Saturday, March 30, 2013

Glacier Calving --THIS IS OUR INCONVENIENT TRUTH


This is IMPORTANT for ALL to see.  THIS IS CLIMATE change at its most frightening.  It is what the inconvenient truth is all about!  When these things happen that gargantuan chucks of polar glaciers break off as the oceans warm since carbon pollution raises the earth's temperature, we run the risk as they happen more and more that our cities like NYC WILL be submerged with massive feet of water.  There will or could be no more at least lower Manhattan ever again. You can imagine what this toll would take on the rest of Manhattan, Boston and ALL cities that border the ocean around the globe.   

Our cities all over the earth grew up BECAUSE they were ports to the ocean.
THIS is how much desperate trouble man is in as our volcanic weather patterns so CLEARLY show.  Man has polluted the earth SO badly that he threatens his very existence on planet earth.

AMAZING video, the most amazing I have ever seen!  Feel free to forward this to anyone you choose.  Climate change is NO joke and it is sin to deny it. It is real and will be coming to a city near you!

Click here or below to see it.
 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thinking -- Prop 8/DOMA

Yes, we really do have to wait to see what the justices say in their opinion. Brief statement: The BEST way it could be struck down is to say that DOMA is unconstitutional because of the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE in the Fourth Amendment and that would apply to Prop 8 as well. That would be the best for the pro gay side because then ALL the states would not be able to enact Const. Amendments against it. Of course the right wingnut states would go berserk. So I think THAT is not going to happen because SCOTUS is not that brave like the Warren Court of 1954 Brown v. Board so it probably will not happen in my lifetime.


What is more probable I THINK (not sure) is that Prop 8 will have possibly no standing in SCOTUS referring it back to the CA fed court which ruled it was unconstitutional so gay marriage which now is ahead in public opinion there now anyway WILL be legal in CA. As for DOMA, the Court I suspect will rule it a states rights issue and that is where it is legal those married WILL be able to get Fed. benefits. They will say it is not legal for the Fed. government to discriminate IF and only IF those states that say okay to gay marriage then the Feds cannot discriminate.

So what happens next? As usual when one looks at rights for African Americans since slavery, when one looks at women's rights going back to the Revolutionary War, it will be a LONG LONG slow hard slog as each individual state will have to legalize it on its own.

When will the southern reactionary states EVER recognize it? Many if not most won't so at another time in another day when the generation that is old eventually dies and their children assume power little by little more states will get it. I say MORE. Some may NEVER get it so gays will have to move to states that have it and that is OKAY by me since many gays are very successful and wealthy. Bring that money right on to Mass I say. BTW, why I LOVE this wonderful state. We were the first to recognize gay marriage thanks in large part to the Mass Sup. Ct. headed by Margaret Marshall. I LOVE MY STATE the bluest of blue the most progressive in the country ... well usually!

This is just an brief quick overview as I read the tea leaves. I as usual reserve the right to change my opinion!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NOT JUMPING



for joy quite yet because it will take months before the decision is made but the headlines on NBC are below as is the link to the story!

COURT SEEMS SET TO SCRAP DOMA



Here's the story:  http://www.nbcnews.com/

Who would have EVER believed it in the late 1960's when I became politically active.  It was in the days of Anita Bryant and all that followed. I am thankful for SO SO SO many who are young even before they understand the reality who they are this decision HOPEFULLY will save them from thinking they are something awful or worse ending their lives. 

 I put the big change at AIDS and the outing of big celebrities because of it and of course Stonewall in 1969 the first time gays rioted in Greenwich Village and the late 60's that changed everything.  AMAZING.  Truthfully, I am  hopeful but it ain't over til it's over.  The pro marriage straight religious wingnuts had NO argument.  Their representation could simply mount no defense but we'll see in three months when the decision is handed down.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Bad Joke is on Plymouth County's Sheriff McDonald

The joke Sheriff McDonald made at a breakfast with mostly Republicans was DISGUSTING but not surprising coming from Republicans.

Lincoln was ASSASSINATED NOT just wounded like Cheney's friend whom McDonald claimed it was like. It is NOT the same. Millions make comments in private and on public forums like the Internet both for and against the president. Some against strain credulity but are defended on First Amendment grounds. I agree anyone has the right to say politically negative things against anyone in office. This president, however, has received more RACIST death threats than any president bar none.

The difference between simply online criticisms no matter how noxious is the fact that Sheriff McDonald is a public persona and one that is SUPPOSED to advocate law and order. It would be different if it were just another person but he is SUPPOSED to represent ALL the people of Plymouth County.

Beyond even that is that he was casting a humorous light on one of the nation's most heinous crimes; one which has had and still does have PROFOUND implications for the negative trajectory of race relations through this century. Lincoln is on Mt. Rushmore for God's sake. NOTHING is funny absolutely NOTHING is funny about the assassination or attempted one of President Lincoln or ANY president. If the shoe were on the other foot and it were Ronald Reagan, who was I might add in fact nearly assassinated, I would say the same thing against making a joke. Making a joke about it is OUT OF BOUNDS! This is NOT appropriate for the subject of comedy. Shame on those who laughed and SHAME ON Sheriff McDonald! He should be FIRED.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A New Pope -- I HOPE!


I have been an ardent critic of the Vatican which is my right BUT I am not -- certainly NOT-- impervious to error.  When I make one, and I have made many observational errors, I am not afraid or incapable of admitting them. SO FAR, emphasis on so far, there is something about this pope I like. I do not agree with him on the social issues BUT I LOVE his reaching out to the poor, I LOVE his going to AIDS patients irrespective of his view on sexuality and things related to it, and attending to those stricken. MAYBE this is a pope who can change things; when I look at him I want to embrace him and say PLEASE keep saying things about the inequities and the sins of our economic systems and continue to be an advocate for the poor.
He SEEMS to be a humanitarian despite the stands he took on social issues years ago. Maybe it was his way of being able to slowly rise through the Catholic ranks ascending ultimately to the papacy so he can really do something. I am willing to change my views and although I am Jewish and very agnostic at that I say, Holy Father, help us. We need someone something to lead us out of such desperate times. I am willing to listen. So far I mostly like what I hear and I like what I see reaching out of the popemobile into the crowd.

As for the rest there is NO way he could EVER change the church's stand on abortion.  Do NOT even look for that. Maybe though he is changing the focus AWAY from the bedroom and, as NYT ediotorialist Frank Bruni and someone else from another newspaper whose opinion I value said, "into the soup kitchens."  Maybe he would stop by the boardroom too as he talks about the inequities of our economic system.

I am willing to give him a chance. Isn't that what Jesus said to turn the other cheek so despite the past behavior of the Church, I so far, like their choice for pope! I do reserve the right to change my opinion.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Pope

I am rethinking my opinion of Pope Francis.  He may be better than I thought he would.  Time will tell. So far I am liking certain things I am seeing.  Stay tuned!

The Last Letter


The next time power wants to drag this nation into war THINK on this letter. His picture is here or at the link below.[1]   Scroll down and pass this letter on to whomever you want.
 

The Last Letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran
 
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
 
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
 
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
 
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
 
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
 
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
 
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness. 

 
http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

[1] Truthdig, “The Last Letter A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran”March 19, 201

This is a POLITICAL issue before the Supreme Court link here or below.  Republicans want it because it will make it more difficult for minorities to vote.  If it were the reverse they would be against it.  Their transparency is obvious.  They SAY it's to ensure fair elections.  We KNOW that is BALONEY.  It is to make it more difficult for minorities. ie. Democratic voters to vote.  Another Republican attempt at stealing an election!
It is obvious another 5/4 decision WILL be handed down by the questioning -- four of the five are "conservative" absolutes and the one so called swing Justice Kennedy by his questioning one can see where it will go -- with his conservative buddies.  The Supreme Court has turned into a political Republican hack job.  Stare decisis, (Latin translation: the thing already having been decided, Roberts said?  Believe that and Republican Supreme Court justices will tell you another joke.  This is the most "conservative" activist court EVER! The five "conservativeSupremes today would have voted against Dred Scott IF they had had the chance.
My advice to Democrats EVERYWHERE since this case will go against us.  Beat these RepublicRATS at their own game.  Do what is ever mandatory in each state to vote and the DEMOCRATIC Party should ENSURE THAT in triplicate in EVERY state. LINE THEM UP AND SIGN THEM UP -- that should be our mantra!
WHY IT IS IMPERATIVE TO VOTE DEMOCRAT BOTH IN THE STATE AND NATIONAL ELECTIONS.  WHY IT IS ALSO IMPERATIVE TO VOTE REP. ED MARKEY AS THE NEXT US SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Slice of Pi?

The Life of Pi which we saw over the weekend appeals to those who are plagued by the larger questions of life and its difficulty. It is a HUGELY profound film BUT one has to enjoy that type of intellectual challenge to take the time to analyze, walk through its weeds and see the depths of its thought. 

Reading what others say about it online is helpful to understand the depth and varying opinion about it. Some things about its essence were not clear to me. The more I thought about and discussed it with others who have seen it the more I can appreciate its brilliance. Ang Lee won the Oscar for best director. I surely can see why.

I think to get the film's maximum experience one should see it, if possible, in a theater with 3D disposable glasses the theater hands out or view it in IMAX. Viewing it with 3D glasses makes it a stunning visual experience as one sees, for an example, birds flying in the most vivid color directly in front of you as if one could touch them. 3D makes Pi amazing.

It is about man, animals, the universal creation and every living thing's challenge to survive within it. One sees life's diversity, gorgeous complexity but continuously asks why we as sentient understanding beings are left to forge though it seemingly alone with the constant companion of suffering and death running along side.

I believe the major thrust of the film is contained in the Biblical story Job. It is about man's yearning to understand and give meaning to the vicissitudes of life without losing faith in a God in the face of life's table of tragedy spread out before us. It is man's quest to find the meaning in life to give it purpose and help us when we are weaker than what life visits upon us. 

The protagonist a young Indian boy named Pi Patel is constantly thinking about the same things and even becomes a Hindu, a Christian, a devotee of Islam and even Kabbala Judaism in his quest to seek personal answers and peace. 

The film is available On Demand on TV BUT without the 3D glasses one does not gets, the visually awestriking experience. I may see it again on TV so I can re-see the thoughtfulness behind the movie albeit not in as visually appealing form. 

I give this film a thumbs-up IF and ONLY IF those aforementioned things usurp your consciousness as they do mine and if you are prepared to think hard about what the film is offering. To some it may seem like a children's movie but I suggest it is far from that. It could be seen by children but they would not have the sophistication, ability to question life and the experiences of it that only an adult could possess.  Want a slice of Pi?  I hope your answer is yes!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What we are up against

On the March 14, 2013 edition of Larry O'Donnell's "The Last Word" he quoted a South Carolina state senator Kris Crawford.  Crawford said as follows when he was talking about S. Carolina accepting the president's Affordable Healthcare Act and I quote:

"The politics are going to overwhelm the policy [the Affordable Health Care Act.]  It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party!"

That says it all and shows one the impetus behind most of the Republican obstructionism in Congress and why the president has to pull teeth to get anything passed.  It also affirms what I have been saying for years.  

I received criticism from a conservative former friend of mine.  He said that I was completely wrong telling me that racism is not at the heart of the Republican opposition but that it is the policy that is at the force behind it.

I say, as Rachel Maddow would say, BULLPUCKY!

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE MUST NOT ONLY ELECT ED MARKEY THE BEST MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CANDIDATE FOR OUR PROGRESSIVE CAUSE BUT IT IS ALSO WHY WE MUST SOUNDLY OBLITERATE RACIST REPUBLICANS IN 2016.  

WE MUST TAKE BACK THE HOUSE, KEEP THE SENATE AND TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO TAKE BACK STATE LEGISLATURES.  THIS SOUNDS LIKE A TALL ORDER AND THAT MAY BE SO BUT IT MUST BE DONE IF THE PRESIDENT IN HIS FINAL TERM CAN PERFECT THE CHANGE THAT WE KNOW IS NEEDED NOT ONLY FOR HIS LEGACY BUT FOR THE COUNTRY'S MIDDLE CLASS TO SURVIVE.  JUSTICE MUST PREVAIL!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rachel Maddow the Magnificant

I cannot get over Rachel Maddow's show last evening meticulously explaining how the Newtown shooting took place killing so many many children/teachers and why the shooter's high capacity magazine clip made it so much easier for him to perpetrate his madness. 

I had tears streaming down my face and can only hope Rachel does what she does as long as humanly possibleA friend of mine and I were incredulous as to how good she truly is.  

I loved not only her segment on Newtown but Senator Boxer's retort to the buffoon Republican senator Cruz concerning gun control legislation they were debating.  Cruz went to Harvard?  What was the admissions officer there doing downing a fifth of gin when he interviewed that malevolent huckster passing himself off as intelligent?  

I hope tonight, too, she could illuminate the Republican South Carolina senator who is on record and quoted as saying in South Carolina that it "behooves Republicans to vote against anything the African American president is for."

Of course I have known, talked about and written of the blatant racism that is working against absolutely everything this president wants and we KNOW it is behind so much of the rancid Republican opposition.  They need to be exposed and use this quote as MSNBC did for the infamous 47% audio tape said by Romney at a $50,000 a plate dinner recorded by the event's bartender, Scott Prouty.  It quite possibly sank the Romney campaign exposing him as the uncaring empty suit he was.

Ed's Schultz's interview of Scott Prouty was GENIUS.  I urge all who have not heard it to Google it and listen to Ed Schultz and to Rachel Maddow's show last evening as wellI link them both below.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908


http://tv.msnbc.com/shows/the-ed-show/

Pope on a Rope


The Catholic Church is in trouble.  We who have witnessed the unconscionable pedophile sickness infesting the Vatican and its Catholic Church throughout the western world like the emperor of all maladies[1] cancer, know that this is so.  Its corruption sexual and otherwise is eating it alive as we witness church after church shutting its doors, emptying its pews and seeing many shunning the priesthood like a building marked “Typhus Keep Out.”  I suggest the Catholic Church is on the ropes.  In its esteemed wisdom it has chosen a 76 year old Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as its new pope since for the first time in 700 years the previous Pope Benedict resigned.

I believe Pope Benedict did not give up his papacy because he merely was too age-related tired to continue.  He could not continue because the reality of the allegations against him and his Church are so stunning and so disastrous that if Benedict dares travel outside of the Vatican state I have read he allegedly will face arrest.  It does not take imagination to think what those charges are since Pope Benedict’s butler spilled the beans.  Allegedly, only two men will know what the Vatican intrigue has been and that is the resigned Pope Benedict and Francis, the new Pope.  Traditionally, the Church’s crimes have surrounded money, power or sex.  In this case it may be all three.  We do not yet know.  We may never know the truth behind the flurry of Vatican activity to elect this new pope quickly.

I am fond of the fact that the new pope is a Jesuit placing a value on intellect.  I like his formerly being a chemist, a man of science.  I support his stand on the poor.   BUT his  utterly false statement about gays saying they are induced by Satan in an attempt to subvert God's law, opposing even gay adoption, heterosexual contraception, married priests, women in positions Church power and more is the ridiculous apex of the Medieval hypocrisy of a church saturated with homosexual male priests some of whom molest children by the hundreds and maybe thousands.  

Not only has he made grievous statements against consenting adult homosexuals who dare ask the right to marry like everyone else but he tried in vain to overpower Argentina’s president Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner who won marriage equality for everyone in her nation. Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) and his Church were singularly and calculatedly active in their laser-like focused quest to win the argument against the Argentinean president’s effort to make gay marriage law.  In Argentina, this very Catholic nation, Cardinal Bergoglio and his Church lost!

I would never think the Church would be pro choice on the issue of abortion but I might think a Jesuit and a man of science would at least soften his position on the reality of the sexual diversity of homo sapiens (man) while making it crystal clear that pedophile priests will never now be let off the hook for their crimes against humanity.  

His ascension to the papacy does NOT obviate the fact that this unisex institution has many adult NON-abusive homosexuals within it and as reflected in its history probably always will.  Either he turns his back on his heretofore ignorant medieval hypocritical religious dogma interfering in the political realm – something which Christ himself eschewed – or he will keep the Church in the stagnated quicksand of its own making.

Yes, the Pope and his Church are on the ropes in the west.  Only he has the ability to win the fight by making the Church attractive to the poor, the dispossessed, those on the margins of society and to homosexuals who are an oppressed minority variant within the sexual diversity of man.  Surely he can see, as the scientist he was, the truth in this fact and bring the Church into the 21st century.  I am neither anti-Catholic nor anti-papacy but I am anti ALL religious institutions inserting their right-wing extremist anti-humanist views into the political affairs of nation states.

Pope Francis can repair this rope and allow the Church to bounce back into the ring or he can use it to ultimately hang itself relegating it, ultimately, to the thumbs down legacy of western history’s verdict.   How he modernizes the Church is his choice and his alone.  The problems he and his Church face are immense, systemic and profound. The rope is in his hands to do with as he wishes.







[1] The Emperor of All Maladies – a Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An email to my ideological compatriots


I wrote the following below to Ed Markey campaign for Senate people with whom I sometimes join for Markey campaign events.  I decided to send it out to my group.  Many of you live in Mass. and many if not most know people in Massachusetts.  If you do feel free to spread this on.  You can watch Elizabeth Warren, too, by Googling Larry O'Donnell's "Last Word."  It is a short segment but one can see how fabulous Elizabeth Warren is and Ed Markey, who WILL win, follows in her ideological footsteps.  I said:

If you did not see Senior Senator Elizabeth Warren today on the Banking Committee on MSNBC Larry O'Donnell's The Last Word  interviewing the soon-to-be-confirmed (HOPEFULLY) -but God-only-knows-how-long-it-will-take Richard Cordray for director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau then I suggest you Google "The Last Word" to listen to and see it.  She was EXCELLENT.  We ALL should be proud of Massachusetts and the work of so many dedicated to her election as senator.

The soon to be Senator Ed Markey will EXCELLENTLY complete the marriage of TWO INCREDIBLE senators from Massachusetts.

We need the success of his election as we did Elizabeth Warren.  These are two shining stars from Massachusetts that make me SO proud to be from our state!

NEVER GIVE UP and NEVER GIVE IN TO REPUBLICAN MEAN SPIRITED AND HATEFUL TYRANNY! 

ONWARD and ALWAYS FORWARD

Monday, March 11, 2013

Winning the Hearts of Other Men -- the Leadership of Hugo Chavez


Why does everything have to be all good or all bad?  Humans will never attain perfection.  Hugo Chavez knew how to tap into an entire class of people -- the poor and the powerless.  He made the powerless feel powerful and that their interests would be recognized and served by him.  If he did it through strong-armed techniques and perpetrating the longest hatred of some so be it. As long as the need to eat and the need to see a doctor when sick were met then he was elevated by many to idolatry status.  I think Chavez did that for the vast numbers of poor in a poor but very oil rich nation.  He rewarded himself, of course, handsomely for it.

I love George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies."  Both knew the impossibility of purity and all-good leadership.  One system falls and another system often worse than or as bad as the one before fills a vacuum to take its place. Mostly, man has an almost innate desire to be led.  As long as he does power will emerge to fill a void in peoples' hearts by tapping into what they want most -- protection, healthcare, a full stomach and a job. The leader who sees so presciently what man most needs will invariably fall short but often take advantage of this ever-present need for leadership nonetheless.

All institutions, whether in the form of government or in the form of religion like the Vatican, see a universal need of humans for help and hope for the hopeless.  They tap into it, gain a reputation for caring about the least and while they are at it grab power and the great security of wealth it brings for themselves. So what if they are a bit corrupt -- just a bit?  The millions will look the other way not because they have to but because they need to.

It does NOT take a genius to figure out what people want. Both religion and government always do and manage to put one over on the follower masses multiple times.  As Bob Dylan said “You do not have to be a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing.”

My motto:  Question EVERYTHING and know that most leadership does things NOT out of the goodness of their heart but out of their singular need to win the hearts of other men.  It is the give and take constant in man’s evolutionary struggle to survive.


The Jury is Out (If you listen to or watch nothing else listen to Glenn Greenwald's speech before the Oregon ACLU)


If you listen to or watch  nothing else in your life listen to Glenn Greenwald's speech before the Oregon ACLU.  I post it here or below.  It is pure mastery of the definition and application of civil liberties.  Just what do civil liberties mean, what are they, are they abridged in our nation and if so why?  

Glenn Greenwald is utterly brilliant in his analysis.  If nothing else it causes one to think about the issue especially as it applies in our world today.

I will admit that as much as I think this man a national treasure I am hesitant to agree with him on his thought universally and am more cautious than he because, well, frankly I rather enjoy breathing.

Are we less safe now than we have ever been in our history because of our clearly Constitutionally questionable actions and alleged legal memos supporting them or are we safer?  Hamlet stated it best:  "To Be or NOT to be THAT is the question.  

In our time I believe we are existentially at risk not only from those without but most especially from those within.  Where do YOU fall on this important issue?  For me the jury is out.

http://vimeo.com/61306840

HARUUMPH!

I haven't been writing much as I am in a this-is-a-too-bleak-universe-which will-all-end anyway frame of mind.  Not good.  But the article below on Fukushima shows how the money corruption of EVERYTHING influences it all.  If man cannot use his evolutionary mega intelligent mind to make sure the stupids do not inherit the earth denying climate change, evolution and the scientific truth of it all than we are all doomed.

With nations just itching to push the nuclear button too well my mood is less than positive.

Also watching a science lecturer on PBS Brian Cox who does a series "The Wonders of the Universe" does not paint a pretty picture of it all but nonetheless is FASCINATING.  He is brilliant! I highly recommend it even though some realities are dark.

All I have to say is HARUUMPH!

P.S. Below is a generally progressive site called OpedNews but I did notice that they had a couple of ads that are anything but progressive.  I have an email into them asking why.  If you see something like "Obama, don't Tax  us" or something for Rand Paul -- naturally PAHLEESE ignore if you choose to read the article which is very good as are others on the site.  

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Eminence Grise Indeed!


My writing guru and the love of my written word life is NYT preeminent editorialist, Maureen Dowd.  I wish I could express my thoughts as well as she.  She uses the English language like Mozart or Beethoven composed music -- creatively expressive and with passion.  I love how she combines sometimes obscure but definitionally perfect words sewing great works of literature into the formulation of a sentence crafting her artistic prose.

If you have not already read it, I am pasting below for your enjoyment, yesterday's NYT editorial by her entitled "Repent, Dick Cheney."  She weaves Shakespeare's Iago into her work and calls Dick Cheney the éminence grise.  I confess I had to right-click look up "éminence grise" where it is defined as "a powerful decision-maker or advisor who operates "behind the scenes" or in a non-public or unofficial capacity."  Yes, that surely explains Richard Bruce Cheney.

No one other than Maureen Dowd can create her unique symphony of sentiment by her brilliant use of words and in so doing makes me wonder “Now, why didn’t I think of it that way?!”

“Repent, Dick Cheney"

“Dick Cheney certainly gives certainty a black eye.
In a documentary soon to appear on Showtime, “The World According to Dick Cheney,” America’s most powerful and destructive vice president woos history by growling yet again that he was right and everyone else was wrong.

R. J. Cutler, who has done documentaries on the Clinton campaign war room and Anna Wintour’s Vogue war paint room, now chronicles Cheney’s war boom.

“If I had to do it over again,” the 72-year-old says chillingly of his reign of error, “I’d do it over in a minute.”

Cheney, who came from a family of Wyoming Democrats, says his conservative bent was strengthened watching the anti-Vietnam war protests at the University of Wisconsin, where he was pursuing a doctorate and dodging the draft.

“I can remember the mime troupe meeting there and the guys that ran around in white sheets with the entrails of pigs, dripping blood,” he said. Maybe if he’d paid more attention to the actual war, conducted with a phony casus belli in a country where we did not understand the culture, he wouldn’t have propelled America into two more Vietnams.
The documentary doesn’t get to the dark heart of the matter about the man with the new heart.

Did he change, after the shock to his body of so many heart procedures and the shock to his mind of 9/11? Or was he the same person, patiently playing the courtier, once code-named “Backseat” by the Secret Service, until he found the perfect oblivious front man who would allow him to unleash his harebrained, dictatorial impulses?

Talking to Cutler in his deep headmaster’s monotone, Cheney dispenses with the fig leaf of “we.” He no longer feigns deference to W., whom he now disdains for favoring Condi over him in the second term, and for not pardoning “Cheney’s Cheney,” Scooter Libby.
“I had a job to do,” he said.

Continuing: “I got on the telephone with the president, who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both be taken out.” Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynne left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.

“I gave the instructions that we’d authorize our pilots to take it out,” he says, referring to the jet headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: “After I’d given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a significant moment.”

This guy makes Al Haig look like a shrinking violet.

When they testified together before the 9/11 Commission, W. and Cheney kept up a pretense that in a previous call, the president had authorized the vice president to give a shoot-down order if needed. But the commission found “no documentary evidence for this call.”

In his memoir, W. described feeling “blindsided” again and again. In this film, the blindsider is the éminence grise who was supposed to shore up the untested president. The documentary reveals the Iago lengths that Cheney went to in order to manipulate the unprepared junior Bush. Vice had learned turf fighting from a maniacal master of the art, his mentor Donald Rumsfeld.

When he was supposed to be vetting vice presidential candidates, Cheney was actually demanding so much material from them that there was always something to pick on. He filled W.’s head with stories about conflicts between presidents and vice presidents sparked by the vice president’s ambition, while protesting that he himself did not want the job.

In an unorthodox move, he ran the transition, hiring all his people, including Bush senior’s nemesis, Rummy, and sloughing off the Friends of George; then he gave himself an all-access pass.

He was always goosing up W.’s insecurities so he could take advantage of them. To make his crazy and appallingly costly detour from Osama to Saddam, and cherry-pick his fake case for invading Iraq, he played on W.’s fear of being lampooned as a wimp, as his father had been.
But after Vice kept W. out of the loop on the Justice Department’s rebellion against Cheney’s illegal warrantless domestic spying program, the relationship was ruptured. It was too late to rein in the feverish vice president, except to tell him he couldn’t bomb a nuclear plant in the Syrian desert.

“Condi was on the wrong side of all those issues,” Cheney rumbled to Cutler.

Cheney still hearts water boarding. “Are you going to trade the lives of a number of people because you want to preserve your honor?” he asked, his voice dripping with contempt. “I don’t lie awake at night thinking, gee, what are they going to say about me?” he sums up.
They’re going to say you were a misguided power monger who, in a paranoid spasm, led this nation into an unthinkable calamity. Sleep on that.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Distribution of wealth--one of the best explanations I have seen

This is one of the BEST videos I have ever seen on the distribution of wealth in this nation.   AMAZING does not begin to describe it.   Sickening is a better word!  I urge all to click on it here or below.  It is fascinating!

My Letter to Rachel Maddow


Before you read what I wrote to Rachel Maddow last night (slightly reworked) I will put the link to her segment here and below which includes some emotional issues about which I shed tears as well as an interview of the retired first woman Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.  You will be able to see how Rachel handled the interview of this supposedly rather moderate Supreme Court Justice appointed by Ronald Reagan.  I LOVE Rachel Maddow but occasionally something on her show, well, gets my goat.  The interview of Justice O'Connor by Rachel did just that.  

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman justice appointed by Ronald Reagan who tipped the decision of Bush v. Gore in the 2000 presidential election between former VP Al Gore and George W. Bush handing George W. Bush the office of the presidency.  He was clearly a man not fit to be president.  His minions took over the reins of power and handed us a nation both economically, politically, internationally and racially a devastating legacy birthing an historically divided nation now coming perilously close to the civil war we see today.

I wrote the letter late last evening and was intent on simply getting my point across in a less than eloquent style which I hope, IF you read this, you will forgive.  I wrote the following:


Rachel, your show tonight was in part fabulous.  I cried as Representative John Lewis received a badge from the Chief of Police of Selma.  It was such an emotional moment.  

I cried knowing that the gay rights movement since 1971 has come such a long way -- a million miles as you said.  Yes, I cried several times as you conducted a wonderful show yet again.  You give credence to my view that you are the Edward R. Murrow of our time.  In fact, I believe you are better than even he.

I cried too to at the Sandra Day O'Connor interview but they were tears of sadness.  I rarely criticize you, Rachel, because I agree with nearly all you say.  I love you as a news commentator more than I could ever say.  You are the personification of excellence in broadcast news commentary.

I do, though, have a few words of disappointment for your interview of Justice O'Connor.  I do realize that respect, of course, must be given to her by you for the mere fact that she retains the majestic aura we hold for most of our Supreme Court justices.  I did though wish that someone would have held this woman's feet to the fire.  Just who does she think she is kidding that justices are not political?  Does she think we are idiots?  Her decision anointing the MISFIT nincompoop George W. Bush into the presidency when IN FACT that damned 2000 election was stolen and will go down as a decision from hell much like Dred Scott or Plessy.  That will be her historical legacy.

Shame on her for casting a MOST POLITICAL vote of her life and not treating the Florida vote of the 2000 election with the fairness it deserved.  The Supreme Court is not political she says!?  Really?

Does it keep her up at night, I would LOVE to know, when she realizes that she put into office one of the most lawless, disgustingly moronic and disastrous presidencies in our history?  Does she think about the fact that SHE could have held in her hands a vote of fairness by making sure, as the Florida Supreme Court ordered, to count EVERY damn vote?  If she did the election, of course, would have gone to Al Gore as academics in universities and respected news entities who have studied the Florida fiasco of that time have nearly unanimously said.  

Al Gore probably would NOT have ignored warnings of an impending 9/11 attack and 3000 lives would have been saved.  Al Gore NEVER EVER would have taken this nation to war under false pretenses killing HUNDREDS of thousands of innocents and five thousand of our own armed forces permanently disabling a towering MANY.  

Yes, does this keep her up at night that she put an idiot into the presidency who had NO idea  what he was doing, who destabilized an entire tinderbox Middle East region putting Iraq in the hands of Iran doing Iran a HUGE favor by anointing it hegemonic king of that region.

Yes, this is the Sandra Day O'Connor you accorded such respect when you questioned her instead of lambasting her for one of the WORST decisions in the history of this nation which took a nation to war that is UNENDING even unto this day.  No, Al Gore never would have taken this nation to an illegal Iraq war.  Al Gore NEVER would have tortured and importantly Al Gore would have realized global climate change and DONE something about it.  Al Gore was brilliant!

But you let Sandra Day O'Connor off easy and now justices that have been put in place by the idiot Bush and other know-nothing "conservatives" will possibly overturn the most justice-laden decision ever, the 1965 Voting Right Act, and KILL equality in this nation for a long long time.  Yes, as one of the  mendacious conservative Republican Supreme Court justices said, Supreme Court decisions involving race tend to last a long long time.

Thank you, Justice O'Connor.  Thank you for NOTHIN!  I WISH you, Rachel, could have been brave enough like John Lewis was when he walked across in 1965 the Edmund Pettus Bridge which nearly killed him as he confronted on the other end a MURDEROUS mob.  

You let this woman off the hook.  She could have ensured the safety of this nation but instead decided POLITICALLY yes, POLITICALLY because she, in fact, was a Republican, appointed by a Republican who placed into the highest office in the land political hacks of her own Republican party.  She probably was afraid her compatriots would be mad at her. I say SO WHAT!  Bravery is doing things most could not do because it requires us to face danger squarely in the face.  She was NOT brave enough to face the decision of her life with a fairness which would have enshrined her in history. She did the opposite because she could not face the ire of colleagues in the Republican Party and you, this time, were not brave enough to force her to confront that fact.

Shame on Justice O'Connor.  I hold her in contempt and I wish you had too.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Rising Once More, Unconquered--History of Polish Jews

For those of you on my list who are not Jewish but who are interested in some untold and unknown-to-many history of Polish Jewry you may be interested in this (scroll down to the video).  Jewish culture need not only be memorialized by death but by the continuance of life as well.  For those of you on my list who are Jewish most likely if you are Ashkenazi (Eastern European) heritage then this most definitely will apply to you.

My heritage is, of course, Ashkenazi -- one set of grandparents from the Jewish shetyl (village) in Russia of Shepatovka/Slavuta and the other set of grandparents from Poland -- Minsk/Guberna so this particular video has great interest to me as the emphasis of it is continuance of a vibrant Jewish life in Poland and it is testament to the ultimate failure of Hitler's fascist attempt to annihilate.  


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