Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ah… About that Funny-Looking Texas Tower

Texas Tower - Photo Source:
KXXV TV 25 (ABC) Central Texas News, Waco, TX
Is it a technological breakthrough or, just an odd tower thingy?

I’m betting my marbles on a breakthrough because of all the retired military brass management, investors and board members, plus the university connections with Viziv Technologies.

Besides, I’m tired of paying for all that inefficient, 1800s power company infrastructure and watching the lights go out every time the weather gods decide to mess with us.

Take a gander at this video…

Tesla Technology Has Been Revived



Please go here for the story from KXXV TV (ABC) Central Texas News, Waco, TX:

Monday, November 12, 2018

40 Million Messages


More than 9 million military died. More than 10 million civilians died. Another 20 million civilians became "casualties" because of WWI. Millions more became refugees, displaced persons.

We are lucky people. Although our nation has waged perpetual war around the world for the past 17 years, only .4% of our population is serving in the active military. Perhaps that is why our eyes are closed to the horrendous devastation brought about by our perpetual war economy. Our homes are not being bombed, our children are not dying and only people wanting to enter the U.S. are currently residing in refugee camps. (Please see below.)

There’s a message here  at least 40 million messages in fact — sent to us from our ancestors. They did not profit from war. War was not a good thing for them. Who profits from war?

No more guns & shootings - Message by Tadros Brothers / Frères Tadros


Please go here for more words about our world without war.




Source: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/military


Saturday, November 10, 2018

It's Our World,Too!


This past election underscored several of the challenges before us. Sooner or later we must devise a fix for three of them: healthcare; voting rights; and gun violence. Expansion of Medicare into a universal healthcare program offers a clear path toward workable solutions to help minimize each. We, the people, the 99.9%, are hurting. It's time to change the world for the good. Because, it's our world, too. Don't you agree?

Tomorrow - Annie - 1982 







Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election Reform


Next day election thoughts…

  1. Everyone knows the U.S. system is broken and something must be done to make it actually represent the will of the people. Here are three must reforms: (a) Eliminate “winner-take-all” elections and replace them with “fair representation voting methods” such as “Ranked Choice Voting“ (RCV) (b) National Popular Vote: “Every vote equal in the election of the United States president” and (c) Universal Voter Registration. Go to FairVote.org for why and how election reform must be implemented.
  2. We must get the big bucks out of our elections. We can start by reversing Citizen's United vs. Federal Election Commission.
  3. Every candidate who lost by a small margin should challenge election results based upon the Republican Party’s purge/disenfranchisement of voters as well as uncounted mailed ballots and provisional ballots. An independent, each-state-appointed, publicly transparent and accountable commission must review and tally each election to determine outcomes — especially in these elections: Abrams/Kemp Georgia (governor); O’Rourke/Cruz (U.S. Senator) Texas; Gillum/DeSantis Florida (governor) and Nelson/Scott U.S. Senator.
St Trinians - Uh Oh We're In Trouble (Official Video) - 2008












Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Other Republican Nightmare


Yes, I did vote today.

As the voting machine gobbled my paper ballot, I said a prayer to the Election Gods that my vote would be honestly counted, that millions of others would be as well, and that all our votes would be tallied and reported as we cast them.

Then I went home and washed my hands.

That's when it happened. The thought occurred to me that there must be more of a reason for the Republican Party’s decades-long fear of a viable, universal healthcare program. Why do they fear a universal, single-payer program? 

Then it hit me. Is there a connection with other Republican Party nightmares – such as universal voter registration? 

Historically, the Republican Party has worked tirelessly to exterminate Medicare, Social Security and voting rights for everyone save select white males. 

I'll bet a few marbles that they must hide under their covers, with all the lights on, when they think about universal voter registration. Yep! That's it!


"Now we know why the GOP is truly terrified of “Medicare for all”: It will wipe out the Republican Party’s control of the House, Senate, White House, and most state governments. Because it could make it very easy for every citizen over 18 to vote."

"Here’s how it works."

"In Canada, every citizen has a Canadian government-issued “Health Insurance Card” (you can see Quebec’s card at the link). It’s largely only available to citizens, as all citizens are eligible for the Canadian Medicare system; everybody else has to work out other insurance options (yes, there are insurance companies in Canada). And in most provinces, the card has your photo and works as an ID card as well as a driver’s license or passport."

"And the Canadian government also explicitly says right here on Quebec’s elections website that your Medicare card is also your first-choice voter ID card. An American version could work identically, perhaps with a star or hologram or other mark to identify citizens as opposed to Medicare-eligible permanent residents, etc."


"That's It!"  Preservation Hall Jazz Band - 2013



Monday, November 5, 2018

Better Wash Your Hands

Finally.

Tomorrow is election day. Boy, what a relief!

No more disgusting political ads. No more candidate-know-nothin’ blathering... thinkin’ we don’t know they're lying.

Relief is at hand.

Wait.

What’s in that hand?

Let’s cipher on this for a second:

  • Millions spent on gerrymandering districts
  • Karl Rove acolytes fixing election returns
  • Republican Secretaries of State disenfranchising millions of voters
  • Zillions spent on outright false and misleading campaign ads

What will be the election result?

Can’t be good, right?

Dirty process equals dirty hands.

Oh well, once you vote tomorrow… you’d better wash your hands!

Wash your hands


Friday, November 2, 2018

Nauseated? Can’t 6 Nov Get Here Sooner?

Too many political ads.
Some people know that the midterm elections are only a few days away. That fact may account for all the TV ads some people see if they are indeed watching what passes for local TV news programming.

A few people, I’m one, I guess, occasionally, even turn the sound up to hear some of the ads. I don’t know about those few other viewers, but when I actually listen to the ads, I begin to feel nauseated – overcome by the outright garbage and absurd lies cascading in torrents on innocent, prospective voter viewers… like me.

Taking into account that every election cycle is loaded with unrepentant falsifications, this election seems to have passed every overdose limit known to mankind. 

The exception, of course, is the greed overload limit. That "limit" grows exponentially each year.

There is no overload limit for the TV station owner’s greed, that is. After all, the TV people are raking in millions of dollars for constantly airing election advertising overflowing with outright lies and obviously misleading garbage content.

Still, I did catch one actor supposedly thanking Mr. Trump for his strong economy and low unemployment rate.

I was amazed.

Did this person really believe she was better off working for slave wages, no benefits, no healthcare, and continuously mounting credit card debt? Didn’t she realize that, a Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living? So, no matter how hard she works  it is likely that she can’t make enough money to live a decent life in the U.S.A. today.

Well, no. She didn’t know that. She’s an actor, not a real person.

But, it is our American Dream... we're well off now... we're kings and queens.

Roger Miller - King of the Road - 1965




Thursday, November 1, 2018

Courage

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne (1926)

Somewhere within us resides an itty-bitty spark of courage.

We need to look hard to find it.

Then, give it some air and nurture it into a brilliant flame.

We need that hidden spark to help us try to make fewer bombs, rifles, landmines, fighter jets, missiles and aircraft carriers.

Because with a tiny fraction of what we spend on war materiel each year, we can employ our people in good-paying jobs to rebuild our water systems and stop polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans; rebuild and modernize our roads, bridges, cities and family farms; make our healthcare system the best in the world; educate and train all our people; dive like our future depends on it — because it does — into decentralized and diversified, sustainable energy systems.

We can do these things and much more with an itty-bitty, mouse-sized portion of what we spend on war materiel.

All we need is the courage to find that spark and nurture it.

Transitioning from a war economy into a peace economy... it's time... because we are braver, stronger and smarter than we think.



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Feeling Vulnerable Today?

Street art by Banksy.
Feeling a bit vulnerable today? I am.

I feel like someone has taken my home away.

Through the years, countless courageous men and women have given their lives to defend our Constitution. Most, I reckon, really did believe they were serving in defense of freedom, for those they loved.

But, today, the man holding our nation's highest office has abandoned his solemn oath, it looks like, in favor of his never-ending quest for power by sowing hatred among us.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." "So help me God"

To help push back my fears for our nation’s future, I sought out a comforting prayer, the Prayer of St. Francis. It may help you, too.

Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life
Amen

Sarah McLachlan - Prayer of St. Francis - 2013


The Official Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan and students from The Sarah McLachlan School of Music come together this holiday season with the Prayer of St. Francis.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Gort, We Need You.


Eleven innocents were slaughtered and several others were wounded by a crazed gunman this past Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

The slaughter goes on and on. This is the state of our nation today.

Congress will do nothing to protect us; to stop our evil epidemic.

But, we are smarter than this, aren’t we? We can no longer wait. What can we do to stop the carnage?

We can put an end to it all by demanding that a fraction of our defense budget be put to work for our real, actual defense against weapons of personal destruction in our homes, in our schools, at our public places and places of worship.

For Humanity… it’s Time*

Spending trillions on war technology is an every year thing here in the USA. Likewise, every year, one can count on a large percentage of that money disappearing into bottomless holes located in some God forsaken places such as Afghanistan, Iraq or the bank accounts of connected contractors like Halliburton.

Still, once in a while, the wealth does end up funding mind-blowing hardware and unbelievable, science fiction-like killing tools through which we maintain our “influence” as the one and only global superpower.

Has the thought occurred to you what else we could do with a fraction of those trillions of dollars and a little, itty-bitty bit of that mind-blowing technology?

Well, perhaps we could apply a few of those killing dollars and some of that murderous technology to stopping the senseless murder of our children.

Doing so could slow our headlong free fall into the chasm of barbarism.



Jam Up the Works or Gort We Need You NOW

You may not be aware of it, but our military and secret agencies can destroy missiles, rockets, boats, airplanes, mortar and artillery rounds with laser and other “beam” weapons. It’s also true that we can shoot microwaves at protesters, painfully heat their skin (accidently, of course, fusing their contact lens to their eyeballs) and force them to disperse.

Such is our power today that we can even cause targeted “subjects” to hear voices inside their heads (Sorry, tin hats are no protection.), manipulate weather, and even cause earthquakes. Even more frighteningly, we can cause atoms to “dissociate” on a molecular level, reducing steel, for instance, into nano-sized particles of “dust”; turning massive buildings into piles of talcum powder-sized particles carried away with the wind.

This “technology” exists.** It is under our nation’s control. Why then don’t we politely request that the “powers that be” use a bit of it for a preventative purpose?

Let’s start with something relatively easy: create a protective system which causes a rifle, shotgun, or handgun to misfire when someone attempts to use it in a school, retail store or public place.

**Go here for the rest of the story.

Remember Gort? He was one of the Intergalactic Robot Policeman given irrevocable powers to stop aggressive behavior on all planets He arrived on Earth with Klaatu (Michael Rennie) in the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

We need millions of “Gorts” to save us from ourselves since our political leadership will do nothing.

Hopefully, once invented, our “Gorts” will be unhackable as well as invincible and, of course, incapable of error when ciphering out which of us are the aggressors.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2/5) Movie CLIP - Gort Appears (1951) HD



The Day the Earth Stood Still (4/5) Movie CLIP - Klaatu's Speech (1951) HD


*First posted 5 Oct 2015.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Other Ways to Make a Living


Why must we go on hating?

Why must every bomb, every landmine, every weapon of death have Made in USA stamped on it?

Aren’t you tired of seeing all the "collateral damage"... innocent dead and wounded… men, women and children... especially the children... sown by the war economy?

I am.

Can’t we choose other ways to make a living?

Is it because, has it always been because, the death economy produces a never-ending flow of gold for a select few to horde in their cellar vaults?

It’s time for the Peace Train to take us away from our death-dealing war economy to a life-sustaining Peace Economy.

It’s time for the Peace Train Party to end the carnage.

Peace Train - Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) - 1971 & 2008


Yusuf Islam, formerly known by his stage name Cat Stevens (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948 in London, UK), is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.

As "Cat Stevens," Islam has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified by the RIAA as having achieved Triple Platinum status in the United States (three million sales each); his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards (for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for four different artists.)

Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame in 1977. The following year, he adopted his Islamic name Yusuf Islam and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. In 2006, he returned to pop music, with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup.

He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including the 2004 Man for Peace award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. He lives with his wife, Fauzia Mubarak Ali, and five children in Brondesbury Park, London, and spends part of each year in Dubai.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Gift Star


I didn’t notice it at first. In fact, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all except I decided to go outside early in the morning to go to the overnight store for eggs and berries. It was 2:30, you know.

Most humans don’t venture into the dark at 2:30 am. You know why—ravenous coyotes; car-jacking-criminals; gun-toting-ticket-giving-in-the-bushes-hiding-police and such things are out there waiting for unsuspecting citizens on their way to the store in the darkest hours of the early morning.

All that aside, I determined that this morning was to be different. I was on a mission because the boss needed her eggs and berries for next day lunch, even though she hadn’t asked for them.

I knew we’d eaten up our stash, and worse, forgotten to go to the store earlier. She needed to leave at 5:30, so there was no time to go to the A&P like normal people. So, I decided it was my job to go for supplies.

Outside the night was cold as usual for this time of year. But the sky was clear—I could see stars. Now, that was unusual for our S.E. Michigan sky.

That’s when I noticed the star. It was bright and beautiful.

There must be a reason for my seeing that star, I thought.

Later that morning I found the reason.

Researchers may have discovered a safe way to kill pancreatic cancer tumors.

Several of our friends have died a very painful death due to pancreatic cancer. Once diagnosed, they all had precious little time left on this Earth—nearly every minute of it overflowing with terrible pain and suffering.

I decided that star, so bright and beautiful, was a Gift Star... there for those who have passed and those who will not now suffer death by pancreatic cancer. No one can tell me I'm wrong. Right?

Here’s the story:

Pancreatic cancer: Chinese tree compound helps destroy tumors, Ana Sandoiu, medicalenewstoday.com, 22 Oct 2018.

“A new study, published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, finds that a synthetic analog of a compound found in a rare Chinese tree can be used to tackle treatment-resistant pancreatic cancer.”

“New findings may drastically improve the outlook for people who have pancreatic cancer.”

“The American Cancer Society (ACS) report that around 55,440 people will develop pancreatic cancer in 2018 and around 44,330 people will die as a result.”

“This cancer is particularly difficult to both treat and diagnose.”

“A lack of specific and accessible screening methods means that specialists often find the disease in its later stages, which can impact the patients' outlook.”

“The ACS estimate that 12–14 percent of people with early-stage pancreatic cancer go on to survive for 5 years.”

“New research offers much-needed hope; scientists have found that a derivative of camptothecin — which is a Chinese tree bark compound whose anticancer properties were discovered over half a century ago — can effectively kill pancreatic cancer tumors.” -more-

Starbright - Jim Brickman - 2015


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Rep. Jamie Raskin for President




Neither Democrat nor Republican am I.

But one thing is clear to me: Democrats cannot fail our nation again as they did in 2016. They must offer the people of the United States a presidential candidate who will serve the best interests of the 99.9% and decisively trounce Mr. Trump in 2020.

Further, this election, the Democrats must clearly articulate a party platform which represents the interests of the 99.9%. Finally, after the midterm elections this November, assuming the Democrats at least regain the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Democrats must immediately begin to enact legislation to serve the interests of the 99.9%.

Why Raskin?

Rep. Raskin is one of a handful of Democrats who is clearly speaking to the extent of the Trump-emboldened, Republican-enacted, 99.9%-punishing, legislation passed by the U.S. Congress this year. Please go here for the details:


Who could be our next President? Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-MD).

Below are three short videos showing Rep Raskin at work for the 99.9%, the people of the United States.

Raskin Debunks GOP's Conspiracy Theory with Quotes from GOP - Jul 12, 2018


Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) debunks GOP conspiracy theories in his questioning of FBI's Peter Strzok in a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. July 12, 2018.

Rep. Jamie Raskin On Removing Trump From Office - Dec 13, 2017


Rebel HQ
TYT's Cenk Uygur spoke with Rep. Jamie Raskin, a progressive Democrat representing Maryland's 8th district, about his bill regarding the 25th Amendment and President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jamie Raskin Surviving Colorectal Cancer, Advancing Medical Research - Sep 19, 2017


American Association for Cancer Research
After U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Maryland) was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 48, he was treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Rep. Raskin’s experience with cancer has strengthened his resolve to ensure that federal investment in biomedical research will continue the progress against diseases like cancer. Read Rep. Raskin’s story and those of other survivors in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2017 here CancerProgressReport.org

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What Does it Mean to be an American Today?


I grew up in a mass delusional world.

Most Americans back then were afflicted with a something akin to delusions of grandeur — only different, in a special “American” way.

We thought we were a special people. We were divinely chosen to spread our form of Democracy (American Capitalism) throughout the world. We were entitled because we were the victors. We had triumphed over evil. After all, had we not just singlehandedly won World War II?

It was our manifest destiny to spread our businesses throughout the world and impose our way of thinking because we were good, just and always right. And, of course, everyone else was envious of our American Way.

The TV told us how great we were, too. Superman said he fought for, Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

O.K. then. So, did I.

I not only believed in various versions of the Cowboy Creed Creeds* I saw on TV and read about, I actually tried to live by them, too. Those cowboy heroes — Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger, and Roy Rogers — along with my other heroes, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and later, Sgt. Saunders and 2nd Lt. Hanley of the TV Series, Combat!, were real to me. They weren’t actors playing parts. No, I believed they were real. The things they did were the things I could aspire to, as well.

Along with millions of other American kids, I admired the even-handedness of Fess Parker’s, Davy Crockett; the inspirational bravery of his Daniel Boone; the self-confidence of Vic Morrow’s, Sgt. Saunders; the “take care your men before yourself” of Rick Jason’s, 2nd. Lt. Hanley; and most certainly, the “never leave your wounded” and “under fire bravery” of Conlan Carter’s, Doc.

It wasn’t only me, you know. Millions of other kids thought so.

It was the American Delusion of the '50s and '60s. That’s the reason some of us were and remain so messed up. We believed in the inherent good of mankind and we knew it was up to us to make things better.

That was then.

It’s now… now.

Things are different.

Today. What can one say about today?

We no longer have a vision of what it means to be an American. We have just lost our way.

*The Lone Ranger Creed
  • I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
  • That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
  • That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
  • In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
  • That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
  • That "this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people," shall live always.
  • That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
  • That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
  • That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever.
  • I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

So, what does it mean to be an American... today?

Please go here for an excellent description of the Cowboy Codes (Creeds) and other stuff.

Gene Autry - Back in the Saddle Again (from Back in the Saddle 1941)








Friday, October 19, 2018

Second Class Republicans?


Trevor Noah of the Daily Show has come up with an outstanding solution to the Republican Party’s never-ending voting restrictions schemes that deny millions of black, brown and Native American people their guaranteed right to vote. He suggests registering as a Republican and then voting for the candidate of your choice. You'll at least get to vote.

Great idea!

But, on second thought, that may work only once, until the Republicans invent a "second class Republican" status that will once again deny the “wrong class of Republicans” their right to vote.

I sure like the idea, though.

GOP Voter Suppression Ramps Up in Georgia
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Oct 18, 2018


Thursday, October 18, 2018

It’s Our World, Too!


Our world is topsy-turvy, inside out.

Most of us live hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck, way over our heads in debt, eking out an existence.

Because most of us know no other way, we have accepted the status quo as our way of life. We work our lives away, afraid to take a vacation day, less the boss replaces us with someone more compliant and/or younger. If we get sick or need time off for a surgical procedure, we worry if our job will be there when we come back from medical leave. It’s not paranoia. It is very likely that our colleagues will collude with our esteemed corporate management to screw-us-over, demote us, give our job to a personal favorite or replace our “full-time” job with a low-pay, rent-a-employee, located in India or Pakistan.

Then, even if we manage to keep our job, we don’t share in the abundance we produce and it's unlikely that we will keep our jobs long enough to see retirement. RETIREMENT? What retirement? By the time we reach retirement age most of the promised benefits will be gone. Social Security? Medicare? With one political party working day and night to eliminate them, it’s likely they will be history, too.

At some point we become depressed, over medicated and addicted - fighting for more of those ever-diminishing momentary “pleasure hits” conjured up from within our culture to make us buy more, eat more, and even vote against our own best interests.

Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Tea Party, conservative, liberal, blue collar, college educated, long-time resident, new resident - we all are feeling the pain alike.

We are not happy people. Things are not working. Things are topsy-turvy.

The question we must all ask of ourselves is: What can be done to make things work the right way? After all, isn’t it Our World, Too?

Mr Cellophane -John C. Reilly- The Movie Chicago- 2003


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Tell Me Lies


While reading Mr. Trump’s op-ed in USA Today I began to wonder if I had been captured by the outer space people and transported to another earth or somehow transferred into alternative universe.


Nope. I’m kinda sure I’m still on planet Earth and still living in the universe of my birth.

WOW, I thought! This stuff is so far from truth that even the most zealous Trumpster must see his outrageous untruths falling off the page in heaps.

Nope again. I’ll bet a zillion marbles that most Trumpsters will be unable to cipher-out even a single untruth.

For the rest of us, we can attempt to heal our “truth wounds” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by taking the new Trumpaganda class and learn all about Mr. Trump’s “War On Facts”.

Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies - 1987


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Corporatists Rule


I've been silent most of the summer months. There have been several reasons, the most paramount being despair… a deep foreboding sense of paralyzing hopelessness.

I guess I’ve been mourning the death of a childhood fantasy that my government is good and the people we’ve allowed to represent us have our best interests at heart. It’s been a post WWII, 1940s-born delusion of mine to believe that elected representatives will first do for the people of the United States before acting in self-interest.

The past “confirmation” carnival through which the Republican majority enshrined Mr. Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States clearly has shown that we, the 99.9%, can no longer fool ourselves with the fantasy that our elected officials will do “the right thing” for us, for the nation. No, in fact, rather than an open and honest review of Mr. Kavanaugh the nominee, we witnessed a replication of 1800s, backroom, partisan political gamesmanship to install a self-proclaimed, crony conservative and corporatist, to a life-term on our highest court.

I will be truly, and delightedly, surprised if Mr. Kavanaugh ever decides, even once, in favor of the best interests of common people of the United States over corporate or Republican party interests.

What can we expect the Court to render in the days ahead?

If historian Dr. Howard Zinn was right, and I believe he was, we will see more American injustice than "equal justice under law". Without a doubt the corporatists rule America.  In 2005 Zinn wrote:

"It would be naive to depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.”

"The distinction between law and justice is ignored by all those Senators--Democrats and Republicans--who solemnly invoke as their highest concern ‘the rule of law.’ The law can be just; it can be unjust. It does not deserve to inherit the ultimate authority of the divine right of the king.”

"The Constitution gave no rights to working people: no right to work less than twelve hours a day, no right to a living wage, no right to safe working conditions. Workers had to organize, go on strike, defy the law, the courts, the police, create a great movement which won the eight-hour day, and caused such commotion that Congress was forced to pass a minimum wage law, and Social Security, and unemployment insurance.”

"The courts have never been on the side of justice, only moving a few degrees one way or the other, unless pushed by the people. Those words engraved in the marble of the Supreme Court, 'Equal Justice Before the Law,' have always been a sham."

"No Supreme Court, liberal or conservative, will stop the war in Iraq, or redistribute the wealth of this country, or establish free medical care for every human being. Such fundamental change will depend, the experience of the past suggests, on the actions of an aroused citizenry, demanding that the promise of the Declaration of Independence--an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--be fulfilled."

Howard Zinn: Don’t Despair about the Supreme Court, Progressive.org, 21 Oct 2005.

The Politicians Song, Nigel Bradford, 2013


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Avarice, Fraud, Thievery and a Pimple


Post 9/11 2018 is an excellent time to consider where we are going as a nation. In fact, it will serve us well to look at who we have become and who we want to become.

With that thought in mind, here are two discussions for your consideration.

The first helps us understand that we have made zero progress since the 2008 “recession” devastated our nation. I do mean devastated. Because from my Michigan perspective, we suffered a 10-year economic depression brought on, in large part, by predatory bankers and outright fraud. (Have you forgotten the millions who lost their homes; the failed businesses; and the unscrupulous debt collectors”?) And, worse, the bankster frauders were rewarded with billions in public money bailouts while homeowners suffer without relief and were forced to overcome financial ruin “by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps”, if they managed to hang on to their boots from the layers of blood-sucking bill collectors.

The second discussion confronts us with the certain realization that we are not the people we believe ourselves to be. In fact, Mr. Trump is a manifestation of the people we have allowed ourselves to be.

Oh, my!

The questions which perplex me are: How and when will we as a people decide we’ve had enough? When will we end the scamming, fraud and thievery not only condoned by our society but seemingly cherished by it? And, finally, honestly, do you believe you and your children and grandchildren, are well served by, “a pimple on the face of the Presidency”, a President who is “merely a noxious, venal, and ineffectual blowhard, who has assembled a team of associates who are themselves, with few exceptions, noxious, venal, or ineffectual”? When will we as a people take responsibility for correcting our government and force it to serve our interests— the interests of the 99.9%?

When Timothy Geithner Defied Barack Obama, Jacob Sugarman, Truthdig.com. 11 Sept 2018

“Less than a week after The New York Times ran an op-ed by an anonymous Trump administration official openly challenging the president’s fitness for office, the question of who wrote the piece continues to vex Beltway pundits and the White House alike. But Donald Trump is hardly the first occupant of the Oval Office to face insubordination, potentially from somebody in his inner circle. As The New Republic’s David Dayen reminds us, Timothy Geithner’s “refusal to obey his boss” altered the course of the Great Recession—and likely set us on a path toward Trump’s election.”

“In March 2009, the U.S. economy was imploding. Citigroup had reported losses in excess of $8 billion the previous quarter, and two government bailouts totaling $45 billion, along with an additional $306 billion in loan guarantees, had proved insufficient to right the ship. While President Barack Obama had publicly dismissed nationalizing the country’s most distressed banks, Larry Summer—then National Economic Council director—was intrigued by the idea, so Obama ordered the Treasury Department to explore a radical restructuring of Citigroup.”

“Geithner simply didn’t follow the request,” writes Dayen, citing “Confidence Men” author Ron Suskind. “It was a classic Washington move: When your boss asks for something you don’t like, just ignore it and hope that the request isn’t necessary when the boss follows up.”

“Geithner adamantly rejected this account, telling Suskind, “I don’t slow-walk the president on anything.” But as Dayen notes, Obama tacitly admitted that that was what happened, expressing his frustration with “the speed with which the bureaucracy could exercise my decision.” -more-

After Trump, The Donald in the Rearview Mirror, Andrew J. Bacevich, Tomgram. 11 Sept 2018.

“Donald Trump’s tenure as the 45th U.S. president may last another few weeks, another year, or another 16 months.  However unsettling the prospect, the leaky vessel that is the S.S. Trump might even manage to stay afloat for a second term.  Nonetheless, recent headline-making revelations suggest that, like some derelict ship that's gone aground, the Trump presidency may already have effectively run its course. What, then, does this bizarre episode in American history signify?”

“Let me state my own view bluntly: forget the atmospherics.  Despite the lies, insults, name calling, and dog whistles, almost nothing of substance has changed. Nor will it.”

“To a far greater extent than Trump’s perpetually hyperventilating critics are willing to acknowledge, the United States remains on a trajectory that does not differ appreciably from what it was prior to POTUS #45 taking office. Post-Trump America, just now beginning to come into view, is shaping up to look remarkably like pre-Trump America.”

“I understand that His Weirdness remains in the White House. Yet for all practical purposes, Trump has ceased to govern. True, he continues to rant and issue bizarre directives, which his subordinates implement, amend, or simply disregard as they see fit. “

“Except in a ceremonial sense, the office of the presidency presently lies vacant. Call it an abdication-in-place. It’s as if British King Edward VIII, having abandoned his throne for “the woman I love,” continued to hang around Buckingham Palace fuming about the lack of respect given Wallis and releasing occasional bulletins affirming his admiration for Adolf Hitler.”

“In Trump’s case, it’s unlikely he ever had a more serious interest in governing than Edward had in performing duties more arduous than those he was eventually assigned as Duke of Windsor. Nonetheless, the 60-plus million Americans who voted for Trump did so with at least the expectation that he was going to shake things up.”

“And bigly. Remember, he was going to “lock her up.”  He would “drain the swamp” and “build a wall” with Mexico volunteering to foot the bill. Without further ado, he would end “this American carnage.” Meanwhile, “America First” would form the basis for U.S. foreign policy. Once Trump took charge, things were going to be different, as he and he alone would “make America great again.”

“Yet the cataclysm that Trump’s ascendency was said to signify has yet to occur. Barring a nuclear war, it won’t.” -more-

So, in classic, Dirty-Hairy-"Do you feel lucky?"-tone, we ask ourselves this question: "Are you ready (to do something about these problems... or not?

Do you feel lucky?


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lets get real. Why 9/11?


An estimated 200 people jumped to their deaths on 9/11 2001.

9/11 Trillions: Follow The Money




Forget for one moment everything you've been told about September 11, 2001. 9/11 was a crime. And as with any crime, there is one overriding imperative that detectives must follow to identify the perpetrators: follow the money. This is an investigation of the 9/11 money trail.

Who had the Means, Motive, Opportunity to pull off the 9/11 murders?

The Interview:
Interview 744 – Kevin Ryan Exposes “Another 19” 9/11 Suspects

9/11 researcher Kevin Ryan of Digwithin.net joins us once again to discuss his new must-read book, “Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects.” We discuss some of the individuals and corporations identified in his book and those who have helped to cover up investigations of them, as well as what works like this can accomplish and where the 9/11 truth movement should head from here.

The Book:
Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects Jun 14, 2013
by Kevin Ryan

Were the crimes of September 11, 2001 solely the work of Osama bin Laden and nineteen troubled young Arabs, or were more powerful people involved? After a decade of investigation, the long-time co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, Kevin Ryan, offers an evidence-based analysis of nineteen other suspects.

Although a number of books have demonstrated that the official accounts are false, Another Nineteen takes the next, crucial step toward a new investigation into the crimes of 9/11. With the support of victim's families and leading 9/11 researchers, Ryan examines nineteen suspects who were in position to accomplish major elements of the crimes that still need to be explained. Detailed evidence is presented that reveals how each of the alternative suspects had the means, motive and opportunity to accomplish one or more aspects of the 9/11 events. In light of a forty-year history of deep events and crimes against democracy, Ryan shows how 9/11 fits into the pattern of a deep state operation, how the alternate suspects worked together throughout that history, how each was connected to two men who were in perfect position to coordinate the attacks, and how these suspects can either be charged with 9/11 crimes today or further investigated in focused ways.

9/11 War Games


Little did we know at the time, 9/11 was not a normal day of blue sky aviation. On the contrary, it was one of the busiest days in the history of American aviation, a dense forest of live fly exercises, drills, simulations, fake radar injects and utter confusion. And that was before the attacks even began. This is the story of 9/11 that you didn’t watch unfold on your TV that fateful day in 2001. This is the story of the 9/11 War Games. Please go here for transcript, links and more.

Remembering 9/11 – 2,974 WTC Murders

(Updated 16 Sept 2017. Please go here for the International Bureau of Forensic Investigations cold case investigation of the 9/11 murders.) Similar to the day President Kennedy was murdered, I remember where I was and what I was doing when the World Trade Center Towers the other five WTC buildings were destroyed, 11 Sept 2001, don’t you?

I turned the TV on that morning to see if there was some reason why my Internet connection had suddenly frozen up. Perhaps, I speculated, someone had demolished the Comcast cable somewhere close by.

Instead of a car accident, I learned that the one of the WTC towers was on fire. I didn’t know it then, but our world had changed again, once more in a very bad way.

In shock, I suspect, after seeing several people jump from the WTC, I later accepted our government’s explanation of the collapse of the impossibly huge buildings. After all, I’d seen it all on TV, hadn’t I?

Never, for a second, did I question where the mammoth tons and tons of rubble went that day - the steel and the building contents. Nor did I question why they fell so quickly and without damaging the building close by. -more-

Cold Case Findings
On 11 September 2001, 2,974 people were murdered in New York City. At the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. and on flights 77 and 93, 224 innocent people were murdered. To this day, these crimes remain unsolved and the perpetrators continue to elude justice. -more-

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Let’s Think This Through

Walter Reuther, left, and Richard Frankensteen, after being beaten bloody by Ford Motor Company's anti-union thugs at the "Battle of the Overpass," an incident depicted in the new documentary Brothers on the Line. (Wayne State University Reuther Library Archives) 
Most of us know it is time for a major change — that it is time for our nation to apply our vast resources toward serving the interests of our people; to move toward a ‘Peace” economy and away from a “Continuous War” economy; to emphasize people over profit; to establish a balance between corporate interests and the welfare of all the people; and, toward protection from our current “Predatory Capitalistic” system.

Unfortunately, this realization is not a new thing. People have come to that conclusion from time immemorial.

And, in their time, countless heroes have given their lives trying to move the ball an inch or two forward toward obtaining “Natural Rights”, those our nation’s founders called, “unalienable rights”. You no doubt recognize this declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

Back then, a few rich white guys convinced enough of the “Joe-&-Jane-lunch-bucket” colonists to fight a revolution against King George. For various reasons the revolution succeeded and the rich guys got a lot; the Joe & Jane workers got some potential and a chance to dream sbout making the bigtime like the rich guys, otherwise known as, the “American Dream”.

Fast forward a few hundred years and, we, the American Joes & Janes, the 99.9%, are still trying to dream that American Dream. Our ancestors did make some progress in their time. They paid the price in blood, achieving things that we take for granted, among them:

  • Eight-hour work days
  • Child labor laws
  • 40-hour work week
  • Vacation time
  • Sick time
  • Minimum wage
  • The Right to Vote

What about that “Pursuit of Happiness” thing?

Well, on this Labor Day, 2018, it is obvious that it's going to take a lot more than dreaming to find our chance at happiness.

Still, we can dream. Can’t we?


The Collapse of the Middle Class and the Rise of a New 'Precariat', Robert Scheer, Truthdig, 31 Aug 2018. Robert Scheer interview of Alissa Quart, Squeezed: The High Price of the American Family.

"And what your book really gets into in a very deep way is self-blame andif you fail–and this is the most powerful, corrupting message this society puts out: if you fail, it’s your fault. And you better go to a self-help group, or you better have a better attitude, or embrace your inner blah blah blah. And the whole idea that maybe the game is rigged–rigged–is, you know, that’s considered radical and negative thinking. And when you mentioned the housing meltdown, the Great Recession, and debt–debt, this incredible debt that people inherited on every level–and the fact, you know, you have to pay so much to go to college now, there wasn’t public money for doing something like free tuition, as Bernie Sanders argued for. There isn’t public money for helping people get job training for the jobs that are needed. There isn’t–there isn’t public money for health care. All the things you say these European societies have, and manage to fund. And what did they do? Under Barack Obama, the great president of hope, they bailed out the banks for destroying the economy. Right? And they didn’t bail out homeowners. They didn’t do anything fundamentally to help homeowners who lost their houses, not through any failure on their part, because the game was rigged by these, basically, thieves on Wall Street. So, I mean, isn’t it really cutting to the chase the issue, are you going to blame yourself, or are you going to blame the system?"



Friday, August 31, 2018

Sen. McCain… Man of Courage

Sen. McCain votes "No".

Occasionally a few Congressional people conjure up courage to do the right thing by the people of the United States. One such moment was when Sen John McCain voted against Republican amendments to destroy “Obamacare”. Just for that moment alone Sen. McCain deserves not only the Congressional Medal of Honor but the everlasting admiration of the people of the USA.

 

Yet, John McCain was so much more than that one vote. He was a man of courage throughout his life. He will forever be my hero.

 

Here is why…

 

Healthcare... No One Left Behind


Sen. John McCain stood tall once again last night. The man who refused to leave his comrades behind came through for the people of the United States. *

He is my hero.

Despite Donald Trump’s diatribes and ridicule. Despite the president’s minion’s continuous threats to withdraw federal funding from the people of Arizona, Sen. John McCain remained true to his love for his country, his wisdom, his own healthcare challenges and, yes, his honor.

Duty. Honor. Country. These words really do mean everything.

When it comes down to the hard times and our lives depend upon the man casting the vote. Thank God Sen. John McCain found the strength to endure.

He came back to Washington, D.C. He made his vote count.

No one left behind.

I wish John McCain were the President of the United States.

One more thing.

There were two other heroes last night. Sen Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who joined with all 46 of the chamber’s Democrats and independents to defeat the Sen. McConnell’s repeated attempts to deny millions of Americans healthcare. Both senators endured Trumpian tweet tirades of scorn and ridicule, plus his minion’s threats to deny federal funds to the people of their states. Please go here for the whole story.

Photo above: John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war. (FRANCOIS CHALAIS)

*John McCain spent 5½ years in captivity as a POW in North Vietnam. His first-person account of that harrowing ordeal was published in U.S. News & World Report on in May 14, 1973. Shot down in his Skyhawk dive bomber on Oct. 26, 1967, Navy flier McCain was taken prisoner with fractures in his right leg and both arms. He received minimal care and was kept in wretched conditions that he describes vividly in this U.S. News special report.

Of the many personal accounts coming to light about the almost unbelievably cruel treatment accorded American prisoners of war in Vietnam, none is more dramatic than that of Lieut. Commander John S. McCain III—Navy flier, son of the admiral who commanded the war in the Pacific, and a prisoner who came in "for special attention" during 5½ years of captivity in North Vietnam. Please go here for more.


John McCain EPIC Senate Floor Speech After Health Care Vote - 25 July 2017


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sen. McCain… Man of Courage & Honor



Congratulations Sen McCain, for the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal honor.

Thank you, Senator McCain for the man you are. For your courage in the face of overwhelming odds. For your strength. And, for remaining with your fellow POWs at the North Vietnamese Hỏa Lò Prison, known as “The Hanoi Hilton”, until you and your fellow POWs could come home together.

I have no doubt that Col. Richard “Pop” Keirn, USAF, would agree.

Richard Keirn, my mother’s first cousin, was held for 7 years and 7 months in the Hanoi Hilton and came home with Sen McCain.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Courage to Do Right



Colbert To Trump: 'Doing Nothing Is Cowardice'

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
2 Oct 2017

Stephen Colbert commends the victims and first responders of the tragic Las Vegas shooting for their immeasurable courage. Now we need courage from the President of the United States.


Sen. John McCain has the courage to do the right thing. Please take a few minutes to view this video: John McCain Receives the Profile in Courage Award


JFK Library
28 Aug 2008

Senator John McCain's acceptance speech at the May 24, 1999 Profile in Courage Awards.





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Thank You, Aretha


Millions are Aretha Franklin fans. I’ve been one since forever.

Back in the 60s, RESPECT was a favorite. Later, in the 80s, "Freeway of Love"... the “Pink Cadillac” song became a hit.

But, most of all Aretha will always be the major star in my heart because of her performance of “Nessun Dorma”, when she sang as a sub for Luciano Pavarotti, and, again for the Pope… that unforgettable performance… the one that brought a little boy to her side on stage.

Thank you, Aretha.

Aretha Franklin, sub for opera great ABC video



Freeway of Love - Aretha Franklin - 1985


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Please, Never Give Up

Activsts walk during the 50 Miles More march in Worcester, Massachusetts, on 23 August.
Photograph: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

While our attention is overwhelmed by U.S. mainstream media reports about Trump associates’ felony convictions, a major story playing out in Massachusetts has gone largely unnoticed.

Thank God for the UK’s, The Guardian.

Why is this important? Each day our youth realize it’s up to them to create a nonviolent, compassionate, life-affirming USA. They haven’t yet lost their dreams and hopes for rational gun regulation.

I hope they never tire, never surrender, never give up.

Here’s the story:


“Activists across Massachusetts came together for the local chapter of 50 Miles More to challenge the arms manufacturer at its Springfield headquarters.”

“Student activists continued to make progress on Friday on a 50-mile march that will bring them to the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson in Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend.”

“The group has two messages it hopes to deliver to Smith & Wesson. First is a request that the company cease the manufacture of weapons outlawed under the 2004 Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban.”

“Smith & Wesson produces weapons that are illegal in Massachusetts then ships them throughout the country, and those [guns] take peoples’ lives,” Eder said. “That needs to stop.”

“The group would also like to see the company donate $5m to research violence involving its weapons.”

“I hope Smith & Wesson realize they can become a responsible gun manufacturer. They could start making guns with finger print [technology] again, for example.”

“He (David Hogg) and the group have no problem with the second amendment, they all agreed. They simply take issue with how it’s regulated.”

“We don’t have universal background checks; we need to invest in violence intervention programs,” Hogg said. “These shootings don’t just happen in high schools, they happen every day. We need people like the president to realize this is not just Parkland, this is Boston, this is all the different cities that we’re with.”

Asked what he wanted Smith & Wesson to hear when the group arrives on Sunday, Brody said it was “OK to be a gun manufacturer and be against gun violence.

“You can be a part of the solution. If you’re truly who you say you are, you haven’t acted like it. It’s time to step up and be the first gun manufacturer to say you’re against gun violence, and mean it and show it.” 


Bruce Springsteen - No Surrender - 2004