Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cable TV Deadlock

I have Time Warner Cable. Fox is going to quit feeding to Time Warner at midnight, unless they get paid more money.

I would miss the Laker games but that's about it. A free market dictates that some station carried by Time Warner Cable will broadcast the Lakers. Those games get huge local ratings. I'm not really a big sports fan. If I'm watching, every body's watching.

Atheism Is Dying

Christers always used to say that there weren't enough atheists to be significant. Now they say that atheism is fading away. Next, they will proclaim that atheism can never constitute a majority.

What do you suppose the last thing will be that we hear from them, before we never hear anything again?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Luck

It's traditional to have black eyed peas and some kind of fatty pork with bitter greens and corn bread on New Years. Sometimes I have it, sometimes New years just gets me thinking about it and I have it later. You are also supposed to put some silver in the pot when you cook it. Some places they douse it with a lot of hot sauce. I don't do those things. They don't have silver money anymore and I don't like hot sauce with black eyed peas. It just tastes wrong.

I'm in more of a pintos with lard mood right now. I used to make that up when I was really poor. I made corn bread with it too. Now, I just go to Del Taco. They make a perfectly good burrito for a buck. After a couple of those, you don't want any more. I guess I'm not really that much of a traditionalist or maybe it's a case of adapting to the times.

Busted Flush

Rick Warren and his superchurch in Southern California are often cited as the model for successful contemporary church building. Historically, bad economic times have been fertile ground for nascent evangelical religious organizations.

A religious organization rising in sinking times must fit those times and give people what they need. I think people are still waiting for the religious organization that will give them hope now. I don't think it's Warren's superchurch. Here's why.

The Party of No. The Army of Lincoln.

In 1936, a small but vocal segment of the American population felt strongly about the need to provide military support to the Spanish Republican forces against the Royalists in the Spanish Civil War. To this end, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was formed and over 3,000 Americans went to Spain to fight. Funds were raised in America to support them. They fought under their own officers. Some other countries also sent contingents. The Soviets sent munitions to the Republicans. Adolf Hitler sent military aid and personnel to the Royalists. Eventually, the Royalists won and one third of the Lincoln Brigade died bravely.

Some Americans today believe it is very important that America intervene militarily in Yemen against the forces of al Qaeda. I do not believe there is majority support for such an intervention. I suggest that a second Abraham Lincoln Brigade be organized to fight al Qaeda in Yemen. Joe Lieberman could be its commanding General. Jonah Goldberg and William Kristol could be his Aides De Camp. Charles Krauthammer could head up intelligence.

It would be a splendid little war. I myself do not feel motivated to go but I would certainly attend to the docks at their bon voyage and wave my hanky gaily as their gallant ship embarked.

After they kick al Qaedas's ass in Yemen, they can go to Kenya, it's not too far and find Obama's real birth certificate.

Justice Janet?

There is probably another Supreme Court position opening up next Summer. Janet Napolitano was on the short list last time and many think she has a lock on the next slot. Barry O really likes her. Well, who wouldn't?

I like Janet for the job. She's smart. She's qualified. She's the Republican's worst nightmare. I doubt there would be anything they could knock her out of the Senate confirmation process with, although I'm sure they would try. What more could you ask for?

On the other hand. She's not particularly young or in good health, being a breast cancer survivor. I prefer someone who has a good chance to serve for thirty or forty years. Health concerns were my main objection to Sonia, last time.

One thing, she should come out as a dyke before she is confirmed. I believe in truth in advertising. Also, it would put John Roberts to shame. He's as Gay as a Sunny day in May. I despise a coward.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Avatar. Yeah or Neigh?

Has anybody seen Avatar yet? I've never been a big fan of Cameron's movies. Terminator II was probably the best one and it wasn't that good. He's really deficient in the area of character development. I was hoping this one would be a big flop, just because it cost so much but it seems to be doing well. I've never gone to a theater to see one of his movies. I'm not planning to break my steak now.

From what I can tell, he lifted the idea from the old Jay Ward Rocky and Bullwinkle TV cartoon series, the plot line where they enlist the help of Captain Peter Peachfuzz to claim Bullwinkle's inheritance of the floating Mount Flatten, the only source of the rare antigravity element, Upsydaiseyium. I hope he paid a royalty on that.

It's tempting to go and see it at an Imax. I've never been to one. I'd get my money's worth. It's almost three hours long.

What do you all think? Is it worth the money and time? I'm old and I lose critical butt circulation sitting upright in a theater seat that long. Makes my sciatica flair up too.

Ya know what? I lied. A friend of mine convinced me to go see Alien when it first came out. It wasn't terrible. Sigorny still looked pretty good in those days. Once again, character development was the big problem, which was a shame, it had a great cast.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Passing of an American Original

Arnold Stang died. He would have been an American icon but then Wally Cox came along and totally dominated the category. He made people love little nerdy guys, then died young. So unfair. Arnold had the better schtick and a longer run.

Pope Attacked By Deranged Co Religionist

The Pope was attacked by a Catholic woman at the midnight mass last night. She wasn't armed in any way. They say she is crazy. I don't know about that.

I just want to get it out there that most of the people who hate the Catholic Church or the Pope enough to attempt acts of violence against them are religious people. I can't think of an instance where an embittered atheist has attacked any religious figure. Maybe there have been some. I don't know. I know I wouldn't do it and I certainly qualify. I loath organized religion's attempts to make the rest of us toe their malignant line. The guy that shot John Paul II was a Muslim. I hear he's real sorry now. This lady that attacked the Pope yesterday has done it twice.

The current Pope is a pathetic little scumbag, probably a sexual pedophile pervert as well. He was instrumental in covering up the World wide priest sexual molester epidemic that has plagued the Church for the last thirty years and has been going on as long as anyone can remember. His pontificate is doing more than anything else to destroy the authority, credibility and following of the Catholic Church. More power to him. That's fine with me. I hope he lives to be a hundred.

Atheists just want Christers to leave them alone.

Slightly Frosty Christmas.

Coldest night of the year. Little bit of frost on the coldest parts of the rooftops and grass in the neighborhood. By early afternoon, it will be bright, Sunny and in the mid to high sixties.

Good football weather.

This is a tough time for the many tropical plants and animals in SoCal. A lot of areas in SoCal have flocks of wild parrots. A few have peacocks. When I was a kid in Garden Grove there was a pair of Toucans that came through every Winter. I swear to God.

We don't have anything like that in HB. I don't know why not. The weather is very mild. Where's my fuckin' parrots?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stupid Christer Scum Make Me Sick, Again

Have you seen this?

Very interesting. For any of you that haven't actually worn the uniform, what this translates to, is that any woman who gets pregnant while deployed to the Middle East will get an abortion without leaving the theater of operations, then return to duty for the remainder of her rotation. Even if she is willing to accept the punishment herself, whether she was coerced into sex or just overcome by the loneliness of a far away land, a woman will be forced to abort her child, in order to maintain the code of silence and protect a fellow soldier from court martial. Don't think for a moment that the Army won't make sure that its personnel have access to the latest in abortion drugs and medical technology, even if they have to bring in civilian staff to run the program under the table. That's what organizations like Blackwater and creative accounting are for.

What gets me is not the fact that this is an unconstitutional action on the Army's part. What gets me is, where are all the fuckwad, pro life, "prayer warriors" and "sidewalk counsellors"? They could actually be doing some good, saving some lives and supporting the troops by challenging the Army on this, instead of mugging young girls on the streets and fomenting the brutal murder of physicians.

Christer scum are never around when they could be doing some real good. Where were they when this abortion of a war was started? Where were they when their closeted gay, sodomite priests were butt fucking the last several generations of little Catholic boys. I'll tell you where they were, they were cheer leading W and Cheney as they trumped up the case for war and they were telling their little sons to shut the fuck up and bend over for Father, like he asked you to. They are too high minded to help a soldier. They'd rather stay safe at home and figure out ways to deny health care to the poor.


Monday, December 21, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

Gold took another $20 hit today.

Things to watch. Will the dollar continue to show strength? Will gold stop moving higher in overseas trading sessions? If both of those things happen, there is no telling how low gold can sink. I'm not expecting interest rates to rise in the near future but if they do, gold could be down for the count.

I'm hoping for at least the $900 an ounce level. At that point, if gold stocks are sufficiently depressed, I will cautiously begin to buy back into the market. Unless it's looking really puny. Then I'll wait even longer. I'm pretty sure gold will reach and surpass its recent all time highs sometime in 2010. This could be like taking candy from a baby. You never know though. It could turn out to be a particularly vicious baby.

How low do you think gold can go at this time?

Royal Canin Duck And Green Pea Cat Food

My wife scored a plastic trash can liner full of cat food from one of her friends. It probably weighs 20 pounds and the cans are 5.5 oz each, so there are probably at least 50 or 60 cans in there. It had been passed around to several people and none of their cats would eat it. Linda leaves food out for raccoons in the park, so she ended up with it. Raccoons will eat anything.

Before consigning it to the raccoons, I decided to see if our two cats would eat it. They are big boys, always hungry and will eat almost anything. This stuff is one of the anti allergy formulas that they sell in veterinarian hospitals. The ingredients look to be very high quality and it smells good. It's made almost completely from duck meat and green peas. On first try, while interested, the cats didn't eat much. It was finely ground and very dense. I decided to dilute it a little. First I mixed it with some other canned cat food and had decent results with that. Next I just mixed it up with a little warm water so the consistency would be a lot looser. They were all over it and licked their little bowls clean, day after day.

If you can find any of this stuff in a clearance bin for cheap and I expect you can, buy it. It's very good quality and cats love it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Raise Cash

What will the markets do now? A surprising number of people think an economic recovery is underway but many are very bearish and don't believe it.

There is no question that we are at or nearing a crux point, so the first thing we should see is a period of indecision with extreme volatility in both prices and volume. Overall, I think movement will be downward in prices, across the board. After that, things should sort themselves out. Some things will continue down and some will turn around and go up.

If I had to guess, I would say that stocks, industrial commodities and building materials will go down. World currencies will continue to deteriorate. Agricultural commodities, energy and precious metals should eventually resume their bull market, though not at the same times or proportion. I am often dead wrong. My phone number is not in any of the Blackberries of the rich and powerful, for inclusion in late night strategy sessions.

Now is not a buying opportunity. Almost everything except the dollar has been increasing in value for most of the last year. I think everything will come down a peg or two, at least. Some things maybe a lot of pegs. Good buying opportunities may start at or near previous lows. They may prove to be even lower than that or may not be opportunities at all, except to lose more money.

Raise cash. It's cheap right now. That's always a recommendation.

The Big Die Off

In the middle and late eighties, I worked the night shift at Santa Monica Hospital. This was after AIDS had been identified as a retro virus but before anybody knew exactly what it was or how to treat it. There was an AIDS floor there with 15-20 patients all the time. Stays ranged from a few weeks to a few months. Nobody went home or anywhere else. They all died, horribly.

They couldn't staff it. They paid extra money. They gave smaller patient assignments. They didn't require any special training or skills. They didn't care if you were conscientious or a Demerol addicted junkie. They still couldn't get anybody. They would float people from other units. Some people got doctors excuses not to work there. Some would just quit if forced to. I used to float there a lot. Somebody had to.

It was terrifying. The unit was supposed to be on blood and secretion precautions. It was a joke. Those guys leaked every kind of fluid there was, in large amounts. A lot of the time they sprayed it. The walls would drip. The sheets would saturate. The floors would puddle. The linen and medical waste hampers overflowed and the full bags stacked up. The stenches were amazing and the various deodorants they tried just made it worse. There were constant screams, moans and cries for help. Between 2 and 5 AM there would be deaths. You'd try and clean up the bodies for when the families came in but they just kept on leaking. We tried to keep everybody comfortable and give everybody all their meds. A lot of the meds had side effects worse than the symptoms of the disease and they got refused. Everybody there knew they were dying and had a real good idea what it would be like.

I did the best I could. Honestly, I think I was as good as anybody else and better than most. I never worried about getting AIDS from working there. AIDS is is pretty hard to catch. After a while I kind of liked it. Nobody ever gave you a hard time. You never saw a supervisor. Sometimes you had to work over until they found somebody to replace you but they never made you work a full double shift on the AIDS floor.

I never regarded homosexual people the same after that. Almost every patient there was Gay, male, my age or younger. There was never any pretense. What would be the point? I couldn't say if they died bravely. I don't even know what that would be. I know I wouldn't have been any different from them, if it had been me dying.

Over the years, other places, I worked with AIDS patients. Never anything like that again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dead Preacher

Oral Roberts has died at 91 years of age. Most people don't realize that he had lived for the last 15 years or so in a little condo at an exclusive country club adjacent to the ritzy Newport Center/Fashion Island complex, just up the hill from Balboa Island, on the Orange County, California coast. It's very nice there. To be fair, it was a modest two bedroom condo, sparsely furnished and not at all pretentious. I was there, and met Oral and Miss Evelyn a few times, in an occupational capacity. Miss Evelyn was an intelligent and admirable woman. Oral was nothing special. I guess he was able to take direction well.

Oral was the most successful of the multimedia evangelists of the last half of the twentieth century. If you were not familiar with the breed, he was pretty entertaining but compared with some of the others he was positively bland. My favorite was based right here in Los Angeles. Dr O L Jaggers and his wife, the eternally young and beautiful Miss Velma, founded the World Universal Church, downtown on the Nickle after the end of World War II. If you needed a fix of Pure Dee Okie stump stomping, you couldn't do any better than to tune O L and Velma in on the TV at 6 AM, Sunday mornings. You could only get the true effect of it, if you had been drinking for the last 18 hours or so. Psychedelic drugs also really enhanced the experience. O L believed in aliens, demons, angels, and that he could deliver eternal youth, vigor and beauty to any denizen that wandered in with some loose change. The shows were worth the price. O L slicked back his long, greasy hair, dressed up in silk robes with glittery badges like Fu Manchu, played the piano and sang between sermons and Miss Velma sang, danced, flew through the air in a wire harness and would end up with a sharpshooting exhibition. They did all of this in front of the World famous seven million dollar altar. The alter looked like it was built by a team of hyperactive seven year olds out of left over Christmas decorations, covered in tinsel and glitter, then electrified. O L strongly suggested that they actually held Jesus captive inside the alter and squeezed oil out of him that would cure all ills, rejuvenate you and make your pecker stiff and he would sell you the oil.

O L and Miss Velma disappeared several years ago. Some people think he and Miss Velma went to Hawaii for a well deserved retirement. Some people think he and Miss Velma ascended bodily to Heaven, in Miss Velma's custom built motor coach. I miss them. The least they could do is play the old shows over again on Sunday mornings. There's forty or fifty years worth, somewhere.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scratch a Progressive

Since I spend a lot of time and effort demonizing the religious right, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the left has its share of religious wingnuts too. I'm always amazed at the number of people claiming to be secular progressives who readily admit to believing in reincarnation, astrology, the healing and spiritual power of crystals, the cosmic consciousness of Nirvana and an endless list of other clap trap. They are a burden the left must apparently bear. These people are all nuts.

If anything good can be said of them, it is that their beliefs are diverse and they pose little collective threat to the peace and freedom of the rest of us. That doesn't make them any less crazy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Secularization Of Christmas

People think it's terrible that commercial interests have turned Christmas into an orgy of consumerism. The truth is that organized Christianity sucked all that was meritorious out of Jesus long ago, leaving a dry husk suitable only for the veneration of fools. Either way, there is nothing positive in Christmas celebrations and God is rarely invoked during the season. Given what is left of the legacy of the carpenter, there is no reason to celebrate his coming.

Don't blame atheists for this. Most of us are good Samaritans. We, maybe more than you, wish your religion worked better. Christians did it all themselves. They built a soulless culture, gutted their own God and seem to like it fine.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Tiger. burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Tiger was one of the richest professional athletes in history and totally dominated his sport when he was twenty one years old. Look where he came from. Military father. "War bride" mother. Golf culture. Orange County. Why would anybody be surprised at the life choices he made?

Blame him? Shit. I wish it was me.

Cheeky Monkey!

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Bushes Like Dykes, Dykes Like Bushes. Go Bushes. Go Dykes.

Houston, as everyone knows, is where all the old Bushes go to die. They're having a mayoral election there in a week. A young, White Dyke is running against an old, Black, civil rights lawyer.

The Dyke has the inside track. I believe the Bushes are secretly rooting for her. Both Barbara's anyway, for sure.

The wing nuts are pretty much stuck supporting the old, Black guy. For me, it's a win/win situation.

It'll be fun to watch. Break out the mint juleps and sun bonnets.

Hello, Goldbugs

If anybody wants my opinion, here it is. Almost two years ago, gold topped out at $1034 an ounce before retrenching. A few months later, gold started looking like it would continue its run up. That's when I bought in to gold stocks. Gold was about $890. I made quite a bit of money, right off the bat as gold advanced about $100. I was feeling pretty good.

Then it started down again. I couldn't believe it would go much farther down than where I had bought it, so I hung tough because by that time I had a pretty nice cushion. That cushion was gone in a couple of weeks and before I knew it, I was deeply underwater. I decided to ride it down, because I knew if I got out, I would never have the guts to get back in at the right time. By the time gold bottomed at $680, because gold stocks are leveraged to the value of gold, I had lost about 2/3 of my original investment. Nice work, Dave.

So I sat for almost a year, while gold worked its way back up. Unfortunately, gold stocks, while they advanced spectacularly from their lows, never really took off ahead of the gold price. I didn't break even until gold was $100 an ounce higher than I had bought in at. Then, every time gold would fall back, the stocks would fall back twice as far. When gold would advance, the stocks would never really catch up. I ended up breaking even again several times, always with gold at a higher price. It wasn't until gold was close to $1100 that I was substantially ahead. The stocks weren't really going into overdrive until about a month ago and then two weeks ago trading started to get choppy. I should have got out then but I was convinced gold still had a ways to go. Always the optimist.

At the $1227 peak, I was about $100,000 up, a little more than 20%. I got out at the end of trading Thursday, with about half my winnings. All out.

Now, I am convinced that the American dollar is toast, the American economy is shit and that gold is the best long term investment but have come to believe that the road from here to there is not a straight line. I'm old. I want to maximize my investment returns.

Gold may resume its run very soon. If it moves convincingly across the $1227 threshold, I'll buy back into stocks. I may be crazy but I still think they are the way to play gold. If I had bought into stocks at the bottom, a year ago, I'd have tripled my investment. Given the profits they will make, even at $900 an ounce, they are massively undervalued.

Gold is vulnerable at this point. If buying interest is not heavy and the dollar index rises, it could easily fall back below $900 an ounce and the miners will get hammered much harder. If, at that point, Bernanke starts to aggressively raise rates, it could go back to $700. I would not put it past the little cocksucker. If I was him, that's what I'd do. If that day comes, I would rather be there for the buying opportunity, with money in my pocket, than at the end of another long ride down, waiting to get well.

If you own physical gold and have made a decent gain, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Over the next decade gold is going way up and the dollar is going way down. Shorter term may be a different story. There is still money to be made in gold and even worst case, its better than dollars printed by the trillions to support a welfare state, full of fat, lazy, type II diabetic, cretins.

Good luck to you. I'm waiting to see what happens next.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Most Catholic Country In The World

Spain is among the most Catholic countries on Earth. By Spring, they will likely pass a law there that will legalize abortion up to 14 weeks gestation on demand. For thirty years elective abortion has been performed in Spain, up to 22 weeks gestation, by utilizing a loophole in the law. The new law will actually tighten up control of elective abortion in real World terms. Legalization of abortion is not controversial for the majority of Spanish citizens. Obedience to the Church has not been a big issue there since the death of the Church's protector, the hated El Caudillo, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, ending 40 years of dictatorial control over secular life in Spain, by the Church, complete with the imprisoning of unwed mothers and homosexuals to indeterminate sentences without trial. Nice. Pope Benedict says he will excommunicate any politician that votes for the law. He says he will excommunicate the King of Spain, if he signs the law. He says he will excommunicate any doctors or nurses that participate in abortions, any women that have them and their parents, if she is under the age of consent.

The law is going to pass anyway. The only part of the law that may have to be compromised is a provision that allows girls as young as 16 to have an elective abortion without parental consent. Spain is the most Catholic country in the World. Do you think the Catholic Church might be suffering from some control problems among the faithful there?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sodomite Sheltering Bishop Offers up Resignation

Donal Murray, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick, in Ireland, is going to Rome. He will offer the Pope his resignation over his part in covering up the priestly sodomy of young boys for almost 30 years.

That's all fine and good but to whom will the Pope offer his resignation and who in the Church is clean enough to replace him?

I think all the bishops and cardinals should go. Perhaps they could turn the Church over to the old nuns. I never heard of them sodomizing any little children. Let the old nuns rebuild the church or just shit can it and start over again. It's past time, either way.

Does Acid Rain On Demethanated Sheep?

You hear a lot about how the science behind carbon buildup in the atmosphere and climate change is wrong. I don't doubt it. It's pretty complicated, with a lot of variables. I'm not sure anybody will get a real handle on it any time soon.

Unfortunately, the people who don't trust the science on climate change the most also believe in a young, creationist Earth and think geometric population growth is a goal rather than a problem.

Who's a boy to believe?

As Long As There Are Females There Will Be Feminism

The Women's rights movement began when some well educated, affluent women asked that they have some choice in marriage partners. Not that they be allowed to marry whoever they wanted but that they might have some choice among a field of acceptable, family approved candidates. Some women had related requests, that they not be liable to arbitrary corporal punishment and that they should have recourse to relief from a grossly abusive spouse. These were revolutionary concepts when proposed and not universally accepted today.

Later, women would ask to be able to have legal ownership of personal possessions, land, money and to have their rights respected in legal contracts.

Finally, women demanded the right to vote, to participate on an equal basis with men in industry, commerce and culture and maintain independent personal domiciles.

It needs to be noted that male society within the family, church and civil authority have all reacted violently in opposition to every move by feminists to better their situation and that no gains were ever made by feminists that were not hard fought.

There is still a great deal animosity toward feminism and resistance to gender equity in society today. It is especially prevalent within religious institutions. I always enjoy it when institutions or individuals in authority pick a fight with righteous feminists because I know they will soon lie bleeding in a dark alley.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Donate $30 And Get A Complete CD Of This Performance

Public Television frequently shows Andrea Bocelli specials in conjunction with fund raising drives. I've seen several recently. The new Christmas one is out or maybe it's from a previous year. The shows are very nicely produced and he's very good. They have him singing with all sorts of other artists and entities and doing all kinds of music. I know some rich people who pay big money to attend the concerts recorded for these public television fund raising specials, like it's a real big deal.

Maybe it's just me. I'm not that crazy about him. There doesn't seem to be any genuine emotion or life in the performances. Even the guest performers, some of whom are normally quite emotive, seem strangely muted. I saw him do a duet with Reba McIntyre, no shit and she came across like a somnolent, zombie princess in an old Voodoo movie. Even her hair didn't seem as red as usual.

Maybe next they could have him do a whole concert with Celine Dion. Possibly the two of them together would excite each others phoniness isotopes and a critical reaction would take place, melting them down to the center of the earth and then exploding the planet in a fiery, faux operatic, cataclysm.

That would be something to see.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Navigating The Shalt Nots

Gold had a short pull back a week ago during the long Thanksgiving weekend, from which it quickly recovered and resumed its climb. Last Friday gold lost $50 an ounce. One should never assume that changes like this are transitory. They always signal a change in momentum. Who knows how much or for how long.

I would like to see the price go down at least another $50 an ounce and then trade sideways for a few weeks, to establish a little confidence that there is some support at $1100 and to let the market cool down. If it goes down more than that, I won't be surprised or disappointed but neither will I be as sanguine as I would during a smaller drop. There's no reason that gold couldn't drop several hundred dollars an ounce over at least a few months and then take a year or more to recover. There is all the time in the World for that to happen and when it gets finished, the economy will still be fucked up and ready for a gold bull market. I don't think that's likely because it just finished doing that and I think it will do something different now.

Gold could bounce right back and continue its climb. That's not necessarily the best thing that could happen. As an investor, I'd be lying if I said I ever wanted gold to do anything but go up in value. I'm only human. When I was younger, I was interested in lust, sloth, drunkenness and gluttony. Now that I'm older, I am enthralled by avarice and greed. I honestly am not sure why but it doesn't make it less true. I see them as two different things, avarice as the desire for riches not already in my possession and greed as the unwillingness to part with wealth I already have. I'm surprised there aren't a lot more words in this vein. Eskimos have 10,000 different words for snow. I like to think I am a virtuous man. I have never been troubled by jealousy or envy. Well, not too much and those are the really deadly sins. I'm sure God smiles upon my shining face.

Evo Wins

40 years ago, Che Guevara was killed in Bolivia by the American CIA. Today Evo Morales easily won re election to head the government there for a second term. However you interpret this, it is a momentous event. Latin America is rapidly changing. The Monroe doctrine is discredited. This will mean big changes for Latino people, those from developed nations who do business with them and the Catholic Church, which may or may not command their allegiance, depending on who you believe.

Evo isn't to every one's taste. He's not very popular here in America. The poor of his nation love him. It should take him a long way, if he can stay alive. In any case, I don't think anybody is ever going to put the Aymara back in their box.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Time to drink now

The price of Gold is going parabolic. I am making money hand over fist. On paper. For now. I would frankly rather see a slow steady rise over the next few years during which the price of gold doubles a few times. Why wish for the inevitable quick death of the goose that lays the golden egg. Unfortunately, I just bought a ticket to the show. I don't get to decide how it will unfold or how long it's going to last.

Like Petty Officer Tom O'Neill used to say, God rest his weary, whisky sodden, soul. "Shut the fuck up and cash that check, punk. They've already taken away your birthday twice. You're an ignorant, non qual, deckape and permanent messcook, not the XO's long lost, little boy. You'll be in the T.I. brig on bread and water soon enough. Time enough for that. Time to drink more now."

What a kind and gentle man. I loved him like a father. When he was a boy, he wanted to become a priest but the beatings and constant sodomy became too much for him, though he was of a disposition to like that sort of thing. He found a better home in the brotherhood of the sea. With Tom, you always knew what you were getting. It was good to have a man of God among us.

Peak Rice?

I am looking seriously at rice futures. About a year ago rice prices peaked. Several Asian countries, unable to produce adequate amounts for domestic consumption were forced to make large purchases, driving prices to record highs. Since then, rice prices have declined but not near previous lows. Last years purchases, along with the crops they were able to produce have been able to forestall further large purchases since then. Next year, they will likely have to make further large purchases.

Most land suitable for rice cultivation is already in production. Even with improved agricultural techniques there is a limit to how much nutrient rice plants can extract from the soil and turn into grain. Much of rice producing lands are in large, low lying Asian delta systems. Theses deltas are undergoing rapid erosion due to rising sea levels. There is less land available and the salinity of the ground water is increasing, making the prospect of much higher rice yields unlikely.

Most of the rice importing countries of South and East Asia have large, rapidly expanding populations of young median age. The governments of these countries are hoping that they will be able to increase rice production enough to feed the empty bellies of their people but how likely is this, really? I don't think it's very likely. Rice futures should be low in the coming Spring. I think there will be large purchases made next Fall.

This doesn't seem like that much of a gamble. The populations of these countries are growing. Rice production has been decreasing. Hungry people overthrow governments. It's cheaper for the governments to buy some rice than keep a bigger army to kill off the unhappy masses.

I think I'll buy rice. What do you guys think? Any commodities traders out there? Any Asian rice consumers that have insight into existing availability of rice in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia/Malaysia or the P.I.? Those few countries are home to two billion people. All of them eat a lot of rice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dottie Was Famous For Her Sloppy Joes

Up until the second grade, I attended the James Marshall Elementary School in the South Western section of Modesto, California. Modesto was a bustling but not very affluent community at that time, it's about the same today. It may be a little more bustling and a little less affluent, mostly having to do with an extraordinarily high per capita consumption of methamphetamine by the inhabitants.

The school custodian used some kind of highly aromatic oil to dust mop the floors and wipe down the walls at James Marshall. In the morning everything was shiny and slick but as the day wore on a layer of dust and grit adhered to every surface. The oil worked its way into our clothes and pretty much ruined them for anything but going to school in, so most of the kids only wore one set of clothes to school. We were a shopworn looking bunch, gritty, oil stained and funny smelling.

The school cafeteria was a big Quonset hut that somebody had got for surplus and set up out on the playground. We all ate in there, whether we bought lunch or brought it. I guess it was easier to keep control of us that way, so that most teachers could enjoy their own lunch, someplace else. People that bought lunch were prepaid by parents and their names were on a list. You couldn't just decide to buy a hot lunch on any arbitrary day, except for Wednesdays. Wednesday was Sloppy Joe day. Dottie, our cafeteria lady was famous for her Sloppy Joes. That's what they always said. Because her Sloppy Joes were so famous, it wasn't deemed fair for all of us brown baggers to miss out. On Wednesdays, if you brought a quarter you could get the delicious, entire meal, complete with a scoop of green beans and peachy cobbler or for 15 cents, you could just get that famous Sloppy Joe. My father got paid once a month. Early in the month, I usually got the 15 cent Sloppy Joe to eat with my apple and homemade cookies. Later on in the month, Wednesdays were just the usual baloney, mustard and mayo on white bread. I liked that just fine. Mostly, I just missed being with the crowd clamoring for Dottie's Sloppy Joes, they being so renowned and all.

Except for that brief period of my life, Sloppy Joes have never been high on my list of culinary delights. In fact, I went most of my life with no Sloppy Joe intake whatsoever. Strangely, I have been making them pretty frequently the last couple of years. I just use tomato paste, with a little vinegar and sugar for sweet and sour, chopped onion, garlic powder, shredded potato as a binder and filler. Great comfort food. Filling. Cheap. They're also soft and my teeth aren't good anymore. A mouthful of titanium implants would prob'ly run North of 50 grand. I'm not going to live long enough to get my money's worth out of something like that. My Sloppy Joes are a lot better than that greasy sludge Dottie was pushing. Sweet memories of youth.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Attack Drone?

This looks promising.

I like it. Let's buy more.

Castrating Their Young And Building A Strong Republican Platform

Huckybuck is feeling the pain of Willy Hortonesque accusations from fellow travelers of the Right Wing over his past clemency and commutation of sentence for a Seattle cop killer and subject of a recent large scale manhunt.

Pawlenty has already weighed in that he would never do any such a thing. It'll be fun to see what Mitt and the Salmon Slut have to say about it.

Huckybuck broke one of the seminal rules of Conservative American politics. Never let a Negro out of prison on purpose.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big Christmas Sales

From listening to what people are saying and looking at the ads, it seems like the two big Christmas items this year are small laptop or notebook computers and HDTVs. Small portable computers are really coming into their own. They can do most everything you need a computer to do, you can take it anywhere. If you have a few peripherals at home, external hard drive for storage, CD/DVD drive and burner and maybe a printer, you don't need another computer at all. They're dirt cheap now.

HDTVs were a big item last year. It's not hard to see why they are again. The prices are a lot cheaper and the picture quality is a lot better. The Chinese are getting more efficient all the time.

I could use an HDTV. The cable service I have is going to quit transmitting the old VHF format soon and I'd have to get a converter box. Too much trouble. I think I'll bet that it won't be a very good Christmas season for retailers and wait until the clearance sales next Spring. I think I'll pass on a laptop, too. I like old towers for now, you can take them apart and replace stuff. If you have a good source of used parts, it's dirt cheap and you can keep an old, used computer running as long as you want it to.

No Tree. Nothing Under It.

There are two reasons that people give Christmas gifts. The first is to make other people happy. The second is to make other people like them. It doesn't achieve either purpose.

When I was young I gave Christmas gifts. I picked them out very carefully and spent a lot of time doing it. I spent way too much money on them. I was always proud of the fact that I gave way more than I got. It wore off, I don't give Christmas gifts any more. I don't get many. Maybe I'm just imagining it but I think people like me better now. They certainly don't like me any worse.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Inflated Economy?

Some people think that gold is a good long term investment. I think that it is. Many governments are running large deficits and increasing their monetary base. Gold should be the logical hedge against the inevitable resulting inflation. So far, government economists are not too worried about it. They point to the fact that there is little or no inflation, so far. They say that there is not likely to be increased inflation in the future do to continuing high unemployment and low wages and assert that governments are going to have the capacity to pull back the increased liquidity they have added when the time comes and largely repair any temporary imbalances in the monetary base before inflation becomes a problem. They insist that deflation is the real problem in a contracting economy and that adding liquidity through deficit spending is necessary to keep the wheels turning on a flagging economy until it can gain enough momentum to take off on its own.

This may seem foolish but so far they have been right. No matter how much gold rises in relation to various World currencies, especially the dollar, the change is never going to be regarded as permanent unless the dollar begins to substantially lose its purchasing power and that hasn't happened yet.

Until inflation becomes real to everyday people with food, rent, and other necessities of life rising, increased gold prices are just a blip. Right now it can be argued that the cost of living is in fact, decreasing.

Other arguments against the rise in the price of gold being permanent, are that the increase in price of the other historic monetary metal, silver, is lagging far behind that of gold and that mining companies, with relatively fixed costs of production and skyrocketing profit margins, should be outperforming precious metal itself. If investors believed that the increase in the price of gold was permanent these things would not be happening.

I'm not saying these things won't happen eventually. I'm not saying gold is a bad investment. I'm saying it is a long road ahead. I think it is likely that gold will continue to have strong fluctuations in price as the economy struggles, fluctuations that will see the value of gold much higher and much lower.

Buy low. Sell high.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Battle Lines Are Forming.

I honestly thought Sarah Palin was washed up in serious politics. I was wrong. Her book tour has brought her back onto the scene in Spades. Glenn Beck says he wants to assume a leadership role in the political movement he claims to have given birth to. Lou Dobbs has been making the conservative radio and cable talk show rounds and says he is considering a run for the Senate in New Jersey or maybe even President.

I love this. It just keeps getting better and better.

Uniting Peoples of Faith Throughout The World

Here's a big, doughfaced Catholic Cardinal who says that the real enemies of Christendom are not other faiths but the forces of Godlessness and secularism. As a man who likes to think of himself as among the vanguard of Godlessness and secularism I take pride in my part in the achievement of bringing religious of all stripes together.

This redhat guy didn't mention that he wanted to be friends with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or any of the various flavors of shamanistic animists, so I feel I still have plenty of hard work ahead of me. I feel like I'm up to the task.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wither Christianity?

The religious infrastructure in society spends a lot of time railing against the increasing acceptance and legality of abortion, euthanasia and the homosexual lifestyle. In fact, they have conspicuously failed to maintain a culture that does anything to encourage the growth of an exclusively heterosexual culture of life anchored by the institution of traditional marriage between one man and one woman with the express purpose of nurturing observant Christian culture and family life. Every year church attendance dwindles along with financial support for the Christian church and membership in it's ancillary organizations. More and more leaders within the Christian community are exposed as hypocrites who don't themselves believe in the tenets of their professed faith or attempt to live within it's bounds.

The Christian community increasingly turns to civil authority to enforce it's moral codes rather than trying to build a community that voluntarily adheres to them. Church members are instructed to vote for civil restrictions on non Christian approved lifestyle choices. It is unlikely to work and in the end will undermine the authority of Christianity in society.

is a good example of the failure of modern Christianity to maintain relevance, influence and authority.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are you taking profits?

Some people are selling off their investments right now, taking profits. Investment touts point to the fact that the recent stock market run up has taken place independently of any fundamental underpinnings. Neither sales nor profit margins are rising. Markets are not expanding. There is no shortage of energy, raw materials or labor. Real Estate is in chaos. The conventional wisdom is that markets were oversold and since the rebound last Spring, now swing the other way. If you believe this you are likely to be taking profits now too.

Nobody is sure what is happening. My own personal explanation is that we are experiencing asset inflation relative to the huge amount of liquidity at negative real interest rates, that central banks have pumped into financial institutions all over the World. A lot of this money has found it's way into equities and commodities, diluting the price. This inflation is not necessarily accompanied by consumer inflation, at least not yet. The thing to remember about this asset inflation is that it is more likely to be permanent than not. The central banks cannot easily afford to pull the rug out from under all the liquidity that they have injected. It's not clear they could do it even if they wanted to. The second thing to remember about this asset inflation is that it is by no means over, will likely continue and may accelerate. If markets fall and I'm not saying they won't, it will be for a different reason. I'm not sure what it would be. Do you have any ideas? I'd like to hear them.

I'm not taking profits yet. Don't take that as any kind of sage advice. It's coming from a guy who lives in a shack and never made a dime that didn't involve a shitty, non union job with no benefits and a paltry hourly wage.

I'm not getting out of the market because I think it's inflated, not oversold. Oversold conditions lead to sell offs. Inflation leads to more inflation. If the market was going to sell off, it would have by now.

A Chance For A New Life In A New Land

You want a solution to our economic woes? Stop subsidizing failure and unemployment. Cut off entitlement benefits to the poor. Let people start to sink or swim.

When people start to starve, when they start to freeze in the winter, when the children cry out from hunger in the night, start offering cheap, subsidized transport to places where there is employment. Brazil, China, Nigeria, India, it doesn't matter where or what the standard of living is in these places. It doesn't matter what the pay there is. It doesn't even matter if there are really jobs there. People will embrace hope. It's a chance for a new start. Besides, what choice will they really have? Kind of like those nice relocation camps in Poland for the Jews and Gypsies.

How the fuck do you think people got to America in the first place? The movers and shakers of Europe needed to get rid of useless, excess population that were a drag on their economy. The dregs, the scum, the malcontent, the troublemakers, the diseased, the uneducated, the religious fanatics.

It's been a nice respite for these people and their descendants here in America but it's time for them to move on. No hard feelings. You never know, things might work out great in your new homes.

More Banks Failing

As of yesterday, so far this year, one hundred twenty four banks in this country have failed and their assets taken over and sold off by the FDIC. It will probably get to one hundred and fifty by the end of the year. The rate at which banks fail has been increasing. Sometimes it's as many as four or five a week. Several of the banks that I do business with have gone under this year. It's becoming quite a consolidation.

It's not good.

Milk Money

When I was a kid, the schools that I went to had hot lunch programs. They started out at a quarter and eventually went up to thirty five cents or maybe a little more by the time I was in junior high. I never got the hot lunch. It cost too much. I just brought a sandwich, an apple and maybe a couple of cookies in a paper bag. When I was done I'd fold the bag up and put it in my back pocket for the next day.

I always got a carton of milk. You'd bring a quarter to school on Monday morning and get a carton of milk at lunch each day of the week. Nobody ever checked whether or not you had paid, you just took the carton of milk from the box as you filed into the cafeteria.

I realize I could have just taken the milk and never given them my quarter on Monday. Never even occurred to me at the time and a quarter was big money.

Senor Wheezer becomes senior wheezer

One of my cats is twelve years old now. When we got him, we took him to a vet and had some parts of him cut off. It didn't really help him at all. It was entirely for our benefit. Still, he was about a day away from the decompression chamber, so it turned out to be a pretty good deal for him, I think. The vet we went to was highly recommended, nationally known and has a cats only practice. She did a good job. The cat healed up fine and didn't experience much pain. He's been a pretty happy cat. I don't take cats to the vet as a general rule. A couple times a year I put flea medicine on them. Every couple of years I pick up the standard feline triple vaccine and give them a jab. They don't smoke or drink and get plenty of sleep. They do all right.

The vet sent us a letter the other day, reminding us that Wheezer is an older cat now, needs a "senior plan" and we should bring him in. You know, cats don't live as long as people and it's sad. I really get attached to my cats. I'd be happy if they could be around forever but it's not happening. If he gets diabetes or kitty cancer, we'll make sure he doesn't suffer but he's not going to get diabetic management or kitty chemo. He's a cat. It would be cruel. It would be expensive. It would make everybody sad and that is not the purpose of a kitty. Hopefully he'll live many more years, get arthritic and senile and die in his sleep.

I know this veterinarian is just providing the services that a lot of her clientele want but it's stupid.

Washington Times Faces

The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, widely believed to be the second coming of Christ, by the members of his World Unification Church, is probably going under soon. It's always been subsidized. No newspaper makes a profit anymore, this one even less than most. Reverend Moon is extremely old and losing control of his fortune to members of his family, many of whom do not believe he is the Christ and object to the huge expense of maintaining his religious and political empire.

I'll miss the Times when it's gone. If you really want to know what the wing nuts are thinking, it's the paper to read. We have Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal now. It's a pretty good replacement. Except he doesn't want free access to it on the Internet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

White Flight Of Fancy

It isn't just Sarah Palin. The Republican base continues to follow the directions of and personally lionize a collection of leaders that most of America will never take seriously. Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry are all members of this group. There have always been people like this out there, on both sides of the political fence but I don't remember when they were so at the forefront of a major party, even one as far out of power as the Republicans are now.

Though the Republican spinners would portray it otherwise, the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress are straddling the middle of the road and even making deep concessions to conservatives on issues as diverse as health care and the Middle Eastern wars. Republicans are too blind to see but their opponents are spending a lot of time cultivating the middle.

I have said before that I think the Democrats are riding a demographic wave that should see them in the majority for a couple decades to come, unless a new party, even more progressive and hopefully less corrupt, rises to oppose them but demographics change slowly. The tables haven't turned so much that the Republicans can't take back control of Congress and the Presidency if they play it smart.

I don't think that pandering to the farthest reaches of the social conservative Right is playing it smart. The more they talk about conspiracy theories as if they are not only true but being played out by the party currently in power, the more securely they seal their doom. It's as if a death panel has judged them, found them undeserving and decreed a potassium bolus.

Republicans respond that what they are doing is no different than what the Democrats did during the Presidency of George W Bush. Do you think that's true? I don't.

I think the Republicans are guaranteeing democratic control of the federal government for years to come.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dick Hearts Kay

Dick Cheney has endorsed Kay Bailey in the hotly contested primary election for the Governorship of Texas over incumbent Rick Perry. Cheney is a neocon who doesn't flinch at big government spending and in the context of his leadership position within the Republican Party incrowd, could even be characterized, these days, as a social liberal. Perry is a nakedly ambitious dickhead, who's proven he will say or do whatever it takes to get ahead.

What surprises me is that Cheney would endorse anybody, especially against an incumbent who is riding high in the polls, even if it's someone like Perry. It's going to set him against Dick Armey, Sarah Palin and the social conservative block. He's no Texan. He could have stayed out of it and nobody would have thought worse of him. He must really like Kay.

I'm no big fan of Hutchison but she's a pretty cool head as far as conservative Republicans go and more of a fiscal conservative and old fashioned, Texas libertarian than anything else, although she isn't against plenty of good, honest, federal pork for the Texican table. Makes me wonder, why exactly, Dick is endorsing her. Another issue is that the Governor of Texas is a pretty toothless office, more a beauty contest than anything else. Kay is a strong, respected and influential Republican presence in the Senate. Her absence will be a big loss to her party while sitting in the governor's mansion. If she were to be replaced in the Senate by another hysterical, socon carpet chewer, it would be a shame. It really makes me wonder why she wants to be governor so damn bad. What the Hell is going on in Texas? Somebody enlighten me. Maybe she's just old, tired and wants to do a victory lap before she settles into the rocking chair with a lap robe but she never impressed me as that kind. Who knows, maybe she wants to be President and thinks a turn in the State House will round out her resume. She's a little long in the tooth for that but she could be just what the doctor ordered for the Republicans in 2012. Maybe that's what Dick has in mind.

I guess this is just another example of the current disarray and lack of cohesiveness in the hierarchy of the National Republican Party organization. Free for all.


Do you think this photo is inappropriate? I think she looks pretty good. I'm not a big fan of the panty hose with shorts look but that's just me or maybe she doesn't have panty hose on, in which case she has great legs. Judging from the lede, I think the article was likely a smear job on Sarah but that's another story and Sarah really has no defense against smear jobs. It's pretty much all she ever does.

If the outfit was skimpy or spandex, with a lot of nip and camel toe, that would be a different matter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

News From Around The World


Assault with intent to grill-

Punishment: 15 years in prison.

Pope Believes In Space Men

The Catholic Church is covering its bases as far as alien life forms are concerned. I hope this works out for them. I have my doubts.

What if the Aliens land and it turns out that they're all big homos?

Happy Days Are Here Again

Good news, folks, that turkey dinner with all the trimmings is a couple bucks cheaper this year and just when I thought everything was looking so bleak. I'm starting to feel better already.

Things aren't so bad after all. There's still enough in my 401K to put a down payment on a little single wide Fleetwood in Yuma. It may not be the retirement home we've always wanted but what the fuck. You gotta look on the bright side. It's closer to the beach than Las Cruces. I hear the WalMart Super Center there is a Duesey. They got work there too. Fetching carts in from the parking lot. Says so right on this flyer I got. We're in Hog Heaven.

Get Rose o' Sharon and the boys together Ma! We're a gonna load up the truck and head out East on 66 for that Promised Land. If only they'd let Tom out'a prison. Then all us Joads could be together again.

It May Not Be The Time

I had been wondering who would have to start the third party, the social conservatives or the fiscal conservatives. I think the verdict is in. The fiscal conservatives will have to leave the Republicans and either modify the current Libertarian Party to suit their needs or start a new one. The social conservatives are now firmly in control of the Republican Party. After next years elections, I think there will be no doubt.

The success of a third party will depend on their ability to pick up substantial support from Democrats and Democrat leaning independents. The question is, how do they do that? There are several scenarios but none seem very realistic to me.

Where do they come down on abortion, Gay rights, the wars, immigration? These things will make a huge difference in how much support they get and where it comes from. Should they unearth and shine up a hot potato that is currently quiescent, like the legalization of marijuana? That would be fun but dangerous. One of the places that they could pick up a lot of support would be in the Hispanic community. Hispanics are natural fiscal conservatives. In the countries they come from, the governments don't do shit for people. They just want to work hard and be left alone. They want good public education though and probably would like better public health care. That's a problem. They also favor a pathway to citizenship for illegals. How do they deal with that?

If they really slap the fundies down hard and are serious about fiscal austerity I would join up but I'm an aberrant character. Most people shy away at the shriveling of the governmental tit.

I don't see how they can pull it off. They may just have to bite the bullet and ride along in the back of the pick up, next to the little boy with the banjo, until they reach a more hospitable place and time. Man up, it ain't so bad. I'm ridin' in the back of the bus over here. I get a hit of that good malt liquor when the 40 passes around and I kinda like Hip Hop.

Even If There Is No Move On Health Care, The Dems Can Still Stick A Knife in The Republicans And Give It A Twist

The Republican members of Congress have made it clear that they aren't going to vote for a national health bill no matter what form it takes but were eager to insert an amendment into it that would ban any provision for coverage of elective abortion.

I think the Democrats should go ahead and pass a Senate bill that retains the abortion exclusion and send it back to the House. If it fails, so be it but it will be very clear that the failure of the bill was not about abortion.

In this way, the Democrats remain a big tent party, not strictly for or against abortion. Democrats will never be the party of hard line pro lifers but they will garner significant support from those who believe that the emphasis should be in placing further limits on abortion and decreasing it's frequency.

The Republicans will be the Party that supports criminalization of abortion in all circumstances. That will be their litmus test of acceptability for party members and office holders alike. I doubt they will ever garner many votes from pro choicers.

It's the smart move for the Democrats. It's in keeping with the way the party has been moving. I think the liberal wing will go along. They won't be sorry in the long run or maybe they will but if you're out there on the fringes, you have to learn to live with disappointment. I know I have.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good Night Mrs Calabash, Where Ever You Are

Talk Radio is one of the primary piling posts of conservative politics in America today. 90% of it's listeners are White and over 35. Two thirds of the listeners are over 50. Almost half of the listeners are over sixty five years of age. These numbers are for all of talk radio, sports, love lines and cooking included. Rush Limbaugh's listener demographics are probably even whiter and older.

You have to ask yourself two things. Where is this audience headed? What does the rest of America think about the opinions expressed on talk radio? Rush is my age. In ten years he could still be talking. Probably will be. Who's going to be listening?

Friday, November 13, 2009

An Informed Electorate

Take your pick of big urban States, California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or any other. People there want budget cuts and tax relief. The problem is that in States like this about 40% of people are government employees. Another 20-30% receive extensive entitlement benefits of some kind. Most of the others depend on the cash flow these people provide. Nobody wants the tap turned down, most want it turned up.

How can you reconcile this? Easy. The people are dumb as fuckin' doorknobs.

Do You Use Your Land Line?

When I was young, you could still send a telegram. I don't think you can anymore. I'm sure nobody does. Western Union exists for the sole purpose of draining money out of the United States by illegal immigrants, who send it to their families in Bug Fuck, Egypt or where ever else they come from and need a reliable transfer.

Phone companies are going the same way as Western Union. They have peripheral businesses that may keep them around forever but I don't know anybody under forty that still has a land line or anybody under sixty that still uses one. My parents are in their eighties and are considering getting rid of their phone. Face it. You really don't want or need to talk to anybody you don't trust with your cell number. You never answer that land line. You don't even listen to the messages on it anymore. Get rid of it.

I'm fifty eight, I don't have any kind of phone. I talk to people over the interwebs, they never know the difference.

Don't buy phone company stock.

New Day Commin'

Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee says that secular, moderate Republicans and religious, social conservatives within the Party are united now. He says that the Republicans will sweep to victory in the 2010 election, with large numbers of new supporters, including women, racial and cultural minorities, young people and those possessing higher education. He is confident that the GOP's platform of homophobia, foreign military adventurism, xenophobia both domestically and abroad, coupled with a deep distrust of science, disregard for ecological concerns and dependence on a near moronic brand of fundamentalist Christianity are an unbeatable combination for the revitalization of the Republican Party.

Jesus is Lord! Praise his Name! Glory! Glory!

Burma Road

I got a hit from Bagan, Myanmar yesterday. Never had a hit from Myanmar before. I don't think they have too much Interwebs there. There's tourist hotels in Bagan. Probably came from one of them. Maybe one of my regular readers, doing a little travel. They are an affluent and adventurous lot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fellow Travelers Find Smaller Tent Uncomfortable

Have you heard that abortion is a paid benefit on the RNC's employee health insurance plan? It's true. They're fixing it now so that the benefit is removed.

Cracks me up.

Next, they're going to make all RNC staffers attend church every week, home school their kids and donate money to Operation Rescue.

This is the Party that's going to sweep the elections next year. Yowza!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

What is a veteran? People have certain expectations of veterans. They expect them to have a certain set of experiences, a certain set of beliefs. They expect them to react in certain ways to certain prompts.

Veterans come from all over. They are all kinds of people. They join the Armed forces for all kinds of reasons and do all kinds of different things while they are serving, under different circumstances. They leave the service after different amounts of time and for different reasons. Some veterans have been in combat, some have not. Even a lot of veterans don't agree with each other, about what combat is or who is a veteran of it. Some veterans consider themselves to be elite. Some take pride in being a regular old dog face or deck ape.

I think many, maybe even most veterans feel a bond with those they served with. Those they didn't serve with are another matter, especially if there is a big enough age difference to be generational or if there is an officer/enlisted divide. Not all veterans are disposed to like or trust each other.

I'm a veteran but when I think of veterans, I think of the World War II and Korea guys who were adults around town, when I was a little kid. Most of them were great guys, some not. The ones that went to meetings and wore the funny hats, not so much but that's just my opinion. A lot of people seemed to like them fine. I don't think of myself as being like them. To be honest, I don't think they, what few of them are left, see guys of my generation as being like them either. I guess that's the way it always is.

Recent vets, the ones I've met, seem mostly OK to me. I hope now that they are out of the service, they can have good lives. Like I've had. Like a lot of vets have had. I hope nobody puts a lot of expectations on them that don't need to be there. They've already done their part and met the expectations. Wherever it was, whatever they did. That should be enough. They've been who the country needed them to be. Now they can just be themselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maybe Someday, Orrin Hatch Can Come Out Of The Closet

The Mormon Church in Utah has moved to support State legislation that would ban discrimination against homosexuals and bring Gay rights in the State up to the same anything but marriage standard that exists in most other States.

Mormons know what it's like to be an oppressed and hated minority. Just because others believe you are the demonic spawn of Satan, doesn't necessarily mean you get no protection under the law or the right to live your life, out in the open, in the light of day.

Maybe that foully diseased Whore of Rome should take a lesson here. The Pope will never come out of the closet. He likes it in there.

Feel My Gom Jabbar

They executed John Muhammad, the DC sniper, tonight. No problem here. It won't bring his victims back but he deserved it. I hope it brings their families some measure of peace.

I just wish the law treated everyone equal in this country. This guy will never sip the potassium cocktail through a 16 gauge Jelco venous catheter. He'll get a deal for Life. Even if he doesn't, his homeboy, Catlicker buddies on the Supreme Court will see him clear. They are all members of the Culture of Life. They stick together.

Screw Murdoch

I always used to love reading the Wall Street Journal. It was one of America's great newspapers. It was conservative, didn't matter. Rupert Murdoch owns it now. It's a piece of shit.

Rupert wants to block Goggle's news aggregater from the Wall Street Journal. I think that's great. Google should stay away. They shouldn't collect anything from Fox news either.

Stuff from Fox News is fun to read but a person can always go to The Onion site for that kind of thing.

New Penises for old

I'm sure you've seen this article or one like it. Soon, if you can pay the freight, a skilled physician will be able to grow you the penis of your dreams. Whoopee!

I don't think it will help me. My problem has always been how to get women to be more friendly and accepting of the perfectly good, if somewhat economically sized, penis I already have. For the last forty five years or so, I have suspected that it doesn't have anything at all to do with the penis but the unsavory nebbish it's attached to. The same problem extends to most of my other peripherals, jobs, schools, friends, even this blog.

Do you think a smiley face tattoo would help? The penis, I mean.

Maybe we should all pay our own way

The main reason that there is a big push for a national health care program in this country is that the Medicare system is broke and has been running in the red for many years. The money that younger workers have been paying all of their lives, to fund their own retirement health care benefits is spent. The government wants to raise more money from healthy, younger, working people to fund continued coverage for the old, sick, disabled and poor.

I don't care how it comes out one way or another. On the one hand, everybody needs reasonably priced health care. On the other, the benefits currently provided are obscenely inappropriate. You get old and sick and die. That's the way of my people, baby. The way of everyone's people. Leave'm on a blanket, on an ice flow, with a mouth full of snow, when they can't keep up anymore.

I think it's interesting that the group who are most opposed to a public health care system are the fucking Christers. They want to make sure none of their hard earned money goes to fund birth control, then they whine about abortion. What a bunch of stupid shitheads. I think it's about time religion started pulling it's own weight. Churches use government services, just like anybody else. They should start paying taxes on the property they own and on the income they take in. I don't have any problem with tax exemptions for religion as long as it's on funds that are used strictly for approved charitable purposes. Most of the loot they take in goes for other stuff. Why should they get a tax break on money used to pay off sodomized alter boys? I'm tired of the greasy, hippocrite Christers riding on my dime. Fuck'em, just like they fuck those little boys.

Do You Own Tech Stocks?

A lot of people have been buying budget net books with dirt cheap Atom Intel processors that, with a few tweaks, can load and run Apple's new Snow Leopard operating system just fine. Imagine that, a functional $300 Apple laptop that fits in a ladies handbag and holds an eight hour battery charge. Apple just issued a patch that, among other things, disables Atom processors.

What does this tell you? No matter how much you like Apple hardware, Apple is primarily a software company, that produces a line of operating systems, not a hardware company, whose products are indispensable to the computing experience. Their stuff is good but has shortcomings and is overpriced.

Once you understand this, you will realize that the stock is way overpriced. I'm sure that somebody will figure out a way around Apple's interdiction of non native hardware and that they will then issue another lockout. The beat goes on. I'm also sure that there are really smart guys, maybe even in a garage somewhere, working to create a better operating system than either Apple or Microsoft provides, that can be run on any cheap, throwaway machine you can buy down at Radio Shack, on sale for a couple of hundred dollars. When that happens, both Apple and Microsoft are going to be quickly ushered off the stage. They both have their devoted partisans but most of us are ruled by our wallets.

Think about that when you buy their stock. It could be a more costly purchase than any chi-chi Mac Book Pro you might be lusting after.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Partisan Disarray

I'm not opposed to the use of well publicized lies as a political tool, as long as they are creative and effective in swaying people to the cause. It's a respected tradition as old as time.

One of the big Republican talking points emerging today is that pro choice Democrats are at each other's throats over the addition of the Stupak amendment to the House health care bill. This isn't anything more than political masturbation. Nothing wrong with it but doing it in public isn't going to win any votes for Prom Queen. There may be some Democratic disarray around but it isn't over this. Democrats want health care legislation. They're willing to do about anything to get it.

You want partisan disarray, lie about it all you want, the NY-23 Congressional election last week was disarray for all to see.

Up The River

In a couple years, Sirhan will celebrate this 50th year in prison. He'll still have time to do another ten or fifteen years. Lucky him. I wouldn't have wanted to do that kind of time but all things considered, he's had it pretty good.

I'm not a big fan of humane incarceration or rehabilitation. The French always used to do a good job of prison management and they never put away too many people who weren't guilty. I think that's an important consideration. You can't get away with that kind of brutality today, even if it is well deserved.

The Japanese probably do about as good as anybody in the developed World today with incarceration. You just sit alone in a silent, tiny, windowless room for however long your sentence is. A couple of times a day they give you a small portion of unseasoned rice and cabbage. It's pretty economical too.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Never Another Like Him

My grandfather was born on a farm outside of Kokomo, Indiana, in 1896. The family moved from there to central California about 12 years later. By that time my grandfather was an adult. He was through with school and had been for a few years. He was the oldest of three sons and a daughter, the hardest worker and never complained. This sealed his fate. He worked for his father until he was almost fifty. His father said he needed him to. That was that.

My great grandfather would buy distressed and foreclosed farm properties, the cheapest available. My grandfather would fix them up and put them on a paying basis. There was no property too remote or mean, no ground too hard, that my grandfather could not put it right. He decided on the improvements needed, the order in which they were needed, the type of agriculture that would be most profitable and the cheapest way to make it happen. Then he set to work, one man, before dawn to after dusk, seven days a week. Machinery cost money. He used hand tools, cast offs mostly, repaired in his own forge. For work too heavy for a man, he had a mule. He made rundown outbuildings right and weatherproof. He put up fencing, laid out, dug and plumbed irrigation ditches, planted, cultivated and harvested crops, put down silage for winter fodder, milked the cows twice a day and put the milk out for pickup.

My grandmother tended the house, raised the children, kept the chickens and books. She produced or made almost everything the household needed. She canned fruit and vegetables and made soap. From cast off rag bags donated in the church basement, rugs were weaved and clothes were sewn. Good times or bad, didn't matter, not an unnecessary penny was spent.

The last thing my grandparents did before a farm was sold, was fix up the house so it would look as nice as possible and bring a better price. Houses with dirt floors would get jacked up and foundation and floors added, plumbing and electricity brought in, glazed windows, weatherproofing and paint. No use in having a nice house when they were the only ones living there. Didn't add to the bottom line.

The farms my grandfather tended brought good prices and a nice profit, even better during the Depression than before. To people watching their savings dwindle away, a small farm seemed like the way to go. My great grandfather prospered. People that bought his rehabbed farms were often bankrupt and foreclosed on in a year. Small farms, as a rule, don't pay out. They never did and never will. Not one in a thousand farmers is anything like my grandfather was and even if they were, that kind of farming isn't worth the effort. It's a man killer.

My grandfather was not a handsome or impressive looking man. He was short, with a face like a bulldog and had no discernible neck. In his overalls he looked fat. Never was even an ounce on him, though he weighed two hundred and forty pounds. You never see hands like his anymore. They were naturally small but hugely swollen with muscle. His fingers were as big around as polish sausage links. Tens of thousands of hours, working with a pick and shovel, over the course of forty years is what did it. He could crack walnuts between the tips of his thumb and fore finger. Try it sometime.

There never were many men like my grandfather. No one should be nostalgic for those days or that kind of life. It wasn't the kind of life anyone would choose, not him, most of all. His father said he needed him and it was true. If it was me, I'd a told the old man to go fuck himself and signed on a freighter to China.

A Sad And Desultory Mission Statement

It doesn't bother me too much because it's always been mostly true but I am a little disheartened that I am becoming even more out of step politically and philosophically, with mainstream America. I've never cared about the law or social convention and never even attempted to stay within their bounds. Why should that change just because I am becoming old and sadly pathetic.

I am an unrepentant social liberal. I am past the point in my life when abortion has any personal relevance but I believe strongly in Women's reproductive rights. I don't frankly care whether abortion is murder. Society condones the intentional deaths of many types of people. Some of them we revile and some we call heros. So what? I am unilaterally heterosexual but don't give a shit how other people want to live and believe all should have the same freedoms and opportunities under the law. I am married but only because it causes too many complications not to be. I don't care whether other people choose to be married or not, who they marry or for what reason. I don't think the government has the right to make end of life decisions for people but that people themselves absolutely do deserve to be able to make those decisions for themselves. In all of these areas, the country seems to me moving against me. I'm becoming somewhat apathetic about agitating for these issues because they don't really affect me and how I live my life. I am confident that when the time comes I have the will and the resources to end my life on my terms and in my time.

I am a fiscal conservative. Nowhere in America do I see any real resolve to control government spending across the board. Different factions are interested in gutting spending that benefits their opponents but nowhere are there strong voices calling for the real austerity needed to save the system. It will surely fail.

I believe that overpopulation and inequality of resource consumption are real problems in the World and that pollution and global warming are more than hippie propaganda. These are not popular views especially in this country. I do not believe governmental bodies have any will or impetus to address these issues in any serious way and will not in the foreseeable future.

President Obama has staked out a centrist niche for himself as our political leader. He mostly stays silent on social issues and embraces big government spending and wars of foreign aggression. It is the exact opposite of what I would have for the country. Obama may be less my President than any other in recent history although I understand his motives and do not condemn him as I have others in his job.

I do not find any value in the shrill and dogmatic voices on the right or left. They leave me tired and disgruntled. Too many seem more interested in cramming their own life choices and beliefs down the throats of others than insuring they will be able to live their lives the way they choose and that all others will as well.

I like writing this blog. It's therapeutic. I don't care if nobody much reads it. That isn't the point of it. I will continue to write about anything and everything I feel like. I probably will focus on things I like, criticism, cynicism, satire, the bashing of authoritarianism wherever it lives, shameless embrace of doom saying and unabashed gold buggery are always favorites of mine.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Not One God Damn Thing

Governments around the World used to be in the business of accumulating gold. A large gold reserve enhanced status and indicated the financial health and security of a regime.With ample gold reserves, a country could threaten or make war, sustain itself when taxes fell short, even feed the people if crops failed. During times of political upheaval, the faction that could keep control of the gold reserves always had the upper hand in keeping control of the country. If a deposed faction could get the gold reserves out of the country, the new ruling faction faced a much more difficult time maintaining control.

For a long time now, governments have been pretending that gold reserves didn't mean much. Not many but some governments have sold off substantial portions of their gold reserves. Almost no governments have added to their gold reserves in many decades. Apathy towards gold made it difficult for miners to sell their production, even to just cover costs. The value of gold stagnated and even decreased relative to purchasing power.

Things may be changing. The Chinese are the largest producers of mined gold in the World. The Chinese government is accumulating virtually all of it into its reserves. Russia is also a big producer. They are doing the same. The Indian Government just bought 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund and was willing to pay almost double what gold was worth last year. The Indians are supposedly the shrewdest and most knowledgeable gold traders on the face of the Earth.

Investors around the World are accumulating gold. Individuals are purchasing gold coins and ingots, knowing they will have to pay a steep premium to buy and endure a discount if they sell it back to a dealer. Even so, the wait to buy gold is long in many places.

Gold gets a lot of bad press. All the touts, advisers and analysts say it's a bad deal, in a bubble formation and will crash soon. Here in America, people have other things to worry about. Almost nobody is buying gold except the affluent, who are worried about proper diversification.

I understand that I only have two choices. I can have my money in gold or some countries currency. For now, I'll keep the gold. I may lose money with gold. I don't think so but even if I do, my downside risk is limited. If all you have is the dollar, there is no downside limit. With gold there is also a potential upside, which is non-existent, at this point, with most currencies.

You never know. Gold could continue to increase in price, as the Treasury prints huge amounts of money to fund spending deficits, in anticipation of inflation. At the same time the contracting economy may experience perceived deflation as demand for goods, services and assets shrink. If I'm nimble, I could get out of gold at the right time with a big paper profit, buy up distressed but still ultimately valuable assets that are in decline and die rich. Do I think my chances of that are good? Nah! I'm just a little guy. I don't have much and will likely lose it in any case but what the fuck have I got to lose?

Not one God damn thing.

Yurts and Fermented Mare's Milk

I remember before we had a TV. Some people still just had radio. A lot of the radios were the big, old console models, with glowing vacuum tubes in the guts. They could often receive short wave through an outside antenna. You could turn the dial and pick up foreign language and funny music along with eerie howling noises and static. Sometimes you could guess where the signal was coming from and sometimes not but you knew it was far away. For me, it was exciting.

Blogging can be like short wave signals in the old days. I never get a lot of hits but I get them from all over. They aren't all from huge population centers but they tend to be from relatively developed areas because that's where they weave the interwebs.

I got a hit a couple days ago from Ulan Bator. I remember reading a National Geographic article about Mongolia and Ulan Bator fifty years ago. It was pretty bleak but definitely the farthest place you could get away to and still be on Earth, except for maybe the Poles. The people seemed more alien than exotic, the streets were mud and there were yurts and herds of ponies, right in the middle of town. The People all looked like Korean dwarfs and dressed like Robinson Crusoe. I'm sure it's more developed now, almost everywhere is. It's still about as far away from here as you can get, in every imaginable way.

Somebody from Ulan Bator looked at my words. Cool.

Are Polititians Crocodiles? 'Cuz They Cry The Same Tears

It's only been two days but already a pilgrimage of politicians has begun to Ft Hood. Just like the fuckin' Hajj. They want to honor the soldiers killed and wounded there and help the community "heal" from the recent atrocity. George W Bush has already been there, to spend time consoling the victims and their families. What a nice guy.

I wonder why these same politicians never gave a second thought before committing young American soldiers and their families to what will soon be the longest and most costly War in the nation's history? A War embarked upon for no apparent reason, that has destroyed the countries invaded and benefited our nation not at all. These people have lost family members, limbs, blood, mental health and time, a lot of time, out of the best years of their young lives. For too many, it was all the time they had left. Many more who have not yet, will experience these same losses in the years ahead. For nothing. Is this how we respect and honor the members of our armed forces, by selling their lives so cheaply?

Nidal Hasan was crazy or maybe a religious fanatic, the same thing, really. He shot innocents who bore no blame for the war which he was loath to fight. More senseless death in a conflict that has already caused enough. It makes him as bad as those who are responsible for the War, maybe worse and that's very bad indeed. The Army should have left him in Washington DC, where there are so many worthy objects of his psychotic bloodlust.

Meat on the hoof

I was cooking for awhile at a roadhouse in Southern New Mexico, many years ago. One of the local, severely inbred, ranching scions came to the back door one day and called me outside. He had a full grown buffalo bull out there tied to a tree by it's nose ring. Really big.

Seems he had been reading in one of his stock breeding magazines about the saleability of hybrid beefalo meat. He thought he would save money and instead of buying frozen sperm, just turn this big fella loose in his herd. He bought him someplace up North. He was transporting it home in a horse trailer behind his pickup. Fuckin' buffalo got restless and totally demolished the trailer. He was lucky to get as far as our place. He didn't have another trailer and didn't think anybody would loan him one to haul an unhappy buffalo bull the rest of the way home.

He wanted to sell me the buffalo's meat, cheap. The idea was he would shoot it, skin it and cut off it's head for trophies and leave me the meat. It was a good deal and we could have made some money off it. Serving buffalo meat would have been a definite attraction and we could have charged good prices. The problem is, news travels fast in sparsely populated areas like that. Plus, we would be buying seriously less meat from our regular FDA certified supplier in Roswell for awhile. Somebody would have narc'd us out for sure and you can't legally serve meat in a restaurant, that you kill and butcher in a sand lot outside your back door, from a buffalo that some guy passing through sold you. No deal.

He found another trailer somewhere and got the thing the rest of the way home. I don't know whether he got beefalo out of the deal or just a lot or gored cows. Likely, his father just made him take it back where he got it from.

Republicans Shed A Bitter Tear

The Democrats are going to try and pass a national health bill in the House today. My feeling is that they wouldn't be attempting to do this if they didn't have the votes in their pocket.

It doesn't matter if the bill they pass has everything they want. It doesn't matter what concessions they have to make. Once a comprehensive national health bill is passed, it can be modified in the future. The one thing that is pretty much guaranteed is that once passed, universal health coverage will never be rescinded. It will be a huge victory for the Democratic party. In generations to come, when national health care is an established entitlement, it will be remembered that not a single Republican voted for it. Opposition to national health may turn out to be a liability for the Republicans in the long run. I think that it will.

Republicans are unhappy about the situation. Tough shit.

On to the Senate.

Right Tool For The Job

Nidal Hasan, the Ft Hood shooter picked the right weapon for his spree. The FN Five-Seven is a great semi automatic pistol. It shoots very small bullets with a very high muzzle velocity. With proper ammunition it defeats commonly used body armor and penetrates deeply, with a damaging tumbling action. It has minimal perceived recoil and the weapon can stay on target better between shots. The shooter's wrist will not tire as much or develop a tremor after sustained firing. You can get an extended magazine that holds thirty rounds. It can be reloaded in seconds and three preloaded extra magazines of this type, tucked unobtrusively in a back pocket under an unbloused shirt, would have given him a total of one hundred twenty rounds, more than even he needed. The Five-Seven represents the biggest advance in hand gun design in over a hundred years. FN, a Belgique firm and one of the premier weapons producers in the World, none of which are now American, makes a machine pistol based on the same system that puts anything the American military has, in the way of a close combat weapon, to shame. If I became psychotic or religious and was going to buy a hand gun for a high density, sustained fire shooting spree situation, the FN Five-Seven is the one I'd buy.

I'd bet money that all of the damage he did, he did with the FN. He was also carrying a .357 magnum of some kind. I suppose he wanted to be ready, in case he needed to penetrate any engine blocks or was attacked by a bear. I guess it always pays to be prepared.

I remember when this gun was introduced several years ago, many jurisdictions in America banned it before it even went on sale. California, where I live is one of them. I'm not sure but it still may be unobtainable there. Probably Washington DC, where Nidal is from, as well. Nidal was lucky he was in Texas when he went crazy. Personal handguns are like a religion in Texas and firing them is like worship. If he had been smarter he might have gotten away with it. He should have had a few drinks first and he shouldn't have done it on a military base. They're really strict about that kind of stuff in the military. I heard of this old drunk in Texas, who shot his friend point blank in the face with a shotgun after a hydraulic lunch and was never even charged. I'm not sure anyone ever even reported it to the police.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Big One

During the Cold War era, the idea of nuclear war went hand in hand with the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. The Cold War is over. It's a new game.

Whether they publicly acknowledge it or not, a lot of countries have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Within the next few years, many more will. Some of the countries that have or will have nuclear weapons are run by people who are not known for mental stability. Many nuclear equipped countries are not politically stable. Many do not have full control of their military. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction doesn't have the currency that it once did. Sale or trade of nuclear weapons to countries that do not have the technology to produce them is not an unlikely prospect and may have already happened. During episodes of regime change or political upheaval, ownership of nuclear weapons has become unclear. Not all weapons known to have been produced have been reliably accounted for. The Afrikaners disposed of their very excellent, Israeli designed nuclear weapons and delivery systems, before they turned their country over to Mandela. Who's to say some of the military custodians, soon to be out of a job and a country, didn't sell a few off to ensure a comfortable retirement in exile? No one even pretends to know what happened to all the USSR's nukes. There never even was a reliable inventory.

I was expecting an Indian/Pakistani nuclear engagement in the early-mid '90s. So far, it hasn't happened but still remains a strong possibility. There are several countries which might attack Israel with nuclear weapons and Israel would certainly respond or even carry out a preemptive strike if they had good intelligence that an attack was coming.

There has never been an effective weapon invented that wasn't used and used often. I think it's only a matter of time before any number of small nuclear wars and perhaps even a big one or two break out.

What do you think? Who will attack who? Who will win? Or will anybody?


What do you think about this Muslim army captain that killed and wounded so many at Fort Hood yesterday? It's a terrible thing. Nobody knows yet what if any motivation he had for this act. Whether he had some fanatical religious or political motivation or was just bug fuck crazy, the question will be why nobody in authority figured it out beforehand and did anything about it.

Normally, people in the military develop a bond with others in the community that precludes them from committing this sort of act. It's one of the major ways that the military socializes its denizens. They do it in formal ways and informal. Its going on all the time. Its no big secret. Its not hard to figure out why they do it or why its a good thing. This guy didn't get his dose or it didn't take. He'd been in the military a long time and it had provided him with a life of privilege, status and affluence compared to most in the life.

This guy isn't dead. He's going to spend the rest of his life sitting alone in a little room. He's not going to be covered by any Geneva convention or have any rights. He'll be a member of the US military who is a prisoner of the US military. They can do anything they want to him. Hopefully experts will spend several years taking his head apart to find out how it works, what went wrong and how to spot guys like him in the future.

I'm seeing where a lot of people don't think we should allow people of Middle Eastern background or Islam in the military. I'm not sure that's such a good idea. I think they can be very useful.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Who Is The Scary Republican Leader?

In American politics, the scariest leaders on the other side are those that have a chance to poach your voters. For the Republicans, the two scariest leaders on the other side in the last half century have been Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Both were populist, Southern and very appealing to middle American, middle of the road, family oriented voters of modest means.

The Democrats have had a much worse time of it. Republicans have come up with leaders who are very attractive to a wide spectrum of voters. Ronald Reagan was the best. Everybody loved Reagan. I didn't because I lived in California while he was Governor but most Americans weren't paying attention to Reagan in the '60's. George W Bush was very scary. It wasn't too hard to see what an asshole he was but he had an undeniable appeal, in a lowest common denominator, let's admit we all pee in the shower way, to a broad spectrum of American voters.

I'm assuming that Barry O will be the Democratic nominee in the 2012 Presidential race. Right now the scariest candidates that I'm seeing on the Republican side are Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty. I hate both of them but can easily see how they could get elected. Huckabee doesn't worry me, neither does Palin. They wouldn't stand a chance. Romney doesn't worry me because he might make a pretty good President, for all the people. The Republicans would never run anybody like that.

Who do you think could win the Presidency for the Republicans?