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ODD ENDS

Though not a particular fan of Bill Maher, I recently checked out the DVD of the Movie "Religulous" which features him.  The film was released in 2008.  It is marvelously reflective on the mumbo-jumbo and hocus-pocus of the major world's religion.  Mr. Maher is quite adept at making reflections on the mythological claims of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that might cross the mind of the "common man."  He is equal in his probing questions of the three major faiths, and he goes to some of the key places revered by these religions.  And he talks to key leaders of them as well.  Yes, at times it is irreverent, but frankly, the fairy tales that are supposed to be believed are open to irreverency.

The dismissal of Juan Williams by National Public Radio has created quite a storm in the media.  This dismissal comes following key dismissals by other major news outlets [Hearst dismissed the longest working member of the Washington press corps when she said that Israel should get out of Palestine].  What is so amazing about the outcry from right-wingers is that every major contender for the Republican nomination for President, except Romney, now works for FOX.  What if every leading Democrat worked for one broadcast network?  Can you hear the screaming from the right-wing?  Juan Williams had several run-ins with NPR management, and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Imagine, a major media outlet in the U.S. insisting on professional journalism principles!

You would think that we are on the brink of a major historical event if the Republican Party wins back many seats in the U.S. Congress.  What was truly historical was the election of Barack Obama to the White House.  What is not historical is if the Party out of power does well in the election after two years of a new President.  That is normal.  Will it be a bigger reversal this time?  Time will tell.  But historical?  Probably not.  It just seems to be a bigger deal because it comes on the heels of the election of the first black President in the U.S.  But his election was what was historical.  White racist reaction was expected.  And every American must admit that Obama was left one horrible mess when he came to office.  Has he handled it well?  He is not a miracle man, but the economy is definitely improving, though very slowly.   And the Republicans will take credit after the election for the up-turn, though it was Obama that saved us from a Depression and set the wheels in motion for this slowly proceeding turn-around.

Reading the American media, one would think there is an international movement to the right in the world.  Israel hs become far more right-wing.  But the failure in the Gaza when Israel left and the Palestinians used it as a rocket launching pad was a set-back for the left and the peace movement.  In Britain, the failures in the Middle East, and in Iraq in particular, by Tony Blair has resulted in a turn to the right.  In Germany, the people want to return to the Deutsche Mark because the Germans feel as though they are supporting southern Europe, and so they are leaning right.  In the U.S. there is a movement to the right.  But in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, France, etc. the movement is to the left.  American media is more and more owned, operated, and conditioned by big corporations, and our news is skewed.

A REQUEST: Could my readers please be a little more civil and respectful with their comments here.  While it is nice that my readership is so large, and the opinions so freely expressed, it would be appreciated if the language could be more measured and considerate.  Thank you.

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