Saturday, October 26, 2013

President Obama's act of grace after Sandy Hook

[Photo from The Journey to Rediscover]

What follows has been, until just recently, relatively unknown.  President Obama, in secret, went to Sandy Hook to meet with the parents whose lives were shattered beyond repair.

At the memorial service, he met with them, hugged them, talked to them, offered what words of comfort he could and he prayed with them.

From an article by Joshua Dubois here.

"I went downstairs to greet President Obama when he arrived, and I provided an overview of the situation. “Two families per classroom . . . The first is . . . and their child was . . . The second is . . . and their child was . . . We’ll tell you the rest as you go.”

The president took a deep breath and steeled himself, and went into the first classroom. And what happened next I’ll never forget.

Person after person received an engulfing hug from our commander in chief. He’d say, “Tell me about your son. . . . Tell me about your daughter,” and then hold pictures of the lost beloved as their parents described favorite foods, television shows, and the sound of their laughter. For the younger siblings of those who had passed away—many of them two, three, or four years old, too young to understand it all—the president would grab them and toss them, laughing, up into the air, and then hand them a box of White House M&M’s, which were always kept close at hand. In each room, I saw his eyes water, but he did not break.

And then the entire scene would repeat—for hours. Over and over and over again, through well over a hundred relatives of the fallen, each one equally broken, wrecked by the loss. After each classroom, we would go back into those fluorescent hallways and walk through the names of the coming families, and then the president would dive back in, like a soldier returning to a tour of duty in a worthy but wearing war.

We spent what felt like a lifetime in those classrooms, and every single person received the same tender treatment. The same hugs. The same looks, directly in their eyes. The same sincere offer of support and prayer."

The President does not talk about this.

Two things:

1)  I cannot imagine any Republican candidates for president in recent years doing the same thing and not advertising it for all the world's acclaim.

2)  Unfortunately, the hate that fills the minds of those on the right will see this as a callous attempt to divert attention from their delusion he is a Marxist/Muslim/Antichrist.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dick Cheney, war criminal with a bad heart whines Obama didn't get bin Laden the right way - Cheney's way

The former Vice-President of the United States, went on a conservative radio talk show, puffed up his chest, within which is located a bad heart, and said that if he had been running things when the bin Laden operation was undertaken it would have been undertaken in a different way.  Nobody would have danced around and the details would remain hidden.

Is this funny or what?  The Bush-Cheney cabal couldn't have caught bin Laden if his head was handed to them on a plate!  They had 8 years to do it.  They didn't come close.  And now he has the gall to suggest that he could have and would have done it better.

Even funnier is Cheney whining that he and Bush never got credit for their part in the "puzzle."  They did the intel for many years and that's what allowed Obama to send in the troops and take credit for the kill instead of pointing to Bush and Cheney and saying "These two wonderful guys made it all happen!"

Cheney is one of those folks who know how to use the "Big Lie":   Just keep repeating the lie over and over again and eventually people will start believing it.  Just keep saying we did it right.  Iraq was necessary.  We had to kill Saddam Hussein.  We were forced to make a regime change.  We did it for the Iraqis' own good.  We went after the bad guys responsible for 9/11.  Hussein  had WMDs so we had no choice.

Maybe Cheney actually believes these things even if they have no connection with the truth, but I doubt that.  Bush and Cheney screwed up this country so badly that we've still not recovered and may never recover for they set in motion dark forces which spawned, among other things, an anti-government attitude which filtered down to the hoi polloi and, in my opinion, played a part in the emergence of the Tea Party teapot crackpots as well as the resurgence of the neo-Nazi and other anti-government militarists around the country.  They also put in place a tax structure that basically takes the rich out of the picture while the rest of us carry the burden on our backs.

Cheney is a little paranoid.  He says that lately he's been fearful that terrorists could kill him through an electrical device pointed at his heart.  That's just silly.  Cheney was and is one of the best friends the terrorists ever had.  His shenanigans as Vice President -  attacking the wrong people for 9/11 which basically destroyed the country of Iraq - brought renewed hope and strength to the Islamist terrorists.  Through the farcical Homeland Security Act, the terrorists reached one of their major goals which was to strike such a feeling of fear among our people we would gladly give up our freedoms to be "safe."  Witness the number of cameras on our street corners and the police departments outfitted in military regalia, all paid for by Homeland Security, and then re-read George Orwell's book, "1984."

Finally, Cheney is a war criminal.  He was part of that triumvirate which lied us into the war in Iraq.  Over 4,000 of our young men and women died as a result of their lies.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died.  Our Iraq/Afghanistan veterans are committing suicide at a terrible rate and many thousands more sit in wheelchairs or hospital beds crippled for life.   


Cheney and Bush and Rumsfeld, along with several others, should have been tried for war crimes by an international tribunal.  Not only did they start an unnecessary war in preemptive fashion based upon facts they knew to be false, but they authorized, in violation of the Geneva Convention, the use of torture.

It is time, I think, that the media decline to interview or publish what this despicable man, with blood dripping from his hands and lies slithering through his lips, has to say about anything.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saudi Arabia, the UN, and John McCain

Saudi Arabia, a monarchial dictatorship, a country with a legal system based upon Islam and the Quran, where freedom is just another word for whatever the royal family desires, has rejected a seat on the UN's Security Council, supposedly because the royals are frustrated that the UN and the US did not put an end to the war in Syria and has not yet bombed Iran.

By and large, the Gulf Arab states have backed the Saudi decision. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, has met with the Saudi leadership to try to smooth things over, emphasizing the wonderful relationship between the two countries, blah, blah, blah. He did not mention that we buy barrels and barrels of Saudi oil and that the Saudi royals allow us to have a military base on their soil.

He also didn't mention that Saudi Arabia is the country that gave birth to all but one of the 9/11 bombers, and that Osama bin Laden was a favorite son among a whole family of bin Ladens and that the U.S. leadership has been in bed with the Saudi leadership for many years, large because some of our leaders, notably the Bush family has made several fortunes due to their ties with the Saudis.

Secretary Perry further failed to note that Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship where women are treated like chattel and where freedom of speech does not exist, and where torture is commonly used to punish those who disobey the Islamic moral code such as a female showing too much skin or merely being in a room with males unrelated to her.

It has been said by some that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and all the other clowns who made up that cartel of war in 2003, attacked the wrong country. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Saddam Hussein was a secular ruler who didn't give a damn about Islam or the Muslim religion. He was a dictator, true, but for many years he had been our dictator and received favors from the U.S. government for bowing to our foreign policy in the Middle East. Unfortunately, he did not have as much oil as the Saudis and the oil that he did have was desired by certain politicians, namely Bush and Cheney.

Actually, they didn't want the oil so much as they wanted to do the bidding of the Saudi royals who had been bribing them for years and the Saudis wanted the U.S. to do whatever was necessary so that Iraq's oil did not fall into the "wrong" hands, e.g. Iran. The closeness of the relationship between certain U.S. leaders and the Saudis was seen by the fact that one of George W. Bush's immediate actions following 9/11 was to order U.S. aircraft to pickup and fly home Saudi Arabian citizens from various places in our country!

Shortly thereafter George W. Bush preemptively declared war on Iraq, even though he did not have that right. He should have asked Congress to declare war on Saudi Arabia. The Saudi dictatorship was every bit as violent and merciless as Hussein's. But not only was oil involved. Bush needed to "right" the wrong that had been dealt daddy. He had some unfinished business in Iraq and so he made up stories about non-existent WMD's and the Cheney-Rumsfeld gang, up to their ears in this bloody endeavor, began to talk about regime change and how the people of Iraq would be throwing themselves at the feet of our armies in joy because we were bringing freedom and democracy to their benighted land.

It was all wrong, of course. None of it was true. Darker and more sinister forces were at work which were known at the time but our media is corporate-owned and dares not to tell the truth because they, too, have been compromised with threats of exclusion from the seats of power.

Now Saudi Arabia, in some kind of fit of piety, has refused a seat on the UN's Security Council. John McCain, who knows everything about everything, and is especially astute when it comes to war-mongering and walking in two piles of crap at the same time, says the Saudi pique is all Obama's fault. Well, isn't everything?  And our media, which never seems to get enough of this veteran non-hero, publishes whatever comes out of his mouth.

Do we really need the Saudis represented on the Security Council?  Saudi Arabia is an Arab dictatorship, run by a royal family which generally follows Islamic law and where freedom as we understand it, does not exist. Is Saudi Arabia really our friend when it comes to the Middle East? How many Jews, for example, live and work in Saudi Arabia? Perhaps it is time to rethink our relationship with this dictatorial country which raised the men who formed an al Qaeda group and brought to fruition the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001!

My good friend, Bob Poris, has some thoughts on this subject which I believe are most appropriate and make me wish he was walking the halls of power in this country instead of the numbnuts currently in Congress!

"I believe Obama should tell the Saudis to do whatever they think is in their best interest, as we should also do. We should remove our troops ASAP [from Saudi Arabia] and shift them to Israel and any other country that is willing to join us. The Saudis have a well-equipped army and air force [with planes and other equipment we have sold to them], as do other Arab nations.

If they are so concerned about Syria and other local problems in their area, they are free to do something about it. The U.S. is rarely welcome on Arab soil as soon as the major problem is resolved. This is a local problem, aggravated by a hatred of the Infidel nations' armed forces. If the Arab nations are not willing to handle it, we should not either.

We have an alternative. If Israel and other nations are willing to supply troops, money and influence - as Turkey has done on occasion - then, if military action is needed and in OUR interest, we can join with our true allies to achieve our objectives. I see no value in risking American lives when Arabs are available to resolve an internal problem.  When Arabs are killing each other over religious differences, the situation is only made worse when Infidels interfere.

As re the oil situation: We have sources of oil, other than Saudi Arabia, for our own use. We can stop exporting as much oil as we do. Israel and Africa now produce oil which is available to us. We could use our oil in Alaska for our own nation's needs, rather than exporting it elsewhere. We cannot be dependent on others forever! Perhaps now is the time to handle our own needs."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Maybe Texas shouldn't's not all bad

[Photo of Wendy Davis, Democratic candidate for governor of Texas]

Generally speaking, the news out of Texas makes one's skin crawl and creates a great deal of nausea among educated, intelligent, moral and ethical people.  But there have been several indications which indicate that not everyone in Texas is an ignorant moron.

[The most obvious exceptions to this observation, of course, include the governor - some clown named Rick or Perry - and the Republicans in the state legislature and the Republican party as a whole and the teapot crackpots who are willing to lay down our lives for the sake of Mr. Cruz and his "sacred" mission of shutting down the United States government.]

Some, including Mr. Rick or Mr. Perry, have insinuated that Texas would be better off if it seceded from the Union and established itself as an independent country.  Considering the state of the State of Texas, I tend to think that isn't a bad idea.  It would be great fun to see these non-rocket scientists try to run a whole country when they can't even run the state!  The first thing they'd probably do is ask for "foreign aid" from the U.S. government to maintain their highways and their schools.  Texas, you see, gets about twice as much federal money as it sends to Washington in the form of taxes  or other revenue and has come to expect handouts from the federal government even as they whine about the federal government's deficit!

Furthermore, the country of Texas would undoubtedly be a real drag on the rest of the world.  The educational system is in tatters, its health care is dragging along the bottom rung, women are considered inferior and denied their basic human rights, and it is likely that those in power would demand that Texas be a "Christian" country.

You know what would happen then.  Uprising and revolt.  People accustomed to freedom in the U.S. of A. would be demonstrating, demanding their rights; they'd clamor for a new secular constitution.  They'd want schools that would teach their children something useful and not send them off to wander about the mountains of west Texas looking for Noah's ark!  They'd want their pharmacies to sell contraceptives because they wouldn't be able to feed their 12 children and some would demand that Roe v. Wade be adjudged the law of the land of Texas because women throughout the country were being butchered by back-alley abortionists.

All of these things would be denied by Ted Cruz who would have been anointed king by his father, Rafael and a Christian Zionist from San Antonio.  Before long the whole country would be in the toilet and we'd have to send Peace Corp workers and health care personnel  and legal beagles and bankers and philosophers and non-Christian psychiatrists, and just about every kind of resource available.  Hell, we might even have to send the Army to keep the Christians from slaughtering the rest of the folks!

So maybe Texas shouldn't secede.  There have been a couple of positive signs leaking out of the Lone Star State in recent days.

The word on the street is that publishers of science textbooks being considered for Texas public schools will not include the teaching of Creationism or its morbid cousin, Intelligent Design.  They will, instead, include material to help students understand the evolutionary process which is the bedrock of all science!

There are, of course, ways and means that the unevolved can use to try to get Creationism and Intelligent Design into the schools, but this refusal to include such crap in science textbooks is a good and hopeful sign.

The second positive sign has to do with a Republican judge from San Antonio who put out the word that he was resigning his position and leaving the Republican Party.  He plans to run for re-election as a Democrat because "he can no longer be part of a political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destroying people's lives."

His name is Carlo R. Key.  He doesn't much like Ted Cruz or other politicians who further "their agenda or career by harming others."

Part of his resignation speech went like this:

"I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status.  I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them.  I cannot place my name of the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s or 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country."

And finally, there's another positive sign:  Wendy Davis is running for governor of the State of Texas.  Ms. Davis is a Democrat, a state senator from Fort Worth and is not afraid to take on the nutcases in the state legislature.  She will, she says, "represent the working class and improve public education, economic development and health care [... in] Texas."  She especially wants to restore the $5 billion the Republicans in Austin cut from the public school budget!

You may remember that Senator Davis was the one who, in a 13-hour filibuster, fought against new restrictive abortion legislation.  In Texas, that took a lot of courage.  A lot. of. courage!

There may be hope for Texas yet.  Maybe.  

The Colbert Report - End of the Government Shutdown

How to make a FAUX News "expert" look really stupid!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Ten Commandments - the basis of our laws and morals

Another gem from the NonStampCollector


Somehow, probably because I am not a Muslim and know little about the religion, I missed the holiday of Eid_al-Adha, which occurred on Oct. 15.

But I'm no longer totally ignorant thanks to my friend at the blog, Dwindling in Unbelief.

He explains that Eid al_Adha is when Muslims all over the world gather to celebrate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.  Part of this celebration involves the slaughter of animals. 

On this day, millions of animals around the world will have their throats slit to make Allah happy.

It is amazing, says my friend, that religion can create so much evil to please an imaginary god.

The Afforable Care Act and Hypocritical Republicans

Marco Rubio, a member of the U.S. Senate, elected to that august body by ignorant and angry Floridians, has publicly stated that he did not support the recent government shutdown, that he never wanted to shut down the government, that he was merely opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

Marco Rubio is a liar and a hypocrite!  On several well-documented occasions, Senator Rubio stated explicitly that he would vote to shut down the government in order to defund the ACA.  The Huffington Post has him cold:

"Rubio, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky), led the Senate-side GOP push for the government shutdown strategy.  Over the summer, Rubio refused to back any funding package for the federal government that would allow the health care law to go into effect.  Absent a funding bill, the government would be forced to shut down.

"'On this issue we're willing to fight no matter what the consequences, politically or otherwise [are].  If the issue is not Obamacare, I can't understand what issue it would be.  Rubio told conservative radio host Mark Levin in August,' "You cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it."'"

Rubio is one of several Republicans who have attempted to paint their perfidy in a color other than the blood red of suffering people who were hurt by the shutdown.

We have noted many times on this blog how lies and hypocrisy define the current GOP.  The ACA  set the stage for a whole new troupe of liars and hypocrites to act out their nonsense.

The June 24/July1, 2013 issue of The Nation tells the story by noting first that from the very beginning, even prior to Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans swore they would repeal it. 

The reason had to do with polls indicating the American people thought the health care law was a good thing and that they would become even more receptive to it when they "found out that the plan denounced as a 'monstrosity' by the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not trample on their liberties so much as help protect their health."

And that's why the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives have voted over and over again, nearly 40 times, to repeal Obamacare.  Well, it also had to do with the fact Obama is half-white.

So, these hypocritical Republicans have been hard at work in the darkness from day one!  They don't really believe the ACA is bad [I mean, c'mon, it was originally a Republican plan!], but they know they're dead meat if it works and they don't like our half-black president!

The Nation reports that "letters produced by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that many of these same anti-Obamacare Republicans have solicited grants from the very program they claim to despise."

Paul Ryan is one anti-Obamacare hypocrite who, though he fought to have the ACA repealed, "sent a letter requesting ACA money for health clinics in his district..."  Kristi Noem, a right-wing Republican from South Dakota as well as Rob Portman (R-Ohio) also asked for ACA funds for their areas.  And both of them campaigned against the act and have worked hard to have it repealed.

"Though notably less transparent, the behavior of these GOP lawmakers parallels that of GOP governors like Arizona's Jan Brewer, who blast the president's health reform package while embracing the millions in Medicaid funds that it provides."

Here are some more names of people who have arduously worked for repeal of the ACA and spoken against it in public while at the same time asked for ACA monies for one reason or another:

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tx), Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxy Chambliss, Republicans from Georgia, along with Mark Kirk of Illinois and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. 

There's also Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Il) who "congratulated a local non-profit for winning a Community Transformation grant, noting that the program will give 'people the tools to live healthier and longer lives.'"

Jerry Moran, the chair of the NRSC, "has hailed programs that exist because of it [the ACA)."  It's rather humorous, if sad, that "A picture posted on [his] official Facebook page shows the senator in a suit with a food on a shovel to break ground for the health clinic [the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas]."

Kristi Postai, CEO of the CHC-SEK clinics said that the clinic's funding came from the ACA and Moran voted "No!"   

"Some of the letters obtained by The Nation are from lawmakers who are no longer in office," but whose hypocrisy spilled from the printed page, including Jerry Lewis, Bobby Schilling, Kay Baily Hutchinson and Robert Dold."

Then there is one Hal Rogers, a Republican congressman, who calls the ACA socialistic, but "wrote a letter asking for an Obamacare health clinic grant almost as soon as the money became available."

And finally, Bill Cassidy (R-La), has been in the forefront of the attempt to derail the ACA, but was happy to pose "at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three school-based health centers" which received a $500,000 grant from the ACA.

My guess is there are many more Republicans in our Congress who have vociferously and poignantly claimed the Affordable Care Act would bring about the end of the world, while at the same time have tried to obtain benefits from the act which would benefit their constituents thus giving them credit when none was due.

Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds.  Republican legislators have learned well that they can tell big, bold lies over and over again because the mainstream media gives them a pass every time.