Thursday, December 30, 2010

How's Obama Doin'

I think Barry O wants a second term. He's governed in a very centrist manner. Maybe even center right.  He has never allowed himself to be baited by all of the racist slurs against him by the wingnuts, into an angry response. All things considered, he's still pretty popular. I don't think a second term is going to be a big problem.

A lot of people think that his plan for universal medical care is far left. The truth is that it's pretty right wing. No Republican Congress, no matter the majority, will ever repeal it.

A lot of people think that his choices for the Supreme court were too liberal. The truth is that both the girls are centrist compared to the far right justices, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito that recent Republican Presidents have put on the court.

If it had been me, I would have made the health care system far more socialist and allocated a lot of money for expanding medical school graduates in America and decreased the amount of money doctors could expect to make. As far as the Supreme Court goes, there's no question in my mind that the first two justices I would have nominated would have been Anita Fuckin' Hill and Henry Waxman. I'd have the FBI working day and night digging up dirt on the Republican justices to force them off the court and I believe that there would have been plenty of it. I guess that's why he's President and I'm not, among a lot of other reasons.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Be A Good Boy And Eat Your Grease

Doctors are so fucked.

News out today that full fat dairy products contain fatty acids that protect against type 2 diabetes. Seems like just yesterday that we were being warned against consumption of butter, cream, cheese and whole milk. Turns out they are good for you.

My theory is that it's alright to eat absolutely anything, as long as you don't stuff yourself with it, that humans have been eating large amounts of for at least the last several hundred years.

Chow down on fats from meat, dairy, cold pressed oils.

I stay away from modern, small molecule vegetable oils refined or stabilized with chemical reagents and homogenized dairy products.

I'm a big fan of porky goodness. The perfect meal may turn out to be pinto beans, served with boiled collards, side meat and hoe cakes, all cooked with lard. I'm sure the American Heart Association will soon be recommending porcine lipid supplements in little gel caps. What a bunch of stupid shits.

Sedentary lifestyles are the main cause of deteriorating physical health. We don't have the correct motivation for vigorous physical activity. I suggest we all need to spend a lot more time in the aerobic pursuit of and then having sex with, a large variety of age appropriate and fully consenting, sexual partners. It sounds like fun to me. I'd spend a few hours a day at it. Then we could all kick back over a nice greasy meal and a couple of cups of strong distilled spirits. What Larks, Pip!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shining Path

The key to American politics is that somewhere around 40% of the voting population are not too bright and not too educated. They have a pretty basic view of the World around them, that isn't necessarily reality based. Their political leaders are people like Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and the Dicks Armey and Cheney. They really like watching "Dancing With The Stars". It could be worse. In a lot of places it's 80 or 90% of the population that are ignorant dimwits. Actual reality based societies are limited to relatively few countries where the majority strongly value education and rational thought. I'm not that well traveled and could easily be wrong. There may not be any reality based societies. America may be about as good as it gets.

The forces of reactionary politics in America only need to come up with a little more than 10% of voters who are willing to humor the dimwitted 40% along and they can control the country. It's not that hard and may not be for quite a long time.

It would be nice to think that America is a country that is at least on a path to becoming a country of reality based, rational thought. I don't think it's true. If anything, people here are getting stupider all the time. Current demographics of immigration are not helping the situation. Bummer, Dude.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Influential Generation, So Far Silent

The most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going on now for almost a decade, unabated. They will probably go on for several more years. These wars surely will have profound effects on the countries where they are fought and the people who live there. They will have profound effects on the American military, in both it's formal and informal culture. I think most people realize that.

Maybe what most Americans don't realize are the effects that these wars will have on American civilian culture. Many of our young men and women in military service, have been fighting these wars, in foreign countries. Many of them for several years, in cumulative time. This is the kind of military service that hasn't been required in this country since the 1920s and 30s. Eventually, these wars will end. The veterans, as has happened in all previous wars, will be pushed out of military service and return to America. There are a lot of them and they have experienced life as few of their countrymen and women have. They are going to have different perspectives on a lot of things than the rest of the country.

They are going to be people worth knowing, worth listening to. They are going to be people who feel they have earned a right to participate in the national dialogue. If you believe that they are going to line up in any kind of liberal vs conservative or religious vs secular manner, I think you are mistaken.

I have no idea what they are going to be like or how their voices will shape the future of America but I think we will be hearing from them in the decades to come. I'm interested to see what they do. I'm interested to hear what they have to say.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I never thought I'd get married

When I was growing up, a lot of my friends had parents that were divorced. I think I was in the first generation that this was true of. I had teachers in school who were divorced. A lot of my friends that married early got divorced within a short time afterwards.

I was impressed early as to how total the devastation on a life could be, made so by the effects of divorce.

When I got married, not getting divorced in the future was a major consideration for me. It affected who I picked to marry. It affected how my wife and I crafted our relationship. During the inevitable terrible times that all marriages go through, divorce was never high on the list of options for either of us and we got through those times on that basis. Sometimes not much else.

My wife and I are heading into the end stage of our lives and we're still married. That may be a good thing or bad, depending on what perspective you're viewing it from but staying married was a high priority for both of us. From that perspective, at least, it has been a success. I'm pretty happy both with my life and with the fact that we're still married. I think my wife is too but you'd really have to ask her. If you want to stay married, you have to allow your partner some space and her own opinions.

There's no trick to staying married, you just really have to want to. I don't think staying married is always the right thing to do but just from my observation, it usually is. Not all that many people who stay married are totally satisfied but a lot of people who get divorced, a lot, spend the rest of their lives totally fucked up. At the very least, this involves living in crappy places, working long hours at crappy jobs and fucking people infected with chronic outbreaks of Herpes Simplex II or worse.

I gotta admit, I've known several people who have slid out of several marriages without a scratch. Some actually come out in better shape than they were before. There aren't that many though and I'm pretty sure I would not be one of them, if I tried. Maybe I'm just a coward but I don't think so. Life's a war no matter how you choose to live it. I've lost more battles than I've won and have my share of scars and amputations.

If I had it to do all over again, there are things I would definitely do different. There were a lot of times I was a total dickhead and some of those times went on for years. I think I could probably live my life a lot better If I had the chance to do it over. I think I'd still stay married though.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


When I was in my late twenties, I was working at a large commercial lumberyard down here by the beach. It's not there any more but it was only a few blocks from where I live now. The beach is a good place to have a lumberyard. The humidity and mild climate lets you store the lumber for a long time without warping and the salt in the air keeps fungus from getting into it too bad. Part of the way the guy that owned the yard made money, was to buy when the price went down and demand was low and hold the lumber to sell when demand and thus the price, went back up. Lumber is a cyclical commodity. The ability to store lumber cheaply for long periods of time gave him the ability to leverage the fluctuating market, usually to his advantage.

The hardest job at the yard was load builder and also the lowest paying. That's where I started. The guy that trained me was named Pat. Pat was maybe 7-8 years older than me. Made him 36-37 years old at that time. He was a good load builder. He had been doing it at various lumber yards since high school. A pretty long time. His job was secure because if you wanted a load builder, they didn't come much better than him. On the other hand, he wasn't the kind of guy that was ever going to get a promotion and load building was the hardest job in the yard.

You never want to have any more staff at a lumber yard than you absolutely have to and there would be frequent layoffs when things slowed down a little. Sometimes the reason was seasonal sometimes because the housing market contracted. Even though it was a union job, the layoffs were never by seniority. They laid off the guys who had personal problems, didn't get along, missed a lot of days or couldn't maintain production.

So, Pat was getting up towards 40. He had been married when he was younger. It didn't last too long. His wife had a methamphetamine hunger. That's never too good for a marriage. It became especially bad when his wife got pregnant and had a little girl. She really couldn't manage raising a child.

They got divorced. The wife got custody of the baby, even though she was an unregenerate speed freak. That's just the way the law was and is. Since she was expected to raise the child, the court awarded her $800 a month. Pat would be paying that amount until the girl turned 18. When I met Pat the little girl was 7 years old.

There was always a lot of overtime. We normally worked 54 hours over six days. When it got busy we'd go to 60. It didn't matter how many hours you worked though, you could never break much above $300 dollars a week take home and you always needed to save a little in reserve. We never worked when it was raining at all. A day here and there and at least a few storm fronts every year that might stretch to a week or more. Things could get tight. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't bad money in the late 70s, if you were single and lived cheap. I did. Pat wasn't exactly in that kind of situation though.

He had to pay his wife $200 a week, right off the top. She had got the court to have it taken out of his pay and sent straight to her. She wasn't really raising the child though, her parents were and they got nothing. The money was just a head start on her monthly drug expenses.

Pat lived with his own retired parents, in a screened patio they had on the back of their house. He drove an old car of his father's, still in his parent's name because the insurance was cheaper that way. He had to pay for gas and keep it running. He gave his mom what he could afford for expenses. His parents fed him and kept him in cheap work clothes from Kmart. His father bought him a couple cartons of cigarettes and a twelve pack of beer every Friday. He got to see his daughter Sunday afternoons. Any money he had extra went to taking her out and buying her all the things a little girl needs, otherwise she wouldn't have anything.

The really sad thing about Pat was that he had no way out. His little girl was only 8. He was going to be paying his ex wife and living in that screen porch for another ten years. By that time he would be close to 50. If you're working 54 hours a week as a load builder in a lumberyard, that's really old. Things change, of course. Most of the lumberyards around here shut down long ago. The land got too expensive to keep using for that. Most of the home building moved way inland, even out into the desert. Then Las Vegas became the main market and that was mostly direct shipping. It was cheaper for the builders to do that and hire guys to break it down on site. Even that's all gone now. Nobody's built much of anything for years.

If Pat's alive now, he's close to 70. At least he has Social Security and Medicare. Maybe he found a kind woman with a little income of her own. I hope so.

I remember Pat's one big claim to fame was that he'd gone to high school with Gary Gilmore in Buena Park. I guess every thing's relative. He probably did better than Gary, all things considered.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nice Digs. For Sale Cheap.

Have you ever seen Sheryl Crow's house in Nashville? Go here. Cruise around the site. Look at the pictures. Watch the videos. Nice place. It comes with 150 acres of pretty nice pasture land, big swimming pool, tennis court, home theater, recording studio, a garage for a lot of cars, stables for a lot of horses, indoor riding arena. Probably close to some nice bike paths too! If there aren't enough bedrooms and bathrooms in the mansion for you, there's a guest house with even more. Plus, there's undoubtedly places for all the "little people" to stay too. In my opinion, it beats the hell out of the jungle room in Memphis.

She bought it six years ago. It doesn't look like it's too much older. She tried to sell it for 7.5 million dollars. Didn't work, so now she's auctioning it off. It might go for as low as a million dollars. There's a reserve price though, like on Ebay. I bet nobody get's it. Speaking of Ebay, maybe Meg Whitman would be interested. She's not doing anything and I bet she'd like to move.

If Nashville, Tennessee is the place for you, hurry and get your bid in. Also, it's probably the only chance anybody will ever get again to fuck Sheryl Crow and enjoy it.

Thanksgiving Traditions. Muslims Can Enjoy It Too!

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day to be the last Thursday in November of 1863. He did it to buck up the nation and remind them, though not overtly, that the Civil War was coming to an end, successfully, for the Union. He also did it to help kick off his re election campaign, one that a lot of people doubted he could win, to a term in office he would not be able to fulfill. The Civil War was not a popular war and never less so than at the end of 1863.

Later, the Jewish merchant class took up the Thanksgiving holiday as a celebration they could support without blatant hypocrisy and use as a kick off for merchandising during the following Christian holiday season.

The whole tradition of commemorating the Pilgrims first harvest in an new land by inviting the local indigenous people to a big feast, has never been really documented and is likely a big pile of shit.

Enjoy yourself anyway. It's as good a holiday as any other. Probably better. Even church goers, while they work it into the program, like they do with every other God Damned thing there is, tend to keep the Sky Faerie stuff to a minimum on Thanksgiving.

Eat yourself sick. Get good and drunk. Watch football. Call your brother's wife a whore. Make fun of your sister's husband for being a sissyboy and inadequate provider. Then, stomp out mad or if it's your house, kick everybody else out, continue drinking until it's time to terrorize the children and beat the wife. It's traditional.

Is Good Enough, Good Enough? Laid Back at Staples.

I like the Lakers this year. They have a lot of good players. Nobody is the super star. Different guys have good days every game. Everybody seems to get along. There don't seem to be a lot of personal issues. Everybody is playing like they'd rather see the team score points than themselves. I like that they play clean.

It's a long season. It's just starting. Anything can happen down the road. Probably will.

If they keep playing like this and don't have too many injuries, they have a good chance to get to the Championship series. That would be great.

Phil Jackson is a good coach. I think he probably has a lot to do with it.

The Lakers spend a lot of money to get the players that they have and keep them happy. That doesn't always work but it seems to be, this season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chop, Gut and Pluck

If I was the President, I would kill a turkey on the South Lawn, gut it, pluck it and have the Chef roast it up for Thanksgiving Dinner. Michelle and the little girls could help.

That's what the turkey was raised for. What good is it otherwise?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Do You Mind Being Groped?

Do you mind the TSA security procedures at airport boarding gates? In principle, I'm opposed but I can't honestly say they bother me. Unless it's really crowded, it doesn't take that long. I don't mind being groped. I can see where some people might but I'm just not that kind. The worst part is taking off my shoes. There used to not be any good way for age challenged individuals like myself to get them back on afterward. I had to awkwardly do it leaning against a wall so that I didn't fall over or just sit down on the floor and do it then lunge ungracefully back on my feet. Now they have chairs and benches at the other end where older travelers can re shoe with a little dignity. So I'm OK with it.

I don't think it does much good though. My carry on stuff is always full of contraband. Either they don't see it or they just don't care. Either way, I'm sure a determined terrorist could raise a ruckus if they wanted to on any flight, anywhere.

I don't think they really want to. If they really did, there would have been some planes blown up. The Department of Homeland Security is a big waste of money, as far as I'm concerned.


It was Thanksgiving Day. I was probably 12. My Mom was going to cook a dinner. I'm sure some people were going to come over later.

I put on my Billy the Kid jeans, a wool sweater over a T shirt and an old oversize cotton flannel shirt that used to be my Father's over that, it was cold out, a pair of US Keds, said I was going for a walk and was out the door.

I walked West out of my tract to Gilbert. There I picked up the Red Car track line that jogged a little to the North all the way to Highway 39, up around to Cerritos, where the Red Palm, Gypsy Fortune teller house was. I knew a guy that swore there were whores in there. I was sure he was right but never knew for sure. I was too shy for whores and later on, too cheap. Then North From there. At Hobby City, up around Lincoln, I started to wonder how much farther I should go. I wasn't tired. I've always been a walker. When I got to Knott's Berry Farm, it seemed far enough. He had built this replica of Independence Hall on the East side of his property, with a big lawn and pond. I sat on a bench there and watched the ducks for a little while. Then I walked home. I'm not sure how far that is. More than twelve miles for sure, not close to twenty.

By the time I got home dinner was over. Whoever had come for it was gone. Nobody said anything. I took a nap. Later I had left overs and then went back to my room and read.

What Will Republicans Do?

It will be interesting to see how Republicans interpret their mandate next year.

If they are serious about cutting the deficit, thy will have to tackle middle class entitlements. Property taxes for all homeowners will have to be reflective of services received. Programs like Prop 13 in California, which allow long time homeowners to pay far less tax than recent purchasers will need to be eliminated. Fees paid by those who use a disproportionate amount of government provided services, infrastructure and resources must reflect the actual value of what they receive. Home mortgage interest deductions on income tax will also need to be eliminated. Public sector pay, benefits and pensions will need to be drastically reduced. Medicare and Social Security benefits must be controlled and curtailed. War and military spending must be cut. Monetary policy must be tightened. Corporate and agricultural welfare programs must be abolished. Interest rates must be raised, bailouts for entities public and private that go belly up must be stopped and what money has already been given out must be recovered quickly.

Simply repealing Obama care, abolishing social services, educational subsidies and entitlements to the poor will not make a dent in the budget deficit. Most of the money that the government pays out goes to people who genuinely believe that they have earned and are entitled to every cent of it. I bet some of that money goes to you. I get some. We all do.

Another legislative emphasis that the Republicans have to address are on social issues. Fully 35% of the American public expects them to move to outlaw abortion, stamp out homosexual civil rights, make a secure place for the observance of religious moral law in secular life and amend the Constitution to deny citizenship to native born children of non citizens, not to mention getting rid of the aliens themselves.

If they address and act on all of these things, they will satisfy their base. Things won't be that bad. Probably no worse than they were in the immediate post war period of the late 40s and early 50s and maybe considerably better. We already have a lot of the infrastructure we need. A lot of housing is already built, it just needs to be utilized differently. Eight people could easily and comfortably live in my house. The power and utilities won't go away, people will just have to use less. The internet and satellite TV are everywhere and a lot of people will make them a big priority, I bet. We aren't going to go back to a segregated society overnight and homosexuals aren't going to be driven back into the closet. America isn't going to become a theocracy, nobody goes to church or really gives a shit about God. I don't, do you?

If our money inflates enough and personal income decreases, imports will decline, exports will increase, employment will rise and America will be on its way back from the brink.

I don't personally think much and maybe not even any of this will happen. The American people are spoiled and the politicians elected by them will continue to give them whatever they want. Deficits will remain high. Productivity will remain low. All the middle class entitlements will remain in place. Eventually, the rest of the World will foreclose on America's debts and we will default. There will be a complete fiscal, monetary and governmental meltdown. It's not the end of the World. History is littered with episodes like this. Iceland is broke, cold and isolated in the middle of the North Atlantic. They don't have a damn thing anybody else needs and aren't likely to anytime soon. I haven't heard that they're eating each other there yet or even the dogs. It happened in France and Italy about every six months for generations. They seemed to like it. It happened to Germany after Word War I. Five years later, the Third Reich was in place and everybody was happy. Well, almost everybody.

Me, I don't really care how it goes. I'm eager to find out though. Bring it on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Controling the Message

We've been at war in Afghanistan for a decade because of the 9/11 attacks on America. The number of people in Afghanistan who have even heard of the 9/11 attacks is statistically insignificant. The few people in Afghanistan who have heard of the 9/11 attacks unanimously believe it was carried out by Jews. Nobody there, including President Karzai have any idea why we have invaded them. They have no idea why anybody has ever invaded them even though invasions have been frequent. They can't read. They aren't religious.

Bristol Palin claims she is a struggling teen, single mom, just trying to make a place for herself and little Tripp in a cold, cruel, World. She's is, in fact, a young woman from a wealthy family, a millionaire in her own right, with the kind of income stream that most highly skilled professionals never reach. She can't read. She isn't religious.

If you go to the Five Guys a block from my house and order a Little Hamburger, small fries and small Coke, it'll run you ten bucks and have 1500 calories, virtually all of it from fat, starch and simple sugars. The people that go there can't read. They aren't religious.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Buy'em Up, Sucker

General Motors has recently closed a couple more of their automotive divisions. There are several derelict former GM dealership lots currently languishing around my town. Some of them used to sell cars that now aren't made anymore, some they still make but I guess not as many want to buy as used to. I actually know one guy who owns a Buick. It's not that big of a car but manages to convey an unmistakable impression of heaviness. If you don't look too close, a lot of the plastic looks like chrome.

GM says it has a plan in place to make them profitable again. If you believe that's true, they are floating a big new stock offering and maybe you should get in on it.

How fucking stupid are you? That's the big question here, not whether or not they're ever going to turn another legitimate profit.

New Years '66-'67

I had just turned 15. School was out for a couple of weeks. I wasn't working that night. I had asked around about New Years Eve parties and had vague addresses of four written down on a scrap of paper.

There was no way my old man was going to let me drive anywhere but nobody cared if I walked out and about on a Winter night and I had no curfew. Off I went.

I walked miles and miles that night. I only ever found two parties. The first one was for smart kids. It was parent supervised. Chips and dips and soda pop. No music. I wasn't in the same league as the kids at this party but they were pretty friendly. They were impressed that I was there on my own, that nobody had dropped me off or would be picking me up later. I had a long talk with a Jewish girl named Gail Foltz. I had known her for years in school but we had never been friendly. I could see she was trying to see what made me tick. She seemed disappointed that I didn't have any special interests, had not considered where I was going to go to college or thought about what I wanted to do with my life. She never asked me about what I liked to read. I wonder if she even considered reading a fun thing. She was a clean and plumply pretty girl. Probably had about thirty pounds on me. We were clearly not turning each other on. I wasn't sure exactly what that meant at that point in my life but was very sure it wasn't happening. To be honest though, Gail was a lot friendlier to me after that night, at least until the end of our Senior year. At that time, yearbooks had come out. I wasn't letting anybody sign mine and was writing the exact same inoffensive blurb in anybody else's that asked me. The reason was that a lot of people had written a lot of druggy stuff in my Junior yearbook, my parents had read it, became concerned, searched my room, found a couple ounces of marijuana and made my life Hell on a continuing basis. I explained this to Gail and she felt that she should be an exception. I explained that I wasn't making any exceptions. She never talked to me again. She blew an artery in her beautiful brain a few years later and died. I always felt bad about that. Anyway, after an hour or so at the smart kid party I walked on and on and on.

I finally found another party. It wasn't that far from the first but I had wandered wide. It was later, maybe 9:30 or 10. This was more like the kind of party typified in the movie Dazed and Confused, decades later. No parents around, mostly it was taking place in the garage and backyard of the house. There were quite a few people there, you couldn't miss it. I went in, I figured they might kick me out but probably wouldn't beat me up, what the hell.

There were some girls my age there but not many and no boys, they were all Juniors, mostly Seniors. I wandered around, nobody talked to me. I got a few hard looks but mostly they were only disconcerted, like what was I doing there. Surprisingly, one guy talked to me, was even kind of friendly. I think he was just amazed I had the balls to come in and was trying to figure out if I was brave or just stupid. The kid's name was Randy. Everybody knew him. He was my high school's current legendary athlete. Lettered in virtually every sport and won a lot of games seemingly single handed. Little guy though, not much bigger than I was at the time although he seemed a lot bigger and older to me. He had no idea who I was and had to ask my name. I was flattered that he bothered to ask. He moved on pretty quick.

After I had wandered around a little more, watching the antics and grab ass going on, I figured I better leave before anybody started to take offense at my continued presence. I had sidled over to where Randy and some of his Senior buddies were huddled. I could hear them talking. They needed more beer. I was kind of surprised. There were always ways to get alcohol. I went closer and told them I could get all the beer they wanted. They didn't believe me at first. I insisted I could. Money was collected. The order was for six packs of tall cans, all it would buy. I could see there were still a lot of doubters. There was quite a bit of money collected. It would be a very conspicuous purchase for a 100 pound, 15 year old boy to make, late at night, on New Years Eve.

Randy and a bunch of his friends piled me into a car and off we went. They all wanted to see. It was only a couple of blocks, would have been easy walking distance. A little storefront market called The Big Boy. It was right next to the Taco Bell where I worked. It was run by an old Doughboy. He was always there. Now that I think about it, he probably even owned it. I never asked. He never said. We were buddies and when you were buddies with a Doughboy, it meant something. I always brought him a bag of tacos, bell burgers and a burrito, on break, whenever I was working. Always for free, it didn't cost me anything. We'd smoke and joke. I loved the Doughboys. I wish they were still alive. There were never any better men.

Randy and his friends stayed in the car. I got out, went next door to the laundromat and got a wheeled cart and took it into The Big Boy, filled it up with beer, paid my friend and filled up the trunk of the car. Blew the Senior boys away.

We got back to the party with the beer, really breathed new life into it. It didn't make me suddenly popular or anything but I didn't get anymore hard looks. I even had a couple of the beers I had bought for them and nobody minded. I hung around until nearly midnight. It was fun to watch.

Randy was always OK to me after that. We weren't friends or anything but he knew who I was. Things like that make a difference in high school.

Randy ended up at Stanford. The New England Patriots picked him up, even though he was way too small to play in the NFL, because they drafted Jim Plunkett and Randy was his favorite receiver. He played for them several years, even after Plunkett moved on. I wonder if he would remember me now. I bet he would.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I have a question for all of you. According to pollsters, those that like Dancing with the Stars are usually conservative and those that like Madmen are usually liberal.

What kind of people do you think like the new TV drama version of Hawaii-50?

My sister likes Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals. What do you think that means?

For several years I had a compulsion to watch the wristwatch sales on the Home Shopping Network late at night and then I switched to ShopNBC. I never was tempted to purchase a wristwatch, I just liked the show. I was able to overcome this compulsion by watching several episodes of Esteban's Flamenco Guitar show.

I think maybe I could set myself up as a therapist by talking with people about what they watch and then recommending other things for them to watch instead, that would balance out their personalities. If somebody was watching a lot of Oprah and Soap operas, I could recommend that they supplement it with some Bob Ross' Joy of Painting and Lucha Libre.

I think maybe I could really help some people out. Turn their lives around in a positive direction.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are you a dying breed?

The kind of nationalistic, faux flag waving and patriotic, fundamentalist Christian political movements that dominated much of 20th century domestic politics in America are, I believe, dying out.

Indications are that most young people, whether they are liberal or conservative, secular or religious, educated or proletarian, are pretty much fed up with it. If this trend continues, in another 30 years or so, there won't be enough of these creeps around to cause anybody any trouble.

This doesn't excite me that much for two reasons. Somebody somewhere with a vested interest in it, will figure out a new and probably even more virulent way to package xenophobic hatred for mass consumption and even if they don't and somehow the World goes all Dorothy and Toto, though I believe there is small chance of that, I'll be dead.

You're probably just that kind of guy

They've been touting an interesting study around the news media. Apparently, the favorite TV show of Right Wingers is Dancing With The Stars and the favorite show of Left Wingers is Mad Men.

I think maybe this is true. A lot of Right Wingers write about Reality TV shows on their blogs and I never miss an episode of Mad men, although I wouldn't say it's my favorite.

It may be that political views, like so many other personal traits are determined by a lot of other factors not related to reason or discourse.

I think there may be good things and bad things about this. Social issues, where feelings come straight from the gut, may always be beyond settlement by consensus and compromise. Other issues, where there may actually be a right course of action, like the need for sustained austerity in government spending and a balanced budget, may be eventually within our reach in a democratic society.

Maybe not but it's nice to think so.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Nancy with the laughing eyes

Nancy Pelosi wants to be the next Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. There are a lot of reasons why she should be. There are even some why she should not.

The bottom line is this. Congressional Republican members hate and fear her as they have no other Democrat in my memory and she can do or say anything that she wants to them without any fear. She just won re election in her liberal San Francisco district, without campaigning at all, in a race against an attractive, intelligent, popular, well qualified Republican opponent, that I wish was representing me, who had a huge nationally fueled war chest, by 80+ percent of the vote.

If the Dem House doesn't make her the Leader, they're idiots.

Sleek and pretty, like baby seals

Earlier this week, during the first big winter storm surge, they held the Nelscott Reef, Big Wave Surfing Classic, outside Lincoln City Oregon. For the first time ever, it was a paddle out only event and also for the first time, it included a Women's exhibition event, won by Hawaii's Keala Kennelly. The swells were 40+ feet.

Cable Sports Networks are really missing an opportunity here, especially now that there are women. Guys would watch this. It wouldn't have to be live. They could splice together a real slick 60 or 90 minute program of competition, background footage and salacious interview sequences of the wet, shivering, battered girls, just out of the surf, peeling off their wetsuits and rubbing the circulation back into their lithe, youthful limbs and show it later.

This is the kind of stuff that they could play over and over again, late at night, early in the morning. Men channel surfing through the wee hours would tune in. I would. It would be cheap to make. There's no big money in professional big wave surfing, not yet. If I had a production company, I'd be on it. Make a fortune.

Throw them all out

Keith Olberman has been suspended at MSNBC for making political contributions to Democratic Congressional candidates. I don't really care about the contributions. That's his business. I'm kinda glad he's suspended though and hope he doesn't come back.

I'm tired of all the MSNBC evening show hosts. I really feel that I've heard all Olberman, Matthews and Maddow have to say. I don't mind Dylan Rattigan but I can see where he's going to get old real quick. I still like Laurence O'Donnell. He hasn't been a major league player for that long. I hope they don't give Andrea Mitchell her own show. I was tired of her before she even went to work for them.

Their daytime anchor, Contessa Brewer is a total lightweight, kinda their version of a Fox newsgirl, only with a bigger ass. The early morning team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski need replacing too, as well as all their resident ass kissing panelists. Barnacle is an idiot. If I never see Buchanan again on TV, it will be too soon.

I'm not picking on MSNBC. Fox News is much worse. O'Reilly and all the others over there are exactly the same every day. Sean Hannity and Greta Van Sustern should only work one day a year on Hiring the Retarded Day. You gotta admit that Glen Beck is kinda fun though.

Limbaugh, on the radio is the ultimate boring political talk show host. They might as well play the same show over and over again every day for all the difference it makes. Even a five minute loop would probably work. Most of his listeners have got to be brain plaque sufferers.

These cable news channels, when they present hosted talk shows, should be bringing in new hosts with different ideas and slants all the time. At least that's what I would like. Maybe most people find it comforting to listen to the same old shit all the time.

Little Shepherd

Pope Benny and Boy Georg are going to Spain for the weekend. This is the Spain where they have wild urban nightlife, hookup sex, Gay marriage and free, state subsidized abortion on demand.

What makes the Pope upset is not that this is true in Spain, because it's also now true most places in Europe. What makes the Pope sad is that the Spanish still consider themselves good Catholics and him the odd man out. They think he should loosen up, go to Ibiza, drop some X and freak dance in the discos all night with Georg.

Poor Pope. Sad Pope. His flock has gone on without him. Now there are no Ewes to shear, no succulent lambs to roast on the fire at night.

Why not Madame Speaker Bachmann?

One of the best things about the ascendancy of the Tea Party within the emerging Republican Congress, is that they are going to start demanding leadership positions.

Michelle Bachmann wants to be Republican Conference Chairman, the fourth highest hierarchical position in the Congressional leadership. If she fights for the position with a more wired in member of the Republican establishment, that's good. If she wins the position, it will be even better.

Michelle is my favorite Wingnut politician. She has the kind of vacant, zombie smile and lush body that combine to radiate seething sexual attraction, way beyond Sarah Palin's league. I would choose her over John Boehner or Mitch McConnell any day. I hope the Republicans think so too.

I know it's not an appropriate Feminist sentiment but she looks like she'd be really fun to screw.

Barry O goes on Ryan Seacrest. Meghan McCain doesn't like it.

Maybe he should do a viral porn video with Kim Kardashian. Ryan Seacrest could probably help set that up. Kids would love it, Clarence Thomas would too!

Meghan McCain thinks that it was wrong of Barry O to go on the Ryan Seacrest show and wrong of Ryan Seacrest to invite him.

This seems like a pretty stupid controversy to stir up but maybe it's not. Young people listen to Ryan Seacrest. If you want to get your message out you've got to go where the audience is. If a lot of Ryan's listeners are still too young to vote, that's OK too. You can never start reaching potential voters too young. Look at the Tobacco companies. They knew what they were doing all those years.

Barry O should probably start going on Ryan Seacrest regularly.

Republicans need to get busy.

Every post election analysis that I've seen, clearly states that there has been no change in how the American public thinks about Barack Hussein Obama and his policy statements or other Democratic politicians over the last 2 years. The people that liked him then still like him. The people that didn't like him still don't. There are a lot of each. In 2 years there probably still will be.

The difference in the last two national elections is who voted. The Republicans did a much better job of getting their base out this time. The Democrats did a better job of getting their base out last time. Even independent voters are largely unchanged in their opinions, it's simply a matter of who voted and who didn't.

I don't know a single person who's changed their mind about any basic issues in the last two years, do you? I don't know of a single blogger or media editorial writer that has or a single political figure that shares their views with the public. Do you know of any?

The Democrats have numerically more supporters. The Republicans have more supporters that vote consistently. Republican supporters are older, have a greater sense of personal entitlement and feel more strongly about fewer issues that they feel to be of over riding importance. Some of them don't like the homos, niggers or Mexicans, some want to love and protect the little preborn fetuses, some feel very threatened by towelheads, some think the government should give less money to other people besides them.

Republican leaders feign surprise that the Democrats aren't admitting that they have been wrong and laying down before the Republican electoral onslaught. Why should they be? Did the Republicans lay down after a humiliating defeat in 2008 or 2006? After two years of total non cooperation and calling the Democrats every name they could think of, they have bounced right back. Good for them. They're welcome to come back even farther in 2012 and finish the job but they shouldn't expect any more cooperation from the Democrats than they themselves gave in the last two years.

The elections in two years will likely be bigger elections. More people will likely vote. The more people that vote, the more Democrats are usually favored. The Republicans may need to do more than motivate their base to extend their gains into 2013, they will probably have to change some minds. That's a hard thing to do. I don't change my mind very much. I bet you don't either.

My advice to Republicans is to get busy.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Some people think that change is coming to America. I don't see it.

If Rand Paul and his father were roving around the Ozarks and Appalachians, with several hundred thousand armed militia separatists under their command and Barack Obama was holed up in the White House, selling off America, piece by piece to big multi national corporations and socking the money away offshore, then change might be coming.

That's not the way it is.

You want an analogy of the way America is today, look no farther than the iconic, redneck heartland, Cyrus family. The precociously sexualized Miley's parents are breaking up, not because father Billy Ray is out tom catting around with young girls his daughters age but because mother Tish has been dog fucking the diseased and bestially imbecilic Bret Micheals in the pool house. That's America, baby, in a nutshell. It's not change that's coming, it's just more chancre sores and brain rot.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Balanced Budget

The new Tea Party House of Representatives, led by Speaker Boner, are going to balance the budget by extending the Bush tax cuts and cutting Federal spending.  Only they aren't going to cut military spending.  They aren't going to cut Medicare or Social Security. They aren't going to cut any government employees salaries, benefits or retirement. They say they will repeal Obamacare but they aren't going to have the votes for that. Maybe they can replace it with a plan of their own but to do that it will have to offer even better care, at less cost, to those covered, in other words, a more expensive plan.

If they radically cut the rest of the budget, they might get it down 3-4%. Do you think that will be enough to balance the budget?

I watched Rand Paul's victory speech just now. I agree with every thing he says. The problem is, he's one of those little effeminate, cousin Sidney, tattle tale guys, all mince and high whine. He doesn't have the guts or the balls to get it done. I honestly wish he did.  In this way he is exactly like his father.

The Sky Faery Wants You To Pay For Your Own Abortion

The anti abortion Wingers think they are fighting the good fight. They're idiots. There is no fight going on as to whether Roe vs Wade should be overturned.

There is a controversy as to whether abortion should be funded by the government or not. This is a very different issue and nobody really cares about it but them on one side and abortion providers on the other.

Fight on, Wingnuts! Make those bad girls pay for their own scrape and suck.

Jolly, Jowly Fat Man From The Deep South

Has anybody else noticed? All of sudden, Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi is all over cable news acting the Grand Old Party spokesman. It's no coinkydink.

Do you think that the Republicans are setting him up for a run at the Presidency? It would be a great symbolic contest. Old, fat, White, Southern redneck against the new age, new World, wonderboy of colour. He's real friendly with both the Tea Party insurgents and the entitled, good old boys, under the Republican Big Tent. He gives voice to both traditional religious family values and fiscal austerity. He's smart enough not to use the term "nigra" but nobody thinks his idea of a perfect America is one big multi/culti family either.

It's an interesting strategy. Real polarizing, if that's what they're going for. Might work. Might not. Sarah might fall in behind him. Might not.

Be interesting to see.

Ginger root used to sell for its weight in gold

I walked up the hill and back to vote this morning. It's warm here. Probably not more than mid 70s but full sun and no breeze, seems warmer trudging up and down the hill.

I made a nice cold drink when I got back. Let me give you a tip for when you're making your favorite thirst quencher. Grate a little fresh ginger root into the bottom of the glass before you make it. No more than half a teaspoon, probably less will do. Adds a nice zing. If you are the kind of person that squeezes a lime wedge into a beer, a little ginger works with that. Bloody Mary in the morning? That too. Next time you have people over to watch the Kentucky Derby, add some to the Mint Juleps.

Trust me.

By the way. The poll at my precinct was surprisingly busy. I'm expecting this will be a big turnout for a midterm election. Maybe the results will be as expected, maybe not. The pollsters are usually uncannily accurate but not always.

Which Saw, See or Crosscut?

Some people see the constant swings back and forth by the American electorate that currently characterize our democratic form of government as a counterproductive seesaw and the constant shifting of the balance of power as never giving any one faction the time to get anything done.

I don't see it that way. I see it as a big toothed crosscut saw, that is slowly but surely chewing through the corrupt, wasteful entrenched government that has accumulated and threatens to smother us all. Eventually, maybe even soon, it will be cut loose and fall away. At that point we will essentially have no government and it will be up to all of us to build a new one. It will be painful. There will be suffering and unhappiness. Tough shit. It has to be done. Everybody will have to participate. There will be no entitlements. Nobody, young or old, rich or poor, will be allowed to coast. Most of what everybody once had or thought they had coming to them will be gone. America's position as the World's patriarchal superpower will be gone.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

I predict we'll do all right. In the mean time, have another drink. Smoke'em if you got'em. You'll be busy soon enough. We all will.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Punching out another belt notch.

In condo homeowners associations, especially small ones like I live in, there aren't too many secrets. One of the houses across the street from me has been foreclosed on and owned by the bank now for several months. They haven't been able to turn it over for the kind of money they've been holding out for. The word is now that they are coming down on their price and would accept any offer down to and including $350,000.

If that is what these places are worth now and that's not established, it could well be lower, then most owners are deep underwater on their mortgages. They could walk away and be way better off than if they stayed, whether they can afford to keep paying or not. This opens the door to a lot of new and interesting possibilities. The homeowners associations in complexes like this could easily end up owning most of the houses through liens against unpaid association fees. With relatively few homeowners left to float the association, the associations themselves would quickly become insolvent. It's easy to see how whole condominium complexes could become derelict.

Even if somebody showed up one day and gifted me with all these places, I'm not sure that with the amount of deferred maintenance needed and the kind of rents I could get, that a positive cash flow wold be possible, at least for a few years and there is no reason to expect that values of properties like this will not go even lower.

I should have sold this place 4-5 years ago and moved into a rental in Anaheim. I thought about it. I didn't think things would get this bad. Nobody has ever really accused me of being a visionary.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Palin in '12

I have always maintained that Sarah Palin would never run for President. I am often wrong and in this opinion I may be wrong. Given the demographics of the likely turnout on Tuesday, if we were electing a President and Sarah was running, she might well win. She undoubtedly realizes this and I am starting to think she might like to be President.

The 2012 Presidential campaign starts next Wednesday. It should be clear soon whether or not she's going to run and if she's not, there's not much else for her to do. I don't think she's ready to hang it up. She's having a good time and performing at the top of her game.

I think she'll go for it and I think there's nobody to stop her taking the Republican nomination. What do you think?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Maybe She's OK

There's this expose type article in The Gawker that's getting a lot of links, about Christine O'Donnell, by a guy that claims to know her.

The thrust of it is that she's actively heterosexual, friendly, will take a few drinks in a social situation and doesn't shave her pussy. Doesn't sound so bad to me. May be the best article I've ever read about her. I'm not sure it would get me to vote for her if I lived in Delaware but it does make me feel better about the possibility that she might be elected. To tell you the truth, I never thought she was all that strait laced anyway.

There are some cute pictures of her in a Lady Bug Halloween costume. Her tits aren't hanging out of it or anything like that.

What's the big deal?

New Senate Majority Leader?

It has always been my belief that the American people, while they might knowingly elect crooks, liars, drunks and perverts to high public office, usually will draw the line at complete morons. Sharon Angle, running for Senate in Nevada, may be the exception that proves that rule next week. I could never understand why the Republicans hate Harry Reid so much. He's a pretty reasonable guy, conservative even, for a Democrat.

If the Democrats don't lose control of the Senate, they may be in search of a new Senate Majority Leader. The two guys at the top of the list are Illinois' Dick Durbin and New Yorker Chucky Schumer. It's hard to believe that the Republicans would like either one of them any better. Dick Durbin is a little guy, with the smooth, mellifluous voice and verbal skills of a night shift, jazz station DJ but underneath it all he's a Chicago boy, with all the sensitivity and respect for consensus and reasoned debate as Al Capone. Chuck Schumer is probably the smartest guy in Congress today. He's not afraid to fight but understands that the best strategy for a guy like him is to keep smiling, get in close and never let the other guy see your first and best punch coming, then grab something blunt and heavy to finish off the other guy with. I like them both a lot but I think Chuck is more effective circulating on the floor. Durbin would make a better Leader. He and Joe Biden are spiritual brothers and he's been a mentor to Barry O since the beginning.


I'm not really fond of the BBC dramatic productions that American Public Television re brand and gift us with here. They are usually glacially paced, often miscast, poorly produced. Even with good material to rewrite into television, they can fuck up badly. For example, I've been following the Richard Sharpe novels for 20 years and looked forward to the broadcast of the BBC television versions. They started out horrible and got much worse. The two that came out this year were execrable. They could have been great TV.

My wife wanted to watch the new Masterpiece series, Sherlock, so I watched the first episode with her. It's a rehash of the venerable detective's adventures, set in modern day London. I was surprised. It's not bad at all. It's, well plotted, very fast paced, action packed, with lots of quick cuts but still manages to be comprehensible and easy to follow. Usually these 90 minute dramatic packages are punishing to get through. The contemporary Holmes and Watson are appealing and their interactions are well written. There is some good character development going on, at least so far. It's more fantasy than realistic but that's all to the good. You need to completely suspend belief to enjoy it.

It may become terrible later on but I'm going to watch at least a few more episodes. You might consider it too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'Cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA

Next Tuesday is election day. Me and all my liberal friends have a busy day scheduled. We all gotta get up early, spread out to the local precincts and rig the votin' machines.

Later. we're all getting together to do recreational late term abortions on completely healthy women who could easily afford to raise a child and would suffer no social stigma at all for doing so. We'll take those dead babies to the precinct and make sure they all vote the straight Democratic ticket.

Then it's down to the Unitarian church, we'll match those bloody, head crushed fetuses up, same sex wise and Gay marry them to each other, before callously tossing their mangled little preborn bodies in the nearest dumpster.

Then we do what we do every afternoon. Liquor. Drugs. Pornography. And little tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

God, I love the smell of Communism in the morning. It smells like victory.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

As This Town Deflates, You Can Kinda Hear A Farting Sound

My town is emptying out. If you look, you can see it. All the apartments have vacancy signs. Probably 12-13% of the houses are vacant. Storefronts in the strip malls and space in the office complexes are more, maybe 15-18% vacant. Industrial complexes even more and would be worse still but a lot of retail and restaurants have moved into them because of the lower rents.

There is noticeably less traffic on the streets during rush hours in the morning and evenings. At the big malls the parking lots are never full and there is never any real bustle, even on weekends.

The beaches still get a lot of traffic on holiday weekends but that's influx from the valleys and high desert, escaping the heat. They don't come into the neighborhoods. They don't eat at the restaurants. They don't buy anything. Maybe a tank of gas on the way out of town.

People are leaving. It's expensive here, that's why. You can go someplace else, not that far away and get an apartment or buy a little house for 30-40% less. If you're willing to go a little farther, it's even cheaper than that. Find a big house that they're renting out by the room and utilities are paid, you can get by with even a marginal income, out in a place like Rialto or Fontana, hard up against the base of the Cajon Pass. If the traffic is light, it's only an hours drive.

Beach towns are all about ambiance. When people start watching expenses, ambiance is the first thing a lot are willing to do without. If enough people leave, the ambiance may not be so damn good anyway.

We'll see, by and by.

Fun With Your New Head

When I was a child and growing up into a young adult, California was a crucible of emerging American culture and in those days, being in that crucible was kind of fun. It's true that it was a crucible for economic change, political change, and religious change and that wasn't always fun but there was a lot of other stuff going on. There was philosophy, lifestyle, literature, music, every kind of media all changing and spreading out around us and to ease whatever discomfort anyone was feeling, there were always lots of various narcotic substances to ease the anxiety and pain.

A lot of things that started in California ended up spreading all across the country. It never was exactly the same because everything kept changing as it spread from place to place but there was no question that a lot of the changes in American culture over the last 50-60 years started here.

A lot of people think that's changed. They're wrong. California is still the major crucible of changing American culture and that culture is spreading out to the rest of the country. The difference is that the changes of today aren't exciting or fun. The changes taking place in California today involve the assimilation into American society of huge new waves of immigrants. Immigrants from places that America has never had before. They have much different cultures, religions and racial origins than previous large waves of immigrants. Not all of them have come here covertly and illegally but a lot of them have. We're all here together, basking in the same Sunshine. Drinking the same water piped in from the Owens Valley and the Colorado River. Breathing the same air trapped under the inversion layer and shitting into the same sewers that flush into the Great South Bay. Hammering out a new society together. Always together.

Couple of things you should know before you scoff at us, call us bad names or blame us for the scourges we bring among you. Nobody here had any choice. No choice from the end of World War II to the 60s, when the fun stuff was happening and no choice now. This is just the place where all the stuff happens first and the basic rules get written. You do whatever you want with it. We're busy. We're starting on new stuff now that you're not even going to believe when it shows up in your town in a few years.

All the stuff is coming to you. Look around. A lot of it is already wherever you are and plenty more to come. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mac World

We're booked for Mac World in San Francisco, Jan. 25-29. Flights were $60 R/T on Southwest from SNA to SFO, free baggage check, which is getting to be a big issue. Linda is not a light traveler. Hotel Carlton, on Nob Hill was $52 a night for 4 nights. With taxes and ancillary fees the whole thing for the two of us comes to $400.

For about $10 a night cheaper, I could have gotten a rooming house type of hotel. It wouldn't be as convenient to get to Moscone Center and would have shared bathrooms down the hall. What the Hell. You only live once and it really isn't worth the extra trouble, for the money saved. From the Carlton, you can take the trolley up and down the hill right to Market Street, close to Moscone Center. Never been there but it gets top reviews and three stars on Trip Adviser. I always find their ratings reliable.

It'll be fun to spend a few Winter days in San Francisco, don't you think?

Monday, October 25, 2010

What Does America Mean To You?

I'm not opening up any new ground here. How often does any one do that? It seems like a good thing to write about with elections just a week away. So here goes.

The Republicans are now in a place. They are desperately trying to redefine themselves in terms that will give a greater number of people the opportunity to side with them against what they see as the forces of liberalism currently controlling the Democratic Party, whatever those forces might be.

The Republicans already have a base of support and it's important, no matter what they do or say otherwise, to keep that base of support firmly on their side and motivated to vote in large percentages. If they can't do that, they can't accomplish anything.

This Republican base sees itself as Conservative but what do they really mean by that? It means to them that they primarily value what they see as traditional American values and morals. The first and foremost way that they define these values is as Christian. They believe that America is a Christian nation. They believe that there should be a separation of Church and State but that in many ways it is unnecessary because they believe that most Americans are also Christian, like them and so bound to believe as they do. They see the most important protection within society as the right to life. The most important step toward a right to life is the abolition of any legal abortion. It goes beyond this though. They believe that White American society must be encouraged to the greatest extent possible to reproduce, multiply and aculturate their numbers or else it will be buried under what they see as alien intruders in the land. The next thing that they revere is the preservation of traditional marriage between one man and one woman. They believe that any factions that seek to break down traditional marriage do so with the express purpose of breaking down Christian American society and damaging its ability to thrive and multiply its numbers. These Conservatives believe that anybody that practices a mode of life that is not Christian, is a threat and internal enemy of the State. This includes people of any other religion, especially Islam, those who do not profess a willingness to practice heterosexuality and people that have no qualms about admitting in public that they have no religion. This then, is the Republicans Conservative base, that they must satisfy at all costs, if they want to win any elections now or in the foreseeable future. They have no choice but to give up the support of some other groups, if alliance with them damages their support by the base.

By all accounts, Democrats are not enthusiastic about voting next week. Turnout among them will be low. Enthusiasm is even lower among independents. Possibly as few as the 20-30% range of registered voters will turn out. With their small but energized Conservative base, the Republicans are likely to do quite well. They deserve to. That's the way the system is designed.

I hope you can see that I can never support the Republicans as long as their primary support comes from their traditionalist, Christian, Conservative, base.

Society rolls along. It bends, flexes and changes. A week from Tuesday it will do some more of that. It's OK with me. Nothing much will change in my neighborhood and it's a pretty nice place. I'm a lucky guy. I always was and it seems to be holding. Good for me.

Roll on, Big River.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm So Sorry, Uncle Clarence

So, what do you think about that emailed request for an apology from Ginni Thomas, for her husband Clarence, to  professor Anita Hill?

At the time of Thomas' confirmation hearings in 1991, I thought that Anita was telling the truth, as far as she went and that Clarence was lying but he seemed to be genuinely hurt and offended by her claims. It seemed to me that there was some sort of back story that we weren't getting. While some of the interactions between Clarence and Anita certainly seemed inappropriate, according to her, Clarence never actually groped her or pushed hard for a sexual relationship between them, which seems strange, given the intimacy implied by the verbal exchanges that went on between them.

I don't want to go into a whole conspiracy theory about this but it seemed to me that maybe Clarence thought Anita was a lesbian and maybe was trying in his own clumsy way to establish a collegial, "just one of the boys" relationship with her. I still think maybe she's gay and whether she ever stated such to Clarence, it was clear to her that he was aware of the fact and also she ws aware that however boorish his behavior towards her, it was no attempt at sexual molestation or discrimination, just a guy who didn't know quite how to act around her but was giving it his best, not very good, try.

Now, on the other hand, have you ever seen Ginni Thomas on TV? The way she looks, talks and dresses? Total, unmistakable dyke. At least as obvious as the Janet's Reno and Napolitano. So what does that make Clarence? Is he Gay too? You have to admit, he has shown a definite obsession for huge, black penis. The other explanation, is that he is the male version of a Fag hag, heterosexual but uncomfortable with sexually accessible women and more animated around lesbians, who support rather than directly engage his fragile masculinity.

Whatever. I don't think this episode is going to cause Clarence to turn in his choir robe in shame.  Even with the Gay wife, I think life is pretty damn sweet for him. It's an interesting postscript to a controversial American political episode after twenty years. I hope there are more developments. It's fun and we could all use a little fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Old Wine In The Closet

Back in the 80s, I used to buy cheap wine, usually at Trader Joe's. It was a buck or two a bottle. The difference between that wine and Two Buck Chuck, of today, was that it was small batch wine, made by serious wineries, that they couldn't sell, versus wine produced in huge volumes, using San Joaquin Valley grapes, specifically for sale at a low price.

Honestly, the Two Buck Chuck is a much better deal. The commercial wine making process has come a long way in the last 20-30 years.  Winemakers used to crush the grapes and leave the juice on the grape skins, stems and what few leaves might still be in the mix for way too long, hoping to produce a wine with complex flavors and give the natural yeasts on the skins plenty of time to activate. What they often got was wine that had way too much acidic tannins and vegetal components and if they were nearly undrinkable, would be pronounced "big" and worthy of further aging in the bottle. Two Buck Chuck is strained off the must right away. There's plenty of yeasts in the mix already and if they need to get the fermentation process going quickly, they can add some commercially produced yeast strains that they know won't produce any nasty flavors as a bi product of fermentation. They're fresh, have lots of fruit and you can quaff them down 'til you slide under the table

A lot of  "big", California, boutique wines in the 80s got sold off cheap through outlets like Trader Joe's for a buck or two a bottle because they were pretty hard to drink. I used to buy a bottle of any wine I thought might be interesting, take it home, crack it open and if it wasn't too chunky and didn't dissolve the gums away from my teeth immediately, go right back and buy a few more bottles for my closet wine cellar. At one point I probably had 120 bottles or so. That's twelve cases. Probably cost me closer to $100 than $200. Were talking economical drunk here, if you don't factor in future costs for dental prostheses and treatment for mouth and throat cancer.

I have a bunch of this stuff, still from the 80s, even a few from the late 70s. It's had plenty of time to age and my hall closet isn't that bad of a place to age wine, all things considered. When I decant one of these there is a thick crust of sediment and purple/black crystalline particulate stuck on the side of the bottle that was facing down. Some of it is a lot better than it was. Mostly they're still pretty "big" though. At this point, these wines are like a woman who was never really pretty when she was young but has taken good care of herself and whatever flaws kept her from attractiveness when she was young, now give her aging features character. She's still not pretty but you suspect she'd be a lot more fun to fuck than your best friend's cheerleader daughter and a hell of a lot more accessible and appropriate. Then, you move in for a little hug and peck on the cheek, get a quick whiff and bingo, it's boner time. The joys of maturity.

If we're going to somebody's house for dinner, sometimes I take along a bottle or two of my wine stash as a hostess gift. Most people don't like real red wine unless it's light, sweet and frothy, so I never get too many raves about it. They like that it's 25 years old though, so my investment of a dollar or two a bottle paid off.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Elections Coming Up

The mid term election campaign season is coming to a close. For me, it's kind of anti climactic. No big surprises. The last election cycle was a big emotional high for the Left. There was a lot of criticism against the Right and a big turnout on the Left, resulting in big representative gains for them and the election of a relatively inexperienced and previously unknown, dark horse to the Presidency. It's no big surprise, at least to me, that the Republicans have turned the tables. They have energized their base with a lot criticism and emotion of their own and will no doubt make a big recovery.

It doesn't really rile me up. Nothing changes too fast in America. It's like watching a glacier melt. It's happening but you need time lapse photography to notice it. I'm not conflicted about how I will vote and won't be too surprised or upset when the vote goes against me. It's not like it hasn't been happening regularly for the last four decades. Things have changed and I'm not all that unhappy with the way things are likely going.

I'm ready for the next election cycle to begin. I think there will be some big changes in the political climate. There always are and I'm eager to see.

The only result I really want to see is whether or not Marijuana gets legalized in California. I think it has a good chance and even though the Federal authorities state it will make no difference, I think it could really shake things up. How would you vote on the legalization of Marijuana? I'm thinking about growing a few plants in the backyard. Have a few baggies on hand. Housewarming and hostess gifts. Tips for the paperboy. That kind of thing.

Branson in the Fall

Branson was OK. Beautiful weather. The locals say that business is way down from what it usually is but it was pretty busy. The main drag down the strip was bumper to bumper when the morning afternoon and evening shows let out.

I was not sorry I went. Something to do, right? I bottom fished for everything on Priceline, so it didn't cost me much.

Probably less than 20 guys showed up. That's not many. No matter, there were three or four of us who sat over in a corner of the hospitality room, chipping away at the liquor, having a pretty good time. Some of the other guys would join us from time to time between the shows and other scheduled family activities on offer. It's funny. Talking to old sailors, because of shared experiences, you can often be more honest and express things that you have difficulty expressing to others. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to matter whether or not they knew you then or were on the same boat at the same time.

One of the most interesting experiences was on the last day. An 89 year old guy who had been on the 197, before it sunk, showed up. I talked with him for maybe 2 1/2 hours before he got tired and his wife took him home. In spite of different times and across all those years, we were just two sailors, learning a few things from each other. There were some guys from the 575, time frame commissioning crew, early 50s, to just after they replaced the sodium reactor, early 60s. They were pretty fun too. Even older and gimpier than us. Gives me something to look forward to.

The Captain showed up. Only officer. Tells you something about a guy, that he will travel across the country just to spend a little time with a few broken down old sailors that he was too preoccupied to get to know very well 35 years ago. We didn't share many points of view then and probably even fewer now but I always liked and admired the guy and still do.

Even with the small turnout, the only real disappointment I had was with one of my old shipmates. He was one of my heroes at the time. We stood watch in the same area. I knew him pretty good. He's a changed man. Total Christian, tea total, prays over a sack of burgers and fries before digging in. Still, I don't blame him. He always did what he wanted to and I'm sure he still is. It's just that we didn't get to spend too much time together in the corner, chipping away at the liquor and swapping stories. He was happy and healthy. Good for him.

As you can imagine I was odd man out politically. Not that many of these guys are hard core Christians but most of them are pretty far Right Wing. I didn't try to hide my views but wasn't there to argue politics either. Nobody else was either. It was no problem. There was some speculation about women coming on board submarines. I kind of would like to be able to be aboard a sub to watch that. It should be real interesting.

I'm not real interested in ever going to another submarine reunion, at least any time soon. Maybe if they ever have one close to where I live, California. I doubt that. Las Vegas would be more likely. I'd probably go for that. Only time will tell.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

No Likely Republican Sweep in California

In California, we have two very high profile political races to be decided next month, the junior Senate seat and Governorship. Republicans have two women running, both wealthy former private sector CEOs. Meg Whitman for Governor and Carly Fiorina for Senate. Both have far outspent their Democratic opponents and both are behind in the polls. Does this signify anything about anything? Maybe not.

Neither of these ladies has any history of interest or participation in the political process, not even as voters. Neither of these ladies have any kind of grass roots support, with supporters of budgetary austerity or the fundamentalist Christians who champion family values issues in the pro life and anti homosexuality categories that are energizing the Republicans nationwide. They've given no persuasive reasons to anybody likely to vote for them why they should.

The Republicans might have been better off going with people like Christine O'Donnell, or Rand Paul, who have some legitimate differences from the political status quo to hang their campaigning hats on. Even if they didn't win, they would be defining their message, building their base and setting the stage for future gains.

If Republicans lose the Governorship in California, it will be a big step back for them. Jerry Brown, running once again for the office, is the only Democrat to have successfully served a full term in the office, since the election of Ronald Reagan in the early 60s and he was able to do so only by hanging onto the coat tails of his father, arguably the last of the powerful, Depression era, American regional, political kingpins.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Cheap, Legal Dope Smokin' ? Maybe

I'm past the point where the idea of legalized Marijuana excites me very much. There is an initiative on the California ballot that would do just that this year, as well as give the State the right to regulate where it's sold, who it's sold to and tax the revenues from its sale.

It is looking a great deal like it's going to pass.

There is already a Federal law which, while it does not outlaw the sale of Marijuana outright, effectively blocks it's sale, at least for now. On the other hand, as long as interstate commerce is not involved, the Feds might have a difficult time blocking a legal, domestic Pot culture in California and as everybody knows, Pot grows real good here and the potential customer base is almost everyone.

I guess I'd like to see his initiative pass, even though it would put Marijuana culture firmly into the hands of big business. Any old hippies still making a living growing organic Pot could take a few college extension chemistry courses and produce some good quality LSD. I'd buy some of that from them.

Is Our Nation Unpatriotic?

America prides itself on being the land of the free and the home of the brave. When America becomes embroiled in war, national consensus usually manifests itself in patriotic support for these wars. Ironically, this was true even during the Civil War, when we were fighting amongst ourselves. This has certainly been representative in my family. Even though there is a strong strain of religious pacifism within it, there have been members of my family that served during every conflict from the Revolution through Vietnam.

Has something changed? Nobody in my family has served in the Armed forces since I got out and that was more than thirty years ago. Since that time we have been involved in Reagan's glorious liberation of a beleaguered Grenadan democracy and various Bush inspired wars of foreign aggression in Panama and the Middle East. While the Right Wing has tried to fan the flames of patriotic unity during these armed conflicts and they have been the longest and most expensive wars in our history, there has been little general support for any of them.

Nobody in my family has served during any of these wars or as far as I know, even considered it. None of my friends or coworkers have or any of their children. From the conversations I have been involved in at work, school or at social events, these wars might as well involve some other country than our own. One friend of mine, a member of a long oppressed minority community, joined the Army as a reserve officer, thinking to make the experience part of his own bootstrapping process of upward mobility. He quickly gave them all the money he had received back, asked for and was given a hasty discharge. I guess you can do that kind of stuff when you're an officer.

What do you think? Will Americans ever unite again in patriotic support for purposes of waging war?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brings a Flush to the Young Girl's Cheeks


That was a scorcher, yesterday. Maybe you read about it. 113 F at City Hall in downtown LA and then the thermometer broke, no shit, so nobody really knows how hot it got. Hottest day on record, ever.

The Japanese current runs Southerly down the California coast and swirls around in the Great South Bay like a giant flushing toilet. This generally has a moderating effect on the coastal weather here and there's nothing between the bay and downtown but eight or ten miles of flood plain.

113 degrees is a lot closer to what you expect in the Valley of the Sun or Tucson, AZ, even Death Valley, for that matter, than in this blessed City of Angels.

Pretty nice today though.

Miracle Tattoos

I read some time ago that the tattoo industry was soon to be revolutionized. That micro encapsulated, water soluble dyes had been developed for use in tattooing. These dyes would have the advantage of never fading, so that a tattoo would remain as sharp and colorful forever as it was when it was new but additionally, the microscopic dye capsules could be ruptured by use of ultrasonics applied directly over the tattooed area and the then unprotected and highly soluble dyes carried away within a couple of weeks by the circulatory system as if the tattoo had never been there.

I thought, "Hey, that would be cool, maybe I'll get some tattoos!"

I never heard any more about it.

Do you think the story was incorrect or that the concept of easily removable tattoos has been universally rejected by the tattooed community because the whole point of tattoos is that they are forever, better or worse?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Little Long Legged Friends

There are these spiders in my house. I've never had spiders like these anywhere else I've ever lived. They have light brown bodies, not very hairy, fairly small in size but with impossibly log legs.

They like to spin webs in corners and at the junctures between wall and ceiling and then hang upside down in them. My house is full of them. There are at least hundreds at any given time, maybe thousands.

I used to kill them and wipe away the webs, not any more. I kind of like them. When things get slow, you can always watch the spiders.


I'm not much of a hand shaker. I'll do it if it's expected but try to avoid it if possible, especially on introduction.

I don't like to touch people at all unless I know them pretty well. I'm not germ phobic. I think it's just a personal space issue. It's probably one reason why I used to like to drink so much. Drinking heavy pretty much obliterates personal space issues.

I have always been a terrible salesman. That probably has something to do with it.

I remember going to church every Sunday when I was a boy. Everybody there shook hands a lot and a lot of the people that you were expected to shake hands with were creepy. I hated that.

I like working with women. They hardly ever shake hands or want you to touch them at all, until you're fairly friendly.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slaid Cleaves. He'll be a Big Star Someday

A friend of my wife's had a birthday yesterday. She had been looking for something nice to take her to for a celebration. I suggested Slaid Cleaves, who was playing at the Folk Center in Claremont last night. I had been listening to his music for a few years and liked him. I suggested that, so about eight of us went up there to see him.

The guy was great. I have no idea why he's still playing little venues like that. They had maybe sixty chairs set up in the back of a music store, in the old downtown, next to the Claremont Colleges. He had one really good side man with him. Mostly sang his own songs.

He'll be at McCabe's in Santa Monica tonight. He tours constantly, all around the country, mostly in small clubs and dive bars. If you get a chance to see him, you shouldn't pass it up. Now's the time. This guy will be a big star someday. Then it will be big halls and big money tickets, not as good. We were in the front row, face to face, three feet away.

Check him out on Youtube, his website or maybe Pandora. Download a few of his songs, maybe buy a CD from Amazon. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Boardwalk Empire, The Coast Of Nod

Did anybody watch Boardwalk Empire? The American Gangster story has been done and overdone about as much as possible, so I don't think they're going to do anything ground breaking.

It's not bad though. I'll probably watch it.

I kind of like the idea that some of the characters are recently returned, disaffected Dough boys, possibly displaying PTSD symptoms. That's a nice twist.

I also like the idea that the main Steve Buscemi character is no criminal genius or violent psychopath, just a sad, venial dork, adrift on the sea of fate. Kind of like Candide, through a looking glass.

Is anybody else going to watch this?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stage Right

Ronald Reagan was an aging, Hollywood movie queen, desperate for recognition and approval. His recruitment, in the early 1960s, by old friend George Murphy into Republican politics was a stroke of genius and by itself, eventually rehabilitated the Republican brand, nationwide.

He ran for President on family values, law and order and national pride and governed like a Depression era, Democratic Party, machine politician.  His presidency gave us a decisive military victory over a Grenada, huge federal budget deficits and the largest illegal immigrant amnesty in history.

The Republicans need another Ronald Reagan. They need to get him or her up and running soon if they want to win in 2012.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Don't Blow It, Christine

With Christine O'Donnell's ascension to the Republican nomination for US Senate in Delaware, the Tea Party once again has the opportunity to widen its base of support, I hope they don't blow it.

Christine is a 41 year old, unmarried woman, who has lived her life on the fringes of society. She has had the opportunity to use the freedom offered by America to explore her political, religious, and sexual identity and make choices about what she believes and how she will live and that is what she did.

She should talk about her life journey, the experiences she has had and the decisions she has made. She should also discuss whether or not she believes that young people coming after her should continue to enjoy the same freedom and equality to explore life that she did. She should talk about why she chose sexual promiscuity and abortion earlier in life and what she believes the choices should be for young people in the future.

 Many people who admire the fiscally responsible Tea Party agenda, including myself, are leery of Tea Party candidates, not because they choose to follow traditional mores themselves but believing they wish to usher in a new era of legally enforced, societal repression. This may or may not be true, we still don't really know.

Sarah Palin is another strong female figure to emerge from the Tea Party movement, whose strong personal values have been forged by an adventurous youth featuring rootless college hopping, indifferent scholarship, transient sexual liaisons and casual drug use. I had high hopes that she would more clearly articulate, in the public forum, how freedom of American society allowed her to develop into the woman that she is. I have been disappointed by her failure to do so.

In Christine O'Donnell, the forces that believe in the transcendence of traditional values in America have another chance to show how the freedoms we enjoy here are paramount in maintaining a healthy religious and moral grounding in society.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tourette's Elvis

This guy has a million Youtubes up. This one is uncannily like me singing in the shower on a real bad morning after.

New Balance 355---Best Ever

Maybe a decade ago, I bought a couple of pairs of these bottom of the line, New Balance walking shoes off the clearance table at The Sports Authority for under $10 a pair. I didn't need them right away and they sat in my closet for a few years. At first, I didn't like them because they required a break in period and I got sore spots on the back of my feet above the heel. After that, they were real good. These are the same shoes that I'm wearing in my picture on the right sidebar.

They have been virtually the only shoes I have worn now for six or seven years. They are starting to show some serious wear but they are still good. Some people believe that shoes like this should only be worn for a limited period of time and then discarded. Not me. As long as they are comfortable and hold together, I keep wearing them. I don't treat them special. Every six months or so, when they start to get scuffed up or the insides start to smell a little, I throw them into the washing machine with some detergent and bleach, then tumble them around in the dryer and they're good to go. Eventually, the soles delaminate from the rest of the shoe. Super glue won't fix that, I've tried with other shoes. I expect these shoes are about to go that route but so far, so good. These shoes have been the best and longest lasting, by far, that I have ever owned in my life.

I still have another identical pair, in new condition, sitting in my closet. If they are as good, my daily shoe needs will probably be met until I'm nearly seventy. After that, one more good pair of shoes will probably see me out.

Someone Far From Harbor You May Guide Across The Bar; Brighten The Corner Where You Are

I had no idea who Christine O'Donnell was until tonight when she gained the Republican Party nomination for the open United States Senate seat in Delaware.

From what I have learned so far, she is unlikely to win in the General election. She may be the woman who will save the U S Senate from Republican majority next year.

The Tea Party Express has big Ju-Ju within the Republican Party. Does this mean they can reconfigure voter demographics in formerly Blue North Eastern and West Coast States? We'll see.

Fidel Castro, now in his 80s, shut down big box people's socialism in Cuba this week, pretty much putting an end to the World wide threat of Godless communism. The Republicans have to make a hard choice now. Do they go after strict fiscal responsibility in government or lead a crackdown on adolescent masturbation? The future of the American nation hangs in the balance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Pants Are Old Friends

The weather is pretty mild here all the time. Usually I just wear shorts. If it's too cool for shorts, a lot of the time I wear sweatpants. I like the kind of shorts and sweatpants that have drawstrings. I buy them cheap at thrift stores. A lot of times the reason people throw these kind of pants away is because the drawstring is badly frayed or broken. You can buy those ones really cheap.

I haven't bought any pants for at least ten years. I have plenty. Probably a lifetime supply. They get a little ragged looking as the years pass. I don't mind. That's the look I'm going for.

I do have to put in new drawstrings occasionally in some of them though. I use small gauge polyester clothes line. That never breaks. I just run a safety pin through the cord, fasten it shut, then use the closed pin with the cord attached like a needle and thread and work it through the drawstring lumen in the waistband.

I did six pairs tonight. Took about an hour. Now they're good as new.

A Good Book Tells Us Something About Ourselves

I was speaking to a friend on the phone the other day. She was excited about a book she had just read. The title is "Cloud Atlas", written by an English author, David Mitchell. I decided I would read the book, so that I might discuss it with her when she comes for a visit, next week.

I started by reading some literary reviews of the book, which were universally positive, then started to read the book itself. It's an interweaving of several short stories and the short stories themselves are interwoven with references to the other stories. The stories are written in different voices, from different points of view, in different genres and in different times ranging from the historic past, present and speculative future. They are not, at least on the surface, related. The underlying theme seems to be that human society is neither in advance or decline but has always been fucked up and that virtue is not rewarded, enterprise is not gainful and any kind of attempt at personal fulfillment is vainglory. It's not particularly difficult reading but it's not real interesting, at least not to me and required from me a fair amount of application to the task.

I gave it a couple of hours and made it about a third of the way through, then went to bed.

This has caused me to realize something about myself. I'm lazy and undisciplined. Even though I'm capable of reading this book, have the time and I'd like to please my friend by being able to discuss it with her, I'm unwilling to do so. This has always been the case with me. It's no doubt the reason why I am not really an intellectual or considered by most to be a serious person. Dilettante would probably be the kindest description for me.

I should have worked on this condition when I was younger. I'm sure I would have reaped great benefits from it. I could probably still do it today.

Maybe some other time. I don't feel like it.

I like to read. I have even been known, sometimes, to read things that are considered literary. I am not averse to exploring profound themes or universal truth but I think these things can be expressed just as easily by authors willing to explore them using characters who are cowboys, detectives, space pirates or sexually precocious young women with glistening, lust swollen vulvas, in 325 pages or less, using vocabulary and construction a 4th grader would be comfortable with.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler, Lunatic Fringe

I don't think polls, if done by agencies that know what they're doing, lie. Most polls right now indicate that people are unhappy with Barry O and the Democrats. Polls also say that they don't like Republicans much better and Republican Party membership is at an all time low. The Tea Party Express may seem like it's chugging along but they don't have big favorables in the polls and their most visible leaders, while popular with certain segments of the demographic, are held in lower esteem than anyone else. I doubt Sarah Palin could get herself elected to anything, anywhere in the country, although she seems to be a damn fine endorser, go figger.

One of the positive developments that I'm seeing, is how far back the Wingnuts are having to back off on social issues to maintain even a weak minority base of support. The abortion debate is now no longer whether abortion should be recriminalized but whether it should be subsidized by tax dollars. Gay rights are not in question but whether or not religious organizations can continue to call homosexuality a sin. There is no mainstream or organizational support anywhere, for the idea that discrimination against anybody, for any reason, is acceptable. Wingnuts simply seek to remind us that they are also a minority and deserve some consideration and protection as well. Sounds fair to me. There is still strong support for the military as an institution and those who serve in it and virtually no organized anti war movement but nobody is saying that the current unilateral wars of  American aggression in the Middle East were a good idea in the first place or should be continued any longer than it takes to get out, while leaving these countries with at least a minimum level of political and social stability. These are all pretty profound changes from a few years ago.

Like I say, polls don't lie. If trends continue through to next November, the Democrats will at the very least lose their super majorities in the Federal and many State legislatures around the country and maybe that's a good thing but one other thing is for certain, it's not your father's Wingnut fringe out there anymore and will never be again.

Thank you, Sarah Palin. Thank you, Glen Beck. Thank you, Tea Party Express.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


They offered instrumental music at the schools I attended from the 4th grade on. I was going to do it in the 4th grade but I ran my right middle finger through the band saw in our garage shop at home, so I started in the 5th grade instead. I chose the tenor saxophone. It was a good choice, I still love the sounds the tenor sax can make.

I was never a real musician, no more than a person that learns to type is a writer. If you are really a musician, you learn to identify musical notes with the sounds that they represent and with the fingering and omishure on the mouthpiece of your instrument that is required to produce the sound. If you're a real musician, if you hear a song in your head, you can either play it on your instrument or write it down in musical notation. I could never do that. I wish I could have. I played the saxophone like a typist copies a manuscript page.

I would have been better off learning to type.

I did learn to whistle pretty good. If I heard something or made a song up in my head I could whistle it. I didn't know what the notes were and couldn't write it down but it's better than a lot of people can do. It's true, there aren't that many competent whistlers. It's the same with singing. Everybody thinks they can sing but just listen to them sometime. It's not really happening for them.

Teaching music must be a profoundly frustrating experience. Every music teacher I've ever met was a drunk, if they were lucky, otherwise they were crazy, had anger management problems or sexual perversions. It's because they were people who had musical talent and spent their entire lives trying to communicate it to people who mostly don't. I'm sure it's Hellish.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thank You Glen Beck.

There are some Americans who have become universal, societal icons. Fill in the blanks yourself. It doesn't always matter what it is they actually did or if what they did was important. What matters is that these people are admired by everybody. That acceptance helps to define who we are and give us cohesiveness.

There are other Americans who are loved by a large portion of society but ignored or even despised by another large portion. Fill in the blanks yourself. These figures of controversy illustrate to ourselves and the rest of the World, continuing discord among the American people.

Glen Beck has singlehandedly, over the last 18 months made Martin Luther King Jr., accepted as an American icon by Right Wing America. It doesn't matter how he did it or for what reason. He did it. It's a great thing. It will make a difference in who we are.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is This New?

I was watching John McCain's live, primary election victory speech tonight. He beat JD Hayworth, who is an ignorant blowhard and hard core bigot. That's getting to be no mean feat in Arizona, which used to be a fiscally conservative but secular humanist, Western stronghold. This virtually ensures him another 6 years in the Senate.

He let go with a bit of rhetoric that I have not heard before but maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention. He said that the first order of business for the Republican Congress in 2011 will be to repeal and REPLACE ObamaCare.

What this tells us is that the Republicans have given up the struggle against universal, comprehensive health care coverage in America. Their goal now will be to bury the memory that the Republicans voted unanimously against health care reform and they are willing to provide Americans with an even better and probably more expensive package to do it. Hoo-Ray!

I'm all for that. It might be a real good thing for the Republicans to regain control of Congress.