Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Silly Snowden Is Sure Not in Kansas Any More!

Is Edward Snowden a calculating and clever scoundrel?  Or is he just a naive dumb jerk?

You'll notice that I allow him no favorable categories.  As I explained in prior postings, Snowden is anathema to someone like me who actually got federal laws enacted to protect our civil liberties and rights.  To an old hand, Snowden is just the flip-side of a Joe McCarthy, the same arrogance and ruthless willingness to do anything to get attention.  Ol' Joe and Young Ed just know better than anybody else.  And they grab the limelight by playing the easiest instrument in the orchestra:  Americans are always eager to hear why they should distrust their own government.  Next to baseball, that's the favorite national past- time.

But let's get something straight. Being a real whistleblower was never Snowden's motive.  The whistle had already been blown several times in past years.  We already knew about NSA's massive collection of phone numbers, first when the Patriot Act and its subsequent amendments were enacted, then again on May 22, 2007, on the front page of USA Today, then again in the intervening years as other media occasionally gave it attention.


The South China newspaper quotes Snowden as saying he joined NSA just for the purpose of attacking the government's "secret" surveillance.  If true, that's a calculating and clever scoundrel at work, though an uninformed one.  The surveillance wasn't secret. His apparent reasoning: Make the government look bad by hyping up concern about a program and thus  "protect" your fellow Americans whom you believe haven't the good sense to be already alarmed about  what's already been in the news.  Be the arrogant guardian of the great unwashed.  Be a hero.  And to hell with national security or the right of the people to have their elected officials make decisions instead of 29-year-old nobodies doing it for them.  And to hell with the truth, that nobody is listening in on citizens' phone calls without a warrant.

But if Snowden is so crafty and freedom-loving and just playing for personal glory, why is he running to the arms of all the world's most repressive governments, the ones that  censor everything, but specially censor his beloved internet?  The ones who spy on everybody big-time and especially on their own citizens?  Why is a supposed truth-telling, super-patriot American dancing with the Chinese, the Russians, the Cubans.  And possibly Ecuador?  This last is the target of severe criticism by human rights groups for its repressive government. And how come he's missed out on those ol sweeties, North Korea and Iran?  Or does he also plan to snuggle up to them?

Nobody is listening in on Americans' phone calls unless a court issue a warrant based on reasonable cause for such search.  That's no different than standard criminal investigative procedure has been since day one of the telephone.  It is 100% anctioned by numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions. In Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Ecuador, they don't need no stinkin' warrants to listen to your phone calls.  They don't need no stinkin' warrants for anything?  If they just think you may be possibly a little bit likely to tend to be a threat to the government or are even thinking of being a threat,  they just skip right to the chase and haul you off to prison.  No rights, no due process.

This is what Snowden has embraced.  He's run right to the arms of the devil he tried to paint America as being.  Therefore, one can't help but question his motives from get-go.  Maybe he wasn't trying to save America at all.   Maybe all his hero talk about freedom was just a temporary cover for his previously planned espionage on behalf of America's enemies.  It's deemed virtually certain, for example, that China downloaded all that was on Snowden's four laptops.  And likely the Russians did also.  In the background there may even be the slight smell of money.  

So have fun, Mr. Snowden, in your sad, looking-glass version of Shangri-la.  Enjoy your repressive new friends.  And any ill-gotten gains you may have got.

We don't yet know what you were really up to, but we know one thing for certain. You sure aren't in Kansas any more.  And you're certainly not in Oz.

You're in Big Brotherland!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Amnesty, Shamnesty!

Yesterday it was announced that a dozen 7-11 mini marts had been raided on the East Coast and dozens of "illegal aliens" have been rounded up for deportation.

At the same time, Republicans in the House are doing their usual frothing-at-the-mouth in hatred of what they call "amnesty", meaning that anyone here without legal status will get to stay here only over their dead GOP bodies.  (Gosh, that would be sweet!)

These perceived "criminals" must NOT get "amnesty", the GOP vows.  It chokes in the GOP craw.  Well, stop choking, you self-righteous Republican members of the House.  These immigrants are not "criminals".  They have broken no criminal law just by being here in the USA.  It is not a crime  -  I repeat,  "NOT a crime"  -   just to be here without having walked through the process.  It is merely a civil offense, does not go to criminal court, and has no punishment except deportation.

You got that, GOP?  They are not criminals.  Nor are they sinners.  They did what all law and religions allow:  they sought to save themselves and their families from either violence or hunger or sometimes both.   One has the right to do this, the absolute right.  A great theologian said in the supposedly backwards Middle Ages, "If man must steal bread to feed his family because he can get no work, the sin is not his but society's."

It's called the doctrine of dire necessity.  Absent dire necessity, do you Republicans really believe that people, other than wildly ambitious young techies, pick up and leave family, hometown, friends, culture, their own food, their own language  -  all they know and hold dear  -  without very serious provocation?  It's wrenchingly hard to migrate under the best of circumstances.  But it's certainly a lot harder to trust oneself and one's money to the ruthless "coyote" or to cross the harsh desert, with every chance of dying under the sun like many who have gone before.  And what of those who have huddled in the darkness and near airlessness of cargo containers for the long journey across the Pacific?

Poor souls. What you have gone through to get here.  And since.  I remember the newspaper stories over the decades of the ratty farm trucks that crashed with a dozen or more immigrants dead.  Of the mothers or fathers who left their children behind, south of the border so they could earn money and send it home.  I remember talking with  the New York City cab driver who had left his family forty years ago in Algiers so he could earn the money to feed them.  He couldn't see them ever again, but they didn't go hungry.

We should honor these people.  They are extraordinarily brave and good.  Not all of them, of course.  But the majority.  I know because I have known them.  Before I lived here in Central Pennsylvania, I was blessed with the Latinos and Asians of California as friends and neighbors and fellow fighters in the good fight.  Vaya con Dios, mis amigos!

So now several dozen of you have been "rounded up" as "illegals" and face deportation.  In what may be the closing hours before immigration reform, you may be the last victims of treating people like cattle and "rounding them up".

Come back!  If they deport you, come back!  Cross the desert again.  Brave the coyote again.  Don't give up.  We need you.  And some of us even want you.  You make this country great.  You bring energy and determination and a beautiful culture.  You are beautiful!  Don't abandon us!  Come back!

Give America another chance.  Grant it amnesty for its sins against you in turning you away when you had come so far and suffered so much.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

You Heard It First Here

At my age it's okay to brag.  So I will.

Once again this blog got the beat on everybody else.  I'm referring to the matter of Edward Snowden, the arrogant young man who took it upon himself to decide what are the appropriate defense practices for this nation.  As I pointed out in a posting on June 11,  he thereby stole our right to have our elected officials decide such matters, using the advice of experts.

Aye, there's the rub!  We can't trust our elected officials and the experts.  At least that's the major premise of Snowden and his paranoid ilk.  (Love that word "ilk"!)   We can, however, trust him?  Really?  A 29-year-old nobody who has no track record, no education, no nothing?

Gosh, I'd rather trust the judgment of someone like Zoe Lofgren, Democratic member of the House from Santa Clara County, California.  I've known Zoe for thirty years.  They don't make humans any better than Zoe.  She's very intelligent, very compassionate, and a lawyer who has been caring about human rights and civil rights since before Snowden was born.  On top of that, she's actually done some good in the world.

Sure, Zoe is not in charge of the feds surveillance program, but she does typify a number of people in government, ones we can trust.  The government is not a collection of spooky, vague, faceless outer space aliens, power mad and out to get us. WE are the government.  Those folks in D.C. and its outposts are our friends, neighbors, cousins, and  -  in the case of one very conscientious government accountant  -  my kid brother.

So they are not the villains Snowden and his fellow "conspiracy" woinks predicate.  They love this country and their personal rights and liberties just as much as the rest of us do.

Since my posting on June 11 pointing out that Snowden is an arrogant jerk, others have begun to speak up.  It took them longer to stick their necks out and say that the would-be emperor Snowden wears no clothes, but they are younger than I am and thus more cautious.   We elders not only get to brag; we get to be courageous and outspoken.  After all, what can anyone do to us that time isn't already doing?

So now the "smart" guys are tardily finding their good sense and their courage and are looking askance at Snowden.  Lawrence O'Donnell, Andrew Sullivan, Thomas Friedman, and David Simon, among others  Who is David Simon, you ask?  Creator of "The Wire".  That makes him a very savvy guy indeed.  The pack of them have stopped baying after the media bunch which instantly became a Snowden fan club.

Two further notes. First, O'Donnell this week pointed out on his "Last Word" TV show that USA Today publicized the "new revelation" of the surveillance program SIX YEARS AGO.  I told you it was an old story.  May 11, 2007, is the date of the USA Today front page story.  But I remember even earlier ones.

Second item of note:  Like "ilk", the word "askance" is also quite cool, n'est pas?"

What is not cool?  Edward Snowden and those who sail with him.

P.S.  A day or two after I wrote this, Bill Keller of the NY Times also changed his position of open-mouthed horror regarding NSA surveillance.  He accepts what Tom Friedman says:  if we don't prevent another attack on the scale  of 9/11, we will lose all of our civil liberties in an eye blink.  I made that point a week before Friedman.  We old gals are fast on our feet.  Or at least fast on our keyboards.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward J. Snowden: Ignorant and Arrogant and Standing on My Foot

A large majority of Americans  -   56% actually  -   approve of NSA's surveillance programs, according to today's Pew Research poll.  But in the self-important world of Edward J. Snowden, these millions of Americans don't count.  Only he does.

Please. Can we not make a hero out of  Snowden, the "whistleblower" who has blown up an inflated version of old news about government surveillance?

Snowden is no brave little guy. He's also not "just an ordinary guy", as he claims. He's a massively egotistical, horrendously uninformed little fan of Ayn Rand and Rand Paul.  And he has just stolen far more than a government secret.

He has instead stolen our right to run our government as we see fit.  We the People elected the Congress that enacted the laws of which Snowden complains.  These surveillance laws were enacted by a bipartisan majority, a rare thing these days.  They have been renewed repeatedly right up until now by a bipartisan majority.  They are being applied by the fourth administration to do so, each of which was democratically elected except the first (Bush in 2000 was elected by one vote on the Supreme Court).  The laws have been scrutinized by the general courts of the USA and by the special courts established in the laws.  The full panoply of the US government has, therefore, been involved in creating, administering, and limiting these laws.  And We the People created this government and voted in its leaders.  It's OUR government running the show.  We didn't elect Edward J. Snowden to even carry out the garbage.

Contrary to Snowden's claim, no Nixon-type wanna-be-dictator has been in charge of the government or the current surveillance.  No coterie of FBI, military intelligence, NSA, CIA, etc. have been willy-nilly listening with no authorization to the private lives of American citizens.  That happened in the Nixon era and at other times in the past century.  That's real intrusion, but it's now against the law.  And it's not happening now.

At present we simply have a connect-the-dots operation that is very good at catching terrorists before they kill us.  It merely connects phone numbers, showing who is calling whom.  If "Who" is a known bad guy, then maybe "Whom" is too.  And since Who lives in Yemen and Whom lives in Indianapolis and could kill Americans, maybe we should get a warrant to polk into their actual conversations.  This is standard criminal investigation procedure.

It's so effective a method of catching bad guys that Bin Laden stopped using phones, radios, and the like and relied solely on a courier.  Also, ask the Mafioso in prison how effective this phone spotting is.  But keep firmly in mind that NO ONE can listen to conversations of Mafia or terrorists or otherwise get upfront and personal with anybody without a court-issued warrant based on probable cause.

Snowden didn't finish high school.  He didn't go to college.  He's a computer guy who thinks he knows a lot more than he does.  He doesn't know how our government works.  He doesn't know how this current surveillance works.  He doesn't know the current state of the law on surveillance.  He doesn't know how evil stuff in the past produced the laws that now prohibit the very thing he thinks is going on.  Sure, he may be a whiz-bang at computers, but being very, very good at cooking does not make one a good bowler.  Somehow Snowden doesn't know that because he has apparently lived in an insulated world where he could confuse being handy with being wise.  He thinks the cameraman is the director of the picture.

He's so ignorant and naive that he believes Hong Kong is a haven for free speech.   Hey, Snowden, Hong Kong is part of China.   The people of Hong Kong are always on about free speech because China's so down on it.  And do you really want to put your trust in China, a serious enemy of the USA, when they may want you to tell them a whole lot more of your precious secrets?

Snowden would be pathetic if he weren't so offensive and dangerous.   He's just stolen my right to have MY elected representatives make enormous decisions of life and death importance.  He has arrogated to himself a terrible power.

A 29-year-old who has done little, knows little, has no education.  He's just decided whether we should all be safe or not.

I have now seen everything.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zero Mostel v. Gail Collins

Everyone knows  Zero Mostel .  The star of the original filming of "The Producers".  The star of the 8-year Broadway run of "Fiddler on the Roof".  The unforgettable guest on Sesame Street, sporting long johns, a diaper and a top hat.  Yes, everybody knows who Zero Mostel was.

And likewise everyone knows of Charlie Chaplin, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and Frank Sinatra.

Gail Collins?  Not so much.  Not nearly so much.

Gail is an amusing political columnist with the New York Times.  Usually she's sensible and often funny.  It was she who never let go of the story of Mitt Romney's dog on the roof of his car.  We owe her big for preserving that wondrous image.

But on June 8, 2013, she blew it.  She joined the media pack braying after Obama because our security services are tracking phone call information exactly like that printed on your phone bill (time of call and phone number only) and email addresses originating overseas.  The government is trying to head off potential attacks on us, a half dozen of which actually generated such trails ahead of time IF we had been looking for them.  Oh, vile and wicked government.  Oh, persecution and denial of our liberties.

Except it isn't.  Not in itself and certainly not in the scale of government abuse in times gone by. Today's intrusion is a very minor one and arguably necessary.  It's totally unlike what usually goes on in the push/pull between our safety and our freedom, a very lop-sided push/pull that blighted most of the 20th century all the way back to the "anarchist" scare of the earliest 1900s and then the harsh "patriotism" laws imposed by supposedly liberal President Wilson during WWI.  And what about the government's imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II with no grounds for suspicion and no due process?  Some of my friends were in those prison camps as children.

The dismal record continued through mid-century and beyond.  Just ask Zero Mostel, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, and Frank Sinatra.  They could tell you what government paranoic overreach really looks like.

Imagine it!  Imagine the unimaginable!

Everyone's beloved Zero Mostel   -  blacklisted as a "Communist"!  Can't work.  Shunned.  Shamed too because he had to name names before a Congressional Committee or go to jail.

Charlie Chaplin  -  the Little Tramp, beloved around the world to this day.  Thrown out of America by the State Department.

Paul Robeson  -  possibly the greatest of American male singers.  (Hear him sing "Ol' Man River" in the1940s film version of "Showboat".)   Bravely outspoken for the labor movement and against the Ku Klux Klan, he was called "nigger" on the floor of the House of Representatives, attacked by a mob at his concert in Westchester  County, New York, blacklisted from performing in America, and deprived of his passport by the FBI so he could not earn a living abroad even though immensely popular worldwide.  

Pete Seeger.  He taught us all to sing the songs of America and cherish the ideals that imbue them.  He virtually started the "folk song" movement of the 40s and 50s that morphed directly into the anti-war and civil rights musical heart of the 60s and 70s.  Without Peter breaking into radio with the Weavers, there would have been no opening for Woodie in New York in the 1940s.  But Peter was blacklisted off radio and TV for 15 years and hounded by the government for decades because of his humane and liberal views.  He's outlived all his persecutors and is still with us, thank God.  But the odious memory of it all is still a stench and a blight on America.

Frank Sinatra.  Undoubtedly America's greatest ballad and pop singer, a jazzman at heart.  He stands for all that's cool and sophisticated in the American male image of the 20th century.  Everybody loves "Ol' Blue Eyes".  Except  those who sought to destroy him in the late 1940s and 50s for opposing racism and prejudice and making a short film in 1945 called "The House I Live In."  Anti-Semitism still raged in America in those years in spite of what had been found in the Nazi concentration camps at the end of the war.  Sinatra tried to change that with the 10-minute film about tolerance.  I saw it when I was nine years old and it was, unbelievably, shown in my little brick schoolhouse in rural Illinois in 1945.  Considered a bit "corny" today, it did much to make me a crusader for human rights.  It addressed the then-unmentionable blight of anti-Semitism and other prejudice.  It took courage for Sinatra and his co-workers to do it.   And they paid dearly.  Sinatra's career plunged for a decade. The creators of the script, music, and lyrics were blacklisted.  One went to jail for subsequently defying the House Un-American Activities Committee. The feds denied Sinatra a passport to entertain the US troops in Korea, and the FBI considered prosecuting him, claiming he had committed perjury on some form.

So what's the point here?

If the liberals now abandon Obama because of the moderate activities of NSA, what will take his place in the future?  The bad ol' boys will be back.  The bully boys of real government oppression.  If   through the present over-reaction, the liberals disable NSA et al from preventing another major attack, you can kiss your Constitution goodbye.  If the attack is a portable nuclear weapon in your city, you can also kiss your a_ _ goodbye.  Or how about a vial of poison in your city's drinking water. One way or the other, the repressive reaction will make the 1940s-50s look like a kid's birthday party.

As Gail Collins points out with a sneer, Obama is indeed a constitutional law professor.  She thinks he's forgotten the Constitution.  No, he hasn't.  He knows the above history as well as I do.  He knows what can happen when the American people get scared.  Another attack and all our rights go to the wall.  My pals and I fought for decades to get those rights back during the Communist scare.  Another major attack and the Constitution, the love of my life and Obama's, is probably damaged beyond belief.

Ask Pete and Frank and Charlie and Paul what can happen when Americans get scared.  Ask Zero Mostel in his long johns and diaper and top hat.  Their answer? To quote another famous entertainer, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

P.S.  The quoted performer is, of course, Al Jolson, portrayed by Larry Parks in the 1940s film,  "The Jolson Story".  Parks was nominated for an Academy Award for the performance but soon thereafter became a victim of the House Un-American Activities Committee, was blacklisted in Hollywood, and lost his career.
NEXT TIME MAYBE:  What to do if the FBI starts listening to you on the phone.   (They won't,  but it can be fun if they do!)




Friday, June 7, 2013

NY Times Lynching Obama for Bush's "Bads"?

So now the New York Times is playing Louie in "Casablanca":  "I am shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in this establishment!"

The New York Times used to be called "the good gray lady" because of her all-black-and-white  coloration and solemn parade of long, narrow columns of calm prose detailing real news stories with accuracy.  She was a steady presence in an unsteady world, not an hysteric pretending to being shocked over old, old news.

Well, those days are sure gone!

With the rest of the thundering media herd she is crying out in horror about the feds gathering huge amount of records of US citizens' phone calls and e-mails.  And she is blaming Obama for massive intrusion on citizens' privacy.

Hey. folks, these are GW's programs and have been repeatedly approved by Congress for ten years  right up until NOW.  Among the chief Democratic proponents of these programs is Sen. Diane Feinstein of San Francisco, the Big Mama of the liberals in the Senate. This is not a new scandal; this is an old activity subjected to much debate at its outset.

WE have known about these programs all along because the New York Times and other media have TOLD US, especially in the beginning.  If there's any finger-pointing to be done now about the scope of these programs, it should be three-pronged:

(1)  How come the media dropped the ball for ten years on covering the issue?

(2)  How come the ACLU, etc. on the left, and the Pauls, pere et frere, on the right weren't raising a stink in the courts these past ten years?  Or did they?  And lost in the courts?

(3)  Could this massive record collecting have caught the Boston Bombers before they struck?  And why didn't it?  (I may have an answer to this last one, but that has to wait for another time.)

Ten years ago I was upset by George W's intrusion on our privacy with the insultingly named "Patriot"s Act" but even more appalled by the stunning silence of the American people.  A New Yorker magazine columnist wrote a heart-broken column about how W and a handful of his neo-conservative boss-men had stolen America.   He and I  were apparently the only Americans who cared about the massive roll-up of our freedoms.  This can't have been true, but it sure felt like it, especially in that pre-social media time.

So where was everybody else?  Afraid.  Afraid to speak out and then be help responsible if more Americans had to leap 90 floors to their deaths from burning buildings.  None of us wanted this spectacle of horror and suffering again.

But Americans have short memories.  Oddly, we remember Pearl Harbor but apparently aren't doing so well with September 11.  Even with nudges from the sky over Detroit. the underwear bomber, the mad doctor at Ft. Hood, and the  Boston Bombers, we aren't frightened or horrified enough any more to scream for security before freedom.  Has "Give me liberty or give me death" gained traction?

Only tenuously.  If Obama cuts back on security, as he's now proposing with the "end of the war on terror", he'll get  creamed for any massive attack that follows.  He knows that.  He's a constitutional law professor, but that doesn't make him stupid.  (As a retired law prof, I have known some stupid con law profs.)

More to the point, he doesn't want to see Americans get massacred on his watch or at any time.  He genuinely cares about people.  This is refreshing.  I could  -  and sometime will  -  give you examples of the massive non-caring of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Sr., Richard Nixon. and  -  surprise!  -  Bill Clinton.  In fact Bill Clinton not only didn't care all that much about people and our precious rights, he shat upon not only the Constitution but upon Magna Carta  and our Great Writ of Freedom, the writ of habeas corpus.

If Obama knew about the massive record collecting of Americans' communications, someone must have persuaded them that these could catch bad guys before they strike.  In effect, he was trusting the same intelligence organizations that helped him kill Bin Laden.  He was doing it for us.

But it's still the silly season of summer in D.C., with a seeming dearth of real news.  The New York Times is forced to go howling after old news.  Only a columnist or two has nodded at the real story of these weeks of the GOP in Congress confronting the immigration reform issue. The real story is the steady demise and repeated false moves of the GOP, especially now that it must defy its base if it is to make any start at repairing relationships with the Latinos and young voters.  But a massive die-off of  a major American political party, like a terrible creeping virus, apparently can't compete with a hoked-up "scandal" no matter how old the supposed scandal.

When I was pushing news stories for twenty years for political candidates and good causes in the Santa Clara Valley south of San Francisco, the stories were solid ones, real news.  They had to be.  Even though Santa Clara Valley far outnumbered San Francisco in population and subscribers to SF newspapers,  the bar for getting a Santa Clara story published was very high.  By way of coaching me, the bureau guys in Santa Clara Valley explained it like this:  "If there aren't at least four people dead in a car wreck down here, our editors don't want to hear about it."

The GOP is dying, and almost half the voting population is in the clown car headed off the cliff,  but this auto accident is in very slow motion compared to the media's fun of rediscovering an old "scandal".

Ah, good old gray lady, where are you when we need you to help us keep focused?  To prevent a fine president from being lynched for what he didn't do?  And, yes, I said "lynched".  There is such a blind readiness on the part of even the New York Times to flail at this man that it reminds me more than anything else of a crowd-driven lynch mentality.  Obama's supporters won't say this.  They won't risk "the race card", but I will. A 77-year-old woman gets to tell it like it is in the light of a lot of history she has seen.  For Libya, for the AP thing, for the IRS flagging of Tea Party groups   -   Obama gets blamed for all.  Yes, the buck stops here on the President's desk, but the IRS was being run by an independent Bush appointee. And flagging "Tea Party" as possibly political strikes me as eminently sensible.  As for the AP leaks, do we really want our "plants"in terror organizations to be unmasked?  And the CIA was running the Libya embassy, and we grown-ups all know the CIA never tells a president or anyone else anything if it can help it.  But the New York Times seems to be having a touch of Alzheimers in her old age, a bit paranoic and a very forgetful.

Ah, good gray lady of yore, you New York Times, you.  This gray old lady misses the real you.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

GOP: Between the Rock and the Hard Place

Summer has come to D.C. and with it the silly season.  There's little genuine political news of the pulse-throbbing sort, so the GOP and the media have been trying valiantly to gin some up,  chiefly the so-called "scandals".  The latest of these is a video of IRS employees line-dancing.  The only real scandal is that they, like most Americans, are so overweight (like me) and dance so badly (I dance well).  Basically it's a big yawn.

The real story right now is actually a high drama that is being largely ignored by the media.  It is the crushing choice that confronts the GOP:  go with immigration reform or fight it tooth and nail.  This is virtually a life and death decision for the GOP, and the decision will likely determine American politics for decades to come.  It will not only affect the attitude toward the GOP of America's fastest growing segment of the population, i.e. the Latino community, but also the other fast-growing segment, America's young people.

If the GOP is to have any hope of significant support from these two segments in future elections, it has got to do something meaningful to show Latinos that the GOP doesn't hate them.  The problem is that the GOP actually does hate Latinos.  Not everybody in the Republican party despises Latinos, but most  of its base does  and  -  sorry to say  -  so do a significant number of its political leaders and its so-called intellectuals.  Latinos know, for example, whom Romney was including in that hated 47%  he infamously spoke against in Florida.  They know that he's one of the uppity rich who never notice the waiter, the housemaid in the hotel, the nurses who care for the families of the rich in hospitals.  All "menials" and people of color are invisible to these GOP rich.  That's why the waiter at the Boca Raton GOP fund-raiser could film Romney without being noticed.  The waiter wasn't Latino but he was invisible as a menial.  Who could possibly care about such people?

And what of Romney's yard help in Massachusetts?  When he expressed concern about "illegals"  working on his property, it wasn't because he was worried about them not getting a just wage or health insurance.  It was because he didn't want to get caught hiring "illegals" in an election year.  So much for being a "good guy" bishop of his church.

Yes, indeed. the GOP has a lot of fence-mending to do with Latinos.  But why, you ask, must the GOP be nicer to Latinos if it wants to mend fences with young voters?  Part of the answer was revealed this week by the national GOP college student organization which has done an in-depth study of young voters' attitudes toward the GOP.  It was a downer for the GOP kids to hear the news:  young voters perceive the GOP as hard-hearted, narrow-minded, prejudiced, white, male and old.  In general, young voters don't want to have anything to do with the GOP no matter what ethnicity the voters are.

This is because non-Latino young people are pals with their Latino contemporaries to an extent never seen before in the USA.  Race and ethnicity barriers have dropped most sharply and quickly among our young.  If anything speaks well of America's schools and educational program, this non-prejudiced attitude certainly does.  It's a new day in America. Those who can't go along are going to be left out, namely the hard-hearted, narrow-minded, prejudiced, white, male and old.

Clearly the GOP has to do something to fix its "brand".  But because the GOP base so hates the Latinos, the GOP lawmakers in D.C. are going to have a dreadful time trying to join in the passage of the immigration reform bill.  Any Republican who votes for such a bill faces a potential primary fight back home from the righties in his party.  The whole GOP will be openly grabbed by the far-right, and the GOP will never win another national election and few statewide ones outside the South.  Its racist base will have consumed the whole donut.    

So the GOP is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.  It yoked itself to racism beginning with Nixon's "Southern Strategy", it stoked its racist appeal with the coded language of Reagan,  and for the last five years it has stripped away all codes and pretense and been unabashedly racist.  For forty-five years, it has made a deal with the devil, and now it has begun paying the price.   It's a fearful price, perhaps the end of the Republican party.

But it couldn't be happening to a more deserving bunch of people.  Watching the pigeons coming home to roost on the GOP,  and doing what pigeons do best,  really makes my day for a whole lot of days ahead!

Years and years of days ahead!   There is some justice in this old world after all!