Monday, May 23, 2016

WHAT HAPPENS NOW. THE GREAT UNANSWERED QUESTION

Austerity promoted by modern conservative leaders is destroying this country. Their kind of austerity is a misinterpretation of what the goal of conservatism should actually be. Conservatism should deal with controlling spending and not try to stop all spending. In the tipsy trivia political world of today the conservatives and liberals have migrated into on or the other political party rather that form wings of the party. The conservatives are amassed in the Republican party and the liberals are amassed in the Democratic party. Thus, the modern Republican Party appears to have taken an extreme position, which happens because they lack the moderating liberal points of view from within that party. The position they have taken would have been the expected position of what in the past would have been an extreme point of view for an entire party. What is happening is that the party is not trying to make government better, as political parties did in the past, but are working to completely destroy it, which is obviously an unacceptable extreme . . . one half of the body politic trying to destroy their reason for existence. It makes no sense. What is most disconcerting about the movement is that it seems to be worldwide. Several governments in the Europe Union have recently elected extreme rightwing government leaders. Austria seems on the verge of following suite. This seems dangerous to me; however, I have to admit that I am puzzled where this is going to lead. It seems counter to the usual conservative fear of loss of national sovereignty. In the past in individual countries it has led to dictators of one kind or another, which has led to tyrannies of one political party or, in the case of communism, it led to tyranny of the majority. The tyranny of royalty was the most common form of tyranny and replacing it with democracy was the result. Perhaps it will be multinational corporations left to take the reins of leadership. Of course, tyranny is tyranny. Of course, this movement to the right is receiving a disproportionate amount of support because individuality is something we all want and are willing to fight to get; it seems to be in our genes. Also, experience in the material world has taught us that we should ask for more than we actually want. I am a great believer in the idea that conservatism is driven by greed, which is an individual thing, in contrast with liberalism, which is driven by empathy. Obviously, empathy is a judgement of a group. We cannot survive without greed. The result in a free society, which is the hall mark of democracy is that we routinely fight for more than our share. This means democracy has an innate built in conflict; we ask for and expect to receive more than our Fair share. We as a society have reached that point. The question is it this happening at the country level or is it happening at the world level and if it is what is the final result. Where is our society going? We as a species have been around for about 100,000 years. Have we reach or are we approaching some sort of utopia? I find interesting is that many including some of the best minds down through the ages have tried but no one has ever been able to describe or even come close to describing what that might be. My point is that it seems as if are we are about to find out the hard way? The next one hundred years is bound to be interesting. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, May 1, 2016

USS LOWRY ON THE YALU RIVER

Like most ex-service men, I have little stories I can tell about serving aboard the USS Lowry in Korea during the Korean war. We call them “war stories” although they generally do not deal with shoot-em-up battles there were tense times. Fortunately, most of them ended well. One of my favorite such stories has to do with being in a very dangerous place during a very dangerous time when I am absolutely sure every crew member knew they were in danger but 99% of the crew did not realize how close they came to disaster. I have no idea of how many knew where we were sailing on the Yalu River, why we were there, and what real dangers they face. The date was May, 1952. At the time ship’s rumor had it that we were on an assignment to pick up information from a spy although our ship’s commanding officer later wrote we were there to deliver guns and ammunition to a contingent of Marine Raiders operating behind Communist lines. I saw nothing of that sort being transferred to the boat and only one of the men in the boat appeared to be an American and he was not in uniform of any kind. It was a moonless night with all light turned off and the ship’s portholes and hatches closed. The crew was at condition “E”, which meant they were standing at ease but remained at their battle stations. My duty station was in the electronics shop or ET Shack standing by with other electronic technicians petty officers to repair damaged radio or radar equipment if there was any. This compartment was next door to the Combat Information Center or CIC, the hub of communications. The CIC where the radio and radar is housed, which means we knew most of what was going on all the time. In addition, the ET shack had a common door with the navigation center or what we called the map or chart room. As is so often the case of our time in Korea, it was a long boring time with one lonely ship silently sailing for hours in complete darkness dark. Most of us, even in the CIC, did not know for sure where we were actually going or why we were going there. Boredom and curiosity led me to open the door to the map room where I found the navigation Officer working intensely over the map table. I did not realize at the time he was navigating without verified chart or maps. I later learned he was referring to a Royal Navy Chart, circa 1854. He left and returned several times, ostensibly to go to the ship’s bridge. From the radar images and from the charts it appeared to my untrained eye that we were sailing directly into the mouth of the Yalu River, which at the time and under those circumstances was unbelievable. We were at war, with North Korea, which was supported by Red China. The river flows between these two countries; not a healthy place. Actually, we were at a stalemate in the war. We were worried about MIG attacks but were told we were safe from air attacks because Navy planes from three of our aircraft carriers controlling the skies. Both sides in the war, or United Nation’s police action as it was called at the time, were maneuvering for advantage in truce negotiations that were expected to start soon. Ship’s scuttlebutt was that we were on our way to meet the equivalent of a small rowboat with an oar used to propel the boat. We referred to them as wiggle boats. Again out of boredom, I went out on deck to see what I could see, which was nothing. Eventually, I could faintly hear an American voice yelling for the deck hands on the stern to show a light, meaning a handheld flashlight covered with a red cloth, and to throw him a rope. The exchange became sharp when there was no light and the sailors on the stern of the ship yelled that the guy in the boat should throw them a rope. He quickly showed his Americanism by saying he did not have one and that he the thought a “big f---ing boat would have an f---ing rope. The rhetoric accelerated to panic when unexpectedly a powerful airplane searchlight on the ship’s bridge was turned on illuminating the entire rear half of the ship and a good share of the river. Just as quickly, the light was turned off. The small boat was tied up to the stern and three or four guys, all dressed in loosely fitting Korean clothing, climbed aboard. Only one looked to be an American. He was a tall thin man with curly blond hair and the least likely looking person to be a spy behind enemy lines. The American was taken to the wardroom. I was told that a the others were given free access to the ships store, which they literally stuffed their pockets with candy, cigarettes, etc. Still bored as the events on the fantail slowly unraveled, I returned to the ET shack. For something to do, I stepped into the chart room and turned on the fathometer for not real reason. It indicated in digital readout that we were in 40 some feet of water, which I thought nothing about because I knew the ship had a 15-foot draft. To my surprise, the navigation officer looked at the readout and yelled and explicative as he ran from the chart room and headed up the ladder to the bridge. I was confused by his excitement. Later, I found out he knew the river was shallow and the depth of the river tide was about 30 feet. He also knew the tide was going out; we would soon be stuck in the mud on the Yalu River, which would have been a rather precarious situation—a mighty United States warship helplessly stuck in the mud on the Yalu river. Immediately, the ship starting to turn. Luckily, the wiggle boat had tied up to the stern or it would have been left on the river. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

TRUMP IS NO MYSTERY

Some folks seem to think Trump’s popularity is a mystery. They even question if he is a “true” Republican. The affinity is no mystery; it is based on the same old common principle that holds the GOP together, which is good old fashion greed, which makes him more of a Republican than most Republican are. In addition, his thinly veiled strong-arm rhetoric strengthens, his affinity with that Party. For an example of this examine his build a wall battle cry and make Mexico pay for it. We are then richest nation in the world and Mexico is one of the poorest. There is no reason why we should not use our economic might to force Mexico to not only build the wall but to pay for it as well. This was the kind of strong arm American foreign policy that made us into what the world sees as the “ugly Americans”. Under the able leadership of President Obama and the liberal philosophy, we have matured and are moving away from this kind of diplomacy. We as a nation are still the world leader but have that position out of respect and not fear. There is a big difference. The Trump political campaign has opened up this ugly argument again about this blind spot. Why is it that Republicans as a political party cannot see the difference between respect and fear? In the past I have written about a bullied teenager dressed in a black trench coat carrying an assault rifle and wearing a back pack full of ammunition standing in a door of a school demanding the “respect” of his teachers and fellow students. Few among us fail to see the difference, yet we listen to Donald J. Trump stand at a microphone and receive round after round of applause for demanding we use our economic might to force Mexico to build a wall and pay for it. His weapon of choice is not an assault rifle but rather our balance of trade with that country. This is the same as what he is saying about trade with China or Japan. Rather than building walls and menacing countries with our economic might, how about regaining respect us because we build better products, cars for example, or educating our young people to a higher standard, or offering better and more affordable health care, or eliminating poverty and for having a fairer society. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Friday, April 1, 2016

BEN BERNANKE MUDDLE

BEN BERNANKE MUDDLE: I just finished the strangest book I have ever read cover to cover. It was titled, The Courage to Act: A memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermat... URL: firetreepub.blogspot.comComments Invited and not moderated

BEN BERNANKE MUDDLE

I just finished the strangest book I have ever read cover to cover. It was titled, The Courage to Act: A memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath by Ben Bernanke. 2015. The author was the head of the Federal Reserve System following Allan Greenspan, which led up to and followed the greatest economic crisis the world has ever experienced. The reason it was such a strange book is that sentence after sentence said exactly the opposite of what author’s message was. Bernanke claimed to have had the courage to act however that is what he did not do. Bernanke carefully explained he is an was raised as Ashkenazi Jew and is a devote Republican dedicated to being fiscally responsible. Seldom do we read books where the author dedicates so much space to documenting his religious heritage. He is obviously proud of the fact that Ashkenazi Jews are known to have IQ’s an average 12 points above the rest of us. In addition, he went to some of the best schools in the nation and studied economics. It was a little surprising he did not make more of his affiliation with the Republican Party and philosophical affiliation with that party’s platform of being fiscally responsible. However, this aspect was understandable because of his having been appointed by a Republican president and the need in the foreseeable future to be re-appointed by a Democratic President and confirmed by a Partisan congress. This deniable political affiliation while at the same time embracing it, is in keeping with the tenor of rest of the book. The doctrine of the Republican party, stated in as many ways as one can imagine, is less government, small government, no government, government is the problems, etc. As Bernanke carefully explains, he did a great job as a Republican heading a government agency dedicated to controlling the economy; an agency that he as an economist believes should not exist in a capitalist system. In addition, clearly the agency did a great job under Greenspan because it failed to provide the oversight needed, which resulted in the crisis. He repeatedly said in the books that the economic crisis came about because of the lack of supervision of banks and lending institutions, which makes my point; he is trying to take credit for correcting the great wrong that resulted from the Republican philosophy that created the economic crisis. Do you ever wonder why people are confused by what happens in Washington? URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Saturday, March 26, 2016

DONALD TRUMP AND PERSONAL HYGIENE

DONALD TRUMP AND PERSONAL HYGIENE: As strange as it may seem, Donald Trump’s candidacy seems to have contributed to personal hygiene in the United States. A number of people f...

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DONALD TRUMP AND PERSONAL HYGIENE

As strange as it may seem, Donald Trump’s candidacy seems to have contributed to personal hygiene in the United States. A number of people feel that they have to shower after listening to one of his speeches. I have been seriously struggling with the question of what does his candidacy means for politics in the United States. Have we reached such a low point that we can go no lower or is he just a fluke in the system? In the past I wrote a blog every day, but I have stopped because I realized I was becoming repetitive. One of the few repeated themes had to do with debunking the message I kept hearing; the government is bad and all politicians are liars. In fact, that is the campaign mantra of one political party. At face value, it made no sense because candidates from that party were fighting mightily to be elected . . . why would they want to be identified as a liar and become part of something that was so bad? I wrote a number of times that their objective seemed to be to destroy government then went on to explain that as well made no sense because even small children know we need government. Suddenly, there was Trump spouting his debauchery and nonsense. That was not the bad part. The bad part was that people were voting for him. Why would people expend the effort go to his rallies and to vote for him when they will not vote for serious candidates. Are they so filled with hate for their own government that they not only not want the government but actively want work to destroy it. Is it that they no longer understand that it is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. As I repeatedly said in my blogs, they act as if want a plutocracy, an economic dictator. That makes even less sense than for them to want to be politicians or to live without a government. The only thing that makes sense to me is that all their advertisements have convinced us to buy the half empty package with the bright yellow top without caring what is in it. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SUPREME COURT TREASON

SUPREME COURT TREASON: Obama did what the American people elected him to do. However, once again, the leadership of the Republican party has shown they are un-Amer...

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SUPREME COURT TREASON

Obama did what the American people elected him to do. However, once again, the leadership of the Republican party has shown they are un-American. Can anyone who claims they are Republican and claim they are Americans and support what they are doing to the Supreme Court nominee. This is fundamental American Government function. GOP leadership is clearly violating the sense of the Constitution contrary to what the American people want. The tragedy is that the Party, with Citizens United” money, has elected people like Mitch McConnell to leadership roles in our Congress over THE fear of coal mining jobs in Kentucky. The reason that ruling happened was because of bribery of several Supreme Court Justices by the Koch Brothers. We know who those Justices are and we know who bribed them because of the fragment of remaining free press. There is no provision for the court they appointed to put them in jail or before a firing squad for treason. Yes, I said to physically harm the Koch brothers because their act of treason is that serious. Of course, I do not want violence of any kind. The only reason I suggest violence is that it is the only way that would happen. The way is should happen is for the press calls for it to happen. Unfortunately, the press has rapidly become a tool of the economic elite, which is putting us on this downward spiral, which will eventually lead our country to crash and burn. The Trump candidacy is a classic example of what can happen and I am afraid, if we listen, he is telling us exactly what will happen. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

POLITICAL PARTIES A THING OF THE PAST

Something very simple and fundamental has gone seriously wrong with our two-party system in the United States. The parties no longer represent the view held by the people. For example, we know we need fossil fuels and we know that our climate is in danger of pollution from burning fossil fuels. Nevertheless, one party tells us to stop using fossil fuels, when we know we must, while and the other tells us climate change is not due to burning fossil fuels, when we know there is a connection. Working men and women know they want and need unions yet the party leaders of one party that many workers belong to tells us that unions should be destroyed and the other party with an equal number of working members is not defending labor’s right to organize. We all want to be individuals but we all want to work in unison. In our minds, our two parties are based on fundamental principles while members of both parties recognize we need government. One party claim there is too much government while the other party members says the government is there to help the people, yet members of both parties want social security, FDIC, and welfare just as they see the serious problems with private schools and business owned prisons. We find ourselves in the dilemma of claiming to having too much government while we want more government programs that benefit the people, which clearly does not fit the party system. Isn’t time to reassess how we want our political parties to believe. The parties should represent what the people think and shake off the tired old traditional mantras of party membership that cause us to claim we support things in which we do not believe; climate change is real; the arctic ice cap is melting; we need fossil fuels until we can develop renewables; and we need strong unions to counter management. It is easy to lead the people if the people are united by what they want. Our political parties no longer represent the people. We need to solve problems; we need to tax the people to support government we want. Universal health care is not free. College education for all cost money. No one should starve. This all goes back to the declaration; of the people, by the people, and for the people. This presidential campaign has pointed this out big time; the political party candidates are campaigning in an unreal world of what the political party leaders want it to be and not what the people want. There is no simplistic party based on hate for groups of people for Donald Trump to fit in just as there is no equally simplistic opposition party in a country of 330 million people based on individualism for Cruz to fit in, nor is there a party of love of all our fellow citizens for Bernie Sanders to fit into. We need two political parties; one for working class people and a party of management. Obviously, this is impossible in a one man one vote democracy because the working class outnumber management by far. So far, we have been working on this problem for thousands upon thousands of years, for the sake of humankind, I hope we can solve it. Two political parties do not seem to be the answer; they are outdated. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

TRUMP'S SCAM

TRUMP'S SCAM: The charge has been made that Donald Trump is a con artist. The more I think about that charge, the more I think it is true. At first, the i... URL: firetreepub.blogspot.comComments Invited and not moderated

TRUMP'S SCAM

The charge has been made that Donald Trump is a con artist. The more I think about that charge, the more I think it is true. At first, the idea is overwhelming because of the numbers but also the range of people being scammed. We like to think of a subset of people as being vulnerable to being conned, such as the very old or the very young people. In addition, we usually you think of some individual here or there being conned out of money, but this is something different. He is conning groups of people and conning them out of money. The question is where does the money come in? Now, think about it this way; Trump is “conning” a majority of people in state after state to vote for him as president; where does the money come into his plan. Last night, it became clear. He is selling his wide range of products, which includes vodka, ties and shirts, apartments, golf club memberships, buildings, and steaks, among other things, but most of all he is selling his name. His “make America great again” is the punch line that allows him to put his foot in your door. Is there any living person content with everything in his or her life? Is there any living citizen who doesn't see something wrong with America? I was shocked to realize how many reasonable people tend to plug whatever they see wrong with America into that simplistic Trump line. You know and I know he is a fraud just as we know that is how he became so rich. He became rich through deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage. Every time he speaks you can hear it; his buildings are the biggest, he is the most wonderful man, his vodka is the best, ad nausea. There is never something to compare them too. Everyone has heard of and knows what voter fraud is but do they know what candidate fraud is? They should because to some degree it is common; people run for office for profit and power, some even run for elected office to make the government better. Trump is a person who is a candidate running for office under deceitful pretenses. Clearly he wants to open a store in the White House for what he is selling. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

TRUMP IS A REPUBLICAN AT HIS CORE

TRUMP IS A REPUBLICAN AT HIS CORE: As a teacher, I told my students the only stupid question is one to which you already know the answer. When I hear media talking heads ask, ...

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TRUMP IS A REPUBLICAN AT HIS CORE

As a teacher, I told my students the only stupid question is one to which you already know the answer. When I hear media talking heads ask, is there a racist component in Republican Party politics is a stupid question. Simple look at a map of red versus blue states. I am acquainted with many diverse societies and have observed one thing, when there is an organized minority the Republican party is at the center of those who shun that minority, whatever it might be. Latino, native American, black, Asian, and Muslims are included as well, which clearly indicates it is not all racism, but is based on someone somehow being different. This current uproar about Donald J. Trump being a “closet” racist is not a new thing with high profile people in politics. He disavowed the support of white supremacist groups in a way that clear indicated he does not disavow white supremacist groups. We just went through this with Representative Stephen Scalise as Majority Whip in the current United States House of Representatives Majority Whip. He is a member of the Republican Party and the chairman of the 170-member conservative House Republican Study Committee. The point is for those who it matters, he is a known racist like them. In the case of Trump, he has put a number of marks on his wall related to this: deport Latinos, build a wall between the Unties States and Mexico, prevent Muslims from coming into the United States. It should be noted that he does not disavow Zionists, who just happen to be a minority but one with a powerful lobby group, which clearly indicates his propensity to allow his politics to guide his hate. The tragedy is that he has added to his support from the American people because of this. When we add this to the problems in our economy caused by the Republican Congresses down through the last thirty years and their recent prevention of President Obama from correcting what they have done with Reaganomics, a tragedy looms, which would be the election of Trump. It seems ironic they campaign on the success of their obstructionism and racism. Donald Trump has been able to garner the votes of enough decent people to make the Republican Party seem irrelevant, but it is not. Strange as it may seem, the Republican Party is now trying to disavow him by claiming he is not one of them. Sorry Reince Priebus, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Steve Scalise; he is very much one of yours URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, February 28, 2016

GREAT HILLARY CLINTON MYSTERY

GREAT HILLARY CLINTON MYSTERY: The greatest mystery of our time concerns Hillary Clinton. As close as I can tell, she has been the target of unprecedented attacks since sh... URL: firetreepub.blogspot.comComments Invited and not moderated

GREAT HILLARY CLINTON MYSTERY

The greatest mystery of our time concerns Hillary Clinton. As close as I can tell, she has been the target of unprecedented attacks since she became a public figure. Nothing in her history would suggest why this would be the case. Yes, she was the wife of a president but even then the media has treated differently from any other first lady. It seems that out of nowhere, Richard Mellon Scaife was an American billionaire, a principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune, and the owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He died in 2014 but it seems his lasting legacy in the media is a deep persistent but unexplained hate for Hillary Clinton. As strange as it was, he did a sudden and total reversal in April 2008, and endorsed her. Mrs. Clinton wrote in her memoir that he helped bankroll “the vast right-wing conspiracy” that was bent on destroying the Clinton presidency. There is no question that this is true. However, his hate went much deeper than that; it was pointed and personal for Hillary. The hate generated by this man seems to have skyrocketed and expanded to the point of being ridiculous. I just read, again for the thousandth time about her guilt in Benghazi. The same article brought up the Whitewater scandal. Of course, Vince Foster’s murder was mentioned. The main subject of the article subject was that she recently transmitted secret State Department memos on her public e-mail account. Every one of these things has been investigated and reinvestigated and no wrongdoing was found on her part or on her husband's account . . . none, zero. We all now the sexual improprieties taken by Bill Clinton, which have somehow has become her crime. Keep in mind that the famous blue dress mysteriously appeared in court after a number of years. It had been carefully preserved. Think about that; why would a young underpaid government intern preserve such an expensive dress unless some sort of anti-Clinton conspiracy was involved. She is not guilty of any of these things, yet they will not go away. Why? There is something notable about the comments of Republican political operatives bashing Hillary Clinton; they use the same words and phrases and often use them in the same order. When investigating a crime, police will immediately separate conspirators so they cannot exchange lies. When the same words are used in the answers, it usually means two things; one the answers are not truthful and that secondly, the answers were planned and rehearsed. Now these same comments are being mouthed by ordinary common working class people. These are the people she is supporting in government although part of the big lie is that she is representing big banks and monied interests, which happens to be who the Republican are supporting. What is missing is who is planning these answers and why are they being planned. As I said, Richard Mellon Scaife may have started it, but who is perpetuating it. I can understand that Republicans are fearful she will be elected President, but that is only something that came into play the last few years. The hate Hillary campaign has been going on for 25 or 30 years. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Saturday, February 27, 2016

CAMPAIGN OF HATE ELECTS TRUMP

CAMPAIGN OF HATE ELECTS TRUMP: There can be little question about it; the Donald J. Trump phenomenon that the Republican hate so much is a product of their own Parties doi...

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CAMPAIGN OF HATE ELECTS TRUMP

There can be little question about it; the Donald J. Trump phenomenon that the Republican hate so much is a product of their own Parties doing. I have heard nothing but hate politicians and hate the government coming out of their mouths for years. According to them being a politician is to join a dishonest profession. What has happened is that Republicans and some Democrats have caused chaos and shame, in our electoral system. Now they have to pay the price. The people who vote will elect Trump President just as they chose him in every election he has entered so far. The people clearly have a choice on the far left as well as a choice on the far right, so it isn’t their pure political philosophy that will bring them to the polls. They will vote for someone who says he hates government and politicians. The result of all their preaching hate is a greatly diminished number of people who are concerned about the quality of government and about voting. Young people do not become involved in politics as politicians. When we should have legions of potential candidates for President of the United States, we have only a few and some of those are of questionable character. Some are not running for the job, they are running for the notoriety; Ben Carlson or Carley Fiorina for examples. Does anyone really think the people will elect a politician such as Saunders, Cruz, Rubio, or Clinton? Does anyone really think Trump is running as a politician? Think of how much money he can save as President by bribing himself. How many times have we been told politicians, including being told by Trump, are only in Washington to accept bribes? Some are but there are also many good ones but their numbers are diminishing. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Firetree / Firetree Publishing: UNITED STATES IS PARALLING GERMANY

UNITED STATES IS PARALLING GERMANY: I hesitated in publishing this article because comparing something we do not agree with the worst thing we can think of seems like an old tr...

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UNITED STATES IS PARALLING GERMANY

I hesitated in publishing this article because comparing something we do not agree with the worst thing we can think of seems like an old trope. The obvious problem is that when the comparison is valid, the logic loses its punch. Still, I felt I must try. It is time to panic and not wait until 2017 after it is too late. I watched an old movie last night, Judgement at Nuremberg (1961). The synopsis of the trial said it was a trial about 4 Nazi judges who used their offices to conduct Nazi sterilization and cleansing policies; however, it was something much greater than that. Anyone with even the slightest interest in history knows the story and has seen the pictures and felt the horror of it. Although this move was supposedly about 4 judges who used their offices to conduct Nazi sterilization and cleansing policies; however, it went much deeper than that. It was about the guilt of the German people, “the man on the street,” which is the same question that the world has been asking millions of time. The truth is that we know the answer but refuse to accept it as if the question has never been asked. The Military Tribunal found the German judges guilty and sentenced them to prison for life, but in a beautifully written way, the script writers made it clear who were actually responsible for the excesses committed by the Hitler regime; it was the German people. The script writer posed the question concerning how an educated population people, just like you and me, could allow this to happen. We all know the political unrest between the left wing and right wing political forces at work during this period of post-war stress. It is my contention that they are exactly the same forces at work in the modern world; thus, I treat these political feelings as being something deeply innate in our being. I believe our political alignment is instinctually related to who we are. It is evolutionary psychology; thus, political operatives using clever argument are able to manipulate these feelings but only to a point unless we allow them to corrupt our human decency. As with the Germans on trial, they did not have good judgement in protecting their country. They were guilty of violating their human values. This election cycle in the United States scares me because I see a clear parallel. Hitler did this by telling the German people something they were instinctually prone to believe. He told them they were different in a special way, just as members of your family are special, and members of your city, state, and country are special. The color of our skin, our way of doing business, our religion, our love for other people as long as they are one of us. We learn this in church; you can go to heaven if you believe to our church but everyone else will go to hell. He would make Germany great again by building walls in the form of geography barriers, which is instinctual; it is theirs and not one else’s country. It is instinctual; we see this in all animals, but in dogs especially because we are close to them. We know that they will fiercely protect their territory, which is why many of us have them in our houses. Hitler would restore Germany to greatness by stopping the mixing of non-Germans with Germans and protect it by buying a big dog, one that can outfight every other dog, which is necessary even if we don’t have the room and cannot afford it. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Saturday, February 20, 2016

REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN IS IN HIGH GEAR

REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN IS IN HIGH GEAR: Finally, the presidential campaigning is taking shape. Every one of the Republican candidates have the same tired old unrealistic campaign r... URL: firetreepub.blogspot.comComments Invited and not moderated

REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN IS IN HIGH GEAR

Finally, the presidential campaigning is taking shape. Every one of the Republican candidates have the same tired old unrealistic campaign rhetoric, after all, they are conservatives and have not changeD for 250 years. Cut taxes which will solve everything. Cut taxes but make America great again by deporting 11,000,000 workers. Build a $12,000,000,000 wall to keep our country safe . . . it has to be high enough so planes cannot fly over it if someone ever invents planes. Block all trade agreements but lower the cost of living. Create jobs by keeping the money in the hands of job creators, who create jobs in China. Save money by letting the Nations’ infrastructure deteriorate. Cut taxes but build a huge, huge military; after all, we are already ten times stronger than eight of the most powerful countries put together. Cut taxes but destroy ISIS. Restore respect for America by making all nations fear us and killing those who don’t. Send huge sums of foreign aid money to Israel and protect them from aggression so they can dominate the Middle East. Protect individual rights by telling women they have no right to choose or by telling same-sex couples they cannot marry. Make everyone follow religious beliefs as long as they are Christian beliefs. Did mention, we have to ban burkas!!! Of course, police do not have to follow the law. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

WHITE SUPREMACIST GO MAINLINE

WHITE SUPREMACIST GO MAINLINE: For liberals such as I am, it is difficult to understand how anyone can vote for a Republican. At one time in our history it was an honorabl...

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WHITE SUPREMACIST GO MAINLINE

For liberals such as I am, it is difficult to understand how anyone can vote for a Republican. At one time in our history it was an honorable thing to be a Republican; now, it is not. In fact, what the name Republican has come to mean is something that seems impossible to rationalize. Of course I know all the bunk the Republicans of old preach about smaller government, austere budgets, and individual rights. However, I am also aware of how they are less than forthright about what they believe to attract one issue voters to their party such as is the case with antiabortion, same sex marriage, and all the keep rhetoric about “keeping our country safe”. These are the kinds of thing put them on the road to where they are now. For examples, their love of God spews out of their mouths every stump speech along with a call to build our military. Really it is a call to rebuild our military, as a way of accusing Democrats for making our country only 10 times stronger than any other country on earth, which is reminiscent of the old cold war rhetoric when they wanted a kill ratio of one hundred to one; just to make sure. It goes on and on; however, the truth is that all they really want is to hold the nation in their hands much as a slave owner held slaves. That is what voter suppression is all about. That is what the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision is all about. These things are not wild exaggerations. Just think of what they mean when they say they want to take “their” country back or that although President Obama was born in the United States he is not a citizen of the United States. Slaves were not citizens by birth. How can a black man be president? The only conclusion possible is that the core of the modern Republican Party are blatant racists; what they mean is that they want to take back “their” country. What they mean America is no longer a nation ruled by white people of European ancestry, which is how they see themselves. Of course, America is a nation of all the people. I never see this thought openly expressed in the media or even expressed in private conversations. It is just not appropriate to be a raciest but clearly that is what they are. Of course, those who will object to this line of thinking have the classic wiggle room; they can say some maybe racist but they themselves are not racists. I am here to say if they call themselves Christians but are not, they depend on the same wiggle room as well. I read posts on Facebook made by people who are clearly Christians pretending to be Republicans or are clearly Republicans pretending to be Christians but are neither. If you do not believe this, then read their posts. Christians are based on the love of their fellow man without conditions. Show me a Republican who does not put conditions on the U.S. citizenship; a black man who wants to be president, a gay man who want to marry another man, or a woman who wants an abortion. Or as Donald Trump point out Muslims do not have the “right of citizenship” any more than Obama has the right to be president, what Trump wants is to “GET WHITE AMERICA BACK”. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, February 14, 2016

SCALIA, OBAMA, AND THE SUPREME COURT

The media is filled with stories about what a wonderful justice Scalia was. I am here to tell you he was not a wonderful justice. He was the epitome of what is wrong with the Supreme Court of the United States. I do not have to point out a series of cases to make my point because everyone knows what I am saying. He was a radical politician and not a fair justice. He was not there to decide what Congress wanted any more than this current Congress is there to decide what the people in this country want. Like the Congress he was bought and paid for by the plutocrats. I look at him as an employee of the Koch brothers. We all know who they are and what they want. I am here to tell you it is not want “we the people” want. We knew what he was, just like we knew what Alito was before he was appointed and approved for the court. The people who are responsible are all of those who were responsible for putting him on the court, including political operatives. And now we have the liberals, including me, asking President Obama to name a radical left winger to the Supreme Court, which makes my point; the system is broken. What is worse, I am part of it and I have no idea of how to fix it. My mother drilled it not my head not to say anything about someone if you cannot say something nice. In addition, she always told me not to criticize something unless I had an idea of how to do it better. I feel as if I am a double failure this morning because I think Scalia, the justice that gave us George W. Bush, should rot in hell and our system for naming justices is broken. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

MARRIAGE BONDS

MARRIAGE BONDS: A story on Facebook went something like this; after a young man decided he would get married his father asked him to go for a walk. As they ...

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MARRIAGE BONDS

A story on Facebook went something like this; after a young man decided he would get married his father asked him to go for a walk. As they walked along the father turned to his son and said, “Say you are sorry.” The son refused, “Why should I say I am sorry when I have done nothing wrong he asked. After a few more steps the father repeated his request. Again, the son refused to say he was sorry for no reason. The walk continued in silence. Eventually, the son turned to his father and said, OK, OK, I am sorry. The father responded, “Good. Now you are ready to be married.” I wonder how many people really understand what the father’s message. As we go through life many things happen to each of us; some good, some bad. Sometimes we are responsible for the trouble in someone else’s life other times we are not. Of course, we should be sorry if we caused the unhappiness; however, there are times when others are responsible or the unhappiness is just simply the circumstance of daily living that causes another person to have trouble in their life. The source of the anxiety is not the issue. The person’s feelings are what matters. If you are close to a person you may even not know what it is that caused them angst but you know they are unhappy. If you really unconditionally care for that person you want him or her to know someone cares for them no matter what. If the person you love has a bad day for any reason, just having someone say, “I am sorry”, and mean it, can be a very soothing thing. It means I really care about your happiness. If you are capable of caring for a person in that way, you are ready for marriage. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, February 7, 2016

VICTIM OF CRIME IN BELIZE

VICTIM OF CRIME IN BELIZE: As a naturalized citizen of Belize, I found a posting on Facebook concerning the rate of murders in Belize particularly disturbing for a nu...

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VICTIM OF CRIME IN BELIZE

As a naturalized citizen of Belize, I found a posting on Facebook concerning the rate of murders in Belize particularly disturbing for a number of reasons. The people who suffer from this kind of misdirected journalism are hard-working folks who own resorts but also all of the thousands of people who work in the tourism industry. There is little or no disputing the facts, which are easily verifiable facts. In addition. the journalistic tendency for exaggeration and sensationalizing these facts is something we have learned to live with. What disturbs me is the misdirecting of responsibility for some but not all of the criminal acts. The fact that all of the crimes are done by criminals also makes it a difficult topic to discuss. By that I mean, Belize does not have some unfair or exotic criminal code that labels accidents as crimes. In this era of political correctness in dealing with date rape, enticement, and myriad other forms of temptations, it is import to point that out. There is no question what the reporter is talking about are criminal acts. Many factors contribute to the problem of crime in Belize. Belize is not a rich country. We see tourist arrive with money they have saved for a very long time for vacation and spend it all in two weeks like it had no values. Belizeans see this and think they are all Americans very rich. As is true with all people, if you have two it will not hurt you to share one. I see this reflected in many ways for example the fees native people charged tourists for services. In addition, I have had grade school teachers tell students it is not stealing if you take something from an American but it is a crime to take from a fellow Belizean. Another factor is that a great many Belizean youths immigrate to the United States as late teenagers and young adults. This is such a pronounced phenomenon that the population distribution curve in Belize is a bicameral curve with the young at one peak and the older people in the other. The young people migrate to the large cities, for example Los Angles, Chicago, and New York. Keep in mind the Belize population is a predominately black and Hispanic; therefore, the young people once in the United States, they end up in those areas of the large cities, which happens to be where gang activity is at its worst. In addition to being overwhelmed by the vastness of activities and number and varieties of gangs involved they become involved in gang related behavior. Consequently, they are arrested, tired, and deported back to Belize, where they bring what they learned from street gangs back to Belize. In other words, the United States acts as a huge sieve but also a school room for our young people; it keeps the good ones, and there are many good ones, but ships back the bad ones. The numbers involved are not huge but because Belize is a small country this has an disproportionate impact on Belizean culture. In addition, I would like to make the point that many tourist come to Belize looking for the kind of excitement they cannot experience in the United States. They seek and find drug ridden bars and corners of society that would never visit in the US. White college age girls, who have never been out of their suburban neighborhoods, arrive with a friend and seeking exotic sexual experience with black men wearing dreadlocks in the allies of Belize. I stopped a young white girl jumping line at the airports. Through her sobbing she said she hated Belize and had to leave. She and a young friend was beaten up and raped at gun point in a hotel Belize city. She named the hotel, it was a house of prostitution in one of the worst areas in the city. Her friend was in the hospital, who she was abandoning, but she just had to get out of this hatful country. The people featured in the post, thus ties them and their guest to the criminal activity to the alleys in Belize City. Thus, the author of this post makes the hardworking resort owners on a beautiful River the victim of crime. Their resort is as far away from crime and skullduggery is you can possibly get anywhere in the world. However, this post has made them the victims of “all the crime in Belize”. The post did the same thing as the young line jumper in the airport made me, my country, and my friends who owns the beautiful resort on the Macal River, the victim of her lust for exotic adventure. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

EVAGELICALS VERSES CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY LA...

EVAGELICALS VERSES CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY LA...: Evangelicals gave Cruz a victory in Iowa, which is a disaster You are getting close to the basics of politics. Politics represents the var...

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EVAGELICALS VERSES CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY LAW

Evangelicals gave Cruz a victory in Iowa, which is a disaster You are getting close to the basics of politics. Politics represents the various views related to social organization. It has long been my contention that these views are innate and manifested in our feeble attempts to describe them. We have shaped and reduced these views into two groups under the simplistic label of two political parties. With that thought in mind, in addition I attempt to subdivide political parties. Although it gets a little complicated, all society is divided up by central or core beliefs. In addition top those core beliefs, we all understand that within each political party there are extremes. Everyone likes numbers. My guess is that those who are with the core belief make up 60% of the total while those on the extremes make up 20% each of the extremes. In one sense, the political parties form a continuum. The extreme of one end of the party are very much like the opposite extreme of the other party. For example, we use the term liberal republican to signify a Republican who tends to belief as a Democrat; thus, forming a political circle with a place for everyone. This may sound a bit strange to those who claim to be apolitical or to not to believe in either party, but one of the messages in this blog post is that no such person exists, short of being brain dead. That is what innate means. As their core belief, Republicans want to be in control to benefit themselves as individuals while Democrats want to be in control to benefit all the people, which we can describe as being altruistic. To be in control means something different to Republican from what it means to a Democrat. I know it is irrational for a person to think this way, but Republicans want all the benefits of society and want laws that everyone has to follow but them. On the other end of the spectrum, as a group, Democrats want to share the wealth so everything equally including power and wealth. History tells us that all governments based on these extremes have failed miserably. The innate sense is that of greed, which makes it awkward to discuss because to refer to someone as greedy is demeaning even though both Democrats and Republicans are greedy. What is being discussed is the degree to which a person greedy. An extreme Democrat will say they will sacrifice everything to help others, and under extremely rare circumstances, this may be the case. At the other extreme, there are those who demand control of all resources whether needed or not that is regardless of the needs of others. People who think this way do not consider other; others simply do not exist. Ayn Rand’s philosophy is a variant of this thinking. Nonetheless, because the extremes of either of these conflicting philosophies are so irrational, they are never part of open debate in this fundamental form. In democracy, we have a complicated scheme of government in which we learned to compromise between these two extremes. We often hear that people in Washington. Just as in political debate, we do not want to compromise; however, that is what people do everyday. The way we do this is to disguise the extremes in rhetoric; however nuanced the core beliefs might be, they are there. For example, when a friend posts on Facebook in the form of a challenge as follows; “my point is that the social agenda has come with a great price and the middle class is the victim. .7% [sic] growth is an inch away from a recession. On another point, I came across this quote, which I agree with. "Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate." ~Hubert Humphrey But HHH's opinion is that both parties will listen, grow, and learn from one another. How are we doing with this Jerry?” I find this post greatly disturbing for a number of reasons. The principle reason is that his post was in retaliation to my condemning Evangelicals for wanting to replace the Constitution with Biblical Law. His use of the expression “social agenda” means the one who posted this intends to refer explicitly to handout to the lazy. This in his mind means Social Security, Affordable Care Act, food stamps, A For Dependent Children, and Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and paying taxes are the “great price” people are paying for these things. The fact that he refers to paying taxes for something the people want and need makes them “victims”. This seems counter to what people tell me the New Testament says people want, although I must add; I have very little idea of what the bible says. I would like to remind the person who posted this challenge to me that my mother worked for Hubert H Humphrey and that I knew him and talked to him on several occasions. There is no question in my mind that Social Security, Affordable Care Act, food stamps, Aid For Dependent Children, and Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) are freedoms “ hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate." In addition, the “Happy Warrior” was or would have been the man with the hammer standing at the anvil. My answer is that I am doing just find living under the constitutional and statuary law. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, January 31, 2016

DANGER IN IOWA CAUCUSES

DANGER IN IOWA CAUCUSES: The Iowa caucuses are dangerous in as much as evangelical Christians by sheer numbers dominate them. It isn’t so much what they seem to beli...

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DANGER IN IOWA CAUCUSES

The Iowa caucuses are dangerous in as much as evangelical Christians by sheer numbers dominate them. It isn’t so much what they seem to believe but the manner and fury with which they promote their beliefs. They treat the Bible as if it were a fundamental document they believe it word-for-word, which makes the Bible their constitution. Muslims majorities in some countries believe this same way about the Koran. The people cannot elect because God or Allah is that leader. Of course, the reality is that this puts the power in the hands of a few self-appointed religious leaders who rule by proclamation. The proclamations are what they say the Koran says and that just happens to be what the so-called leaders think. The entire world knows that one of their proclamations is that Christians are evil. Of course, you all know that Evangelicals say that all Muslims are evil. Does anyone doubt where this will lead if left unchecked? I lived next door to an Evangelical Christian Church, which means I heard every misguided sermon. A major theme was Catholics are idol worshipers. That is was a sin to marry someone who was not an evangelical Christian. In addition, they had the “God-given right” right to worship in a loud voice, which to them meant they could pound drums and yell and scream in microphones hooked up to loudspeakers; the Bible tells them so. Our constitution says we have the right to worship, or not to worship, as we please, free of government interference. The danger with Evangelicals is that they believe the Bible tells them they have the right to impose their anti-government dogma on us in an unwelcome and unfriendly way. To them, that is spreading what they believe as “the” Christian message. They are doing this one word or one action at a time; “in God we trust”, “one nation under God”, demand presidential candidates believe in God, open Congress with a prayer. Donald J. Trump can hold a Bible in the air and declare he is a Christian, and they will vote for him which gives them power and that is what makes them dangerous in Iowa. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Friday, January 29, 2016

CANDIDATES BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES

CANDIDATES BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES: I watched the debate last night. What I found interesting was these people are starting to believe their lies. I am refereeing to the idea t...

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CANDIDATES BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES

I watched the debate last night. What I found interesting was these people are starting to believe their lies. I am refereeing to the idea that government surveillance of private phone calls is a criminal act amid their outcry that the government must protect our homeland security. Forget that this smacks of the “Fatherland and the F├╝hrer, Heil Hitler.” I give them credit for recognizing and attempting to correct the logic in their reasoning. Every one of them parroted the same thing; they claim we have to restore our military greatness. Of course, the prime objective was to demean all of President Obama’s hard work in restoring peace in the world and replacing fear of us with respect for us. Not one of them mentioned that we now have by far the most powerful military in the world, a war machine second to none. Some even mentioned Ronald Reagan, who the people elected on this same premise. We all remember that he took millions of taxpayer dollars to move the USS Missouri out of mothballs, restore its huge guns, and build a well-trained crew. They did not mention the famous picture of our President in a baseball cap standing at the helm with his bemused smile. Nor did they mention that airplanes have made battleships obsolete. The bottom line is that it is obvious that they are lying, and they believe their lie. The second thing it that they know collecting phone numbers, call durations and frequency data is critical to protecting our country from individual acts of terror from domestic as well as foreign. They also know that private phone companies have and hold this data and that the government is asking them to retain that data and to keep it in a searchable format. Also, they know that the government has done an excellent job of protecting people, but as the myth of our having a weak military, they sincerely believe. Where the lie begins is when they cleverly distort this intent to personify the government and imply that the government will listen to your private conversations, which is something people universally abhor. They know no one does this, but because they can do this, they imply the government does this and further insinuate your neighbor is listening. Thus, they are playing on the fear people have that they are unprotected, and the government is spying on them neither of which is true. Last night, they convinced me that they believe their own ‘dog chaining tail’ lies. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DANGEROUS VOTING PUPPETS

DANGEROUS VOTING PUPPETS: Sometimes, all we can do is to shake our heads in amazement when the silliest of arguments carry the day. Does any rational person sincerely...

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DANGEROUS VOTING PUPPETS

Sometimes, all we can do is to shake our heads in amazement when the silliest of arguments carry the day. Does any rational person sincerely believe the government is building internment camps in remote locations? Does anyone think Obama is coming to take your guns? Some poor folks seem to believe that trickle down economics works to their advantage. How many times have we heard these things said with the greatest sincerity? One of the loudest and most frequent statements is that some works hate labor unions because the people have convinced themselves that they are harmful to parents, children, teachers, and workers. How do I know these arguments carry the day? Republicans use these arguments and voters respond positively by voting for them. Think about something as obvious wrong as people saying “people” have bankrupted social security. People put money into the system and when then retire they take money out of the system. They want to destroy both Social Security and Obamacare. The Social Security program has virtually eliminated old age poverty and for the first time, Obamacare has made health insurance affordable. It makes no sense to most of us, but they seem not to want social organization, which is what government is. To want to destroy government is the silliest argument of all of their inane arguments. The important question is; what do they, as political party members, really want? The result if they resemble a circle of puppets pulling each the other’s strings. However, I fear there is great danger in this because unquestionably, the puppet masters are nefarious operators like Dick Cheney, the Koch Brothers, and Sheldon Adelson, using “silly” voters to fulfill for their personal agendas. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TRUMP STARTS REVOLUTION

TRUMP STARTS REVOLUTION: Who is in control of the political world? At one time, the people voted for leaders from among those they knew. The leaders met and learned ...

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TRUMP STARTS REVOLUTION

Who is in control of the political world? At one time, the people voted for leaders from among those they knew. The leaders met and learned about one another and then selected leaders from this group for the next level of leadership. Notoriety often associated with military leadership was central to this process. Almost from the start, this system failed because there was just too much territory, too many people involved, and too great disparity in opinions. Political parties developed in response to problems associated with diverse opinions with the strongest held opinions dominating. Political party leaders soon realized they had power. Also, almost from the start, those who held some means of communication associated themselves with political parties and visa verse. In other words, individual candidates for public office went from being the focus of the process to being controlled by political parties and the media; thus shifting the focus to political parties. In recent years, the system changed because the same people in charge of political parties were those in charge of the media. With time, more and more the candidates lost any influence they once had in the process. What I find interesting is that a tremendously impactful cycle of sorts has formed in the 2016 presidential elections. Although I despise Trump and most of what he stands for, or, at least, says what he stands for, he has changed something very fundamental in the system. This fact was saturating the news I heard this morning when I turned on TV’s Talking Heads. At first, the news overwhelmed me. Donald J. Trump, a candidate for president, decided he was going to boycott the Republican Party debate controlled by Fox News. In one decision, he told his Political Party as well as a news network to go to hell. His decision had the impact of a nuclear option. To the shock and dismay of the political world and the media, he took charge of his campaign. Also, the three Democratic candidates Almost immediately joined him in saying they are willing to hold debates at a time of their choosing; thus, they joined in his revolutionary drive for candidate independence. They suddenly reversed a developing trend of the last 250 years. That time estimate seems long but 250 years might even be a gross underestimate. All I can do is shake my head in disbelief that this happens overnight, and that Trump did it. Of course, there were many, many signs leading up to this that I now can put together after the fact. The GOP establishment was unhappy with Trump. Democratic Party members were extremely displeased with the leadership of Democrat campaign coordinator Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We seldom hear anything about Reince Priebus, the leader of the GOP. The various candidates in both parties were upset over the debate formats and the lack of debates and the schedules as decided by all the networks and not just Fox News. Most important, the people of the United States, especially the working class, are extremely upset with their “do nothing” Congress while their president has a high popularity rating. What I am saying is that the stage was set for the dramatic political revolution that took place yesterday. There are theories of history that say it takes a great leader to change the track of social history. In this case, I think Trump is that great leader but not because of his desire to benefit the country or the people but because he has the personal wealth and intense greed it takes to upset a failing system to achieve what he wants for himself. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

INTENSITY OF GREED AS A PURPOSE FOR HIGH OFFICE

INTENSITY OF GREED AS A PURPOSE FOR HIGH OFFICE: We have a variety of driving forces influencing our everyday life. We think of them as feelings and emotions without being clear about where...

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INTENSITY OF GREED AS A PURPOSE FOR HIGH OFFICE

We have a variety of driving forces influencing our everyday life. We think of them as feelings and emotions without being clear about where innate feelings such has fear and hate mesh with reason. I believe kneejerk responses are both innate as well as being a hard-learned response from experience. Also, we have an intensity factor usually expressed with adjectives and adverbs in some cases even phrases. For example saying I was so frightened of falling that I feel nauseated from standing on a ladder. Although sometimes difficult to sort out from genuine innate feelings, we can add “intensity of purpose” as a reason for thinking the way we do. Of course, this comes to mind in a political year because that is what candidates do. It becomes impossible to sort out what can be conflicting purposes. They will say and do anything to have the people vote for them, but what is their purpose for wanting the people to elect them, which is where we have to fall back on the driving forces that so influence the candidates everyday activity. There are few things in life where “intensity of purpose” plays as big a part as it does for those vying for elected office. In a sense, elections turn us all into armchair psychologists while we try to understand the mental and emotional factors governing a candidacy but unfortunately, some candidates would require a psychiatrist to understand their motives. I am not just flippant with that last statement because it is undoubtedly true. I made a remark the other day about Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign; I said, some candidates would take over the reins of government, bankrupt the country, and then sell off the assets. Of course, the reference was to the venture capital firm, Bain Capital. The response I receive from one reader chided me on my narrowness of thinking and contained a long and boring list of companies Bain took over and turned into moneymaking enterprises. My point in this blog is to rebut that thinking; Bain Capital exists for one purpose and one purpose only; the purpose of a venture capitalist is to make money. However, Bain Capital, with Romney at its head, had that purpose but had it with an intensity that is inappropriate in government. In truth, it is the complete antithesis of good government. We often hear candidates say things that are appropriate for business but inappropriate for the government. The most common one I hear is that “government is like a business.” No, it is not. Bain Capital did not are about people; it was intensely focused on profit at the expense of people. What I am pointing out is that to Bain Capital, employees were expendable. The media gave us the impression that Bain invariably would take the quick and easy street to profits. Almost every day, we hear in the news about some company overcome their greed and treat their employees fairly. Think about that; things we hear about in the news are serious things, not everyday happenings. I admit I have a bias because I know many businesses treat their employees fairly without making headlines. However, my point is the “business of government” is to treat the people fairly, the business of business is to make money, and the business of the voter is to select candidates who know the difference. I would point out that Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, like Mitt Romney, does not know the difference, but like Romney, I fear Trump the most because he has demonstrated a demonstrated “intensity of purpose”. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Monday, January 25, 2016

PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING PAUL RYAN

PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING PAUL RYAN: We all seem to have the same goal, which is to share prosperity, so how can our politics be decisive? The answer should be obvious; we have ...

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PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING PAUL RYAN

We all seem to have the same goal, which is to share prosperity, so how can our politics be decisive? The answer should be obvious; we have different ideas about what that means. However, within that context, when I look for a basis for the divisiveness that exists we find something interesting. We do not share a common sentiment about our feeling for other people. Of course, it is not a yes and no, or a black and white thing; it operates on a finely graded scale. To complicate the picture, some of having stronger or more intense feelings and emotions about things than others do regardless of what those feelings are, which is pervasive and seen almost wherever one cares to look. For example, I can read this disparity in ideas and the intensity of feeling about those ideas in nearly every Facebook post, ranging from the most trivial to the most important. Referring to the example of sharing the prosperity most of us feel we all should share in the prosperity of the United States but only if we work for it. At one end of the scale, Ayn Rand immediately comes to mind, which is of current interest because Paul Ryan is currently the Speaker of the House, which the third in the line for the presidency but also is in the most powerful financial position. He is a disciple of Ayn Rand. Obviously, he cannot be as intense as his feeling as was Ayn Rand, but the feelings are identical. To explain the intensity and impact of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is difficult even though it is extremely simple. The simplicity of it all reminded me of a time when my wife was arguing with an Australian couple who were facetiously disparaging the United States while packing all their newly purchased sheets and, pillowcases and other linens to return to their homeland after a year in the United States. They brought up the way we treat black people. My wife’s retort was, what about the way you treat Aborigines in Australia. Almost in unison, they dismissed her question, meaning it was an innate feeling that they could express without thinking, by declaring, “They are not people!” That is precisely the way Ayn Rand looks at people who do not work. They do not matter as if they are not people. There is not grading or attempt to evaluate their circumstances; collectively, they do not matter. Most of us have a different feeling in regards to people who cannot work based on the why not gainfully employed; a wounded war veteran, a mentally retard, or an old aged person, for example, compared to a lazy person. The Ayn Rand approach is to lump them all into one bunch, and that is it; no metal fatigue will develop establishing that position. Hogwash, you say, while take a moment and look at the Paul Ryan budget idea of privatizing everything including social security notwithstanding that Social Security all but wiped out old age poverty. His basis for his privatization scheme is the belief that everyone will save for his or her retirement. The fanciful Paul Ryan “group”, the one he has in his mind he bases on everyone having a job, is earning a living wage, and can afford to save. If they cannot save for retirement, they are like Aborigines, who are not people; therefore, they are of no concern. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Saturday, January 23, 2016

OBAMA SUCCEEDS WHILE MEDIA FAILS

OBAMA SUCCEEDS WHILE MEDIA FAILS: The big question is President Obama’s complex strategy in the Middle East working. Of course, we cannot go to the news media to find out bec...

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OBAMA SUCCEEDS WHILE MEDIA FAILS

The big question is President Obama’s complex strategy in the Middle East working. Of course, we cannot go to the news media to find out because of the terribly slanted Republican bias facilitated by the Supreme Courts Citizens United Decision. In fact, the people of the world know this so well this is so well, they accept it as the “new normal”. In fact, for the same reason, it is even difficult for us to figure out if the President even has a policy in the Middle East, let alone what that policy might be. The news media interviews Politician after politician and political operative after political operative who will say the president does not have a policy or if he does, it is so weak it is meaningless. Talking heads have interviewed John McCain and Lindsey Graham so often they have become household names. TV and talk radio personalities, such as Rush Limbaugh and Joe Scarborough and Chuck Todd have an indoctrinated flowing who turn a deaf ear to all reason. Look at the low level of rhetoric about the Middle East espoused by the current presidential candidates. I was going to write even a junior high school student should now better, but they don’t; they listen to their parent who listens to the biased junk. The only way to figure things out is to listen to or read the actual text of the Presidents speeches, and filter through the documentable facts in the headlines and judge for yourselves what is happening. Google ABC News or NBC News for example and skim through the headlines for the past several years looking for facts, for example the number and size of attacks, number of people killed or wounded per attack, and the number of casualties in the Middle East and who those casualties were. In addition, I found that tracking the waxing and waning attention given to the part Israel plays in the news. I find that the number of attacks has fallen, and the number of casualties per attack has decreased. I also find that the attacks have a wider and wider geological distribution. Although there is an overall decrease in casualties, the protagonists are still fighting Muslims against Muslim, but more and more the fighting is within sects and not according to country. In this regard, the sects have been isolated in two groups of countries; Shia and Sunnis. In other words, more and more attention paid to who is and who is not ISIS. Thus, ISIS is being isolated as a terrorist organization by both sects, which I want to point out, is what Obama said he wanted to accomplish with his policies. He has isolated two big problem areas. The first and most trying was the Israeli drive to dominate the Middle East by might alone. Most of us felt this was an insolvable problem. However, our president saw the value in a nuclear disarmament treaty with Iran in a different light from most. By signing a treaty with Iran, especially one vehemently opposed by the leading right-wing party in Israel, would force both Iran and Israel to the negotiating table and do this with the grudging support of our European allies. Of course, the Israeli propaganda machine was working in full force to prevent that from happening. President Obama was not only able to do that, but he also exposed the corrupt nature of the Netanyahu government, which had the good effect of decreasing the building anti-Antisemitism momentum around the world. Now, the bitter dispute between Palestine and a defanged Israel has to negotiate over a diplomatic table and not in a carpet-bombed field of battle. The way is open to understanding the religious and political disputes throughout the region, including Turkey and Kurds, and Persians, as well as the turmoil in Syria where a dictator is fighting the Arab Spring surge. All of this is there in the headlines if you care to read them rather then listen to Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers puppets telling you to hate your president and government. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Friday, January 22, 2016

WHY TRUMP MAKES SENSE

WHY TRUMP MAKES SENSE: The thought did not originate with me, but I heard someone say the explanation for the Republican mess is simple; they are harvesting the an...

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WHY TRUMP MAKES SENSE

The thought did not originate with me, but I heard someone say the explanation for the Republican mess is simple; they are harvesting the anger and hate they have sowed. Carl Rove’s dirty campaign techniques he used in his entire career but especially in the Bush campaign, disgusted me. I see the results of his techniques when I look at Hillary Clinton’s campaign. This morning there was a ridiculous as it was disgusting post on Facebook by Joe-Karen Salisbury refereeing to her husband's philandering and her black hairy back. It is worth noting the post received some likes. We all remember Richard Mellon Scaife’s senseless but also constant dogging of the Clintons. Scaife was a billionaire, a principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune, and the owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He was not running for office in opposition to Clinton. In one sense, Scaife’s tirade was worse that Rove because it had no purpose other than to destroy a Democratic politician without cause. He served as the stimulus for many others to follow his lead as so accurately details by Tim Murphy in his recent and classic Mother Jones Article; The Definitive Guide to Every Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Theory (So Far). The subtitle was, “From killing cats to faking concussions, all the dastardly deeds attributed to the former secretary of state and first lady.” What Scaife did was comparable to Trump’s senseless attack on immigrants, refugees, or Muslims. He has no objective other than to stir up hate. Of course, his objective might be that he is building a coalition of hate mongers, which reflect in his winning poll numbers. Of course, we have to include the pervasive and hateful attacks against not only our government but also all government, which is unimaginable nonsense. In fact, the drumbeats of the attacks have become so load in the media and against “all” politicians, they are drowning out a government of any kind. The post I referred to above is a clear example of what I mean by nonsense. I do not know them but judging from their other posts on Facebook, Joe-Karen Salisbury appears to be religious people, Christians, based on reading their other posts. Is this what Christians teach in their churches? Apparently, the same people who like their post are Donald Trump voters. Nothing else makes sense. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WHO TO BLAME FOR MICHIGAN

WHO TO BLAME FOR MICHIGAN: The Fox News coverage of the closing, so schools in Detroit and the visit of President Obama to Michigan is a classic right-wing distortion ...

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WHO TO BLAME FOR MICHIGAN

The Fox News coverage of the closing, so schools in Detroit and the visit of President Obama to Michigan is a classic right-wing distortion of the facts. They even go so far as to claim that Governor Snyder is fighting to have lawmakers keep open the schools. Headlines proclaim that teachers are walking out to protest to President Obama their poor working conditions, under funding of educations, etc. Their intent is clear, they are attempting to shift the blame from their State Government to the Federal Government, and to President Obama for the mess in which Michigan finds itself. The point of this post is to shift the blame to the real culprits, who are you, the teachers who will not unionize, the mothers who feed their babies poison water, and the poor, black people, without jobs. My objective in the post is to point out that the State government is their responsibility. It is that way because the voted for Republicans, such as Rick Snyder, who campaigned on cutting taxes, which you like. Good God, look at what he and his legislature did. They took away your elected representative and replaced them with bank “managers” who raped the assets of the cities. You all know this. You all know they did this by using school buildings without maintaining them and supplying water without purification. They put poison water in your pipes to save $19 million so they could cut taxes and increase profits for businesses. Let me rephrase that, you put poison water in “your” pipes and raped “your” schools. The Republicans you elected to govern are the one who champions deregulation under the guise of your personal independence, which you must like because you voted for that, but that also means that businesses, including loan companies and banks, can cheat taxpayers with impunity; authorities cannot catch them if there is no oversight. Yes, I am talking about you: the underpaid, the poor families, the black people, and those with several children and no jobs. It is not someone else’s responsibility it yours. They tell you cannot vote, and you don’t march in the street but instead just shoulders as is you do not know what is happening. Who should object and why should they object if you don’t? You seem to think this is good because, after all, it makes you independent and cuts your taxes. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

OBAMA EARNS NOBEL PRIZE

How many remember the outcry raised by certain people on October 9, 2009, after the Nobel Prize Committee announced they were giving the prize to President Barrack Obama? As the reason for the award, they cited his promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and a new climate in international relations. Obama accepted the prize in Oslo on December 10, 2009. At the time, he was commander in chief of the most powerful military in the midst of two active wars. At the time, I was living in another country. There was an interesting split between what the expatriates living in that country were saying and what the American press was broadcasting. At the time, the only channel I could get on my solar panel powered satellite TV was Fox News, so that was what I mean by American Press. I know that is degusting, but there were many, many advantages in compensation by living n a sheep ranch in the Mayan Mountains. The point is, almost all expatriates were thrilled with the idea but almost uniformly felt it was too early for them to award the prize while Fox News commentator was horrified. In other words, neither side knew what Obama presidency would bring. Now, seven years later we know. Fox News is still horrified and do everything they can to disparage the man as a leader and even go so far as to treat him as a non-citizen and even treat him as a non-human. They have done everything they possibly could to cause him to fail; yet, he not only succeeded, but also succeeded no only as a world leader, but also as a man well beyond what even the prescient Nobel Prize Committee had expected. My hope is that Rodger Ales and Fox News will rot away and decay as it should. The reason my hopes are so high is the success of Obama's new America in the world order compared to the past failures of American administrations. As Obama has implied to world leaders, if you extend a closed fist to us, we will extend an open hand. It is not just the news makers such as Israel and Cuba but country after country has opened their fists. Also, the people have rejected American politician after American politicians who want confrontation has been rejected by the American people, which indicates to me they are rejecting Fox News hate machine. The Fox News recoil they exemplify by now hating Trump; who had been their purveyor of hate immigrants, hate blacks, hate Latinos, hate Muslims, hate, hate, hate, which is a dog chasing tail exercise that can only end badly for the dog. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Monday, January 18, 2016

ANDREA MITCHELL FEELS THE BURN

ANDREA MITCHELL FEELS THE BURN: Professors should have taped both the Republican and Democratic debate to show in high schools and colleges, especially last night’s Democra...

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ANDREA MITCHELL FEELS THE BURN

ANDREA MITCHELL FEELS THE BURN: Professors should have taped both the Republican and Democratic debate to show in high schools and colleges, especially last night’s Democra...

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ANDREA MITCHELL FEELS THE BURN

Professors should have taped both the Republican and Democratic debate to show in high schools and colleges, especially last night’s Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina. The three presidential candidates were Clinton, Sanders, O'Malley were on stage with NBC talking heads Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell acting as monitors. It was a classic; under the guise of being fair. The two front-running candidates were given preference to the point of being ridiculous. Also, there were clearly four and not three parties in the fracas. I was delighted when Bernie Saunders masterful responded to Andrea Mitchell’s attempt to interject Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions into the debate. He told her in a very direct way, with the obvious agreement of Hillary that he was there to debate policy and not there to allow the media, the fourth party, to divert the discussion and drag him into their gutter. In those few words, he laid bare Andrea’s 35 years of experience in the media in doing just that. Of course, she is not alone; in fact, it seems to the standard in of questioning not just politicians but royalty, media stars, and famous people in general. People complain the do not know or understand the issues. People complain that the candidates do not discuss policy but seldom hear why that is the case. I love to listen to a political discussion but the standard NBC, ABC, and other prime time newscasts are empty rhetoric when it comes to policy discussions. My favorite programs are when there is a moderated panel of academics discussing health care, gun policy, voting rights, etc. If anyone knows of such a program, let me know. I am not talking about a bunch of reporters talking about what they are saying their newscast. Listen to the questions reporters ask candidates on news programs. They ask their interviewees questions aimed at making the news. On the other side of the coin listen to the responses by the candidates to these queries who, in the heat of campaigns often play the reporter’s game. The media attract attention to their stories by sensationalizing non-policy matters while politicians respond in a way not to offend the reporters. When Bernie told off Andrea Mitchell in my mind, he tremendously increased his standing as a human being. What he said was, “Want to get on the front page of the paper? I have to make some vicious attack. I won't do that. I’m running an issue-oriented campaign.” What should happen but won’t is the head of NBC call Andrea Mitchell into his or her office and tell her that her 35-year career has ended. The reason it will not happen is that he people who listen to her want to hear the garbage she digs up. It is like Fox News; they have generated a following of people who hate everything, even those things where they get their way. As I said yesterday, they are brain damaged. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Sunday, January 17, 2016

BRAIN CHANGE

BRAIN CHANGE: The response in the media to the recent nuclear disarmament treaty and release of prisoners completely mystifies me. There seems a disassoci...

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BRAIN CHANGE

The response in the media to the recent nuclear disarmament treaty and release of prisoners completely mystifies me. There seems a disassociation exists between what the TV, talk radio, and print media broadcasts and what the American people think. As I have mentioned numerous times, the economic elite controls the media more and more, so they are broadcasting what that small element in society feels and thinks. We all understand why that is and often refer to power the radical Supreme Court gives to the top 0.1% through such things as their Citizens United decision. I am not refereeing to this. Aside from all of that including the references to a black President and political party fighting and its associated rhetoric, what I have in mind is what seems to be the change in American thinking. Americans seem to have changed in the way the think about world affairs, war, and religion and what most of us consider usual human relations at both individual levels and group levels. Perhaps, it all relates to the technical world we live in and not some fundamental change in our mental ability. Of course, the best possibility or explanation may be that the impact of the technical world on the chemistry of the brains is changing the way we think as oppose to what we think. The attitude about the treaty and its consequences in the world is a case in point. How can anyone actually believe the treaty is a bad thing? We all understand that the various countries may change their relationships and attitudes toward one another, or that Iran may cheat on the terms of the treaty, but that does not make the treaty bad to the point that we should not have tried to negotiate a treaty in the first place. Unfortunately, Israel’s position in all of this is awkward at best. They are saying they do not want this treaty, but when asked, they also say they would negotiate a treaty that is essentially the same as the one we have. They somehow seem disconnected with reality. Look at Tom Cotton, the letter-writing senator from Arkansas. He is vehemently against the treaty; he and others want to go to war to make Iran stop building atomic bombs. Am I missing something? The GOP knows the treaty in detail even though they say the Democrats somehow did not give them time to read it. They declare they want peace in the world but do not ant to ratify the treaty. Is there something missing in what they said or is it that I just do not understand the language. My point is that we do not seem to be able to communicate. I think I heard all the word and thought I understand each and every one of them, but something is missing. How can I talk to people if I don’t understand them, and they don’t understand me? The media says the nuclear arms limitation treaty with Iran leads to peace, but the treaty is a bad thing; therefore, peace must be a bad thing. As the teenagers say, don’t think about it just “don’t worry, be happy” or was that what the ghost of Bob Marley said about the Iran treaty on the radio just now or maybe he wasn’t talking about the treaty. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Saturday, January 16, 2016

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO TRUMP

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO TRUMP: A reasoned analysis of political activity and behavior has been one of my major interests throughout my lifetime. Clearly, this is a legacy ...

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EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO TRUMP

A reasoned analysis of political activity and behavior has been one of my major interests throughout my lifetime. Clearly, this is a legacy of my mother. My father treated politics with emotion while my mother used a reasoned approach to politics. That is not to say she did not allow emotion to enter her thinking because she believes in certain things with passion. Largely, she seemed driven by empathy but had the ability or intellect that allowed reason to judge her responses to that empathy. Even though I was a child, I realized that she seemed to be on a roller coaster during the Second World War. Now, all those years later I seem to be on a similar roller coaster over the political situation in the United States. I go from wanting to do real harm to Republicans to tolerating some of their positions just as it was between killing Japanese and Germans and treating them humanely. How does on kill someone else humanely? I have identified certain Republicans and being dangerous to the politics of our Nations. For me, these people fall into categories. For example, there are dishonest political operatives such as Carl Rove, who I feel the political world would be much better without in contrast to Grover Norquist, who is probably more dangers to liberal causes, but there is a certain amount of honesty, perhaps sincerity is a better word, to his proclamations. Among the current Presidential candidates, I see the same divide. There are Ohio Governor Kasich and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who, in my mind, are the honest negotiator for the job of president. These men stand in contrast to people like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who are no more than evangelicals who have their collection plates in mind. Fiorina and Carson are just there for the headlines. I consider Donald Trump as being dangerous for America. He wants to change America politics in a basic, disruptive, and unreasonable way, which is in contrast to Bernie Saunders and Rand Paul, who want to change American politics in different but reasonable ways. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio are the usual “every day” politicians. Each has their good points and bad but acceptable points. I consider all of this in the manner I think my mother would; however when I think of Donald Trump as president, I revert to the ways of my father; all I can do is curse. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated

Friday, January 15, 2016

IRAN CAPTURES TEN SAILORS AS ACT OF WAR

IRAN CAPTURES TEN SAILORS AS ACT OF WAR: The media has reached a new low in reporting the two U.S. Navy patrol craft, ten sailors in all,taken by Iran. I am refereeing to several so...

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IRAN CAPTURES TEN SAILORS AS ACT OF WAR

The media has reached a new low in reporting the two U.S. Navy patrol craft, ten sailors in all,taken by Iran. I am refereeing to several so-called news outlets including MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. They have become so biased the American people cannot believe them—period. As I have pointed out in numerous posts, much of this is traceable to the AIPAC and Zionist propaganda. Everyone knows the headline news that Netanyahu paid a certain letter writing congressional representative a million dollar bribe to defeat the Iran treaty. The same monetary channel is at work on the right wing media, and the reporting on these patrol craft proves it. The two boats miscalculate their positions, or one had mechanical problems or something that they ended up in clear violation of territorial rights of foreign nations. That nation documented the boarded of these vessels, and that video showed the American Sailors with their hand on their heads. According to the news media reporters, the Iranians made them put their hands on their heads and on “forced” them to be on their knees to embarrass them. The talking heads are obviously doing did this to insinuate that the Iranians are hostile and cannot be trusted not to build an atomic bomb. I can describe the tenor of the newscasts as “stupid” at best but childish worst. Unfortunately, this low level of thinking, which makes it truly sad, influences the American People. To make matters worse, one of the sailors apologized for making a mistake. Oh, my God, everyone knows in the radical conservative world, Americans don’t make mistakes. How many mass shooting in the United States have you seen on TV where the police told the students to put their hands on their heads and parade out of the buildings in single file and how many news reports said the authorities did this to embarrass them? Not one, as many of us, were, instinctively know this. People in the military know that boarding a foreign naval vessel manned by sailors with guns is a dangerous operation. Everyone knows video as are taken to document that what happened, happened without incident and not to embarrass anyone. One channel even had John Negroponte on as an authority to discuss the situation. In my adopted country, we call this guy “death squad John”, which is a good indication go my opinion of him and his opinions. URL: firetreepub.blogspot.com Comments Invited and not moderated