Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Destroyer of Worlds: In response to the headline "Senators Offer License To Strike Iran Nuclear Program" story here: I Quote from Robert Oppenheimer physicist and director of the Manhattan Project which developed the first nuclear bomb for the US and used it on Hiroshima/Nagasaki in 1945. He said:

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita... "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Republican Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: The Republican PRIMARIES continue even after Romney's win yesterday. The Republicans will still be at each other's throats. It is indeed a long way between now and November. The president delivered a speech yesterday that was reminiscent of the power that he showed in 2008 and why many of us were smitten by his charismatic aura. I am STILL smitten when I hear him speak like that. I wish in 2010 he sold most especially his health care act to a nation that was staggered by the Bush bail outs of too-big-to-fail banks and to our devastating detriment colored the map red everywhere, took their racist anger out on President Obama, stepped on their own toes and voted in the most obstructive Congress and state governments since the Civil War.

I am writing this while Romney is in the limelight. It cannot be overstated how unappealing he is. We MUST NOT and CANNOT take anything for granted. I do not care what anyone's reservations may be about the president. One must keep in mind that Republicans are banking (pardon the pun) on the fact that the ones who vote for them will not think through what they do. They will not remember it was the Republican politics over decades of do nothing government which wants one to sink or swim and live or die on their own in an anything goes Wall Street of unregulated economic fraud gone wild that nearly killed this nation and the world.

If they had had their way in 1932 Franklin Roosevelt would not have been elected and Republican Hoover politics would have prevailed. That would mean that you, your parents, your children and their children never would have had Social Security, Medicare nor other safety net programs that grew out of it. THINK and tell your friends who have a thought to vote Republican, what kind of life the elderly, the sick, the poor and the disabled without Social Security, Medicare, etc. would have now. Most would be dead well before their time and it could happen to you.

Those programs arose because there was a desperate need of a population that was crushed by a Depression so deep no capitalist, no banker, no megga rich could extricate this country from that black hole. FAST FORWARD to present time. Things are not that different. Barack Obama does not want human beings to live or die on their own because of forces that are beyond any one person’s control. THIS is what we risk by those who think voting Republican is a good idea. Those programs protect EVERYONE because NO ONE is immune from economic whims and the difficulties of life.

NO, Republicans are wolves in sheep's clothing RUDELY calling our president a snob because he wants others to have an educated chance at life. A Republican insulted a beloved assassinated president Kennedy, an ardent Catholic, who, as our Founders did, wanted religion OUT of the state. It is why they inserted the separation clause. Religion woven into the state kills and most especially this country's brand of southern Baptist fundamentalist insanity not only kills but does so especially by killing people of color submerged once again to a white tyranny so vile and so evil their efforts could be met with oppositional violence yet again.

All Republicans who are vying for the presidency want to dismember those programs that keep people alive. They will NOT tell you that but that is what they are about. And it is NO accident that the supporters behind them at the podium are almost entirely white. They want this black man out of the presidency no matter how they decimate American society to do it. It is why the opposition to him was so virulent. It was hijacked by an entire party which was appealing to that mantra over decades.

Romney, if elected, will change permanently the nature of the Supreme Court as well, the nature of Social Security and Medicare and will yet again make it possible for insurance companies to NOT cover you if you have a preexisting condition. This is deadly for all of us. Their foreign policy, too, will be even MORE bellicose based on lies than it had been under Bush. Our president is trying to carefully manage policies he inherited geared to the most explosive neighborhood on the map -- the Middle East.

Our president in his DNA wants to insert institutional change so that what happened to us in 2008 does not have short memory and wants also NO repeat of September 11. We MUST remember who the culprits were that brought us those devastating events -- the oligarchy of too-big-to-fail banks, the real estate market fraud and the rating agencies who threw our nation into the Greatest Recession which almost led to a second Great Depression and a Bush floundering administration that before September 11 IGNORED the warnings on a President Bush's desk telling him of an imminent bin Laden attack. Bush went fishing!

Go out and organize but most of all VOTE. Vote for our president and vote Democratic because we ARE our brother's keeper. Be a part of the Obama miracle again. The cause is the same except because of him our country is coming back and bin Laden is dead! Nothing less than your life and those lives you hold dear are in the balance.

NEVER give up, do NOT be duped, vote for the reelection of the president and spread the word to all you know and tell them what is at stake.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oil Speculation--Treason by Any Other Name: Headline in McClatchy News: "Federal judge weighs whether to let regulators rein in oil speculators." The story is here.

I have been thinking about this since pumping my gasoline has become pecuniary torture. I'd rather be water boarded. The price at the pump is obviously staggering. The answer to the judge's contemplation as to whether oil speculation should be regulated is a resounding YES. It should be heavily regulated if not OUTLAWED entirely.

Any product which is the life blood of a nation and even the world should NOT be played with like a child's toy for personal riches. Oil (until we dump it as a source for energy) is necessary for life. It is, in truth, more important than any other object of speculation. Oil gives one the ability to conduct one's life, to move, to have health care, and to have goods transported. Everything on planet earth that man depends on depends on for its transmission oil. The heat that heats our homes depends upon oil as does our food, clothing and shelter. The necessities of life depend upon oil.

Speculators -- like the Koch Brothers -- on the oil market drive up prices and play with it to the detriment of everyone else except the corporate speculators of this life blood. They become millionaires and billionaires. Economies rise and fall on the price of oil. People live or die because of the price of oil. The fact that Republicans in particular think that they can defeat this president by making it a torturous experience for Americans to fill up their tank is unconscionable. That this judge, nominated by this president, has to think twice about implementing what is already in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 passed by Congress is unimaginable.

Anything that has influence over whether a culture or a nation lives or dies should NOT be the subject of Wall Street speculation. Treason by any other name is still treason!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Different Spin of the Record "Bomb Iran": Wikileaks emails indicate Stratfor, a global intelligence company, allegedly discovered Israel already destroyed Iran’s nuclear facilities described here puts a different spin on bombing Iran doesn't it? Why would it not surprise me that Israel already acted and did so covertly so much so that it did not cross the radar screen of most? It is amazing if true. I'll give kudos to the Jewish state. I LOVE it when Jews thumb their nose at the world and say Jews will take care of Jewish problems. In the final analysis they know from a 20th century perspective which presented the ultimate existential challenge and near elimination of them that showed they can depend on no one but themselves for protection.

Israelis are smart and utterly capable. Yes, I am a pro Israel lefty because I believe the proof before my eyes of cultures that are progressive. As a Jewish woman raised in a Jewish household I never felt women's power compromised. It simply was that my mother ruled the roost -- GOOD. In Israel they make better use of the entirety of their population and women make up at least 1/2 of it.

The Islamic world had better measure up and fast because no matter how much they scream "death to America and death to Israel" they will not prevail. I know where I as a woman would choose to live. My love for Israel is second only to my love for my own country, the US, because my eyes see what they see and what I see in Israel OR the US for a woman and for other minority groups is significantly more advanced, more progressive, less religiously ideological and, in my mind, that means I am able to make a qualitative assessment and that is that those cultures are a better place in which to live!
Life’s Lottery—The Good Fortune and Opinion of the Oscars: The Day after the night of Oscars many wax critical of the yearly extravaganza. We cannot believe we stayed up for it and need a pot of coffee to overcome our sleep deprivation from it. Much that follows are the superficial criticisms – laughter at the flops, scorn at or admiration of someone’s body/dress, anger at the unnecessary waste of time, and disappointment with some who won it. Later, we walk out our door and forget most of it until it appears on our TV screen once again next year.

In what room, though, in our cerebral hemisphere does criticism of The Oscars sit? Maybe it sits in the hall of envy. Who would not envy the talent and plethora of good fortune that many in the Oscar audience enjoy? Most are multi millionaires who win life’s lottery of a nomination and an even more selected few win the film's highest award itself. It translates into their ode to immortality and phenomenal fortune. Life is, indeed, easier if one is as gifted and wealthy as they. The money made from those gifts makes the vicissitudes of life most of us encounter significantly easier to bear. When Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep’s fashion mogul character in the Devil Wears Prada) is asked by her lowly secretary: “What if I don’t want this? “Oh,” Miranda says, don’t be silly – EVERYONE wants this. Everyone wants to be us.” There is some truth to that.

In our era when so many are homeless, jobless and struggling those selected few in the Oscar audience can make one covetous of their good fortune. Some say it is a bell curve. Those on one side of that curve have little; there is a big middle of average where most of us sit, but the cream of the crop lives on a small part of that curve whose luck resides within the DNA of their talent and at the mercy of fate. Some draw life's short straw or have life or the politics of it hand them an Occupy Wall Street 99% rock and that can make one sad and jealous.

Congratulations to those who won. I thought most deserved it. I wish there were a double best actress award to present an Oscar to Viola Davis too for her poignant role in “The Help,” a film about the plight of domestic workers in the Jim Crow era of the south. The best picture film, The Artist, may be good even great but I wanted “The Help” to win. There are some in black studies who criticize that film. I do not. At least that rancid part of our nation's history commanded attention that time might dictate memory forgets. Like the Holocaust and the Jews of Europe, the American Holocaust against the black man, must never be forgotten. Anything we can do not to forget it is a good thing!

In the end though, I admit it. Yes, Miranda, I would like to be you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Loving: If one wants to see how difficult it was in this nation which prided itself on its so called "freedom" for two people who loved each other -- one black and one white -- to marry one should view this excellent documentary on HBO about the 1967 Supreme Court landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia which overturned the miscegenation laws of this country. It is eye opening, emotionally poignant and true.

A simple thing like loving a person of another race and marrying them could be and was illegal in nearly all of the states in this nation in the 20th century. It was, indeed, a felony in many states in the south. It truly is shocking. Watch and see how far we have come but what an indelible stain on our national conscience the struggle of the Lovings was. They simply wanted to be left alone but could not be until 1967 when the Supreme Court of the United States in a unanimous decision reversed all the laws against miscegenation in the nation.

How sickening it is as Republicans today have organized a party of mainly whites who try to convince us of American exceptionalism. Perhaps, they mean exceptionally racist. Moreover, how comparable it is to homosexuals in this country who simply want to be able to do what is taken for granted by other citizens of this land and that is to marry. Loving v. Virginia established that marriage is a civil right and cannot be taken away because of race. Some day, I hope, laws against homosexual marriage will be overturned by the US Supreme Court. The selection of Supreme Court justices is one important reason why a Democrat must be kept in the presidency. This president, if re-elected, may have at least two Supreme Court picks which could turn a court with extremist rightwing political views into a decidedly more progressive and historic court bending the arc of freedom toward justice once again. I thirst for it.

We as a nation still have a long way to go in our struggle for civil rights. Click here to see the documentary on UTUBE or search on HBO TV for it. The documentary was shot often in black and white and is actual film footage during its occurrence in the late 50's, early 60's up to and including the Loving decision in 1967. It is very moving and ironic that the individuals bringing the case all the way to the US Supreme Court were, in Dickensian fashion, named Loving. They truly were just that.
Enlightened Facts: A Letter to Rev. Gary Kowalski*: I had the pleasure last evening of attending a lecture/discussion at the Islamic Center of Wayland featuring Unitarian Universalist Reverend Gary Kowalski. A short impressive biography of him can be found here. He spoke on his book entitled "Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers." A poignant take-away from the lecture by me was the astounding intellect and prescience of our Founding Fathers. I knew they were smart, perhaps, very smart men but I did not know how extraordinarily smart men of phenomenal vision they, in fact, were.

They were men hewn out of the Enlightenment who put religious belief in the cocoon of one's personal sphere. That is they kept relgion from entanglement with the state since they knew the danger from Europe's many wars over it. That the Republican Party in particular, in our age at this time has sought to rope and hog tie one segment of a very gullible and ignorant part of our public is, to me, sad for all of us, indeed. It was, I believe, and as I think Rev. Kowalski believes too not our Founders' intent to use a religious litmus test, specifically a Christian litmus test, as a mandate for the presidency. I post my email to him below.

Dear Dr. Kowalski: I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture/discussion at the Islamic Center last evening. I searched your name on Amazon to see the other books you have written. There are, indeed, many. Of particular interest to me, as one who sees an oxymoron in the coupling of science and belief, is entitled Science and the Search for God. I personally am a fan of the Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" school of thought. I think religion -- all religion -- has no place in the company of science and vice versa. The more apt analogy to this is science is to god as climate change is to the devil. I hope I have the time to download your book as I have a pile of 1/2-read others I must finish.

There were many more things I would have loved to discuss with you. For example, what if the Founders could magically return to see the truths science has discovered i.e. all of the archeological, biological, understanding of physics, the mathematical determination of the age of our earth by radiological decay, bacteria's evolutionarily changing organisms confounding medicine's attempt in the use of antibiotics to cure infection, the archeological discoveries of ancient creatures whose age we are able to date and the germ understanding of disease. How would those truths have affected our Founders' thought? Would they have been more religious or less? Personally I think -- although I know this is conjecture and we cannot ever know -- most would be even less religious than most were.

Our knowledge of all scientific fact is not supposition or conjecture. Certain principles are rock solid fact the study of which has been duplicated by hundreds of scientists over time. If we prove something and then it is duplicated over and over and over again by scientists who all come to the same conclusion we fairly, I think, can see it as credible truth. Science is always, though, open to change if the evidence dictates but the emphasis is on evidence.

DNA is truth, evolution is truth, bacteria/viruses cause illness, the earth rotates around the sun, the age of the earth is 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old, the fact that the universe is much larger than we thought, etc. are indisputable basic truths of science. There is disagreement as to certain things within those truths but the basic truths we now know are indisputable fact.

There has been no one absolutely no one who has shown proof that a supreme being exists and all of the gobbledygook that goes along with the various belief systems is man-made myth. Nothing or very little whether in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, or anything else is based on fact. There is little fact but some of it can show us how better to treat our fellow beings. The rest of it, in my opinion, is unproven nonsense. The fact that 1/2 of our political order in this country holds the Bible as truth and inerrant truth at that, is its own psychotic insanity out of touch with proven reality and makes the strict separation of church and state all the more imperative. We who love academic analysis, science and the progressive thought it advances are held hostage by those who regress our nation and who would catapult us into a new inhumane Dark Age.

I believe religion -- all religion -- kills more than it saves, retards man more than it advances him and is simply man's way of explaining easily that which he does not know and most of all that which he fears -- illness, death and loss. The many who gain prominence like the Billy/Franklin Grahams, Pat Robinsons, Jimmy Swaggarts of the world capitalize (emphasis on capital) on just those fears. It's a great gig if one can get it as religion makes them very very very rich! Just my opinion.

I LOVED the lecture/discussion and could have stayed another three hours! Thank you for an enjoyable evening.

*NB: List of Rev. Kowalski's books is here

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dozens killed in Iraq--This is what I mean (short opinion): Here is the link to the reporting above:

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/23/10483416-dozens-killed-as-at-least-14-bombs-rock-iraq-over-2-hour-period?threadId=3352871&commentId=62737004#c62737004

This is what I mean when I have discussed US foreign policy and why the "preemptive" Iraq War was SO disastrous: I quickly off the cuff posted the following opinion in part on an MSNBC blog:

Organized uncompromising and extreme religion kills. This is why the Iraq War and America for a host of irrational reasons -- including Neocon delusion -- inserting its footprint into Iraq to remove the dictator Hussein was the greatest most costly mistake in US history. THIS is the violence we have wrought. Religious fanaticism and intractability is often inbred in a culture and now violent upheaval is in nearly every Middle East state.

One cannot mold people into democracies which have immovable dissenting rigid uncompromising religious ideological disputes over centuries sometimes millenia. A dictator is needed at times to promote stability as much as I personally abhor that. Democracy is not for everyone. We have our own intractable Congress and to me a faction of Republicans sounds like the religious fanatics of the Middle East which will not compromise under any circumstance.

Not ONLY did the US destabilized Iraq it destabilized an entire region -- a tinderbox of horrific violence has followed in nearly every state with Pakistan in real time possessing 100 nukes. There are nukes in other nations in that neck of the woods as we know. All it takes is one flash point to insert the unspeakable outcome. If one wants to know what the explosion of a nuclear device looks like search Hiroshima on Utube for a rational view.

I know lets invade Iran to promote democracy -- NOT. Just what we need an insertion of more US forces in Iran twice the size of Iraq. Are they kidding us?? It is NUTS just plain NUTS.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How the FCC Can Take the Money Out of Politics by Professor Juan Cole. Juan Cole has yet again written what I think is a brilliant article on the insane money bought campaigns and the toxicity of the Citizen United decision. I post it here for your reading pleasure!
Worries: Lately I've been positive about our President’s re-election because the Republican slate is SO severely (to use Romney’s own word) awful and even hilarious. They are better than Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus unless you contemplate a win by them then it becomes bone chilling. I think that Romney will win the Republican nomination as he seems to be pulling ahead in Michigan. These are some of the things about which I worry.

Gas prices: Obviously, they are bad and, perhaps, will get worse. This, of course, is NOT our president’s fault. It has to do with more complex matters – something the Republican brain cannot seem to understand – such as Middle East political explosive dismemberment (in part the Iraq War gift) and market speculators in oil allowed to drive up prices through the roof by the money maniacs of Wall Street. They know that they will get tremendous returns if they short the oil market and, as a side benefit, drive up gas prices to hurt the president. We understand that the Know Nothings will blame the president because, well, they know NOTHING!

My other worry, among many, is Romney's pick for VP. It will probably be Rubio so he can take Florida in the general. I may be in error but I worry about this possibility. If his VP pick is not Rubio than Gov. McDonnell of VA whose ambitions know no end could be the more-than-horrific Romney choice. Many do not much love him in Virginia as they do not much love Republicans like Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich of Ohio, Scott of Florida who must, of course, govern when they are in office. When Republicans govern the people economically lose. It does not stop the electorate from again and again voting them into office as they become bamboozled by their moronic social issues agenda and flimsy but feel good patriotism. They elect uber religious governors who add millions to the unemployment roles by laying-off state workers.

Moreover, McDonnell is the governor who will probably soon sign the vaginal probe anti choice legislation tantamount to the rape of women by the state so they can torment them by forcing them to view their fetus not only by ultrasound but by the more invasive and sometimes dangerous vaginal probe! It is draconian legislation at its worst but McDonnell is set to sign it for Virginia.

McDonnell is the worst of the worst right wingnut fanatic radical Republicans but is a prototype of extremist Republican Party politics of this era. He is anti women, anti choice and a religious wingnut crusader who cares nothing for the middle class unemployed, the poor and the sick but he does care about a woman’s uterus. He attended Pat Robinson's religious wingnut college—need I say more. It’s not Harvard!

This is how Republicans “govern.” Not only are they Know Nothings but they are DO nothings as well except to impose the tyranny of the big government, they say they loathe, not for economic repair but for the so called social issues of abortion, your contraception choice and the selection of a partner with whom to spend your life. They would regress this nation to a different century hurting millions.

The 2010 Republican electoral horror is the greatest impediment to the 2012 re-election of the president and to the return of the House to Democrats. Analysis can give clarity but ACTION to reverse the malevolent Republican extremist turn to the fringe right is imperative. We who advocate for progressive causes, acceptance of human diversity, who love science, intellectual and human advancement MUST push forward to get the vote out for Democrats who across the nation represent our point of view.

A last note: The “conservatives” have the Supreme Court in their cross-hairs. It is soon poised to overturn civil rights legislation which has been stare decisis i.e. settled law for decades. They will stop, if Republicans get a significant majority on the court, the advancement of civil rights, the pillar upon which our nation stands, for other minorities as well. Those cross-hairs could be directed at you and directed at me. I know that and it is why I write so furiously!

Time is of the essence. Work to re-elect the president and once again turn the House blue in November. Nothing short of our republic and YOUR rights are at stake.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oil Anyone?: This was just posted by Prof. Juan Cole on his blog "Informed Comment." We do not always agree but I cannot match his historian's intellectual expertise in argument.

This post I believe has merit when one contemplates the why of an impending Iran hit. When one asks the omnipresent question why, think on what he says below. It is by far the most prescient rationale for the reason behind Middle East/US power politics. It does not take a genius to figure it out. All roads, of course, lead to oil and one can see that simply by the maps Professor Cole shows and the explanation in his opinion below.

For me the issue has never been an ignorance about the politics of oil but rather the ability of the US to wage permanent, never ending war killing and displacing hundreds of thousands and spending trillions of our treasury for it.

He states:

I had grabbed an earlier version of this graphic* off a Democratic Underground bulletin board from 2005. It made the point that the United States, which professes itself menaced by Iran, rather has Iran encircled by military bases. I have tried to update the map a bit, though this area is a moving target and the map no doubt isn’t perfect. It is expressive enough, however, of the reality. Iraq and Uzbekistan no longer have American bases, but the US military now has a refueling station in Turkmenistan.

Some critics complained that forward operating bases are not much of a base. But actually, this map* vastly understates the case. It shows only a few of the estimated 450 US military bases and outposts in Afghanistan, e.g. And it does not show drone bases, of which the US has 60 around the world.

Iran has 150 billion barrels in petroleum reserves, among the largest reserves in the world, but they cannot be exploited by US corporations because of ... US congressional sanctions on Iran. US elites, especially Big Oil, dream of doing regime change in Iran so as to get access to those vast reserves. Likely the most important US objection to the Iranian civilian nuclear enrichment program is that it could give Iran “nuclear latency,” the ability to construct a bomb quickly if it seemed to Tehran that the US planned to attack. That is, the real objection in Washington to Iranian nuclear know-how is that it makes Iraq-style regime change impossible and so puts Iranian petroleum out of reach of Houston for the foreseeable future. This consideration is likely the real reason that Washington does not, so to speak, go ballistic about North Korea and Pakistan having actual nuclear warheads, but like to has a fainting spell at the very idea of Iran enriching uranium to 3.5 percent (a bomb takes 95%). North Korea and Pakistan don’t have oil.


http://www.juancole.com/2012/02/ring-of-iranian-bases-threatens-us.html

*NB: Graphics not shown
The Winds and Words of War: I was sent by the writer of "Informed Comment" Juan Cole, the University of Michigan historian, Part 1 of an an opinion written by Noam Chomsky entitled “Losing” the World
"American Decline in Perspective," at TomDisptach.com here

Part 2 of Noam Chomsky’s discussion of American decline, “The Imperial Way,” is here. I offer both as an alternative view to prevailing propaganda.

Prefacing his remarks I add: Current Cable TV Channel 192 on FIOS is the only network to call a ratcheting up of war with Iran for what it seemingly is -- the twin of Iraq. We have done this before. Some of those who are the leftovers still in Iraq and those who now fight in Afghanistan were children when 9/11 happened and often do not know the truth of what occurred after it. Many have NO idea how the Iraq War was pushed with lies, deceit, excuses and the utter complicity of the mainstream media including even the most prestigious New York Times and Washington Post. Few have any idea that we lost Iraq to the destabilization of civil war the conclusion of which we do not yet know. There is civil war violence still and millions of refugees from it. The US is probably losing Afghanistan too according to accounts of certain military heroes who would risk their careers for honesty about a failed never-ending policy of lies by men at the highest echelons of power. They whistle blow because war means death and the shattered lives of thousands. In a worst-case scenario it could cost the life of the entire fabric of our nation.

To begin another war with Iran is pure insanity as our army is spent along with our burgeoning deficit about which the conservatives claim they care so much. We would POSSIBLY need a draft for this war. We must call these brokers of war policy out who push this killing machine for what they are -- power crazed lunatics who have the corporation CEOs of war jumping up and down with glee for the money they will make while our youth is slaughtered and our weak economy lay in ruins.

It is my opinion and has been for a long time that we need to significantly rethink our Middle East policies and live with that which we loathe. We managed to get through the Soviet era of abundant nukes and, perhaps, it must be that way now concerning an Iran which does not yet have even one. I believe a strike on Iran at this time is lunacy as gas prices will go through the roof when the strait of Hormuz is blocked by the Iranian government and a weak US economy will tank again. If you think gas prices are exorbitant now wait until a war with Iran begins. Obama risks his presidency if that happens!

Thousands of lives are in peril if this policy is not SIGNIFICANTLY examined and we are told, however difficult, the TRUTH a thing unfamiliar to our Pentagon, Defense Department and various Commanders in Chief. I supported the Afghanistan War and even the Iraq War in the very beginning because I was filled with rage at 9/11 and stupidly believed my government as to Hussein possessing WMD even nukes which we now know he did not have. Looking back at 10 years of continual war I would like to know what we have to show for it. The Middle East is utterly destabilized and we still fight. Whether or not the Arab Spring would have happened without US military engagement no one can know but a foreign US occupier surely did not help NOR did it help Israel, a nation I support and not only because I am a Jew. I do NOT want to see Israel in more peril then it already is. We need call this insanity out for what it is -- the naked aggression of power hungry mad men who post WWII simply are addicted to war and the corporations they feed who make bundles of cash because of it. We stand, I believe, on the precipice of WWIII. I reserve the right to change my opinion in the face of REAL not fabricated evidence.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Not-So-Gay Marriage of Church and State: I was sent the post below by Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan. He quoted a piece written by a guest columnist, Anouar Majid, for Professor Cole's blog “Informed Comment.”

Mr. Majid’s writing is entitled Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring. I agree with it in total. In our own alleged democracy there is an all-too-frightening history of powerful religious fundamentalist phenomena which is worrisome and distressing. I always knew, from my own political awakening many years ago, that a nationalist toxicity intertwined with populist religiosity existed but until this time I did not realize the extent of its madness.

The wedding of religion and state is much too close for comfort. The two entities are mutually oppositional and our Founders, men of the Enlightenment, knew it. Mr. Majid concentrating on the so called Arab spring, I believe, thinks so too. It made for interesting reading about the history of the Arab world little known in the west. He states as follows:

Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring

As the Arab Spring enters its second year and the whiff of democratic possibilities hovers in the air of many an Arab nation, a question that continues to be left unanswered is whether an Islamist worldview and democracy can truly co-exist in this climate of heightened expectations.

Revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, and Tunisia, as well as reforms in Morocco, with their insistence on Islamic solutions, have brought to the fore the twin but clashing heritages of the Arab world. Most of this world is part of the Mediterranean, but it is, by the same token, light years away from what the Romans once called their mare nostrum–our sea. The birth of Islam in the seventh century placed an insurmountable wedge between the northern and southern shores of this ancient basin and propelled both sides toward very different historical trajectories. The Romans learned from the ancient Greeks and laid down the cultural foundations of what we nowadays call the West; the Muslims, with the exception of a brief period when they built on Greek science and adopted parts of Greek philosophy, sought refuge in theology. Christian Europe did that, too, but the re-introduction of Greek thought (thanks, partly, to the Moorish philosopher Averroes) loosened the grasp of the Church and Europe was able to rediscover the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome.

Muslims have yet to do that. Most never study the ancient world and have a very foggy idea (at best) about the contributions of ancient Greece and republican Rome to political theory. Muslim religious scholars reject the entire pre-Islamic period as one of ignorance, while progressive intellectuals dismiss any reference to Greece and Rome as a Eurocentric plot, one that smacks of modern colonialism. Instead of claiming Greece and Rome as part of their Mediterranean legacy, they have surrendered such cultural rights to Germans and Americans, who are thousands of miles away from Athens. Greeks had no problem crediting Egyptians and Phoenicians with much of what they discovered, but contemporary Islamists are too sensitive about authenticity issues to do the same. The pathologies of this kind of thinking cannot be exaggerated. A terrorist organization that bombs churches in Nigeria is named Boko Haram, which, according to the New York Times, translates as “Western education is forbidden” or is a “sacrilege.”

Muslims need to overcome this mental barrier and not be fooled, once again, into renouncing the rich heritage of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was the Greeks who first created democracy and explained the reasons for doing so; they also coined much of the terminology we use today. Even though the Romans invaded Greece, they learned from them and built the republic that inspired America’s Founding Fathers. The latter were deeply immersed in this ancient history; they read Roman authors and quoted them in conversations, essays and letters. One can’t imagine the American Republic without the Founding Fathers’ knowledge of Greece and Rome.

Yet the call for democracy in the Arab world today is unfolding without any education in Greek and Roman political histories. This is why I am not sure about the outcome of the Arab revolts and the rise of Islamic parties. Democracy and republicanism arose in pagan, polytheistic cultures, ones whose people could live with many gods; they came to an end with the domination of Christianity. Similarly, the American Revolution was the culmination of the 18th-century Enlightenment, when religion was being questioned by philosophers and tested by scientists.

Ancient Greece and Rome, much like 18th-century America and modern Europe, have understood that democracy and religion cannot mix in public affairs. Islam doesn’t make such distinctions and neither do many Muslims calling for democracy today. If you believe that God’s truth is final and nonnegotiable, you will have a hard time listening to others with different beliefs.

My sense is that Muslims and Arabs crave social justice but would care less about democracy, properly understood. Yet, without a culture of religious pluralism and cultural diversity, the life of the mind, which is the prerequisite for progress, cannot reach its full potential. And Muslims need development as badly as they need social justice. This is yet another reason why Arab and Muslim nations need to overhaul their curricula and rediscover, much as medieval Europeans did, the long-lost traditions of ancient Greece and Rome.
_________________

Anouar Majid is the author, most recently, of Islam and America: Building a Future Without Prejudice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012). He is director of the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crackpots and Cowards -- The Conservative Liberal Chasm: The following is, in my opinion, one of the most excellently written pieces I have read on the conservative/liberals divide which exists in this country today. It was written by Kurt Stone (not related to I.F. Stone) who is a rabbi, writer, lecturer, political activist, professor, actor, and medical ethicist. He was educated at the University of California, the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and the Hebrew Union College, Stone holds a B.A. in American Political History, a Master of Hebrew Letters, and a Doctor of Divinity.

The main thrust of his article and contained in his quote is: "The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are more than matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism. In short the conservative whole is simply not that bright. But if the conservative populous is not that bright then liberals who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity are, in fact, often cowards.

Mr. Stone sends me his weekly opinions. You can view his website and other opinions of his by clicking on the link http://www.kurtfstone.typepad.com/

He sent the following piece:

An Essay With Something For Everyone to Dislike

If, God forbid, America ever becomes a second-rate nation, it will undoubtedly be because the cupidinous morons on the right have been aided and abetted by the weak-kneed cowards on the left. You read me correctly: the conservatives are morons; the liberals are cowards. The former is scientifically verifiable; the latter, anecdotally conjectural.

Last month, Gordon Hodson, a widely respected Professor of Psychology at Brock University in Ontario (Canada) published a long-awaited study in the journal Psychological Science. Entitled Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes, Professor Hodson's controversial study compared childhood intelligence with political views in adulthood across more than 15,000 people. Hodson and his colleagues came to the conclusion that " . . . lower general intelligence in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and [that] this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology." In other words, as summarized by the Daily Mail's Rob Waugh, "Right-wingers tend to be less intelligent than left-wingers, and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to have racist and anti-gay views . . . . Conservative politics work almost as a 'gateway' into prejudice against others . . . . People with low intelligence gravitate towards right-wing views because they make them feel safe."

This by no means is meant to suggest that all conservatives are stupid. Goodness knows, it certainly takes clever people to convince a fearful segment of the American public of such patent inanities as:

· Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

· Those who claim that climate change is man-made are elitist members of an eco-fascist-communist-anarchist conspiracy.

· A tax break for the 1% is the only hope for the 99%.

· Any regulation that claims to prevent big banks and corporations from exploiting us, is in reality, an assault on working man and woman.

· The federal deficit results largely from the greed of the poor.

· The President of the United States is waging a war on religion.

Writing about the new conservatives in the online journal Truthout, former longtime GOP congressional staffer Mike Longren noted, "To be sure, the [Republican] party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots . . . . But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman . . . Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy."

Not to be outdone, former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum (who coined the phrase "Axis of Evil") wrote in a recent New York article:

Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama, whatever his policy errors, is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.

Creating and selling (if not fully believing) this right-wing reality takes a lot of craftiness, if not downright intelligence; it also takes a trainload of cash and a cadre of folks who have no problem taking advantage of millions upon millions of what Lofgren calls "low-information voters." What the likes of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friese and the other right-wing billionaires (among those possessing the trainloads of cash) have discovered is that there is no pool too shallow in which millions cannot and will not drown.

But beyond the creating, the funding and the selling of this "alternate knowledge," there is the cowardice and downright complaisance of America's liberals and progressives. As Thomas Frank notes in his latest book, Pity the Billionaire much of the blame rests with liberals and progressives, who suffer from what he calls "terminal niceness." As the Guardian's George Monbiot describes it, the Democrats, ". . . fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or . . . make an uncluttered case for social justice [and] regulation." Instead, he argues, they "triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate."

Indeed, the conceptual stupidities of conservatism are more than matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism. If ever the American political system is to right itself, the Right will have to stop feeding caustic misinformation to a haunted, fearful, low-information public, and the Left will have to overcome its reticence and shout STOP!

Enough of this even-handedness! Let us end with one last quote . . . from John Stewart Mill:

“Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”


I could not have said it any better than he!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Letter to Daniel Goldhagen: Dear Professor Goldhagen: I came across several Utubes of your conversations with Mr. Heffner about your brilliant book "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust." I had the distinct pleasure around 1996 to listen to you lecture at Facing History in Brookline. Ever since that evening I have been smitten with your articulate expression and analysis of not only German history during the Holocaust period but also how it relates to our contemporary experience as well. I did buy your first book and at some point when I finish my stack of reading I would love to read your work A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair as well as current writings on contemporary antisemitism.

I am 63 years old, born in 1948 in a suburb of Boston. Since my first introduction to the Holocaust by my parent's discussion of it and how it related to our experience as American Jews to the first documentary I saw at age 10 on the Nazi death camps with all the infamous pictures of the mountains of skeletons, piles of shoes, spectacles and other gruesome Holocaust detail not a day goes by that I am not thinking in some way about the experience of the Jewish people -- the six million. When the weather is hot, when the weather is cold, when springtime arrives ultimately followed in time by the chill of fall I think about the Jews of Europe. I think about the camps and how they survived the harsh elements with no food, no water, living and dying in unspeakable conditions. I think about my grandparents who immigrated to America at the turn of the 20th century. They came from Kiev and Minsk. The shtetls where they were born, of course, were cleansed of Jews. Had they stayed there I would not be writing this email.

As the years pass, as human beings are inclined memories fade, generations pass and those skeletons long since turn to dust and are gone with the wind. I am glad and hope that you keep our people's memory alive never ceasing to talk of the onslaughts we faced, how we endured and indeed prospered so that never again truly means never again and Jewish memory of our tragic history and perseverance under great assault goes on. It is not only a lesson for our time it is a lesson for the ages. When we have long passed the ever present phenomenon and questions of man's inhumanity to man, his ethics, morality and the power of the state over him will remain. The questions of what is good, right and permissible are eternal and will never die.

Thank you for writing some of the most insightful, complete, and eminently articulate books of our time. You are a joy to all who have the pleasure of hearing and reading your words and to those who yearn for a more just world.
I heard this fellow speak at "Facing History" in Brookline. He wrote and spoke on his book: "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust".

Great discussion on PBS by a brilliant young Harvard scholar, Daniel Goldhagen, of the Holocaust period and after. This is Part I. There are two more dialogues "More about Hitler's Willing Executioners and then Part II. Fascinating discussion with one of the most articulate scholars I have ever had the pleasure to hear.

Here is the link: http://video.pbs.org/video/1512022073
The Trojan Horse: It is OBVIOUS that the Republican Party of extremist obstructio­nism is bringing up the issue of contracept­ion they dragged out of the cobwebs with their sole intent on ramming President Obama out of office. This was their goal from day one of his election. Obviously, now that the economy is somewhat better the president has defused their one big tool in their toolbox so they drag out the social issues when Republicans have nothing else to use as ammunition to forge the assault and win the day. The issue of contraception will NOT work either as about 99% of women avail themselves of it, a large majority of whom are Catholics. The president, though, wanted to head them off at the pass. If the Republicans remain intractabl­e (which they probably will) it is THEIR bad not the president’s. Over the past several months Republicans have looked worse than bad they appear concussive and near death.

Sometimes I have disagreed with the president for not being progressiv­e enough BUT not on this one and not on anything else either. I am as I have always been front and center in favor of his reelection­. I loved the president in 2008 and I love him now. Probably I always will! Win, Mr. President, in 2012 you SO deserve it and so do we.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Cancer and the CEO's: A friend of mine sent me these sites below. One is a trailer of a documentary coming out soon called "Pink Ribbon, Inc." There is always a story behind the story!

"Just another point of view about the Komen organization. First of all, I stopped buying into the "pink ribbon" mindset a long time ago. I had learned years ago that the big cancer organizations (Am. Cancer Society, etc.) had on their boards people who were CEOs of major chemical and pharmaceutical companies, and the main purpose for the cancer orgs was to keep the public from investigating into the truth of what CAUSES cancer: chemical pollution, the environment, toxins that we put into and on our bodies, etc. The Internet is filled with articles that talk about these conflicts of interest. Here are a couple of links, but I'm sure there are many others:

http://www.preventcancer.com/losing/acs/wealthiest_links.htm
http://www.whale.to/cancer/breast6.html

So, as far as Komen and the pink-ribbon culture, they also NEVER, EVER mention prevention, only "The Cure." Cancer is a tremendous industry, lining the pockets of many. There's a new documentary that's just been released in Canada on this subject. Here's a link to its trailer, if you'd like to check it out:

http://news.moviefone.com/2012/02/03/pink-ribbons-breast-cancer-movie_n_1252824.html?ref=moviefone

I remember a few years ago talking to a breast cancer survivor who complained that "breast cancer isn't pink, it isn't cute, it isn't fun. It's scary and it's ugly, and I HATE, HATE, HATE how they have twisted this into a multimillion dollar industry." (Or something like that.)

There ARE organizations that are trying to educate about cancer prevention (one of them is mentioned in the link above, but again, there are many others). Screening has nothing to do with prevention. "Prevention" can wipe out an industry. Not that we will see that in our lifetime, of course. But I, for one, have had enough of pink ribbons; walk, run and jump for the cure; and seeing ads trying to lure people into feeling good about spending money on food and products that actually cause cancer."
PLANNED SUBVERSION FOILED: Headlines will soon read Handle VP at Komens who began the lie about and tried to defund Planned Parenthood resigns. VICTORY!! Unfortunately this may have done permanent damage to Komens who now is seen in an adversarial light. Their bad and to the good of Planned Parenthood who gets the spill over in funding!

Still a few kudos to Komens BUT it NEVER EVER should have become an issue! Too many women who need cancer screenings and a cure lose if that is the case. It is about women NOT lies perpetrated by wingnuts about abortion. Abortion as Santorum out and out lied does NOT cause cancer but plenty of other things may.

Susan Komens died and the Walk for the Cure began. I hope Komens now does not suffer from this egregious and utterly STUPID action of the Komen's Vice President Karen Handle who infiltrated a group and with her Republican cronies tried to subvert the good works of Planned Parenthood. Handle is a traitor to the cause of women's health. Good riddance and don't forget to close the door, Karen, on your way out!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Religious Poison and the Middle East: I am for peace and do not give a rat's petuti how it is done. I want the killing to stop and for sixty years those in power have utterly failed to do this. I want Jewish blood to stop flowing and I want Arab blood and the blood of children to stop as well. Alas, religious wingnutism is alive and well on both fronts and most especially in this country.

Organized religion is the pariah of mankind and will do NOTHING but get us all killed so that each group can march up to their respective sky god's domicile and do exactly what? The mythologies of man will be the destruction of him. The core to which religion presciently appeals is a universal fear of illness, aging and ultimately death. Religious power is smart as it takes man's greatest fears and sells religions' art to make a bundle of bucks even if it means killing millions in the process.

Christopher Hitches title of his book was on the mark. "Why God is Not Great -- How Religion Poisons Everything." From where I sit it surely does exactly that!
The Warning: If you want to see a return to the Bush-on-steroids era that brought us the Great Recession, illegal and immoral war, if you want to see the banksters of Wall Street allowed to steal more of your money through deception and fraud go unpunished, if you want to see people get kicked out of their medical insurance for a pre-existing condition of a hangnail, if you want to see housing foreclosures by the ton, if you want to see government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich then Romney the empty suit, flip-flopper-in chief is your 1% guy. But if you want to elect a president that has his heart with the 99% then re-elect the president.

Our president has faced an avalanche of Republican opposition. The things he HAS done have been most often amazingly good. The Supreme Court on the next president's watch will either reaffirm government by the superpacs or form a more equitable union. No one is perfect least of all ANY Republican. In a second term WITH a more supportive Congress our president Obama can and WILL do better!

All one must do is view those whom the Republican Party depends upon for their support. For each Republican candidate there is the support of mainly whites. If you do not see the racism of that party then look to those who are behind the Republican candidates when they give their win (or loss) speeches. It is a sea of white. That is not by chance it is by design. That is whom they WANT to appeal. It has been their "southern strategy" since 1968 and they are organized as we were in 2008. We MUST be again in 2012.

The return of the American archaic states' rights philosophy of the Civil War era in the south is CAMOUFLAGE for what they really mean and that is to shut out and prevent persons of color and other minorities from attaining power by depriving them of the vote. They are a return to the Jim Crow era of literacy tests and poll taxes. They ARE the party of white even though they sometimes trot out one or two persons of color to make it seem as if they are equitable. They are NOT. They are NOT the party of Lincoln. The Democratic Party since FDR has become the more equitable, ethical and diverse party. It is a party which truly represents this country in the 21st century.

GET your Democratic and Independent posteriors to the voting booth in November and re-elect someone whose philosophical principles are for most of YOU! Re-elect the president by encouraging and helping ALL whom you know to sign up, register to vote, and go to the polls to vote Democratic across the board next fall. Nothing short of all our lives depends upon it.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Well, praise the Lord!! Maybe my opinion plastered on Facebook and everywhere else paid off! I had a lot of company however.

See the NYT link below entitled:

"Cancer Group Backs Down on Cutting Off Planned Parenthood"

Smart decision, Komens. I cannot help feel that progressive voices that cry out in anger at this insane right wingnut religious fundamentalist junk that has been heaved at women for decades CAN pay off. This cannot and MUST not be the end. We must renew our women's rights voices again before Roe v. Wade is a memory and women begin to die from back alley abortions -- poor women that is. The rich always manage to protect themselves.

If one does not want an abortion by all means do NOT have one but keep your hands OFF my body. Remember these wingnuts are still in the minority. Most women even IF they would never or have never had an abortion themselves would protect a woman's right to choose her own fate!

Victory never tasted so sweet -- today at least!

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/cancer-group-backs-down-on-cutting-off-planned-parenthood/?hp#comments
Blogging for the Cure: An issue surrounding the Susan Komen’s Foundation, an entity geared to the ever-so-laudable goal of finding a cure for breast cancer, is burning up the airwaves and the blogosphere because the Komen’s Foundation made the egregious decision to remove its $2,000,000 grant from the much revered and infinitely helpful Planned Parenthood. The outcry of this unconscionable act is stunning. The reason given for Komen’s pulling its grant is that Planned Parenthood is being “investigated” by a Republican dominated House committee. We all know this is a right wing Republican political subversive tactic against Planned Parenthood with no rationale but to legally impose an ideological right wing extremist agenda on the nation. Local Planned Parenthoods have been inundated by state and local red state officials making impossible demands to serve this end. The red-state agenda has been gunning (sometimes literally) for Planned Parenthood for a very long time.

The Komen’s Foundation surreptitiously infiltrated at its hierarchical top a right wing extremist Republican ideologue who decided if Planned Parenthood could not be taken down in the passage of the Obama Administration’s health care legislation then it would taken down by a CIA-like maneuver insinuating its insanity through power at top.

Abortion and even contraception now has become the cause célèbre that our nation’s albatrosses on the right have heaped upon the rest of us who want those decisions to fall under an implied right to privacy. They have been relentlessly pursuing over decades the overturn of the SCOTUS Roe v. Wade decision by any means necessary even if it means the murder of doctors who provide vital reproductive care in a sterile, clean and safe professional environments where the patient can feel privacy protected and secure.

Planned Parenthood’s total abortion service is a mere 3% of their entire care. Yes, doctors at Planned Parenthood provide safe and legal abortions even IF it is only 3% of what they do. The procedural majority of Planned Parenthood is concerned with cancer screening and many other medical procedures needed by women (and men) for their reproductive health. The money pulled by Komen’s will affect that majority.

The right wingnut religious extremists will stop at nothing to spread their poisonous doctrine. They would return us to glorious yesteryear of back alley illegal unsafe abortions when women were butchered by quack abortionists, bled to death or became infertile from an illegal, unsterilized and unsafe abortion costing thousands. It is time for the pro choice movement take back the issue of women’s reproductive freedom as the religious Republican extremist right whittles away a woman’s right to control own her own body.

Since when have fetuses in the measure of a few weeks into pregnancy been called an “unborn child?” This term gives personhood to an entity without the mother’s body and out-of-utero would cease to exist BUT I do not care what anyone’s views on abortion are. If you do not like or want to have an abortion DON’T but leave other women’s bodies to themselves.

I am blogging for a cure to narrow minded, stupid, insensitive, idiotic religious fanaticism which cares NOTHING for the life of a full term human being but allegedly cares more about the life of a fetus. I cannot agree and I do not HAVE to agree with wingnuts who will be responsible for the death of women – many poor -- if they cannot affordably get the array of Planned Parenthood services they need.

A personal note: I was born in 1948. I had a sister that was born five years before me. She lived less than ten days because of significant birth defects. My father, at that time, had scheduled one of the premier surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital to repair the facial and intestinal deformities but her birth weight tumbled and she died.

In pertinent part my mother, emotionally fragile, was devastated. I asked my father where the baby was buried. He did not know because he said the baby was so young that by Jewish law no Jewish funeral was necessary, no Jewish rites for the dead observed and no shiva (a memorial week of visitation) was held. He said that the orthodox rabbi had told him then that the child was not, in Jewish tradition, imbued with a sense of “personhood” until after a 30 day period of life. This he said saved the mother the torment that would come with observing the Jewish extended death ritual by relieving her of the burden which she was not mentally and physically able to endure. Views may differ now but that is what he was told then.

I relate this story to emphasize the difference Jewish law was from Catholic or fundamentalist Christian law. The mother’s life in Jewish law is usually paramount. Is Jewish law any better than Christian law? NO it is simply different as are the myriad of views, religious and non-religious concerning the incendiary issue of when personhood and life begins.

Ironically, Susan G. Komen the namesake of the Komen’s breast cancer foundation was Jewish. Those who are Jewish, as I am, know that most Jews consider the mother’s life to be paramount if the fetus’s life endangers the life of the mother. Not all religions think the same and not all people think the same about this issue. Traditions and beliefs differ.

Do what you want with your own body and if you do not want an abortion do not have one but leave that personal choice and the attendant medical choices women need for reproductive and other health issues to the woman, her physician and, if she has a belief in one, her god.

I advocate the public post haste switch monetary and volunteer support from the Susan Komen’s Foundation to Planned Parenthood. You will not regret your choice!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Elephant in the Room: A Romney presidency representing the 1% richest is unacceptable. We must sound the alarm to every city and town in this country fighting to re-elect the president. The president's base and independents alike must vote for him. There is no other alternative. I think and I hope his base as well as a plethora of Independents understand where this destructive economic Great Recession came from and that they will NOT put into power another shinier version of Team Bush who ran the economy into the ground with his trumped up wars, tax cuts for the rich and Wall Street anarchistic unregulated mania.

We must also fight voter suppression, a tactic that is a throw back to the old Jim Crow post Civil War era. This is what the Republican Party is about. It is about reactionary regression. It is about interposition and nullification that hearkens back to a brutal antebellum south. We must not return this country to a shameful era.

Romney will appeal Obama's health care change -- as if he alone could do that -- ? The health care legislation was not everything I wanted because of vicious Congressional obstructionism but at least insurance companies will be forced to pay for your children longer and most importantly they can not ditch you for a preexisting condition. It contained other very good measures. This is what rancid Republicans want to repeal. With a Republican presidency all our lives are at risk as, despite the lies, they WILL go after Social Security and Medicare too IF we give them the chance by electing them!

Romney will say and do anything to win as we can see through his past statements on tape. The president's base and independents alike MUST come out to support him as if it were 2008 times 10 because it is! If you noticed, as I did, that both Romney and Gingrich supporters were nearly ALL white. There was a sea of white faces behind the Republican candidates. Our diverse Democratic base cannot let a Romney presidency happen and split us apart even more then we already are.

The racist Tea Bag bunch is loaded for bear and we must be too. We must win this hunt without question and stronger than anyone ever thought we could. Tea Baggers may not accept a black man and his family in the White House but thank God most of this country are not Tea Baggers. Racism, indeed, is the big Republican elephant in the room. No one can convince me otherwise and those policies that are attendant to the Republican Party are NOT about most of you.