Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Tea Party Gears Up for Halloween

source:  cartoons of the week

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Terrorists, Drones and the Eiffel Tower

Listen up my fellow Americans.  Take your eyes off the mid terms long enough to look out into the world and see that today's news is full of intelligence info that would make Hollywood proud.  Just in case you  got so carried away by the right wing nut jobs at home that you forgot about Islamist terrorists abroad, here's a reminder.

It seems that a German national and would-be jihadist captured in the Afghanistan/ Pakistan border area, has been talking and giving up details of a  massive,credible, coordinated, shoot-em up Mumbai-style attack on London, Paris, and several German cities.  American targets just may also be involved. .According to today's Christian Science Monitor:

"Western intelligence officials have reportedly uncovered an Al Qaeda plot to carry out coordinated Mumbai-style terrorist attacks in major cities in Britain, France, Germany, and possibly the United States, according to unnamed counterterrorism and intelligence sources in Western governments.
The would-be attackers reportedly planned to operate in small teams of heavily armed gunmen who would capture and execute Western hostages in Europe, similar to the attacks carried out in Mumbai in 2008 where 10 gunmen killed 166 people and injured more than 300 more."--Christian Science Monitor
 So, now you know why drone attacks on the Pakistan border areas have been stepped up and why Paris' Eiffel Tower has been evacuated and shut down twice in the past two weeks and why the entire country of France is now on high alert.

Europe is nervous and for good reason.  The threat is still out there and while some sources are saying it has been foiled by the confessions of the captured  jihadist, others are not so sure.  Just google" terrorist threat, Eiffel Tower"" and you will see what I mean.

It isn't over till it's over, folks. And it looks like the second act may be just about to begin.  I am praying that this attack truly has been foiled and that once more we have dodged the bullet. Let's not get so carried away by our own internal wrangling that we forget that we are part of a larger, world community.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ahmadinejad and Crazytime at the UN

This past week at the 65th opening of the UN General Assembly, it sometimes felt like the inmates were running the asylum.

 Iranian crazyman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  was nutcase in charge when he made a speech accusing the United States Government of orchestrating 9/11 -- Here's a juicy quote.

 ".. some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grip on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime.

The " Zionist regeme" would be Israel. And here is another quote from the man who says the holocaust never happened...

“the majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree that some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks."

At this point in the speech, the American delegation, not surprisingly, walked out, accompanied by the UK and a number of other sane, rational  countries.

Now, the really crazy thing about this is that while crazy man was delivering his poisonous, racist, xenophobic rant, American cable news networks were totally ignoring what was going on at the UN and giving tons of pundit pronouncement time to Delaware, tea-party, right wing Republican candidate for governor, Christine O' Donnell.  I mean the President of a nation that wants to have a nuclear bomb is at the United Nations trash talking America and America is pre-occupied with a  right wing nut job who dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager and is now running for governor of one of the smallest states in the union.

What is up with that?  It's not only crazytime at the UN.  It's crazytime on cable news.  Could we please stop being silly and talk about the real issues?  Christine O' Donnell is a narcissistic nobody who is not ready for prime time and Iran's insane, repressive, murderous regime cannot be allowed to have the nuclear weapons they keep denying they are making.

Is anybody paying attention? The possibility of meaningful dialogue between the civilized world and the Iranian regime is becoming more and more remote as Iran gets closer and closer to having nuclear capability. Once we stop talking the bombing will begin and all helll will break loose.   It looks like that's what Iran wants.   The inmates really are running the asylum. God help us all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Obama Cuts Government Waste

Last Thursday President Obama signed a bill which will eliminate $50 billion-- yes that is billion with a "B" of waste from entitlement programs. It is designed to stop all those dead people and jailbirds who are illegally receiving social security, disability, food stamps and other entitlements  from getting their monthly checks. Bad payments range from outright fraud to checks issued to the wrong person or for the wrong amount because of a typo

According to President Obama, an estimated  $110 billion  was wasted just last year through improper payments. To give some perspective, this figure is more than the budgets of the Department of Education and the Small Business Administration combined.  That is pretty mind blowing, isn't it?  The answer is not to eliminate entitlements, but to eliminate waste and fraud.

Stopping dead people from collecting Social Security seems like a no brainer. I think we should hear more about what the government IS doing and less about what it is NOT doing.

  It took eight years of Bush to get us into this mess.  Obama is getting us out as fast as he can.  Stay with him and don't give up. OK?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Papal Progress

I am using the word " progress"  not in terms of being  modern,or progressive, but in the old sense of a " Royal Progress" which is defined as " the procession of a monarch in stately fashion through his realm."

Wherever  he goes-- Africa, Ireland, Germany, or the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI manages to give a regal tone to the trip that has not been seen since the days of  the late Pius XII.  He also usually manages to come off as out of touch and to put his Prada-shod foot squarely in his mouth.  It will be interesting to see  how his tour of the UK, which begins today, turns out.

So far, so good. He had a cool but cordial welcome from  fellow head of church and state, Queen Elizabeth II, and began his "progress" down Princes Street in his new pope-mobile.

Why he decided to start his tour of the UK in Edinburgh, I will never know.  I get a picture of dour Calvinists counting their Protestant pennies and not being very interested in buying a ticket to see the pope. Not to worry,  there seem to be lots of people lining the route and a crowd of  55,000 is expected at an open air Mass in Birmingham this week-end where the pope will beatify John,Cardinal Newman, an English convert and soon to be saint who is nothing if not a controversial choice for this honor.

In London, slavering secularists are waiting to scream for legal injunctions while survivers of clerical abuse prepare their own briefs. A member of the papal entourage, German Cardinal , Walter Kaspar (a specialist in relations with The Church of England) has already been dropped from the party for observing in an interview with a German magazine that arriving at Heathrow Airport is like "arriving in a third world country" and complaining about "an aggressive new atheism" in Britain.

The sense of hope and reconciliation among Christians that Pope John XXIII held out close to half a century ago is pretty much gone. The Papal Progress that begins today should be an interesting event.  It sure is filled with possible pitfalls. So pass the popcorn and let's wait and see what happens when the other red shoe drops.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Look Back on 9/11 But Don't Stare

I am so totally on the same page with President Obama today on remembering and observing the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11. It is fitting to remember the people of all faiths and nationalities who perished and to remember how shocked we all were by the first invasion of a foreign enemy on American soil since the British burned Washington in the War of 1812.

What is totally not OK, is to demonize a whole religion, including American muslims and to turn the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks into a xenophobic hatefest to unify the far right and build a political power base. I am appalled at the notion of burning Quarans and holding hate rallies like the protest scheduled for ground zero this afternoon.  It is dangerous and just plain wrong.

When you start demonizing people, you de- humanize them and make it ok to slaughter them or pop them into ovens and concentration camps. Scapegoating is a dangerous occupation which easily backfires. It has also been observed that what begins with the burning of books often ends with the burning of people.

Listen to what President Obama had to say in his press conference yesterday and think about it.  Come on America. Let's look back on 9/11 but not stare.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Scary News Twenty Four and Seven Worldwide

No wonder we all feel like the world is going crazy. Perception = reality. Now, what cable news networks could they possibly be talking about hmmmmmmm? Let;s see, how do you spell Glenn Beck?

H/T to This Modern World

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sinclair Lewis Had It Right About Sarah Palin

Every time Palin draws a crowd, lots of media attention and manages to skew reality to show herself as an innocent, God-fearing, REAL  American, I think of  Adolph Hitler and torchlight parades and how easily frightened, ignorant people can be led astray.