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Closing Gitmo.  No more torture.  Open the files.  Stop Halliburton's rape of our treasury.  Get past the psycho-secrecy of the Bush gang.  Interact with international friends and less-than-friends [not talking is what starts most wars], return to sanity in international relations, solidify PanAmerican relations, improve the Bush bail-out plan and try to help those in need not those in greed.  Do not reward corporations for taking their operations overseas and failing to pay taxes in the U.S. [obvious, but not done before].  Listen to all sides of an issue and do not exclude even the goofy neocons.  Iraq was doomed for break-up as soon as we invaded, get us out!  Pakistan is the major problem in the Middle East, and thanks for finally having the U.S. recognize and acknowledge it.  Create a fairer progressive tax structure.  As much as possible, get us to universal healthcare.  Frequent news conferences is a welcomed change.  If there is a problem, go directly to it as you did with the CIA, the troops in Iraq, the heavily damaged auto workers, etc.  You have taken on the office of the President of the United States in remarkable fashion, and have been nothing short of a miracle in managing to keep the ship of state afloat amid the plethora of problems left to you by one of the worst administrations in our nation's history.

Most of all, please know President Obama, that you are certainly a breath of fresh air after the horrors of the past 8 years.  The U.S. is once again garnering some respect in the world.  Your example is not only reassuring but it is up-lifting.  Thank you.


 The biggest threat by the federal government to our individual freedoms and liberties have come from the right-wing.  History gives us a multitude of examples.

Henry Ford, duPont, and other American industrialists sought to have the U.S. government give unfettered freedom to big business so it could rape the average citizen as Mussolini and Hitler had done in Italy and Germany.  Corporate behemoths have always leaned more in the direction of fascism than social democracy.  And no system of givernment ever interfered in the lives of citizens the way fascism did.  Interference in private lives also brought about the slaughter of six million Jews by the right-wing in Germany.  Fascism decimated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.  American industrialists and right-wingers helped put Hitler in power.

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Who am I?  After a lifelong history of speeches, writing, service on about 40 not-for-profit boards, and many diverse activities in North America and Europe, it seems judging me can come from reading a couple of my blogs.  Of course that is nonsense, but it comes as part of the territory in the blog world.  So be it.  Below are a number of sentences that begin with FACTS about my life followed by conclusions quickly drawn by many ...far too many.

He knew the Martin Luther King family; therefore he must be African-American.  Wrong.

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"Resilience" is a new book written by Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate, John Edwards.  In it she reveals many personals feelings and reactions to cancer, her husband's infidelity, etc.  Critics comment about what this is doing to impact her children.  I would ask these critics to take a good, close look at Elizabeth Edwards, consider her total life, observe her actions as a mother, wife, and special woman; and then think that she cannot objectively evaluate the feelings of her own kids.  Please!

President Barack Obama is giving the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame.  Political, religious, and self-elevating critics say it is wrong for this Roman Catholic university to have him speak because of his stance on abortion and stem cell research.  I would suggest that these critics take a good,, close look at their own church's immoral history, their own political party's immoral history, and their own life's history (inner and outer).  "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone," said Jesus.  Mr. Obama has given a great deal of personal service to the underserved and forgotten people in society, often forgotten by the church.  Compare his service to Notre Dame speakers of the past.  (However I continue to worry about the President's personal safety, especially among these nutcases)

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From time to time something about faith or religion hits the news with such an explosiveness that people drop their theological guard for a moment and are forced to deal with the reality of their man-made religious "beliefs."   It has happened over and over and over through the years, but we seem to have a need to go back to our old witchcraft or hocus-pocus.

The rapes of young boys by Catholic priests are but one current example.  The death of a youngster whose parents refuse medical help and pray their way to the child's demise would be another.  But there are many.  When a disaster like a hurricane or war carnage or plane crashes happen, "people of God" tell us that it is part of God's plan that is unknown to us at this time...but they are exactly certain about God's plans when something good happens.  We should have grown out of these irrational pretensions when we left the caves.  They are silly because they are man-made myths about something we call "spiritual."  What we know is so little, and these "certain" declarations from Rome or Mecca or Lhasa or Jerusalem are but shallow pretenses contrived out of a need to try and explain the unknown.  And we have done a terrible job with these myths through the ages.

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Boo!  The tax spooks are everywhere.  High taxes, government interference, socialized medicine, unpatriotic, labor unions and myriad of other scare tactics are used to camouflage the real problem facing America's economy: corporate and individual greed.  Your economic and health care future is bleak because of one major reason: dishonest capitalism...not all capitalism, dishonest and greed-laden capitalism.

Do you know how many bankruptcies are due to medical bills?  Yet when it comes to solving this horrible problem by using single-payer health care, the insurance and pharmaceutical giants pull out their biggest guns [money] and scare you and buy politicians.  No other industrialized country in the world has anything other than a single-payer system.  Fiscal ruin because of medicine and health care is unique to the United States.  Are all the other industrialized nations wrong?  No, we are the one that is out of step.  If you want to know the truth about national insurance, ask somebody who actually lived in one of those countries; do not listen to the propaganda of the greedy insurance and pharmaceutical money-grabbers.  As one of my friends said after living in a country that actually DID have socialized medicine: when I get back to the U.S. my doctor is going to hear from me; I have never been treated with such dignity and concern as in this foreign country.

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Thank you again President Obama for your superb intelligence and insight.  You are a shining beacon of hope to Americans who deal in the REAL world.  Putting aside the selfish, devious, and conservative expressions of past presidents, you have selected a woman to fill the Supreme Court vacancy who brings more experience and wisdom to the highest bench than anyone currently serving there.  Not one of the current Supreme Court Justices can match her credentials.  Oh, how she will lift the Court out of the morass of Scalia and Thomas!

Sonia Sotomayor is a woman and a Hispanic, to be sure.  And it is good that those two factions are represented on the Court.  But summa cum laude from Princeton and a leading role at Yale Law School puts her in a unique position.  Bringing her humble beginnings, bringing her amazing accomplishments against horrendous odds, bringing her intellect, bringing her experience, and bringing her uniquely American touch to the Court transcends that of any recent nominee.

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When Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court by a Republican president in 1991, conservatives eagerly pointed to his humble roots, his black color, and his EMPATHY for people.  The conservatives dared Democrats to vote against an African-American nominee, even though Thomas had sold his soul and background to right-wing bigots.  My, how things have changed when a liberal president nominates a Supreme Court candidate, and casually mentions empathy as an important ingredient to understand people of all economic and social class that may come before the Court.

Shame on the two-faced conservative hypocrites!  However it is nothing surprising when it comes to right-wingers and hypocrisy.  Think of the Clinton impeachment leaders: Henry Hyde and Newt Gingrich, both admitted adulterers.  Think of Geroge Bush wearing his religion and patriotism on his sleeve, even though his own military "career" includes avoiding Vietnam combat by getting his father to pull strings... and even then he couldn't report for duty for long periods of time, fringing on being a deserter; think of this self-proclaimed Christian lying over and over and over to the American say nothing of Bush and Cheney, both contriving to stay out of  military action themselves and yet having no qualms about sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to fight an illegal war in Iraq.  Disgusting!

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