Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Right wing blogosphere embarrass themselves...again

Glenn Greenwald tells an interesting story about the right wing blogosphere's latest fiasco where certain right wing bloggers allege a document is fake--only to turn out to be wrong.

As linked in Greenwald's post, Greenwald has previously catalogued the number of times fairly prominent right wing bloggers have made accusations against the authenticity of human sources or documents, and where the accusations turn out to be completely or at least largely wrong.

Also, as Greenwald notes, Ace, at his blog site, used highly intemperate language against a left oriented blogger, Juan Cole. Here is the direct link to Ace's foul language laden attack on Cole. Note: Remember Ace of Spades next time someone tells us about left wing bloggers who are supposedly unhinged. Yeah, there's some cursing out there on both sides, but I am struck by the personal vitriol by the right winger, Ace, against a left wing blogger who is not known to be a cursing sort of guy, i.e. Juan Cole.

Final comment: Regardless of this particular episode or document, the right wing bloggers have got to start facing reality about the situation on the ground in Iraq for American soldiers. When I read statements such as this, I am again confirmed in my view that the US must leave Iraq--now. The Congressional Democrats who joined Congressional Republicans in dissenting from the majority of Americans who favor specific timetables and a withdrawal plan have once again failed the American people--and it is they, along with the Cheney-Rove administration, including the figurehead Bush, who have the blood of every dead American soldier on their hands.

Why can't we all agree Bush "won" when he toppled Saddam and that, because the Iraqis are insisting on fighting a civil war, we should leave them to themselves? That is not "cut and run." That is sensibly staying out of someone else's fight. For example, if I believed the Sunni minority was actively wishing us to help save them from the Shi'as, I could begin to understand why we'd act as a peacekeeping force with the UN. But that has never been the case since Saddam was overthrown and captured. I understand helping the Kurds in northern Iraq, and from what I've always read, the Kurds like our presence there--and I can see maintaining some forces there. As for the remaining two-thirds of Iraq, it's time to leave and let the Shi'a and Sunnis battle out their civil war which, again, they are insisting on having.

(Edited)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Most economists are still idiots, but wisdom may yet break through

Christopher Hayes has written a helpful article about the state of the economics profession in the Nation magazine.

What he could have added, though he said it in a different manner, is this:

Too many economists lack an understanding of sociology or anthropology, which disciplines demand that its practitioners work hard to be empirical and open minded. These disciplines often reject metrics and many sociologists and anthropologists recognize that the questions they ask and the assumptions they make are the main reason bias may overwhelm the observations and conclusions they may observe and reach in any given project or analysis. Worse, most economists don't even try to understand biology, particularly the studies of the mind by people such as Eric Kandel.

Therefore, when I hear an economist tell me about "rational human behavior" as the assumption to their econo-metric "models," and I find they offer no insight or support for their specific assumptions other than what we in the history-political science world disdain as "conventional wisdom," I know that I am dealing with an idiot. Either that, or a corporate whore. It saddens me to say it is that simple.

The Nation magazine article refers to economists who recognize the need for empiricism and more inter-disciplinary knowledge as "heterodox" as opposed to "orthodox." Even that phrasing, which originated in the profession, not the article writer, is both telling and condescending. The phrasing first tells us we are dealing first with a group which functions as a dogmatic citadel, not a group of people with independent minds attempting to understand human behavior and policy analysis. The phrasing further insults "heterodox" economists because the implication of such phrasing means one is less than a "true" or "real" economist, as the article discussed regarding the situation at the University of Notre Dame, where such economists were essentially pushed to the margins by the university leadership (likely backed by ideologically motivated corporate interests).

Economists, as a group, have a long way to go before they realize how silly their profession has been in terms of their general analyses, particularly on trade issues, and how destructive their policy prescriptions have been to our nation's commonweal.

(Edited)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ignorant reviewer of Bugliosi book regarding JFK assassination

It is a shame that, sometimes, the NY Times Book Review hires people to review books on subjects of which they are totally ignorant.

Case in point: Bryan Burrough, a writer from the increasingly disappointing Vanity Fair, was strangely asked to review, in last week's NY Times Book Review, Vincent Bugliosi's new tome on the JFK assassination.

Bugligosi has written a book on the JFK assassination that is 1,621 pages--plus a separate CD-Rom which stores the endnotes. Yup, even Burrough was struck by that ridiculous number of pages, all purporting to explain that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Yet, Burrough, who appears to know little about the JFK assassination other than it happened, is overwhelmed by it all--to the point where he ends up agreeing with Bugliosi that those who believe JFK was killed by more than one lone nut deserve only "ridicule." If there is to be ridicule, it should be directed against Burrough and Bugliosi.

In his review, Burrough quotes the venerable conspiracy investigator, Harold Weisberg, who admitted he could never prove Oswald was anyone's "agent." Burrough thinks this statement proves Weisberg failed to prove a conspiracy, which, under the law, is simply two or more people engaged in an illegal act or scheme. Burrough is wrong. Weisberg's statement is not an admission that there was no second gunman; just that he couldn't prove at the time he may have said that, whether Oswald was someone's agent.

I recall a similar statement by Weisberg when I spoke to him once in the late 1980s. At the time, I had stumbled upon, and read, the first of Weisberg's books, Whitewash. I found his book so fascinating that I tracked him down through telephone information (for you kids out there, we dialed "411" on our telephones) and called him. At the time, he was living in the State of Maryland. I asked Weisberg about his other books, and finally got the courage to ask the bottom line question: "So, who killed JFK?" Weisberg laughed and said that anyone who said they knew who killed JFK was just guessing. However, he did say there is little doubt there was more than one gunman--we just may never know who did it. Weisberg also said that simply because "someone" had the motivation to kill JFK, that did not mean "someone" killed him.

If Burrough knew anything about the subject, and had actually read Weisberg's work, he would know Weisberg actually spoke with the various witnesses who appeared before the Warren Comission, and read and absorbed their deposition testimony. That was the basis of Weisberg's conclusion that the Warren Commission report is flawed. Again, one doesn't have to prove Oswald was an agent for anyone to conclude the Warren Commission's report failed to sufficiently prove there was only one gunman or that the lone gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Burrough is so credulous and ignorant that he never mentions, in his review, the Mob connection to the JFK murder. See here and here for my recent discussions regarding the Mob connection to JFK's murder, for example. However, the reviwer in Publisher's Weekly (see Publisher's Weekly review in the Amazon link to Bugliosi's book) noted there is reason to believe the Mob was involved in JFK's assassination. The Publisher's Weekly reviewer further noted Bugliosi spends more time attacking Oliver Stone than analyzing the evidence regarding the Mob's involvement in the assassination, which I think proves WW Norton's editors were horribly negligent in their approval of this poorly edited and vetted book.

It's ironic to note that historian Alan Brinkley, asked to review a new book on the Kennedy brothers, in the same edition of the NY Times Sunday Book Review, is more solicitous, though still doubtful, regarding a second gunman or conspiracy to kill JFK. Brinkley has enough knowledge of the JFK assassination to know there is credible information to prove the involvement of the Mob in JFK's murder. Brinkley's review even begins with the revelation that RFK's initial reaction to the assassination was that the Mob, the CIA or related elements may have been involved.

Brinkley also correctly notes that the new book on the Kennedy brothers is too credulous about JFK's success as president and too optimistic that Kennedy was going to lead America to the promised land. I was very impressed that Brinkley recognizes that JFK was not likely to avoid the Vietnam War if he had lived and continued as president.

But allow me to get back to Bugliosi's book, which I am still waiting to read at least part of it.

I am deeply disappointed in Bugliosi for writing a book that even another positive reviewer says is over the top in its invective and sarcasm. Worse, Bugliosi breaks no new ground and spends too much time arguing about Oliver Stone's film, "JFK," and precious little time with the most salient theory that JFK was the victim of a Mob inspired "hit."

It is sad for me to say all of this because Bugliosi is someone I have previously and deeply admired. His book on the OJ Simpson criminal trial is, by far, the best book on the subject--where he kept his vitriol under better control and provided strong support for his vitriol. His book on the Bush-Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 was rock solid on the legal arguments in that case--but I began to feel Bugliosi's vitriol was beginning to get the better of him. In this latest work on the JFK assassination, Bugliosi's bluster against people such as Harold Weisberg or Dan Moldea is unwarranted, wrong and says more about Buglosi losing his mind than all of his sarcasm that permeates what is ultimately a ridiculous book.

PERSONAL WHINE:

I admit to having a personal peeve against Bugliosi's publisher, WW Norton. A few months ago, my literary agent told me WW Norton rejected publishing my alternative history on RFK in soft cover because the book was supposedly too long at almost 640 pages (with another 60 pages of endnotes). I guess the editor at Norton hadn't read or even heard of any of the novels of Neal Stephenson or William Vollman.

Yet, Norton has published Bugliosi's book, which is 1,000 pages longer than my book. Just let that sink in: 1,000 pages longer than my book. Unlike Bugliosi's book, my book received a starred or top review from Publishers' Weekly. Plus, my book received endorsements from credible historians, writers and literary persons--and even the book's critics are impressed with the historical information provided in the book.

I apologize to readers for airing my personal frustration, though this is after all, a blog. However, I have been frustrated these past few months as my agent attempts to find a publisher willing to publish my book in soft cover in advance of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, coming up in June 2008. If someone has any connections to publishers who may be willing to publish my book in time for the 40th anniversary edition, please contact me at "mitchellfreedman@yahoo.com." I also have a connection to HBO where a top exec there says, "Mitchell, just get the book out in a soft cover, and I'll work to get a 'green light' for a miniseries." Hence, the frustration at seeing the mess that is Bugliosi's book.

(Edited)

Worker solidarity on both sides of the border should frame the "illegal immigration" debate

(NOTE TO MF Blog readers: This post was originally published on Monday, May 21, 2007. I accidentally deleted it last night, and was lucky to find it "cached" on the web to reprint it this morning.)

Too often, corporate media discusses illegal immigration through a lens of whether there is white racism against Mexicans and, to the extent there is talk of a solution, the fight is between libertarian sensibilities such as "Well, you can't stop the influx of poor people wanting work" or fearful or hateful people who scream "The US is under attack from Mexicans who want to re-take California."

This lens of white racism and open borders is precisely the way corporate officers and directors across the US want to frame the issue. By framing it in this way, one avoids formulating a policy that protects or strengthens the economic positions of American born or naturalized citizens--and frankly, of citizens of Mexico.

As Congress begins a debate today regarding a "solution" to the problem of illegal immigrants that essentially creates a "guest worker" program--a solution that strengthens employers' power at the expense of worker power on both sides of the border--I again offer my Five in One plan. What I mean by this is that all five proposals must be part of the one solution. The plan gives something to everyone, but in a manner that we should be able to live with, and with the direct goal of changing the worker-employer dynamic that has generated such inequality over the past few decades.

I should also say I am friends with a couple of progressive minded folks who detest the concept of a wall being built and primarily see the issue through the lens of white racism against immigrants from Mexico. I do not deny this reality, but it is, in my not-so-humble view, incomplete. For example, I believe that white workers who express anti-Mexican sentiments are driven far more by a fear and sometimes a rage at the loss of their job security. It is therefore up to policy makers to meet that fear or rage and provide our native born or naturalized citizen-workers more security in the form of unions, health care benefits as citizens not tied to employment, tariff policies to build up American manufacturing, and aid to Mexico that helps Mexico develop in a manner which ensures its workers are paid better and treated with dignity. People with decent paying jobs don't leave home. They stay and further build up their homeland.

Illegal immigration and the NAFTA are ways in which we as people who see the importance of public policy can connect various dots for the American electorate which is helpful to the commonweal. Talking about illegal immigration or undocumented workers in isolation will primarily end up helping corporate media and the economic elite to push guest worker programs. In the US, which already has a weak labor union base, such a program will further undermine worker solidarity.

Finally, a "political" comment: A guest worker program will create an "anti-illegal immigrant" backlash on corporate broadcast talk shows that will only end up helping Republican candidates, starting with the Republican nominee for President. Trust me on this. I can already smell the smoke from the fire.

ADDENDUM: Nathan Newman, over at Josh Marhshall's place, says if we spent a hundred times the money enforcing wage and hour laws (which cost will bring it to the level of money spent for border security last year), we'd do far more than border security has done to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants. I love that proposal, which is why it fits into part Four of my Five in One plan. From my reading of Nathan over the years, he supports Medicare for all and labor law reform, which are two other parts of the Five in One plan. Nathan also uses the term "nativist" not racist, which is a helpful way to deal with white workers who have felt under attack from economic forces over the past 25 years. Now, Nathan may not like the building the wall. However, I say, "See it as a New Deal works project" and let's build it along the Canadian border, too. Again, a true solution must be a multi-part plan, or it risks a backlash and ends up in failure--and lowered wages for more workers.

(Edited)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Meanwhile, at the Oy-Vey Corral...

I thought that Israel had a great opportunity to tell the world it wants to pursue peace with the Palestinian people while the Fatah and Hamas forces were killing each other. Wouldn't it have been great for Prime Minister Olmert to say,"Uh, guys, when you're through killing each other for awhile, would any of you be interested in peace talks with us?"

But, no. The Israelis decided to bomb the heck out of the Hamas strongholds, and either tell the world it has chosen sides, i.e. Fatah, or else worse, it just enjoys taking advantage of Palestinian disunity to kill more Palestinians. The Israeli media, however, continues to score points for openness and robust debate: This opinion article from Ha'aretz would never be printed in most American mainstream newspapers.

Separate from the debacle that continues to define Israeli foreign policy with respect to Palestinians, this development with Syria is promising. Note to those overeager Walt-Mearsheimer fans: The Israelis had to ask the US for permission to speak to the Syrians. If the Israelis really controlled the US, then why ask the US for permission? I'm sure there's an answer there, but it's gotta be pretty convoluted, and therefore unpersuasive.

(Edited)

Democratic Party leadership sell out on trade...again

Just watch this. And please watch the whole interview Bill Moyers has with John R. MacArthur.

Bill Moyers is to be highly commended (again!) for not only talking about the politics of trade deals, but also the structural or economic issues relating to trade and how these particular trade deals undermine the social contract for the US and developing countries.

The soul of the Democratic Party continues to be at risk by the Clintons and Obamas. Edwards gets it. Kucinich gets it. And maybe the real Al Gore finally gets it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Reckless and Stupid Party

The modern Republican Party leadership has degenerated into recklessness and stupidity. At their presidential candidates' debate last night, their candidates debated among themselves:

1. Who is the most loyal member of the Cult of the Fetus.

2. Who wants to give the biggest tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans at a time when government deficits and debt continue to amass.

3. Who wants to increase the use of torture (The ones who didn't serve in the military are most gung-ho about torture, while the only candidate who actually suffered torture as a soldier in a war opposes the increase. And worse, the Republican Party debate's audience applauded when one of the gung-ho torture candidates said he wants to "double Guantanamo.")

They debate such things while this is happening in Antarctica--and most of them don't believe humanity is a significant if any cause of this type of ocurrence. Plus, there was little or no mention about how to stem the tide of 3 million lost manufacturing jobs.

In the first linked article regarding the debate, I found it sad to read Guiliani's bombastic invective-laden response to one small-base Republican candidate, Ron Paul, after Paul dared to say that what really angered Osama bin Laden about America, in the days leading up to 9/11/2001, was US intervention in the Middle East, which included the presence of thousands of US troops in his home country of Saudi Arabia.* What Paul said is really an echo of other knowledgeable observers of the region have said, including Michael Schauer, a leading CIA analyst of bin Laden's activities and speeches, who wrote Imperial Hubris. See this article about Schauer, who had written his books as "Anonymous" to avoid being fired from the CIA.

The good news is that only 30% of Americans polled identify themselves as Republican, down from 34% just three years ago. Still, one can count on a close presidential election race next year (perhaps because Democratic Party identification is only 34%!). One may also count on the Republican Party's propaganda machine to mericlessly attack any Democratic Party candidate who wins the nomination--and corporate media to continue to report Republican Party talking points as the "conventional wisdom" that must be assumed as true before it is proven false.

*Interesting to note that we had several thousand troops in Saudi Arabia on September 11, 2001. After overthrowing Saddam in April 2003, the US has had less than five hundred military advisers, having withdrawn the rest of the troops. What is very interesting is how the US, under Poppy Bush, lied to the Saudis about Saddam's supposedly imminent invasion of Saudi Arabia in 1990 in order to place US troops in Saudi Arabia in the first place.

(Edited)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dear Pope Benedict...

Recently, one of your leading aides complained about corporate media coverage of the Church and what the aide called an excessive focus on the Church's position on abortion. Worse, said the aide, the media failed to cover the Church's charitable activities. I had agreed with the statements by the aide because I hoped it was a signal that perhaps the Church would be scaling back its emphasis on abortion and better yet, re-focusing on its charity and pro-peace work.

Therefore, imagine my sadness today to read that you have threatened excommunication--banishment--from the Church if a legislator supports loosening of anti-abortion laws in places such as Mexico.

Where is the equal condemnation of Catholic legislators in the US who push war and more war? Where is the threat of excommunication against them?

If you wish to complain about media coverage being excessively focused on abortion, then you do yourself no favors when you excessively focus on abortion as a reason for excommunication. It is pronouncements such as these which give support to those who say the Church is obsessed with abortion compared to nearly anything else.

I know you have been better than this, and will be better in the future. However, today, this heretical Jewish guy is deeply disappointed, and proud of those legislators who are standing up against this threat.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stuff we should know...

David Sirota exposes how at least 40 Senators who constantly tell us why cheap imports are great for America won't apply their worldview when it comes to allowing Americans to buy cheaper medications from Canada or Europe. As Sirota explains, it is not inconsistent ideology: It is the abject bowing to the power of corporate money. This tells us why it is important to get beyond looking at ideology to tell us why too many (but not all) of our elected representatives behave as they do. The good news: We are closer than we've been in decades to an economically populist Senate, and yes, maybe next year the economic populists will attain a veto-proof majority.

Also, I always thought Mother's Day was just invented by greeting card companies. I didn't know that it began as a plea for world peace. Here is the greeting e-card to send to Mom this year.

Finally, here is one of the few economists who is not an idiot helping us understand why John Edwards has issued a strong and valuable policy statement about helping the most economically vulnerable Americans. Jared Bernstein, the economist who wrote the blog post, noted how the Washington Post unfairly decided to take a snarky attitude of looking to see if there is anything "new" in the policy proposals, as if some yutz Republican calling for tax cuts and school vouchers is telling us anything new, either. Unfortunately, this is consistent with what the Daily Howler is discussing with reference to corporate media pundits obsessinig over whether there is a Clinton v. Bush dynasty fight brewing over the White House, instead of intelligently analyzing public policy issues for its readers and viewers.

(Edited)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dreaming of Kucinich: Why not?

Robert F. Kennedy's famous exhortation to fight for what is not yet popular compelled me to at least hear out a man with whom I largely agree, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is running for president.

Kucinich did very well at the first Democratic Party debate--just after Bill Maher had Kucinich on his show the previous Friday night. And really, as someone who has lived in New Jersey and California, two states with late primaries (at least until next year), I never get to meet candidates for president. People like Obama and Hillary, and even Edwards, don't venture to California to see real people. They come to meet rich donors who pay $20,000 a plate for a luncheon or dinner--and then leave.

Not Kucinich. Today, he came to Ventura County to the home of one of my dearest friends, and I traveled up there today with my Dad to see a real live presidential candidate, and someone with whom I largely agree.

In hearing Kucinich speak, I was knocked out by his wide range of knowledge, both historical/political and literary, and his ability to connect the dots to various issues. During the question and answer period, a young woman asked him about the terribly high cost of college tuition. Kucinich responded by noting, as the leading member of subcommittees on national security and government reform, that if we just trimmed Pentagon military spending by 15% (which shouldn't be too hard, considering the last big audit showed the military had not been able to account for over $1 trillion dollars; talk about waste and fraud!), we can afford to do what we used to do: Fund college education at public institutions for everyone who wants a college education. That is both practical and visionary, and it is time we stopped letting political cynicism sap our political will to achieve what is achievable.

Another great line he delivered: Everyone says war is inevitable. So is peace, and it's about time we worked hard for peace.

At the end of the event, his wife, Elizabeth, briefly spoke. I did not know she was British, but I will say she looked like Nicole Kidman and spoke with the knowledge and eloquence of Eleanor Roosevelt. She was regal in her demeanor, but without any pretense. My Dad and I were favorably shocked at the vision of this extraordinary couple.

Kucinich says he wants no financial elite money (as Obama and Hillary have already received) and he has been going from house party to house party, spreading his message about the need for balance and believing in our nation's best angels again.

As a politician, Kucinich has been fearless throughout his career. Read here for his biography. Kucinich consistently opposed Iraq War II from the day Bush started making noises about Saddam--and Kucinich wants us out now. More long term, Kucinich has consistently supported Medicare for all Americans. He has consistently supported reforming and even repealing trade treaties that have undermined the economic security of working class Americans (and the workers and peasants in other nations). He has consistently suppported public financing of elections. He is strong on environmental protections. And he is one of the only people in Congress with guts enough to say that Bush or Cheney or both should be impeached.

Yes, I have said I have been defaulting to Edwards as a candidate, and those who have followed this blog know I have little positive to say about Obama or Hillary other than the fact that they are miles ahead of every Republican Presidential candidate. I have no use whatsoever for Joe Biden (D-MBNA) and Bill Richardson makes me yawn as much as any other Beltway insider.

So, tonight, I donated $50 to the Kucinich campaign as part of its request for at least $50 from a million Americans. No special interests, just regular folks giving money in relatively equal amounts. It's been tried before, but you know, we really didn't have the Internet before, either.

Yes, yes, I know, I know.

But listen: It's May 2007. The elections are in 2008. Lots can happen. And really, why let Obama and Hillary suck the air out of our own rooms simply because the corporate media is letting them suck the air out of their rooms?

Let's give Dennis and peace a chance in 2007 and see what happens for 2008.

(Edited)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Compare and contrast...and weep for our nation

Remember my short post about the "Republican talking-points" questions from the ridiculous Brian Williams to the Democratic Party's candidates for President? I ended the post with this statement:

"There is no excuse for such hackery from this blow dried moron. And if anyone expects a Republican Party presidential candidate forum to go the same way, with questions that delegitimize the Republican Party's principles with quotes from anti-Democratic Party letter to the editor in USA Today (!), just wait and watch."

Now, the evidence is in--and it proves the point. Chris Matthews' questions largely reenforced Republican talking points with questions that assumed Republicans are interested in exercising fiscal discipline, are tough minded with respect to foreign policy and truly interested in cutting "your" (middle class) taxes. Yes, one can say the questions diminished the candidates by exaulting Reagan--but even that is a nod to the Republican Party as a whole as Reagan was a budget buster,* a supporter of the murder of priests and nuns, who rewarded his rich friends with income tax cuts, while soaking middle class taxpayers with Social Security tax increases.

* The linked article actually understates the deficits and debt because it includes, in its calculations, the surplus revenue from the increased Social Security taxes, which taxes doubled during Reagan's two terms--with the tax increases beginning in 1983.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Joke's on CBS Radio

This is truly funny. CBS Radio writes a contract for Imus that says Imus can be a racist, sexist jerk. So, while they can fire him for being a racist, sexist jerk, they have to pay up under the contract. Why? Because he was not fired for breaching his contract. He was fired for fulfilling the contract.

Admittedly, I've only read the single portion of the contract. Perhaps there is something else in the contract that would undermine Imus' position. Somehow, though, I doubt it. As much as I had no use for Imus, CBS Radio deserves to pay for letting this guy stay on the air as long as it did.

Others explain it so I don't have to...

Glenn Greenwald explains to corporate media what our beef is about their reporting. It is less bias than competency in what is reported, what is not reported, how public policy issues are slighted and issues about "haircuts" get repeated over and over again (though here, I'll say it seems to adversely affects Democrats).

On the other hand, this corporate media print article on Guiliani finally challenges the corporate broadcast media's reporting on the former NYC mayor. Still, the question is whether this story will get anywhere near the play of a single haircut. The article is written in full snark form, and focuses on Guiliani's personality and personal issues. However, if we step back a moment and ask, how might a Guiliani administration might interpret and act on the extraordinary powers given to the Executive under the Patriot Acts and related Acts of Congress--then, we see the right wing id written all over his candidacy: Fear is the prime motivator of most right wing views. Fear of Commies, liberals, gays, feminists, Arabs, and illegal immigrants. I'm not calling right wingers racist as much as I am calling them bed-wetters who scream and vent "tough-sounding" rhetoric that merely hides abject fear and equally sadly, ignorance.

Still, as Mike Huckabee says, if any Republican supports Guiliani after being critical of Clinton's private conduct, they owe Clinton a public apology.

Meanwhile, this article on honeybees tells us how the welfare of relatively small creatures like the honey bee can significantly impact human survival. While the article does not mention climate change, one may be pardoned for speculating whether changes in the climate produced the virus or mite in the locales of honey bees that have now adversely affected entire populations of honey bees. For the want of a nail..., a kingdom was lost.