“Backing CIA, Cheney Ramps Up Criticism of Senate Report” (TIMES, 12/14/14)

December 18, 2014

The question for historians is: was Dick Chaney a “Shadow President,” the one really holding the reins of the presidency?That’s where the investigation should go.

Is there any record of the many breakfast meetings Bush had to endure with this modern stormtrooper?

A. Garavente

“The Unifying Leader” David Brooks (TIMES, 11/25/14)

December 18, 2014

     Moderate conservative David Brooks is on the loose again, urging us to create a “culture of cooperation.” And we are all to blame, Democrats, Independents, and (what’s that other party?)…oh yeah…Republicans.

As we used to say in Brooklyn: “Tell it to the Marines!”

How do you deal with a prominent Republican who introduced a bill to Congress, then voted against it?

Once again, Brooks sounds like a middle school teacher pleading with close-minded pols intent on sabotaging the democratic process.

A. Garavente

“Hagel Submits Resignation as Defense Chief Under Pressure” (TIMES, 11/24/14)

December 18, 2014

Firing Hagel, a “soft” Secretary of Defense, is the logical conclusion of a very slow removal of our troops from Afghanistan. They could have all been out soon after Obama was re-elected in 2012.

But, as the old adage has it, “those who hesitate are lost.” No wonder so many people are claiming that Obama is a lame duck (though he is president for 25 more months), plenty of time to exercise his executive clout.

If Obama uses the veto to stop the machinations of a reactionary GOP, the Republicans don’t have the votes to override it.

So, he can stop trembling before the Blue Dogs and worrying about electing Hilary Clinton as the next president. Obama’s first priority is to continue fighting for his objectives.

A. Garavente

“In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat” (TIMES, 11/22/14)

December 18, 2014

No, the American people have not learned that “It’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them!” The majority of those who bother to vote continue to stumble in the dark.

And our troops continue to wallow in the quagmire Donald Rumsfeld swore would not happen in Afghanistan.

 And the situation in Iraq is coming apart at the seams.

And onetime Republican presidential choice John McCain advocates fighting for a hundred years, “if necessary.”

And the warfare has spread to Syria.

And Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has a more “muscular foreign policy” than the sitting president.

Question for the GOP patriots: will the 2016 presidential candidate be a senior officer from the armed forces?

A. Garavente

“How to Buy an Election” by Lee Fang (THE NATION, 11/10/14)

November 6, 2014

Maybe I am getting too old (I’ll be 83 on November 30th) to read your publication, but it is losing its interest (and the small type doesn’t help matter very much). Per Cataluna indeed! What percentage of your readers remember the Spanish Civil War?

And after the election results of November 4th, isn’t it obvious that U.S. democracy is getting worse? Elections, as Lee Fang stated, are being purchased. The two-party system stinks out loud!

The workingclass has to be rallied as the 4th major party to do battle with the Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. That would be the best way to expand the electorate.

Stop the rightward drift. The road to victory is on the left.

A. Garavente

“Why Partyism Is Wrong” by David Brooks (TIMES, 10/26/14)

October 30, 2014

Leave it to David Brooks, the moderate conservative, to muddy the waters!

Many other rural people “defend gun rights” because they are guided by the gun lobby or have seen too many films by Clint Eastwood or Sylvester Stallone.

Are the critics of the NRA motivated by “urban snobbery” or are they horrified by crazies armed with automatic weapons and trigger-happy police officers.

We get little wisdom from cherry-pickers like Brooks.

A. Garavente

A CALL TO ACTION, ANTHONY GARAVENTE

October 21, 2014

I was first eligible to vote in 1952 but neglected to do so because I was unaware of that fact. Born on November 30, 1931, I was not twenty-one years old on Election Day 1952; therefore I did not cast a ballot, thus depriving Adlai Stevenson of one more vote. According to the voting regulations at the time, any twenty-year-old citizen whose birthday was in November was eligible to vote. Had I been more active politically, surely I would have known that.

In the 1970’s, as a more astute voter and a member of the Peace and Freedom Party, I helped get the 26th Amendment passed, which lowered the age requirement to eighteen. There were great expectations then that broadening the electorate would strengthen American democracy. Alas, that did not turn out to be true! With only about 54% of the voting age population actually casting ballots, the claim that the United States is a democratic country can be called into question especially when it is realized that the workingclass is virtually disfranchised. That means workers cannot do much to improve the economic conditions in this country, When elections are held, more and more of them are absenting themselves from the proceedings.

Something has to be done to rectify this deplorable situation! And we should not have to wait until the Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives. It is unlikely that such will be the case anytime soon. Moreover, the Republican advantage is only a slim one therefore a Unified minority of Democrats in the House could force a breakthrough in the political arena.

The best way to mobilize that Democratic minority is by advocating the implementation of a second New Deal. There is already considerable evidence that Democrats are ready to try a program of deficit financing, but the more conservative leaders of the party are hesitant. Pump-priming resembles socialism, these Blue Dogs growl. The first New Deal saved capitalism. Weren’t the first measures aimed at strengthening the American banking system?

It should also be kept in mind that there are some Republicans who would support government job programs like the measures Franklin D. Roosevelt advocated in the 1930s. With a small dose of courage, we could do it again.

A. Garavente

Hazing in Sayreville, N.J. ” (TIMES, 10/20/14)

October 21, 2014

Hazing is rape school!

That is so for the perpetrators, the victims and the “spectators.” Just reading about hazing can be a sexual stimulant to some people.

Big “children” learn that they can “fool around” with smaller ones; seniors can grope freshmen. They learn that rape is a demonstration of male prowess.

It is often the case that a rapist beats up the victim after having his orgasm (or not having one).

A thorough investigation of the football team, the coaching staff and the school administration is essential.

A. Garavente

“Revenge of the Unforgiven” by Paul Krugman (TIMES, 10/13/13)

October 13, 2014

Paul Krugman asks why there is no growth in the economy.

Could it be because we have been in a depression, not a “Great Recession”? The latter term is as useless as “”interrelationship”!

Slow growth or no growth would be more likely in a period of depression than in a time of recession.

Didn’t Krugman publish a book in the fall of 2012 entitled: “Stop This Depression NOW!”?

A. Garavente

“End the U.S. Embargo on Cuba” (TIMES, 10/12/14)

October 13, 2014

Yes, opening normal relations with Cuba is a great deal!

But the President has to move on this quickly, before the reactionaries in the Republican Party can organize an effective blocking action.

If Obama drags his feet, not only will he look weak, it might be an opportunity missed. Then, the Cuban government might turn to Russia and China for tighter relationships.

A. Garavente


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