Monday, December 30, 2013

American Pagan Culture: Our Nation's Religion, Fun, Fluff n' Stuff

Materialism runs amok in the USA, has always been the dark
side of the equal opportunity coin here, since at least ~1830,
when Alexis deTocqueville toured what was then our nation
and analyzed our culture's psyche. He critiqued what he
observed to be our constant hunger for novelty, our almost
universal lack of interest in delving deeply into important
matters--still regrettably true in 2013.

What the materialists fail to understand, therefore to correct,
is the cascade to boredom, jaded reactions, lack of effort
and ever-increasing desire for more money and possessions,
never achieving contentment, always dissatisfied with what
one already has. Character counts; it's difficult to become
a fully-actualized human being while constantly preoccupied
with getting the latest toy, gadget, outfit, etc. (--And what
will my friends think about my latest acquisitions, be they
house, car, clothes, dinnerware, electronics, trips?)

I am not saying these things are completely unworthy
goals/desires. I AM certain, however, the degree to which
an overweening obsession to obtain them takes over a life
is time-wasting, unhealthy--and unfortunate for all of us.

I've been studying the history of ancient and current political
systems recently--religions of many different persuasions figure
prominently in every one of them. So I've inescapably arrived
at a sobering realization--our country's state religion is fun,
fluff n' stuff, our culture, American Pagan.

Can we return to BEING something rather than HAVING
something before it's too late?  The vandals (our competitors)
are at the gate, while we focus on buying and enjoying, a la
410 AD's Ancient Rome.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Than One Thing Ails Colorado

Murder/suicide spectacularly strikes again (12/2013)
in Colorado. This makes at least three incidents in
just the past few years, no? There is a personality
profile here--the perpetrator is young, disaffected,
with access to guns. I'll wager parental supervision/
guidance is absent or lacking in any kind of efficacy
leading to an intelligent, civilized existence.

I've said it before: largely to blame is our national
myth/hype/ethos that anyone can achieve the "top",
be it the presidency, wealth, fame, talent, expertise,
scientific discovery, or even a ride into outer space.
The common expectation here in the USA is just
plumb unreal, really ridiculous. --Disagree? Just
watch those "reality" shows where anyone can get
on to sing, dance, etc. Do all these contenders win?
--Can they?  Come on.

When some unstable unfortunate begins to understand
he/she will never have their name lit up in lights,
dangerous turns occur in that mind, and Littleton,
Colorado-type tragedies are the result...(now, media,
recognize THIS!)

We must achieve equal rights, respect and education
under the law; many laws are better than they were,
but just as many should be stricken from the books,
while the good (just) ones MUST be promoted and
properly prosecuted, period. The mythologizing of
"anybody is capable of every sort of excellence"
must end as well.
Some sing better than others; some are more
beautiful than others; some have better characters
than others; some have tech skills others can only
read about; some are wordsmiths, others possess
only adequate writing abilities; some can discover
useful drugs like penicillin, others must perform their
lesser scientific skills at a lower level, part of a team.

That realization should be enough to cross those
class lines back and forth more often, to commiserate,
communicate, participate, and improve everyone's
lot...respect and caring, where are they?  Good
people exist everywhere, but there doesn't seem
to be a significantly large enough number to effect
the just civilization I've been waiting for.

More than one thing is wrong with Colorado--their
political philosophy married to a love affair
with guns, underscored by our national myth,
shares some responsibility.

Does anybody dare tell the truth here, does
anybody actually dare to fix it?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rise of the Republican Moderates--Finally!

I'm sitting here about to break my arm in self-congratulatory
solitary schtick predicted...

Moderate republicans DO exist, now hear them roar!

U.S. House Leader Boehner (12/11/'13) has finally, publicly,
called radical right extremists "ridiculous", which is as apt a
derogatory term as any.  He was concentrating his ire on those
think tank-style outside groups which up to now have so cowed
and harmfully influenced most of the Republican Party, and
by extension, everyone else. (Grover Norquist, I TOLD
you your power would ebb....)

More and more, every day, most everyone , including main
stream republicans, sees that these extreme right-wingers
are only out for themselves, pursuing/pushing for the shield of
law to protect them and theirs while damning all the rest of us.
Few LIKE paying taxes, but taxation is the principal method
of generating good for an entire community; fire and police
departments, libraries, schools and hospitals come to mind.
These wingnuts fail to realize that if they got their way, harm
would reach even the richest of them. ( A biology and/or
sociology lecture is not forthcoming here, lucky reader! You
can jolly well conduct your own research for the implications.)

Most of the time, under normal circumstances, let concerned
centrists rule. Let it be understood that all have rights: rich,
poor, and those in between. Let no one take unjust advantage
of another...

Let's celebrate the rise of the republican moderates.
I knew it had to happen.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Albino Murders: Man's Inhumanity to Man

--It is even worse, if possible, than I previously realized,
just a few scant hours ago, when I watched with horror
and some disbelief a PBS program documenting the
obscene practice of murdering Albinos in different
areas of  Tanzania, or short of that, dismembering
Albino adults and children to sell their limbs so that
their fantasies born of desperation, denial and
ignorance become reality:

(1) Magically, my fields will reliably, sustainably produce
(2) Magically, I will be a wildly succesful fisherman
(3) Magically, I will become a millionaire

None of these "success scenarios" involve more informed
practices or greater effort, no, not one. Every one of them
stems from primitive village leaders (essentially, witch
doctors) exploiting their own weaknesses and character
flaws (something for nothing) along with those of their
"subjects", the other villagers. "Nothing" is a bit of
a misstatement--Albino limbs have fetched fantastic
sums such as ~USD$75,000! other words, treating actual human beings as if  they
were "merely" depriving rhinos and elephants of their
miraculous powers by taking only their horns or tusks,
leaving them to die without killing them first.

There is another atavistic aspect to attacks against
Albinos--being considered ghosts and/or devils,
"community" pressure exhorts many parents
to kill their own children immediately after birth,
if Albinism is evident, evil practices again, based
on superstition. When an Albino is dead, buried,
presumed safe from further harm, the grave must
be carefully cemented so as to foil greedy grave

This documentary ends with our two Albino heroes,
both young men, persevering amidst ostracizing,
insults, death threats, attempted kidnapping, more.
Mr. Torner even fulfills a childhood dream, climbing
to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, despite poor eyesight
and other ills sadly concomitant with Albinism.

Looking all this up afterwards was dispiriting--
it seems that there was a spike in the Tanzanian
Albino murder rate early in 2013.  

Man's inhumanity to man! I'll say it yet again,
now and forever: I'm ashamed to be human.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gratuitous: Release by the News, the Newtown Tapes' Tragedy

There is nothing the public urgently needed to know
about this horrific multiple child and teacher murder
as heard on these 911 dispatch tapes...unless we
want to feel less confidence in the hearing/understanding
ability of 911 dispatchers, i.e., when the call center
person asked again if this was occurring inside the
school, when the distraught caller clearly had said so.
Then there was a teacher being entirely too vague--
couldn't she simply say, "many gunshots being fired
inside our school right now?"

Release of these tapes is merely cheap sensation by
the media networks; where, by the way, were the
JUDGE'S brains when he authorized the tapes' release?
This WAS NOT a First Amendment issue, period.
Consult the U.S. Constitution again, such a matter
is not promoted therein.

Even the main free broadcast networks have a lot of
cleaning up to do. There is this highly unnecessary,
yet frequent, gratuitous releasing of recordings which
agonize victims' survivors, all in the name of "buzz",
ratings, etc. I rail against right here. Anchorwomen
too often dress as if they're at a club or cocktail
party--ladies, this is NEWS, often tragic and/or
troubling--be sexy on your own  time, i.e., off air.
Lastly, the lengthy, time-consuming coverage of
celebrities (Movie, music, sports and TV)
wastes valuable on air time better spent on
more substantive matters affecting all of us.

Look out, ABC, CBS and NBC, you'll be
hearing from me....

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'd Be Thankful if These Words Disappeared from Common Usage

Here are words constantly belabored into a meaningless
meld, words which are overused and given to overpraise,
whether about oneself or others:

(1) He or she is "amazing". I hear that easy, therefore mindless,
flattery passed out many times a day. How extraordinary or
outstanding can just about anybody actually be?

(2) "Awesome". This word is related to number (1), but at a
supposedly more exalted level, yet it is far too commonly
used. I save it for God and places like the Grand Canyon,
the Himalayas, the world's oceans, per the original intention.

(3) "Passion."  Here again, a thoughtlessly overused word,
depriving it of its original special meaning. Better to substitute
or describe one's dedication or one's focus more specifically,
rather than insert passion as a quick way to communicate
ardor for a person or a project. With Americans' "passion"
and time given over to fun, what's the hurry, anyway?

(4) --And then there's "fun". So much preoccupation as
to whether one has it, has had it, will have it, and will
there ever be enough of it? Resenting others who seem
to have more of it, ad nauseam. This nation is declining,
let's find fun in pulling it back from the brink!

(5) "Tweak" and "Nuance", two twin trolls of presumed
sophistication, seldom realized but constantly uttered. Once
again, employment by an English speaker of a French word
(nuance) or phrase is not automatic entree into the hallowed
halls of expressional expertise or excellence. (Yikes, I've
stooped to such at times meself....)

You get the drift, if rejecting its import. Still, I'd be thankful
if people would strive to be more thoughtful with their speech.

Meanwhile, I'm deeply thankful for the good things and people
still left on this Earth, and pray they stay so.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homo Sapiens? No, Homo Fecundis

...the sapient part is highly exaggerated and quite undeserved,
in my opinion. Many otherwise intelligent writers still insist on
describing humans as apart from nature and the other mammals
(all animals), in stultifying defiance of the obvious: breasts,
urinary, defecatory and sexual parts, etc. To top it off,
because of our extraordinary fecundity, we are overrunning
the Earth, and it is only due to worsen, as China has just
announced a loosening of its one child policy.

Say, China, just WHERE do you plan to put all the extra
people?  It is past time for such selfish individualism
(i.e., what I want is more important than anything else)
and high time for this planet's humans to prove their

Until then, Homo Fecundis it is.

~25 Illinois Tornados: Nature's November Deadly Dance--A New Normal?

Two  striking features stand out about the tornadic tragedy that
swept through central Illinois and other state locations yesterday,
Nov. 17th:

(1) Amid the horrific damage around our state, only six are
confirmed dead. (I pray there aren't any further finds; these are
sad enough.)

(2) Weathermen repeatedly reminded us that these kinds of
storms are rare in November.

Lives were saved because many heeded the forecasts and
took cover when sirens went off--good job, no kidding.


--Will the unlikely become a sort of new normal? --Is this a
consequence of global warming? --Is there a way to accurately
ascertain likely future scenarious since our NOAA satellites
go blind in a few months?

We can't help but stay tuned and informed. These deadly
dances of wind-whirling dervishes are devilish, deadly art,
photo portraits of which are as close as anyone wants to be.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Silly Quests Define Our Decline: NYC and Chi Compete, Again

A long, expensive, much-publicized contest is now
over, and--NYC won. Did anyone think Chicago's
Sears (Willis) Tower had any chance against the
emotional power of the phoenix-like World Trade
Center 2.0?  The two structures are very close in
height; there was a squabble over duelling definitions
of antennas allowed, etc. New York City now has
the nation's tallest building, if not the world's.

In normal times I don't object to obsessing on the
signally silly, like the above-mentioned race to the
top, but with new, ill-advised trade agreements
(the TPP), persistent high unemployment (recall
that 3-5% was considered "structural or normal"
for decades) and  apparently successful efforts
aimed at bringing the U.S. back to a harsher, more
rights-impoverished era continuing, this is no time to
concentrate on "fun", or less substantive matters.

...But fun is a never-ending national focus, except for
horrifying tragedies like the latest typhoon in the
Philippines, death toll of ~10,000 expected. Right
now many of us are galvanized into helping with
funds and goods, but such concerted care fades,
and our persistent problems remain, dealt with
in haphazard or downright wrong fashion.  

PLEASE: Let's have more serious emphasis
on tackling what matters, punctuated by rest
and recreation, yes, yet not as the main goal
and activity in life.

Such silly quests brought Ancient Rome to her
knees and the vandals. Such may quite easily
define our decline.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The $15.00/hr. Minimum Wage: An Unrealistic Dream That Will Be Denied

Memo to all the relatively unskilled front-line workers in the U.S.:
Hopes for a  $15.00/hr. federal minimum wage won't win out.
The reasons are many, but I will list just a few:

(1) Unskilled work doesn't have the power to demand such
high wages here, perhaps nowhere. The fact of large families
struggling to exist on $7.25/hr. wages is very sad, but whose
obligation is it to provide a "living" wage for these families?
I  had only one child, knowing how uncertain economies,
even ours, can be; I too held a number of modestly-paying jobs.
There is no "right" to have five or more children, particularly
when would-be parents don't possess high-level skill sets.
(2)  Prices at fast-food restaurants would go up exponentially,
putting many of them out of business, as they could no longer
profitably compete. Most jobs at McDonald's, Burger King,
et al. aren't really designed for a lifetime career unless workers
earn significant promotions. Many such employees are high
school and college students, spouses with employed partners,
and Social Security/pension recipients. Employers might solve
their problem with terminations, making miserable those who

(3)  A more controversial reality centers on wage competition
between the highly skilled (degree holders or technically
trained) and those with negligible or modest abilities. Why
would anyone pay a low-level worker what a skilled employee
earns who finished college and has firm computer capabilities,
for example? It will not happen.

Poor people or the young starting  out can't "have it
all" unless they inherit, have rich parents, win the lottery, etc.
What should happen is simple: step by step, build that larger
life. Swimming carelessly through one's existence, then
expecting everybody else to pick up the pieces for you
isn't smart or fair. Want a big family? Make sure you can
pay for it. In the meantime:

Please realize there will be no national, $15 an hour
minimum wage. Set your sights on something you can
personally accomplish-- such "dreams" won't be denied.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Football: Change the Rules of the Game

How many young people, from middle school to the NFL,
suffer concussions but continue to play, because of the
money, power, "opportunity" and cultural influence attached
to  football? There must be many thousands; a large number
doggedly stay on in the sport until, frankly, they are used up,
too old and damaged to play ball or do much else. --Exactly
what sort of "game" is this? It is a blood sport, not completely
removed from the days of Ancient Rome with its gladiators.

In recent years the media shocked some of us with ugly news
about NFL teams  paying bonuses to players who will seriously
hurt stars on opposing teams. This equates to brutality,
criminality (intent)  and --no particular skill other than thuggery.
It's high time for major changes in the tactics, philosophy and
morality of the game:

(1) No headshots, head butts, etc. Hefty penalties, in some
cases resulting in being ejected from play, must be awarded
to end these frequent life-altering concussions.

(2) Remove some of the "contact" in this contact sport:
five or more players jumping on top of one on the bottom
and other egregious "plays"  should leave football.
Whatever happened to touch football? You still need passing,
running, blocking et al. even in this milder form, no?
Wouldn't that demonstrate more true talent and less

Helmet design can never prevent concussions, which
are similar to shaken baby syndrome. The brain floats
inside the brain case (skull) and violent impacts will shake
it up very detrimentally, voila, a concussion. More padding,
etc. cannot successfully address this.

Boxers and football players after the age of 40 who have
had multiple concussions become virtually unemployable.
Besides the economic worry (where will the income come
from for the next 40 years?) the ruined brain performs
less well and overall quality of life is diminished.

Think about that the next time you're in the stands yelling
"Kill 'im!" Football: change the rules of the game.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"The Most Transparent Administration"? Not About the Healthcare Glitches

If  The White House has not invited experts from MIT or
The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana to create and/or
fix the software for the public exchanges sign-ons, I
STRONGLY suggest they do this IMMEDIATELY.
I think  "experts" from other places, like Georgia Tech,
simply aren't up to the required complexity. But these two
institutions are well-known internationally to be so...

Then there is the matter of "scaling up" (-from software
capable of handling hundreds or thousands of  sign-ons to
literally millions.) This is one of obvious glitch sources here,
not so easy to do accurately as some science documentaries
lead viewers to believe. That probably explains why Mr. Obama's
"first successful sign-up", (a Ms. Baker, who needed 11 hours and
seven tries to get it done, per CBS) was brought to the White House
in a shop-worn human-interest aspect of his attempted apologia
maxima, while NOT revealing the names and credentials (c.v.s)
of the people on his original Obamacare software start-up team.
Mr. Obama never actually said he was sorry, only merely mad; he
CANNOT possibly be as upset as those thwarted in trying to get
the healthcare they really need.

Memo to the White House: You must provide this information.
No plausible deniability for these folks--or YOU in the inner circle.
Mr. Obama, your easy-going manner does not serve well here,
i.e., "act natural, act casual", etc. Be more forthcoming, take
personal responsibility, state the expert team's qualifications.

You can kiss your transparency braggadocio goodbye if you
don't...and do call MIT. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Is Nihilism Nigh, Worldwide?

So much murderous violence occurring simultaneously
suggests suicidal tremors in Earth's body politic:
desperation, need, jealousy, greed, inability to comprehend
or cooperate--the specter of nihilism grows ever larger,
just in time for Hallowe'en. Here at home, TV fiction
features characters routinely threatening to punch one
another in the face,  parroted by many of  the viewing faithful;
bullying among the  young, especially in schools, pushes
the vulnerably sensitive over the edge into ending their
lives, a boy and a girl just recently.

It looks likely that there isn't a cogent care for tomorrow,
next week or next year, the way the powerful AND the
ordinary are misbehaving.

If nihilism is nigh, that terrifies far more than vampires,
zombies and assorted ghouls...Happy Hallowe'en!

The U.S. Economy: "Watchful Waiting" over our Political Non-function: No Fig Leaf Big Enough to Cover the Shame

...that includes the huge plants from back in the dinosaur days,
when individual leaves were many feet across. I have every
expectation that, early in 2014, this same pandering, posturing,
preening, politicking absent the facts will reoccur, the popular
public-speaking mechanism so favored by the right and left,
elected and not-elected alike.

But the average American, and many investors, are watching
with weary, jaundiced eyes; witness the upsurge in tech stocks and
the S & P, yet the DJIA, home to most non-expert investors, did
NOT similarly so surge. The week ended (10/18/'13) with less than
30 points gained on Friday by the Dow Jones, which makes me
think of the economy as still parked in the intensive care ward,
while we "watchfully wait".  (--Just what exactly are we waiting
FOR?? --A majority of legislators willing to legislate for the
common good, that is, for rich and poor alike (excepting vicious
billionaire brothers Koch and company?)

                          [hack, cough, cough....]

Beware the tipping point, if we don't:

--stop million/billion pork-barrel projects (yes, they still exist,
   Sen. Mitch McConnell just received one);
--streamline wasteful program duplications;
--eliminate tax loopholes for super rich individuals and
--find a way to sanely, humanely create a more graduated,
   multi-level tax structure;
--fix our aged bridges, roads and rails
   (witness Minneapolis' deadly, major bridge failure).

The world would call us Deadbeat America, our "Exceptionalism"
mocked openly over land, sea and air, here, there, everywhere.
Merely mocking us isn't the worst of our future shock, as what
other nations think practically, tangibly, matters, despite denying,
decrying, ignorant voices to the contrary.

Watchful waiting will not heal our economy; no fig leaf
exists to salve our pride. Only intelligent, honest effort
works, what has ever worked. Let's get going! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Super Power or Super Problem? Any U.S. Default Deters World Growth

...and I don't mean population. It seems as if  humans can
procreate in the direst of circumstances, yet solving urgent
political/financial  impasses often seems quite beyond us.
Once again, due to ignorant intransigence, ego, and an
eye toward imagined political gain, we are at the eleventh
hour, with little will in a small but powerful pocket of
Congress to do the right thing. Yet this particular precipice is
of an unknown, likely world-wide catastrophic quantity--
because the planet's nations have believed in a tenuous
thing known as "the full faith and credit" of the United
States, our treasury bonds behind the entire world's
currency, our never having defaulted status. 

That small, standing their ground defiant pocket in the
U.S. House, AKA the Tea Party, may well spiral us
all into a sovereign debt crisis. Deadbeat America,
where would your much-ballyhooed "exceptionalism"
and "super power" status be honored then?
Extraordinary, yes, but not in a praiseworthy way.
Few forgive avoidable harm; the rest of the world
WOULD take note, friend and foe alike. Heads up,
Tea Partiers--that applies internally as well, come
election, er, RE-election time.

Too bad there isn't a binding resolution to jail
such legislative offenders: a U.S. default deters
world growth, stability and peace.

Today's online Chicago Sun-Times explained
"the Hastert Rule", which former House Speaker
Hastert devised, implemented and institutionalized
(gee, all the way back to 2003, SUCH a historic
long-standing precedent!), to wit: No Speaker
sends a bill back to the Senate unless supported
by a majority of the majority--not just a house-
wide majority. If this isn't a nakedly, purely
political ploy, I don't know what is. Memo to
Boehner: Time to break the rule, buddy!
Especially in view of the fact that Mr. Hastert
was NOT a legendarily canny, statesman-like
Speaker in any event. Mr. B., your nation
and world are watching. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In-Ayn Rand Rules Parts of the South, to Its Detriment (and ours)

Willful, occasionally criminal, stupidity rules large swaths of our
nation, particularly in poorer southern states. Worship in the
Ayn Rand cult conveniently cloaks selfish disregard of others
in a pseudo intellectual guise of "productivity", " high-ideal
individualism," etc. Much of this has segued into the Tea Party,
many members of which claim to be Christians. It is not
rationally possible to be a true Randian, atheistic acolyte and a
practicing Christian--the philosophies are diametrically
opposed to each other.  How do these people reconcile
this seemingly insoluble paradox? They don't; they just
let it hang there in the ether, ranting Randian "Objectivism".

Now, down to October 10th, 2013,  as we are suspended
in the era of Sequestration (incorrectly used, according to
Oxford, et al.) partial government shutdown, a possible
looming default, the first in U.S. history, with world-reeling
consequences: some super patriots smugly deny, dismiss such an
eventuality, even say, "bring it on". Obtuse and uncharitable, when
disaster comes to their state or town, they won't  be too
ashamed to demand help from--the government, yes, that
Great Satan in their parochial view of economics. [What's logic
got to do with it?  Logic, a second-hand emotion....]

In-Ayn Rand must be delighted about now; never mind
if a whole nation falls down the rabbit hole, people are
actually following, even venerating her. But her ideological
victory is doomed to be short-lived, if history is any guide.
Inane and insane, her subjective emphasis completely
ignores human reality. We are individuals, yes, but
are of the herd as well--that's how we evolved over
six million years of history, forming families and hunter-
gatherer groups, then entire societies.

Let's not aspire to all or nothing philosophies. We can't
progress with narrow right-wing anti-government rhetoric,
nor nanny state soak the rich ideologies. We're all in this 
together, despite newborn shrill southern secession movements.

Let reason ring, along with freedom, in the North, South,
East and West--that would be best.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Extreme Errors: All Across America

The last few weeks, from September to October first, 2013,
have shown little more than a litany of errors from officials in
DC, shutting down (by intransigent posturing) parts of the
federal government, sending ~800 thousand workers on
furlough without pay, among other outrages.  A pointed
critique goes out to overly-leftie democrats AND right-wing
nuthatches on the republican side of the aisle. But this debacle
is merely Part One...

Part Two: They had better do something to raise the United
States' debt ceiling well before October 14th, a trigger date
before the much-publicized October 17th deadline. America's
much-vaunted "Full Faith and Credit" will be (if it isn't already)
in jeopardy. Certain talking heads warn that without prompt
borrowing authority, a new global financial crisis looms,
caused by a default on U.S. Treasury bonds, which ultimately
underpin our entire system, respected, relied upon around
the world--until now.

Let's go back to September, when 13 people were shot at a
troubled Chicago South Side neighborhood park. Friends and
families were still at the park at 10:15 p.m., including the
three-year old who was shot in the face. Didn't these "innocent"
adults understand the circumstances which sadly obtain where
they live? Or is denial relied upon, to their detriment? Why
would this mother take her three year old to a park in reputed
gang territory and still be there at 10:15 p.m.?  I hope she didn't
feel "there's strength in numbers", because only one person
packed an AK-47, and he was no friend of hers, or the other
twelve shooting victims...none of which were killed, miraculously.

Poor people in dangerous areas must work smarter to survive.
Parks anywhere aren't bastions of safety well after 9 p.m., so
being indoors late at night is one hell of a good idea in these
chaotic and gun-crazy times, no matter how splendid the
weather is. Extreme errors also happen locally, in smaller
spheres, as this one incident demonstrates.

As to Part One and Part Two, extreme errors in DC will
cause some of  these "stand your ground" politicians to risk
their high positions come voting time. The average American,
while not brilliant, still appreciates who isn't working in the
public interest--and that same public will make them pay,
probably sooner than later.  Ask the nineties' Newt Gingrich,
who "rode upon the high places" until an election in Congress
trimmed his sails...people began to see that his "Contract with
America" seemed  more like a contract ON America.

All across America, dangerous, heedless  stupidity is now
the order of the day.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Internecine Warfare or "Checks and Balances? What Ails Our System?

What ails our system is simple: personalities and vanities uber
alles, desperate hunger for attention at the expense of average
Americans without the same bully pulpit, etc. Many politicians
really don't care about you, America, so do select your
legislators CAREFULLY. The communities, lives, homes
and even bank accounts you save just might be your own.

What anyone CAN see is internecine warfare in Congress,
little actual work progressing, pitched battles, political
loyalties paraded in time-wasting style, while roads and bridges
continue to crumble, elderly Americans' Social Security
checks and our brave military's salaries are threatened, on and
on. [Is it really true that only $30 billion remains in our treasury?
The United States' tragically laughable lack of funds disqualifies
 us as the last remaining super such nation exists.]

Meanwhile, they posture, they rant, they obfuscate, and
yes, even lie, just to make an impression and get re-elected.
Somehow, the reasoned, moderate democrats and republicans
are shunted aside, as shouting always wins the yellow
journalism ( "yellow" is doubly pejoratively meant here)
coverage so prevalent now.

Peace, reason, concern and principle--that's what I
hunger for. Internecine warfare in Congress will hurt
all of us in the end, even its fiercest practitioners.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ted Cruz: "the Little Engine That Could" Pulls--a Stunt

...But it puts him front and center in the media. Is that
all that counts, Ted? If even some of your Republican
Senate and House colleagues in DC are distancing
themselves from you now, won't you just please sit
down and shut up? Do you want to stay stuck in the
U.S. Senate, known not fondly as "that wack job",
becoming marginalized, losing committee assignments,
etc.? But being re-elected by ignorant extremists from
Texas, your true constituent base, almost guarantees
you'll hang on  there. Hell, Texas' senior Senator Cornyn
has disparaged this tactic of yours.  

Apparently your "talk-a-thon" won't work as you'd
hoped. It's not officially termed a "filibuster", as
Senate business will go on. "Obamacare", or the ACA,
will remain the law of our land until Mr. Obama
leaves office, and likely beyond that. The Senate
majority has already planned to strip out the ACA
from an upcoming bill vote, so...?

So, greedy for the limelight, you already accomplished
that. But you've marginalized yourself  in the process,
with republicans in DC calling your current actions
a stunt, and your public, unfortunate use of "stand your
ground" in your own political context.

Keep it up, Ted. Until recently, most of us didn't
know who you are; but  moderates of both parties
now know, and have you in their sights. Successful
publicity stunts today, loss of respect today and

P.S.: Say, Ted, why not use your laptop to read
to your kids, rather than take valuable U.S. Senate
and TV time?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Save Your House! It's Easier to Steal Your Home Than Your Car: "Sovereign Citizen" Movement's Fraudulent Liens

Property Crime Alert! Research "sovereign citizens" if you aren't
already aware of them. Dr. Mark Pitcavage and the Anti-
Defamation League explain how these occasionally virulently
violent "paper terrorists" can steal your home with forged,
realistic-looking documents, "deed heisting", etc. This is a
dangerous, demented criminal movement, spawned by U.S.
survivalist, anti-government fringe groups. They reject the
legitimacy of all duly constituted authority, have stolen judges'
homes via fraudulent liens and other "financial instruments".

Check your property deed for ANY activity YOU haven't
taken. Do this through your local county recorder of  deeds
office; some recorders' offices have free fraud alerts which
go to your pc, smart phone, et al....sign up for them!


You have to be very vigilant, as some county recorder of
deeds offices are legally prohibited from officially verifying
some of these forged documents submitted by the sovereigns
and other criminals using the same techniques...

The home you save may be your own.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham HAS No Cachet (Or Sense, Either)

...and he'd better stay out of Syria while I administer a little
spelling,  vocabulary and pronunciation lesson:

(1) If you say "cachet" (pronounced cashay), you mean
something or someone has earned prestige, admiration,
distinction. P.S.: it's French, like every word in American
English meant to impress but often does not;

(2) If you use "cache" (pronounced cash), you mean
a store of something, often hidden or put by, like a large
amount of weapons. [No doubt Lindsey meant to say item (2)
but blundered by saying "cachet".];

(3) If you say "cash" and your context immediately
refers to money, everyone will know what you mean,
even including Mr. Graham.

It is NOT weak to save blood and treasure, ours
and theirs. Perhaps "prudent" is a concept quite beyond
loquacious Lindsey. It IS weak to attempt to make
political points on the backs of our military and any
Syrians while you risk no danger of any sort yourself,
Senator Graham.

Ironically, then: Mr. Graham has no cachet, or
sense, either.

Larry Summers Won't Head the Fed

Great news starts off a new work week, today, Monday,
September 16th, 2013: Larry Summers "reluctantly"
withdraws his name from consideration as the next
Federal Reserve Chief.  Mr. Obama, rumor hath it,
was strongly inclined to appoint Mr. Summers, but
after spirited "let's harry Larry" objections from women's
and other deemed liberal groups, Summers saw the
writing on the wall and chose to step away, not out of
patriotism, methinks, but rather, regard for self. 
He's held many high-level posts, dating back to the
Clinton era, made many missteps too, such as stating
his opinion on women's ineptitude in science and
math while at Harvard, and being too pro-big bank,
i.e., at least somewhat anti financial reform.

Perhaps Janet Yellen can supply the expertise
missing in the good ol' boy network if she succeeds
Ben Bernanke.  In any event, Larry Summers won't
head the Fed. --Smiles all around!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chicago Power: Olive Branches or Going Out on a Limb? Emanuel; Lewis; Apology for Burge

Did you denizens of Chicagoland see the scrawls hastily written
by Mayor Emanuel to Chicago Public Schools union head
Karen Lewis on TV? I did; it was embarrassing in its casual
manner, from the salutation, simply "Karen", to the note paper
used, not anything more formal  than personal lists or  post-its.
So while Rahmster Monster may well be a canny legal
negotiator/business broker (his attorney fees and deals attest
to that), being businesslike in other areas seems beyond
him. Still, his brief words of commiseration  packed a

Meanwhile,  he has also apologized for former Police
Commander Jon Burge's long dark stain of official torture
on Chicago, as more past confessions obtained under duress
are tossed out, victims are released and compensated.
He is the first Chicago mayor in 40 years to express such
sorrow on behalf of the city...

Two olive branches offered in less than one week were
from Chicago's mayor, one from CPS' Lewis, hers in calmly
looking forward to a meeting.

Am I going out on a limb to feel filled with hope for local
detente? Or are the powers that be? We'll all stay tuned,
of course.

What a Waste! Nuclear Reactors: Decommissioned/Defunct/Destroyed or Online

About 400 nuclear reactors are online around our planet; others
are defunct, destroyed or decommissioned. (There's no space or
time here to describe in detail all the sunken nuclear-powered
submarines adding to the terrible tonnage of long-lived toxic
waste.) Japan is still struggling after its triple tragedy
(earthquakes, tsunami, Fukushima fubar), yet certain officials
are trying to restart offline reactors elsewhere in the country.
They are meeting stiff resistance from many there. I pray their
active, public resolve persists.

Some very good news has lifted gloom in the anti-nuclear
community lately: more reactors shutting down, more license
extensions denied to dangerously aged/aging reactors, the
"nuclear renaissance" recently stalled in the southern U.S.,
Germany's dramatic, deadline-driven divesting of nuclear
power, and more.

The thousands of tons of nuclear's dangerous drek remain,
however; HOSS, hardened onsite storage, being the best
(and only) way to temporarily corral this junk without
transporting it around and inviting home-grown terror theft.
Yucca Mountain is STILL not a geologically stable
repository for such tonnage, toxic for thousands of years.
(I'm still looking for the original geologist who signed off
on its safety/suitability report for the DOE decades ago.)
There are quake faultlines under and near the mountain--
how was that not deemed significant?

Fukushima fubar should become the anti-nuclear
movement's new anthem, even while we work
toward mitigating all possible dangers. What a
waste if we don't succeed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2016: The Next Dynamic Duo, Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren

I began to fantasize about (D) FL House Rep. Alan Grayson
as president in 2016 the moment he publicly broke ranks with
our president regarding taking military action in Syria. The web
was equally quick, and early, with a greater than greek chorus
whose enthusiastic sentiments I share...they added a fillip of fine
feminine quality in the person of Elizabeth Warren, one of two
excellent senators to DC from MA.

For many of us, THERE is the dream team worthy, willing
and able to lead us in chaotic times. These two seem intelligent,
independent and serious enough to become the next president
and vice president of the United States. Both Grayson and
Warren have shown sustained commitment to principle, not
a quality firmly possessed by all politicians. Every era cries
out for just such character.

Here's to the next dynamic duo in 2016: may they be
Grayson and Warren. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Syria: Which Shoe IS on Which Foot Now?

So here we are again, the USA rides to the rescue, ha HA!
oh, we will surely solve the whole situation in...Syria. Who
is kidding WHO, exactly?

There seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons have
recently been employed in Syria: shroud upon shroud, body
after body, televised with no blood spatters, bruises, etc.
Still, I think our president was ill-advised in 2012 to state that
chemical weapon use in Syria would constitute "a red line"
which Syria had better not cross.

Let's recur once again to the Bush era, the father this time;
we didn't seem to care about the many THOUSANDS of
Northern Iraqi Kurds Saddam Hussein had gassed, this in
the late 1980s. Only when Kuwait was overrun (1990-91)
did  Bush I intervene, a sharp, short, successful limited war.
Genocide, however, was not on any agenda to be avenged
or halted. The one bright exception was stopping the internecine
genocidal war among the slavs, largely by Bill Clinton's authority.

Now, however, in 2013,  we feel quite prepared to enter
Syria's chaotic civil war, while President Assad is being
backed by nearby Russia and Iran, with all manner of terrorists
and mercenaries streaming in and already on hand. How many
Arabic speakers will we have available to our military? Why do
we think we will achieve mastery there? We haven't won a major
engagement since I was born 68 years ago, 1945, WWII.
-Korea? Nope. -Vietnam? Nope. -Iraq? Nope, and  Afganistan,
nope again. So stop the "number one" cant/chant, already. It just
makes us look pathetic like France, Spain and the U.K. at
the end of their world dominance eras.

 We're still actively engaged in Iraq, not to mention Afganistan,
whatever troop withdrawals have occurred. With a tiny amount
of cash in the federal kitty, our urgent  need to borrow, DC at
polarized maximum, AND a small volunteer army, what IS
this tardy declaration now?

Which shoe is on which foot?  I'll say nothing about WHOSE

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ted Cruz Cannot Serve as President of the United States-Ever

It doesn't matter what his political persuasions are; it doesn't
matter where his parents were born; Ted Cruz, having been
born in Canada, cannot serve as president of the USA. The
definitive answer to this is found in Article II, paragraph five
(NOT to be confused with the Second Amendment) of the
United States Constitution. Some are quoting the Fourteenth
Amendment regarding Mr. Cruz, which DID NOT overturn
Article II's stipulation stating one must be a natural-born citizen
of (in) the United States. Reading all of paragraph five, that
means born in the USA (and I'm not quoting Bruce Springsteen

Haven't our media and our general populace recalled the ongoing
and current immigration/deportation problem, where the mother
is born elsewhere, never became an actual U.S. citizen, but her
children, born HERE, ARE?? Ditto for foreign dads of U.S.-born

Despite any demurs to the contrary, Sen. Cruz  DOES want
to be the next U.S. president. He has said he'll give up his
Canadian citizenship; the constitution is silent on the matter of
dual citizenship, as it wasn't much of an issue when  written.
Taking such action is pointless; it won't gain him entrance to the
White House as its next four-year resident.

By the bye, for the lesser-schooled among us, "natural born" is a
translation used by the Founding Fathers in 1787 of De Natura,
a Latin expression equating to "of, or from nature" in English.
The Founders were opposed to conferring citizenship, the Vice-
Presidency and the Presidency based on the parents' birthplace.
(Yes, some other nations have that system, but we don't.)
Where the mother gives birth geographically is the key...that must
occur here, in one of the 50 states. Please read the Constitution,
especially you video media mavens at the Washington Post,
you're embarrassing yourselves terribly. 

Another point: after seven scant months serving in the U.S.
Senate, who does this guy think he is? After all the shouting
and fear-mongering among the right-wing nuthatches, Ted
included, he hasn't served illustriously or long enough to be
so sure he's entitled and/or all-knowing. But bet on it, the
Koch Brothers are loving this.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stop Middle East Military Aid Madness--By U.S.

Here's a daring idea: the USA stops all military aid to all
nations in the Middle East--and that includes Israel. We can
continue any  available opportunities to send food and
medicine to anyone around the world who needs it,

Friend or foe, don't send any "mo" guns, planes,
bombs, missiles, etc. That is, if the USA would actually
like to be the "kinder, gentler" nation Bush I mentioned
back in the day, 1988-1992. (Seems eons ago, no?)

Don't chastise me; yes, I realize our armaments industry
employs many here at home--but we can hire these same people
and many more besides to repair our crumbling, third-world
infrastructure. Giving Israel, Egypt, et  al over a billion a
year each in military aid does NOT advance civilization
(i.e., peace) by any rational stretch of the imagination.

Don't remind me about the many key trade agreements,
I'm aware, I'm aware,...but care for life, limb and property
had better become demonstrably more important SOON
or we keep proving we are no better than ants and
meerkats, other animals constantly at war with their
own kind.

Let's stop our  Middle East madness as military
murder suppliers. On to peace accords and
helping the needy!

P.S.: Memo to Mr. Obama: Somebody has to go first.
How sensible is it to accuse the Russkies of Cold War
thinking when WE DO THE SAME? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rahm Rams Through More Misuse of Chicago's People and TIFs

He's at it again, the vitriolic, stubborn and not-so-smart Mayor
of Chicago. Oh yes, he's clever; as an attorney he successfully
brokered the sale of  Com Ed to Exelon (along with other
nuclear utilities), which made him $$$$$$ and Exelon  the
largest nuclear utility in the U.S. He's also unusually canny in
the political arena, combining bullying and other forms of
hardball to be a congressman and Presidential White House
Chief of Staff--catapulting him onto the 5th floor of Chicago's
City/County Building, otherwise known as City Hall.

--But as an administrator, a fair-handed one? One who effectively
demonstrates caring about ALL of Chicago, be they rich or poor?
(You know, as Harold Washington did?) Good golly, Wally
and Miss Molly, nooooo! he ain't, he's hardly a saint...there are
the 49 simultaneous school closings, adversely affecting the
children, teachers, parents and those neighborhoods.

                     ********and now*********

The Reader, long a free paper lifting the veil of official secrecy
and outrage in Chicago, has recently exposed the latest local
Chicago crime against humanity--a deal being brokered between
the city,  a certain railroad company out of Virginia, and our
horrible, unethical, mismanaged TIFs.  According to venerable
Reader writer Ben Joravsky (August 1st),  a two-mile swath of
Englewood will be dedicated to a freight yard which will pollute
the area. But a few hundred jobs will be created, says Norfolk
Southern. --Great! Poison the many, force people out, destroy
their homes,  but a small percentage of folks will earn a paycheck.
Is this  responsible or caring action planning?

Then there is the further finagling of Chicago TIFs, proposed by
the Mayor to facilitate this unholy project, mercifully shot down,
albeit, I suspect, only  temporarily. Complying with various laws
requiring public announcements about these matters, the city
used the expedient of printing the mandated verbiage in the
Legal Notices section of  the two dailies--cynically done, as
who reads those notices?

YET SOME of Englewood's more observant residents DO
peruse said notices and are mounting a defense, which I fear
will lose in the short term...but perhaps, not in the long run.
These shenanigans should represent another factual nail in
the coffin confining Rahm to one term. How much more
misuse of people, land and money can Chicago take?

Planet Earth, Theater of the Absurd: Facts vs. PR Disjuncts

Well, friends, neighbors and the occasional other reader, it's
time to excoriate the irrational (and therefore unhelpful) in the
news here at home and elsewhere-Earth:

(1) President Obama claims  we're not stopping our world
involvements due to terror while 19 U.S. foreign embassies
remain closed--for over a week. --Disconnect, anyone?
[I back the closings, but not the rah-rah, we fear no one
verbiage which ISN'T supported by events and many of us.]

(2) Announcements continue that the NSA's various sweeps
and programs are ever more broad and intrusive, yet the NSA
stridently, confidently claims their actions are legal:
a. They are NOT legal, as these practices violate several
articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution, putatively
the highest law of the land.
b. See (1): PRISM, both versions of the Patriot Act, etc.,
show just how terrified our USA is of terrorism, just how deep
a mark they have made on the national psyche. --Terror as
psychological warfare? That's where the terrorists HAVE
won. [Not to mention all the practical ways life and travel
have changed here.]

Let's leave the Theater of the Absurd and recognize certain
uncomfortable home truths: our nation is just about as
vulnerable to violence and vandalism as everybody else.
Can't we cease the public blather about how we're
still number one, how we remain totally unaffected by
murderous extremists?--In my lifetime? Please?

Friday, July 26, 2013

There IS NO Right to Sex

--Have you checked  your U.S. Constitution lately?
I  have, and find no reference or mention regarding
any right to sex. That means if someone agrees to
have intercourse with you, it's a gift, not an obligation.
Nobody owes their body to anyone else, and I include
the married as well. Apparently, though, some men
perusing our "highest" document imagine such a right
written in red....

But take a look at what's actually happening here at
home and around the world--rape, groping, assault,
kidnapping (for sexual purposes, not money), forced
"marriage" at a young age, electronic exhibitionism, etc.
This is a mostly male-fueled disgrace, sometimes
supported by certain women to stay on such males'
"good" side. All of this is abhorrent, painfully primitive,
disgusting, embarrassing.

When will all this end, when will respect take
ascendancy over sexual obsession? I predict, not
anytime soon. We are, after all, animals. How easy
is it to overcome those aspects of our identities?
Most of us manage to keep ourselves in check,
but for those who can't--a stiff jail term for the
multiple, heinous offender is in order, preferably
for life or well into old age, which will solve the
problem.(-Biology confers justice at times!)

Memo to men: Take a cold shower, read a book,
call a friend, take a nap, go on a run--do anything
positive to avoid being so uncivilized. We women
will thank you. To the good men out there, do more
than shake your heads with chagrin--take action,
albeit if only by way of more public remarks. Taking
legal recourse, better still.

Memo to both men and women: There is no right to
sex, for you to give OR get it. It is a privilege, a
pleasure and a responsibility--STDs, unwanted children,
bad feelings and jealousy-driven crimes are all
possibilities lurking in the background. Don't be
victimized; don't victimize anyone else.

Know your rights, and those of others.

Monday, July 22, 2013

"1984" Has Arrived--in California

Apparently inmates in certain Cali prisons can be thrown into
solitary confinement for reading-yes, READING- Machiavelli's
The Prince. A quick review of 1984's plot reminds me about
the complete thought control system employed by a fictional
society in 1984, according to author George Orwell.

Are we heading into such an abyss? Why would anyone punish
a prisoner for reading The Prince? I have a copy, and it is nothing
more than a testament to the brilliant, independent, practical
and logical systems of a particular political gun for hire (AKA,
adviser to kings). Marvelous if amoral Machiavelli posited
several completely different rationales to assist his various
bosses, each of which seems to achieve internal consistency....

--AHEM, to the intellectually weak wardens of  such stilted
institutions, it's memo time:

(1) Chances are excellent that no inmate will be able to glean
any useful tips from The Prince to  orchestrate a jailbreak or
create a working gang of his peers.

(2) Readers often make better thinkers--don't you want
that in a troubled population?

(3) It's a world-renowned classic--get over yourselves and
stop showing said world your ignorance.

Machiavelli obviously took a generally dim view of  human
nature, which heavily colored his philosophy. But he was a
political strategist, not a priest, so in that sense, he might
be considered "a bad influence" by certain wardens and

Regarding reading during incarceration, let's look at
what happened to Malcolm X during his eight years in a
Norfolk, MA prison. It boasted one of the largest prison
libraries in the U.S., and Malcolm took advantage of this
resource, leaving the correctional system a changed and
better man.

Have authorities in Cali read 1984, contributing to the state's
moral decline? Please, California, stop attempting mind control.
It ultimately doesn't work anyway, makes life less worth living
for everyone--even the would be "controllers'.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Florida: Not Nurturing, Not a Garden

My apologies to the millions of decent people who live there, but
I have no wish to visit Florida--for any reason.   Let me count the
ways why Florida isn't the Garden State:

(1) Hurricanes;
(2) Palmetto Bugs (large, flying cockroach-like insects);
(3) Primitive, permissive laws like "Stand Your Ground";
(4) Primitive, permissive politics that strip away people's rights;
(5) Very sketchy business practices by large companies.

Years ago I interviewed at the Chicago office of a huge,
Florida-based real estate company. About to be hired,
the interviewer let me in on a few of its sales secrets, which
included targeting Polish and Hispanic-speaking neighborhoods
with a view to selling mortgages to English-challenged buyers.
[I declined the job offer.] Various charges of fraud led to
this firm's bankruptcy and indictments, which were later
overturned. (-?)

Then there were the Florida Bush connections earlier this decade,
which allowed Bush II eight years in the White House, more death
and destruction by war than necessary, justifiable or reasonable.
In 2004 I called the Florida Secretary of State to ascertain Florida
policy regarding out of state poll watchers; there isn't one, they
aren't allowed. [Yet foreign nations allow the U.S. to monitor
THEIR elections....]

So what's so great about escaping to Florida? --Leaving
Winter behind? I'll keep Winter and forget  Florida,
not nurturing of anybody's rights, really. For all its lush         
growth,  a garden state it's not.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

...But Burke in Chicago Attempts to Hold the Line Separating Guns and Booze

Bravo, Burke! Chicago Alderman Ed Burke is going our
recently passed IL state law one better--no guns in ANY
establishment selling alcohol, PERIOD. No arithmetic required:
no stipulations as to how much food vs. booze sold, nada,
no guns. This makes all kinds of sense: Quite a few terrific
restaurants with bars take many alcohol-only orders, as I
have seen over the years.

Alcohol, for those not in the know, lowers inhibitions, a
bad idea on a good day, as what we must do when dealing
with others (especially offensive idiots) is maintain our cool.
Two or more drinks on, the part of the brain that controls
behavior begins to relax, like the rest of the body--and then,
oh brother, father, sister, mother, we have words; words fail?
Then put up fists or pull out that concealed pistol. -Pow! Now,
how about that?! [Feels good for about 10-30 seconds, after
which reality sets in and you see sealed fates for you and yours,
them and theirs.]

Over the years I've disagreed with Mr. Burke often, but not when
it comes to public safety issues. Alderman Ed served as a
policeman back in the day; he knows whereof he speaks
--experience vs. theory, with him.

Keep holding the line, Mr. Alderman, your concern is well-taken.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wild West Country: An Apocalypse of Gun-Fueled "Accidents" Is Near, As Feared...

It's now unanimous--the USA is now 100% Sarah Palin and
Charlton Heston country. The Supreme Court and ALL
50 STATEHOUSES have decreed their warped, self-serving
"understanding" of the Second Amendment into law. Illinois,
even with all the Chicago gun violence/mortality, had stood
alone in avoiding Conceal and Carry...that was something,
at least. By the way, what's the point of hiding one's legal
weapons, exactly? (Keeping them locked up from children's
dangerous curiosity is another, vital, matter.)

From sea to shining sea, we now live in a nation whose
vision has failed, except for the few enlightened among us.
You'll see more death by klutz (bet on it), domestic violence,
road rage and all the rest. Chicago, as the U.S.'s third-largest
city, will be ever-more guns-present intensive. Law-abiding
people should carry, some say. What about the clumsy, the
suddenly roused to anger, the inebriated? They too will be
packing and pulling out their weapons when words fail them.

Perhaps all this gun-loving is meant to assuage all our
finally perceived insecurities. Ever since 911, the paranoid
among us, most particularly those in power, have created a
litany of bad practices and policies. It's as if no one has studied
any world history, no one will/can accept that any nation's world
supremacy eventually fails, therefore its security becomes less sure.

How long did the USA think it could coast on winning
(with Allied help) the past two World Wars? That we
haven't experienced full-on invasions has more to do with
our two friendly neighbors and two oceans north, south,
east and west than the Monroe Doctrine and our
putative might. (As it is, we are "invaded" by Central
Americans via our California, Arizona and Texas borders
each day.)

Viewed from a historical perspective, the United States
is sliding backward, back into the authoritarian, shadowy
stupidity we attempted to escape from in 1776.
--Conservativism? No, rigid, right-wing control. Really,
what that is positive are we "conserving"?

After watching events for 60 years, I'm afraid too,
of the Wild West Country I must call home, of an
apocalypse of gun-fueled "accidents" erupting in Illinois,
my state...

And  in the general lack of moral fiber and good sense
exhibited here, there, everywhere.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Parties and Parrying in Lieu of Patriotism

Another Fourth of July is about to come to a close,
with the absence of meaningful, helpful political
action in Washington DC, the Illinois statehouse
and elsewhere. There isn't enough money in my
suburb or Chicago to host former years' July 3rd
beautiful and awe-inspiring fireworks, but the
rhetorical firestorms haven't fallen silent, stridency
ruling over good sense, alas.

237 years ago the Founders stated their intent to
break with the mother country and forge a new
nation. I put the plural to "founder", as Thomas
Jefferson, who certainly could coin a phrase, was
part of a document draft committee which included
Franklin and Adams; they found it necessary to
redact a good bit of controversial rambling Jefferson
indulged in after a stirring beginning. The inconvenient
truth about those self-evident "truths" Jefferson listed
is that they are abrogated daily and have been since he
wrote those words.

For me the fourth of July isn't as significant as
the birth of  our republic, celebrated on September
17th every year, the day in 1787 when the framers
signed the Constitution. It's an unhappy fact that the
highest law of the land is also routinely broken, even
by second president John Adams back in 1801.

Meanwhile, the parties and political parrying
(wrangling) still go on across America, in lieu
of patriotic problem-solving, you know, justice,
respect and dignity for all.

Well, we haven't been taken over in 237 years;
that, at least, is worthy of a lifted glass or two.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Snowden's Situation Shows the Tension Between Exercising Freedoms and Willful Stupidity

...and he's no Thomas Drake. In 2006 Mr. Drake, a high-level
NSA executive (contrasted to Snowden's low-level sub-contractor
status) became a whistleblower revealing his deep misgivings
about aspects of the NSA's policies/practices, particularly
regarding incompetence, waste, fraud and abuse. A 60 Minutes
CBS interview in 2011 of Mr. Drake by Scott Pelley revealed the
many operational flaws hobbling the NSA's effectiveness--
and its fairness. A promising electronic surveillance program
called Thin Thread was nixed by General Michael Hayden, a
man known for his many mistakes, in favor of Trailblazer.
Trailblazer was an inaccurate, $1.2 billion money-wasting
program which didn't warn the U.S. in time about 911 terror
threats. Drake objected to warrantless wiretapping which then
became NSA policy, clearly unconstitutional.

Mr. Drake attempted to share his concerns internally at NSA,
by the book, but  to no avail. Then he began dealing with the
press; later, he contacted the Government Accountability
Project, which defends whistleblowers. He (of course)
lost his job and retirement benefits, was indicted by the
government, but never left the U.S. ...and kept all his
freedoms, according to an interview he gave the
New York Times just a few days ago.

Then there's Snowden, relatively young and inexperienced,
a high-school and college dropout, who obviously didn't do
much research before embarking on his life-changing agenda.
Did he research which countries have/don't have extradition
treaties with the U.S.? Did he contact the Government
Accountability Project? Did he remain in the U.S. to stand
and fight? I think "no" answers all.

There will always be a dynamic tension between exercising
one's freedoms and willfull stupidity. Snowden has chosen
the latter, and now is a man without a country, foreshadowed
fictionally in a short story and movie long before.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chicago's Public Schools: Stuck on Stupid

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public
Schools' central office can't hack their way out of being
stuck on stupid with newly draconian, illogically-stultifying
cuts and proposals to the public schools.  According to
Art Golab at the Chicago Sun-Times (06/21/'13), students
at  much-touted Whitney Young will be paying an "extra"
$500 next year if they want to take a seventh period class.
(-?) What does "extra" mean? Aren't the public schools
free education, attendance mandated by law?

The other outrage, perhaps more serious, is the reduction
in  Reading, English,  Physical Education, Technology
programs, and outright elimination of Art classes at Burley
Elementary, a top-scoring school.  (More schools will
be following suit shortly.)  So what will we be
producing here in the future? Young people who know
nothing about where they came from, who express
themselves ever more egregiously erroneously than
Americans currently do, bank on it.

Then there's the Republic, which is becoming more
primitive and uncivilized by the week. We seem to
be sliding back to evil old days, and only a relative
few are rising to protest such sad phenomena...
more schooling on diverse subjects is vital, NOT

But drunk with power, stupidity and ego as these
Chicago "higher-ups" now are, I don't see a swift
solution, except to ensure Emanuel's term of office
in  the singular...

Let's make Rahm run away after one term;  let's
not stay stuck on stupid.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Still An Uncivilized Earth: Rapes, Other Outrages Occur Worldwide

Here at home, in our military around the world, in the Middle
East, everywhere else as well: where there is no respect for
women or children, where racism and class status hold
dominant sway, where human and animal lives are held
cheaply--how can these practices be part of any "civilization"?
If by that term you mean the web, pretty architecture, arts and
sewer systems, I'll grant you, those exist. But those organizing
and culturally-assuaging accomplishments don't, sadly, create
true civilization, meaning, that higher thing, where meaningful
dialog, peace and respect rule worldwide.

So far, there has been no civilization...only certain civilized
INDIVIDUALS and  small communities of kindred
spirits here and there over the past 10,000 years of Earth's
human history....

Earthlings, evolve soon, or the destruction of life on this
planet happens sooner than even the climatologists' crystal
ball  prognosticates.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Accord Accorti No Mercy--Call the North Ridgeville Ohio Police...

clog up their phone lines, demand this cruel criminal be fired.
Why did this "peace" officer shoot a litter of eight week-old
kittens to death in front of a horrified Ohio mother and her
CHILDREN? Even worse, he has been cleared of the charges,
returned to work. What is going on in North Ridgeville? It is
time to look into this little nook of iniquity. I think I'll find out who
the U.S. House Rep is from that congressional district, call
him/her, and yes--

I intend to make a federal case out of this--


Monday, June 10, 2013

NSA Leaker Ed Snowden: Not Quite Bright Enough

A young and "bright" boy, 29, formerly of the NSA and CIA,
has exposed just how broad and deep a sweep domestic
surveillance has become since 911 and the success of the Patriot
Acts,  both versions. According to various press reports, his
reasoning and concern for the public's privacy privileges
(read: rights) seemed spot on--until you get a load of where he
escaped to...Hong Kong, a huge CHINESE metropolis. (-!?)

So this disenchanted U.S. citizen, presumably well-informed,
well-studied, well-read, picks China, still a firm bastion
of mind and action control of the populace. Tianenmen Square
may be their most striking recent example of repression and bad
behavior, but there are other, smaller ones since then ( such as
sending the U.S. bug-infested lumber and lead-infested cat
food, etc.). Internet control is a stellar instance of this; I just hope
Chinese intellectual activists haven't thrown out all their old fax
machines, a technology which greatly aided in ending the Cold War.

To top it off, he grandiloquently pronounces that he selected
Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous entity interested in a free press
tolerant of dissent. We'll see...I think this wunderkind didn't really
research all the ramifications to himself and/or others. He
couldn't WAIT to take "credit" before reaching his final safe haven.
(Just another American proving true maturity mostly eludes us
until after 30.)

But maybe Snowden can successfully escape further to Iceland,
his real relocation destination, which he shrewdly revealed to the

That is, if Iceland actually allows this little claim-to-famer into
their space.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

San Onofre Shutdown: Singing a New Song's Congratulations

"SONGS" (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station) is shuttering,
tremendously terrific news for the surrounding environment,
people and animals within the 75+ mile ingestion pathway. But
nuclear reactor Units 2 and 3 won't begin the process for at least
three more months, as the fuel rods must be agonizingly slowly
removed first. Ted Craver, Edison International Chief Executive,
reminds us "...that full decommissioning of the site is...a multi-
decade process." Unit 1 has been shut down since 1992; the
entire nuclear park at San Onofre (near San Diego, off the Pacific)
will eventually close.

What is that area's long-term future? Can it be brought back to
"Greenfield" status? Will the utility use the SAFESTOR method
or a more immediate removal plan? These extremely important
questions have yet to be decided/answered.  I vote for the
most rigorous safety standards objective nuclear engineers can
devise. [People swim near there, apparently. (-!)]

Meanwhile, several other reactors' operators have decided to
close down here in the U.S., to say nothing of Germany's
ambitious anti-nuke plans. For those of  us in the anti-nuke
camp, all these developments are congratulations-worthy.
But alas, we need to look closer: the thorium front and new
nukes folks have been gaining ground.

Even though former NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko opposed
these new nuke projects in the USA's southeast, citing no new
nuke significant safety plans post Fukushima ("311"), he was
outvoted by the other four NRC "deciders" (February 2012).
These new plants are the first to be granted operating licenses
since 1978, the year before the Three Mile Island 40% core
melt disaster. 

Good golly, Miss Molly, I find more sense in a Chinese fortune
cookie: "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."  Regarding
nuclear power technology disaster and/or operations planning
(forecasting scenarios), the "worst" is almost never thought of,
here at home, Japan or elsewhere.

For now, we'll celebrate the safety positives where we find them:
"Gone, gone, 'SONGS' soon will be gone...."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Springfield, IL: Lack of Conscience Made Cowards of Them All paraphrase William Shakespeare. The Illinois Legislature,
widely assumed to be battling into the last wee hours instead
chose to leave early on the Spring Session's last day, without
casting a single vote on contentious pension reform or gay
marriage. --2014 Illinois elections, anyone? Thus hath ambition
made cowards of them all, almost, with a huge dollop of lack
of conscience thrown in.

Really, will such a blatantly selfish move guarantee re-election
to Springfield next year? I have to believe SOME IL Legislative
Districts have a more informed and active populace than that.
But they were required to implement some form of federally-
mandated Conceal and Carry, despite its being a horrible idea
for any in the U.S.--so, at the point of a gun, figuratively, they
reacted and enacted.

Perhaps D.C. could enact some strictures of its own-not allowing
the "several states" elected to leave for home with their tails
between their legs if vitally important bills (those with sweeping
implications for millions) are left on the table.

If apathy will JUST die a speedy death, dreaming gives way
to intelligent, practical action, well, there's some hope for
Illinois escaping third world realities. But banking on such
an evolution WILL just hurt your heart.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

To Study War No More: THERE'S "A Consummation Devoutly to be Wished"

...thanks to Mr. Shakespeare's elegant expression from a mere
400 years' distance. We're honoring another Memorial Day,
dedicated to the military's dead and injured, sent to do a
nation's bidding, whether necessary or not.                                           
I say, lately, NOT. Recent pundits who point out that there
can't be an actual war on terror, as our enemies exist in too
many other countries (and here at home), are logistically
correct, maybe morally as well:

We meddle in many foreign affairs without doing the proper
research, too often sending out our representatives/operatives
without second and third language skills, then wonder, "why
do they hate us?" --Nevermind  others' resources we seem
to regard as our own, swaggering/swarming all around the
globe, then rebuke the crazy young man currently in charge
of North Korea. True enough, in recent years our military
leaders have trained servicemen/women to become more
engaged with civilians in the field, but this may well be too
little too late.

Meanwhile, anyone astute enough to follow economic
events and news sees our current but slipping stance at
the preeminent power position--the one, the only super
power. (-?) Really? Only in agribusiness and number of
nukes. Other states beat us in so many relevant ways,
infant survival rates, science education, sustainable
energy policy, ad infinitum. The USA does boast a
certain amount of stability and order, sometimes won
at a heavy cost of our privacy and civil liberties, as the
"authorities" make many mistakes and break the law
they swear to uphold.

On this and every other Memorial Day I salute our living
and dead men and women of the military. I grieve for them
and theirs, NOT the "leaders" who make them go.

If we survive, thrive and evolve, we as a world may learn
to study war no more. Now that's a wish worth working

Thursday, May 16, 2013

--Dare I say it?? Maybe the IRS had it right...

because after all, anyone (or any group) claiming they are entitled
to tax-exempt status, not merely a qualified reduction in their
taxes, will be, has been, subjected to extra scrutiny. That is
nothing new, shrill right-wing voices actually unfamiliar with the
Constitution of the United States notwithstanding...

and ABOUT them: over the last decade and more I've watched
these shallow, insular intellects declaim that the income tax must
be abolished, that it is unconstitutional, ditto for all other
taxation. Maybe these Evangelicals morphed into Tea Party types
might profit from perusing Article I, Section Eight. Enlightenment
is possible, but unlikely. Where will firefighters, police, public
schools and libraries come from, if there is little or no public
support by way of taxes? But logic is  not a strong, active theme
running through our land; we're being flooded by a rushing river
of benighted, bedazzled discontent.

Other organizations, little more than social clubs, seek freedom
from taxation on religious grounds--they are carefully screened
as well, rightly so. Everybody--read the tax codes, exemptions
and status, then decide if you honestly qualify. Until then, stop
embarrassing yourselves with public displays of sheer ignorance.

Maybe the IRS had it right.

The recent Associated Press matter, where reporters' phone
records were summarily seized by the U.S. Justice Dep't., is
a serious breach of law-the "Fourth Estate" protects, and is
protected by, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Friday, May 10, 2013

U.S. Banks' Autocratic, "No Changes" Attitude Enabled Latest E-Heist

America's banks and most retailers had better get up to date, as
no insurance company can endlessly fund such stupendous
e-heists as those pulled off all around the world and in New York
City on May 3, the off-key tune of  $45 million.
February, 2013 saw a similar ($40m) e-loss, earlier still,
a $5 million e-theft. All of these serious financial crimes were
facilitated by the USA's banks' refusal to abandon their
ubiquitous, outmoded magnetic strip technology.  (In 1963
I processed the same  plastic cards with those strips as a
candy seller at Chicago's Marshall Field's (now Macy's).

Many nations (not ours) have switched over to chip-embedded
cards, which are said to be virtually inviolable. Other states, not
wedded to 60+ year-old technology, still accept our business
transacted via these unsecured cards. Would it actually cost more
than the recent total $85m loss to join the rest of the world
in this way, securing scarce future monies, staving off anxiety?

--But NOOOO (as Belushi might say),  U.S. banks are perfectly
fine with their smug, stick-in-the mud intransigience-"We've
always done it this way", etc. Here's just another example of how
our country demonstrates declines in the ever-important quest
for most "preeminent" power on the globe.

Hey Chase, et al., good luck with that. You banks accelerating our
rush to the bottom will feel the pain, eventually.

Too bad the rest of us are being dragged down by your
blithe, "no changes" attitude.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gitmo, Democracy and: Ari Fleischer said WHAT??

Anderson Cooper  had legal analyst Jeff Toobin, former Bush II
administration honcho Ari Fleischer and two pretty/petty
correspondents on his May 3rd show.  Beaucoup  heated
interruptions, mostly by the women, spoiled ease of
understanding. Col. Morris Davis, (who resigned his post at
Guantanamo) participating remotely, made the most sense. 

About Guantanamo (full disclosure, I am half-Cuban): it must
be closed as it is unproductive, inhumane, gives aid and comfort
to our enemies' talking points, to say nothing about their actions.
We say we are interested/committed to humane
principles/actions, but facts don't always confirm such
high-minded notions.

(2) There was the usual automatic use of the word "Democracy"
 in connection to our much-vaunted, perfect society. The USA is
officially a Republic, check the Pledge of Allegiance. There are
not, never have been, any democracies: Ancient Greece, which
created the concept, had slaves, including their pedagogues
(professors). India is often touted as the world's largest
Democracy (by way of pop. numbers), but they not only have a
class system,  but a CASTE system too. Democracy is more idea
or ideal than true practice, patriotism, loyalty and familiarity
notwithstanding. We have bits and pieces of it, oh yes, but
full, untrammeled democracy eludes us still.

(3) Ari Fleischer vs. Jeff Toobin: Jeff made sense when he
pointed out that Hitler caused far more death and destruction
than terrorists have. I'd date that as far back as 1972, but others
will have better statistics. Ari seemed to claim Hitler obeyed
the Rules of War (Geneva Conventions, 1864) because Nazi
troops wore uniforms. There were far too many interruptions
for absolute clarity, but others and I got that strong
impression. HOW could Fleischer, a Jew, let such stupidity
fly out of his mouth?

Ari, say WHAAAT? Now, say it isn't so.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Diatribe Dilemma, Successful Social Hypocrisies, DeNyAll

Well, all's not well, "all along the watchtower"...isn't that from some
important song or other? There are sooo many urges toward
DeNyAll, everywhere I look: from personal contacts, recent
movies, media. "Be positive"; "Write down three good things
that happened today"; "Don't be so negative", ad infinitum,
ad libidinem, ad nauseam. 

The Tower of Babble/Babel grows ever higher: notice the at least
somewhat  worthwhile network tv shows replaced by more talk
and food dumbing downs-- especially the recent ABC-installed
"The Chew". --What a time waster! I'm betting (and hoping) that
the more productive among us mostly still stick to gathering
recipes and recipe books to improve our cooking skills. (I don't
have cable, it really isn't an improvement over the 50 channels
and sub stations I get free here in Chicagoland...yes, I've done
the research, "reviewed" cable for eight months, continue to
check the listings now and again.)  

Social hypocrisy is one of the lesser glues that keeps our culture
from completely deconstructing, particularly when one recalls
49 states in the USA allow conceal and carry. It is literally death,
or at minimum, becoming ostracized, to say what one
REALLY thinks. It's only necessary to watch different news
broadcasts as I do (not just the main info vendors) to
understand what violence results when hard honesty is

Back to DeNyAll: sports mania has overtaken the nation as
never before, Little League parents are scapgoating refs
at games with physical remonstrations (read attacks).
The Ivory Tower folks and little 'ol me have been
watching this accelerating phenomenon for decades.
(I wrote a play in 1963 at 18 which has made-up
sports as the opening scene....).   Any
diversion/distraction at all, avoidance, as psychology
has it, to defer the very hard work it will take to
craft a better world.  

This is my diatribe dilemma--where is the upward
trend that things are improving here at home and
all around Earth? There are moments of probity
and goodwill, but they are not the everyday
actions we all need.

Meanwhile, I'll go out in public, put on my game
face and try to spread some real good will...

Our common social hypocrisy is for the zombie-like
among us, the bewildered, the frightened, or those
who have given up, but not for me.

P.S.: Read a book! Actually, even more than  20
every year; read science websites; subscribe to science
pubs; check news/views online from other nations. 
Awareness DOES exact a price, but I've always
found it vital.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ponderous Political Punditry and Orotund Obfuscations

I dream about a sobering route of incompetent incumbents on
both sides of the aisle, but worry that the average American's
attention span is fleeting, as Alexis De Tocqueville indicated
in his three volume work, Democracy in America, around 1830.
Not much has changed except the clothes and the gadgets,
despite all the ponderous punditry and politicians' orotund

Look at the current commotion over "Obamacare", due to take
effect in January 2014.  While there are excellent provisions
in the new comprehensive law, there are just criticisms as
well. Among them: little guidance as to which insurance
carriers will be consonant with all the law's mandates.
Mr. Obama smoothly reassured us by "reminding" us that
this (controversy and anxiety) is a recurring process,
when something vast and new becomes national law.
Somehow the lack of relevant detail (despite numerous
pages) seems familiar--something like Mr. Clinton's
many unfunded mandates.

Since the package's proposal, a plethora of  vested
interests, regular folk, media mavens and pols have
weighed in with their opinions, fears, and utter lack
of probity.  This too is a classic case of more heat
than let's read as much of the document
as we can, and bypass the talking heads....

Otherwise we'll be captured by all the pundits and
obfuscators, to no one's ultimate benefit.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Not in my Name: Unwise U.S. Drone Attacks, Unintentional Terror Abroad

Too many drone attacks launched by my government are killing
innocents/innocence abroad. How is that materially different
from what happened in Boston weeks back, from the
perspective of injured civilians on the ground? America feels
safer, politically and otherwise (no U.S. soldiers lost) when
we use drones to quell our enemies' cells abroad, but it's a
short-sighted policy, maybe a murderous one.

Of course we want and need to feel safe at home--doesn't
everyone? A judiciously rare use of these unmanned little
planes might have been alright, especially if they involved
truly "surgical" (i.e., accurately targeted) strikes. Our
propaganda mill has boasted of so-called surgical strikes
since WWII, and we weren't right back then...or now.

Not in my name, these unwise U.S. drone attacks; we
cause (unintentional?) terror abroad.


P.S.: for a more extensive examination  of this issue,
please go to Hardwired to Reason, the April 26th,
2013 post.

Senator Lindsey Graham: Not So Smart a Cookie

Here is the senator aping former President Bush II, talking about
his political capital and his intention to use it. In this instance,
apparently knowing little about science, especially nuclear energy
issues, he is all in to bring the MOX (mixed oxide fuel) facility to
completion in South Carolina.  Anyone can understand his desire
to bring jobs to his state, but can't he find a safer, more cost
effective and productive project? Sen. Graham isn't above
using political blackmail to achieve his ends, holding up
confirmation of the new nominee for Energy Secretary,
Ernest J. Moniz, over the MOX debacle.
Nuclear energy has indeed proven to be the "Faustian bargain"
physicist Alvin Weinberg predicted decades ago, even before
Three Mile Island's ~40% core melt in 1979. There have been
at least five major nuclear accidents  around the world, not
counting the several submarines under the seas with their
dead and their nuclear power plants.

Many often have written about why nuclear power projects
should not be expanded in the U.S. or elsewhere:
What is to be done with the radwaste, toxic for hundreds of
thousands of years or more? Hanford, WA has leaking waste
containers from the early days of nuclear power, and recent
reports claim that newer storage containers (dry casks) have
had welds which haven't held.

Then there are the very shaky financial and insurance aspects
to constructing any new nuclear plant, whether for reprocessing
or for direct energy production. Every such project since the
beginning has been plagued by cost overruns, delays and safety
concerns. A California nuclear plant was actually installed
(oops!) backwards.

Wouldn't a studied intelligence conclude it's time to phase out
these electric utilities' dangerous dinosaurs, a failed
"swords into plowshares" post WWII proposition?
But Sen. Graham isn't up to date in South Carolina,
much less anywhere else.

He's not so smart a cookie, that Graham.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mayor Harold Washington, 30 Years on, Alive in My Mind

It's April, 1983. Harold Washington becomes Chicago's mayor, the
first African-American to achieve the fifth floor office in city hall.
He's eminently qualified, having been an Illinois legislator to
Springfield and Washington, DC.  He's an attorney, son of an
attorney, a man with charm, exuding erudition and humor at
any time, except for extreme, rare, unforgivable times.

I worked on Washington's mayoral campaign in 1983, in
infamous Democratic Machine Ward 47. Even after Harold
had been in office for months, the obstinate stupidity of
prejudice held sway there (-and elsewhere).  The essential,
provable fairness of Mayor Washington HAS NOT
been emphasized enough: usually, any encomiums focus
on his opening doors deservedly opened to minorities and
women; these reported reforms were good, overdue
and true.

But I personally witnessed his remarkable practical justice
to the white areas of Chicago as well, in street resurfacing
projects where I lived, Chicago's racist near NW Side,
Damen/Irving/Lincoln, the 47th Ward. At the same time,
literally THE SAME WEEK, street resurfacing/repair
by the city was carried out there and on the South Side.

Has anyone else in  power in Chicago been as fair as
Harold? I doubt it.

But then, he was a kind and extremely well-read soul;
sadly, qualities in short supply today in 2013.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Social Security vs. The U.S. Economy

This just in: Social Security recipients are ruining our
economy! Just one of many implications as the political
squabbling roars on.

The various arguments tendered today by DC Senators and
guest PBS pundits on our debt and/or deficit situation would
elicit more hoarse/horse laughs if  the difficulties and
dysfunctions weren't so damned serious.

Consider, if you will (as Rod Serling used to say):

(1) The USA, a largely consumer-driven economy for
      decades, has many apologists clamoring for more
(2)  Unemployment nationally still hovers between  seven
       and eight percent; some states, like mine, Illinois, boast
       NINE percent unemployed.  If the discouraged could
       be counted, the true picture would be obviously
       grimmer. (Mighty hard to grin feeling grim.)
(3)   The only people who CAN consume are SSA
        benefit recipients, the employed and the wealthy.
        Apparently their aggregate spending hasn't been
        adequate to the task of restoring our economy,
        bad for six years, despite the markets' recent

So the poor, veterans, disabled  and  aged  must bear
the brunt of future cost savings to make our balance sheet
look good? Shame, Mr. Obama, shame right-wing
nuthatches, shame on the uncaring lot of you.
"City on a hill"? --More like an ant hill.

Oh yeah, we old-timers are living off the fat of
the land and have broken our beautiful economy!

--In a pig's eye. Do something about waste, fraud
and abuse in the Pentagon (not by indiscriminately
laying off workers there), cherished pork barrel
projects, etc. Scale back the too-generous pensions
of former office holders. Examine with great scrutiny
the LLPs and LLCs, changing those laws which allow
many of the humans involved to avoid law suits and
certain sorts of taxation.

And stop waging war on seniors!

Run, Weiner, Run-- Away from Further, Future Public Office

NO New York Mayor Anthony Weiner, never! Weren't NYC'ers
embarrassed enough with the personal sexual antics of Giuliani?
(You'll recall he had his mistress and wife living in the mayor's
manse at the same time.) He betta fogetta boudit permanently.
A.W. showed pathetically poor taste/judgement by tweeting
(sexy?) pics of  himself to 45,000 followers, and more
personally, via other media, to about six women. (I'm
guessing none went to his wife.)

Here is only a partial list of his many inadequacies which he
displays for millions of us to see:

(1) He is not attractive, as his profile pix plainly show. Hair,
nose and posture sadly lacking. (Full disclosure: I'm no beauty
myself, but this guy needs to carefully clean his mirrors and
stare objectively, thoughtfully into them.) 

(2) Even though he had a pregnant, prominent wife at the time,
that did not suffice to assuage his male mid-life crisis. Crikey,
man, buy a red sports car like other, older self-involved men

(3) His sexually needy ego overrode any sense of the dignity
required of a nations' top leadership, i. e., our office holders.

(4) He thought this could remain private? --How??

Even former Pres. Bill Clinton, somewhat better looking and
much more popular, couldn't get re-elected after his highly
publicized White House affair. So...

Run away now, Mr. Weiner, please. People like you
help give our country a bad name.