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America & Israel: “War Is Our Most Important Product”

April 5, 2014

I just finished reading an article about how guns and munitions have become Israel’s most important export — and immediately I started thinking, “Hey, that is America’s most important export too!“   America and Israel now have so much in common.  No wonder AIPAC is so popular here and Israelis love Americans so much.  They are practically twins. And how many other countries in the world today can make this claim:  “War is our most important product!”  I can’t think... Read article

Vodou Lounger: A Tourist’s Eye-View of Haiti

March 5, 2014

“Please don’t go to Haiti — it could be dangerous down there!” several worried friends begged me right before I left.  But boy were they wrong.  Haiti is totally fun!  I never had so much fun in my life as I did this past week in Haiti.  And this is my very own tourist guidebook to all the neat stuff that I’ve done down here.  Not exactly the Lonely Planet.  But boy am I having a good time. The most frequently asked question before I left was, “Are you going down there to do humanitarian... Read article

Haiti & Me: In Search of Jean Bertrand Aristide

March 2, 2014

When thinking about Haiti, a lot of people think first about that terrible earthquake disaster of 2010 — and also about President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.   And I do too.  So on my first day in Port au Prince, I toured most of the earthquake disaster areas.  And on my third day there, it only seemed logical that I also attempt to meet up with the great man himself.  And I actually came THIS close to doing that too! After recovering from wandering around the Carrefour district’s Carnival celebration the night... Read article

Why Authoritarianism Doesn’t Work: Because Nobody Likes It

February 6, 2014

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “David and Goliath” — wherein Gladwell says that, in the course of any human interaction, there will always be a graphic curve of diminishing returns when it comes to maximizing the use of force in order to achieve one’s goals. In other words, always punching other people’s lights out in order to get your own way can very quickly become counterproductive.  Good grief, I think that Gladwell might be onto something here. Want examples? If... Read article

Paranoia Strikes Deep: Why Wisdom & Kindness Trumps Greed, Paranoia & Fear

January 24, 2014

I used to really really hate housework but don’t hate it so much any more — ever since I developed my fabulous new housecleaning system wherein I just do 15 minutes of housework a day, but do it each day consistently, using a timer so as not to cheat. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in just 15 minutes, but you gotta do it daily, no matter what — even if some newbee student dentist has just finished scraping all those extra bone fragments out of the socket of your recently-pulled (phantom)... Read article

Like Pulling Teeth: Adventures In Gardening And Dentistry

January 17, 2014

Two rather interesting things have happened to me lately.  First, I had one of my teeth pulled this week — totally not a fun experience.  And, second, while still oozing pain and eating Hydrocodone and climbing the walls, I started reading a book about plants by Michael Pollan, entitled “The Botany of Desire”.  So now I have suddenly become an expert on both pain-killers and gardens. Having one’s tooth pulled is like, er, pulling teeth.  It really hurts.  So from now on I plan to brush and... Read article

Rethinking Ariel Sharon & Chris Christie

January 15, 2014

Ever since Ariel Sharon began rising up through the ranks of Israeli neo-con politics by hook or by crook, I’ve always viewed him as a Bad Guy.  But maybe he wasn’t all that bad after all — at least not within the time-frame right before his sudden stroke.  According to former IGF officer Roi Tov, Sharon might have finally seen the light and started actually implementing some of the few hopeful features of GWB’s ill-conceived “Road Map,” now a document as long-forgotten as Mr. Bush... Read article

The CIA Gets It Wrong — Again

December 27, 2013

The CIA really screwed up back in 1961 when it plotted to murder Patrice Lumumba — and just look at the mess they created in all of central Africa as a result, even today.  The CIA also blew it bigtime when it assassinated the democratically-elected president of Iran back in 1952 — and Iran has pretty much been one of the CIA’s biggest headaches ever since. And of course there was also the CIA’s famous Mandela fiasco — wherein “The Company” supported apartheid in South Africa... Read article

Who Else Is Paying For Their Endless War?

December 21, 2013

  Let’s think about all those trillions of dollars that have been constantly pouring into war profiteers’ pockets ever since they invented Vietnam.  All those trillions must have come from somewhere.  Of course we all know that some of them came from the Federal Reserve where they print Monopoly money like crazy.  And, ironically, some of them have also come from multiple humungous loans from China.  Plus some of that money also found its way into the pockets of War Street at approximately the same time... Read article

Berkeley Writers: Famous Authors From My Home Town

December 11, 2013

Way back in 1972, I found myself really struggling to find a place for myself in the new Nixon America, both philosophically and economically.  The 1960s were clearly over and nobody wanted to hire me –  either as a hippie single mother or as a female city planner with a masters degree from Cal.  The days of Johnson’s Great Society and Urban Removal were gone completely and monies that used to go to improve our urban infrastructure had all been consumed in a fire called the Vietnam War.  Plus planning departments... Read article

Do Unto Syria As You Would Have Syria Do Unto You

December 1, 2013

While walking through the streets of San Francisco the other day and totally admiring this beautiful city’s “painted lady” architectural glory, I suddenly and inexplicably started wondering what this amazing place might look like if it too had been bombed all to crap in the same manner that Damascus has been bombed all to crap by all those missiles and cluster-bombs and Al Qaeda operatives that American taxpayers are paying for — as they happily torture, rape and/or maim women and children in our... Read article

TV Violence: America’s Dark Night of The Knoll

November 14, 2013

I was watching “The Mentalist” on TV recently, where some guy was being tortured, had a finger cut off with pruning shears and his face caressed with an acetylene torch.  Yikes!  And even during that nice little detective show “Castle,” you can always count on seeing a whole bunch of blood and guts — not to mention the torture scenes and disemboweling now available on “Elementary” and “Body of Proof” and “Revolution” and “Person of Interest”... Read article

Benjamin Netanyahu: Major Player On The World Stage?

October 9, 2013

The other day I was watching the Charlie Rose show on TV, during a guest appearance by Benjamin Netanyahu.  And much to my amazement, Mr. Netanyahu acted, talked and comported himself like he was the head of some huge major nation — not just a minor Middle Eastern country smaller than New Jersey. It was as though Netanyahu thought himself to be on the same level of importance and influence as Obama or Putin — more influential by far than Britain’s prime minister, much more important than the president... Read article

Shut Down The Military? Go For It!

October 2, 2013

The government has just shut down? What a wonderful opportunity to re-set, to start again. Shut down the military? Save six trillion dollars in just a few years, balance the budget immediately, get weaponized tanks out of our cities and stop killing people abroad? Absolutely. Shut down the nuclear killing fields? No more deformed babies born in Kosovo and Iraq and Libya and Gaza and Afghanistan? No more possible Chernobyls and Fukashimas here in America? No more deadly stockpiles of nuclear waste being generated... Read article

Manning, Snowden, Egypt And The 1776 Declaration of Independence

July 4, 2013

“Edward Snowden must be caught and punished at any cost.”  Who said that?  Was it some overbearing British sovereign back in 1776 who said it?  Had Edward Snowden just signed the American colonies’ famous Declaration of Independence?  The way that Snowden has been hounded and pursued and intimidated in the last few weeks, one would certainly think so. According to an essay entitled “The Price They Paid,” signers of the original Declaration of Independence of 1776 were also hounded, imprisoned... Read article

Profiles In Courage: Why John F. Kennedy Had To Die

June 11, 2013

I have an old car.  And I love my old car.  But its funky old sound system consists of only a tape deck — not even a CD player let alone an iPod axillary port.  So now I’m forced to play only old-school Books-on-Tape that I check out from the Berkeley Public Library every time I go on a road trip or I even need something to listen to while driving around town.  And the BPL can only offer me a limited choice of funky old tapes to listen to — such as Dickens’ “Pickwick Papers” for instance. ... Read article

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