Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
SPEAKING OUT—Exploratory Argument # 1:
Only Unity Can Overcome All Obstacles
Grow up, America! Start reading small books with big words in them if you can tear your lardy butts away from the television!
We have the rich, the very rich, the super rich, and the über rich among us trying to have everything their own way and paying little, if any, taxes.
Everything, and I mean everything, is such a mess in this nation and around the world that one hardly knows where to begin. The Congress? The Courts? The Presidency? The People? In America, Congress votes, in the only truly bipartisan way thus far, to increase its salary. And then further lines its own pocket with lobbyists’ money while keeping its version of single-payer national healthcare strictly for itself. What will pass is reform of the health care industry. Not health care. A bonanza, really, to the corporations that serve us so ill.
The Supreme Court, not to be outdone, is thinking about rearguing the need for Political Action Campaign rules, which may end up sending a tsunami of unrestricted lobbyists' money to our politicians. You will recall that the rules governing PAC money were to make it at least seem, by the nickel and dime type of contributions, that the candidates’ ideas were persuading the public at large by their merit, not merely reflecting the deep pockets of the various interest groups. I mean to say we have the rich, the very rich, the super rich, and the über rich among us trying to have everything their own way and paying little, if any, taxes. Don’t you remember the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, telling us the truth: “Only the little people pay taxes!”? Soon, it seems, even the fig leaf of PAC democracy which Americans practice will be gone.
And then there is the Presidency. Sigh. Obama. The first American president with a brain and a conscience in a very long time. Yet we are not allowed to enjoy this shocking historical moment of our first black president because of the hysteria of his angry, white male critics. If the man himself discovered the cure for cancer tomorrow his critics would retort that he had not done the same for Parkinson’s Disease.
Where else but America could the Nobel Peace Prize be considered a Badge of Shame and a deadly sin for Obama to have considered the world’s interest as a whole, first, to be one big human family and to suggest, even for a moment, that American interests might come a close second?
Gone, at least, is the swaggering, smirking, illiterate, dyslexic, apoplectic, hectoring, half-wit bully of the last eight years. What an eternity of idiocy! Whenever he took to the lectern I was reminded of a barking dog. As a public service we can only hope Bush returns to the bottle to drown his sorrows. And, if you think I’m too harsh, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be glad to send him a bag of doughnuts and of copy of the National Enquirer so he can continue to inform and pal around with the slack-jawed, toothless rednecks that voted for him.
If, by comparison, Obama looked like a pulsating, Big Brained Alien coming into office, one wishes he had had the chutzpah to declare to Congress, “I come in peace! I am your friend!” and then whip out his ray gun and blast the Blue Dog Democrats into colorful skeletons, so to speak, as in the film, ‘Mars Attacks'! I mean, could he not have at least twisted a few arms in his own party to give us the single-payer health insurance that this nation so desperately needs? At the very worst, I should much rather have a bureaucracy deliver affordable health coverage at whatever inconvenience than be squeezed dry by rapacious, Republican-loving drug and insurance companies.
Dealing with the Republican Party, now full of extremists, is like negotiating with the Taliban about becoming Christian.
Does Obama not know that the Republican Party of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, etc. would rather die than rediscover reason, bi-partisanship, national unity, or agree with anything a Democrat has to say? The party of, “No, We Can’t!” will sink us all with endless military adventurism and bankruptcy, our current reality, while allowing our infrastructure to rust to pieces and our people to languish on minimum wage. Dealing with the Republican Party, now full of extremists, is like negotiating with the Taliban about becoming Christian.
Nonetheless, I will hold Obama and the Democrats responsible for not being disciplined enough to get us the single-payer national health care we need and deserve. If they cannot, then they must give up their special privileges in this regard and be forced to use whatever health care the American people end up with. This is only fair for "public servants."
I will also hold Obama and the Democrats responsible for sending any surge of troops to Afghanistan and so continuing the long, sad history of failed ideas and foreign policies of the criminal ruling class that runs this country.
Have any of the neo-conservatives’ cockamamie American Manifest Destiny ideas panned out? Unregulated American-style capitalism. Yeah. That was a good one! NOT! Obsessing over Israel’s existence to the exclusion of our national interests, and getting embroiled in the never-ending squabbles of Middle Eastern tribal politics and land grabs, layered over with the most retrograde force on Earth: Islam. America is a patsy and money pump for these neocon parasites. This is obsessive-compulsive and stupid foreign policy.
Have we brought democracy to any of these benighted 7th Century societies yet? Please! Leave them alone and let them discover the Age of Enlightenment all by themselves in their own way and time.
Have we brought democracy to any of these benighted 7th Century societies yet? Please! Leave them alone and let them discover the Age of Enlightenment all by themselves in their own way and time. Then they can enjoy the Industrial Age and Adam Smith. Then we can be free to continue to explore space and leave the Neanderthals behind. Things we Americans do best.
However, ladies and gentlemen, an escalation by any other name is still an escalation, and it will be no more successful than in Vietnam. Indeed, my fear is that Afghanistan and Iraq will be to American history what the Teutoburg Forest was to ancient Rome.
And then there is the American electorate. If ever the common man truly desired to see the cause of much of his troubles, he need only look in the mirror. Joe Six-pack has been cosseted and coddled by his accidental and privileged place in world history since the end of World War II—thus the common American man’s brains have been addled for far too long by the Disney-esque excess of material wealth and power.
Even now, as their homes and government are stolen out from under them by the robber baron banking classes, their national psyche is tormented by a case of Terminal Adolescence. Grow up, America! Start reading small books with big words in them if you can tear your lardy butts away from the television!
How else explain why Americans would listen to the disciples of Karl Rove, one of the chief strategists of the Republican Party? Win at all costs; divide the country against itself so that if you couldn’t win 51 percent of the vote then the election could be easily thrown in our winner-takes-all system. Freeze the opposing political party out of government. Permanently. Republicans would rule forever. Gosh. Just like the Communist Party in China! Who knew?
Don’t believe me? Let’s recall, briefly, Karl Rove’s career of nastiness:
Partisan smears of this sort are expressions of pure evil in a democratic process, and are as immoral as the mad mullahs we rail against.
Are we really just a fifth-rate people with a first-rate system of government left to us by our glorious ancestors?
Why should we the people continue to listen to these crap-mongers? Are we really just a fifth-rate people with a first-rate system of government left to us by our glorious ancestors? Can we not grow up as a nation? Can we not become less irresponsible?
I rest my case, Your Honor
Gaius Julius Publius
*The author uses the pseudonym "Publius," as did the original anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers (among them were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay); these 85 articles, published between Oct. 1787 and Aug. 1788, were designed to explicate the philosophy and intent of the newly-minted U.S. Constitution. The series of articles began as a response to other articles (anonymously authored by "Cato" and "Brutus") being published at that time that opposed ratifying the Constitution. At that time, public figures often adopted Roman names as pseudonyms. Hamilton coined the pseudonym Publius, short for "Philo-Publius," meaning "Friend of the People." In the tradition of the original Publius, the Baltimore Chronicle invited the author of this essay to address the situation in which he feels the U.S. finds itself today.
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This story was published on October 26, 2009.