Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is this Justice?

It looks like we're finally going to get that rascal John Edwards.  The nerve of him, cheating on his sick wife.  Hiding his videographer girlfriend and her love-child.  A pipsqueak of a guy, primping and preening.  Let's take him out and tar and feather him!  After all, a transgression like his demands the harshest punishment.

How ridiculous it is.

You would think he was responsible for the collapse of the world's economy.  You would think he had sanctioned the abuse and torture of prisoners or denied them their day in court.  You would think that John Edwards had plunged the nation into interminable war on trumped up evidence.

But no, John Edwards' crime is worse than any of these.  John Edwards committed adultery and didn't use a condom.  Malfeasance doesn't deserve punishment; stupid does.

Hang him!



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

It's 143 years since Memorial Day was first instituted as a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives for our country in the Civil War; in fact, the day honored the dead of both the Union and the Confederacy.

Today, it honors those who gave their lives in all our wars.

It's important in this age of political rancor and vituperation to remember this.  As much as we the living would like to believe otherwise, the dead have no religion.  The dead have no political views.  The dead have only the Honor and Glory of their sacrifice, and the Eternity to which they now belong.

It is we who must make their sacrifice meaningful and we can surely do this by endeavoring to respect each others' differences and opinions.  It is we who must solve the problems that face us.  We should take courage from those who so bravely gave the last measure of their being, and resolve to create the better world that they believed in and died to protect.

So, take a momentary breather from the festivities you've planned for the weekend, whether it's a bar-be-cue or a round of golf, or just watching the Indy 500 on TV and remember why we celebrate this day.

For, as Herman Wouk, the author of "Youngblood Hawke", "The Caine Mutiny", and "The Winds of War" once said, "The beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance."

Thanks, and happy holiday,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

NY 26 - A Harbinger of Change

In an incredible upset, Democrat Kathy Hochul won over Republican Jane Corwin in the special election in New York's 26th Congressional District, a very conservative district that has not handed a win to the Democrats in forty years.  And it's all thanks to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his budget plan - he is chairman of the House Budget Committee, after all.  Rep. Ryan asserts that “Washington has not been honest with you". He sure hasn't.

First of all, the Ryan budget plan is a shameless scam. It bludgeons Medicare into a bloody pulp, and does nothing to alleviate the Federal deficit, which is the raison d'etre for tampering with the popular program in the first place. It does nothing to rein in costs by eliminating subsidies to Big Oil. And, it lowers the top tax rate, because, as we all know, if rich people can be made even richer by redistributing the wealth of the middle class, then eventually we can all get jobs as gardeners or nannies, tending their children on their multiple estates.

Second: the Republicans all jumped aboard Ryan's misguided budget plan (a leaky boat if ever there was one) only to find it necessary to start bailing water as their party capsizes under the weight of their collective hubris.

Third: the Republicans deserve some comeuppance after the shameless lies and deliberate obfuscations of the "summer of death panels" they perpetrated two years ago.  At least the Democrats are honest: Ryan's plan does ruin Medicare. 

The Democrats have every right to be ecstatic over Republican ineptitude.  Let's just hope they don't manage to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" which is their unfortunate habit.

Thanks, and good night.


The New View

The view from here has brightened considerably in the two days since my last post.  Brightened and sharpened.  All because of a little thing called cataract surgery.

I had my annual eye exam about a month ago, and the opthamologist told me that, technically, I wasn't legal to drive.  The cataract I had in both eyes were "ripe" and should be removed.  I knew they were a problem because of the difficulty I have driving at night, when the glare from headlights and overhead street lights made it nearly impossible to see the lines marking the side of the road.

Tuesday, I had the surgery and Wednesday went in for the first of the follow-up exams, this, to remove the patch that I wore overnight.  As soon as it came off, I was literally astonished by the clarity of my vision.  The subtle nature of textures in the exam room, the sharpness of the edges of things, the detail that I didn't even know I was missing out on.

A quick read through of the eye chart revealed that I now had nearly 20/20 vision.

So.....look out.  As soon as I get the other eye done I'll be watching.....and nothing, I mean nothing, will escape my notice.  (Now, if only I could get X-ray vision.)

Thanks, and have a great day.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Deal or No Deal

The problem of speaking your mind, honestly and openly in a world that is toxic from political rhetoric and invective.

There's an enormous brouhaha erupting right now over President Obama's endorsement of the 1967 borders (plus mutually agreed upon land swaps) as a starting point for meaningful peace talks between Israel and the PalestiniansCyberspace is choking with articles and commentaries deriding the president as naive, or foolish, or worse.  Facebook is swarming with anti-Obama posts (unfortunately, that's nothing new).  The twitterati are out in full force. 

It's as if no one had ever suggested it before.  The facts are much different than we would be led to believe.

American presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have consistently instructed their foreign policy aides to pursue an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians using the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps, as a basis for talks. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in fact, made such a proposal to the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in 2008.

Talks have to begin somewhere.  Why not there?

Yes, those borders are difficult to defend.  Ideally, they should not need to be defended.  That is the whole purpose of negotiations: to resolve the differences between the two peoples and institute a lasting peace based on mutual respect, not distrust.

This must be the goal of negotiations.  At some point both sides have to agree to live together in peace.  There is no other viable solution but that.  I don't imagine that it will be an easy task, resolving this poisonous conflict.

But, if the parties do not embrace the immense challenges presented by a vision of living together with difficult choices, then futures generations of Israelis and Palestinians are going to die because of a failure of courage and imagination today.

Thanks, and good luck.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Day After

Harold Camping's prediction of the "Rapture" and the beginning of the "tribulation" proved, once again, that there are people who are just aching to believe in something, anything, if it will relieve them of the responsibility of living in the present.  Really, that's what is behind much of the apocalyptic movement.  A fear of accepting the world we live in.  People whose willingness to believe one doomsday prophecy after another, as if escaping the problems and challenges of the world is preferable to dealing with them.

It's rather remarkable and unfortunate that so many of them are Americans, who, as President Obama famously said, ".....cling to guns or religion".

Oh well.

We've been complaining about how "Johnny can't read" for nearly half a century.  It should, therefore, be no mystery that we've come to the point where Johnny can't think.

Nonetheless, despite the challenges I face in my own life (don't ask) I'm glad I'm still here.  It is what it is.

Thanks, and good day.


Friday, May 20, 2011

The End Is Near

Today's New York Times had an article about the impending end of the world, scheduled for May 21st at 6.  I sure hope I'll be able to continue this blog tomorrow.

If not, it's been nice.....

Thanks, and good luck,


The View From Here

It's very simple: all the world is blogging so why not me.  I have a brain (or what's left of one).  I have a point of view.  And I have a good idea as to how I want to express my point of view.  Hence, my blog is called "The View From Here".

 Right now, I'm just going to work on formatting my blog, but don't you worry, I'll let you know when there's something I think you should know.

Thanks, and good night,