Monday, December 31, 2012

I Got my Belated Christmas Wish: Stepping Away from the Fiscal Cliff

For  the first few days of 2013 we'll still be hanging over the edge of
 the cliff, but  the sturm und drang should  be over by January

All I wanted for Christmas was a trip away from the fiscal cliff--
and the train is now leaving the station.

--Yahoo! Things are far from perfect, but this is a start.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year, New Fear Coming Up

Howdy, fellow earthlings! Two days 'til the next year, which I
fear may not be so different from 2012. I wish all and sundry
the best life can offer, but I worry:

(1) That the fiscal cliff may harm an already far-too tenuous

(2) That the Green Revolution is stalling, when we need it
to build up steam;

(3) That the hope of meaningful gun control action is nothing
more than wishful whistling in the wind;

(4)  That Congress thinks the average Jo and Joanna are too
stupid to throw  malfeasors out of office as they so richly

There are too many worries and too little time to set things

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wild West Horrors Redux, Guns Galore

I was shocked a few months back to learn 49 of 50 U.S.
states allow conceal and carry.  My state, Illinois, may fall
under the avalanche of pro-gun hysteria very soon. I've
tackled this controversy in previous posts, but it's time to
attack our violence-prone problems once again, in light
of 20 young Connecticut children murdered by gun only
a few days ago:

(1) Many people are simply not sound enough mentally to
be toting around deadly weapons; medical associations
over the years have said some 25% or more of us have
serious emotional problems. Shouldn't some sort of
caution bell start clanging every time the pro conceal
and carry folks lobby? More to the point, many so-called
"adults" are not what I'd deem responsible. We also
shouldn't overlook the klutz factor--people have already
been shot because of it.

(2) The Second Amendment has long needed a sensible 
clarification. Few should have guns, but then arms
manufacturers would realize less profit. (We can't let
THAT happen, now can we??)


A safer America would also see a rise in the number of
mental health facilities as gun  possession declines. The
mother of the nutcase in Connecticut, various school
authorities and others knew he was troubled, had
"episodes".  In a caring, qualified institution, he could
not have perpetrated this cruel horror. His mother
owned  three  guns, one of which he used to kill 26
innocent human beings. Why was she so heavily
armed? "A rise in unemployment" triggered her
paranoid fantasies, she'd claimed earlier.

Yes, more mental health hospitals WILL cost
more money. Aren't innocent lives worth it?

Without these two profound changes in our
society, look out for guns galore in the Wild West.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear Santa: We're the 98% and It's Our Turn

The tax cuts for the upper 2% must expire. It's time our interests
are protected; the rich have enjoyed TWELVE years of low or
no taxes, thanks to Bush II and President Obama. The middle class
was included in this munificence, an afterthought to sop
objections. Now we of the afterthought should see center stage
--there are more of us than there is of them.

Here are suggestions that just might work: raise the tax increase
ceiling from $250K to $500K, tax annual incomes over $500K
at a 20% rate. All income levels below $500K should continue
to be taxed at current amounts. Eliminate all the loopholes, find
whatever fraud, waste and abuse exists in the spending sector,
especially military armaments and pork barrel  projects. Freeze
congressional salary increases, as well as for some other high
level government employees. Deal reasonably,  responsibly with
the deficit.  All these steps, taken together, go a long way to
resolving many of our financial issues.

All I want for Christmas is a trip away from the fiscal cliff.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What is Behind Republican Intransigence on Taxes?

It's hard to understand exactly WHY the right-wing is
diametrically opposed to raising taxes, any and all taxes.
Don't they want police, firemen, and libraries? I have
several notions about their stiff upper lips on this issue:

(1) Perhaps it has a good deal to do with campaign contributions;
the super rich have a long memory, would donate LESS to those
who voted for tax increases from the wealthiest. Think the Koch
Brothers, for example.

(2)  Maybe the modestly wealthy see themselves as aspirants
to the super rich level, therefore identify (--wrongly!) with them.

(3) Could it be a historical holdover from 1700's America?
A grudging dislike, distrust of all things governmental?
(Where's a Stamp Act when you need one? Just kidding.)

The successful never succeed on their own, many help
them up the ladder here in the U.S. It's time they remember
that and do their part.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Grover Is Almost Over-(!)

This past Sunday two prominent Republicans, Sen. Graham and
Rep. King, stated in televised remarks they no longer felt bound by
the infamous "Pledge". In light of the upcoming Fiscal Cliff,
more will surely follow such illustrious examples. The reality of
imminent disaster has a way of making the scales fall away from
heretofore vacant eyes.

A slightly new Congressional complexion adds to the hopeful
mix, along with bipartisan mumbles from some in the House.
Grover is almost over, just in time for a brand new year!

Egypt's Morsi: He Wanted More, See?

I'm experiencing Middle East Fatigue. After 3,000+ years, cannot
these people figure things out? Do they just like the drama and
bloodshed? I think so. I grieve for the children, but all the rest
surely should shoulder some of the blame, just as our people
should when they vote in or hire an incompetent or worse over

What's in a name? A Morsi by any other name might not
be so greedy for more--but he didn't attain power all alone.
Oops, Egypt aflame again.

Regarding the Palestinians and the Israelis, the supreme irony is
that, when all is said and done, it is a fight amongst one people,
Semites. The Arabs and Israelis are both Semitic peoples; this is
NOT a race war. It IS pride, turf rights, ancestral revenge. But
how can relations improve with all this unthinking violence and
destruction? The march toward civilization is retarded by all the
gore and say nothing of all the wasted resources,
time and money.

The day that the unity of peace is widely regarded as more
interesting and satisfying than conflict and  violence is when
we achieve civilization, not before.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Romney: Sour Grapes Don't Smell This Bad

Romney, bitter over his loss, now accuses the president of
buying votes with overly generous "gifts" to minorities. --Whew!
Such a sorry spectacle is worse than sour grapes, it simply stinks.
Mitt can't stop opening his mouth to his own detriment; one
wonders when he will retire "gracefully" from the national stage.
He's 65, time to maturely reflect and decide what to do with the
 rest of his life.

He has so much money--why not put it to humanitarian use?
He could found a charitable foundation, or simply contribute
more substantially than he does currently. Whining, though,
detracts from his carefully airbrushed image, so he'd better
get cracking.

In contrast, Mr. Obama proves himself to be a gracious winner,
extending bipartisan warmth across the aisle, so different than
his predecessor who gloated about his political capital and his
intention to use it. Honey vs. vinegar, it might just work.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fish Die by Mouth, Romney's Hopes Did too

Every time he opened his mouth, it seemed, he did his hopes in:
from wanting to de-fund Big Bird, to binders full of women, to
self-deportation, he just couldn't stop the flow of negative
logorrhea, and people remembered in November.  It's amusing
and a bit confusing to see the pundits chasing their tails, vying for
an explanation of Romney's loss of the White House. Keep it
simple, I say--the man should have zipped his lip more often.

I hope Mr. Romney decides to turn his attention to family and
philanthropy. Here he has expertise to succeed; the goals would
be worthy as well.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Low-Class Campaign Co-Chair Horror

It looks  like Mr. Obama is still surrounding himself with advisers
and supporters of dubious qualifications, the latest being Eva
Longoria. Is this sexy Hollywoodite representative of regular
Americans?  If so, we're all in the deep do-do. She showed her
low-class colors by retweeting  a scurrilous slam against Romney,
which included one of the two worst epithets employed against
women's private parts....then tried to wriggle out of the
responsibility for it by claiming "Twitter malfunction." Hello, Eva,
you can't shed this like one of your tight dresses--the only zipper
here was the one you didn't use to keep yourself from making
matters (and yourself) look worse.

--Brother, father, sister, mother! She had many choices available
to her, one of  which would have taken the high road by
responding that she thinks Mr. Romney is ill-suited to run the
country, but nevertheless is opposed to publicly using
disrespectful gutter terminology to describe him, the truth is
quite bad enough.

Mr. Obama has choices, too. One of the wiser ones would be
to ask her to step down from her co-chairmanship of his
re-election campaign. She should never have had the position
in the first place, has now proved it. Mr. O should also abjure 
any agreement with such verbiage and behavior publicly, immediately.

And here we thought Sandy was the only horror of note during
Halloween week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Franz Liszt's "Obligations of Genius", Obama and Romney

2012: a year in an era where what should be obvious as moral
failures or inadequacies instead are described, detailed in
shrouding specifics and obfuscating outrage. The myopic
confusion of today has not always and everywhere obtained;
some have had the requisite clarity to see beyond self. Such a
man died in 1886, after a life dedicated to what he called
"The obligations of genius" in a letter to one of his patrons.

When the Danube flooded, leaving many homeless, he donated
a large amount of his personal fortune earned as a virtuoso pianist
to the bereft. He invented the master class, his pupils coming from
far and wide, from England to Russia, giving these classes for
FREE. Liszt spent many hours tirelessly promoting the works of
fellow composers, defending some under attack. With
Mendelssohn, he combed Europe for forgotten scores by Bach,
founding the Bach Gesellschaft; without this effort we wouldn't
be able to enjoy Bach today.

Tonight is the final debate between Obama and Romney. Have
any of their statements reflected  realization of  the  immoral basis
for the  Great Recession of 2007--?  Caring for one and all is
one of the obligations of genius; perhaps that's what it takes,
actual genius, to see it, to feel it. Today is also Franz Liszt's
201st birthday...what an appropriate time to show such caring
at home and abroad.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 The Presidential Debate, Round Two: A Tragicomedy of Incompetence

Despite the chattering classes' verdict giving the win to Obama
last night, I feel all three players were less than stellar. Candy
wasn't dandy, although a Romneyite said she was. Obama
defended himself  without offering specific proof (a bill number,
name of an act or an executive order, etc.) regarding his
administration's efforts to better secure student college funding.
On his record about achieving energy independence, again, no
easily verifiable facts put forward....just actions minus details.
How can anyone look up such claims? How, therefore, can
such claims be believed?

Believability is impossible with Romney, who changes his facts,
positions and passions as often as most of us change clothes.
It's one thing to change your mind after discovering more and
better evidence, quite another to do it as often as Romney has
lately. Remember that infamous '72 McGovern weather vane ad,
showing the wind blowing the weather vane back and forth,
implying  McGovern was a loose cannon? The Democrats at
the DNC should produce the same piece, but with Romney's

None of the presidential debates since the League of Women
Voters stopped their sponsorship in 1988 have been legitimate
or of high-calibre professionalism. The LWV said then that
the Commission on Presidential Debates, a creature of both
the RNC and DNC, is a "closed-door masterpiece".

....A masterpiece of tragicomedic proportions. Shakespeare's
still right: "Life is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy
to those  who feel".  Sadly, no one has bested the Bard. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The 2012 VP Debate: Where Was the "Wonk"?

Paul "Policy" Ryan, MIA almost all the way, seemed more like
Willie Wonka than wonk.  Ryan had few specific proposals,
fewer facts than VP Biden, who spat out statistics steady as
a ticker tape machine. In a bit of entertainment humor, Rep
Ryan bobbed his head like a drunken turkey in an effort to
emphatically effect points.

--It didn't work.  Biden won.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CNN, Tsk, Tsk, Now Errors There Too

Seen on the Your Money segment, CNN, Oct. 6th 2012, ~1 PM.
CST: a one-question Q & A session--Can a President Create
Jobs? The guest pundit  and the CNN interviewer (jocularly
expressive though he was) both said "No", quoting all sorts of
distantly-related, extraneous points for their answers.

OF COURSE the government can and has created jobs, and it
isn't the government bureaucracy I refer to.  Here were educated
(presumably) people we tune into for information giving us bad
intel. How does CNN, et al, think the U.S. obtained the Hoover
Dam, the U.S. highway system, other massive projects?--From the
private sector? No, indeed. We need infrastructure repairs to our
crumbling roads, rails and bridges NOW, not later.
An important reminder: The Great Depression (~1930s) ended
BEFORE WWII, thanks to FDR creating JOBS, along with other

How is it that CNN hires people who  don't know that a president
and Congress can mount projects no private enterprise ever
dreamt of? Did they pass history class in grade and/or high
school? Time to re-examine those HR records at CNN, methinks.

CNN, I used to regard you as an unassailable source--
clean up your errors, tsk, tsk.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Winning the White House: Round One in a Three- Round Event

My worst fears were allayed: there was no three ring circus at the
first presidential debate of 2012. Mitt and Mr. O were very civil,
cordial, even, some moments.  A score card of sorts is in order:

(1) Mitt WAS rude to Jim Lehrer, interrupting and talking over
Mr. Lehrer several times--where's a gavel when you need one?
(2) Romney, replete with repetitions,  faced Mr. Lehrer
courageously saying  he'd cut federal dollars to PBS, repeal
(3) Mitt wants to open up U.S. trade with South America,
but keep an eye on China, "...when she cheats". This accusation
never got the explanation required  to understand it.
(4) Romney wouldn't authorize any massive federal construction/
reconstruction projects which are the only means the federal
government has to ACTUALLY create jobs, aside from hiring
more military. So how would Mister Mitt get good middle class
jobs going?--By fireside chat, exhorting employers to hire?
-- By issuing Executive Orders? But no, no, never upping of taxes
for the very rich.

[A] The President says he'd invest in training by taking the
monies spent on wars we're winding down from to reinvest
in America, an "economic patriotism". He  stressed the need
to fund education, explaining that Washington can and
should help the states, because more better educated people
can become the workforce businesses  demand.
[B] Mr. Obama supports lower corporate tax rates, especially
in the manufacturing sector.
[C] The President seemed comfortable, had no awkward
hesitations. I disagree with the afterparty talking heads who
opined he should be more "crisp". I don't want a cracker for
president, pundits, thanks all the same.  


The two men talked a great deal about the middle class,
Governor Romney now sounding a lot like Mr. Obama, for the
first time. Mirabile dictu, is Mitt becoming a bit of a bleeding heart
just in time to gain the White House? Not a bit of it. The Governor
plans to add a five trillion tax cut on top of Bush II's current
13 year tax reduction package which didn't "grow" jobs even
before the Great Recession.  He denied it, but I'm not convinced.

Round one, done. We meet again October 11th. Let's
avoid a three ring circus then too.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We Are Better Off than We Were Four Years Ago

Will Romney dare to ask that now standard, classic question of
Mr. Obama? There's only one answer: OF COURSE WE ARE.

Even if  the following "savings" went against the grain and
mainstream, macroecon theory, they kept the world safe from a
true Depression (even if American pols, bankers and other high
rollers caused the Great Recession of 2007):
(1) AIG was saved  (It WAS too big to fail, let's break it up.)
(2) Detroit/GM was saved, as well as thousands of auto industry
      and industry-related jobs across the U.S.
(3) Dodd-Frank  was enacted, even if it didn't return required
      regulations  to Glass-Steagall levels.
(4) Unemployment levels, at a frightening 10+% early on, have
      dropped  to 8%+. (As the saying goes, "Better is better.")
(5) "Obamacare" was enacted, providing mandated insurance for
      millions with pre-existing conditions. (Some provisions still
      rankle, however.)
(6) Obama ended Osama in four years. (Bush hadn't, after eight.)

Obama made major mistakes and promises were not kept,  but
these six little items prove WE ARE BETTER OFF.

Let the president have four more years: he needs them to fix
Clinton's and Bush's sixteen.
Better is better, but we need even "mo better".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clash of the Harvard "Titans" for D.C.

....for control of the U.S. and the "Free World". Mitt Romney,
Harvard  MBA and JD, Barack H. Obama, JD. Two lawyers
looking for love,  affirmation, and imposing their own definitions
of "The American Way"  on you, me, and the rest of this hapless! Harvard, she hain't  quite whut she usta be, with silly,
surprising policies like letting approximately  125 undergrads
complete their finals as TAKE-HOME EXAMS, according to the
Chicago Sun-Times, August 31st, 2012, Page 22, the middle top
squib. Were Harvard's standards slipping  already, ~20-30
years ago, when Mr. O and the Mittster obtained their prized
degrees? (I'm waiting to hear back from Harvard for
independent verification of such a practice.)

That might explain why both of these Ivory Tower products
have uttered nonsense subsequently (and rightly) pilloried. The
proud possessor of the MBA, though, by daily count, seems to
have outstripped the incumbent by numbers of gaffes/stumbles.
The  Business School itself may have played a role, the subject
of a 1980s best seller, What They Don't Teach You at The Harvard
Business School  by Mark McCormack. I read it back then, only
remember it as a contrast between accepted, elite business
theory vs. what happens on the streets and in the suites, to
steal a phrase from Ralph Nader.

Still, if you wish to vote for someone who isn't THAT far
removed from many Americans' experience, pick Mr. O.
He definitely didn't grow up in a privileged household
with comforting, stable, long-standing roots. But he has,
with encouragement nonetheless, certainly made it in
politics, publishing and the history books...all of which
makes him able to relate, more or less, to just about
anyone, high, low, or in between.

Contrast that with Mitt Romney, who grew up in
Michigan Governor George's moderate republican
home, who has become so wealthy he has only Oligarchy
for a frame of reference. --Clash of the Harvard "Titans":
may the more well-rounded man win.

Monday, September 17, 2012

So Many Errors, So Little Time

....left to straighten this weary, wary, worried world
out, that is. But as ever, I venture to mention:

***The Current Events' Egregious Error List:***

(1) Riots are exploding around Islam due to a demented
Israeli/Californian's wish to stir the pot of public feeling and
achieve aggrandizement rather than heal any religious rifts.
Free speech is not a free pass to inflame, particularly
when one has previously been legally enjoined to
stay away from the web, as Nakoula B. Nakoula
had been.

(2) Why not let God decide? Whoever believes in
a First Cause, wherever he/she lives, instead of
wanton waste, destruction and death, let God order
the proper punishment. Mere man meting out chaos--
is that likely what Allah would want, would it even
be sufficient, despite all the drama on TV and real
life? Reading the mind of God is an impossibility;
better to act less on "God's behalf".

(3) The U.S. mess in its educational institutions is
accelerating, as a Chicago Sun-Times (08/31/'12)
news item indicated: Dozens of Harvard undergrads
are being investigated, as "...possible cheating was
discovered in roughly [~125] HALF THE TAKE-HOME
[final] EXAMS. Who authorizes take-home finals anywhere?
Hello, Harvard? Have you lost your mind?

(4) The Chicago Teachers' Strike, week two, is a complicated
mess with incompetent and irrelevant behavior all around.
Now an apparent stumbling block is time needed to "peruse"
the 23 page contract working summary. --Peruse, my foot.
We ask older children to read and report on 250-page books,
teachers, so study these 23 pages. Those who HAVE actually
read the proposed contract summary, in contrast to the House
of Delegates, seem to be more willing to deal with the CPS
(Chicago Public Schools) latest offer. Cautionary note: there are
TWO summary versions, one from CTU, the other from CPS.
Contrast and compare here too.

The Rahmster is on shaky legal ground with his injunction
against the CTU (Chicago Teachers' Union).
The City of Chicago AND the CPS have SERIOUSLY ERRED
for decades by:
(a) Allocating 30+ students per classroom. Not enough per
student teaching attention is possible with that many.
(b) Not buying the latest textbooks, not supplying the
classrooms adequately. Teachers have been spending
THEIR OWN MONEY to assist the kids and their own
performance. What IS that??
(c) As others frequently point out, HVAC is deplorable
in many of the schools in poorer areas. Class warfare,
everywhere, always. The "better" areas boast
more physically comfortable sites for learning.

President Jimmy Carter was right on the money, but
few were/are brave enough to realize it and agree: there
is a malaise in our society; if we don't snap out of it,
America's decline will be more abrupt than gradual.

Do you care enough to gird yourselves as if for war?
In other words, strive for less "fun", aim for more
serious and substantive involvement in the polity?
So many errors, so little time....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ugly Americans Tax my Patience

Lizzie Velasquez, a young woman suffering from an extremely
rare disease affecting her appearance, is overcoming adversity.
Born with no fat, blind in one eye, severely underweight, she has
been cruelly harassed on YouTube, called "the world's ugliest
woman" and a "monster". But she is wise beyond her years and
her circumstances--she's finishing college in Texas, has written
two books, and is a motivational! Ms. Velasquez is
a wonder, a true inspiration.

--So who's the monster and who's ugly? The posters of that
vicious video attacking such a seemingly vulnerable person
are amoral monsters of insensitivity and cowardice, period.
They even urged her to commit suicide! They are pathetic
bullies without an ounce of kindness in their souls--that is,
if they HAVE souls, a doubtful proposition at best.

Moral disorder is spreading. The Romney campaign, with
its heavy support from Ayn Randites, still spews that tired
old line about how low taxes will spur job creation resulting in
consumer demand--utter nonsense! Banks and many businesses
are sitting on piles of cash RIGHT NOW. The Bush II tax cuts,
in place for over ten years, haven't produced the jobs the super
right claimed they would. Lowering taxes has nothing to do with
what we've been seeing since 2007; taxes have been relatively
low for decades. The 5% want a free hand: Laissez Faire
economics, that's what they hunger for, the rest of us,
serfs serving as their footmen while they ride.

Now an agitator/video maker from California has inflamed
the Muslim world all over again, much like that European
cartoonist who visually lampooned the Prophet. Why would
anyone want to create riots across Islam? Personally, I don't
think Allah countenances such wanton waste, death and
destruction, but free speech is not a free pass
to insult and disparage anyone or their beliefs.

Across the pond economist Niall Ferguson (employed in the U.S.)
yearns for the Raj, the huge empire that was once Great Britain.
(Shouldn't they rename their now tiny island nation simply,
Britain?) I see the world entering another Age of Darkness,
coming to pass while I and my loved ones are still here, despite
the Herculean efforts of some. It is very hard to watch....

Meanwhile, Ugly Americans, stop taxing my patience.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Promise Me No More: No More Slogans, Guarantees or "Dreams"

....Because it simply isn't in your power to keep any promise,
when you alone can't control any outcomes. The U.S.
President, the House and the Senate must act in concert
to enact or repeal legislation, excepting Executive Orders.
I haven't checked yet, but bet limitations exist there too,
otherwise far more than 200 such orders in a president's four
year term would be common, and they are not.

Candidates, I implore you: Just tell me what concerns you,
inspires you, what areas you most want to work on, what
approach you'd like to take--and you better BE SPECIFIC,
as Illinois' Forrest Claypool said so memorably so many times
on the Cook County Board. Be done with high-flown phrases
reminiscent of the snake oil salesmen of yore. Even if you
believe, as I'm often tempted to, that the polity wants to
be gulled, don't do it! Betray an understanding of what ails
the nation, such as our collapsing infrastructure, beyond the
oft-quoted 8.+ % unemployment rate.

America, stop looking for a mother or a father figure--instead,
act in an adult, informed, and yes, even courageous fashion.
All of us over 18 have played a partial role in this sorry
spectacle. Try viewing political speeches from decades back,
they might surprise you. Accept that fixing the country, if it isn't
too late, will take a concerted, enormous effort.

Are you able do to all this, actually what's required? Anything
else is just the same old smoke, wishing or whining I've heard
for decades, can reproduce most of it verbatim....

So much for promises, broken or unspoken. Let's act our
age and get to work.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pollster Neil Newhouse for Romney: We Can Lie

OK, that was just to get your attention, but he IS asserting
an intention to lie by saying "We're not going to let our
campaign be dictated to by factcheckers." (Hey, I hope they
continue to just say anything, because many will be watching
and parsing the "campaign's" statements, to the Republicans'
detriment.) The First Amendment is silent regarding truth
telling, sadly, except in provable cases of libel/slander.

But I can see what supports the radical right's thinking and
behavior; take the very word "campaign". It was used in
conducting action in warfare long before it made its way into
political lexicon. So this is war, pure and simple, nothing noble
about it, a merely moneyed, well-publicized drive for power,

Let's not have any further blather about "Democracy".
This nation is legally a Republic, not a particularly caring
one, at that, despite some of the kind and caring groups and
individuals who live here, help and contribute. Compassionate
Conservatism? Oh, PLEASE! Please. Most Americans don't
care about strangers, despite all the public propaganda about
our generosity, etc. The proof is in our poorly performing public
schools, our too few police, libraries' shorter schedules, hospital
closings, more.

Meanwhile, Wild West Politics, the current era, rolls on. Let's
all try to keep up to avoid putting into power even more of
those who simply want no bounds on their behavior while
stealing from the public purse. Remember....

They've always known they can lie.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Undecideds": Time to Decide

RNC hacks and the Romney/Ryan ticket salesmen would
have you forget eight years of Clinton (he signed the death knell
of Glass-Steagall) and eight years of Bush. How was Mr. Obama
ever going to undo SIXTEEN years of bad policy decisions?--In
FOUR years? --Particularly when those policies resulted in banks
gone wild, the Great Recession of 2007----, deficits, our military
dead, thousands in civilian "collateral damage" overseas and the
lack of necessary nation-wide infrastructure reconstruction?

President Obama is far from perfect. He should have taken on
healthcare reform after the economy improved; he should
NOT have had all his high level advisers be Chicagoans, especially
Chicagoans who were paid big bucks from Com Ed (Exelon).
Mr. O, though, is a lot closer to most Americans in that he had
no silver spoon waiting when he arrived, that he worked for
what he's gained, charm and ambition notwithstanding.

Tonight Mr. Romney attempts to win us over with a
demonstration of how mellow, rather than how hollow, he is.
Just remember the good 'ol boy who was easy to have a beer
with, Bush II. It takes far more than an easy manner and slogans
to effectively run a large country like ours--as Junior proved.

Hey,"undecideds", time to decide: do you want a leader you can
have a beer with, or someone with some competence and a
concern for the middle class?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Un-American, "All About Me" Crowd

In this flag-waving, hand-over-heart political season, it would
be well to examine the patriotism of the six or seven largest
U.S. banks and their right-wing rich supporters. While I'm at it,
here's a list of the un-American, all about me crowd:

(1) The SEC: those staff members most closely tied to the NYC/DC
incestuous, revolving door corridor should have been relieved
of their posts, as they DID NOTHING to stem the practices
which led to the country's (and the world's) financial ruin,
beginning in 2007. Incompetence or intent? --Does it matter?
A few really should experience significant jail time.

(2) The Big Bank "Deciders": All of the big six or seven had/have
administrators who skirted laws, took hat in hand to ask/accept
big bailouts from the taxpayers, most of whom are NOT rich....
most of whom find it hard to get federal school loans, home loans,
etc., in a new era of tight credit, post 2008. Big Banks
unnecessarily hoarding cash, keeping the Great Recession of
2007---- going, now, that's un-American.

(3) Any Ayn Rand devotees serving in Congress: In her cant on
"individualism" vs. the evil "collectivism", class warfare becomes
more of a problem than is actually necessary. Is it required to pit
the individual against society, and/or the reverse? Are we one
nation, or not? Is it Socialism to have libraries, fire and police
departments, public schools? The right-wing Randian purists
would have us believe that an almost non-existent federal
government would somehow be productive and fair, letting the
lesser gifted without family or friends wind up on the streets,
as we saw happen in the 1930s, the 1980s and beyond.

(4) The "Fed": The Federal Reserve has some 'splainin' to do
as well. Paul Krugman is wrong to suggest more money be
printed without that increase being based on a proven
improvement in the economy, however.

I support a balance between the individual and society, because
that reflects the reality of humanity--we are inevitably part of
groups, and we are always individuals. Without such balance a
nation, any nation, is perverted and therefore unfair.

Memo to the rest of us: stop wrapping ourselves in the ol'
red, white and blue. Aside from the medical community, charities,
inventors and the front-line military, most of us have done
precious little to improve the nation's fortunes, and I'm not
merely meaning money here. But it's not too late to start.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Glad NOT to Be from Missouri....

--Chiefly because of U.S. House Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO). WHAT
were they THINKING, the voters who put this foolish fiasco into
office? The chief uproar, deservedly, stems from the anti-woman
comment, "...legitimate rape..." Most public accusations of rape by
women are justified, as few would want to go through such shame,
scandal and invasions of privacy that inevitably attend the
circus which follows an accusation and the bringing of charges.

But then Todd, "akin" to many other "dim bulbs", scored in the
negative zone when asserting that a woman's body (post rape)
would just naturally slough off any ensuing spawn. NO, TODD,
conception can indeed succeed, whether the female was willing
or not.

Take a look at it, T. A.'s constituents: your House Rep is anti-
woman AND woefully ignorant about human biology, much else
in science, very probably. (So glad I'm in Illinois, where we have
an equally egregious Congressman, Joel Walsh.)

I'm just "Akin" to throw the rascals out, WHEREVER
they may be from.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bluebeard of Bolingbrook

The Legend of Bluebeard, a European myth about a monster who
marries several women and kills them, has had many variations
over the centuries. Here in Illinois, in the Chicago suburb of
Bolingbrook, we have our own Bluebeard, a man who married
four times (WHAT were the last two THINKING?) whose third
wife died under suspicious circumstances; the fourth,
considerably younger, has disappeared.

The lamentable behavior of both the prosecution AND the defense
in this case merely makes my opinion only stronger: a spreading
contagion of incompetence is sweeping across the U.S. The
prosecution disobeys a stern injunction from the judge; the judge
appears to allow hearsay to be admitted; the defense daily tries
their case in the press, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Where are Patrick Fitzgerald, Perry Mason, even Sherlock Holmes
when we need them?? (Why NOT list fictional characters, reality
entered the realm of former fantasy LONG ago....)

If this man makes it to a mistrial and double jeopardy obtains,
look for some fool of a woman to be number five, free to marry
the Bluebeard of Bolingbrook. If she comes to a bad end, who's
left to write the book?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romney/Ryan: Readin', 'Ritin' and NO Arithmetic

--No heart to DO the math, either. With a straight face Paul Ryan
is all over the media, vowing to honor the promises previous
administrations have made to retirees, but all bets are off for
the under 55 age group. On CBS' "60 minutes" (o8/12/'12)
R & R sat together with matching "grid" patterned shirts
but there was no Rest or Recovery planned for the middle class,

How can they care (seemingly) only about the "business"
community, yet forget to factor in the consumer, who has
driven this economy for decades? Fewer workers mean fewer
buyers of goods and services, a concept I learned in high school
back in the 1960s. Memo, Mitt: most U.S. adults are employEES
rather than employERS. The current catch 22, which has
businesses laying off or postponing expansion, could continue for
three to four more years, some economists estimate.

CNN has a handy little chart from the National Bureau of
Economic Research showing 21 recessions in the U.S. since
1904. Our national conversation about the economy is a
reductio ad absurdia, where only the the Great Depression
and the Great Recession (2007----) are ever discussed. This
obfuscation obscures reality, seriously altering any forthcoming
policy decisons, possibly disastrously. Numerous economic
swings can impact a middle class family more than once in a
lifetime, putting many out on the street, even if they "did all
the right things", finishing schooling, saving money, investing.

DC House and Senate Republicans COULD have broken this dreary,
dispiriting cycle by passing recent national infrastructure repair
proposals (roads, rails and bridges) which, of necessity, would
have employed many, increasing consumption, in turn
increasing confidence, allowing small and larger businesses
to hire on more workers, etc., ad infinitum, the positive ripple
effect extending worldwide.

But getting a Democrat and an African American out of the
White House was always the priority, according to Sen. Mitch
McConnell (R-KY)--just ask him. Working on long-standing
problems for everyone in the USA? THAT calculation is not
in Mr. McConnell's Math copybook.

No reasonable arithmetic available from R and R either.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Domestic Terror Steps Up: Where Is Safety?

The horror is stepping up lately, it seems. Twelve
senselessly, unjustly, lose their lives to domestic terror in
Colorado, to be followed by a loss of seven more only a month
later in Wisconsin. Are there patterns here?

(1) Since Columbine, most (if not all) of these killers have been
male students or soldiers. Very likely, the stress of these
environments' high expectations married to an inadequate
personal life spiked by a deep disappointment produces such
unspeakable tragedies.

(2) Aberrant, violent philosophies are held by those who feel
weak, insecure, threatened, isolated, and alienated. Scapegoating
others "out there" is easier than looking within.

But somebody better start looking within and without, or we
will justly deserve descriptions and comparisons to Mexico
and Columbia as another unsafe place to live, unless that ship has
also sailed.

Where is safety?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Olympic's Ugly Side: the IOC vs. Its Own Athletes

There's a very telling, world-famous book titled
The Ugly American. Its lessons still hold, decades later.
This time, though, let's write a new, non-fiction expose',
call it the Ugly IOC, with their infringement on individual
athlete's free, grateful expression of thanks to their sponsors
on social media. But that's not all: no criticism of the IOC
allowed, being banned from the Olympic Games the
ultimate penalty.

The ugliness here stems from two motivations: the IOC's
overweening desire to control the games and greed for evermore
sponsorship dollars for THEMSELVES, thus the "non-compete"
policy of gag orders re: athletes thanking their sponsors on,
say, facebook.

Really, International Olympics Committee, I haven't forgotten
the scandal and corruption swirling around you only a few
short years back....was that ever resolved? Who do you
people think you are? Without the athletes, you're nothing,
could HAVE nothing. Try to acquire a sense of cause and
effect perspective, PLEASE.

Do Olympic athletes have legal rights of free expression a la
those in the USA's First Amendment? Perhaps not, but
they SHOULD.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conceal and Carry.... Your Cell Phone

Conceal and carry regarding guns is not bright, no matter
how well-meaning ("if people in that AMC theater had guns,
fewer would have been shot") or fearful an average citizen
has become. So even more klutzes, the ill-tempered and poor
shots should carry guns? There are approximately 100,000
shootings in the U.S. each year, some sources have it, and
about 32,000 of those are fatal. Life sure is cheaply held here,
thanks to too many venerating a misunderstood Second
Amendment. Millions of "adult" Americans do NOT
constitute "...a well-regulated militia". (-!)

But after months of observing the snatching and grabbing of
"smart" phones in Chicago, it would seem smart indeed to
conceal and carry ....your cell phone.

Obama Understands What Many Republicans DON'T

--Granted, his remarks were not that articulate or enlightening
when he uttered his now-infamous sound byte, "You didn't build
that". I've read the whole speech and found it not well-organized,
his mini-history of the Internet not exactly accurate (--Arpanet,
Darpanet, Vingt Cerf, Al Gore and more made the technology and
public access possible). But despite these lesser flaws, his
understanding, intent and concern is what it has always been
--and I support it:

(1) Government collects tax monies and disburses it. These
funds are NOT just from small and large businesses, but
significant amounts are realized from the EMPLOYED who
don't enjoy loophole access like the 2% do.

(2) WHAT private business has ever built roads and
bridges in the U.S.? ONLY a NATION can mount mammoth
projects like a dam, a national highway system. Ask Eisenhower,
Hoover and both Roosevelts what they and Congress actually
had built: they made it happen with taxpayer money, from
workers' taxes and their bosses' taxes, when they actually pay
them. (Excusez moi, those little corporate access roads are built
by the corporations--mostly.)

(3) No one succeeds alone if they are a human being--
there are parents, family, neighbors, friends, teachers, the
occasional mentor, schools and university or journeyman
training, books, nature, TV, etc., just as the president
intimated, albeit clumsily.

(4) Few of the super-rich are like Ted Turner, Warren
Buffet, Bill Gates or George Soros, who contribute to the
general welfare far and beyond the expertise that made
their wealth. Instead, we have the likes of the Koch Brothers,
who donate to PBS -corporate image advertising-while
funding the most scurrilous right-wing extremist nuthatchery

(5) Bain Capital was not a job creator, it was a corporate,
kill jobs and create wealth-for-one (or just a "necessary few")
raider, period. All the information recently available about Bain
merely substantiates that description, the laughably lame excuses
by Mitt's rich related-industry friends notwithstanding.

My message to the many misunderstanding republicans is
an actual challenge: do a bit of research in Thomson
Research as I did decades back. You will find many
companies set up as essentially sole proprietorships, no
employees (or very few), companies that are NOT Mom and
Pop enterprises, yet raking in the big bucks for the proprietor.
Also understand what the implications of too many LLPs and
LLCs are, a situation ripe for eventual economic collapse.

The really idiotically ironic aspect of all this is, even the rich
must ride over the same crumbling roads and bridges as the
rest of us. "Ordinary" people built this great nation, as it has
all the others. This is one of the many concepts Obama
understands that too many republicans don't....

Or won't, without the wit to care.

Friday, July 20, 2012

To Stop Stun, Shock, Sorrow a Clarified Second Amendment is Key

Colorado public mass murder redux: another homegrown
terrorist episode in the U.S. has so-called experts scrambling for
a solution to prevent further episodes. But like everything else in
American life, no one really wants to get down to the basic
causative issues:

(1) The Second Amendment, as currently interpreted, apparently
allows any deranged, disaffected, disappointed person to obtain a
firearm, even though our Founders, men far smarter than the rest
of us, did NOT INTEND for everyone to walk around with weapons
24/7, nor to be permitted to own high-powered, military-gauge
guns. A clarifying amendment limiting the conditions of firearm
ownership should be a congressional priority, but won't be. The
NRA donates millions to legislators, who vote their own interests,
largely: great income and benefits, huge schmooze opportunities
with other "swells", etc.

(2) Too many own guns because they have no real self-esteem or
understanding of what personal power might mean. For those
lacking introspection, a gun (or even a few more) solves these
thorny image issues.

(3) The U.S., slipping in many major quality of life indices, still
manufactures more high-power, sexy firepower armaments
than any other nation. This is nothing to be proud of, other than
for purposes of self-defense. We sell these death-dealing arms
to anybody, no matter what hair-brained political or religious
philosophy they espouse--at home and around the world.

(4) The controversy and amount of work necessitated by actually
attempting to reduce the gun violence at home via a constitutional
amendment powerfully militates against a solution.

Meanwhile, the psychosocial, political, and police "experts"
continue to wail, wring their hands, scold and implore, ignore
first causes as they always have and will.

These horrifying episodes will, until the Second Amendment
is clarified, continue. Why be shocked, America? Dysfunction
happens here too often for true shock to be tenable.

I'm sad and outraged, yes, shocked or surprised, no.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Normal: The Minimum is the Maximum

Slogans, slogans, get your slogans hot off the presses and at
political bus tours/town halls! Mitt Romney has a comforting
one: "Every Town Counts". Was this snappy sample created
to appeal to those in small towns jealous of/afraid of NYC,
DC, Chi and LA? That's what I get out of it. Here he comes,
the billionaire's man of the people!

Yes Mitt, every town AND every person DO count, but who's
doing the counting and why? Trolling/polling for votes, is a
judicious if quick answer. Like children, many adults
are trying to "believe", even with all the evidence stacked
against this Billionaire Billy-Silly.

Sadly, the new normal is "the minimum is the maximum,"
i.e., do the least that is required of one. I see this every
where I go, as the country's rush to the bottom accelerates.
Here is where the Grover Norquists and Rush Limbaughs
of the world wormed their way into to our national life,
to our peril.

We are being messaged/massaged to death, almost literally.
The right-wing nuthatches want to make the world safe
for them and theirs, NOT Democracy, which has never
actually existed anyway. The Koch Brothers and one of
their biggest properties, Georgia Pacific, sponsor some
of the best free TV, PBS programming. How do we escape
these dangerously dollared, tunnel-visioned players on our
national stage?

Other than 150 million or so adult Americans waking up,
weighing in with public participation (voting, contacting
/meeting legislators, I haven't a clue.

Do you??

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bain and Romney: Curiouser and Curiouser....

"Bain Explained" by Romney rings hollow and absurd.
How can the single stockholder, CEO, Managing Director
identified as Mitt Romney NOT be managing to the hilt?
If not, he lied in his filings to the SEC. If such misstatements
ARE legal, which claims it is, (factcheck can't be
authoritatively impartial, as it's paid for by the conservative
Annenberg Foundation) then truly, "let the Devil take the
hindmost" IS the law of the land--er, lawLESS, that is.

Bear in mind that Bain Capital Partners LLC is a limited
liability company. Look up what that means, as I have.
It is a wild west of permissions which includes foreign
ownership of U.S. companies, a great potential problematic.
Say, let's look more closely at the relevant Bain corporate
report--maybe it says 750 people laid THEMSELVES off!

So no one's accountable? --Curiouser and curiouser.
Harry Truman understood that the buck stops at the
top. He must be roiling with outrage, wherever he is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Has the U.S. House Seceded from the Nation?

--At the very least, by its almost anarchical, "symbolic" behavior,
the House of Representatives has shown little respect or concern
for the nation's present or future. What IS the point of passing the
same bill by the house THIRTY-THREE times which won't become
law, opposed as it is by both Senate and President? --To satisfy
its base come November 2012? --Just to avoid doing the nation's
real work, solving problems ignored by both political parties
entrenched for decades ? Repealing "Obamacare" won't be that
easy, extremist right wing-nut Republicans. Independents
(who read and pay attention far more than straight-ticket voters)
won't be won over by such arrant nonsense.

Constitutional law will have to change, denying dramatic
stupidities like filibustering with no meaningful content as well
as "symbolic" repetitive voting. Who exactly wants to pay such
people large salaries for essentially opposing a higher authority
they don't like (Mr. Obama) while not constructively dealing
with the national debt, trade imbalance, offshoring gone wild,
failing bridges, rails and roads, ad infinitum ad nauseam?
Congress enjoys much less respect these days than a whole
passel of unscrupulous lawyers, but many legislators don't care,
taking the money and running, running, running as they do.

But I care. We just waxed oh so patriotic once again on July 4th,
flags, fireworks, grandiloquent speeches and parades. Only a
relative few noted just how UNpatriotic the Republicans in the
U.S. House really are....throw the rascals out, they act like
they've seceded from the nation.

Maybe we should let them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mitt Romney "Believes": Movie Magic Strikes Again

"I believe, I believe", said Natalie Wood doubtingly yet hopefully,
when Santa Claus asked her to have faith in him, in the memorable
movie. Sadly, Santa is in imagination only. But others apparently
use imagination/inspiration rather than factual analysis appealing
to the rest of us, just like a child. (Or at the very least, such
speakers regard regular folk as credulous children.)

Mitt Romney "believes" that extending the tax cut for the 1% (oh,
and for the rest of us too) will stimulate the economy. But by now
the thought beggars belief--why hasn't that miraculous Bush II
tax cut done its magic ALREADY?? This tax law has been in place
for YEARS.

"Belief" in rigidly-held, factually unexamined political philosophy
is not going to cure current economic malaise here at home.
Actually, the "belief systems" of the Romney rich are suspect
in any case: It's still Let the Devil take the Hindmost, dressed up,
not nakedly avaricious.

I've seen this movie before.
So have you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dream: Stop Belaboring the Word

"Dream" law this, "Dream" law that. Has the dictionary emptied
out, leaving only this one word?--An erroneous and/or misleading
one at that:

(1) Dreams occur when sleeping, often too fantastic or impractical
to call into actual existence. Whatever happened to goals, results,
accomplishments, etc.? Why slap that word onto every law even
remotely related to achieving/expanding progress or delineating
individual or group rights? Say "magazine" or "apple" quickly
ten times, you'll find it becomes babble; so it is now with "dream".

(2) The "American Dream": we're continually, publicly,
being barraged by the notion that everyone's dream here must
consist of:
a. home ownership
b. car ownership
c. a college diploma, particularly in medicine or law,
the "prestige" educations.

(3) No one can decide what would be anyone else's way to live
and/or achieve. My list is NOT shown under (2), although
I once wanted a degree.

(4) The laws and policies which would/could connote
civilization achieved at last should be no dream, but actuality.

Stop "dreaming" already, get to work, and find another word!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's in a Name? "Fast and Furious" Was to Blame

Memo to Mr. Obama:

Your Justice Department gun-running border sting
operation was doomed before it began--once some
brilliant pop culture maven decided to call it Fast and

How much should our top toffs rely on Hollywood for a
clue?? The answer should always be, NEVER. The White
House should recall that suspending belief is usually
required to experience/enjoy movies (fiction) but
preferably NOT when executing major real life and death

Hey, Inner Circle: Grow up, forget the celebrities,
their opinions and their fantasy realm....

What's in a Name? Fast and furious inspiration gets
the blame.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sleeping Beauty and the Spellbound: the Nightmare is Now

All in Sleeping Beauty's castle, spellbound, slept for 100
years--is this now America? From farfetched fable
into unfortunate fact? "The City on a Hill", which term
President Reagan cribbed from a wordy Western saint,
(Augustine) who had himself "adapted" it from Matthew
in the New Testament, is what oh so many think of the U.S.
--but those with that rosy view are asleep:

Arizona law, in defiance of about 100 years of verifiable
medical science, has now declared when conception begins.
North Carolina, Texas and Virginia have expunged sea
level rise references from their state laws and their coasts
so as to acquire new shoreline developers.

Such reactionary, irrational legal edicts are increasing.
John Atcheson in Common Dreams today tied up a list
that should "live in infamy" and propel millions to intelligent
action, but alas, see above. Darkness is spreading o'er
da "castle", and da Enlightenment may go out.

Hey, everybody, the nightmare is now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Hate Fun (-And You Can Quote Me)

Yes, really I do. I hate when pursuing personal pleasure
interferes with:

(1) Tasks that need doing
(2) Policies which should be implemented
(3) Improving access to a more level playing field
(4) Moving toward a more just society
(5) Realizing vital home truths, the first step
required to solve any of our resolvable issues.

At the bottom of all our ills is the culprit, fun.
That includes the drive toward evermore irresponsible
sex, producing disease and unwanted, mostly
maladjusted, maladaptive people, overpopulating a
planet that will not easily sustain such numbers.

The overemphasis of fun devalues serious teachers
("teach" has gotta be an entertainer FIRST, an educator
a distant second); sharply reduces workplace productivity,
as the office PC is used for personal perusal at the expense
of doing one's job; makes the lack of a sparkling personality
almost a federal offense in our "popular" culture.

All this negativity has worn me out, even if I must staunchly
adhere to such insights. But I do hate harmful fun, and you
can quote me.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Expect Experience at Bain Capital to be the Bane of the Unemployed

I know, I know, others got to this obvious pun on the
Mittster's previous business experience way before me;
nevertheless, its catchiness has deep legs. How does
this man and his supporters say, seriously, that his Bain
Capital resume would help a putative president Romney
create jobs? So laying off 750 employees at one point
in this merger acquisition, highly leveraged, dependent
on personal philosophy-styled environment is a job
CREATION dynamic? --Double speak is what it IS,
there's no "depending on the definition of is" possibility.

If Mitt's background involved a small start up, say,
initially employing less than ten but expanding over
time to 100 then 1,000, I could somewhat support
his contention of positive, applicable experience to
help the U.S. in its lingering, dispiriting unemployment
malaise. "Somewhat" is the correct qualifier, as private
enterprise has rarely helped the average citizen in
economically troubled times.

It has been the U.S. government at the highest levels
which created mass work projects and advanced the
technical and living standards here: who doesn't know
that? Right wingers "probably" (that's as far as I'll accord
sense to them) do, but just don't like it, as they simply
have little interest in lifting all boats, or helping people
they don't know and don't like (-strangers). Of course
they can't say so publicly, but how does double speak
serve to get them and theirs elected?--Only if ~60%
of voters have IQs below 100.

-Who authorized the Hoover Dam? --Employing untold
numbers? President Hoover, (R)
-Who authorized the U.S. Highway system?--Employing
untold numbers? President Eisenhower, (R)
-Who authorized national public works projects in the
'30s-'40s depression era, employing many thousands?
President Franklin Roosevelt, (D)....
[Just a reminder, the Great Depression ended BEFORE
the U.S. entrance into WWII in 1941.]
The list, the details and the caveats go on, but just this
small citing should be enough to give the lie to the liars.

Even being properly wary of prognostications, things
looks good for Mitt to be "it": he'll flub much in
his debates with President Obama, perhaps (-please!)
give the Republican VP nominee spot to Mr. Trump.
Anyone's sustained experience tells everyone else
what sort such a one is: Mitt and money?
Romney puts capital over community, almost always.

Beware the bane of the unemployed if this Bain Capital
product becomes president: he'd also be the pain to the
best and the rest of us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beware "Public" Servants Who Read, Admire Ayn Rand

After a whirlwind mini-survey of classical term
definitions, I had a eureka moment: Ayn Rand's
"objectivism" (subjectivism) is really nothing more
than old/new fashioned hedonism. In her case, she
and her circle weren't merely Epicurean, following
a modest, even acetic life, eschewing politics; she
and hers had quite the high and intimate old/new

Grating on the good, even going against the good, is
what we got with Jamie Dimon, Alan Greenspan
(before their mea culpa) Ken Lewis, Paul Ryan et al.
Whatever brand of hedonism one follows, the upshot
is unconcern for the general welfare, warfare against
it at times, in the drive to attain pleasure. THEIR
pleasure is to get and stay rich, denying thought
toward the day they will be held accountable for
various immoral/illegal deeds.

So Cicero was right: all reasonably capable adults
have a civic duty to participate honorably, morally,
intelligently and responsibly in public life. With
around 310 million souls residing in the nation,
beware electing hedonistic legislators unconcerned
with our shared public places, spaces, life and each
other. They are constitutionally, philosophically
incapable of solving our common problems, indeed,
inimical to the greater good.

It has been Rand or Rand-like ideas which have
brought the greatest economic suffering to the U.S.
in modern times. ( The rise of the radical right-wing
economists here is related.) Looking for a great rep
or senator? Find out what the candidate reads: if he/
she loves Ayn Rand, look elsewhere for a public spirited,
public servant.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Police 1, Protesters 0: The Cowardice of a Few Tarnishes the Many, Once Again

As of Monday morning, May 21st in Chicago, it is all but
over: The fear-mongering media hype, the over-reaction
of the authorities, the unacceptable behavior of a relative
few in the crowds of protesters, it's over. This morning
the announced activities were to be "victory" celebrations,
food, music, an outdoor party, in other words. Commuting
to jobs in the Loop was uneventful, almost deserted, both
by protesters and workers. Many protesters who obviously
think of this as a media-recorded party, thinly garbed in
"serious" polemic, stayed/slept in 'til later, wanting to be
fresh for fun. No one thought to design dignity into their
strategic planning, unlike Gandhi and King who DID
dignify AND change the world.

And make no mistake, much of this WAS for fun, for
dramatis personae, to meet with others of similar
philosophical persuasions. Sprinkled in their midst were/are
anarchists, who don't have a positive plan save for disruption/
destruction. Anyone masked as anonymous was merely
showing fear and cowardice, not peaceful people power
confronting entrenched evil.

2012 is NOT 1968 in Chicago, when police brutally overreacted.
Still, even then, if someone had thrown a baggie full of human
excrement at me, I think I would have had to slap the offender,
even thrown a punch. (Restraint is one thing, weakness is
another.) I saw stick beating of a police officer on the side of
his head, knocking off his glasses. What does such behavior
have to do with the justified complaints against the U.S. Congress
and Wall Street, the cozy collusion of the two creating the Great
Recession of 2008?

The numbers attached to this entire scenario were all small--
modest numbers of protesters of any stripe, very few injuries
whether to police or demonstrators, very little property damage.
The media acted as if there were 100,000 when apparently not
even 10,000 showed up to "party". The mayor's minions and
Rah-monster himself heightened the hype with permit denials
and remonstrating macho public language.

I resent the public behaviors of the present day. In the late '50s
to the early '80s when I demonstrated, we did not occupy any
doorways, buildings, sidewalks or streets. We did not use profane
language, employ weapons of any kind, nor any disgusting drek
to inflame situations. We did use the sit-down tactic, did have
protest signs, did march peacefully with parade permits. The
media rarely covered us; at one point, we had about 35,000
in Grant Park. When university doorways and buildings were taken
over, I wasn't/would never be with them. Chaining myself to
property not my own is not my idea of an effective effort either.

--Change the world? --The greatest good for the greater number?
The third weekend of May in Chicago was an embarrassment for
"Occupy" and a loss of revenue for the city:

Police 1, Protesters 0, even if most of it was peaceful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"My Cabinet Made Me Do It." (--?)

No, Mr. Obama didn't actually use this phrase publicly
(as far as I know), but it immediately popped into mind
after I'd been following his "evolving" on the issue of
whether to support Equal Marriage, as his VP did, and
others in his administration have. Where is his leadership,
or even exquisite use of language the man is often lauded
for? He seemed weak and evasive, frankly, and I feel
he was delaying his answer due to a protracted political
calculus concerning his re-election. (But better late
than never....)

This president is an improvement over his predecessor,
yes, but a saintly visionary?--No. He is all too human,
too interested in being popular, not courageous enough
to try Lyndon Johnson's moves (or even Ralph
Yarborough's) to be effective. Both of these Texans
were masters at bringing both houses of Congress to
heel when they deemed it necessary. Thanks to them,
Lyndon in particular, African Americans were accorded
the full legal and political rights as citizens denied to them
for 100 years after a war had purportedly decided the
question...and after brave blacks took to the streets to insist
upon what was long overdue.

But the various, venal and vicious vapidities abound: why
does anyone think they have the right to say what consenting
adults do, as long as these adults aren't harming anyone?
--Finding something offensive or distasteful or strange doesn't
harm those who hold such opinions; it's high time everyone rises
to that realization. Why is traditional (hetero) marriage said to be
"under attack"? (The gay community is NOT actively seeking
to recruit you or anyone else, Mitt, get over yourself!) Must
everyone walk in lockstep, looking alike, quoting and adulating
the same books and practices, reminiscent of Communist
Chairman Mao and his little Red Book?


I'm tempted to vote a straight Green Party ticket in November--
After decades of the two establishment political parties I'd like to
try something else. But no cabinet (or cabal) will be
making me do it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dimon "Chasened", a la Greenspan

Greenspan finally lamented his laissez faire Randian
"irrational exuberance"; Chase's Jamie Dimon, a rough
cut "gem" of a pro-business exponent, has now followed
suit. Dimon admits he and his were "sloppy" when it
came to economic profit sustainability, due to Chase's
over-investing in unregulated derivatives (STILL are
unregulated even after it's become known that credit default
swaps, derivatives, etc. played major roles in the Great
Recession of 2008 and Beyond). But boy oh boy, was he ever
strident and shrill heretofore, so sure what was good for
Chase was good for the country. Chase stock, as of May 11th,
took a 9% bath after Jamie's mea culpa.

The SEC is "investigating". And WHERE, may I ask, have they
been up to now?? I say, investigate the SEC, the FED, et al,
an overly cozy, incestuous business bunch of blustering bs-ers
--just follow the revolving doors of their appointments and
careers: NYC is just like DC.

How about a federal Open Meetings Act, one that includes
all of the U.S. Congress? --That includes bank lobbyists
meeting with same? Wouldn't that just take the wind out of some
of these characters' sails?

Too many questions, so few real current answers. Here's a
good bet: if Jamie Dimon is "Chasened", others of his and
Ken Lewis' ilk can't be far behind.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Not Nearly as Good as Takeout: Outtake Outrage

I've been mulling and muttering for over a week about the latest
atrocity by The City of Chicago and our local electronic media did the TV stations dare to request the Hudson Family
Murders' 911 tape? How could the Office of Emergency
Management release it? The stations' motivation was simply
a venal, jaded interest in infotainment shock TV, but the OEMC
should surely show more intelligence and compassion than this:

(1) There was NO news or educational value to the tape, which I
heard more than once, so as to be sure of the facts before
placing calls, firing off emails, and blogging HERE....unless

(2) One wants proof that 911 dispatchers are sometimes clearly
not up to the job: this one did NOT respond with alacrity, accuracy
or even human compassion to Julia Hudson Balfour, who I
managed to understand quite clearly, even if the male 911
operator didn't. He asked her what happened after she distinctly
cried out several times about encountering her mother dead on
the floor, blood near her head, etc. This man appeared dazed,
disinterested, drugged. He did NOT say anything calming, focus
redirecting, etc. (That was the suggestion when I called to complain.)

All this left me with a bad taste in my mouth, a far cry from
restaurant takeout. Too bad the TV "deciders" didn't turn
this outrage into an outtake before air time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, et al: Following Fiction into Reality

....As did Alan Greenspan, Mr. "Irrational Exuberance"
himself, another admirer of Ms. Rand. I've never understood
how enjoying The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged or her other
works translates into a credible, sensible prescription for
real life. This phenomenon is similar to Scientology, a "religion"
founded by another fantasist, sci fi writer Ron Hubbard.

Ms. Rand called her highly subjective, individual always-comes
-first philosophy "objectivism". (Yet another unpalatable idea
dressed up by naming it as a noble notion, a la the Emperor's
New Clothes. Nothing's new about either of these fictions.)

The one versus the many is a complex conundrum, endlessly
to be renegotiated; it was ever thus. How can anyone not know
this? Often the many must prevail over the one, in the interest of
justice and stability over chaos. But fairly often as well, the one
will win out, due to truth, justice, and eventual stability over
chaos. Human life has a see-saw quality to it, or a set of scales.
Policies and practices pointing us all toward a more practical
and humane civilization have reflected that reality, must continue
to be based on such an understanding.

Otherwise, Ayn Rand's architect Roark won't have any clients to
build his designs for.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

David Brooks: Not One Whit Wiser

The New York Times has been gradually lowering
its standards for years, a recent proof being
allowing David Brooks to continue as a regular
columnist. He recently gave Playboy an interview,
wherein he blithely stated an impossibility
as a certainty. I found this nugget yesterday in
The Chicago Sun-Times, (April 23): according
to Michael Sneed, David Brooks claims "Dubya"
is 60 IQ points smarter in private than in public.
Bush II never wants anyone to think he's smarter
than someone else, hence the "dumb Texan" routine.

It's impossible for Brooks to know, or even make an
educated guess about Bush's IQ.(--Did he test him?)
This is the admiring, uncritical blind loyalty of a friend
talking. Objectivity's out the window here, evidently.

Even more troubling, if true, is any accurate description
of guile by Bush. He didn't want people to know how
smart he is? I for one have always wanted a U.S.
President to be smarter than me, and smarter than most
of the rest of us as well. The idea of electing a president
because he'd be fun to have a beer with is just too stupid
for words, but I'll try anyway. We need a highly intelligent,
very good, very caring, knowledgeable and effortful person
to effectively run a large nation like the U.S. (That's the best
prescription for any country's leader as well.)

Just when I thought David Brooks was moderating his
conservatism, I see this quote. After all the needless
sturm und drang of Bush II's eight years, the policy flaws,
foreign and domestic, failed to illuminate him.

David Brooks, not one whit wiser.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What Ailes Roger??

Tsk, tsk, Mr. Ailes. Ignorance was not bliss when
he commented on Soledad O'Brien's name during a
question and answer session with journalism students
at the University of North Carolina. --Named after
California's Soledad Prison? Roger's not as swift as
an average rabbit, certainly. "Soledad" is a Spanish
word meaning solitude. It is part of Spanish Catholics'
name for Virgin Mary, also a fairly common first and
last name in the U.S., Mexico and other Hispanic countries.

This person currently heads Fox News. (-?) Informed
and tactful he is not. I'll have to look up other gaffes
he has surely generated over time, some are bound to
be howlers. The "name blame" he attempted to smear
Ms. O with merely garnered Mr. A further opprobrium.

What Ailes Roger? Only those closest to him can say.
He hasn't enough introspection to answer such a

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our Founding Fathers, the Nation's First Community Activists

There are several justified reasons to
criticize the current president (and all
the others as well), but his history of
community activism, scornfully mentioned
by his opponents in 2008, is not one of
them. Those same strident voices often
profess to be patriotic, yet fail miserably:
ignorant of our founding history, they don't
realize what made us great--our FIRST patriots,
Benjamin Franklin, 2nd President John Adams
and other Founders from the 1700s WERE
community activists, our first.

Being political and being community-active
are related, of course, but there are subtle
differences. It is possible to be political
without attempting to politically activate
the general populace, for example. Founders
Franklin, Adams and others had actual clubs
like the Junto which were intellectual
cross-fertilizations of political thought
without which we would not have these United
States. A large part of those recurring agendas
was devoted to deciding methods to try to
arouse their fellow British subjects.

The next time anyone hears Saul Alinsky and
Barack Obama denigrated as rabble rousers
or "community activists", please remember
(and remonstrate):

Our Founders were community activists and
organizers too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exercising One's First Amendment Privileges: Not Always A Good Idea

Neither Mr. Romney nor Mr. Obama have distinguished
themselves lately with sensible verbiage. Come November
2012, I MAY just write myself in as a presidential
candidate; at least I can manage to be a bit more
circumspect and mindful of law and history when
speaking for publication.

Ordinarily I have favored Mr. Obama, had voted for
him, donated a tiny amount of money to his campaign,
etc. But his jejune anti-Supreme Court high-handed
high-hat "threat" proved he's no competent constitutional
scholar, his assistant professorship at the University
of Chicago notwithstanding. An unimpeachable truth:
the Supreme Court IS the court of last resort. No
president, unless and until our system is changed by
amendment under Article 5 of the Constitution, can
overrule the Supreme Court. Only a subsequent court
decision can achieve such reversals.

This is not to say that I side with/like the current
composition of the Supreme Court. These courts have
swung between uncaring right wing decisions and much
more humane judicial philosophy over the decades.
(For an eye-opening history of the court, read
The People's Court by Peter Irons, available at
most libraries.)

Mr. Obama is hurt and concerned that his healthcare
law overhaul, due to take effect in 2014, well may be
struck down in June 2012 by the court....just in time,
very possibly, to dent his prospects for reelection.
But I must ask, how could he mandate all Americans must
purchase health insurance coverage? No, that is NOT the
same thing as requiring auto insurance--at least there,
one can decide not to own/operate a car. (Try "operating"
without a body!)

The hubris and high elation of becoming this nation's
first black president skewed his judgement, to say
nothing of his inner circle's; the exigencies of economic
catastrophe should have been the ONLY focus of Mr.
Obama's first term. Yes, the White House dealt with the
Great Recession of 2008 (which continues), but even
more effective measures might have been enacted
without the distraction of promoting the healthcare
package. If Mr. Obama wanted to help America obtain
some justice from insurance companies, he should
have proposed only one change: abolish pre-existing
conditions as coverage disqualification by the insurance

Amendments 9 and 10 don't authorize forcing millions
of people to buy anything; harking back to the Dred Scott
decision from 1857 (-?) is really reaching. Meanwhile,
the obstreperously lengthy healthcare overhaul which few
have read, fewer understand, and even fewer support, is
with us, at least 'til June.

During this presidential election season, many
major candidates should be washing out their
mouths with soap after they've extricated their
feet therefrom: free speech doesn't always betray
intelligent insight.

Exercising one's First Amendment privileges: not
always a good idea.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Untied vs. United Republicans, 2012

--And an unfortunate typo on a political blog made my
day! In attempting to boost Gingrich and Santorum, the
male poster transposed two letters in united, unintentionally
undercutting his argument but describing the opposition
party of the moment. (Moderate republicans, my critiques
do not include you.)

I MAY tear all my remaining hair out, and rend my garments
as well for good measure--for heaven sakes! Why are so many
commenters (NOT you who visit here, thankfully!) such poor
spellers, devoid of knowledge, not possessing considered
judgement? NEITHER the extreme right NOR the extreme left
has any practicable programs to offer the general electorate,
period. I enjoy/support moderates in both parties, they seem
to be the moral workhorses of the nation, what we all actually

Also at Politico, commenters praising Gingrich raised my ire;
firing back, I reminded them that not every product of Georgia
Tech is brilliant; he's brilliant because certain people say so,
much like those who are famous because they are famous. (Newt
Gingrich, the Paris Hilton of politics?) Neither sort has many
other solid redeeming talents and qualities. Mr. Gingrich, when
castigated as grandiose, failed to realize the pejorative meaning
of the word, instead wrapped himself in the U.S. flag, claiming
America is grandiose, etc. (I had to laugh.)
Now Newt produced another unfortunate pronouncement:
This election is the most important since 1860?
Unaware racism, anybody?

Meanwhile, gotta love that typo...."untied" republicans giving
Mr. Obama a second term, and the media most colorful commentary.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time for "Oracle" Orrin to Retire?

Orrin Hatch, desperately consulting his crystal
ball for the U.S. November 2012 presidential vote
outcome, sees an unwanted win--by Mr. Obama. So
the seven term U.S. Senator from Utah, a moderate
Mormon, has decided to inject partisan pejorative
prognosticating into an already sharply divided,
disaffected electorate. He's "predicting" the
President will introduce Romney's Mormon faith
into the general election.--Whew! How wrong was this?

(1) He's forgotten the First Amendment (re: separation
of church and state) even though Mr. Obama HASN'T.

(2) He's forgotten the ugly religious slurs spewed
out by his republican colleagues about Mr. Obama,
but I and others HAVEN'T.

(3) He didn't realize how such forecasting makes him
appear--foolish, down and dirty, just plain wrong.

After an (apparently) unnerving served seven terms in
Washington D.C., equaling an astounding FORTY TWO years
in that fractious,"taxing" body, perhaps looking toward
retirement might actually BE the far-sighted view.

After all, Orrin is neither the Oracle at Delphi nor
the Oracle of Omaha.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Tale of Three Pities

'Tis yet another year worthy of reflection.
The 2012 elections will not change very much
in the U.S.'s current policies. Many of the
better politicians have retired, died, or
were redistricted out of reelection's realm.
("Better" would equal integrity, intelligence,
concern and effort.)

Human nature (reality) really doesn't often
there are the brave, they are few;
there are the needy, they are many;
there are the greedy, they are too many....

Thereby hangs the tale.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

U.S. President or Pastor in Chief?

--Is that the question? To hear various aspirants
for the presidency, one can only wonder. Vying for
votes by appealing to our heartstrings' spiritual
longings is a morally bereft tactic for many reasons:

(1) None of the candidates on either side of the aisle
is an expert theologian, even if they're acquainted with
The Bible and are church attendees. Fame, power and
ambition are their more readily understood motives/expertise.

(2) We have presently REAL, tangible problems right here,
right now, which are the proper province of the elected.
It's obviously much easier to rile up emotions than to
knuckle down and fix this nation's ills. --Red herring,

(3) The hubris of (1) added to the bait and switch politics
derided in (2) don't describe devout or moral public
figures--figure they'll ever find that out about themselves?

But we will. We want to cast our votes for an intelligent,
informed, concerned candidate for U.S. President,
not a Pastor in Chief.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Limbaugh Sponsors Rush Away!

Here's to you, AOL! Apparently, Rush Limbaugh's
over the top trouncing attack attempt on Ms. Fluke
only redounded back on him. Even if he had a legitimate
point buried under all that hostility, all that one
remembers is the name calling delivered by vitriol.

Several sponsors are leaving Rush out on a limb, sort
of. Why is anyone surprised? He's always been quite
the little hater, but this last volley was just too
much; even those who might agree in principle had
to back away, some publicly.

The Pill IS mostly about preventing contraception
(-thank goodness!). But it also has been prescribed
for other medical reasons to promote women's health.
Rush doesn't care about that or very much else. Maybe
he will lose (at last) some of his following, 'tis a
consummation devoutly to be wished, as Shakespeare

Civility may yet have a chance. Here's hoping that's
no fluke!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Here at Home: Sorrow and Sympathy

More than 35 souls have lost their lives in this
week's pre-Spring harrowing of multiple, multi-state
tornadoes. Heartening, though, are the many stories
of strangers and family helping however they
can, the finding of loved ones and things.

Let's all rejoice in the "Remains of the Day", in
that we remain. Let's take good care of ourselves,
and each other, and keep on deriding every evil and
stupid thing we discover or recall.

My best to you all.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inspiration: Aspiring vs. Acquiring

In Chicagoland's "Sib of the Trib", the Red Eye,
a feature called "Smoking Rogue" interviewed some
local under 35 folks who've taken up cigar smoking.
One man, observing Michael Jordan's cigar-chomping
cachet, declared he "aspired" to that--cigars, that is,
not free-throw excellence. A young woman claimed,
"You know full well what you're doing, and if you're
a responsible adult you should be able to make that
choice".... Hmmn. Lip cancer, mouth cancer, tongue
cancer, other cancers, anyone? (And she said she
wasn't a baby.) -!

Acquiring a famous person's (even notorious) habits
doesn't equal aspiring, actions which may well take
one to a higher skill set level, possibly a higher
plane of existence.

If I'm inspired to acquire, that is a merely pedestrian
motivation. Inspiration leading to aspiring to a better
character or exploring and developing talents and skills,
now, that's a far worthier "dream".

Aspiring vs. acquiring: What's the motivation, what's the
inspiration? All good questions to ask.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Being a Person: These Can't Qualify

Anthropomorphizing: Scientific American, one of my
two or three favorite publications for decades,
does it too: one full page ad's airline is referred
to as "you" (you're) by the airline itself.
(Correcting just one letter, from "you're" to "you've"
would be significant improvement.)

Corporations are winning lawsuits by claiming they are/
are not persons, depending on which status confers the
greatest benefit. But before this society ends up at
rock bottom, we'd all do better to insist, "only humans
are persons". ("All humans are persons" shouldn't
require restatement, but it DOES. Lately, Letterman
and Santorum forgot that and themselves.)

On being a person: organizations and objects
can't qualify, any legal legerdemain to the contrary.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pan Panetta Time

What is Leon Panetta's background, really? Is he
qualified for his current post? I ask because he
stirred up quite the little hornet's nest last week
talking about Israel vis-a-vis a little First Strike
action against Iran. There's more than sufficient
suffering, tension, destruction and death right now
in the Middle East--Are Bebe Netanyahu and Leon
Panetta going for setting the entire region aflame?

Mr. Panetta has an impressive record as a loyal
Democrat, having served several presidents in important
capacities. But his stint at CIA, his public policy
professorial credentials notwithstanding, nevertheless
leave a great deal to be desired. Now our Defense Secretary,
he has become, in my opinion, offensive. I have to wonder
exactly why Mr. Obama selects so many generalist policy
wonks without specific, appropriate portfolio for his inner
governmental circle. Many of them have been
embarrassments; here we have yet another.

Time to starting panning Panetta, because I'm not expecting
to mine much gold.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Romney's Reasoning "Declining"

Mr. Romney is no super patriot. He's publicly joined
those of us who believe the U.S. is a declining
empire, criticized the President's State of the Union
Address (Jan. 24th) for not agreeing with such a sad
reality. But Mitt can't catch the facts or remember
recent history: Mr. Obama did not cause the Great
Recession of 2008 (and beyond). If Mr. Obama wants to
speak in a determinedly positive fashion, I'd let him,
as too many will give up if the future is too powerfully
portrayed as irremediably bleak.

But get a load of Romney's pre-presidential prescription
for whisking us all away from the many conflicting,
complex and almost intractable difficulties ailing us:

(1) Get government off our backs and Mr. Obama out of
office! (-No reasonable specifics offered.)

(2) Private enterprise creates all the jobs! (Which
ones are those, Mitt? If we leave everything up to
you, no roads or rails will be built or repaired
here, just like in--oh, no! Third World countries.)

I could go on, but for now, just one more thought:
America's not the only thing in decline.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

European Union United in Anti-Iranian Folly

Obviously too many in Europe learned NOTHING
from the heavy reparations leveled against
Germany after WWI, which almost DIRECTLY
caused WWII. What do they think will occur
if a blockade/embargo of Iran's oil exports
is decided on January 23rd? --That Iran will
"straighten up and fly right" after larger
countries deny it their major source of income?
Don't these political leaders/policy wonks realize
the danger in putting people's backs against the

....Yet ironically, many Europeans nearly break
their arms patting themselves on the back for their
intellectual/cultural superiority over those
"new (upstart) Americans". So where is that much
vaunted superiority now? George Santayana would
NOT be impressed.

....and neither am I, with Europe or the U.S.
How much more bloodshed and economic privation
do you want to cause, you two?

Stop this anti-Iranian bully-bluster now, while
there is still time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Catching the Facts: Romney Needs a New Mitt

He's at it again, the man who would be the next
U.S. president. "Mitt" Romney couldn't catch a slow
"fact ball" written with a black magic marker in
capital letters:

(1) Hey, Mitt, Al Gore DID just about invent the internet.
Ask "Vint" Cerf, one of the two tech wizards who actually
converted code from Arpanet/Darpanet into the worldwide web.
Gore's tireless promotion in the U.S. senate of the technology
formerly only used to communicate between universities, our
government and the military became the law which released
said technology to the public....yeah, even to you, Mitt.

(2) The United States government, and OTHER nations'
governments, have INDEED created jobs, millions of them
over the decades: Who built our country's highway system in
the 1950s and '60s? Taxpayer funded projects authorized by
Congress in concert with President Eisenhower, in 1959.
Presidents TR (a republican) and cousin FDR (a democrat) also
instituted mammoth work projects. Ditto Kennedy, Clinton,
and others. The many agencies that protect our medical health
and physical safety/security are paid for by the taxpayers,
enacted by our government.

How is it that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected
this bonehead to its highest office? Or is he intentionally
misleading less than astute average voters? Which do you like
better, stupidity or cupidity?

Let's make sure the rest of us pull on a better "catcher's
mitt" than Romney's.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let's Export These Expert "Medicine Men"

It's time for wordplay on this snowy day--
time to excoriate dangerous medical authorities
publicly promulgating psychiatrically irresponsible
notions. A recent theory states that, between our
genes and our environment, there's little room
for free will. --What?? I'm no automaton, and
neither is anyone else, brainwashing and hypnosis
aside. Granted, family genetic history and one's
surroundings ARE powerful determinants, but we
do make choices every day independent of them,

If neurological inevitability theory (or whatever
they're calling it) ever becomes popularly accepted,
rehab locations will shutter, psychiatry and psychology
will intervene less often (therefore, less humanely),
and no one imprisoned will bother to seek redemption;
domestic, school and neighborhood violence will skyrocket.
Many other undesirable results will no doubt occur to
the reader.

Let's not accept such a preposterously grim "medical"
assessment. Let's export these "experts" instead,
say, to outer Slobovia.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Second Amendment Future Fantasies

It's a fantasy, alright, to think that Americans
might have the sense to clarify the Second Amendment,
making the ownership of guns a very restricted/regulated
proposition....although a careful reading of this
amendment already seems to qualify arms ownership.

Licensing guns and their owners is inadequate to the
goal of less murder/mayhem. "Conceal and carry" is one
of the most irresponsible ideas/denials of average human
reality I can think of: what about klutzes? Such gun-hiding
hapless folk have already inadvertently injured others.
More killed in the heat of the moment? "Oh, I might not
have done it if I hadn't been packing", etc.

Why stop at mere gun ownership? In a new amendment there
wisely would be language restricting arms sales to
other nations, profitable as that is. Gun shows allowed
only for hunters, law enforcement and the military might
thin the rolls of innocents suddenly dead.

But bullies are more numerous than one likes to admit,
and many of them, being cowards, only feel truly powerful
toting a gun. As anger and extremism march forward in
America, look for more calls to weaken gun control laws.

Meanwhile, I look to the day when we amend our document
so that the routine violence America is so widely known
for becomes remarkably less significant.

Future fantasy or forever fiction? --Maybe.
But a civilized country could do it.

Politics, Posturing and Pennies

The whine this time is local, as all politics
eventually ends up being, per former U.S. House
Speaker "Tip" O'Neill. Chicago's Cook County,
amid great fanfare, has dropped 25% of the 1% recently
added to our sales tax. We're still among the top three
or four highest sales-tax entities in the nation,
nevertheless.--But the comments from some business
owners, elected officials and others might lead
one to think this is a progressive watershed moment.
It isn't.

It IS, however, the fulfillment of Cook County Board
President Toni Preckwinkle's campaign promise to lower
Cook County's excessive sales tax. Since our county is
the 19th largest taxing body in the U.S., anything it
enacts has high significance. The announcement's attendant
happy hyperbole irks me, nevertheless. Last week The Chicago
Sun-Times devoted column space analyzing the reduction in
consumer costs for items such as sweaters and washer/dryers.
The "before" and "after" price comparisons made me snort in
derision (-too bad I was in public at the time!). Some
savings were far less than the price of a pack of gum.
That very interesting arithmetic was adjacent to all the
quotes from the thriftily delighted.

In the wider world, as Election 2012 bears down on
us, watch for dollars, cents and hot air.
"What's sense got to do with it?" You may well ask.

And please DO.