Monday, March 30, 2015

Polio and killing cancer

FABULOUS SIXTY MINUTES PROGRAMMING linked here or below. If you did not see it you can get it online.  I loved it and thought it was so interesting. For those of us who feel that polio struck us but now it's gone and to see a use for this monstrosity virus to actually help possibly cure the emperor of all maladies as Siddhartha Mukerjee's book calls it is so inspiring to me.

Polio of all viruses that produced so much suffering in the 1950's and now even elsewhere in the world that there actually is a use for it makes me feel it was not in vain. Wonderful inspiring episode of 60 Minutes

On another note:

HBO tonight has Ken Burns's PBS documentary on the history of cancer treatment based on Sidarthartha Mukerjee's book.  I bought Siddhartha Mukerjee's "Emperor of All Maladies -- a Biography of Cancer" book awhile ago and it is brilliant.  Series is I think three or four episodes.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Moral Center Compass

Prime Minister Netanyahu's clarifying intractability against a two state solution between Palestinians and the Jewish state showed clearly to me what his minions of the ultra-orthodox, orthodox, and one-state advocates are all about. In short, they are not about me. Netanyahu's bait-and-switch selling and his racist warnings of "Arabs voting in droves" on the day of his election finally gave me permission to reject what in my heart I knew was immoral and wrong.

His political expedience and the orgasmic Republican delight hearing his speech along with his ugly racist words on the eve of his election Netanyahu forced me and many other Jews I know to turn our backs on his version of Israeli non-peace with the Palestinian people. When some Republicans with their sidecar of a Fox News echo chamber opined in minor key mourning that they wished Netanyahu were our president it made my stomach turn. I then reversed my political course.

Now, finally, I could without guilt commit to a two state policy that I know in my heart is morally right. It is easy now to reject the barbarism of what was done in places like Gaza and in the West Bank bulldozing settlements. No longer am I compelled to make rationalizations and excuses for the inexcusable. No longer do I have the angel of guilt sitting on my shoulder commanding me to look the other way lest Israel suffer an existential life or death fate. I have had talks with several Jewish friends agreeing with me that Netanyahu's political expediency gave us a permission slip for what we wanted to do all along and what we felt guilty about doing at any other time – waxing critical of the State of Israel.

How dare Mr. Netanyahu kick dirt in the face of my president and how dare he threaten the nuclear ever-so-important talks between the US and Iran. I am old enough to ask if there is no peace now when will there be peace and will I ever be around to see it?

In truth, I still worry about both orthodox fanatical Judaism and I surely worry about those Palestinians who, too, will remain uncompromising and extreme. I do not want Jews to commit suicide BUT I cannot account for every crack in the building of an edifice of peace. I must account for my own humanitarian views and promulgate them no matter what the what ifs are as I can only account for myself. The only power I have is my written and oral word BUT I can, through our vast technological devices, be an advocate for humane policies with empathy toward those who have little hope.

I may not know what it is like not to have the kind of hope that Palestinians do not have but I know what it is like when life takes a sour turn and the lack of hope seems to be one's constant companion. I am an empathetic human being first and I cannot stand to see the innocent bludgeoned. Thank you, Mr. Netanyahu, for showing me a return to the moral center compass of a path I honed many decades ago!

Friday, March 27, 2015

2016 Showpiece Budget

The below so called "budget vote" has NO force in law. It is merely a showpiece for Republicans who want to run for president and is why I say REJECT wholeheartedly any 2016 Republicon attempt at the presidency. They are NOT about 98% of you.

I almost threw up at the headline BUT reading it further it was just for show. Whew I breathed a sigh of relief. The president would never sign it as long as HE or another Democrat occupies the presidency. REMEMBER THAT!!

WASHINGTON -- The Senate early Friday passed a Republican budget plan that would cut spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years, raise military funding and repeal Obamacare. The non-binding budget, debated all week and passed 52-46...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Brain Bleed

If you care to see how utterly mind blowing the Middle East is with the US and its taxpayers, conservatives say they care so much about, in the middle of the mess I created a simplified picture of sorts explaining alliances that exist today as yet another former ally, Yemen, falls. I entitle it "What Bush has Wrought."

The first thing you must know is that before the Iraq invasion by Bush and his neo Con Project for a New American Century "geniuses," the Middle East, in large part, was a compilation of states controlled by strong men in the form often of military dictatorships like Sadam Hussein's Iraq. No, it was not a Jeffersonian Democracy in that neck of the tinderbox woods but it did keep the lid at least partially on. Now the lid is off.  Yes, students,
Democracy is not for everyone.  5000 American deaths later, tens of thousands wounded and a tab of 4 trillion and counting into perpetuity says that is so. It is your tax dollar at work!

The US pounced on Iraq based on the lies of WMD that Iraq did not possess and made "shock and awe" war on country that did nothing to the US.  It did not matter as preemptive-war Bush created his brand new American rationale for war -- strike anyone no matter who before they strike you and do not worry about who attacked whom first or what WMD they allegedly possessed and surely do not worry about telling the truth. War is very good for business doncha know.

"We got him" referring to Sadam Hussein said the proud bloviating Bush as this less-than-brilliant (I say charitably) president donned the flight suit equipped with his outlined manly genitalia, marched onto the USS Lincoln and proclaimed "Mission Accomplished." 

This is what he accomplished -- explosive anarchy in a region where the Bush NeoCon geniuses did not evidently realize that sectarian rift between Shia and Sunni ruled the day and often erupted into sectarian war with each other.  Throw ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and many other violent groups that were NEVER in Iraq until after the US invasion into the mix and one gets a witches' brew of Shakespearean proportion. 

Thirteen years later -- yes, THIRTEEN years later -- mission is as far from accomplished as god allegedly was not on the first day of Biblical mythical creation. In few words it is a Middle East mess that the US created waging a war on Iraq and blowing the region up in "shock and awe" war based on WMD lies. The Bush regime blew up a tinder box region and like a bull in a china shop broke up nearly every blessed state on the Middle East map in the process. Humpty Dumpty is broken never to be repaired in the foreseeable future IF ever! So here, in short (very short) form is how it sorts out just so you will know when world war breaks out.

I had to actually make myself a chart of sorts to figure out the alliances between Iran, Iraq, and ISIS, etc. now that Yemen, important US ally, is falling.  Saudi Arabia is stepping in to try to save Yemen. The US is supporting
Saudi Arabia (Sunnis) that began airstrikes against Houthi (Shias) rebels in Yemen.  But (and here is the crucial point) the US is supporting Iran/Shias in Iraq against ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda and AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.)  Salt and pepper in Syria which experts say is the road that leads to all of it and my brain begins to bleed. 

The Bush invasion began the break up into sectarian violence of Iraq handing Iran the key to Iraq and exploding the region.  Other states followed in the so called Arab Spring with revolts of Tunisia and Egypt with its eventual military ousting an elected Morsi who is now in jail.  Last I looked Al-Sisi ruled Egypt -- key -- last I looked.

Who in the US is going to try to figure this out? Few so the US policy maker men of sterling intellect can throw any damn thing they want as a rationale for permanent war and most of the American electorate will buy it because they haven't a clue about the region and worse are not even curious.

Ah, for the good old days of Spy vs. Spy anti Communism when things were simpler.  Of course, this leads me to my next thought of the Ukrainian Russian v. US mess too not to mention the Palestinian/Israeli insanity and the stage is set.  Is the world inching to WWIII with Pakistan, Israel, Russia and US nukes?  I do not know.  I have to go back to bed and hide as my brain is still bleeding from all of it.

Yes, electing Republicans is such a good idea -- NOT

News flash: Just heard the Germanwings plane was brought down deliberately by the co-pilot. Yes, God help us all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

If you want to know the whole truth with no commercial slant as is characteristic of the mainstream news, click on the link here or below from "Democracy Now."  It will talk about, as you scroll down, what the true situation in Iraq and the Middle East now is.

One word aptly describes what Bush's invasion of Iraq 13 years ago has wrought -- a MESS.  It unleashed an unlivable horror of sectarian revolts and the overthrow of stability -- tyrannical yes but mostly stable regimes nonetheless.  Hundreds of thousands in this violent and fragile part of the world have been slaughtered with millions of refugees among them and, including Afghanistan, about 8 thousand Americans more than the number of dead on 9/11 and still counting as war against vicious brutal ISIS never before in Iraq until Bush invaded is ongoing.

If you are tired of negative reports then I say that's too bad because it is your life, your children's lives and succeeding generations' lives that are at stake.  The Iraq War 13 years ago hardly ushered in the paradise of Jeffersonian democracy and a "New American Century" that Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearle and his war criminal henchmen propagandized it would.

Again, THINK before you allow your nation to commit its youngest and strongest to wars that are in no one's interest except the forces of gargantuan money that profit from it. American's memories are short and that is too bad too because our strength like Rome of centuries past is being sapped through expensive, long, brutal, and never-ending war across the globe. 

Is this the world you want to leave for your children?  I hope fervently it is not already too late!

Electing Republican or the status quo anything will perpetuate these massive killing fields.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Rich Man's Trick

Well believe it or not I watched this THREE hour documentary (link here or at the bottom) "JFK to 911 Everything is a Rich Man's Trick" and come out of it scratching my head no more well informed than I have ever been. Do I think it speaks truth -- well some of it is compelling.

I dare you to watch it because it takes perseverance. Of course I would love to know your thoughts if you do. Frankly, I'm stumped!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Day

The editorial of retired Globe Columnist Alan Berger entitled "The Unintended Consequences of Israel's Vote" is excellent. I post the link to it as well as the article itself below my thoughts here in italics about it.

I learned one thing if nothing else from Iraq -- the interloping of the west through war never works as one thought it would and, in fact, the opposite from one's wishes often occurs. Western power interests think only of WWII -- the last great flag waiving success of the west (with little note and credit given to Soviet help of course.)

The US dropping bombs on Arab heads makes for angry Arabs and dropping bombs on Persian heads will spell god knows what unintended horrific consequences. One would think one would learn from one's mistakes but the part of the US electorate that loves the remembrances of past war glories uses war as a tactic on steroids now. Those tactics face little popular opposition sending a volunteer army to war with no protest. Flag waving for violent aggression is a great discord elixir for more war and more war and more war and more.

Many think lefty liberals like I ridiculously idealistic who do not know the realities of history and the bellicose nature of man but I say results post WWII speak for themselves. In war and in interloping, we have lost on every front -- Natalie's Eleanor Roosevelt's "My Day" editorial and blogger thoughts for my own day!

The unintended consequences of Israel’s vote by Alan Berger -- Retired Globe Columnist

Criticizing the expressed will of the electorate in a democracy is generally regarded as bad form, and anyone who laments this week’s Israeli vote to return Benjamin Netanyahu to power as prime minister in a hard-right government is certain to hear an orchestrated chorus of complaints. But he who dares adopt the prophetic voice must be prepared to tolerate a little heckling.

My critique is not moralistic. It’s hardly even political. My anxiety derives from a principle that appears to govern the geopolitics of the greater Middle East. Call it the rule of unintended consequences.

We could start almost anywhere in the region’s tortured recent history. But for the sake of coherence, let’s begin with Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982. The declared purpose was to rout the PLO, which had established something like its own state within Lebanon. The Shiites of southern Lebanon, who felt oppressed by the PLO interlopers, welcomed the Israeli invaders as liberators, tossing flowers on their tanks.

Then arrogant Israeli policy makers made the fateful mistake of staying too long. Much too long. Instead of leaving after a few weeks, they occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years. The ultimate outcome was to make bitter enemies of people who started out as Israel’s best friends in the region. Israel’s extended occupation of southern Lebanon gave Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini a welcome rationale for the creation of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia and political party that sold itself as leader of an armed resistance against Israel but is now fighting in Syria, under Iran’s guidance, to preserve the regime of Bashar al Assad.

In the Israeli defense ministry, in 1986, I asked Uri Lubrani, the official in charge of Israeli operations in Lebanon, why Israeli soldiers were still occupying the south of Lebanon. The PLO was long gone and, rather than being showered with flowers, Israeli tanks were being blown up by improvised explosive devices.

Lubrani’s truculent answer was a foreshadowing of the hardline stance Netanyahu has taken against a negotiated two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians. Security would only come from a stubborn reliance on force, Lubrani insisted then. Allowing Palestinians to have their own state, Netanyahu claims today, would bring about a “Hamastan’’ on the West Bank and Israel’s Ben Gurion airport would come under missile attack from sovereign Palestinian territory.

The renowned Israeli author Amos Oz offered a vision recently of where Netanyahu’s three nos — no real negotiations, no division of the land, no Palestinian state — would ultimately lead. “If two states do not come into existence now and fast, there will be one state,” Oz warned. “If one state comes into existence, it will be an Arab one from the sea to the Jordan River. If an Arab state is established, I do not envy our children and grandchildren.” Although this truly Zionist vision may reflect an excessive fear of the Other, at least Oz the imaginative novelist is willing to envision the oncoming future that Netanyahu the petty politician refuses to contemplate.

Recall that Israel’s security mavens once sponsored a nascent Hamas, with the peculiar idea that an Islamist Palestinian movement propounding piety would be a useful counter to the militant nationalism of Yasser Arafat’s PLO. For Israeli hawks willing to entertain a little self-critical reflection, this comes under the heading of “What were they thinking?’’

That same rubric may one day be applied to those Israeli voters who heeded Netanyahu’s appeals to beat back a wave of Israeli Arab citizens and simple-minded peaceniks who would hand the country over to its various enemies in Tehran, Gaza, Stockholm, and Washington. The great danger to Israelis is that they may get what they voted for.

If Netanyahu at the helm of an ever more reactionary government succeeds at preventing a nuclear deal with Iran and avoiding a two-state peace accord with the Palestinians, Israelis will be confronted with hostility from their European trading partners, an Iran renewing its enrichment activities, Americans coming to view Israel as an ally solely of right-wing Republicans, and a Palestinian population driven by hopelessness to a third violent intifada.

These may not be the outcomes Israeli voters wanted. But the consequences of fateful choices in the Middle East are rarely those intended.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Theory of Everything

If there is another film that I have enjoyed more than "The Theory of Everything" I do not know what it is and throughout my life have seen hundreds of films.
"The Theory of Everything" is a biographical sketch of Stephen Hawking, the Einsteinian astrophysicist genius diagnosed with the neuro-motor degenerative disease, ALS.  When diagnosed as a young man he was given two years to live.  He is now 72 defying the odds. Stephen Hawking remains one of human history's most phenomenal minds of science and one of the most profound contributors to the science of astrophysics.
Eddie Redmayne, as Stephen Hawking, deserved the Oscar for best actor and then some.  His portrayal of a man with this degenerative disease was nothing short of brilliant.  He turned into Stephen Hawking as I forgot, most of the time, this was an actor portraying him.  Felicity Jones as Hawking's wife was excellently performed as well.  One must, I think, see this film to grasp its all-encompassing resplendence.

"The Theory of Everything" speaks to the deepest most enduring and profound questions of life -- how did we, our planet, and indeed the universe begin and will it end.  It asks, too, the most unanswerable question -- why.  "The Theory of Everything" of course cannot answer everything but man's big brain can make the generational attempt to try.  Every day we live we see the relevance of physics and the leaps forward in history science has made.
For those who love relationship films it had that too.  His wife Jane's dedication to him through much of his ordeal was breathtaking.  Having three children with him amid the onslaught of the disease defied credulity.
In the end the message of the film speaks loud and clear to me as Hawking, through his voice synthesizer states: "Where there is life there is hope!"  Indeed, the life of Stephen Hawking proves that hypothesis eminently true.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

By the Rivers of Babylon

The election of Bibi Netanyau, a political hack, is the worst thing for the state of Israel since Rome destroyed the Temple. This will come back to haunt. 

The electorate in many places is just plain stupid (the US included of course) but I thought they were smarter in Israel. When one votes for violent Parties one get violence and that is what Netanyahu did for his allegedly beloved state by rejecting a two state solution for the most craven of reasons -- to get elected. Do Israelis and their Prime Minister think Palestinians will sit still for this? 

Palestinians now are a people with no hope. Has anyone taken a good look at Gaza no matter who threw the first stone?  It is UNLIVABLE and that creates angry people. Jews will die, Mr. Netanyahu, and their deaths will be at your hands because you care about one thing -- YOU-- and evidently the religious wingnuts are too stupid to realize that -- big surprise -- NOT. Netanyahu and his yahoos, put Palestinian backs up against the wall. A HOPE at least a shred of hope for peace has been dashed. 

I have supported the Jewish state since I was cognizant of politics and honed my left of center political beliefs because of the Holocaust. Israel, when you elected this war-monger-in-chief who appealed in the US to the Republican Party of hate and kicked dirt in the face of the president you lost me, doomed Israel to eternal war and backed Israel into the world's corner. Israel will be isolated further and the UN may hold it to account as will possibly the World Court for war crimes.

Take heart, Mr. Netanyahu, someday you will not be able to hold your enemies back and your reign of terror will be silenced.  Unfortunately, there will be hell to pay for the rest of us!

 Psalm 137:1 (ASV) By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept, When we remembered Zion.
If you do not believe me read this:…/israel-elections-benjamin-n…

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Netanyahu Jackboot; in our time

The fiasco of the Israeli election of Netanyahu after he bold faced lied and amended his position going religious extreme right to win an election is disgusting. He, in the last electoral minute, opposed a two state solution -- agreements that nations have tried to hone over the last 40 years. It makes my head explode.

I am THROUGH defending the indefensible. No one can crush the bodies of innocents with overwhelming force, bomb women and children rolling over them with tanks keeping them living in squalor, tear down homes, terrorize people in the middle of the night merely because they can. My people, the examples of the Holocaust, now make excuses for those who would perpetrate the same but this time on a different people in a different way. Dead is still dead no matter how it is inflicted. I thought my people were better than that.

Denial of a two state solution after 40 years of so many nations advocating for it will mean eternal war. The jackboot of those who suffered from a jackboot on their neck at so many other times in history will raise their own jackboot to crush innocents. I cannot and will not be a party to that. Israel, unless it reverses course, has lost me.

Here is a list of attempts found on Wiki to hone a two state solution: Camp David Accords 1978, Madrid Conference 1991, Oslo Accords 1993/95, Hebron Protocol 1997, Wye River Memorandum 1998, Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum 1999, Camp David Summit (parameters) 2000, Taba Summit 2001, Road Map 2003, Agreement on Movement and Access 2005 , Annapolis Conference 2007, Mitchell-led talks 2010-11, Kerry-led-talks 2010-11.

On another front: Domestically the Republicans here are like flypaper. One cannot keep them from sticking on one's shoe. Their unlimited money has poisoned every single humanitarian well as George Carlin's "American Dream" soliloquy said it would. The powers that be, he said, "own you" and they do unless the 98% rise up and change course -- seemingly now unlikely.

Headlines like "Republicans Hit CIA on Climate Change" fill me with incredulity; Republicans get elected denying science? This will and is coming back to bite them in their posterior and may, before their reign of terror is through, take all of us down in the process.

I want to align myself to powers that can do something for humanity and third parties from the left like the Green Party or Ralph Nader's Party fail all the time. Hell, Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Third-Party failed. I stick with the Democratic Party because it is the only Party that has a chance to perfect at least some of the humane and structural change that our nation so desperately needs.

My hope is that you cannot deny science nor crush the powerless all of the time. It will come back to haunt all of us as it already has in our time so many times.

Elect Democrats. As Thom Hartmann talk-master of the left says: "It's up to you. Tag you're it."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

911 Hijacking Catastrophe

 Yours is not to do or die but yours is to always question why!

911 Hijacking Catastrophe

Feel Good News

Most mainstream local and national news are what I call saccharinized to meet the expectations of a low information audience that loves the feel-good look of feel-good sugar- coated news. They do not want to and even many cannot understand complexity which our times dictate one must have to understand why our nation does what it does.

News is reported by the winners here and reports at the other end go unexamined. Our more than aggressive foreign entanglements are rarely dissected to see just what it is our nation is doing and why we are doing it by looking at it from all sides.

The powerless both here and abroad are at the mercy of the forces of massive money and Herculean power against which they, sadly, can never compete much less prevail. Many do not even realize that they are being manipulated, in many cases duped and elect those who do not care at all about them creating a quagmired uncompromising Congress on steroids ready to ditch at the speed of light the interests of the sick, the troubled and the dispossessed.
100% of us should be in this together but alas the 2% richest will steal food from most all the rest while never paying their own fair share.

If you do not realize by now the reasons that Democrats must retake the Senate, the House and keep the presidency then you never will. It is important as life and death that a Republican not go near the echelons of power and only we, through our Democratic vote can make this so!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


"European Union Army Plan Aims to Protect Continent from Russia, ISIS"

Story here or at the link below.

My Comment:  Post WWII American foreign policy continues to spin out of control.  The US has not won a war since the big one against Nazism and the forces allegedly aligned against the west in the form of Russia and ISIS may approach that kind of threat. 

Much of Europe and the world
considers the US politically impotent with 1/2 of its Congress willing to subvert the nation because they will not play nice with others. Many abroad see the US in one word -- nuts!

I do not blame Europe for wanting to protect itself in a world without US help. Republicans will not let this president breathe and even fragment themselves about their own policy.  They are 100% crazed with hate for this president, writing letters to Iranian mullahs geared to subvert his life-saving attempt at quelling dangerous Middle East nuclear proliferation. It strains credulity.  No wonder many see the US as a failing state deeply in debt with its Defense (War) Department gone lone wolf wild. 

How in god's name are we going to get a rancid, unpatriotic, and near treasonous Republican majority Senate and a Republican-controlled House to play well with others when they cannot even play well with themselves. They are ruthless, mean, racist and violent.  Yes, Europe, you would do well to construct your own defense.

The US military is spread too thinly all over the globe costing trillions in debt while it maintains a war footing everywhere.  Add to this the Republican psycho-pathological repertoire of climate change denial and one gets a Republican majority hell bent on killing us all.

When 1/2 of the nation believes the earth is flat it suffers from SDDS (Science Denying Derangement Syndrome.) It is a recipe for Europe to protect its own interests as the US is quagmired stuck perhaps unable to even protect itself let alone its friends!

Remedy:  Elect Democrats all over the nation!

Friday, March 13, 2015


While Jim Phillips, Middle East analyst for conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation is correct Iran has infused in its philosophy extreme anti American rhetoric (see NBC story below) and has killed plenty of Americans, the same can be said for American policy. In addition to the CIA unseating a democratically elected beloved Iranian leader Mosadeq in the 1950's and replacing him with the dictator the Shah, the US, in recent history, has invaded a country, Iraq, under false pretenses. Iraq had done nothing to it. The US has killed hundreds of thousands and made refugees of millions in Iraq and in many other parts of the Middle East as well. Iranians and Middle Easterners in general have long memories.
The greatest most profound error the Bush admin made was in not knowing or certainly underestimating the sectarian violence its war in Iraq would and did unleash while disbanding the Iraqi Sunni army of Sadam with its weapons intact. The destabilization of a tinder box Middle East leaves us the mess we have now and with the establishment of the brutality extreme of ISIS and Al Qaeda never in Iraq before the US invasion.  A note of community interest: Sadam Hussein, the man the US deposed (for those with short memories) loathed Al Qaeda.
I am among the guilty ones initially in supporting the Iraq War because of the horror of 9/11. I knew nothing about sectarian hatred, thought nothing about unleashing the tigers within, and thought nothing about the quagmire and the explosiveness (literally) that would ensue. But I am NOT in Washington or anywhere else making policy. The Bush admin certainly the CIA, and every other American institution with geniuses connected to foreign policy should have known.
This is, in my opinion, the worst foreign policy blunder in US history perhaps for all time and the extremist rightwing nationalist Republican Party now does this nation no favors by subverting those who want to bring peace to this most dangerous part of the world especially with respect to a nuclear Iran. We must work with those who were/are unfriendly to us no matter how much we may not trust them. As much as we do not trust them they do not trust us!

"Iran's Qasem Soleimani Is Guiding Iraqi Forces in Fight Against ISIS"
link to story here.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

'Still Alice' Writer-Director Richard Glatzer Dead At 63--Our Conundrum


Richard Glatzer, who wrote and directed
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Richard Glatzer, who co-wrote and directed the Alzheimer's drama "Still Alice" alongside his husband, Wash Westmoreland, while battling ALS, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 63.

Diagnosed in 2011 with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, the pair took on the project of "Still Alice" in a very early stage of Glatzer's disease.

During the 23-day shoot, Glatzer communicated with one finger using a text-to-speech app on his iPad. By the time of the press tour for the film in late 2014, Glatzer was only able to communicate by typing on the device with his big toe.
Their film earned star Julianne Moore her first Oscar for her portrayal of an academic suffering from early onset Alzheimer's. Unable to attend the ceremony, Glatzer watched Moore's win Feb. 22 from a hospital, where he had been taken two days prior for respiratory problems. Westmoreland watched by his side.

"I am devastated. Rich was my soul mate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life," Westmoreland said in a statement Wednesday. He added that he takes consolation in the fact that Glatzer saw "Still Alice" delivered to the world.

"Richard was a unique guy— opinionated, funny, caring, gregarious, generous, and so, so smart. A true artist and a brilliant man. I treasure every day of the short twenty years we had together," he said. "I cannot believe he has gone. But in my heart and the hearts of those who loved him he will always be alive."

A New York native, Glatzer started out his career in academia, earning a doctorate in English from the University of Virginia before turning his attentions entirely to film and television.

He met Westmoreland in 1995. The couple collaborated on four films as co-writers and directors, including the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience winner "Quincea├▒era."

Glatzer also worked on a number of television shows including "Road Rules," ''Divorce Court" and "America's Next Top Model."
But it was "Still Alice" that seemed to be Glatzer's crowning achievement.
"It's ironic that in my deteriorated state I'd be able to make a film that was creatively everything I'd ever wished for," Glatzer reflected to The Associated Press in late 2014 while promoting the film.

The parallels between Glatzer and their lead character's degenerative diseases helped to inform the adaptation of author Lisa Genova's best-seller.
"Many of the neurological appointments that Alice had in the book echoed appointments that Richard had had when they were testing to see if he'd had a stroke — like what's today's date, where are we, all that stuff. It was eerily similar," Westmoreland said during the same interview.

"Rich is an incredibly strong person, and never let the disease get him down. He always wanted to keep life as normal as possible," he added.
Moore was particularly moved by the similarities and how Glatzer's condition made the story much more personal and emotional.

"It's about the universality of our own experience and what we care about and that we all live and we all love and we all are going to go away some day. To look at that and to really examine that, but to also be present in it, is kind of an extraordinary thing to do. I think that's what Wash and Rich are doing with this movie," she said.
While the logistics of co-directing a film while suffering from ALS proved challenging, the entire production was committed to supporting Glatzer throughout.
"We had a little personal agreement that Richard has to be heard, even if it's inconvenient, even if it's longer to wait," Westmoreland said.

Glatzer, who was in good spirits sitting next to Westmoreland, also weighed in.
"I felt very much heard by everyone, every day. And it's so very important if you're struggling with a disease like this to feel you still matter," Glatzer said.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What I wrote to Hillary Clinton

I'm IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The New Creed

Judge Keeps Obama Immigration Policies On Hold-- (See link to story below)


Nothing the antiObama racist Republicons do surprises me anymore. When the nation lives up to its Statute of Liberty creed I will faint! "Give us your tired your poor, your huddled masses ... yearning to breathe free ..." Instead Republicans think it should read send your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free back from whence they came!  The nation is uglier maybe the ugliest it has ever been since the Civil War.

Send Republicons to Antarctica to set up their white Utopia. Their color will blend in to the surroundings!!


Monday, March 09, 2015

My Letter to the President

Sir, the 50 year commemoration of the Edmund Pettus Bridge walk for voting rights was one of the most moving events I have ever witnessed. The speech that you gave was so moving I was reduced to tears.

The Republican obstructionist Congress is SHAMEFUL in its treatment of our Chief Executive. They have insulted you, been rude and dismissive to you while they advocate for policies to ensure our president fail. But, Mr. President, you have NOT failed despite the unbridled recklessness of a Congress that has gone racist insane.

Just so my stats are clear I am a white Jewish woman who loves you and wishes you could run for another term with a Congress that is human and not bought by corporate interests. You, Mr. President, are amazing for keeping your composure under tremendous stress and I aver even treason by a Republican controlled Congress that goes behind your back to work against our nation and a Congress that pays lip service to loving the nation but sows only discord and division. There are millions who love and support what you do because your policies are based on thoughtful reason and intelligence.

The picture of you walking down the Pettus bridge holding Congressman Lewis's hand and the hand of elderly woman in a wheelchair on the other side of you, is on my desktop and I will keep it there.


Sunday, March 08, 2015


 Here or below




Saturday, March 07, 2015

Reflections on Selma--A Long Road Traveled

The president’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge by persons of color to secure voting rights was nothing less than magnificent.  If you did not hear it or see it I urge you to do so. 

The irony in the name of the bridge “Edmund Pettus” is not lost to history as the bridge is named after a general in the Confederacy and a distant cousin to the Confederacy president, Jefferson Davis.  In addition to that “illustrious” career, Pettus was named Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and dedicated himself to the crushing, literally, of blacks in their quest for equal rights.  It is strange irony, indeed, that the commemoration of that march 50 years later is recognized in our time on that bridge named for a racist and that our first president of color delivered his speech on it.  It is, for me, immensely satisfying!

I thought, too, of my own trajectory to this day and waxed incredulous at the long road I and many who share my political views have traveled as well.  My earliest Civil War understanding was at age 10 when I learned the Confederacy wore a grey uniform and the Union a blue one.  At age 10 I won a trip to Disneyland in California.  In Disneyland they were selling Civil War military caps colored Union blue and Confederate grey.  I urged my parents to buy one for me but I could not decide on the color I wanted and did not understand the significance of it.  Incredulous to me now I believe I chose grey. 

At age 15 during the riots in the black urban ghettos of the mid-sixties I was told and believed those riots were inspired by Communists.  It could not be, of course, those riots were fueled by vicious racism and centuries of discrimination against blacks the etiology of which was fueled since the nation’s founding by deep racist principle and the money that could be made on the backs of slaves.  I never questioned what I was told – not once – during those years.

It was not until the late 1960’s that my educational experience at Boston University opened a window onto the national madness.  Our nation was founded on the backs of slaves, brought here chained against their will from Africa and treated not even as well as one would treat a beast of burden.  It was not until this time that one of my black professors told of his experience fighting in WWII only to be denied service at a “whites only” lunch counter when he returned home.  It was a rude awakening, indeed, one prefaced by an African American high school classmate running for class secretary.  She told me she did not have a chance.  When in my naivet├ę I asked why she said “Because I am colored.”  I did not believe her then but, clearly, she was right.  She could not win and did not. Four decades later a black man named Barack Obama won the presidency against John McCain, a white military man.

It has been a long road traveled through 1965 Selma, Alabama transcending the history of the slave trade to the first African American president of our time; a very long road, indeed!

An Unwelcome Guest

Fox No News News signed Alveda King, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece, as a contributor (see story below.)  There always seems to be some one in the family who somehow did not inherit the humanitarian greatness gene of their famous relative. 

Although gay rights was not a prominent issue when Rev. King fought for his humanitarian nation-changing work, he was always on the side of human rights no matter whose human rights they were. I think I can safely predict that Martin Luther King, Jr. never would have worked for Fox News nor would he say, as his niece did, that the gay rights movement was tantamount to genocide.  It is clear that his niece does not understand just what genocide means although one would think she certainly should.
It staggers me when a member of a much maligned, aggrieved and discriminated upon group as persons of color have been cannot translate that hurt to other groups who suffer the same unfair fate.

MLK's niece should be ashamed of herself for accepting Fox's No News News's offer , although I am sure money had something to do with it. Moreover, she should study up on the realities of human sexuality, psychiatry which long ago took homosexuality off its list of disorder s and genetics which in many cases has seen a genetic link to its occurrence.

Over and above those reasons MLK's niece should identify with the quest for all human rights instead of promulgating a toxic philosophy that has had for some suicidal consequences.  Perhaps, her purpose is to rid the world of homosexuals. If so she would find herself in good company with the anti-immigrant nativists , white supremest light Republican Whip Stephen Scalise and David Duke's KKK although she might find she would be a n unwelcome guest at their cross burning parties.


Fox News Signs Alveda King, Niece of Martin Luther King Jr., As Contributor


Fox News has signed Alveda King, the niece of civil-rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., as a contributor, Fox president Roger Ailes announced today. King will provide regular social and cultural commentary across the network lineup.

“Alveda has brilliantly carried the legacy of the King family to the next generation and has been a source of inspiration for many Americans," Ailes said in making the announcement. "Her passion and mission for social change will be a valuable contribution to our network.”

King is a prominent anti-abortion activist and serves as director of African-American outreach at Priests for Life. She has also courted controversy by speaking out against LGBT rights proclaiming in 1998 that "God hates homosexuality and comparing gay marriage to genocide in a 2010 speech.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Why George W. Bush should NOT march in Selma -- by Vincent Intondi

I 100% agree with the author for all the things he enumerated in his opinion linked here or below. 

I take further issue with any Republcan who considers commemorating that day. The Republican Party is filled with those who would never, if they were alive then, have supported the things for which Dr. King stood. The Republican Party is in line now with racists, obstructionists and nullifiers of anything the first African American president does and who, if they had the chance, would return to an 1850 America.

These Republican charlatans and political opportunists should not have the glory of attaching themselves to a cause because it simply looks oh-so-good and they think it proves they are not racist or because they have a person of color or two in their district. The essence of the Republicon Party is the essence of its whip -- Stephen Scalise -- who had no problem speaking before a group that supported former KKK leader, David Duke.

A member in good standing of the Republican Party should not even think about trodding the ground upon which Dr. King walked unless and until he/she rejects in totality the platform of its Republican Party of racists!