Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 3

Early reports & photos from Cape May County are alarming. Coastal communities are already underwater, & the main storm surge & most dangerous high tide aren't due until evening.  Coastal flooding in north Jersey has occurred at levels associated with the height of noreasterns.  Sandy projected to come ashore south of Atlantic City. My live cam links have been going down one after another, the remaining working sites apparently so busy I can't get on to them with my slow internet service.

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.

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.  He answered them,  “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’  And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.  An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

Matthew 16

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 2

Hurricane Sandy plus a noreaster that will combine with it.  The cone indicates the widest possible variation of track, not impact. I'm located an insignificant distance from NYC on the map, about 80 miles north of coastal impact. This places me in the windiest strongest quadrant of the storm, it'll all be coming in directly off the ocean, & because the storm is moving inland south  of  New York,  I stay in that section.   Besides the wind, much depends on the rain bands, how frequent & wide they are.  We could get anywhere from 5 to 10". Also full moon.

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Atlantic City NJ

The Steel Pier, March 1962

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Waiting for the so-called "Frankenstorm." This one really does look big & dangerous, made especially so because it is slow-moving. This shoves more water into tidal estuaries & bays, piling up successive high tides;  causes much more wind damage;  & brings a lot more rainfall. Our rivers aren't very large but they fill up quickly. Hurricane Irene in August 2011 was expected to be a major coastal weather event. Jersey shore was evacuated at the height of the sunnmer season, Atlantiic City shut down. In most places the tourists could have stayed. What happened was that North Jersey had massive destructive flooding where it had never occurred before, as well as in all the usual locations.

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.

I don't know many people voting for Romney, but every one of them would have voted for any candidate the Repugs nominated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm not politically naive. Well, maybe a little.   As a kid, I observed some nasty local politics through the eyes of my dad, including racism.  I always assumed that crap went all the way to the top in both parties. The proportion of alcoholics & womanizers among politicians appeared larger  than in the general population. I've met politicians who were barely above moronic, because one can rise through the ranks, to a certain extent, by licking stamps & tushes.  Why am I surprised at the ugly parade of sexist, racist white males either running for office as Repugs or serving as spokesmen & apologists for Mitt?  John Sununu?  Former Governor of one of the whitest states in America, New Hampshire (1.1% Black or African American), then Chief-of-Staff to President George H,W,   Bush. While in that job, more moderate New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman bamboozled Sununu into offering David Souter as a confirmable Supreme Court nominee, the "stealth liberal." Although he was in fact a sensible centrist.

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


She's Lesley Gore & she approves this message.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Toms River NJ

This development must have a name. Some of them  have wonderful names like Mystic Islands, but they're pretty much the same.  It  is just below Shelter Cove on Barnegat Bay, north of the causeway to Seaside Heights.  The wholesale  rape of Barnegat Bay wetlands in the Fifties & Sixties occurred so long ago that fewer & fewer people are alive to remember the Bay & its culture from before World War Two (although there was plenty of development then also).  Now you have to go to wildlife sanctuaries to get a sense of it.

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.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

It was gratifying that the Yankees not only lost the ALCS, they lost so ugly it will be legendary. Swept in 4 games by Tigers. Some of the most execrable hitting in postseason history wasting good pitching in 3 of the 4 games. This wasn't '76 or '95, teams on the verge of greatness, but a bunch of miserable, tired failures, the last wheeze of a "dynasty" that was rarely as good as advertised anyway.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Binders full of women

The bus downtown today stopped in front of a small store called Toy Gamelan. I was so astonished I didn't notice a tree limb was covering the "d" until the bus moved.

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.

Rather odd comment by Mitt during last night's "debate." For many years I kept a journal/scrapbook. At the end of each year I moved it from a three ring binder to a two hole cardboard binder & began a new one. The journals petered out with the Internet & especially after I began a blog. I make a few intimate entries each year into a file titled "diary." It doesn't get much. Some of the old journals have a good deal of obsessive writing following breakups with girlfriends, as I tried to write out of my broken hearts & disappointments. I doubt it helped much. I think I combed all the drafts of good  poems out of them.  But maybe there was a woman hiding in them somewhere. Maybe I'm not living alone. I searched. Alas, no women, only a lot of writing about women.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I treat Republicans & Democrats the same.

I treat Republicans & Democrats the same. Except that I always have a disposable latex glove in my pocket in case I have to shake hands with a Republican.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Muslims for bad laws

Awhile back I "liked' a  Facebook page for Muslims for Peace, Inc. A small page, only 1000 or so likes, but the group seemed to be saying the right things & supporting the right causes & I took it as a hopeful thing. Then today Muslims for Peace posted this:

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.

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?
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.

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.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Margate NJ

Cantwell's Bar
"At the Elephant"

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe Biden

Joe Biden won the  debate with Paul Ryan & enraged Republicans in doing so. Today they tell us why he didn't "win" the debate.  Includes being "disrespectful" to Ryan.  Ryan has been trying to hide behind Romney's sudden new "moderate" image, just as Romney used Ryan to firm up his "conservative" rep. Romney & Ryan have a kind of yin/yang of complementary lies.

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.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

John Lennon's Birthday

John Lennon's birthday & people are posting grim songs from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Mother, I Found Out, God, Isolation. I bought the record within days of its release. Admired its brutal honesty, thought John's singing was his best ever,  considered Phil Spector's production perfect for the project, appreciated the stripped down instrumentation  Oh yes, it is a "great" album. But I have never really liked it.  I just didn't care about John Lennon's psychic agonies. I didn't have the kind of emotional investment in The Beatles  or the band's dissolution that carried me over to a plodding song like "Mother" with its then-fashionable primal screaming. I loved Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere & After the Goldrush,  plenty of pain on those records with Neil not even bothering to clearly articulate, as John did, what exactly was causing it all.  In fact, in 1970 rock was starting to loosen its grip on me,  I was exploring other kinds of music, & for the nest  five years only a handful of rock albums made a strong impression on me.  The one with perhaps the most impact was Lenny Kaye's Nuggets, a two disk compilation of Sixties one hit wonders, proto-punkers, & 45 rpm psychedelic weirdness.

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Malala Yousufzai

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."

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Weehawken NJ

This briefly baffled me until I realized it was a scale model of the proposed, yet unnamed Lincoln Tunnel.  Construction on the two tube project began in 1934, first tube opened in 1937. A third tube opened in 1957. 

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Cooking Big Bird

Mitt the Snit Romney's threat to kill the Corporation for Public Broadcasting isn't a budgetary thing. It's an ideological thing. The CPB is the "lean" in the Federal budget. It's $445 million of  among the best, most efficiently spent money in the budget. Eliminating it to lower the deficit  is like deleting a few text files  to make space on your hard drive.  Many, many of these small (in the federal budget sense) allocations for various uses have direct impact on millions of Americans. No doubt some are  past their usefulness. But you could probably find budget allocations for portosans in there. You go to a federal site, the restrooms are being renovated, no portosans. Why? Wasteful spending.   Mitt used one once, vowed never again.

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

Van thought this earlier, jaunty, Jamaican-flavored, & radically different version of his later hit song wasn't right for the album he was planning around 1980. All Van's albums are "concepts" inspired as much by thematic collections of poems as by the record album idea. So he gave the instrumental track to his guitarist, Herbie Armstrong, pushed the organ back a bit, added Herbie's vocals & background chorus, & released it as a single. It's quite entertaining. I didn't know either of earlier versions  existed until two days ago.

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

I couldn't understand why President Obama was so off his game last night. Then, around 1 am, listening to BBC World Service, the Turkey-Syria border crisis was big, big news. The Turkish Parliament had even authorized its military to enter Syria. I realized President Obama had cleared his calendar Wednesday to deal with that - it is a very serious national security & NATO problem, was dealing with it right up to the time he entered the building for the debate. Unfortunately, the debate was not about foreign policy, so the Commander-in-Chief & "Leader of the free world" could not give a little "what I was doing today & will be doing the moment I leave here" talk. No wonder he looked distracted. He was stopping a war from breaking out in the most volatile region on the planet.

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

Guys I long considered solid & centered, men worthy of hearing out even when I didn't agree with them, followed nutjobs like Glenn Beck over the edge, forgot they were from Jersey & used to be cool about a lot of stuff, & refuse to admit they sound like coo coo birds now. They think they're the underdogs, but not one of them is wanting for anything important. All are comfortable, well-fed burghers with  homes, decent cars, boats, motorcycles, guns, wives . No one's taking that away from them, but if they lost any of it, maybe they'd find empty spaces where they had believed  their angels dwelled.  I don't wish that revelation on anyone.

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

screenname: Takebackamerica1

How do you "take back" something you haven't really lost? Every succeeding generation of American "loses" America in the same sense we lost who we were yesterday, last month, last year. We're not a stagnant, silted, algae covered pond, one of those marshy pools you see around Jersey that was a small lake 75 years ago, & whoever owned it stopped dredging it or sold it to indifferent land speculators. We're a river. What are you stepping into when you step into a river? It's changing even as you wade in it, the same yet different.

Monday, October 01, 2012

It's still about the dog

I feel a lot better about President Obama's chances than I did a month ago. I'm never completely confident.  National polls don't matter anymore - unless one of the candidates makes some outrageous gaff; only state polls mean anything.  My electoral vote map, always based on my least optimistic calculations, give President Obama 284 votes. I concede the entire South & Midwest to Mitt. Something about Obama's high Florida numbers doesn't feel right, & evangelical turnout could lose Virginia.  Is North Carolina really in play this time around? But I hand Obama Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada & New Hampshire.

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. =

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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