Secretary Panetta accidentally disclosed military or diplomatic secrets in a press conference. I am not going to tell you more because I don’t want to be charged like reporter James Rosen of Fox News or have my phone surveilled. Oops, my phone is probably under surveillance anyway because hundreds of thousands, or millions are, we learn today: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily. What’s the chance I have been slighted by not being surveilled, I ask you?
And what’s wrong if all this information is accessed by a large government agency since government is, by definition, benevolent? Take the Internal Revenue Service as an example at random. It will still be in a position to exercise indirect but strong control over more than 15% of the national economy as per the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). And what would be wrong with this? Don’t we trust the IRS to act for the benefit of all Americans and to respect their persons and their privacy? Why not?
The Good Lord is extending a hand to get completely rid of the IRS. Are we going to seize it?
Still a propos of Obamacare, there is news about the people for whom the whole huge reform was implemented, the vulnerable uninsured, those who were most expected to benefit. According to today’s WSJ (06/06/13) of those who currently lack health coverage, an astounding 22 % say that they will benefit by Obamacare. It’s astounding because 29% say they will not! (No, not a mistake. I did not accidentally reverse the percentages.)
The President of Stanford don’t know English too good:
“Can a faculty member make better use of their time…” (Bolding entirely mine.) Engineering education or political correctness?
The rage against Monsanto continues weeks after the Supreme Court voted unanimously that protesters are out of their cotton-picking minds. A few days ago, Japan and Korea announced they were stopping imports of US wheat because genetically modified wheat had been found on some Oregon farm mixed with the virginal kind. Monsanto says today that it may have been sabotage.
On the one hand, anyone can assert anything against anonymous doers without fear of legal repercussions. On the other hand, many (most, all) of the Monsanto enemies are such obvious fanatics that they could have done it, of course. Reminds me of lynx stories and before that of spotted owl stories, all concocted, in the same general area, that brought economic devastation to the region and massive long-term unemployment.
Make no mistake: those who attack the Monsanto corporation hate corporations in general, and through them, they want to destroy capitalism itself. The fact that 85% of them are ignorant, inarticulate fanatics who could define neither “corporation” nor “capitalism” means little. You don’t have to know how to spell “machine-gun” to be lethal. There is the 1% who are completely conscious and goal-oriented. I have known them since 1958.
Capitalism is the only social arrangement that has durably lifted the hundreds of millions from age-old misery. Monsanto’s enemies are baby-killers, most inadvertent, some quite conscious. The latter’s grandpas were employed by a virtuous government organization called “Gulag.”
Yes, of course, I am waiting for my Monsanto check. It’s been long in coming.
Some conservatives criticize President Obama for being unresponsive. It’s not always fair. Why, just yesterday, he answered Republican critics of his apparent coverup of the Benghazi terrorist massacre. He appointed to a sensitive position the liar who had lied on his behalf and on that of the Secretary Clinton on six different Sunday television shows: “Fuck you,” he said. I used to not dislike the man personally. His pettiness is changing this fast.
Today 06/06/13 is the anniversary of the 1944 Allied landing in France. Blood-thirsty, militaristic destructive Americans bastards! I was a toddler but I remember some of the liberation of Paris from the German National-Socialists, three months later. Here is my memory:
“How I helped win World War Two.
A column of trucks flooded the avenue as a far as the eye could see. (The small body that held the head that held the eye was in my mother’s arms.) The trucks overflowed with big, loud, laughing men in distinctive dun-khaki uniforms. People were shouting greetings and waving flags. It seems that an American soldier jumped off his vehicle, swept me up into his arms, and kissed me on both cheeks. That may have been because my mother, who had wanted her second child to be a daughter, processed my long blond hair into Goldilocks-style ringlets. That I am straight today is a testimony to the robustness of genetic programming. My mother always insisted the kissing soldier was black. On the one hand, she may have made up this detail for colorful effect; she was that kind of woman. On the other hand, there were so many trucks the soldiers may have belonged to a transport unit and hence, probably to a black unit, in the segregated US Army of the day. It was August 1944. I was two-something and my family lived in one of the better city projects right on the periphery of Paris, near one of its main access roads. One thing that bothers me about this visual and auditory recollection though is that we lived on the east side of the city. American soldiers should have been arriving from Normandy, in the west; yet, the memory is clear.
Parisians knew from London radio of the slow advance of the Allies after D-Day. All fabrics had been strictly rationed for two or three years. Nonetheless, before the American forces reached Paris, my mother had sewn a makeshift tricolor French flag. The blue came from my father’s old military service flannel sash (a forgotten and now incomprehensible item of clothing).The red came from a Nazi flag. My father was a policeman. He had stolen it from a German general’s car he was supposed to guard. The Germans were packing up at the time and very nervous. He might have been shot on the spot if he had been caught. At a loss for white, my mother made the middle band of the flag out of one of my cloth diapers. That’s why I have always felt I played a part, although a small one, in the liberation of Paris, a symbolically important phase of World War Two.
I was born and conceived during the Nazi occupation of France when life was tough and entertainment scarce. My father was a Paris cop, as I said, and his life was more than tough then. His life was not so tough, however, that he did not have the energy to make my mother pregnant one more time before the Liberation, this time with twins. There was little to eat besides rutabaga, for some reason, and milk was rationed, of course, so my mother breastfed me for the longest time. I was precocious. At one point, I think I was able to ask for the breast in grammatically perfect French. It must have been embarrassing for her. Or perhaps I made this up on the basis of bits and pieces I picked up while I was growing up, like some of the other early recollections in these truncated memoirs.
From the days before the Liberation of Paris, I remember mostly fragments as of still photographs with partial voice-overs, glimpses of German gray-green uniforms, and the vast, beautiful fire of the Paris general mills, a mile away. The fire had been set by bombs dropped by the US Army Air Corps. It’s a little known fact that the Allied bombed the hell out of France right before and during, and immediately following the Normandy landing. The French never complained much. They were different then, and too sick of the German presence to bitch about collateral damage. When the air raid siren warning sounded, my mother would wrap me up in a blanket and take me down to the basement of our seven-story apartment house. Some tenants were jaded at the end and they did not bother to take shelter. The basement was a crowded but not especially tragic place. It smelled of the apples that tenants dried there in the dark, on beds of sand spread on wooden shelves.”
From: I Used to Be French: An Immature Autobiography. (Forthcoming, I hope. Order now)