Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THE BOLSHOI BALLET ACADEMY: An Unparalleled Tradition of Dance Excellence

By Rev. Jim Purcell, MPS (Ret.)

How does ballet move from gifted and powerful to the sublime? I don't know, But the educators of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia do. They have been teaching the most gifted students of dance in the world since 1773, when the very first dance lessons began being taught in a former orphanage.

The celebrated and world famous Bolshoi Ballet Company, the jewel of Russia, receives a majority of its dancers from the Academy, as do several other Moscow dance troupes.

Most of the greatest names in Russian Dance history have, at one time or another, been students at the Academy. And, there is an elite cadre of Academy alumni who have received their country's highest praise for any dancer, the "Prima Ballerina Assoluta," or premier artist, which is the ultimate performer in the former Soviet Union. Some of the legendary Academy alums who have achieved this honor includes: Olga Lepeshinkaya, Raisa Struchkova, Natalia Bessmertnova, Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya, Nikolai Fadeycheu, Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Lavronsky and Nikolay Tsiskaridize, among others.

Through its long march of time, the Bolshoi Ballet Company has regularly changed its name. Previously, the celebrated Academy has been the Moscow Choreographic Institute, the Moscow Ballet School, the Bolshoi Moscow Ballet School and the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet School. Yet, despite the names it may have temporarily held, the Academy has remained consistent in its mission -- to create the finest dancers performing in the world today.

The way the Academy does that is a thorough, comprehensive program of classical training, coordinated specifically for the talents of individual students. Classes include: Ballet Technique, Point Work, Centre Work, Repertoire, Pas de Deux, Character Dance, Jazz and Historical Dance.

The Academy holds annual auditions seeking a full-time program of "traineeship" and vocational training.

The Academy also partners with the Russian-American Foundation for students to take part in "summer intensives" in New York City, NY and Middlebury, CT. During these intensives, performances can be seen at the famous Lincoln Center, in Manhattan. A few students are chosen to perform in Gala Performances in Moscow or to enroll full-time in the Academy in Moscow.

For information about the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, go to their website, which offers a host of opportunities to a wide range of groups: NYC Summer Intensive, CT Summer Intensive, the Bolshoi Prep Summer Program, the NSLI-Y For Youth Moscow, the Teacher Certification Program and one may register for auditions there.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ballroom Dancing Diaries: Part 1

Dance Floor Diaries is a three-series that discusses the reality of ballroom dancing. One a standard of American cultural life, during the 1930s-50s, "Ballroom" is now relegated to a smaller group of people. However, those people seem dedicated to the notion of keeping this wonderful sport/tradition/pastime alive and vital.


American soldier prepare for deployment in 2004
By Rev. Jim Purcell

In December, 2014, 525 pages worth of an "executive summary" was published, which is supposed to represent a 6,000-page, in-depth study about the Detention and Interrogation Program the CIA operated between 2001-2006. It was published by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The larger report is classified, and no doubt will be until doom's crack.

Millions of pages of materials were examined by the SSCI. And, according to nearly every decent reference out there, the Obama Administration and the CIA have done little to actually assist this investigation. Yes, they've talked it but they sure as Hell haven't walked it.

There were allegations the CIA attempted to hack the SSCI computer network used during the investigation. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, was pretty sure the CIA did it. At the end of the day, that too was covered up by the CIA and the Justice Department. Then there is Obama, the supposed "Good Guy" who "fights for the people" and all that. Well, he used executive privilege to hold back documents and other materials requested specifically by the SSCI. Why? Because those documents would 'clear' the CIA?

I doubt it. I doubt it very much.

Ft. Bragg's "Iron Mike" embodies America's ideals

Everyone is walking around on egg shells here about what is hitting everyone in the face: The CIA used "enhanced interrogation techniques" -- torture -- on detainees. And, they didn't actually get anymore information from detainees than they would have if they had been using conventional tenants allowed under the Geneva and Hague Conventions, which we, as a nation, have been a party to since World War I.

American officials broke those tenants, though, purposefully and with malice. By definition, those are acts of war criminals. Anyone who exceeds what is allowed under the Geneva and Hague Conventions is, irrefutably, a war criminal. It appears we have quite a few of those hiding behind our stars and stripes now.

A moron could put together that innocent people do not destroy evidence, as CIA Clandestine Services chief Jose Rodriguez did when he destroyed 100 recordings of interrogations of detainees from 2005. President Barack Obama has used executive privilege to keep 9,400 pieces of evidence away from SSCI investigators. And, even the SSCI has balked at providing Americans, who paid for this failed Big Top from stem to stern, the full, unedited report of atrocities done in the name of this country by at least one of its agencies.

Well, here is where the commentary comes in: I am an American who has served my country in its uniform in peacetime and wartime. I love my country and what it stands for, and always have. I have spent my career fighting for causes like Civil Rights, Women's Rights and Peace when not in an Army uniform. And, I know what America should be and what it shouldn't be. The United States should never be a nation of evil, regardless of the enemy or the era, and the leaders of that dark time, President Bush and Vice President Cheney, presided over the destruction of our American ideals and wrapped a flag around it to shut people up. There are many people who will not shut up, and if I haven't shut up by now then I guess I'm not going to do that either.

A color guard of vets from the 82nd Abn Div. Assn.

We, as a nation, are the Great American Experiment in democracy and freedom -- still. And, if we are not that then we are nothing. If our nation has sunken to being similar to some sweaty, Third World banana republic then someone in power needs to send that memo to the people of this nation. Already, some of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have, from what I have heard and seen, accepted that torture is OK because that is the generation they come from. Most don't and thank God for it. But, that contamination of spirit will be felt for years in our services, and not easily be turned to Right.

I served in an Army that was dedicated to freedom for our country and its neighbors. It observed the Geneva and Hague Conventions. My uncles served in that Army too, as did my father and his father. And, none of us were serving in the Mexican Marine Corps, where looting, murder and torture were 'just fine.' Years after I have left the military, I still salute our flag every morning and every evening. I do it not because I want to be some 'rah rah' guy; I do it out of respect for what America is supposed to mean. I salute for those who have served our nations and made terrible sacrifices. I salute the American flag because I still hear the words of our late President John F. Kennedy talking about our nation as a "City on the Hill." I salute the flag because I took an oath when I entered the service, and to me it has no time-stamp or expiration. America is a place where intelligence, reason, strength, determination and peace is emblazoned onto our hearts, or should be. When we must fight a war, we do it with all resolve in the name of freedom or defense.
On Main Street, USA

None of this affair is consistent with any of the principles of the nation I grew up under and served, of the nation I love still and always shall. I hear this era's wartime vets today talking about how this was a "different war." Well, my ass it was. If you look back through the trenches of World War I, the global war throughout the planet in World War II, the nightmares that were Korea and Vietnam, among others, these were not walks in the park. Still, though, our nation managed to stay our nation through these trials by fire -- still America represented what our Founders stood for, and what every American since them have stood for.

Only now, because of their majesties King George of America and Prince Cheney has the American dream been disfigured, mangled and turned into a mockery of its once glorious self. And, every official that supports not being open and honest about the events from 2001-2006 as part of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program stand against the echoes of real American patriots who have sacrificed so much for our land. Yes, that means President Obama is in the wrong here too.

If there is not an actual accountability of what happened, when it happened and who was involved then justice has not been served. I say our nation stop thinking about what the damn world thinks and clean our house clear of the traitors who sanctioned and operated this criminal program within the CIA.

I say to hell with pleasantries. No one is above the law, or no one should be. If they are, and commit the despicable acts outlined in this report, then we, as a nation, have traveled far afield of what we once were.

I don't care a good goddamn about the detainees. They can all go to Hades for all I care. I do not speak in their defense, but in the defense of our nation, our homes, our ways of life. This abomination that has been visited upon our land, the torture of prisoners in direct contrast with the Geneva and Hague Conventions deserves being answered by courts of either this country or in the world.

As for the official air of government lackeys being jerks and calmly citing some self-indulgent law protecting wrong-doers in our government -- I say their lying should not rule the day, and it will certainly not win out in the Judgment.

(This is the second of a four-part series about "The Torture Report")

(Rev. James J. Purcell is a graduate of the New York Theological Seminary, in NYC. He is also a former Paratrooper and NCO who served within the U.S. Army's Intelligence Corps. As a journalist after the service, Rev. Purcell wrote for several daily newspapers in the state, and formerly published the weekly Courier, in Monmouth County, NJ.)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Paris Opera Ballet: The Oldest In Europe

The Paris Opera Ballet Company is one of the greats in the entire world. Here, they offer us Swan Lake, Act IV. Swan Lake is an immortal work.

Swan Lake is a Russian work Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, between 1987-76. The story of Swan Lake depicts a princess, Odette, turned into a swan by a sorcerer's curse.

Meanwhile, the Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national company in the world. It was formed in 1669, but did not incorporate dance heavily into its performances until 1673.

BACH: One of the great composers of history

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque Period. He was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach into a very musical family.

During his lifetime, Bach's prowess as an organist were legendary throughout Europe. In history, however, he is considered one of the great composers of all time.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Henry V: Branagh Offers Us Perhaps Best Henry V Yet

Henry V is a historical play penned by William Shakespeare in about 1599. It chronicles the life of English King Henry V and the participation of the British during the Battle of Agincourt (1415) in France.

Henry V is a wonderful play for people not versed in Shakespeare to begin with. With it's martial themes and driving action, it is perhaps Shakespeare's closest work to being an "action movie."

In this depiction of "Henry V," Irish actor-director Kenneth Branagh offers what some believe is the best modern performance of Henry yet. With a strong supporting cast, Branagh seemingly transports the viewer back to 15th century Europe and the Hundred Years War.

Blue Öyster Cult ‎– Agents Of Fortune - Full Album

The Blue Oyster Cult is one of those bands that were a staple of their time, known for a unique rock sound. Of course, every season ends. Nevertheless, for those interested in hearing one of the great bands of the 1970s, here you are.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Poetry Slam Grand Final 2014 live

This is the 2014 Poetry Roundhouse Slam, and it brings a new and refreshing air to poetry. More than 500 people showed up to sample some of the best new talent today in poetry. This particular show was filmed in London, and there are some great people with something to say.

Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son (1976)

THE TORTURE REPORT: Why It Began and the Investigation

By Rev. J.J. Purcell, MPS (Ret.)

The full 6,000-page study by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) regarding the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program and its use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" is classified. It is known that the study focuses on the agency's actions regarding torture on detainees between 2001-2006.

Yet, the SSCI cleared the release of a 525-page portion of the report on Dec. 9, 2014. The un-classified document reports important findings and an "executive summary" of not only the system of mistreatment to detainees by the CIA, but also the shortcomings of the detention project in its entirety. The actual release of the report came eight months after the SSCI voted to release parts of the full report for public consumption, while agreeing to keep the remainder of the report inaccessible to the public.

The report is estimated to have taken five years and $40 million to complete. There were 6 million pages of documents, e-mails, and other materials from the CIA examined in preparation for the report. In addition, the CIA was asked for 9,400 additional classified documents by the SSCI. However, those documents were never handed over to the committee and, in fact, were blocked by the Obama Administration, which cited executive privilege regarding those materials.

On March 5, 2009, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14-1 to open an investigation pertaining to the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program. By August of that year, the Republican Minority on the SSCI concluded that many witnesses were unlikely to participate in the investigation for fear of criminal liability. As a result, the Republican Minority on the committee withdrew from the investigation in September, 2009.

What started the whole "Torture Report" idea was, according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, when CIA Director of Clandestine Services Jose Rodriguez was discovered to have destroyed 100 video recordings of interrogations made during the year 2005. Consequently, the SSCI was suspicious he was in the midst of covering up illegal activities by the CIA. This is despite the fact the CIA initially told the SSCI that the agency was not trying to destroy evidence. Of some note, on Dec. 5, 2014, Rodriguez preemptively criticized the report in the Washington Times.

The final report was approved by the SSCI on December 13, 2012, by a vote of 9-6, with seven Democrats, one Independent and one Republican voting in favor of the publication of the report. Meanwhile, opposed to releasing the report were six Republicans, who voted in a bloc. Later, on April 3, 2014, the SSCI voted 11-3 to create a revised version of the executive summary, findings and recommendations. Thus, the 525-page unclassified document was born and released on Dec. 9, 2014.

What had initially bothered the Republican bloc on the SSCI was the lack of hearings on the dealing of the CIA between 2001-2006. However, in 2008, the Senate Armed Services Committee had launched its own investigation into the treatment of detainees in U.S. military custody. This included 70 in-person interviews, responses to questionnaires by 200 people, as well as two hearings. Accordingly, the results of that investigation were incorporated into the larger SSCI report.

Where did the $40 million figure come from? According to the CIA, $40 million worth of personnel time and resources were sacrificed in order to cooperate with SSCI during the making of the report. In addition to using agency personnel already hired, CIA officials said they had to hire additional people to assist the investigation as well. This included the construction of a dedicated facility for the CIA, where documents were reviewed prior to them being turned over to the SSCI for examination.

When the SSCI's report was made public, the six members of the Republican bloc also issued their own, 167-page document that, essentially, discussed what is wrong with the study as a whole.


On March 11, 2014, Feinstein stated the CIA unlawfully searched SSCI's computers to determine how the committee staff obtained review documents.

Earlier that year, CIA officials claimed the SSCI had accessed review documents and removed them from CIA facilities in 2010 without agency authorization. Meanwhile, Feinstein, chair of the SSCI, confirmed copies of portions of that review had been removed and transferred to the Senate's Hart Office Building because, previously, Rodriguez had destroyed evidence depicting brutal methods of interrogation used by the CIA in 2005, relative to the investigation.

Feinstein also stated CIA Acting General Counsel Robert Eatinger requested the FBI to begin a criminal inquiry into the SSCI's staff behavior. Feinstein interpreted this as an attempt to intimidate her committee. She noted that Eatinger was one of the lawyers who had approved the destruction of the tapes previously, by Rodriguez. In addition, his name was mentioned 1,600 times in the SSCI's report.

 However, on July 31, 2014, the CIA confirmed it had improperly gained access to the SSCI's computer network. Meanwhile, a Justice Dept. spokesperson confirmed their organization would not be pursuing charges into the incident. An internal review panel assembled by CIA Director John O. Brennan defended the searches and noted they were lawful and sometimes done at the behest of Brennan himself.


On Dec. 14, 2014, the Los Angeles Times printed a report stating that former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney said he would agree to enhanced interrogation techniques all over again. Cheney disparaged the report and allegedly characterized it as a cheap shot.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 22, 2014, the NY Times Editorial Board demanded criminal prosecution of Cheney relative to the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

CIA Director Brennan defended the results of the program and stated that imposition of enhanced interrogation techniques assisted in keeping Americans safe. However, there is some qualified speculation about whether or not President George Bush was apprised of the CIA's actions.

Feinstein and a majority of Democratic lawmakers in Washington, DC are loudly condemning the CIA's actions during the Bush Administration, while the majority of support for the former administration's position on enhanced interrogation techniques is emanating from Senate and Congressional Republicans.

The future remains unclear about what exactly will happen regarding abuses outlined in the SSCI's report. Feinstein said she hopes the report will remain a reminder of what happened so it shall never happen again. However, there is a report that CIA may be making internal changes, which may not be reported to the public. In the meantime, some areas of criticism remain agitating for criminal proceedings against those found culpable for CIA excesses.

This is the first of a four-part series about "The Torture Report"

(Rev. Jim Purcell is a graduate of the NY Theological Seminary. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Intelligence Corps during the 1980s. He is also a retired journalist who has worked for Dorf Features, exclusive to The Star-Ledger, as well as The Jersey Journal, both in New Jersey. To contact me, e-mail me at


In order to approach this most important topic with the reverence it deserves, this reporter will be taking a few days to wrestle with the report, as well as get reactions by veterans from various years about what it means to them for the first installment.

Not every subject is worth installments, but I have a feeling this one will. Accordingly, each report will give air to different voices about what the Torture Report has meant for those people.

Should anyone at all wish to comment about this new and controversial report, please e-mail me your reactions at: between right now and Jan. 2, 2015. I would like to reserve the right to ask follow-on questions to anyone seeking to comment.

Thank you for you, the readers, and your wonderful support of this site. I especially wish to thank my non-American readers for stopping by and reading my stuff.


Rev. J.J. Purcell

BREAKING NEWS: Please see new post for "THE TORTURE REPORT"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

TO BE PUBLISHED DEC. 26, 2014: "Stolen Valor"

Hello Readers, 

To let you know, my feature, "Stolen Valor: Wannabes Gone Wild," will be posted by 1 p.m. (EST) tomorrow, Dec. 26, 2014. Tomorrow's feature was either going to be about the Bright Shining New Year or fakers impersonating military personnel. I chose the latter because no one my age is looking forward to anymore 'new years.'

Rev. Jim Purcell 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Illiad, a Story for All Ages

The first book I ever read was Leroux's translation of the Illiad. He presented the great work in the late 19th century. I was a boy, who was obsessed with great heroes in history some 75 years after he died. So, despite being only 9 or 10 years old, I wrestled with the book for two years, stopping and starting. Finally, I finished it, and I read it several more times consecutively afterward, because I wanted to know what all the fuss about Helen of Troy was over and I heard so much about Achilles by smart people talking about literature.

The Illiad was "written" some time between 1260 and 1240 BCE in Ancient Greece, allegedly by the blind traveling story teller Homer. The story told of how the fabled kingdom of Troy (modern Hisarlik) was sacked by the Achaean host, which was an alliance of armies from the Greek city states, pledged to allegedly recover the queen of Sparta, Helen, from Prince Paris, of Troy, who stole her while a guest of King Menelaus of Sparta. So, Agamemnon, Menelaus' brother, called upon the kingdoms of Greece to join their forces together, with him as general, to conquer Troy, whose king was the venerable Priam. It was also an opportunity for the great hero of Greece, Myrmidon Prince Achilles, to confront the great Trojan Prince Hector.

It is agreed, historically speaking that, in the Illiad, Achilles is the "good guy," and Agamemnon is the "bad guy," Hector is a "good guy" almost as strong as Achilles and his brother, Paris, was weak and smart. Menelaus was strong and dumb. Nestor and Priam were both wise. Odysseus was crafty. Patroclus was unlucky.

My favorite character was not any of the big names. In fact, my favorite character has but a few cameos. I admired Ajax the most. There were actually two Ajaxes in the story, Ajax the Greater, who was the son of Telamon, and "Ajax the Lesser," who was the son of Oilerus, ruler of Locris.

I would take either Ajax over the whining, bitching princes of Greece or the two self-absorbed princes of Troy. It was a simple war for Ajax the Greater and Lesser, respectively: Like workmen they woke up each morning, rallied their troops, and laid some paint on the Trojans -- no quarter given or asked. A young boy is impressed by the clear way this policy works. Of course, as a man, I see that policy as a terrible thing -- but this is now and then was then.

Nevertheless, it was the two Ajaxes who were in the fight day in and day out, while politics happened in the tents to the rear. And there is great virtue in that. Yet, while the Greek victory over the Trojans is given historically to Agamemnon and Achilles, I think it was actually the Ajaxes that did most of the work to achieve that victory. As in life, those who fight the fight are not always the ones who gain from its winning.

The story changes with time, at least for me. Where once the Illiad was the chronicle of a war filled with heroes and gods, great deeds and valor -- I see it now only as a great tragedy for the ones who had nothing to do with starting the conflict or profiting from it. Scores of common soldiers died for nothing, a great city was sacked and burned and the toll on families (both the Trojans and those of the Achaean host) was unspeakable. Greedy men fighting a dirty war for their own profit and power; there is a theme that has not been dimmed by time or yellowed by the ages.

If anything, the Illiad is proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. There are always Agamemnons and Priams, Hectors and Helens. Today, instead of armor and fine frocks, the bad guys and gals wear designer suits and office wear. Their goals are the same as yesteryear, though.

If anything, I think there was more virtue with the Greeks of old, though. At least they were more honest about their intentions, and their vices were not hidden behind so much horse dump.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Enduring Value of Childhood Bible Stories

 by V. Wayne Sorge

Even though I have no conviction that a real Adam and real Eve existed, I still value the story that I believe to be inspired in the Hebrew Bible of humanity's creation. I remember my mother had an old black flannel board for telling Bible stories to children. She died in a car accident when I was four, but I took possession of her story materials and often told the stories to
my friends, real and imaginary.

My favorite was the Creation Story which showed the sun, the moon and the earth and sea as well as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The story always told of the fall, of Cain and Abel and of the beginning of civilization. Early human communities needed a coherent story for how they became to be that would be easy to tell and read is a truth beyond a literal truth in the stories.

There are some who use narrow interpretation of Biblical faith to exclude what they condemn any progressive views that they label as the Social Gospel, sometimes deriding such early twentieth century prophets as Walter Rauschenbusch and Shailer Mathews. One longtime friend of mine who is a fundamentalist minister told me that Rauschenbusch had started the Social Gospel and claimed it was a contradiction to the teachings of Jesus.

He quoted Matthew 28:19 suggested that the great commission which speaks of making them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost precludes what he called the everything that Jesus had commanded them. That includes all the instances of healing, caring, feeding, defending and helping the oppressed and outcast. How anyone can use the Great Commission to the Church as a means to avoid social responsibility is beyond me.

But the more I think about it the more I think Rauschenbusch would likely disavow any credit for starting the Social Gospel. I do not believe he deserves credit for starting it, as he merely emphasized what he found in scripture. Rauschenbusch spoke of the ministry of Jesus saying extends to all human needs and powers and relations.

That call to care for one another is rooted in the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, but also extending back to the beginning of scripture and the Creation story. I contend that from time in that story, when God created Eve there was Social Gospel. My contention is that if someone believes God created Eve simply as a companion for the pleasure of the man, that person becomes a fundamentalist.

 If one believes that God created the two for one another, that's the beginning of the Social Gospel. Care for one is self expanding Social Gospel that reflects our responsibility as part of the Kingdom of God. Our
understanding of what that involves should be expanding rather than contracting.

God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, but we who believe are maturing creatures who should have a faith that begins with those stories of childhood, but expands in our ongoing potential for Christian understanding and service.

(This story was from the late and very great V. Wayne Sorge, a fellow seminarian and friend of mine gone too soon. He was a journalist and author, a decent man in a ruinous world and a Christian with something to say. I miss him a great deal. -- Rev. Jim Purcell)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gov't, Police Have Forgotten the 'Rule of Law'

As much as the economy, the Rule of Law holds together this nation. Photo J. Purcell
By Rev. J.J. Purcell

Riots are alive throughout this country now. And, they are not going to get better for now, I fear.

Someone whom people do not learn about in school anymore is 17th century English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). Since most people are so badly schooled, they probably think that was when the pyramids were built. Regardless, Locke helped to intellectually enlighten most of our Founding Fathers here in America (that means 'they listened to what he said a lot').

So, this writer, Locke, said in his "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" that the mind is a blank slate at birth and is filled through experience. Well, old Locke was a great believer in "cause and effect." People are born understanding logical systems. For example, bad guy does something bad, they are arrested, then they are jailed and all is right with the world. But, wait! An example that would not be considered a logical system to people would be: 'Bad guy kills someone for no real reason, is caught, no one does anything about it and the killer is set free.' You see, if the bad guy can get away with murder, then who is to say he will not murder again, or people like him or her murder again? So, people become distressed and -- BANG! ZAP! -- you have yourself a mob looking to get rid of the murderer.

Of course, this does not examine things from a racial point of view. But, so many others are doing that I decided I would go another route.

What is the gist? In modern society, there must be rules and everyone must follow them or the society will become unhinged because, if there is a special group of people whom are not accountable for their actions, the center will not hold and the society will collapse upon itself.

I know some ignorant rednecks are having a tough time with this -- too much thinking. You should navigate away right about now. Go back to reading and making bumper stickers.
Riots rocked NYC during Tammany Hall days of corruption.

The Republicans in our National Government, many local Mayors and Councils and, apparently, most of the Police Departments in the country, now believe that ordinary Americans can be deprived of justice, beaten, murdered at the whim of police officers and subjected to a host of inhuman and wrongful acts. The ever-present "I feared for my life" offered by officers would go a lot farther, I believe, if there were not so many random shootings or strangling of unarmed Black men, from sea to shining sea.

As I write this today, two NYPD officers were killed by a lunatic for the misdeeds of Police who murdered unarmed Black men in Missouri and New York, respectively. The practice of randomly murdering whomever they wished has gone on quite a while for Police. No one said too much for the longest time. Well, the purpose for our system of justice (working rightly) is intended so mobs, such as we are seeing now, do not form into lynching parties in the street for murderers hiding behind badges.

Then, one day, people got sick of it; fed up to the gills.

Back when Tammany Hall (through the Society of Tammany) ran New York City, during the Civil War, the War of the Five Points destroyed the city because people believed it was impossible to receive justice or fairness out of the City and Police back then. The result? A goodly sized chunk of New York City was burned to the ground. 

In Newark, New Jersey in 1967, the White City Government and Police thought civil rights were a joke. Well, it wasn't. Newark was burned to the ground and didn't even start to come back until about 10 years later. All because some Police morons had to play cowboy and arrest and beat down some poor kid who did nothing to anyone -- oh, yes, he was Black. 

Right now, something in this country is going on too. People are fed up with injustice and the inability of American citizens to be treated with human rights in their own communities. Sadly, since the Police and Prosecutors decided to cover up things and explain away murder, and the Courts rubber stamping those farces -- the crowds started to react. They became mobs. 

I am a proud American. I do not want Police to be murdered. I do not want them to be goons either. I want bad guys arrested. But, I do not want them murdered for standing on the wrong corner. It is wrong that a Policeman not liking the way someone parts their hair can wrongly, conspicuously and in cold blood murder Americans. No, not that. The Rule of Law is broken when either police or mobs do it. Right now, aside from a nut-job here or there, it is mostly the protesters who have been the most civil, all things told. 

If all protesters are contributing to the murder of the policemen in NY today, then does that mean that all Police are contributing to the murder of helpless, unarmed people? We are on a slippery slope, kids.

Yet, it is not just these protesters of the moment to worry about. There can be many more coming soon.

The Republican Congress vows to end Social Service programs. So now, on top of there being no justice in the streets by Police or Courts, sea to shining sea, now the central government intends to starve people by ending Food Stamps, make them homeless with an end to rental assistance, and God knows what else. 

Did you know that when Franklin D. Roosevelt took charge of the Presidency in the midst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, he did not create a host of social programs just to build roads, help the poor, or get the economy going again. He did it, in some part, because the Federal Government was starting to lose control of the nation. When adherence to the laws of the land states that someone must go hungry, homeless, or untreated medically -- then people stop listening to the government and take over where it comes to their own survival.

People scraping to survive are not going to be 'cricket' about following laws. There were riots everywhere in the Depression. Towns disappeared and whole populations shifted. Riots broke out in Washington  DC among veterans, among many other places, many of whom were shot dead on the order of President Herbert Hoover (a Republican). Communists made an enormous foothold in this country and were not that far from taking it over. There was no law. The center was buckling.

FDR enacted scores of social legislation just so the Federal Government could keep this nation together. Thank God it worked. 

You watch, America, the inability for anyone in the GOP, City Halls or Police Departments to read an actual history book is going to come back to roost for us all. Perhaps this is the result of our terrible ranking in the world for our students in academic achievement revisiting us -- or in vernacular, 'biting us in the ass.'

What is the solution? Not more murder of unarmed people, not the elimination of social services. I fear for tomorrow. And, I fear for our young people the most. They have been so appallingly ill-prepared for the future, thanks to my generation and those before. No, we have not been good stewards of the trust of our fathers and mothers. We have economized until America today is more illiterate than it has been since the 18th century. There has to be a change in the tide if there is going to be a brighter day for our nation -- not ideas being met with guns, citizens fearing the Police, not insanity ruing the day, or the banishment of logic from our shores. Yes, things must change.

(Rev. J.J. Purcell is a graduate of the NY Theological Seminary. He was licensed to preach by ABC-NJ and is a U.S. Army veteran. Rev. Purcell was also a journalist for many years, who garnered several writing awards, among them Congressional and NJ Legislative proclamations, among others.)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Credit where it is due: The Veterans Administration

U.S. Army veteran Jim Purcell
By Rev. J.J. Purcell

When I arrived to the Veterans Administration in New Jersey during July of 2013, I was a wreck.

I had so many physical problems and other illnesses that were untreated before I showed up at the East Orange VA Emergency Room. I could not walk without great pain due to a large mass in my left foot. I have virtually no ligature in my left knee and both knees suffer greatly from arthritis. My left shoulder had been injured for several years, but the injury was extremely aggravated in 2011.

During all of 2012, I was practically a slave working at dive bars in Keansburg and East Keansburg just to keep a small, bed-bug infested room on Keansburg's Maple Avenue. I had no lasting place to live.

Suffering from PTSD, chronic Major Depression and anxiety, to name a few issues going on at the time, there was not a moment of the day where I knew real peace. I still have bed-bug scars on my right hand and elbow where large, infected wounds once were from that time period.

For all intents and purposes, I had been homeless for over a year by that point, and unemployable because of my wounds and moment-to-moment pain.

Well, the VA operated on my foot and shoulder. Doctors also shot my knees with artificial ligature. I became medicated regarding the psychiatric issues -- but what is more important than any of that was that I was back among friends -- fellow veterans. Most of those I encountered in the VA System had run into setbacks in their own lives as well.

It is with care that fellow veterans handle each other here, because all of us have had turnarounds of luck, reversals of fortune. Otherwise, they would not be in veterans emergency housing, or transitional housing, or in VA homeless shelters.

To hear some people say it, the VA System is one of the worst in the world. I have lived within this system, though, for more than a year and a half and my experience is that such a notion could not be further from the truth of my experience.

During years of homelessness, my self-image and confidence had been destroyed. I was practically a beggar and the only future I wanted was in a pinewood box. In fact, when I arrived to East Orange's ER, I needed two canes to walk. During my early stay in the VA, I used a wheelchair every moment of the day. I had a tooth, broken into shards, still within my lower teeth, and it was horrible. The VA pulled that tooth.

In short, the VA dealt with my issues as best they could. Though I will never be 100 percent of myself back in the days when I was a young paratrooper, I certainly have a much more pain-free existence today.

What am I saying? If you know a vet who is suffering from homelessness, major illness or, as it often is, addictive issues, then get them back in touch with the VA. That one single move might well save their lives.

(Rev. J.J. Purcell was licensed to preach by American Baptist Churches -- New Jersey, following his graduation from the NY Theological Seminary. He is also a former U.S. Army Paratrooper who served with various units within the XVIII Airborne Corps during the 1980s.)

Navy veteran turns things around at Lyons’ Domiciliary

U.S. Navy vet Tony Myers
By Rev. J.J. Purcell

Today, former U.S. Navy Radioman 3rd Class Anthony “Tony” Myers is another veteran looking to get a leg-up after having a tough time of it after the Great Recession a few years ago. But, he is armed with spirit, a good woman and the support and comradeship of his fellow veterans.

Myers is currently residing at the Lyons Domiciliary, in New Jersey, which is a homeless shelter for veterans. However, as tough a decision as it was going there, Myers managed to find new directions at the “Dom,” as well as some new friends.

 In particular, Myers, a former NYC worker who was supervised by ex-Mayor Rudy Guiliani, linked up with former U.S. Navy SEAL A.J. Krause at the Dom, and the two of them are beginning a business venture together, American Made Survival Bracelets.

 “We’re gearing our business toward veterans, but we will also work with non-veterans,” he said. The duo make paracord bracelets and sell them for $10 apiece. So far, business has been encouraging for the two.

“People I know, mostly veterans, like what we make and are buying them pretty steady,” Myers noted.

 Myers served in the U.S. Navy for four years, between 1984-1988. He worked directly for the commander of the 2nd Fleet, stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base, in Virginia. When the commander ventured from port aboard his flagship, the USS Mount Whitney, Myers was there too.

 “We patrolled the North Atlantic and the Caribbean mostly,” Myers said. He was 19 years old when he was sworn-into the service at Port Hamilton, Brooklyn. Though a native of Queens, he never did become a Mets fan, and instead chose to root for those other guys who play ball in the city.

 After departing the service, Myers worked several jobs, including being a messenger on Wall Street, working there in an  office capacity, being a consultant for NBC in New York and worked for Guiliani between 1995-2002.

 Myers has been married to his wife, Cathy, for the past 8 years. However, in 2010, the Myers faced a tough financial turnaround when Tony lost his job as an on-air, help desk technician with CompuCom, in New York City. Meanwhile, Cathy herself had a few tough knocks, particularly in 2007 when she became disabled and wasn’t able to work.

Well, his road led Myers to the Lyons VA Domiciliary on July 9, 2014, and he is looking to re-launch himself and his family by not only working his business with Krause, but also finding a new job he can support himself and his wife with.

Currently, Myers and his wife are living in different parts of New Jersey due to financial considerations, but Tony’s goal is not only providing for his wife, but ensuring they are finally reunited in the same household in 2015.

“My wife means everything to me. I have had a good experience at the Dom and made a lot of friends for life here. It’s a tough place to land, but if someone makes the most out of it they can turn things around for the better here,” he concluded.

For information about American Made Survival Bracelets, or for more information, Myers can be contacted at (732) 979-5446, or e-mailed at


Monday, December 15, 2014

Sustained Protests Are A Key To Beating City Hall

By Rev. J.J. Purcell, MPS (Ret.)

I suppose it was the mid-2000s or so when the Greater Long Branch NAACP, then under the direction of President William L. Danger, was confronting the Middletown Township Committee, then led by Mayor Rosemarie Peters. The issues were plain. There was a situation with a township employee of color who was facing bias in her work situation. Meanwhile, Bill was also trying to secure additional opportunities for people of color in township employment, where there had been none so far.

Talks were at a virtual standstill. Bill and I were friends, and I had helped out his chapter with doing press before. Since my office, The Courier, was right across the road from the Town Hall where talks were going on, he came over. He told me about the arrogant posture of the committee and their want to do absolutely nothing for the employee, despite the outright bias she had faced. And, where it concerned any concessions about hiring on the then-nearly all white town departments -- nothing: absolutely nothing.

I made a suggestion to Bill, which he wound up using. I knew the thing the committee feared more than anything were Black protests along their major thoroughfares, so their mostly all-White citizenry (nearly 97 percent then) would see. You see, White suburbanites like to consider themselves 'good people' about race and such, even when they mostly aren't 'good people' about race.

I said, 'Tell them you'll put 500 or more people at the intersection of King's Highway and Route 35 (the town's main hub) and that your people will stay there until there is change.' Bill asked what should we do if they do not give in. I responded, 'Then let's do it; let's put 500 or more people out there until there is change.' He laughed. "Now that would get their attention. But, it's the middle of the winter."

My then employer, as well as owning the newspaper I published, also owned a number of Foodtowns in three counties. I said to Bill, 'We get a warming tent, all the cup of soup and coffee we can put into it, and request assistance from Second Baptist Church in Long Branch, the other area NAACPs, the state NAACP -- even the Nation if we have to in order to pull this off. The best defense is a good offense. There is no way the committee wants that to happen in their town: Newspapers, TV News, and Online News will be all over the place and asking questions.'

After a long minute, Bill, a wise man and tough negotiator, smiled and said, "OK, well, you made some work for yourself. I'm going to go in with that right now."

Well, he did. While he went back into negotiations I proceeded to get a large warming tent laid on from a company in Howell. Then, I called my boss to find out about getting soup and coffee for the tent. I waited for Bill to give me the heads up before I began any other work. But, none would be required.

"You were right. They heard about Black protesters on their main roadway and they backed-up. They resolved the personnel issue I went with in there and they gave us hiring concessions as well."

Of course none of it should have worked. Bill presented a perfectly logical argument, in a business fashion, at first to try and reasonably solve small problems in town. However, it was the arrogance and bigotry, in my opinion, of the all-White Middletown Committee that would not give an inch to not only Bill, but any person of color. There had to be an '...or else.' And, what Bill promised if talk broke down was a nightmare of theirs.

The secret to Bill's threat was the fact it would have been made real. But, he used a method that did not have violence or arrogance built into it, only American citizens exercising their God-given rights of acceptable protestation.

I cancelled the tent, soup and coffee. To tell you the truth, I was kind of sorry about it. Because if any town in New Jersey needed to get shook up it was and is Middletown Township. Still, a deal is a deal.

I absolutely believe that regular and heavy protestation of examples of bad government will work in the end. Free of violence, a crowd of dedicated, law-abiding protesters (not unlike feminists in the early part of the 20th century) who can sustain their operations for long periods of time can change the game, so to speak, where it involves issues of race and prejudice in this country. Certainly it will work in the town near you.

It is a matter of sustainability. Can protesters keep protesting, remain calm and law abiding, and never give up their cause? Law enforcement will be present at a certain point, and menacing. Consequently, strong leadership is required of protesters. If protesters can keep the fight up, though, they will win, because no elected government in this nation wants the heat that comes along with a wrong they did being covered and reminded daily.

Politicians hate it when their prejudices, sins, greed and bigotry are shed light upon. After a journalism career that was nearly two decades long, I can assure the reader of that much.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The U.S.A. has no room to agitate for Human Rights

The Dove of Peace has already flown from U.S. Shores. 
By Rev. J.J. Purcell

I do not know where all of the race hatred that is alive and breathing like a new fire in a cotton plant is coming from throughout this country. But I know some places where people are fanning it.

Not all Whites are adversaries of Civil Rights to everyone, not just Blacks. In fact, Whites and Blacks have worked together in organizations like the NAACP (est. 1909) for more than a century. Freedom was won by Blacks in 1865 with the ending of the Civil War, but though no longer slaves in name, many Blacks were still slaves in fact.

In 1913, former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson enacted "Jim Crow Laws" in the country, which were virtually the same as the racist "Black Codes" of the mid-1800s. Then, like a storm of hope, came the 1960s and all the work done by millions upon millions of people for Blacks to finally be able to stand as equals to Whites or anyone else in this country.

Medger Evers.

John and Bobby Kennedy.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Howard Thurman.

Malcolm X.

The names can go on all day.

So, since the 1970s, civil rights organizations (like the NAACP) have busied themselves ensuring ground was not lost, educating children, taking on racist U.S. Governments when need be, and raising awareness of the mutuality of dignity in this country among everyone: Working for better tomorrows.

Today, though, Racism is back with a vengeance: The Republican Party has become the standard bearer of Racist organizations in this country, which have inspired the more Racist Tea Party. Today, police officers in any town or municipality in the U.S. have learned they may summarily execute Blacks on the streets of our country without fear of reprisal from the Court System. Apparently, the courts and governors of every state in this union do not value a Black life above a White one any longer. What's more is that the KKK is back as of today, calling itself a "Christian organization" now and it is getting more members these past months than in the past decade.

Meanwhile, just today, at the University of California, Berkeley Campus, were displayed "lynching" posters of murdered Blacks hanging from trees; horrific murders done in the 1920s by the KKK.

Racists have abandoned the Democratic Party, by and large, and have flocked to the GOP in droves because they know they have a friend in proponents of that system: the GOP would return to the days of dogs and water canons. Surely, there are token Blacks in the GOP, and what entered their mind to join a party of hate against their own is beyond me -- but it too is a fact.

I want to say that treatment of Homosexuals is also backsliding to the point it was many years ago, perhaps because finally that demographic began to get rights it has been wrongly denied for so long, like marriage.

America is a wreck, guys and gals. Atop everything, many elected Republicans at all levels, as well as their Tea Party cronies, are foretelling of an armed rebellion by them in 2016, should they not capture the White House, even after keeping Blacks from the polling places today in many places.

A bloodless war has already started, ladies and gentlemen, and it is being fueled by politics and the so-called "Religious Right," which says it worships our Lord, but instead idolizes His adversary. Truly, if there is a Devil walking among us today, he is friends with Rush Limbaugh, Ron Paul and Bobby Jindall.

I do not know where any of this is going, but I suppose individuals acting on their conscience, their common sense, might be a good start. Because this is fast becoming a place, a nation, where no one's children will be safe to pursue their lives or liberty without the scourge of race touching their lives. And, it will not be the content of one's character that will lead to success in the future, if Republicans have their way, but the color of one's skin. This is a revolting revelation. Yet, it is the one I see.

I am an older man now, whose days of stumping for candidates and causes is well behind him. Surely, though, some have got to start making a stand for sanity, kindness, and dare I say, also for humanity itself. The U.S. has become a small place -- bent with hatred. We are collectively no longer the right people to petition for human rights abroad, because we no longer enforce those rights for our citizen here.

I believe there is a great contest of wills before us: on one side evil will take the form of Republican lackeys and their sort and on the other will be those brave men and women who are not going to all "...government of, for and by the people to perish from the earth."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Joe Caliendo passes, marks end of an era

Joe Caliendo with former area NAACP President William Dangler
By Rev. J.J. Purcell

Former Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo died this morning. There is so much to say about Joe one scarcely knows where to start.

He was a family man first, the husband of Pat. He was a father and grandfather, above everything. It is the thing he worked hardest at in life: his family. He was a good man, a good union man, and Joe was not afraid of hard work. A look at his hands would tell the story if you ever glanced at them. 

I met Joe because of politics. We worked together very closely during the early 2000s to help Democrats win local offices in Middletown Township, the home he loved so dearly, and in the Bayshore Area, as a whole. I knew him well in this way and that is the Joe I can speak about with authority.

Politics is an ugly game. It is filled with people, be they Republican or Democrat, who are no better than snakes. Working with politicians to achieve community goals is as easy as working in a tiger cage with a half dozen different, untamed big cats. But, Joe knew his way around that cage very well: He was intuitive, intelligent, quick, focused and utterly dedicated to the proposition that the 'every-man' and woman deserved things in this life, and not just the rich and so-called elite. Above all else, he believed in the rights of men and women to be able to earn their daily bread for themselves and their families, and that is no little thing in this world.

I have seen people try and bribe Joe Caliendo, and he laughed it off on both occasions and gave them a good piece of his mind. He liked to laugh. But, Joe was also one of the bravest souls I have encountered. 

I have seen him threatened by the highest state offices of evil men and women, mostly Republicans, who tried to coerce Joe to stop his work getting Democrats elected in town and in the county. You had a better chance of getting a wolverine to back-up. I cannot count how many times I heard that man bark into the face of someone who thought they could push him around: "What the hell are you going to do to me? I don't have all that much time on this earth -- and sure as hell don't give a damn about what you say or do."

Not everyone is brave. People like to think they are, but mostly they aren't. Joe was brave. 
Joe Caliendo (L) with former Matawan Councilman Bud Mullaney

Joe was also tireless. He'd put up signs with fellow Democrats in any weather, deep into the night and early morning if he had to, risking sickness or anything he had to in order to come a step closer to victory. Meanwhile, no Middletown Democratic chairman has ever known as much local victory in the township, which is far and away a Republican-voting community. Yet, with Joe Caliendo at the helm of the township party, victory was always possible, sometimes even likely despite the sheer number of factors set against him and the Middletown Dems. 

Joe was a lifelong Democrat and had been in leadership in the 1960s, 70s and 2000s. I believe that simple facts attests to his convictions.

Joe was a skilled politician and party boss. He did not care about frivolity. He became involved with things he believed were right and did not care about what anyone thought. He supported the NAACP openly in a time when race hatred was very alive in Middletown. And, he was recognized by area and state NAACP leaders for his wisdom and hard work. Joe fought for union rights like a lion at every turn, and supported the working person without apology over the moneyed interests of glad-handing politicians who smiled to peoples' faced and stabbed them in the back quietly in the back rooms. Joe Caliendo spoke truth to power and there are very few human beings in this world that would actually do that.

Joe was my friend. At times in my life I was distraught, he was there without judgment or self-righteousness. I know he would not mind me throwing in there that he was also a heck of a ballplayer, who almost made the old Brooklyn Dodgers before they moved to sunny California. But, he played ball like he played life -- as hard as he could and straight on. No mental errors. If you were going to beat Joe at anything you were going to have to do it, because he wasn't going to be asleep at the switch or make mental errors. He was as sharp as an eagle. 

Joe lived and worked through all kinds of physical pain from many injuries -- but to see him you'd never know it by his face. He could handle a lot of pain and make it look easier than anyone I have known. 

Joe even converted me to being a Democrat from being an avowed Republican. He was persuasive and there was power behind his words, because he was a man of action. If he said something you could believe he meant it and was going to do something about it. 

I have known many people in my life and covered many areas of the human condition as a journalist of many years, and believe me when I say few people are exceptional. I do not care how much money or celebrity they have, whether they are beautiful or athletic, elected or appointed, rich or poor -- the vast majority of people in this world are sheep. Every now and again, a true leader, a shepherd, comes along. Joe was one of those. 

Joe was not a spiritual man. He did not do right over wrong because he thought there was any reward for it in an afterlife. He just did what was right because it was right. And, if for no more than that, the God of my understanding will welcome him to his house, where he is already.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

It is beginning to be that season again, in New Jersey, where things become stark and the snow and wind try to punish those silly enough to stay here through winter.

Here in Basking Ridge, nestled in Northwest Jersey, it is biting and brittle. But, for native Jerseyians, it is more of the same. Long ago, such people became accustomed to the winter battles against snow and ice.

Yes, there will be blizzards and snowed-in conditions. At some point, roads will be impassable as a veritable army of snow plows and salt and sand trucks will rumble out of their garages for their annual war.

At some point, the lights will go out. There will be concern about melting snow later on. Meanwhile, residents will swear loudly and complain about the snow, inept lawmakers, inept road crews and their time off work.

There is another end of the spectrum, of course. Young children will be all aglow at the terrible weather to come. Because they will build snow people, sleigh ride, snow board and even ski on the frozen over patches that will be everywhere.

I think I used to enjoy all of it very much, aside from driving here or there. In Jersey, no one cares if there is 50-feet of snow on the ground, they expect you at work and on time. It's fairly unreasonable really.

I have spent so many winters with snow I cannot wait until my Florida move and the promise of sunshine and 70 degrees during the dog days of winter. If for no other reason, fair weather in the wintertime will be an enormous and welcome novelty.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Republicans Seek Rule At The End of a Rifle Barrel

By Rev. J. J. Purcell

Traitors are good for nothing. Specifically, I am addressing the realities of the Republican Party, and their bastard off-shoot, the Tea Party. They threaten to steal our freedoms from us at the end of a rifle barrel and to violently usurp the Government of the United States, and nothing is being done about it.

God forbid they ever dupe enough people into voting for a King Monster as President of the United States, because most surely that President, his Party and their cronies will thereafter "Democracy-Proof" the Electoral System, and hunt down all that may be able to restore the freedom this Republic was forged in.
Republicans have cast Jesus as an evil god of war

The American voting public today is more slow-witted, dimmer and lazy than at any point in history. Though there are more Democrats and Democratically leaning voters, they do not come out to vote unless a significant fire is lit under their ass. However, that is not enough to ensure that the will of the people, no matter how cowed those people are, is seen through.

You see, the Republican Party would turn our nation into a state perennially at war, with no rights to workers, women, the poor or the disenfranchised. A Republican-run government will remove Civil Rights and Women's Rights with as much care as a tailor would remove lint from a suit. They are a steamroller of evil, bent on the destruction of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as the twisted mutilation of the Earthly and Heavenly Ministries of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Republican Party would disallow Blacks and Minorities from voting if it could, and back in charge of this nation they will tirelessly work to do so. The Republican Party endorses the idea that all women's wombs are subject to state regulation. More over, the Republican Party would arm everyone in this country, for the sake of profits for Big Gun, so that everyone -- the good and bad, innocent and malevolent -- would use vigilante justice and mob rule along every street in our nation unabated. Furthermore, they would allow the transformation of police forces throughout this country to continue until they are no longer peace officers but just the bloody cold-blooded murderers so many have already become.

President George Bush borrowed $6T dollars from Red China to fund his Wars of Aggression that produced nothing. Not one American I know gives a tinker's damn about whether or not the Iraqi people are free. We have more than enough issues in our own nation to occupy our collective time. Still, both George Bush and his Vice President, Dick Cheney owned stock in a company the U.S. Government, at their direction, gave no-bid contracts to, Haliburton, Inc., which funded a host of projects -- including mercenary soldiers (who have for centuries been considered filth because they are).

America today is traveling along the path of the Weimar Republic in Germany, slowly heading for that day when the only peace our country will know is that of the grave. Stupid, greedy and slovenly people yield no answers to benefit even one citizen, other than for them and their co-conspirators.
Americans have seen rebellion before

The Republican Party's minions, Arabs, own Fox News. This "news source" preaches Fascism, the 'benefits' of dictatorial rule and class and ethnic hatred. They glamour the least educated, most vulnerable and most simple audiences of this country to sign away their rights (by calling them "privileges") and still people play their video games and sleep.

President Barack Obama is the only thing, literally, that stands between the Republican Party and absolute rule of this country. He is the last person holding back the darkness as we all enjoy the light of reason and sense in government.

Obama will leave office, and I can only pray he is succeeded by a steward like him. However, as able a steward that might be, the Republican Party has promised -- not hinted with a wink -- that if they do not get their way soon then they will lead their toothless minions in an actual Civil War bent on eradicating all the social and scientific, intellectual and religious progress this nation has made for a hundred years in favor of their totalitarian rule. And, they are not even hiding their intentions because they know -- good men and women sleep at the wheel while they make their moves.

I suggest it is time to wake, and contact lawmakers about this rebellion of Right Wingers, and agitate law enforcement on every level to take this treasonous tribe of back-stabbing bastards seriously and jail any man or woman who speaks of violent overthrow of the government and murder of innocent civilians -- even if they do have billionaires backing them.

It is time to end the antics in the street, and remove the Disloyal Opposition from the thoroughfares innocent Americans use every single day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Islamic and Christian extremists, pot pies and candy canes

By Rev. J.J. Purcell

Can the lessons of the Nazi rise to power, beginning in 1920s Germany, and the Holocaust (1939-1945) be looked upon as a dark warning of the past for us living in 21st century America?

I think it is worth a few lines.

I am an American; a citizen of the United States of America, born in the 1960s. My father and uncles fought in World War II and Korea. My cousins fought in Vietnam. And, American popular culture changed its face and attitudes so many times in my lifetime that I have lost count of their occasions.

No one in the 1970s needed to actively remember Nazis. Our fathers fought them, and some of our family lived through it and others did not. Everyone not only saw the chilling documentaries about the Nazis and the Holocaust, but we also heard about them from parents and grandparents. As a boy, I thought there was little difference between Satan incarnate and Adolf Hitler. I was not alone in this.

I will not mark the years that followed the 1970s by political movements, wars, fashions, celebrity headlines, scientific achievements or rock bands. It is enough to say the years passed until now -- the eve of 2015.

There are extremist Muslims at home and around the globe who seek another genocide. The world has already seen so many of this kind of fiend. This time, these people want to murder basically everyone on the planet who does not subscribe to some smallish cult of Satanic hate someone somehow codified on a camel's back somewhere in Southwestern Asia some centuries ago. This law basically restricts everyone about anything that might represent a full life. Further, women and children lose all personal value and murder is permitted to run through their lands like streams. They are seeking to grow this psychosis over any border that can be found.

At home in these United States, the KKK and American Nazi Party were finally in a well-deserved decline and were only menacing shades from the past before now. For some unholy reason, Christian extremists have found a friend in the Republican Party. Today, their brand of 'Christian Sharia' is trying to be spread like a contagion on Conservative Media Networks, like Fox.

These so-called "Christian" political extremists have actively voiced, and loudly, their want of usurping the American political process given us by our Founders and, instead, seizing control of our state and disallowing Progressive thought in any hall of power. They speak of murder, racism, sexism and Islamic genocide glibly. They wish to empower every mad redneck with a firearm and as much liquor as they can drink and set them loose on innocent town streets.

If someone wanted to create a speed bump for these hellish movements, they might well study the Nazi rise to power in Germany, and the Holocaust. Because surely, these extreme groups have each decided to work on different ends of the blueprint laid down by Hitler and his cronies.

I have studied in seminary, but I must have missed the section where it said Our Lord Jesus Christ was a fan of guns, mad killings, murder, genocide, racism and repression of science, humanity or humility.

In a time when this country needs to be cohesive to face the threat of International Terrorism by insane Muslim fanatics, our nation is just inches short of a Civil War with mad Christian fanatics. Sardonically, if only we could get the two groups together in some border outside the borders of the Continental United States, how much better the world would be for all.

The Muslims who are not truly Muslim could vent on the Christians who are not actually Christians and they could expend themselves on each other without shedding anymore innocent blood or promising to murder the American World, built by the brightest people in the world to be operated by the dumbest.

Do not take any of this lightly, if anyone would, because the world has seen the likes of these moronic "Tea Party" vandals before, just as they have seen these hellish Islamic minions who preach murder. And either or both of these groups could and may infect the world and turn what is light dark, and what is fresh into something acrid.

I pray I will naturally pass before I might have to see the world I love so dearly transformed into a disfigured, disgraced version of itself -- as comely as a horribly deformed fetus in a pickle jar at a sideshow.

I would not have immortality for all the treasures of Babylon. I have a feeling all the best parts of history, American or otherwise, have already occurred. And, given the fact this nation shirked the yoke of slavery only 150 years before, the Great American Highlight Reel is not as long as it should otherwise be. Yet, slavery only proved that even in America lunacy can be institutionalized.

Today, the American race is more vicious, entitled, short-sighted, undeserving, boorish, uncultured, less sophisticated, inept, murderous and bumbling than ever before in our chronicles, which began in 1776. We no longer possess an American Dream, only American Nightmares we wish to share with all of the world. In turn, in the spirit of reciprocity, the world would like to share its nightmares with us Colonials.

Speaking of the world, Islam is experiencing its own civil wars, which threatens to discredit that formerly well known religion of peace and prosperity and give it the likeness to all of nothing more than a frothing mad dog in the streets, who would be better to be put down than understood.

In-between this, people are trying to have gentle lives of love and usefulness. And soon, maybe decades, the remnant of the Garden given humanity by God will be a fetid, spoiled place of languish and desolation. And, before that, I would gladly have my Judgment and be on my merry way.

What is the cause? Forget the lengthy explanations. I will tell you the cause. It is not new and there is nothing innovative about it: Evil men want power. It has been the same since the Great Flood. Evil men would rather make Hell of a Garden and be its prince than live in a Garden and be another gardener.

The American Presidential Election every four years is no longer a hunt for excellence. Instead, every four years, American elect the most corrupt, sometimes dumbest aristocrat that can be found and elevate him to the role of chieftain. Occasionally, a great person is elected to the office. But, in the Modern Era, such things are strictly an accident and any honorable acts one might try to make are quickly eradicated by the mountains of slack-jawed morons that present themselves as Senators and Congressmen.

I urge no one to action. If anything, I would simply look to distraction while awaiting some fresh horror that some fiend or other will unleash upon an unsuspecting, sedated citizenry.