Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home Again -- Almost

On the way back home and staying in the mountains of Virginia. Stopped at a nice little place called the Bates Motel. A nice young man runs it. He seems very fond of his mother and collects stuffed animals. We foresee an early start tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

On the Road Again

On the long and winding trail to Florida to visit my Mom. Left all the creatures at home. Got a real reliable sitter, but still. Can hardly wait until Loki is trained well enough to be an official assist dog.

Had to take a break after about 13 hours on the road. God I want a gun in the car. There are about a dozen drivers who should really not see the light of tomorrow's sun for the good of humanity.

A passing thought: Do you think that the Rev. Rick Warren has ever pushed himself away from a chittlin and fried pork fat bar? Just askin'.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Couple of Short Thoughts

Our Current Rulers Having a Snack On Our Body Politic Before They Go

I think that this is just peachy. I do so love irony (which I truly think this is as opposed to mere coincidence). It does provide a warm after glow to see the fall out from our "War On Drugs" actually hit one of the people who make a good living from our war on drugs. I've read elsewhere that Mexico is moving closer and closer to anarchy as a result of the Mexican government's (should that ' be removed given the disintegration of the central government?).

The second thing I'm now seeing is the beltway praying for the traditional quad/octo-end of the presidency pardons given to those who committed serious crimes at the request of whoever happened to be president. Sooner or later one of these out going elected criminals will pardon themselves and people will be shocked. Shocked and appalled, I tell you.

And then go on as though this is the way things have always been. It always kinds of surprises me that the rulers have gotten away with so much more during my life time than they did before. I suspect that we are really fucked and we are just really close to our end as something resembling a democracy. And there is nothing that we can do about it. Waves of history don't cha know.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Malicious or Just Plain Mean and Dumb You Choose

So Bush is offering $17.5 billion to GM and Chrysler on the conditions that the manufacturers and the UAW agree to certain things. I'm not sure yet about the give backs he's demanding from the workers, retirees and laid off workers are something they should be agreeing to at this point, but I really don't know. But it does look like more of the same union busting tactics that were coming from the Senate.

I was wondering if this delay was a thought out thing or it was something that occurred because they (the right) are simply incompetent.

When I was involved in the union at Antioch, I was ranting about how the administration was cleverly acting intransigent to force the union out on strike. A professor said: "Perhaps, but do not assume premeditated maliciousness, when simple incompetent bullheadedness might be the answer."

On the other hand the Wall Street types get to keep their money and income. You know if Obama had pushed hard for a better plan there is the possibility that something better could have come from all this. Of course he didn't.

Deep Thoughts?

So I'm starting to wonder. I've been looking at who the new president elect is appointing. The last election is starting to have a feel, not of Roosevelt v. Hoover, but rather Hoover v. Hoover. And I think that Hoover won.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work

So I'm told by one who should know (she, unfortunately has "inside" information) that the woman's prison in Marysville has just this week opened a new "dormitory."

Doesn't have hot water yet. I'm just thrilled with the expenditure of our tax dollars on this facility. One thing that makes the average legislator stand up a little taller and smile a little broader is the ability to throw more poor people and junkies into prison.

Congratulations Ohio

Change You Can Believe In

I do no think that word means what you think it means.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So it looks like the right is really gearing up to oppose sign off cards for union membership. I've been tangentially involved in some organizing and I can tell you that once the employer gets word about the organizing activities they generally go all out to delay a vote and to fight against the union.

Essentially they use threats (both against individuals and of being forced to close the plant) and selective firings (try to prove it was because you were in favor of a union). They delay and delay and in the end through a distortion of anything resembling democracy they are often (usually?) able to prevent a union from being formed.

It is interesting that the people who are most squealing about how the card sing offs are not democratic were those who most favored Bush v. Gore. Just sayin'. Nothin' there of course and I'm just being unreasonable you know. Don't cha',


So JJJ has been a police informant for about ten years. Wow. This is supposed to be a good thing. I remember when being an informant was about the lowest thing you could be. Ratting on "friends" was just something you did not do if you were a decent person.

I would think that it would be one thing to stumble on a serious crime that a friend was committing and report that to the police, but to inform for ten years. Who could trust the guy now. It is not unheard of for information to get exaggerated by the informer. Or for the informer to encourage the person being informed on to go on and on. What do you think he was telling the U.S. Attorney about and who do you think?

Boy have we come a long way from the Hollywood Ten , The Informer and The Crucible.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ron Carey and the Teamstersers

So Ron Carey died last week. For some reason I had been thinking about him. There is a Teamster office building that I frequently drive by on a regular basis.

I remember when his second election as president of the Teamsters was essentially stolen from him by the federal court system. Practice, I guess for Bush v. Gore. Without Carey the Teamsters reverted to a fiefdom for the Hoffas and their reactionary politics. Nepotism in all things I guess. He was I prevented from running after they took the election from him. So the the courts essentially crowned Hoffa. It is interesting to see that there haven't been the kind of incisive investigations of Hoffa that there were of Carey. It is particularly galling when you realize that Carey was not guilty of any real crime. So they took one of the most powerful unions away from its progressive leaders and gave it back to the reactionaries.

Professional Wrestling or Roller Derby, You Be The Judge

Well now I think I've got today's politics figured out: It's like professional wresting. The refs (news media) are always being worked by the bad guys (Republicans). The good guys (Democrats [OK, I know that's stretching it]) are constantly having their eyes gouged and being illegally hit upon by the bad guys and the refs are always looking the other way when it happens. Except when they are taking bribes, I guess.

The fans scream ineffectively and watch the bad guys beat the shit out of the good guys. Further it is all pretend. In the end the wrestlers and refs all go back into the locker rooms and are real good buddies and all is forgiven.

And they take the fans money and split it up amongst themselves.

Or maybe Roller Derby?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Republican "Filibuster"

When do you think the Senate leadership is going to force the Republicans to really filibuster as opposed to taking a painless vote. Then saying well we don't have the votes let's go home. Do you think that this group of leaders will ever force the issue and make the Republicans go through actual day in and day out coming to the floor for votes at all hours of the day or night?

Neither did I. And by the way where was Obama during all this? Just askin?

Illinois Gov.

You know I really don't know, but I am a little hesitant about jumping on the dump Blagojevich bandwagon (not that anybody asked me).

So far we have nothing but the USA's word for it that these things happened. Hey, they certainly could have, but wouldn't it be better to .... you know get a little more than one side out there. Or am I just being an old stick in the mud for kind of insisting on certain minimal procedural protections?
Oh wait them are just loop holes aren't they?

Wow, Just Wow

Well it looks like it is OK for the banks to give their employees "retention" bonuses for no particular reason other than they looted the U. S. Treasury and they can.

At the same time it is time attack real working people because they do not want to give away some of the money they actually need to live. The failure of the auto bailout is the fault of the U.A.W. Of course that would be the point of view of our rulers, now wouldn't it?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Autos and the UAW

Boy things sure look grim for, oh a couple of million workers who will in all probability lose their jobs, plus many more who will probably have their hours and wages cut back.

I was at lunch today watching the 21st Century version of fiddling while Rome burns. On the T.V.s around us the "news" stations were continuously telling us about some bones of a small child found somewhere. With several experts explaining just what stuff meant. Then it was interspersed with reports on Gov. Rod Blagojevich (sp?) -- will he resign? Will he be forced to resign?

At the same time there is nothing at all on the bailout (or lack thereof). The reports that some of the Repubs are going to vote against it to try to destroy the UAW. Not only that but they are being pretty explicit about it. Yet these thugs could not be in power if the average job working class dude didn't vote for them. The T.V.s wouldn't be showing that kind of crap if the average person wasn't willing to watch it.


Well yeah. This kind of thing doesn't leave the ugly images that explicit strike breaking did in the past. But here and now the shills for the real fascists destroy the ability of a union to get concessions for its workers and put them under the control of some czar and you destroy the union and put a pretty major crimp in any organizing for the future.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illinois Again

One last thing about the whole Illinois gov. thingy. I think that the USA was aiming higher than the gov. I think he was aiming for Obama and Obama wasn't playing; either Blogs game or Fitzgerald's game.

So all the lefty blogs slobbering over the wonderful Mr. Fitzgerald, should be considering just who he was listening to and why.

It also interesting in reading the AP stuff. Can anybody say Whitewater? There I knew you could.

Or Is It Just Tacky

I would guess that offering to sell a senate seat for money is a crime. But is trading a senate seat for a seat on a non-government board a crime? Maybe if it is clear that what you really want is more money, but what if you just want the position because you think that you would be the best person for that position. "I will appoint your person to the senate, but I want to be made the auto czar, because I'm the best person for the job." How about: "I will appoint your person to the senate, but I want to be made auto czar, because I want the power." Or: "because I think that I can help my friends who hate unions break the unions." When is it a crime? Is it always a crime?

Do people really think that elected officials don't make deals and are all those deals illegal? Is the governor of Illinois corrupt or just tacky?


A couple of Illinois criminals with their mouthpiece.

Well did you see what the governor of Illinois has been up to (just one link among many)? Apparently. I've had a lot of cases where the prosecution has an iron clad case right up to the point that the evidence starts to be presented. Although, to be fair it does look like they may have the guy on tape. It do appear that he was asking for money for appointed Obama's replacement.

I thought that they way things were done was that the people in charge wheeled and dealed -- although probably not in actual cash. Or at least you didn't' mention that you expected a cash advantage from the deal.

If it is true perhaps they should just imprison who ever is nominated for governor of Illinois and skip the middle step of office holding.

I had another thought. In this kind of case the defendant be he senator from Alaska or congressman from Louisiana is usually not arrested and taken off to the slammer. Since this guy was set to appoint a key senator and probably a Democrat is it possible that the U.S. Attorney decided to get back into the good graces of the Republican party after the Scotter Libby affair? To make it impossible for a Democrat to be appointed right now? Just askin'?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Auto Stuff

This is incredibly scary and bad news if it is true. First, a lasting gift of Bush, the destruction of the largest and most progressive union currently existing. Second, giving a czar complete authority to recreate the auto industry as a Bush insider thinks is best.

Ever since Nixon whenever there has been a problem we have seen fit to appoint a czar to deal with the problem. This is just such a good idea it worked so well in Russia for the Romanovs and has worked so well with the original American czar: the drug czar. That little problem has certainly gone away now hasn't it. What is it about the desire to create an administrator with total power in a country that is supposedly based upon the ideal of democracy? (Okay, even I am getting tired of pointing out the latter Roman Republic.)

You know if Obama said that this isn't what he wants and he just wants a two month hiatus for the industry until he and his people can make the major changes necessary after January 20, I suspect that is what would happen. Does it strike no one else that it is damn strange that the current lame duck and a lame duck congress are being allowed to make permanent structural changes to our economy only about two months before a so called new broom comes in and sweeps clean?

Or is it just the parting gift from Bush that he destroy this union.

Our Wonderful Press Again

Oh brother, I would expect that everyone would have the same response that I do to this article. Good ole Tommie. Honing in on the important issues of the day. Do the president elect smoke?

Then of course there is the headline, and the fact that that information is the led in the story. Do you think that they think that this is their job? The country swirls around the edge of the toilet as it prepares to go down. The congress and current president are fighting over where the money will come from to keep several million Americans employed. We are in the process of losing two wars at once. And ole Tommie wants to know about Obama's smoking. Not only that, but it is important enough to ask follow up questions.

Of course the other question that I begged at the begging is are we, as a people, stupid enough to think that this is what a national "news" [scare quotes] reporter's job is? Is this country that far gone? If that is really considered news by the majority of Americans then we are beyond hope.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Good Election News

On the other hand there is some good news for an old friend, Mary Jo Kilroy all of us really. I think that she may be the only politician I ever gave any money to. Well she has been working in the fields for at least 25 years. A good progressive.

Really Uh Oh

Brother was I right yesterday? Well according to Krugman we are on the way out of the auto business in this country. Good god. The kind of hole that will make in our economy, if true, will probably bring down this country economically. I was wondering a couple of years ago how long we could go on throwing money away the way we were on Iraq. Also, just thinking about how we throw money on military systems that we then have to pour twice as much into to get them to work. I figured we could do that for quite a while longer. Well, I guess the answer was we can't.

Really given the way we put our military on a pedestal and give them everything they want, I guess we can continue to do it if we just don't put our money into anything else like health care, or infrastructure.

REALLY BIG UPDATE: OK so I fell for it. I guess that I'm really so ready to figure that we're fucked that I'll believe anything. I guess it's the opposite of being a cock-eyed optimist.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Uh Oh

So after running their companies into the ground, the automakers stand a few months at the most from collapse. If they collapse then their suppliers collapse and if their suppliers collapse then essentially the entire country collapses.

After rushing to save his buddies in the banking[?] and investment [?] industries[?] president low normal decides to do nothing for the millions who work with their hands. Of course, what the president wanted the Democrats gave without any oversight at all. Now the Democrats are whining about the auto makers and how they haven't been working intelligently within our capitalist system. Yet they rushed to throw money at the bankers, etc.

This would be very interesting if I wasn't looking at a nice bridge under which I and my family might live under if that all happens. That is to say, if is very interesting to read about the Great Depression because I wasn't around at that time. Collapses of various societies are probably more interesting to read about than to be involved in.

I would guess that most of the [not very] right wing are fairly sure of their jobs with the wing nut welfare and nepotism system. So they can afford to take the long view secure in their palaces. In the meantime those of us who work for a living are looking at real hard times.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ok I Got A Big Zero

That's right once again I have abolutely nothing, a complete Zero, as the outside world has intruded on me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Am Tired of Making Nice

Was at a meeting of an non-political writers group yesterday. After the meeting we normally go out for coffee and stuff. After the meeting one of the members started spouting off politically. Blathering on and on about the election and the stupidity of the Obama supporters and about how now with Obama in she was going to have to pay more taxes (no she doesn't make more than $250,000.00 a year, believe me).

She ranted on about how her IRA had lost 40% and yet she was unable to make a connection between that and the guy she voted for. Not a dumb person generally speaking, but simply in a near total ignorance concerning the facts on the ground and what is really going on in her world.

God, I am not sure what to do at that point. I certainly didn't want to get into a political argument with someone, but on the other hand I really don't want to let them think that people simply agree with some stupid right wing talking point that they happen to be spouting.

Monday, December 1, 2008

We're In a Recession Oh Boy

This headline pretty much says it all concerning just where we are today and how we got here. I mean come on "Dow Plunges on News Recession Began in Dec. 2007?" I thought that these people who do the trading are supposed to know those sorts of things. I mean isn't that why they make the big bucks?

I mean I kind of thought something like that some time ago, but I figured that I couldn't be right, I mean what did I know? Well I wasn't smart enough to make any money out of it.

Done Gone Over the River

Brother, and I do mean that in all ways possible. Took both the dogs to visit my brother and his wife and meet their new St. puppy. Four hours up and four hours back. Thank god we got the canine pheromones, they slept like babies in the car.

We got there and there was the normal growling and checking out. Then the St. puppy and our St. started to play. The Chow was stand offish like most chows, but friendly with the new people, unlike most chows.

Within a few hours they were playing like crazy. The Chow and puppy finally played for awhile when we put them out on the porch by themselves. But, it was exhausting. We were constantly watching to make sure that nobody trashed anything and that wasn't the easiest thing to do as his puppy jumped completely over him at one point (while he was sitting on the floor). Nearly through a glass grandfather's clock, while my big guy almost went through the window.

They had a good time and because I had to go out with them I did get to see Venus and Jupiter. Quite a show.

Got home and slept for eleven hours and then I was hardly able to get up to go to work.

No much political stuff. I have been following the arguments of the right trying (again) to prove the New Deal a failure because too much was spent on economic stimulus rather than not enough. Amity Shlaes being their standard bearer. Paul Krugman doing the heavy lifting of the response. Just for interest I looked at my library to see who had the most books at my local library -- guess who? That's right two books by the right winger versus one for the Noble Laureate. Who wodda thunk?

Actually, the wingers arguments are easy to understand. Do you count people who are working for the government building things like roads etc. as being employed or not (make work)? There is a second argument that is the New Deal was a failure because the unemployment went up in '38 (of course they use figures from a period when the New Deal cut back on spending -- thereby actually proving the opposite of both their points).