Every so often a nonfiction book comes along that, because of its objective, comprehensive coverage of a hot topic, should be carefully read with a highlighter in hand by everyone. That new book is “Unprecedented” by David Ray Griffin. Be warned, this book will probably bum you out. It presents the most readable treatment of the global warming and climate change issue that anyone could wish for. It is not an emotional rant, but rather a carefully organized and detailed discussion. Most significantly, with carefully documented sources, it allows a reader to fully appreciate the compelling and overwhelming scientific evidence supporting a negative view of our planet’s and civilization’s future. Continue reading
Tuck away the many horror stories of the wrong limbs being amputated, things being left in surgery patients, terrible infections picked up in hospitals and totally wrong diagnoses. More relevant is a bureaucratic hospitalization horror that far too few Americans covered by Medicare are aware of.
Odds are that you do not know a key question to ask if you ever find yourself in a hospital for an overnight stay that could last from one or two days, or perhaps much more. What you and anyone accompanying you want to know is whether you are being classified as “under observation.” This means that legally you are not an inpatient. If the former, then you are likely to find yourself owing the hospital a large amount of money, because your Medicare or other health insurance will not provide the benefits associated with inpatient status. Many, many Americans nationwide that were classified as under observation have faced unexpected bills of many tens of thousands of dollars.
So pay very close attention to what you are about to read. Continue reading
Stupid Americans elect stupid politicians. Government hating Americans elect government hating politicians. Mean spirited citizens elect mean spirited politicians. Like minded Tea Party Republican conservatives end up living together, feeding their mutual anger and resentment about most social progress. This reinforces and intensifies narrow-minded beliefs. House districts are gerrymandered by Republican legislatures to consist nearly entirely of such communities. This creates safe elections for the most radical, extreme and in almost all cases downright inarticulate and stupid Tea Party politicians. Shut down the federal government, harm many millions of Americans, refuse to raise the debt limit and throw the US economy into the toilet. All are just fine with this class of citizens and their favored politicians. This is the Stupid Revolution that accelerates the destruction of American democracy. Continue reading
While driving on my usual errands run the other day I listened a little to Limbaugh’s radio show. As usual I was completely amazed at the incredible misinformation vomited by the champion of stupidity.
Limbaugh strongly condemned Obamacare because he was convinced that the government has no constitutional right to require citizens to purchase anything, certainly not health insurance. Interestingly, he did not condemn the conservative controlled Supreme Court for allowing this to happen. Apparently, superrich Limbaugh forgets that car owners are required to buy automobile insurance. And there are now jurisdictions where home owners are required to buy flood insurance. There are also places where people must pay for an ambulance if they do not have insurance coverage. And let us not forget that government mandates parents to send their children to schools, which requires various kinds of spending (as does even home schooling). To get from one place to another by car often requires paying a bridge or tunnel toll, as yet another example. When I travel by air my ticket includes several government mandated costs. Continue reading
No matter what else he has done, what conservative radio host and author Mark Levin does in his new book The Liberty Amendments has made him a hero for me. For many years I have been writing articles on the wisdom of using something in the US Constitution that I believe offers the only constitutional path to urgently needed reforms of the political system. I also co-founded the national nonpartisan group Friends of the Article V Convention. Mark Levin has become the most notable, highly visible person to also come out loudly, advocating the first time use of the Article V convention option. Continue reading
President (aka Barry) Obama is not, nor ever was a master politician, master diplomat, master bureaucrat, master lawyer or master anything. As a former professor who had to publish or perish, I was especially impressed that Obama lacked a hefty, impressive record of academic publications, actually nothing. As Ed Lasky summed up: Notwithstanding an apparent eleven-year teaching career in constitutional law at a top-flight law school, not one single article, published talk, book review, or comment of any kind, appears anywhere in the professional legal literature, under Barack Obama’s name.
Instead of actual accomplishment and performance, he simply took advantage of his color, personality, unusual political opportunities, and an innate talent for sometimes being able to give a great (but not necessarily honest) speech to become President. He took advantage of new national demographics to capture the necessary Electoral College votes to achieve victory, not once, but twice. His ability to enlist the critical assistance of brilliant masters at political fund raising and campaigning has never been matched by being able or willing to obtain similar high caliber people to run his White House and administration. Continue reading
For some years, several times a week while driving to go shopping and do errands, I have listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. Pretty much all the time I have become angered because every few sentences I realized that with his total sincerity and conviction he was stating absolutely incorrect things. Add to endless wrong information complete lapses in logic, causing me to be bewildered that Limbaugh has reached such success. My only explanation is that he appeals to a very large number of ignorant and unintelligent people who, like religious zealots, remain enraptured by his ultra-ring wing rhetoric. What a surprise therefore that recently Limbaugh has been speaking relentlessly about information poor Americans as his pseudo brilliant explanation of why President Obama has succeeded.
Two things stand out. First, he clearly refuses to face the reality that it is his incredibly loyal audience that must be information poor to readily accept all the falsehoods he dishes out daily. Continue reading
Stupid people have the right to vote. Stupid people propel our consumer economy and waste money on myriad things because they are stupid shoppers. Stupid people have the right to own guns, lots of guns. Stupid people have free speech. So, no surprise, in our representative democracy (aka republic) even the most stupid citizens deserve to be represented in government. God has done this by giving them the Republican Party with lots of stupid politicians running and ruining our nation. Continue reading
Everywhere I look outside my home I see people busy on their high tech devices, while driving, while walking, while shopping, while in groups of friends, while in restaurants, while waiting in doctor offices and hospitals, while sitting in toilets everywhere. While connected electronically, they are inattentive to and disconnected in physical reality.
People have been steadily manipulated to become technology addicted. Technology is the opiate of the masses.
This results in technology servitude. I am referring to a loss of personal freedom and independence because of uncontrolled consumption of many kinds of devices that eat up time and money. Most people do not use independent, critical thinking to question whether their quality of life is actually improved by the incessant use of technology products that are marketed more aggressively than just about anything else. Continue reading
Publisher’s NOTE: The following was submitted for publication three days before the tragedy in Connecticut.
Puzzling me for a long time is the inconsistency between two claims by gun and Second Amendment supporters. One is that what they worship is critically needed to defend themselves against a government that they would view as oppressive and unacceptable. The other is their belief that the US government has already become awful, stealing their liberties.
Why then, I keep asking myself, have we not seen a violent uprising among the untold millions of Americans owning guns to take back their government? Why do we not see what goes on in European nations, namely violent public uprisings against governments?
There is more private gun ownership in the US than any other nation. We have a far right part of the population with considerable public presence and power. FOX News, the Tea Party movement, and countless groups and think tanks angrily attacking the mainstream media, liberals, and leftist politicians as well as just about everything done by President Obama. Continue reading
My cynicism about the stupidity of the American public would have increased exponentially if Mitt Romney would have been elected president. In over 50 years of voting and 25 years of working professionally in the world of politics and public policy I had never seen such outrageous and persistent lies, distortions and intellectual insults from a presidential candidate. Please note that I was not an Obama supporter; I proudly voted for the Libertarian candidate.
Repeatedly, Romney sold his soul to first get the Republican nomination and then attempt to win the presidency. For such a supposedly religious person he had no difficulty in saying anything to win support, despite contradictions with his previous positions and statements as well as with objective facts. The only thing you could trust about him was his love for his family and religion, and oh yes his quite negative view of 47 percent of the American public muttered when he thought he was only talking to a bunch of his rich supporters. But for such callous behavior he deserves to go to Mormon hell for lying to so many, including himself apparently because he could justify just about anything because the end of becoming president justified all means. Continue reading
For politicians to do what is right, first citizens must do what is right.
Of all the many, many stupid things that most Americans do, nothing is more insane than the ritual every two years of reelecting incumbent members of Congress. Countless opinion polls find that the public has incredibly low levels of positive regard for Congress. Just one in 10 Americans approves of the job Congress is doing, according to a Gallup poll released a few weeks ago, tying the branch’s lowest approval rating in 38 years. Continue reading
Among Americans there remains strong pride about the US Constitution, even though there is widespread support for creating reform amendments to it. Globally, however, what should surprise Americans is a significant loss of respect for it. Other nations, especially those creating new democracies, see better constitutions elsewhere. This is not opinion. It is fact. And it is important to understand this historic shift. Continue reading
There are many, many reasons to have low regard for Mitt Romney. All but the totally delusional correctly see him as disingenuous, dishonest, devious and devoid of an authentic set of core beliefs. He is a shill for corporate and rich elites. He is the phony smiling, perfect hair poster jerk for the proverbial one percent. But I now clearly see that there is another, more important reason to feel like vomiting at the thought of President Romney.
As almost everyone knows by now, Romney has been a senior, influential member of the Mormon Church, which has been roundly criticized for being an inauthentic Christian religion and for various beliefs and practices made comical in the hugely successful Broadway show The Book of Mormon. But there is one particular Mormon practice that is so upsetting to most people who learn about it that deserves to become an issue in this presidential campaign. Continue reading
Why am I so sick of all the media attention to the Republican presidential primaries and all the blabbering about President Obamas advantages and disadvantages for the coming election? I just cannot get excited. My answer may also be yours: No matter who wins, our nation loses.
Come election night I would be overjoyed to see Obama lose and equally overjoyed to see the Republican candidate, whoever it is, also lose. I cannot see how either Romney or Gingrich or even Ron Paul could possibly offer what is truly needed to fix the root causes of all the dysfunction, corruption and despair with the US political and government system. And Obama? Nothing but slickness instead of results. Continue reading
There is a growing convergence of thinking about where the US Occupy movement should go as a next step to turning its values, concerns and commitments into changing what most Americans see as broken government under control of corporate interests. When it comes to political and social movements, history shows us that they usually fail not because they disappear, but rather because they become marginalized, unimportant despite a core group of committed people and groups. Continue reading
History tells us that it is nearly impossible to know in real time whether some kind of national, grassroots public protest ends up being the beginning of a true revolution against a ruling government system. This is true for the earliest beginnings of the revolt against the British that produced the successful American Revolution and the creation of the US. The British at the time surely thought that they could retain power and control. More recently, the revolts in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya certainly could not be accurately perceived in their earliest stages as likely to topple well established dictatorships wielding incredible and cruel power. Even now, the rebellious actions in Syria are not widely seen as surely resulting in successful revolution.
My central point is that the Occupy movement in the US offers the possibility of being seen, eventually, as the seed of a successful Second American Revolution, which I and many others believe is desperately needed to fix our corrupt, dysfunctional and unfair government, political and economic system. Continue reading
When Americans who are the most victimized by our cruel economy still believe in something that is demonstrably no longer true, they are deeply delusional. They desperately want to believe in something once great about American society. The reality is that upward economic mobility has been destroyed, replaced by widely observable downward mobility. Some of the mostly younger jobless that have embraced the Occupy Wall Street and related Occupy efforts know the truth.
Last Saturday while in New York City I went downtown to visit the Occupy Wall Street group and also ended up walking in their protest march around big bank buildings. A terrific experience with a huge group chanting things like Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!
My first impression was absolute amazement at how many police surrounded Zuccotti Park, as massive a police presence as any I had ever seen in countless news accounts of protests in other countries, including those trying to overturn awful regimes. No wonder that New York City has spent over $3 million so far on policing the Occupy events. Continue reading
Are you ready for another insane aspect of American society? Read this and get angry.
People on the right want smaller government. People on the left bemoan high unemployment, economic inequality and the huge amounts of money made by corporate executives and Wall Street fat cats. I strongly urge consideration of a common sense way of greatly reducing the bloated cost of the federal government, probably opening up hundreds of thousands of jobs, and making Americans feel better about their government. Continue reading
Much is being said by Republicans about a class war being waged by President Obama and Democrats. In their fantasy world this class war is attacking so called job creators. All this talk is pure nonsense, absolutely false and misleading, intentional political garbage designed to intentionally mislead gullible Americans stupid enough to believe the lies. Here is the truth: There has, indeed, been a class war waged in the US; it has been going on for a good thirty years. And this real war has been won. Continue reading
One of the hardest truths to accept is that for most sources of pain hitting humans there seems to be nothing effective for government to do. Nowadays, those of us who do not gobble various distractions but work to stay connected to reality see two dreadful conditions. Nature seems mad as hell. People are dying or suffering from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, extreme heat, huge snow storms and more. While some idiots keep trying to deny the reality of global climate change, those of us who have lived a long time see firsthand that killer weather events are more prevalent than ever. Continue reading
The outspoken scholar and Princeton University professor Cornel West has been viciously attacked by many on the political left, especially supporters of President Obama. Why? Because he had the courage to call Obama a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. For more of Wests views see this article.
Most of the attention has been on the use of the word black, as if the black Cornel West had made a racist comment. Continue reading
How do the powerful keep the US population dumb and distracted? A key tactic has been using methodologies that produce totally misleading underestimates of key economic factors. First we learned that official unemployment figures are too low by a factor of two. Now, understand that the official rate of inflation hitting consumers is even more inaccurate. Continue reading
Massive economic inequality is killing America and we the people. It has already killed American democracy. The rich have captured the political system so they could manipulate the economy and benefit unfairly. Economic freedom and opportunity are gone. Greed among the top one percent has succeeded so well that a true uprising and revolt by Americans, like that seen in Egypt, may be needed to restore America. Continue reading
The US government lies. Sure looks like most Americans gobble up false and misleading information that is nothing less than political propaganda. Take the highly hyped unemployment number for March, 2011 of 8.8 percent that moved like a tornado through the media and was praised by Democrat politicians and the White House. As if that number is accurate, as if it fairly describes unemployment. It does not. What is called by experts, such as Leo Hindery, as the real unemployment number was actually 17.7 percent, which is remarkably higher. To appreciate that much higher number is to throw a large bucket of cold water on all the political spin on the economic recovery. Continue reading
I can explain why so many Americans are angry about President Obama and dislike or hate him with passion, and why it has little to do with his actions and policies. But first I must examine the confluence of two historical inflection points that explains so much resentment and opposition to Obama. Continue reading
As recently presented, there is global respect for and use of the classic and brilliant work by Gene Sharp From Dictatorship to Democracy. It is credited for empowering many actions around the world to overthrow dictatorships, including recent actions in the Mideast. My thesis is that his ideas, strategies and tactics, a handbook for revolution, can and should be applied to the US where there is a form of corporate dictatorship operating. Continue reading
How wonderful that the Egyptian dictator Mubarak has finally stepped down. But there are considerable uncertainties about when and how a fully functioning democracy that benefits ordinary Egyptians, especially the poorest, will be formed. Restoring the Egyptian economy and ensuring that it benefits not just the existing upper class that supported Mubarak is a key challenge. Economic reforms, however, are hardly mentioned by all those talking so much about the wonderful transformation in Egypt. Continue reading
As I am glued to cable stations showing the street battles in Egypt all I keep thinking about is how Egyptians have mustered the courage to fight their governments tyranny while Americans remain unready to revolt against the peculiar American brand of tyranny.
Of course, the dictatorship in Egypt is far different than what the vast majority of Americans face. Despite liberty and freedom, our tyranny exists within an electoral, constitutional republic. But with a two-party plutocracy thoroughly corrupted by corporate and wealthy interests most Americans are victims of a dysfunctional, inefficient and unfair democracy. Continue reading
So many intelligent Americans believe, say and do stupid things. When a large fraction of the population is like this, a nation rots from the inside and succumbs to external forces.
I have always searched for the simplest yet best ways to explain what I see as a multi-decade decline of every aspect of the United States, especially its political system and government. I keep coming back to the inescapable logic that a large fraction of Americans, regardless of their education, economic status and political alignment, must suffer from delusion. This delusion produces denial about hugely important subjects and issues. Continue reading
For some years a number of groups have been advocating voting out incumbents in Congress, both the House and the Senate, as a path to reform and improve the US political system. You might have thought that with this years incredible widespread public anger with both major parties and the remarkably low confidence level in Congress this anti-incumbency movement would have scored a huge victory. It did not happen. Continue reading
Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the midterm elections is assured. Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government. The culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain. Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that. Continue reading
For many years Americans have justified voting for candidates they were not especially thrilled with by convincing themselves that the lesser evil deserved to win office. The fraction of people totally committed to one of the two major parties is small. Most Americans see themselves as independents, liberals, conservatives, progressives or libertarians, but not as loyal Democrats or Republicans. Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents. Continue reading
In trying to understand how so many Americans adore people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh I have come to this critical understanding: Poorly educated, terribly informed, intellectually deficient and downright stupid people need idols. They feel angry, frustrated, ignored, cheated and disillusioned by so much going on in American society. Continue reading
In recent days the idea of using the Article V convention option in the Constitution received support in an article by Texas US Senator John Cornyn published on the Fox News website. He noted Recent polling suggests that a plurality of Americans support a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution if Congress will not do so. He made a good case for using the convention option by saying it would be part of a national conversation that could last well beyond one or two election cycles. The very length of the convention and ratification process would allow the American people ample opportunity to judge proposed reforms, and ensure that they would strengthen the checks and balances that have served our nation well. Continue reading
For years I muttered mentally to myself about the insanity of Americans electing George W. Bush president. Now I go through the same agony about the craziness of the nation electing Barack Obama president. As much as I thought Bush was a manipulated second-rate politician that carried out the terribly destructive policies pushed by Cheney and other conservative corporate shills, now I feel equally angry that so many voters fell for the slick rhetoric and lies of Obama. Disgust produces public thirst for change and Obama was wickedly brilliant at selling change. When voters are so easily victimized what does democracy amount to? Continue reading
If the United States is not kaput it is certainly withering away even as a rich upper class enjoys all the things that money buys. There is massive, widespread economic pain inflicting a huge fraction of Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, relying on food stamps, losing their homes, and who are feeling totally insecure financially. This maintains sluggish consumer spending that makes necessary economic growth impossible. Continue reading
Consumer confidence is terrible; citizen confidence is worse: Only 11 percent of Americans have confidence in Congress. No surprise there is record-setting anti-incumbency anger rampant among Americans. But the sad truth is damned if you do and damned if you dont vote for incumbents.
The problem is that the reformers, populist outsiders, tea party candidates, surprise primary winners and others expecting to oust incumbents in the coming mid-term elections for members of Congress and state governors and other officials mostly suck. Continue reading
A loss expected to happen next year looks smaller than that same loss happening next week. Worse yet, a loss or catastrophe that may happen (indeed, is highly likely to happen) decades away is essentially invisible, unthinkable or unworthy of attention now. In other words, humans suffer from an intrinsic thinking defect best described as time blindness. It is the inability to correctly foresee and take seriously long term consequences of current actions. Continue reading
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