Friday, September 30, 2011

A political cartoon

9/29 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Will Christie run?


Fwd: Things to Know - 30 September

Mike Luckovich
9/29 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Will Christie run?

1.  Occupying Wall Street takes its sentiment nearby to a Sotheby's Auction house.  Now the protest is widening from the Wall Street greed to the playground of the greedy and their version of eBay:

2.  This article calls into question of where the Tea Party is now.  It's kind of faded away.   The only thing generating buzz about them is other people talking about them, but they don't seem to be in the room any more.  In fact, I have not received any of their online stuff since ...well I kind of played games with them when they came out with their Adopt a School program - where I was to go out and contact my local school and get them to sign up and present their program on the U.S. Constitutions instructional material - and so I went and told them that I went to Pomona College, and other Claremont Colleges, and even contacted some friends at Ivy League schools about getting on board with their program.  I guess they were not happy with my reply that all the schools told me to tell the Tea Party to follow Maxine Water's advice to go "straight to hell".  I have not heard a peep from them since:

3.  To keep the spirit alive and to understand how fragile the 1st Amendment to the Constitution can be, a critical review and maybe a bit of sarcasm is always needed to ensure that we have this freedom:
If you have noticed, I am drawing a bit more from two other resources lately.  Because of the time zone from Eastern to Pacific, and other stuff I find that putting this digest together the night before, with finishing touches the next day is best.  The NY Times puts out their next day edition at midnight (9PM in California), the Washington Post stumbles in about the same time, and the AJC whenever they get their act together, which i have not been able to figure out yet.  Of course the LA Times has great human interest writers, and stuff the papers have not covered, so they get added the next morning.  On occasion, other resource pop in when I get a chance to see good stuff.

4.  David Brooks.  I am baffled here.  He says that there is a Limit to Empathy, because too much of it gets us off track in seeing the real picture.  Read this and see if you don't get the same feeling that I did.  If you remove Empathy from the human experience, you are withdrawing yourself from the sensual experience of feeling others people situation and pain.  I don't think normal people are like that:

5.  Paul Krugman, arrives on scene.  As usual, the Nobel Prize winner has news for the GOP - their fear agenda about what is wrong is ALL WRONG - and they better pay attention to him:

6.  This NY Times editorial acknowledges Obama's on-track rhetoric on going after the Republicants and the Republicans - .....finally:

7.  Eugene Robinson brings up the subject of the elephant in the room - no pun intended.   The Obesity of NJ Gov. Chris Christy.   If you saw David Letterman the other night, you can appreciate this - Letterman said "if you cannot call an obese person fat........then the terrorists have won::

8.   I saw this story on TV yesterday, and I am glad that it can be presented to you in print.  Hector Tobar describes a Guatemalan family in La Puente, California, having done everything to attain the American Dream - immigrating to the United States, becoming US Citizens, working in garment factories, and eventually making enough money to buy a home.....well, I'll just let you read it:,0,6475392,print.column

9.  "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"...ever heard of that?   Well it's coming up and this editorial cautions the IRS to enforce the regulation in a consistent manner.  If they happened upon the Bible Belt, the IRS agents would have to work over time:,0,7589749,print.story

Juan Matute

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
       -- Yogi Berra
"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
       -- William Hazlitt
"Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter because nobody listens."
       -- Nick Diamos
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds."
       -- Malaclypse the Younger
"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."
       -- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kindle Fire

I get feedback on everything.  My digest and my questions about the Kindle Fire.   Is there an app that makes joint pain disappear?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jim Magoun <>
Date: Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Subject: Kindle Fire
To: Juan Matute <>

For 40% (or less) of the price, plus free shipping, you get a scaled down IPAD - i.e., no 3G, smaller screen, few on-board apps, less storage memory, no camera.  From what I read and hear, you get good battery life, a relatively speedy browser (speed-enhanced by the Amazon "cloud") a decent email client and apparently there are lots of available android apps. Plus, everything you get with the basic kindle now.  It strikes me as a very good deal.

I like the current format of your blog and look forward to it every day.

Juan Matute

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
       -- Yogi Berra
"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
       -- William Hazlitt
"Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter because nobody listens."
       -- Nick Diamos
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds."
       -- Malaclypse the Younger
"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."
       -- H. L. Mencken

Things to Know - 29 September

1.  Back now to the new name - Liberty Park - near Wall Stree.  Two accounts; one event reporting, and the other more impassioned:,-OccupyWallStreet-AMAZING-speech,-MLK-Jr-would-smile-from-the-grave!-OUR-VOICE!
2.  This NY Times Editorial suggests that Republicant leaders are wrong in their direction to affect economic policy:

3.  Mandatory minimum sentences are clogging up the prison system.  Letting judges decide the sentencing may alleviate problems:

4.  As the lead-in, this column is entitled "Why the Conservatives Hate Warren Buffett".  E.J. Dionne tells us why:

5.  I am tossing this article in for your perusal and feedback.  I am currently "borrowing" my wife's Kindle to read many textbooks for a class that I am auditing.   I am thinking that maybe I will get my own Kindle, and I see that there is this new FIRE on the market.  I don't need a smart phone, or iPad, but I like the idea of a Kindle, but not sure of the other stuff along the way. 
Does any one have any comments that I should consider?:,0,3853012,print.story

6.  Is there a place and limit on which education should rely on on-line instruction?   Here's the opinion of a professor of Electrical Engineering.  I would like to see what a professor of Portuguese and Spanish Literature would have to say:,0,3809015,print.story

Juan Matute

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
       -- Buddha
"I had an epiphany a few years ago where I was out at a celebrity party and it suddenly dawned on me that I had yet to meet a celebrity who is as smart and interesting as any of my friends."
       -- Moby
"Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression."
       -- Amos Bronson Alcott
"He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities."
       -- Robertson Davies
"My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular."
       -- Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things to Know - 28 September

9/28 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Debate replacement


1.  Maureen Dowd has gone from panning Rick Perry and has switched to how to get along with your medical doctor - probably better use of her time

2.  Tom Friedman sees no light at the end of the tunnel between the Palestine and Israel.  In fact he says were are back at the entrance of the tunnel after all of this time:

3.  Judicial opinion fortunately still prevails over states and counties where it was proven that 40 years ago discrimination in voting existed.  The law remains in effect in those jurisdictions, because the discrimination still exists:

4.   Because of his showing in Florida, Herman Cain gets a closer look:

5.  If you missed Lawrence O'Donnell, or you don't watch him on MSNBC, here's his report on the Wall Street protest police abuse:

6.  Here you will find Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore, again on the subject of the Wall Street protests.  This piece actually gets into why the protesting exists, and the question is asked why the media is not covering it - sure they are showing the pepper spray, and arrests, but the frustration that is flowing over and why the young are out there in the streets.  I have a feeling on why the media is not reporting the reasons for the protests, but no time here to talk about it.  Maybe there will be some article that does, and when it's there, I will post it:

7.  Steve Lopez and the other real problems on our plate - Netlix's new policy and rate hikes, the crappy video stores that are left, crappy customer service, and a vestige of the stone age as hope:,0,4122090,print.column

"I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so."
       -- Stephen Leacock
"All phone calls are obscene."
       -- Karen Elizabeth Gordon
"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything."
       -- Charles Kuralt
"Barnum was wrong - it's more like every 30 seconds."
       -- Unknown
"Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths."
       -- Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I lobbied to get onto the email list. And now I'm here. Thank you, Juan Ma2te, thank you.

Fwd: From the Smirking Chimp

Hey...DICK   .....we love you:

Published on The Smirking Chimp (
Ten Reasons to Move Cheney's Book to the Crime Section
By Medea Benjamin
Created Aug 30 2011 - 9:32am

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was given a multi-million contract to write a book about his political career. According to Cheney's media hype, the book, called In My Time, will have "heads exploding all over Washington." The Darth Vader of the Bush administration offers no apologies and feels no remorse. But peace activists around the country are stealthily gearing up to visit bookstores [1], grab a stack of books, and deposit them where they belong—the Crime Section.

Here are ten of Cheney's many offenses to inspire you to move Cheney's book, and to insert these bookmarks [2] explaining why the author of In My Time should be "doin' time."

1. Cheney lied; Iraqis and U.S. soldiers died. As Vice President, Cheney lied about (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's (nonexistent) ties to the 9/11 attack as a way to justify a war with a country that never attacked us. Thanks to Cheney and company, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and over 4,000 American soldiers perished in a war that should never have been fought.

2. Committing War Crimes in Iraq. During the course of the Iraq war, the Bush/Cheney administration violated the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.

3. War profiteering. U.S. taxpayers shelled out about three trillion dollars for the Bush/Cheney wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—a major factor in our nation's present economic meltdown. But Cheney and his cronies at Halliburton made out like bandits, getting billions in contracts for everything from feeding troops in Iraq to constructing the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan to building the infamous Guantanamo prison. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995-2000, leaving for the VP position with a $20 million retirement package, plus millions in stock options and deferred salary. Before the Iraq War began, Halliburton was 19th on the U.S. Army's list of top contractors; with Cheney's help, by 2003 it was number one—increasing the value of Cheney's stocks by over 3,000%.

4. Violating basic rights. Cheney shares responsibility for holding thousands of prisoners without charges and without the fundamental right to the writ of habeas corpus, and for keeping prisoners hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross. He sanctioned kidnapping people and simply rendering them to secret overseas prisons. His authorization of the arbitrary detention of Americans, legal residents, and non-Americans--without due process, without charges, and without access to counsel--was in gross violation of U.S. and international law. A fan of indefinite detention in Guantanamo, Cheney writes in his book that he has been "happy to note" that President Obama failed to honor his pledge to close the Guantánamo prison.

5. Advocating torture. Cheney was a prime mover behind the Bush administration's decision to violate the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture and to break with decades of past practice by the U.S. military by supporting "enhanced interrogation techniques." This led to hundreds of documented cases in Iraq and Afghanistan of abuse, torture and homicide. The torture included the practice known as "water-boarding," a form of simulated drowning. After World War II, Japanese soldiers were tried and convicted [3] of war crimes in US courts for water-boarding. The sanctioning of abuses from the top trickled down, as the whole world saw in the photos from Abu Ghraib, becoming a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and sullying the reputation of our nation.

6. Trying to prolong the Afghan war. Not content with the damage he caused as VP, Cheney continues to encourage more grist for the war machine. In his book he criticizes [4] President Obama's decision to withdraw, by September 2012, the 33,000 additional troops Obama sent to Afghanistan in 2009. He has also cautioned Obama not to pull out all the troops from Afghanistan at the planned date of 2014. "I don't think we need to run for the exits," he told [5] Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

7. Abusing executive privilege: Cheney used executive privilege to refuse to comply with over a dozen Congressional subpoenas related to improper firing of Federal attorneys, torture, election violations and exposing—for political retribution--the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative working on sensitive WMD proliferation.

8. Spying on us. Cheney was the mastermind behind the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program that spied on thousands, perhaps millions of American citizens on American soil. This massive government interference with personal phone calls and emails was in violation of FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the Federal Telecommunications Act, and 4th Amendment of the Constitution.

9. Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. When Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, the company skirted the law against investing in Iran by using a phony offshore subsidiary. Once VP, however, Cheney advocated bombing Iran. "I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues," Cheney said [6] in response to questions about whether the Bush administration should have launched a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities prior to handing over the White House to Barack Obama. Cheney thinks Obama is too soft on Iran, and has said that the only way for diplomacy with Iran to work is if Obama also threatens to bomb [7] the country. Negotiations are "bound to fail unless we are perceived as very credible" in threatening military action against Iran, he said. It seems that wars with Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, plus drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen, are not enough to satisfy Cheney's war addiction. But wait, there's more….

10. Favored bombing Syria—and North Korea—instead of negotiating. One of the key anecdotes in Cheney's memoir is his recollection of a session with the National Security Council in 2007, when he advised Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site. "After I finished," he writes, "the president asked, 'Does anyone here agree with the vice president?' Not a single hand went up around the room." Luckily, Cheney's advice was dismissed in favor of a diplomatic approach (although the Israelis bombed the site in September 2007). As for North Korea, in his book, Cheney calls former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice naive [8] for trying to forge a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea.

Enough? Since President Obama is not interested in holding Cheney accountable, the least we can do is show our disgust by dumping his books in the Crime section and inserting this bookmark [9]. And if you happen to be lucky and catch one of Cheney's book signings, bring along a pair of handcuffs.

Juan Matute

"A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants."
       -- Harry S. Truman
"Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence."
       -- Frank Zappa
"Television is for appearing on - not for looking at."
       -- Noel Coward
"The great thing about television is that if something important happens anywhere in the world, day or night, you can always change the channel."
       -- From "Taxi"
"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself."
       -- Sir Richard Francis Burton

The Marvels of Public Transit

Thoughts on Driving under the influence


As you know some of us have had brushes with the authorities on our way home in recent months.  Well, I for one have done something about it. The other night I was out for a dinner and a few drinks with some friends.  So, after having far too much vino, and knowing full well I was wasted, I did something I've never done before. I took a bus home.  I arrived home safely and without incident, which was a real surprise, as I have never driven a bus before.


Juan Matute

"You talk to God, you're religious. God talks to you, you're psychotic."
       -- Doris Egan
"It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours."
       -- Harry S Truman
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."
       -- David Russell
"The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children."
       -- Clarence Darrow
"I spent a year in that town, one Sunday."
       -- George Burns

Fwd: Things to Know - 26 September

1.  E.J. Dionne offers his opinion that only conservatives can abolish the death penalty:

2.  For a change of pace, here is Paul Krugman speaking to the economic problems that the Euro Nation is having with its members who are dragging down the others - which is why are experiencing problems on this side of the pond:

3.  Boy, this will be a real interesting GOP battle.  The candidates will be on a trajectory of who can be more RIGHT that the other, and then...and then, who can out DEVIL the other:  This picture is rated NFMA - Not For Mature Audiences:

4.  This is the only news item for Sunday that the NY Times has on the protest in the financial district near Wall Street.   It's about pepper spray being used on non-violent or peaceful participants.   What is curiously troubling is that this newspaper, and others, are staying as far away as they can from reporting the reason for the protest, and who is doing the protesting.  The "disturbance" may be losing steam, since there were only about 200 people on hand (reported by Business Week), down from 1,000 when it got started.

5.  Steve Lopez brings us a story of one man, struggling with unemployment, getting a part-time job, and still struggling with the help of food stamps and a great attitude, and charitable assistance.  He's lucky, in a sense, it could be said.  Multiply this scenario a few million times, some with and some without the same assistance, and we see how fragile life is right now.  It would not take much for whatever is helping him hold on to collapse.  Is there a rich person out there to hire him, or should there be a bigger platform for him and all the others that would give more of an opportunity?:,0,5116521,print.column

The problem with a great idea in a compassionate state in this economy.  Financial aid for the undocumented to attend college/university competing for the same dollars with the general population:,0,181589.story

7.  Political Power in the county of Los Angeles as laid out by the separate representative districts has definite economic and ethnic impact.  One supervisor is suggests that redrawing lines to create one "Latino" district has its merits, while the other supervisors are cool to the idea for various reasons - mostly an apparent erosion of a predictable base of support.  Those of you readers in Fayette County, Georgia in the at-large system would not know what this speaks to:,0,5301726,print.column

8.  Closing out this morning, Doyle McManus reviews the pluses and minuses of the GOP debates so far.  There are nine more left.  He suggests that at if they continue in their present trend, the Republicants are not doing themselves any favors.  I would suggest that the best thing the GOP could do would ban any TV coverage, and prohibit any member of the media to be present to cover their talking points.   But then, what would that say about what is going on in the GOP right now?:,0,7799455,print.column

"The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum."
       -- Havelock Ellis
"Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away."
       -- Robert Orben
"'Who are you and how did you get in here?' 'I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith.'"
       -- Leslie Nielsen
"It is better to be quotable than to be honest."
       -- Tom Stoppard

Sign of the Time

Just couldn't wait.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

I could not wait until tomorrow for this one.  It came to me after I sent my stuff out this morning.  I think that this is what the election will be all about:
(do you notice that Huntsman is not among the loonies?)


"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?"
       -- Lilly Tomlin
"Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know."
       -- Cullen Hightower
"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news."
       -- A. J. Liebling
"Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves."
       -- Robert Anton Wilson
"The report of my death was an exaggeration."
       -- Mark Twain

Our College Course in Philosophy

Do you forget Kant, Rousseau, Plato, Aristotle, and the rest ?     Fear not......just remember these great words of wisdom:

SOME WORDS FOR YOU FROM ME!... STRESS - you can do without it

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... "How heavy is this glass of water?", she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've conquered!"

1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it..

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well.Just get up and dance..

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone thought about you today.

20 * It was me, your friend! 

*Save the earth -- It's the only planet with Beer and Chocolate!*

Juan Matute

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress."
-- John Adams

" If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
-- Mark Twain
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself."
-- Mark Twain
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
-- Winston Churchill

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Things To Know - Sept 27

The Musings of one Juan Matute.

1.  Class Warfare.  This will get you going this morning.  Libertarians will chafe at some of the points presented, but great stuff to get the discussion going:

2.  Migrant farm workers, both illegal and legal are at the short end of a stick when it comes to fairness in picking crops (tomatoes) in this case.  There is move afoot to protest at Trader Joe's Monrovia, California headquarters to make us all aware of what is going on out there.  Read about if here:

3.  David Brooks gets on a platform to get above the morass of class warfare and band aid stimulus.  He makes sense, but he has no way of convincing anyone on either side to turn anything he says into public policy,  Besides, no one is going to listen to him anyway:

4.  If you think Brooks may be too far up into the clouds, then get down and comfortable with this opinion that points out that reforming Medicare could also mean going after the fraud perpetrated by those on the health care-provider side who scam the system in billions and billions of dollars:

5.  Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post laments on how the GOP is all messed up, by its own creation, in finding a viable candidate.  Apparently, the buzz is how to get the Gov. of New Jersey (Christie) to change his mind and run.  Apparently the person who is going to run against Obama has not been found yet:

6.  Up in Berkeley (The Albany of the Bay Area) the Republican students at UCB (yes, there are some), having taking to satire to demonstrate their displeasure with the admissions  policy of the University of California.  They got their message out, but not sure what they netted at the end of the day:,0,7764432,print.story

Juan Matute
"The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum."
       -- Havelock Ellis
"Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away."
       -- Robert Orben
"'Who are you and how did you get in here?' 'I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith.'"
       -- Leslie Nielsen
"It is better to be quotable than to be honest."
       -- Tom Stoppard

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things to Know - 25 September


1.  For those of you who know what is going on in downtown NY City, this is redundant.   For those of you who are not, you should know.  There is a peaceful protest going on right now near Wall Street.  The protesters are mostly unemployed, highly intelligent, college/university students and graduates.  They seem to be protesting (1) the 1% on Wall Street of their generation who are messing with the other 99% and (2) Our system of government that is not meeting the expectations of the new generation.   For the most part, the national media is not reporting this protest.  You do not see it on the evening news, and I have yet to see it reported in any major news paper, even though it has been going on for some time now.   The question to be asked is if this is just a momentary display of frustration, or the seeds of a coming resolution.   All would be wise to keep an eye on the events in NY.  I am passing this link on from an organization that I belonged to before I went to college, and whose members still stay in contact:
(when you click on the link, you will have to click on the huffingtonpost again)

2.  Here's Maureen Dowd talking about two former front-runners of GOPdebacle.  They used to be out in front until Herman Cain beat them both in a Florida straw poll.  It will be interesting to see how the the racist element with the Tea Baggers take to this turn of events.  The Republican Party is taking on the disciplined structure of a Jackson Pollock painting:

3.  The NY Times has given time to a professor of History from Georgetown University to present his paper on a bit of history where the populist Left did indeed improve the lot of many millions of Americans, and how it has stumbled around since the post WW 2 era. The liberal "left" now finds itself in a malaise as the drift-to-the-extreme right conservatives are powering up, a suggestion on what is needed to either regain or attain political parity:

4.  There is this news story in Sunday's NY Times about the protest that is ongoing in the city's financial district.   Eighty people arrested for the usual stuff that gets protesters arrested.  80 people is no small number.  It seems that the protest is gaining strength each day, in spite of the chicken-shit rules that have been erected (no sleeping bags or camping equipment allowed in the area), and does not show any sign of going away soon:

5.  Here's your predictable editorial from the NY Times on Obama's Medicare reform proposal:

6.  Ross Douthat is obviously enamored with the justice provided by the death penalty.   His statement that .."it is healthy for a society to have a fear of having executed an innocent person", presupposes that it is healthy to kill a guilty person,,,or that it healthy to kill no matter.   He goes on to say how Troy Davis received all sorts legal assistance along the way (which is very expensive).   If Mr. Douthat cannot put his arms around the inhumanity of killing, maybe he would understand that it costs more to process a death row inmate to execution, than it is to lock 'em up and put away the key:

7.  Steve Lopez on the on-going problems besetting the LA Unified School district as they head to opening day:,0,7436852,print.column


"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
       -- Herm Albright
"Living hell is the best revenge."
       -- Adrienne E. Gusoff
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."
       -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of."
       -- Douglas Adams

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Things to Know - 24 September

9/25 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Execution


1.  As the Republicant Party drifts further to the right, the position mantra of George Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism" has been abandoned.  This column speaks to that:

2.  We go through life, and accept things from science as pretty irrefutable, that is until they are refuted.   We have all lived with the premise that the speed of light is the ultimate event of science that is the fastest thing around.  Well, hang on, that is now under review:

3.  Time to really upset your day, and pass this on to you.  This piece elaborates on the extremists' goals in hijacking the GOP to the point of doing away with the Democracy of the Constitution and installing an oligarchy or plutocracy,     To them, the one-man-one-vote concept is ....well, they don't even bring that concept up.  Their concept is that voting should only be allowed by people who own property, and are not poor, and....well, go on and throw up now:

4.  The Republicant "debates" are interesting from the standpoint of several things, mostly about how things are said, or not said, but not much of what is said.  Substance is not their game.  Many GOP operatives cringe every time the crowd reacts with cruelty on live TV.  I keep wondering why Porky Newt hangs around, and I've figured it out that he's aspiring to a VP slot, that's gotta be it.  Anyway Gail Collins opines on the dismal display of talent:

5.  Charles Blow talks about a program in West Harlem that teaches, protects, houses, and trains children to be productive and good citizens.   The military pays about $800,000 for one Sparrow missile.  Those missiles are popped off at a good clip in and around the 10-year war.  Some hit a target, some don't.  When that $800,000 weapon blows up, it's done for....gone.....nothing left.   What you say we don't make those missiles any more by stopping the 10-year military complex war games, and take that same expenditure and fund stuff like the Broadway Housing Communities and the Dorothy Day Apartments.  The return on investment is much better, so much better:

6.  All of you present and retired teachers will understand this next piece.  One has to wonder, if given the adequate resources (class size, resources, and realistic budgets) things would improve.  For now, this is just another example of a shitty day in the shadow of neglect of all our schools:,0,5562486,print.column

7.  Reform is not necessarily replacing something with a better system.  Case in point:,0,7389754,print.story


"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."
       -- Marilyn Monroe
"An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations."
       -- Charles de Montesquieu
"The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky."
       -- Solomon Short
"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2."
       -- Grabel's Law

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things to Know - 23 September

9/23 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Two-state solution


1.  This is an interesting piece.  Not sure what to make of it.  The writer makes Joe Bageant seem like a Centrist (almost).  In any event, it is worth reading just to reveal that what you think is a "Leftist" attitude is trumped by something more extreme.  There are some scary postulations in this column, and it kind of makes you wonder.  Then, when you get to the bottom, you see that this guy is a professor at Hofstra University.  It is presented to you as something to keep your mind open to all kinds of perceptions, and maybe inspire us to get moving to prove him wrong on a few points:

2. More on "Class Warfare" by Richard Wolff:

3.  What the Rick Perry possibility means to the Canadians:

4.  This thing on taxes and "class warfare" is going to be repeated every day, by different writers with different perspectives.  The Republicants have got themselves boxed in a marginalized corner that is going to very difficult, nay impossible, from which to mount a respectable defense.  Chiming in today is Paul Krugman, sniping from his Nobel Prize Laureate vantage point:

5.  NY Editorial.  The Treasonist Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, has called Rick Perry's bluff.   I guess that shall shortly we will see the Texas Rangers riding to the nation's capitol to "treat him pretty ugly"...right?:

6.  Timothy Egan, on the environment, dumb people saying harmful things, and looking for a real reason to be passionate enough to work hard enough to win an election:

7.  I must admit, that I do not watch the so-called GOP presidential debates.  I take in a few reviews or second-hand observations.  I have more important things to do, like put out the trash, and check the evening sky for an impending 6-ton piece of junk landing on my head.  So, this piece is what I take away from the latest GOP cluster-kerfuffle:

8.  Last Saturday, I attended my old college alma mater's football game, an NCAA Division 3 affair of the SCIAC (Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Conference).  Let me assure you, that nothing has changed since I went there.  I was watching future teachers, medical professionals, lawyers, bankers, and maybe even a scientist or writer all suited up in football paraphernalia, playing an opposing team of about the same mixture.  I can assure you that there were no NFL scouts, recruiters, or any professional sports interests there.  It was just plain football.  The coaches are not making obscene millions of dollars to run a multi-million dollar program to bring in multi-million dollars from doting alumni. Just just two amateur athletic teams giving the participants a venue to participate in the good old small-college tradition of football.   This column by David Brooks, speaks to the other end of the spectrum where the learning institutions of the Division 1 and maybe some Division 2 athletic programs take advantage of all the money being thrown around - where the "student-athletes" could actually be called employees, but are really compensated under the table, and masquerade as amateurs.  Kids in those programs actually get an education (some times), but are trashed when they are no longer productive.....and perish the thought if they try to get Workers Comp when they get hurt.   Oh, by the way, back to my old Pomona College football game....Lewis and Clark (an Oregon school) beat Pomona - 49 to 38.  Well, there's always the next game to work to:

9.  I hate to close out on a bummer, but I gotta get it out quickly, or some guy up in Albany has to re-arrange his day:,0,1883275,print.column

Juan Matute

"When I told my doctor I couldn't afford an operation, he offered to touch-up my X-rays."
       -- Henny Youngman
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death."
       -- Joan D. Vinge
"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work."
       -- Richard Bach
"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."
       -- Benjamin Franklin
"If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had the power - would be justified in silencing mankind."
       -- John Stuart Mill

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things to Know - 22 September

1.  The LA Times editorial is for Rick Perry's perusal, that is unless the swaggering Texan has closed his mind out of cranial austerity budgeting to accommodate limited resources:,0,4611857.story

2.  Reaganomics and its effect on us now:

3.  The Rich, Tax Cuts, Corporations, and Job Creation.  By the way, John Boehner keeps referring to the wealthy, scions, and captains of industry as the "job creators".  Should this term "job creation" also include the people who desperately need money (the unemployed and poor)?   If they had the money in their hands, somebody out there would immediately want to sell them what they have the money to buy.   Right now, corporations are sitting on a boatload of cash, but they are not doing any job creation.  Do you suppose that if they had more loopholes or tax breaks that this would inspire them to create jobs - no, no, no.   Not until someone is out there with the money to buy will there be any inspiration of manufacture to sell.  So, really who is creating the job?  The guy with all the money now, and not doing anything, or the guy out there who has postponed buying or can't buy because he has no money?  The chicken or the egg?:

4.  A while back, the federal government took charge of General Motors to save it.  Has anyone checked in on them lately, GM is doing quite well; making better vehicles, and employing thousands.   Ownership is back in private hands now.   Cries of "Socialism" and a bunch of nasty slogans were heaped on the Obama administration for what it did.  Do we hear any of that now?   No.  Not a peep:

5.  Elizabeth Warren is out campaigning for a Senate seat in Massachusetts.  This woman scares the pants off of the Wall Street financiers because of the way she makes common sense in explaining their rip off schemes.  Now she is taking her clear and populist message to the voters, and her opponents will be flummoxed in figuring how to counter her.  Yes, Flummoxed, I say!!:

6.  Let's see where this issue in Virginia, and a few other states, related to states enacting legislation that does not require them to obey a federal mandate goes.  It happened before and it ended in a bloody conflict called the Civil War:

7.  This NY Times editorial cuts to the chase and succinctly lays out the high and main points of Obama's American Jobs Act:

8.  California state taxes, as this writer applies the Warren Buffett rule, is not the same.   However, I beg to differ.  If reform of state taxes is in order, which it is, start with eliminating the two-tier tax system of Prop.13:,0,5846608,print.column


"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one."
       -- Elbert Hubbard
"Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does."
       -- Bill Nye
"Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor."
       -- Laurence J. Peter
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
       -- W. C. Fields

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things to Know - 21 September

9/21 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Clemency denied


1.   If any of you saw Robert Reich on the "Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" the other night. you missed an animated and enthusiastic Robert Reich opine on Obama and his presentation of the Jobs Act:

2.  Going to try and add a new contributor the this digest.  We'll see how it goes:

3.  Once someone it is set that someone is to be executed, the process works like a glacier.  Not that it is slow, but it seems like it cannot be stopped, even in the face of doubt, recanted testimony, or errors in the prosecution:

4.  Mr. Friedman is not happy with the Republicants, but he's not enamored with Obama's plan.  He would like to see some entitlements cut back on his American Jobs Act.  Maybe Obama would make some compromises on those, and maybe he will, but he is smart to not show his before the bill is discussed.  Maybe Tommy should have thought about that before he wrote is column for today:

5.  As stated before-"all men are created equal" not economically equal.  One way to obtain voter parity is for those wealthy people who want to remain rich and get richer, is to craft public policy so that they get what they want while the poor have to find their own way.  This is how it is done

6.  Michelle Bachmann is not having a good week:

7.  Steve Lopez on the subject of what the LA Unified School District is doing to get by on smaller budgets - close the school libraries.   Maybe we should remember that a school is a place of learning.   Maybe the school system should consider stopping the fielding of football teams, and subsititute soccer teams.  Soccer is less expensive, and appeals to a wider range of participants.  The closing of the school's archives of knowledge is contrary it the school's mission:,0,1159048,print.column

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one."
       -- Elbert Hubbard
"Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does."
       -- Bill Nye
"Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor."
       -- Laurence J. Peter
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
       -- W. C. Fields

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one."
       -- Elbert Hubbard
"Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does."
       -- Bill Nye
"Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor."
       -- Laurence J. Peter
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
       -- W. C. Fields

Juan Matute

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one."
       -- Elbert Hubbard
"Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does."
       -- Bill Nye
"Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor."
       -- Laurence J. Peter
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
       -- W. C. Fields

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things to Know - 20 September

1.  Is this now the line in the sand from which Obama is finally going to stand up and fight for - I hope so.  In doing so, it may be necessary to call out the dithering Republicants by name as the ones who are coddling the wealthy.  Point out who the wealthy are, how much they are making, and what percentage, loopholes, and obligations and lack of sacrifice they are avoiding.  Take it to them...yes, it is class warfare.  The Rich have been getting richer, while the middle class is being squeezed.  By the way.....are there any sons and daughters of the rich out here in the battlefield of the Afghanistan...or are they able to scrape by with other employment and compensation somewhere out of harms way?:

2.  Obviously, David Brooks is not on board with Obam's Monday message.   I do hope that in the ensuing discussion, that the cards are laid out on the table for all to see how the wealth in this country has shot like a rocket to the upper 2%.  The one-tenth of the top 1% will make you wonder.  Most people think that a CEO or bank president makes about $500,000 per year.  Think again....try 8 to 14 MILLION a year.  If this income bracket paid the same effective percentage of taxes that the average troll does, you would also ask for fairness:

3.  American corporations and their executives are making big bucks.   Their USA workers are not, because they have none. They are working off shore in other countries.  Is this an imbalance?  Is this right?  Check this suggestions to level things and correct a very unpatriotic situation:

4.  Dana Millbank's take on Obama's message.  Not much to say, except that he credits the president with coming to the battle with a full suit of armor.  By the way, is the best that the Republicants can come up with is "Class Warfare" ?.   What is class warfare?  And also, what is wrong with class warfare?:

5.  This column says that "it was remarkable that justice was reached in four short years"....really?  Some guy, under the influence of drugs, driving a boat up through San Francisco Bay, hits a bridge support, and the boat spills 53,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil, causing severe damage to the environment.  The guy gets 10 months in a federal slammer, and his company, four years later pays out a settlement.  Meanwhile, some guy in some town nearby the Bay, misses a house payment, gets foreclosed, and loses everything.  Justice?:,0,4826817,print.story

6. It's editorials like this that makes Boehner's "no increase in taxes" blovations difficult to swallow.  The uber-rich are getting marginalized and if graphic discussions get more revealing, the Republicants will find themselves in an indefensible position.  People who are hurting, people who are fearful of holding on, and people who want to see fairness, will demand.   The Republicants should grasp this now and work it out, rather than trot out the old "class warfare" act:,0,852158,print.story

"Life doesn't imitate art. It imitates bad television.""
       -- Woody Allen
"I hope that when I die, people say about me, 'Boy, that guy sure owed me a lot of money.'"
       -- Jack Handey
"Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."
       -- Franklin P. Adams
"If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time."
       -- Edith Wharton
"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis."
       -- Margaret Bonnano

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fwd: Stuff to Know on 19 September

1.  Obama has a problem with Solyndra, a campaign donor in a risky Green project making solar panels, that has gone bankrupt.  But, as this Washington Post Editorial points out, there is egg on faces all around.  Crap is an equal opportunity experience:

2.  The issue of activities related to the 2nd Amendment always pop up.  Now, it comes up as allowing people to "pack heat" anywhere.  Okay, guns are fine - they help start revolutions, and stop revolts, usually by killing.  Everyone except law enforcement officers should not be allowed to pack heat.  Okay, hunters can carry a rifle, but there ought to be a law that says that there needs to be a wild game animal at least within 5 miles (or so).  Guns are just a dumb mechanical device.  People are complicated animals, and the difference between a law-abiding citizen and a felon is the nano-second pull of a trigger that launches a bullet:

3.  Bill Keller, the former Editor of the NY Times, is now a weekly contributor to the op-ed page.  His piece today is reflective of what he sees at the political landscape of today, and what to make of it, with his opinion on how it is to be seen and a bit as to how it should be received and where it should go:

4.  Paul Krugman.  Continuing to just pass on the NY Times Opinion page to you....well, why not?:

5.  Paul Volker - a man who has been there before - cautions against making policy by doing something stupid.  Stupid is no good public policy:

6.  Cruel and Unusual?   Not quite punishment, but moving one's residence from Kona, Hawaii to the Tehachapi Mountains of California, is not punishment, but a chance to survive the creep of development.  Trading the landscape and climate of the Kona coast for Tehachapi is inhumane, but if you are a donkey in search of a place where no one is going to bother you, it's fine.   In the realm of politics, you don't see any Republicans being airlifted to California, but the Transpacific migration of Donkeys has started:,0,7616199,print.story

7.  A Business Section writer for the LA Times opens up and out on Rick Perry's Social Security platf

8.  Closing out today, we have a request to check into the conduct of the Supreme Court's Mr. Happy:,0,1831761,print.story

Juan Matute

"The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work."
       -- Robert Frost
"An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living."
       -- Nicholas Chamfort
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."
       -- Henry J. Tillman
"A motion to adjourn is always in order."
       -- Robert Heinlein