Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanks. There is no reason to repeat why this is a great holiday, whatever its supposed derivation, or the more accurate and quite understandable basis for it. It is, in the end, a day for us to become one: an entire nation eating roughly the same foods and celebrating together, as best we can.

And yet, nothing works that way. President Lincoln tried hard to bind up the wounds of a divided country but, close to 150 years later, he has not succeeded. This year, again, we saw how the greedy among us see the holiday, but their assault on the rest of us is not new. When President Franklin Roosevelt had the date changed to the second to last Thursday, to accommodate the commercial needs of the Christmas season, the same general people derided the holiday altogether and calling it "Franksgiving."

We are, obviously, not one nation either under God, or not and it is hard to find any but a few isolated moments when we were. The other day, Bob Herbert seemed a bit surprised about the level of ignorance about one of our most inspirational presidents, but the half of the country that considered President Roosevelt a traitor could never accept President Kennedy until his death forced them into silence for awhile followed by years of assaulting his memory.

These two nations, divided de facto roughly the way as the attempt do divide us de jure that was what was at stake when President Lincoln inaugurated Thanksgiving as a national holiday, are unable to look at the same thing and see the same things, nor indeed, do they care about the same things.

A portion of the nation reads about the massacre of over 50 people attending a Catholic church in Baghdad and shudder at how futile the task undertaken in our name was, while the other half natters on about how we "won" a war there.

The massacre, despite its obvious attack on Christianity (usually a best selling issue in this country) gets scant coverage in our country, while the same people who blamed President Obama for not doing enough to prevent attacks on us such as the man who tried to secrete a bomb in his underwear last Christmas, scream, yell, carry on, and suggest creeping Nazism when the government tries to prevent others from doing the same thing. Ah: there's some news to cover incessantly. There will be protests throughout the country as the civilly disobedient shut down air travel near the busy Thanksgiving weekend. Until nothing of the sort takes place. Onto another crisis!

They tell us that we are a Christian nation (which we certainly are not, and for good reason) but the vassal state we think we have created in Iraq certainly is not. To discuss that would be, though, to admit to a grave mistake which, to about half the country, is impossible.

So, yes, being thankful for what we have inherited seems worthwhile. Yet, it remains hard to consider oneself part of the same anything as people who say, in the face of the mounting evidence to the contrary, things such as this on Meet the Press a few weeks ago:

DAVID GREGORY: You were, as I said, in Iraq and Afghanistan. You just heard David Axelrod say any withdrawal will be conditions based. Is that not enough to satisfy you?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Well, I'd like to see the president say that it's only condition based. According to Mr. Woodward's book, his problem is the political--the left base of the Democrat Party. You don't fight and conduct wars that way. You win and then you leave. And that's what we've done in Iraq.

She will never be elected president, and what's left of the Republican Party leadership can probably keep her from winning the nomination, but were she their nominee, more than forty per cent of your fellow citizens would vote for Sarah Palin to be President of the United States, with or without knowing the difference between North Korea and South Korea or that Africa is a continent and not a country. Barbara Bush can direct Gov Palin back to Alaska with her acid comment, but the same people elected her son (in a manner of speaking, anyhow) twice and not only elected President Reagan twice, but they keep talking about it as if it were a brilliant idea.

This is not an electorate which can be depended on for the future of this nation's well being.

"You win and they you leave. That's what we did in Iraq."


Monday, November 22, 2010


I was just going to do a short thing about people I do not like. There are plenty of people out there who would not like me if they had a real chance of getting to know me.

I do not like Conan. I don’t like him. I do not know him in person, as they say. I just cannot stand his persona. There is nothing personal in a persona really. He looks like a bunch of sticks in an expensive suit and every frickin time they advertise that nothing show of his, I switch channels on principle.

I bet he is a nice person. He might even be a Democrat. I just do not like him.

Leno I know is a repub. I have watched him for years. He is probably one of those moderate repubs who thinks we should help poor people once in a while; we just should not over do it. I gave up on him on principle for what he did to Conan. That makes no sense. But my likes and dislikes make no sense, really. Of course, I have given up on Leno long ago and never watch the guy.

Now I do not like Sarah Palin. I cannot stand her voice, I cannot stand her mannerisms, I cannot stand her oratory.

But when you add her ‘message’ to this ‘persona’ it is too much for me to handle.

I never met the lady and I hope I will never meet the lady. Her message contains every single thing I hate about this country and her persona grinds on me like skates on a blackboard.

Michelle Bachman is just Palin’s mini-me. In point of fact, Bachmann might end up being a bigger threat to the country than Palin.

Personae and messages are really two different things. If you add bios to all of this you may create a three point examination; things can become even more intense.

I have been thinking about the persona and message and bio lately. Maybe I am all wrong about this. What do I know?

But then I run into quotes like this:

"When we think of heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements," wrote Fischer, director of issue analysis for the AFA, a longtime lobby on the Christian right. "That kind of heroism has apparently become passé when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

Bryan Fischer said this.


Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, a blogger and a public speaker.
He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University, and a graduate degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.[1]
In 2004, he co-founded the Keep the Commandments Coalition a group dedicated to keeping a controversial monument in Julia Davis Park in Boise, Idaho. From 2000 to 2005 he served as a commissioner for the city's Park and Recreation Department.[1]
He is a strong supporter of conservative causes, such as the Right to life, and opposition to national health care and has been active in city and state politics.
ischer has often attracted attention with his comments at public events or in print.
  • Fischer wrote on November 6, 2009 that "It is time, I suggest, to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military. The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security."[2] [3]
  • On May 7, 2010, Fischer wrote:
Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.[4]
As evidence for the claim that Hitler was homosexual, Fischer went on to state:
In 2001, noted German historian Lothar Machtan published the book, "Hitler's Secret: The Double Life of a Dictator." As the far left London newspaper, The Guardian, reveals, not only is it a well-established matter of historical record that Hitler was a practicing homosexual, he murdered those around him who threatened to expose his sexual preference to the public.[4]
Within this, the phrase "As the far left London newspaper, The Guardian, reveals," was linked to a news article in The Observer that noted of Lothar Machtan's forthcoming book that: "Adolf Hitler was gay - or so says a sensational new biography on the Nazi dictator due to be published tomorrow."[5]
  • CBS News reported on 12 August, 2010 that Fischer was opposed to the construction of a mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center. He pointed out, because of their, "subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment."[6]
  • On his 9 November 2010 blog entry, he commented on a fatal attack by a grizzly bear, calling for an "open season" on the animals in Yellowstone National Park and incidentally referring to the notion that humans are to blame for climate change as a "fantasy."[7] The Talking Points Memo article on this wondered "Does Stephen Colbert know about this guy?"[8]
  • On 16 November 2010, the day after Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta was decorated with the Medal of Honor -- for his bravery in an episode during which, according to Barack Obama, he had wounded one enemy insurgent and killed another[9] -- Fischer took exception on his blog, "So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night

Yeah, but who is Bryan Fischer?

Indeed, while Fischer's column irked many of his allies, his views are in keeping with a strain of conservative American Christianity that frets about the "feminization" of the faith as evidenced by the widespread emphasis on God's love and mercy rather than his anger and punishment, for example. And some such Christian conservatives are also concerned about efforts to accept gay clergy and to portray Jesus as a passive, wimpy victim rather than a tough-guy martyr like the Messiah portrayed in Mel Gibson's movie, "Passion of the Christ."

"Jesus' act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless -- yes, meaningless -- if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life," Fischer wrote in his original column on Giunta's Medal of Honor. "The cross represented a cosmic showdown between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, and our commanding general claimed the ultimate prize by defeating our unseen enemy and liberating an entire planet from his bondage."

With repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy still possible during the lame duck session of Congress after Thanksgiving, it's likely that Fischer -- and others -- will have plenty of other opportunities to make their point, and perhaps with more support from their own troops on the religious right.
Listen to me. Wiki is supposed to be a starting place for research on a person. But I cannot even find out when the fuck he was born.

I found five links, hell ten, but I still do not know when he was born or where he was born or who is parents are or anything else.


This man never served in the military. This man never went into battle. This man never risked his life for a fellow soldier.

And yet, he gets press.

In the old days we never ran into this problem. I mean Kennedy and Nixon fought in the world war. Eisenhower fought in two and won the second as head of the ETO.

How in the fuck can you attack a brave soldier who went above and beyond and you never touched a battlefield?

Bryan Fischer is the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at American Family Association, where he provides expertise on a range of public policy topics.
Bryan Fischer has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University, and a graduate degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He served on the staff of Cole Community Church in Boise, where he founded the Cole Center for Biblical Studies and served as its director for 13 years. He then founded Community Church of the Valley, where he served as senior pastor for 12 years. Prior to joining the leadership team at American Family Association, Bryan served as Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance which was the state affiliate of the AFA.
In 2004, he co-founded the Keep the Commandments Coalition in an effort to protect the Ten Commandments monument in Julia Davis Park in Boise. After the monument was removed, he spearheaded the initiative drive which collected 19,000 signatures to give citizens in Boise the opportunity to vote on a new Ten Commandments display for the park.
Bryan served as the chaplain of the Idaho State Senate in 2001, and served the Boise community from 2000-2005 as a commissioner with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.
He received the "Friend of Life" award from Idaho Chooses Life in 2003, and the "Christian Statesman" award from the Biblical Worldview Learning Center in 2005. He was recognized by the Ridenbaugh Press as one of the top 25 "Influencers" in Idaho in 2005, and one of the top 25 conservatives in Idaho by Idahoans for Tax Reform

Yeah, but who is Bryan Fischer?

Bryan has been married to his bride, Debbie, for 32 years, and they have lived in Idaho since 1980. They have two grown children, Jana and J.D. Jana is a graduate of Willamette University (in literature, music, and philosophy), while J.D. is a graduate of Whitman College where he majored in molecular biology and played baseball. Jana is currently pursuing a doctorate in literature and philosophy at Purdue University, and J.D. is working as research scientist at the University of Washington.
Several Iowa veterans, along with the LGBT-rights group One Iowa, called on Vander Plaats to publicly denounce Fischer for the statements. But despite numerous ties to Fischer and the American Family Association — which includes AFA spending $140,000 on Vander Plaats’ successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices and an appearance by Vander Plaats on Fischer’s radio program — Vander Plaats says he won’t answer for something someone else said.
“As the son of a World War II veteran, I understand the sacrifices those in the U.S. military such as Staff Sgt. Giunta make to preserve our liberties and freedoms,” Vander Plaats said in a statement to The Iowa Independent. “It is disappointing a group would try to settle a score and try to make me accountable for words that aren’t mine. Bryan Fisher and AFA do not speak for me or Iowa For Freedom, and we don’t speak for them.”
Vander Plaats has previously faced criticism for his association with Fischer and the AFA. Last month, a group of religious leaders labeled the AFA an “extremist hate group” and called on Vander Plaats to “denounce hate-filled comments” Fischer has made.
Fischer has said homosexuals should be barred from public office and called gay sex “domestic terrorism.” He said Muslims should be imprisoned because “that’s not religion, that’s treason,” and argued that inbreeding may have done “irreversible damage to the Muslim gene pool, including extensive damage to its intelligence, sanity, and health.”  On women, Fischer agrees with U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint that unwed mothers should not be allowed to teach in public schools

This Fischer has got to be one of the worst human beings on the face of the earth.

I cannot help these feelings of animosity I have for this fellow.

I never met him.

I have never interviewed others to discover what alms he has paid to the poor.

I have no idea what things he has done for those imprisoned.

I have no idea what things he had to sacrifice to help his children and his wife of a hundred years.

I have no idea what sacrifices he has made for others in his life.

I do know that I despise this gentleman with my whole heart, my whole mind and my whole soul.  I cannot even imagine one issue facing this country which could become a common challenge to both of us.

I am sure that Sarah and Michelle and Sean and Rush and Glenn and a host of others love this man.

Just answer me this:

How am I to let loose of this animosity and hatred?

By the way, read about the hero who received the medal. I saw the fellow interviewed a few times on cable. It was all:  Why me? This man is a saint.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Celebrating November 22

Monday is November 22. That month with that date next to it always appears as dark, sad, searingly so. It is the date which needs no explanation to almost anyone who lived through it and, amazingly, of little significance to everyone else. It is the date on which Everything Changed.

People who missed the brief Kennedy administration often think that those of us whose political awakening took place then, tend to romanticize the era or the President. Others feel that by discussing his personal failures or even a few political ones, they can bring a perspective to the period that many of us are said to deny.

Both miss the point. What the Kennedy administration means are not its accomplishments, though there were many, including the prevention of nuclear annihilation. Is there anyone who thinks that the Cuban missile crisis would have ended the way it did had Richard Nixon been seated in the White House in October, 1962?

Though saving the planet was a good day for him, and us, the President told us on the day he took office that what we were undertaking was not something that could be measured simply by day to day accomplishments:

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

President Kennedy stood, for so many of us, for a new way of thinking about this country and our place in the world. That was his lasting legacy and it survives in our dwindling number despite the assault on its underpinnings from the moment Richard Nixon took the office, through the disgrace of the the Bush-Cheney period which presented an image of this country directly opposite from that of President Kennedy.

Yes, the Kennedy administration was about romance; and what is wrong with a romantic view of our place in the world? What is wrong with with setting this as a goal?

and if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

We could achieve real greatness, he told us, but not by watching him wrestle with Congress:

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--not as a call to battle, though embattled we are-- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"--a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Many Americans have been brainwashed by the cynicism that settled on our country when, in the extremism of the time, with echoes of newspaper columnists, and other political commentators in print and broadcast media, calling the President a traitor, suggesting that members of the Supreme Court be hanged, and threatening violence, Lee Harvey Oswald did what others talked about.

But it was not just on inauguration day that President Kennedy spoke to our better angels:

What is the issue which divides and arouses so much concern? I will take a case which may be typical, a family which may be found in any part of the United States.

The husband has worked hard all his life and he is retired. He might have been a clerk or a salesman or on the road or worked in a factory, stores, or whatever. He's always wanted to pay his own way. He does not ask anyone to care for him; he wants to care for himself. He has raised his own family, he has educated them--his children are now on their own.... He has twenty-five hundred or three thousand dollars in the bank. And then his wife gets sick--and we're all going to be in a hospital, 9 out of 10 of us, before we finally pass away, and particularly when we're over 65--now she is sick, not just for a week but for a long time. First goes the twenty-five hundred dollars--that's gone. Next he mortgages his house, even though he may have some difficulty making the payments out of his social security. Then he goes to his children, who themselves are heavily burdened because they're paying for their houses and they are paying for their sicknesses, and they want to educate their children. Then their savings begin to go.


We are concerned with the progress of this country, and those who say that what we are now talking about spoils our great pioneer heritage should remember that the West was settled with two great actions by the National Government; one, in President Lincoln's administration, when he gave a homestead to everyone who went West, and in 1862 he set aside Government property to build our land grant colleges.

This cooperation between an alert and Progressive citizen and a progressive Government is what has made this country great--and we shall continue as long as we have the opportunity to do so. ...

All the great revolutionary movements of the Franklin Roosevelt administration in the thirties we now take for granted. But I refuse to see us live on the accomplishments of another generation. I refuse to see this country, and all of us, shrink from these struggles which are our responsibility in our time. Because what we are now talking about, in our children's day will seem to be the ordinary business of government.


First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -- on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -- a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.


The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?...

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or caste system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?...

We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality.

It is to the everlasting shame of our nation, that it took President Kennedy's death for the country to take the steps he said we must, but those steps led inexorably to the election, so many years later, of the next president who was a member of the Democratic President, but not for the south. The election of President Obama made it appear that we could resume the course set for us by President Kennedy, but the rot that had accumulated in our political system in the interim, with one president forced to resign and another impeached, has brought us to a point where a new Kennedy administration seems well beyond out reach, while the evil noise that killed him has come raring back.

But there is reason for hope; there has to be. The muse named Regina Spektor will issue a live album and DVD on November 22, meaning that, for the first time in memory, this blogger will not dread the date. A ghost she has conjured up tells us (though not on the CD/DVD to come out this week) that

people are just people
they shouldn't make you nervous
the world is everlasting, it's coming and it's going
if you don't toss your plastic
the street won't be so plastic

and, in the same song, that

well maybe you should just drink a lot less coffee
and never ever watch the ten o'clock news (especially Fox)

which seems like a good idea, except that we have a president who says things such as

We welcome all the time championship sports teams to the White House to celebrate their victories. I thought we ought to do the same thing for the winners of science fairs and robotic contests and math competitions -- because those young people often don’t get the credit that they deserve. Nobody rushes on the field and dumps Gatorade on them -- (laughter) -- when you win a science award. Maybe they should. (Laughter.)

So I got to meet these incredibly talented and enthusiastic young men and women. There was a team of high school kids from Tennessee that had designed a self-powered water purification system....

The last young person I spoke to was a young woman from Texas -- she was 16 years old. She was studying biology as a freshman, decided she was interested in cancer research, so taught herself chemistry during the summer; then designed a science project to look at new cancer drugs, based on some experimental drugs that are activated by light. They could allow a more focused treatment that targets the cancer cells while living, healthy cells remain unharmed.

She goes on to design her own drug; wins the international science competition. And she told me that she and her high school science teacher are being approached by laboratories across the country to collaborate -- (laughter) -- on this potential new cancer treatment. This is a true story -- 16 years old, taught herself chemistry. Incredibly inspiring.

And at a time of significant challenge in this country -- at a moment when people are feeling so much hardship in their lives -- this has to give us hope for the future. It ought to remind us of the incredible potential of this country and its people -- as long as we unlock it; as long as we put resources into it and we celebrate it and we encourage it, we embrace it.

so, yeh, let us begin.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Me and my cat named dog

The bipartisan panel created to investigate the roots of the financial crisis voted Wednesday to delay the Dec. 15 publication of their report despite Republican opposition, foreshadowing disagreements that are sure to arise when the commission attempts to reach a consensus on the causes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's 6-to-3 vote came after the panel's four Republicans argued privately against the decision to ignore the statutory deadline set by Congress. One of the Republicans, former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, was unable to participate in the vote, though he made his dissent known. The report will now be released in January.

Supposedly those who delve into conspiracy theories are people who have nothing better to do.

I will never forget the scene in some forgotten seventies film where this young man is explaining the events of November 1963 that took place in Dealey Plaza.  During his narration he is drawing the presidential route on a naked woman’s body with lipstick.

 By the way, did you know that C S Lewis and Aldous Huxley died on November 22, 1963?
The crisis commission is also looking into the matter, said Phil Angelides, the panel's Democratic chairman. The Republicans on the panel are resisting further inquiries, according to people familiar with the matter. Angelides said in an interview that "there are very powerful interests" seeking to undermine the panel's investigation.
"People who have trillions of dollars at stake who have been watching our efforts closely," Angelides said. "There have been efforts throughout the year to undermine me and my fellow commissioners."

The discovery of the use of "robo-signers" -- employees whose sole job was to rubber-stamp documents without actually reading them or verifying their contents -- "may have concealed much deeper problems in the mortgage market," the Congressional Oversight Panel reported Tuesday.
During an April hearing, the panel heard from Richard Bowen, former chief underwriter for Citigroup's consumer-lending unit, who said he discovered in mid-2006 that more than 60 percent of mortgages the bank bought from other firms and sold to investors were "defective." Investors were not informed, however.
The crisis panel isn't the first to unilaterally delay the release of its congressionally-mandated report. The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism blew past its deadline, as did the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and the Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Care Facility Needs in the 21st Century.
Those panels, however, didn't have subpoena authority. And their reports were largely advisory. The FCIC can make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.
Like the FCIC, the 9/11 Commission also had substantial powers, and it, too, extended its own deadline. However, the 9/11 panel got its extension from an act of Congress.
Look at this diagram drawn by an expert that traces the actual owners of his personal mortgage.

It is kind of like tracing a drop of urine deposited by a doe into a rivulet somewhere in the  Upper Midwest that ends up in the Mississippi Delta.

The dems are actually the ones who are attempting to delay the publication of the final report; much to the consternation of four repubs who wish the report to issue December 15th as mandated by Congress; except for the fact that the law establishing the commission specifically grants an extra 60 days for publication if necessary.

Why would the repubs push for an earlier date of publication? Why are the dems on the commission so hot and bothered?

There is something happening here
And you don’t know what it is
Do you Mr. Jones?

Just as an aside….

I really feel that there is a cultural purpose for these commissions. The cultural purpose outweighs any purpose that involves ‘fixing things’ or ‘bringing the perpetrators to proper justice.’

A structural anthropologist might put it this way:

A President has been assassinated. This is the thesis.

One person benefited from this felony far more than any other suspect and he is the President. This is the antithesis.

A commission is formed to synthesize these bipolar opposites.


The King is dead.

Long live the king.

But there has to be a rite of passage to bridge the gap between the dead king and the live king.

And a photograph taken on a plane just does not do the trick.

So a commission is set up to write a complete report concerning the assassination that will put to rest any suspicions that live king had anything to do with the murder of the dead king.

This has nothing to do with the truth of any suspicions concerning links between LBJ and the assassination of Kennedy. That really has nothing to do with nothing in my book.

After all, when the king is dead the tribe needs a new king who is recognized as the new legitimate king.

So too, the Twin Towers went down in flames while the center of our Department of Defense was severely damaged by Saudi Arabians.

That fact alone led us down a road from which there was no return.

The Commission also concluded 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, but found no evidence the government of Saudi Arabia conspired in the attacks, or that it funded the attackers.[2] Mohamed Atta, the leader of the attacks, was from Egypt. Two hijackers were from the United Arab Emirates, and 1 was from Lebanon. According to the Commission, all 19 hijackers were members of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, led by Osama bin Laden. In addition, while meetings between al-Qaeda representatives and Iraqi government officials had taken place, the panel had no credible evidence that Saddam Hussein had assisted al-Qaeda in preparing or executing the 9/11 attacks.

Now to me, Saudi Arabia was the logical foe in all of this hub bub. That is, pretend for a second that fifteen of the 19 hijackers had been Russian and two came from the Ukraine.

Now the commission set up to look into all of this took 441 days to issue a report—taking an extra 60 days to complete its investigation.

We had a President who wished to attack and invade Iraq before he was ever elected President.

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government control over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia possesses 25% [3] of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC.

So it was clear that the commission could not find that the Saudis or the UEM for that matter had anything to do with the attacks on 9/11/01.

Our President had to somehow down play the national origins of the hijackers and link them to some demonic cult; a tangible cult led by a Saudi who came from one of the largest and richest families in Saudi Arabia.

We came to know that the leader of the conspirators was a Saudi who had renounced his citizenship and who had moved his residence to one of the biggest hell holes on this planet…Afghanistan.

It was an easy thing after that tale was woven with the cooperation of our press to attack and invade Afghanistan which had been ruled by some organized tribe known as the Taliban; a totally different tribe than the organization known as al Qaeda.  All the propaganda network had to do was play a tape of these Taliban satans hitting women with sticks over and over again; on our standard news outlets, on our cable news programs, on our internet…All day and all night for weeks and weeks following the attack.

Okay, so Osama sent video tapes to the news outlets whereby he confessed to the conspiracy against the United States; tapes that were played over and over again for years.

But think of this. What if the hijackers had been Russian and Ukrainian? And further suppose the leader of the conspiracy had absconded from Russia and was hiding in Tibet.

First of all, how quickly would our government be able to prove that the leadership of Russia knew nothing of the attack?

We never even heard of an investigation as to what the Saudi government knew and when they knew it.

The Saudi government is made up of rich blood lines. It is a monarchy with a Consultative Assembly; and all this recent blubber about Sharia Law in the U.S.? Well, Saudi Arabia is a Sharia Law State and its constitution is the Quran.

I have never heard one word from repubs about plans to attack Saudi Arabia. I have never heard on complaint against Saudi Arabia from a repub. The Bush family has had business interests with the Saudi’s forever.

The fact is that Saudi’s attacked our shores on 9/11/01.

The fact is that our most powerful corporations have important economic interests in Saudi Arabia.  These corporations had very little economic interests in the countries of Iraq or Afghanistan—hell in Iran for that matter.

These assumptions are polar opposites. Somehow they must be synthesized.

The 9/11 Commission supposedly ‘reviewed’ two and a half million pages of documents in 441 days. My calculator tells me that the commission would have had to review 5600 pages each and every one of those days. No Xmas or turkey day or Sunday excepted.

The 9/11 Commission issued its 571 page report. (By the way The Warren Report was 888 pages)

The Commission also concluded 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, but found no evidence the government of Saudi Arabia conspired in the attacks, or that it funded the attackers

There is a pattern here.

When there are theses and antitheses; when there are contradictions that cannot be solved; synthesis must take place one way or another.

One way our culture synthesizes its contradictions is by commission. But there are rules as to who comprises these commissions and how they perform their investigations.

Hold most of the commission’s actions in secret, far away from the prying eyes of the public.

Make sure that that commission at least purports to review millions of documents.

Make sure that members of the commission come from both political parties.

Make sure that the commission issues a report comprised of hundreds upon hundreds of pages that only a relatively few die-hards will ever read. And of course this ensures that those die-hards will publish books comprised of hundreds upon hundreds of pages that only a few die-hards will bother to read.

And make sure that the conclusion of the report is only a few pages and that it easily refutes the most obvious conclusions arising from the incident, emergency or felony.

Now it is true that for 99.9999% of our population, the commission’s report will fade from memory two days after it is published. Actually, well before the report ever issues, most people will forget that there was ever a commission formed in the first place.

Forever after the report issues, anyone who raises a voice challenging the synthesis found in the commission report will be told to read the report along with five or six books reviewing the report.

And we must be honest about all this.

There is no frickin way I am going to review 2 ½ million pages of documents.

And if I did perform such a task, I would most probably pick and choose sentences and paragraphs and pictures that supported my conclusions reached a few days after I began my review.

Getting back to the mortgage bank/security crash of ’08, I know that the commission’s report will be hundreds and hundreds of pages that few people will read thoroughly. I also know that five or more books discussing the report will reach the best sellers list.

This time though I think that a few people are going to have to be thrown under the bus. There will be a few folks from GS and other institutions who will be sitting in some minimum security prison for a couple of years.

The repubs will ban together and fight any new regulations that might be recommended by this commission; most probably because a few repubs on the commission will disown its findings. 

The dem leaders will jump up and down and dems like me will yell and scream; we will all be full of sound and fury and signify nothing as far as the voters are concerned.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Joseph Raymond McCarthy


Monday on his Fox News show, Glenn Beck launched an attack on the AFL-CIO and its president, Richard Trumka, claiming that the "Communist Party USA is admitting to the party's working relationship with Richard Trumka ... and the AFL-CIO." Beck reprised his attack this morning on Fox & Friends, during a rant about Democrats being "controlled by radicals and revolutionaries" as well as "communists":
BECK: Yesterday, AFL-CIO -- the Communist Party leader -- for the Communist Party USA -- talked about how they are coordinating with Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO. If you're in the unions, do you realize that your money, your union dues, are going to stand with the communists and the revolutionaries in this country.
Beck seems to have based his attack on a November 13 post on a right-wing blog claiming that "Communist Party USA Boasts Working Relationship with AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka" and that Scott Marshall, CPUSA's labor commission chairman, "emphasized their direct working relationship" with Trumka.

Glenn Beck will not quit being Glenn Beck.  Bill Maher was just on Keith O last night declaring that there are differences between the crew at MSNBC and Fox News.

To Maher, Keith O and his staff research the news of the day and take up a few issues to discuss in depth.

Glenn Beck slings his own poop at the TV screen.

I think it is more serious than that. Beck and rush and even figures like Newt are making speeches that remind me of days past.

Speech of Joseph McCarthy, Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, 1950
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight as we celebrate the one hundred forty-first birthday of one of the greatest men in American history, I would like to be able to talk about what a glorious day today is in the history of the world. As we celebrate the birth of this man who with his whole heart and soul hated war, I would like to be able to speak of peace in our time—of war being outlawed—and of world-wide disarmament. These would be truly appropriate things to be able to mention as we celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
You see how Joe began this famous rant with praise for an American icon on that icon’s birthday? And do you see how Senator McCarthy includes in his opening salvo the importance of world peace and world-wide disarmament.

Then he moves on, gradually describing the enemy, the enemy that will prevent war from being outlawed and the world from being disarmed.

The enemy is thus described.

Karl Marx dismissed God as a hoax, and Lenin and Stalin have added in clear-cut, unmistakable language their resolve that no nation, no people who believe in a god, can exist side by side with their communistic state.
Karl Marx, for example, expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning such things as love, justice, humanity or morality. He called this “soulful ravings” and “sloppy sentimentality.” . . .
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time, and ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down—they are truly down.
Joe McCarthy has described the enemy, juxtaposed to our American Icon. The coming war is between the followers of honest, religious and American Lincoln vs. atheistic, dishonest, immoral Karl Marx.

The current battle will be between a country full of love, justice, humanity and morality and a country of godless communist heathens. 

However, there is a further twist in all of this war of ideals. That is U.S. being full of ideals and them having none.

This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of Communist victories and American defeats in the cold war. As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.” . . .
The enemies within will destroy us folks, that was Joe’s message.

The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores . . . but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this Nation. It has not been the less fortunate, or members of minority groups who have been traitorous to this Nation, but rather those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest Nation on earth has had to offer . . . the finest homes, the finest college education and the finest jobs in government we can give.
This is glaringly true in the State Department. There the bright young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been most traitorous. . . .
I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . .

I just thought that it might be fruitful to go back to one of William F. Buckley’s heroes and see what it was that he communicated to my parent’s generation

Most of us have seen the first Manchurian Candidate that offered a caricature of Senator Joe waiving a list in the air.  The more you look at these speeches given in the year I was born and the year after, the more you see that the fellow in the Manchurian Candidate was not a caricature at all but the real thing.

And then look how this racist prick uses the name of Abraham Lincoln. I mean here is a right wing fascist prick who uses the name of ole Abe in defense of his fascist rantings.
You see how it goes.

That is why Glenn Beck has used the name of Martin Luther King in his modern demagoguery.

It is the pointy headed liberal with the silver spoon in his mouth who will destroy U.S. And a year later, Joe made another speech that appears at first to allude to his list of 220 commie pinko silver spooned liberal pricks and then he appears somehow to whittle that number down to 57.
While the records are not available to me, I know absolutely of one group of approximately 300 certified to the Secretary for discharge because of communism. He actually only discharged approximately 80. I understand that this was done after lengthy consultation with the now-convicted traitor, Alger Hiss. I would suggest, therefore, Mr. President, that you simply pick up your phone and ask Mr. Acheson how many of those whom your board had labeled as dangerous Communists he failed to discharge. The day the House Un-American Activities Committee exposed Alger Hiss as an important link in an international Communist spy ring you signed an order forbidding the State Department’s giving any information in regard to the disloyalty or the communistic connections of anyone in that Department to the Congress.
Despite this State Department black-out, we have been able to compile a list of 57 Communists in the State Department. This list is available to you but you can get a much longer list by ordering Secretary Acheson to give you a list of those whom your own board listed as being disloyal and who are still working in the State Department. I believe the following is the minimum which can be expected of you in this case.
Source: U.S. Senate, State Department Loyalty Investigation Committee on Foreign Relations, 81st Congress; Joseph McCarthy to President Harry Truman February 11, 1950, Congressional Record, 81st Congress
See Also:"You Are the Un-Americans, and You Ought to be Ashamed of Yourselves": Paul Robeson Appears Before HUAC
"They Want to Muzzle Public Opinion": John Howard Lawson's Warning to the American Public
"The World Was at Stake": Three "Friendly" HUAC Hollywood Witnesses Assess Pro-Soviet Wartime Films
"A Damaging Impression of Hollywood Has Spread": Movie "Czar" Eric Johnston Testifies before HUAC
Now here is just one rant from Newt recently:

The Soviet Polish dictatorship was repressive," Gingrich said, according to prepared remarks given to us by Gingrich's office. "Imagine a country where you could not pray in school -- the government was constantly tearing down crosses -- in classrooms and newsrooms it was easier to be an atheist than to be a Christian.
"Imagine a small secular political elite imposing its radical values on a massive majority of worshippers. You can see how strange Poland was -- or maybe you can see how relevant this story is to America today
See Newt is worried about those pointy headed liberal elitist commie bastards, just like beckerhead.  But unlike beckerhead, Newt should no better since he has about five degrees and has spent decades researching and teaching at ivy league schools.

Here is Rush at his best:

Communist Party USA Hails Obama Victory."  "'From the understandably elated editors of the Communist Party USA's people's weekly, formerly the Daily Worker, July 1st, 2009: 'Communist Party USA Eelebrates Obama's First Six Months.'"  "Communist Party USA to Take the Streets for Obama," August 10th, 2009. This is to oppose the tea parties and the town hall meetings that were going on.  "Communist Party USA Honors SEIU and the AFSCME Union Leaders."  "CPUSA Speech Lays Out Obama Agenda."  I mean, it's right there for people to see; and these are not, you know, play communists.  They're not all that powerful here. Well, they are actually with Obama in office.  But he says that he's not a Bolshevik.  "I'm not. I'm not an ideologue," but he most definitely is.
Rush weaves all the unions into this communist conspiracy, just like beckerhead.

We do have an enemies within folks and beckerhead and rush and the Newt count among their members.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


File:Plato-raphael.jpg RHETORIC GONE AMUK

Hyperbole (pronounced /haɪˈpɜrbəli/, hye-PUR-bə-lee[1]; from ancient Greek ὑπερβολή 'exaggeration') is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.
Hyperboles are exaggerations to create emphasis or effect. As a literary device, hyperbole is often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. An example of hyperbole is: "The bag weighed a ton".[2] Hyperbole helps to make the point that the bag was very heavy although it is not probable that it would actually weigh a ton. On occasion, newspapers and other media use hyperbole when speaking of an accident, to increase the impact of the story. This is more often found in tabloid newspapers, which often exaggerate accounts of events to appeal to a wider audience.
I like that. I mean, the bag weighed a ton.

I mean if someone said:

If Glenn Beck were a bag of shite he would weigh a ton.

I was musing as the snow fell for the first time this year in these northern parts, during the day anyway. Weather is good at hyperbole and weather cannot write or speak.

I see a comedic value in hyperbole, but with a million people in just this country who think they are journalists or pundits, it is over done. That is, hyperbole has become hyperbolic.

Representative Alan Grayson, who just lost his job is America’s Worst Politician, according to the greatest writer in politics today, George Will.

Representative Darrell Issa, soon to be the most powerful man in the universe,  declared that President Obama is the most corrupt politician in the United States; the most corrupt President in the history of this nation; although he felt it important to walk that statement back a little.

Apparently our Lord goes over the top sometimes according to Representative John Shimkus:

"I believe that's the infallible word of God, and that's the way it's going to be for his creation," Shimkus said.
Then he quoted Matthew 24:31.
"And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other."
"The Earth will end only when God declares it's time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood," Shimkus asserted. "I do believe that God's word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.
The good lord will not take us out, until he is ready to take us out even though he promised never to take us out. Now that is inconsistency rather than hyperbole.

I mean Yogi told us that it would not be over until it is over.

But God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect….now that has to be construed as being hyperbole.

Tommy Franks liked hyperbole:

The latest manifestation of this is the juicy quote by Gen. Tommy Franks in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, in which Franks calls Feith "the fucking stupidest motherfucker on the face of the earth."

Now we all know that stupid things are accomplished by members of the human race everyday. I am sure there are stupider guys out there somewhere.

I mean what about the guy dressed as a breathalyzer and arrested for driving drunk while in costume? I mean that was kind of stupid.

And of course Sarah Palin thinks that she can win arguments with the Wall Street Journal.

I mean, how stupid is that?

So I have Feith that the former assistant to the President of the United States was and is not the stupidest person on the face of the earth, although I have no information concerning his relationship with his maternal caretaker.

Sometimes hyperbole is not hyperbole. It is kind of present or not present depending upon the circumstances:

I, however, find it impossible not to speak up when I hear the likes of Beck from the comfort of his armchair charge Soros with anti-Semitism. Beck paints Soros as a Nazi tool for having had the supreme nerve to survive Europe’s most violent Holocaust: the one that swept through Hungary under SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann during the summer and fall of 1944. Eichmann’s was a well-oiled machine by then, and he had to make quick work of Europe’s last remaining intact Jewish community. Even the most deluded Nazis knew the war was over, their cause lost. But Eichmann was determined to finish the job in Hungary. Only the most resourceful and the luckiest survived.

If the holocaust caused by the Germans was nosed out by Stalin (who was always part of Europe and Asia), I do not think that the adjectival use of language here was not called for in this little slam against beckerhead by Kati Marton at the Beast.

Now take Hunter S. Thompson. At times he even escaped the trappings of hyperbole:

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason

See Hunter never said the TV is the ugliest thing in the world. It was just uglier than most.

Besides hyperbole there is irony. I mean a guy named Rich talks about the  sins of the rich all the time.

But hyperbole is the most prevalent stroke of rhetoric.

And it might be a good idea for pundits and ‘journalists’ and bloggers to use er more often and est.


They knew he had never
Been on their T.V.
So they passed his music by

Joni Mitchell, For Free, Ladies of the Canyon (1970) (and, here, on the Dick Cavett Show of August 19, 1969)

But there he was, after being carefully hidden in the weeks leading up to the election, now able to reappear on our t.v. screens, trying to sell his peculiar logic, his malaprop slogans, his utter failure of a presidency as if it were a great time for a country now, amazingly, in free fall.

And having managed to keep hidden before the election, his party and its bought and paid for supporters, were able to take advantage of the fact that without a star power national candidate to motivate them, young voters, just as others who normally support Democrats, would not vote.

They do blog, though. They tell us that the President should hang tough, and not allow the weeklong reappearance of the Congress filled with members who have been told to find other work to extend those parts of the foolish tax cuts enacted during the prior administration, carefully set to expire in the next president's term, as apply to adjusted personal incomes of over $250,000.

There's a lot to be said for this well made argument. It is unfair and a foolish expenditure of money at a time when the government has far more urgent priorities. Even the Weekly Standard, the home of Kristol and all that there is of "conservative thought" understood all of this when the issue was not how best to rid the country of the black president. In 2005, this cogent point even appeared in their pages:

The deficits that Bush ran up in the years in which the country was teetering on the verge of a serious recession had the beneficial effect of righting the economy. In that sense, deficits not only didn't matter, but were a force for economic good.

But that was then, and this is now. The economy, growing at an annual rate of 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent, is hardly in need of further fiscal stimulus.

Well we are back to then, with a vengeance. Even an economics illiterate who can't rub two quarters together, such as the guy whose drivel you are reading, knows that in a collapsing economy, when people can't spend money, the government has to or we fall into a depression. For those who need a review of why this is not the time to start thinking about deficit spending by the government, try this or this for starters or read a book about the New Deal.

Of course, the President should try to prevent this give away to the wealthy and use the money for larger government intervention to prop up the economy than the little half measure he could get through Congress when he was supposedly riding high. Spending this money on tax breaks for people who will bank their money i is an absurdity, and even the fools who voted know this. But it won't happen because reason, and even well written posts to do not effect what Congress does. Votes and the people who buy them do.

Sure. In a country that was not completely broken, in which people cared more about their nation's well being and the plight of their neighbors, this proposal would not stand a chance. Maybe, if compromise was necessary, the tax cuts would not be extended to adjusted personal incomes of over half a million dollars rather than quarter of a million dollars.

But that is not where we live. Huge amounts of money paid for television commercials, aided and abetted by blow haired "impartial journalists" all of which informed the electorate that nothing was their fault: the eight years of the Bush presidency was not their fault, the preceeding eight years where they elected a Congress which impeached the president rather than deal with the problems of adjusting to the new world of the late 1990s and the early twenty-first century, following twelve years of "me, me, mine, not yours" and "government is not the answer; it is the problem" was just a little blip that the magician from Hawaii would fix for us. When he could not restore our country to the forward looking mass we had become by 1965 at least partly to honor our murdered president, he was declared a failure or, at least not worth supporting by the hour it might take for someone to cast a vote.

The murdered president told us that progress was

in your hands more than mine

but that runs against popular thought and the dreams of the emperor, king or god who can magically make all that is bad go away. Too bad life is not the same as fairly tales.

On election day, a trenchant comment from President Roosevelt in 1936 appeared in this space and, sadly, it fits today's politics perfectly, too.

Those, fortunately few in number, who are frightened by boldness and cowed by the necessity for making decisions, complain that all we have done is unnecessary and subject to great risks. Now that these people are coming out of their storm cellars, they forget that there ever was a storm...

They lost in 1936, but they won and won big this month. We will pay for this step backward. There are not two ways about it. The election is over. We may make the right arguments but the people who were elected, who overwhelmingly will control the House of Representatives, want to do something else. There is little a president can do to stop them, except to make them pay at the next election. And, again, it will be votes that matter, not blog posts.

Yes, the muse Regina Spektor, born in the U.S.S.R., and an American after her family fled, when she was nine, from the treatment of Jews there, and whose work touches on everything important there is has it exactly right:

Power to the people
We don't want it
We want pleasure
And the TVs try to rape us
And I guess that they're succeeding
And we're going to these meetings
But we're not doing any meeting
And we're trying to be faithful, but we're
Cheating, cheating, cheating

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Veteran's Day

Or, as it used to be known, Armistice Day, celebrating, as really Americans do best, a truce--the end of hostilities, with a mess all around, and one that still causes us trouble from Persia, and almost every other place beaten up by the war to end all wars, but did not.

So, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month and some of us get a day off to work from home.

And, of course, there is always a quote from some president or another that is worth noting:

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation,"² a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

So, on his behalf and mine, may I ask if next time you are asked to vote (which really is not asking as much as we have our military), that you find a way to do it.

The video is not mine; nor is the song, but it is music I think of every year when this day comes around.

Paul Simon - Armistice Day
Uploaded by johnnyfnc. - Explore more music videos.


File:Silberfuchs 06.jpg

I became interested in a long study in domestication of Siberian Silver Foxes initiated by Dr. Dmitri K. Belyaev; former director of the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics. He began a series of experiments by gathering Silver Foxes from a Siberian wool manufacturer in 1959.

He died in 1985 but the institute still survives and is currently run by a Dr. Lyumeda Trut.

I came across several links on line after viewing a couple of documentaries regarding this study on PBS.

Basically, the institute selected the most human friendly foxes from each generation of fox.

Artificial selection was at work here. The scientists simply gathered foxes from wool producers. So the initial generation of foxes had already undergone change after some 50 years of captivity at the wool manufacturing plant.

The experimenters then bred the animals in captivity and kept the most endearing foxes. Those discarded, I assume, became hats.

The PBS documentary I am now watching, reports that one percent of the ‘tamest’ foxes were kept and allowed to reproduce. One percent for each generation and the following traits came to the fore, some within a few generations some within scores of generations:

Floppy ears.

Shorter tails (due to loss of vertebrae, believe it or not) and a circular shape to those tails.

Change in color almost immediately.

Less fear reactions from the survivors.

Less biting and challenging behavior.

Change in canine ‘speech’ patterns

And, as the scientific technology changed over the fifty year experiment, methodology has changed. DNA tests have been made on the subjects.

And sure enough, there are recognizable genetic changes.

One change that occurred earliest in the experiment was color. You can just imagine how important color was in the fox fur industry in Siberia.

I gleaned that the red and the silver coats were of the utmost importance to the furrier.

Those colors are gone following the first couple generations of artificial or human selection.

Color is one of the fastest changing traits in nature.

As a child we are taught (evidently not so much in the South) the history of the white moths in England who morphed into black moths as the dirt and soot overtook the urban areas.

Anti-Darwinians (a/k/a mental midgets) will simply call this type of morphology a ‘population shift’ that has nothing to do with evil-ution.

Why population shifts should not be seen as part of an evolutionary model is beyond me.

I have an interest in evolution because I love coming up with evidence at the drop of a hat to counter the silliness of the mental midgets in this country. On Keith O tonight we appear to be facing a repub head of energy in the House who either believes that we are being unfair to BP by overregulation or a mental midget who quotes Genesis as proof that there is no such thing as global warming.

Yeah, the choice is between a capitalist corporate anti environmental oligarchist or a capitalist corporate anti-environmental oligarchist mental midget.

The other interest of mine involves the actual changes in the DNA chain that can be measured.

I mean any gardener can tell you about changes in vegetation caused by the continual care by human hands and the chemicals put into the soil.

And we were taught as children about the bonuses the farmer may inherit through a process known as crop rotation.

But from whence do these DNA alterations occur?

I mean a change in climate might mean that a population of wolves might grow thicker or thinner coats. That might be explained by population shift—inherent DNA—and that the stronger or warmer or cooler survive. The theory of natural selection is easy to understand in this context.

It might also be explained by simple biological changes that occur in every living creature that present themselves with a change of environs. We sweat more when we are hot. Wolves grow thicker coats during colder times.

Wolves may become meaner during leaner times; kind of like modern day corporate management.

So too, ingestion of certain substances may alter one’s DNA strains. My understanding is that certain steroids and hormones might actually alter one’s DNA besides shrinking gonads.

Again, we are all aware of changes in DNA strains of domesticated animals and plants through a process known as artificial selection. As Genesis 1 states:

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
And because there are billions of us on this planet, just about everything we do as human beings affects every single piece of flora and fauna in existence.

Therefore, just the hand of a human being (who becomes god in god’s stead) affects the DNA of all of God’s creatures. This is in fact the theory of artificial selection.

But what exactly are the other types of DNA morphology?  I mean I have discussed artificial selection in the intentional model. We change our soils per tillage and per seed choice and per fertilization and per hydro-enhanced mechanisms.

What I am saying is that when you are confronted with a mental midget’s concept of the universe you cannot be trapped into simply using natural selection as an all encompassing explanation for evolution.

Mental midgets will throw out talking points like:

There has never been on example of natural selection demonstrated in the evolvement of a single organism into another species.

Micro-evolution through changes in bacteria or viruses does not count—for what reason I am not sure.

There are so many examples of organisms with traits that are non-adaptable. Of course that is why I believe we have so many mental midgets on this planet.

I do not know about you but my ancestors are not descended from monkeys. I think I will let that statement stand by itself.

I have gleaned several different processes at work:

Random Selection.  Also known as Natural Selection. Kind of a ‘shite happens’ approach to the natural universe.

Sexual Selection.

Population shifts.

Lamarkian Evolution. This has not been disproved completely as I was taught as a child.

Here is a nice paragraph from the National Science Foundation:

The Evolutionary Processes Cluster supports research on microevolutionary processes and their macroevolutionary consequences. Topics include mutation, gene flow, recombination, natural selection, genetic drift, assortative mating acting within species, speciation, and long-term features of evolution. These investigations attempt to explain causes and consequences of genetically-based change in the properties of groups of organisms (at the population level or higher) over the course of generations as well as large-scale patterns of evolutionary change, phylogeography, origin and maintenance of genetic variation, and molecular signatures of evolution at the population or species level. The cluster seeks to fund projects that are transformative -- that is, those that will change the conceptual bases of evolutionary biology and have broad implications for future research.  Both empirical and theoretical approaches are encouraged. The Cluster is comprised of two programs, Evolutionary Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology (described below); proposals should be submitted to one of these programs.

There is more to evolution of species on this planet than ‘shite happens’.

And then, do not let a mental midget corner you with some specious species argument. What is and what is not a species is not written in stone.

Jack-asses will, at a much lower rate, copulate and produce more jack-asses.

I had been taught that two animals are members of two different species if they can not copulate and produce another animal. That is not necessarily true.

I have gone on much too long here since I am attempting to limit my posts.

But this study in domestication of the Siberian Silver Fox is fascinating stuff.

See also:


Applications to human genome projects: