Monday, July 28, 2014

Impeachment? Really?

Apparently many Republicans no longer believe in a two Party system.  They now subscribe to the philosophy that any President who isn't a Republican should be impeached. The fact he was duly elected by the majority of the people is irrelevant. Trashing President Obama is their one and only priority.

Congress has become a sick joke. Dysfunctional doesn't begin to cover what is happening in Washington. The word I would use is betrayal. Anyone who isn't white, Christian, rich  and politically conservative doesn't  matter. This is why these openly racist, sexist and incredibly ignorant politicians are working so hard to keep people who don't fit this profile from voting.

Our democracy is dying and the rest of the world knows it. Hard to understand why so many of the people in this country don't.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Isn't it time for CEO's to start doing time????

Two Supreme Court decisions have asserted Corporations have the same free speech and religious freedom rights as individuals. Yet Corporations are formed to protect their executives and their personal assets from individual liability for corporate acts. CEO's are protected by the Corporate Shield only if the corporation is completely separate as a legal entity. 

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that CEO's are free to assert their religious beliefs in decisions affecting the Corporation, the Corporate Shield should be tossed out the window. If the Court has seen fit to grant Corporations freedoms that previously belonged to individuals, they can't have it both ways. They should no longer be entitled to the legal protections unavailable to "real" people. That means no more paying huge fines with investor money when their Corporation  defrauds the American people. Real people go to jail when they commit crimes. Why shouldn't corporate CEO's?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Lost Children of Detroit

Reading about the senseless shooting of three year old KaMiya French in Inkster, Michigan is heartbreaking. One wonders if the young man who shot her to make it the last thing her father saw before he shot him, too, is insane, evil or a mutant no longer human.

Sadly, some will write this off as "typical" of the violence that plagues the nation's cities. For them, this is simply another "black on black" crime that has little effect on their lives. The media may give it a bit more play because of the sheer brutality of the act, but then it will be forgotten. The media will not, however, forget about the white man who left his young son to die in a hot car.

Media bias, and more importantly, the indifference of the majority of white Americans to the violence the children of this nation's cities are exposed to on a daily basis, is a central theme of my novel, A Monster's Game. What will it take to make protecting children a national priority? I'm guessing it won't happen until the people in this country place equal value on the lives of all of our children, regardless of race.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Charles Krauthammer has lost it

Although I usually don't like to post personal attacks, I'm going to make an exception in this case. On June 16, Charles Krauthammer wrote a column entitled "Sox-Rays, Revenge American Style." I'm certainly no Krauthammer fan, but this column was so inane and ridiculous, I wonder if he has completely lost what little reason he has left.

The focus of the column involves an incident in which Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price deliberately hit Boston player David Ortiz in retaliation for "showboating" after scoring two home runs in a game the previous season. Krathammer praised Price for waiting so long to take his revenge.  Here is a quote from the column:

"What is so delightful about this classic act of revenge is both the length of the fuse — eight months — and the swiftness of the execution: one pitch, one plunk, one message delivered. Revenge as it was meant to be: cathartic, therapeutic, clean, served cold. No talking it through. No sublimation by deep breathing, reason or anything in between. No arbitration, no mediation."

Just when it seems the column couldn't get worse, it does:

"We Americans, children of so young a country, can barely fathom such ineradicable grievances. We did give the world Tonya Harding and the Godfather's horse's head in the bed, but the best we can do outside sport and fiction is "Remember the Alamo." Wonderful sentiment, but with Mexico now a best buddy, hardly a battle cry.

No. We'll do our vengeance on the playing field, thank you, where unwritten rules apply and the frisson can be enjoyed with Bud in hand. So mark your calendar. Next Sox-Rays encounter: July 25. Here's hoping Price is pitching."

I can't help but wonder if Krauthammer gave any thought to the possibility that Ortiz could have been seriously injured when Price intentionally hit him full in the back. Or did he consider the example this type of behavior sets for American children participating in sports? Do we want these kids to value sportsmanship or become thugs willing to attack their opponents when things don't go their way?

Many on the far right claim America has lost it's moral compass. I don't dispute this claim, but in my view it's the acceptance of unbridled corporate greed, racism, homophobia, income inequality, gun violence, climate change and refusal to provide a social safety net for the poorest among us that personifies America's moral decline in the eyes of the world. Isn't it those on the far right who are most willing to turn a blind eye to this country's failings while they mock those on the left for caring so much.

Krauthammer's column goes beyond glorifying an act of violence, it trivializes the terrible human suffering people of other nations experienced in the name of revenge. Price's action in hitting Ortiz with a pitch is neither justified nor acceptable. Krauthammer's belief that it in anyway demonstrates American superiority suggests it is Krauthammer's who has lost his moral compass.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guilty

I'll admit I've been terribly lazy. I've neglected my blog, made little progress on my latest novel and my website is terribly out of date. That said, how have I been spending my time? The truth is I've been having a hell of a good time enjoying family and friends, taking road trips in the RV, cruising the seas, golfing, attending the theatre, watching 76 episodes of Mad Men and raging about the state of the nation.

Does anyone think this country has any chance of recovering it's moral compass? Clearly the results of the mid-term elections will provide some insight into the future. God forbid the right wing crazies who dominate the House manage to seize control of the Senate, too. If that happens things can only get worse.

Can't do much about what is going on in Washington, so I'll be spending my time over the coming months blogging, writing on a regular basis and keeping an eye on those devils in Washington.

It feels good to be back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Catholic's Thoughts on Contraception, the Sanctity of Life and Universal Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act is being criticized for mandating access to contraception. As a Catholic, I am aware, although I do not agree, with the Church's stand on birth control. Providing access to birth control is not the same as mandating its use. It simply gives women the choice of whether to conceive or not. It should be plain to all that if you don't believe in abortion, it makes sense to ensure as many women as possible have access to contraception. Failure to do so increases  the number of abortions and children born to parents who cannot afford to care for them properly.

With so many Americans living below the poverty line, I struggle to understand the mentality of conservative politicians as they slash away at food stamps, housing assistance, Head Start programs and subsidized child care for the working poor. In spite of their opposition to abortion, it does not appear that they truly believe in the sanctity of life. If they did believe life is sacred, they would be fighting to ensure every citizen, at a minimum, has a roof over their head, enough to eat and access to healthcare. If all Americans are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, doesn't that mean they are entitled to at least those things that are necessary to sustain life?

As far as the healthcare debate is concerned, the question the American people should be asking themselves, isn't "how can we afford to pay for universal health care?"  It is "how in the name of God and conscience can we continue to refuse to do so?" Something most other civilized nations understand. No wonder the rest of the world looks at this country and shakes their heads.

When conservatives finally succeed in repealing the Affordable Health Care Act, and I believe it will be eventually repealed, I doubt their priority will be replacing it with a better plan to provide quality healthcare to all Americans. Instead, they will turn their attention to dismantling Medicare, the most successful and least costly healthcare program in the nation. The voucher system they are proposing will undoubtedly be structured to channel billions of tax dollars to insurance companies. Once this is accomplished, they will move on to their stated goal of privatizing Social Security. An idea those on Wall Street have been salivating over for decades.

 Greed reigns in America and the only thing that is cheap is human life.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A message from Putin worth reading

The majority of Americans oppose military intervention in Syria. That does not mean they believe the use of poison gas is acceptable. It means dropping bombs on Syria isn't the answer. Putin's editorial in the New York Times does a good job explaining why the United States must not attack Syria. He also addresses the issue of American "exceptionalism" which has, unfortunately, become a philosophy used to justify whatever this country chooses to do.

America's decision to "liberate" Iraq was a violation of international law with tragic consequences. Only the most naive among us continue to believe is was about anything but oil. So many brave American soldiers sent to their death and tens of thousands wounded. The death toll in Iraq estimated to be over 200,000 men, women and children with as many as 2,000,000 people forced from their homes. And the violence continues.

Some fault President Obama for not immediately striking Syria when the news of the use of chemical weapons became public. How many of these critics turned a blind eye when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against the Iranians and his own people. Weapons provided by the United States.

I thank God President Obama paused to carefully weigh the evidence and options before authorizing military force against Syria. Doing so showed wisdom, not weakness. It's time for America to stop making enemies and join the world community to resolve the problems facing mankind.

Putin Warns Against Attack Syria