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American Values

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KSA 2.jpeg

Saudi’s Prince reliably has been accursed of the murder of a Washington Post journalist. The journalist was a Saudi citizen and American resident who was lured into the Saudi Embassy in Turkey and not only murdered but dismembered.

For many Americans, the Saudi’s murder of this journalist is meaningless and unimportant. What happened was a half a world away to someone that many Americans have been carefully taught to hate. His death means nothing to them. He was a foreigner, an alien, not an American in their views.

But what if that scenario was different?

But I want you do something. I want you to suspend your thinking right there. I want to you imagine, instead, that the slaughtered and dismembered journalist was your son or brother or father or cousin or nephew. What if that journalist was a member of your family? How would you feel?


Trump said America would look into the situation, but he considered the $100 Billion plus arms deals with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) more important. Making money was more important than human lives. Again, imagine your own son or father or cousin or nephew was the object of Trump’s dismissal of your family member in favor of his transactional regard for money and profit?


How would you feel? What would you think if that journalist was your child or father or brother when Trump said making money was more important?

America must wake up. We have a president who cares nothing about human lives or Christian values. His only concerns are money and his fragile ego. Unfortunately, that plague of greed, which we see personified in Trump, infects much of our country.

Some things, like human lives, are more important than corporate profits. Some things require Americans to stand up and say NO.


I grew up as a child of the Greatest Generation, the generation that fought the fascism of Hitler and Nazi and the nationalism of Japan. I spent most of my first 20 some years around American soldiers, seeing their commitments to family and country. They didn’t join the military for money or prestige. They joined because they believed in the historic American values of life, liberty and justice for all…not greed-is-good, transactional politics.

Human lives and our freedom to speak our minds, via freedom of the press, and to peacefully protest governments are written into the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. We must put aside our tribalism to remember our founding documents and what this great country has stood for worldwide over 70 years.

If you don’t believe me, read Ernie Pyles’ books on WWII.


We are better than Trump. We are better than hailing greed and transactionism or historic Chinese style merchantilism first. That is what Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, Washington believed. We should too.





Written by Valerie Curl

October 11, 2018 at 7:49 PM

What can I say….

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Ever since Romney’s faux pas on Egypt and Libya, his seemly obvious belief that Chinese girls are thrilled at being paid a piittance and kept behind barbed wire, and now the new videos decrying 47% of the population as lazy takers and the Palestinians as a monolithic group bent on the destruction of Israel, it’s been difficult to come up with anything new, unusual or under reported. Frankly, I’ve been stunned into speechlessness.

That’s not to say that there are not many under reported stories that will affect American lives. There are. Frankly, the national media, by and large, does a really poor job of telling the public what is going on. It focuses on one or two stories and ignores all the rest that really affect American lives. or explain what is going on in DC and state capitals.

It’s not that the media is partisan as some claim; it’s that the national media has become lazy and understaffed.

Before Thomas Jefferson felt the inquiry of the media, he said that a democracy demanded a free and inquisitive media. It would really be consistent with our national values if we had a few more Ed. R. Murrow’s inhabiting news rooms today.

When I can pull myself back from the shock of Romney’s utterly idiotic implosion, I hope to write more about what is going on behind the scenes that few are writing about.

Written by Valerie Curl

September 19, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Former Reagan campaign manager speaks out against “talk jocks”

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In an interview with the LA Times on Sept. 20, Stuart Spenser, who ran Reagan’s “four successful campaigns for the late governor and president, laments the state of politics and punditry.” He told the Times,

The Republican California political guru who crafted four successful Ronald Reagan campaigns, two for governor and two for president, does not watch Fox News or its conservative bobblehead pundits.

Why not?

Fox News has an agenda, 82-year-old Stuart Spencer said over breakfast in Palm Desert, where he and his wife make their home. Same is true of MSNBC, he said. One goes right and the other goes left, and Spencer doesn’t see why those interested in educating themselves on matters of national importance would turn to either for reliable information.
It’s hard, Spencer said, to pinpoint exactly where we went off the rails. There have always been cultural and social changes in the nation, he said, and over time the differences of various regions became more pronounced. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and cohorts exploited that when they tried to commandeer the policy agenda by acing out Democrats, Spencer said, and he thinks current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing the same to Republicans.

I asked Spencer if part of the problem is the growing influence of money, which makes politicians more beholden to special interests and therefore more divided. Maybe, he said, but money was always a factor in politics. Today there’s also a different kind of money in play: the fortunes that TV and radio broadcasts make by having gas bag commentators fan the flames day and night.

So, what are his thoughts on the (in)famous pundits:

Rush Limbaugh –
“When I had a place in Oregon, I’d drive 25 minutes and [Rush] Limbaugh would be on three different stations,” Spencer said. “I couldn’t get rid of the son of a. . . .”

Acquaintances would ask Spencer about Limbaugh’s brilliant observations, and Spencer would politely say he never listened. His astonished pals, knowing how close he was to the Gipper, would demand to know why not.

“Because he’s an ass,” Spencer would say, only he added a second syllable that makes the insult unprintable in a family newspaper.

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC –
Spencer wants reason, not rants. He wants substance, not smirks. He has no interest in watching one side lob grenades at the other in nightly warfare that further divides the nation along cultural and political lines.

Glenn Beck –
Spencer can’t watch the maudlin Fox host, who blubbers over the destruction of the nation by a president he calls a racist.

Chris Matthews –
Spencer said the last time he appeared on “Hardball” with motormouth Chris Matthews, the host asked a question and then interrupted before Spencer uttered two sentences. So he’s scratched that show too.

Reagan was himself at times a divisive and hypocritical leader whose debacles, including the Iran-Contra scandal, have been obscured by years of myth-making. But he was civil to his political foes and built lasting relationships, political and social, with the Kennedys, among others. He worked closely with Sen. Ted Kennedy on budget matters and international disarmament, and with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on the end of the Cold War.

The tenor was different then, Spencer said, recalling that on Thursday nights, Reagan invited Democrat Tip O’Neill, the House speaker, to the White House for hours of storytelling and problem-solving.

It was a time when you sat down with your political counterparts and tried to find common ground. If the other guy got the best of you, you would look him in the eye and say, “OK, you win. But I’m going to get you next time.”

In Sacramento, Spencer said, “you could fight all day and then go have a cocktail with the other side at night.” His fix for California’s intractable budget mess would begin with redrawing legislative districts.

“The first thing I used to tell a candidate was that he had to fit his district,” Spencer said, but the districts are now drawn to be safely to the right or safely to the left, so moderates never get out of the blocks and Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on the time of day.

If today’s heated and often absurd “talk jock” rhetoric causes a long time Reagan trusted adviser to choose only to watch CNN and PBS news because of the silly partisanship and self-serving outbursts, then maybe the rest of us should listen…and maybe follow his example. And, in fitting with my own personal crusade, redraw the current insanely gerrymandered districts.

Written by Valerie Curl

October 2, 2009 at 7:41 PM

A few background articles to read

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A few articles I’ve found that supply a great deal of information in addition to the Iranian tweets are:

“An election without free flow of news and information is not democratic” posted on the Reporters sans Borders web site.

Iran: “Government banks and buildings were torched” posted on The Media Line web site.

IRAN ELECTION DIARY ‘From Now On, Democracy Doesn’t Exist Anymore’ on the Radio Free Europe web site

Iran elections (Updated Saturday) posted to the Foreign Policy Magazine web site.

2009 Iranian election protests on wikipedia

When more good information is available I will post it.

Written by Valerie Curl

June 14, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Over and over again, Iranians twitter…

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“Free Iran”, “Where is CNN”, and “Death to the Dictator”. Meanwhile, Mike Pense of Indiana told CNN that it looks like the people of Iran don’t agree with Ahmadi. Gee whiz, ya think? While the neo-cons have been casting all Iranians as dangerous radicals who want to destroy the West, the truth is now coming out. Iranians want liberty and justice just as much as we do. They want democracy and are paying with their lives again to obtain it.

The US is right not to accept the election results. The rest of the world needs to do the same. Our media outlets need to publicize what is happening in Iran. They need to speak to the people, play the multitude of videos on You Tube, and monitor the Twittering on #IranElection. If the world knows what is actually happening in Iran, then the Ahmadi government will be de-legitimized the world over.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader appears to be silent, saying nothing about what is happening. Maybe he fears for his own job?

Written by Valerie Curl

June 14, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Protests continue as reports of Police brutalization hit the web.

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While the U.S. Sunday morning news shows focus on health care and the political party arguing that seems to dominate the conversation in Washington, the people of Iran are begging for media coverage of what is happening in their country.

Mousavi, the reform leader, has stated in a letter to the public that the election results were fraudulent. Tehran Bureau is posting updates as they come in them, including calls for a protest march on Monday and a strike on Tuesday. Iranian Twitterer, Sadaff, reports that in addition to prominent bloggers being arrested, the other presidential candidates don’t know what is going on because they too have no access to the media. Stop Ahmadi (Ahmadi is the nickname for Ahmadinejad) not only chronicles what is occurring but reports that Ayatollah Sane’i refuses to accept the government’s results. There are other reports that the police have surrounded his house and office, preventing him access to information and the people. Meanwhile an unconfirmed report says the military has refused to take part in the repression of the Iranian citizens. Not so the police and the secret police and the special police force that has authority to control “morals”.

Written by Valerie Curl

June 14, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Media talks panic: Swine Flu

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Over my morning cup of coffee, I turned on the TV to see what was going on in the world. The big news of the day – and apparently the only story of the day – was the swine flu. Even CNBC asked, “Will Swine flu derail the global economy?” The Swine Flu story leads the Washington Post and the Financial Times.

So, what happened in the markets? A drop. Nothing like a good panic to cause a sell off!

Reporters even non-stop peppered Robert Gibbs at the morning’s White House Press Briefing, asking if Pres. Obama was sick, and complaining that they weren’t getting enough information on the President’s health. A simple “the docs say he’s healthy and fine” wasn’t good enough. The flu became the only topic discussed.

The U.S has a population of over 300 million people. 40 cases of flu have been reported. Yet, one would think from the media hype that thousands of cases have been reported in the U.S.

Pardon me, but I’m getting just a bit sick of the “one topic” media story. Especially the non-stop, endlessly detailed reporting of stories such as this one which appears designed to cause as much panic as possible.

Yes, there is cause for concern and caution. But really now, fostering a panic? The media definitely has lost its way. The job of the media is to report the news, not create the news…which is exactly what the media has been doing for the last couple of years.

What would Cronkite or Brinkley say about the over-hyping of one story, the endless reporting of every minute or associated detail, as if that one story was the absolute only thing occurring on the planet?

Enough already.

Written by Valerie Curl

April 28, 2009 at 12:55 AM

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