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Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are available at Amazon.
Websites at www.Jim-Freeman.com and www.dark-side-of-the-moon.com
I am politically left of center, tempered by respect for some of the thought on the right. It's the partisan intransigence I have opposition to and always try to frame my commentary from a thoughtful rather than outraged point of view. God knows there is enough to be outraged about, but that doesn't serve a useful purpose. We need coming together, not further distance.
I'm not young, having lived in portions of eight decades, but it gives me a sense of perspective, having experienced a goodly part of our history. I was there before TV, there when Wall Street gave sound advice, there when we knew our neighbors and banks were local. Many of my readers were alive and working before the internet, Wal-Mart and McDonalds--but damned few personally remember FDR, Truman and Eisenhower.
It's been a wonderful experience, but I have never had reason to fear for the future of my nation and I'm very deeply concerned at the moment. Essentially a novelist, I felt the Clinton impeachment and Bush administration left me little choice but to set aside fiction and speak out publicly. That's not a choice I regret, but I am sad for the circumstances that require it.
The Senate, "Getting Something on the Floor' and Trusting it's not a Dead Child.
Thus we arrive at Harry Reid's Tuesday announcement that Diane Feinstein's assault-weapons ban did not have the support of enough members to get it through the Senate as part of the gun control bill. A bi-partisan shortfall, the blame for this one can't fall entirely on Republicans. Paraphrasing Reid, "I have to get something on the floor that will pass and this isn't it."
Path to Citizenship, or Ship to Nowhere?
The Senate, in what they tell us is a bipartisan plan for immigration reform, cloaked its partisan nature behind something they euphemistically call "a path to citizenship."
Monday, January 21, 2013(1 comments)
Liar's Poker at the Federal Reserve--"Can't anybody here play this game?"
That quote's attributable to Casey Stengel, expressing his frustration over his team's spectacular ineptitude. Spectacular ineptitude is exactly the phrase that defines Ben Bernanke's chairmanship of the Federal Reserve throughout the Fed's stumbling, blundering support of special interests relating to the 2007 financial meltdown.
Thursday, December 20, 2012(2 comments)
Fear of the "Fiscal If"
Something must be done, they all rant and by something, they mean their particular something. The better question is should something be done? This not-so-humble commentator thinks no, nothing should be patched together in a last-ditch effort to avoid enforcing the Budget Control Act.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012(3 comments)
The Fat Lady Finally Sang
I view this as a watershed victory, without ironic reference in to Hurricane Sandra. Old white America has finally lost its 236 year grip on the nation and its politics.
ARRIVAL TIME, 2010; A VIABLE THIRD-PARTY OPTION
No matter how you break it down, or whose numbers you care to adhere to, a growing number of Americans are leaving their Republican or Democrat tags to declare themselves independent. Most figures hover at approximately 40%.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008(2 comments)
SAM ZELL'S HEROIC DECONSTRUCTION OF ICONIC NEWSPAPERS
Maybe Zell, the man with small-time ethics wrapped in a big-time ego, sees himself as a Murdoch impersonator, but both the LA Times and Chicago Tribune are dissolving under his ego and inorance. If his idea is to save news by killing off reportage and investigative journalism, he's on the wrong track.
Monday, March 10, 2008(3 comments)
Smash the Presses Before Ben Bernanke Starts Printing
We are no longer a capitalist society and have not been one for some years now. We are an interest-rate dependent consumer society and the sole, wheezing, smoking engine left to support that house of cards is consumer confidence. Essentially, the American dream has become a confidence-game (noun: a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property).
Why a Democrat President Hasn't a Chance to Save the Nation
I lay my case, that no Democrat (or Republican for that matter) can come into office on January 19th of 2008 and find the support-either within the country or the Congress-to do that which must be done. History has proven with depressing regularity, that what man conspires to avoid, economic reality will enforce.
DON'T WORRY WORLD, IT'S ONLY US
America's Pentagon, that bee-hive of activity that was run by Donald Rumsfeld (before Iraq went so wrong and he was canned) is preparing weapons to fight the next battle from space.
Sunday, November 11, 2007(6 comments)
A DIFFICULT ALLY AND A DANGEROUS ENEMY
I've worn out my keyboard ranting about our president's fixation on nuclear 'possibles' such as North Korea and Iran, while nuclear reality Pakistan has always been the least stable of the bunch.
Friday, November 9, 2007(5 comments)
New York Times Editorial on Kids' Health and Tobacco-Wrong Again
Engaging in demagoguery against Big Tobacco is the easy reach for a newspaper too lazy or morally indifferent to go after the problem head on. Since when has it become shameless to protect a corporate profit when the state decides to confiscate it in the name of children?
SCHUMER & CO, SLOPPING AWAY AT THE TROUGH
Sixty grand to buy the United States Senate. Two hundred-fifty grand buys the United States President. Twenty grand here and twenty grand there positions Halliburton, Blackwater, Boeing and their 'privatization of government' enthusiasts to simply take our democracy away and hide it.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
MAD ALAN GREENSPAN WITH MORE ADVICE
Alan, whose advice has been uniformly bad during his last term as Fed Chairman, wants no suppression of bubbles on the one hand and (by inference) a managed way to get rid of 'units'--houses, in less contrived jargon.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
MAD or NUTS Take Your Pick, It Might be IRRITATE
Iran currently has the market cornered on cheerleaders for war, while no one gives a damn as Pakistan falls into chaos. But I suspect Louis Beres feels Israel has a special hold on American nuclear pre-emption, no doubt because of the Holocaust-an entirely European affair.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
BULLFEATHERS AND BIG SUGAR
What better metaphor for government? In a way, it's comforting that American sugar, the world's most expensive, will continue in that capacity due to yet another ten years of subsidy. Keeps that Central and South American sugar in its place. Sticks the corporate finger in Fidel Castro's eye.
Monday, October 29, 2007(2 comments)
WAR AGAINST DRUGS--LOST KIDS TO LOST NATIONS
There is no one to stand up against these far more deadly agents of destruction, these Community Anti-Drug Coalitions, who have successfully moved tens of thousands into our prisons, destroyed nations, killed thousands, wrecked tens of thousands of lives--and made not a nickel's worth of difference to our children.
Put On the Cuffs, I'm Guilty as Charged
Jane Harman, a Democratic member of the House from California, has just gotten together with fellow members to pass HR 1955 RFS. Just four days ago, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 sailed off to the Senate. Harman had fourteen co-sponsors, ten Democrats and four Republicans. Harman's bill has been called, quite properly, a "thought crime bill."
Friday, October 26, 2007
The Master Liquidity Enhancement Con (duit)
In a stunning editorial leap of faith, the New York Times headlines that "3 Major Banks Offer Plan to Calm Debts in Housing." What three major banks have actually suggested, with Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson safely in tow, is that someone else sail in to save their considerably-at-risk bacon.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007(1 comments)
RICH AS ROCKEFELLER NOT NEARLY RICH ENOUGH
This makes me as angry as anything I have read in this past over-angering year of politics. The scion of one of the nation's wealthiest families guttered in the payoff trough with the likes of Randy Cunningham and Jack Abramoff. Never enough, is there John?
Monday, October 22, 2007
AH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE . . .
Aha! That explains it. Crocker and Petraeus changed that strategy that they wouldn't tell the Congress about just last month, to another strategy they won't tell anyone about, but one that updates itself to fight the guys we put in power over the guys who were in power.
Saturday, October 20, 2007(2 comments)
TWO SIDES OF A VERY DIFFERENT FARMING STORY
Once upon a time that farmer-consumer thread was unbroken, but those were the days before lettuce in January. Who among us remembers the precursor to farmers' markets, the farm-stand on the rural highway at a farm gate?
Friday, October 19, 2007(1 comments)
AND ON THE 3RD DAY, CONGRESS RESTED
There's all this inane controversy over Senator Larry Craig, when it's actually Senators Pat Leahy, Arlen Specter and Charlie Schumer who are in bed with George Bush.
Unprepared in Iran, the Follow-Up to Unprepared in Iraq
Yet in the face of this evidence (and with a Congress too cowed on terrorist issues to stop him), Dick Cheney, through his surrogate George Bush, plans to attack Iran before the remaining fifteen months of his administration have gasped their last.
Monday, October 15, 2007
KICKING THE LAST LEG OUT FROM UNDER THE IRAQI CHAIR
The Pentagon, no doubt while Robert Gates was busy elsewhere, trying along with Condi Rice to rekindle a sense of bi-partisan goals between Russia and the United States, was up to mischief in Iraq. Serious stuff--the kind of decision-making that characterized the early blunders by L. Paul Bremer, for which we are still paying a huge price.
CONGRESS DROPS WHITE HOUSE DEMANDS, ALONG WITH ITS PANTS
In the dance this administration orchestrated over the still-warm corpse of American values, 'abhorrent' has come to mean 'offensive to the mind, but allowable.' Most of us were flim-flammed by the wording, victims of adminispeak; in common context, the synonyms are repulsive, detestable, obscene and repugnant.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
ARE THERE NO SUCCESSES IN THIS ADMINISTRATION?
It's shocking to see our mainstream newspapers regularly (at long, long last) referring to this administration with such phrases as "waste, fraud and political meddling that are a hallmark," along with "arrogant massing of executive power" and "one more barn door to be closed on an irresponsible administration."
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
A 2nd Shaming of America by the Supreme Court
Of what use is a secure nation that has lost its conscience? Is there a man or woman who would stand and say "I give you my freedoms to keep me safe," or is that merely the wail of children afraid of something under the bed?
Monday, October 8, 2007(1 comments)
Bush Shoots Down Antique Planes
It is (arguably, but barely) necessary for the president to travel and to speak, even at fallen firefighters memorials, but at what cost? Two or three million bucks? Just to make what is clearly a political statement and inconvenience a bunch of ordinary folks.
Monday, October 8, 2007(1 comments)
So NOW What the Hell are We Doing Here?
It was about Saddam until it wasn't. Then it was about al-Qaeda until it wasn't. When it wasn't about 9-11 and wasn't about nation-building, it became about holding the gangsters away from each other until they could form a government. Maybe even a democratic government, although we'd have settled for any government that could hold our coat for us as we beat a speedy exit.
Sunday, October 7, 2007(6 comments)
Free Speech Becoming Too Expensive
No one has thus far enacted an anti-bribery law because the Congress is a co-conspirator. Congress itself equated free-speech with the ability to pay for free-speech and locked us in the "I can afford more free-speech than you" box, from which there seems no exit.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
RUMSFELD PRIVATIZES MILITARY, THEN QUITS
If this sounds like a military and State Department that's lost its sense of mission, that's because it is. Report if you feel like it guys--otherwise just Rambo around the country between beers.