Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome Back To The Homeland, Sergeant Bergdahl

Monday, May 30th, 2014



My Dear America:

Yesterday the Sunday Morning Talk Shows spent a great deal of time discussing the previous Saturday release from 5 years of captivity of American Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  Sergeant Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban when he apparently left his Afghan base without permission.  

Today, although most politicians welcomed the Sergeant home enthusiastically, some like John McCain and Ted Cruz seemed to focus mostly on the fact that in exchange for the Sergeant's release the Taliban got five of their leaders back from an extensive all expense paid vacation at the Guantanamo Bay Hilton in Cuba.

While I certainly don't like the fact that we had to release 5 Taliban Leaders in exchange for one Army Sergeant, I support the trade of this young man's life for the Taliban Thugs.  Will those cutthroats come back to harm us?

Perhaps, they will.

Yet that one prisoner who we had not been able to free up until now will soon be home and his attractive mother and hipster looking dad will also now be free to resume their lives with their son.

Surely it will not be easy for this young man to return to a country where his very presence will be a target for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to rail at the President for supporting this deal. 

I would hope that before the Fox News Hounds and the Dittoheads begin bashing this young man who has obviously suffered enough, that they would think about what they say and what they do.  For God's Sake, give this young man a chance to return to a normal life and not have his homecoming and his life turned into a political football.

I would suggest that Chicken Hawks like Rush Limbaugh and Ted Cruz, if they don't like this deal, should volunteer to take Sergeant Bergdahl's place so that those released from Guantanamo Bay could be immediately recaptured and Cruz and Limbaugh could take Bergdahl's place with the Taliban in Afghanistan.  If Rush and Ted are unwilling to put their freedom on the line then they should shut up and joyfully welcome home Sergeant Bergdahl.

Please, America, give this fine young soldier time to recuperate and once again become accustomed to being an American again.  It will not be easy for him but if Americans can accept him back to his country with enthusiasm and good wishes perhaps we can make his life much more comfortable than it has been for the last five years.

WELCOME HOME, SERGEANT BERGDAHL.

YOUR COUNTRY HAS MISSED YOU AND WELCOMES YOU HOME.


Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mystery Plane - Where in the World is Flight MH370

Monday, March 17th, 2014



My Dear America:

Today begins another week in which we the people of the world continue to look with fascination at what happened to the formerly routine flight from Koala Lampur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.

As the clues have piled up over the last week the news looks weirder and weirder and the consequences of what is up with this Mystery Plane become tougher to figure out and understand.

At first it was thought that the mystery of Flight MH370 would be easily solved in figuring that the plane sank for some unknown reason in the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.  

But things have not turned out to be quite that simple.  As more and more aviation experts from more and more countries became involved with the investigation it was discovered that after the Transponders shut off and the plane could no longer be tracked easily it became apparent from other methods of tracking that right after the Transponders were apparently turned off by someone on the plane the direction that the plane was flying changed course and headed out in an entirely different direction.  

Most experts now seem to agree that someone on the plane, possibly the pilot or co pilot, physically turned off the transponders and manually changed the course of the aircraft.  Now, experts and non experts seem to agree that this odd behavior on the part of this aircraft may very well be sinister, or at the very least worrisome.

I certainly do not think of myself as an expert on air travel but it occurs to me that some aspects of this continuing aviation mystery sound ominous, indeed.  
Where is this plane, we ask.  Did it disappear into some distant ocean?  Did it get taken by aliens.  Or did it get taken by aliens of a different stripe, terrorists possibly, who may be planning to fly the plane into some long distance target like the 9/11 hijackers did.  The best and brightest of our aircraft experts continue to look for clues and for answers to this high flying mystery.  

Hopefully we will find out the answers to this modern day mystery soon.  As Agent Mulder used to say on "The X Files," "The truth is out there."  Hopefully we will find that truth in time to keep another high flying airliner bomb from blowing up something else up in America or elsewhere.  

I would certainly hope that we find the Malaysian airliner landed on some deserted island with a home made landing strip and that the passengers are hungry but otherwise healthy and alright.  That would be wonderful to have this aviation nightmare end like that but I would be very surprised if it does end like that.

I can be hopeful, though, and will try to be just that until there is good reason to be less than hopeful.


Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hillary Clinton's History Lesson

Thursday, March 6th, 2014



My Dear America:

"These are the times that try men's souls," a Great American once said.

"I can't believe we're on the Eve of Destruction," another Great American once said.

"Why don't these destructive Republican Windbags just shut up," I say.

I am talking about John McCain and Lindsay Graham, among other Whiners.

Don't these people have any common sense.  We are possibly on the brink of a situation which could destroy the world in the blink of an eye and all these people can do is find fault with President Obama and harken back to Benghazi.

I've got news for you, Foxholes.  We are Waaay Past Benghazi at this point in time and it is about time for those people who have made their reputations and their money by riding the back of the President of the United States to get off his back and get behind him as he tries to deal sensibly with possibly the most dangerous individual in the world.  It is time for Republicans to realize that this political nonsensical game of "Hate the President" that they are playing is just what Vladimir Putin needs to succeed in his attempt to annex the Ukraine.  As long as Republicans tie the President up in their ridiculous political game of "Loudest Fool Of The Week" Putin will be not only taking advantage of the President but he will be walking all over all of us.   

Hillary Clinton said it best when she compared what Putin is doing to what Hitler did during World War II.  Clearly Putin is using the same excuses to invade Crimea that Hitler did to invade nearly all of Europe.  I am tired of people trashing Hillary for saying something that was absolutely true when she found Putin's actions eerily similar to Hitler's.

We are clearly in a dangerous and truly life or death situation in the Ukraine and whether people like or don't like President Obama if they are American citizen's it is time to recognize that the President's choices are limited.  Now is not the time to be finding fault with him as he tries to keep this extremely dangerous situation from getting completely out of control.

Those Warmongers who drumbeat for Military action need to wake up to reality.  We are living in the Nuclear Age and if we aren't careful here we could truly be living on the Eve of Destruction.  The consequences of foolhardy actions by anyone in power at this point in time could very well be the end of all of us.  So Please let the President do his extremely difficult job while trying to make the best of this Very Very Bad Situation.


Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher


Monday, February 3, 2014

Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge Over Troubled Watergate Scandal

Monday, February 3rd, 2014



My Dear America:


                                          In A World Gone Mad

                                         
                                           Chris Chistie is Sad

                                            
                                                Humiliated

                                                
                                            and Embarassed 



The Super Bowl is over now and New Jersey can get back to finding out what their Governor Knew and when he knew it regarding the September shutdown of
two lanes of traffic over four days on the George Washington Bridge separating Fort Lee, New Jersey from New York City.

Clearly this story of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge would have been nothing but a local story if it were not for two things.  One,The George Washington Bridge is a main thoroughfare into probably the most important city in the world.  Two, The Governor of New Jersey was, before this scandal occurred, one of the top contenders for the Republican Nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 Election.  Now this terribly tainted politician will be lucky to be elected Dogcatcher in 2016.

What already seems obvious to me in this ugly and embrassing scandal is that Chris Christie's reputation as a Political Bully has been well deserved. 

Clearly Chris Christie has earned his bully boy reputation by repeatedly showing his ugliness to many of his constituents over the course of his Governorship of New Jersey.  Many New Jersey residents including teachers, parents, politicians and reporters have had the low honor and lack of privilege of being called an "Idiot" or worse by Governor Christie.

To me, as one who has been obsessed with "Watergate" since the Seventies, I am fascinated by some of the similarities between the Watergate Scandal and the Bridgegate Scandal.  

For one thing it was never necessary for either Richard Nixon or Chris Christie to do anything wrong or cause a scandal.  They were both landslide vote getters at the time they tried to cover up ilegal actions.  

Both Nixon and Christie seemed to feel entitled to do whatever they wanted in their administrations and to punish people who they felt did not bend to genuflect to their Meglomania.

Both Nixon and Christie were well known to be control freaks who one would certainly assume would know what was going on in their administrations.

Both Nixon and Christie, whether or not they had approved the initial illegal activities by their staffs in the end tried to cover up the illegal activities.

Nixon and his administration tried to over up the Watergate Break in by firing his White House Counsel, John Dean and placing the entire blame of Watergate on Dean's shoulders.

Christie seems to be taking a chapter out of Nixon's playbook by distancing himself from David Wildstein, the Christie's appointee, whose E Mails between himself and Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly show involvement in the lane closings.  Now, after Wildstein's Lawyer in a letter to the Port Authority indicates Christie involvement in the lane closings, Christie has taken his distancing between himself and Wildstein much further.  In a memo sent to selected Christie insiders, suggestions are made regarding how to implement a scorched earth policy with regard to David Wildstein.  This memo indicates a willingness to destroy David Wildstein's reputation in every ugly way possible including stating that David Wildstein was not liked in high school.  Wildstein and Christie were high school acquaintances, although now Christie claims he barely knew Wildstein in high school.

Clearly what the Bridgegate scandal shows is that Christie's ugliness is not just skin deep.  Even if Christie was not personally involved in ordering the closing of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge, there are other matters which have come up as a result of the lane closures that to my mind are far more disturbing
than closing those lanes for four days.

First of all, if the lanes were closed to punish the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey for not supporting Christie in his 2013 campaign that is disturbing enough.  Why in the hell should a Democratic Mayor of any city in New Jersey be expected to endorse the Republican Candidate for Governor?

In addition to political retribution against the Fort Lee Mayor, as a result of the GW Bridge Scandal some poking around by reporters has unearthed some other tales of Political abuse of Democratic Mayors in New Jersey.

Mayor Stephen Fulop of Jersey City was even mentioned in one of the Bridgegate E Mails.  When reporters went to talk with Mayor Fulop they found out that after Fulop's election he was told by representatives of Governor Christie that the Governor was willing and anxious to work with Mayor Fulop in every way possible.  Indeed, a day was set aside by the Governor's Office for several representatives of New Jersey Government Agencies to meet with Fulop and begin helping him in every way they could, Fulop was told.  Just a short time before Fulop was scheduled to meet with the several representatives from the state Fulop was asked whether he would agree to support Governor Christie in his Re Election bid.  Fulop advised the representative of the Governor's office that he was not willing to support Christie in the Governor's race and within days all of the state agency representatives who had been scheduled to meet with Fulop canceled their previously scheduled meetings with him.  When he tried to recontact these NJ Agency reps he was unable to reach them and reschedule.

Also Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken claims that she was advised by high ranking Christie officials that if she did not support a land deal with the Rockefeller group that Hurricane Sandy funds for Hoboken could be affected. 

These intimidation and extortion tactics seem to be business as usual for the Christie Administration.  Why is that?

While we're at it, Where was the New Jersey State and National Democratic Party in 2013 when Barbara Buono (a very good candidate) was running her lonely campaign for Governor of New Jersey with little in the way of money or support forthcoming for her from her party?  Why couldn't some of the Democratic Party All Stars like Barack and Hillary stop by the state to help her?
And by the way what was up with those Democratic Mayors who did support Christie in his bid for re election.

And how did Christie get away with spending enormous sums of Hurricane Sandy funds on the "Stronger than the Storm" commercials featuring Christie and his family that ran constantly during the middle of his re election Campaign in 2013.

What we are left with in January of 2014 is a sitting Governor who is spending a fortune from the state on legal representation and a legislature that is doing the same, while David Wildstein can't seem to get the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.  No wonder he is angry.

He is, after all, the John Dean sacrificial lamb in this latest ugly New Jersey version of Watergate.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

John Boehner and Paul Ryan - Bipartisans: Are You KIdding Me

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013



My Dear America:

Now Really,  What the heck is going on here?  

Today is voting day in the United States Senate on a Genuine, Honest to God Bipartisan Budget Bill worked out in negotiations by former Romney Vice Presidential Candidate, Ayn Rand enthusiast and Right Wing Tea Party Republican Congressman from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, for one.

Paul Ryan.  Whaat.  When the hell has Paul Ryan been reasonable about anything, never mind the budget?

Paul Ryan's partner in this Bipartisan Budget deal was Washington Senator, Patty Murray, A Democrat who, unlike Paul Ryan, has been no stranger to reasonableness prior to this latest seemingly bipartisan miracle.

Clearly today's vote, if it goes off without a hitch, which it is expected to do, will cut down on the string of Republican Shutdown the Government schemes that have taken place over and over for the past few years.  

In addition to this Paul Ryan inspired Pre Christmas Miracle, we have also seen John Boehner, the weak kneed and timid Tea Party shill, who over the past couple of years has never talked against the Tea Party and Tea Party inspired Groups who have seemingly inspired some of the most ridiculous and stupid behavior ever seen on Capitol Hill, respond to the Tea Party claims that they never thought that the Government Shutdown would accomplish anything.  Boehners response was:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

No, JB.  They were not kidding you.  They were simply making you dance to their tune for the past couple of years so that they could make fools of us all. The rest of us realized early on that the Tea Party was a foolish and hurtful group who did not want to help the United States Government, but instead wanted to cripple or kill it.  Certainly this heartless group of Cretins has done their damage primarily to the poor and what is left of the Middle Class Americans who the Tea Party seem to really despise.

Well, now after much of the damage has already been done in Congress we seem to be observing at least two of the most obstructionist members of Congress, Paul and John, realizing after the disastrous U.S. Government shutdown that accomplished nothing and cost the U.S Government an incredible amount of money, that in this election year these Tea Party fools who have claimed to be fiscally conservative have squandered not only American good will but a monetary fortune, as well.  

It seems as though Mr. Ryan and Mr. Boehner are recognizing just how foolish they and their Tea Party Comrades were to push things so far.  Over 40 votes attempted to repeal Obamacare.  What the hell do Republicans have against The American people being allowed to have health care.  They have no Republican Plan for Health Care other than "Be Rich and buy your own Rich person's plan."

Republicans are going to recognize over the coming months that they have not only gone too far but that they have gone Way, Way Too Far in pursuit of the repeal of Obamacare.  This Congress under the leadership of John Boehner in the House has accomplished less than any congress in recent history.

What a legacy for Boehner, Ryan and the Tea Party Gang.  What at least Ryan and Boehner seem to be recognizing is that the average American voter is sick of the Tea Party and their Republican stooges.  There will be retribution in 2014 when those voters who have seen their Country and their Congress become nothing short of a madhouse travel to the polls.  That Tea Party inspired madness will be coming back to haunt the Republican Party in the fall elections.  

Until then we can only hope that other Republicans will follow the lead of Boehner and Ryan and return our government to some modicum of sanity in the pursuit of Democracy.

Welcome back to the real world, Paul and John. 

We hope you stay awhile and help us to accomplish maybe a few things other than the Budget Deal before November of 2014 rolls around.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Legend and Legacy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Wednesday, December 4th, 2013




My Dear America:

It is December now and the Tributes to our late President John F. Kennedy have become fewer and less visible.  Although I think that the 50 year Tributes to the late President certainly got out of hand as November 22nd, 2013 approached and finally arrived, I really didn't have a problem with all of the celebrations of the life and death of JFK.  To be honest I have gotten very annoyed over the years as November 22nd has continued to come and go every year with less and less attention given to JFK's Assassination.  I didn't think that it was right for that to happen so the incredible hoopla, Magazine, Television and Newspaper stories that surrounded this year's 50 year Anniversary of the President's Murder was really OK with me.  

I was 18 years old back in 1963 on that fateful day when I first learned the terrible news.  I was walking down a hall between classes when I passed in front of the King's College bookstore in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania.  I looked into the bookstore and saw a very odd sight.  Quite a few students were in the bookstore looking silent and packed in like sardines.  I popped my head inside the main entrance to the bookstore and asked what was going on.  What sounded like one voice but was actually several voices answered 

"The President's been shot."

I pushed my way inside the bookstore to find a spot and began to listen to the radio which was being piped into the bookstore via the College's loudspeaker system.  It wasn't long before a solemn and terrifying voice came over the loudspeaker system.

"The President is dead," said the voice

In a rather orderly manner all of us who had been inside the bookstore filed out into the hall.  I don't remember much about what had happened after that except for the fact that I wrote a song about JFK sometime that weekend and watched on television what I think had been the first live televised murder in the history of the country when Jack Ruby shot Oswald.

As I think back on it now, I realize just how much of an impact Kennedy had on my life.  In my house and with my Catholic family he was close to a God, His picture on the wall of our dining room was even bigger than that of Jesus.  I followed the Presidential campaign closely and watched the first televised debates between JFK and Richard Nixon.  In my mind Kennedy won those debates handily and certainly looked great compared to Nixon. 

Back in those days I had never seen a color television and watched JFK on black and white television.  I was stunned when I was able to watch JFK give a great speech in downtown Wilkes Barre as I somehow had managed to weasel my way onto the roof of a building looking down on Center Square where I could look down and see him.  my view of him from that rooftop was a great one.  I could see his handsome tan and was really surprised by how really red his hair was.  I still can't recall ever seeing anyone as handsome as this Boston Irishman either before or since I saw him from my rooftop perch.  
Kennedy clearly had problems controlling himself when it came to women we learned later on after he had gone.  Clearly he was too handsome for his own good.  

I was as proud as could be when I got my chance to vote in my first Presidential Election in 1960.  Naturally I voted for Kennedy.  There was never any question in my mind about who was going to get my vote.  I was, in fact, very proud that I was able to vote for John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  

On those few occasions when I was able to catch his press conferences I found them to be incredibly entertaining.  He never seemed to be stumped or caught off guard with any question and seemed to be able to add humor to the proceedings in every case.

As I think back on my working life, which was spent, in addition to writing, as a Counselor, Social Worker and Family Therapist I realize that Kennedy's call to "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country" was something that I have taken seriously for my entire life.  Thank you, Jack Kennedy, for pointing me in the right direction.

I have read many books about President Kennedy and about the Kennedy Assassination.  Many of those books question the conclusion of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  Certainly it is possible that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone but there is also considerable evidence available to anyone willing to look for it that Oswald was, indeed, a "Patsy" who may have been a willing conspirator in Kennedy's death but in the end was betrayed and used by others to accomplish the grisly task of killing President Kennedy.

I have recently published a Novel,"The Man on The Grassy Knoll: The Assassins" which is Book One in a Fictional Series.  This book explores some of the theories I have regarding the Kennedy Assassination and is available through Amazon.com.

While so called experts still occasionally come to the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone the more I have found out about the Assassination, the less likely that seems, at least in my judgement anyway.  I invite anyone willing to explore my theories about the Assassination to read my book and any other books or articles you might find on the subject.

The Kennedy Assassination was a wake up call to those young people like myself back in the sixties who thought that they had it all figured out and that hope would spring eternal in America and the world.  I still have a great deal of hope for our country and our society but the Kennedy Assassination, Vietnam and Watergate were indicators that we were also in for dark days, as well in America's future.  

As we watch Republicans attempt to stifle and possibly destroy our government it would be wise for all Americans to recognize that Freedom isn't always Free and that just as the Soviet Union fell, it would be just as possible for Democracy to fail in America if we don't learn some hard lessons from our nation's history.



Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 






Tuesday, October 22, 2013

REVENGE OF THE TURDS - The Government Shutdown and the (Almost) Debt Ceiling Default

October 22nd, 2013



My Dear America:

I apologize to all readers of this Blog for my use of the word "Turds" in the title of this post.  I have made a very conscious effort since I first started this Blog in 2008 to keep the language used in the Blog Postings relatively appropriate.  

I admit to the use of occasional "Hells" and "Damns" at times but other than these rather acceptable curses I have kept it clean.  While some may object to my use of the word "Turd" I must say that President George W. Bush used that word as a term of endearment to Karl Rove and while I don't use the word as a term of endearment toward Ted Cruz and his Right Wing Republican Cohorts I find the term "Turd" much more acceptable than many other terms I could have used.  I thought quite seriously about starting off this posting with every single curse word I could think of and to be honest I was quite amazed at how many I was able to come up with in my mind in a short period of time.  But as I thought about it I realized that I have been responsible regardng my use of language in my Blog for several years now and since some of my relatives including young relatives may read it from time to time I don't wish to shock them or anyone else with my use of inappropriate language.

So, for the moment, I am sticking with Turds which rhymes with Nerds and in my mind is a proper term for Ted Cruz and his sick group of misfits who we now know, if we didn't know before, are willing to sink the American Ship of State in order to further Ted's bizarre and reckless political career.

In the time the U.S. Government was shut down economists estimate that in addition to incredible insensitivity to government workers, who like the rest of us, have to pay bills and feed their families, our enconomy took a 24 Billion Dollar hit.

Any responsible person calling themself a Fiscal Conservative should be able to recognize that a financial hit of that astounding amount, when it didn't need to be done in the first place, is an unforgivable political sin.

Clearly the time has come for reasonable people in both the Republican and Democratic Parties to step up and with some rational debate figure out how to stop these Republican lunatics from spreading their destructive political disease.  While my instincts are to simply call for a Democratic Party Sweep of upcoming elections it seems clear to me that some Republicans will still be elected in gerrymandered districts all over the country.  

I think that all reasonable people should hopefully realize the destructive nature of the so called "Tea Party." I think that it is about time that the more sane elements of the Republican and Democratic Party agree to disagree on some items but not on shutting down the government or screwing around with the debt ceiling.  Let us have no more of this Right Wing nonsense about how fiscally responsible Tea Party members are when they are willing to put our country 24 Billion dollars in the hole for seemingly no good reason.  Speaking of hole that reminds me of Ted Cruz and one of the many curse words that I thought better about using in writing this post.

Let's get smart and get ready to elect some Democrats out in America and get ready to fill the holes left by the Tea Party and their cohorts.


Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher