• 1,296 replies
    marye
    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.

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  • March 19, 2013 - 10:40am
    marye
    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    this topic
    is getting seriously unwieldy; please post in the new thread here: http://www.dead.net/forum/long-strange-and-trippy-still-more-current-events
  • March 19, 2013 - 8:21am
    Mike Edwards
    Joined:
    June 17, 2007
    With Six You Get Egg Roll
    > The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. Where this gets really interesting is that the US borrowed that trillion dollars from the People's Republic of China. Add to this the fact that most of the oil coming out of Iraq these days is headed, not for the US, but to Asia, and you've got yourself a real head-scratcher of a conclusion: the US borrowed a trillion dollars from the Chinese to secure their supply of oil?
  • March 19, 2013 - 8:11am
    Anna rRxia
    Joined:
    December 25, 2009
    10 Year Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War
    There are few people out there who believe this wasn't a war of personal animosity between Dubya and Hussein. All the evidence was forged or made up as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned. In a place where there was no AQ one came to be established in the chaos of war. The US was ill-prepared, thinking it would be a shorter term conflict and not committing enough resources to it. Not only that, the generals didn't conceive of the IEDs that would be used to blow up convoys. Thus, American soldiers didn't have the body armor they needed or the armored vehicles they needed. Soldiers didn't have the psychological preparation needed to fight an enemy without uniforms, melting into an innocent population, thus causing unbelievable psychological damage to the troops - suicides and PTSD were rampant in the front line troops. Some of them come home to become ticking time-bombs. The whole argument of "So what if there weren't weapons of mass destruction there, Hussein was a bad man who needed to be removed." doesn't hold water. There are a lot of bad dictators out there whom we don't regard as bad enough to go to war over. This war is the result of the neo-cons who were thoroughly disgraced -- people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld & Bush. These former leaders of the US don't even dare to travel to Britain as they may be arrested, to this day, as war criminals. Due to this war being the first one where contractors took a large percentage of low-level jobs there were relatively few casualties among US soldiers, about 4000. This should be compared to the most precise count of Iraqis killed, based partly on Wikki Leaks information, that shows that roughly 120,000 Iraqis were killed from all sources of violence, not just American or American hired, during the years of war 2003-2011. The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. It was this indiscriminate killing by Americans and their civilian contractors that turned the Iraqi population against the US as the war progressed. The neo-cons are now widely regarded as short-sighted fools and part of an administration that allowed carnage and widespread economic suffering around the world to this day because of lax oversight of investment banks.
  • March 18, 2013 - 4:45am
    Anna rRxia
    Joined:
    December 25, 2009
    Their Walls are made of Cannonballs
    The recent spate of gun violence in upstate NY, about 200 miles to the West of me, is quite frightening. The Governor of that State passed the most strict gun controls in the nation and it seems to be of no avail. And that is because the genie is out of the bottle with no way to put the genie back. 250,000,000 guns on our streets will never be turned in again to any significant degree. This latest episode had an otherwise normal 64 year-old man shoot 4 people in a barbershop in Herkimer and then head across the river and shoot two more at a quick lube in Mohawk before returning to Herkimer and barricading himself in an abandoned building in the middle of downtown. He was fatally shot when he killed a police dog that was sent in by SWAT teams after a 24 hour stand-off. These things happening in small towns are very frightening to those of us who live in semi-rural America. I attribute a lot of these shootings not to people who are mentally unbalanced but to otherwise middle-class people who are slipping into poverty and feel that their lives are embarrassing and useless, on top of which they are continuously bombarded by news stories about Congress about to pull the social safety net out from under them. No subsidized housing, no food stamps, no medical care, no medicine, no social security check. This angst is felt by Millennial also who generally feel cheated that the good things 80% of the population experienced during their lives will not be there for them in a brave new world filled with crushing debt, global warming and helplessness in old age. On TV this morning I saw a commercial for Sig-Sauer Academy. It was cutting- edge gun-nut stuff. It showed people responding to being touched on the arm by quickly whipping out a pistol and emptying a clip into them. Being touched on the arm does not constitute a mortal threat and in more than 75% of the states in this country the person who kills such a person with a legally concealed handgun will go to jail for involuntary manslaughter at the very least.
  • March 17, 2013 - 11:16am
    Anna rRxia
    Joined:
    December 25, 2009
    Some corrections
    The Catholic Church's apology last year was for it's role during WWII, not for Cardinal Bergolio's conduct in Argentina. The Catholic church maintains still to this day that it's responsibility was to save Catholics during this time period. Upon reflection, Bergolio has been very outspoken about the responsibility of the rich to the poor. Indeed this is the central to the problems experienced during the time of the disappeared in South America. Bergolio had to know what was going on but he couldn't call a spade a spade or he could have ended up like the Archbishop of El Salvador: Assassinated. It was pointed out yesterday on MSNBC that this retirement of a pope and the election of the first pope outside of Europe in a strongly Catholic emerging continent is not an accident. The bottom line is more envelopes in the collection plate while a European oversees the "colored" pope so he doesn't run amok. At least the last pope gave up the trappings of power such as his red Prada shoes. Jon Stewart pointed out that he could always use those shoes to click his heels three times together and incant: "There is no place like Rome There is no place like Rome"
  • March 17, 2013 - 7:30am
    Anna rRxia
    Joined:
    December 25, 2009
    Furthur Bus
    I guess the Pranksters pulled a fast one on the Smithsonian or maybe a replica was part of the deal, but they drove a bus across the country to be placed in the Smithsonian in or around 1997. I welcome this project by the Kesey family to restore the original bus and certainly hope funds can be raised. Please keep us informed as I will certainly make a small donation to this part of history that could be preserved to at least 2065, the one hundred year anniversary of the Grateful Dead. It could be an attraction at a major festival of jam bands still belting it out and commemorating the scene and one of America's favorite bands. The venue should be UC Santa Cruz, where the archives are enshrined.
  • March 16, 2013 - 9:31am
    Mike Edwards
    Joined:
    June 17, 2007
    But Remember: Nothing Lasts
    At least one member of the Republican Party seems to have suffered a moment of clarity recently. Speaking at CPAC, Newt Gingrich observed that the Republican establishment is "mired in stupidity."
  • March 15, 2013 - 7:39pm
    wilfredtjones
    Joined:
    June 4, 2007
    along with the impending return of twinkies...
    ...here's something else to flag down to this summer (well, this summer for the twinkies, next summer for the bus) the furthur bus!
  • March 15, 2013 - 8:52am
    Anna rRxia
    Joined:
    December 25, 2009
    War on the poor
    The Republicans have their guns squarely set on entitlement programs and they are going to get their way. The Koch brothers have set the agenda with their billions and the media has served up this steaming pile of offal like lap dogs. The social contract is about to be broken and for the baby boomers it looks as if those 55 older will be able to keep their Medicare and SS benefits while those under that age will have their benefits cut and delivered two years later. This is not ridiculous, it is a crime. Something needs to be pointed out here before this happens. The stinking mess created by lax regulation of investment banks by a Republican president resulted in massive bailouts that boosted the Federal deficit 1.45 trillion dollars in 2009. As of 2012, the Obama Administration has reduced that debt to 845 billion. The sky is not about to fall. We don't need to declare war on the poor by slashing entitlements and stabbing the middle class baby boomers in the back. This whole dance by Obama seems very well orchestrated. First the big deal of increasing taxes on the rich and then the Republicans refusing to budge an inch on the tax code, closing massive loopholes for special interests you could sail a ship through. Then Obama goes on a "charm offensive" which is nothing but a euphemism for caving on entitlements. Centrist Democrats suck. This rant is far from over. To be continued.
  • March 15, 2013 - 7:16am
    slo lettuce
    Joined:
    July 20, 2012
    New name, old beliefs...
    Anti-gay marriage, anti-homosexual, anti, anti, anti. Turn on the lights in the cave, please. How sad. It's 2013 and the song remains the same. First Argentine pope or not, no new ground was broken here at all. St. Bernard, man's best friend with brandy to boot, would've been a much better choice, imho.
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Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.
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This is the name of an article by Steven Brill in the current edition of Time. It is must reading for anybody wishing to know why the cost of health care is astronomical and out-of-control. Bottom line? Patients, doctors and nurses are taking a huge hit to their bank accounts while MRI makers, hospitals and insurance companies and big-Pharma are reaping -- truly, truly taking advantage of services provided to maintain health and save lives. Part of the problem is that when it comes to getting care in the hospital, we need what we need when we need it and are not predisposed to check the bill. We could compare hospitals by looking at their Master List of Charges and see for ourselves who is taking an unfair profit. Though that would be difficult in a true disaster such as a car accident where you have no choice or in a rural area where it is very inconvenient for the patient and their relatives to travel and be supported. The bottom line is that nobody is reading their medical bills and questioning their charges. A 325mg acetaminophen pill is costs $1.50 at a hospital. That is a 10,000% mark-up. Some hospitals charge for the ink that makes the mark for the surgeon's incision. The only fortunate thing we have as a comparison tool is Medicare. Medicare reimbursement is done in such a way that it is not supposed to pay out more than 6% profit. One operation for a person 64 years old and not on medicare costs $250,000. The same operation for a 66 year-old person on medicare (who lives on a yacht, but lets not go there) costs $25,000. Listen to the business channel once in a while and you will hear many recommendations to buy into medical diagnostic producing publicly traded corporations. They are making astronomical profits. This is more obscenity. Compare our "advanced" society with others in the area of health care costs as a measure of GDP and you will see a very sad picture. The USA is about money and business and profit and human beings are just another commodity to be exploited for further profit. Yes, we have other culture such as the wonderful music of the Grateful Dead but when it comes to the necessities of life politicians and special interests have set in place a system that does not uphold human life at a checked, reasonable profit. We need to call for a Congressional investigation and regulation in the form of a cap on the amount of profit (by percentage would be fair) on the health care system -- from the pharma-insurance complex to equipment manufacturers to hospitals to your local doctor's office. If we don't do it we will be more forced than we already are into rationed care. Otherwise, you got the gold, you get to live. If not, not... Is that really the kind of way you want to be treated? Please read the article and contact your Congressional delegation to start an investigation into the system of these heartless thieves before you have a tragic story to tell about yourself or a relative.
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was sometimes like communion with souls attuned. reality turned out to be somewhat different, but I ain't complaining. have a great weekend!
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Politics don't matter till the government not spending directly on a program that Effects you Effects your community I don't pretend it doesn't matter when elderly shut-ins don't get their meals-on-wheels.
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Taking stock of what lethal assistance is necessary for the Syrian rebels. It seems like the US is always taking stock of lethality, and not in a good way (like taking out an asteroid). This as Kerry practically did an air-drop of 60 million dollars in money on the rebels today, fearing the US would not have influence on a new Syrian govt.. This as we strangle ourselves financially. Stupid!
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"There is a trait no other nation seems to possess in quite the same degree that we do - namely a feeling of almost childish injury and resentment unless the world as a whole recognizes how innocent we are of anything but the most generous and harmless intentions." -- Eleanor Roosevelt Truer words..........from the gentler gender
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Nice quote Slo. Never would have thought of going there, but totally relevant about the US collective emotional response. Generous and harmless intentions: Guilty to a smaller degree Greed resulting in harmful intentions (and actions): Guilty in a large way Some things get foisted on the largest, most powerful nations because they are the largest, most powerful nations. Accepted. But to be defensive because we divorce ourselves from the facts of a massive military and weapons industry engaged in protecting corporate profit is ridiculous and ignorant. There was a time around 1955 when our country was mainly involved in the tasks of nation-building and rebuilding in the case of Italy, Germany and Japan. Society was more cohesive (not necessarily more enlightened) in this country and the family unit was far more intact. Personal and collective responsibility had more emphasis (and reality). This, I think, is where our childish injury and resentment was born from. Now, almost 60 years later, a glistening cube of diamond-like resentment by most Americans against any nation that dares question our intentions is the norm. What the hell happened Eleanor Rigby?
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I guess you can do anything for money...Or a moment of sanity and sports diplomacy. The North Korean hermit nation is beyond Kafkaesque (Rodman is a buffoonish, washed-up NBA basketball player totally tattooed from the neck up.)
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Maybe it's just me, but after seeing the interview with Dennis Rodman I have to say that the sentiment he expresses is just basic human relations. What if Obama picked up the phone and had a conversation about basketball? The NK leader would have an opening to propose a gesture. Only a black man has the chutzpah (and right) to answer a reporters question about Kim enslaving 200,000 of his own people in labor camps, saying "We do the same thing in this country." (presumably he speaks of the ghettos where the poor and black people are concentrated or "that side of town" in many cities, especially across the South. I will say it is hard to take anybody seriously who is tattooed from the neck up and many other parts of his body with many piercings holding large pieces jewelry in their face and wearing a coat that is covered with pictures of currency. I always feel, right or wrong, how could something serious come from such a person?
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The NHL's Chicago Blackhawks have opened their season 19-0 and 3 ties for a total of 22 games undefeated. Go Blackhawks! Cheer them on next Wednesday night for their next game as they attempt to continue the streak Wednesday night.
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Beware of 'spiritual' delusion, everybody. Priceless, Bloody Priceless.
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always makes me laugh. A fellow freak; that's all. I did see the interview and it would be a pretty cool chapter in American history if basketball was the common denominator for peace talks with NK. I also understand the feeling of wondering how anything serious could come from such an apparition..........and then I wonder how many countless times throughout the years that exact sentiment has been placed upon us deadheads. Rots and rots, I'm guessin'.
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An infant born to a mother with AIDS seems to have been cured by a three drug cocktail administered from birth for 18 months. The usual course of treatment calls for continuation of the anti-viral cocktail indefinitely but the mother took the child away after 18 months. Upon return 5 months later an examination found no trace of AIDS. Length of treatment seems to be a key factor here as the drugs being used are pretty standard for this era. Doctors caution the child will have to be followed for quite a long time before an unmitigated success can be declared. AIDS patients around the world have had their hopes raised by this but the very specific circumstances (birth to a known AIDS patient with immediate treatment) should not get their hopes raised. But, Hoo-Ray for good news for a change.
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Well, the sequester was supposed to cut evenly across the board but right away Congress is moving to restore the FBI, Customs and Border Control and Defense readiness programs. The precedent is not good if it goes through. It is a perfect foil for the Repubs. to get what they always wanted... cuts to social welfare programs and and government restored where they find it useful (or vital).
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Another zombie movie. I don't like the whole trend of zombies in video games, AMC's The Walking Dead, the new Rolling Stones tune. Yuk! The dead don't rise again, sorry.
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Iraqis are positively cheerful these days. They are making a comeback. Where there used to be 2 bombs a day there are only 2 a week. They haven't forgotten George Bush though. A quote from the BBC this morning: "I hope George Bush remembers us on his deathbed because when he dies he will find that Jesus is on our side,not his." Pretty strong words coming from a Muslim, but then again it was an ugly war.
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OMG! The Dow hit an all-time high today! Time to dive in to the stock market? NO! They printed a SHITLOAD of money (It's called Quantitative Easing I, II, III, & IV, Bailouts, Too Big To Fail). That much cash floating around allows for greater profits through mergers and such. This high isn't based on consumer spending Wait till the bottom falls out of the bond market. They (Corps. & investors) know it and are just waiting on the timing to get the hell out for them and theirs. Who suffers? You and me brother and sister. It's coming. Don't think it's not. There is no free lunch. This is not alarmist bullshit. Just wait till foreign countries jack up interest rates on bonds, just wait. It HAS TO happen
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Although there is some debate about the policy still, the fact is an Air Italia pilot reported seeing a drone flying in the airspace near New York's airport JFK. The AG Eric Holder has said that while they are flying in our skies they almost promise they will never be used to target Americans in the US. Rand Paul even filibustered the Brennan CIA nomination for 18 hours yesterday to draw attention to the issue. The problems with drones are well known. They are remotely controlled and sometimes take out the wrong parties. There can also be collateral damage. Not to mention small problems such as lack of due process. As eyes in the sky they are also troublesome from the point of view of our supposed rights. This completes the rise of the machines. So, uh,don't be surprised when you are out shopping and the car in the mall parking lot next to you, with the darkly complected and long bearded men, are flamed by a hellfire missile.
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Call me a madman, but I think we need more people in the world who call people like George W. Bush the devil.
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A lot of organization talking heads are saying Chavez was bad, but the fact is, with the help of the Cubans, he was the first to provide literacy, medicine, sanitation and housing to the poor people of Ven.. Not to mention a Kennedy who probably blew a chance at running for president so he could keep organized the free give away of home heating oil in the Northeast US, at least (Ven. owns Citgo). Chavez was a showman and politician and didn't run things very effectively, especially the nationalized oil company. But he was a hero to a lot more poeple than he wasn't. Becaue he kept Ven's profit in Ven's land produced by Ven's people. The Chavez musical ode was priceless in the last minute of the BBC news cast 5:58-59am; 10:58-59 gmt.
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The Chicago Blackhawks are red hot right now. They came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Denver franchise in the last fraction of a second with a game winning goal to avoid overtime. They are now tied for the NHL season opening ten wins in a row. They need to go 35 games from the current 24 to beat the Philly Flyers record opening season (including ties). It's fun to watch a team on a roll!
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Blackhawks fans can mourn the end of the NHL's longest streak but still be happy with a team that is 20-1-3 over the first 24 games of the strike-shortened season. A run like that is a good publicity boost for the game which is going through it's second shortened season due to labor issues. I checked out what a seat would have cost at the United Center in Chicago, home of the Blackhawks last night. There was one left when I looked. First row behind the net. Price tag? With fees, $463.00 for a regular season game. Unreal. To watch two and a half hours of hockey in a cold rink. I guess you really have to love hockey....
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Hugo Chavez's body lies in state at a military facility where Venezuelans are waiting in lines up to a mile and a half long to pay their last respects. While many in the US are reviling him as a terrible person it seems as if the citizens of his country had great respect for him. That doesn't make sense if he was repressive. This is part of how US citizens get their world-view skewed by the media. We're repeatedly told in several different versions why this or that leader or country is bad and we even go off to war at the behest of politicians and corporations when there is a profit to be made. Yet time and again we are shown the difference between perception and reality. Vietnamese supported change in their country. Iraqis supported freedom in their country. Venezuelans support freedom in their country. Overwhelmingly, popularly. What part don't we get? The part where we have to let other countries develop and claim their fair share of the market. We can't sit on top of their heads like a giant cash-sucking leech taking the resources of their country and depriving them of jobs. Well, it's hard to make a decision when you only get one side of the story Yeah, all those poor people in Venezuela wearing Chavez track suits and paying their respects to the deceased leader were duped by a socialist into a better lifestyle their oil-rich country didn't deserve.
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that restricting yourself to US media gives you a really skewed view of the world. Not that RT, Al-Jazeera, NHK, DW, BBC et al. don't have their own skewed worldviews, but at least they give you different things to look at. I am really glad to live where I can get their news over the air on one of the secondary PBS stations.
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Congrats to Kansas State University for being league champs in football and now roundball! EMAW !!
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North Korea is a bad boy. It has conducted it's third nuclear test in a year. The US has consulted with five nations, most notably China, in getting tough new sanctions that include a total ban on luxury goods from the West and the blocking of transfer of suitcases full of cash through diplomatic pouches. No doubt that Kim is following the Stalinist example of his father and grandfather and needs to be potty trained. However, the more I see and hear of authoritarian nations like Iran, the more it seems that punishment does not seem to motivate them. In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect of closing doors to negotiations. The world has many examples of countries that resist pressure from countries like Russia, China and the US, even if sanctions create massive suffering for it's own people. Clearly, sanctions are meant to weaken a country and make it stop it's offensive behavior or reduce it's power to negotiate. If it does not have that effect and instead increases it's bellicose rhetoric to use it's nuclear weapons as "Fists of steel justice aimed at the US" then perhaps another approach should be used. We aren't clever enough to reign in a ruling elite that is starving several millions of it's own people for it's own power and prestige. One wonders how we ever got Germany to unite. It just wasn't a product of a caving-in Soviet economy due to a massive arms build-up. There were several other factors involved, not the least of which was two or three generations of Germans who were reunited with their families. We have lost that chance in North Korea. It has now been 60 years since the temporary peace was signed to end the Korean war. There are very few people still alive to be reunited. The question is where do we go from here in stopping a country from threatening to nuke us?
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2 of 3 Catholics are lapsed. This is due to the clergy sex-abuse scandal, gender issues (women's ordination), birth control and other significant factors of a medieval institution being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. From our seats as we sit here watching for the white whisps of smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, meaning a new pope has been chosen, it seems as if God's Corporation is having a bit of a systemic problem. We'll see who comes out on top.
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and one who decides to call himself Francis, after Assisi, not Xavier, SJ. This could be interesting.
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Nobody has dared take the name of Francis. Francis of Assisi said: Always preach the Gospel; Use words if you have to. Picking another 76 year-old was not the smart thing to do for the corp.. They don't need a reformer, they need a CEO. (LA Diocese, headed by Mahoney who is in Rome & voting, has just settled 4 pedophile cases for $10,000,000)
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Let us leave off the title Pope Francis Ist and look at the man Jorge Bergolio of Argentina. Already the myth is building that this man is the most humble of the humble, refusing the trappings and perks of an archbishop. One interesting fact has emerged and I underline it because to me it undercuts the rest of his better characteristics. During the time of 1976-1983 when more than 100,000 people in Argentina alone "disappeared" (arrested by the secret police, tortured and killed simply for being teachers, labor activists, human rights workers, which were all labeled communist). That would have been 1 of every 260 of the then current population. Jorge Bergolio said nothing about this. He remained completely silent. For a Jesuit who was getting guidance from his Order about Liberation Theology during this period this is quite curious, to be kind. "Walking a fine line between two competing interests." is supposedly a quality that great leaders have. The Vatican remained an untouched bastion amidst fascism in WWII. I question this supposed quality. The Catholic Church remains a moral authority? Not any more so under Jorge Bergolio. (BBC reports this morning that the Catholic church formally apologized for it's silence last year and a book has been written about the Jorge Bergolio's complicity titled El Silencio {The Silence}. The Church in Rome stands by Bergolio's absolute denial. How can you deny a public record of saying nothing when over 100,000 people are tortured and killed?)
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but one of my classmates, a Jesuit, was being interviewed on TV last night because he knows the guy well and seems to hold him in high regard, and if Art likes him, this bodes well as far as I'm concerned.
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God's Rottweiler, the pope emeritus Ratzinger (Head ramrod for the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition), is definitely being scrutinized right now. Going to Gandolfo for a couple of weeks of prayer doesn't mean he won't be riding herd on Jorge. * Steven Colbert's writer's get credit for the title here. (I replied by PM to Marye's previous post, don't want to appear flip here)
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Anti-gay marriage, anti-homosexual, anti, anti, anti. Turn on the lights in the cave, please. How sad. It's 2013 and the song remains the same. First Argentine pope or not, no new ground was broken here at all. St. Bernard, man's best friend with brandy to boot, would've been a much better choice, imho.
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The Catholic Church's apology last year was for it's role during WWII, not for Cardinal Bergolio's conduct in Argentina. The Catholic church maintains still to this day that it's responsibility was to save Catholics during this time period. Upon reflection, Bergolio has been very outspoken about the responsibility of the rich to the poor. Indeed this is the central to the problems experienced during the time of the disappeared in South America. Bergolio had to know what was going on but he couldn't call a spade a spade or he could have ended up like the Archbishop of El Salvador: Assassinated. It was pointed out yesterday on MSNBC that this retirement of a pope and the election of the first pope outside of Europe in a strongly Catholic emerging continent is not an accident. The bottom line is more envelopes in the collection plate while a European oversees the "colored" pope so he doesn't run amok. At least the last pope gave up the trappings of power such as his red Prada shoes. Jon Stewart pointed out that he could always use those shoes to click his heels three times together and incant: "There is no place like Rome There is no place like Rome"
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The Republicans have their guns squarely set on entitlement programs and they are going to get their way. The Koch brothers have set the agenda with their billions and the media has served up this steaming pile of offal like lap dogs. The social contract is about to be broken and for the baby boomers it looks as if those 55 older will be able to keep their Medicare and SS benefits while those under that age will have their benefits cut and delivered two years later. This is not ridiculous, it is a crime. Something needs to be pointed out here before this happens. The stinking mess created by lax regulation of investment banks by a Republican president resulted in massive bailouts that boosted the Federal deficit 1.45 trillion dollars in 2009. As of 2012, the Obama Administration has reduced that debt to 845 billion. The sky is not about to fall. We don't need to declare war on the poor by slashing entitlements and stabbing the middle class baby boomers in the back. This whole dance by Obama seems very well orchestrated. First the big deal of increasing taxes on the rich and then the Republicans refusing to budge an inch on the tax code, closing massive loopholes for special interests you could sail a ship through. Then Obama goes on a "charm offensive" which is nothing but a euphemism for caving on entitlements. Centrist Democrats suck. This rant is far from over. To be continued.
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At least one member of the Republican Party seems to have suffered a moment of clarity recently. Speaking at CPAC, Newt Gingrich observed that the Republican establishment is "mired in stupidity."
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I guess the Pranksters pulled a fast one on the Smithsonian or maybe a replica was part of the deal, but they drove a bus across the country to be placed in the Smithsonian in or around 1997. I welcome this project by the Kesey family to restore the original bus and certainly hope funds can be raised. Please keep us informed as I will certainly make a small donation to this part of history that could be preserved to at least 2065, the one hundred year anniversary of the Grateful Dead. It could be an attraction at a major festival of jam bands still belting it out and commemorating the scene and one of America's favorite bands. The venue should be UC Santa Cruz, where the archives are enshrined.
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The recent spate of gun violence in upstate NY, about 200 miles to the West of me, is quite frightening. The Governor of that State passed the most strict gun controls in the nation and it seems to be of no avail. And that is because the genie is out of the bottle with no way to put the genie back. 250,000,000 guns on our streets will never be turned in again to any significant degree. This latest episode had an otherwise normal 64 year-old man shoot 4 people in a barbershop in Herkimer and then head across the river and shoot two more at a quick lube in Mohawk before returning to Herkimer and barricading himself in an abandoned building in the middle of downtown. He was fatally shot when he killed a police dog that was sent in by SWAT teams after a 24 hour stand-off. These things happening in small towns are very frightening to those of us who live in semi-rural America. I attribute a lot of these shootings not to people who are mentally unbalanced but to otherwise middle-class people who are slipping into poverty and feel that their lives are embarrassing and useless, on top of which they are continuously bombarded by news stories about Congress about to pull the social safety net out from under them. No subsidized housing, no food stamps, no medical care, no medicine, no social security check. This angst is felt by Millennial also who generally feel cheated that the good things 80% of the population experienced during their lives will not be there for them in a brave new world filled with crushing debt, global warming and helplessness in old age. On TV this morning I saw a commercial for Sig-Sauer Academy. It was cutting- edge gun-nut stuff. It showed people responding to being touched on the arm by quickly whipping out a pistol and emptying a clip into them. Being touched on the arm does not constitute a mortal threat and in more than 75% of the states in this country the person who kills such a person with a legally concealed handgun will go to jail for involuntary manslaughter at the very least.
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8 years 9 months
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There are few people out there who believe this wasn't a war of personal animosity between Dubya and Hussein. All the evidence was forged or made up as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned. In a place where there was no AQ one came to be established in the chaos of war. The US was ill-prepared, thinking it would be a shorter term conflict and not committing enough resources to it. Not only that, the generals didn't conceive of the IEDs that would be used to blow up convoys. Thus, American soldiers didn't have the body armor they needed or the armored vehicles they needed. Soldiers didn't have the psychological preparation needed to fight an enemy without uniforms, melting into an innocent population, thus causing unbelievable psychological damage to the troops - suicides and PTSD were rampant in the front line troops. Some of them come home to become ticking time-bombs. The whole argument of "So what if there weren't weapons of mass destruction there, Hussein was a bad man who needed to be removed." doesn't hold water. There are a lot of bad dictators out there whom we don't regard as bad enough to go to war over. This war is the result of the neo-cons who were thoroughly disgraced -- people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld & Bush. These former leaders of the US don't even dare to travel to Britain as they may be arrested, to this day, as war criminals. Due to this war being the first one where contractors took a large percentage of low-level jobs there were relatively few casualties among US soldiers, about 4000. This should be compared to the most precise count of Iraqis killed, based partly on Wikki Leaks information, that shows that roughly 120,000 Iraqis were killed from all sources of violence, not just American or American hired, during the years of war 2003-2011. The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. It was this indiscriminate killing by Americans and their civilian contractors that turned the Iraqi population against the US as the war progressed. The neo-cons are now widely regarded as short-sighted fools and part of an administration that allowed carnage and widespread economic suffering around the world to this day because of lax oversight of investment banks.
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> The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. Where this gets really interesting is that the US borrowed that trillion dollars from the People's Republic of China. Add to this the fact that most of the oil coming out of Iraq these days is headed, not for the US, but to Asia, and you've got yourself a real head-scratcher of a conclusion: the US borrowed a trillion dollars from the Chinese to secure their supply of oil?