Jan. 5, 2015  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my Blogroll in the lower right hand column),        

Happy New Year, everybody! We’ll begin this first week of 2015 with another doubleheader of podcasts from our resident podcaster extraordinaire, Burr Deming. Today, BBurr first examines, with great sensitivity, the bad effect even a few bully cops can have on society.

BURR DEMINGIn his own words, Burr states, Holiday reunions always bring family discussions. This year, a large part of those discussions focused on the police.

I was used to family opinions. Everybody has one.

This was different. This time, everyone had a personal story.

On the way home, the traffic itself provided an insight in good, bad, and cascading effect.”  

Link to podcast:
Link to transcript:
In the second podcast, Burr rips a gaping hole in the lying argument presented by war criminal DICK Cheney that torture was effective, and that it wasn’t even employed by us at all after 9/11, as put forth by the lying George Tenet, or that a very partisan and lying Lindsey Graham could so easily dismiss.

burr demingIn this one, entitled “Torture and the Lie of Effectiveness”, Burr states,  Cannibalism was seen as the ultimate depravity, too horrible to contemplate. But when the story of the Donner Party became known, most survivors were treated with compassionate sympathy. The circumstances seemed to justify the unthinkable.

There is a lesson that applies to the debate on torture. It may be an unexpected lesson.”  

Link to podcast:
Link to Transcript:


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Dec. 31, 2014  By Jack Jodell.  

It has been a long and eventful year. After a six decades-long absence, an American Embassy will soon open again in Cuba. This is generally receiving wide approval, although certain young political crybabies like the far-right Tea Party darling Marco Rubio complain about it bitterly. Like most Teabaggers, though, Rubio is far from pragmatic and prefers to sit all alone in bitterness and isolation. Who cares about that spoiled little yuppie anyway? THIS blogger sure doesn’t!

Speaking of the Tea Party, they helped engineer a disastrous Republican takeover of the US Senate in those godawful midterm elections of last November. Now Sen. Ron  Johnson of WI will end up as Committee chair for the committee which oversees the Postal Service. Johnson wants to privatize that institution and favors bankruptcy and massive layoffs there rather than having it continue as a government-run institution. Let that be a lesson to every lazy Democratic or progressive voter who failed to vote in November: that is exactly the kind of non-leadership we get when reactionary, government-hating Tea Party Republicans take over! Likewise, We Progressives must do all we can to prevent these  government-hating yahoos from granting President Obama fast track privileges to saddle us with a very horrible passage 0f the dreaded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade arrangement! We must also fight the construction of the dreaded Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as fight all efforts to privatize the US Postal Service and to to protect it from insolvency!  Because so many progressive voters stayed home and didn’t vote in the election, the reactionary Republicans gained a lot of power they are NOT entitled to!  We must now dig in our heels and resist them every step of the way for the next two years, or all the great benefits we have fought for since the 1930s will be done away with. It’s high time we put up our dukes and began to defend our ground, for the next two years will definitely not be easy!

Thankfully, though, not all is doom and gloom for the progressive cause. The President DID come out strongly in favor of net neutrality, so at least in that area we can rest a little easier.  Gasoline prices are down tremendously as I write, and I hope this temporary respite won’t slow our drive to implement new, affordable, renewable energy sources!

Another bright spot on the horizon is a trend I have been detecting recently toward favoring smaller, locally-owned businesses and away from big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and the like. I just saw a remarkable film on FREE SPEECH TV called “The Apple Pushers.” It focused on the struggles of many New York street vendors, who, despite all obstacles, were making a go of it on busy New York City sidewalks and street corners. These incredible people, overwhelmingly legal immigrants, put in long hours, day after day, to own their own businesses and pursue their own American Dream.  They have been dealing in organic foods and fresh produce, selling affordable, locally-produced and nutritious foodstuffs to their neighbors. They stand in stark contrast to the unhealthy, fast food icons like McDonald’s and Burger King which stand in their midst. Most importantly, the  money they make stays in their local community rather than being scooped up into the hands of greedy, uncaring multinational corporations. Go to http://www.applepushers.com for more info. It is good old-fashioned Americana at its very finest. I have also seen this spirit alive in Denver, with the advent of the GrowHaus phenomenon, which offers locals healthy fruits and vegetables, locally-grown, as well as cooking classes and nutritional information at affordable prices. Check out http://www.thegrowhaus.com for more info on this. Even here in Minneapolis, MN, I have seen Hispanic immigrants restore old, decrepit areas of the city,  cleaning. painting,   repairing, and setting up storefronts. What had once been miles of broken glass, crack alleys, and urban decay has now been transformed into bright, alluring small shops and markets. It is an inspiration to see. I applaud these smaller merchants and entrepreneurs who are unwittingly fostering and renewing the American Way! They are doing far more to enhance and renew their surroundings than Wal-Mart, Target, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Ctibank, or any other huge, piggish multinational has ever done, or could ever achieve! So it is with a sense of optimism rather than despair that I now look at 2015 and beyond. The forces of greed, oppression, ignorance, and exploitation will always be among us. But, as progressives, it is our duty to fight them, relentlessly, tooth and nail, to ensure that their sordid agenda will remain forever an aberration, rather than becoming a horrid new normal.

So take notice, all you reactionaries who hate progress, practice obstruction,  and are afraid of change: I, and millions of others just like me, will never rest until you have been soundly defeated and are rusting on the scrap heap of history, where you belong!                                                             

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Dec. 29, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my Blogroll in the lower right hand column).

Happy last Monday of the year, everybody! This will also be our final podcast of the year, but our resident podcaster extraordinaire, Burr Deming, assures me there will definitely be more in 2015! Burr, also the creator of and chief author over at the excellent blogsite FAIR AND UNBALANCED.COM, is a gifted writer with an often dry sense of humor whose work I am proud to feature here at the start of each week.

Today, Burr takes exception, as do I, to some inflammatory remarks made recently by that blowhard, attention-seeking former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. This chronic liar just won’t shut up and can always be counted on to make some outrageously false and snide remark or accusation, He shares this contempt for the truth with outher Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican crazies like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Michele Bachmann, especially when appearing on Fox “News.”

burr demingRegarding this far-right moron’s latest nonsense, Burr says, “.Rudy Giuliani has found a theme in public statements by President Obama.

It is that everybody should hate the police.

It occurs to me that a simple sense ethics will compel Mr. Giuliani to hold others to similar standards. It has to. His well known level of integrity demands it.”

Link to podcast:
http://fairandunbalanced.podomatic.com/entry/2014-12-26T18_11_58-08_00  Link to transcript:

UP ON WEDNESDAY: “YEAR-END MUSINGS – 2014” – see you then!


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Dec. 24, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

As I look out over the dark, freshly slush-covered streets this Christmas Eve night, I feel many mixed emotions. I am pondering the millions of innocent victims whose lives were either stolen from them or were negatively altered in some horrible way. Yes, even in this time of joy I am haunted by these thoughts, although the victims I shall soon describe are undoubtedly far from the thoughts of most of this season’s merrymakers. Yet they are real and persons I cannot forget about or lightly dismiss, especially at this particular time of year! Regarding VICTIMS, tonight my thoughts go out to the families of the slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. I think of those poor innocent 6 and 7 year-olds and their teachers who were ruthlessly murdered, just before Christmas, and my heart still goes out to their grieving families, these years later. I think, very sadly, how justice has been denied for all of them, and how utterly senseless the murders were. I also think of the VICTIMIZERS – those who insist that any and all restrictions on guns must be forbidden, making it relatively easy for kooks to commit mass murder. This, of course, refers to the rabid leaders of the NRA and all of their paranoid and deluded followers in Congress..   Such people are cruel and very cold-hearted. To insist that the solution to violent gun deaths or mass murders is even more gun ownership is incredulous to me – where is the sanity here?  

I also think of the Jews who needlessly died, so cruelly, in the awful Holocaust in Europe brought on by the Nazis in the 1940s – how they were herded up like cattle and slaughtered en masse – just to satisfy the hatred and lust for power by a demented group of far-right extremists! Where was the sanity there? And what of the current beleaguered Palestinians?  Today’s Israelis are confiscating their property, dispossessing them, depriving them of their liberty – much as the Nazis did to the Jews less than a century beforehand! Can’t these modern-day Jews understand that what they are doing today so closely resembles what was done to them by the Nazis, and that two wrongs do NOT make a right? Where, might I ask, is the sanity THERE?  How can a people be a victim AND a victimizer? Don’t they know any better, and are they fools?

Then I think about the hundreds of thousands of  innocent people who met an early, untimely death during the horrific 9/11 attacks? And why have so many  been senselessly maimed and murdered in the Iraq War, begun in 2003 by bloodthirsty, lustful, greedy war criminals like DICK Cheney, George W. Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld – how could such evil, deluded, paranoid types ever come to rule a great nation and trick it into such a costly and immoral war? How could they rendition and torture innocent people as they did? Why did so many innocents languish in Guantanamo for years at a time as they did, completely cut off from friends and family? How is it these paranoid victimizers have gotten away scot-free?   And how is it that President Obama can continue their misdeeds by indiscrim9inately killing thousands with drone strikes? Where is the sanity HERE, and where is the JUSTICE as well? Why have so many victimizers been allowed to run rampant?

Let us also never forget those who have died because they were non-Caucasian here in America. Martin Luther King, Jr., Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner, and  perhaps millions of indigenous Native Americans dating back for several centuries fit in here. Their victimizers were racist whites and conquering white European soliers. Here, who was the savage and who was the civilized? And where was justice?

And what of the millions of people worldwide who had to suffer devastating economic loss in the recent Great Recession of 2008?  Why have those who caused them their misery and destroyed their livelihood been allowed to go scot-free without any punishment whatsoever? Why have these outright villains been allowed to continue on, unregulated, to prey upon and create new victims?  These are but a tiny few of the great many victims who have suffered due to the actions of extremely bad victimizers throughout history. Unfortunately, there have been many, MANY more!  

Then, too, we have seen numerous victims  who weren’t deliberately victimized but who suffered needlessly due to the negligence of others. In this case, I think of those who died or suffered radiation sickness and later died painful cancer deaths due to the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukishima, to name but two,  

These are, admittedly, dark thoughts to be having on Christmas Eve. However, humankind’s inhumanity to their fellow human cannot be denied. We cannot allow ourselves to forget so many needless victims. ALL the world’s major and minor religions teach us to be considerate, generous, empathetic, forgiving, and supportive of our fellow human being. Let us remember that as we celebrate this holiday season. Let us strive to never become a victimizer, just as we strive to avoid becoming victims. Let us resolve to observe the Golden Rule, and to always do unto others as we would have them do unto us, shall we?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL – MAY YOU FIND THE LOVE, HAPPINESS, COMFORT and SECURITY WE ALL SEEK AND NEED!:-)                                               

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Dec. 22, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my Blogroll in the lower right hand column).  

Happy pre-holiday weekend, everybody! This being Monday, it’s time for our week-beginning podcast from our resident podcaster extraordinaire, Burr Deming. As many of you know, Mr. Deming is also the creator and chief author of the brilliant blog called Fair and Unbalanced.com  

Today, Burr tackles the subject of torture and talks about its bizarre interpretation by one of the most bizarre Extreme Court judges we have ever had – Antonin Scalia. Talk about Grinches…

burr demingBurr tells us, There is a harsh truth at the heart of the interrogation debate.  

We are presented with a moral ambiguity, a sort of ethical Sophie’s Choice. What about that ticking clock and the choice between torture and the death of innocents? 

The harsh, terrible truth is that the choice does not exist. It never has. 

Instead, we are endangered by a much more dangerous ticking clock.

After we investigate ticking clocks and enhanced interrogation , maybe we should think about the most dangerous ticking clocks we’re likely to encounter.”

Link to podcast:
Link to transcript:  



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Dec. 18, 2014  By Jack Jodell.    

Hard to believe, but once again it’s almost Christmas. Santa had to hire a part-time, undocumented elf this year to help him sort through the record number of more-than-deserving possibilities for his annual Bozo of the Year Award. You may recall that each year at this time, Santa gives an award to the one person or group whose antics during the past year were either so foolish, outrageous, or disgraceful that they deserve almost universal ridicule and scorn from everybody else.

(Past recipients have included:
2013 – The 113th Congress of the United States                                                             2012 – Ex- Hostess Brands, Inc. CEO Gregory J. Rayburn and his entire                           executive board
2011 – the entire Republican congressional caucus
2010 –   the ridiculous and annoying Phillips “Colon Lady”
2009 – Richard Heinke, the knobhead who faked sending his young son up                    in a supposedly runaway hot air balloon
2008 – disgraced Democratic former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.)

  Santa struggled so long and hard over this year’s list, in fact, that he and his elves were barely able to get his sleigh loaded up in time for his ride on Christnas Eve to distribute a gift to all the good little girls and boys across the whole world! But, Santa somehow prevailed, as he always seems to do, so here is a peek at how he ranked this year’s prospective batch:

HARDLY WORTH MENTIONING AT ALL goes to Republican Congressman DARRELL ISSA for completely wasting taxpayer money on worthless hearings and investigations which yielded absolutely nothing! Santa will give the gift of a parrot for every room in Issa’s home, plus one for his congressional office. As a special added gift, Santa has taught each of these birds to squawk each hour, around the clock in unison,  “AWWWKKK – BENGHAZI!” alternately with “POLLY WANTS A STOLEN CAR – AWWWKKK!” Hopefully, this goof will eventually get the message and end his obsession with grandstanding worthless investigations…

DISHONORABLE MENTION goes to the Democratic voters who omitted   voting in this year’s midterm elections. Santa was flabbergasted that so many of you lazily stayed home and neglected to cast a ballot. Your neglectful irresponsibility has led directly to a Tea Party-infested Republican Party capture of control in the U.S. Senate, and Santa is fuming about that! Santa will give each of you the gift of a daily Tea Party robocall – a plague that will continue  until election day, 2016! 

Another DISHONORABLE MENTION goes to the outgoing Democratic Senate Majority Leader HARRY REID, whose limp-wristed, uninspiring, mild-mannered approach did little to benefit or advance progressive causes in the Senate. This former boxer allowed the odious Mitch McConnell to box his ears in and replace him as the new, Republican Senate Majority Leader. Santa will leave Reid alone, to massage those cauliflower ears of his in silence, all by himself, for the remainder of his term in the Senate. 

3rd  RUNNER UP goes to that grandstanding, self-centered egomaniac Texas Republican Senator TED CRUZ. Santa doesn’t cotton much to government-hating showboaters like this repugnant Teabagger, who masterminded a government shutdown once and now threatens to engineer another one once Republicans take control of the  Senate in January. Santa’s gift to this sneaky Teabagger will be massive primary defeats in his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. ‘Nuff said!

2ND RUNNER UP goes to Teabagger / Libertarian / Republican Senator RAND PAUL, who wants to become President so much that he will twist himself in any direction on any issue it will take to ensure he will appeal to, or at least deliberately confuse, as many voters as he can to get their vote. Santa’s gift to this double-talking shape shifter will be a giant laxative-filled pretzel, so that after eating it, this numbskull will soon realize what all his twisting and turning will reveal to him what he is actually full of!  

RUNNER UP goes to the weepiest, most angry and truculent, least productive Speaker of the House in our nation’s history, JOHN BOEHNER. Santa is most disapproving of the way Boner has repeatedly tabled good bills and continually deferred to the wishes of his unruly, government-hating Tea Party caucus. Not only that, but the crybaby way he has attempted UNSUCCESSFULLY to sue the President has attracted zero attention from usually lawsuit-happy  attorneys! Santa correctly views this, and the way Boner sheds tears at the drop of a hat, as signs of weakness. So, Santa’s gift to Boner this year will be a coarse-grained sandpaper handkerchief. Maybe after the Speaker tries to dab up the tears a few times with this special hanky, he’ll learn to stop being such a wimp!

FOURTH PLACE goes to the constipated turkey who will soon become the next Senate Majority Leader – MITCH McCONNELL. NOBODY likes this guy: Kentucky voters are wildly UNenthusiastic about him; he doesn’t appeal to a significant number of his Senate colleagues; a good portion of his Republican caucus doesn’t care for him; and Santa’s guess is that his own mother didn’t like him too much, either! This bozo has deliberately obstructed way too much legislation over the past 6 years, and has definitely NOT earned his fat Senate paychecks! It seems that the only people who like this guy are wealthy Wall Street bankers, and Santa doesn’t have too much time for them, either! Santa has decided to give this unfortunate goofball two solid years of presidential vetoes for any pro-wealthy legislation McConnell will try to push – and it will serve him right. 

THIRD PLACE goes to Iowa’s new Senator-elect JONI ERNST. Santa suspected he had a high-ranking Bozo in his midst when he first heard her nauseating, guffawing laugh, but knew he had a real Bozo on his hands when he heard this crazed bimbo Teabagger boasting about how she used to castrate pigs in her early years. This seemed wackier than anything even Michele Bachmann had ever said, so Santa will be leaving this new Senator-elect a heaping platter of pickled pig’s balls on her dinner table to help her commemorate what she must view as “the good old days.”.(Naturally, he is hoping none of it gets stuck between her teeth). God help Iowa, and God help the U.S. Senate!

SECOND PLACE goes to the Grand Jury who failed to even indict the cop who, in New York City last July,  choked Eric Garner to death for allegedly selling single cigarettes without a license. For a time, Santa  had considered both the prosecutors for this case as well as for the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. for this year’s award, but when he saw the video footage of Garner’s strangling, heard the victim yell “I can’t breathe!” ELEVEN times in rapid succession, and saw how this video completely contradicted the murdering cop’s account of what had happened,  Santa was certain that the real Bozo candidates were the deaf and blind morons  who were sitting on the Grand Jury. Santa will give each of these jurors a free trip to an audiologist, plus three blind mice to chase all throughout their hp,es. As for the negligent prosecutors,  Santa won’t even give these corrupt and ignorant fools the time of day!                                        

That leaves only our Grand Prize winner for Santa’s Bozo of the Year for 2014, and now, as drums start rolling, that moron is:






























For the very first time ever, this award is TIED! No matter how hard he tried, Santa simply couldn’t differentiate between these two entrants, so he proclaimed BOTH of them to be this year’s grand prize winner~! The first of these equals was…

ROBERT JAMES O’NEILL, the self-proclaimed killer of Osama bin Laden.  Santa was taken quite aback by this ex-Navy SEAL’s self-centeredness and juvenile need for attention. He was quite provoked by O’Neill’s immature and brazen “Look, Ma – no hands!”  attitude and boastfulness about taking the life of another human being, even one so vile and deserving as bin Laden was.  Such glib callousness does not sit very well with Santa, so once he heard O’Neill shooting his mouth off, Santa knew right then that this guy is a REAL Bozo, and was the biggest co-Bozo in this year’s bunch of very sorry prospects.  

The OTHER co-Boo was PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. Santa was utterly dismayed to learn that the President had colluded with John Boehner and the crooked Wall Street banking crowd against his very loyal former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to pass a very smelly Republican budget. By abandoning the progressive wing of his own Democratic Party to basically kill Dodd-Frank and resume derivative trading, the President proved that he is really the Capitulater In Chief and has no backbone whatsoever. Santa will be holding his nose thos year as he attempts to give the President a spine transplant for Christmas, and he is sure hoping the P{resident’s body won’t reject the transplant!! So there you have it, folks…

A very merry and blessed Christmas and holiday season to all of you, dear readers! I’ll be back before the dawn of 2015 with my annual post of “Year End Musings.” Be safe, well, and joyous!:-)                         

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Dec. 15, 2014  By Jack Jodell (in association with Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my Blogroll in the lower right hand column).

Happy Monday, everyone! This being the start of the new week, it’s time for ourpodcaser extraordinaire, Mr. Burr Deming, to weigh in with another great doubleeader. This first one  seems to refute an assertion made by mainstream media MSNBC’s Chuck Todd  that President Obama has been overly isolated from real, everyday Americans.

burr deming In Burr’s words, “Chuck Todd’s recent book offers a searing analysis of the Obama administration. The unwavering opposition of Republicans is already well documented. But Todd suggests that President Obama is also to blame for roadblocks to policies that would help the poor and middle class. 

Todd worked hard, talking with hundreds of Washington insiders. He has been able convincingly to demonstrate insularity and isolation from the real world. But not in the way he, or anyone, could have anticipated.”

Link to podcast:
Link to transcript:  http://fairandunbalanced.com/blog1.php/2014/12/09/chuck-todd-discovers-president-obama-is-
The second feature in this doubleheader is entitled “TORTURE AND VALUE”

Here, Burr gives us his take on the subject of using torture to obtain intelligence from our enemies, and how this nightmare (begun in the horrid administration of George W. Bush and DICK Cheney) goes against the historical grain of the United States. I stand in firm agreement with him!

burr demingOn this topic, Burr tells us, ” Our culture has always reacted strongly against torture. Look at how we have portrayed our enemies.  

But, for some of us, something changed the day we were attacked. What had been wrong became right. 

Conservative reactions against the Senate report on torture contain an obvious self-contradiction: 

On one hand, we did nothing wrong. On the other, it will hurt our image and provoke foreign opposition if the wrongdoing that we didn’t do is exposed. 

But I am struck less by contradiction than by a less obvious, and more dangerous, consistency.”  

Link to podcast:

Link to transcript:


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