Monday, December 14, 2015

Incontrovertible: a must-see online documentary

I know this is a busy time of year -- and everyone is VERY busy just living life as it comes at us moment by moment.  BUT, if you possibly can.....

Please set aside 2 hours to watch the documentary INCONTROVERTIBLE -- offering the most important education you may ever get about 9/11 and the truth of what happened that day. Credentialed experts, both high-ranking military/government officials and private architects and engineers (as well as firemen and policemen and videos taken on the scene that day) reveal information you may not have heard elsewhere.  After viewing this video, please pass it along if you have learned valuable information from it that you trust and can't forget -- and think others should know.  For the future of our children and our nation, this is one you won't want to pass by.

Educating ourselves to truth is the only real way we can effect change in our world.  Check out this video and see for yourself.  This is an education you will not get from the mainstream media -- but it has more truth in its 2 hours than you'll get watching a lifetime of network or cable news.  At the very least, I guarantee it will give you much food for thought.  If you can't give 2 hours to viewing it, at least watch the first few minutes, which contains incontrovertible evidence you won't soon forget.


Architect Richard Gage's letter to Boston Globe editor

No one who has studied the evidence put forth by the thousands of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth could ever believe the WTC buildings collapsed from the planes crashing into them, especially when Building 7, unattacked and undamaged (except for so-called "scattered office fires,") fell symmetrically into its own footprint at 5:00 p.m, obviously from controlled demolition. It was a building full of government records...I wonder why the powers that be wanted it down? Hmmm?  If you are at all curious, follow the links below:
study all the evidence

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Watch the excellent new documentary "Incontrovertible" which presents powerful proof that the fall of WTC 7 was known and reported before it actually happened on BBC news and elsewhere. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in the 9/11 Information Center.

Nearly 2,400 architects and engineers, not including the 109 who signed our petition at the recent annual trade show ABX, have joined us because we stick to science. The physical evidence shows that scattered office fires could not have caused the 47-story WTC 7 to collapse symmetrically into its footprint. The evidence also shows that the twin towers were not leveled by the airplane impacts and ensuing fires. The implications are indeed far-reaching, and that is why we urge people to study all the evidence before reaching a conclusion.

Evidence still raises questions over World Trade Center collapses
December 4, 2015, Boston Globe

Alex Beam's portrayal of "architect truthers" is yet another disappointing example of a journalist resorting to ad hominem attacks and avoiding the facts when discussing the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on Sept. 11, 2001 (The 'truthers' and 9/11). Sadly, not one sentence of Beam's column examines the evidence for or against the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7. Instead, he devotes 600 words to revealing his own ill-founded bias. Noting that some Americans think that what happened that day hasn't "been fully explained," he declares, "I don't agree," but gives no evidence-based reason for disagreeing. As building professionals, we at Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth try not to let personal feelings interfere with investigating the three worst structural failures in modern history. Nearly 2,400 architects and engineers, not including the 109 who signed our petition at the recent annual trade show ABX, have joined us because we stick to science. The physical evidence shows that scattered office fires could not have caused the 47-story WTC 7 to collapse symmetrically into its footprint. The evidence also shows that the twin towers were not leveled by the airplane impacts and ensuing fires. The implications are indeed far-reaching, and that is why we urge people to study all the evidence before reaching a conclusion.

Note: Big kudos to the Boston Globe for being willing to publish this opinion piece by Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Watch the excellent new documentary "Incontrovertible" which presents powerful proof that the fall of WTC 7 was known and reported before it actually happened on BBC news and elsewhere. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Donald Trump, the Breitbartian candidate, was inevitable

Andrew Breitbart, Fox, Murdoch, Ailes, Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly, Cheney, Dubya Bush, Wolfowitz and the rest of the right wing oxymoron "compassionate conservative" crazies laid the groundwork in the creation of the monster TRUMP and now he is running through the countryside, uncontrolled and bent on destruction of the values -- and the Constitution -- our country was built upon. He appeals to the worst in humans, to the dark shadow side that Cheney warned us he and his puppet Dubya were embracing. ("We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will."   Interview on NBC 9/16/01).  Well, Trump is what has emerged from their work on the dark side -- and they're stuck with him.  And so are the rest of us who are having to witness in horror the bigotry, hatred and prejudice of millions of our fellow Americans, Republican voters who deem themselves to be "Christians," following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Unable to see past their own blindness, they cheer and applaud their new hero, "the Donald" -- a man who gives no concrete proposal as to how he will accomplish the dire deeds he promises, but continually trumpets his "expertise" in everything, while showing them nothing but rhetoric of hatred and fear. 

If you were to point out to the Trump supporters that they are believing and behaving exactly like the Germans in WWII, cheering Hitler as he mowed down country after country, group after group, with hatred and bigotry, they would be  "shocked, I tell you, shocked" that you could think such a thing of them. The only Trump supporters who would agree with your assessment would be the self-proclaimed "white power" neo-Nazis who proudly admire Hitler and love Trump.  I wonder how mainstream Republicans can remain in the same political tent with them. What do our Republican relatives have to tell themselves to justify their membership in the GOP these days? There has to be a heck of a lot of cognitive dissonance going on within their ranks. With the lunatic fringe bumping elbows with them, and some even shouting "Heil, Trump!" at the Trump rallies, what can normal, average Republicans be telling themselves that will allow them to still vote Republican?

Just taking a look at the rest of the GOP's presidential candidates tells you they are all on the dark path prepared for them by Cheney/Bush. Their rhetoric, though not as bombastic as Trump's, is still filled with fear and hatred. And, though they continually excoriate Obama and deny him support for his sensible proposals, none of them dares to point at the REAL culprits Cheney/Bush who plunged us into endless war on LIES when they invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, thereby upsetting the balance that existed in the middle east--and leaving a hole for ISIS to fill.   The following essay gives some good insight into how this all came about.  But each person has to seek careful guidance within him/herself as they consider which candidate to cast their vote for in the presidential election next November.

By Matt Osborne

I won't say that I saw him coming, but in a media-industrial complex gripped by inane Bothsidesism, where merely questioning the fake statistics and stupid ideas vomited by conservative mouths is still considered a crime on most programs, Donald Trump was inevitable. Entire media organizations now exist for no other purpose than to provide reactionary right-wingers with a parallel reality fabricated from the fantasy conspiracies born in a fever-swamp of social media and lunatic email forwards; Donald Trump is simply taking a natural evolutionary direction within that psychological habitat. The runaway Republican frontrunner touts hate group disinformation to make sweeping authoritarian pronouncements because he knows that he will not be held accountable by anyone who matters. In fact, attempts to hold him accountable merely fuel his fire.

Trump clearly enjoys the ardent enthusiasm of what used to be considered a lunatic fringe, but is now the conservative Republican base. Over the last few weeks, plentiful commentary has examined whether Trump should be considered a fascist, or whether it's more correct to define him as a proto-fascist, yet almost all of these writers have left the maddening crowd at his rallies, and the media channels which enable him, unexamined in any detail. It's as if we tried studying Mussolini without ever looking at his arditi goon squads or his party newspapers. Fascist propaganda masquerades as news to inflame the passions and shape the selection bias of people who desperately want a simple answer to their complex problems; fascism makes a fetish of violence, and in both areas Trump presents as a classical fascist.

Just look at his close and enduring relationship to Breitbart News. Since at least May, Trump has reportedly invested in a payola scheme at the house St. Andrew built, and it is money well-spent. In August, Trump promulgated his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States through Breitbart News, where his approach is very much appreciated by border zone alarmists. The staff at Breitbart seems to be on 24 hour standby to dismiss and defend his latest remarks; ever since Trump proclaimed that he had personally witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering the destruction of 9/11 in New Jersey, Breitbart News editor John Nolte has repeatedly defended his comments by inventing facts and altering what Trump actually said. No other media organization does as much to support him.

Although the rest of us might dismiss such hokum for what it is, remember that the average Breitbart News junkie sincerely believes that Huma Abedin is a secret Muslim double-agent, that Hillary Clinton conspired to kill four Americans in Benghazi, and that President Obama wants the terrorists to win. They reject the 'compassionate' conservatism that failed with George W. Bush - especially his defense of Islam as a 'religion of peace.' Darth Cheney's opinion means absolutely nothing to them except in the negative. The proto-Tea Party right were thrilled by Sarah Palin's unfiltered id seven years ago, and now they demand a harsher, sharper, more militant conservatism to channel their demographic paranoia into unbending, unapologetic hatred of the political Other. No longer content to listen for dog-whistles, plainspoken rage is what they have come to demand and expect of their leadership.

When Trump dismisses criticism of his unconstitutional disregard of human rights as "political correctness" - when he declares "I. Don't. Care" in answer to the concerns of other Republicans about his bigotry - he is talking to the Breitbart News demographic, and they eat it up. When the 'politically correct' GOP establishment rejects Trump's divisive words, the average Breitbart News reader loves Trump even more for it.

"There is something going on with (Obama) that we don't know about," Trump intones ominously as he promises to end all Muslim immigration until elected politicians "can figure out what is going on." Perfectly expressing the way President Bush has been flushed down the right wing memory hole, Trump thus pretends that it's all a big mystery how this Islamic State thing came to exist. Much as Hindenburg famously declared that a 'stab in the back' was responsible for Germany's defeat in the First World War, shoving aside any discussion of accountability for the conflict and enabling a renewed militancy that set the stage for Nazi fascism, Trump is indulging an authoritarian populism that demands an even more destructive policy than before, and which is well-primed to accept fanciful explanations which appeal to their preexisting biases.

For Trump did not create the current wave of Islamophobia himself. Anti-Muslim bigotry was a concern after 9/11, but it became more problematic after 2004, when public opinion was shifting on gay marriage and other hot-button social issues even while the occupation of Iraq turned into an undeniable disaster. Whereas gay-bashing was increasingly problematic from a political perspective, Muslims made a very convenient target for demonizing language; by 2008, the conservative donor class had recognized the opportunity.

As seen in the various undying myths about president Obama's birth certificate, as well as the so-called 'Ground Zero mosque' controversy of 2010, a cottage industry of cranks and haters had grown into a mass movement with a high profile, and now they were empowered by big money. Dozens of bills popped up in legislatures around the country proposing to stop the supposed threat of 'creeping sharia,' an imaginary assault on the Constitution attributed to Muslim-Americans. Billionaire national security entrepreneur and Muslim-basher Aubrey Chernick poured his fortune into Pajamas Media, where Robert Spencer of JihadWatch denies the existence of moderate Muslims to justify his counter-jihad. Just months prior to his death - and a few months after a drunken conservative blogger harassed Muslim women at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in Minnesota before reportedly calling him on the phone to ask for help - Andrew Breitbart himself was also reputed to have received more than $9 million in venture capital from Chernick.

If you were wondering why the editorial direction of the website has consistently been so anti-Muslim, now you know the answer: it's in their interest. And Trump, who speaks to their interests like no one else on the debate stage, is their perfect candidate.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Telling the Truth about Trump and his followers

Right wing supporters of Trump (and Carson and Cruz and Rubio and Christie, etc., etc.) doubtlessly will not recognize themselves in the descriptions below as the new line of fascism in America. Just as the self-deluded Germans did in the time of Hitler, Trump's supporters see themselves as "patriots" desiring to save the "Homeland" ("Fatherland") from the much-feared "others" of different races and religions.  Calling themselves Christians, as did much of the German population in the '30s and '40s, they readily condemn everyone and everything their leader condemns, and embrace his every "solution" for getting rid of the problem people.

Ignoring the warning signs of the historical past (i.e., "This way there be dragons!"), Trump and Carson supporters believe themselves to be "lily white" (in every way) and God's chosen. They do not see the similarities between themselves and the Islamic extremists and would go down to their death denying that any such similarity exists.  Blinded by greed and misguided religious beliefs, they will blunder us yet again into another world war, based on fear and hatred of "others."  Donald Trump and Ben Carson and the rest of the Republican presidential candidate lineup are all following the same disastrous path, to one degree or another, but the aptly named Trump is trumpeting hatred and fear out loud without apology.  He appeals to the darkest shadows of human nature, instead of the "better angels" Abraham Lincoln once called on the people of this nation to demonstrate.

It seems useless to try to penetrate the bubble of darkness that Trump supporters live in. They can hear only the call of their pied piper, leading them down the same road to ruin that still reverberates with the echoes of Nazi storm trooper jackboots and cheering crowds, all marching their way to perdition.  All that the rest of us can do is pray and cast our votes for those who most represent the better angels of our nature.       

Trump's Embrace of Totalitarianism is America's Dirty Little Secret

By Henry Giroux

Business Mogul, reality TV star, and presidential candidate, Donald Trump recently mocked Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times investigative reporter with a disability, at a rally in South Carolina. This contemptuous reference to Kovaleski's physical disability was morally odious and painful to observe, but not to comprehend, at least not politically. Trump is a hate-monger, and spreads his message without apology in almost every public encounter in which he finds himself.

Some reporters claim he stepped over the line with this act of reprehensible cruelty. That is only partly true. In this loathsome instance, he just expanded his hate-filled discourse, making clear his embrace of a politics founded on arrogance, cynicism, unchecked wealth, and a deeply ingrained racism. In actuality, he stepped over the line the moment he announced his candidacy for the presidency and called Mexican immigrants violent rapists, gang members, and drug dealers. Or for that matter when he called, along with other right-wing extremists, to put refugees in detention centers and create a data base for them. These comments sound eerily close to SS (SS chief) Heinrich Himmler's call for camps that held prisoners under orders of what euphemistically called "protective custody. To quote the Holocaust Encyclopedia:

In the earliest years of the Third Reich, various central, regional, and local authorities in Germany established concentration camps to detain political opponents of the regime, including German Communists, Socialists, trade unionists, and others from left and liberal political circles. In the spring of 1933, the SS established Dachau concentration camp, which came to serve as a model for an expanding and centralized concentration camp system under SS management.

What is truly sad, dangerous, and even cowardly is how few people along with the corporate media and his intellectual defenders recognize that Trump is symptomatic of the brutal seeds of totalitarianism now being cultivated in American society. Donald Trump represents more than the anti-democratic practices and antics of Joe McCarthy.

On the contrary, he signifies how totalitarianism can mutate and take different forms in specific historical moments. Rather than being dismissed as a wild-card in American politics, it is crucial to recognize that Trump's popularity represents a dangerous "political space…in both the wider culture and in recent history." This is evident not only in his race baiting, but in his increasing support for violence against protesters at his rallies, and his call to "make American great again" by any means necessary, none of which is new to American society.

What is new is the degree to which this endorsement of violence, racism, and the call to violate civil liberties are expressed so visibly and without apology. How else to explain the muted criticisms, if not almost non-existent public and media response, to his comments that: "we're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule… And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago…" This call to do "the unthinkable" is a fundamental principle of any notion of totalitarianism, regardless of the form it takes.

For instance, Trump's recent call to bring back waterboarding and to support a torture regime far exceeds what might be called an act of stupidity or ignorance. Torture in this instance becomes a means of exacting revenge on those considered "Other," un-American, and inferior—principally Muslims, immigrants, and members of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We have heard this discourse before in the totalitarian regimes of the 1930s and later in the dictatorships in Latin America in the 1970s. Heather Digby Parton is right when she writes that Donald Trump "may be the first openly fascistic frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination but the ground was prepared and the seeds of his success sowed over the course of many years. We've had fascism flowing through the American political bloodstream for quite some time."

This is a discourse that betrays dark and dangerous secrets not simply about Trump, but more importantly about the state of American culture and politics. Trump's brutal racism, cruelty, and Nazi-style policy recommendations are more than shocking, they are emblematic of totalitarianism's hatred of liberalism, its call for racial purity, its mythic celebration of nationalism, its embrace of violence, its disdain for weakness, and its anti-intellectualism. This is the discourse of total terror. These elements of totalitarianism have become the new American normal. The conditions that produced the torture chambers, intolerable violence, extermination camps, squelching of dissent are still with us. Totalitarianism is not simply a relic of the past. It lives on in new forms and it is just as terrifying and dangerous today as it was in the past.

Trump is not just a fool or an idiot, or ethically dead, he is symptomatic of a long line of fascists who shut down public debate, attempt to humiliate their opponents, endorse violence as a response to dissent, and criticize any public display of democratic principles. America has reached its endpoint with Trump, and his presence should be viewed as a stern warning of the nightmare to come. This is not the discourse of Kafka, but of those extremists who have become cheerleaders for totalitarianism.

Trump is not a straight talker as some writers have claimed, he is a monster without a conscience, a politician with a toxic set of policies. He is the product of a form of finance capitalism and a long legacy of racism and violence in which conscience is put to sleep, democracy withers, and public values are extinguished. This is truly a time of monsters and Trump is simply the most visible and certainly one of the most despicable.

Totalitarianism destroys everything that makes politics possible. It is both an ideological poison and a brutal mode of governance and control. It puts reason to sleep and destroys any viable elements of democracy. Trump reminds us in the most exacerbated and dramatic forms of totalitarianism's addiction to tyranny, its attachments to the machineries of death, and its moral emptiness.

What is crucial to acknowledge is that the stories, legacies, and violence that are part of totalitarianism's history must be told over and over again so that it becomes possible to recognize how it appears in new forms, replicated under the banner of terror and insecurity by design, and endlessly legitimated by in the image making of the corporate disimagination machines.

Dark times are here but history is open and Trump's presence—along with his fellow extremists and supporters– should be a rallying cry for a struggle not simply against a crude and reactionary popularism, but against the tyranny of totalitarianism in its new and offensive forms.


Sunday, November 29, 2015



"You got to give the people what they want"  --O'Jays

Even by his standards, it was an astounding performance.

Over the course of just two days last weekend, Donald Trump spewed bigotry, venom and absurdity like a sewer pipe, spewed it with such utter disregard for decency and factuality that it was difficult to know what to criticize first.

Shall we condemn him for retweeting a racist graphic on Sunday filled with wildly inaccurate statistics from a non-existent source ("Whites killed by blacks — 81 percent")?

Or shall we hammer him for tacitly encouraging violence when an African-American protester was beaten up at a Trump rally in Birmingham on Saturday? "Maybe he should have been roughed up," Trump told Fox "News."

Shall we blast him for telling ABC on Sunday that he would bring back the thoroughly discredited practice of waterboarding — i.e., torturing — suspected terrorists?

Or shall we lambaste him for claiming — falsely — at the Birmingham rally that "thousands and thousands" of people in Jersey City, N.J. applauded the Sept. 11 attacks and reiterating it the next day, telling ABC that "a heavy Arab population . . . were cheering."

Trump is a whack-a-mole of the asinine and the repugnant. Or, as a person dubbed "snarkin pie" noted on Twitter: "Basically, Trump is what would happen if the comments section became a human and ran for president."

Not that that hurts his bid for the GOP nomination. A Washington Post/CNN poll finds Trump with a double-digit lead (32 percent to 22 percent) on his nearest rival, Ben Carson, who is his equal in nonsense, though not in volume. Meantime, establishment candidate Jeb Bush is on life support, mired in single digits.

And the party is panicking. In September, Bobby Jindal called Trump "a madman." Two weeks ago came reports of an attempt to lure Mitt Romney into the race. Candidate Jim Gilmore and advisers to candidates Bush and Marco Rubio have dubbed Trump a fascist. Trump, complains the dwindling coven of grownups on the right, is doing serious damage to the Republican "brand."

Which he is. But it is difficult to feel sorry for the GOP. After all, it has brought this upon itself.

Keeping the customer satisfied, giving the people what they want, is the fundament of sound business. More effectively than anyone in recent memory, Trump has transferred that principle to politics. Problem is, it turns out that what a large portion of the Republican faithful wants is racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, the validation of unrealistic fears and the promise of quick fixes to complex problems.

That's hardly shocking. This is what the party establishment has trained them to want, what it has fed them for years. But it has done so in measured tones and coded language that preserved the fiction of deniability. Trump's innovation is his increasingly-apparent lack of interest in deniability. Like other great demagogues — George Wallace, Joe McCarthy, Huey Long, Charles Coughlin — his appeal has been in the fact that he is blunt, unfiltered, anti-intellectual, full-throated and unapologetic. And one in three Republicans are eating it up like candy.

Mind you, this is after the so-called 2013 "autopsy" wherein the GOP cautioned itself to turn from its angry, monoracial appeal. Two years later, it doubles down on that appeal instead.

And though candidate Trump would be a disaster for the Republicans, he would also be one for the nation, effectively rendering ours a one-party system. But maybe that's the wake-up call some of us require to end this dangerous flirtation with extremism.

"You got to give the people what they want," says an old song. Truth is, sometimes it's better if you don't.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

New Kasich political ad has it exactly right

GOP presidential candidate John Kasich's new ad, updating a WWII quote, tells exactly what is going on in the right wing support of a fascist demagogue like Donald Trump.  I applaud Kasich for telling the truth.  He is the only GOP candidate with his head screwed on correctly (at least, in his assessment of Trump).  A new would-be Hitler has arisen in our own country, and, true to ideological form, the right wingers are supporting him with great enthusiasm, just as the right wingers in Germany supported Hitler.

Today's right wingers try to disclaim Hitler as a fascist and insist he was a left wing liberal.  Talk about having your head in the sand, going against all historical appraisals of Germany and Hitler.  Of course, right wingers today also go against all scientific appraisals regarding the dangers of human-caused climate change.  Their rigid, denial kind of thinking hasn't changed in all the years since WWII.  Should memory fail today's Tea Party types in regard to past history, here is the original quote from the days of WWII: 

"First they came ..." is a famous statement and provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt and responsibility

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Monday, November 23, 2015

The hilarious absurdity of it all! (~.~)

This Bill Hicks comedian "joke" is speaking the truth of what present-day quantum physicists have discovered (along with wise sages of all times--and at least one young man on acid (~.~)). Because only a tiny percent of humanity seems really interested in understanding who/what we actually are, what truly makes this joke so funny is the last sentence...  It nails exactly how the dream goes on in our world.  Take the wisdom of the ages, turn it into a soundbite and go right on with "the news of the day." 

This gave me a Big laugh today. Hope it does the same for you. Just one look at the daily news will prove to you that we are living in the theater of the absurd. (~.~)

"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the Weather."


Friday, November 20, 2015

Oh YES! This says exactly what I think about Chris Mathews and MSNBC these days!

I have never been able to stand Chris Mathews, a loud-mouthed boor who should have been shown the door years ago.  MSNBC has made colossal mistakes in whom they choose to keep and whom to lose.  They fired Phil Donahue and Keith Olbermann and have kept on Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell (who, for whatever reason--possibly medical--cannot speak straight, gets lost and entangled in her words and at times just zones out all together. She seems dithery and out of sync most of the time.  Her nervous jitters make me feel sympathy for her at the same time I am wanting to shout, "Give her the hook and drag her offstage!")

I agree with the author of this piece that Rachel Maddow was a good addition to the lineup.  She was brought onto MSNBC by her then good friend Keith Olbermann's urging -- but she stayed out of the fray when Olbermann and the management went head-to-head.  Olbermann lost.  They kept Mathews and fired him--a great loss since Olbermann spoke truth to power (which was what led to his demise).  BUT lately, I have noticed Rachel's reiteration of the same words over and over, as if she were speaking to children, hammering the points into our heads.  She brings up good points and important news that others are missing or ignoring, so I continue to watch her.  But if there were a good news alternative, I would be switching stations when she is on.  Best of all of them, in my opinion, is Lawrence O'Donnell. 

I am wondering what kind of power Chris Mathews holds over the powers-that-be at MSNBC. WHY do they keep him on?  I turn off the TV whenever he comes on and can't stand when he does the post-debate narrations and interviews.  In my estimation, he and Wolf Blitzer at CNN are both obnoxious, so (now that Jon Stewart is no longer giving the real news on the Daily Show...sob) that doesn't leave me anywhere to turn except Fox, which is concretized in the Bubble World view of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes...UGH! 

If we weren't in such dire straits in the world today, just watching that Faux network would be amusingly entertaining, with its dolled-up eye candy chicks with long hair, short skirts, crossed legs (showing lots of thigh) and 4-inch heels giving you the latest Bubble noise -- and the bleating nonsense that spews from the mouths of such as Sean Hannity (double UGH) and Bill O'Reilly (YUK).  It's so ridiculously/hilariously absurd, you have to laugh even if you want to cry when you think of all the clueless people tuned in who think Fox is really giving them "fair and balanced" information.  Fox is so far over the line, watching it is like viewing a satire done on SNL or reading a piece in Mad Magazine or The Onion.

Enough said.  Jaime O'Neill is becoming my favorite is his acutely perceptive take on MSNBC: 

Chris Mathews, My MSNBC Problem, and Yours
by Jaime O'Neill | November 20, 2015 - 9:51am

Because I'm a liberal, I spend a portion of most days watching MSNBC, though I've begun to dislike that cable channel with something akin to a passion. Still, I stick to it for Chris Hayes and Lawrence O'Donnell, though even those shows seem to have been saddled with more right wing opinionizers of late, sent there by the suits, no doubt, the management geniuses who think that if they include a little more opinion from editors at Reason Magazine, or former speechwriters for McCain or Romney, viewers will come flocking to their channel.

The suits at MSNBC also dumped Keith Olbermann (remember him?) a guy who was smarter and more incisive than most anyone they've brought on since. And they made a hash of their afternoon lineup, with more Chuck Todd, a guy few progressives or liberals ever hoped to see more often. He's the guy, you will recall, who so famously said it wasn't his job as a journalist to ask hard follow up questions of political candidates or newsmakers who'd just said something egregiously false. It was the viewers' job, apparently, to sort it all out, and it was just his job to let the pols say whatever they wanted before moving on to the next topic. If Chuck Todd were merely neutral, or non-partisan, that would be ok, but he shows a definite pattern of being a bit more belligerent with Democrats than with Republicans. I don't think that's just my bias, either, though it is clear that cleaning the bullshit out of an elephant stall is always going to be a bigger job than cleaning up after a jackass.

Chuck Todd, and the recycled news voice of Brian Williams would have been bad enough, but they also eliminated two shows by two of their brightest people—Joy Reid and Alex Wagner. Though those two women can be seen turning up on panels or on live feeds from news sites, their disappearances as talk show moderators for viewers interested in something more than a mere repetition of the day's liberal talking points represented a significant downturn in MSNBC's cred as a source of serious analysis from a lefty perspective.

The suits also seem to think that ratings will be better served if they have more talking heads who look as though they're about to celebrate their bar mitzah, or be passed on a year early out of middle school. Lots of those young "experts" are quite bright and articulate, of course, but it's hard to look authoritative on TV when your skin hasn't entirely cleared up yet, or your voice hasn't quite changed register.

But even if MSNBC didn't have a propensity for so transparently being rating whores, the fact would still remain that their judgment isn't any too good even on that rather craven score.

Beyond that, their lineup of "liberal voices" is beginning to seem reminiscent of the kinds of liberals Fox "News" used to offer when they were genuflecting in the direction of "fair and balanced," back when every school yard bully's favorite poster child, Allen Colmes, was the counter part to every school yard's favorite bully, Sean Hannity. More recently, Fox has included Bob Beckel as their house liberal, a guy who would never have been the choice of many liberals or progressives had they been asked to pick someone to voice their opinions in an environment so hostile to them.

Beyond all that, however, is just how tiresome people like Rachel Maddow and Chris Mathews have become. Rachel is on my team, and though she nearly always is spouting off on subjects I agree with her on, the nature of her spouting has grown to be unendurable. If she's writing her own copy, someone needs to edit it. She repeats every single fact or idea or place name or point at least three times, and usually more often, slightly rewording it each time, as though she's unsure of whether she's made it clear, or unsure of the ability of her audience to follow her thought. If someone is writing her copy for her, she needs to fire that person and hire a few writers who didn't cut class on the day the writing instructor was going over the subject of padding copy. Listening to Rachel reminds me of when I was writing papers as a lower division under graduate, padding out thin ideas by repeating them in slightly different words, ballooning a hundred word thought into a thousand word paper.

And even if she weren't so breathlessly verbose, her manner would still be off putting, the way she seems to be scolding her listeners, or talking to them as though they have been kept after school. She's gotten rather full of herself in ways that don't flatter her, and she's not at all like the young woman I first met on that channel, so bright, but so much less imbued with a palpable sense that she knew how bright she was.

Even worse than Rachel, however, is the increasingly insufferable Chris Mathews, a guy who is asserting his claim to be the rudest boor on television as he asks rambling and often incoherent questions of guests, then barely lets them get a word out before he interrupts,interjecting a repetition of one aspect of the "question" he's just asked, or asserting his own opinion, which is already contained in the question, once more. And though, like Rachel, he's sometimes said things quite well and even eloquently, making points I'm pleased for him to have made, just as often he's said really stupid shit, or perpetuated a media promoted narrative that turned out not to be true, or embarrassed me as a fellow member of the same gender with his adolescent view of how the world works, how much it is like a movie he saw or a song he heard. He's the guy, you'll recall, who got giddy when George W. Bush staged that landing on that aircraft carrier, then strolled across the deck in that flight suit before giving his horseshit "Mission Accomplished" speech. Chris Mathews, however, thought that was just about the neatest thing he'd ever seen, and it gave him the tingles. It was, he said, gushing like a school girl, a real macho and "very American" thing to do, and we Americans can never get enough of "that kind of stuff."

Gag me with a fuckin' spoon. That shameful moment of grandstanding by the village idiot we'd allowed to be in charge of stuff like invading the wrong country, and giving big tax breaks to his friends, and running the White House for the benefit of "defense" contractors, oil men, and hedge fund crooks was the perfect emblem of all that's wrong with this country, but it played well with Chris, alas. He likes a guy in uniform, even one who'd gone AWOL when he was supposed to be wearing one.

Then there's the tendency Chris Mathews has to get on a really silly hobby horse and ride that wooden horse into a lather. His little crusade to teach his listeners how we really should be pronouncing Dick Cheney's last name ("Cheeen-ey," says Chris, not "Chain-y" is notable in this regard, a tiresomely repeated trope, utterly irrelevant, not interesting, and an idea even Chris Mathews can't keep straight on his tongue or in his head. He sometimes pronounces the former VP's last name both ways in the same segment.

Beyond that, there's his inclination to write a book just about every year, usually a variation on his memories of having worked for Tip O'Neill back when, in his memory, politics was still a matter of having a few drinks between a couple of Micks at the end of the day, with Ronald Reagan and ol' Tip able to work together, with the help of young and adorable and o' so patriotic Chris Mathews. Once these books have been written, Mathews hypes them on his show until it becomes shameless and embarrassing, a hustle that makes Bill O'Reilly's book peddling on his show seem almost diffident and modest by comparison.

But I can forgive all this shit most of the time. However, this week, Chris Mathews mounted a new hobby horse, and watching him ride that ugly nag has pissed me off almost as much as Ted Cruz or Donald Trump pissed me off in the aftermath of the massacre in Paris.

For the last few days of the week, Mathews wanted to rail on the Syrian men who are fleeing their country, wanted to wonder why "Syrians won't fight," casting aspersons on them for their cowardice, comparing them to stalwart Americans who would never flee, but would stay no matter what and "fight for their country."

First off, that is so goddamned stupid that my jaw dropped each time he started on that subject. The Syrians ARE fighting for their country. That's why some of them are fleeing. It's not a fit place for their children anymore because so many Syrians are fighting for their country, all in different sects and sub-sects and tribes and bands and allegiances. Meanwhile, we are bombing various and sundry places where fleeing Syrians once lived, or providing arms to contending Syrians who stay to fight. And, if there's not enough fighting going on in Syria to satisfy Chris Mathews' sense of Syrian patriotism or courage, the Russians are bombing that country now, too, and of course the nation's leader, Assad, has been fighting for his country, too, willing to kill any number of his fellow Syrians out of his sense of love for his country.

But when Chris Mathews, a fuckin' liberal, excoriates and sneers at these poor men who are on the run with their families, guys who can't figure out which bunch of their fellow Syrians to hook up with, who put the love for their wives and children ahead of their love of lines drawn on a map to form a country, that fulminating and posturing being done by a TV talking head is just off-the-charts offensive. It puts the worst of Chris Mathews on display, the part of him that will, apparently, always be that 11-year-old boy he was in Philadelphia, back when the heroes were all square-jawed, strutting around in flight suits, or fearlessly blasting the bad guys out of their saddles.

Why, Chris opines, sagely, can't Syrian men be more like us stand-up American guys? Why won't they fight? What the hell is wrong with them? Do they need us to send them a whole bunch of John Wayne DVDs in order to teach them some backbone?

It's the kind of bullshit that makes liberals look as stupid as Tea Party morons, and I'm not sure any of us, no matter how damn dumb we can be, are really well served by that, especially when intelligence seems to be in such short supply everywhere you might care to look.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

More Sad environmental news

Catastrophic Pacific Ocean Die-Off, The US Military's All Out Assault On The Web Of Life

By Dane Wigington
Many have heard about some of the die-offs occurring in our oceans, but most have no understanding of how catastrophic the actual reality is.
Fukushima is where all the fingers point as the source of the carnage along the coast, but there is much more to the story. Those who control the US military have virtually no regard for any of the destruction they are wreaking on the entire web of life, including marine life. The US Navy has long since been using live depleted uranium ammunition and devastating sonar devices along the Pacific coast (the US Navy is now also waging electromagnetic warfare along our forests and our coasts). The US (and other nations) have also routinely dumped nuclear waste into our oceans. The excerpt (shown at the link below) from the US Navy's "Environmental Impact Statement " is beyond shocking. Their position is this, if there are no studies to prove the harm they are causing, then no harm was caused.
"The study area for consideration of impacts on marine plants and invertebrates includes the open ocean west of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California….Aircraft overflight and training activities are assumed to have no impacts to marine communities, because impacts of sound on plants and invertebrates are unknown and difficult to quantify."
The statement below was appropriately presented (along with other pressing points) to the US Navy's EIS staff by concerned Oregon resident Carol Van Strum.

The question of past and current Naval activities is highly significant. For example, the EIS acknowledges that past and present activities off the Oregon coast have involved the use of rounds comprised of depleted uranium. Uranium, depleted or otherwise, is an exceptionally persistent material in the environment. The EIS revelations of Navy use of depleted uranium thus raise very serious concerns about how long the Navy has been using depleted uranium rounds in the Pacific Ocean, how much was used per year, where that use has occurred, and what environmental impacts have already accrued from such use, such as uptake by fish and synergistic effects with other wastes and products from Naval exercises. The EIS mentions none of these issues.

In 2010 I personally spoke to a US Navy Public Relations representative that very cavalierly confirmed the Navy's use of depleted uranium ammunition for "practice" off of the US West Coast. She seemed to have no idea of the dangers posed by this ammunition, but rather was only repeating whatever she was told.  The US Military has also permanently contaminated vast areas of land masses with its deadly depleted uranium ammunition. An epidemic of birth defects in Iraq and elsewhere is the legacy of this use. But there is an even larger ongoing assault on the ocean, the planet, and all life, global geoengineering/weather warfare. The blatant atmospheric aerosol spraying so clearly seen of the coast of California in the satellite photo at the link below is nothing short of shocking.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Heart-touching Texas Monthly story about overcoming tragedy with love

A tragic but triumphant story highlighting a mother's love and devotion to her child touches the heart in a way that's impossible to forget.

Also, if interested to see the people in the story on camera, here's a 5 min film about them, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton ...