Dec 222015
 

Since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, peace loving Muslims here in the US have born the brunt of hatred stemming from fear, stirred by the Republican Party.  I am pleased to see that many are confronting the terrorism, not only from the Daesh, but also from the terrorist organization that threatens far more Americans.

1222MuslimsRepresentatives from American Muslim organizations met at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Monday to announce the launch of a two-pronged approach to combat extremism in the wake of the Paris attacks and San Bernardino and the ensuing anti-Muslim rhetoric and political incitement.

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations, said this new program would focus on steering Muslim youths away from extremist propaganda associated with groups like ISIS and simultaneously oppose hate speech and inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric at Monday’s press conference.

The USCMO said that imams at mosques around the country will work to engage Muslim youth and steer them away from extremist rhetoric. The initiative is also working with interfaith groups in community outreach. One way they plan to spread awareness and understanding is to make mosques and Islamic centers more open to members of the general public.

Speaking at the event, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Muslim Alliance in North America, said mosques would strive to do a “better job of reaching out to young people” about “how to avoid seductive approaches from ISIS and others on the internet.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

I consider it a most positive step for American Muslims to recognize that terrorists are created through the misuse of Islam in pursuit of an ultra-conservative political agenda, and to take steps to head off the propaganda.  It is equally positive to oppose the creation of terrorists through the misuse of Christianity in pursuit of a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian political agenda.  Let us not forget that we are far more likely to suffer death or injury at the hands of Republican criminals, pretending to represent Christianity, than we are at the hands of Daesh or Al Qaeda criminals, pretending to represent Islam.

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Dec 132015
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how nauseating InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Sean Hannity mocks Michelle Obama for being in favor of education.

Hannity-tinIn case you haven’t been noticing lately—because Jon Stewart is no longer keeping his eye on Fox, and Trevor Noah can’t or won’t hold Fox’s feet to the fire—Sean Hannity is still a complete d-bag. So nice to know that some things never change in this crazy, mixed up, ever-changing world of ours.

On Thursday, Hannity used his air-time to lambast Michelle Obama for encouraging kids to go to college.

ISIS is on the rise. The Middle East, in complete turmoil. The Western world is under constant threat from Islamic jihadists but, your first lady Michelle Obama is busy making a rap music video about going to college.,” Hannity said, later suggesting the video suggested the “Obamas are completely out of touch.”

Yeah, don’t they know that everyone should drop everything immediately and go into full-on panic mode about ISIS. Jeez.

Inserted from <Alternet>

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, hate education, because they want to keep sheeple stupid.  This is just the fifth of five nauseating Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Dec 082015
 

Once again, this is today’s only article, as I have much to do to prepare for tomorrow’s trip home.  Color me in rush mode.  Expect only a brief Personal Update tomorrow.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The billionaire Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States has sparked deep disappointment among his supporters, many of whom had hoped he was planning to ban a sizable number of other religions.

In conversations with likely Trump voters across the country, reactions ranged from disenchantment to a sharp sense of betrayal as supporters tried to make sense of his decision to ban members of only one faith.

“I heard him on TV talking about banning Muslims and I was kind of like, ‘Is that it?’ ” said Carol Foyler, a Trump supporter from South Florida. “I mean, banning Muslims is a good start, but I thought a smart businessman like him would be a lot more thorough.”

Harland Dorrinson, a Trump supporter from San Antonio, Texas, agreed. “Saying you’re only going to ban Muslims when there are so many other religious groups to ban just feels like politics as usual,” he said. “I’ll give him a chance to explain himself on this one, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel burned.”

Andy has it spot-on. Republicans would ban all beliefs, except Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity, with their gospel of hate, greed and violence.

From NY Times: President Obama’s address to the nation Sunday was intended to reassure anxious Americans that the United States will defeat the Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, “by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power.” But success, he noted, “won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for.”

If that’s true, ISIS must have been cheered by the presidential field, most of whom did their best to talk tough and stoke fear without advancing any workable ideas.

Donald Trump, a bigot without foreign policy experience, showed that there is nothing he won’t say or support to sow hatred. On Monday he outrageously proposed barring all Muslims from entering the country. There is no precedent for denying immigration based on religion, experts say, and any such test would surely be used as an excuse to attack Muslim Americans.

Ted Cruz, Twitter warrior, pledged after Mr. Obama’s speech to “direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS.” He played soldier all weekend in Iowa, spouting “We will carpet bomb them into oblivion,” to a tea-party crowd in Cedar Rapids, adding “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” whatever that means.

Marco Rubio took to Fox News [Faux Noise delinked] to remind Americans that they are, or should be, “really scared and worried.” He also said that “people are scared not just because of these attacks but because of a growing sense that we have a president that’s completely overwhelmed by them,” as if he alone had his finger on the pulse of America…

That’s what I would expect from the Clown Car.

From Blue Oregon: Merkley calls it: The Worst Idea from a Presidential Candidate. Ever.

 

That’s my Senator. Oregon leads the way.

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Nov 242015
 

For some time I have been complaining that television media are helping the Republican Party and their allies, the Daesh, sow fear in Americans’ hearts for political gain.  However, I have seldom seen such blatant bigotry as I did from CNN’s Carol Costello, as she tried to put words in a mayor’s mouth.

1124CostelloIs everyone as tired as I am of the media’s pants-wetting about Muslims? You’d think we were living back in the McCarthy era when the Commies were all coming to get us and our best friends might have been — shiver — Commies.

Meanwhile, media ignores the brownshirt behavior of our Republican candidates, pretending they’re just engaging in the normal rhetoric of the day. Because Muslims can be scary to them. Scarier than Donald Trump doing his impression of Hitler’s political beginnings.

CNN’s Carol Costello just came right out with it during this segment with Hamtramck mayor Karen Majewski….

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

 

I felt sorry for Costello over the pronunciation of the mayor’s name, but I was appalled at her many attempts to coax Majewski into admitting fear for the evil Muslims in her city.  On the other hand, Mayor Majewski was a superb example of how Americans should be acting.  Major kudos to her.

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Nov 202015
 

It looks like I’ll have another busy day, as both OT and PT are coming this afternoon.   I took it easy this morning and only made two laps.

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Merkley decries Republican efforts to slip Wall St. favors into must-pass spending bills

 

Oregon leads the way! “Must-pass” spending bill s must not pass, until Republican attempts to enable Banksters to prey on YOU are removed.

From Daily Kos: Since the map went live, Oregon has gone green, so to speak, on this map. And so has Colorado. You red states? Keep on cringing and cowering.

1120DaeshStates

I had no doubt that Oregon would go green and refuse to surrender to the Daesh and their helpers to spread terror, the Republican Party.

From Media Matters: O’Reilly Once Said Terror Attack Would Get Bush Reelected, Now Says It Would Tarnish Obama As Worst U.S. President.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Is there any question as to why I call him O’Lielly? He’s a senior propagandist for the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise!

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Nov 162015
 

Yesterday the nursing got so bad that I called in the Charge Nurse to complain.  The straw that broke  the TomCat’s back was the nurse’s insistence that I insert my own suppository, when I cannot because of a partially frozen shoulder.  I was in pain from severe Republicitis for 5 1/2 hours.  The Charge  Nurse agreed that she was completely out of line, and promised never to schedule her to care for me again.  Today is much better, and I took an extra lap, but, dang it, I’m still too slow to ketch me a nurse. Crying face

Extreme Religious Agony:

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Short Takes:

From NY Times: Like millions of people, I’ve been obsessively following the news from Paris, putting aside other things to focus on the horror. It’s the natural human reaction. But let’s be clear: it’s also the reaction the terrorists want. And that’s something not everyone seems to understand.Take, for example, Jeb Bush’s declaration that “this is an organized attempt to destroy Western civilization.” No, it isn’t. It’s an organized attempt to sow panic, which isn’t at all the same thing. And remarks like that, which blur that distinction and make terrorists seem more powerful than they are, just help the jihadists’ cause.

Think, for a moment, about what France is and what it represents. It has its problems — what nation doesn’t? — but it’s a robust democracy with a deep well of popular legitimacy. Its defense budget is small compared with ours, but it nonetheless retains a powerful military, and has the resources to make that military much stronger if it chooses. (France’s economy is around 20 times the size of Syria’s.) France is not going to be conquered by ISIS, now or ever. Destroy Western civilization? Not a chance.

So what was Friday’s attack about? Killing random people in restaurants and at concerts is a strategy that reflects its perpetrators’ fundamental weakness. It isn’t going to establish a caliphate in Paris. What it can do, however, is inspire fear — which is why we call it terrorism, and shouldn’t dignify it with the name of war.

The point is not to minimize the horror. It is, instead, to emphasize that the biggest danger terrorism poses to our society comes not from the direct harm inflicted, but from the wrong-headed responses it can inspire. And it’s crucial to realize that there are multiple ways the response can go wrong.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Paul Krugman editorial. I agree with him. The Daesh is far too small to overthrow even small Western nations, let alone the US. Climate change is a greater threat to the US than the Daesh will ever be. If we let the Daesh dominate our policies, we are handing them a victory over us.

From TPM: Daily fantasy sports sites — like Fan Duel and Draft Kings — arrived on the scene like “a pack of wolves,” according to host John Oliver on Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight.”

“Daily fantasy sports combine everything dudes love: sports, money and a lack of commitment,” Oliver said.

Congress cracked down on online gambling in 2006, but, as Oliver pointed out, the law exempted fantasy sports.

 

As a lover of old style fantasy football, I have no doubt that daily fantasy sports is gambling. The law needs to be updated,

From Crooks and Liars: At each NFL football game on Sunday, there was a moment of silence for the people of France who suffered an unimaginable terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, some jerk at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, took the opportunity to prove to the world what an ass he is by yelling an anti-Muslim statement. (Said fool either shouted “Muslim sucks” or “F*ck the Muslims,” depending on which account you listen to.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who came off the field after losing another heartbreaking (for Packer fans anyway) loss, still had the wherewithal and class to denounce the fan who yelled that:

“I must admit I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was that made a comment that was very inappropriate during the moment of silence,” Rodgers said. “It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that puts us in the position we’re in today as a world.”

Kudos to Aaron Rogers for a very classy statement.

Cartoon:

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Jul 092015
 

I have some good news today that will be better news tomorrow.  Today is forecast to be the last day of the longest and worst heat wave I remember in  36 years as an Oregonian.  Friday’s high is forecast at 82° and Saturday’s at 77°!  It’s taken much too long to end.

Care2 Cares:

Most of you know that I share the articles I post here at Care2.  One of their features are Butterfly Credits that you get for various activities.  You can then spend these planting trees, offsetting carbon, helping animals and other socially conscious things.  Because I had been there over 100 days in a row, I was getting 100 credits a day, just for showing up.  I don’t think I’ve missed a day since I went to the hospital in 2013… until Tuesday, when I was so sick.  That reset my daily credits to 1, requiring me to work my way back up.  I mentioned this in the card I sent friends yesterday.  Care2Support left the following comment on my profile:

Hey there, cool cat!  I’ll get your Butterfly Rewards Totals and Daily Streak back online for you today.  Hope you are doing well my friend!!

Thank You!  I am most grateful.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:49).  To do it, click hereHow did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv ans her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

According to Fuel Fix, Shell has discovered a ballast hole leak in the hull of their 22 year old icebreaker, the MSV Fennica.

The 22-year-old icebreaker has since returned to the port in Dutch Harbor and is being examined by marine experts, but it is uncertain how quickly the breach in its hull can be repaired and whether this will delay Shell’s hopes to begin drilling an oil well in the Chukchi Sea later this month.

The Fennica is just one of the 29 vessels in Shell’s Arctic fleet, which includes another icebreaker, the MSV Nordica, and at least two other anchor handlers tasked with helping to keep ice away from the company’s drilling site. But Shell’s contracted Fennica is unique in that it is carrying a critical piece of the company’s Arctic containment system: a capping stack designed to fit on top of a damaged well in case of a blowout or other emergency.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the company does not believe the Fennica damage will delay the company’s planned Chukchi Sea operations.

“Any impact to our season will ultimately depend on the extent of the damage,” Smith said.

This is not good news for Shell. They had hoped that with the Obama Administration approving their permits to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea they would finally be able to destroy the arctic ecosystem in order to make a buck for their shareholders. But problems have somewhat delayed their mission in the Arctic.

While I would certainly not want any fatalities, I’m sorry the damn thing didn’t sink!

From NY Times: Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, announced plans on Wednesday to reimburse doctors for conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they became too sick to speak for themselves.

The proposal would settle a debate that raged before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when Sarah Palin labeled a similar plan as tantamount to setting up “death panels” that could cut off care for the sick. The new plan is expected to be approved and to take effect in January, although it will be open to public comment for 60 days.

This is a good and necessary part of medical care. Patients will get to decide for themselves what heroic measures should be taken under what circumstances, with explanation of the terminology by their own doctors. When the death panel cries come from Republicans, as they surely will, remember one thing. The proposal to include this service originally came from a Republican, before they all became drunk on InsaniTEA.

From Alternet: A video of two gay men in Morehead, Kentucky calling the police after being refused a marriage license by Rowan County went viral last night, mounting over 327,000 views in less that a day.

 

It takes about 7 minutes before the action starts. You might want to jump ahead to that point.Denting them the license was illegal. The complete disrespect these Republicans showed while doing so is intolerable.

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I first posted this cartoon four years ago today.  It saddens me that it is still valid.\

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Feb 132015
 

I have felt troubled, by the recent controversy over vaccines brought about by fools like PIGnocchio, and especially Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot.  I had a friend tell me how dangerous vaccines have become, I explained that a duck follows Dr. Mercola (her source) around to sound the warning.  Fortunately someone else is sounding the warning far better than a duck.

Warren2Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not having any of your anti-vaxxer nonsense, or any of Sen. Rand Paul’s anti-vaxxer nonsense either. At a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on vaccinations, Warren had some questions for the director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC:

“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines have contributed to the rise in allergies or auto-immune disorders among kids?”

“Are there additives or preservatives in vaccines that can be toxic to kids?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that giving kids their vaccines further apart or spacing them differently is healthier for kids?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that kids can develop immunity to these diseases on their own, simply by eating nutritious foods or being active?”

(Answer key: No, no, no, no, no, and no.)

Important questions, but one stood out: "Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?"

Rand Paul last week: "I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines."

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here she is in action:

The facts are clear.  Bringing back diseased that we have completely controlled is insane, and too high a price to pay for for a few wing-nuts to just want to inspire fear.

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Oct 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 184.  It’s already evening, and I finally have time to write.  ARGH!  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday is a major prison volunteer day.  Color me rushed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 3:53).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

7Scores

Standings:

7Standings

I could shoot Foster!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: \Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

 

Bubba Bagger should be hanging his head in shame!

From NY Times: Giving this city a measure of calm for the first time in weeks, 43 people who had direct or indirect contact with the Liberian man who died here of Ebola were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

The 43 people who were released from monitoring had all had potential contact with the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, before he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. Ultimately in the coming days, a total of 48 people are expected to be cleared of any risk of contracting Ebola and will start rebuilding their lives, after a 21-day isolation that amounted to a self-imposed quarantine for some of them and a more serious state-ordered quarantine for others.

Republicans had better hurry. This issue is running out of steam as a way for them to fear monger. On the other hand, Faux Noise viewers may lot learn of this.

From Upworthy: Space is vast and mysterious and kind of generally mind-freakingly amazing. And yet, we’re not really trying to get there anymore. Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t too pleased about that.

 

How true! It seems that Republicans would prefer to keep the known universe from expanding into the vast empty spaces between the ears of idiots who elect them, especially those idiots that choose not to vote!

Cartoon:

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Oct 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 182.  It’s a thoroughly hectic day, so much so that the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb is staying in the background, until my Broncos come on this evening.  Tomorrow I have to leave home before 8:00 AM to go to a routine Urologist appointment.  God only knows when I’ll be back.  I just know I’ll be short on research and long on exhaustion. I hope they give me a cup with a Republican in it, so I can pretend I’m a dawg!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:33).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1019-Broncos42-49ers17

I fell asleep vertical and missed most of it. :-(

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Rep. Louie Gohmert (of course), speaking to Glenn Beck (of course), is angry that the CDC said the Texas nurses who contracted Ebola had violated protocols:

"It’s a shame that the CDC head, Frieden, is apparently the new commander of the Democrats’ war on women nurses," Gohmert told Beck. "Because, goodnight, they set them up, and then they throw them under the bus."

We could talk about how, in reality, Frieden called the nurses "good, dedicated people" who violated protocol in part by wearing too much protective gear, something one obviously does with the best of intentions. And how, in reality, Republicans are always looking for ways to make nurses’ jobs harder and less safe. But coming from Gohmert, this isn’t about nurses. It’s about finding a way to connect Ebola and Democrats.

Our own Inspector Goosestep is a cross between the Inspector Gadget cartoon and Louie Go-Go Goosestep Gomanic!

From Democrats Unite: Not sure if you are going to vote this year? Here are 10 reminders taken from the Republican and Tea Party’s “Least-Greatest Hits” from the 2012 campaign cycle:

1) “Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves. Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat.” – Michele Bachmann November 2011

2) “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.” Sarah Palin June 2011

3) “I believe there is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” – Allen West April 2012

There are three reasons to vote. Click Through for the other seven. Then GET OUT The VOTE!!!

From YouTube: Elizabeth Warren`s Assault on Wall Street

 

I figured you could use a dose of Liz! GET OUT THE VOTE!!!

Cartoon:

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The Republican response to getting caught is even worse now,

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Oct 192014
 

In spite of all the anti-Czar propaganda from the from the Republican Party in 2009, accusing Obama of using Czars to implement totalitarian rule, the Ebola problem, has caused a sudden shift on their part from having always been against Czars to having always been for Czars, accompanied by demands that Obama appoint an Ebola Czar.  Now that he has done so, they are beginning to shift back to having always been against Czars, and accusations that Obama has picked the wrong Czar.  Lets begin with the appointment.

1019KlainPresident Obama has asked Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to both Vice President Biden and former vice president Al Gore, as his Ebola response coordinator, according to a White House official.

"He will report directly to the president’s homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, and the president’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don’t distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa," a White House official wrote in an e-mail.

Klain, 53, is a longtime Democratic operative who served as Biden’s chief of staff from 2009 to 2011 and as Gore’s from 1995 to 1999. He helped oversee the Democratic side in the 2000 presidential election recount as its lead lawyer, a role that Kevin Spacey portrayed in the HBO film "Recount."

CNN first reported the news Friday morning.

Obama has been under pressure from Republicans for weeks to appoint an "Ebola czar" to oversee the federal government’s overall effort to contain the disease. Thursday night, the president told reporters: "It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process, just to make sure that we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s going forward."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Personally, I consider this a good decision.  If Republicans and a few Democrats, who fear the NRA, had not kept is without a Surgeon General, the natural point person in such a situation, there would be no need.  Furthermore, the people who have been handling it are certainly qualified, but they have other things to do.  For instance, Obama is busy helping with the midterms, and a Republican takeover of the Senate would cause far more American deaths than Ebola will in the next two years  The Ebola threat requires a person, whose sole job is coordinating our national response. Klain had the organizational experience to coordinate professionals and the political acumen to produce results.

Rachel Maddow covered the Republican record on Czars, the history of Czars in America, what a Czar does, and what qualifies someone to be Czar.

If you cannot watch it here, try the MSNBC direct video link.  If you can’t watch it there, it may still be on YouTube.

One of the premier Republican objections is that Obama’s choice is not a doctor, which Rachel just disproved. 

Republicans, however, actually do have a “doctor”, who is also a Republican "expert" on Ebola. Rachel provided his credentials, after talking about other Republican Ebola scams.

If you also cannot watch this one here, try its MSNBC direct video link.  If you can’t watch it there, it may still be on YouTube.

To Czar or not to Czar?  Who, if anyone, would you prefer taking charge of the threat, Ron Klain, or Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named After Idiot?

Also, should we ban travel to and from Texas?

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Sep 112014
 

11-911

Twelve years ago this morning, the first airliner hit the tower, as I was about to leave for work.  When I arrived, I learned about the second hit.  My duties that day were to contact top executives of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in New York on behalf of our client, a major developer of computer operating systems, to arrange site visits and one-on-one executive interviews for our client’s research team.  What timing!  I felt uncomfortable calling, but the account exec’s assistant, an airhead and a Republican, ordered me to go to work.  Many of my executive contacts were in the Twin Towers.  I got on the telephone.  Nobody was answering, and many of the lines were out of order.  I did get through and spoke to a man in one of the towers above the fire, who knew he would not survive.  He said he couldn’t dial out and gave me his home number.  He asked me to call his wife and tell her he loved her.  I did.  She was pretty hysterical.  Who could blame her. That shook me up so much that I went to the account executive’s office, and told him I was done calling New York for the day.  He asked me what idiot had told me to call into New York under these circumstances.  Because of that experience, I cannot think of 9/11 without my heart going out to the people who lost loved ones that tragic day, and I consider it imperative to do whatever we can, within reason, to prevent a reoccurrence.  One failing, in that regard, is that we often ask who and how, but all too seldom, ask why.  So as we remember the events of 9/11/2001, perhaps it may help if we consider the other 9/11, 9/11/1973.

Twenty eight years earlier, the roles were reversed.  Instead of being attacked, the US had arranged and was assisting an attack to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chile, and the installation of one of the most infamous dictators of the twentieth century, Augusto Pinochet.  An article by Peter Kornblug from August 2003 describes and explains those events.

11allende

On September 14, 1970, a deputy to then-National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger wrote him a memo, classified SECRET/SENSITIVE, arguing against covert operations to block the duly elected Chilean socialist Salvador Allende from assuming the presidency. "What we propose is patently a violation of our own principles and policy tenets," noted Viron Vaky. "If these principles have any meaning, we normally depart from them only to meet the gravest threat to us., e.g. to our survival. Is Allende a mortal threat to the U.S.?" Vaky asked. "It is hard to argue this."

Kissinger ignored this advice. The next day he participated in a now-famous meeting where President Nixon instructed CIA Director Richard Helms to "save Chile" by secretly fomenting a coup to prevent Allende’s inauguration. When those covert operations failed, Kissinger goaded Nixon into instructing the entire national security bureaucracy "on opposing Allende" and destabilizing his government. "Election of Allende as president of Chile poses one of [the] most serious challenges ever faced in this hemisphere," says a newly declassified briefing paper Kissinger gave to Nixon two days after Allende’s inauguration. "Your decision as to what to do may be most historic and difficult foreign affairs decision you will have to make this year…. If all concerned do not understand that you want Allende opposed as strongly as we can, result will be steady draft toward modus vivendi approach."

11kissinger_pinochetHad Washington adopted a "modus vivendi approach," it is possible that Chileans, indeed citizens around the world, would not be solemnly commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power. In the United States, the meaning of this anniversary is, understandably, overshadowed by the shock and tragedy of our own 9/11. But Chile reminds us that the topics of debate on US foreign policy today–pre-emptive strikes, regime change, the arrogance of unilateral intervention, unchecked covert action and secrecy and dishonesty in government–are not new. From the thousands of formerly classified US documents released over the past several years, the picture that emerges strikes some haunting parallels with the news of the day.

Chile, it must be recalled, constitutes a classic example of a pre-emptive strike–a set of operations launched well before Salvador Allende set foot in office. Nixon ordered the CIA on September 15, 1970, to "make the economy scream" and to foment a military move to block Allende from being inaugurated six weeks later, in November; the Chilean leader had yet to formulate or authorize a single policy detrimental to US interests. "What happens over [the] next 6-10 months will have ramifications far beyond US-Ch[ilean] relations," Kissinger predicted in a dire warning to Nixon only forty-eight hours after Allende actually took office. "Will have effect on what happens in rest of LA and developing world; our future position in hemisphere; on larger world picture…even effect our own conception of what our role in the world is."

As in the distorted threat assessment on Iraq, this was sheer speculation–unsupported, indeed contradicted, by US intelligence. In August 1970 CIA, State and Defense Department analysts had determined that "the US has no vital national interests within Chile," and that the world "military balance of power would not be significantly altered" if Allende came to power… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Nation>

For many years, the United States has treated the rest of the world, particularly third world nations, as the private reserve of an American economic empire, repeatedly using force, usually covertly, any time a nation had the audacity to suggest that their resources should benefit their own people, not US corporations.  Neither party is blameless, but the majority and most heinous of such actions occurred  during Republican administrations.  In the twentieth century, the United States overthrew more democratically elected governments and installed more dictators than any other nation ever has.  No nation can stand toe-to-toe against the US on the battlefield, so guerilla tactics are the only option available to nations who would oppose us.

We should also remember that there would be no such thing as Al Qaeda, had not Republicans under Reagan financed it’s formation to perform terrorist attacks against the USSR.

I do not hate this country.  I love the USA enough to insist that we actually practice the principles we claim to profess.  These are the lessons we need to learn to prevent future terrorists attacks against the US. If we practice oppression, we guarantee resistance.  If we practice partnership, we will get cooperation.  We need to stop trying to control other countries by force,  To forestall terrorism, we must stop participating in and supporting terrorism ourselves.  We will be seen as hypocrites if we oppose ethnic cleansing by ISIL, but support ethnic cleansing by Zionists.

For the last lesson, let’s return to the story with which I began.  Shortly after the account executive agreed that I was done for the day, the company shut down for the rest of the day too.  Several of us gathered around the TV in the lunch room.  Knowing that I am politically involved, coworkers asked me what I thought was going to happen.  I told them that I thought Bush would use the attack as an excuse to do two things: to invade Iraq and to curtail civil liberates guaranteed under our Constitution.  The last lesson is this.  If we adopt the tactics of evil to oppose evil, we become no different than the evil we oppose.

Even if we do all that, we must still be vigilant.  Sadly there are forces in pseudo-Islam that pursue hatred against America, just as there are forces in pseudo-Christianity that pursue hatred against Muslims, both for their own respective right-wing political agendas.  Both are equally dangerous.

With a few alterations, this is a reworking of my 2011 editorial.

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