Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GOOD BOOK - Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

I'm glad to see that this is one of the books President Obama is reading on his vacation.  It ought to be on every thinking person's reading list.  It's about time someone is saying what really matters as we age and approach the end of earth life.  As the author, Atul Gawande, says, Death always wins in the end and should not always be thought of as the enemy. In trying to fight off death, our medical world has often caused intense suffering, rather than alleviating it.  For proof of that, just go to any hospital or nursing home and take a look around.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Which one of these is the Best?

by Ted Rall | December 22, 2014 -

Bushophiles say that Florida Governor Jeb Bush, currently considering running for president in 2016, is the "Best Bush." Considering the previous two, that's not saying much.

Monday, December 22, 2014

FINALLY - A major media call for the prosecution of Cheney, Bush, et al

And if you want to see someone who truly has called the criminals in high places to justice, watch Stephen Colbert's roast of G.W. Bush at the Press Corps dinner a few years back.

WOW! Talk about speaking truth to power!!!   Viewing that performance again does my heart so much good!  Makes you long for a courageous genuine reporter to step forward from the ranks of the timid yes-men and women our fourth estate has turned into.  Where is such a journalist?????  WHERE????????????   Looks like the NY Times is finally getting a bit of a spine...but compared to Colbert's talk, it sounds mealy-mouthed.  However, I applaud that the mainstream media are at least mentioning the possibility of Cheney/Bush being criminals.  Good God.  At long last.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Must-See: Stephen Colbert's take on Super PACs

If ever there was a video to bring laughter and tears together, it's this one!   It can also bring out a sobbing "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" as we contemplate the impact of the latest deadly assault on our long-cherished government "of the people, by the people, for the people."  That kind of government no longer exists.

Unregulated power and greed, mixed with ignorance of the masses who happily accept (and actually applaud!) what is being done to them, has finally and completely wormed its way around all the checks and balances set up by our forefathers who hoped and prayed they could keep greed and power plays at arm's length.  If they could be aware of how their democratic republic has been destroyed in the year 2014, their bodies would be rolling in their graves.

Monday, December 15, 2014

One woman who truly cares about the people

You've got to see what Elizabeth Warren said to Citigroup executives. It's electrifying. It's historic.

And it could put Elizabeth Warren "into serious contention to be the next President of the United States."1

The video is 10 minutes long, and it's worth every second—so I hope you'll turn up your speakers and watch the whole thing.

When big banks wrecked our economy, they went to Congress for a half-a-trillion-dollar bailout. Now—six years later—Citigroup thought they could quietly sneak a provision into a must-pass spending bill to let them gamble with taxpayer money again. But Senator Warren fought back hard, and is winning in the court of public opinion.

Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic Convention speech launched him into the running for president. This could do the same for Elizabeth Warren.

Please watch the video right now—all 10 minutes of it.


Do Republicans actually know what Ayn Rand's philosophy is???

You would think that if the average Republican truly understood the immorality of Ayn Rand and her philosophy, they couldn't possibly lionize and idolize her.  Yet, this is what they do. They have made her into an idol that they claim to be ecstatically proud to follow. Paul Ryan, for instance, praises her and calls her the greatest influence on his beliefs.  Amazing, isn't it?  I would encourage them to read the following essay to discover exactly what they are idolizing:

EXCERPT: Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Ayn Rand's impact has been widespread and deep. At the iceberg's visible tip is the influence she's had over major political figures who have shaped American society. In the 1950s, Ayn Rand read aloud drafts of what was later to become Atlas Shrugged to her "Collective," Rand's ironic nickname for her inner circle of young individualists, which included Alan Greenspan, who would serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006.

In 1966, Ronald Reagan wrote in a personal letter, "Am an admirer of Ayn Rand." Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) credits Rand for inspiring him to go into politics, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls Atlas Shrugged his "foundation book." Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says Ayn Rand had a major influence on him, and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an even bigger fan. A short list of other Rand fans includes Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Christopher Cox, chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission in George W. Bush's second administration; and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.

But Rand's impact on U.S. society and culture goes even deeper....

Rand said, "Capitalism and altruism are incompatible….The choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequences of freedom, justice, progress and man's happiness on earth—or the primordial morality of altruism, with its consequences of slavery, brute force, stagnant terror and sacrificial furnaces." For many young people, hearing that it is "moral" to care only about oneself can be intoxicating, and some get addicted to this idea for life.

I have known several people, professionally and socially, whose lives have been changed by those close to them who became infatuated with Ayn Rand. A common theme is something like this: "My ex-husband wasn't a bad guy until he started reading Ayn Rand. Then he became a completely selfish jerk who destroyed our family, and our children no longer even talk to him."

Rand's Legacy

In recent years, we have entered a phase where it is apparently okay for major political figures to publicly embrace Rand despite her contempt for Christianity. In contrast, during Ayn Rand's life, her philosophy that celebrated self-interest was a private pleasure for the 1 percent but she was a public embarrassment for them. They used her books to congratulate themselves on the morality of their selfishness, but they publicly steered clear of Rand because of her views on religion and God. Rand, for example, had stated on national television, "I am against God. I don't approve of religion. It is a sign of a psychological weakness. I regard it as an evil."

Actually, again inconsistent, Rand did have a God. It was herself. She said:

I am done with the monster of "we," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: "I."

While Harriet Beecher Stowe shamed Americans about the United States' dehumanization of African Americans and slavery, Ayn Rand removed Americans' guilt for being selfish and uncaring about anyone except themselves. Not only did Rand make it "moral" for the wealthy not to pay their fair share of taxes, she "liberated" millions of other Americans from caring about the suffering of others, even the suffering of their own children.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Science is in: Men are more likely to act like idiots than women

...something women have always known, but it's nice to have it verified by science:

A study published in the prestigious British Medical Journal outlines what authors call the "Male Idiot Theory," or MIT, which is as follows: "Men are idiots and idiots do stupid things."

According to the Washington Post, study authors examined the recorded facts about 300 people who have been given the Darwin Award over the last 20 years.

A Darwin Award is a posthumous honor bestowed annually upon people who have died through egregious instances of their own stupidity. The creator, Wendy Northcutt, named the awards after Dr. Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of Species and the godfather of evolutionary theory.

Darwin Award winners are commended for their success in removing their genes from the gene pool, leaving more resources and reproductive opportunities for less stupid individuals.

The researchers found that more than 88 percent of Darwin Award winners were male. Their study, "The Darwin Awards: Sex differences in idiotic behavior," was conceived by co-author Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem, 15, a schoolboy from Newcastle, England, who is now the youngest author ever to be published in the journal.

Ben Lendrem and his father and co-author Daniel Lendrem were having an animated discussion about the Darwin Awards when the younger Lendrem pointed out that the bulk of the winners were men.

The father and son team recruited two other authors and ran the results through statistical analysis.

"Sex differences in risk seeking behavior, emergency hospital admissions, and mortality are well documented. However, little is known about sex differences in idiotic risk taking behavior," says the study abstract.

It continued, "Winners of the Darwin Award must eliminate themselves from the gene pool in such an idiotic manner that their action ensures one less idiot will survive. This paper reports a marked sex difference in Darwin Award winners: males are significantly more likely to receive the award than females (P<0.0001). We discuss some of the reasons for this difference."

The Post noted that it is well-documented that men "get into more car crashes than women. They're admitted to Emergency Rooms for accidents and injuries more often. They're more physically and verbally aggressive. They're more likely to drive fast, to commit crime, to climb mountains, skydive, use drugs, take risks and act impulsively."

However, Daniel Lendrem told the Post, they didn't expect that nearly 90 percent of Darwin Award winners would be men.

Precisely why men act this way remains a mystery, though.

"Presumably, idiotic behavior confers some, as yet unidentified, selective advantage on those who do not become its casualties," said the study.

Anne Campbell of Durham University told the Post via email that risk-taking behavior, when successful, can help male animals win mates.

"Males (of many species) engage in far more risk-taking behaviour as a result of their greater fitness variance (bigger difference between male winners and losers in terms of reproduction compared to females) and the fact that their investment in offspring is not obligate," Campbell said, meaning that the male imperative is more aimed at creating offspring than keeping them alive.

For females, she explained, the prerogative is geared more toward keeping oneself alive to ensure the survival of their offspring.

"Female mammals need to stay alive to ensure their infants survival (and thus their own reproductive success)," she wrote.

A large portion of what underlies such behavior, however, is left up to speculation.

"Until MIT gives us a full and satisfactory explanation of idiotic male behavior," said the study led by the Lendrems, "hospital emergency departments will continue to pick up the pieces, often literally."


Thursday, December 11, 2014


Weasel Republicans waited until the last minute to bring up a spending bill to keep the federal government operating. Now, they're using the deadline later today to try to ram through terrible provisions, slipping them in at the 11th hour.

The worst provision was written by a Citigroup lobbyist and undoes a key part of the financial reform law that protects taxpayers from having to bail out banks due to risky Wall Street gambling.

Elizabeth Warren's amazing Senate floor speech puts it all in proper perspective:

"We put these rules in place after the collapse of the financial system because we wanted to reduce the risk that reckless gambling on Wall Street could ever again threaten jobs on Main Street...MY WORDS: (and now the very devils who got away scot-free the last time are trying to undo the reforms that would prevent them from taking us all to the cleaners again!)

Warren goes on to say:  "I urge my colleagues in the House, particularly my Democratic colleagues whose votes are essential to moving this package forward, to withhold support for it... (AMEN TO THAT!)

Yet another last-minute provision would make it even harder for the voices of everyday people to be heard in Congress.  The package would multiply ten times the amount of money wealthy individuals can give to a political party. (!!!!!)

I would love to see Elizabeth Warren run for President and WIN!


Right wing stories of interest

I can't help wondering how anyone could remain Republican in the same tent with some of the following idiots.  How do otherwise intelligent Republicans (there are a few; I actually know a couple) compartmentalize away the stupidities, ignorance and cruelties spewed out daily on the right?  That is a HUGE Mystery that I would love to have explained by one of those intelligent Republicans.  And how do you account for the outrageous last-minute right-wing insertion of a provision rolling back limits on Wall Street banks (!!!), putting it into the funding bill that must be voted on today to keep the government running?  The right-wing love for the rich and powerful -- and their disdain for the rights of the common "We, the People" is beyond comprehension! 

Read/view the following and tell me if you could stand to be in the same party with these moron people and corporations (Jon Stewart calls out one of the FOX news morons in the last clip):

Michele Bachmann: God gave Moses the Ten Commandments so America would be rich


Fox segment on 'ridiculous' climate change devolves into talk of humans living with dinosaurs


Texas coach nicknames black player 'Buckwheat,' says he's shocked to learn it's racial

A Texas high school basketball coach is on administrative leave after black parents complained that he had given their children racist nicknames.

'Ex-gay' group puts up Virginia billboard claiming twin studies 'prove' that 'nobody is born gay'

The organization strongly promotes ex-gay therapy, even though the American Psychological Association has declared that such practices are based on the belief that homosexuality is a mental health issue.

Texas pastor brags about harassing lesbians as he calls for death of 'dirty f*ggots'

Pastor Donnie Romero, founder of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, carried on the violent message of his mentor, Pastor Steven L. Anderson – who recently called for gays to be executed to promote an "AIDS-free Christmas."

Delta fires 26-year employee for 'disparaging' airline with 30-second interview on low wages

A longtime Delta Airlines employee filed an appeal on Tuesday after he was fired for speaking out at a rally for higher wages.

Jon Stewart mocks Andrea Tantaro's 'awesome' rant: 'The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard'

Daily Show host Jon Stewart dissected Fox News Andrea Tantaros' argument that the discussion surrounding the CIA's torture of detainees was being fueled politically to cast the U.S. as not being "awesome."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dirty trick added to funding bill will devastate campaign finance laws

Read about this last-minute addition...put in the day before the bill MUST pass in order to fund our government.  The dirty rotten scoundrels in Congress have no scruples and no conscience -- our government is run by a bunch of sociopaths.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Transiting Pluto square Uranus in astrology - happening now for our world and for us

Important to read and understand what is going on for all of us, both in the world at large and in our own personal lives.  Revolution is brewing....

Dates for the Uranus-Pluto square. Look Alive!

What an epic time! It demands our full attention now and in the years ahead. There are unpredictable forces at work here. Some might claim to see how it'll all shape up, but it's being made up, as we go along. That's the point -- something wholly new and unprecedented is emerging.

Individual Greatness

The radical changes of an individual stoke the transformational fires of the whole. And the humanity-at-the-threshold atmosphere now awakens something in each of us as individuals. This is larger than us, and yet each of us has the potential to be a shining star!

The astrologer Dane Rudhyar called the three outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) Ambassadors of the Galaxy. They incite and invite us to go beyond the known. They awaken consciousness and alter how we see ourselves as creators through time. The square of Uranus to Pluto is sure to radically alter how we move and manifest, as spirits in a body. This is an exciting time to reinvent ourselves, and see what we're made of, what's possible.

A square is urgent, and with Uranus and Pluto, we have two of the great cosmic awakeners of soul force. The potential here is to rediscover who we are, and awaken powers that have been suppressed or dormant. Pluto's method is elimination, excavation, clearing out, and if the world seems covered in shadow, it's rising to be faced, confronted, transformed.

As the old is cracked open, new fertile landscapes are created that weren't there before. Raw energies are released, that are the fuel for the next move. A sense of mission comes from what's been overcome, and this augurs a new chapter. There are many ways that Pluto and Uranus divinely work toward breaking through!

Pluto and Hitting Bottom

What's been stuffed down and denied is spilling out. Much that was in shadow is being purged out into the open. The dumpster of denial, corruption and shadowy agendas is full. The ugly truth can no longer be contained, especially about institutions, monopolies, unholy alliances, hierarchies of power and industry.

Seen with wise eyes, where nothing is "good or bad," this is a golden opportunity. It's time to find ways to clean it up, purify and reform. The intensity of the times activates a call, to play a role, in this great shift of the ages. In other circumstances, it's powerful to simply disengage, withdrawing vital energies from the beast in question. This is a way to restore deeply rooted power (Pluto) to each of us as creators with a right to shine (Uranus).

Yes, there's a lot of dire news and truly shocking 'acting out.' Take a look at your doom meter -- is it spinning wildly? Are you fixing your gaze on the madness, and letting it rob your sense of having a future? How can you pace yourself, with a disciplined focus, bringing more attention to your own spiritual foundation and who you're becoming?

Reanimated Earthlings

Pluto is in Capricorn, the sign of worldly exchange for value and agendas, and how we relate to (share, renew or exploit) what's here on Earth. Pluto's game is through power, and there's a power struggle now for who owns the Earth.

There are historically established clans (ancestry is another Capricorn theme) who say they do. There are signs of attempts to consolidate that control. Radical Uranus will answer that Earth belongs to those who move with life, not with death and exploitation of Earth. The Uranus-Pluto square brings together a vital and natural force, that's strong enough to break out of the artificial, and that which merely mimics the genius of nature.

Losing Everything, Finding Yourself

Pluto is ultimately about letting go, and accepting what is. It's also about getting things moving and unstuck from routine, or cultural assumptions, by any means necessary. If a relationship has fallen apart, look at ways it frees you to explore your own true and wildly alive sense of destiny again. If you've lost your home or other material possessions, how does it lighten your load?

Pluto in Capricorn is challenging some to let go of who we think we are, in the eyes of society. If I don't have this or that car, a certain size home, a college degree, who am I? Breaking out of tired old conditioning, we experience our own unique inherent value. By being stripped of outer branding and stultifying influence, each of us taps the source within. We let go of what's stunting our growth, and spread our wings. We become the phoenix rising out of the ashes.

Trusting Life

Pluto is about trusting fate and the future. What happens with Pluto often feels out of our control. Like losing a job and not being able to find another one to save your life. Pluto often brings us to our knees, so that we'll give up, loosen the grip, finally let go. And in letting go, a miracle happens and the dawn breaks. We stop looking for work in the old places, and start acting on the stirring impulses guiding each moment.

This makes way for the growth spurts of Uranus Aries. As these groundbreaking moments of Pluto crack us open, it lets light in (to indirectly quote a famous poem/song -- Anthem by Leonard Cohen--see *below). As we are broken open, we discover the will to really live, and the soul force that's able to renew itself. We're full of anticipation, even as things are "falling apart" around us.

Rush of Excitement

The surprise gift is a new sense of the possible. And, a brand new sense of who you are. We might sense much "work" to do, integrating the shadow. And yet, Uranus in the foolhardy optimistic fire sign of Aries keeps us in good spirits.

  • If overwhelmed and lost, begin by letting go of 'what's no longer you.'
  • Don't allow social media or celebrity fixations to dilute your identity -- self-containment can be powerful now.
  • Seek out those that are vibing on the new.
  • Honor your individuality, including ancestral roots, sense of place, personal story

*ANTHEM by Leonard Cohen  (You can hear Leonard sing this song on youtube at: )

The birds they sang at the break of day
"Start again", I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold and bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

We asked for signs, the signs were sent
The birth betrayed, the marriage spent
Yeah, the widowhood of every government
Signs for all to see

I can't run no more with that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud
But they've summoned, they've summoned up a thundercloud
And they're going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

You can add up the parts, you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in


Saturday, December 06, 2014

Big Pharma's Guinea Pigs - 8 drugs pulled off market for bad side effects

Big Pharma Greed and Lack of Conscience equate with possible bad outcomes for the rest of us.  This is the world we live in.  Sigh.  We must be alert, aware and our own best advocates when dealing in this realm.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

An Old Man's Memorable Poem

HOW TRUE IT IS!!!  (For us gals, too!)

 An old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home
in North Platte, Nebraska.  It was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions,
they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the
staff that copies were made and distributed to every
nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri .

The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in
the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association
for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been
made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world,
is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . When you're looking at me?
A crabby old man . . . . .. Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . And makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . .. . The things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . Let's you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .. . . . With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . Who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . With wings on his feet..
Dreaming that soon now . .. . . . A lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . .. That I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . To see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . Shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . Young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man .. . . . . And nature is cruel.
'Tis jest to make old age . . . .. . Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . .. . . Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . .. . Life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . Gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . Open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . See ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet

An older person who you might brush aside

Without looking at the young soul within.

We will all, one day, be there, too!


The best and most beautiful things of

This world can't be seen or touched.

They must be felt by the heart