Thursday, April 30, 2015

Baltimore Baloney

The lawless alleged enforcers of the law in Baltimore are now trying to say and the Washington Post rag is reporting another prisoner in the van separated by a metal wall could hear Freddie Gray trying to hurt himself.  Oh yes, how many times does one sever ones spinal cord on one's own?  A neurosurgeon reported today there were 20,000 spinal cord injuries and only one was self inflicted and that was in Japan.  Who is kidding whom?

To have the hutzpah to say that Freddie Gray did that to himself is outrageous as it is immoral.   It is Baltimore police speak cover up! Are they kidding me?  The Washington Post rag leaked that information and they think a moronic idiotic statement like that is going to take the onus off the police and calm things down?  It is going to be another Missouri Officer Wilson who will get away yet again with murder.  I think the people in Baltimore will go berserk if this statement is put out as truth.  It is a fabrication to cover up the most egregious behavior by law enforcement since the Rodney King beating.  At least King lived to tell the story. If it makes me enraged I can only imagine how persons of color feel.

How could the other prisoner in the van tell who was banging on the wall when a metal opaque wall was between them and he could not see the extent of bodily harm or who inflicted it? 

In my opinion the more probable happening is that the police had Gray's hands cuffed putting him on his stomach his legs bent backwards tightly.  His spinal cord may have snapped in transit.  No one knows .... yet.  When transporting him there is a particular torture practice called a "Rough Ride" when the police van takes hard turns left and right and hard stops bouncing the prisoner around like a basketball.  It accounts for other spinal cord injuries. 

I would be hopping mad if there is not a proper unbiased investigation NOT by the police but by and independent prosecutor otherwise it is simply Baltimore prosecutorial baloney!

UPDATE:  A new statement was delivered with new information of a video showing yet another stop was made by the van holding Freddie Gray that the commissioner is saying changes the veracity of the first delusional statement that Mr. Gray did this to himself.  Sure, he did this to himself my posterior.  Dream on Baltimore Police dream on.  Someone(s) should be tried for murder!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BEST OPINION EVER--Worth the read

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

    I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com      You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.
Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.

You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.

Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don't like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that's not what I am here to tell you.

Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn't worked you are panicking. Obama's approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America's recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You've used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don't you, it's that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950's musical.

Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.

Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.

I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn't exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.
I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.
I don't even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn't get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back.

Well listen here skippy, it isn't your country, you don't own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn't approve of it. Rick Santorum isn't running for America's fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can't because he has nothing else to run on.

Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They've got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.

But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren't so sure.

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed a *&^holes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly f ____ over the working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.

So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like "family values", especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don't think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn't exactly like you.

You should think about that, and maybe get some help.

And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don't hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

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You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Street Prophets , Mitt Romney Bain Chronicles, and Daily Kos Classics.

VOTE DEMOCRAT IF YOU WANT A DEMOCRATIC NATION TO
BECOME MORE DEMOCRATIC AND LIVE UP TO ITS CREED!

Shades of Gray


In Baltimore, Freddie Gray seemed to die a needless death from a severed spinal cord at the hands of police. A blogger said there is scientifically no such thing as race. He is probably correct but one's eyes see a difference whether the DNA of genetics sees it or not. The issue is as I see it to look at the room with a view from both sides of the wide divide with a calm perspective.

We must acknowledge the perspective of police who have the Herculean task of maintaining order even when so called race is not a factor as criminality is a human thing. They must control it, keep the peace and save lives including their own in the process.

Person's of empathy ask why did Mr. Gray's spinal cord snap? We must acknowledge too that some will use an injustice to do most anything violent BUT the fact remains that Mr. Gray is in the ground at 25 years old and multiply his experience exponentially.  The Staten Island police choking of Eric Garner was one of the most unjust killings by police seen with one's own eyes on video but no one has been been brought to trial for that murder of him for allegedly selling some "loosie" cigarettes. The prosecution of officer Wilson of Missouri for the "hands up" killing of Michael Brown took place in front of a kangaroo grand jury and was filled with legal prosecutorial errors that let Officer Wilson off with no criminal punishment. It was laughable if it were not so serious and there are numbers more suspicious killings of young men of color for minor offenses too numerous to mention here. There is Angerman everywhere and few solutions for his rage in sight.

No one person, no money thrown at the situation, no program to improve educational statistics, no brilliant teacher or principal -- nothing can force a person to pick up a book and read, study and love learning. That is the first pillar of improvement.

I know the vile consequences of slavery, I know the awful consequences of segregation, and I also know the horrible consequences of violence that burns down one's own neighborhood. What can I say, what can I do to help our tortured species out of this quagmire of its own making? And there are all the other screaming quagmires that command attention and help.

There are reasons for everything but sometimes the reasons are shades of gray. My first rule is to account for my own behavior and try, at least try, to be the most humane person I am able to be and treat others as I would want to be treated myself.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Correspondents (literally) Dinner

I have NO idea, none whatsoever, WHY my channel guide said that the dinner began at 9:00 p.m. when it really began at 10:00. I saw more, surprisingly not falling asleep due to boredom, of the commentary at the desk of the Alex Witt, et al of MSNBC at 9:00 p.m. then I saw of the comedy dinner itself. I could have counted the beads on her dress! I like Alex BUT holy cow there was MUCH too much  wasted time that few cared about having her with other commentators on for one hour before the dinner advertised as such took place. 

If one wasted additional earlier time watching CSPAN showing nothing but milling around without even seeing the Salahis walk in then one fell asleep by 9! The one highlight was Angerman. Now that was funny but will probably be pilloried by the humorless Blitzarian conservative broadcasters who would not crack a smile if someone streaked across the room! And oh yes, where was Rachel, the Edward R. Murrow of our time and the commentator that we live for in our house?

Friday, April 24, 2015

TPP-Trade Treachery--LISTEN TO ALAN GRAYSON HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT

Click here or below and then demand the TPP be released BEFORE it is signed by the Congress to give the American people a chance to see the catastrophe it creates or IF it creates one at all.

http://tradetreachery.com/


Then Vote Democratic and get out the Democratic vote en mass in 2016

Greenwald "What Explains the Power of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Middle Finger?" Worth reading

Glenn Greenwald, civil libertarian attorney and writer, surely knows how to get one to think about issues which few have probably thought about in depth before.  Could giving one the middle finger provoke such profundity of thought?  After one reads the article I think one will say yes.  I link it here or below.

I do not always agree with Glenn but I do love thinking on the issues he brings to the table. And by the way I LOVE
the phrase he uses about the conservative journalistic sensationalist rag of stupidity, the New York Post owned by the would be journalistic monopolist Rupert Murdoch.  He calls it:

"The Murdochian id of American journalism, the New York Post"  

Glenn Greewald is a brilliant man even though I do not always agree with him and one to whom I could listen for hours!

A comment to him on his Tsarnaev article:  When one plays over and over and over the torment Tsarnaev's victims experienced one becomes flooded with rage and the desire for revenge on the perpetrator.  It is a natural response and one not limited to the US.

Who has not been to a marathon?  I used to watch it from my father's store as a little girl.  To take that innocence and turn it into a political statement and a brutal violent murderous act is to me cerebral blasphemy.

Never did I ever have to fear watching people from all over the world run in the most famous of marathons.  There is something beautiful in this nation irrespective of its political and foreign policy entanglements.  We are a geographically isolated nation and irrespective of my critical political thought I still believe in an Ann Frankian way that most people in this nation are basically good at heart.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/23/power-dzhokhar-tsarnaevs-middle-finger/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Got Gadahn -- GOOD!

I split with my progressive compatriots on this issue. The president was apologizing for the collateral damage of two aid workers one Jewish American (Weinstein) and one Italian. But we did kill Adam Gadahn an American citizen turned Al Qaeda who had a million buck bounty on his head and one other whose name I do not know. Both were American Al Qaeda and both were very important in Al Qaeda leadership.

I mourn for the hostages Al Qaeda took and were mistakenly killed by a US drone BUT I rejoice in the elimination of Gadahn despite the lack of constitutional privileges accorded to him as an American. The hostages by doing the aid work they were knew full well the risks.

If there is a sniper on the roof across the street I do not care if he is a Martian I am glad when he is taken down. I do not care about the omission of Gadahn's civil rights. As far as I am concerned he abrogated those rights when he joined this murderous cult. The US has wanted him for a long long time and we got him. I say GOOD job, Mr. President.

An Unenviable Life



  • CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Former CIA Director David...


    It is beyond my imagination how a man in David Petraeus's position could have such lapses in ethical judgement and not think about the security of a position that impacts national security as much as his did. No matter how lightly he got off his reputation is permanently besmirched and his career in government over.

    Why he did not monitor his every movement, every message sent, every memo written, every person with whom he associated and place the mountain of classified and unclassified information he possessed under uber secure lock and key I will never know.

    It boggles the mind and is more than worrisome that there are others who treat their positions that mean life and death for us all so cavalierly. Shame on anyone who occupies high positions of national and international power caught with their pants literally down especially in our time of global upheaval.

    Is it so difficult to say no to urges that are better left to when they are not employed in sensitive national security positions?
      They deserve the punishment they get despite the sadness I feel for men (and women too) who ruin an otherwise enviable life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Health for Sale -- The Wizard of Oz in the Crosshairs


Dr. Mehmet Oz is being pilloried by some physicians for his advocacy programming which they think is often filled with unproven junk science and are calling for Columbia University to take him off its medical staff.  I link the Huffington Post article here and below.

 
I do not have a strong opinion on GMO food, one of the subjects of the doctors' objections to Dr. Oz programming but I do have strong opinions on transparency and scientific testing of products especially food and pharmaceuticals that one ingests into one's body.  I am for strict governmental regulatory transparency of the testing of them.
 
Dr. Oz claims his positions fall into the "free speech" category and he will continue to broadcast them.  I think free speech is not the issue since it is not the government limiting his constitutionally protected free speech but it is the demand by certain physicians that he cease advocacy for those things that are not proven scientifically efficacious through the replication of rigorous scientific testing and methodology. 
 
Free speech is a ruse.  No one is limiting Dr. Oz’s freedom to speak.  He may say anything he wants but when one is allegedly a man of science one cannot say the earth is flat.  In other words, one cannot say and should not say a certain pharmaceutical therapy is a magic bullet, for example, for weight loss when it has not been studied sufficiently or even studied at all.  It is NOT his free speech right which is at issue but his touting of alleged "cures" for ailments the study of which does not meet the strict standards of scientific testing.  Dr. Oz’s fountain of valid scientific information first aired on the Oprah show eventually, in my opinion, devolved often into junk science. 
 
Our fast food nation wants a fast working magic pill and cure for everything especially for weight loss.  They do NOT want to do the hard work and diligence required to lose weight. There is no substitution in pill form that will do what calorie cutting and exercise will but, admittedly, it is hard to perfect and many fail.  
 
When one touts this pill or that as a magic bullet which has not been proven as such it becomes a charlatan’s lie that makes the purveyors of them very very rich and the buyers of them poorer.  Those who often cannot afford it but are star struck by fame and cult of personality will spend money they do not have on products that do not work.  I believe Dr. Oz devolved from his first excellent shows on Oprah into a technologically glitzed up version of the snake oil salesmen of yore who alleged that his tonic would be a cure all for everything but when analyzed was, in truth, only alcohol which cured nothing but surely did make people feel no pain.
 
Until Dr. Oz provides rigorous solid scientific study and proof for the pharmacological treatments for which he advocates or the positions he takes he loses me.  In fact, he lost me a long time ago.  It is no accident that the preponderance of his viewers are women and gullible ones at that because after all a famous, charismatic medical man must know it all and save them. 
 
I say to his viewers and to Oprah enthusiasts too:  QUESTION EVERYTHING because EVERYTHING in this nation is for sale!


http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/21/media/dr-mehmet-oz-accusations/index.html

The Democratic Party is the ONLY Party that regulates.  2016 is the last chance cafe to switch the leadership of this nation from the 1% to the rest of us.  VOTE!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US Intelligence on Iraq WMD -- counter to NYT's Judith Miller -- Sleeping for Eternity


The press like the NYT reporter Judith Miller reporting on the Iraq War in 2003 was complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of both US and Iraqis human beings  (The estimate of Iraqi deaths is hard to address.  It is no doubt in the hundreds of thousands), the wounding of many more and the displacing of millions.  ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda and other radical groups exist now all over the Middle East where they never existed before destabilizing it by creating a region dissolved in utter dehumanizing chaos. 


This mayhem can and should be laid at George W. Bush's, Cheney's and their NeoCon henchmen's feet.  It was through their lies, cheer-leading for and cherry-picking of evidence for the Iraq War that this is so.  The Middle East is in deep trouble and our nation may be as well.  The disintegrating of former Middle East states such as Yemen, Syria, and Libya through US policy made the reality of the Arab Spring we see before our very eyes. 

Do the former policy makers sleep well at night?  I bet they do but those who have volunteered and have been called upon to fight the phony trumped up wars pay for them dearly and do not sleep well if they sleep at all unless they sleep for eternity very well indeed.

Those who perpetrated the egregious Iraq War policy need to be held accountable.  They should not be allowed to get away with literally murder and those journalists like Judith Miller who failed to ask the proper questions should pay with their jobs -- they shouldn't have them.

I post the following Factcheck.org that addresses the issues that Judith Miller did not address very well.  She and all those who supported the Iraq war must live with the consequential deaths they have delivered and decide, if they care at all, how to live with the catastrophes they have wrought. 

Factcheck.org

"One senator, Bob Graham of Florida, then chairman of the intelligence committee, has said that reading the full, classified 2002 NIE led him to vote against the war resolution. He had urged his colleagues to read the entire 92-page classified report prior to the vote. Graham said in a National Public Radio interview in June 2007 that he found the report to be "pocked with dissent, conditions, [and] minority opinions on a variety of critical issues."

Graham was one of the few who disbelieved the report’s conclusions, however. And it’s not at all clear that more lawmakers would have doubted it had they read the full report. The unclassified portions do make clear that not all intelligence agencies agreed on all points. The Department of Energy’s technical experts didn’t agree that some aluminum tubes bought by Iraq were for use in uranium-enriching centrifuges, saying they were more likely for use as rocket launchers. And the State Department’s intelligence experts said they saw no "compelling case" that Iraq had an "integrated and comprehensive" program to get nuclear weapons.

"Washington Post: No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary, according to several congressional aides responsible for safeguarding the classified material."

In 2007 the Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill surveyed current and former senators and reported that 22 of those who were serving in 2002 sent word they had read the full report. Since it would be embarrassing now to admit not reading it before voting on such an important matter, we suspect that number is inflated. But whether the true number is six or 22, it’s clear that only a small minority of the 100-member Senate read this important intelligence summary in full.


–Brooks Jackson

Sources

Director of National Intelligence. "Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction," National Intelligence Estimate October 2002. portions declassified, 18 July 2003.

Priest,  Dana. "Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Criticized; Committee Members, Others Cite Lack of Attention to Reports on Iraqi Arms, Al Qaeda Threat." Washington Post, 27 April 2004.

Friday, April 17, 2015

TPP a consumer nighmare!


A relative of mine is livid about the latest important trade legislation on TPP pasted below.  It is supported incredulously to me by the president and REPUBLICANS.  Elizabeth Warren is livid as I am sure is Bernie Sanders.  I believe the critics of this bill and you should read what it does then write the White House, the Senate and Congress to NOT pass this bill.  It needs thorough vetting!  KNOW what your legislators are doing sometimes behind our backs!


Congress Introduces Fast Track Legislation to Help Enact Anti-Consumer Trade Bills

Congress Introduces Fast Track Legislation to Help Enact Anti-Consumer Trade Bills

by Stephen Lendman

Congressional passage of so-called "trade promotion authority" (TPA) will let Obama expedite the legislative process for pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) bills.

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA 2015) lets Obama and his trade representative, complicit with corporate predators, rush through Congress, with minimal hearings and no amendments, legislation global justice advocates call NAFTA on steroids.

TPP and TTIP are trade bills from hell. They're stealth corporate coup d'etats.

They're giveaways to banksters and other corporate predators. They're freedom and ecosystem-destroying nightmares.

They're secretive, multi-national trade deals giving monied interests more power than ever at the expense of personal freedom for consumers and environmental sanity.

They're ripoffs on the grandest scale. They'll establish unrestricted supranational global trade rules. 

Corporate giants wrote them. Their demands will override domestic laws.

They'll trample on national sovereignty, privacy and personal freedoms.

They'll permit unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP).

IP includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related considerations. 

One-sided pro-business structuring harms popular rights. At stake is a free and open Internet, its global infrastructure, and worldwide innovation under level playing field rules.

Power brokers want secretive provisions established with no public knowledge of their destructive harm.

TPP and TTIP rewrite global IP enforcement rules. They include numerous other anti-populist provisions.

They override national sovereignty. They prioritize investor rights over public ones.

Obama lied saying:

"The bill put forward today would help us write (trade) rules in a way that avoids the mistakes from our past, seizes opportunities for our future, and stays true to our values."

"It would level the playing field, give our workers a fair shot, and for the first time, include strong fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment, and a free and open internet."

Fact: Trade rules Obama advocates are polar opposite what he claims. They'll benefit monied interests at the expense of all others.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls fast track legislation a way to "legitimize White House secrecy and clear the way for (anti-consumer) trade deals."

They impose restrictive digital regulations. They create a new Chief Transparency Officer - a likely corporate official with authority to:

"consult with Congress on transparency policy, coordinate transparency in trade negotiations, engage and assist the public, and advise the United States Trade Representative on transparency policy."

Given existing strict confidentiality rules (and greater than ever corporate empowerment on trade), nothing meaningful will be done to improve transparency.

As things now stand, fast track text language will be made public 60 days before signed if passed.

According to EFF, it doesn't matter. "(T)he text is already locked down from any further amendments."

Fast track "t(ies) the hands of Congress so that it is unable to give meaningful input into the agreement during its drafting, or to thoroughly review the agreement once it is completed."

It can only vote up or down with no changes. Most troubling is what's excluded from negotiating objectives.

Nothing requires "balance in copyright, such as the fair use right," says EFF.

"(I)f a country's adoption of a fair use style right causes loss to a foreign investor, it could even be challenged as a breach of the agreement…"

"(W)e do not see anything in this bill that would truly remedy the secretive, undemocratic process of trade agreements," EFF stresses.

Fast track will likely be voted on next week. Passage "would legitimize the White House's corporate-captured, backroom (secretive, anti-consumer) trade negotiations."

Lori Wallach heads Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW). Fast track authority "delegate(s) away Congress' constitutional authority and (grants) blank-check (presidential) power," she explains.

Fast track "would make it easier for corporations to offshore American jobs, would undermine our wages by forcing Americans to compete with Vietnamese workers making less than 60 cents an hour and would expose our consumer and environmental safeguards to attack by foreign corporations in extra-judicial tribunals" - run by corporate predators.

Congress is being asked to yield its constitutional trade authority to diktat presidential power.

Congress permitted fast track for only 5 of the past 21 years - 2002-2007.

It remains to be seen if it'll authorize what demands rejection - what hugely benefits America's 1% at the expense of all others.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Heaven's Gate--A Mattered Life

I loved Yvonne Abraham's April 16 editorial in the Boston Globe: "Why Odin Lloyd's life matters" linked here or below. What is to be said about a nation that puts money and fame far beyond anything else? It is who we are and because of it one gets the Patriots' star Aaron Hernandez spectacle for days. In truth Hernandez should get none of our attention but I will admit to the frailty of being glued to a sensationalist story. Worse, I spent much of the evening of the verdict not simply talking about it but thinking about it. I could not get Aaron Hernandez out of my mind but not why one might think.

I weep. I weep for all the Hernandezes who live a life filled with dastardly deeds. I weep not for Aaron Hernandez per se but I weep for life itself and its many filled with gifted potential wasted. 


Hernandez, with his fame, money and inordinate talent could have helped those who needed his help. He could have made trips to Boston Children's Hospital or to any hospital visiting with kids who were not so lucky to have been bestowed the gifts that Hernandez was given. He could have made a difference and meant something to those who needed something. He could have served as an example not only to those children but to his own daughter the affections of whom he has squandered. What a shame it is indeed. His life could have been so good and less fortunate people could have reaped so much from it.

For a short time we are given a gift to see life's beauty. This gift was wasted on Aaron Hernandez and thousands more like he who sit in jails to decompose. He should have thanked fate that he was blessed to view heaven's gate and could have used those blessings for the collective good.

It is Odin Lloyd's misfortune to have tripped over a curse that was Hernandez. In the end I will think of Odin Lloyd and his mother. If his mother is an example of who Odin Lloyd was then he must have been a very nice man indeed! We should and I will in time forget Aaron Hernandez and, in the end, I hope to remember longer the mattered life he so chillingly and malevolently took.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/15/why-odin-lloyd-black-life-matters/gC3G5uWMhVHDBMdEZ6wPKP/story.html#comments

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Freedom FROM Religion--the Unfathomable Consequences of a Religious State

Last evening I watched a PBS Frontline’s broadcast entitled “The Fight for Yemen.” I post it here or below for your interest.

The most alarming battle for Yemen to me is the utter hopelessness of it all as the north and the south fracture into never-ending obliterating sectarian war while the heretofore government leadership of Yemen flees to Saudi Arabia. Houthis (pronounced H-O-U-T-E-E-S) (mostly Shia), Al Qaeda (mostly Sunni) and ISIS too battle for control of a nation strategically important to the US and its Sunni ally Saudi Arabia as well. Even the Saudis are bombing Houthis in Yemen. Much of the Middle East from Syria in the north to Yemen in the south is fractured by sectarian religious violence for power and control. Innocent people, naturally, are caught in the middle of the mind numbing chaos where hundreds have died and hundreds more will die as the chaotic anarchy, nearly impossible to quell, will go on unresolved. Will all the violence end in the establishment of stable nation states for those whose misfortune it is to have been born into a religiously fractured world? I suspect the answer to that for now certainly is no.

"Death to America," "Death to Israel" and "Death to the Jews" is the cacophonous refrain one hears over and over and over again in Yemen. There is, of course, no possibility of negotiation because disputes among religious fanatics in the extreme are impossible to negotiate. Destruction is everywhere.
 

The know-nothing George W. Bush and his allies for a “New American Century” began a war in Iraq that has been responsible for the destabilization of the Middle East region and the rekindling of a centuries-old religious split between Shia and Sunni Muslims for control of the Islamic world.

Islam is not the only faith where religious extremism abides . There is plenty to go around among orthodox, ultra-orthodox Jews and the mind numbing fanaticism of Fundamentalist Christianity especially within the Republican Party in our own nation.


The purpose of my thoughts now, though, is not illuminating the alliances in the fight for Yemen although one would do well to watch the Frontline broadcast of it but to post my views concerning the dangerous wedding of church and state around the globe.
 

I had the pleasure several days ago to hear an ad for a group which Ron Reagan, Jr. began. The group is entitled “Freedom FROM Religion” and it can be found at the link here or below. I support Ron Reagan, Jr. in his effort to maintain the separation of church and state. I only wish the father had been more like the son.

Fanatical religious adherence marrying religion and state no matter to which religion its adherents belong is a deep threat to all of us who value civil liberties, free speech questioning and progressive policies honed over decades which help so many.

The Republican Party especially wants to tie our nation to fundamentalist Christianity something our Founders would have thought abhorrent. It is exactly what they did NOT want because they saw in Europe the violence religion tied to the state created. I believe religious fanaticism is the greatest threat not only to our nation but to the entire globe as many join policy loaded with religious superstition and myth to the state while rejecting the truth that only science and academic inquiry can bestow. The offspring of this wedding is a hateful and murderous child.

What religious fanatics want is chilling as they try to reverse progress honed over centuries that accepts the facts of science and learns fanatical religious belief is factually fallacious. Subscription to fanatical religious beliefs and commanding others to believe them affects all of us whether through the denial of human rights to minorities to the denial of climate change and the biological truth of evolution. It retards man’s growth.


Religious fanatics, violent and extreme, want Armageddon and an existential clash of civilizations. If we are not vigilant against this cancer that is exactly what we will get. Freedom FROM religion is what we need because its opposite carries with it the unfathomable consequences of a religious state.

http://video.pbs.org/program/frontline/

http://ffrf.org/



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Sushi Anyone?



The Huffington front page headline and articles below my thoughts make my head explode.  Is there anything, even the president proclaiming an executive observation that it is a sunny day, this man's racist, vile, obstructionist, nullifying Congress and many of their sidecar electorate will not oppose?  His graying hair and aging countenance tell the story of a man who has experienced enhanced interrogation techniques.  My head may explode but my heart breaks.

To enhance what it means not to ratify the pending crafted with blood, sweat and tears, historic nuclear treaty with Iran I post the Youtube below my thoughts.  I urge you to send this to anyone you choose lest they forget what the word nuclear truly means. 

Most of our information self-deprived electorate have, I would guess, no idea of the essence of nuclear war.  If one asked the man/woman on the street what Hiroshima and Nagasaki were I would not be surprised if they said a new type of Sushi.  The link is here or below my thoughts.  It will bring them up to speed.  This is what the nuclear agreement with Iran is all about and this is what the know nothings do not understand when they moronically say about the Middle East "nuke em." Congress will sow the wind and reap the whirlwind bestowing it upon your children if they override the president.  I urge you to watch it in its entirety then call your Congresspersons and tell them to ratify the nuclear treaty with Iran
if civilization matters to you at all

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwkyPvlWPM0
                   
                                        HARD SELL


Obama: Sanctions Could Be Reimposed If Deal Broken...

Congress Nears Veto Override... Schumer Bucks White House... Wrong About Iraq, Wrong About Iran...

A Little Holy Humor--VERY CLEVER!!


During these serious and troubled times, people of all faiths should remember these four great religious truths:
1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's Chosen People.
2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.
4. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.

GOOD SAMARITAN A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class,  "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do? "A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up."

DID NOAH FISH? A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?" "No," replied Johnny. "How could he, with just two worms."

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD  A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23.  She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous.   When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

UNANSWERED PRAYER The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why. "Well, Honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages. "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon." "How come He doesn't answer it?" she asked.

BEING THANKFUL  A Rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, "So your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?"   The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"

ALL MEN / ALL GIRLS When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, "And all girls. "This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing. My curiosity finally got the best of me and I asked her, "Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls? "Her response, "Because everybody always finish their prayers by saying 'All Men'!"

SAY A PRAYER Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house.  Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.  When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.  "Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer." said his mother. “I don't need to," the boy replied. "Of course, you do" his mother insisted. "We always say a prayer before eating at our house." "That's at our house." Johnny explained. "But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook."

THE BIBLE  Did you know that... When you carry the Bible, Satan has a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you are reading it, he faints. Let's read the Bible every day so he keeps on fainting. Maybe one day he'll have a stroke and never wake up.  And did you also know that when you are about to forward this email to others the devil will discourage you, but forward it anyway.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Historic Agreement -- I have Met the Enemy


I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Finally, finally our president is getting credit for what he can do. See link here or below.  One can only imagine how this nation could have economically returned even more strongly then it has if we did not have an enemy -- the nearly all white racist Republican Party, whose power is by, for and of white men dedicated from day one to the destruction of the first African American man in the oval office.

Let's see how far the Republican Party will go to defeat this third world nuclear war avoidance eminently historic agreement with Iran whose forgers are worthy of a Nobel Peace prize. So far the obstructionist nullifying Republican Party has been somewhat silent. It must mean the agreement Obama and Secretary Kerry so diligently forged is so good even they are muted. We'll see for how long.

If Republicans block the president on this, work for and expect the resounding defeat of this poisonous Party in 2016. "I have met the enemy and it is us." Illustrator Walt Kelly, in the 1960s and referred to the turmoil caused by the Vietnam War.


 PEACEPREZ

THE MAN WHO MAY HAVE STOPPED A WAR... 'Practical Peacemaker'... 'A Way To Be Worthy Of The Nobel Peace Prize'... Obama Gets His Breakthrough...


Deal Of A Lifetime... 'Astonishingly Good'... Iran To Shut Down 12,000+ Centrifuges... Enriched Uranium Cut By 97%... Enrichment Sites Turned Into Research Centers... Iranians Rejoice: 'This Will Bring Hope To Our Life'... How The Deal Happened.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Pensive


The attempt by Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana to eradicate a group's civil libertarian rights through the passage of the so called "Religious Freedom Act" which he signed into law fooled few. Who in this nation is denied the ability to believe as one chooses? No one is denied that right. Those believers do not, however, have the right to use their religious belief as a projectile aimed at denying human rights to others. Those attempts by Republicans at returning to another era of Jim Crow, outlawed by the Court decades ago, show us how important elections are. Elections matter as black lives matter, as Hispanic lives matter, as women's lives matter and as homosexual's lives matter. Mike Pence stammering no answer answer during the ABC interview by George Stephanopoulos proved he could not tell the truth. It was a simple question Stephanopoulous posed: Is the Indiana Religious Freedom Law aimed at allowing businesses to discriminate against homosexuals? He could not answer except with political gobbledygook because the simple answer is, of course, yes!

Those of us who bathe in the glow of so many civil liberties wins are knocked back on our heels again by the hammer of tyranny’s reality. The religious liberty laws are the latest back door tool of choice for religious zealots across the nation as the Court soon may allow, one hopes, the ability of everyone to marry if they choose. The hateful Republican Party with its large composition of religious crack pots is now drunk with power. Gerrymandered districts in combination with Democrats, progressives, minorities and the young not voting in off-year elections have placed many state houses and even the Congress in the treacherous unyielding rightwing extremist and obstructionist grasp. This should serve as a lesson. When progressives, Democrats, liberals and other allies who are the majority do not vote it allows the usurpation of power by a minority of Republican right wing radicals who not only do not care for the hard fought for rights of those in this nation who once had no rights but, in fact, want to roll those rights back.

We are heartened by those legions of corporations and individuals who are making Mr. Pence’s job, as he says, very difficult and laud them for supporting the rights of minorities to own the same rights that the majority has taken for granted. Big business Walmart and small business enterprises deserve praise and support when they help all of us defeat injustice. Signs in businesses saying “We serve everyone” give me hope. We should support businesses and states that support human rights and boycott those which do not.

Science and the truth it delivers after centuries of evolving study cannot be denied. The Bible was wrong when it thought the earth was the center of the universe, wrong when it thought disease was brought on by a god’s wrath and it is just as wrong when it ostracizes or stones to death, through Deuteronomy’s ignorance, those whose affectational preference is DNA determined. The Bible knew nothing about astronomy, nothing of the archeologically discovered truths of man's evolutionary origin and certainly knew nothing about DNA. Whether it is the absolute truth of evolution or the truth of what the physicians of the American Psychiatric Association have determined that homosexuality is normal for those who feel it, ancient beliefs are shredded because they are based upon superstition and myth instead of science-based fact.

Most who label themselves LGBT know that their affectational preference began well before they even had a conceptualization of society's dastardly ostracism and punishment for it. Governor Pence and the ridiculous minions at his side during the signing of the Religious Freedom bill are consummately wrong. Homosexuality when it occurs is woven into a plethora of one’s genetic code as tightly as the genes that determine the color of one’s eyes. Shame on Governor Pence for showing no pensive thought before he signed the ignorant “Religious Freedom” bill, shame on Indiana for electing medieval monstrosities and shame on our nation if it does not bestow on one minority the ability to enjoy the same rights as everyone else.