Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In November, SPARTY sent me an article, by Bill Moyers, from The Nation. This essay described how the business class in America decided in 1971 to attack the liberal institutions and politicians who had brought prosperity to millions of Americans. Moyers traced the efforts of "Wall Street interests"over a period of years to end the components of our democratic republic which served the interests of the non-rich and the non-powerful.

Liberalism and the Democratic Party spoke for the preferred political faith in those days, because it was the faith of the commonest American people.

The effort of the wealthy interests to wage political warfare on the left, on the unions, on the common people, has been enormously successful. It has now led to the Occupy Movement which has been vigorous in many cities this autumn. This warfare has been blessed with hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate money.

I believe that with the end of winter and the onset of the election for president, there will be a resumption of the anti-capitalism movement. As the public discovers that both parties, and both presidential candidates are now toadies of the monied interests, the level of hostility will probably grow.

Here is where to find the Moyers article:

How Wall Street Occupied America: CLICK

Friday, December 23, 2011

about Christmas

I never thought I would like a fake Christmas tree, but I do. I think ours looks very good. I've gotten over the idea that this representation of the holiday has to be a "real" tree.

Only wish more people would look at other people's Christmas decorations more carefully.


Alice expresses regrets that so many young people have sacrificed Christmas hymns and the pleasure of singing them in company with many others. She thinks it's a part of the rejection of religion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

without comment

Sheriff: Ohio man cleaning gun killed Amish girl

FREDERICKSBURG, Ohio (AP) -- A man cleaning his muzzle-loading rifle shot the gun into the air, accidentally killing a 15-year-old Amish girl driving a horse-drawn buggy more than a mile away, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goodbye Vaclav Havel

An "accidental hero" --

"It's interesting that I had an adventurous life, even though I am not an adventurer by nature. It was fate and history that caused my life to be adventurous rather than me as someone who seeks adventure,"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

top story

Killing of Bin Laden Voted Top News Story of 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The killing of Osama bin Laden during a raid by Navy SEALs on his hideout in Pakistan was the top news story of 2011, followed by Japan's earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disaster, according to The Associated Press' annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors



I am not necessarily in favor of capital punishment. I have heard of some people being executed who, had I been governor, would have gotten a commutation to a prison term. I do admit, however, that when some people in death penalty states are put to death, I don't care. Gary Gilmore, for example. Last month, Paul Rhoades was executed in Idaho, after 20 years in prison and a multitude of appeals, for the murder of a school teacher whom he had kidnaped, raped, shot 9 times, and raped again. His death did not incite in me any sense of regret. And, had the death penalty been applied to Charles Manson or Sirhan Sirhan, , I wouldn't have cared.


When campaigning for President, Barack Obama promised that he would hunt down Osama Bin Laden and kill him.

"And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.

We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

(Oct. 7, 2008)

I'm happy that this happened.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

on my mind

I've been very lazy lately about updating this blog. I used to think that I had to do it every day or two just because people who matter to me might look in expecting to find something to read. Now I've become a shade less neurotic about it.

Here are some things in our world I take note of:
1. The murderers of Sean Stennett (who according to testimony as reported in the news online, must be very very evil people) have been brought to justice. This morning the jury found them guilty on all counts --- mandatory life in prison. It's satisfying to know that men like that, capable of such a flat out vicious killing, are now under control and will not be stalking this community any more.

2. I've been deluged with complaints from Michigan State fans who feel cheated. They lost their game to Wisconsin as most of you know, and according to some voices, this is because the officials made a wrong call. I never thought that Spartan fans would fall back on that old excuse.

I must remark, however, that they should not blame Michigan, because our team did everything in our power to help State become the Big-10 Champions, including losing to them and beating Nebraska. We are going to a "better" bowl than they are because we were invited. I heard on a local TV channel that some people are wondering if Michigan bought its way into the rankings, but I think you'd better wait for any shred of evidence at all before you make that accusation.

3. We went with good friends to the Saginaw Bay Orchestra Christmas concert at the magnificent Temple Theater last night. The show was a "sold out" --- the first one. We all liked the event hugely, and I especially appreciated the Saginaw Valley State University choir which joined the band for some really fun musical pieces. (There is still hope for this woebegone post-industrial city. A successful symphony is one such hope!)

The concert was pretty much an exercise in Christianity, and that's no doubt appropriate since Christmas is, after all, a Christian construction.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

kicking the newton

I am used to seeing the mean stuff that the Republican propagandists dump on the Democrats. Well, here's a comment that goes the other way. When Gingrich proposed that the children start cleaning their own schools, our minds went back (as do the conservative minds) to the old days when children worked regularly.