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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Can't Wrap My Arms Around Snowden

January 2, 2014

Why do I feel so out of sorts with leaking NSA secrets by Edward Snowden and that Sgt. Manning? In the early 70’s about the end of Nixon’s first term, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the so-called Pentagon papers to the Washington Post and the New York Times. I was cool with that. It focused this country’s attention of Nixon’s war in Vietnam. It became Nixon’s war because he inherited it from LBJ but instead of ending it as he promised in the election of 1968, he escalated it.

That anti-war movement was focused on the war in Vietnam and the expansion of that war by Nixon. It questioned the need to kill thousands of Americans and other allied forces not to mention the thousands of Vietnamese killed by the bombings.I must admit part of the attraction to the anti-war movement was the music. Great songs came out of that war with singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Rambling Jack Elliot, Pete Seeger and my favorite Arlo Guthrie. No such music coming out of this current anti-government movement.

One interesting thing about this support of the Edward Snowden is that it comes from all sorts of the political spectrum. The anti-government anarchist extreme right wing groups; the guns group, the libertarian folks, some Republicans in Congress usually the anti-tax folks and some Democrats in the Senate. I find myself siding with the late Tom Clancy. His many popular books all centered on secret government organizations like the CIA and the black Ops groups. They seek out and destroy the enemies of this country.

The results of the Snowden leaks are two fold and are at opposite sides of the fence. One side says that these leaks have caused immeasurable damage to our intelligence agencies and our foreign policy. The other result is that American citizens have become aware of the depth of spying both on the world and at home.
I am still of the opinion that what Sgt. Manning and Edward Snowden did was treason. Many of my friends in the Democratic Party in Congress and elsewhere do not share this view. Ironically, I do not think what Daniel Elsberg did was treason, I think what he did was heroic; a term used by many to describe Edward Snowden.

I respect the institutions of government. Most of my adult life has been spent working in government or politics. I served as special assistant to the Director of the Peace Corps, ran campaigns in California on the state level and local elections and served for eight years in the Deukmejian Administration. .My recent stint in government was working in the California Legislature for over 12 years. If I had to choose a side between the crazies outside of government and the thoughtful public servants in the govt. I would chose government. I must confess to a strong bias here.

Edward Snowden is such a smug arrogant self-centered twit. I cannot warm up to his personality. No catchy songs just the gospel according to Edward.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tom Daley " Comes Out"

December 6, 2013

For those of you who follow this blog who don’t know who the heck Tom Daley is; he is the Bronze Diving Medalist of the last Summer Olympics from the UK. He is a huge star in England much like tennis player Andy Murray.He is a good looking guy who has a huge gay following. Most of the time gay rumors about celebrities are little more than gays wishing it were true.

Tom Daley has had the gay rumors following him all throughout his career. If Tom were just an average looking athlete –there would have been no rumors or interest.
The Olympic diver found it necessary less than a month ago to announce in the main stream press and on Utube that he was “Coming Out” as a heterosexual. He did leave the door open for a relationship with a man but was straight. This I assume was at the request of his agent and publicist’s he was concerned about his career after diving. He was a sex symbol with a huge female following as well as gays. It did seem odd at the time that he felt it was necessary to make the statement and then add that he had an open minded about a same sex relationship.

Surprise, last week Tom Daley announced on UTube and other media that he was in a relationship with a man .It fact he was quite eloquent in his Utube statement about his relationship. He did not say he was gay, he just announced this new relationship with a man. Rumors abound about who the person is.

Was he gay or not, the answer should be a resounding who really cares. There was really little coverage of this story in the US press other than the blogs. This is the third in a line of major celebrities that felt it necessary to announce to the press they were gay in advance of a public “outing” of some sort. First Neil Patrick Harris, then Anderson Cooper and now Tom Daley.What are we to make of these public announcements of one’s sexual?Was he gay or not. The resounding answer should be who really cares.

The first two celebrities I listed, Neil Patrick Harris and Anderson Cooper brought a big “Not a big surprise in the case of Anderson Cooper and a bit of surprise in the case of Harris. In this case there was surprise in some quarters but my gay friends said to me  ... “No Surprise.

The lack of attention to this latest celebrity announcement tells me that we as a nation and Europe in particular are just not interested in a celebrity’s sexual orientation anymore. If there is any interest you might just ask what took them so long. The answer is fear for their careers. It has had no effect what so ever on the acting career of Neil Patrick Harris or the news career of Anderson Cooper. Let’s hope it has no effect on the diving career of Tom Daley.

I have to add  that I am writing from the perspecitive of a liberal living in California not a person living in Kansas or Mississippi.

I hope we have gotten to the place where we simply say “Who gives a Hoot who does what with whom?”

Life is Good!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

College Football Playoffs-Same Guys Plus

October 17, 2013

Just read the article in today's paper about the new College Playoff committee. The new committee which will pick the 4 college football semi finalists and seed them.The playoff committee is loaded with current Athletic Directors all who have a serious conflict f interest. How can you expect the AD of USC, Pat Haden to be objective about a rival team, the Oregon Ducks. In addition they tossed in the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just for the heck of it. Rice of course was looking for weapons of mass destruction in the Bush Admin. It could be she will be looking for WMDs in Football
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Great Stuff. I couldn't make this up if I tried. I find this amusing that Paul Krugman's article in the Bee and all American newspapers of note  is also found in the Irish Times as well. Even the Irish think were are crazy. The rest of Europe is laughing and Putin is using this crisis to further his claim that America is no longer a world power.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Time to push back against GOP's right -wing bullies, the Tea Party.Please take a look at this great piece by Robert Reich in the Sunday papers.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I enjoy the heck out of this guy. He is smart but also funny. He has a clear vision for America and its economic woes. Here are ten questions of Former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration and current professor at UC .,9171,2153091,00.html

Friday, October 4, 2013

Shutdown The Shutdown

October 4, 2013

Shut Down The Shut Down.

I stole this phrase from my friend Jason Riley. Just for the record.

The Republicans in the House of Representative seem to hold all the cards in the shutdown of the Federal Government and the pending default on the national debt. There are really two Republican parties in the House, the Republicans and the Tea Party. Those Tea party members are apparently holding the GOP hostage and forcing otherwise moderate conservative members into this crazy and disgraceful act of closing down the government.

I know my Republican friends will say oh no it is the President who is playing hardball and refusing the yield to the wishes of the all powerful Tea Party. We re-elected the President not the Tea party to run the country. We expect the Affordable Act to be fully funded as it was passed by the Congress and signed by the President. We expect t there will be a clean vote on the debt limit without Tea Party attached riders that de
fund The Health care law and reduce funding for social programs.

There is one interesting aspect of this current crisis and that is some Republican House and Senate members are getting sick tired of the small minority of Tea party controlled Members calling the shots. It looks like they may actually be growing a have a pair of cojones. The Speaker can solve this crisis by bringing the debt limit to a vote and let the chips fall. A combination of the Democrats and moderate conservative Republicans in the House may actually do the public’s good and get this country out of the fiscal crisis it is in and move on. Former Republican Presidential candidate and former Governor Jon Huntsman had it right when he said "Republicans ought to move on and let the Affordable Care act stand and concentrate on issues of important to the country."

The country needs the Speaker to show leadership and even risk his Speakership by moving to end this nonsense. If not then the President should act alone and extend the debt limit and let the courts decide whether he has that authority. The best course for the country is collaboration between the President and the Speaker to keep the United States from falling off the Cliff.