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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pepper Spray

In the span of a week, Pepper Spray has been in the news twice. First, as an unreasonable over the top reaction by campus police at UC Davis against innocent students exercising their right to protest and then on black friday, when a Walmart customer used it to jump the line for $1.88 sheets. I don't know which situation is more bizarre, but both are examples of human extremism beyong the pale of reason. Our reaction, those of us who have some sense of perspective and objectivity toward social behavior, politics and common decency, should be to loudly object, criticize such extremism and demand the better side of ourselves. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Republican Moderates

Yesterday I heard an analysis regarding the disappearance of Republican Moderates. Where is Jacob javits or Arlen Specter when you need them. The analyst was pining over their disappearance from the party and the total takeover by the extremists of the Republican wing of politics. I disagree. Republican moderates still exist, only they are Democrats. Mary Landrieux from Louisiana who loves the oil industry. Ben Nelson from Nebraska who loves the Health Insurance industry. Joe Manchin from West Virginia who shivers at the thought of campaigning with the President. We can now add Claire McCaskill from Missouri to that list. She carried the water for Obama and now the glass has dripped dry. Another vote counter who wants to score big by embarrassing the President over a no bid contract for a drug without admitting that more open bidding exists under this President than the previous one for sure. We all know Joe Lieberman who allegedly caucuses with Democrats but who never misses an opportunity to look like the Hartford Insurance Industry's poster boy. These senators are the moderates in the Republican party. They abandon the President at their own peril. Loyalty, when needed most seems to be dissipated into the air of local politics. Hopefully the true Democrats have a long memory. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Obama Thanksgiving

What should President Obama be thankful for? He should be thankful that his poll numbers are three and a half times more popular than Congress's. That unemployment claims have remained below the bellweather four hundred thousand for three consecutive weeks. That the non partisan Congressional Budget office declared the stimulus to have saved and/or created 3.3 million jobs. That for 8 straight quarters, the economy has been growing. That 68 percent of Americans support his viewpoint on asking the wealthy to pay a fairer share toward economic recovery. That the War in Iraq and its wind down is supported by almost 70% of the country. That the United States isn't in Europe. That Osama Bin Laden is dead. That John Huntsmann won't be the Republican nominee for President. That Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry are running for President and most of all, he should be thanful for his loving family, his health and that he lives in a country where a person's hopes and dreams can become a reality. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So Easy to Forget

Today in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney released a TV ad blaming Obama for all that ills the world. What isn't in the ad, for obvious reasons are things that I simply cannot forget. I cannot forget that the Republican Congress for six years funded two wars without budgeting for them, lowered taxes on the wealthiest Americans, didn't insure that legal regulations were followed, allowed Wall Street and banks to make bad loans through this neglect, encouraged policies leading to a crisis of confidence and loss in home values of up to 50 percent in many places, caused losses of 3 million jobs in the last year of the Bush Presidency, caused two consecutive quarters of negative growth thus defining and leading us to a real recession, caused a near collapse of the automobile industry in America along with bank losses in the hundreds of billions and the start of the dreaded (by Republican standards) bailouts. Current Republican candidates want you to forget that their party and its policies had any responsibility or culpability for the disaster they created. For me, it is not so easy to forget. For many Americans, regrettably it is. Where are you Americans for reason and truth? Next post...Obama's Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Backwards we go.

As a teacher of American Government, I pride myself on knowing the history of our nation from its roots and beyond. I never share my own personal political viewpoints with my students. They aren't reading this blog, so I have little doubt my efforts to have them understand all sides of an issue while being open and objective will remain largely successful. Now, however, teachers of this subject need to add to their list of curriculum topics the issue of dysfunction. There are those who believe that slow government, vitriolic debate and nasty viewpoints of different perspectives are what our founding fathers wanted. It is my view, however, that were they around today, they would be quite disappointed with how much of their work turned out. They imagined and hoped for open debate, but not for total dysfunction. Their worst fears about factions seem to have become a reality that would make James Madison give a big I told you so. Then, unlike now, we had the smartest and most learned men of differing viewpoints able to make constructive and intelligent points on matters of importance from both sides. They were well read, they spoke and wrote with eloquence and they were wise. Listening to a Michelle Bachmann talk about the founding fathers' tireless effrots to end slavery while they owned them, hearing Herman Cain not able to distinguish between Libya and Liberia, and watching Newt and Mitt swing like Tarzan's vines from issue to issue is not only laughable, but quite sad. This is what you get when the American public doesn't do the work. The founders set up a system that kept the masses at bay because of their legitimate fears about a less knowledgeable electorate having to make choices, but today, there is no excuse. We have the means, the technology and the ability to get to the truth. However, we don't. We respond to the idiocy and inaccuracy of candidates who wish to lead our nation without any priority other than to defeat the common enemy on the other side of the political spectrum. It is getting worse by the hour. These two parties cannot work together and do not understand what the founding fathers did, that the health of the nation transcends all. These folks just don't and won't get it. We are all the worse for it. We are going backwards. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mitt and Newt

I just love these one syllable easy to hear names. Mitt, Newt, what a pair. Let's start with Mitt. Mitt is going around saying the President called Americans lazy. This suave, slick, lying, say anything for a vote, reinvented conservative has learned to speak to the lowest common denominator of his party. Those with hate in their hearts toward the President and those too lazy to find the truth. The latest Mitt attack is saying that Obama calls us lazy. If you watch the speech, this couldn't be further from the truth, therefore a lie. The President said business has been somewhat lazy in doing all it can to lift our economy and create jobs. This is true. The President wasn't referring to MR. and Mrs. Main street. Mitt wants you to believe differently. Mr. 25% may ultimately prevail, but his mean spirited ways and constant changes in position will be made crystal clear to the American voter. As for Newt, the difference with him is that he is dangerous. He is a megalomaniac who uses words in convincing fashion to say two completely opposite things within days of each other. He just talks. He just spews. He just lies. He took 1.8 million dollars from Freddie Mac having condemned them ruthlessly while in Congress. He now has the audacity to tell us he wasn't lobbying on their behalf, that they paid him because of his smarts. This dangerous charlatan will keep trying to smooth talk his way out of every devious act he committed, including his adulterous acts and formal condemnation while the Speaker. What a choice. Here are two more mono syllabic words for you. Yutz and Putz. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The polls in the Republican nominating process are jumping up and down like blood pressure on a stressful day. Yesterday's winner is today's loser and so it goes. The latest Anti Romney star is Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, adulterer, liar, pompous ass and most egregious of all, a mean spirited self serving adovate only for himself. He is arrogant with his words and if taken literally, would lead the world toward mutual assured destruction. To read some of his speeches and many of his evolving viewpoints, you would really get seriously scared. Newt is smart, experienced and knowledgeable, assets that many Republican primary voters discount as unimportant, but in these times of extremism, anything can happen. Beware the Newt. He may creep up on you and then it will be too late. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Penn State Degenerate Speaks

The despicable Penn State Sandusky is speaking out in denial of his actions. Such a pervert, a piece of scum the likes of which we cannot even imagine, this lying degenerate is actually attempting to absolve himself of guilt. Yes, the law is the law, innocence before proven guilty, but I pray that all the forces of right, of morality and of vengeance, put this guy where he a cell with the meanest sons of bitches that can possibly be incarcerated. Then, there will be some justice. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Foreign Policy Bashathon

Now that the Republican candidates have so foolishly introduced a plethora of plans on taxes to outdo each other's slogans and inaccuracies, it is on to foreign policy for some more bashing. In last night's debate it was to feast on Obama's foreign policy. If polling is correct, this is the one area of overwhelming support from the people. His killing of Bin Laden, successful intervention in Libya, his dismantling of much of Al Qeda and his promise to end the war in Iraq are all successes that have American support. In addition, no matter what anyone else says, America's status abroad has improved, not declined, under his administration. Secretary Clinton's approval rating as Secretary of State is additinal evidence of that. America is acting less like a bully and more like a nation interested in the global perspective. This is often condemned by the likes of the gun obsessed Republicans as weakness, but Presiden't Eisenower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush 1 understood the need for quiet diplomacy, respect for the other nations of the world and responsible leadership. President Obama has embraced such statesmanship while protecting the nation and restoring American credibility abroad. Listening to the Republicans use foreign policy as a vehicle to bash him was quite funny. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Un Happy Valley

Like many others, I have been shocked and appalled by the revelations coming out of the Penn. State Football program. Whether you follow college sports or not, Joe Paterno has been an icon of power, integrity and largess nearly without equal. Or so we all thought. I know that in the court of public opinion it is easy to dismiss innocence or guilt with a rationalization or two so I have tried to be objective in analyzing this story as it continues to unfold. It is clear to me that whatever has been done in the last two days is not nearly enough. The pattern of deception used by those in the know only served to accentuate an already disgusting case of sickness beyond description. I hold those who stood by, perhaps following the appropriate legal steps but doing little else, in the lowest regard. Anyone with any knowledge regarding Sandusky's alleged but witnessed acts of complete and utter depravity ought to be held accountable for their direct or indirect culpability. This certainly and emphatically includes Joe Paterno. If this wipes out his reputation based on stellar performance as a football coach, then so be it. He certainly doesn't appear to have reacted as a stellar human being. Those students on campus who still hold him in the highest regard and who rioted upon hearing of his dismissal ought to look in the mirror and see if they can realize the difference between football and humanity. I am sure Joe Paterno did not do bad things to little boys, but by doing so little to bring these crimes to the forefront, he did bad things to young men and the college he so dearly claims to have loved. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Last night, Rick Perry had a meltdown and forgot a line. The media loves to jump on those who make a verbal gaffe, or who make a mistake of some sort. We laugh, we watch late night TV doing their schtick and we never stop to think about how all this trivial frivolousness just makes us less of a nation able to solve its problems. The issue I want to address isn't the fact that a candidate committed a lapse in memory or a verbal gaffe, we all do, daily, but rather to try and explain them. It is because these subjects, or lines in a speech, or guidance from a political operative are intended to seize a moment, not a future. Rick Perry has no idea what cutting cabinet departments means to this nation, nor does he care, but cutting government sells well, so someone from his campaign tells him to say something, and he forgets it during a debate. It is because he has NO CONVICTION or deep rooted belief about this issue. Herman Cain really cannot explain his tax plan, it sounds catchy, but an in depth review shows it to be not significantly different than any of the other cool sounding plans. He, frankly doesn't understand it himself, so he tries to sell it by repeating it over and over, never explaining the obvious pitfalls of it, frankly because he doesn't care to. He has NO CONVICTION on the matter. Mitt Romney never met an opinion he didn't like. Whatever gets the extremist crowd riled up or whatever he can create as a counterpoint to the President, he says. He has changed his mind more times than the economists predict what will happen next year. He has NO CONVICTION. Candidates make mistakes in speech and in deed because they are human, but at the root cause of their mistakes is their obvious lack of any in depth or emotional commitment to what they say. So we all must choose our leaders not by the suaveness of their debate performance or the color of their tie or the slickness of their campaign. We must choose those who have conviction, dedication to cause and an understanding of their own words and their OWN ideas. We can accept nothing less. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where There's Smoke There's Cain

4 and Counting. Another woman has accused Presidential Candidate, Mr. 999, Herman Cain of inappropriate behavior. Now there is a name and a face to the charges. I know it is easy to blame women for seeking a monetary settlement as goldiggers, and I know how difficult it is to prove sexual impropriety, but Mr. Cain himself is keeping the story alive. He has told and retold the story with different versions. He has forgotten and then remembered. He has nuanced and told multiple tales. He is now giving the cliche responses about being picked on, or unfairly judged, or it's the media's fault and blah blah blah. Today he will attempt to set the record straight after days of planning a response that he wants to have make this nastiness go away. It won't go away. Nor should it. Herman Cain himself is keeping this alive for one reason, he cannot tell the truth. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Running to the Right

The candidates for President on the Republican side are bumping into each other with speeds never seen before. Who can get to the finish line of extremism first, is the rule of their day. Who can shoot guns the best, declare their devotion to G-d with more furor, find a tax plan that supports the inequities in America, declare support for "personhood" amendments, run away from their undocumented gardeners, eliminate a woman's right to choose, declare unions money sucking vacuums, support efforts to suppress voting, call for the elimination of any regulation, shut cabinet agencies and call the President a failure day after day after day after day. Now, re-read the above. Do you REALLY want these people to lead our nation into the future? Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roads, Bridges and Rails

In a continuation of the "Destroy the President Game" more workers will remain unemployed and the roads, rails and highways that are in disrepair, will remain so. Joining the Repbulican obstructionists were Independent Joe Lieberman, and Democrat Ben Nelson, men who simply cannot hold true to their stated Democratic Party beliefs. This continuous cacophany of foolishness and hatefulness against Obama is tiresome but regrettably will continue. It seems, though, that Democrats have not figured out a real way to make this kind of game stop. They need to do so soon. How about standing up for their beliefs, supporting their President and denying these turncoat senators a place at any negotiating table or committee? The weakness and ineffectiveness of the Democratic Party in calling out the Republicans is simply amazing. They have no courage. If they do, let's see some on Sunday talk shows and evening news. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Regulation Lie

One of the Republican talking points that the simpletons among us continue to buy is that there is too much regulation on business and this restrains them from creating jobs. Another lie and simple economics can clear it up for those who care to listen. Currently, corporations in America are sitting on a record load of cash, two trillion dollars. The reason they are not creating jobs has nothing to do with regulations. It has to do with asset values declining by nearly 40 percent in the last few years in the real estate market, thus reducing the wealth of Americans, thus reducing our demand for consumption, thus, no need for hiring. Additionally the quest for wealth makes share price the number one priority of business leaders and since they can send jobs overseas more cheaply which increases the bottom line, these companies have no incentive to hire American workers that cost more on the balance sheet. Regulation my ass. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?