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

Banned In China

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brief Post

More computer problems. HP has a wireless problem and a recall that they apparently told no one about. I found out about it through another source and so they fixed[?] my computer for about four weeks. When I called them back they told me: "You are out of the warranty period. You had a one time repair. You get no more repairs."

I pointed out that they hadn't really repaired it. The pleasant person in Bombay merely repeated what she told me earlier. Fuck 'em. So out it goes to another place.

At any rate I was thinking about the ability of people to live in Alice's world: "A word means what I want it to mean, neither more nor less." Even more so when I came upon this from Digby. I never knew that Alaskan citizens paid no individual taxes, but that the government lived off of taxes from the oil companies and paid the citizens almost $4,000.00 cash to each Alaskan every year. Yet at the same time they deny that is socialism.


Then from Firedoglake comes this graph of how this country has been redistributing the wealth for the last thirty years.

Click on the graph to see it all I can't figure out how to make it small enough to see it all on the blog.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ted Stevens Reports

This Associated Press report has got to be one of the strangest leads I've ever read in a straight news article in a straight news report: The statement that it "threatened" to end Stevens' political career and that it "increased" Stevens' "difficulty" in the race for senator seem to be understatement at its most sublime.

Although, I must admit that from what I've been reading about Alaska, I see a possibility that Stevens might pull off. Federal Rules on sentencing do, however require that he be jailed pending his appeal, unless the sitting judge believe that there is a good likelihood of success on the appeal. I guess there is nothing preventing Stevens from running from prison, after all Debs did it.

The reporting on the trial brings to mind my previous thoughts on trial reporting and quite frankly most reporting on issues that I am familiar with. That is you can't really believe much of it. From everything I read on Stevens' e trial I thought that the government was having a hard time proving its' case and I looked to find articles on the trial. I should have known better.

The few trials of mine that have made the news have been reported "through a glass darkly" to coin a phrase (actually I've always wanted to use that phrase somewhere and I think this might be my only chance). At any rate the one I remember most was an arson trial that I won. The jury came back with a not guilty after six hours.

The local paper covered it with extensive reporting for two days. After the not guilty verdict people who read the paper had to assume that the jury were either drunk or paid off to come up with that verdict. The prosecution's case had been reported completely, however the defense case was barely mentioned. Unhappily, I think that this is pretty much the way most things are covered.

I've seen worse coverage of a labor struggle that I was involved in. The local paper there juxtaposed the most mild and conciliatory quotes from management with our (the unions) most militant quotes.

When I was stationed in Thailand in 67-68 and worked in the medical supply operation that provided medical supplies for all Southeast Asia (except Vietnam); Newsweek wrote an article about how we were winning the hearts and minds of the locals up country with about $100,000.00 worth of medical supplies a month. Except it was well over 10 times that much.

Oh well, as my first sergeant said: "Don't believe anything that you hear, and only half of what you see." It's worked for me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our Democracy

Well we were to go to a meeting tonight and Senator McCain intervened. He had a meeting at the school across the street. There were of course, not parking places near. However, according to the pastor at the church, the Secret Service or McCain people came in and took over the church and told the pastor he and the church had no choice. They also tore up the church yard with their vehicles after being told that they were not to park in it. Wonder who, if anyone is liable?

I would be outraged at the McCain campaign, if I hadn't heard a similar story about when Obama came to town. I cannot understand why the security has to be overwhelming and why an allegedly free people must be kept so far from their leaders. Unless of course we are not really that free.

I know Kennedy was killed and Reagan was shot, but Roosevelt was almost killed, Lincoln was, Garfield and McKinley were also shot and the security was not increased then. It really wasn't until after Kennedy was shot. Perhaps not until Reagan. Are we just unable to trust ourselves anymore?

More Strange Republican Whoisits

I've been thinking about that woman in Pittsburgh who hit herself and scratched herself. I've read things on other liberal blogs that express concern for the woman's mental state. "Any one who did this really needs help and our sympathy." Bullshit. All the high level campaign people in the Republican party started as college students pulling dirty tricks and screwing their opponents. Rehnquist (yes I know he's dead) started hassling blacks and Latinos at polling stations in Arizona.

These people are scum and deserve to be ostracized like the scum they are. Unfortunately they will not be. There are a massive number of people who love this stuff and who believe it even when it is disproved. Facts, even the simplest, do not seem to get in their way. "Obama isn't just in favor of abortion for all nine months, he also wants to kill any babies born if the abortions aren't successful." That statement isn't just wrong. It is laughably wrong, yet people seem to believe it. Some at least.

I think back on the elections in Spain and Russian after the fascists were thrown out in Spain and the Communists in Russia. The voters in both those countries voted about one-third for the fascists and communists. I guess that is kind of an optimistic view of things here. On the other hand it seems to be a kind of globally pessimistic point of view. That is that having 35%-40% voting for McCain, isn't that much worse than the rest of the world. So that we aren't really that much dumber as a nation. On the other hand, at least a third of the entire world is made up of bat shit crazy idiots.

Well, maybe to be fair, maybe it isn't a third. I mean at least a per centage of the people who vote that way were getting some direct benefits from the corrupt ruling class in all three countries. However, then probably a quarter of the people in the world are too stupid to pick their own nose.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not So Ubiquitous Black Man After All

Brother, this didn't last a half a news cycle. However, I still insist that the scary black guy in my head keeps me from doing any real work. Prove that it isn't true if you must. The video in my head proves it to be true.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ubiquitous (Scary) Black Man

Now there's some scary black men
So do you suppose that this is real, or that is that ubiquitous scary dangerous black man going around; assaulting our womens and and McCain workers and killing our children?

At any rate I see that Fox is going to beat that gong for awhile. Or punch that white girl in the face, if you will.

Let's see what does this have going for it? A scary black man, a white woman, a crime committed in a high traffic area and no witnesses. Hmm, sounds believable to me. Hell, I believed Susan Smith.

Well all of these stories merely show that we need our scary black, for who else would we blame when all goes wrong. I would have been posting myself, but the scary black man in my id kept me away form the computer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

St. Bernard Moment

Loki (aka): Snuggle Bunny

Chow Chow Moment

Ming the Merciless

Oh Brother

Running through some of the various right wing blogs and I wonder just what their connection with reality is or can be. On the other hand, the one with five fingers, I see the darkest possible implications from Obama's taking a couple of days off to go back and be at his grandmother's bed side. Wow (at word that is getting more and more use as I see more and more weird behavior from the right wing).

I always wondered how the Romans managed to give complete fidelity to someone like Caligula or Tiberius (obviously there was the little problem that if you didn't you and your entire family would be horribly tortured and then killed). But still, even when given the option of a clear ability to off the tyrant, people would still not do the deed until things got beyond belief. What was it that prevented them from seeing the writing on the wall (to coin a phrase) and doing something about it?

When I studied them in college I could not understand their ability to give complete fidelity to a tyrant. Well, I kind of understand giving complete fidelity to a tyrant, I just don't understand giving complete fidelity to a tyrant who would name his horse counsel.

Let's face it neither Bush nor his followers nor McCain nor his followers are more connected to reality than Tiberius or Caligula, they are just not as sexually interesting. They are as incompetent as Caligula, but their personal peccadillo's will not be as much fun to read about in the history texts.

Unfortunately, I appear to lack an imagination, because although I am living through it, I still cannot figure out how anyone living today can think that Chaney/Bush or Palin/McCain would be a better choice than Obama (or Kerry)? Or for that matter a better choice than a rotten rubber boot. What in god's name have these people gotten right up to this point?

I have a complete inability to understand the mind of the courtier. Or apparently a True
. Now I do not think that is necessarily a deeply ingrained moral positive. It may simply be that I have not had the opportunity to sell my soul. Although, I would be willing to take bids.

Well to get back in a general way to the original thought, I am not sure how these people maintain their ability to eat with a fork without seriously injuring themselves (no links, no encouragement).

Saturday, October 18, 2008


So apparently the New York Times has slimmed Cindy McCain in a front page article. Too bad. Does anyone know if this isn't a kind of reverse mulligan? That is the paper wants to be attacked by the faithful because it is really supporting more of the McSame?

You know if the paper wanted to dig on McCain, couldn't they have started flogging his very real, very recent, very pleasant relationships with Liddy and North? One guy who committed burglary to help a Republican President get relected and the other guy who lied to Congress and got off on a technicality. No that would be too much like real reporting about a real issue. Or perhaps just about hypocrisy, but non-the-less something that does mean something.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Joe The Plumber

Is it possible for America and the media trivialize everything? Even serious questions concerning taxes and who should pay for this government is so trivialized as to be meaningless.
Essentially, you have some one lie to the candidate and unless he lies to the Republican candidate he becomes a media star.
UPDATE: I had forgotten about Grahaem Frost the 12 year old who was hounded by the right because he spoke out about S-Chip. Did his parents have granite counter tops?
Whenever I think that things can't get any worse in our political discourse, all I have to do is wait around and boy oh boy, here comes another right wing blast.
Oh, so the answer to my question is: YES.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well since I didn't watch it I think that I am uniquely qualified to write about it, don't you?

Monday, October 13, 2008

William Ayers, Radical Crazy

You know one of the ways that I know that Ayers is no longer a bomb throwing radical is that he is staying quiet and completely below the radar. If he really was anywhere nearly as radical, now, as the Republicans are saying; he would be all over the news, calling attention to himself by denying that he is still a radical and insisting that Obama is not his friend.

It isn't hard for people to get on TV to deny whatever they're being accused and in the process to get a lot more attention. Look at Wright.

Although, I must say that I do kind of like the attitude of a guy who blew up the statue to the Haymarket Cops (twice I think).

Wow, again

Wow, just wow. For a long time I thought that there was a finite amount of stupid in American news and politics. I have been thinking for awhile that I might be wrong. Now I'm sure about it. If only we could find a way to burn it for energy we would be able to export it and wipe out our energy dependence for all time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boring Historical Statistical Shit

I am a true geek, I think. Although, not a particularly tech savvy one. I do love statistics. I often find that when I find something that just blows me away and I try to describe it to someone, I see their eyes glaze over and a kind of dead/I want to be some place (any place) else look.

Be that as it may (eh?), just go with it. This post concerning the effect that the New Deal had on unemployment is fascinating. Essentially arguing that the way unemployment was counted before 1940 makes the New Deal look a lot less successful than it really was.

As I think I've said before we appear to be in the middle of a train wreck, as a passenger in one of the rear cars, that could come close to equalling the 30s. The only reason it might not be as bad are the remnants of the New Deal programs that are still in effect. I think it is important to remember that all the people who wanted to be president this time wanted to gut these protections (to a greater or lesser extent) even more then has already been done.

We must never forget that that great radical Clinton helped this crisis along by agreeing in the final repeal of what was left of Glass Stengall . Who'd a thunk that people would not evolved past the self defeating greed of the 20s? What a shock.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Book Report

Well, I was to be at a training today and so I read a book instead (while I was paying deep attention to what was going on on the TV). Ross MacDonald's Sleeping Beauty. What a wonderful book. Deep and well written and covering thirty years of cover up, lies and twists. The actual way he puts the words together is as good as anything I've ever read. Of course, I'm far from the first one to recognize this.

I also just finished Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff an incredible move through a parallel world where you can never be sure what is real and what isn't.

Which kind of makes the books I'm reading in this mystery book club I'm in kind of pale by comparison. Virgin of Small Plains, Down River, and Touchstone. All good workmanlike books, but none of them really reaching the heights and skill of the first two I mentioned.

Unfortunately, when I get a few minutes I go back to the Ross MacDonald books and I'm now reading them again. They go fast and the imagery is incredible. One of the problems with reading books that are that good on a regular basis is that it makes me feel that I might as well just shut up since I can't do as well. But after I think about it for a while, I allow the little bit of self awareness that I sometimes have to slip off and I go back to writing. Oh well, time for a little false humility.

Oh hey did the markets do anything today?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I assumed that there would be some recovery today in the market, but it looks worse than yesterday.

I got a nice email from my congressman explaining that he had to vote for the bill because well all the smartest people told him he had to -- and just that bill, I'm sure. Fuck him. The smartest and best informed people have been telling us what to do for at least eight years and we seem to be digging ourselves deeper and deeper. Of course, perhaps that is what we want to do, dig ourselves deeper and deeper. If that is the case then we are doing a bang up job, and the congressman has my apologies.

Unfortunately, as I think I may have mentioned my office is on the ground floor, so that even if I were to leap I don't think that I'd hurt myself much.

Well, I guess I'll give my congressman a call and ask him if he's going to continue to listen to those very smart people.

You know the scariest thing about this whole episode is that I know nothing about economics and I knew these people were being dragged by the nose down another rabbit hole. And by the same people who put us there to begin with. Not of course, just this hole, but every other one we've been down in the last 8 years. There is a word for those kind of people: Democrats (ok just joking) stupid Democrats (two words really).

Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, well, well. I think that I will wait until tomorrow to write to my senators and congressman and congratulate them on their insight in the way they handled the current (oh, I'm sorry, I should say the past) banking crisis. If they hadn't helped in passing the $700 billion bail out bill the stock market might be crashing. Those assholes should be jumping out the windows just like they did in 1929. Although, today they will probably just take a golden parachute and float down.

I set here in Little Burg Ohio and see the facts (as to be fair, do lots of other people in other little burgs), but the big money boys and the deep thinkers continue to fuck things up. They do not even fuck them up in original ways. Bush, or the bankers scream the sky is falling and you've got to do this. This involves massive amounts of money and more power given to the exec. Generally, although not always, it involves killing a great number of brown colored and red neck folk (sometimes, apparently, it only involves financially destroying a great number of brown colored and red neck folk).

Incidentally, those very serious middle of the road moderate folks were totally wrong again as they have been for at least the last eight years and probably have been since 1966.

Does the ride on this rolley coaster get steeper as we get toward the end? Well I"m out to buy some apples whole sale for resale on the street corner up from my office.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Best is the Enemy of Good Enough

I've heard it attributed to Marshall Zhukov and that it is an old Russian proverb. Whichever way or whoever said it first let's face it this election we've got Obama. We ain't gonna get FDR so I guess I'll go with Obama because: The best is the enemy of good enough.

All we've got is good enough, we are not going to get the best. I just hope he'll be good enough.

No Reason I Just Like the Pic

No reason I just like this:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'M too Old For This Shit

Or another thought, is the crash and bail out part of a plan to cement the current ruling class in place and prevent any real mobility from class to class in our society.

Can I have some more of that tin foil please?

The Ship of State

The real question is just what it is that the congress thinks that it is saving and why do they think it. It is possible that they really think that by pouring billions into the pockets of the wealthiest and most incompetent they are some how saving the economy because the money will trickle down to the rest of us. That therefore, the money going into the pockets of the wealthy won't corrupt them, but the same money going directly into the pockets of the middle class and poor would corrupt them. Putting the money there will as the phrase says: "float all boats." Well all boats that aren't full of holes with no money to fix the holes.

The other possibility, is that congress really thinks that those are "our kind of people, and the real Americans." So when the wealthy get in trouble that is the real America getting in trouble. When the poor and middle class get in trouble that is really not the real America and not who have to be saved to protect this country. Throw in there a little: "It's too big to fail." And walla.

I suppose they might have decided that something had to be done and it was better to bail out the wealthy because there were fewer of them and there for giving them all that money will not sap the strength of the society as a whole.

What is difficult to completely understand is how they convince themselves to simply totally ignore their constituents. Emails and calls running 200 to 1 against and they still do not care. They care so little that they make no real effort to go out and explain to people why they are doing what they are doing.

Love them or hate them people elected to office used to care about their connection with the voters. That is they might be conservative, liberal, reactionary, or radical, but they all seemed to like campaigning and getting out meeting and interacting with their constituents. They seemed to like to be around and actually "represent" the people who lived in their districts. (Of course I understand that some elections were stolen, but not I think most).

So essentially what we have in congress are a group of people who are real elitists They think that the average person can't really handle being given a loan or hand out by the government, but the wealthy can. Or they are just scared shitless any time that Mr. 20% says boo. Or perhaps they think that they can just steal the next election and fuck you all very kindly thank you.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ok Then

So I sent Senator Brown a fairly nasty email because he voted in favor of the bail out. I got a nice response from Senator Brown, about how it wasn't the best, but it was the best blah blah blah over 200,000 Ohioans have lost jobs this will blah blah blah. The people who know best (i.e. the ones who got us into this mess) say that this is what we must do to get out of it. Well those are certainly the people I would be listening to. Wouldn't you?

I never thought that I would be so continuously amazed at how an incompetent light weight can scare the shit out of, well 75 yesterday, supposedly intelligent senators. How can he scare them so much that they vote against their own re-election interests? I mean let's face it the rhetoric here was the economic version of the 2002 "Saddam's nuclear mushroom cloud" shit. Proven not true then, no reason to believe it now, that I can see. In fact, these people continuously lie and continuously get caught and continuously suffer no consequences. No wonder my petty theft clients wonder why they can't get away with it: These guys lie and steal a country and get rewarded for it. My guys lie and steal a purse and go to prison.

Of course, we know that it is very difficult to get beaten if you're an incumbent in a congressional election. And you can be sure that the campaign money is not going to go to those who voted against that bill. Still, 2006 was not a dream. Even more when you get people emailing and calling at rates of 200 to 300 to 1 you would think that more elected officials would listen and the vote would at least be close.

There is that and the fact that there are quite a few economists who think that the bail out is crap. These are not no where guys, they are heavy hitters. So if you did vote against the bill you would have cover if you needed it later.

This vote is most irritating when you see so called progressives voting for the bill instead of trying to get something into a bankruptcy bill. Now the right says they will veto it if certain things are provided the middle class. If that is true then they most not see the actual bail out as necessary if they would scuttle it for that. Or hell, buy out the individual mortgages and sell them back to the middle class folks at a reasonable rate. No bail out the banks bill. No it was obvious that there was little if any consideration of anything to help out the middle class. Just more bucks for the wealthy.

Perhaps we are now living in a post democratic democracy. You can be sure that wherever we do live now a days, it isn't a representative government. It appears that it is neither a democracy or a republic.

Nihilism as a working philosophy doesn't seem to provide much of a positive basis for political action. Quite frankly, I'm at a loss to figure out what to do next. I'm a kind of a half empty sort of fella. On the other hand I do remember thinking that there wasn't all that much difference between Bush and Gore. Ok so we are all permitted one spectacular error in judgement (not counting first marriages).

Damn Scarlett.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Am So Pissed

I am so pissed that I think I will wait and write something tomorrow instead of anything major today. I'm no so angry that the Senate passed the Bail Out, but rather that Senator Brown of Ohio voted in favor of it.

I expected it to pass and I thought I would be upset, but Brown is a pretty good progressive and I am very sorry to see him supporting this mess.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Hate To Be Right

It sound like the "new" and slightly changed bill will provide tax cuts for the rich. So what would the surprise be again?


Well yesterday I got into an interesting talk with some staffer at my congressman's local office. Apparently the word of the day was bi-partisan. No matter what I said about the lies of the Reps or the incompetence of the Reps his response was that the bill is bi-partisan.
Train wrecks are so yesterday, don't you think?

Now I read that Obama is still pushing this bill hard. Every time I start to decide to vote and maybe do a little more than vote for him he manages to do something to convince me that he couldn't be much better than McCain. I realize in my heart of hearts that McCain and especially Palin are dangerous nuts and will push this country to a crypto fascist financially bankrupt state faster than any Demo. On the other hand I can see Obama with a kinder gentler slower kind of movement going right in the same direction.

In the end, I see us, the people being oh I don't know screwed.