Sunday, April 29, 2007

Condi responds to Tenet...

Condi is making the rounds of the Sunday Talk circuit this morning to refute Tenets allegation that Bush did not have a serious discussion about the various options available before invading Iraq.

What Tenet has to say is backed-up by numerous reports from various sources. From Day One Bush was hell-bent on regime change in Iraq. We know that this was a top priority at his very first cabinet meeting.

Condi's response to the Tenet on ABC this morning was a feeble effort to rewrite history. Of course she can never admit that the war was based on a pack of lies...since she was one of Bush's main enablers. I don't believe anything that woman has to say any more.


Joe Biden was just on Meet the Press (NBC) offering his rewrite of history. I consider Biden to be what I call a bullshit artist.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Debate...

The debate between the Democratic candidates for President last night left me hoping that Al Gore might reconsider his decision not to run.

I found the war-mongering comments by Clinton and Obama to be particularly discouraging. We don't need another President that will get us into another war. This mantra about Iran posing a threat to the United States is just a replay to the mantra of four years ago about the threat posed by Saddam. It's time to put the interests of the American people before any special interest group.

We have already lost over 3,000 soldiers in a war that was based on a pack of lies. Even Tenet is now saying that Cheney and Company were hellbent on going to war at any cost. I get very nervous when I hear Presidential candidates talking about keeping "all options" on the table.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another fallen hero...

Nancy Smyth, mother of Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy, center background, her husband David Kennedy, right, and her youngest son Colin Kennedy, left, follow Adam Kennedy's casket out of St. Jude Church in Norfolk, Massachusetts.
Kennedy, 25, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
One of the deadliest single ground attacks on US forces since the start of the war in Iraq occurred Monday when nine soldiers were killed near Baqubah.
(Photo: Stephan Savoia / AP

Monday, April 23, 2007

Understanding the Mind of the Virginia Tech Gunman...

It has been a week since the Virginia Tech massacre. I've been struck by the failure of the media to address the issue of mental illness in any serious way.

In the mid-1970's I managed a transitional residence for mentally ill individuals in Western Massachusetts. At that time I felt frustrated at the poor understanding of mental illness by society at-large. Not much has changed in the intervening three decades.

Cho was a VERY SICK individual - not a criminal. The video clips released by NBC show a young man who was clearly out of touch with reality. He suffered from a chronic illness that affects half of one percent of the population.

There is really no cure for paranoid schizophrenia. Anti-psychotic medications can relieve the most serious symptoms...but they have some undesirable side effects. I'm not sure if Cho had a prescription for these medications. It seems likely that he was not taking any medicine for his psychosis.

I would hope that one of the outcomes of the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech would be a greater understanding of the challenges posed by serious mental illness in our society. We need more research into the causes of schizophrenia and into the development of effective treatments for this disease.

Clearly the response to the Virginia Tech shootings should not be the widespread availability of guns for the general public. I once worked as a college professor and I know I would not have been keen on the idea of students having concealed weapons in my classroom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Virginia Tech tragedy...

My response to this tragedy is one of pure sadness. The hopes and dreams of a group of wonderful young people are gone forever. I think about the parents and family members in particular.

There is already second-guessing about how the administration at the university responded to the initial shooting. And the arguments about gun control have started. Maybe we should wait until after the funerals to engage in these arguments.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Patriots Day...

Here in Massachusetts it is Patriots Day. Despite a major Nor'Easter the Boston Marathon is scheduled to begin a ten o'clock. Lots of stuff cancelled, including an annual barbeque that I always to plan to attend at the home friends in Wellesley.

We're all ready for some sunny Spring weather around here!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Talk...

This morning I watched Vice President Cheney on Face the Nation. The guy seems to be totally delusional. Same old rant about 9/11 and the "terrorists" who want to destroy our American way of life. Fortunately, this was a much better interview than the so-called interviews of Cheney conduced by Russert over at Meet the Press.

Speaking of Meet the Press, I saw part of the panel discussion on Imus. Was greatly impressed by the performance of Gwen Ifill. I found the discussion of Imus over at ABC (This Week) to be superficial with the usual stereotypes of the African-American community. George Will is a pompous racist jerk. He was obviously upset over the fact that Imus got the boot.

I have finally concluded that ignorance is at the root of racism by people like George Will. They don't see anything wrong with using the public airwaves to ridicule, demonize and make fun of others. And it's not just racist comments. When Rush made fun of a man suffering from MS (Michael J. Fox) there was no negative consequences. That ugly bastard should have been kicked off the radio for ridiculing a handicapped person.

Am I missing the "humor" of all the stuff that is been spewed out on Hate Radio?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CBS pulls plug on Imus...

I expect that Imus will move to satellite radio to join his old colleague Howard Stern. Maybe this whole affair will motivate civil/human rights groups to go after the most racist talk show hosts who are now polluting our culture. Could be a good day for America!

The problem of hate speech on the radio...

Check out this post for an introduction to the young women from Rutgers that were the target of comments by Don Imus and his gang. An impressive group!

MSNBC has decided to drop Imus. A lot has changed in the media landscape in recent years but Corporate America is still uncomfortable about having their products associated with hate speech.

I share the view that the PUBLIC AIRWAVES should not be used to spew out hatred and bigotry of any kind. The professional hate-mongers make millions at the expense of others. In the process they are like a cancer eating away at all that is best about American culture.

In fairness it needs to be pointed out that Don Imus is not one of the worst offenders when it comes to hate speech on the radio. People like Rush Limbough and Michael Savage serve up a daily diet of hateful speech. What I'm suggesting is that the problem of hate speech on the radio is much larger than Imus.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More on Imus...

Looks like the outrage over the racist remarks by Imus is growing. It is not clear that he'll survive this storm. In the meantime so-called liberal pundits who regularly appear as guests on his program are coming to his defense. Howard Fineman suggested that Imus is a victim of changing attitudes. And most of the politicians will likely continue to show up on the program. John McCain has gone on record as saying he plans to continue appearing on the program.

Do you think that Imus should be fired?

Monday, April 09, 2007

A comment on Imus...

I stopped listening to Imus a few years ago after I decided that his racist comments made me extremely uncomfortable. I've never been a big fan of hate-mongers on my radio dial.

Looks like a lot of people are really agitated over the recent comments by Imus about the members of the Rutgers womens basketball team. My view is that this guy is an ashwhole who should be ignored. Unfortunately, his racism will help increase his audience and help him sell soap and the other products that he is peddling.

Ideally we should buycott the products that support Imus and other racists on the airwaves. Problem is that most of us are too busy trying to make a living to engage in this kind of activity.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Morning in Massachusetts...

It's a bright sunny but somewhat chilly Easter Morning here in my hometown of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all who are celebrating these religious Holidays this weekend. Check Spelling

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blair tells Bush to back off...

From today's Guardian, we learn that the Bush administration wanted to escalate tensions with Iran after the 15 British sailors were seized two weeks ago.

How predictable; for Bush and Cheney, any resort to diplomacy is a token of weakness. Bush offered to use American naval forces provocatively in order to threaten Iran.

Instead, Blair told them to stay out of it. He also asked Bush & Co. to tone down the rhetoric while Britain tried to free the hostages without provoking a war.

I have always believed that Bush is only looking for a pretense to attack Iran.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The 15 Brits return home...

The pundits were all over the television news shows this morning with their NeoCon talking points. There is clearly some disappointment that the Bush Administration did not use the capture of the 15 Brits as an excuse to bomb Iran. A missed opportunity!

I'm not sure who is the "winner" in the confrontation between Iran and Britain ... but I do know that a wholesale bombing attack is not the appropriate response when a group of service people are held captive. Maybe the lesson in this case is that international disputes can be resolved with diplomacy. Hopefully, our next President will share this view.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pelosi goes to Syria, Bush complains...

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is looking stronger as a national leader every day. And she is getting under the skin of the small-minded George Bush. The good news is that her trip to the Middle East can help improve the image of the United States abroad.

Monday, April 02, 2007

British media goes ballistic...

The British media are going ballistic over the treatment of those 15 "captives" by the Iranian government. It so happens that our U.S. government is holding a number of Iranian "captives" in Iraq. Considering the record of the Bush Administration in recent years it is likely that those Iranian captives are getting "special" treatment...if you know what I mean.

Maybe the British media should cool it...since there is no evidence that the Iranians have subjected the Brits to torture or humiliation. Well, maybe showing captives on television is a form of humiliation. What do you think?