Wednesday, November 25, 2009


THE HONOR CODE by Mike Graham

When I was in Officer Training School back in the sixties, the very first thing we cadets were taught was the Honor Code. It was simplicity itself, and it was drummed into our heads daily:

"I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate among us those who do."

Stanley McChrystal is a West Point graduate whose own father was a General Officer and whose brother was an Army chaplain (Assemblies of God variety), Yet McChrystal seems somehow not to have learned the Honor Code. What were they teaching up there on the Hudson in the early seventies?

McChrystal is a war-lover who did an end-run around his Commander-in-Chief with the adoring press to get what he wanted in Afghanistan. For that he should have been court-martialed for insubordination. Instead, it seems to have worked. According to McClatchy News today, Obama is about to give him 34,000 more warm bodies.

Here is a little reminder of McChrystal's behavior in the Pat Tillman matter: Please tell me how it squares with the Honor Code::

Then there's this little issue:

PIty the soldiers and Marines in this new surge.

Finally, take a look at last week's Bill Moyers Journal, which he described as the most important show he ever did. It's about the decision-making by LBJ that escalated that war in Vietnam. Those who do not learn from history...:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



.... America has broken the laws of nature: choosing to spend our treasure on WAR and DEATH instead of HEALTH CARE and LIFE. Focusing on the fetal tissue rather than already living, breathing citizens who need food, heat and water and health care. This is an abomination that is being punished by reality.


By their fruits you know them: trillion dollar war resulting in destruction and death. Collapsed economy as a result of greed and elitism and lies.

America is suffering from breaking the laws of nature. Cheney and Bush lied us into a war based on oil, greed and false motives. The lie is always the beginning of breaking the moral law, the law of good. So-called "Christians" of the right wing actually think God cares about fetal tissue and punishing gay people for daring to be gay. But God only cares about how we treat each other. They are filled with hate and arrogance, just like the pharisees of Christ's time. They are crucifying Love, and Christ all over again.

The killings, the corruption, the stealing, the continuing lies about free health care for every citizen -- calling free health care and free help "death panels" ??? and Dachau concentration camps and the principle of good: treat each human being as you want to be treated, even if he's poor, or gay or addicted or female or Black or Latino or Muslim.

First let me say this: I do not believe in a devil or in an anthropomorphic "God" - a man-like God sitting in the sky. I believe in the law of Love, the power of good which is the Christ Truth within each of us. This has nothing to do with religion. All religion is man-made. Jesus himself did not like religion or the religious leaders, the Pharisees. He called them hypocrites. The Kingdom is within us. This is the law of the universe. What you give out, you receive back.

Our nation is suffering from breaking the law of love. Michelle Bachman is the consummate liar. And she is the opposite of love.

God in this sense, as LOVE, is actually scientific. In other words, healing happens when we are loving. It is proven on a biochemical level. You can measure your serenity or agitation based on the thoughts you think. Monks who meditate on love each day, and send loving thoughts out to the suffering world, have brains that healthier, with few if any scars caused by stress, fear and worry.

Metaphorically, the serpent, the liar, the devil is always the ACCUSER. The one with the loudest, most aggressive voice. The one who shouts down all good deeds. The one who covers a bad motive with a good motive. The one who takes from the poor to give to the rich. The meek shall inherit the earth.

We are supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. But America has lost it's way. We have broken the laws of nature, the principle of the universe: the Golden Rule, the Law of Love. We have followed the serpent: The one who comforts the comfortable and dismisses the afflicted.

There is no such thing as a "modern" Christian. This person is not a Christian, if you mean a politically vocal evangelical American fundamentalist.

This is the anti-christ.

Judgmental "Christian" Fundamentalists who go by the old Testament, judge others, cast stones, collect guns, love war, believe and speak lies (tea-baggers, birthers, Glen Beck, Michelle Bachman, abortion doctor murderers, gay-haters; Kennedy haters who never forgive humbly redeemed souls their mistakes or crimes) all of whom ignore Christ's teachings completely, leaving the love and forgiveness out of their evangelism, are the exact opposite of Christ.

By their fruits you shall know them. America's fruits: suicidal soldiers, choosing to spend our treasure on WAR AND DEATH instead of HEALTH CARE AND LIFE. Focusing on the fetal tissue rather than breathing living citizens who need heat and water and health care. This is an abomination that will be punished by reality.

By their fruits you shall know them: trillion dollar war costs resulting in destruction and death. Collapsed economy as a result of greed and elitism and lies.

America is suffering from breaking the laws of nature and the principle of good: treat each human being as you want to be treated, even if he's poor, or gay or addicted or female or Black or Latino or Muslim.

After all, Hitler was white and "Christian." Did race matter then?


Please leave comments here and let us know what you think is going on, what the most likely scenario is. Is Hasan a member of a domestic sleeper cell, a lifelong terrorist in training, who was groomed to inflitrate the U.S. military and become one of us, in order to stage a mass killing? Or is he a mentally unstable doctor who turned against his fellow soldiers and patients? What motivated him?

General Details Chaotic Scene After Deadly Shooting At Military Base... Suspect In Custody, In Stable Condition... Allegedly Sympathized With Suicide Bombers In Writings
FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army psychiatrist set to be shipped overseas opened fire at the Fort Hood Army post Thursday, authorites said, a rampage that killed 12 people and left 31 wounded in the worst mass shooting ever at a military base in the United States.

The gunman, first said to have been killed, was wounded but alive and in stable condition under military guard, said Lt. Gen. Bob Cone at Fort Hood. "I would say his death is not imminent," Cone said. Col. Ben Danner said the suspect was shot at least four times.

The man was identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39-year-old, eight-year veteran from Virginia.
President Barack Obama called the shooting at the Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening, "a horrific outburst of violence."

"It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas," the commander in chief said. "It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."

Read more at:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009



We'll always have St. Barth's!
2008 St. Barth
Here is Lydia in front of the Gene Simmon's Axe Bass Guitar Bus!

My friend (not pictured here) whom Cristina and I rescued from a extremely violent domestic abuse situation, is staying with me and just beginning to heal and have hope. In years, no one has had the time to listen to her story or help her. No one has believed her -- that a person so sweet could have everything taken from her for no reason at all. She is prone to giggle at the slightest courtesy. She has been through so much pain and violence, that when someone opens a door for her at the grocery store — stops to actually help her cross the street, figure out a parking ticket or actually talk to her and listen — she is overjoyed. Talk about appreciating life. When everything is taken from you, you can really be grateful for the little things.

ONE DAY AT A TIME IN ALANON... Some thoughts from my friend Mary in Shanghai:

After being sober for a while I see that no situation lasts forever. I used to have this horrible sense of urgency around my problems that I had to impulsively just do "something" to fix it all immediately or I would be so uncomfortable in my own skin, anxious and worried and burdened. So coming from this anxiety I often acted wrongly or suffered needlessly. I thought if I didn't do something about it right now it would be here for all time. Now I know that everything passes eventually.

Today, I can ask myself "What can I do about this right here, right now?" This question helps me to identify my responsibilities today surrounding this more realistically and shows me what part of the situation is beyond my control today. What I cannot do today I turn over. I remember I am in the footwork business, God is in the results business.

Reasoning things out with my sponsor or someone from the fellowship can help me to seperate todays problems with those of the past and the future. I will trust my Higher Power with tomorrow.
Then I do what I can and "turn over" the rest. In the 12-step program we turn our burdens, worries and fears over to our higher power.

"Today is only a small manageable segment of time in which my difficulties need not overwhelm me. This lifts from our hearts and minds the heavy weight of both past and future".

THE VOICE IN THE TREES... an essay on being a homeless woman. Back by popular demand... coming soon.

Rather than wanting to hold to the past longer, and slow things down, and stop the aging process -- just revel in the power of now! You can't stop time, and you won't stop the recycling process that is taking place upon this planet, nor would you want to -- but you do not have to suffer the moving through time. Every moment can be more wonderful than the moment before. - Abraham

Arianna Huffington: Why It's Wrong When Wrongdoers Are Allowed to Admit No Wrongdoing

Last week, JP Morgan agreed to a $722 million settlement with the SEC stemming from a risky derivatives deal that drove Alabama's most populous county to the brink of bankruptcy. As part of the settlement, JPMorgan neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing -- despite ample evidence that it had engaged in plenty of wrongdoing. This is what passes for justice on Wall Street: regulators give a company a ding to its bottom line, and are ready to quickly forget the whole thing and allow the company to move on to the next lucrative money-printing scheme. When corporate perpetrators don't have to admit they did anything wrong, it's as if the crime never happened. Which, of course, makes it much more likely that it will happen again.

Top photo: Suzan, bottom photo: Lydia

BARBADOS: Lydia, Cheryl Hines, Sharon Case

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This is my favorite version of the Tears for Fears' song 'MAD WORLD' from the movie Donnie Darko.


THE KEY TO SUCCESS: STEVEN SPIELBERG FOLLOWED HIS BLISS AND NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT MONEY... Spielberg was the target of anti-Semitic remarks and bullied at school for being Jewish

by Zac Champ

"Spielberg made his first film at the age of 13, as a Boy Scout merit badge project in Phoenix, Ariz. "It was three minutes long," he recalled with a faint smile. "One of my friends robbed a stagecoach and counted the money. It was eight millimeter, with no editing at all." (Klemersrud ). That was how it all started and now this directing genius’s name alone can sell a movie, it might as well be trade marked for "no director or producer has put together a more popular body of work. That’s why the movies we’re seeing now are made in his image." (Ebert "If money equals success then it is important to point out that his films have made more money than any other director. If success is critical acclaim, then you can point out that he directed more films in the AFI top 100 films of all time than any other director. If success is achieving something with nothing, than you can make the point that he never went to film school, wasn’t rich, and didn’t live in Hollywood when he started." Says Brian Young of Scruffles Steven Spielberg Directory. In this paper I hope to prove that Steven Spielberg’s works put him at the top of all directors and producers, and that film making and our American pop culture would be entirely different had it not been for his countless works.

"Spielberg’s childhood was unlike most children’s, when his father brought home a Lionel train set instead of playing with it the normal way, Steven would crash it over and over. "I would stage these very complex accidents on the rails," Spielberg said, "and somehow, intuitively, I would film these perfect crashes. When I got the film back, I would be amazed at how my little trains looked like multi-ton locomotives." (Sanello 15). When asked about Steven, mother Leah Adler had this to say, "He was my first, so I didn’t know that everybody didn’t have kids like him," she recalls with a happy shrug. "I just hung on for dear life. He was always the center of attention, ruling his three younger sisters. And me too actually. Our living room was strewn with cables and floodlights – that’s where Steven did his filming. We never said no. We never had a chance to say no. Steven didn’t understand that word." (Corliss Steven’s creativity seems to stem from his mother says Steven’s sister Sue "Mom was a classical pianist, artistic and whimsical. She led the way for Steven to be as creative as he wanted to be." (Corliss Steven’s father was more like his male characters in his movies either absent or a bit vague, less in touch with the forces of wonder. "His father’s influence contributed to the techno-wizardry which is the hallmark of most Spielberg films." (Sanello 1). "I’d help Steven construct sets for his 8-mm movies, with toy trucks and paper mache mountains." Says Steven’s father (Corliss "Arnold Spielberg had mixed feelings about his son’s filmmaking endeavors, and he pushed for a more practical, scientific career. During a quite successful career, Arnold Spielberg worked for IBM, RCA, and GE. He holds a whopping twelve patents in his name." (Sanello 15). "The combination of his mother’s artistic bent provided the aesthetic balance which drove his low-tech character driven films such as Schindler’s List and The Color Purple." (Sanello 1).

In school, Steven was nicknamed "the retard," and once lost a race to a boy in the class whom was actually mentally retarded. Spielberg's tale is a great anecdote of his entire childhood as… a "nerd."

The height of my wimpery came when we had to run a mile for a grade in elementary school," he has said. "The whole class of fifty finished, except for two people left on the track—me and a mentally retarded boy. Of course he ran awkwardly, but I was just never able to run. I was maybe 40 yards ahead of him, and I was only 100 yards away from the finish line. The whole class turned and began rooting for the young retarded boy—cheering him, saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, beat Spielberg! Run, run! It was like he came to life for the first time, and he began to pour it on but still not fast enough to beat me. And I remember thinking, ‘OK, now how am I gonna fall and make it look like I really fell?’ And I remember actually stepping on my toe and going face hard into the red clay of the track and actually scraping my nose. Everybody cheered when I fell, and then they began to really scream for this guy: ‘C’mon, John, c’mon, run, run!’ I got up just as John came up behind me, and I began running as if to beat him but not really win, running to let him win. We were nose to nose, and suddenly laid back a step, then half step. Suddenly he was ahead, then he was a chest ahead, then a length, and then he crossed the finish line ahead of me. Everybody grabbed this guy, and threw him on their shoulders and carried him into the locker room, and into the showers, and I stood there on the track field and cried my eyes out for five minutes. I’d never felt better and I’d never felt worse in my life. (Sanello 18)

"I was skinny and unpopular. I was the weird, skinny kid with acne. I hate to use the word wimp, but I wasn’t in the inner loop. I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority." (Sanello 19). Other events included the failed attempt of dissecting a frog in biology class where he left the room to stand outside with the other weak stomached students "They were all girls." Spielberg later said. It was a scene that was later echoed in ET. He even cut off his knuckle while trying to demonstrate how to sharpen an axe in boy scouts, before 500 peers." (Sanello 19). Taking all of this into consideration would you have expected this young unpopular, awkward looking boy to become the most successful director and producer of all time and the creator of such films as Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan?

Assorted photos I found in my files: The Red Tide ~ Demon Island starring James Earl Jones, Lydia Cornell, Jose Ferrer, Lila Kedrova, Marty Kove, Deborah Shelton. James Earl Jones and I played smuggling buddies and partners in a salvage boat. Beneath this photo is Christopher Cerf, Emmy-winning creator of PBS' "Between the Lions"; founder of the Harvard Lampoon, son of Bennett Cerf who founded Random House.

I am almost finished with the biggest writing project of my life. I apologize to all our radio fans of the Basham and Cornell Show. We have been on hiatus and will be back soon.

I also apologize to readers of this blog. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter. But the BLOG will be back bigger and better than ever before.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, here is an article I wrote after Too Close for Comfort:

After the series ended, I went to hell and back. I really went through some terrifying dark days, months, years. But then I had a "catastrophic awakening." A supernatural force literally lifted me up and installed into me a peace of mind I never thought possible. When I gave up alcohol, drugs, worry and fear — a veil of anesthesia lifted. Amazing coincidences started happening; I found a key to the door by simply surrendering the intellectual habit of being arrogant. You have to become as innocent as a child to let this gift in.

I want to clear a few thing up that I said about religion. I’m not putting down the fundamentalists — but the most vocal ones do not act Christian at all. In fact, they are anti-Christ. Fundamentalist Christianity is in many ways, anti-Christ. Christ is LOVE, the love born into each soul. Jesus did not want us to worship him or his personality or his Jesusness. The Christ is the love in each of us. We are all to abide in love and never to judge others. We are to love our enemy, love our neighbor, and to meet hatred with love. How can any Christian call himself a Christian and condemn anyone for being different? Did God make a mistake? How can they deprive gays of the right to marry each other? Have they taken the plank out of their own eye?

You know how when you’re in a room with a terrorist or someone who is extremely hateful, you can actually feel the resentment coming off the person? Well, quantum physicists have have discovered that enthusiasm and courage actually change your brain waves, which changes the molecular structure around you. Positive energy has an invisible charge, just like the invisible molecules of electricity. Our thoughts have true, tangible energy.

String theory is exciting to me because it proves harmony (beauty, truth, love = God) on a molecular level. All the most important things are invisible to the conscious eye: love, beauty, joy, thought. If we only believed in what we could see, then we would still believe the earth was flat — and not spinning. Galileo, who was condemned by the Catholic Church for saying that the earth revolved around the sun — and forced to state that it stands still, muttered, “Nevertheless, it does spin!”

I believe our primary purpose in this existence is to learn to love and accept ourselves and then transfer that love and acceptance to others. Spirituality for me means smashing the ego. It’s about human kindness, seeing the good in others no matter how badly they are behaving. It’s not sitting on some mountain top in a self-centered quest to find God. But the only solution to personal agony is to start focusing on love, which is a power greater than yourself.

But everything has to be taken with a dose of humor; laughter is the best drug.

Nothing breaks my heart more than abused, neglected and abandoned children. I am hoping to join the board of an orphanage soon. I am also mentoring teen girls in a new after-school program which will be announced soon.

More pix: Ms. USA at the Silverton Hotel in Vegas. Lydia Cornell (center, judge)
Lydia with husband at Leo's Barmitzvah in 2009