Friday, February 27, 2015

The Day After -- Will We?

Some think much of my writing dark. Admittedly, there is some truth to this. If my views are so often about the darkness of the human condition it is because, I believe the immunization through its knowledge is the only way to keep the contagion of it from generationally spreading. Immunization against the disease means seeing its unpleasantries before our eyes no matter the difficulty. The Holocaust is an example of this. It must be kept alive to impress upon generations of humankind of that which man is capable hoping that if one knows it one will keep from repeating it again.

Netflix offers much. If you have it I urge you to search on it for "Hiroshima" and then view it. It is half documentary and half docudrama precisely written with interviews of those who experienced it, from both sides. The American airmen Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, who dropped the A bomb named "Little Boy" and other Americans were interviewed who were involved it it. Some of the Japanese of Hiroshima who were on the receiving end were interviewed as well. Not many are, of course, left.

The film, brilliantly done, illuminates in detail what it really means to, as some so cavalierly say about American adversaries "just nuke em." What does "just nuke em" mean? I suspect most who say that know not what they say and further have no understanding what dropping a nuclear device really means. There is no comprehension of a day after for those who say such inane and brutal things. Netflix "Hiroshima" will show one what it means. You, your children and your children’s children should see it at a time maturationally possible and know precisely what nuclear war means and why those who would want to subvert discussions about its spread should stop before it is too late.

The end of the film presents a modern view of Hiroshima and discusses in real time both sides of the Hiroshima argument. The question: Did America have to drop the atomic bomb? The opinions come from both those who dropped the bomb – politicians and airmen alike – to those who were the recipients of it. The film also showed Americans dancing in the streets with glee at war’s end. Few knew then the enormity of what we had just done to end it and few knew what it would mean for generations the day after.

Stephen Hawking, the eminent physicist, was asked recently: “What is the most dangerous threat to face mankind today?” He did not say climate change as I expected but he did say human aggression. We should never forget that and we should always remember but will we?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And the Leaks Keep coming…/radioactive-fukushima-water-leak-w…

Radioactive Fukushima Water Leak Was Unreported for Months: Official

TOKYO — The operator of Japan's tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant admitted it failed to report a radioactive rainwater leak from the facility fo...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What is happening at MSNBC?

I am hearing things I do not want to hear. I am hearing that they are pushing MSNBC away from its progressive format. They are I have heard but do not know if it is true that Chris Hayes may be given the door. I HOPE this is not true. I ask you to write MSNBC or call MSNBC (phone number is easily available if you Google it) and show him and MSNBC support as they broadcast now.

I have heard too that Joy Reid whom I love is going to do other formats and that Al Sharpton's job is in the crosshairs. DO NOT LET THE CORPORATISTS do what we all feared they would when Olbermann left and Comcast bought MSNBC out. If you let them they will decimate the ONLY major cable network that speaks for the 98%. Their reporting and progressive commentary is spot on correct and excellent.

If you think the Tea Party has been duped and hoodwinked by this corporatist agenda you are right. They have and they do not even realize it. The Republican Party is NOT about most of them. It must appeal to the lesser angels of their human nature. It is racist, mendacious and inhumane. Our nation is being taken over by them. DO NOT LET IT. IT IS WHY YOU MUST VOTE BEFORE you will not have a nation for which to vote!

The Roots of Terrorism -- A Response to Stephen Kinzer editorial

The February 15 Globe article by Stephen Kinzer entitled "A root of terrorism grew from Europe's colonization" was spot on correct.  My letter to the Globe was printed in today's edition.  It is as follows.

As western head-scratching occurs trying to figure out why so many Muslims are so angry and so violent to us, it seems impossible for the west to admit that history counts. The legacy of colonialism and its brutality, while, perhaps, not felt at first, did rear its ugly head later.  It is pitiful that the media rarely makes mention of it.  The gargantuan mistake of the Iraq War based on lies is simply another example of western historical amnesia.  The US illegally invaded a foreign nation, Iraq, that did nothing to deserve it.  Colonialism and it have had disastrous consequences as American go shopping or watch the Superbowl and almost instantaneously forget the consequences of that history.

Human beings resent conquerors and they resent being slaughtered especially when they are guilty of nothing except having the world's most voluminous supply of oil and the west's insatiable appetite for it.  You want to know why the ugly barbarism of ISIS exists I suggest you remember Shakespeare's immortal lines:  "The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves."

I am hearing things I do not want to hear.  I am hearing that they are pushing MSNBC away from its progressive format.  They are I have heard but do not know if it is true that Chris Hayes may be given the door.  I HOPE this is not true.  I ask you to write MSNBC or call MSNBC (phone number is easily available if you Google it) and show him and MSNBC support as they broadcast now.  I have heard too that Joy Reid whom I love is going to do other formats and that Al Sharpton's job is in the crosshairs. DO NOT LET THE CORPORATIST Phil Griffin do what we all feared he would when Olbermann left and Comcast bought MSNBC out.  If you let them they will decimate the ONLY major cable network that speaks for the 98%. Their reporting and commentary is spot on correct and excellent.  If you think the Tea Party has been duped and hoodwinked by this corporatist agenda you are right.  They have and they do not even realize it.  The Republican Party is NOT about most of them.  It must appeal to the lesser angels of their human nature.  It is racist, mendacious and inhumane.  Our nation is being taken over by them. DO NOT LET IT.  IT IS WHY YOU MUST VOTE BEFORE you will not have a nation for which to vote!

Remember -- short narration by Meryl Streep

Always remember, never forget and apply it to all people for all time!

"And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."  Deuteronomy 11:19

Think on what will happen if in 2016 the Republicans occupy a majority in the House, in the Senate and the presidency.  Everything you know that makes human life better in this country for the middle class can be eradicated in a heartbeat minute.  The vote is the ONLY thing we have between us and true tyranny against blacks, against women, against Hispanics, against the poor, against the middle class, against unions and against all things that act as safety nets for those of us who are not billionaires.  Think on it and then do what you must -- VOTE Democrat!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I was an American sniper, and Chris Kyle’s war was not my war

My Note: Another View: Just who is a "savage" and who is not?

Feb 21, 2015 · Garett Reppenhagen,

I spent nights in Iraq lying prone and looking through a 12-power sniper scope. You only see a limited view between the reticles. That’s why it’s necessary to keep both eyes open. This way you have some ability to track targets and establish 360 degrees of awareness. I rotated with my spotter and an additional security team member to maintain vigilance and see the whole battlefield. I scrutinized every target in my scope to determine if they were a threat.

In a way, it’s an analogy for keeping the whole Iraq mission in perspective and fully understanding the experiences of the U.S. war fighters during Operation Iraqi Freedom. No single service member has the monopoly on the war narrative. It will change depending on where you serve, when you were there, what your role was, and a few thousand other random elements.

For the past 10 days, “American Sniper” has rallied crowds and broken box office records, but if you want to understand the war, the film is like peering into a sniper scope — it offers a very limited view.

The movie tells the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, said to have 160 confirmed kills, which would make him the most lethal American military member in history. He first shared his story in a memoir, which became the basis for Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation. Kyle views the occupation of Iraq as necessary to stop terrorists from coming to the mainland and attacking the U.S.; he sees the Iraqis as “savages” and attacks any critical thought about the overall mission and the military’s ability to accomplish it.

This portrayal is not unrealistic. My unit had plenty of soldiers who thought like that. When you are sacrificing so much, it’s tempting to believe so strongly in the “noble cause,” a belief that gets hardened by the fatigue of multiple tours and whatever is going on at home. But viewing the war only through his eyes gives us too narrow a frame.

During my combat tour I never saw the Iraqis as “savages.” They were a friendly culture who believed in hospitality, and were sometimes positive to a fault. The people are proud of their history, education system and national identity. I have listened to children share old-soul wisdom, and I have watched adults laugh and play with the naiveté of schoolboys. I met some incredible Iraqis during and after my deployment, and it is shameful to know that the movie has furthered ignorance that might put them in danger.

Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles.

As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. During that time, we started to realize there were no weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 commission report determined that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, false sovereignty was given to Iraq by Paul Bremer, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were exposed, and the Battle of Fallujah was waged.

The destruction I took part in suddenly intersected with news that our reasons for waging war were untrue. The despicable conduct of those at Abu Ghraib was made more unforgivable by the honorable interactions I had with Iraqi civilians, and, together, it fueled the post-traumatic stress I struggle with today.

My war was completely different than Chris Kyle’s war. That doesn’t mean his war is wrong, and mine was right. But it does mean that no one experience is definitive.

The movie depicts compounded action scenes with very little political and regional context. It was a conscious decision by Clint Eastwood, apparently, to leave out the cause of the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. It was a conscious decision, apparently, for multiple characters to describe the Iraqis as “savages” and never show any alternative. When I heard of the bigoted reaction some Americans had after watching the film, I was disgusted, but not surprised. Audience members are mistaking Chris Kyle’s view of the war as “the” story about the war. No wonder someone tweeted that the movie made them “want to go kill some ragheads.” It’s sad that such a nearsighted portrayal of Iraqis has caused more people to fear Arabs and glorify violence against them.

It would be refreshing if a big Hollywood movie would take on the task of creating a less dramatized, more nuanced version of warfare. There are some incredible documentaries on the subject. “Occupation: Dreamland” and “Restrepo” capture the life of a service member in a modern deployment without sugarcoating the hard political environment that is a backdrop to the conflicts.

The responsibility to make a picture that takes into account all of the political and social dynamics might not rest on any individual filmmaker. After all, it is just a movie. But that means the public should treat it like that, and educate themselves before jumping to a conclusion that the whole war was just like that. Especially if they support the democratic ideals that Chis Kyle, me and every veteran who put on a uniform swore an oath to defend with our lives.

If you really want to be a patriotic American, keep both eyes open and maintain 360 degrees of awareness. Don’t simply watch “American Sniper.” Read other sources, watch other films about the conflict. Talk to as many veterans as you can, get a full perspective on the war experience and the consequences. Ensure the perceived enemy in your vision is what it seems.

Oscars in Summary

Lady Gaga was amazing. She was wonderful. I agree that Oscars in general was hugely boring and SO much wasted time on junk. Many speeches were much too long. There should be a rule NO thanking your entire family, cast and crew. Just a simple thank you limited to four people and that's it. No one remembers or cares. Many categories are irrelevant to most.

Having said that there were some wonderful films that won and I was thrilled they did not give a reward in the form of an Oscar to a killer who boasted of 160 kills of human beings, American Sniper. They froze that film I boycotted out nearly completely except for one irrelevant film edit. Clint Eastwood will NEVER be recognized again after the what he pulled at the Republican convention insulting the president. Hollywood is not going to recognize him or films that laud killers ... real killers.

All those who won should have won. Julianne Moore for "I'm Still Alice" and Eddie Redmayne for The "Theory of Everything." It is wonderful that they won as they deserved it. Best pic "Birdman" I have not seen but will. It is supposed to be exceptional. So they spread out the gold and that was fine.

THE WORST MOMENT AND BY FAR THE MOST RIDICULOUS MOMENT WAS NEAL PATRICK HARRIS IN HIS UNDERWEAR!! Second worse moment at the end with his stupid briefcase predictions was a waste of time.  No one cared and the jokes fell flat.  Third worst moment when Neal Patrick Harris made a joke at the end of a woman who told of her child's suicide--awful. It was wasted time times ten. Who thinks up these idiotic moments for a three year old who probably is not even watching Harris in his underwear and for this moment should not be watching? It was inane.  The moments about Selma were fine and glad "Glory" won it for best song. Other than that I agree with the Huffington it was boring.

Oh yes one more thing do not run out to see these films except for Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything" and Julianne Moore for "I'm Still Alice." The other films will be on Netflix for free if you get Netflix which for $8.99 a month is so worth it but I do like to reward exceptional films at the box office i like such as the "Theory of Everything" and "I'm Still Alice."  The rest theaters will NOT see my money at $9.00 ticket and popcorn that you need a loan to afford. Movies are much too expensive to go to when you can get it elsewhere for so much less and sit in the comfort of your living room.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. KUDOS to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for their documentary "Citizen Four!"

Someone PLAHLEESE cut the time of the Oscars down at least an hour. And BTW, why no mention of I n Memoriam to Joan Rivers and Elaine Stritch?! Bad errors. Someone from the Academy should apologize.

Oscars -- Quick Thought

Thrilled American Sniper was sniped. I think they did a good job selecting the most worthy. I only cared that American Sniper would NOT be chosen and it wasn't. That rotten Eastwood deserves to pack up his things and go home. The vile thing he pulled at the Republican convention insulting the president profanely did not win him votes in Hollywood and Hollywood would not be remembered for lauding a killer. I rather knew the Academy would ditch him. Further a man who was as screwed up as Kyle's claim to fame was that he had 160 kills is a disgusting attribute and in the end one of his own Marines killed him because they were both cut from the same psychotic cloth. To be proud of 160 kills as if they were shooting meat is revolting. More than that Eddie Redmayne really deserved it for best actor of Stephen Hawking's life. And Juliane Moore is the best too for "I'm still Alice" about Alzheimer's.

 I will eventually see all the winners probably on Netflix!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Muslims in Oslo encircled a Jewish synagogue Friday night, standing up to Jihadists

The Jewish Standard

The picture scroll below: Muslims in Oslo encircled a Jewish synagogue Friday night, standing up to Jihadists in the face of rising antisemitism in Europe targeting Jews in markets, synagogues and on the streets.

I saw that last evening and cried it was so beautiful. This is how we SHOULD treat each other.  Underneath it all we are simply human.  We want to live a decent life without the social evisceration and brutality of war.

It is so easy to be kind and to me so difficult to hurt another.

 Wonderful picture which I put on my desk top!

'Muslims in Oslo encircled a Jewish synagogue Friday night, standing up to Jihadists in the face of rising antisemitism in Europe targeting Jews in markets, synagogues and on the streets.

Source: Event Page -'

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Malcolm X -- After Giuliani

It is the 50th anniversary of the death of the black activist Malcolm X.   I am old enough to have been immersed in the black civil rights movement of the 1960's.   I heard Dr. King, I heard the thoughts of Malcolm X, I read James Baldwin, Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglas, and the abolitionists.   I knew about SNCC, CORE, the Black Panthers, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church and the killing of four young girls by the KKK and many other crimes against people of color too numerous to mention here.   I became furious at the centuries of injustice black people experienced in this very exceptional country.

I am also a Jewish woman who is not afraid to say I loved Malcolm X. He expressed a rage at the injustice that I feel when I see an obstructionist racist Republican Congress pillory our first black president no matter what he does as they try to lie their way to power any way they can and appeal to the basest instincts of our nature.   I am angry when I see raised the noxious Confederate flag, a symbol of white southern racism and the deaths of thousands of innocent black men at the poplar tree hands of white racists in the south.
Flying the Confederate flag is as if a Nazi one were raised in my sight.   What must it mean for persons of color who see that treasonous flag emblematic of a segregationist south?
I am angry when a hateful former NYC Mayor Giuliani insults our president disparaging his patriotism. This coming from a man who avoided the Vietnam draft and did not protect the Trade Towers he knew were a prime target for attack.   He impunes the president's childhood while the uncle Giuliani touts as having the most influence on him was a felon who ended up in Sing Sing and worse along with his other uncles evaded the WWII draft. That is who taught former Mayor Giuliani and that is who he thinks taught him patriotism while the president’s grandfather and great uncle fought in WWII and, indeed, his great uncle was among those who liberated Ohrdruf, a Nazi work camp and a sub camp of Buchenwald.
I am, indeed, furious about what Giuliani said against our president as furious as I am when Netanyahu tries to spit in the face of the president and accept a Republican obstructionist Congress's invitation to speak before it subverting the all important nuclear talks with Iran. I am furious at the racist inhumane, cruelty and abuse minorities have had to swallow at the hands of white racists like Giuliani and the entire Republican Party of our modern era.
What can I do about it? Not much except to universally reject and oppose what he said and for which the Republican Party stands. Disparaging the consummate patriot Obama's good name cannot be tolerated.
Malcolm X instilled fear in white America and told it things they did not want to hear.   He said America was racist, treated the black man abominably for centuries and killed him mercilessly while claiming the nation’s “exceptional” character.   Malcolm told America that he and persons of color were not going to take it anymore.   He did not mince words but in soft tones explained to a white interviewer why he believed as he did.   Malcolm said no to violence BUT he would NOT be nonviolent toward those who were violent to him.
I loved Malcolm X.   I still do.   No one said it better or fought against injustice harder than Malcolm X did.   This slender 6 foot 4 inch tall man with his piercing eyes, charismatic presence and wry smile told the black man he should take the freedom that should rightfully be his.   After Giuliani’s inane and hateful comments receive such a plethora of news coverage they do not deserve I suspect Malcolm X would say fight those words "by any means necessary."

How much longer can we suffer the insufferable?  How much longer can we take the evil and lies the Republican Party spews.  When will we as a nation come to our senses and reject ALL Republican candidates for anything not even dog catcher.  There is no other election that will be as important as 2016.  It will be the test as to whether our nation lives 98% slave and 1% free or whether we DEMAND what should be the right of the middle classes, a more economically equitable nation and climate change policy that reverses this planetary threat. 

The time grows short as it is five minutes to midnight. Now is the time as there will be no other.  Our planet through our extreme weather is screaming at us.  If only we would listen.  Our only choice is through the Democratic Party.  Do NOT let Republicans fool you again.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giuliani HYPOCRITE supreme; Wayne Barrett: What Rudy Giuliani knows about love — a response to his 'doesn't love America' critique of Obama

Rudy Giuliani knows a lot about love.

Ask Regina Peruggi, the second cousin he grew up with and married, who was "offended" when Rudy later engineered an annulment from the priest who was his best man on the grounds, strangely enough, that she was his cousin. Or ask Donna Hanover, the mother of his two children, who found out he wanted a separation when he left Gracie Mansion one morning and announced it at a televised press conference.

Or ask Judi Nathan, his third wife, whom he started dating while still married to Hanover and New York mayor. In two SUVs, he and an entourage of six or seven cops traveled 11 times to Judi's Hamptons getaway at a taxpayer cost of $3,000 a trip. That's love.

Rudy knows so much about love that he declared the other day that President Obama "doesn't love you" and "doesn't love me" at a private party of GOP fat cats.

The onetime presidential candidate also revealed at the party that Obama "doesn't love America," an echo of a speech he'd delivered to delirious cheers in Arizona a week earlier when he declared: "I would go anywhere, any place, anytime, and I wouldn't give a damn what the President of the United States said, to defend my country. That's a patriot. That's a man who loves his people. That's a man who fights for his people. Unlike our President."

Rudy may have forgotten the half-dozen deferments he won ducking the Vietnam War, even getting the federal judge he was clerking for to write a letter creating a special exemption for him. And remember Bernie Kerik? He's the Giulaini police commissioner, business partner and sidekick whose nomination as homeland security secretary narrowly preceded indictments. He then did his national service in prison.

Exported.; Handout A Department of Correction receiving blotter from Sing Sing prison shows the name of Harold Giuliani (aka Joseph Starrett), Rudy's father.

Giuliani went so far as to rebuke the President for not being "brought up the way you were and the way I was brought up through love of this country," a bow no doubt to the parenting prowess of Harold Giuliani, who did time in Sing Sing for holding up a Harlem milkman and was the bat-wielding enforcer for the loan-sharking operation run out of a Brooklyn bar owned by Rudy's uncle.

Though Rudy cited Harold throughout his public life as his model (without revealing any of his history), he and five Rudy uncles found ways to avoid service in World War II. Harold, whose robbery conviction was in the name of an alias, made sure the draft board knew he was a felon. On the other hand, Obama's grandfather and uncle served. His uncle helped liberate Buchenwald, which apparently affected him so deeply he stayed in the family attic for six months when he returned home.

Rudy also said Obama is "more of a critic than he is a supporter of America," an odd admonition coming from a security salesman who told a Tijuana audience of consulting clients in October: "America needs to stop lecturing other countries and start working on how to stop drug use in its citizens," shifting the onus for the Mexican drug trade onto us. He's a consultant in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the very countries where right-wing governments, traffickers and/or gangs are driving children and teenagers across the U.S. border.

He was a consultant for the government of Qatar, the country his friend and FBI director Louis Freeh accused of hiding 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed before the attack. That's the ultimate triumph of money over memory, since he's still talking, as recently as a week ago, about the 10 friends and 343 firefighters he lost on 9/11.

While Giuliani finds Obama's rhetoric insufficiently pro-American, his 2012 RNC speech was filled with catchphrases like Obama's "a complete and absolute failure," and he just branded the President "a moron" in his Arizona invocation of Neville Chamberlain at Munich, all of it presumably a new form of nationalist celebration. In 2012, Rudy even blasted Obama, without a glance in the mirror, for "attempting to exploit" the killing of Osama Bin Laden, calling it "disgusting."

Rudy contends that his not-like-us Obama insights have nothing to do with race, adding in day-after doubling down that the President "was taught to be a critic of America," while pointing out that his mother and grandparents were white. There are few in New York now, after 12 years of Mike Bloomberg and a year of Bill de Blasio, who doubt that Rudy was a conscious, almost energetic, polarizer. He never acknowledged his dark side then and he's not about to now.
Barrett is author of "Rudy: An Investigative Biography."

The Despicable Giuliani--Off the Top of My Head

Sometimes I feel so strongly about a political issue that the force behind that feeling compels me to write something quickly while sacrificing syntactical excellence. Former Mayor of New York City Giuliani's dastardly comments about the president's, as he put it, "hatred for America" spawned a volcanic eruption in my brain. Hence I sent my opinion in opposition to him stating that objection emphatically and rapidly.

Giuliani's statement is, of course, not only untrue but part and parcel of what the Republicon Party is all about in our time. It is the Party of hatred of the other meaning persons of color. I could not let him get away with such hateful and despicable comments so I sent my off-the-top-of-my-head sentiments (pasted below) to him.

Mr. Giuliani, I think I have never heard more despicable, insulting, sickening words uttered than the ones you did today about our President, a man whom I love. You are without a doubt the most feckless, rude, brazen, disgusting former mayor of the great City of New York. I am thankful every day that you failed to achieve the electoral heights you desired because if you did only God could help us.

On 9/11 you missed the boat and failed to protect the buildings adequately and there are probably many other things I could say that would impugn YOUR patriotism. But I will refrain from doing that and simply say I think your comments were disrespectful not only to Barack Obama, our president and yes, YOUR president too but they were an insult to the nation who elected him and to whom you SHOULD apologize.

I wish I had a nickel for all the times the president has waxed patriotic. Perhaps I would be a part of the 1% richest like you. You are a mean, cruel and utterly disparaging human being.

May you continue, if you try for higher political office or any thing else for that matter NEVER be successful. You are a mean spirited racist brute!

From one who LOVES her eminently patriotic president!