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

Banned In China

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Over The River

It's off to my brother's place to visit with the fam and the new addition, a St. Bernard puppy. I am a llittle anxious to see how everybody gets along. It's a four hour drive with stops maybe four and a half. So we'll see how things go.

We've got various sprays and doggie valium to keep everybody calm. I'm told they all work on people too, so everyone should be really calm. Back tomorrow, I hope.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So my brother came home from Iraq and we went out to dinner and he gave us a little "slide" show on his really nice Apple computer. Okay, okay, I won't bet bitter I expect to get mine back I really do and I promise not to mess with it myself ever again.

At any rate there were a couple of things he told us that have got me thinking and not in a good way.

First, he was showing pictures of Saddam's big palaces and the one with this huge room that was used as some sort of gathering room. It is a room where one sees troops re-upping in mass. But he also said that they have mass numbers of American troops taking the oath of allegiance. That is these folks were not citizens when they joined, but became citizens at least partially by serving in our military. Boy does that sound a lot like Rome at the end or what?

The second is that there are a lot people from all over the world serving there, but they are not doing it for any kind of altruistic reason. Not that they should of course. But they are hired on as guards and such by one or the other of these contractors (I feel that I should put contractor in quotes, but I guess that isn't necessary).

Here is the thing though, these guards or whatever are from third world countries and they are paid a king's ransom according to the income in their countries, but a pittance compared to what Americans are paid. So you have a very two or maybe three tiered system:

First Tier: American and European contractors;

Second Tier: American and European soldiers;

Third Tier: Third World contractors.

I guess this is what a colonial power does.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just What Do You Expect

Glenn Greenwald has a very good essay wondering why progressives are shocked and appalled about Obama's picks for his cabinet and his ongoing policies.

Essentially, it's what did you expect? Greenwald's argument is that progressives projected their policies onto Obama. I remember thinking the same thing about Clinton (and Carter for that matter). I guess it's nice to be right. One hell of a lot of good that does you when push comes to shove though.

My understanding Clinton's political position didn't prevent him from being savaged by the right. It merely confused me, because I didn't understand why they hated him so much. I really still don't. On the other hand they got their half a loaf when Clinton was in power and then once they were able to steal the election for Bush they got the rest of their loaf (and most of mine, too). So I guess their game was to get it all.

In looking at how things are playing out right now, it looks like they'll get to devastate the economy and then get to keep what they stole. After getting us to pay for their mistakes.

Speaking about paying for your mistakes, as an aside, the automakers are being made to jump through massive hoops to keep their companies and the jobs that a million or so middle class folks have that are dependant on t he automakers staying in business. The bankers don't have to do anything and they get to keep all the money we throw at them to make sure that their six figure traders keep their jobs.

So I guess the wealthy aren't all equal either. If you create nothing and provide no real benefit for society at large, you are more important to the ruling class, than if you actually do create something, no matter how crappy it might currently be. Of course, I would guess that you get minus points if you actually provide a living for your average worker

So it looks like things are working out perfectly for the ruling class again.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So It's Starting Already

I see that the Big Boys are already gunning for Obama. Of course they aren't going to go directly at him right away. No first they will try to nail those who are close to him and then get closer and closer. So it's safest to start with a Clinton appointee.

So how do the lefties respond? Well I hope that this just is an aberration, but we'll see. So the news media are finding their voices again, just coincidentally after a Democrat is elected. And some of the left seem to think that we have got to go along because we are the more just and morally right. Gag me with a chain saw.

These people are going to be attacking and attacking and attacking and we have to realize that this wouldn't be"independent journalism" in any ration realistic world. This is just an attack by the entrenched powers that be who have blindly supported Bush (and before that attacked Clinton) every chance they had. They will attack anyone who isn't part of their group. As The Daily Howler says: It's the Heathers and junior high all over again.

I don't think that we can say: "Oh, this time they may be right. Next time we will confront them." I don't think that will work. We have to push back now. Unfortunately it involves holding our noses, but hey if that's what we've got to do then that's what we've got to do.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Game Day Talk

Been reading a lot about Obama's appointments and I've got to say I'm really not surprised. Disappointed yes, but not surprised. I allowed myself to pretend that he is really progressive for the last few days of the campaign, because I was so scared of the other two. But really, except for his opposition to the Iraq war he neither said or did anything that should have caused me to believe that he was progressive or anything other than a Clinton Centralist (which is only in the center in the U.S.; any place else he would be a conservative).

Then there is Senator Clinton for Secretary of State. Wow, why do you think he is offering this? More to the point why did she accept it? She is powerful and independent and important in the Senate right now. By accepting the SOS position she loses all that Independence and power. Also, she has yet to acknowledge that she was wrong about Iraq.

My original reason for supporting him was that I knew what Clinton was about and I didn't like her. I hoped that Obama would not be set in stone and be able to figure creative ways out of the various situations we've gotten ourselves into. I kind of feel like I might have voted for this generations version of Al Smith, a conservative Democrat completely out of his depth in the economic situation in which we now find ourselves.

Well so this is where this country has come. We have one conservative party with a completely incompetent totally insane wing (the Republicans) and the other wing nearly as conservative, but not totally incompetent and not completely insane. It's lucky that we have so much money so that we can paper over our screw ups and now that's almost gone. I could be one of the 2% who vote for a third or fourth party, but I'm not sure what that would do for me except make me feel more pure.

I guess he really believes in his positions. (To be honest, I kinda hope he doesn't.) I also guess that Clinton believed in his positions, because when the right came after him (Clinton) he didn't move to the left one iota to get support. I am just afraid that those positions (Obama's and Clinton's [both Clintons]) aren't going to get us anywhere but deeper into that hole we've been digging for the last several decades. I also see Obama being attacked as or even more viciously than Clinton was, we will see how that works for the right. If Obama isn't able to move beyond his current limitations we are all screwed. Fasten your seat belts its going to be a bumpy ride.
I really do think that historians in the future will look back and scratch their heads just as I am right now.

A Report

My brother returned from Iraq and we got together. I'm glad he made it back without injury. It was good to see him and it was interesting hearing from him about what was going on over there as he saw it. He was there with a contractor. He provided no specific information about what he did, but is definitely with the program. It reminds me of me when I was in Thailand in 1968 and before that stationed in Texas. Which reminded me of this:

If I can't irritate my brother who can I irritate.


So the new toy (see below) is currently toast and on its way back to the manufacturer to be repaird or replaced. Crap.

I promise never, never, never to try to put the increase in RAMM in a lap top again. I promise, I promise, I promise.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back From the Hospital

Just got Ming the Merciless back from being fixed. The good news is that she seems to be feeling fine and doesn't hurt at all. The bad news is that she's feeling fine and doesn't hurt at all. All she wants to do is run and jump and play. Of course the instructions are none of that for ten days. Good luck.

When we got her they said that she hadn't been friendly. We ask if she bit anyone and they told us no that everyone was afraid to get close enough for her to bite. She growled at me until she realized who I was.

We've got her cage set up with a very nice doggie mattress. Unfortunately one of the cats has decided that is just the best place and she isn't letting Ming in right now.

Oh well, she'll be getting lots of treats for awhile.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Give a Friend the Business

Hey, give a girl a break and give her some business if you are in the Zanesville area. Particularly since my pups are the featured players as it were.

A excellent pet sitter.

I'd Like You to Meet My Li'l Frien'

OK, a brand new sold state Linux operating system. No money for Bill Gates. Viva the Revolution. Some fun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss

Now who would have thought that the Democrats would have paid off a slimy second rate Quisling? When was the last time the Democratic Party as a party actually stood for something, do you think?

What do you think they are thinking about. I originally thought that we would have the time to build a progressive coalition, but now giving what is happing with the automakers, I seriously doubt it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Democrats, what are they good for?

I am watching the dance around Lieberman and the automakers play out here. I suspect that Lieberman will keep his power and the automakers will go belly up. So apparently the Congress will pay no attention their their constituents when they oppose bailing out the banks. However, when they want to bail out companies (no matter how badly run) that actually build something and that employ hundreds of thousands of average lower middle class Americans --- hey that is going too far.

The Lieberman thing is just more of the same. You know I really wonder if this is how the Romans felt there at the end?

I think that it will be difficult to get enough to eat let alone feed the animals in a few months. I had thought that we would have some time to build a progressive party, but now I think that what happens will have to happen in the next few months and that is just not going to be.
I have a fear that we have elected a guy with the foresight and charisma of a Hoover. Unfortunately, he was running against a guy who had the foresight and charisma of a Coolidge.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wow just Wow

It is nearly impossible to describe just how corrupt and vile this kind of conduct is. It is something that would be laughed off the pages of a mystery/trial novel. Such a thing could not happen in an even partially open society, I would have thought.

For a juror to contact the prosecution during a trial is simply something beyond anything I have ever heard of happening. It brings to mind racially tinged trials from before the 60s in places like Alabama, and only in towns so small that we've never heard of them. Hell it didn't happen to Clarence Darrow when he defended those union guys.

That the jury could permit one of their members to do this is appalling enough, but that the prosecution would not report it raises it to another level of horror. Then that the marshalls would participate in this just moves it beyond anything that I could ever imagine happening this side of some dystopian fantasy novel. And then I wouldn't (before today) have considered that novel particularly interesting, because it was just so fantastic -- maybe 1984 or Brave New World or something like that.

As a trial attorney for more than twenty years if that happened in a trial I was involved in, in small rural Ohio counties, then I would have expected everybody involved to end up in jail and the professionals would have been suspended from the practice of law for the rest of their lives.

But -------------- under Bush. My how far we have fallen. My guess is that nothing or very little is done to punish those involved. We must move on you know.
UPDATE: Oh yeah, I forgot about The Trial by Kafka. Of course that is the entire point of that book, isn't it? I guess short of a totalitarian state, where could this happen? It is kind of like Lewis Caroll and Kafka combined. Who'd-a-thought that we'd be living in the pages of a sort of retarded combination of both?
One does get kind of tired of comparing one's country to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but there you are.

Drug War Hopes

There is a fair amount of discussion going around the web about the drug war. Essentially, about how bad it is and how now, with a new "progressive [scare quotes]" president we have a chance to at least modify it.

The drug war combined with the (oh I'm sorry that should be: The Drug War -- there all better now) War on Terror provides the authoritarians (you know who you are) both inside and out side the government with the cover necessary to pursue their goals. What are their goals (you might reasonably ask)?

Control, power, the simple joy of keeping an eye on you and busting a few, preferably minority and/or young asses every once in a while.

William S. Burroughs playing a junkie priest in the movie Drug Store Cowboy has a wonderful rant about just this.

The point is I guess, that drugs are just Bad there is really no other reason. People like drugs, people are willing to pay for drugs and people are willing to be arrested for drugs. Well they are not willing to be arrested after they've been arrested, but they are willing to take the chance. So a country (ours) with a higher per-centage of its population in some for of jail, prison, or on some sort of probation/parole than any other in the world is willing to continue to put people in jail for no apparent good reason other than to teach them a lesson -- that drugs be bad and you should go to jail for using them.

A second thought is that given the apparent melt down of the economy we are willing to spend the money to continue to do just that. I costs more to keep a person in prison than to send them to a four year college. Plus there is my cost. I suppose I shouldn't complain since there are more clients out there because of a drug war than there would be without. A lot of them are felonies which means even more money than people busted for misdemeanors.
Well more thoughts later, maybe maybe not, we'll see.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jess Local Disasters

Ok, I'm really not up to writing about the same thing I've written about in my last two posts. All I can say is even Greenwald agrees with me (although, since he hasn't read me he doesn't realize it of course). And of course his writing is more nuanced. But other than that he got it from me.

On the home front, the garage door broke; the computer broke and the warranty people say its not their problem; some water pipes in the bathroom broke; the electric is doing some weird stuff in the kitchen; and my car's front end needs several hundred dollars. Not work, it just wants several hundred dollars. All my mechanical pieces of equipment need several hundred dollars periodically. Preferably at a point in time that I don't have it.

I'm just tired.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Damn I Hate It When I'm Right

So here comes the new boss same as the old boss. How is he gonna twist arms if he completely forgives the most obvious quisling of them all. Lyndon Johnson and FDR knew that there had to be both a carrot and a stick to get anything done of any importance.

Or does he want to be the black Clinton? That reaching out over the asile certainly worked well for Clinton. Look how much he accomplished. How much he helped the poor and middle class. (Yes I am being sarcastic.)

Of course, this is a guy that voted for FISA and the bail out bill. Given where we are historically -- which is swirrling around the top of the toilet ready to go down, I would hope for a more assertive politician. One who would push some seriously progressive programs.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I've gotten stuff from various lefty/progressive/liberal blogs asking me to contact my democratic senator telling him that he and the rest of the dems in the Senate should force Lieberman out of his post as chair of his Senate Committee.

Now here is a guy that went to the Republican convention, spoke there, traveled with the Republican presidential candidate, said that the Democratic candidate was not fit for the job and Reid still likes the guy. The Democrats seem to be considering whether to punish him and strip him of his seniority and chairmanship, or not.

It's the "or not" that is bazaar and raises the question of whether the Democrats stand for anything at all..........even covering each others' backs. I mean come on, if they are willing to allow a guy who has done everything he could to destroy their party and their candidate to remain in their caucus -- no matter how much they think they need his vote then they are not capable of being the majority party. When you are in the majority then you are supposed to run things. If you can't then you shouldn't be in the majority. Of course these people haven't been able to take a principled stand in two years why should they now.

I think that it's even money that they will give Lieberman everything he demands and call it a victory. There will be "serious" talking heads explaining why this is the smart thing to do and then Lieberman will screw them to the wall the first chance he gets.

The line "Sometimes you gotta stand for something" is one that apparently no one in the Democratic leadership has ever heard. Or if they've heard it they certainly don't understand it. Nor do they seem to care that they look weak (of course that would only be because they are weak) and that the Republicans and your average voter will have even more contempt for them.

At any rate if these people don't have the back bone it takes to oust Lieberman for both practical and moral reasons without my little missive they won't do it with it.
The point is that Lieberman has generally been on the wrong side of all most all issues he has had to confront. If all the Democrats do is give him what he wants to get his vote (maybe sometimes for some things) then hell. They are as sorry a lot as I think they are.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Archie and Mehetabel, what more perfect example of the ink stained wretch than the poet as cockroach.

Went to a writer's conference yesterday. Well actually my wife was the person who (along with two others) organized it and put it on. It was put on by the writers group that I am a member of. I was day labor, so I just went around carrying things, selling things (writers love to come to a place where they get lunch for free and have a table to sell their books).

So while the writers were eating or schmoozing with others or giving their presentations, I sat at their tables and took money and sold their stuff. We discovered a couple of things that next year (this was the first year we did this) we will apply. First: only one person gets the food for breakfast (we had enough bagels to feed an army left over, there were no starving writers there). Second, brown paper lunch bags work just fine for keeping money that we've collected for each separate writer in.

It is amazing to me that there are so many real, not just wanna be writers, out there. There were twelve published -- and I mean really published -- writers there. Novelists, religious and non-fiction writers. Of course, the most popular speaker was the one who told how to make $100,000,00 a year writing. Everyone there is willing to write for nothing, but would not object if someone wanted to pay them huge amounts for doing it.

The other thing that amazes me is the number of people who can write and write well in a city as small as this one. The other thing that amazes me is that there is at least one novelist out there whose forte is writing Amish love stories. That is just weird. She didn't show, but sent some books to raffle off.

So in the end I got to see no presentation, but I did meet several writers and all were very pleased to meet me because I had money to give them.

Politics later.

Friday, November 7, 2008


So it's started already. Two days after the election and already unnamed sources are telling Obama that he will have to renege on his basic promise to get us out of Iraq.

They'll do this with everything. Unsourced stories telling us all that we must not do whatever it is that the beltway mob and the closet fascists who were in control until just now do not want us to do. It is their long war, it will be a constant battle for every advance.

This is just the same thing that happened with Clinton. They did everything they could to destroy his presidency. And let's face it Clinton was really moderately conservative. The best Republican president since Eisenhower.

You know, this eternal vigilance stuff is really hard.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fun With Maps and Graphs

This no not that this from the NYT is interesting. You know for some strange reason blogger will not let me post small or medium sized images, but only large ones. It's kind of like getting a pizza: "Sorry, we don't have small."

Post Election Glow?

Ok, it is nice to see the other side eating their own. And it is good to revel in a rare victory.

On the other hand, the fact that Obama has chosen Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff is not a good sign, nor is this.

We need to remember that the only institution of government that had a worse approval rating than the president was the congress, controlled by the Democrats. Why, cause they ran on change and did nothing except enable the Bush presidency. Let's face it the congress has acted like the abused wife of a violent drunken husband.

Now there is serious [maybe] discussion of whether or not to remove Lieberman from the chairmanship of his Senate committee. I mean come on. Discussion, who can possibly even consider keeping him on? This guy has been running around campaigning for McCain. How can you keep him as a part of your party when he does that? Only if you are really a loser party that is how. Oh, I'm sorry loser and Democratic Party are kind of synonymous, not so much in winning elections, but in trying to accomplish something afterward.

Maybe I studied the Roman Empire too much in college, but their elections seemed to become more and more violent the more their parties had in common and it was only about dividing the spoils for the winners.

At any rate, what it seems that we little people need to keep the Democrat's feet to the fire and continue to force them to enact progressive/liberal legislation. No rest for the wicked communists I guess.

The other half of all this is that any marginal move by the Democrats to lurch even slightly to the left will be met by the right wing noise machine screaming about the socialists and communists (and race and sex mixers) forcing us down that road to serfdom [see Clinton, William, Presidency] and homosexual abortions. Well ok the forced homosexual abortion thing will be the first item on the agenda of the Democratic party, I have been told this by an unimpeachable source:

So any rate we all need to remain vigilant and continue to fight, cause this thing isn't over by a long shot. The quote: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Is noble, but kind of tiring when you think about it.

But hell, what else you gonna do? So the job has just started.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wiliam Ayres, Radical?

Oh yeah, I forgot. I went to William Ayres blog yesterday. Damn he sounds really moderate and a lot less radical than I do. He must have gotten it all out of his system back in the 60s while I was a good little republican.

Can't Joke Any More

I was out doing GOTV stuff yesterday. White boy that I am they first put me in my car to drive out in the country and put stuff at peoples houses. I could not find a single place in an hour. This doesn't count the number of times I was nearly run down trying to drive slowly enough to read the damn numbers on the road.

So I went back to the campaign office and told them I couldn't do it unless I got someone to ride with me and I had no one at that late date. So they gave me some stuff in town. Much easier. A lot of walking up and down hills and in very Obama friendly neighborhoods of mostly a certain money class. I ended up having to quit at about 6:30 p.m. The city seems to feel that these neighborhoods really don't need the kind of lighting that upper middle class ones do.

The last time I was in those neighborhoods on foot was when I was trying to purchase a certain product (as they say in the paraphernalia store). On the other hand lots of friendly people.

I don't know how much good I did, but last time I manned phone banks for Kerry for several weeks and look how I screwed up that one.

It is getting so it is impossible to do satire any more. When some one seriously does this, where is the joke? I like to think that I am kind of funny, but damn ....... I mean come on it is would be a kind of mildly humorous comment on McCain supporters, that no one could possibly believe and then some more or less real person actually denies candy to kids whose parents are Obama people. Good grief.

I keep thinking: How could any country elect someone as stupid as Palin who would be just a heartbeat away from being president. Then I think of Bush. I total personal failure at every single thing he ever did. The only things he did that weren't failures were his college and military service and lets not forget that the only reason he didn't screw up those were daddy. After that daddy couldn't protect him. He was president twice. Palin more obviously bad at the get go, but still...............................

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just Today

Just got back from a local performance of Macbeth, some fun.

I gave to Obama and Mary Jo Kilroy who is running for congress in Columbus. She has been heavily involved in Columbus politics as a Democrat for about twenty years. You've got to figure that certainly is a dues paying time. She is a good progressive/liberal and I hope she wins. I first met her when I was in law school there.

Going out tomorrow to canvas for Obama. Keep your fingers crossed and remember our motto here at camp: Clean Mind, Clean Body. Take your pick.

No wait our motto here is: The best is the enemy of good enough. Go Obama. Socialism now, socialism tomorrow, socialism forever. (Don't tell anybody, it's a democratic secret.)