Monday, October 25, 2010

With charity for none, with malice toward all who are different...

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Abraham Lincoln, 2nd inaugural address.

You guys just don't get it. My objection to the piece is this:

Hall hits every one of the touchstones of white supremacy. He attacks African-Americans, who he claims are lazy and stupid. He attacks Latinos, who he says are criminals and welfare recipients. He attacks Muslims, who he says are murderers. He attacks scientists who study global warming because he says they suppress debate. He attacks Democrats because they caused the financial meltdown and the mortgage crisis.

In brief, Hall strikes a strong chord with Republicans because he names nearly every prejudice they have and says he shares them. Every one of his statements is false, every one of them is inflammatory.

I published the letter that Hall sent me that explains what was wrong about my original post. I don't see that it alters the original thrust of my post, which was to show that he was lying when he said he couldn't retire. For example, he says he doesn't get social security or Medicare. But he is definitely qualified for them and could use their income to retire. I'm glad to know that he doesn't have military benefits or benefits from the Massachusetts Senate. He reaffirms for me that it is not personal poverty that prevents him from retiring, but personal choices that have nothing to do with African-Americans, illegal immigrants, or global warming.

Hall has a degenerative disease and supports his adult daughter in a separate household. He will definitely retire when his disease prevents him from working. At that time his medical bills will be covered by Medicare and part of his living expenses will be covered by Social Security. In addition he has an IRA and he owns at least one house.

Contrast that with the situation of my friend, Lee, who has only a high-school teacher's pension and a small house in a rural area of California. Lee believed that Hall shared the same problems as he does, but Hall was lying. By Lee's standards, Hall is well-off. He has been earning a good income at steady jobs for 40 years.

Instead of considering himself well-off, Hall pretends he is persecuted, and names all the groups that he believes should be persecuted instead of him. His anger at these people show he is perfectly willing to do that.

We will not be able to solve the problems of this country by blaming the victims of failed social policies, or by pretending that global warming will go away if we ignore it. We will not be able to confront an inconvenient truth if we turn to Fox News for comfortable falsehoods.

Instead of stoking the fears of his fellow true-believers, Hall should be seeking solutions that are acceptable to all. He and the rest of the Republican Party are using fear and hatred to splinter our country and make us unable to work together for the future.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Robert A. Hall Responds

I received this email in response to this post.--Allan

I am the Robert A. Hall that you posted this string of lies about. Let me address them.

First, you are correct that I am not the Robert D. Hall whose pictures and name some idiot added to my piece “I’m Tired” as it went around the net since February of 2009. I assume it wasn’t done with malice, but because the person assumed there could only be one Robert Hall in the world. I am not responsible for the lies other people tell on the web, as you have.

If you look at the original post on my website, you will see that the actor’s picture and name are not there:

I’m Tired

I didn’t retire from the Marines. I served four years in the regulars and later another six in the reserves. I was not a Lt. and will never receive a penny in retirement from that service.

I do not receive a penny in retirement from my ten years in the Massachusetts senate. I had a small amount in the retirement fund, which I used as a down payment on a home costing about $45k.

I do not collect social security yet and am not on Medicare yet. I have paid into these systems all my life, but have yet to get a penny back. I may die before I do.

I have worked for associations in the private sector for the last 29 years. I am supporting two households, my wife and I in a small condo her in the Chicago area and my druggie step daughter, who is 35 and never worked full time, in a condo in Wisconsin, though she steals from us. I support her because she has a daughter, ten, who we love dearly, who would go on the street if we evicted her. The step-daughter is, of course, a fervent Obama supporter, as she hopes to live off the taxpayers after I can no longer work.

I do have an IRA, but it’s not enough for me to retire and meet these financial obligations, especially as it’s down so much since the Democrats took control of Congress four years ago. I’m not sure how much longer I can work, as I have pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal illness that kills more people every year than breast cancer, but gets very few research dollars, as it’s not a political disease. I’m on oxygen, but still working full time.

I’ve also published three books, but not made a penny on them, either. The one that is selling well, Chaos for Breakfast, directs the royalties to charity.

You’ll note that my blog has my full name and 950 followers (, while yours has one follower and no name. So who is the honest person here? Looking at the lies you’ve told about me, I think people will know.

Other pieces that your readers might be interested in are below.

Robert A. Hall, Med, CAE
Des Plaines, IL

[Editor's note: I replied to this post at]

The Choice

Why the Rich Should be Taxed More

This I believe

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic

Economic Facts of Life

I’m dying

Posted by TartanMarine to Masri Zone at October 24, 2010 8:26 AM

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aren't you scared yet?

One thing Republicans are doing this year is promising to solve all our problems by passing constitutional amendments. Sometimes this promise is the only specific promise a candidate makes during the campaign. Voters considering support for one of these candidates should ask them what else they intend to do in Washington. Constitutional Amendments rarely succeed, sometimes taking 20 years or more to become the law of the land. So what is your representative planning to do while waiting for his or her amendment to be ratified by 3/4 of the states?

They're also sending out spam, sometimes in the form of chain letters. Here is one of them.This is amusing. The Republicans have shown us this year what happens when they go to a bunch of inexperienced candidates. They're all nut jobs! On the other hand, some great people are long-time congressmen, like Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier, Pete Stark, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, George Miller, Barbara Lee. Do we really want to throw these excellent congresspeople out so the Republicans can have a shot at their seats? Most of the power in Congress comes from seniority, so it's no surprise that the people mentioned above have powerful positions. Do we want to replace them with people who have no power at all?

The Republican Senate has contributed greatly to the low opinion people have of Congressmen, by filibustering, voting against, and objecting to nearly every progressive bill or appointee that has come before them. Their intent is to make the Democrats look bad because they didn't pass the legislation that Obama promised. One Republican Latino group has advised Latinos in Nevada not to vote "because the Congress hasn't kept its promise to Latinos." The Republicans want you to be discouraged. If Latinos follow their advice, Sharon Angle could be elected to the Senate. This is a person who favors militarization of the border, no amnesty for undocumented latinos, and

The current congress, despite complete Republican stone-walling, has passed the first universal health care law in our nation's history, a government stimulus bill that funded 2.5 to 3.5 million jobs as well as many much-needed public works projects, and a financial reform package that brings the Financial industry back under control.

Speaking of financial reform, one of Obama's key advisors and a strong advocate for consumer rights is Elizabeth Warren. But she can't be appointed the new consumer rights tsar because of Republican opposition. The Senate could hold her nomination hostage indefinitely while they smear her daily on their Propaganda channel (Fox).

Perhaps the most important defect in this idea is that newcomers to congress are suckers for the lobbyists, since they have no information and the lobbyists are happy to give it to them and write their bills for them. This idea is a recipe for disaster.

But it would take a constitutional amendment to implement it, not just a bill. The Constitution specifically sets the terms for federal representatives. It took an amendment to restrict the president's terms to 2 (the twenty-second amendment). So this idea is going nowhere.


On Oct 20, 2010, at 2:00 PM, fred padula wrote:

Please forward:

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.


A friend sent this along to me. I can't think of a reason to disagree.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends. My friend and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010." It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I know many of you will say "this is impossible." Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval rating of any entity in Government. Now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits.

12 years only, one of the possible options below..

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathersenvisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

Robert A. Hall Sends Out Scary Email

Hi, Hon--

Robert A. Hall at 73
Thank you for sending me the forward from Robert A. Hall. I'm assuming, based on the fact that you sent it to me, and to your children, that you feel the email accurately reflects your own feelings and beliefs. Since I've recently sent you a fair amount of info about MY feelings and beliefs, I'm glad you want me to know what YOU feel, as well.

At the same time, Hall's email presents me with what is quite simply a not-to-be-missed opportunity.. because it is a perfect example of what is most pernicious about the way the Republican Right is manipulating voters. That entire email is a masterpiece of propaganda... carefully crafted to play upon your fears, speak to your life experience. What it is NOT... is sincere. Not in any way, shape, or form. He isn't who you think he is... and he doesn't have your best interests at heart.

Let's start with Robert A. Hall himself. I asked Allan to do some research on him, and the first thing he found is that the two photos on the email are NOT of the man who wrote it. They're both of the ACTOR, Robert Hall, from C.S.I. The dramatic picture in the email that shows a man covered with blood, facing what appears to be a brain... that man is NOT Robert A. Hall. And while that picture IS actually labeled truthfully, the other is not... and the juxtaposition of the photos with the email is DECEPTIVE. It creates the impression that the man writing the email IS the man in those photos.

The next thing Allan found out is that while Robert A. Hall claims to speak for the common man-- you know, the ones like YOU, who worked hard for 40 years and then couldn't afford to retire-- he actually has almost nothing in common with ordinary people. Though Hall claims he is being hurt by the policies of the federal government, he actually is not. In point of fact, he's been supported by government assistance (and hence, taxpayer's money) most of his life. He is eligible for Medicare, possibly receives Social Security, and enjoys an enviable lifestyle, due in part to his taking advantage of military benefits, serving as a public servant in the Massachusetts Legislature, and taking advantage of the educational system that is heavily subsidized by state and federal governments. (I'm just going to put in most of what Allan wrote here, and add in my own bit at the bottom...)

Hall neglects to add that he served as a Republican in the Massachusetts State Senate. This might explain why all his complaints are about Democrats, and why his intention is to demoralize voters during this off-year election.

When Robert A. Hall pretends he doesn't have enough money to retire, he's lying. By my count, he has at least 4 pensions, as a lieutenant in the Marines, as a former Massachusetts State Senator, as a worker in the private sector (Social Security), and, as executive director of non-profit associations since 1982, a 501(c)3 pension. We all wish we had that much retirement income. He owns his $250,000 condo free and clear. As a State Senator, he was able to shelter a portion of his salary from any taxes to invest in retirement instruments. His salary, as president of the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, from 2002 to 2007, was likely more than $150,000 per year, although he doesn't come clean about that. He also qualifies for federal health plans, Medicare and VA hospitalization.

Hall has also been writing right-wing articles for his blog and other publications. He's not saying how much money he gets for these, though others who do the same thing are not hurting.

Many of us are not so lucky as he. For example, those who had their retirement money in 401k equity accounts saw the accounts lose 50% of their value in 2008-2009. It will take years to recoup those losses, but of course people who are retiring don't have years to wait. But the people who lost their retirement funds are not to blame. They are the victims. The ones whose greed caused the financial meltdown are responsible for the suffering of millions. One of these, AIG, has donated $18 million to the U.S. Chamber of commerce since 2003. They still owe $50 billion to the U.S. taxpayers for their bailout. The CoC uses their donations to finance attack ads against people who voted to regulate the financial industry.

Hall's email contains a hodgepodge of false and prejudiced claims (... if you have favorite ones, pick them and I'll address them in detail-- otherwise, it would just be too time-consuming... and many of his complaints are too general). Its viewpoints about race and ethnicity are similar to those of white supremacist and other hate groups around the country. Hall hopes that he can get away with stoking hatred as long as he isn't wearing a sheet or a nazi uniform.
What Hall does NOT do is offer any solutions. He stirs up anger. He echoes frustration. But he leaves his readers with a feeling of hopelessness. It's quite clear his intention is to stop you from voting by piling up lie upon lie, prejudice upon prejudice, none of them backed up by facts, until you decide it's just not worth it to go to the polls.
The superwealthy heads of corporations, such as Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News, have been spending millions of dollars to buy this election, through front groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and willing stooges like Beck and Rove. The banks and stockbrokers are upset by the current administration's success in financial reform. The insurance industry is upset by the passage of health care legislation. The energy companies are concerned that their subsidies may be re-routed to renewable energy sources and companies looking for environmentally sensitive solutions. The New York Times reports that half of the $50 to $70 million the Chamber will spend to buy this election will ome from just 45 corporations, many of which received billions of dollars in bailout money from TARP. These 45 corporations are managed by just a tiny handful of superwealthy executives, like Rupert Murdoch. When asked whether stockholders would be consulted about his $2 million in contributions to Republican candidates, Murdoch replied no, that if the stockholders didn't like his actions they could vote him off the board, otherwise he would do exactly as he sees fit.
Hall's role in this election is an important one. If all the voters who would benefit from the decline of corporate influence stay home, the corporations will win and take back the government. Then, the hundred or so executives of those 45 corporations will make all governmental decisions from now on.

Robert A. Hall isn't tired... and he could retire if he wanted to. He just doesn't WANT to. He's wealthy, he's successful, and he's having fun, doing what he likes. Why would he retire? Frankly, I think he's more likely to run for another office... and accrue another pension.

Hall's task is to make you feel frustrated, powerless, and hopeless. So you won't bother to vote.

Don't succumb to despair. Vote.

Lee-- I'm sure you know all about propaganda. I also understand that this is a brother Marine... but I feel certain that not ALL Marines, in your memory, were worthy of that name. This one is NOT... because this one is STROKING you.

If you doubt anything that Allan has said, or feel that any of the statements put forth by Mr. Hall in his email deserve a further answer, please say so-- and be specific. I will be happy to produce documentation (which, I assure you, Mr. Hall will NOT) for any statement that I or Allan has made here, so that you may judge for yourself who is telling you the truth.

Love, always--

Robert Hall responds