Archive for April, 2011


Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The Schaffhausen television channel, one evening, aired a program critical of Swiss men wearing sandals with socks in the summertime. A young female reporter was upset and thought that this was gauche. She did not like the idea of men wearing sandals in the summer, she particularly thought that men wearing socks with sandals was in really bad taste, and further, the idea of men wearing sandals and black socks made her ill. The reporter went on assignment into Schaffhausen streets, interviewing men wearing sandals and trying to find out why they wore them, why they wore socks with sandals, and particularly, why any sane man would wear black socks with his sandals.

Because it was all in German Language, I could not understand exactly what was going on, but between my wife’s interpretation and my own ideas about sandals, with or without black socks, I found it interesting. I decided to begin a little clinical research of my own.

Many Swiss men wear sandals in the summer; I had noticed that. Please don’t ask me to explain why I had noticed and had been starring at men’s feet, noting their foot attire? I am not a shoe freak! However, I noticed because over the years, I have never personally worn sandals myself, because I just don’t feel comfortable wearing them. As a child, I had no desire to go barefoot like some kids do. Perhaps my aversion to sandals stems from that childhood distaste for being barefoot.

Unlike the television reporter woman, I have no problem with other men, including Swiss men, wearing sandals or anything else. Generally, I find most Swiss masculine fashion appealing (though I would never wear sandals).

One thing about Swiss men’s fashion that I particularly like, is wearing a black beret. My wife will not allow me to wear a beret, when I am with her, because she says it is farmer attire and she doesn’t want me to look like a farmer, though I think she just does not like a beret. But myself, I have nothing against farmers. In fact I like farmers and a few friends of mine are farmers. So when I go out alone, I sometimes covertly don my black beret like other Schaffuuser ‘farmer’ men and enjoy the comfort and dashing appearance of my beret. Anytime, I expect the TV reporter to do a show on American men wearing a black beret.

Getting back to the sandals, I decided that I disagreed with the reporter about the black socks. After a week of study, I discovered that I prefer Swiss men wear any kind, or color, of socks rather than expose their bare toes. Male toes are not a thing of beauty to me. I am not insinuating that Swiss men have exceptionally ugly toes; it is just that I do not find anything attractive about any man’s toes. In fact, I have found over the years that there are a goodly number of women wearing open toed shoes who have unattractive toes (In my opinion, it is really an exceptional woman, like my wife of course, whose foot can boast of attractive toes).

To get to the heart of the men’s sandal matter, ultimately it would be necessary to research their purpose for wearing sandals and exposing a large portion of feet and especially the frontal appendages (toes). Are sandals worn for reasons of comfort, style, or sex appeal?

Certainly, it is questionable whether or not bare feet are sexually stimulating, to anyone. However, to make a point about that, I must digress and relate another sandal experience I had, apart from Swiss men and their sandals.

When I taught high school in San Diego (a place of endless summer and sandal season), it was a violation of the school dress code for girls to wear sandals to school. One day a young female student came into my classroom indignantly complaining that the girl’s vice principal had sent her friend home to change shoes because the sandals she was wearing violated the school’s dress code. When ask why sandals were not allowed, the vice principal (a stately older female) told the girls that , “Sandals expose the nude foot, which is too sexy and distracting!”

Then, the young lady asked me to comment, expecting me to support her contention that bare feet are not sexy. In spite of any feeling that I had to the contrary, I told the student, “Yes! The bare foot is sexy, and it states that very clearly in the Holy Bible.”

The young woman was flabbergasted and challenged me to prove my point, which I had hoped she would do. In those days religion in the schools was less a crime than today, and the Gideon Society used to provide a King James version of the Bible in every class room. By this time, my whole class was involved and wondering how the teacher was going to get out of this mess that he made for himself.

Thumbing through the pages for the appropriate verse in “Songs of Songs”, I read to them from 7:1, “How beautiful are thy feet in sandals,” which in that particular context indicated bare feet were sexy, as were other body parts, comparing legs to jewels, navels to goblets, and breasts to fawns. This was about the only part of the Bible that I knew much about.

Not really fully trusting me, some of the students demanded to read it for themselves and I quickly obliged. It led to an interesting discussion of sex, religion, and footwear. The next day, half the class brought in their own, different Bibles, of every kind and description: Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, and a half dozen different interpretations, all led to basically the same conclusion.

The students became convinced that bare feet were sexually stimulating and it caused them considerable concern. They had to deal with their own personal attitude about bare feet and consequently, it raised a few other questions in their minds about themselves and their own sexuality. My students’ teacher chose to go on to another subject, like the US Constitutional Right to Bare Arms.

Fortunately, I was not tarred, feathered, and ran out of town on a rail for violating the student’s Freedom of Religion. There is, however, my own ‘cross to bear’; I still carry the guilt of convincing my students that toes are sexually attractive when I really don’t believe it.

Now, getting back to my clinical research and the television report on Swiss men, sandals, and socks. Rather than create further problems for myself (my resident visa was due to be reviewed by the Swiss Foreigner Police and I preferred not to jeopardize my residency because of an obsession with men’s bare feet), I would cease and desist expending any effort to find out why Swiss men are prone to wearing socks, even black socks, with their sandals.

Still, the sandal issue is intriguing. Later when riding the bus, I observed that when mothers brought their tiny, baby Swiss sons onto the bus in a stroller, invariably the little boys were wearing sandals with black socks. The mother had to be responsible because the little boys were incapable of putting on their own shoes and socks. At that point, I became convinced that there was a secret conspiracy of Swiss mothers that was responsible for their men wearing sandals with black socks.

Lately, I have become curious about what the motivation is, that prompts Swiss mothers into making their male offspring predisposed to wearing ‘sandals with black socks’. If I ever learn to speak German, I intend to ask them.

From the unpublished book, The Immigrant.


Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Indiana has passed legislation providing the State to issue vouchers for most parents to send their children to private parochial schools.

Very simply, this is a move to eliminate Public Schools. Public Schools are forbidden to indoctrinate students in political, religious, or economic ideology and that is why private parochial schools were founded and exist, today; private schools are parochial schools, founded specifically to indoctrinate students in a particular political, religious, social, or economic ideology.

Public Schools are required to be democratic and must refrain from indoctrinating students. Providing tax paid vouchers for students to attend private schools for indoctrinating students in religious, social, political, or economic ideology has always been considered unconstitutional until the present Neocon Republican majority of the Supreme Court decided differently during the President G. W. Bush Administration; it is the same Supreme Court majority that stopped the recounting of votes in Florida that put G. W. Bush in the Presidency.

Tax supported Public Schools were originally founded in America to support democracy in America and enlighten the electorate; providing tax supported vouchers for private schools is using tax money to indoctrinate students in other than democratic government.

The Supreme Court decision allowing vouchers for private schools was a very bad decision for America’s Public Schools and for American democracy. It damages Public Schools depriving them of tax support and certain student demographics; carried to the extreme it would mean the end of Public Schools.

Certain groups of Americans, like the John Birch Society and some Tax Payers organizations, favor privatizing Public Schools and eliminating Public Schools as we know them for ideological or tax reduction purposes. These groups are exceedingly wealthy and powerful and have emerged since the 2010 elections to attack Public Schools in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and some other States and are a serious threat to the Public Schools.

POST SCRIPT: It is particularly stressing for me, who had a lifelong career in Public Schools, to see the media complete miss the primary issues in reporting news about the Public Schools. Americans have always before, in my lifetime, taken American Public Schools for granted, were proud of their Public Schools, and supported them. Today, the media is daily bashing Public Schools and the teachers. Why? It is obvious that the opponents of Public Schools are influencing the media because they are the wealthy advertisers that media depends on for their profits; the media is focused on profits and sensationalism and care nothing about enlightening their readers or the educational needs of the citizens. For newspapers, if it was not for Public School teachers teaching the people to read, newspapers would have no customers.


Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Jesus was trying to tell the Republicans something:

“…a certain ruler asked…what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “…sell all thou hast, and distribute unto the poor…and come follow me.” Luke 18;18-25. Holy crap, that’s socialism or a misprint!

Holy crap! Jesus said, “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:25 Donald Trump would fire Jesus?

Holy crap!  Evidently, if Republicans can’t go to Heaven the next best thing is for them to buy a democratic election.

From the Holy Crap Album


Monday, April 25th, 2011

I have been severely castigated and called names at times because I have maintained that Americans are ignorant because the American media self-censors the news to please their advertisers and the US Government. Today, Sunday April 24, both the British Guardian and the New York Times, both privy to secret documents about Guantanamo Bay, wrote headline stories on the same subject. I would simply ask that people read both news stories and make their own decisions about self-censorship, however subtle.

Do you believe that Americans reading one version would react differently if they had read the other version?  Of course, what most Americans say is the America has freedom of the press and therefore you can believe American media and you can’t believe foreign news media. That’s B.S., I’m sorry.

From 2000 until 2005, I lived in Schaffhausen Switzerland and read foreign newspapers and American newspapers on the computer and I was horrified by the differences particularly regarding the war. Over the years since my return to America, I have ask many of my fellow Americans about specifics well known in Europe and find Americans are completely ignorant of those facts.

Here are the links for the same story:

New York Times story:

British Guardian story:

Judge for yourself.

Fantastic Exposé of Koch Family, John Birch Society, Tea Party and Extremist Republicans

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Today I picked up a fascinating link from a really nice person about Dylan Ratigan’s TV program on MSNBC about the two Koch Brothers and their father; the Koch brothers are the wealthy dudes who financed Gov. Walker and other politicans and Walker’s attack on labor unions and public schools in Wisconsin (and America).

Two investigating journalist, an American Mark Ames and a Russian Yasha Levine, wrote the story about the Kochs which was published and then squashed for a year and a half for political reasons but has now been released.  This interview and story provides some excellent facts and information about the Kochs, the John Birch Society, the Tea Party and the present day American political scene in Wisconsin and America.  Basically the Koch brothers bought and are buying candidates, elections, and influence with their forty-four billion dollar fortune.   Gov. Walker of Wisconsin is their latest project.

I checked on the story and found the Koch’s father Fred listed on “The Council” of the John Birch Society with an interesting notation, in my copy of the John Birch Bluebook of 1961.  It reads:
“Mr. Fred C. Koch.  President, Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, Wichita, Kansas.  Strong supporter of many patriotic movements, and especially right-to-work legislation”

The story and interview appeared on MSNBC and there is a video and transcript of the interview at this link. A story filled with fact and ideology; it is fascinating:

This is a very valuable bit of listening and reading that puts missing pieces together and gives insight into what is going on today in Wisconsin and America.  Like any political or ideological campaign it is in reality a covert conspiracy, you can’t escape it.

The John Birch Society is very secretive and operates though front groups; this is all explained in the John Birch Bluebook, I don’t make this stuff up. If in doubt, read the John Birch Bluebook for yourself.

I am deeply indebted to the really nice person who provided me with the link and MSNBC.


Monday, April 18th, 2011

Today’s top story was Secretary of State Clinton condemning Gaddafi for using “cluster bombs” in Libya, “Clinton’s Cluster Bomb Hypocrisy”:

Clinton’s remark denouncing Gaddahfi for using cluster bombs is reprehensible. As an American citizen I am ashamed of Clinton and ashamed of the fact that the USA used cluster bombs and incendiary bombs on Afghanistan prior to the invasion of Afghanistan when the world knew that there were no military targets in Afghanistan and the people and the sovereign nation of Afghanistan was NOT responsible for 9/11.

I was in Europe at the time, I saw in European film clips on TV, the devastation and slaughter that cluster bombs inflicted on Afghan civilian adults AND CHILDREN. The European TV commentators told audiences, “These pictures will not be shown on television in America.” That statement was something new for me to hear on TV in Europe; Americans would be uninformed. Americans still are uninformed.

As an expatriate living in Europe, I was never treated the same as I was before the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. For the first time in my life, I felt like a piece of American crap.

Americans today, either don’t believe my story or don’t care.

However, the official American comment on the bombing of Afghanistan was, “Afghanistan was carpet bombed”; Americans actually used B-52 bombers to carpet bomb Afghans civilians with cluster bombs and incendiary bombs when there were no military targets there and the Afghan people had nothing to do with 9/11; the terrorist attack on America was the responsibility of one man, Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian citizen and head of a terrorist band.

Children in Afghanistan picked up pieces of unexploded cluster bombs laying on the ground, to play with, and had the bombs explode in their hands. I saw on TV the results; people in America never saw it. Hospitals in Afghanistan were overloaded with bloody Afghans and they had to turn other victims away.

This is one reason that America is hated around the world, ESPECIALLY by Muslims who were America’s target in Afghanistan. I have always loved America but I admittedly understand the hate others have for it, particularly Muslim people who suffered the most from the American bombing. The Muslim people were not responsible for 9/11, Osama bin Laden was responsible.

Post Script: There is more to the story. Though I should not have to defend my feeling about war with Afghanistan, I feel obligated to express my reasoning for protesting the war. In 2001, I was a resident alien living in Switzerland. When 9/11 occurred, I went into shock because I remembered Pearl Harbor.

When the announcement was made that the attack was by individual terrorists and not a sovereign nation, I was gratified that this was not the beginning of another war. Then, when talk about an invasion of Afghanistan began by President Bush, I wrote an email to friends and family in America expressing my objections to that or any war; I was castigated by friends and family and my neighbors from America emailed me to, “Never speak to them again.”

Needless to say, I am not a prophet. But then the American “carpet bombing” of Afghanistan using B-52s, cluster bombs, and incendiary bombs began, and the bloody massacre of Afghan civilians began to show up on every television in Europe; but Americans never knew.

When I arrived in Switzerland in 2000, I was warmly received by people because I was an American citizen; after the 2001 bombing of Afghanistan, I was largely avoided by europeans. When people did talk to me they never mentioned the war or the Bush Presidency. The U.S. State Department sent me a message to refrain from speaking English in a crowd and not to wear cowboy boots while in Europe. If strangers asked where I was from then, I told them, Canada.

Admittedly I am a sensitive person; I do have a conscience. I haven’t changed my opinion since 2001, and I am still reviled in America as unpatriotic and a Muslim lover by a lot of people who hate my guts; I sleep well at night with a clear conscience. There are more stories I could tell, like the one about a lovely Afghan woman that became a nice friend to me in Switzerland at that time. This is all part of my memories of 2001 and after. Truthfully, I do want to have my story told in America today; it’s a personal thing for me. No one else cares.


Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Now is th

In the British Press the other day, there was this gem about USA politics and the shutdown of US Government; “The battle over the budget has seen a revival of the culture wars of old, with negotiations over a shutdown that could put 800,000 federal workers temporarily out of work coming down to a dispute over abortion.”

After reading it, I thought about it for a moment. The statement was true but it wasn’t reported in American newspapers that way if at all. This is just another example of how the American public is “dumbed down”. Holy crap, Americans know less about what is going on in America than the British and other Europeans do; this was ever so evident to me when I was living in Switzerland 2000-2005. During the time I lived in Europe, I was extremely concerned about the way facts were kept from Americans by the media.

Finally, it dawned on me. The news media in Europe is in the business of disseminating the news and there are lots of different newspapers and lots of different TV news networks and they compete in reporting the news just as the media used to do in America, one hundred years ago; but that’s not true today. In America, the news media is corporate owned and controlled by a very few wealthy people holding a monopoly and they do not compete for the news; news media each has its own subscribers and subscribers have little other choice.

American news media are in business, not so much to enlighten subscribers, but instead to make a profit; profits come from advertisers and it is the advertisers that have to be satisfied and not the subscribers (readers or listeners). The news that is reported is therefore “spun” or self -censored so as not to be offensive to the media’s advertisers.

Unfortunately, the networks and newspaper chains are also dependent upon the government for news; the government tends to be partial and therefore the media also spins the news (self censorship) in many instances to pacify government officials.

For example when pictures of American soldiers torturing prisoners of war were made public, Fox News was the only new network that did not publish the pictures; Fox News, of course, is obviously partisan and biased.

What is most upsetting, however, is that the average American voter is totally uninformed about the most important issues of the time and that is made obvious by various national opinion polls.

When the polls indicated at one point in time that 62% of the American population believe Saddam was responsible for 911, despite that fact that was not true according to American intelligence, it is a tragedy to think that a majority of Americans had cast their votes in an national election and conceivably made their voting decision based upon a lie. But, that is exactly what has happened in America, in recent years.

Our American Constitutional forefathers knew that if citizens were required to make the decisions in the American democratic Republic, the electorate would have to be an enlightened electorate. That is why early American leaders supported public schools in the Northwest Ordinance of 1785, even before the U.S. Constitution became the Law of the Land. Congress required that one section of each township be used for a public school.

Historically, the signers of the Constitution would not approve of the new U.S. Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added providing for Freedom of the Press, among other freedoms. Certainly the Constitutional Forefathers did not anticipate that the news media of the future would perhaps deliberately distort the news for political purposes and profits.

Today in this Electronic Age, the internet has made research so easy to do that it is considered a wonder in the world; at the same time, the internet is also sometimes used to distort fact and provide false information and propaganda. Many people in the world today are totally unaware of the fact that so much of what is found on the internet is falsehood and lies; individuals must be ever so diligent in choosing only internet sources that they know to be reliable.

Personally, in my experience as a high school teacher of history and government, I have always been particularly sensitive to students and the public being able to distinguish between fact and fiction; I always warned students not to believe everything they read or heard but to study the sources and determine whether or not that particular source is reliable (and those sources included their teacher).

Having said that, it was always exceedingly difficult for me to explain to students, this clause in the United States Constitution relating to Members of Congress: “The Senators and Representatives shall . . . in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the Same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.”

A teacher of the U.S. Constitution has to respect adolescent student curiosity about the privilege of their Senators and Representatives (adults) that allows these Legislators to tell fibs during the Sessions of Congress without consequences; I always wonder how many Americans remember this clause in the U.S. Constitution when they see and hear Members of Congress on television, speaking on the floor of the House of Congress?

Recently there seems to have been a number of extremely bizarre speeches of questionable veracity being televised, showing Members of Congress speaking from the Floor of the House of Congress; it always seemed to me that there should be a U.S. Constitutional disclaimer on the television screen when Congress is being televised, in session.

Most Americans today, do not have the time and energy required to take advantage of their computer and read the same news item from a half dozen different sources; being retired, I fortunately do have the time and I have found that doing it can be quite discouraging as well as informative. Over the years, however, I have discovered which sources in circumspect have proven to be reliable. At the same time, it is of interest to note that irresponsible media continues to be irresponsible over time; that is a strong indication that their misinformation is intentional.

Certainly it would be interesting and informative to actually discover what Americans know and do not know.


Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Speaker Boehner, titular head of the Republican obstructionist party has said, “America is broke!” Looking at the national debt we must assume that the Republican Leader is right. To be solvent, America would have to sell off all the ocean front property at Camp Pendleton Marine Base to pay off the National Debt, God forbid; those gallant Marines deserve to play there.

So when I go broke, I have to make some serious choices based on what is most feasible; I can get s second job, sell the second car, or turn off the heat.

America is no different; when America is broke it either has to raise taxes, sell off Camp Pendleton, or cut off essential expenses like the nation’s health and well being.

The problem with the Republicans, Speaker Boehner, and his TeaBaggers is that THEY WANT TO MAKE THE DECISION and prohibit me from casting my vote on the matter; they, like the Republican’s mentor, the John Birch Society, do not believe in the democratic process. Instead, they believe that they have been ordained by everyone’s god to pack a gun and make all the decisions for the formerly American democratic Republic. Whooee! They do get-my-goat when they take away my vote!

Poor ole President Obama wants so much to be loved that he is willing to give up all of my security as an American that I have already paid for, to the Republican Teabagging Birchers in order to reduce the American deficit and alleviate the mind-boggling national debt burden on my great grandchildren, who are adorable. You know? I discovered that my great grandchildren don’t seem to really give a damn about their debt and appear to rather enjoy playing in the mud and tracking it into the house, bless their hearts; I’m with them, of course. I confess to tracking mud!

Whenever anybody talks about balancing the budget and paying off the debt I immediately think of President Clinton. I always admired President Clinton for alleviating the budget deficit, creating a surplus, and being blessed with consenting oral sex from an intern.

President Clinton achieved fiscal responsibility and was blessed with a monetary surplus by simply alleviating waste in the Department of Defense; something his predecessors had been unable to accomplish. Actually, President Clinton’s intern was not involved in his budgetary success nor did President Clinton use mirrors.

Suddenly it dawned on me that the greatest contribution to the deficit and the national debt was two Republican Presidents named Bush going to war to use American military strength for the benefit of Corporate America, the Oil Industry, and the Project for the New American Century Think Tank of John Birch Society ideology. Since American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are totally unnecessary and have not accomplished anything positive, except for the Oil Industry, America should just get the hell out of those countries and balance the budget without depriving women of health care and denying subsistence for the poverty stricken and unemployed.

The logical way for America to gracefully withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq is the same way that America withdrew from Vietnam, very fast by helicopter and airplane.

If eliminating the expense of war is not sufficient to balance the budget, I suggest that congress repeal the budget cuts to rich Americans and raise taxes on all Americans with and income; however, if it is necessary to sell off ocean front property at Camp Pendleton Marine Base, please inform me of the sale and the price; it sounds like a good investment.


Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Perhaps you have not heard that I do not celebrate birthdays; it has nothing to do with being ungrateful for being born because I celebrate my birth every single day that I wake up. Today was no exception.  Because a flock of people reminded me that I was ever older than I was yesterday, therefore I thought that I would have two Bloody Marys this morning instead of one, just in case.  Holy crap!  I’m getting sentimental in my old age.

Everyone thinks that I am crazy because I don’t celebrate my birthday; what the hell, I recognize that my drivers license expires on that day; it is just that I don’t see that as anything to celebrate.  Dumb-ass people!

I got a whole bunch of birthday cards, some very sentimental.  For some, it seems like a Holy confession of eighty-one years of my sins and they love me anyway.  Holy crap!  “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam; I’m Poopeye the Stellar Man.”

Last year my two children from far out of town, surprised me on my birthday and came and stayed with me for a few days; that was the best birthday that I ever had. I suppose last year’s birthday spoiled me and its too much to expect it to happen again today; probably last year, my kids thought it was their last chance. Looks like I surprised them, this year.

Well, my eighty-first birthday started out well; I woke up. Today I will live every second of every minute of this day as I have every other day of my life and if I wake up tomorrow I will have no regrets. Condolences to all of my enemies, which are legend; I have a clear conscience fools.  And to all those who love me, thank you for your nice thoughts and spending all that money and time on birthday cards and good wishes; I thank you all and you are all still going to have me to kick around for a while.

I can’t wait until next year!


Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Let us get something straight in America. All those “you progressives” that business and extremist Republicans are condemning every day in the media, are America’s working Middle Class who made this nation what it is today by the sweat on their brow; corporatio­ns, business, and industry are not capable of making things; they can only hire the “you progressiv­es” to make things for them from which they derive a lucrative profit. Businesses are actually not capable of making anything but profit.

Corporations, business, and industry are not human and they are incapable of emotion, such as compassion or loyalty­. Yet, even our pets can be loyal and show compassion­.

It is important to remember that the only purpose for having a government is to do for its people those things that the people cannot do for themselves as individual­s. Government has no other purpose.

All businesses are required to have a license from our government to legitimately be allowed to engage in a business. It is the police, firemen, and the courts of our government that preserves the property rights of business and it is the government’s public schools that educates employees of businesses.
Corporatio­ns, business, and industry are nothing without our government­ and those “you progressives”; therefore they all have a fiduciary responsibi­lity to the American people and their American government­.  Yet today,  businesses obviously are out to destroy our government and condemn the people for wanting the security of their government and a voice in their own destiny.
Shame on American corporations, businesses, and industry for their greed, irresponsi­ble and inconsider­ate behavior, and hateful and destructive politics that has so adversely affected the people and the government of the American democratic Republic.