Election 2016

December 4, 2016

On Election Day the slumbering barbarians and Barbies of ignorance, once again roused by the clarion call of fear, stormed the polls and vanquished tolerance and economic recovery for a generation. Sated by their victory over a majority, they inhaled deeply the narcotic of righteousness. Will their leader leap onto the back of this unleashed tiger and bring it to heel for the good of all or will it turn on him and consume him as a sellout? Perhaps in a few months they will slip back into their coma. As the foggy blanket of hidden persuaders gave them the warm release of wetting their bed, they will coldly awaken to find their hopes smothered by evil greed. But there won’t be anyone left to show compassion. One only hopes they won’t continue to suck on the teat of bitterness and prejudice when it’s them In the block. 


A few decades ago if you ask American citizens who were the top three presidents, they would answer, “Washington, Lincoln, and FDR “. Now, if you ask the same question, you would get Washington, Lincoln and either Reagan or Obama. How is it that the most accomplished president of the 20th of century has faded from popular memory. The president that: recovered from the greatest Economic depression ever, assembled a team that won the second world war, established the most popular government program (social security ), all while suffering ther ravages of polio. The alphabet soup of agencies: CCC, WPA, FAA, FDIC, FHA, FCA, PWA, SEC, TVA and the NRA (not the evil corporate gun lobby), revolutionized the relationship between government and the public. Those moneyed interests that created the Great Depression, as well as, their latter day ilk who crashed the economy in this century, bought all the influence billions can buy to erase the public gains under FDR and thereby the admiration the public felt for FDR. Those who had stood in long soup kitchen lines were placed in jobs that not only boosted their self esteem and fed their families, but built major infrastructure projects, dams, parks and bridges, and family homes that we still see and enjoy today. The fading of those accomplishments from the public mind was not strictly due to the passing of the Greatest Generation, but intentionally debased by those spawn of the Gilded Age who built vast fortunes on the backs of workers and farmers. These despicable tyrants never want government to take their foot off the necks of the poor and vulnerable. The man who singlehandedly turned the country from a socialist revolution to a social democracy has been stabbed in the back by the descendants of those may have been spared the gallows.  

I will not stand

May 31, 2013

A long time ago I chose to no longer join in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. My reasoning was not centered on the “under God” addition, but rather I felt I, as some religious groups do,  that I could not pledge an oath to an inanimate object. I have, however, stood silently with a group while they recited the pledge. This choice was to demonstrate respect for the group and their attempt to show their patriotism. Then recently I heard a mother relate the story of her 15 year old daughter. She will not say the pledge until this nation lives up to the words of “Liberty and Justice for ALL” and I now fully support that choice. When undocumented aliens, Native Americans, Gays, the poor, those wrongly convicted and the powerless are all are free to  exercise LIfe, Liberty and shown Justice I will reconsider the pledge. Until then I will no longer stand.

Currently Reading

June 18, 2011

The World As It Is by Chris Hedges, Jazz a History of American Music by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns, Justice Brennan by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel.

The Individual Mandate

January 8, 2011

     Perhaps the most unpopular component of the Healthcare law going into effect in 2014 is the Individual Mandate. The special interests have been working to declare the individual mandate as unconstitutional. They profess that our sainted Founding Fathers never intended that the government require citizens to purchase a commercial product. These references to our early days as a nation are sprinkled with calls for liberty, freedom and independence. These modern day “Sons of Liberty” wannabees missed one nasty little complication from the earliest days of the new Republic. Those same patriots who forged the revolution then had to govern. And govern they did. The Congress passed and President Washington signed the Militia Act of 1792. To wit,

“That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.”

That’s right, your Defenders of Liberty mandated their fellow white male property owners to equip themselves with items prescribed by the “guv’ment” at their own expense. All this before Karl Marx, before Trotsky, before Lenin, before Obamacare.

Why don’t the self-described conservatives express the same concern over this incursion on their precious liberty? I expect most don’t know enough history to identify the Militia Act, but those who do and most of those currently informed would still not object. Could it be that the Militia “individual mandate” required the citizen to buy weapons with their potential for physical violence, while the Healthcare act will require citizens to buy health insurance, a component of improving the wellness of society at large?

 Currently reading The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson and Supreme Injustice by Alan Dershowitz

The Hate Continues

December 28, 2009

I was in grocerystore yesterday and passed by the small display of books.  There was an Obama section that had grown since the inauguartion. This section had his two books, half a dozen biographies and a copy of his inauguration speech.  I had seen this section before, but this time there was something different. Every stack in this section had the top book or two turned upside down.  This was not just a casual browser mislaying the book back. It was dilberate. It was every stack, but only the Obama related books. The rest of the book dislay was normal.  Fueled by ignorance and fear the hate continues.  A word of advice to our new President, do not risk your life and our hopes by visiting Texas.  I still remember the last time a President who scared the ignorant came to a tragic end.

Current Reading. Finishing Louis D. Brandeis A Life  by Melvin I Urofsky.


June 8, 2009

 Below is link sent to me by an acquaintance of over 45 years. By way of background this person was a high-school friend. We drifted apart a few years after college but during the 2000 election we began exchanging emails. The tone became so unhealthy that I stopped responding. I still from time to time receive emails from him and the perspective remains pretty much the same.

I have recently come to believe that there is a difference between that small (but substantial) minority and the rest of humanity. This difference is not one that can be explained by differences in values or experiences and I now believe can never be resolved to any meaningful degree by logical discourse or coercion. There is little common ground in the concepts of basic human rights and responsibilities. Agreement on basic facts pretty much stops at arithmetic. This minority has always existed but in the larger context of civil societies they were muffled and considered “strange”.  Of course, over the last 30 years the well-financed media echo chamber on the extreme right has emboldened this minority. With recent discoveries in mapping brain function we may be near to identifying the organic source of this anomaly. Now I realize finding a physical structure to explain behavior has been proposed almost from the beginning of the study of anatomy. These current studies may come to no more than the witch hunt efforts in the past but there does seem to be a certain logic to resistance to known facts being more than some cognitive failure. Those who believe torture is effective and justified for “national security” reasons are among this minority.