barefooted's picture

    Winter Storm

    There's a massive blizzard rapidly approaching the northeast. The worst conditions are expected to impact New York and Massachusetts beginning tomorrow (Monday) morning and continuing through Tuesday. Strong, gusty winds of 35+ mph will accompany snowfall accumulations forecasted to reach up to 36 inches. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the impending storm may be "one of the top two or three worst storms" in the state's history.

    Wattree's picture


    Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree


    AEI: Let the Poor Die of Treatable Diseases

    The thesis of resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Michael Strain. It's Okay to deny life saving treatment to the poor, let them die.

    Richard Day's picture



    I think this is of import.

    Let us see what happens!




    Wattree's picture

    America Is Suffering Because We’ve Turned Our Political ‘Employees’ Into Aristocrats

    I often hear people complaining about how our system has broken down. As a solution they generally propose that we put term limits into place, and/or institute government-financed elections. I’m all for the latter, but I’m totally against term limits because it takes away the citizens’ right to return people to office who represent them well. I’m against any measure that takes away a citizen’s ‘right to choose.’

    But the assertion that the system has broken down begs the question. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the system as it is. WE are the problem, not the system. We are negligently apathetic. Those of us who even bother to vote and keep ourselves informed about what’s going on around us assume that we can simply vote for the politicians we like, then go on about our business and allow the politicians to run the country, but that’s not it’s supposed to work.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Religious Fundamentalism and Stepford Christianity

    “No one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society.”

    “For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a sociological one. This is why I want a Church that is poor and for the poor.”

    -- Pope Francis

    The garbage man and the investment banker differ in a variety of socioeconomic ways, but their value to greater society is ultimately determined by their influence on the lives of those around them. There will always be someone to dispose of the waste: whether it's household trash or toxic collateralized debt obligations. The way we (as a society) treat (some) people is a direct manifestation of our collective worship of money. It's not uncommon in our culture to meet someone and ask: what do you do for a living? For too many the answer to that question sets boundaries and limits interpersonal relationships. Our society is conditioned to believe that the person in higher socioeconomic standing is ipso facto a better person. This kind of thinking is derivative of our idolatrous pursuit of wealth as a means of acquiring prestige and power.

    Wattree's picture




    trkingmomoe's picture

    51% of Children in School Live in Poverty-Shame on USA

    The majority of students in K thru 12 are now living in low income according to a new report from the Southern Education Foundation. The data was collected by the NCES (National Center of Education Statistics.) 

     This has been building up for years. In 1989, it was less then 32%. Then in 2000, it reached 38%. Now, 51% of children are at a disadvantage. We can no longer ignore the reality of this for the future of our economy and society as a whole. Evie Blade a staff writer for Education Weekly in her article "New Milestone: Majority of Public School Students Now Considered Low Income" writes:

    Richard Day's picture


    Melanie Safka 1975.JPG

    I examine issues, in my PJ's whilst I attempt to come to some conclusions.

    Three days ago Peracles threw me on my ass; not the first time.

    AA thinks at times that I meander too much.

    So do others.


    MrSmith1's picture

    The Haikulodeon

    This week's heap of haikus will be slightly delayed due to the fact Mr. Smith is in the hospital. His haikus will return shortly. 

    barefooted's picture


    Stop me if you've heard this before: "Some of these images may be disturbing to our viewers". What inevitably follows those words, or some variation thereof, is recorded carnage. Now and then we're even treated to it in real time. Things are blown up, people are murdered, mutilated and terrorized. We see their bloody bodies. We listen to the screams as shots ring out. And we watch those "disturbing" scenes over and over and over because it's news. Just ask every television network that airs them, any online site that imbeds the video or the newspapers that publish the gruesome photographs. It rarely seems to concern these bastions of journalistic integrity that viewing violence might incite violence among those with questionable tendencies. It's the news, so they report it.

    But Allah forbid we see satirical cartoons. Some people might be offended.

    Evolving Thoughts Which Conclude with, 'I Am Not Charlie'

    The short quote which most nearly describes my opinion of the “Je suis Charlie.” knee-jerk fad-fest is a tweet I saw somewhere which I paraphrase as, "I am [insert the name of the murdered Muslim cop].  it is a statement in agreement with a saying attributed originally to Voltaire but which has been repeated ad nauseam through the years. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I depart from the sentiment somewhat because I, personally, would not voluntarily die in defense of any abstract belief if I could possibly avoid it. And, I would not march with the  leaders who amassed in Paris to give lip service supposedly, but I believe for most of them hypocritically, defending  that concept. That said, I sincerely appreciate the freedom of speech I have to the extent that it exists.

    Muḥammad's picture

    Muhammad Blogs

    Every now and then I come back to Earth for a little look around, maybe a stroll through Turban Outfitters, looking for ironic t-shirts and throwback burqas for the ladies.  Nothing apocalyptic about it.  I’m chill, man. It’s just that when you change the world like Jesus, Moses, Einstein, Picasso or Elvis, you continue your interest in worldly things long after you shuffle off the mortal coil.  Me and Elvis live on the same block uptown, you know

    Wattree's picture

    Religious Hatred and Bigotry: Would A Loving God Do This To Us?

    Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

    Religious Hatred and Bigotry: Would A Loving God Do This To Us?


    Richard Day's picture



    He who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us!

    (The Roman Catholic Mass)

    Following 4? weeks of problems with tech, I am skipping the political for awhile.

    My daughter in law gave my son this instruction a couple of years ago:

    You must keep your short mustache and goatee because you have too much of a baby face!



    To me, this is one of the sweetest things I have ever heard a wife say to her husband.

    Seany is something like 7 years older than his bride.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    What Does Charlie Hebdo Mean For Us?

    The free press and the right to report, dissent or satirize without fear of criminal prosecution is often confused with the right to do so without facing the consequences of those actions. Terrorists aren't constrained by the law. I look forward to reading comments on political sites and blogs. The passion that some people write with is palpable. With that said, trolling a blog or social media site is different than attaching your name and identity to an article or cartoon that terrorists find offensive. The tragedy that unfolded at Charlie Hebdo in Paris was a brutal wake up call to those who choose to stand on principle.

    Wattree's picture

    Why Conservatives Hate Barack Obama So Intensely (Reprise)

    Racists tend to be the mediocrity of White society, so they try to use the fact that they were born White to define themselves in order to compensate for their lack of personal value. Their entire sense of self-esteem is based more upon group association than individual value and accomplishment, or the claim that, "Well, at least I'm better than them."

    That's what's driving radical conservatives so crazy about President Obama - he's walking, breathing, evidence that they cannot claim superiority by virtue of the color T-shirt they were born in, and that simple fact alone is causing them to suffer a severe attack of cognitive dissonance before the eyes of the entire world. That's also why they're so determined not to allow President Obama to be successful, even if it means destroying the country - and international corporatists are using the social division inherent in those sentiments to lower the standard of living of the American middle class.  
    Thus, this entire nation, and the future of our children, is being threatened by the desperate attempt of a handful of insecure bigots to maintain their delusions of superiority, and as far as they’re concerned, if the country has to be sacrificed for that cause, so be it.

    An Atheist's Creed

    I quite deliberately used the indefinite article "An" in the title for I in no way intend to speak for all atheists. As I've mentioned before on this site, I was raised a Christian, and that has no doubt influenced my worldview. If I were to create a creed for all atheists, it'd simply be, "I do not believe that gods exist." That is what is sometimes referred to as weak atheism (no insult intended). It is the type of atheism that animals and babies have, and that some adults claim to have (I'm skeptical about that). Strong atheism is the belief that there are no gods. Some people have a hard time distinguishing between those two statements, but the former is a lack of belief in gods, and the latter is a belief in the lack of gods. For those who use this terminology (and it's definitely not universal), there's also weak agnosticism – an uncertainty in one's beliefs, and strong agnosticism – a belief that such knowledge is ultimately unknowable for anyone. Again, the terms weak and strong should not be considered judgments about those positions.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Is There A Spiritual Path To Reason?

    It's been my experience that faith rooted in cautious optimism and doubt is less likely to devolve into dogmatism. All of us believe something: especially those trapped in nihilism who profess not to believe anything. The amount of certainty one places in their worldview, coupled with an inability to accept or even process information contrary to that worldview, leads directly to a solipsistic position that makes civil discussions about religion almost impossible. The inability to consider ideas that don't originate from people who share your worldview is symptomatic of deep dogmatism.

    Gitmo detainees claiming innocence--where are the polygraphs?



    When the CIA wants to know if a person is telling the truth, it brings out "the box". No, not some kinda torture device, . The polygraph machine (in the hands of a competent operator).


    Parenthetically, similar resort to technology is common when district attorneys are deciding whether a report of a crime is veridical, or when Walmart is experiencing excessive "inventory shrinkage" and wants to sort out the honest from dishonest warehouse workers.

    Wattree's picture

    I Pay my Tithes to the Homeless

    I used to routinely challenge Rev. Hill. I didn’t want to seem impudent or like a rebel rouser (after all, I was a child), but there was something inside of me that just YEARNED to let him know that I had his number - and I did. I was only 14, but by that time I had already been highly political for 4 years. I’d become fixated on politics by watching the campaign between JFK and Nixon when I was 10 years old. So for me, it was just another political debate. But in order not to be disrespectful, I’d use the Socratic method of challenging his assertions with questions that he’d have to dig to try to answer. No, at the time, I didn't even know there was such a thing as the "Socratic Method," but being a respectful, though opinionated kid, the use of questions seemed to be a more appropriate way of respectfully challenging an  adult than direct confrontation. While I wanted to be heard, I didn't want to make myself look like a disrespectful brat. That not only would have reflected badly on my family, but my point would have been lost in the resulting furor, and I certainly didn't want that.

    Did young Barack Obama play with toy soldiers?



    I ask because his tortured relationship with his Defense Secretaries is destined to become the topic of more than one PhD dissertation in coming years.

    coatesd's picture

    New Year Reflections on the US Global Role & Its Limits


    The first hours of a new year are always an ideal time for people across the globe to reflect on their contemporary condition. They are an ideal moment to look back, in the hope that serious reflection now can improve conditions going forward. And it is particularly vital that we in America take this moment of reflection as this new year begins, given the enormity of the impact of our condition on the rest of the global order.


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