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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,170

Journal Archives

An old joke for Antonin

There's an old joke about a man who would buy a newspaper every day from a paperboy, scan the front page, and then throw the paper away in disgust. After a while, the paperboy asked him why he kept throwing the paper away. "I'm looking for someone in the obituaries," the man replied. "But, sir," said the paperboy, "the obituaries are on page 30." The man looked at him and said, "When the son of a bitch I'm looking for dies, he'll be on the front page."

... and there he is.

Thank you.

Tragedy, like satire, takes no prisoners. It finds its intended target and lays waste. Like those asteroid apocalypse movies, the wave rolls in and scourges the land before receding.

Tragedy, however, is also the proving ground for the core essence of where people live within themselves, and how they treat others. There's the old story about the frog trying to explain to a tadpole what it's like on dry land. Tragedy motivates the good frog to jump back into the water and explain it nose to nose.

I lack the adequate vocabulary to express my gratitude to all of you for your kind words, your good wishes, your shared sorrows, and the strength you have given me over these last several days. You have helped to keep me on my feet in the aftermath of my father's passing, more than I could ever explain.

They say the internet separates people. Not here. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand times thank you.

Some damn good frogs by this pond.

A great Democrat has left us.

He was awarded the Bronze Star during his service in Vietnam on a mission that saved scores of civilian lives. He dedicated the rest of his life to government service in both DC and the State of Alabama, worked with Don Siegleman and defended him at trial, served for several years as Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, and served as Vice Chairman before he passed. He was a US Attorney under Clinton for almost eight years. In one form or another, he was involved in every Democratic presidential campaign since Bobby Kennedy's. His favorite politician was FDR, but he worshiped the ground upon which Jack and Bobby Kennedy walked. His knowledge of politics and history was encyclopedic, and he imparted as much of that to me as my feeble mental RAM could encompass.

His name was Charles Redding Pitt. He would have been 72 next month, and he was my father. He died on Sunday from a sudden illness. I loved him very much.

It Begins ...

The stakes are high, especially on the Democratic side. Front-runner Hillary Clinton is leading Bernie Sanders by a wide margin nationally, according to every available poll, but I don't truck much with national polls. It's the state-by-state polls that matter because circumstances change by the hour, and in Iowa, Clinton and Sanders are in a dead heat. Her campaign is visibly spooked because the situation is exacerbated by Sanders' lead in New Hampshire; unless the planet crashes into the sun, Sanders is going to win his neighbor state by about six million points.

Here is where the media come back into play, and why Iowa is a grave concern for Clinton: Super Tuesday, the day upon which the Clinton campaign depends, is not until a month from Monday, on March 1. If Sanders manages to run the table in the first two states - Iowa on Monday and New Hampshire next Tuesday - the "news" media will have to fill the next three weeks with content, and that content will consist of report after report on how the "inevitable" nominee isn't so inevitable after all. If that happens, it's hats over the windmill for Sanders. The snowstorm may be a factor, but I'm betting there are a lot of people gnawing their fingernails in Clinton's Iowa headquarters.



"If you're sad today ..."

"If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."

- Simon Pegg

Merry Christmas, friends.

Be kind to one another, and spare a thought for those who are hurting this time of year.

Hope you're well.

(exits stage left)

Cheers, best wishes, and farewell.

Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

-- Robert Hunter

These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do ... Are you ready boots? Start walkin'!

-- Nancy Sinatra

It's been a fun 14 years, but I do believe my cork has popped.

Good luck, be well, much love.


They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change

(Photo: Los Angeles Smog via Shutterstock)

They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 16 July 2015

Between 1956 and 1964, Bell Laboratories produced a number of television specials titled "The Bell Laboratories Science Series." The topics ranged from an examination of the Sun, to human blood, deep space, the mind, the nature of time and life itself. The programs were produced by Frank Capra, whose films include It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, so the production value of the series was notably superior. Even 30 years later, schools all across the US were still showing these Bell Labs films to students.

In 1958, a chapter in this series titled "The Unchained Goddess" was broadcast. The topic was the weather, and it starred Richard Carlson and a USC professor named Dr. Frank C. Baxter. At one point in the program, Carlson asked Dr. Baxter, "What would happen if we could change the course of the Gulf Stream, or the other great ocean currents, or warm up Hudson Bay with atomic furnaces?" The "atomic furnaces" bit is a quaint throwback to the atom-crazy 1950s, but the response given by Dr. Baxter is what makes this particular film notable.

"Extremely dangerous questions," replied Dr. Baxter, "because with our present knowledge we have no idea what would happen. Even now, Man may be unwittingly changing the world's climate through the waste products of his civilization. Due to our release, through factories and automobiles every year, of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide - which helps air absorb heat from the Sun - our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer. It's been calculated that a few degrees rise in the Earth's temperature would melt the polar ice caps, and if this happens, an inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water."


The ocean is coming. Many very smart people have been warning us of this for seven decades. As for the people who bent their shoulders to the task of denying this inexorable tidal truth for so many years that could have been spent checking and averting this looming disaster, well ... I hope their cash can act as a flotation device. They believe themselves to be so powerful, but the ocean brooks no challengers.

For the rest of us: the aftermath of lies. The tobacco companies tried this denial number, and it killed millions of people. The lies of ExxonMobil and the cohort of energy companies who paid through the nose to deny the damage they were doing may well have cashed the final check for life on Earth as we know it. They knew. They lied. How many will die for their profit margin? How many have died already?

Mind the tides. The brutal reality of consequences is coming up the beach.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31885-they-knew-they-lied-exxonmobil-and-climate-change

What I Think of George W. Bush

Regarding his wounded veterans fundraiser fee ...

(Photo: Muddy Waste via Shutterstock)

What I Think of George W. Bush
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 14 July 2015

I think of mud, but that doesn't work, because mud is just wet soil, and wet soil is fertile. Good things grow in mud, and so I apologize to mud for making the comparison, even though it was only in my head a scant moment.

I think of oil, of scum, viscous and stinking like a fetid scrim across a Northeastern pond that has literally been shat to death by geese who stay the year round because the idiots who live beside what once was bucolic splendor feed those geese throughout the winters, and so the geese never fly south in their iconic wedge formation, but instead stay, and eat balls of begged Wonder Bread, and defecate into blue goodness until it becomes a green and murky gloom.

I think of rot. Of deep odor. Of a smell so overwhelming it becomes a sound in itself, a buzzing, a roar, a perfect maelstrom of helpless vomit and swimming eyes, of shaking hands and splintered nerves, of sightless pupils staring up from the gyre of shredded bodies birthed by war, of viscera lying in the dust of the road beneath the pitiless sun next to the shrieking orphan, the howling widow, the fatherless boy who in his wrath collects the dropped rifle and holds it tight to his narrow chest in a perfect pledge of vengeance.

I think of mud, and scum, and rot, and death, of the deep wheel of rage and revenge that has been unleashed even as it turns, I think of the futility before it, and the greed behind, I think of malice aforethought, of punishments so richly deserved but as yet unlevied ... and in doing so, I think of George W. Bush.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31859-what-i-think-of-george-w-bush

Patriot Act. Iraq War. Keystone XL. Wall Street.


Freedom abrogated, unjust war, environmental destruction, economic justice.

Four of the most important issues of our time.

Candidate Clinton: wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

There's a thread here with people defending not only her vote in favor of the war, but the war itself.

I really don't know where I am any more.

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