PUTTING SKIN IN THE GAME – RACISM IN POLITICS!

Aug. 18, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Dair and Unbalanced.com)

Happy Monday, my friends. Here below is the latest excellent effort from that podcaster extraordinaire, Mr. Burr Deming, who is also the creator and chief author of the superb blog Fair and Unbalanced.com (see my blogroll at bottom right – http://fairandunbalanced.com/). Burr has just undergone eye surgery and we’ll want to wish him a speedy recovery. As one who has undergone several eye surgeries myself, I can attest to how limiting and humbling they can be. So my very most heartfeltBEST WISHES FOR A SUCCESSFUL AND SPEEDY RECOVERY, dear friend Burr!

BURR DEMINGIn Burr’s own words: “Racism is often unexamined except superficially. We skim along the surface of a single assumption. Racists are unspeakably evil. We, and those we include in our circles of friends, are not evil. What could be more clear? They, and we, are not touched by racism, except in our rejection of it.

Most bigotry is not binary, turned off and turned on as you would a light switch. A line drawn between racism and good will  can be fuzzy. Sometimes it is so blurred it is not a line at all. It can be more like a rheostat. The light shines and dims as the dial is slowly turned.   Few of those who hate the President because he simply does not belong in his position would consider their motivations to be racist. Racism is the province of monsters, on a level with child molesters. In the polite company of Fox News viewers, even those who wear tricornered hats at pub;ic gatherings, motives are pure. They must be.”   Click on the link below to hear this latest masterpiece: 

http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-08-17T04_21_19-07_00

  UP NEXT (IN A FEW DAYS): “A TERRORIST UNDER EVERY BED!”

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POTPOURRI FOR US LEFTIES!

Aug. 14, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

Greetings, fellow progressives! Today, rather than presenting my usual long, one-article type of post, I will instead post a few smaller items which should be of interest…  

GOOD NEWS! Remember my July 17 post in which I urged everyone to BOYCOTT WLGREENS DRUG STORES for their disgusting attempt to practice tax inversion by moving their headquarters to Switzerland? Well, I was delighted to learn last week on the “Brunch with Bernie Sanders” segment of the Thom Hartmann Program on Free Speech TV that Walgreens has scrapped the idea altogether! Evidently enough people were outraged at Walgreens’ blatant tax-dodging scheme that the corporate officers  grew nervous at the possible repercussions from such a move, and they have decided instead to keep the corporate headquarters HERE and pay their fair share of taxes, as well they should! See, folks? Every so often, it DOES make sense to speak truth to power and raise hell with these greedy corporate 1%-ers! After all, NOBODY likes a crying rich man – NOBODY! Hear that, Sheldon Adelson?
——————————————————————————————————————-ghoulish ann coulter

Acid-tongued ANN COULTER was shooting off her mouth again recently in a most disgusting and frigid-hearted manner. Speaking about how two American missionaries were coming home, infected with the deadly Rbola virus they contracted in Liberia from going over there to aid Ebola victims, she viciously questioned why the men had gone over to the “disease-ridden cesspools” of Africa! She has been playing the Sarah Palin card for a very long time, saying outrageous and controversial things just to get attention and to thereby increase her book sales and to garner sound bytes on network news programs. Just like Palin, this snide Coulter bitch needs to be ignored completely as she has absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever to add to this nation’s political discourse – in fact, she ranks alongside child pornographers in terms of her offensiveness. Therefore, rather than boycotting Walgreens, I propose that all thinking people permanently  BOYCOTT ANN COULTER!
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MORE GOOD NEWS! Congress finally behaved as it used to prior to the Tea Party mudslide of 2010,  and passed a bipartisan VA overhaul bill which President Obama promptly signed into law! This should end the logjam which kept needy and deserving vets from receiving rapid treatment for their medical problems. This shows there is still some hope left for Congress, but to FULLY restore a sensible, working Congress, we progressives MUST turn out in record numbers for this year’s November mid-term elections, and do all we can to rid our country of all the obstructive, government-hating reactionary Tea Party Republicans  and wek-kneed, complicit Democrats that we can!
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cheney r 1Noted war criminal DICK Cheney unfurled a new attack on the President Sunday, accusing him of projecting “weakness” around the world, blah, blah, blah...why ANYBODY still gives this warmonger any air time or credibility at all is unfathomable. war criminalsWill somebodyANYBODYplease 
rendition this criminal to the Hague to stand trial for, and be convicted of, the numerous war crimes and murders his insane “preventative attack” policies wrought in the bogus Iraq War he produced out of thin air in 2003? While you’re at it, please rendition George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to the Hague to be tried for the same war crimes too – justice demands that these men pay for their plundering and murderous crimes!
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Were you lucky enough to have the funds or the free  time to take a nice, relaxing vacation this summer? If you’re like a growing number of Americans, your answer is probably “no.” Did you know that the United States is the ONLY advanced economy in the world that does NOT guarantee ANY paid vacation days? Regrettably, that is true. While the more advanced economies of western Europe and Canada provide for guaranteed paid vacation days (because they are very attuned to maintaining the economic, emotional, physical, and cultural well-being of their citizens), here in the U.S. – that so-called “land of the free” – the only economic “freedom” we evidently care about is the freedom for the wealthy 1% elite MINORITY to exploit the 99% MAJORITY below them. Yes, since Reagan was President, we have seen a steady erosion in wages, benefits,  and buying power, and a steady increase in hours worked and the use of credit, which is a tool used by wealthy bankers to further enslave the middle class and working poor. Enter a marvelous new group called the Vacation Equality Project. They have our backs and are pushing for the adoption of some sort of similar guaranteed paid vacation ime for every working American, to bring this country in line with every other major worldwide economy. As suitable time off from work is a legitimate “pursuit of happiness”, I’m sure even Founding Father Thomas Jefferson would approve.  Google “Vacation Equality Project” and give your endorsement to this very noble and just cause! :-)

———————————————————————————————–Rumor has it that the all-time political bimbo Sarah Palin recently emerged from a plane drunk and started speaking to the crowd in a way even more disoriented and garbled than she normally does. Just Google “Sarah Palin drunk” and watch her stumble through her incoherent babble. How this immature, moronic little girl ever became the Republican 2008 vice-presidential nominee still befuddles me a full 6 years later! Now this little idiot has launched her own internet television network, and is hoping there will be enough demented suckers to actually subscribe to it – the twit has installed cameras and microphones in every room of her house to catch any stream-of-UNconsciousness babble which may erupt from her mouth. How vain and greedy can this imbecile be?

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It is with sadness that we must mark the untimely passing of comic icon Robin Williams at the age of only 63. Brilliant and gifted, we will always fondly remember him for his endearing portrayal of an alien on Mork and Mindy. And no one but he could have pulled off Popeye so well. He proved his versatility many times over with superb performances in Good Morning Vietnam , Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and a good many others. Extremely quick-witted and hilariously funny, he will be sorely missed by millions!                        

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HUMOR DRAINS FROM BORDER LEGISLATION!

Aug. 11, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com/).  

Happy Monday, readers. Here is the new podcast I received from Mr. Burr Deming, podcaster extraordinaire and the creator of the very thoughtful and thought-provoking blog called Fair and Unbalanced.com. (See my blogroll at bottom right).

BURR DEMINGToday, Burr finds humor in the madcap, contradictory positions the reactionary Republicans have taken on the issue of immigration. In Burr’s own words: “I know there is humor to be had in Republicans needing approval from extremists for extremist legislation, and it can seem funny that conservatives demand that President Obama issue Executive Orders exactly one day after filing suit against him for filing Executive Orders. Obama vs the Republican Lawsuit becomes Obama vs the Empty Suit. But, as I think of a high school girl I met just once last year, it’s hard for me to dwell on the humor.”

Click on the link below to hear this latest gem. Enjoy! :-)

http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-08-09T03_15_27-07_00

UP NEXT (in a few days): “POTPOURRI FOR US LEFTIES!”

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THE MYTH OF RONALD REAGAN’S GREATNESS!

Aug. 7, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

“The battle for the mind of Ronald Reagan was like like the trench warfare of World War I: never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain.”
-  Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan  -    

angry reaganI have heard many a so-called “conservative” state what a “great” President Ronald Reagan was. Whenever I hear such nonsense from such blatantly misled people, I always think of the old adage that there is “a sucker born every minute,” Unfortunately for this country, and for many in Latin America during Reagan’s two terms in the presidency, a huge number of American voters were deceived into casting their ballots for him in 1980 and again in 1984. The horrible repercussions of those very errant votes plague us even today, nearly a full 24 years since he  left office. I can only hope that someday soon we will recover from the disastrous legacy he left us with!  

Many of Reagan’s blind hero-worshipers love to talk about his great charm and “charisma,”  I laugh at this, because, when compared with either John F. Kennedy JFKor his brother Robert, Reagan’s so-called charisma all but vanishes. Both of those Kennedys were sharp, witty, quick-thinking, loaded with supporting facts and knowledge of past history, and were truly charming, as well as genuine when they expressed themselves. Reagan, on the other hand, would hem and haw as he tried to think of something cute or clever to say. His timing may have been good, but often his logic was flawed or he was unable to present convincing fact to back up some of his often preposterous statements. This is not the mark of a great man: rather, it is the trait of a second-rate actor who was far more concerned with putting on a good “show” than in presenting some real substance or valuable knowledge for his audience. It is really a shame that neither Jack nor Bobby Kennedy ever had the chance to debate Ronald Reagan, for if they had, they would have certainly smoked his ass but good!

Like many modern conservatives (Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, and Ted Cruz all come to mind here), Ronald Reagan had little time for actual fact, especially when it disproved many of his errant beliefs. “Facts are stupid things”, he once said. That explains how he could so ignorantly and flippantly reject the dangers of carbon-based pollution by ridiculously saying “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles.” Reagan also admitted in an interview with Barbara Wakters in 1981 that “I never knew anything above Cs.” These are not the remarks of a great man. They are the statements of a stupid man.

Those who believe that Reagan was a kindhearted, grandfatherly type of man should be reminded how scornful, angry, and downright hateful a man hateful reaganhe  could be.  He was full of caustic comments on the government, one time saying “Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.” And he was also fond of telling people that “Government isn’t the solution. It is the problem.” How a previous lifelong New Deal Democrat with a tremendous admiration for the accomplishments and big government policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt could abruptly change course 180 degrees to espouse libertarian anti-government gibberish is way beyond my comprehension. Reagan had become a turncoat by the 1950s (with wife Nancy’s manipulation and urging), and from that point on, he had his blinders on concerning federal aid to the poor and on taxing the very wealthy. In a TV speech in late October of 1964, Reagan made a very cruel, thoughtless, and cold-hearted remark. He was quoted as saying “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true – they were all on a diet.” Yeah, right, Ronnie. What an uncaring ass! That is not the remark of a great or visionary man; it is the remark of an ignorant, self-centered man with ice in his veins. Utterly disgusting! He denounced Medicare as “creeping socialism” in the mid 1960s and parroted the paranoid and wholly wrong libertarian philosophy about it on a long-playing spoken record album. As governor of California during the Patty Hearst kidnapping by the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army, he reacted angrily at how that radical group had demanded and successfully gotten some free food for the poor. His sarcastic and mean-spirited comment  then was that he hoped some of the food would be “poisoned.” Those are not the thoughts of a great man, or a lovable, grandfatherly type – they are the thoughts of a hateful, extremist ideologue who had absolutely no concern whatsoever for the less fortunate. Upon becoming President, one of the first things he did was to slash taxes on the very wealthy while steadily increasing expenditures on the military. A self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, he belied this claim by steeply increasing the federal debt and deficit to then-record levels.”I am not worried about the deficit,” he arrogantly and flippantly said. “It is big enough to take care of itself.” Remember that, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, and all of you other Reagan hero-worshipers? Now THAT is hardly the attitude of a great leader or a true fiscal conservative!  All this while, Reagan was also ridiculing the poor and deceiving voters by calling his Democratic opponents big spenders. He was contemptuous of labor unions and did all he could to stifle them. Those are NOT the actions of a fair-minded man or a great leader. They are instead strong evidence that Reagan was a suck-up to big business and the wealthy elite. Regrettably, the public bought this Reagan line of malarkey. VERY regrettably, they also bought his budget adviser’s nonsense about “supply side” or “trickle down” economics. This, of course, was David Stockman’s far-right, libertarian doublespeak gibberish which simply meant if you give the rich huge tax breaks and subsidies, all levels of income will rise as more jobs are created and greater overall prosperity will occur. Within a few years of this policy’s implementation, though, this country began to see a 30 + year exodus of American good-paying jobs and manufacturing plants to slave-wage labor markets far outside of its borders. It started a devastating pattern of reduced or stagnant workers’ wages and the curtailment or elimination of workers’ benefits. These negative developments were NOT the result of greatness on Reagan’s part, but were rather perfect examples of his weakness, ignorance, and lack of character and vision. Reagan himself once asked voters to think about if their lives were better after having experienced 4 years under his predecessor. I would maintain that, since Reagan took office in 1981, our country as a whole has LOST tremendous ground economically directly as a result of his pathetically short-sighted pro-wealthy, anti-worker economic policies.

reagan and bushSHAME on you, Ronald Reagan, and all of your followers both inside and out of our government! Your outright deceit, miscalculation, paranoia, and callous indifference to basic human needs have had a horribly detrimental effect on this country, and as a result, we may NEVER successfully dig our way out! SHAME on you, Reagan, for having appealed to our baser, more selfish instincts rather than using your “bully pulpit” to inspire this country to be more selfless and compassionate toward the less fortunate. SHAME on you for having turned a “we” generation  into a self-absorbed “ME” generation!

I am certain that, by now, those that are Reagan hero-worshipers who may be reading this blog are marveling at why I have failed to acknowledge Reagan as being the conqueror of communism. The reason I have omitted this is because Reagan alone did NOT conquer communism. Oh, sure – he had stern talks with Gorbachev, but so did Ike and JFK with Khrushchev; LBJ, Nixon, and Ford with Kosygin and Brezhnev; and even Jimmy Carter battled the Soviet Union by proxy when the Soviets invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 1979! Remember, in 1962, JFK had boldly and successfully syood up to the Soviets in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even before that, Harry Truman indirectly fought Stalin in the Korean War. It was the COMBINED efforts of all of these Presidents which led to the defeat of communism. All Reagan did was accelerate the inevitable end of the Soviet bloc by hugely and recklessly increasing our military expenditures to the point where no other nation could afford to keep up with us. That is hardly the same as defeating communism all by himself – what rubbish!

Ronald Reagan was definitely NOT a great man, nor was he a visionary leader. Rather, he was a corrupted, backward-looking phony who managed to buffalo a great many Americans during his time in office. He was also a bully in foreign affairs who was so terrified of creeping communism in the Western Hemisphere that he unnecessarily invaded tiny Grenada, tried to overthrow a democratically-elected government in Nicaragua, and strengthened a murderous and corrupt dictatorship in El Salvador, and even gave aid to Saddam Hussein in far-off Iraq. Ronald Reagan was not a great man, but rather a misguided and often mistaken mediocre chief executive!                                        

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IMMIGRATION – DEMONSTRATIONS OF EMPTY SOULS!

Aug. 4, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Burr Deming’s FAIR AND UNBALANCED.COM). 

Happy Monday, everybody! Here is my friend Burr Deming’s latest podcast, in which he takes on a very deluded and cold-hearted Paul Ryan, the former failed GOP vice presidential nominee who is a devout follower of the preposterous theories of the very hypocritical Ayn Rand, Like Rand, Ryan took advantage of beneficial government programs but has decried their use or existence for anybody else. This little fool is determined to impose an austerity budget on this country, and will use whatever lies he needs to help implement his borrowed insane agenda of showering the wealthy with even more money while denying the poor desperately needed federal aid to punish them just for being poor.

BURR DEMINGIn Burr’s own words: “The controversy began soon after Paul Ryan gave his speech about how conservatives have an understanding of love that others simply do not share. The story about the little boy was asinine.

In fact, the little boy who hated federal supplemrntal nutrition programs because they lacked love was a little boy who did not exist. At least he had never spoken with Secretary Anderson. Representative Paul Ryan issued a clarification. He said he did not know the story was false. Governor Scott Walker had no idea. A spokesperson for the department led by Eloise Anderson, who gave the false testimony, had said she had simply misspoken. ‘…a little boy told me once’ should have been ‘Once I heard someone say.’  

The point Representative Ryan was making does survive the controversy. Conservatives understood that the health of the soul is more important than a full stomach. The story was simply an illustration of a point that deserves our attention. It pertains especially to the newest immigration issue.” Check it out at:  http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-08-03T05_33_44-07_00   

UP NEXT:  “THE MYTH OF RONALD REAGAN’S GREATNESS!” -out in a few more days…             
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QUOTES ABOUT THE MILITARY WARS WE HAVE FOUGHT!

July 31, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

It has been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. To that, I would also add: WAR. Trapped in this paranoid neocon and military / industrial complex-dominated time as we are today, and in observance of World War I starting exactly 100 years ago this week, I thought I would present some glimpses of war gathered from a wide variety of sources. Below are some meaningful quotes by notable people concerning many of the wars we have been involved in over the centuries.

“I have always disliked Kamikazes, that is, people who commit suicide in order to kill others. ..I never considered them soldiers.”
– Oriana Fallaci -

“No country in history ever sent mothers of toddlers off to fight enemy soldiers until the United States did this in the Iraq War.”
– Phyllis Schlafley  –

“Circumstances cause us to act the way we do. We should always bear this in mind before judging the actions of others. I realized this from the start during World War II.”
–  Thor Heyerdahl  – 

“If you look at the history of technology over a couple hundred years, it’s all about time compression and making the globe smaller. It’s had positive effects, all the ones that we know. So we’re much less likely to have the kind of yrttible misunderstandings that led to World War I for example.”
–  Eric Schmidt – (MAN! One can sure tell what era THIS guy was writing from!)

“War means fighting, and fighting means killing.”
–  Nathan Bedford Forrest (Civil War) –

“In the lead up to the Iraq War and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, irresponsibility, at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption.”
–  Anthony Zinni  -

“We can no longer afford to disregard international rivalries now that we ourselves have become a competitor in the world-wide struggle for trade.”
–  An 1898 U.S. State Department memorandum during the Spanish-American War  –

“One day the Great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans,”
–  Otto von Bismarck  – (an INCREDIBLY prophetic statement coming from this man in 1888, a full 16 years before the start of World War I!)

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
-   Samuel Adams  –

“Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and has shed American blood upon American soil.”
–  James K. Polk  -

“As a Korean War veteran, I know firsthand and understand the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.”
–  Charles B. Rangel  –              
 

“Anyone who experienced World War I close-hand was grossed out by it forever. It was just so awful.”
- Amity Shlaes -

“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
-  Japanese General Isoroku Yamamotu   - 

” The Gulf War is responsible for the huge and horrifying rise in Islamic terrorism.”
–  Pierre Salinger  -
             

“I got my head bashed in ay a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Police were losing control because they were up against a world they didn’t really understand.”
–  Terry Gilliam  –  

“The modern Middle East was largely created by the British. It was they who carried the war effort in the region during World War I and who, at its close, principally fashioned its peace. It was a peace presaged by a nickname given the region by covetous British leaders in wartime: ‘The Great Loot.”
– Scott Anderson –  

“We began a conquest for liberty ill provided with the means for the war, relying on our own patriotism to supply the deficiency. We expected to encounter many evils and distressed…we must bear the present evils and fortitude,”
–  George Washington  – 

“I am a child of World War I. And I really know about the children of war. Because both my parents were badly damaged by the war.  My father – physically, and both – mentally and emotionally. So I know exactly what it’s like to be brought up in an atmosphere of continual harping on the war.” –    Doris Lessing –

“You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you. But in the end, you will tire of it first.”
–  Ho Chi Minh  -

“The greatest crime since World War II has been American foreign policy.” –  Ramsey Clark  –

“I believe that in four weeks from the time a declaration of war is heard on our frontier, the whole of upper Canada and part of Lower Canada will be in our power.” –  Rep. John C. Calhoun (a very boastful and incorrect prophecy he made at the start of thr War of 1812)  -

“A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.”
–  Robert E. Lee  – (I wonder what his opinion of today’s corporate/anti-worker/pro-military state would be?)

“The only reason I told the President to fight in Korea was to validate   NATO.” -  Dean Acheson  – 

“We learned the value of research in World War II.”
–  Amar Bose  –

“The Iraq War marked the beginning of the end of network news coverage. Viewers saw the juxtaposition of the embedded correspondents reporting the war as it was actually unfolding, and the jaundiced, biased, negative coverage of these same events in the network newsrooms.
–  Dick Morris  -

 

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Execution for Those Who Deserve to Die

July 28, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

BURR DEMINGI am delighted to present this new podcast from the very thoughtful Burr Deming (shown at right), creator of the fabulously insightful website Fair and Unbalanced. com, in association with which I present this effort. Here, Mr. Deming puts forth simultaneous arguments both for and against the death penalty. I myself am opposed to the death penalty and would be thoroughly horrified to learn that a future jury vote of mine would possibly convict an innocent person to death. But, as Burr rationalizes, “We all share the anger about the crimes, the murders, the victims. ..
The anger that reacts against injustice is often what impels us along the arc of the moral universe. It is part of what bends that arc toward justice. If not channeled, it becomes the violence itself.  

So, yeah, if my family was victimized, I would want to kill those responsible. Personally. Slow, torturous death would not be a flaw, it would be a feature. I wouldn’t want to be deterred by process, or by appeals, or by the microscopic possibility that I might have the wrong guy. I would likely be the one who pulls the switch. I can see myself as the one who hopes the killer suffers as much as his victim. Two hours to die? Good.

The same would be true if the victim was from a family down the street.

Here’s the problem.
The same might even be true if the family was in the same courtroom while I deliberated guilt or innocence.”

Listen by clicking on the link below and see what you think, readers…

 http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-07-27T19_51_12-07_00

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