Saturday, November 26, 2011

Algorithms in the Theater of War: The link below is about the headline in “McClatchy News”: “Pakistan blocks U.S. troop supplies after NATO kills 24 near Afghan border”

The US, of course, will continue to deny it and use as the excuse that US troops were fired upon. What is the truth? We cannot know if we are not in the theater of war. What I do know is the US will continue to deploy troops long after troops are needed and where the US goes, it stays, let's face it, for decades or, perhaps, never leaves. One need only to look at Europe and Japan after WWII. We are still there as occupiers perhaps once removed. Will we EVER be totally out of Iraq? Answer: NO. Bin Laden is dead. Will the US pack up from Afghanistan and monitor its actions from afar? Answer: NO.

The US can control a LOT BUT what it cannot control is other variables it cannot calculate into its algorithms of war. Iraq is proof of that. Our neoconservative jackasses thought the invasion of Iraq would be a war to pay for itself, over in matters of weeks and that the Iraqis would greet our soldiers with sweets and flowers. The sweets and flowers never came but civil war did erupting after the mother of all shock-and-awe invasions based on lies flatlined. Not only did the Iraqis not greet us with sweets and flowers they established Shiite control hand-holding with the Shiite mullahs of Iran giving Iran much greater power than it had when they were at war with Sunni Muslim Sadam Hussein’s Iraq from 1980 – 1988. Hussein was even supplied arms by the US.

Moreover, the US could not control the outcome of its Iraq War disaster or a million widowed Iraqi women. It could not control the millions who were refugees into a destabilized Syria with no money and no work many forced into prostitution. If women refugees die from disease or if Syrian security forces jail or kill them it is simply the collateral damage of war. These are expendable people; people who do NOT count.

Moreover, and MOST importantly, pertinent to the headline above, the US cannot control the stability of nations its own Iraq War destabilized, including and most important of all, the nuclear-armed Pakistan. I quote from the December 2011 issue of the Atlantic Magazine:

A country [Pakistan] that is home to the harshest variants of Muslim fundamentalism, and to the headquarters of the organizations that espouse extremist ideologies, including Al Qaeda, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Tayiba, nuclear bombs capable of destroying entire cities are transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads. And Pakistani and American sources say that since the raid on Abbottabad [in May this year to kill Osama bin Laden], the Pakistanis have provoked anxiety inside the Pentagon by increasing the pace of these movements. In other words, the Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadis simply [in a bid] to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget".

The actions of the United States of America matter. If the US and its satellite NATO continue to dot the Arab landscape with boots and bombs then we will continue to read alarming bylines stating that Pakistan closed its border to Afghanistan so US troops cannot get supplies.

The US was the nation that pushed for the Nuremberg trials which demanded the individual, when necessary, oppose illegal, unconscionable, inhumane acts of governments even in the theater of war. It did not say with the exception of the US.

I do not want, of course, to sacrifice my own nation or its security but its security is enhanced when the world looks to the US as the penultimate moral compass. Our moral compass has been broken for years and in need of significant repair. It needs a change in direction. If we do not change our direction we become a nation of hypocrites sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

In the Internet age the world watches, the world waits and it listens. America controls a lot but it does NOT control it all!

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/11/26/131396/nato-forces-kill-at-least-24-in.html#ixzz1epvJS3Mn
MEDICARE: As much as I might disagree with my relative on certain issues I have to admit he gets his predictions right a LARGE percentage of the time. He is a Wharton School of Business graduate, has had much business experience, and has appeared on NUMEROUS radio, TV, the Progressive News Hour and KNOWS what he is talking about.

His latest article the following is chilling. If you do not think YOUR medical care is on the chopping block unless you have incomes like Bill Gates then you are wrong. This is why it is IMPERATIVE to overturn the Tea Bag and a Republican led Congress while keeping the presidency progressively Democratic as well.

In short they want those who cannot work, who cannot afford insurance to die. Yes, it sounds histrionic i.e. excessive but I can assure you it is NOT. George Carlin was quite correct in his American Dream Utube. Look it up.

Read this opinion for your own health and welfare and that of your children and act accordingly. The title of the opinion and the link to his blog is below. If you think it cannot happen to you you are wrong. It CAN and it WILL.

Bipartisan Deal to Slash Medicare and Medicaid - by Stephen Lendman

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Thoughts: There are so many issues in our country and the world with which we must grapple. Thanksgiving, I think, gives us pause to stop and reflect upon those things in life that should gain prominence and separate for us what is significantly important from what is not. I think of Thanksgiving as our national day of meditation that should calm us, force us to reflect, be with those we love and lead us to rationally think about what we do and the consequences of how we do it.

In this Internet age information, true or otherwise, is sent in the second of an eye’s blink. One can say one heard a giraffe reading “War and Peace” and someone somewhere would believe it true. Facts in our culture are often taken as fiction and fiction is believed to be fact.

From the whirling dervish of Sandusky, the alleged Penn State pedophile, to the explosions in the Middle East, economic upheaval that is much of Europe and the barbed vitriolic division at home is enough to drive a sane man into the snake pit of insanity. How can we right these most egregious wrongs? I am as guilty as those I criticize for allowing my passion for critical analysis to appear as angry in tone as it is razor sharp in message. For that I apologize.

What is wrong with man that he cannot control his appetites for money, his lust for power and the anarchy of his sexuality? Those facts of life, necessary to cultural advancement if unchained lose their rationales for being and propel man to his inevitable destruction. Greed is necessary to help us create new things, money is a necessary tool of man’s economic advancement and sexuality, of course, is necessary to continue the species. And yet we use these necessary things to excess, hurting those we claim to love and even killing those with whom we may disagree.

There are those in human history who come at opportune times to show us a better path. They gain notoriety for what they say but as man is wont to do he perverts the goodness of their words honing them into a destructive force. I am not Christian. I have, though, loved the many elements of Christianity’s teaching. It is a humane compass. Jesus is supposed to have said “He who has not sinned cast the first stone.” Jesus is supposed to have said “Why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? Jesus is supposed to have said “I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Jesus is supposed to have said "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

I will never be a member of any organized religion or even accept other elements of faith but the purity of the words of Christ handed down through the ages, albeit difficult to follow, give a roadmap directing us how to treat the other who occupies the same planet as we. Thanksgiving for me is the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement without the fast) of our nation because it teaches us to appreciate what we have, apologize for the caustic things we do or say, change the things we can and vow to do better next year. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If you do nothing else please click on the link--guaranteed to inspire!-- something positive from ME? yes!: Guaranteed to amaze and inspire even a curmudgeon like ME! ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg0_ITG01bs
The Greatest Good--a Thanksgiving Hope: We all need meaning in this life and life has certainly thrown many curves my way but despite my sometimes curmudgeon-like attitude and, perhaps, often because of it, I try to improve the lemonade and make a sweeter drink.

I attempt to use my writing skills to convey humanitarian political and philosophical sentiment and promulgate humane principles that advocate the greatest good for the greatest number. (See the interesting link below on Jeremy Bentham -- a Utilitarian and 18th century influence of modern political thought. He was way ahead of his time!) I am hoping some of my ideas are read, considered or even used as a yardstick for future generations who may study this era to understand what some thought. I am hoping my written opinions will be seen advocating ideas which try to live up to our Constitutional creed that brilliant men wrote in a flicker of history and inscribed on the hearts of our nation and the world. They created a path for man to choose discourse, debate and compromise instead of war.

It did and does not always work with ease as we can see. It often takes time; sometimes generations and we become impatient. The Constitution is though, I believe, our road map to a better life. The nation has gone through many trials in its journey but even in the harshest period the road was cleared and the path made better; improvements made and prepared by one generation for the next.

I hope we persevere through this difficult economic and violent period. I have thought often about Ted Kennedy's words he spoke in eulogy of his assassinated brother Senator Robert Kennedy delivered on June 8th, 1968. He described his brother as a man "who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." And so that sentiment which I heard so many years ago has become imprinted on my heart to advocate for politics which can best create the greatest good for the greatest number.

I can think of no better legacy to leave nor better thoughts to impart. It is through that dialogue the maladies of today’s night can evaporate into tomorrow's morning mist and it is my hope the generations which follow will do better than those they leave behind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham

Monday, November 21, 2011

Who are the 1%? If you want to know who the 1% are and against whom the 99% are protesting click on the link below. Not only does it name names but it tells you exactly what they are worth and what they perpetrated to arrive at this dubious distinction as the worst. It is from Brave New Foundation a group the puts out documentaries telling the truth of often egregious events. This group wanted people to vote on who they thought were the most significant ones responsible for the dire economic state of not only the US but the world.

It is a most interesting cast of characters AND you can be a part of the vote. Democracy in action!

If you cannot click on the link cut and paste it into your browser

http://whoarethe1percent.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Captivating Performance—J. Edgar: Saw the film J. Edgar and loved it. I think Leonardo DiCaprio is becoming one of this country's premier actors. He can play just about anyone and playing J. Edgar was no exception. I was in particular riveted to his performance and consider it Academy Award worthy. In addition, Judy Dench’s performance as Hoover’s domineering over-protective rather cruel mother was her usual great.

I gave it an eight star out of ten review on the IMDB site. I love various eras in post WWI US history, knew many of the issues presented in the film, knew about Hoover's alleged homosexuality and his life-long relationship with Clyde Tolson. We will never know, I suspect, if that relationship was consummated but the affection both clearly had for one another was obvious. Contrary to what interviews of the director, Eastwood, suggest I think the film does NOT elude to Hoover's homosexuality it shouts it and that the love of his life was Clyde Tolson. It is crystal clear from various scenes and emotional moments between Hoover and Tolson and because a straight man usually would not subvert his desire not only for sex but for having a family life ESPECIALLY if one were in a high position of power like Hoover was. In addition, the two men were never out of each other's company whether it was lunch every day or after hours. Moreover, and even more telling Hoover left nearly his entire estate to Tolson and finally they were buried close to each other in the same cemetery. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck it’s a duck! His relationship vis a vie the film I think made it CRYSTAL clear where Mr. Hoover's inclinations lay.

In essence the film depicts Hoover as an Oedipally neurotic hypocrite. He went after other people's suspected immoralities but kept his own proclivities secret. It is because of his homosexuality AND also because he wanted to keep his job that, I believe, he created his secret file. According to the film that file was shredded by his loyal secretary Ms. Gandy when Hoover died. An article in the Washington Post says all of his secret files can be read. Why the discrepancy I do not know.

Was the film perfect? Probably not but I came away from it feeling about Hoover what I felt the many years since the protests against the Vietnam War and that was that he was a paranoid anti-Communist seeing one in every closet, was a tortured man, tyrannical in nature and prone to valuing the supremacy of the state over the civil liberties of the individual destroying lives in the process. His lust for power and his temper were brutal and his idiosyncrasies obvious. I admit to his creation of a superior national police agency, the FBI but I loathed him in life and 40 years after his death and viewing the film I still do!

I recommend it for those who love the history of that period, love seeing excellent acting and for those who find Hoover's tyranny -- J. Edgar that is – entirely fascinating.
Monitor the Vote: Huffington Post has an excellent link which is entitled and says:

"What are the campaigns doing where you live?"

It further states:

"The 2012 races are already out in full force in many early primary states. We want to hear about the campaign ads, robocalls, mailers and signs you're seeing in your community. Tell us about it here or send us information via email at offthebus@huffingtonpost.com."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/20/mitt-romney-defends-aides-purchasing-hard-drives_n_1103585.html

I sent them and the Democratic Party the following:

I think this is an excellent thing to do.

It is VITAL as the Republicans have utterly NO scruples and will stop at nothing no matter how unethical, fraudulent and
possibly illegal to try to deprive those who would vote Democratic of doing so. They even gerrymander districts to get it out of Democratic hands. They MUST be scrupulously monitored in every single state by those of that state who want to see fair elections while trying to get the most who can vote TO vote especially in minority, Hispanic, and young voters of all ethnic groups who often vote Democratic. When the time comes Democrats need to have a legion of volunteers to help people get to the polls especially the elderly, the disabled or those who may not have transportation who usually ARE or vote Democratic as well.

We should have armies of professionals including lawyers who know the law in each state. If any crap that Republicans are known to do like telling voters the election is on a different day or that they must have certain identification documents they do not need is found to be suspicious or unethical an immediate PUBLIC inquiry should be illuminated and begun.

Further, our people should be advised of people like James O'Keefe who nefariously brought down the Democratic voting registration group ACORN unjustifiably. We should NOT have capitulated on that one. O'Keefe's photo and others who may be his assistants should be WELL known to Democrats so that they do not get caught by him as he "investigates" Democrats and will show only selected bits of what he has done to make Democrats look as bad as possible.

I do not have to tell you Republicans are VICIOUS, mean and subversive to us. They are utterly Machiavellian and will use any means necessary and I do mean ANY means necessary to subvert and defeat Democrats. DO NOT LET THEM!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Manifesto to Undermine the Occupy Wall Street Movement: At Rachel Maddow’s suggestion we taped “Up With Chris Hayes” early this a.m. on MSNBC. In case ANYONE on planet earth had any doubt, the Goliaths are coming to slay the Davids of Occupy Wall Street. The memo acquired by MSNBC/Chris Hayes (linked below) exposes the law firm of banksters and lobbyists Clark, Lytle, Gedulig and Cranford offering their memo and a method to undermine the Occupy movement. I also provide an MSNBC link to the story itself.

Exposing the memo is one of the greatest media efforts to uncover the truth of just whose wealth is attempting to control the 99% and impart justice to its smarmy cabal which has perpetrated the greatest economic fraud on our nation. It illuminates the power of both Cable and the Internet to sometimes work for the collective good.

The memo exposes the lengths the big banks and those that represent them will go and the behavioral treachery they will manifest to destroy the people's movement of Occupy Wall Street. Clearly, the 1% are scared. We, of course, assume there are hundreds of memos like it using other firms to undermine Occupy Wall Street.

I urge my political allies to read it and send the link below to those whom you know will understand the importance of exposing this treacherous behavior and hopefully they will send it around to their friends and allies too.

I spare no one not even those on the left who do not meet my high standards. Rachel Maddow and her many colleagues at MSNBC including people like Melissa Harris Perry professor at Tulane University as well as the commentators like Keith Olbermann and soon Cenq Uygur at Current TV have NEVER disappointed me. Occupy Wall Street and the progressives at MSNBC and Current TV are in the process of saving lives and saving our country along with them as well.

They are ALL party of my daily routine.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/CLGF-msnbc.pdf

http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/19/8884405-lobbying-firms-memo-spells-out-plan-to-undermine-occupy-wall-street

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Sinking or Saving the Ship of State--America at a Crossroad: I awoke to read the following MSNBC headline: "Middle-class areas shrink as America divides into 'two-tiered society' of rich and poor." This is just plain sad. It makes me sick at heart. I remember another America down at difficult times but rising to meet the challenge. Will we do so again? The country is at a crossroad and had a choice after 2008 of living or dying during this Great Recession era with its passenger eternal war. In our nation's history during trying times of great peril -- the Revolutionary War, Civil War, The Great Depression and World War II -- it drew the lucky number. I thought by the election of Barack Obama in 2008 the country had drawn the lucky straw yet again. But, it seems this time, we did not.

The American people in their infinite wisdom -- with a little help from the seditious Koch Brothers billionaire money men -- created a Tea Bag monster party and from stupidity and/or racist ideology installed an intractable obstructionist Congress. It seeks to sink the country not save it. The Republican goal: to defeat this country's first black president by any means necessary. Consequently, what was needed could not get done. Moreover, my hope, Barack Obama, decided to place in the most important financial positions the very foxes that killed the chickens -- Geither, Summers and their cronies of Goldman Sachs, et al of Wall Street. Not only did they protect their buddies on Benedict Arnold Street but they saw easy prey in Obama himself and refused to do what he ordered -- Read Ron Suskind's book "Confidence Men" which reveals this utter failure of leadership and back room treachery betraying a naive president.

Since a Republican Romney or anyone else in that sorry mess of Republican presidential candidates will sink this country deeper into its quicksand and elevate the rich higher all of these god forbid potential presidents are UNACCEPTABLE. It will be, if any of these rancid Republicans are elected, the icing on a poisonous cake. PERHAPS and it is a BIG PERHAPS this president and this obstructionist Republican Congress know they will be kicked from here to kingdom come if something is not done to ameliorate the country's fatal disease. Perhaps there is finally a righting of the ship of state -- PERHAPS.

I say this with great fear and trepidation that it is not so. I hope I am correct that these egregious wrongs will be righted because IF I am not right all or certainly most of us in the 99% know our very lives are at stake -- especially so for the young! Empires come and empires go. Many stay for the, at first, happy ride but those of us who are unlucky will be on board for its fall and will get to experience a tragedy the likes of which we have never known.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recall the Vile governor Scott jerk Walker of Wisconsin Please donate if you can by clicking on the link below to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to unseat the vile Scott Walker. Then get prepared to unseat Kasich of Ohio, Scott of Florida, Rick Snyder of Michigan and LePage of Maine. Send them a message they will NOT forget. The left is here and we can dwarf the fascist tea baggies. Do NOT let them win. Support Occupy Wall Streets everywhere by supporting the Democratic parties everywhere. They are not perfect but they are a damn site better than the disloyal opposition. We have just begun to fight!

http://www.wisdems.org/?no_splash=1
Cough Cough: Jeff Jacoby never ceases to amaze me. Now he is advocating for the tobacco industry against graphic medical depictions of the effects of smoking on a box of cigarettes. In his November 13 editorial "We can Still Breath Deep on Free Speech" he yet again runs true to form. He thinks the harsh medical depictions on the box are just too much, go too far and are not needed in preventing smokers and others who are thinking of taking up the dastardly habit not to do so. I used to be a smoker as a teenager many years ago. My relative who is a pulmonary specialist later pleaded with me to accompany him on rounds to see the carnage that smoking tobacco creates.

If Jeff's Jacoby's daughter or son was thinking of taking up the habit and saw on a cigarette box the man with his chest cut open for treatment due to the effects of smoking wouldn't he be THRILLED that that grotesque picture of reality was something they saw and because of it avoided by decades their own suffering and early death caused by the effects of tobacco use? Those amazing rough pictures on the pack are TRUE and they SHOULD be seen. It is too bad some judge somewhere thought they went too far. If they prevent even one death I say they are worth it but we know the depictions would prevent many more than that and the tobacco companies stood to lose a lot of money if those pictures were allowed to remain. It is why they fought so hard against them.

I consider it a kind of free speech used by the state to do something good for the people. I guess Jeff cares only about the rights of corporations he thinks are people instead of the flesh and blood real human beings who are saved by any means necessary from buying the poison the tobacco corporations are
just dying (pardon the pun ) to sell!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy My Heart—A Letter to Occupy Boston: Yesterday, arduous as it was for me, we decided to see what Occupy Boston which braves the harsh elements was about. We brought lots of food, even made a ginger bread cake and packed a rather heavy bag (which I did not carry) and commuter railed it into Boston. It was difficult for me but because it was a joint effort many hands made lighter work. We were THRILLED we made the trek. I felt like the cloud of our depression about things political evaporated into the mist. I wrote a letter to Occupy Boston and OWS, of course, and post it now on my blog to convey my sentiments about this, in my opinion, wonderful movement.

To the OWS workers: I cannot convey how much we appreciate what so many all over the country are doing within the Occupy Wall Street movement to change this rancid, corrupt, sickening hand-holding between those who are entrusted by us with great executive and congressional power and those on Wall Street who buy them off at our expense. If Occupy is a success you will have saved the nation from a fascist-like tyranny that is the essence of the American rightwing and save the country also from the oligarchy of the present. We know some Democrats along with most Republicans are involved in this deception. I TRULY believe that you, collectively, are the FDR of our time coming just in the nick of time at this our hour of need. We are forever in your debt.

I also believe, too, that we must utilize the institutions which are in place to create the change our nation desperately needs. As much as we criticize our president, and I have done so on numerous occasions, he is who we have and has done much good. It would be MUCH better for our cause and our country if he served a second term than it would be if a Romney, Gingrich or god forbid a Perry wins first term. There could be two Supreme Court justices who may need replacement during an Obama second term and we know more Wall Street regulation must occur. We know it will NOT occur under a President Romney, Gingrich, Perry or unthinkably Cain.

I am old enough to remember and, indeed, took part in many anti-war demonstrations in the late sixties. The left was fed up with Johnson’s Vietnam and the country’s racial inequality so they took it out on LBJ’s Vice-President and 1968 presidential hopeful, Hubert Humphrey. The left made the Democratic convention in Chicago a shambles and violence was everywhere. It ensured that the better of the two candidates, the Democrat, Humphrey (who would have ended Vietnam,) lost. Instead the country elected Richard Nixon the corrupt. Change was made alright but understatedly NOT the change we desired or needed and many thousands more needlessly died overseas. It is my opinion that we who wish for systemic humanitarian change MUST work pragmatically with whom we now can to ensure NO Republican EVER gets near the oval office.

President Obama has been remiss at times and I have been vociferously critical of him when I needed to be BUT, in truth, many good things have been enacted under his leadership that never would have been enacted if a Republican McCain and the insipid Palin won. Under the President we repealed the noxious DADT, signed the Lily Ledbetter law for women’s rights and the president nominated and achieved the installation of two very good Supreme Court justices one of whom is the first Hispanic woman to sit on the nation's high court. That made history. Under this President we attained more solid legislation including some needed reform in health care and even, some reform on Wall Street (admittedly not yet enough.) A second Obama term I believe will be much more fruitful.

I ask and I hope that the Occupy movements all over the country do NOT take their righteous anger out on this President. He has had to endure the most obstructionist Congress in the nation's history with the exception of, perhaps, the Congress in the pre-Civil War era. The nation after that tumultuous time has not seen the kind of incorrigible division that exists today.

I HOPE progressives show up en masse in 2012 to re-elect the President BUT he must know that he must help create more of the changes he promised. He MUST take Wall Street out of the Oval Office and WE MOST importantly must take Wall Street OUT of the Congress by turning Congress progressive blue. Strict Wall Street regulatory legislation along with a functioning consumer protection bureau and a no nonsense SEC must be installed. He must LEAD to take corporate money, greed and a bought off Congress OUT of the electoral milieu. This cannot be done overnight.

We KNOW what the President should have done BUT that DOES NOT matter now and we know the good that he HAS done which does matter greatly. We must play the ball where it lies and we must NOT be caught sleeping on the sidelines allowing again the election of Know Nothings who created in 2010 a Republican impenetrable brick wall of obstruction and hate.

The 2011 mid-terms showed us that the giant left wing is STILL there and the movement of Occupy Wall Street proves it. We MUST show up to vote, carry the middle class with us in 2012 and NOT hand an election to Republicans who will destroy our country and its once proud American Dream. Yes, I believe there is a huge difference between the two parties. Democrats are not perfect but our two-party system is the system we have. We, I believe, must not give up on those who CAN and install those who WON’T while those who won’t take everything for the top 1% and leave nothing for the masses of us.

Thank you, Occupy Wall Street and Boston, for occupying my heart. Thank you for diminishing my sadness and for instilling hope once again. As George Bush the Incompetent said -- although he certainly did not mean it to refer to a group like Occupy Wall Street – We MUST NOT FALTER and we MUST not fail. I appropriate that quote for those who share OUR vision and hope that OUR vision is clearer and our hearts stronger than those who have no heart and consequently no vision at all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Genius of Glenn Greenwald: Last year I had the distinct pleasure of listening to Glenn Greenwald speak at Harvard. It was, of course, an honor to be able to listen to someone so brilliant, so eloquent and so well versed in the concept of civil liberties which are central to our democracy and our way of life.

I enclose the link at the bottom for your listening pleasure and urge you if you have the time to do so. It was a lecture he gave and a question and answer session at Brown University in April, 2011.

Glenn's writings appear regularly at Salon.com and many of his talks, debates and discourse can be found on Utube. I found the Utube below to be particularly interesting and informative as to the nature and concept of civil liberties. We throw around that word very often and take pride in our nation which was founded on civil libertarian principles enumerated within our Constitution which bestows certain rights the people enjoy and certain prosecutorial prohibitions beyond which the government cannot go.

Glenn is a master of civil liberties and according to Salon is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and is the author of New York Times Bestselling books on the Bush and Obama administration’s executive power and foreign policy abuses. If you Google Amazon books and put his name in the search you can see the gems he has written and read samples of them.

I offer the link below as an introduction to one of the premier intellects, historians and civil liberties attorneys of our time. If you listen I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kirz_vGQeI&NR=1
The Gaffe Heard Round the World: Last evening’s Republican debate was the most hilarious “debate” I have ever heard or seen. Larry O’Donnell, the brilliant MSNBC political pundit, called Rick Perry’s gaffe one of the worst gaffes in the history of presidential debates. As I see it, it goes down with Nixon's sweaty lip except better.

This week has been a GIFT to Democrats. Between the Republican gaffe-filled so called “debates” and the 2011 Republican failures in the midterms, I HOPE once the Christmas party is over, the president can take advantage of the anemic Republican field and keep the momentum up.

If the Republican Party itself were not so mean and hypocritical rotten with the exception of perhaps John Huntsman and, yes, I suppose the flip-flopper-in-chief, Romney, I would not get joy in Perry’s mistake because, truthfully, it was uncomfortable to view. It could not happen, however, to a more cerebrally pathetic and unqualified candidate than Rick Perry.

Herman Cain could not have provided better ammunition to help prove the veracity of the sexual harassment accusers in this circus of sexual harassment by calling the former Speaker Nancy Pelosi “princess Pelosi.” That condescending insult to the preeminently qualified woman Speaker Pelosi put the icing on his exploding cake. I do hope more accusers come forward to buttress Ms. Bialek’s accusation but if they do not it does not matter. Cain is through.

Add to the insanity is Newt Gingrich’s horrible record with women having had numerous extra-marital affairs. Gingrich is a man who served his former wife divorce papers when she was hospitalized undergoing cancer treatment. Trying to squirm around the problems presented by Cain in this field of supposedly "family values" candidates is an unmitigated disaster. Jay Leno could not have written a more comedic script BUT admittedly what Gingrich did is not funny. It is tragic in this tragi-comedy of Shakespearean proportions!

There is a pathetic quality to the 2012 Republican slate. Add to that the disastrous showing of the Republicans in the midterm ballot initiatives and loss in state legislatures it proves the strength and organizational skills of Democrats with the help of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Republican Party has NOTHING and the one candidate they do have, Romney, must fit the round peg of his true beliefs (assuming anyone knows what they truly are) into the square hole prison the Know Nothing extremist Republican base has made.

I link the video of the Perry gaffe below so one can see the pathetic quality of the 2012 Republican slate. Add to that the disastrous showing of the Republicans in the midterm ballot initiatives and loss in state legislatures it proves the strength and organizational skills of Democrats with the help of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

FINALLY a smile was brought to my face. I HOPE we will be able to kiss the Tea Bag Party with is cruelty and often racist mantra good bye and none too soon, indeed. Enjoy! :-)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
The Three Shames: There are no words to describe the sickness of what took place at Penn State. The stupidity and the insanity of men who are responsible for the protection of students entrusted to their care witness or are told of this most egregious behavior of child rape and come to the conclusion that the institution with all its money, power and prestige is more important to save than saving the vulnerable minors they have a moral obligation to protect. This is an abomination.

The Catholic Church, too, when the hierarchy KNEW that young boys were being sexually molested by priests decided in their infinite wisdom to IGNORE the very children of their flock and came to the conclusion that the institution was more important to save than those innocents who depend upon that institution for their spiritual life. Instead of reporting the perpetrators to police they decided to protect their most egregious behavior by moving the perpetrator priests around to protect the wealth, power and prestige of the religious institution they served. It was and still is an abomination.

Herman Cain when faced with FOUR female accusers telling similar stories about his alleged assaults says that because he did not harass thousands those four allegations of the woman should be disregarded. He is an abomination.

The institutions and people MUST be taken to the watershed of public punishment and we as a country and as a people need to decide who we TRULY are. It is a disgrace for the entire world to see this nation based on such lofty ideals fall from that grace in so many ways too innumerable to count.

Our Founders who gave us a gift lie in their graves but we the living must live with who we have become. It is a sad day for our country which is SUPPOSED to be the shining city on the hill, an example of ethics and good government. Who are we?

Shame on you the lofty Joe Paterno for looking the other way when you KNEW children were raped and did nothing. Shame on the leadership of the Catholic Church for moving pedophile priests from district to district and state to state so they could perpetrate their sickness on so many other children and reward Cardinals that allowed that behavior to continue by giving them cushy jobs in Rome. Shame on YOU Herman Cain for NOT addressing the seriousness of the charges levied against you. Instead you had the unmitigated gall to disrespect the former speaker Nancy Pelosi and call her princess Pelosi. You sealed your fate with that comment. You, sir, cannot even walk in her shadow.

Shame on ALL of you who give institutions a pass before the very people, including so many children, you are entrusted to protect. You all truly are an abomination!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Not Neutral on Net Neutrality: The corporate behemoths are ready to strike again. This time they want to control the flow of information on the Net. Do not let them. Net neutrality is vital to keep our Internet alive and FREE. They will if they get the Congressional votes be voting on whether to be able to charge a fee for certain things on the Internet. The
Internet is NOT theirs to bargain away. It is First Amendment BLACKMAIL. Hit the submit button below and then pass it on.

It is IMPERATIVE unless you want to receive slowed down Internet service If you do not pay. The nerve of them is beyond belief. Yet AGAIN the oligarchy wants to choke yet another forum off from our purview. DO NOT LET them...Tell your congressman to SUPPORT net neutrality.

Here is a link explaining the issue in neutral terms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality_in_the_United_States

Then read the Credit Union email below explaining our side of the issue. Sign it and send and then forward to any you deem would support net neutrality or others who need convincing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Consumers Union

Sent: Wed, Nov 9, 2011 10:47 am
Subject: Net Neutrality

Consumers Union, Policy & Action from Consumer Reports
Dear Natalie,
Are you thinking about giving someone a nifty tablet computer for Christmas so they can watch movies anywhere? The streaming internet is an amazing experience.
But it could become a lot more expensive if the Senate pushes through a bill to end net neutrality. This bill will soon to come to a vote--as early as tomorrow.
Tell your Senator to support net neutrality and vote NO on the Congressional Review bill this week!

Net neutrality? What does that have to do with watching movies? Everything. Right now, anyone can deliver content to you because the internet itself does not impose any restrictions on your access.

So companies have to compete for your business based on the quality of their content, the ease of delivery, the service they provide. That's how it should be.
But passage of this bill will give the big cable and phone companies a different kind of internet, one where they can charge you more for access to a competitor's content.

Today's internet is a driver of real competition -- people invent better products and services, and you decide whether the price is right.
Help us keep it that way! Tell your Senator to vote NO!
Do you have friends who also want to preserve net neutrality? Please forward this message to them. We only have a couple of days to generate a huge wave of consumer opposition before this vote!

Sincerely,
Bob Williams
HearUsNow.org
A project of Consumers Union
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
THE BELL WEATHER: Stream of Conscious written last evening before the final tally: The REJECTION of the rancid Governor Kacich's Ohio union stripping bill is won the day. Same day voting in Maine the Republican rancid Gov. LePage tried to negate is being reinstated. Other wins for Dems are happening EVEN in Mississippi. This may be a GOOD indication of how strong we TRULY are. Occupy Wall Street has given us our enthusiasm back.

This is shaping up to be a GOOD night to be a bell weather for 2012...WE MUST get out the message and turn the Congress progressive BLUE again so that the president can do what he has promised. I am CONVINCED that we would be out of the economic soup IF Republicans gave him a chance. They did NOT they are intractable and HOPEFULLY god I HOPE they have sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

Get that message out that the ill economy is NOT the President's fault. The economic fraud was conceived under Republicans and happened under Bush. Our president has TRIED his damnedest to get us out of the ditch but Republicans are intractable and venomous. They MUST be defeated next November and he elected. This is NOT going to be a cake walk for Republicans; FAR from it.

Get the word out that the economic doldrums it is NOT the president's fault but it is the Republicans fault for saying NO to everything despite the good it could do for the country. The tax cuts for the TOP 1% must be rescinded, troops for a war machine must come home, programs for the poor, the elderly the disabled must be kept in place and most importantly JOBS which the president wants for infrastructure WILL happen IF we get the Republican evil OUT of Congress--OUT of the House and keep the Senate blue!

You do NOT want a conservative Supreme Court for decades...that is the damage that these weasels do. Spread the word and most of all help do what you can to UNSEAT the rightwing lunatic extremist agenda for you, for your children and once and for all for everyone.
The Waxed Lid: One of the women Cain allegedly harassed called him a "monster." I believe her. Keep going, Mr. Cain, PAHLEESE, we Democrats love it as it puts the spotlight on these cerebral nincompoops and truthfully makes the ENTIRE Republican field look disastrous. It does them no favors and anything that does them no favors does Democrats big favors. Add to that some stupendous wins for Dems on ballot issues (see link below) and some singular elections as well, this is the happiest I have been since 2008. I hope that happiness does not fade.

Cain is THROUGH and some GREAT victories yesterday for Dems came true BUT the fight goes on. The Koch Brothers of right wing billionaire fame put MILLIONS into defeating us but it did NOT work. We through unions and other strong left of center groups with money can play that big money Citizens United game too and hopefully will. Kacich, Walker, LePage and Republican malevolents like them have energized the once defunct union movement which I HOPE is revived and stays honest.

Giving what you can to organizations like Occupy Wall Street, AFL-CIO, and others groups dedicated to making sure these virulent, mean and intrinsically sick Republican right wing extremists do not take the oval office. Moreover, turn the House blue again and stop sending our country into an oligarchic tyranny dedicated to the interests of corporate behemoths against we the people -- the 99%. We need to unseat the nasty Tea Bag and other Republican elements that are radical and subversive to our country at best. One can find groups on the web, Facebook or Twitter to help our cause.

Moreover, today I hope the other four women will come out against Cain and put the sealed wax lid on this rancid pickle jar!

If you cannot give WRITE! Literally YOUR life and everyone else's IS at stake!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Monday, November 07, 2011

Lowering Cain: Today, if you have not already heard ad nauseam a woman present herself to the media making very credible statements about the sexual harassment she says she suffered literally at the hands of Mr. Cain, the Republican now top tier candidate for the presidency of the United States, I offer my thoughts about it.

This is SO disgusting on so many levels it is hard to count the ways. I am not a prude but I did squirm when she very believably described what Mr. Cain allegedly did sexually to her. I do not know how she had the courage to stand in front of a microphone and tell the immediate world the smarmy details which I would have a difficult time uttering to a trusted friend but she did. I believe her as I did the anonymous three others who have not yet come forward two of whom settled civil cases against Cain. I am even more astounded at the many men who think it just fine to say and do anything sexual that would satisfy their immediate desire. Are there not any inhibitions left? Do a woman’s feelings about something so personal not count? Might a man if he were so inclined ASK permission of a woman before doing something so sexually intimate?

What that woman before cameras said to the world says something about our country as to the drought and the paucity of candidates for the presidency ESPECIALLY on the Republican side of the isle. It is astounding. Is this is all that party has to offer to put up for the highest, most powerful, most prestigious office in the land? This is who could have his finger on a button that could end the human race as we know it? Herman Cain is a man whom one would want to show to the world who did NOT even know China has possessed nuclear weaponry for a very long time? It is astounding on those counts.

I am an equal opportunity employer though. When I woke up one morning and heard the first story of the day about the Monica Lewinsky blue dress proof positive implicating Clinton in a sex scandal in the White House I thought I would THROW UP. I voted for him TWICE! What have we become? What passes for credible candidates, what passes for journalism, what has happened that things once considered vulgarities are now spoken with ease? Is it ALWAYS about the money, the film rights, or the books that someone will write?

I am SICKENED at the level of discourse in this country. Something is very wrong; very most TERRIBLY wrong and instead of raising Herman Cain to the presidency he should be lowered from attaining it post haste!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Walking Away: Boston Globe columnist Joan Wickersham's editorial (War Stories in Real Time) was never more on point then when I viewed "Sixty Minutes" last evening. I attach the link below if you did not happen to catch the segment. It was entitled "Operation Proper Exit" and speaks to her editorial loud and clear as to the divide between those who stay at home during war and those who fight the fight in its theater. The "Sixty Minutes" segment was such a moving and disturbing piece that someone who watched it with me had to walk out of the room before it ended.

I never walk away from seeing the reality of war and its atrocities both physical and emotional whether it is the crucible of D-Day, the ovens of Auschwitz, the obscenity of Hiroshima or the hell of Iraq. If I did not dare to see the unseeable I could not have formulated a left-of-center political philosophy and belief that war -- nearly all war -- in modernity is man's insanity at its worst to be avoided at all costs. We refuse to watch at our peril only to be immersed in the cesspools of that insanity again and again and again.

Here is the link if you did not view "Sixty Minutes" yesterday and you think you should.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7387332n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel
As many of you may know my partner’s mother suffers from Alzheimer’s. Although it is tragic to all, including the families of those afflicted with this insufferable disease, I believe it is particularly tragic where her mother is concerned because she was the most intellectually astute and artistically creative person I knew. She composed her own puppet theater for children, she knew the arts, and she was a thinker of many things true to her Unitarian Universalist tradition.

I was shown a poem written thirty years ago by her the thoughts of which not only reflect the essence of who she was before this onslaught of tragedy but also is a poem to which most – even the Doubting Thomases among us – can relate, have contemplated and at one time or another shared . It is entitled:

Prayer

We seek Thee, Lord.

Through the darkness of doubt and confusion,
We reach out to Thee,
Longing to know that Thou art surely there.

We seek help in times of trouble,
Strength in our weakness
And a deeper sense of purpose for our lives.

O Mysterious Power at the heart and center
of this universe,
All around us and within,
Yet silent, invisible, inscrutable,
Teach us how to know Thee.

In the silence, speak to us through the voice
of the human spirit,
In our alone-ness, touch us through the communion
of shared lives,
In Our despair, bring hope with the promise
of new tomorrows,
In our doubt, reassure with the law and order of this, Thy world.

So may we feel anew the wonderful miracle
of life
Which recompenses struggle and makes all
successes joyful.
So may we glimpse through the darkness the
light of Thy true presence
And grow, day by day, in our knowledge of Thee.

We seek Thee, Lord,
And, in seeking, find.

To that I say Amen!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The demise of an interesting and humorous man--thoughts on Andy Rooney: Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame died at the age of 92. I loved that man. I love 60 Minutes but truthfully I often watched just to get to the end where Andy Rooney topped it off like desert. He was 92 and it seems on the face of it he had a wonderful life and worked nearly until he died. Emily Rooney I believe his daughter is on WGBH Boston. What more could a man ask for and yet darned if I am irritated that he died. He was 92 why am I irritated? I don't know. I felt the same way when Jack LaLane the physical fitness exercise guru died at 96. His ideas were famous LONG before it was known he was correct on most everything he said in the 1950's when people smoked like the proverbial chimney.

His death was proof positive that no matter what anyone does we all will die. But I knew that OF COURSE. Still maybe there is that secret part of me that hopes it is not so especially if we do the right things, not smoke and eat vegetarian (which I nearly do) one can achieve the fountain of youth. Alas, we cannot. Say it ain't so.

Would I truly want to live forever? No, at least not with the physical ravages of age and the poverty that age can create BUT those who contribute so much to humanity become almost a part of our family. Yes, like all of us they do not live forever but I suppose I think they SHOULD!

RIP Mr. Rooney. You were an ever -so-interesting and enjoyable man!

Friday, November 04, 2011

War Stories in Real Time: I loved Joan Wickersham's editorial "War Stories in Real Time" which appeared today in the Boston Globe (link below). It was creative, well written and spoke to the gut wrenching reality about war. No matter what technological advancement the culture enjoys connecting both the warrior at the front and the family at home, there still is a wall of separateness between loved ones who are immersed in the reality of brutal conflict and those who experience the quietude of day-to-day life at home.

Letters read during Ken Burns's PBS exquisite historical narration of "The Civil War" speak to the distance that separates loved ones in war not only in miles but in emotions. It is a heart wrenching reality whether it is in 1860, in the letters to war widows of 1917 World War I, World War II newsreels or 2011 computer technology connecting soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan to home through Skype.

The sentence at the end of the editorial that sums up Ms. Wickersham's wonderful piece is perhaps the one I love the most. She says: "Technology may appear to erase distance, but the experience of war still creates distances that can never be erased." This poignant sentence surely is true for the Iraq War when our people at home were told by an opaque administration not to change their lives at home while soldiers had their lives irreparably changed forever over there.

I long for the day when the brutality of war is rejected as a dispute resolution tool. I long for the day when as the late 1960s' war protest song said: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin!

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2011/11/03/war-stories-real-time/ZkLxWkByFa3zkpfsAwyGuK/story.html
The Beast of Child Brutality--The sin of the father: I will have some comments soon on the unconscionable belt-strap whipping and beating a young girl with cerebral palsy no less, suffered at the hands of her Texas judge brutal father. I saw the video [will post the 7 minutes of it below] and subsequently after viewing it became nauseated by his sin. The "storm" in the northeast knocked our power out for days and discombobulated our life. It has taken a long time to get back to normal but once I do I will write about this.

For any of you who have children or have them through an extended family who love them dearly and would not even THINK of disciplining a child in that violent way even if the child did NOT have cerebral palsy, for those of you who may have experienced such violence and unconscionable parental rage against your own being, and for those of you with no children who would have given up everything to have one, my opinion will be written with you in mind.

Hug the children in your life, love them and support the good in them. They will soon enough grow up to see what Thomas Hobbs the 16th/17th century philosopher saw that life is "nasty, brutish and short." Certainly even today, with the advancement of civilization, life is still similar and too short for despicable behavior like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLvQyAwl8do