|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This was signed simply by someone called AnArmyVeteran and the title of the post is "What if the United States was attacked & occupied? What would you do?" There's more than I have quoted here and a quite a number of comments. You might want to go take a look.
What do you think would happen if another country invaded our country and occupied it with a huge number of soldiers? Do you think a lot of Americans would sit and do nothing regardless of why the foreign military was here? Or would a lot of Americans shoot at the occupying force?
I'm sure that if the US was occupied it would mobilize a lot of people to strike back at the foreign military. Hell, there are a lot of Americans who belong to militias who want to strike at their own government, so it seems like a given they would constantly attack any foreign occupiers. And ironically, that foreign military would call Americans 'insurgents'.
Imagine the leader of the occupying country saying he will keep his country's military in the US until all of the insurgents are rounded up or destroyed. This is virtually the same scenario we are facing in Afghanistan.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Oh, this is so, so sad - albeit expected.
Here's part of what an article in the Guardian has to say:
Senator Byrd was one of the most dramatic examples we've ever had that people can and do change. He moved away from a hard right position in his youth to that of strong support for civil rights and basic fairness in the public sphere.
Senator Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member ever of the US Congress, has died at the age of 92, a spokesman said today.
Byrd was an influential politician under a dozen presidents and his death, which follows that of Edward Kennedy in August, means the Senate has lost two of its most illustrious figures.
"I love to serve. I love the Senate. If I could live another 100 years, I'd like to continue in the Senate," Byrd said in a 2006 interview with Reuters.
In a notable moment of his career, Byrd spoke eloquently against the Iraq war, when so many of his colleagues were cowed into submission by the Bush administration. He also warned against a build-up of US troops in Afghanistan.
He will be greatly missed.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Just click through and read it, please.
What's interesting is all the comments that follow. One of the most important points made is that the Congress Nixon had was liberal. There are many more points made in the conversation that are very thought provoking. Do take a look.
-- Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referring to the explosive Rolling Stone article on General Stanley McChrystal
Honestly, when I first read it, I was nearly sick.
You can read about Admiral Mullen right here.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
You can read the rest right here.
That sad fellow Friedrich Nietzsche
Was once a fine classical teacher
Till a voice in his head
Told him God was now dead -
This became of his thought the chief feature.
-- Timothy L. S. Sprigge
Friday, June 25, 2010
When you think about it, accumulating wealth on the backs of the poor (part and parcel of capitalism) is, indeed, a kind of cannibalism.
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here's part of a comment I found to this video:
Why is this so surprising? Did anyone think that because we gave corporations huge tax breaks and let them move their factories overseas, they would look out for our best interest? We gave all our jobs away! We were too lazy to vote out politicians that were not looking in our best interest.
Needless to say, I agree.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Look at the headline:
U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study
And now here's an excerpt:
I hope the Republicans pay attention to this report. I realize they don't care whether the system is equitable or not but they may want to look at the following conclusion:
Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.
Whether people like it or not, we really are all in it together.
"The lower the performance score for equity, the lower the performance on other measures. This suggests that, when a country fails to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, it also fails to meet the needs of the average citizen," the report reads.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
And, of course, Leno is right. That is his job.
Due to an explosive interview in Rolling Stone magazine, our top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been ordered home to explain why he criticized the president, made fun of Joe Biden, and called the White House staff a bunch of clowns. He should be called home. That’s not the general’s job. That is my job.
- Jay Leno
(Hat tip to Lisa over at All Hat No Cattle.)
Did you know that the words "race car" spelled backwards still spells “race car”?
That "eat" is the only word that, if you take the 1st letter and move it to the last, spells its past tense -- ate.
And if you rearrange the letters in "so called tea party Republicans," and add just a few more letters, it spells: "Shut up you free-loading, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, violent, hypocritical assholes, and face the fact that you nearly wrecked the country under Bush."
How weird is that?
Judge who overturned drilling moratorium reported owning stock in drilling companies
Just click through and read about it. The article is short.
This sort of think makes me want to despair sometimes.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Mr Michener, as timeless as a stack of National Geographics, is the ultimate Summer Writer. Just as one goes back to the cottage in Maine, so one goes back to one's Michener.
It is important to remember Prohibition because enacting it was a disaster for our nation, but it was a personal triumph for Carry Nation.
I would like to offer the hypothesis on this beautiful graduation day that personal triumphs are overrated. Someone at Yum! Brands this year achieved their personal triumph of getting KFC to remove the bun from a cheese and bacon sandwich and replace that bun with pieces of fried chicken. The Double Down sandwich designer’s
personal triumph. ...
Someone invented the payday loan. ...
All these people dreamed their dreams. Some dreams are bad dreams.
Gunning not just for personal triumph for yourself but for durable achievement to be proud of for life is the difference between winning things and leadership. ... It’s agreeing that you are part of something, taking as your baseline that you will not seek to reach your own goals by stepping on the neck of your community.
I really like the point about "the difference between winning things and leadership".
(Hat tip to David Ore who sent me the above excerpt.)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
-- Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, a top employee of rig owner Transocean, while speaking with someone in Houston via satellite phone
Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig's on fire! I told you this was gonna happen.
There are several places where this is documented on line. I'm linking you to a Mother Jones article that starts off this way:
Words fail me here - really. It's just sickening.
A prominent Houston attorney with a long record of winning settlements from oil companies says he has new evidence suggesting that the Deepwater Horizon's top managers knew of problems with the rig before it exploded last month, causing the worst oil spill in US history.
UPDATE: Here's a comment that was published to the Mother Jones article:
I so agree. Off the charts punitive judgments against these corporations is the only thing they understand.
This is why Republicans hate tort lawyers - they are an alternative route to legal justice that can't be bought with campaign contributions by large companies that break the law and abuse ordinary people and the public at large. This is why real Democrats fight to preserve the right to sue abusive companies, and fight limits on the amount that can be won in lawsuits. I'm not an attorney, I'm a Progressive who wants to carry the fight for social justice forward. Vote Democrat, and I don't mean Blue Dog Democrat!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Let me ask you this: Is today Thursday?
-- Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, grows frustrated with BP CEO Tony Hayward's answers in his appearance, on Thursday, before a House energy subcommittee. Hayward answered the question in the affirmative
Yup, it's pretty disgusting. The guy defines the word obfuscate, doesn't he?
Friday, June 18, 2010
We Have a Black President, But That Doesn't Resolve the Deep Racism Built into the American Psyche
Here's some stuff I didn't know:
There's more. And it really is a matter, I think, of considerable concern. Recommended.
* Black women with college degrees have higher rates of infant mortality for their newborns than white women who dropped out after eighth grade; and children born to black women with college degrees have three times higher infant mortality rates for their children than similar white women.
* Black women who received early and consistent prenatal care while pregnant have infant mortality rates for their children that are nearly double the rates for white women who received no prenatal care at all.
* Black women and Latinas who come to the nation poor or lower-income actually see their health status decline over time, even as their income status typically improves. And foreign born black women (including those from the African continent) come to the U.S. with health outcomes comparable to those of white women. But after a generation, their daughters' health status has declined to that of other African Americans.
So what is it about being black or brown in the United States that affects health, independent of economics or health care access? The research says, as mentioned above, that unequal treatment at the hands of physicians is part of the problem; but even more so, we have to look at the cumulative impact of racism on black and brown bodies over time. What the research increasingly finds is that racialized stresses, like dealing with discrimination, causes a "weathering" effect on people of color, which has repercussions for blood pressure and affects the proper functioning of the cardiovascular, metabolic and immune systems. Over 100,000 people of color die each year because of excess mortality rates relative to the rates for whites, and it appears as though a substantial amount of that excess mortality can be laid at the feet of black and brown folks' experiences with racism. Universal, colorblind policy cannot possibly hope to remedy problems such as these.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It was originally published in Tikkun.
“We’re All Born Atheists”: A Religious Person Defends Non-Belief
If you would like to read the article, please go here.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
— Speaking at the Tea Party convention on Feb. 26, 2010, about six weeks before the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
And while we're at it, let's expedite the regulatory and permitting and legal processes for on- and offshore drilling.
And now look at this one:
— Speaking in Clarkston, Mich., at the Defending the American Dream Summit, May 1, 2010, about a week after the oil spill
These oil companies must be held responsible if there's any lax at all in their measures and we will hold them accountable, but I am still a believer in domestic drilling. There is an inherent link between energy and prosperity and energy and security, and in a nation, energy and freedom.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
-- Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister, on the Israeli investigation of the Gaza flotilla attack
We don't believe that a country which attacked a civilian convoy sailing in international waters can carry out an impartial investigation. Israel's one-sided inquiry is not valuable to us.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Truly hard to believe. Except not so much when people are apparently completely motivated by greed.
It seems the caring folks at BP have thoughtfully set up a Call Center so frantic citizens can vent - and not get through to "the big people" who really matter. A report at a Houston TV station finds that the 100 operators answering calls serve as a pointless screen, and often don't even take notes. Likewise, BP is still barring media from covering the havoc they've wreaked, denials notwithstanding. Get these people in jail, please.
"We take all your information and then we have nothing to give them, nothing to give them. (Operators) just put down, type ‘blah blah blah.'"
Sunday, June 13, 2010
"How Can America's 'War on Drugs' Succeed When Prohibition Laws Failed?"
It's a good question, isn't it?
Here's an excerpt from the article:
The whole article is truly fascinating and insightful. It is really a review of a new book entitled Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent. There are quite a few interesting comments at the end as well.
When you ban a popular drug that millions of people want, it doesn't disappear. Instead, it is transferred from the legal economy into the hand of armed criminal gangs. Across America, gangsters rejoiced that they had just been handed one of the biggest markets in the country, and unleashed an Armada of freighters, steamers, and even submarines to bring booze back. Nobody who wanted a drink went without. As the journalist Malcolm Bingay wrote: "It was absolutely impossible to get a drink, unless you walked at least ten feet and told the busy bartender in a voice loud enough for him to hear you above the uproar."
So if it didn't stop alcoholism, what did it achieve? The same as prohibition does today - a massive unleashing of criminality and violence. Before prohibition, the saloon-keepers could defend their property and their markets by going to the police if they were threatened. After prohibition, the bootleggers could only defend theirs with guns - and they did. As the legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow explained: "The business pays very well, but it is outside the law and they can't go to court, like shoe dealers or real estate men or grocers when they think an injustice has been done them, or unfair competition has arisen in their territory. So, they naturally shoot." Massive gang wars broke out, with the members torturing and murdering each other first to gain control of and then to retain their patches. Thousands of ordinary citizens were caught in the crossfire.
I want to urge you all to click through and read a brief tribute to a great dog. The piece is entitled "Norm's Story -- From Rescue to Service Dog".
Then consider (really; please really consider) visiting an animal shelter and adopting an animal who needs a forever home.
Every single one of the animals with whom I've shared my home over the years has given me far more than I ever gave him or her. Open your heart to one (or more). Truly, you will not regret it.
And here's another story worth knowing about: "Cat saves Houston-area woman from pit bull attack ".
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Will we, as a species, ever come to an understanding of what Stevenson was trying so hard to communicate?
We travel together as passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and I'll say the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of man, half free in liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
(Hat-tip to Lisa over at All Hat No Cattle.)
By Madeleine Begun Kane
The Republicans’ delicate ears
Are offended by ass, it appears.
F**k is fine from McCain,
Bush, and Cheney — that’s plain.
But ass from Barack begets jeers.
Here's some information that I didn't know before:
I do recommend that you read the whole article (it's quite short) to see how all that connects with racism.
A Harris Poll released recently found among Republicans (There are about 50 million registered Republicans in America):
* 67 % believe Obama is a socialist.
* 57 % believe Obama is a Muslim
* 45 % believe Obama was not born in the United States
* 38 % equate many of Obama’s actions to those of Hitler
* 24 % say Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sometimes I simply cannot believe the lies that are perpetrated by the right wing. Take a look:
Please click on the title above and read the article by Chris Rodder to see how this claim is thoroughly debunked.
For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of watching Beck and Barton in action, here's the background in a nutshell: David Barton, the pseudo-historian from Texas who's probably more responsible than any other individual for spreading the erroneous belief that America was founded as a Christian nation, has now teamed up with Glenn Beck. Barton, who appeared on the radar recently as one of the history "experts" in the Texas textbook massacre, is also a former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party, and, in 2005, was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine.
One of the items in Barton's bag of historical tricks is a rare Bible printed in 1782 by Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken. This Bible has been a mainstay of Barton's presentations for years, and was, as expected, one of the featured pieces of Christian nation "evidence" whipped out on Beck's show. Barton's bogus claim about this Bible? It was printed by Congress for the use of schools -- proof that the founders never intended a separation between church and state.
Or just watch the following video:
And here's a little excerpt:
More Americans Dislike the Tea Partiers Than Ever Before
You can read what that's all about right here.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests that whatever populist hypnosis many Americans were under when the Tea Party folks first came onto the scene may now finally be wearing off. The poll says that now the percentage of Americans who hold an unfavorable view of the movement has jumped from 39 percent to 50 percent.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I found it here.
[A] new study forthcoming in the journal Pediatrics shows that lesbian couples raise healthier children than straight couples. Gabriel Arana of TAPPED suggests that maybe lesbians do better on average because they are a self-selected group of highly motivated parents that had to overcome obstacles in order to raise their kids. Or maybe two moms are better than one.
As Arana notes, the politically important thing about this study is the finding that same-sex parents are doing at least as well as opposite sex parents. Conservatives opposed to gay rights have often justified second-class citizenship for gays in terms of protecting children from allegedly harmful same-sex parents.
"Helen Thomas was Wrong — But You’d Think She’d Killed 9 People or Destroyed Our Coastline"
And here's a brief excerpt:
It's from a short piece - more a comment than an article. You can read the rest of it right here.
... [O]ne can’t help thinking that the grande dame of the White House press corps would have gotten less grief if she’d purposely cheated the financial system and took taxpayer money to recover, or killed eleven and destroyed an ecosystem in an avoidable deep water drilling disaster, or let 29 men die in a push for more mining profits. Or shot nine men dead — in the head — in international waters.
Um, yeah. Even if you think Helen Thomas was indisputably wrong, there's such a thing as proportionality.
And here's another thought worth considering:
It's from a brief piece called "Was a Double Standard at Play for Helen Thomas?" published by the Care2 folks.
While Thomas' remarks were incredibly insensitive, many male, conservative pundits have said far worse—and kept their jobs to offend another day. There's not only a double standard concerning how our media covers the fraught relationship between Israel and Palestine, but with how, in this era of punditocracy, a woman with impressive credentials and a history of speaking her mind can be brought down so quickly.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
There are actually a lot of thought provoking comments to that article, by the way.
Maybe President Obama should hold an apology conference and have the Rabbi and Ms Thomas over to the White House for a beer.
-- Someone named Paul
I also can suggest called "In Defense of Helen Thomas - On Apologizing to Apologists" that, likewise, is followed by many comments (from all points of view) that may help us all think through the issues involved.
UPDATE: A reader emailed me in response to this post and sent along the following link:
I read it with interest and had had many of the same thoughts myself. See what you think.
It's a very short article. Do go on over and read it. Very illuminating.
Brain-scan research suggests celebrity faces evoke specific happy memories, and those positive feelings rub off on the products they endorse.
Monday, June 07, 2010
And here's another excerpt I really want you to see:
Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.
The movement is, for many, an emotional life raft. It is all that holds them together. But the ideology, while it regiments and orders lives, is merciless. Those who deviate from the ideology, including “backsliders” who leave these church organizations, are branded as heretics and subjected to little inquisitions, which are the natural outgrowth of messianic movements. If the Christian right seizes the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, these little inquisitions will become big inquisitions.
Let us not think that it can't happen here.
So far, this article (in the reprint on Common Dreams) has generated 216 comments. I think it really touched a nerve and a deep concern.
-- YUN OK-HWA, a South Korean ginseng grower whose field lies near the DMZ, on North Korea; she worries that she will lose her livelihood if the North instigates a military clash
They are a brainwashed people, a nation of desperadoes, an army of suicide bombers.
The above is one of the quotes of the day from TIME Magazine.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Sarah Palin, writing on her Facebook page, saying environmentalists are responsible for the oil spill because they keep oil drilling away from safer places to drill
There's nothing clean and green about your misguided, nonsensical radicalism, and Americans are on to you as we question your true motives.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Ths above excerpt is from a little article found right here.
Sixteen-year-old Christian Taylor was found hanged in his bedroom on Monday, May 31: Memorial Day, a school holiday, which for most kids means the start of summer.
Taylor was a freshman at Grafton High School in Yorktown, VA. What's especially tragic about this suicide is that the teenager had complained to school and law enforcement officials about being bullied, but nothing was done to stop his tormentor. According to York-Poquosen Sheriff Sgt. Dennis Ivey, authorities had also looked into complaints by Taylor's mother, Alise Williams, weeks ago, but turned the matter over to his school after finding no crime had been committed. No action was taken, and Taylor's tormentor remained at school.
You know, there needs to be a zero tolerance policy on bullying in schools - the way we have for drugs and weapons.
And, no. It won't work to expect the kids to work it out amongst themselves. Studies have shown that the only way to stop bullying is for the person in authority to step in and put a stop to it. This is true of workplace bullying as well. (Something I've experienced, I'm sorry to say.)
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Last night I watched the episode of American Experience on PBS about the Civilian Conservation Corps. Yes, I had learned about this New Deal program in school but I had no idea about the CCC's contribution to making it possible for us to enter the conflict and then prevail in the Second World War.
Here's that part of the transcript:
Houston Pritchett, Joined the CCC in 1939: I was in the CC’s for 23 months and four days, never forget it. And I left because they was gonna take the men out of the CC and send them straight in the army. It’s time for us to make a move.
Harley Jolley, Joined the CCC in 1937: The coming of Pearl Harbor and the movement of the United States into World War Two brought an enormous demand for manpower. That was the axe that killed the CCC. By July of 1942 the CCC was phased out, gone.
Vincente Ximenes, Joined the CCC in 1938: Without the CCCs, I really… I really don’t know what we would have done. We did not have an army prepared to go to war. And here was approximately two and a half or three million men who were prepared and had been organized to work together. I joined the Air Force in 1941. And they didn’t have to do a hell of a lot of training for me. I was prepared.
Houston Pritchett, Joined the CCC in 1939: Nobody didn’t have to tell you about how to make a bed and how it should be done, how to clean your clothes. And they didn’t have to tell you — if the man tell you to go do something, you didn’t ask questions, you do it. The CCC made me a man, it made me respect discipline and how to work and get along with people.
So there you have it. That most "liberal" of programs (yes, even then its detractors called it a "communist" and "socialist" approach) enabled us to enter and win that war.
The film is truly fascinating --- and inspiring, too. You can read the entire transcript right here. Highly, highly recommended.