Collected Poetry

 

 

Collected Poetry

VOLUME THREE

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2010 by Gary Bachlund   All international rights reserved

 

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

 

It's only a matter of....

Most kids love cake.
But congressmen? Pork.
It's only a matter of
The kind of fork
        They use/abuse...

Most kids love chips.
Politicians love lard;
It's only a matter of
Their disregard
        Of law. Hee-haw...

Most kids grow up,
Politicians sour.
It's only a matter of
The day and hour
        They spoil. Turmoil...

Most kids love games
Which follow rules.
That's not a matter for
Bureaucratic tools.
        Cash flows. Deals close...

Kids learn to play fair.
Congressmen? Not at all.
It's only a matter of
Loving to brawl.
Money swirls;
        They stash their cash...

 

Envoi:   "Between 2009 and 2010, the federal government awarded two stimulus grants totaling more than $9.9 million to Colorado-based North American Power Group (NAPG). The funding was designated for a “characterization” study to determine whether a river basin near the Two Elk Energy Park in northeast Wyoming had potential as an underground site for carbon storage. However, as WyoFile has extensively documented, the project appears, at best, to have been a questionable use of taxpayer dollars. The project created zero jobs, according to Recovery.gov, and many of the study’s primary components, including the drilling of a deep “characterization well,” were never completed — or even formally initiated. Records show nearly $3 million in dubious invoices from North American Land & Livestock, a company managed by NAPG CEO Michael Ruffatto. Federal records also reveal that at least $1.1 million in stimulus funding went toward paying the salaries and benefits of two NAPG employees: Ruffatto and Wyoming representative Brad Enzi, the son of U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.). Ruffatto was reportedly compensated with taxpayer funds at a rate exceeding $500,000 a year, while Enzi earned nearly $130,000 for his work on the project between September 2009 and July 2011, at a rate of about $80 per hour. Ruffatto received more than $73,000 in salary and benefits in October 2010 alone, after he reported working 76 hours per week on the project, in addition to his other responsibilities as NAPG chief executive. Enzi earned as much as $17,363 in one month." In "Surprise: Stimulus Money Misspent," by Andrew Stiles, NRO, April 2013.

 

Addendum of the Old Woman Who Lives in a Millionaire's Mansion:  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Obama shouldn't negotiate over the debt ceiling because there are 'no more cuts to make. Because the cupboard is bare. There's no more cuts to make,' Pelosi said on CNN's 'State of the Union.' 'It's really important that people understand that. We all want to reduce the deficit.' Pelosi said that whether and how to raise the debt ceiling 'really shouldn't be a conversation'." In "Pelosi: ‘There’s no more cuts to make’," by Aaron Blake, Washington Post, 22 September 2013.

 

See:  The cupboard was bare  - it bares, repeating,  and  Senator Crooked and Congressman Hoax  ,  and also  Fat cats richly rich of late 


 

Doctor Oppression comes to call

 

"The ED 691E core includes a minimum of four weekend seminars selected from the following seven choices: Ableism, Anti-Semitism, Religious Oppression, Classism, Transgender oppression, Heterosexism, Racism and Sexism." In "The Doctoral Program in Social Justice Education" web page for the School of Education, Social Justice Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2009.  [ 1 ]

You're oppressed,
And I'm oppressed
And they're oppressed
And we're oppressed,
And she-who-may-be-he's oppressed.

Doctor Oppression, PhD, is sanctioned to administer the oppression test.

You oppress,
And I oppress,
And they oppress
And we oppress,
And he-who-could-be-she'd oppress.

Doctor Oppression comes to call; you must brightly be assessed.

    Society's oppressive, we'll agree
            And so you need this advanced degree.
    You can doctor oppressors with this skin
            To proctor their re-education, and correct their sin.


Of course, the sheepskin costs a bit,
But that's all academic in this comic skit.

Doctor Oppression's PhD? Tuition bills rise not in jest.

 

Envoi:   "I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice." Friedrich A. von Hayek (1899-1992)

 

Addendum:  "Power in the hands of the reformer is no less potentially corrupting than in the hands of the oppressor." Derrick A. Bell (1930-2011), in "Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth," (2002)

 

Addendum of So-Shall Just-Is:   "The phrase has taken on a very controverted and variable meaning, depending on who is using it."  Wikipedia article on Social Justice, n.d.

 

Addendum of Socialism in Disguise:  "All this profit-sharing and welfare work and insurance and old-age pension is simply poppycock. Enfeebles a workman's independence--and wastes a lot of honest profit. The half-baked thinker that isn't dry behind the ears yet, and these suffragettes and God knows what all buttinskis there are that are trying to tell a business man how to run his business, and some of these college professors are just about as bad, the whole kit and bilin' of 'em are nothing in God's world but socialism in disguise!" In "Main Street," by Sinclair Lewis, 1920.

 

 Addendum of Studying Themselves:  "Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies.... The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves - thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine." Tony Judt, The Memory Chalet, Penguin, 2010.

 

Addendum of Underfunded Pensions:   "A majority of states' teacher retirement funds are underfunded, some significantly below rates considered solvent, according to a recent analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and policy group that seeks to improve the quality of teachers. The situation has stoked political fights in statehouses across the country as legislators weigh options such as moving teachers from a traditional defined benefit pension to a 401(k)-style plan, raising the retirement age or making teachers wait a decade to be vested in their plans. The shortfalls are reflective of what's happening with public state and local pensions nationwide, with teacher pensions included in a more than $660 billion shortfall in what's been put aside for such retirement benefits and what is owed, the Pew Center on the States has estimated." In "Teacher Pension Funds Largely Underfunded, Study says," by Kimberly Hefling, Huffington Post, 15 March 2012.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of a Doctor of Oppression:  "This is one of the LGBT community’s worst nightmares. On Monday, June 17, a gay man—Walter Lee Williams—was put on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List and declared 'dangerous' for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with minors and producing child pornography. After years of scientific studies and anecdotal experience finally putting to rest the horrid myth that homosexuality is in any way associated with child molestation, on April 30, a four-count federal warrant was issued for Williams, a former professor of anthropology, gender studies and history at USC and the man most responsible for bringing the ONE Gay & Lesbian Archives to USC 'for sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and criminal forfeiture'." In "FBI Puts Gay Former USC Professor Walter L. Williams on Top 10 Most Wanted List," by Karen Ocamb, FrontiersLA, 18 June 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

 Addendum of Inequality:   "Hard times could still be ahead for the current college students about to select a major. This report reconfirms a harsh reality: not all college degrees are created equal. Specific fields and the higher technical skills associated with these fields can and often do offer lower unemployment and higher earnings...." In "Hard Times, College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings," by Anthony P. Carevale and Ban Cheah, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, 2013.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of the New Aristocrats:   "I think of one academic couple I know, of whom I am very fond, and whose contributions to teaching and scholarship and left-wing activism are exemplary. I don’t begrudge them their gorgeous home with the expansive deck overlooking mountains and ocean; I don’t begrudge one of them for letting slip—we all have moments of hubris—that they make $400,000 between them. I don’t begrudge another such couple the fancy catered dinner parties they’re able to throw in their fancy home, because, hell, I was the guest of honor at one of those dinner parties. In fact, I’ve been the guest of honor, as a visiting independent scholar, at fancy dinners at all sorts of fancy universities, and am invariably fond of my hosts, for the most part decent, dedicated people: 1960s veterans, mainly, who’ve done their best to keep their values intact. But here’s their problem—a tragic flaw. They’re hardly aware that they’re aristocrats, and that they oversee an army of intellectual serfs. Because no one saw this coming." In "On the Death of Democratic Higher Education," by Rick Perlstein, The Nation, 21 August 2013.   [ 5 ]

 

Memorial for a Teacher: "As amazing as it sounds, Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits. Compare this with the salary of Duquesne's president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits. Meanwhile, in the past year, her teaching load had been reduced by the university to one class a semester, which meant she was making well below $10,000 a year. With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury." In "Death of an adjunct," by Daniel Kovalik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 September 2013.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Price Tags:   " 'My intention is to put a price tag on the Ph.D. and tell them this is what it costs, and can you afford it?' Ms. Kelsky said. Ph.D. programs, Ms. Kelsky said, need to be 'confronted with the truth about the sacrifices their students are making. They can't turn a blind eye to the financial devastation that their programs are causing.' But graduate programs aren't the only culprits, she said. 'The students themselves have to do some work to overcome their own denial about the costs of this endeavor,' Ms. Kelsky said. 'I really want graduate students to stop allowing themselves to be deluded about what going to graduate school entails'." In "The Cost of a Ph.D.: Students Report Hefty Debt Across Many Fields," by Audrey Williams June, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 16 January 2014.

 

Addendum of some Academic Multi-Millionaires:   "Robert J. Zimmer President, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL $3,358,723 Total compensation" in "Executive Compensation at Private Colleges, 2011," Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 December 2013; and    "Saban was already the sport’s highest-paid coach, raking in $5.4 million this season before performance bonuses. Last year we named Saban the most powerful coach in college football, and it’s a title he retains this year – and that’s before he signed an extension with Alabama that will reportedly pay him over $7 million per season." In "Nick Saban Is Still College Football's Most Powerful Coach," by Chris Smith, Forbes, 18 December 2013.

 

 Addendum of other Academic Millionaires:   "Thirty-six private-college presidents in the U.S. earned more than $1 million in 2012, as compared to only two of their public-school counterparts, according to a report released Sunday by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, made $7.14 million, a large portion of which derived from a 10-year, $5.9 million retention incentive payout she received that year, the Chronicle reported. A private-school president was more likely to make just shy of $400,000, the median compensation of the 537 presidents at 497 private research institutions surveyed." In "36 private-college presidents make more than $1 million," by Colin Campbell, Baltimore Sun, 7 December 2014.   [ 7 ]

 

 Addendum of Hefty Professorial Salaries:    1) David N. Silvers, $4.33 million, Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Pathology and Director of the Dermatopathology Laboratory at Columbia University; 2) Zev Rosenwaks, $3.3 million, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell University and Director and Physician-in-Chief of the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College; 3) Dean Takahashi, $2.6 million, Adjunct Professor in the Practice of Finance at the Yale School of Management, and Senior Director of Investments at Yale University; 4) William E. Fruhan, Jr., $1.19 million, the Baker Foundation Professor, as well as the George E. Bates Professor Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School; 5) Dan J. Laughhunn, $1.03 million, Professor Emeritus at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business; 6) Andrew M. Isaacs, $709,000, Adjunct Professor of Business and Engineering at the University of California Berkeley; 7) Kannan Ramaswamy. $700,000, the William D. Hacker Chair Professor of Management in the Department of Global Business at the Thunderbird School of Global Management; Andrew Inkpen; 8) $566,000, the J. Kenneth and Jeannette Seward Chair in Global Strategy and Professor of Global Management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management; Steven Weinberg, 9) $536,000, the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin; 10) Graeme Rankine. $493,000, Associate Professor of Accounting, as well as Academic Director of the LG Electronics Executive MBA (Korea) Program, at Thunderbird School of Global Management." In "10 Highest-Paid College Professors in the U.S.," TBS The Best Schools, n.d., circa 2014.

 

Addendum of Being Too Expensive:   "A big part of the problem, of course, is that college is just too expensive. The Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research examined rising college costs and concluded that, in recent years, a combination of state funding cuts, overspending by research universities and decreased donations have led to tuition spikes at both public and private schools. And middle-class families often earn too much to qualify for financial aid or federal grant money, which has dried up. Borrowing, and borrowing too much, can feel like the only choice." In "The student loan crisis: How middle-class kids get hammered," by Sarah Amandolare, Los Angeles Times, 10 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Plain Capitalist neo-Marxist Critical Theory Truth:  "Could you imagine if some of the biggest names in today’s neo-Marxist Critical Theory actually took it upon themselves to pool wages with the adjuncts in their own department? Ha! I’ll bet $100 right now that will never happen. I’m serious: Send me proof of professorial wage-sharing, even in something as minor as an “adjunct emergency fund,” and I’ll add a contribution from Prof. Franklin. It’s entirely possible that the Duke Collective’s micro-utopianism will come to an abrupt end as soon as one of them graduates and starts making either real money or no money." In "The Great Grad-School Experiment in Utopian Socialism," by Rebecca Schuman, Slate, 8 April 2014.

 

Addendum of the Fattened Bureaucrat:   "...the bureaucracy of the University, like that of the government, has exploded, even more at elite (and tax-favored) private schools than among public ones. Whereas there were about 250,000 administrators and professional staff members in 1975, about half the number of professors, by 2005 there were over 750,000, easily outnumbering tenure-tracked professors. As the University has gained in power, those in control have taken on ever more the trappings of an aristocracy whose primary mission is self-preservation—not unlike the Medieval European clergy." In "Watch What You Say, The New Liberal Power Elite Won’t Tolerate Dissent," by Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast, 7 June 2014.

 

Addendum of a One-Percenter University Family:    "...while Nichol champions the poor – even chastising Republicans in a March News & Observer op-ed for its 'unforgivable war on poor people' – it’s unclear how well he can relate to those living in poverty. His wife, chief of staff for the UNC Health Care System and the UNC School of Medicine, earns $407,000 annually. Combining his and his wife’s salary, the couple makes at least $612,000 per year." In "Law Prof Who Specializes in Poverty Makes $205,400 – Teaching One Class Per Semester," by Lauren Cooley, Furman University, via CollegeFix. 27 June 2014.

 

Addendum of University Sports Millionaires:  "1) Alabama (SEC) Nick Saban - $5,395,852; 2) Texas (Big 12) Mack Brown - $5,392,500; 3) Arkansas (SEC) Bret Bielema - $5,158,863; 4) Tennessee (SEC) Butch Jones - $4,860,000; 5) Oklahoma (Big 12) Bob Stoops - $4,741,667; 6) Ohio State (Big Ten) Urban Meyer - $4,608,000; 7) LSU (SEC) Les Miles - $4,300,000; 8) Michigan (Big Ten) Brady Hoke - $4,154,000; 9) Iowa (Big Ten) Kirk Ferentz - $3,985,000; 10) Louisville (AAC) Charlie Strong - $3,700,000." Data from "Top Coach Pay," USA Today, by Steve Berkowitz, Jodi Upton, Christopher Schnaars and Sean Dougherty of USA TODAY; Stephanie Klein. June 2014.    [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Yearly Tuition above the Median Yearly Income of an American:  "As the average cost of higher education in America continues to rise, at least 50 American colleges and universities are now charging students more than $60,000 per year. We found these numbers by examining the average cost of tuition, fees, room, and board that an incoming student would face over the 2014-15 academic year." In "There Are Now 50 Colleges That Charge More Than $60,000 Per Year," by Peter Jacobs, Business Insider, 10 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Expensive Conference Tables:   "It costs more than $44,000 in tuition to attend Kean University for four years, and many of the school’s students struggle to pay the bill. But the taxpayer-supported school in the township of Union spent $219,000 so far and has authorized up to $270,000 — about the average price of a house in the nearby working-class neighborhood — for a custom-made, circular conference table that seats 23 and features data ports, microphones and an illuminated map of the world in a glass panel at its center. The table was bought without competitive bidding, which is normally required under New Jersey law for purchases at state colleges and universities. Instead, Kean hired a company in China to manufacture the table. The school recently established a branch campus there and wants to strengthen ties with the Chinese government." In "Kean University's $219,000 table the center of attention," by Patricia Alex, Bergen Record, 24 November 2014.

 

Addendum of Not Having to Listen to Crap:   "Napolitano was sitting next UC regent Chairman Bruce Varner as a group of about two dozen protesters shouted loudly, denouncing potential tuition hikes when she made the remark, which she may not have known was being recorded. As the protests began, the cameras stayed on the regents. There was some confusion over what to do. That’s when Napolitano leans over to Varner and said, 'Let's just break. Let's go, let's go. We don’t have to listen to this crap.' Her hot mic caught the comment. Kristian Kim was one of the students protesting the 5% tuition increases every year for five years. 'It’s an insult to have her as the president of UC,' said Kim." In "Napolitano Says 'We Don’t Have To Listen To This Crap' As Students Protest Potential UC Tuition Hikes," CBS News, 17 March 2015.   [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of Indentifying the Oppressor:   "LaKiesha Allen is a 35-year old Lansing school secretary who pays the Michigan Education Association $38 a month in union dues from her $23,000 annual salary. Local union officials have threatened to get her fired if she stops paying those dues. So Allen was stunned to learn that MEA President Steve Cook, a man she has never met, swung a deal with her employer to parlay his six-figure union salary into a richer pension payout. Cook's payout will come from the same pension fund that Allen is counting on for her own retirement – a fund that is currently underfunded by nearly $26 billion." In "$23K School Employee Upset that MEA President’s Pension Spiked by $200K Union Salary, MEA president Steve Cook is considered a 'school employee' for Lansing Schools – where he doesn't work," by Anne Schieber, Michigan Capitol Confidential, 9 March 2015.

 

Addendum of Little Gains and Big Debts:   "American graduates score poorly in international numeracy and literacy rankings, and are slipping. In a recent study of academic achievement, 45% of American students made no gains in their first two years of university. Meanwhile, tuition fees have nearly doubled, in real terms, in 20 years. Student debt, at nearly $1.2 trillion, has surpassed credit-card debt and car loans." In "The world is going to university," Economist, 28 March 2015.

 

Addendum Looking Back to a Warning:   "...the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity." In "Military-Industrial Complex Speech," Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040.

 

Addendum of The Oppression of Depression:   "The report's findings were especially bad for students in the humanities. About 64% of grad students in the humanities -- including English and philosophy -- were scored as depressed on the survey. A possible reason why: there's been a 30% decline in the number of humanities teaching positions at universities since 2007, according to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences." In "Ph.D students earning a degree in depression," by Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money, 27 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Platinum Pay:   "How do you defend the transfer of teaching responsibilities to low-paid, part-time adjuncts when the president is sitting so pretty? How do you cut administrative costs, which indeed need cutting? How do you explain steep tuition increases, mammoth student debt and the failure to admit more children from poor families? How do you summon students back to the liberal arts and away from mercenary priorities?" In "Platinum Pay in Ivory Towers," by Frank Bruni, New York Times, 20 may 2015.

 

Addendum of the Debtors:    "As of July, 6.9 million Americans with student loans hadn’t sent a payment to the government in at least 360 days, quarterly data from the Education Department showed this past week. That was up 6%, or 400,000 borrowers, from a year earlier. That translates into about 17% of all borrowers with federal loans being severely delinquent, a share that would be even higher if borrowers currently in school who aren’t yet required to repay were excluded." In "School-Loan Reckoning: 7 Million Are in Default," by Josh Mitchell, Wall Street Journal, 21 August 2015.   [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of the eBay Diploma:   " 'I thought this piece of paper has so much worth to so many people, but for a theatre major, it couldn’t mean less,' she told BuzzFeed. 'I’m doing the exact same things and probably getting paid the exact same amount as people that dropped out halfway through freshman year, except I’m still $40,000 in debt and they’re, well, not.' So, to recoup some of those lost funds, Stephanie came up with the questionable idea of selling her degree for $50,000 - or the best offer she can get. That $50,000, she explains, will cover not just tuition, but also room and board, books, and 'memories'." In " 'Please validate my use of time': Frustrated college graduate tries to sell her college diploma on eBay for $50,000 - after failing to find a job after four years," by Carly Stern, Mail Online, 27 August 2015.   [ 11 ]

 

Addendum of Private College Presidents:   "Most private college presidents are paid in the $100,000–$500,000 range, although a fairly large number of presidents make between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Some are paid more than $1,000,000 per year. The median pay is $301,153, and the mean is $377,261, both of which are well into the 99th percentile of compensation for wage earners in the United States. As another point of comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that chief executives earned a median annual wage of $168,140 and a mean of $176,840 in 2012. As a final point of comparison, nonprofit CEOs earned a median pay of $120,396, according to Charity Navigator." In "Salaries of Private College Presidents," by Peter Hinrichs and Anne Chen, Economic Trends, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 24 February 2016.  [ 12 ]

 

Addendum of All that Student Debt:   "The federal government’s reported assets totaled about $3.2 trillion as of September 30, 2015, which was about $165 billion greater than the amount reported as of September 30, 2014. Its reported liabilities totaled about $21.5 trillion as of September 30, 2015, which was about $686 billion greater than the amount reported as of September 30, 2014. Most of the net increase in the federal government‘s reported assets was due to student loans made by the Department of Education." In "Financial Audit: U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2015 and 2014 Consolidated Financial Statements," U. S. Government Accountability Office, 25 February 2016. (p. 5)     [ 13 ]

 

Addendum of Doctors of Oppression and Their Pensions by Contrast to Solzhenitsyn's Text:   "It makes no difference if you had ten proletarian grandfathers, if you're not a worker yourself you're no proletarian,' boomed Kostoglotov. 'He's not a proletarian, he's a son of a bitch. The only thing he's after is a special pension, I heard him say so himself,' He saw Rusanov opening his mouth, so he decided to give it to him straight in the guts. 'You don't love your country, you love your pension, and the earlier the better. Why not when you're forty-five? And here I am, wounded at Voronezh, and all I've got is a pair of patched boots and a hole in a doughnut." In "Cancer Ward," Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Bodley Head, 1968.    [ 14 ]

 

 Addendum of Their Indebted Behinds:   "More than 40% of Americans with federal student loans are behind in their payments or aren’t making them at all. The data comes from a quarterly snapshot of the government’s $1.2 trillion student-loan portfolio put out by the Department of Education. That means only 12.5 million Americans are current on their federal loan repayments of the 22 million who are out of school and took out loans." In "Nearly 10 Million Americans Are Behind on Their Student Debt," by Claire Groden, Fortune via Yahoo Finance, 7 April 2016.

 

Addendum of Psychiatric Disorders for College Students:   "Dr. Gene Beresin, a psychiatrist and Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, says 50% to 60% of college students have a psychiatric disorder. 'What I’m including in that is the use of substances, anxiety, depression, problems with relationships, break-ups, academic problems, learning disabilities, attentional problems,' says Dr. Beresin. 'If you add them all up 50% doesn’t seem that high'." In "New Concerns Arise About Mental Health Of College Students," by Mallika Marshall, CBS Boston, 25 August 2016.

 

 Addendum of For-Profit Walden U and Its Doctoral Debt:   "Thornhill's suit alleges that Walden tells students they will complete a dissertation in 18 months and incur $70,000 in fees, when the time to complete the dissertation is much longer and the debt accrued much larger. 'Students who believed they were getting ever closer to obtaining their doctoral degree,' alleges the suit, 'were in fact stuck with decreasing resources, high faculty turnover, disorganization and a lack of oversight, all of which increased the length of the doctoral students' enrollments at Walden'." In "For-Profit Walden U., Once Tied to Bill Clinton, Put Under Review," by Anna R. Schecter, NBC News, 6 October 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Oppression Olympics:   "In early October, the club organized an event to discuss immigration policy, which Bruin Republicans outreach director Haley Nieves claimed would be an intelligent, public discussion that would hopefully help change some perspectives. But it wasn’t. At the end, the forum proved to be unproductive as attendees and panelists succumbed to a vicious and immature shouting match. Another example of safe spaces gone wrong was the 2016 Students of Color Conference held earlier this month, which hundreds of University of California students attended, including some of UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association Council representatives. According to their mission statement, SOCC’s major goal was to 'create a space to discuss, dissect, and create relevant solutions to issues surrounding students of color.' However, the conference eventually turned into a kind of 'oppression Olympics,' where students argued over which minority group was oppressed the most rather than finding solidarity and understanding amongst each other. In essence, groups from both sides of the political spectrum have arranged their own safe spaces which have proven to be biased bubbles of ineffective discussion that lack respectability and open-mindedness. From excessive political correctness to downright toxicity, these spaces do not encourage students to engage in mature dialogue that could actually present solutions to their issues. It is important for participants to understand how to conduct themselves, while still being able to respectfully argue with others." In "Jacqueline Alvarez: Campus 'safe spaces' prevent students from engaging in honest dialogue," by Jacqueline Alvarez, Daily Bruin (UCLA), 30 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of Dying Universities:   "Today, most college campuses are a witch’s brew of hypersensitivities, political correctness, language police, 'safe zones,' and all sorts of intolerance masquerading as 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness.' Despite the talk, though, such settings are anything but diverse or inclusive, when one considers the increasing list of views and topics that are banished. This problem has been growing for decades and it is evidence of what Pope Benedict XVI called the 'tyranny of relativism.' When we can no longer point to a reality or a set of truths that all can agree upon as first principles, a struggle ensues that cannot be resolved with an appeal to reason. The one who prevails is not the one who is best able to appeal to reason or principles, but rather the one who has the most power, money, or influence, or the one who shouts the loudest or is better able to intimidate. In this way, relativism has led to the kind of tyranny we see on college campuses today." In "Our Dying Universities," by Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington, 5 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of Thriving Student Spring Breaks:    "According to the LendEDU poll, 30.60% of college students with student debt claim that they are using money they received from student loans to help pay for their spring break trip this year. For reference, you can use student loan funding for living expenses. The National Center for Education Statistics calculated that 20.5 million students will be attending college this year in the United States. Orbitz reported that 55% of students will be going on spring break. Using this data, we can roughly calculate that 11,275,000 students will be going on spring break this year. And, it is estimated that 69% of all current college students use student loan debt by the time of graduation. By doing some additional arithmetic, we can calculate that roughly 7,779,750 student debtors are going on spring break this year. Factoring in our data, and assuming the claims made in our survey are accurate, this means that 2.38 million students are using money received from student loans to pay for their spring break excursion this year." In "Spring Break Student Loan Study," LendEDU, 8 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Tax Dollars for Massively Endowed Not-for-profit Universities:   "The 43-page report shows the massive amount of money flowing into not-for-profit Ivy League schools, including payments and entitlements, costing taxpayers more than $41 billion from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2015. The spending is controversial because these eight schools -- Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University -- have enormous resources at their fingertips, including endowment funds (money raised from donors) in 2015 exceeding $119 billion. Take that total and split it up among Ivy League undergrads and it comes out to $2 million each." In "Critics to Ivy Leagues: 'Taxpayer gravy train needs to end'," by Jason Kopp, FOX News, 29 March 2017.   [ 15 ]

 

Addendum of a Mixed-race and Queer Political Correctness Offender:   "Demonstrators said Ms Valdivia was guilty of a variety of offences: she was a 'race traitor' who upheld white supremacist principles by failing to oppose the Humanities syllabus. She was 'anti-black' because she appropriated black slang by wearing a T-shirt that said, 'Poetry is Lit'. She was an 'ableist' because she believes trigger warnings sometimes diminish sexual trauma. She was also called a 'gaslighter' for making disadvantaged students doubt their own feelings of oppression. 'I am intimidated by these students,' she later wrote in a blog post. 'I am scared to teach courses on race, gender or sexuality or even texts that bring these issues up in any way…I’m at a loss as to how to begin to address it, especially since many of these students don’t believe in historicity or objective facts (they denounce the latter as being a tool of the white cisheteropatriarchy)'." In "Arguments over free speech on campus are not left v right," Economist, 7 September 2017.

 

See:    Degrees on the wall 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010-11 - "Cost of Attendance: In-state" - $26,397.00, and "Average Indebtedness of 2011 Graduates" - $26,893.00.  From CollegeData.com.

 

 Wasting Both Time and Money

 

            The larger picture as time passes begins to testify that not all degrees can be correlated to earning potential.  One reads:  "College used to look like a good 'investment' because earning a degree usually entailed at least some serious work and having done it set the individual apart. Having that degree was a competitive advantage in landing a job, but success always depended on personal performance rather than educational pedigree. These days, with the labor market saturated with college graduates, the time and money spent on college is often wasted." In "Don't Buy The Hype, College Education Is Not An Investment," by George Leef, Forbes, 12 June 2013. 

            Such a view will of course never be seen in a university's prospectus to new students. One has to wonder what UMass' Doctoral Program in Social Justice Education will contribute over time to an individual's career potential and path.

            The story of student loan debt and rising tuition costs coupled to increases in education bureaucracy is informative.

 

 Crushing Debt

 

            One reads: "Roshell Schenck has a Ph.D. in pharmacy and earns $125,000 a year. Yet, because she has more than $110,000 in student loan debt, counselors have told her she can’t qualify for a mortgage.    'I’d love to buy and can afford to buy,' says the 28-year-old graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. With lenders scrutinizing college loans more closely than in previous years, it’s almost impossible for borrowers such as Schenck to get approved for mortgages. 'My debt is crushing my chances of purchasing a home.' Last year outstanding education debt passed credit-card debt for the first time, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, a student loan website. Totaling close to $1 trillion, America’s mounting pile of outstanding student debt is a growing drag on the housing recovery, keeping first-time home buyers on the sidelines and limiting the effectiveness of record-low interest rates." In "Student Debt Is Stifling Home Sales," by Bob Willis, Bloomberg, 23 February 2012.

            Fleshing out the trend:  "As the country’s total college debt passed the $1 trillion mark and overtook the total credit-card debt for the first time, the repercussions are being felt in the housing market, as first-time homebuyers are limited in their options when it comes to taking out mortgages." In "College Debts Prevent Graduates From Buying Houses," Education News, by B. A. Birch, 2 March 2012.

            As one may conclude from the history, this is a recently developed phenomenon, driven by the confluence of federal loan availability coupled to increased tuition and associated costs. Who benefits? The few. Who loses? The many. This is what the academic pursuit of "social justice" in its variants has accomplished. Indentured graduates as well as indentured drop-outs.

 

 Devastation for Students

 

            And as to this debt carried by graduates:  "With interest rates on government-subsidized student loans set to double on Monday, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-Newark, called on Congress to act, saying the imminent rate increase would 'devastate students and their families'." In "Payne: impending student loan interest hike will 'devastate' students," by Terrence McDonald, Jersey Journal, 25 June 2013. 

            But debt has been decried in many cultures over centuries, which the modern age and its Zeitgeist has simply suppressed.

            Meanwhile public education is a growing expense to society.  "The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system — more than any other nation covered in the report." In "U.S. education spending tops global list, study shows," Associated Press, 25 June 2015.

 

 Extra Presidential Pay

 

            One sees so-called management costs as among the growing costs to students:  "Baruch College President Mitchel Wallerstein is paid $300,000 and gets an extra $75,000 from the Baruch College Fund, which is not detailed in the group’s tax filing. The salary arrangements for the college presidents was negotiated by the system’s chancellor 'consistent with the marketplace realities of attracting and retaining the highly skilled talent needed to lead our colleges and our university,' said CUNY spokesman Michael Arena. Meanwhile, students are straining to meet soaring tuition, after trustees in 2011 approved $300-per-student increases for five years for the state and city college systems." In "College presidents getting hundreds of thousands in extra pay from foundations," by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, New York Post, 30 June 2013.

            This is a very simple economic reality. Students, through city and state budgets in K-12 and through loans funding tuition in college, pay and much of the college costs now on credit must be repaid -- that some of the fattest cats at the top of "education" live high and well. By fat, it would be fair to define anyone in the top 3 percent of all income, as many examples above demonstrate.

            For any mulling over this reality from the perspective of "social justice," one cannot justify this by a statement as made by the CUNY spokesman. For those thinking this through from the perspective of simple marketplace economics, one cannot justify such fat cat salaries in education any more than in the so-called charitable organizations which beg money from the middle class to distribute to an upper crust. See:  Modern Times and Charity  .

 

 Collapse in Basic Academic Standards

 

            Given the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tuition information above, the most rudimentary arithmetic suggests the cost of education elementary and secondary students is more than half the cost per year of UM Amherst's program and similar programs across the nation to award each "doctor of oppression." There are conclusions many wish to ignore for the basic question was and remains cui bono?

            One image speaks, as above. Sometimes the equation for today's debt-laden graduate is: Ph.D.  ≠  Job.

            Seen another way:  "In this tight job market, young scholars are in a terrible bind. They have to cater to and flatter the academic establishment if they hope to survive. Furthermore, they have not been taught basic skills in historical investigation, weighing of evidence, and argumentation. There has been a collapse in basic academic standards during the theory era that will take universities decades to recover from." In "Camille Paglia: 'It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton is our party’s best chance'," by Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon, 21 August 2013.

            What is assured is that there has been a rapid increase in the number of highly paid administrators, sports coaches, chancellors and presidents drawing down educational budgets for fat cat self-aggrandizement, all the while the next many new and heavily indebted Doctors of Oppression will come to call, applying for ever fewer employments positions.

 

[ 2 ]      But as to teachers and the workforce needed by education, one finds an imbalance of serious proportions:  " 'Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms' with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report's authors wrote. 'A vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars,' the report said." In "Report: Too many teachers, too little quality," by Philip Elliott, Yahoo, 17 June 2013. 

 

 An Industry of Mediocrity

 

            Perhaps the oppression of the moment is that education, according to studies, has become "an industry of mediocrity" with graduates not able to obtain work in said industry.

            Moreover, other pension plans and promises are teetering. Proposed as a form of social justice, it seems some are not fiscally sound and will cause injury to future generations.            

            As example, one reads:   Social Security is rushing even faster toward insolvency, driven by retiring baby boomers, a weak economy and politicians' reluctance to take painful action to fix the huge retirement and disability program. The trust funds that support Social Security will run dry in 2033 — three years earlier than previously projected — the government said Monday." In "Social Security heading for insolvency even faster," by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press, 23 April 2013. 

            As one reads of collapsing academic standards, massive tuition-rooted debt in parallel with remuneration for high-level academics and administrators placing them in the upper five percent of all citizens as they lobby for more money for "education," one finds statistical explanation courtesy of research telling the tale.

 

 The Academic One-Party System Lobbies for Redistribution to Itself

 

            "The academic social sciences are pretty much a one-party system. Were the Democratic tent broad, the one-party system might have intellectual diversity. But the data show almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors when it comes to the regulatory, redistributive state: they like it. Especially when it comes to the minimum wage, workplace-safety regulation, pharmaceutical regulation, environmental regulation, discrimination regulation, gun control, income redistribution, and public schooling, the Democrats show much less diversity than the Republicans." In "Professors and their Politics: the policy views of social scientists," by Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern, Critical Review, 17, 2005.

            Thus as to the regulatory, redistributive state, "they like it." With good reason as one reviews the upper crust of academics as represented above. The redistribution favors them over the large lower classes. Thus while presenting a stance of social justice, those in the social sciences especially are a "one-party system" which favors financially the party and its members who work to further feather their own nests while teaching and preaching "justice." It's a good game -- for them.

            As Kotkin above noted, "...those in control have taken on ever more the trappings of an aristocracy whose primary mission is self-preservation—not unlike the Medieval European clergy."

            Another critic noted with sharpened pen:   "...higher-education institutions are less often engines of social change than they are preservers of class privilege. They are country clubs with textbooks." In "Hogwash 101," by Steve Sailer. Taki's Magazine, 19 April 2017.

 

[ 3 ]      The article also details the following:  " 'I knew it would come down eventually to this sort of lurid scandal,' said one very knowledgeable source. 'I knew about Walter's [alleged] pedophilia many years ago via Harry Hay and others in the gay Native community who Walter used as sources in his Spirit and the Flesh book. His reputation was not good back then, including rumors of ‘sleeping with sources.' 'I can’t believe it’s taken so long,' said another knowledgeable gay source. 'Everything about Walter is a string of lies. He convinces himself and others he’s working for a higher cause. There were people who were suspicious. I tried to warn people, but Walter was an expert liar. He’d tell you want you wanted to hear while he’d make you feel important. He could justify all sorts of things. And he could ruin lives.' According to these sources, Walter was well-known for making passes at his students at USC—some of whom made official complaints." In "FBI Puts Gay Former USC Professor Walter L. Williams on Top 10 Most Wanted List," by Karen Ocamb, FrontiersLA, 18 June 2013.

 

 The Oppressor Is Oppressed?

 

           The story of this particular "Doctor of Oppression" in instructive. From the professor's biography: "Born and raised in North Carolina and Atlanta, Walter L. Williams received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. He has taught at the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, at the University of Cincinnati, and as Fulbright Professor at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He currently teaches classes on Gender and Sexuality, and on American Indian Studies, at the University of Southern California." 

           The University of Southern California has issued the following statement:  "Walter Lee Williams is a former professor of Anthropology, History and Gender Studies at USC. He left the university in February 2011. USC is fully cooperating with the FBI investigation. The FBI has informed us that at this time there is no evidence that any of his alleged illegal activities were associated with the university or took place on campus." 

           The legal story has its conclusion:   "Walter Lee Williams, 65, admitted engaging in illegal sexual contact with minors in foreign places, entering the plea during a brief appearance before U.S. District Judge Phillip S. Gutierrez. As part of a plea, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend that the onetime eminent professor of gender and sexuality studies serve no more than five years in a federal prison." In "Ex-USC professor pleads guilty to having sex with boys overseas," by Richard Winton, Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times, 5 September 2014.

           One might conclude that a "Doctor of Oppression" doctorate in some or many related fields (as noted in the UMass prospectus) as Ableism, Anti-Semitism, Religious Oppression, Classism, Transgender oppression, Heterosexism, Racism and Sexism.) can also be an oppressor, at the very same time. This suggests a related question. Might such training assist in justifying "all sorts of things?"

 

[ 4 ]      While recent graduates find it difficult to obtain work, one learns that university presidents and senior administration and faculty are raking in a financial win. Consider this single instance:

           "When Penn State University's Graham Spanier was fired as president of the institution following the Jerry Sandusky-sex abuse scandal in November 2011, he left office with nearly $3 million in compensation for that academic year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual survey of compensation for chief executives at United States public universities and systems for 2011-12. Spanier, who maintains his innocence in the Sandusky cover-up, had a base pay of $350,959, but made $2,906,721 in 2011-12. The Chronicle reports $1.2 million came from deferred compensation, another $700,000 was for a one-year sabbatical. Spanier remains on PSU's payroll as a tenured professor collecting $600,000 a year, even though he's not teaching." In "Public College President Salaries: Survey Reveals Graham Spanier Highest Paid In 2011-12," by Tyler Kingkade, Huffington Post, 13 May 2013.

 

 Doing the Math

 

           One might employ the notion of social justice to examine such news.  One learns of Penn State:  "...a total undergraduate enrollment of 38,954, its setting is city, and the campus size is 8,556 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Pennsylvania State University--University Park's ranking in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 46. Its in-state tuition and fees are $16,444 (2012-13); out-of-state tuition and fees are $28,746 (2012-13)." In "Pennsylvania State University--University Park," US News and World Report, 2013.

           Doing the math and keeping in mind the debt load incurred by students, one calculates that 176 in-state students at Penn State are required simply to fund their university president at his highest rate, and 36 full-time students to fund him "even though he's not teaching."

           For extra credit, calculate the ratio of social justice compared to greed, and then do this for the many additional universities around the nation which pay university presidents, provosts, deans and senior faculty many hundreds of thousands each year to teach debt-laden students about "social justice."

           A subject for further research into social justice as shown at UPenn:  "Former university president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz are charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, obstructing justice, conspiracy and failure to report suspected child abuse." In "Penn State's Spanier, Curley and Schultz to stand trial on all charges in Sandusky case," by Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau, 30 July 2013.

           Moving on in order to examine the University of Massachusetts president, one learns:  "Robert Caret, the incoming president of the University of Massachusetts, will make nearly $600,000 during his first year on the job, including salary and benefits, according to the terms of his five-year contract." In "New UMass president to make almost $600,000 in salary, perks," by Tracy Jan, Boston.com, 9 March 2011.

 

 Really, Really Big Money from Taxpayers

 

           To expand a bit on the University of Massachusetts' "social justice" stance and such issues as income inequality and the high rates of tuition for a state-run institution, one can survey a short publically available list of UMass academic elites who earn more than $200,000 a year from students' tuition and taxpayers' sponsorship. Here is an example of academic "social justice" from "The 100 highest-paid public employees in Mass.," Boston Globe, 15 February 2013; we examine highly paid staff of the University of Massachusetts, 88 of the "100 highest-paid public employees in Mass":

           1) Collins, Michael F Chancellor & SVP Hlth Sciences $784,468; 2) Flotte, Terence R Exec Dep Chanc Provost & Dean $712,041; 3) Lovley, Derek R Associate Dean CNS $664,636; 4) Kellogg, Derek W Head Basketball Coach $628,624; 5) Murphy, Joyce A Exec VC, Commonwealth Medicine $590,320; 6) Caret, Robert L President, University of Mass $503,881; 7) Pagnam, Charles J VC, Development $485,578; 8) Rock, Kenneth L Chairman of Department $419,433; 9) Molnar, Charles E Head Football Coach $401,250; 10) Sullivan, John L Professor $397,824; 11) Jenal, Robert E Exec VC, Admin & Finance $389,495; 12) Czech, Michael P Professor $384,593; 13) Kiefe, Catarina I Chairman of Department $358,767; 14) Wilson, Jack M Interim Dean, Engineering $348,846; 15) Pugnaire, Michele P Sr Assoc, Dean of Education $333,679; 16) Polakoff, David F Chief Medical Officer, CWM $332,713; 17) Russell, Thomas P Distinguished Univ Prof, UMA $332,328; 18) Julian Jr, James R. Executive Vice President $329,591; 19) Finch, John Deputy Director $328,067; 20) Staros, James V Provost/VC for Academic Aff $327,472 ; 21)Thorndyke, Luanne E Vice Provost Faculty Affairs $326,045; 22)  Fuller, Mark A Dean, School of Management $322,791; 23)  Jacobson, Allan S Professor $319,240; 24) Wilmer D. Barrett Professor $313,297; 25) McNamara, James P Exec Dir, Ofc of Tech Mgmt $303,811; 26)  Motley, James Keith Chancellor $301,405; 27) Abdelal, Ahmed Provost $299,537; 28) Moloney, Jacqueline Executive Vice Chancellor $299,537; 29) Mercurio, Arthur M Professor $298,803; 30) Allison, Jeroan J Professor $298,644; 31) Reppert, Steven Chairman of Department $295,129; 32)  Meehan, Martin Chancellor $293,925; 33) Molrine, Deborah C Assoc Professor $291,683; 34) Matthews, Charles Robert Chairman of Department $288,559; 35) Pearson, Susan Associate Chancellor $286,632; 36) Carruthers, Anthony Dean, Grad Sch of Biomed Sci $285,582; 37) Seymour Route, Paulette A Dean, Grad School Of Nursing $283,962; 38) Houghton, Jeanmarie Assoc Professor $283,025; 39) Williams, Marcellette G Senior Vice President $282,996; 40) Croft, William B Distinguished Univ Prof, UMA $279,243; 41)  Nakosteen, Robert A. Professor U of M $277,679; 42)  Leto, Michael A Vice Chan for Dev & Alumni Rel $275,295; 43) Yestramski, Joanne Vice Chancellor $273,441; 44) Malone, Michael F. VC Research & Engagement $272,893; 45) Towsley, Donald F. Distinguished Professor $272,615; 46)  Kurose, James F. Distinguished Univ Prof, UMA $267,658; 47)  Floyd, Steven W Professor U of M $267,254; 48) Clarke, Lori Ann Chrm. Of Department U of M $263,249; 49)  Plummer, Deborah L VC, HR, Diversity & Inclusion $259,890; 50)  Hallock, Robert B. Distinguished Univ Prof, UMA $256,578; 51) Chiu, Edward Vice Chancellor $255,988; 52) Litwin, Demetrius Physician (Dual) $255,880; 53)  McCutcheon, John F Athletic Director $255,767; 54) Karellas, Andrew Professor $255,497; 55) Leney, Mark D Asst Professor $253,139; 56)  Trafford, Pamela S Senior Lecturer II $252,591; 57) Greiner, Dale L Professor $252,404; 58) Agoglia, Christopher P Professor U of M $250,853; 59) Dubach, John F. CIO/Spec Asst to Chancellor $250,143; 60) Palmer, Richard N Head of Department $249,519; 61) Langley, Winston Provost & VC Academic Affairs $247,882; 62) Finberg, Robert W Physician (Dual) $247,641; 63) Kneeland, Michael D Assoc. Dean for Allied Health $247,154; 64) Thibodeau, Marc A Executive Director CHCF, CWM $245,934; 65)  Sheehan, James P Vice Chancellor Admin&Finance $245,815; 66) Heard, Stephen O Physician (Dual) $244,599; 67) Geller, Jeffrey L Professor $244,561; 68) Thomas, William D Asst Professor $243,901; 69)  Kida, Thomas E. Professor U of M $243,646; 70)  Groblewski, Thomas A Asst Professor $242,825;  71) Onorato, Patti Deputy COO, CWM $242,128; 72) Goldberg, Robert J Professor $242,005; 73) Johnson, Julia V Physician (Dual) $240,882; 74) Cavanagh, Stephen J Dean, Nursing $240,693; 75) Vasil, Nancy Assoc VC Admin & Finance $240,308; 76) Kim, Jean Vice Chancellor Student Affair $240,264; 77)  Riley, Jeannette Interim Dean Col Arts And Scie $239,662; 78)  Peters, Linda M L Cont Ed Instructor $239,644; 79)  Bradley, Raymond S Distinguished Professor $239,514; 80) Martin, Joel W. Vice Provost U of M $238,681; 81) McIlvane, William Executive Director Shriver Ctr $237,941; 82) Goodwin, Steven D Dean College Natural Sciences $237,901; 83) Gao, Guangping Professor $237,500; 84)  Hayes, John R Assoc VC, Development $237,470; 85)  Agha, Iqbal Chrm. Of Department U of M $236,034; 86) Chmura, Thomas Joseph Vice President $235,992; 87)  Calhoun, Alan James Exec Dir of Health Services $235,76; 88) Kennedy, John Francis Vice Chancellor Univ Rel $235,061.

 

 Taxpayers' Median Money and Poverty

 
           By way of comparison keeping in mind notions of social justice and income inequality, one should reflect on the "Median household income, 2007-2011 -- $65,981," in "Quick Facts," US Census Bureau, 2011.  Moreover, the federally defined poverty level in Massachusetts is $11,490 according to the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), and the US Census shows in Massachusetts that "Persons below poverty level, percent, 2007-2011 - 10.7%.  Given the population of Massachusetts -- 6,646,144 -- doing the math tells that there are 711,137 poor people in the state, while the list above tells of 88 very well paid public employees.

           What might the The Doctoral Program in Social Justice Education at UMass say to justify so many fat academic cats? Or the 10.7 percent poverty rate in the state? In what economic class of an overall society do these men and women with remuneration over $200,000 a year? Are such earnings socially just?  How about the top 26 with remuneration over $300,000 a year?  Or the top ten at over $400,000 in salary and benefits?

           It is guaranteed that such questions will not be asked nor answered by the many Doctors of Oppression, because clear answers would topple their gravy train and thereby their affluence.

           One UMass student has bemoaned her amassing of student debt. She writes: "My student debt surrounds me like the construction on the University of Massachusetts campus; no matter how hard I try to avoid it, it shows up everywhere. It keeps me from getting to class on time, it ripped a hole in my backpack and it just puts me in a terrible mood. Like the construction, my student debt affects my every decision: what books I buy for classes versus which ones I can access for free, the amount of hours I work to pay my rent and if I can even continue my education at UMass. You can get rid of the Hasbrouck fence, but student loans are for life." In "Letter: Yes, college should be free," by Erika Civitarese, Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 17 February 2016.

           Given that so many of the above UMass academics are already funded by state taxes per public records and media reporting, one obvious next step in order to provide UMass students with "free" education is to increase state taxes further, because funding must be funded by someone somehow, an economic lesson which has yet to be learned. How might state taxpayers respond? Another obvious next step is to have a maximum remuneration for the employees of a state university matched, perhaps, to the median income in that state, with the goal of cutting the "fat" from the fat cats. One can imagine the howls of the elite.

 

 Fat Cat Oppressors Teaching Oppression

 

           Placed in context, Wikipedia's article on "Affluence in the United States" informs that over $200,000 per year is ranked as in the top 3 percent, while $250,000 per year ranks one as in the top 1.5 percent. These 88 in the top 100 of all Massachusetts public employees function as a faculty and administration of an entity of fat cats which offers classes on "oppression." Many in the top 2 percentile economically of all Americans. Such is the evidence for educators of social justice. Any questions?

           Additional questions can be answered by musing on Income Inequality  .

 

[ 5 ]      Validation for the gathering public awareness of this new "aristocracy" grows alongside the awareness that some degrees and coursework prepare a student for years of debt and lesser positions of employment, if they can be found:  "Some college officials are also compensated more handsomely than CEOs. Since 2000, New York University has provided $90 million in loans, many of them zero-interest and forgivable, to administrators and faculty to buy houses and summer homes on Fire Island and the Hamptons. Former Ohio State President Gordon Gee (who resigned in June after making defamatory remarks about Catholics) earned nearly $2 million in compensation last year while living in a 9,630 square-foot Tudor mansion on a 1.3-acre estate. The Columbus Camelot includes $673,000 in art decor and a $532 shower curtain in a guest bathroom. Ohio State also paid roughly $23,000 per month for Mr. Gee's soirees and half a million for him to travel the country on a private jet. Such taxpayer-funded extravagance has not made its way into Mr. Obama's speeches." In "Richard Vedder: The Real Reason College Costs So Much," by Allysia Finely, Wall Street Journal, 23 August 2013.

 

 The Public Employee Aristocracy

 

           And more as to the notion of a "public employee aristocracy," one reads:  "The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday. Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs." In "UC leases housing at $9,950 a month for president Napolitano," by Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 16 September 2013.

 

[ 6 ]     By way of contrast, one reads of "...the visible care and concern we show each other...." In "President's Welcome," Charles J. Dougherty, PhD, in "About Duquesne University" at their website. From "University Goals" at the college website, one reads: "Duquesne graduates enter into the world as leaders prepared to carry the mission and goals of Duquesne University with them in their work, empowered to seek the liberation of humanity from injustice, poverty, ignorance and all that violates the dignity and freedom of the human person."  At this juncture, one might again re-read the short excerpt, Memorial for a Teacher  .

 

[ 7 ]     Of those highest paid college presidents, one finds documentation from a number of sources for a top ten list.

           The list:  1) Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $7,143,312; 2) John L. Lahey, Quinnipiac University, $3,759,076, 3) Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia University, $3,389,917; 4) Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania, $2,473,952; 5) Charles R. Middleton, Roosevelt University, $1,762,956; 6) Susan Hockfield, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $1,679,097; 7) David W. Leebron, Rice University, $1,522,502; 8) John E. Sexton, New York University, $1,404,484;9) Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Rockefeller University, $1,381,341; 10) Richard C. Levin, Yale University, $1,369,856.

           The article's editorial stance is amusing, as "just shy of $400,000" per year places all these academics far up into the vaunted socio-economic one percent category.

 

[ 8 ]    After the "Occupy Wall Street" movement complaining of millions paid to brokers, one waits in vain for an Occupy College Sports or Occupy Social Justice Faculty Lounges, or many other groups fattened in part by "public" funds, such that their fat places them in the upper five percent of income nationwide.

 

[ 9 ]   For more on the elitist, one-percenter Janet Napolitano and her fat cat status feeding at the public trough, please see the footnotes to Fat cats richly rich of late  - a comparative and sourced criticism of the nouveau "fair share" folks. Of course, because she is a woman, a Democrat and a former Obama cabinet secretary, she is part of a most special and protected class. The students of the University of California are not part of a protected class, and are expected to sit down and shut up. After all, as Napolitano the Democrat said clearly, "We don’t have to listen to this crap."

 

 Crappy Pay? Not at All

 

           It seems scrutiny into the University of Califo0rnia's fat cats is listening to "this crap."

           One reads of a state audit:  "Gov. Jerry Brown earns $169,559, compared with Napolitano’s $570,000, says the report. And while the chief investment officers for the State Teachers’ Retirement System and the State Public Employees’ Retirement System each earn just above $400,000, UC’s investment officer earns $615,000. 'So the explanations from the university don’t ring true,' Howle said." In "Audit shows UC admission standards relaxed for out-of-staters," by Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate, 30 March 2016.

           From the 2016 state audit, one reads:  "From fiscal year 2005–06 to 2014–15, the gross earnings of the university’s employees systemwide increased 64 percent, from nearly $8 billion a year to nearly $13 billion a year." In "California State Auditor Report 2015-107, March 2016.

           This increase parallels increases in out-of-state tuition seeking, as the same audit notes:  "Over the past 10 years, the university has repeatedly increased the cost of tuition without sufficient justification and to the detriment of California families. Since academic year 2005–06, the university has increased mandatory fees—base tuition and the student services fee—for residents six times and at varying rates resulting in an overall increase of 99 percent, from $6,141 in academic year 2005–06 to $12,240 in academic year 2015–16, as shown in Figure 9 on the following page. Over the same time frame, median household income in California decreased by nearly 4 percent, from more than $62,700 in 2005 to $60,500 in 2014. This income decrease, coupled with the unpredictable timing and amount of tuition increases, has likely made it difficult for families to effectively budget for this important investment."

           So California's taxpayers fund in large part a university which seeks to increase "full tuition" out-of-state students, thereby decreasing in state students, all the while the median Californian's income has dropped 4 percent while the UC mandatory fees has inflated 99 percent,. while its elite management are paid far above a state governor's salary. A student demonstrates and it is called "crap" by the top fat cat earning $570,000 a year, not counting benefits.

           How dare mere students express any Dissent against their wealthy betters! As the rhyme ends, "Tuition bills rise not in jest." It is because "gross earnings of employees systemwide increased 64 percent."

           Amusingly Napolitano dissented from the state audit. So the game is money, money, money, and even the many out-of-work Doctors of Oppression have figured that out, having attended Screw U.

 

 Absence of Price Incentive and Subsidizing Foolhardy Decisions

 

           Some notice the gaming, as one reads:   "...there is no price incentive for students to choose degrees that are most likely to enable them to pay back loans quickly or easily. In other words, these federal student loans are subsidizing a lack of discrimination in students’ major choice. A person majoring in communications can access the same loans as a student majoring in engineering. Both of these students would also pay the same interest rate, which would not occur in a free market. In an unhampered market, majors that have a higher probability of default should be required to pay a higher interest rate on money borrowed than majors with a lower probability of default. In summary, it is not just the federal government’s subsidization of student loans that is increasing the cost of college, but the fact that demand for low-paying and high-default majors is increasing, because loans for these majors are supplied at the same price as a major providing high salaries to its possessor with a low probability of default. And which programs are the most likely to pay off for the student? The top five highest paying bachelor’s degrees include: petroleum engineering, actuarial mathematics, nuclear engineering, chemical engineering and electronics and communications engineering, while the top five lowest paying bachelor’s degrees are: animal science, social work, child development and psychology, theological and ministerial studies, and human development, family studies, and related services." In "The Most (And Least) Worthwhile Degrees," posted by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 5 March 2017.

           This relates directly to the wealthy atop academia, who preach and teach about forms of oppression while practicing the most basic oppression of all, as many become massively indented to support the few, with the added expectation that the "many" indebted one-time students will be nailed out by a larger population -- taxpayers -- in order to keep the academic elite financially elite. How quite like former models of political oppression this has become in such a short period of time.

 

[ 10 ]   The debt burden on graduates who have studied 'oppression' are oppressed by their debt, as many see it. The Times article ends with:  "When they didn’t get they jobs they expected, he said, some refused to pay. 'They feel like they didn’t’ get what they paid for,' Mr. Delisle said."

 

 Pell Mell Money for No Sheepskin

 

           "...didn't get what they paid for?" One learns a number of new debtors didn't get something paid for. One reads:   "Billions of taxpayer dollars go to college students who never end up with a diploma in their hands, a new report found. Pell grants — which are given to low-income families and, unlike student loans, do not need to be paid back — are the costliest education initiative in the nation. But little official data exists on whether they are a good investment, according to the education watchdog Hechinger Report." In "Pell Grants: Billions Go to Students Who Don't Graduate, Analysis Finds," by Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, 23 August 2015.

           Hard data demonstrates that student debt and government grants often go to gain little and sometimes nothing at all. One can wonder then what a tenured, economically upscale Doctor of Oppression might think the solution to this would be? More classes about those oppressed, when so many of the academic experts on oppression are found to be class oppressors themselves?

 

[ 11 ]    If the previous footnotes did not convince as to the avarice of some in academia as linked to the naïveté of students signing on to debt by which in part to fund the top paid in academia, one finds that the "frustrated college graduate" with a degree in theater is $40,000 in debt, all the while the top dog at her university is in the nation's one percent club.

 

 Moan for the One Percent Club

 

            One reads of John E. Thrasher, Republican and a former state legislator and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, lawyer and lobbyist who serves as the 15th President of Florida State University:   "Thrasher, 70, will start at FSU this Monday with a five-year contract that pays him a base salary of $430,000 per year. He told BOG members his top priorities are to address low salaries for long-serving professors at FSU, to keep the university community focused on FSU's $1-billion capital campaign and to prepare for next year's legislative session." In "BOG confirms Thrasher to be FSU president," by Doug Blackburn, Tallahassee Democrat, 6 November 2014. One wonders what the pension from his position as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives is.

           The moan from the media covering academic salaries was heard:  "The University of Florida pays the best of any public school in the state, $89,400 on average. But other Florida universities pay much less, $78,800 on average at the University of South Florida and $74,200 at the University of Central Florida." In "Professor salaries in Florida are below the national average," by Zac Anderson, Herald-Tribune, 25 October 2011.

           The median income for the state is $46,183.

           The university teaching profession will complain, justifying their various salaries and perks, as is expected even as discussion of Income Inequality wash over the political landscape. From academics earning millions to academics earning hundreds of thousands to those "below the national average" academics earning twice the median of a taxpayer, one may be assured that the justification for arguments of relative worth will point to someone earning more than the individual defending their take, all the while someone earning less will focus on them as a part of  the whole scheme which produces income inequality. It is a relative argument and changing political equation without a solution.

           One must wonder what that degree in theater costing tens of thousands of dollars will fetch on eBay. Perhaps that will inform about the worth of that degree on the wall?

           "I thought this piece of paper has so much worth to so many people...." If only she had studied politics instead of theater.

 

[ 12 ]    While the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's report surveys "private" college presidents, one finds many public-funded college presidents in the fat cat category as well. But staying for the moment with the statistics gathered in this report one finds that the median salary for private college presidents is far higher than the median average for business CEOs, who are higher but not much higher than "charity" CEOs. The comparison of median incomes then looks like this:

 

Charity CEOs

 Business CEOs

Private College Presidents

$120,396

$168,140

$301,153

 

          One may then see that the more lucrative avenue for one seeking the highest remuneration in the "99th percentile" as noted in the Federal Reserve Bank report is to head a private college. But this would be misleading, when one factors in such numbers as above reveal that public college presidents are well paid indeed.

 

 Comparing and Contrasting Elites

 

          One learns:  "The median income for public-university presidents in the 2007-08 academic year was $427,400." In "Highest-Paid University Presidents," by Ellen Gibson, Bloomberg, n.d.

          Rounding out the statistical picture then speaks to the lucrative nature of leading "education." The comparison of median remunerations becomes as follows:

 

Charity CEOs

 Business CEOs

Private College Presidents

Public College Presidents

$120,396

$168,140

$301,153

$427,400

 

 The Fattest of Some Fat Cats

 

          Thus one learns that public college/university presidents are the fattest of the fat cats, and when one considers that such fat cats are publicly funded, as are so many charities and many private colleges which receive public monies as grants, on finds the clear picture that there are indeed many Doctors of Oppression to be found, few serving the public but rather serving themselves quite nicely.

          The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's article ends with a simple conclusion:  "...to the extent that colleges employ other administrators or support staff and to the extent that salaries and compensation for such employees are high, reducing salaries or the number of employees more broadly might help contain college costs."

          One learns that even one-percent level remuneration is not enough for some. In one instance:  "Katehi, who earns $424,360 annually as chancellor at UC Davis, had come under fire for accepting a $70,000-a-year position with the DeVry Education Group, a for-profit firm that offers college degrees online and on 55 campuses nationwide, including 13 in California. DeVry is being investigated by state and federal authorities on allegations of deceptive advertising about job and income prospects for its graduates." In "UC Davis chancellor apologizes for controversial moonlighting activities," by Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 4 March 2016.

          But the annual salary and the DeVry position's remuneration were not enough for this "educator."

 

 More!

 

          One learns also:  "The [ Sacramento ] Bee reported that Katehi served on the board of John Wiley & Sons, a publisher of science, engineering and math textbooks, from 2012 to 2014. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, she received $125,000 in pay and stock in 2012, $144,000 in 2013 and $151,000 in 2014, the Bee reported. 'It is unseemly for the chancellor to be seeking these side deals moonlighting to increase her pay serving on these boards ... while students are struggling with a tremendous amount of debt,' McCarty said in an interview."

          How should one evaluate such avarice -- serving in a full-time position as chancellor, as well as at a competing educational entity, and as well serving a publisher of textbooks sold to students, many of whom fund their education through debt coming from loans by the US Department of Education? This triple-dipping, rich woman was absolved by another rich woman heading the entire University of California system with a mere apology. The arrangement in the upper echelons of such a university system seem so very cozy, not to mention notions of "social justice."

 

 Scrubbing Away Academic Embarassments

 

          This story is unraveling in such a way as illustrates what "higher education" spends for "education":  "UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show. The payments were made as the university was trying to boost its image online and were among several contracts issued following the pepper-spray incident. Some payments were made in hopes of improving the results computer users obtained when searching for information about the university or Katehi, results that one consultant labeled 'venomous rhetoric about UC Davis and the chancellor'." In "UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet," by Sam Stanton and Diana Lambert, Sacramento Bee, 13 April 2016.

          One notes how alike are such bureaucrats to politicians around the world who show their truest selves when skin is thin .

          But what will the many fat cat, faux liberal Doctors of Oppression say to seeing their rents reduced to merely above the average citizen? Howls of victimization would be heard, no doubt, as are being heard now from the latest graduates from "oppression" studies who find themselves in debt and without employment. After all, the new normal seems to be .

 

[ 13 ]    What the federal government terms an "asset" is the aggregate known as "student debt." But as one sees from the reports above taken together as a whole, the Department of Education's student loans are not funding students' but rather through students these loans are funding "educators" in the top echelon of an economic elite. That elite on average is far better remunerated than the average business CEO, and as such demonstrates how this economic elite funds themselves. Essentially these many fat cats live off the growing debt of students, many of whom are unable to repay the loans -- the "assets" of the federal government.

 

 Fat Academic Cats Guaranteed by Government

 

          In detail from the GAO report, one learns:  "As of September 30, 2015, the Government held about $3.2 trillion in assets, an increase of $164.5 billion (5.4 percent). The Government’s assets are comprised mostly of net loans receivable ($1.2 trillion) and net property, plant, and equipment ($893.9 billion). From Note 4, the Department of Education’s (Education’s) Federal Direct Student Loan Program accounted for $880.6 billion (72.4 percent) of total net loans receivable. Education’s direct student loan program receivables balances have more than doubled since FY 2011 largely due to increased direct loan disbursements, attributable to the continued effect of 2010 legislation requiring a transition for new loans from guaranteed student loans to full direct lending by Education." (p. 19)

          Thus, the fat cats atop the university systems, public and private, are an economic elite -- unquestionably -- and remain so specifically because of "guaranteed student loans to full direct lending by [ the Department of ] Education."

          The conclusion is simple, arithmetic and documented many times over. The true Doctors of Oppression are atop the economic system of federally funded education. So much for that form of social justice which spawns a rich upper class.

          Their affluent upper class, educational defense is well constructed, for most of the tax paying public remains blissfully unaware that their taxes go in part to fully fund a wealthy class in the nation, among many wealthy classes within the United States of America, which many call Uncle Sam.

          The GAO reports notes:  "The debt limit was last raised to $18.1 trillion in March 2015. As budget deficits continue to occur, the Government will have to continue to borrow from the public. Instances where the debt held by the public increases faster than the economy for extended periods can pose challenges to the sustainability of current fiscal policy." (p. 4)

 

 Tripling

 

          From the GAO report of 2015, one finds indebted students playing an unhappy role. One reads:  "...Obama who is to blame for this mess. One of his first actions as president was to nationalize the student loan program, cutting out private lenders and instead having the government lend directly to students. As a result, direct lending went from 21% of federal student aid in 2009 to 73% today, and the total amount of student loan debt on the federal books doubled in eight years. At the same time, Obama made it easier for students to avoid paying back the full cost of those loans, and repeatedly spoke as if students were victims who deserved to be protected from their own debt. In fact, Obama's 'reforms' of student lending became widely known as the 'Obama Student Loan Forgiveness' program. However, the combination of making it easier to borrow and seemingly easier to avoid paying back loans created a vicious cycle. Students were more willing to borrow, and less concerned about the amount, on the assumption that they'd never had to pay it all back. Colleges used the tidal wave of new federal loan subsidies to sharply increase tuitions, which in turn forced students to take on more debt." In "Obama's Legacy: Half Of College Students Now Expect Taxpayers To Bail Them Out," Editorial, Investors Business Daily, 3 March 2017.

          With a change in the political climate, these "half of college students" who expect taxpayers to bail them out will find their expectations likely unmet. What then? As the graphic which illustrates this rhyme, sourced addenda and footnotes suggests, man a "PhD ≠ Job."

          In the overall wave of pie-in-the-sky debt behavior, the beneficiaries seem to only include the academic fat cats -- many noted above -- already awash in funds from taxpayers as from public debt. The politics of nationalizing the student loan industry was short-term political thinking but long-term economic innumeracy. Those students awash in debt and expecting to be bailed out for their own adult decisions -- "more willing to borrow, and less concerned about the amount, on the assumption that they'd never had to pay it all back" -- will be learning another lesson not taught by the fat cat academics. Their future looks economically bleak, as Doctor Oppression Comes to Call on each massively indebted and newly-minted Doctor Oppression minted in this few years of nationalizing the student loan programs of so many universities.

          But what is the future for Sam?   - the Debtor Man? Do not inquire from the many from academia as found above, fattened by the Department of Education's $1.2 trillion of student debt, which the government calls "assets." They are teaching from the simple status of being very clever, modern day oppressors. Clever, eh?

 

[ 14 ]    Solzhenitsyn knew the true oppression of Soviet Communism. The many citations above of fat cats earning far more than the average American and readying themselves while pretending to address issues of "social justice" to reap pensions rewards also far above the average American testify to the lit which is the modern academic liberal.

 

 It's All Richly Academic

 

          As with Solzhenitsyn's text, the rich salaries and well-larded pensions of the academic system -- public as well as private -- are their own testimony to the sheer hypocrisy of so many academic voices which speak of "income inequality" and "social justice" and "oppression," all while being practitioners of inequality, much of it publicly funded, causing real debt oppression in gullible students and ultimate in complete violation of any notion of social justice.

          Thus are lines in my bit of doggerel wholly accurate: "Of course, the sheepskin costs a bit, / But that's all academic in this comic skit." And the academics are laughing all the way to their banks.

          Adding to the comedy which is resident in top-notch universities, one finds money earmarked for the disabled spent in other ways, such as:  "Two Harvard administrators have been accused of spending $110,000 set aside for disabled students on luxury electronic items including sex toys. Meg DeMarco and Darris Saylors both left their jobs after their new superior spotted the six-figure hole in the budget and lodged a police investigation. In "Harvard administrators are accused of embezzling $110,000 meant for disabled students and spending it on luxuries including sex toys, by Paddy Dinham, Mail Online, 1 March 2017.

 

[ 15 ]   Consider that last sentence in the quote above:  "Take that total and split it up among Ivy League undergrads and it comes out to $2 million each."

          Given such financial resources apparently used to grow greater financial resources, the question lingers. Why public subsidies for wealthy institutions, given that the federal government is massively in debt?  See:  Sam? - the Debtor Man.

 

 But, But, But... The Study Was Flawed

 

          The article notes:  "The study says another federal perk -- the schools pay no tax on investment gains on their endowment -- a tax break is estimated at $9.6 billion over the six years of the study. In a statement, Princeton, suggested the study was flawed because it didn't take into account all the money the college receives and then reinvests. Robert Durkee, a Princeton vice president and secretary, said most of the tax incentives the college receives goes toward libraries, laboratories, classrooms, research and financial aid."

          Poor Princeton. In a study of the salaries of Ivy League universities, its president is by comparison with other Ivy League universities, underpaid. One reads details:  "Here are the presidents in the Ivy League ranked by salary, via The Chronicle: 1. Lee C. Bollinger (Columbia University) — $3,389,917; 2. Amy Gutmann (University of Pennsylvania) — $2,473,952; 3. Richard C. Levin* (Yale University) — $1,375,365; 4. Shirley M. Tilghman* (Princeton University) — $948,412; 5. Drew Gilpin Faust (Harvard University) — $908,642; 6. David J. Skorton (Cornell University) — $817,441; 7. Jim Yong Kim (Dartmouth College) — $755,999; 8. Ruth J. Simmons* (Brown University) — $676,324." In "Here's How Much Each Ivy League University President Makes In A Year," by Peter Jacobs, Business Insider, 16 December 2014.

          As a reminder, the media per capita income in the United States is $28,930 (in 2015 dollars) According to the US Census Bureau, while other estimates place the per capita income at $47,669. Thus, the poorest Ivy League university president whose institution reaps public subsidies is, at the minimum, fourteen and more times as "rich" as the average Joe. Doctors of Oppression seems to do well indeed, being oppressed, teaching oppression, and reaping with enthusiasm from public subsidies.


 

Shearing and Fleecing

Sheep have been sheared for ever so long,
And gotten used to their shearers' song.
A fleecing is the clipping of a tax paying throng
Using pitchforks with many a sharp legal prong.

When sheep give more than their coat away,
It's slaughterers that come for them as prey.
When tax payers see too much taken away,
It's likely a revolution is coming some day.

The difference twixt people and sweet wooly sheep
Is more than, one might venture, skin deep;
It's a truth that sheep will make hardly a peep
To be butchered, while people find it a little steep.

Sheep have been sheared for generations,
While men have lost firm foundations.
The stripping of fruit from many plantations
Is the work of politicians' legal creations.

The difference twixt sheep and people is small,
As people are sheared in the communities' mall.
It's the truth that sheep must die to give all
Being butchered, while people squeak considerable squall.

Shearing and fleecing are a matter of skill;
Seasoned shearers are quick with their art for the thrill.
But the daily work of fleecing is a matter of drill,
To dig ever deeper into some societal till.

 

Envoi:    "A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers stand to lose $27 billion from the 2008 financial bailout, up from an estimate of $22 billion made in the fall. A report issued Wednesday by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the estimate is higher because of increased losses for the Treasury Department on sales of shares in bailed-out companies." In "Watchdog says taxpayers may lose $27B in bailout," by Marcy Gordon, Associated Press, 30 January 2013
 

See:    Raise those taxes! 


 

Two-Party Politics

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington (1732-1799)

 

Some folks live with their thumbs in a screw,
While others dictate just what to do.
Some folks live quite happily free,
Which irritates those who'd chain them with glee.
Two parties, wearily warring through time,
Make all of history's stories and crime.
Which are you? Which would you be?
Which is he, and which is she?

        "Leave me alone."
            "Get in your face!"
        "Don't throw that stone."
            "Class warfare and race!"
        "I'll wander off."
            "Oh no, you won't!"
        "Why do you scoff?"
            "I'll see that you don't!"

Some folks love to be full in charge,
And pander the press to make themselves large.
Others just trundle their ways on their own,
Which usually causes the fist folks to groan.
Two parties -- for and against -- they are these:
One calls for shackles, the other for keys.
Which will you be, the question condensed?
The one who enslaves or the one who is freed?

        "Leave me alone."
            "Get in your face!"
        "Don't throw that stone."
            "Disloyal disgrace!"
        "I'll wander off."
            "Oh no, you won't!"
        "Why do you scoff?"
            "I'll see that you don't!"

Mostly named parties are somewhere in between,
For labels and names most truly have been
Misused, abused, and bruised equally,
By the party of the first part sequentially
Against the party of the second part
Which was always the target from the start.
Being free is simply being free,
And for some folks, that simply can't be.

        "Leave me alone."
            "Get in your face!"
        "Don't throw that stone."
            "Class war and race!"
        "I'll wander off."
            "Oh no, you won't!"
        "Why do you scoff?"
            "I'll see that you don't!"

See:   Government Speaks  , and also   Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides 


 

Metaphor

Ex-Gov. George Ryan won't get to collect his state pension as he sits in an Indiana federal prison, a decision his attorney former Gov. Jim Thompson called "deeply disappointing" because the once-affable cigar-smoking old-school Republican "has nothing." Chicago Breaking News, 19 February 2010.

One's a pig, and Two's a pig,
    And Three's a piggy too.
Four, Five, Six? They're pig, pig, pig,
    And Seven's a pig, that's true.
Eight and Nine, porcine and big.
    Ten little piggies oink their due.
When the pen is filled with pig,
    The trough with slop's askew,
If farmer doesn't slop each pig,
    Then pig-dom's done and through.
But even as the slop they swig
    Spills out, the fat they chew,
There'll come to every sow and pig
    The slaughter which is their due.
Bacon, ham and shoulder butt,
    Pig's feet, pork chops and all the rest
Are the piggly wiggly's well-trod rut:
    Down the chute, then carved and dressed.
Once with joy in mud they'd strut,
    They'd thought their pig lives blessed,
And gave no piggly wiggly "what"
    To what is butchery's final quest.
Had they inkling? Eyes wide shut?
    Would the pigs had ever guessed?
For unknown fate's unkindest cut
    Is the ultimate piggy test.
Who's a pig? Is youse a pig?
    Each tale's some pig's corkscrew?
So many seem quite like a pig,
    It sparks this interview:
Who's a pig? Is youse a pig?
    Then ponder, think, review
That when a pig is such a pig,
    A pig's fate will surely come true....


 

A Canary in a Coal Mine

A canary in a coal mine
Is a bird whose goose is cooked.
Whether in his altogether
All his feathers looked
Deadened by the poisoned fumes
Or toasted rather fine,
The detail really all subsumes
To the post mortem of a tine.
Is he dead? O, is he passed
And worthless for further use?
He seemed to die off rather fast,
While stewing in his juice.

        But, such is life, hard men observe,
        For that is their perspective;
        They have deemed the canary serve
        According to their directive.

The citizen in some nation
Might quite well serve the same,
If he were just to die off
And not to give them the blame.
They'd know what works, what doesn't,
And how long this stuff all takes,
And since his death, he will be sure
To not further raise the stakes.
They'll get another bird or two
To run their tests again.
He might be someone just like you,
Just like so many men.

        For such is life, hard men observe,
        As that is their perspective;
        They have deemed each canary serve
        According to their directive.


 

Poli-words

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." Will Rogers (1879-1935)
 

The Balanced Budget Act
        of nineteen-ninety-seven
Was Clinton and his Republicans
        looking up to heaven
To fix forever with a hoot and shout
        the problems they saw clear,
But the years have dribbled by
        with no balanced budget near.
            So what did their words mean?
                What might we discern?
            Their poli-words meant little,
                a truth we could learn.

The Emergency Medical Treatment
        and Active Labor Act
Was Reagan with his House Democrats
        and that is historical fact --
It was back in nineteen-eighty-six,
        "the duty to treat" passed into law,
And made access to docs a political fix;
        but who would to pay, no one foresaw.
            So what did their words mean?
                What might we discern?
            Their poli-words meant  little,
                a truth we could learn.

In nineteen seventy-seven was passed
        Carter's National Energy Act.
It foretold six million barrels used
        with brilliance clear as fact.
Cut to chase as decades passed
        twenty million barrels and more
As the nation surpassed
        what politics foresaw before.
            So what did their words mean?
                What might we discern?
            Their poli-words meant little,
                a truth we could learn.

I hear one party battle the other,
        and think the show is a phony.
Whichever's in office from year to year,
        their words are a one-trick pony.
It all will be good and it all will be fine,
        the poli-words sing out with cheer.
But parsing their words with clarity's ears,
        things remain quite noncommittal.
"Look over there! The other party's at fault!"
        is just so much political spittle.
            So what did their words mean?
                What might we discern?
            Their poli-words meant little,
                a truth we should learn.

 

Envoi:  "Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing." Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

 

Addendum:   "Politicians think that by stopping up the chimney they can stop its smoking. They try the experiment; they drive the smoke back, and there is more smoke than ever." Borne, number 18381 of citations in "Dictionary of Quotations," compiled by James Wood, 1899.

 

See:   Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides   ,  and also a song setting of Sandburg's  Government - (2008)  


 

Love you, too! - by the numbers

Love you, hon'!
Love you, too!
Love you, three, four,
And what's more, I
Love you, five, six, seven, eight!
Love you early, love you late!
Love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love you... too!

Love you, hon'!
That's the thing!
You turn winter
Into spring! I
Love you, when the day is bright,
Dawn to dusk, and thru my night!
Love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love you... too!

Treasure and adore you?
Simple as can be.
Pleasure ever more, two
Equals you-plus-me.

Love you, one.
Love you two.
What have numbers
Got to do, with
"Love you?" all those numbers say,
Love you always, if I may...
Love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love you... too!
Woof!

 

See:    Love you, too! - (2010)  


 

A Lawyer's Lesson

Sensed the lure
Of the Law.
Thought it pure;
Stood in awe.

Studied hard.
Passed the bar.
Liked the lard.
Went too far.

Fell too short.
Went to jail,
Then to court.
Stood the bail.

Argued hard,
Lost the case.
Prison yard
Was the place

Consequence
There was taught;
False defense
Comes to naught.

Learn the rule
From this tale.
Law is cruel,
Save for bail.

 

Addendum with a smile:   Diogenes went to look for an honest lawyer. "How's it going?" someone asked. "Not too bad," answered Diogenes. "I still have my lantern."

 

See:  A song setting of Sandburg's  The Lawyers Know Too Much - (2008)  ,  a setting of Dunbar's  The Lawyers' Way - (2009)  , and a setting of Pepler's text,  The Law the Lawyers Know About - (2008) 


 

Lemmings

"...the common man has no interest in liberty: 'he is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. He longs for the warm, reassuring smell of the herd, and is willing to take the herdsman with it.'" A quote of H. L. Mencken in "Forbidden Thoughts from Mencken, by Doug French, Mises Daily, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 26 February 2009.

 

Lead, Lemming, left.
Lead, Lemming, right.
Lead, Lemming, and thereby
Set your crowds to flight.
        Leader Lemmings call the shots,
        And Lemmings cheer, hurray!
        Over the cliffs and to the drops
        Is the Lemmings' urge. Away!


For the greater Lemming folk!
For all the Lemming people!
Reach out for all our Lemming-kind,
From minaret to steeple.
        Lemmings run, Lemmings collide
        And Lemming leaders clash.
        Whole Lemming flocks find cliffs anew
        And towards them do they dash.

Heed the call, Lemming Brothers!
Sister Lemmings to the edge!
Lemmings! Stick together!
This is the Lemming pledge.
        Oddly, Lemming Leaders
        Linger near the back.
        It seems when push has come to shove,
        They leave their Lemming pack....

 

Envoi:  "He was one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions, conceited, half-educated coxcombs, who attach themselves to the idea most in fashion only to vulgarize it and who caricature every cause they serve, however sincerely." Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1917)

 

Addendum of the Crowd:   “A human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence.” Jean-François Revel (1924-2006)

 

Addendum of Chosen Prisons:   "Often the mass emotions are those which seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, 'How could you have believed that?' because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history." Doris Lessing, "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside," 1986.

 

See:   A song setting of Elinor Wylie's  The Eagle and the Mole - (2012)  


 

Musicological Marx - patter song variations on "Mademoiselle from Armentières"

"...whatever the case may be, art is not and cannot be 'a superstructure based on the conditions of production' in accordance with the wishes of the Marxists. Art is an ontological reality, and, in attempting to understand the phenomenon of Russian music, I could not avoid making my analysis more general. ...art presupposed a culture, an upbringing, an integral stability of the intellect, and Russia of today has never been more completely devoid of these." In "The Avatars of Russian Music," Poetics of Music in the form of six lessons," Igor Stravinsky, Random House, 1947.

 

Musicological Marxism, parlez-vous?
Western culture's imperialism? Oui! Beaucoup!
Dead white guys, they all wrote lies,
That's the truth, and it implies...
Musicological Marxism!

Anglo-American Marxism: qui êtes-vous?
Frankfurt had the finest school? Ja! It's true!
"Das Kapital's" a pretty tune;
Radical thinkers gush and swoon.
Musicological Marx! Their hymn!

Postmodern critical theory is parlayed too? Parlez-vous?
Culture's revision is made for you. Oui! Beaucoup!
Throw the past out, for its sins!
All's passé just like zeppelins!
Musicological Marx! That's him!

"Wer hat recht?" is incorrect. Parlez-vous?
"Was ist schön?" means disrespect! Ach! So true!
Beauty is no judge of things,
The coming revolution sings!
Musicological Marxism!

Marx is dead, and he was white! Oh, so true!
Marx was male and, as such, right. No? Says who?
If dead, white guys have written lies,
Why praise this one to the skies?
Feminist, social and queerly emotional
Marks the larks of Marxism!

Is music phallic, or just Gallic?
Is music gendered or have race?
Colonial music plays at conquest,
Imperious music's a disgrace.

Thumb your nose at loveliness? Mais, pourquoi?
"Kult der Häßlichkeit" is such la-di-dah!
Cheeky is as cheeky does,
In the blur of a blinding buzz -
Dick meant Richard -- Wagner or Strauß,
Now it's phallologocentrism's cross-dressing's blouse.

Musicological Marxism, parlez-vous?
Western culture's imperialism? Oui! Beaucoup!
Straight white guys (like Marx?) told lies,
That's the truth, and it implies...more
Musicological Marxism!

 

Envoi:   "Socialist Realism was the official style of Soviet art from the mid-1930s until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It emerged as the result of the state’s efforts to intensify and codify its control over the arts and was charged with transforming the nation’s inhabitants into Soviet citizens—in the words of one of its leading spokesmen, Andrei Zhdanov, effecting the “ideological remolding and education of working people in the spirit of socialism.” Toward this end, Socialist Realist artworks were tasked with the portrayal of the radiant Communist future rather than the actual, often grim conditions of Soviet life." In "Reflections: Socialist Realism and Russian Art," Guggenheim, n.d. circa 2005.

 

 Addendum:   "Socialist Realism was a product of the Soviet system. Whereas in market societies professional artists earned their living selling to, or being commissioned by rich individuals or the Church, in Soviet society not only was the market suppressed, there were few if any individuals able to patronise the arts and only one institution – the State itself. Hence artists became state employees. As such the State set the parameters for what it employed them to do. What was expected of the artist was that he/she be formally qualified and to reach a standard of competence. However, whilst this rewarded basic competency, it did not provide an incentive to excel, resulting in a stultification similar to that in other spheres of Soviet society." In "Socialist realism," Wikipedia article, n.d.

 

 Addendum:   "These agencies enforced their policies not only by promoting fear, but also by controlling the resources playwrights needed to survive: those for both printing and producing a script." In "The Strange Enforcement of Socialist Realism: Soviet Theatre 1917-1960," by Josh Wilson, School of Russian and Asian Studies, 2003.

 

Addendum:   "At its worst, socialist realism was turgid and cliché-ridden. Its heroes were chaste, patriotic, loyal; it featured the leaders of party and state, foremost Joseph Stalin." In "1934: Socialist Realism," Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, Macalester College, n.d.

 

See:    Musicological Marx (2010)    - patter song variations on "Mademoiselle from Armentières"  


 

We Get Nothing - a kindergarten level curricula

"Within 12 years…the largest item in the federal budget will be interest payments on the national debt," said former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. "[They are] payments for which we get nothing." ABC News, WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2010

David said....

 

When we owe too much, we get nothing
But must pay to keep wolves at bay.
When we owe it all, there's simply nothing
To salt away for a rainy day.

        Yesterday's paid with tomorrow;
        Tomorrow has come today.
        Yesterday's gone, today's sorrow
        Is the borrowing which went astray.

When we owe too much, we have been fools
And creditors knock down the doors.
When we owe it all, we've got no tools
To fix what time no longer ignores.

        Yesterday's paid with tomorrow;
        Tomorrow has come today.
        Yesterday's gone, today's sorrow
        Is the borrowing which went astray.

 

Kiddies, your debts are astounding,

Though truthfully, they're not your fault.

Children, the old folks compounding

This error was their foolish assault, for...

 

        Yesterday's paid with tomorrow;
        Tomorrow has come today.
        Yesterday's gone, today's sorrow
        Is the borrowing which went astray.

 

Envoi:   "Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it." Frédéric Bastiat, The Law (1850)

 

See:    Robbery 


 

No More Nonsense

"The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." Carl Jung (1875-1961)

 

Nonsense is sense of a nonsensical sort,
    Which frictions a giggle, a smile or a snort,
For upsense is downsense, as incense, it smells,
    And outsense makes sense when one truly misspells.


Fairsense and foulsense and brightsense and dark
    Are overly sensitive when done for a lark.
Birdbrains make birdsense to feather their nest
    As faculties meet, acadensically dressed.


Sense? You? Us? Sexy in sensible shoes?
    Sense, you all! Clowns and tattooed cuckoos.
Nonsense is sense -- a bull shit from a bull,
    Like high is to low, or a push to a pull.
Bolder dashed bosh is the folly of man,
    Best served hot cold in a steely deadpan.


Rubbish and rot quite like twaddle and tripe,
    With never a pain of regret or a gripe.
Reality weighs quite heavily on scales,
    And nonsense relieves like fish farting on whales.


Silliness, chilliness, frilliness fair,
    It's hilliness nonsense that makes circles square.
Fallow the leader, and checker your chess.
    Read this no more, and your thoughts will egress.

 

Envoi:    "Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense." Robert Frost (1874-1963)

 

Addendum:   "Don’t for heaven’s sake be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense." Ludwig Wittgenstein in "Culture and Value." (1977)

 

See:    Nonsense 


 

Death Knell for the Maids

“The criticism that took place of group travel was really a death knell for the industry,” Tisch said yesterday in an interview at an office of the New York-based holding company, which owns hotels. “It’s easy for the politician to get the sound bite. What they are doing with those sound bites is putting maids and bellmen out of work.” -- Loews CEO Tisch: US did a “good job of killing” hotel business, eTurboNews, Global Travel Industry News, 9 February 2010

Maids and bellmen out of work?
Just politics that's gone berserk.
Hate the business, corporate set?
Hate their perks? The corporate jet?

Well, when the money doesn't flow,
It's little jobs that fade and go.


Maids and bellmen, waiters, clerks,
And not the moneyed folks with perks,
Who lose the largest share of all,
Because their share was ever small,
And when that ups and wanders off,
The class war crap drops in a trough.


If corporate barons are at fault,
I'd add politicians aren't worth their salt.
When government nabobs grow too fat,
There's every chance there's a caveat
To excuse the politician's hefty cost
While calling business a holocaust.


Who gets burned? The jobless maids
Whose very future fades and fades.
The little folks, they rely on jobs
And not on bigmouthed boors and snobs.
Kill a business with a sharpened word
Kills much, much more and is absurd.


        Maids and bellmen out of work?
        Class politics has gone berserk.


 

Chocolate trees

Chocolate trees grow
Much fruit on their limbs,
Aficionados know
The stuff widens, not trims.
But what is the harm
In the race one calls life?
Dear chocolate hath charm
For good man and good wife.


 

Tell Me

Tell the bull that gored you
You're a vegetarian.
To those with hatred toward you,
You're humanitarian.
Use your generalities
To stand upon quicksand,
And pile up adversities
Thinking life quite fairly planned.
Standing in the fast lane
As cars come roaring by
Is certainly to explain
You flattened, by and by.
Tell the many reasons
Why life blind sides you so,
Ignoring all the seasons
Which change, which come and go.
Tell me just how life should be
As if life would play your game,
And I'll watch you in agony
Tilt at windmills, seeking fame.
Each bull is a bull and life is life,
And ne'er the two shall be
Synonymous, for life is rife
With quixotic anomaly.
Tell me what is and what is not,
Even when I have not asked,
And I'll be sure to see you taught
By life, surprisingly unmasked.


 

Corruption

 

"Corrupt public officials continue to devise ingenious and audacious schemes to overcome any obstacle between them and the taxpayers' money." Rose Gill Hearn, in Daily News (NY) Bronx City Council member Larry Seabrook hit with laundry list of corruption charges, 9 February 2010.

Cheer the populist's cheerful line,
        As he on public funds will dine.
"For the children, for justice done,"
        For corruption sings such stuff for fun.
Plead "not guilty" in a court of law,
        And listen for the least guffaw.
All should come to side with him,
        For he thinks most folks are dim.
Perhaps he's right, perhaps it's true,
        For many people have no clue.
Government corrupts because it does,
        Which is why it lies with noisy buzz.
"For the children, for justice done,"
        Is corruption's song which it sings for fun.

 

Envoi:    "All professional politicians are dedicated wholeheartedly to waste and corruption. They are the enemies of every decent man." Minority Report : H.L. Mencken's Notebooks (1956).

 

 Addendum of a Comparison:   "Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former
invariably endangers the morals of the entire country
." Karl Kraus (1874-1936)

 

 Addendum of a Growing Perception:  "Three in four Americans (75%) last year perceived corruption as widespread in the country's government. This figure is up from two in three in 2007 (67%) and 2009 (66%)." In "75% in U.S. See Widespread Government Corruption," Gallup, 19 September 2015.

 

Another Addendum of the Growing Perception:   "Corruption of government officials is currently Americans’ number one fear, according to a recent survey by researchers at Chapman University." In "Here’s What Americans Are Most Afraid Of," by Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, 14 October 2015.

 

Addendum from Detroit:  "From voting fraud to corrupt relations with contractors and financiers to fraudulent accounting on pensions, many American cities are being run more like criminal conspiracies than anything else. And the cost isn’t just the money the politicians steal, or the inflated profits that those doing business with a crooked city can earn or even the sweetheart deals with public sector unions who function as part of the machine." In "Detroit Dems Enrich Wall Street As City Goes Bust," by Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, 15 March 2013.

 

Addendum from New York City:   "Former New York state Sen. Shirley Huntley is planning to plead guilty to mail fraud charges in a new federal case leveled against her, The Post has learned. The Queens Democrat is expected to admit that she used funds from a non-profit organization to benefit herself and family members, a source said." In "Ex-Senator Huntley will cop to mail fraud; pol still faces charges in $30G charity 'sham'," by Mitchell Maddux, New York Post, 25 January 2013.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum from Albany:  "He [State Senator John Sampson] also becomes the 32nd state politician to be indicted or convicted of a crime, censured or otherwise accused of misbehaving in the last seven years. Alan Hevesi, the former state comptroller, went to jail as part of a pension scandal." In "Corruption in Albany," by the Editorial board, New York Times, 6 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Los Angeles:  "The former president of California’s largest union local was found guilty by a federal jury in Los Angeles on Monday of stealing from the low-wage workers he represented. Tyrone Freeman, who led Local 6434 of the Service Employees International Union, was convicted on 14 criminal counts, including embezzlement of union funds, violating tax laws and mail fraud." In "Former SEIU union local president convicted of embezzlement," The Los Angeles Times, 28 January 2013.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum from Florida: "Former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges Monday just before jury selection in his criminal trial was to begin. Greer pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and a single count of money laundering for funneling money from the Republican Party of Florida to a company he set up with his right-hand man." In "Ex-Florida GOP leader Jim Greer pleads guilty to grand theft," Tampa Bay Online, 11 February 2013.

Addendum from Illinois and the Halls of Congress:  "An emotional former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports Jackson was subdued but spoke in a clear voice, telling U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins that he accepts responsibility for his actions. He formally pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements." In "Jackson Jr: ‘I Am Guilty, Your Honor’," CBS Chicago, 20 February 2013.

 

Addendum from San Diego:  "Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor took $2 million from a nonprofit foundation to feed a billion-dollar gambling habit that spanned a nine-year period, federal prosecutors said Thursday." In "O'Connor had $1 billion gambling habit," by Greg Moran, U-T San Diego, 14 February 2013.

 

Addendum of a Michigan Supreme Court Justice:   "Declaring herself 'broken' and 'disgraced,' former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway tearfully took responsibility for fraud Tuesday before a judge sentenced her to a year and a day in prison for concealing assets while she was pleading with a bank for a sale on her underwater home." In "Ex-Justice Diane Hathaway Sentenced To Prison For Real Estate Fraud," by Ed White, Associated Press, 29 May 2013.

 

Addendum of the Chocolate City Politician:   "A jury has just returned guilty verdicts on 20 of the 21 counts of corruption and bribery that Ray Nagin faced in a nine-day trial. Barring a favorable appeal, Nagin, 57, could be sentenced to as much as two decades in a federal penitentiary. Prosecutors used 26 witnesses and reams of documents to detail how Nagin accepted more than $500,000 in payouts, including first-class trips to Jamaica and Manhattan, in exchange for millions of dollars in city contracts. Nagin's spectacular plunge from upstart politician and post-storm persona to convicted felon is more than just another case study in public service gone awry. American history – Louisiana's in particular – is littered with similar cases of politicians on the take." "First Take: Ex-New Orleans mayor Nagin convicted," by Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, 12 February 2014.    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum from Dixon: "'You stole an astronomical amount of money from the city, you crippled the city,' U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard told Rita Crundwell, as he sentenced her to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison – just shy of the maximum 20 years." In "Rita Crundwell Sentencing: Nearly 20 Years For Ex-Comptroller Who Stole $53 Million From Town," by Don Babwin, Huffington Post, 14 February 2013.

 

Addendum from tiny Central Falls:  "Charles D. Moreau, ex-mayor of Central Falls, the state's poorest city, was sentenced Tuesday morning to 2 years in prison on a federal corruption charge. U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell said that Moreau, 49, deserved a stiff sentence for betraying the public's trust. 'Public corruption has many victims,' McConnell said. 'The sad part of today is that it's nothing new for the state.' " In "Former Central Falls mayor Moreau sentenced to 2 years for corruption," by W. Zachary Malinowski, Providence Journal, 12 February 2013.

 

Addendum II from Illinois and the Halls of Congress:  "Call it Chicago corruption at its worst or simply uncanny coincidence, but residents of Illinois' 2nd Congressional District haven't been represented in Congress in more than three decades by someone who didn't end up in serious ethical or legal trouble." In "Jackson Jr.'s district has history of corruption," by Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, 23 February 2013.

 

Addendum from Santa Clara County:   "The District Attorney's Office investigation concluded that Shirakawa gambled away more than $100,000 in political and public funds over the past five years -- a pattern of "prolonged deception" aided by a secret slush fund, untraceable cash, forged signatures and false and perjured campaign filings." In "DA: Supervisor George Shirakawa deceived public for years, had a secret slush fund," by Karen de Sá and Tracy Seipel, Mercury News, 1 March 2013.

 

Addendum from Detroit again:   "Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday of a range of corruption charges after prosecutors said he presided over a breathtaking profit machine by rigging contracts and demanding bribes. Kilpatrick was found guilty of racketeering, extortion, bribery and other charges. The racketeering count alone carries up to 20 years in prison." In "Ex-Detroit mayor Kilpatrick convicted of range of corruption charges," by Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News, 11 March 2013.

 

Addendum from the New Jersey Turnpike: "Supplied with the 85-page report, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane earlier this month filed criminal charges against eight men, including former State Sen. Robert Mellow (D., Lackawanna) and one of Compton's predecessors, former Turnpike chief executive Joseph Brimmeier. The grand jury said top turnpike officials solicited contractors for campaign contributions to favored politicians, including then-Gov. Ed Rendell, and took gifts of international travel, sports events, and lavish meals. In return, the contributors' companies received multimillion-dollar contracts, even when other bidders were less expensive and more qualified, the report said." In "New Pa. Turnpike head says he's ready to face down corruption," by Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer (Philadelphia), 1 April 2013.

 

Addendum from Oak Ridge: "The March 22 Office of Inspector General report found the agency awarded the salaries to 10 executives as part of a $2.2 billion environmental cleanup contract in 2011 at the East Tennessee Technology Park, in the city of Oak Ridge. The investigation found a senior management official at the Oak Ridge Office approved the salaries -- which exceeded the HR-approved market-value rates -- without proper authority. The 25-page report cited two “extreme cases” of overpayment: a $337,581 salary that exceeded the market rate by 82 percent and a $299,800 salary that was 74 percent higher than the market rate of $164,889." In "Watchdog: Energy Department skirted rules to pay contractor execs $300G salaries," FoxNews, 1 April 2013.

 

Addendum from New York City again:  'It’s a stunning and wide-ranging public corruption scandal. Six highly-placed politicians are accused of using bribery to rig this year’s New York City mayoral race. There were three distinct parts to the public corruption and bribery scandal, but in all three money flowed freely and, at times, city and state funds — your tax dollars — paid the freight, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday. 'The charges we unsealed today demonstrate once again that a ‘show me the money’ culture seems to pervade every level of New York government,' U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said." In "Sen. Malcolm Smith Arrested In Alleged Plot To Rig New York City Mayor’s Race," CBS New York, 2 April 2013.   See:   Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides 

 

Addendum from Auburn Teachers Association:   "Five months later, we are still investigating. Nonetheless, we are at the point where we can be transparent and open to the Association membership, but also confident that our suspicions are backed up by fact. A forensic investigation has preliminary found that at least $800,000 of dues was misappropriated by our former president between 2006 and Fall 2012. It appears that money earmarked for the Association was instead used for meals, gasoline, trips, gambling, clothing, grocery shopping - and for cash advances. NYSUT is still in the process of disentangling the Association's finances. Because some old financial records are unavailable, we may never know the full extent of the misappropriations." From a letter by Cheryl Miskell, President of the Auburn Teachers Association to its members, in "ATA letter to members," AuburnPub.com, April 2013.

 

Addendum from the USDA: "Unsurprisingly, this cash bonanza spawned a cottage industry of mountebanks and small-time frauds, including a few who toured the churches of the rural South recruiting “farmers” to stake their claims in lieu of reparations. And the number of claims exploded. Some claimants were as young as four years old; others had their forms filled out by lawyers just to 'keep the line moving.' There were many reports of duplicative, even identical forms written in the same hand. In some towns, the number of claimants exceeded the number of farms there operated — by individuals of any race. The Times quotes several USDA employees whose job was to process — and ultimately rubber-stamp — these claims. 'You couldn’t have designed it worse if you had tried,' one says of the process. 'You knew it was wrong,' says another, 'but what could you do? Who is going to listen to you?' 'Basically, it was a rip-off of the American taxpayers,' says a third." In "Pigford Forever," by the editors, National Review Online, 29 April 2013.

 

Addendum from Arkansas: "Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner has been arrested for extortion by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being held in Pulaski County Jail, the Associated Press reported Saturday. FBI spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell told the AP that Shoffner was arrested Saturday at her home in Newport and is scheduled for a federal court hearing Monday. Brunell said Shoffner was arrested on charges of 'extortion under color of official right.' " In "State Treasurer Martha Shoffner Arrested for Extortion by FBI," Arkansa Business, 18 May 2013.

 

Addendum from New York again:   "Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino, who happens to live primarily in Congers and is Clarkstown’s tax certiorari attorney, was arrested for allegedly selling the mayoral ballot line in New York City to Senator Malcolm Smith of the Independent Democratic Caucus, also arrested. New York City mayoral scandal, which had officials colluding to make the Democrat Smith the GOP nominee in exchange for cash, also led to the arrest of Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) and Queens GOP vice chairman Vincent Tabone." In "Corruption Bombshell Shakes Rockland, New York City, and Albany," Rockland County Times, 2 April 2013.

 

 Addendum from Texas: "A former Texas prosecutor and one-time candidate for Congress was convicted Friday of accepting bribes in exchange for court favors, including an $80,000 payment in a scheme that allowed a convicted murder to escape. Jurors convicted former Cameron County District Attorney Armanda Villalobos on racketeering, bribery and extortion charges." In "Jury convicts former South Texas DA of corruption," Seattle PI, 24 May 2013.

 

Addendum from West Memphis: "District Judge Kristine Baker sentenced a former West Memphis councilman and a West Memphis police officer for a conspiracy to commit election fraud. Former West Memphis City Councilman Phillip Wayne Carter, 44, and former West Memphis Police Officer Sam Malone, 32, were sentenced Wednesday. They pleaded guilty in September, along with former Democratic representative Hudson Hallum." In "Former West Memphis councilman, police officer sentenced for conspiracy to commit election fraud," WMCTV, 23 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Hamilton County: "A former Hamilton County poll worker was convicted Tuesday of illegal voting and could go to prison for up to six years for it. Melowese Richardson, 58, of Madisonville pleaded no contest to four counts of illegal voting – including voting three times for a relative who has been in a coma since 2003 – in exchange for prosecutors dropping four other illegal voting charges. Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman immediately convicted her, making her a felon. A poll worker from 1998 until being fired this year, Richardson admitted she voted illegally in the 2008, 2011 and 2012 elections." In "Poll worker convicted of voting fraud" by Kimball Perry, Cincinnati.com, 28 May 2013.

 

Addendum of the IRS: "The world is learning about the corruption of the IRS in targeting conservative groups, including various Tea Party organizations, for heightened scrutiny. But the corruption goes much deeper than harassing groups seeking first time non-profit designations, into actively sabotaging existing non-profit groups by releasing confidential information. In March of 2012 the Human Rights Campaign published a confidential tax return of the National Organization for Marriage, which was immediately republished by The Huffington Post and other liberal news media outlets. The release of  NOM's confidential tax return to the Human Rights Campaign is the canary in the coal mine of IRS corruption. Contrary to assertions that the targeting of Tea Party groups was an error in judgment by low-level IRS bureaucrats, the release of NOM's confidential data to a group headed by an Obama campaign co-chair suggests the possibility of complicity at the highest levels of politics and government." In "IRS commits political sabotage," by John Eastman, USA Today, 30 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Virginia: "A northern Virginia businessman was sentenced Friday to more than two years in prison for illegally funneling nearly $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's political campaigns in 2006 and 2008. William Danielczyk, 51, of Oakton pleaded guilty in February to violating campaign-finance laws by reimbursing employees of his company, Galen Capital, and others who were recruited to attend fundraisers and make contributions Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns." Clinton supporter gets 2 years for funneling cash," by Matthew Barakat, Associated Press, 31 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Florida: "Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests. Friday afternoon, Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the chief of staff — also the congressman’s top political strategist — took responsibility for the plot. Hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of another of Joe Garcia’s employees and a former campaign aide in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter." In "Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff implicated in phantom absentee-ballot requests scheme," by Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald, 31 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Nevada:  "A Nevada powerbroker who headed a billion-dollar real estate company and pulled the strings of state politics as a prominent lobbyist for more than a decade was convicted Wednesday of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. Harvey Whittemore, 59, could face up to 15 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts tied to nearly $150,000 illegally funneled to Reid's re-election campaign in 2007." In "Developer Guilty of Illegal Contributions to Reid," by Scott Sonner, Associated Press via Huffington Post, 29 May 2013.     [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of an ex-Senator Stealing from a Nonprofit:  "Pedro Espada Jr., the former state senator who was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a nonprofit health care network he ran, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday, during a hearing that showcased Mr. Espada’s defiance until the very end." In "Espada Sentenced to 5 Years for Stealing From Nonprofit," by Mosi Secret, 14 June 2013.

 

Addendum from the Campaign Trail:   "Saying he used his campaign fund as 'a personal piggy bank,' a federal judge sentenced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to 2 ½ years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign money to fund a lavish lifestyle. And, despite defense pleas to spare his wife from also going to prison, Judge Amy Berman Jackson (who is not related to the couple) sentenced former Ald. Sandi Jackson to 12 months in prison. The couple appeared stunned to learn both would be going to prison, with Jackson Jr. rocking in his chair in the courtroom, holding his head in his hands after the judge’s ruling. Sandi sat down, laid her head on the defense table, and sobbed after learning her fate." In "Both Jacksons Going To Prison For Misusing Campaign Funds," CBS News, 14 August 2013.

 

Addendum of Three Mayors in Handcuffs:   " 'We bought the trifecta,' said Carla Miller, the ethics officer for Jacksonville and a former federal prosecutor. 'It’s bad when three mayors get led out in handcuffs. What’s left of the public trust gets ground into little pieces.' Not that such situations are unusual in Florida, which led the country in convictions of public officials — 781 — between 2000 and 2010, according to Department of Justice figures. 'Florida has become the corruption capital of America,' said Dan Krassner, the executive director of a watchdog group, Integrity Florida, citing statistics going back to 1976 and the 'significant number of public officials arrested this year and last'." In "Arrests of 3 Mayors Reinforce Florida’s Notoriety as a Hothouse for Corruption," by Nick Madigan, New York Times, 1 September 2013.

 

Addendum from the EPA:   "...Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve. He faces up to three years in prison. Beale, 64, who was a senior policy adviser in the Office of Air and Radiation, is expected to plead guilty at a hearing scheduled for Monday at U.S. District Court in Washington. 'This is a situation where one individual went to great lengths to deceive and defraud the U.S. government,' said EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson." In "Former senior EPA adviser Beale expected to plead guilty in $900,000 pay fraud," by Ann E. Marimow and Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post, 5 September 2013.

 

Addendum from Chicago Again:   "Golden appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough in Springfield to plead guilty to a charge of bribery and theft and also obstruction of justice. She admitted she accepted kickbacks involving state deals between July 2007 and April 2008 and then tried to cover up the scheme. In all, prosecutors said Golden stole $433,000, though, in her plea, Golden said she believes the amount is 'less than $400,000'." In "Ex-aide to Obama pal pleads guilty to stealing taxpayer funds." by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times, 10 April 2014.

 

Addendum of Food Stamp Abuse:   "Food stamp fraud is a 'significant problem' in Rhode Island. That was the message U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha sent Thursday when he announced that nine people are facing criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program out of more than $3 million. During a two-year undercover investigation, Neronha said eight Rhode Island residents and one New York man were found to be illegally allowing food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to obtain cash in exchange for a large surcharge at five Providence convenience stores." In "9 charged in $3M dollar food stamp fraud case," by Dan McGowan and Tim White, WPRI News, 5 September 2013.

 

 Addendum of Defrauding State Grants:   "The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield has been busy the past few years investigating a variety of fraud schemes involving state grants. Thirteen people have been charged so far, six who have pleaded guilty. Two of them have ties to President Barack Obama. One is the daughter of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Another was chief of staff to Obama’s longtime friend Eric E. Whitaker when Whitaker was Illinois’ public health chief. In all, prosecutors are alleging a total of $16 million in fraud involving state health or commerce department grants and contracts." In "WATCHDOGS: Tally in Illinois grant-fraud probe so far: 13 charged, $16M embezzled," by Chris Fusco, Chicago Sun-Times, 9 September 2013.

 

Addendum from Baltimore:   "A federal grand jury indicted nine Baltimore retail storeowners for a food stamp fraud scheme that netted at least $7 million over the last three years. According to officials, the storeowners would allegedly debit food stamp cards for cash instead of food and split the proceeds. The food stamp scheme has been going on since 2010, officials said during a Sept. 17 news conference. U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge William G. Squires Jr. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the indictment, stating that the retailers received federal transactions in which they did not provide any food—a fraud scheme commonly known as food stamp trafficking." In "Nine Balto. Retailers Arrested for Food Stamp Fraud," by Blair Adams, AFRO, 19 September 2013. 

 

Addendum from Trenton:   "Although he has proclaimed his innocence since FBI agents raided his home and City Hall, Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was found guilty today. A jury returned the verdict after seven and a half hours of deliberations, saying that the first-term mayor is guilty of all counts in his corruption trial. Mack stood trial beside his brother Ralphiel Mack who was found guilty of three of the six counts against him. 'The jury’s verdict solidly affirms what we first charged more than a year ago – that Tony Mack, with the helping hands of his brother and their cohorts, sold the mayor’s office and sold out the people of Trenton,' U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. 'We are very grateful to the members of the jury for their service'." In "Trenton Mayor Tony Mack found guilty on all counts in federal corruption trial," by Jenna Pizzi, Times of Trenton, 7 February 2014.

 

Addendum from New Jersey Again:     "He admitted to causing mortgage lenders to fund $4.7 million worth of mortgages based on false and fraudulent loan applications and closing documents. Twelve conspirators not charged in the superseding indictment have already pleaded guilty to the mortgage fraud scheme...." In "Former Kearny councilman pleads guilty in $13 million mortgage fraud scheme," by Ron Zeitlinger, Jersey Journal, 9 March 2015.

 

Addendum of the Red Light District:   "A fired executive from one of New Jersey’s red-light camera vendors contends in a lawsuit filed in Arizona that the company provided lavish gifts and bribes to government officials in 13 states — including New Jersey — to secure new contracts. The brief but bombshell reference to New Jersey and other states in a 13-page counterclaim was made by Aaron Rosenberg, former nationwide lead salesman for Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix. He did not mention specific municipalities from any of the states. Rosenberg noted in the suit that Redflex 'bestowed gifts and bribes on ... officials in dozens of municipalities within, but not limited to the following states: California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia.' He said Redflex bribed local officials with meals, golf outings and tickets to professional football and baseball games. The expenses were listed as categories such as 'entertainment' and 'celebratory tokens,' according to the suit." In "Fired red-light camera executive: Company bribed officials in 13 states, including NJ," by Mike Frassinelli, Star-Ledger, 8 February 2014.

 

Addendum from Madison County:   "Vassen, 56, a real estate lawyer from Shiloh, made nearly $697,000 in “excessive interest” from the rigged sales, Herndon said, in return for an average annual political contribution of $4,530. McLean, 51, lives in Belleville and works for two securities firms. He made $686,000 in excessive interest for an average donation of $4,590, Herndon said. ...Bathon, elected to office as a Democrat, strategically seated top campaign contributors in front of auctioneers to drown out the bids of others in the room, officials said. In 2007, officials said, 99 percent of the tax liens went to bidders at the statutory maximum interest rate of 18 percent. The rates dropped sharply under Bathon’s successors. Wednesday’s hearings shed new light on the scheme, which began in 2004 when Bathon asked several regular buyers what they thought of allowing only one bid on each property, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Weinhoeft said." In "Two who benefited from rigged Madison County tax sales get prison time," by Robert Patrick, Post-Dispatch/St. Louis Today, 19 February 2014.

 

 Addendum from California:   "A former chief executive of the country's biggest public pension fund admitted that he took more than $250,000 in bribes and other valuable gifts from a friend and co-defendant in an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the pension investment world five years ago. Federico R. Buenrostro Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to one federal charge of conspiracy to commit corruption and fraud in funneling deals through his friend, Alfred J.R. Villalobos, for outside firms to manage funds for the California Public Employees' Retirement System." In "Former CEO of CalPERS pleads guilty to fraud, corruption charge," by Mark Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2014.

 

Addendum II from California:   "State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) was taken into custody Monday after surrendering to federal authorities in Los Angeles, officials announced. Calderon, who was indicted last week on corruption charges and accused of taking $100,000 in bribes, is scheduled to appear for arraignment in federal court later in the day, according to the U.S. attorney's office. He faces 24 counts of fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns. Federal authorities allege that Calderon, 56, took the bribes from a Long Beach hospital official as well as people connected to what he believed was a Hollywood studio. In fact, the studio was an FBI front and the business associates were FBI agents. Calderon, who faces up to 395 years in prison, allegedly took kickbacks from former Long Beach hospital operator Michael Drobot, who perpetrated what authorities described as one of the largest healthcare fraud schemes in California history." In "Sen. Ron Calderon surrenders to authorities in corruption case," by Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 24 February 2014.

 

Addendum from New York:   "On Tuesday, authorities rounded up 28 suspects, including 16 more retired police officers, four former firefighters, and a retired New York City Department of Corrections employee, the source told Reuters. Vance said the total amount stolen from taxpayers could reach $400 million." In "More retired NY firefighters, cops arrested in pension fraud probe," by Victoria Cavaliere, Reuters, 25 February 2014.

 

 Addendum from Arkansas:   "A jury convicted former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner of federal bribery and extortion charges Tuesday, saying her acceptance of $36,000 from a bond trader who did business with the state was a felony rather than just a lapse in ethical judgment. Shoffner wept quietly at the defense table before the jurors, who deliberated for about three hours, returned to the courtroom. But the former Democratic official regained her composure and showed no reaction as U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes read the 14 consecutive guilty verdicts." In "Federal jury convicts former Arkansas treasurer," by Chuck Bartels, Associated Press, 12 March 2014.

 

Addendum from - yup - Chicago again, via Pakistan:   "Pakistani authorities said Wednesday they have jailed and intend to charge Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former city comptroller Amer Ahmad after taking him into custody Monday with a fake Mexican passport, a forged visa to enter their country and a large amount of cash. Ahmad was carrying about $146,000 and 126,000 euros in cash when he was stopped by authorities Monday morning at the international airport in Lahore, said Usman Anwar, the Punjab region director for the Federal Investigation Agency, the Pakistani equivalent of the FBI. The Internet search turned up articles about Ahmad's corruption conviction in Ohio, where he was deputy state treasurer before joining the Emanuel administration in 2011. Ahmad, 39, has pleaded guilty in that case. Federal authorities in Ohio obtained a warrant Friday for his arrest for violating the terms of his release on bail. Ahmad had been free pending his sentencing and had continued to live in Chicago since resigning from his $165,000-a-year City Hall post last summer." In "Ex-Rahm aide Amer Ahmad jailed by Pakistani authorities," by Dan Mihalopoulos, Chicago Sun-Times, 30 April 2014.    [ 5 ]

 

 Addendum from Poughkeepsie:  "Former Dutchess County Legislator Fred Knapp, once a major player in the county’s Democratic Party, has been charged with stealing nearly $400,000 from the town of Beekman while serving as the town’s comptroller, according to the county District Attorney’s Office." In "Former Dutchess County Democratic power player Fred Knapp charged with stealing $390K from town of Beekman," by Patricia Doxsey, Daily Freeman, 23 May 2014.

 

 Addendum for the Health Care Dialogue and Rampant Fraud:   "Investigators in New York were looking for health-care fraud hot-spots. Agents suggested Oceana, a cluster of luxury condos in Brighton Beach. The 865-unit complex had a garage full of Porsches and Aston Martins—and 500 residents claiming Medicaid, which is meant for the poor and disabled. Though many claims had been filed legitimately, some looked iffy. Last August six residents were charged. Within weeks another 150 had stopped claiming assistance, says Robert Byrnes, one of the investigators. Health care is a tempting target for thieves. Medicaid doles out $415 billion a year; Medicare (a federal scheme for the elderly), nearly $600 billion. Total health spending in America is a massive $2.7 trillion, or 17% of GDP. No one knows for sure how much of that is embezzled, but in 2012 Donald Berwick, a former head of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Andrew Hackbarth of the RAND Corporation, estimated that fraud (and the extra rules and inspections required to fight it) added as much as $98 billion, or roughly 10%, to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending—and up to $272 billion across the entire health system." In "The $272 billion swindle - Why thieves love America’s health-care system," Economist, 31 May 2014.

 

Addendum from Texas, Again:   "Guadalupe 'Lupe' Treviño, a Democrat, was convicted in July on a federal conspiracy charge after he admitted taking cash from a drug trafficker, but his party's leaders are confident the seat won't go to Al Perez, a Republican candidate with three decades of law enforcement experience. Analysts say that's because candidates with anything but a "D" by their names are few and far between in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region. 'The corruption is defined more in the context of corrupt politicians' and not Republican versus Democrat, said Dr. Jerry Polinard, a political science professor at the University of Texas-Pan American." In "Corruption case casts shadow over Hidalgo County race," by Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune, 4 September 2014.

 

Addendum of the Veterans Administration:   ""...systemic corruption at one of our biggest federal agencies. The Department of Veterans Affairs employs more than 300,000 people and has an annual budget that’s increased from $98 billion in 2009 to more than $153 billion today. Of those 300,000-plus workers, a stunningly low number are primary-care doctors — 5,100. And though the VA’s budget has increased almost 60 percent in the past three years to keep up with an increase of almost 50 percent in patients, the number of VA doctors has increased by only 9 percent. Small wonder that there are long waits; bureaucrats and administrators don’t treat patients." In "The VA Bureaucracy on Trial," by Lee Habeeb, National Review, 9 June 2014.      [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of More Health Care Fraud:   "Gwendolyn Climmons-Johnson, 54, was convicted by a federal jury in Houston, Texas, on October 30, 2013, of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Climmons-Johnson was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $972,132 in restitution. According to evidence presented at trial, Climmons-Johnson was the owner and operator of Urgent Response EMS, a Texas-based entity that purportedly provided non-emergency ambulance services to Medicare beneficiaries in the Houston area. The evidence showed that from January 2010 through December 2011, Climmons-Johnson and others conspired to enrich themselves by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for ambulance services that were medically unnecessary and/or not provided. Climmons-Johnson, who controlled the day-to-day operations of Urgent Response, submitted, and caused to be submitted, approximately $2.4 million in fraudulent ambulance service claims to Medicare." In "Houston Ambulance Operator Sentenced for Her Role in $2.4 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, 13 June 2014.    [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Yet More Health Care Fraud:   "In the years leading up to being indicted for fraud, Drobot was a prolific donor to California Democrats. While Calderon’s case remains unresolved, Drobot has struck a plea deal in which he admitted to funneling bribes to Calderon. He also acknowledged overstating the price of medical implants for which he sought reimbursements and paying kickbacks to doctors and marketers who brought patients to Drobot’s hospitals. Now one of those patients has sued doctors, hospitals and medical device distributors allegedly wrapped up in the scheme. Mary Cavalieri underwent multiple spinal surgeries at Drobot’s Pacific Hospital and said knockoff devices were inserted into her spine. Cavalieri’s suit includes lurid details about bribes the purveyors of allegedly fake screws and plates paid to surgeons." In "California medical fraud included fake spinal screws, lawsuit alleges," by Jeremy B. White, Sacramento Bee, 18 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Even More Health Care Fraud:   "Prominent New Orleans businesswoman Lisa Crinel, the 2004 Zulu Queen, faces federal charges in a scheme prosecutors say defrauded Medicaid for $30 million for bogus home health care fees, according to an indictment announced Thursday (March 12) by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite. Crinel, 51, the owner of Abide Home Health Services, was one of 20 people named in the 26-count indictment alleging that from 2008 until charges were filed Thursday, her company was the centerpiece of a scam that charged Medicaid program for services clients either didn't need or were never performed." In "Lisa Crinel, former Zulu queen, charged in alleged $30 million Medicare fraud scheme," by Andy Grimm, Times-Picayune, 12 March 2015.

 

 Addendum of Continuing Health Care Fraud:  "In the Detroit area, sixteen individuals, including six doctors, a social worker, a pharmacist and two physical therapists were charged with a variety of health care fraud and kickback schemes totaling over $122 million. The schemes involved services that were medically unnecessary or never rendered, including physician visits, hospice care, home health care, and the billing but not dispensing of pharmaceuticals. In addition, law enforcement agents executed search warrants at eight locations and seizure warrants of 24 bank accounts related to the alleged schemes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has moved to suspend 14 providers associated with the schemes." In "Sixteen Charged in Detroit Area as Part of Largest National Medicare Fraud Takedown in History," Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, 18 June 2015.

 

Addendum of Texas again:   "Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was arrested today as a result of a 13- count indictment which claims the powerful Texas Democrat took $950,000 in bribes. Wiley’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, confirmed that he was arrested early Friday morning and is in Federal custody. The indictment indicates Wiley received the bribes in the form of cash, cars and property and that he and his political operatives used the ill-gotten gains to commit tax and mail fraud. ...“The indictment unsealed today alleges that for more than a decade, in a shocking betrayal of public trust, Commissioner Price sold his office on the Dallas County Commissioners Court in exchange for a steady stream of bribes,” U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña said. John Wiley Price has been a lightning-rod for controversy for much of his political career for his bombastic and often racist statements." In "Dallas Democrat John Wiley Price Arrested on Fraud Charges," Dignitas News, 25 July 2014.      [ 8 ]

 

Addendum from California, Again:   "Wright, a Democrat from Los Angeles County, was convicted of perjury in January for lying about his residence and later was suspended with pay from the Senate. Wright's was the first of three unrelated cases against Democratic lawmakers who were suspended and cost the party its supermajority in the Senate. Wright said he listed an Inglewood property as his residence so he could run in 2008 to represent the 25th Senate District, but jurors found he actually lived in a single-family home in Baldwin Hills, in a different Senate district." In "State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case," by Judy Lin, Associated Press, 15 September 2014.

 

Addendum of 1.8 Million Small Coins:   "Rica, who was making $86,000 a year with the village, would then deposit all of the coins he had taken into personal accounts he had with several different banks, Keitel said." In "Ex-Ridgewood inspector apologizes for stealing $460,000 in quarters," by Chris Harris, The Record NJ, 9 July 2014.

 

 Addendum of a Public Employees Retirement Fund Manager:   "Fred Buenrostro pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit corruption and fraud charges stemming from a conspiracy to trade official acts for cash and benefits, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Inspector in Charge Rafael E. Nunez, FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson, and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Andrew Adelmann. Buenrostro is the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). In pleading guilty, Buenrostro admitted to conspiring with Alfred J. Villalobos, founder and operator of ARVCO Capital Research LLC (ARVCO). Buenrostro acknowledged in court today that he understood that Villalobos operated ARVCO as a placement agent that solicited investments by public pension funds into private equity funds. Buenrostro also admitted that he understood that ARVCO was typically paid an agreed-upon fee based on the percentage of the total dollar amount invested by the public pension fund." In "Former CalPERS CEO Fred Buenrostro Pleads Guilty To Corruption Conspiracy," Sierra Sun Times, 12 July 2014.

  

Addendum of the Corruption of Science:  "A former Iowa State University scientist who admitted faking lab results to obtain millions in grant money for AIDS research has been charged with four felony counts of making false statements, an indictment filed in federal court shows. Dr. Dong Pyou Han left his job as an assistant professor and a laboratory manager at the university last year after admitting that he spiked rabbit blood with human antibodies that made it appear the animals' immune systems were reacting to an AIDS vaccine being tested. In reality, the vaccine was having little effect, according to Han's indictment." In "Scientist who faked AIDS research indicted," by Grant Rodgers, The Des Moines Register, 19 June 2014.

 

Addendum of Yet More from Corruption from Illinois:   " Ronald Evans Jr., husband of former Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans, pleaded guilty in August to federal charges of money laundering and wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of Illinois. Regina Evans was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution in May after she pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Her brother, Ricky McCoy, pleaded guilty in August to money laundering and obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to six months in prison and six month’s home confinement. Prosecutors say Regina Evans and her husband used a $1.25 million state grant — intended for her nonprofit, We Are Our Brother’s Keeper — for personal expenses and gave some of the money to family, friends and associates." In " Husband of former Country Club Hills police chief sentenced." by Megan Graham, Chicago Sun-Times Media Wire, 25 July 2014.

 

 Addendum of a Cyber Security Director for the HHS:   "Former acting director of cyber security for the Department of Health and Human Services Timothy DeFoggi was convicted for a myriad of gruesome child pornography charges Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced. DeFoggi, who had top security clearance in his capacity as cyber security director, first joined the child pornography website PedoBook in March 2012. The Omaha World-Herald reported that he was arrested in April of last year, when law enforcement officials serving a search warrant found him downloading child pornography in his home." In "Former HHS Cyber Security Director Convicted For Child Porn," by Trstyn Bloom, Daily Caller, 26 August 2014.

 

Addendum asking Where's Waldo:   "Over the years multiple complaints have been filed against the Waldo Police Department in regards to the tactics used by their police force. And with every complaint, city officials turned their heads. Yesterday, five Waldo Police Officers came forward and told city council that they had been under strict orders to meet a quota for traffic tickets under the command of Waldo Police Chief Mike Szabo and City Manager Kim Worley. Writing tickets to meet a quota is against the law in Florida. Officer Brandon Roberts told council members that officers were required to write 12 tickets per 12-hour shift and if they did not they would face disciplinary action. Roberts also provided e-mails as evidence. Roberts also said that Chief Szabo kept a cooler in his office filled with drugs that had been seized instead of keeping them properly locked away in evidence. 'Anyone could have access to the cooler, even the cleaning crew,' said Roberts." In "Corruption in the City of Waldo exposed," Ocala Post, 30 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Fraud at Housing and Urban Development:   " 'Brian Thompson exploited his government job to rob the American taxpayer of more than $800,000,' said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. 'This crooked HUD employee diverted the proceeds of real estate sales from the U.S. Treasury to his own pockets through lies and trickery. He now faces serious prison time as a result of criminal breach of the public trust'." In "HUD Official Pleads Guilty To Stealing $843,000 In Taxpayer Funds," by Tristyn Bloom, Daily Caller, 3 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Federal False Evidence and Direct Financial Interest:   "...the defendants filed an action this week to set aside the $55 million settlement because, as the defendants allege, 'the United States presented false evidence to the Defendants and the Court; advanced arguments to the Court premised on that false evidence; or, for which material evidence had been withheld, and obtaining court rulings based thereon; prepared key Moonlight Fire investigators for depositions, and allowed them to repeatedly give false testimony about the most important aspects of their investigation; and failed to disclose the facts and circumstances associated with the Moonlight Fire lead investigator’s direct financial interest in the outcome of the investigation arising from an illegal bank account that has since been exposed and terminated.' The Sacramento Bee reported on the Defendant’s filing. Indeed, the Defendants’ motion informs us that a former Assistant United States Attorney came forward and disclosed that he believes that he was removed from the original prosecution by 'his boss, David Shelledy, chief of the civil division in the United States Attorney’s office,' because he “rebuffed” pressure to 'engage in unethical conduct as a lawyer'." In "Fed Up With Govt Misconduct, Federal Judge Takes Nuclear Option," by Sidney Powell, New York Observer, 15 October 2014.

 

Addendum of New York's Democrat Corruption:   "Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the longtime Albany power broker, surrendered Thursday to face multimillion dollar federal corruption charges. A stunning five-count criminal complaint accused the Manhattan Democrat, a state political fixture for decades, with pocketing roughly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks in return for wielding his massive influence. 'Speaker Silver lied and misled the public about his outside incomes,' U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a news conference hours after Silver turned himself in." In "NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver accused of $4 million bribery and kickback scheme, taken into custody," by Kenneth Lovett, John Marzulli and Greg B. Smith, New York Daily News, 22 January 2015.    [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of  New York's Further Democrat Corruption:   "...he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. 'As alleged, Trebitsch took $7 million in investor money under false pretenses,' said Diego Rodriguez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office. 'Allegedly promising double-digit returns to investors, Trebitsch suffered losses on what money he did invest.' Instead of making his unwitting clients tons of money, Trebitsch suffered 'enormous losses,' which he failed to disclose to investors, officials said. He also used investors’ money to cover personal expenses and to pay back other investors, officials said." In "Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law arrested, accused of defrauding investors with $7M Ponzi scheme," by Bill Hutchinson, New York Daily News, 13 April 2015.

 

Addendum of New York's Republican Corruption:   "Dean G. Skelos, the once powerful Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate who was convicted with his son in December on federal corruption charges, was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison." In "Dean Skelos Is Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Corruption Case," by Benjamin Weiser and Vivian Yeemay, New York Times, 12 May 2016.

 

Addendum of Corruption at the Port of Los Angeles:   "Ronald Jerome Boyd — chief of the Port of Los Angeles’ 128-officer force for more than a decade — faces charges of wire fraud, making false statements to federal agents and tax evasion, according to the 16-count indictment. The charging document alleges that Boyd, who once worked as the valet to singer Ray Charles, defrauded the city 'by means of bribery and kickbacks' and provided confidential information about the port to the software vendor." In "L.A. Port police chief indicted in alleged fraud scheme," by Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 30 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Ohio Corruption:  "A former chief executive officer of the red-light camera company Redflex has pleaded guilty to bribing Columbus elected officials - including Council President Andrew Ginther - through the Ohio Democratic Party to install the cameras and keep them operating in the city. Karen L. Finley, 55, of Cave Creek, Ariz., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, according a press release from Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio." In "City Council President Andy Ginther caught up in red-light camera bribe case," by Lucas Sullivan and Darrel Rowland, Columbus Dispatch, 19 June 2015.

 

Addendum of a Very Long Litany of Complaints for Harrisburg:   "Charges filed against Reed Tuesday morning are the result of a statewide investigating grand jury, which has been looking into various areas of city governance during the latter portion of Reed's 28-year tenure as mayor. Charges filed against Reed include: two counts of running a corrupt organization; two counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities; two counts of theft by deception, a first grade felony; one count of theft by deception, a third grade felony; one count of theft by deception, a second grade felony; seven counts of bribery; 158 counts of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions; one count of tampering with evidence; one count of deceptive business practices; three counts of criminal solicitation to tamper with public records; three counts of theft of services, a third grade felony; 29 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a third grade felony; 29 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a third grade felony; 110 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a first grade misdemeanor; 110 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a first degree misdemeanor; 20 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a second grade felony; and 20 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a second degree felony." In "Here's the list of criminal charges filed against ex-Mayor Stephen Reed," by Julianne Mattera, Pennlive, 14 July 2015.     [ 11 ]

 

Addendum of a Pennsylvania Congressman:   "A jury has convicted veteran U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah in a racketeering case that largely centered on various efforts to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan. Fattah was found guilty of all 22 counts against him, including racketeering, fraud and money laundering. His lawyers had argued that schemes were engineered without Fattah's knowledge by two political consultants who pleaded guilty in the case." In "Rep. Chaka Fattah Guilty on All Counts in Corruption Trial," NBC & Wire Reports, Philadelphia, 21 June 2016.

 

 Addendum from Chicago Again:   "The daughter of President Barack Obama's former pastor was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for her role in a state grant fraud scheme. Jeri Wright, 49, was convicted in March 2014 of money laundering, and lying to federal investigators and a grand jury. She's been in jail since earlier this year, when U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough revoked Wright's bail when she found probable cause that Wright was involved in a ghost payrolling scheme at an Indiana plastics company while on bond." In "Daughter of Obama's ex-pastor gets 2 years in prison in state grant fraud," Tribune Wire Report, Chicago Tribune, 9 July 2015.

  

Addendum of a State Department Counterterrorism Employee:   "In court Wednesday, Rosen pleaded guilty to six counts of voyeurism and five counts of stalking that occurred between 2012 and 2014. ...Rosen's lawyer said his client is getting treatment for being a sexual deviant. Rosen had worked as a counterterrorism official at the State Department. He is currently on unpaid administrative leave, but his attorney said Wednesday that Rosen realizes that his career is over with the department." In "Former State Dept. Official Pleads Guilty to 11 Counts of Stalking, Voyeurism," by Mark Segraves, NBC News, 29 July 2015.

 

Addendum of a Former Legislator:   " A former Tennessee legislator and his two sons have been charged in a federal indictment with defrauding customers of their gold and silver business of more than $18 million." In "Former lawmaker, sons indicted in $18 million fraud scheme," Associated Press, 6 August 2015.

 

Addendum of Shrimp Boy's Co-defendants:   "Six defendants in the sweeping criminal prosecution of Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow, part of a public corruption and organized crime investigation that ensnared a once-prominent Democratic politician, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, prosecutors said. In a San Francisco courtroom before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the defendants entered their pleas to some of the charges filed against them in an indictment that alleged gun-running, a rampant pay-for-play political culture, money laundering, drug trafficking and more." In "Six of 'Shrimp Boy' Chow's co-defendants plead guilty," by Matt Hamilton, LA Times, 12 September 2015.

 

 Addendum of Chicago Public Schools Corruption:   "Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to steer more than $23 million in no-bid contracts to a former employer for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks." In "Ex-CPS Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett Pleads Guilty To Kickback Scheme," CBS Chicago, 13 October 2015.

 

Addendum of New Mexico:   "New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran pleaded guilty to embezzlement and other charges Friday after abruptly resigning amid a fraud investigation that alleges she siphoned thousands of dollars from her election account and withdrew the money at casinos around the state. In a packed Santa Fe District courtroom, Duran pleaded guilty to the felony embezzlement charges and four misdemeanors." In "New Mexico secretary of state resigns, enters guilty plea," by Ruseell Contreras, Associated Press, 23 October 2015.

 

 Addendum of Chicago Yet Again:   "A Chicago businessman convicted of pocketing nearly $3 million in state grants funds was sentenced to six years in prison Monday after a federal prosecutor declared that Illinois government corruption 'seems to be the norm anymore, rather than the exception.' U.S. District Judge Richard Mills imposed the sentence — short of the eight years the government requested — on Leon Dingle Jr. for his role in a six-year fraud involving Illinois Department of Public Health funds. He was also ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution." In "Chicago businessman, wife get federal prison in grant fraud," by John O'Connor, Associated Press, 14 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Massachusetts Cash:    "U.S. Marshals said they found the cash in safe deposit boxes controlled by John George, 68, who is also a former Dartmouth Selectman. George was convicted and sentenced to 70 months in prison on federal charges for embezzling from a taxpayer-subsidized bus company he controlled. George's sentence also required him to pay $688,772 in restitution and forfeit $1.38 million to the federal government. Following that judgment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Marshals obtained warrants for George's safe deposit boxes." In "$1 million in cash found in disgraced former state representative's safe deposit boxes," WCVB Boston, 23 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Norfolk:   "City Treasurer and former Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot was arrested Friday on federal political corruption charges alleging he accepted almost a half-million dollars in kickbacks while serving on the City Council." In "Norfolk Treasurer Anthony Burfoot faces public corruption, perjury charges," by Tim Eberly and Scott Daugherty, Virginian-Pilot, 8 January 2016.

 

Addendum of a Sheriff's Admission of Being Guilty:    "Baca's guilty plea "'demonstrates that the illegal behavior in the Sheriff's Department went to the very top of this organization,' Decker said. 'More importantly, it illustrates that those who foster and then try to hide a corrupt culture will be held accountable'." In "Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca pleads guilty in jail scandal," by By Joel Rubin, Cindy Chang and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times, 10 February 2016.

    

 Addendum of Massachusetts' Felonious Speakers of the House:   "In July of 2008 Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi was the architect of Green Communities Act. Today the former House Speaker is serving an eight year federal sentence and has throat and tongue cancer. The last three Speakers of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts, from left, Salvatore DiMasi, Thomas Finneran and Charles Flaherty, have all been convicted of felonies." In "Sen. Brian Joyce Massachusetts Wind Turbine Advocate FBI IRS RAID," by Frank Haggerty, Fallmouth Patch, 18 February 2016.

  

 Addendum of Corruption in the United States Navy:   "A federal judge in San Diego on Friday sentenced a U.S. Navy captain caught in a $30 million bribery scandal to 46 months in prison, bringing to a close the case against the highest-ranking officer in the fraud scheme. Captain Daniel Dusek, 49, pleaded guilty last year to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery after admitting he accepted services from prostitutes, luxury hotel stays, alcohol and other gifts in exchange for giving classified information to the Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia." In "Highest officer in U.S. Navy bribe scheme sentenced to 46 months," by Marty Graham, Reuters, 25 March 2016.

 

Addendum of a Corrupt Mister Social Security:   "Eric C. Conn, a flashy Kentucky lawyer who called himself “'Mr. Social Security,' was arrested for his alleged role in a $600 million federal disability fraud scheme, according to an indictment that was unsealed Tuesday. Conn, Daugherty, and Alfred Adkins, a clinical psychologist who performed medical evaluations for Conn seven years, were charged in an 18-count indictment on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Conn was arrested on Tuesday, and the indictment was unsealed." In " 'Mr. Social Security' Indicted in $600 Million Disability Fraud Scheme," by Elizabeth Harrington, Free Beacon, 6 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Big Apple Corrupted:   "... nine police officials, including four deputy chiefs, have been transferred or stripped of their guns and badges as internal affairs detectives and FBI agents examine whether officers accepted gifts and trips from businessmen in exchange for police escorts, special parking privileges and other favors.   ...Bharara, the federal prosecutor, has been mum on the details of the investigations, but vowed in a recent speech to continue his efforts, in both state and city government. 'Executive offices in government,' he said, 'are far from immune from a creeping show-me-the-money culture that has been pervading New York for some time now'." In "Sprawling corruption case with humble beginnings roils NYC," Associated Press, 24 April 2016.

 

  Addendum of New York - Again:   "Federal prosecutors are recommending a jail term of 87 months for ex-state Sen. John Sampson when he is sentenced next week in Brooklyn Federal Court. The once-powerful Democrat was convicted last year of obstructing a mortgage fraud probe involving a deep-pocketed crony of Sampson's who had loaned money to the Brooklyn politician, and lying to the FBI." "Feds want corrupt ex-Sen. John Sampson to spend 87 months in jail," by John Marzulli, New York Daily News, 12 May 2016.

  

 Addendum of Former City Officials:   "The former city officials were charged Tuesday with misappropriating nearly $43 million from Beaumont over two decades in a case outlined in 94 felony charges." In "Prosecutors in Beaumont corruption case put defendants’ assets on hold," by Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise, 20 May 2016.    [ 12 ]

 

 Addendum from New Jersey Yet Again:   "The former executive director of a former Head Start program in Jersey City Tuesday admitted that he diverted more than $250,000 from programs for underprivileged children and used the money for personal expenses, including a Maserati and a mink coat, prosecutors said. Robert E. Mays, 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in federal court to one count of wire fraud." In "Man admits taking $250K from Head Start; bought Maserati, mink coat," by Tim Darragh, NJ.com, 7 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Corruption in the United States Navy II:   "Gilbeau admitted to lying when investigators asked him if he had ever received any gifts from Francis. He also pled guilty to destroying documents and computer files after learning that Francis and other Navy officials had been arrested in connection with the fraud and bribary charges in September 2013. Ten have pleaded guilty, including Rear Admiral Robert J. Gilbeau, Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edmond A. Aruffo, U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, U.S. Navy Captain (Select) Michael Misiewicz, Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug." In "Admiral Enters Guilty Plea in Navy Bribery Scheme," by R. Stickney, Jaspreet Kaur and Candice Nguyen, NBC News, 9 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Health and Social Services Fraud:    "Seven Delaware Department of Health and Social Services case workers have been indicted on charges they created fake food stamp benefits accounts for personal use or to sell, state officials announced Tuesday. A months-long investigation by state and federal agencies revealed that the former case workers defrauded the U.S. government of more than $959,000." In "7 DHSS workers indicted on food benefit program theft," by Esteban Parra, Delaware Online, 14 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Healthcare Fraud:   "The investigation resulted in the largest such enforcement action in U.S. history, netting more than 300 people nationwide and involving more than $900 million in fraudulent billings, officials said." In "Nation's biggest healthcare fraud probe nets 301 people, including 22 in Southern California," by Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Widespread Fraud in Senior Healthcare:   "The Personal Care Services program, which exceeded $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2014, is rife with financial scams, some of which threaten patient safety, according to a recent report from the Office of lnspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services." In "Seniors Suffer Amid Widespread Fraud By Medicaid Caretakers," by Melissa Bailey, Kaiser Health News, 7 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Florida Congresswoman:   "Former U.S. Rep Corrine Brown has been found guilty of 18 of the 22 federal charges she was facing in her corruption trial. She has been convicted of conspiracy, five counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, one count of scheme to conceal material facts, one count of obstruction of IRS laws and three tax fraud charges." In "Corrine Brown found guilty of 18 of 22 federal charges," by Lynnsey Gardner, WJXT News4Jax, and Jim Piggott, Associated Press, 11 May 2017.

 

 Addendum II of a Florida Congresswoman - and Her Staff:   "Simmons pleaded guilty on two counts to conspiracy and corruption felonies: conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft of government funds. The former chief of staff said he helped create a fake charity and used the money raised from that charity to put more jingle in his and Brown’s pockets. Both he and brown are accused of using the money from the charity as their own personal funding source. Simmons also admitted he hired a member of his family for a different job in Brown’s administration and that they shared funds from the salary via a joint checking account." In "Corrine Brown's Chief of Staff Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges," by Allison Nielsen, Sunshine State News, 8 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of Texas Drivers Licenses:   "A former employee of the Texas Department of Public Safety in San Antonio was sentenced Thursday to 35 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $215,000 for taking bribes to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued the sentence to Linda Ann Perez, 47, who was a customer service representative at the driver’s license office on South Gen. McMullen Drive. She pleaded guilty in November to using an interstate facility in illegal activity, and admitted that she issued roughly 150 driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who paid $1,000 to $2,000 a pop." In "Ex-DPS worker sentenced for selling driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants," by Guillermo Contreras, MySanAntonio, 21 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Largest Criminal Healthcare Fraud in History:   "...while his healthcare network billed $1 billion for fraudulent medical services, Medicare paid Esformes’ skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities about $500 million since 2009. 'This is the largest single criminal healthcare fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice,' the criminal division’s assistant attorney general, Leslie R. Caldwell, said Friday during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami. 'The magnitude of alleged false claims in this scheme is staggering and outrageous, even by South Florida healthcare fraud standards,' said U.S. attorney Wifredo Ferrer. 'This case illustrates once again that Medicare fraud has infected every aspect of the healthcare system'." In "Feds break up $1 billion Medicare scam in Miami — biggest in U.S. history," by Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 22 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of Pennsylvania's Criminal Attorney-General:   "She was a rising Democratic star. She was the first in her party to be elected state attorney general. She was one of the most powerful women in Pennsylvania. But on Monday night, Kathleen G. Kane, the state’s top prosecutor, became a convicted criminal. A jury found Ms. Kane, 50, guilty of nine criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy, convicting her of leaking grand jury information, and then lying about it, in an effort to discredit a political rival." In "Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Is Convicted on All Counts," by Jess Bidgood, New York Times, 15 August 2016.

 

 Addendum of U.S. Department of Commerce Employees' Fraud:   "The Commerce Department's IG found that hundreds of patent examiners billed for close to 300,000 hours that they didn't work, over a span of 15 months. That cost $18.3 million, the IG says, with the bill paid by inventors themselves who fund the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office through application fees. Plus, had these employees actually worked those hours, they could have cut the USPTO's chronic backlog of patent reviews by 16,000. The investigators conducted a 'minute-by-minute' review of almost every patent examiner's claimed work hours, and compared that to data on when they badged in and out, when they logged into computers, if working from home, and other evidence that they were actually doing their jobs. It found that of the 8,000 or so examiners, a huge portion were cheating on their timecards." In "Patent Office Workers Defraud Inventors Of Millions Of Dollars," Investors Business Daily, Editorial, 2 September 2016.

 

 Addendum of - Yes -- California Again:    "The sentencing in U.S. District Court brings an end to an ugly chapter in California politics that saw three state Democratic senators indicted in 2014. It also tarnishes what was a Calderon political dynasty in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Calderon, 59, pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in June, but he admitted to soliciting more than $155,000 in payments or financial benefits in exchange for enacting or blocking legislation." In "Ex-California state senator faces 5 years for taking bribes," by Brian Melley, Associated Press, 21 October 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Norfolk City Councilman:   "Burfoot was convicted on four counts relating to public corruption and two perjury counts relating to his testimony in the 2013 Bank of the Commonwealth fraud trial. All of those crimes are related to his time on the City Council, where he served from 2002 to 2013, and not to his work as treasurer. Prosecutors said businessmen Dwight Etheridge, Tommy Arney and Ronnie Boone Sr. paid Burfoot more than $400,000 in bribes and kickbacks. In exchange, prosecutors said, Burfoot promised favorable votes and other assistance." In "Norfolk Treasurer Anthony Burfoot found guilty on 6 counts in federal public corruption trial," by Scott Daugherty and Eric Hartley, Virginian-Pilot, 10 December 2016.

  

 Addendum of a Pennsylvania Congressman:   "Former Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday on charges of money laundering, bribery and fraud. Fattah, 60, resigned from the House in June after being convicted on more than 20 counts of corruption. He'll have to report to prison by Jan. 25, 2017, to begin his sentence." In "Former Rep. Chaka Fattah sentenced to 10 years in prison," by Cristina Marcos, The Hill, 12 December 2016.

 

 Addendum from Maryland:   " 'This undercover investigation did not involve an isolated instance of misconduct,' said Maryland U.S. attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. 'It exposed a long-standing practice of giving away taxpayer money in exchange for bribes. This type of corruption can flourish when government officials exercise discretion without oversight.' Campos, 42, a Democrat from Hyattsville, pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy on Jan. 5 and the plea was unsealed Tuesday." In "Former Md. State Del. Will Campos pleads guilty to accepting bribes for official favors," by Lynh Bui and Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 10 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of a 3rd ex-Rhode Island Lawmaker:   "A former Rhode Island state lawmaker has agreed to plead guilty to fraud charges, becoming the third former House member in 11 days to be charged with criminal conduct and prompting the U.S. attorney to decry the state's political culture. The charges filed against Democrat Ray Gallison in federal court Monday include mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false tax returns. Gallison, an attorney, acknowledged taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a dead man's estate and other misconduct. 'This says something about our political culture here, which I think should get our attention,' U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said during a news conference announcing the charges and plea deal." In "3rd ex-Rhode Island lawmaker in 11 days charged criminally," by Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press, 23 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Another Political Consultant and Bribery:  "Lexington based Democratic political consultant Samuel McIntosh was charged and admitted to paying kickbacks to former Secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, Timothy Longmeyer in federal court on Wednesday. The 58 year-old McIntosh pleaded guilty to four counts of bribery of a public official and one count of mail fraud before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell on Wednesday." In "Democratic political consultant pleads guilty to bribery scheme with Longmeyer," by Nick Storm, Spectrum News, 25 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Leader:    "Gerard Terry, an attorney who held numerous local government titles in addition to his former party leadership role, was charged with tax evasion and obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws. Prosecutors said the 62-year-old Roslyn man failed to pay more than $1.4 million in federal taxes since 2000 despite earning more than $250,000 annually working for the town, the Nassau County Board of Elections, the Long Beach Housing Authority, the North Hempstead Housing Authority, the Freeport Community Development Agency, the Roosevelt Public Library, the Village of Port Washington and the Village of Manorhaven." In "Ex-North Hempstead Democratic Leader Charged With Federal Tax Evasion," by Timothy Bolger, Long Island Press, 31 January 2017.

  

 Addendum of US Transportation Security Administration Drug Smugglers:   "Prosecutors in Puerto Rico have smashed a ring of current and former U.S. Transportation Security Administration workers that allegedly smuggled 20 tons of cocaine worth as much as $100 million into the U.S. over more than a decade. A dozen members of the alleged ring, including TSA workers and airport employees, were indicted Feb. 8 in the District of Puerto Rico on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez announced. Authorities said the federal employees used their positions as TSA baggage screeners to wave massive amounts of coke through security." In "TSA workers helped Puerto Rico-based ring smuggle $100M of cocaine, prosecutors say," by Catherine Herridge, FOX News, 13 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Staggering Bribery Scheme in the US Navy:   "...used fake names and foreign email address to keep their actions secret. This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, and it was allegedly carried out by the Navy’s highest-ranking officers,' said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson of the Southern District of California, calling it 'a staggering degree of corruption.' The officials were arrested this morning across the country -- in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and Virginia -- and will be tried in federal court in San Diego, California. A total of 25 people have now been charged in the corruption and fraud scheme, including 20 current or former Navy officials and five from GDMA, a Singapore-based foreign defense contractor formerly run by Leonard Francis. Half of the 25 have pleaded guilty so far." In "Top Navy officials charged in 'staggering' bribery scheme involving classified information, officials say," by David Rind, KNSS/ABC, 14 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Convicting a County Sheriff:    "Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said during closing arguments that corruption in the nation's largest jail system 'started from the top and went all the way down. When defendant Baca learned the FBI and a federal grand jury was investigating, he obstructed, and when he learned the FBI has turned its focus on him, he lied,' Rhodes said." In "Ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca Found Guilty in Corruption Retrial," Associated Press, 15 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Social Security Fraud in Kentucky:    "According to the plea, from October 2004 to April 6, 2016, Conn participated in a scheme with former SSA administrative law judge David B. Daugherty and multiple doctors that involved the submission of thousands of falsified medical documents to the SSA. As a result of the scheme, Conn and his co-conspirators obligated the SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants for these fraudulent submissions. According to the plea, Conn is an attorney whose firm in Floyd County, Kentucky, focused for more than 20 years primarily on representing individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits throughout Kentucky and elsewhere. According to documents filed in connection with the guilty plea, Conn admitted that from December 2004 through April 2011, he paid Daugherty approximately $10,000 a month to award disability benefits to claimants for whom Conn submitted falsified medical documents." In "Social Security Disability Lawyer Pleads Guilty For Role in $550 Million Social Security Fraud Scheme," Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, 24 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Medicare Fraud, Again:   "Prosecutors contended that the 62-year-old Melgen stole up to $105 million from the federal insurance program between 2008 and 2013, by giving patients treatments and tests that couldn't help them. Melgen's attorneys argued that any billing issues were simply mistakes." In "Menendez donor, Fla. eye doctor guilty on all counts of Medicare fraud," Associated Press, 28 April 2017.

 

Addendum of Bogus Disability Fraud:   "An administrative judge involved in one of the biggest Social Security frauds in history pleaded guilty Friday, admitting that he helped scam the federal government out of potentially more than half a billion dollars in bogus disability payments. David B. Daugherty, a former administrative law judge, approved at least 3,149 disability cases filed by a single lawyer in eastern Kentucky. More than 1,700 of those have been deemed fraudulent by government investigators, obligating the government to pay out more than $550 million in lifetime benefits." In "Judge pleads guilty in massive Social Security fraud case," by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 15 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Career Politician and a Ponzi Scheme:   "A report from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said Uresti and top officials at the company developed an investment Ponzi scheme to market fracking sand used for oil production and made false statements to entice investors in the firm. Uresti, a Democrat who has served in the senate since 2006 and was a state representative from 1997-2006, was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and securities fraud relating to his involvement with Four Winds. Each charge carries up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction. He also was charged with being an unregistered broker and conspiracy to commit money laundering." In "Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti indicted on fraud charges," Madlin Mekelburg, Dallas News, 16 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Corruption in the U. S. Army:   "Col. Anthony Roper conspired with his wife and others to seek and accept bribes in exchange for rigging more than $20 million in Army contracts to individuals and companies, prosecutors said Thursday. The scheme began in 2008 and lasted nearly a decade, prosecutors said." In "U.S. Army colonel and his wife charged in bribery scheme that 'saw them receive millions in kickbacks by rigging military contracts'," by Associated Press, 9 June 2017.

 

 Addendum of Philadelphia's Top Prosecutor:   "... the city’s top prosecutor pleaded guilty Thursday to a corruption charge, resigned from office and was sent immediately to jail by a judge who said he couldn’t be trusted. Two weeks into his federal trial, District Attorney Seth Williams pleaded guilty to a single count of accepting a bribe from a businessman." In "Top Philadelphia prosecutor pleads guilty, quits, is jailed," by Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press, 29 June 2017.    [ 13 ]

 

 Addendum of Stashing Billions on the Honor System:    "The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money. 'A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,' said Mrs. McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri. 'We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue,' she said." In "Obamaphone’ program stashes $9 billion in private bank accounts," by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 29 June 2017.

 

 Addendum of Atlanta Transit Self-Enrichment:   "MARTA’s former senior director of operations pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a misappropriation of funds scam, federal officials said Wednesday. Joseph J. Erves, 52, of Lithonia, who worked for MARTA since 1993, funneled the majority of $500,000 in taxpayer money for MARTA projects into his personal bank accounts, U.S. District Attorney John Horn said in a statement. The theft was 'a blatant display of his desire for self-enrichment at the expense of the public interest,' Horn said. In "Ex-MARTA exec pleads guilty in $500K fraud scam, had previous drug-related conviction," by Ellen Eldridge, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 20 September 2017.

 

 Addendum of Orchestrated Corruption:   "Alfred Bradley Adkins was part of the fraud ring orchestrated by Eric C. Conn, one of the country’s most prominent disability lawyers, and David B. Daugherty, a Social Security judge who rubber-stamped at least 1,700 bogus applications for benefits. All told, the scam would have cost the government at least $600 million in fraudulent lifetime benefits, according to the government’s conservative estimate. Some $93 million were already paid out before the scam was stopped, the government said." In "Psychologist in massive Social Security fraud case gets 25-year sentence," by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 23 September 2017.

 

 Addendum of Including Extra Time:    "U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer on Thursday imposed a term of 100 months on Cynthia Mills, 56, who admitted she stole nearly $13 million from North Shore-based Matthews International Corp. over 16 years. The prison term includes extra time for hiding assets from the government — mostly jewelry and other valuables — after her initial guilty plea in March." In "Woman who stole nearly $13M from Matthews International gets 8-plus years in prison," by Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 28 September 2017.

 

Worldwide Addendum:   "One in four people paid a bribe in dealing with public services and institutions in the past 12 months, according to a global corruption survey. In the world's largest assessment of public opinion on the subject, Transparency International found that political parties are considered the most corrupt institutions, followed by the police, the judiciary, parliament and public officials. Religious institutions are seen as the least corrupt. Transparency International says its annual survey shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice. 'It is the actors that are supposed to be running countries and upholding the rule of law that are seen as the most corrupt, judged to be abusing their positions of power and acting in their own interests rather than for citizens they are there to represent and serve,' said the global corruption barometer, a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries." In "Global corruption survey reveals one in four people paid a bribe in past year," by Mark Tran, Guardian UK, 8 July 2013.

 

 For more on corruption worldwide, see:   Corruption has a middle name 

 

Addendum:    "Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist." Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

 

See:    Fund Raising   and also  Cash flow  - a parody on Cole Porter's classic song, "True Love," and a song setting of Sandburg's  Sobs En Route to a Penitentiary - (2009)  

Synthesizing a Stance:  It is easy to continue listing documentation of corruption, from the petty to the outlandish and from small to enormous. The limited sampling above testifies that corruption is a frequent phenomenon and so often connected to government. While private sector corruption often results in firings and bankruptcies, public sector fraud hands the costs to "society." For this one should conclude that politics is the obvious arena for the greatest assemblage those pursing wealth and influence via fiscal corruption and the abuse of power, from the lowest civic levels to the highest positions of government. This has proven true, irrespective of party allegiance and given lie to that political rhetoric which has repeatedly spoken about "transparency" and "reform." Rather, the corrupt more consistently rage against being found out and penalized.

 

As Frédéric Bastiat wrote perceptively, there is "...another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain." {The Law, 1850) Thus, because the flow of money and power through the avenue of politics is so large a stream, it is correct to assume that those "who wish to live and prosper at the expense of others" should use this avenue for their many crimes of corruption.

 

Therefore, one observes that the surest, quickest, easiest and proven path to corruption is through the political offices and funding programs of government. This is nothing new, even the pretense that the next crop of politicians will change things is not new.  [ 9 ]

  

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  This corruption story mixes politics' "pay-to-play" game -- a clear quid pro quo denied consistently by one and all until convicted -- and the looting of "charitable" foundations. One reads:   "A former state senator pleaded guilty on Wednesday to funneling over $87,000 in taxpayer money through a nonprofit agency that she was running to cover shopping for herself and her relatives." In "Ex-State Senator Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case," by Mosi Secret, New York Times, 30 January 2013.

 

 Caught in the Act

 

          Another high profile "pat-to-play" game is rather similar:   "Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu was convicted of campaign law violations Tuesday after a trial that featured a voicemail from Hillary Clinton praising his tireless efforts to raise cash for her. A Manhattan Federal Court jury convicted Hsu, 58, of reimbursing friends hundreds of thousands of dollars for contributing to his favorite Dems, including Clinton. Clinton returned $800,000 in campaign contributions linked to Hsu after the fund-raiser was nabbed in a $20 million Ponzi scheme." In "Longtime fundraiser linked to Hillary Clinton Norman Hsu convicted of violating campaign finance law," by Thomas Zambito, New York Daily News, 19 May 2009. 

          Consider then the true believers in politics and art of the quid-pro-quo:  For Your Common Good  - in the fat cat neighborhood.

 

[ 2 ]   This corruption story combines public sector unions, in which the bottom rung of represented workers are looted while the upper management seem to look away.

 

 Complacency to Avoid Bad Publicity

 

         One criticism reads:   "...it had been obvious to the SEIU International union that something was wrong, but nothing was done. To the SEIU, petty theft is not as significant of a problem as bad publicity. This fits with the theory of SEIU responsibility, which is that as long as your problems don’t extend to the point of harming the overall union, they won’t call you out. In fact they would prefer to have something negative to hold over leaders like Tyrone Freeman, so that they can later penalize and replace them if they act out of line. After all, if they do nothing wrong, it’s much harder to replace them with someone friendlier to their goals. The SEIU has a long history of fighting transparency measures. You can see that in some of our previous articles. This case, however, shows how long they’re willing to go before calling out one of their own members. Tyrone Freeman would’ve never gotten away with what he did without a complacence atmosphere of SEIU corruption telling him that it was okay." In "Tyrone Freeman, SEIU Embezzler, Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail," SIEU Monitor, 15 October 2013.

 

[ 3 ]  This story calls a politician by a now-proven description,  "shakedown artist."  One reads:  "A lobbyist for Home Depot testified he warned in an email to company officials that Mr. Nagin was a 'shakedown artist.' The prosecution's witnesses provided example after example of a mayor on the take. Mr. Nagin's attempts to shift the blame away from himself sounded much like his excuses for doing so little during his second term -- it was always someone else's fault then too, supposedly." In "Ray Nagin can't shift blame for his corrupt actions anymore: Editorial," by the Editorial Board, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, 12 February 2014.  

         See an apt parody on a song lyric:  How much is that politician's favor?    - (To the melody, "That Doggie in the Window?," composed in 1952 by Bob Merrill).

         The court verdict and sentence:  "C. Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans who was convicted in February on corruption charges, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday in federal court in New Orleans. Mr. Nagin was found guilty in February on 20 counts, most relating to kickbacks from contractors looking for city work." In "Ray Nagin, Former New Orleans Mayor, Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison," by Campbell Robertson, New York Times, 9 July 2014.

 

[ 4 ]   What's more, one news report quotes the wealthy, convicted felon in a remarkable assertion:   "Ex-Nevada power broker Harvey Whittemore admitted he was 'arrogant and naive' but insisted 'I'm not greedy' before a judge sentenced him Monday to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid's re-election committee in 2007. U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks also ordered Whittemore to pay $100,000 in fines for his three felony convictions and serve 100 hours community service upon his release from a yet-to-be determined prison that houses white-collar criminals." In "Reid Supporter Whittemore Gets 2 Years in Campaign Cash Case," by Scott Sonner, Associated Press, 1 October 2013.

          See some thoughts in rhyme on the subject of greed and arrogance:  Career Politicians' Questions   .

 

[ 5 ]   An amusing broadening of Chicago and Cook County reputation and history for corruption, one reads:  "The husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown was given oversight over millions of dollars in programs in Gov. Pat Quinn’s scandal-plagued anti-violence initiative despite having a felony conviction for a financial crime, according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. Benton Cook III pleaded guilty to a Class E felony in Tennessee in 1999 after writing more than $3,700 in worthless checks to a man who imported and sold artifacts from Africa, the records show. ...Cook pleaded guilty in June 1999 to one of two charges he initially faced. A judge ordered him to repay the money and sentenced him to two years of probation. During his plea negotiation, Cook sought to get the conviction expunged but wasn’t eligible to do so “because of a prior criminal charge” in another state, Susan Niland, communications director for the Davidson County district attorney, told the Sun-Times." In "Despite felony, husband of clerk of courts oversaw state grants," by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times, 2 May 2014.  The notion of placing someone with a history of financial crime in authority over money is more than odd, excepting when governed by politics and political favoritism.  See:  Willie Sutton didn't say  .

 

[ 6 ]    Of the Veterans Administration debacle, one finds the corrupt threatening their exposure:   "The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday that more than 57,000 former troops have waited at least 90 days for their first VA medical appointments and another 64,000 who enrolled in the department’s health system during the past decade have never visited a doctor in the network. Additionally, about 13 percent of VA schedulers have said they were told to falsify appointment-request dates to give the impression that wait times were shorter than they really were, according to the department." In "VA says more than 57,000 patients are waiting for first visit," by Josh Hicks, Washington Post, 9 June 2014.

 

[ 7 ]     The FBI states of convicted criminals that they "conspired to enrich themselves by submitting false and fraudulent claims." In 1850, the same observation about such people was made, that "they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others." With so great a stream of public monies and so inept a bureaucracy to control such monies, the vast amount of corruption as noted in these few among many instances of corruption share one feature. That is government which makes access to vast sums available to the corrupt.

 

[ 8 ]   The District Attorney's remark is clear:  " 'All unjustly enriched themselves,' Saldaña said. 'And all tried to conceal in different ways the illegal nature of their conduct'." In "Saldaña: John Wiley Price indictment reveals 'shocking betrayal of public trust'," by Ed Timms and Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 25 July 2014.

         One notes a pattern to the type of rabblerousing politics which has coupled racist rhetoric to gain votes and an ensuing corruption which racist rhetoric was intended to obscure.

         For another example of this, see a sad outcome for those who Voted  - not sugarcoated.

 

[ 9 ]     For the student of history, one finds this phenomenon from circa 340 BC.

         "The Lacedaemonian constitution is defective in another point; I mean the Ephoralty. This magistracy has authority in the highest matters, but the Ephors are chosen from the whole people, and so the office is apt to fall into the hands of very poor men, who, being badly off, are open to bribes. There have been many examples at Sparta of this evil in former times; and quite recently, in the matter of the Andrians, certain of the Ephors who were bribed did their best to ruin the state. And so great and tyrannical is their power, that even the kings have been compelled to court them, so that, in this way as well together with the royal office, the whole constitution has deteriorated, and from being an aristocracy has turned into a democracy. The Ephoralty certainly does keep the state together; for the people are contented when they have a share in the highest office, and the result, whether due to the legislator or to chance, has been advantageous. For if a constitution is to be permanent, all the parts of the state must wish that it should exist and the same arrangements be maintained. This is the case at Sparta, where the kings desire its permanence because they have due honor in their own persons; the nobles because they are represented in the council of elders (for the office of elder is a reward of virtue); and the people, because all are eligible to the Ephoralty. The election of Ephors out of the whole people is perfectly right, but ought not to be carried on in the present fashion, which is too childish. Again, they have the decision of great causes, although they are quite ordinary men, and therefore they should not determine them merely on their own judgment, but according to written rules, and to the laws. Their way of life, too, is not in accordance with the spirit of the constitution--- they have a deal too much license; whereas, in the case of the other citizens, the excess of strictness is so intolerable that they run away from the law into the secret indulgence of sensual pleasures." Aristotle, "The Politics of Aristotle," trans. Benjamin Jowett (London: Colonial Press, 1900).

 

 Distrust With Good Reason

 

         One notes Aristotle's distrust of democracy, alongside some distrust of an aristocracy. For what reason? Because there are those who are "open to bribes" as well a "too much license" and "the secret indulgence of sensual pleasures." All of the news items above -- a very small sample -- detail politicians elected to do the "people's work" criminally seeking wealth through the utterly perverted power and authority of government.

         Additionally one notes how many enthusiasts for government try to wrap up such corruption under the banner of criticizing capitalism -- which seeks distance from government, in part -- while espousing socialism -- which seeks greater government. Yet corruption is about Grease which government apologists try to say is capitalism, though bribes both legal and illegal are paid to government officials around the world.

         Scratch the veneer of government and corruption is so easily seen. Scratch the veneer of freedom from excessive government and opportunities for corruption will be seen to be minimized. The issue is plainly venal behaviors of those who purport to govern the many while serving themselves. This is the nature of Politics .

  

[ 10 ]   The sentence:  "Sheldon Silver, longtime Democratic politician and former speaker of the New York State Assembly, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption by a federal judge on Tuesday. Silver was also ordered to pay $1.75 million in fines." In "Ex-NY Speaker Sheldon Silver sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption," by Brooks Hays, UPI, 3 May 2016.

 

 A Political Protection Racket

 

         Corruption in high office by both Democrat and Republican officeholders is shown. One reads:  "Sounds like the pols learned how to run a protection racket from the Mafia, or maybe it’s the other way around." In "Albany’s protection racket could be straight out of the Mafia," by Michael Goodwin, New York Post, 21 November 2015.

         While so often the allegations of quid pro quo are dispensed with by politicians with a snort and wave of the hand, these many quotes from reliable news sources reveal the opposite, which Goodwin likens to that famous crime family. He adds of the businessmen who participated in politicians' schemes:  "... the arrangements illustrate the slimy nature of crony capitalism. To judge from their testimonies, the executives were not so much participating in free markets as they were buying government indulgences. That’s not capitalism. It’s cronyism."

         Consider the discussion and sourced addenda and footnotes making distinctions between capitalism, cronyism and socialism in consideration of governments' need for Grease .

         The critics of capitalism often focus on huge sums paid to few, and yet one finds cronyism and the related, corporatism -- not capitalism -- the feature which is directing so much money through government hands to the few that socialism -- also a corrupt system of governance -- is not the answer.

         Rather the simple and obvious answer is to root out corruption from any governmental system, from the smallest to the largest. With Democrats and Republicans participating in the same corruption, it will take something more than politics to fix this. Independent prosecutors are making a dent, but the battle is long and difficult, while corruption is easy and prevalent.

 

[ 11 ] Corruption often aligns with economic incompetence and fiscal failure.  Mayor Reed, a Democrat who "served" a public servant for 28 years led the city into bankruptcy.  See:  I want to spend  - drowning in the deep end.

 

 Certain Debt and Certain Taxes

 

         The City of Harrisburg faced bankruptcy over a waste disposal site and its unsustainable indebtedness. One reads:  " 'At that time the facility was carrying more than $100 million in debt guaranteed by the city,' he said. 'Allowing the incinerator to close was never a viable option because the outstanding debt would have crushed the city and its residents.' Dauphin County agreed to help the city with financing for the incinerator retrofit because the county didn't want to allow Harrisburg to go bankrupt. 'Such an outcome would have been a blow to the city, the county and our entire region...' " In "Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste: 'We could not allow Harrisburg to slide into bankruptcy'," by Barbara Miller, Pennlive.com, 15 July 2015.

         One notes the political reasoning from a county politician, that "the outstanding debt would have crushed the city and its residents." Yet now the city and the county are still going to pay. How?

         One reads further:  "Dubbed 'Harrisburg Strong', the city’s debt plan drastically reduced Harrisburg taxpayers' direct local public debt liability." But earlier in the article, one reads: "The authority bought the trash-burning power plant in December by issuing $132 million in bonds. That debt will be repaid using tipping fees and electricity sales revenue." In "Finance pros: Harrisburg incinerator deal better than expected," by Emily Previti, Pennlive.com, 27 March 2015.

         Thus, debt replaced debt, and either way the repayment is expected to come from fees and "sales revenue" from the rate payers who are, of course, also tax payers. The story is not ended as the debt sustainability has not played out across time, but the structure remains that the little guy will pay for the politicians' big ideas, especially those involving "financing" public projects. Sometimes it is termed a tax, and other times a fee and other times a "rate."  Whatever the vocabulary, the public will pay one way or another.

         It is most likely that this has been another instance of the political game called Kick the can   - most governments' plan.

 

[ 12 ]   That a small town can have a great deal of money embezzled by its "leadership" tells a truth about the downside of politics from the international level all the way down to the small town. Consider the immorality play titled: Three Little Democrats .

 

[ 13 ]    The fact that a "top prosecutor" is a criminal is too often typical. The story is mundane in its details, as one reads of the individual who bribed the willing prosecutor:  "Prosecutors say Ali gave Seth Williams a vacation to the Dominican Republic, a $3,000 sofa, expensive electronics and jewelry, a fancy dinner and thousands of dollars in cash. In return, Williams allegedly helped Ali get through airport security more quickly after foreign travel. Authorities say Ali also wanted Williams' help with criminal charges against an Ali associate. Ali faces up to five years in prison on the bribery count. He also admitted filing a false income tax return. Williams, a two-term Democrat, awaits trial on charges he took more than $100,000 in cash, trips and luxury gifts from several businessmen." In "Man pleads guilty to bribing Philadelphia's top prosecutor," Associated Press, 11 May 2017.

         That police can be criminal is also true. As an example, one reads:   "Baltimore Police Detective Momodu Gondo on Thursday became the fourth city officer to admit to robbing and extorting citizens, billing for overtime hours he didn’t work and falsifying reports to conceal his crimes — all part of a growing scandal that has ensnared eight officers and toppled the city’s elite gun unit. Unlike the three officers before him, Gondo, 34, also pleaded guilty to helping protect a North Baltimore heroin ring, one that police said was responsible for more than 60 fatal and nonfatal overdoses. With his guilty pleas to both racketeering and drug conspiracy, Gondo faces as much as 40 years in prison — the longest maximum penalty of the eight indicted officers." In "Fourth Baltimore police detective pleads guilty in federal racketeering case," by Tim Prudente, Baltimore Sun, 11 October 2017.

         So much for the assertion by "government:" to seek "justice" when it is mere venal Politics at play, with representatives from all walks of life and all persuasions working against their own public stance of doing good.


 

Stab the straw man

Stab the evil straw man to kill him deadly dead,
Debating not competitors, but silent straw instead.
The straw man doesn't fight back, nor rage nor know the score;
The straw man stands and takes it, awaiting even more.

Propping up an argument by massacring straw
Is much like windmill tilting, or standing above the law.
When a man debates with something which simply cannot win,
He plays loose and fast with rules, and shows no discipline.

To prop up some old straw man just to knock him down
Is a trickster's trick, a liar's lie and proves one quite the clown.
Stab the standing straw man, and shove it to the ground?
A ruse, a ploy and a deceit proving arguments unsound.

The stratagem trots out with pride, strutting, puffing proud;
It reaches for the winner's wreath before the win's allowed.
The straw man? Why, it teeters, it totters and it falls;
The straw man builder crows as if he won in battering straw man brawls.

Indeed he has, because we know that straw men have no brains;
They are propped by the foolish man who prevaricates and feigns.
"They say" is fine and dandy, when "they" is built of straw,
Because those sad, dead straw men cannot fight, even to a draw.

But when the victor over straw faces a foe with fact,
So often will he cry "Unfair!" as, if victim, he were attacked.
Those who would build a straw man and trot it to debate
Will often lose to simple facts because such is their true fate.

Stabbing evil straw men to kill them deadly dead
Is to avoid tough competitors for stupid straw instead.
The straw man doesn't fight back, nor rage nor answer back;
A straw man is propped up to fall, when the debater is a hack.

See:    Between rhetoric and reality 


 

Troubles

"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." Robert Heinlein (1907-1988)

 

Troubles are as
Troubles were, as
   Troubles will be again.
That's the way
One lives today
   In this world of troubled men.

Tell trouble's stories;

Their ancient quarries

   Reveal each why and when.

Troubles teach their

Roots, and dare

   Us not relive them, then.

But men forget

Each trouble's threat,

   Condemned to them again,

Or refuse to learn,

Their lessons spurn,

   And troubles come again.

See:    Lessons Are 

 


 

Chicago Poem III

The heads of a hydra
Come off and then grow back;
Yet another alderman?
Another political hack?
"Carruthers pleads guilty,"
Sang WGN TeeVee.
Bribes and extortion,
A racketeering spree!

Count them in the dozens

And count them over time;

"Pigs in their prisons' pig-pens" --

A Chicago paradigm.

See:    Chicago Poem IV 


 

Extremely Green - wrong for more than forty years

"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate." Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, Ballantine Books, 1968.     [ 1 ]

Extremely green mean to kill off men,
But not the turtles nesting,
Not ruffling some feathers in an airy nest
To save the seas from cresting.
            Cull man's herd of resource hogs
            Who greedily chew and devour,
            But save non-human parasites
            Who gobble by each passing hour.

Save this world from pestilence,
As long as the pest is man;
The other pests well might survive
As well, as best they can.
            Darwin's fine for critters all
            Except for those called man;
            Green men choose mankind to fall
            As is their green-edged plan.

Man is a cancer on their earth,
Green minds err in the extreme,
And so man should not come to birth
Excepting the Green's own cream.
            Do as I say, not as I do,
            The Greens did blather on.
            They chose man as their bugaboo,
            And crossed over their Rubicon.

 

Addendum of Necessary Transformation:    "The Top UN Climate Change Official is optimistic that a new international treaty will be adopted at Paris Climate Change conference at the end of the year. However the official, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, warns that the fight against climate change is a process and that the necessary transformation of the world economy will not be decided at one conference or in one agreement. 'This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history', Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels. 'This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 - you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation'." In "Figueres: First time the world economy is transformed intentionally," United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, 3 February 2015.    [ 2 ]

 

See:    Rejecting belief  - believe you me!  and also   The Scourge of the Planet 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     The predictions of worldwide famine were widely touted in 1970, and are not being forgotten for their overwhelming rhetoric and enormous error, seen in hindsight. One reads: "In that same issue, Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, wrote, 'Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.'" In "Happy Earth Day!" a blog post in Collectors Society, recapping the first Earth Day, 1970. 

 

 No Matter If the Science Is Phony

 

           In looking at the career of Professor emeritus Gunter, one learns he is  Professor emeritus of  the University of North Texas, in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, and according to their in-house publication, " Gunter received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1963 and, after a short stint at the University of Tennessee, was hired by UNT in 1969 to chair the department. Among his many accomplishments during his UNT career is the co-founding of the program in environmental ethics, for which UNT is now known by philosophers worldwide." Synergies, a UNT Publication, October 16th, 2009.

           As to these now fully observable and massive errors in prediction, we come to understand: "No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world." Christine Stewart, former Minister of the Environment of Canada, quote form Calgary Herald, 1999. Cited in "Climate Change and the Emergence of Civilization: Global Warming, Great Floods and Ice Ages," by Carl Grant Lonney, XLibris, 2011.

            Three decades after the first Earth Day, 1970, one sees an admission of similar "academic" tactics:  "Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to [find] a way to scare the public... and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they are." Petr Chylek, Professor of Physic and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University (Canada), in Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 22 August 2001.

 

 Scare the Public with Close to Zero

 

            But then comes the passage of time to test the theories "to scare the public," as one reads:  "We're facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 10 years. That hasn't happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a value very close to zero." In "Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?" In an interview conducted by Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter, trans. by Ella Ornstein, Speigel International, 20 June 2013.

 

[ 2 ]      The use of words requires clarity in meanings. What is "the economic development model" of which Figueres speaks?  Is it business? One then should understand that Lenin believed business evidenced Sheer Ignorance .

            What is a "transformation" of a model? A change to another model, but which? Might she be arguing for socialism? A transformation of that word instructs when one considers So shall ism

 

 Almost Nothing to Do With Environmental Policy

 

            Might she be arguing for capital redistribution?  One reads:  "...listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer: 'One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,' said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. So what is the goal of environmental policy? 'We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,' said Edenhofer. For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn't really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that 'the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated'." In "Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare," Editorial, Investors Business Daily, 29 March 2016.

            As Ehrlich's predictions for the 1970s were completely incorrect though supposedly "scientific," one finds the international spokespersons open about their enthusiasm for "distribution of the world's resources." By them.

            This urge for a global governance -- international socialism, essentially, and instructively "so shall ism" -- is among The Privileges of Intellectuals .

            What is assuredly is not is freedom.


 

The Voice Box - (Rhymed paraphrase of an Eduard Möricke nonsense poem)

The voice box, in its hollow boom,
From a willowy allergy up did bloom,
And finally did it fuss and fume,
With a neat, sweet sort of laryngeal rheum,
That from the back it forth did spume,
With a forward thrusting sort of plume.

See:    Der Kehlkopf   (2010) 


 

Odd, is it not?

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." Albert Einstein. (1879-1955)

Odd, is it not?

God is what's got

Little minds tied in a knot.

                        Delusion? So

                        Many well show

                        God: but is it error, though?


Prove God? I can't.

Must I? I shan't.

"I am that I am" recant?
                        Delusion? What

                        effrontery, but

                        Atheists rage as they strut.


Odd, maybe yes;

Belief is a guess,

A supposedly unfashionable dress,
                        As those who rage

                        In this day and age

                        Shake their intellectual cage.


Odd, is it not?

God is what's got

Atheist men so distraught.

                        "Admiration," said

                        A physicist fed

                        On relative brilliance, not dread.


Odd, is it not?

God is what's got

Einstein deluded? What rot.

 

Envoi:    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

 

See:   Darwin's God 


 

The colors of man

The color of man is the green of his envy,
And the color of man is the red of his rage.
The color of man bruises in black and in blue,
And his color is a yellowed fear of the cage.

The color of man is both bright and intense,
And the color of man is pale and weak.
The color of man is varied and dappled,
And his color is stained with the blood of the meek.

The color of man is the blossom of dawn,
And the color of man is his tincture of woe.
The color of man is a costume of rainbows,
And his color is tarnished by the many we know.

The colors of man mean all and mean little,
And the colors of man are the reason for war.
The colors of man blind the eye of the seeing,
And these colors wash over an unmoving shore.

 

See:    Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works)

 


 

Kurfürstenstraße 115/116

"Wenn wir 50 Eichmänner gehabt hätten, hätten wir den Krieg gewonnen." Heinrich Müller - Chef Amt IV der Gestapo

The old, the halt and the lame?
The mentally deficient, the same.
    Homosexuals and the Jews
    Rounded up, yet few saw the clues.
Carted away and well forgot,
Millions gassed and millions shot.
    The chef of the bureau that ran the plan
    Said with fifty like just one Eichmann
The war would never have been lost;
But thinking on the awful cost,
    No price would have been too high
    To see just Eichmann be judged and die.
What some say is cruelty to the one
Is to brush aside such evil he'd done.
    The building stands no more,
    And victory tells the score.

 

See:    We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party   ,  also  True socialism, oh yes, he said  


 

Silly You

Sell your birthright for a bowl of soup?
    Folly beyond compare.
Trade your freedom for your daily bread?
    You've stepped into the snare.
Sell tomorrow just for today?

    Dream that trouble's far away?
        Silly, silly, silly you.

Sell your child's inheritance?
    Absurd, but hardly rare.
Swap your rights for a promise lost?
    For greater loss, prepare.
Sell your vote for a pretty lie?

    Then who is that fool that I spy?
        It's silly, silly, silly you.

 

See:    We Get Nothing  - a kindergarten level curricula


 

The Robert Reich Song - To the tune, The Farmer in the Dell, a children's song

"And by the way, we are going to have to--if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive, so we're going to let you die." Direct quote by Robert Reich from a 2007 speech UC Berkeley on Sept. 26, 2007, in "We're Going to Let You Die," by James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, 14 October 2009   [ 1 ]

We're going to let you die.
We're going to let you die.
Hardy-har, say liberals,
        We're going to let you die.

We're going to save some cash.
We're going to save some cash.
Hardy-har, said plain and clear,
        You'll die to save some cash.

Of course, I'll be exempt.
Of course, I'll be exempt.
Hardy-har, we write the laws.
        Of course, I'll be exempt.

We're going to let you die.
I say aloud: you'll die.
Hardy-har, there's no surprise.
        We're going to let you die.

 

The market's cruel and cold;

We've better plans, quite bold.

Hardy-har, we're quite the same.

        You'll die, as is foretold.

I've said it now for years.
Why not believe your ears?
Hardy-har, we're liberals.
        You'll die for budgeteers.

Expenses? They're too high.
Expenses? They're so high.
We're Democrats, so liberal.
        We're going to let you die.   
[ 2 ]

 

Envoi:  "Shaw declined to stand as an MP, but in 1897 he was elected as a local councillor to the London County Council as a Progressive." In Wikipedia article on George Bernard Shaw.

 

Moral Clarity Check:  "You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can't justify your existence, if you're not pulling your weight in the social boat, if you're not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can't be of very much use to yourself." George Bernard Shaw, in a newsreel interview, 5 March 1931  --  Compare and Contrast: "The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." Karl Marx (1818-1883)

 

Addendum of Progressive Agreement:   "One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body." In "The Affordable Care Act's Rate-Setting Won't Work," by Howard Dean, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, 28 July 2013.

 

Addendum of a Fat Cat:   "Robert Reich, who served as U.S. secretary of labor for four years under Bill Clinton, is currently a public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The ultra-progressive economist — inasmuch as a mere law school graduate can be an economist — raked in an impressive income of $242,613 from the taxpayer-funded school in 2013, according to EAGnews.org. For that sweet salary of $20,217 per month, Reich is slated to teach exactly one course this fall." In "Robert Reich Sticks It To Poor People With $242,613 Salary For Teaching ONE CLASS This Semester," by Eric Owens, 6 August 2014.

 

To take note of other defenders of the poor, see:   Wealth defends the poor? Oh sure! 

 

Addendum of Blame the Other Side:   "Rep. Alan Grayson has been making waves since he came to Congress in January, just nine short months ago – a tack opposite to most freshmen who tend to keep their heads down. The biggest came this week when the Florida Democrat declared on the House floor, that the Republicans' health-care plan amounted to 'Don’t get sick,' and 'If you do get sick, die quickly'." In "Who Is Alan Grayson, Anyway?" Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2009.   [ 3 ]

 

See:    The New Man    and   A Countdown Song   - counting upwards to down

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   We read: "...income, wealth, and power have become more concentrated at the top than they've been in ninety years. As a result, many have come to believe that the deck is stacked against them." In "Why the Anger?" by Robert Reich, Huffington Post, 12 August 2013.

 

 Now That's Rich

 

          As to "income, wealth and power," we learn that Reich's public salary is available online, as five year old data from 2008. "Robert B. Reich PROFESSOR - ACADEMIC YEAR $209,900 - 2008,: Source: "University of California, Berkeley Public Salaries," Collegiate Times, 2013. This does not take into account speaking fees or book royalties. Suffice it to say, Reich is -- by the numbers -- well above the US Census Bureau's survey showing that those above $200,000 per year are above the 95th percentile of income in the nation. Obviously the man who writes that "many have come to believe that the deck is stacked against them" has not had the deck stacked against him.

          Unfortunately for Reich, the top income goes to his colleagues in university athletics, as one learns from the source above the following about UC Berkeley:  "Michael J. Montgomery HEAD COACH-INTERCOLG ATHLETICS $918,562 2008 and Joanne Boyle HEAD COACH-INTERCOLG ATHLETICS $635,081 2008," each in the top 1 percent of America, as is the new Chancellor of the UC system:  "Napolitano will make a base salary of $570,000 and get a one-time relocation fee of $142,500 and an annual auto allowance of $8,916." In "Janet Napolitano Approved as University of California President," Associated Press, 19 July 2013.

          For a parallel view of some of America's academic fats cats, see the lengthy, detailed footnote 4 in Doctor Oppression comes to call  .

          Given these elements in a much larger picture, one might mull over Reich's admission that "...income, wealth, and power have become more concentrated at the top than they've been in ninety years." Indeed it is true, and his economic and political class is a part of that concentration "at the top." See:  Income Inequality  .

 

[ 2 ]    Going to let you die?  One re-reads:   "As an example, let’s look at one of the scarier-sounding and more ridiculous rumors out there – that so-called 'death panels' would decide whether senior citizens get to live or die. That rumor began with the distortion of one idea in a Congressional bill that would allow Medicare to cover voluntary visits with your doctor to discuss your end-of-life care – if and only if you decide to have those visits. It had nothing to do with putting government in control of your decisions; in fact, it would give you all the information you need – if you want it – to put you in control of your decisions." Barack Obama, "Remarks of President Barack Obama," Office of the Press Secretary, 15 August 2009.

 

 A Real Killer?

 

          As an update, one also reads:  "An unaccountable body making decisions about patient care that will determine who receives the care that will allow them to live and who will be denied care and allowed to die, all in the name of costs savings. Where have we heard this before?" In "Obamacare's Advisory Board Could Be a Real Killer," by Peter Roff, US News and World Report, 28 June 2011.

          More recently, one finds:  "The IPAB's critics see it in a very different light. Because the board is prohibited by law from making recommendations that raise revenues, increase cost sharing of Medicare beneficiaries, or restrict benefits and eligibility, it is expected to focus on savings from medical providers. A broad coalition of health care industry groups, fearful that the board's proposals will result in reduced Medicare payments, fiercely opposes the IPAB. In addition, Republicans view it as an instrument of rationing and bureaucratic intrusion into medicine. ...For all the hype, the Congressional Budget Office currently forecasts no savings from the IPAB over the next decade. Regardless of the IPAB's future, one thing is clear: rather than removing politics from Medicare, the board's difficult early journey has underscored just how entrenched politics are in health care policy." In "Failure to Launch? The Independent Payment Advisory Board's Uncertain Prospects," by Jonathan Oberlander, Ph.D., and Marisa Morrison, B.A., The New England Journal of Medicine, 11 July 2013.

          This is followed with:  "One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them. There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic." In "The Affordable Care Act's Rate-Setting Won't Work," by Howard Dean, Wall Street Journal, 28 July 2013.

          Pondering on the changing landscape of assertions and counterclaims, it seems rather clear that Reich's statement from 2007 -- "so we're going to let you die" -- is apt and amusingly the opposite of what Obamacare's namesake said in 2009. When the government is in control of the purse strings, directly or indirectly, it is in "control of your decisions."

          "....so we're going to let you die."  Hey, don't argue with me. That's exactly what Reich stated.

 

[ 3 ]    And so, in the delightful give-and-take of American politics, both sides say the other side is "going to let you die." But what may be discerned in all such give-and-take is one salient fact: almost all of these political "opponents" have become wealthy and inhabit the upper five percentile of Americans, amassing millions for themselves being the clear and shared commonality between them and in contradistinction to the great majority of Americans in the 95 percentiles beneath these leaders.

 

 Maybe You're Better Off

 

          For this and the basic economic fact that equal levels of health care in cost and quality cannot be economically available to all without the upper fifth percentile receiving the same as the "poor," one finds Reich's admission entertainingly honest, and demonstrably true. "We're going to let you die."

          An odd echo of this is found from in an excerpt from a video interview from some years ago:  " 'Outside the medical criteria,' Sturm asked, 'is there a consideration that can be given for a certain spirit … and quality of life?' / 'I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples' spirit,' Obama said, 'Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking painkillers'." In "Video: Let them eat painkillers," Ed Morrisey, Hot Air, 21 July 2009. One notes this comment precedes Reich's by a few months in the ongoing political dialogue over government and healthcare, costs and insurance mandates.

          The remaining question for understanding Reich's cynical honesty is to ask, "who is the 'we?" Given that he is in the upper five percent of Americans all with so many public voices in the moment, it is likely he means his small coterie of the wealthy from both parties which posture a political opposition more lively than reality suggests. 

          Please see:  Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides  .


 

Passive? Quiz him!

"If you want to end terrorism, you have to stop being terrorists, which is what war is." Howard Zinn, May 13, 2009 Interview with Amy Goodman, (democracynow.org)

How would it have answered
As Turks stood at Vienna's gates?
How would that have worked out
Against a Third Reich's roaring fates?
How would that have functioned
Against the enemy that hates?
How would he have managed,
Immersed in such dire straits?

Stop! Don't be a warrior,
When a war is raging on.
Stop, lay down your weapons,
And expect the enemy be gone.
Stop, yes stop the terror,
And wait patiently upon
The advancing armies' terror
With their weapons fully drawn.

Pacifism is shining, bright
Projected on classroom walls,
But pacifists? They'll never fight,
Not in the worst of brawls.
Yet they rage and buck and bite
When never danger calls.
But when some terror shows its bite,
Pacifism's surrender palls.

When one equates terror with war,
Confusion reigns supreme.
The pacifists' surrendering roar
Becomes a silent scream.
To end it all, then stop the war?
But without a victory theme?
The pacifist is merely a boor,
With no way to reach his dream.

Some passive-ists were warriors once,
In the savagery of war,
And came to think their words and grunts
Would blunt what they abhor.
But ending war with wordy stunts
Forgets freedom requires more
Than wishing, wanting, wordy runts
To cringe near evil's shore.

See:    Peace at all costs 


 

None of your damn business

"The absurdity of human affairs and the forlornness and emptiness, the fearful loneliness that comes from not knowing if there is any meaning to our lives..." (p. xvii). Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals.

It's none of your damn business
    How I live my life;
You're not some Mister Bigness,
    Just a thug with a wordy knife.
What is it to you then
    If meanings aren't the same?
My meaning is what and when
    I say it is, I claim.
So butt out, buzz off, take a hike
    And leave me be in peace;
You might want to gin a strike,
    When I would see one cease.
Or I might find my meaning
    Where you can see no thought;
Perhaps the way you're leaning
    Was so absurdly taught
That human lives are quite absurd,
    Forlorn and empty too,
But that's just blather, word by word,
    Out of angry, empty you.
What's really truly radical
    Is what you did not see,
That you are you, your obstacle
    Is that I shall be quite me.
Not who you would say I am,
    All empty, filled with fear,
But someone seeing through your scam
    With human, thinking cheer.
Absurd and empty? Or forlorn?
    That's what you say folks are.
But I know quite why I was born;
    It's not your exemplar.
It's none of your damn business
    And you have not the right.

Living free is my mistress
    And for her I would fight.

What is it to you then
    If meanings aren't the same?
My meaning is what and when
    I say it is, I claim.

Grumbling words hide your inner tyke,

    Whose tantrums ought to cease. 
So butt out, buzz off, take a hike
    And leave me be in peace.

See:   For Your Common Good 


 

Bird Songs - (rhymed paraphrases of Wilhelm Busch poems)

i. Finch and Frog

A finch piped up in an apple tree
that finch's cheeky cheep-a-cheep-cheep!
A tree frog climbed up to him laboriously,
Up to a green-leafed roof quite steep,
And swelled himself to croak: "It's me,
Neighborly ready to croak-a-peep-peep!"

And as the bird was fresh, freshly sweet,
So sweet to the spring did it tweet-a-tweet-tweet,
The frog joined in with a raucous bleat,
A moaning drone, quite indiscrete.

The finch burst forth: "Hurrah! Hurray!
I'll think that I shall fly away!"
And leapt into the sky that day.

"What!" cried the frog, "Well so shall I!"
And believing such foolish lie,
Fell splat to the ground where it did die.
Flat as a pancake flat, doornail dead,
It had given its final croak instead.

If someone -- not a bird -- climbs high
And thinks that he might someday fly
Without the wings of the birdy bird,
Why then, such thinking is simply absurd.

ii. The wise owl

The wise old owl holds still his tongue
When two sides' angry words are flung.
A stork and raven once did dispute --
"Did the Lord God (who was truly quite astute)
Make first the egg or bird? Refute!"
The stork screeched, "T'was the fowl!
That is truth, most certainly allowed!"
The raven croaked, "The egg was first!
Who can't see that is brain-dead! Cursed!"

They both went on quite loud and long,
As two nosey frogs joined the duo's song.
The first invoked, "The stork's so bright!"
The second croaked, "The raven's right!"

"What?" the argumentative birds did say.
"Such frogs dare to join in our bird-brain fray?"
The argument ceased right then and there,
As the birds snapped up the usurping pair
And lunched on frog as their lunchtime fare.

"Yup," punned the wise old owl,
"Staying silent, the frogs would not have run afoul."

iii. Dreadful Henry

His mother said, "Dear Henry, son,
"Here're fresh baked pretzels, quite well done."

Henry thought without thinking much,
To bait with pretzel some geese, to clutch.

A gosling swam quite near to shore,
And Henry grabbed it, furthermore.

It struggled with all its goose-like might.
The elders saw its dreadful plight.

The whole gaggle of geese then did attack,
Assaulting Henry, front and back.

Henry fell over from the utter shock,
And was seized upon by all the flock.

With Henry they sprang into the sky,
And flew quite fast and flew quite high.

They came upon the mother's house,
Carrying that mother's awful little louse.

Down the chimney they dropped the lad,
And Henry fell and was bruised quite bad.

Down the chimney with a clatter and bang,
Into the kettle which whistled and sang.

With a ladle so quickly had the mother hooked
Silly, stupid Henry before he was cooked.

In front of the oven he had to stay
To dry out, on that goose-flown day.

The geese, one notes, had a pretzel to eat,
Which tasted all the more deliciously sweet.

See:   Vogel-lieder  (2010)   


 

A Messenger from God

"'I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century.'," in "Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II walks free from jail and tells the world: 'I am a messenger from God'," Daily Mail, 18 January 2010

A messenger from God needs lawyers?
And sought a gawking press?
Once this was not so;
They came in angelic dress.

Today they come with pistols
To make their inane wee mark,
Which makes this odd comparison
Really rather stark.

Angels, so religions say,
Are not men folk at all;
Their legions make mere mortals
Seem rather fiercely small.

So this wee man is likely more
A slug from Satan's hell,
Than an angel from God's high heavens,
Where angels are said to dwell.

When a messenger from God appears,
I'll need no proclamation
From some self-absorbed little man
And his self-overestimation.

See:    I am god, and I'm in charge 


 

Witness

From the heights of greatness

        to the shallows of despair
Individuals have triumphed

        by disproportionate share.
Societies and governments

        fancy themselves great,
But governance breeds war,

        confiscation, and hate.
Individuals triumph

        in words, canvases, tunes,
Bearing bright witness

        that individuality festoons
The halls of culture,

        the houses of God,
All of them avenues

        where the many have trod.
Achievement is singular,

        when done by all,
While society is collective,

        and more like a brawl
Than a quiet moment

        of reflection and thought
Where never more

        than ideas are fought.
Witness that solitary

        men are at work,
While societies look on,

        with so often a smirk.

See:    Solitude 


 

American Cads

"Mohammad Omar said that additional US forces would help ease the worsening security situation in the region. 'We have an enemy and know that they want to kill us,' he said in reference to the Taliban. 'Our [German] friends observe this but don’t save us. So we must ask our other [American] friends to save us.'" In, Kunduz governor calls Bundeswehr 'ineffective,' The Local, Germany's News in English, 15 Jan 2010, 09:30 Central European Time.

"Please send me a killer to help kill a killer;
Don't send me some nice, pleasant lads.
If your boys in this war are just political filler,
I'd rather you send me some murderous cads.

"If someone is aiming a weapon at you,
Would you simply ruffle up your feathers?
When push comes to shove in this terrible stew,
It's soldiers that should break loose from their tethers.

"When the jihadists approach, hate-filled and shrill,
Don't send babes in arms intending not to shoot.
If they look like they're soldiers, why can they not kill?
I'd rather you send me some murderous brute."

Pacifists linger at the back of the fray,
Their politics one endless parade.
But in the front line they seem absent this day;
It just might be that it's all a charade.

This Mohammad wants to help kill a killer;
He asks for no nice, pleasant lads.
When the boys in the war are some pacifist's pillar,
Then the answer comes, send American "cads."


 

A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement - "Where have all the critics gone, long time passing?" 

     

 

"That is the world that we are preparing, Winston. A world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power. You are beginning, I can see, to realize what that world will be like. But in the end you will do more than understand it. You will accept it, welcome it, become part of it." In "1984" by George Orwell, published in 1949.

 

Obama’s a killer;
Nobel can’t hide
He’s led a thriller
Of an Afghanicide.

Obama’s a warrior
Who’s funded that war;
Seems that’s actually
What Democrats are for.

Obama is vicious,
As bombs rain down
On some Muslim folk
In a Muslim town.

Obama’s evaded
Bush-aimed anti-war noise,
Because it turns out
They were mostly his boys.

Obama’s in office
And boom go those bombs.
But all those protestors?
They show no more qualms.

For Obama’s in office,
And now the war’s just
A peripheral problem,
Not a matter of trust.

Obama’s supporters
Reason it out like this:
Bush started the mess
With a swing and a miss.

Obama’s just doing
What ever he can,
Except stopping the wars
Which he said was his plan.

Obama’s going along
With quiet aplomb
Because Bush protestors cheer
Nobel’s Obama-mite bomb.

Obama’s prized peace
Is a Peace Prize now past;
And golly, there goes
Another terrorist blast.

Obama seems proud
Of the record he’s made.
These years of warfare
Are like the golf games he played.

Obama’s a killer;
The Left can’t hide
He accelerated the thriller
Of an Afghanicide.

 

Envoi: “War is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror. Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things. Only economic action has created the wealth around us; labor, not the profession of arms, brings happiness. Peace builds; war destroys.” Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

 

 Addendum Looking Back at a Legacy of Death:   "When President Barack Obama leaves the White House later this month, he will leave behind a shocking legacy of death and destruction in the Middle East. His foreign policy vision, which saw the United States focus on cooperation with Iran as its core strategy, has unlocked a Pandora's box of conflict and sectarian strife across the zone. Obama has now belatedly, during the closing days of his administration, come to realize that the nuclear deal with Iran and his concessions to that ruthless regime have in fact not only threatened the security of the Middle East, but have even undermined the interests of the United States. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Turkey have tried in vain to prevent Iran's aggressive expansionism in the region, but they have been repeatedly thwarted by U.S. empathy for the mullahs' regime. His failure to back the Syrian opposition has allowed the bloody civil war in that country to rage on into its seventh year, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and sparking the huge migration crisis in Europe." In "Obama leaves legacy of death, destruction in Middle East," by Struan Stevenson, United Press International 6 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Post-Obama Democrats:   "Think the Left is antiwar? Think again. ...the Democratic establishment is just as hawkish as the Republican establishment — Hillary Clinton has long favored regime change in Syria and actually called for airstrikes just hours before Trump gave the order — and anyone who stands in the way of their imperial ambitions must be silenced, even if it means empowering a Republican president. As Gabbard herself tweeted, 'Those who’ve declared Trump a habitual liar now vilify those refusing to blindly follow him into another regime change war. Hypocrisy'." In "Democrats Attack Democratic Congresswoman for Opposing Trump’s Syria Strike," by Michael Tennant, New American, 11 April 2017.

 

Addendum of Obama's Predator Missiles:   "One of the first things he should have done was cut several hundred billion dollars out of that bloated military budget. And almost as soon as he [Obama] takes office, there are Predator missiles flying over Pakistan, killing people. They tell us they’re aimed at terrorists. Truth is, they don’t know who the terrorists are. They’re suspected terrorists. We’re always killing suspects. You’re not supposed to kill suspects. And, then innocent people get killed along with the suspects." In "You have to go beyond capitalism," Howard Zinn interviewed by Dave Zirin, International Socialist Review, Issue 66, July 2009.

 

Addendum for Afghanistan:  "President Barack Obama said U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan will adopt a “support role” starting in the spring of 2013, to allow Afghan police and soldiers to take full responsibility of the country’s security, a nation where 2,053 American soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7, 2001. Seventy-two percent of those casualties occurred during Obama's first term." In "72% of U.S. Causalities in Afghan War Under Obama's Watch," by Patrick Burke, Cybercast News Service, 11 January 2013.

 

Revisit to Afghanistan in the Words of 2007:  "The time has come to turn the page on a failed approach. We must stop fighting the wrong war and start fighting the war we need to win. The next President of the United States must commit to getting our troops out of Iraq and taking the fight to the terrorists. We must reinforce our mission in Afghanistan with additional troops." Barack Obama, in "Remarks in Washington, DC: "The War We Need to Win," 1 August 2007.

 

 Revisit to Obama's War in Afghanistan in 2015:   "The tempo of operations is 'unprecedented for this time of year' — that is, the traditional winter lull in fighting, an American military official said. No official would provide exact figures, because the data is classified. The Afghan and American governments have also sought to keep quiet the surge in night raids to avoid political fallout in both countries. 'It’s all in the shadows now,' said a former Afghan security official who informally advises his former colleagues. 'The official war for the Americans — the part of the war that you could go see — that’s over. It’s only the secret war that’s still going. But it’s going hard'." In "U.S. Is Escalating a Secretive War in Afghanistan," by Matthew Rosenberg and Eric Schmitt, 12 February 2015.

 

Addendum for Somalia:   "Yesterday's airstrike may not be the first for the US in Somalia, but it is the first major strike against a terrorist target under President Obama, and, despite campaign promises to try a different, more nuanced approach to the war against terrorists, this had all the hallmarks of his predecessor, George W. Bush." In "Obama's first Somalia strike hits Al Qaeda suspect," by Scott Baldauf, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 September 2009  [ 1 ]

 

Addendum for Libya:   "More than 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck over 20 targets inside Libya today in the opening phase of an international military operation the Pentagon said was aimed at stopping attacks led by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and enforcing a U.N.-backed no-fly zone. President Obama, speaking from Brazil shortly after he authorized the missile attacks, said they were part of a "limited military action" to protect the Libyan people."  In "U.S. Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Hit Targets in Libya," by Devin Dwyer and Luis Martinez, ABC News, 19 March 2011.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum for Uganda:  "President Barack Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help hunt down the leaders of the notoriously violent Lord's Resistance Army in and around Uganda. 'I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield,' Obama said in letter sent Friday to House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, the president pro tempore of the Senate." In "Obama orders U.S. troops to help chase down African 'army' leader," by the CNN Wire Staff, 14 October 2011.

 

Addendum for Yemen:  In "Not even a full day had passed before newly reelected President Obama ordered another drone strike in Yemen." In "Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection," by John Glaser, antiwar.com blog, November 07, 2012.

 

Addendum for Turkey:   "US troops and Patriot missile batteries will be deployed to southern Turkey, along the border with Syria, in a move US officials claim is aimed at defending against a possible Syrian attack on its much larger and vastly more powerful neighbor. Of course there is no reason to believe Syria is considering an attack on Turkey in the first place, and indeed much of northern Syria is already in the hands of Turkish and NATO-backed rebel factions, making such a strike even less plausible." In "US Sending Missiles, Troops to Syrian Border," by Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 14 December 2012

 

Addendum of 35 African nations:  "A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists." In "Teams from a US Army brigade heading to 35 African nations to beef up anti-terror training," Associated Press, 24 December 2012.

 

Addendum for Pakistan: "The United Nations (UN) is to examine Britain and the US drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan based on requests by several nations, including Pakistan and two permanent members of the UN Security Council." In "UN to probe UK and US drone strikes," Press TV, 26 January 2013.

 

Addendum "shielded beyond the reach of law":   "... the recent excesses of U.S. presidential power are not transient aberrations, but the creation of a frightening new normal, where drone strikes, warrantless surveillance, assassination and indefinite detention are conducted with arrogance and impunity, shielded by secrecy and beyond the reach of law." In "Brennan and Kiriakou, Drones and Torture," by Amy Goodman, TruthDig and DemocracyNow!, 6 February 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum on Pakistan again:  "'The position of the government of Pakistan is quite clear,' said Emmerson. 'It does not consent to the use of drones by the United States on its territory and it considers this to be a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity.' The drone campaign 'involves the use of force on the territory of another state without its consent and is therefore a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty,' he said." In "UN says US drones violate Pakistan's sovereignty," by Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press, 15 March 2013.

 

Addendums for Jordan:  "In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, CNN has learned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering the deployment of up to 200 troops to Jordan, according to two Defense Department officials." In "U.S. military to step up presence in Jordan in light of Syria civil war," by Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent, 17 April 2013.    [ 4 ]

 

Addendum for Syria:   "White House officials refused to comment Friday on a Los Angeles Times report that CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since late last year, saying only that the U.S. had increased its assistance to the rebellion." In "Update: U.S. training Syrian rebels; White House 'stepped up assistance'," by David S. Cloud and Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2013.

 

Insight from a Progressive Group:   "After receiving the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama has made perpetual war look more perpetual than ever. Today, there are more U.S. troops in Afghanistan than when Obama took office. His presidency has widened the use of drones and other instruments of remote killing in several countries." In "Revoke Obama's Nobel Peace Prize," Message on a web site, RootsActions, April 2013.   [ 5 ]

  

 Insight from an Irish Socialist MP:   "In reference to Obama’s decision to arm Syrian rebels, Deputy Daly said, 'Of course, the biggest irony of all, the protestations of Obama himself in his speech to children in Northern Ireland about peace, when he said, ‘those who choose the path of peace, I promise you, that the United States of America will support you every step of the way. We will always be the wind at your back.' Now, I ask you, is this person going for the hypocrite of the century award?' said Daly. 'Because we have to call things by their right names, and the reality is that by any serious examination, this man is a war criminal. He has just announced his decision to supply arms to the Syrian opposition, including the jihadists, fueling the destabilization of that region and continuing to undermine secularism and knock back conditions for women.' Daly then directly criticized the 'Taoiseach,' or prime minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, for showing too much deference to the Obama administration’s policies, remarking that 'you have showcased us as a nation of pimps prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head'." In "Irish Parliamentarian: Is Obama ‘Going for the Hypocrite of the Century Award?’," by Michael Chapman, CNS News, 25 June 2013.

 

Insight from a Muslim Lawyers Group:   "The Muslim Lawyers Association in Johannesburg wants US President Barack Obama arrested and tried for war crimes when he arrives in South Africa on June 29. It submitted a 600-plus page document to the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday asking for an investigation into Obama's involvement in the Middle East. Group spokesman Yousha Tayob said Obama ordered drone strikes that killed innocent civilians. In terms of the Rome Statute, South Africa has the right to prosecute a war criminal on its territory, said Tayob. Researchers from New York University School of Law and Stanford University Law School recently released a report entitled "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan". They found that in four years Obama commissioned five times more drone attacks than former president George W Bush did in his two terms in the White House."   " In "'Arrest Obama when he visits'," by Katherine Child, TimesLive, South Africa, 11 June 2013.

 

Addendum for Syria:  "And who are the rebels we would aid? In April, Syria's rebels pledged allegiance to al-Qaida and its current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, with 'al-Qaida in Iraq' announcing its union with Syrian militants under the new moniker, "the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" — the eastern Mediterranean Mideast." In "Syria: Nobel Peace Prize Winner's Next War," Editorial, Investors Business Daily, 14 June 2013.  [ 6 ]

 

Addendum for Egypt:  "President Obama withdraws troops fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and sends others to Egypt to protect a regime that supports terrorists. According to reports, the commander-in-chief is deploying a riot-control unit from Fort Hood to Egypt to help the Islamofascist regime there repel its own citizens protesting increasing human-rights violations. More than 400 Army soldiers from the Texas base will soon man posts throughout Egypt as part of a nine-month 'peacekeeping mission.' They've been trained to respond to threats, including protests and riots." In "Now Obama Using Troops To Prop Up Cairo's Islamofascists," Investors Business Daily, 25 June 2013.

 

Addendum II for Turkey:   "...the crash drew back the curtain on Operation Nomad Shadow, a secretive U.S. military surveillance program. Since November 2011, the U.S. Air Force has been flying unarmed drones from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in an attempt to suppress a long-simmering regional conflict. The camera-equipped Predators hover above the rugged border with Iraq and beam high-resolution imagery to the Turkish armed forces, helping them pursue PKK rebels as they slip back and forth across the mountains." In "U.S. military drone surveillance is expanding to hot spots beyond declared combat zones," by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post, 20 July 2013.

 

Addendum II for Yemen:   "The officials said the revived drone campaign — with four strikes in rapid succession — is directly related to the emergence of intelligence indicating that al-Qaeda’s leader has urged the group’s Yemen affiliate to attack Western targets." In "Obama administration authorized series of recent drone strikes in Yemen," by Greg Miller, Anne Gearan and Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 6 August 2013. (More than a decade earlier, one read "U.S. kills al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen," USAToday, 5 November 2002.)     [ 7 ]
 

Insight from a Comic Commentator: "You mean al Qaeda? Because we're basically arming al Qaeda. I don't understand this --," quote of Bill Maher, HBO's Real Time, 14 June 2013.   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Arming ISIS Indirectly:   "A new report from a prominent human rights group has found that ISIS has built a substantial arsenal, including U.S.-made weapons obtained from the Iraqi army and Syrian opposition groups. Amnesty International's 44-page report, released late Monday, found that much of ISIS' equipment and munitions comes from stockpiles captured from the U.S.-allied Iraqi military and Syrian rebels." In "Amnesty report: ISIS armed with U.S. weapons," by Zachary Cohen, CNN, 9 December 2015.

 

Addendum for the Antiwar Crowd: "On the eve of American military intervention in Syria, the once-robust antiwar movement has stayed curiously silent. Activists who turned out thousands of protesters during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq say they’ve been unable to effectively organize or raise money since the end of the Bush years, and that newer causes like drones have seized the space on the left once occupied by opposition to conventional warfare. And some acknowledge that the energy has leaked out of the movement because a Democrat is now in office. Though some groups have organized online petitions and some real-life protests, the antiwar crowd that was on fire before the war in Iraq has made hardly a dent in the conversation surrounding Syria." In "Antiwar Left Stays Quiet On Syria," Rosie Gray, BuzzFeed, 28 August 2013.

 

 Addendum of Becoming: "President Obama looked uncomfortable as he stood before the nation on Saturday, announcing that he would ask for a congressional resolution of support to use limited force in Syria. Obama, who won the hearts and souls of many Americans in the 2008 election with his trenchant criticism of President George W. Bush's war in Iraq, now finds himself leading a controversial and ambiguous military operation that has little support, in Congress or abroad." In "Obama's Syria dilemma: Becoming the president he didn't like," by Julian Zelizer, CNN, 1 September 2013.

 

Addendum of Becoming a Mercenary:   "Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles. Has it come to this — U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?" In "Just whose war is this?" by Patrick Buchanan, Human Events, 6 September 2013.   [ 9 ]

 

Addendum II for Africa:   "US Africa Command recognizes 54 countries on the continent, but refuses to say in which ones (or even in how many) it now conducts operations. An investigation by Tom Dispatch has found recent US military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations. In some, the US maintains bases, even if under other names. In others, it trains local partners and proxies to battle militants ranging from Somalia's al-Shabaab and Nigeria's Boko Haram to members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Elsewhere, it is building facilities for its allies or infrastructure for locals. Many African nations are home to multiple US military projects. Despite what AFRICOM officials say, a careful reading of internal briefings, contracts, and other official documents, as well as open source information, including the command's own press releases and news items, reveals that military operations in Africa are already vast and will be expanding for the foreseeable future." In "The Startling Size of US Military Operations in Africa, The Pentagon's Africa Command will tell you there's one military base on the entire continent. Don't believe them," by Nick Turse, Mother Jones, 6 September 2013.   [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of Obama Bombing Pretty Much Anything He Wants:   "Back in 2011, President Obama used military force against Libya. Unable to rely on the 2001 AUMF or the 2003 AUMF against a government that had nothing to do with al-Qaida or Iraq, Obama relied on his constitutional authority. The administration claimed that the War Powers Resolution did not apply because sending planes to drop bombs and fire missiles at enemy troops did not amount to 'hostilities' governed by the war powers act. This was a ludicrous interpretation of the law. It is plain that the president will cite statutes if they exist, but if none do, that won’t stop him." In "Obama Can Bomb Pretty Much Anything He Wants To," by Eric Posner, Slate, 23 September 2014.    [ 11 ]

 

Addendum of the Reticent Police State on Loan from the Feds:   "In the past eight years, the Pentagon grant program has loaned local law enforcement some 200,000 ammunition magazines, 94,000 machine guns, and thousands of armored vehicles, aircraft, land mine detectors, silencers, and grenade launchers—all at the request of the local agencies themselves. But images of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, of police in military gear cracking down on peaceful protesters, have turned many communities against a program critics say has eroded the line between police officers and soldiers. Recently, in response to the local outcry over aggressive policing tactics, San Jose, California's police department announced plans to return its mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP), and the Los Angeles school system police department has agreed to return its three grenade launchers." In "Police Want to Get Rid of Their Pentagon-Issued Combat Gear. Here's Why They Can't," by Molly Redden, Mother Jones, 30 September 2014.

 

 Addendum for American Troops in Afghanistan until 2024:   "...the deal guarantees that US and Nato troops will not have to withdraw by year’s end, and permits their stay 'until the end of 2024 and beyond.' The entry into force of the deal ensures that Barack Obama, elected president in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, will pass off both the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor. In 2010, his vice-president, Joe Biden, publicly vowed the US would be 'totally out' of Afghanistan 'come hell or high water, by 2014'." In "New Afghanistan pact means America's longest war will last until at least 2024," by Spencer Ackerman, Guardian UK, 30 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Regular Lethal Action:   "Obama pledged in his 2013 inaugural address that 'a decade of war is now ending,' but the numbers suggest otherwise. The U.S. takes regular lethal action in at least five countries. U.S. troops are deployed in three conflict zones. And America is directly involved in a pair of Arab civil wars." In "World War O," by Michael Crowley, Politico, 23 April 2015.   [ 12 ]

 

Addendum of Obama's Unlimited Drone Wars: "The US government considers all drone deployments against the organized terrorism of al-Qaida and its 'associated forces' to be part of a global war where the battlefield is any place where the enemy is found. Still, few international law experts in Europe, and few experts in the foreign ministries of NATO allies, are prepared to accept a US view according to which the entire planet is seen as a theater of war in a conflict where it has an unlimited license to kill." In "A War Waged From German Soil: US Ramstein Base Key in Drone Attacks," by Spiegel staff, Spiegel Online, 22 April 2015.

 

In the Seventh Year of the Obama Administration:   "War, what's it good for? Aside from countless deaths of innocent civilians of course, it means a GDP boost for the biggest exporter of weapons on earth, the United States, and even more profits for the US military-industrial complex. Profits which mean the shareholders of America's arms manufacturers get even richer. Which is why following months of middle-eastern sabre ratling and numerous quasi-wars already raging in the region, moments ago the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 10 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Saudi Arabia for $1.9 billion, the first step in 'a major multibillion-dollar modernization of the Saudi navy's eastern fleet'." In "This Is How You "Boost" GDP: US Sells Over $4 Billion In Weapons To Israel, Iran And Saudi Arabia," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge Fund, 22 May 2015.

 

And also in the Seventh Year of the Obama Administration:   "In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries, American and allied officials say. The proposal, if approved, would represent the first time since the end of the Cold War that the United States has stationed heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member nations in Eastern Europe that had once been part of the Soviet sphere of influence." In "U.S. Is Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe," by Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, 13 June 2015.

 

Droning On and On:   "During the George W Bush administration, the US conducted around 50 drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists. The Obama administration, however, has ordered around 500 strikes, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks the use of drones by the US military and CIA. The bulk of the drone strikes have taken place in Pakistan, where they have become a major factor in spurring anti-American sentiment, but they have also been conducted in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan." In "Deadly US drone programme still controversial," by Geoff Dyer, Financial Times, 8 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Orwell Yet Again:   "...that fairly common spectacle, the pacifist of one war who is a bellicist in the next."    [ 13 ]

 

Addendum of an Obama Administration's Involvement in Worldwide Armament Sales: "While Clinton was secretary of state, her department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors. That figure from Clinton’s three full fiscal years in office is almost double the value of arms sales to those countries during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term. The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. That was a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period." In "The cash donations Hillary simply has no answer for," by David Sirota, Salon, 31 May 2015.

 

Addendum of Continuing War:   "The White House put no timetable on how long the American forces will stay. Obama has said he expects the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria to last beyond his presidency. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he wasn't ruling out a further U.S. escalation of the fight and that he couldn't predict the future. Only two weeks ago, Obama said he was reversing course and keeping American troops in Afghanistan beyond next year. That means the president who inherited two military conflicts will likely hand his successor three." In "Analysis: Obama Crosses Own Red Line With Syrian Deployment," by Julie Pace, ABC News, 31 October 2015.   [ 14 ]

 

Addendum of Increased Military Spending:   "... the Obama administration said Tuesday it wants to quadruple military spending in Europe to reassure NATO allies still anxious over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. The spending would increase to $3.4 billion under the new plan, which will be introduced next week as part of Mr. Obama’s final budget." In "Obama wants to quadruple military spending in Europe to counter Russian aggression," by Dave Boyer, Washington Times, 2 February 2016.

 

Addendum of Somalia in Obama's Eighth Year in Office:   "The United States has carried out an air strike in Somalia, killing more than 150 fighters with the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, following U.S. intelligence on preparations for a large-scale militant attack, the Pentagon said on Monday. The weekend strike using both manned and unmanned drone aircraft targeted al Shabaab's 'Raso' training camp, a facility about 120 miles north of the capital Mogadishu, the Pentagon said." In "U.S. strikes al Shabaab training camp in Somalia, more than 150 killed," by Phil Stewart, Reuters, 7 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of Obama's Sitting Ducks in Egypt:  "More than 1,600 international forces occupy outposts in the Sinai, including 700 mostly U.S. Army National Guard troops. But these forces are unable to carry out offensive operations against ISIS-affiliated groups such as Wilayat Sinai since they are bound by an agreement made months after the 1978 Camp David accord, which made peace between Egypt and Israel." In "Sitting Ducks? ISIS threatens American troops in Egypt's Sinai," by Lucas Tomlinson and Jennifer Griffin, FOX News, 7 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Afghanistan in Obama's Eighth Year in Office:   "Nine months after President Obama declared an end to the American combat mission in Afghanistan, these Green Berets were at the leading edge of an offensive to retake Kunduz, where Afghan forces had melted away as insurgents attacked, leaving an entire city in the Taliban’s grip for the first time since 2001. The fight for the police compound proved crucial in rallying Afghan forces to retake the city. It also offered the starkest example to date of a blurry line in Afghanistan and Iraq between the missions that American forces are supposed to be fulfilling — military training and advising — and combat. Mr. Obama has portrayed that combat role as over." In "U.S. Role in Afghanistan Turns to Combat Again, With a Tragic Error," by Matthew Rosenberg and Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, 8 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Obama's Killer Policies:   "During Obama’s time in office the US military would have allocated more money to war-related initiatives than it did under Bush: 866 billion dollars under Obama. Obama has unleashed 372 drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, according to data gathered by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 112 strikes in Yemen and 19 in Somalia. In fiscal year 2014, US special-operations forces were deployed to 133 countries, or roughly 70 percent of the entire world. The size of SOCOM has expanded by almost 25 percent since Obama took office." In "Obama’s ‘Killer’ Policies May Be Carried On by His Political Twin," by Martin Berger, New Eastern Outlook, 16 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Obama's Terror Around the Globe:   "The vote came almost exactly one year after President Barack Obama promised to work toward sunsetting the law as part of a scaled-back foreign policy. In his May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, the president also promised to end the war in Afghanistan, close Guantanamo Bay, and constrain drone policy – all policies enabled by the authorization. Yet, one year later, the president’s promises appear hollow. American drones continue to terrorize people around the globe, striking relentlessly and often arbitrarily. The secrecy of America’s drones operations continues, with the U.S. government refusing to acknowledge strikes, investigate civilian deaths or compensate victims after horrific stories come to light (e.g. the Yemeni wedding party destroyed by American drone strike last December)." In "Dear Congress: Take Your Power Back," by Micahel Shank and Elizabeth Beavers, US News and World Report, 29 May 2014.  [ 15 ]

 

 Addendum of Ensuring Failure in War as a Win for Saudi Arabia:   "For an extraordinarily long period after 9/11, the US refused to confront these traditional Sunni allies and thereby ensured that the 'War on Terror' would fail decisively; 15 years later, al-Qaeda in its different guises is much stronger than it used to be because shadowy state sponsors, without whom it could not have survived, were given a free pass. It is not as if Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and the US foreign policy establishment in general did not know what was happening. An earlier WikiLeaks release of a State Department cable sent under her name in December 2009 states that 'Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan].' But Saudi complicity with these movements never became a central political issue in the US. Why not? The answer is that the US did not think it was in its interests to cut its traditional Sunni allies loose and put a great deal of resources into making sure that this did not happen. They brought on side compliant journalists, academics and politicians willing to give overt or covert support to Saudi positions. The real views of senior officials in the White House and the State Department were only periodically visible and, even when their frankness made news, what they said was swiftly forgotten." In "We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis: There is a bizarre discontinuity between what the Obama administration knew about the jihadis and what they would say in public," by Patrick Cockburn, Independent UK, 14 October 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Last Year of Obama's Militarist Administration:   "...these forces were present in 138 States last year or 70% of the world’s countries according to official Special Operations Command data published by TomDispatch. 55.29% of deployments were in the Middle East, a 35% decease since 2006. In Africa, deployments of elite U.S. forces skyrocketed 1,600 percent during the same timeframe." In "U.S. Special Forces Deployed To 70% Of The World In 2016," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 11 February 2017.

 

See:    Nobel for Today    and consider Obama's continuing war in A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Revisited - "All we are saying is give peace a chance"

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Quote of Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg trials, from Nuremberg Diary, by Gustave Mark Gilbert, published in part 1946-7, and published in full in 1961.

 

[ 2 ]      "Before the missile strike on Syria became an issue, the Navy's USS Nimitz, and its escorts, were scheduled to return from deployment. Now, however, they've been ordered to remain within striking distance of Syria, which alone costs an estimated $25 million per week. Further, each Tomahawk cruise missile likely to be fired on Syria costs an estimated $1.5 million each to replace. That's great news for Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), which builds the missile, but not for the Navy's budget. Plus, if the U.S. fires missiles, that'll add an additional $30 million per week for as long as the Navy's Nimitz and Truman are engaged in combat." In "How Much Will a War With Syria Cost?" by Katie Spence, Motley Fool, 7 September 2013.

 

 More Than 112 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Is Limited Military Action?

 

             "More than 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles" ordered fired by a Nobel Peace Prize winner  x  "an estimated $1.5 million each to replace" = more than $168 million dollars of munitions exploded over Libya.  ABC News called this "part of a 'limited military action' to protect the Libyan people," so one may wonder how the Libyan people are doing only two years later. One reads from the same news source:

           "Adding to the government's woes, the capital, Tripoli, has been hit with water cuts for three days and electricity outages for the past few months that last around four hours daily. Prime Minister Ali Zidan has struggled to reign in the combustible mix of tribal feuds, disgruntled employees and renegade militias fueling the crisis. The country's nascent police and army have been unable to secure the country following the eight-month-long civil war in 2011 that toppled dictator Moammar Gadfhafi. The closure of onshore oil facilities have driven down production to just 130,000 barrels per day, Libya's Deputy Oil Minister Omar el-Shakmak told reporters earlier this week. An official in Libya's National Oil Corp. said Saturday that figure had risen slightly by the end of the week to 150,000 barrels per day, less than 10 percent of its pre-war levels." In "Libya's Oil Exports Plunge as Problems Escalate," by Esam Mohamed, ABC News, 7 September 2013.

           One recalls in Senate testimony a sitting Secretary of State asking about American deaths in Libya: "What difference at this point does it make?" Now with reports, contested and not verified, that Syria has used chemical weapons on less that 3000 and that this is further justification for expending munitions as the above number and cost, all the while an American senator, per the below, has stated that the United States has killed more in number in drone attacks, the question rings out. What difference at this point does it make? It makes millions-in-profits difference to the manufacturers of drone weaponry. That is certain.

 

[ 3 ]     "'We've killed 4,700,' Mr Graham was quoted as saying by the Easley Patch, a local website covering the small town of Easley in South Carolina. 'Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda,' Mr Graham told the Easley Rotary Club." In "US senator says drones death toll is 4700," The Telegraph UK, 21 Feb 2013 (source: AFP)   

            For numerical comparison to another "hot button" death toll, "The Tuskegee Institute has recorded 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites were lynched between 1882 and 1968." from Wikipedia.  

 

 Important For Everybody To Understand

 

           Further one reads, ""Mr Obama said drones had 'not caused a huge number of civilian casualties', adding that it was 'important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash'. An Amnesty International statement demanded 'a detailed explanation of how these strikes are lawful and what is being done to monitor civilian casualties and ensure proper accountability'." In "Obama defends US drone strikes in Pakistan," BBC, 31 January 2012. 

            The statement by Graham alone justifies the opening lines of this rhyme above, "Obama’s a killer; /Nobel can’t hide...."

 

 Bush < Obama

 

            More as to the political climate of US politics in which Bush was decried as a hawk, while Obama with his now famous Nobel Peace Prize a dove:   "In the clearest example, Obama has authorized more than 300 overseas drone strikes against suspected terrorists as president – that’s compared to an estimate of roughly 50 such strikes under President George W. Bush – even as Obama has proposed new restrictions governing the policy." In "Obama continues, extends some Bush terrorism policies," by Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News , 6 June 2013.

            A simplest bit of math suggests that Obama has "authorized" six times the number of drone attacks, as of this report. How many more will be numbered before "Obama's a killer" is fully understood?  

            More as to drone attacks by the Obama administration where no declaration of war has been issued:  "The Obama administration has to back off because they should decide whether Pakistan is a friend or if Pakistan is a foe. If Pakistan is a friend of the United States of America, then the drone strikes must end. It is incumbent on the newly elected government of Pakistan to take a clear, principled, strong position on this issue," said Mushahid Hussain, a member of Pakistan’s parliament. The statement came following a petition filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday that requests the federal government stop US drone attacks - which are a violation of Article 245 of the Constitution. ...Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has criticized the assassination drone strikes, saying they violate the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and describing the CIA-operated strikes as a violation of international law and the UN charter." In "Chorus grows in Pakistan for strike against US assassination drones," Press TV, 21 June 2013.

 

[ 4 ]      To summarize the nations noted in the above recent news reports: Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Uganda, Yemen, Turkey, "35 African nations," Pakistan and now Jordan. More than fifty is the tally currently. This trumps the previous administration's adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, done in cooperation with with "liberal" governments like that of Blair's UK.

 

 Peace Prize Military Deployment

 

            One learns from an openly-reported source:  "A large American military force disembarked Tuesday, June 4, at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba - ready for deployment on the kingdom’s Syrian border, debkafile’s exclusive military sources report. The force made its way north along the Aqaba-Jerash-Ajilon mountain road bisecting Jordan from south to north, under heavy Jordanian military escort. Our sources disclose that this American force numbers 1,000 troops, the largest to land in Jordan since the Syrian civil war erupted in March 2012. They are members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force carried aboard the USS Kearsage amphibious assault ship, which has been anchored off neighboring Israeli Eilat since mid-May. Upon landing, the marines took to the road in a convoy of armored vehicles including Hummers." In "Large US Marine force lands in Aqaba to deploy on Jordanian-Syrian border," DEBKAfile, 5 June 2013.

 

[ 5 ]      "Obama’s willingness to deploy lethal force should have come as no surprise. In a 2002 speech, Illinois State Senator Obama opposed Bush’s impending invasion of Iraq, but not all conflicts. 'I don’t oppose all wars,' he said. 'What I am opposed to is a dumb war'." In "How Obama’s drone war is backfiring," by David Rohde, 1 March 2012.  

            Given the above recent news reports, the military actions of the Obama administration in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Uganda, Yemen, Turkey, a generalized list of "35 African nations," Pakistan,  Jordan and Syria, one must assume based on Obama's declaration that none of these many military adventures are dumb, all the while believing the previous president's military adventures in Iraq and beginning the continuing war in Afghanistan was.

            Logic and philosophical stances for military action and "imperialism" as used to criticize the "conservative" strain of American politics as "dumb" are now turned upside down, with military adventures in more than forty nations around the world under "liberal" and "progressive" war making by the Obama administration.

            This gathering picture of the warmonger -- to use a word popularized in the media decades back, and now fallen out of fashion -- becomes broader.  " 'What we're talking about is essentially the official legal and policy position of the government on when it thinks it can kill people suspected of terrorism,' Wala said. 'This shouldn't be the subject of an executive privilege claim. We're not talking about pre-decisional advice or interagency deliberations'." In "Obama Rebuffs Democrats On Drone Kill Memos, Asserts Executive Secrecy Prerogative," by Michael McAuliff and Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 13 March 2013.

 

[ 6 ]      "Since late last year, the CIA has been training small numbers of Syrian rebels at secret bases in Turkey and Jordan, CBS News has confirmed. The training has included the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, which have been provided by Arab countries, and which the rebels say they badly need to counter the firepower of the Syrian army." In "U.S. training Syrian rebels CBS News, 21 June 2013.

 

[ 7 ]      "The use of drone strikes have increased exponentially under the Obama administration, becoming a signature aspect of his incredibly aggressive and reckless foreign policy. And while the president and his advisers defend both their supposed legality and precision while simultaneously bragging when convenient and denying when pressured that the drone program even exists, a closer look at the use of Predator drones tells a very different story. Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports confirm that Obama is severely downplaying the wreckage that these drone strikes inflict. It is ultimately impossible to get exact numbers, but a new study from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute finds that the number of Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes are “significantly and consistently underestimated” by tracking organizations which are trying to take the place of government estimates on casualties. There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one 'suspected terrorist')." In "Predator Drone Strikes: 50 Civilians Are Killed For Every 1 Terrorist, and the CIA Only Wants to Up Drone Warfare," by Robert Taylor, PolicyMic, November 2012. 

 

[ 8 ]   "You mean al Qaeda?"  One reads:   "The loss of the 400 surface-to-air missiles, he told WMAL's audience, 'is why we shut down the 19 embassies recently. They were afraid that there was going to be a missile attack on one of the embassies. Remember, you can take a shoulder-held missile and shoot it into an embassy. Not just into the sky. That's what this was all about,' he insisted. 'That's why they're so worried. That's why they have lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi, because they are now responsible for all of the stepchildren of violence that happens as a result of this. This is a very serious matter'." In "400 US surface-to-air missiles were 'STOLEN' from Libya during the Benghazi attack and are 'now in the hands of Al Qaeda', claims whistleblower," by David Martosko, Daily Mail UK, 12 August 2013.

 

 A Great Achievement

 

            One also reads:   "...at a time when the Islamic State is undergoing a revival in Iraq, killing more people there than at any time since 2008 and staging a spectacular jailbreak last month that freed hundreds of militants, the push into Syria signifies the transformation of the group into a regional entity. The U.S. military — which referred to the organization as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) — claimed it had subdued AQI by the time the United States withdrew from Iraq in 2011. Evidently it did not, said Bruce Hoffman, director of security studies at Georgetown University, who thinks Syria is even more strategically significant for the group than Iraq. Syria’s location — the country shares borders with Turkey, Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon — gives al-Qaeda a foothold in the heart of the Middle East, Hoffman said." In "Al-Qaeda expands in Syria via Islamic State," by Liz Sly, Washington Post, 12 August 2013.

            Maher said "I don't understand this...." The hubris of bright boys and girls in government -- the openly political as well as the covert -- will always adopt the stance that they control events when obviously they cannot.

            One recalls American presidents' assertions:  "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." In "Remarks by the President on a New Beginning," Barack Obama, Cairo University, 4 June 2009, and "In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush characterized Islam as a religion of peace." In "Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?" by NPR Staff, National Public Radio, 13 October 2010. Given such statements ignoring much in more than a millennium of history, one might go back and reflect on all the addenda above, drawn from reputable news sources documenting a continuing war as conducted by two successive administrations, one Republican and one Democrat. Then consider this era's clear and propagandized assertion of Islamophobia .

            "Tolerance" spoken in Cairo in 2009, and "peace" reported by American National Public Radio in 2010, and war and more war reported around the world. And as counterpoint, an American president says unequivocally,  'I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war'."

 

 Arms for Terrorists

 

            One reads of supplying arms to "basically" al Qaeda:  "President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to 'vetted' opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001." In "Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition," by Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 16 September 2013.

            One recalls the expression used so often during the Bush years -- regime change. This has been the policy of Obama as well.

            Therefore, in reply to Maher who said, "Because we're basically arming al Qaeda. I don't understand this," the answer has been given by Obama. "I am opposed to... a dumb war." Tolerance. Peace. War.

            From an article also cited above, one reads:  "Amnesty International found that the quantity and range of ISIS' arms and ammunition 'ultimately reflects decades of irresponsible arms transfers to Iraq and multiple failures by the U.S.-led occupation administration to manage arms deliveries and stocks securely, as well as endemic corruption in Iraq itself.' By failing to account for the weapons that have been transferred to Iraq over the last several decades, the U.S. and other supplier nations have allowed them to freely flow through the region and fall into the hands of ISIS and other armed groups in the region, the human rights group charged." In "Amnesty report: ISIS armed with U.S. weapons," by Zachary Cohen, CNN, 9 December 2015.

            The clear and obvious parsing of Obama's own words prove he is for war, and the decisions of these many years underscore this with military actions around the world, including cross-border attacks and collateral civilian damage.

            "Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing...."

            As to that simple assertion about "proud tradition of tolerance" of which Obama spoke, one need ask simple questions based on the following exemplary story. One reads:   "Saudi Arabia says it has broken up planned Islamic State attacks in the kingdom, while announcing it has arrested over 400 people in its raids. In a statement Saturday carried on the official state news agency, the Interior Ministry also accused those arrested of conducting several attacks, including an Islamic State-claimed suicide bomb in May that killed 21 people in the village of al-Qudeeh, in the oil-rich eastern Qatif region. It was the deadliest militant assault in the kingdom in more than a decade." In "Saudi Arabia says it stopped Islamic State attacks; 400 held," Associated Press, 18 July 2015.

            The simple questions:  Are the Muslim Saudis intolerant of the Muslims of the Islamic State? Is the Islamic State intolerant of the Saudis? In the many such news reports in this time, where lies the "proud tradition of tolerance?" Simple questions for the simpleton?

            Consider the worldwide confusion which surrounds so-often empty accusations of Islamophobia .

 

[ 9 ]   The pretense of the impotent model of Left-Right politics comes crashing down yet again, as conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan speaks out against Obama's plans to strike Syria, while Representative Alan Grayson (Democrat-Florida) stated without hesitation:    "That doesn't mean that opposition is universal, Grayson allowed. 'I did notice, for what it's worth, that the manufacturer of the missiles that would be used has had an incredible run in their stock value in the last 60 days. Raytheon stock is up 20 percent in the past 60 days as the likelihood of the use of their missiles against Syria becomes more likely. So I understand that there is a certain element of our society that does benefit from this, but they're not the people who vote for me, or by the way the people who contribute to my campaign,' he said. 'Nobody wants this except the military-industrial complex'." In "Alan Grayson On Syria Strike: 'Nobody Wants This Except The Military-Industrial Complex'," by Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 29 August 2013.

 

 Sniff Sniff

 

            Looking back, one finds the ex-Senator and now Secretary of State in 2014 editorialized:  "...virtually all of Kerry's rivals for the 2004 Democratic nomination believe he is trying to straddle the issue by shifting his emphasis at different times and for different audiences. In unison, strategists for the other leading Democrats charge that Kerry is trying to appeal to peace groups influential in the primary by criticizing Bush's approach while maintaining his general election viability by accepting the eventual use of force. 'It doesn't really pass the smell test,' said a top advisor to a Democratic contender. 'It sounds like he is trying to protect himself so he can point back and say I supported the military action, but signal to all the peaceniks that all this is wrong, the president has been handling it abysmally and I am really with you'." In "On Iraq, Kerry Appears Either Torn or Shrewd," by Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times, 31 January 2003.

            But later "using American force" becomes justified in his own words:   "We are already spending billions of dollars to fight increasing extremism in many parts of the world. We didn't choose this fight; it was forced on us, starting with 9/11. To fail to see the opportunity of affirming the courageous demand of millions of disenfranchised young people for jobs, respect and democracy would be ignorant, irresponsible and short-sighted. It would ignore our real national security interests and help extend the narrative of resentment toward the U.S. and much of the West that is rooted in colonialism and furthered by our own invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan." In "Libya and the Just Use of American Force," by John Kerry, Wall Street Journal, 26 March 2011.

 

 Let Me Be Clear - War Is Not War

 

            The Kerry style of speaking and acting different ways at different times is summarized:  "When it comes to war, Kerry often takes a highly nuanced position. He voted against the congressional resolution authorizing force in the 1991 Gulf War, but voted for the 2002 resolution that supported military action against Iraq. Both votes turned out to be bad political bets. When Kerry opposed the 1991 resolution, he complained that the George H. W. Bush administration had done too little to involve the rest of the world in its campaign to oust Iraq from Kuwait. But in 2002, he praised the coalition that had been formed for the first Gulf War, in part to complain that George W. Bush had thus far failed to secure the same level of cooperation. When Kerry voted for the 2002 resolution, he warned he would not support war if Bush failed to win the support of the international community in the absence of an imminent threat. 'Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the president is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies,' Kerry said." In "Kerry’s claim that he opposed Bush’s invasion of Iraq," by Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 10 September 2013.

            A year later, acts of war do not define a war. Wiggle words surface, as they have in his past and in others. "The U.S. is not at war with ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted today, describing the military campaign outlined by President Obama as 'a counterterrorism operation of a significant order.' Kerry made his comment to ABC News today a day after the president's address to the nation in which he described the administration's plan to lead a broad coalition of nations to 'destroy' ISIS, which is also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. Obama said he would use American warplanes to 'degrade' ISIS and he did not rule out having those jets attack ISIS in Syria. In addition, he announced he was sending hundreds of additional U.S. troops to Iraq to help coordinate the fight against ISIS. In his national address, Obama avoided using the word 'war,' calling the offensive he outlined as a 'counter-terrorism campaign'.' In "Obama's ISIS Offensive Is Not 'War,' Kerry Insists," by Alexander Marquardt, ABC News, 11 September 2014.

            The political logic is clear. Acts of war cannot be termed war in order to avoid the reality that war is being conducted by those whose pretend politics is colored by an "anti-war" pretense.

            Boom go the "counterterrorism operations of a significant order."

            Bang goes the "offensive" as the warplanes fly their sorties.

            On goes the "military campaign" to "destroy."

            Let's call it an "overseas contingency operation." With some "kinetic military action."

            But let's not call it war. That would be stupid and subtract from wordy politics of it all.  See:  Subtracting  - from a verse of Gustave Flaubert.

 

 Yes and No Depending...

 

            But only days after Kerry's nuanced statements, one finds wiggling:   "...'I think there's frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology,' Kerry responded. 'What I'm focused on obviously is getting done what we need to get done to ISIL. But if people need to find a place to land: in terms of what we did in Iraq originally, this is not a war. This is not combat troops on the ground. It's not hundreds of thousands of people. It's not that kind of mobilization. But in terms of al Qaeda, which we have used the word war with, yeah, we're at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. And in the same context, if you want to use it, yes, we're at war with ISIL in that sense'." In "Kerry Flip-Flops On 'War'," by Daniel Halper, CBS Face the Nation via Washington Times, 14 September 2014.

            Both "sides" of Left and Right seem to find the word games of the American government silly.  One reads:  "...people are asking: Are we in a 'war' with the Islamic State? According to the administration: Yes, this is war. Or wait, no … 'war' isn’t the right word. Or maybe you can call it 'war' but it’s not really a 'war'-type war. No, hold on – yeah, it’s a war. Definitely a war. Maybe. That is the cumulative impact of the various contradictory and at some times nonsensical statements put out by senior administration officials on the issue of whether we’re fighting a war." In "One 3-letter word has the White House spooked: Why it’s so cagey about saying 'war'," by Simon Malloy, Salon, 15 September 2014.

            "Nuanced" has become indecipherable, unintelligible and proof that political rhetoric is too often meant to mean little because it is meant to mean little -- and everything.

            An American got it right:   "Everybody says this here thing we're involved in ain't a real war. Congress says it ain't a war. The President says it ain't a war. 'Course the guys over here getting shot at say it's the best damned imitation they ever saw." Will Rogers (1879-1935).

 

[ 10 ]   One learns that the current administration underplays the scope and size of US military activities in Africa, with its command center located neither in Africa nor in the United States, but rather in Germany.

            "Then AFRICOM chief Gen. Carter Ham and DOD concluded that the benefits of Germany’s proximity to Africa outweighed the costs of the location. However, the Government Accountability Office now argues that DOD’s analysis failed to fully explain the operational benefits of staying in Germany and didn’t balance those factors against the multimillion-dollar cost saving advantages of relocating to the U.S. 'Until the costs and benefits of maintaining AFRICOM in Germany are specified and weighed against the costs and benefits of relocating the command, the department may be missing an opportunity to accomplish its missions successfully at a lower cost,' the GAO reported on Monday." In "GAO questions keeping AFRICOM in Germany," by John Vandiver, Stars and Stripes, 10 September 2013.

            Skepticism about this is exemplified by a comment to the article, as one reads:  "AFRICOM produced lets not forget 'GEN "Kippy' Ward and all his bogus shopping trips, limousine rides, and stays at five stars hotels, because 'he could'. Reportedly, he also put up aides there too, all on the tax payer's dime. Bring them all home and then cut them to the bone. 1400 personnel in Stuttgart alone, and that's just HQ. Really? S&S provides a service to America by showing all sides of the military industrial complex, the good, the bad and the ugly." A comment to the above article by "LastWaltz." On the tax payer's dime?

 

 Generally Lavish

 

            "Retiring as a three-star general will cost Ward about $30,000 a year in retirement pay, giving him close to $208,802 a year rather than the $236,650 he would receive as a four-star general. A report by the Defense Department inspector general found that Ward used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite. The report detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he traveled to Washington." In "William Ward, Four Star General, Demoted For Lavish Spending, Ordered To Repay $82,000," by Lolita Baldor, AP via Huffington Post, 13 November 2012.

            And so one may conclude that the US military of late retires its "demoted" leaders at a pension equivalent to being in the top two percent of all Americans in income, all the while the same US military is spread worldwide with a far greater impact than the administration would want its image to show. Fat cats. Warriors. Or as a 'right-wing' comment above states, "mercenaries." And working for what another 'left-wing' comment notes again is the "military-industrial complex." 

            Revisiting historic words as sourced above, one recalls:  But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders."

             One would do well to ponder the relationship between the wealth and power of those in government and its military -- over its own citizenry.  See: Fat, fat government  .

 

[ 11 ]    Indeed, the antiwar demonstrations against the Bush administrations are a thing of the past, now that the Peace Prize president and his party are in office. One reads of the current, pathetic echo of the antiwar crowd:   "Left-wing activists admit that Obama gets a pass where his predecessor was roundly condemned." In "What if they gave an anti-war protest … and nobody showed up," by Dana Milbank, Portland Press Herald, 25 September 2014.

 

 Nobody Showed Up

 

             Apparently fifty showed up.  One reads:  "The group, which numbered above 50 at its peak, gathered for about an hour near the corner of Powell and Market streets around 5:30 p.m., with people making speeches calling for an end to the bombing and groups chanting against U.S. military involvement in the Middle East." In "Anti-war protesters take to S.F. streets to condemn U.S. bombing," by Kate Williams, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 September 2014.

             So, to repeat the assertion: "Obama's a killer / the Left can't hide."

             Moreover the political Left seem to support war when they hold political power. Therefore the antiwar crowd of 2002 is not the antiwar crowd of 2014. The later protest war in the smallest of numbers, while the former and far larger group supported by media throughout merely protested war made by an opposing political party. That is the sum and substance of it, Peace Prize and all. One need then consider even what it means to be Left and Right .

 

[ 12 ]     One also notes that the Obama administration continues cross-border drone attacks in Pakistan, the latest "act of war" in April of 2015 killing hostages in  'collateral damage." During the Viet Nam war, the political opposition loudly condemned the bombing in Cambodia, as a cross-border "act of war." By that definition and measure, the supposed anti-war opposition of today is hugely silent as an American Democrat does what an American Republican was condemned for doing. Moreover, such cross-border "acts of war" are barely mentioned as acts of war anymore, even by the United Nations, NGOs like the Nobel committee, and Western "liberals."

             Thus the title of this rhyme:  A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement - "Where have all the critics gone, long time passing?" 

             Where, indeed?

 

[ 13 ]      Orwell notes this in his "Notes on Nationalism," Polemic, 1945.  While addressing the topic of "Anglophobia" as "always liable to reversal," the phrase is as apt for the American Democrat Party, anti-war when it suits there purposes and bellicose when that stance suits their purposes. Orwell notes in 1945 of "left-wing intellectuals" who "could not help getting a certain kick out of seeing their own country humiliated...."

             Words penned long ago remain applicable, as the current administration berated the last for being warlike, all the while pursuing war by a variety of purposes, including the political. How appropriate for a "peace prize" winner to beat the Bush administration in cross-border drone warfare, even in theaters not defined as "at war," all the while posturing for ending wars. 

 

[ 14 ]     The conclusion is echoed.   "As he nears the end of his presidency, Obama faces the prospect that he will leave office with ground forces deployed to three combat zones. Last month, the president said he would keep 5,500 ground troops in Afghanistan to advise struggling Afghan army and to pursue the remnants of al-Qaeda. In Iraq and Syria, the president has incrementally boosted the U.S. force, beginning an initial deployment of several hundred troops to Iraq in 2014, after Iraqi army forces in Mosul were overrun by Islamic State fighters. The president sent 450 more American trainers and advisers after Iraqi forces were routed at Ramadi by a much smaller Islamic State force in the spring." In "After vowing to end two wars, Obama may leave three behind," by Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, 31 October 2015.

 

 Two Becomes More Than Two

 

             But as documented above, "ground troops" are in fact deployed to many more countries than just the "three combat zones."

             It seems the anti-war efforts which were headline news in the media during the prior administration of Bush simply faded from such prominence, while the ongoing and increasing acts of wars, plural -- through drone strikes into Pakistan and the administration's hand in the civil war of Libya which has been disastrous -- are acceptable when done by under the auspice of the Democrat Party and its Peace Prize recipient.
 

[ 15 ]     The accumulation of sources cited demonstrates that Obama is a killer, as the rhyme begins. American magazine, US News and World Reports, writes in 2014, "American drones continue to terrorize people around the globe, striking relentlessly and often arbitrarily." Obama as "commander-in-chief" has directed "terror" around the world, while successfully masking this with a now diluted Nobel for Today .

             The so-called Bush wars were to be ended by Obama's seductive call for "hope" and "change." Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is a pacified nation. They are awash with war. One finds an awareness -- but alas not much -- for Obama's "terror."

             One reads of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force:  " 'With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2001, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the Administration fully supports its repeal,' Rice wrote to Speaker of the House John Boehner in July. During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, Obama eviscerated then Senator Hillary Clinton for her vote in favor of the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, and in the election, drew sharp contrast with Senator John McCain over how to bring the war to an end." In "White House: Iraq War Vote Obama Opposed Could Be Used for ISIS Strikes," by Zeke J. Miller, TIME, 13 September 2014.

 

 Playing Fast and Loose With the Law

 

             But then one reads of setting the stage for "a never-ending war" by the Obama administration and with the encouragement of American Democrats:  "... in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Secretary of State John Kerry said that even if Congress doesn’t pass an Authorization for the Use Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as the Islamic State or ISIS), the Obama Administration could continue to fight the group under the 2001 AUMF. But the administration is playing fast and loose with the law here, and this stance could set the stage for a never-ending war. The 2001 AUMF, passed in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, authorizes military force against those responsible for 9/11: the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Obama Administration has interpreted the law to include 'associated forces' of al Qaeda, but has not provided a full list of the groups it believes that covers. Since last year the administration has argued that ISIL is an 'associated force'." In "Obama Shouldn’t Rely on 2001 AUMF for ISIL Fight," by Adam Jacobson, Human Rights First, 12 March 2015.

             The supposedly limited AUMF of 2001 -- supported by ex-Senator, ex-Secretary of State and Democrat Party candidate for president in 2016, Clinton -- was a used as a campaign issue for Obama against Clinton, as if he opposed its use and broadening.

             A year later in Obama's  "never-ending war" as US News wrote in 2014, one reads:  "Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook announced on Monday that President Obama had authorized new air strikes to help rid Libya of Islamic State terrorists who have spread into that country. 'Under what legal authority are these strikes being conducted?' a reporter asked Cook at Monday's Pentagon briefing. 'The 2001 authorization for the use of military force, similar to our previous airstrikes in Libya,' Cook responded." In "DOD: Military Action in Libya Now Authorized by 2001 AUMF," by Susan Jones, Cybercast News, 2 August 2016.

             The simple math as the Obama administration wages war throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan and in cross-border attacks into Pakistan declares Obama, the Peace Prize winner, as more of a warmonger than Bush before him. It is proven true that "Obama’s a killer; / Nobel can’t hide / He’s led a thriller / Of an Afghanicide."

 

 Fighting Continues Unabated

 

              One reads further:  "According to top U.S. military officials, not only is al Qaeda back in the mix, planning operations with the Taliban, but the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has emerged as an additional threat. The combat mission by all accounts is no longer clear. One of the stark ironies of the Afghan conflict is that, despite the 2014 declaration by President Barack Hussein Obama that the Afghanistan war was 'coming to a responsible conclusion,' fighting has continued unabated." In "Afghanistan: Longest War in U.S. History," by Richard Walker, American Free Press, 23 May 2016.

             The once-loud antiwar crowd, so quick to rage and so consistently to earn coverage in the world's media during the Bush administration, are for the most part, silent. Thus the Obama administration, the "antiwar" groups once appearing on the nightly news, and even Nobel Prize officials, are complicit in the "never-ending war" now pursued over decades, making rich the military-industrial complex with costs for Afghanistan lone estimated at $4.5 trillion, while -- in the prose of the US News and World Report article -- the Obama administration and even what once were antiwar voices are all "playing fast and loose with the law," for the longest war conducted in US history. This is what the Peace Prize now means. This is what "hope and change" now means. This is what the Democrat Party elite actually stand for, alongside many in the Republican party elite.


 

Moral Relativism - verses and refrain

Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush — sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, international business editor of the UK's Daily Telegraph.

It's a worn out dog that just won't hunt.
It's that surgeon's scalpel that's all too blunt.
It's a fake, a fraud, a foolish stunt.
It's the straw man rushing to a losing front.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        Being decent or ethical is not so quaint.


Isms come, and isms fade,
This relative Ism is one fat charade.
Trotted out in its masquerade,
Moral relativism's morality betrayed.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        Being honest or principled is not a feint.


It's disaster's recipe and failure's song.
It's the odd man out that doesn't belong.
It's the weakest link when a chain is strong.
It's fumbling, daft and hugely wrong.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        Being relatively changing's to be without restraint.


"We're no better than those other folk,"
Says the moral relativist, and not as a joke.
But such a chap will so often invoke
Condemnation of others in a single stroke.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        All it argues is some sinner's a saint.


It's the worn out view of a worn out man,
And the worn out claim of a worn out plan.
If morality is relative, what's it "better than?"
And if no better, there's no "can't." Only "can."
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        It's only a whine, an unethical complaint.


If morals won't do in the relativist's view,
How odd that he is always in some stew.
He always complaining about what is true,
Because he's swimming, grounded in its witches' brew.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        But it struts so proud, in its peacock paint.


It's a worn out dog that cannot hunt.
It's that surgeon's scalpel that's bloody blunt.
It's a fake, a fraudster's foolish stunt.
It's that straw man rushing to the losing front.
        If moral means anything, relative it ain't.
        Being decent or ethical is not so quaint.

 

Envoi:   "I should emphasize this, to keep well-meaning but misguided multiculturalists at bay: the theoretical entities in which these tribal people frankly believe — the gods and other spirits — don't exist. These people are mistaken, and you know it as well as I do. It is possible for highly intelligent people to have a very useful but mistaken theory, and we don't have to pretend otherwise in order to show respect for these people and their ways." Daniel C. Dennett, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon," Viking, 2006.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Tyranny:   The way forward in a relativistic world is not to appeal to reason by reference to Natural Law (in philosophy), or to constitutional principles (in political discourse) or to Scripture and Tradition (in Theology). Rather the 'way forward' is to gain power and to implement an agenda that binds. Farewell to reason rooted in agreed upon principles, hello to tyranny rooted simply in opinion and power. Revolutions which ride in on the train of 'freedom' more frequently usher in a reign of terror, as those who claimed to be oppressed and repressed take up their new power and then, themselves, turn to oppress, suppress, and repress any whom they thought, or think, to be on the wrong side of the issue. Expect more 'tolerance' from social radicals. The tyranny of relativism has ushered in a very poisonous and dangerous climate which has little basis for any discussion or true tolerance. And remember, what a social radical means by tolerance has nothing to do with tolerating you, if you do not belong to a class or group favored by them." In "Another decision that illustrates what social radicals really mean by “tolerance." by Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington, 21 July 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Relativism and its Two-Tier System:   "Globally, FGM is on the rise, as are child marriages, honour killings and forced gender segregation due to the increase in radical Islamism worldwide. And yet western feminists, including our own female politicians who spoke so passionately last week in the Seanad about Israel's crimes, are strangely silent on these topics. Why? Are they afraid? Because it's 'politically correct' not to mention the increasing gender apartheid in Gaza for instance. Because you risk accusations of being 'racist', 'Islamophobic' or 'bigoted' if you dare voice concern at the rise in radical Islam and the corresponding destruction of human rights for women and LGBT people. The popularity of 'cultural relativism' in leftie, liberal circles has led to a two-tier system of human rights." In "Feminism fails to confront rise of Sharia law," by Carol Hunt, Independent (Ireland), 3 August 2014.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum for Clarity's Sake:   "People don’t mind immoral messages. They don’t mind art which says that murder is good, cruelty is good, sex for sex’s sake is good. They like it, provided the message is wrapped up a little. And they like messages saying that murder is bad, cruelty is bad, and love is love is love is love. What they can’t stand is to be told it all doesn’t matter, they can’t stand formlessness.' Doris Lessing, "The Golden Notebook," 1962.

 

 Addendum of Runaway Moral Relativism:   "...we should know where the center lies. It is not idealism but, rather, deep skepticism about meliorism and about the witless inflation of our needs and desires that leads me to this analogy. Unless we teach in our schools a fairly steady sense of our humanistic traditions, of what has been called our 'civil religion,' I envision a runaway culture seeking all extremes at once." In "Candor and Perversion, Literature, Education, and the Arts," by Roger Shattuck, W. W. Norton, 1999.

 

See:    It Is Not Fair 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     The irony of a moral relativism is that its statement is itself illogical, in the same way as the classic statement, "This statement is a lie." The so-called Liar's Paradox has proven entertainment for storytellers as for philosophers. If true, then the statement is not a lie. If false, the assertion fails from the inherent linguistic fallacy. That a statement can be framed in the grammar of language does not make the statement inherently sensible, or even "useful." Dennett, who coined the notion of a "useful fiction" notes this. To argue truth in the context of belief is to mix cognitive systems, when indeed a religious belief cannot be proven true, including the atheist's assertion and belief statement, "there is no god."  Consider the assertion and cudgel, god is dead  .

          If morals are relative, then to what? Each other? And if wholly relative, what does the word "moral" mean? Merely a statement about a group's worldview such that no moral may be said to be moral and all becomes relative to the point of absurdity. For this Evans-Pritchard, as above, asserts that the adherent to moral relativism is "incapable of discerning right from wrong."

 

[ 2 ]    As one watched the war against National Socialism in the 20th century and as one watches the ongoing genocidal jihad of what is being called Islamism in this century (see: Islamophobia revisited  - a thumbnail sketch of tolerance and inter-religious dialogues), one sees the clarity of Pope's statement. Indeed, "what a social radical means by tolerance has nothing to do with tolerating you, if you do not belong to a class or group favored by them." 

          Thus, what I term in a pun as So shall ism    is in demonstrable fact a world-enflaming "might makes right" willing and capable of dismissing a "live and let live" stance.

 

 What We Believe We Can Get Away With

 

          One reads the words of a Rabbi as published in a Catholic journal:  "We should challenge the relativism that tells us there is no right or wrong, when every instinct of our mind knows it is not so, and is a mere excuse to allow us to indulge in what we believe we can get away with. A world without values quickly becomes a world without value." In "Has Europe lost its soul?" by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Catholic Education Resources, 2012.

          Those who would indulge in what can be gotten away with in the face of all others in fact are not following any kind of so-called moral relativism, but rather a specific form of triumphalism, which is in fact not relative in the least.  Sacks noted "secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith." The pronoun "our" in the context of an address attended by Catholics and governmental representatives tells that "our faith" is not a single faith, but many with a new and wholly modern respect, one for another, which is developing. One notes that "secularizing forces" can also be seen as faith, belief systems demanding hegemony over other belief systems.

          Rabbi Sacks notes of different faiths, "There is, though, enough common ground to speak, at least here, of shared values." This is not moral relativism, but rather far more akin to Dennett's observation that religions may be seen as natural phenomena in the context of men, and such cultural value systems flummox "well-meaning but misguided multiculturalists." That is to say, the multicultural stance that no culture (or religion) is better than another is a value-less statement, misguided and in fact demonstrably untrue. There may be found "shared values" in a "common ground," but a triumphal stance by the ardent modern secularist condemning religion in general and religions in specific is not morally relative, but in fact intolerant and uninterested in shared values and common ground.  Dennett reminds that such a stance can be seen as "useful" to some but is "mistaken."

          Shared values and tolerance cannot be made to become tolerant of intolerance, which is not the same as holding divergent beliefs. But when belief systems -- religious as extra-religious -- become intolerant of one another, as multiculturalism's tenets often demand, then it proves merely a rhetorical smokescreen behind which lurks the Totalitarian  , who may so easily say with moral relativism as its rationale, Wrong is right .

 

[ 3 ]   The relativist position seems designed to avoid a choice of Either One or the Other  .  The purpose is clear. By refusing to opt for either one or the other, the relativist is perfectly positioned to complain about those who might espouse a specific moral position or have pride in a specific cultural stance which might be then deemed 'racist', 'Islamophobic' or 'bigoted' not to mention all the other potential pejoratives which flow when the charlatan, Doctor Oppression comes to call  .


 

Opaque Transparency

"Joe Biden update: He meets on transparency today. But the meeting is closed," in Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2010
 

Our meeting on transparency is closed;
Opposition to this view will be fully opposed.
All secrets will be secret when they are disclosed,
We'll uncovered all when we're sure not to be exposed.
        Our meeting on the truth will be a lie.
        Our talk on clarity should mystify.
        Statistics will all but duly certify
        That up is truly down and pigs can fly.
Our meeting on the law will be a crime,
And budget gaps will bloat with overtime.
Efficiency is deemed a waste of time,
As we ridicule commonsense as not sublime.
        Our words will mean whatever we say they mean,
        As long as their definitions never seem
        To make for problems or come between
        Our latest meeting and its transparency theme.
The meeting on transparency is closed.
Of course that makes critics predisposed
To ridicule the upside-down words we supposed
Would pass right by reporters as they dutifully dozed.

 

Addendum of Opaque Transparency:   "First lady Michelle Obama told students that freedom of speech should be a universal right during her extravagant, no-press-allowed tour of China — a hypocritical move that will surely draw the ire of critics, according to an expert." In "Press banned as first lady touts free speech," by Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, 23 March 2014.

 

See:   Circle you are    and   Sir Veiled Lance 


 

The Doomsday Clock

"The minute hand of the famous Doomsday Clock is set to move this Thursday, and for the first time, anyone with Internet access can watch. Which way the hand will move and by how much have not been made public." 11 January, 2010, Live Science.com

The Doomsday Clock clicked a few times
Over a long, long sixty years;
It neither ticks nor tocks nor chimes,
But plays on mankind's fears.
        How many died in sixty years
        Without that Clock to count?
        How many killed? Millions, one hears.
        Such numbers mount and mount.
The Doomsday Clock clicked a few times
Over those short, short sixty years;
It doesn't tell time, but oh how it mimes
The curse of mankind's fears.
        How many dead have been laid to rest,
        Without that Clock's tick-tock?
        How many sick? Died as wars progressed?
        That Clock chimed no great shock.
That Clock, it ticks at election times
When need of publicity nears,
And ponders on the pump it primes
For its Doomsday profiteers.
        The Doomsday Clock clicked a few times
        Over a dark, dark sixty years;
        It neither ticks nor tocks nor chimes,
        But plays up mankind's fears.

Doomsday comes daily as a number climbs;

The Clock notes none across the years:

It waits to tick when its own mealtimes

Hunger for Doomsday's press and cheers.

 

Envoi:   "The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, representing a countdown to possible political related global catastrophe (nuclear war or climate change). It has been maintained since 1947 by the members of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists." In "Doomsday Clock," Wikipedia article, n. d.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of the Moving Hand:   "...real steps needed to be taken soon in order to 'avert catastrophe.' 'We find conditions to be so threatening that we are moving the hand two minutes closer. It is now three minutes to midnight,' she continued. Countries emitting carbon dioxide and other gases are transforming Earth’s climate in a dangerous way, she said, leaving millions vulnerable to rising sea levels, famines and 'killer storms.' She also cited a failure by governments around the world to reduce their nuclear arsenal, in particular the US and Russia. In total it is estimated 16,300 nuclear weapons remain in the world - and just 50 to 100 could produce massive casualties and long lasting effects on the atmosphere." In "Doomsday Clock reads 11.57: Atomic scientists move minute hand two minutes forward - and say we are at closest point to disaster in decades," by By Rachel Reilly, Victoria Woollaston and Jonathan O'Callaghan, Mail Online, 22 January 2015.

 

Addendum of the Unmoving Hand:   "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the minute hand on the metaphorical clock remained at three minutes-to-midnight." In " 'Doomsday Clock' reflects grave threat to world," Associated Press, 26 January 2016.

 

Addendum of the Fixation:   "Why are we so fixated on doomsday? Certainly the year helps: If you believe end-of-world enthusiasts and a few tourists here and there, the Mayans predicted the demise of humankind (or something) will come on Dec. 21, 2012, the day when their operative calendar ended. The theory has been debunked by scientists, archaeologists and the ancient Mayans themselves, but that hasn’t stopped the culture from going crazy at the prospect. A spate of 2012 documentaries has recently popped up on Netflix, most of which were originally aired on cable television in the late aughts, as well as this year’s new National Geographic series, 'Doomsday Preppers,' which focuses on people who are convinced the end is nigh." In "America’s apocalypse obsession," by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Salon. 18 July 2012.  [ 2 ]

 

 Addendum of the Moving Hand Again:   "For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock has stayed set at three minutes before the hour. But the BPA says the danger of global disaster is even greater in 2017, and so has moved the hand forward 30 seconds." In "Apocalypse is 30 seconds closer, say Doomsday Clock scientists," BBC, 26 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of an Editorial Viewpoint:   "Since 1947, in fact, the Doomsday Clock has averaged 6.4 minutes to midnight during Republican administrations, compared with 8.3 minutes during Democratic ones." In "The Famed 'Doomsday Clock' Is More Like A Liberal Angst Meter," by John Merline, Investor's Business Daily, 26 January 2017.

 

See:    Apocalypse sometime  , and also a song setting of  Chicken Little - (2007) by Margaret Free and Harriette Taylor Treadwell  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     The aging Doomsday Clock, born officially in 1947, has been adjusted in various ways, and has been as "late" before, based on the changing conclusions of a group of "concerned" people. Scientists disagree with scientists, one observed, and foretelling the future has yet to be labeled a science. Predicting a nuclear or climate change apocalypse is the game, but predictions have been often incorrect as they approach being "religious" in their fervor.

 

 The Clarity of Good, Evil, Ambiguous or Neutral

 

          One reads:   "Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God's will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end very soon, even within one's own lifetime. This belief is usually accompanied by the idea that civilization will soon come to a tumultuous end due to some sort of catastrophic global event. Apocalypticism is often conjoined with esoteric knowledge that will likely be revealed in a major confrontation between good and evil forces, destined to change the course of history. Apocalypses can be viewed as good, evil, ambiguous or neutral, depending on the particular religion or belief system promoting them. They can appear as a personal or group tendency, an outlook or a perceptual frame of reference, or merely as expressions in a speaker's rhetorical style." In "Apocalypticism," Wikipedia, n. d.

          The one apocalypse approaching for all mankind is their imminent death, measured against the age of the cosmos. Rather than contemplate one's own end, it is a fine thing to forecast all our ends simultaneously and keep the focus off one's self. The remarkable feature of doomsayers is that the narratives of man predict that such "doom" will be ignored. Consider the character of our Cassandra and Cassandras  .

 

[ 2 ]     Cutting though amusing skepticism is worth revisiting.

 

 So Self-Important

 

          "We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. 'Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.' And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, 'Why are we here?' Plastic… asshole'." A perceptive quote by comedian, George Carlin (1937-2008).

          Carlin's own apocalypse occurred in 2008. But his words live on: "The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away."

          This includes us all, a population large enough to include members of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bye-bye.


 

Comes the day

Comes the day when isn't is,
And wasn't washes out to sea,
And living hasn't got its fizz
And what will be will be.

Comes the time when time is not,
And what might be is eternity,
And living isn't what one's got
To cling to possibility.

Comes the day, coming soon,
Which will not be ignored,
When living proves it's not immune
To the angel's flaming sword.

 

Envoi:   "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

 

See:    A song setting of Paul Laurence Dunbar's  To a Dead Friend - (2012) 


 

A Scientific Hit

"... there is nothing we can do about them aside from continuing to publish quality work in quality journals (or calling in a Mafia hit)." Assistant Professor Scott Rutherford (on Harvard-Smithsonian Professors Soon and Baliunas) in an email dated 12 March 2003, in copies of correspondence from with the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

A Mafia hit? A scientific snit?
How awful when the facts get in the way.
     A little counterfeit, a grousing hypocrite?
     A washing of the data for display?
Earth is sun-lit? That fact we must omit.
Massage the numbers till we win the day.
     We must make them quit? How about a Mafia hit?
     Well, he was only joking, some might say.
In science is it fit to see killing as quite fit
As long as one's not caught nor locked away?
     Did science just admit to a crime it could commit?
     It was some teacher in a school and coarse naïveté.
A Mafia hit? A scientific snit?
But, how awful when the facts get in the way.

 

See:    Consensus   ,  and below -  It's too hot, and it's too cold  - a cabaret song in the Russian style, just below


 

It's too hot, and it's too cold - a cabaret song in the Russian style

 "In addition to the global warming challenges, we need to address 'global cooling' effects and to do so promptly," Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, January 11 (Itar-Tass) .
 

It's too hot, and it's too cold.
It's too "not," so I've been told.
        O heck, what shall we little folk ever do?

It's too up and it's too down.
It's a smile while it's a frown.
        O heck, is it me or them or is it you?

It's a challenge, so says Vlad,
And that makes the tax man glad.
        For a public crisis is the perfect avenue . . .

When it's hot while it is cold,
In the chase for tax-made gold,
        All those leaders know exactly what to do.

It's so hot, not warm but cold,
So a people must be told,
        To pay and pay and pay for what is true.

What is true seems rather not,
As the dear leaders take their shot.
        O heck, what ever shall we little folk do?

We will pay and then pay more,
For the hot-and-cold that seems in store,
        Until the little folk show they are through . . .

With "It's hot, and it's so cold."
Hey, the story's getting old.
        I know somehow we folk will muddle through.

 

 Addendum of Putin's Little Helpers:  "Democratic leaders have no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year, so the speeches were about little more than theatrics. A climate bill led by then-Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts collapsed in 2010 without a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate." In "All-night climate session set for Senate," Associated Press via Boston Globe, 11 March 2014.

 

Addendum of the Sizzling Sales Pitch:   "In my early professional career of sales we called this selling the “sizzle not the steak.” During a pitch you are taught to use words effectively, doing just enough to cover oneself from claims of misrepresentation while highlighted “potential” benefits and value to inspire a psychological condition in the prospect conducive to closing the sale. A background in sales management is very helpful when assessing the sincerity and motives of politicians." In "The Left's Climate Change Lies are Found in Their Solutions," by Paul M Winters, Dignitas News Service, 9 June 2014.

 

See:    On a Winter's Day 


 

White is black

In Esquire Magazine, indicted Illinois ex-governor Rod Blagojevich says, "I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little Laundromat in a black community not far from where he lived. I saw it all growing up."
 

White is black,
      and black is white,
Not brown, not beige,
      not tan, nor quite
The other colors
      we might see
If we had but
      the probity
To see the world
      in multi-colored hues -
Just two are hurled
      to just confuse
By fools who argue
      white is black
Which is not true
      for such men lack
The sense of man
      which should reject
The white-black plan
      which is but abject
Politics
      and not what's true
But slimy tricks
      to stand in lieu
Of right as right
      and wrong as wrong --
For that's the fight,
      our whole life long.

 

Envoi:   "Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President? --Justin Dews, Cambridge, Mass. / People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race." In "Toni Morrison On Calling Bill Clinton The First Black President And Endorsing Obama," Huffington Post, 16 April 2008

 

See:    Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works)


 

Oh, to Walk a While in Hitler's Shoes - a cabaret song

"I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes to understand their point of view. We're going to educate our minds and liberalise them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions ... go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM? Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated." Oliver Stone, as reported in The Independent, Monday, 11 January 2010

We should understand it wasn't they
That did these things, oh no.
The evidence we've seen is gray;
Der Fuehrer's not the man you know.

        Oh, to walk a while in Hitler's shoes
        Is a jolly little stroll;
        Or maybe Stalin's Soviet boots
        Make a better, starring role.

It was those US corporate folks
That did the dirty deed;
All we've learned is a cruel, cruel hoax,
And a rewrite is what tyrants need.

        Oh, to walk a while in Hitler's shoes
        Is a jolly little stroll;
        Or maybe Stalin's Soviet boots
        Make a better, starring role.

America caused Hitler's little sports,
And Stalin's murderous game;
It wasn't they themselves, Stone snorts,
For capitalism is to blame.

        Oh, to walk a while in Hitler's shoes
        Is a jolly little stroll;
        Or maybe Stalin's Soviet boots
        Make a better, starring role.

Come buy your tickets for my films,
To learn our faults, so brash,
But forget not when you visit me
To bring a little cash.

        Oh, to walk a while in Hitler's shoes
        Is a jolly little stroll;
        Or maybe Stalin's Soviet boots
        Make a better, starring role.

 

See:    Conjugating Hitler 


 

Surrealism Lessons

Until Surrealism made a deliberate raid on the unconscious, poetry that aimed at being nonsense, apart from the meaningless refrains of songs, does not seem to have been common." George Orwell, in Nonsense Poetry, 1945.

 

Pick one from column A,

Hope the two will interplay

Put your name on it,

If some dare to call it shit,

Be sure they rightly spell your name

For all this makes for fame,

Pick one from column A,

Never, ever overplay

Pick one from column B.

If even quite abstractly.

And look quite proud and grand.

The scandal will be grand.

And print it everywhere,

And fortune, if you dare

Pick one from column B.

This little game's absurdity.

                       
     

 

                   
    

 

                                     
 

Envoi:   "The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot." André Breton (1896-1966)

 

Addendum:    "The tomato which cannot visualize a horse galloping on André Breton is an idiot."   Anonymous.

 

Addendum de Duchamp:    "From a distance these things, these Movements take on a charm that they do not have close up--I assure you." Marcel Duchamp, "Letter to Ettie Stettheimer," 1921.

 

Addendum of the Essential Fault:    "The essential fault of surrealism is that it invents without discovering. To make a clam play an accordion is to invent not to discover. The observation of the unconscious, so far as it can be observed, should reveal things of which we have previously been unconscious, not the familiar things of which we have been conscious plus imagination." Wallace Stevens, in "Materia Poetica", Notebooks, 1940.

 

See:    anythingis    and also  Ain't it a pisser?  - right in the kisser


 

Green Job

 

"Obama says the grants will create 17,000 cleantech jobs. Well, get out your calculator. $2.3 billion for 17,000 jobs equals $135,294 per job."  In "Obama's Green Jobs Program: $135,294 Per Job," Investor's Business Daily, 8 January 2010.
 
What in the hell is a green job?
The costs seem quite macabre.
Breed unicorns? Smoke pot?
Serve the knights of Camelot?

 

What in the hell is a green job?

For Bill but not for Bob?

Think "green," but don't think math!

It isn't numbers; just politics' path.

What in the hell is a cleantech job?
Make the newest thingamabob?
Build heaters that will make you cold?
Or kill off grannies getting old?

 

The average wage of the average Joe

Is less than half this kind of dough.

Then green like this serves an elite,

And the average Joe will see a cheat.

What in the hell is a green job?
Make a pipe from an old corn cob?
Brew alcohol but not to drink?
Write speeches out in doublethink?

What in the hell is a green job?
From others steal and rob?
For more than a hundred K each year,
We'd paint ourselves green, I fear.

 

Envoi:  "Doomsday scenarios depend largely on unreliable computer models whose builders have no explanation for such conflicts. Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, a skeptic, calculates that a 50 percent reduction in annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050 — a far greater reduction than Obama seeks — would, according to current models, produce in 2100 a reduction in average temperature of 0.13 degree Fahrenheit. Without believable computer models, it’s senseless to follow Obama down the road of economic self-mutilation." In "A climate demagogue," by the Herald staff, Boston Herald, 30 June 2013.

 

 Addendum of Playing Green Politics:   "Solyndra executives and investors were attuned to the value of playing politics. Memos from Solyndra’s lobbying firm, McBee Strategic Consulting, stressed the need to 'socialize' with leaders in Washington and to mobilize a lobbying effort described variously as quiet, surgical and aggressive." In "Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs," by By Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post, 25 December 2011.

 

Addendum for Britain:   "A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job. The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for the wind industry, which claims it is an economically dynamic sector that creates jobs." In "True cost of Britain's wind farm industry revealed," by Robert Mendick, and Edward Malnick, Telegraph UK, 15 June 2013.

 

Addendum for Spain:   "Since 2000, the renewable subsidies have created less than 50,200 jobs.54 This amounts to 0.2% of Spain’s workforce and 0.25% of Spain's employed workforce. We can see that the average subsidy per worker added in these three sources of renewable energies is more than half a million Euros (€571,138), ranging from €542,825 per worker added in or by the mini-hydro sector and two-thirds of a million Euros per worker added in or by the photovoltaic sector, to well over €1 million per worker added in or by the wind industry." In "Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources," PROCESOS DE MERCADO. Volumen VII, Número 1, Primavera 2010.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum for Italy:   "The multi billion-dollar haul included the seizure of 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts belonging to Vito Nicastri, a businessman described by authorities as a front man for the Sicilian Mafia. Nicastri, 57, was once dubbed 'Lord of the Wind' for his holdings in wind farms which prosecutors say were funded by extortion, drug sales and other illicit activities. Three years ago, investigators found the mafia was engaged in a massive eco-scam, claiming generous grants for investment in wind-power and environmentally- friendly businesses." In "Mafia probe nets $1.7bn in clean energy assets," by Mary Gearin, ABC (Australia), 4 April 2013.

 

Addendum for Germany:   "The subsidization of renewable energy has not led to a significant, sustainable increase in jobs. According to recent figures from the German Government, the gross employment in renewable energy decreased by around seven per cent to 363,100 in 2013. Counting the employees in government agencies and academic institution too, renewable energy creates work for about 370,000 people. This means, however, that only to about 0.86 percent of the nearly 42 million workers, which are employed in Germany, work in the highly subsidized sector of renewable energy. Much of this employment is limited to the maintenance and operation of existing facilities. In the core of the industry, the production of renewable energy systems, only 230,800 people were employed last year: a drop of 13 percent within one year, which is primarily due to the collapse of the German solar industry. Researchers such as the president of the Munich-based IFO institute, Hans-Werner Sinn, believe that the net effect of subsidies for renewable energy on the labour market is equal to zero: 'Whoever claims that net jobs have been created must prove that the capital intensity of production in the new sectors is smaller than in the old ones. There are no indications for that. There is no positive net effect on employment by the EEG,' said Sinn: 'Through subsidies for inefficient technologies not a single new job has been created, but wealth has been destroyed'." In "Germany’s Green Jobs Miracle Collapses," by Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, 28 May 2014.

 

Addendum for Europe:   "Both economic theory and the experience of European countries that have attempted to build a green-energy economy that will create green jobs reveal that such thinking is deeply fallacious. Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the Netherlands have all tried and failed to accomplish positive outcomes with renewable energy." In "The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience," by Kenneth P. Green, AEI, February 2011.   [ 2 ]    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum for the United States of America:   "The Recovery Act funded multiple, substantial investments in training programs targeted to a specific emerging industry—energy efficiency and renewable energy. Most of these programs have already ended or are currently winding down, although a few of Labor’s continuing programs, such as YouthBuild, have incorporated many green elements since 2009, and the Green Job Innovation Fund program is scheduled to remain active through June of 2014. Despite the sizeable investment in green jobs, the green jobs training programs have faced a number of implementation challenges and final outcomes remain uncertain, particularly regarding placement into green jobs. A number of these challenges have stemmed from the need to implement the grants quickly and simultaneously before green jobs had been defined and more had been learned about the demand for green skills. Others, such as problems with the reliability of outcome data, can be traced to management issues that have compromised Labor’s ability to measure the program’s success, particularly regarding placing participants into training-related employment. Specifically, because Labor did not establish clear and timely guidelines for how to document green job placement outcomes, Labor is not able to assess the extent to which the targeted green jobs training programs placed participants in employment related to the training they received." In "EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING - Labor's Green Jobs Efforts Highlight Challenges of Targeted Training Programs for Emerging Industries,:" United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Report to Congressional Requesters, GAO-13-555, June 2013.    [ 4 ]

 

Addendum for Canada:   "Green initiatives added costs without adding generating capacity." In "Ontario’s power problem," by Andy Frame, The Star (Canada), 25 November 2010.

 

 Addendum for India:   "Declaring that 'science is politics in climate change; climate science is politics', Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday urged Indian scientists to undertake more studies and publish them vigorously to prevent India and other developing countries from being 'led by our noses by Western (climate) scientists who have less of a scientific agenda and more of a political agenda'. The minister's remarks evoked a loud applause from over 100 Indian scientists who had gathered on the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) premises in Ahmedabad, where a study of 2,190 Himalayan glaciers undertaken by 15 institutes and organisations in India was released." In "Climate science mired in politics: Jairam," in Express News Service (Ahmedabad), 9 June 2011.

 

Addendum of Climate Prophets and Profiteers:   "The carbon-trading schemes enacted with such fanfare just a few years ago have effectively ceased to operate amid collapsing prices. The sustainable-energy craze produced the expensive bankruptcies of solar-panel maker Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and battery maker A123 Systems, to name a few. Germany, which has taken its climate-change fetish further than any other major economy, is now coming to grips with a comprehensive fiasco of higher energy prices and higher carbon emissions. Who would have thought that when the sun doesn't shine or the wind doesn't blow, people might still want to switch on the lights? It is now the dogma of the left that any hint of doubt when it comes to predictions of climate doom is evidence of greed, stupidity, moral turpitude or psychological derangement. 'Climate denial' is intended to be the equivalent of Holocaust denial. And yet the only people who've predicted anything right so far are those who foresaw that the Kyoto Protocol would fail, that renewable energies didn't really work, and that climate bureaucrats accountable to nobody but their own sense of virtue and taste for profit were a danger to everyone." In "Climate Prophets and Profiteers," by Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 17 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Junk:   "Europe's flagship environmental policy has just been holed below the water line. On April 16th the European Parliament voted by 334 to 315 to reject proposals which (its supporters claimed) were needed to save the emissions-trading system (ETS) from collapse. Carbon prices promptly fell 40%." In "Below junk status," Economist, 16 April 2013.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Sharp Price Inflation for the Consumer:   "In California, residential electricity prices shot up 30% between 2006 and 2012, adjusted for inflation, according to Energy Department figures. Experts in the state's energy markets project the price could jump an additional 47% over the next 15 years. The problems confronting the electricity system are the result of a wide range of forces: new federal regulations on toxic emissions, rules on greenhouse gases, state mandates for renewable power, technical problems at nuclear power plants and unpredictable price trends for natural gas. Even cheap hydro power is declining in some areas, particularly California, owing to the long-lasting drought. 'Everywhere you turn, there are proposals and regulations to make prices go higher,' said Daniel Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research. 'The trend line is up, up, up. We are going into uncharted territory'." In "U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good," by Ralph Vartabedian, Chicago Tribune, 26 April 2014.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Milking the Green Way:   "SolarCity (SCTY) which has become the largest solar residential installer in the USA, has come under frequent criticism of its unethical behavior in milking hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from the USA government. Its sister concern Tesla run by Elon Musk is also facing the same criticism. One of the biggest issue that has come up with Solar City is the fact that it claims a 30% tax credit on its solar installation which is meant for its customers. It takes away the 30% tax credit, while leasing the solar panels to its customers who may face high electricity bills and do not get any share of the subsidy. Most customers are ignorant about the complicated laws and regulations that make up the solar policies." In "SolarCity comes under more criticism for siphoning the subsidies of its small solar customers," by Sneba Shah, Green World Investor, 24 June 2014.

 

Addendum of Failing to Create Green Jobs:   "Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved. Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press." In "California measure fails to create green jobs," by Julia Horowitz, Associated Press, 17 August 2015.    [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of a Next Solyndra:   "Abengoa is a Spanish company that was another of President Obama’s personally picked green energy projects, and it’s now on the verge of bankruptcy too, potentially saddling taxpayers with a multibillion-dollar tab and fueling the notion that the administration repeatedly gambles on losers in the energy sector. The renewable energy firm, which is constructing several large-scale solar power projects in the U.S. and has received at least $2.7 billion in federal loan guarantees since 2010, said Wednesday it will begin insolvency proceedings, a technical first step toward a possible bankruptcy." In "Obama green energy project Abengoa on verge of bankruptcy; demise recalls Solyndra," by Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 25 November 2015.    [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Fraud at the Environmental Protection Agency:   "The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job. John C. Beale’s crimes were 'inexplicable' and 'unbelievably egregious,' said Judge Ellen Huvelle in imposing the sentence in a Washington. D.C. federal court. Beale has also agreed to pay $1.3 million in restitution and forfeiture to the government." In "Climate change expert sentenced to 32 months for fraud, says lying was a 'rush'," by Michael Isikoff, NBC News, 18 December 2015.     [ 9 ]

 

 Addendum of Another Green Washout:   "Results for last week’s auction were posted Wednesday morning, revealing that just 16.5 percent of the 74.8 million metric tons of emission allowances were sold at the floor price of $13.57 per ton. ...The ARB was offering 43.7 million tons of state-owned emission allowances, but sold just 602,340 tons of advance 2020 allowances, which means the state will see only $8.2 million, rather than the nearly $600 million it could have received from a sellout." In "California’s cap and trade auction another washout," by Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee, 1 March 2017.   [ 10 ]

 

See:  Bankrupt green   ,  also  Green drivel  - love locks, dead, and the numerate  Doing the math 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]      From academic studies to the International Monetary Fund, one sees a growing clarity that a government-subsidized job crushes private employment. Moreover, when such subsidies are withdrawn for budgetary restraints such as the contemporary yet ages-old phenomenon of "austerity," one finds the public sector job also vanishing, after having suppressed the private sector in the process of proven failures over these last years. 

 

 Crowding Out

 

            "The authors of a June 2013 IMF working paper, 'Does Public-Sector Employment Fully Crowd Out Private-Sector Employment?,' answer in the affirmative. After examining data from both developing and advanced economies, Alberto Behar and Junghwan Mok find that a public-sector job comes at the expense of a private-sector job." In "Why Government Spending Does Nothing for Jobs," by Caroline Baum, Bloomberg, 20 June 2013.

            In that IMF Working Paper WP/13/146, one reviews their conclusion: "Regressions of unemployment on public employment and of private employment on public employment, each of which is based on two definitions of public employment, find robust evidence that public employment crowds out private employment."  Additionally this factual study challenges the post-Marxist, soft welfare political view that "public employment" is somehow economically productive as that sector grows. Rather the inverse seems ever more clear.

            As to that "green job" paid for with subsidies, one reads one story among many more from around the world:  "State subsidies to clean energy producers have already fallen by between 12 and 40 percent on average in recent years, industry analysts say. They could fall by another 10-20 percent in a new energy sector reform expected mid-July, according to the Spanish media. 'The punishment meted out to renewable energies in the past five years amounts to more than six billion euros ($8 billion),' said Sergio Otto, secretary general of the business group Renewables Foundation. 'In the wind turbine industry alone we have lost 20,000 jobs and in the solar energy sector it's probably more,' he said. At the heart of the problem is a deficit of more than $26 billion in Spain's energy market, built up by subsidies to cover the gap between the cost of producing electricity and the price charged to consumers." In "Spanish downturn a disaster for green energy," The Local.es, 23 June 2013.

 

 Limited Results

 

            More studies find profligacy in government funding when "bang for the buck" is considered:  "The non-partisan academic report concluded that current tax policies are a "poor tool" for addressing climate change -- and a costly one. It found energy subsidies in 2011 and 2012 cost $48 billion, with limited results. 'Very little if any GHG (greenhouse gas) reductions are achieved at substantial cost with these provisions,' the report concluded." In "Study: Gov’t losing billions on ‘inefficient’ tax subsidies that don’t curb climate change," FOX News, 21 June 2013.
            As with all government funding, the question always remains: cui bono?  To whom go the benefits of such funding?  If the private sector in general is not seeing benefits, then it becomes likely that a small group of the politically connected are.

             The litany of failed companies as found in Bankrupt green    suggest some likely candidates, whose politically connected elite have profited well in the midst of such failures.

            This begs the question. If the private sector cannot support it and the public sector cannot afford it, "What in the hell is a green job?" It is not unreasonable to conclude the phrase is intended to sidestep -- even avoid -- a systematic look into the economic realities of these last years of bankruptcy and the outright waste of "public" funds on essentially private ventures.

 

[ 2 ]        "Subsidizing green technology is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the government’s generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed 'acceptable.' It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill. According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit." In "Goodnight Sunshine," by Bjørn Lomborg, Slate, 18 February 2012. Additionally, Lomborg writes, "Defenders of Germany’s solar subsidies also claim that they have helped to create “green jobs.” But each job created by green-energy policies costs an average of $175,000—considerably more than job creation elsewhere in the economy, such as infrastructure or health care. And many “green jobs” are being exported to China, meaning that Europeans subsidize Chinese jobs, with no CO2 reductions. Germany’s experiment with subsidizing inefficient solar technology has failed."

 

 Break the Bank

 

            The economic future of a "green job" is further clarified:  " 'Everybody knows we can’t go the way we’ve been going,' said Miranda Schreurs, the director of the Environmental Policy Research Center at the Free University of Berlin and a government adviser. It’ll break the bank'." In "Solar industry faces subsidy cuts in Europe," by Michael Birnbaum and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 18 March 2012.

            One learns the "green" revolution which has generated wealth for a few, soaring costs for the many and economic skewing of markets is being seen on an ever larger scale:   "Europe’s carbon and energy markets are dysfunctional. The emissions trading scheme was meant to put a price on carbon to encourage alternatives. But poor policy design, a recession and too many exemptions mean the price has collapsed." In "Europe’s energy woes," The Economist, 25 January 2014.

            One notes that like Chicago's now collapsed CCX, the European model also teeters. Why? Because neither were actual markets, but rather required government coercion to function, the net effect being losses to small investors as heavy burdens fro consumers, all to benefit the operators and traders of these so-called "markets" which never operated as markets but rather imitations of markets which enrich the few at the expense of the many.

 

[ 3 ]     Similar conclusions are finding "sustainable" renewable energy projects are not economically sustainable. "A total of £1,146,614 was handed out to the operators of 13 Scottish wind farms, including almost £300,000 for a development built on land owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. The money, which ultimately comes from electricity consumers’ bills, was given to wind farm companies to compensate them for not producing power during periods of high generation and low demand." In "Scottish wind farms paid £1 million to shut down one day," by Simon Johnson, Telegraph UK, 5 May 2013.

 

 Subsidizing Failures as Prices Skyrocket

 

            And so the question has been asked over years now: "The big question. Step back from the hearing for a minute. Why is Congress (remember, both parties broadly supported the original loan guarantee) and the Energy Department subsidizing companies it expects to fail? " In "Blogging the Solyndra hearing," Brad Plummer, Washington Post, Wonkblog, 117 November 2011.

            After so much economic information about failed and failing "green job" schemes of various kinds, one finds Obama making the same assertions in 2013 as he made in 2010. "Here’s one line that President Barack Obama might want to rewind: 'Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket'." In "Uttered in 2008, still haunting Obama in 2012," by Erica Martinsonm Politico, 5 April 2012.  [Quote to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board very early in the presidential campaign, January 2008.]

            The consumer is being charged for "green jobs" now termed "cleantech" costing approximately multiple times the average taxpayer's yearly income across the nation. Something similar is happening in Europe, and as we learn many new green jobs end up being temporary when subsidies are withdrawn.

            Another side to the "green" movement politically involves failed and failing carbon trading programs. One Obama was connected to has already collapsed:  "The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) was North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and trading system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil." Wikipedia, "Chicago Climate Exchange."

 

 $7.50 Discounted to $.05

 

            One reads:  "CFIs once traded as high as $7.50 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent emissions, but as of last Friday, the exchange trading price was just 5 cents, the same price they've been at for more than a year." In "Chicago Climate Exchange Closes Nation's First Cap-And-Trade System but Keeps Eye to the Future," by Nathaniel Gronewald, New York Times, 3 January 2011.  A visual summary of the trading price and volume over the lifespan of this defunct "exchange" is illustrating:

 

 

            As an additional insight into this failed exchange, one reads:  "Barack Obama served on the board of the Joyce Foundation from 1994 to 2002, when it issued CCX start-up grants. Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett also once sat on the Joyce board. As president, cap-and-trade is one of Obama's highest priorities. The exchange's founder, Richard Sandor, says he knew Obama as far back as when the Joyce Foundation awarded money to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where Sandor was research professor. He estimated that climate trading could be "a $10 trillion market," which it very well might have been if cap-and-trade legislation like Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer made into law. But now, in the wake of Climate-gate and other scandals, as well as recent election results, that's an unlikely event." In "The Crash Of The Climate Exchange," IBD Editorial, Investors Business Daily, November 9, 2010.

 

 The Dream

 

            An "unlikely event?" In fact this attempt to erect a trading market in carbon credits is underway again. The dream of that "$10 trillion market" lures many who would profit from it financially. At the end of the curve marking the collapse of the CCX, how many investors holding "Carbon Financial Instruments" lost money for having bought such credits? The simple answer is all of them. "Cap" and "trade" were strategies to create wealth for the traders, an inexplicable stance for those politicians pretending to care about consumers and taxpayers. But such a set of strategies enforced by law are wholly understandable when one considers that the few fat cats would find wealth flowing to them by fiat of the federal government. Rent-seeking has been the behavior of governments through the centuries, wherein the "redistribution of wealth" meant to the elite of that day. Nothing seems to have changed, except that freedom of information becomes more powerful in exposing this centuries' old practice.

            A look to the similar collapse of carbon credits in the European Union scheme shows much the same loss to ordinary investors, as the lighter gray shows investors selling these credits in volume as the price shown by the black line falls over a similar period as the CCX's collapse of prices.

 

 

            The collapse was noted in the press:  "The international market in carbon credits has suffered an almost total collapse, with only $1.5bn (£916m) of credits traded last year - the lowest since the market opened in 2005, according to a report from the World Bank. A fledgling market in greenhouse gas emissions in the US also declined, and only the European Union's internal market in carbon remained healthy, worth $120bn. However, leaked documents seen by the Guardian appear to show that even the EU's emissions trading system is in danger." In "World Bank warns of 'failing' international carbon market," by Fiona Harvey, Telegraph UK, 1 June 2011.

 

 Collapse

 

            What is the market? It is the post-assignment sale of pieces of paper whose worth is dependent on no product being sold, no research developing a new technology and no profits generated except for those charging fees to trade. For whom then is this market designed? Apparently traders and -- see the quote below -- government.

            One reads further:  "...a number of weaknesses of the CDM have been identified (World Bank, 2010, p. 265-267). Several of these issues were addressed by the new Program of Activities (PoA) that moves to approving 'bundles' of projects instead of accrediting each project individually. In 2012, the report Climate change, carbon markets and the CDM: A call to action said governments urgently needed to address the future of the CDM. It suggested the CDM was in danger of collapse because of the low price of carbon and the failure of governments to guarantee its existence into the future. Writing on the website of the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, Yolanda Kakabadse, a member of the investigating panel for the report and founder of Fundacion Futuro Latinamericano, said a strong CDM is needed to support the political consensus essential for future climate progress. 'Therefore we must do everything in our hands to keep it working,' she said." In "Clean Development Mechanism," Wikipedia article, n .d.

            The "it" is the mechanism itself and those trading companies who profit from handling certificates of credit. Judging by the losses to investors from the above graphs, investing in carbon credits is a large risk for all excepting traders and governments.

            One sees a long term attempt by "green job" advocates -- almost all of it political and involving "income transfer" from public funds to private entities -- will neither "save the planet" nor assist in economic recovery. But what it has done and will continue to do is benefit a small group of wealthy individuals while many small investors have lost their capital investment, which has accelerated under the last United States administrations. See: Income Inequality  .

            To follow this tale through to the next chapters, read a rhyme, addenda and footnotes to document in some detail the ongoing tale:  Globaloney - sung to the children's tune, "Baa, baa black sheep."  

 

[ 4 ]      Let one be clear via simple repetition: "...Labor did not establish clear and timely guidelines for how to document green job placement outcomes, Labor is not able to assess the extent to which the targeted green jobs training programs placed participants in employment related to the training they received." 

 

 Not Everyone Loses...

 

            When the Department of Labor is said by the General Accounting Office in 2013 that it "is not able to assess," it suggests that pronouncements about the "success" of the program are untrustworthy and basically political in nature, not factual. Why? Because the department was "not able to assess," and therefore without such assessment, "success" cannot be claimed. And yet, of course it is. Such has been the nature of "green" politics around the world, in which the public sector has crowded out the private, in which enormous sums of tax money have been spent without proof of efficacy, and in which the few have benefited in capital increase, even from failed investments. As with the CCX information above and many similar proofs, many have lost money investing in "green" policies and practices. But the few have prospered massively. See:  Albert Gore -- a study in the massive acquisition of capital.

 

[ 5 ]     Below junk status? Indeed, as European investors experienced the same as did American investors in the now-collapsed Chicago Climate Exchange.  One reads:  "The European Union’s Emissions Trading System was intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by setting a market price on them. The system, set up in three phases, requires polluters to acquire credits to offset their emissions. A glut of credits, combined with lower demand because of the weak economy, has driven down the price to close to zero." In "The Falling Price of Carbon Credits," New York Times, 21 April 2013.

 

 

            Further:  "Prices for Certified Emission Reductions, known as CERs, for December delivery settled today at 4.90 euros ($6.57) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest closing price since they began trading in 2008. The credits have lost 80 percent from their peak of 25 euros in July 2008." In "Carbon Credits Becoming ‘Junk’ Before 2013 Ban Closes Door: Energy Markets," by Dinakar Sethuraman and Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg, 7 December 2011.

 

 Junk and Decline and Information Manipulation

 

           And one reads:  "With such low CER prices, potential projects were not commercially viable. In October 2012, CER prices fell to a new low of 1.36 euros a metric tonne on the London ICE Futures Europe exchange. In October 2012 Thomson Reuters Point Carbon calculated that the oversupply of units from the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation would be 1,400 million units for the period up to 2020 and Point Carbon predicted that Certified Emission Reduction (CER) prices would to drop from €2 to 50 cents. On 12 December 2012 CER prices reached another record low of 31 cents. Bloomberg reported that Certified Emission Reduction prices had declined by 92 percent to 39 each cents in the 2012 year." In "Clean Development Mechanism," Wikipedia, n.d.

           The collapse of such prices has a human cost, for every investor at the top of the market has lost as much as 92 percent of their investment, from individuals to retirement funds. Moreover, as the credits drove higher prices, energy customers lost by paying ever increasing costs.  See green screws red  - lights or bread, to consider the poorer paying more to the richer., while the traders made their money by both selling on the way up and the way down. The Carbon Credits Price was 0.037 for 4 April 2014. Those who said these credits were worthless were lambasted early on, and now their opinion is proven.
           It has been noted that excuse is made for the rhetoric. One reads:  "It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare." In the abstract to "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements," by Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 24 February 2014.

           For a partial explanation of information manipulation and of a regime of "global welfare," see The Privileges of Intellectuals  and its sourced footnotes.

 

[ 6 ]    What has become "green" used to be "cooling," then "warming" and then "change." One reads, "I was a columnist in the 1970s when Newsweek, Time, all sorts of media outlets said the real problem is global cooling. I remember the Washington Post reporting that the armadillos were going south to escape the coming chill, the threat of glaciation over northern Europe. We've been through this before. You say, 'What happened to global cooling?' They say, 'Well, our models were wrong.' Now we're supposed to risk several trillion dollars of global growth and spending on new models that might be wrong?" In "George Will: 'Global Warming Is Socialism By The Back Door'," in an interview with Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller, 28 April 2014.

 

 Wrong?

 

           As above, one has CCX Carbon Financial Instrument prices collapse, investors lose money, and the Chicago exchange itself follow into collapse. One is seeing the European Union’s Emissions Trading System prices collapse, also as above. (My own subscription to Scientific American in the 70s documented the scientific concern for global cooling, and then warming.) One has seen the IPCC's forecasts become less science-oriented and more policy-driven at the same time that scientists at one time connected to the IPCC directly or indirectly push away from such forecasts. One is seeing economic skewing from various forms of government subsidies (taken from taxation) in renewables alongside the bankruptcy of many "green" companies worldwide. One continues to see large price increases to consumers -- including the poorest economic classes which cannot afford such increases -- in order to fund policies of "green" subsidies and paper trading which have led to bankruptcies on the scale of hundreds of millions of dollars, while one has seen some of the most conspicuous global warming advocates acquire ever more political power and wealth. All of this while some global warming advocates are in litigation with critics over issues of libel and slander, in which one case in Canada has fallen apart when discovery required the turning over of basic data for verification and analysis and the "expert" balked at having his data examined. It is time and past time to consider what Willie Sutton didn't say  .

           For another losing proposition of the green sort, see:  30 to 6   - cruel carbon tricks.

 

[ 7 ]  That the "board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met" is a scandal and smacks of sheer political patronage, as do the few jobs created going to "consultants and energy auditors," a phrase which can likely be replaced with "more bureaucrats."  Consider The Story of Innocent Bloat . In this case, its color is green.

 

[ 8 ]   How does a company with $2.7 billion in federal loan guarantees reach insolvency? Greenly. How were the billions washed away? Cleanly. How will the taxpayers will foot the bill? Routinely. How does the federal government waste so many "green" billions? Obscenely.

 

[ 9 ]     A "climate change expert" -- in the words of an NBC news article -- commits fraud. There are so many ways to link this tale of greed to government Corruption  , as to the demonstrable fact that in government  Lying continues   -  government flexing its sinews, as to the in print admission by a political leader that If it's serious, you lie  .

           What is not a lie, and wholly proven by examples aplenty is the truth of the accountants' red ink which is in large part exemplified by being a shameless shade of Bankrupt green  .

 

[ 10 ]  The misuse of numbers appears in such reporting, showing the "washout" associated with a "16.5 percent" sales success. Dividing the "ARB offering" 43.7 million tons of "state-owned emission allowances" into the actual "just 602,340 tons of advance 2020 allowances" -- 602,340 / 43,7000,000 = 0.01378352402746 -- shows that a meager 1.378 percent of the overall "offering" was sold.

           Given that the largest amount of "state-owned emission allowances" were sold in this "washout" to public utilities which are also government-run suggests that there is no commercial investment value in these "allowances" which are simply pieces of essentially worthless paper, from a private investment perspective, and at best politics at its worst.

           Such is the lesson of government when one learns lessons while Doing the math   - blindly on politics' path.


 

Prayer

Man is funny; man is sad.
Man is hero; man is cad.
Man is great; man is small.
Man is nothing; man is all.
Man's alive, then man is dead.
By all this man's fear is fed.

 

Envoi:    "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it." Voltaire (1694-1778), in a letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, 16 May 1767)

 

See:    Song settings of Paul Laurence Dunbar's A Prayer - (2011)  , Claude McKay's A Prayer - (2009)    and Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.'s  A Prayer - (2007) 


 

I am god, and I'm in charge

A TSA agent was arrested on January 3rd in Terminal One at LAX, a source told NBCLA. He had just gotten off duty and was behaving erratically, saying, "I am god, I’m in charge." - "TSA Agent Arrested at LAX," NBC News, 7 January 2010.
 

"I am god, and I'm in charge."
Wait! "God is dead" was once writ large.
Perhaps this god is newborn again,
Dead and gone, and then -- Amen! --
God rose, to work for the bureaucrats
To smack ten thousand public gnats.
Perhaps he'll examine the USA
And then a load of tea essay.
"I am god, and I'm in charge."
Good god, he sounds like old Madame Lafarge.

 

Envoi:    "A lot of what we do is make-believe." In "TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe," New York Post, 10 March 2013.

 

Addendum of Misconduct:   "A new government report says misconduct by Transportation Security Administration workers has increased more than 26% in the last three years. Some of the most serious violations include: Employees sleeping on the job, letting family and friends go without being screened, leaving work without permission, and stealing." In "Report: TSA employee misconduct up 26%," by Ed Payne and Rene Marsh, CNN, 31 July 2013.

 

Addendum of Allegations of Abuse:    "I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds." In "Dear America, I Saw You Naked (And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent), by Jason Edward Harrington, Politico, 30 January 2014.

 

Addendum of the TSA Response to Allegations of Abuse:   "TSA officials said they would not pursue the allegations of misconduct that Harrington raised." In "TSA responds to allegations by former screener," by Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, 9 February 2014.

 

Addendum of the Tiny Harmless Weapon:  "Another gun-wielding toy has had its weapon seized by airport security. After a cowboy sock monkey Rooster Monkburn had his tiny harmless weapon seized last year, a Woody doll underwent similar probe at London’s Heathrow Airport." In "Airport Security Confiscates Toy Story Doll’s Gun," by Andrew Johnson, National Review, 12 February 2014.   [ 1 ]

 

 Addendum of a real TSA Terroristic Threat:   "Houston police arrested a Transportation Security Administration officer accused of making a threat to fellow employees at Bush Intercontinental Airport. The incident reportedly happened on Jan. 25 in the security checkpoint area of Terminal C. Jeno Mouton, of Houston, allegedly told a TSA supervisor that 'he would rather vent than to come back and shoot up the place,' according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators said Mouton, who is a long-time employee, allegedly made the comment while he was on-duty and working in the capacity of a TSA officer." In "TSA officer at Bush IAH arrested, accused of making terroristic threat," KHOU News Staff, 3 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Not Knowing:   "Gray, who lives in Washington, D.C., was flying out of Orlando International Airport when a TSA agent said Gray's District of Columbia driver's license wasn't a valid form of identification. Gray said his license is legal and up-to-date, but the TSA agent didn't seem to know what the District of Columbia was when Gray arrived at the security checkpoint over the weekend." In "Reporter stopped by TSA agent who didn't know District of Columbia is in US," WFTV, Florida, 15 July 2014.

 

Addendum of a Billion Dollars of Security:   "Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University maneuvered weapons past the full-body X-ray scanners that were deployed at U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013 – at a cost of more than $1 billion. 'Frankly, we were shocked by what we found,' said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, in a statement. 'A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques'." In "Study: TSA Full-Body X-Ray Scanners Miss Guns, Explosives, Knives," CBS News DC, 20 August 2014.     [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Admission:   "A new letter from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) admits that illegal aliens were being allowed to board planes using Notice to Appear forms they received after entering the U.S. illegally. The revelation directly contradicts a TSA statement last month denying such allegations to various media outlets, including Breitbart News." In "TSA Admits Lying About Illegal Aliens Flying Without Proper ID," by Kristin Tate, 22 August 2014.

 

Addendum -- SPOT not the Terrorist:   "...Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, has been in use nationwide since 2007 and has cost taxpayers upwards of $1 billion dollars. SPOT has been dogged with accusations that it is based on pseudoscience and promotes racial and ethnic profiling among the some 3,000 TSA agents tasked with observing unusual behavior. Two years ago, a review by the Government Accountability Office found no clear evidence that the protocol used by SPOT-trained agents to detect terrorists was any better than random selection. The GAO report recommended that Congress halt funding for the program." In "This Is How TSA Decides if You Might Be Acting Like a Terrorist," by Dustin Volz. National Journal, 27 March 2015.

 

Addendum of Queer Incidents:   "A CBS4 investigation has learned that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers. It happened roughly a dozen times, according to information gathered by CBS4." In "CBS4 Investigation: TSA Screeners At DIA Manipulated System To Grope Men’s Genitals," by Brian Maass, CBS News, 13 April 2015.

 

Addendum of a Booming Business:   "In one case, an alarm sounded, but even during a pat-down, the screening officer failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to an undercover agent's back. In all, so-called 'Red Teams' of Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able get weapons past TSA agents in 67 out of 70 tests — a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials." In "TSA Chief Out After Agents Fail 95 Percent of Airport Breach Tests," by Tom Costello and M. Alex Johnson, NBC News, 1 June 2015.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of a Culture of Retaliation:   "Poor leadership and a culture of retaliation are making it harder for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to address security gaps, employees of the agency said Wednesday. TSA employees told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that workers are afraid to speak up about problems at the agency and feel as though they will be unfairly punished, despite promises of protection from TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger." In "TSA employees rip agency: 'No one who reports issues is safe'," by Melanie Zanona, The Hill, 27 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Cracking Down on Reports:   "Under pressure to prevent people from sneaking onto runways and planes at major U.S. airports, authorities are cracking down - not on the intruders who slip through perimeter gates or jump over fences, but on the release of information about the breaches." In "Intruders breach US airport fences about every 10 days
by Justin Pritchard and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press, 26 May 2016.
 
[ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Beating a Disabled Patient:   "Cohen told us she tried to tell TSA agents her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused, but said she was kept at a distance by police. 'She's trying to get away from them but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor. There was blood everywhere,' said Cohen. Hannah was arrested, booked and on the night she should have been celebrating the end of her treatment, she was locked up in Jail East." In "Disabled St. Jude patient sues airport and TSA after bloody scuffle with Airport Police," by Wayne Carter, WREG News 3, 30 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Transportation Security Agents Failing Random Drug Tests:   "The number of alleged misconduct incidents increased from 13,722 in Fiscal Year 2013 to 17,627 in FY 2015, an increase of 28.5 percent, the report stated." In "Report: Hundreds of U.S. airport screeners failed random drug tests," by Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle, 7 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Passing Through Security Armed:   "The Transportation Security Administration 'has determined standard procedures were not followed and a police officer did in fact pass through the checkpoint with a firearm,' TSA Public Affairs Manager Nico Melendez said in a statement Wednesday." In "California officer detained in Taiwan after TSA misses gun in her bag at LAX," by Anita Bennett, Mercury News, 20 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Ninety-Five Percent Failure Rate:    "When put to the test, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport failed 95-percent of security tests conducted at the airport last week, according to Fox 9 sources. Last Thursday, what’s referred to as the 'Red Team' in town from Washington D.C., posed as passengers and attempted to sneak items through security that should easily be caught. In most cases, they succeeded in getting the banned items through. 17 out of 18 tries by the undercover federal agents saw explosive materials, fake weapons, or drugs pass through TSA screening undetected. Two sources told Fox 9 that the tests carried out thrusday [ sic ] were eventually stopped after the failure rate reached 95-percent." In "Minneapolis Airport Fails 95 Percent of Security Tests, Sources Say," by Jack Highberger, Fox News 21, 3 July 2017.

 

See:    A Messenger from God 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "...after a traveler with a cowboy figurine fashioned after the "Toy Story" character Woody says workers at London's largest international airport pulled him aside and proceeded to disarm the doll of his tiny, fake six-shooter." In "Heathrow Security Plays It Safe," by Ryan Grenoble, Huffington Post, 11 February 2014.

 

 

 

[ 2 ]    And how did the researchers gain access?  From the article:   "Another troubling element of the machines’ vulnerability is the ease in which the researchers were able to even test it in the first place. They purchased the government surplus scanner from eBay."   See:   Incompetence  - from whence to thence.

 

 

 

[ 3 ]   Given reports above from such anti-government entities as CNN, CBS News and NBC News, one may be certain that a traveler's experience with the transportation and safety through a government agency is to be seen as competent, worth the price and trusted in spite of "a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials."  It is all ultimately about Fat, fat government funded by who? By Sam? - the Debtor Man.

 

 Bad News Is Classified

 

          Editorials have their say, as one example notes:  "In 67 out of 70 tests, secret DHS 'Red Team' agents used insider knowledge and disguises to slip past body scanners and pat-downs at airport security checkpoints, carrying weapons, mock bombs or other prohibited items. The TSA's staggering 95% failure rate was attributed to both human and technological error. The dismal numbers, first reported by ABC News on Monday, were compounded by Johnson's dismissive response. 'The numbers in these reports never look good out of context,' Johnson said in a statement Tuesday. However, he chose not to release the full report or add any context, saying the information was classified." In "Editorial - What a 95% failure rate says about the TSA," Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, 4 June 2015.

          "...the information was classified" because government bureaucrats need to hide such details as "fail" and "95%."

          As to the equipment involved:   "...the federally run TSA has spent $160 million — or more than $150,000 per unit — on body scanners meant to prevent fliers from bringing contraband onto planes. And what did taxpayers get for their money? A recent security audit found that TSA scanners failed to stop explosives and weapons 96% of the time." In "TSA Spent $160 Mil For Scanners With A 96% Failure Rate," IBD Editorial, Investors, 17 August 2015.

          More failures are yet noted.  "The look into TSA protocol comes after an undercover sting operation during which staffers from the Inspector General’s office covertly went through security at eight airports and, in many cases, were able to sneak in weapons. 'They have failed miserably,' Lynch said, describing the classified results of the operation. 'They would strap a gun on their ankle, one of them had an ace bandage with a weapon inside. They walk through the screeners and, with a very high instance, they are getting through. So there are some major problems'." In "Steve Lynch: TSA chief vows total overhaul after scathing IG probe," by Chris Villani, Boston Herald, 5 November 2015.

          An "erratic" TSA agent asserts, "I am god, and I'm in charge."  One might imagine top TSA management having to state "I am in charge, and fail most of the time." Such is too often the nature of government, centrally planned and administered.

          Is such a conclusion warranted? Consider the many instances of  Incompetence  - from whence to thence.

 

 

 

[ 4 ]  The Associated Press noted: "Since AP published its initial findings, a half-dozen airports and the TSA have started to withhold all video surveillance footage and other details they previously released - and deny that some incidents were "security breaches" at all. TSA did not respond to detailed questions about its changing standards." Embarrassing questions to bureaucracies so irritate bureaucracies which "are in charge." 


 

Like a Duck to Water

Like a duck to water,
Like a drunk to booze,
Like a mother to daughter,
Like a ram to its ewes,
    Life commands each one play.

Like breath breathed into clay,
Like a lump on the wheel,
Like as night unto day,
Like the anvil is to steel,
    Life forms and is underway.

Like a pig in its slop,
Like a john to whores,
Like a bull in a shop,
Like the waves to shores,
    Life dances through the day.

Like an addict to coke,
Like a lad to a lass,
Like the white to the yoke,
Like a load to an ass,
    Life weighs whatever it may.

Like a fist to a face,
Like a lamb to the slaughter,
Like the prey in a chase,
And the hand that caught her,
    Life takes one's breath away.


 

Deficits

“You have left me and other governors no choice,” Mr. Paterson, the former State Senate minority leader, said. “Whether it be by vetoes or delayed spending, I will not write bad checks, and we will not mortgage our children’s future.” Governor David Paterson, New York Times, "Paterson say legislators put state in danger." 6 January 2010.
 

Democrats made deficits,
Republicans did this too.
The SPD and CDU,
the Labour folks and you.

Rob a Peter to pay a Paul
Makes Paul a happy chap,
But Peter won't see things quite like that;
For him the game is crap.

Pointing fingers at someone
Is quite a political ruse,
But numbers vote without delay
And bruise deep blacks-and-blues.

The notion of paying for today
Out of tomorrow's purse
Only means that then tomorrow
The problem will be worse.

Conservatives made deficits,
Liberals did too.
Shall we just point fingers now?
Or stop, as bills come due?

I vote the latter, not the first,
But "want it lots" and "want it now"
Has become the public's thirst
Who "want" all anyhow.

Comes the time to pay the piper,
When the bills come due,
But borrowing from tomorrow kids
Means future debts accrue.

Where's the sense in all of this?
Where's the reason why?
It's because fools have ruled the day,
And thought without an eye

To the future and that time
When debt will come to call
And there be no further borrowing
And one great, messy brawl.

Me! No me! No, I was first,
Will be their battle cry,
For all the nipple-suckers
Will have sucked the teat quite dry.

 

Envoi:   "The welfare state is in crisis. The promises made in its name are a mixture of wishful thinking and outright lies. It emerged as a mechanism of power; it displaced, crowded out, and crushed voluntary and participatory institutions; it enervated and atomized societies and undercut personal responsibility; it substituted dependency and patronage for independence and rights. In usurping from citizens responsibility for their own welfare, it has turned them into clients, vassals, subjects, supplicants." In "Bismarck’s Legacy," by Tom G. Palmer, in "After the Welfare State," Jameson Books, 2012.

 

Add-in-dumb of Borrowed Time:   "In short, the balance of costs and benefits entailed by continued monetary easing has been deteriorating. Borrowed time should be used to restore the foundations of solid long-term growth. This includes ending the dependence on debt; improving economic flexibility to strengthen productivity growth; completing regulatory reform; and recognising the limits of what central banks can and should do." In "Making the most of borrowed time," by Jaime Caruana, Bank for International Settlements address, 23 June 2013.

 

Add-in-dumb for the United States of Indebtedness:   "Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar. Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007. ...How long the nation could sustain such growth in federal debt is impossible to predict with any confidence. At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to pay U.S. debt obligations, making it more difficult or more expensive for the government to borrow money. Moreover, even before that point was reached, the high and rising amount of debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget:" In "The 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook," Congressional Budget Office, 17 September 2013.

 

 Addendum of the Monthly Narrative:  "The U.S. budget deficit was $95 billion at the end of July, down 3 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $96 billion deficit for last month. The deficit was $98 billion in July of 2013." In "U.S. budget deficit falls to $95 billion in July," by Elvina Nawaguna, Reuters, 12 August 2014.   [ 1 ]

 

Add-in-dumb for Spain:   "Though the annual deficits are on the decline, they continue to push up the sovereign debt of the eurozone's fourth-largest economy. The public debt figure includes the cost of a €41 billion banking rescue in 2012 financed by Spain's eurozone partners. The trillion-euro public debt figure is equal to 98.5 percent of Spain's 2013 gross domestic product, a calculation by the news agency AFP showed. The Bank of Spain has yet to release final GDP figures for the second quarter of 2014. Spain enjoyed a relatively low debt ratio, equal to 36.3 per cent of GDP, in 2007. But the public debt soared after the implosion of a decade-long property bubble, which tipped the economy into a double-dip recession." In "Spanish public debt tops €1 trillion-mark," TheLocal.es, 14 August 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum Asking "Is Anyone Paying Attention":   "Red ink in fiscal year 2016, which ends on Sept. 30, will hit $590 billion. That's much worse than the CBO had expected just a few months ago. It's also a big jump from last year's deficit, which was an already outrageously high $439 billion. Revenues climbed 1% this year, but spending jumped 5%. What's more, the CBO projects that in 10 years the annual deficit is on track to more than double, topping $1.3 trillion by 2026. That's equal to 4.9% of the nation's economy, a scale that has been reached only seven times since World War II (and four of those years were under President Obama)." In "Federal Deficits Explode — Is Anyone Paying Attention?" Investors Business Daily Editorial, 24 August 2016.   [ 3 ]

 

See:    Debt    and   Leadership Failure  - spoke a failed leader

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  The narrative as presented by the US Treasury through Reuters speaks of a $95 billion monthly deficit. Simple arithmetic multiplies a monthly number times twelve months, and the result is a yearly projection of $1.14 trillion dollars.  One understands therefore why the number as reported in a Treasury report is monthly, in hopes simple mathematics will not speak a larger, ugly truth. As Governor Patterson above noted, ever increasing debt can only "mortgage our children’s future.”

          One also notes the tone of the title, that a "deficit falls." This too is a matter of narrative manipulation, because any deficit adds to the aggregate debt of the nation. Therefore the reality is that debt amasses, slower than the year previous. But such a reminder that debt increases is obscured by such words as "falls" and "down," when the overall truth is debt "rises" and "up." Such is the nature of government and a compliant media.

 

[ 2 ]    It is important to note the detail in the article's excerpt. In 2007, debt was 36.3 percent of GDP. Only seven years later, debt had become 98.5 percent of GDP. Seven years of spending on a national credit card money which either must be paid back with interest or abrogated. This is what "modern" politics has wrought.

          Relating the numbers from the article about Spain to the articles about the United States, one may see that Spain's national debt in its entirety equals about one month's deficit in the United States.

          Deficit is then simple to define: Any deficit adds to debt. The phrase, "lowering" or "falling" deficit sounds good, but it means "adding to debt." This is something akin to bleeding to death more slowly than a patient was before.

 

[ 3 ]   An answer is given to the Investors' question,  "Is Anyone Paying Attention? Yes, they are paying attention by playing the game of the modern era, Kick the can  - most governments' plan. Governments and the political leaders know precisely what they are doing and continue along this path of corruption. This is because most governments are mired in Leadership Failure  - spoke a failed leader.


 

Either One or the Other

Either this way or that way,
But not the both.
Not neither, nor other, I quoth.
When two sides are offered
I might chose neither voice,
And both thereby may not rejoice.
        A road not oft taken
        Might well be mistaken
        As no third alternative.
        Two choices will be shaken
        To one day awaken
        To a third, fourth or fifth narrative.

Either this team or that team?
No, of the two neither one.
Not either, perhaps maybe none.
When cheering commences
I'll choose not to cheer,
And for that the loyal partisans will jeer.
        I will not face feints
        That someone else paints
        When I see alternatives.
        Two sides? Each taints
        The other as Satan, not as saints.
        Such few, too-sided narratives.
 
Choose one or the other?
No thanks, I shan't.
I will not. I won't. I can't.
When only two sides are offered
I'll might chose neither voice,
And both will rage at me, not rejoice.

See:    I shall not join the party 


 

The religion of peace

"...we are not at war with Islam, which most Americans respect as a religion of peace." - George W. Bush, September 16, 2001.

The religion of peace puts bombs in its shorts,
In its shoes or its vests, as it loudly exhorts,
"Behead infidels" who would dare defame
This religion of peace and submission-filled name.
            The religion of peace bombs statues and men,
            Cooks a child to serve, but sulks in its den
            For so brave are the leaders they cower from view,
            But boast big and proud to their video crew.
The mullahs' great courage is to hide at the back
While fussing and fuming, to call for "attack."
The same-old chatter of these warrior chiefs
Tells their peace is filled with warrior beliefs.
            To say that these folks hold a religion of peace
            Is naive, uninformed. Is it politics' caprice?
            O, the greatest number of those who've been killed
            Have been peaceable members of this "peace," as its billed.
The war on Great Satan is not peace, I explain,
For a worldwide war makes its world war quite plain
In Asia, in Africa, in Europe and more
On Pacific islands, with jihadists galore.
            It seems, at the minimum, one might conclude
            That their "peace" is at war in their warriors' mood,
            Which puts bombs in its shorts, in its vests and its shoes
            And is less like peace, more like war, but a ruse
When folks with their well meaning words confuse
Peace with war, war with peace, for not reading the cues
Which tell that the religion of peaceable peace
Has peace-painted war as its faith's centerpiece.

 

Envoi:   "While Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsees and Jews, along with several million adherents of an animistic religion, all coexisted in relative harmony, one religion that would not accept compromise stood out from the rest: Islam." In "Gandhi: The Power of Pacifism," by Catherine Clement, Abrams, 1996.

 

Addendum of a Theological Republican President:  "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war." In " 'Islam is Peace' Says President," by George W. Bush. Quotation source: "Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C.," Office of the Press Secretary, 17 September 2001. 

 

 Addendum of a Theological Democrat President:   "...throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality." In "Remarks by the President, On a New Beginning, Cairo University," Office of the Press Secretary, White House, 4 June 2009.

 

 Addendum of a Catholic Pope Defining Authentic Islam:  "We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence." In "Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World," 253, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 24 November 2016.

 

 

 

 Addendum of Islam According to Convicted Choudary:   "Choudary's mindset is really simple. There are two worlds - the world of belief, meaning Muslims, and the world of disbelief, everyone else. Assuming for a moment that the world neatly divides into such camps, these worlds are incompatible because the way of life of one threatens the existence of the other. In his head there can be no compromise, no meeting of minds. Liberal democracy, personal freedom, the rule of law mandated by the people is all an affront to the will of Allah. And the solution to all of this? A single Islamic state, under Sharia, for the whole world, for all areas of life. What if you disagree? Well then you are not with him. You are against him - you're a hostile." In "How Anjem Choudary's mouth was finally shut," by Dominic Casciani, BBC, 16 August 2016.

 

 Addendum of Bukhari Defining the Religion of Peace:   "Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah'." Bukhari (2:24) –Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25.

 

  Addendum of an Authentic Muslim Sheikh Defining Jihad:   "7. Jihad is currently fard 'ayn - individually obligatory, in person and by wealth, in every place that the Disbelievers have occupied. It remains fard `ayn continuously until every piece of land that was once Islamic is regained. 8. The word 'jihad', when mentioned on its own, only means combat with weapons, as was mentioned by Ibn Rushd, and upon this the four Imams have agreed." In "Join the Caravan," by Shaykh 'Abdullah 'Azzam, 1st Jummad al-Awwal 1409 A.H. corresponding to 9th December 1988 CE.

 

 Addendum of an American Muslim Convert:  "Alton Nolen reiterated his desire to plead guilty and die by lethal injection after Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley asked a series of questions to assess whether he understood the charges stemming from the September 2014 attack at the Vaughn Foods plant in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. 'I'm being (held) captive to the disbelievers of Allah, the one and only God,' Nolen, who converted to Islam shortly before the attack, told the judge, declining to take the stand when delivering his testimony. 'It's part of my religion that when death faces you, you do not back down'." In "Beheading suspect says he's being held 'captive to the disbelievers of Allah'," by Daniel C. Houston, Associated Press, 20 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Classical Reliance of the Traveller:   "The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people's families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it)." In "Reliance of the Traveller and Tools for the Worshipper. A classical manual of Islamic sacred law," Ahmad Ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368 CE), edited and translated by Sheik Nuh Ha Mim Keller, h8.17, 1 July 1997.

 

 Addendum of the 1979 Siege of Mecca:   "About 100,000 people appeared in the Grand Mosque of Mecca for the dawn prayer. What they didn't know was that all of them would become hostages within minutes of the prayer beginning. A group of jihadis, several hundred jihadis, from Saudi Arabia, from Egypt, but also some Americans and Canadians - converts to Islam - had entered the mosque with weapons, overpowered the guards, shut down the gates and proclaimed the arrival of the savior, the Mahdi, that would cleanse the Muslim world from its impurities brought in by the Westerners." In "1979: Remembering 'The Siege Of Mecca'," in an interview with Yaroslav Trofimov, National Public Radio, 20 August 2009.

 

Addendum of the Muslim World War on Christians:   "Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm. The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania. In some countries it is governments and their agents that have burned churches and imprisoned parishioners. In others, rebel groups and vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands, murdering Christians and driving them from regions where their roots go back centuries." In "The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World," by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Newsweek, 6 February 2012.

 

 Addendum of a Dire Picture:   "John Brennan, the CIA director, told a Senate committee Tuesday that the violence and instability in the Middle East was the worst it had been in 50 years, painting a dire picture of a region he said was facing 'unprecedented' bloodshed." In "The Middle East is the worst it's been in 50 years with 'unprecedented' bloodshed," by Pamela Engel, Business Insider, 10 February 2016.

 

Addendum of a Theological Muslim and Caliph:   "The speaker says: 'There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State... joining [its fight] is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons [to fight] wherever you are.' He adds: 'Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels'." In "Islamic State releases 'al-Baghdadi message'," BBC, 14 May 2015.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Plain Speaking:   "Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires." In "People know the consequences: Opposing view," by Anjem Choudary, USA Today. 8 January 2015.

 

Addendum of Dominating Every Land:   "He writes: 'That's why the coming of this Jihad is a Mercy from Allah. He exposes our enemies from amongst the filthy Rawafidh (Shia Muslims), heretics and their beloved friends from amongst the polytheists. If (Muslim nations) plot in knowledge that if particular goals are fulfilled and victory is gained for Islam across the globe, it will dominate every land'." In "Hate preacher Abu Qatada denounces 'filthy' Shia Muslims and vows that Islam will 'dominate every land' in vile propaganda article for Al Qaeda's magazine," by Simon Tomlinson, Daily Mail UK, 27 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Wahhabi Islam's History:   "The radical takfiri beliefs of Wahhabism enables its followers to label non-Wahhabi and mainstream Muslims as apostates along with non-Muslims, thus paving the way for their bloodshed. In July 2013, European Parliament identified the Wahhabi movement as the source of global terrorism and a threat to traditional and diverse Muslim cultures of the whole world. Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mazaars, mausoleums, and other artifacts, have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from the early 19th century through the present day." In "Wahhabi movement," Wikipedia, n.d.

 

Addendum of the Founder of Eradicating anti-Islamic Practices: "Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab (Arabic: محمد بن عبد الوهاب‎; 1703 – 22 June 1792) was an Arabian Islamic scholar and founder of a movement that sought to eradicate anti-Islamic practices that had cropped up in Arabia in the 18th century (examples being seeking solace on the graves and burial grounds of various individuals, etc.)." In "Muhammad_ibn_Abd_al-Wahhab," Wikipedia, n.d. "As with the early Salafists, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's teachings were criticized by a number of Islamic scholars for disregarding Islamic history, monuments, traditions and the sanctity of Muslim life. His own brother, Sulayman, was particularly critical, claiming he was ill-educated and intolerant, classing Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's views as fringe and fanatical. A list of scholars with opposing views, along with names of their books and related information, was compiled by the Islamic scholar Muhammad Hisham."

 

Addendum of a Horrifying Picture:   "The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq. Human Rights Watch reports that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis. Another 500,000 are estimated to have died in Saddam's needless war with Iran. Coldly taken as a daily average for the 24 years of Saddam's reign, these numbers give us a horrifying picture of between 70 and 125 civilian deaths per day for every one of Saddam's 8,000-odd days in power." In "IRAQ: Deaths under Saddam Hussein," by Ronald Hilton, WAIS Forum on Iraq, Stanford University, 25 March 2005.

 

Addendum Defining Peace by Example:   "In full outrage mode, America’s most famous windsurfer castigated the Egyptian authorities, insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood had a right to 'peaceful protests.' Apparently, 'peaceful' means armed with Kalashnikovs, killing policemen, kidnapping and torturing opponents, turning mosques into prisons, attacking Christians and burning Coptic churches." In "This blood is on the hands of Muslim Brotherhood," by Ralph Peters, New York Post, 15 August 2013.

 

Addendum of Peace and Tolerance:   "And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers." Surat 'Āli `Imrān, Quran 3:85, quran.com. (Sahih International translation)  And in another translation from the same site:  "And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.  (Pickthall)

 

Addendum of Some Militant Losers:   "A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said. The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence. Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said." In "Suicide Bomb Instructor Accidentally Kills Iraqi Pupils," by Duraid Adnan, New York Times, 10 February 2014.

 

Addendum of France Deporting Recruiters for the Religion of Peace:   "France said it had deported on Thursday an Algerian national suspected of recruiting young French Muslims to join the Syrian civil war, the first such case since Paris unveiled a raft of policies to stop its citizens from becoming radicalized. France, which has been a staunch opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has made clamping down on violent cells and self-radicalized operators planning attacks in the country a priority since a Toulouse-based al Qaeda-inspired gunman shot dead seven people in March 2012. But with the Syrian conflict entering its fourth year, the government has come under criticism for failing to stop its nationals - some as young as 15 - from heading to Syria." In "France deports Algerian suspected of recruiting for Syria jihad," Reuters Paris, 1 May 2014.

 

Addendum of France Not Having Done Enough:   "Bloodbath in Paris: 150 killed as jihadist gunmen blow themselves up at concert and Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist opens fire in restaurant. Suicide bombers detonate near Stade de France," by Peter Allen and Jay Akbar, Daily Mail UK, 14 November 2015.

 

Addendum of Italy Deporting a Muslim Cleric:   "Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said he had ordered the expulsion of Raoudi Aldelbar 'for seriously disturbing public order, being a danger to national security and for religious discrimination,' after experts carried out a thorough examination of the footage. Aldelbar, an imam in the town of San Dona di Piave in northern Italy, appeared in the video to launch into a diatribe against the Jews, in which he said: 'Oh Allah, bring upon them that which will make us happy. Count them one by one, and kill them one by one.' Alfano said the speech was 'unacceptable' as it was 'of clear anti-Semitic tone, containing explicit incitements to violence and religious hate'." In "Italy Expels Muslim Cleric Who Called to 'Kill Jews'," by AFP and Arutz Sheva, 5 August 2014.

 

Addendum of a Swedish Politician's View:   " Following a sweeping review of the current global conflict zones, Åkesson shifted focus to Islam.'Islamism is the Nazism and Communism of our time,' he said, prompting the most generous applause of the afternoon. Furthermore Åkesson said that he demanded that all aid to organizations and associations related to 'Islamism' should be stopped, and directed his ire to the handful of Swedish citizens reported to be fighting in Iraq and Syria." In "Åkesson: 'Islamism is the Nazism of our time'," The Local, Sweden, 3 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Islam in Philadelphia:   "Two men described as leaders of a Philadelphia mosque were accused of trying to cut off the hand of a suspected thief, whose wrist was sliced so deeply it required hospital treatment, police said on Friday. The 46-year-old victim said two officials in the mosque accused him of stealing jars of money from the house of worship after morning prayers on Monday. The officials, described in police reports as the mosque's imam and amir, dragged the victim to the rear of the mosque, and attempted to chop off his hand with a machete, according to a police statement." In "Philadelphia mosque leaders try to cut off man's hand -police," by Daniel Kelley, Reuters, 18 July 2014.

 

Addendum of a Muslim Massacre:   " 'A large majority of the men killed were executed at gunpoint after being taken prisoner following the takeover of the camp,' said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman." In "Islamic State kills 270 in Syrian gas field 'massacre'," Reuters via Telegraph UK, 19 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Islam in Thailand:   "More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's three Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004. The insurgents often target soldiers, police and civil servants such as teachers, but civilians, both Buddhist and Muslim, bear the brunt of the attacks." In "Girls Killed, Hurt in Attack in Thailand's South," Associated Press, 27 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Killing Muslim Children Again:   "Uniformed militants attacked a school, killing at least 126 people and taking hostages on Tuesday, an official said - an atrocity condemned by the U.S. as 'senseless and inhumane.' 'The gunmen entered class by class and shot some kids one by one,' a student who was in the school at the time told local media. Provincial official Bahramand Khan said at least 126 people were killed and 122 injured. More than 100 of the dead were school children, he added. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which appeared to be targeting the the children of senior military officials." In "Pakistan School Attack: Taliban Militants Kill 126 in Peshawar, Take Hostages," by Mushtaq Yusufzai, Wajahat S. Khan and F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News, 16 December 2014.

 

Addendum of a Challenge to Islam Itself:   "Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible! I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I'm talking about now. All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it it from a more enlightened perspective. I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands." In "Egypt's Sisi: Islamic 'Thinking' Is 'Antagonizing the Entire World'," by Raymond Ibrahim, Middle East Forum, 1 January 2015.       [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Religion of Peace and Europe:   "The German jihadist Christian Emde issued the warning in an interview posted to Facebook by Jürgen Todenhöfer, a journalist who has reported extensively from areas in Iraq and Syria controlled by Isis. Emde, who was expelled from Britain in 2012 for possessing jihadist publications, said Isis would eventually seek to take over Europe. 'We will one day conquer Europe. We don’t just want to. We will. And we are sure about that.' Speaking in Mosul with armed men in the background, the one-time German Protestant said Isis would continue to behead and enslave people it considered its enemies. Christians and Jews would be allowed to live in an Islamic state, but only if they paid a form of protection tax. Otherwise, 'they will all be killed', he said." In "German jihadist says Isis 'will conquer Europe'," TheLocal.de, 15 January 2015.

 

Addendum of the Religion of Peace in Bangladesh:   "The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years. A previously unknown militant group, Ansar Bangla 7, claimed responsibility for the attack, Assistant Police Commissioner S.M. Shibly Noman told the Prothom Alo newspaper. Roy 'was the target because of his crime against Islam,' the group said...." In "Attackers in Bangladesh hack to death American blogger," by Julhas Alam, Associated Press, 27 February 2015.

 

Addendum of Historical Texts:   "...perfectly normal when discussing Islam. On that occasion I chose one case, but I could have chosen many others, such as the hundreds of Jews Mohammed beheaded with his own hand. Again, that’s in the mainstream Islamic sources. I haven’t made it up. It used to be a problem for Muslims to rationalise, but now there are people trying to imitate such behaviour in our societies it has become a problem for all of us, and I don’t see why people in the free world should have to lie about what we read in historical texts." In "'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude," by Douglas Murray, Spectator, 17 January 2015.       [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Yet More Muslims Bombing Mosques:   "A television network owned by Yemen's Shiite rebels says a total of 137 people were killed and 345 injured in quadruple suicide bombings that hit a pair of mosques controlled by the rebels in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. Al-Masirah TV raised the death toll on Friday hours after the attacks, making it the deadliest violence to hit the fragile war-torn country." In "137 killed, 345 injured in suicide attacks on Yemen mosques," by Ahmed al-Haj, Associated Press, 20 March 2015.

 

Addendum of Sex Slaves and Suicide:   "At least 150 Yazidi women and girls killed themselves after they were forced to become Islamic State sex slaves, according to a woman working with some of the survivors who managed to escape. In one of the most comprehensive accounts of the effects of Islamic State brutality, details emerged of the ordeals faced by hundreds of Yazidi women, very often after their male relatives were butchered by Islamic State members. Irifan Mahdi, who is trying to help the women rehabilitate into some semblance of normative society spoke of the horrors in an interview with the Sputnik news organization’s Arabic website." In "150 ISIS Sex Slaves Commit Suicide, Some Fed to Dogs," Clarion Project, 18 June 2015.

 

Addendum of 7th-century Babarities:   "In recent decades we have liked to tell ourselves that, after the Nazis, mankind has learned its lesson. But mankind is not a lesson-learning entity. Civilizations can learn lessons. But civilizations come and go. Impassive mankind remains uninstructable and stupid, such that, if once upon a time the barbarities of the 7th century thrilled and inspired a substantial portion of mankind, we can be confident that 7th-century barbarities will remain forevermore a viable possibility." In "Anonymous and the Islamic State - Bafflement: a reasonable response to a barbarian upsurge," by Paul Berman, Tablet, 26 August 2015.

 

Addendum of Another Muslim against Muslim Mosque Attack:   "Taliban gunmen stormed a Pakistani Air Force base early on Friday, killing at least 17 people, a military spokesman said, the deadliest attack on a military installation this year. Sixteen of the dead were killed in a mosque as they offered morning prayers, and a captain died leading the counter-attack against the raiders, Major General Asim Bajwa said on Twitter. The Major added that 13 of the terrorists were killed." In "In deadly attack on Pakistan air force base, Taliban gunmen kill 17 people," Indian Express, 18 September 2015.

 

Addendum from an American Thinker:   "Add this all up. The African victims. The Indian victims. The European victims. Add in the Armenian genocide. Then add in the lesser known, but no doubt quite large number of victims of Eastern Asia. Add in the jihad committed by Muslims against China, which was invaded in 651 AD. Add in the Crimean Khanate predations on the Slavs, especially their women. Though the numbers are not clear, what is obvious is that Islam is the greatest murder machine in history bar none, possibly exceeding 250 million dead. Possibly one-third to one-half or more of all those killed by war or slavery in history can be traced to Islam; and this is just a cursory examination." In "The Greatest Murder Machine in History," by Mike Konrad (pseudonym), American Thinker, 31 May 2014.

 

Addendum of Nostalgia for a Less Brutal Islam:   "At mosques, villagers noticed that the Pakistanis and some Afghan allies had adopted the austere Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam, though the vast majority of Sunni Afghans practice the moderate Hanafi strain. 'They were telling everyone they were better Muslims than us,' said Nazar, a 38-year- old laborer who, like many Afghans, uses only one name." In "The Islamic State is making these Afghans long for the Taliban," by Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, 13 October 2015.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of  "a Good Muslim":    "Multiple sources including ABC News and the New York Post have reported that Syed Rizwan Farook had two online profiles on Muslim themed dating websites where he described himself as 'very liberal' politically. 'I try to live as a good Muslim,' he wrote in one of his profiles according to ABC News. 'Looking for a girl who has the same outlook, wear hijab, but live the life to the fullest'." In "Narrative annihilated; San Bernardino terrorist described himself as ‘very liberal’," by Carmine Sabia, Bizpac Review, 4 December 2015.    [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of the Silence of UK Muslims:   "Muslims are boycotting the country’s key anti-radicalisation programme, The Times can disclose, after it emerged that less than a tenth of extremism tip-offs were coming directly from the community or faith leaders. The revelation that there were fewer than 300 community tip-offs in six months to the government’s Prevent programme will raise concern that the police are being denied information that might prevent terrorist attacks." In "Muslims ‘stay silent’ on extremism tip-off scheme," by Fiona Hamilton, Times UK, 26 December 2015.

 

Addendum of the Islamic State far from its Caliphate:   "Istanbul, Jakarta, Philadelphia, multiple locations in Libya, the Russian republic of Dagestan: within the past two weeks all have been the target of attacks by ISIS supporters or affiliates, killing and wounding dozens of people. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is spreading its wings as it comes under greater pressure in its Iraqi-Syrian heartland. And its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has threatened more of the same, from Saudi Arabia to the "crusader" countries and beyond." In "ISIS steps up attacks far from its 'caliphate'," by Tim Lister, CNN, 14 January 2016.  [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Islamic Child Marriage:   "Pakistani lawmakers have withdrawn a proposal to impose harsher penalties on those who arrange child marriages after it was scuttled by a religious body who branded it "blasphemous" and against Islam, sources told AFP Friday." In "Pakistani clerics block ‘un-Islamic’ child marriage bill," Agence France Presse via Al Arabiya, 15 January 2016.     [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of a Danish Teenage Convert:   "A 15-year-old Danish girl who had converted to Islam made an initial court appearance behind closed doors on Thursday after being charged with possessing explosives and sanctioning terror." In "Danish girl who converted to Islam arrested with explosives," TheLocal.dk, 14 January 2016.   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of the Religion of Rape:   "Suad Saleh, who is a professor from the renowned Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, made the claims during an interview to a TV channel. According to The Inquisitr News report, in the video posted by LiveLeak, Saleh says that Allah has given the Muslim men a way to have sexual relations with slave women that is 'legitimate'." In "Allah allows Muslims to rape non-Muslim women in order to humiliate them, claims Islamic professor," Zee Media Bureau (India), 17 January 2016.   [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of the Religion of Self-amputation:    "A Muslim cleric has been arrested in Pakistan on terror charges after a teenage boy he accused of blasphemy responded by sawing off his own hand. Anwar Ali, 15, performed the act of self-amputation with a scythe after attending a religious gathering in his local mosque last Monday." In "Muslim cleric arrested in Pakistan for inciting teenager to saw off hand," by Jon Boone, MSN, 17 January 2016.

 

Addendum of a Film Depicting the Religion of Peace:   "Film critic Jean-Michel Frodon wrote on the French version of the Slate website that the film 'gives a voice to the 'enemy'. But giving him a voice is to know him better'." In "Documentary on radical Islam raises hackles in France," Pakistan Today, 28 January 2016.   [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of Allah is Great in Moscow:   "Russian police arrested a woman holding a child’s severed head outside a Moscow subway station on Monday, officials said. The woman — later identified as a 39-year-old nurse — had the head in her hands and was threatening to activate a bomb, authorities said. She was screaming, 'I am your death!' 'I’m a terrorist!' and 'Allahu Akbar!' at passersby, but no explosives were found on her, witnesses told police." In "Woman carries child’s severed head through streets of Moscow," by David K. Li, New York Post, 29 February 2016.   [ 11 ]

 

Addendum of a Danish Imam:   "There are renewed calls to shut down the controversial Grimhøj Mosque in Aarhus after a TV2 programme revealed that an imam has advocated stoning adulterers to death." In "Imam at Danish mosque: Stone women to death," TheLocal.dk, 29 February 2016.

 

 Addendum of an Un-Islamic Women's Protection Law:   "A powerful Pakistani religious body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam on Thursday declared a new law that criminalizes violence against women to be 'un-Islamic.' The Women's Protection Act, passed by Pakistan's largest province of Punjab last week, gives unprecedented legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. It also calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line and the establishment of women's shelters." In "Top Pakistani religious body rules women's protection law 'un-Islamic'," by Mehreen Zahra-Malik, Reuters Islamabad, 3 Mach 2016.    [ 12 ]

 

Addendum of the Religion of Peace in Ivory Coast:   "Heavily-armed men gunned down at least 16 people at the Ivory Coast resort on Sunday, leaving bodies strewn on the beach as fears grow of a mounting jihadist threat in West Africa. A witness in the resort town of Grand-Bassam told AFP they heard one of the assailants shouting 'Allahu Akbar' - Arabic for "'God is greatest'." In "Goethe Institute head killed in Ivory Coast terror attack," TheLocal.de, 14 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Quran's Deadly Role:   "The Quran itself reveals a trajectory of jihad reflected in the almost 23 years of Muhammad’s prophetic career. As I demonstrate carefully in my book, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, starting with peaceful teachings and proclamations of monotheism, Muhammad's message featured violence with increasing intensity, culminating in surah 9, chronologically the last major chapter of the Quran, and its most expansively violent teaching. Throughout history, Muslim theologians have understood and taught this progression, that the message of the Quran culminates in its ninth chapter." In "The Quran's deadly role in inspiring Belgian slaughter," by Nabeel Qureshi, USA Today, 22 March 2016.   [ 13 ]

 

Addendum of One Muslim Killing One Muslim:   "Asad Shah, 40, was found seriously injured in Minard Road, Shawlands, at about 21:05 GMT on Thursday. He died in hospital. The incident happened hours after he apparently posted social media messages wishing his customers a happy Easter. Police said both Mr Shah and the arrested man were Muslims." In "Arrest after Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah dies in attack," BBC, 25 March 2016.    [ 14 ]

 

 Addendum of Islam in Crown Heights:  "A man who was roaming the streets in Crown Heights on Friday without a shirt and a wielding a four-inch knife in his hand while yelling at a Lubavitcher Chusid “'Allah Akbar' may soon face hate crime charges, sources familiar with the investigation told JP. Police say 25-year-old Naquan Smith, who has a criminal history with 10 prior arrests in New York City, was in front of 899 Montgomery Street with the knife in his hand Friday afternoon." In "Shirtless Man Who Threatened Jewish Man in Crown Heights May Face Hate Crime Charges," by Mark Hirshberg, JPUpdates, 4 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Nine-year Old Boy and the Religion on Peace:   "On of the women he contacted was a respected Asian headteacher named Toshiba Hussain, who told him it was the behaviour of the young boys which was the most concerning. She said: 'The boys used to act as thought police. You know, they would go around and actually hit girls on their heads of their heads weren’t covered. I even had one boy, on nine-year-old boy say to me ‘Why haven’t you covered your head? It is only slags who don’t cover their head'." In "Shock report: ‘Only s**gs don't cover their head’ Muslim boys bring Sharia into schools," by Zoie O'Brien, Express UK, 12 April 2016.    [ 15 ]

 

 Addendum of Islam Terror in the Philippines:   "The kidnappers, militants from the terror group Abu Sayyaf, released a video on April 15 of Ridsdel and Hall asking the Canadian government to pay their ransom. The pair warned that they would be beheaded if a ransom of $8 M each was not paid by 3:00 p.m. Monday. Officials in the Phillippines confirmed that a severed head was found in a plastic bag on a street in the town of Jolo on Monday." In "Former Calgarian held hostage in Phillippines killed by captors," by Colleen Schmidt, CTV News Calgary, 26 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Child Jihadists:   "Authorities said they believe the 15-year-old came to Kirkuk a week ago from Mosul, ISIS' most significant stronghold outside Syria. 'He was captured before he reached his destination, which was a Shia mosque,' Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk Governorate, told CNN. 'The security guards noticed there was something wrong, especially that there was another suicide attack a bit earlier, and they captured him.' Karim said the terrorist organization 'trained and brainwashed' the boy. 'They tell them if they do this, they will go to heaven and have a good time and get everything that they ever wanted, he said." In "Iraq stops would-be child bomber for ISIS," by Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 22 August 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Shi'ite Muslim Sect:  "The leader of the only South Asian Muslim community known to practice female genital mutilation (FGM) came under criticism on Friday by campaigners who accused him of urging followers to continue the centuries-old custom. Little is known about FGM in India, where it is carried out in great secrecy by the close-knit Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shi'ite Muslim sect thought to number over 1 million that considers the practice to be a religious obligation." In "Muslim leader in India under fire from activists for supporting FGM," by Rina Chandran, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 29 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Lashing Out at a Filmmaker:   "Karimi said that he could have immigrated 'quite easily but I want to remain to defend my right to live my life. The fact that my artistic activity is seen as an act of political opposition says a lot about the situation in Iran,' he added." In "Iran filmmaker sentenced to 233 lashes says he's no activist," by Séverine Rouby, Fiachra Gibbons, Agence France Presse, 6 May 2016.

 

Addendum of a Novelist's View from 1880:   "They burn villages, murder, outrage women and children, they nail their prisoners by the ears to the fences, leave them so till morning, and in the morning they hang them—all sorts of things you can't imagine. People talk sometimes of bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it. These Turks took a pleasure in torturing children, too; cutting the unborn child from the mother's womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers' eyes. Doing it before the mothers' eyes was what gave zest to the amusement." In "The Brothers Karamazov," Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1880), trans. by Constance Garnett (1912), Lowell Press, New York.

  

  Addendum of a Hindu Scholar's View from 1875:   "144 'O Prophet, make war on the infidels and hypocrites and deal rigorously with them.' (66: 9.) C. ~ Again, mark the wonders wrought by the Mohammedan God! He incites the Prophet and the Mohammedans to fight with persons professing other religions. This is why Mohammedans are always engaged in war. May God have pity on the Muslims, so that they may give up fighting and live on friendly terms with all." Saraswati, Dayanand (1875). "An Examination Of The Doctrine Of Islam". Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth). Varanasi, India: Star Press. p. 714.  [ 16 ]

 

Addendum of a German Magazine's View from 2016:   "It was the beginning of the 16th century when the Persian rulers introduced Shiite Islam as the state religion. Meanwhile, the preacher Muhammad Bin Abd al-Wahhab, who was born in 1703 not far from present-day Riyadh, belonged to the much larger Sunni branch of Islam. He founded Wahhabism, and he disdained -- indeed hated -- the Shiites. In the mid-18th century, the Saud clan -- the present-day royal family -- allied themselves with the preacher and Wahhabism became state doctrine. In both countries, the sectarian determination is an instrument of power politics and it binds the people to their ruler. Still today, the rulers of each country use religion to exert control over their subjects -- and in each country, there is an ongoing struggle between reformers and conservatives." In "Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Cold War of Islam," by Susanne Koelbl, Samiha Shafy and Bernhard Zand, Spiegel Online, 9 May 2016.

 

Addendum of Journalists from Muslim Countries:   "Delegates from a wide range of countries, from Albania to Indonesia, shared their experience in combating the common enemy – extremism, terrorist supporters and sympathizer along with the ideological propaganda that they distribute. Journalists stressed the fact that without addressing the socio-economic problems of Islamic societies, one cannot genuinely hope to fight extremism, since more of often than not bitter poverty and despair forces people into joining radical groups." In "Results of the Second Forum Journalists from Muslim Countries Against Extremism," by Yuriy Zinin, New Eastern Outlook, 7 May 2016.    [ 17 ]

 

Addendum of Weapons Smuggling to Sweden:   "Six people have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling weapons to radical Islamists in Sweden, Bosnian Serb authorities said on Friday." In "Police seize weapons 'en route to Swedish militants'," TheLocal.se, 13 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Germany's Demagogue of Armed Jihad:    "The German government banned Millatu Ibrahim in May 2012, and Mahmoud, also known as Abu Usama Al-Gharib, fled to Egypt to reestablish the group there. 'I am going to return to Germany in only one condition, as a conqueror to introduce Sharia in Germany,' Mahmoud said at the time. In a three-minute video, a German Salafist linked to Mahmoud calling himself Abu Azzam vowed revenge and called for the assassination of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He warned: 'Our troops are already there [in Germany], you will bleed, your heads will roll ... Oh Allah, give the German people what they deserve! Looking back at the Arab spring, we are looking forward to a European summer. We want to see Obama and Merkel dead'." In "Germany's "Demagogue of Armed Jihad," by Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, 26 May 2015.    [ 18 ]

 

 Addendum of a Plotted Suicide Attack at Heathrow:   "Minh Pham, who previously lived in South London's New Cross, was taught to wear a backpack containing a bomb and target passengers arriving from America and Israel in the west London airport. The court documents also claim Pham was told to maximise the carnage by coating the bomb with metal bolts and cause as many casualties as possible. The Muslim convert may face a life sentence on Monday (May 16), New York courts heard." In "Former London McDonalds worker plotted suicide terror attack at Heathrow Airport, court hears," by Amita Joshi, GetWestLondon, 16 May 2016.

 

 Addendum from Nigeria:   "A Christian woman trading in plastics at Kofar Wambai Market in Kano was yesterday beheaded by irate youths for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Mohammed. The woman of Igbo extraction was killed at about 4:30pm in the presence of her husband. Sources said that because the deceased did not belong to any of the associations in the market made it difficult for any of the traders to contact security operatives to avert the disaster before she was hacked to death by the mob." In "Christian Woman Beheaded in Kano Over Blasphemy," Breaking Times (Nigeria), 3 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Rise in Executions:    " 'The rise in executions last year is profoundly disturbing. Not for the last 25 years have so many people been put to death by states around the world. In 2015 governments continued relentlessly to deprive people of their lives on the false premise that the death penalty would make us safer,' said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. 'Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have all put people to death at unprecedented levels, often after grossly unfair trials. This slaughter must end'." In "Death penalty 2015: Alarming surge in recorded executions sees highest toll in more than 25 years," Amnesty International, 6 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of a Bangladeshi Author's View:   "After reports suggested that all terrorists involved in the recent attack at Dhaka restaurant, in which 20 people were killed, were highly educated and belonged to rich families, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen rubbished the arguments that poverty makes somebody a terrorist. In a series of tweets, Taslima quoted Saleem Samad that Bangladesh has been a major contributor to global terror and said it's time people should stop saying Islam is a religion of peace." In "Stop saying Islam is a religion of peace," by Taslima Nasreen, Indian Express, 4 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of Repaying Kindness with Contempt:   "Then he starts screaming how much he hates Sweden and that he is only here to 'fuck Swedish girls' and spend their money." In "Never go home alone again," by Jakob Karlsson, Dagens Vimmerby," 25 July 2016.   [ 19 ]

 

Addendum of Thai Muslims:   "Gen Chakthip said police know the meeting points of all the suspects and their travel routes before and after their bombing missions. Most of the perpetrators were followers of Islam from the three Muslim-dominated southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. Many of them were previously unknown to police, but others were linked to violent attacks in the southernmost provinces." In "Police say 20 trained southern Muslims did tourist bombings," Phuket News, Thailand, 23 August 2016.

 

 Addendum of Jihad Against Sufi Muslims:   "Officials said a suicide bomber detonated the bomb among crowds gathered for the busiest day of the week at the shrine to Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, a town in Sindh province. Amaq, a news agency affiliated to Isis, claimed the jihadi group had carried out the attack, which was the deadliest in Pakistan so far this year. It was also the latest such attack on devotees of Sufism, a mystical and generally moderate form of Islam despised by radical fundamentalists." In "More than 70 killed in Isis suicide attack on Sufi shrine in Pakistan," by Jon Boone, Guardian UK, 16 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Canadian Mosque's Sermon:   "The sermon took place at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city's Saint-Michel neighbourhood on Dec. 23, 2016. The video was posted to the mosque's YouTube channel three days later. The imam in the video is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr — he was reportedly an invited guest of the mosque. In the video, the imam says in Arabic, 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Part of the phrase references an Islamic hadith, which interprets the words and actions by the Prophet Muhammad. CBC independently verified the speech and its translation." In "Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint," by Brennan Neill and Stephen Smith, CBC News, 23 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Belgian Mosques and Salafist Jihadism:    " 'Everyone knows that all mosques in Brussels are in the hands of Salafists,' Mayeur said, referring to the radical form of Islam. 'We need to change this, we need new mosques that follow our democratic rules and that are being controlled by the government.' However, Mayeur denied claims his city is the capital of jihad, an image that emerged after authorities revealed many of the terror suspects responsible for the Paris and Brussels terror attacks lived or operated from the city. 'Jihadism in Belgium started in Antwerp, then spread to Vilvoorde, Molenbeek and Brussels-north,' Mayeur said." In "Brussels mayor: All our mosques are controlled by Salafists," by Cynthia Kroet, Politico.eu, 22 March 2017.   [ 20 ]

 

 Addendum of Facing Threats of Violent Attacks:   "When complaints about the discrimination of Christian refugees wouldn’t stop, Open Doors decided to get some figures on its own. The first attempt was publicly criticized because of supposedly unreliable data. But on October 2016, the organization followed up with a second publication. 'Fifty-six percent spoke about physical attacks and 83 percent of those who we questioned admitted that they were attacked several times,' Ado Greve said. When pointed out that this information was based only on 750 conversations, Greve responded with a counter question: 'How many affected refugees do we need so we do not treat these as isolated cases anymore? Five hundred? One thousand?' This is a pointless and also a humiliating discussion. Every case is one too many. One did not also claim at any point in time that this was a representative survey. It is also not relevant how bad the attacks would be. Even a death threat can do enormous damage to the person. Because in the countries, where the attackers and their victims come from, the threats are often followed by deeds. The Christian asylum seekers questioned by Open Doors came mostly from Iran (304), from Syria (263) and Afghanistan (63). The attackers were people from their own countries and also from other ethnicities. Unfortunately, in no instance did a report lead to a sentencing." In "Christian refugee converts in Germany face violent attacks," by Wolfgang Dick, Deutsche Welle, 5 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Religion of Peace in Copenhagen:   "Mundhir Abdallah was reported to police after being filmed repeating in Arabic an anti-Semitic hadith - a teaching of Muhammad. The verse says “'Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.' He declares a 'caliphate' is coming – that is a state governed in accordance with Islamic Sharia law. It will be part of a jihad to unite the Muslim community and liberate the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, according to the Islamic faith. Then Abdallah says, 'the words of the Prophet Muhammad will be fulfilled' and cites the hadith. ... 'I think there should be erected a criminal case against the imam and mosque. For no matter how you interpret it, is called for the killing of Jews,' said Lars Aslan Rasmussen as reported by news agency Ritzau." In "WATCH: ‘Fight the Jews and Kill Them’ – Outrage in Copenhagen at Imam’s Call," by Simon Kent, Breitbart, 12 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Religion of Peace in the Philippines:   "The jihadis gleefully topple crucifixes, stamp on posters of Pope Francis and destroy effigies in the church, believed to be located in the city of Marawi, southern Philippines. The video was first published by ISIS's Amaq News Agency." In "ISIS thugs in the Philippines film sacrilegious rampage as they smash statues, tear up pictures of the Pope then TORCH a Catholic Church in Marawi," by Luke Barnes, Mail Online, 5 June 2017.

 

Addendum of Muslims Killing Muslims in this 21st Century:   "ISIS extremists are notorious for mutilating bodies of their adversaries, particularly members of other sects than Sunni Islam." In "ISIS savages execute and then dismember dozens of women and children amid fears the terror group is preparing a wave of massacres in Shiite villages," by Julian Robison, Mail Online, 19 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Muslims Killing Muslims in this 21st Century, Part II:    "Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran’s parliament and the shrine of its revolutionary leader on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people, wounding dozens and igniting an hours-long siege at the legislature that ended with four attackers dead. The Islamic State group claimed the attacks, marking the first time the Sunni extremists have taken responsibility for an assault in Shiite-majority Iran. The militants are at war with Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and view Shiites as apostates." In "ISIS claims multiple attacks in Iran, 12 dead," Associated Press, 7 June 2017.

 

 Addendum of Chechen Berlin:   "...'given half a chance, we will set all of them straight.... Do not say that you were not warned; do not say that you did not know. May Allah grant us peace and set our feet on the path towards justice.' Members of the community said they thought that as many as 100 people may be affiliated with the group and that some had experience of war. Every Chechen in Berlin is said to be aware of its existence." In "Chechen Muslim gang terrorising 'immoral' women and gays in Berlin," by Josh Robbins, IBTimes, 5 July 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Muslim Convert:  "Born to Christian parents, he converted to Islam as a teenager and later left Jamaica for religious study. He preached in London mosques, delivering sermons that advocated war with Jews, Hindus and other groups and the use of chemical weapons to exterminate unbelievers. 'The way forward is the bullet,' he said in one recorded message." In "Radical Jamaican cleric indicted in US on terror charge," Associated Press, 25 August 2017.

 

 Addendum of  Takfiri Jihadism and the Narrative of Terror:   "At the heart of Terror sits the concept of Takfir – an ideology of exclusivism that is a direct precursor to violence against those being apostatized. Such concepts were presented by Jawad Syed in an article for the Huffington Post published in November 2015: 'From Karachi to San Bernardino: In Quest of an Alternative Discourse on Terrorism.' It read: 'What’s common in them? It is Takfiri jihadism of the Salafis/Wahhabis which is rooted in the ideologies of Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792). In South Asia, takfiri jihadism was adopted and practiced by the Deobandis and their predecessors, from Syed Ahmed’s (1786-1831) jihadist movement to the Taliban and SSP/LeJ.' And: 'Similarly, terrorism cannot be blamed on economic deprivation. If that were the case, the increasingly oppressed and disenfranchised Christian and Hindu communities of Pakistan would have taken the lead in terrorist activities. Yet as per an academic research conducted by Dr Ejaz Hussain at the University of Pennsylvania, 90% of the terrorists in Pakistan are from the Deobandi subsect, a South Asian variant of Wahhabism.' So far our discourse on Terror, its root-cause, and its many manifestations have been anchored in political manipulations, religious bias, and let’s face it ethnocentrism." In "The Rise of the Radicals – The Narrative of Terror Hides Behind its Ideologues," by Catherine Shakdam, New Eastern Outlook, 21 August 2017.

 

 Addendum of Promising Payments and Paradise:   "Jalil said his involvement began when he was 11 at a mosque in Piagapo, a rustic municipality 20 km (12 miles) from Marawi, where an imam convinced him to join 40 youngsters at a training camp in return for meals and 15,000 pesos (£217.89) per month. He underwent daily weapons and combat training, and teachings from the Koran. He was expelled from the programme after only three months, he said, when he revealed details about his network during a mock interrogation. Jalil heard nothing from his recruiters for six years, but the day before the Marawi siege began, there was a knock at his door. Outside was a teenager, and behind him a pickup truck with 10 other youngsters on board. ' knew them, they were my classmates in training,” he said. “They told me ‘you’re now back in service'." In "Islamists lure youngsters in the Philippines with payments, promise of paradise," by Martin Petty, Reuters, 21 September 2017.

 

See:    The Dust Settles  ,  and  Islamophobia    and also  Burn, Baby, Burn 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    While the BBC reports in one manner, one finds a parallel report subtly different:   "ISIS claims its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, believed to have sustained spinal and leg injuries after a U.S.-led air strike, delivered a lecture in an audio message distributed online Thursday by the group’s media network. 'O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,' the voice purporting to be Baghdadi said. He called upon Muslims around the world to either make their way to the Islamic State or 'fight in his land, wherever that may be.' There was no excuse for any Muslim who was capable not to do so, he said." In "ISIS Claims Injured Baghdadi Declares: 'Islam Is The Religion Of War'," by Gilad Shiloach, Vocativ, 14 May 2015.

 

 With the Permission of Allah

 

          Islam is the religion of war? It seems more demonstrably true, when one reads further. In one report this is found: "In a claim released via Twitter accounts linked to ISIS, the Sunni militant group said that 'soldiers of the caliphate' had opened fire on worshippers with machine guns. 'With permission from Allah, operations will continue on the Rafidha Iranian interests in Bangladesh,' the statement said, using a term for Shiite Muslims, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, the Times reported." In "ISIS Shiite Mosque Attack: 1 Killed, 3 Injured After Gunmen Storm Mosque In Bangladesh," by Suman Varandani, International Business Times, 27 November 2015.

          The difference is one of translation and intent in choosing a translation. The BBC preferred "Islam is fighting," while Vocativ chose "Islam is the religion of war."  But what is in agreement in translation is the overt statement:  "Islam was never a religion of peace." Never. So states the Islamic State in an audio announcement. Which begs the question below.

 

[ 2 ]     Who defines Islam? From the naive and global statements of Republican and Democrat presidents, to their various political allies in Western governments who are not themselves Muslim, they are in no position to define Islam, being neither theologians nor historians with an authority comparative to Muslims themselves. But Muslims are not only debating other Muslims about Islam as has been the history of more than a thousand years, but today this is become again an outright war, Muslim against Muslim, each saying the other is the "true" apostate. Islam seems still in the midst of an enormous and now worldwide violent schism.

 

 We Have a Problem with Hateful Muslims

 

          Consider this:  "If we truly want to defend Islam, we need to perform a much more invasive surgery. Take the Muslim Brotherhood as an example of the prevalence of the Wahhabist teachings among Muslims today. The Brotherhood is the virtual womb that incubated all the current jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda itself (Al- Zawahiri hailed from the Egyptian MB offshoot that murdered president Anwar Sadat). Yet, when Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006, the three most senior leaders of the MB in Jordan brazenly visited the condolence house in Zarqa and announced to the media that Zarqawi was a martyr in the eyes of God, despite Zarqawi having blown up three hotels in Amman the previous year, killing scores of Jordanians going about their lives or celebrating a peaceful wedding... The orgy of decapitations in Syria over the last four years was promoted by very rich Sunni clerics such as Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Mohammad Al-Uraifi, aided by the countless satellite stations openly calling for the murder of Alawites and Shi'ites, and financed by billions from extremely wealthy but hateful Muslims. So, enough with the denials. It is time to raise the alarm. We have a problem!" In "We Have a Problem," by Zaid Nabulsi, Jordan Times, 10 February 2015.

          Obviously, Islam as represented by the Jordanian opinion writer or the current president of Egypt do not accept the naïveté of American presidents. For this and in tribute to the surprising naïveté of American presidents, the rhyme above ends "...the religion of peaceable peace / Has peace-painted war as its faith's centerpiece."

          But still one might ask: Who defines Islam?

          In part, Samuel Huntington notes the problem of definition and who defines what. One reads of a "persuasive factor possibly explaining both intra- and extra-Islamic conflict is the absence of one or more core states in Islam. Defenders of Islam often allege that its Western critics believe there a central, conspiratorial, directing force in Islam mobilizing it and coordinating its actions against the West and others. If the critics believe this, they are wrong. Islam is a source of instability in the world because it lacks a dominant center. States aspiring to be leaders of Islam, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and potentially Indonesia, compete for influence in the Muslim world; no one of them is in a strong position to mediate conflicts within Islam, and no one of them is able to act authoritatively on behalf of Islam in dealing with conflicts between Muslim and non-Muslim groups." In "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," Samuel P. Huntington, Simon and Schuster, 1997.

          Huntington's work irritates a critic. One reads:  "These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis. "The Clash of Civilizations" thesis is a gimmick like "The War of the Worlds," better for reinforcing defensive self-pride than for critical understanding of the bewildering interdependence of our time." In "The Clash of Ignorance, Labels like "Islam" and "the West" serve only to confuse us about a disorderly reality," by Edward W. Said, Nation, 4 October 2001.

 

 The Label Which Confuses

 

          How odd to think Islam is a "label" which confuses, excepting that it does. Cited above are a number of individuals -- Muslims and non-Muslims alike -- defining Islam in some way. To conclude a critique of a scholarly thesis, one among many, with the call for some "critical understanding" of "a disorderly reality" begs the question. What does one do with "a disorderly reality?" To this, the scholarly Said, while criticizing the scholarly Huntington, does not flesh out. It is easier to criticize than to risk a differing thesis, and "a disorderly reality" is no alternative thesis. If the word "Islam" is but a label which confuses, then all who attempt to define the word stand accused of being confused. Said says this outright, writing of "...unidentifying labels like Islam...." So the word is without meaning and unable to identify?

          Huntington presents his view of a problem:  "Militarism, indigestibility, and proximity to non-Muslim groups are continuing features of Islam and could explain Muslim conflict propensity throughout history...." Said responds with an accusing label -- "ignorance" -- and then presents as his end statement "the bewildering interdependence of our time." Thus, the question -- who defines Islam? -- hangs in the air, unanswered by Said, but answered by Huntington: of Muslim nations, "no one of them is able to act authoritatively on behalf of Islam in dealing with conflicts between Muslim and non-Muslim groups."

          In spite of Said's rancor aimed at another scholar, how alike is his "disorderly reality" and Huntington's assertion that Islam has no authoritative definition for itself. Said says Islam is an "unidentifying" label, and thus such a phrase as "religion of peace" uttered by non-Muslim American presidents is no response to "a disorderly reality" or the notion that no Islamic nation is "able to act authoritatively on behalf of Islam in dealing with conflicts between Muslim and non-Muslim groups."

          Islam, that "unidentifying" label, is without a consistent definition, and when Muslims cannot agree among themselves, it seems the height of hubris and folly for American presidents to do so.

 

[ 3 ]   The problems with the Muslim texts will not go away, despite scholarship on one side or another.

          The life of Mohammed and much more is becoming a thing of discussion in the non-Muslim world, creating frictions. 

          As to the narrative which underpins this portion of the large tale of Islam, one reads:  "In 627, when the Quraysh and their allies besieged the city in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza violated a treaty with the Islamic prophet Muhammad by allying with the attacking tribes, aiming to attack Muslims from behind while the other attackers attack from the front . Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad. The Banu Qurayza were forced to surrender and the men were beheaded, while all the women and children were taken captive and enslaved." In "Banu Qurayza," Wikipedia article, n. d.

          For such and other tales, the historical image of Mohammed as army commander who oversaw mass beheadings does not fit with the various assertions of "peace," excepting the specious argument that peace will come to the world when everyone shares only one belief. One may easily look through the military campaigns of Mohammed and his followers to see that conquest was a part of the narrative, alongside the schism which resulted in two forms, at the minimum, of Islam itself.

          For the Muslim to assert that Mohammed is to be emulated as the "perfect man," such emulation consists of his examples, and historically and not denied by Muslims were his barbarity against those that were opposed and his exemplary advocacy of slavery, at the minimum.

 

[ 4 ]    The unthinking and uninformed of the liberal West think they will be able to peacefully Coexist   with an "austere" and hardened Wahhabi form of Islam, for not seeing other forms of Islam being brutalized by this sect, as versions of Islam war against each other in addition to jihad with non-Muslims.

 

 Tearing the Masks from Islam

 

           Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas, speaks not of coexistence, but a challenge to the modern world. One hears:  "Today free people need to unify against Islam, not against the Muslim people. Against Islam itself as a belief system. When the president of the free world stands and say [ sic ] that Islam is a religion of peace, he creates the climate, he provides the climate, the perfect climate to create more terrorism. I hope my message doesn't come across... I don't want to create more chaos, but there is no other way. I wish I could be more gentle to present this issue." Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of the Hamas, posted as "The ‘son of Hamas’ just gave a speech that will completely shock you," Israel Video Network, 24 May 2016.

           On his blog one reads:  "ISIS has torn the mask from Islam, giving the Muslim world a choice for the first time in fourteen centuries. Choose Islam, and you choose ISIS, because they are indistinguishable. Reject ISIS, and you reject Islam, because they are one. ISIS must be stopped, yes. It is a threat to every nation’s security. More than that, it is a threat to the evolution of human consciousness. But it is not the sole problem of America and the West. It is, first and foremost, the responsibility of Muslims and Arabs. And the armies of Jordan, Egypt, UAE, and others are well equipped to deal with it. Western intervention will only create more chaos and reinforce the illusion of a Middle East/Western conflict." In "Behold the face of Islam,"Son of Hamas, 18 February 2015.

           As to who defines what is Islamic, one finds controversy of a sort:   "Ahmed, who is a professor at Middlesex University, was asked about the phrase 'so-called Islamic State.' His answer was enlightening: 'I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam—of course it has. They are not preaching Judaism. It might be wrong but what they are saying is an ideology based on some form of Islamic doctrine.' He added that the Islamic nature of ISIS is 'a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things'." In "BBC Muslim says ISIS rooted in Islam," Bill Donohoe, Catholic League, 3 June 2016.

           Donohoe notes:  "Clear-minded persons know that ISIS is rooted in an interpretation of Islam that is widely shared in Muslim communities, even if it is not embraced by most Muslims. This isn’t being bigoted—it’s being honest."

 

 Uncomfortable Facts

 

           In parallel one reads of Aaqil Ahmed:  "The BBC's head of religion has said although it is 'uncomfortable' to accept, the ideology behind ISIS is based on Islamic doctrine. Aaqil Ahmed, the first Muslim to hold the post, said it was untrue to suggest that ISIS had nothing to do with Islam, despite the fact that the majority of Muslims do not agree with the extremist group. He was speaking at an event at Huddersfield University, when he was asked to explain the BBC's controversial policy on referring to the group as 'so-called Islamic State'." In "ISIS jihadis ARE driven by Islam and the world needs to accept that no matter how 'uncomfortable' the facts, says the Muslim man in charge of BBC Religion," by Lucy Crossley, Mail Online, 2 June 2016.

           The original article reporting on the Huddesfield University noted:  "Dr Afshin Shahi, an Iranian-background scholar and founder of Britain’s first Centre for the Study of Political Islam – at Bradford University – said the number of people who counted themselves as having faith was increasing. 'Religion is here to stay. It has political and social consequences and that is why our journalists have to understand it.' He said reducing the beliefs of 1.2 billion Muslims to a very strict definition was 'one of the greatest dangers we face when it comes to understanding Islam'. He also praised the book [ "The Caliphate." Sean Oliver-Dee, Lapomedia, 2015 ] as 'interesting and informative'. ‘I was pleased to see that it is made clear at the beginning that the idea of the caliphate throughout Muslim history was subject to different interpretations." In "'Islamic State are Muslims and their doctrine is Islamic’: BBC Head of Religion," Lapidomedia, 1 June 2016.

 

 Islamic State Is Muslim and Their Doctrine is Islamic

 

           Thus giving one definition -- "religion of peace" -- was not only objectively wrong based on too much easily-available evidence as these sourced addenda and footnotes document, but by Dr. Shahi's scholarly view "one of the greatest dangers." For this, ridiculing Bush and Obama on their pronouncements is more than appropriate. It is correct.

           Words like jihad and even a month's name -- supposedly holy -- are connected to war.  As an example:  "Its strongholds in Iraq and Syria slipping from its grasp, the Islamic State group threatened to make this year’s Ramadan a bloody one at home and abroad. With attacks in Egypt, Britain and Iran among others and a land-grab in the Philippines, the group is trying to divert attention from its losses and win over supporters around the world in the twisted competition for jihadi recruits during the Muslim holy month." In "Ramadan toll shows Islamic State in pitched recruiting race," by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press, 12 June 2017.

 

 Admiration for Such a Religion

 

           There has been an admiration for such a violent behavior fueled by a violent theological stance.  One reads of Natioanl Socialism's stance:  " 'Islam is very like our worldview.' This sentence was written by SS-Leader Himmler, who suppoedly valued the martyr cult of the 72 virgins ('This speaks to soldiers'), and such remarks also had Munich resident and right-wing populist Michael Stürzenberger, author of the anti-Islamic web site 'Politicaaly Incorrect,' openly published, as a historical proof for the true history of Islam. No wonder: Who would look, would find easily remarks from members of the National Socialist elite, like Himmler's documented praise of Islam. 'As the Muslims in eight hundred years tried to push through France to the heart of Europe," remarked Albert Speer in his memoirs in the notorious monologues of Hitler, in the last moments in his tunnel world under a burning Berlin, 'look at the slaughter from Poitiers which was repulsed. If the Arabs had won the wars, the world today would be Islamic." In "Swastika and Crescent Moon," by by Ronen Steinke, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16 June 2016.

           In the original German:   " 'Der Islam ist unserer Weltanschauung sehr ähnlich.' Dieser Satz wird dem SS-Führer Himmler zugeschrieben, der am Islam angeblich besonders den Märtyrerkult schätzte, die 72 Jungfrauen ('Diese Sprache versteht der Soldat'), und solche Zitate hat etwa der Münchner Rechtspopulist Michael Stürzenberger, Autor des islamfeindlichen Webportals 'Politically Incorrect', schon triumphierend auf Plakate gedruckt, wie zum historischen Beweis für das wahre Gesicht des Islam. Keine Frage: Wer sucht, der findet leicht Zitate von NS-Größen, die genau wie Himmler tatsächlich den Islam lobten. 'Als die Mohammedaner im achten Jahrhundert über Frankreich nach Mitteleuropa vordringen wollten', so zitiert Albert Speer in seinen Memoiren aus einem der berüchtigten Monologe Hitlers, damals bereits eingegraben in seiner Tunnelwelt unter dem brennenden Berlin, 'seien sie in der Schlacht von Poitiers zurückgeschlagen worden. Hätten die Araber diese Schlacht gewonnen, wäre die Welt heute mohammedanisch'." In "Hakenkreuz und Halbmond," by Ronen Steinke, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16 June 2016.

           Thus one learns that the National Socialists who sought to conquer Europe were prepared to Coexist with such barbarism, as the same National Socialist were allied to the Soviet Socialists before that rupture and resulting end to their dreams of conquest.

 

[ 5 ]    "Farook and Tashfeen Malik fired 76 shots at police officers from seven agencies as they tried to flee in a rented SUV packed with 1,600 rounds of ammo four hours after they slaughtered 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif." In "Bloody photo shows California shooter dead," by Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, 4 December 2015.

 

[ 6 ]    While so many non-Muslim political leaders pontificate about what Islam is and why the Islamic State is somehow not Islamic, as reputable an Islamic source as is the Islamic State is indeed Islamic, albeit violent and corrupt.

 

 Muslim Condemns Muslim

 

          One reads:  "Egypt's top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it on Tuesday as a corrupt, extremist organisation that is damaging Islam. 'An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,' said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's most influential Muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported." In "Egypt's top religious authority condemns ISIS," Reuters/Al Arabiya, 12 August 2014.

          Thus one learns that Islam's highest authority declares ISIS corrupt and extremist. But is it Islamic? Or an apostate group? This too has been answered by the "top religious authority."

 

 Refusing To Consider

 

          One reads further:  "Egypt’s Al-Azhar issued a statement Dec. 11, 2014, refusing to declare the Islamic State (IS) apostates. 'No believer can be declared an apostate, regardless of his sins,' it read. Al-Azhar's statement came as a Nigerian mufti seemingly declared IS apostates at a Dec. 4, 2014, Al-Azhar conference. Al-Azhar stated that various media outlets had misrepresented the mufti's speech. The sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, repeated his rejection of declaring IS apostates on Jan. 1, during a meeting with editors-in-chief of Egyptian newspapers. This sparked criticism from a number of religious, political and media parties, especially since Al-Azhar could have renounced the Nigerian mufti’s statement on IS without addressing the issue of whether or not Al-Azhar considers the group apostates." In "Al-Azhar refuses to consider the Islamic State an apostate," by Ahmed Fouad, Al Monitor, 12 February 2015.

          American foreign policy under the Obama administration has shown hubris in defining Islam in ways that authoritative Muslim voices around the world do not.  One reads:  "President Obama and members of his administration frequently state that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday went further, labeling the Sunni terrorist group 'apostates.' Even the world’s pre-eminent Sunni institution, Cairo’s Al-Azhar, has refused to declare ISIS apostate – on the grounds that its fighters are 'believers' in Islam, however misguided or 'false' their interpretation of the faith may be." In "Kerry Calls ISIS 'Apostates'; Not Even World’s Top Sunni Authority Has Done So," by Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News, 3 February 2016.

          One reads further: " 'Daesh is in fact nothing more than a mixture of killers, of kidnappers, of criminals, of thugs, of adventurers, of smugglers and thieves,' Kerry said. 'And they are also above all apostates, people who have hijacked a great religion and lie about its real meaning and lie about its purpose and deceive people in order to fight for their purposes.' The use of the word 'apostates' – a term to describe someone who renounces or abandons their religion – has raised eyebrows among observers. The description has been commonly used by extremist groups: The Islamic State has justified its attacks on Muslims with rhetoric that suggests these Muslims were apostates, which it views as a crime punishable by death." In "John Kerry keeps calling the Islamic State ‘apostates.’ Maybe he should stop," by Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 3 February 2016.

          Thus while self-posturing authorities about Islam such as presidents Bush, Obama and Kerry opine that the Islamic State is not Islamic, the top Islamic religious authorities of Islam tell that the Islamic State is indeed Islamic, even if corrupt and violent. Why? Because "no believer can be declared an apostate," and as such the Muslims leading the Islamic State are indeed Islamic.

 

 A Portrait Painted

 

          The Islamic State is Islamic, we are told by the highest Islamic authorities, even as they complain of its barbarity which seems to be advancing. For example, one learns of a UN-endorsed study:  "The report, Children of Islamic State, has been endorsed by the UN and will be published on Wednesday in parliament. It was compiled through a study of propaganda released by Isis featuring children and liaising with trusted sources within the caliphate. The portrait painted is of a terrorist group eager to enlist children to help safeguard its future. Many are being trained as spies, preachers, soldiers, “executioners” and suicide bombers." In "How Islamic State is training child killers in doctrine of hate," by Mark Townsend, Guardian UK, 5 March 2016.

          The religion of peace, so declares Islamic authority, has among its believers the corrupt, extremist and violent. But these brutal men of the Islamic State are indeed Islamic, "regardless of his sins." So has the highest Muslim authorities stated.

          Bush, Obama and Kerry do not and cannot speak for Islam, and therefore their assertions are political falsehoods as well as the hubris of non-Muslims telling Muslims what Islam is and is not.

 

[ 7 ]   While the Bush-Obama School of Islamic Theology is in session, non-Muslims defining Islam as the religion of peace, one has heard little from these world leaders about child marriage. But as politicians in Pakistan are thwarted by Islamic authorities, one hears nothing from these "theologians" of the political West. The article details the Islamic argument for child marriage, noting that "They say there is no specific age limit for marriage in Sharia as an individual can marry when he or she reaches puberty and puberty cannot be defined by age."

          One now may wait for the non-Muslim "religion of peace" preachers to weigh in on defining Islamic child marriage. And wait.

 

[ 8 ]    If a Danish teenager converts to Islam, espouses terrorism and acquires explosives as is reported and for which she has been arrested and is being tried, how does this Islam relate to the Bush-Obama definition of Islam?

          As to today's worldwide terrorism phenomenon and Islam, it is instructive to review the documentation about terrorist groups and Islam, which disagrees with the Bush-Obama theological assertion. That information is found in the 3rd lengthy footnote to the rhyme and addenda titled Do not just hold a vigil .

          Should a teenager not convert to Islam, but leave Islam by conversion to some other belief, Islam is most specific in its stance, which testifies against the Bush-Obama school of Islamic Theology.        

 

 Bukhari Notes

   

          One reads:  "Narrated By 'Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, 'If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him'.'" In "Sahih Bukhari," Volume 009, Book 084, Hadith Number 057.  Such does one find in the religion of peace.

          One reads further as correction to the Bush-Obama doctrine:  "Narated By Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah'." In Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 024.

 

[ 9 ]   While other voices complain this report is untrue, the statement is transcribed from a video, and as to the professor, one learns that in some of its articles, Al Arabiya titles Suad Saleh as head of Islamic Jurisprudence at al-Azhar University.

          Were one to synthesize a statement from the Bush-Obama school of theology and the statements included above of Islamic authorities from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, one finds a "religion of peace" which allows sex slavery.

          The silence by Western self-proclaimed authoritative voices about this shows how inauthentic are such "peace" claims in a time in which the Muslim world of the Middle East is immersed in internecine war.

 

[ 10 ] Of  the enemy and getting "to know him better," as the Pakistan Today article notes, is a matter not of hearing yet more unproven assertions, but rather of seeing actions, even if "sometimes unbearable." That phrase comes from another report.

 

 Unbearable Images

 

          One reads:  "The French Culture Ministry ruled Wednesday that a new documentary film on Islamic radicals was unsuitable for minors, saying that it offered images of violence that were 'sometimes unbearable' and interviews with members of Al Qaeda and other extremist figures that provided a platform for propaganda." In "France Restricts 'Salafistes,' Film on Islamic Radicals," bu Liia Blaisejan, New York Times, 27 January 2016.

          Perhaps to some such images and cited statements are "propaganda" while to others the might be evidence of the new accusation of Islamophobia .

          But what seems certain is that such filmed statements and such visually recorded barbarity is positive proof of the ongoing world war -- unapologetically Islamic -- against many other peoples, and in many nations. The assertions of two non-Muslim, American presidents about Islam are countered by what the French worry -- propaganda -- and what the Pakistan Today article aptly advises, that the world get to know the enemy better. The many citations herein and applying to other linked rhymes testify, question and confuse the all-too-simplistic, even naive Bush-Obama doctrinaire statement.

          That doctrinaire stance simply waves a definition change to wipe away horrors, such as this: "Boko Haram has taken to attacking soft targets, increasingly with suicide bombers, since the military last year drove them out of towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria. The 6-year Islamic uprising has killed about 20,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes." In "Boko Haram burns kids alive in northeast Nigeria: witness," Associated Press, 30 January 2016.

 

[ 11 ]   A follow-up report:  "State news agency RIA Novosti, citing a law enforcement source, said Bobokulova had recently been brainwashed by her Tajik lover, who was apparently a radical Muslim himself. The mass-circulation Moskovsky Komsomolets, citing Uzbek police, said the woman had suffered from schizophrenia for about 15 years. Komsomolskaya Pravda, citing a close family friend, said the live-in nanny had recently become very religious, spent a lot of time online and had brought home a prayer mat." In " 'Allah ordered' child beheading, nanny says at Moscow court," by Maria Panina, Agence France Presse, 2 March 2016.

 

[ 12 ]    Given that Muslim entities are warring against Muslim entities, from small groups to whole nations, the question of what Islam is and which entity speaks for it authentically and authoritatively lingers without a clear cut answer.

          Thus this particular "council" stands against the Pakistani government in a majority Muslim nation. Moreover the opinion conflicts with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed 10 December 1948, that states in Article 1:  "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

 

 Controversial Decisions

 

          The Reuters article states of the Pakistani Muslim council:  "The 54-year-old council is known for its controversial decisions. In the past it has ruled that DNA cannot be used as primary evidence in rape cases, and it supported a law that requires women alleging rape to get four male witnesses to testify in court before a case is heard. The council's decision this January to block a bill to impose harsher penalties for marrying off girls as young as eight or nine has angered human rights activists."

          Of a larger group of nations, one reads:  "Leaders from more than 50 Muslim nations accused Iran on Friday of supporting terrorism and interfering in the affairs of regional states, including Syria and Yemen, a condemnation that may widen the divide between Iran and its main rival, Saudi Arabia." In "Muslim nations accuse Iran of supporting terrorism - summit communique," by Yesim Dikmen and Melih Aslan, Reuters, 15 April 2016.

          Thus one sees in the many addenda and sourced footnotes above that Islam is in conflict with itself, with other religions and with the United Nations' own Declaration of Human Rights. As with all societal pressures which have become global in scope and impact, something has to give way. Globally, both stances cannot Coexist .

 

[ 13 ]   Dr. Qureshi notes: "Just as radical Islamists may spread their message far and wide online, so, too, the Internet has made the traditions of Muhammad readily available for whoever wishes to look them up, even in English. When everyday Muslims investigate the Quran and hadith for themselves, bypassing centuries of tradition and their imams’ interpretations, they are confronted with the reality of violent jihad in the very foundations of their faith."

 

 Reading To Confront Reality

 

          In Sura 9:5, one reads:  "When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful."

          As Qureshi advised, the above quote is from an online Quran. A comparable underscoring of "uncompromising warfare" is found in a 19th century scholar's work. One reads:  "The passage just quoted completed the system of Mahomet so far as its relations with idolatrous tribes and races were concerned. The few cases of truce excepted, uncompromising warfare was declared against them all. No trace of idolatry was to survive within the expanding circle of the influence of Islam. And as Islam was the universal faith intended for all mankind, so its mission was now plainly set forth to be the absolute annihilation of idolatry throughout the world." In "Life of Mahomet", by William Muir, London, 1861, p. 208, vol. 3.

 

 Reading Context Into The Reality

 

          Modern apologia are found for the verse, such as this one also online:  "This verse was revealed towards the end of the revelation period and relates to a limited context. Hostilities were frozen for a three-month period during which the Arabs pledged not to wage war. Prophet Muhammad was inspired to use this period to encourage the combatants to join the Muslim ranks or, if they chose, to leave the area that was under Muslims rule; however, if they were to resume hostilities, then the Muslims would fight back until victorious." In "Qur’an 9:5 Commentary," The American Muslim, 20 December 2004.

          The intriguing notion of a verse of the Quran being of "limited context" suggests that Islam itself is not only schismatic between sects, but also between those who would find literal and those who would ascribe "limited context," though little Quranic scholarship seems to support limitations as the above.

          Putting aside such worded stances, one may examine the "uncompromising warfare" within Islam itself, as with neighboring non-Muslim cultures. "Limited context" has poor explanatory power to give said context to so much of the world's recent developments. On the other hand, Qureshi notes that "everyday Muslims" are being confronted with the reality of violent jihad." He asserts such is "in the very foundations of their faith." The apologia of "limited context" as offered by The American Muslim seems not to have touched the hearts and minds of many other Muslims, and therefore lacks an authoritative voice. Perhaps non-Muslim George Bush's "religion of peace" has such authority?

        The clear statement seems not to come from The American Muslim website, but rather from  Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 024, as noted above .  In it as Muslim primary source material, one finds no "limited context."

 

[ 14 ] The murderer has made his statement in court, as read out by his attorney without comment: "It is mentioned in the Quran that there is no doubt in this book no one has the right to disrespect the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and no one has the right to disrespect the Prophet of Islam Muhammad Peace be upon him. If I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world. I wish to make it clear that the incident was nothing at all to do with Christianity or any other religious beliefs even although I am a follower of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him I also love and respect Jesus Christ'." In "Asad Shah death: Man admits killing shopkeeper because he 'disrespected' Islam," BBC, 6 April 2016.

 

 Justifying Killing

 

        This is the testimony of a Muslim murderer, who saw another Muslim as non-Muslim for an expression of tolerance for other non-Muslims. The world grapples with a simple phenomenon which has been fumblingly called Islamophobia .

        Of the reality of this confession, Sunni and Shia Muslims in Glasgow failed to attend an interfaith memorial with Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Jews and Sikhs.

        One reads:  "Glasgow’s Ahmadi have called on all Muslim leaders and imams in Britain to publicly condemn this statement. Describing Ahmed’s words as 'deeply disturbing', community leader Ahmed Owusu-Konadu said: 'It justifies the killing of anyone – Muslim or non-Muslim – whom an extremist considers to have shown disrespect to Islam.' Speaking from his office in Islamabad, Ali Dayan Hasan, the former Pakistan director of Human Rights Watch, is succinct about general attitudes to Ahmadis: 'It is shocking how much hate there is in the UK.” He refers in particular to literature distributed by Khatme Nubuwatt, an organisation that in Pakistan calls for the ‘elimination’ of the Ahmadi, but also has branches in the UK, where it is a registered charity and an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain. A posting on the Facebook page Anti Qadianiat (Tahafuz Khatme Nubuwwat), included the Guardian’s report of Shah’s death, with the message “Congratulations to all Muslims'." In "Shunned for saying they're Muslims: life for Ahmadis after Asad Shah's murder," Libby Brooks, Guardian UK, 9 April 2016.

        Islam is in many places at war with the world, as it is at war within itself. Either this is true, or there is no such single religion as Islam, but rather confusing strains of competing belief, but belief especially in justifying murder, throughout the centuries. Though not found in either the Koran or supporting Hadiths, the Islamic notion of Dar al-Islam -- house of Islam -- has proven within itself a Dar al-Harb -- a house of war, alongside those nations who have not yet been conquered.

 

[ 15 ]  The slang Cambridge dictionaries online defines this slang as "an ​insulting word for a woman who has had a lot of ​sexual ​partners." 

 

 The Authority of a Nine-Year Old

 

        That a nine-year old boy would affront a teacher in this manner suggests a learned stance of superiority by the boy, likely learned at home. The use of British slang as pejorative by a child to a "respected" adult authority figure in school suggests by this small instance a clash between values, at the minimum, and perhaps a broader clash between cultures or civilizations as Britain tries to integrate Islam into its society.

        While some might be tempted to explain away a nine-year sassing an adult teacher, the element here is the connection to women "covering" their heads, which is an element for many involved in the religion of peace's fundamentalist side. 

        One finds some in British society taking note of such elements. One reads:  "British Muslims are becoming a nation within a nation, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned. Commenting on a ground-breaking survey, Trevor Phillips said we are 'in danger of sacrificing a generation of young British people to values that are antithetical to the beliefs of most of us, including many Muslims'. He called for a new, tougher approach to integration and the abandonment of 'the failed policy of multiculturalism'." In "British Muslims becoming a nation within a nation, Trevor Phillips warns," by David Barrett, Telegraph UK, 11 April 2016.

        Therein lies an interesting observation, when considering the "thought police" stance of a nine-year old Muslim boy. As one uses a simple search engine for pictures of women in Pakistan, as an example, one finds women with and without head coverings. The same holds true for Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation today, or in Turkey. In each and other Muslim nations, the contest between those demanding women's heads be covered is ongoing, and it is this Islam-wide contest which a small story about a nine-year old boy in Britain illustrates.

 

[ 16 ]  Of this Indian sage, Dayanand Saraswati, one reads:  "He viewed Islam to be waging wars and immorality. He doubted if Islam has to do anything with the God, as he questioned that why a God would be hating every non-believer, allowing slaughter of animals, non-merciful and command Muhammad to slaughter innocent people, animals. He further described Muhammad as 'imposter', and one who held out 'a bait to men and women, in the name of God, to compass his own selfish needs.' He regarded Quran as 'Not the Word of God. It is a human work. Hence it cannot be believed in'." In "Dayananda Saraswati," Wikipedia, n. d.

 

 An Indian View

 

        How unlike the "religion of peace" assertions of Bush and Obama and Pope Francis are the statements from so many other voices, which include Muslims such as the authoritative voice of Bukhari, The Reliance of the Traveller, or today's Anjem Choudary in the UK, a Russian novelist and this Hindu cited above.

 

[ 17 ]   The article mentions the obvious. The "socio-economic problems of Islamic societies" includes "bitter poverty and despair," which Islamic societies are not addressing. Given the notion that these is a distinction between Darr-al-Harb as that house of war in which non-Muslims dominate and against which war should be made and the so-called Dar-al-Islam in which Islamic peace is supposed to reign, from what source comes "bitter poverty and despair?"

        Given the variants for government as proposed by many streams of thought today, the history of governance has often been one of a power elite, corrupt and of an exalted class, above a populace expected to "submit" to their betters. How quite like other forms of Totalitarian government throughout history.

 

[ 18 ]  The German news covered this openly. One reads: " 'Mit Rückblick auf einen arabischen Frühling, freuen wir uns auf einen europäischen Sommer', heißt es in dem Video, 'Osama, warte auf uns, wir haben Blut geleckt. Wir wollen Obama und Merkel tot sehen!' " In "Islamisten drohen 'Wir wollen Merkel tot sehen!'," by Florian Flade, Die Welt, 2 February 2013.  

 

 Looking Forward And Tasting Blood

 

        In translation:  " 'With a look back to an Arab Spring, we look forward to a European summer,' it was said in the video, 'Osama, wait for us, we have tasted blood. We want to see Obama and Merkel dead!' "

        While those Western authorities as George W. Bush and Barack Obama testify that Islam is a religion of peace, the problem for this liberal assertion is to separate Islam from what some now call Islamism. In the case of the German "Islamist," one learns through the German news that he is a Salafist. The the distinction mutates, as one asks is Salifism Islamic? Or Islamist, assuming there is a difference?

        One reads:  "The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term 'Wahhabi' derogatory. At other times, Salafism has been described as a hybrid of Wahhabism and other post-1960s movements. Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and – particularly in the West – with the Salafi jihadists, who espouse offensive jihad as a legitimate expression of Islam against those they deem to be enemies of Islam." In Salafi Movement," Wikipedia article, n. d.

        If Salafism is "associated" with Islam, then it is Islamic, as is the Islamic State (ISSI) which some politicians says in not representative of Islam, the religion of peace.

        Wikipedia adds:  "Salafis view the Salaf as an eternal model for all succeeding Muslim generations in their beliefs, exegesis, method of worship, mannerisms, morality, piety and conduct: the Islam they practiced is seen as pure, unadulterated and, therefore, the ultimate authority for the interpretation of the Sunnah. Salafis believe that the Qur'an, the Hadith and the consensus (ijma) of approved scholarship (ulama) along with the understanding of the Salaf us-salih as being sufficient guidance for the Muslim."

 

 The Umbrella

 

         Reporting on raids against Salafists, one finds the conflation of Salafism with Islam. One reads:  "Salafism is typically used as an umbrella term for extremist interpretations of Sunni Islam." In "Police swoop on Salafist properties in Bremen," Deutsche Welle, 26 April 2016.

         Parsing the language, one finds Salafism an "umbrella term for extremist interpretations of Sunni Islam." As Muslims even if "conservative" or "extreme," they "believe in the Qur'an, the Hadith and the consensus...." And one vocal one among them wants to see "Obama and Merkel dead." This is not supposed to be part of the Bush-Obama religion of peace which apparently holds belief in the Koran, the Hadith and the consensus...." Such is the conceptual problem for the modern pejorative, Islamophobia .

         Are the security services of Germany and the United States Islamophobic for being concerned about a Salafist wanting to see "Obama and Merkel dead?" Are the targets themselves irrationally Islamophobic, or should they hold to a rational fear of such Islamic threats?  If there are "extremist interpretations of Sunni Islam," what are those interpretations which are not extremist and where are they to be observed?

         In Gaza as an example of significant disagreement within Islam itself and those who push back against any "umbrella" definition of a singular "correct" Islam, one reads:  "Islamic writer Ahmad Abu Ratima, who strongly and openly opposes the anti-blasphemy law, told Al-Monitor, 'The accusation of blasphemy is a black spot in Islamic history. It was used by dictators against every free voice, and many Muslim scholars were killed on charges of blasphemy. Today, some people want to assume the role of God and sit in judgment of human beings. This brings us back to the dark ages. The accusation of blasphemy may have dangerous repercussions such as physical violence against the accused individual. … This is very similar to the extremist ideas of IS.' Sheikh Mustafa Shawar, head of the Palestinian Scholars League and a Hamas figure in the West Bank, told Al-Monitor, 'Palestinians do not need an anti-blasphemy law, which may do more harm than good. We should not confront deviant ideas contrary to Islam through laws and sanctions, but rather through dialogue and persuasion. Such laws will tarnish our image before the international community in light of the international fight against IS and others terrorist groups'." In "Why proposed blasphemy law horrifies many in Gaza," by Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor, 21 September 2016.

         Such from all the above are questions which swirl around the "religion of peace," as the meaning of the phrase withers in time. Thus the discussion folds back onto the basic question: Who defines Islam? .

         Apparently there is no agreement, but rather continuing strife quite like to the bloody Reformation in Europe centuries ago, which echoed into the twentieth century.

 

[ 19 ]  A Swedish woman is afraid to travel home alone, after being assaulted. The original text in Swedish:  "Då börjar han skrika hur mycket han hatar Sverige och att han bara är här för att 'fuck swedish girls' och spendera sina pengar."

 

[ 20 ]    One reads as clarification given by a British Muslim about Salfist Islam:  "...Dr Ghayas Saddiqui from the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain told The First Post that there was "no moderation in [the Salafis'] approach". He added: "It is a very strict interpretation of Islam, and their attitude to both non-Muslims and Muslims who are not with them is very harsh." In "What is Salafism and should we be worried by it?" The Week, UK, 19 January 2015.


 

Gimme

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses, over loose fiscal policy, followed by a dictatorship." Attributed to Alexander Tytler, Scottish Professor (1776).

"Gimme," scream a million throats,
And someone panders for their votes.
        "Gimme" sounds a deafening roar,
        Combining with urgings such as "More!"
"Gimme" howls till the well runs dry,
And each will grab while the tide runs high.
        "Gimme" won't be satisfied,
        But rather rages, amplified.
"Gimme" looks for who has what,
And readies a "gimme's" uppercut.
        "Gimme," when all people play,
        Is a game which cannot win the day.
"Gimme" shrieks with tantrum cries,
And leaders pander, telling lies.
        "Gimme" breaks most piggy banks,
        And never thinks to give them thanks.
"Gimme" comes to a crashing halt,
When none can hide its deadly fault.
        "Gimme" robs and steals men blind,
        Creating more of its own dread kind.
"Gimme" spreads like the locusts' curse,
As numbers fall from bad to worse.
        "Gimme" learns it soon will starve,
        As the end of things comes then to carve
"Gimme" into a thousand bits,
As the largest voices wage their blitz.
        "Gimme" screams in a silent breath
        As dictators sentence "gimme" to death.

 

Envoi:    "It is not, perhaps, unreasonable to conclude, that a pure and perfect democracy is a thing not attainable by man, constituted as he is of contending elements of vice and virtue, and ever mainly influenced by the predominant principle of self-interest. It may, indeed, be confidently asserted, that there never was that government called a republic, which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy." By Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747–1813), in University History, vol. 1, book 2, chapter 6, p. 216 (1838).

 

Addendum:   "Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped. A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification." In "Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies," by Spencer Ante, Wall Street Journal, 11 February 2013

 

 Addendum of From One Set of Pockets to Another:   "...more than 70% of federal spending amounts to taking money from one set of pockets, and depositing it in another. And this figure is rising fast. Payments to individuals accounted for 60% of the budget when Obama took office, and less than 50% as recently as 1991. Surprisingly little of this money, however, helps the poor. Housing assistance, food stamps, welfare programs, and Medicaid comprise just 25% of all the payments to individuals." In "70% Of Obama’s Budget Is Writing Checks To Individuals," by Editorial Board, Investors, 9 February 2016.

 

A Contemporary Addendum from Millennia Ago:   "Once more: the revenues of the state are ill-managed; there is no money in the treasury, although they are obliged to carry on great wars, and they are unwilling to pay taxes. The greater part of the land being in the hands of the Spartans, they do not look closely into one another's contributions. The result which the legislator has produced is the reverse of beneficial; for he has made his city poor, and his citizens greedy." Aristotle, "The Politics of Aristotle," trans. Benjamin Jowett (London: Colonial Press, 1900).

 

See:   Corruption   , and the equal and opposite reaction, Yawn 


 

The Seller of a Bill of Goods

"For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs." Diane Francis, Financial Post, December 08, 2009

 

I'd like to sell you a Bill of Goods;
It's made for all those neighborhoods
Where you won't figure the price I charge
Because the cost is so hugely large.
     I'd like to slip you a Mickey Finn,
     So you'll snooze right through the trap I spin.
     If you can't see through my smoke and mirrors,
     Then you won't fear too soon the years.
I'd love to Three Card Monty you,
And count on you -- without a clue --
As I rake in the spoils of war
And screw you over even more.
     I'd love to tell you what to do,
     And what you can't and won't, and who
     Is right and who is wrong and, yes,
     I'd like to crush a free-writ press.
I'd happily see authority
Be wholly, rightly crowned on me.
With power and my force of law,
I'll rule and reign and demand your awe.
     If you won't buy my Bill of Goods,
     But see through all the likelihoods,
     And if you won't gulp my Mickey Finn,
     Then you'll take it on the chin.
If you spot in my cheating hand
The card I've palmed, you'll understand
That I must tell you what to do,
For without that, then my life is through.
     Without authority crowned on my head,
     I'm ordinary, plain, no one to dread.
     Without the right to take yours away,
     I've so little joy in the livelong day.

 

See:    Mandate waste   ,  also  The end of the world    and  The Scourge of the Planet 


 

Tell it to the ice caps

If  I'm wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they're free to stop melting." In "Tell it to the ice caps," by Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post, November 27, 2009

Ice caps freeze and then they thaw,
    And then they freeze again, I saw;
        Looking at the seasons change,
            One sees cycling' normal range
        From hot to cold and cold to hot,
    As ice caps thaw and freeze a lot.
When one looks at just one tiny fact
    The others fade and in the act
        Of peering hard at just one thing,
            One misses all the signs of spring.
        Ice caps freeze and then they thaw,
    And then they freeze again. I saw.

Someone ought to tell the ice caps....

 

See:    On a Winter's Day 


 

nuttin like a goal

For the Lady Jules of Juice

 

faceit!
there is nuttin like a goal,
nuttin' in da woil,
an' if did I do extol,
it's dat nuttin's like a goal.
aceit!
there is nuttin like da wurk,
nuttin' in da woil,
juz a liddle handiwurk
make me smile an' clear away da murk!


 

Whoppers, lies and fabrications

"He was dressed in a garment designed by army scientists for public executions, a greyish one-piece suit made of very thick, fleece-lined cotton. That way, when the bullets are fired, the blood doesn't spurt out but is absorbed by this fabric, which turns red. The body is thrown on a cart and then abandoned in the mountains for the dogs to eat." By Hyok Kang, "North Korea, the dead land," 31 May 2009.

 

Whoppers, lies and fabrications
Outright bull, falsifications,
Propaganda and central control,
Which truth can never quite parole.

Media matters, and chatters and
Builds its houses on shifting sand.
Relative is as relative does,
And everything is just "because."

"Open societies" meet secretly,
Planning their plans quite privately.
Up is down, and left is right,
Correct is false, and black is white.

Truth is convicted of telling no lie;
A death sentence is ordered without a sigh.
The bullets are fired, the corpse then bleeds;
The body's abandoned where no pathway leads.

 

Addendum of a Family Affair:   "North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has spoken of the 'elimination of factionalist filth' in his first public reference to the execution of his once-powerful uncle last month." In "N Korean leader Kim Jong-un hails execution of uncle," BBC, 1 January 2014.

 

A Relative Addendum for the Children:   "All relatives of the executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, including children and the country's ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, have also been put to death at the leader's instruction, multiple sources said Sunday. Jang Song-thaek, the once-powerful uncle, was executed last month on charges of attempting to overthrow the communist regime, including contemplating a military-backed coup. All direct relatives of Jang have also been executed, the sources said. 'Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek,' one source said on condition of anonymity. 'All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children'." In "All relatives of Jang executed too: sources," Yonhap News Agency, 26 January 2014.

 

Addendum of Execution by Anti-Aircraft Gun:    "North Korea's Defence Minister Hyon Yong-chol has been executed for showing disloyalty to leader Kim Jong-un, South Korea's spy agency has told parliament. MPs were told Mr Hyon was killed on 30 April by anti-aircraft fire in front of an audience of hundreds, the Yonhap news agency reports. It said Mr Hyon had fallen asleep during an event attended by Kim Jong-un and had not carried out instructions." In "North Korea Defence Chief Hyon Yong-chol 'executed'," BBC, 13 May 2015.
 

See:    Responsibility  for a Nobel Peace Prize Winner's part in the story


 

Buy the lie and kill the truth

Buy the lie and kill the truth;
    Deceit seems normal, taught in youth.
Equivocate and falsify,
    Perjure, fib and justify.
Lies seem wondrous, glittering fine;
    On lying truths the fattened dine.
Twist and turn, prevaricate,
    Dodge, deceive to fill your plate.
Stretch some truth to knot it tight,
    And bind it to some blinded sight.
Beat about some wordy bush,
    Preparing both the shove and push.
Artifice, though not an art,
    Is honed and sharpened for a start.
Deception sings with mighty voice
    Yet offers up no real choice.
Make deaf the ears and blind the eyes,
    Hobble those who see your lies.

Buy the lie and kill the truth;
    Deceit becomes right, when taught in youth.

 

See:   Moral Relativism  - verses and refrain


 

The Modern, Super Rich

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."  Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

 

They get money as you get guilt,
An' if they play this to the hilt,
They're rich! You're poor! They're rich!
        They get power an' you get none,
        An' if this works, their game is won.
        They're rich! You're poor! They're rich!
They win fame while you lose out,
An' they expect you not to pout.
They're rich! You're poor! They're rich!
        Count their money as time goes by,
        An' watch the sums climb to the sky!
        You're poor because they're rich!
You get debt, the public you;
The private them lets debt accrue!
More poor because they're rich!
        The robber baron, fancy folk,
        The public servants play their joke.
        You're poor because they're rich.
An' richer will they grow and grow
Cause that's the only song they know.
They're rich! You're poor! They're rich!
        One day they'll find they've won it all,
        And then will come one long big fall
        In the next revolution's bloody itch.

 

See:   Income Inequality   and also as a specific example,  Albert Gore -- a study in the massive acquisition of capital.


 

Continents do not float

"One thin September soon / A floating continent disappears / In midnight sun, " Albert Gore, Jr. in "Our Choice"

Continents do not float,
Nor do they disappear.


    The midnight sun is only
    In the distant climes, it's clear.


September, as one month in twelve,
Is not thinner, year by year.


    Borrowing another poet's line
    Seems sad, and downright drear.


Mr. Gore, with all your wealth,
You peddle an evangelist's fear.


    And the only "choice" is no choice,
    From the proposals that I hear.


Continents do not float,
A view I find most queer.


    But what might one say of a monger
    Who's set himself up as seer?

 

See:   Albert Gore -- a study in the massive acquisition of capital.


 

By Rivers of Thought

By rivers of thought
They deceived their eyes,
And saw a world not there.
Their plans came to naught,
Their thoughts were lies,
And a world went on without care.

By torrents of words
They covered their ears,
And heard only what they said.
In trampling herds
They followed their fears
And saw not the cliff just ahead.

By onrushing might
They went over the edge,
And gravity brought them hard low.
A mountain of might
Tumbled from its ledge:
For we all must reap what we sow.

On sewed discontent
And anger and rage,
They were fed on that which kills.
With such a descent
They were locked in their cage
And came full circle to their ills.

See:    A spasm of isms 


 

Diversity

Diversity: a synonym for taking a swim
    In a tank filled with sharks for a political whim,
        And thinking that nothing will give such a fright,
            Until their feeding frenzy takes its shark-tooth bite.
                Diversity will no longer be the goal,
                    For whim's on the menu and not in control.
                        Diversity smells quite like blood in the sea
                            And after the feast, diversity cannot be.

 

See:    Perfecting society ,  and also   The End Game of Conformity 


 

In a Church Parking Lot

 

"....peace slogans as they threw rocks, bricks, bottles and bombs..."  In an excerpt from a 2009 news story about peace protests.

"War Is Not The Answer" and
"What Would Jesus Do?"
Were pasted, like a corporate brand
As slogans, full in view.


        The bumper stickers questioned,
        And so I thought awhile.
        Would replies be welcomed?
        Would other views just rile?


But then, what might a Jesus do,
When push shall come to shove?
If stories tell some meaning true,
Then peace must have its dove,


        But also a coming conqueror
        Whose second coming's loud
        With trumpets, baring error,
        With angelic hosts in cloud.


If "What Would Jesus Do"
Has really any meaning,
Then scripture says, the end of days
Brings war-filled final weaning


        Away from political appetite,
        Away from slogans glorious,
        For if I read her scripture right,
        The end is war -- victorious.


But "What Would Jesus Do?"
Stood next to "Women's Choice,"
As if millions of unborn dead
Were approved by Jesus' voice.


        I wager that the person
        Who drove that car to church
        Sat quietly for some sermon
        That would answer her partisan search.


"What Would Jesus Do?"
Millions of dead babies ask.
"What Would Jesus Do?"
What would be his foremost task?


        To roll over and play dead
        As tyrants win the day?
        To quietly give in instead,
        Or fight righteous in the fray?


Would Jesus simply smile
And look the other way?
Would Jesus sit a while,
Acting not in evil's bloody day?


        The lady in the church pew
        Whose car preached her politics' view
        Would surely like to argue
        With Jesus o'er what he'd do.


If each slogan means what she teaches,
She should close her bible book,
And practice what she preaches,
Not bible chapters overlook.


        War is not the answer?
        More likely that it is.
        She worships a political cancer,
        And that the way it is.


If "War Is Not The Answer"
Was what the allies chose to give
To Hitler's menacing cancer,
How many less would live?


        If "What Would Jesus Do"
        Were debated while under attack,
        Evil 's power would accrue
        And blood would stain pitch-black.


If "the answer isn't war"
Was the reply to a fierce "Submit,"
Would radicals' violent stance score
Its target with a bull's eye hit?


        "What Would Jesus Do?"
        Has answers for the readers
        Who seek their scriptures' clue,
        And not their party leaders.


The lady in the church pew
Whose stickers sell a political view
Would surely dare to argue
With Jesus, o'er what he'd do.


        Coming again, draped in cloud,
        In triumph and with force
        Is not a pacifist's losing shroud,
        But a victorious win, of course.


The lady in the church pew
Ignores her bible's ending,
But prays her political point of view
And some other gods befriending,


        For next to those slogan'd stickers
        Were pasted Mao and Che;
        When last I checked those monikers,
        "Millions murdered" was their prey.


Perhaps the lady in the church pew
Who parked her car at church
Prays to some fiction that she grew,
For her "Jesus" seems to lurch


        Toward vicious, murderous acts
        In the millions' count, by God,
        If one cares to check the facts
        And not worship a modern fraud.


If "What Would Jesus Do"
Has really any meaning,
Then as her scripture says, the end of days
Brings war-filled final weaning


        Away from political appetite,
        Away from slogans glorious,
        For if I read her scripture right,
        The end is war -- victorious.


The lady in church pew
Worships something not quite God,
For when one thinks things clearly through
Her slogans vow she's just a Christian fraud.

 

Addendum asking What Would Jesus Say:   "A week ago, the Islamic State (IS) released a video of their members beheading some fifty young men in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and assassinating hundreds of others in cities in Syria and Iraq. These are the most brutal images that a person can witness. IS does not ask about religion when they attack, they slaughter Muslims too. But if you happen to be a non-Muslim, the chance of your survival under their rule diminishes greatly. IS have tagged the homes of Christians with the letter 'N' for Nazarene, the Quran's term for Christian, as a public warning to the Christian communities. Two weeks ago, they gave three choices to the Christians of Mosul: Pay a heavy tax, flee the city, or be killed. For a decade I have followed the continuous atrocities committed against Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syriacs and other minorities in countries like Iraq and Syria. To observers of the region, mass murders have become tragically predictable. In hundreds of articles and reports I have asked Western world leaders to open their eyes. Now the knife has hit the bone and we are witnessing a genocide." In "What Would Jesus Say?" by Nuri Kino, Huffington Post, 4 August 2014.

 

Addendum Too Long for a Bumper Sticker:  "The catastrophe of Iraq has been growing steadily worse for weeks, but by Thursday, it became impossible for the United States and other civilized nations to ignore it. Iraq’s bloodthirsty Sunni extremists were threatening the extermination of tens of thousands of members of religious minorities who have refused to join the fundamentalist Islamic state the terrorist forces want to create. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, drove Christians, Yazidis and other minorities from their homes by giving them a choice between religious conversion or slaughter. There have been reports of scores of civilians being killed. Many of these frightened and desperate people have surged toward the Turkish border and some 40,000 are estimated to be suffering from heat and thirst on Mount Sinjar in northeast Iraq." In "Preventing a Slaughter in Iraq," Editorial Board, New York Times, 8 August 2014.

 

Addendum of a Christian Bishop's View which Bumper Stickers Cannot Answer:   "For years now the Christian, Mandaean, Yazidi and other ancient communities of Iraq, have been harried, bombed, exiled and massacred without anyone batting so much as an eyelid. Churches have been bombed, clergy kidnapped and murdered, shops and homes attacked and destroyed. This persecution has now been elevated to genocide by the advent of Isis. People are being beheaded, crucified, shot in cold blood and exiled to a waterless desert simply because of their religious beliefs. What began in Iraq, continued in Syria. Here the West’s ill-advised backing of an Islamist uprising (largely funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar) against the Assad regime has turned into a nightmare which has given birth to ultra-extremist organisations like Isis. Once again, religious and ethnic minorities, whether Christian, Alawite or Druze, have been the victims, alongside ordinary people of all kinds. Isis, now armed to the teeth with weaponry originally intended by the suppliers for 'moderate' Islamist groups, has arrived in Iraq with a vengeance beyond anything that unfortunate country has so far experienced. Next door in Iran, the Baha’i have been reduced to being a non-people: their marriages are not recognised, their children cannot be educated, their leaders have been executed or are in prison and even their graveyards have been desecrated. Christians, similarly, are not allowed to worship in Farsi, or to hold meetings in their homes. Churches have either been closed or can open only under tightly-controlled conditions. Any violation of these orders brings arrest, interrogation and imprisonment. Zoroastrians, belonging to the indigenous religion of Iran, are now so reduced in numbers that there are more of them outside Iran than remain in the country. Jews, likewise, are in daily danger of being associated with Zionism and having their property confiscated as 'enemy property', even if they have never set foot in Israel. In Pakistan, Christians are being cowed by the draconian blasphemy laws, systematic discrimination and terrorist attacks on churches, schools and social organisations. The Ahmadiyya (a heterodox group), also, suffer legal discrimination, restrictions on the practice of their religion and recurrent mob violence. Only in Egypt can we say that the large Coptic minority has a breathing space as they await the emergence, perhaps, of a new order." In "The West must face the evil that has revealed itself in the Iraq genocide," by Michael Nazir-Ali, Telegraph UK, 10 August 2014.

 

 

 

Addendum of an Advocate of Peace:   "Williams confessed to setting fires at the store in a videotaped interview, according to court documents. ...Police say Williams used lighter fluid to set fires inside and outside the QuikTrip. He was charged with arson in the first degree, a felony. He is also charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor stealing for allegedly taking a lighter, gum and money from the store. Williams has been quoted as an advocate for peaceful protests." In "Protester who advocates peace charged with setting fire at Berkeley QT," St. Louis Today, 27 December 2014.

 

See:    Put the past to rest 


 

President Cool

President Cool wears sun dark shades,
While President Peace makes war;
    President Smart won't show his grades,
    Or much else, furthermore.
President Spendthrift owes too much,
And President Um seems tired;
    President Me and I and such
    Is deep in quagmires mired.
President Hope might be the first,
But first at what's the query;
    President Change might be the worst,
    While President Golf looks weary.
President Law pulls down the shades,
While others pull the strings;
    President Me loves accolades
    His adoration brings.
President Act's deliberate
When pondering Gordian things,
    But President Thin Skin snaps the bait
    When criticism stings.
President Cool blows hot and cold,

As bullets fly and people die,
    And President Peace is a trick well sold,

    As President Lie stands by.

 

 Envoi:   A personal note from a skeptic about politics and politicians in general: This doggerel written in 2010 only seems more true as the years pass.

 

 Addendum of President Cool Looking Back at Himself After Eight Years:   "Obama thinks everyone talks about how cool he is. After all, he made a point of it saying it to Stephanopoulos ... twice. 'Everybody likes to talk about how cool I was,' he said at the start of the interview, referring to his White House senior staff. Then he expanded it at the end of the interview. 'People,' he said, referring to everyone, 'always talk about how cool I am.' And here we thought people talked about things like making ends meet, keeping their families safe, getting a good education, terrorism and other mundane topics." In "Obama: Don't Blame Me For The Democrats Demise," by John Merline, Investor's Business Daily, 9 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Lie:   It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system. 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,' President Barack Obama said -- many times -- of his landmark new law. But the promise was impossible to keep. So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong." In "Lie of the Year: 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it'," by Angie Drobnic Holan, PoliFact, 12 December 2013.

 

 Mister Watergate Reporter Speaks Out:   "We look now at what's going on with all the NSA wiretapping and people saying, 'Well, they didn't know, or they did know.' It clearly is much more extensive than people expected. You connect this with the drone strikes in Pakistan, and Yemen, which is our government conducting regular assassinations by air. You know, what's -- what's going on here? Who is in control of it? And who can find out? You know, I think -- it's in the New York Times this morning that there is a review that Susan Rice, the National Security Adviser for Obama, has done on Mid-East policy. They need to review this secret world and its power in their government because you run into this rats nest of concealment and lies time and time again, then and now." Quote of Bob Woodward, in an interview with Bob Schieffer, Face the Nation, CBS, 27 October 2013.

 

Addendum of a Bystander Passing the Buck:   "President Obama finds himself under fire on two disparate fronts these days, both for the botched rollout of his signature health care program and for the secret spying on allied heads of state. In both instances, his explanation roughly boils down to this: I didn’t know. As a practical matter, no president can be aware of everything going on in the sprawling government he theoretically manages. But as a matter of politics, Mr. Obama’s plea of ignorance may do less to deflect blame than to prompt new questions about just how much in charge he really is." In "Where the Buck Stops, Some See a Bystander," by Peter Baker, New York Times, 29 October 2013.

 

Addendum for a Peace Prize:   "For students of journalism his [ Seymour Hersh ]message is put the miles and the hours in. He knew about Abu Ghraib five months before he could write about it, having been tipped off by a senior Iraqi army officer who risked his own life by coming out of Baghdad to Damascus to tell him how prisoners had been writing to their families asking them to come and kill them because they had been 'despoiled. I went five months looking for a document, because without a document, there's nothing there, it doesn't go anywhere. Hersh returns to US president Barack Obama. He has said before that the confidence of the US press to challenge the US government collapsed post 9/11, but he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush. 'Do you think Obama's been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What's going on [with journalists]?' he asks." In "Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media," by Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian UK, 27 September 2013.

 

Addendum for Black Unemployment:   "The black jobless rate jumped from 13.2 percent in November to 14  percent in December, which is a big rise because the rate only includes people who are still actively looking for work." In "155,000 New Jobs Added, But Black Unemployment Rises," by Nick Chiles, Atlanta Black Star, 4 January 2013.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum for Care:  "Obamacare, the derisive name for President Obama's signature healthcare reform law, held promise for millions of Americans who have been unable to find affordable insurance coverage for various reasons, the most heartbreaking of which is that they're already sick. But with the announcement last week the administration is postponing the Affordable Care Act's key provision requiring employers to provide coverage or face $2,000 per employee fines, the future of the law appears in jeopardy. The question is how the announcement affects the measure's individual mandate, the provision requiring all Americans to obtain coverage, either through employers, Medicaid or insurance exchanges." In "The Issue: Does delay of key Obamacare provision spell trouble ahead?" by Marcella Kreiter, United Press International, 7 July 2013.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Sad Sack:  "Just four months after his second inauguration, the president is buffeted by gushing investigations, smug and deranged Republicans, and cat-who-ate-the-canary conspiracists. The man who promised in 2008 to make government cool again is instead batting away charges that he has made government 'Nixonian' again. Asked about that on Thursday, Obama might have tried a little J.F.K. wit to dismiss the ridiculous assertion. Instead, he played the pill, as he too often does, huffily telling reporters, 'Well, I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons, and you can go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions.' The onetime messiah seems like a sad sack, trying to bounce back from a blistering array of sins that are not even his fault." In "Taxing Times for Obama," by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 18 May 2013.    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum being Cool Again:   "Obama, on the other hand, sees government as both a catalyst and an expression of service to a larger cause. He described that central role earlier this year during a speech in Wisconsin. 'The most important thing that we can do right now is to re-engage the American people in the process of governance. To get them excited and interested again in what works and what can work in our government. To make politics cool again and important again and relevant again,' he said." In "McCain, Obama View Public Service Differently," by Scott Horsley, NPR, 2 July 2008.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of the Tailspin:   "America's foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage." In "Obama's foreign policy in a tailspin," by Frida Ghitis, CNN, 9 August 2013.

 

Addendum for Inequality:   "An Obama appointee and the CEO of Pacific Investment told a crowd at the National Press Club that Obama’s economic policies have fostered income inequality and that political squabbling is stalling economic recovery. Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment and chairman of the White House Global Development Council, blamed the administration’s reaction to the Great Recession for increasing income inequality. Rather than launching vast infrastructure projects to put people to work, the government has created a larger supply of money using quantitative easing (QE). El-Erian said the failure of the weak recovery is evident in the youth unemployment rate, which has bounced around from 40 to 25 percent among the most inexperienced workers, as well as the long-term unemployment rate." In "Obama Appointee Says Obama’s Policies Have Stalled Economy," by Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon, 21 August 2013.

 

Addendum of Missteps:   "Nearly five years into his presidency, Barack Obama confronts a world far different from what he envisioned when he first took office. U.S. influence is declining in the Middle East as violence and instability rock Arab countries. An ambitious attempt to reset U.S. relations with Russia faltered and failed. Even in Obama-friendly Europe, there's deep skepticism about Washington's government surveillance programs. In some cases, the current climate has been driven by factors outside the White House's control. But missteps by the president also are to blame, say foreign policy analysts, including some who worked for the Obama administration." In "For Obama, world looks far different than expected," by Julie Pace, Associated Press, 25 August 2013.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Bluffing:   "Last August, President Obama drew his line in the Syrian sand. 'We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.' A year later two things are clear: 1) There was no equation; it was just Obama talking nonsense. 2.) He bluffed without a plan. It is an axiom of statecraft that one does not go rattling sabers if one is not prepared to stain them with an enemy's blood. Or as Napoleon put it, 'One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.' In Obama's case, we can replace 'power' with 'will.' In 2007, Obama was brimming with indignation that the United States would go to war without the approval of Congress. Now he is preparing to do exactly that for the second time. With Syria, it is for the worst reason: so the President can save face." In "Red lines: Obama's costly bluster," New Hampshire Union Leader, 28 August 2013.  [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of the Bumbler:    "If life were a movie, Barack Obama would look into the mirror and see George W. Bush. He would rub the mirror and Bush would still be there, giving him that galling smirk. Obama, no fool he, would quickly understand: Here he is, like the predecessor he so (rightly) loathed, metaphorically trudging the vast Arabian desert, searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Only history can decide if this movie is a comedy or a tragedy. ...Because of Obama’s fecklessness — abetted by a Congress that has turned darkly isolationist — the world is now a less safe place. The policeman has proved to be a bumbler. He is unschooled in foreign policy. Rogues and killers have taken the measure of him. He is smaller than first appeared. An Obama forced to act like Bush is ironic, but no fun. They both got into their fixes by adhering to false policies. Bush had a red line for WMDs that didn’t exist. Obama, in the end, didn’t have one for WMDs that did. " In "Obama is Bush 2.0, but it’s no upgrade," by Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 17 September 2013.

 

Addendum of Being Too Talented:   On "He assumed his favorite role of the shining knight hectoring the benighted: Sir Lecturealot. ...As Valerie Jarrett told David Remnick in 'The Bridge,' Obama’s 'uncanny' abilities need to be properly engaged, or he disengages. 'He’s been bored to death his whole life,' she said. 'He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do'." In "Cat on a Hot Stove," by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 19 October 2013.

 

 Addendum of Being the Victim:  "Responsibility used to be a buck that stopped on the president’s desk. Now it’s a hot potato that never lands in this president’s hands." In "Obama is always the victim," by Nolan Finley, Detroit News, 24 October 2013.

 

Addendum of the Selfie:  "It’s official — the government of the United States of Obama consists of boobs and bores and is led by a narcissist." In "How the West was lost by the selfie president," by Michael Goodwin, NY Post, 15 December 2013.

 

Addendum of Resembling a Police State:   "In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up." In "Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama," by Ian Traynor and Paul Lewis, Guardian UK, 17 December 2013.

 

Addendum of the False Prophet:   "He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn't worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more." Quote of Barbara Walters, on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, 17 December 2013.

 

Addendum of Governance by Secret Law:   "The judge also suggested the administration had lost sight of the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and transparency itself. 'The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight...to engage in what is in effect governance by 'secret law,' ; Huvelle said." In "Judge orders Obama foreign aid order released," by Josh Gerstein, Politico, 17 December 2013.

 

Addendum of a President on Vacation:   "It must be nice to a president who has overseen one of the worst recoveries in the modern era, who then moralizes those who think job creation is preferable to endlessly issuing government checks backed by paper money and nearly insurmountable debt. But such is the life of vacationing multi-millionaire Barack Obama, who gets to look down at us while he drives by in a golf cart as small businesses are imploding in the wake of his disastrous policies. Meanwhile, the poor keep getting poorer, and the rich keep getting richer." In "Vacaying Multi-Millionaire Obama Blasts GOP That Went Home for the Holidays & Abandoned Poor," by Kyle Becker, Independent Journal Review, 6 January 2014.   [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Alarmingly Simple Competence:  "The president’s goal, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to tamp down all the assessments of gathering dangers that his own team had been issuing over the previous days. This argument with his own administration is alarming on three levels. The first has to do with simple competence. One can only imagine the whiplash that foreign leaders must be suffering." In 'President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges," Editorial Board, Washington Post, 29 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Opacity:    "...I was a strong voice for complaining that this particular administration has been more opaque than any I have covered about what the President does in the Oval Office everyday. He is far less accessible on photo-ops with meetings. Even some meetings on the record, meeting in the Roosevelt room with financial leaders from, from Wall Street or on issues with environmental groups, or with issues with environmental groups, with public opinion leaders, I think most presidents have been far more forthcoming than the second Obama term, in terms of what the President is doing every day and we almost never get photo-ops." In "Q&A with Ann Compton," C-SPAN, 30 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Awareness:   "In an off-the-record meeting with journalists on Tuesday, Obama said that he did not watch enough cable news to fully recognize the extent of people's fears, sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNN. That characterization of Obama's remarks was included in a New York Times article, but later removed while the article was being edited for the print edition." In "Obama cites not watching cable news for failure to recognize terrorism fears," by Dylan Byers, CNN, 18 December 2018.

 

 Addendum of Assessing the Eight Years of the Obama Economic Recovery:   "A Gallup senior economist led the study. Top Gallup experts and esteemed external senior scientists reviewed it to ensure statistical and theoretical accuracy and objectivity. Conventional wisdom -- as reported in many major newspapers and media -- tells us the U.S. economy is 'recovering.' Well-meaning economists, academics and government officials use the term "recovery" when discussing the economy, implying that growth is getting stronger. The study, released today, finds there is no recovery. Since 2007, U.S. GDP per capita growth has been 1%. The Great Recession may be over, but America is dangerously running on empty." In "U.S. Economy: No Recovery, by Jim Clifton, Gallup, 6 December 2016.   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of a Post-Presidential Perspective from the BBC:   "Democrats have lost Congress. They've been decimated in state legislatures. Their hoped-for liberal majority on the Supreme Court was blocked by intransigent Senate Republicans. And now the presidency is gone, as well. ...At the moment, the Democratic Party is a skeleton of its former self. Until they put some meat on its bones, memories of the 2008 hope that Obama ushered in - that they were a party of destiny - will seem to liberals like a cruel joke." In "Obama leaves Democratic party a skeleton of its former self," by Anthony Zurcher, BBC, 21 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of President Cool's Droning On:   "More broadly, according to data compiled by the Council on Foreign relations, Obama is responsible for about 540 strikes killing about 3,800 people over the course of his entire presidency; roughly 11 times the drone attacks ordered by his predecessor, George W. Bush." In "A look at President Obama’s final drone kill count, now that his time in office has come to a close," by Bonnie Kristian, Rare, 23 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Book Deals and Speaking Fees for Post-President Cool:    "Is Barack Obama really telling us he no longer has common cause with the people who put him in the White House? That he has cut and run to follow the money. No wonder politicians are hated. No wonder people are being elected who have zero experience in government. No wonder populism is rising. Barack Obama would be fighting this trend, I thought, not feeding it. Tell me it ain't so." In "Barack Obama seemed different, but he's just another money-grubbing politician," by Anne Summers, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coolly Surveillance of Americans in Record Numbers:   "The searches ultimately resulted in 3,134 NSA intelligence reports with unredacted U.S. names being distributed across government in 2016, and another 3,354 reports in 2015. About half the time, U.S. identities were unredacted in the original reports while the other half were unmasked after the fact by special request of Obama administration officials. Among those whose names were unmasked in 2016 or early 2017 were campaign or transition associates of President Trump as well as members of Congress and their staffers, according to sources with direct knowledge." In "President Obama's team sought NSA intel on thousands of Americans during the 2016 election," by John Solomon, Circa, 3 May 2017.    [ 9 ]

 

See:    Nobel for Today  and also  Kicks  and, as a reflection of the Nobel Peace Prize winner's peaceful policies:  A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement  - "Where have all the critics gone, long time passing?"

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Obama took office in 2008, and won re-election in 2012. Five years have passed and a record amassed as this rhyme and its addenda and footnotes take shape. One reads: "If you're a high school dropout you're talking about 30 percent working. Among high school grads who graduated from high school in the last three years -- we do a separate survey of them the fall after graduation -- 45 percent of them held a job, the lowest in the last 50 years we've been collecting this data. And to make it worse, of that 45 percent, only half of them were able to get a full-time job. Only one in five young high school grads, not in college, [is] working full-time." In "Jobless Rate for Poor Black Teen Dropouts? Try 95 Percent," by Paul Solman, PBS News Hour, 5 July 2013.

 

 Black Teens Hit Hard

 

            Similar unhappy news is found:  "...according to the most recent jobs report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, in December the employment rate among teens spiraled even farther, to 20.2 percent. Among African-American teens, and particularly among those from low-income households earning less than $20,000 annually, the prospects were even more dismal. In 2006, 25 percent of young Blacks were employed, compared to 18 percent in 2012. Across the nation in 2012, only 13 percent of Black teens from low-income households were employed. Black male teens faced particularly long odds of obtaining a job. For example, in Chicago 92 percent of all Black male teens ages 16 to 19 were jobless in 2012." In "Report: Black Teens Hit Hard in Economic Downturn," by Zenitha Prince, Afro, 24 January 2014.

            One may compare and contrast the reality of such unemployment facts with the rhetoric:  "We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow. We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet." In Obama's re-election speech, delivered at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Illinois on 6 November 2012. 

            As to schools in 2009, one reads:  "Seventeen of the nation's 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday." In "Big Cities Battle Dismal Graduation Rates," CBS/AP, 11 February 2009.

 

 Evidence of Willful Neglect

 

            One finds an even greater urgency expressed one presidential term later:  " 'We have a responsibility to provide future generations of Americans with the education and the skills needed to thrive in communities, the job market and the global economy. Yet, too many Black and Latino young boys and men are being pushed out and locked out of the U.S. education system or find themselves unable to compete in a 21st Century economy upon graduating,' said John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. 'These graduation rates are not indicative of a character flaw in the young men, but rather evidence of an unconscionable level of willful neglect, unequal resource allocation by federal, state, and local entities and the indifference of too many elected and community leaders. It’s time for a support-based reform movement'." In "New Report Documents a Crisis in Black Male High School Graduation Rates," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 21 September 2012.

            As to Obama's 2012 essentially empty political rhetoric of being "burdened by debt," see:   Sam?  - the Debtor Man.

            As to Obama's rhetoric of being "weakened by inequality" and with the perspective that the Obama administration is now in its fifth year, one reads:  "Despite being the richest country in the world, the United States also suffers from one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world." In "Worsening Income Inequality," by Al Gore, Huffington Post, 11 March 2013. 

            It is amusing to note that Mr. Gore by his recent financial wins contributes to this inequality, suggesting that power and wealth are so often treated to populist rhetoric intended -- as the joke goes -- to "dazzle with bullshit."

 

 Who Is Winning Class Warfare in Obama's America

 

            But as to income inequality, an Obama supporter famously has stated:  "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."  Warren Buffet and other billionaires support the "income inequality" president while becoming wealthier. As it was noted:  "The irony of Buffet’s actions is twofold: First off, Buffet never once complained while he was utilizing existing tax policies to create his enormous wealth. Now, it seems that Buffett only wants to atone for his wealth by giving away the majority of his fortune to charities. Why first take advantage of those policies, and then criticize them after you've made your money? This is hypocritical. Second, the tax policies do not just favor the mega-rich, but also those reporting less than one million dollars per year. Obama paid a lower tax rate than his secretary last year. Why would the President support the Buffett rule, yet take advantage of existing tax codes? Simply put, the President needs class warfare to win reelection. Thanks Warren." In "The 3 Endorsements Obama Didn't Want for 2012," by Darcy Kempa, Policy Mic, July 2012.

            Buffett continues a billionaire's economic optimism:  "... it's easy for Buffett to be bullish on America. The 82-year-old's net worth is estimated by Forbes at a whopping $62 billion. Buffett certainly doesn't need to worry about stagnant wages and the loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs that weigh on many voters' minds." In "Warren Buffett: 'America's never been greater'," CNN Money, 13 October 2015.

            As counterpoint one finds differing views:  "The wide-ranging survey, 'Opinions of Small Employers,' from the conservative-leaning National Federation of Independent Business released Monday found nearly 70 percent of small-business owners believe the overall U.S. business climate is fair or poor. What's more, six years out of the Great Recession, 63 percent of those polled said the country is on the wrong track." In "US not headed in right direction, some on Main Street say," by Kate Rogers, CNBC, 13 October 2015.

            How odd it is that populist rhetoric like Obama's as supported by Buffett's is employed to attract voters on the lowest economic rungs of the ladder, and yet those so prominent in using such rhetoric manage to amass ever greater wealth. This is a fact of our last century and longer, in which self-styled leaders so often employing populist rhetoric have managed to live high above those they governed. See:  Corruption as regards American politics, and for a peek into the Chinese form of government, Capital for Communists  - a story growing old.

 

[ 2 ]      An example:  "Provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act are projected to add $7.3 million to the cost of the University health plan in 2014 alone. Federal health care reform will create new costs related to the 'individual mandate' that requires all Americans to have health care coverage (or pay a penalty). In future years, U.Va. could face millions more in taxes through the act if the cost of its plans passes certain thresholds. 'Ironically, by providing generous benefits, the University becomes exposed to a federal excise tax known as the ‘Cadillac tax,' Carkeek said. Effective in 2018, the 40 percent tax would apply to the cost of an individual plan with average premiums per employee topping $10,200, or $27,500 for a family plan. If the University made no changes to address rising costs or the impact of the Affordable Care Act, employee premiums would have risen a projected 12 percent to 13 percent this year." In "University Employees Will See Significant Changes to Health Plan This Year," University of Virginia's UVAToday, 21 August 2013.

 

[ 3 ]      As to "sins that are not even his fault," one might consider the various news reports as collected as documentation for the following musings in rhyme:  Sir Veiled Lance  ,  and  Bankrupt green  .

 

 Unaware or Lying?

 

            What is developing is a stark binary. Either the President has lied about things in public, or is misinformed due to his inept administration.  One reads:  "But hey, if Obama partisans and the Washington punditburo want to now forward the argument that the president has just been 'wrong' or inaccurate or whatever other euphemism du jour avoids the L word, then fine: They should be asking why, by their own argument, the president is so completely unaware of what his government is doing. After all, if he’s not lying, then something is still very, very wrong." In "What if the president lied to us?" by David Sirota, Salon, 16 August 2013.

            "Last week, President Obama told reporters: 'I’m comfortable that if the American people examined exactly what was taking place, how it was being used, what the safeguards were, they would say, ‘You know what? These folks are following the law and doing what they say they’re doing.' But the NSA audit found that in at least one instance, the agency decided it didn’t need to follow the law and report the unintended surveillance of U.S. citizens. In another case, the FISA court was in the dark about a new NSA collection method for months. When it did learn about it, it promptly declared it unconstitutional." In "Time for Answers from the NSA," by John Fund, National Review, 19 August 2013.

 

[ 4 ]      As to "cool," one reads,  "This is not to say that anyone whom Obama has had killed did not richly deserve what they got. However, one has to note that just as only Nixon could go to China, only Obama could make assassinations cool again." In "Obama Has Made Assassinations Cool Again," by Mark Whittington, Yahoo News, 22 October 2011.

            Cool? But this was the campaigner's own word.  One reads:  "Obama, 46, countered Clinton by stressing the importance of inspiring citizens and 'making politics cool again. Don't tell me words don't matter,' he said in a speech following Clinton's." In "Clinton Says She, Not Rival Obama, Is the Candidate of Change," by Kim Chipman and Karen Leigh, Bloomberg News, 16 February 2008.  "Cool."

 

 Who Is Losing Class Warfare in Obama's America

 

             But what matters far more than words is individual economic realities for the little guy.  One learns of the United States today:  "During the four years that marked President Barack Obama’s first term in office, the real median income of American households dropped by $2,627 and the number of people in poverty increased by approximately 6,667,000, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. The record total of approximately 46,496,000 people in the United States who are now in poverty, according to the Census Bureau...." In "Census on Obama’s 1st Term: Real Median Income Down $2,627; People in Poverty Up 6,667,000; Record 46,496,000 Now Poor," by Terence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews, 17 September 2013.

             Words -- far too many political words obfuscating such realities for the average Joe -- tell what words matter to politicians. Words are being used to hide numerical realities, just as they have been in the propaganda of so many governments throughout the 20th century. Is politics conducted in such words which ignore economic realities for individual citizens cool? Should it be? And if so, why?

 

[ 5 ]      "For Obama, world looks far different than expected" is the Associated Press article's title. This might well be said for the many who became so enthused in an election campaign with hope. The questions were and remain: hope for what? And by what measure? But to inquire past the mere slogan was deemed unnecessary. As Noam Chomsky opines and as placed in plain words, American politics has become a mere marketing campaign and popularity contest. 

 

 Fixating on Folly

 

            One might recall a historic observation from 1841:  "In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." Charles MacKay, in "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds." Cool, huh?

 

[ 6 ]      Want to strike Syria militarily in 2013?  "The Obama national security team that wants to go to war with Syria and demonizes President Bashar Assad is the same group that, as senators, urged reaching out to the dictator. As a bloc on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, President Obama, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden all opposed the George W. Bush administration’s playing tough with Mr. Assad." In "Bashar Assad loses U.S. friends as Kerry, Hagel and Biden take Bush’s stance on Syria," by Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times, 1 September 2013.  What a difference a few years makes, something like Leadership Failure   - spoke a failed leader.

 

 Obama and the Child Soldiers

 

            Oddly, while making the "moral" case to act Syria for the use of chemical weapons -- weapons of mass destruction, as was the case with so-called Chemical Ali in Iraq under Saddam Hussein -- Obama has made another "moral" decision which much of the media ignored.

            One learns: "President Obama determined that it is once again in the national interest of the United States to waive a provision of a law against aiding regimes that use child soldiers to provide non-lethal assistance and peace-keeping support to several African countries. By law, the president has to notify Congress that he is waiving the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 within 45 days of making the decision. Obama's press team published the presidential determination on Monday afternoon, with Congress on the eve of a government shutdown. The Child Soldiers Prevention Act waiver applies fully to Chad, South Sudan and Yemen. Congo and Somalia received partial waivers. Obama first waived the provision in 2010. Samantha Power, then the National Security Council senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights, promised 'at the time that the waivers would not become a recurring event,' as The Cable recalled." In "Obama waives ban on aiding regimes that use child soldiers," by Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 30 September 2013.

             Cool or cruel?

            The report was careful enough to reprint Obama's signed waiver.

 

 Waving a Waiver

 

            It reads:  "Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) (title IV, Public Law 110-457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Chad, South Sudan, and Yemen; to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow for continued provision of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and nonlethal Excess Defense Articles, and the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of nonlethal defense articles; and to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Somalia to allow for the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of nonlethal defense articles, provision of IMET, and continued provision of assistance under the Peacekeeping Operations authority for logistical support and troop stipends. I hereby waive such provisions accordingly. You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying Memorandum of Justification, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register."

             Send aid to nations with child soldiers and justify it with a Memorandum of Justification? Really cool. As Obama aimed to, "...make politics cool again and important again and relevant again." And do business with nations using children as soldiers.

              Cool or cruel?

             Years later, the policy continues:   "The Somali agency’s widespread use of child informants, which has not been previously documented, appears to be a flagrant violation of international law. It raises difficult questions for the U.S. government, which for years has provided substantial funding and training to the Somali agency through the CIA, according to current and former U.S. officials. A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the issue." In "Exclusive: U.S.-funded Somali intelligence agency has been using kids as spies," by Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, 7 May 2016.

             Additionally, one finds:   "Rebel forces in southern Sudan began using child soldiers long before seceding from Sudan in 2011. The United States, on the other hand, passed a law in 2008 that banned providing military assistance to nations that use child soldiers. The law was called the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, or CSPA, but after South Sudan’s independence, the White House issued annual waivers that kept aid flowing to the world’s newest nation despite its use of child soldiers. President Obama stated in 2012 that the waiver that year was in 'the national interest of the United States.' The president’s move was criticized by human rights activists and others. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska and the author of the CSPA, described the use of child soldiers as an 'unthinkable practice.' The U.S. 'must not be complicit in this practice,' he said. 'The intent of the law is clear — the waiver authority should be used as a mechanism for reform, not as a way of continuing the status quo.' Because of the requirements of the law, the waivers were issued by the White House rather than the State Department, so Obama was the target of most of the criticism." In "New Nation, Long War," by Nick Turse, Intercept, 9 June 2016.

              Annual waivers from the Obama White House itself to ignore the law from 2008 against child soldiers, "an unthinkable practice." Cool or cruel?

              One reads further:  "The world was shocked this week after a horrific video surfaced showing a US-backed rebel group in Syria beheading a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, in yet another example of how the Syrian rebels are the complete antithesis of moderate. Psychopathic members of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki group – which was formed in late 2011 and operates around the city of Aleppo – carried out the atrocity. In a ridiculous statement, the leaders of the al-Zenki group called the atrocity a mistake – how anyone can characterize hacking a child's head off with a knife a mistake is beyond me." In "Another US Foreign Policy Triumph: Syrian Rebels Behead Innocent Child," by Steven MacMillan, New Eastern Outlook, 26 July 2016.

              Cool or cruel? Perhaps just a mistake?

             Recall "...recent US military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations." In "The Startling Size of US Military Operations in Africa, The Pentagon's Africa Command will tell you there's one military base on the entire continent. Don't believe them," by Nick Turse, Mother Jones, 6 September 2013. To place this in some factual perspective, there are 55 nations in Africa, and Obama's military is involved in "no fewer than 49." How cool is that?

 

[ 7 ]        "Meanwhile, the poor keep getting poorer, and the rich keep getting richer." How cool.  See:  Moolah 

 

[ 8 ]        The Gallup survey is rational, numeric and poll driven as well. This is not a partisan hack job, though it will be seen as such by some. Heed the statement:  "Top Gallup experts and esteemed external senior scientists reviewed it to ensure statistical and theoretical accuracy and objectivity." By such accuracy and objectivity, political assertions pale.

              The Gallup statement notes:  "Think of our country as a company, America Inc., which has more than 100 million full-time employees, with about $18 trillion in sales and $20 trillion of debt. The most serious problem facing it is no growth. In addition, America Inc. has three soaring expenses threatening to bankrupt the company and its shareholder-citizens: healthcare, housing and education." When Obama was in the Senate and planning to run for the office of president in 2006 he himself defined a "failed leader" and now is defined by his own political words.  He said, "...America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

 

 President Failed Leader

 

              In 2006 America's debt was less than half what it is in 2016, as the "failed leader" steps away from office. He has defined himself in political words recalled here, and his government following on the heels of the Bush administration has developed greater debt, more war zones and attempts to topple foreign governments, doubled arms sales around the world, and presided over, in his own words from 2006, "...shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren."

              That is exactly, objectively and truthfully what he has done.

              All the politics and ideological blather cannot erase his 2006 definition of his own administration. Consider the objective facts which define  Leadership Failure - spoke a failed leader.

              President Cool is, as the rhyme suggests, also President Lie.

 

[ 9 ]       As to defending Constitutional rights, Obama as president led an administration which blithely violated some American's civil rights, apparently for venal political reasons.

 

President Rights Violator and a Rights-violating Administration

 

              One reads further:   "...the lengthy unraveling of issues in the 99-page document opens a window on how the secret federal court oversees surveillance activities and seeks to curtail those that it deems overstep legal authority. The document, signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, said the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases 'with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.' It said a judge chastised the NSA’s inspector general and Office of Compliance for Operations for an 'institutional ‘lack of candor’ ' for failing to inform the court. It described the matter as “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue'." In "Secret court rebukes NSA for 5-year illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens," by Tim Johnson, McClatchy DC, 26 May 2017.


 

The Scourge of the Planet

"We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now...." In "David Attenborough - Humans are plague on Earth," by Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent, The Telegraph UK, 22 January 2013   [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]

 

The scourge of the planet is you, not me;
I bloom from another, better tree,
One not so steeped in your sin and error,
But one that names me kind and fairer.
It's you alone bears original sin,
And I am smarter, with my charming grin.
You must be driven from this world today,
That goodly me can have my way.
And when you're gone, you crawling louse,
I shall take your money and house.
The scourge of this planet is you, not me.
Your eradication is the answer I see.

 

Envoi:    "It’s no coincidence that most of those who are obsessed with population growth are post-reproductive wealthy white men: it’s about the only environmental issue for which they can’t be blamed." In "The Population Myth," by George Monbiot, Guardian, 29 September 2009.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of the Question:   "In 1925 Chesterton wrote an introduction to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in which he said that 'The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him, whether he is part of the surplus population; or if not, how he knows he is not'. Elsewhere, in an essay titled 'Social Reform vs. Birth Control,' Chesterton argued that it is typically the wealthy elite who are interested in promoting population control as a solution to poverty, often simply as a means of avoiding dealing with the more difficult root problems that lead to poverty. 'If [the Birth-Controller] can prevent his servants from having families, he need not support those families. Why the devil should he?' wrote Chesterton. 'The landlord or the employer says in his hearty and handsome fashion: You really cannot expect me to deprive myself of my money. But I will make a sacrifice. I will deprive myself of your children'." In "Chesterton Answers the Population Myth," Catholic G. K. Chesterton Society, n. d.

 

Addendum of Self-Professed Guilt:    "As known species go, we are pretty crap. A hard reset and restart might not be a bad thing for the planet, if not the species." A comment by "OrdinaryGezzer" beneath an article titled, "Antibiotic-resistant diseases pose 'apocalyptic' threat, top expert says," by Ian Sample, The Guardian, 23 January 2013.

 

 Addendum from 1798:  "The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race." In "An Essay on The Principle of Population, Chapter VII, by Thomas Malthus, 1798.

 

Addendum from 1992:  “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” Maurice Strong (b. 1929), cited by Wikipedia as stated in the opening speech of the Rio Earth Summit (Earth Summit II), 1992.  See:  Apocalypse sometime 

 

Addendum of the Affluent Upper Class:   "The sickening champagne and caviar lifestyle being enjoyed by Earth Summit delegates was exposed yesterday. They are gorging on mountains of lobster, oysters and fillet steak at the Johannesburg conference - aimed at ending FAMINE. As the summit began yesterday, desperate kids in nearby shanty towns queued for water at standpipes. Bigwig politicians among the 60,000 delegates, including Deputy PM John Prescott, also get vintage bubbly and brandy." In "SA Earth Summit Attendees Feast On Lobster And Caviar," by Neil Syson, The Sun UK, 27 August 2002.

 

Addendum for the Affluent Socialists:   "You name it and the delegates at Rio have reneged on it—climate, deserts, bio-diversity, even aid for the developing world." In "Earth Summit II ends in failure," World Socialist Movement, 13 August 2006.

 

Carbon Addendum:   &q