Monday, June 30, 2008

From the basically irrelevant to the fantastically absurd

Whoever said this was the “silly season” certainly had that right. It is difficult at the moment to see any difference between black comedy and a contest for President of the United States. American politics has reached the point of almost zero significance. What have you heard lately from the candidates about the real issues confronting our nation: the “war” in Iraq, the recession, health care, education, our decaying superstructure, the national debt, and so on? Not much, I’ll bet. Oh, I guess some of these occasionally get mentioned in passing but none of the candidates spends much time on them. Why is this? Because they spend most of their time on utter nonsense. The current flap is over General Clark’s remark that being a fighter pilot and getting shot down is not a reason to be elected President. Of course it’s not. No one ever said it was, as far as I know. But neither does it disqualify one from being President. In fact, it is basically irrelevant. This is not keeping the MSM from carrying on and on about it by the hour. Although you wouldn’t know it from the news, Clark went on to claim other faults in McCain’s credentials: he never commanded a true wartime unit, he never had to order bombing, etc. All true, I guess, but, again, irrelevant. In fact, the whole business of having been or not been in the military is basically irrelevant. If these are the criterion for being President, Obama doesn’t have them (Clark is supposedly supporting Obama). But, then, neither did a great many of our Presidents. Certainly George W. Bush and Bill Clinton did not have such experience.

Turning to the fantastically absurd, take the case of Barack Obama. Many seem to cling to the belief he is a Muslim. He is not. Now there are slurs that he is a tan (black) Kerry, which he is not. In Florida some are writing on cars that he smokes crack. He does not. Wanting to prove he is who he says he is, he produced his Hawaiian birth certificate. Some refuse to believe even that, in spite of the fact that Hawaii has verified it as true and valid. Some say he is from Africa. He is not. Some say he is a “Manchurian candidate.” He is not. At least one Congressman has recently claimed Obama is a Marxist. He is not. I gather that those who think he is an African also think he worships his monkey key chain. Can it really get any more absurd than that? This is what our current political season has become, just incessant babbling about completely nonsensical claims and counterclaims, having nothing to do with the serious business of electing an American President. Now Obama has scheduled a trip to Europe and the Middle East, after having been criticized for his lack of foreign experience. The critics are saying one trip does not make you an expert on policy. Obama can’t win when he is up against such absurd claims, no matter what he does it is not going to satisfy these critics. And what is worse, and even more ridiculous, is some are saying he should not allow demonstrations in Europe while he visits, because his popularity in Europe won’t go over well here in America because we are suspicious of Europeans (I don’t know who said this but some Brafia must have been the author). I suspect the whole world is hoping and praying for an Obama Presidency, and they will probably demonstrate if they wish. We are supposed to interpret this as a bad sign, given our current status in the world community? Where do these nitwits come from?

This sort of things is especially prevalent this year because the Brafia administration has absolutely no positive achievements to run on. None, nada, zilch. They have screwed things up so completely there is some doubt in my mind they will ever be restored to where they once were. We used to be the beacon on the hill that everyone looked up to, now we have become the village idiot that everyone wishes they could just ignore. If they are insane enough to attack Iran (to do the Israeli bidding) it will be the last maniacal act of the most dismal, murderous, criminal, deceitful, unconscionable, despicable, disgusting administration in American history (and don’t think they might not do it, at this point what do they have to lose?). After all, once you’ve committed multiple war crimes, and everyone knows it, why not add another? And by the way, your scurrilous roviating of Obama and his wife isn’t working too well, I suggest you go after the children, I bet at least one of them might have stuck her gum under her chair. Man, what the MSM could do with that!

LKBIQ:
“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”
H. L. Mencken

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday babble

I gather from our local newspaper and the MSM that the entire world shuts down on Saturdays and Sundays. Even the otherwise almost incesaant political babble seems to quiet down significantly. So, in the spirit of non-news and babbling I have decided to join in and babble to my heart’s content. It is my blog, after all, and I should be able to cry all I want.

First, on the bacon front. My bacon turned out to be quite delicious, even my wife agrees that it is much superior to anything we could buy in the store (and as a chef she is very particular). It is slightly too salty, but if you blanch it quickly it not only solves that problem but also makes it cook up much more crispy. The slab I am going to smoke tomorrow is going to be much better as it is a much more savory type and I have learned from this first slab. Of course we’ll have enough bacon to last for the rest of our lives, but with the price of bacon how can we complain. I am so buoyed by my successes with corned beef and bacon I am now thinking of curing a pig’s jowl (guanciale). Perhaps someday I will even graduate to sausages. It proves there are two possibilities: either you are never too old to learn, or there’s no fool like an old fool.

A friend recently returned from Amish country. He tells me that the Amish now use fully mechanized farm implements, as long as they are pulled by horses. Similarly, he reports they can own and use expensive tractors as long as they have metal wheels. I have no doubt these things are true. My friend would have absolutely no incentive to lie about such things. Furthermore, I find this entirely consistent with religious beliefs and practices in general, like wearing special underwear, beanies, black or white caps, eating fish on Fridays, believing in parthenogenesis, or whatever.

I wonder if there are people out there in space analyzing our television programming and magazines to see if they can perhaps understand us. If so, what would they see and think. I suggest they would immediately come to believe we are obsessed with (l) erections, (2) losing weight, (3) taking drugs, and (4) breakfast cereals. These are all interrelated and all point towards the same overwhelming American obsession: Sex. We often hear how it is that language reflects important elements of society. Pehaps the best example is that the Eskimo have several words for snow. I bet we have far more words for penis than they have for snow. Does that tell us anything?

I have just seen an article that points out that at the latest Paris fashion shows, men’s clothing is becoming increasingly feminized. That is, the materials used, and the designs tend to reflect what are ordinarily perceived as women’s fashions. Some are upset about this. Not me, I don’t care what the latest fashions are for either men or women. This would become obvious to you if you ever saw me. Frankly, I believe fashion and cosmetics have to be about the two most utterly ridiculous human activities that exist.

I have never been able to decide if I dislike poets more than dancers, or dancers more than poets. Mind you, it’s not poetry and dancing I dislike, it’s the practictioners of these avocations. Poets and dancers have always struck me as way too intense, tending to believe that what they do is their “life,” and shutting out most everything else. I say this of poets and dancers in general, I’m sure there must be some that are not so totally dedicated. I suppose Olympic class athletes are much the same, but at least they reach a point where they either succeed or fail and then go on to other things. My mother taught me to do everything in moderation, thus I am suspicious of extremists of any kind (not that I ever listened seriously to my mother).

Think of it, in a society of 300 million people, there are an estimated 76 million handguns. Do you believe it would be feasible to suddenly try to ban handguns? This is so impractical as to be hysterically funny. Handguns don’t deteriorate much over time, if at all, and people who own them are usually pretty passionate about owning them. This is a case where practical realities overwhelm desires and it is surely a lost cause. Of course now that our Supreme Clowns have decided individuals have the right to own guns, and not just militias, the issue should be moot – but it won’t be. This would just be another attempt at Prohibition that would be doomed to fail. We already have more than enough trouble with our current Prohibition on drugs, a situation that is causing far more grief, suffering, and crime than the failed Prohibition of alcohol. Marijuana should be immediately legalized and other drugs should soon follow. This is not to say they should be just readily available to anyone and everyone, prescriptions should still be required. But drugs are a medical problem, not a political one. You remember the scene in The Graduate where the guy offers advice to the graduate in one word: “plastics.?” If I had to advise a similar young man at the moment I would say: “hemp.”

A grizzly bear attacked a young woman involved in a 24 hour bicycle race in Alaska. I tell you, I believe the animals have had enough of us and are beginning a revolution. Is someone planning directing, and coordinating this animal terrorism? Perhaps it is all part of "Intelligent Design."

LKBIQ:
“Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.”
Dr. Martin Henry Fischer

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Big doings

Man censored while trying
to legally change his name
to “Fuck Censorship.”

Big doings in Bonners Ferry this afternoon. The official grand opening of Papa Byrd’s Bistro. A former pizza parlor, this restaurant has expanded its menu to include specialty sandwiches and salads, as well as two or three special dinners each evening. In addition they serve exceptionally fine desserts. Owned and operated by Bonners Ferry native, Mark Truesdell and his niece, Tracy, it has proven to be a resounding success. So if you’re ever in Podunk, look it up. There is also a rodeo going on tonight. You know, one of those old-fashioned western institutions where they get together to abuse animals for fun. Personally, I can’t say that I’m against rodeos, but I do wonder how they manage to survive year after year when the way of life that created them has vanished long ago. You just don’t hear “The Strawberry Roan” anymore, and most people nowadays probably never even heard of Tom Mix, Ken Maynard, or even Hopalong Cassidy (although there was a starlet once who named her St. Bernard, “Flopalong Placidly,” perhaps in his honor).

The Pentagon reports that the Afghanistan terrorists (resistance fighters?) are proving to be exceptionally resilient and seem to be gaining strength. They may even be taking over one of the towns in Pakistan. Should this come as a surprise? No one has ever managed to conquer or take over Afghanistan, not even the Russians with their superior forces and technology. And we and the U.N. are certainly not winning there. It raises, for me, the question I have posed before, what the hell are we doing there anyway? There was this dream of a pipeline from somewhere or other through Afghanistan to bring oil to the west by bypassing Russia entirely. I believe that is now simply a pipe dream (pipe dream, get it). I believe there is a deal for a pipeline to be built that will furnish oil directly to India., but I’m not sure. In any case, there is no reason to suppose we will ever be able to build a pipeline for U.S. interest through that rugged, dangerous, and fiercely independent place. It isn’t really a country anyway, being broken up into different areas under the control of different warlords. Our puppet government controls nothing outside of the capital and only continues to stay in place because of our support. In short, it’s a mess, and likely to stay that way forever. We’re not winning and even if we were, what would we win? Of course Osama bin Laden is said to be residing there, somewhere in the wild hills of the Pakistan and Afghanistan border country. We seem to have made little effort to capture him. Many even believe he is dead. Pakistan, unable to control the Afrghan fighters, has entered into truces with them. Bush, in one of his truly laughable moments a few days back, said he would intensify his efforts (after seven and a half years of failure, after having said he wasn’t really concerned with bin Laden, after doing virtually nothing to find him, he now claims he’s going to intensify his efforts? This is in the same league with his fantasy notions that he will solve the Israeli/Pakistan problem in the last few months of his administration – people have been locked up for ideas nowhere near as fanciful as these). But Bush is Bush, and brains are brains, and never the two shall meet.

My bacon came out pretty good, but not as good as I wished. It’s a bit too salty, and I don’t think I smoked it quite long enough. But it is perfectly good to eat and I can honestly say, I’m learning. My basketmaking is at a standstill. My teacher, Diana, is busy running around the country giving lessons to people who pay her (when she could be spending her time giving me free lessons). Now, she promises, after the Fourth of July holidays. We’ll see. She is demanding to see the little basket I made for my wife. It’s really pretty pathetic, although my wife professes to like it. I haven’t felt so nervous about anything since the fourth grade when I failed penmanship. I tell myself, buck up, be a man, but inside I know I am just as infantile as always. Like my friend, Firestone says, “we’re all still just infants in increasingly decaying bodies.” By the way, did you know there are Senior Rodeos, where seventy and eighty year-olds ride and perform tricks? I wonder if they sing “The Strawberry Roan?”

LKBIQ:
“Fall is my favorite time of year in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.”
David Letterman

Friday, June 27, 2008

Down, Grover

German woman stealing manure
falls in manure pit, strips,
and runs off starkers.

I am trying to make some kind of sense out of Grover Nordquist’s claim that Barack Obama is just John Kerry with a tan. Many are upset because they see this as a racial slur which, at this point in American culture, is not permitted. I should think it is much more of a nasty remark about Kerry than it is about race. The implication is clear that there must be something wrong to be like Kerry. What the tan has to do with it is not clear to me. It does call attention to Obama’s darker complexion but does not seem to me to be a racial slur, just another stupid comment by Nordquist who has a history of saying stupid things, like wanting to drown government in a bathtub (he really wants to drown police and firefighters and our military in the bathtub?). It appears to me that once Nordquist’s parents taught him to say “tax cuts” he never progressed any further in his languagea acquisition. It never seems to register with Nordquist and his friends, when they rail incessantly about having to pay taxes, that if we would reduce our military expenditures and curb the military/industrial/political complex that is in full control of us and bloated beyond all reason, that maybe our taxes could go down. No, it’s never that, it’s always Social Security, Medicare, and useful humanitarian institutions that are at fault. I have never been able to decide whether Nordquist is simply stupid, or if he is just plain evil (I suppose he might be a practical joker, but I haven’t noticed that members of the Brafia have much in the way of a sense of humor). People with no sense of humor are among the most dangerous creatures on earth.

And speaking of creatures on earth, have you noticed lately that the animals are starting to strike back at us. Just the other day a mountain lion killed an ate a man in New Mexico. Coyotes have been attacking children in California and elsewhere. Bears, too, are more and more invading human homes and yards in search of food. So are Moose in some places. It probably won’t be long before we have a problem with Polar Bears trying to survive in our cities. There are more and more accounts of elephants in India invading villages in search of food. Monkeys, too, are invading houses, opening refrigerators, and stealing food. I believe there are other instances of animals turning against people as well. This is not surprising I guess, given that we are systematically destroying their territories and decreasing their food supplies and such. I find this worrisome. Just think what they might do if they had a charismatic leader like George W. Bush making decisions for them. I find it worse than terrible, and completely unconscionable, that we have fouled our environment so shamefully. I find it even worse that all other species are having to suffer from our arrogance, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and greed.

For weeks now our server has been completely unpredictable. Sometimes we can get on and sometimes not. It is very awkward having to live with such a system. This is why you may have noticed that sometimes morialekafa is published at night and other times in the morning. We keep hoping that once the snow melts on the mountains it will be fixed.

Tomorrow my bacon goes into the smoker. As I never made bacon before I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. That’s what keeps us going here at Sandhill, hope, hope, and more hope. A few contributions are starting to appear for Julian’s Fund. More hope. The garden seems to finally be growing (along with the millions upon millions of weeds that grow faster than anything else). More hope. I think I made a mistake in planting this year. I planted climbing beans, corn, and squash all at the same time together in the same plot. People in Central America have been planting like this for centuries. However, I think I may have planted the wrong kind of beans as they seem to be growing much faster than the corn that is supposed to support them. Will the corn catch up? More hope. The squash is doing well. Indeed, it is doing so well I am afraid of it. I think it may grow through the windows and come in the doors and strangle us in our sleep. Naturally I hope not. A skunk is tearing up our yard like gangbusters. Every night, more holes. I think our little cat, Katie, may be in love with it. I hope not. See, hope is ubiqitious. I hope you all have a nice weekend. Chins up.

LKBIQ:
“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
Woody Allen

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guns

Man fails to prove his gun
was unloaded by shooting
himself in the face.
.

Supreme Court makes an unprecedented interpretation of the 2nd amendment and decides 5 – 4 that the right to own guns does not apply merely to militias but also to individuals, and therefore the Washington D.C. ban on handguns is unconstitutional. Justice Antonin Scalia indicates that he knows exactly what was really in the minds of the founding fathers. Many will argue this was a terrible decision, and I suspect it is, but terrible decisions are routine for this Brafia court. Personally, I am not particularly bothered by this even though I think it was wrong, because it does seem to me it would be totally impractical to decide otherwise. That is, there are an estimated 222 million firearms in the U.S., 76 million of which are handguns. Thus no ban on handguns could ever be enforced so it seems to me rather moot. I believe, however, that they left enough room so that local governments can regulate the sale and ownership of handguns at least in certain ways (like keeping them out of the hands of the insane, etc.). Oh well, win a few, lose a few. Maybe someday we’ll have a real Supreme Court again instead of one bought and paid for by the Brafia.

The Brafia complaints about Obama’s presumed lack of bipartisanship, in addition to being just plain false and without merit, are little more than laughable. I hope you remember that for the past eight years (actually, even longer) the Brafia has been the most arrogantly nonpartisan bunch of crooks ever. Remember how they refused to even let Democrats use rooms for their meetings? Remember how they violated precedent by keeping the floor open longer than usual so they could keep twisting arms and get the result they wished? Remember how they created bills with no Democratic input whatsoever and then rushed them into law before anyone could even read them? Oh, yeah, they were really a bipartisan bunch. Now that they are losing power they are crying like babies about the lack of bipartisanship. Personally, I don’t want bipartisanship with a bunch of war criminals and thieves. I hope the Democrats get such a huge majority they can completely ignore the Brafia (and hopefully hold them accountable for all their crimes). It is true that McCain has a history of bipartisanship, but so does Obama, but the Brafia does not and the Democrats could not have been bipartisan even had they wished.

Obama seems to be creeping further and further ahead in the polls no matter where you look, except for a weird Gallup tracking poll that claims a 45-45 split (this seems to me absurd when you look at the rest of the polls and the differences in the number of people who claim to be Democrats as opposed to Brafia). Some point out, rightly, that Dukakis and Kerry were also ahead in the polls at this stage in the contest. I don’t know that that has any meaning. It’s sort of like betting heads will come up because tails has come up nine times in a row. I do not subscribe to the belief that because something has happened one way in the past it will probably happen that way again. I doubt that is a sensible way to calculate odds.

I don’t mean to be mean or unjust or prejudiced about age (how could I be prejudiced about age when I am older than McCain), but I have to confess that McCain comes across to me like a pathetic little old man who still thinks he’s the man he once was. I find this unutterably sad. It bears out my own experience.

LKBIQ:
“Old age is the most unexpected of things that can happen to a man.”
Leon Trotsky

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just another politician

I have seen several times here and there on the MSM and the internet that one of the Brafia strategies is to portray Barack Obama as “just another politician.” I don’t know precisely what kind of politician they have in mind, but I would anticipate a politician who would have at least some connection to his constituency, would listen to them and try to please them, and although he/she might stretch the truth now and then and not be able to please everyone, he/she would at least abide by the rules and the Constitution. Jeez, I think it would be nice to have “just another politician” after the eight years of Bush/Cheney. No one could accuse either Bush or Cheney of being “just another politician.” One can well argue that Bush/Cheney are not even politicians as they quite some time ago obviously entered into a scheme to transform themselves and the Republican party into a criminal conspiracy (Brafia). This is no different than any other mafia except instead of drugs and prostitution they have elected a more white-collar type of crime whereby they could fleece the middle-class of their money and give it to their corporate and criminally wealthy friends. They engineered a fake “war” based entirely upon lies and distortions of fact so they could enable their friends in the defense industries to grow even richer by war profiteering. They colluded with their friends in the oil industry to control Iraq oil for their own purposes, thus driving up the price of oil and the profits of the oil companies. They have silenced their critics either by firing them or ruining their reputations and they have amused themselves by torturing their captives. All the while they have been running what is little more than an old-fashioned protection racket (vote for us or something bad is going to happen, like another terrorist attack, for example). I have little doubt that Al Capone himself is sitting up in his grave applauding this somewhat more sophisticated version of basic racketeering. No, Bush/Cheney are not politicians, they are known war criminals, but just like the organized gangs of the past, they have bought the judges and found the right kinds of crooked lawyers, and have rigged the system to their overwhelming benefit. And they want this racket to continue, for 100 years if possible. While Obama may be “just another politician,” and may have ties to our corporate masters, and may not be the reform candidate we ideally need, it is unlikely he will continue torturing and looting and violating the Constitution as Bush/Cheney have. And he will almost certainly not surround himself with hordes of incompetent and unqualified sychophantic yes-persons who will swear allegiance to the current dictator rather than to the Constitution. Hopefully he will attempt to undo the crimes of the past 8 years and seek some form of accountability. There has always been a tradition in American politics for a new administration to ignore the sins of the last one. The sins of Bush//Cheney and the neocons are far too blatant and horrible to just be forgiven. I do not believe there is any precedent for an administration to act so recklessly, incompetently, or criminally as the Bush/Cheney one. To ignore their war crimes will lead the world into holding us in utter contempt. They have led us right to the brink of this contempt already, to allow them to just go their way with their criminal profits will push us into the precipice itself where we will be doomed to stay forever. What they have done is perhaps irreparable, and it is truly unforgivable, but we have no choice but to at least attempt national salvation. Impeachment for these murderous criminals would be nothing but a slap on the wrist for them (indeed, not even that, as they have no shame whatsoever). Their fate should be left up to the international courts (which we helped create in the first place).

LKBIQ:
“One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why black?

Man known to bathe and
shave outside killed and
eaten by mountain lion.

This business of being identified as black has me very confused. As I mentioned in yesterday’s bog, Obama is half white. So why is he always identified as black when logically he could just as well be identified as white? It is true that he identifies himself as black, and it is also true that he sort of looks black, but nonetheless he is just as white as he is black. If you vote for him why are you voting for a black man anymore than voting for a white man? I don’t know the precise history of this classificatory scheme, nor do I know the legalities of it, but I do know there has been a tradition in the U.S. of labeling black anyone who has any known black blood in them. I say any known black blood because there are examples of blacks passing successfully for white, depending upon their appearance. But what is the reason for this practice of labeling people black because they have a bit of black blood in them? Is black blood so much stronger than white that it should win out completely, even though someone may have more white blood than black (yes, I know there is no such thing as black blood or white blood, it’s just a way of discussing this issue). It seems to me that the fact that there is no black or white blood simply makes the whole business even more confusing. But to continue…would white people agree with the premise that black blood is stronger than white blood and therefore should win out in classifying? Does stronger blood mean better blood? I don’t think most people would agree that their white blood is inferior to black blood. Maybe it’s that black blood is more evil somehow? But that would be to admit that black blood is stronger than white blood, and that the good white blood is insufficiently strong to overcome it. In other words it would be a case of evil triumphing over good. I don’t think most people would accept that. In Obama’s case, I suppose one might argue that his father’s blood is superior to his mother’s blood, and it is that that makes him black rather than white. But that would be sexist in the extreme, to say nothing of kind of stupid. If Obama is as white as he is black why should he not be identified as a white/black, or a black/white, or a half-caste, or even a mulatto? Of course these last two identifications have a traditionally negative connotation. And how is it that he is called an African-American, he’s not African, but only American. Of course he is of African descent. But he’s also of American Midwestern white descent, so why is he not called a Kansas/African, or an American-African (a Kanfrican or an Amero-African). It seems to me that labeling him black is in and of itself discriminatory as he is half white as well. In any case, as we have by now had all kinds of black mayors, black Congresspersons, black Senators, black Governors, black Supreme Court Justices, and very high-level black Generals, black intellectuals, some fine black writers, as well as zillions of our best athletes, and so on, what the hell difference does it make if he’s part black or even all black. I should think it would only be a problem these days if he was blue or green or polka-dotted. Besides, he’s not even black, he’s brown. Anyway, I told you it was confusing.

Of course this all goes back to discredited ideas of white superiority and black inferiority, to notions of a “great chain of being,” with whites on top of the chain, to previous na├»ve beliefs about the evolution of humans and human cultures from “savagery” to “civilization,” as well as completely ridiculous beliefs about race and morality, and so on. Until about the 1500’s there was no concept of race. In areas of the world where there were both blacks and whites, as In Egypt, it seems to have just been accepted that people were of different colors, ranging all the way from white through browns and blacks. Race was a concept that grew out of the so-called “great age of European exploration,” when it became part of a scheme to enslave and exploit those less technologically advanced. The European colonial period was so vicious and “savage” as to make any idea of superior morality simply laughable. This unbelievable baggage of “savagery” is unfortunately still with us in some parts of the world. It is not unrelated to why Barack Obama is labeled as black, or why Palestinians are locked up in Gaza. It is time to leave all this behind and make the 21st century something we can all be proud of. Electing Obama President will be an absolutely giant step forward. We’ve certainly been off to a disastrous and disgraceful beginning.

LKBIQ:
“The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race.”
Don Marquis

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Huh?

Clever young woman, hurt
and trapped on ledge of rock,
uses bra to signal for help.

Headline on the front page of our local birdcage liner today: “Saudis will increase oil output if needed.” I love that, “if needed.” Would anyone not think the market “needed it,” now that gasoline is four dollars and more a gallon, people in the United States as well as the rest of the world are bitching and moaning and having to change their life styles, and even choose between fuel and food in order to get by, truckers are striking, the world economy is near chaos, and the Saudis think it is merely a question of “if needed?” To make things worse, their proposed increase is so slight it will most probably not even dent the market, just as offshore drilling is not going to bring down the price. One might well think that given the situation it probably is not too wise to just drill for more oil, or demand more oil from the Saudis, but to actually try to get by with less oil. But, no, that might require some common sense, planning, and sacrifice. How unthinkable for “the greatest nation on earth.”

Similarly, I saw today articles that proclaim that “it was all about oil, after all.” Were there really people who believed it was ever about anything else? Democracy? WMD’s? Women’s rights? Saving the heathens? Protecting the innocents? Of course it was about oil. It has always been about oil. It was and is perfectly obvious it was all about oil in one way or another, either stealing it, or controlling it to jack up the price, or whatever. But it was all about oil, nothing else. The people who don’t believe this (if there really are any) must be the same people who believe people and dinosaurs lived contemporaneously, or the moon is really made of green cheese, or the tooth fairy leaves money under your pillow, or, or, or…maybe most of the people who voted for Bush.

Our son, Julian, has been selected to be one of the two Pages who will travel with the Idaho delegates to the National Democratic Convention in Denver in August. He won against a strong field of contenders and we are enormously proud of him. He is ecstatic. In some ways it is better than being a delegate as he will be fully credentialed and able to move about the convention freely. Unfortunately, delegates and pages have to pay their own way to this event. To this end we have established The Julian Langness Fund for the National Convention (The Julian Fund, for short). If anyone wishes to contribute to this noble and useful enterprise, you may do so by sending a check to The Julian Fund, c/o Alice Hendrickson, P. O. Box 926, Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805. Contributions will be gratefully acknowledged.

Apparently 3 out of 10 Americans admit to some form of racial prejudice. I am not sure just what this means. Does it mean 3 out of 10 will absolutely not vote for a black man? Does this include prejudice against any and all races or just against blacks? Be prepared for the most unpleasant campaign in a long time, one based largely on racial prejudice. It will not be blatant racism but, rather, subtle matters expressed as “we don’t really know him,” or “he’s too inexperienced,” or “he’s too far left liberal, or other excuses.” And of course they are already roviating his wife with their charges she is just “an angry black woman, who doesn’t love her country,” and blah, blah. If Obama’s blackness inhibits you I suggest you vote for his white half, good Midwestern genes. In fact, calling him black is no more accurate than calling him white. So why is he always described as black? Ah, in America we have this tradition, if anyone has even one percent of black blood in them they are black. You can’t get much more stupid or ridiculous than that. For me, personally, I worry much less about Obama’s blackness than I do about McCain’s incipient senility, to say nothing of his obvious dishonesty and opportunistic flip-flopping. Offshore drilling, for example, will not reduce the price of gasoline, no matter what Bush and McCain try to tell you.

I don’t know if it comes under the category of an “urban myth” or what, but I find it interesting that many people seem to believe that if there were another terrorist attack McCain would be better able to handle it. Why do they believe this, because he was in the military and Obama was not? It is true, of course, that he was in the military and Obama was not, but what experience did McCain have in fighting terrorists? In fact, as he has proven himself to be confused over who is a Shia and who is not, and who is training people and who are not, and as his only response to problems seems to be just more aggression and “war,” I think it is highly questionable whether he would be better at fighting terrorists than anyone else. His chief advisor, Charlie Black, has now come right out and said that another 9/11 would benefit McCain, a comment that makes me very nervous, aside from the fact that I don’t see why it should, except for some irrational idea that because he was in the military he is better equipped to fight terrorists. Is he going to fight them alone, hand to hand, without any advisors or military or police to help and advise him? He won’t have the FBI, CIA, and all armed forces to help him? If not, what’s the difference? Obama is unable to pick good people or listen to them? If it’s going to be hand to hand combat I’d rather have a really healthy 46 year old than a 72 year old semi-crippled ex fighter pilot. Given the Brafia’s dismal record on fighting terrorism so far (Osama, by the way, is still going, if he’s not dead), I have little confidence in their ability to do better than Obama. Furthermore, I think Obama and those who think terrorism is more of a police problem than a problem for all-out “war” are probably much more sensible than those who would fight terrorism by starting another unnecessary “war,” whether it be in Iran or elsewhere. Indeed, the Bush/McCain strategy has produced more terrorists than ever before. But terrorism is McCain’s only hope as his candidacy has no other issue to even try to stand on. I’m sick of all this “praise the lord and pass the ammunition” crap.

LKBIQ:
“Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: ‘Great God, grant that two and two be not four.’”
Ivan Turgenev

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bothersome things

Unqualified man arrested for
enhancing women’s buttocks
with questionable injections.

Another endless Sunday. I did weed a bit in the garden. Most of the day I was unable to get on the web. There is not much, if any, news on Sundays. Sundays are mostly just blah. I’ve decided to just concentrate on a few things that continue to bother me. I do not claim these are necessarily important, nor that they would necessarily bother anyone else. But they bother me.

First, where does all the veal go? You cannot ordinarily buy veal at all here in our little town. On those very rare occasions when you can, all you can find is veal scallopini. If you go up across the border into Creston, B.C. you can sometimes buy veal. But, again, all you can ever find is veal scallopini. In Seattle you can almost always find veal scallopini, and occasionally you can find veal stew meat. On very rare occasions, if you happen to have a lot of really big bucks in your pocket you might find veal shanks. But that’s all. You never see any other cuts of veal for sale, anywhere. No leg of veal, no veal roasts, no veal chops, not even a calf’s head when you need one. So…what happens to the veal? Is it all sold to restaurants so expensive I can never see it even offered on a menu? Do we ship it all to Europe where eating veal is commonplace? Surely they don’t grind it up into dog and cat food?

Another thing that bothers me is why do they constantly screw things up? That is, in my opinion. For example, automobiles. I have a 2001 Subaru Forester. It has 150,000 miles on it and runs as well or better than when I first bought it. I love it. It’s not great for mileage but passable. So what have they done to the new Subaru? They made it bigger! I don’t want it bigger. I like it fine just the size it is. I know this kind of thing has happened in the past to other vehicles. Why, when they have an obvious winner, do they have to screw it up by making it bigger (with probably worse gas mileage to boot)?

I am still bothered by the Gannon/Guckert question. I do not care if people are homosexuals. I don’t care if they want to marry. I don’t care what they do in the privacy of their homes. I firmly believe they are born, not made, but I don’t really care either way. But I still want to know how it was that a known homosexual prostitute, with no real journalistic credentials, was allowed access to the White House on many occasions when there was no ostensible reason for him to be there. I find it incredible that I seem to be the only person on earth who wonders about this. I don’t even care what he did while he was there. But I would like to know who permitted this strange apparent breach of security and who has covered it up so successfully.

I am also bothered by cooking shows. When cooking shows first started, as I recall, they basically taught you things about cooking. They were interesting and educational. But not content with modest successes they have now morphed into contests of various kinds. I don’t think cooking ought to be competitive, at least not in the sense TV has made it competitive. Now, instead of educational and interesting programs about cooking, we have contests to see who can make the most ostentatious cakes, or the most absurd desserts, or beat some other chef in using cheese or tomatoes, or who is to become the next infotainment chef on the ever-expanding cooking shows. When Rachel Ray, who really isn’t much of a cook, can become one of the biggest stars in the field, you know something has gone wrong. Of course we have even made eating itself into a contest, what with all you can eat and hotdog or pie eating contests. Only in America could we convert one of life’s basic pleasures into competitive contests in which the food itself becomes irrelevant.

I am also bothered by the fact that American political campaigns have nothing much to do with what they are presumably for. What does Obama’s occasional failure to wear a flag pin have to do with anything? What does it matter what some nitwit preacher says on any given Sunday? What do the candidate’s wives have to do with it? And why are the candidates virtually compelled to not tell the truth in order to be elected? Everyone knows, well, some people know, well, I know, there is no necessary connection between anything they say on the campaign trail and what they will or will not do once they attain the White House. There is no way they can ever possibly live up to all the promises they make, and once established in power they don’t have to do so. It is mostly now just a very long and tedious farce.

Mostly, as I’m sure you already know, I am bothered by the fact that so few people seem to care that Bush/Cheney and their minions are known war criminals. When Nancy Pelosi can report that she likes George W. Bush I tend to believe everything is hopeless. How can anyone claim to like a person responsible for the unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of people, who could preside over the most executions in the state of Texas ever with only casual investigations into the individual cases, who could mock a woman on death row for pleading for her life, for failing at everything he has ever attempted, for blowing up small creatures just for fun, for being totally separated from reality while pretending to be a “compassionate conservative.” What I really don’t understand is how Pelosi could admit to this in public. If she really likes such a pile of compost she ought to keep it to herself. I don’t understand any of these things and I am bothered by them. I used to be a more or less happy-go-lucky fellow, empathetic and forgiving, content to believe my government was acting more or less in the best interest of its citizens, and even believing in truth and beauty. But no more, the last few years, especially the last eight years, have turned me into an unhappy, cynical, bitter, disgusted old man who worries that no one is going to be held accountable for their murderous war crimes. My only hope is now Barack Obama, but I’m not sure than anyone can really be up to the massive job that awaits them. What Bush/Cheney have wrought may well be irreparable.

LKBIQ:
“Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.”
Carl Schurz

Saturday, June 21, 2008

That was then, this is now

I can report, with considerable pride, that I have never once read a column by Cal Thomas (or George Will) -- until today. Well, actually I didn’t really read all of Cal Thomas’s column, which is often featured in our local conservative rag. Today the headline caught my eye, “Obama’s policies are socialist.” Is that not a pathetically predictable Brafia (the Republican party before it morphed into a full-blown criminal conspiracy) claim? Why is it that anytime anyone, especially a Democrat, suggests doing something for the public good the Brafia cries socialism? There is, I believe, an historical explanation for this. Basically, it has to do with the fact that the Brafia is still living in the “then” rather than in the “now.” First, there were/are different versions of socialism, some of which are much more authoritarian than others. You notice that when Brafia speak of socialism (or communism which, in their view is apparently the same thing), they always mention Russia, China, or Cuba. They never mention Socialist Democracies like Norway, Sweden, Germany or France. The term socialism, for Brafia, doesn’t really need any meaning as just the word itself seems to send everyone into a panic. This is, I suggest a carry-over from the past. You will recall that in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries socialistic and communistic organizations were widespread. They were at their strongest, and all fighting for workers’ rights against the robber barons and other corporate entities that were completely opposed to such rights. Socialists joined with unions and strikes were widespread. These were met by government spies, goon squads, and even troops, which put them down with a vengeance. Many were killed and many more arrested. It was a violent time. Even here in Idaho striking miners blew up the Bunker Hill in Kellogg and even assassinated the Governor. The unions won out on some of their demands, like an eight hour working day and other benefits but only after years of battling with the corporations and the government itself. When the current Brafia speaks of socialism this is what they want you to think about. But it all boils down into the simple conflict between the demands of the people and the desires of the corporations, and the attendant conflict between capitalism and socialism. Some progressive and sensible nations, such as Norway and Sweden, for example, have blended capitalism with socialism into a system where excessive capitalism is regulated for the public good. These are Social Democracies and they function very well. Here in the U.S., however, we have evolved in a different direction. Not only does our government not regulate in the public interest, they actively collude with the corporations to do away with as much regulation as possible. This is excessive capitalism carried to an extreme. It probably should be more properly labeled “corporatism. (which some have likened to fascism). ” Goering is reputed to have said, “when I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver.” That is what we should have been doing all these years when we heard the words “privatization” and “deregulation.” We have now seen what privatization and deregulation has done to the oil industry, the banking industry, the stock market, and such. The Brafia continues to push these destructive ideas on a gullible public, to try to break unions, and to turn our country into nothing but a cheap labor pool for our corporate masters. Market capitalism, as the Brafia practices it, is no more than primitive “Social Darwinism,” which was discredited by decent people long ago. Things are, of course, somewhat different now than they were in the early 1900’s. We do, at least, have an eight hour working day (although they would change that if they could). We have credit cards (with usurious rates of interest), not much different than the functional equivalent of slavery. All in all I suppose one could argue that things are not as bad today as back in the days of the true sweatshops (we have moved these overseas) and vicious strikebreakers. Marx and Engels did not anticipate that you could buy off the poor “with a six-pack of beer and a long-legged whore on Saturday night” (someone else’s comment, not mine). Don’t forget, however, that Americans are working much harder than Europeans with much less time off, wages are stagnant, gasoline is approaching five dollars a gallon, more and more people are going hungry because of food prices, most families now have two or more people working to keep up with what one person could provide in the past, many millions are without health care, and some 84% of Americans think we are on the wrong track. People are depressed. There seems to be a glimmer of hope in Obama. What a burden he will have to bear! It is not depression that leads to suicide, but, rather, hopelessness. If this latter becomes more widespread, watch out!
McCain was a war hero. That was then, this is now. Socialism then was a bad word. This is now. Some things are far too important to be left to the private sector: clean air and water, medical care, education, basic superstructure, energy, global warming, and financial institutions. I welcome any socialistic ideas Obama may have, they are badly needed. I hope they truly exist.

LKBIQ:
“We have among us a class of mammon worshippers, whose one test of conservatism or radicalism is the attitude one takes with respect to accumulated wealth. Whatever tends to preserve the wealth of the wealthy is called conservatism, and whatever favors anything else, no matter what, is called socialism.”
Richard T. Ely

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sandhill, circa June, 2008

Yes, Obama opted out of public funding for his campaign, a flip-flop that is not a flop, as he would have been crazy to have done otherwise. Yes, it is still flooding in the Midwest Yes, according to the latest Newsweek poll, Obama leads McCain by 15%. And yes, Bush waved at some guys who did not wave back. The sixth foot was a fraud, someone’s idea of a prank. Very funny. Yes, Hillary and Barack are going to campaign together next week somewhere. They are financially bound to each other. Still commenting on Saint Tim. So much for news.

I think I have now received the penultimate label. I wrote previously how it is that as you age you pass from Mr. to Sir, to Granpa, and even to Pops. Now I have made it to “cute.” You may know that I hate cute in any form. However, last night I was invited by my wife’s boss to have a free dinner in his restaurant. I think he was trying to bribe me to not become an agitator for more money for my wife, who is grossly underpaid. No, not really. He’s a nice guy who thinks about my being alone while they work nights. Anyway, it was reported to me later that the waitresses said I was cute. Now, if you have ever seen me, or even if you haven’t, I must tell you there is absolutely no way I could be described as cute – except -- in the context of something like “he’s a cute little old gray-haired man.” So where do you go after being so described? Of course I would rather be a cute little gray-haired old man than the next alternative.

Others remarked on how incredibly old I am compared to my wife. It is true, I am much older than she is. Some might think she is a “trophy” wife. She is decidedly not a trophy wife. Indeed, I think of her as a divine gift given to me directly by the Great Mystery, whoever he/she/it is. At the moment she works as a sous chef in a new restaurant here in our little town. Her primary chefly duty is making desserts. And does she ever! She also at times teaches Anthropology, Sociology, English and Linguistics. She is multi-talented and can even fix things around the house. In other words, she is as priceless as I am useless. All cute little gray-haired old men need such a wife. One minor flaw has to do with her communicative skills, like this morning, for example. She was experimenting with a couple of new cakes she had never made before. The smells were heavenly. I asked her, “when will you be ready to go get the pork belly?” She said, “I have to make these cakes.” I said, “that doesn’t answer the question.” She replied, “they have to go in the oven.” I said, “that still doesn’t answer the question.” “I have to take a shower,” she said. “But when are we going to get the pork belly?” She insisted, “I have to wash my hair.” “Fine,” I said, are we going before lunch or after?” “I have to go to the store,” she said, “I don’t have any sweet marsala.” “I know we have marsala,” I: insisted. “We only have dry marsala,” she reported, “I need sweet marsala.” “I doubt if anyone here ever even heard of sweet marsala.” I always speak with authority on subjects I know virtually nothing about.” “I’ll call Safeway,” she said. “They have Paul Masson marsala that says it has a sweet nutty flavor.” “Does it have the subtle aroma of the forest floor? “ I inquired “ Descriptions of wines are often absurd. Then she called the Liquor Store. “They have sweet marsala,” she reported, “but it’s Columbo.” “When are we going to get the pork belly?” I returned stubbornly to the original question. “Will you go to Safeway and get the Paul Masson? She asked. “Why get the Paul Masson when the Liquor Store has sweet marsala, that doesn’t make sense.” "I have to put the frosting on this cake,” she announced. “Everyone is going to love it.” Please understand this is an abridged version of the actual conversation. Recognizing defeat when it has defeated me, I dutifully went to the Liquor Store and bought the marsala. The cake was delicious even though I usually only eat chocolate cakes. What, you may wonder, does all of this have to do with pork bellies?
Having decided to make my own bacon we had ordered a pork belly from a local supplier and it had been promised for today. Like most anything here, if you want it you usually have to drive twenty miles or more to get it. We managed to get it and return before she had to go to work. I made a rub and started the bacon. Such is life here at Sandhill in the year of our lord, 2008.

Followers of this blog (there are a few) know that Sandpile is a more accurate description of where we live than Sandhill. But Sandpile, you will agree, lacks dignity. I want to pretend I live somewhere on an “estate,” like Kissinghurst, Yasna Polanya, Fairhaven, Sandhurst, or someplace like that. Humor me, cute little old gray-haired men need love, too. As the weather has been fine for three days now it appears that things might actually begin to grow. Of course by now it will be touch and go to see if anything matures before the first frost. Sigh.

LKBIQ:
“I don’t even butter my bread. I consider that cooking.”
Katherine Cebrian

Why wait?

Sixth foot in one year turns up
on British Columbia shores, five
right, one left. Olosem wonem?

Why couldn’t we move the Presidential election up to, say, the first of August? Think of how much bullshit we would be spared. I doubt that anything much is going to happen between August and November to make much difference, so why not eliminate a lot of wasted hot air? I guess that wouldn’t work for the MSM. They are probably not capable of finding anything else to talk about that would sell as much advertising. I guess this quadrennial event serves for them very much as Christmas does for the rest of the marketplace. I guess it is obviously in their best interest to not only keep it going as long as possible but also to jazz it up as much as possible. So now we have Cindy McCain commenting on Michelle Obama. Wow! Now that is really exciting, as well as important for the outcome of the Presidency. I confess that Cindy McCain does not look real to me, I always think I must be looking at a waxworks figure of her. But she does speak and I guess she’s probably no better or worse than most people in her position. She has reportedly said that she doesn’t know why Michelle Obama said that (horrible) thing she said. You know, for the first time in her life she’s proud of her country, a statement that seems to now threaten the very candidacy of her husband. Quick to pounce on any absurd point they can, some have said that Cindy better watch her mouth lest the media investigate her (I think she once had some to-do about drugs). I guess it would be far too much for anyone to actually reflect upon why a young and beautiful black woman from less than ideal circumstances might not be too enchanted with American culture. I know of at least one such black woman who committed suicide rather than confront the daily insults and propositions and crude language, and discrimination, that was a routine part of her life. How terrible that until now it was unthinkable that a black man could possibly become President, how terrible that race and prejudice were commonplace in American life, how terrible that black women couldn’t just sing down by the levee about how happy and contented they were to be living in such a worker’s paradise. Empathy, along with just ordinary common sense, seems to be no longer a part of American life. It’s the Jeremiah Wright crap all over again, how dare anyone even suggest there could possibly be anything wrong with America? How dare they mention the truth about anything? Whatever happened to those happy “darkies” singing about loading their bales of hay or sittin’ down by the riberside? Anyway, I suggest we enlist the full forces of the FBI, CIA, and the International community to carefully investigate every moment of the lives of Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama. Our security and well-being depends on it, to say nothing of the profits of the MSM. I bet if we could get the two women to mud wrestle it would really be big. Maybe a wet t-shirt contest? Just a thought.

Now that the trillion or so horses are out of the barn, never to return, the Justice Department is cracking down on the hundreds of thieves that were responsible for the great mortgage meltdown and closing the barn doors. These trials will no doubt occupy us for several years, the lawyers will all become filthy rich, maybe a few token sentences will be handed down, and the thieves will manage to hold on to most of their assets and live more or less happily ever after. It’s the American way.

I don’t know why it is, but nothing seems to work out right. For example, I truly wish I could have been a father before I was a son. I would have been such a better son. Indeed, I think there would be no comparison. Similarly, why do I become more cynical the longer I live. Wouldn’t you think that if there was such a thing as progress you would inevitably become less cynical as you aged, rather than more cynical? And why is it that in virtually any circumstances you can imagine, there is always one or two people who manage to make trouble and keep things from being just pleasant? I find this to have been true ever since I was a cub scout, there’s always one who makes the rest suffer from their egocentricity or megalomania, greed, or stupidity.

LKBIQ:
“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.”
George W. Bush

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Babblethon

I think we might as well turn off the news for the next month or so as all it is going to be for quite a while is sheer babble. It’s just the same stuff over and over, none of which makes the slightest difference at the moment. For example, I saw two of the ubiquitous handsome young ladies who have been trained to read the news off the teleprompter and pretend they are reporters. One of them reported that the latest poll said such-and-such. The other replied, what does that mean. The first one said, well, it’s too early to tell, it doesn’t mean anything. So then they proceeded to discuss it for the next few minutes. Then I saw a discussion of the fact that in another poll there was a one percent difference from one time to the next. One percent! Wow, that was worth a lot of time. Now they are babbling on about whether Clinton supporters are going to vote for McCain. Apparently a few particularly disgruntled old ladies may do that, so who cares. There is also the issue of drilling along the coast lines. Naturally, McCain and some of the other dimwits are all for it, as if the price of gasoline ten years from now is going to make any difference. If we’re smart we won’t even be using gasoline ten years from now except perhaps for some antiquarian purposes. And of course there is ANWAR, that perennial attempt to screw up the arctic circle just like everywhere else. Apparently ANWAR might produce enough barrels of oil to last for about a month, sometime in the next ten to twelve years. There can be only one purpose, and one only, for drilling for more oil, and that is too insure more profits for the oil companies. None of this proposed drilling will produce any change in the current price of oil and will probably do more irreparable damage to the already fragile earth environment. The MSM, afraid to tell us about any real news, will just babble on and on about things that are never going to happen. Will Clinton become Obama’s VP? Almost certainly not. Will Gore? Certainly not. Who will? No one knows, but that won’t keep; them from babbling on about it endlessly until, mercifully, a candidate will be selected. Will all the babbling have anything to do with who is selected? Of course not. We are also now on our fifth or sixth day of Saint Tim (who was not really very saintly, if the truth were told). He is apparently finally being buried. May he rest in peace. This morning I read in the local pulp fiction that pretends to be a newspaper that in a meeting with Chavez and Raoul Castro, Fidel wore a “white track-suit jacket with red and blue trim.” Now is that sexist, or what?

Just as I was beginning to believe American politics could not possibly become any more degraded, the Brafia has proven me wrong (again). Not content with their previous slimy roviating of McCain, and the more recent sliming of John Kerry, and after their unbelievably slimy impeachment of Bill Clinton for consensual sex, they have now decided to roviate a candidate’s wife. His wife! What will come next, his children? Don’t put it past them, they have proven themselves to be completely without regard for either law or morality, and they have long since spit on the Constitution, “just a goddam piece of paper.” I was aware, even as a relatively young child, that politics was a kind of “dirty” business, but I never dreamed I would see anyone stoop so low as to attack a candidate’s wife. It’s true they hated Eleanor Roosevelt, but that was because of her beliefs and actions as first lady, not because she was an “angry black woman.” At the moment could anyone be surprised that Michelle Obama might be an angry;black woman? The attacks are so vicious, and so out of the realm of credibility, they have had to establish a special web site for her defense. I believe they are even giving slime a bad name. It is true they have no record they can run on, and it’s also true they have what is basically a non-candidate, but what they are doing is inexcusably filthy. It must represent the apex of roviation up to this date. McCain could put a stop to it, but given his attitudes toward women he is probably reveling in it. We could have done something to stop these vicious monsters a long time ago, but we didn’t. “All that evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” It’s well past time for us to do something. Impeachment is too mild a slap on the wrist for their crimes against humanity, they should be arrested and tried for war crimes. It’s too bad they can’t simply be charged with being vile human beings who should be locked away from civil society forever. Pelosi, and others too, I guess, likes them. It’s like turkeys liking Thanksgiving.

LKBIQ:
“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is the election conceded?

Watching the campaigns from the very beginning, and especially in the past couple of months, I have pretty much concluded that the Brafia (what used to be called Republicans) has already conceded the Presidency to the Democrats. I see no other explanation for the candidacy of John McCain. Running for what is essentially a third term for the dismal failure of the Bush/Cheney administration does not seem to me, under the circumstances, to be a winning strategy. With 82% of the public believing this is the wrong direction, why would anyone want to try to run on such a record? Some 52% of the Brafia party apparently are dissatisfied with McCain as their candidate. The vast majority of women favor Obama because McCain is anti-choice and they are not. Americans are sick of the “war” in Iraq that McCain wants to continue. No one wants a war with Iran but McCain and Bush/Cheney continue to threaten it. McCain has no plan for health insurance, wants to continue the failed economic policies of Bush/Cheney, is a terrible public speaker, is giving out hints of possible senility, is having trouble raising money, and comes across as little more than a doddering old fool. I cannot believe the Brafia would permit such a questionable candidate to continue unless they already know they have no chance of hanging on to the White House for another four years. They must have decided to give up, watch the Democrats and Obama suffer trying to overcome the horrible mess they have made, resisting change at every turn, and waiting for the next election cycle. Naturally I could be wrong about this, I often am wrong about such things, but, really, can anyone seriously argue that McCain is a likely candidate for the Presidency? The more we learn about him the worse he appears. His “straight talk express” has become the “forked tongue express. He is not the man or the candidate he once was. I think if I were McCain I would simply plead ill health and get out of the race before being ignominiously defeated. I rather doubt he can win more than one or two states.

Al Gore finally came out and endorsed Obama publicly. And what a great job he did. He gave a truly powerful and effective speech emphasizing the changes that will be required if we are to re-establish our country to what it once was. Now all of the Democratic heavyweights are on board the Obama Express: Gore, Edwards, Clinton, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, the works. Democrats are enthusiastic as never before and becoming more and more united by the day. The Brafia is in disunity and reduced to entirely negative campaigning, even focusing on Michelle Obama, and spreading vile rumors as fast as they can manufacture them. What else can they do? They have no record of accomplishment to run on, none. Their warmongering and war profiteering and borrow and waste behavior has virtually destroyed our country. Perhaps it is no wonder they are ready to turn it over to the Democrats, just as Bush seems to have planned all along. Having looted the country they now just want to run. They will flee with their billions of totally ill-gotten gains, leaving behind John McCain who will get blamed for losing the White House. Where will they go? What, if anything, will happen to them? Those are questions we must seriously think about as time is short and their crimes are many.

LKBIQ:
“The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them.”
Randy K. Milholland

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Poor Dennis

Young woman gets 7th number
13 tattooed on upper thigh, says
it’s something to do on Friday l3th.

I have had to wait for two days to get on the internet. Our server is driving me crazy. If the snow ever finally melts on Black Mountain perhaps it will get fixed.

Poor Dennis Kucinich. He presented articles of impeachment against Cheney only to see them referred to committee and thereby buried. Now he has presented 35 articles of impeachment for Bush and they, too, have been referred to committee, probably to die. Kucinich vows to continue if nothing comes of it this time, because, he says, law and morality demand it. What he apparently doesn’t get is that the vast majority of his colleagues have no interest in either law or morality, or even in their constitutional duty. They are only interested in obtaining and retaining power. Power is where the money is. Perhaps he knows they are not interested in law and morality but just wants to shame them. He's wrong again, they have no shame.

And speaking of Kucinich, let me comment on the death of Tim Russert. I don’t mean to speak unkindly of the dead, but really, I hadn’t realized that Russert was a Saint. MSNBC has spent the last two full days trying to demonstrate his Sainthood. I’m sure Russert was probably a nice man who loved his family and the news and all. What I remember about him most recently, however, was his petty and malicious question to Kucinich about unidentified flying objects. Kucinich had apparently seen what he felt was an unidentified object at one time. Russert’s question, coming where it did in the context of a debate, could only have been asked on purpose for no reason other than to embarrass and ridicule Kucinich. I felt then, and still do, it was a truly cheap shot. Of course Kucinich has always been regarded as “fair game” by all of the MSM newspersons. He’s very short, doesn’t dress very well, is a vegetarian, is married to a third wife who is brilliant and beautiful and younger and taller than he is, he tells the truth, and worst of all, I guess, he believes in peace (and probably truth and beauty, as well). What a weirdo, we just can’t have anyone like him cluttering up our corrupt political system.

Congressman Wexler, Florida, the one enthusiastic supporter of Kucinich, is under fire from one of the Florida newspapers. They, too, I guess, have no interest or commitment to law and morality, along with so many others. Do you think Bush/Cheney could do ANYTHING so egregiously terrible as to be impeached? What could be worse than the needless deaths of more than 4000 of our troops, the maiming of thousands more, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, the displacement of millions, and misery beyond calculation? Maybe some kind of consensual sex act in their offices? What makes all this far worse is the fact that everyone knows they are guilty of war crimes, that doesn’t seem even to be in dispute. I guess hardly anyone cares. I think we may be witnessing the end of the so-called “American century.” Too bad, it did at one time actually have some promise.

The Idaho Democratic Convention just concluded in Boise. Delegates for the National Convention in Denver were picked and a platform was discussed. My son, Julian, was running to be an Obama delegate to the Denver Convention and might well have been selected – except he was chosen to be one of the only two Pages from Idaho to the convention, quite an achievement. Now he has to start raising funds for this trip (more on this later). I am very proud of him. I swear he could charm the birds down from the trees if he wished to do so.

Some people do seem to me to be unusually blessed. Tiger Woods has to be one of them. What he did yesterday and today on the golf course was so incredible it makes me wonder about divine intervention. I used to play golf, played for years, never got any better, finally decided the old ladies could beat me and quit. I have been much happier since. Of course I have hundreds of dollars worth of useless golf clubs and golfing paraphernalia. What does one do with useless golf clubs? If someone could come up with an idea for this they could probably make a fortune.

LKBIQ:
“Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”
Epicurus

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Politics

Politics: the art or science of government.

Politics is supposed to be about government, how people are organized to deal with various problems of state, defense, budgets, infrastructure, education, stuff like that.
So tell me, if you will, what does this have to do with Obama’s mother being “trailer trash,” which is of course not true, or his wife saying “whitey,” which is also not true. What, actually, does it even have to do with Obama being a Muslim (which is also not true), or the fact that he is half black (which actually is true). I submit that none of these things have anything to do with politics. One would assume that when two people are running for President of the United States we would hear about unemployment, national defense, the budget, the recession, education, infrastructure, and so on. But in what I believe may be an unprecedented move the Brafia has already announced that we are not going to discuss things of government, but, rather, Obama’s past relationships with whomever and whatever, his wife’s behavior, whether he wears a lapel pin or not, or holds his hands in the proper manner during the flag ceremony, and on ad infinitum. There plan is apparently to avoid any serious discussion of any of he serious problems that presently confront our nation. Now, you might ask, why would they do that? The answer, I believe, is simple, they don’t dare discuss any serious issues because of their total failure to govern for the past eight years. Actually, for more than that, because they abandoned any attempt at government when they decided it was more important to spend all their time trying to impeach Bill Clinton for a consensual sex act between adults. In other words, they have not even tried to govern our country for the past fifteen or sixteen years, preferring instead to waste our time and money on frivolities of their own making. The results of this I believe are pretty obvious. Failure, as far as the eye can see. A failed “war,” a recession, a huge budget deficit, millions without health care, veterans abused, infrastructure decaying, education a shambles, the constitution abandoned, scandals rampant, and so on. Now, with their candidate, McCain, they propose continuing this exercise in greed and non-government. The only way they could conceivably pull this scam off is by roviating Obama in every way possible. So look forward to another five months of the most scurrilous, disgusting, negative campaigning you can imagine. This is going to make anything that came before look like child’s play.

I had the misfortune to accidentally see Bush on television making a speech of some kind. Before I turned it off I heard him say something about how he did not agree with the Supreme Court decision restoring habeas corpus. Some speechwriter must have put these words there for him to read as I seriously doubt he knows anything about the issue or even what habeas corpus means. If he did, he would never have allowed it to be destroyed in the first place. You have to give him credit for chutzpah. Any normal person in his position would be too embarrassed to show his face in public, let alone make a speech. Indeed, if he were in any other line of work he would have been ignominiously fired long ago. A hopeless nincompoop, like the energizer bunny, he just keeps going and going, “catapaulting the propaganda,” and deluding himself that forty years from now history will somehow prove he was not an idiotic war criminal and the worst president in American history. He is devoid of shame, delusional, and has no sense of decency whatever. If he had any he would have done the honorable thing and resigned long ago. He, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the others have long been far past all dishonor. I sincerely hope that Kucinich, Wexler, Waxman, and others will continue their efforts to bring them to justice and they will ultimately get what they deserve (and what they deserve is not very pleasant).

LKBIQ:
"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly,' meaning 'many,' and the word 'ticks,' meaning 'blood sucking parasites'."
Larry Hardiman

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is John McCain sane?

Accidental nail in head
removed by doctor
with hammer and screwdriver.

Is John McCain sane? I’m not trying to be unkind, nor am I trying to be funny. But considering what McCain is doing, and some of the things he has said, I truly wonder about him. For example, Bush and the Bush policies are being condemned by somewhere around 75 to 80 percent of the American population. McCain is deliberately running on those same policies (although making feeble attempts to dissociate himself from Bush). The very idea that anyone would seriously think they could run on the failed, absolutely dismal policies of the past eight years makes me wonder. McCain has repeatedly confused Sunni and Shia and who is training whom. He did not confuse them once, but two or three times in successive days (you will recall that Lieberman at one point had to whisper in his ear he was wrong). A huge majority of American voters want us out of Iraq. McCain has said we could stay there for 100 years. This is related to his apparent belief that we are “winning” in Iraq (as if that were even possible) and that it could somehow be possible to keep our troops there indefinitely without any casualties. Indeed, he said today (or maybe it was yesterday) that bringing our troops home is not important, the only thing of importance is to not have further casualties. As an argument he cites our troops presence in Korea and Germany. Iraq is not even remotely similar to the situation in Korea or Germany. The Iraqis have made it clear (except perhaps for our puppet Maliki) they do not want us there. McCain keeps insisting that we are “winning,” contrry to what most everyone else believes and apparently what the facts suggest. So how are we to keep our troops casualty-free in a hostile environment where they are definitely not wanted? McCain wants to continue the failed policies of Bush/Cheney thinking he will get a different result (this kind of behavior is itself often cited as evidence of insanity). Similarly, McCain has made it clear that he will support Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito, thus ensuring that Roe vs Wade will be overturned, in spite of the fact that a vast majority of American voting women favor choice. This further suggests to me that at the very least he is out-of-touch with current public opinion (reality, if you like). He says he will continue to illegally spy on Amricans, I guess because he subscribes to the unconstitutional idea of Bush/Cheney that the chief executive is completely above the law. And he certainly believes in the doctrine of American exceptionality that allows us to take over and run the affairs of everyone on earth, whether they like it or not. While this belief may not in and of itself be crazy, believing that you can enforce “our-way-of-life” on the rest of the world at the barrel of a gun is crazy. Finally, McCain has also said he would welcome Dick the Slimy into his administration, Dick Cheney who has a popularity rating somewhere in the minus numbers. If that’s not truly bonkers I don’t know what is. If I was not so terrified at the prospect of a McCain presidency I might feel sorry for him. I believe he is either a bit crazy or is going senile (which may be the same thing). As he really has nothing to run on except his presumed superiority when it comes to the “war” and defense, his campaign is going to have to become very nasty indeed. His only solution to problems seems to be belligerence and firepower which may cause him to actually implode before the contest is over. Maybe he can get another hug from his buddy, George W. Bush, our first and hopefully last, retarded president. Being as generous as I can, I believe at best we must think McCain is, as the British put it, a bit “dotty.”

Nancy Pelosi. What word is it we need to describe her? Co-conspirator perhaps? Fellow traveler? Quisling? How about collaborator? Why is it she is so against impeachment? I know the standard explanation is that the Democrats want to be sure of winning the presidency and think impeachment might keep them from it. I must say that seems far-fetched to me. I should think just the opposite. If they want to insure the presidency for the Democrats they should impeach, should have a long time ago. One of the things about Pelosi that bothers me the most is that she said a while back how much she likes George W. Bush. This is a guy who blew up animals just for kicks. Was a drunk for years and skipped out of his military service. He has failed at everything he has ever attempted, including now the presidency, and is a known war criminal. Pelosi likes him? Does this have anything to do with her constantly defending him from impeachment? Or is it because she knows she is basically as guilty as he is for mass murder and theft? Kucinich and Wexler are trying to bring impeachment about, but it has now been referred to a committee where it will doubtless just die like it has previously. This means that even though everyone knows Bush is a war criminal, and even though he has basically admitted to it, and the entire world is aware of it, our Congress, who took an oath to uphold the constitution, is refusing to perform their constitutional duty. They are thumbing their nose at both us and the constitution of the United States and no one seems willing to do anything about it. I guess we’re all just supposed to stand by and accept this insult. “When you’re slapped your going to take it and like it.” Ah, Humphrey, you would never have put up with this. Nancy Pelosi, collaborator. History is not going to treat you well. But what the hell, who cares about history? As our mental midget president put it, “we’ll all be dead then.”

LKBIQ:
“Grass will grow in the streets of a hundred cities.”
Herbert Hoover

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The normal gobbledy-gook

Ohio man eschews indoor toilet,
refuses to give up old outhouse,
gets free new state-of-the-art “privy.”

Our local piece of wood pulp that has pretensions of being a newspaper this morning reported that “The Bush administration seeks an agreement with Bagdad that would provide for a normal, permanent U.S. military and diplomatic presence in Iraq.” Would someone kindly explain to me just what a “normal” military presence is in a defeated country? Does this mean a conquerors priviledge? If not, what? The Iraqis don’t seem to be too pleased with this attempt. I guess they just don’t know what’s good for them. How are we going to attack Iran, Syria, and others in the region without 58 permanent bases in Iraq? How about a more sensible, abnormal, presence with no bases at all? Pay no attention to the Iraqis, what do they know? And whose country is it anyway?

I suggest the phrase “a normal permanent…presence” is nothing but the now normal pure gobbledy-gook that is characteristic of the Bush/Cheney criminal gang. While I am on this subject I should point out that virtually the entire U.S. position on the Middle East seems to me to be nothing but gobbledy-gook. What, for example, is all this talk about Iran being a terrible danger to the world that must be prevented at all costs from even knowing how to enrich uranium (which, by the way, they already know)? And what about all these claims that Iran is providing munitions and support for Iraqis who are killing out troops? There seems to be no evidence for this. We are repeatedly told that Iran is the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world. Was Iran responsible for 9/11? Were they responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole? Just what terrorist attacks are they responsible for? Iran has not attacked anyone for over two hundred years. They have a perfectly legitimate concern for what happens in Iraq. They support Hamas, the legally and democratically elected government of the Palestinians. They support Hezbollah, the only thing that keeps Israel from taking over Lebanon. I guess this makes them dangerous sponsors of terroristm. All we are being told about an “evil” Iran is just more nonsensical gobbledy-gook to set the stage for another illegal “war.” On more than one occasion Iran has extended an olive branch to the U.S. and Cheney has rejected even talking to them. You want to locate the heart of darkness? Find out what rock Dick the Slimy is hiding under this week.

It appears at the moment that all of the Bush/Cheney administration’s gobbeldy-gook may at last be about to catch up with them. Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment on the floor of the House and Wexler is supporting him. Will this go anywhere? With Pelosi (who personally likes our chief war criminal) opposed, and the rest of the House and Senate probably too gutless to do anything except raise money for their re-elections, probably not. But it is going to be harder and harder for the MSM to ignore this. Similarly, it is now apparent that Bush himself, and the White House, were very close to Abramoff and that is itself a big story. Bush claimed he didn’t remember Abramoff but it is now known that he met with him at least four times. Then there is the fact that McClellan has agreed to testify before Congress (under oath, as I understand it) which will help move the story along. There is also the possibility that Patrick Fitzgerald might be called upon to testify, in which case Bush and Cheney, as well as Rove, may well be cooked. There will be demonstrations in Britain against Bush as a war criminal. The U.S. withdrew as an observer at the U.N. Human Rights Council because of accusations over our war crimes. Now there is Vincent Bugliosi’s book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush as a Murderer. Things seem to be coming to a head. I don’t think the corporate media is going to be able to just ignore all this. Might we expect some accountability? Don’t bet your house on it.

In the meantime, McCain continues to push the Bush/Cheney doctrine of American exceptionalism, that gives the U.S. the right to intervene, pre-emptively if they so desire, anywhere on earth, as well as their dictatorial aspirations for an all-powerful Presidency. As near as I can tell this all boils down to the basic idea that no other country or nation on earth is to be allowed to have any national interests of their own unless they are approved by the U.S. Now there is a real basis for peace on earth. Diplomacy and compromise are just for Democratic surrender monkeys. Let’s stick with the Bush/Cheney/McCain strategy that’s been so successful up until now. And no tax and spend Democrats either, let’s stick with our borrow, steal, and waste Brafia plan.

LKBIQ:
“Crime does not pay…as well as politics.”
Alfred E. Newman

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Dumb ideas

At 6th Annual Rat-A-Rama, Mitsu,
a Russian Blue Wheaton Burmese (rat),
won best of show in solid color category.

For a species that is supposed to have intelligence so much superior to all other creatures we certainly have a long legacy of really dumb ideas. In fact, we have such a long history of dumb ideas I doubt they could all even be exposed. The introduction of the mongoose in Hawaii, for example, was a really dumb idea. Introducing raccoons to Germany also. Putting beavers in parts of South American was really dumb. Rabbit in Australia likewise. Taking Indian children from their parents and forcing them to go to white schools was a dumb idea. Trying to get people in the Sepik River of New Guinea to plant rice was a dumb idea. Trying to get New Guinea Highlanders, who had never even seen cattle, to raise them was a dumb idea. Abstinence only sex education is a dumb idea. The “war” on drugs is an even dumber idea, just as prohibition was a dumb idea. Damming many of our rivers with no thought of the consequences was a dumb idea. Unregulated capitalism is a dumb idea, as is most deregulation. Smoking was a really dumb idea. The idea that everyone needs a personal automobile, rather than adequate public transportation, is a truly dumb idea. Now there is talk of subsidizing nuclear energy, an idea so dumb as to be suicidal. Need I continue? As a species we have done so many dumb things it boggles the mind. I see no end in sight.

But perhaps the dumbest idea of all was establishing a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab Middle East. I suppose one might argue that at the time it was somehow a good idea, as no one seemed very eager to take in Jewish refugees, including our own United States and Britain. So what better solution than to give them their own nation in Palestine. If the Palestinians were not so unreasonable about having their land stolen maybe this would have been a good idea. On the other hand, if the Israelis had not been so greedy for land and water maybe it would have been a good idea. Of course any serious thought about it, before it happened, might have been a warning that no people, anywhere, including the Palestinians, would be happy about having their lands usurped and given to others. But colonial powers are known for having been all-stupid rather than all knowing, and the consequences of their stupidity and arrogance are now haunting us on a daily basis. The Israelis, not content with their slow process of genocide, are now threatening to retake Gaza (and speed things up), and seem also to be determined to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran, if not Syria and Lebanon besides. They want us to believe not only that Iran is working on a bomb, but if they get it the first thing they will do is drop it on them (this is a fantasy that makes beliefs about space aliens look reasonable). I don’t know if the Iranians are developing a bomb or not. I do know they are not crazy enough to immediately go out and drop it on Israel, even if they had it. What makes this even dumber is the fact there is no real evidence they are even close to having such a bomb. So true to our heritage of truly dumb ideas we demand they give up what they may not even be doing before we will even discuss their giving it up. That is to say, we want to have a meeting with them, but only if the subject matter of the meeting has been decided in our favor in advance. Is that not a dumb idea? It’s certainly dumb enough that we ought to know it isn’t going to work, but we insist on it anyway. Furthermore, the idea that our much vaunted military will be the solution to all our problems has been demonstrated to be false, but we continue to insist on it anyway (a true mark of insanity as well as a really dumb strategy). Oh well, if all of our dumb ideas haven’t destroyed us so far, why should we not just continue on into the future. I mean, dumping waste into our rivers, lakes, and oceans haven’t killed us yet, so why not continue? Overfishing and overlogging haven’t yet done us in, so why not continue? The dams haven’t yet managed to destroy all the salmon, so why worry. The Bush/Cheney approach to the Middle East has proven to be a complete and utter disaster, so why not let McCain continue that? And as global warming is just a myth created by that mythmaker, Al Gore, why cut emissions or anything? We have not yet proven that we are, in fact, about the dumbest creatures on earth, but we are certainly on our way.

LKBIQ:
“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.”
Bernard Berenson

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Enthusiasm?

It is now 8:50 p.m. on 6-7-08. The &%^$#!*&^%$#^% server is down again. I hate this. It has also been cold, rainy, and miserably windy most of the day. I don’t want to work outside. It is Saturday and not much news (why does everything seem to stop on week-ends?). I am never truly bored but I do feel uncomfortable on days like this. I don’t know when I will be able to post this blog, not that it makes much difference.

I don’t mean to be entirely cynical, BUT, it seems to me that it is always all about Hillary. It’s true she gave her concession speech, and it’s also true she said her followers should vote for Obama. But to me it was entirely formulaic. I could detect no genuine enthusiasm for what she was saying (what she no doubt knew she had to say). Mostly it was still all about her. What she had accomplished, what she wanted to accomplish, how many millions of votes she had, how she was going to work for Obama, how she had made it possible for women to run from now on, what a great fight she put up, how she never quits, and so on. I know it must be difficult for her but I was terribly dissatisfied with her performance. I thought she only very begrudgingly conceded which, perhaps, is understandable, but nonetheless not all that helpful. Listening to a few of the comments of the “pundits” afterwards I had the impression they thought better of it. So maybe it’s just me. Apparently Rolling Stone said it was a “Shining Moment.” I didn’t think so, other than that she did finally concede. I think she would rather have been having her teeth pulled.

Bill Sali continues on his goal of casting the most “no” votes of any politician in history. Now he has voted against a bill that would continue funding states for their lost timber revenues (and thus allowing them to continue their educational programs). As I understand it, he thinks it’s all the fault of environmentalists for stopping the timber harvests in the first place. Blaming environmentalist for the problems in our timber industry is something like blaming the fish for the overfishing. The ubiquitous blaming of environmentalists for all our problems is probably going to increase because of the price of gasoline. These anti-environmentalists seem unable to understand there are long-range goals as well as short-range ones, and if everyone is allowed to continue logging and fishing at will there will eventually not only be a shortage of jobs, there will be no jobs at all in those industries. But it is much easier to just blame environmentalist than to bother to have to deal with any form of thought. Of course I have to agree that having the federal government have to pay people to not destroy our environment, after subsidizing them for so long to do just that, is a problem. I just love the equation: no timber, no education. That’s a real winner for our country. The Republicans who have controlled the state for so many years have never bothered about education in the first place. They would rather do without it as they have made clear over the past few years. They seem to prefer turning our beautiful state into a garbage dump for the rest of the world, with an emphasis on the worst garbage they can find. Why is it that Republicans seem obsessed with having the most polluting industries they can find? Even here, in our pristine and beautiful county, they once wanted a pulp mill, and later wanted a waste to energy plant, two of the worst nightmares a small community could possibly have. I’m surprised there is no attempt to have a nuclear plant located right here on main street. It seems that for a number of years now the idea has been that whatever industry might be interested in locating here had to be timber related. I’m not opposed to good sustainable logging, but this does seem to be a rather limiting criterion for welcoming industry. I’m pretty sure they would be amendable to cannon-ball or pitchfork making, along with a wagon wheels factory and maybe sidesaddles or singletrees.

LKBIQ:
“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed, the only animal never satisfied.”
Henry George

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rampant speculation

I confess I am coming more and more to hate the idea of news 24/7. I think it would be theoretically possible to have more or less interesting news 24 hours a day, but only if you considered the entire world and reported in depth on stories that were indeed newsworthy. This is a far cry from what we get now. At the moment we are getting nothing but useless rampant speculation about most everything. No one knows, for example, who Obama is going to pick for his running mate. And he has announced clearly that he is not going to talk about it or decide for quite some time. This does not deter the “pundits” or “newspersons” from telling us all about it endlessly. Some say it will be Hillary Clinton, others say no way will it be her. None of them know. Someone suggested a “dream ticket” of Obama and Caroline Kennedy (where on earth did this idea come from?). Some say it will be Edwards (even though he has already said no). Some say it will be a woman, others say it can’t be a woman. They don’t know. Some say it will be a military man, others say a southerner, still others say it will be someone from a big state that can deliver his state, and on and on and on. None of them have any knowledge of who it will be or why, but this doesn’t keep them from constantly shooting off their mouths about it. Talk about bullshit!

They are doing the same thing with Clinton’s future. What will happen to Hillary? What will she do now? Maybe the Supreme Court. Maybe Senate leader. Maybe Governor of New York, Maybe she’ll run again. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe pigs will some day fly. No one knows what she’s going to do in the future, but they just blab on endlessly with rampant speculation. Whatever happened to the notion of patience? Can’t they at least wait until there is a genuine hint of what she might want to do?

The MSM treats all “news” like this, if, indeed, they are really even dealing in news. Something happens, say a vicious murder. They can’t wait until at least some information is actually available before they start interviewing the Sheriff, bystanders, whoever they can grab. They say they don’t know anything about it yet. We are then assured that when they do know something they will follow up on this breaking story. And then if they do get some little bit they flog it to death. How many times did you see the photo of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky together in the crowd? How many times did you see the shot of Hillary’s tears? They do this because they have too much time to kill and they are too lazy or too cheap to hire enough reporters to go around the world and actually find some news. One organization gets a bit and they all join in, like jackals at the kill, each one trying to outdo the other for a “story” that isn’t much of a story in the first place.

And the stories they do give us! Car chases in L.A. by the hour. They don’t know who is being chased or for what reason but they spend money on helicopters to follow these events until the bitter end when someone is dragged out of the vehicle that turns out to have been stolen or something. Big news. There is always Britney or some other stupid bimbo doing something really newsworthy, like running into a telephone pole or another car, or not wearing their underwear. Wow! Now that’s news! One of the big news items today was two lesbians kissing at a baseball game. Apparently some lady was offended, told the usher, who told them their behavior was inappropriate, and so now we have to have columns devoted to lesbians kissing and etc. Trying to defend this “story” they are now saying they were doing more than kissing, they were “making out.” Still others have piped in to testify that they see people making out at ball games all the time. I guess some think it is inappropriate and others don’t seem to care (as long as they are not lesbians). Personally, I never go to ball games (I don’t like crowds), but if I did I don’t think I would be particularly offended by people making out, I would just wonder why the hell they picked a ball game to do it, it would not seem to me the best place for making out. It’s like what they say about dancing, “why do something vertically that is better done horizontally?” Anyway, it is obvious that I don’t think much of news 24/7. Let’s go back to the old fashioned “News of the Day” shots they used to show at the movies. News of the day compressed into about five minutes. I suppose most of you don’t remember “News of the Day.” Trust me, it was all the news you needed for a day, reported by real reporters and cameramen, devoid of car chases and other “non-news” bits. Say, did you see the latest news, two men holding hands in the park. Wow!

LKBIQ:
“Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.”
Elbert Hubbard