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

Banned In China

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm Back

OK, it wasn't this interesting, but still I'd like to leave this image in your minds.

Ok, back from a one day jury trial, where we got our asses kicked. It was what is now known in Ohio as an OVI case (previously DWI or DUI) at any rate, not a good out come for my guy. I had strongly urged him to plea out.

Unfortunately, he blew .180 well over two times the legal limit. His explanation that he had only three beers over a six hour period didn't wash with the jury. Although, they did stay out for about an hour and a half. I have no idea what was with that. I mean the court didn't even feed them.

So now he gets to pay rent on the court room and the way he does that is to serve extra jail days. I must be terribly cynical, as that does not surprise me at all.

I am remembered what another lawyer told me concerning a criminal case he was required by his client to try against the lawyer's strong advice: "All I could think of was that here were twelve people looking at me and trying to figure out how incompetent I must be for telling my guy to take this to trial."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Read the News Today Oh Boy

So not an apparently bad pick, by Obama. We'll see how crazy the media and the right get.

On the other hand, I think a bad decision by the California Supremes. It does seem to me that if marriage is a fundamental right, and that all people are entitled to it, then a mere majority vote in a plebiscite can't take that fundamental right away, and the decision is wrong.

Or am I just confused?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Preventative Detention

You know arguing about all those [maybe] terrorists in preventative detention has caused me to have a kind of epiphany. I have many clients who are in preventative detention. They are below the poverty line, and they have bonds that are in the several thousands of dollars. They own no property and they have no relatives who own property or have enough money to bond them out.

So, although they are not be held in indefinite preventative detention, they are certainly being held in preventative detention. Simply place the bond high enough and you can be sure that they will stay in detention (jail) until their trial date at least.

In fact that United States Supreme Court held some time ago, in a case finding that Title 18 was constitutional and whose name escapes me right at this point, that under certain circumstances courts can deny a bond to an accused before there is a trial. This has been the law for some time here in the good old usofa. So if we are willing to do this to our own people, it is just a little step to what Busoma is proposing for foreigners.

Job of the prosecution done without a trial and not a terrorist among my detained. Just good Americans much like yourselves. Some red neck hill billy or black guy usually, though. so I guess not really like us after all.

More Torture and Indefinate Detention

You know, does it really matter whether or not Guantanamo is closed ? We'll just move the prisoners to some super max in the U.S. Actually probably several super maxes in the U.S. and probably more than a couple in other friendly countries. That is friendly like to us, not like to justice.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hanging out On Saturday

On the Outside Looking In

I don't know what do you want to do?

Yes, well this was made up especially for us, right?

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Call Bullshit

"Obama was blunt [in his meeting with civil libertiarians]; the [military commissions] are a fait accompli, so the civil libertarians can either help Congress and the White House figure out the best way to protect the rights of the accused within the framework of that decision, or they can remain on the outside, as agitators. "

This is a very clever piece of bullshit. "Help me make more just a system that is unjust by its very definition." Is there a way to make slavery more just than the system that existed in the United States before the Civil War? Is there a way to make the Jim Crow system that existed before the civil rights movement more just, but keep its basic parameters?

So lookie how Obama phrased it. You want the power? I'll give you the power (or rather I will give you what looks like power), but you have to agree with me to subvert our most basic laws, but in a more just way then would be done without you. But guess what happens when they agree to help. They no longer are able to really argue against it. They are now corrupted beyond, I think, hope of redemption. So smart so clever. How many will be taken in do you think?

Oh yeah, I don't think that their input, if they give it, will amount to anything more than a patina of false gold gilt. It will sparkle prettily in the little sun that will shine on it. Like the famous rotten mackerel it will both shine and stink in the sun light.

Banks And Bankers

Somewhere in the Ur part of my brain I keep wondering if all this torture and star chamber stuff isn't being kept on the front burner to keep the discussion off economics.

Digby has a nice post up concerning Greider's book.

I had a friend in law school a woman who had worked for Greenspan between college and law school. This would have been during the Nixon interregnum. She told us a couple of interesting things about Greenspan. First, that he had a lot of women working for him, mainly she thought, because he could pay women less then men at that time. Second, that all their projections were massaged to project success for whatever it was that Nixon was trying to do.

But, the most revealing and kind of sadly funny thing was that one year they had a xmas party in the offices and a prize was given to the employee who had made the most accurate predictions for the previous year. That person was the guy who ran the mail room.

Whenever I think about our economic situation, I think about that story.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who Sue?

Damn who do I have to insult to get sued and on the pages of trendy New York Publications , get linked to by famous leftist bloggers and generally become famous and well known?

I Don't Know What To Do

When I was in the Air Force for a while in Texas I shared a room with a guy who was from Washington, D.C. (I was in the Air Force and in the medics, we got semi-private rooms, what can I say?) He had been a football player in high school.

He described this race riot (his term) he was involved in. Two schools one mostly black and one mostly white were playing a game at a time of tension in DC. One of the guys on his team got a call against him. A good call according to my room mate his team mate was wrong. Well the guy on his team blew up and started to assault the guy on the other team. Starting the riot.

My room mate sighed and said, "What could we do? He was on our team we had to back him."

That's almost how I feel about Obama. The insane right wing attacks almost force me to defend. After all he is on our team, isn't he? Oh wait we're on his team, aren't we? An important distinction, no?

More Bad News

So I think that Obama is turning into Clinton without the blow job. Probably no Whitewater either as no important people in Illinois hate him the way the powers that be in Arkansas hated Clinton.

The thing that amazes me is, like Clinton, Obama is busy doing the job of the oligarchs and our colonial warriors (see Greenwald on the right there, just about any day and this cartoon by Tom Tomorrow in today's Salon). And they still hate him with a passion that passeth all understanding.

It now appears to me that the idea of what liberal means to our rulers (and to be fair most of the voters) is to be in favor of stem cell research and keep abortions legal for the wealthiest. Beyond that I don't think there is much left.

I am now nearly certain that I was wrong in supporting Obama (not that anyone cared). I guess the frog in the water thing has become us. I mean most middle class and poor seem to be more than happy with the current guy. I wonder what will happen in a couple of years as things just kind of slowly get hotter and hotter until we just kind of boil them pesky liberties and that silly economic safety web away. Personally I see a massive right wing reaction because the people who have been called "radical leftists" will have failed in their moderately conservative policies (moderately conservative in relation to social policy, very conservative in economic and military type of policies).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aw Hell

So looking at Obama's popularity it appears as though he is way more popular than I am or than my positions are.

So what do I do. Bite at his ankles I guess.

So I've been following the contretemps concerning the Philly Inquirer hiring of torture enabler John Yoo.

The comments and the defenses by the paper are most interesting. One person yells, I think, that Nancy Pelosi enabled torture. Others argue that we've got to torture these people because if they have information that will save our children (or grandchildren seems to be a favorite) then "what ever it takes." Some then go on about various arcane legal aspects of the law against torture: i.e. because they (being terrorists in their minds, but really people accused of terrorism)aren't state actors they are not therefore protected by law or treaty. Some claim water boarding isn't torture because it doesn't leave marks. At least no one in the comments section linked to, cries about "freedom of speech."

I look at these arguments and wonder at just how pathetic they are. I am stunned at really how easy it is for 21st century Americans to justify torture. How close we are to the Spanish Inquisition. What a thin layer of civilization separates us from the "savages" (savages being in quotation marks as I really do not know how much more savage savages could be).

What is it Jefferson said: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." Speaking of slavery to be sure, still is there anything any different here, not just justifying, but engaging in torture? You really wonder what those dirty fucking hippies Jefferson and Madison and Franklin would have thought.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Greenwald Said

I do not feel great today, probably a combination of grass (no the yard kind unfortunately) which I mowed earlier today and tree pollen. But to follow up on the last couple of posts: What Glenn said.

I hadn't expected much out of Obama, but I had expected a little more than: giving torturers a pass, staying in two colonial wars, giving mass amounts of money to the people who have [nearly?] destroyed our economy while continuing to screw the middle class and poor (often in the same bill, see UAW vs. the bankers), completely caving into the insurance industry, and empowering the homophobes in the military.

Other than that though he's done a pretty good job, eh?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pretty Pictures

So even though Obama and his republican supporters and the military don't want the pictures released it looks like the world has decided otherwise.

Look at the pretty pictures.

OOPS: My mistake old pictures of Iraq I guess. Certainly still pretty pictures though. No new stuff. Move along nothing new to see here.

Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck

Although I can't say I'm really surprised still I guess I am more than a little disappointed. I did not think the guy was a real progressive, but I really did not think that I voted for a third Chaney/Bush term.
Well maybe not a straight Cheny/Bush third term, maybe just a kinder gentler Chaney/Bush third term

But hey we are all Americans here aren't we. So whatever we do is, because we do it is right. Of course, if someone else did it, like say the Iranians then it would be wrong.

Understand now?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So the republican national committee is prepared to pass some sort of resolution naming the democratic party the democrat socialist party. Many have made fun of this, but it does interest me in a kind of safely abstract way.

Why would they do that do you think? It really makes no sense. The democrats are not going to change their name because the republicans want them to. With the exception of the right wing radio guys no one in the media is going to change what they call the democrats. Every time a republican says it people will laugh at them. So?

Are they connected into some sort of secret giant brain that has given them the ANSWER. Or was I wrong the other day and is the republican party DOOOOOOOOMED?

Recent meeting of RNC


No not yet.
As soon as my guy gets here, I hope.

Thank you I'll be here all week, more or less.

I have been having trouble writing this week. It is outrage over load week. Obama decides to try to stop more pictures of our "harsh techniques" from being released. And yet another major writer decides that welllllllll maybe torture as such isn't such a bad thing after all.

So it is only the DFHs who give a shit about this whole thing. As Whiskey Fire says apparently the centrist position is now to cover up monstrous war crimes. Let's let that sink in. The moral position of our moral betters is to hide and justify the torture and murder (in some cases) of our enemies. The moral position of those in power is to grant that those who torture and those who order torture are people who are deserving of our protection.

Of course there is a second issue here. Apparently torture really doesn't provide any real actionable intelligence. So we torture and what we end up with is a lot of confessions of a lot of things most of which the tortured thinks we want confessions to. Is there really anyone who thinks that there were 18,000 witches in 14th and 15th century Europe?

So really there isn't even the argument that it works. How many of these people do you think used to, as children, put firecrackers up frogs asses? Most, all?

At any rate, as I say outrage overload. One thing I think that the new photos would do would be to force the general public and congress and probably the president to finally do something. I would guess that is why they are fighting so hard to prevent the photos from coming out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The End of The Republican Party

You know the last time I remember reading articles and essays about the end of the republican party was in 1965, shortly after the Johnson landslide. All the thoughtful people were busy telling the republicans that they needed to completely change their brand and the American people were entering a new era of liberalism. So unless the republicans started acting more like liberal (still a good word back in those days) democrats they were doomed. Doomed don't you know.

Then came the race riots of the 60s and after that the demonstrations against our little excursion into Vietnam. Then Nixon and his brain trust Lee Attwater and their vile "southern strategy." And right on cue we entered into forty years (at least) of conservative rule. Yes I know that democrats were in control for periods there, but they were democrats who traced their heritage back to the great Grover Cleveland, not FDR or for that matter even Wilson. Conservative democrats, in other words.

So since I like to hear about how the republican party is in its death throws as much as any one..........I'll believe it when I see it. And I hope I see it soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank God For Mr.( Ms?) Hoover

On Tuesday the Wife and I went to a meeting and came back about three hours later to discover that the St. Bernard had developed diarrhea while we were gone. Do you have any idea what the inside of the house looks and smells like after something like that?

No? Would you consider buying the house then? Yes? No? Maybe not?

All I can say is that I think that J. Edger Hoover has gotten a terrible rap. If it wasn't for his invention the carpet shampooer (was there a better name) all would have been over. Of course perhaps I'm confused.

Oh that Henny Youngman!

Headin' Home

Friday, May 8, 2009


So I've finished bills for the week. I feel like I'm that Russian woman in a sleigh being chased by the wolves. Unfortunately I think I've thrown out all the family members I can so the wolves are closing in as we speak.

Yeah I know that this could be connected to those banker and credit card bills hanging fire (OK dead because of the opposition by and ownership of the congress by the credit card and banking industries). Also, could it be my fault? Well when one looks at the amount of interest which seems to be increasing by the second, hmmmmmmmm.

Aw Hell

So I was reading Firedoglake and ran across this. More corruption from the inside. I worry about our democracy. There is such a crush of corrupt insiders and there seems to be no one but the good old boys (mostly) who got us into this trouble to give advice to the guy in charge.

About six or seven years ago I remember the lead up to war in Iraq. I was sitting here in East Jesus Ohio listening to the "justifications" for the war and I knew that they were lies. Hell hundreds of thousands of people all over the world marched against the war. They knew they were lies. But the intelligent and powerful people had to have their war because they knew it would be good and right. Yeah.

Back then I thought that the elected ruler was the idiot son of an asshole who was being led around by the nose by the oil interests. It turns out I was right.

Now, however, the elected ruler is clearly smart and intelligent. Yet he surrounds himself with the same (in some cases) and at least the same kind of people who have run us into the ground. All of the people he has advising him are people who have been full snout into the trough and rooted it dry. Now they are advising him to take the money and run.

The tea bag parties, are a sample of simply how frustrated and angry people are concerning the financial melt down. What I see happening sooner rather than later is that things are not going to get much better. People are still going to be looking over their shoulders at the bankers coming to take their money (gifts from the feds and interest on loans). Generally, because no real progressive answers have been provided by an administration that is presented as progressive, the tea baggers are going to be voting for and probably electing real fascists. I really look forward to that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Little Hemlock With That?

So after I post I drift on over to Greenwald's blog and read and see this. We're fucked. These people just spend and spend our money and you do understand that it really isn't our business, don't you?

You know I think that maybe I should have paid more attention when we studied the stoics in philosophy class. Since, you know?

You know you have to give the right wingers credit, well no not really. They have consistently argued against the bail out. However, they have absolutely no other suggestions to offer. So I guess one needs to acknowledge that when they claim that the bail out is not working the way it is currently designed, they are right. On the other hand they seem to think that it would be best if the government not do anything at all and just let all these businesses collapse. Which will give us all the ability to go to some sort of pre-1929 heyday of free enterprise. Oh wait we were already there. So I guess the credit is much like that given a stopped watch (no not a digital, but an old fashion one with numbers around the dial).

I picked up a copy of Krugman's book The Return of Depression Economics the other day and was very depressed by what I read on the back cover (and yes I really am reading more than the back cover, thank you). At any rate shortly after Reagan was elected I said I figured that the country could be run with 25% unemployment and the right could scare enough people to keep power. What I didn't realize was the power of the concept of under-employment. Have most of us employed, but at less than full time with a close to minimum wage.

But the real idea from the back of the book, was what if Hoover had done the little necessary to prevent the 1929 recession from becoming the 1930 depression. We would not have had social security, probably not federal unemployment insurance or workers comp. Nor would we have medicaid or medicare (yeah, I know that these last two came later, but they built on the New Deal).

So FDR had all sorts of people advising him many from the left, who does Obama have? Mostly folks who were right there urging things on when those things were going down the crapper. So what are the ideas? Throw a lot of money at the wealthiest, and make sure the wealthiest bankers and corporation executives remain in power because who else knows how to spend that money after all? I mean they may have effectively destroyed their companies and the world wide economy, but hey we're all friends here. No need to look outside the narrow group people who have run this country for the last thirty years.

So what I'm looking at is this country kind of half assed coming more or less out of this little trouble we've gotten ourselves into and limping along for a while without a lot of overt hunger etc. I mean less face it the middle class and working class have been willing to see their real wages cut continuously for the last twenty years without really kicking about it. Why should they complain now.

However, this bring us back to where I started. Eventually, things will probably get really bad for the poor and middle class and liberalism and progressivism will be seen as failed options, socialism and communism are already seen as failed so where does that leave us? I do remember at the history department of my middle of America state college in the 70s and the professor saying that when middle class societies have a revolution it isn't a socialist one, it is a fascist one. (No not the Goldberg kind of fascist, the real honest to god 1930s kind of fascist ones).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Henny Penny.........or NOT?

So apparently about 36,000 people die each year in the USA from complications caused by "regular" flu, while some where between a quarter to half a million world wide have the same problem. On the other hand there are only a few dead from swine (H1N1) flu, but then again the only people who die from swine flue are those who are confirmed dead of that specific disease. While the 36,000 are a statistical abstract including people who have died from the complications of regular flu and apparently those who we think die from complications from regular flu.

So either we should be very scared of regular flu and not at all of swine flu, or the other way around. Or both. Or neither.

I think sometimes I live in a Henny Penny world where everybody is terrified of the most improbable things and simply oblivious to any real danger.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


You know that sometimes there are things that are so far beyond what any rational person could imagine, that I find it impossible to make fun of them. Not only that I find it even impossible to become angry in any rational way. It is beyond bizarre.

Bring your kid to work day and get them tazed. Not only that, but according to the guy who did the tazing, the parents said it was ok. So, I guess that tells us a little about the level of humanity of the prison guards (and their families) in Florida.

It says a little more about their intelligence when the guy doesn't seem to understand what the problem is.

If this is the general point of view of a significant minority (and I suspect it is) then one can certainly see where those who approve torture are coming from. Although to be honest I don't understand them much either. But if it is ok to taz your own kid then I guess torturing a brown foreigner is no big deal.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh Yeah

And happy Mission Accomplished Day to you too.

Happy May Day Comrades

Happy May Day comrades. Welcome to the new socialist world order. At least according to nearly the entire [not so] right wing.

Let's not forget that one of the main reasons that May Day is recognized as a world wide labor day (and the reason it isn't in the U.S.) is the Haymarket police riot. Attacking working men and women who were deminstrating for the eight hour day (fucking commies). Also, let's not forget that Obama's bestest friend Bill Ayres who wrote all his books for him blew up the police statue in honor of the Chicago cops twice. Well maybe not Ayres himself, you know those radicals all look a like.

At any rate it is nice to know that the city of Chicago has to have the statue in a protected area. Of course, we all remember what happened to the workers and to the people who supported them don't we? They got screwed and the rich got richer.