Monday, October 29, 2012
Hurricane Sandy 3
More wind than rain here in Elizabeth. The heavy rain is only about 20 miles south now.
Jersey has had many bad storms over the past fifty years, but none with the devastating tidal surges of the March '62 storm. The tide comes in, stays in, & structures that could withstand a fast-moving storm are battered into rubble.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hurricane Sandy 2
Atlantic City NJ
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I expect power to go out here. How long it stays out is anyone's guess. I'm on a weak power grid, get many minor power failures. I wouldn't expect it ro be a week, or even 24 hours. My friend Gina is a few blocks away, sometimes her power stays on. when mine goes off. She'll drive over & rescue me if that situation occurs, we can watch Weather Channel & her massive collection of Dark Shadow DVDs together & nod out on the couch with her cats crawling over us. I'm making some egg & tuna salads ahead of time so I have nosh foods handy I can pull out of the fridge without keeping the door open.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Now Sununu is suggesting Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama because he is a black man. That certainly has something to do with it. But I don't see him endorsing Allen West. Powell has been trying for years, without covering himself in sackcloth & ashes, to somehow make up for the action that ruined his reputation: His Iraq weapons of mass destruction speech at the United Nations. He was also bamboozled, & he should have known better, but he sees some of the same "foreign policy" ideologues advising Romney that were around George W, Bush leading up to the Iraq invasion. None of them had any idea how the hell we would get out of Iraq once we shocked & awed Saddam Hussein out of power. The "game" as it turned out was to stay there as long as could, borrowing trillions of dollars that we transferred directly into the bank accounts of the corporate war profiteers.
John McCain was a true believer in Iraqi WMD, & now he has the brass to criticize Powell,
Then to hear other male Repug candidates speak of women's rights as if the views of women are utterly irrelevant. Ugh.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Where the President went terribly wrong in this campaign was his unwillingness to feel (or accept) how much white Americans want to change presidents; & this includes both centrist Americans giving him favorable ratings on likeability. & Evangelicals who neither like nor trust Romney & consider him an apostate - the voters jumping from Bachmann to Santorum to Gingrich in the "anyone but Romney" primaries. They were all waiting for some ray of hope that Romney wasn't as awful as they believed he was. He gave that to them in the first debate, & didn't give up the gains he made there in second. All Obama managed to do was stem the bleeding. Tomorrow there ought to be some new polls better measuring trends since that third debate. I believed Obama's support so loose that he couldn't afford to give up an inch of it after the Convention, that whatever he lost would be very difficult to get back. Instead, he gave up a yard in the first debate. Voters have very short memories. Forgotten in Mitt's "shift to the center" is every screwball idea from his primary opponents he either agreed with or failed to challenge, plus the fact that he tortured his dog.
That said, Obama still has 284 electoral votes on my interactive map, I gave Mitt Florida, North Carolina & Virginia before the first debate.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Lesley Gore: You don't own her
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Toms River NJ
Some of these developments are now dealing with silted up lagoons, inadequate sewer lines & other problems of hasty, cheap construction in swamps. Many, perhaps most, of the original homes have been winterized. They became primary residences for retirees who had bought them as second shore houses. But the tiny plots are so valuable that the original small houses or "cottages" are torn down & million dollar homes crammed into the spaces.
These waterfront developments are not alone responsible for the ecological degradation of Barnegat Bay, although hardly anything could be uglier & more disrespectful They are less at fault than nearby uncontrolled mainland development, fifty years of sheer insanity, with its lawn fertilizers & all the environmental evils of road & parking lot runoff. Oh yeah, they all consider themselves Jersey Shore people, even the ones residing 15 miles inland in developments carved out of the Pine Barrens, who rarely get a sea breeze. They prefer to let Barnegat Bay turn into a stinking cesspool than listen to dire warnings of us North Jersey bennies. True, these bay front developments were originally for us, but we went home in September & didn't come back until May.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Binders full of women
I don't like downtown. Forced to go there on occasion to buy stuff. High point is library. Then ugly, over-heated crowded stores looking for some quality item I need from among the crap.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I treat Republicans & Democrats the same.
Labels: THE election
Monday, October 15, 2012
Muslims for bad laws
White House is holding a Public poll to initiate and implement a law against the disrespect of Prophets of major religions i.e. Prophet Mohammad PBUH, Prophet Jesus A.S and Prophet Moses A.S. Please sign this petition ASAP , as they required 25,000 signatures till 17th October.The wording seems to ask that prophets themselves be outlawed. To clear up the another obvious misstatement, The White House is not "holding a public poll." The White House hosts the poll on a page where anyone or any group can initiate a poll. Apparently, if a poll receive enough votes within a certain period of time, some minor functionary at the White House reads it, sends it up the chain, & a bureaucrat submits a public response. It's how the White House beer recipes went public.
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
outlaw offending prophets of major religions
To enact a law that prohibits any action or literature that offend prophets of major religions: - Moses - Jesus - Mohammad Such acts offend billions of people, and cause unrest in the world. Furthermore, acts like this contradict the essence of coexistence and peace among humans. Labeling these acts as freedom of speech is similar to labeling murder as freedom of expression! We all know the chaos such acts can cause, but it's difficult to answer the question: What do they contribute to our nation, or humanity in general?
This poll taps into my personal fears that no extant form of Islam, even moderate factions, can really handle our First Amendment, given Islam's absolute need to defend the character of The Prophet absolutely, at any cost. Some idiot in America insults the Prophet, 10,000 Muslims riot in Pakistan & 100 Muslims are accidentally trampled to death,, which incites even more rioting, Death fatwas are issued.
A 14 year old girl just survived a fatwa assassination attempt by the Taliban. She didn't even insult The Prophet. She had the unmitigated gall to insist she had a right to an education. Which the Taliban considers an insult to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. So what offends the prophets & who decides what offends them?
In America (we have critics & mockers of all religions here) - we can only condemn their statements & request that they cease - Muslims decide it ought to made against the law. Criticize The Prophet, pay a fine or go to jail. & just to show how fair they are, they're willing to extend the law to insults against Moses & Jesus. Why stop at them? There are so many other revered religious figures. Why are only the three major Abrahamic faiths worthy of such protection?
Jews don't lose sleep over insults to Moses, Abraham, of any other prophet or patriarch. What keeps Jews awake are Holocaust deniers, threats to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, & the naked hatred of Jews - all Jews - taught & encouraged throughout too much of the Islamic world.
American Christians don't get bent all out of shape by insults to Jesus. One insult is calling him a prophet rather than the Son of God or simply Jesus of Nazareth. He is either the Messiah or he is not, no in-between status. Jesus is rarely insulted; it's pretty obvious that Christianity's violence, excesses & prejudices don't originate with Jesus. Christianity's doctrinal foundation is the Son of God humiliated unto slow death in a public crucifixion - it doesn't get much worse than what happened to Jesus, who then triumphs over death in his resurrection. Christian martyrs historically are of a different order than current radical Islamic martyrs. Quite simply, Christians do not believe they go to heaven by committing suicide to kill non-Christians, or other Christians.. Although certain Christians in America are busy denying civil rights to homosexuals, undermining women's rights, mocking science, & attempting to subvert public education, they go nose-to-nose arguing with atheists & generally seem to grasp that in suppressing the First Amendment rights of others, they might risk their own rights. Instead, they buy up radio stations. build megachurches, write & publish top selling books of religious propaganda, & use their constitutional rights to full advantage by spreading the crazy idea that they are the victims rather than the people in control of one of America's two major political parties.
I often enough sympathize with the purpose of laws constricting free speech, but I rarely support the passage of those laws. If insulting the Prophet causes Muslims to commit murder, maybe it's time for Islam to change & stop committing murder in the name of The Prophet. . Because you won't get away with murder using that as a defense in The United States of America.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
It's not the first time an experienced VP candidate has taken a "kid" opponent to the woodshed. Senator Lloyd Bentsen did it to Dan Quayle with the legendary "I knew Jack Kennedy. Sir, you are no Jack Kennedy" retort. Biden himself did it to Sarah Palin in 2008. She was easy. By contrast, Ryan is a cold-blooded wonk. But he has two problems 1. He doesn't know his own numbers. 2. He's pretending to be a "moderate."
There's also the mainstream media characterization of Joe Biden as a love/hate type, belligerent, tripping over his own words. Biden (& his educator wife, Dr. Jill) is a very popular figure out on the campaign trail; down-to-earth, accessible, comfortable outside the "beltway." He's the kind of politician those old Reagan Democrats (now mostly extinct) liked. Biden knows how to work a crowded diner. He's no where near as belligerent as Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
I predicted the meeting of these two Irish-American, Catholic politicians would be interesting. I wish Ryan had shoved back more when Biden pushed him. Biden never stopped pushing. He tried to get Ryan;'s goat. Despite it all, Ryan did not come across as the more polite, more even-tempered of the pair. He came across as one more Republican VP candidate not ready to be No. 1 backup. The result helps President Obama only in that Biden pleased most of the party base, made a decent impression on the "undecideds," & set Obama up in a better position for next week's meeting with Romney. But the President will have to deliver. I'm not certain how he will do that.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
John Lennon's Birthday
Taliban shoot 14-year old human rights activist
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban gunmen in Pakistan shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday a 14-year-old schoolgirl who rose to fame for speaking out against the militants, authorities said.
Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck when gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad. Two other girls were also wounded, police said.
Yousufzai became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists. The government agreed to a ceasefire with the Taliban in Swat in early 2009, effectively recognizing insurgent control of the valley whose lakes and mountains had long been a tourist attraction.
The Taliban set up courts, executed residents and closed girls' schools, including the one that Yousufzai attended. A documentary team filmed her weeping as she explained her ambition to be a doctor.
"My friend came to me and said, 'for God's sake, answer me honestly, is our school going to be attacked by the Taliban?'," Yousufzai, then 11, wrote in a blog published by the BBC.
"During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object."
The army launched an offensive and retook control of Swat later that year, and Yousufzai later received the country's highest civilian award. She was also nominated for international awards for child activists. Since then, she has received numerous threats. On Tuesday, gunmen arrived at her school and asked for her by name, witnesses told police. Yousufzai was shot when she came out of class and went to a bus.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said his group was behind the shooting. "She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol," Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
"She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas," he said, referring the main ethnic group in northwest Pakistan and southern and eastern Afghanistan. Most members of the Taliban come from conservative Pashtun tribes.
Doctors were struggling to save Yousufzai, said Lal Noor, a doctor at the Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital in the Swat valley's main town of Mingora. (Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robert Birsel)
I realize it might be boorish to place this in a partisan context, but when a courageous, young Pakistani woman risks death calling President Obama her idol, our president is doing something right. It's probably not just the President, but also the two strong women with whom he is associated: His life partner, Michelle, & his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
I'm hardly in full accord with Obama's Afghanistan policy, the surge or the withdrawal timetable. But it was the Cheney/Bush administration that put Afghanistan on the backburner & invaded Iraq just as we had driven the Taliban from power & sent their broken, humiliated remnants fleeing into the hills. We didn't finish the job, which was to eliminate Bin Laden, quickly hand over Kabul to whatever inevitable corrupt regime was coalescing there, & get the hell out.
Under Cheney/Bush, America did project to Muslims around the world, a very diverse population by no means represented only by Iranian radical Shiites or Saudi Wahhabi fundamentalists, that American power was indeed waging a war on all of Islam. They obliterated whatever good will had been generated by President Clinton's defense of the Bosnian Muslims, & global sympathy for the United States following the 9/11 attacks. Obama was stuck with that, tried as best he could, given the pressures upon him, to allow the Arab Spring to follow whatever course of self-determination people in the Arab world were choosing for it. One young freedom-loving voice in non-Arab Pakistan admired him.
Mitt Romney can never inspire young people in the same way, here & around the world. He has allied himself with the American Taliban. He has gathered around him the same "nation-building" neocon lunatic ideologues that gave us weapons of mass destruction in Iraq & changed their tune only after it was exposed as an evil lie. In league with the corporate- war profiteers these neocons are at this very moment conspiring a war against Iran as one of Mitt's first acts of "foreign policy."
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Cooking Big Bird
Don't cut the lean. Everyone knows where the serious fat is: The defense budget. Yes, those $1000 hammers & screwdrivers are still there. & worse, in the forms of multi-billion dollar projects even the Pentagon doesn't want but some powerful Senator does. It's there in the form of privatization of services that turned out to be more costly & wasteful (& perhaps even deadly to us) than letting the notoriously wasteful armed services train their own people, purchase their own materiels, & provide these services "in-house" as they traditionally did in the past. But discuss defense waste & making sensible cuts, & defense hawks (corporate shills & lobbyists, mainly, plus neocon "nation-builders" that gave us the model of freedom, West Iran, oops I mean Iraq) raise the spectre of mothballed carrier fleets, soldiers equipped with muzzle loading muskets, high tech computers replaced with IBM Selectrics, & the abolishing of the "President's own" Marine Band, the splendid group so versatile it performs Charles Ives music flawlessly (I have the CD). We might as well just raise the white flag & surrender to Afghanistan.
Friday, October 05, 2012
Van Morrison: The other Real Real Gone
A decade later, Van completely rethought "Real Real Gone," rearranged the lyrics, made a simple but basic change to the chords, wrote a short vocal bridge section, speeded up the tempo & put the beat on the one. It was a hit for him, a frantic number with an air of desperation despite its celebration of friendship.
He came back to the original version for a large collection of outtakes. alternate versions & unreleased songs, Philosopher's Stone. Beautifully mixed, the organ very prominent, wonderful horn chart intact, Herbie's guitar still there. Same four chords over & over, round & round. After the perfect John Alair organ solo that poked a bit of envy in me, the song seems to gather intensity, although I can't exactly discern why it makes that impression, perhaps the drummer. A great song in both of Van's versions.
I'm not very familiar with Van's discography. I had to look all this up. I was huge fan of his first two albums for Warner Bros, Astral Weeks & Moondance, & his singing, caught his act the first time he brought the soul band through America. It was clear then that Van strove for something transcendent in his performances, & if he couldn't reach it all the tension & expectation went out of the performance & they just goofed around on the final numbers, what happened at the show I saw. Others have told me of similar experience, & of nights when he was otherworldly. I wasn't so certain I liked that approach. But some of the very best jazz players, including Coltrane, were known to do uninspired sets in clubs, especially at the earlier shows. & several of Monk's bands went on stage so poorly prepared the entire performance broke down. Anyway, I didn't follow Van's career closely. Admired him, scanned his later LPs for melodic, dreamlike songs I could play on my late night radio shows. Always found something.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
I was so angry today
Can't use it as an excuse. The debate was about domestic policy. Americans have almost no interest in world matters until they affect us directly, & American news media accordingly pays that much attention to it. But the pathological liar on the other side of the stage receives national security briefings. He knew what was happening. He didn't have to worry about it. When the debate ended he slapped backs & drank soda pop & slept the undisturbed sleep of the smugly righteous. Next debate, let's get back to that "3 am phone call" theme.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
You didn't want to be like your bigoted, narrow-minded uncle, the one who griped all the way through Thanksgiving dinner that liberals were conspiring to ruin the part-time appliance repair business he ran out of his garage, but you became him anyway.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Monday, October 01, 2012
It's still about the dog
The biggest kick I got about former President Bill Clinton's Democratic Convention speech was that I knew he would have the wingers frothing at their mouths & writhing spasmodically for weeks. An amazing 69% of Americans like Bill Clinton. Think of it. If you went out & randomly asked Americans if they like or dislike the former president, & kept asking, eventually the "likes" would settle down to almost seven out of every ten. Triangulation, Monica, impeachment & all. Seven out of ten. If you're a winger, that could make you crazy if you thought about it whenever you unstacked the newspapers from your door, unbolted the dozen locks & stepped outside.
The majority of Americans like President Obama. I suspect a fair majority wish he weren't president, with no clear preference as to whom they would have take his place. This whole "likability" thing utterly baffles the hard right wing, which comprises most of that other 31% who don't like Bill Clinton. They don't understand why Mitt can't make this election about Barack Obama. Obama is, after all, the incumbent with the nearly four year record as president. He's also a Kenyan, socialist, secret Muslim, & he's in the Oval Office! But even they don't like Mitt Romney. Mitt became the nominee by beating Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, six of the most unlikable humans on Earth, not to mention non-entities like Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty & Buddy Roemer. Roemer's the only likable one in the bunch, & he may still be running.
The Repugs are confused. How could Obama not be beaten this year? By any bozo holding a cross in one hand & waving an American flag with the other?
I've been saying all along the major flaw in Mitt isn't his positions, awful as they are, or his right wing ass-kissing flip-flopping getting to those positions, disgraceful as that was to see, but Mitt himself. It really was & is about the dog on the car roof. All the statements & remarks Mitt has made in public & (he thought) private have confirmed he isn't at all like you & me. He isn't even like other celebrity rich guys admirable or detestable. He's a total dickhead. The dog on the roof story, which Mitt himself told as a "humorous" story in his autobiography to seem like a regular guy driving his family on vacation, summed it all up. Would you put your dog in a cage on the car roof? Mitt did for 12 hours. You know what that would say about you or me, about our character. We would disown any friend who did that. So why would anyone vote for a guy who does that? Why would anyone entrust the United States of America to guy who does that? That's what baffles me. A man who mistreats his dog & knows it is a man not to be trusted. A man who mistreats his dog & doesn't even understand he's doing it is a sociopath.
Not only isn't Mitt Romney like you & me, he never was. He doesn't know who we are in even the most generic sense as people inhabiting the same plane of existence. For Mitt, we are entirely hypothetical critters. We're his fellow Americans, the people he "cares" about just like he cared about his poor dog, who was "member of the family." Saying it don't make it so. It's about the dog, Mitt. =