Monday, February 23, 2015

Really, Rudy, Run Away, Already...

In  todays' (02/23/'15) online paper, the Chicago Sun-Times'
follow up piece re: reckless Rudy Giuliani's mind-reading
remarks about Mr. Obama's dark anti-American motivations,
he states what the paper deems "obvious"--Rudy admits
he can't read minds or hearts. (--Really?)

If all that is supposed to be patently obvious WAS
indeed so, the whole world would be better off than
it is.  Of course Mr. Giuliani was, arrogantly and
presumptuously, attempting to assure one and all
that he is indeed fully prescient, just because he rose
to the occasion during 911 in NYC.

Giuliani's reasoning, regarding his defense in denying
any racist proclivities, invoking Mr. Obama's background
rather than his own, is laughably upsetting in the extreme.
He really does do better on those LifeLock commercials,
where I believe he has at last discovered his proper niche.

Please, pretty please, Mr. G--really, Rudy, run away,
already. You are an illogical embarrassment to
Republicans, Americans anywhere, and anyone
who holds office.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Giuliani and Walker: Two Twin Towers of Ignorance in the Republican Party

At their recent confab at the 21 Club in Manhattan for about
60 right-leaning Republicans, Scott Walker let it be revealed
he hasn't a college degree, a serious lack of credentials; Harry
Truman was the last U.S. President without a college diploma,
but made up for it by being a serious autodidact. Walker now
wants to run for U.S. President. --Yikes!

Then there's randy Rudy (you remember, the NYC
mayor who had both his then current wife and then current
lover installed at Gracie Mansion), Mr. Giuliani, darkly
mind-reading,  pronounced that our president Obama
doesn't love America --Whew!

Both of them seem jealous of Mr. Obama's intellectual
attainments; isn't that too bad! We must have educated,
balanced people in power or we WILL land on the
dustbin of  history...if we're not headed that way already.

Alexander Hamilton, one of the essential Founding Fathers,
was actually the first prominent American to warn about
pandering to an ill-informed public as well as American
Exceptionalism. Loving your native land does NOT
require shameless flag-waving at every opportunity, quoting
by rote "God and country", demeaning other nations and
people of color, adoration of either the body politic or
any and all leaders who agree with you. (You can find
this telling history in Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton,
from page 627 to page 629.)

Thank God there are moderate Republicans, voters
and officials who have begun to stand up to the Grover
Norquists and Koch Brothers of this world.
May moderates' numbers increase; one can only
hope that those twin towers of ignorance, Giuliani
and Walker, fade away, as the rest of us deserve.

Monday, February 16, 2015

--SO?? CBS Gets it Wrong RE: The Selfie Stick, 02/16/'15

I realize Anchor Gail will not be reading this little diatribe,
but she blew it today on CBS This Morning, when she
ended the segment siding with museum attendees' use  of
selfie sticks (she used the ubiquitous term, "bottom line").
The story announced a new policy: museums around the
world wisely will now prohibit the use of selfie sticks on
their premises.

So-called great positive points of this practice:

(1) So selfie sticks produce better pix--so what?
(2) So the museums are garnering free promotion--and?
(3)  So these pix promote the young's feeling they
      are cultured by emailing their friends--oh yeah?

These very dubious "benefits" are far outweighed
by the following serious negatives:

(A) Being so self-absorbed WILL create accident
      scenarios and painting damage, bank on it, if that
      hasn't indeed already occurred. Museums
      shouldn't be victimized by frivolous, erroneous
      lawsuits--or tragedies...ditto for any attendees.
      Remember, there are a lot of unaware klutzes first!

(2) Museum curators and directors should not
     allow so much photo-taking, period. Do they
     wish to preserve these incomparable artworks
      --or not? Maybe a little judicious study of light
      and flash effects on paintings IS in order...Physics
      is fundamental; forget that and risk plenty.

To those "cultured and aware attendees": buy postcards
in museum's gift shops--the photos are better, you'll have
a great memento, and/or it's a very special, personal way
to connect with friends and family--when you actually
send them out. Oh, and it helps defray any museum's
high operating costs.

I was shocked by Gail's opinion, as I usually really
like her, her appearance and attitudes...but nobody's
perfect, not even me, sadly.

Signing off now
The Mean Old Hall Monitor

P.S.: I still back our president's use of the stick
in the White House; there ARE exceptions to
almost anything.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Obama: Not Afraid to Explore His Silly Side

...Especially if it will be in aid of something he
regards as positive. I'm with him on this, even
though I've always thought the ACA's problems
were that it was too ambitious, that its architects
did not take time to discover anything much about
unintended consequences...or even any legitimate

Yet,  "Yolo"? I love it, am gonna steal it. Until the
Prez used it, I had no idea, as I'm  a 70 year old
intellectual, rarely given to street English usage--
but some expressions are not only really down-
home, but pithy and stylin' as well--like Yolo.
(You Only Live Once.) This happens to be a
deeply felt belief of mine--the mere suggestion
that we come back here (Reincarnation)
positively gives me the willies! Once is enough
for me, even with the many lovely aspects of
life I AM attuned to.

In order for the ACA to meet its mission goals,
the young, presumed to be healthy must enroll.
So often, as those of us past 40 know, they
really, mostly, don't relate to us ol' sticks in
the this participation in the young's
lighter side may bridge the generation gap.

Kudos, Mr. President!  I wish you, and most of
your goals for our country well.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Fiction Review/Rebuttal: The Early Arthur C. Clarke's Definition of Civilization

In his short story, "The Sentinel", originally published in
Ten Story Fantasy, Spring, 1951, (which eventually
evolved into the book and film, "2001") the esteemed
author/inventor surprises with a categorical statement:
Our civilization must prove its fitness to survive only by
crossing space and " escaping from the Earth, our
cradle. It is a double challenge, for it depends on the
conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between
life and death."

--WELL. I object to Clarke's pronouncement that the
harnessing of atomic power and space travel are
THE signal, defining characteristics of an advanced

My list of  "fit civilizations indicators" is longer and different:

(1) Solar power safely harnessed, with geothermal and
wind power in an energy mix;
(2) Peace, justice, respect and freedom are the norm;
(3) Overpopulation overcome at last.


I should add that Mr. Clarke was a polymath who
actually changed the world with his inventions as
much as with his insights. Here's to Arthur AND
to divergent views!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sarah Palin Cast Out: Doubting Thomases and Thomasinas on the Left, Now More Proof of Moderate Republicans Rising

--What more do you need, to see that sense is at last coming
to the party that gave credibility to "The Tea Party" and Grover
Norquist?  Quite a few of Sarah's dearest adherents have now
abjured her, after her most incoherent, embarrassing recent
speech in Iowa. Bill O'Reilly, Matt Lewis, Sean Hannity and
others almost sounded like Ms. Palin's most determined

I always said she had a pretty face and little else to
recommend her; but then, her prominence just proves
what a nutty country we truly have, even if we can inspire
(-our Founding Fathers come to mind) much of the
rest of the world.

Here's hoping this moderate window blows wide open,
letting a freer wind of conciliatory policies/politics prevail.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Neil Steinberg of The Chicago Sun-Times: My Amusing Nietzsche of the Moment

In the early seventies I discovered Philosopher Nietzche, whom
I read avidly back then, The Will to Power, other works of his.
On one page would be many sentiments I shared with him;
then turning the page, I'd react with horror. This continued
over an entire book. (-!)

Mr. Steinberg is an opinion writer for The Chicago Sun-Times.
He has written at least one book, appeared on radio and TV.
Yesterday's piece (02/04/2015) "Arguments against
vaccinations all wet" reminded me of my former "Nietzsche"
yes/no, yes/no reactions:

(1) Yes to the notion that extremes of Left/Right are
equally untested by logic, reality and experience,
therefore, bound to be wrong.

(2)  No to the critique of parental choice re: vaccines.
But I insert a significant caveat: Parents must do due
diligence by checking reputable websites, not Aunt
Sally's  Medical Corner. The Mayo Clinic, the CDC,
Pub Med and Elsevier are good places to start.

I have yet to discover any reputable chemical/biological
information that states some (or any) forms of Mercury
are actually non-toxic. Dental composites? Oh, just a
little Mercury...and vaccinations have employed
Mercury as a  preservative. Newer formulations
have almost NO Mercury, whatever the compound.
This is from the FDA's website.-Neil, ya gotta keep up!

(3) Yes to his statements about American society
being shredded, the ignoring of history at our peril,
Conservatives fearing science, etc. Yes to Mr.
Steinberg's stinging critique, Politicians are Evil, as
some undoubtedly are, especially those in or supportive
of/by the Tea Party; " Rebels Without a Cause" should
be their true name, as they have little in common with
our VERY EDUCATED Founders, stealing what the
partiers consider a down-home moral imperative
from the original, the Boston Tea Party.

(4) No to Neil's statement about "...ignoring that
women dying during delivery was a big part of
nature's plan." (Really? Are you a closet social

Mr. Steinberg does have an interesting, striking,
even educated, way with words...which makes
him all the more dangerous when fiddling with
facts, to say little about sparing people's wishing
to survive.