Thursday, January 28, 2010

Contemplation of Resistance in an Uncertain Future

I sit in the evening on the tailgate of my little Toyota an hour after sunset
...  contemplating resistance ...  armed with my trusty air rifle ... pockets full of bb’s and bird shot ... and a hope that if I have to shoot someone I’ll at least hit then in the eye. 

Who? Hell, I don't know. Not who nor when, But --- something's happening here.
Any attempt to usurp power  will lead to civil resistance in one form or another.     Maybe government agents coming ?

--- sent on errands about which I have no comprehension.
Worse … maybe civil warriors supporting a resistance that takes no prisoners!              I am known to activists like that who might assume my solidarity and will come to me

fleeing ... one the run
and I, like Zhivago  will be drafted into someone's rebel army
... joining not THE FIGHT ... but THEIR VERSION OF THE FIGHT.

If I  say NO!, some semi-armed semi-intelligent mob on my door step                          … with guns and proclaiming the Second Amendment … says -
"Give us all your assets! We claim them in the name of the people!

Down with the government! Impeach them all - legally or otherwise!"
Maybe my bb-gun will stop them … well, at least one or two of them,
whoever they are or will be.

The Cheney-ites pushing for new Guantanamoes on the mainland.
Rumored concentration camps the government builds to protect me from ‘THEM’ – whoever THEM is ... it’s said that Glen Beck knows who THEM is.

THEM are the one's who will follow us home if we leave.
According to $$ fear mongers $$ who aren't really $$ thinking about $$ THEM.
They're thinking about $$ … me … and you

and anybody willing to speak up … or hunker down
who dares them to take us out. I wonder ... martial law is still in the legal maneuver stage and resistance is still in the talk-about-it stage.

An owl hoots; somewhere off to the left I can hear crickets. Out on the highway lights trickle by from both directions ... chasing their damn errands … contemplating nothing more than the next curve and cruise control and whatever is blaring from a device.

For all I know some Pentagon crack stealth team or NSA crack eavesdropping machine is out there
… watching or listening ... in their best Homeland Security style.

Cause people like me who pop off might be threats.
"Homeland?" …. Did they originally call it that as a code word for all neo-nazified agitators who hearken back to the original Fuhrer and his ranting radio talk?

Course then I'm just a conspiracy nut; paranoid and headed for somebody's formal loony bin cause I see enemies where only well-meaning patriots plot my well-being. Cause I'm still a voter who could vote with the wrong party.

Time was you could raise a reporter's eyebrows with talk of plots and corruptions,
lies and liars, fanatics and ideologues. Not any more.
Now you can oppose only liars, fanatics and ideologues defined by corporate HQ.

It’s damn amazing how $$ has proven more powerful than Machiavelli.
We’ve lost our publishing sentinels not because the government threatened them, but because $$ beckoned

The loss of being "on the inside" scared the hell out of them. As if being on the inside with a mafia don who could willingly snuff out your life on a whim, - "Nothing personal, just business." - is safer than safeguarding folks who would really fight for you.

Coping with news we can't trust, we have polarized ourselves even more.
We’ve sat hypnotized, propagandized and mindlessly entertained
by the most shallow broadcast quality ever offered.

We worry about acid reflux, hair restoration techniques, pills that let us breathe while we mow the lawn ... and hard-on pills that promise and dare us
to risk 36-hour boners.

How could we focus on more serious stuff?
Throw in the born-again foolishness of the dumbed-down religious blowhards.
It’s easy to realize just how long we the people have been ripe for the picking.

So many dang problems - probably too many to solve and way too late to avoid disaster. 8 years of a fool for a president, corporate-republican political sheep
too intimidated, too greedy and too afraid to step out of line;

opposed by a pitiful party that even with a majoirty has even fewer elected members
with spines made of something  other than tofu.
They don’t have "the votes" yet.

Not all the resistance lights are green.only a few.
Some are still frightfully red. The ability to compromise
became an overrated and overstated virtue following the last three elections.

Repuglicans knew it ... but Demo’s sure as hell couldn’t see it. Now there is no such thing as checks and balances,
no such thing as three separate branches of government.

Just wait until some fool wants to pass some kind of  “In God We Trust” amendment. There’ll be no such thing as separation of church and state.
Theocracy is armed and ready.

Idiots are going to engage us in an endless war with every Middle Eastern Nation except Israel, ... who sits there laughing. Because thats what our fools want
... not to protect us, but because they want the chaos. It serves their purposes.

Like the ignorant bully in the school yard … engaged in trying to intimidate
the rest of the playground when all the other kids know the truth
and aren’t afraid.

The Euro will triumph aided and abetted by the Yuan
and will replace the dollar as the global standard
and the fools can’t do anything about it - or perhaps don't give a damn.

So what's coming down the pike? I don't think very many are beyond classic denial ... and won't understand at the very moment when suddenly the 1st Amendment
is no more. by mere pretext we will all be forced to shut the f*** up.

The young, the restless; the pretend sophisticators are in denial.
They believe few  of my old veteran worries. These are the same folks who honestly plan for a future that began to fade in November 2001

... when the fake conservatives posing as Republicans got their wettest dream; a built-in excuse to start l bullying and scheming to get their way ... and their dollars. "Yep," take away our way of doing business .. the old fashioned way.

And finally this from Oliver Lange who wrote it in 1971:

“… the deeper shock, then was not that we lost, but that we lost with such ease, with an effortlessness that approached divine imperturbability. In terms of image, the world was present with the Statue of Liberty, not as an inviolate emblem but as a vacuously grinning old whore, who after a token assault was debauched and then rolled docilely in the hay.

We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging  portion of our vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit – all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose – and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:

that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury, had at last achieved the tractable  malleable – let’s face it, SPINELESS – people to walk the face of the Earth.” – Oliver Lange, Vandenberg, 1971

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Watch What You Eat!

Watched *Food, Inc. on Netflix last night.
If you are totally caught up in our consumer culture and are entertained only by shallow notions, broadcast smoosh and political silliness don't watch this.
You won't get it.

*Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. 

The film examines large-scale agricultural food production in the United States, concluding that the meat and vegetables produced by this type of economic enterprise have many hidden costs and are unhealthy and environmentally-harmful. 

…  The documentary generated extensive controversy in that it was heavily criticized by large American corporations engaged in industrial food production.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why Can’t We All Just Agree?

Having been accused of being a liberal far more times than a conservative, I’m drawn again to the impacts of what professionals refer to as “socialization” where communities or cultures strongly influence the general attitudes in place.

There are areas of my community, of my county and state that are in many ways strongholds of political or social philosophies with which I am not in total harmony, but none contain individuals whose opinions render them unworthy of my regard or respect. 

I was nurtured and grew to adulthood inside a culture – both social and geographic – that has tended in recent years to combine social and political conservatism into one identity. Living outside that culture now for most of 40 years, I’m still drawn emotionally to some of the feelings and values that I carried with me when – unknowingly as a young missionary – I left the area, never to call it home again.

Just as I’ve mentioned to those who have assumed that I am socially and politically “liberal” I struggle sometimes to relate to friends and family whom I assume to be “conservative” when in fact the label may be totally meaningless.

Whether we admit it or not,  every definition of life we possess is an assumption. Every reasoning behind what we choose to do and how we choose to behave is based on assumption.

Our assumptions are the authors of our own story, that personal mythology from which we navigate our lives.

Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox years ago addressed this subject with excellence and I have paraphrased their writing to discuss what in essence are the different herd mentalities that inform who we are, perhaps who we used to be, and who we might become.

Our assumptions are usually based on that informal and formal set of teachings from which we authorized our answers to the following questions:

Where did I come from?

Why is there evil in the world?

What happens to me when I die?

With whom do I belong?

How close should I be to others?

What are my obligations?

What is taboo and to be avoided?

Whom should I imitate?

Who are the heroes, villains, enemies and allies?

What are the stages along life's way?

What is disease?

How can I be healed?

What should we do with bounty and surplus?

What is our relationship with nature and the animals?

Why do we do the things we do with the feelings that we feel. In so doing are we vitalized or bleeding away emotional energy. And does what we do leave us feeling validated or merely accepted?

Our lives are living myths of our own creation. Our companion is our personal story, all the stuff inside we use tell us who we are and tell the world the same.

"Myth" is a word given too much work in how we share knowledge with one another.

Defenders of religious creeds use the word "myth" to characterize religious beliefs that conflict with their own, saying

"Your, assumptions are not as valid as my assumptions. In fact, your assumptions are myth while my assumptions are truth."

What do we deny if we refuse to recognize our own assumptions?

How much are our individual lives shaped by inner scenarios based on assumptions we have been taught to accept as absolutely true?

Do we live an inner myth that reflects how we've been taught that the world is as defined by our personal societal culture rather than how we've discovered the world to actually be?

Our personal mythical scenario is always on and is always running. Sam Keen has described myth as referring to

"an intricate set of interlocking stories, rituals, rites and customs that inform and give the pivotal sense of meaning and direction to a person, family, community or culture.

The myths we carry around inside include unspoken consensus, the habitual way of seeing things, unquestioned assumptions, and our 'automatic stance'."

A society lives on its own unconscious conspiracy to consider a myth the truth, the way things really are. Do we belong to the majority who are literal without thinking; men and women who are not critical or reflective about the guiding "truths" - myths - of their own group?

As Keen implies,

" To a tourist in a strange land, an anthropologist studying a tribe, or a psychologist observing a patient, the myth is obvious. But to the person who lives within the mythic horizon, it is nearly invisible."

I recommend YOUR MYTHIC JOURNEY, Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Story Telling, by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox., copyright 1973, 1989 Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc

I also like this quote from Carl Jung:

"I asked myself, 'What is the myth you are living?', and found that I did not know. So ... I took it upon myself to get to know 'my' myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks ... I simply had to know what unconscious or preconscious myth was forming me." -C.G. Jung, The Portable Jung

In a herd, members usually instinctively choose behavior that corresponds to that of the majority of other members. They do this through imitation, mimicry, citations or quotes as “authority”. 

Herd behavior as a social study can describe how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. There need not be strict control from upper echelon or hierarchy – individual cultural members tend to be the strictest enforcers of cultural norms and groupthink. Herd behavior includes spontaneous moments such as riots, demonstrations and protests. However, herd behavior manifests itself consistently at religious gatherings, sporting events and organization meetings.

people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things. The effect is often called herd instinct. People tend to follow the crowd without examining the merits of a particular thing.

As more people come to believe in something, others also "hop on the bandwagon" regardless of the underlying evidence. The tendency to follow the actions or beliefs of others can occur because individuals directly prefer to conform, or because individuals derive information from others.

- Wikipedia

A diverse culture will by definition have a diverse set of values, assumption and yes, mythological stories ranging from origin to culmination.

It is only when we assume that we individually or as members of a specific culture have the one true point of view and morality that we in fact weaken the whole of our entire society.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The really good Americans in any crises are always better than the insecure incompetents in charge.

Book review by Kevin Young

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster

Rebecca Solnit, (New York: Viking, 2009)


Murder, rape, looting, cutthroat competition, and above all, "panic": such are the responses typically attributed to the public in the aftermath of earthquakes, floods, fires, and other disasters. The assumption that an unrestrained public will erupt in an orgy of looting, violence, and selfish or irrational behavior is deeply-embedded in elite thinking and mainstream commentary.

Rebecca Solnit's magnificent new book thoroughly disproves this assumption through in-depth descriptions of five major disasters of the past century and supporting evidence from many others. In fact, Solnit shows that the reality is precisely the opposite: human beings overwhelmingly tend to display calmness, generosity, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good in times of disaster. In the process new social bonds and communities form, revealing the extraordinary human potential for solidarity and collective action that lies dormant in everyday life.

"Disaster," Solnit writes, "is when the shackles of conventional belief and role fall away and the possibilities open up" .

Conversely, the government elites and organizational bureaucracies in charge of safeguarding the public often tend to compound the "natural" aspects of disaster through their clumsy and disdainful responses. These conclusions are based largely on Solnit's own interviews and archival research, but also draw support from the work of a long line of "disaster sociologists" who, despite their pathbreaking research and the fact that they represent a virtual consensus within the field of sociology, continue to be ignored by most government officials and bureaucrats as well as the corporate press .”

Why might that be with government officials tainted by lobbyist funding and a corporate press that supports only profit-making enterprises.

… which might explain why immediately after Katrina, a sitting American president attempted to cut the economic throats of the victims by removing the minimum wage in the stricken area and attempting to impose “prevailing wage” (translated as the minimum wage that business is willing to pay)

For corporate America, a disaster is to be seen first and foremost as an opportunity.

“In fact, disaster sociologists have inverted the conventional view in another way:

the elites who supposedly watch over us all as benevolent protectors are the ones who panic in times of crisis.

As Solnit notes, "It is often the few in power rather than the many without who behave viciously in disaster" .

This pattern is clear from the book's case studies.

Who was it broadcasting and repeatedly focusing on a supposed “looter” almost floating away who “stole” something to drink from a flooded and empty convenience store? Fox News – the principle broadcast betrayer and brainwasher in this country.

There are several reasons behind elite panic. Many elites and bureaucrats (like racists) may sincerely believe that their or their organizations' intervention is essential to safeguarding peace and order in the aftermath of a disaster.

But their panic is also inseparable from their own self interest, reflecting their need to justify the ongoing concentration of power in their hands.

If the public is permitted to take control, and it succeeds, the bureaucracy and hierarchy on which elite power is based will be exposed as illegitimate.

This principle holds true for the everyday functioning of society, but is especially true in times of disaster, when bureaucratic organizations like FEMA or the military are expected to perform with competence and agility to protect the public.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seeking Mythical Core Values

    The notion of "America's Core Values" is nothing more than that, a mythical array of benign images and buzz words that has been used for generations to suggest that this country as a global partner has never possessed anything but the most drinkable bathwater for the rest of humanity. 
     Our government has forever publicly portrayed itself as bearing only the fondest and most gentle desires for world peace, as sending only entirely noble and honorable soldiers as a last resort and whose citizens and business would NEVER think of exploiting any beyond-our-boundaries circumstance for profit. 
     These are silent assumptions for the most part, and predominant among only the most simple of our citizens who remain captured in a similar core value of a “dream” that does nothing more than drive consumerism as the patriotic duty. 
     Most do not register feelings until someone in prominence - this cycle it was Obama - touches that tender nerve of idealism. Obama seemed to be the only candidate who offered anything that looked like a return to that mythical blend of tough self-sustained idealism combined with Nightingale compassion and Lincoln equality that supposedly composes "America's core values." 
    Obama’s principle rival for the Democratic nomination ran on the idea that she was experienced, tough and quite capable of plowing around in the cesspools of D.C. politics.   
     Republicans were at the disadvantage of their own handicapped morality combined with having to run on the record of the worst president either party ever rode into office. 
     Yes yes ... baseball, Mom and apple pie are internally reinforced images, but they constitute merely the gate to the family homestead. The homestead itself is where the house, the property and the family members sustain themselves by mutual trusting dependence on a value system based on love, tolerance, economic equality, industry and opportunity. 
     That homestead has never existed in this country. 
     However, as an internal visualization, it has driven the grandest, most successful and most popular events, changes, adjustments, creations and repentances that we've seen in our history. 
     That idealized homestead never included a unanimous endorsement of supposed free-market economics. It never included subordination of individual rights and freedoms to the priorities of corporate dominance and certainly did not include evolution of the government into a source of camouflaged corporate welfare. 
    In that regard, a pure and successful free-market society has never existed, has never proven itself a successful nor universally beneficial system for public well-being.  
     When pondered and considered honestly; when valued for what they truly represent, our mythical core values ought to reflect the undeniable rebuttal to politicians who declare that government should be run as a business. 
     At best, that notion reflects a very narrow view of economic reality in this country and was perhaps best exemplified by the candidacy of Mitt Romney. Romney typified most politicians who have come to equate their personal financial success as a blend of entrepreneurial wisdom fortified by civic understanding of the laws of economics which somehow generate a natural entrepreneurial compassion for the less successful. 
     Most of these prominent megaphones wanted you to believe that justice for all is found on the back of a dollar bill more so than in any Constitution. 
     We seemed to hear this nonsense more from conservatives and/or the Republican Party who have for the last 50 years portrayed themselves as economically wise fiscal conservatives. But then Democrats are no strangers to this way of thinking and again are proving what informs and enables their political strategy. 
     In reality, Republicans, once unleashed by their political successes beginning in the 1990's, with great fanfare donned the Holy Mitre of reform and picked up the Scepter of change to accomplish a "fiscally responsible makeover " that in reality represents today's most powerful contemporary economic embarrassments. 
     For example we saw a welfare reform in the 1990's that has only marginally resolved even half the problems of poverty in this country. We also saw a rebuttal of the Clinton presidency's attempt to address national health care inadequacies. Resistance to the Clinton efforts was foolish, ideological, partisan and primarily greed-based. 
    Again this time these have been un-American refusals to reform or change health coverage in this country because the few are more important and significant than the many. We saw how the "fiscally responsible" party of change actually changed many American core value freedoms into unprotected vulnerabilities subject to the whims and greed of corporate capitalism. 
     It is obvious to those who are not blinded by partisan advocacies that neither party's victories in the future will guarantee any movement for genuine reform unless among those victories a specific mandate is included. It must be a mandate that reflects the will of the people; a mandate opposed to bought-and-paid-for civic policies enacted at the behest of monied lobbyists. 
     Voters must simultaneously have opportunity or means of formalizing a mandate to remove, severely restrict or equalize the playing field when it comes to lobbying our representatives for change.  
    We need to intervene and force corporate lobbyists out of our elected official's waiting rooms. 
    It seems that most who resist the idea of forceful change fall back an an automatic stance - that "pragmatism" usurps any desire or commitment to an ideal.  Partisan activists who consider themselves wise and who are intimately involved in the campaigns of their most beloved candidates almost always belittle ideal thinking. 
    You have to play the game in its forever-deteriorating manner in order to win power. Only then - once in power - can the victor look up the core values even he/she have probably forgotten and restore America to its mythical former glory. 
     Such thinking neither proves nor wins anything but perhaps individual arguments.  It also demonstrates and reveals a cynicism that fuels the ever-increasing loss of a civic appreciation for how things ought to work. 
    That's why too many of us - and I mean this literally - are too stupid to see through political tactics generated by polls and political consultants. We're losing our trust in whatever the Mythical American Core Values ever were. 
    Nothing is taking the place of that trust except perhaps cynicism and an ever deepening self-absorbed behavioral pattern; a pattern that only underlines what historians will eventually describe as the reason for the fall. 
     A future mythology may be only a speculation about an American Dream once believed to exist.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pot Pouri of Holiday-week/End-of-the-year thoughts



Andy Borowitz: Santa Downed By Predator Drone 

Now that's going too far.
We need to rein in these gung-ho types who can't tell a terrorist from a red-nosed reindeer.



Might just be the best caroling of the season



What will historians say about the first decade of this century? Where are we now that we were not in 2000? I agree with Bob Burnett who assessed the past 9 years with a perspective hard to dispute.

Bob Burnett: 2000-2009 America's Lost Decade



Here's another good reflective. Women's health with ideas that would help me too. Like number 4.

Christiane Northrup, MD: Top 10 Women's Health Stories Of The Decade: Nothing Replaces A Women's Wis



Bob Geiger: The Not Too Distant Future of Air Travel

Far-fetched but have we not become the most self-absorbed traumatized and terrified "victims" in the world? Afraid of our own shadows? Can't have everything our way so we lash out and make ourselves look exactly the opposite of the world's toughest society.

And this from Jim Harper, Cato Institute:

"... terrorism doesn't require explosions and fatalities to work its will. If public fear produced by this incident drives the U.S. toward self-injurious overreactions--abandonment of plane travel, overwrought and poorly directed security measures, and so on--then it will be a successful act of terrorism."



PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'Death panels'

Who bought into this?
Those who chose to rely on total truth and honest communication from those Palinic, Limbaugchic, Hannitite sources of "would I lie to you?"



"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted on Sunday that Republicans would campaign for office in the months ahead on a pledge to undo health care legislation, should it become law. But the Kentucky Republican refused to commit to pursuing a repeal, saying merely that the health care reform of 2009 would be a major issue come 2010."

Maybe they should also run on repealing the repeal of the deletion of habeas corpus from the Bill of Rights.
We'd see then how StupidNation has grown or shrunk.

Anthony Spiesman:

“Hey how about just encouraging Congress to allow the rest of us to have the same totally Socialist health care they have for life, at our expense!”

Ssshhhh. You mustn't use the word socialist, socialized or socialtweet around Reflublicans. It causes their blowharditis to flare up.


Based on the failed terrorist attempt, those HIH's (highly intelligent hawks) Lieberman and McCain perhaps should immediately be demanding that we re-invade and more fully occupy Iraq, eh?



An Avatar Awakening | Let's Try Democracy

The elephant in the living room.
If Avatar did not prompt comparisons and you could only see Avatar as action/adventure with no relationship to any other reality, how numbed up - or dumbed down - might you be?

David Swanson:

"Millions of people stand in lines, shell out big bucks, wear stupid-looking 3-D glasses, sit in the dark for three hours, identify with twelve-foot-high pointy-eared blue people, cheer as the credits roll, and simply do not care that actual human beings suffer the same fate as the computer-generated creations, albeit without ... See Moremiraculous happy endings.

Imagine if a tenth of the people who now sympathize with these bony blue beings were to take three hours to read a book or watch a movie about the people of Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Yemen or Iran. Our real planet would then be a different world."

And this excerpt from U.S. Army veteran Gordon Sturrock of Veterans for Justice:

"Gallons of ink have already been spilled in the left blogosphere regarding the critical role now being played by the “soft” sciences of psychology and anthropology whoring itself out to Pentagon counterinsurgency in the AfPak theater.
... See More
As well, those who think about these things are increasingly alarmed at the mating up of CIA black ops, Special Forces, and an enormous army of mercenaries unaccountable to any legal framework, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a nightmare redux of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam now writ large in the AfPak arena. Obama’s Dirty War.

You want an outstanding popularized version of how all this interlocks, check out “Avatar”, which is an astoundingly-good movie not just on an action and technical level.

It explores the role of corporate-imperial force and subordination of a native culture through the science-fiction medium of the avatar, to infiltrate an indigenous people in order to induce its cooperation though skilled manipulation, using the carrot-and-stick of do-gooder anthropology and mercenary hunter-killer terror.

Director Cameron even understands that the aliens (what we now call the “indig’s” in AfPak) don’t want our roads or schools, in other words want to keep their own way of life. "



I might be an independent a conservative ... except to those who call me liberal because I disagree with their purified bathwater view of liberals and liberalism.

This writer and I are on the same page.

Politicans Before the People, Always

"The truth often is. Human nature dictates that the vast majority of our politicians will put their welfare or the good of their political party before the needs of their constituents, states or nation.

It's called 'self-preservation,' and it's destroying our country from within.... See More

... As an independent conservative -- while the actions of both parties sicken me at times -- I am usually most repulsed by the loathsome and hypocritical misdeeds of the Republican Party, the continuing exploits of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford coming most quickly to mind.

... What say potential 2012 GOP candidates Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee? While all three men strongly believe in 'the sanctity of traditional marriage,' their response to the adulterous conduct of Sanford, Vitter and Ensign has been mostly silence -- or the always lame 'It's a matter between them, their spouses and their states.'

Hardly profiles in courage from men who talk the talk on traditional values.

On the Democratic side of the aisle of ill repute, you have the likes of Gov. David Paterson of New York and Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois.

When I asked a high-level Democratic friend of mine about these two, he said, 'Better to have them disappear quietly than bring attention to their misconduct and hurt our franchise.'

Wow. There it is in a nutshell. Both sides want to protect themselves or the 'franchise' at all costs.'"

Raven Webb:

True - I call it greed an d power for the politicians - they get away with it so America is no longer the land of the free and free enterprise and private property must be abolished!



Never heard of Juan Cole? Possibly the most knowledgeable authority on the Middle Eastern History and Religion.

Top Ten Worst Things about the Bush Decade;

Including this comment from Alan (can be seen at the blog site):

"I had not known about your site until now; my loss.

Your overview of the first decade of the 21st century is the most astute and sweeping indictment of the current political system I've encountered.... See More

Should be required reading in our high schools, though given the lack of reading skills and knowledge of politics in our high school grads (I'm a university professor--I see it first-hand), I don't know how many would even grasp it.

And I agree about the war on science--reprehensible.

Again--simply brilliant piece. Like the governator said--I'll be back."

And this from Cole in his intro:

" Here are my picks for the top ten worst things about the wretched period, which, however, will continue to follow us
... See More
until the economy is re-regulated,
anti-trust concerns again pursued,
a new, tweaked fairness doctrine is implemented,
and we return to a more normal distribution of wealth (surely a quarter of the privately held wealth is enough for the one percent?)

It isn't about which party is in power; parties can always be bought. It is about how broadly shared resources are in a society.

Egalitarianism is unworkable, but over-concentration of wealth is also impractical. The latter produced a lot of our problems in the past decade, and as long as such massive inequality persists, our politics will be lopsided."



Another blessing arrived from heaven to call me GRAMPY!! Raina Grace Ruger ... the picture Cheri sent me shows a newborn with a left hand bigger than ... I don't know what. Will probably grow up to play the piano better than her Dad. Congratulations Joseph and Michelle Ruger.



Well don't that beat all? Immigration agents posing as Mormon Missionaries.
Next time them two missionary folks come to my door, I'm going to tell them that Jake is here legally and has a doggie passport to prove it.

ICE Agents' Ruse Operations

When I was a young Mormon missionary, the ministerial certificate signed by Church President David O. McKay formally designated me as a minister of - among other things - peace, love and harmony. That meant a lot to me and I still have that little certificate.

ICE agents pretending to be the same thing in order to act like Jack Bauer is an insult to America's core values and I am embarrassed for my country if we tolerate this sort of thing in the name of national integrity and moral values..



Hold on now! All you creationists out there have an anomaly to deal with. It seems that the Sumerians were alive, well and thriving before God created the world (based on biblical time) only 6000 years ago.
Note: The Onion is satire but the historical evidence is not.

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World



We are loathe to admit it but in this country we take far too many things for granted when we think about our fellow-citizens who serve and with their families who are much closer to the problem than we.

PBS' 'This Emotional Life': War On The Military Family



Of course TPM (Talking Points Memo) and the London Times might be satellite propagandists for Al Queda but I doubt it.
If the story below is true ... or close to it ... my next comment would be that we all need to see more TV stuff like "The Unit" so we can be commercially programmed and numbed down enough to accept sort of thing in real life.
Wouldn't want our patriotism to suffer at the hands of our humanity eh?

Afghan Children Handcuffed, Then Killed By American Soldiers | Rutabaga Ridgepole's Blog



Us baby boomers have got to be the most insecure, vulnerable, gullible and stupid generation in history ... and our overactive bladders prove it.

This Is Your Country on Drugs -- In These Times


Doofusness; The incumbent sitting Lame Duck American President

It's a vanity issue. For Mr. Trump that means he must satisfy Mr. Hannity, Ms. Coulter and these kind folks: On Networks and ...

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