Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Window on Eurasia: Five Questions Western Leaders ...: Paul Goble Staunton, August 26 – The leaders of major Western countries declare that they are seeking to find an ans...
Posted by gwojtowy at 9:53 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It was a wonderful warm day last Saturday, and the people were there for a good cause, and so were we! Over a hundred people were signed up for President Obama's campaign for reelection.
Our community organizer Jayne Humbert was most gracious and helpful to all who came to our table.And our clip boarders encountered mostly friendly attendees, who were very receptive to volunteering for the "I'm In" campaign.
And some people got the pleasant surprise of a picture with their favorite President!We all had fun!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Boy, what tremulous times to be a Republican, with an anchor called Paul Ryan tied around your neck, and Harry Reid forcing you to take the plunge! First Newtie has to walk the plank, for being a bad boy blabbermouth (i.e. telling the truth about the Medicare Apocalypse.) Next, the reliably conservative 26th District gets flipped for the Dems, precisely because of the GOP candidate's adherence to Ryan's plan. The Ryan Budget is the tightrope that the GOP has bamboozled itself into walking over the sharp spikes of the 2012 election! And our dear Nurse Annie is caught smack damn in the middle of this thin rope!
How do I describe the precise cause of the Republican's woes?
The Ryan plan forces those under the age of 55, to get so-called "premium support payments," to buy private insurance. Say good bye to the old fee-for-service that you could rely upon in adversity. And don't forget that part of Ryan's agenda is to get rid of our new healthcare system, so we'd be under the tender mercies of the old insurance system, meaning no service for pre-existing conditions, kids older than 18 are on their own and insurance can refuse or stop payment for high risk patients or procedures.
In 2022, the average payment for these premiums would be $8,000 for those age 65. The payment is supposed to increase as you get older, based on your age and the consumer price index for urban consumers. But it won't keep up with health care costs, with recipients paying a larger percentage of the coverage. According to the CBO, the government percentage would shrink from 39 percent of the cost of private insurance in 2022, to 32 percent in 2030.
And that's what's got seniors and soon-to-be seniors all up in a lather. The Republicans assumed that they could buy off the present-day senior's support with a promise that the Medicare of anyone presently over 55, will remain the reliable traditional fee for service Medicare we all depend on, and to hell with the rest.
But the divide and conquer approach cannot work when blood is thicker than water. And our population is rapidly aging. Today's seniors are still parents and - grandparents! And there will be many more such grandparents to come! Do Ryan & Co. really think that seniors will pull up the ladder on their aging children and grandkids once they are aboard the boat? Nice try Mr. Ryan!
Already the strain of this anchor is being felt around the GOP's neck as it's limbs begin to flail about and look for an escape. Scott Brown (R. Massachusetts,) just a week ago said that he would vote for the Ryan plan, though he was sure it would go down in defeat. But as the news about how unpopular began to reach Washington, he did an about-face, and chose not to vote for it.
First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support— and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.
Well bravo Senator. That makes you the exception that proves the rule. The reaction of the Right to Brown's words were, to say the least, uncharitable:
'Respectfully, Scott Brown ought to be ashamed of himself,' Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. 'This is the defining moment of this generation. We have got to be bold. We know these entitlements have to be reformed to be saved. He knows that.'
Walsh added that any Republican opposed to the plan was motivated by 'political reasons.'
He then said:
'Any Republican that doesn’t vote for this or doesn’t support this is purely being guided by political reasons,' Walsh continued.'"This is not time to be politically scared. Every day I am in this town I am more convinced this president has no clue as to the financial cliff we are about to fall off of.'
And now the Right has painted itself into a corner. The Republican response to the Ryan Budget is now set in stone. First, the House passed the plan 235-193, with only four GOP members voting against it, and all Democrats voting "no." And twhen in the Senate, when McConnell & Co were forced by Harry Reid to show their true allegiance, the measure was defeated along party lines, 54-47, with Republicans voting for the Ryan plan.
Well, didn't the Republicans try to make the grandparents happy? And how about the grandkids?
And how will the folks of Syracuse Southwest feel, since Ann Marie Buerkle cannot un-vote her ballot now on the Ryan Budget?
How will the Southwest neighborhood near West Onondaga and South Geddes feel where the percentage of married-couple families with both working is 50.9%, compared to the 56.9% that Syracuse has as a whole? Where the male to female ratio is evenly divided? Where the median age of males is 23.1 years, and for all of Syracuse is 30.5 years, and the median age for females is 26.4 years, and for the whole city: 31.7 years? Where the percentage of single-mother households in the whole neighborhood is 38.7%, when for all of Syracuse, it is only 14%? City Data
Not very good if in twenty years most of the people living there will need vouchers for their Medicare!
And our dear ever motherly, ever caring Nurse Annie, voted "yes" on the Ryan plan!
Well, I can tell you that our Honorable Representative certainly was most enthusiastic for the Ryan Budget:
Rep. Ryan’s Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2012 is a serious and in-depth proposal that addresses the fiscal crisis facing this nation. Congressman Ryan and the Budget Committee have done a commendable job in proposing a course towards fiscal responsibility.
Government has a spending problem. President Obama demonstrated his unwillingness to lead by putting forth a budget that fails to address our future fiscal state and provides neither control nor restraint of current government spending.
This budget resolution proposes to recommit this Congress to a fiscally responsible course that will preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.
I look forward to reviewing the proposal in more detail and working to pass a fiscally sound 2012 budget.
Here's what she put on her website not long after:
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Get ready boys and girls! The Sexy Liberal Show is here! And boy howdy Ann Marie Buerkle will faint! El Rushbo won't fare so well either! And Beck? Well, Pluto is not longer a planet, so he'll have to escape to Gliese.
Anyway, it's tonight, at the Crouse Hinds Theater at 8:00 pm. I'm sure that tickets are still on sale at the Oncenter box office, from $25 to $55.
Miller knows politics and Republicans, her father was William E. Miller, vice presidential candidate for Barry Goldwater in 1964. She's an Upstater to boot, who grew up in Buffalo, and got her first radio gig in Rochester. Now her base is L.A.
Miller will be accompanied by comedian John Fugelsang and actor Hal Sparks of Queer as Folk.
Posted by gwojtowy at 2:16 PM
Friday, May 13, 2011
Now that bin-Laden is dead, the landscape has certainly changed. It changes politically, strategically, and economically. It's a different world now.
The death of bin-Laden will be a snapshot of a time in history at home and abroad. Overseas we can gage the political temperature by reactions to it in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere abroad. At home, bin-Laden's death gives greater attention to the political divide in this country with the twin issues of how much credit do George W. Bush and waterboarding get for his killing. There are even those who believe that bin-Laden should have been brought to trial, not killed. It also exposes a greater sense of confidence on the side of Progressives for their prospects in 2012, and a greater insecurity on the Right for their chances.
Those first few days after 9/11 were filled with fear. People didn't know how to act, and were afraid of their shadows, as well as everyone else's. Alan Grayson gave this anecdote about life after even a year after 9/11:
About a year after 9/11, I was sitting in an airport terminal, waiting for a flight, when nature called. I turned to the young lady sitting next to me, and asked her if she would watch my carry-on baggage while I went to the restroom.
She looked at me, she hesitated, and then she asked, 'How do I know that you’re not a terrorist?'
She wasn’t kidding. She looked a little scared.
I thought about delivering some snappy retort, like 'I used to be a suicide bomber, but I quit, because I didn’t like the pension benefits.' I could see, though, that she was actually feeling some fear, so I looked her in the eye and said, 'I’m not a terrorist' She thought for a moment, and then she said, 'OK, I’ll watch your bags.'
I myself remember the anger, the kind of fear which that woman felt, and the nervous speculation fueled by the anthrax scare, and I even recognized the inevitability of war with Iraq. I was too angry to care. Iraq, Al Qaeda, were they all that different? It was the kind of anger that Bush and the neocons knew they could count on. Irrational anger leading to war.
While I regret the initial ambivalence towards Bush's wars this anger caused in me,the sting of 9/11 is why I joined in celebrating the death of this monstrous being who could cause such mass murder on an inhuman scale, and feel justified in it. As I looked into my flatscreen, and watched those crowds at Lafayette Park, it occurred to me that you couldn't tell Republicans from Democrats in that crowd of rejoicers.
I also heard plenty of praise for President Obama.
The New York Times said:
The increase in Mr. Obama’s ratings came largely from Republicans and independents. Among independents, his approval rating increased 11 points from last month, to 52 percent, while among Republicans it rose 15 points, to 24 percent. Among Democrats, 86 percent supported his job performance, compared with 79 percent in April.
But that same article proceeded to say:
But in an indication that anxieties about unemployment, gas prices and the national debt have not withered with Bin Laden’s death, good will toward Mr. Obama did not extend to his economic policies. More than half said they disapproved of his handling of the economy, similar to the result last month, the poll found.
Which is why the President should take full advantage of his present situation spend some capital on the weaknesses of the Republicans.
However, the Progressives can claim even more specific, and therefore more poignant credit for President Obama.
For one thing, they'll need to take President Obama more seriously as a Strong on Security President. And don't they know it! Already the Republicans are attempting to revise and whitewash history to their advantage. It was water boarding that saved the day! Or, it was George W. Bush's unflinching leadership that led to this glorious moment, while Obama takes the credit!
Be careful what you wish for, because the story will be as fluid as the Niagara Falls for the next few months! It may not be as pat as you want it to be!
One thing is certain. The chronology doesn't lie - and it does not put W in a good light!
With all this crowing about how waterboarding saved the day in the hunt for bin Laden, the Bush Crowd would do well to remember that Bush himself threw in the towel as far as bin Laden was concerned. Like a little boy far too image conscious to admit that he lost bin Laden at Tora Bora, he shrugged it off with a desire to move onto something else. All with the maturity of a Peewee Herman falling off his bike and saying that he meant to do it.
So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.
Certainly Bush sought to give the impression that Afghanistan was of prime importance, But, all-in-all he just wanted to take all his marbles and go to Iraq. Afghanistan became the forgotten war. And the wound that we forgot to close began to fester.
The lack of clarity in strategic conception led directly to the imbroglio in Afghanistan and Pakistan today. There is no longer any question that the diversion of U.S. troops and, in particular, intelligence assets and special forces to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 produced a Taliban and Qaida resurgence in South Asia. It also made the Pakistanis—who even in the best of times were playing a double game—hedge about their own strategic shift away from support for jihadis as a counterweight to India. In 2007, Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States at the time, suggested that this was when Washington began to lose some of his country’s support. After 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi in March 2003—just as Bush was invading Iraq—'al-Qaida was almost destroyed in an operational sense,' Durrani told me. 'But then al-Qaida got a vacuum in Afghanistan. And they got a motivational area in Iraq. Al-Qaida rejuvenated.'
So please don't tell me that The Second Transient Tourist from Kennebunkport (who in Texas this month is being honored along with The First,) had anything substantial to do with bringing bin Laden to justice.
But that did not stop Brent Bozell from touting the virtues of waterboarding. Indeed, Bozell and the Right seem to be hell bent for leather intent upon using bin Laden's death to prove their point.
'[I]t is because of waterboarding Osama bin Laden is dead, and everybody knows it,' the MRC founder argued. 'It's about time people started admitting it in [Washington] that it is because of these techniques that George Bush was crucified over that Osama bin Laden is dead today,' he added.
As for the mainstream media, 'it's high time they started apologizing to [President Bush]' for accusing him of authorizing torture and arguing that waterboarding would never lead to actionable intelligence.
Except that, if waterboarding works, then why didn't they already apprehend bin Laden years before? Couldn't the "accurate information" coming forth from a detainee's water-logged mouth have produced Osama's location instead of us assuming that he lived in the tribal regions of Pakistan?
Finally, the Right must learn to accept that the era of the Haight-Ashbury Birkenstock liberal is over.
Everywhere I go on the Web, I keep hearing about these flower-bedecked granny glasses wearing people that I don't remember hearing about since the late '70's. One guy even gave a triumphant guffaw at what he thought was liberal hypocrisy in the face of bin Laden's death:
The most disgusting part of this reality is that liberals only believe in justice at the end of a bullet when they feel violated. So their friend whose daughter was kidnapped and raped and tortured should turn the other cheek and not be relieved and delighted when the killer is brought to justice, but when they lose their own loved one or their body, family, city feels threatened, the liberal suddenly becomes Chuck Norris–or more likely, is grateful that Chuck is willing to kick bad-guy ass.
If they really believed their pap, they’d be crying tears for Osama Bin Laden. They’d be pining away for the injustice. They’d weep for the rule of international law and Geneva conventions that were violated. They would be wearing their pink shirts in front of the White House and yanking out their boobies in outraged protest at the gross violation of a sovereign nation’s borders.
No, not very likely my friend.
In my opinion, the political correctness of the '80's turned a lot of liberals away from the Left, indeed, it helped to damage the reputation of liberalism to the point where the term "moderate" arose as a name for what true liberals are - reasonable people who want to stand for real American values, who want everyone to live by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The rights of the least of us, are the same as the rights of the rest of us. I want a good living. I will give you a good living. I want freedom. I will give you freedom. I want peace and security. I will give you peace and security. And in return, you will give these things back to me.
On the other hand, if you threaten to take these things away from me, then I reserve the right to fight back in the appropriate manner. Most of the time, I will not need to resort to violence. I live in a democracy where I have many peaceful means to resort to. But if you threaten my life, my security, and that of those around me, and you resort to violence, don't expect me not to respond in kind. I will mix it up. Swing a gun into my face and I will block it. A kick to the groin, a chop to the neck, I will do what I have to, to subdue you. And yes, if you leave me no choice, I will kill you. Coombayayahs are not in the picture for you!
And lastly I would like to speak to the pedants who cling to their floating icebergs of dogma, and are blind to the lifeboats of humanity around them.
We put those who do evil things on trial not so much for them (though we do do it for them because, unlike their view of us, we see them as human), but we do it for ourselves. We do it because we are civilized, we are a free people, we believe that everyone has a right to their day in court, even the worst persons. We believe in the rule of law even if they don't. That makes us strong, stronger than them, and we will defeat their evil through our open and just society. If we behave like them, we will eventually become them. I do not believe in an eye for an eye. I think Jesus Christ said something about how he was here on earth to change that, to tell us to love our enemies. That's a tough thing to live by. The Nazis started a world war in which some 40+ million died. Yet we gave them their day in court, just to show them that WE ARE NOT LIKE YOU. And to show the world the evil deeds they did. Unfortunately, to put bin Laden on trial would have been problematic because he used to "work" for us in the 1980s when we trained, armed and funded his rebels in Afghanistan. Too much might come out about this Frankenstein we created -- and who would then come back 20 years later to murder 3,000 of our citizens.
Give it up! Loving your enemies does not mean that you turn into a doormat for them. And that "Frankenstein" we created was in response to the Soviet invasion of that country, where Afghans were already fighting for their freedom. For you to stand there and lament that bin Laden was not given due process before he died, you'd have to hallucinate some sort of artificial social construct where the rules of the road, and those of humanity don't apply. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky seem to think that finding bin Laden in a virtual war zone like Pakistan was no different than arresting him in Dubuque Iowa, or Onondaga Hill, New York. The relative peace of Abbottabad aside, the very nature of the conflict, the theater of operation, and of how bin Laden lived, precluded that.
Now Mr. Chomsky seems to think that he's turning the argument for killing bin Laden on it's ear with this supposition:
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.
On the day of 9/11, commando actions were launched on four unsuspecting airplanes by foreign agents. Three thousand innocent people were in fact assassinated. And they were either incinerated, crushed or both when the towers went down, the Pentagon attacked, and the plane went down near Shanksville, PA.
As for Bush's crimes "vastly exceeding" bin Laden's, that remains to be seen, but they certainly don't exceed bin Laden's in scope. It was an unprovoked act of mass murder that Osama committed on September 11. Bin Laden, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were judge, jury and hangman.
I would cite to Chomsky and Moore something that Eugene Robinson just said today:
He held hostage our foreign policy — directly or indirectly provoking two wars — and, with it, hijacked a huge chunk of the federal treasury. He goaded our leaders into stretching our military almost to the breaking point. He was the inspiration, or the excuse, for a vast expansion of the government’s power to intrude into our private lives. He changed us so that whenever we see an unattended gym bag, we don’t think 'absent-mindedness,' we think 'potential bomb.
The threat of terrorism is still with us, but the man who embodied that threat is gone. We can think more clearly now — about our mission in Afghanistan and our relationship with Pakistan, about the trade-offs between liberty and security, about which of our fears are rational and which are not."
I would remind Mr. Robinson though, that even though we no longer have to fear him, people will still fear the possibility of him, and therefore we may take comfort in the fact that where we find terrorists, we do strike quickly, without warning. By their very definition, terrorists do not respect law or social convention. They only respect force and the terror it produces. We must respond in kind.
No matter how macabre this may sound - "Ding, dong, the witch is dead!"
Friday, April 15, 2011
STEPHANIE MILLER's "SEXY LIBERAL SHOW" IS COMING TO SYRACUSE!
Stephanie Miller is taking her "Sexy Liberal Show" on tour and is coming to Syracuse, NY, May 14th at the Crouse-Hinds Theater!
It is my opinion that the OFA Syracuse Southwest should be there, ALL OF OFA SHOULD BE THERE!
Stephanie is one of the most influential radio talkers in the USA with almost 2 million listeners.One of them is me.
She has been on the Ed Schultz Show,Countdown with Keith Olbermann,a favorite guest of Larry King,even dared to spend a year as co-host with Baye Buchanan on Oxygen.
Her show is funny,irreverent,and just the thing to keep you from losing it with Right Wingnuts as she skewers them with her wit, and makes them look ridiculous. After listening to Steph,I can listen to O'Reilly's or Beck's fulminations,because I can laugh at them now! I couldn't have remained politically active throughout Dubya's worst outrages without that kind of relief! And so, apparently did at least 2 million other Americans!
You can listen to the Stephanie Miller Show at 10am on 105.9FM The Big Talker. Or you can stream it for the full 3 hours at: Radiotime.
And now, even Syracuse.com has this to say:
Miller can talk politics; her father was William E. Miller, who ran as the vice presidential candidate on Barry Goldwater's failed 1964 bid for the White House.
And she's an upstater, too, born and raised and given her first radio job in Buffalo. She moved on to Rochester, Chicago, New York City and now lives in LA.
And her friends Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang:
quite a career on his own:
Hal Sparks was born September 25, 1969 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is an actor, comedian, game show host, talk show host, and musician. He is most widely known for playing the role of Michael Novotny on "Queer as Folk" and hosting "Talk Soup" on the channel E!. In addition to these roles, Sparks is regularly features as a commentator on VH1 shows I Love the '70s, I Love the '80s, I Love the '80s Strikes Back, I Love the '80s 3-D, I Love the '90s, I Love the '90s: Part Deux, I Love the Holidays, I Love Toys, I Love the '70s: Volume II, I Love VH1 Talking Head Clip Show Reviews, and I Love the New Millennium. He was also a contestant on the show Celebracadabra. The first major role in a motion picture for Hal Sparks came in the Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott flick "Dude, Where's My Car?" where he played a nerd name Zoltan. In addition to the aforementioned various acting roles, Hal Sparks also plays in a heavy metal rock band with Robert Hall and Miles Loretta called Zero 1. Their debut album, Zero 1, was released in 2006 and is currently available.
John Fugelsang is an actor,host,political commentator and also a Friday co-host for the last hour of the SM Show designated as: "Fridays with Fugelsang" His appearances on tv include: CSI, Providence, Becker, Somewhere in the City, Beyond Belief, Hamlet, Blue Window, and Savage in Limbo. He is also a contributor to the Huffington Post.
Listen to Orly! A good laugh will do you some good, and a chance to represent at such a venue as this will be doesn't come often!
I don't think that Ann Marie here will too happy if we share with Steph what a wonderful time we've been having with our Congresswoman, but then, we don't care!
We're out to mak'em all cry!
So, as Saint Glenn, Moses of the Geese would say, carry on the crusade, and come on down for some intelligent conversation, and belly laughs, and a coming together of the Progressive NatIon!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I am re-posting this to start a discussion...
My #1 issue is fairness. Here's my idea, one of the principles of what I'm calling The Fairness Doctrine:
Principle # 2: Fair, flat income tax w/ no deductions
All individuals and organizations who earn money are part of the financial back bone of our society:
a- Each profit making, corporate entity gives 30% of its annual revenues as taxes to the State where it does business.
b- Each individual gives 20% of his/her annual income to the state
where he/she has his primary residence.
c- Each non-profit entity gives 10% of its annual revenue to the State where the revenue is earned.
d- Each State shares its revenues 50/50 with the Federal government.
Let's see if this one does it...