Sunday, April 26, 2015

Correspondents (literally) Dinner

I have NO idea, none whatsoever, WHY my channel guide said that the dinner began at 9:00 p.m. when it really began at 10:00. I saw more, surprisingly not falling asleep due to boredom, of the commentary at the desk of the Alex Witt, et al of MSNBC at 9:00 p.m. then I saw of the comedy dinner itself. I could have counted the beads on her dress! I like Alex BUT holy cow there was MUCH too much  wasted time that few cared about having her with other commentators on for one hour before the dinner advertised as such took place. 

If one wasted additional earlier time watching CSPAN showing nothing but milling around without even seeing the Salahis walk in then one fell asleep by 9! The one highlight was Angerman. Now that was funny but will probably be pilloried by the humorless Blitzarian conservative broadcasters who would not crack a smile if someone streaked across the room! And oh yes, where was Rachel, the Edward R. Murrow of our time and the commentator that we live for in our house?

Friday, April 24, 2015

TPP-Trade Treachery--LISTEN TO ALAN GRAYSON HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT

Click here or below and then demand the TPP be released BEFORE it is signed by the Congress to give the American people a chance to see the catastrophe it creates or IF it creates one at all.

http://tradetreachery.com/


Then Vote Democratic and get out the Democratic vote en mass in 2016

Greenwald "What Explains the Power of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Middle Finger?" Worth reading

Glenn Greenwald, civil libertarian attorney and writer, surely knows how to get one to think about issues which few have probably thought about in depth before.  Could giving one the middle finger provoke such profundity of thought?  After one reads the article I think one will say yes.  I link it here or below.

I do not always agree with Glenn but I do love thinking on the issues he brings to the table. And by the way I LOVE
the phrase he uses about the conservative journalistic sensationalist rag of stupidity, the New York Post owned by the would be journalistic monopolist Rupert Murdoch.  He calls it:

"The Murdochian id of American journalism, the New York Post"  

Glenn Greewald is a brilliant man even though I do not always agree with him and one to whom I could listen for hours!

A comment to him on his Tsarnaev article:  When one plays over and over and over the torment Tsarnaev's victims experienced one becomes flooded with rage and the desire for revenge on the perpetrator.  It is a natural response and one not limited to the US.

Who has not been to a marathon?  I used to watch it from my father's store as a little girl.  To take that innocence and turn it into a political statement and a brutal violent murderous act is to me cerebral blasphemy.

Never did I ever have to fear watching people from all over the world run in the most famous of marathons.  There is something beautiful in this nation irrespective of its political and foreign policy entanglements.  We are a geographically isolated nation and irrespective of my critical political thought I still believe in an Ann Frankian way that most people in this nation are basically good at heart.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/23/power-dzhokhar-tsarnaevs-middle-finger/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Got Gadahn -- GOOD!

I split with my progressive compatriots on this issue. The president was apologizing for the collateral damage of two aid workers one Jewish American (Weinstein) and one Italian. But we did kill Adam Gadahn an American citizen turned Al Qaeda who had a million buck bounty on his head and one other whose name I do not know. Both were American Al Qaeda and both were very important in Al Qaeda leadership.

I mourn for the hostages Al Qaeda took and were mistakenly killed by a US drone BUT I rejoice in the elimination of Gadahn despite the lack of constitutional privileges accorded to him as an American. The hostages by doing the aid work they were knew full well the risks.

If there is a sniper on the roof across the street I do not care if he is a Martian I am glad when he is taken down. I do not care about the omission of Gadahn's civil rights. As far as I am concerned he abrogated those rights when he joined this murderous cult. The US has wanted him for a long long time and we got him. I say GOOD job, Mr. President.

An Unenviable Life



  • CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Former CIA Director David...


    It is beyond my imagination how a man in David Petraeus's position could have such lapses in ethical judgement and not think about the security of a position that impacts national security as much as his did. No matter how lightly he got off his reputation is permanently besmirched and his career in government over.

    Why he did not monitor his every movement, every message sent, every memo written, every person with whom he associated and place the mountain of classified and unclassified information he possessed under uber secure lock and key I will never know.

    It boggles the mind and is more than worrisome that there are others who treat their positions that mean life and death for us all so cavalierly. Shame on anyone who occupies high positions of national and international power caught with their pants literally down especially in our time of global upheaval.

    Is it so difficult to say no to urges that are better left to when they are not employed in sensitive national security positions?
      They deserve the punishment they get despite the sadness I feel for men (and women too) who ruin an otherwise enviable life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Health for Sale -- The Wizard of Oz in the Crosshairs


Dr. Mehmet Oz is being pilloried by some physicians for his advocacy programming which they think is often filled with unproven junk science and are calling for Columbia University to take him off its medical staff.  I link the Huffington Post article here and below.

 
I do not have a strong opinion on GMO food, one of the subjects of the doctors' objections to Dr. Oz programming but I do have strong opinions on transparency and scientific testing of products especially food and pharmaceuticals that one ingests into one's body.  I am for strict governmental regulatory transparency of the testing of them.
 
Dr. Oz claims his positions fall into the "free speech" category and he will continue to broadcast them.  I think free speech is not the issue since it is not the government limiting his constitutionally protected free speech but it is the demand by certain physicians that he cease advocacy for those things that are not proven scientifically efficacious through the replication of rigorous scientific testing and methodology. 
 
Free speech is a ruse.  No one is limiting Dr. Oz’s freedom to speak.  He may say anything he wants but when one is allegedly a man of science one cannot say the earth is flat.  In other words, one cannot say and should not say a certain pharmaceutical therapy is a magic bullet, for example, for weight loss when it has not been studied sufficiently or even studied at all.  It is NOT his free speech right which is at issue but his touting of alleged "cures" for ailments the study of which does not meet the strict standards of scientific testing.  Dr. Oz’s fountain of valid scientific information first aired on the Oprah show eventually, in my opinion, devolved often into junk science. 
 
Our fast food nation wants a fast working magic pill and cure for everything especially for weight loss.  They do NOT want to do the hard work and diligence required to lose weight. There is no substitution in pill form that will do what calorie cutting and exercise will but, admittedly, it is hard to perfect and many fail.  
 
When one touts this pill or that as a magic bullet which has not been proven as such it becomes a charlatan’s lie that makes the purveyors of them very very rich and the buyers of them poorer.  Those who often cannot afford it but are star struck by fame and cult of personality will spend money they do not have on products that do not work.  I believe Dr. Oz devolved from his first excellent shows on Oprah into a technologically glitzed up version of the snake oil salesmen of yore who alleged that his tonic would be a cure all for everything but when analyzed was, in truth, only alcohol which cured nothing but surely did make people feel no pain.
 
Until Dr. Oz provides rigorous solid scientific study and proof for the pharmacological treatments for which he advocates or the positions he takes he loses me.  In fact, he lost me a long time ago.  It is no accident that the preponderance of his viewers are women and gullible ones at that because after all a famous, charismatic medical man must know it all and save them. 
 
I say to his viewers and to Oprah enthusiasts too:  QUESTION EVERYTHING because EVERYTHING in this nation is for sale!


http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/21/media/dr-mehmet-oz-accusations/index.html

The Democratic Party is the ONLY Party that regulates.  2016 is the last chance cafe to switch the leadership of this nation from the 1% to the rest of us.  VOTE!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US Intelligence on Iraq WMD -- counter to NYT's Judith Miller -- Sleeping for Eternity


The press like the NYT reporter Judith Miller reporting on the Iraq War in 2003 was complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of both US and Iraqis human beings  (The estimate of Iraqi deaths is hard to address.  It is no doubt in the hundreds of thousands), the wounding of many more and the displacing of millions.  ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda and other radical groups exist now all over the Middle East where they never existed before destabilizing it by creating a region dissolved in utter dehumanizing chaos. 


This mayhem can and should be laid at George W. Bush's, Cheney's and their NeoCon henchmen's feet.  It was through their lies, cheer-leading for and cherry-picking of evidence for the Iraq War that this is so.  The Middle East is in deep trouble and our nation may be as well.  The disintegrating of former Middle East states such as Yemen, Syria, and Libya through US policy made the reality of the Arab Spring we see before our very eyes. 

Do the former policy makers sleep well at night?  I bet they do but those who have volunteered and have been called upon to fight the phony trumped up wars pay for them dearly and do not sleep well if they sleep at all unless they sleep for eternity very well indeed.

Those who perpetrated the egregious Iraq War policy need to be held accountable.  They should not be allowed to get away with literally murder and those journalists like Judith Miller who failed to ask the proper questions should pay with their jobs -- they shouldn't have them.

I post the following Factcheck.org that addresses the issues that Judith Miller did not address very well.  She and all those who supported the Iraq war must live with the consequential deaths they have delivered and decide, if they care at all, how to live with the catastrophes they have wrought. 

Factcheck.org

"One senator, Bob Graham of Florida, then chairman of the intelligence committee, has said that reading the full, classified 2002 NIE led him to vote against the war resolution. He had urged his colleagues to read the entire 92-page classified report prior to the vote. Graham said in a National Public Radio interview in June 2007 that he found the report to be "pocked with dissent, conditions, [and] minority opinions on a variety of critical issues."

Graham was one of the few who disbelieved the report’s conclusions, however. And it’s not at all clear that more lawmakers would have doubted it had they read the full report. The unclassified portions do make clear that not all intelligence agencies agreed on all points. The Department of Energy’s technical experts didn’t agree that some aluminum tubes bought by Iraq were for use in uranium-enriching centrifuges, saying they were more likely for use as rocket launchers. And the State Department’s intelligence experts said they saw no "compelling case" that Iraq had an "integrated and comprehensive" program to get nuclear weapons.

"Washington Post: No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary, according to several congressional aides responsible for safeguarding the classified material."

In 2007 the Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill surveyed current and former senators and reported that 22 of those who were serving in 2002 sent word they had read the full report. Since it would be embarrassing now to admit not reading it before voting on such an important matter, we suspect that number is inflated. But whether the true number is six or 22, it’s clear that only a small minority of the 100-member Senate read this important intelligence summary in full.


–Brooks Jackson

Sources

Director of National Intelligence. "Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction," National Intelligence Estimate October 2002. portions declassified, 18 July 2003.

Priest,  Dana. "Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Criticized; Committee Members, Others Cite Lack of Attention to Reports on Iraqi Arms, Al Qaeda Threat." Washington Post, 27 April 2004.

Friday, April 17, 2015

TPP a consumer nighmare!


A relative of mine is livid about the latest important trade legislation on TPP pasted below.  It is supported incredulously to me by the president and REPUBLICANS.  Elizabeth Warren is livid as I am sure is Bernie Sanders.  I believe the critics of this bill and you should read what it does then write the White House, the Senate and Congress to NOT pass this bill.  It needs thorough vetting!  KNOW what your legislators are doing sometimes behind our backs!


Congress Introduces Fast Track Legislation to Help Enact Anti-Consumer Trade Bills

Congress Introduces Fast Track Legislation to Help Enact Anti-Consumer Trade Bills

by Stephen Lendman

Congressional passage of so-called "trade promotion authority" (TPA) will let Obama expedite the legislative process for pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) bills.

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA 2015) lets Obama and his trade representative, complicit with corporate predators, rush through Congress, with minimal hearings and no amendments, legislation global justice advocates call NAFTA on steroids.

TPP and TTIP are trade bills from hell. They're stealth corporate coup d'etats.

They're giveaways to banksters and other corporate predators. They're freedom and ecosystem-destroying nightmares.

They're secretive, multi-national trade deals giving monied interests more power than ever at the expense of personal freedom for consumers and environmental sanity.

They're ripoffs on the grandest scale. They'll establish unrestricted supranational global trade rules. 

Corporate giants wrote them. Their demands will override domestic laws.

They'll trample on national sovereignty, privacy and personal freedoms.

They'll permit unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP).

IP includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related considerations. 

One-sided pro-business structuring harms popular rights. At stake is a free and open Internet, its global infrastructure, and worldwide innovation under level playing field rules.

Power brokers want secretive provisions established with no public knowledge of their destructive harm.

TPP and TTIP rewrite global IP enforcement rules. They include numerous other anti-populist provisions.

They override national sovereignty. They prioritize investor rights over public ones.

Obama lied saying:

"The bill put forward today would help us write (trade) rules in a way that avoids the mistakes from our past, seizes opportunities for our future, and stays true to our values."

"It would level the playing field, give our workers a fair shot, and for the first time, include strong fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment, and a free and open internet."

Fact: Trade rules Obama advocates are polar opposite what he claims. They'll benefit monied interests at the expense of all others.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls fast track legislation a way to "legitimize White House secrecy and clear the way for (anti-consumer) trade deals."

They impose restrictive digital regulations. They create a new Chief Transparency Officer - a likely corporate official with authority to:

"consult with Congress on transparency policy, coordinate transparency in trade negotiations, engage and assist the public, and advise the United States Trade Representative on transparency policy."

Given existing strict confidentiality rules (and greater than ever corporate empowerment on trade), nothing meaningful will be done to improve transparency.

As things now stand, fast track text language will be made public 60 days before signed if passed.

According to EFF, it doesn't matter. "(T)he text is already locked down from any further amendments."

Fast track "t(ies) the hands of Congress so that it is unable to give meaningful input into the agreement during its drafting, or to thoroughly review the agreement once it is completed."

It can only vote up or down with no changes. Most troubling is what's excluded from negotiating objectives.

Nothing requires "balance in copyright, such as the fair use right," says EFF.

"(I)f a country's adoption of a fair use style right causes loss to a foreign investor, it could even be challenged as a breach of the agreement…"

"(W)e do not see anything in this bill that would truly remedy the secretive, undemocratic process of trade agreements," EFF stresses.

Fast track will likely be voted on next week. Passage "would legitimize the White House's corporate-captured, backroom (secretive, anti-consumer) trade negotiations."

Lori Wallach heads Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW). Fast track authority "delegate(s) away Congress' constitutional authority and (grants) blank-check (presidential) power," she explains.

Fast track "would make it easier for corporations to offshore American jobs, would undermine our wages by forcing Americans to compete with Vietnamese workers making less than 60 cents an hour and would expose our consumer and environmental safeguards to attack by foreign corporations in extra-judicial tribunals" - run by corporate predators.

Congress is being asked to yield its constitutional trade authority to diktat presidential power.

Congress permitted fast track for only 5 of the past 21 years - 2002-2007.

It remains to be seen if it'll authorize what demands rejection - what hugely benefits America's 1% at the expense of all others.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Heaven's Gate--A Mattered Life

I loved Yvonne Abraham's April 16 editorial in the Boston Globe: "Why Odin Lloyd's life matters" linked here or below. What is to be said about a nation that puts money and fame far beyond anything else? It is who we are and because of it one gets the Patriots' star Aaron Hernandez spectacle for days. In truth Hernandez should get none of our attention but I will admit to the frailty of being glued to a sensationalist story. Worse, I spent much of the evening of the verdict not simply talking about it but thinking about it. I could not get Aaron Hernandez out of my mind but not why one might think.

I weep. I weep for all the Hernandezes who live a life filled with dastardly deeds. I weep not for Aaron Hernandez per se but I weep for life itself and its many filled with gifted potential wasted. 


Hernandez, with his fame, money and inordinate talent could have helped those who needed his help. He could have made trips to Boston Children's Hospital or to any hospital visiting with kids who were not so lucky to have been bestowed the gifts that Hernandez was given. He could have made a difference and meant something to those who needed something. He could have served as an example not only to those children but to his own daughter the affections of whom he has squandered. What a shame it is indeed. His life could have been so good and less fortunate people could have reaped so much from it.

For a short time we are given a gift to see life's beauty. This gift was wasted on Aaron Hernandez and thousands more like he who sit in jails to decompose. He should have thanked fate that he was blessed to view heaven's gate and could have used those blessings for the collective good.

It is Odin Lloyd's misfortune to have tripped over a curse that was Hernandez. In the end I will think of Odin Lloyd and his mother. If his mother is an example of who Odin Lloyd was then he must have been a very nice man indeed! We should and I will in time forget Aaron Hernandez and, in the end, I hope to remember longer the mattered life he so chillingly and malevolently took.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/15/why-odin-lloyd-black-life-matters/gC3G5uWMhVHDBMdEZ6wPKP/story.html#comments