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Showing posts from April, 2015

70 Years Ago

It's best that we don't forget things like this: seventy years ago today, after precipitating the deaths of 50 million people, Adolf Hitler took his own life.  I won't add anything to the endless words that have been written on the subject- what could anyone have to add, anyway?

I've Got a Bridge I'll Be Happy to Sell You

Is there a person on earth (other than the staff of the Washington Post, of course) that believes that Freddie Gray broke his own back and crushed his own larynx in the back of a police van? Now that the Baltimore Police Department has been caught "leaking" a story which is as improbable as The Hobbit, let's see what has to be done to make this outrage disappear.  Because you know what the final outcome is going to be.  After all, there was no one in the back of the police van filming things on their phone, so it never happened. Update: Well, surprise, surprise.  Even the Baltimore Police realized that they could never get anyone to believe their fairy tale of Freddie Grey's self-destruction.  Now let's see if we ever find out the circumstances under which this ugly lie was released to the press, what was offered to the other prisoner to collaborate (for a day at least,) and if anyone will be held accountable for it.

The Man Who Should Have Been President

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If both the Republican and Democratic parties hadn't conspired to destroy him when he had a real chance, because neither one of them likes the truth that much. From Think Progress: "On Wednesday morning, four-term California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order that aims to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Brown called it the most aggressive GHG target by any North American government to date." Oh, and did I mention that he turned the Republicans' giant budget deficit into a surplus within two years, without savaging education funding and without making poor people bear the cost?  And he has seen a dramatic turnaround in the business and jobs climate in California, despite Republicans' endless whining that high taxes are driving all our jobs to Texas? Oh yeah, this is Governor Moonbeam, the guy who is just too wacky and out in left field to be trusted to run things.  Imagine what this coun

More Baltimore

So, last night, while I was cooking dinner, I tuned in to MSNBC's coverage of the Baltimore "riots," and caught the three news hosts that we are supposed to cherish as the liberal end of the news spectrum; Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O'Donnell; spending an endless amount of time praising the Baltimore Police for the way they did away with any more protests.  Of course, that's not the way the three "liberals" put it- no, according to them, the police were keeping the peace and showing that the system works. Has it already become established fact that whatever annoying things happened in Baltimore were the fault of those inferior Black people?  Has everyone forgotten that this one night of rioting was the result of years of vicious abuse of the citizens of Baltimore by thugs in blue uniforms?  And has everyone forgotten that this sort of police misbehavior seems to happen almost daily, in cities across this country? Has everyone forgotten tha

Baltimore

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Ta-Nehsi Coates:  "When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse." You see, here is the side we are supposed to meet halfway: And here's our side: So, this seems to be the well established rule:  They get to kill us whenever they feel like it, and then when we don't like that, we are supposed to meet them halfway, by doing nothing that is likely to change their current status.  If we do decide that this deal isn't good enough, they get to beat and kill a few more of us, to which the proper response is some prayer vigils, or maybe a petition.  Then, we bury our dead, the police cross their fingers and promise for the thousandth time not to act like thugs, and everybody agrees that the system worked. Well, to hell with that.  I've lived in Baltimore, and I've seen the hopeless slums five minutes walk from streets of magnificent eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings, and only

The Clown Car Rolls On

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Republican public comments lately have spun so far off the rails that I have trouble keeping up with them via normal posts.  So, I want to try something a little different here: a sort of Wingnut Wrapup of allegedly responsible voices from Republicans and the mainstream press, which are as idiotic as the stuff I find at right wing websites, but far less forgivable, since they come from people who actually have the power to see to it that their vile agenda is actually enacted; as well as a little miscellany that is related to the subject.  All of this is from today, collected by me in a half hour or so.  So, let's get on with it.  I'm bookmarking a lot of it, as opposed to my normal practice with wingnut blogs.  I don't want to give the blogs the hits, but these people need to be held responsible for their behavior. Ted Cruz:  "Today’s Democratic Party has decided there is no room for Christians in today’s Democratic Party" Ha ha, caught us.  We're going t

Wingnut Wrapup

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Well, here's what the next year and a half are going to look like: All Hillary all the time! Bet you can't wait, huh? Matt Towery, Town Hall:  "Major Opinion Index Might Be Warning of Big Changes in Markets and Economy...let me be clear, I am not suggesting that such a meltdown is imminent. But a study from the research firm Opinion Savvy gives real cause to wonder if the wild bull run on Wall Street might finally be coming to an end later this year." Of course, there is no sign that the economy is going to melt down between now and the election, but a Republican can always dream, right?  Because there is nothing that these patriots want more. Mike Larson, Town Hall:  "Years of economic propaganda, dishonest accounting and lies have led to this" Conveniently illustrated with a picture of Barack Obama, just so you get the idea of who is doing the lying.  And what might "this" be?  Well, "this" is a free opportunity to put you

Good News for Republicans

It just never ends.  Today, this piece of vital information from Yahoo: "Clinton polling well but it may spell trouble...The former Secretary of State is a favorite among Democrats, but some fear her dominance could lead to her downfall." Will it surprise you that the rest of the article fails to identify a single one of the "some" who believe this?  In fact, it never refers to this claim at all.  It does, however, manage to find room to mention Republican claims that she is untrustworthy, again, however failing to provide a shred of evidence for those claims. Get ready for it- Election 2016, as brought to you by our mainstream press, which seems to be just panting at the thought of a replay of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Why I Haven't Been Posting Much Lately

In the words of George Packer, in the New Yorker: "the forest of names on the Republican side, “two figures—Jeb Bush and Scott Walker—have quickly moved to the head of the pack. Perhaps only Mr. Rubio has a good chance to join them at the top.” The reasons have to do with fundraising, positioning, √©lite support, broad acceptability—that is, with the roles spelled out in the piece. The author, Nate Cohn, concluded, “It will be fun to watch.” That was when he lost me. It might not be wise for a sometime political journalist to admit this, but the 2016 campaign doesn’t seem like fun to me... If this is any kind of fun, it’s the kind of fun I associate with reading about seventeenth-century French execution methods, or watching a YouTube video of a fight between a python and an alligator. Fun in small doses, as long as you’re not too close.   American politics in general doesn’t seem like fun these days. There’s nothing very entertaining about super PACs, or Mike Huckabee’s nat

The More Things Change...

For those of us that are horrified with the behavior of Conservatives today, and might be tempted to see this as a temporary reaction brought on by the successive campaigns of a Black man and a woman, consider this, from Richard Evans' three volume work on the rise of the Nazi party, about the Social Democrats in Germany before World War I: "By the eve of the first world war, the (Social Democratic) party had over a million members, the largest political organization anywhere in the world.  In the 1912 elections, despite an inbuilt bias of the electoral system, in favour of  conservative rural constituencies, it overtook the Centre party as the largest single party in the Reichstag...   Combating the Social Democrats became the business of a whole generation of judges, state prosecutors, police chiefs and government officials before 1914.  These men, and the majority of their middle- and upper-class supporters, never accepted the Social Democrats as a legitimate political

Shooting at N.C. community college investigated as possible hate crime

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According to Reuters .  Gee, you think so?  Here's the shooter: The article continues: "...detectives also were looking into whether the former student with no prior criminal arrest record had any affiliation with white supremacy groups." What could have ever made them think that?  The 88 on his cheek?  the iron cross on his throat?

The Greatest Republican Idea In The History of the World

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From ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolis: "STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question for each of you, who is the most promising Republican candidate not in the race yet? […]  BILL KRISTOL: If they get to nominate Hillary Clinton, why don't we get to nominate Dick Cheney..." Bill, please, please, be our guest!  There is no one in the Democratic party that would have any problem at all with your nominating Dick Cheney to run for President. He is the very apotheosis of what it means to be a Republican, in every way. And what a record, both in economics and foreign policy.  And what a great campaigner, what with him being such a likeable guy.  Let's all see how many people in this country want that.  Really, please go for it.  Please! I mean, everyone wants to look at that for the next eight years.

FDR

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Today is the seventieth anniversary of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  I'd like to take the opportunity to remind people what a real Democratic President sounded like.  If you have never heard this short clip, please take a couple of minutes to listen to it, and try to remember the last time you heard a living Democratic leader talk this way: I've been to Warm Springs, Georgia, to the "Little White House" where Roosevelt was so content to be.  Here's a picture of it: Roosevelt was born to wealth and influence, yet he didn't need car elevators and all the rest of it to be happy.  This humble little structure was all he wanted, and I think it says it all.  We can't seem to be able to have Democrats like this any more.  Too bad, huh?

Republicans- A Challenger Appears

We have seen how the Republican party has been controlled totally by the rich for a century, and how, for at least a half century, no one has been nominated by the Republicans to run for President who is not the choice of the rich- primarily the investment bankers and hedge fund managers, who include among their members the Bush family (dating back to Prescott Bush, who was an investment banker) and Mitt Romney.  These people have generally had net worths (in today's money) in the hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly extracted from other, semi-rich dupes, but much of it also gained by destroying jobs or (in Prescott Bush's case) supplying the Nazi war effort.  Based on this phenomenon I have been confidently predicting that Jeb Bush had a total lock on the Republican nomination. I'm beginning to think of hedging my bets, so to speak.  For a new power has emerged in the Republican party- a few dozen people who are not merely disgustingly rich, but who are hyper-rich; pe

Appomattox

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Maybe not that important, but I think it is worth remembering that today is the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, thus effectively ending the Civil War.

How Ugly It Is Going to Get

You just watch how the right wing narrative about the police murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston is going to develop, if you want to see just how determined right wingers in this country are to license themselves to commit whatever atrocities they want to. Here it is, only a couple of days later, and it has already started.  Here are a couple of excerpts from a site called "Charleston Thug Life" which seem to be along the lines of the famous saying, "who you going to trust, me or your lying eyes." "Let’s deal with some new developments in the case of the horrendous officer involved shooting in North Charleston. Yes, we know reasoned analysis is racist, but what the hell, let’s do it anyway.   First and foremost are the actions of James Johnson, Al Sharpton’s racist in training, who levied his usual unfounded allegations of racial profiling against police. He may tell you he doesn’t want riots, but he’s secretly longing for them so he can continue

My Reaction to the North Charleston Police Murder

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I guess everyone has heard about this disgusting incident, and I usually don't like to just repeat what others have already said, but in case there is anyone who hasn't seen this video, I think you should watch it, to really understand what is going on in this country. Before reproducing it here, I think it is important to be clear about what the North Charleston police department had to say about this incident, when they didn't know the video existed.  They claimed that the officer felt a threat to his life, and that the victim had taken his taser away from him and was trying to use it on him.  And please remember, this all involves a police stop of a 50 year old man for a broken tail light on his Mercedes- not even a misdemeanor; at most a citation, and normally a warning if this is the first time he was stopped for it.  I leave it to you to determine how likely it is that a police officer would actually feel in fear for his life from, and use a taser on,  a 50 year old

The California Water Crisis- A Proposal for a Necessary Step

I live in California, which probably gives me a little more motivation to follow the story of its water crisis than most people, but by now, I am sure you have all heard something about ours record breaking drought. One of the facts you may have picked up is that 80% of all the water used in California goes to agriculture.  It surprised a lot of us, therefore, that the recent action by Governor Brown (a great governor, who I have always supported) left the agricultural sector totaly untouched. Since even Jerry Brown, not noted for shrinking from hard stands, can't bring himself to deal with this issue, I would like to propose a solution of my own.  It is something that I started thinking about last July, when I read an article in the New York Times, some of which I'd like to quote now: "His boots were caked with mud when Thomas S. T. Gimbel, a longtime hedge fund executive, slipped in a strawberry patch. It was the plumpness of a strawberry that had distracted him

Sea Change In Republican Politics?

Over the last few months, I fear that I have begun to detect a serious change in Republican behavior.  I have noticed, in States like Wisconsin, Kansas and Indiana, less and less concern for any effect of their behavior, except as is either serves the hyper-rich, or contributes to keeping the blinders on the 20% or so of the electorate needed to run grassroots electoral campaigns.  In these States, as well as in the other usual right wing States, there seems to be a new attitude of open disregard for the disastrous effects that they are causing to the environment, the economy, or anything else, as they rush to either satisfy the inextinguishable greed of hyper-rich psychopaths, or to pass a bundle of deliberately offensive, hate-filled legislation, to satisfy the also inextinguishable ocean of anger that they have synthetically generated to preserve their "base" of people who are willing to work to destroy their own lives, if only it hurts someone else. This is what I fear:

Iran- Let's Not Forget the History

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You just can't appreciate what a great accomplishment Obama's successful negotiation with Iran has been, without remembering a little of the history between our two countries. Particularly the story of Mohammed Mossadegh. Mossadegh was the head of a democratic government in Iran, elected in fair and open elections.  This was too much for the United States to bear, so in 1953, he was removed from power in a coup orchestrated by the CIA.  He spent the rest of his life in prison or house arrest, for the crime of having been chosen by his people to lead their country. The result?  The Iranians suffered through decades of rule by Shah Reza Pahlavi, a vicious, brutal dictator easily as bad as Saddam or Khaddafi.  His secret service, the SAVAK, was responsible for the torture and murder of thousands- the exact number will never be known.  And through all of this, the Shah was maintained firmly in power through US military aid. And the consequences of that aid?  No one in th

Remember the Iraq War?

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that." --Donald Rumsfeld, November 14, 2002 Remember the Iraq war?  Well, here are a couple of comparisons for those who are planning our next cakewalk in Iran: Population: Iran:  78.47 million Iraq 2003:  25.96 million Armed Forces: Iran:  Army: Frontline and Reserve Personnel:  2,345,000            Navy: 397 ships            Air Force: 471 aircraft Iraq 2003:  Army: 375,000 troops            Navy: virtually totally destroyed during 1991 Gulf war, and never rebuilt            Air Force:  Estimated 90 flyable planes And this time we will be going in with absolutely no allies.  As in the last two wars in the Middle East, Israel will have to stay out, or we will risk a unified Muslim front against us, stretching over a third of the world. The fools that think we can go halfway around the world an

Let the Screaming Begin

Over this development, of course: "LAUSANNE, Switzerland — After marathon negotiations, the United States, Iran and five other world powers announced an agreement Thursday outlining limits on Iran's nuclear program to block it from developing atomic weapons and directing negotiators toward a final accord this summer.   The United States and Iran each hailed the framework, reached by weary but upbeat diplomats after a week of intense diplomacy in Switzerland that capped 18 months of negotiations. Speaking from the White House, President Barack Obama called it a "good deal" that would address concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions." Of course, there will be two immediate Republican responses:  First of all, Obama is a traitor who has sold the security of the country out to his real friends, the Muslims.  And second, that this agreement is all the result of the Republicans' tough stance on Iran, exemplified by the notorious Senate traitor letter, so

Republicans Come Up With Sure-Fire Way to Destroy Hillary and Obama!

Yes, fellow liberals, I am sorry to tell you this, but an absolutely fool-proof plan to eliminate both Obama and Hillary has been revealed, by Wayne Allan Root, one of the staff writers at Town Hall. As painful as it may be for you, Green Eagle must now reveal this masterful scheme, so that we can all prepare ourselves for the Presidency of Ted Cruz, and the great rebirth of America that will follow.  So, strap on your seat belts and let's go for a Cruz! "Here is how Republican donors can sink the ships of both Obama and Hillary.   It's time to use capitalism and the power of greed (the things Democrats claim to hate so much) to save America." Because what could be more likely to unseat Obama than the most noble American emotion of all, greed- the thing (other than hate, of course) that has kept the Republican party afloat for the last hundred years?  And it's all so simple once you think about it: "Here is how we save America: 1. Offer $50 million t