Monday, October 27, 2014

Hawking challnges existence of black holes in new theory

Physicist Stephen Hawking claims there is no such thing as black holes, but instead Hawking seeks to redefine what does exist in place of the black holes he believes does not exist. According to Hawking, in their place Hawking theorizes of a more benign "apparent horizon," which temporarily holds matter and energy prisoner and then releases them in a more "garbled form."

Hawking points out that in "classical theory," being Einstein's Theory of Relativity, black holes, or "event horizons," possess qualities where nothing can escape, not even light.

Yet, in this theory, Hawking's view comes into conflict with the Theory of Relativity, proposed by physicist Albert Einstein in his landmark June, 1905 work titled "The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," later re-named the "Special Theory of Relativity." Subsequently, Einstein published his "General Theory of Relativity," in 1907, to address gravitational effects on light on Earth (with gravitational acceleration).

In his Special Theory of Relativity, two dynamics of physics came together for the first time under one roof, so to speak. First, the inclusion of the Principle of Relativity of Motion and the speed of light (accepted as a principle of nature).

I am a layman. While I do possess a graduate degree, it is in the field of religion. So, I am not the one to argue the credibility of any theory. I merely read those theories with some interest. Nevertheless, so accepted is Einstein's Theory of Relativity (or perhaps more rightly 'theories') that it is of some note when it is challenged in any part. And, for those who are so inclined, it is certainly worth at least cursory study.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nixon Memoir should be re-titled 'Stroll into Paranoia'

I am an avid reader of biographies and memoirs. I can enjoy even the most mild and passionless lives in print. Certainly, "The Memoirs of Richard Nixon: Volume I," Warner Books, 1979.  presented great promise. Indeed, through the first 400 pages, as in his political life, Nixon was compelling, insightful, incisive and brilliant. And then, just as in his life, around Page 526 of his 669-page life he took a turn for the weird, woolly and strange.

His memoir has become quite unreadable as either a historic document for me, or as the marker of a man whom I hold great regard for as a leader. You see, in about the year 1969, RM (1969-1974) starts to think in a non-linear way, listening to the unqualified opinions of those who adore him instead of honestly approaching issues. RM starts to think of himself in the third person and seems to allude to his own unquestioned superiority to understand some 'one true way' of his understanding that no one else understands. In short, he sounds quite mad to me.

This is a shame, because earlier in his memoir, he sounded ever bit the expert politician, conservative bulldog and anti-Communist hero. But to think I am going to go on with more than a hundred pages of lunacy for the sake of having said I endured Nixon's last pages is ridiculous (not unlike his final years in power).

By the time RM had become president he was experienced all right. Too experienced. He had left his original thinking in his suit back in 1964 and never bothered to unpack it from his European fact-finding study back then.

I am left thinking of the book the way one might the man's public life: Smashing start! Amazing middle! And the end just went on and on and on with some cranky old weird guy yelling in the distance.


Anyway, on to Carlo D'Este's "Eisenhower."

A few thoughts about the Greatest Generation

World War II: For kids today it is represented by the art of movies, or perhaps in holidays, the origin of some forgotten over time. But for those who fought World War II, and for those of us who were their children, that war will not be forgotten in this lifetime.

I am an American, of Irish ancestry, and so I inevitably see the war through that lens. But, my father was an American soldier. His brother, a U.S. sailor, and my mother's two cousins were also in the U.S. Army. So first I see it that way.

The "Greatest Generation," as it is called, saved the planet earth from ultimate evil. I am not speaking to younger people in this because they largely have no idea what the heck I am talking about. In ways that is good and in ways that is bad. Regardless, it is so.

While all the acclaim there is should immortally be given to those who fought the war, and those who supported it so ardently back home, there are many of us from my generation and earlier who recall the larger cost.

My father was born in 1918. He was just one among millions to fight in World War II. His Dad, who fought World War I for the Americans as an Infantryman, was deployed while my father was born. My grandfather fighting World War I left the man profoundly injured, in many ways, upon his return. It shaped my father. Changed his future from what it might have been. Then, my father, a combat soldier throughout World War II (who was federalized in 1939) was also left broken in many ways for the rest of his life.

As much as the Greatest Generation saved the world for all of the tomorrows that happened, all of the good, it came at a price that seems to have never finished getting paid. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren live in a free world, bought at the expense of their blood, molded in the shape of their sacrifice. My father's brother, David Purcell, died at just 19 years old at Anzio. I never met him. My kids never met their uncle. He was absent. My mother's youngest cousin, Harry Smith, was in a tank-killing unit and, upon his return from Europe, was a hopeless alcoholic until his death in the 1980s. His brother, Johnny Smith, a ball turret gunner, lost most of his hearing and suffered deeply from PTSD. All gave some, some gave all, and many gave more than they could, is how I understood these sacrifices very early on.

For those who know me, my father and I never did get along very well. It was not the ideal father-son match. It was not even a very good one. But I also understand the enormous sacrifices he made, have an inkling of what the man went through during the war, which changed him, and have compassion upon him for that, as much as I do not remove any responsibility for later issues from him either. Still, as a soldier, I have always appreciated his service, his tenacity and his ability.

The point? Well, I was watching "A Bridge Too Far" last night, the very movie that convinced me at 11 years old I was going to become a United States Paratrooper one day, and I saw it, as a man, not through the eyes of a child but through the eyes of a son who had sympathy for his father. What would the world have looked like without that damn war?

What was different about that generation from all others? In my opinion, the fate of the world itself. They did not fight for anything but the right of people not to be hauled out of their homes and shot to death point-blank in the street. And, they fought a grim reality for the best of reasons, in the face of unendurable hardship, with total victory (at all costs) being the only way to finish up the matter.

It marked them forever. For the good; for the bad. And, now I look at the world around me. It has been a long time since the war, or the baby boom that issued so many sons and daughters of veterans. But, the faded faces of those young people are still there in the minds of people of my experience. And, the costs are too.

Wars should never be greeted warmly. Death should never be welcomed by anyone for anyone else, Our Lord teaches us that much. But now and again, not as often as mankind is proven to like it albeit, but every now and again something has to get done. And, with a great big swallow and a step forward, someone has to make the bad stuff go away -- not only for the moment but for millennia to come. And, that generation was equal to the task.

It is a truly international world now, with no time for age-old grudges. For all the wonders that happened after the war, all of the inspiration that it ushered in -- even now I feel the sorrow of what might have been had those wonderful men and women who perished so long ago not had their course cut short, or pathway changed ahead of them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Idea: Local Addiction Networks

The field of addictions has become one that is not simply addressing another illness or disorder in the United States. Addiction has exceeded being 'another disorder' and, in many ways, has become 'the disorder' where it involves our communities and society. Still, addiction is, at its core, a medical disorder, which requires qualified counseling and coaching.

All across the country, AOL created small news websites about six years ago (as of this writing), which were a part of the larger AOL Company, collectively known as "" As part of, these local community websites did and do two things: 1. They adhere to the vision and standards of AOL, and 2. They fuse the standards and vision of AOL with local competence, issues and sensibilities, making their product accessible to readers and the general public.

AOL's vision of Patch is decentralized but not un-unified, and so a predictable product, which meets uniform criteria and specialty is presented and used by local people all over the USA and it is a function of the corporate vision that molded it. And, why is this a good idea for news and not a good idea for reaching out to people seeking to recover and having access to an expert product where it involves the most important thing they possess: their life?

Instead of receiving second-hand, unqualified or perhaps misguided advice or intervention late in their addictions disorder or in the early part of someone's rehabilitation from addiction, the alternative is the opposite.

Through qualified coaching, in every area in this country, it is possible to have a 'local website,' staffed by qualified, round-the-clock personnel, whom would be present online for purposes which span the following:

A. Providing the closest hospital, detox or rehabilitation facility closest to the caller (who has some basic information about insurance required);

B. Distributing the availability of support meetings (including but not limited to AA and NA). Often, addiction is one piece of the puzzle where it involves greater dysfunctional, accordingly groups like Emotions Anonymous, Bipolar Supper Groups (frequently organized by area hospitals) or OCD Support Groups, to name just a few, are other pierces of the puzzle.

C. Providing assistance in the form of being a 'middle person' who helps by offering 'good advice' about rehabilitation that is derived from medically responsible/current and tried-and-true AA facts.

D. Being an initial point-of-contact for families and the loved ones of addicts, offering not only listings of nearby or specialty hospitals, but also information about family support groups and services within the greater community area;

E. Addictions and the area of mental and physical health are inexorably linked. Consequently, providing basic, expert answers about physical and mental health issues complicated by addiction (e.g. drugs and alcohol adding to symptoms associated with Depression or Ulcers and the like) may be of great use in assisting addicted people or their loved ones in making important decisions they might not seek a medical care provider to ask, but may instead turn to a neighbor or the famous "friend of a friend."

What is 'qualified' counseling and coaching? Well, it certainly means people who are trained scholastically or vocationally (especially to the level of state certification). And, it can also mean people who have been locally trained by people who are scholastically or vocationally (state certified perhaps) and following established protocols and whom are supervised by those people.

Why so much attention? Why not simply have AA people staffing a hotline? One reason is that people do not use phones as they once did, not in the same way anymore. Telephonic communication now is very direct. When people ask questions, they go Online to the Google or Bing search engines. They are hostage to the search engine optimization of qualified and responsible purveyors of qualified expertise. And, that is not scientific and leads to very bad outcomes that impact individuals, families, businesses, government, police, fire, ambulance and communities. Sometimes good advice needs to happen 'right now.' And, the local websites I am discussing are far more than static information pages.

Famously, Alcoholics Anonymous and programs like it have offered rare expertise in the field of addictions. And, the precepts of AA, NA, etc., are rightly considered bedrock in a clinical approach to the disorder. However, especially where it involves people who are new to the idea of recovery, or at a point in their disease where bad advice can literally mean them losing their lives, as well as those in new sobriety who may require a sustained, always present and round-the-clock reinforcement of positive advice and information, expert information and advice may not be available immediately.

Now for the organization of a 'local addictions site': There should be a complete listing of emergency contacts for those in addiction, including hospitals, administrative numbers for police or sheriff departments, ambulance, etc.; local rehabs and detoxes should have their information and links to their site on such a site; there should be informative articles about the goings on in the community about addiction events and treatment; there should be advice about drugs and addiction issues that are particularly impacting local areas; local churches with addiction-appropriate ministries could be listed, as well as their specific ministry details for potential users; there would be a staff member monitoring the site at all times for comment review, to answer questions (via a built-in Skype feature if needed); and the person on duty would be responsible for dispensing information, being an ear to listen, calling for police or ambulance interdiction when necessary, contacting medical facilities for immediate-care options, if necessary, inclusive of availability; and to dispel any irresponsible information especially.

What is 'irresponsible information'? Example: "If you think you are becoming an alcoholic then stop drinking liquor and switch to beer." This adds fuel to the fire of alcoholism. Yet, in our society, there is no human contact or interaction with an expert voice until someone makes an appointment with a professional of some appropriate discipline to dispense responsible information regarding this statement. What's more is that before clinicians can even get at this person's addiction problem, they have to dispel the bad advice the person received because they could not get someone with any actual knowledge about addiction.

Society is under siege right now with addictions issues. Why are there 24-hour news websites that deal with celebrity gossip, similar sites for sports and sports betting, round-the-clock websites for suicide prevention and not sites or 24-hour, full-service sites that address the actual 'most pressing' issue in our nation: addiction?

The idea is simple: Treating addictions and things relative to it for people personally with the same vigor as our society does coverage of NFL Football or celebrity gossip, using a "Patch-like" formula as a starting point for devising overlapping national networks to work in concert with each other, while not sacrificing local appeal for users.

When Addicts Need Help, They Need It Right Now

By David Kerr

Working with addicts, first as a State Parole Officer in 1965 and then at Integrity house, a residential therapeutic community treatment program I started in 1968, I have learned that addicts need help immediately.  Whether an addict is ready for help or not, the help should be there.  I’ve never known and addict to be helped while on a waiting list though.  But what about the question of motivation? Doesn’t the addict need to be ready to quit? The answer is NO and this is backed by research.

The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) have cited “13 Principles of ‘most effective treatment” and #11 is that the addict needing help does not have to want it![1]  Wanting treatment helps but in many cases, I have found that it often doesn’t make much of a difference.

While an addict doesn’t have to want the help he/she must accept and commit to the help and sometimes that commitment has to come from a judge or a Drug Court or law enforcement or from an unrelenting spouse or parents…etc.  The addict is not likely to choose help over heroin, any more than a child knows to choose love over that expensive toy.  Why would an addict want help compared to the “high” from heroin?  There are some though who do make the commitment to sobriety on their own or through AA or NA.  These are not the hardcore lifestyle addicts whom I have learned to challenge and to respect.

The truth is that we can't expect that addicts with the lifelong relapse prone disease of addiction, will suddenly turn things around even if treatment is more readily available.  However it is a good start and waiting lists are inexcusable especially since many on these waiting lists end up in jail at twice the cost to taxpayers, or they remain addicted "in the streets" posing a threat to communities, or they die of an OD.

We have to ask ourselves; what if this addict was my child or my sister or my father or husband or wife?  What if an addict in your family finally came to us for help and we had to say “get on the back of the line.”  Is this the way our health system should work?  “We know how to help you unless you have the disease of addiction.  For that, you go on a waiting list!”  But even after the waiting list, what happens then?

Here is what I understand:

You can’t fix the problem of addiction by going to a nice warm climate, spending two to four weeks with others in a spa-like atmosphere, then graduating when your money runs out two to four weeks later.  Those who have tried to find help for their addiction and accompanying lifestyle spanning decades, will return to their old habits in a matter of weeks if not days after this type of quick fix approach.  The addiction is ever present and these alleged cures are likely to fail in not all but in most cases.

Well then what to do?

Look at yourself in the mirror and ask these questions:

·       Do I like who I am?
·       Do I see who I want to be?
·       Do I want to change who I am?
·       How much am I ready to give up in order to make this major
           commitment to change not only my habits but my lifestyle.
·       But when I give it up, stop doing drugs, alcohol or overeating, 
what will I put in its place?

If you haven’t given this much thought, this is a sure sign of quick relapse.  For example here are some alternatives that people over decades have used to replace the substance: new friends, new places to go or stay, improved time spent on relationships, new activities such as yoga, meditation, religion or spirituality, exercise, music, art, school, a new hobby; you get the idea.

Are you willing to dedicate as much time to your new healthy lifestyle as you spent with your substance use and abuse?

Is your being or psyche grounded by your new “giving behavior” vs your old “taking behavior?”

Are you working on your relationship skills so that you learn how to make and maintain friends who are real people rather than objects to be used or manipulated on your path leading to drugs or other self-interests?

Are you learning to ask yourself, “what value am I to myself, my family and to others,” rather than “what can I get or take from this person?”

When your mind takes on this framework of positive daily commitment, you are thinking right!  This is a most important first step and moving from selfish to selfless behavior will actually bring the right perspective to your addiction and associated negative friends and lifestyle.

Remember that you are the one to find, and walk the narrow path of recovery, but when you do, you will overcome lifelong challenges and see that the rewards are major.  Delaying that quick and short lasting gratification while learning the new long-term pace of life clean and sober, will bring unanticipated strong satisfaction and friendships.

Try this new delayed gratification formula as a new way of living but practice it every day for at least a year.  See if things don’t change for the better and stay that way!

Don’t wait for a counselor to fix you, or a treatment bed to open. Instead lean on an experienced recovery mentor and support group.  With addiction, you are your own counselor and as such, it’s time for you to get busy and begin to make the right choices while over time, growing into your new way of life, clean and sober.  This lifestyle formula may carry you through the waiting list period until a residential treatment bed is available.  Also, it is your best assurance for a strong healthy life after treatment.

[1] #11: Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.  Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The War for 'Normasis Hill'

By Jim Purcell

The 'War for Normasis Hill' is a fond memory from childhood. First off, "Normasis Hill" was so dubbed by a 5-year-old named James Urig, who lived the block over from my house. He was trying to say "Enormous" but it came out “Normasis.” Still, the name stuck and it was perfect because "Normasis" sounded much bigger to a lot of us kids than "enormous." I think I was seven when all of this began.

The "hill" started as a pile of earth and sand dumped illegally in the backwoods of Howell Township, down the dirt road from my house in about 1972. Originally, the mound was about 20-feet high and 50-feet wide and had a sloped face. It was an impressive site to a bunch of kids a shade over or under 4-feet tall.

Immediately, the kids found a perfect use for it: Playing war! The teams were fairly stable with minor variation: the 'Evil Empire' consisted of the dread and diminutive Jimmy Calendrello; his steadfast companion, John Urig; his cousin, Freddy Sorino, and this overgrown kid whose name I can't remember. He looked something like Frankenstein if the monster was a kid (though without the tell-tale surgical marks on his head, green complexion or bolts in his neck).  The Empire would usually begin up top. Meanwhile, the 'Rebel Forces' of Johnny Hunter (an impressive rock-throwing ally) and his brother, Hugh, would usually join my neighbor, Paul Fiquet, and myself trying to take the high ground from this 'evil foursome' with some regularity. We didn’t fight this war every day, but we never went a week without a new battle. Nothing would dissuade us from our mission, and we’d prove our bravery throwing ourselves into a hail of rocks, though sometimes it was more falling, bleeding and screaming.

Here is how the battles of Normasis Hill were waged: Kids would climb up top, with a lot of big rocks (yes, rocks) and throw them down on anyone trying to climb up on their strategic heights. They would be thrown hard. Meanwhile, the kids at the bottom of the hill enjoyed a generous supply of rocks all around, while the defenders of the hill had to bring their supply with them (rationing raised its ugly head). So, the defenders of the hill had a strategic position, but swapped it for a limited supply of ammo. It was unsaid that kids aimed for the legs with the rocks, but it was generally done. Nevertheless, now and again, there was a face shot.

So, the attackers took one of two routes: They would wait-out the enemy, in World War I trench-warfare mode. This was logical. Always worked and made perfect sense. But, it was boring. So, ultimately it came down to four screaming kids running up the face of Normasis Hill throwing rocks as hard as they could at the four kids up top. In the meantime, the defenders up top would be throwing both sand and rocks down on the attackers. Once up top, if anyone made it there (after all, rocks really, really hurt when you were nailed with them. A shot in the head was off the hook pain), the fighting became hand-to-hand and kids were either taking swings at one another or throwing each other as best they could off the top, wrestling style. At the end of these battles kids were dirty, bloody, bruised, tired as heck, aching and sometimes had sprains or the occasional small break. It was glorious! There wasn't a better feeling out there.  And, with a nod to our mothers’ warnings, no one had their eye put out.

This felt like play to me, even though there was some fighting in it. It was like playing a sport or something like that. Even if someone beat another boy, the first boy wasn’t looking to really injure or harm anyone. It was kids being kids. Most of them were kids from very screwed up homes in my neighborhood. So, we became each others’ frustration outlet.

For a couple moments I was Col. William Travis fighting Gen. Santa Anna’s soldiers at “The Alamo” ... or Gen. George Patton kicking German ass across the countryside during World War II.

Then, after the obligatory name calling and posturing, we would go home for dinner around dusk. We did this for a couple years, between 1972 and probably 1976. It was great. Other kids played war by running around with sticks. We played war beating the hell out of each other and hitting ourselves with rocks. It was not like when I was bullied or beaten by my family or the kids at school. At home I might be nobody and a punching bag for my old man and brother. But, here at the Hill, I was frigging Audie L. Murphy, hero of World War II. I was already getting beat up, what’s a few bruises and sprains when I was doing something I loved?

Then again, as we all knew would happen one day, the game became boring and felt like kid stuff, despite the generous amount of blood and thumping that took place.  For a little while, we tried using BB-guns, but it wasn’t the same.

When did you ever see little boys getting bored with bloody mayhem? It can happen. Then, Normasis Hill started being used as a dirt bike jump by the kids really into that back then, which were few. Nevertheless, sovereignty of the hill had passed hands and that was it. When they were done with it, who knows when -- I think that was it for a while.

Of course, the kids became high-schoolers and Normasis Hill, now a good deal smaller from its long and arduous service, became nothing more than a rise in the ground of four or five feet. Kids used it to smoke weed and get drunk or occasionally score with their girlfriends there during good weather. It was nothing like the glorious days of hard-fought battles by munchkin troops, though.

The Hill taught me a lot. It taught me I can fight back and maybe win. It taught me I could be brave against the bad guys. It gave me permission to stop groveling when confronted by people, in and out of my family.

Many years later, when I was an adult, I strolled down that old road, past the blackberry bushes that no longer produced any blackberries, into the woods (that looked so much smaller now) and found my way to the hill again.

It was not a hill or a mound or even much of a rise anymore. It had become 'Normasis bump on the ground.' In a way it was sad but in another way it was a very proud thing for that little hill. It had been the playmate of nearly every kid in my large neighborhood for so long, and unselfishly, that this one-time illegal clop of dirt turned out to be almost a surrogate parent for some of us kids. The hill was there to entertain us and be a rallying point for years. Many of us had some of the best times of our childhoods there, and it was all because someone didn’t want to pay dumping fees on the dirt and sand at the dump on Preventorium Road.

This was a case where, literally, one man’s trash was a kid’s treasure. Placed in the middle of a nearby, dense woods, we could scream our heads off for ours and the only ones that were going to hear us were the birds.

Anyway, that was the War of Normasis Hill. Don't know who started it. Don't know who won. But, it was a campaign fought long and hard, with a lot of joy in the kids’ hearts.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Death of the American Dream

By Jim Purcell

I was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1966 and grew up in a mighty nation. We were first in nearly everything in the world, be it sports, government, freedom, entertainment, education, manufacturing or commerce. The United States of America was the place to be, and we were the 'cool kids' on the world stage.
Back in the day, America was a place of joy and freedom.

Our nation still basked in the dimming glow of World War II where, in large part, this mighty nation took on the earthly forces of evil, in the nations and leaders of Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, and beat those forces back to the Gates of Hell, where it was acknowledged by most they all belonged. And then, through the Marshall Plan (1948-51), it was this country, and no other, that breathed life back into a burning and bombed out world in Europe and Asia.

America had given hope to mankind everywhere man could be found, and our nation taught the world that freedom and peace were possible. Tyrants no longer had to be observed by oppressed people, because America had shown a new way, a better way that was possible. The depravity of evil no longer had to be the order of the day for peoples who could, for the first time in their cultural memories, hope to more than some dictator or cabal of miscreants.

America believed in things, and we as a people did not just talk about it. There was a president who misbehaved and, despite being the most powerful single world leader alive, he was removed from office not by force of arms or by treachery, but by the will of the people of the United States. President Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, left office on Aug. 9, 1974 after the Washington Post published a series of articles explaining improprieties that took place under Nixon's direction. And...not one shot was fired. No one was murdered. The American Experiment of the Founding Fathers proved itself and the American Dream of peace and prosperity, belief in our Constitution and our Rule of Law all worked.

Republicans grumbled about Nixon's departure, Democrats crowed about it. A nation mourned because of it. But, all was as it was supposed to be. And, as for Nixon, he went on to be a best-selling author, speaker and unofficial statesman. Everyone won. Nobody lost. God Bless America.

America was not without its flaws: a war of sorts happened in this country during the 1960s and early 70s regarding civil rights for Black Americans and women's rights; the war in Vietnam, unpopular and convoluted was repudiated by the American people, and America withdrew from that war; and how we all were inspired by the words, deeds and sacrifices of men like John and Bobby Kennedy, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. As a nation, we beat down those who would plunge this nation into Hell with peace and intelligence. God, it was a mighty thing to see.

The America I described no longer exists, I am sad to say. We have gone from a nation of great and good people and become a people cowed into accepting conditions that are revolting to the precepts and ideals of this nation.
God Bless America? I think not. 

It is 2014 as I write this, and we are a country that no longer bears any likeness to that great nation we were in years past. We are unworthy of the title of Americans, who live in the Great United States, leaders of the world and purveyors of freedom. We are a measly place of little people, small feuds, bureaucrats and political self-interest. We are a vomitous version of the shining city on a hill that was almost real, almost America. And, it is sickening to live to see.

As a nation, we carry out optional wars of misadventure in far-flung places in the world for no actual reason other than what leaders tell us: Somehow, these are for "freedom." They cannot say how and the reasons Americans are told we fight are frequently lies. These lies support the wealth of oil companies and private-sector companies whom the very politicians who make war have investments in. We fight wars for investors' returns and not for freedom anymore. Accordingly, America loses such wars. God did not bless these. Our Founders did not invent this country for this barbarity.

There are those we call "Right Wing" political ideologues who, despising fair reporting, have created their own propaganda machines on television and Online to regurgitate lies and half-truths to act as a balm for the Great Unwashed to encourage them into the insanity that is everywhere today in American society.

These Right Wing, Tea Party people try magic itself: Tell women they cannot control their own bodies because God will not have it; tell the poor to die quietly on America's streets, send all of our nations jobs overseas and blame the workers who lost their jobs, close down legitimate news sources and harass real reporters who would speak truth to power and say it was Jesus who said it was OK.

I will not convince anyone of anything in this editorial. It is written for the writing and I fear not the reading. My own children, able and smart women, believe me mad for some of my beliefs, because I remember freedom and recall how sweet it tasted every single day; before cameras at stop lights, armed guards on the White House Christmas Tree, concrete boulders in front of airports and authoritarian government taken to its illogical extreme. But, I believe it nonetheless, the way that some Jeremiah lost in the woods looks upon Jerusalem and sees it turned into a sour pit of evil. I am not saying there is any hope. I am saying hope has fled and that the Great America I worshiped so dearly is gone. And what is left is desolate. It is a thing of no value, it is as hollow as the American Dream today.

Our police are not here to observe order. They are here to vent their murderous ways onto the public, and for whatever money they can  steal to supplement their paychecks. Our politicians are little better than street-walking whores, less virtuous than whores because a whore does not lie about what she does for a living. Our art is plastic. Our great paintings are cartoons. Our symphonies are "Rap." So be it.

I cannot change this world, but I can hide from it. I am a broken old man, simply waiting upon his pension to make his final move to a sunny American Shore where I can turn off the radio and see the water shine for as many years as God may give me. Be quiet? Probably not. I do not know how to be quiet. I will not be quiet. But, I will seek to find peace away from reading the news of the day or hearing about the Great Causes this army of morons, miscreants, meanderers and murderers of the American Dream espouse and shake their tin cup to bring to life. I do not choose to hear the fallacious words of the day, nor see the shiny medals these murderers of the Dream present themselves against the dimming light of our nation's glory.

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at see, our vessel has been struck by an iceberg and already there are bodies pitched from the smooth, clean deck into the icy, murderous waters of the frozen Atlantic. No ship shall see our signal. And, everyone is lost. No help is possible and no signal will work.

Well, now that I have brightened the days of everyone who read this far, have a lovely rest of the day.

(Jim Purcell is an award-winning journalist, who has garnered recognition by the United States Congress and the NAACP, among others. He is a former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and Publisher of The Courier newspaper, in Middletown, New Jersey. And, Mr. Purcell graduated from the New York Theological Seminary, in Manhattan, NY in 2010.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Neo-Conservatives: Homegrown Terrorists Waiting for their Moment?

By Jim Purcell

The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine are not employed to offer their political observations upon the state of the American Republic.

Far from it, the American Serviceman or Servicewoman is employed to defend their country by obeying the orders of the President and the officers placed above them by the President. This is inherent in the oath they are administered at the outset of every enlistment they enter into as a member of the U.S. Military.

And there is folly and misunderstanding happening about that these days. I am an old soldier, who served between 1983-1999, several years on Active Duty, a few as a Reservist, and some as a member of the Inactive Reserve. Now, I say this -- there is a notion by some Active Duty Service members that they participate in democracy and do not just protect it. Meanwhile, this nation employs so-called "Contractors" who are little more than traitors to the American Cause, clothing themselves in the cloak of Conservativism.

At Valley Forge, during the Revolutionary War (1776-1783), American Soldiers were asked to stay and fight, not their opinion about the way Gen. Washington ran the Army. Gen. Washington served at the pleasure of the Continental Congress, his bosses. Likewise, MG Andrew Jackson was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and, during the War of 1812 (1812-1815), selected to serve in his post by President James Monroe; as the Congress commissioned LTG Phillip Sheridan and he was selected as Army Chief of Staff by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War (1861-1865); and commanders from then until now have been commissioned by Congress and selected to their posts by the serving President of the United States.

Yet, thanks to Social Media today, some Service Members feel free criticizing their President and Chain-of-Command openly in venues like Facebook. They are sure that their opinions should be counted in the way that civilian opinions should be because they believe they have a "right" to do so. They possess no such right. They have the unique privilege of serving this Republic in its Armed Forces. They are Patriots for this service, though that does not entitle them to openly defy or ridicule their President or Chain of Command.

There is much made of potential insurrection in this country by Conservative, Reactionary Political Forces (e.g. the so-called Tea Party). These so-called "Patriots" threaten overt use of force if the country leads in a direction where gun privileges are reduced by the Congress or other legislating bodies. How dare they!? Why are these so-called "Patriots" not considered what they are: home-grown potential terrorists? They promise insurrection -- and some of them are members of our Armed Forces who purposefully and publicly promise disobedience and worse to their oaths of enlistment. Meanwhile, others who are "Contractors" subscribe to this belief, which should be illegal in a public setting should such employees utter them to embark upon nefarious actions in hopes of creating a rebellious effect. These people, these Conservatives, are a mere minority of Americans -- nothing more. They are the least intelligent, educated or demonstrative of character.

This scourge should be stopped immediately. Laws on the books of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice should be enforced, and harshly, to ensure that the U.S. Military that has always served this nation with distinction does not become some haven for would-be terrorists.

As an acute critic of President George W. Bush, I protested him in all the ways open to Americans: I picketed, protested, wrote editorials and took part in constructive Online discussions. However, I never have or would threaten any President of the United States, be they in or out of office. Why? Because such a thing is insurrection to the American mentality. One cannot love this Republic and spurn its acceptable means of showing opinion.

So, I say Servicemen and Servicewomen should be ferreted out of the military for adopting overt political beliefs or ideologies that run counter to military or civil law (e.g. Reactionary Neo-Conservatives). Further, American civilians who state or demonstrate opposition to the accepted American standards of political disagreement should be investigated as potential U.S. terrorists in waiting.

To contractors, they should be investigated and, if found guilty, either banned from any government service or imprisoned.

This Republic is being threatened not by Leftists or Communists, as some believed in yesteryear, but by Pseudo-Fascists overtly planning to make war against the U.S. Government and the Governments organized beneath it. And, that cannot be tolerated for the American Experiment to endure for long.

As dangerous as Radical Islamists are, so too might American Neo-Conservatives become before too long. Their message has been a simple one: If the will of the Majority is not to our liking, we will dissolve our collective loyalties to the United States and embark on an actual war of arms against their native country. And, it is high time that ordinary Americans see this for what it is -- not a piece of gamesmanship for electoral purposes but outright sedition in its worst form: Treason.

No body will long last with cancer festering within it, and so too does this present extreme danger where it involves the clear and present danger of Reactionary, Ultra Right-Wing Forces forming in the bosom of our nation.

(Jim Purcell is an award-winning journalist, who has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, NAACP and NJ Library Association, among others. A graduate of the NY Theological Seminary, Mr. Purcell earned his Master's degree in Parish Ministry and is the Publisher Emeritus for The Courier, Middletown, NJ. He is a former officer of the Greater Long Branch NAACP and was recognized, academically, as a Lily Scholar.)