Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barry's BC

I love the Obama birth certificate controversy. Who knows, maybe Barry never had a birth certificate. All of my grand parents were born in this country, none of them had a birth certificate. Maybe in 1961, in Hawaii, they didn't think the darker babies needed birth certificates. Barry's mom was pretty counter cultural, maybe she had the boy at home and never bothered to register his birth. We used to deliver babies on the commune, 35 years ago, with just the childbirth instructional chapter, from the Whole Earth catalog. Never had a problem. No drugs. No C-Sections. No episiotomies. We had a girl that was really good at ironing. Nary a rip or tear. No birth certificates. You are not legally required to register a birth. You can be President without one.

At the end of the day, there may be no way to prove, beyond a doubt, that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Since he was born here, there's no way to prove he wasn't. Even if Barack has a birth certificate somewhere, he should never release it. I love the way this controversy unhinges the fundofucknuts. They should be able to handle these things better, bathing in the spirit of Jesus so much, the way they do. You'd think it would bring a little serenity into their lives. We all the children of the Lord, no matter where we are born or to who.

Hal-a-lou-yah, Baby!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boom Tube

Television programing was being invented as the early baby boomers were growing up. There were a lot of us and so there were a lot of shows for us. Most of them were pretty weak.

Romper Room totally sucked. I am convinced that marijuana cigarettes got called doobees in response to the insipid Romper ladies exhortations to do be a Do Bee, while looking through her magic mirror at all of us. The less said about Captain Kangaroo and Mister Green Jeans, the better.

We got a lot of retreaded serial Westerns from the Saturday matinees of the '30s, '40s and early '50s. I liked those. Gene Autrey and Hopalong Cassidy were pretty faggy but John Wayne was good, whether he was on his own, part of the Three Mequiteers or teamed up with wily, old Gabby Hayes. My favorite was a cowboy star named Sunset Carson. He never had a sidekick. I pretended I was his sidekick and learning to be a crusading range rider. Cowboy Bob Steele, the Yiddish Avenger was really good too. He was only about five feet tall and mowed down the big bad men with his tiny fists, what little kid wouldn't like that.

The local kid shows would never fly today. The budgets were low, the scripts rudimentary and the talent pool shallow. There was this one guy named Engineer Bill, who had a huge electric train set up. There were always a lot of closeup shots of his trains going into and coming out of deep, dark tunnels, accompanied by loud train whistle sound effects. He would have a little boy on each day as a guest. The little boy was always an electric train enthusiast. Engineer Bill and the boy would examine each others equipment and the boy got to run engineer Bill's big locomotive around the track a few times. Then they played a milk drinking game called Red Light/Green Light. I'm sure many's the boy who reenacted that game years later when remembering his visit to Engineer Bill's Round House, only with something a lot stronger than milk. Something bad happened one day on the set of Engineer Bill's Round House. The show was never on again and Engineer Bill retired from the entertainment industry and sold insurance somewhere in the Valley, for the rest of his life. He died recently. His daughter wrote the obituary and said he was a wonderful man. Maybe she didn't have any sons.

Another great show we had was Billy Barty's Big Top. Billy was a famous dwarf. He was no taller than a five year old. This show had a circus theme, a large participatory audience of young children and Billy dressed up like a Ringmaster, with a tailcoat, top hat, shiny boots and a whip. I don't know if you've ever seen Billy, he got pretty steady work in the movies for decades playing demons from hell. Many of the children in the audience would cringe and cry out when he came near. Most kids shows played cartoons. On Billy Barty's Big Top they only played Three Stooges shorts. That was good. I liked the Three Stooges.

Soupy Sales was a guy that really understood kids. He never patronized or talked down. He made fun of adults. His whole show was just him in a kitchen set and two, dog paw, hand puppets, White Fang and Black Tooth. Adults got the idea he was somehow dirty or subversive. He wasn't. He was just in tune with little kids. He had to move around a lot. Chances are he was on TV in your area when you were a kid at some point. He was in Detroit before LA, then moved on to New York City. He lasted about a year.

Us kids got a little older, we watched the dance shows in the afternoon. American Bandstand played everywhere but I think it was out of Philly. We didn't have that much in common with the kids in Philly.

LA had it's own nationally syndicated dance show, Lloyd Thaxton's Hop. I always thought it was better than Bandstand but then, it was a West Coast Show. There were three big Rock and Roll AM stations in LA. KFWB was the best in the early '60s. Later, KRLA was best during the Sunset Strip years. As AM radio faded out into '70s FM, the KHJ Boss Jocks won out by default. At any given time during the '60s and early '70s at least one of these stations had an afternoon dance show on local TV, every weekday, after school. They mostly spun records but they always had at least one live act. These were good bands. The Sunset Strip and Laurel Canyon was the place for aspiring musicians in those days. The Doors. The Byrds. Sonny and Cher. The Beach Boys. Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The Turtles. They were all on, all the time. English Bands that were in town would do the shows too. If you were in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade, it was a big deal for social kids from the same school to get a block of tickets and go to these shows as a group. They would dress up in their best clothes, arrange dates with a suitable dancing partner and get a couple of Moms to haul them up to Hollywood, in the family wagons. The rest of us would all tune in that afternoon to see them on TV. It didn't matter that they looked incredibly young and unhip, next to the DJ hosts, the professional Go Go Girls and the Bands. They were there and we weren't, so who was unhip? These shows changed all the time. There were a bunch of different ones. Boss City, Ninth Street West, I can't remember all the names. It was a long time ago.

One show I remember was called Groovy. I think it was KHJ and Sam Riddle was the host. Sam was a little guy who managed to look like he was in his twenties for a couple of decades. He wore really expensive designer clothes, pointy toed shoes with stacked heels, big floppy cravats and flippy, shellacked, haircuts. He was a top morning drive time DJ. When he did a show it always got the best bands. The Summer of '67 I think, they switched the show from an indoor studio to the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier. Since it was a beach show, they needed a guy with a body to host. They got this guy named Michael Blodgett. He was not a DJ, just some kid who wanted to get into show biz, from the Mid West. He was like a big, friendly, floppy puppy. They teamed him up with the head dancer from the studio show, a hard body, valley girl, with three coats of lacquer, named Kam Nelson. This show was only on for about three months but it was the best LA afternoon dance show ever, even though there wasn't much dancing. Micheal would run around the beach and talk to people. Kind of like Huell Hauser, only young, not gay and not incredibly lame. Kam would deliver monologues on why she thought long hair for guys was really, really sexy. They always had a dance contest, every day. Just for girls. Just in bikinis. So maybe it was really a bikini contest. It was very tastefully done though. No leering judges. Kam always picked the winner. She knew about dancing and bikinis. I worked most afternoons so I only got to watch it a few times. It was good though.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making Change

I was at the drug store the other day. I purchased a single item that cost $2.14 including tax. I gave the cashier, a very attractive young woman whose name tag read Sierra, a five dollar bill. She punched it up before I was finished reaching into my back pack for 14 cents.

She stared at the 14 cents blankly. She asked me what eighty six minus fourteen was. I told her. She asked me what one hundred minus eighty six was. I told her. She asked me what one hundred minus fourteen was. I told her. I was starting to get a little confused myself, at this point. Sierra continued to stare at my fourteen cents.

"It's OK Sierra", I said. "Just give me back my 14 cents."

She gave me back my 14 cents, then gave me the $2.86 that her register told her was my change. We all learned to make change when I was young. It's not about adding or subtracting. It's about counting backward. It's not something anybody needs to do anymore. Why should poor Sierra know how? She probably knows how to do a lot of stuff I don't.

Happy Holidays

The current common wisdom, as heard from government spokespeople and the media is that the economic crisis is stabilizing. According to them we will have another couple of bad quarters and then the economy will begin to expand again. This is ridiculous.

The defaulting of leveraged debt continues to increase and there remain a couple of hundred trillion worth of these babies outstanding. These loans weren't made with real money and nothing to collateralize them with but layer upon layer of more leveraged debt. Residential real estate prices continue to drop with commercial and agricultural markets still to follow. While consumer spending is way down, personal savings rates are near zero and unsecured credit card debt is still skyrocketing. Foreign trade deficits, while decreasing, are still high and as a percentage of GDP may actually be rising. Presently, what we are exporting is equity in American business and it is being sold at pennies on the dollar. The only sector of the economy that is expanding is government spending. The sector that is decreasing the most dramatically is government revenues. If you look at a chart of the monetary base on nearly any scale, it shows a parabolic rise.

Many in business, government and academia are rightly realizing that we are currently in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. What they don't recognize is that this crisis is just getting started. It might be years yet, before things really play out and a generation or more before things start to improve. There is no money to support the kinds of services and benefits that people take for granted and politicians promise to increase them. Standards of living continue at all time highs, while the average citizen continues to go deeper into debt. We continue to spend more money on our military than the rest of the World combined. We are defending an America that doesn't even belong to us anymore. The American family has fewer children than at any time in it's history and access to education and information is vastly greater than even a few years ago but illiteracy is at an all time high and rising. A Chinese child whose family lives in a provincial area, in one room, on an income of a few dollars a day, receives a better education than the majority of American youth. Things aren't just getting worse. We're still making them worse.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Loss Leader Turkey

Later this morning I will buy a frozen turkey at Ralph's. If I spend $25 dollars it's 37 cents a pound. A 24lb bird will cost me about $9. I don't like to cook a big turkey. Then it's like a race to eat it before it goes bad. The trick is to utilize the entire bird at your leisure over a month or two.

I will bone the bird stripping off all the meat. The carcass I will immediately roast along with the neck, giblets and skin, with a couple of sliced onions, on a rack. When done I can make a nice, brown stock with carrots and celery, some for soup and some for casserole sauce. The fat gets poured into a saucepan. Chunks of the meat can be slow simmered in it, into a confite, which will keep for months in the frig. Very French. La La. The thigh meat would be good for this. The drumsticks I will put in a butcher's brine. It can cure for weeks if I want and makes a good roast or barbecue. It can also be cooked with blackeyed peas, beans or greens. It will be redder than ham and only a little salty. The breast can be cut into one pound portions, plastic wrapped and frozen. Easy meals. The small scraps I will use right away for soup and we'll eat soup this week. The larger scraps I will bag up and freeze along with half the stock for pot pie, a la king, tettrazini, whatever. A lot of meals, cheap. Yum.

It's not so much we need to economize. I like a little domestic challenge.

Turkey isn't that inspiring of a poultry variety. I'm not that crazy about it. It's OK. I wish we had a holiday where they sold cheap duck. Goose would be even better.

Who are those Guys?

Over 90% of Americans say they believe in God. Almost half say they go to church at least once a week. 66% of Americans say they are very patriotic and virtually all the rest claim to be at least somewhat patriotic. Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal conservatism. It is mere window dressing in the party platform. They claim to be the party of religious, patriotic Americans. The numbers don't add up. If they were what they claimed, they would sweep elections in every State. Who are they ?

They are the party of race hatred, cultural separatism, subjugation of women and children, traditional economic entitlements. They are the Gay bashers, disenfranchisers of the poor, revilers of the educated, the artistic, the tolerant, the scientific, anyone engaged in novel thought or creativity. They are the party of authoritarian organized religion, seeking to stifle those of alternative philosophy or lifestyle. They are the party of unilateral foreign wars of aggression, currently targeting the towel headed, sand nigger but ever on the lookout for new enemies.

They say that America has made a terrible mistake and is headed for disaster. For all I know, they are right. I know I will not go where they want to take me. I would rather go to Hell, be devoured by Satan and burn forever in his foul, digestive juices, than take one step, as a fellow traveler on the road to the America they would create. You can't always know where you go. It can be enough to know where you are not going. When unsure of the dangers ahead, go with those who pose the least danger.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why All The Bailouts Will Fail

CNBC reports that four and one third trillion dollars have already been committed by the Federal government to bailing out the financial system. That is a lot of money. It is ultimately money thrown away.

If you give money to sailors, they will find prostitutes. If you give money to builders they will add a bathroom to your house. If you give money to lawyers they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. If you give money to doctors, they will diagnose you with a disease, then cure you. If you give money to policemen they will arrest people you don't like. If you give money to merchants, they will buy stuff cheap and put it on sale. If you give money to miners they will dig holes in the ground. If you give money to a company losing money they will lose some more. If you give money to poor people, they will buy crack cocaine and have pizza delivered. They can't help it, it's just the way they are.

If you give money to bankers, they will steal it. Then they will ask for more. They can't help it. It's just the way they are.

There is no use blaming the bankers. They are just doing what bankers do. The blame is on us, for giving them money.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bush Pardon?

Despite crimes committed and damage done to the American people, President Bush is not a traitor. He is not guilty of treason. To treat him as such would be unfair. He is a scoundrel. What he has done is the equivalent of petty crime on a grand scale.

He should be tried for his crimes. He should be exposed for what he is to the American people. After conviction, he should be placed in a cage on the National mall, displayed for a week. People could come by, jeer and catcall. They could pelt him with rotten fruits and vegetables. Finally he should be tarred, feathered and run around town on a rail, then dumped in a stinking tidal flat of the Potomac at low tide, followed by fireworks and liquor for all. He then should be transported to the farthest reaches of the Republic, Guam perhaps, to live out his life in exile, alone and friendless.

The question arises. Can Bush pardon himself before leaving office? Will he pardon himself for specific crimes or can he absolve himself for everything he might have done, up to this point in his life? Would such a pardon hold up if the American people were determined to take appropriate action against him?

I think he'll probably be allowed to go home to Texas and drink himself to death. His parents can take care of him. I hope they live for many years yet.

Cheap Computing.

I'm not usually that astute about anything in particular. A lot of the time I make decisions that turn out to be less than optimal. I look on the bright side. I'm better than most people at dealing with disappointment. Sometimes I do the right thing, often unwittingly or by mistake. I am always pleasantly surprised. I buy a lot of stuff used. It doesn't always work out that well. I've had pretty good luck with computers.

I was reading an article about how the cost of a good usable computer has stayed the same over the last 25 years. That didn't surprise me. Most electronics have gotten cheaper over the last several decades. I remember in the Sixties, when a huge console stereo phonograph/radio/television was considered to be nearly on a par with the purchase of a new car. For the same money today you can still get a full range of state of the art, home entertainment hardware. What surprised me in this article about computers was the price they claimed a good computer cost. It was $2500 to $3000. For new stuff, that probably is true, it might even be more.

Don't ever buy new computers unless you are affluent enough not to care about money. Don't buy a laptop as your main computer. For most users, the best buy is an "obsolete" tower, at least one or two generations old. Towers are easily expandable and for old ones this can be done cheaply. Buy an old tower that is already maxed out and you're even better off. Often these machines have capabilities equal to or greater than current low and mid range models, even when several years old.

I like Apple computers and I am not a "power" user. I can currently purchase an end generation G4 tower with dual 1 GHz processors, a cd/dvd burner, a couple of internal hard drives and lots of RAM, that sold new in late 2002 for upwards of $15,000 dollars , for no more than $150. A lot of times they will throw in a display for free. This machine will do everything and more than most people need right now and for at least a few years to come. They used to edit feature films on machines like these. You aren't going to have any trouble balancing your checkbook, surfing the net, writing the great American novel or downloading all the porn you want with it.

If you travel, chances are you will use a laptop for little more than Email and a little word processing. You might also go on the net to check on hotel reservations or whether your flight is on time. You don't need a new Mac Book Pro for that. An old G3 clamshell will do just fine. Another benefit of an ancient laptop for travel is that even the most Neanderthal baggage handler will disdain to steal it. One less worry while traveling. You can pick these up all day for $50 or even less. So, for $200 dollars you have all your computing needs covered. Find a cheap printer someplace and you're in business.

Apple has a new OS in the works, that will only work for the new generation of multi core, Intel chip computers. It won't be out for at least eight or nine more months. It will take another year or so after that for all the software to be upgraded to take advantage of it. After that, if you really are a power user, you might feel you need a Mac Pro tower. I might even feel I need one. By that time, Apple should be well into the 3rd generation of Intel machines and maybe into the 4th. The 1st generation should be down to at least $500 or so. I'll probably wait a while longer. $200 is my target. The truth is that computers are beginning to significantly outperform the needs of most users.

The biggest single factor that will probably force me to buy another computer is website inflation. People building websites tend to expand them to the limits of the capacity of their own machine to load and display. As they get more capable machines, the websites become more complex and difficult to access. This is especially true of porn sites. Other than simply the prestige of having the fastest processor and biggest hard drive on the block, this is the main reason men want new computers.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This Guy

Everything you need to know about the current trends of fundamentalist, Pentacostal Christianity in America, you can learn by reading about This Guy.

Was Tailgunner Joe McCarthy the Founding Father of Our Country?

The founding fathers proclaimed a national motto, E Pluribus Unum. From many, one. The fundo zealot loves to proclaim the Christian heritage of the nation by pointing to In God We Trust, stamped on every coin and printed on every bill. They exalt the linking of God and the nation in the pledge of allegiance, recited by every school child, every day.

The heritage of neither comes from the founding fathers. It was during the Civil War, in the first term of Abraham Lincoln that the Secretary of the Treasury first directed that In God We Trust be stamped on the penny. He was convinced to do this by his protestant minister. The motto was used intermittently on a few other coins for the next century. It wasn't until the hysterics of the Red Scare in 1955, that In God We Trust was required to be inscribed on all money.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Protestant minister in 1892. At that time it was a generic patriotic utterance with no reference to either the United States of America, or God. It was a couple of decades before the United States of America was Specifically added. The pledge itself, while commonly recited from the 1920s on, was not officially sanctioned by the government until the patriotic fervor of World War II, in 1942. The reference to God in the pledge was, like the In God We Trust Motto on Money, not added until the height of the Red Scare, in 1955.

The founding fathers, while they had nothing against religion, were leery of it, having seen how much war, suffering, death and division it had caused in other societies. They were by no means all devoted Christians themselves. Indeed, the greatest among them, Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton and many others could well be classified as secular humanists, by today's Rightist agitators. There is no heritage of Christian nationhood that was passed down from them and they would be sorely disappointed to think that anyone in the future would claim it to be so.

The strict separation of Church and State is one of the most important building blocks of any free society. That we have largely subverted this principle tells us about the extent of the freedom that we currently enjoy.

Take Back the Freedoms that were once Ours. The Church has Its Prescribed Place and Must Be Returned to It.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's What's for Dinner.

Have you seen the menu for the White House G 20 dinner tonite? Nothing elaborate. Four courses, a choice of two entrees. Applewood smoked quail. You don't see that on the menu every day. Sounds really yummy. And four different wines. A nice champagne with the dessert plate. I'm sure Whore-Hay doesn't want to embarrass us by not offering a sophisticated and delicious repast to our friends from around the World.

I simmered up some sweet and sour cabbage with bacon ends and pieces for the weekend. I baked a big pan of cornbread. Buttermilk and hot black coffee both go good with this. You really can't get any better than that.

What are you having?

Barack Has It Made

Barack Obama's Presidency can't lose. It's pretty much of a cinch that Bush's Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary aren't going to turn things around in the next sixty days. So Bush is going to own this depression. Just like Herbert Hoover owned the one that dominated the 1930s, even though he was President during very little of it. It's not going to hurt Barack at all that Bush was a total asshole as President, with the lowest popularity ratings since Andrew Johnson.

If things continue to get worse or stay bad, Barack doesn't have to make them better. He just has to convince the people that are suffering, that he is on their side. If he doesn't do much for them, he just has to say he's doing all he can. There are so many in need and not enough to go round. People will see the truth in that. They will need somebody to believe in. The worse conditions get. The higher the levels of poverty and unemployment. The better for Barack. He can pass all the regressive tax measures he wants, they aren't going to hurt people that don't have any money anyway. If those who are prosperous are treated unfairly, so what? They are prosperous and can afford to pay. There aren't going to be enough of them to turn Barack out of office. Fuck'em.

If things do get better, then Barack is the savior of the country and a second term is assured.

Republicans think they will make gains during the next election cycle, because they have lost the last two. I think that is not very likely. If they treat Barack with cooperation and respect, they validate him and more people will vote Democratic. If they continue to vilify him, they will be seen as the dogs in the manger that they are and people will still vote Democratic as an anti Republican response.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Michael Hayden is a Lying Little Shitbag

Michael Hayden is an Iran Contra criminal. He should have done hard time then and his little worm brother Robert Gates with him. He was a liar then. He is a liar now. These are attributes he shares with most of the highest officials of the Bush administration. He says that al Qaeda is still the single biggest threat to American security. He has not a single fact to back that up. He says that bin Laden is isolated from the day to day workings of al Qaeda and living somewhere on the Pakistani/Afghan border, expending great efforts on his own security. No facts. He says that large numbers of seasoned al Qaeda fighters who fought in Iraq have spread out over the Middle East and East Africa and any terrorist attack on the US will bear their fingerprints. Totally made up.

Osama is more than likely living in one of his families many compounds, in the Gulf States, surrounded by friends and family. I say this because if I was him, that's what I'd do. There is no evidence that he is still in the field or that al Qaeda is still active. There is no evidence that we have ever fought al Qaeda in Afghanistan since the very earliest days of the invasion or in Iraq ever. In Afghanistan we fight the Taliban. In Iraq we fought Sunni Insurgents, a faction of which we named "al Qaeda in Iraq". We never killed a single fighter in Iraq who was a documented follower of Osama bin Laden. We killed a lot of other people though. A lot of them were old people, women and children. More, we just maimed or left homeless and destitute.

I'm not saying there never was an al Qaeda or that they don't pose a threat. I'm saying that after seven years of war on terror, trillions of dollars spent and millions dead and displaced, we don't have a fuckin' clue and Michael Hayden is a lying little shitbag. It's a shame that we haven't accomplished one damn thing we set out to do in seven years of sore conflict. It's a bigger shame we still don't know what it is, that we set out to do. That we don't even know anything about who we're trying to war against, is criminal. That we let this scaly little crap weasel lie to us, is a testament to our own monumental stupidity. We should all just pin little signs on our backs that say "Bomb Me".

You think what I've written isn't true? Enlighten me. Please.

Barnyard Bush Hosts A Sausagefest

Being President is a lot like surfing. You don't have any control over the wave or any assurance that the wave you catch will be a good one. All you can do is try and stay balanced and in the curl, then go as far as you can without wiping out. The best surfers don't do tricks, no cutbacks, bounce or air. They slouch on the nose, Gandelfing on forever. Eisenhower was like that. So was Reagan. Clinton too.

You never want to be concerned that a President doesn't seem to be doing much or that nothing much is happening during their term. That just means they're in the curl and moving along just fine.

Bush would not have been a good surfer. No balance. Show off. Cuts across another guys nose and then claims it wasn't his fault. He decreased taxes and raised expenditures, both way too much. He let corporate profits get out of hand but kept wages low. He encouraged workers with shrinking buying power to borrow their way to affluence. He started not one but two wars and let them both get out of hand and nothing to show but unpaid bills and a lot of dead bodies for either one. He created a huge and unwieldy Department of Homeland Security with no ability to improve on what we already had and great potential for waste, corruption and abuse of the American people. All the while, he strutted around like he knew what he was doing, scoffing at those who were his betters, which in his case was practically everybody. Guys like that spoil the beach for everyone, then go home to Glendale.

Bushie is having the G 20 finance ministers into the White House, to solve the World's financial problems. That'll probably work.

What a fuckin' jerk. It's not any kind of derangement syndrome. Just disgust. He should have stayed in the Valley. On the Slip n Slide. In his parent's backyard. Where his Mama could watch over him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spotlight on---INDIA---Is that Thugee Thing Still Going On?

India is about a third the size of the United States. It has almost as many people as China. Over a billion. It may soon have more. While China has done much to control population growth, India has not. India's economy has been growing at an impressive 5-6% a year but this is deceiving. The GDP is still only around a trillion dollars a year, a little more than Mexico or South Korea. They have a healthy trade surplus but this is only because most people there are too poor to buy much of anything, much less anything imported.

While they have a wide range of developing industry, it's production does not do much more than keep up with the demands of a growing population. India has the largest motion picture industry in the World. Have you ever seen an Indian movie? They boast one of the larger steel and automotive industrial productions in the World. The steel is of poor quality, oxidizing quickly, even in a dry climate, which India does not have and the automotive output consists largely of small displacement motor scooters of a quality and technology similar to that seen in Southern Europe, immediately after the devastation wrought by World War II. Licensure of industrial production is strictly controlled by government and only a select class can participate. Imported goods that compete with those of domestic provenance are not allowed. This does not foster the development of a beneficial system of competition. Indian manufactured goods do not sell competitively in World markets. I was recently the owner of a late model, state of the art Indian motor scooter. If someone offered me another for free and $2000 a year with which to maintain it, I would turn them down flat and I love motor scooters of exactly the type they produce. Recently the Japanese have been making reciprocal agreements with Indian manufacturers, providing capital and technological assistance. This may help the situation but maybe not. Indian industrialists do not have a good record of profit sharing with foreign partners. The Japanese may soon be gone, as others before them are.

Agriculture depends largely on small, non mechanized family holdings that function at not much greater than subsistence level. Irrigation is primitive and locally sourced. Aquifers in India are rapidly depleting due to over exploitation. Potable water is a major problem in all areas of India, urban and rural. India claims to be agriculturally self sufficient. It is doubtful that this is true. There have been food riots in recent years. The government has been forced to buy large quantities of cereal grains on the international market, in stiff competition with other populous, non food self sufficient nations. This situation is not likely to get better soon. A billion people eat a lot. They are largely vegetarian. It is a wise choice on their part.

India claims a modern educational system and English as the language of education, due to a history of English colonialism and several competing languages of their own, divided into hundreds of distinct local dialects. They claim a literacy rate approaching 70%. This is generous but even if true, leaves 350 million or so with no literacy skills what so ever. Another 350 million Indians have only the most basic skills. That would leave about 400 million with the kind of literacy that would be considered barely adequate in the Western World, perhaps reading at a forth grade level and able to fill out simple repetitive forms reliably. Only a small percentage of those would be suitable for simple clerical work and an even smaller number have real technical training. Those lucky enough to receive technical educations leave India in very large numbers, who can blame them. Those who actually are chosen to receive educations in the West, never return, ever. Many telecom companies have utilized Indian workers, because of the extreme low cost and the prevalence of English language skills. It has not worked out well for them. Most of them are wrapping things up and leaving.

India is a country that business and economic experts tell us is poised to weather the World economic downturn and continue it's economic expansion. I wouldn't hold my breath. It is a hellhole of poverty, disease and starvation in the grip of a religion ridiculously superstitious, even by the standards of six toed, cross eyed, American Pentecostal, snake handling, tongue talkers. Its current population levels are unsustainable and they are in the midst of an uncontrollable population explosion. If by some fluke they did become marginally more affluent as a society, they would choose to expend those resources immediately, on a nuclear conflagration with Pakistan.

It may not be the economic engine to help pull the World into the twenty first century.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Red Rover Come Over

The AIG bailout got expanded this week by at least 40 billion or so. A couple more big banks went bust last Friday. GM and Ford are both going to get at least 50 billion and it won't save either one, only delay their demise. They will get more before that happens. The government is now formulating a plan whereby it will backstop banks if they decrease the amount owed on individual mortgages commensurate with the mortgaged properties current market value. We know that the FDIC will soon need hundreds of billions to keep funding insurance deposits as banks fail. The banks remaining extant will continue to need huge infusions of liquidity as stocks and bonds sell off. The government will continue to need to buy huge blocks of bad debt from financial institutions that hold it. The States are starting to go bankrupt as revenues dwindle and expenses rise. They do not have the privilege of issuing debt and printing money ad infinitum. They are going to demand bailouts, just like financial institutions that are already receiving them. California, where I live, could go trillions in debt, over the next few years. All the other States are in the same boat and most of them, unlike California, already receive more revenue from the Federal government than they contribute.

In the meantime, as the economy worsens and unemployment rises, Federal tax revenues will shrink, whether taxes are raised or not. People eligible for social safety net entitlement benefits are going to be increasing dramatically, as well as additional job creation and economic stimulus programs. Public works programs may build up the infrastructure in the long term and benefit the economy for generations to come but the dollar cost will be huge now. The military continues to run up huge bills the government can't pay. It is likely that the government will even increase military manning levels, as a way to address rising unemployment.

The current national debt is 11 trillion. It will be 22 trillion in less than 2 years, maybe a lot less. It will likely be in the 50 trillion dollar range by the end of President Obama's first term. I have no reason to believe that the economy will be better in 4 years. It likely will be worse, with much worse yet to get. The current level of debt, 11 trillion, at today's dollar valuation is not serviceable by our government, even in an expanding economy and the kind of moderate inflation we have been experiencing over the last 50 years.

How long will foreign entities continue to buy and hold American debt? They have problems of their own. Big problems. The Chinese people are used to eating. They are going to continue to want to do so. If their government wants to stay in power, it will make sure it feeds them. The Europeans have their own financial institutions to bail out and a fragile European union to maintain. The Indians and Africans are a long way away and don't have much leverage against us but they are going to be unhappy as hell. The Arabs have as much of our money as they are ever likely to need. South Americans feel they have been working for the Yankee dollar long enough. I don't see a market for 40 trillion or so in American debt, internationally, over the next several years, do you?

Some interesting things are likely to happen soon.

A Girl Who Smelled Like Sex

Years ago I took a semester long class at the local junior college, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 8 to 9:30. There was a woman in the class, about 10 years younger than me, early to middle thirties. We were the only two that ever asked any questions. She was smart. Pretty soon we were sitting together in the back of the room every day, keeping up a whispered conversation. If one of us didn't get something the other one did and could get the point across. Better than taking notes. If you understand, things fall into place and stay there.

One thing about this girl was a little disconcerting. She always smelled like sex. Not sex awhile ago. Not sex before a recent shower. Juice dipping down her thigh right now sex. Oh well, you live in the real World, you get to deal with real things.

We got to be friends. Like people do in college classes. One day, on break, I bought her coffee and gave her a cigarette and asked her about it. I tried to be off hand. I didn't want her to think I was trying to fuck her. She didn't seem that embarrassed.

She worked nights,like me. She didn't drive. Never had. She needed the class. There was no way that she could make it from work to the class, on the bus, in time. Her brother always picked her up at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and drove her. He always fucked her in the parking lot, before she got out of the car. He always did it, whenever he drove her anywhere. He had for as long as she could remember. He was always good about driving her wherever she needed to go. He knew she wouldn't abuse the privilege.

It wasn't a big secret. Everyone in her family knew. Even the brother's wife. It was just the way things were. She said if she got married, it would probably stop. If she got married, she would have to quit work. And taking college classes. She was a girl with plans.

The subjugation of women is a relative thing, isn't it?

Pro Birth Is Not Pro Life

Listen closely to what the Pro life movement says, read carefully what they write. What they really are is Pro Birth. They have no concern about the health, function or cognition of either the mother or the child. They don't care about the circumstances of conception. They don't care who raises the child or how. They only care that every pregnancy comes to fruition.

Other than sexual abstinence, they do not condone any form of birth control. Heterosexual vaginal intercourse is the only sexual act they recognize as not aberrant. If you have a lot of heterosexual vaginal intercourse, you have a lot of children. That is their mantra. It is a recipe for disaster. It is not a philosophy likely to be practiced, even by its advocates. The advocacy of Pro Life principles ensures that those adopting it lie, cheat and continually deny reality, to others and to themselves. Pro Life is Pro Lie.

The Pro Life movement allows for no common ground. It allows for no common sense. Increased knowledge or scientific insight is unwelcome among them. It has as its basis, the subjugation of all women and children. There is no shame in engaging with them in dialogue. To attempt to do so repeatedly in the face of repeated rebuff, is a fool's game. We will, as a society, come to a recognition of fetal rights. We will do so, necessarily, without the Pro Life movement. They are not up to the task. They have not the spirituality, the humanity or the intellect for the task.


Help Me Pave The Road To Hell

It is a commonly held belief in this country that we are on the road to hell and that the people who are leading us there are the Chardonnay sipping, hot tub bathing, wife swapping (if they even bother to get married), God denying, evolution believing, homosexual tolerating, over educated, socialist, secular humanist, abortion mongers.

This is a crock of shit. Countries dominated by secular humanist thought have less crime in general and much less violent crime. People live longer in these countries and are happier doing it. They are healthier and have better health care. They enjoy higher standards of living. They have fewer poor. They do not engage in war. They commit suicide less. Women in these countries enjoy real equality and consensual sex is more than just an empty phrase. Abortion in these countries, while legal, is rare and decreasing. In fact, most of the problems modern, secular societies do have, stem directly from those members of society who cling to religious observance.

Show me a country where inequality is rampant, where hunger is common place, where genocidal war flourishes, where famine and disease are epidemic, where atheists are running things.

I'll Never Forget

Wherever you go, whatever you do, you meet all kinds and you take people the way you find them. I served with guys that always took the time to help a shipmate along and some that wouldn't kick you to the side if you were being trampled on. I know guys that never came out a nickel ahead for serving and some who jockeyed disabilities they had long before their service, into lifelong pensions and medical care. I know guys who were motivated to serve by a deep love of country and denizens who wore the uniform 'cause nobody else would let them in the door. I knew guys whose worth was incalculable and those whose presence was a terrible liability. For some, military service is the defining experience of their lives, for good or ill. Others are untouched by it. Some serve during times of great need, some do not.

On Veterans day, some places there are parades and tributes. Some places it's just another work day. Some see great value in the service of veterans and some do not. I have my own feelings on the subject. They're mine, nobody elses. You have yours. Good luck with them.

I don't have any more to contribute on the subject. It's not a question of appropriateness. I just don't care to. It's never really mattered to me whether there are parades and tributes or whether I'm scheduled to pull a double shift on Veteran's Day. I'll never forget. Not one damn thing. Step softly.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Are You Getting Dead Peoples Checks?

An old lady in Illinois was found to be living with the bodies of three siblings in her house. One of them had probably been dead for 25 years. They took her off to the the funny farm for observation.

There's nothing crazy about it. A lot of people do something very similar. Old people living together count on every penny of pension and Social Security money to make ends meet. When someone dies, they don't want to make cuts to already tight budgets. They just don't notify anyone of the death and the checks keep coming, usually by direct deposit, into a joint account. If you're careful and aren't shy about signing the name of the deceased, you can keep it up forever.

My wife had an uncle who did this. He and his life companion lived together in a small lake cabin. As far as I know, he didn't keep Bud's body around. I think Bud was terminal and receiving hospice visits. If this is the case, the coroner does not have to be notified of the death. If you go to a cut rate crematorium, they don't keep very complete records or send proper notification to the Feds. In any case, Hughey kept getting Bud's pension and SS checks until he also died. He needed the money. This was long ago. There was no domestic partnership at that time. They were together for at least 35 years. Nobody in the family is really sure. He just started showing up at some of the smaller family gatherings, introduced as Hugh's best friend and eventually became a fixture. Just two old batchelors.

How well fixed will you be if your spouse died or your spouse if you died? If you move to a vacation cabin with a privy and keep a large bag of quick lime handy, you may have more options than you know.

Ice Cream

I like ice cream. Some people are allergic to dairy and can't eat it but they would if they could. My favorites are regular old vanilla and chocolate, the kind you can buy at the market really cheap in 5 quart plastic buckets. My wife likes to save the buckets, so I don't buy those too much.

I'm OK with pretty much any flavor of ice cream. American ice cream is whipped up with a lot of air in it. European ice cream is more dense. Bring'em on. Some flavors I prefer over others. I rarely choose to eat peppermint or pistachio if I have a choice of others but if that's what is available I'm in for it. Sometimes, ethnic stores and restaurants will have foreign flavored ice cream, licorice, green tea and rosewater come to mind. They are worth a try. I went to a place once where all they had was burian flavored ice cream, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Makes you wish politicians and religious leaders were more like ice cream, instead of raw corn whisky and chewing tobacco.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Pro Life Cause Re-Examined.

I change my mind all the time about little things. Everybody does. The big things are another matter altogether. Opinions on big picture issues are formed by experiences and observations made over a lifetime and at some point I become so polarized that I disregard evidence that might cause me to modify my opinion and accept only those inputs that reinforce it. I think this is not a phenomenon exclusive to me. I think most people do it. I think I have tried, more than most, to construct my beliefs myself, rather than to simply adopt those of my family, culture and peers.

I think it is time for people of a liberal persuasion to take another look at the pro life movement. The core of my beliefs on this subject were forged when I was a child and adolescent. Those were different times in America. The things that I saw happening to women forced to endure a pregnancy and raise a child outside of culturally sanctioned conditions, who had to change the course of their lives at a young age to fit within cultural norms necessary to raise a child or risk their own death to avoid it, perhaps no longer exist, in this country.

The reason I took so long to reevaluate my position on pro life issues was because of the pro life movement itself. No other major political or social advocacy movement is so filled with ignorant, hate filled, violence prone, cretins. They offer no real plans for how to deal with the addition to American society of millions of children, born to mothers, many without financial or psychological resources to raise them. These forces continue to couple an insistence on sexual abstinence along with a pro life agenda. They seek to return to the culture of punitive condemnation and ostracism that made life for women before legalized abortion, so intolerable. Always in the pro life movement there is the drumbeat of the most repressive, superstitious, intolerant and evangelical sectors of organized religion. Finally, the unbending insistence that women must be coerced into continuing a pregnancy by law enforcement agencies, the judicial system and ultimately, criminal penalty, make the current pro life movement impossible for me to support.

In the end one indisputable fact remains. Every one of us, not at deaths door already or enduring horrible debility, pain and suffering, is pro our own life, no matter what. The desire to continue our own lives is the most overriding of all. Those unborn, while they may have advocates, cannot advocate for themselves. They are the most vulnerable of all of us and deserve the most consideration. This has nothing to do with religion or morality. Those who make it so do disservice to those they seek to protect.

I could never join the current pro life movement. Those who lead the movement and are most active within it are the same hate mongering, reactionary, religious zealots who caused the problems associated with illegitimacy in the first place. The very term illegitimacy says all you need to know about them. The tactics of the pro life movement are hate rhetoric, violence and even murder rather than dialogue, programs of support and acceptance for pregnant women and increased indoctrination, education and availability of all types of birth control. There are certain to be many among the pro life movement who understand its fundamental flaws but support it anyway. Those people must be co opted into a new movement that can be embraced by larger numbers. The movement must move from John Brown to Abraham Lincoln, hopefully avoiding a civil war, this time.

The pro life cause is a valid one but it must change to achieve its goals. As it exists today it is nothing more than polarizing thuggery that gets us nowhere and helps no one.

Subway Tokin' through the Big Dig

I was never a Hippie. We preferred the term Freak but people tend to lump a lot of the denizens of the Sixties together. I never smoked that much marijuana. Two reasons. One, it's not a very challenging or exhilarating drug. Two, smoking it was a very social experience. It became mainstream so quickly that I always ended up smoking it with some people that didn't meet my highly developed standards of deviance. I know a lot of people that continue to smoke it, after forty years and it seems to be a perennial favorite with the young folks. A mild, gateway drug is important to those of us interested in keeping the pipeline for hard core hallucinogenics, wide open and flowing.

One of the lesser publicized gains of the late election was the passage of a marijuana decriminalization plebiscite in Massachusetts. From now on possession of marijuana in amounts of one ounce or less will get you a $100 maximum fine and a non criminal "ticket" from the police.

I guess the Mormon, Catholic and Snake Handler churches don't mind the evil weed. Right On, Brother Bro'. One step at a time will take us on down the Yellow Brick Road of Life.

From the Horses Mouth

I usually buy cheap Halloween candy about this time. The day after Halloween, leftover candy usually can be had at the local supermarkets and drug stores at half price. About a week later it goes down some more. I was at my local supermarket yesterday and noticed that there was very little cheap candy to be had.

I struck up a conversation with a young employee, grabbing a smoke outside the store entrance. Very interesting. He said nobody bought candy this year. Most of it never even got uncrated but just sat stacked in the store room, blocking passage. This week, they loaded it all on trucks and sent it back. So, no cheap candy. I asked what they would do with all that candy, because it was packaged in Halloween themed wrappings. He said not this year. Most of the candy was in regular wrapping. The candy companies knew it might not sell. They can cut production for a while and hopefully run inventories down during the holiday season. I said he must be glad to have gotten all that candy out of the back room. He said no, now it was filled with Thanksgiving stuff and it wasn't selling and this week the Christmas stuff was starting to come in. The kid said sales were down across the board this year and he didn't think the Christmas stuff was going to sell any better than the Halloween or Thanksgiving items.

This is at a store in a very affluent area of coastal SoCal. It's probably worse a lot of other places. One of the last things people cut back on is food.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vanity, Thy Name Is Lance

The anti Gay marriage amendment to the California State Constitution seems to be on the way to passing. C'est la vie. California already has some of the strongest protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual preference in the World. Domestic partnership is available to any two people, on any basis and carries the same benefits of marriage. It's pretty hard to sell gay marriage on the basis that it's an anti discrimination measure. Half of Californians, almost none of whom are gay, voted to allow gay marriage anyway. Whether gay marriage is specifically denied by the Constitution or not, I'm sure this issue will soon be revisited. Huge amounts of money were funneled into this effort by the Mormon church, Catholic church and James (don't pull me out of the closet) Dobson. I hope it was worth it to them. You'd think there would be starving children in Haiti that could have used the 80 million more.

I've never been to a Gay wedding. I'd probably go if invited. I don't see that happening any time soon. I have one friend that would like to get Gay married. He's in his early 50s now. He's HIV+. He won't drink domestic sparkling wine and has been known to spend his food stamp money on Stilton Cheese and black truffles. In the twenty plus years I've known him, he hasn't had a steady job or a steady boyfriend. You never know. It could happen.

I think religious intolerance toward Gays is partly their own fault. Gays are religious in surprising numbers and to a surprising extent. They go to and are active within the church. They may be out in every other aspect of their lives but not in church. I don't get it. They should get right in the church's face. It's not like the church can get along without them. Who would play the organ or sing in the choir? Who would arrange the flowers for the weekly alter piece and embroider the alter clothes? Who would come to the yearly church clean up day? They tithe generously. If they withheld services and contributions, the church would soon be begging to marry them, not putting up money to ban Gay marriage.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wedding Night, Bring Out The Blooded Sheet

Best to write this without thinking about it too much. Election night went quickly and much as anticipated. Coverage on the major cable news networks was complete and results were delivered quickly and uniformly. As usual, if you wanted liberal punditry, MSNBC was the place to be. CNN came through with it's dazzling array of high tech bells and whistles and more experts than anybody could want. Surprisingly, Fox had the best, most coherent, controlled and watchable coverage. It was a little slanted but I didn't mind a bit. Fox's outstanding performance was due entirely to the masterful control of the coverage by their anchor, Britt Hume. I remember Hume as a young Washington correspondent on ABC 35 years ago. Of all of the television newsmen emerging at that time, I always thought he was the best. He has a quick mind, a self depreciating sense of humor and understands those things that he is reporting on. These assets left him standing virtually alone among the crowd of Brokaws, Rathers and Jennings of that era. Fox News will miss him if he leaves as is rumored.

John McCain made the best speech of his life tonight while conceding the election to Barack Obama, I believe he meant every word he said. There probably isn't a politician in America better prepared or more appropriate to have made such a speech. I mean no slight or disrespect of him in saying that. If the Republicans had had the wisdom to put him up for the Presidency eight years ago, we would not be at war today. The economy would not be in ruins. The Republican Party would not be wandering, barefoot and six toed, through a fundamentalist, Christian wilderness. He is a great American. He doesn't wear a little fucking flag on his lapel. He doesn't need one. The Republicans don't deserve him.

Barack Obama, during this campaign and in his acceptance speech tonight, understands the historical significance of his achievement. No matter what kind of President he is and I think he can be a very good one, much of that Presidency will not be about him at all but about the first Black President. He has sought, all along, to make sure the public acknowledgement of his achievements matches their historical significance. It does no credit to the first Black President of the United States to enter the White House through the back door with the hired help. I do not believe that he himself has a propensity for large crowds and elaborate staging. I think he understands that it is a necessarily formal wedding of State, that must be gotten through. If it was me, I wouldn't be able to do it. He's a smart guy, with a strong stomach. That will help him in the job he has to do.

Noblesse Oblige.

On The Rogue Again

Sarah Palin arrived in Arizona later than expected, about 8 PM(EST) after returning to Alaska last night to vote in her hometown of Wasilla this morning. She will spend election night at Republican Headquarters with her running mate John McCain.

Her staff had difficulty getting her to make the long flight back to the lower 48, for the second time in 24 hours. She saw no need. She's a maverick and smarter than she looks. She doesn't want to endure any more hugs from the old perv, either.

Who can blame her. On either count.

Memries, Like the Corners of My Mind

Fundo faggot whiners are complaining about two black militants dissing the Fox newsies at the door of a Philly polling place. One of them had a night stick. How terrible for them.

Perhaps they have forgotten Conservative dreamboat mayor, Frank Rizzo, who ran Philadelphia in the Seventies. He blockaded hundreds of Blacks into their tenements, set the buildings on fire and shot down women and children, who came out to avoid burning, like dogs, in the streets.

Misty watercolor memries, of the way we were.

The Voting Experiance.

I went down to vote a little before 10. This has always proven to be a good time and it was today. The polls were a lot busier than usual but still only about ten minutes wait versus the usual no wait. The surprise was the number of non typical voters for my precinct. Usually there is nobody under fifty five to be seen. I'm fifty seven and still in the "young" demographic. There were a lot of young people there. People actually in their 20s as well as 30s. There were also some middle aged, scruffily casual, long hair types. Very unusual. Minorities in my precinct means Persians, South East Asians and illegal Hispanics. Didn't see any. Never do.

Lots of younger voters could be good for the only two other things on the ballot that I care about, besides the Presidency, this election. The first is the defeat of the California anti-gay marriage proposition and the second is the defeat of my long time Republican Congressman, who is a total scumbag.

I gotta say. If you can see a difference in voters in my almost totally Republican precinct, in the Reddest County in SoCal, there have got to be a lot of places where things will really rock and roll.

If you're excited about this election, get out and vote. If you're not, start drinking early. It's not a good day to be a Republican.

Never Silent, Not A Majority

It will be hours before we have an idea about the numbers on this election. I have a couple of predictions.

Obama will win. I don't know by how much. McCain, whether he loses big or small can take comfort in one thing. He and the Hivehead have mobilized the base. I believe when the dust settles it will be clear that more people voted Red than ever before. No matter how many, more will have voted Blue. There is a deep divide in this country and getting wider as well as deeper. Neither side will feel beaten and neither side will become complacent. The color of the rhetoric will become brighter and the volume louder. The distance between the sides has become too great for even the those with the longest reach and willing to lean the farthest over the gap to grasp hands in cooperation.

Obama will win two terms. Those that put Obama in the Presidency will not care if he is successful in terms of effectiveness. His Presidency will be not one of expediency or ideology but faith. A populist faith that the other side only pretends to have. A faith that this country can become something it has never been and will never be. A place of equal opportunity for all. No place has ever been that. No place ever will be but they will come out today and they will come out again in four years, no matter what. After eight years, they will see how wrong they were but they will have given it a shot. After that, your guess is as good as mine. One thing to remember though, is that once people establish a pattern of regular voting, they tend to keep to it. This bodes well for Democracy in America, if not for solution to the problems that beset us.

I read a lot on the Internet about Sarah Palin being the anti Obama. The transformational political figure in the future of the Republican party. The only thing transformational about her is her ability to make herself into the kind of gross, cartoonish, caricature that was needed to mobilize the lumpish, militantly ignorant, masses that the Republicans increasingly count on to buoy up their vote tallies. There may be a continuing place for her but not in the leadership. Never again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sodomy and Witchcraft

We live in a country where we routinely invade foreign nations for reasons unrelated to anything that the invaded government or it's citizens are involved in. We live in a country where the government is trying to weasel out of providing a social or medical safety net for the old, sick, poor or young but is willing to shell out trillions to shore up corporations who have nothing but their own greed to blame for their current predicament and whose executive class is sitting on 90% of the personal wealth in this country, which has increased 400% in the last eight years. The government does all this on the cuff. They don't pay for any of it. Simply take out another loan and let the next guy pay.

I know a guy that sero converted positive for HIV a couple years ago. He's 52. He has a small business and works as a dinner house waiter on the side. No benefits, no 401 K, nothing saved. At least he doesn't owe anything.

I know a lady that is 67, with diabetes and several related health problems. She needs to retire. It shouldn't be a problem. She's worked for the same State Agency since 1967, full time, never missed a day. She has two adult sons. They had some problems with the law. They have some problems with drugs. They have some problems with employment. She never spends any money on herself. She owes 400 thousand on a condo she bought for almost nothing 20 years ago and is worth almost nothing again. She cashed out her retirement plan for what she had into it. She can get it back if she pays what she would have contributed over the last 40 years, with interest. Not a chance she can come up with that kind of money. There's even a kicker. Since she works for the State, she never paid into Social Security and isn't eligible.

These things represent the kind of problems that our country is facing at different ends of the spectrum. There are other problems. There are productivity problems. We are dependant on petroleum based power sources with rapidly decreasing access to petroleum. We have climate change related to petroleum use and no consensus on how to deal with it and large scale denial that it even constitutes a problem.

It's election time now. I don't know what the main issues people are basing their votes on where you are but here, two of the main concerns are gay marriage and abortion. What this boils down to, is sodomy and witchcraft. The three biggest contributors to political advertising in this State, this year, for these issues, are the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church and the Focus on the family organization. It doesn't seem to me that we have come as far as we need to have in the last six hundred years or so, in the areas of social and political awareness. Maybe these are the things people are really going to fixate on, no matter what else is happening.

I would like to move on.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Republican Party needs to be Destroyed

The real battle ground States are turning out to be Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota and Georgia. John McCain, statistically, could still win any of these states. He might even win the majority, if traditional voting patterns prevail and the Democrats strategy of increased voter registration proves to be a failure at the ballot box. He might win all of them if the undecideds turn out heavily and break strongly Republican. Winning all of these States will not give McCain the White House. Not nearly.

The real significance of this election is not whether the Republicans will keep the Presidency or the Democrats will increase their majorities in Congress. It is whether this will be a watershed election that signals a permanent change in American political party affiliation. I have mixed feelings about this. I would not want to see an extended period in which the Democrats control Government, with only a weakened Republican party in opposition. This wouldn't be any better than what we've had for the past decade and that has been a disaster. The Republican party needs to be beaten so badly that it either goes away or is forced into a period of Radical restructuring. I would frankly, prefer the former. I'm not convinced this is that election. I hope I'm wrong.

We need a party in this country that supports strict fiscal responsibility, in the personal, business and public sectors. We need a party that works to preserve and expand individual freedom and protects the rights of disenfranchised minorities, with the same vehemence that the current Republican party has suppressed them.

Poor John McCain, So far from God, so close to George W Bush

For the last week, Republican loyalists have been hanging onto the hope offered by Zogby's one day Presidential tracking polls. These statistically unreliable polls, with their small sample size and short duration, offered a ray of hope to them, as all other polls showed a widespread consolidation of Obama's support. Saturday, the Zogby one day indicator actually had McCain up one point on Obama, 47 to 46%, with a bullet. Alas, the bullet has ricocheted, striking Sheriff John in the heart. Today's latest Zogby one day wonder has Obama with 49.5% support, up almost seven percent on McCain. He's essentially a few undecided votes and a wake up, away from the Presidency.

These one day Zogby polls are not indicative of anything. All of the progressive tracking polls, including Zogby have Obama comfortably ahead, with no rapid trend changes indicated. A 3% lead in popular vote, nationwide, given current voter preference distribution, will give Obama close to or over 360 electoral votes, almost a hundred more than he needs. Every indication is that his margins of support will be greater than that. Maybe 5%. Maybe more. There are still a lot of variables, such as massive early voting and increased participation, that could send Obama's numbers sky high.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I'm Sorry

I used to really like and respect Ed, at the Captain's Quarters blog, before he shut down and went to work writing for Michelle Malkin over at Hot Air, with some guy named Allah Pundit. I don't go to Hot Air that often. It's not the same as Captain's Quarters and the tenor of the comments is way different.

Imagine my surprise when I went over there today and learned that all the pollsters are in the tank for Obama, as well as the media. John McCain is poised to win the election Tuesday by a landslide and the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress will be restored. I was surprised to learn that McCain will not only carry all of the former Red States but California and New Jersey as well. This news is being withheld from the American people because Obama is paying everyone that knows, not to tell. It will all come out next Tuesday, when McCain wins by the biggest margins in American electoral history.

Please disregard anything I have written here for the last several weeks. I have been misled by the mainstream media and the lying pollsters. I should have known better. I'm sorry.

I discovered Dinotopia today

Have you ever seen the TV series Dinotopia? I never had. I saw an episode today. It is based on a Hugo award winning series of illustrated novels, that I had never heard of. Maybe it's in the children's section of the library. I never go in there. The TV show is very colorful. Dinosaurs and humans live together in a joint society on a huge but uncharted island. There are also wooly mammoths, sabertoothed tigers and giant sloths. The dinosaurs talk and are just as smart and a lot more psychologically stable than humans. It's a little insipid.

Do you think Sarah Palin and her family think it is a docudrama? Would they kill and eat the talking dinosaurs?

Two Days and a Wake Up

John McCain really wants to win Pennsylvania. He's spending a disproportionate amount of time and money there. Winning there won't help him win the Presidency. Nothing he is capable of doing, will do that. It's out of his hands.

There are other States with races a lot closer than Pennsylvania. There are more strategically important races than in Pennsylvania. So what's the deal.

Pennsylvania is a Blue State. Barack Obama will win the Presidency by taking several Red States away from the Republicans. With the exception of West Virginia, John McCain has taken nothing from the Democrats. He wants to come away with something. Some symbol of fruition sprung from his hopes and efforts. Even if they came to naught. Like a fringed pillow, embroidered with the name of a city nobody goes to on purpose, carried home to her tawdry room by an old prostitute, after an ill fated trip. Proof that she got something out of it, besides sore and abused.

I kinda hope John wins Pennsylvania. Everybody needs to feel they came away with something.

She's Hot

Cable news spends a lot of time covering Sarah Palin at campaign events. She always says the same thing, so I don't pay too much attention to that. She's a good lookin' girl, so I pay attention to that. Have you noticed, she's taking off weight. A lot of it. Her clothes hang better. Her legs have more contour. Her cheeks and jaw line have more definition. Her neck line is longer and thinner. She's doing more with her make up. I love it.

She's hot.

What's Happening Isn't Always What You Think. Are Gay Rights And Prolife Causes Linked?

I've written recently about Proposition 8, which would deny gay marriage, on the ballot in California and why it needs to be defeated. From all available polling, it looks like it will be defeated. Aside from the obvious fact that gay people will continue to marry if they choose in California. What does the defeat of this proposition mean?

The percentage of gay Americans, even in States like California, where many gays gravitate because of the tolerance of society here, is very small. I doubt it's even 5% and that has got to be one of the highest gay demographics, by State, in America. This means that more than 45% of the population must go out of their way to protect the rights of somebody else, to do something that they will never do and which many of them, undoubtedly, have mixed feelings about. You need to think about that for a moment.

It says that something is happening in the way people think about our country and what it means to live here, for everyone, not just themselves. Some of the people who should be the most encouraged by this aren't happy at all. The most obvious example of this are those who believe in the pro life philosophy. By affirming everyone the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we are expanding the definition of who everyone is. Fifty years ago, if you were homosexual in this country, you were a criminal, with no right to be what you were. Today gay Americans are on the verge of being fully vested with the same rights, as anybody else. Stigma against gay parenthood and single parenthood are also going away. Fetal rights cannot be far behind, in being addressed. It's going to happen and change will come. I guarantee it. That's the way society is moving.

Somehow, I feel that when change comes, the people least happy about it will be those currently active in the pro life movement. I wonder if it's true?