Monday, March 30, 2009

I couldn't have said it better myself! I am in complete agreement

The present pope has taken the church back to the middle ages. And he, as Cardinal Ratzinger (perfect name for him), was one of the high prelates of the church who for years hid from the public the abominable sexual abuse of children by priests. A friend once told me her mother referred to the Catholic Church as "that black brood." When one hears the latest pronouncements of the pope, her assessment seems very appropriate. For an understanding of how innocent, trusting people have been betrayed and abused by the church, I highly recommend a documentary called "Deliver Us From Evil." It is out on DVD and can be rented through Netflix or Blockbuster.


by Jaime O'Neill

When I was a kid, I used to read movie reviews in one or another magazine when I was killing time over at my aunt's house. Those reviews linger in my memory because most of them had a code indicating whether or not the film under review was considered acceptable by the Catholic Church. The ratings were offered under the rubric of The Catholic Legion of Decency, and those guardians of public morality found lots of things to be indecent, even by the standards of the rather prudish 1950s.

It might be good if we had another Legion of Decency to rule on the actions of the Catholic Church itself these days because a lot of rather indecent things are being done in the name of Catholicism.

Perhaps you heard the outrageous story of the nine-year-old girl in Brazil, impregnated by her stepfather, whose family was informed by the Catholic Church that the girl's mother and her doctors would be excommunicated from the church for making the decision to abort the twins the child rape victim was carrying. The little girl was four months pregnant when her condition was discovered, and that discovery was made only because she had been complaining of severe stomach pains. At nine years old, the pregnancy was considered a threat to her life. Police in Brazil believe the girl had been sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, probably since she was six years old. Declaring that "life must always be protected,‰ a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church's decision to excommunicate the child's mother and doctors.

Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop who presides over the diocese where the little girl lives, has said that the child-molesting stepfather who impregnated the girl would not be thrown out of the Church. Although he had allegedly committed "a heinous crime, the Church took the view that "the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious.

Now if I'm not mistaken, that nine-year-old girl was „an innocent life, too, had it not been for the stepfather who stole that innocence from her. But that child molester is still a member in good standing of the Catholic Church, and the girl's mother and her doctors are not.

If you're seeking spiritual guidance to help you make good moral choices, could you do much worse than an outfit that would come to such an astounding judgment in such a case?

Coming from a powerful organization led by men who are presumed to be celibates, this is a disgraceful act. And yet their moral judgment is so cloudy they rule that a pedophile is less a sinner than a child's mother who acts in the interest of her abused child's health.

But then the Catholic Church has a history of looking the other way where pedophilia is concerned, turning a blind eye on far too many predatory priests who treat acolytes and altar boys as sex toys, then protecting those molesters after they've been caught out.

This Brazilian case is evil itself, disguised in expensive robes, mitres, slippers and gold rings, supported by the Vatican in Rome, with the full majesty of the church brought to bear on a little girl's mother. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church makes ostentatious display of its wealth, much of it extracted from people like the poor of Brazil.

In its brutal indifference to a young girl's trauma, and to her mother and the doctors whose medical judgment they chose to ignore, the Catholic Church seems uneasily similar to the ruthless Taliban in its oppression of women. And in its overweening concern for the unborn over compassion for the living who are already here, the Catholic Church continues to show a hard heart for the flock it tends--and shears.

And, if the Brazilian case isn't outrageous enough, consider the recent episode surrounding Argentinian Bishop Richard Williamson, who denied the Holocaust in an interview with Swedish television. The Bishop's cavalier dismissal of the historical evidence of one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century generated a storm of anger.

In the interview that raised the storm, Williamson said that no more than 300,000 Jews "perished in Nazi concentration camps ... not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber."

Williamson is one of four bishops from the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X whose excommunication was recently lifted by the Vatican. Years ago, while a rector in the U.S., Williamson was quoted as saying: In the Catholic Middle Ages the Jews were relatively impotent to harm Christendom, but as Catholics have grown over the centuries since then weaker and weaker in the faith... so the Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world domination. He also said: There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. And, according to Bishop Williamson: ...the Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new State of Israel.

That anti-Semite in the fancy robes was sanctioned by the Pope, who withdrew Bishop Williamson's ex-communication.

And let's not forget how the Pope used his Christmas message last year to broadcast the idea that saving the world from homosexuality was just as important as saving the rainforests, thus continuing the long-standing tradition of spreading fear, ignorance and bigotry.

To put a capper on all this, the Pope recently traveled to AIDS-ravaged Africa to carry a message AGAINST the use of condoms. This is not moral leadership, it is not spiritual guidance, it's criminal insanity cloaked in silk and satin surplices. The Pope was flown on his private jet from Rome to that poor and death-stalked African continent where he offered lethally bad advice about a disease that kills 6,000 people there every single day.

Papal infallibility? You bet your life.

If I did not love my country, I would not loathe George W. Bush.


EXCELLENT DESCRIPTION of the Republican Alternative Stimulus Plan

This essay is right on the mark! I've bolded in red the parts that need to be most emphasized when describing the Republican "strategery." My Republican e-mail correspoondents seem to have no memory whatsoever of the Bush/Cheney trillions-spending years. Instead, they are totally focused on condemning the "liberal, socialist" spending that is necessary to pull us out of the giant hole dug by Bush and Cheney. Their refusal to admit the truth would be laughable (and really is!) if the Bush/Cheney years weren't so tragically disastrous for our country.

The Republican Alternative Stimulus Plan

by David Michael Green

Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.

I'm kinda pissed off at the lousy treatment America is giving to Republicans these days.

First of all, in a general sense, it just seems ungrateful and ungracious. I mean, Republicans worked hard this last decade to make America what it is today. We wouldn't have the foreign relations we do, or the war situations, or the environmental condition, or the fiscal situation or any of that stuff if the GOP hadn't been on the job all these years.

And we wouldn't have this economy, either. Can't Americans show a little respect and gratitude where it is due?

The particular thing that sticks in my craw of late is the reckless allegation that Republicans are just the Party of No, and that they have no plans of their own to help revive the American economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Or, at least, that's what Rush told me. And I believe it.

In fact, the truth is that the GOP has a very sophisticated, very elaborate, 11-point plan for rescuing the country from the economic abyss. And, while the liberal media may be working overtime to make sure you never hear about it, I'm glad to set you straight.

Here goes:

1. TALK A LOT ABOUT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. We all know that marketing perceptions are more important than actual realities, and nowhere more so than in this domain. Forget about what anyone actually does. Just remember that the Democrats are always "tax-and-spend liberals", and the GOP is the "party of fiscal responsibility". Say it over and over. Pretty soon you'll believe it, and you hope others will too.

2. DEIFY RONALD REAGAN, IN ALL WAYS, ALL THE TIME. Never miss a chance to remind people of the wonderful powers and accomplishments of Reagan, from ending the Cold War to curing polio and walking on water. If anyone thinks those are some dubious claims, or mentions the one or two boo-boos of the Reagan years, give them that special Moonie stare of the true believer and walk away to where your consciousness remains safely protected from challenging thoughts.

3. PRACTICE VOODOO ECONOMICS. If you run for president, do what Reagan did. Promise that you'll slash taxes, spend way more on the military, and balance the budget, all at the same time. If you get elected, do what Reagan did again. Triple the national debt. Because your campaign promises are physically impossible.

4. PRACTICE VOODOO ECONOMICS AGAIN. (S)elect George W. Bush as president, and repeat Reagan's amazing accomplishment, this time on steroids. Take the largest surplus in American history and turn it into the largest deficit. Take the federal government's debt, accrued over more than two centuries, and double it from $5 trillion to $11 trillion in just eight years. Spend the money on vital necessities like massive tax cuts for the already fantastically wealthy, and incredibly expensive wars against non-enemies.

5. TALK EVEN MORE ABOUT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. Wait until a Democratic president comes to office, inheriting the worst American economy since 1932. All of a sudden, relocate your outrage - previously gone on walkabout - at the horrors of deficit spending. Only days after the Bush administration has ended, start talking incessantly about fiscal responsibility, just as if the last eight years had never happened.

6. HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PLAN FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY. Whatsoever. Pledge to do precisely what Hoover did in 1932: Absolutely nothing! Let people crash and burn when they lose their jobs and healthcare and homes. Take away the few shreds of a social safety net they have. Don't even spend stimulus funds for unemployment insurance in your state. Avoid the perils of moral hazard by letting (ordinary) people starve.

7. MAKE A LOT OF NOISE ABOUT EARMARKS. Who cares if they're less than one percent of the budget?? They have lots of marketing value and can help disable the Democratic government while diverting attention from all the great fiscal and economic achievements of the past eight years.

8. REINVENT HISTORY. Franklin Roosevelt didn't solve the problem of the Great Depression, but his New Deal program of massive government spending did in fact achieve two key things. First, it nearly halved unemployment, cutting it from 25 percent to 15 percent. And, second, it literally kept millions of Americans alive who would have otherwise perished when no other safety net remained. All of this is a serious problem in 2009, given the desire of the public for the government to resolve the current problem. Solution? Lie like hell. Tell people that the New Deal had no impact and was a complete waste of money.

9. REINVENT ECONOMICS. Talk about the stimulus package as though it were an ordinary spending bill, loaded with pork barrel waste. Never make the connection between spending, purely for its stimulative effect, and economic recovery. Argue that it was World War II that ended the Depression, not the New Deal, remaining completely oblivious to the fact that both are nothing short of massive government spending, exactly what the Democrats are doing with their stimulus legislation today.

10. BLOCK ACTION TO REVIVE THE ECONOMY. Even though you haven't got one of your own, carp incessantly about everything that is wrong - real or imagined - with the Democrats' recovery plans. Even though the public has repudiated you in two successive elections and you are the minority in both the House and the Senate, use every tool possible to block action of any sort by the government elected by the people to solve the crisis.

11. COMMIT POLITICAL SUICIDE. Yep, that's the ticket. Create an incredible crisis. Deny everything. Reinvent history. Block all solutions except those that would repeat the same disasters of the past. Ask the people to vote for you.

See what I mean?

Who says the Republicans don't have a plan?


Cafferty on Education -- a good essay

However, I do not agree, even in jest, that Marines should run our schools--or that Marine-type fear-driven discipline is the answer to achieving cooperation and a love for learning in the students. That kind of harsh bullying is not the way to inspire children! Better teaching methods and better trained teachers, who are consistent in their discipline but kind in their hearts--as well as strong parental involvement, encouragement, and praise, can instill in kids a desire to learn and to succeed in life. The No Child Left Behind program is not doing that job. Kids don't respond well when the teachers are fearful and drill-driven and not allowed to teach creatively and inspirationally. The numbers are proving this to be true.

Obamas are paying their own way in the White House

Any makeovers or decorating in the White House during their tenure will be paid for privately by the Obamas from their own income, rather than from government coffers. I'm sure the Republican critics of all things Obama will find some way to criticize this, too. Unlike their Republican predecssors, the Obamas walk their talk. To me, that is admirable. I like also that Michelle Obama has started a vegetable garden on the White House grounds, which she, her husband, and her daughters will work in. I hope this inspires millions of Americans to do the same in these hard economic times. I think organic gardenening and cooking in healthful ways should be taught in school, as they already do in some San Francisco schools, inspired and tutored by the owner of an organic vegetarian restaurant in that city.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New drug for those who are too cheerful

Here's a new way to silence those chirping happy people in our world, bringing them into line with Rush Limbaugh and all his dittoheads...


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


"The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man." - Nikola Tesla, 1905

"We are whirling through endless space, with an inconceivable speed; all around us everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expands our minds, strengthens our hopes and fills our hearts with supreme delight." - Nikola Tesla, 1891

We live on a planet that is consistently producing a magnetic field that can be tapped into to power our everyday needs as a virtual free energy source. Through interactions between the inner core of our Earth and that of our Sun, there exists an enormous and vastly untapped source of power.

Nikola Tesla was among the first inventors to successfully extract and make use of this source. By pulling out electrons from the earth and surrounding atmosphere and amplifying the energy using a specific design of coils, he was then able to transmit approximately 100 million volts over an initial distance of 26 miles and illuminating a bank of 200 light bulbs and ran an electric generator, all without the use of transmission lines. Later, he nearly perfected this technology only to have it seized by groups that wanted the device destroyed and the knowledge hidden.


Ever heard of Stan Ovshinsky? If not, you're not alone...

Ignored and laughed at when he tried to bring hybrid/electric cars to American automakers years ago, Ovshinsky is as unsung and unhonored in our time as Nikola Tesla was in his day. What a different world it would be today had Tesla been funded and listened to when he wanted to bring free energy to the people. Instead, he was denied all funding by J.P.Morgan and lived the rest of his life hidden from the public in a small hotel room, feeding the pigeons on the ledge outside his room. Today we have a repeat with Stan Ovshinsky, who has been ridiculed by the powers that be for wanting to help change our world for the better. Greed and power, power and greed -- we are still being held captive by those vices and the men who worship and live by them--and control our world. With the worldwide economic crisis brought about by unregulated power and greed, the first signs of their power cracking are beginning to unfold. Unfortunately, we are all having to pay the price for allowing them to be our unquestioned masters for so many years. Thankfully, Ovshinsky, at age 87, is still inventing without funding from the "big guys."

A Prophet to Honor
by Jack Lessenberry

Last week I was lucky enough to moderate a discussion with Stan Ovshinsky, who has probably done more to point us toward the future than anyone else now living in this state.

The event was Harry Cook's typically brilliant Thursday night lecture series, which he holds monthly at the Birmingham Unitarian Church on Woodward. To my dismay, the hall was less than filled.

They should have been lining up to get in. Incredibly, I run into people all the time who have never heard of Ovshinsky, a scientist without peer who has personally been granted 400 patents. I am sure of very little these days, but I'd bet my fillings that a century from now, when history has forgotten Jennifer Granholm and Rick Wagoner, people will remember and honor Stanford R. Ovshinsky.

This is the genius who is the principal inventor of the nickel-metal-hydride battery once widely used in cell phones. He also was a pioneer in developing CDs and DVDs, solar panels, electric power steering, hydrogen fuel cells ... the list goes on and on. He has done more than anyone to make the electric car a reality.

Time magazine called him "A Hero for the Planet." Nova did a documentary on him, called "Japan's American Genius." If you didn't know all that, well, it may have something to do with the old story about prophets never being honored on their home turf, and also be a reflection of the media culture in this town. Compare how much attention Ovshinsky gets to that paid to the brawling clowns of Detroit City Council, or any possible local contestant on any national "reality show."

Of course, he mostly doesn't want publicity — he is too busy inventing the future — but that he and his work aren't better known is both silly and a disgrace. The reality is that we are running out of fuel, and time, and SRO is trying to help us save ourselves. He is still going strong, churning out ideas and refining inventions — and why not? He won't be 87 until November.

He has a new company, Ovshinsky Innovation; married colleague and physicist Rosa Young after his wife Iris' untimely death three years ago, and is still fighting, as he has been since 1960, to drag us into the alternative energy future before the oil gives out.

What I most wanted to ask him is whether he thought there was any hope for the domestic auto industry. Ovshinsky knows and loves cars; he first came to Detroit as head of research for the now-defunct Hupp Motorcar Co. more than a half-century ago. His eyes twinkled sadly. Ah, Detroit. "They are 14 years behind Japan," he said, shaking his head. He tried to tell the Big Three. They didn't want to hear.

Back in the 1990s, he was running Energy Conversion Devices with Robert Stempel, the former head of GM. The pair went to Japan, checking out reports that hybrid cars were practical and on their way. They saw that they were.

"We went to see General Motors, and they laughed at us. A big finance guy who is still there laughed. They said they weren't practical, wouldn't work, and nobody will buy them."

General Motors has set the standard for arrogant idiocy for decades, of course. Right after that, they proceeded to destroy the electric car they had hired him to help make, the EV-1. (If you aren't familiar with this story, go rent the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? in which Stan and Iris Ovshinsky figure prominently.)

Now, belatedly, GM is struggling to produce an all-electric car, the Chevy Volt, due out next year. Some press accounts have acted as if it will be the savior of the company. What did Stan Ovshinsky think of the Volt? He struggled, trying, it seemed, to be diplomatic and charitable. "It's a start. It's not a bad thing. Not a bad car. They will sell a few thousand," he said.

Trouble is, he explained, the engineers still haven't decided for sure on what type of battery they'll put in it. Most people think a lithium ion battery is most likely ... but every so often those batteries tend to spontaneously explode or catch on fire. All sorts of engineers are working feverishly on this problem, but it hasn't been completely solved yet. Lithium batteries don't explode very often, maybe a few times per million.

But even one exploding battery might be enough to doom the Chevy Volt with the public. Then there is the price tag. Most expect the Volt to retail starting at more than $40,000, which would put it out of reach of most people. Will the Chevy Volt save GM, a corporation currently losing something like $5 million an hour? It is hard to imagine how.

Four years ago, Stan and Iris drove me around town in a hybrid car that had been converted to run on a hydrogen fuel cell, the inexhaustible fuel that powers the sun. He thought that was the best intermediate step to the renewable energy future. But he lacked investors. What is baffling is why somebody long ago didn't just establish an energy "think-and-do tank" and given Ovshinsky a few million dollars a year to tinker and experiment, so that he didn't have to waste much of his time chasing money.

Big oil wouldn't have liked that, I know. But imagine how much better off we might all be today.

By the way, is Stan Ovshinsky in favor of the government continuing to bail out the Big Three? His answer surprised me at first. "You have to do it. It may be futile, but it has to be done."

He paused, and explained. He didn't care about the management, which has run the company into the ground. "But I care about the workers, who have given their lives to these companies. It isn't their fault. They deserve to be taken care of."

I remembered that he always has been fiercely committed to social values, including civil liberties and labor unions. How rare is that — a man who cares about our present and past and who is inventing our future? We owe it to ourselves to do more to recognize and pay attention to him before he is gone.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Intriguing mystery -- Ed Leedskalnin and Coral Castle (videos)

How did this little 5 ft. tall, 100 lb. man lift 3 million pounds of coral limestone and build his gigantic stone Coral Castle in Florida? Coral Castle and all its incredible stone structures still exists. Ed Leedskalnin claimed he knew the secrets of how the pyramids were built -- it appears he was telling the truth. I first heard of this remarkable little man and his monumental accomplishment several years ago and have never forgotten it. Today I found the following information online -- and the original "In Search Of" video that first drew my attention to Leedskalnin. You might find this as fascinating as I did.

There is so much mankind as a whole does not know, yet too many of our leaders, power holders, and scientists lack the humility and curiosity to explore mysteries that might lead us in a whole new direction on this planet. Instead, most often, they try to hide under the rug anything that doesn't agree with their already defined and accepted belief systems. As an example, the astronomers who refuse to believe we have been visited by extraterrestrials come to mind (in spite of numerous well-documented reports from high-up military and government people--and no-reason-to-lie pilots). Nikola Tesla's discovery of "free energy" is another example. That news was greeted with horror by those in power who were financially benefiting from oil, sale of electricity, etc. And so they relegated Tesla and his amazing discoveries to the figurative trash heap. They would not fund him and he died in a lonely hotel room, with all his discoveries unused and unheralded. The FBI came in after his death in the 1940s and spirited away all his papers, which have not seen the light of day ever since.

Every time we hear of someone who has found a substitute for oil, or an engine that runs on water, or someone like Wilhelm Reich or Royal Rife who were able to cure cancer with their discoveries, those people disappear from view very quickly. Reich and Rife were both put on trial and jailed. And that beat goes on with new advancements that are not allowed to be brought to the public. Exploration and helpful discoveries on planet Earth have gone very slowly because of stubbornly held attitudes (and greed and lust for power) that don't allow for change or revelation of something new that might upset the apple cart of the rich and powerful. In the political world, the Republican conservatives are representative of the stuck-in-the-mud types, fearing change, fearing just about everything. (The many "nos" of Republicans: No diplomacy between nations, no stem cell research, no abortions, no birth control info. or condoms for teens, no gun control, no consideration of alternatives before entering into war, no regulation for corporations or banks, no taxes on the rich, no, no, no.....) And so we keep going round and round with the same old actions that create the same old results.

Ah well ... watch the following videos and let your mind soar in wonder at what one little guy accomplished all on his own. And it still remains a complete mystery as to how he did it! The naysaying skeptics are always asking for proof of mysterious happenings claimed by those who have experienced them. Well, Coral Castle stands as proof of Ed Leedskalnin's wondrous abilities. It cannot be explained away, no matter how much the skeptics may want to deny it. But, sadly, we don't have any records of how Leedskalnin achieved its construction. His secrets died with him.

In Search of: Part One
In Search of: Part Two
In Search of: Part Three

For more information, the following videos are from the Coast to Coast radio show: Part One Part Two


Friday, March 20, 2009

Republicans are so used to Duhmbya the Idiot, they can't adjust to an intelligent president

EXCERPT: What both the Republican rib-ticklers and their MSM minions can't come to terms with is something "The Washington Post's" Howard Kurtz summed up nicely. "Obama is a president who can walk, chew gum, dribble a basketball and work his BlackBerry at the same time."

Read rest of this on-the-money Ed Naha essay at:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cheney's "fearmongering is dangerous": Lawrence Wilkerson

Bush admin. knew many at Guantanamo Bay are innocent, says Colin Powell's former chief of staff


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh Boy! The "Decider" is writing a book about his "decisions"

Bush is writing a book? The man who can't speak correct English and never reads? And, when questioned, couldn't think of even one mistake he's ever made? Laura is probably writing it for him. I suppose 2 or 3 Limbaugh "dittoheads" might buy it--if there are lots of pictures in it to color.

Posted: 02:07 AM ET

(CNN) — Former President George W. Bush is writing a book focusing on defining decisions he’s made in his personal and political life, a publishing house announced Thursday.

The book, tentatively titled “Decision Points,” is to be published in fall 2010, according to the Crown Publishing Group. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The book will focus on about 12 important decisions made by the former president. Topics will include his decision to run for president, his choice of his closest advisers, the September 11 terrorists attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, his response to Hurricane Katrina, the forming of his stem cell research policy, his decision to quit drinking, how he found faith, and his relationships with his father, mother, siblings and wife.

“I am spending time on the book every day,” Bush was quoted saying in a news release. “My goal is to bring the reader inside the Oval Office for the most consequential moments of my personal and political life. I look forward to painting a vivid picture of the information I had, the principles I followed, and the decisions I made.”


Monday, March 16, 2009

How the Permanent Power Structure is preventing Obama from making real change

Is the Hunter Being Captured by the Game? How the Permanent Power Structure is Trying to Stop Obama true this is! And it goes much deeper than just the media. The power brokers of this world have no intention of allowing Obama to make any real changes to the system that has benefited them over the years. As one commenter of this article says, If Obama threatened to make any substantive change, he wouldn't have been allowed to win. And we know what happens to American leaders who do try to make real changes by making an end run around the power people. Remember the Kennedys? Remember Martin Luther King?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Less Religion, More Common Sense and True Compassion!

Good News! -- Faith-based religions are beginning to take a back seat to social consciousness. It seems people are becoming more aware and able to think for themselves, rather than letting a priest or minister dictate to them what to do and what to believe. This is something to celebrate!

by Frank Rich

SOMEDAY we’ll learn the whole story of why George W. Bush brushed off that intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” But surely a big distraction was the major speech he was readying for delivery on Aug. 9, his first prime-time address to the nation. The subject — which Bush hyped as “one of the most profound of our time” — was stem cells. For a presidency in thrall to a thriving religious right (and a presidency incapable of multi-tasking), nothing, not even terrorism, could be more urgent.

When Barack Obama ended the Bush stem-cell policy last week, there were no such overheated theatrics. No oversold prime-time address. No hysteria from politicians, the news media or the public. The family-values dinosaurs that once stalked the earth — Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and Reed — are now either dead, retired or disgraced. Their less-famous successors pumped out their pro forma e-mail blasts, but to little avail. The Republican National Committee said nothing whatsoever about Obama’s reversal of Bush stem-cell policy. That’s quite a contrast to 2006, when the party’s wild and crazy (and perhaps transitory) new chairman, Michael Steele, likened embryonic stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments during his failed Senate campaign.

What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford.

Not only was Obama’s stem-cell decree an anticlimactic blip in the news, but so was his earlier reversal of Bush restrictions on the use of federal money by organizations offering abortions overseas. When the administration tardily ends “don’t ask, don’t tell,” you can bet that this action, too, will be greeted by more yawns than howls.

Once again, both the president and the country are following New Deal-era precedent. In the 1920s boom, the reigning moral crusade was Prohibition, and it packed so much political muscle that F.D.R. didn’t oppose it. The Anti-Saloon League was the Moral Majority of its day, the vanguard of a powerful fundamentalist movement that pushed anti-evolution legislation as vehemently as it did its war on booze. (The Scopes “monkey trial” was in 1925.) But the political standing of this crowd crashed along with the stock market. Roosevelt shrewdly came down on the side of “the wets” in his presidential campaign, leaving Hoover to drown with “the dries.”

Much as Obama repealed the Bush restrictions on abortion and stem-cell research shortly after pushing through his stimulus package, so F.D.R. jump-started the repeal of Prohibition by asking Congress to legalize beer and wine just days after his March 1933 inauguration and declaration of a bank holiday. As Michael A. Lerner writes in his fascinating 2007 book “Dry Manhattan,” Roosevelt’s stance reassured many Americans that they would have a president “who not only cared about their economic well-being” but who also understood their desire to be liberated from “the intrusion of the state into their private lives.” Having lost plenty in the Depression, the public did not want to surrender any more freedoms to the noisy minority that had shut down the nation’s saloons.

In our own hard times, the former moral “majority” has been downsized to more of a minority than ever. Polling shows that nearly 60 percent of Americans agree with ending Bush restrictions on stem-cell research (a Washington Post/ABC News survey in January); that 55 percent endorse either gay civil unions or same-sex marriage (Newsweek, December 2008); and that 75 percent believe openly gay Americans should serve in the military (Post/ABC, July 2008). Even the old indecency wars have subsided. When a federal court last year struck down the F.C.C. fine against CBS for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, few Americans either noticed or cared about the latest twist in what had once been a national cause célèbre.

It’s not hard to see why Eric Cantor, the conservative House firebrand who is vehemently opposed to stem-cell research, was disinclined to linger on the subject when asked about it on CNN last Sunday. He instead accused the White House of acting on stem cells as a ploy to distract from the economy. “Let’s take care of business first,” he said. “People are out of jobs.” (On this, he’s joining us late, but better late than never.)

Even were the public still in the mood for fiery invective about family values, the G.O.P. has long since lost any authority to lead the charge. The current Democratic president and his family are exemplars of precisely the Eisenhower-era squareness — albeit refurbished by feminism — that the Republicans often preached but rarely practiced. Obama actually walks the walk. As the former Bush speechwriter David Frum recently wrote, the new president is an “apparently devoted husband and father” whose worst vice is “an occasional cigarette.”

Frum was contrasting Obama to his own party’s star attraction, Rush Limbaugh, whose “history of drug dependency” and “tangled marital history” make him “a walking stereotype of self-indulgence.” Indeed, the two top candidates for leader of the post-Bush G.O.P, Rush and Newt, have six marriages between them. The party that once declared war on unmarried welfare moms, homosexual “recruiters” and Bill Clinton’s private life has been rebranded by Mark Foley, Larry Craig, David Vitter and the irrepressible Palins. Even before the economy tanked, Americans had more faith in medical researchers using discarded embryos to battle Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s than in Washington politicians making ad hoc medical decisions for Terri Schiavo.

What’s been revealing about watching conservatives debate their fate since their Election Day Waterloo is how, the occasional Frum excepted, so many of them don’t want to confront the obsolescence of culture wars as a political crutch. They’d rather, like Cantor, just change the subject — much as they avoid talking about Bush and avoid reckoning with the doomed demographics of the G.O.P.’s old white male base. To recognize all these failings would be to confront why a once-national party can now be tucked into the Bible Belt.

The religious right is even more in denial than the Republicans. When Obama nominated Kathleen Sebelius, the Roman Catholic Kansas governor who supports abortion rights, as his secretary of health and human services, Tony Perkins, the leader of the Family Research Council, became nearly as apoplectic as the other Tony Perkins playing Norman Bates. “If Republicans won’t take a stand now, when will they?” the godly Perkins thundered online. But Congressional Republicans ignored him, sending out (at most) tepid press releases of complaint, much as they did in response to Obama’s stem-cell order. The two antiabortion Kansas Republicans in the Senate, Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both endorsed Sebelius.

Perkins is now praying that economic failure will be a stimulus for his family-values business. “As the economy goes downward,” he has theorized, “I think people are going to be driven to religion.” Wrong again. The latest American Religious Identification Survey, published last week, found that most faiths have lost ground since 1990 and that the fastest-growing religious choice is “None,” up from 8 percent to 15 percent (which makes it larger than all denominations except Roman Catholics and Baptists). Another highly regarded poll, the General Social Survey, had an even more startling finding in its preliminary 2008 data released this month: Twice as many Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in the scientific community as do in organized religion. How the almighty has fallen: organized religion is in a dead heat with banks and financial institutions on the confidence scale.

This, too, is a replay of the Great Depression. “One might have expected that in such a crisis great numbers of these people would have turned to the consolations of and inspirations of religion,” wrote Frederick Lewis Allen in “Since Yesterday,” his history of the 1930s published in 1940. But that did not happen: “The long slow retreat of the churches into less and less significance in the life of the country, and even in the lives of the majority of their members, continued almost unabated.”

The new American faith, Allen wrote, was the “secular religion of social consciousness.” It took the form of campaigns for economic and social justice — as exemplified by the New Deal and those movements that challenged it from both the left and the right. It’s too early in our crisis and too early in the new administration to know whether this decade will so closely replicate the 1930s, but so far Obama has far more moral authority than any religious leader in America with the possible exception of his sometime ally, the Rev. Rick Warren.

History is cyclical, and it would be foolhardy to assume that the culture wars will never return. But after the humiliations of the Scopes trial and the repeal of Prohibition, it did take a good four decades for the religious right to begin its comeback in the 1970s. In our tough times, when any happy news can be counted as a miracle, a 40-year exodus for these ayatollahs can pass for an answer to America’s prayers.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tales from Torture's Dark World

NY Times Op-Ed today -- but, as we all know, Bush and Cheney have told us numerous times, "The United States doesn't torture." Uh huh. Read the article.

What we can say with certainty, in the wake of the Red Cross report, is that the United States tortured prisoners and that the Bush administration, including the president himself, explicitly and aggressively denied that fact. We can also say that the decision to torture, in a political war with militant Islam, harmed American interests by destroying the democratic and Constitutional reputation of the United States, undermining its liberal sympathizers in the Muslim world and helping materially in the recruitment of young Muslims to the extremist cause. By deciding to torture, we freely chose to embrace the caricature they had made of us. The consequences of this choice, legal, political and moral, now confront us. Time and elections are not enough to make them go away.

Friday, March 13, 2009

You may want to watch this very hard-hitting interview

It's an interview of Jim Cramer of CNBC's Mad Money -- by the Daily Show's Jon Stewart.  The completely unedited version (not the edited one that appeared on TV)  is here:

Stewart did a superb job on this interview, pointing out the collusion of  the investment business and investment reporters.  Clips from past statements by Jim Cramer are quite illuminating -- and Stewart rightly holds Cramer's feet to the fire.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bob Herbert column -- telling it like it is!

Bob Herbert sees clearly!

Reviving the Dream


The American dream was alive and well and seemingly unassailable. But somehow, following the oil shocks, the hyperinflation and other traumas of the 1970s, Americans allowed the right-wingers to get a toehold — and they began the serious work of smothering the dream.

The right-wingers were crafty: You smother the dream by crippling the programs that support it, by starving the government of money to pay for them, by funneling the government’s revenues to the rich through tax cuts and other benefits, by looting the government the way gangsters loot legitimate businesses and then pleading poverty when it comes time to fund the services required by the people.

Working people were not just abandoned by big business and their ideological henchmen in government, they were exploited and humiliated. They were denied the productivity gains that should have rightfully accrued to them. They were treated ruthlessly whenever they tried to organize. They were never reasonably protected against the savage dislocations caused by revolutions in technology and global trade.

Working people were told that all of this was good for them, and whether out of ignorance or fear or prejudice or, as my grandfather might have said, damned foolishness, many bought into it. They signed onto tax policies that worked like a three-card monte game. And they were sold a snake oil concoction called “trickle down” that so addled their brains that they thought it was a wonderful idea to hand over their share of the nation’s wealth to those who were already fabulously rich. 

America used to be better than this.


Belligerent chimp proves animals make plans

See article at:

This article adds more information to establish that we did actually evolve from apes -- or, as some believe, that we are an engineered species (engineered by an alien civilization), upgraded from apes. 99% of our genes are the same as a chimp's. Interesting to speculate. If humans are an engineered species (as I tend to believe), I think we are desperately in need of upgrading again, especially in our level of consciousness. Maybe the great number of UFO sightings in the past few years (and ongoing crop circle formations) are indicators of us being closely observed and monitored. One can only hope we are being guarded against destroying ourselves and our planet.

Another interesting article on gene differentiations/similarities of chimps and humans can be found at:

Scientists have had difficulty determining why humans and chimps differ so much at a physical and behavioral level but are genetically so similar. Chimps and people share almost 99 percent of the non-duplicated sequences of their genomes; their proteins are virtually identical; and there are very few rearrangements that distinguish ape-human chromosomes.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hollywood has a new movie out on Chemtrails

See the trailer at:

As one commenter says:
Why not make a movie?..It's in our face everyday...What I really wonder is how can people be so oblivious to chemtrails that are over our heads almost daily.

Humorous bit - Very close to the truth

by Andy Borowitz

In remarks that seemed guaranteed to create controversy, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said today that he was "rooting for the planet Earth to explode" because it would help the GOP retake the White House.

Mr. Limbaugh elaborated on his planet explosion theory, explaining that if the world blows up in the next four years "it will happen on Barack Obama's watch."

"Let's face it, the world exploding would be great for the GOP and Barack Obama knows it," he said. "That's why he is doing everything in his power to keep the planet from blowing up."

While asserting that he had his fingers crossed that the planet would detonate sometime in the next four years, he said that there were other scenarios he found equally appealing.

"If the population of the U.S. was suddenly afflicted with plagues, locusts and open sores, that would be fantastic for the Republican Party," he said. "I'm rooting for all of those things to happen."

In an appearance on CNN, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele seemed to distance himself somewhat from Mr. Limbaugh's remarks, telling Wolf Blitzer, "Rush is a great entertainer who just wants to make people laugh, like Bobby Jindal."

Hedging a little, Mr. Steele insisted that despite perceived differences, he and Mr. Limbaugh are on the same page: "Rush is rooting for me to fail, and I am in fact failing."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More from Jon Stewart re. Rush Limbaugh: great video

Revealing the real Rush:

Most people wonder how anyone could follow a man like this and accept his claiming them as his "dittoheads." But there actually are people in our country at this time who believe Rush Limbaugh is telling them the truth in all his rantings and ravings--and agree with him. Believe it or not, he is now the de facto head of the (much-diminished) Republican party!

I'm grateful to Jon Stewart for putting together this video "trip down Memory Lane" for those who may not quite recall the "best (or worst) of Rush." It is a wonderment that those who claim him as their leader can somehow stomach all of this (yuk!) and cheer him on. Thank god their numbers are getting fewer every day. It's nice to know there is a limit to what even some stalwart Bushaholics can stand.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Side Effects by Steve Martin

One of my favorite humorous essays of all time!
SIDE EFFECTS by Steve Martin

From The New Yorker, April 13, 1998.

DOSAGE: take two tablets every six hours for joint pain.

SIDE EFFECTS: This drug may cause joint pain, nausea, head-ache, or shortness of breath. You may also experience muscle aches, rapid heartbeat, and ringing in the ears. If you feel faint, call your doctor. Do not consume alcohol while taking this pill; likewise, avoid red meat, shellfish, and vegetables. O.K. foods: flounder. Under no circumstances eat yak. Men can expect painful urination while sitting, especially if the penis is caught between the toilet seat and the bowl. Projectile vomiting is common in thirty per cent of users--sorry, fifty per cent. If you undergo disorienting nausea accompanied by migraine and raspy breathing, double the dosage. Leg cramps are to be expected; one knee-buckler per day is normal. Bowel movements may become frequent-in fact, every ten minutes. If bowel movements become greater than twelve per hour, consult your doctor, or any doctor, or just anyone who will speak to you. You may find yourself becoming lost or vague; this would be a good time to write a screenplay. Do not pilot a plane, unless you are among the ten per cent of users who experience "spontaneous test-pilot knowledge." If your hair begins to smell like burning tires, move away from any buildings or populated areas, and apply tincture of iodine to the head until you no longer hear what could be taken for a "countdown." May cause stigmata in Mexicans. If a fungus starts to grow between your eyebrows, call the Guinness Book of World Records. May induce a tendency to compulsively repeat the phrase "no can do." This drug may cause visions of the Virgin Mary to appear in treetops. If this happens, open a souvenir shop. There may be an overwhelming impulse to shout out during a Catholic Mass, "I'm gonna w*p you wid da ugly stick!" You may feel a powerful sense of impending doom; this is because you are about to die. Men may experience impotence, but only during intercourse. Otherwise, a powerful erection will accompany your daily "walking-around time." Do not take this product if you are uneasy with lockjaw. Do not be near a ringing telephone that works at 900 MHz or you will be very dead, very fast. We are assuming you have had chicken pox. You also may experience a growing dissatisfaction with life along with a deep sense of melancholy--join the club! Do not be concerned if you arouse a few ticks from a Geiger counter. You might want to get a one-month trial subscription to Extreme Fighting. The hook shape of the pill will often cause it to become caught in the larynx. To remove, jam a finger down your throat while a friend holds your nose to prevent the pill from lodging in a nasal passage. Then throw yourself stomach first on the back portion of a chair. The expulsion of air should eject the pill out of the mouth, unless it goes into a sinus cavity, or the brain. WARNING: This drug may shorten your intestines by twenty-one feet. Has been known to cause birth defects in the user retroactively. Passing in front of TV may cause the screen to moiré. Women often feel a loss of libido, including a whole octave lowering of the voice, an increase in ankle hair, and perhaps the lowering of a testicle. If this happens, women should write a detailed description of their last three sexual encounters and mail it to me, Bob, Trailer Six, Fancyland Trailer Park, Encino, CA. Or E-mail me at Discontinue use immediately if you feel that your teeth are receiving radio broadcasts. You may experience "lumpy back" syndrome, but we are actively seeking a cure. Bloated fingertips on the heart-side hand are common. When finished with the dosage, be sure to allow plenty of "quiet time" in order to retrain the eye to move off stationary objects. Flotation devices at sea will become pointless, as the user of this drug will develop a stone-like body density; therefore, if thrown overboard, contact your doctor. (This product may contain one or more of the following: bungee cord, plankton, rubber, crack cocaine, pork bladders, aromatic oils, gunpowder, corn husk, glue, bee pollen, dung, English muffin, poached eggs, ham, Hollandaise sauce, crushed saxophone reeds.) Sensations of levitation are illusory, as is the sensation of having a "phantom" third arm. Users may experience certain inversions of language. Acceptable: "Hi, are how you?" Unacceptable: "The rain in Sprain slays blainly on the phsssst." Twenty minutes after taking the pills, you will feel an insatiable craving to take another dose. AVOID THIS WITH ALL YOUR POWER. It is advisable to have a friend handcuff you to a large kitchen appliance, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT WILL NOT FIT THROUGH THE DOORWAY TO WHERE THE PILLS ARE. You should also be out of reach of any weapon-like utensil with which you could threaten friends or family, who should also be briefed to not give you the pills, no matter how much you sweet-talk them.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Jack Cafferty: My Crush on Michelle Obama

I also admire Mrs. Obama -- she is a winner in every way!!! Cafferty's remarks should make everyone smile...(except for Rush Limbaugh's right-wing Republican dittoheads who are already programmed by their master to hate her).

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Reader's Comment on Rush Limbaugh's "oops" re. the Constitution

I think this reader on Huffington Post has made an exceptionally insightful comment on Rush and those who follow him:

This speechification by Rush is an example of why folks like himself, who rely on a narrowly defined audience believing they are correct or nearly correct on every subject, choose to avoid such public forums. They are filled with peril and trouble, as well as they expose the sheer realism of how 'average' these radio pundits are when they attempt to move into political roles.

But, the task is made even more difficult when those attempting such things have lies, racism and delusion at the center of their message, even when they have looked the other way as Bush crushed the spirit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness---their argument seems only relevant and important when they are out of power. Virtually, they have no credibility or honesty about themselves and the reality is that they are not perfect and they don't have some special values and beliefs which are so wonderful that everyone must experience them.

We simply have a bunch of white superiority freaks still trying to convince themselves that they are some unique group with some unique insight into the Constitution, business and finance---yet they have nothing except their own claims by its own membership to back its arguments.

Oops - Rush misquotes Constitution in his CPAC speech

Not that his fans will care -- they are used to accepting errors, falsities, and flagrant deception on everything their leaders tell them. For proof of that, one only has to look at the right-wing e-mails that are being sent out against Obama that are filled with lies and misrepresentations. And isn't it strange how the Rush fans are obsessed with protecting the Constitution, yet never noticed at all when it was being shredded by Bush and Cheney during the last eight years?

During his much-discussed keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Rush Limbaugh accused Barack Obama of pursuing the "bastardization of the U.S. Constitution."

It was one of the more politically acidic notes in a speech defined by rambling political assaults. But the conservative talk show host wasn't exactly standing on firm footing. Just a few moments earlier he himself had actually -- not theoretically -- "bastardized" the Constitution by confusing it with the Declaration of Independence.

From Limbaugh's speech:

We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you.

Limbaugh, it seems, meant to say "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," which, of course, is in the Declaration of Independence. Just to be sure, however, the Constitutional Accountability Center compared his remarks to the Constitution's preamble, and didn't find a match.

Here is the Constitution's Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

In the end, of course, Limbaugh's gaffe was just that: a rhetorical hiccup in an otherwise long (the speech went on for 90 minutes) and brash address. Still, in the process of accusing Obama for a lack of reverence of the Constitution, it would have undoubtedly served him better to have properly recognized the Constitution himself.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Frank Rich's column today is filled with truth--about Republicans--and about Obama's plan

EXCELLENT ANALYSIS of the times we are living in!!!


Re the GOP: What such G.O.P. “stars” as Sanford and Jindal have in common, besides their callous neo-Hoover ideology, are their phony efforts to portray themselves as populist heroes. Their role model is W., that brush-clearing “rancher” by way of Andover, Yale and Harvard. Listening to Jindal talk Tuesday night about his immigrant father’s inability to pay for an obstetrician, you’d never guess that at the time his father was an engineer and his mother an L.S.U. doctoral candidate in nuclear physics. Sanford’s first political ad in 2002 told of how growing up on his “family’s farm” taught him “about hard work and responsibility.” That “farm,” the Charlotte Observer reported, was a historic plantation appraised at $1.5 million in the early 1980s. From that hardscrabble background, he struggled on to an internship at Goldman Sachs.

Re Obama's plan: Handing more public money to the reckless banks that invented this culture and stuck us with the wreckage is the new third rail of American politics. If Obama doesn’t forge a better plan, neither his immense popularity nor even political foes as laughable as Jindal can insulate him from getting burned.