Monday, January 31, 2011

Facist Fruits: James Carroll yet again has written an exquisite article entitled "Tullia Zevi's 'fruitful dialogue'" in the Op Ed of the January 31, 2011 The Boston Globe. I urge you to read it if you have not already done so. I attach it below. When it comes to the Jewish people and our sad tortured history this one time prospective Catholic priest turned author, teacher and lecturer gets this history of his Church and the Jewish people absolutely correct. Tullia Zevi and I have something in common. We both selected our political stance based on the reality of the worst right wing extremist nightmare ever perpetrated in the history of man.

He is spot on when he talks about the history of the Catholic Church he still loves and its connection to the Nazi period and the Holocaust. Mr. Carroll pulls no punches. He indicts his beloved Church through its own edicts and/or sins of omission by various priests and popes, for their complicity in the Shoah. Many, including this Pope, Benedict the XVI, will offer tepid acknowledgment of the Church's collective guilt for the world's longest hatred and its role in the greatest genocide of the 20th century. The Church, though, even today welcomes with open arms those reactionary clearly anti-Semitic forces within it which spew the same noxious fumes which have been so well documented over the centuries.

When I read Mr. Carroll's editorials I can only marvel at their accuracy and swoon over his perfect prose. At the same time as a Jew I am in perpetual mourning for my people who must continuously suffer these slings and arrows that sting no less than they did decades, centuries and even millennia ago. The Arab world at this moment may be set to unleash its fury against the Jewish state if not today then next week, if not next week then next year, if not then than at some other hour yet unknown. As I write this the die is being cast. The Jewish people, yet again, face millions who would love nothing more than to see them gone from Israel, gone from the Middle East, and, indeed, many who want to see us gone from planet earth.

I am both happy and eternally sad when I read Mr. Carroll's articles because he gets the Jewish historical experience exactly correct and indicts the players of power no matter where they lie. Then I ask: Who reads Mr. Carroll's excellent works? Certainly few today who are poised to turn the Arab world on its head. When I see a protest poster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with a star of David on his head I remain, as a Jew, perpetually in mourning for my people and always vigilant!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Revolution, Evolution, Equilibrium and Egypt: The destruction of Egyptian equilibrium and the distinct potential for the evolution of revolutionary change in the cerebral synapses and heartbeat of the Middle East mandates careful thought. This could be a phenomenon of gargantuan import the development of which will have an effect on possibly the entire planet. What is at stake? 20% of oil flows through the Suez Canal. Oil is, we know, unfortunately too well, the lifeblood of the planet. What is made without oil? Answer: NOTHING. From the food we eat to the fuel our cars guzzle, and to the tires that trucks which transport that food -- ALL of it -- come from oil. Even plastic comes from oil. Civilized life as we know it cannot survive without oil.

The domino effect seems to be taking place in the Middle East as one after another regime falls. That tortured part of the world has experienced in recent history so many social tsunamis it is difficult to count them. From the CIA induced overthrow of Mosaddegh in Iran in 1952 and the installation of the US approved tyrant Shah to the overthrow of the Shah by Islamic radicals in 1972 setting up an Islamic Iranian near-nuclear state, the decade long Iraq/Iran War, the American induced expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in Iraq War I, the fiasco and continual war of George Bush’s choosing Iraq II, the overthrow of Musharif in Pakistan and the assassination of his probable successor Benezar Buhto, the present president of a nuclear Pakistan her husband Asif Ali Zardari, the continuous fighting in Afghanistan and the propping up of the US sanctioned but uber corrupt Karzhai government, the continual wars of numerous entities and Israel, the overthrow of the government of Tunisia, the unrest in Yemen and now, the biggest enchilada of all, Egypt’s 30 year strong arm but more secular and western friendly leader Mubarak may be going down. If one includes terrorism on other states around the globe turmoil coming from that neck of the woods is endless.

Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows and THAT is the problem now about Egypt. Will the tyrant but more secular Mubarak stay in his very religious country, will a successor chosen by him be installed, will democracy rule or will the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fundamentalist group, supersede everyone else? It is a complex hot cauldron. Pick your poison.

As Shakespeare’s Macbeth’s witches said “double, double toil and trouble caldron burn and fire bubble.” Someone on a blog asked: What is worse for the west and for Israel than another Iranian style Islamic revolution in Egypt? Answer: NOTHING. Islamic fundamentalists will make quick enemies of the once friends of Mubarak and they will have leverage – the spigots of blood life oil in that strategic part of the world. Since the question of Palestine has not been successfully determined at all it still is the spark that could ignite the powder keg in this worldly cauldron of double trouble.

States that select religious fundamentalism as their master will trade one tyranny for another as religion – ALL fundamentalist religion – will keep people subjugated, keep women without power and relegate all belief’s questioners to the jails if not worse. Unquestioning religion in the extreme is a retardant on culture, science, knowledge and growth. Evolution is a scientific mandate but cultural evolution is at the whim of man. It can advance or not. It can go forward or reactionarily backward but it will not stand still.

Bulletin: There is NO perfect world. There is no utopia. One must work despite man's frailties but within man’s strength for reason to prevail. I have little love for Islamic revolutions because they perpetrate, as all fundamentalist faiths ultimately do, mayhem on innocents. Religious fundamentalism of any stripe be it Christian, Muslim or Jewish is intransigent in its thinking and, often, at least subliminally, violent in its behavior. Mixing religion with politics is a toxic brew in a cauldron of trouble.

I do NOT support the US meddling in Middle East regimes changing them like someone changes underwear. In the long run it hurts us because things there are not predictable even by the savviest "expert" intellect. They get it wrong. Just look at Iraq.

The people must decide on their own who is to govern them. Before, though, centuries of culture and decades of power which kept a culture together even with a precarious glue are torn down one should think long and hard before that social upheaval takes place.

We live in a different world in no ordinary time. The Internet and other technological connections make the world a very small place. We are able to have a revolution by a few clicks of a mouse. Revolution, evolution and then equilibrium could be a formula for growth. Think well, though, if you think what you replace will be better than what you already have! Ask many Iranians who want democracy how they love the mullahs in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They just might say not very much, not very much at all!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Abortion in the Extreme: I post below the link of Jeff Jacoby's latest Boston Globe op ed piece "Abortion's dangerous euphemisms" and sent him my objections to it.

Jeff, I loath yet another of your columns so much that even though I am tortured by a rhino virus, I cannot let this one go. Your Op Ed "Abortion's dangerous euphemisms" is yet an additional hypocrisy. The column is another attempt to deny the choice a woman should have when determining what she does with her own body and this choice should include whether she brings her own pregnancy to term. Your article does what so many right wing ANYTHING-BUT-HUMANE radical extremists do especially concerning the choice debate and that is use an utterly horrific atrocity allegedly committed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell to encompass the state of all planned parenting and abortion providers today.

Gosnell and his loathsome actions did a similar thing that a few climate scientists did when they lied about global warming data. They ruined it for the majority of scientists whose work is impeccable and prove global warming beyond a shadow of a doubt. These two perversions of science are morally reprehensible but that does not obviate the TRUTH of the science of global warming nor do the disgusting actions of Dr. Gosnell (if true) preclude that most, if not nearly all, abortion providers do so in a HUMANE, medically professional and pristine manner saving MILLIONS of women from the botched illegal abortions of yesteryear. Moreover, they risk their own lives to do it. You cannot, or rather should not, indict entire necessary-to-the-woman's-health procedures by the horrendous actions of one psychopathic alleged doctor.

War is the taking of FULL TERM human life but I do not see you writing columns about reducing the size and scope of our military which often is engaged in the killing and mutilating of the life of already born children and adults. No, your criticism is left for the termination of FETUSES by the women who bear them. Yes, they are FETUSES. They may be unborn but it is contestable even among some Jewish orthodoxy and others as to when life REALLY is endowed with a sense of person hood. Endowing a fetus with the same rights of a full term person, except by the uber hypocrites of the Catholic Church, fundamentalist Christianity and now most of the radical Republicans, is the ridiculous voice of American unreason in the extreme.

If you care, REALLY care about human life you would be for single payer health care, the immediate reversal of illegal and immoral war killing thousands of innocents and you would be for a paring back of a military industrial complex run amok. But you don't. You on the right wing radical extreme ONLY care about life when it is the life of a fetus and when you can control the sexual behavior of women but not when it is full term human life that is in the crosshairs.

I ask you how much to YOU remember in utero? I remember NOTHING at that time. As a matter of fact my first memory of self awareness is THREE years old. How many three year olds have been slaughtered and dismembered by this country's horrible, unnecessary, and government approved wars while we sip our Starbucks coffee and worry about who will win the next American Idol -- too many to count. You want to talk about life? Let's talk about life. The lives of infants to the infirm elderly in Iraq and elsewhere were squandered by a giant US military killing machine gone haywire.

Watch Frontline's "The Wounded Platoon: Third Platoon, Charlie Company. What happened to them in Iraq, and what happened when they came home."

Let’s talk about true life butchered by a policy that not only takes human life but dismembers a Middle East fomenting discord and death even in countries we need to perfect an Israeli/Palestinian peace. And to make matters worse it bankrupts our nation which could provide necessary services to the maintenance of FULL TERM human life but which nation's blood money has run out. I guess though for you and the rightwing extreme machine only fetuses count!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Letter to the Supreme Court: Dear Justices: I turned on to my online news link and a story is posted whose title is "Judge throws out ban on online ammo sales." (Link below)

A CA judge gave thumbs up to online selling of ammo. The country is slowly going insane.

This is such a terrible decision in the wake of the Tucson shooting. We are an unhinged utterly divided nation, violently sickening and unrecognizable from anything I ever remember this country being (I am 62 years old.) This is a horrible utterly horrible decision. Felons can now buy ammunition online in California. It opens the door for any state to do the same thing as the NRA and gun organizations selectively choose where the suit is brought making sure it is before a George W. Bush or other radical justice pick.

Respectfully, the US Supreme Court has become a political arm which makes it as corrupt and unrecognizable as our entire country reflects. Judges speaking at political even extremist organizations and in secret I do not think would sit well with our Founders. Justice Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Roberts most specifically, I believe, have lost their moral scruples and compasses. Justice Thomas, Scalia, and Justice Alito have, in my opinion, taken this court to a new low by cavorting with clearly political bodies, who may in fact have business before the court and one Justice most disrespectfully mouthed opposition to the president at last year's State of the Union speech. It simply contributes to the noxious milieu in which we live.

Justice Scalia brazenly socialized with Mr. Cheney a person who had SIGNIFICANT business before the court. These conflicts of interest including Justice Thomas's wife not reporting to the IRS the name of the political company for which she worked is scurrilous. If we cannot expect the highest officers of the law in the land to obey the law than who can we expect to do it? Being above the law should be abhorrent to those who are officers of the court.

This Court may give thumbs up to unfettered online purchase of guns, ammunition, assault rifles and who knows maybe soon rocket grenade launchers. This would be unconscionable.

Perhaps I am stretching the importance of this decision but the direction of this violent nation is clear. The carnage of the Congress on the Corner tragedy and the shameful murders of police officers all over the land who give up their life to defend us from psychopaths political and non-political alike, is right before our eyes constantly. Every day in this nation there is some horrific shooting attributable to gun violence somewhere. What has happened to this country? Is this what our Founders thought the Second Amendment was for? Could they ever have foreseen a nation of 310 million strong having the ability to act like it is the lawless Wild West?

I am not a conspiratorial doomsday subscriber but I can surely see why those people think the way they do. The signs are ominous indeed and we must pay attention. It is to our peril if we do not. I urge you on this specific issue to consider carefully your decisions. We are all at risk and we all -- at least those of us who consider ourselves sane -- want this nation to thrive. More and more guns in the possession of more and more people who should not have access to them and made simpler is a clear and present danger to the republic that should trump any interpretation or affinity one may have for the Second Amendment.

Your politics, too, should rise above fray and beyond the president who brought you to the dance. You should do what is necessary to maintain the safety and security of all of this endangered nation and you should most obviously refrain from secret, clandestine and obviously political meetings which reveal easily how you will decide. It is wrong, it is unethical and in some cases it is even illegal. That behavior surely would not be tolerated if a liberal justice were to do that. You should be held to the same standard as everyone else and recuse yourself from hearing pertinent decisions where you have had contact even political contact with parties to an action.

Think well upon what you decide and think how many people it will help or hurt when you render your important precedents.
Gunning for US: Do you believe this story on MSNBC?: "Judge throws out ban on online ammo sales." (Link below)

A CA judge gave a thumbs up to online selling of ammo. The country is slowly going insane.

This is such an IDIOTIC decision in the wake of the Tuscon shooting. We are an unhinged nation, violently sickening and unrecognizable from anything I ever remember this country being. This is a horrible utterly horrible decision. FELONS can now buy ammunition online in California. It opens the door for any state to do the same thing as the NRA and gun sicko organizations selectively choose where the suit is brought making sure it is a George W. Bush judge pick. The US Supreme Court politically corrupt and unrecognizable as well ESPECIALLY the less than fabulous four Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and sometimes five IF Kennedy, who has some moral scruples, may give thumbs up to unfettered online purchase of guns, ammunition, assault rifles and who knows maybe soon rocket grenade launchers.

Maybe I'm stretching the importance of this decision but the direction of this violent nation is clear. The carnage, including the SHAMEFUL murders of police officers who give up their life to defend us from psychopaths political and non-political alike, is right before our eyes constantly. Every day in this nation there is some horrific shooting attributable to gun violence somewhere. What has happened to this country? Is this what our Founders thought the Second Amendment was for? Could they ever have foreseen a nation of 310 million strong having the ability to act like it is the lawless wild west?

I am not a conspiratorial doomsday subscriber but I can surely see why those people think the way they do. The signs are ominous indeed and we must pay attention. It is to our peril if we do not!
Who We Are--A Culture of Cruelty: I urge you if you read nothing else to read this article (link below) entitled

"America's Culture of Cruelty"

Monday 24 January 2011

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

This is one of the best, most insightful articles about the current sad state of American culture, discourse, and incivility. It is, indeed, profound journalism and, in my opinion, eminently worthwhile and, ultimately, to my chagrin and what should be the chagrin of all of us, represents the declining loftiness of American life.

I had viewed last week a CNBC documentary on the pornography industry in America. I thought that it represented an anything goes philosophy which has gone unchecked in our culture and I tried, rather unsuccessfully at least to my standards, to link it and the anarchistic violence which never ceases but ceases to amaze many of us who see it constantly on their local or national news broadcasts where even our police who try to keep us safe are not safe themselves.

I was going to try to do a better job linking these two issues that I think are related but at least for now, this article expresses my feelings on the vulgarization, crudity, violence and mayhem that goes unchecked in nearly every institutional forum from the Congress, to the unrestrained nod the Supreme Court gave to big money in Citizens United, to our unbridled economic views to movies and their previews of coming attractions, to music and to the polluted airways of violent television and even to our ever increasing violent empire building foreign policy which has killed and subjugated hundreds of thousands relegating the powerless, unseen by us, to an abject life of totalitarian violence, misery and death.

This article says it better than I ever could. Perhaps in the days ahead I will get together my thoughts and add an anarchistic disgusting anything goes sexual behavior which hiding behind First Amendment cover abuses women and even children bringing in deadly consequences while 8 year olds are subjected at the dinner hour to ads for male impotence. No wonder we are a haywire people. Boundaries in every forum have ceased to exist.

For now, though, this article is a MUST read. In part it gives insight into who we sadly have become in America today!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seeing Red not Green: Joan Vennochi wrote a great article in the Boston Sunday Globe entitled "Evergreen's declawed clawback" (link below) which talked about a governor that lied about how much an energy saving company Evergreen was given in loans by the state and how much it paid back. Then to make me see red it shipped (with our taxpayer dollars) their entire business to guess where? China, of course! I wrote an opinion to the Globe and Joan Vennochi:

Ms. Vennochi I am an ardent Democrat but your Boston Sunday Globe January 23, 2011 op ed "Evergreen's declawed clawback" shows to me over and over again how even a Democrat running on a platform for honest change can be anything but honest. These unconscionable immoral porcine feeding at the taxpayer trough are SO in bed with business that even elected officials who purportedly are part of the humanitarian change for which we on the left are yearning are swept into the vortex of pay to play politics. Moving from corrupt, dirty, depleted oil to environmentally safe fuels is what we want but we want that because it will bring jobs and business back to this country NOT take it out. What happens? We the taxpayer of Massachusetts give this unethical company 60 million and not only does a Democratic governor who ran as a left of center candidate, lie about the amount the company was given and owes, that vile company ships the WHOLE enchilada to China a country which has us over the barrel (so to speak) like a mafia loan shark would hold a borrower over the barrel of a gun. The guilt then is at not only the state level but the federal level too by its lack of significant change in tariff and trade policy.

It is, yet again, the middle class taxpayer who is deep sixed. This is UNCONSCIONABLE "Evergreen" should have been forced to sign a contract that said if they move ANYTHING abroad without paying the money back to the state they will be forced to pay fines in triplicate and maybe even suffer criminal prosecution of its CEO's as well who continually thumb their noses at those who loaned them big money. This should include the ability of the state legally to go after these corporate thieves abroad. If they do not sign an agreement to pay the loan back and keep jobs in this country than the loan should never be made. They have a STRONG ETHICAL duty to this since the state and the country give them their opportunity for great wealth. It is MY money and it is YOUR money. It's every citizen's money but we reap little. We, the middle class, are the ones who can least afford it and are held economically hostage to inherently corrupt people and policy.

Republicans are guilty of this ten fold but Democrats are as well and what you wrote surely shows that. This is why the Tea Party formed BUT they are misguided. If they think the unbridled free market is about them they are sorely mistaken. Greed knows NO morality and when government, the people's ONLY recourse, knows no morality and is in bed with business then I do not know what what the answer is. Yes, strict oversight, perhaps, BUT they cannot put the same foxes in charge of the chickens the foxes are killing and further our elected officials who do not meet their ethical responsibility should face censure as well.

The real answer is a Nader-like grass roots movement that brings honesty, transparency and ethics to those we put in positions of great power.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finally Joe is saying so: Joe Lieberman is leaving the Senate (see a NYT link below which a relative sent to me.) Say it is so, Joe! Joe Lieberman, as far as I am concerned, has no legacy. He is a traitor to his party and even, I believe, to the nation he claims to love. Lieberman committed his pecuniary power to perpetuating policies and a McCain presidency which would have done nothing but put intellectual lightweights instead of intellectual heft into the White House. Mr. Lieberman, you picked the wrong side, thank God.

He was the Democratic, let me say that again, the DEMOCRATIC nominee for VP in 2000. It sure is a long way from Tipperary. He threw his allegiance in 2008 to Republican John McCain, an old man with medical maladies including cancer and risked the possibility, if McCain could not govern, of having know-nothing Palin as a president plunging this country into a Medieval darkness worse than the eight years of the George W. Bush presidency if that is possible.

Country first? No, I don't think so. Mr. Lieberman supported the Iraq carnage, supported invading and perpetuating the invasion of a country that did NOTHING to us. He helped this country waste billions of taxpayer dollars and most importantly committed himself to a policy of never-ending death for our troops as well as contributing to the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq. He, by his support of Bush war policies, contributed to the destruction of a country which caused a million refugees to flee from certain death and destruction by staying in that country.

Joe Lieberman was a morally bankrupt politician who cared more about the health insurance industry campaign contributions and his wife's conflict-of-interest job in the insurance industry than he cared about sound public option health care which could have saved millions and could have put the nail in the coffin of an industry which deserved it. It could have gotten employers out of the health care business a place where most loath being. But Joe wanted to be the center of attention with all of the nation’s eyes on him. He wanted everyone to lick his boots and beg him for support. Ah, the power he must have felt! He is a hypocrite of the worst order and he will, hopefully, have no power soon. Well I can hope can't I?

He overruled the dictates of an election by aborting his Democratic Party allegiance and slithered in as an Independent because he could NOT and did not win in the primary as a Democrat. Lamont SHOULD have been the senator from Connecticut. One hopes that the people of the good state of Connecticut, a state which I love, will return to its moral senses and vote Democratic in 2012. God knows we need them to do that as the American people in the mid section of this country and elsewhere tend to like to step on their own toes and vote for a Republican party which is NOT about their own economic interests.

Yes, I thank Mr. Lieberman for his help in the DADT repeal. After all, it was the least he could have done! Goodbye, Mr. Lieberman, I for one will not miss you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Palin Imperfect a Response on the NYT comment section to "Exceptionalism, Faith and Freedom: Palin’s America -- a review by NYT Stanley Fish of Palin's “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag” in relation to the concept of American exceptionalism (Link Below)

I will NEVER read anything Sarah Palin writes. First because she disgusts me and second because I do not want to contribute one penny to her millions she lassoed out of America's pocket because she was a pretty face running for VP on McCain's ticket. I am hard pressed to believe that the authors she quotes are really ones about whom she has read or even thought about their ideas for one nanosecond. The list of quotations is impressive coming from a woman who could not answer the revealing Couric question what magazines or newspapers have you read or another Gibson question about Bush's preemptive war. Wow two short years have passed and Ms. Palin surly has developed such in depth analysis and insight behind the minds of our Founders.

I dare one media such as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann to have at her. Let's test her mettle in THAT arena. She never would consent. Why? Because her books are ghost written for her I suspect. There is no way on earth a woman who could contrive the cross-hairs for Democrats or even the use of the inflammatory \"blood libel\" reference would have the substance, insight and critical analysis it takes to talk or even present evidence as to American exceptionalism. It will be a cold day in Hades before she gives me enough reason to even care one iota what she believes.

McCain's choice of her for VP one heartbeat away from a rather sickly older man potential president showed that he put anything BUT his country first. She and all she stands for are a cancer on the American body politic. May she fade from the spotlight but I suspect, to my chagrin, she will be with us as long as the superficiality of her biological attractiveness holds out.

I ask her the questions how exceptional was America to the native American, how exceptional was America to the slave, how exceptional was America to those in bread lines of the Great Depression and how exceptional is America to an Iraqi family who was bombed to oblivion out of their home after having done nothing to this exceptional nation?

America has done great things to be sure and I love it despite its inequities. Before the bumbling cerebral lightweight Palin talks about American exceptionalism, however, she should consider reasons why it is a nation state which protects its own interests first even if those interests are taken from those who cannot resist its power!
Black is black: Yesterday I saw the film “Black Swan.” I wrote a review which appears in IMDb. “Black Swan” presents, I think, a modern more updated definition of film noir (black or dark film) that existed in the 1940’s and 50’s. It is, indeed, a psychologically dark film as it attempts to recreate the ballet Swan Lake using Natalie Portman as the film’s Swan queen. Blood, psychological torment, human cruelty and sexual perversion are its emphasis. If that makes you doubtful you want to see the film I do not blame you. I wondered why I made the effort.

I do not mind if I have to go to some lengths to sift through a film and analyze its nuances but this one was too much for my psyche to absorb. When I read theater of the absurd authors such as Pirandello “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” or see a film based on the Edward Albee book "Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf" I can appreciate its absurdity, its torturous message of life’s difficulty and even the extreme pathology of relationships at its core but at some point if the content gives me nothing else but a headache, I stop and ask why did I inflict this upon myself. Alright already I get the point!

I do not like to be forced to analyze a film to death so that every word and every scene needs interpretation. In this film I kept asking what is reality, what is fantasy and what is simply a psychotic break. Is the woman insane, is the world around her insane or both? There were too many unknowns. I needed a film analyzer to sit next to me to explain the action and/or the symbolism of each scene.

Some loved this movie and see brilliance in it. That may be so but it was much too enigmatic for me to waste my energy attempting to decipher it. Moreover, the rather graphic sex, utterly ugly bloody hard-to-fathom violence, allusions to maternal lesbian incest and other perversions including drug use made me uncomfortable. Watching the minutiae of it was, I thought, unnecessary and disconcerting. There were enough squirmy moments to make me turn my head and look away and ask why a film maker has to show such graphic sexual detail and unhinged violence. I believe there are boundaries one should not cross. I do not want to see some things in living color because, in my opinion, it contributes to the crudity of our culture. I think the illusion of a sexual encounter is often times more erotic than its body machinations which leave nothing to the imagination.

Having said all of that the film does show the complexity of ballet and its all encompassing art form to which some devote their entire life. If Natalie Portman did the dancing herself she is, indeed, a very good dancer. She is also an excellent actress. The part itself demanded hefty talent and she showed she had that and more. The performance often was riveting but the disgusting violent nature of the script, its graphic sexuality and twisted psychological content makes me give it a thumbs down. I loath fluff films too BUT I do not want utterly psycho-pathological, difficult-to-analyze and bloody ones either. I rather watch the swan boats on Boston Common in the spring instead!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Well wishes: Since I had not sent to Congresswoman Giffords my wishes for her recovery, I composed an email tonight and sent it on. Yes, I know I am not the strongest believer but sometimes it simply feels good to offer something, greater than oneself no matter what one calls it in hopes that it helps. I called upon my own Jewish tradition as Congresswoman Giffords is, in fact, Jewish. I hope it made her as it made me feel just a bit better!

Dear Congresswoman Giffords, the entire nation bends its head in prayer for your journey back to good health. The human body is an amazing construct and heals itself even at times when we think it impossible. You are showing the nation that it is possible to heal even from the most difficult injury. Perhaps, your ordeal is a metaphor for this nation which often is so divided that if the basic structure is sound it is invincible even to the most profound assault.

I hope that through you and through all those who suffered with you this nation can take away from it a teachable moment so that people who speak so cavalierly about the use of violence will see that violence, revolutionary talk and guns used to implement one's singular perception of the world can bring such devastating and unnecessary suffering to so many.

I am a polio survivor and have seen what an assault by an outside force on one's body can do. It is amazing, though, the many victims of that disease I have seen who did not capitulate to it but to the contrary, strove even more strongly to take back the life that was theirs. I think you and others who survived this dastardly attack will do the same.

I wish for you to continue to amaze our nation and that the healing that comes to you will come to our nation as well.

There are so many people who do not even know you but now have come to love you as if we were residents of your district. It shows that we are ALL united Democrat and Republican alike in the love of this nation. We all, I know, yearn for your complete recovery.

Since you are Jewish and so am I, I say the watchwords of our faith for you: Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai EḼad -- "Hear oh Israel the Lord our God the Lord is One"

May the Lord bless you, and keep you;
May the Lord make His countenance shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May the Lord turn His countenance to you and grant you peace.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gorgeous article by David Brooks "Tree of Failure" a relative sent to me.

It should be committed to memory by those of us whose opinions are strong and who get discouraged because it seems our voice is too weak and our opponents too powerful. An article like this should give one pause for hope!
Gunning for guns -- A response to the NYT story "A Clamor for Gun Limits, but Few Expect Real Changes"(written by me near midnight quickly, with no edits and accepted for the NYT online): No of course there won't be any changes. Why should so called "conservatives" want to prohibit anyone from overthrowing the government? As long as they replace it with an extremist fascist type one of course. We know that is the REAL purpose of their love affair with the glorious Second Amendment. I LOVE our Founding Fathers but boy if they could have seen the country that the US turned into 300,000,00 strong what are the odds that they would have included the fabulous (I JEST) 2nd Amendment with no restrictions so any sicko like Mr. Laughner the alleged Tuscon killer could do a repeat performance? Zero to none.

Just think about what Gettysburg would have looked like IF they all had AK47's and megga magazine clips and maybe the nation could have had a million dead in our bloody Civil War. No one but no one envisioned a nation with 300 million people and no one would have given the go ahead to have a revolution every 20 years.

Guess, what you gun huggers? GUNS KILL and those states that have the fewest gun owners like in the northeast have the fewest gun deaths. Funny thing about that. Statistics don't lie AND the man who went running in with his gun in Tuscon ready to take down the gunman BY HIS OWN ADMISSION would have taken down an innocent man who was trying to get the gun away from the bad guy. In the heat (pardon the pun) of the moment people shoot without knowing who the heck they are shooting at.

But no, people don't want statistics, they do not want reason. They just want their Glock to keep them warm at night. Well, the Glock will change one's temperature alright from 98.6 to room temperature COLD!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gunning for Giffords Rethought: The events in Tuscon chill one's soul. All of us who call ourselves human and who live in one of the freest nations on earth must be staggered by the carnage that occurred in that city which resembled more of the wild west from which Tuscon was born. Many are focusing on the electric explosive current coursing through the veins of the contemporary politics of our nation today. The Internet we know is filled with violent speech calling for the elimination of one or the other political pundit or perceived political foe. This rancid discourse happens on both the left and the right. It happens in our own homes and living rooms. It happens even between friends. The media 24/7 news cycle will be concentrating on the sad fact of the incivility of American political discourse today and try to analyze its cause. It is appropriate that they should do so.

Some on the left are retracting statements, taking down angry speech and even apologizing as Keith Olbermann and others on the left have done. See his Special Comment on his web site eschewing angry political speech. Some on the right are doing so, albeit weakly, as well.

I wrote an opinion when this tragedy first occurred but I decided to retract it and write another. I rethought my argument that the right is mainly to blame for the angry rhetoric spewed by certain news media, the Internet and certain blogs and in part responsible for this dastardly deed. I decided that even though I may have my own favorite indictments of the extremist right I will NOT be impervious to hyperbolic speech that exists on both sides of the political spectrum and which most of us say at one time or another. It is not singular. It encompasses both extremes and everywhere in between.

As I thought about the edits to my opinion I remembered a stunning phone call I received from a political ally on the left who called to scream at me because we disagreed on one issue. I also remembered that during the election this November signs for Democrats were bent, uprooted and thrown to the ground on my lawn. Angry rhetoric and unacceptable behavior are not the domain of a single political point of view. It happens on the right and the left.

I think we can all agree that the perpetrator of this disgusting event in Arizona is mad. The question, though, is this madness stoked by the explosive anything-goes vitriol that passes for political fact in our supposedly democratic republic. I believe that both are so enmeshed that we probably cannot separate the two. If Jared Lee Laughner’s actions were not political (I personally think they were) then someone else somewhere who is equally unbalanced will think their 15 minutes of fame and their cause will be perfectly justified if they commit a stunning act of violence against their perceived enemy. Think of all the attention they would get. There are surely repeat offenders in our midst.

Sarah Palin's cross-hairs post during the 2010 election cycle, I believe, is a contributing factor to our violent present-day mood. When our prominent public figures contribute to this hateful social climate it brings in a tsunami of grief and unprecedented gun violence to this nation. Palin's website where she used gun cross-hairs to target Representative Gabrielle Giffords of the 8th District in Tuscon and many others elsewhere in the nation to be marked for elimination was out of bounds. She says she meant the cross-hairs as a surveyor tool but who really does believe that when she used gun rhetoric to say “Do not retreat but reload?” The underlying sentiment of gun violence is crystal clear. There is no way, in my opinion, Palin can twist and squirm her way out of this one. Both she, Glenn Beck and others have not apologized sufficiently enough for the contributory negligence of their violence-tainted histrionic remarks. In fact, Beck removes himself as a contributing factor by not only coming to the defense of Palin but by putting up on his own website a retraction of violence as he stands there as if he were part of a Norman Rockwell painting peering in so cutely with a gun.

I am questioning today whether any of the injured or any of the family of those who perished could bring suit against most particularly uber prominent political personalities and the microphones and conduits they use to make millions without thought about the consequences of their speech. I believe their rancid public rhetoric comes perilously close to encouraging malice, violence and even treason against our country.

Free speech is one thing but yelling fire in a crowded theater is unacceptable and our Supreme Court under Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said so. The 1919 unanimous decision by the Court in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919) established free speech limits which exist even to this day. This case used the "clear and present danger" yardstick to limit just how far one can go if one by their speech could endanger the public safety. The Court stated and I quote:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

I believe there are limits -- ESPECIALLY for public figures -- as to the express and implied violence of their speech which could encourage the tinderbox that is our nation to ignite. They are to me guilty of contributing by their violent rhetoric to the horrendous occurrences and attempted assassination of a Representative of the U.S. House Gabriel Gifford, the killing of a US District Judge John Rolle and five others who were simply stopping by to say hi to their Representative Gabriel Giffords while attending a political event. Whether those who clearly incite violence can be indicted for contributing to this national catastrophe remains to be seen. I suspect their First Amendment rights to free speech will provide the umbrella they would need to defend themselves but it should give them pause for thought before they speak.

In George Orwell’s famous novel “Animal Farm” about the nature of the all tyrannical extremes he states: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” In this case I say all political extremes are guilty of contributory negligence in this latest Tucson horror show but some extremes are surely guiltier than others.

The 9 year old girl, Christina-Taylor Green, who was killed in this mayhem was born amazingly on 9/11. If that is not a metaphorical fact of what violence has done to this nation than nothing is.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Words to Contemplate:

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right

Monday 10 January 2011

by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

To: Palin-lovers, Fox "News," the "mainstream" media, and the Far Right, et al.

From: William Rivers Pitt

Date: Monday 10 January 2011

Re: The blood on your hands

Dear “Patriots,”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn't much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a "former Republican," and is today considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.

Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party's recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.

And then all Hell broke loose.

A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords' skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords' director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married. U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords' constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.

At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.

I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.

Yes, you.

You false patriots who bring assault rifles to political rallies, you hack politicians and media personalities who lied through your stinking teeth about "death panels" and "Obama is coming for your guns" and "He isn't a citizen" and "He's a secret Muslim" and "Sharia Law is coming to America," you who spread this bastard gospel and you who swallowed it whole, I am talking to you, because this was your doing just as surely as it was the doing of the deranged damned soul who pulled the trigger. The poison you injected into our culture is deeply culpable for this carnage.

You who worship Jesus at the top of your lungs (in defiance of Christ's own teachings on the matter of worship, by the way) helped put several churchgoers into their graves and into the hospital. You who shriek about the sanctity of marriage helped cut down a man who was about to be married. You who crow with ceaseless abandon about military service and the nobility of our fighting forces helped to critically wound the wife of a Naval aviator who fought for you in a war. You who hold September 11 as your sword and shield helped put a little girl born on that day into the ground.

You helped. Yes, damn you, you helped.

The "mainstream" media is already working overtime playing up the "Disturbed loner" angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner's transformation into a disturbed individual. But here's the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox "News" he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense...the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday. The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.

He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.

I'm talking to you, "mainstream" media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn't him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display...but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.

"Mainstream" news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity. It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that. I hate to break this to the "mainstream" media know-betters, but words matter. When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The "mainstream" media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it's good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.

Remember the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent occupation? "WMD everywhere, al Qaeda connections to 9/11, plastic sheeting and duct tape because we're all gonna die!" was the central theme of the majority of your broadcast schedule for years...until it was all proven to be a lie. You helped the liars, you were the liars, but you knew that. You also got your spectacle, and the corporations that own you got paid a king's ransom, so everyone was happy, except the dead.

Tell me this is any different, I dare you. For the spectacle, the ratings and the pleasure of your owners, you ran names like "Sarah Palin" across the sky in lights, even after she should have faded into well-deserved obscurity, and helped this blister of right-wing rage fester until it finally burst. This was your show, and in perhaps the most wretched irony of all, I would bet all my worldly possessions that your ratings are through the roof right now. You got what you wanted. I hope you are pleased.

And yes, I'm talking to you, Sarah Palin, you unutterably disgusting fraud. You pulled it off your ridiculous website, but it's out there: you put cross-hairs - literally, cross-hairs - on Rep. Giffords, you blithered about "reloading" instead of "retreating," and you made this country more stupid and violent with every breath you took. Well, congratulations, you failure, you quitter, you inciter of mobs. You put the cross-hairs on her, and someone finally pulled the trigger. Run from it all you like, Lady MacBeth, but this blood will never be washed from your hands.

I'm talking to you, Sharron Angle, you walking punch-line, who talked about "Second Amendment remedies" being necessary if you didn't get your way on health care reform during your failed Senate campaign.

I'm talking to you, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly, and Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, and to every other right-wing tripe-spewing blowhard blogger and Fox News broadcaster. I hope you are proud of yourselves, because this is the day you get to reap what you have been relentlessly sowing since you were forced to encompass the unmitigated outrage of a Black man winning the office of President of the United States.

That's right, I said it. Anyone who thinks good old-fashioned American bigotry and racism are not the core motivation for a vast majority of these so-called "revolutionaries" should get their heads examined. You've heard of the "elephant in the middle of the room?" Well, this is the burning cross in the middle of the room, and no amount of spin will douse those flames.

I'm talking to you, Koch Brothers. Your money to create and spread this disease was well-spent; you now have one less Democrat in the House to worry about, at least for the foreseeable future. Congratulations, you un-American sacks of filth.

And I'm talking to each and every one of you who listened to these traitors and believed the nonsense they spewed at you for no other reason than to pick your pockets for campaign/organization contributions. I'm talking to you who wore your silly fatigues and carried your badly-spelled fact-deprived signs to protests with pistols on your hips and rifles on your shoulders. You who threw bricks through the windows of politicians you disagreed with. You who shot out the windows of Rep. Giffords' office not even a year ago.

You worked very hard to create exactly this atmosphere in America, and now it has come to be. We have entered the age of the Wrath of Fools, and we now must again exist in an America where the word "assassination" has become all too relevant.

You helped this happen. You.

You know it. I know it. Have the guts to admit it, even if only to yourselves.

I know many Republicans and conservatives, and consider them to be dear friends. The single most influential person in my life (aside from my mother) was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and there is no person I respected more than him. I do not count these people, and those like them, among those whom I address here. They are as sickened and repulsed by you as I am.

This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve. Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.

Oh, P.S., if anyone reading this is operating under the delusion that the overheated right-wing rhetoric that went a long way towards almost getting Rep. Giffords killed, and had a strong hand in putting six people in the ground, is some sort of new Obama-era phenomenon, well...

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."

- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him."

- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton

"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs."

- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed."

- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01

"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God's Law and the disenfranchisement of White men."

- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01

I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but you get the gist.

Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Gunning for Giffords: The events in Tuscon chill one's soul. All of us who call ourselves human and who live in one of the freest nations on earth must be staggered by the carnage that occurred in that city which resembled more of the wild west from which Tuscon was born. Many are focusing on the electric explosive current coursing through the veins of the contemporary politics of our nation. The Internet we know is filled with violent speech most especially on the extremist right calling for the elimination of Democrats. In the coming days there can be no doubt that media will be concentrating on this sad fact of the incivility of American political discourse today.

Michael Moore recently sent to his supporters his Twitter blog about this dastardly event. If you Google his name you will see his opinion and even an opinion by Keith Olbermann about this sad occurrence which Moore posted on his page as well. The link is:

Specifically and most importantly, Sarah Palin's cross-hairs post during the 2010 election cycle (sent to me by a relative) appears in the writings of the great conservative-leaning journalist Andrew Sullivan (See link below). It is sickening evidence, indeed, that our prominent public figures are contributing to this hateful social climate which is bringing in a tsunami of grief and unprecedented gun violence to this nation. Palin's site which she used targeted Representative Gabrielle Giffords of the 8th District in Tuscon and many others elsewhere to be in the cross-hairs marked for elimination.

I am questioning whether any of the injured or any of the family of those who perished could bring suit against most particularly uber prominent political personalities such as Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, and the microphone for them Fox News, they have used to make millions. I believe their rancid public rhetoric against Democrats and other progressives comes perilously close to encouraging malice, violence against them and even treason against our country.

Free speech is one thing but yelling fire in a crowded theater is unacceptable and our Supreme Court under Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said so. The 1919 unanimous decision by the Court in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919) established free speech limits which exist even to this day. This case used the "clear and present danger" yardstick to limit just how far one can go if one by their speech could endanger the public safety. The Court stated and I quote:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

I believe there are limits especially for public figures as to the embedded and implied violence of their speech which could encourage the tinderbox that is our nation to ignite. They are to me guilty of contributing by their violent rhetoric to the horrendous occurrences and attempted assassination of a Representative of the U.S. House. Whether Palin, Beck, and many others on the right not the least of which is Fox News can be indicted for contributing to this national catastrophe remains to be seen.

The 9 year old girl who was killed in this mayhem was born amazingly on 9/11. If that is not a metaphorical fact of what violence has done to this nation than nothing is.

Friday, January 07, 2011

If I had a Hammer: Matt Taibbi's piece in Rolling Stone Magazine "The Crying Shame of John Boehner" which is about John the new Speaker of the House Boehner and weep (link below). Boehner REALLY is crying for himself because NOW he is in the spotlight. Please if you read nothing else read this article. Taibbi writes in a VERY entertaining way and even though it appears long it goes by in a nanosecond it's that good. While you're at it pass it on and let all your friends know just WHO John Boehner our new Speaker REALLY is and what many who are in Congress are REALLY about.

It is sickening indeed that the GREAT maybe the GREATEST speaker of the House EVER, Nancy Pelosi, had to give up her gavel for this utter beltway lobbyist boot licking fraud, John Boehner.

Read, savor and enjoy!

God bless America and God bless our Constitution creators for creating the most important freedoms; the ones contained in the very FIRST amendment -- Freedom of the press, speech, etc. Without it if you think it's bad now one can only imagine the horror of this country without it.
Swan Lake as you have never seen it before!

This was sent by a relative of mine. To say it is GORGEOUS does it a supreme disservice.

Did I say the Chinese people astound me? This is why China is rising and will, if they have not already, eclipse this nation in many things especially things of intellect and art! Just my opinion. There is a precision and perfection these people exhibit which I saw at the Olympics and which takes my breath away. This performance of Swan Lake was SO beautiful it sent chills through my body.

p.s. I was the second girl from the right in the line! :-\ Click on the link below and enjoy it is perfection!
Forgive even though English IS my first language: Yes, forgive the spelling error in my last post. Did I say I love English but I really do NOT like homonyms? They tend to make English foot stamping annoying. I promise I do know the difference between thrown and throne. Cross out thrown as in throwing a pie which is what I would like to throw in MY face and in its place put throne as in the highest seat of power which resides in the next to last sentence of my opinion.

Writing one's thoughts with no errors in the late evening near the midnight hour is always a risk for me. One part of my brain is saying write and the other part of my brain is saying sleep.

I write (NOT right) when I SHOULD have slept! :-\

I loath grammatically incorrect sentence structure and not only that I hate it! :-)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Done Dailey Deal? 315 million human beings in this country and you mean to tell me Barack Obama could not find anyone who could (1) get along with everyone and (2) tout progressive policy to fill the vacant Chief of Staff position? Today Barack Obama yet again kicked his base in the teeth. Am I angry? Yes, I am, damn angry that he selected Bill Dailey once I found out from whence Dailey came – JP Morgan Chase and the wonderful world of Wall Street banksters. I thought the president yet again turned his back on his base, the ones who loved him and gave us his posterior. Okay, maybe I'm wrong and Howard Dean, who has enormous respect for Dailey is right. I certainly HOPE so. You BET I was angry though. I was FURIOUS really and I said so to the NYT which printed my sentiments online. This is what I said with a few grammatical corrections:

Having fallen in love with Barack Obama during his campaign in 2008 and celebrated into the wee morning hours after the November, 2008 election, I stand incredulous, scratching my head wondering if this was the man I thought would finally put my yearning to have an FDR-like president occupy, once again, the White House. I thought this man would infuse this nation and me with the same charisma, strength of leadership and purpose with which FDR filled my own parents’ hearts. Having been born three years after FDR's death I had to be content with study of that, as the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin puts it, no ordinary time.

I thought we were in no ordinary time when we came painfully close to economic annihilation. I THOUGHT we were in no ordinary time when we were involved in two and some say THREE bank-busting blood-curdling wars at the same time one of which was utter folly. I put my whole heart into the election of this president but the change is oh so painfully slow and often barely evident on the big ticket items. It is said and I have read that it really was not the president who achieved all that the lame duck Congress did but rather it was thanks to Nancy Pelosi and Leader Reid for its accomplishments. It was they I have read who wielded the most power and cared about the base more than President Obama ever did. He merely signed what they had written. Thank god at least for that.

I am not discounting the things that have been done by this president and passed by the 211th Congress or, most especially, in the lame duck session. Still, the occupiers of the seats of power and administration’s advisers take on a HIGHLY conservative bent so much so that I do not know why so called "conservatives" gripe about anything this president does.

Summers is out, Gibbs is out and others soon will be out. Who comes in? Open the doors wide for Chief of Staff who -- William Dailey of the bankster J.P. Morgan Chase fame. Yet ANOTHER even more Wall Street entrenched adviser will be the gateway to the president. Since day one of the Obama administration I have been asking myself who is this Barack Obama. Who is this man I heard give such rousing speeches that warmed my heart, buoyed my spirits and made me think my prayers for a Rooseveltesque presidency would FINALLY be answered?

I am more disappointed than I have ever been. I am sadder than I have ever been as I see our economy sputter barely lifting its head. It needs more than a band aid to resuscitate it and who does Obama put in grave positions of immense leadership more foxes who killed us poor chickens in the first place.

I will just BET Mr. Dailey JP Morgan Chase had a fine year last year with a firm which was one of the most egregious offenders in our economic debacle. I will just bet his 401K did not tank. I will just bet that he has no worries about getting sick, losing his home or his ability to pay for the next prescription drug. I'll bet Mr. Daley did just fine.

I thought Barack Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate. One could not prove that by me. Where is the evidence of that? Why do I think that Barack Obama really does not want this job? Why do I think he is doing everything he can to alienate his base so that they will NOT show up for his reelection in 2012?

Please forgive my armchair psychology but I cannot help but think that what the first lady was alleged to have said to the French president's wife was the truth. They back peddled it in France a bit but when asked by Mrs. Sarkozy how she enjoyed the White House, Michelle allegedly said: "It’s hell. I can’t stand it!" I think not only SHE thinks that way but her husband and our president does as well. It is the only reason I can come up with for the president to kick dirt in the face of those who loved him and brought him to the dance. It is the only reason why I see no effort whatsoever to bring those banksters who committed those dastardly acts to face prosecution and ultimately jail. Now with a decidedly right wingnut Republican House that is revolting in the extreme and an Obama White House dedicated to the protection of the top 2% I can kiss justice goodbye. It's arc is bending in the opposite direction.

If our president is looking for an invitation to dinner from conservatives I say good luck, Mr. President, with that. You will NEVER be part of their group NOR should you give your base one moment to think that that is what you REALLY want. On the other hand if it isn’t and If you TRULY do not want to be president in 2012, please by all means, abdicate the thrown (oops I mean THRONE) now. At this point, I will take Joe Biden and be thrilled!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Civil Agreement: I wrote this letter to The Boston Globe regarding Jeff Jacoby's January 5, 2011 article entitled "Reliving -- and denying -- an Ugly Past (link below)

Jeff, astounding we agree. Your January 5, 2011 The Boston Globe article "Reliving -- and denying -- an ugly past" was beautifully written and quite correct. It did not skirt the obvious and provable pre and post Civil War history of our country that slavery, indeed, was the Civil War's centrifugal force. To say that slavery was not the inextricable fact of the so called southern "cause" is like a Holocaust denier saying the Holocaust did not exist to the extent that Jews say it did. Those who deny both make me see red.

I suggest, if you haven't already, watching on PBS "American Experience" a biography of exalted-to-sainthood-by-the-south General of Confederate forces, Robert E. Lee. It speaks to interesting truths most especially about the background and personality of Lee. I never have held any illusions about southern Confederate history as I hold no illusions about the morphing of the contemporary Republican Party into its Dixiecrat child. The Republican Party bears absolutely no resemblance to the party of Lincoln despite the myth that Republicans love to perpetrate themselves as the party of him. The Republican Party today and its Dixiecrat parent resemble more the biography of Robert E. Lee.

Until his death the only regret Lee had was that he lost the biggest battle of his life, the Civil War. He did not regret ever having fought for essentially the preservation of slavery (he had 200 slaves) and for what he considered was "the cause of states rights.” States Rights was the ever-present euphemism (and still is in other ways today) which gave cerebral comfort to those who used it as intellectual cover for the perpetuation of slavery and the insurance it bestowed of a permanent black under class in the south. It was an intellectual ruse so that the southern states could maintain slavery and not have it be declared illegal by Federal executive order.

The south first thought the election of Lincoln would undermine the white valued way of life. They were wrong. Lincoln wanted compromise and wanted to do anything to keep the union together. The Emancipation Proclamation was done not so much because Lincoln loathed slavery, although he did not like it very much, but was rather revenge since the south did not capitulate immediately after its initial heavy losses. Contrary to what Lincoln thought, the Emancipation Proclamation gave the Confederacy under the command of Robert E. Lee its necessary infusion of anger which fueled the righteous might of their cause. Robert E. Lee held that and, indeed, used it to catapult him to southern fame.

Lee believed in the white Christian male superiority above everything else and that god ordered him to defend it. He became a fanatically religious Christian despite the obvious hypocrisy that he believed in (as de Tocqueville stated) that "peculiar institution" his entire life. To forget this fact is to deny history. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis too, in the end, were lucky they were not hanged for treason. Were it not for the benevolence of President Lincoln and Union General Ulysses S. Grant they would have.

There are hundreds of monuments to Lee in the south. Having those monuments would be like Germany making hundreds of monuments to Hitler and scattering them all over Europe. In total deaths, the American Civil War was the deadliest war in American History with over 620,000 fatalities. Lee died of a massive stroke maybe as he contemplated the death he delivered both to his beloved Confederate troops and to the nation against which he committed treason.

The angry sentiments surrounding our nation's fracture have not mended entirely even to this day. One can clearly see much of it. Whether one calls our fight the Civil War, the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression, it is emblematic that the passionate divisions which created that war still exist. Robert E. Lee, I believe, would find a home in the Republican Party today in general and the Tea Bag Party movement in particular. This is a sad fact of our collective American experience indeed but one which cannot be denied!
Base of Support: This was printed on the NYT comments section in response to its article "Republicans Set to Wield New Power in Washington"

If President Obama ignores his base he does so to his peril. The Republican House does NOT reflect the nature and desires of the American public. It reflects the fact that white people especially those who do not understand economic realities had cold water splashed on their face by the president's election AND it reflects that the president's base, people LIKE me stayed home and did not vote (although I personally DID vote Democratic.) Much of his base and his supporters are young liberals, left of center allies, most minorities and women as well. IF our base gets out to vote en mass like they did in 2008 Mr. Obama will be elected and Republican efforts to put into law their rancid destructive ideals stymied. If the president's base is discouraged and embarrassed by the president's kow towing to mainly white Republicans than his tenure in office will be brief.

He and other Democrats should know in no uncertain terms that compromising the hallmark of the FDR's New Deal legislation, Social Security and Medicare is OFF limits. His base IF he cuts or eliminates those programs will sit home and not vote. Why should they vote? Either he is for those majorities who brought him to this pinnacle of world power or he is not.

The Republicans SAY they will not compromise while they hold ONLY the House. They seem to mean what they say. They dig in their uncompromising heels in even when they were responsible for the ditch into which this nation was thrown. Their actions should be met with equal and opposite STEADFAST reactions by Democrats.

There can be NO compromise on the greatest programs this nation has ever seen. To leave the fate of millions of elderly, disabled or sick human beings to Wall Street banksters is to assign those sick, elderly and disabled to a certain short life and eventual early death. Ironically the Republican party IS the TRUE death panel.

The markets have betrayed the public over and over and over again. Maybe some day our American public will learn. The Republican party is bought, sold and tied in a bow for the top 2%. It is a party NOT about the middle class or the poor. It is masochistic for a public again and again to vote a toxic brew into power who care only about the very very rich.

We on the other side of the isle should be GLUED to our seats, GLUED to our philosophy, GLUED to our principles. We should never falter and we should never fail. We are at a crossroads perhaps similar to our Civil War era. Either we succeed as a nation together or we fail. Mr. President and all Congressional Democrats, it's up to you to ensure your own fate and the fate of our Republic as well!

Do NOT forget your base, Mr. President, your legacy, so far not all I would have wanted, but admirable nonetheless, in 2012 will be at stake. Make no mistake your base is watching!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Next Best Writer!

I wrote this to after reading Matt Zoller Seitz's article for Salon entitled "The Oprah Winfrey Network's odd, splashy kick-off" I urge you to read it. It is wonderfully written, entertaining and in my view, right on the money (so to speak!) I enclose the link below.

Matt, I was as enthralled with your article as I sometimes have been with the big "O's" programming during her meteoric rise to fame over 25 years!

YOU should be part of a show dedicated to finding the next BEST writer. This article about the "NEW" Oprah-saturated OWN network is described by you better than I, who humbly consider myself a decent writer, ever could. I was riveted on your "The Oprah Winfrey Network's odd, splashy kick-off" article. There is not one word in it with which I do not agree. Your writing is superb and ever so interesting I could not wait to get to the next word.

Your thoughts calm all the years of my frustrated rage watching Oprah's money sucking sugar coated kitsch with someone else who is often glued to her comments. Your piece is brilliant and satisfies me beyond anything the "New Network" could convey!

Having said that and still believing all of it, one cannot deny that in many ways Oprah over the years has helped many distressed humans. Sometimes even I, the world's most seasoned curmudgeon and doubter supreme, think about her positive mantras.

Still, charlatans and snake oil salesmen have been with us since the horse drawn carriage. That salesmanship has matured to heights never before imagined but it does not mean that those who drive the horses with their wares inside are not the same. They are. It's simply snake oil by a different name -- OWN!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Wired: This is a response to Glen Greenwald's article on (link below) entitled "Wired's refusal to release or comment on the Manning chat logs." It concerns Private Manning, Wikileaks, and two journalists from "Wired" story about Private Manning (and their government informant source Lamo) but their refusing to answer pertinent questions about the important minutiae of what Lamo said about his communication with Private Manning. Click on the link below to get the details of Greenwald's article. It is rather lengthy but I think it important.

I responded to it:

I love Glen Greenwald because he is a brilliant attorney and because his life is dedicated to the enforcement of civil libertarian principles which are the underpinning of our democracy or what is left of them after 911. I love him because he possesses the laser-like ability to challenge inconsistencies of truth in what the government is telling a public, what the press is telling that same public and what the powerful may be withholding from the public to ensure their own survival at the expense of the powerless.

I have said I had mixed emotions about Wikileaks BUT I have no mixed emotion where the rights of the state to detain, interrogate and imprison human beings in conditions which amount to torture and which afford the detainee no ability for habeus corpus, presentation of evidence against him or the ability to face his accusers to present a case even within the military justice system.

Most ESPECIALLY I feel strongly about an American citizen being afforded those rights especially if the person is apprehended and imprisoned without hope of trial, illegally tortured by residing in the harshest conditions and is wearing the uniform of the United States which represents all of us who are citizens of these United States.

Glen Greenwald has an attorney's razor sharp analytical mind which sees accusations against a detainee and logically analyzes the veracity of the charges, the method of detention, and the implementation by the state of the due process clauses of our Constitutional republic i.e. the1st , 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th , and 14th Amendments.

He, unlike an extreme right wing nationalist, truly sees the possibility of human rights abuses that the government can perpetrate because they are entrusted by the people with such IMMENSE power. If we give them that power the rule of law we trust will prevail. We trust that the due process Amendments to our Constitution will be enforced even and most especially during the most DIFFICULT circumstances for the state.

Clearly, in my opinion, the terrorists win if we as a nation so cavalierly ignore humanity's hard won rights from King John's Magna Carta of 1215 to our own 1789 Constitutional manifesto. If those rights are abridged it is at our own peril because if WE as individuals ever need those rights to protect us they will not be there. History has, indeed, shown how easy it is for government to ignore those rights and skirt the boundaries of power.

The government does NOT give us those rights. We rather give those in government the right to use that power judiciously adhering to the rule of law. All too often, especially after a national tragedy, abuse of those powers prevails despite an administration heretofore saying it is resoundingly dedicated to the observation of those civil libertarian rights. We were promised this administration would strictly observe those rights and that transparency of government would prevail.

If Bradley Manning, the alleged perpetrator of the transmission of state classified information is guilty then so be it. BUT before we pronounce him as such and he is relegated to imprisonment for the rest of his days, this young Manning SHOULD have his day in court, should be able to face his accusers, see all of the evidence against him and mount a public defense.

Kevin Poulsen and Evan Hansen the editors of “Wired,” Adrian Lamo the alleged government informant confidant of Poulsen and journalists in general are the public’s only safeguards against the tyrannical abuse of power by government. It is the only instrument which the individual in a democracy has at his or her disposal to determine fact from fiction. Poulsen, Hansen, and Lamo owe a truthful response to Glen Greenwald’s pointed questions about Private Manning's dissemination of classified state information with respect to the Wikileaks case.

In the final analysis it is Private Manning's right and, truthfully, it is all of our right to demand to see what the charges government brings and what evidence exists to support those charges. It is the press’s obligation to support those rights and expose its statements to public scrutiny. Without that ability to see and assess the truth clearly we, as the world's most premier democracy, will become something else, indeed, but a democratic republic is not it!