Saturday, October 31, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

In an amazing turn of events, Dede Scozzafava, the controversial Republican candidate for the 23rd Congressional district for the State of New York, has dropped out of the race, three days before a special election to fill the seat for the last year of the current term. This leaves the race between Democrat Bill Owens and third party candidate Doug Hoffman, who had been a Republican before he lost out on his bid for the Republican nomination for the seat to Scozzafava.

Socially conservative Republican forces have deluged Hoffman with money, campaign workers, media resources and outspoken support in recent days, after deciding that Scozzafava did not embody the kind of image consistent with their vision of future, socially conservative, American Republicanism.

This is now a huge crap shoot for the social conservatives. If Hoffman wins election to Congress, the social conservatives will have effectively taken control of the National Party, its platform and slate of candidates, in next years mid term election and then likely, also in the Presidential year of 2012. If they lose in the 23rd next Tuesday, they will likely be seen, within their own party, as hysterical meddlers, who lost a seat in Congress that the Republicans desperately need and could easily have kept.

I guess I don't really care who wins or loses or even who controls the Republican Party. In the long run, American politics for the next generation is going to be all about shifting demographics. A situation like this though, is beautiful to watch as it unfolds, revealing the Byzantine internal machinations of the American political system.

This is turning out to be one of the the most pivotal off year elections in American history.

Do You Have Cats?

We have cats. Two castrated toms. My wife really likes to have a couple of cats around. We got them from the local pound.

In the old days pound cats were mostly alley cats. Grey tabby, black, tuxedo, calico, short hair or long. Every once in a while you'd see a Manx. Most cats get neutered these days, so a lot of the cats in shelters are breeders mistakes or pure bred with some kind of conformation problems that make them worthless for sale.

One of our cats is a brindled, big stripe, bull's eye, ginger tabby, serval/domestic hybrid. They market them under the name of Savannah cats. They're supposed to have graceful long necks and limbs. Ours doesn't. He also has a very short, serval like, tail, which is not preferred. He has a small head and weaselly face with huge, bat like ears, that he can swivel around almost 180. They frequently fill up with thick, viscous wax and require deep swabbing. He doesn't meow. He makes chirping noises, like a cricket. He's a burrower and will spend hours at the bottom of a pile of laundry or old newspapers. Servals are notorious for not using a litter box and spraying huge quantities of foul urine all over the house, because in the wild they are solitary, constantly marking off ever changing territorial boundaries. Most cats shit in a litter box because they like to bury it and unless you have large planters, there's no place else in most houses that work. Servals have no burying instinct. That can be an issue too. We haven't had a problem yet. If we do, he's history. Servals are much larger than domestic cats. Ours doesn't look that big but weighs about 20 pounds, which is a lot for a cat. He's probably no more than a quarter serval, maybe even a sixteenth. Servals can weigh 45 pounds. We've had him about 10 years, so he might be twelve. He was full grown when we got him. His previous owner was a crazy lady that left him alone for long periods when she got hauled off to the rubber room, so he's pretty resourceful and independent. He also has food issues and tends toward the portly persuasion.

Our other cat is a purebred Rag Doll. These are big, clumsy, hairy beasts that tend to sleep even more than regular cats. I think he went to the shelter because because his color patterns are mottled and non standard. That and his eyes are crossed. A lot of these cats have this problem but he's really wall eyed. It noticeably affects his visual acuity. When he bats at something, he usually doesn't even come close until after several tries and he also missteps and falls from high places a lot. He doesn't seem to have the usual cat talent for landing on his feet. He spends a lot of time limping around.

They're good boys. I don't mind them. They don't crave drugs, contract incurable venereal diseases, get obscene tattoos, steal money from my wallet or want to go to expensive private colleges.

Headstone Decoration

Did you know that the Veteran's administration has authorized the Wiccan Pentangle for inscription on your GI issue tombstone, if you so desire? I just found that out.

I don't think I'm interested. It looks too much like some kind of Devil worship thing. That's way to serious for me.

I kind of like the yin yang symbol but that's not authorized. Buddhists get the Wheel of Life instead. I told my wife once I wanted that one. It's kind of nice. It reminds me a little of the Navy Quartermaster rate badge, is why I chose it.

There may be several additional religious symbols available since I checked last. It's been several years, since I went to order a headstone for uncle Hugh. He was an Army clerk in World War II. He was a pianist and could also type like the wind. Spent a few years in London. He had a good time there. They were pretty open minded about Gay boys, compared to the States.

Does anybody know if there are any new, cool symbols available for display on headstones? A Druidic All Seeing Eye might be classy. It's too bad there isn't really an appropriate one for me. I guess I could spend a little of my own money and have somebody chisel a broken bar stool into it. It's not like I'll be needing the money at that point and there is bound to be at least a little left. The whole point of it is that it's free though. It just wouldn't be right.

Are You A Social Conservative?

I'm pretty sure I'm not one but I'm not entirely sure I understand what it entails. As far as I can tell, it's this.

1) Opposition to abortion, contraception, fetal stem cell harvesting, artificial fertility procedures, any personal end of life decisions that could be interpreted as suicide or euthanasia or any other medical procedure that is unnatural, immoral or against the will of the Christian Triple God, his enforcing Angels and watchful Saints.

2) Support and legal institutionalization of the nuclear family, consisting only of a male head of household, a female wife and children.

3) A strict belief in the Christian Bible as the literal revealed word of God and as a basis for natural law and science, that should be incorporated into civil life and human endeavor by all members of society and adhered to whether they believe it or not. The founding fathers intended for America to be a Christian nation and anything else is unconstitutional.

4) Elimination of any social entitlement programs by government.

5) Unlimited right to own weapons.

6) A belief in capital punishment.

7) A strong Christian military that works around the World to protect American political interests, promote Christian values, suck up local alcohol stocks and produce half American bastards.

8) Stop and punish illegal immigration.

9) Human right to dominion over the Earth and denial that human actions can adversely effect climate or natural ecological balance.

A person could go into a lot of specifics but that seems to be about it and in order to be a social conservative, you need to believe in all of these things, otherwise you are a closet liberal.

If you are a social conservative I would like to hear from you. Are there more things you believe are basic to the movement? Are some of the things I've listed in error? Speak up! Clueless liberals everywhere need to know.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Age Appropriate

This is an amazing story. I'm not going to go on about the morality of this marriage. Different strokes, ya' know. Do you realize that if this young girl lives very long, the combined span of a husband and wife could be almost two hundred years? That would be like from the French Revolution to the Moon landing.

The passage of time is not so pronounced in Somalia. It's the same there as it was in the Stone Age. In another hundred years it likely still will be. It won't happen anyway. They'll probably kill her and bury her with her husband and women don't live too long there in any case.

Miracle In Poland

Once again, miraculous proof that Jesus and the Lord Jehovah are one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All My Children

Wing nuts are upset because it is now possible to make sperm and eggs out of stem cells. This could provide people who no longer have functioning gonads the opportunity to be parents.

What would be really cool is if they learn how to make eggs out of sperm and sperm out of eggs. Then a person could have children who, while genetically different from the parent, would only have one parent.

That's the ultimate ego trip. Man, I'd want hundreds of kids to inflict on the World.

Wonderful Life

I think Hugh Hefner is smart. I don't think he is any kind of genius. All he ever really had was a fantasy of how he would live his life if he could and an unshakable belief that a large number of other men, around the World, would want to share that fantasy with him. It turned out that he was right. In just a few years, his magazine went from nothing to the most recognizable, discussed and profitable publication in the world. From the middle Fifties to the middle Sixties, it was probably the most influential vehicle for the spread of affluent American culture and what they used to call, before feminism, the Sexual Revolution. The magazine spawned a chain of night clubs and vacation resorts. Hugh hosted music festivals, movie festivals and television shows. The career of a young man or woman who had verifiably been to the Playboy mansion and met Hugh Hefner was made.

By the late sixties Hugh Hefner was no longer young. The Hefner fantasy life began to be considered dated by some. The Playboy empire began a long slow decline. I think that this was highly appropriate. I'm not sure Hugh Hefner wanted it any other way.

The thing that I find most impressive about Hugh Hefner is that it was his personal vision that he was merchandising. It was the vision that he desired to live. When society changed, he didn't feel obligated to change with it. The decades of indulgence never dissipated him or perved him out, as happened to so many who acquired so much, so quickly, for so long

The resorts closed, then the clubs. Magazine sales shrank and the demographic became less sought after by big money advertisers. Through it all, Hugh lived the same life, his dream.

Today, Hugh Hefner is a very old and frail man. People make jokes about him. He has several air headed, young, blond girlfriends at a time, that he dodders around the mansion with and changes regularly. He takes a lot of naps and enjoys soft, bland food. Still, in most ways, it's the same lifestyle he's always had. It's kind of anachronistic now and modified to what his frail, old body can tolerate, yet still enjoy.

You got to ask yourself this. Has anybody else, in the history of the World, ever enjoyed such a good life, for so long, with so little negative blow back? I can't think of anyone. Most people born with the resources to live any way they want burn out early. Those that have to strive for what they desire slave away the best years of their lives and are too old to spend much time enjoying it when it's finally achieved. Not Hugh Hefner. Would you have been willing to trade your life for Hugh Hefner's? I bet a lot of guys would have. I remember discussing that exact thing with my bunk mates at summer camp, fifty years ago. I would have swapped lives with him, on any given day over the last fifty or so years. I'd do it tomorrow if asked and never look back.

I don't think that Hugh Hefner's empire will outlast him and that's good. When he dies they should lay him out nice, lock him in the mansion with his minions, sycophants and retainers and fire it up. No Viking funeral for this boy. Suttee!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fountain Of Youthful Looks

Does this bother you? It doesn't bother me that much. It apparently does a lot of people, judging from the comments. I'm old and look like shit. I don't mind because it's pretty much in sync with how I feel a lot of the time. I guess I wouldn't be interested in just looking better.

If they could mix something up that made me feel young again, even for a little while, I would be first in line. I couldn't care less if it came from aborted fetuses. I mean, they would just be going down the drain anyway. Sounds like green technology to me. Hey, save the bay, right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

How Much Of An Asshole Do You Have To Be Not To Beat Yourself Up Over It

I don't get up in the morning with the idea that I'm going to be a real son of a bitch today. I always try to be a pretty good guy but it never has worked out that well for me. I always appreciate it when people are honest with me, even if I don't like what they have to say. I try to return the favor but a lot of the time it's too easy to just tell people what they want to hear and avoid the hurt and drama that the truth is going to cause. I try not to take advantage of people when they're vulnerable but that's kind of the basis for the entire free enterprise, survival of the fittest society we've set up for ourselves and so admire. Truth be told, though, I've never survived all that fitly.

I had this girlfriend once. We were both still teenagers, just left home. I was a year older. She was a really nice girl, clean, smart and pretty. I couldn't figure out why she was interested in me. I still don't. She could have done a lot better but for what ever reason she let me hang around a lot.

Anyway, this girl had a real block about any sexual behavior. She enjoyed a lot of physical and emotional intimacy but as soon as it started to get overtly sexual she shut down. It was kind of sweet and quite a challenge. Eventually, through trial and error, I figured out that if I bathed her in the evening, dressed her in a flannel nightgown and brushed her hair out, she'd go into a kind of happy fugue state and enthusiastically participate in whatever twisted carnal behavior I could think up.

I wasn't stupid. It was pretty clear to me why she was like that. Her mother had died when she was very young and she had been raised by a doting father that never remarried. She wouldn't tolerate a bad word about him. Once I had it figured out, the situation deteriorated pretty quickly, even though she was having a great time. I began to need liquor to be around her. That's never a good sign. I had enough of a conscience to slink away but not enough of a conscience to force the issue and make her confront it. I saw it could lead to all kinds of unpleasantness and I didn't want to be in the middle of it.

That girl and I don't keep in touch. I hear things about her from time to time. It's pretty clear that she's never dealt with the father issue. I try not to think about it too much but I'm not likely to forget it either. This kind of thing is like being in a train wreck and walking away but guilty ever after that you never did anything to save anyone else involved.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Showdown Upstate

They are having a special election next month, in the 23rd Congressional district, State of New York. There are parts of this district which haven't been represented by anybody but a Republican Congressman since before the Civil War. These are Northeasterners, fiscally conservative, not so socially conservative. The Republican candidate is a woman named Dede Scozzafava. She is no homophobe and believes that legal abortion is settled law. These are not radical beliefs. They are the law of the land and have been for some time.

The Republican party has broken ranks over her candidacy. Newt Gingrich and most of the old guard, Republican establishment, inside the beltway, support her. Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Dick Armey and the maverick heartland crew, have lined up behind a fundamentalist third party candidate.

None of these things is going to make any difference to the voters in the twenty third district of New York. They're going to vote the same way they would have anyway, probably for Dede.

The important thing here is the assertion now, by the fundamentalist, tea party faction of the Republican establishment, that there is no room for social moderates or a big tent in the future.

In time, the social conservatives will destroy the two party system as it has previously existed in American politics.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pope Lover's Mother Expires

The Vatican community mourns the death of Gertud Ganswein, mother of Georg Ganswein, homosexual life partner of Pope Benedict. Everyone is sad about her death but glad that the Pope has found love and companionship in his old age. It cannot help but make him a better man and better Pope.

The Pope should address the Catholic laity openly and honestly about his sexuality and how he expresses it in his everyday life. All priests should be required to do this on a regular basis, so that those entrusted to their care can know whether they have legitimate concerns about the safety of themselves or loved ones from inappropriate sexual molestation, when alone in the presence of individual priests.

The Pope should announce the eligibility of women for ordination into the priesthood. He should also announce the end of the policy of so called priestly celibacy and allow priests to enter into marriage. It is unfair that currently, only homosexual priests are able to easily engage in sexual relationships and even these are necessarily covert and not always free of coercion.

Doesn't the Pope want all priests to be as domestically happy and sexually satisfied as he is? If not, why not?

Penn Gillette's Brain May Be Rotting But In A Good Way

Do you know who Penn Gillette is? He is getting a lot of positive reaction on the wing nut blogs. He has made a few appearances on the Glenn Beck show as well as other right wing media outlets and has received some blistering criticism for it from some on the left.

I wouldn't say Penn is a liberal, any more than I would say I am. He is among other things, a libertarian, atheist, sexual libertine, narcotics affictionado and free, non linear thinker. About the only things that he has in common with Glenn Beck are profound mental instability and a willingness to engage in a free and open exchange of non linear ideas.

I think an open dialogue within a society about all issues is a good thing. I applaud Penn for his willingness to engage in it and right wingers for a sympathetic response. If so called liberals close themselves off from listening to or responding to those who think differently, they cease to be liberals.

Is Marijuana Really Illegal?

Do you have a pot house in your neighborhood? I had one. Two older ladies had two adjoining condos across the greenbelt from me. It turns out they were living together and one of the condos was a grow house. With the garage, it provided about 2000 square feet of hydroponic growing space. Nobody noticed and it provided them with a very good income. They processed and sold the product themselves.

In the end, they were turned in by a relative jealous of their good fortune. It's been a couple of years since they were busted. What interested me is that in the aftermath, none of the property was confiscated, the fines imposed weren't ruinous and nobody went to jail.

The little old ladies still live there and aren't talking but I get the feeling they are still in business and have a new grow house somewhere in the area. They are still very good neighbors. Nobody has any kind of grudge or hard feelings against them here. If they brought me a batch of brownies, I wouldn't mind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Retired Friend

I saw this guy I used to work with 30 years ago at a lumberyard. We met at a grocery store parking lot. He was laying in supplies. He's gotta be close to 70 now, maybe even older. He was a truck driver when I knew him. A really good one. He could take truck and trailer roll off loads to funny places where rich people wanted to build big houses. He could get the loads in to where the carpenters needed it to be and get the load off without damaging the lumber, wrecking the truck or maiming himself. He learned to drive trucks in the Army. He was a biker when I knew him, covered in tattoos. They're all blurry and faded now, like smudged soot.

This is a guy who would like to have been a lifer in the Army and volunteered to go back to run with the supply convoys on the Mekong Delta, more than a few times. Nobody ever had any complaints with him while he was doing that. After the War, the Army couldn't get rid of guys like him fast enough. I remember he had been married at least a few times when I knew him. He had some kids. None of them could be less than forty five by now. We didn't talk about any of that.

He was driving a delivery van he converted into a motor home. He has it rigged pretty nice. It's simple but has everything needed and is a lot more durable than the stuff you can buy factory made. He's night watchman at an equipment storage yard in town and does odd jobs around the place. They let him live there in his van. It's a good deal for everybody.

It was nice to see him. I'm glad he's doing OK. Sometimes guys like him don't. They have hard lives and never ask anyone for help. Turn you down if you offered. Maybe I'll see him again some day. I always stop to talk when I see an old friend

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Transformational Event

Here's one of my biggest problems with Christianity. They keep saying it's not an ideology but a joyful event which transforms the life of Christians, makes them more humane and fills them with delight.

I gotta tell ya, I see a lot of ideology being crammed down all of our throats under the guise of natural law by Christians. I don't see many Christians who are humane. Filled with delight is like something out of Omar Khayyam, not the New Testament. Most conservative and fundamentalist Christians have an affect that comes across as angry and constipated. To me, the archetypal Christian is still Miss Vivian Goggins, the librarian at my high school, forty years ago. She was so fixated on the prerogatives of her authority and maintaining discipline, that nobody was ever allowed access to books much less develop a love of scholarship.

I don't think anybody minds if Christians are transformational. If they infect others to also become filled with delight, so much the better. I've never seen it but I have no problem with it. What does that have to do with telling others how to live their lives and spreading around an ideology to people and in places where it was never asked for?

Swelling the Ranks

Supposedly there are a half million "traditionalist" Anglicans that are going to join the Catholic church. They are unhappy with the liberal ways of their old church. Mostly I think that means they are homophobes. I don't think that many of these traditionalists are in England. I think most of them are in the colonial countries of the Southern hemisphere.

Anglicans and Catholics aren't all that different but there are still a lot of issues that separate them. Celibacy of clergy, divorce, the entire issue of women's reproductive rights. I'm pretty sure Anglicans don't have Purgatory or sell indulgences. There is the whole issue of the church being subordinate to the State vs the State being subordinate to the church, which is how the Anglican church got started in the first place. This is entirely different than the separation of church and State issue, which neither of these churches subscribe too. There is also the homosexual clergy issue to iron out. These Anglican guys are angry because of openly gay clergy. Most of the Catholic clergy is gay, only they stay in the closet and only come out to bugger young boys. So that's supposed to be all right with these Anglicans, once they join the Catholics? I'm not sure how that's going to work out.

The Catholics were going to bring those Lefevrists in too. That didn't work out so well. I guess I wouldn't hold my breath.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Federal Government OKs Medical Marijuana

Can you get medical marijuana where you live? It's pretty easy here. There are stores that sell it all over the place. At the marijuana store, they refer you to a doctor who will write you a prescription. They will also give you a list of acceptable complaints that marijuana can be prescribed for.

Once you've been to the doctor and gotten your prescription, they can legally sell you marijuana. You can smoke some of it on the way home if you want.

If there aren't any stores that sell medical marijuana near you, there probably will be soon. You might even want to think about opening one. Easy work. Good money. You'll be providing a community service. Like a policeman, a school teacher or a priest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Torching Sarah's Pulpit

It's been a year since Sarah Palin's Wasilla Church home was torched, during an incident of arson. Since she was the Republican Vice Presidential candidate at the time, I'm sure the Secret Service and FBI went into a full court press to find the perpetrator. Cases of arson like this usually aren't that hard to solve.

How come we haven't heard anything more about this? I'd really like to know who did it. Wing nuts were sure it was partisan Gay commandos from San Francisco who rappelled down from black helicopters. I'm not so sure. It could have been young, Islamic, Commie, Kenyan, Negro extremist relatives of Barack Obama. They could have gotten in and out on foot without anybody noticing. Those Kenyans are great runners ya know. They can go hundreds of miles. They don't even wear shoes and they're really hard to see in the dark.

Two Media Whores Fuck Each Other, Enraged When No One Pays

Sarah Silverman, a stand up comic who has already had her not very well received 15 minutes of fame and Bill Donohue, President of the shadow media front organization, The Catholic League, wholly owned by the Catholic Church, have squared off in a fight absolutely nobody else in the World cares about.

Silverman, as part of a comedy monologue suggests that the Pope should sell the Vatican and use the money to feed the poor. Donohue calls this obscene hate speech. Even the most virulent anti Catholics and pro Catholic defenders, can't work up any spittle over this.

Old Woman Kills Other Old Woman

This just goes to show that nobody really gives a shit about senile old women. As long as they don't hurt anybody but each other. If it had been you or me, we'd be doin' serious time. If we'd a had a few beers before hand it would be life without parole.

This old bitch will just have to wear an ankle bracelet and stay home for a few months.

Is America A Developed Nation?

We are the only nation among the "developed nations" to still start wars, continue the death penalty, not provide public health or decent educational opportunities for those capable of taking advantage of them. Large numbers of our citizenry are illiterate, ignorant and mired in primitive, superstitious religion. Large numbers of our population live lives of poverty and chronic unemployment, in lawless, urban wastelands. We haven't had a positive trade balance in half a century and don't produce anything that is competitive on the World market.

Why would anybody in the World that aren't themselves in dire straits, look to us for leadership or think we could have anything to offer them?

Old Man's Penis Rots Off. Nobody Notices.

I'm getting older. I wouldn't mind living for a while longer. I'm not a fanatic about it. Part of the reason that I don't want to live too long has to do with stories like this.

A More Conservative Europe

In Europe conservative politics is having a resurgence. Conservatism there, is all about trimming government spending and improving the climate for free enterprise. In Europe nobody argues about global warming, conservation of resources, abortion, whether the government should provide education or basic health care or whether or not they are Christian nations.

I'm not suggesting we become more like Europe. It could never happen. In Europe, conservatives are intelligent, educated and rational.

The South

This is an interesting article. You've probably seen it. It's about a justice of the peace in Louisiana who won't issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for mixed race couples. What's really interesting is, this guy has been a justice of the peace for well over 30 years and has always acted this way. Nobody has ever complained before. It's an elected office, his constituency likes his policy and votes for him over and over.


Do you think he'd marry Gays? As long as they're the same color, of course.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nobody wants Rush

There probably isn't a more hide bound, Right wing conservative, group of old, rich, predominantly White men in America, than NFL franchise owners and coaches. If there is a single Democrat among them, I am unaware of him. Many are active members and supporters of conservative groups and causes. A lot of them are loud mouthed blowhards who wave around big cigars, fart and treat women badly in public. A lot of them play golf. A lot of them keep a floosie or two around. A lot of them are substance abusers. They all like being associated with tough, young, athletic men of the sort they never were. There aren't many ways they could be more like Rush Limbaugh.

Even they won't let Rush into their little club. Hilarious.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hans Brinker Has More Going For Him Than Silver Skates

Ya know who has the lowest abortion rate in the World? The Dutch. The rate of abortion in the Netherlands is 1/3 of what it is World wide and 1/5 of what we experience here in America. Most people in Holland consider abortion to be a last resort procedure. This is a country where abortion is free, legal and with no social stigma attached. It's also the most sexually liberal country in the World, with legalized prostitution, open discussion of sexuality in the schools and free, universal access to all forms of contraception for everyone, regardless of age or parental consent.

Do you think the wing nut, fundo-Christian, anti abortion faction in the US would look at what the Dutch have accomplished, as a model for decreasing the rates of abortion in this country?

Think again. These people don't really give a shit about abortion or saving little preborn life. All they want to do is cram their neanderthal, snake handling, idol worshiping brand of racist, sexist, Islamophobic Christianity down every bodies throats because it is "Natural Law".

A New Breed Of American Leader

Republicans are expecting big pickups in Congressional representation after next years mid term elections. Maybe it's true.

In order to get the nomination in most places, a successful Republican candidate is going to have to show strong fundamentalist Christian credentials and complete acceptance of any wing nut, God freak fringe groups that are out and about . They aren't going to be able to have a very extensive education or have received very high grades during the education they did have. They aren't going to be able to express a belief in the possibility of evolution of the species or the big bang theory of the Universe. They can't believe in the possible global warming effects of carbon build up in the environment. They can't have any coherent energy policy other than Drill, Baby, Drill. They aren't going to be able to express any tolerance of homosexual life styles. They aren't going to be able to condone abortion under any circumstances or any form of birth control other than chastity. They can't advocate any foreign policy initiatives that don't involve use of the big stick and in the case of Iran, a nuclear stick. They can't have any economic policy that doesn't rely on a strictly free market economy dominated by large corporations but must also venerate the American small businessman. They can't believe that there are any problems in this country involving race, ethnic and religious diversity or economic inequality that shouldn't be solved through the forced acceptance by these groups of the wing nut lifestyle and philosophy.

Who are these people going to be?

Spot Gold

I noticed that for a few minutes, before the London markets opened this morning, the spot price for gold ticked up above $1070 an ounce. Another new all time high. We'll have to wait for a retrenchment to find out but I wonder what the new trading range for gold will end up being.


Cutting out the Government

I just want to point out a little situation developing in the American economy of some concern. The government is embarked on an ambitious spending campaign to bring the economy out of its slump. Presumably the money it is spending is guaranteed against tax revenues to be collected in the future.

American incomes are currently shrinking, making it likely that there will be smaller tax revenues in the future to cover the increased spending.

I've noticed something else going on. Many providers of necessary services are now doing a lot of their work off the books, in order to avoid paying taxes. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, plumbers, auto mechanics, and many other skilled providers of necessary service can easily generate hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees from a single customer on a routine basis, depending on how much they do. I have experienced that all of these people will gladly provide a substantial discount in payment, if it is made in cash, enabling them to simply pocket the money, without declaring it as income. Since they aren't declaring it, they are also willing to eliminate payment of sales tax or any other applicable tariff, which here in California is upwards of 10%. Income is increased and costs are decreased for everybody but the taxing entity.

The Government is going to have a big problem with this but I fail to see what they can do about it, especially when it is becoming a nearly universal practice. Where will the government get the money to pay for all the ambitious spending it is doing? I guess they will have to keep those printing presses running.

Who does work for you off the books?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barry's Nobel

Why a peace prize for Barry? What do it all mean, Mister Natural? Don't mean shit, kid.

In some parts of the World, it is an affirmation, after hundreds and some places thousands of years, people of color are finally recognized as human, equal to any other people in the World. It doesn't bother these people that others think they are inferior, so much. It's the doubt that always lingered in their own minds, until now.

In other parts of the World, it's a symbol that the time of White Man's burden is over. Colonialism, Imperialism, Paternalism, whatever you want to call it, may still be perpetrated but it will never be so easily accepted by the international community as it once was.

In still other places, it means that the days of US leadership in their community, often perceived as smug, heavy handed, boorish, unsophisticated and ill informed, is finally over.

It's not about what Barry's done. It's not even about who he is. It's pure myth and symbol. It ain't Christianity but don't fool yourself, it's religion, just the same. If Barry hadn't come along in real life, somebody would have had to invent him. Maybe somebody did invent him. It doesn't make any difference. Same thing.

Different strokes for different folks. Every bodies smiling but the Red State knuckle draggers. It don't signify nothing to them but more bad news. And more to come.

Friday, October 09, 2009


There is a film coming out this Christmas called Agora, made in Europe by a Spanish director, in the English language. It depicts the last days and violent death of the young female mathematician and physicist, Hypatia of Alexandria, early in the fifth century by a Christian mob, incited to it by Roman Catholic clergy.

She was a Pagan woman, perceived to be but not in fact anti Christian and was a popular and respected person in her place and time. At the climactic ending of the story, she is pulled from her chariot on the street, dragged into a Christian church, flayed alive with jagged pottery shards, dismembered and the pieces incinerated in the public market place. The incident was well documented at the time and truly depicted by the film. Many of the things done in the Church's name to consolidate it's hold on Western civilization were a little harsh by today's standards.

The Catholic Church makes a big deal about their many and sundry martyrs to the faith. Some of the stories about them venerated by the Church are true, some are exaggerated, many are just made up. Artists have been encouraged to create depictions of the sufferings of Christian martyrs for thousands of years. Many Christian martyrs, real and imagined, have been declared Saints by a Church desperate to distract believers away from the oppression and exploitation of the Church and the foully perverted ways of the priestly hierarchy. They get all squirmy when the tables are turned.

Catholic bigwigs really don't like it when someone makes a movie like this. They don't think theaters should be allowed to show it or that people should be allowed to see it. In the old days, they would have had the film destroyed and it's creators burned at the stake. They don't have the juice to do that any more and it makes them feel impotent and grumpy.

I don't know why they are concerned. It doesn't sound like it's going to be a blockbuster hit. Probably play a few art houses and college film series bookings. The people that go to those places are all Commie atheists anyway, so who cares. Get a life Ratzo, you and Georgy should lighten up and relax with a romantic weekend of sodomite dalliance at Gandolfo. Enjoy some of that titillating boy porn that Bishop Lahey brought you from Thailand before you plunge into things.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Gold Slows Its Rapid Rise

Energy and commodity prices are cool in trading this morning in the face of some strength by the American dollar. Gold is not up so much as the last few days but holding its own in the face of the dollar's strength and some profit taking by traders, still near historic highs.

The corporate whores at CNBC are calling for a decline in precious metal prices, denying any increase is imminent the rate of inflation. The Fed is in a no win pickle. Continued low interest rates broadcast continuing weakness in the economy. Increased interest rates will be seen as a harbinger of inflation. They are fucked either way and the Treasury is still printing money as fast as they can.

I have no doubt gold will come down some today. The question is, how much and for how long.

We'll just have to watch and see if the central bank backed short sellers come into the gold market big time this morning and if there are enough eager buyers to absorb the deluge. So far there have been.

Polanski's Arrest

Why isn't the Obama administration getting more credit from the Wingnuts for the arrest and extradition request of Roman Polanski for the 30 year old rape of a 13 year old girl?

There have been lots of other opportunities over the years and nobody else was interested. Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes.

Are Cereal Grains A Good Commodity Play?

There are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of unfortunates living in Africa and Asia who will not be eating this Winter, unless someone purchases grain on the World market for them to eat. These purchases could drive prices for cereal grains much higher than they are now. Buying cereal grain contracts now could be profitable.

There is no doubt that the governments of the countries where these people reside would buy grain for them if they could. Hungry people are politically unstable people. No government wants that. Sadly, the need could be so great that many countries won't have the money to buy grain and loans are not so easy to come by as they once were. The UN doesn't have that kind of money to give. The US has other irons in the fire and will not shoulder that kind of foreign aid alone. Other developed nations are not traditionally so generous as the US.

Large scale famine has been rare the last sixty or so years but populations of poor nations have increased dramatically and the money for international social programs is drying up. Many countries that were self sustaining agriculturally just a few years ago are no longer. It's possible that millions will starve while available grain supplies languish in warehouses, unsalable even at reasonable prices.

I don't want to go all Malthusian on you but I'd take a pass on those rice contracts. Buy Barley and hops. It's going to be a good year for drinking heavily.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gold Up, Dollar Down

Rumors that oil producing nations are considering dropping the dollar as the main trading currency for petroleum is pounding the dollar and driving up the price of gold. Gold can never be used as a medium for international trade. There isn't enough of it but it benefits from the rumors anyway. In London trading Tuesday, the yellow metal broke the $1030 an ounce price barrier. This is just below its March '08 historic highs.

I don't know if gold is poised for a breakout but it may be establishing a new, historically high, trading range. I'd be satisfied with that. For now.

Let's see how it does later, in New York.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sex In Show Biz. What A Surprise.

A lot of sex scandals in the news this last week or so. I haven't said anything about McKenzie Phillips. Poor girl has been abused plenty I bet and never turned around and hurt anybody but herself. I don't understand all the hostility toward her. If she wants to write a book about it, more power to her.

Is anybody surprised that David Letterman has girlfriends on the set of his show? I can't say I am. Anybody doing what he does, for as long as he's done it can probably have sex with anyone within the community that he wants to and I'm sure he does. I don't think his wife is going to be all that scandalized. She was his girlfriend for 23 years. I'm sure she is aware of the situation and that it's nothing new. He handled the situation well.

I used to watch Letterman a long time ago. I remember when he had a morning show. He was pretty good. Had the common touch. That's long gone. I have no interest in him now. Never watch him. Leno either. He's even worse. Johnny Carson was good, in the sixties. Nobody ever thought he wasn't screwing every girl on the set whose panties weren't secured with carpet tacks. It was part of the schtick.

Olympic Dreams

Barry and Mich are in Denmark lobbying for Chicago as the site of the 2016 Olympics. You can't really blame them for wanting to bring it home but it's pretty stupid. America gets the Olympics all the time and Chicago's not that nice. Do it in Orlando. Plenty of hotel rooms and have the games at Disney World. Few minor mods, Voila!

It's really not fair for America to get the Olympics again. The Olympics is a great shot in the arm for a place that needs some good PR and a little economic stimulus. There are plenty of places that have never had a turn at the Olympics. How about the Gaza Strip? Ulan Bator? Lagos? Phnom Pehn? Calcutta? Now any of those places, would make for an exciting, educational and culturally broadening Summer excursion for families the World over and I'm sure their friendly inhabitants would like to welcome in the World for a neighborly visit.

Where Are The Jesus Freaks?

You want to know how you can tell organized religion is in big trouble? It's easy. Look around. No youth movement.

When I was a kid there were literally hundreds of groups around the country, big groups of religious fanatics, made up of nothing but kids in their teens and twenties. Kids from all walks of life and different political persuasions. Calvary Chapel was in my neighborhood. They'd pack thousands into a big tent several times a week and have huge ocean baptisms at the beach. Tony and Susan Alamo's followers traveled around in fleets of buses Shanghaiing prospects for cult indoctrination. There were Obnoxious Moonies all over the place. There were very large religious gatherings everywhere you went in those days. In Parks. Colleges and Universities. The beach. The desert. All nothing but kids. The kids believed. I mean really believed.

There were a lot of non Christian groups. Hari Krishnas. Rajneeshis. Transcendental Meditators. Scientologists. A bunch more. They were even crazier than the Christians. Most of these pagans eventually came back to Christianity and became the most crazily devout, fundamentalist, old fart Christians today.

The point is, fanatical religion is a lifelong pursuit and just growing up with it in the family isn't nearly good enough to secure the soul. You have to catch the fire while you're young, even if you flicker on and off during your salad years and don't come back to the faith full force until middle age.

The reason there is such a strong constituency of religious nuts between the ages of fifty and sixty five out there now, is because they were always out there, just as crazy. I can look back at my high school class and count them off, friends I grew up with and lost to religion between the ages of sixteen and twenty two. Most of them never came back. They'd come around, share a toke and try to bring you into the fold but if you rejected the Lord, it was like you were dead to them.

I'm not saying the Lord doesn't still bring in the occasional youthful sheaf but it's nothing like it was, not even close and in twenty or thirty years it's going to make a huge difference in the Christian community. Christianity has a big problem coming up.

Pieces of Shit

Nobody wants to buy GMs Saturn brand. I don't blame them. When Saturns first came out I was interested and took a look. They seemed flimsy and cheap. Like they wouldn't last. Plastic body panels and the fuckin' bumpers were filled with styrofoam. Stout.

I was right. You never see any old Saturns on the road and the Saturns you do see make a lot of unfortunate noises. Kind of like me after a beanie wienie and sauerkraut dinner.

Pieces of shit.

I Never Heard He Was A Liberal

Does anybody know anything about Roman Polanski's politics? I never heard he was a liberal. He certainly had a reputation as a swinger and liked real young girls but that doesn't signify anything political.

You got to consider that it was the Obama Justice Department that nabbed him. Eric Holder certainly OK'd it. Probably Hilary too. Barry himself may have signed off on it. Reagan was never interested in doing it or either one of the Bushes. That might be a clue.

The Wingers are making a big deal about all his liberal defenders. It's just movie people. They're like sailors. Never rat out a shipmate. Maybe that's why Reagan went easy on him.

I always thought he was a creepy little bastard, even during the Manson family thing and he had a lot of stiff competition during that.

Gandhi's Birthday, A Saintly Man

Google has a special logo today. It's Mohandas Gandhi's birthday. He would have been one hundred and forty. Pretty special guy. Who doesn't have a soft spot for the Mahatma?

I never heard of Mother Teresa saying anything nice about him. Must have been a case of professional jealousy or something like that.

He was kind of like a priest. Only he liked little girls. If they had laptops in those days, he probably would have had naked pictures of them on his hard drive. Do you think he would have his own Google logo then?