Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Haven't We Learned?

When it comes for the exit of the American military from Aghanistan why haven't we learned from Vietnam? Afghanistan isn't America. Afghanistan isn't our country. Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan government and people.

We can't keep thinking we'll be remembered there, like naming places, like establishing programs we think they'll continue when we know they won't, or like thinking all the American soldiers who died will be remembered there.

Do you think the Vietnanese people remember where American soldiers died? All the names of the names of the place the American military named? All the programs we left?

And we expect something different in Afghanistan and from the Afghan government and people?

Why don't we learn from our mistakes?

Occupation is occupation, and the occupied forgets the occuppier when they leave. It's history, and we haven't learned to keep repeating it.

House Republicans

If  the Republican members of the house feared the extreme right in this recent election, especially through the primary campaign, to agree with them only to find they have to move back to the center during the election campaign against their democratic opponent, there is something that can be done to increase the pressure on them.

A Republicans who have a moderate or center-right view of the political issues should run against the incumbent putting the incumbent smack in the middle between the far right and the center moderates, and make the incumbent try to dance around their views against both sides.

The Republican members (incumbents) fear the far right so much they're not paying attention to the center or moderates in their own party, which opens the door for the moderates to win primary elections because the people are tired of incumbents and because moderates support Americans for jobs, taxes, health insurance, etc., and even thinks the President, while a democrat, is a good President.

There is a great opportunity for the traditional conservative and moderate Republicans to return and win. The incumbents, if they keep going as they are now, will be very much hated for protecting the wealthy and corporations and being the block to our economic recovery.

So, please traditional Republicans, run again, and make the 2014 campaign and election worth something.

Really Israel?

The Israeli government announced they achieved their goal with the recent 8 days of exchanging unguided, explosive (non-warhead) rockets from Gaza into Israel with latest US military precision guided, warhead missiles into Gaza, which was (from UK Guardian)

"Israel's political leadership claimed on Thursday that the eight-day military offensive in Gaza achieved its single goal of restoring calm to the south of the country, while acknowledging the durability of the ceasefire would be tested in the coming days and weeks.>

"We had one simple goal: to restore quiet to the border," said the deputy prime minister, Dan Meridor. "That limited goal was fully achieved." However, he added, it remained to be seen whether a lasting peace was in place.

Really? Why do I get the impression the war wasn't about the border or peace in Israel, but about killing Palenstinian when about 10 Palestinians were killed or injured for each Israeli killed or injured, including several Palestinian leaders who could only have been killed with precision guided missiles.

But in the end, this said it (from UK Guardian):

"I've really tried to understand the Israelis. I used to work on a farm inIsrael. I speak Hebrew. I watch their news. All the time they talk about fear. How they have to run to their bunkers to hide from the rockets. How their children can't sleep because of the sirens. This is not a good way for them to live," said Khoudry, who now scrapes a living growing his own produce.

We Palestinians don't talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.

Somehow I get the impression the war wasn't about the border or peace in southern Israel. It was about killing Palestinians and some of their leaders. It was about overwhelming Gaza and the Palestinians with firepower to demostrate Israel's power to annihilate them if they so chose.

To date Israel has violated 65 UN resolutions about the Middle East, specifically the Palestinians and both Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians have not violated any UN resolution.

And yet the US and Britain veto any UN Security Council condemnation of Israel and condones Israel oppressive control of the borders with Gaza and the West Bank and the suppression of Palestinians to freely travel in or between those territories.

And the US considers the legitimately elected government of Hamas in Gaza and the group Hezbollah in the West Bank as terrorists organization and only diplomatically with Fatah, the elected government in the West Bank.

According the US government it's ok to give untold money to organizations helping Israel as the US government gives billions in economic and military aid in money, weapons, etc. to Israel, but it is illegal  in the US to give money to any Palestinian organization, or the US says but often can't prove.

The US and Isreal are complicit in the plan to not just oppress Palestinians but to annihilate them where any talks of a homeland, the two state solution, isn't feasible and the oppression can continue. Neither the US or Israel want peace but continued war.

And we, the American people, accept it. Who's really to blame? Our government or ourselves for acquiescing our government's actions?

When will the US government recognize the full right of the Palestinian people to exist in peace in their homeland and strive to ensure that goal?

And when will the US government stop supporting Israel with weapons only used to kill Palestinians and when will it condemn Isreal for violating UN resolutions?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nothing's Changed

Apparently the Republicans and their leadership with House Speaker Boehner and Senate minority leader McConnell haven't changed after losing the election. They're using the same rhetoric they used before the elections now after the election.

What don't they understand the people want negotiation and compromise?

But let's be clear Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, Social Security is off the table. The Affordable Care Act is off the table. Everything else, including the Defense Department budget is on the table. If you don't like it, then let's do what will happen.

Let's not get a deal and go off the fiscal cliff.

How's that for a solution? How's that for negotiation and compromise? How's that selling your arrogance and obstinance? How's that for your Tea Party members?

What don't you understand the American people want the President and the Democrats not to get a bad deal. As they've said, "No deal is better than a bad deal.", and we'll take it to get the point across to the Republicans.

We're more than willing to let everything happen if it means increasing taxes on the wealthy. We'd also like higher taxes on corporations. We'd also like Social Security fixed with eliminating the limit on income.

We'd also like health insurance companies and healthcare costs reduced to help people with or needing health insurance. We'd like affordable health insurance. We'd like the budget balanced by making the DOD take a real cut to help reduce the deficit and debt.

And we want solutions. If you can't understand that, then maybe you will learn in 2014 when we get to decide your fate in the House and some in the Senate. That you understand, you job, you ass.

Monday, November 19, 2012

To Israel's Army

To the Army commanders and political leaders of Israel,

Your anger against the people of Gaza is with the 20,000 or so Hamas extremists, not the 1.7 million Palestinians who live in the Gaza terrority, so focus your forces on them. Innocent civilians are not your enemy, not the opposition fight force, and not the ones responsible for the rocket attacks on Israel.

Your anger and actions against innocent civilians is not war, it's criminal. I won't argue Hamas rockets have killed innocent Israelis and other people. I won't argue they are owed revenge for the acts against them.

But I will argue attacking innoncent Palestinians isn't the answer when you're killed and injuriing them as a ratio of 10 Palestinians to 1 Israeli. That's not war, that's a slaughter. That's not war, that's criminal as in war crimes against innoncent people.

If you want war, go fight the 20,000 or so Hamas extremists. But really do you have to do that? Why not peace? Why not an economically independent Gaza and Palestinians instead of the oppression you inflict on Gaza and Palestinians.

If you lived as they did, what would you do? Wouldn't you fight? Wouldn't you become an extremist? So what and why don't you understand? Israel has one of the best and most powerful military in the world. You don't need to pummel an enemy into the oblivion.

You need to use it to negotiate peace for the Israel and the Palestinian people. There will always be fighting in the Middle East, Israel is home to three religions, all of which have extremists thinking everyone else is the enemy.

But you, Israel can stand above it in the name of peace. If you tried. If you tried as hard as you fought, as hard as you want to defend Israel and Israelis, and as hard as the world knows you can, if you tried. So why don't you?

If you don't, then we know your fate is doomed to war, war with the Palestinians over lands and independence, war with your neighboring Muslim countries, and war with Iran. Is that what you want? Because if you do, then that's your fate.

But then also, while many in the US, especially our government and military, will support you because you have a rich and powerful lobby here, but the American people won't support you. You will be seen and known as the enemy of peace, the enemy of an oppressed Palestinian people, and the enemy of freedom.

That's what we stand for, independence and freedom. Not what you stand for, if you want war. Your future is in your hands, stand with the world or stand alone. Someday our government and military will have to walk away from you if you continue, if you want war.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let Me See

Let me see if I understand this correctly. The Affordable Care Act has provisions, demanded by the states, to let them set up health insurance exchanges in lieu of the proposal to establish a federal health insurance program for people who can't afford private health insurance.

The states had until this week to let the federal government know if they plan to set up these exchanges for their state, something they demanded to show it could be better done by the state, something to show states are more innovative and creative for their people, and something to show states care about their people.

Now many of those states with Republican governors are informing the federal government they won't set up these exchanges and will let the federal government do it for them, create, manage and operate the exchange for the people of their states.

Really? You wanted the control, demanded it, and then got it, and now you're abdicating your promise and responsibility to the people of your state? You don't care about them?

Or is that a political move to have the federal government, which you accused of trying to create a socialized, universal health insurance and healthcare system, like Medicare to help people and Medicaid the states so richly get federal funds, to have the exchanges in your state to make the same claim again?

Yeah, you asked for control and then refused it when it was given, and now you can bitch and whine about the fact you don't have it? Do you really think the people of your state are that stupid not to see the sham of it?

Let me see, is the correct? You wanted it and then you didn't, you demanded it and then said you don't want it, and now you want to claim you the federal government is being big brother for something you asked them to do for you?

Really governors? I hope you're up for re-election in 2014 and those people you hate get to decide your fate and you decided their fate with health insurance. You won't be able to cry foul then.

Twenty to One

Using the latest and most advanced weapons in the US and Israeli military, noting many of the weapon system and weapons used by Israel are provided by the US military with the approval of the Secretary of Defense and the President, Israel is inflicting casualties and damage on an order of magnitude and greater ratio, sometimes as much as twenty to one.

All the while Israel claims itself, and not Hamas which uses unguided, non-warhead, explosive rockets provided by Iran and perhaps Egypt, to be the innocent victim of the aggressive tactics of Hamas in Gaza, and against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Really Israel? It takes two sides to wage war, and there is no mistaking the complete military superiority of the Israel military against Hamas and Hezbollah. You can't claim self-defense when you are attacking Gaza, as you did in southern Lebanon, with such fire power and verocity to kill and injure innocent people at a twenty to one ratio.

You can't claim anything, and you can only accept blame for not just continuing this war but accelerating it in the name of the falsehood if self-defense. Both sides are wrong. Both sides are the agressors. Both sides destroy lives and property.

And both side don't have the right to claim anything except being the enemy of human rights. But more so you, Israel, have shown you have no limits when it comes to anyone you call your enemy when it's clear innocent Palestinians are not the enemy of Israel, only in your words.

You, Israel, have the power to cease this war and you haven't and won't because you want it to continue. You want to inflict massive damage and casualties to innocent Palestinians for no reason than hate. No reason than you can. No reason than you want.

That's the definition of a war monger, not a peace loving nation and people Israel is at its heart, in its soul, and with its spirit. I won't argue the extremist elements in Hamas and Hezbollah are equally guilty of crimes against innocent people, Israelis and others in Israel. I won't argue factions in Iran and Egypt are guilty of helping perpetuate their hate against Israel and Israelis.

But when will it end? When will you, Israel, decide twenty to one is enough and maybe one to one talks are better? Why do you keep perpetuating your fear of a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis and let the Palestinians live in peace in Gaza?

When will you let them be a fully independent territory controlling their own land, people, resources, etc., and develop into an economic independent state for Palestinians? Is a peaceful, economically independent Gaza a better neighbor?

Won't they cease the Hamas extremist themselves in the name of their own peace knowing the sheer military power of Israel can wipe them off the map? Why can't that be the future than perpetual war? It's in your hands, Israel, so why won't you pursue peace than war?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Senate Democrats

To the Democrats in the Senate, especially the leadership and Harry Reid. Please, really please, do the following at the beginning of the next session in accordance with the rules for the session.

One, either eliminate the filibuster or reduce the vote to override it to a simple majority.

Two, prohibit filibusters and especially holds on judicial and political appointments. All go through the committee(s) and then to the floor for a straight up or down vote without any Senator putting a hold on it or filibustering it.

Three, prohibit hold on bills and restrict them to just filibusters, see rule one.

Four, put the rules in writing and not just polite agreements Reid made with McConnell and then reniged.

Last, enforce rules one, two and three. You didn't do this last time, see rule four.

If you don't do these and you chicken out on real reform, you hamper getting anything done by the Democrats this new session and hamstring the President but mostly you hurt America and Americans.

It's that simple, think of us than yourself. Think of the country than yourself. Think about getting things done than playing politics.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When I Don't Listen

Being 63 has allowed me to ignore people I don't think are worth listening to anymore and to not only listen but understand people I respect. The list of the former, people I don't listen to anymore, are Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, and anyone of their generation as news journalist.

The list of the latter, people I do listen to, are Bill Moyers, Lawrence O'Donnell and Brian Williams, among others. But my point here is that Dan and Tom may be respected journalists but they don't say anything that others say better.

Both talk about their experience like it's our experience. It's not, and they don't represent what I know of the times I lived and experienced. They have a very foggy and fuzzy view of the past. And they simply espouse their opinion like we supposed to be awed by their words.

I'm not, so I don't listen. They're not worth my time.

To Papa John

For what it's worth to you, but especially your employees.

I'll pay the extra 14 cents per pizza.

Give employees all the hours they can and want to work. Pay them fair wages. And above all, give them good, affordable insurance. It's good business.

If you don't, think about that fact people won't like you and may decide to buy another brand of pizza because they are equally good pizza and the company takes better care of their employees. And yes, you will likely have to lay off employees, but they can get jobs at your competitor.

So that's the choice we get to make. And your choice if you want us as customers.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why Do They

Why do the Republicans want to trash the economy, trash this nation, and especially trash the American people, the poor and middle class, simply to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy, the top 1-2% of this country?

Why to they insist the 98+% of Americans take cuts in their income while everything increases around them where many are already financially sinking and many more could and will financially sink over the coming years if nothing is done?

Why do they insist in making us pay the price when the wealthy and corporations are getting off paying little and in many cases, no taxes? Yeah, I'm one who thought Romney didn't release his tax returns because some years he little if any taxes.

No one argues the Republicans only lost 9 seats in the House and still have a 20+ seat majority to play with for legislation. But they should not forget that if they persist over the next two years of sticking with the ideology on taxes, we get to decide their fate again in the 2014 elections.

You can bet the President will campaign against the Republicans as the obstacle to progress on the economy, on this country and on the poor and middle class. And you can beat the Democrats will make the Republican intransigence the issue in the 2014 election.

You can bet the American people are taking notice and will remember who helped them and who not only didn't help them but wanted to hurt them. So, Republicans take note. Compromise or find yourself fired in two years.

The 2014 election won't be about social issues. It will be about personal economic and financial issues. Our issues. Our financial survival. And we are taking notes about who is our friend and who is our enemy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear Republicans

The American people have spoken. It's time to stop bitching and start working. You were, along with the Democrats, elected to get things done in Congress. Do that and stop the political rhetoric. We heard too much of it during the campaign and we're tired of it.

So stop whining and bitching and start working with the Democrats and the President to solve America's problems for Americans, not just corporations and the wealthy, and yourself too, but all of us. You represent all of us, so do that!

If you don't, that's ok, we get to decide your fate in 2014.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mr Boehner

Mr Boehner, After listening to the speech at your press conference just now, I can only say you are so full of (political) shit you need your own sewage treatment plant. I need a dairy farmer's hip boots to wade through all the political rhetoric to see it's all just political gas.

The truth is you don't plan to do anything different. You only plan to put a new coat of political paint over it to hide the smell. You don't think we don't remember the last two years of the most ineffective and unproductive House of Representatives in a generation?

We do, and dressing it up only reminds the listener about the tale of the emperor without any clothes. You're butt naked and politically intoleratant and ignorant of the American people. Yes, we will remember you in two years if nothing changes.

Being well tanned and well dressed doesn't change what we know and heard. You're just a politician in a cheap suit, lying like you think we'll believe you, that you're serious and honest. Yeah, right, like the last two years?

We're not stupid and we know political shit when he hear it. You can't hide the smell with your style. It's still political shit.

The 2012 Elections

With respect to the 2012 election and the upcoming Congressional session, it's a sorry state of affairs and our nation, and the people, the poor and middle class, are mere political fodder for the corporations, wealthy and Congress. 

The question is how much they'll do what's right for us or just worry about the next election and where the money is coming from to ensure they don't get left out. And the President is already a lame duck one to the Republicans in Congress.

We've already lost before it's begun.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Didn't Happen


Saying what you would have done over the last four years instead of what President Obama did isn't proof of what would have happened if you had been president, only what you would hope would have happened, which we know didn't happen and wouldn't happen because it simply just your imagination, not reality.

Having been a CEO isn't being the president. Having been a governor isn't being the president. Neither have anything to do with being president, so saying so isn't just a false statement, it's a lie, pure and simple. You can say all you want, nothing you say has any truth or relevance to being president.

You didn't have to work with the republicans in House, who vowed to do nothing for this president but everything for their social agenda. You didn't have to work with the republicans in the Senate who filibusters everything and left the democrats effectively useless to accomplish very much.

But the President did succeed with the reality he faced, something you can say you would be better but can't prove it. That's all you have to sell yourself, words, just words, which you seem to change every day, even within the same day. And we're expected not to notice?

Do you really think we, the voters, are that deaf, that short-minded, and that stupid? You must think so because you keep talking like we are in your mind. You sell us "Change", but almost all your advisors were in the George Bush administration. And that's change? Going back?

Oh, I see, just change from the present, not necessarily good or better change, just old change. Now I see your plan, to deceive us into thinking going backward is going forward, and promising the same things Bush promised.

And how did that turn out? And it's why you don't really care enough about us to be honest? Truthful?

You can save your breath, we know the answer.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Staten Island

No one argues the problems with the cleanup on Staten Island, the people and place needs the same recovery effort than everywhere in the New York City area, especially since it was the most devasted area from Hurricane Sandy.

That said, let's be honest about it. The folks on Staten Island are just beginning to see how all the people of  New Orleans were treated during and after Hurricane Katrina by the George Bush admistration, and the area is still trying to recover, all these years later.

So, yes, you'll get help to cleanup and rebuild because of President Obama. But you don't have the right to yell and demand so quickly. If you want to yell and demand, where were you for the people of New Orleans? Where were you in the fall of 2005?

Did you yell and demand then? No? And you want us to yell and demand for you? We will because you're worth it, but next time, how about standing up for people elsewhere you are in the same proverbial boat as you?

Try losing your home and property, not for awhile, even a year while it's rebuilt and you rebuild your life, but for years, a few years, and even more 7 years now. That's what many from New Orleans still face. And where are you?

You want to yell and demand? Fine, we'll join you. But then return the favor for others.