DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Hugo Chavez: Lest We Forget

By Conn Hallinan
Monday March 11, 2013 - 08:41:00 PM

In early December 2001, I was searching through my files looking for a column topic. At the time I was writing on foreign policy for the San Francisco Examiner, one of the town’s two dailies. A back page clip I had filed and forgotten caught my attention: on Nov. 7 the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, and the U.S. State Department had convened a two-day meeting on U.S. policy vis-à-vis Venezuela. My first thought was, “Uh, oh.” -more-

Updated: ECLECTIC RANT: Does Hugo Chavez's Death Mean The End Of His Bolivarian Revolution?

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday March 11, 2013 - 03:37:00 PM

On March 5, 2013, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, the president of Venezuela, died of a massive heart attack and his cancer was very advanced when he died. Was his dream of a "Bolivarian Revolution" buried with him? -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Disarming Republican Anarchists

By Bob Burnett
Friday March 08, 2013 - 11:01:00 AM

While most Americans were horrified by the December 14th murders of 26 innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, many observers believe Washington lacks the will to curb gun violence. Multiple excuses have been offered for the difficulty of enacting gun control legislation, but the most obvious problem has not been mentioned: the US contains millions of Republican anarchists. These ultra-conservatives fear the government and buy guns for protection. Their Tea Party Congressmen will do everything they can to block common-sense legislation.

Over the last five years, the Republican Party has veered to the far right and, in the process, been taken over by anarchists, Tea Party extremists who do not believe in centralized government. As University of California linguistics professor George Lakoff observed, “[ultra conservatives] believe that Democracy gives them the liberty to seek their own self-interests by exercising personal responsibility, without having responsibility for anyone else or anyone else having responsibility for them.” Republican Anarchists reject the Founder’s morality, the sentiments that produced the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. These ultra conservatives don’t believe in the common good or the notion that Americans have a moral responsibility to care for each other. But they do venerate the second amendment to the Constitution, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

As a consequence, America is an armed camp, ”There are 89 guns for every 100 civilians… That amounts to roughly 270 million guns owned nationwide, far and away the highest gun ownership rate in the world.” But the guns are unevenly distributed. About 35 percent of Americans personally own a gun. “Around 80 percent of gun owners are men. On average they own 7.9 guns each.” -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: CNN's Doctor Drew Reports on Stigma

By Jack Bragen
Friday March 08, 2013 - 11:04:00 AM

Doctor Drew Pinsky is a television psychiatrist who frequently appears on CNN. His coverage and that of CNN are groundbreaking in their treatment of persons with mental illness and the venomous effects of stigma. Drew believes stigma is a cause of death for many persons who suffer from a mental illness. Stigma, according to Drew, prevents people from seeking treatment because of the fear of being ostracized. Stigma forces many mentally ill people to remain "in the closet" concerning their condition. -more-