Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Poetry

of Sarah Palin

But for those countries -- North Korea, also, under Kim Jong Il, the
Castro brothers, others who are extreme and they have a message: For
years, you sought to make sure that leaders like Ahmadinejad who would
seek to cut off funding for our biologically-sound wildlife management
for abundance. We broke ground on the ticket. That's an indication I
think through nuances we can make good policy. What I would hope that's
not what our parents told us before we probably even got that first
credit card. Don't live outside of our agendas, I think, is going to
happen in my world view, is a desire to control spending — by request if
possible and by veto if necessary.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bob's trip to the doctor

Meet Bob. Like many hard-working, responsible Americans, Bob has a good private health care plan. Bob never worries about getting sick, because he knows he's taken care of. Bob doesn't want the government getting in between him and his doctors, making decisions about his health care.

Today at work, Bob started feeling ill. Luckily for Bob, it wasn't a work-related sickness, because some government bureaucrat got in between Bob and his employer and made sure Bob had safe working conditions. "It's probably just a cold," Bob thought to himself. After work, Bob got in his car and drove to the doctor's office. Luckily for Bob, his car didn't blow up or break down on the way because some government bureaucrat got in between Bob and the automaker, demanding safety standards. And when Bob got on the Interstate to save some time, it was a good thing some government bureaucrat had meddled with the free market and ensured it was there to be used. Bob didn't notice any of this, though. He wasn't feeling well.

Arriving at the doctor's office, Bob stopped by the water fountain to cool his throat. Happily for Bob, he didn't get poisoned because some government bureaucrat had gotten between Bob and the water supplier to ensure safe drinking water. At the receptionist's desk, Bob was told that the doctor was very busy and he might have to wait several hours to be seen. Bob was glad America has the best health care system in the world, unlike Canada, where his favorite "fair & balanced" news network had told him he might have to wait days or weeks to be seen. This wasn't actually true, but Bob had no way of knowing that. A long time ago, some government bureaucrat had gotten between Bob and the networks to make sure there was fairness and truth in broadcasting. But then Bob and his friends voted for a famous movie actor as president, and they got rid of that un-American government interference.

When Bob finally saw the doctor, he was diagnosed with a rare type of infection and prescribed drugs to clear it up. Bob didn't even look at the prescription, because he trusted his doctor's judgment. Luckily for Bob, some government bureaucrat had gotten between him and the drug companies and demanded extensive safety testing to make sure the drugs wouldn't harm him. On the way back to his car, Bob took a deep breath of fresh air. He didn't start choking on all sorts of toxic fumes because some government bureaucrat had gotten between Bob and heavy industry and decided Bob had a right to clean air.

Bob stopped by the pharmacy on his way home to fill the prescription. Sadly for Bob, however, the pharmacist informed him that his HMO would not cover the drug. Bob had to fork over $363.72 out of pocket for the prescription, which meant he would really have to tighten his belt next month. Luckily for Bob, if he didn't have enough money for food he could get government assistance, because some government bureaucrat had gotten between Bob and the free market and decided Americans should never have to go hungry.

Bob arrived at home, switched on his favorite "no-spin" news network, and said to his wife, "Honey, I'm so glad we live in America, where we can stop the government from making our decisions for us. I don't need some government bureaucrat interfering in my life and deciding what's best for me."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stand with Dr. Dean

The political reality is that too many of our law makers are taking
bribes from the insurance lobby to maintain a system that lines the
pockets of insurance executives who return a portion of their undeserved
booty to Congress as campaign contributions.
Our legislators are caught between the money offered by the insurance
lobby and the voters who want real health care reform. If they just took
the insurance lobby bribes and did what was in the voter's interests
we'd all be better off. The only reason they act on behalf of the
insurance lobby is the expectation of more bribe money. When they say
it's not about the money, it's about the money.
To satisfy their need for money and votes, legislators have to walk a
fine line trying to keep both sides happy. The public option is the
political reality that legislators can pass that satisfies a large
segment of the voters and doesn't threaten the immediate demise of the
health insurance cartel.
Given the option of saving 20% to 30% on health care, most will choose
to save their resources and put that money into circulation buying
something other than a piece of paper that provides health care as long
as you don't have a real or fabricated preexisting condition.
The public option is the first step in the evolution of health care from
a for profit system to one that covers everyone with more expensive
options to be covered by supplemental policies that address things such
as elective surgery.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Who said

"Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even
eligible for the G. I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or
Scroll down

Ronald Reagan, in Newsweek, April 21, 1980

breaking the spine of organized labor

Behind the closed doors on C Street
The Family — which has counseled Sen. John Ensign — lives and prays as a
fundamentalist group with power at the center of its agenda

Berns: The movement was founded in Seattle in 1935 by Abraham Vereide, a
Norwegian immigrant, a traveling preacher who had been working with that
city's poor. He opposed the New Deal, was worried that Socialist
politicians were about to take over Seattle's municipal government. One
of the things they pushed for, and you talk about, is the push in 1947
for the anti-labor initiative, the Taft-Hartley Act, which monitored,
limited the activities of the labor unions.

Sharlet: Exactly. However you look at it, The Family is effectively a
union busting organization. They're particularly concerned about the
Teamsters and the Longshoremen. They thought they were run by some sort
of devils. The Family was instrumental in the breaking of the spine of
organized labor.

One of the things that makes them different from other Christian
conservative organizations, and I think even upset some Christian
conservative organizations, is that the issues for them are not abortion
or morality or same-sex marriage. The important issue to them is what
they call Biblical capitalism, and I think what even some conservative
observers looking at them call crony capitalism.

Berns: Does some of the criticism of The Family have an anti-religious
bent — in a nation that values religious freedom?

Sharlet: Why is Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma Republican) going to the
government of Lebanon, one of the most religiously torn countries in the
world, and going as a U.S. senator paid for by The Family — and saying
to the government that the solution to their problems is to create more
Christian prayer cells, like the one he and his friend Ensign and are in?

On the National Prayer Breakfast:
If you want to understand, look at the foreign delegations from around
the world. Again and again, you see they send a leader from their
country who is spiritually motivated, but it happens to be the defense
minister, and the defense minister is coming for meetings with defense
contractors, organized by The Family at seminars on how to pursue this
business for the glory of God.

Berns: You note that many of these defense ministers are from those
classic authoritarian Third World countries: Central America, South
America, Africa.

Sharlet: I looked at the travel records of Ensign and Coburn and others
who travel with them. As they explain it, they have been going to build
relationships with brothers in Christ in places like Serbia, Sudan,
Albania, Belarus, Ukraine, Pakistan, ruled by Musharraf. These are not
known as great democratic nations.

At times I asked Family members about their relationship with, say, a
dictator of Uganda. I would ask, "Perhaps we should hold him accountable?"

And they would say, "He's a better dictator because of his relationship
with The Family."

They said that of Suharto, too, the Indonesian ruler to whom a death
toll of 1.2 million is attributed by very reliable sources, killed with
weaponry supplied by the U.S., through the agency of congressmen who
thought Suharto was a man of God.

There is more on Hillary Clinton's connections, mentions of other
members and other info in this interview transcript so please check out
all out at the link

I belive this is the source of the interview transcript above here:

Click here to listen to the stream im m3u
Click here to listen or download the MP3

Link to the book Sharlet wrote on the family:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Of sacred cows and such

America's sacred cow is bankrupting our treasury every day and has been
since the Department of War became the Department of Defense. The
Department of War was well funded if the nation was at war. When the war
ended spending was reduced to accommodate a peacetime military.
With a Department of Defense we have to pay for a permanent war footing.
The birth and rapid growth of the Military Industrial Complex has
played a major role in our current economic situation. We now spend a
trillion tax dollars to kill people half way around the world who
neither harmed nor threatened to harm America or Americans. What does
this say about us as a nation and culture?
We have 50 million Americans without health care coverage, and we still
fund a bloated military that costs more than the rest of civilization
spends towards that end. This same bloated military couldn't stop 19
guys with box cutters from bringing us to our knees and squandering even
more resources on foreign wars with no end in sight.
The political will in Congress is a mile wide and razor thin. With the
exception of a few brave members, Congress rubber stamps defense
spending without a second thought. Could that be from a fear of being
labeled weak on whatever ism is making threats, real or imagined,
against us? Or, could it be from the fear of losing campaign
contributions (read bribes) from defense contractors?
We have money to bail out bankers who pushed the limits of law and
regulation to produce a bottom line that legitimized, at least on paper,
their inflated bonuses that were piled on top of very generous salaries.
The collusion of banks and insurance companies to create institutions
too big to fail has made the taxpayers hostages to these predators.
They, like the military, have become so complex and convoluted that no
one can understand how they operate. The obfuscation of their business
practices needs to be exposed and halted now.
But getting back to sacred cows: The time has come to hold accountable
the contractors and the members of the legislature who take their
campaign contributions . We the taxpayers can no longer afford to fund
expenditures that only serve to make the greedy even more wealthy
without justification. The time has also come for Congress to legislate
for the people instead of lobbyists.
To paraphrase the character Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch in the
movie "Network:" We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take this
The time has come to start goring some sacred cows.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Costs of War

The Costs of War, Violence & Denial

A Veterans Retreat Open to Their Families & Friends

“We who have fought in war know intimately about life and death,” says Claude Anshin Thomas. “We who have been wounded by war—physically, psychologically, and spiritually—need to come together in order to support each other.”

Many of us live with the after effects of war, known as post-traumatic stress. Symptoms include explosive anger, depression, and flashbacks. The attempts of traditional counseling and therapy, although valuable, often leave our spiritual wounds unaddressed. Without doing the work of healing spiritually, we only address the symptoms, and this often does not support a change in our hearts and minds.

In this retreat, we practice many different forms of meditation as a path to healing. “Meditation can simply be understood as the art of discovering what prevents us from living directly,” Thomas says. Thomas also shares his inspiring spiritual odyssey from combat to Buddhism as a road map for any of us who might feel trapped in cyclical patterns of response from any type of traumatic experience. This retreat is open to people of any religious or spiritual tradition.

This program begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21 and ends Sunday, October 25 at 12:30 p.m.

The cost of this retreat is substantially funded including tuition, accommodations, and meals. No one will be turned away. Scholarship applications are available online from the Veterans Scholarship Fund or contact Omega at 845.266.4444, ext. 120. Please register by September 25, 2009.

Claude Anshin Thomas does not accept payment for his teachings. Omega is donating a portion of the retreat’s proceeds to the Zaltho Foundation. Additional voluntary donations to the foundation may be made during the retreat.

Claude Anshin Thomas received numerous awards, including the Purple Heart, for his service in the Vietnam War. After struggling with re-entry into society, Thomas studied mindfulness meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh. He is author of At Hell’s Gate and founder of Zaltho Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and nonviolence.

Claude Anshin Thomas

Monday, July 06, 2009

Breaking News

Some people are saying Sarah Palin's sudden departure from the public
eye could be pegged to a recent Republican Governors convention where
she allegedly had inappropriate relations with South Carolina's
Governor, Mark Sanford. Sanford's recent disclosures of relations with
other unnamed women have fueled the speculation as to the real reason
for Palin's surprise resignation.