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

Banned In China

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Top Down Bottoms Up

The difference between the way the democrats treat their activist base and the way the republicans treat theirs is the difference between an activist base that is more or less built from the ground up and a base that is more or less built from the top down.

The republicans power structure built theirs, the most recent and obvious example are the tea parties, but they aren't really the first, from the top down. Where are the tea party protests now that the wealthy aren't busing in the half Gould would have been paying to kill the other half?  More or less no where.

For the most part the democrats base has been built from the bottom up.  The most obvious examples are unions.  Although they have been, from what I can tell, mostly corralled, still they are to a degree outsiders and are not completely directed by the party elite. The general rule is that the democratic base is built from the ground up and therefore must be denigrated by the powers that be or must be domesticated, (which is what has happened to the groups in the veal pen). .

Now this isn't to say that the republican fat cats are always going to get what they think they are going to get. The German conservatives were sure that they could control Hitler, after all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pointless Blathering

Here I am reading how people are attacking Obama because of the "sins" of his father.  And pointing out that his father apparently fornicated with white wimmens.  AND WAS A DRUNK.  Pretty shocking and exciting.  Which of course helps prove that the attacks on Obama are all racially motivated.

I've been thinking about that and I have to come down on the side that some of  the attacks are racially motivated, some of the attacks simply use race as a vehicle to attack him for other issues, and some are combinations.   I really do not see these attacks as any worse than those on Clinton.  I really don't.  Now when one says that then one has to acknowledge that the attacks on Clinton were about as vile and full of lies as any could be.  Obama is accused of being a (kind of) foreigner, since no one can deny that his mother was a good white American girl and a communist anti-American.   While Clinton was accused of being a murderer, thief, drug runner, and communist anti-American.  Incidently, does anyone really believe that Michelle Obama has been treated worse than Hilary Clinton?

Why the right wing engages in these insane attacks on two presidents who were and are nice conservative republicans is beyond me.  It does remind one of the attacks the right waged on Roosevelt while he fought to save capitalism.  So while I can see a historical precedent, I still cannot for the life of me understand the minds behind it.  Unless these minds simply want to live in a world that has all the same rules that applied to the French aristocrates under Louis XIV.

A follow up thought is that at least Roosevelt was liberal or progressive, where as Clinton and Obama are simply corporate bag men, so it made even less sense in the 90s or now.

Banned In China

I have a friend who is in China teaching.  She is also a friend of Larry who I posted about.  She asked me about the funeral and I gave her a link to this blog.  She tried to pull it up and found that it was blocked.  So I am now banned internationally.

On the other hand perhaps I shouldn't be that excited since I'm also banned in the Coshocton library.


Blogger insists on putting at least 3 and perhaps 4 lines between paragraphs and no matter what I do to remove them those lines stay in place. Any body know what the deal is. I go to the html section and deliete the div stuff there, but there it is when it is published.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Good Bye Larry

So, Larry's funeral was today.

He died on Easter Sunday, the viewing was on Tuesday, his youngest daughter's birthday was Wednesday so they decided to wait until today for the actual funeral. He will be cremated so there was no procession to the cemetery. After the lunch at his wife's church we came home and slept for two hours. We were exhausted.

I think that the reason we were so exhausted was the sheer amount of raw grief that was expressed by so many at the funeral. The intensity was frankly surprising. I did not realize how strongly I would feel, myself.

Larry was sixty-five and he had been sick for several years. However, he rally started to go down hill rapidly just about three months ago. There were the trips to Cleveland for more radiation and chemo and then the very rapid decline which started about three or four weeks ago.

Larry's was the only bicycle shop in town for several decades so anybody who rode seriously, or who had kids who had bikes that needed fixed knew Larry. Also, since Larry was the world's premier procrastinator they would get to see him much more than they had at first expected or for that matter wanted. As one of his friends said today she started to work for him about thirty-five years ago on the restoration of the bike shop and that restoration is still going on today. Three hour lunches were not unusual and if you drove by the shop and saw the sign that said back at 2 you knew that meant 3 and if he wasn't back by 4, that meant that you should come back the next day sometime after 10 when he might be there.

Larry looked like your traditional red neck, but once you started to talk to him you realized that he was a guy who was not easily pigeon holed. He loved blue grass and they played it at the funeral with his brother in law playing a lap dulcimer and another friend playing a banjo, with blue grass recordings playing in the back ground other times. The banjo player told us he wasn't sure he could make it through, but he did.

Larry was a Quaker, but his wife is a more main stream Christian and the service was a combination of the two with people being encouraged to share their memories of Larry. One of the first people was a woman he had hired to work on the restoration at his shop and on the bikes. She was sixteen at the time and had been told that girls were not permitted to take shop in school because. He gave her the keys to his shop and his pick up and tools that were not those one would think of as being, well safe and told her to go to it. One of the last people to share was another girl who has been working at his shop recently, she is African American and does not look at all traditionally feminine in any way, but rather androgynous. When she started working for Larry she had been about to drop out of high school, now in larger part because of Larry's encouragement she is in collage.

I was unable to speak. I have been going to his shop more or less frequently, as I said for almost twenty-five years. When he said he was thinking of closing down last year I told him he couldn't because I would have no where else to hang out. When we first got our St. Bernard we had Larry watch him and the St. loved to go and hang out at the bike shop: "What happens in the bike shop, stays in the bike shop."

I think that people were surprised that he died, he was one of those you just expected to be there. So there was that terrible shock, even though we should have all known what was coming.

I don't know where I'll hang out this summer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Any News?

So anything interesting politically happen today? According to a secret source here is the real skivvy on Obama's birth, not that anyone would care. My theory is that this all has to be good news for McCain. Or at least I find it difficult to believe that Obama has done some political thing since his election that isn't stupid or ham handed. On another comments section someone suggested that Obama was neither naive nor stupid, hmmm. No it didn't seem like a multiple choice question. Still in terms of his political competence I vote for not, but I could be completely wrong.

I do not think that this is a completely racist thing. I think that there is a serious racist component to the entire thing, but look at what was done to Clinton. Body count, personally putting cocaine on the planes in Arkansas (or was it taking it off), killing Vince Foster, stealing millions in an real estate scheme. So far what has been done to Obama doesn't seem a whole lot worse, or am I confused? We live in stupid times.

Bits And Pieces

I'm sitting at home waiting for more "weather" to come in. Sun shine, blue sky's right at this point, but the weather man says that severe thunderstorms will come in later today. It caused me to think about my first St. We had her from 1962 or 3, until about 1974 or so. If truth be told she was really more my Mom's dog than any ones since she was home with her the entire time we had her.

At any rate Pammy (the dog, not my Mom) was absolutely terrified of thunderstorms. So terrified that we ended up getting her what I now think were Quaaludes from the vet to knock her out when a storm approached. She would try to crawl under anything she could find. No matter how low to the ground it was. Combine that with her constant panting and you can well understand how much we wanted to knock her out.

To get back to where I started, back then of course, there were no weather satellites, no 24 hour weather channel, no Internet to get news from and quite frankly the weather was not as reliable as it is now. So when people would visit and Pammy would start freaking out they would invariably ask us what was her problem. We would tell them there there was a serious storm coming in an they would just as invariably laugh and tell us we were crazy. She was never wrong though.

My second though is something I put up in the comments to the last post and it is this: Who could have thought that Richard Nixon's presidency would have been considered a golden age of presidential decency? The thought was brought on by Obama's telling us that Manning is guilty of breaking the law and then having his people explain that isn't really what this Constitutional Scholar really meant. Nixon when he said something similar about Manson at least had the decency to say that he had "miss-spoke," which at the time people derided as a kind of untruthful response. My goodness how we have declined. Of course until the worst president of modern times until the one who succeeded him, who would have thought that a happy admission of approving torture would be heartily approved by the general populous and all of our rulers?

Last night I went to the viewing for my friend. Once again I was shocked at how emotionally drained I was after the whole thing. Of course, I wasn't nearly as drained as his family I think. The funeral will be tomorrow because his youngest daughter's birthday is today. How sad.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Obama Fucks Us Again, No Just the Constitution.

Oh hell why not, damn I am sorry I voted for him.

Three Briefs and A Funeral

Three briefs and a funeral. Or to be more accurate three briefs and a slow death.

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer about three years ago. By the time he was diagnosed it had already metastasized into the bone. He had had P.S.A. tests every year for several years and each year the numbers had come back high. His doctor told him not to worry and I do remember him talking about it at one point. Well, it looks like he should have worried. (My wife knows of another guy that the same thing happened to.) I wonder what the purpose is of either the tests or the doctor in question? I do recall that he asked me why, when he first found out. He said that he had done everything he was supposed to do, and it still happened. I still feel guilty, since I've done nothing that I am supposed to do (except not smoke tobacco, but that was because I needed the money for alcohol and more serious drugs).

At any rate by the time he was diagnosed it was already terminal. He took a very aggressive stance and some experimental treatment and I think it bought him about two good years. Then this January or February things started to go south. He got to where he couldn't walk and they found spots on his spine. Those spots were treated with radiation and then chemotherapy. About mid-way through the chemotherapy treatment he became so sick that he had to be taken to the local hospital (he was being treated at the Cleveland Clinic for this last round). That was about three or four weeks ago. He had an infection and they stopped the chemo because he was too weak for it. From there it was down hill the entire time with little or no up swings. by last weekend he was clearly beyond making any decisions about his own life or even understanding what was going on. On Sunday afternoon he died.

We've been up to his room almost every day since he was admitted. We didn't make it Sunday because when we went up there the nurses were doing something and we told his son that we would be back later. Before we were able to go back his wife called and told us that he had died. I doubt if it would have mattered he did not recognize anyone on Saturday although he did recognize me on Friday when I walked in.

Tonight I drove by his bike shop a place I've hung out more or less off and on for twenty-five years. He was a terrible businessman, but a great guy. If you took your bike in to have it fixed there was really a fairly decent chance that you might get it back before the end of the season, if you were lucky. I was shocked at how strongly I felt the loss.

One of his old friends had simply not shown up at the hospital, saying it was too difficult for him. I've heard other people say things like that in similar situations. I wonder just how that works? I do not perceive that one has any choice in these things. There are things that one does because that is what one, in fact has to do. One does not have a choice, I would think.

During this I was also working on three different briefs, not something I particularly like to do. I was finally able to complete the last one Sunday (also) and that will be filed today. So I am kind of tired and I think that maybe I can start looking at what I normally look askance at. Like Obama convicting Manning before trial. Some fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More LIberal Whining

I kind of got side tracked by reading a Greenwald piece and the president's speech (where the president didn't say that he wanted to destroy Social Security and The Great Society, but did say that we gotta fight them deficits and by golly cut spending on what are miss named entitlements, and we gotta figure out how to do something about Social Security so go for it congress).

What I wanted to write about was the frog in the water thing and how right now republicans are fairing very poorly in the polls, mostly because they are seen as obvious assholes who clearly want to destroy the working class as opposed to democrats who are as far as I can figure out viewed as either incompetents or girly boys (or boyey girls) and while they don't really want to destroy the American middle class just can't help themselves.

Which brings me back to the point I have made before which is that perhaps I should change this over to a fiction blog, at least I wouldn't be raising the same points over and over, or perhaps I would. No wait that isn't the point, the point (which isn't original with me) is that there is no real point in voting for either of the political parties at this time. (Was George Wallace merely a head of his time?) (Dimes worth of difference anyone?)

So I figure that given what the republicans are doing and how they are pissing people off the democrats will be back in, in 2012, whooeeee. If I may, the frog after getting a sneaking feeling that something was going on leaped from that slowly warming pot into the boiling one, now he wants out and the only place he can think of going is that simmering pot, which will feel mighty cool, for awhile.

Unfortunately I do believe that eventually in a democracy (or republic for that matter) we do get the government we deserve.

Fuck Him

So I've been thinking that when one (or at least this one) reads or hears something that this one thinks is brilliant, it means one of two things:

First, it is an concept put forth in a way that makes me look at an idea of subject in a different way. Sort of" "Wow, I never thought of that before, kind of thing." I was reading an essay about sex by Gore Vidal back in the 60s or early 70s when he said something to the effect that apparently the only two men who could live together in Washington D.C. without being accused of being homosexual were J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson. Suddenly, the entire concept of America's treatment of homosexuals and the way the ruling class treats their own was brought into a focus that it had never been for me before.

Second, is the one where I see something that agrees with what I've been thinking or saying and I say "Boy is he right on the money." Like Greenwald today.

I've been saying in various ways, that Obama is getting just what he wants to get. I am a little confused about why he is doing it in such a ham handed way, but if the poll numbers Greenwald sites to are correct, with the vast majority of voters of all stripes in favor of the budget cuts, then perhaps it isn't so ham handed after all.

The arguments are all the same: this is all he can do, this is a conservative country, republicans are going to be so much worse. The best response to the last point was that as a country we are going to hit bottom and end up laying in our own vomit in the gutter sooner or later so it might as well be sooner so we can start on that 12 step program. The best response to the first point is that he made deals to gut health care reform with the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry and hospital industry before the negotiations ever really started and he tried to keep those deals secret. No response really matters to Those Who Must Believe.

I still go to my Fake Progressive sites to see what they are saying and they are good at attacking the right wing and the real nuts, but then. Recently Angry Black Lady (who I refuse to link to anymore) has become more fun since she seems to be insisting that all (and perhaps I am just miss-reading her) who criticize Obama are racist and secret Hilliary supporters.

So apparently the president promised to do not really bad stuff, or at lest not as bad as he could have promised, but then when does a promise mean anything to him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I should Not Be Permitted to Care for Any Living Thing

An interesting weekend to say the least.

I decided that it was finally time to trim the chow. I got the table out, the arm on the table. the clippers and the scissors and got ready to groom her.

Things went rapidly down hill from there. The arm slipped while I was using the scissors (I was never able to use the clippers, couldn't get them to go through the under hair) and hit me on the head, which started me bleeding. I cut the same ear of the chow that Van Gogh took off which started her bleeding. I then at some point managed to cut her in the chest. The chow has been surprisingly forgiving, but will not allow anyone within ten feet of her if they have anything at all in their hand.

Washed the St. the next day which wasn't so bad because even though he acts like he doesn't like it he seems to enjoy the feeling when it is done.

Geez this on top of putting dog flea stuff on a cat so that I had to wash her with Dawn to make sure I go it all off her so she wouldn't go into convulsions. I have not had a lot of success with the animals in the last couple of weeks. Of course I would guess that they are not particularly happy with me either.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How Did This Happen and Why Is No One Responsible

(I am sorry that most of the images of Obama as incompetent are from right wing sites)

In thinking about how people think and operate, I was thinking about folks I work with who simply seem unable to accept when they do something wrong. That is you can point out that this is not right and that this needs to be re-done, but they simply never seem to acknowledge that they may have been the cause of the problem. Not only that, but they seem to continue to keep on doing whatever it was that they did wrong in the first place. You've got to get in their face and confront them in what in the end is for me at least an unpleasant way to get them, not to acknowledge that they made a mistake, but to at least not do it that way again.

Having been brought up to believe that everything was my fault (I'm still not sure that if I would have sent just one more email to the president, perhaps he would have dealt with Health Care Reform in a different way). I've heard people who are this way blame it on a Catholic upbringing, but since mine was Presbyterian, perhaps I can blame it on the Scots.

Which brings me around to Obama and the democratic party generally. The obvious result of their policies and tactics was to more than decimate the party's representatives in Congress (double that at least if you accept the Roman definition) and nearly destroy the state and local parties. Now we know that Obama and the rest have decided that they did nothing wrong, not because of what they said, but because they keep on doing the same things in the same way.

How does that work do you suppose? My first thought when I lose anything no matter how weak the case, is to wonder what I've done wrong. So how does this other mind set work? I have no idea. I don't think that this contradicts what I've been saying for the last couple of days. I would think that a politician would want to maintain power not matter who they thought their bosses really were. I would think that they would want to make sure that they looked like they were doing something right, if only to confuse the rubes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OH Fuck Again

Trying to work and not as successful as I'd hoped. Well that is ok, it has to be done by 4:00 p.m. Monday, and since my secretary or administrative assistant is less than stellar it will be done sooner, but not much sooner.

Which gets me around to Greewald's piece today comparing Kevin Drum's touching trust of Obama with Britney Spears' touching trust of Bush the Stupid. Interestingly enough they are completely the same. "He is oh so wonderful and oh so right and I am just a little toad." I had quit reading Drum years ago when he decided that Iraq II was a good idea. I also haven't read Mother Jones for some time, not so much because of political reason, but just because I got bored with them (and because they hired Kevin Drum to write for them which to be fair to me did call their political acumen into question).

Greenwald still insists that his vote for Obama was reasonable even now given the alternative, I think. I think that is crap. My vote for Obama was wrong and I should have known it at the time. I think I did in my heart of hearts, but I was afraid. Now it is clear beyond belief that McCain might have been temporarily worse, but there would be the possibility of an end of that shit in sight and a possible end of the current hegemony of our corporate rulers simply because things would be so obviously bad, and a real alternative might be offered. But such was not to be.

I did go over and read the article by Drum where he explains that it would not be politically possible to intervene in the Ivory Coast or Nigeria, but doesn't bother to explain why. I did skim the first thirty or so comments and they were very depressing. They were either conservatives, so called liberals telling us that Obama really is one of us and he can only do so much, or just kind of sad.

Greenwald's position that he still thinks that he was right to vote to for Obama and the comments in Mother Jones make me think that perhaps I was right yesterday after all. Oh incidentally, Mother Jones has called and wants her name back.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Elected (Kind Of) Dictators

Don't want to sound too EMO, after all. My personal motto is: "I'm not a nihilist for nothing." [Thanks Sue].

So why did Clinton say what she said to the congress critters? Why did she tell them that no matter what they did Obama and his minions would not consider it binding on The President?

I mean there was no real possibility that the congress would have voted to do anything other than SUPPORT OUR BOYS (and GIRLS) OVER THERE. Is there? So what is the deal, after all?

I suspect that the deal is that there is a constant movement towards a totalitarian (or at the very least a seriously authoritarian) form of governance which will place all power in the hands of one person. Well it will seem to be all power, whether or not that will turn out to be the case, or if the real power will be in the hands of the oligarchs who really run things is another question. (Well not really a real question, I mean we all know the answer, but I do like the way that sounds.) The owners of the banks, the Wall Street folks and some few others. Although, given the howls we heard when Obama bailed out GM and Chrysler there is still going to be some sort of battle for position amongst those who own the businesses that own America. I would suspect that in the end the assholes battling among themselves will assure that any large corporation that actually has real workers who really make things as opposed as workers who play with monopoly money, and who get paid decent money (i.e. unionized workers) well either be destroyed by the others or be forced to destroy any workers organizations.

There will of course be squabbles amoung them, the oligarchs, and if history is any guide there could be violent struggles amoung them. But in the end it will be a battle amoung our rulers and we the hoi poli will be allowed to do the fighting and bleeding (although, to be honest, in this country for the foreseeable future there will probably be no real fighting as in blood being shed, we are too comfortable).

So at any rate as is made clear in the Greenwald essay there have been groups pushing for "The President is Really King" theory of government for decades at least. It is easiest to do it in matters of foreign policy and war. It will only be a matter of time before it starts happening in matters of domestic policy. That will be because the grid lock will start to be seen as a problem, even by the Villigers. Now there are many ways to fix the gridlock we have in the congress right now (simplist is of course get rid of the filibuster), but that isn't going to happen. We saw that at the beginning of this session. No individual senator wants to lose any of his power. Eventually it will all be taken away and some president's horse will end up voting with the rest of the senators although at least in that case it will be the entire horse.

What I see going on with our more or less elected officials is that those in "power" in the House and Senate (mostly the Senate) have managed, in protecting their personal power to the extent that they have, made themselves look largly ineffectual in their ability to accomplish anything (although obviously not in their ability to prevent anything from being accomplished). Peop;e are already sick and tired of it, it is only a matter of time before the rulers get tired and do something about it.