Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Final View From the Cliff

Mr. Ross Douthat in his December 30, 2012 NYT editorial entitled “How to Read in 2013”  linked here or below, suggests we should all read a variety of publications opposite to one’s point of view.  Yes, this is what a fair-minded member of the electorate should do. I have dedicated decades to at least trying to look at both sides of issues from both sides of the political spectrum but I had come to an age where I had to form core beliefs or forever be politically wandering and weightlessly floundering in endless space looking for a place to sit. I have read alternative right wing points of view over years.  I came to the conclusion if that part of the political spectrum gains immense power I fear for the viability of our nation. 

Therefore, reading more right wing ideology is impossible for me to endure. In the end I believe we are all in this together; that we either sink or swim together or we die alone. No matter what Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, the Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal, National Review, etc. says I believe they are not only fundamentally wrong in their basic points of view but threatening to the our republic. I believe the right could be responsible for the death of those who through no fault of their own and for a variety of reasons need the help of the nation for which they have worked hard and to which they have pledged their allegiance. 

I fear the right's cruel belief system. Without safety nets, healthcare and other government benefits earned over a lifetime many will die who should not. I will stick to Paul Krugman, the NYT in general, the Nation Magazine and some of the best sites on the left Democracy Now and the Real. They speak truth no matter how difficult to hear and advocate for a more humane world.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Philosophical Cliff Notes

I am breaking my New Year's resolution before New Year’s is even upon us. I promised I would turn many cheeks, that I would temper my temper and know that I could not change many things but that, at least, I would possess, as the Serenity Prayer states, the wisdom to change the things I can. I promised I would keep my anger in check against those politically imperfect whom I perceive to be the enemy of the good.
I advocate for the poor, the disabled and the dispossessed; for the hungry, for the middle class; for those who lost their jobs; for those who lost their homes; for those who could not seek medical attention and for those for whom most of the great wise men in centuries past say they cared.

Much of Christian philosophical thought appeals to me. Jesus said the first shall be last and the last first. He bestowed hope on the hopeless and eased guilt for one's station in life. It is easier, he said, for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. He fed the hungry, healed the sick and preached love not hate. He said if a man smite you on one cheek turn to him the other also and he, of course, said to love even one's enemies. Following his commands is difficult but I love what he is alleged to have taught. I am neither a Christian nor even a theist but I am a human being who wants to help even when helping seems a distant hope. Ted Kennedy eulogized his brother Robert and said his brother "saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." To that I say bravo.

Alas, I am human. Yet again, I shake my fist in anger at a Republican Party which claims to believe in their Christian faith but who acts the antithesis of it. My heart burns with rage as the so called "fiscal cliff" draws near. Danger lurks in the distance but the opposition will not compromise. Republicans advocate for those who need no advocate. They care nothing for those who get so little but suffer so much as the merciless weapons of Wall Street have killed middle class hope. My anger knows no softening as the Republican position against the middle class turns to cement in the sands of cruelty. My fury is cultivated when compromise is eschewed but ignorance and racist thought is championed.

I want to turn the other cheek and run from my fiery rage but when one possesses no more cheeks to turn revenge is the only fire escape. I urge you to exact your pound of Shakespearean flesh by contacting your elected officials. Tell them to tax the rich and by saving the middle class save the nation. If that fails the ballot box in 2014 is available to throw the Tea Bag Republican Party overboard and rid our land of this intractable plague and terrible uncompromising scourge.

That is my hope and that is my prayer. There will, however, be an end to our imperial power if our nation offers no safety net for our poor and our sick. There will be no imperial power if our middle class fails. There WILL be an end to this American exceptional experiment as the angel of death shows its ugly face in the halls of Congress. There WILL be a high price to pay if a fiscal compromise is not reached. Falling off the cliff awaits and gives rise to the fear in me that the meek will not inherit the earth as Jesus said they would because man continually sows the wind and reaps the whirlwind!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Out of Many ONE! Scroll down and listen

his is SO beautiful it made me cry!  Scroll down

 to begin 

Start your day with this…enjoy!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Take

Michael Kranish's December 23, Sunday Globe article "The candidate who never really let voters in" link here or below analyzed many aspects of the Romney campaign that failed and allowed the president a commanding victory and Romney a stunning loss. The blame ranged from people who controlled his campaign, the GOP primaries that hurt the candidate himself, to the over abundant minority vote and less abundant white vote.

Romney's son Tagg's revealing that Romney wanted the presidency less than any other was perhaps the most stunning admission of all. If true that served to reinforce for me that the REAL blame for Romney's loss is that Romney tried to fit a round peg into a square hole. I believe it was not Romney the man but Romney the snake oil salesman he was commanded to be by the Republican base which demanded radical right ideological purity that lost the election for him. Romney had to cast aside groups which in Massachusetts he courted -- women, pro-choice voters and gays. Heck he even sent an emissary to the gay pride parade in Massachusetts when he was running for governor.
It was not Mitt Romney himself who lost the election but the Romney base that lost it for him as it demanded something which was not who he was. When he and others are finally nominated by Republican base and need to run nationally they lose. 

The nation is centrist in nature sometimes a little right and sometimes a little left but what they are NOT is extreme. No matter how good the Republican bench is their candidates may lie to appeal to the Republican base but the lie of who they are is not lost by the general electorate and they reject it. Republicans if they do not carve out a better brand -- which they seem not inclined to do -- will lose every time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Love, Help and Hope

The opinion below written by Michael Moore is one of the best pieces I have ever read explaining our national nightmare of violence. Michael Moore not only creates wonderful documentaries, is a humanitarian at heart but writes ever-so-well too.

I urge you to read "Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns -- a letter from Michael Moore" in its entirety and paste it below for you to do so. I hope in our hour of dismay that its content is heard throughout the land. I suspect Christ's response to Newtown would not be to get more guns. It is just my suspicion though.

Yes, I am a Jew and Jewish theology does not recognize the divinity of Christ. I am not a believer in religious orthodoxy of any type but I have always loved the philosophic message of Christianity as I see it. I have adopted some of its important tenets as I carved out, decades ago, my political thought. Its message to me is simple -- love, help and hope. Yes, love for your fellow man, help one another, and through both of these things hope for the reality of a better way to live.

To my Christian friends Merry Christmas and to all the others from whatever faith or no faith one springs I wish you all happy holidays and hope for

PEACE in our time!


"Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns -- a letter from Michael Moore"

Monday, December 24th, 2012


After watching the deranged, delusional National Rifle Association press conference on Friday, it was clear that the Mayan prophecy had come true. Except the only world that was ending was the NRA's. Their bullying power to set gun policy in this country is over. The nation is repulsed by the massacre in Connecticut, and the signs are everywhere: a basketball coach at a post-game press conference; the Republican Joe Scarborough; a pawn shop owner in Florida; a gun buy-back program in New Jersey; a singing contest show on TV, and the conservative gun-owning judge who sentenced Jared Loughner.

So here's my little bit of holiday cheer for you:

These gun massacres aren't going to end any time soon.

I'm sorry to say this. But deep down we both know it's true. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep pushing forward – after all, the momentum is on our side. I know all of us – including me – would love to see the president and Congress enact stronger gun laws. We need a ban on automatic AND semiautomatic weapons and magazine clips that hold more than 7 bullets. We need better background checks and more mental health services. We need to regulate the ammo, too.

But, friends, I would like to propose that while all of the above will certainly reduce gun deaths (ask Mayor Bloomberg – it is virtually impossible to buy a handgun in New York City and the result is the number of murders per year has gone from 2,200 to under 400), it won't really bring about an end to these mass slayings and it will not address the core problem we have. Connecticut had one of the strongest gun laws in the country. That did nothing to prevent the murders of 20 small children on December 14th.

In fact, let's be clear about Newtown: the killer had no criminal record so he would never have shown up on a background check. All of the guns he used were legally purchased. None fit the legal description of an "assault" weapon. The killer seemed to have mental problems and his mother had him seek help, but that was worthless. As for security measures, the Sandy Hook school was locked down and buttoned up BEFORE the killer showed up that morning. Drills had been held for just such an incident. A lot of good that did.

And here's the dirty little fact none of us liberals want to discuss: The killer only ceased his slaughter when he saw that cops were swarming onto the school grounds – i.e, the men with the guns. When he saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work. (Then again, there was an armed deputy sheriff at Columbine High School the day of that massacre and he couldn't/didn't stop it.)

I am sorry to offer this reality check on our much-needed march toward a bunch of well-intended, necessary – but ultimately, mostly cosmetic – changes to our gun laws. The sad facts are these: Other countries that have guns (like Canada, which has 7 million guns – mostly hunting guns – in their 12 million households) have a low murder rate. Kids in Japan watch the same violent movies and kids in Australia play the same violent video games (Grand Theft Auto was created by a British company; the UK had 58 gun murders last year in a nation of 63 million people). They simply don't kill each other at the rate that we do. Why is that? THAT is the question we should be exploring while we are banning and restricting guns: Who are we?

I'd like to try to answer that question.

We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end. We invade countries who didn't attack us. We're currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians.

This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to us as we are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves. We slaughtered 600,000 of each other in a civil war. We "tamed the Wild West with a six-shooter," and we rape and beat and kill our women without mercy and at a staggering rate: every three hours a women is murdered in the USA (half the time by an ex or a current); every three minutes a woman is raped in the USA; and every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA.

We belong to an illustrious group of nations that still have the death penalty (North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran). We think nothing of letting tens of thousands of our own citizens die each year because they are uninsured and thus don't see a doctor until it's too late.

Why do we do this? One theory is simply "because we can." There is a level of arrogance in the otherwise friendly American spirit, conning ourselves into believing there's something exceptional about us that separates us from all those "other" countries (there are indeed many good things about us; the same could also be said of Belgium, New Zealand, France, Germany, etc.). We think we're #1 in everything when the truth is our students are 17th in science and 25th in math, and we're 35th in life expectancy. We believe we have the greatest democracy but we have the lowest voting turnout of any western democracy. We're biggest and the best at everything and we demand and take what we want.

And sometimes we have to be violent [beasts] to get it. But if one of us goes off-message and shows the utterly psychotic nature and brutal results of violence in a Newtown or an Aurora or a Virginia Tech, then we get all "sad" and "our hearts go out to the families" and presidents promise to take "meaningful action." Well, maybe this president means it this time. He'd better. An angry mob of millions is not going to let this drop.
While we are discussing and demanding what to do, may I respectfully ask that we stop and take a look at what I believe are the three extenuating factors that may answer the question of why we Americans have more violence than most anyone else:

1. POVERTY. If there's one thing that separates us from the rest of the developed world, it's this. 50 million of our people live in poverty. One in five Americans goes hungry at some point during the year. The majority of those who aren't poor are living from paycheck to paycheck. There's no doubt this creates more crime. Middle class jobs prevent crime and violence. (If you don't believe that, ask yourself this: If your neighbor has a job and is making $50,000/year, what are the chances he's going to break into your home, shoot you and take your TV? Nil.)

2. FEAR/RACISM. We're an awfully fearful country considering that, unlike most nations, we've never been invaded. (No, 1812 wasn't an invasion. We started it.) Why on earth would we need 300 million guns in our homes? I get why the Russians might be a little spooked (over 20 million of them died in World War II). But what's our excuse? Worried that the Indians from the casino may go on the warpath? Concerned that the Canadians seem to be amassing too many Tim Horton's donut shops on both sides of the border?

No. It's because too many white people are afraid of black people. Period. The vast majority of the guns in the U.S. are sold to white people who live in the suburbs or the country. When we fantasize about being mugged or home invaded, what's the image of the perpetrator in our heads? Is it the freckled-face kid from down the street – or is it someone who is, if not black, at least poor?

I think it would be worth it to a) do our best to eradicate poverty and re-create the middle class we used to have, and b) stop promoting the image of the black man as the boogeyman out to hurt you. Calm down, white people, and put away your guns.

3. THE "ME" SOCIETY. I think it's the every-man-for-himself ethos of this country that has put us in this mess and I believe it's been our undoing. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! You're not my problem! This is mine!
Clearly, we are no longer our brother's and sister's keeper. You get sick and can't afford the operation? Not my problem. The bank has foreclosed on your home? Not my problem. Can't afford to go to college? Not my problem.
And yet, it all sooner or later becomes our problem, doesn't it? Take away too many safety nets and everyone starts to feel the impact. Do you want to live in that kind of society, one where you will then have a legitimate reason to be in fear? I don't.

I'm not saying it's perfect anywhere else, but I have noticed, in my travels, that other civilized countries see a national benefit to taking care of each other. Free medical care, free or low-cost college, mental health help. And I wonder – why can't we do that? I think it's because in many other countries people see each other not as separate and alone but rather together, on the path of life, with each person existing as an integral part of the whole. And you help them when they're in need, not punish them because they've had some misfortune or bad break. I have to believe one of the reasons gun murders in other countries are so rare is because there's less of the lone wolf mentality amongst their citizens. Most are raised with a sense of connection, if not outright solidarity. And that makes it harder to kill one another.
Well, there's some food for thought as we head home for the holidays. Don't forget to say hi to your conservative brother-in-law for me. Even he will tell you that, if you can't nail a deer in three shots – and claim you need a clip of 30 rounds – you're not a hunter my friend, and you have no business owning a gun.

Have a wonderful Christmas or a beautiful December 25th!

Michael Moore

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Drone of Local Drones

The writer of this piece, Naomi Wolf of the Guardian, writes in the end it will be local governments which will act against this oh-so-invasive civil libertarian egregious assault of localized drones.  She seems to indicate our own doorstep is where our government's war on terror is headed and the only way to protest these actions is to work against it at the state and local level.

Iwe have become the United States of Fear Everything then how could Naomi Wolf not fear the essence of what she not only wrote but published?

As for me, I do not, have not ever and WILL not fear my government.  Perhaps this is an ontogenic left over from my fourth grade appearance at Flag Day ceremonies where I was given the honor of carrying the flag.  The little patriot on that day was very proud and loved her country with unquestioning allegiance.   When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became an adult, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11. As a solid progressive today I will criticize policy when necessary and sometimes vituperatively but NO ONE is going to make me  shake in fear that a knock at the door from the US government in the wee hours of the morning will occur and sweep me away or that a government drone the size of a hornet will take a picture of my smiling face.  

Ever vigilant is my motto and until I see otherwise my government is NOT my enemy.  It is still,  I think, no matter how much critical analysis I levy against it, the freest government I always thought it was!

I post the link here or below for you to make your own assessment.

RSN Godot Logo
Reader Supported News | 22 December 12
It's Live on the HomePage Now:
Reader Supported News

FOCUS: Naomi Wolf | The Coming Drone Attack on America
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK
Wolf writes: "Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponized."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Remember the Victims, Reject the Violence By Bill Moyers, PLEASE READ

If you want to see the Bill Moyers video click here or on the link below OR simply read his opinion I pasted below this.  It is brilliant.  I love Bill Moyers and nearly always share his opinion.  He says it, though, so much better than I ever could.  I urge you to read or view it.  
It is at least in part a solution for our time to the horrific gun violence and puts an addendum on my own opinion which I thought incomplete, posted yesterday.  Please give Mr. Moyers's opinion at least one read or viewing.  It is important for you, for your children and grandchildren if you have them and for our democracy whose roots are withering.  We have a chance to do the right thing.  Do it and be glad you did. Scroll down.
BILL MOYERS: Welcome. The bells rang for the lost: Charlotte Bacon, Olivia Engel, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeline Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison Wyatt. All were six years old.
Daniel Barden, Josephine Gay, Chase Kowalski, and Grace McDonnell were 7.
Six adults died with them: Mary Sherlach, Anne Marie Murphy, Dawn Hochsprung, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel D'Avino, Victoria Soto.
It helps to say their names, to rescue them from the statistical anonymity that always settles over these awful events. It helps those of us distanced from the loss to imagine, even grieve, the emptiness in the homes and hearts of those who loved them. They will never forget. We mourn, move on, and too soon forget. And then it will happen again one day, and we will scratch our heads and ask ourselves, "Was the last time Newtown? Or Columbine? Was it Aurora? Or that college in Virginia?" And once again we will mourn, move on, and too soon forget.
There is an old Hassidic saying that, "In remembrance is the secret of redemption." But America forgets quickly, and gives no lasting indication it seeks redemption from its fetish with guns, its romance with the free market of violence. With the sport of it all. The show must go on. It's our right. At any price. What were their names again? Oh, yes, Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Dylan, Allison, Dawn. Poor things, such a tragedy. Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.
And so we make our peace with violence. And make ourselves over in its image. A state senator in Missouri, a life-time member of the National Rifle Association, is pushing a bill to require that all first graders be enrolled in the NRA's gun safety course. First-graders. Six and seven years old. Pledge Allegiance to the flag. Lock and Load. Our new Head Start.
A state senator in Tennessee's Republican legislature says he will introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms. Saintly Miss Simpson, packing heat. Hey, Mr. Russell, it's show and tell, can we see your Glock 9? After the Newtown killings, a sixth-grader at an elementary school near Salt Lake City brought a gun to school, saying he wanted to protect himself and his friends. Instead, allegedly, he used it to threaten some classmates. As The Good Book says, get with it, "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Ready. Aim. Fire.
And for the child who has everything this season, how about body armor? A Utah company named Amendment II offers a new line of it for kids. Mother Jones Magazine reports sales have tripled in one week. A Massachusetts company is promoting The Bullet Blocker, a "rugged computer backpack designed for work or play." Made of the same materials used in bullet-proof police vests, currently on sale for the holidays for $199.99. And on Facebook, an outfit called Black Dragon Tactical that sells vests and other combat gear sent this message: "Arm the teachers, in the meantime, bulletproof the kids."
This market never closes. America's turned violence into a profit center. And if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping, no need to wait for Santa; his sleigh couldn't even hold the heavy weapons. Step this way. Black Friday is every day. And we have something for everyone, from cradle to grave. From cradle to grave.
Surely this can't go on. This spilling of innocent blood, this bleeding of democracy's soul. We're losing faith in ourselves, acting as subjects, not citizens, no longer believing that it is in our power to do the right thing. We Americans are not smarter than other people, and certainly no more virtuous. Our exceptionalism is our capacity for self-correction. To reach the bridge of the ship, point to the iceberg dead ahead, and demand of the captain a change of course before it's too late. "They," the gun industry, its profiteers, zealots and apologists, its political stooges, fabulists, and constitutional originalists, who would have us think the "well-regulated militia" of a sparsely-populated frontier nation in the 18th century really means tolerating a perpetual wild west here in the 21st century. "They" say, "don't tread on us, get off our well-armed backs, there's nothing you can do."
Of course there is. Register all guns. License all gun owners. Require stringent background checks. Get tough on assault weapons of any kind. Crack down on high-capacity ammunition as the President has now proposed. And then, enforce the laws. Yes, I know, determined killers will always find a way. But we can minimize the opportunities, and scale back the scope of destruction. Why do we accept the need for driver's licenses? Or submit to the sometimes humiliating body scans at airports? Because it's the law, and deep down we know we're safer for the inconvenience of the law.
Good laws are hard to come by. Civilization, just as hard. The rough and tumble of politics makes them so. But democracy aims for a moral order as just as humanly possible, which means laws that protect the weak and not just the strong. Lest we forget.
If you want to hear the above video espousing his views or read it below.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Genie is Out of the Bottle – a reaction to Wayne LaPierre’s NRA response to the Newtown violence:

Mr. LaPierre said that we should arm teachers, we should arm principles and we should think about armed security in our schools in answer to the Newtown slaughter of 26 young innocents. What could possibly go wrong? I am incredulous at the words Mr. LaPierre spoke. They stun my imagination.

I am capable, though, of selecting the axioms about which he talked and agreeing at least in part, to some. He addressed his speech to the culture of violence in the nation and I agree with many of his points. Video games, talk radio, film, television's all pervasive saturated culture of violence is out there for all to see and companies make billions from it. Little violence or sexual licentiousness is prohibited nay more is encouraged and accentuated. There are FEW boundaries any longer. The late iconic intellectual of the 1950’s, Steve Allen, once said in the title of his book "Vulgarians at the Gate" that the culture has become saturated with vulgarity and we are comfortable with that vulgarity. Left and right; red state or blue we are comfortable with it. I ask why.

As a young adult in the late 60's I protested against war and worked for a more permissive culture with respect to women, sexual mores, and free speech but I ask now where did our message go askew and what did we unleash? There is no insult now that is too profane, there is no decibel utterance too loud and there is no limit to the expression of hate. Our boundaries of what is permissible and what is not have been erased. There is, as I call it, an anarchy of the human essence.

I fear the culture of violence, I fear a culture of irrational thought, I fear the culture of unbridled greed, I fear a culture of hate and I fear a cultural garb rent with division. I was not asking for this world I worry I helped shape. I know I am as guilty as any of political thought and speech permeated with emotional passion, uncompromising and immutable. For that I, singularly, can hope only to do better.

I fear though the genie has been let out of the bottle decades ago. I suspect it cannot be returned and THAT is my biggest fear of all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Represenative Chaffetz -- a Judas in Our Time

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) from Utah went on The Today Show and said he was against gun control and thought that the slaughter at Newtown was a mental health problem rather than a gun control issue. Funny how Republicans are against the president’s Affordable Health Care Act which includes treatment for mental health but think further horrific killings like the one at Newtown should be treated as a mental health problem.

Representative Chaffetz’s views on the Today Show were an abomination. Republican Representative Chaffetz is willing to trade 16 pieces of silver to give to the corporate gun lobbyists their pound of flesh rather than eliminate the weapons of war used solely for mass killings in a civilian population. Representative Chaffetz wants PSYCHOLOGISTS to pick out every deranged person rather than ridding the nation of guns used solely to kill massive numbers of people.

Most youth and others if troubled, especially males, will not seek psychological help for their mental health problems. Taking assault weaponry, extended bullet clips OFF the market and making background checks mandatory for ALL private gun show transactions is asking little to save a life. Would Representative Chaffetz not think that IF his own family was at risk and he had the chance to save them by enacting stricter gun control laws?

The issue of wholesale slaughter of children by guns is both a mental health issue AND a gun issue. Perhaps Representative Chaffetz fears the NRA gun lobby will boot him from office. Indeed, who donates to Representative Chaffetz’s election coffers? My guess is corporate gun manufacturers do. That means he does NOT care a whit about innocent life but cares more about the bucks he gets for his next campaign from the corporate behemoths who fill his coffers with money.

Representative Chaffetz and the Republican Party are part of the problem not the solution. I will do everything I can to expose those who oppose strict gun control legislation and label them as those who stand against humanity and not for it; as those who stand against children and not for them; as those who stand against the survival of our nation and not for it.

I hope the 16 pieces of silver Representative Chaffetz and other Republicans trade for the lives of our people makes them MISERABLE and that he and his cronies of corporate gun greed think twice about the death they have inflicted on all of us. THEY WILL LOSE AS THIS TIME THIS GUN VIOLENCE IS DIFFERENT -- 20 children were the lambs slaughtered by a mentally disturbed person with access to an assault rifle pumping 11 shots into one of them. MAYBE it will take this tragedy for our country to come to its senses and support those who support sane restrictions on the lethality of guns rather than Congresspersons who look for the next lobbying position to make them millions at our expense!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Newtown, more than anything else, offers us a reason why in 2014 Democrats MUST take it all.  The other party is devoid of humanness and probably will STILL try even in view of this horrific tragedy to play into the ugly corporate hands of the gun industry.  That this should be EVEN a possibility that this Republican party, devoid of human compassion, could do this makes our task CRYSTAL clear   

This Republican Party as it exists today MUST be purged from the House, must be purged from the Senate and must NEVER occupy the presidency.  For this purpose I have committed my life so that these innocent children gunned down by a sickening assault rifle, the ban of which Republican President George W. Bush lifted, will not have died in vain.

Hebrew Prayer of Mourning

Rabbi Shaul Praver, as stated in The Jewish Daily Forward "moved many to tears when he recited El Maleh Rachamim, a prayer of mourning."  I post it here and below for you to hear if you did not hear it last evening or to hear it again if you did.
It is a gorgeous chant sung magnificently by Rabbi Praver.  Judaism is my heritage.  Despite all the doubts I may have, in the final analysis, tears streamed down my face as the familiar sound of the chant, like many chants in the Jewish tradition, was sung in a sad minor key which found its way to pierce my heart.  It is a plaintive cry as we beg God to protect our loved one and, for me, offers a wish that a higher power somewhere hears our cry and heals our collectively broken hearts.
As a Jewish symbol of loss of the closest relatives we rent part of our clothing.  It is a representation that a piece of them was torn from us.  I symbolically do that to reflect that a part of OUR national family has been torn from us as well.
As was so beautifully said by all the clergy and so many others in Newtown, the nation and around the world we mourn those innocent dead as our own.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gun Violence in America

I am attaching a document here written by a relative of mine which is about gun violence in America. I believe it is nearly perfect. I will post it but one wonders if those to who view this blog will take the time to read it. It says it all and says it well. One SHOULD read it.

The ONLY thing on which we differ -- and ONLY because I am a pragmatist -- is that I advocate within the parts of the system that can, I think, work for progressive views. I believe the best way to do that since there are NO third parties nor will there be any of consequence at least in my lifetime is through one of the two parties within our electoral system -- The Democratic Party.

At this moment the Democratic Party is the ONLY party whose membership reflects realistically the hue of the nation and at least gives credence to most of my views. Therefore I want to use that to advocate for the most humane progressive policies I can. I am a 100% non violent advocate for change.

Stephen does not agree with my sentiments about the Democratic Party but I think he errs on that point. He and I see things differently on other policies as well but on gun violence we agree. I believe we can do only what we can do now and use the vehicles available to us to do them. Otherwise I agree with this article 99.999999% -- it is EXCELLENTLY written and EVERYONE SHOULD read it in these most terrible times.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

If Not Now When?

The nation has suffered a near 9/11 emotional loss.  The impact of 20 young children in an elementary school being slaughtered senselessly by insanity carrying guns and assault weapons is, for me, too much to bear.  
In my opinion three changes in the gun laws, at the least, should be mandated:
1.  Banning of all assault rifles and other military style assault weapons that are more than weaponry used for hunting and are intended only for the taking of massive numbers of innocent human life.
2.  Banning high-capacity semi-automatic-weapon magazines such as that used by the shooter in the Arizona rampage critically wounding Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
3.  The registration, background checks and waiting periods for ALL gun purchases not only applying to registered gun dealers but also to private gun shows where a gun can now be purchased no questions asked.  
It is true not every killer will be stopped by stringent gun laws but we know many will. The Bush administration with Congress allowed the ban that was in force against assault weapons to expire.  The ban and the aforementioned restrictions MUST be reinstated.
This shooting should break the camel's back.  If the overrated power of the NRA gun lobby through their massive money buyout of mostly Republican but some Democratic Congressmen too must be shown as the paper tiger it is.  Most in this country approve of sane gun restrictions. This does NOT mean banning the beloved-by-some (not me) Second Amendment but ensuring that the Second Amendment mean something different than it did in 1776.  Our Founders presided over 13 colonies that numbered around 2 million people in a mostly agrarian society.  Our country is comprised now of 50 states numbering about 350 MILLION people.  There are nearly 300 MILLION guns in the nation today -- nearly one gun per person in the US. 
The Second Amendment:  A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The first graders of Sandy Brook School hardly fell into the well regulated militia category.  The Founders wanted to prevent the tyranny they had seen and experienced in Europewhere power had all the weaponry and the citizens had none.  They did NOT envision high powered Bushwacker military assault weapons saturating a technologically sophisticated democratic nation and one which is beyond anything they ever could have imagined.  I believe they would be appalled at the tragedy that occurred Friday in Newtown, CT taking the lives of so many innocent children.  
I urge you to write your senator, write your representative, write Republican representatives as well and write the president.  Unlike what Press Secretary Jay Carney said now IS the time to make changes in the gun laws.  If not NOW when?

A Few Words When There are No Words to be Found

I still have no words for the killing yesterday of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT. I am stunned, I am overwhelmed, sickened, and sad. I do not know what has happened to my country one that I knew to be so safe, so secure, so benevolent and the one which saved Europe from tyranny. I walked, as a child all around my neighborhood. I went everywhere with no fear. School was a blessing, a sanctuary of learning surprising me even then that I felt so free.

Now schools are locked and one enters at one's own risk even in an elementary school. Where did we go so askew, how did we come to be so violent, and what has happened to this nation?

I am sad today and mourn with Newtown. Newtown -- a Dickensian name for a town. It is anything but new now -- it has grown old fast, sad, and stunned as I am. I am sorry for you Newtown and wish I could make the horror go away.

I WILL pray today and work for gun control tomorrow because there is nothing else I can do. The many are with you, Newtown, more than you can ever know!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Hero

Yet again my hero Paul Krugman gets it right.  I link his NYT editorial  here or below. I was elated until the very last paragraph which says:

"The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream. Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly."

How long must I wait for those "few years" to pass? I have been waiting since 1968! I want to see the death of the Republican right wing religious fascistic Party and I want to see it NOW!!!  NEVER vote Republican for ANY office -- not even dog catcher --

ANYWHERE in the nation. 

Pass this around to encourage others to do the same i.e NOT vote RepuGlican!! The ONLY way the Republican Party will learn is to put this Party of know nothing racists in the corner for a BIG permanent time out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Susan Rice -- Ed Markey v. Brown

Sadly, with the removal of the utterly qualified Susan Rice's name for the possible Secretary of State position, John Kerry it seems is all but assured the nomination for this position. This means, of course, that Governor Deval Patrick will appoint someone in the interim and 150 days from that point an election will be held. Obviously, Scott Brown has his eyes set on returning to the Senate seat Elizabeth Warren trounced him to get.

Word is Ed Markey will run for that seat against yet again Scott Brown. Just when we thought the Brown albatross was removed from our collective Massachusetts necks, here it is again. This is just a warning that we MUST defend that seat for the Democrat. I cannot think of a better candidate who has served the longest in the House and who would be more qualified for that seat than Ed Markey.

Yet again, we will be in a position to work our respective posteriors off to MAKE SURE the inept, unqualified, intellectually inferior Scott Brown NEVER see the inside of a Massachusetts national Senate office again. If it is Ed Markey (and I hope that it is) then we should give him our absolute and unequivocal support treating him the same as we did Elizabeth Warren. I aver Republicans should never be allowed to see the inside of Congress in any capacity again!



Several things are being attempted by mendacious Republicans at the STATE level. They are trying to CHEAT Democrats who clearly outnumber Republicans in many swing states so that the state remains Republican red even though the state in the national presidential election voted Democrat blue. Governors like Synder of Michigan, Walker of Wisconsin, Kasich of Ohio and others with Republican legislatures are doing this in several ways and MUST be fought. It must be fought by the electorate at the voting booth and it must be fought in the courts. It must be fought by progressive media where progressive media can be found and also must be fought nonviolently by protests with feet in the streets.

Republicans are attempting three malevolent, unfair and in some cases, I believe, illegal things to attempt to ensure Republican majorities forever. They are doing the following:

1. Gerrymandering: Republicans are trying to create majorities in the state and even the federal legislatures by gerrymandering the vote. This means that Republican state legislatures with Republican governors when in power carve out districts in their state so that those districts are skewed for Republican majorities even IF the state has been a traditionally Democratic state. Since the 2010 election many state legislatures heretofore blue turned inanely red. Once Republican red and IF they had a Republican governor with his cronies in tow these nefarious and unfair activities overturning in some cases the 1964 Civil Rights one man one vote Act take place. Republicans are, of course, trying to not only exact revenge on President Obama's crushing victory they are also trying to ensure Republican future victories by scurrilous tactics changing the legislature in perpetuity to red well beyond Barack Obama.

2. Right to Work for Less: Republicans are trying to undermine the middle and working classes relegating these classes to serf status by passing so called "Right to Work" laws. This means they are trying to make unions irrelevant and when they do all studies have shown, as the president said it is NOT the right to work BUT "THE RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS!"

When one undermines unions not only will one work for less money and no benefits, as no union will be there to protect workers' rights, but if the collection of dues is compromised that will also undermine the ability of unions to function at all. Unions are heavy contributors to the Democratic Party. It is clear “Right to Work” means crushing unions which are a significant source of Democratic money in this Citizens’ United era. Republicans are, of course, in pertinent part, trying to crush the Democratic Party.

Moreover, other things come with Republicans. Hard-fought-for-rights for women such as equal pay for equal work, the right of women to determine their own reproductive health, right to vote for minorities and the right of equal marriage protection for all can be undermined. All it takes is for Republicans to gain power in the state legislatures, the governorships and a Supreme Court that has fallen back in love with the states' rights argument of Civil War fame. We know it truthfully is not principle for which Republicans work but obviously is their an unfair power grab by any means necessary.

3. The Electoral college: As if the prior rationales for Republican usurpation of power though what should be clearly unconstitutional means were not enough Republicans are AUDACIOUSLY trying, as Secretary of State Husted of Ohio is attempting, to divide up states into many districts assigning EVEN presidential separate electoral votes to those districts. Romney would have won Ohio if that were the case and EVEN if Democrats win the popular vote. It means that even presidential electoral votes of swing states will be divided up so that someone like the president or any Democrat will take only a partial electoral vote in a heretofore blue state. It could and possibly would ensure a Republican election for president.

These are power grabbing dastardly schemes. For all these reasons we must URGE the electorate if they hold a middle class or working class job to beat Republicans at their own game. JOIN A UNION AND PAY THE DUES. The electorate MUST be convinced that the Republican Party is NOT about most of them. It is about the 1% richest. The greatest weapon we the people possess is our vote.


Write your Congressmen, write your governors, write the President and write Attorney General Eric Holder asking them through the power of their offices to legally act and protect the people’s civil rights!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two Tiered Justice System

Glenn Greenwald writes many articles for "The Guardian" and for "Reader Supported News." He is a constitutional law scholar and has written the book "With Liberty and Justice for Some."

His opinion piece is not shocking as nothing shocks me about our country much anymore but it is certainly dismaying. Read the following here or below and pass it on if you like.

The new normal (on the Corporate Equality Index) COMPANIES FROM WHICH TO BUY

If you scroll down to the link below there are MANY companies the Human Rights Campaign Fund suggests from which to buy goods. These companies (and there are dozens) are LGBT friendly and supportive. They are given color coded ratings and percentage ratings as well. 100% is of course the best. For all the companies who are not supportive there are many which are one simply has to look.

The movement for equality has taken on a life of its own. With all the sometimes negative press like Justice Scalia's rancid and insulting comments that are so discouraging it is refreshing to get a dose of reality and know there are many more who think opposite from the ignorant justice.

One must simply look and realize it without allowing the inhumane, ignorant, unfeeling and uncaring to send negative karma to one's soul!

If you click on the link below and scroll down you will be amazed at how many categories of business that support this humane cause. I suggest you look at some, examine the color coding and the percentage and consider when the need arises buying from them!
Companies that are AOK! The NEW NORMAL

Human Rights Campaign
  • A record 74 businesses actively and publicly supported pro-equality legislation at the state and federal levels. Without their help, victories like marriage equality in Washington may not have been possible.
  • 2013 saw the largest growth in the survey's history, with 54 new businesses participating – up to 688 this year, more than double the number that participated in the CEI's first year.
  • Last year, we insisted that companies include transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage if they wanted to earn a perfect 100 percent score. Now an impressive 42 percent of CEI participants offer it, up from 19 percent last year.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Why cannot workers beat these Republican bastards at their own game much like the voters did in voter suppression states that made sure they registered to vote, came out to vote and stood in line seven hours if necessary to vote? And they fought those laws in the courts.

In this case since there is a freedom to join a union AND there is the freedom to PAY YOUR DUES to the union, PAY IT VOLUNTARILY with no contract. Why cannot there be a HUGE effort at signing workers up in unions making sure through the media, through unions themselves through television programming and advertisements to VOLUNTARILY PAY THEIR DUES?

Then organize to throw Republicans the hell out of state legislatures and governorships. When people vote in Republicans the people lose and the 1% richest win. They MUST be made to see that. So on two levels beat those swine at their own game. REGISTER in unions and then pay a fair fee so that the unions can survive to assist workers. If workers pay then unions survive and help themselves in the process.

The next order of business is to get out the Democratic vote like we did in 2012 and in 2014 beat those shameful loathsome jerks at their own game. That is the way to do it. They make a law so obey the law but make sure that you pay your dues!

My Statement to Justice Scalia--On Homosexuality

The Supreme Court has a comment section. I left a few choice off the cuff words on it for Justice Scalia.

Justice Scalia: You are quoted as having said the following: 


You are equating feelings against homosexuality with feelings against murder? I would say we can have feelings against most anything we find objectionable EVEN blacks marrying whites or feelings against integration of blacks and whites and our Constitution could be seen as supporting that and has OR not and now does not. The homosexuals I know do not even kill a fly or kill any living thing and are some of the kindest, most brilliant and creative people I know but you, sir, are lumping them in with a feeling against MURDER or murderers? 

Respectfully, Sir, you insult me. I stand incredulous that a Supreme Court Justice would say something so unintelligent that I cannot believe this person sits on the highest court of the land. To lump a feeling against homosexuality with a feeling against murder is simply utterly absurd.

If one finds oneself loving a member of one's own sex then what should one do? Murder oneself? Feelings that you espouse against homosexuality have been used as a justification for murdering THEM. But hey, according to you there is no difference between murder and homosexuality. Homosexuals are the victims of murderers and NOT the perpetrators of murder. Feelings that you express are the rationale for killing them.

Can one have a feeling against, well, Italians and equate it with a feeling against homosexuality after all so many Italians were in the Mafia? Should we have the ability to discriminate against them because of that? This is how absurd your comment is.

I ask you to reconsider that statement and to apologize to an entire group of people you insult by lumping them in the same category of murder. You offend, hurt and debase a group of people who are often among the best and the brightest and who hurt no one. Shame on you, Sir, for your hateful comment.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Who I will print

Warning:   I am NOT posting comments that are rude, vitriolic and just plain nasty.  If you want to argue policy or points on MY view great.  I will be glad to entertain them BUT they must be written since they are directed at one person, with cogent, polite commentary.

My views are not directed to a person but rather groups that are trying to influence policy and not in ways I deem humane.  My viewpoint is I will give you passionate but to an individual I NEVER insult and if I have I apologize for that.

Fine you want to post opposing opinion I will be more than glad to post it but I will not be made to feel personally bad.  It's my OPINION that is ALL it is.  I hold NO elective office, I wield NO power except through my pen and I do not ever hope of holding elective office.  Frankly, I do not know how those who hold office do it ESPECIALLY progressives who generally, like me, simply want to help their fellow man who needs the help ONLY government can provide.

If you oppose that fine. Say it decently and I will print it!

An Important Link

I have now DVR'd Democracy Now which appears on my local cable station on Fios Channel 43

I am enclosing a link here and below to this incredible independent news network which gives information and the TRUTH on the vital questions and occurrences of the day WITHOUT corporate influence skewing the news and showing you ONLY what the corporate sponsors WANT you to see. You may THINK you are getting the news from sources such as NBC Brian Williams and all the other corporate clones but you are NOT.

Look at the cover page of Democracy Now and see how you can obtain a live stream from your own cable network. It's as easy as sitting in front of your own cable TV and turning to the station that carries it.

At this moment Amy Goodman from Democracy Now is reporting on a live stream feed from the climate change summit and reporting about the devastation in the Philippines of a massive typhoon which has already killed 500 and injured thousands depriving millions of homes. It is a catastrophe CLOSELY related to our own climate change catastrophes we have witnessed ALL over the country most recently New York City and surrounding areas. This is a global problem and we TRULY are all in this together.

Mother nature knows NO politics and will proceed with the science construct of man as it is. It is ONLY man who can reverse this deadly trend and we can ONLY do that with the information we have. I enclose the link below which will enable you to find the many stations there that carry Democracy Now. Demand your cable network carry this important true reality based news.

Share this with anyone you like.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Crème DeMint or Tea and Toast

If one follows politics as I do one knows Jim DeMint, Tea Party senator extraordinaire from South Carolina has resigned. He is not serving out his second term in the senate a short month after his reelection. Many are stunned and more still are trying to decipher whether this is a good thing or bad for Democrats. Does this mean another Civil War is erupting this time within the Republican Party trying to purge itself of its moronic madness that exists on the far right? Or will it give an opportunity for the king of the Teas to wined up and throw many more pitches over the plate simply thinking at the Heritage Foundation think tank to create Tea Party policy at a reported one million a year.

The question remains because Tea Baggers are nearly incapable of winning a national election what could Crème Jim DeMint pour into his drink to sweeten it making it more palatable to the American electorate?

The formation of the Tea Party began after passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. It was made up of many middle class mostly whites who carried signs like "Keep your hands off my Medicare" and wore hats with tea bags hanging off of them like one's Aunt Millie from the Ozarks. I thought this would be a movement that could step on the heads of Wall Street who rode rough shod over the world's economy since they were mighty angry at the bailouts too. Instead, the Republican hierarchy seized upon the chance of capturing millions of disaffected white voters convincing them that government spending on programs for the poor was the problem using so called Obamacare as evidence.

They herded these low information voters and watchers of Fox No News News corralling them into believing the Republican Party cared about them because it was against spending especially for the poor (meaning minorities and blacks of course.) It wasn't about helping these middle class whites but it was about deluding the old Moral Majority of the Nixon years making them work FOR Wall Street and not against it.

The necessary vital life-giving ingredient to the Tea Party Republican pie of white was the middle class white hot hatred of a black president and his black family walking into the very white house. As one election sign of a supporter of Mitt Romney said, "Let's keep the White House white!"

What the reality Tea Partiers failed to see and the Republican hierarchy ignored was, of course, demographics. The demographics of the nation are changing. The white man will soon be in the minority and no amount of gerrymandering or Sheldon Adelson and Koch brothers stuffed pockets of money will help.

The racist religious fascist cranks of the Tea Party Taliban have gotten our attention and continue to try to gum up the works for anything with the name Obama attached to it even if that man won a crushing victory against them. I believe it is this that is at the heart of the Tea Party movement despite the one or two token African Americans who on occasion showed up at a Romney rally drowning in a sea of white! In the final analysis I think it will not matter if Crème Jim DeMint sits at the throne of the conservative new “think tank” Heritage Foundation or occupies a seat in the United States Senate. His tea baggers and the toxicity they bring to the nation will, ultimately, make them toast!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A Link to Senators who Opposed the Treaty on Disabilities

I am posting the link below or here that gives you how particular senators voted on treaty ratification of the Americans with Disability Act to extend throughout the world by treaty signature. G.W. Bush began and signed it as did President Obama.

I urge you IF you have time to contact as many Republican senators who voted NAY on the list. The list is divided so you can see who voted nay on this all important treaty. We are the ONLY developed nation not to have signed it. It needs 67 votes for treaty ratification and Tea Baggers dumped it. This small group of Republicans must NOT be allowed to hijack not only this treaty but economic policy that is good for the country and the world. They MUST NOT be allowed to subvert the president at every turn.

Here is the list below. By simply Googling their last name and hit contact you will be given a form for policy comments that has auto fil. Once you fill in your name, etc. on every other one you click on it will be automatically be put in. It saves much time.

We MUST show Republicans and the heartless Tea Baggers within that Party that we will be dedicated to replacing them.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A National Disgrace

The Republican Party yesterday — mainly Tea Baggers — disgraced fellow Republicans, the United States Senate, United States Servicemen and women AND the United States of America while kicking sand into the global community's eyes by refusing to ratify a treaty for the disabled that was begun by George W. Bush to extend our own American with Disabilities Act to other nations.  The American with Disabilities Act passed into law by President H.W. Bush the elder and the treaty of it put forth by George W. Bush was signed by him and President Obama to help this cause.
The elder statesman and WWII veteran, former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, came literally off his death bed in a wheel chair to the floor of the Senate as did many other senators, congressmen and veterans to ratify this treaty.  
It takes 67 votes to ratify a treaty.  It failed 61 to 38.  It lost because of Tea Party Republican intransigents who refused to vote for it because it was attached to the UN and Tea Party perceived loss of American sovereignty and world government crank fears.  This was truly an abomination and proof positive that all of us, Republican and Democrat, alike must work hard to send a message loud and clear that these inhumane deluded excuses for humanity Tea Baggers will LOSE their respective seats in both the House and the Senate in 2014. This minority MUST not be allowed to hold the United States of America hostage to their rancid poisonous philosophical malevolence.
If this simple treaty could not be ratified how on God's earth is one going to navigate the so called fiscal cliff?  They stood intransigent, I believe, to show they will never do as the majority of Americans have commanded and as reflected by the president's resounding win.  The Tea Bag party, the party of stupidity and treason secessionists, the party of birthers and 911 conspiratorial ranters has become a GREAT evil in the American political scene. A minority party of viral low information voters within the Republican Party has taken this country close to the abyss.  How did these cerebral nincompoops gain so much power that they can make the United States of America look anemic to the world? 
A part of the Republican Party is insipid and will never in its present form win ANYTHING major again. They are a dead party as they exist today.  Republicans need to kick the Tea Baggers into the ash bin of history, place them in the dump and close the lid. Let's have the funeral for them and be done with it to get the American Congress moving once again. 
Sen. Hatch, Sen. Graham, Sen. Shelby, and 35 other senators SHAME ON YOU for not ratifying a simple treaty for the disabled around the world.  You are a disgrace to veterans, you are a disgrace to your own colleagues who have given their lives in service, you are a disgrace to the disabled everywhere and you are most of all a disgrace to the nation you are supposed to serve!