HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY!

January 31, 2013  By Jack Jodell

 Monday, February 4 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of   one of the most iconic members of the American Civil Rights   movement: ROSA PARKS. All  Americans, regardless of race, should join in heartfelt tribute to  her memory, as we have all benefitted immensely from what she accomplished in her life. Having passed away in 2005 at the ripe old age of 92, Rosa did not live to see the election and re-election of our country’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. Yet her courage was definitely instrumental in making that awesome achievement come about! For it was her bravery on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama way back in 1955 which helped spark the Civil Rights movement.

Rosa Parks never had the intention of becoming a world-renowned civil rights activist, but nonetheless that is what she became. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, she was the daughter of a carpenter and a schoolteacher. Her parents separated when she was quite young and she went to live with her mother. They settled on a farm with her maternal grandparents, and there she began her lifelong affiliation in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At age 11, she enrolled in the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery, AL, where she studied academic and vocational courses. She went on to a secondary school briefly, but was forced to drop out to care for both her grandmother and later her mother when they became ill. 

During her time at the Industrial School, it was twice burned by arsonists, and the white teachers who taught the minority students there were scorned by the white community. Blacks and whites led strictly separated lives there in the old South, with white students receiving the privilege of a bus ride to school but blacks being forced to walk. The Ku Klux Klan was very active at this time, terrorizing negroes in the south and even leading mass marches on Washington, D.C. to display its power. In the mid-1920s, the Klan even controlled most of the Republican-held seats as well as the governorship in the state of Indiana!

Rosa married barber Raymond Parks in 1932, and settled down to a modest existence as a domestic worker and a hospital aide, among other tasks. Her husband also saw to it that she finished her high school studies, which she did the following year. He was a member of the NAACP, and eventually she, too, joined that organization. At that time, very strict Jim Crow laws were in effect which made it extremely difficult for blacks to vote. But Rosa Parks was determined. To her credit, she qualified for voting privileges on only her third try! She soon rose in the NAACP ranks, eventually becoming volunteer secretary to the chapter’s president. She was the only woman in the chapter at that time, and was too timid to turn down the position.

During World War II, Rosa worked briefly at Maxwell Air Force Base, which was federally owned and did not allow segregation. This proved to be a real eye-opener for her, as she soon found herself riding freely on an integrated trolley with white passengers. She worked as a housekeeper and seamstress for a  liberal white couple on the base, and they soon took a liking to her. With their encouragement and eventual sponsorship, she was soon enrolled at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. This was a school focusing on worker’s rights and racial equality.

 December 1, 1955 proved to be a fateful day in the life of Rosa Parks  as well as for the Civil Rights movement. She had obtained  employment as a seamstress at a department store in Montgomery and boarded a bus to take her home that day after a long day on the job. She settled into her seat and the bus  began to fill up. Rosa and three other blacks were sitting in the very first row of the black, “colored” section of the bus, which was located after several rows of white-only seats located at the very front. As the bus began to fill, the driver came and moved the “colored only” sign several rows back behind Rosa, then told her and the others to leave their seats and move back to make room for more incoming white passengers. The three others complied, but Rosa refused to move. She hadn’t intended to be a rabble-rouser, but after a long day, she was simply “tired of giving in.” Her refusal to comply with the white bus driver’s demand was courageous: it led to her immediate arrest and removal from the bus by police, and ultimately cost her the seamstress job. She was charged with a violation of Chapter 6, section 11 of the Montgomery city code, which provided for segregation on city buses. Then she was put in jail.

Word of this incident spread like wildfire among the black community. An upstanding citizen and longtime NAACP member had been jailed on a segregation charge! Her NAACP President bailed her out of jail the next evening and made a calculated move on how to further proceed. While Rosa Parks was certainly not the first black citizen to be jailed under that statute, she was definitely the most upstanding and prominent. Because of this, NAACP leaders decided to make a stand. Within 3 days of her arrest, 35,000 leaflets had been printed and distributed among the black community, urging them to boycott all Montgomery buses. Rallies were held at black churches that Sunday evening, and the boycott was proclaimed. Until blacks were treated with they respect they deserved, and until more black bus drivers were hired for  Montgomery buses, NO black would ride them. Amazingly enough, the black community followed through on the boycott, choosing instead to take taxis or create carpools. Most even walked to their jobs and schools, some for as many as 20 miles!

The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted an incredible 381 days! Many city buses stood idle for months on end, and the company’s finances  were definitely affected badly. Eventually, though, success was achieved: segregation on city buses was lifted! Rosa Parks’ actions had led to temporary hardship for the community, but eventually their perseverance had paid off handsomely!

The ensuing years were at times difficult for Rosa. She and her husband had difficulty finding employment at various times, so eventually they moved, along with her mother, and settled in Detroit, MI. Rep. John Conyers ended up hiring her for his local congressional office, and she remained working for him until her retirement in 1988. Conyers recalled in a CNN interview he gave after her death, “You treated her with deference because she was so quiet, so serene – there was only one Rosa Parks”.


Rosa and her family were plagued with illness after an interval. Both she and her husband suffered from stomach ulcers and required hospitalization. She would, at times, speak on behalf of civil rights groups, and often donated her honorarium to the various organizations. The little money she did keep she usually spent on medical expenses for herself and her family. In the late 1970s, she lost her husband, mother, and younger brother all due to different forms of cancer, and all within a short time of each other. It was a very trying time for her.

 In 1980, the now-widowed Rosa Parks, without any immediate  family left, began fundraising and speaking again. She adopted a  vigorous pace of activity, co-founding the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship  Foundation for college-bound high school seniors, and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, an institute which ran special bus tours to notable civil rights and Underground Railroad sites for young people. As she grew older, increasingly poor health limited her public appearancces, and, when asked once how she was enjoying her life in retirement, she answered, “I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don’t think there is any such thing as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism.” She did appear in a cameo role in the TV series Touched By An Angel in 1999. It was her last film appearance.

When Rosa Parks died in 2005, she became the first woman and only the second non-government official to lie in state in the rotunda of the nation’s Capitol building. City officials in both Montgomery and Detroit draped the first two rows of their cities’ buses with black ribbons until her funeral in honor of her memory. At one of many commemorative memorial services held for her, then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice remarked that, had it not been for the actions of Rosa Parks, she herself may have never had the opportunity to become Secretary of State.

As we begin this year’s February Black History Month. let us remember with fondness the courageous Rosa Parks, and keep in mind that her struggles were long and hard, but eventually, she did, in fact, win her fight for civil tights! Happy 100th birthday, Rosa – as a personal heroine of mine, I wish you were still with us. But most importantly, I recognize that your spirit will always survive to teach us all what determination and perseverance for a just cause can achieve! Thank you, Rosa!               

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TIME TO DUMP THE TEA PARTY OVERBOARD! (Part Three)

January 27, 2013  By Jack Jodell

The Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party is justifiably doing a lot of soul-searching these days. It is still stunned by its failure to defeat President Obama and take control of the Senate. Its unwillingness to really understand what caused its failure is symptomatic of what lies at the root of its problem. The party has simply become too doctrinaire; too rigid; too uncompromising; too unyielding; and too absolutist. It has become offensively cock-sure that it is absolutely correct in all political aspects, and that its opponents are therefore completely wrong. They have behaved as if they and their opinions are the only ones that matter. The rest of us who live in the real world – the world of honest thought-sharing – of give and take – of compromise – of understanding and empathy – WE comprehend how utterly mistaken these radical reactionaries have been, because WE are the normal ones who comprise the MAJORITY; NOT they! They, unfortunately for them, live in an insular world of their own device: a world without warmth which lacks even mutual respect or common decency. It is a cold, untrusting, and uncaringly anti-social world that repels, rather than attracts, voters and the general public. This insulation compounds itself, like the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, by continually spewing out crazy conspiracy themes and bitterly untrue rhetoric with the aid of fiction writers like radio’s Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, and television’s Fox “News” staff like Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin, among others. Is it any wonder that people who repeatedly take in these noxious fumes are walking around poisoned and in utter disbelief at the rest of the world around them?

These pseudo-conservative Tea Party yahoos (who call themselves “conservative” but are actually reactionary and NOT conservative at all) have been responsible for the Republican Party having lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections! They have repeatedly refused to raise the minimum wage, and have added to the greatest disparity in wealth this country has ever known by fighting any and all tax increases on the wealthy, breaking labor unions, exporting good-paying jobs, and  have led us into a horrible Great Recession by repressing regulation on reckless Wall Street speculation. The country’s infrastructure is crumbling all around them, and yet they refuse to enact a federal jobs bill and continue to engage in government obstruction and thwarting the true will of the majority of citizens. They bend over backward to appease and reward special interest lobbyists, while ignoring the increasingly poor plight of those around them. And yet they wonder why they lost the last election so badly! How BLIND can these people be?  

There is little evidence this wretched party is learning anything at all from its defeat. In fact, a number of Republican-controlled legislatures in normally Democratic-leaning states (like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and others) have devised a way to CHEAT ‘em since they obviously can’t BEAT ‘em! Rather than trying to reach out to voters in an honest attempt to create kinship with them, these states (most of which have Republican governors and legislatures due to the anomaly of huge Tea Party gains made in the off-year 2010 elections) have embarked on courses of extreme gerrymandering to ensure future Republican success. They are now even attempting to end the 200 + year American precedent of winner takes all in each state’s Electoral College tally. Such are not the moves of conservatives. Rather, this is a dangerous and outrageous new radical aspect to the Tea Party – one that is contemptuous of majority rule and anti-democracy in its very nature. For, by awarding electoral votes by the number of a state’s counties carried by a particular candidate rather than by actual popular vote, smaller Republican-leaning rural counties have a decided advantage, even though their combined vote total per state would be well under that of the more densely-populated uban Democratic-leaning counties. Were that strategy to have been implemented nationally in 2012, Mitt Romney would be occupying the White House now and President Obama, despite winning the popular vote by a wide margin, would be out of office. This is proof positive that the Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans have little regard for voters or our system of government. While they hypocritically claim reverence and great allegiance for our Founding Fathers,  in reality, they truly only care about total power for themselves!

This characteristic lack of respect for political opponents was blatantly obvious in the shoddy way Tea Party Senator Rand Paul addressed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton in the Senate oversight hearings last week. A pitiful bit of needless political grandstanding on his part, Paul obviously was intent on placing uncalled-for, undeserved blame for the unfortunate Sept. 11 Benghazi diplomatic killings on her. He inferred negligence on her part and even had the audacity to suggest that, were he the President, she would have been fired. Narrow-minded Wisconsin Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson also jumped all over her, attempting to turn the hearing into a trial rather than the official fact-finding inquiry it was actually designed to be.  No wonder MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews later remarked that he had a vision of these two men returning home that evening to “caves”!

While claiming to be greatly concerned with the national debt, these wretched Tea Partiers are wasting BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars engaging in nonstop filibustering and other obstructionist techniques. WE are paying each of these criminals $174,500 apiece annually to do NOTHING! I can guarantee you: this is NOT what our Founding Fathers originally intended for this country!

So, my friends, it has become painfully obvious that the Tea Party is a destructive, malevolent force which has no place whatsoever in our American democracy. It fights rather than aids progress. It opposes science and free political discourse. It seeks to make a mockery of our democratic traditions. American voters spoke loudly last November that they do not want any more obstruction or political bickering.  With its miserable single-digit approval rating, few will miss this artificially-induced movement as it deservedly recedes far back into the pages of history, to join other discarded groups like the Whigs and the Know Nothings. The time has come for the abolition of cynicism and fear and the re-emergence of rational thought, understanding, and progress. It is TIME TO DUMP THE TEA PARTY OVERBOARD, and remove it once and for all from our ship of state!                  

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TIME TO DUMP THE TEA PARTY OVERBOARD! (Part Two)

January 22, 2012  By Jack Jodell

I will begin this segment with a portrayal of some of the classic Tea Party originators and adherents, to pass on for future unbelieving ages just how hatefully ignorant and anti-democracy some of the people are, and why they are a complete aberration in American politics.

Tea Party co-founder DICK ARMEY is a perfect example. A one time House Majority Leader who enthusiastically believed in and preached the archaic modern Republican beliefs of deregulation, low taxes on the wealthy, small government, and disdain for the poor, this greedy man left Congress to pursue a lucrative career in political fundraising and lobbying. Always far-right, he helped launch, and would funnel millions of dollars into, the massive anti-health care campaign which spawned the Tea Party back in 2009. He and his cohorts set up networks of rabid far-right creeps to bus into and disrupt targeted Democratic representatives’ town hall meetings that summer. They saw to it that these kooks were provided not only transportation, but also talking points with which to shout down these representatives. They were successful in riling up a huge cadre of fearful elderly. low-information voters and turned them (plus many other sullen misfits) into an angry and militant voting block that eventually took over the Republican Party and which ousted the Democrats from their brief four year control of the House in 2010. Along the way, they skillfully disseminated disinformation and found an all-too-eager reactionary Fox “News” ready to fan the flames of their wholly-manufactured discontent with the President’s health care plan. Fox irresponsibly declared this a grassroots movement and spread these fanatics’ passion like wildfire. Before long, copycat Tea Party groups were springing up nationwide. Armey and his group of lying scoundrels had not only achieved Republican House control, but had parlayed their success into a large GOP election sweep all throughout the off-year elections. With so many statehouses now under Republican control, a massive gerrymandering effort was hurriedly implemented which will ensure heightened (and not necessarily truly representative) GOP control for many years to come. 

Armey has shown himself to be especially self-centered and vile. He not only recently received an astounding $8 MILLION payoff from the Tea Party to not go through with a purported hostile personal takeover of them, but was also condescending, rude, and sexist toward columnist Joan Walsh in a 2009 shared interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Armey at one point accused Ms. Walsh of “talking like a paid political hack” and also derisively dismissed her by saying “I’m so damn glad you can never be my wife because I surely wouldn’t have to listen to that prattle from you every day.” I was shocked at his obvious contempt for Ms. Walsh, and the vitriolic nature of his comment has stayed with me years later. My only other thought (then and now) was: poor MRS. Armey!

Minnesota Congressperson MICHELE BACHMANN was quick to latch onto the Tea Party for personal political benefit.  She tried to use it to propel herself into the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but mercifully for the world,however, voters rejected her bid. She is Tea Party through and through, though, as she has repeatedly pushed to repeal not only the Affordable Care Act, but also favors abolishing the minimum wage!

Newly-elected Texas Senator TED CRUZ is another one of these Tea Party kooks. As a veteran attorney, though, he should know better. This insensitive man is also  a rabid NRA defender. He has even gone so far as to accuse President Obama of using the recent terrible Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings  for partisan political advantage. It was obvious to all but these crazed Tea Party fanatics that the President’s recent remarks to the grieving parents and friends of those victims of this murderous attack were heartfelt and genuine. Only overly-gerrymandered Texas could produce such a cruel and unfeeling man and send him to the U.S. Senate!

Current Kentucky Senator RAND PAUL, also the beneficiary of recent Republican gerrymandering efforts, has already established himself as a leading wacko Tea Party supporter. This outspoken fool has already stated he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as he believes it gave the federal government too much regulatory power. He has also called for every proposed bill to be first determined to be constitutional prior to its being passed.           

Former Alaska half-term governor SARAH PALIN is the epitome of a Tea Party member: oh so ignorant; oh so woefully lacking in knowledge about current events, geography, history, or science; oh so self-centered; and oh so opportunistic. Since her debacle as a vice presidential candidate in 2008, she has been on a tear making as much money as she can possibly stuff into her purse and pretending to have something of any value to say whatsoever with her appearances on Fox “News”. 

Former South Carolina Representative, then Senator JIM DE MINT left Congress a few months ago to make big bucks for himself as a leader and lobbyist for a conservative think tank.  His time in the House and the Senate was unremarkable in that he constantly voted far-right and never sponsored a single major piece of legislation the entire time he was in office. What DeMint excelled in, though, was rabble-rousing and pushing his colleagues ever rightward. He publicly supported the Tea Party from its very earliest days and funneled a lot of money into the campaigns of other Tea Partiers, always positioning himself as a fringe force. Like Sarah Palin, he left office prematurely in search of personal wealth. I would term him a fringe FARCE. 

Former Tea Party Express chairman MARK WILLIAMS is a good example of Tea Party ignorant racism. As a far-right California radio shock jock, he referred to the President as “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.” He also said that Muslims worship a “terrorist Monkey God.” Now who could possibly be doing his fact-checking for him?

Fabulously wealthy DAVID KOCH of the notorious Koch brothers, and founder of the far-right, anti-tax, anti-regulation Americans for Prosperity lobbying group, has very close ties to the Tea Party even as he denies any personal involvement with them. He has spent millions to defeat Democratic candidates over the years, and has supported many anti-Obama administration initiatives.

These are but a few of the vast numbers of politicians, public figures, and/or businesspersons who have strongly supported the Tea Party since its inception in 2009. I would trust NONE of them to educate or coach your young children. NONE OF THEM ARE LIKE YOU. NONE OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ACTING IN YOUR BEST INTEREST, AND NONE SHOULD THEREFORE BE ON, OR BE ABLE TO INFLUENCE, THE PUBLIC PAYROLL!

Coming next: my parting thoughts on this wretched Tea Party, and why its attempt to rule this country must NEVER be realized!    

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TIME TO DUMP THE TEA PARTY OVERBOARD! (Part One)

January 16, 2013  By Jack Jodell

reactionary adj. : of, pertaining to, or marked by, or favoring reaction, especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.

The abovementioned adjective, reactionary, is the perfect word to describe the backward-looking, government-hating movement called the Tea Party, which now infests the Republican Party like a voracious group of dangerous  termites. As with Puritans and Salem Witch-hunters of a bygone era, it has proven itself to be ruthlessly unyielding and malevolent in nature. It wishes to impose its will on the country by means of overthrowing long-existing government norms like compromise and common consensus through the  replacement of existing moderate government officials with its own narrow-minded zealots. It seeks to achieve this government takeover by flooding oft-poorly attended off-year party primaries with its own members and uprooting any and all potential opponents. Like a group of ferocious political killer bees, it wantonly destroys any moderate Republican in its path. It relies on stealth and disinformation, and practices the shouting down of opposing viewpoints so that no real debate or discussion can occur. As such, it is decidedly anti-democracy and therefore should have no place whatsoever in contemporary American politics! 

The very name of the Tea Party is a dishonest misnomer to begin with. Its adherents cling lovingly to the anti-tax sentiments expressed during the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American colonists living under British rule dumped three boatloads of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of a newly-enacted tax which Parliament had imposed on them targeting that popular drink. It was imposed because the colonists had absolutely no say in the matter. It was taxation without representation, a situation which definitely does NOT exist today. These days, as has been done ever since the earliest days of our country, Congress levies taxes and it is our elected representatives who are the ones doing this levying. Angry Tea Partiers, many of whom hate taxation and who are wedded to the idea that the United States must be a nation of very small government with as little scope and power as possible. Of course, those of us who live in the real world know how ridiculous and impractical that notion is. After all, how can a global American empire be maintained on a small budget? How can we protect our business interests abroad without a strong and battle-ready military? How are we to maintain and build roads, fix or construct bridges, or uniformly educate our people without a large, strong government in place to do so? Who would repair devastated cities in times of  great national and natural  disasters like Hurricane Sandy? Who would protect citizens from outside invasion, or who would ensure that the barest minimum of necessary human needs like adequate food and shelter would be in place for every citizen? The answer is obvious to all but the most blindly naïve and stubborn Tea Party member. Only a strong, well-funded federal government can provide these absolutely necessary services for its citizens. And this type of providing cannot be done on the type of austere budget the Tea Party is advocating.

Not only that, but the Tea Party (through its sullen opposition to taxes) conveniently forgets (or outright ignores) the FACT that it was Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who initially took strong PRO-TAX stances. Washington put down an early 1794 Pennsylvania protest against a Whiskey tax using military force, and Jefferson voiced strong support for a progressive tax system in a letter he wrote to James Madison in 1785, wherein he stated, “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they
rise.” Take THAT, Grover Norquist! In their zeal to oppose taxation, modern Tea Partiers entirely miss the point that taxation is a necessary and vital function of our government, and fail to notice that American citizens all across the income scale are taxed far less than are the citizens of almost all other developed countries!    

The government-hating Tea Party suffers greatly from a fundamentally flawed rationale. They claim to hate autocratic government, but, if allowed to attain total power, that is exactly what they would inflict on the entire country. They are far too intolerant on both social and cultural issues. They view compromise as surrender, which it certainly is NOT. After all, the very Constitution they supposedly revere so much came about entirely due to a series of compromises among its framers, and it has more than stood the test of time! Many of them appear to be woefully ignorant about current events and important lessons we have learned from history. They are also far too absolutist and unyielding in both attitude and behavior. For example, just before the last election, Tea Party elements in Chaska, MN (an exurb of supposedly tolerant and liberal Minneapolis) actually refused to participate in a candidates’ forum sponsored by their local League of Women Voters chapter. They claimed that the League was a leftist organization and they would only participate in a forum sponsored by the Tea Party. Really! ANYBODY in their right mind knows that the League of Women Voters is totally nonpartisan and hardly a “leftist” organization! This Tea Party militant and hostile demeanor simply does not  square well with traditional American mores and values. Tea Party members harass public officials at Town Hall meetings and sometimes even beat up political opponents. Such displays resemble early Nazi Brown Shirt methodology more than they do American  democratic traditions, and they are very unhealthy. For these Tea Partiers call themselves conservatives, but they are, in reality, actually dangerous ideological bullies and radical, extremist reactionaries. They are not at all like you or I, and are wholly unfit for governance at any level. It is time that we permanently end their scourge, and throw them overboard and off of our current ship of state!

In my next segment, I will identify some of the more prominent members of this wretched movement and will demonstrate why none of them deserve to be on the public payroll.                                       

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I HATE FACEBOOK!!!!!

 

January 10, 2013  By Jack Jodell

My friends, the title says it all: I HATE FACEBOOK!!!! Years ago, I made the mistake of signing onto it, and it has plagued me ever since. It is a rare day that I do not receive one or more email message notifications, or birthday reminders about my friends and/or relatives, or friend requests, or inquiries on whether or not I know specific people.

I AM TIRED OF HAVING TO CONTINUALLY AND REPEATEDLY UNCLOG MY EMAIL INBOX DUE TO THESE OVERLY ABUNDANT MESSAGES FROM FACEBOOK! 

I AM TIRED OF THIS CONSTANT PESTERING FROM FACEBOOK!

I may have posted a photo of myself and a brief summary when I first joined – I don’t recall, because I have avoided revisiting that site for many years due to the nonstop hounding I received from them right after I had joined. It’s been so long now, I don’t even remember the password I used to gain entrance.

I found very early on that the overwhelming majority of “friend requests” I was receiving came from people I didn’t know, had never worked with or interacted with in any way, and had never heard of before.

I RESENTED THE FACT THAT FACEBOOK WAS ATTEMPTING TO BUILD ITS MEMBERSHIP BY USING ME AND ITS OTHER MEMBERS IN SO RECKLESS A FASHION!

Just so you are aware: I am not unkind, conceited, standoffish, stuck on myself, or wish to live like a hermit in a secluded cave. I have a great number of loyal friends, am involved in a number of different rewarding activities, and am certainly not wanting for something to occupy my time. Unlike some of those who appear to be literally (and unhealthily)  addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media, I DO have a life of my own I am happy with and receive all the information and enjoyment I can handle from others in the blogosphere, and by profuse reading on the internet. I simply do NOT need an aggravation like Facebook, so I refuse to go there any longer!

I am well aware of the fact that Facebook has drawn many peoples of the world together and has exerted many positive influences globally, among which have been the Arab Spring and the #Occupy movements, as well as the spread of a large amount of vitally important news which has been altogether ignored by the corporate owned and dominated mainstream media. I am delighted at the number of political chat rooms which have sprung up on Facebook. I simply choose to not take part in them, as I vastly prefer to communicate using this and other blog sites instead.

So please don’t be offended if your request to be my “friend” on Facebook goes completely ignored and is not responded to. Despite their having been the rage in the mid to late 1970s, I never ever owned or used a CB radio, either, and I have done just fine without one of them as well. 

My hope is that someday, eventually, my inbox will be completely clear of all Facebook notices!             

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YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!

January 4, 3013  By Jack Jodell

What an eventful week it has been! First, the Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans were unable to drive us off the fiscal cliff. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure which prevented taxes from going up drastically on the vast majority of citizens by a whoppingly uneven bipartisan vote, and the House followed suit, although by a lesser margin. It was signed into law by the President on January 2. This meant, of course, that for the first time  in over 20 years, the hated Bush tax cuts for the  rich had been partially done away with, and the GOP played a decisive part in actually increasing taxes on the wealthy – Grover Norquist be damned! It was a tremendous victory for President Obama and the Democrats. However, it was far from perfect. Obama had to scale back his request for tax hikes on the rich from his initial starting point of $250,000 per year to a higher $400,000 per year ($450,000 for couples filing jointly). Still, the rich WILL be paying higher taxes starting immediately. 

John Boehner, the biggest drunk on the Hill and the worst, most ineffectual Speaker of the House in perhaps this nation’s entire history, was totally marginalized and looked miserable and completely helpless. So very afraid of the government-hating Tea Party faction of his wretched party, he was obviously trying to not anger them too much out of  fear that he would lose his Speakership due to them in a few days. At one point, he even came up to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and hatefully said to him, “Go F*ck yourself!” Hardly the type of demeanor one would expect from the Speaker of the House! Of course, what else could we expect from him? I say, “Go F*ck YOURself, Boehner, you pathetically  inept little boy!” To Boehner’s credit, though, he did vote in favor of the measure, even as his Majority Leader Eric Cantor  and his Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy voted against it. Such treachery is becoming standard operating procedure every day among this hopelessly fractured party.

Upon completing this vote, Boehner promptly called for the adjournment of the House, completely ignoring his prior pledge to the governors of the states which suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy that the House would vote on and then appropriate the very necessary Federal damage relief funds they needed immediately. Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie was understandably furious at this betrayal and tried unsuccessfully FOUR times to reach Boehner by phone.  He was told each time by a Boehner spokesman that the Speaker was unable to take his call. The next day, Christie deservedly lambasted both Boehner and his Tea Party-infested House majority for  this unforgivable neglect. A very angry Republican New York Representative Peter King also strongly voiced his outrage and even urged regular contributors to NOT donate to this year’s Republican congressional campaign fund! Boehner ignored them and simply put out a statement which said that he would no longer meet with President Obama on any further budget talks – an utterly unprecedented dereliction of duty by a very small, cowardly man who is apparently in way over his head! 

This Republican Civil War is on full blast, folks. The narrow-minded, debt-obsessed, government-hating reactionary Tea Party faction is paralyzing and destroying the party altogether. With the debt ceiling and budget debates looming menacingly ahead, this spells bad things in store for not only the Republican Party, but also our nation and the entire global economy as well. People, hold on for what will be a wild ride over the next two months. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!                        

Posted in Bush tax cuts for the rich, commentary, Democratic Party, extremists, Politics, Progressives, reactionary Republicans, taxes, Tea Party, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

2012 in review

January 1, 2013  By Jack Jodell

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY! Below is a summary of what my blog did in 2012 which was provided me by WordPress.com. It shows wider and growing readership in 2012 than in the previous year. (FYI: by gliding your cursor over each of the countries shown on the globe below, you will see how many visits this blog has had from each particular country). I am very grateful to all of you, my readers, for having taken the time to follow this blog, which has always been a part-time, yet steady effort for me. I wish I could meet every one of you face to face! Thank you for your continued readership. I will strive to once more make it worthy of your visits mow in 2013. To all the many progressive-minded friends I have made over the past 3 1/2 years, I urge you to keep marching, ever forward! Thank you, everyone!    

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 28,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments