Friday, December 19, 2014

America's Fatal Addiction to War and Torture

Abu Ghraib: Specialists Charles Graner 
punching restrained prisoners
Credit: U.S. military or Department of Defense
Copyright: Public Domain

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a time we could have shown the world the strength of America’s character. But the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report revealed just the opposite: America failed to live up to the principles it professes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Defense Secretary Nominee Ashton Carter, the Right Choice for Our Continuous Wars

President Obama’s nomination of Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense replacing Chuck Hagel is not good news for those of us who yearn for world peace and an end of war.

In light of 13 years of continuous war with no end in sight, the advent of a warmongering Republican controlled Congress, a Defense Secretary nominee described as “hawkish,” Carter’s confirmation is guaranteed.

Autopsies Confirm Michael Brown’s Killing a Homicide

The doubt concerning the guilt or innocence of Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown now seems clear; a Department of Justice’s autopsy declares it a homicide.
“The findings of the Justice Department post-mortem released on Monday echoed those of two previous autopsies carried out by St. Louis County’s medical examiner and a private examiner hired by the Brown family. It found that Brown — who was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9 — suffered “severe injuries of the skull, brain and right chest” and appeared to have been shot in the hand at close range. “The manner of death is homicide,” the Justice Department’s medical examiner ruled.”
Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown at the time Wilson’s patrol car pulled up to them, retells the events of that day. He says, “It was definitely being shot like a animal,” it’s almost like an execution.

Supporters of Wilson’s action like to point out that Brown robbed a convenience store as if that was good enough reason to kill him. Johnson reportedly confirmed that he and Brown did steal cigars from a convenience store that day. But theft should never be good enough reason for a police officer to kill someone.

Friday, December 5, 2014

There Are Real Reasons for Anger, Not Just in Ferguson or Staten Island

Aug 14, 2014
Screen shot of YouTube video
On Saturday, August 9, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man and his friend was walking down the middle of a street in Ferguson, Mo. A white police officer, Darren Wilson, told them to move to the sidewalk. A confrontation followed. Wilson struggled with Brown to get out of his patrol car. Brown attempted to take Wilson’s gun, the gun fired, Brown ran. Wilson fired several shots while in pursuit. Brown stopped, turned, and walked toward Wilson. Witness’s observations differed as to whether Brown was walking toward Wilson in a threatening manner or with his hands raised in surrender. Wilson “fired a series of shots” and killed him.

Friday, November 28, 2014

World Order Wars Benefit Powerful Wealthy People, Not You and Me

Our government lies, saying and doing anything to justify their actions. Lies, purposeful misinformation, told in order to drag us into war are most egregious. They tell us, from World War I to Iraq and now Syria, that war is necessary to protect our freedom and democracy. “Freedom is not free.” Wars are necessary to achieve world peace. To do anything else other than forceful intervention is appeasement. Only the United States is capable of maintaining world order.

The facts are that U.S. intervention in World War I helped Hitler rise to power and World War II, intervention in Southeast Asian affairs led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and intervention in the Middle East led to war and all the problems we have in Iraq and the region.

In President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he said, “America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace.” Adding, “A decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tomas Young, for That I Am So Sorry

This is Tomas Young
Screenshot of YouTube Video ‘Remembering Tomas Young’ 
by Amanda Young
Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Tomas Young wanted to defend his country. He joined the Army expecting to fight in Afghanistan, but instead deployed to Iraq. There, on April 4, 2004, a bullet ripped through his spine and paralyzed him from the waste down. After more than 10 years of suffering, as a result of fighting in a war that should have never been, Tomas succumbed to his wounds and died on November 10, 2014. Tomas was 34 years old.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Reflection: Armistice Day, ‘The War to End All Wars,’ Now Veterans Day, A Different Intent

The Armistice/Remembrance Day Poppy
(Poppies still proliferate World War I battlefields) 
I remember when Armistice Day was dedicated to the pursuit of world peace. But today, Veterans’ Day is a very different celebration than what was then Armistice Day. Veterans Day has evolved to a day we celebrate by venerating our veterans, overwhelming idolizing our war’s combat veterans, in doing so, glorifying war.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Free-Market Capitalism Is Only Tolerant Of Those Who Are Capable Of Achieving Success

of a homeless mother with her children
In America, 3.5 million are homeless; over a third are families; over 1.6 million are children. Of the 1.6 million, close to 1.3 million are homeless students enrolled in our country’s public preschools and grades K-12.

In a country that touts family values, places values on education and equal opportunity, that should be unacceptable, yet it’s not.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yes, We Can Have Immigration Reform; all that’s Needed Is a Change of Attitude

Immigration is not the problem that it’s drummed up to be. More than anything else, it’s an attitude problem of how we perceive immigration (documented or undocumented), in particular of those from south of our border. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids from Poor Neighborhoods Trick-Or-Treating In Rich Neighborhoods

A Tom Simpson Image at Flickr Creative Commons
Slate’s advice columnist Prudence responds to a letter complaining of the cost of candy he or she needs to buy for the poor kids trick-or-treating in their rich neighborhood.

Although this person is not politically identified, he or she certainly thinks like a Republican: poor people are a burden on society, they need to make their own way, resources should not be redistributed to help those in need.

It’s a stark reminder of why I am a Liberal.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Some Cities Throw the Homeless in Jail Others Are Finding Another Way

No one should be homeless in the United States of America. It’s disheartening to know that our country doesn’t have enough respect and compassion for all of its people to make sure they have adequate shelter. It’s appalling when homeless people are treated as criminals just because they have no place to live except under our bridges, in our forest, parks, streets, byways, and other public places.

More Americans Will Die This Year from Afflictions Other Than Ebola

Juan Cole writes a great article today that provides another resource to the Ebola article I published on October 18.

Cole, writing about the irresponsibility shown in the reporting and exploitation of America’s Ebola fears, puts forth some things of which Americans should have greater concern, especially given the number of deaths they cause.

He concludes his article by stating:

“Whether it is the lobbyists for Big Coal who want to go on spewing poison into the atmosphere, or the NRA lobbyists for the four major corporations that manufacture hand guns or the restaurant lobbyists who want to evade regulation and want to be able to kill their customers with 4,000-calorie meals, or the cigarette manufacturers and distributors who are, like 0007, licensed by the government to murder, the common denominator here is that our corporations are often much worse for our health than a mere infectious disease outbreak. But these health deficits are almost never reported on in the media owned by the corporations. Instead, we’re encouraged to think about something else while our pockets are being picked– say, an exotic disease.”

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola Reality Check, Many Messages Ignored
Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY) asks the question: 
“Has the media coverage to so far been helpful
or harmful in your efforts to have the public
have an appropriate concern and awareness 
what the situation is?” 

(updated 10/21/2014)

News writers and television news anchors have taken what is essentially a West African epidemic and, to generate greater profits, marketed it as an American crisis ready to happen, irresponsibly exploiting America’s Ebola fears. All because the first Ebola patient died, and two of the nurses who treated him were tested positive for Ebola.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Future Ground War in Iraq Is Inevitable; the Déjà Vu Feeling Is Overwhelming

“I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, 
to another ground war in Iraq.” 
Modified image:
When President Obama insists that there will be no U.S. combat troops on the ground in Iraq: don’t believe it. We will be dragged into another ground war in Iraq. The temptation for the U.S. military is too great to forgo putting boots on the ground. Mission creep is alive and well. It’s inevitably going to happen.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Teambuilding Is an Essential Skill for Managerial Success; Steve Jobs Provides the Perfect Allegory

Photo: Flemming Island. Pedersen / Danish Sailing Association.
Effective managers are out of their office every day interacting with others in their organizations. They understand that they can’t progress and accomplish goals without teamwork. They are prepared to listen, learn, and share because they realize that they do not have all the answers. Teambuilding therefore is an essential skill every manager needs to be successful.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Privatization of Public Schools Is a Very Real Probability

It’s okay for commodities and things that are nonessential to life be provided by for-profit corporations. But a life necessity, such as K-through-12 public education, should not be up for sale. Nevertheless that’s exactly the direction public education is heading.

Monday, September 29, 2014

On The Khorasan Group in Syria, ISIS in Iraq: That’s Right, We’ve Have Been Seduced, and Duped Once Again

By Horatio Green

The Tawhid portion of The Shahada in white Arabic script
above the Seal of Muhammad (reading, bottom to top: 
muhammad rasul[u]allah[i],  "Muhammad, messenger
/prophet of God): Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain: 
Photo Essay:Black Flag" by William McCants, 
November 7, 2011,
Let’s face it; before the United States can go to war, it must first induce an abundance of fear and at least one good lie. We have been seduced by fear mongering to justify the bombing of ISIS targets inside Iraq. But as scary as our military and government hyped up ISIS in Iraq, Obama still found it necessary to make it even scarier in order to justify bombing and the firing of missiles on terrorist targets inside Syria. And, what could be better than to discover a new Syrian terrorist threat. One that’s even more dangerous and threatening than ISIS is: “The Khorasan Group.”

It’s quite a story, but it’s a made-up story.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

“We Have Met the Enemy and He Isn't Only ISIS, He Is Us”

"Defense Spending the Top Priority, Critics Fear”: 
Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t;
 Adapted: Staff Sgt. Liesl Marelli / DVIDSHUB, designshard)
Dennis Kucinich’s perspective on the ISIS threat, the hysteria it has created, and why we are bombing Iraq and Syria is something we should not ignore.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How do you turn Off the Killer Part of America’s Warriors

By Horatio Green

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales 
pictured at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California, 
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales walked out of his operating base in Afghanistan, entered three homes in the villages of Alkozai and Balandi, and killed 16 villagers. Of the 16, he killed nine children, some as young as two years old. He returned to his base, laid down his weapon and voluntarily surrendered.

Bales negotiated a plea agreement and avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty. On August 23, 2013, he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Massachusetts confirmed its first case of Enterovirus D68

On September 11, I wrote an article concerning a rare viral health threat caused from an outbreak of Enterovirus D68. At that time, it presented itself in 12 Midwestern and Southeastern states and was spreading. Today, my state of Massachusetts confirmed its first case of Enterovirus D68.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Conflict Of Interest Exposed In the ISIS Iraq-Syria Debate

By Horatio Green

Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, left, 
visits with former Army Vice-Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane
during a Defense Policy Board meeting at the Pentagon 
on Tuesday, Nov.29, 2011: DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
Flickr Creative Commons, license Attribution 2.0 Generic
Nation Magazine’s Lee Fang provides enlightening, yet not surprising insights into the cable news reporting on the ISIS threat. He writes that some retired generals and other military experts promoting military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stand to gain financially from it. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Managements Leadership Problem

By Horatio Green

Seventh Grade Leadership Curriculum draft 
Credit: Andrew Watt Copyright: Creative Commons: 
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0): 
Management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “One does not ‘manage’ people. The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Be Aware When Your Child Has a Bad Cold; It May Be More Serious Than You Think

By Horatio Green

A rare viral health threat has presented itself in 12 Midwestern and Southeastern states and is spreading. The threat comes from an outbreak of Enterovirus D68.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, the Day I Thought I lost My Wife

By Horatio Green

An Angiograph of a grape sized berry aneurysm in a cerebral artery.
 Credit: Lucien Monfils; Copyright:GNU Free Documentation License

On May 27, 2014, my wife Kathy woke up happy, singing and humming to herself, ready for the day. But, for the little girl I married fifty-one years ago, and me, it only took an instant for our lives to change; certainly Kathy’s more than mine.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Will We Destroy the Place We Call Home?

The waste dump, a result of unbridled consumerism
 (Photo Credit: Shutterstock; Copyright: Public Domain)
An uninhabitable earth at some point in our future is not an unreasonable thought. Years of disregard for mother earth can cause components of the earth system to change. Consequently, humankind should not shrug off warnings of cataclysmic environmental transformations.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Living with a Control Freak Is Not Easy

Do you have someone in your life that doesn’t trust your judgment? One who feels they need to control every aspect of your life. If you do, chances are that that someone is a control freak.

My someone, like so many control freaks, has a high opinion of himself. He is obsessive.He easily becomes agitated and will engage in long, loud, and angry one-way arguments (whether there is a reason to be angry or not) over any issue. He is not interested in what I have to say. He talks down to me. He attempts to intimidate by rapidly and loudly talking over anything I attempt to say. If I should be able to make a counterargument that in anyway threatens his argument, he will shut down and not speak to me for days. It’s a behavior demonstrate not just toward me but others as well.

‘We Have It in Our Power to Begin the World Over Again’

If we’re not satisfied with things the way they are, if we’re concerned how we are governed and the decline of our freedoms, if we truly want to change things, then, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi and so many who have gone before us, who all essentially have sent the same message, 'Be the change you want to see in the world.’

It means, “… [an] awareness that one person, alone, can’t change anything, an awareness that unjust authority can be overturned only by great numbers of people working together with discipline and persistence.”

The message resonates once it’s understood that it’s the takeaway message of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense", in which he wrote, "We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Post-antibiotic Era That Threatens the Achievements of Modern Medicine

Author: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Author: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics meant to fight infections by killing or inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria are increasingly becoming ineffective. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, reports, “Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

The CDC Threat Report 2013 claims, “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

What You Should Know About Circovirus in Dogs

In California, Michigan, and Ohio last year, it’s suspected that circovirus was responsible for making some dogs sick. The virus is suspected in causing the deaths of some dogs in Ohio. Some veterinarians fear it may make its way across country. If not treated, it has the potential to kill an infected dog.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Asthma Symptoms Mitigated As A Result Of Weight Loss, Avoiding Wheat and Soy

Asthma is life altering, rarely but possibly fatal. Many physical, dietary, and environmental factors can trigger an attack; there is no cure. But knowledge gained through trial-and-error to determine personal triggers is essential to allay asthma symptoms.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Peaceful Parenting, I’m Ok – You’re Ok Is Key to Shaping Our Future

“The problems of the world . . . essentially are the problems of individuals. If individuals can change, the course of the world can change. Peaceful parenting for a peaceful world is a choice that every parent [and grandparent] can make.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Greatest Casualty of War Is Our future

Memorial Day serves as a reminder that “beneath the beauty of the lilies lies the ugliness of war.” This James Carroll metaphor perfectly captures the most profound meaning of war, and of all the things that we have lost because of it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Overcome Yelling At Children

My wife and I care for two energetic grandsons, ages 3 and 5 years old. At one time, I found it hard to restrain from yelling at the boys, but I have successfully learned to overcome that urge.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vitamin D Played an Indispensable Role in the Treatment of My Asthma and an Underactive Thyroid

Convinced by experience, confirmed by the research, I now know that vitamin D was the missing ingredient in the treatment of my asthma and underactive thyroid.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Automated Software Will Soon Replace Journalist and Professional writers

The “cookie cutter” writers who employ common formats need to be very concerned. But for a long time to come, maybe never, the Tolstoy’s, Hemingway’s, Shakespeare’s, Frost’s, and Poe’s of this world need not be concerned. Time will tell.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

If It Were Not For Rich People, I Would Not Have A Job!

That’s the sentiment recently expressed by my son. Many, however, have expressed that same sentiment. I have had no success getting across to my son or others that what they believe is simply not true.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hypothyroidism and Me

Diagnosed at 72 years old, I inherited hypothyroidism from my mother. Diagnosed late in life, like me, she experienced the same symptoms. Since my diagnosis, I have learned much about the disease and in the process learned much more about me.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Key to a Long, Optimal Life Is To Grow Old with a Loving, Caring, Connected Family

Mom, dad, my brother at 6 months, 
and me at 2 years old, 
essentially, when life’s journey began.

In growing old there have been difficult times, some regrets, and a memory I wish I could forget. But, overall, growing old has been an awesome journey, and one that I would not want to change. The essential part of this journey has been my family.

Friday, July 4, 2014

To Build or Not Build Your Own Sandbox

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, build a sandbox yourself. But I am not the DIY type. Fortunately, I have other options. I found a sandbox that needed no special tools to assemble, and it took an afternoon to assemble instead of a weekend to build my own.

For the Love and Fun of Bicycling

It doesn’t really matter whether you cycle to work or school, cycle to preserve your health, or cycle simply to explore your community, cycling more than anything else is fun.

Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, Borrelia Miyamotoi Is an Emerging New Threat

Tick-borne infections are on the rise and can be difficult to diagnose. The telltale bulls-eye rash and antibody tests for Lyme disease can be reliable, but others, such as for the newly discovered Borrelia miyamotoi infections are not.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Elizabeth Warren: Proud to Say She’s My Senator from Massachusetts

Senator Elizabeth Warren talks about consumer financial reform and the Federal Student Loan Program. Speculation is that she may run for President in 2016. I hope she does not run. As Senator, she can get more things done than as President.

Obstacles to Building Tiny Houses

Cottage or tiny house where Chekho wrote "The Sea Gull."
A tiny house may not be as economical as proponents envision. It may be cost-effective if you build in rural areas but in urban or suburban areas may cost $200,000 or more. It perhaps may be impossible to build in some areas.

Monday, April 14, 2014

‘Boston Strong,’ the Rallying Cry That United a City

In defiance and solidarity against anyone who might think they can create fear and break the spirit this city possesses, on Monday, April 21, an estimated 36,000 runners will again make the historic 26.2 mile run from Hopkinton to Boston.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

For-Profit Prisons Create World’s Highest Incarceration Rates While Providing Cheap Labor

The Republican obsession with privatization is bad news for society but good news for private prisons. It has created higher incarceration rates than any other country. It’s un-American, immoral, and simply wrong. It has not worked nor will it ever work.

Easy Company’s ‘Wild Bill Guarnere,’ Immortalized on HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers,’ Dies at Ninety

Most warriors don’t receive the praise Bill Guarnere received, even though they equally did what their country required of them. Nevertheless, we should hold in reverence the lives of all warriors with an understanding that war is all about killing.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Serving the World’s Poor and Working-Class Women

The care given by a midwife may come down to whether a mother and baby live or die. It’s the only contact they may have with any kind of professional care, by those who have the capacity to love and be compassionate of others.

The Sixties, Vietnam, and Beatlemania Culturally Produced No Meaningful Lessons Learned

It was a decade that changed my view of America's claim of exceptionalism, racial equality, patriotism, and an era that culturally destroyed America. The Beatles exemplified how to make money by exploiting adolescent music. The results are disappointing.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The End of FCC's Open Internet Rules for Now but the Battle Hasn’t Been Lost

Without enforceable FCC regulations, our freedom to go anywhere on the internet at no cost has the potential of ending. ISP’s will cost more; there will be additional charges for Google or Yahoo searches and visits to your favorite website.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Inequality Is ‘The Defining Challenge of Our Time’

Denying People Work Based On Loss of Credit Is a Mode of Inequality

For years now, credit-reporting agencies have been selling credit histories to employers. Because of a poor credit history, many seeking work have been denied employment, and inequality has taken a giant leap forward.

Monday, January 6, 2014

James Carroll on Pope Francis: ‘WHO AM I TO JUDGE?’

Pope Francis impresses me as a man who will walk the talk. Perhaps -- just perhaps -- his leadership will have sufficient impact to spur others to following him in his commitment to building a better world.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

America’s Corporations and Consumers Need to Defend Workers’ Rights as Human Rights

Corporations have a responsibility not only to respect its stockholders and customers but its employees as well. Stockholders and consumers should understand that their experience with businesses who respect these rights would be greatly enhanced.