The Talking Dog "Sure, the dog can talk…but does it say anything interesting?" He ain't The Man's best friend

I’m not quite dead

Given my posting frequencies of late, one would never know if I were live or if I were Memorex some kind of net-bot, or if i were just an aging malcontent watching his nation decline (environmentally, financially, morally, in health terms, you name it…) so quickly (under the “management” of his own college classmate the President) that not even the self-indulgence of blogging is worth the trouble very often. Oh well. It’s a lovely proto-summer day here in the Big City; I managed to eke out race 7 of 9 toward qualification toward NYC Marathon #15 which will take place...

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Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

That would be German for “Happy Birthday,” specifically for Germany’s most infamous leader born in 1889 (I won’t invoke “Godwin’s Law” by naming him). It was used as the occasion for the Columbine Massacre several years ago. No, as an American Jew, I haven’t lost my mind in invoking this date to make my point. It’s my country’s government that has lost its mind. In planning to commence the training of the “Ukrainian National Guard” on this date, the United States is more than being provocative toward a nearby power. Among the groups within the “Ukrainian national guard” are, ahem,...

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Gaypril Fools

Thanks to our buddies at The Onion, noting that [Arkansas-based] Walmart Vows to Defend Whichever Gays Buy Their Cheap Sh*t. A perfectly reasonable observation, given that Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who signed a bill into law that was expressly designed to allow open discrimination against Black gay people in Indiana was itself an early April Fool’s joke… he just wants to “clarify” that. And, of course, the U.S. unemployment rate is at a seven year low at 5.5%, stocks are at or near record highs, and (as usual), the major force for diplomacy is the United States the European Union...

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Another day at the office

If… it’s the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, which now features the ultra-irresponsible Benjamin Netanyahu for a fourth term, after an apparent big win in Israeli national elections for his Likud party and its right-wing-nut allies. Crazy and irresponsible continue to work in popular elections everywhere… in Israel, that means a reckless politician who has tried to foment a potential world war involving the United States and Iran, who has just promised no two-state solution, neo-liberal economics destroying Israel’s economy (the nation was founded on economically egalitarian principles by Central/Eastern European socialists), and, of course, jeopardizing Israel’s most important international relationship...

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Beware the Ides of March

A finish today at the United Airlines NYC Half today… maybe 500th or so from the end of the field of just under 20,000, in an interesting “reverse split,” as an early exercise- induced-asthma “event” caused numerous stoppages in the first mile… nature of a winter from hell which ostensibly prevented me from running outside until today (despite being signed up for four earlier races… which, for various reasons all associated with weather, I bagged.) Well… puts me at three of the nine races I need to qualify for the 2016 NYC Marathon… which, assuming I finish this year and...

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Sure… wtf… why not?

It’s really difficult to respond to a headline like that of the WaPo op-ed by one Joshua Muravchik (who?) that “War with Iran is probably our best option.” I’ll yield to my friend Scott for some of what’s wrong here… aside from the obvious refusal to recognize that the United States military has not actually had a definitive military success against an opponent larger than Panama in seventy years… the question, of course, is exactly “what policy” is being served here? I submit it’s the policy of American empire– the desire of our ruling class to be able to pressure...

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Today in Elite Immunity

If your “crime” is to intentionally expose “secrets” that in no way threaten the security of the United States, but instead reveal its crimes and misdeeds (and potentially embarrass its mandarins)… and you dare do so at the lowly rank of Private… thirty-five years in maximum security awaits you. OTOH, if you have the good sense to be a General, and the CIA Director… you can merrily share the nation’s deepest and darkest and potentially most damaging secrets with your mistress, utterly bereft of concern as to what she would do with it … and you’re looking at a misdemeanor,...

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Ends with a whimper

My very first GTMO related interview was with Josh Dratel, nearly ten years ago. Josh was one of the civilian attorneys who represented “Australian Taliban” David HIcks, then held at Guantanamo, and subjected to charges and possible trial before a military commission. Hicks eventually pleaded guilty to “material support of terrorism” in exchange for immediate release to Australia, where he served out nine months pursuant to a plea deal– but got himself out of GTMO. Coming full circle, we give you this decision of the U.S. Court of Military Decision Review in the case of Hicks v United States” vacating...

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Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, auguring six more weeks of winter (the calendar says seven anyway)… in what has already been a cold, snowy, unpleasant winter in much of the North, anyway (this morning, a miserable slush-fest, our own city’s Lord Mayor supposedly made his way to Staten Island groundhog ceremonies notwithstanding his dropping the groundhog last year which probably killed it). It being Groundhog Fay, our national religion played to form: the team that apparently cheats has (of course) won the Super Bowl. The sporting realm had been one of the last bastions of fair play in...

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Picture (or chart) worth 1,000 words?

Via Candace, we get this handy dandy chart, comparing the GTMO population as of (my college classmate) Barack Obama’s inauguration day, or or less: GTMO_Detainee_Population_Chart.pdf Interesting stuff: the census has been brought down by about half (including the death of one man who was “cleared for transfer” and two others in the category of “indefinite detention,” meaning presumably, too dangerous to try but too Muslim to release), but many unfortunate trends persist nonetheless.

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