Friday, October 2, 2015

The Latest Carnage at a School: When Nimby Becomes Imby

A small town makes map fame for a sad tale of murder--yet
again. This time it's Roseburg, Oregon, at a college with a
student population of about 3,000. According to tonight's
NBC TV news report, (10/02/'15) nine people died
yesterday morning, including one professor. Initially, and
predictably, the death toll was exaggerated, breathlessly
broadcast to be 13, but local authorities released an accurate
list with photos;  the number is nine. The assassin died during
gunfire exchanged with police, but he managed to injure
between seven and nine others in addition to his kills. One
hero, a former soldier, managed to stop further fatalities
even while being shot himself; he is recuperating, his pix
showing a smiling survivor.

When Nimby (not in my backyard) becomes Imby (IN my
backyard), the reactions and statements are always amazed,
pained, predictable. "Nothing like this has happened in our
area before", etc. ... shock, sadness, but not awe.

Lester Holt quoted the CDC, saying there is one murder
every 16 minutes in America. Another report I saw last
night claims there have been 294 school shootings (not
killings) in the USA in the past eight months. What the
Hell is going on? YES, tragic and senseless violence is
part and parcel of human history, but something evil is
now afoot, accelerating, something that began with
Columbine and earlier, with the Unabomber.

The writings of these defective, murderous malcontents
generally equates to: "I'm alone, disrespected, marginalized--
I'll show 'em, I'll show 'em all... I'll kill a few people and
get on the news, in the papers, online...".  There is much
more to this horrific scenario than simple mental illness
married to the ridiculously easy availability of weaponry.

Our superficial society, with our envy of and wish for
celebrity, unwillingness to understand and accept the
vicissitudes which come to every life, lacking in studious-
ness--these all greatly create a climate of frustration, the
"ire in desire", if you will. Everyone is NOT equal: all are
not equally lucky, talented, agile, brilliant, beautiful,
innovative, inspiring, studied,  focused, ambitious or driven,
ad infinitum. It has been ever thus; these inequalities will
continue to exist. Unfortunately, we are all told all too often
that anyone/everyone can become the president, a quarterback,
a  sexy singer/dancer, a best-selling author, a guitar hero.
Sorry, S'ain't happening! Some will, most won't.

...But yes, do try. If you fail, at least you've tried; you'll
know where you're at. This is a good thing, because
you can conquer your disappointment by trying something
else. Eventually, you will find a good spot, as this is
indeed a nation famed for its second chances and
comeback "kids".

That's when the good "imby", success, occurs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The USA: More Stupidity, Superstition and Suspicion Than Sense, September 2015

I can't decide whether to laugh, cry, or fling myself out of
my third story window, so I'll rant righteously instead:

o  A U.S. congressman nabs Pope Francis' still filled water
glass, drinks out of it, shares with his BFFs, and plans to bless
others with it. (?? Congressman Brady, if a Catholic, doesn't
deal from the Catechism; instead, he has his own brand of religion.
Who is he to pass on any blessing as a rep of the Pope? Generally
one must be a priest to so represent. One can always bless
someone or something on their own recognizance, not
anybody else's.--Whew!

o  Rush Limbaugh doesn't believe the latest scientific
evidence confirming running water on Mars--but that's
not all. He posits this exciting news is actually a leftist
plot! (Oh brother, father, sister, mother!)

o  Pastor John Agee claims the "Blood Moon"
(which was actually more a rusty red) signifies
the End of Days. OK, Pastor A., why didn't the
Earth "end" 33 years ago when the same conditions
occurred? (Bet ya can't comment with a witty riposte
to THAT one, can ya??)

No doubt there is much more superstitious, suspicious
stupidity out here, but I'll keep it short. The more examples
of such outrageous ignorance we see, the less it's possible
to believe the U.S. is still the greatest nation in the world.

But we still have the greatest number of functioning
nuclear bombs, so that must be the key criteria...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"This Country Doesn't Deserve Scott Walker", A Passionate Panelist Proclaims on CNN

An unintentional gaffe by a Walker supporter on a panel in
Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room (09/21/2015, CNN) has
largely been overlooked by most media. Inspirationally
ironic, it actually can be read two ways, each opposing the
other in meaning. After laughing, I seconded the idea
that America is better off without a Scott Walker
presidency in 2016 (or any other year). Some of the
other panelists' facial expressions hearing this passionate
declaration were priceless.

The young woman, whose name escapes me, defended
a governor who never finished college, who by some
accounts has contradicted himself several times on the
same issues in the past seven days (similar to Trump),
who wants to turn back the clock marking humane
progress and abolish all unions, etc. He and Trump
do manage to energize ignorant, disaffected right-wing
extremists, while offering NOTHING constructive in the
way of solving our nation's many seemingly intractable

But why should they be any different than the remaining
Republican field? Bit by bit these candidates will fret their
little hour upon the stage, full of sound and fury (apologies
to Shakespeare here), then fade into some obscurity as
polls, however limited in scope and accuracy they may be,
continue to drive us inexorably toward a narrowed field
in time for the Republican Primary in 2016.

My desire was (and is) that a moderate republican
would be pitted against a moderate democrat in
the 2016 General Election for President. I seem to
see a tall ship sailing into the distance disappearing
into the horizon with my now forlorn hopes.

What, exactly, does our nation deserve in the way
of effective leadership?  Stay tuned, if only for more
episodes of gaffes and gallows humor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Broken System: Foxes Guarding Henhouses Must Go

There are so many flaws in our multi-varied legal/official
systems--which to attack today? Let's start with start with
officials in DC and NY who are their own oversight; how does
that serve anyone other than these authorities themselves?
"Trust me" will never work: there have been far too many
scandals and incompetencies for "trust, then verify" to be
accepted across the board.  Really, reverse it--verify,
THEN trust.

Hillary Clinton and Jamie Dimon are two prime examples which
come to mind here. Ms. Clinton and her infamous, private email
servers during her stint as Secretary of State, and Mr. Dimon,
who serves on the NY Fed while helming Chase Manhattan
Bank. I can't believe either of these two, as Hillary has been
shown in recent weeks to have had four classified documents
out of 40 reviewed--many more, thousands more, to go. Jamie's
two hats need not require documents as smoking guns; the NY
Fed presumably polices NY banks, Mr. D. runs the largest
one there...

Yep, that's just what we need, to continue the hot mess the
USA currently enjoys--foxes guarding the henhouses.

When will we work smarter, eliminate RHIP from the
significant positions in government and elsewhere?

In my lifetime, possibly, please....

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Quest: Lessons--But Not Prescriptions--from the Extremes

Be sure to sharpen your pencils AND analysis on
Wednesday, September 16, when CNN hosts the
next Republican Debate; don't get caught napping,
DO expect Trump to be allowed any manner of
misbehavior, as Jeff Zucker, director of  the
proceedings, also helped launch Trump's TV
triumph, The Apprentice.

If it is objectivity you're after, you can forget it:
that ship sailed after 1988, when the League of
Women Voters declined to host the major party
debates, essentially announcing the fix was in, being
pressured in many ways by both the DNC and the
RNC--which now run the final debates for the
top prez prize. RE: Republican party control:
just peruse the GOP website, wherein you will
see what the women of the League predicted
would occur, way back in 1988. Beginning in
January, 2015, the "sanctioned debates" involve
RNC-approved locations, venues, forcing a more
conservative media presence, times of the debates,

--Are the Democrats any different? NO, might be
Candidate Mike O'Malley's putative guess; he has
blasted the DNC leadership for only sanctioning six
debates, just four of which will occur before the Iowa
Caucus (see the Washington Post, Aug. 28, 2015).
Former Gov. O'Malley made one mistake in this article,
however, saying that the Democrats had never done this
sort of  thing previously...alas, sir, the collusion between
the RNC and the DNC, that's right, in concert, goes back
to 1988, which is the principal reason the League backed
away--out of outraged principle.

So now we've witnessed the extreme of political control, to
the detriment of our public good. There are other extremes,
examination-worthy. The extremes of the Left are just as
unrealistic as the extremes of the Right, yet there are learn-
worthy lessons even here. What Mr. Sanders, an avowed
Socialist, dreams of, a federal $15 an hour minimum wage,
is neither practical OR just in 2015 America. The nation's
smallest businesses would close, scale back their employees
(re-read: fire plenty) and/or raise their prices. Those remaining,
already overworked, would  have even more tasks piled on.
But this demand has created an important lesson buried by this
movement: We'd better do as President Obama has endorsed,
enact a $10.10 an hour federal minimum wage, probably a
practical and just solution.

Trump, for all his rude Right-Wing "Republican" rants, has a
point about illegal immigration: look no further than today's
Middle-East/Europe refugee crisis, about which Europe, still
struggling after the Great Recession of 2007 (and counting), is
apparently singing songs from the same scores--"we must
control our borders". Sadly, I must agree. But the lesson I've
learned is that this dilemma of tragic proportions really should
be urgently prioritized  by the UN--IMMEDIATELY. Clear
the United Nation's agendas to deal exclusively with this world-
level crisis--now.

Let's watch these debates, overly orchestrated though
they may be, and take away whatever salient points may
be garnered. Let's then turn lessons into intelligent action,
making America better, if not number one, again.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Our USA Today: A Lawless Land in a Silly Season

People like Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Clerk  Kim Davis
want what they want, when they want it, never mind how unjust
and/or illegal their wants are--to Hell with the U.S. Constitution,
so to speak (these two don't dare to state such an absurd
action as allowable, yet they clearly imply deep disrespect
of the highest law of our land).

Ol' Ted in his quest for the presidency in 2016 defies Article II,
Section 1., Paragraph Five, which plainly disqualifies him, as he
is Canadian born. "Little" Miss Kim has denied marriage licenses
to gay couples, citing "a higher authority". The Supreme Court,
the highest authority on the highest law of the land, granted gays
equal marriage rights across the U.S. The Holy Bible, King James,
does not forbid gays from marrying; it does disapprove of
homosexuality, an admonishment not repeated very frequently
at all throughout both Old and New Testaments, but many other
concerns about man's inhumanity to man are repeated and
abjured often throughout the Good Book. (I possess five Bibles,
have read my King James FIVE TIMES, certain sections again
and again, so I am in a good position to refute White "Little" Kim.) 
She should obey the law or step down, as her elected position
represents the God-fearing and any Agnostics or Atheists as well.

--As to the Silly Season? We have Donald Trump and
Kanye West, not to mention many unsuitable others,
angling for the top job in the U.S. Entertaining egos
these are, but we need real effort and expertise to
run the largest economy in the world, the fourth
largest country on Earth, a nation with involvements
in almost all of the 200+ other countries, etc., etc.

A dose of doubt and a splash of cold water are long
overdue--perhaps the advent of Fall will extinguish
this lawless, silly season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Governor Rauner: Robbing the Poor to Save a Radical Right Theory

The hard-hearted and the tone deaf have another
advocate, Governor Rauner of Illinois. Shock
and awe after the Chicago Tribune's McQueary
publicly pined in print for a "Katrina" to hit Chicago
has subsided; less talked about is the earlier
attempt of Gov. Rauner to take some $265
Million in winter energy funds for the poor
to plug the giant $6 Billion budget hole here.
(See Crain's Chicago Business, February 23rd,

There are so many reasons to hate this "plan",
but I merely submit a telling few:

(1) How significant an accounting coup is
$265 Million vs. a $6 Billion debt? The
math is less than compelling.
(2) How realistic is the guv being, facing
a veto-proof, Democratic two house
majority in Springfield? The Democrats,
even if relatively modestly paid, dearly
wish to retain their seats; the poor, unions
and seniors generally vote Democratic.
The math HERE is quite compelling.
(3) Rauner, being philosophically in
lockstep with the likes of the Koch
Brothers, et al., shows his true bent.
The elderly and the poor can freeze
this Winter, all to show Rauner's rich
cohorts he is serious about adhering
to their radical right theories--there is
little other impetus for such hard-hearted

A reverse Robin Hood does no one
good--unless you happen to be as rich
as Rauner...if not, why, you are unworthy,
not to be considered, cared about, cared for.

We will wait to see the decline of this one
term wonder. How did he get elected, anyway?