27 November 2010

Turkey day thoughts

Well, I hope that all you folks had a nice, safe Thanksgiving.
We all know that may not have been easy this year, what with the economy, or what passes as such these days, is in very poor shape. Jobs are still being lost here in America. Home foreclosures are still going up, the dollar is still barely holding on and gold prices are still rising. In short, things here look very grim.
Our wars are not going all that well either. We recently have heard that the "Taliban leader" who was in negotiations with General "king" David Patraeus has turned out to be an impostor. Yep, the supposed "Taliban leader" is a fake. On the one hand it strikes me as hilarious. Here we have an ordinary person who was able to fool our intelligence and military people AND he got paid a good bit of money as well.  Now, most people would think that our military and intelligence types would have checked into the guy before they paid him much money and/or swallowed his story.  It just further proves the old bit about an oxymoron such as "military intelligence" doesn't it? 
Of course one could look at this from another view point.  It sort of strikes me as being in that old American spirit of pulling off a neat little stunt. Hey, give the guy some credit. He decides one day to fake being a senior member of the Taliban and sits for "peace talks" with US military and diplomatic types and gets them to pay him for coming to these talks. Personally, I think it took guts to do this. No doubt there will be all sorts of "reasons" why he was able to fool our people. Can you say cover up? Of course you can. No way will our people ever admit that they got totally taken in by this guy. There will be plenty of excuses for this, and none of them true. No doubt also, that the elephant gang will be demanding that he be punished to"the fullest extent of the law". Yeah, politicians and law don't exactly go hand-in-hand in my opinion.
Continuing with our wars, I highly recommend that you all take the time to read the article at Counterpunch by Mr. Brian Cloughley this weekend. Here is the link;www.counterpunch.org/cloughley11262010.html  Mr. Cloughley is a veteran and a writer and has earned my highest respect. He points out better than I ever could how "we" have dropped so very low with our "remote control" warfare". The use of drones to bomb people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to say nothing of the other countries where "we" are using these drones to kill our fellow human beings. This killing by remote control is obscene. As if "normal" warfare isn't obscene enough, "we" now use remotely controlled aircraft to do our killing. And remember that even in face-toface meetings, our intelligence types did not know that they were being fooled when they had the above mentioned meetings with a "senior Taliban" guy. How likely is it, do you think, that "we" can be certain that "we" are bombing the "right" folks by remote control? I would have to say, not very likely at all.  No doubt this all falls well inside the "margins for error" that "our" military and intelligence types make plenty of allowances for. Obscene is how I see it. Immoral and unethical come to mind as well.
Another excellent article that caught my attention this weekend is also at Counterpunch. Please take the time to read the latest by Missy Beattie. Here is the link;www.counterpunch.org/beattie11262010.html  As we all celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for the next holiday, please take the time to remember that ALL of us human beings are on this planet together. We are all in this folks. None of us are really alone here. We all need to try and get along with each other. Take the time to help those who really need it. It is easy, just treat others the way you want to be treated. Trust me, it will make your days much nicer. You'll be surprised just how much a simple act can make a big change in others.
And as we are now well and truly into the "holiday shopping season", check the article, also at Counterpunch by Mr. Saul Landau. The link is;www.counterpunch.org/landau11262010.html  Yes, the very same companies that have laid off their workers and off-shored those jobs are trying like mad to get those same folks to buy the newest products.  Now just how the people who lost their jobs and are close to having exhausted their unemployment benefits can even hope to buy the newest "goodies" is beyond me, but they sure as hell are trying to get them to buy, buy, buy. And just what are those folks supposed to use for money? Beats me.
What passes for an economy in America is ever more a joke. More people are out of work than a year ago. Home foreclosures are still going up. Credit is still tight and most people in the country are barely able to meet the monthly bills and have food to eat. And yet, the advertisers are bombarding us with ads that tell us the we "need" this or that newest gadget. Don't believe me? Just watch the TV for an hour or so. The ads come fast and furious. This is THE prime shopping season folks. 
More reading that I recommend. I have just finished two books that I am glad to have read. The first I highly recommend to all. It is "Idiot America" by C.P. Pierce. It is a relatively new book as he covers the election of Gobomber, not in detail, but enough to let you know that the book was recently written. He does a good job of providing some background in to the "tea party" and that line of "thinking" or as it seems most days, not thinking.  I found it to be very worth reading and it gave me some more insight into the mentality of the "tea party" types.  The other book I just finished is "Voices of protest" by Alan Brinkley. This book is a very interesting look into the lives of two very extraordinary men. Huey P. Long of Louisiana and Father Coughlin. They both came into fame as it were during the "great depression" of the 1930's. Now, in my opinion, the very best book about Huey Long is the one by T. Harry Williams titled "Huey Long".  I say this because in my opinion, he covers the entire life of Huey and he does it with little or no bias at all. Mr. Williams does not come out either "for" nor "against" Huey. That alone makes his book on Huey worth reading. Most every other book on the man is either "for" or "against" the man. Mr. Williams stays neutral.
Back to the other book though. Mr. Brinkley covers both Huey and Father Coughlin during the 1930's. well until 1935 for Huey as he was killed that year. Considering that economically, we are now very close to how it was during the 1930's. it makes me wonder if we will see the rise of another national figure like either of them. No, I do not think that either Rush Limburger nor Beck are any way close, yet. They may both, individually, have larger audiences than either Father Coughlin or Huey had, but as yet, neither seems to have the influence that either of those men had. 
Also, one must remember that there was no Social Security in the 1930's and that the people had a much different view of what the job of government was then as opposed to now. Also, it was much closer, in time, to the end of a major world war as well. The attitude of the people towards government was very different from what it is now.
One more comment on the economy and the "tea party".  Some of the newly elected Congress critters who ran as "tea party" types have said publicly that they ran on a promise to not vote to raise the national debt ceiling. Recently, some senior members of the elephant gang who will hold leadership positions in Congress have told these new members that they need to start "acting like adults", particularly with regards to raising the debt ceiling. Now that strikes me as absolutely hilarious. How so you say? Well, consider it just on its face. Here we have members of the "party of NO" telling its newly elected members to"act like adults". Well, call me a cynical, sarcastic old guy, but I find it much like the pot calling the kettle black. Or, if you'd rather, do as I say, not as I do (have done since January 2009). Yep, hypocrites. But, why not? It IS politics after all, and hypocrites are what they all are. Yes, even Gobomber himself. Anybody remember that campaign promise of his to close GITMO by the end of his first year in office? Yeah, THAT campaign promise. Well, he has been in office almost two years and GITMO is STILL open for business, as it were. Yes, calling a politician a hypocrite IS much like saying that fire is hot, I know, I know. Some times I just feel like stating the obvious.
It should be quite fun to see how the vote, which no doubt will happen early next year, to raise the debt ceiling will play out. Supposedly, the "tea party" members who were just elected have made a promise to vote NO. The elephant gang leaders are telling them they have to vote yes. IF they do break down and vote yes, will the folks back home rebel? Will they demand a recall? Will there really be repercussions for the "tea party" Congress critters is they DO vote to raise the debt ceiling? So many unanswered questions. So many possibilities. IF they vote to raise the debt ceiling and the constituents get angry, that could be a good thing for the donkey gang members, not the politicians, but the regular donkey gang voters. How so? Well, if the "tea party" get upset for their candidates breaking campaign promises, it just could, maybe, get the donkey gang voters to put real pressure on not only Gobomber, but the Congress critters who belong to the donkey gang to honor(!!) their campaign promises. Wow, can you even imagine that? I am trying to, but I admit that it isn't easy. Not just emails, phone calls and such, but REAL protest. Yeah, marching to the White House and/or Congressional offices, in D.C and back home. Man, now that brings back some memories of the 1960's doesn't it? Well, John Lennon DID write and sing the song.......Imagine..........And I certainly DO imagine. We all should, and then we should work towards a common goal of making this world a better place for ALL people and other living critters. Oh, don't forget the plants either. 
I honestly think we can do it. Seriously. Just start out by treating everybody else the way you like to be treated. Nothing complicated. If we all do this, I really do think the world can change. We don't need any leaders. We can each of us just try every day, in small ways, be nice to each other. It just might catch on, and then, maybe, some day, hopefully not too far off, we just might end the damn stupid useless wars of choice. We could demand of our leaders that even they remember that there are only two reasons for war. To defend OUR homes and to defend the Bill of Rights. And that EVERY other "reason" for war is a damn racket. Hey, I can still dream, it is still legal, as far as I know. Any way, give it a try. You just might be that spark that sets things in motion and the world just might be a better place for all.
semper fi