwald yet again has written a wonderful editorial in entitled "Questions for Andrew Sullivan" about the latest Cbama nod to unlimited executive power by actually advocating and creating a method for the president ONLY to be able to kill EVEN an American citizen on the president's say so alone. The article, as usual, is excellently crafted (Link Below).

I have thought that Obama extending what I call his God Father Law making an offer NO ONE can refuse but worse NO ONE anywhere can even DEFEND against is simply egregious! Moreover, I have thought, too, that having Obama in office will POSSIBLY preclude an INNOCENT American like you or I, who LOVES this country and the civil liberties for which it is SUPPOSED to stand, will not suffer from executive power in the extreme BUT what happens NOT IF but WHEN Obama or someone like he is NOT in office? Sarah Palin would be a PERFECT example despite the overwhelming odds against her gaining the presidency who can predict WHO will occupy that office and what despotic powers they would love an excuse to use against their perceived enemies? Has world history shown this to be SO true? The answer, OF COURSE, is a resounding YES!

Has American behavior ESPECIALLY post Word War II been all that unblemished that we have not targeted innocents all over the globe? The answer is NO. Academics like the late Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and even Prof. Andrew Bachevich of Boston University have said that there is no such animal as American exceptionalism in contemporary history as case after case of lying a nation to war exists and case after case of the most EGREGIOUS inhumane and downright UNJUST American political usurpation of civil liberties continues to be perpetrated against so many innocents.

One can look most RECENTLY to 12 US soldiers charged for the murder of innocent Afghan men JUST FOR SPORT (one Afghan simply plowing his field) and adding to that the sadistic mayhem of chopping up corpses' body parts. What a simply sublime way of winning hearts and minds! What HAS this nation with its ever so TOXIC brew of right wingnut fanatical extremists and its tone deaf leaders DONE to expand its war powers into the stratosphere? To what lengths will this nation excuse such horrific crimes under the sheet of American exceptionalism that, because of these crimes, does not exist anymore?

There is NOTHING exceptional about the policies of war carried out by the US government over the last decade. There is NOTHING exceptional about infinite power given carte blanche to ONE leader in a democracy. I ask do YOU FEEL SAFER because YOUR president can kill you based on HIS say so ALONE and you have absolutely NO right to defend yourself? I submit the answer is NO because although NBC News drops these horrific stories after a 15 second news bite they continue and I am sure will continue to be aired on Al Jezeera and in Arab nations in perpetuity as a way to ENRAGE their people and promote violent jihad against this country. Americans as usual go their merry way, have a cup of coffee at Starbucks and lament not having enough jobs. Not having enough jobs? THAT may be the least of our problems.

DOES ANYONE THINK that the policies of those who love war, who want war, who make their living FROM war want these policies to end? HELL NO. Does anyone think that the Republicans will turn this nation's productivity around by these and other loathsome policies aimed directly against the middle class and used by them to create more for the top 2% on the backs of the middle class and poor?

It is the MIDDLE CLASS who will suffer as they bear the burden not only of war but of the economic cataclysm as well. They COULD also primarily bear open hunting season on any American with the green light to kill given by solely one man. It is surely NOT the top 2% who sign up to FIGHT wars. Just ask the Tillmans what the government is capable of doing and/or hiding. The Godfather Law is one of the MOST loathsome policies in the history of a nation that has prided itself on its implementation of justice through the fairness of its civil libertarian ideals and its attendant ideal of innocent until proven guilty with its rules of evidence crafted over centuries. Who can stop these toxic policies of overruling the ESSENCE of our nation? I have NO idea!

If this God Father policy is so then the terrorists, who know nothing of a government BASED on civil libertarian ideal, win by our losing our most treasured principles and giving infinite power to one man; our Founders must be turning in their graves. It is EXACTLY what they feared. "We have a REPUBLIC IF you an keep it" said Benjamin Franklin. I think he would shake his head in disbelief as the nation devolves into the tyranny he and the Founders MOST especially feared.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Levi’s Last Word: Lawrence O’Donnell had Levi Johnston on his new MSNBC show “The Last Word.” What can one say about the performance of Levi Johnston? Secretly, I was hoping he had SOME -- just a FEW -- articulate abilities and a LITTLE smidgen cogent opinion about issues since he is contemplating a run for Mayor of Wasilla – sound familiar? I thought he might study up. Of course, Mayor of Wasilla does not mean a direct line to the White House, does it? Asking a 20 year old man who never graduated high school questions that a serious student of policy going to Georgtown University could be more qualified to answer I thought was ridiculous for Larry O'Donnell to do. What was I hoping for? I was hoping the boy, who looks rather like an Adonis, had SOME – just a LITTLE -- cerebral ability or that he PREPARED for the show. I was secretly hoping then he would become a Democrat and help change some of the nature of our rancid politics. Okay, so I hoped stupidly! I admit it, mea culpa.

Why he would go on Lawrence O'Donnell's show the "Last Word" and subject himself to that humiliation is beyond me. Was it for money, perhaps? Why would I think THAT? Well, because he was so OBVIOUSLY ignorant of really EVERYTHING even citing "Field and Stream" as the only magazine he reads certainly, he says, "NOT the "New York Times." Heaven forbid he read THAT paper. I wonder CAN he read at all? It shows me, however, just what type of person with whom Bristol Palin, the daughter of a former VP candidate one heartbeat away from the presidency, hung around. Not ONLY did she hang around with him but chose him to be the father of her illegitimate child. Further, the Tea Baggers say nothing. I THOUGHT they were for family values and abstinence? To me a mother with a young child takes CARE of that young child especially if she comes from far away Alaska rather than traipsing around to go on "Dancing with the Stars" shamelessly in a skimpy dress with her leg up erotically on the gentleman with whom she was dancing.

Who cares for the Palin BROOD? Does mamma grizzly Sarah? I doubt it as she hop scotches around the country selling her hateful what passes for ideology to the highest bidder. Does Bristol care for her baby brother with Downs Syndrome AND her OWN toddler? I doubt it as she dances her way to the stars. These people are DREADFUL. Not only do they have the IQ of a seven year old but they have the lowest of the low family values. Is this the stuff John McCain thought perfectly fit to run the country? Since McCain was a senior citizen who has had cancer several times, succession to the presidency of the idiotic utterly unqualified Palin could EASILY have taken place.

This country is SHAMEFUL as some put their trust in the MOST UNTRUSTWORTHY and BLATANTLY UNQUALIFIED INSIPID IDIOTS who seek to thrust their stupidity upon the rest of the nation. The fact that some in the Tea Bag Party may actually get elected nationally in the most powerful nation on earth is the MOST CHILLING bit of news since the explosion of the atomic bomb. That they even have a chance is UNCONSCIONABLE, telling and pathetic indeed!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bridge the Divide: I responded to an interesting article in John Hopkins Magazine entitled: "The Big Question: Can Republicans and Democrats Agree on Anything?" by Catherine Pierre (link below). She thought we could. I think, naturally, otherwise and said so.

I am a Democrat. As the two party system has evolved over many years to its current dysmorphic state it is impossible for me to see the two party system of Republicans and Democrats working together, side by side and in peace for the greater good. Does this sound like an Israeli/Palestinian peace soundbite? The intractability of this difficult prospect feels that way to me.

Sometimes, in life, there are positions which are SO obnoxious, SO inherently malicious, stupid, reactionary, unjust and untrue it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to bridge the divide. Although the president can be criticized, in my opinion for not being progressive enough, he has given the opposition MORE than ample opportunity to work with him. He has never, in fact, STOPPED from reaching out to the other side. He gets kicked in the gut and slapped in the face EVERY time not ONLY by a party that simply has a different philosophy but by utterly racist political ammunition loaded for bear.

I would be MORE than happy to compromise IF the other party ditched their uncompromising and extremism religious loyalty oath, realized that some times, indeed, private enterprise needs a disciplinarian to keep it from running us over, killing the pedestrian and stealing all of his credit cards. I could compromise IF they thought health care were a RIGHT and not equate it to low cost insurance for a rusty old high mileage jeep. We are talking about policy for HUMAN BEINGS and about a basic fundamental philosophy crafted initially by FDR which FINALLY, after a Great Depression and much misery, placed PEOPLE over property. This is what the Depression of 1929 was about, it is what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was about and this is what it is about during the much needed financial reform and health care legislation which is the hallmark of the Great Recession of 2008.

When Republicans take off their sheets, CARE about the entire humanity of this land, vote on issues for the PEOPLE and not only for the property of the wealthiest 2% billionaires then I will think about TRYING to work with them. Until then forgetaboutit. The divide is MUCH too deep!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Infrastructure Anyone? Please allow me a stream of conscious. Our nation's infrastructure is abysmal. It is just recently in my neck of the woods that stimulus is creating a BIT better scenario as roads, bridges and construction can be seen EVERYWHERE. Still the fix is not entirely complete. We have a LOT to go. Put Republicans in charge and see how much gets done. NOTHING. One thing I have learned my McDonald's character has got to go! You will not see SIGNIFICANT change in the time it takes to swallow a Big Mac. We have GOT to give this administration some time. I can see SOME things getting better and it is ONLY two years into his term. As long as we keep a two party system we MUST make that choice.

To choose a Republican over a Democrat this November is simply NUTS. Republicans are NOT about us. They are about the top 2% trickle down economics which was PHONY BALONEY. It NEVER did nor will it happen and to say it did is simply lying. Go back 8 years and see how just ducky it was. It WASN'T. We need a bigger stimulus package for which NYT economic columnist, expert and my guru Paul Krugman advocated. He was DEAD ON CORRECT!! Pushing the tax rate UP for those making $250,000 or more is more than correct it is NECESSARY and deficit cutting for those of you who are CONSUMED by the deficit. It WILL narrow it AND give JOBS to those who can make the repairs to infrastructure. Dems will give US the MIDDLE CLASS the tax break as it SHOULD be. We will often times spend the money saved and most ESPECIALLY if jobs are created through more stimulus.

The truth is people WANT the improvements to the nation that ONLY government can provide. The private sector does NOT care about you! Remember that in November. It is utter insanity to put these charlatans and snake oil salesmen in charge of ANYTHING except a zoo. The private sector is NOT about your retirement they do NOT care about your retirement and when the economy went BUST your retirement went with it. So can you imagine IF Social Security were privatized and Wall Street had control of it? Our nation would be gone. HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE OUR COUNTRY? I LOVE IT A LOT and KNOW that putting SOME things like health care AND bank regulation AND infrastructure AND retirement in the nation's hands does MUCH better than the private sector EVER could hope to do. BE SMART figure things out. Republicans do NOT want you to do that. So DO IT and you will see they offer NOTHING but to the top 2% richest and it will NOT trickle down to you! Everyone else they DUPE with phony patriotism. They are NOT patriotic because they do NOT care about most of us and they WANT to make eternal war because GUESS WHAT? THEY DO NOT FIGHT THE WARS and BIG CORPORATE BEHEMOTHS MAKE A BUNDLE THROUGH WAR! Dick Cheney made a FORTUNE from war. Republicans are NOT about jobs, they are NOT about health care for all, they do NOT care about your retirement and they do NOT care about most of you unless, of course, you are among the top 2% wage earners in the country!

If you do not vote Democratic then you step on your OWN toes and NO amount of surgery will be able to repair the damage.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Speech: This was passed on to me and many others. There will be some of you who may immediately dismiss or erase this UN speech of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu because you have been historically unmoved by and in opposition to Israel's existential argument. It is, of course, especially in our culture, permissible to disagree BUT it behooves everyone to see both sides of the equation before drawing a conclusion about that turbulent part of the world.

I always have been in favor of a two-state solution; both states living side by side in security and peace as sovereign entities. I have always thought that there is much culture, knowledge, and growth each group could bring to the other. Clearly, though, my sympathies are in agreement with most of the content of the Prime Minister's speech BUT I, too, am not unmindful of the legitimacy of Palestinian suffering. I urge you to read Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to the UN IF POSSIBLE from a neutral viewpoint. If you read it one must for oneself make a fair appraisal of the situation and be an advocate for rational thought, dialogue and peace for both sides. The fate of life on earth and survival of our species may depend upon ALL of us doing just that!

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the UN General Assembly

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.
I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942 , after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler's deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father's two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong. History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization. It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances - by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?
The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing - absolutely nothing - from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza . It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians - Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel , by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel . A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,
Will you accept this farce? Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat. If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel , this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza , many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us -my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
All of Israel wants peace.
Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel , will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples - a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel . This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem .

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel .
That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza , another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.
I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran , that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong."
I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachability of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time. In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.
The Gift: I have loved Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, since I first noticed him on the political scene campaigning for Barack Obama. Mayor Booker, in my opinion, is a WONDERFUL leader with extraordinary capabilities. I cannot think of a better person to be entrusted with Mark Zuckerberg's amazing $100 million donation to the State of New Jersey and the schools of Newark who can and I hope will benefit from it.

I believe we are nothing except the evidence that we have left behind some good. Our reputation and values will live long after we no longer exist. Mr. Zuckerberg has done a wonderful thing despite the alleged motivations SOME say lie behind it. It does not matter. In final analysis, he gave it and it should and I hope it will be utilized to the advantage of students who otherwise might be left behind in the vortex of an economic tornado which has cast many of their and our dreams to the winds.

If anyone can do this I believe Cory Booker can and very smart Mark Zuckerberg knew it. I have thought Mr. Booker presidential material IF we can ever wade through the economic swamp which has been carefully crafted for decades by liars, frauds and thieves none more expert than those who occupied the seats of power in the Bush administration. They charted the course for the ship of state which swept this nation into a war that did not need to be waged and further built an economic partnership between government and a deregulated Wall Street which did not need to exist. It has cost this nation in blood and trillions in treasure which could have been better spent for MUCH social good as well as national infrastructure repair. Moreover, Bush’s vile tax cuts for the top 2% wealthiest in the nation contributed in significant fashion to the nation’s deficit about which the Republicans simply LOVE to explode and sing their song which never ends.

Instead of sticking with a path that SEEMS to slowly be leading this country to economic recovery the nation is poised to return to Congressional power the same Uriah Heeps who created the economic disaster. This time, though, the charlatans are much worse. We are on the precipice of a socially backward, politically reactionary and intellectually bankrupt DARK AGE of unreason which are often the gifts of economic hard times. I hope, of course, I am in error but November is calling and the hope that was inspired two short years ago seems to have sadly ebbed. The McDonalds generation that has been this country for too long brings with it the expectation that a Great Recession can be turned over in the time it takes to swallow a Big Mac. The damage, which took years to construct, cannot be mended in short time but America expects differently and even will return people and a party to power that brought us to the damaging dance in the first place. It is chilling. I hope for the best but I expect the worst.

Good luck, Mayor Booker, but watch out for the grifters who may be circling the wagons bent on slicing out a chunk of this wonderful gift for themselves to the detriment of everyone else. I think Mark Zuckerberg knew exactly with whom to entrust this gift. Beware entrusting it to ANYONE else!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't Ask, DO Tell: I called Senator Brown's office today to ask him to vote YES on REPEAL of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. They were polite and listened. They said they would pass my sentiments on to him. If you have not heard Lady Gaga speak on this important issue I urge you to click on the link below. It is one of the best, most poignant and dramatic speeches I have ever heard on this issue. It took a 24 year old rock star to give a shot in the arm and a hammer over the head of those intractable ideologues who are keeping DADT from dying the sad death it deserves. Those who support DADT are unconstitutionally condemning an entire group of men and women who are citizens of this country and who are willing to die for this country by preventing them from doing what everyone else in this country takes for granted and that is to live a life without discrimination and without fear and -- if one wants -- to serve in our military.

Whether those of you on my list live in Mass or not please call or email your senators if you haven't already to vote to support REPEAL of Don't Ask Don't Tell. This policy is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and has been stated so by a Federal court. Secretary of Defense Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Adm. Mullen have voiced their approval of repealing this bad policy.

This CANNOT and SHOULD not stand. These people want to RISK their lives and serve the country they love just as much as any other soldier would and sometimes more because they have had to keep one of the most important aspects of a person's life secret. Put yourself in their place. Would YOU ever want to keep the person you love a secret? This is NOT the way to run a cohesive and psychologically effective military. The vote will be happening this afternoon. I ask you to call your senators this morning and ask them to support REPEAL of this vote today.
A Letter to Senators Snowe, Collins and Brown: The DADT policy is up for a vote today. It is one vote short. I wrote three separate letters to senators, Snowe, Collins and Brown in a hail Mary attempt to persuade them to vote for repeal of this heinous policy. I had written something last night which was more an ebullient piece on the glories of the Lady Gaga speech in Maine. Lady Gaga was more than extraordinary, she was the best I had ever heard for this cause. I wrote the following and amended it for each senator.

I need to rephrase what I wrote last evening to you as it was late and I was thrilled with the Lady Gaga speech. What I wrote to you was more about that than it was about what I implore you to do. I am hoping that you will vote for the REPEAL of an unconstitutional dastardly 17 year old discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.

To say it is a horrible policy is an understatement. Being homosexual is NOT a choice. Why would anyone choose something for which one can be societally crucified.

I am asking you to vote to repeal this horrible, sad, hurtful policy against people who love this country. I have thought you a good person. I am appealing to that just side of you and not your allegiance to a party. I am hoping that you will vote to repeal this discriminatory bill and go down in history for your bravery. I hope Senator Snowe and Senator Brown will keep you company. But even if they do not YOU will be doing the morally correct, legally correct and BRAVE thing to do. Secretary Gates is against DADT, the head of the Joint Chief of Staff is against it and I am asking you to vote for the repeal of it. Thank you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

PLEASE LISTEN: to the Clinton audio link below AND THEN PASS THIS ON ESPECIALLY to people who may have Tea Bag or Republican inclinations BUT ALSO to ANYONE ELSE you know who might listen. When that happens everyone sends it to everyone else and it doesn't matter what political category into which they fall.

Listen to Bill Clinton by clicking on what he says about the Tea Party. Listen too to all the other audio of him talking on specific issues. Criticize Clinton for his frailties but one of his incredible aspects of his person is that he KNOWS what he is talking about, what to do and best of all HE CONNECTS TO THE PEOPLE!!! What he says about the Tea Party is EXACTLY correct. He does NOT dismiss the Tea Party but tells you the critical error they make is thinking that the HUGE capitalists are for them and MOST IMPORTANT THEY THINK that government should be reduced to a postage stamp. They are not correct and he explains it. They MUST get that and most of all Democrats, Independents and Democratic leaning Independents MUST understand it as well and ACT.

It's NOT our ideas that are wrong it's APATHY that will ruin. It is what I have been saying and emailing about SO much. It is so true but Clinton says it much better. The stakes for ALL of us in so many ways are at stake. President Obama SHOULD NOT fail at this. Clinton has a folksy way of connecting. The difference between Bush's folksy way of connecting and Bill Clinton's is BRAINS. Clinton has them. He brilliant and more importantly he has the experience. He KNOWS the people, government and he ALSO knows the rich and the big monied interests. So his views are IMPORTANT and we must heed them.

Not only will I send these clips to our Obama people but I will send them to my list of friends, the White House and the Democratic party as well. Do I REALLY think all of those people especially the powerful heed my fervent plea? I'm REALISTIC not insane. BUT these things I think are SO important that I must AT LEAST TRY and hope the word gets out only to people here but to people in ALL the red states, blue and now purple states as well. We must TRY to get Democratic voters OUT. WE MUST NOT FALTER AND WE MUST NOT FAIL! (Yes, I know Bush said that. I say hey whatever works!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shalom Always Shalom: Below is a link to a BEAUTIFUL site which is the singing of "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) by Moishe Oysher of Vilna, Lituania gleaned from a 1939 film. It is extraordinary that it survived and it is poignant in its symbolism as the 1939 Holocaust had officially begun against the Jew and against the world. There were in the Vilna Ghetto, 40,000 Jews, collected and summarily executed by not only Nazis but by the police of Lithuania itself long known for its hatred of the Jew. Kol Nidre, for those who do not know, is one of the most beautiful cantorial Jewish chants. It is plaintive to its core as the Jewish people on this night plead to be inscribed in the Book of Life for yet another coming year. It is said on Rosh Hashannah (the New Year) it is written and ten days later on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) it is sealed. God or fate determines how many shall be born, how many will live and how many will die. Kol Nidre declares ALL VOWS null and void so that we can begin fresh and renew our human spirit through forgiveness of immoral behavior and a promise to do better in the coming year.

One does not, I think, even have to believe to have its meaning pierce one's heart. This rendition is gorgeous. I cry EVERY time as its beauty goes to my very soul. I think about the six million ALWAYS, I think of my parents, I think about all those gone from my life and the ones who remain who are so precious to me.

I hope beyond hope for the world at this time to find the all too illusive peace. The most solemn of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, when Kol Nidre is sung reminds us of the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit to always strive to do better. To my Christian and Muslim friends I say Shalom always Shalom!

MOSQUE MALEVOLENCE: Recently there has been a tremendous brouhaha over a teacher in an affluent suburb of Boston taking her students to a mosque. Some were seen horror of horrors even dare I say PRAYING! I sent a few thoughts to various media.

I am Jewish. As a child I used to attend my local church during Station to the Cross, during Midnight Mass, Easter and used to even go when I simply felt down and wanted something to comfort me. I am VERY culturally Jewish, adore my people AND I support Israel. I am VERY conscious of the vitriolic blather of the extreme left against Israel and I am ALWAYS cognizant of right wing anti-Semitic extremists’ words of hate against my people which has infinite history. I am immersed in the academic study of the Holocaust. MY POINT IS: Not one time, not one second, not one nanosecond did I EVER regret having gone to Catholic churches near me. To the contrary I LOVE some of the churches as they are OFTEN gorgeous, the music a wonder to hear and EVEN the Latin Mass intrigues as I was a student of Latin. It has HISTORY!!

Likewise, I admire the edifices i.e. the buildings of many mosques. The architecture is a wondrous thing as the domes and the tiles are a thing to behold. I LOVE learning about the etiology of religion, about nascent Judaism which took SOME beliefs from pagan rituals before it morphed over time AND I most especially love the development of Christianity THROUGH Judaism. I watched every possibly documentary AND even film on the life of Jesus. Now Islamic history is beginning to interest me; ALL OF THIS FROM AN ACADEMIC VIEW. This view of belief only ENHANCES my perspective. I love it.

I am STILL the same person; nothing ever made me turn away from my people. Many decades have elapsed since then AND I STILL LOVE the sights and sounds of Judaism. I love the Shofar on Rosh Hashannah, I love the sad gorgeous plaintive song of Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur and NOTHING not going to a Catholic church, not going to many many Protestant churches and not visiting a mosque EVER would change that EVEN IF I prayed!

Why? My parents most especially my father gave me a LOVE of my Jewish tradition as I sat in shul (temple) with him and felt the softness of his prayer shawl (talis). NOTHING hurt me by being exposed to other faiths. What DOES hurt though is the violent opposition one believer has to another. IT IS A BELIEF and it is individual and it is unique.

Parents owe their children an understanding of history which includes the propagation of various faiths. It is only THEN that we can make swords into plowshares. MIGHT I REMIND YOU WHO ARE IMMOVABLE, MALEVOLENT, MEAN, AND ANGRY OF THE QUOTE FROM ISAIAH 2:4 'He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.' It would serve you whose mind is shut tight, and woefully ignorant to reflect on the KINDER elements of your faith. Violence can be found in the Hebrew Bible, it can be found in the New Testament and it can be found in the Koran. I FIRMLY belief it is up to us to teach our children CAREFULLY and know what you reap so shall you sow: 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Galatians 6:7 KJV)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FORGET DIFFERENCES WE ARE ALL ONE! -- NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE: NEVER, in my decades of watching politics have I ever witnessed an extremist Republican party I see now. It is beyond belief. I have the same fear I had of George Wallace in his third-party racist bid to take the presidency in 1968. BUT the George Wallace threat pales in comparison to the tea bag insanity that now exists. We KNEW Wallace would not win but we do NOT know, and even actually now think, these fascist-type tea baggers composed so often of violent mostly white malcontents COULD, in November, take over one entire branch of government.

Everything we are as a country is ALL at risk. Teabaggers want Social Security and Medicare erased, Medicaid eliminated, health care legislation overturned, financial oversight-regulation curtailed, programs for the disabled and elderly mutilated, education legislation demolished and they would employ a HORRENDOUS foreign policy agenda of perpetual never-ending war probably requiring ultimately a draft IF they eventually win the presidency. These are the policies we risk if Democrats do not win. Moreover, if they have their way there will be permanent tax cuts for the top 2% richest of our nation adding to the deficit as a huge amount of money which COULD come into this nation from the top 2% to help ameliorate the deficit is stopped PERMANENTLY. Teabaggers want further a fusion of church and state as well as many more reactionary attempts to overturn hard won rights and vital programs for the life of this nation; ones which we have fought to achieve and from which we all benefit today!

Ultimately, if tea baggers prevail, there will be NO money for the repair of dilapidated and dangerous bridges, roads, highways and other infrastructure. There will be even less money for police, teachers and fire departments that make modern culture possible. The life-affirming climate change legislation, health care implementation and programs for human needs that we DESPERATELY need as a nation to be competitive in the world will not be possible. The money Republicans spend will be mainly for WAR, the war profiteers and moneyed lobbyists it enriches. There WILL, too, be financial anarchy in a market let lose to run wild with no one to oversee, regulate, control and stop it if necessary. Of course, there will be the ever present FILTHY OIL, its eventual drilling leaks and the smothering air it brings to us and to our children with no alternative clean fuel development.

Even IF the president were to veto, a Republican controlled Congress CAN overrule it and would not hesitate to do so IF they have the numbers. If they finally win the presidency in 2012 it will be NO JOKE. The composition of the extremist right Republican Party is THAT cruel and those who follow it THAT insipid that everything good in the America we know COULD be gone. The tea baggers will step on their own toes rather than have our Democratic president (especially a black one) succeed. Worst of all tea bagger Republicans love their guns. It is a chilling scenario!

We ALL need each other NOW MORE THAN EVER. It should not be so difficult. Some of our base is wounded BUT ALL OF THAT DOES NOT MATTER NOW. If one looks at legislation already passed one will SEE that our president and Congress have crafted and signed WONDERFUL hard-to-pass bills which benefit our entire nation. We have many to convince to do that which seems so simple. November 2 is ONLY 48 days away. Let us FORGET the differences we have and VOTE Democratic in November to prevent this potential devastation. All we have to do is SHOW UP at the polls on November 2 and VOTE to stop this looming national catastrophe. We MUST convince OUR Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents to become ENTHUSIASTIC FAST, show up at the polls and vote Democratic in November because there is SO MUCH AT STAKE NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


How good do you think things will get even IF Republicans take the House, the Senate and ultimately the 2012 presidency which is where I believe their sites, of course, are set? What kind of Nirvana do teabagger Republicans think they will have?

IF Republicans are ultimately in charge just what would THEY do, for example, if they found a similar situation in which George Bush and Hank Paulson his Treasury Secretary found themselves in 2007-2008? Is the mantra of the Republican Party teabaggers now an economic laissez faire libertarian one where NOTHING would be done to help, for example, the BIG BANKS if it looks as if they are going to fail? Would you let 'market forces' work their magic and let them get THEMSELVES out of a huge hole THEY dug? Would you roll back ALL regulation so markets could have free rein?

In truth, I believe, that is what the teabaggers want but what mainstream Republicans fear. They fear that the tea bag populist movement will NOT help even the too-big-to-fail banks and corporations IF OR WHEN they begin to look shaky. So again my question to tea baggers would be WHAT WOULD YOU do if you found, yet again, a situation where the banking system -- the ENTIRE banking system -- was ready to cave? That's the BEST QUESTION I know of as it seemed their pants became twisted as the big banks were given BILLIONS and the CEO's were allowed to walk off with HUGE bonuses. Obama is ostensibly blamed for this even though it did NOT happen on his watch. We know the color of his skin had absolutely nothing to do with the ire behind tea bag party movement? Oh but of course it did not .... MUCH!

What a great job if you can get it huh? If the too-big-to-fail banks win they win but if they lose they win too as our government bails them out with our money to save an economy! Is that what teabaggers would do let them sink or swim Ayn Randian style if the financial system became that ominous and say to heck with the global wide-ranging catastrophic implications of such policy?

One additional question: What if the Republican Party teabaggers are in charge and Iran forces our hand and begins openly to build a nuclear weapon? Some on the right on other sites quite frankly want to place a hole in Iran's earth the size of a huge asteroid. John McCain joked about it. Remember "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of a Beach Boys melody? What do they envision for our country and for the world if Iranian politics tries to call our bluff? What kind of utopia do teabaggers think they will usher in?

What I think, of course, is it will be DYSTOPIA. That is, it will be end days Revelation lunacy except no sky god will pull us out no matter how hard we believe. Want to see just how fast a nation can fall? Stick around. With teabagger religionists in charge you may just have a great view for about a nuclear millisecond, that is IF you want it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brady's Cross of Gold: Joanna Weiss's September 14 Globe editorial "Brady may have given to charity, but did he need to take from it?" was perfection (link below)! She was right on the money (pardon the pun). I thought the very same thing after the story broke about Patriot quarterback Tom Brady whose car, involved in an accident, was a loaner from the charity he endorsed. It reinforces yet again what this country is about. Is it EVER about an athlete or an entertainer simply GIVING his endorsement without any perks because it is simply the right and charitable thing to do when one is making millions? Apparently it is not. Like anything else in this country, everything is UP FOR SALE and Tom Brady by accepting the Audi perk for a charity endorsement is a quid pro quo example of just that. The statue of faith, love and example that Brady was has broken in two for me.

Am I surprised? No, of course not. Simply look at the mirror image of Patriot player Randy Moss. He SAYS he loves working for the Patriots but had an odd way of showing it. He loves them so much he spoils the first game great win of the season with a cry baby rambling speech that they don't love him enough. No, he says it's not about the money it's about the love. They just don't love and appreciate me enough, he says. Well that love and appreciation for both of them comes with the MASSIVE OUTRAGEOUS salaries they make which could give them riches for life!

As the social critic comedian Lennie Bruce decades ago observed: There is something wrong in a nation which pays its teachers so little but gives its movie stars (and in this case sports stars) millions! Both Randy Moss and Tom Brady could show a little appreciation themselves. In Randy Moss's case he should just shut up and play the game in which he is so fortunate to have the chance and ability to play. In Tom Brady's case he should give back the car and the money it cost to the charity he endorsed as the good Christian he SAYS he is and buy himself a fleet of Audis he could most easily afford. Both of these men are shameful!

Monday, September 13, 2010

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: If you think our president does not need you now, THINK AGAIN. Please read even a conservative Andrew Sullivan who wrote one of the BEST opinion pieces after the president's exciting speech on September 6. The speech was magical. Andrew Sullivan thought so and gave reasons why the president's base SHOULD turn out to vote EVERYWHERE. I have said it before and I will say it again until election day I am hoping, praying and imploring the president's base who elected him will see how smart it will be to TURN OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE in November!

Tell all your friends, relatives, former relatives, wives, husbands and former wives and former husbands, voting age sons and daughters EVERYWHERE in this country to PLEASE give the president some breathing room so he can do what we elected him to do. He has done a LOT and the opposition has NOTHING. If we can keep the Congress our recovery will be enhanced.

If you have the time I suggest reading the Andrew Sullivan piece I link below. As he says and I quote: "Those on the left and in the middle who once saw his potential have no reason to abandon him now. If you were one of them, he needs you and this country needs you now more than ever before."

TERRIFIC opinion piece and, in my opinion, 100% correct!
In the Eye of the Beholder: I have been having email correspondence with a relative in Chicago who operates a left wing blog and a radio station, too, that is to the left of left. How left is that? I don't know, pretty LEFT I would say. I told him I could not talk about Israel with him and what does he slip in there of course? This is what he said when I told him he lost me as he touted the glories of the Arab press Al Jazeera. He said:

"Lost you? I want freedom, respect for every one, the law. Al Jazeera is a mouthpiece for facts, not the garbage from the people you follow. You're intelligent. I'm shocked you fall for it. I know the facts. I've seen and read Al Jazeera. I can separate fact from fiction. What too few here can do so they're effectively brainwashed - our greatest problem.

Hamas and Hezbollah aren't terror groups. Another disgusting lie. They're legitimately elected governments. Hamas for Palestine. Hezbollah as part of the Lebanese govt. Don't you know this?

For sure, Israel like America practices state terror, the worst kind, another topic I addressed in general in an article few years back. Again indisputable unless you close your eyes to facts. I never do and base all opinions from them."

I responded in ballistic fashion: Here is what I said:

Facts are in the eye of the beholder. You have turned your back on your OWN people. You have sided AGAINST the people of the Holocaust and have sided WITH people who would DESTROY Jews, who would destroy Israel, who would destroy YOU most especially because even if you are a self loathing Jew you ARE a Jew nonetheless. You side with people who chant death to America, to Israel and death to ALL Jews.

I agree that this country has its faults and I am willing to concede that there is a small group at the top who have all the chips BUT we do NOT agree that one should listen to Hamas, Hezbollah OR Al Jazeera and take instruction from them as to what the world should look like. You say you want freedom, you say you want respect for everyone and respect for the law. See how much respect you get, see how much freedom you get or how fair the law is if groups like Hamas or Hezbollah had their way as they chant death to America and death to Israel.

You side with those who would kill your own people en mass. They would LOVE nothing else but to drive them to the sea and have said so OFTEN. I believe them. I take them at their word. In the 30's the Jews, the ones who LOVED Germany, who fought for Germany in WWI, did not take nascent German fascism seriously and did NOT take Hitlerian belief seriously or believe it was what Germany was really about. Oh it's just words they said; the majority to do not believe that way. MY posterior they didn't. They DID believe that way and proved it.

The six million are inscribed on my genetic code. I LOVE my people, I LOVE my nation despite its shortcomings and MOST importantly, I DO NOT give a RAT'S PETUTI that Hamas was democratically elected and worse that Hezbollah put its own unwanted imprint on Lebanon. It has killed Christians (and Muslims too) by the carload. The Nazis were elected too. That does NOT matter. The content of their character and what they say DOES matter. We do NOT agree. Those religious fundamentalist nations are the scourge of our planet. They want to kill you, they want to kill me and they want to destroy this nation IF they can.

I say put your money where you mouth is. Go live among them but you must live among them as a Jew. See how long you last. No wonder the right gets furious! Even I do at the PREPOSTEROUSNESS of the fringe left. NO one with any integrity and ability to look at things from both sides would or could EVER tout Al Jazeera as the ultimate fact. No one could laud Hamas or Hezbollah as ANYTHING but what they are -- murderers and slaughterers of innocents who would NOT THINK TWICE about eliminating Israel entirely, or me OR YOU for that matter as the Jews that we are. You can NEVER erase your genetics. You are a Jew and it matters not that you are a Judas to your own people. Has the US conducted rancid foreign policy? YES. I believe we can right that wrong short of blood running in the streets.

This is why I often loath the left. The Jewish people can NEVER win. We get it from the rancid LEFT and we get it from the anti Semites on the right. That is why we are rabidly vigilant. There is a world out there made up of Muslims, Christians and left wing Jews who would betray us for some misguided interpretation of erroneous facts. What they want is all Jews dead. IT has been attempted before and most of them, I believe, would love nothing more than to finish the job!

This is why I cannot talk about Israel with you. I am STEADFAST in my support of the Jewish state and I am steadfast too in my love for my own country which has often been misguided and needs to right its ship of state. The question is who will do it. I KNOW it will never be Hamas! I HOPE it will be some in the Democratic Party because it is ALL we have. The basic nature of our country ain't changing any time soon so you better find a way to work with the nation we have not the pipe dream in the sky you THINK it could be. IT WON'T not in THIS lifetime or any other.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Changing the Polls: The polls between Republicans and Democrats are closing. The obstacle to our Democratic party keeping the majority in both the House and possibly the Senate is the ENTHUSIASM factor. THAT poll seems to be in the Republican favor. Simply put Republicans are more enthusiastic than are Democrats about voting in November. The Republicans are for November what Democrats were for in November, 2008. We had a YEARNING, a ZEST, a FERVENT desire for change and for SIGNIFICANT change of the playing field and we did just that. That kind of enthusiasm is EXACTLY what we need this November as well.

There is a TON at stake. The Republicans in their own inimitable way, are talking about significant investigations of the Obama administration in their attempt to take him and his administration down for 2012. This tie up of the legislature is a vehicle they can use and HAVE used to gum up the works. Moreover, they have FURTHER threatened IF they gain power to repeal every bit of legislation including and most especially health care which is one of the Democratic crown jewels. It wasn't perfect BUT it was hugely better than we had and it was a start. That would mean, among many other things, that insurance cancellation for a preexisting conditions would go back to as it was for decades. That is just ONE of the things they could, in fact, repeal even over an Obama veto IF they take both the House and the Senate. They want to take away Social Security an absolute success story dating back to FDR and place it at the whim of the stock market. Wow what a horror story THAT would have been in December, 2008 had they done that. They want to keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans thereby keeping the deficit high by reducing the tax base. Lets reduce the tax burden of the middle class while those who make millions pay a slightly higher rate similar to the Clinton era. It was not a bad rate but Republicans, after the 2000 election, showed they are NOT about most of us.

No one who voted for Barack Obama as I did wants that. We may not have gotten all we wanted but we STILL got a lot and over years it can truly work in our favor even more. Just today a judge lifted the stay on stem cell research. This was another promise by the president in which he came through for us. Because of him IMPORTANT CURES for many horrific diseases and conditions could be the future in medicine. It COULD improve existing life for millions. We also got hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation. A possible repeal of don't ask don't tell may become reality.

We simply cannot go back. The Republicans are SO extreme, so divisive, SO obstructionist and SO hateful it would NOT shock me if they repealed Democratic legislation over and above a certain veto from the president.

The stakes could not be higher. It is JUST as important as it was to rid ourselves of the Bush/Republican FAILED policies which took decades to create and drove us into a huge ditch as it is EQUALLY important to KEEP our majorities in both the House AND the Senate.

So, we need ALL Democrats, ALL progressives, ALL independents who KNOW what the Republicans say is so often lies, to VOTE in November for Democrats. Republicans are bought and sold by the corporation so we TRULY WILL have a REAL oligarchy if they get majorities. Economically, things are just BEGINNING to be improved. The bailouts were repaid. These bailouts, while difficult to swallow, are proving to have been a lifesaver despite a slow recovery. It takes a LONG time when and entire nation of 350 million has to be lifted out of a ditch. GIVE OUR PRESIDENT A CHANCE to do what I KNOW he will and what he already has, in pertinent part, done IF the Congress will not defeat his agenda.

Politics is the art of compromise. Our president knows that and tries to govern that way. The opposition, however, will NEVER compromise on any of their horrific plans. The Republican party is NOT about you. It is about the top 2% wealthiest of our nation. Republicans are about the art of the UNCOMPROMISING.

Please VOTE Democratic in November, tell your friends and family to VOTE Democratic in November, tell ANYONE who will listen who is an ally to our cause to VOTE Democratic in November. We can reverse this rancid possible voting trend IF we get the vote out for Democrats! YES, we can, YES we DID and YES we WILL do again IF we get out the vote!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Power on a Platter -- Iraq's Irony -- the genius of Frank Rich NYT editorialist. Frank Rich's column -- link below is brilliant.

I am stunned by the utter ineptitude of our government, the gullibility of our people, and with a volunteer military, I wonder occasionally about the men who signed up for a mission they did not scrupulously analyze which could and did get many singularly killed. Iraq was and still is a war waged with few sharing its burden. If a nation goes to war then an ENTIRE nation should go to war and not simply sit back like an audience in a theater and watch the fireworks in absentia like a Fourth of July celebration gasping in shock and awe of every blast. People were on the other end of those blasts and MOST of our lives were NOT on the hook. Most made little to no sacrifice for our war. How corrupt is this Great Gatsby nation to allow that barbaric orgy of the killing fields of war for no reason as we sipped our Starbucks while another nation was being hammered by the wrecking crew?

If I were married to a man, had children with him and he signed up for service in Iraq I would split a gasket in anger. How dare someone relinquish the most important duty a man can have and that is to the children he MADE by risking his death in a war he was not compelled to fight and which rationales for that war were dubious at best and false at worst!

If I were a man and was utterly outraged by 9/11 I would have made DAMN sure that the response to that event was insightful, smart and made with overwhelming evidence as to why my nation was going to war against another. If I were a man ESPECIALLY with a family I would NOT abrogate my obligation to them and further would not sign up to kill another man UNLESS there was CLEAR evidence that country had DIRECTLY attacked my nation.

I admit, during that time, to the fury I felt at the Trade Center/Pentagon attack and Shanksville, PA Flight 93 crash. It was not until later that I saw how much in error and how destructive to our national security our nation's war with Iraq in particular, our Middle East strategy in general and, indeed, most all of our post WWII foreign entanglements have been. I did not see it because I did not look. I did not look because I simply bought the lies my government spewed, I wanted revenge and my government said it had the goods on Iraq. It CLEARLY did NOT and NOW I am angry at those leaders who made such catastrophically bad and deceitful policy which cost thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis lives, displaced four MILLION people, ruined infrastructure, utterly fractured the Middle East and cost us ONE TRILLION, yes I said a TRILLION bucks. How's that for deficit caring Republicans? I heard few if any of them screaming about that!

We have committed tremendous destruction and atrocities on a nation which did nothing to us! Moreover, the US handed power on a platter to Iran which now has nearly free reign in the chaos of that troubled region and worse Iran soon will have nuclear capacity of its own and no one is in a position to stop them. But CLEARLY the most troubling consequence of our Iraq war is a destabilized Pakistan. Pakistan is a fragmented mess with thousands buried in floods and mud up to their neck. The Taliban and Al Qaeda seem to be the only ones ready to capitalize on the chaos driving the rig to extricate people headed for the mud pits of the abyss and, guess what? Pakistan, in fact, has REAL nuclear weapons. The destabilization of this country has put its people near a stage of civil war with real nuclear weapons in its arsenal. If civil war breaks out where WILL those weapons end up? Who knows. One hopes NOT in the hands of Al Qaeda or the Taliban which would love nothing more then to bestow a gift upon us in our own backyard!

Why did we perpetrate a war called Iraq? We did it for revenge and because we could. We did it for our military industrial base which lines its pockets with the blood of OUR soldiers and the blood of another nation's people who posed no imminent threat to us. We did it to destroy countries, governments, human beings and civilizations wily nily for profits of oil. We did it to set an example to the world of our military might. We did it for ALL those things and now we are reaping what we have sown in the Middle East. We are like those whom we waged war upon, as Frank Rich said, in his insightful editorial, at war with ourselves, angry, divided, fragmented, sad and bankrupt. Ironically, we are the mirror image of the very nations we sought to change and that is EXACTLY what some in that neck of the woods wanted. Frank Rich got this irony completely correct on every point. His insightful article is linked below.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Train: I posted on the MDN blog my response to a couple whose 16 year old grandson had died. They shared in their letter their memories of him by using a metaphor of the train they were riding through North Station. I post THEIR letter to the Metro West Daily News below and share my own thoughts about it.

This is one of the BEST letters I have read on MDN! Mr. and Mrs. Cerrati, your letter is profound. I think about what you have written often in my own mind and have used the train analogy as well to describe our journey through this life and the darkness visited upon all of us at one time or another.

It is those very thoughts which make me see the unnecessary futility of conflict in the world and between ourselves. I suspect many think their existence immortal and their journey on this planet forever as often our minds reject the reality of what lies ahead for everyone. We find out quickly through the cold blast of winter's death of our family and friends taken from us, often randomly, and some too soon that even our own demise is a certainly so why not all simply TRY to get along? How much easier it would be as the harshness of life visits its own cruelty upon us at will. I believe, we need each others' soft and reassuring embrace to get through the good times and the certainty of the bad.

I hope the memories of your grandson continue to sustain you and fill your mind with the joys of his life. My heart is with you.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Pulling Teeth: Every day in the a.m. when I read the headlines and the projections for the November Congressional midterms my heart sinks into depression. Can the American people be THAT ill informed and unaware as to elect candidates who were and are the very ones who created the economic and international mess under George Bush and who intend stalling Obama on absolutely EVERY policy vote which COULD propel us out of our quagmire? Republicans absolutely at all costs maintain their strategy and that is to say NO to everything Obama and Democrats propose hoping not only for a Democratic loss in the 2010 midterms but, after that, the eventual sinking of our president in 2012.

It is crystal clear. If the president ONLY had the support we would have gotten all the things so necessary to our survival. That is NOT what the Republicans are about. They are NOT about country's survival. They are about themselves, the big corporations and the big banks who support them and who ran the country near the abyss. It matters not whether it is a Republican of old or the newer brand Tea Partier. The goal is the same to unseat this black man from the presidency and his family from the White House. As bad as the criticism was against Clinton BEFORE Lewinsky it was nowhere NEAR the vitriol that is expressed now against Obama. One would have to be utterly ignorant not to see and hear the racist tone to the venom.

Just recently in Mass. in a liberal town the Tea Party wrecking crew was out complete with Obama signs, so cleverly and artistically (I say with sarcasm) magic marker drawn with a Hitler mustache. They tried to hook even ME. One can imagine the choice words I saved up and delivered.

Still, in view of the fact that most Democrats have well thought out prescient policies touted by experts it matters not, as some people will react not by careful thought but by knee jerk reaction mixing race into the toxic brew. Either I must watch closely what is happening and tend toward depression because I cannot STAND this horror show or I can prod people to ACT and GET THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE OUT! This did NOT NEED to happen if the president and ALL our Democratic Party incumbents played it smart and were as disciplined as the Republican Party has been.

I do not know what the president is thinking but as Joan Walsh said in if he has something up his enigmatic sleeve now would be a VERY good time to show it. If we think the successful vote on economic reform of Wall Street or on Healthcare was like pulling teeth, we should wait for the next act if Republicans overturn Congress. The teeth will not only be hard to pull, they will be impacted and we will be cooked maybe for decades without even a pair of dentures to chew the non existent food! DEMOCRATS, GET OUT TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER and TELL ALL YOUR DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS TO VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS AS WELL. THERE IS TOO MUCH AT STAKE!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Signs of the Times: I went to Newton Four Corners to meet someone for lunch. As I approached Whole Foods on Beacon Street there were two or three men with signs and a table set up to "Stop Obama." Moreover, the sign had the usual racist insulting picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache. Evidently, they thought that would play well in that area. I have news for them it won't. As I traveled beyond that and coming to my destination a van was parked COVERED with so called conservative, anti Obama, anti gay, anti choice and pro Republican bumper stickers.

My point is these people from the hostile opposition are operating, it seems, specifically in Newton but I imagine they operate in more cities and towns than that. When I arrived at the luncheon place there were two men trying to convince us to vote for one of them, a Republican, running in the 4th Congressional District against Barney Frank. He even told me that the Republican party is the party of Lincoln and that Martin Luther King was a Republican. I have two witnesses if this sounds preposterous to you as it did to me. It would be funny IF it were not so serious. I had to walk away from the man rather than have my blood pressure soar!

Needless to say, they were NOT received warmly by me as you might imagine. ME vote against Barney Frank? I don't think so. It brought home the point how much we have to loose and how committed these people are to ultimately bringing down our president.

I am relating this in my effort, no matter how difficult, to GET THE VOTE OUT for Democrats EVERYWHERE in November. If you can help any Dem at risk in this state do so. If you can help a Democrat at risk in any other state so much the better. This is a serious time as all of our efforts could be undone. That is NOT, I think, what any of us who call ourselves Democrat want.

The opposition is energized and I feel it. They sense a big victory in November. My mind rejects that because it is utterly unacceptable to me as I am SURE it is to you. That is why I ask you, fervently, if you are able, to get the vote out for Democrats to at least diminish the November Republican onslaught. The Republicans we all know are not for the average American but they get many to believe they are and vote AGAINST even their own economic interests. They will do anything to win and we should too. I HOPE every day that we will.