30 December 2010

Time Is On My Side - See You Next Year

Happy New Year

Sure, we have a hell of a fight ahead, but remember these sage words from that emminent social commentator and Peer of the Realm, Sir Mick Jagger, "Time Is On Our Side"

29 December 2010

Ten Things Right-Wingers Will Try to Destroy Economic Recovery

Isaiah J. Poole, Executive Editor of TomPaine.com has compiled a list of the top ten things the right-wing has for its legislative agenda  that will virtually insure the complete destruction of America's middle class.  Here, in order, is a condensed and abridged list of  the items on that agenda.  A link to the full article appearing on AlterNet follows:

1. Repeal Health-Care Reform

Never mind that there are 50-million  Americans now without coverage and repeal would cause an estimated $143-billion increase in the deficit from loss of projected savings and add 20-30 million more people to the uninsured.

2.  Restrain the Federal Government's Ability to Support Job-Creation

If they have their way, you can say goodbye to: Community Development Block Grants, new Small Business Administration initiatives, and the requirement that the Federal Reserve take employment impact into account when it sets monetary policy.

3.  Slash Federal Infrastructure Spending

Anyone remember a bridge collapse in Minnesota that killede rush hour commuters?  While other countries, such as China, are investing heavily in infrastructure, American politicians are hailed as heroes for rejecting projects designed to move goods and people effectively. Think a moment about what that implies for our ability to compete in the global economy.

4.  Dismantle Medicare (and Give Seniors "Vouchers")

Shifting increasing out-of-pocket costs onto seniors rather than restraining the growth of those costs by insurance companies would be one likely outcome of the so called "voucher" system.

5. Undo Financial Reform and Unleash The Predators

Imagine a crime wave in your city.  Now imagine a city council that puts fewer cops on the beat, makes certain the cops are docile, and that harasses those who are not.  Got it? 

6.  Support Big Oil and Kill Green Jobs

The conservatives would have the Environmental Protection Agency serve the polluters rather than the planet!

7.  Don't Just  Cut Government Waste; Cripple Government

George W. Bush said, "turning Clinton's surpluses into huge deficits was incredibly positive news" because it would put government in a "financial straitjacket."  Plans to reduce spending to 2008 levels would deepen the recession and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands more jobs.

8.  Amp up the Insecurity in Social Security

Cutting to the bone, Republicans want the $2.6 trillion trust fund to pay for tax breaks for the very wealthy and offset the costs of two wars.

9. Starve Public Education

Currently, one in four (*25%) of our nation's youths fail the Army Entrance Examination.  That is a problem, and the conservatives want to dismantle the very agency tasked with addressing the problem, the Department of Education.

10. Rob the Poor and Middle Income Americans to Give to the Wealthy

Cutting taxes on the rich and two unfunded wars caused the deficit, now conservatives want  to cut the things government does for the people in the name of reducing the deficit.

Full Article

28 December 2010

Sergeant With a Death Wish

When I served on active duty with the Marine Corps, I served with a medal-of-honor winning staff sergeant with an obvious death wish.  The man was a killer, a stone-cold psychopath that one just did not provoke.  {Provoke, hell--we stayed out of his line of sight, except when duty demanded}.  Duty demnanded we attend his classes on hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting..sheer terror, punctuated by relief when it was over for that week.

He got his medal in Korea for wiping out a machine gun nest of Chinese soldiers and then turning the machine gun on their company position enabling his pinned down platoon to break through and join the rest of the company and regiment on its march to the sea in sub-zero weather while under constant attack.  He had been riding on a tank directing its fire when it was hit by an anti-tank round and he was thrown into an enemy machine gun nest.  Without rifle or sidearm, although already seriously wounded himself, he attacked the five man crew with only his KA-Bar knife.  He killed all five.

At Camp Pendleton, he spent his liberty hours down at the base ranch riding bareback broncos and bulls.  As I said, a pronounced death wish.

I often wonder what his reactions to today's G.I.'s might be.  He didn't seem to be the sort of man who would welcome women or openly gay people into the military.  Look, even back then, he despised enlisted men who were married--"if my Marine Corps wanted you to have a goddamn wife, we'd of given her to you with your friggin' web gear", he'd hiss at any unfortunate asking for liberty to attend to family affairs.

I first met him when I was serving chow during boot camp and he was the Senior Drill Instructor of the motivation platoon.  Now, the motivational platoons, back then, were made up the recruits who couldn't cut it in a regular platoon because they were either wise-asses or bad-asses, or feigning psychosis to get out of their enlistments.  These weren't the overweight or mentally slow ones, they were for a different platoon.  These guys were the incorrigibles, the ones other services would have cashiered or never enlisted in the first place.  The Marine's response was just up crank up the "boot-camp" experience to the power of ten under the supervision of someone, tougher, meaner and crazier than any of his charges for as long as it took to make Marines of them.  Some spent months in boot camp, until they "got with the program".  And, you didn't graduate from the motivation plattoon, when it was determined you were squared away there, you would be assigned to a regular platoon that was just starting on their rotation through the 12-weeks.

So, while serving chow, about my second week in, he marched in the motivational platoon, and at the end of the line began holding out his tray for us to serve--this is different, because all other drill instructors would eat in an area set off for them with a recruit serving them at the table.  But, for whatever reason, he was eating with his platoon and the kid next to me splashed gravy on his blouse.  A tattooed hand shot out across the line, grabbed the kid, lifted him and slammed him on the ground...the kid shrieked and wet himself as one hand, tattooed with LOVE on the fingers, held him down by pressing on his chest just over the heart, and the other, tattooed with HATE, grabbed his Adam's apple, shutting off the squealing as the staff sergeant knelt over the kid  whispering, "You clumsy shit-bird, you do that again and I'll rip out your goddamn heart and eat it!"

That was it. Over in a flash. But it was my first intimation of how thin is the line between life and death and how quickly that line can be crossed.  I did some very serious growing up in that instant.

The thing of it was, after boot camp, he was assigned to my company as a platoon sergeant.  Thankfully, not my platoon...sometimes he'd look at me, and say, "I know you from somewhere."  I never reminded him of where.

The other thing of it is, I made it a point to learn from him everything he taught about hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting.  I've been in a few tights in my life, and only have been beaten down once...but then, I've always been very damned careful not to splash gravy on anyone.

27 December 2010

Christians, Do You Help Shoulder the Cross?

One wonders about Christians, not all of them--but, certainly most of them.

Over the past several weeks I've watched bemusedly (Okay, you got me there. Sometimes with annoyance and hostility) as people calling themselves Christian have demanded that others recognize and accept their right to claim the year-ending,  winter-solstice, holiday season as theirs in recognition of the birth of little baby Jesus. They bleat and blather about Jesus as the "Reason for the Season", one even got holidays confused and tossed in the cross (Easter) as "The True Reason for the Season".  Where I live, in occupied territory in the deepest red zone of East Texas, there are numerous yahoos displaying yard signs reading, "Happy Birthday Jesus".

Sure its sounds snarky to harp on it, but do these people really think their Jesus is driving by taking notes on who is celebrating his birthday (it's not, most biblical scholars think it's probably in September...just when football season is getting under way, and here In Texas, not even Jesus is going to trump that) and who is not--in a minute I'm going to reflect a bit on what he, if there really is such a he might be taking notes on.

You can't imagine the fury I ginned up by challenging, rather gently for me, these arrogant demands that people must shift from what is a pretty much fun, secular-humanist holiday and knuckle under to a puritanical  religious ritual.  "Go to hell", I was told by a sitting judge and one of her supporters.  My brief dissertation on the historic background of Christmas, and why I, and so many others, resent being told that we must cast aside our secular beliefs and adopt the Christian viewpoint, was margenalized as a "rant".

And so it goes.  But, here is what really perplexes me about these folks, and it really has nothing to do with the holiday season and much more to do with, where in the name of hell is the christian outrage at what is happening to so many our brothers and sisters.  Christians, especially the more evangelical fundamentalists, love parables and allegories, so let's give them one.

Jesus is said to have fallen (not really spelled out in their bible--but, one of those, well, everybody knows it kind of things) under the weight of the cross three times.  Only one person helped shoulder it, Simon of Cyrene.  And, here's the thing about that.  He didn't rush out and say, "Let me help you with that old boy".  Hell no, a Roman soldier drafted him to the task!  Which, in my mind, makes him the very first Christian...yeah he did it, but it wasn't out of love or generosity or grace or blessedness or whatever the current catch phrase of the religious right holds sway today.  He was compelled to do so under pressure of authority!

Okay, here's my allegory.  How many of you people calling yourself Christian will pick up and help carry the cross?  Here's some of what it is loaded down with: drug and alcohol addiction and abuse stemming from a desire to deaden the pain of ignorance, unemployment, and institutionalized generational poverty, or men and women selling their bodies in order to obtain that soma against the cruelty of existence in a system which places no value on human spirit, or older and elderly people merely existing, not living, at the edge of starvation in the midst of aloneness. Oh, I could go on, but you surely get the picture.

When you shoulder those pieces of the cross, then I might believe there is some honesty in your sanctimonious posturings.  I'm not talking about tithing, or a few bucks in the collection plate, or a blanket or coat in cold weather, and then back to your life, fading like Simon back to the obscurity of the crowd.

Got it?

21 December 2010

An Interactive, Secular-Humanist X-Mas Card

We are celebrating the Holiday Season in the best mithraic tradition in high anticipation of the approaching climax of the saturnalia, and will resume our writings on Monday, December 27th.

Meanwhile, click on the link below for your very own interactive, secular-humanist X-mas card!

Did you know that the puritans banned christmas celebrations for several decades?  And, that the bible makes absolutely no reference to christmas?  And were you aware that biblical scholars agree that Jesus, according to biblical writings, could not have been born in December---and most likely was born in March, September, or perhaps early November.  You should also know that what we now call "christmas" was essentially a pagan celebration up until Pope Gregory the First, sometime around 600 AD, commanded his bishops to merge local practices into church rituals in order to expand the church's influence.

20 December 2010

Ann Richards, Molly Ivins, Dorothy Parker::The Wisdom of Women

Dorothy Parker


“Razors pain you;

 rivers are damp;

 acids stain you;

 and drugs cause cramp.

 Guns aren't lawful;

 nooses give;

 gas smells awful;

 you might as well live.”

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

Molly Ivins

"If you think his daddy had trouble with 'the vision thing,' wait'll you meet this one,"  On George W. Bush

"If left to my own devices, I'd spend all my time pointing out that he's weaker than bus-station chili," On Bill Clinton

Ann Richards

I'm really glad that your young people missed the Depression and missed the big war. But I do regret that they missed the leaders that I knew, leaders who told us when things were tough and that we'd have to sacrifice, and that these difficulties might last awhile. They brought us together and they gave us a sense of national purpose.”

"Let me tell you, sisters, seeing dried egg on a plate in the morning is a lot dirtier than anything I've had to deal with in politics."

"Power is what calls the shots, and power is a white male game."

I wish they were here today! Instead, we have Sarah Palin and what a disaster she is.  Which, brings us to a final quote, "You can put lipstick on a pig and call her Monique.  But, she' still a pig!"

16 December 2010

Alcohol, Drugs, Consumerism, & Religion:: The Elephant In The Room

Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence.
Hold to the truth within yourself, as to the only truth.
..............................Gautama Siddahartha (the Buddha)
I often wonder why my fellow Americans allow to happen the things they do.  How is it that we countenance institutionalized poverty, hunger, deprivation, generational joblessness, endless war, deterioration of public education, and the take-over, by stateless international corporations, of virtually all levels of governance and our military? 
How is it that people, who start off life essentially decent and well-meaning, can ignore our slow creep into Fascism, aided and abetted by neo-liberal economists of the Friedman school of economic theory?
I think I know part of the answer.  Like combat veterans who know horror and choose to bury it deep in their psyches, where it lies festering, painfully leading to eventual self-medication through alcohol, drugs or violent and otherwise dysfunctional behaviors, we ignore the obvious, the pile of reeking crap in the room left by the elephant who lives with us. We anesthetize ourselves with drugs, alcohol, religion and consumerism to enable to ignore that which is piling up around us.
We find diversion, resort to quick highs or sense deadening lows, and buy, buy, buy!  And let us not forget the "opiate of the masses", religion--in American, most notably the various Protestant sects.
So much of Protestantism in America today has morphed into this really odd sort of creature; part boosterism of self-indulgent, individual prosperity,  blind, jingoistic loyalty to the state, with self-righteous insistence that Gaaawwwwd and JeeeSUS blesses it all, and that all the problems on earth will go away when the trumpet sounds so it's alright to ignore them as long as we're being "blessed" and successful in our search for affluence.
Christians of this ilk will fervently, with unforgiving, hard-eyed resolve, insist that Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of little baby Jesus--"the reason for the season", while ignoring the historic truth that the man was born in September, as near as theologians and historians can determine!  And, the other elephant pile of truth, that the whole of Christmas festivity was co-opted by Christians from earlier "pagan" religions.
They assuage their rightfully felt unease with an extra holiday dollar or two in the collection plate, or serve an hour or two on a holiday food line, or toss an out-of=date can of green beans or threadbare old blanket in a collection bin in the church vestibule without ever having to actually see or touch a "poor person".
I would suggest that they acquaint themselves with the writings of theologian Emmet B. Fox: The Sermon on the Mount and The Ten Commandments.  Here they would find, from those wonderful historical and philosophical texts, the old and new testaments, the constant truth about how to live one's daily life so that one is truly "blessed".

15 December 2010

Boomers, Xers, Millennials - Social Security is Yours: Fight to Save It!

Confused about Social Security?  Think it's going bankrupt?  Think it's driving up the deficit?  Here's Ed Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, putting the lie to these misconceptions.

14 December 2010

A Progressive Rallying Point: 2012

Last week, I wrote, and copied here, a letter to President Obama, asking him to exercise the political fortitude and personal courage to come before the American people and announce that he would not seek reelection in 2012, leaving the way open for the democratic wing of the Democratic Party to find a viable progressive candidate.  This, I strongly believe, would allow him to focus on doing his job for the American people, all of them--he so proudly claims to represent, without thought or worry to reelection or his place in history.

Of course he will not do anything of the sort.  And, if the response of his loyalists and apparatchiks over the past week are any indicator, he is going to entrench and move even further to the right.  But, we've hit a nerve and the reactions are predictable.  We need now to take the initiative.

Progressives, liberals and leftists are currently without much representation and not taken seriously by the corporate media.  We are told that if we mount any serious opposition to Obama and his coterie of neo-liberal economic advisers, we will fracture the Democratic Party, thereby insuring even deeper defeats than 2010.  Stuff and nonsense!  One of the "not being discussed at all" results of the 2010 elections is that democrats who tried to be centrists and moderate republicans LOST!  Democrats are already fractured, without platform, or true leadership.

So, what is left (hah) for a leftist, progressive, liberal to do?  Let me direct your worthy attention to this article, which lays out a vision, a starting point, and in current political jargon, a way forward.  Simply click HERE

We on the left; largely spurned by our own party, derided or blithely ignored by the corporate media, and ridiculed and made the strawman of all that is wrong with America by the rabid right, often feel alone and without organization or structure.  Not so.  Envision being a part of a unified progressive movement speaking with solidarity from a platform based on a spiritually humanistic world view.  Interested?  Click HERE

Together, we can!

13 December 2010

Obama's Tax Deal, Social Security: Beginning Of The End

Proposed Tax Deal: Poison Pill for Social Security

President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans a week ago today to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years. The package would reduce the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax on all wage earners by two percentage points, to 4.2%, for one year. However, the package would cost about $900 billion over the next two years, and would be financed entirely by adding to the national debt. The deal would also extend unemployment benefits at their current level for 13 months, through the end of 2011.

The Social Security payroll tax cut is estimated to cost $120 billion per year, and is a provision that Senate Democrats say could ultimately be the undoing of Social Security. Allowing the payroll tax to expire in a year will mean that workers will see a nearly 50% jump in payroll taxes as the rate reverts back -- an event that is likely to be described as a tax hike. According to The Huffington Post, reducing a person's responsibility to contribute to Social Security also deprives the program of the political and moral capital that has kept the program intact despite fierce opposition from a determined investor class. In arguing against the deal, Nancy Altman, head of the group Social Security Works, noted that such responsibility was put into place by FDR for just that purpose. To see more from FDR on the topic, Click Here

Altman said that dividing the stimulus evenly by simply sending an equal check to every worker would be far more desirable. Both the Senate and the House are expected to debate and vote on the proposal early this week.

Tax Cuts for the Rich, Republicans Kill $250 for Seniors

A proposal to provide seniors an emergency payment of $250 was blocked last Wednesday by Republican-led opposition in the House and Senate. The measure would have provided the one-time payment to 58 million Social Security recipients in lieu of an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This is the second consecutive year that Social Security beneficiaries did not receive a COLA. Senior advocates note that the Consumer Price Index in Social Security, which measures the rate of inflation, does not accurately reflect the rate of inflation faced by seniors who spend a huge amount of their income on health care. Alliance for Retired American members sent more than 5,400 e-mails letting their representative and senators know that they were counting on them to vote in favor of the payment. The bill, S. 3985, required 60 votes to shut off a filibuster in the Senate, but failed 53-45. No Senate Republicans voted for it. To see how your Senators voted, go HERE.

The proposal also failed in the House for passage under House Suspension Calendar rules. There, the measure came up short, 254-153, with 141 Republicans voting against it. Under those rules, two-thirds of members present and voting were necessary for the bill, H.R. 5987, to pass. To see how your representative voted, go HERE

In arguing for the $250, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) mentioned the Alliance for Retired American's support on the House floor. “This legislation is critical to retirees, but unfortunately, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly chose to oppose it,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.

09 December 2010

Social Security Recipients: GOP> "DROP DEAD!"

Dear Seniors, retirees, widows, orphans, and disabled workers,

Drop Dead!


Your Republican Representatives & Senators


Dear Wealthiest Americans,

See you at the country club, the deal's done.  He caved in quicker than my wife's first souffle.

 Venally Yours,

Your Republican Representatives & Senators

PS  My numbered Swiss account remains the same as before

08 December 2010

Letter To Obama: Stand down!

December 8, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.20500

Dear Mr. President,

I regret to inform you that I find your naivete' appalling and frightening.

You often remark that, in effect, you're representing all the people of America.  In theory, at sort of a ninth grade civics class sort of way, you're correct.  But, in reality there are anywhere from 25 to 35 percent of the population who would gladly burn crosses on the White House lawn and drag you and your family out into the cold December night and hang you before setting fire to your corpses.  Do you truly believe that you represent them, or that by extending a hand you will change them?

This mindlessly, lunatic rabble is financed, encouraged, and abetted by nameless, faceless corporations that know no national boundaries nor any sense of patriotism toward our nation.  They are the vanguard of international fascism, and in no sense of the word do they believe that you "represent" them. They are the masters of destruction, they use our legislature to further their own aims, they use our military to advance their worldwide goals and to advance their profits--do you truly believe that you "represent" them?

I worked long and hard (as did millions of others) to help get you elected.  As a cancer survivor, I used strength and energy I could not spare. As a Social Security recipient, I contributed money that I could ill afford to part with. I did these things because I believed you when you promised to rein in and corral the liars, thieves, cut-purses and mendicants of Wall Street and banking.  I believed you when you said you would extract us from two unfunded wars of invasion and occupation of non-belligerent sovereign nations. I believed you when you said you would lead us in the fight to bring to heel the hell-hounds of the drug and insurance companies and provide all Americans with an opportunity for quality, affordable health care. And, I believed you when you said you would bring an end to the Bush tax-cuts, which further enrich the already wealthy while diminishing the middle-class and further impoverishing the already poor and destitute.

I believed you were a man of strength, courage and fortitude.  I believed you would provide leadership against some very dark and strong forces undermining every precept of representative democracy.  I believed that you would help us climb out of the abyss of cynicism and insane self-indulgence  wrought by the dry-drunk sociopath who preceded you in the White House.

I watch as your supporters rightfully desert you.I have watched as you have silently suffered insult and attack without response. And sadly, after two years of capitulation, compromise, and weakness, I see no way back for you.  You have exhausted my trust and belief.  You have failed to accomplish that which you were elected to do.  I am saddened and sickened by this.

I encourage you to take the first opportunity to come before the American people and announce that you will not seek a second term in order to allow the Democratic party to find a candidate worthy of the office.  Perhaps, without the distraction of re-election considerations or eye toward your place in history, you could find the time, stamina and will to truly represent those Americans who elected you!


Shane Fox

07 December 2010

Call To Action: $250 Emergency Social Security Payment

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are both scheduled to vote on Wednesday, December 8 on a $250 emergency payment to seniors. The payment would go to seniors, veterans, disabled individuals, and railroad retirees who did not receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 through Social Security or other programs, as well as retired government workers who do not receive Social Security benefits. These beneficiaries received a similar payment in 2009.

TAKE ACTION - -Click on this link:  HERE


This is the second consecutive year that Social Security beneficiaries did not receive a COLA. As you know, the Consumer Price Index in Social Security (CPI-W), which measures the rate of inflation, does not accurately reflect the rate of inflation faced by seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries who spend a huge amount of their income on health care. The $250 emergency payment will help with medical, pharmaceutical, and other costs of daily life in these difficult times.  Gasoline prices are climbing once again, insurance *(Gap plans and Medicare Part D plans) premiums are soaring, and an early and harsh winter will cause heating bills to mount up for those on limited and fixed incomes.

The Senate will need 60 votes to stop a filibuster and pass this measure. The House will need a simple majority of votes. You need to make your voices heard.  Simply click the link above to get the phone number and contact information for your representative as well as the main Capitol switchboard.

But, don't delay.  The vote is tomorrow; and the Republicans have already declared war on the middle class and unemployed....Stop them from doing the same thing to Social Security recipients!

Let your representative and senators know that you are watching them and that you are counting on them to protect you by voting in favor of the emergency payment for seniors.  We need your call, please do it now!

06 December 2010

Deficit Commission Fail: Big Win For Seniors & Working Families

American baby boomers, seniors and retirees dodged a bullet last Friday when the National Commission on Fiscal Reform and Responsibility's members rejected their co-chair's (*Erskine Boles & Alan Simpson) proposal to drastically cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age.

On this rare occasion, sanity and reason trumped ideology, ignorance and venality. We must never again try to balance the federal budget on the backs of current and future retirees, especially when it is an incontrovertible fact that social security has not added a single cent to the current deficit crises.  Indeed, members of the commission included in their report to President Obama words acknowledging that Social Security has not contributed to the deficit!

It is a brutal irony that those members of the commission most ready to chop apart Social Security are the same crew of right-wingers that are leading the fight to extend Bush's tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.  When one protests this, their retort is that the protester is engaging in "class" warfare.  As though socking it to working families and retirees to enrich the already wealthy is not class warfare.  Somewhat akin to a mugger telling the judge that his victim, who fought back, assaulted him.

The defeat of these draconian cuts to Social Security did not come easy.  Working families, retirees, and future retirees and their supporters mobilized and stood strong while letting commission members know there would be a heavy price if they pursued  a course of attack on one of America's greatest success story.  The week before the vote, progressive activists from many allied organizations joined with the Alliance for Retired Americans in a national call-in day which shut down the capitol switchboard--which is designed to process 7,000 calls at a single instant.

We can hope that this augers a new chapter in debating and solving the issues related to the preservation of Social Security for generations to come.  Solutions must be sought, but, those solutions must strengthen--not weaken--the economic security and well-being of millions of older Americans, widows, orphans and disabled workers.  Social Security has kept generations out of poverty and it must be protected and preserved for all future generations.

02 December 2010

Texas State Rep. Leo Berman: A National Embarrassment

Texas state representative (REP-D6), Leo Berman, once again embarrasses himself and Texas with his outlandish insistence that President Obama is not an American citizen.  When confronted with facts by CNN's Anderson Cooper, he attempts to wiggle away with lies and falsehoods stacked upon internet right-wing, conspiracy-nut rumors.  Cooper annihilates him with documented facts.

Berman claims he is a decorated, retired army officer *(Artillery).  However a cursory web search yielded no supporting documentation, and since Berman has sponsored at least two bills building walls of secrecy around military service records, *(TX HB198 & HB199) one can use his rather feverish logic, and suppose he is hiding something from us.  All I could find, were mostly self-generated by him, supporters, or his staff.  He claims to be a colonel, but after his alleged 22-years of service, he seems to have only made the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  In the military, that failure to make what is called "the colonel's list" is an indicator of some sort of problem!

I wonder if we can get him to release his DD214 for public scrutiny.

Indeed, it appears that full colonel rank (of which he so proudly boasts and struts) was an honorific bestowed on him by the Texas National Guard or Civil Air Patrol.  I was once the adjutant of a Marine Corp League chapter in Illinois, but do not wave that title in my personal or political life.  Nor do I attach it to my regular military service in the Marine Corps.

I've met Berman, twice, and unlike Will Rogers, I found a man I disliked.  He is, what we called in the Marine Corps, a "feather merchant", a wee little man suffering from the "short man's disease", with a battleship mouth and row-boat ass.  He spews a lot of bile and hate, and makes a lot of noise and gains a lot of media attention doing so.  But, as the current cliche' goes, upon close examination, there is just no there, there!



And, lest you think I am misconstruing this guy's idiocy, here, decide for yourself:

01 December 2010

Young Parents: Get A Yardstick!

There is a point in every young parent's life, particularly the mother, when it becomes realized that despite the intense delight and passionate pleasure during the process of conception, there has been brought forth into the world a psychopath!  This realization usually hits somewhere between the child's age of two and five.  Regrettably, the derangement continues up to about the age of 25 to 28.

Comedian Bill Cosby calls them "brain damaged"!  Brain damaged or psychopathic, the end result is the same.  At about the age that a person begins gaining their own sanity, they become the caretakers of the criminally insane.  Sweet, cuddly little toddlers become fiendish pre-schoolers more influenced by the worst behaving brat in day-care than by parents or teachers. Sharps have to be placed not just out of reach, but under lock and key, as do medicines and toxic and caustic substances less they be given or applied to family pets, a younger child, or merely self-ingested just for the hell of it.

This particular form of mental derangement's onset demonstrates displays of obstinacy regarding personal hygiene and/or fulfilling the human need for sleep. Those who have descended the deepest into their madness often will eschew all forms of nourishment other than Gummy Bears coated with honey or macaroni and cheese slathered with ketchup.  But, bath and bedtime, once ritualized and predictable occasions of bonding and sweet affection, become the kill zones of deadly fire-fights with no quarter given.  Banshee like shrieks of retribution from the parent, loud and shrill enough to cause neighborhood dogs to waken and wail, and to shatter Aunt Mildred's wedding gift crystal, merely feed the child's distemper.  Milder one's whimper, whine, beg and plea while the more aggressive resort to running naked to hide under the bed or the darkest recesses of the closet--despite earlier avowals that a "hairy monster" resides there and that it would be utterly impossible and life-threatening to sleep under those conditions.

People who once went to country fairs and home shows for the displays and rides now head there for one thing and one thing only: Free Yardsticks!  Wise ones will get several, as the newer, more flexible ones, break rather easily.

Dressmakers use them to measure hems and skirt or dress length from the floor.  But not so with young parents.  They have no time for for dressmaking.  Their intent is self-preservation!  At wit's end and fully cognizant of the criminal penalties for what they now murderously contemplate each night at bath or bed time, they seek an advantage.  And, they know, either from their own experience, or perhaps instinctively, that a well-used yardstick is the perfect weapon of intimidation.

Properly used by a fearless parent, order can be restored to the ward without resulting to strait-jackets, drugs, or duct tape.  Like all psychopaths, the young child is wholly motivated, even driven, by a fear-based instinct for self-preservation.  Once applied to the brat's butt, the yardstick assumes a life of its own.

Upon hearing the words, "Do I need the yardstick?", all but the most recalcitrant quickly determine that it is best to choose one's battles carefully, and that right now perhaps is not the time.  Sometimes, with the brighter ones, all that is needed is a parent's longing look at the yardstick, even without a suggestion of a move in its direction, to be sufficient to alter the situation and bring about docility and compliance.

The additional advantage of the yardstick is that it extends the parent's reach by three feet and can't be easily eluded or dodged, and becomes the perfect tool to rout the misbehaving youngster from under the bed or dark corner of the closest.

A word of caution is needed.  Be careful, despite the provocation, to see to it that only the flat side, rather than the edge, is used.  Even the most callused little butt might show a mark if it were...and that could launch inquiries from those pesky and nosy CPS people!

And that's a whole other thing!