the [alternate] patriot


Saturday, February 20, 2010

'Machinery of mendacity'

Lest we forget, this country has mostly escaped from an administration that lied continuously, not simply to hide their mistakes, but to deliberately fool the public so they could proceed with actions the public would not have approved.

Although Bush is out of office now, his Vice President continues an aggressive program of lying in hopes of undercutting the honorable man now holding the office

"Better to marry..." (St. Paul)

A judge ruled that gender and sexual orientation cannot determine who may marry in D.C. Opponents want to file an appeal as soon as possible to prevent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from marrying.
Their argument:
"The people have a right to have the final say...The D.C. Charter makes that right clear, and officials should not be ignoring the right of the people to vote for or against the new definition of marriage fabricated by the council," Nimocks said. "We are appealing because the District's marriage redefinition law shouldn't go into effect until voters have the opportunity to vote on a critical matter that affects everyone in the District."   (Washington Post 2-20-10)
I don't know what the DC charter specifically says on the subject, but in general people have, or should have, a right to vote on things that affect them. It's hard to see, however,  how Couple A marrying will have any impact on narrow minded Individual B except that it may force him to rethink  some of his prejudices.Perhaps it will broaden his view of humanity, to think of more of his fellows as human beings like him who deserve, as he does, their chance at happiness. Let us hope it helps him to increase his capacity for compassion.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Medical care increasing portion of the national dollar

The articles I've read about this suggest a- it's a problem and b- federal spending should be reduced.

There's nothing wrong with increased medical spending IF it is making us all healthier, happier, and more productive.

Alas, it is not. Vast sums are spent on terminally ill rich people (rich defined here as having inexhaustible health care funding)and in some cases - perhaps many - contrary to the wishes of the patient. Meanwhile, many people with inadequate or no health insurance suffer financially and physically and often become needlessly less productive in cases where easy fixes exist.

Put the following on the national agenda:
  • Develop a list of research  priorities and fund  based on degree of present harm and potential for fixing. Presently some research is funded by organizations that depend on donations. Selling pink ribbons has got to be about the least effective way possible  to pay for cancer research.
  • Develop  and fund  medical priorities - what medical specialties are most urgently needed? Where are medical facilities most urgently needed? What specific tasks could be done or services offered  that would make the most difference in general health?
  • Federally funded drug research based on need rather than profit potential would drastically lower the cost of drugs; and the people's representatives rather than a few corporate managers would decide what we need. Far less would be spent on television advertising.
  • Public funding or loan forgiveness for medical education in those areas that are most needed.
  • Regionalize placement of and funding for exotic high-priced hospital equipment.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama's call to responsibility - State of the Union address

President Obama called Republican members of congress (and Sen. Lieberman, I-CT) to cease the politics of obstruction and start engaging in the business of governing the nation. He was gentle, he was firm, and he was funny. ["I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change...."]
I give him very high marks for content. Also high marks for delivery, except for two tics that bugged me. a- Many sentences that, in the text begin with "Now,...(comma)" in his delivery begin with "Now. ...(full stop)" b- the little left hand gesture that resembles a hand holding a tv remote and changing the channel.
Come to think of it, though, it could warrant a review to see if he just does the remote click when he's changing the subject, or looking for new thinking on an old subject.
Text of the full speech is at

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Corporations to get bigger voice

The US Supreme Court handed down a decision the other day that will unregulate corporate donations to political activities. Now they will be able to donate as much as they like to any campaign.
Say goodbye to your vote, unless you, too (in addition to the Supreme Court) are in the corporate pocket.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NYU administration gets tough!

Wow, the folks running New York University are threatening to expel students for conducting a cafeteria sit-in in protest of university policies.

Here's a video showing some of it, with news voice-over:

The students call themselves "Take Back NYU."

There is a Facebook group called Support the NYU Occupation! (may require registration on Facebook)

Here's a report form NYU:

The NYU student occupation has ended - due to the disgusting NYU administration, who sent in security guards today to remove all of students occupying the Kimmel Center cafeteria. The administration never negotiatied with the students and when they said they would do so, they simply detained and suspended the four student negotiators who came out in good faith. (See below). Students were driven to their dorms and told to remove their belongings and were removed from their campus housing immediately and placed in 'temporary' housing. The students who were removed today are all facing suspension! Mass support is necessary to demand that these students be granted amnesty. Please get as many people to email NYU as possible and show that we will stand together with the students and not be turned back.

Email & Call NYU Administrators. Sample Email pasted below. Demand amnesty and no suspensions:

NYU President John Sexton: & CALL 212-998-2345
John Beckman, NYU Spokesperson:
Office of the Provost:
Office of the Vice President:

Today New York University has shown its true face more than ever. Claiming to be a "private university in the public service," it is clearly not even in the service of those students whose tuitions allow it to exist.

Earlier today, NYU cut power to all outlets in the occupied space and turned off the wireless internet. Obviously this was an attempt to silence and intimidate the occupiers who have broad-based support.

Then, NYU said it would negotiate and instead detained and suspended the student negotiators when they showed up. Security has now broken through the barricade and people are being detained and suspended.

Instead of dialog and negotiation, the NYU administration has shown they prefer the authoritarian, dissent-quashing, dictator route. It is a true reflection of how they run their university. Nothing but thugs with suits on, interested in getting rich under the guise of "education."

Be prepared to defend any individual or group that is targeted academically or legally for their role in the occupation. Widespread support for the occupation and its demands will not be extinguished by NYU's hypocritical, tyrannical behavior.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A terrible mess

Pres. Obama said in a recorded address to his supporters convening at house meetings around the country today:
We've inherited a terrible mess, but I know we have the capacity to rise to this moment, and keep the promise of America alive in our time -- IF the American people demand that we do.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, folks.

The big banks and mortgage hawkers are partly to blame for the mess this Administration has inherited, but so is the previous administration. It was they who thought they could finance two wars and fund the for-profit enterprises that have been in many ways substituted for the regular army - and put the bills all on the nation's credit card. It looks as though these private provisioners have been in place at least since the all-volunteer army started.

It's an interesting subject that I'd like to learn more about. KBR (aka Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of the former Veep's company Halliburton) has had government contracts stretching back at least to WWII. I get the feeling, though, that at some point a line was crossed to where we now have a mercenary army instead of a citizen force.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

My Barack Obama

Now you can set up your own page at the website, isn't that cool?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Plea for the bailout

The President's bailout plan seems quite good to me. Putting money into the pockets would do little for the long-term health of the economy, as we have seen from the past eight years. His plan will put it to the short term benefit of the suffering and the long term benefit of us all.

Here's a video from Pres. Obama explaining some of his goals:

Some goofs, some good

I was quite sad when Sen. Daschle's nomination fell by the wayside.

Well, actually I was quite disappointed on learning he failed to pay taxes on stuff he should have paid on and didn't realize it.

I propose a few rules for public servants:

  • Do not try to enrich yourself from public service.

  • After serving in any legislative body, never work as a lobbyist -- it destroys your credibility and thus your chance to be helpful.

  • While serving in any public position take no free stuff or services from anybody including friends; that way, there will never be any question as to the intent of the giver. You don't need free stuff. If someone wants to show his appreciation, let him say "Thank you." (And you say, "We're glad to help- that's what we're here for.")

  • Nevertheless, I still admire Daschle, and hope he finds a spot in public service where the public can benefit from his ability and sentiments. I respect him for the very sincere apology he offered -- it's been a while since we heard a sincere and regretful, not weaseling and resentful, apology.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009


    What a beautiful day! President Obama!
    Here's the inaugural address:

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    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    The way to a Green economy


    Listen to activist Van Jones, who's bringing together two of our biggest problems—urban poverty and environmental peril-- to create one solution: “green jobs instead of jails

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    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Obama: 'Yes, WE Can! (N.H. 1/8/08)


    More videos are available at

    Available Assets

  • Biden VP announcement

  • Orlando, Fla VFW Address

  • Yes We Can, Nashua NH

  • Iowa's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

  • New Hampshire Primary Speech: Yes We Can

  • South Carolina Victory Speech

  • A More Perfect Union

  • Forging a New Future for America

  • Democratic National Convention 2004 Keynote

  • James Taylor

  • Barack in the Virginia Rain


    What an awesome speech! This is what won the election (about half an hour)


    I listened to today's radio address by President-Elect Obama, and afterward left some opinions at the website. The Obama transition team wants your views.

    When's that last time a president told you we had very very tough times ahead? No matter how bad it gets,isn't it good to hear what's really happening, instead of pretending all is well?

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    Copyright © 2001-03 Pam Shorey
    (except the specific sources credited in quotes)