Friday, February 03, 2012


On the eve of the 203rd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, its interesting to ponder how he'd judge today's Republican Party he last presided over 147 years ago.

In a word, Lincoln would be horrified. The GOP is no longer the beacon of individual freedom he championed to his dying breath. The civil rights legislation of the 1960's motivated the Republican Party to tilt against strong support for civil rights. This mendacious but brilliant "Southern Strategy" overnight turned most white southern Democrats into Republicans. It may have spurred the GOP to win the Presidency in seven of the next ten elections, but it would have been vehemently opposed by the Great Emancipator, regardless of political consequences.

Lincoln would be equally appalled by the overt homophobia of today's GOP. Opposition to gay rights, marriage equality and disapproval of the gay lifestyle are practically commandments of any GOP candidate for high office. Even Republicans displaying a reprehensible marital history eagerly oppose full gay equality based on their hypocritical devotion to so called Republican family values.

Finally, Lincoln would be bewildered how his party lost its moral compass to turn away from helping the most needy to worship at the alter of billionaire wealth. Candidate Lincoln could never conceive of, much less utter the tone deaf "I am not concerned about the very poor". They would always be front and center on his governing radar.

This is, of course, merely conjecture. Honest Abe's spirit forever resides at Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. If somehow he could come back, the last place he'd visit is GOP Headquarters. He'd prefer to dodge pepper spray and police batons at an Occupy Wall Street rally than lend his magnificent aura to the party that turned its back on every value he cherished.

Originally published at

Monday, January 30, 2012


What do Russia, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, China, Israel and North Korea all have in common? They are all exempt from ever being unilaterally attacked by Uncle Sam because they have nuclear weopons. They also have in common that they've given the US the same exemption from unilateral attack since we have nukes. It's called "mutual deterence" and it worked for forty years to prevent war between the US and Russia.

Iran may or may not be developing a nuke, but given America's propensity for attacking weak, non-nuclear countries in the region such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, it would be quite foolhardy for them non to be trying to build one.

Iran presents an existential threat to no one with nuclear weopons; but we present an existential threat to them exactly same way we did to the three aforemented countries which all experienced our enforced version of regime change.

We set up two markers for going to war with Iran - closing the Strait of Hormuz and building a nuclear weopon. The first won't happen unless we attack them, at which point it most certainly will. Say hello to $10 or gallon of gas. Say hello to Great Depression II. The second marker can never be definatively verified so we have simply assumed they are building one and have declared economic war on Iran, and quite possiby are working in more sinister ways to topple their government. It won't take much for an intended or unintended spark to set off a shooting war, which will quickly close the Strait, possibly involve many more natilons, and tip over our economy like the Costa Concordia hitting a sand bar.

Let's cool things down a bit by giving Iran a token nuke so they can join the countries above who we will never attack and who won't attack us.

Absurd idea you say? It's infinately less absurd than the political leaders and pundits and foreign countries who are banging the drums for another senseless and bankrupting and possibly catastrophic new war in the Middle East.