Posts Tagged ‘stoning’


February 9, 2013

Time Out for Reason

It’s easy to become buried under the avalanche of bad news rushing over us; easy to become discouraged and fatalistic.  Shakespeare wisely and famously mused,  “To be or not to be, that is the question.  Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to seize arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.”

The overall point of the exploration – from my perspective – is to know.  I’ve found that keeping the goal simple is best.  The persons benefiting from the robberies, rapes and murders do not care about any patterns or even predictable outcomes.  As long as they are profiting in some wise, the behavior goes unchecked.  As to the rest of us, we generally seem to suffer in silence until the pain becomes too great, and then we produce the predictable outcomes mentioned above.  I often think of Cassandra predicting the fall of Troy when I am contemplating the latest “I told you so” in the news.  Really bad case of “Nobody ever listens to me.”

I spent a few years, fifteen years ago, trying to inform the county commissioners of our great land that the West and Midwest are for sure running out of water.  The environment is observably in major transition and we are losing the human-friendly ecosystem that greatly enabled our planetary success.  Do we act to conserve what we’ve got?  No, of course not.  The powers that be commission studies to postpone action so that the last possible penny can be squeezed out of whatever the exploited resource might be.  Hence, I am contemptuous of the bozos that use the cliché, “Well, we lost ‘it’ in California (Birmingham, Detroit, wherever), but we still have a chance to save it here.”  I want to yell at them, “It didn’t need saving until you assholes showed up!”  Many also believe that someone or thing is going to save them before it’s “too late”.  They’re wrong.

I’ve gone back and forth on the meaning of life.  I conclude that Monte Python made the definitive statement on the subject: “Every sperm is sacred.”  That coupled with the Life of Brian – particularly the crucifixion chorus singing, The Bright Side of Life while hanging on their crosses.  There you go, all said and done.  Don’t even have to read Nietzsche or Sartre.  I prefer the light side to the dark, humor to grim acceptance (although there are times for each, I admit).  Still, I find myself more Zen than anything else, plus a strong, strong touch of Deist.  Don’t know if that latter is because of my erratic Roman Catholic upbringing, but I do believe in some sort of life force, great spirit, for want of another word, god.  For all I know though, god may be a composite of all souls, or a board of directors somewhere, or an alien playing space invaders.  Believing in a god doesn’t preclude the overwhelming sense that the world is one big turkey shoot and loony bin.  If the divine being has some sort of purpose, other than hanging out and looking at stuff, I have yet to discern it, but then who am I?  Moses, He talks to; Me, He doesn’t call, He doesn’t write…

Learning history has value in finding out that all the crap around you has happened in some form before you – not once but probably hundreds, if not thousands of times, or even more – and the world went on as if nothing mattered and there’s the key, I think.  As the in-country Vietnam vets used to say, “Don’t mean nothing.”  The insanity finally reaches a point of such overwhelming monstrosity that all one can do is cover up in the fetal position and whimper, or throw one’s head back and laugh like hell.

Everything we do is good and/or bad, it’s all interconnected, and each generation sees the world as new, and never before traveled – until it’s probably too damn late to correct for a wayward course.

Corporatists destroyed the New Deal and bankrupted the people of the United States, shoved them into war, and took their jobs and personal freedoms away.  Those of us who care, who are American, who are democrats – small “d” – are most in danger and must destroy the corporatists and re-instate the New Deal, or we are lost.  We shall be slaves of corporate masters for evermore.  We must live as if people mattered, not to protect stupid-ass property rights, or spend our lives at the level of swine.  Do you understand why their masters murdered slaves, serfs and peasants who learned to read?  The New Medievalism is just around the bend.



Execution by Stoning: not just a sadistic bible tradition.

An Iranian woman at a protest in Brussels highlights the barbarity of death by stoning, in which women are buried up to their necks in front of a crowd of volunteers. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters


July 10, 2010

True Progressives

VIDEO: Progressives and Obama: From Wall Street to the war, this isn’t what Progressive Democrats voted for, Norman Solomon, July 10, 2010 by The Real News Network



2nd Great Republican Depression: U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression.  Adjusting for demographic factors, current labor market downturn steeper than ’82-’83 recession. Published on Friday, July 2, 2010 by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Washington, D.C. – As the nation contends with a long and sustained labor market recession, a new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research demonstrates that the current unemployment rate is higher than the conventional measure shows.

“An unemployment rate that has hovered above 9 percent for several months is striking, but the jobs picture is even worse than it looks,” said report author and CEPR Economist David Rosnick.

The study, “The Adult Recession: Age-Adjusted Unemployment at Post-War Highs,” adjusts the current unemployment rate to account for demographic differences and finds that the unemployment rate has not fallen below 10.8 percent in the last 12 months. During the worst episode of the recession of the 1980s — the second half of 1982 and the first half of 1983 — unemployment passed 10 percent for 7 months.

The analysis notes that the population is older today than it was in the 1980s, which has the effect of lowering today’s unemployment rate relative to the past. Since they change jobs more frequently and are more likely to move in and out of the labor market, Young people have a higher unemployment rate than older workers. Adjusting for this older workforce shows that the United States is experiencing the weakest labor market since the Great Depression.

The severity of the current unemployment situation suggests that policy makers should consider measures that would slow or reverse this trend. Additional stimulus such as work sharing or the extension of unemployment benefits by Congress would go far in addressing the plight of the millions of unemployed Americans suffering as a result of this downturn.

FULL ANALYSIS can be found here.


Wealthy Reap Rewards While Those Who Work Lose

TOTAL RECALL.  Abstract:   15 Awful Things Republicans Would Do If They Had the Chance By Dennis Rahkonen, The Smirking Chimp.

The political instrument of moneyed elites, and a retrograde societal force, the GOP today is more negative than ever. Its agenda, if fully implemented, would prove catastrophic. Here’s what an unfettered Republican Party would do “for” America:

1)  Greatly reduce or entirely eliminate taxes on the rich, forcing working families to make up revenue shortfalls.

2)  Bust labor unions, and prevent collective bargaining for wages and benefits.

3)  Stubbornly deny the climate change while pumping more pollutants into the environment from dirty industries and practices.

4)  Remove regulations on investment banks and credit card companies eroding consumer protections.

5)  Continue to criticize and under fund public education, advocating private schooling instead, to dumb workers down.

6)  Outlaw abortion, under a moral guise, impelling thousands of functioning females to perish because of sexist denials of their basic rights.

7)  Continue to recite a Pledge of Allegiance whose last six words are “with liberty and justice for all,” while harrassing homosexual citizens.

8)  Speak often and loftily of freedom, but engage in neo-McCarthyite witch hunts, Red-baiting name calling, and a host of Patriot Act sins against the U. S. Constitution in the name of “national security.”

9)  Bully the world with US aggressions on foreign soil, kill countless thousands of innocents, waste billions of badly-needed dollars, and make us hated around the planet.

10)  Generally drive down the income levels of America’s working-class majority, as a cost-saving corporate measure, dooming society to economic ruin!

11)  Lie about affordable health care for all, creating a national security threat by fooling some Americans into thinking that public health care is a godless socialist attack on basic American freedoms.

12)  Unleash de facto ethnic cleansing against 12 million immigrant men, women, and children, blaming them for hardships experienced due to capitalist excess.

13)  Shamefully try to lend credence to their avarice and social irresponsibility by revising the Bible to obscure passages that place human need before abject greed as one conservative group is really trying to do!

14)  Support intensely bigoted hatred that has crazed extremists dreaming of literally tearing Barack Obama to pieces and gassing all liberals.

15)  Place the livelihoods and lives of over 300 million Americans in the hands of incompetent ideological “purists” such as Sarah Palin.

While there are certainly Democrats who’ve yet to show spine in furtherance of vital change, let’s be absolutely clear about the unmitigated disaster that would follow if Republicans, in their present ultra-rightist incarnation, ruled our country exactly as they wickedly wished.  READ MORE:

Leave ‘Em Laughing.  Open ltr to CNN:

FOX regularly pushes distorted stories, and uses them to whip up racial fear.  It is unacceptable for CNN, which positions itself as a credible source of news and analysis, to uncritically echo FOX’s dishonest race-baiting.

What the hell’s the matter with you?  Do you want this country to disintegrate?  Report the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or quit pretending to be journalists.  Call yourselves racist corporatist shills instead.

Sincerely, with rapidly diminishing respect,  j