Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Markey BUT

Ed beat Lynch HANDILY. Thrilled.  I knew he would but never take a thing for granted.  Lynch one could see his heart was not in it and he was sick and looked it.  NOW on to June.  Republican Gomez is NO pushover and I'm not kidding.  

The amount that we paid attention to Lynch will need twice that for Gomez.  The battle has just begun!

Make no mistake I do not care what Gomez looks like, do not care of any other facts about his personal life he is STILL a Republican and will vote against the 99%.  He WILL be a Republican and must NOT be allowed in the Senate from Mass.  The seat is reserved for Ed Markey right next to the GREAT Elizabeth Warren!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Truth or Consequences

Tom Englehard whose book "The American Way of War" I am reading, sends me email entitled "Tomgram."  The one today is entitled "Tomgram: Rosner and Markowitz, Your Body Is a Corporate Test Tube" pasted below.  

Mainstream media in this country does not often cover what he writes but we see its omission elsewhere too such as in Japan.  We know that the corporate nuclear power oligarchs walk hand-in-hand with the Japanese government to suppress the lethality of vital information that the public should know about the nuclear power plants' tsunami- induced explosions of 2011 which plants are STILL leaking radioactive contaminants.  They take advantage of a compliant, deferential  and polite Japanese society just as this country's corporate behemoths take advantage of half an electorate that has a memory of about a minute and the other half which is disaster-saturated and simply does not want to hear anymore as the corporate oligarchic stranglehold is allowed free access to the coffers of the American Congress without limit.

What we do not realize is polluted oceans, no matter where, touches ALL of us eventually as radiation from Japan can be detected in  US waters and ground samples.  Radiation contamination some reputable sources write,  has been found as far east as Massachusetts. The BP oil disaster is being felt through the catastrophic illnesses from the pollutant Corexit used by BP to clean up the mess which invades animal, fish and human bodies alike.

The corporate oligarchs would have us believe in their storybook fantasy that everything is AOK.  It isn't and we the people everywhere need to hold these immoral jackasses' feet to the fire.  They need to inform the public of their egregious acts and clean up their messes into infinity if that what it takes. Compensation in triplicate to victims who fall ill from the misery they perpetrate should be given.  The negligence of these corporate Goliaths is shameful but even worse  it is dangerous.  

If terrorism, nuclear war or climate change does not ultimately get us disease from the devastating pollution of chemicals, fossil and nuclear waste fuels will.  You, your children  your children's children and our planet are at  existential risk and THAT's the truth and the consequences of it.  

I urge you to read the excellent post by Tom Englehart pasted below.  You can read other writings here or click on this link: http://www.tomdispatch.com/.  I urge you to read it all.

TomDispatch.com: A Regular Antidote to the Mainstream Media
April 28, 2013
Tomgram: Rosner and Markowitz, Your Body Is a Corporate Test Tube

Just over three years ago, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP killed 11 people, injured 17, and -- according to government estimates -- polluted the Gulf of Mexico with 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude.  It turns out, however, that the casualty toll didn’t end with those 28 workers.  The real number may reach into the thousands.

Last year, BP pled guilty to 14 felonies stemming from the disaster, including misleading Congress about the amount of oil that gushed into the gulf.  But that wasn’t the only way BP attempted to cover up the extent of the spill.  The main method was using 1.84 million gallons of a substance known as Corexit that acts to “attach itself to leaked oil, break it into droplets, and disperse them into the vast reaches of the gulf, thereby keeping the oil from reaching Gulf Coast shorelines.”

Writing for Newsweek and with the support of the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund, Mark Hertsgaard recently laid bare how Corexit was utilized and the dire effects it apparently had on the men and women who worked to “clean” the gulf in the wake of BP’s historically unprecedented spill. People like Jamie Griffin. A BP representative reportedly assured Griffin that the smelly sludge cleanup workers were tracking into the "floating hotel" where she was a cook would be “as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid” -- so she scrubbed and scrubbed to clean it up. “Within days,” Hertsgaard writes, “the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches.” She soon “fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments... unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws... she began losing her short-term memory... The right side, but only the right side, of her body ‘started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled -- my ankle would get as wide as my calf -- and my skin got incredibly itchy.’”

Hundreds, perhaps, thousands of other workers were exposed to the same chemicals, including those who were coated in a mist of Corexit, since almost 60% of it was sprayed out of airplanes.  Hertsgaard reveals that not only “did BP fail to inform workers of the potential hazards of Corexit and to provide them with safety training and protective gear, according to interviews with dozens of cleanup workers, the company also allegedly threatened to fire workers who complained about the lack of respirators and protective clothing.”

So, add Corexit to the list of toxic substances brought to us by industries that promised better and include BP in a long catalog of companies which, over the last century, have tried to hush-up the truth about the types of chemical assaults for which the Department of Homeland Security issues no fact sheets.  It’s a story as old as industrial America and one that public health historians David Rosner and Jerry Markowitz know all too well.  For years, they have earned the ire of the lead and petrochemical industries for historical exposés that demonstrate how American companies regularly sacrificed workers' health and children’s lives for the sake of big profits.

In their latest historical tour de force, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children, Markowitz and Rosner chronicle the battles that have taken place over lead poisoning for the last half-century, with special emphasis on a study in which researchers from Johns Hopkins University conducted what the Maryland Court of Appeals deemed unethical research on African-American children.  Knowing that some of the children in their study could be exposed to lead from old paint in the apartments they were moved into and so at greater risk for learning disorders and behavioral problems, they went ahead anyway.  If it sounds to you like some dark corollary to the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which hundreds of black men with syphilis were denied treatment with penicillin so that U.S. government researchers could study the course of the disease, you’re not alone in thinking it.  The Maryland Appeals Court thought so, too.  But while the Tuskegee study began in the 1930s, when protocols for protecting people from medical experimentation were lax, the Johns Hopkins research started in the 1990s, when regulations supposedly provided ample protection from harm at the hands of public health professionals.  The story of how and why this came to pass is riveting and revelatory. (The co-authors will soon be discussing it with Bill Moyers on “Moyers & Company.”)

Today, Markowitz and Rosner -- the first guest author ever to pen a TomDispatch piece back in December 2002 -- lead a toxic tour, not through Superfund sites and nuclear no-go zones, but average American homes.  And no wonder, we live our lives immersed in a chemical soup never before encountered in human history.  We’re the lab rats in a make-it-up-as-they-go-along nationwide corporate experiment, which is also a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Nick Turse
You Are a Guinea Pig 
How Americans Became Exposed to Biohazards in the Greatest Uncontrolled Experiment Ever Launched 
By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz
A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them.  We can’t escape it in our cars. It’s in cities and suburbs.  It afflicts rich and poor, young and old.  And there’s a reason why you’ve never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name -- and no antidote.   
The culprit behind this silent killer is lead.  And vinyl.  And formaldehyde.  And asbestos.  And Bisphenol A.  And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised “better living through chemistry,” but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment.
Today, we are all unwitting subjects in the largest set of drug trials ever. Without our knowledge or consent, we are testing thousands of suspected toxic chemicals and compounds, as well as new substances whose safety is largely unproven and whose effects on human beings are all but unknown. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) itself has begun monitoring our bodies for 151 potentially dangerous chemicals, detailing the variety of pollutants we store in our bones, muscle, blood, and fat.  None of the companies introducing these new chemicals has even bothered to tell us we’re part of their experiment.  None of them has asked us to sign consent forms or explained that they have little idea what the long-term side effects of the chemicals they’ve put in our environment -- and so our bodies -- could be.  Nor do they have any clue as to what the synergistic effects of combining so many novel chemicals inside a human body in unknown quantities might produce.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

A Sober Assessment of the Bush Presidency

It is safe for me to say there has been no president, not even Reagan whom I thought inept, nor any other Republican occupying the modern presidency whom I loathed more that George W. Bush.  If you think we are in a terrible place:  terrorism, perpetual never ending war, torture, global climate change disasters, the most inequitable distribution of wealth in modern times and an economic system barely mobile then thank George W. Bush.  If you fear terrorism, a Middle East broken and gone haywire then thank George W. Bush.  

Jonathan Chait, commentator for New York Magazine, is much more qualified to assess the Bush presidency as an abject failure than I so I paste his article "Yes, George Bush was a Terrible President and No, he was not Smart"  below for your review.  Do not take my word for it read the piece below and make your own judgment. 

Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn’t Smart

More than three years still remained in George W. Bush’s presidency when it had already collapsed by the end of 2005. The Bush revisionism industry has thus enjoyed an unusually long period of time in which to plan out its action and predict their man’s comeback as a misunderstood, unduly maligned and — dare they say it? — successful president. The opening of the Bush museum today has opened up a flood of pent-up Bush revisionism.
It is worth noting that Bush did some good things during his presidency. Some of these received due credit at the time (his education reform, his support for treating disease in Africa). Others received vastly disproportionate credit at the time owing to what one might call the soft bigotry of low expectations (his post-9/11 speeches, which amounted to telling a unified, leadership-craving country that Al Qaeda is bad.)
It is also true that Bush’s party unfortunately decided, after his presidency, that he failed primarily by being too moderate, too compassionate, and too bipartisan, and moved even further right since, making Bush look retrospectively sane. At the time, some of us simply took for granted Bush’s choices to avoid anti-Muslim bigotry and not propose enormous cuts to government programs for the sickest and most vulnerable Americans. By the standards of the present-day GOP, these decisions make Bush look fair-minded and even statesmanlike.
But the Bush revisionist project has far more ambitious aims than to merely salvage a few specks of decency from the ruins. It aims for a wholesale restoration, both characterologically and substantively.
Keith Hennessey, a former Bush aide, has written a long, wounded attack on those of us who doubt the intellectual faculties of the 43rd president, under the provocative headline “George W. Bush is smarter than you.” The headline is not an exaggeration. Hennessey really means it:
President Bush is extremely smart by any traditional standard. He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up. He would sometimes force us to accelerate through policy presentations because he so quickly grasped what we were presenting.
Hennessey writes this with such conviction that the effect is stunning. Ezra Klein concedes, “I’m inclined to agree, actually. You don’t get to be president without being pretty smart.”
I suppose all this hinges on what we mean by “pretty smart.” How smart do you have to be to become a governor, or to make it onto a presidential ticket? That’s just one step away from becoming president, but I wouldn’t call Sarah Palin “pretty smart,” at least not by the standards that ought to apply to a job like president. If you’re talking about a bunch of people you knew from high school, then sure, maybe you’d say Bush or Palin were pretty smart.
But if we’re defining intelligence as an ability to grasp public policy issues, to synthesize information in a coherent way, I would not call George W. Bush “pretty smart.” All the public evidence available to us shows a man who thinks in crude, simplistic slogans. Bush did suffer a lot of ridicule for his speaking flubs. But I don’t think awkward speaking was the problem. His way of discussing policy bore all the hallmarks of a highly simplistic mind. Here he is trying to explain himself on foreign policy:
And here he is trying to defend his regressive tax program:
If you like and sympathize with Bush’s program, you might find some deeper intelligence there. I see only evidence of a man who not only lacks the ability to think analytically but disdains the very notion of it.
One defense of Bush, offered by less sycophantic figures like David Brooks, is that the man on public display is a far dumber version of the real thing. This is fairly hard to believe, but it is also at odds with a fair amount of indirect evidence.
Former administration figures like John O’Neill and John DiIulio have painted a disturbing picture of Bush as closed-minded and simplistic. (“The incurious President was so opaque on some important issues that top Cabinet officials were left guessing his mind even after face-to-face meetings.”) Richard Perle recalled, after briefing Bush, that “he didn’t know very much.” Bush didn’t seem to grasp his own limitations — insisting that Sweden didn’t have an army, and holding to his position evenwhen told he was thinking of Switzerland:
One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.
''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''
Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.
Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''
When Bush first appeared on the political scene, and especially during the apparently successful first couple of years of his presidency, his defenders swatted away questions about his mental acuity by pointing to his success. If he’s so dumb, how has he achieved so much? Well, he didn’t. He oversaw a disastrous administration for precisely the reason his critics always grasped: Bush was an intellectual simpleton, a man who made up his mind in absence of the facts, who swatted away inconvenient realities as annoyances.
So the main question hanging over Bush is his record itself. The most useful defense of the Bush record is probably Jennifer Rubin’s — useful because it is so slavish and so crude it inadvertently exposes all the catastrophic weaknesses in the Bush record that more clever defenders have usually learned to tiptoe around.
Rubin begins by citing rising approval ratings for Bush in his absence from office from which she infers, “Bush, like so many other presidents, can be judged best with the passage of time.” Actually, a basic rule of public opinion is that removing oneself from partisan controversy is a nearly foolproof way to enjoy high approval ratings. That’s why first ladies (at least when they stay out of politics) enjoy high approval ratings. It’s why Jimmy Carter has seen his approval rating soar up into the mid-60s. Unless Rubin wants to defend the proposition that Carter, too, is properly viewed more accurately with the passage of time.
Rubin praises Bush for enacting the “fiscally sober” Medicare prescription drug benefit, unlike the “exorbitant program like Obamacare.” She seems genuinely unaware that Bush financed his benefit entirely through deficit spending, while Obama had to pay for Obamacare by finding spending cuts and higher taxes. She praises Bush’s program as “popular” and Obama’s as “unpopular,” which is true, largely because Obama had to do the unpopular thing of paying for the benefits he created while Bush did not.
The core of Rubin’s defense is that Bush was terrific if you exempt him from any blame for the disasters that occurred during his presidency, and credit him entirely for the non-disaster periods. This sentence is a particular masterpiece: “Unlike Obama’s tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11.” In fact, it is not true — there were small terrorist attacks on the United States, both abroad and at home, after 9/11. But exempting the most disastrous attack on the United States from Bush’s record of avoiding terrorism is a feat of propaganda that, while common, continues to boggle the mind. Emperor Honorius Kept Rome Safe, except that one time it was sacked by the Visigoths.
Likewise, Rubin touts “7 1/2 years of job growth and prosperity.” When you’re evaluating a president who served for eight years, you should be suspicious of phrases like “7 ½ years.” Why pick that time frame? Apparently Rubin is chopping off the recession of 2001, which Bush defenders have always, not unfairly, blamed on conditions that preceded him. She is also chopping off the recession of 2008, which is harder to justify given the previous decision.
So the claim here is that, between the two recessions that began under Bush, we were not in a recession. But the period between the two recessions was a giant housing bubble. And even if we ignore that fact, absolve Bush for the first recession because it came at the beginning of his term, absolve him for the second recession because it came at the end, and absolve him for the bubble that he did nothing to deflate, the fact remains that the job and income growth during that middle period wasextraordinarily and historically weak.
If you want to look kindly on Bush’s presidency, you can fairly say that, while he deserves significant blame for ignoring warnings of an Al Qaeda strike and the housing bubble, the disasters of his tenure were not entirely his fault. But what did he do? His economic policies exacerbated income inequality without producing prosperity. His massive increase of the structural budget deficit, which ballooned to over a trillion dollars beforePresident Obama took office, left the United States less fiscally equipped to respond to the economic crisis he also left his predecessor. He initiated a costly war on the basis of both mistaken and deliberately cooked intelligence, and failed to plan for the postwar period. His policies not only ignored the crises of climate change and a costly and cruel health insurance system, but made both much harder to solve.
The failures of Bush’s governing method — the staffing of hacks and cronies, the disdain for evidence — was perfectly reflected in the outcomes. The Bush presidency was a full disaster at home and abroad, and whatever small accomplishments that can be salvaged barely rate any mention in comparison with the failures. The general reckoning of Bush is not too harsh. It is too kind.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Bush Legacy

A relative of mine is much too left wing extremist for my taste.  However, he is an intellectually astute man having graduated from Harvard and Wharton.  I do object to his often what I consider extremist views BUT on the George W. Bush legacy he mostly has it exactly correct.  I paste his thoughts and opinion below.  It is his opinion not always mine but mostly on George W. Bush I agree.

The Bush Legacy: By Stephen Lendman

Throughout his tenure, media scoundrels were largely supportive. They ignored his 2000 electoral theft. In 2004, they did so again.

They backed his imperial wars. They turned a blind eye to police state injustice. They ignored torture on a global scale. They mischaracterized the measure of the man.

Early on, The New York Times praised his "new gravitas." It was days after he attacked Afghanistan. It was premeditated lawless aggression. It was two weeks before he signed the Patriot Act. Times editors called him "confident" and "determined."

He showed "statesmanship." "It was heartening to hear him say" America will fight in Afghanistan "as long as it takes." ...

They called him "a leader whom the nation could follow in these difficult times." They're comfortable with his legacy. Two recent articles feature his new presidential library and museum. More on them below.

Bush's true legacy reflects underachievement, sadism and lawlessness. His dark side emerged early on. As a young boy, he enjoyed blowing up frogs for sport. He progressed to replicating it on nations.

He had problems with alcohol and drugs. As Texas governor, he presided over more executions than any other state executive since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. 

His close aids said he enjoyed killing. He abused others for his own amusement. He was born into wealth and power. His family dynasty goes back four generations.

It's connected to America's military-industrial complex. George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott Bush were its founding fathers. They created a criminal enterprise.

Walker was a St. Louis financier. SP Bush was a major Ohio industrialist. He became a close Herbert Hoover adviser.  Bush's grandfather, Prescott, was a Wall Street investment banker.

Over a century ago, the Bush family was connected to John D. Rockefeller, later with various Wall Street firms, as well as US intelligence since WW I.

Strong ties to wealth and power define it. Its members include a former US senator, two governors, a congressman, vice president, CIA director and two presidents.

During WW II, Prescott was a Union Banking Corporation director. The firm represented German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. It traded with the enemy. It bought and shipped millions of dollars worth of gold, oil, steel, coal, and US Treasury bonds to Germany. Doing so supported the Nazi war machine.

Prescott's Brown Brothers Harriman did business with Hitler. It did so until its assets were seized in 1942. Trading with the Enemy Act charges were filed.

Prescott wasn't alone. Rockefeller's Chase Bank and Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors, IBM, and other major US corporations had no political or ideological problem doing business with Nazi Germany.

Before he became president, GHW Bush was involved in numerous criminal activities. As Gerald Ford's CIA chief, he suppressed knowledge of the Agency's involvement in coups and assassinations of foreign leaders.

As vice president, he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. He helped get GW elected Texas governor. His record was deplorable. In return for generous political contributions, he supported the state's worst polluters.

He lobbied for a national radioactive wast dump. He lied saying it was mostly for x-rays and other hospital waste. He solicited nuclear power waste from other states. He corrupted Texas' environmental standards. He did so to accommodate corporate friends.

He permitted industrial pollution, air toxins, and hazardous wastes. He acted secretly. He stripped municipalities of local control over land use and environmental protections.

He let state parks languish in decay and disrepair. He was staunchly pro-business, anti-civil rights, and uncaring about public needs. Close aides considered him untrustworthy.

He served two presidential terms. He did so without being elected. In 2000, he lost to Al Gore. Not according to America's Supreme Court. It annulled the popular vote. It stopped the Florida recount. It hijacked the electoral process to install him. 

Election 2004 was worse. Kerry won. Bush got a second term. He did so with electronic ease. Corporate controlled electronic voting machines manipulated his illegitimate "reelection."

Throughout his tenure, he waged war on humanity. He called imperial wars liberating ones. He ignored rule of law principles. He mocked democracy. He made torture official US policy. He suppressed civil liberties for our own good.

He targeted Muslims, Latino immigrants, and others. He did so for political advantage. He built Homeland Security mass detention camps. He deployed paramilitary enforcers on US streets.

He waged war on dissent. He furthered social decay at home. He institutionalized spying and police state repression. His war on terrorism was a scheme for world dominance.

In his first State of the Union address, he declared war on a "terrorist underworld (in) at least a dozen countries." They ranged from "remote jungles and deserts (to) centers of large cities."

He asked "all nations (to) heed our call and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own."

He said "(i)f they do not act, America will." He designated North Korea, Iran and Iraq an "axis of evil." He falsely claimed their "weapons of mass destruction posed a grave and growing danger."

His Bush Doctrine declared war on "terrorist" states, as well as on others harboring or aiding them. His 2002 and 2006 National Security Strategy (NSS) usurped a unilateral right to wage preventive, preemptive, and proactive wars against perceived enemies (real or invented).

He sought unchallenged control of global energy and other resources. He targeted key regions. They include the Middle East, Eurasia, Latin America, Africa and the Arctic.

He lied saying "(w)e may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran." His 2006 National Space Policy embraced unchallenged control.

He ignored rule of law principles. He abandoned restrictive treaties. He militarized more than the rest of the world combined. He rescinded the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He did so to develop biowarfare weapons illegally.

He renounced the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. It prohibits the development, production, and stockpiling of bacteriological and toxic weapons. At the time, Francis Boyle said doing so made "a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident a statistical certainty."

He established a homeland police state apparatus. Repressive national security and war on terrorism became imperial priorities.

He usurped unconstitutional "unitary executive" power. Chalmers Johnson called it "a ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo."

He signed secret presidential findings. He issued military orders, presidential directives and executive orders. He established unprecedented continuity of government powers. Doing so violated constitutional restraints. 

His "ownership society" transferred trillions of public and private dollars from millions of ordinary Americans to corporate giants and super-rich elites. He waged war on labor. He stripped workers of bargaining rights. He targeted the nation's most vulnerable. He did so shamelessly.

He authorized warrantless spying. He trashed other constitutional protections. He subverted justice. He did so to defend privilege. He waged global war on humanity. He headed America on a fast track toward tyranny.

On April 23, CODEPINK headlined "Don't Let Bush Get Away With Murder!" Thousands are "converging in Dallas, Texas for the dedication of the Library named for George W. Bush, including President Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush."

"Local laws and barricades will keep any dissent miles away from the celebration. Help us raise voices globally to say 'Justice is Overdue.' " 

"We attempted to say it in the Dallas Morning News after a 30+ page supplement ran in their Sunday edition, but our ad was rejected." 

"Join CODEPINK, Vets for Peace and the Backbone Campaign’s Thunderclap during the official ceremony to share the ad, celebrate free speech and express your desire to have Justice for All."

Separately CODEPINK's co-founder Jodie Evans and Charles Davis headlined "Bush's Legacy Ought to Be on Trial - Instead, It's Put on Display," saying:

He "presided over an international network of torture chambers and, with the help of a compliant Congress and press, launched a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children." 

"However, instead of the bloody details of his time in office being recounted at a war crimes tribunal, the former president has been able to bank on his imperial privilege - and a network of rich corporate donors that he made richer while in office - to tell his version of history at a library in Texas being opened in his name."

On April 25, he'll dedicate his $500 million George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Doing so reinvents a war criminal. It whitewashes his criminal legacy. Who said crime doesn't pay?

On April 15, The New York Times headlined "With Grandchild and Library, a New Chapter," saying:

"For a former president, it does not get much better than this." Since leaving office, he's "remained largely removed from the spotlight."

On April 25, he'll host four past presidents and other dignitaries. He told the Dallas Morning News he has no regrets. "I'm comfortable with what I did," he said. 

"I'm comfortable with who I am. Much of my presidency was defined by things that you didn't necessarily want to have happened."

He, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and other rogue neocons made them happen. Imperial war plans predated his incumbency. 9/11 became the pretext for waging them.

On April 20, The Times headlined "Rewinding History, Bush Museum Lets You Decide," saying:

His Presidential Library and Museum reflects "his eight years as president and six as governor of Texas." 

It'll "be turned over to the National Archive and Records Administration, while the former president will retain control of a public policy institute that promotes his priorities."

"As president, he rarely had a chance to rest given the endless cascade of crises as visitors will experience in the Decisions Points Theater."

He hopes to "enhance the reputation of a president who left office with historically low approval ratings, but he denied that was his goal."

"I don't view the post-presidency as burnishing any legacy," he said. "I view it as living life to the fullest. The challenge when you're a former president is how do you use your God-given talents?"

He's a multimillionaire. He earns up to $200,000 per speech. The 1958 Former Presidents Act authorizes generous lifetime benefits. His annual pension is $200,000. 

He receives "suitable office space, appropriately furnished and equipped," as well as a small staff. It's in Dallas. It's 8,000 square feet. Rental cost last year was $401,000.

Travel, postage and other expenses are paid for. In FY 2012, he received $1.3 million. He gets lifetime Secret Service protection. He's rich enough to pay all costs himself. 

His war criminal record doesn't matter. America honors its worst.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Judgment at Nuremberg

In response to an MSNBC story "As Bush re-emerges on public stage, a mixed presidential legacy takes shape" here or link below I stated the following:

George Bush is dedicating his presidential library this weekend.  The mainstream press waxes salutary as to this incompetent president's legacy.  George W. Bush has no legacy except a malodorous one.  Bush, a ne'er-do-well, took advantage of his name and family’s position, went a-wall from his military Vietnam-avoiding National Guard service, and belongs in the annals of one of the worst presidents in US history.
The fact that he is coming out of his hole only to receive obligatory praise by all living presidents who will attend his library dedication makes me ill. This man deserves nothing.  Those who speak in his favor can have no idea what he did, the effects of which are experienced even to this day through a myriad of mistakes that were the hallmark of his presidency. He is the first to have waged preemptive war on a country that did nothing to us and put our troops in harms way leading many to slaughter.  He took this country to a war in Iraq based on lies. 
He and his minions are responsible for the worst American foreign policy blunder in US history.  The War in Iraq fractured that tinderbox part of the world handing Iran the keys to the kingdom and destabilized a region. He and his entire administration who wove these bold faced lies took the nation to war on a credit card costing trillions and responsible for the humongous debt about which Republicans say they care so much.
On his watch the 9/11 attacks occurred and could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the fateful Presidential Daily Briefing that said Al Qaeda poised to strike in the US.  Instead, Bush went on vacation and took more vacation days than any modern president. He promoted violence and the unnecessary deaths of thousands, responsible for 2 million refugees giving rise to a state of civil war that exists in Iraq today.  His war gives rationale to the very terrorists with whom he said our nation was at war.  His ill-named "Mission Accomplished" ten year war gives life to Al Qaeda’s propaganda that the US is out to destroy Islam and created Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula where it never existed before.
Moreover, it was on his watch that the economy nearly collapsed bailing his Wall Street cronies out with taxpayer money asking nothing of the banks whose fraud created the mess.  This nincompoop who could not utter an intelligible sentence was entrusted with the fate of our nation and the world.  His failure was epic.  His administration was born in lies and it ended in lies.  His so called legacy counts on the short sometimes very short strand of American memory.
George W. Bush should have been impeached as his crimes truly did rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.  It is a miracle he and many in his administration, proud of their creation of torture, have not been tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  If the Nazi war crimes judgment at Nuremberg trials do not apply to George W. Bush and his henchmen then they apply to no one at all!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An overreaction of law enforcement? -- I DON'T think so

Interesting article in Salon.com entitled "Tsarnaevs got the attention they wanted."   The author thought law enforcement's response during and before the lock-down was over done and played into the perpetrators' hands.  I disagreed and posted on Salon as such. I post the author's article here or on the link below.  My response was as follows: 

International terrorism or the threat of it is not simply by comparison benign gun shots of one gang against another for drugs or is it like one disgruntled lover against another. It was not simply looking for one wounded guy.  NO ONE let me repeat NO ONE could know what devices he had or did not have.  They knew they killed coldly and indiscriminately.
The threat of international terrorism is REAL now posed against all of the west and non-west alike.  What does that mean?  Historically insane western foreign policy adventures have brought us to the point where terrorism against mainly innocents all over the globe is REAL.  What do we mean by real?  We mean the threat of the use in our era of radiological, biological, chemical or nuclear weaponry IF deranged religious/politicos who have NO idea what religious fascist brutality truly is COULD be perpetrated at the blink of an eye.
My left of center compatriots and, yes, I am a very proud liberal, I think DO NOT GET IT.  They simply turn their backs on the violent monstrosity that has existed and is now growing exponentially everywhere.
This incident could NEVER have been treated like merely a bank robbery or a drug shoot out because it had the aforementioned components.  What will it take the Glenn Greenwald's (a man I think brilliant) of the nation to understand that treating these events as just another ho hum gun violence reality is IDIOTIC. He and others think that we should immediately read them their rights at all costs! 
I ask do you want to live or don't you?  Do you want to live as many are in Japan after the meltdown of the nuclear Fukishima plant?  They are generationally at horrific risk of cancers and other horrendous diseases that are the result of radiation from that plant and THAT was simply a nuclear power plant.
Ask our vets from Vietnam what diseases from our own Agent Orange wreaked upon them?  Ask Iraq vets what illnesses they suffer.  Ask YOURSELF if it's worth closing down a city and a couple of towns to avoid the POSSIBILITY of this immature child-like perpetrator wreaking that THAT kind of havoc upon us all.  The response to this sickening event was handled with GREAT expertise.  I can fault none of it.  The media will do what it always does whether it’s about Justin Bieber or a terrorist attack.  That will NEVER change.
Will this make others who do not know a fascist belief system from nursery school rhymes plan something again?  Who knows? MAYBE just MAYBE it may give those who would do such a dastardly act think TWICE and a THIRD time before they do.  If they do this nation is prepared to do whatever is possible to thwart it and to protect its people.
I say kudos to everyone who brought these malcontents to justice.  We all win because they did!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Due Process, the Boston bomber and the Will to Live

I consider my politics left of center.  I have been so all my adult life. What my leftist like-minded allies seldom do is protest against the massive violence that has become the very constant face of Middle East nation states.  Our nation must defend against the complexities of that threat.  This is not simple trench warfare. This is not one army fighting the males of another army over turf.  We are, yes, a different nation since 9/11 and now even more so since the Boston bombing too.  We are different and it matters not what our national policies were in past decades within the Middle East and elsewhere that have brought us to this point – and I do think there have been egregious errors in policy that have done so.  What matters, now, since the past cannot be undone is to accept the hand we were dealt, change policy when possible but defend our lives and homeland at any cost.  

There is STILL, I believe, even with all the mistakes this aggressive power has made through decades, something called America that is worth defending.

The early 19th century philosopher Schopenhauer believed the strongest instinct of man was “the will to live.”  The possibility exits now that massive damage could be inflicted yet again by the acquisition of the most threatening weaponry IF they are appropriated overseas which could hurt perhaps even generationally cripple our nation.  We are NOT talking about simple armed conflict we are talking destructive forces beyond comprehension and all the cost, damage and death that would encompass.  Do you think anyone would care about the bomber's Miranda rights if those who share his political beliefs were to have access to the unthinkable?  I aver most would not.  

The civil libertarian lawyer, writer and brilliant commentator Glenn Greenwald and others like him are fierce defenders without exception of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment Constitutional due process.  I share that basic political thought with them but NOT at all costs.  I will NOT advocate for those who have no Constitutional due process, who would torture and terrorize on a whim and whose concept of free speech is relegated only to the “appropriate” religious texts.  Let the Greenwald’s of our country try to advocate as they do here but in the most violent part of the Middle East and see how quickly their Miranda rights are read to them.  They, of course, would not be.  

The stakes are too high now for me to care about the Boston bomber's Miranda rights if dangers of other bombings loom in the distance.  Let our law enforcement do what it must, preserve due process when it CAN and suspend it only when necessary.  I will live with it -- emphasis on LIVE!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

One of the best UTUBES yet. I urge you to click on the link and enjoy profundity!

It's entitled "We Got Scared" but do not be put off by the title, it really has a happy ending IF we choose it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ela3ChTzFcA  or here

A Final Marathon Thought -- So We Can Live

As the morning dawns I add to my sentiments about the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  With the exception of the killing of bin Laden I have never in my life ever seen such amazing expertise of law enforcement officials.  It was jaw dropping.  It is a tribute to those in law enforcement on the state, local and federal government levels.  It is a tribute, too, to our elected officials including Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick and most especially to the president whose focus is laser sharp in defending this nation.  We see that time and time again from bin Laden to Boston, the president's spine of steel shows.
            I, a native of Massachusetts all of my life, was asked many times by those who contacted me from out of the state if I felt safe.  Even IF I were in the target zone area I still would have felt safe.  I know and have faith in this country to protect us all.  Never for one minute did I think law enforcement would fail.  I knew they would not.  
             I often asked my father because he was a Jew was he afraid during WWII living here as the nation entered the war.  He said a resounding no because, he said, he knew this country would not fail us and he felt safe when so many Jews of Europe surely did not.  
             I reiterate his sentiment in our time. 
             I give kudos to all those who put their lives on the line so that we all can live.