Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's All THEIR Fault!

From the LATimes. -- Police gun deaths surge in 2014; California leads nation --

-- In 2014, 126 law enforcement officers were killed nationwide in the line of duty -- a 24% jump over 2013. Of those, 14 were in California. --

As long as the sense of us vs them dominates the policed and the police, things will grow worse.  Everyone must work to restore a sense of community, in which there is only one side on which everyone works together.  To be policed should mean to be protected, to be an officer should be as respected as being a soldier.

Instead of trying to identify one group upon whom all blame can be affixed, everyone must look to solutions.  The bitter hatred of the military which dominated so much of the mid to late 20th century has transformed into respect; the same change can come to police forces, but  it will not simply happen.  We must work together to attain it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Great Men Make Great History (Sort Of)

Men make history, but rarely as they please -- Karl Marx, quoted by Erin David Miller, author of "The End of Greatness" on Washington journal, in regard to the question of the great man versus great events theories of history.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

War Crimes: Then And Now

Report. --Japanese nationalists attempt to revise history on 'comfort women'--

This is why Japan, unlike Germany, is still guilty of atrocities. As a nation, responsibility, repentance, contrition, and reconciliation have never ocurred.  Right wing nationalists refuse to permit the millions of decent Japanese to perform these essential acts on a national stage.  Similarly, American right wing radicals refuse to perform these steps to forgiveness over torture and other war crimes of the Bush administration.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yes, We Can (But We Don't Wanna)

 From the Charlie Rose interview of  Naomi Klein, the author of, This Changes Everything:

Referring to Germany's success in creating alternative energy, becoming energy independent, and lowering the costs of energy during a time of economic disasters and severe austerity, The author points out that, "…the German recipe has encouraged hundreds of cities and towns to take back control over their energy grids and to keep those profits within their communities to pay for other services; so now Germany has 25% of its electricity coming from renewable energy, much of it wind and solar, much of it decentralized …That model works."  She points out that this is a result of the incentivization of such programs by the government and that this incredible achievement has been accomplished in about 10 years. Our country has  achieved only 4% of our electricity produced by such sources.

The GOP says America can't accomplish this. They say it would destroy our economy. They say it would destroy jobs. Well, unlike Republicans, I believe that if Germans can do it, Americans can do it too.  This is especially true because Germany doesn't even have the resources we have in these areas. We can build bigger windfarms in areas of higher wind speed and the amount sunlight hitting our country is a much higher percentage than that of  cloudy Germany. Yet we are incredibly far behind them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

It Was The Best Of Times It Was The Worst Of Times

Hard times, this year. But today we gathered together as a loving family. Even those in Kansas reached us through FaceTime. And now I have a tree  full of flashing lights with a star on top and new memories of the family enjoying Christmas together. The good is precious and the bad we endure.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Religion And Violence Or Politics And Violence?

In his review of Karen Armstrong's 'Fields of Blood' James Fallows comments that, "in modern times Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all atheists…

While this is undeniably true of Stalin and Mao, there are serious questions about the religious beliefs of Hitler. Many of his private comments display clear contempt for religion, especially Christianity, which he regarded as a slave religion (obviously based on a misinterpretation of Nietzsche's works). But some of his comments indicate that he believed that he had been saved by some form of divine intervention during an incident in World War I. Even assuming that Hitler believed in a God, the question then becomes. which God?  It is entirely possible that he was referring to the Hegelian Spirit of World History, which is not a God, and yet has at least some of the attributes thereof. Hitler's many references to God made in public are sharply contradictory to many of his private beliefs and were undoubtedly intended more as propaganda than as a statement of actual belief.

So, was Hitler religious? The answer is, we really don't know. Nevertheless, he believed that some sort of force or power of a mystical nature was strongly supporting him, even if that force or power was the force of history and culture.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ben Secures The Borders

Edwin O'Donnell, a College of the Holy Cross history professor, presented this quote to his students during a C-SPAN presentation:

Why should the Mexicans be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and by herding together establish their language and culture to the exclusion of ours? Why should California, founded by Americans, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Hispanicize us instead of our Americanizing them, and will never adopt our language or customs, anymore than they can acquire our complexion.

Only six words have been changed from the original quote which was by Benjamin Franklin in 1753, referring to the German colonists moving into Pennsylvania.

I also decapitalized words which would not utilize the capital letter in today's grammar. Otherwise, the quote is as Benjamin Franklin stated it over 300 years ago.

Sounded like FOXNews didn't it? Oh, sorry! I should have used the proper name, FOXLies.


In the 1700s we were terrified the Germans would take over our country, speak German instead of English, and make us Not British.

In the 1800s we were terrified that the Catholics would take over our schools, teach our children the Catholic Bible instead of the Protestant Bible, and make us love and obey the Pope

In the 1900s we were afraid the communists would take over and make us love Lenin.

Today we are afraid the Mexicans will take over, refuse to learn English, make us all obey Sharia law (?!), and take back everything they gave up in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Now that's progress.

Facts Is Facts

In response to Andrew Sullivan's dish post, a ringing declaration against crimes against humanity and those who cover them up or excuse them, a man posted:

Andrew, if you really believe that Dianne Finestein's report is not partisan (after all she did catch the CIA spying onher computer) then you must also believe that the KKK should run Obama's race relations council or Rush Limbaugh should be a professor of Civil Discourse ... C'MON MAN, get a grip and a life....

To which I replied:
Facts are not partisan even if a partisan reports them.