The rants, the blockage, the finger-pointng, the pontificatons, the judging, the holier-than-thou attitudes of the right-wng in the U.S. are getting worse and worse. It isn't enough to try and shut down the government and stop the majorities in Congress from passing legislation. They have to do it from a fictional perch from whence they camouflage their own sins and shortcomngs. Haven't we had quite enough of the holy right-wing politicians who have passed judgment on others while we find their own private lives are filled with shady behavior? For goodness sake, the very people pointing fingers at Bill Clinton's sleazy activities were themselves leading a life of double-standards. Do I have to list these right-wing phonies for you?
The recently passed health care reform legislation is a case in point. The Republcans were unanimous in voting against these reforms. They did everything they could to stop it. Strangely, it was originally their own proposed legislation that they suddenly developed a dislike for when proposed by the Democrats.
Please read this carefully: from the first day of the invasion of Iraq I gave speeches and wrote about it being a huge mistake. Ignorance prevailed. Corporations were given huge profits from contracts or special inside dealings. Americans would die and be wounded by the tens of thousands. Millions of Iraqi citizens would be displaced. Treasured relics would be stolen because of no preparation in the after-invasion plans. Horrible mistakes would be make. Oil production would plummet. Drinking water and electricity would become scarce. There would be daily terrorist bombings. Worst of all, Iraq would become a quasi-branch of Iran. Yes, Iraq is now heavily influenced by Shia Iran in bed with the Shia majority in Iraq. And George W. Bush, that man whose father helped him escape Vietnam, would land in military dress on an aircraft carrier bearing a huge sign: Mission Accomplished. And Dick Cheney pranced around like a proud peacock. Let us never forget.
I have written since Day One of the Iraq invasion that it would ultimately be a failure because Iraq was never a unified nation. It was cobbled together by European colonialists, and these same colonialists were forced to use their tremendous power to hold the "nation" together. It would always take a iron fist to keep Iraq united because it was not a nation, but a splintering of regions and peoples, primarily Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds. Without the colonial power or Saddam's ruthless power, Iraq would disintegrate. Look at it. The elections are frauds. The Shia are leveling their revenge on the minority Sunnis who held power because of Saddam. The Kurds are making overtures about independence, and are only going along thus far in hope of getting oil revenue.
You may have read that Newt Gingrich, in a speech to "Southern" conservatives/Republicans called President Barack Obama the most radical president in U.S. history. At the site where he gave that speech, I'm surprised he didn't call for lynching President Obama. That group has a sordid history of the most horrid bigotry statements and actions throughout history.
Afterwords, Newt Gingrich snuggled up with some Tea Party faithful. Imagine that picture: immoral and unethical Newt Gingrich having a cozy time with a group that invites speakers, as in Wausau, who have a history of speaking to white supremicist groups. Now there's a picture of the desired future of the Republican Party. Yikes!
My life has been closely tied to Poles, Polish culture, Polish friends, Polish dates, Polish kisses, and I often feel as though I am a Polish-American. Polish people and Polish culture are too often greatly misunderstood. Each of us has been influenced by the contributions of Polish people, and each of us in the U.S. has been influenced by immigrants from Poland. In this time of sadness over the plane crash that claimed the President of Poland, his wife, and many leading political and military figures, I feel deeply effected. In tragic irony, those people in that plane were on a mission to commemorate the slaughter of Poles by Russians in World War II. Very sad.
I was born in a densely populated neighborhod of Polish-Americans on Milwaukee's south side. As I grew up, most of my friends were Polish kids or kids from other Slavic cultures. Early on I learned to love bakery from Polish-Americans. "Poonch-kas" or "Poonch-kees" were there. I like just about all food, but I do draw the line at czarnina, a Polish favorite, which is duck blood soup. Polish CYO activities were attended, though I was not Catholic. We crashed many Polish weddings and ate the food, drank the beer, danced with the girls, and loved it all. One of my "rites of passage" was swimming with Polish kids out to the breakwater rocks on Lake Michigan. I remember talking with famous German novelist, Gunter Grass, in Berlin about his writings of a German kid among Polish kids in Danzig, Poland [Gdansk today]. That kid in the novel swam out into the Baltic Sea as a rite of passage.
Yes, Oprah Winfrey has Milwaukee ties. Yes, Oprah is a billionaire. Yes, Oprah has a media empire. Yes, Oprah is beloved by millions of loyal fans around the world. Yes-yes-yes.
I guess you might say that she is not my cup of tea. Frankly, I observe her as being lots of substance and no reality. But she does nothing about as perfectly as anybody.
***Is a "revolution" coming in the November elections? Perhaps. Why all the screaming? If the American people vote for a Republican majority in the Congress, so be it. Instead of all the posturing and threatening, can't we just settle down and see how the democratic process plays out? I would accept a Republican majority in the House and Senate, if that's what the American electorate decide. It is quite normal for the conservative movement to get out its vote better than the liberal constituency. They can better mobilize their voters. So be it. The last election found a rare mobilization of liberal forces around Barack Obama. Perhaps things will return to the normal bloc voting of conservatives in the next election. Please stop yelling that the sky is falling. Most importantly, let's keep it clean and honest at the polls, and no return to the Florida and Ohio debacle of the year 2000. It is a political millenium until November.
***Apparently the election of Republican U.S. Senator Brown in Massachusetts is evolving as somewhat different than was anticipated by all the alarmist liberals. Senator Brown is aware of his liberal state constituency, and he is not voting as a right-wing robot. The Tea Party is blasting him plenty. That should make lots of moderates and liberals breathe a little easier.
Belatedly, I just watched the movie "Syriana." It is somewhat based on a true story. Even though I know the subject matter very thoroughly, and have been to many of the settings in the film, I found it awkward because it insisted on adding a Hollywood story line. Nevertheless, I applaud George Clooney and others for having the guts to put this forward. It reveals much of the collusion of big corporations [especially big oil], the federal government, the CIA, and certain leading politicians in the U.S. who manipulate our policies, including war, to make money for themselves and their friends. The movie is reviewed as: "A complex, intriguing narrative about oil, terrorism, money and power."
However there is a 100% true and historically factual story that is more to the point. And it happened at the highest levels of capitalism and the U.S. government. Most certainly, in this case, truth is indeed much stranger than fiction ...and much more frightening.
April 19th has become a celebratory date for American right-wingers. Here is what the right-wing commemorates on this date:
Timothy McVeigh's bombing of innocent Americans in Oklahoma City.
At the recent meeting of leaders and heads of state of dozens of nations in Washington, D.C., much was discussed about protecting nuclear stockpiles from falling into the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups. President Obama called for the meeting. Laudible. His White House handled the press releases. Not well done.
First President Obama said through press meetings and staff releases that the meetings were necessarily held in secret because of the delicate nature and dangerous materials involved. Baloney. Some heads of state told their own national press corps that there was nothing so important discussed in the meetings that they couldn't have been held in a more open fashion. Others commented that the real pertinent discussions took place between two or three heads of state [i.e. Russia and the U.S., or NATO nations and China, etc.]. That was where the rubber hit the road.
The military-industrial corporations and the politicians who help them to the trough of the U.S. taxpayer have framed our military and warlike posture as necessary to protect us and our nation. While there may be times when we need a firm action on the part of our military, we have been hypnotized by the military-industrial groups to believe war is ongoing and inevitable. Indeed, it is the stuff that TV loves. Flying bodies, bloody faces, exploding buildings, troops marching through smoke, fires everywhere, grieving people, dead bodies, tanks, planes, heliocopters have become the stuff of high news ratings.
Too often it is all portrayed as the heroic actions of our democratic nation. We "HAVE TO" do these things. And we "must" protect our Constitution and the ideals of our Founding Fathers. Is "the Father of the U.S. Constitution" good enough for you? If he was also the Fourth President of the U.S. good enough for you? Read what James Madison had to say on the subject:
A new book, THE WAR LOVERS by Evan Thomas, comes out at a time when it is surely needed. The book, well researched, is about the men who were "successful" in finding a war for the United States to fight in 1898 so it could express its "manifest destiny" to the world. There were leaders in the U.S. who were for and against going to war for no good reason.
Teddy Roosevelt was key among those who wanted to fight a war, any war, so he could carry out his own strong desire to fight, to be in battle, to become a war hero. He promoted war against Spain, Germany, and several other nations. Pick one and he was ready to fight. Why? He was a small man, seen as less than masculine in appearence and stature. He wanted to prove otherwise. And he saw war as a way to do that. Others saw war as unnecessary and those who saw the ravages of REAL battle during the Civil War, spoke out against it.
During the 1960s and following I was involved in the civil rights movement. While prejudice and bigotry were omnipresent in the United States, I had to see it in its raw form in the South to finally realize how I had overlooked it even as it surrounded me in the Middle West.
I got to know the Martin Luther King family and I spoke at their church in Atlanta. "Daddy King" was a personal favorite. He was an old-style Baptist preacher, and though serving a church of beloved parishioners in central Atlanta, there was always a little of the rural South in his preaching. He was at the same time both a humble man and a man of strong presence and conviction. To me, it was easy to see where his son got his speaking skills and his love for fairness and justice. Someday a book and perhaps a movie will be made about the influential and interesting life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, SR.
With the horrible tragedy unfolding on the coast of Louisiana from the BP oil, one has to stop and ponder when will we have enough of this irresponsible behavior by big corporations. BP was warned many times that their oil rig and oil supply was not safe and that they were putting the Gulf of Mexico in great danger. BP not only ignored the warnings, it assured everyone that things were safe and being handled. Now what is unfolding is the greastest environmental catastrophe in United States history.
This comes on the heals of the huge mine disaster in West Virginia. Similarly, the coal corporation which operated the mine that exploded and collapsed was warned over and over about the unsafe conditions in that mine. Actually the mine was written up many times for violations of safety rules.