Saturday, August 18, 2012

MY NEXT LIFE, by Woody Allen

I normally would pass right by anything involving Woody Allen. This little tidbit is simply too good to pass up.


          by Woody Allen

   “In my next life I want
                      to live backwards.

You start out dead and get that all out of the way.

Then you wake up in an old person’s home feeling better every day.

   You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.

   You work for forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement.

   You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school.

   You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born.

   And then you spend your last nine months floating in luxurious spa like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then, Voila!

          You finish off as an orgasm!

                                      I rest my case.

What Will They Write On T-shirts Next? (Or, how to disrupt a pleasant breakfast at the diner.)

   Went out for breakfast this morning, being as it was the weekend, and saw a “saying” on the back of a t-shirt that I’m not totally convinced I understand. I was just taking my first few sips of coffee to shake out the cob-webs, and here comes a middle-aged couple and their son. They plunk themselves down in the next both, and, as they were plunking, I noticed the hubby had this saying on the back of his shirt: “When Lawyers Lead Society To Justice, Peace is its reward”. Well, that stopped me dead in my tracks on a number of levels. I knew I had to write down this “saying”, and did so with the aide of a pen from my wife, who had also eyed the aforementioned shirt.

   I must admit that I had a little trouble getting words to paper, as my mind was in some sort of serious lock-down. I couldn’t, for the life of me, make any logical, grammatical, or syntactical sense out of what my eyes had just seen. After a minute of utter disbelief, I was able to scribe the “saying” on the back of one of my business cards. As, I was engaged in writing this down, my Wife was looking at me with about half a grin on her face. Our eyes met, and she said ”This one really got to you, didn’t it?” I was speechless! I couldn’t find the words to describe what I was just feeling, let alone thinking. (You know what they say, “Don’t ask people what they’re thinking; they don’t do it very often.”) Now, I know, there is some truth to that caveat.

   My first cogent thought was that I should have worn my “OCCUPY” t-shirt. At the very least, that shirt “saying” makes sense. We did manage to finish our breakfast, but not before this gentleman stood up to go to the cash register and pay his cheque. (Sorry, that’s the French in me talking.) And, wouldn’t you know it, there was a small crest and some initials on the left chest of this shirt. I could not make out the crest too clearly, but the initials I recognized immediately. “NYSBA” was noticeable in white letters: “ New York State Bar Association”. No, we’re not talking your local gin mill, we’re talking the State lawyers association.

   Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I used to consider that lawyers had a reasonable command of the English language. And, God Damn It, this “saying” doesn’t make a pimple’s amount of sense. I’ve been reading it backwards, forwards, inside-out, and upside-down, and I cannot find anything in this short statement that even approaches validity. I really need some help with this conundrum. If anyone could shed some light on the subject, please let me know.

·         When lawyers lead society to justice, peace is its reward?

·         When society rewards lawyers with the practice of justice, peace occurs?

·         Peace is the reward society gets by having justice and lawyers?

Since when did lawyers ever lead society to justice? Since when have lawyers had anything to do with the creation and maintenance of peace? When was the last time either society, or you, were rewarded by a lawyer? Are not justice and peace two entirely separate entities?

I thought so!

Friday, August 17, 2012


UK Sends £5 Million to Listed Terrorists in Syria

August 11, 2012
Source: Tony Cartalucci, BLN Contributing Writer
In direct violation of both American and British anti-terrorism legislation, particularly provisions regarding providing material support for listedor proscribed terrorist organizations, the United Kingdom has just announced that it will provide armed militants that include listed terror organizations with a £5 million tranche of what it calls “non-lethal practical assistance.”
UK Sends £5 Million to Listed Terrorists in Syria FSA AlQaeda
Image: Little else could accentuate the hypocrisy and unhinged madness of US and British foreign policy more than Foreign Secretary William Hague announcing his government’s decision to fund genocidal sectarian extremists murdering under the flag of Al Qaeda in Syria.
Both British and American journalists have clearly identified and documented the presence of foreign fighters with militant extremist ties pouring over the Turkish-Syrian border, most recently in an attempt to overrun the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied FSA terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:
Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.
CNN also added:
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.
The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, “The Syrian Rebels’ Libyan Weapon,” has gone as far as writing a two page profile on Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) commander Mahdi al-Harati and his role in leading the so-called “Free Syrian Army.” Also recently, the Council on Foreign Relations, a premier Fortune 500-funded US think-tank, wrote in their article, “Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria,” that:
“The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.”
Clearly then, British aid is being sent to the FSA whose ranks are admittedly filled by Al Qaeda.
Also, to be clear, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is in fact an affiliate of Al Qaeda with its commanders having occupied the highest echelons of Al Qaeda’s command structure and having participated in every combat engagement Al Qaeda has conducted since its inception via US-Saudi cash and arms in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980′s. This was documented meticulously in the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq.”
LIFG is also listed by both the US State Department and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as a foreign terrorist organization and a proscribed terrorist organization respectively.
Foreign Policy’s admission of al-Harati’s role in organizing and leading the FSA in Syria, and the inclusion of Libyan terrorists in his brigade are by no means the only role LIFG is playing in the Syrian violence. LIFG commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj had visited the Turkish-Syrian border in late 2011 pledging Libyan arms, cash, and fighters to the FSA – with the nation of Libya itself having already become a NATO-created terrorist safe-haven.
It is clear that LIFG, and by implication Al Qaeda, is playing a significant role in the violence in Syria, not only undermining the narrative of the unrest being an “indigenous” “pro-democracy uprising,” but also implicating foreign nations who are funding and arming militants as state sponsors of terrorism.
Included amongst these state sponsors of international terrorism are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Hariri faction in northern Lebanon, as well as the NATO-installed government of Libya. This also includes both the United States, who is admittedly providing cash and equipment for the FSA as well as coordinating efforts to arm militants, and now the UK once again with their latest announcement.
With an increasing number of overt atrocities being carried out by the FSA and its ranks of extremist sectarian militants, including kidnappings, abuses, and massacres observed recently in Aleppo, it is unconscionable for the West to even rhetorically back what is clearly a sectarian-driven conflict, let alone provide equipment, cash, and arms. However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague calls it, “the right thing to do.”
UK Sends £5 Million to Listed Terrorists in Syria Syrian rebels arrest a ma 011

Image: The Western media is covering – or more accurately, “spinning” – an unfolding sectarian genocide in Syria’s largest city Aleppo. In the alleys of seized streets, FSA terrorists are detaining, torturing, and killing anyone suspected of supporting the government. Such suspicions coincidentally run along sectarian divisions. By using the label “Shabiha” for all of FSA’s victims, the Western press has given a carte blanche to genocidal sectarian extremists and by doing so, has become complicit in war crimes themselves. For the British, or any other nation for that matter, to provide the FSA with even rhetorical, let alone material support, is an egregious act of international terrorism.
It is unclear whether Hague means – violating the laws of his own nation to provide material support for known, proscribed terrorists is “the right thing to do” – or if he means it is “right” to perpetuate the bloodbath in Syria as prescribed by the US Fortune 500-funded think-tank, Brookings Institution in their “Middle East Memo #21,” which suggested the West “pin down the Asad regime and bleed it, keeping a regional adversary weak, while avoiding the costs of direct intervention.” Either way, the unhinged, morally bankrupted foreign policy of the Anglo-American establishment is on full display, undermining and irrevocably damaging the legitimacy of their collective institutions in the process.
A similar scenario unfolded in Libya, where LIFG terrorists were likewise carrying out a campaign of nationwide genocide with NATO providing air support. Similarly, by funding, arming, and coordinating acts of violence with LIFG fighters, NATO, and in particular, France, England, and the United States, were guilty of violating both their own respective anti-terrorism legislation, as well as international provisions against terrorism.
The brazen illegitimacy of NATO’s actions against Libya surely played a role in hobbling, perhaps permanently, the contrived geopolitical ploy of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) while simultaneously undermining the “primacy of international law.”
The protracted difficulty of the West to repeat their success in Syria can be perhaps owed in part to the unhinged policy and agenda pursued and exposed in Libya.

The New York Times at its best

   Congratulations are in order for The New York Times. In recent weeks I have called the Paper out on their lack of acknowledgement regarding the Wars we are fighting abroad and the Men and Women involved. The “Review” section of last weeks Sunday Edition, Aug. 12th, had an in-depth story about returning Servicemen and their quest for Medical Care, help with their Families, and adjustment back into Civilian life.
   To be honest and transparent, I don’t subscribe to the weekday Editions on The New York Times, so I cannot offer commentary for four days of the week (I do get the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Editions).
   Today, Friday, Aug. 17th, Iraq made the Front Page Index, Page A-6, and Afghanistan / Pakistan made Page A-10. Most reporting  of the News pales in comparison to reporting on our Service Men  and Women who are engaged in armed conflicts around the World. This is especially true when it comes to the incredible amount of mudslinging in this, a General Election Year. There are only two issues concerning the United States this year, and they are of equal weight. One is the Economy; the other is the constant deployment of Troops overseas. I will continue to rely on The New York Times for pertinent and current News in both the aforementioned categories.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poor v. Rich

Published on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by OtherWords

The 64-Gazillion-Dollar Question

A top authority on poverty has changed his mind about the urgency of fighting inequality.

Peter Edelman has battled poverty for nearly half a century — first as a top aide to Senator Robert Kennedy, later as a state and federal official, and currently as a key figure at a widely respected law and public policy center in Washington.(Neil Moralee/Flickr)
Over his years in and out of government, Edelman has probably earned as much respect as anyone in our nation's public policy community. Back in 1996, he did something few high-ranking federal officials ever do. He resigned in protest when President Bill Clinton signed a law that Edelman could not support in good conscience.
Edelman, then an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, publicly warned that the "welfare reform" that Clinton signed into law would be devastating for the nation's most vulnerable children. He turned out to be right. The number of children living in deep poverty — kids in families making under half the official poverty threshold — rose 70 percent from 1995 to 2005, and 30 percent more by 2010.
America's elected leaders didn't listen to Edelman in 1996. Now they have another chance. Edelman, currently a co-director at the Georgetown University Law Center, has just released a new book — So Rich, So Poor — that aims "to look anew at why it is so hard to end American poverty."
You get the feeling from this candid new book that Edelman would be astonished if our elected leaders actually paid attention to his poverty-fighting prescriptions. So Rich, So Poor seems to address a different audience: the millions of decent Americans, from across the political spectrum, who share his outrage about our continuing deep poverty.
These Americans have a special reason for paying close attention to Edelman's new book. The author, one of the nation's most committed experts on poverty, has changed his mind — not about poverty and the poor, but about wealth and the rich.
"I used to believe," Edelman writes in his new book, "that the debate over wealth distribution should be conducted separately from the poverty debate, in order to minimize the attacks on antipoverty advocates for engaging in 'class warfare.' But now we literally cannot afford to separate the two issues."
Why? The "economic and political power of those at the top," Edelman explains, is "making it virtually impossible to find the resources to do more at the bottom."
Figuring out how we can achieve a more equal distribution of income and wealth has become, Edelman advises, "the 64-gazillion-dollar question."
"The only way we will improve the lot of the poor, stabilize the middle class, and protect our democracy," he notes, "is by requiring the rich to pay more of the cost of governing the country that enables their huge accretion of wealth."
What about those antipoverty activists and analysts who still yearn to keep poverty — the absence of wealth — separate from the concentration of wealth? Many of these folks, Edelman notes, argue that the rich as a group have no reason to oppose efforts to help end poverty.
Edelman's response? "More than anything else," he observes, the wealthy "want low taxes," and they know the taxes on their sky-high incomes will rise if government ever starts spending money to really help people in need.
"The wealth and income of the top 1 percent grows at the expense of everyone else," Edelman sums up in So Rich, So Poor. "Money breeds power, and power breeds more money. It is a truly vicious cycle."
Only average Americans have the wherewithal to end this cycle. Middle- and low-income Americans need to join in common cause. If they don't, Edelman bluntly adds, "we are cooked."

Monday, August 13, 2012

What’s in a name?

   President Obama, when you leave Office, you are no longer the President. Some one else has taken your place. We will no longer be calling you Mr. President. We will call you Mr. Obama. Its very confusing when you are in the room with another past President, or a standing President. We can certainly respect and acknowledge your accomplishments. For those areas of information that you were privy to and are considered sensitive to our Nation, we can certainly maintain your personal security. Having left Public Office, you are now a normal citizen, and should be addressed  as such. Take this down the food chain from Secretary of something to Local Representative from somewhere.

   Senator Schumer, when you leave Office, you are no longer a United States Senator. Some one else has taken your place. We will no longer be calling you Senator. We will call you Mr. Schumer.

   Governor Cuomo, when you leave Office, you are no longer the Governor of this State. Some one else has taken your place. We will no longer be calling  you Governor. We will call you Mr. Cuomo.

   This is, by no means, a show of disrespect to past holders of Public Office. This is a form of respect for the person who currently holds that particular Office. You can take your Pension. You can take your Security Detail. But, please leave the Title on the door for the next person. And, don’t talk to me about tradition. Change is inevitable, and this is one whose time has come.

"Exploding the Myths About Vietnam"

Aritcles, such as this, can give the Veterans of that era a more complete understanding of why it was they were aksed to fight in Viet Nam. Couple these stories with ones that track the U.S. efforts to clean up thier mess and, perhaps, the History Books will get it straight.

"War Wounds"

With a few statistical discrepancies, this Article touches on areas of Military Mental Health heretofore disregarded. Featured here is a Major in the U. S. Army, not an enlisted man/woman. Having become involved with this topic first hand, I can speak with some authority on the accuracy of this Article.

Hundred-Year Forecast: Drought

More info on the drought underway in our Country.