Sunday, September 30, 2007
Taliban reject Karzai peace talk offer saying there would be no negotiations until U.S. and NATO troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan
Punks get asses kicked by grumpy old man
Republican donors give money to Hillary
Flip flopping Romney investment ties to Venezuela and Iran reveled after he called on Republicans to support divestment
Seymour Hersh of New Yorker Magazine says Bush has accepted ethnic cleansing in Iraq among other things in wide ranging interview with German Magazine Der Spiegel
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Halloween and Christmas canceled in Illinois seen as offensive to Muslims
French President Sarkozy the new Tony Blair
Iran invites Bush to speak at University if he's ever in Tehran
The whole truth about congressional earmarks
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bardot represented the near perfect woman to me for many reasons. Beautiful, rebellious and free, a true iconoclast and role model for all women of that period. Never much for publicity or glamour she led a reclusive life and became better known for her great love of animals then her film career as she got older.
Warning video content contains graphic violence
Tell me it isn't so, Brigitte Bardot turns 73
Mariners management decides to continue to let team suck in 2008
China running out of water
Maliki rejects US Senate proposal to divide Iraq into Sunni Shiite and Kurdish federations
Yuppies sell apartment in NYC buy house with pool, 2 cars and open popular restaurant in Portland with money
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Smashing Pumpkin's fan dies after Vancouver mosh pit incident
Robert Reich explains why we should be worried about slide of dollar
Russians prepared to retaliate if space weapons deployed
US women get butt kicked in world cup soccer semi-final
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The childish narrow minded name calling and temper tantrums that took place when Iranian President Ahmadienjad visited Columbia University and the UN in New York demonstrates, among other things, how globally isolated and narrow minded American thinking is when it comes to understanding how we appear in the eyes of most of the rest of the world. Put aside whether you agree with Iran's Punch and Judy show being orchestrated by Ahmadienjad.
Once a nation others looked to as a beacon of tolerance, justice and for a free flow of ideas. We have become something rather ugly, isolated and ill tempered in the eyes of the world these days I fear.
I think it’s because most Americans don’t travel enough very far from home. Disneyland, Aunt Martha's or Sturgis, South Dakota being the extent of it usually. President Bush prior to being elected apparently hadn’t really gone anywhere or immersed himself in a foreign culture of any kind. Many Americans are sort of one dimensional in their thinking about foreign countries and people. Often it seems they are more concerned with the trivial things then understanding any relationship to other countries and their people, not understanding the cause and effect of American foreign policy on others. They call it blowback these days.
Maybe there should be some government program that requires that American students travel in conjunction with learning geography and history. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of math and science. Perhaps it’s travel and the study of history and geography that’s really needed to further the cause of understanding cultural differences and as a path to world peace or empathy for others.
I recently traveled to the Catalan region of Spain for a three-week vacation. Something I do every few years when I can afford it. Several native Catalan friends there always welcome me with open arms and unbelievable amounts of hospitality. It would be unthinkable to them to be rude to visitors even if you disagree with their politics. A custom found and practiced in many cultures. Simply don’t be rude to a guest, especially if you invited them.
Politics have changed drastically in the United States and there since the first time I traveled to Catalonia in 1979. I'd been living in Europe busking and performing street theater with a troupe for nearly a year by the time I finally reached Spain. Spain’s fascist leader Francisco Franco’s rule had ended with his death in 1975 and his authoritarian regime came to its end just one year before we arrived when a new Spanish constitution was drafted and was being implemented.
There was an exuberant display of the new freedoms recently gained by the people, and the unfettered creative possibilities they offered were the talk of in every bar, bistro and sidewalk cafe in Catalan capital of Barcelona. Millions of Catalans, whose unique culture and language had been forcefully suppressed under the rule of the Generalissimo, openly celebrated life. For the first time many were allowed to speak their native tongue in public without fear of being beaten or worse by a member of the Guardia Civil police.
This last trip in June and July was very interesting in that I was able to see distinctly how much suspicion and apprehension there is about American foreign policy these days. Most people had a hard time understanding how George Bush could ever have been elected president of the United States. He appeared to them to be limited in his understanding of the world around him. Even though I’m from a blue state it was not easy to explain. Nor was it easy to explain that evidence exists that not one but perhaps two presidential elections had be stolen from the rightful winner through conservative based vote manipulation or tampering.
I would guess that many Americans who voted for Bush haven’t traveled much out of their own immediate backyards. They apparently don’t understand much about other cultures. They tend to see everything with sort of a American insular tunnel vision. European culture is perceived as being inferior to that of the US. Conservative politicians rhetoric constantly tells Americans that we are the greatest and biggest and best thing going. We’re god’s gift to humanity, when more often the facts prove otherwise.
The ironic thing about it is I sense that many people I’ve met in my travels have in the passed look to America for moral and political leadership. They find it troubling that apparently such leadership cannot be found in today’s America.
A good example of this is the way people acted when dealing with the Ahmadienjad visit. The insulting and juvenile tone of the Columbia President Lee Bollinger speech before the Iranian President spoke certainly show the world an America that was acting out it’s fear, without manners, paranoid and weak.
Seventy percent of overseas absentee ballots not reaching voters
Cost of war balloons
Giuliani fires chief fund raiser
In reversal, baseball umpire suspended instead of player
Vick caught smoking pot while awaiting sentencing
Cuba plants trees
Friday, September 21, 2007
How Long Will Americans Continue To Swallow The Bowl of Rhetorical Bullshit From The Likes Of Bush and Healthcare Industry about Universal Coverage?
President Bush statement: June 27, 2007
Apparently Frat Boy Bush doesn’t realize poor people don’t have doctors to make decisions with or that the current system hasn't worked to empower any of the approximately 45, or more, million Americans without coverage now.
What he really is saying is that the right wing nuts no new taxes no new services and medical industry and insurance industry types like the status quo and they don’t intend to change anything as long as their in power. Why would they wish to kill a goose that continues to lay billions and billions of golden $ eggs for them anyway.
The real question is why do most Americans seem to have such a hard time getting their heads around these misrepresentations about universal health care?
Are we a nation of morons with no empathy for the poor? Do we not desire to control the spiraling cost of health care? Are we afraid of providing health care to all citizens like every other modern, and not so modern, western nation does? Are we not concerned that the current health care deliver system in this country makes American business less competitive in a gobal economy?
Bush also promised to veto the continuation of State Children's Health Insurance Program if it were to be passed by the congress. The compromise program by the congress would cover 10 million uninsured children for 5 years at a cost of $35 billion. The proposal is to be paid for by a tax of sixty-one cent per pack on cigarettes.
Seems like a good idea. Higher taxes on cigarettes would impact only smokers who may quit because the price of smokes goes up, which improves their health. Keeping them off the doll for health care that they don’t have insurance to cover or lowering the cost to their existing plan due to their healthier lifestyle.
Oh and we’d get those 10 million uninsured kids covered too!
Not so fast dummies! Don’t you understand this isn’t going to happen while us right wing nut bars are running the show. Our buddies in the medical and insurance industry would be cut out of the take and you’d end up probably raising taxes on rich folks. Plus we all have to become some kind of a red commie socialists and our daughters would be forced into becoming members of an army of socialist gay marrying lesbian prostitute zombies.
Bush and other conservatives argue rhetorically against this and other attempts to reform healthcare along the lines that government bureaucracy would lead to some sort of doomsday financial crisis for the country in the long run or that options to choose one’s doctor or course of treatment would be hindered or lost entirely. If this approach doesn’t work they often return to the 1950’s style boogieman scare tactic red herring labeling of any attempt to address the problem as a form of subliminal communist Frenchy European Canadian leaning “socialized medicine”.
If the usual talking points don’t work then opponents of healthcare usually will revert to the billions and billions of dollars it going to costs us all and the need to increase taxes to pay for it monologue .
Meanwhile we waste billions on the war in Iraq every minute of ever day which seems to be a recurring major mental disconnect for Americans when they lament about where all their tax money is going. As if the money being wastefully spent there doesn't ever count against the total.
Democrat Presidential candidates have proposed universal coverage plans with costs that run between $80 billion to $110 billion per year. One of the things that is so devastating about the Iraq war and current American foreign policy is that $456 billion has been spent through 2007 on the war and other administration programs like the ballistic missile defense program which will alone cost $11.1 billion in FY 2007. It doesn’t take a idiot to see that America’s priorities are to make war and be a world bully rather then care about the health of its citizens.
The main problem is Americans continue to eat the big bowl of warm shit their being fed by the right on health care. I know that better understanding of this issue is happening. Even the business sector has come around. They realize that universal health care would stimulate the economy, control their skyrocketing medical cost, and bring about cost saving modern medical data a record keeping and processing. Of course it also means that Americans would live healthier when full access to preventive medicine becomes available which should lead to lower costs over time due to people living better and healthier lifestyles. Improving everyone's bottom line.
But, ignorance continues to reign. Americans seem to not understand the immediate need and benefit it would be to this country if it were to establish a national health care program. The coming elections , it is hoped, will finally bring us politicians who support some sort of universal plan and also can get it passed through the congress. For god's sake how much longer must we wait?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Although they mission is deadly serious, I continue to admire the people at the Backbone Campaign because they rarely make the mistake of taking themselves too seriously like me and most of the rest of anti-war movement. It appears that the "boners" see that humor can be a bridge to get a serious message out to those who normally would turn a deaf ear to the same old over used and unoriginal anti war drone of, lets say, the Code Pink folks or even Cindy Sheehan. Their sense of comedy and understanding of theater comes through.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
THESE are difficult days for the heirs of General Francisco Franco. One of the dictator’s grandsons has been arrested for allegedly beating his girlfriend and a granddaughter was ridiculed for taking part in Spain’s equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing.
More worrying, however, were demands in parliament last week for the Franco clan, reputed to be one of the wealthiest in Spain, to vacate some of its sumptuous properties on the grounds that they had been expropriated by the former leader.
The battle began some months ago when the regional government of Galicia announced that the Pazo de Meiras, the family’s summer residence, was part of Spain’s cultural heritage and should be opened to the public.
Supposedly given to the generalisimo by the people “to congratulate” him on victory in the 1936-39 civil war, this historic three-turreted mansion was in need of renovation after a fire in 1978, the authorities argued. The family ignored an offer of financial help to repair it and on August 30, when a delegation of architects, historians and archeologists arrived to do a survey, they were not allowed in.
The government has since gone to court, threatening the Francos with a fine of £45,000 if they refuse to cooperate.
There were also demands last week that the Francos return other houses “given” to the dictator. Among them are a 2,000-square-metre palace outside Madrid and the 18th-century palace of Cornilde in Corunna. Francis, one of Franco’s seven grandchildren, has been building 4,000 homes on a plot of land confiscated by the dictator in Madrid in 1960.
The Francos’ wealth is matched by flamboyant lifestyles: scarcely a day seems to pass when Carmen Martinez Bordiu, the 56-year-old granddaughter of the late fascist leader, is not seen in a celebrity magazine.
Last month Jaime Martinez Bordiu, her brother, was held by Marbella police and accused of beating his girlfriend.
After the death of Franco in 1975, the government judged it better to encourage forgiveness than to stir antagonisms that could engulf the fledgling democracy. “Recovering goods held by the Franco family at that time was considered unthinkable without provoking riots,” said Jesus Andreu, a professor of political science.
The public mood has altered, however, and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister and grandson of a republican executed by Franco’s soldiers, has cut off funding for the Franco foundation run by Carmen Franco Polo, 81, the daughter of the dictator.
Zapatero has said he wants to heal the wounds of the war and one initiative is payment of reparation to victims on both sides. It is unlikely the Francos will qualify for any more funds.
What Global Warming Looks Like Sodo District Starbucks Headquarters Safeco Field Sleep With The Fishes
Architecture 2030, in a partnership with Google Maps, determined how American coastal cities would be affected by predicted sea level rise.
Monday, September 10, 2007
MoveOn.org F**ks Up By Not Realizing the Future Battle Is For The Swing Voter if America Is To End Iraq War
These moderate and swing voters are the key to the future make-up of the Congress and White House. These voters are the key to the 60 vote plurality the Democrats seek in the Senate. Most were probably alienated by this ad thought up and paid for by a special interest group like MoveOn. I consider myself liberal and I found the ad distasteful, a personal attack, and completely off target. MoveOn and other “eat your young” attack and destroy liberal organizations need to stop acting like the people they supposedly detest the most, the character assassinating right wing nut bars . Personally attacking anyone, even their supporters, who don't tow the MoveOn party line. MoveOn can only marginalize itself with such actions and public relations blunders like this ad.
Patraeus is not the problem here. The ad shows a photo of Petraeus in front of a bank of microphones with the headline: General Petraeus or General Betray us?
This man is perceived by most of the public as a competent general officer who is trying to implement an impossible policy in Iraq to the best of his ability. If you watched his testimony as I did today before the congress you see he is not the one who created the mess here but a soldier who, I believe, is trying to rule over an impossible war and the foreign policy mistakes brought about by incompetent politicians on both sides of the idle. Of course the White House and Frat Boy Bush are the major culprits. But many democrats also voted to open the Iraqi Pandora's box that we now are asking soldiers like Petraeus to get closed again. This attack on Petraeus can be easily leveraged as political fodder by the right. It is seen as an attack on a brave general and by association, god forbid, our troops in the field.
Liberals and organizations like MoveOn need to realize that they are not just preaching to the choir when they run controversial and misleading ads in the New York Times. They need to moderate their tone to attract the voter in the middle, who in the end will elect candidates in the coming elections who can change the course of the war and bring about its conclusion in a way that best serves the peoples interests.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Republicans Hit Bottom Air America's Rachel Maddow Muses About Fred Thompson Trophy Wife Plus Other Character Anomolies
Friday, September 07, 2007
Zogby Poll Indicates 30% Of Americans Seek Immediate Impeachment Of Dumb Shit President Frat Boy And More Of Same Old Crap VP
Recent video proves that new agent of change Fred Thompson offers same old not well thought out bull crap political rhetorical drivel that seems to permeate the American political landscape today. This banality continues because the political experts out there apparently think it still sells to all us shallow unwashed peons out here in main street America.
Does ANYONE really have any original ideas anymore? Attention everyone the old bull shit isn't working anymore. Maybe it time for NEW ideas. Thompson is believed to be marketing himself as the new Ronald Reagan. Because their both actors I guess.
After 8 years of Bush I rather walk across broken glass and then eat each piece than consider potentially listening to Thompson expound about anything political. What exactly does Fred offer to the process that isn't tried old or already politically debunked by now. The video should serve as exhibit A in an "I don't really know shit about the world" contest.