Friday, December 31, 2010

Great video - 97 minutes online

This documentary (What In the World Are They Spraying?) is about chemtrails, which are being sprayed into our skies often (and lately in our northern California area almost daily) since the late 1990s. This is happening all over the western world, including Europe and Australia.  Though hundreds of thousands of people have seen them, asked about them, and noticed ill health effects occurring in themselves and their children during and after the spraying, governments in every country have remained mum on the subject. The mainstream media, for the most part, have either ridiculed the people who bring it up or have ignored the subject completely (even though the trails are there in the sky, for all to see). Remember that old Groucho Marx line -- Who do you believe? Me or your lying eyes?.  Well, here is a chance for you to decide, based on some genuine investigative reporting. This documentary is impressive in the research that went into the making of it.  There has been a great increase in cases of asthma in children and adults in the last 10-15 years. Many speculations have been made as to why this is happening.  Could the answer lie in chemtrails?  Watch the video and decide for yourself:

What in the World Are They Spraying?  You can see the entire documentary online.  Very informative.  If you find it worth sharing, please pass it on to your friends.



If you don't care about truth, you can just listen to the Republicans and get your lies from them. They're great at spewing them out and making their "dittoheads" believe them.  As Wendell Potter, the former CIGNA executive tells us: The health insurance industry, banks, weapons manufacturers, and oil companies won’t lose their power until their lies are challenged and the public understands how spin and manipulation works. “We will never be free of spin, but we can be wise to it, and we can push back against it. There is too much at stake not to try.”

Former Health Insurance Executive Exposes Health Care Lies
By Rose Aguilar

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had a good laugh during a recent segment about the five biggest political lies of 2010. PolitiFact gave the top prize to Republicans and pundits who repeatedly lied—and got away with it—by calling the healthcare bill a “government takeover.”

After showing multiple clips of Republicans repeating the same lie over and over again, Matthews could barely contain his laughter. “Are we watching a Woody Allen movie here?” he asked his guests. “Do they get all their talking points from Frank Luntz? Some guy down on the beach in Santa Monica is knocking out the terminology. The lingo in these people. Don’t they know they sound like parrots?”

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown replied by saying that Republicans get away with the lies because they are never challenged during interviews or asked to define the word ‘takeover.’ Matthews ignored the comment, but did say the healthcare bill is an insurance company takeover. He later wondered if the Heritage Foundation wrote the talking points.

They actually came from Wendell Potter and his health insurance colleagues. Potter is former head of corporate communications for CIGNA, one of the largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States. Potter, who spent 20 years working for CIGNA and Humana, was the main media contact for top-level executives. If a journalist wanted an interview, they had to go through Potter; if he thought the interview would be “friendly,” he would approve it. He always sat in on the interview and says journalists rarely challenged executives or asked difficult questions.

In 2008, his conscience got the best of him after visiting the Remote Area Medical's healthcare fair in Wise County, Virginia and saw people standing and sitting in long lines, waiting for free care. "They were treating people in animal stalls and barns. It looked like it might have been a war torn country. I could not believe this was the United States of America."

Shortly after leaving his six-figure job, he decided to expose and speak out against the very practices he once defended.

In his new book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care And Deceiving Americans, he writes, “If you are among those who believe that the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world--despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary-- it’s because my fellow spinmeisters and I succeeded brilliantly at what we were paid very well to do with your premium dollars.”

“And if you were persuaded that the health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010 was a ‘government takeover of the health care system,’ my former colleagues and I earned every penny of our handsome salaries.”

The talking points are designed to be simple, catchy, and memorable. Think government takeover of healthcare, death panels, and socialism.

“And you have to say them over and over and over again. And if you hear them often enough, you think it’s true,” says Potter. “That’s why people, even today, think that the legislation created death panels. Obviously it never had anything approaching that kind of provision. People think this legislation is a government takeover of the healthcare system. In reality, it props up our private healthcare system. It guarantees that these private insurance companies are going to be profitable for years and years to come. It will require us to buy their products and it doesn’t include a public option, which we needed to have.”

Potter says once the talking points are written, they are distributed on Capitol Hill. The process is simple, but it’s done discreetly. “You don’t hand them to a member of Congress, but you develop very good relationships with staff members. That’s key.”

He says he also cultivated relationships with television producers and reporters, who, in turn, handed them to pundits and the talking heads on cable shows. As we now know, the lies worked brilliantly.

Potter says he wrote Deadly Spin to show how a huge share of healthcare premiums bankroll relentless propaganda and lobbying efforts focused on protecting profits. The book is as much about public relations and spin as it is about healthcare.

“Without basic knowledge of PR tactics and the ability to distinguish between fact and distortion, Americans--and that includes journalists, both professional and citizen--are at the mercy of spin doctors and the public relations practitioners whose loyalty to their clients outweighs the public’s right to the truth,” he writes.

One of the many incidents that pushed Potter to speak out happened shortly after the March 5, 2009 White House Health Care Summit at which Karen Ignagni, president of the insurance lobby America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), told President Obmaa he could count on her and the insurance industry. “We want to work with the members of Congress on a bipartisan basis here. You have our commitment. We hear the American people about what’s not working. We’ve taken that seriously,” she said. “You have our commitment to play, to contribute, and to help pass health care reform this year.”

Potter says it was one of her best performances to date. President Obama responded by saying, “Good. Thank you, Karen. That’s good news. That’s America’s Health Insurance Plans.” Potter said the President was played like a “Stradivarius by one of the best lobbyists to ever hit Washington.”

According to Potter, Ignagni is one of Washington’s most effective communicators and—with a salary and bonuses of $1.94 million in 2008—one of the highest-paid special interest advocates in Washington.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, AHIP, whose members include CIGNA and Humana, gave $86 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the healthcare bill. "By funneling the money through the Chamber," says the report, "insurers were able to remain at the table negotiating with Democrats while still getting the bill criticized."

On March 9, 2009, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews interviewed Mike Tuffin, AHIP’s executive vice president of strategic communications. In the introduction, Matthews said, “The same people who helped kill the Clinton’s efforts back in the ‘90s are on the other side now. Times have changed. The worm has turned. The cosmos have shifted. Some of the bad guys are becoming perhaps the good guys.”

“There was no doubt about it: Tuffin was on the show as part of AHIP’s charm offensive,” writes Potter. “And just like Obama, Matthews seemed to be falling for it.”

Potter also writes about Health Care America, a “non-partisan, non-profit healthcare” front group formed to discredit Michael Moore and his healthcare documentary Sicko. A quick search would show that there was nothing non-partisan about Health Care America. It was set up by APCO Worldwide, one of the country’s largest and most powerful public relations firms.

Not only did APCO succeed in getting their talking points into most of the stories that appeared about the film, writes Potter, but “not a single reporter had done enough investigative work to find out that insurers had provided the lion’s share of funding to set up Health Care America.”

Potter says even though the health insurance bill has passed, the spin continues. The health insurance industry, banks, weapons manufacturers, and oil companies won’t lose their power until their lies are challenged and the public understands how spin and manipulation works. “We will never be free of spin, but we can be wise to it, and we can push back against it. There is too much at stake not to try.”

Listen to Your Call's interview with Wendell Potter.

Video interview with Wendell Potter, Part I

Video interview with Wendell Potter, Part II


Know-nothings coming into Congress -- bringing trouble

The far right wing pretends to revere the Constitution, but wants to change it, too.  It seems they don't mind if it is not followed or is proposed to be changed when they have a Republican president.  But when a Democrat is president, they challenge everything.  That's the way it is with Dittoheads who listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to get their marching orders.  And now the Know-nothing Tea Partiers will be creating even more havoc in Congress.  Woe is  us.

By Robert Parry

Despite a few victories in the lame-duck session of Congress, Democrats and progressives should be under no illusion about the new flood of know-nothingism that is about to inundate the United States in the guise of a return to “first principles” and a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution.

The same right-wingers who happily accepted George W. Bush’s shift toward a police state – his claims of limitless executive power, warrantless wiretaps, repudiation of habeas corpus, redefining cruel and unusual punishment, suppression of dissent, creation of massive databases on citizens, arbitrary no-fly lists, and endless overseas wars – have now reinvented themselves as brave protectors of American liberty.

Indeed, the Tea Party crowd so loves the Constitution that the new Republican House majority will take the apparently unprecedented step of reading the document aloud at the start of the new congressional session, presumably including the part about enslaved African-Americans being counted as three-fifths of a white person for purposes of congressional representation....

...while the Tea Partiers and the Right have embraced a mythical view of the Constitution as some ideal document that opposes federal power to tax, borrow and pass laws that improve “the general Welfare,” they have been less interested in the document’s protection of civil liberties, especially when the targets of abuse are Muslims, Hispanics, blacks and anti-war dissenters.

Though the Tea Partiers insist that race is not a factor in their current fury against government power, they don’t explain their relative silence when Republican George W. Bush, a white man, was asserting unlimited executive power. But Barack Obama, a black man, can’t even get away with welcoming students back for the school year without howls about Orwellian totalitarianism.

Even Michelle Obama’s well-intentioned campaign for healthful eating has become a target of anger from the likes of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Right’s powerful media machine.

Curiously, too, while supposedly revering the Constitution and its original intent, the Tea Partiers and their Republican allies simultaneously are proposing a radical revision of the founding document, an amendment that would allow a super-majority of states to overturn laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.

So, it seems the country is in for a new round of crazy while the voices for sanity stay largely mute.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Want to see where your democracy went? The story of Casino Jack Abramoff - 2 short videos

Two videos -- one of the real Abramoff, one of Kevin Spacey in the movie Casino Jack and the United States of Money    Definitely a movie to see if you are interested in how our government/Congress works (DOESN'T).  -- the real Abramoff   Watch this one to see what Abramoff really wanted to say.  But instead he took the 5th.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Florida's Strange Lessons of 2010

These are the latest Darwin Award type stories from Florida, the state that gave us Cheney/Bush for 8 long years.  The stories are funny and would make you laugh if you didn't stop to think that these people vote.;pop


Perfect description of the right wing: INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE

The term "Invincible Ignorance" refers to a person's refusal to accept facts set in front of them that prove the erroneous nature of their belief system.  It could also be called "Unconvincible Ignorance."  One of my favorite quotes comes from Herbert Spencer, a British philosopher who died more than a century ago:  There is a principle which is proof against all information, which is proof against all arguments, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance; that principle is contempt, prior to investigation.

When you consider that many Republicans (including three of their candidates for President in 2008) still believe that Earth and humanity are 10,000 years old and were created by an old man with a white beard, it is astounding that the right wing candidates receive ANY votes. And yet, millions of Americans do vote for them--and believe as they do.  This, more than anything else, points to invincible ignorance in the Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh followers. I know several Republicans who are far more intelligent than that, but who are willing to overlook such basic flaws in their candidates because they think they are still in the Republican Party of their fathers and grandfathers.  If they would take a closer look, they would see that is far from the truth.  The Republican Party of today caters to the ignorance that helps get their candidates elected, rather than trying to enlighten their followers. They perpetuate hatred and racist attitudes in their flock, all the time proclaiming themselves to be "compassionate conservatives." The hierarchy of this Party proudly call themselves "Christians" while practicing few to none of the teachings of Christ.  And their voters don't seem to notice this at all.  Sad. Sad. Sad.   

December 15, 2010
From Paul Krugman's column

Invincible Ignorance

So Republican members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission are going to issue their own report, placing primary blame on the government — because it’s always the government’s fault.

And according to reporting at the Huffington Post,

all four Republicans voted in favor of banning the phrases “Wall Street” and “shadow banking” and the words “interconnection” and “deregulation” from the panel’s final report, according to a person familiar with the matter and confirmed by Brooksley E. Born, one of the six commissioners who voted against the proposal.

Yep. It was all Fannie and Freddie, which somehow managed to cause housing bubbles in Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, and Spain as well as the United States; and the repo market had nothing to do with it.

And bear in mind that this wasn’t one Republican; it was all of them.

I really do wonder how this country can remain governable, when one party insists on creating its own reality. Next thing you know they’re going to reject the theory of evolution. Oh, wait …


Proof that Obama is NOT American (~.~)

From the Andy Borowitz report: Birthers Challenge Hawaii to Produce Statehood Certificate
December 29, 2010

President’s Birthplace Not Really American, Leaders Claim

KAILUA, HAWAII (The Borowitz Report) – Leaders of the so-called Birther movement followed President Obama on his Hawaiian vacation today to demand that Hawaii prove it is actually a U.S. state.

Mr. Obama’s claim to American citizenship has rested on his birthplace being Hawaii, but the Birthers argued today that Hawaii’s claim to being part of America is far from a foregone conclusion.

Speaking to reporters in Kailua, Birther leader Orly Taitz said that Hawaii cannot be considered part of the United States “unless it can produce an authentic statehood certificate.”

Ms. Taitz said that she did a thorough title search on the islands and has concluded that rather than being a U.S. state, “the islands of Hawaii appear to be colonies of Kenya.”

“That means that everyone born in Hawaii is legally not an American but a Kenyan,” she said, "which I find ironic."

The Birthers’ contention that Hawaii is not a state promptly drew support from one leading Republican politician, former Governor Sarah Palin.

“To be honest, it’s something I’ve always kind of wondered about,” Gov. Palin said.  “Hawaii just isn’t an American-sounding name, like Alaska.”

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jon Stewart takes up Edward R. Murrow role

Since none of the major news media will do it, a comedian had to step in, tell the truth and get the ball rolling for health care for the 9/11 responders.  We can no longer depend on journalists, other than a precious few like Seymour Hersch, to do investigative reporting and tell the people how it really is.  This is what happens when corporations rule the world.  Thank god for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who have taken the place of the Walter Cronkites and Edward R. Murrows of our past.  The rest of the so-called news reporters are controlled under an iron thumb by their papers and networks.  Shame on all those self-proclaimed "journalists" who have abdicated their real job of alerting the people with truth, no matter what the cost to themselves. Very few of their number consider truth to be a priority. 

Julian Assange has performed a service with WikiLeaks, but how many are paying attention? -- and just look at the price he is having to pay for it, exactly as Daniel Ellsberg did when he released the Pentagon Papers to the public in the 1970s. He was immediately labeled as a sexual predator, even though there was never any evidence of that nature that could ever be proven.  A barrage of lies and condemnations flew through the air against him, just as they are now against Assange. 

Many other voices are crying in the wilderness, trying to point us in the direction of truth -- the UFO field comes to mind, with so many highly placed military members and government employees bravely and truthfully reporting their own experiences, trying to alert the people to truth in the face of lies and disinformation being put out by the government to refute them.  But too few in our country's population are paying attention -- many would rather listen to lies and more lies, such as are being spewed out daily on the FOX cable network, owned and ruled by Rupert Murdoch, an idiot of the first order.  Such is the intelligence (or lack of it) in the majority of the population, who like their "news" delivered with distortion and don't mind being called "dittoheads" by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

[NYC Mayor] Bloomberg, a frequent guest on “The Daily Show,” also recognized Mr. Stewart’s role.

“Success always has a thousand fathers,” the mayor said in an e-mail. “But Jon shining such a big, bright spotlight on Washington’s potentially tragic failure to put aside differences and get this done for America was, without a doubt, one of the biggest factors that led to the final agreement.”

Though he might prefer a description like “advocacy satire,” what Mr. Stewart engaged in that night — and on earlier occasions when he campaigned openly for passage of the bill — usually goes by the name “advocacy journalism.”

There have been other instances when an advocate on a television show turned around public policy almost immediately by concerted focus on an issue — but not recently, and in much different circumstances.

“The two that come instantly to mind are Murrow and Cronkite,” said Robert J. Thompson, a professor of television at Syracuse University

The Dec. 16 show focused on two targets. One was the Republicans who were blocking the bill; Mr. Stewart, in a clear effort to shame them for hypocrisy, accused them of belonging to “the party that turned 9/11 into a catchphrase.” The other was the broadcast networks (one of them being CBS, the former home of Mr. Murrow and Mr. Cronkite), which, he charged, had not reported on the bill for more than two months.

“Though, to be fair,” Mr. Stewart said, “it’s not every day that Beatles songs come to iTunes.” (Each of the network newscasts had covered the story of the deal between the Beatles and Apple for their music catalog.) Each network subsequently covered the progress of the bill, sometimes citing Mr. Stewart by name. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, credited Mr. Stewart with raising awareness of the Republican blockade.

Eric Ortner, a former ABC News senior producer who worked as a medic at the World Trade Center site on 9/11, expressed dismay that Mr. Stewart had been virtually alone in expressing outrage early on.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The American Dream: Disneyland 1956 style

My daughter Linda just sent me the following video and article.  I watched the home movie video, amused and nostalgic for those simpler days when the American dream was still alive and thriving.  Oh, how different life is today! (and, in most ways, not for the better.)  The father who made this home movie died recently at the age of 91.  You might want to read the article first to get a feeling for what the home movie was all about.  
a little about the movie:
Robbins Barstow, an amateur filmmaker who for decades recorded his family's doings in home movies of such novelty and quality that one of them, the 30-minute "Disneyland Dream," was admitted to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress two years ago. That rare honor elevates Barstow's filmmaking to a pantheon otherwise restricted mostly to Hollywood classics, from "Citizen Kane" to "Star Wars."
the full nytimes article about it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ya' gotta' love Andy Borowitz's humor!

WASILLA (The Borowitz Report) – The Tea Party’s plans for a first annual Tea Party Christmas Pageant have been cancelled at the last minute, an organizer of the pageant confirmed today.

“We couldn’t find three wise men,” Tea Party holiday coordinator Carol Foyler told reporters.  “It’s too bad, because we had plenty of sheep.”

Ms. Foyler said that the Tea Party was hoping to replace its Christmas pageant, however, with an ambitious staging of the Book of Revelation.

“We already have Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Christine O’Donnell lined up,” she said.  “One more Horseman and we’re good to go.”

Hawaii's governor takes on "Birthers"

Regarding Obama's birth record, Hawaii's new governor wants to change Hawaii's laws so Obama's original birth certificate can be shown to the public.  He says:

'Rather than get into some kind of argument or play into that mentality, why not just simply try to authenticate this and let the facts speak for themselves?’

Naive man.  Facts mean nothing to far right wingers.  They skim right over proven facts in favor of believing their own brand of fiction, based in hatred and always aimed at making others believe their lies as well.  They succeed quite well among their own kind.  Remember the Swiftboating smear campaign against Kerry, funded by rich Republican liars, the Koch brothers?  Well, they're baaaccccck -- and this time they're supporting the nutcases called The Birthers.  Their lies against Kerry were so successful, it resulted in the term "swiftboating" entering the English language lexicon, referring to smear campaigns based on lies.  If there is one thing the Republicans are good at, it is in creating lies that seem too outrageous and ridiculous to believe -- and then going ahead (Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, FOX "news") and making the "dittoheads" believe them.  Then they get their unthinking sheep to go out with signs and teabag hats and (often) guns strapped to their sides to do their dirty work of smearing the Democrat who is in their sights at the time.  It's really pitiful that this kind of consciousness is still proliferating in our country. These ignorant people breed, and teach their children the same hatreds and lies.  And so it goes, with our world hardly advancing at all in understanding or wisdom.  Sad.


The HUMBUG EXPRESS by Paul Krugman

BLESS PAUL KRUGMAN!  His following column is a gem --  much needed at this Christmas time when an unredeemed Scrooge, in the form of the Republican Party, seems to have taken over our country.  I watched the Alistair Sim "Christmas Carol" movie last night -- Sim was the best Scrooge ever portrayed, and I'm sure he is exactly what Dickens had in mind when he wrote the story.  I fully expect any day to hear from the throats of the far right wing, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"  They might as well be saying that--what they are saying is the modern version of a Scrooge-like behavior a la Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.  Fortunately, Scrooge was brought to his senses by spirits who showed him how his greedy, selfish behavior affected everyone.  I hold out no such hopes for the far right wing to suddenly come to a realization of that nature.  No, we are doomed to have the Congressional naysayers and their lobbyist pals with us, greedily clutching their purses to their chests and condemning the poor and suffering souls around them.  I know a few Republicans who, thankfully, do not match this description, but the far right crazies who think Sarah Palin is their deliverer cannot be reasoned with -- and I doubt that they would change their hardboiled philosophy even if Ghosts were to visit them tonight.  That said, here is Krugman's great Christmas Eve column:

Hey, has anyone noticed that “A Christmas Carol” is a dangerous leftist tract?

I mean, consider the scene, early in the book, where Ebenezer Scrooge rightly refuses to contribute to a poverty relief fund. “I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing,” he declares. Oh, wait. That wasn’t Scrooge. That was Newt Gingrich — last week. What Scrooge actually says is, “Are there no prisons?” But it’s pretty much the same thing.

Anyway, instead of praising Scrooge for his principled stand against the welfare state, Charles Dickens makes him out to be some kind of bad guy. How leftist is that?

As you can see, the fundamental issues of public policy haven’t changed since Victorian times. Still, some things are different. In particular, the production of humbug — which was still a somewhat amateurish craft when Dickens wrote — has now become a systematic, even industrial, process.

Let me walk you through a case in point, one that I’ve been following lately.

If you listen to the recent speeches of Republican presidential hopefuls, you’ll find several of them talking at length about the harm done by unionized government workers, who have, they say, multiplied under the Obama administration. A recent example was an op-ed article by the outgoing Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who declared that “thanks to President Obama,” government is the only booming sector in our economy: “Since January 2008” — silly me, I thought Mr. Obama wasn’t inaugurated until 2009 — “the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs, while local, state and federal governments added 590,000.”

Horrors! Except that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employment has fallen, not risen, since January 2008. And since January 2009, when Mr. Obama actually did take office, government employment has fallen by more than 300,000 as hard-pressed state and local governments have been forced to lay off teachers, police officers, firefighters and other workers.

So how did the notion of a surge in government payrolls under Mr. Obama take hold?

It turns out that last spring there was, in fact, a bulge in government employment. And both politicians and researchers at humbug factories — I mean, conservative think tanks — quickly seized on this bulge as evidence of an exploding public sector. Over the summer, articles and speeches began to appear highlighting the rise in government employment and issuing dire warnings about what it portended for America’s future.

But anyone paying attention knew why public employment had risen — and it had nothing to do with Big Government. It was, instead, the fact that the federal government had to hire a lot of temporary workers to carry out the 2010 Census — workers who have almost all left the payroll now that the Census is done.

Is it really possible that the authors of those articles and speeches about soaring public employment didn’t know what was going on? Well, I guess we should never assume malice when ignorance remains a possibility.

There has not, however, been any visible effort to retract those erroneous claims. And this isn’t the only case of a claimed huge expansion in government that turns out to be nothing of the kind. Have you heard the one about how there’s been an explosion in the number of federal regulators? Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute looked into the numbers behind that claim, and it turns out that almost all of those additional “regulators” work for the Department of Homeland Security, protecting us against terrorists.

Still, why does it matter what some politicians and think tanks say? The answer is that there’s a well-developed right-wing media infrastructure in place to catapult the propaganda, as former President George W. Bush put it, to rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience where it becomes part of what “everyone knows.” (There’s nothing comparable on the left, which has fallen far behind in the humbug race.)

And it’s a very effective process. When discussing the alleged huge expansion of government under Mr. Obama, I’ve repeatedly found that people just won’t believe me when I try to point out that it never happened. They assume that I’m lying, or somehow cherry-picking the data. After all, they’ve heard over and over again about that surge in government spending and employment, and they don’t realize that everything they’ve heard was a special delivery from the Humbug Express.

So in this holiday season, let’s remember the wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge. Not the bit about denying food and medical care to those who need them: America’s failure to take care of its own less-fortunate citizens is a national disgrace. But Scrooge was right about the prevalence of humbug. And we’d be much better off as a nation if more people had the courage to say “Bah!”


Thursday, December 23, 2010

short video of Harvard doctor's experience with John of God in Brazil -- extremely intriguing

The doctor says nothing in his life or medical experience prepared him for what he saw there and actually had happen to his own body (without any request for healing or any kind of physical interaction with John of God. It's remarkable.  See the video and witness his experience for yourself.


Very interesting video on Brazil healer John of God

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN interviews a respected journalist and a Harvard psychiatrist, both of whom went to Brazil and witnessed the healings by Brazil healer John of God. You may be surprised at their experiences and opinions about it.  Gupta is now talking about possibly going down there himself to observe what is going on.  Of course, you know it wouldn't take much convincing for me to believe this man is really healing people.  There are many mysteries in this world that science has not yet understood--or even questioned.  An open mind is most important when journeying in this world--it's the only way to learn anything new.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Excellent opinion article from the Detroit Metro Times

You have to wonder what are people thinking when they vote for Republicans? Do they think this is still the Republican Party of their grandparents? If so, someone should enlighten them, PRONTO. But they refuse to listen or contemplate what they are doing. Voting against their own interests--and their own proclaimed "compassionate conservatism" (what a laugh that is!)--they go mindlessly on, never considering the damaging effects of their votes on our entire country, including themselves and their families. Their hatred of Obama (and, in many cases, the color of his skin), coupled with greed, blinds them to the consequences of their actions.  YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET -- THE WONDERFUL PLACES THE NEW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP WILL TAKE US By Jack Lessenberry  EXCERPT: Republicans are coming to power — and you're about to see who they really are.  ...What will their priorities be? We have clues. They see themselves as on a mission, first, to defeat President Obama in 2012. Make no mistake about it: If they thought saving the earth from a Martian invasion would somehow help the president win re-election, the GOP would be on the side of the Martians. Even when that isn't an issue, they aren't gonna be on your side, unless you are very rich and give them money.

Want proof? What was the main cause that they've been fighting for over the last few weeks: Allowing even those who make more than a million dollars to keep the tax cuts they were given by the Bush administration. Affects you, doesn't it? I thought so. However, most of us don't make a million bucks a year. Only three out of every thousand Americans do. But that's who the Republicans in Congress care about. That's who owns them.

Bear in mind the GOP has been screaming about record deficits, and continues to be outraged that Democrats wanted to extend long-term unemployment benefits for those with no money at all. They are furious at the thought of the government spending a dime to see that poor people have minimum health care.

Their Jesus evidently tells them that money is needed to give millionaires even bigger tax cuts.

That's not the Republicans' only cause, however. Here are a few other things they managed to do for/to us in recent weeks — things they managed while Democrats still had healthy majorities:

• They blocked mine safety reform inspired by the April deaths of 29 coal miners in West Virginia. The National Association of Manufacturers opposed it because it would have made it easier to sue unscrupulous mine companies.

• Senate Republicans blocked the "Paycheck Fairness Act" which would have helped women get fairer pay.

• The same day they allowed gays in the military, Republicans killed the DREAM act, which would have allowed "illegal immigrants" who were brought here as children to gain legal status by attending college or joining the military — in other words, becoming just the kind of Americans we admire most. (GOP to world: Remember that American dream? Go fuck yourself.)

• Best of all, they defeated a bill to provide health-care coverage for those first responders on Sept. 11, 2001, who were sickened by exposure to the toxic fumes. An exasperated McCain called the idea of giving these people benefits ridiculous "fooling around."

So there you have it, a small list of things Republicans in the House have been able to accomplish in Congress as a heavily outnumbered minority. Americans were evidently so impressed, they just gave them a solid House majority.

I just can't wait to see what they do to us next.

Too few are concerned about global warming


Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide traps heat at the surface of the planet. They cite growing evidence that the inexorable rise of the gas is altering the climate in ways that threaten human welfare.

Fossil fuel emissions, they say, are like a runaway train, hurtling the world’s citizens toward a stone wall — a carbon dioxide level that, over time, will cause profound changes.

The risks include melting ice sheets, rising seas, more droughts and heat waves, more flash floods, worse storms, extinction of many plants and animals, depletion of sea life and — perhaps most important — difficulty in producing an adequate supply of food. 

Challengers have mounted a vigorous assault on the science of climate change. Polls indicate that the public has grown more doubtful about that science. Some of the Republicans who will take control of the House of Representatives in January have promised to subject climate researchers to a season of new scrutiny.

One of them is Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California. In a recent Congressional hearing on global warming, he said, “The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rather undramatic.”

But most scientists trained in the physics of the atmosphere have a different reaction to the increase.

“I find it shocking,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the government monitoring program of which the Mauna Loa Observatory is a part. “We really are in a predicament here, and it’s getting worse every year.”

As the political debate drags on, the mute gray boxes atop Mauna Loa keep spitting out their numbers, providing a reality check: not only is the carbon dioxide level rising relentlessly, but the pace of that rise is accelerating over time.

“Nature doesn’t care how hard we tried,” Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Columbia University economist, said at a recent seminar. “Nature cares how high the parts per million mount. This is running away.”


Nearly 1 in 4 high school grads can't pass military exam

How many more warnings do we need to tell us our educational system is failing?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Acceleration of Time

I'm sure many of us have noticed how fast time seems to be going by -- much faster now than in any other time of our lives. No matter what age you are, you can almost feel the acceleration as the days and weeks, months and years go zooming by.  The following link leads to a very short video from a lecture by Terence McKenna in 1994.  You may find it interesting, as it theorizes we are not imagining it -- and presents the possibility that time really is speeding up--and that history is likewise speeding up:


Monday, December 20, 2010

FCC will vote on "net neutrality" tomorrow

It could change the way our Internet works...forever.  Read the following article, telling what we can expect if they vote for net neutrality (so-called).  Corporations will have their way with us (and so what else is new?).  Most people are unaware of how this can impact our lives.  We need to ready ourselves to roar and rage about this, if it happens.

...rules authored by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski would allow for a greater fractioning of the Internet and data rationing on mobile and wired networks, according to analysis of the policies. Major network stakeholders like Verizon and AT&T would be able to sell bandwidth in capped tiers, with overage charges for users who download too much information, and certain types of data traffic like peer-to-peer file transfers could be banned altogether.

If they pass and telecoms are allowed to move forward with their plans, "the Internet as we know it would cease to exist," Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) concluded in an editorial published by Huffington Post.

"That's why Tuesday is such an important day," he continued. "The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable."

Franken added that Genachowski "has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement" of a bill that would actually "destroy" the principle of "Net Neutrality."


The Bipartisanship Racket

A great opinion piece by Frank Rich.  I wish all Americans would read it and get a clue as to what is happening in our country.


40 percent of Americans still believe in Creationism

Not surprising news. 40% believe the earth is 10,000 years old, even though science has proven it is billions of years old.
It is an established scientific fact that Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and has undergone continual change; that life, according to the evidence of earliest fossils, appeared on Earth at least 3.8 billion years ago and has subsequently taken many forms, all of which continue to evolve; and that the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicates their common primordial origin.

But superstitions die hard, and most of the people of Earth are still in tribal consciousness. Religious beliefs are tribal -- and, even in the more evolved religions, most do not question what they are told. It's evident that there are very few Christians who question the Bible and very few Muslims who question the Koran. The literal beliefs in scripture continue, even though many of the teachings are ridiculous to the thinking mind. People are kept in control by the religious authorities, who use fear and scriptures (many of which in Christianity were written well after the time of Christ--by who knows?) to their own advantage. We are not a very evolved species on this planet, which can be confirmed simply by noting our war-like natures, even though we are continually spouting aphorisms and philosophies of "peace" as taught in our religions. Hypocrisy, thy name is Earth human!

It seems it takes eons for a species to become intelligent. Judging by the fly-in-the-face-of-fact belief systems proliferating on our planet, most of Earth's population has not yet reached that level.

EXCERPT from article:
A new Gallup poll, released Dec. 17, reveals that 40 percent of Americans still believe that humans were created by God within the last 10,000 years. ...With regards to political affiliation, a majority of Republicans (52 percent) subscribe to creationist beliefs. This is compared to only 34 percent among Democrats and Independents.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shepard Smith -- the only person with a heart at FOX

You may want to watch the video of Smith blasting the senators who voted against the 9/11 responders bill.  I just received an e-mail from a right winger with yet another diatribe against the Democratic party. My own opinion is the same as Shepard Smith's.  I don't know how anyone can defend the far right wing Republicans who vote against Christian principles while claiming to honor them.  It is doublespeak hypocrisy of the worst kind, and I believe they will be held accountable, either here on earth or afterwards, for their lack of charity and empathy for the poor and suffering among us.  In yet another episode of "Christianity" as practiced by Republicans in Congress, John McCain is moaning and groaning over the passage of the DADT repeal.  What a piece of work that man is!  At least we were spared having him in the White House!

Here's Shepard Smith's observation.  You can see the video by clicking on the link above. You might also want to see Jon Stewart's take on this by clicking on the link within the following: 

Shepard Smith excoriated the Senators who are holding up the so-called "Zadroga Bill" to assist 9/11 first responders who suffer from medical problems as a result of their time at Ground Zero. The bill, which provides $7 billion for the responders, passed the House but is being held up by Republicans in the Senate.

Speaking to Fox News colleague Chris Wallace on Friday, Smith asked, "How do they sleep at night after this vote on Ground Zero first responders from 9/11? Are they going to get that done, or are we going to leave these American heroes out there to twist in the wind?"

Wallace said he agreed that the bill needed to be passed.

Smith said he had watched Jon Stewart's Thursday show, which was devoted exclusively to the bill. He called Stewart "absolutely right," and said the holdup on the bill was shameful:

"Who's going to hold these people's feet to the fire? We're able to put a 52 story building so far down there at Ground Zero, we're able to pay for tax cuts for billionaires who don't need them and it's not going to stimulate the economy. But we can't give health care to Ground Zero first responders who ran right into the fire? Went down there to save people? Do people know what this city was like that day? People were walking over bridges, they were covered in ash, they were running for their lives, they were crying, their family members were dead. And these people ran to Ground Zero to save people's lives. And we're not going to even give them medicine for the illnesses they got down there? It's disgusting, it's a national disgrace, it's a shame and everybody who voted against should have to stand up and account for himself or herself."


Friday, December 17, 2010


Well, I don't think this is going to be earth-shaking news to most of us (except for FOX viewers, of course, who won't believe it, which is par for the course). Since the study also showed increased viewership of Fox News leads to increased belief in false stories (naturally!), we can't expect our far-right friends any time soon to change their positions.  Best not to engage in political discussions with them -- it's just a waste of time to argue with anyone who gets their "news" from Fox and Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News viewers are much more likely than others to believe false information about American politics, a new study concludes.

The study, conducted by the University of Maryland, judged how likely consumers of various news outlets and publications were to believe misinformation about a wide range of political issues. Overall, 90% of respondents said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were "significantly more likely" to believe that:

--Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)

--Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)

--The economy is getting worse (26 points)

--Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)

--The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)

--Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)

--The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)

--When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)

--And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)

In addition, the study said, increased viewership of Fox News led to increased belief in these false stories.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why I'm Posting Bail for Julian Assange: Michael Moore

I am in full agreement with Michael Moore!  Investigative journalism has disappeared from our world since militarism/capitalism run amok has taken rulership over us all. The military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about when he was leaving office is now in full command, making decisions that are leading us down a very dark road.  Thank god for Julian Assange, who is exposing the lies of the beast that has taken us all captive--and inflicted intolerable misery and pain on the people of the planet.  The damage that has been done over many years under strictest secrecy cannot be undone, but perhaps Wikileaks can alert the people to the dangers we face from those who rule us, as it continues to reveal the lies and subterfuge that have been used by the elite "leaders" to keep the rest of us in subjugation with perpetual war.  It is time for the sheep to wake up and see the wolf in our midst!  To see Eisenhower's warning about this many years ago, go to:   Finally, someone -- Julian Assange (a true hero) -- is taking up the baton from Eisenhower's hand and running with it.  Read Michael Moore's report at:


Monday, December 13, 2010

Fwd: Holbrooke dies: last words You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan

As Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon, family members said: "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Elephant in Our Living Room

The irresponsibility of the Republican Party encompasses so many issues, it is hard to believe its members could be so dense.  Greed and power lust has invaded that party to such a degree, it has lost any practical sense or compassion it might once have had.  Its members want to see us return to a dream they have of what our country was in the past, instead of facing and tackling the problems we now have in the present.  They are holding back the entire world in that respect.  This kind of behavior will reap its own karma -- but it is a karma that all of us on the planet will have to share.  We are being held hostage by the Republicans. Either because they are blinded by greed or just sheer ignorance, they are blocking every good thing that might alleviate suffering in our world.  Their selfish arrogance in clinging to lies in the face of truth will eventually bring them down -- but, sadly, most of the rest of us will be brought down with them. 

The following article regarding global warming puts forth the greatest problem facing the planet, and it is being entirely denied and ignored by the Republicans and the corporations who rule them--and us.  Driven by greed, they refuse to consider reduction of emissions into the atmosphere, even in the face of already devastating environmental changes that are obviously connected to the actions of humans.  Their strategy is obstructionism, in every case, in every way. Stuck in a dark age consciousness, the far right wing, led by the likes of Sarah Palin, like to think of themselves as "fiscally conservative" (while spending profligately when they are in power, a la Cheney and Bush). The far right wingers see themselves as arms-bearing saviors of "the American way of life" -- while at the same time watching their own elected officials do away with the middle class in favor of the rich.  They think of "compromise" as "My way or the highway." And with the wimpy president we now have (who promised us "change we can believe in"--hah!) afraid to stand up to them, the Republicans are running our country into the ground.  Their blind denial of the problems we are all facing, in favor of keeping the wealthiest among us basking in opulence, will cause the downfall of our nation.  LIke a snowball rolling rapidly downhill, increasing in size and threatening to launch an avalanche at any moment, it is happening as I write this.  The heroes in our midst (and we have only a few of them these days), like Senator Bernie Sanders, see the handwriting on the wall and are crying out for us to save ourselves--but the right wing has FOX News spewing out lies by the barrelful daily, and the dittohead sheeple listen to them faithfully, baaing and bleating all the way to their doom...and ours.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Senator Bernie Sanders is filibustering on the TAX Extension bill

Bernie Sanders is my hero!!!!  Thank God someone in our government is standing up for the middle class!  98% of the American people make under $250,000 a year.  Yet the Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for the top 1% as well, at the expense of the needs of our country (infrastructure updates, employment for middle class, unemployment extensions for the 99ers, education, etc., etc., etc.).  What is happening is sheer CRAZINESS!  The ultimate aim of the Republicans is to repeal all the helpful programs of the past years that have been put into government, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, child care, education, etc.  They think it is good public policy to cut programs for the poor and middle class while continuing tax breaks for the millionaires and billionaires, the richest people in the entire world. 

If we don't stand up to the Republicans now, they will keep trying to bring down all the programs that help the poor.  We need to stand up and defeat this Tax proposal in which there was no compromise -- but only giving the Republicans everything they want.  An extension of 2 years will turn into a permanent extension down the road.  Unless the tax cuts for the rich are stopped now, our country is seriously in danger, with unsustainable deficits and a huge national debt.   This country has the most unequal distribution of income of any major industrial nation.  The top 1% in this country earns more than 23% of income, more than the entire bottom 50% of our population!  Many millionaires are saying we don't need tax breaks!  They are better citizens than our Congressional representatives!  They really love their country.  So we are giving money to some people who don't even want the break.  But there are other greedy people among the rich who want more and more and more!  We need to draw a line in the sand and say ENOUGH!  How much more do they want?  The top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%!!!!  These greedy people on Wall Street who caused the recession are now earning more money than they did when we bailed them out!!!  ENOUGH ALREADY!!

As a senior member of our society, I am seeing my kids have a lower standard of living than my generation had.  This is appalling.  We are going backwards because of the policies instituted by Republicans that enhance the quality of living of the rich by taking away from the poor and middle class.  The middle class is disappearing, and the number of poor in our country is increasing by the minute.  The Republicans were unwilling to extend unemployment benefits to people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs. The rich on Wall Street are getting the largest bonuses in history at the same time that middle class Americans are losing their homes and wondering how to keep food on their table.  Yet the Republicans see nothing wrong with this!!!  In fact, they insist on making it even worse for the middle class and poor by increasing the benefits for the rich.  We, the people who can see WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE need to call our "representatives" in Congress and give them holy hell if they are not standing up for us!

Surely we can negotiate a much better agreement than the one Obama made with the Republicans.  We, the people need to stand up and say no more tax breaks for the very wealthiest people in this country!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dems tell Hypocritical Republicans in Congress to give up their health care

They voted against Obama's Health Care Plan for the rest of the country, but are delighted to keep their federal health care plan.  Democrats are telling them to give up the Congressional plan and buy their own.  That is FAIR and RIGHT.  But will they do it? If you follow news about Republicans and their "For me, but not for you" philosophy, you already know the answer, but read on:

EXCERPT: A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 53 percent of voters -- including 58 percent of Republicans -- believe lawmakers who ran against government health care should uphold their views and purchase their own.

Two newly-elected Republicans -- Bobby Schilling (IL) and Mike Kelly (PA) -- have so far pledged to give up their government-provided health care and purchase their own. But Speaker-elect John Boehner (R-OH) has declined to do so.

In a remarkable instance last month, a Republican doctor from Maryland elected after campaigning against health care reform was reportedly irritated that his government-provided health care would only kick in weeks after he was sworn in.  (This is typical of Republican thinking!)


Wednesday, December 08, 2010


The following article is a must-read for all thinking people.  It tells the truth, matter-of-factly, about this world and how it works (and has worked, for many centuries).  It also speaks of the way out.  As the author says, "The only way out is in."  In other words, to turn to spiritual understanding (not religious, but spiritual), where we come to realize our connectedness with all people and all things.  Today is Bodhi Day, the day of celebration of Buddha's enlightenment.  On my blog ( I have posted an article about it that appears in the Huffington Post site today. For anyone who would like to see our world change for the better, it would be helpful to read that article and this one together -- and understand that, in their different ways, they are both pointing to the same thing. Without curiosity and an enlightened perspective on the nature of life and our own being, our suffering (on earth, and personally, within each person) is bound to continue.

AMERICA:  Ignorance and Courage in the Age of Lady Gaga
By Joe Bageant

SMALL EXCERPT (but please read the entire article for a full perspective)

The WikiLeaks affair is surely seismic to those whose asses ride on the elite diplomatic intrigues. But in the big picture it will not change the way the top lizards in global politics, money and war have done business since the feudal age -- which is to say with arrogant disregard for the rest of us. Theirs is an ancient system of human dominance that only shifts names and methodologies over the centuries. Two years from now, little will have changed in the old, old story of the powerful few over the powerless many. In this overarching drama, Obama, Hillary and Julian Assange are passing players. Watching the sweaty, fetid machinations of our overlords with such passionate involvement only keeps us from seeing the big picture -- that they are the players and we are the pawns....

Once unencumbered by self-induced and manufactured cultural ignorance, it becomes clear that politics worldwide is entirely about money, power and national mythology, with or without some degree of human rights. America still has all of the above to one degree or another. Yet for all practical purposes, such as advancing the freedom and the well being of its own people, the American republic has collapsed.

Of course, there is still money to be made by the already rich. So the million or so people who own the country and the government use their control to convince us that there is no collapse, just economic and political problems that need to be solved. Naturally, they are willing to do that for us. Consequently, the economy is discussed in political terms, because the government is the only body with the power to legislate, and therefore render the will of the owning class into law.

But politics and money are never going to fill what is essentially a public vacuum that is moral, philosophical and spiritual. (The latter was instantly recognized by fundamentalist Christians, disfigured by cultural ignorance, as they may be.) Not many ordinary Americans talk about this vacuum. The required spiritual and philosophical language has been successfully purged by newspeak, popular culture, a human regimentation process masquerading as a national educational system, and the ruthlessness of everyday competition, which leaves no time to contemplate anything.

Still, the void, the meaninglessness of ordinary work and the emptiness of daily life scares thinking citizens shitless, with its many unspeakables, spy cams, security state pronouncements, citizens being economically disappeared, and general back-of-the-mind unease. Capitalism's faceless machinery has colonized our very souls. If the political was not personal to begin with, it's personal now. Some Americans believe we can collectively triumph over the monolith we presently fear and worship. Others believe the best we can do is to find the personal strength to endure and go forward on lonely inner plains of the self.

Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation. It all depends on where you choose to fight your battle. Or if you even choose to fight it. But one thing is certain. The only way out is in.


Buddha is not the only one who came to the realization of the connectedness of all things.  Many sages from all cultures have understood this very important message.  One of them was Chief Seattle, an American Indian, who said:
“Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

EXCERPT from the Buddha article: ...
it is not so much what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens that determines whether or not we create suffering -- our own and that of others.

The legend says that as [Buddha] gazed at the morning star, he said, "How marvelous, I, the great earth, and all beings are naturally and simultaneously awakened." This phrase teaches us the great lesson of interdependence, that we are not separate from all that is, but rather we are interconnected, a piece of the grand whole of the universe. And at the same time, this very piece, this "I" sitting here is an integral and vital component of the whole. When we take care of this "I", we can take care of the whole universe.

So, even if we cannot devote a week or a full night but are only able to meditate for a few minutes on Bodhi Day, it can be a reminder of the wisdom that is naturally available to us, the wisdom of cultivating our minds and recognizing our relation to the whole.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

One of the major places where we went wrong

By the time of the 2000 (s)election, the wealthy corporatists were well in charge of our government and made sure they got their candidate in, with the help of the conservative Supreme Court, to the everlasting shame of that Court -- and of our country.  The devastation caused by the Bush/Cheney presidency upon our country and the world is so great it is  beyond calculation. They brought about the beginning of the end of America. We are on a downward course that cannot be changed because of greed and power lust that has infiltrated our government at every level, and it will end with America in the dust. Read the following to get a true picture of the damage we all allowed to happen in our lifetime:

By Eric Alterman
The Supreme Court's granting Bush the victory looks even worse today than it did 10 years ago, says Eric Alterman—even if historians weren't debating whether George W. Bush was the worst president ever or just since Grant.
...the inescapable fact is that Gore was the genuine choice of a plurality of Florida’s voters as well as America’s. As the Associated Press reported in its examination of the NORC report, “In the review of all the state’s disputed ballots, Gore edged ahead under all six scenarios for counting all undervotes and overvotes statewide.” As I pointed out in my book What Liberal Media?, he beat Bush by almost every conceivable counting standard. Gore won under a strict-counting scenario and he won under a loose-counting scenario. He won if you counted “hanging chads” and he won if you counted “dimpled chads.” He won if you counted a dimpled chad only in the presence of another dimpled chad on the same ballot—the so-called Palm Beach standard. He even won if you counted only a fully punched chad. He won if you counted partially filled oval on an optical scan and he won if you counted only a fully filled optical scan. He won if you fairly counted the absentee ballots. No matter what, if everyone who legally voted in Florida had had a chance to see their vote counted, then Al Gore not George W. Bush, was elected president.


Tips on how to use glass bakeware, which could shatter

A good article to read.  One important tip: don't set your glass bakeware on a cold or wet countertop after taking it out of the oven. Always use a dry dishtowel or padded potholder to set it on.


Video: Obama could get a serious primary challenge

Interesting interview of Dan Rather by Chris Jansing -- I like Dan Rather, one of our last true investigative journalists. I think he got railroaded on the Bush AWOL that he tried to bring to the public's attention. Those who really run our country wanted Bush in the White House and creamed Rather, who was telling the truth about Duhmbya's running away from his military service.  Of course, Republicans don't want to hear anything about that.  They're too busy listening to the lies of Limbaugh, Beck, and O'Reilly and waving their tea bags, while they vote against their own interests.

I think Rather's assessment of where Obama stands now in the eyes of his former supporters is right on.  Obama the Wimp will face a serious primary challenge unless he immediately begins to show some fortitude and a backbone against the Republicans who are nailing him (and us, We the people)  to the wall.