America’s Real Traitors

by Walter Brasch The Tea Party wing of the Republican party thinks House speaker John Boehner is a rhino. Not the thick-skinned horned mammal that lives in Africa. This rhino is an R-I-N-O . . . Republican in Name Only. The Tea Party thinks Boehner, by sometimes listening to both sides and occasionally, but rarely, agreeing with some Democratic ideas, is a traitor. They believe anyone who disagrees with them is evil. A traitor. A RINO. The extreme right-wing is also delusional. John Boehner is as much a RINO as the one-ton plant eaters are Chihuahuas. The latest dust-up between the Speaker and the right-wing came when they wanted to block funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The Tea … Continue reading

Ferguson City Manager Resigns

Good riddance to the city manager of Ferguson who was cited in the DOJ’s report on Ferguson… The city manager of Ferguson, whom a Department of Justice report blamed as one of the officials responsible for much of the questionable conduct by the police and the courts here, has agreed to resign. The announcement came during a City Council meeting here on Tuesday, about a week after the scathing Justice Department report. The manager, John Shaw, 39, had held the post since 2007. As Ferguson’s chief executive, he is the city’s most powerful official. Let’s hope more below this scum step down as well. I don’t believe the buck stops with John Shaw. Me thinks it is time to clean … Continue reading

International Women’s Day: She’s ‘Not There’

Women have mysteriously vanished across New York. The cause isn’t the work of zombies or alien-abductors, it is an advertising stunt promoted by the Clinton Foundation to co-opt “some 40 existing advertisements, posters and other media, cutting out the women as part of a campaign to call attention to gender inequality.” Gone is Rosie the Riveter “from her iconic poster in a bus shelter,” and Serena Williams has “faded from a giant Beats billboard in Times Square.” So too is Scarlett Johansson missing “from the March cover of Condé Nast’s W magazine.” The stunt, the work of the advertising agency Droga5, was intended to drive online traffic to a report by the foundation’s No Ceilings initiative on the status of … Continue reading

President Obama’s Moving Selma Speech

The “march is not over yet,” President Obama said in Selma today in one of the most moving speeches he has ever given. We have seen way too much evidence of late to believe that racism has been defeated. We need only look to Ferguson to see that evidence. Via the New York Times: Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, multiracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land. The NYT also … Continue reading

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks on Departure of State Department Chief of Staff David Wade

Secretary of State John Kerry’s longtime, trusted aide, David Wade has stepped down from his position as Chief of Staff. David Wade has been aide to John Kerry in a variety of capacities since he joined Kerry’s Senate staff in 1997 as a speechwriter. From speechwriter, David Wade rose through the ranks to press secretary, communications director and finally chief of staff in Kerry’s Senate office. When Kerry moved to the State Department, David Wade, was by his side at Foggy Bottom, sticking with Kerry with the unwavering loyalty that was a hallmark of David character. I don’t find a lot of time to write about politics lately, but I do feel the need to take the time to wish … Continue reading

They Brand Cattle, Don’t They?

by Walter Brasch “Branding! We have to make you a brand!” “I’m not cattle,” I told my sometimes faux foil assistant Marshbaum, who had just burst into my office. “And if you think I’m getting a tattoo,” I replied, “my body isn’t a canvas.” “It’s sure wide enough,” Marshbaum flippantly replied. Before I could throw sheets of wadded up paper at him, he explained what he meant. “It’s not a fire-iron brand,” he explained. “It’s strategic marketing.” “I’m a journalist,” I reminded Marshbaum, “I don’t do that kind of thing.” “You will if you want to stay in business.” “I’ve been in this business four decades, and I’ve never been branded.” “That’s why we need you to do TV commercials,” … Continue reading

Divesting America of Ozone-Destroying Energy Sources

  by Walter Brasch   Long before the price of gas and oil began to plummet, socially conscious churches, universities, non-profit organizations, and local governments began to divest themselves of fossil fuel stock and shock the fossil fuel industry to understand the environmental and public health concerns. The World Council of Churches, which represents about 590 million Christians in 520,000 congregations, decided in July that to continue to hold fossil fuel stock would compromise its ethics, and recommended that the 349 member denominations consider divesting oil and gas stock. Six of the eight Anglican dioceses of New Zealand and Polynesia, and four dioceses in Australia divested their portfolios of fossil fuel stock. In the United States, the United Church of … Continue reading

Miami Police 3 Times More Likely to Kill Than New York City Police

Police Siren 2

An extensive analysis of police homicides found wide discrepancies in the rate of police killings among major metropolitan police departments, when measured against population figures. Contrary to popular belief, New York City—-with a police homicide rate of 1 in 123,529 citizens—-ranks near the top (best, least people killed) of large cities in the U.S. The NYPD killed 68 people from 2007 – 2012 out of a population of 8.4 million. In Miami-Dade County, in a population of 2.5 million, (less than a third of the people living in NYC) police killed 68 citizens during that same five-year period. This means that citizens of Miami are 3.5 times more likely to killed by their local policeman than their counterparts in New … Continue reading