Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank You Neil Young!

It is Memorial Day and Neil Young has it right. Go and feel it, the real Patriotism of America the Beautiful!

Support our troops and bring them home!

Please double click on the image so that you can see the scroll clearly.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Grey’s Anatomy

I don’t get to watch network TV very often. I go to bed early so I miss most of the network shows. Well, tonight because it is a holiday tomorrow I stayed up and caught Grey’s Anatomy. Now I had heard of it and heard very good things about it, but at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening it was too late for me to watch.

Well, there is a reason that it has such good reviews. It is actually quite good. It reminded me of the early days of LA Law. It has several stories that weave together with a similar moral theme. It makes you think, if you are up to it.

Intelligent television is quite refreshing.

Just thought I would pass it on.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Republican’s Corruption v. Democrat’s Corruption!

I believe that many politicians are corrupt. I believe that not only are the Republicans corrupt but that there are many Democrats that are corrupt. I say that as someone who has worked in politics and has experienced the less than ethical behavior of some of my once heroes. However, I believe that today what we are seeing is a different form of corruption.

With the Republican scandals what we are seeing isn’t just an individual here or there. Sure Democrat Jefferson is is probably corrupt and Democrat Mollohan looks corrupt. But these two cases don’t appear to be connected in anyway. What we are seeing in these two Democratic cases isn’t an enterprise. What we are seeing in the Republican Corruption Scandal is that it is an organized enterprise.

Now, voters often say both parties are corrupt. Well, I think that misses the point. Yes, individual politicians may be corrupt. But are both parties? The Republicans came to power in 1994 and vowed to return ethics to DC, okay and do away with any blow jobs or stamps that might have gone missing ( let's keep in mind folks that the federal government didn't pay postage until long after this scandal.) So, what is one of the first things they do: they announce the K Street Project. Well, my first reaction was: holy shit they want to institutionalize bribery and the oligarchy! Sounded over the top to many at the time, however in retrospect it looks prescient. But, maybe not so much, maybe just obvious.

Let me explain something here. When I was an undergraduate a professor of mine made an observation about me. She said that I have the ability to put things together and connect the dots. "So,. . .," was my reaction. She told me that most folks are unable to do that and that I had a gift. I, on the other hand, just thought that what was obvious was obvious.

You know like electing Nixon in 1972. I was aghast that the voters had re-elected an obvious crook and made impeachment and probably worse inevitable. Likewise, when the government deregulated the S&L’s I was aghast, because it was obvious to me after working in the business of S&L’s who the idiots were running those businesses and what the consequences were. Then came the brilliant idea to take down the barriers between Investment Institutions and Banking and the resulting insistence on Quarterly Profits Reports from publicly traded corporations. “Obviously insane, they are begging for cooking the books,” I said. I am going to ignore the obvious disaster that was totally predictable by electing Reagan and Bush I to the highest office in the U.S.A. and the ensuing mayhem because only an idiot would have thought that was a positive. Ignoring the consequences of Clinton’s Welfare Reform seemed obvious to me at the time as well, but then I was just a bleeding heart, knee-jerk liberal.

And then of course was the obviously insane idea to have an elitist, morally and intellectually deficient, frat-boy selected as president. But, once again what I thought was obvious wasn’t so obvious after all as he was actually ELECTED in 2004. And he was elected by a plurality of the electorate unlike in 2000. WTF!

So, let’s get back to my professor who thought I had a gift. Enter here the idea and theory about concentric thinking. Enter here also John Delaney and his analysis of how we learn. Through Professor Delaney I learned that I am a top down learner. I need to understand the larger picture, policy if you will, in the legal framework, in order to understand the pieces that fit into the picture. It turns out I am not a linear thinker, I am, at first, a concentric thinker. In other words, the first thing I do is take into account the whole picture and then analyze the parts as they relate to the whole. So, it isn’t so much a gift as my Professor had suggested, it is a way of seeing the world, a lens as it were.

This is different from what Prof. Delaney explains as the bottom up learner. This type of learning is where you take the blocks and build up to the whole. This is also the most common form of learning, also teaching, and the lens for most folks and how they see the world and information. Well, whack me on the forehead as it appears that what I think is obvious isn’t all that obvious! My Bad!

I apparently see the world though a different lens! Up until these revelations as to cortex, and pedagogy, or whatever, I had always assumed it was because I was Canadian! I had also assumed that it was because I am a news and fact junkie and read everything I can get my hands on and have since I could read anything. Then of course there was my therapist who thought it was because of my I.Q. (note: all therapists want their patients to be gifted, it’s more challenging that way.) But mostly, I thought it was obvious to me because I was paying attention!

And that brings me back to the Culture of Corruption Enterprise in the Republican Administration and Congress. Who is paying attention? This isn’t a corruption scandal this is an enterprise scandal. This strikes me as a RICO issue. You know, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. It appears organized folks!

Now why do I think that this is an Enterprise and not one of individual actors? Well, first of course is the K Street Project and the ever lovable and ethically challenged Tom DeLay which was an unabashed concerted effort to make all money, access to policy and legislation, and all things Republican. Then we have the ever widening Duke Cunningham scandal, what with Foggo’s office and house being searched. Then we also have the investigation into Jerry Lewis as head of the Appropriations Committee. These are not unrelated folks these are major actors in the Congress and they all appear to be raping the Federal Treasury, much like the tax breaks that are being extended to the oligarchy by the Bush Administration, the Medicare D drug prescription bill, the Bankruptcy bill, etc., not to mention the Paris Hilton tax cut.

All of these actions are about taking the Federal Treasury and making it work for those who can pay to play. It is a multi-pronged attack on Democracy and the Safety Net. The deficits will destroy Medicare and keep the Insurance Companies and Big Pharma in control. The deficits will destroy Social Security and keep the workers putting their money in a 401(k) which enriches Wall Street and does little or nothing to ensure the workers’ retirement. Mean while the defined benefit pensions of millions go under funded.

Yes, folks, this is an Enterprise to dismantle Democracy and we won’t even get into the many illegal action this Administration has taken to dismantle the Constitution.

It appears that if you can’t pay to play in this government you don’t get “democracy.” And that is large and small D.

What are you doing about it?

The latest poll from the American Public seems to suggest that most American’s don’t care all that much about democracy and the U. S. Constitution. Why am I not surprised! See Billmon on Leviathan.

It’s hard being responsible for your actions and beliefs. Being a good German means that you can lay the blame elsewhere. It is so much easier, isn’t it?

But, let me leave you with this: when the NSA has decided that your phone calls are some how connected to the terrorists it is going to be very expensive to fight the Federal Government and explain how your Aunt Fatima in Pakistan is just your innocent aunt and not in anyway connected to terrorism even if she does live in an area that supports the Taliban, etc. And then of course the Bankruptcy bill will not be of any help will it?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bush Was Not Amused!

I know that this is old news, but I just came across it and thought that it was instructive and therefore not such old news.

On that infamous evening at the Whitehouse Correspondent’s Association Dinner ABC News trained its camera on the President for the reaction shots to Colbert’s Video. This is a terrific clip as you get to hear Colbert and watch the President’s less than enthusiastic reaction to his up close and personal encounter with the Colbert Report.

Bush was not a happy camper. I guess Colbert wasn’t cowed and awed by his rubbing shoulders with the Pres and the Press.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life.

Well, thank “God” there was at least one sane person on the jury.

Moments later, Edward Adams, the court spokesman, announced the verdict outside the courthouse and said the 12 jurors "were not unanimous" in favor of a death sentence for Moussaoui, meaning that he automatically gets a life sentence without possibility of parole. He said the verdict does not indicate how many jurors voted for a death sentence and how many opted to keep the defendant in prison.

The decision came after about 41 hours of deliberation over seven days. Nine of the 12 jurors found that Moussaoui's dysfunctional childhood was a "mitigating factor" favoring a life sentence.

The jury as a whole found that prosecutors had failed to prove one of the three key "aggravating factors" that the government said called for Moussaoui's execution: that he committed his crimes in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner." Jurors also declined to find Moussaoui, who was sitting in a jail on Sept. 11, responsible for the nearly 3,000 deaths that day.

At the end of their 42-page verdict form, three jurors wrote in an additional factor in their decision: that Moussaoui "had limited knowledge of the 9/11 attack plans."

This trial has been one of the most Kafkaesque legal fictions that I have every witnessed. It is hopefully a sign that maybe, just maybe, the 9/11 Fever is breaking.

As an agnostic all I can say is Thank “God” or the “Gods.”