Hey I just found this today, I don't know where I've been, but it is good.
Friday, October 30, 2009
This kind of thing is just insider bullshit. From the beginning of the election campaign and I'm talking the primaries, on the Democratic side one of the major focuses of the of domestic issues has been the reformation of the health care and health care insurance system in this country. What that means is that private insurers have to be reigned in in some way to enable the average citizen (at the very minimum) afford real health care. Of course the best option would have been (and still is) single payer or an expansion of Medicare to the whole population.
That option was taken off the table by Obama right at the beginning so that he threw away a major bargaining chip for those who really wanted true reform. So now the god damn discussion is which of the least piss poor plans out there are going to be available to us. And by us I mean the average citizen, since the people who are making the rules and the laws get the best gold plated system there is in the world. For those people our health care and insurance industries are indeed the best in the world.
At any rate to go back. It is clear (to me and it should be clear to everybody everywhere) that Obama has no interest at all in any real reformation of the health care industry (I think that might be an oxymoron: health care/industry). From the git go he has wanted to pump money into the insurance and pharmaceutical industries (just like the bankers) without any reforms at all. He plans on taking that money from the average American (and the Chinese for as long as he can) and giving it to the wealthiest 1% who produce nothing.
It is interesting that he acted differently with the auto industry. There he canned CEOs and cut wages, etc. He appears to be willing to throw money at only the industries that produce nothing.
So to get back he still wants to screw us and the only reason he hasn't been completely able to do that is that we the people are raising a huge stink and he needs a little cover. The other thing is that there are a few people in congress who won't go along and a few who are scared to go along. Of course, once again the insurance industry is doing their bit by pouring tons of money into this congress. My bet is that anyone who loses their seat because of voting for the industry and against their constituents will find that they and their immediate family have good insurance and jobs for the rest of their lives.
So apparently there is a little bit of democracy still left in the old girl.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
So OK it is possible or maybe even probable that we won't have a sort of decent public option (we already don't have the possibility of single payer, the best option) almost solely based on the fact that the president doesn't want one.
It looks like there is a good chance that there will continue to be a rape exception for all the corporations that are getting fat off our never ending colonial wars, in large part because the president doesn't want to remove it.
OH, by the way we did not get any real oversight of the various financial institutions we bailed out because the president didn't want it, in fact he insisted that it not be there.
On the plus side people who are dying and would like to smoke dope are allowed to if they have a doctors prescription in the few states that is permitted. Oh yeah, polar bears, some little protection. Big Whoop.
It is like there are three elevators; two that g0 down to a hell of our own making and only one that goes up. The two that go down are labeled republican, which is the express, and democratic, which is the slower more local run, but they are both heading in the same inexorable direction. To the same place. The third one which goes up? That is one the DFHs are trying to operate, but we just can't figure out how.
There is no progressive movement or legislation that conservative democrats, the president and republicans will not gut.
I have been looking at some stuff recently about our history of warfare. Think about Stars and Stripes the service[wo]man's newspaper has been around, off and on, since the Civil War. It was founded in 1861 and went out of business after that war.
It was reestablished for WWI and went out of that business after the war.
It was reestablished for WWII and is still in business. That is it is a paper run by soldiers who are in a shooting war and it has been up since World War II. Why do you think that is? We have I think been constantly at war since at least late in 1941. The latest kerfuffles in Iraq and Afghanistan are just that the latest kerfuffles. Given the guy in the white house we will be there for at least 7 more years. Eleven if he is a one termer and the guy who replaces him is a republican.
Oh yeah, it is a pitty that we don't have enough money for health care, any health care must be revenue neutral. I do so wish that any war would also have to be revenue neutral.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
So let's see, Daily Kos provides a little back ground on our great leader's actions, working closely with the industry to be regulated and with the senator to do the regulating we get the destruction of any possibility of reform once again.
It appears as though today the guy has finally figured out that he has got to be confrontational and to provide something to his supporters if he expects to be anything more then the first african american president. My wife insists that is all he thought he would have to be. Me, I personally have a much worse impression of the guy. I think that he's in the pocket (and has been all his public life) of the oligarchs that really run this country. I suspect that he might be finally coming around to the realization that if he doesn't give us little people something he or at least his party is toast. I also suspect that he and his backers may be starting to become aware that if they screw the people who really worked and voted for him, the real crazies will come to power. Not because there are more of them, but because the rest of us will simply sit on our hands and watch it happen. That may scare the oligarchs more than any faux liberal movement. So the minimum that can be done might be health care reform at this point. The massive battle that has been necessary to get anything may just wear everybody out. Not enough energy left to accomplish anything after that? Hmm?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Listening to Buffy Sainte Marie's newest album Running for the Drum. We're going to Quakers on Sunday and then for an hour with a drumming circle, with my new native american drum. I have become so DFH like, I find myself a little much at times. I wasn't this way in the 60s. Of course in the 60s (and 70s and 80s come to think of it) I was more interested in getting high than in expanding my consciousness, or whatever (and 90s).
We've also just gotten back from another funeral. I am intimately aware of all the funeral parlors in the greater Zanesville metropolitan area. Given the number of people who are friends of or related to friends of my wife who have shuffled off this coil of tears within the last six months, I'd suggest that if you are a friend or a relative of a friend of my wife to keep your doctor close at hand.
I've also been listening to Homer in the car. I figured that since they were originally meant to be listened to that I would listen rather than try to read the Iliad and the Odyssey. I've already went through the Iliad as translated by W.H.D. Rouse into prose. Although, we've got the Rouse version of the Odyssey, I found a verse translation by Fitzgerald. That is after, of course, listening to the new translation of Gilgamesh by Stephen Mitchell .
Unfortunately it does look like I will have to go back to work on Monday. Drat.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So no photographs of American war dead. It would I guess be just too icky for us all.
No photos of our torture victims. It might upset the various people of our various colonies if they saw what we actually did to those we disappeared into our Gulag well one never can tell what could set those lesser breeds without the law off. Not to mention that our own citizens might (I say might) react to the realization that torture wasn't something that was done by a few bad apples, but was ordered by the highest levels of our government. It doesn't seem to matter that Chaney pater and fili are all over the teevee bragging about it, and arguing that it is necessary. If you can't see it, it didn't apparently happen.
I wonder how long it will be before we look to a complete blackout on photographs of dead and terribly wounded civilians?
Ain't war grand, ain't we just the best people in the whole world.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I'll go with this image, but I'm not positive that is from this year. It is interesting that after the rather pathetic turn out for the tea baggers a month or so ago there were photos all over the net purporting to be of that march. Now it is very hard to find photos.
So it looks like four or five times as many people turned out for the Gay Rights march as did for the Tea Bagger thingy.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I find this to be incredibility funny in a sick sort of way, as I say in the title SNAFUed for all eternity.
I am having a hard time writing about politics recently. The reason is that I keep seeing the same things happening and I keep thinking the same things about them. The people in charge of the democratic party: Venial or incompetent or both, take your choice. So no money to the DNCC or any other democratic committee I gave to marriage equality in Maine, and I anticipate giving to Mary Jo Kilroy in Columbus, who I think is pretty progressive and who I've known off and on for a couple of decades.
At any rate as Firedoglake points out the veal pen operated by the White House continues to gut and kill. So called liberal groups being placed into a (not so?) metaphorical pen to be slaughtered, or at least to have any real progressive proclivities removed (then slaughtered). The discussion at No More Mister Nice Blog was interesting (got to scroll down for "Emotionally It Works for Him), but it devolved into, I think, the question: "Obama venial or incompetent?"
I lean towards the venial part of the question, and I am pretty sure that the question is really just that. I would lean towards incompetent, except for the Veal Pen. The active attack by the White House and it's minions on those who are even a little progressive. Good lord, when republicans (who are not in congress) are openly for a robust public option, where does that put the president who is clearly not in favor of a public option and would have ensured that it wasn't even still on the table, if he had his way, and if the DFHs didn't continue to push for it in spite of everything.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
When one goes back to the original rape charges against Polanski. What one comes up against is that it really is a she said he said situation.
One could see the mother of the victim, essentially setting things up, expecting that something sexual would happen that would advance someone's (her's or her daughter's) career, and then just leaving her 13 year old in this house, and also see the 13 year old as thinking that she was much more mature than she was and thinking that she could control things, but having them get out of her control. The problem with these kinds of discussions is that they move along and all of a sudden it appears that one (I) am giving Polanski a pass for violently raping a 13 year old. No.
One though is that everything went much farther than either the girl or her mother intended. If, however, at any point the girl was crying and begging him to stop as she said then he is a rapist.
As far as her unchanging testimony is concerned as proof of what happened, I have had clients who have told me obvious lies and then will not get off the story no matter what evidence I can show them to show that they are lying. On the other hand the fact that a witness makes a statement immediately after the incident and continues to hold to the same version of events, is an indication and can be used as an indication that the statement and testimony at a later date is accurate.
Polanski's admissions are really something that more or less innocent people do all the time. The prosecutor way over charges and then dismissed a lot of the charges if you will plead your guy and will give him a conviction and save him a trial. There is even a term for it: Alfred Pleas. Make the case go away with as little pain as possible to everybody. From everything he said he thought of it as consensual. The attitude toward adolescent sexuality was different at that time. also the attitude toward drugs and giving them to quite young people was also different. That's the point of the Pretty Baby link on the last post.
I've been thinking about my feelings about Polanski and I think I have realized why I feel as I do.
First, I am almost always happy when a criminal escapes the clutches of the law.
Second, I think that this guy has lived 31 years without, as far as we know, reoffending.
Third, during those 31 years he has lived a productive and creative life.
Then I have some thoughts on why some people seem to hot to punish him, people who wouldn't be so hot for punishment in other cases. Most progressives thought that the various members of the Weather Underground who were arrested decades after their crimes should not have gotten the kinds of jail time most of them got. Yet these same progressives seem to be more then willing to hang out to dry any other progressive who is busted for a sexual transgression (see Spitzer, Gov.).
Also I really do not see the conservatives or the MSM running around calling for the arrest and trial of the people like Bush and Chaney and their minions who authorized and micro-directed the operation of our own rape/torture rooms. Although, that is more of a shout out about hypocrisy, rather than about Polanski. But it is a simple point that a man who apparently committed one rape is hunted with relish, while a several men who committed multiple rapes are simply given a pass. Real progressives, for the most part get a pass on this one.
At any rate that's where I am now, but I may have more thoughts later about the crime itself. It is difficult to write about it with any kind of a balance, without coming off as sounding like a rape apologist.