Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31 January 2012 Aim for the foot again

Republicans have only themselves to blame
By Richard Cohen, Published: January 30
“On Saturday night, at precisely 9:19 and 30 seconds, my iPhone, my iPad, my computer and, for all I know, my toaster were informed that Herman Cain had endorsed Newt Gingrich. The ping-ping of the devices suggested that something momentous had happened — alerts from both The Post and the New York Times — but in fact it was just additional evidence that the Republican Party has become a circus: One clown endorsed another.”

          This situation would be highly amusing if it was happening in some banana republic that had never known representative government or had social safety nets, good schools, and trustworthy leaders.  Seeing it unfold here is painful, and is going to become much more painful.
          The GOP is bleeding badly, thanks in large part to idiot candidates like Gingrich and Palin who manufacture dissent and fracture truth into smaller bites to feed the bottom-feeding teavangelists that clamor for their groundless attacks upon the media and upon any voter who actually studies the issues and reads history that doesn’t come from cartoons. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

30 January 2012 There’s NO intelligent life on the Moon

A moon colony is a waste of money
By David Frum, CNN Contributor
updated 8:04 AM EST, Mon January 30, 2012

NASA moon and ISS – current technical limit

Verne’s imagined limit

Sheppard takes Antares to the moon - previous technical limit

Gingrich meets technical and financial limits

Current acceptable technical, financial, and political limit

Cassi Creek:  Base off base with current reality
Frum writes in reference to Gingrich’s promise of a moon base cum 51st state:
          The hard truth to deliver to the laid-off engineers on Florida's space coast is that space exploration is another industry where automation has reduced the number of human employees needed. To propose putting 13,000 human beings on the moon is a lot like proposing to return to the days when steel mills employed tens of thousands of people. It's not a vision of the future. It's nostalgia.
          The Gingrich proposal makes no mention of how the other nations of the world may regard such a blatant act of colonialism.  While I regard our decline in funding and results for space exploration, the time has come for actual human expansion toward the stars to become a global project aimed at expanding the drive to explore and exploit our universe.  No single nation should plan to colonize the moon and outer planetary bodies as we did various parts of the Earth. 
          Gingrich’s “moon state” is obviously intended to become a militarized base with US troops securing the moon for corporations that have paid for GOP/teavangelists to be re-elected.  We have no means of transporting and sustaining a battalion or so of lunar-based troops at the outer ends of our technologic and economic reach.  While there may be people desperate enough or foolish enough to sign up for a one-way trip to the moon, I don’t know of any foolish enough to sign that contract.  That duty station would be grimmer and less socially rewarding than being stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan and having to live under local customs and religious laws.  Yet as grim as that would be, lunar duty would demand and require an even harsher social and military contract. 
          If Gingrich wants to staff an all-volunteer colony on the moon, it should be his name and his ass that fill the first transport roster and seat.  And it’s doubtful that he’ pass the physical or mental exam to become a colonist.  His abrasive and combative nature would be likely to cost him dearly.  His “I’m smarter than you all” attitude would keep him from listening to the “underlings as they explained how such necessary things as pressure suits, toilets, water sources, and airlocks work and how they had to be used. 
          Next episode: “Explosive decompression and sanitation modules” or “Cleanup in tunnel 5”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

29 January 2012 Newt don’t phone home

Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 01/29/2012
Gingrich: The most persecuted man in America?
            “The one incident from Newt Gingrich’s speakership that stands out in most people’s minds is the pout-a-thon concerning Air Force One….
            “… quintessential Newt Gingrich — thin-skinned, self-absorbed, destructive and, yes, “petty.” He excels in converting his own missteps into tales of martyrdom. All of this has manifested itself in the campaign in big ways and small…
            “…When Gingrich experiences the normal rough and tumble of a campaign, Sarah Palin (another perpetual mainstream media exploiter) claims that the attacks are “Stalinesque.” From her house, she might see Russia, but her understanding of Stalin is nonexistent; Stalin, of course, prevented free elections and the robust expression of free speech.
            “Gingrich boasts of his association with Ronald Reagan and then becomes unhinged when Reagan’s former advisers beg to differ about Gingrich’s fidelity to the president. He goes bonkers, accusing them with no facts whatsoever of being part of a grand scheme. The notion that respected conservatives would simply be fed up with his puffery and concerned he might actually win and thereby ruin the party and the conservative movement is foreign to him.Once again, he’s the victim when in fact he’s simply been caught misbehaving (in this case, in excessive opportunism).”
Cassi Creek:    The former Speaker seems determined to shoot himself in both feet by continuing to behave like a spoiled middle school nerd who wants to run the entire school but who has no social skills beyond sitting in a corner and sulking. 
            The mainstream GOP is demonstrating their unwillingness to be represented by Gingrich and the teavangelists, but they remain unwilling to step on his candidacy in order to salvage some semblance of a political campaign for 2012.  Jennifer Rubin comes about as close as anyone in trying to push Gingrich from the martyrdom and teavangelist planks of the GOP platform. 
            What is going to be necessary is a brutal and bloody public dismissal of Gingrich by the GOP powers.   I can see the banner – “Newt Find Other Work – Don’t phone home!”
PS, Keep Palin with you

Saturday, January 28, 2012

28 January 2012 “Standing on the moon…

Where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon
But I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
At this crescent in the sky
("Standing On the Moon"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing.)
Lunar Colonies, Lunacy and Losses
Published: January 27, 2012

“Newt Gingrich is spaced-out. Literally.
 Gingrich told a crowd on Florida’s so-called Space Coast on Wednesday that “by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon. And it will be American.” And he said that he would push for the introduction of a “Northwest Ordinance for Space” so that when the number of colonists reached 13,000, they could petition for statehood.
            While I grew up watching the Cold War’s Space Race take place, and regret the loss of excitation about inter-planetary exploration that is now the norm; Gingrich’s hollow proclamation is nothing but empty lies offered for votes from another downsized technical industry seemingly abandoned by the government and population. 
            This lie demonstrates a decided lack of historical awareness as well as a horrific lack of technical and astrophysical education on the part of the liar.  The Space Race with the Soviets was always a demonstration of military capability played out against the peaceful vista of a cold, dead, rocky satellite.  Every orbital flight demonstrated possessing enough heavy-lift capacity to lob thermo-nuclear warheads.  Every  survey mission dealt in some manner with surveillance of another power.  Every capsule, every command module, every shuttle flight was highly experimental and carried the risk of fiery death, explosive decompression, radiation storms, and countless other hazards that cost the lives of pilots, flight crews, and even ground crews and entire design and production teams.  The flights today still carry all those risks. 
            The goal of a moon base has been postulated by every science fiction writer who has gazed skyward.  We’ve put men on the moon and outlasted the Soviets.  Truthfully, given the state of instrumentation today there is little we can gain from putting men on the moon again that can’t be determined by miniature robots such as those that have performed so remarkably on Mars. 
            Gingrich’s promise of a moon base demonstrates that he has as little knowledge of what engineering and scientific challenges would have to be overcome as he did of the combat in the VietNam war.  He’s willing to take credit for the hard work of others but like most of the GOP/teavanagelists of his era, don’t ask him to take part in any of the scut work or endure any personal sacrifice.  
            The 51st state boast is clear evidence that the “former speaker” would do everything possible to annex a global satellite as an American territory.  He, of course, would have no historical clue about how the other industrialized/technical nation would take offense at such action.  Nor would he care.  He’d be quite willing to start the first inter-planetary war, just as long as no one asked him to give up anything. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

27 January 2012 Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul

          Well, Cassi Creek will have to substitute for the river.  But the Nolichucky’s proximity – three miles downstream – is close enough.  An inch of rain since midnight onto an already well-watered drainage system has the creek clamoring raucously as it rushes past and moves large limestone boulders downstream. 
          Raucous describes the GOP “debate” in Jacksonville FL last night as Gingrich, the pig-faced newt, ran aground on the shoal of Blitzer’s refusal to be browbeaten by the “Former Speaker.” 
          Alexandra Petri described it well in her column in the Washington Post -http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/post/mitts-priceless-performance-newts-loony-business/2012/01/26/gIQAiukHVQ_blog.html  She lets the body parts fly and fall where they may. 
          I chose not to watch this debate, as I have chosen not to watch the previous hours of commercial propaganda that is intended to convince me that one of the GOP “candidates” is qualified to hold any elected position that involves public money, public service, public education, or public trust.  I need not bother; the news services will echo the funny and the sadly true bits for the next week after some teavangelist uttered them. 
          I probably won’t watch the “debates” between Obama and the teavangelist candidate.  I know whom I will vote for even if it is reluctantly.  Again, it will all be replayed and twisted by the propaganda services. 
          The levels of hatred in this campaign are going to climb to record levels. 

Temperatures are dropping today.  Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

26 January 2012 Moonlight wails as hound dogs bay…

…but never quite catch the tune
Stars fall down in buckets like rain
till there ain't no standin' room
Bright blue boxcars train by train
clatter while dreams unfold
Way down 
down along
Lazy River Road
("Lazy River Road"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
“Lazy River Road”, “Liberty” and “So Many Roads” were introduced into the Grateful Dead rotation toward the end of the band’s existence.  There was a perceived need for new material and a few new ballads were phased into the rotations. 
          “So Many Roads” was first played 22 Feb 1992 during the 1st Set. 
“From the land of the midnight sun
 ice blue roses grow
'long those roads of gold and silver snow
Howlin' wide or moanin low
So many roads I know
So many roads to ease my soul”
Liberty was originally recorded by Robert Hunter in 1988
Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home
I'm gonna find my own way home”

I happen to like the bridges in So Many Roads,” and Lazy River Road,” finding them sadly well suited to the deteriorating state of Jerry Garcia’s voice and capacity to stand with a heavy guitar slung over a body weakened by CHF while playing for 2.5 – 3 hours. 
          Today began with an 0530 wakeup and a dental appointment to have to cavities filled.   The lidocaine has worn off now and I can drink from a cup without drenching myself.  Possibly falafel tonight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25 January 2012 Here Comes Sunshine! Get your hearing protection

Tremendous video of the sun as it hurls CME’s outward
“Helios Flux Data Sonifications
“The following sounds were generated at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California in Berkeley using solar wind particle data from two different satellite missions, Helios 1 and 2 and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE”  Listen to the links.” 

The University of Iowa
“Type-III Radio Bursts Produced by the Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 2003, X17 and X28 Solar Flares as detected by the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science Instrument “

More amazing video and sonification. 
The Grateful Dead often had a segment of their shows referred to as “Space.”  When we called it that, we were closer than we knew.

 The upper one of a pair of new, solar active regions that just rotated into view of SDO offered a beautiful profile view of cascading loops spiraling above it (Jan. 15-16, 2012) following a solar flare eruption. These loop structures are made of superheated plasma, just one of which is the size of several Earths. With its ability to capture the Sun in amazing detail, SDO observed it all in extreme ultraviolet light. This particular video clip used an image every five minutes to present the motion. Note all of the other spurts and minor bursts from both regions during almost two days.

Dinner last night was Spaghetti Carbonara.  I used smoked trout in place of bacon. There was nothing left over.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

24 January 2012 “Fair and balanced” simply isn’t

September 22, 2011
Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media, Perceive Bias
More perceive liberal bias than conservative bias
by Lymari Morales
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured.”
Cassi Creek:
          The media, our 4th Estate” watchdog, is supposed to provide us with accurate and timely news presented simply as un-biased information.  With that information it then becomes up to us how honestly we process it and act upon it.
          Those of us fortunate enough to have any memories of Murrow, Cronkite, Rooney, and the rest of the tremendous news teams put together to cover WWII are fortunate.  Given the industry, standards imposed by the 24-hour news cycle those old and honored journalists are not going to be eclipsed by their linear descendants. 
          There is a continual battle for ratings among the news teams and a limited amount of “news” to be read by young and physically pleasing newsreaders. 
          There is also a limit to how many times we can sit through a repeat of news stories that have been vetted, washed, polished, and re-processed for the next reader and his/her demographic. 
          The belief that our media is largely biased is supported by poll data and by close examination into how the stories are presented.   Fox News is among the most biased sources of all, being essentially an advertising conduit for the GOP and a propaganda organ for the teavangelists.  CBS News is probably the most reliable broadcast media with MSNBC being the cable opposite of Fox News.  CNN News, along with NBC, CBS, and ABC are the outlets I trust to be the least biased in their reporting. 
          Tonight is Obama’s opportunity to deliver the State of the Union Address.  I won’t watch it.  Nor will I watch the disloyal opposition’s attempt to create lies about his speech or from it.  I’ll find a copy and read the actual text.  As long as we can obtain and read such speeches, we can retain a high degree of personal and national freedom.  Allowing the opposing party and/or the opposing hired media to spoon feed us the words of sitting politicians without making effort to read and study the actual items is the beginning of our downfall as a nation.  Keep reading the actual documents.   Keep reading, and keep demanding honest reporting from our media. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

23 January 2012 War with Iran OK with Santorum

                “Santorum nonetheless shifted to more serious foreign policy topics such as Iran toward the end of his remarks.
                "If we reach a point where I believe the only thing that will stop them from this program being realized and having a nuclear weapon - I will make a clear declaration to the Iranian government that you either open your facilities, you begin to dismantle this nuclear program, or we will dismantle it for you," Santorum told the crowd to much applause. He then argued that acquiring a nuclear weapon would allow Iran "carte blanche to spread a reign of terror around not just the Middle East, but here in America, here in Florida, here across western civilization."
                “Quickly dismissing the idea that such aggression would be an act of war, Santorum said it would be justified, comparing the Iranian government to the terrorist organization al Qaeda.
                "They're just as radical as the people who run al Qaeda - their theology is identical. Again different strengths, but identical in their fundamentalist, Jihadist version of Islam," Santorum said. "We cannot allow the equivalent of al Qaeda to have this weapon."

Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb-Bomb-Iran?
Published: January 22, 2012

                “…In the Republican field we have one candidate (Rick Santorum) who is about as close as you can get to the bomb-sooner-rather-than-later extreme, another (Ron Paul) who is at the let-Iran-be-Iran extreme, and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in between. Of particular interest is Romney, who has performed the same rhetorical trick with Iran that he did with health care. That is, he condemns Obama for doing pretty much what Romney would do…”
                “…American policy has been consistent through the Bush and Obama administrations: (1) a declaration that a nuclear Iran is “unacceptable”; (2) a combination of sticks (sanctions) and carrots (supplies of nuclear fuel suitable for domestic industrial needs in exchange for forgoing weapons); (3) unfettered international inspections; (4) a refusal to take military options off the table; (5) a concerted effort to restrain Israel from attacking Iran unilaterally — beyond the Israelis’ presumed campaign to slow Iran’s progress by sabotage and assassination; and (6) a wish that Iran’s hard-liners could be replaced by a more benign regime, tempered by a realization that there is very little we can do to make that happen. This is also the gist of Romney’s Iran playbook, for all his bluster about Obama the appeaser…”
                “…The point of tough sanctions, of course, is to force Iranians to the bargaining table, where we can do a deal that removes the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran. (You can find some thoughts on what such a deal might entail on my blog.) But the mistrust is so deep, and the election-year pressure to act with manly resolve is so intense, that it’s hard to imagine the administration would feel free to accept an overture from Tehran. Anything short of a humiliating, unilateral Iranian climb-down would be portrayed by the armchair warriors as an Obama surrender. Likewise, if Israel does decide to strike out on its own, Bibi Netanyahu knows that candidate Obama will feel immense pressure to go along.
That short-term paradox comes wrapped up in a long-term paradox: an attack on Iran is almost certain to unify the Iranian people around the mullahs and provoke the supreme leader to redouble Iran’s nuclear pursuits, only deeper underground this time, and without international inspectors around. Over at the Pentagon, you sometimes hear it put this way: Bombing Iran is the best way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent.

Cassi Creek:        Just what we need now, another unfunded un-winnable war against an Islamic state demanded by the teavangelists.  
                There’s every chance for a shooting war to develop between Iran and us.  The Pentagon has gamed out every potential play for every predictable scenario.  No matter how it games out, the plans become trash to be shredded once the first border is violated, the first bullets fired by some trigger-happy would-be-martyr, and the first missile fired by some Revolutionary Guards Navy officer.  That, of course, ignores the point that we are already unofficially at war with the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
Don’t forget Santorum’s religion.  With the xenophobic, anti-Islamic support of the redneck pulpit pounding teavangelists, he seems as willing to start another crusade, as do the mullahs of Iran who brand the U.S. and Israel as eternal enemies of Iran.  
                Of course, it is easier to start a war if you have no personal risk of being invited to dance.  Our all-volunteer armed forces backed up by expensive mercenary companies owned by friends of Congress fills its dance card as soon as the doors are open.  Recent history shows us that we don’t and won’t have the personnel strength to take part in another round of foreign-soil adventurism. 
                We’re correct in believing that we need to keep the sea-lanes open.  But we need to make it plain to all the industrialized nations that their navies are invited to the party as well.   Since we don’t buy Iranian oil we shouldn’t sponsor the dance, particularly that contingent of dancers who took off our national uniform to put on a corporate costume.   
                Santorum, Gingrich, and two generations of Americans have avoided most forms of military service while pushing for wars to control oil and other commodities used by speculators to pile up fortunes that are larger than the combined treasuries of Central America.  They view war as video games played on a larger screen by people who can’t afford to play them electronically.  They consider the current KIA and WIA totals as horrific.  Their concept of wars is sanitized and is played out remotely.  Thus, they demand that Americans join yet another crusade stirred up by hate mongers and demagogues who find it all too easy to push the teavangelists into believing that forcing school prayer onto the public and cheering for posturing athletes will convince Jesus to intercede in a war with Iran while simultaneously restoring jobs to the American Middle class. 
                That isn’t the way it is.  The number of men and women we’ve lost in combat may be smaller than in previous wars but they were important to their families and to their shipmates and squad mates.  The nature of a war with Iran over nuclear weaponry will be much different than the drone strikes and small unit battles we see on television today.  The body counts on both sides will outstrip the imagination of the politicians who let the teavangelists push them into supporting yet another war for corporations. 
                There’s a very good reason I think our politicians should be required to serve in our combat branches.  Its explanation begins with a five-letter word, “Medic!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

22 January 2012 Sane Republicans? Which Universe?

Initially posted as:  An open letter to sane Republicans

          Jennifer Rubin posts a plea for her favored party to accept and act upon reality.  Unfortunately for her, it is highly doubtful that any “sane Republicans exist. 
          “Dear Govs. Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal; Sens. Jon Kyl, Marco Rubio and Jim DeMint; and Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Mike Pence (R-Ind.):”
             The group of “leaders” she targets are all too busy increasing their own fortunes to be concerned with the well-being of the nation.  
Jan 17, 2012 9:51pm

Sarah Palin: ‘I’d Vote for Newt’

“Well, I could tell you what I would do if I were a South Carolinian,” Palin told Hannity.
“That’s close to an endorsement,” Hannity said.
“If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going I’d vote for Newt and I would want this to continue,” Palin said. “More debates, more vetting of candidates because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted, to the degree that he should have been so that we knew what his associations and his pals represented and what went into his thinking, the shaping of who our president today is.”
The Gingrich campaign could not be reached for comment, but Gingrich’s twitter handle @NewtGingrich tweeted “Thanks @SarahPalinusa for throwing your support my way in the South Carolina primary.”

Cassi Creek:
          The prospect of a Palin presence in a Gingrich administration is sincerely terrifying.  She has no business in any public office or in any appointed capacity. That Gingrich would seek her support indicates his lack of concern for the nation and the depth of his intention to exceed the Harding and Reagan administrations in corruption and graft. 
          I can’t begin to believe that anyone would give credence to Palin’s claim that McCain was not properly vetted.  She’s obviously out to destroy him for his refusal to let her launch a new campaign from the ashes of the 2008 election that she helped burn down.  She is off her medication again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

21 January, 2012 January White sales mythology & primaries

Newt’s Southern Strategy
Published: January 20, 2012

                “Up with Newt. Down with dignity. That’s the way it goes.
                “Newt Gingrich is surging in South Carolina and has a good chance to win that state’s primary on Saturday. But, as he rises, so grows the dark shadow that he casts over his party and the grievous damage he does to its chances of unseating President Obama.”

Posted at 02:01 PM ET, 01/20/2012
Grandiose? Look at yourself, Rick Santorum.

Commentators are giving Rick Santorum a lot of attention for insisting on Thursday night thatRepublicans didn’t need a “grandiose” leader like Newt Gingrich, or a flip-flopper like Mitt Romney…
                …”Speaking in front of a banner that read, “PersonhoodUSA,” Santorum’s point, of course, wasn’t biological — it was theological. He was not merely saying that sperm uniting with egg satisfies some technical definition of basic life; he was arguing that it creates a human with a soul and moral rights identical to those any of us have. And while science tells us when the brain forms and when it begins to function — long past conception — science has not been able to establish whether or when a soul enters any collection of cells.
Santorum’s declaration arrogantly dismissed those who — perfectly reasonably — hold a different view on the question of when human life meaningfully begins, for which there is no definitive answer, and it denigrated those who aren’t sure. It also abused the crucial notion that knowledge can be distinguished from belief. In that, it was subversive to the very underpinnings of modern society, which relies on the rational accumulation and application of hard evidence to do everything from launching space shuttles to designing factories that pump outinexpensive sweater vests…”
Cassi Creek:
          From my vantage point, what, where, and to some extent when and with whom Gingrich chooses to engage in sexual activity is of relative little concern to me. Unfortunately, Gingrich and supporters are hell-bent upon interfering in my sexual activities and freedom. The Christian Right’s insistence upon forcing their religion and its fundamentalist restrictions onto everyone else is not acceptable.  Their continual cries of “anti-Christian persecution” directed at those who prefer not to be forced into a theocracy driven by the American equivalent of the Taliban are increasingly growing old and have always been a blatant lie designed to stir up members and membership, in consequence, bringing in large amounts of revenue to the ruling fathers (there are no founding mothers – only founding breeding stock) who then funnel portions into campaign funding for the teavangelist elect.  (Diagram that sentence if you can)
          The voter base Gingrich is trying to stir up is the remnant of the populace who fought tooth and nail for segregation and against the Civil Rights laws of the 60s.  These are the same good souls who marched in white robes and hoods in effort to intimidate black citizens and whites who actually understood that Christianity, if practiced accurately and honestly, had to support equal rights and opportunity.   No one wants to admit in public that the Southern Baptist church was established to support the South’s continued demands for legal slavery; just as they prefer not to admit that women are excluded from the priesthood (call it what you will) and are commanded to be subservient to men.  I see little to distinguish the fundamentalism of America from that of Islamic states beyond the language used and the name on the sacred book. 
          We've left the era of divine right rulers behind and I have no interest in restoring that type of government to the hypocrites of the teavangelist party. If the ex-wife disclosure had taken place on Fox News in referent to a Democratic candidate the hate mongers who cheered Gingrich on would still be applauding Fox News actions in attacking “immorality and hypocrisy in the Godless, socialist, Democrats.”
          The southern base is solidly in the Gingrich camp because he plays to the residual, ingrained from birth racism that exists still in those states.  Santorum tags along using the linked fundamentalist dogma that is used to prevent women receiving reproductive freedom at all levels.  The various evangelicals will pair with anyone sharing their dogma about sexual freedom.  Santorum, if he hangs around long enough, will discover that his Roman Catholicism is regarded by the teavangelists to be just as much of a cult as is Mormonism. 
          The primaries are underway and the 2012 white sales are doing a booming volume in white sheets and robes. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

20 January 2012 Holier than us all

Or so he would have us believe
“Moralizing’s High Cost
Published: January 19, 2012
                Multiple marriages and even adultery are not automatic disqualifications for the presidency. If they were, the country would have a very different roster of former presidents and candidates. But when a political party decides that moralizing about personal conduct is as important as public policy, it inevitably makes some of its leaders vulnerable to the worst charges of hypocrisy…
…“Mr. Gingrich responded that he knew the issue would dog him through the campaign, but that he and his wife decided “the country was worth the pain.” He told the Marine — and all voters struggling with the same question — that the decision was one that “you have to make.”
It’s magnanimous of him to be willing to allow voters to decide for themselves on the importance of his moral choices, since he and his party have been so unwilling to allow the public to make its own moral choices.
For too many Republicans, it’s not enough that Americans are free to pray in the house of worship of their choice; they want all children to be required to pray in school. They want to impose their own ideas about sexuality and abortion on everyone. And they love to accuse Democrats of being insufficiently pious. (Rick Perry’s exit from the race on Thursday may mean no more ads accusing President Obama of a “war on religion” and liberals of believing faith is a sign of weakness. Or, it may not, depending on how desperate the other candidates get.)
When Republican officials then get caught violating one of the Ten Commandments, they make an enormous show of contrition and repentance and ask for the public’s forgiveness. But as the hypocrisy level continues to rise, that forgiveness may become much harder to provide.”

Polarized news market has altered the political process in South Carolina primary

Cassi Creek:         The link above leads to a rather long but highly significant article.  Please read every line and follow as many of the subsidiary links as you can.  It describes an increasingly common practice among voters and non-voters and their selection of news sources and resources.  More and more voters are choosing bubble news –highly biased sources that feed them a steady diet of selective reports, many of which confuse the issues further by including propaganda with facts. 
          With the development of the 24-hour news cycle and with around the clock talk radio and television masquerading as news sources, it is possible to spend the entire day on-line, watching TV, or listening to talk radio while never hearing a single item that conflicts or disagrees with your personal core bias. 
          We are all more or less guilty of falling into this pattern of bubble isolation news.  I never watch Fox News, believing it to be largely a GOP funded 24-hour propaganda source.  I never listen to talk radio, and rarely watch talk television.  I regard Christian oriented broadcasting and internet as Marx described them to be.  I view the organizations that fund Evangelical media as a dangerous collective that wants to demolish the 1st Amendment and create a theocracy with mandatory participation.
          There are, at the same time, sources I find to be unacceptable in many ways despite their innate leftward trend in reporting news.  For instance, The Huffington Post is highly regarded by many people with a liberal bent.  However, they also are given to publishing “alternative medicine” articles that are absolutely bullshit in conclusion and potentially harmful to people who have the misfortune to believe them. 
          My own bubble includes CNN, The Washington Post, the New York Times, NPR, PBS, CBS, NBC, and ABC News.  I also tend to trust AP, Reuters, and BBC.  For military news, I read various publications by the various branches of service. 
          These bubbles are everywhere now, we all live under ones of our own making.  We need to be aware of our self-inflicted decrease in possibly accurate sources of information just as we are aware of the steadily increasing diet of propaganda we are exposed to daily, 
Shabot Shalom!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

19 January 2012 The depth of stupidity has yet to be fully plumbed

          While Santorum is being called the Iowa GOP caucus winner, while Perry is dropping out, Gingrich is planning to commit utter folly. 
          His former wife is to be interviewed on television, with the interview televised prior to the primary most likely.
“AP Source: ABC Interviewed Gingrich Ex-Wife
By DAVID BAUDER Associated Press
NEW YORK January 19, 2012 (AP)
ABC News interviewed Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich's second wife — with whom he's said he has no relationship — and is likely to air the segment Thursday on "Nightline," an ABC News executive told The Associated Press.”
            There are few people capable of running for political office who are without some sort of skeleton from their past.  I include myself in the skeleton crew.    Gingrich, however, is guilty of carrying on an extra-marital affair while spending millions of taxpayer dollars to prosecute President Clinton for his Lewinsky affair.   Gingrich lacks the moral character to recognize the hypocrisy he is demonstrating by claiming to be the morality and religion candidate. 
            The worst of his plots and plans still lies further down beneath greater depravity.  In order to mobilize his redneck, teavangelist, anti-intellectual base, he is waving the potential inclusion of Sarah Palin in a Gingrich administration.  And the teavangelist base will support such stupidity.  If Gingrich wins the nomination, Palin will worm her way into some office she will be utterly unqualified to fill.    It may be only a short time until we see one of the super pacs posting ads with Obama’s face in a telescopic sight.