Saturday, December 27, 2014


Right wing anti-Obama groups were heartened by the entry of a new ally, in their campaign of vituperative rhetoric against Barack Obama, when North Korea called Obama a "monkey".  Pending is a decision, by those groups, as to whether to now elevate President Kim Jong-Un to a model President who, along with Vladamir Putin, should be emulated by U.S. Presidents instead of Obama.


Considering the care in which Darwin couched his language, I seriously doubt that he ever coined the expression "survival of the fittest". however I could be easily be persuaded that he might have said "survival of the luckiest".

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Frequently there are complaints, voiced particularly by right wing commentators, that the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" somehow abases the term "Merry Christmas", and is part of a war against the holiday that bears that name.  I am sympathetic to their complaint, for which reason, I am suggesting that we go back to the expression we used, in my childhood, that never elicited any complaints, whatsoever, and that is "Seasons Greetings".


Although the pharmaceutical industry takes a lot of criticism these days, their response in times of crises is under appreciated.  As soon as lawyers begin to advertise for participants in a class action suit, for damages resulting from side effects from a particular medication,  they are on the air waves with advertisements for a similar product to treat the same disease.  This rapid response is a testimony to their diligence, and forethought, that does not often glean the praise and admiration, that Big Pharma deserves.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I have just read an article that assures me that Barack Obama has blood on his hands for things that he did not say.  So late in life I learn that I may be guilty, for all the things that I did not do.  Had I but known that all those vices I eschewed, would someday come back to haunt me.  Just thinking about the lost opportunities brings tears to an old man's eyes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


That it took 18 months of secret talks, between the U.S. and Cuba, to arrive at a prisoner exchange and renewal of diplomatic relations, strains credulity beyond belief.  More likely plans have been drawn up for an orderly detente and change in the existing system. Obama does not want a repetition of the Mariel boat lift with thousands coming into Florida or rioting in the streets of Havana. He needs a strong Cuban Central Government to effect gradual changes.  In this he will be opposed by interests, that believe that Governments only exist to further their property rights, and will push for the prompt return of their property,  regardless of the effect on  Cuba and/or the U.S.  Whatever transpires, it should make for most interesting times.


Historian are now able to confirm that feudal times, indeed, were surprisingly modern.  Serfs worked under rules not unlike our "Right to Work" laws.  Nobles lived in what we would call :Gated Communities".  All in all, modern day Americans could fit right in to a feudal society without too much difficulty.


I am of the opinion that the U.S. did not cause the recent denial of Internet services to North Korea, but have done so, themselves, out of a mixture of fear and shame.  They fear the soft spoken words of Barack Obama more than they ever feared the John Wayne Paper Tiger rhetoric of his predecessors.  They not only fear retaliation, but have given themselves a "time out" for bad behavior as a penance. 

Monday, December 22, 2014


We all can agree that there was no justification for the ambush killings of two (2) NYPD policemen, but those killings do not,  at the same time, justify the killings of unarmed black children.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014


The number of employees covered by their company health insurance plans appears to be remaining steady, despite the dire prediction that employers were going to drop their plans.  This very well may turn out to be a name changer as Republicans scramble to get the name, of a Kenyan born  black Socialist, off of Obamacare.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Although the Bronx High School of Science offered French and Spanish courses, in the 1940s when I entered, it was really expected that we would learn German.  German was the language of cutting edge science.  Among the things that can be attributed to Hitler is not only the loss of a third of its former territory but to making German a backwater scientific language.  That may change fairly shortly if Germany goes through with its promise to allow free tuition for foreign students at German universities.  Who knows, if the present course, of making a college education affordable only for the very wealthy, continues here in the U.S., English will become the backwater language.   

Friday, December 19, 2014


A new threat to America's TV industry surfaced at President Obama's last press conference.  His listing of the accomplishments of his Administration is so long that it consumes an inordinate amount of air time.  In order to deal with this threat,  the broadcast industry should consider approaching Obama to ask him to cut down on his accomplishments.  His being an over achiever should not be a cause of distress for an American business.


Although, recently, Dick Cheney has been making the rounds of TV talk shows, touting waterboarding as some sort of benign process, similar to a nasal lavage that one would receive at a friendly ENT clinic, the fact is that, during the Truman Administration, Japanese soldiers, who waterboarded our troops, were prosecuted for war crimes.  It is interesting to speculate on how the Bush/Cheney Administration, had been in power in 1947, would have acted.  Would they, instead of prosecuting those Japanese soldiers, have given them some sort of humanitarian award, for being thoughtful enough to provide such good care for the sinuses of our GI.s?  I wonder if they would be in favor of providing some sort of reparations to those Japanese soldiers, or their survivors, for having been wrongfully prosecuted for a non offense.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I have my doubts that the Constitution allows for a President that looks as happy as does Obama appear lately.  Is it my imagination that his gray hair is turning black?

It would seem that Obama Unchained, free of responsibility for the Democrats, who threw him under the bus in the last election, no longer giving a rat's ass for the Republicans, who will never cooperate with him, anyway, is actually enjoying the last two years of his Presidency.  It may turn out that rather than the "Lame Duck" period, it will become the "Screaming Eagle" period, with Republicans doing most of the screaming.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Recent executive actions of President Obama have caused a serious shortage of pejoratives among critics of  the President.  After all, how long can the same group of people keep calling him a black, undocumented Kenyan revolutionary Socialist, almost daily, for every shocking action that he undertakes?  It is rumored that the RNC is on an urgent mission to come up with new insults to hurl, at Obama, as all the old ones are becoming stale while those Executive Orders keep coming.  


It has only been 54 years since Dwight Eisenhower imposed the embargo on Cuba.  I don't know why Obama was so impetuous.  After all, what was the rush?  I suspect, however, that Obama may have been, again impetuously, upset that for 5 years now, Republicans have prevented investments in our nation's infrastructure which could have improved our economy.  Obama may be trying to re-establish Cuba as an economic engine as it was before 1960.  Any attempt to improve our economy is a direct assault on the prerogatives of our Congress and is worthy of impeachment!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


No one should underestimate the formidable task Jeb Bush would  encounter  should he become President.  Faced with with rising employment; a reduced deficit; a record Dow; lower gas prices;  lower rate of increase in health care costs, Jeb will be hard pressed to turn things around.  After all, it took his brother George all of six (6) years to rescue the economy from the prosperity he was left by Clinton.  One can only wonder how long it would take to undo the Obama legacy.


It was only a short while ago that Conservatives, looking at pictures of the shirtless Putin, on horseback, were praising him as the model of a very modern President, while lamenting how wimpy Obama was, in comparison.  It was expected, by the Conservatives, that Putin, in his rivalry with Obama, would stomp all over  his more soft spoken rival.  Turns out that Putin has a hard bod with a very limp Ruble. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Even as schools, in Saudi Arabia, were beginning to re-open, in late August and into September of 2001,planeloads of women and children of the bin Laden clan were leaving for safe havens in Pakistan and the United States.  Word had come down that school or no school, things could become unsafe for them, elsewhere, in a short while.  

It turned out that one of the safe havens, for the bin Laden family, was the very country that would suffer the attack.  To the "Arab Street", who knew that family, and extended family or tribe, was the sole source of security and sustenance, in the Middle East, it was inconceivable that Osama bin Laden would have attacked the U.S. unless the fix was in at the very highest levels of the U.S. Government.  The "Arab Street" knew that something was up even if they did not know the details.

They were even more convinced as more and more strange  coincidences, which allowed Osama bin Laden to escape capture, arose. 

As the plan unrolled, and Al Qaeda operatives were being caught and, it turned out, talked rather freely to professional interrogators. which set off alarm bells within certain circles of the Administration.  Orders came down and the the interrogations were removed from the professionals and turned over to outside contractors, who, although they had no experience, for the fee of $81 million, took over.  Torture was added to the interrogation to test whether leaks, as to arrangements that had been made, had occurred. In order to discredit their own interrogations, in case some embarrassing information came to light under torture, they chose a torture program that was used to elicit false confessions.  If a torture victim revealed knowledge of a conspiracy between the Administration and bin Laden, the torture program itself could be blamed.      

We may never know if any of these Al Qaeda operatives had any knowledge of the 9/11 conspiracy, but, even if they did and blurted it out, under torture, it would have been discounted.

Herb Wolfson