Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why Quinn will defeat Rauner


While I rarely publically predict election winners, I'm confident Governor Pat Quinn will defeat challenger Bruce Rauner next Tuesday.

Just as his huge early lead in the GOP Primary melted away in proportion to personal millions spent, I sense the more money Rauner spends in the general election, the less likely he is to win. The reason: all that personal Rauner wealth spent goes to the overriding issue in this campaign: character.
First a word about Governor Quinn's character; two words actually: ROCK SOLID. Anyone who has, like me, followed his sterling public career for the last 40 years, knows his accomplishments are many; his shortcomings are few. Consider these accomplishments: passing the Illinois Initiative making public referenda easier; creating the Citizens Utility Board; cutting back the State House from 177 members to 118, and stopping state representatives from collecting their entire two year pay on Day One. Any reputable public servant would be proud to achieve one of them. Quinn achieved them all. He is not among the most revered governors in the country from spending millions promoting that status. He's earned it by saving the public millions, and staying modestly middle class in the process.

Now a few words about Mr. Rauner. Before he announced for the governorship in March, no one aside from his business circle knew much about him. Now, after spending $23 million of his fabulous wealth on the race, we know more than necessary to determine he's not fit to run Illinois. Rauner hasn't created jobs, he's eliminated them. In his race to the top of the business shell game, Rauner and his partners end up with millions every time; the rest end up with little or nothing. When Rauner tells us he doesn't have a 'social agenda', we know that is code to the greedy rich and the despisers of the less fortunate that he's their guy. When Rauner says marriage equality should be put to a referendum; then runs from the reporter asking his personal view of gay marriage, we know he is incapable of showing compassion to the marginalized. When he brags to his wealthy base of the need to lower the Illinois' minimum wage; then lies about his view when challenged, we know he's a phony who's out of touch with the millions of Illinoisans struggling to get by, if not survive. When he says he wouldn't have expanded Medicaid in Illinois, which has given hope and even life to hundreds of thousands shut out from the fabulous health care system Rauner enjoys without thinking, we know he's got a big wallet but a tiny heart. When we hear Rauner trash the entire legislature as a bunch of stupid, dishonest and unsuccessful losers, we know he's tone-deaf because pandering to the electorate on the backs of lawmakers will have its consequences.

But if, by some fluke, Rauner emerges as our 42nd governor next Tuesday, I can imagine him looking sheepishly at his close advisors and repeating the words of Robert Redford, the empty suit in the movie 'The Candidate' who won a California senate race on big money and big marketing: "What do we do now?"

Christie's decision process needs to be quarantined


Nurse Kaci Hickox knows first hand how egregious a Chris Christie presidency would be. Retuning to New Jersey from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, Hickox, healthy as a new born babe, had her nice threads replaced with uncomfortable hospital scrubs, escorted into an unheated tent outside a New Jersey hospital, and told to cool her heels for 21 days so Christie could burnish his 'tough guy' bonifides with an ignorant electorate. Christie, who only possesses a doctorate in 'bullying', said next day Hickox was "obviously ill." A firestorm of criticism from the White House, the medical community and Hickox's attorney caused Christie to reverse course and release her after three days. Besides playing despicable politics, Christie's actions virtually guarantee the growth of Ebola in West Africa and possibly the world because the front line health care professionals treating it at its source will refrain subjecting themselves to such inhumane treatment by thuggish politicians.

There is a quarantine that is called for here. Any time Christie contemplates a decision affecting public safety such as closing the George Washington Bridge or quarantining healthy health care workers, he should be required to undergo a 21 day quarantine so he can assess the likely damage. The only difficulty in quarantining Christie might be finding a big enough tent.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Diana no Princess to Illinois lawmakers

I've long tired of hearing faux Democrat Diana Rauner extol husband Bruce's extreme Republican remedies for improving Illinois. Union busting, denigrating teachers, bemoaning a fair minimum wage, opposing Medicaid expansion, being AWOL on marriage equality, promoting more tax cuts for the greedy rich while planning regressive new sales taxes to hurt the poor and middle class are anathema to a true Democrat. They are also a recipe to derail the steady, compassionate and inclusive governance of Democratic incumbent Governor Pat Quinn who righted the ship called Land of Lincoln from the disastrous recession caused by those same Republican policies at a national level. But Diana's latest ad caught my ear when she said:

"I support my husband Bruce Rauner...because he's smart, honest, successful...everything that Springfield isn't."

Can you imagine her first introductory remarks to lawmakers assembled to celebrate a Rauner administration?

"I want to welcome you stupid, dishonest and unsuccessful losers to the Governor's tenth mansion today."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Only WMD found in Iraq was 'Made In USA'


It took eleven years but apologists for George W. Bush's criminal Iraq war have finally found WMD. Alas, they jumped the gun in announcing its discovery. Turns out the WMD consisted of about 5,000 shells of mustard and nerve gas supplied to our then Best Bud, Saddam Hussein, by the Reagan administration in the 1980's to further his criminal war against Iran. Well, it really wasn't Hussein's criminal war so much as Reagan's, since Uncle Sam sort of inspired Hussein to invade Iran so we could rid America of the pesky Ayatollah and his revolutionary minions potentially threatening our Middle East oil empire. Although he started out well, Hussein was put on his heels by Iranian human wave attacks, prompting the Gipper to counter with a handy dose of WMD. A half million dead later, the war ended in stalemate. Fast forward twenty years and Bush's canon fodder stumbled across the decaying WMD resulting in serious injury to at least 17 GI's. Bush and his war cabinet, realizing how damaging this discovery could be, suppressed the story with the help of their Fawning Corporate Media. Not only didn't we hear about the old WMD, the 17 injured didn't hear about it either, resulting in their not being given proper medical treatment.   
 
Hey, what's a few damaged soldiers compared to preventing damage to the war party and their endless quest for more war and more plunder at the expense of investing in all the right things to reverse America's seemingly inexorable decline.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Is Rauner re-incarnation of Ross Perot?

Listening to Bruce Rauner plug his gubernatorial campaign for the past 8 months, I kept getting a sense of Deja vu.  Sure enough, it struck me today that Billionaire Bruce reminds me of Billionaire Ross, as in Ross Perot. Back in 1992, Perot became the darling of the anti government set with his fake populist, outsider, genius businessman persona that for a time, made him frontrunner in the three way race with insiders George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Perot, like Rauner, was an immensely wealthy businessman who worked the system to get everything that money can buy...except political power. Like Rauner, Perot largely financed his own campaign. Like Rauner, Perot garnered votes and attention by sliming the political class as corrupt dolts, not understanding that on Day One of a Ross presidency, he'd have to sheepishly approach them with a huge serving of Humble Pie if he had a prayer of accomplishing anything. Like Rauner, he offered nothing but "trust this fabulously successful businessman to fix all problems". Like Rauner, Perot promised to balance the budget without a word or a prayer as to what services to the needy he'd cut to maintain the largely tax free candy store for this wealthy base. Like Rauner, Perot promised to fix every major problem on faith alone.

Perot's egomaniacal stridency and austerity mumbo, jumbo soon wore on the electorate and he finished with just 19%. Rauner, much more slick, remains in a dead heat with the immensely accomplished, dedicated and compassionate Governor Quinn. Today, Perot is a forgotten figure, who retreated into his limitless money having accomplished nothing of value to American and human progress. Should Rauner likewise fail in his attempt to buy high office, he likely will follow Perot's path to oblivion.

Monday, October 20, 2014

All numbers point to Palestinian state except 2


Last week the British Parliament voted 274 to 12 to advise the British government to recognize the state of Palestine. Britain remains one of only 59 of 193 countries that don't recognize Palestinian statehood which they declared at the Palestinian Council in Algiers 26 years ago next month. Two years ago the UN did vote 138 to 9 to grant Palestine Non-Member Observer Status, which gives them access to 60 UN organizations including those seeking relief from torture and genocide, two issues greatly impacting Palestine. Sweden has just announced it will become the 135th country to recognize Palestine and the first one in the European Union. While all these numbers point to the inexorable establishment of Palestine as the UN's 194 state, it's the number two that is preventing it: the US and Israel.

Friday, October 17, 2014

War party squanders $30 million to whitewash criminal Vietnam War

This aging but still feisty 1960's anti Vietnam war protester is appalled by the war party's $30 million waste of my tax dollars to re-write history for the majority of Americans too young to remember. The result, a fancy interactive website, www.vietnamwar50th.com, supposedly commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The 1964 start date simply refers to LBJ and his war hawks' fantasy tale about the... Tonkin Gulf incident used as the trigger to escalate US involvement into millions of dead, including 58,000 GI's. The real heroes of Vietnam, the millions of protesters who did much to ultimately end the war are virtually ignored. The slaughter of 500 unarmed civilians at Mai Lai is dismissed as an "incident." The site mentions Agent Orange in passing, not bothering to describe its disastrous effects and three generations of Vietnamese, with hundreds of thousands affected, including tens of thousands Americans, and destruction of much of Vietnam's natural environment. Many "hot spots" around former US bases remain active today. Nixon's 1968 election treason, in which he back channeled South Vietnam to reject LBJ's peace proposal, resulting in a million more dead people, is AWOL. The story of how the US propped up the French colonial empire from 1945 till the French were booted out by revolutionaries in 1954, and then took over the task of preventing Vietnam reunification for 21 years is a disgrace to legitimate historicity.

The millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians killed or damaged by our needless war deserve better.

The 8,000,000 US military personnel who served in Vietnam, including hundreds of thousands who deserted for good reason, deserve better.

And the generations of Americans who have no memory of the horror that needless war brought to Southeast Asia and America, deserve a real history that strips bear the folly of the war party who have just committed America to a new 30 year war that no one really understands and nobody not empowered or enriched by the war party gives a damn about.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Nobel Peace Prize speeches

 "To say that force is sometimes necessary isn’t a call to cynicism, it’s a recognition of history, the imperfections of man, and the limits of reason."  - President Barack Obama, 2009

"Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones."
  - Rev. Martin Luther King, 1964

Since winning his Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama has bombed seven Islamic countries. And Rev. King? He spent the last four years of his life preaching, living and spreading the message of peace.

Which one do you believe lived up to that glorious honor?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Who said that?


"In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They... are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war. "

Surprise, Adam Smith in 'The Wealth of Nations', published in 1776, the year America declared its independence. 'Wealth' is the revolutionary treatise on the sources of nations' wealth which is still the foundation of classical economics. The quote could well describe today's American war party and ruling class except for two revisions:

1. Simply replace "fleets and armies" with "drones and F-16's".
2. Complete "To them this amusement" with "is accomplished with no increase in taxes whatsoever under the concept of war paid with borrowed money."

That's the American war party, which understands completely that 'war is the health of the state.'

Monday, October 13, 2014

Trib's endorsement of Congressman Roskam an editorial disgrace

The Trib's endorsement of my Congressman Peter Roskam is truly divorced from reality. You say Roskam "remains a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he can be counted on to look out for taxpayers." Did you conveniently forget or did you simply not care that Roskam, as House GOP Chief Deputy Whip, helped lead the unconscionable 16 day government shutdown last year that dealt a $24 billion dollar blow to our economy and inconvenienced many millions. Then you tout Roskam's challenger Mic Mason for running because  "he is disgusted with the gridlock in Congress, so he decided to  run after he retired from the U.S. Postal Service." That is true in large part because Roskam helped fuel Congressional gridlock every day of the President's six years in office. Your endorsement is a disgrace to honest, thoughtful and informative opinion. Why not just say "We endorse Peter Roskam because he is a dependable right wing ideologue".  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Was Daily Herald's Roskam endorsement written "under the influence?"

The Daily Herald’s endorsement of four term Illinois Sixth District Congressman Peter Roskam was so bizarre and divorced from the reality of Roskam’s eight year tenure as my Congressman I can only conclude it was written “under the influence”.

Where to begin? How about your claim Roskam is the best candidate to grow the economy? Were you folks at the South Pole from October 1 – 16, 2013, when House Chief Deputy Whip Roskam helped shut down the government, causing a $24 billion dent to aforesaid economy and needlessly inconveniencing most Americans? Did you forget that Roskam spent the last six years trying valiantly to prevent, overturn or defund the Affordable Care Act which has granted relief to 40 million folks shut out of our health care system and is finally reversing the previously ever upward rise in medical insurance and health care costs? Working endlessly to prevent a living minimum wage, heartlessly denying long term unemployed extended jobless insurance and voting against every infrastructure rebuilding jobs creation measure, all serve Roskam’s goal to hurt, rather than help the splendid Obama economic recovery.  You laud Roskam for wanting to re-write the tax code not mentioning that his goal in not tax fairness but less paperwork for the greedy rich to wade through in avoiding their fair share of taxes.

On foreign policy, Roskam is enthralled with the war party and has helped spend trillions on our failed, criminal wars to be fought by the children of he poor, not by Roskam’s wealthy base. Astoundingly, you compliment his new bi-partisanship by supporting the President’s latest failed war against ISIS. But war lover Roskam goes further, criticizing the President for reaching out to the Muslim world and blasting him for pulling out of Iraq, even though Obama was merely following Iraq’s admonition to get the Hell out. He’s cheered on Israel’s genocide in Gaza as a loyal member of the Israel Lobby, and always puts their Likud government’s interests above America’s.

On immigration reform Roskam’s agenda is build a gigantic fence and then rest.
Marriage equality never entered Roskam’s ‘to do’ list.

Strengthen the Violence Against Women act? Faggeddibout it. Roskam voted against last year’s overdue extension.

But the Daily Herald is ecstatic that Roskam co-sponsored a Medicare anti fraud bill when Roskam simply made this a signature plank in his unrelenting effort to discredit any government intervention to help folks under the Affordable Care Act.

Yes, the Daily Herald was surely ‘under the influence’ when they penned this hilarious endorsement. It was the pernicious influence of the war party, the Tea Party, the wealthy elite, the Xenophobes who are anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti anyone not of the Chosen. That may not be the influence of hallucinatory substances….but it might as well be.
Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rauner's money vault full; political vault empty

Bruce Rauner's business skills may have put a billion dollars in his bank account, but he's yet to add two cents of political capital to his governance account. That was abundantly clear in his debate performance last night against Governor Quinn. Rauner repeatedly failed to convince his interviewers that his budget numbers added up. They can't of course since his position is to grant huge tax breaks to his rich base, including himself, while piling on regressive sales tax increases on millions of Illinoisans struggling to get by. Near the end an exasperated questioner prefaced his budget question by challenging Rauner to try one more time to convince him that his budget numbers weren't determined on Fantasy Island. Rauner fumbled that question before he could even punt it away. Meanwhile, Governor Quinn displayed a mastery of state governance and his principled role in righting the ship of state after the Great Recession caused by Republican policies Rauner embraces. Rauner caught my attention early on in his quest for the GOP nomination when he blasted the entire legislature as a bunch of corrupt bums who needed to be term limited. Then he said he'd magically fix Illinois by inviting legislature leaders to the Executive Mansion for a Kumbaiya session where they would learn to do his bidding. If that ever occurs I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall as Rauner gets schooled in Governance 101. As Quinn displayed his enormous heart in his efforts to lift up all Illinoisans, I was reminded of Bill Bixby about to morph into the Incredible Hulk to right wrongs. And Rauner? He looks more and more like the Incredible Shrinking Billionaire. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Diana Rauner, you are no Democrat


As a lifelong Democrat I was deeply offended by the slick, multi colored, campaign flyer put out displaying Diana Rauner, wife of Billionaire Bruce, touting her lifelong Democratic bonifides in her endorsement of husband Bruce for Illinois governor.

What kind of lifelong Democrat would champion a gubernatorial candidate for not having a "social agenda" when every aspect of state political governance is social, in that it determines the quality of life in our Illinois SOCIETY. What kind of lifelong Democrat would support a gubernatorial candidate who refused to back marriage equality, practically broke out in hives when reporters asked his position on gay marriage, and literally ran away from reporters when they wouldn't let him avoid the issue? What kind of lifelong Democrat would support a gubernatorial candidate who bragged to his greedy rich base he would cut the Illinois minimum wage back from the very poor $8.25 and hour to the poverty level $7.25 and hour and then lied about his minimum wage position when tape of his disgusting insensitivity to the poor surfaced? What kind of lifelong Democrat would support a gubernatorial candidate who opposed expanding Medicaid expansion to hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans previously shut out from our fabulous health care system. What kind of lifelong Democrat would champion massive billion dollar tax breaks for the rich while saddling the middle and lower classes with onerous sales tax increases?

The kind of lifelong Democrat who would support such a candidate is the fake Democrat Diana Rauner, willing to throw the little people of Illinois under Billionaire Bruce's electoral juggernaut funded by his personal fortune built on the backs of failed companies and laid off workers. If there were truth in political advertising Diana's expensive mailer would simply state: "I'm Diana Rauner, and though I'm a lifelong Democrat, I'm supporting Bruce for Governor because he's got all the material goodies a billion can buy except one thing: the Governorship."

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

For Turkey, ISIS is War No. 2

It's too bad President Obama was just 3 years old and can't remember 1964, when LBJ began the destruction of his presidency and his personage by trying to win a civil war in Vietnam that could not, and should not have been won. Obama's supposed good intentions of saving the folks threatened by ISIS suffered a major blow as Turkey, the most critical partner in our fake coalition of the 'maybe willing', has decided to let ISIS overrun and possibly wipe out the Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani. Turkish president Endogen, no US sock puppet, has decided that the Kurdish Workers Party, PKK, has spilled too much Turkish blood over several decades to warrant joining the new US war against ISIS, designed in part to protect vulnerable Kurdish enclaves. While ISIS is doing Turkey's dirty work against the Kurds for them, Secretary Kerry is running around with his perfectly coiffed hair on fire trying to figure out how to corral the loose canon Turks. Meanwhile, our Sunni Gulf State partners are phantom allies as any real help they might give America in killing Muslims will cause blowback from their Muslim populations. And our trillion dollar Iraqi ally? They could qualify for Olympic track and field events with all the running practice they undergo.  This simply and quickly proves the inevitable: if the US wants to prevail in a civil war that defies prevailing, it will have put US canon fodder on the ground to bleed and die so Kerry and Obama can experience the catastrophe that befell LBJ. Even the stupidity of the Kardashians isn't as predictable as the stupidity of US militarism in the Middle East.  

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Land of Homophobia in US shrinking fast


Yesterday's Supreme Court decision refusing to review Federal Circuit Court rulings nullifying gay marriage bans in 5 states, jumped from 19 to 30 the states (plus Washington DC) allowing marriage equality. America's homophobes and fearful anti-gay folks with lesser hatred in their hearts, have awakened to an American landscape that is rapidly diminishing for them to practice their discriminatory, hurtful and plain nutty concepts that gay marriage is a threat to children, 'opposite' marriage and society itself. If Pope Francis, already in hot water among the hateful, greedy rich for preaching economic fairness, would have the courage to end the Catholic Church's insane, delusional concept of homosexual sin, he may actually have a chance of making the Church relevant in the 21st century. And those folks holding up progress in the remaining 20 Neanderthal states not practicing American freedom and inclusiveness need to get out of the way of the excruciatingly slow, but inevitable sweep of history and human progress.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Kudos to Sweden


News item:
Sweden will become the first nation in Europe since the Cold War to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven made the announcement during his inaugural address Friday. He leads a center-left coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. Although it seems like a rare victory for the Palestinians, the majority of U.N. member states, representing roughly 80 percent of the global population, also recognize the state of Palestine. China and Russia both recognize Palestine, while the United States and most of Western Europe do not. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the following: “We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties.”
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If the US and the EU, representing the 20% of the world's population denying Palestinian state recognition, would follow suit, Israel would stop grabbing off Palestinian land and resources and negotiate in good faith for a true Palestinian state faster than you can say: "Mow the lawn".

Friday, October 03, 2014

Breen disdains choice in Illinois' 48th


Peter Breen is a bizarre candidate for representative in Illinois' 48th legislative district. He likens himself a patriot, specifically, a West Suburban Patriot, the DuPage County Tea Party organization of which he is a member. But what kind of patriot would work so assiduously to deny the 72,000 voters in the district a choice in the November 4 election? Breen worked fair and square to get on the Republican ballot as the Tea Party choice against six term incumbent, moderate Sandy Pihos. She didn't organize a campaign to wrongly challenge enough of his signatures to disqualify him from the ballot. She didn't hire high powered lawyers to scrutinize his filing forms to find an obscure technicality to go running to the Election Commission with to have him tossed from the GOP ballot. No, Sandy Pihos has forgotten more about patriotism than Breen could ever acquire. Unfortunately for Pihos, his supporters turned out and hers didn't, ending her distinguished legislative career.


But falsely challenge hundreds of his Democratic opponent Marian Tomlinson's signatures for the general election is exactly what Breen and his GOP scaredy-cats did. When scrutinized, most of these challenged signatures were deemed legitimate, getting Tomlinson back on the ballot. Not to be denied, denying 72,000 voters a choice, lawyer Breen and his colleagues discovered an insignificant technicality in Tomlinson's filing papers and persuaded the GOP leaning Election Commission to go along, tossing Tomlinson off the November ballot, to the detriment of the democratic process.

Although her name will not appear on the ballot, Tomlinson applied for and has been granted write-in status. That means District 48 voters will have a choice, despite all Breen's spite: Peter Breen and a blank line for a write-in candidate. If they fill in the oval before the write-in line and enter her name; it will be counted.
 
When Peter Breen knocks at your door soliciting your vote, ask him this question: What kind of patriot would deny voters the most sacred tenant of our democracy... voter choice?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Billionaire Bruce channels George H.W. Bush

Dreamed it was 1988 and George H.W. Bush was running his racist Willie Horton ad to garner the white racist vote against Michael Dukakis. Woke up and realized it was just my sleeping brain processing the 2014 version of the Willie Horton ad we're being bombarded with by Billionaire Bruce Rauner against a candidate with class and honor: Pat Quinn. Lee Atwater was the lowlife behind Bush's cheap shot. Bush rewarded him by appointing him to head the Republican National Committee for a job well done. Less then two years later Atwater was struck down with a virulent form of brain cancer that killed him in a year. Poppy Bush said Mr. Atwater "practiced the art of politics with zeal and vigor," and added, "I was very proud of him, proud to serve with him." Atwater had a bit of a spiritual awakening before departing and apologized to Dukakis. My question for Billionaire Bruce is: "To get to the mountaintop, how low must you stoop?"

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Strap them on, Speaker Boehner


House Speaker John Boehner claims that "somebody's boots" will have to be on the ground to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He further claims that if the worthless Iraq army we've squandered the public treasure to train won't do it, then it's up to GI Joe. Boehner forgets we've run out of US boots to engage in endless criminal wars there because he's help send 7,000 pairs of US boots to an early grave in the two criminal wars he helped promote an...d fund to the ghastly tune of $3 trillion. Boehner's fine with letting the president bomb thousands to an early death in those two horrific killing fields even though a decent, law abiding Speaker would demand Congressional approval and oversight in a Constitutional world. But in the continuing Republican effort to portray the president as weak, Boehner plays the GOP 'tough guy' card that only Republicans know how to defend America. Alas, Boehner's proposal is simply even more senseless slaughter involving youthful American canon fodder. Since he's so adamant about US boots on the ground to slay our newest bogyman, Boehner should look in the mirror and decide that the "somebody" is the Speaker himself. That goes for every other US warmonger including the 'Terror Twins' Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham who promote endless war like mad men who should inhabit an insane asylum instead of Congress. If Speaker Boehner had to be the first to "strap them on", we'd see Congressional hearings faster than you could say, "Peace Now"!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A license without limits

On November 15, 2008, I wrote this about President Elect Obama:
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"So help me God". Within minutes, if not seconds of saying those words on January 20, 2009, which inaugurate Barack Obama as President of the US and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, some innocent civilian around the world will die by unnecessary US military action. As life is snatched from some unsu...specting man, woman or child simply trying to live out the Iraqi or the Afghan or the Pakistani or the Syrian or the Iranian dream, President Obama will have exercised the most awesome power that comes with that solemn oath: his License To Kill.
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In the last six years I'm astounded how frequently he's exercised that License To Kill with such little reservation, reason or Congressional oversight. The US government has evolved over the past 13 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks, into a relentless killing machine. We have abandoned all pretense of being a civilized actor on the world stage. We now officially kill in seven countries that we know of. We kill for the sake of killing. It has become institutionalized as our first response to virtually any difficult international crisis, whether real and imagined. Every such action generates blowback which ensures failure of whatever foolish goal our killing pretends to foster. Our killing mindset only hastens our demise as a moral force for good in the world; indeed as a world power as well. We can kill but we cannot conquer. The bomb makers get rich. The warmongers feel grand and empowered. The media are all in the tank for the war party, terrified they will lose government access if they tell the truth about our mindless killing. The people have no voice or influence to stop American sponsored killing. It may as well be happening in outer space as far as we are concerned. The president looks like a broken and hollow man as he offers dreadful and laughable justification for his orders to kill. At least he does not possess the sociopathic relish to kill of his predecessor. He is likely as afraid of the war party as are most members of Congress, the media, or any citizen who dares speak out. But speak out we must if we are ever going to take away his... License To Kill.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chapman's analysis of our criminal wars ignores obvious


In his Sunday op ed, 'You want a war? Pay for it', Tribune editorial writer and columnist Steve Chapman does a masterful job skimming the surface of our perpetual war state which makes the whole issue of accountability for bankrupting and criminal wars irrelevant. Chapman and the Tribune have long functioned as shills for the war party which controls this country in their endless pursuit of murderous military ventures, all of which fail, all of which make us less safe and all of which are conducted without funding and without congressional oversight. That is not the fault of the people, who have absolutely no voice in the matter. It is the fault of the warmongers who control much of Congress, much of the administration, much of the media. To say "nothing would do more to break our addiction to perpetual war than a simple requirement everyone can understand: You want a war? Pay for it" is astoundingly disingenuous. Chapman knows full well his editorial duties include writing or signing off on editorials that pretend the US has critical national interests requiring endless warfare against innocents in the Middle East and Africa which will never be paid for, never given an up and down vote in Congress, and never, ever be interfered with by the Voice of the People.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

ISIS war: The stupidity astounds

How astoundingly stupid (besides being criminal) is our newest made up war of choice against ISIS? Let us count the ways:

  • Bombing ISIS becomes a key recruiting tool for encouraging more ISIS recruits and gaining local support from the civilian population
  • Bombing ISIS without gaining support of key regional players Iran, Syria and Russia guarantees failure
  • Bombing ISIS expands the already self destructive proxy war US is fighting with key regional players for hegemony in the region
  • US is partnering with totalitarian puppet Gulf States largely responsible for creating and financing ISIS in first place
  • Rebels we're arming more interested in overthrowing Syrian president Assad than defeating ISIS
  • Conveniently, overthrowing Assad, as the president explicitly said in his UN speech, is just as important to US as well
  • US and Gulf State sock puppets paying 10,000 Syrian rebels for past 3 years to overthrow Assad has added tens of thousands of new, unnecessary dead in the region
  • The real needs of rebuilding our country with infrastructure, education, environmental and health care improvements have been further dumped from the national agenda by this new criminal military adventure

One thing not lacking in US foreign policy: stupid pills

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Criminal war, who's your daddy?

The war party, who threatened and goaded the government into launching Iraq War III (now including Syria).

The President, who caved into the threats and lies of the war party that he was weak and endangering America. He knows his killing of thousands with air strikes will fail but it buys him time till he can pass off the senseless slaughter to his successor, likely HRC, who never met a criminal intervention she didn't love.

Every GOP presidential aspirant, save possibly Rand Paul, who lust for control of our killing implements. Sadly, even Rand is distancing himself from his incorruptible, antiwar father.

The Congress, most of whose 535 members either love war and are too cowardly to tell the truth and oppose it.

The Fawning Corporate Media, especially the giants: NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, NBC, CBS, ABC and all of Cable News. They're all in bed with and compose much of the war party in ginning up new killing fields for American bombers.

The American people, hopelessly uninformed and uncaring as long as the the gravy train of obscene wealth extracted from our dying planet and from the backs of the poor holds out.

Who's your daddy, criminal war? Just about everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to blow a trillion: neocon style

First: Gin up an illegal coup against elected Prez of Ukraine using neo Nazi thugs.

Second, encourage subjugation of Russian speaking folks in Eastern Ukraine.

Third, go crazy when Russian Prez Putin acts to legitimately defend Russian interests on their border from endless Western interference.

Fourth, falsely claim that Putin's restarting of the Cold War demands we re-vest in our nuclear deterrent which will cost an estimated $trillion.

Fifth, lie, lie, lie to prevent the truth of this madness from the public.

Sixth, laugh all the way to the bank with the needlessly squandered trillion as the real needs of this country get squat.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Russia starting Ukraine fighting like US starting WWII

It in no more truthful to claim, as the American war party does, that Russian President Putin initiated the crisis and fighting in Ukraine, than it is to claim the US initiated attacks on Japan to start WWII. Yet, this is precisely what the entire US war party does without a hint of shame for their duplicity, or conception of the damage they do to America's true national interests and true cause of world peace and prosperity. Last year the US instigated an immoral, indeed a criminal revolt against the elected Ukraine leaders, using in part, neo-Nazi Ukraine thugs, that not only toppled the legitimate Ukraine government, but ignited a civil war against this illegitimate coup by persecuted Russian speaking citizens in Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine, like Humpty Dumpy, is now broken and possibly beyond repair. Thousands lay dead. America and its European poodles initiate economic sanction after sanction which mainly hurt European interests, and US warmongers recklessly threaten and goad a heavily armed nuclear power that till our senseless Ukraine adventure, had proved to be a sensible ally in defusing military flashpoints in Iran and Syria. The war party may be evil but it is not stupid. A strong working relationship with Russia and their sensible, realistic president, puts the war party out of business. That's one outfit that should bypass Chapter 11 and go straight to Chapter 7: liquidation.

No tears for Transvaginal Bob



Today's guilty verdict in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell insures he will never again be in a position of power to demean and degrade unfortunate Virginia women simply seeking to exercise their reproductive rights. In March, 2012, Gov. McDonnell signed a bill he supported requiring women to undergo a transabdominal ultrasound procedure at least 24 hours before having an abortion. The original version of the bill, which McDonnell also supported, would have mandated the more invasive, painful and utterly unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound instead. The bill and the procedure were simply McDonnell's way of currying favor with his anti choice, anti women conservative base. Ironically, McDonnell became the subject of a probe that will inflict infinitely longer grief than that to which he subjected Virginia abortion seekers. A year long probe of McDonnell conspiring with his wife to acquire $170,000 in goodies from a shady businessman seeking gubernatorial help with his snake oil health care supplement business, will send McDonald to prison and end his political career. Sobs were heard when the verdict was read, but we don't know if they were from McDonnell or his wife. There certainly won't be any from the needy women of Virginia.

Monday, September 01, 2014

American war mongering hypocracy at its finist

News Item:
"The rebels who killed him (American Douglas McAuthur McCain fighting for ISIS in Syria) were fighting for the Free Syrian Army, a rival group backed by the United States, and they went on to behead six ISIS fighters – but not Mr. McCain – and then posted the photographs on Facebook." - NY Times, Aug. 26, 2014

Apparently, when one of our newest bogeymen in ISIS beheads a good guy, we trumpet that barbarity to bomb, bomb, bomb in another senseless, and ultimately failed Middle East intervention. But when our proxy army starts beheading these bogeymen, we say "Fine, fine" and give them more money and weapons, including no doubt, razor sharp swords.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Let Blago celebrate Silver Anniversay at home

Possibly the most entertaining public official, albeit dreadful governor, in my lifetime popped up in the news after a 2 year absence. In a 24th anniversary love letter from Rod 'Blago' Blagojevich to his long suffering but apparently loyal wife Patty, Blago sought sympathy for himself and hope for his appeal process still grinding inexorably in the ...courts, for early release from his twelve year stay in a Colorado federal prison on corruption charges. Ask a hundred folks what Blago did to deserve 12 years in the joint, costing taxpayers a cool fifty grand yearly, and possibly all hundred will roll their eyeballs and say "beats me." That's because Blago, who made nary a dime on whatever cockamamie schemes he rambled about endlessly on secretly recorded conversations, essentially got twelve big ones for taunting and baiting the entire political and judicial system. Our perfectly coiffed, Elvis channeling, perpetual motor mouth political fool, is apparently an infantile narcissist who heedlessly stumbled to his doom.

Like most defective and disgraced politicians of his ilk, a public citizen Blago represents no further threat to society. Having lost his income, his reputation, his freedom, his future, and his cherished hairdo, Blago needs to vacate his cell for a truly deserving bad guy. If it's so important he continue to pay and pay for imagined horrors, why not grant him home confinement for the rest of his sentence, with a pass to work eight hours a day in a homeless shelter or equivalent public aid agency. Wife Patty's loyalty is admirable. Time for Blago's revenge seekers to examine their own foibles, show some compassion, common sense and fiscal responsibility to let Blago celebrate his Silver Anniversary with his wife and daughters. Besides, maybe, he can break out his famous 'football' and a little hair dye to once again channel Elvis.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Pick: Hotel Florida, by Amanda Vaill

Subtitled, "Truth, love, and death in the Spanish Civil War," Hotel Florida is not a straight history of that horrendous conflict which killed hundreds of thousands, many in atrocities committed by both sides. Rather, it conveys a sense of the war as experienced by three sets of lovers who fought in or reported on the war for the Loyalist side. The most f...amous was the power journalistic team of Ernest Hemmingway and his latest fling, Martha Gellhorn, for whom he abandoned his second wife in Key West to report on the war for the American press as a propagandist for the Loyalists. The second pair was photographer Robert Capa who, along with his colleague and mistress Gerda Taro, invented modern photo journalism. Last were Spanish Foreign Press officer Arturo Barea and his Austrian assistant and mistress Ilsa Kulcsar. All three interacted at Madrid's Hotel Florida, the iconic residence and watering hole for the powerful and famous among government leaders, foreign fighters and war chroniclers. It's difficult to read about the depravation experienced by the Loyalist side, whose cause for democratic reform was crushed by massive German and Italian fascist support for the anti Loyalist rebels led by General Francisco Franco. Spain was truly split between Loyalist and Nationalist forces when Franco combined military, church and landowner interests to overthrow the Spanish Republic. When told that a revolution meant he'd have to kill half of Spain, he replied, "Let the killing begin". Hotel Florida conveys the horror of that pledge, and its implications for the coming worldwide apocalypse that started just two months after Franco's victory. The democracy's refusal to confront Hitler and Mussolini in Spain may have done more than Munich to set up WWII. Painful to read, impossible to put down.

Syria: From Hitlerite enemy to Churchillian ally in one year

News item:
The U.S. “is sharing intelligence about jihadist deployments with Damascus through Iraqi and Russian channels,” the Agence France-Presse reports, citing one source as saying: ”The cooperation has already begun.”

Odd, just a year ago Secretary of State John Kerry was comparing Syrian president Assad to Hitler: “This is our Munich moment. Striking Assad is a matter of national security. It’s a matter of the credibility of the United States of America. It’s a matter of upholding the interests of our allies and friends in the region.” The US was within days, if not hours of blasting our newest bête noir to smithereens till first the Brits, and then the American people said "NO". Frustrated beyond measure, the American war party has turned Syria into an unspoken ally so we can start bombing our newest boogeyman, Islamic State jihadists, who we previously armed to overthrow Assad. If pressed on this bizarre turnaround, Secretary Kerry should channel comedian Steve Martin and offer: "Excuuuuuuuse me!"

Never in history has a funny mustache been airbrushed so quickly from the face of a former enemy so we can get his permission to bomb more imagined bad guys to Kingdom Come.

Book Pick: Hotel Florida, by Amanda Vaill


Subtitled, "Truth, love, and death in the Spanish Civil War," Hotel Florida is not a straight history of that horrendous conflict which killed hundreds of thousands, many in atrocities committed by both sides. Rather, it conveys a sense of the war as experienced by three sets of lovers who fought in or reported on the war for the Loyalist side. The most famous was the power journalistic team of Ernest Hemmingway and his latest fling, Martha Gellhorn, for whom he abandoned his second wife in Key West to report on the war for the American press as a propagandist for the Loyalists. The second pair was photographer Robert Capa who, along with his colleague and mistress Gerda Taro, invented modern photo journalism. Last were Spanish Foreign Press officer Arturo Barea and his Austrian assistant and mistress Ilsa Kulcsar. All three interacted at Madrid's Hotel Florida, the iconic residence and watering hole for the powerful and famous among government leaders, foreign fighters and war chroniclers.  It's difficult to read about the depravation experienced by the Loyalist side, whose cause for democratic reform was crushed by massive German and Italian fascist support for the anti Loyalist rebels led by General Francisco Franco. Spain was truly split between Loyalist and Nationalist forces when Franco combined military, church and landowner interests to overthrow the Spanish Republic. When told that a revolution meant he'd have to kill half of Spain, he replied, "Let the killing begin". Hotel Florida conveys the horror of that pledge, and its implications for the coming worldwide apocalypse that started just two months after Franco's victory. The democracy's refusal to confront Hitler and Mussolini in Spain may have done more than Munich to set up WWII. Painful to read, impossible to put down.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IS chops 'em off; US blasts 'em off

If you listen to the American war party, as soon as Sunni fighters finish creating their newly emerging Islamist State, covering a large swathe of Syrian and Iraq, they'll hop on airplanes to attack America. The hyperbole and imagery is embarrassingly outrageous but the party's talking heads pop up daily on mainstream news, using the severed head of journalist James Foley to promote new bombing and new canon fodder on the ground in never ending expansion of American violence begun eleven and a half years ago. America fathered this new, unsettling development by obliterating their 1960's sock puppet Saddam Hussein, who was designated by the West to continue the artificial country of Iraq as an American ally. But as predicted by anyone who chose to see and tell the truth, attacking Iraq was only going to create chaos leading to its disintegration into the three natural areas of occupation: Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish. We gave the Shi'ites everything but the semi autonomous Kurdish area in northern Iraq. We gave the Sunnis nothing, except arms and money and training to fight off al Qaeda which was never in Iraq till we essentially invited them into the bloody caldron of death and destruction our bombs created. Now the Sunnis are using our goodies to create their own state which includes a sizable chunk of Syria, also destabilized, in part, by the war party's support of Sunni insurgents. Meanwhile our valued ally Saudi Arabia, is pouring money into the Sunni cause to promote their Holy War against the Shi'ites. If none of this makes sense, welcome to American foreign policy, where everyone is our friend and everyone is our enemy depending on the war party's whim. And the next time one of the American war mongers demands more bloodshed to avenge the barbarity of our newest boogeyman, the Islamic State, remember that IS chops heads off one at a time; America blasts them off wholesale. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

American foreign policy in 3 quotes

If Assad goes today, a political vacuum emerges – who will fill it? Maybe those terrorist organizations. Nobody wants this – but how can it be avoided? After all, they are armed and aggressive.” - Russian President Vladimir Putin warning the West about the folly of regime change in Syria

"I made you, I can destroy you." Bill Cosby comedy bit warning his children about the consequences of not obeying him

"Stupid is as stupid does." Forrest Gump on how smart people who do stupid things are still stupid

This is all you need to know as we watch the unfolding nightmare of endless bombing and possibly ground troops to take out our former Sunni buddies armed with our weapons, our training and our money. The war party wins...everyone else loses.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Music Pick: Woody Allen



Woody Allen (b.1935) a music pick? Though much more well known as writer, director, producer, actor in 73 movies in the last 50 years, Allen also plays a mean, dirty (that's a compliment) clarinet with is New Orlean...s Jazz Band, playing weekly in the Big Apple and on world tours as well. Though he'll never challenge Goodman or Shaw for artistry, Allen is very entertaining and listenable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPl7ARZ3JE4