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

Banned In China

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whedon On Romney


I wondered what Buffy's position on this years election would be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We're Fucked (Why be creative?)

"There might be a difference between Obama and Romney, but no matter who gets elected things are going to get worse."  Not me, but a friend of my wife's (no not a cab driver).  Just an average middle class middle aged woman.  Although she may not actually be average since she can clearly see which way the wind blows.

So I re-posted this thing from Daniel Ellsberg on Facebook about how one, if one lives in a "swing state" needs to cast a vote for make sure that Romney doesn't get in, not because you want Obama, but because Romney is too bad to contemplate.  Chomsky made essentially the same point in 2008 about McCain.  Although to be fair to Chomsky we had not seen specifically how Obama would govern right then, there were his promises, and I suspect that even Chomsky couldn't believe just how much Obama was lying at that time.  We all expected him to be somewhat more conservative then he talked, but to have him nearly completely turn his back on everything he said was a little much (okay maybe only a 165 degree swing as opposed to a 180).

It is a hard choice, although to be fair to leftists like myself in all probability it doesn't matter.  It would be the red necks and the low information voters and those who thought they were going to get help from a democratic administration who didn't who will decide the election if Romney does win.  But it will be us loud mouthed leftists who will get the blame.  I've said it before, but it is interesting that people who complain and who point out that the emperor has no clothes who will get the blame if Obama loses, not the naked emperor himself.  Left wingers are constantly being blamed for Gore's loss, even though Gore ran to the right and backed everything that Clinton did including NAFTA and gutting welfare. But apparently, I wasn't supposed to believe him.  Silly me.  At any rate how one governs should really have no consequences as far a getting votes from the left if you are a democrat because if you are left you gotta vote for him (or her) no matter what  because the republican will be so much worse.

There are a couple of areas on which Obama seems to be better then Romney:  LGTB issues and the right of women to control their bodies.  Neither of  those issues will affect the money men.  And the LGTB issues will only peripherally benefit those who are being helped.  With women's issues, as Sanger said the ability to regulate pregnancies is absolutely necessary to ensure freedom for women.

Otherwise we march forward inexorably with our permanent war on just about anybody we feel like.  And as for various economic issues, oh hell.  ACA is better then what existed a couple of years ago, but the way we do it is to pour money into the pockets of the wealthiest insurance companies now, so it is another means of transfering money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy and as a side effect some people get medical care, who wouldn't have otherwise.

The Grand Bargain is still out there and watch, what happens after the election, no matter who wins.  Bye bye social security as we know it.

I would guess that the worst will take a little longer under Obama then under Romney, there is a value of having bad things happen twn years from now as opposed to five years from now.  We all rejoice that Tiny Tim survives even though we all know that he's long dead by now (and yes I do know that it is a novella).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

It appears as though I've been doing nothing but posting videos here for awhile.  There is a reason or is it an excuse?  Well whatever.  I've had two major (for me at least) trials.

One of the things that make my job more difficult is when I begin to like my clients and care about them as people and begin to believe their stories no matter how unbelievable others find them.

One of the cases was the one I call my "Dog Lady."  She was busted with 70+ dogs.  Not because she had 70+ dogs, but because the dog warden insisted that she wasn't properly caring for them.  After meeting with her several times and seeing what the end results of the dog wardens investigation was, I don't think I agree.  All of the dogs are healthy and living happy lives in foster families.  None except one had to be put down an that one had cancer.

My client is a poor woman who simply didn't have the money to have a nice sparkling clean dog kennel facility.  We she have been busted if she wasn't a little weird and gotten into arguments with her neighbors?  I'm not sure.  She was able to get food for the dogs from the Dollar General warehouse which is located near hear.  Apparently they give away a very large amount of pet food to people who are rescue people.  My client would come away with a heaping full sized pick up truck full of dry dog fool every approximately four to six weeks.  That was how she fed them.

However, the dog warden said that the place wasn't clean and the judge bought it.  I'm not sure I'm in agreement.  The place was a mess, whether or not it was clean was another matter.  All the dogs had names and they all had time on a rotating basis inside the home (in numbers of approximately twenty to thirty at at time) they were all socialized.

One of the things I've noticed in this job over the years (and I started out in Legal Aid) is that very poor people seem to have a lot of time to conspire against each other and do so on a regular basis.  The second point is that I've been to the homes of a couple of the people who were testifying on behalf of the state and saw how many dogs they had and how they were kept.  Trying to keep on the good side of the dog warden was also I suspect a significant part or their desire to testify.  Kind of like the Russian woman throwing out her kids to the chasing wolves.

At any rate the judge found her guilty and sentencing will be in a couple of weeks.

The second case and the more serious of the two is a rape case.  A husband was accused of committing forcible oral sex on his wife.  The husband is my client and we had filed for divorce and he had custody of the kids and exclusive use of the martial residence.  Wife had filed no Answer and did not have a lawyer.  A week before the final hearing is when this alleged incident came down.

Understand that you can't commit rape on your spouse in Ohio unless you are living apart. Further, insertion of anything into the body of another however slight, even a tongue is defined as rape.  Also, my guy claimed to the cops that what they did was consensual.  The cops told him they were investigating and would let him know their decision about prosecuting in about a week. They prosecute an F1 rape.

Couldn't keep his statements out (perhaps more on that another time).  But we ended up negotiating a plea to a non-sex offense F4, down from a rape which is an F1 and carries mandatory prison time and a life time of registration every 90 days.  An F4 of this type is a non-jailable offense.  He has also agreed to plead to a misdemeanor which requires registration for 15 years once a year.

My guy might have won had we gone to trial, but he might have lost and if he lost his life would essentially have been over.  I thought and he agreed with me (eventually) that it was better not to take the chance.  Plea is on November 1 and sentencing will probably be about a month later.

Now to paperwork that has piled up, argh.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I opened a snail mail from my brother and found this photograph of my first chow in it.  It looks like its at my parents house at some family thing.  Although, it might not be since during my father's final illness which lasted for several years I would drive up there every other weekend and usually bring Xaiu along with me.  He was always a hit with the folks at home and especially the kids because he looked like a teddy bear.  The trouble with that was that he didn't like people, especially kids.  He was never mean, but miserable when the kids tried to get him to play with them.  Once about four of them chased him down the hall and caught him in the corner.  He didn't bite or growl, but his tail uncurled and he looked more miserable then I've ever seen him look.  He was always a gentleman with people though.

He was one of the most dominate dogs I've ever had and he was more then willing to point this out to other male dogs many times his size (he weighed about 45 pounds).  In the end that is what killed him getting in a fight with another dog that was many times his size.  I wasn't there at the time.  I still miss him and that was over ten years ago.

Well this mail came and this photo dropped out and I couldn't believe it.  I walked away from it at least three times before I could actually come back and look at it.  I"m glad I've got it, but it was a shock to first see it.without a warning.

(I'm playing with a scanner and I experimented with this to see if I could scan it and cut the edges so there was nothing other then the photo.  I think it worked well.)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just finished a really good thriller:  Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo.  The first in a series about a former Amish woman who is the chief of police in a small Ohio town trying to catch a serial killer.  Read it for Booked to Death, the mystery book club I go to at the Newark library.

It has got to be one of the better books like that I've read in some time.  The crimes are incredibly explicit and graphic.  I usually don't like them that graphic, but it seems to work here.

The main character and narrator is an Amish woman (Kate) who is the police chief of this small town in Holmes County, Ohio, with a secondary hero/guy/love interest who is a drunken pill popping BCI agent from Columbus, Ohio.  One of the things that caught my eye was the place names (at least the ones that are real).  Kind of fun, places I spend my work days in.  I guess that people who live in California have the same kind of response to the mysteries coming from there, but it is unusual for one to be set around here.

A lot of spoilers from this point on.

The book was just fun in a creepy way.  It carried me along and I was able to ignore the inaccuracies.  Mainly the jurisdictional issues.  The hero is a town cop, but her people seem to patrol the entire county even though there is a sheriff's department in the book and another character who is the county sheriff (not, it turns out a nice man at all).

"If you accept the set up you accept the bit."  At least according to Johnny Carson, and that is what one has to do to really enjoy the book.  Kate has left the Amish faith because of a horrific incident in her teen age years and ended up as a cop in Columbus.   She then came home for her mother's final illness and was asked to stay and become the chief of police in the small town in the book.  I'd say the woman's history really isn't that hard to believe, a rape and a killing of her rapist and a life time of hiding the story and stumbling into a job.  Her description of the lifestyle of the Amish and their relationship to the surrounding society makes the actions of hiding the killing very believable.   The BCI guy's is a little more difficult to buy into, that of a mafia type murdering his family as pay back.  On the other hand it is nice to see an unapologetic drunken pill popping cop.

The small police force does seem to have nothing but first class officers, something that is shall we say a little bit of exaggeration, but they are nicely drawn.

Kate is the narrator, but there are also different third party points of view.  One third party point of view is limited to the BCI guy and then there is a more omniscient one.  That is the one that starts the book with a description of one of the murders more or less from the point of view of the victim and it is incredible creepy and violent and sad.  I didn't particularly like the climax, but it was certainly handled well.  That might of been the least successful part of the book, but it was still pretty strong.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Post Debate Thoughts

So once again I am proven right in not having either cable T.V., nor even the other kind whatever that is now called.

One of the severe difficulties I run across is that when I point out to people that their critiques of Obama(or back in the day Clinton) are based on bullshit, is that I am now defending and supporting Obama (or Clinton).  Not so much, I just hate to see people telling me that my lickspittle of an apologist for any corporation president is a socialist or communist.  There as Shakespeare said is the rub.  I am not saying that you should vote for Obama.  I am saying that you are an asshole for claiming that Obama (or Clinton, either of them) is to the left of Grover Cleveland or William McKinley.

So apparently Obama didn't show up to play last night.  He opted instead to be the kindly accountant who is explaining to you that he doesn't want to see you eating dry dog food, but rather canned cat food.  For some reason this didn't go over well with the viewing public.  I do enjoy LGM  (linked to the most recent post, you can follow that to the others, I think) freaking out and spending about half a dozen posts explaining why this doesn't matter.  I'll give him this, Tbogg did apparently recognize this (which I haven't watched and refuse to, so I'll have to believe what people tell me, just like they told me how I should look at the 1960 debates, thank you).

I would like to point out that I have been saying for about four or perhaps more years that Obama never won a close and truly contested election.  First one he lost.  Second one the more popular candidate was forced out by the Chicago democratic machine.  Next contested one he won after the original republican was forced out because of a very interesting divorce complaint and the replacement was bat shit crazy.  Third one, the primaries against Clinton, Clinton managed to hire people (and pay them millions of dollars) who apparently didn't know that since 1970 the democratic party has assigned delegates pursuant to the percentage of the vote you receive.  So you don't receive all the delegate votes if you win 55% to 45%, but rather you receive 55% of the delegates.  Finally, the 2008 election Jesus Christ couldn't have won, had he run on a republican ticket.

So now he is running his first really contested election in at least 20 some years and he lost the last one.

In the mean time I keep looking at the world as I currently know it and seeing that both the republicans and democrats have been heading in exactly the same direction for at least the last thirty years as far as domestic policies are concerned.  The difference is that the republicans have been wanting to get to those Gilded Ages a lot faster then then democrats.  So I guess that I should vote democrat because there is better a chance that I'll be dead before we are completely fucked.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Well, managed to tear myself away from the Facebook before I became:

The ignorance of the average American about history and economics make me feel like a genius.

UPDATE:  Several people in that thread, which I've stopped commenting on have insisted that their relatives accepted no government help during the Depression.  That would have been impossible if you were any kind of a less then wealthy family or individual, they would have almost not been able to have gotten by without some sort of government help.   Farmers of course got price supports, workers got unemployment insurance, everybody got Social Security.  People lower down the income level got to live in the subsidized housing here.  The WPA built the auditorium that is still in use in this town and the baseball field, also still in use.  So we know that people who lived here in the 30s were employed by the government in construction projects (which would of course include the subsidized housing which is still in use).

Once again I guess I shouldn't be so disgusted about people believing the idea that we can't spend ourselves out of a recession since almost without exception that appears to be what the governments and the opposition parties all over the world now believe.  

There were a couple of comments that disturbed me greatly:  first, people who said that we didn't spend ourselves out of the Depression because we didn't get out of the Depression until we we started spending on WWII.  Spending on war doesn't count as government spending apparently. Second, that G.I.s coming out of WWII got busy without help to speed the economy forward, completely ignoring the G.I. Bill.