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

Banned In China

Sunday, July 31, 2011


So I am wondering around the Internet and what do I behold, but the end times.  As somebody said, I'm going to be really pissed when the end comes not from the rapture, or a giant asteroid, or nuclear holocaust, but a god damn debt ceiling economic crash the final parts of which are ushered in by a second rate bag man for the Wall Street bankers, people we've been warned about for over a century. 

I guess we just didn't listen.  I'm waiting for a little while and then I think I'll drift on over to some of the Obama, Obama, sis boom bah, rah, rah, rah sites, that I offered to apologize to when Obama saved SS and Medicare and Medicaid and ask if they would consider apologizing to me.  Although I have had a short discussion with a guy on Facebook. I know him from law school and the Guild and he asked me "Who would you be able to support other than Obama?"  Obviously, I'm not going to vote for Bachmann or for that matter any of the sociopaths from the other party, but then why should I vote for a sociopath from the party I used to consider myself a member of?  In fact that attitude is just the one the democrats are counting on according to Greenwald today.  I have no doubt.  The other half of that is the blame will go to those who refuse to support the people who are screwing us right now, rather than the people (Al Gore/Florida anyone) who participated in the screwing.  Always blame the victim never the never the victimizers.

So any way what I had started to write about isn't at all what happened in the above two paragraphs.  Because, what I was really interested in writing about (well when I'm trying to forget that my world is falling apart around me through no fault of my own) is books or rather books and book stores.  We went to Columbus this week and I spent the morning in trainging and then we had planned on going a dropping by some friends a couple of places one can only find in a big city and one of the Borders since they are closing.  Went to one that I remembered and it was closed tighter than a drum we later learned it had been closed for a couple of weeks.  So we ended up going to another store and just kind of drifted around.  I hate to admit it, because I think I lose my leftist cred, but I like Barnes and Noble.  Although I do like local book stores and little places like that.

Where I grew up was mostly small towns with no real book stores.  Although one could get interesting paper backs at drug stores back when I was a kid.  Got Taras Bulba in a drug store, another had The 20th Maine.  The library would allow me to check out anything I wanted from the time I was about twelve so I could get their entire stock and since they had many of the major 20th Century American writers I got to read Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. 

Definitely not the cover that attracted me.
One of the more interesting stores that sold books in Van Wert was the Hospital store.  It was located down town and people would bring in what ever and the store would sell it and the proceeds would go to the Hospital.  People would dump off old books there.  I got a copy of Sartor Resartus there.  They  also had a number of paperbacks and back in the 50s and maybe the early 60s the covers of the paper backs were kind of risque, to put it mildly.  The cover did not necessarily accurately reflect what was inside.  Which brings me to how I became acquainted with Graham Greene.  I had heard of him, but wasn't really familiar with him.  I had seen the screen version of The Quiet American on the late show, the one with Audie Murphy.  So my understanding of Mr. Greene's politics was possibly a little off.  At any rate I saw a copy of The End of the Affair in paperback.  One can imagine what the cover looked like.  Boy was I shocked to find out it was the story of an incredibly depressed non-believing Catholic and his love for someone who might have been called a saint.  

The Catholicism didn't bother me and I identified with the depression, so I ended up reading most of his novels and a great deal of his non fiction work and found out that I also identified with his politics.

And that is it for today I guess.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tending My Garden

Wow, over two weeks since my last post.  I haven't really been interested in commenting on the on going debt ceiling crisis, since no matter what happens it is going to be bad for the vast majority of people around these parts, including me and mine.

I have a difficult time finding different ways (that would even interest me) of saying that our rulers are scum and sociopaths, who might not be very bright.  Although I'm not sure about the bright part, I am sure about the scum and sociiopath part.  If (as I believe) their goal is to crush the average person, they do not care if they have more money in the absolute sense of more hard numbers, that is $20,000,000.00 rather than $30,000,000.00, but rather they want more money in the relative sense of they've got a higher percentage of the wealth than they did last year or week.    I remember the English movies I would see years ago that took place in the early part of the 20th Century where five pounds was half a years salary for a worker.  But the distance between the monied class and the rest of the country was much greater than then now.   Now everybody gets more money, but the difference between the wealthy and middle class is narrower.  Or at least it was until a few years ago.

Our government is set up to be a republic, or a democracy, or a represetative democracy.  It doesn't matter what you call it, it isn't any more.  It is amazing that a large majority of people could want something and the ruling class just says nope even though, theoretically we do elect them and they are our representatives, but they clearly do not represent us.  Unfortunatley, years of propaganda and now months or weeks of even more intensive propagand from our rulers have apparently begun to convince people that we need to cut the buget and government spending to make more jobs.  Even though it has never happened before in the world nor is it happening in Greece, England, Protugal, Spain or Ireland right now.  And when we spent when we apparently had not enough money to do so (See New Deal, WWII) we spent our way out of a depression.

I had a discussion with another attorney a couple of days ago who absolutely believes that inflation is a greater danger then what is happening right now.  When I pointed out that some inflation is a good thing and that at any rate inflation is incredibly low right now, he didn't even hear, I don't think.  A point I made was that we need a real stimulus to put people to work and then those people could pay taxes to cut down the deficit if that is really what he wanted, he argued that we shouldn't be paying people to be building things like bridges and railroads because people had no money so they didn't need bridges and railroads because they were not going to go anywhere, because they had no money.  I do not think he was trying to be funny.  Apparently, the New Deal and World War II never happened.

So I continue to build bookcases.  Perhaps another this weekend.  If so that would be four.  Or perhaps I should tend my garden.

This is kind of how I feel when I think of what influence I have on the assholes in D.C.  On the outside looking in.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Let Us Trust and Change Our Position As Our Leaders Instruct

If Obama gets his grand bargain then the rest of us are screwed, but if Obama doesn't get his grand bargain then the rest of us are screwed.

Now I see that the Obama deadenders have for the most part completely changed their position on these debt ceiling discussions.  Originally, they were making fun of those of us who were raising a stink about Obama putting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security on the table for cuts, because "He would never do that, dummy!"  Since, it now appears that he does in fact want to cut benefits their new position is: "Well its not that big a deal and any way its been done before and you didn't complain then."  When Clinton did it I did indeed complain, but it was with a telephone call rather than through the computer.  I'm not sure I had a computer, or if I did I am almost positive I didn't have one at home.  For quite awhile the internet was only through dial up.  For a long time in the city I lived any internet was long distance. 

So there too.  I am still an idiot for not trusting our Dear and Glorious Rulers to rule well and in our best interests.  They have done so well for us in the past.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shock Doctrine

We are ruled by not very bright sociopaths.  Well, if one considers "we" as the human race as a whole and not just the U.S.  I heard today on the B.B.C. radio news that Italy is going through the same things that Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have all gone through.  Cutting budgets, cutting stuff for the workers and middle classes and paying off the banker's debts.

Further, I heard the reporters interviewing, for the most part, the very wealthiest who explain that this is all good.  There were a few interviews with workers and union people but the most amount of time was given to the wealthy, as was the last word.  I guess that in an emotional way since Italy is being ruled by a quasi-fascist party, it shouldn't be experiencing as much cognitive dissonance as say Spain or Greece, with their socialists.  Not that that makes the end result any more comfortable for the the people who are getting screwed, but still I guess it is something to help warm one over the Sterno fire.

I would guess that one should think of this part of the great mandala of life.  You know in cruder language: what goes around comes around.  We have allowed the bankers in the IMF do just this to the third world for decades and watched as their tiny safety nets were destroyed to permit the bankers to make big buck, so when it comes back on the first world (say who is the second world any way?) there is a certain justice there.  Except of course, our real rulers do not suffer at all.

As far as the budget ceiling talks in D.C. are concerned, for the most part, people who are writing about them seem to feel a need to take what is being discussed by the people there as some sort of serious discussion of what needs to be done economically.  Even many of  those who a few months ago argued that we need more deficit spending, are now discussing the relative merits of the various cutting spending and raising taxes proposals.  The end result is going to be that the economy goes (further) south, no matter whose proposals are accepted and put into place.  I guess one could talk about it in a kind of horse race or football analogy, but not as far as the merits.  Since no position in these discussions has any merit. 

Although, I guess if one views this as a kind of global implimentation of Shock Doctrine then I guess one could see the merit of the thing, if that is one is indeed a sociopath.  Destroy, destroy, destroy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Please Take This Farm

It looks like more and more (although Taibbi certainly doesn't deserve the quotation marks) on the "left"  and even some on the "right" are commenting on what appears to be Obama's absolute desire to move the country further and further to the right in these budget talks.  On the other hand I'm not sure that will translate into votes and certainly, if a bat shit crazy republican is elected in the next election it will be the people who refused to vote for him or work for him who get the blame.  Not the guy himself, who has lost the confidence of his natural constituency (although it appears as though his natural constituency is actually Wall Street), though giving away everything that the working and middle classes want and need.

I was thinking today as it was being explained to me on another blog how Obama's brilliant negotiating style has brought us to the this point, which is apparently just where we should be at this time.  He is threatening to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare (now, now, not slash it just cut it you know, you understand the difference right).  At any rate at this point while we are next, apparently, to defaulting on various government obligations Obama is letting the other side know that he is willing to cut the basic social safety nets in this country for the right kind of deal.

Now if he is some sort of liberal/progressive or even moderate then the kind of negotiation he is doing is a negotiation style with which I am not familiar.  I've been a lawyer for over twenty-five years.  Before that I was part of two different unions and participated in several contract negotiations.  I've also participated in several different seminars and trainings which dealt with how one engages in successful negotiations.  No where did I ever hear that one starts out by giving away the farm at the beginning, unless of course one's ultimate goal is to actually give away the farm.

I am not particularly glad that I can in fact recognize this, because I am going to be burned just as badly as the idiots who continue to insist that he really is trying to protect their interests (assuming that those individuals are not the top 1% then they are not idiots, but realists).  Actually, I'm in worse shape because I can see it coming and so I suffer from both the fore knowledge and the actually impact rather than say Balloon Juice, etc (no linky today) who do not see it coming and when it does hit will still have know idea that their hero did it to them and their children.   So I guess in one way ignorance is indeed blis.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Monkey Trial Day To You

Well happy Scopes Monkey Trial Day.  I saw the movie Inherit the Wind while in high school, I think and become absolutely fascinated by Clarence Darrow and that trial.  Later I found out that the authors of the play kept it off the stage for a few years so they would miss the McCarthy nastiness.  Still later I learned that the ACLU had given lists of their members to the FBI during that same unpleasantness. 

So the movie and the ACLU kind went down hill in my mind, but never Darrow.  I still am nearly totally impressed by him even with the new "evidence" that he really did bribe juries in some of his labor trials.  That movie and the books I read about Darrow were probably a major influence on my choice of professions (well, OK Perry Mason was on TV every week while I was growing up, and who wouldn't want to be Raymond Burr with a secretary like Della Street back then, or for that matter now?).

I read the book Six Days or Forever by Ray Ginger when I was either in junior high or a freshman in high school.  I got to meet Ginger's ex-wife Anne Fagan Ginger when I was in law school, when I was going to NLG events.  I never had the nerve to ask her about her ex-husband (I didn't know they'd divorced then) and his writing.  It was probably better that way.

At any rate that book Six Days or Forever, started me reading about Darrow and I went on to read Irving Stone's book Clarence Darrow For the Defense.  That book introduced me to Darrow's other cases and particularly to his defense of various labor leaders and his involvement with the early unions.  An eye opener for a teenager who was growing up in republican mostly rural Ohio in a moderately conservative family. 

So my politics can be directly blamed on: Clarence Darrow by way of Robert E. Lee (the playwright not the general), Jerome Lawrence, Ray Ginger, and Irving Stone.  I am a perfect example of why there should be greater censorship of what children are allowed to read and see and some sort of limitation on what books are permitted in the libraries of this great country of ours.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Woodworking 101

I am sure that there are studies out there that can explain how people think about their heroes and the very clay feet of those heroes, which they don't actually ignore, but rather deny the existance of, but gee.

One can make the point again and again, that Obama has failed to deliver on almost every level (except for more wars of course) and still people respond by telling me that I do not understand how politics work in this country and he can't rule by fiat (except apparently in foreign policy and war, but not actual military rules, go figure).

When one points out that in fact Obama got almost everything he asked for and pushed for in his first two years.   Or that he did in fact enter into secret negotiations with the pharmacy industry, hospital industry (oops Oxford comma is no more I guess) and the insurance industry, after saying he would never do that.  Or that he has from the first hired and kept around him either minions of the banking industry or people above minion status, when there are at least two Noble Prize economists who are Americans who were recommending different policies.  Well, (other than questioning my ability to form a complete sentence since and think, there seem to be several incomplete sentences up there) one can wonder how his defenders think.

I would think that it is one thing to agree that we have got to help billionaires make more money so this is what needs to be done by golly, but it is quite another to argue that Obama is trying to do progressive things, and is really doing the best anyone could expect.  When all the anti-progressive things he is doing are pointed out people still tell me I just don't understand American politics.  Or FDR wasn't that great a progressive either. It is an amazing situation, when people continue to back a guy who clearly doesn't give a shit about them.

I may have mentioned before (but am too lazy to check) the discussions about Grant and the Civil War on a couple of comment threads in Salon.  One commentator kept putting up "facts" that with a couple of minutes of Googling were shown to be completely false.  I'm not talking things like Grant was a corrupt president, but things like:  there were more slaves in New York state in 1860 then in any other state (it takes little time to go to the census for 1860 and find out that New York was a free state, therefore there were no slaves).  People kept responding with the actual facts and this (these?) people (person?) would just put up another piece of false information.  Until the inevitable:  I'm tired of arguing with you, post.  Of course that is a little more obvious than the people who simply insist that You Don't Understand.  Or alternatively that apparently neither hear or read you, but engage you in debate while ignoring the specific information one puts out there.

Imagine that you are at a movie and there is a kind of wavy fade out and then another wavy fade in.

This is more or less what I"m doing without the religious figure
Well, I'm back from doing some manual labor this afternoon, I started to build a bookcase.  Some fun.  I built several back in my hippy days, but none recently.  My friend David Cohen and I once built one on a wall of a friend's place in Yellow Springs.  The reason I remember it so clearly (well the incident, not exactly the specifics) is that we would go over to her place on a Sunday morning and when we arrived she would immediately bring out the weed.  After we smoked some it seemed to us a good time to have a great home made breakfast and look at the wall and imagine what we were going to do.  It took about a month until David refused both weed and food one morning and started to actually build the thing.  It took about two hours to finish.  Good times.

One last thought, kind of my own, but she says it much better than I have.  This is scary and incisive and I think she is right.  If she is, it explains everything that is going on.  He wants to destroy the America we all grew up in.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bits And Pieces

So, once again I am really happy that I do not have cable and get all my news from the inter tubes.  I had no idea who Casey Anthony was until about ten days ago.  I wondered what the people on Facebook were arguing about. 

To be completely honest I did watch the Simpson trial and I was probably the only middle aged (at the time) white guy who wasn't on his legal team who thought he didn't do it. 

I was also privileged to watch a couple of minutes of Nancy Grace in the deli.  I understand that her fiancee was shot.  After watching her I suspect that he took the bullet on purpose.

So now all over Facebook people are posting shit about remembering little Caylee, if I may call bullshit.  Run after that shiny bubble while your country disintegrates around you.  Although, perhaps that is the way one should be right now.  Let's face it is it really worth actually watching while one's country burns itself to a crisp?  Well at least they are doing it all over the world, and we did not name one of our political parties "Socialist" and then get to watch them give their country to the banksters.  Well we get to watch our country being given to the wealthy, but at least it isn't being done by people who call themselves socialists.

So now it appears as though Willie Nelson's plea bargain has been rejected by the judge.  It is important to imprison people for smoking weed, in order that we may show the world that we care, about something or the other.  An asshole prick judge wants to get her name in the paper and I'm sure she will.  Plus we can watch this for a few days and see what happens while Obama sees what more the boys in the back room want.

I have seen people argue that Obama's position on DOMA and DADT show that he really is one of us, one who wants to see progressive things happen.  My response is to point out that neither of these positions costs any of Obama's big money boys any money, nor does it put any money in the pockets of people who need it.  As far as the "repeal" of DADT I say that Obama managed to do it in about the ugliest way possible and in fact it still isn't done (although apparently the 9th Circuit, may have decided other wise).  I'd suggest that Obama stepped in at the last possible moment and managed to delay what had been a quick and sure thing.  I'd also argue that Obama gave the military in essence a veto over what should have been an enactment of a civil right by either the executive and or the legislature (of course the legislature went along).  WTF, if I may, and I think I may.

I need to get busy on that screen play that will make me half a billion, since a million isn't enough any more.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lucky Me

Oooopsie we make booboo.
So it looks like I'm lucky and didn't do any posts, that I can find at least concerning the (former) head of the IMF and his little rape problem in New York.

It is a good reminder never ever to take the word of the prosecution in any matter.  Always wait until further evidence comes out.  If the reports are correct (another big if) it looks as though the alleged victim may have a few problems with honesty.  That doesn't make her allegations untrue, but it does mean that the case is much less than the slam dunk it originally appeared to be a first blush.

At this point then one is back to arguing about the weight of the evidence.  In other words, why would she lie about this when she has an asylum request pending?  Why would he actually try to rape her when he has access to so many without forcing anyone?

Although, if the prosecution actually does go through this and either dismiss or amend to a misdemeanor, it says a lot about what they think of the strength of their case.  

Other stuff being why is the head of the sex crimes unit "retiring" right now and why is this coming out right after his replacement was appointed head of the IMF?  Inquiring minds want to know.

A P.S. NOT AN UPDATE:  I'd forgotten that the guy was staying in a hotel room that cost $3,000.00 a night.  That was one of the reasons that I was so wishing that he was guilty.  I figured  he should be guilty.

REAL UPDATE:  Although this is another point of view, which perhaps I should have considered a little before posting above.  Apparently, the victim's attorneys still insist that the forensic evidence is consistent with rape and not consensual sex.  But, as you say Cujo, it will be pretty difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at this point.