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April 22, 2013

CISPA

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November 9, 2012

Mark Kelly - Husband of Gabby Giffords

Dark Day by Benny
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Days" by Benny
Mark Kelly is the husband of Gabby Giffords. Giffords was one of the victims of the Tuscon Arizonia shooting many believe was inspired by the hate speech of Sarah Palin. Th following is the statement read into the record at the sentencing hearing of Jared Loughner, the man who shot Giffords in the head. Giffords shot 19 people that day, including children, yet, inexplicably this damaged man is still a hero to too much of the Christian Right. They defend him and they claim that if another person at the public rally was armed it would have ended differently. Whether that means the other armed person might have shot Lougner or joined him in extending the carnage is always unclear to me.
I should clarify that in my mind the person not actively involved in stopping evil is supporting evil.
The text below is from the transcript. It made me cry.Creepy 1970

Mr. Loughner, for the first and last time, you are going to hear directly from Gabby and me about what you took away on January 8th, 2011 and, just as important, what you did not. So pay attention.
That bright and chilly Saturday morning, you killed six innocent people. Daughters and sons. Mothers and fathers. Grandparents and friends. They were devoted to their families, their communities, their places of worship.
Gabby would trade her own life to bring back any one of those you savagely murdered on that day. Especially young Christina-Taylor Green, whose high-minded ideas about service and democracy deserved a full life committed to advancing them. Especially 30-year old Gabe Zimmerman, whom Gabby knew well and cherished, and whose love for his family and his fiancee and service to his country were as deep as his loss is tragic. Especially Judge John Roll, whom Gabby was honored to call a colleague and friend and from whose interminable dedication to our community and country she gained enormous inspiration. Gabby would give anything to take away the grief you visited upon the Morrises, the Schnecks, and the Stoddards – anything to heal the bodies and psyches of your other victims.
And then there is what you took from Gabby. Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered. Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she was once so very good at. Gabby is a people person: she exudes kindness, creativity, and compassion. If she were not born with the name – “Gabby” – someone would have given it to her. Now she struggles to deliver each and every sentence. Her gift for language can now only be seen in Internet videos from a more innocent time.
Dream Forest by Geopics
Click images for desktop size: "Dream Forest" by Geopics
Gabby was an outdoor enthusiast. She was often seen rollerblading with her friend Raoul in Reed Park, hiking in Sabino Canyon, or careening down Rillito Wash Trail on her bike, as she was the night before you tried and failed to murder her. She hasn't been to any of those places since, and I don't know when she’ll return.
There’s more. Gabby struggles to walk. Her right arm is paralyzed. She is partially blind. Gabby works harder in one minute of an hour – fighting to make each individual moment count for something – than most of us work in an entire day.
Mr. Loughner, by making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life. To diminish potential. To strain love. And to cancel ideas. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark
 and evil as your own.


 But know this, and remember it always: You failed.
Your decision to commit cold-blooded mass murder also begs of us to look in the mirror. This horrific act warns us to hold our leaders and ourselves responsible for coming up short when we do, for not having the courage to act when it’s hard, even for possessing the wrong values.
We are a people who can watch a young man like you spiral into murderous rampage without choosing to intervene before it is too late.Indian Boy at Crow Fair by Bama
We have a political class that is afraid to do something as simple as have a meaningful debate about our gun laws and how they are being enforced. We have representatives who look at gun violence, not as a problem to solve, but as the white elephant in the room to ignore. As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine; after Virginia Tech; after Tucson and after Aurora we have done nothing.
In this state we have elected officials so feckless in their leadership that they would say, as in the case of Governor Jan Brewer, “I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the magazine or the caliber of the gun.” She went on and said, “Even if the shooter's weapon had held fewer bullets, he'd have another gun, maybe. He could have three guns in his pocket” – she said this just one week after a high capacity magazine allowed you to kill six and wound 19 others, before being wrestled to the ground while attempting to reload. Or a state legislature that thought it appropriate to busy itself naming an official Arizona state gun just weeks after this tragedy occurred, instead of doing the work it was elected to do: encourage economic growth, help our returning veterans and fix our education system.
The challenges we face are so great, but the leadership in place is so often lacking. In so many moments, I find myself thinking, “We need Gabby.” In letter after letter, I’ve seen that others agree. As Americans mourned the six who died, they also mourned the loss of a representative who embodied the service they realized they should expect from those they elect, the type of person our county desperately needs to provide leadership and solve problems. Gabby was a courageous member of congress. Willing to stand up to the establishment when the establishment was wrong. She was thirsty for partnership across the aisle and was an unrelenting champion for her 600,000 constituents. One of which was you.
There’s something else Gabby and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about. The way we Donna Ferrato
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Donna Ferrato
conduct politics must change. Sure it’s easier to win a debate if you can turn your opponent into a demon, but that’s not how we move forward. Not only does slash and burn politics make Americans cynical about their leaders, but it leads to bad ideas. It creates problems instead of solving the ones we have now.
Even amid all that was lost, Gabby and I give thanks for her life, her spirit, and her intellect, which are a continued force in this world despite what you’ve done. We exalt in sharing our lives with each other and with our family and friends.
As a city, Tucson has grown stronger. We love this community, and we love our neighbors. We are resilient, and the dynamism and compassion of our fellow Tucsonans will continue to push this city forward.
And there is what persists in Gabby: her love for this city, this state and this country. Her commitment to lifting us all up, and her ability to lead. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place.

 Mr. Loughner, pay close attention to this: Though you are mentally ill, you are responsible for the death and hurt you inflicted upon all of us on January 8th of last year. You know this. Gabby and I know this.


Everyone in this courtroom knows this.
You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today. After this moment. Here and now. Gabby and I are done thinking about you.

January 29, 2012

It probably won't work but it's a good dream

Plan
Anon

January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA and vote out the corrupt bullies who support it

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February 27, 2011

Baby, please don't reincarnate me. I just want to live on in your loving memory
Jet City

Childhoos Poems by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Children's Poems" by Maxfield Parrish
Life has evolved into wake up, shit, shower, shampoo, shave and feed the dog. And I am not unhappy.The Man With X-Ray Eyes
Lot of that has to do with things like, next weekend I'm going to upstate New York. Going to have a weekend with my wife.
That is already nice just thinking about it so I have normal expectations.
The bad part is I have to fly in. It already feels worse than entering Russia. I mean, it is true: the terrorists won. The lying and the cowardice of the USA have done more damage to the American way of life than the despicable jihadists who flew the planes into buildings and killed my friend.
Who'd have thought it. Bin Laden has been on his rampage longer than Dillinger and we can't catch him because we're weak sissies who join Tea Parties instead of being proud and brave.
Some moron, one moron, sticks some explosive in his underwear so now all America has to be fondled by guys who struggled to finish high school and couldn't score well enough on the SAT to get into Community College.
In the rest of the world everyone always knew I was an American and in a good way. I was laconic, got things done, walked proudly like I owned the planet but still cared enough to be polite and courteous. As opposed to the kind of Americans we've become: Loud, bellicose scared little bullies, too weak to care about anything except our own own corn syrup filled butts.
Despite that I'm going to have a great weekend. I'll comply with the TSA's perverted regulations so I can get to see someone I care about.

The Republicans are still trying to foment a civil war. They're disgusting. There's that Jackass from the south who laughed at the pin head who asked, "Who's job is it to shoot Obama?" Instead of Summer Girl by TitusBoy
Click images for desktop size: "Summer Girl" by TitusBoy
having the pin head arrested and cavity searched he laughed and agreed with him. And I blame Obama for not having the Republican arrested and charged with sedition and then executed for treason.
It used to be that the Republicans and the Democrats actually respected each other and respected the office. He may be a jerk but he is still the President and demands the respect we must give to him and his office.
James Watt, Raygun's Secretary of Interior, was fired for making a public racist joke. Now that racism is applauded in terms of taking our country back. Back to about 1920 with 7 day work weeks and children working in sweat shops for 16 hours a day.
Why isn't Obama standing up to the Koch Brothers and Roger Ailes? Why does he let them have the country and simper in the White House. I voted for him. I wish I'd voted for Clinton. She'd never have stood for the sort of abuse the Republicans are handing out to my country.Zomies of the Stratosphere
Obama has disappointed me.
Why hasn't he called out the National Guard to protect the demonstrators in Wisconsin. The police are standing with the demonstrators. The people are with them. Against them are the Republicans, corrupt Supreme Court Justices who have violated their terms of office and billionaires who think they deserve even more money.
Why isn't he in the lines with the people.
Instead of protecting the RAIA why isn't Obama protecting the people. I thought he believed more in people then he did in corporations. Apparently not.
Why hasn't he challenged Rush Limbaugh's drug addled corpulent self to a One on One match to demand he stop insulting Michelle Obama and his children? Why does Limbaugh get to lie and say he's an American when all he does is try and destroy this great country. Limbaugh is in the pay of the Emirate and the Corporations. He needs to be brought into the light.
When the revolution comes I thought it would be led by the people but instead it's apparent it will be led by billionaires against the people.
It's just me. I've never trusted anybody who remotely believes in The Rapture. How can you trust anyone who wants everybody except a couple of their friends and a few of the family dead.
I don't want anybody dead. The Dead leave vacuums. Even Saddam Hussein dying left a vacuum. I'm pretty certain he didn't see himself as evil, but the vacuum he created means some innocent child will have to grow into it. The same way that the collapse of the USSR meant that America had to reinvent itself as Stalinist Russia.

First time I ever heard of the Dorktones was when someone sent me a cover they'd done of one of my songs. It was pretty good. But better than that was the cover the Dorktones did of Balloon Farm's "A Question of Temperature".
I found out the band comes from Rotterdam! Rotterdam, for those who don't know Rotterdam is like a rougher tougher version of Amsterdam but without the tourists.
Pop Go The Dorktones I like the Netherlands. It's a wild, crazy cool country as afflicted with issues and blight as any place is but the Dutch just seem to handle it better.
They have a tradition of working hard and playing harder, of respecting each other and not being too concerned with what you might be doing. If I could make a living there it would be my second favorite place to live.
And if there are bands as good as the Dorktones it would be a wise choice.
If you visit their website you can download most of their stuff. You can get their latest "Pop Go The Dorktones" here.
It's worth the trouble. This isn't their best. That would probably be "The Sound of Music" but it's very good. Percussive guitar, good harmonies and all covers of great songs, and the song is always the thing, I think.

December 5, 2010

Love, I thought, is stronger than death or the fear of death
Ivan Tourgueniev

interfirst plaza, houston, texas
Click images for desktop size: "Houston Interfirst Plaza"
I was examining my body in the mirror. Inspecting my scars. Not the scars that needed stitches or emotional scars, but the marks the ravages have laid on me.DC Holiday Special
First one I notice is the droop in my left eye, the remnants of the Bells Palsy attack in El Paso. Then there's the arm that is still weak and stiff from the frozen shoulder.
And on and on. For some reason I can look at all this detritus and the final impression is that I'm still a pretty good looking guy . . . Yeah. Kidding myself or facing reality. Who can tell?
I did wonder if the frozen shoulder, a by product of diabetes, was aided by me spending one summer as a baseball pitcher.
Throwing a baseball is fun. The manager of the team asked me to pitch because I routinely threw the ball in the mid 80's making the play from short to first. I had a world of fun that season but it's an unnatural strain to place on an aging shoulder. I don't know if it caused or worsened the problem. I'll have to ask.
Now I've got the same problem in my left wrist. I'm right handed and use my left wrist about as much as a right handed person would, so I have no empirical self experience proof.
Now, I got asked to pitch because I not only throw the ball relatively hard but I have pin point accuracy, at least if by pin point you mean within a 12" square . . . I shot my arm throwing a tennis ball for the old dog. We were at a dog park and about 200 feet away I watched a dog. It's always been my standard to idly aim at something when I throw the ball for a dog so I aimed at this dog and whipped it. I felt something unravel in my elbow and a big brief hurt. I forgot the pain when I saw the tennis ball plonk the strange dog right on top of its head!
I was terribly embarrassed and worried. Clearly the dog was fine as he immediately went and chased the ball, at least as soon as he assured himself the sky wasn't falling. But I felt bad about nearly hurting him. I felt bad then and I still do. Not as bad as the time I was a teen and I hit a Xmas by WallCell
Click images for desktop size: "Xmas" by WallCell
squirrel jumping across one of the roads up in Griffith Park. I had a car load of buddies with me and they were aggravated that I stopped and went back to see if the squirrel could be saved. I still stopped and looked. The poor thing was dead. I still feel bad about that too.

Last week I was pretty hacked off that Homeland Security has blocked 80 internet sites. Supposedly this was due to the fact that these sites allegedly offered up "pirated" material. Who knows if they did? They're blocked so no one can check, at least no one in the USA. No take down notice, no chance to appeal. They just took them down claiming that these sites stole American "intellectual property".
Now, the first thing I notice is that none of the sites were accused of spamming; browser hijacks; loading trojans or viruses, just the dubious charge "intellectual property theft".
I think its noteworthy that Obama's government doesn't give a damn about sites that cause serious harm to individuals, they're only concerned about protecting the rights of the MPAA and the RIAA. Fables The rich win against the poor. Didn't I vote for him to try and slow that attitude down?
Now add to that the fact that Obama has blatantly lied about his vision of Net Neutrality and I get really irked. The plan put forward by the FCC basically gives the Telco Giants everything they want and nothing that the people need. It's an odious plan worthy of John Boehner and John McCain. Obama pledged an open and free internet. He lied and is now involved in taking away another American freedom, hell, almost a world freedom.
So, you will soon no longer be able to get to this site. Instead you internet provider will take you where he wants you to go. I'm sure I'll be offered a chance to pay them a thousand or so a month to allow people access but otherwise it will be the same restricted nonsense we now get to enjoy on Fox and CNN and the networks.
And again Obama proves he is too weak to lead by offering to "compromise" which means giving in to the sick plan of the Republicans who don't care about us, they only care about the rich.
This Republican cry that taxing anything above $250K is going to hurt small business is, to quote John Bohner and his opinion of the middle class and the poor, "chicken crap". Any small business that is showing a profit of $250K NET is not a small business.
Doesn't matter. Obama is going to give them what they want and screw the people over. He won't get on TV and say that the Republicans have said, "Screw the middle class! We refuse to give them tax relief!" Instead he'll just compromise, which in his mind means giving them everything they want so they won't pick on him, maybe they won't.
Obama has become like that little kid in the schoolyard who'll never fight back. You can go defend Christmas
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas" by Unknown
him but he'll be back in the same jam tomorrow and there's no chance for him to survive, except to transfer schools or give up the job.

This is the crunch week in the NFL. The time to clinch a play off spot and to secure your momentum and spirit for the long slog. Week 131
In the On Line NF picking game my wife and I are tied at 111 correct picks each. This just proves that she has been cheating and clearly has been just plain copying my carefully thought out picks and choices. Of course I am too big a man to point this out to anyone. I will just suffer the indignity in respectable silence!

My picks are in bold.

Houston at Philadelphia - As much as I despise Michael Vick no one can deny his pure talent.Action Comics

New Orleans at Cincinnati - Poor Carson Palmer. At the start of the year this was a game I was anticipating!

Chicago at Detroit - I guess the Bears are for real.

San Francisco at Green Bay - The 49ers and the Bengals are fighting it out to be the disappointment of the season.

Jacksonville at Tennessee - The smart money is picking the Titans' Chris Johnson to continue his habit of just gashing the Jaguars. I think they are too banged up to ride a steady diet of Johnson runs and slashes. Of course, this could be the week the Titans remeber they picked up Randy Moss . . .

Denver at Kansas City - I'm so pleased that Matt Cassel is keeping the grand tradition of USC QB's alive . . .

Cleveland at Miami - An unpredictable game that still doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment value.

Buffalo at Minnesota - Cruddy game of the week contender, spared that because of the talent on both teams. Still, a lousy game.

Washington at New York Giants - The NFC East my Aunt Trudy! Who cares game of the week.

Oakland at San Diego - The Raiders have improved tons but they run into the hottest team in the Christmas Night Lights
Click images for desktop size: "Christmas Night Lights" by Unknown
league right now. An upset would be sweet though.

Carolina at Seattle - Pete Carroll has done a decent job with the SeaHawks. Maybe he'll dump Jeremy Bates as his OC and get real successful next season. The Panthers just stink.

St Louis at Arizona - Sam Bradford doesn't keep this from being the cruddy game of the week. The NFC West should be barred from the playoffs this year.

Dallas at Indianapolis - The Under Achievers bowl1 The Colts are stinking it up a little less than the Cowboys.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay - Must win for the Falcons as they fight for home field advantage in the play offs.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore - Game of the Day! The blood will flow and the bruises will blossom. This game can be all you want in football.

New York Jets at New England - Game of the Week! The Jets won the first one and it was a fine fine win. The Patriots don't forget those things easily. Also the two cutest QB's in the league and both talented. Brady battle tested and proven, Sanchez growing with every play. Can't wait for this one.

April 24, 2009

Does it run in your blood to betray the ones you love
Papa Roach

Engineer's Libido
Click images for desktop size: "Engineer's Libido" by Unknown
I'm really getting bugged by how much Obama is disappointing me. I viewed the guy as the lesser evil, I didn't really support him any other way and yet I am still severely disappointed.The Clutching Hand
I'm not willing to blame him for the economy yet. I don't know enough to tell if his plans are working or if they're just adding to the boondoggle.
What is bugging me is how much Obama has disregarded the people. I keep remembering that he's from Chicago, arguably the city with the most prolific record of organized corruption in American history. Illinois itself isn't very untainted either.
What prompted him to appoint FIVE RIAA lawyers to the Department of Justice. Maybe I am stupid but in my stupid view the DOJ was there to bust criminals. I knew two US Attorneys socially and through work interviewed four others. Opinions of them aside the fact is that their job is going after the bad guys.
The job I was working when I interviewed these guys was crazy but crazy cool too. I was interviewing the worst criminals in Federal Custody. Not Jeffery Dahmer, Charles Manson type criminals but the robbers, the thieves. The producer was looking for stories for a TV series. He Hawkman by DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Hawkgirl" by DC Comics
figured that since I was an adrenaline junkie I would get along with hardened career criminals. His theory that criminals were just a sociopathic group of adrenaline junkies. I don't agree with that.
Two guys come straight to mind. They prey on it at times. One guy was busted by the Secret Service for counterfeiting. When they had him he also confessed to 104 bank robberies in a 7 year period. Over 80 of them were single handed robberies.
I mean this guy walked into a bank, looked at all those people and walked out of their with the money. Pretty scary, pretty smart dude. I couldn't do it.
The other guy I remember as being chilled beyond comprehension. Like all of them he was interested mainly in how much money the producer would pay him for his stories. He told some funny stories. None about himself, always about someone else, always stories he had heard from someone else. About 2 months after I saw him he walked out of Federal Custody without permissionThe Cowboy and the Blonde . . . no explanation was ever offered up as to how. He stole a plane and fled to parts unknown. Before he fled its alleged he killed the US Attorney who was prosecuting him. To my knowledge they've never found him.
Now then, the RIAA attorneys practice the lowest kind of law. Its on the same level as those PI lawyers who advertise on late night TV between the Cal Worthington used car ads.
They're used to standing tough in civil court busting pre-teens, The Beatles
Click images for desktop size: "The Beatles"
single moms and grandmothers. Its hard to see a guy who loses cases to grand-moms standing tough against the types of guys I met. They're legal bullies, cowards pretty much. Cowards because they are afraid to view the people they're persecuting as people. Cowards because they refuse to persecute children because they're afraid of going broke. They think their need for cash is greater than society's need to feel secure.
Can you see that kind of low level guy standing tough in front of an organized crime enforcer?
Its evident that Obama is setting things up to give the RIAA what they've always wanted. They're going to criminalize kids swapping music. The RIAA has wanted this since about 1920, back when kids traded 45's at parties and when young kids made audio cassettes to give to the girl they had a Cherry Blossoms at Arashiyama, Kornai Ki (Genki) , 1747-1797
Click images for desktop size: "Cherry Blossoms at Arashiyama" by Kornai Ki
crush on, hoping a pop star could convey to her how much love he felt. The RIAA viewed and views that love sick kid as a despicable criminal for sharing music he bought.
Right now Obama is out there saying he favors $150,000 CRIMINAL fines for kids sharing music files! So it would be smarter for a kid to go shoplift than it would be for him to email the latest Rhianna single to his buddy out of state?
Obama has made it clear that this is one of his primary agendas. He's ignored hundreds of thousands of petitions to stop hiring these RIAA guys. He ignored them and hired a fifth one.
A few days after hiring tis latest RIAA mouthpiece he stated quite firmly that torture was unimportant. He clearly stated that there was no value in his looking any further into Americans torturing people. He said extending resources into looking into one of the hugest blackest momentsCurse of the Faceless Man in American history would distract from his agenda. His agenda appears to be prosecuting instead of protecting children.
I disagree with this. I believe that the Nuremberg Trials where the crimes of the Nazi government where laid bare for the world to see started a process where the world could begin to heal. It showed the banality of evil and showed how clear and simple it would be for us to fall into that deplorable evil all over again. It gave us a sign post and a clear view of what to avoid.
With the little tiny bit we know it becomes clear we're no longer the cowboys in the white hats. We haven't been for my entire life but we like to believe we are. I do.
We tortured people to get them to say what we wanted them to say. We became the bad guys because of a memo. No one has to answer for it.
It won't end there. There's a phrase criminals use to indicate respect. "He's a stand up guy."
It doesn't mean anything about his beliefs really. It has to do with a police torture method that was, probably still is prevalent. They'd cops would handcuff a guy then loop a suspects hands over a door so he had to stand on his tip toes or dislocate his shoulders. Of course they'd pummel him until he "pissed blood". They'd leave him there for as long as they felt. In the cop shop there's no time, nothing but cop time which doesn't have a clock.
There's a cop boss in Long Beach. When he read about the insanely draconian anti-terrorist laws Bush enacted he sprang to use these against the gang bangers. Other cops did to. They, at least in their minds branded the gang bangers as "terrorists" and then used the same techniques that the FBI used against terrorists.
Study Table by William Harnett
Click images for desktop size: "Study Table" by William Harnett
So its far from unreasonable to see some cop reading Bush's torture memos and self righteously figuring that the same rules should apply to him.
I know a lot of cops. A lot of my kids became cops. I still feel that the persons who should most fear the cops are the innocent.
Obama has proven he's going to ignore the people who elected him when it comes to his agenda. I fear we may have re-elected George W Bush, only a smarter, more competent Bush.
Protecting law breakers because they work in Washington is wrong. Protecting people who destroyed our country is wrong. Obama needs to expand his agenda to make sure that this sickness does not ever occur again anywhere in the world so we can walk proud again and not be ashamed of what we are.

Tomorrow the dogs go to the vet. it will be . . . interesting. First time at this vet. Its all annual checkups, shots and needles. I keeping it quiet. The pups wouldn't kill us in our sleep but they wouldDawn of the Dead (French) set all the clocks to the wrong time so we;d miss the appointment.
We're not getting the foster pup tomorrow. Very disappointed. Very frustrating. Just some sort of red tape that has nothing to do with us or the sanity and safety of the dog. It will work out. It has to.
I go to the doctor on Monday. I've got my little diary of blood pressure and blood sugars all kept. I still have to make it legible . . .
The good thing is I have the door open and the furnace off! The dogs are wandering in and out. My pupppy keeps coming in every ten minutes and looking at me then running back out.
I wish this was all there was to staying alive.
My friend was nearly as crabby as I am last night. Her meeting was long and tiresome and capped with a near two hour drive.
She's still my friend. I'm happy about that.
Its funny all the rest of its endurable so long as that one fact remains.
Busy weekend. Vets, dog food, Indian reservations and getting my act together for the doc on Monday. And plenty of movies to see.

April 17, 2009

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing
Socrates

Princess of the Day
Click images for desktop size: "Princess of the Day" by Unknown
Yesterday it was warm enough to leave the house door open. The gentle dog went to work with my friend, that meant the giant dog and my puppy were here and able to come from outside to inside at 4 Flies on Grey Velvet their whim.
Odd side effect; I started to notice that ever ten to twelve minutes my puppy would come inside, look at me and then trot back outside.
It didn't matter what she was doing always she came back inside to see if I was still there. Maybe she just wanted to see if I was Elizabeth Taylor
Click images for desktop size: "Elizabeth Taylor"
passing out pork chops or bacon. I don't know.She could have been bird watching, bark fighting or just running around tormenting the giant dog but she'd just stop and come rushing inside, look at me and then run back outside.
Considering the day started out with her following my friend and gentle dog to the car, jumping into the car (she hates cars) and then refusing to leave, determined to go for the ride, I don't know what to make of it at all.
There's a new wrinkle to the foster dog quest. The chow/shepherd mix we were going to take in is pregnant!
She's nine months old. I get a pretty grim image of her young life. There's no certification but it seems to me she'd have had to get pregnant during her first heat. General attitude is that its best for a female dog to be spayed before her first heat. This greatly reduces the possibility and probability of several fatal diseases including some cancers.
The people who had this dog, who shortly thereafter gave the dog away on a website classified site Pin Up by Suzanne Meunier
Click images for desktop size: "Pin Up" by Suzanne Meunier
either intentionally bred the too young dog or else they were so neglectful they left the girl in a position to be bred.
I feel the same way about this as I did when I saw a twelve year old girl pushing a pram on a London estate. I asked her if she was watching her brother and she informed me that the baby in the pram was her son. I was well known on that estate and the next day the little girl's mother came to see me about her child joining my sports club. The mother of the mother was closer to twenty-five than to thirty. She dressed to meet me. She'd seen me on TV or something so she dressed in her best. Even though it was ten in the morning she was kited out in her best all night rave gear. (The little girl mom became a gifted high jumper.)
I feel sad for the chow/shepherd mix. We're willing to take her in and keep her until she and her The Adventures of Robin Hood puppies are adopted. Not without serious reservations and heart skipping and a tiny bit of sly joy at being surrounded with puppies. The people who fostering her now are willing to keep her until the puppies are weaned. They also note that the people who surrendered the girl to the kill shelter reported a lot of bad behaviour. They've had the girl longer than they did and they see not an inkling of the reported behaviours.
Since they're willing to give the girl a home it seems better for her to not have her moving around. A poor young dog about to give birth, lost in confusion and not having any place to go to understand needs some stability, I think. It just seems better for her not to have to readjust to a new home.
I'm disappointed slightly, for me, but think its best for her.
In the meanwhile the foster dog coordinator will be here on Sunday. We'll get clear on the fact that we're willing to foster the most at risk dogs so long as they don't try to savage our guys forever and ever.
Unknown
Click images for desktop size: "Unknown" by Unknown
Tomorrow is my first coaches meeting. Looking forward to it. Hopefully they'll be a bit closer to my role. I don't mind being a head coach but I'd prefer working a position.
I've been running through first day practices both ways in my head. Most often in the shower. I'd like to get things firmed down so I can move beyond first day! Practice starts on April 22nd for the summer league.
I figure the first day will be in getting some measurables; forty times and such. If I've got linemen then we'll also get standing high jump numbers. Kids like prove of improvement. So do adults.
Then some group SAQ drills so I can assess the kids and see where they need improvement. That should about run them to death. Then some helmet only football drills mainly for assessments to lay out a plan and to see what sort of scheme the kids might be able to learn and implement.
I chatter at them during drills and its from the chatter that I start to form my psychological assessment. Not only to see who can be relied on in crunch time but how they're going to cope withSomething Weird life on and off the field.
Maybe not the best way but its the only way I know how.
Right now I don't even know if I'll let them call me by name or ask them to call me coach. It always depends.

My friend is home sick now. I have a hare brained theory that the pressures of her Qtr end and other work related things are what cause her to breakdown. She can handle a lot. (Hey, she can cope with me and that ain't easy).
I have to bumble on with prep for the weekend (coaching, visiting animal shelter, getting some hardware to repair some fences, foster coordinator and doggie playtime) and to do my best to be an inept nurse.

I do note with sadness that the guys from the Pirate Bay have been found guilty. This is not shocking. Freedom has to be fought for. They're fighting. But the RIAA and MPAA's wins are just bad for consumers and the world. Another step toward corporate take over of our lives.
I never cared much for the Pirate Bay. Never used it but I liked that it existed and will continue to exist.
The ridiculous sentence did not include ordering the site shut down.
I also note that for every loss their is a victory. Time Warner has abruptly backed off on the insane pricing plans. They haven't given up but have seemed to want to wait till October before going ahead. Probably figure they need to buy off a few more senators.

December 29, 2008

Don't look back, it may be catching up to you
Satchel Paige

Letter Soup by Rod SG
Click images for desktop size: "Letter Soup" by Rod SG
So many thoughts during the day. Sometimes its hard to single out the ones that mark the day, that make each day unique and wondrous.Bride of the Monster
I don't give a of thought to what goes on here. I want to mark the days, not dazzle. I spend a lot of time helping my puppy write her little posts. They're important. This is too but for very dissimilar reasons.
Te puppy communicates, this just records and is available for the friends who might care or the enemies who can curse the days I'm Movie Star and Child
Click image: "Hollywood and Child" by Unknown
still intact or chuckle over setbacks and suffering.
A few people have taken exception to my comment that the stupid cat poisoned my food.
I've lived with cats. Dragged them to the vet. Found a few amusing, tended a few until it was time for them to pass over. I even liked a couple of them. I suspect I know cats as well as anyone could who does not blindly love them. My feelings are that cats are the embodiment of evil.
I'd think we all know about the toxins that cats carry in their mouths. They work the poisons into their feet so that their prey that they toy with so maliciously were to escape will swell up and die.
If you get scratched or bitten by a cat it will welt up with poison. It is my theory that cats are not cleaning themselves. That's a myth perpetuated by their thralls. Cats are coating their bodies with the poison so that any incidental contact starts to seep into your system like DMSO (an arthritic treatment that is absorbed so rapidly through the skin that it is tasted in the mouth if a single drop touched your hand or foot) it permeates the flesh until the cat mind control takes over and you find yourself treating an animal that has n interest in more deep than the ancient Egyptians had for the slaves Indian School
Click images for desktop size: "Indian School" by Unknown
who built their pyramids.
The only possible defense against this centuries old cat treachery is the dog. They are immune to cat toxins and have devoted their lives to protecting the human race from feline evil.
I have studied on this and know it to be true. Or at least as true as the latest mung that the Republican party is spewing.
They're in the midst of selecting anew leader of the Republican Party. One of the prime candidates sent all the voting members a Rush Limbaugh endorsed CD highlighting a little song called "Barack the Magic Negro".
It is nauseatingly racist. Limbaugh and company say it isn't because some black guy wrote it. The song cops the theme from Peter Yorn's "Puff the Magic Dragon". Yorn has written op-ed pieces Cat People screaming his outrage of his little tune being used by the Republican Party to promote hatred.
Since the McCain campaign pirated stuff like Jackson Browne's running on empty and refused to stop using it declaring that they were doing the song writer a favor by promoting his music it senseless for Yorn to expect them to desist stealing his music.
(The RIAA doesn't care if the Republicans steal music. They only care if you do.)
I don't care if the Republicans want to make themselves the party of hate and white supremacy. They can use any specious argument they want to justify it.
Back in the sixties Dick Gregory was a successful comedian. He stopped being an entertainer and became a committed activist. He wrote a book called "Nigger". His explanation was that the next time some one called his mother a nigger she wouldn't have to be insulted she could think that the bigots were just advertising her son's book.
Of course the bigots used the title, ala Archie Bunker, as a justification to call blacks "niggers". If the word is okay for "them" to use its okay for "us" to use too.
Its not racist if "they" say it.
I'm not to cool with us and them terms unless your on a sports field.
Its always been this way. I don't know what's getting better.
For years it was cried that blacks were ruining sports. They were just naturally better at running and jumping. It was genetic, see. It was unfair to let them compete against good healthy Silver Surfer
Click images for desktop size: "The Silver Surfer" by Marvel Comics
American athletes. Their physical attributes allowed them to play the game better but they lacked the brains to fully comprehend the beauty of the game . . .
Check out some old op-ed pieces from newspapers when Jackie Robinson entered the Major Leagues.
For every piece praising Walter O'Malley for breaking the "color line" their are at least 10 pieces cursing him for ruining the game, American life and the frail structure of the universe.
These pieces weren't written by people you'd define as idiot bigots. They were thought out, backed with historical fact. Some had a melancholy tone where the writer was simply glad he was too old to live to see the destruction and havoc that would be ensured by letting a black man on the same acre field as a white man.
Winning games became more important and more and more black players entered the arena. They were always held to a different standard of conduct. None of them were ever much allowed to be Black Widow men. They had to play the game with fire but never forget that they were ambassadors for a race.
Still it was nearly 30 years before their was a black QB in the NFL. The take was that blacks were fast and strong limbed but lacked the brains to play such a complicated position. How could a black man lead white men in the huddle?
James Harris was black, he was slow footed and actually looked like a white QB. The Rams had nothing else so he got to start. Then there was Randall Cunningham and then and then and then.
And the games became more beautiful. The fans stayed ugly and racist. Not all of them but one is Living Room
Click images for desktop size: "Living Room" by Unknown
enough.
I once coached a game where one of my black players asked an official about the legality of spearing. The middle aged white ref said, "Get back to your huddle monkey boy." That was in 1999. The ref was confounded by my rage. He didn't see a thing wrong with the term or with ignoring the question.
Everyone has some stupid reason to justify blind hatred. SOme people are articulate enough to put that hatred into cogent thoughts and sentences or even songs. If you buy that you also need to accept that cats are the hell spawn of the devil.

October 30, 2008

Do you hear them? The children of the night
Tod Browning

Pumpkins by Trablex
Click images for desktop size: "Pumpkins" by Trablex
Sometimes you have to accept things that, on the surface, seem unacceptable.
There was and is a lot of furor about OJ Simpson. He was found not guilty. White America went berserk.
Skeleton Man There were six cops tried for beating Rodney King. They admitted to beating him. There was the stunning home videotape of the cops standing around lazily waiting for their chance to night stick the guy. They got the trial moved to Simi Valley. And the six cops were found not guilty.
Seems kind of incredible. You had to accept it. Maybe it was just a brilliant stroke by the defense attorney, or maybe it was just like some lawyer pals of mine said, we have no idea what went through the minds of the jurors and the way the evidence seemed to them sitting in the lofty precipice of the jury box.
I know Simi Valley pretty well. A lot of friends moved there because MGM announced that it planned to dump its facility in Culver City and move all of its operations out to Simi Valley.
Most of the MGM infrastructure, the guys in the machine shop, prop department, all those guys who really make movies and are so good at their art that American movies really were the best made in the world for a long long time, moved there.
A 3 bedroom house in LA could be found, if you were lucky, for about $300,000 (at the time). A 4 bedroom house in SImi Valley was about $115,000. The LA house would be pretty ramshackle with 1930's wiring and plumbing. The SImi Valley house would be 10 years old or even new.
Not much to consider. The TV show "MASH" was already being shot in SImi Valley - yeah, it stood in Elvira
Click images for desktop size: "Elvira" by Robert Redmond
for Korea and did it well enough to fool people for a lot of years. "Little House on the Prairie" was shot there. The wild area around there was abundant and cheap. No massive per diem's to the government like you had to pay in LA.
So all these guys packed up and moved to what they hoped for in a better life.
Guys who used to work at McDonald Douglas making airplanes who were now making armatures for life sized King Kongs made the move and liked it.
One friend of mine who worked in the prop department lived in a mobile home on a chunk of land he'd bought for $90,000. To get a house for his wife and three THe Invisible Ghost kids seemed incredible.
After he moved in there was one of those flash floods we get in SOuthern Cal. It seemed there was a graveyard there where the undertaker had been cutting corners and he hadn't buried people quite as deeply as he should. After the flood he got up to survey the flood damage and found one of the 100 plus coffins the flood had dug up dumped on his front yard.
It probably had nothing to do with it but shortly thereafter MGM decided not to move to Simi Valley. There was an under used 8 lane high way built to accommodate the expected rush. Their were all those ancillary businesses that spring up around move studios - messengers, sfx labs, recording studios who suddenly had no promised clients.
A few of the techs stayed on, finding the commute to Culver City to not be too bad.
For the most part all those people who trusted the MGM promise found themselves stuck and they began to sell things off.
Forest Sprite by Evegney
Click images for desktop size: "Forest Sprite" by Evegney
There are a lot of cops in Southern Cal. Just in LA you've got LAPD and the LA County Sheriffs, the CHP and then all those little towns and suburbs like Beverly Hills who want their own local cops.
A lot of law.
A whole lot of those cops thought that Simi Valley was a huge bargain and so they moved there. In big bunches. Movie people, cops, the old timers, the newly weds looking to get a start in life and the cowboys and stuntmen made for an interesting community.
Cops probably don't seem so bad when you live in between a mess of them and share schools with their kids.
Even though LA cops are pretty notorious for being the most white racist group in the area.
So getting the Rodney King cop trial moved there made it pretty clear the cops would be acquitted. Even if there weren't any cops on the jury the entire jury The Cat Girl pool had to have fiends and neighbors who were cops.
Senator Ted Stevens wants a new trial. He doesn't want the trial in Washington, where the 7 crimes he was convicted of happened. He wants his new trial in his home state.
Somehow that doesn't seem quite right. I can understand that his greedy corruption hurt the people in Alaska the very most but the trial venue is supposed to be in the area where the crimes were perpetrated. Stevens wasn't busted for being a greedy pig bastard who took bribes from rich oil men. He was convicted for lying about it. For lying about it to his peers, his fellow Senators.
He's claiming that the people of Washington are not his peers. I guess this goes back to the Alaska secessionist views. He committed his crimes in Washington DC but finds the people of Washington DC to not be able to comprehend who he is and defer to him.
Fair deal I guess. Although the fact that Alaska has changed their laws to tweak them enough to allow a convicted fellow to vote for himself on election days makes it appear that it would be less likely that the people of America would be well served by a jury of our peers.
We live in a country governed by laws. People break laws, people interpret laws the way they see fit. Its an imperfect system but most of the time its the only system that seems to work.
For a Senator, a law maker, to deride the law seems to me to be ungainly. Laughable. That he's being allowed to run for re-election is just, well, Marion Berry style mind blowing.

I watched a film yesterday, "Cyber Girl". Its the new movie by Jae-young Kwak, the guy who made the delightful and moving, "My Sassy Girl" (moving means I got misty and sniffly watching it).
Gothic
Click images for desktop size: "Gothic" by Unknown
Oddly this most Korean of Film makers made the film in Japan with Japanese actors. It feels much more Japanese than Korean.
The plot is quixotic, which I don't mind. The hero, Jiro, is a loner, shopping for his own birthday present in a fancy department store when this strangely dressed beautiful girl appears and starts making eyes at him. Jiro watches the girl shop lift a designer outfit. She then follows Jiro and takes him on the most wonderful night of his life. There's no sexual contact, only the fun and life that come from sudden deep friendships.
They part in a sweet and sad way.
Jiro can't forget the crazy girl. He doesn't see her for a year. Then on November 22, 2008 she reappears in a big blasto "Terminator" kind of way. All splashy sfx. The beautiful girl is different. Just as attractive but powerful and robotic, not the delightful crazy girl from before.
Jiro finds her and they go to the same restaurant they went to the The Black Sleep year before. Only this time the girl saves Jiro from a mad killer gunman.
She tells Jiro she is a cyborg and shows him a tape of Jiro himself. Jiro from the future as a 90 year old crippled man. Jiro sent the cyborg back to save him from the gunman who in the original past had shot Jiro and crippled him.
The cyborg is beautiful but stiff and stilted. They spend all their time together. She's his quiet body guard. She also stops a lot of tragedy, accidents that killed children. She was programmed to do this by the Jiro from the future.
This takes about an hour of the film time and is tedious and dull as heck.
Having a gorgeous super woman robot at your disposal shouldn't be this boring.
Then the film gets interesting in its final third.
Predictably Jiro falls in love with the robot. She's so stiff and robotic it has little impact. Which is another flaw. He tells her to get lost. He can't take being so sexually aroused in his tiny world with Eye
Click images for desktop size: "Eye" by Unknown
not having any reciprocation. In a drunken outburst he tells the cyborg to get lost, that he never wants to see her again.
Of course when she vanishes Jiro misses her but keeps finding little signs that she is still out there looking over him and protecting him.
Then the film takes a rather astounding twist. There is a massive earthquake that devastates Tokyo. The effects are all from the small limited view of Jiro but they are astonishingly real and effective. Most effective is Jiro's and our confusion in trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Earthquake, atomic attack? There's nothing clear at first just that it is an all encompassing calamity.
Jiro's home is destroyed and he plummets to a certain death. The cyborg saves him, of course. The cyborg tries to take Jiro to a place of safety. As Tokyo is collapsing around them it is near impossible. The cyborg gets buried under a collapsing The Mole People skyscraper. Jiro is hanging by a pip over a burning chasm of doom.
The cyborg cuts herself in half to free herself so she can go and save Jiro. Jiro saved grabs her hugs her and tells her how much he loves her. She violently pushes him out of the way just as another collapsing building buries her under tons of rubble.
Jiro is stunned and heartbroken and wanders the night with the hundreds of other lonely and devastated survivors. Here the movie really works. Its impossible not to feel the inner terror and desolation of the world as they wander with everyone suffering the loss of home, family friends, things and love.
The next day Jiro goes and using only his hands digs through the mountain of rubble to find his cyborg. She dead or broken, whatever a cyborg becomes when it stops working. (Of note - to rescue him the cyborg loses its bottom half, which codifies the true extent of his love for the cyborg. It was made clear before that she had sex organs.)
He cries and again professes his love for her.
Then the film jumps 133 years to the future!
Its all very interesting stuff about Jiro's future self and the fate of the cyborg. She is auctioned off after Jiro's death. Her memory chip was still intact and she has learned to reciprocate Jiro's affections. The cyborgs new owners permit her to travel back to the past to see Jiro one last time.
This is a fascinating conceit. We re-watch almost the entirety of the cyborgs and Jiro's first meeting, only this time completely from the perspective of the cyborg. Its wrenchingly effective. She is so in love with him and so angry at his lack of understanding of the depth of her feelings. It wonderful and gripping.
I'd have been bitterly satisfied with the ending except they went The Pit and the Pendulem for the happy ending.
Back to the "present" of 2010. Jiro has just dug up the remnants of his cyborg love. As he again begins his lament and professions of love, the new cyborg appears, time traveled back again to live the rest of Jiro's life with them together.
Confusing movie. Not for the plot. That's actually taken care of with a master's ease. What's confusing is how excruciating the opening two thirds is especially when the final third is so wonderful.
I can't bring myself to watch it again but, aside from the final end, I'm very glad to have the last third locked forever in my memory.

Tomorrow is Halloween. I'm going to do stuff, including taking the dogs trick or treating, hence all the groovy Halloween pix today.
One of my money orders has finally been posted! This is small relief. Its the least of them but at least it did get there. I note they posted it as of Oct 23 - 8 days after I mailed it and it still took them 7 days after that to get it credited to my account!
Business.

September 17, 2008

I'm a twenty first century man but I don't want to be here
Ray Davies

DNA by Krabban
Click images for desktop size: "DNA" by Krabban
Still sick. The infection is going down well enough to avoid a trip to the doctors. Pricey things: doctors. Pricey things: Meds.
My friend doesn't know how to tell a joke . . .
Sorcerer We we're talking about how the giant dog sometimes feels lost. My puppy is my dog and the gentle dog is my friend's. Both dogs are comfortable in the relationship, comfortable enough to share time with each of us.
The giant dog is insecure. He's special to us but that's not enough for him. Like an acne scarred teen he wants to be the most special in the world to someone. He searches and interferes and often goes for bad attention if for any scant second he feels he's been forgotten.
He's silly enough and goofy enough not to become morbid about it. He also loves the other two and would be lost without them.
So we were talking about the giant dog's desperate need for a codependent relationship. My friend thought it was funny to say that we would have to find a home for the giant dog where he could be lavished with the attention he craves.
I didn't realize she was joking and said something Son of Blob about he'd have to go with me if that time ever came. The giant dog looks to me as pack leader. He sometimes feels the instinctive need to challenge me and is relieved when he loses. (He has issues with his instincts to be in charge and his natural goofy disposition and his problem with being large enough to reach any shelf in any house.)
This prompted my friend to joke that I was in love with the giant dog. Which is probably true enough in its way. She thought the joke funny enough to email my puppy's aunt. She left out the background and simply wrote that we had to find a new home for the giant dog . . . My puppy's aunt, being a kind and sweet pro-active sort, wrote back immediately about her search for a new home for the giant dog!
And then I remembered that all the way through high school and college at least 80% of the fist fights and 70% of the :feuds" all started because of a joke that someone didn't get.
Here I'm sure my friend didn't understand that other people might not realize that the giant dog could never live without us or we without him.
My friend doesn't know how to tell a joke . . .
This is day four of the great Sears ransom story . . . They didn't show up yesterday. I got a call about mid-day telling me that it would have to be rescheduled till today.
I pointed the obvious things out. I hate having to core dump on poor employees who empathize but are powerless.
The saga continues. What makes it bearable is that the new washer and dryer work well . . . so far.
We're getting Vonage here. Cutting monthly expenses to the bone while, hopefully, not noticing much of a change to our Spartan lifestyle.
1960 Corvette
Click images for desktop size: "1960 Corvette"
We got a cool deal on the Vonage. I resent that they still use hard MAC coded phone modems and the world's cruddiest routers, but the deal had the router for only 9 bucks, one month free and no activation fee.
I was pretty happy with Vonage before. Happy is the wrong word. It worked okay and was only occasionally annoying and sporadically infuriating. I guess that counts as happy in the world of telecommunications. It is cheap.
To celebrate the savings we spent the money on a new wireless router. It wouldn't have started to cover the price of doctors and penicillin (what a country . . .) My old linksys was giving me fits. I could keep it going with so alchemy and constant reflashing. It was serviceable enough. Got a linksys draft-N router. We don't have any draft-N wifi cards in any of the computers (maybe my friends work laptop?) so don't notice any speed bumps. Haven't tried to see if there's any improvement Silent Running in distance reception. It hasn't crashed yet.
I was amazed with myself. I'd been nursing the old router along for so long that it took me less than 5 minutes to get the new one up and in place with the same WEP security and my own personal configuration quirks. In the Windows world that makes me an expert I guess . . . doing something meaningless so many times that you can cope with the inane requirements . . .
I'm glad its working well. I would have missed a lot of laughs without the internet. The colossal story about Bush suddenly becoming a hard core socialist. How uncanny. The government is taking over a company and "loaning" them $85 BILLION dollars! I'd guess that's as large as the gross national product of 2/3rds of the world's nations.
So much for the lie about deregulating banks and insurance companies . . . I like that they are charging AIG interest on the 85 billion. Calculating this in my head i think that's about 1 and 1/2 billion a month in SIMPLE interest. What bank charges simple interest? I haven't read any other terms of the loan, just Bush being hard core about charging them interest.
I do wonder where we're getting the money to loan them. And, of course, how the heck we can ever expect a company that is so mismanaged will ever be able to come up with an extra 1.5 billion a month to pay the interest.
I'm a bit stunned that the balm that Bush puts on this outrageous "loan" is that AIG was simply going to default on all those little annuities and money market accounts that little people had rested their entire life's futures to. Why are there never any jail sentences for bankers stealing from the people?
Utitled
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Unknown
Its stuff like this that made Dillinger and Bonnie & Clyde national heroes. They robbed banks. Banks have always been the enemies of the people. Its almost a natural thing. Banks hate people. Its fair to hate them back.
I still thank that bankers should face jail sentences when behaving this badly.
It also amusing that McCain and his cronies have spent their careers dismantling the protections that Franklin Roosevelt (in retrospect he may have been our greatest president) slaved so hard to build to protect us from predatory banks. And now they claim to have a solution to fix what they broke. Sadly, none of the fixes seem to involve admitting that letting banks feast on each other was not the smartest thing going.
I always like it when a guy who inherited a hundred million dollar fortunes pretends to understand my problems . . .
I have to admit though that I am impressed by the fact that no matter how many lies McCain & co. get caught in they just bray the lies louder and watch as their poll numbers shoot up.
Sudden Fear Same way that Palin keeps nasally twanging about how she wants a transparent government but then decides that her own legislature should be ignored. The "troopergate" mess reminds me of Spiro Agnew. Nixon was so corrupt and started McCain's lying to procure office mess. Nixon was such a corrupt jerk that people forget that Agnew, his vice president was even more corrupt. He plead nolo contendre to taking bribes when he was Governor of Maryland and was forced out of office. Nixon was able to pardon him to keep him out of prison.
Now, Palin is breaking the law and contradicting herself (lying is an apt word here) about why she fired a good public servant, contradicting herself about her honesty and willingness to cooperate with her own government.
So now the campaign just spouts out more irrational lies but I notice that they keep gaining in the polls.
This stuff would make me ashamed of being American but the fact that the American people appear to demand poverty and a banana style group of despots just makes me laugh. I only weep for the children.

August 10, 2008

Don't be like a tree. Trees get chopped down. Be like the moss by the river. Living where ever there is food and light.
Daniel Kwok

Ninja Princess
Click images for desktop size: "Ninja Princess" by Unknown
It's hard to say which is the biggest shock: Russia and Georgia declaring war on the first day of the Olympics, George W Bush behaving like a buffoon and going to the Olympics to frolic while the world burns, or Mark Sanchez (USC Starting QB) dislocating his knee playing catch, Ohio State suspending two players for two games against AA opponentsIt Conquered The World but making sure they're eligible to face USC or the fiasco/soap opera that saw retired Brett Favre end up a New York Jet. Bret Favre was always one of my favorite players. His openness and candor about his life on and off the field was praiseworthy. His brilliant performances on the field made legends no press agent would ever imagine.
When Favre retired it was at the top of his game. It left many of us in tears.
His coming out of retirement was . . . I invested so much emotion in watching him leave the game I was more irked than pleased about his 12th hour decision to come back. Then to disrupt his team to that extent . . . and now, with the Jets, he seems to have revoked one of his greatest claims. Sandy Koufax is the only other athlete at Favre's level to ever leave the game with class and dignity. I always dream about that "One more season" but the legend and memories are more burnished and glowing because Koufax left intact.
Favre has thrown in with Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen and Joe Namath as guys who moved on and played more on their reputation than their talent. Favre will have success and some failures but he's tarnished the beautiful dream. It's hard to forgive something like that.
That's disappointing but not really shocking.
Ohio State suspending players is regrettable but understandable. Who can forget Joe Paterno suspending 4 of his starters the night before the National Championship game and Penn State still went out there and thumped heavily favored Miami.
That Ohio State bent over backwards to ensure that the punishment of the players would not impact the team is disgusting. As long as the "Big Ten" and all eleven of its teams continue to place money before the development of their athletes into young men and community leaders I will continue to hold it in low regard and with the contempt Shoot The Piano Player I usually hold for unworthy opponents.
Yeah, I want Ohio State to face USC at full strength. I played against Ohio State 3 times. They are the biggest bunch of cry babies I ever played against. Every loss was because they got improperly flagged for an overt illegal dangerous play. Or, my favorite, their players got hypnotized by the beautiful LA weather . . . If they had to lose two starters and lost they'd be crying all over to the press about how the Trojans cheated by exploiting their lesser players begging for another chance to be humiliated in the National Title game. The school still makes big bucks the TV appearance. Why risk tens of millions of dollars for something as mundane as a young person's future?
Sadly the Big Ten, Ohio State and the NCAA don't shock anymore. This is their standard.
George W Bush continues to prove he is a selfish boor. He can take time off to fly to see the Olympics but he could only spare a "fly over" of New Orleans when the crisis there was at its worst.
I am pleased that no athletes have gone on record saying something about how the President inspired them to victory or something of that nature.
Even the President's "huh" attitude towards the tragic murder of the American tourists wasn't shocking. In fact Bush will only shock me if he ever does something intelligent, or caring or something not in keeping with a typical arrogant loser.
I don't know enough about present day Russia or Georgia to understand the how's or why's of their war. I haven't been to Russia in over 7 years and then it was a country in wild upheaval. A country demanding change.
Clarence Holbrook Carter
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Clarence Holbrook Carter
War is always a shock. A stunning condemnation of our status as human beings. I hope this war is about something not money or about the lies the government spreads. I doubt it, but I still hope it.

Yesterday the giant dog got a bath and a haircut . . . he still hasn't quite forgiven us. For some reason he holds me as almost solely responsible.
If I can get some more decent photographs I have a post nearly ready for my puppy's website. That will, hopefully stop people from being mad at me.
As it is I'm just waiting for the sun. And a walk with the dogs.
So far my only reaction to the Olympics has been overwhelmed by the pictures of Beijing. It appears such a fascinating city I can't really grasp or emote over the proud athletes efforts.
I'm just waiting for the track and field events.

July 10, 2008

Yo! Prime Minister!
George W Bush

The Lava Pit by Ravena
Click images for desktop size: "The Lava Pit" by Ravena
A lot of years ago I was in Paris. A bunch of French and Italian friends of mine all went to a restaurant. It was a middling fancy one. Pricey but not absurd.
A big table was filled with about 8 loud Americans. They were from Kansas. High school teachers on a two week vacation. I was sure of this because they told anyone who passed by their table. Ms 45 They always said it in English. As most of the people in the restaurant didn't speak, or at least acknowledge that they spoke, English my countrymen's solution was to shout each word distinctly and slowly, as if they were talking to a slow student.
For the 30 minutes we were in the restaurant with the school teachers I heard them insult the culture of the French, the Italians and the Jews.
They did it loudly, arrogantly and with a smile and a laugh. They talked to everyone, especially those who tried to avoid and ignore them. The hostility they were generating was palpable. After an insult they kept saying things like "I bet you don't see much courtesy like this. It takes an American to show you how."
When they eventually got around to me i just called them "bloody foreigners" which got a big laugh from my table but didn't do much to ease my embarrassment.
That was one of the few times I've been ashamed to be an American.
Yesterday was another.
Yesterday a new law was passed. A law that destroys the Constitution. It permits the government to spy on us at their whim. It allows giant corporations to spy on us at their whim.
This law removes protection and it removes redress. It means were consumers and we have no standing other than to consume and to be consumed.
Barrak Obama voted for this odious law.
Now I have to find another candidate to vote for.
I can't vote for McCain. He's looking more and more like the slime that our nation presently reveres.
I can't understand why the Democrats aren't going after McCain for being a traitor. Why do they constantly call him a hero? Their is a film where McCain is collaborating with the enemy. The Birth Of Europa by Macindows
Click images for desktop size: "The Birth Of Europa" by Mcindows
The only evidence he was tortured is his word for it.
It was easy for the Republican's to call the acts of heroism by John Kerry misleading and false because two or three guys made unsubstantiated claims but the Democrats can't make anything out of McCain filming propaganda pieces for the Viet Cong.
They can't make anything out of a multi-millionaire claiming a 50,000 buck per year disability claim? They call him a hero . . .
I can understand the desire to run a "clean" campaign and to avoid mud slinging etc. But, gee, shouldn't you just refuse to comment on the guy's war record? Why call a man who sure looks like a traitor a hero?
Why agree with these kind of guys that we Americans have too many rights, too many freedoms. What happened to "better one thousand guilty men go free than one innocent man be unjustly condemned." What happened to "Give me liberty or give me death." "Don't tread on me."
Near Dark The terrorists have won. They've destroyed America. We fought with bullets and Coca Cola and they exploited our cowardice and our greed to destroy a once great country.
So I'm going to have to find some fringe candidate to support. They all seem sort of whack to me but that's the reason they're third party candidates I guess. There's always a Green Party candidate. I can always get behind not destroying the world.

Rah. There are a lot of Buckinghams' fans out there. I never realized.
The band is still together. It looks like they even still have a website and are playing gigs even as I write.
I don't know how I feel about that.
I like the Cocteau image of our loves dying young and beautiful in the snow, untarnished by age or reason.
But that's just me.
I'm sure the band is a lot happier still out there and still making noise.
I wonder if they still play, "I've Been Wrong Before"?
If I did some research and got some facts I might never say the things I say and where would the fun be in that?

May 23, 2008

He's raining in my sunshine

5 cm By Kabegami
Click images for desktop size: "5 cm per Second" by Kabegami
Feeling better today.
Funny I feel worse when I wake up. Then wear down during the day only to pick up after a dosage of Vitamin C. Maybe I'm addicted to Vitamin C? Do junkies wake up with "the hunger"? Could be worse, I guess.
Duo Shai While I was working and being sick I got to listen to a lot of music. It set me off on an odd reverie. I wondered if it would be preferable to be some forgettable dork like whatever guy won the American Idol mess, go out there, make a pile of cash and then be forgotten or remembered quizzically like an off color joke. Or if it would better to just be in a band that gets better and better until you're playing in front of audiences of 500 and every person leaves the club thinking this was one of the best nights of their lives, or at least of the year.
Pretty obvious where I come down. To pick the other would be saying that my life was a failure.
I'm no failure.
I want a guitar. Can't afford one. Even a cheap one (Never buy a new guitar, especially acoustic.)
Even when I tell myself its just for my own amusement, to sing and play to the dogs and my friends, I know that if I ever get through a song without my hands failing me I'll start thinking I should get into a band.
If one of these friends can sing along and harmonize then I'll become determined, then if I meet a guy who can keep a good rhythm pounding on the kitchen table then the search will start for a bass player and the next thing I know it'll be 4 am and we're looking at 500 bucks in wet bills and after paying the bar tab and gas we're stuck trying to figure out how to divide 87 dollars 5 ways. (do they always pay the band with whatever bills got particularly spilled on that night? Or do they think bands only like soggy money? Or did the bass player drop the bills on the way from the managers office on the way to the stage? Mysteries of music 102.)
Threads Of Desire by K Horne
Click images for desktop size: "Threads of Desire" by K Horne
I didn't get to watch any movies. What's the point of being sick if you can't watch a lot of movies. I kept drifting off to sleep every time I'd sit and try and watch one.
There's a lot to do to get caught back up. lots of fretting to do, emails to write.
I did see that they're actually running a dog and pony show in congress. Feels like a joke. Politicians looking stern and asking the "hard" questions right before election year. Congress asked oil execs how much they make a year. One guy claimed over 12 million a year. A couple of others said they didn't know . . .
I wonder if they'll investigate the two who didn't know for perjury. Do to them what they're doing to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I mean its pretty clear cut. They sign their tax forms. They get W-2's. They know but don't want to say seems like a good bet.
They won't bust them for perjury. In fact I'd expect the only thing that will happen is that the exec's who are only making 2 million a year are going to demand raises. Makes you wonder what power lust made Bush give up that kind of cash to make a measly low 6 figures a year.
Rififi Since the oil companies made the "compelling" argument that the past 20 years of record gas prices are the only hedge they have to when they aren't making record profits . . . or something like that.
They said they make billions in profit but they need that to continue to make billions in profits. I figure congress will buy off on that, especially in an election year when they need those campaign dollars.
Still it was nice to hear politicians claiming they're looking out for their constituents. None of them seemed to bothered, personally, by high gas prices.
I also saw a rather cool series of photos. A Chinese wedding photographer was working during the earthquake. He got these poetic images of the bridal party suddenly wrapped in one of the worst cataclysms in Chinese history.
The sheer fact that he didn't just drop the camera and run for his life seems to indicate, to me at least, that he deserves some sort of international award. Certainly better than just a posting on his blog.
They're those sort of happenstance pictures that makes a tragedy real and more than just incomprehensible numbers.
Certainly worth a click to see.
And now. Onward. Or something like that.

April 16, 2008

The New And Improved One Armed Swordsman

Moody Waters By BE Photographic
Click images for desktop size: "Moody Waters" by BE Photographic
I got word today I have to go see another doctor.
I hate new doctors, which is unfair but totally justified.

I raked up 6 big bags of garbage and leaves Pigs! yesterday and set them out by the curb. They go about 40 pounds each so I took them out one at a time. On the final bag my neighbor from across the street came and told me that the garbage guys won't take the leaves because I used clear plastic leave bags. They'll only take them if they're in paper bags . . . she told me on the sixth bag . . . my puppy was glad to see her and she did tell me so I guess its cool . . . the sixth bag . . . its about 70 yards from the gate to the curb . . . six . . .

My facial paralysis is lessening. My vision seems to be improving but just when I'd decided it was good I completely lost sight. It didn't go black. Its like someone shoved a large wad of crinkly saran wrap into my eye sockets, like I was looking at life through blown glass window panes. (Until World War II and the introduction of machine manufactured glass if you witnessed a crime through a window you couldn't testify in court. Looking through glass was the same as seeing nothing.)
I was walking with my puppy. I don't remember why. She must have known something was wrong because she stopped pulling her leash and began to "herd" me, staying close to my right hand and nudging me this way and that. I was surprised that she didn't lead me to a pizza parlour or an ice cream shop.
The vision hassle passed. It went like that for the rest of the day.

Before I moved, back in that town, I worked with a group to save dogs. I enjoyed it. My puppy enjoyed it. It was beau coup fun for sure.
Edmund DuLac
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Edmund DuLac
There was a woman associated with the group. I had very mixed feelings about her. I admired the work she put into saving dogs even when I doubted her methods. But there were odd looks and gestures, an occasional stray phrase that set up alarms.
While everyone else in the group was pretty chilled and cool, if a bit crazed and scatterbrained (myself included no doubt) this woman seemed strangely driven. She was also incredibly self promoting and self serving. She liked to give orders and read people well enough that when they started to pin around at the tone of her voice she would coddle them.
Its a tact I'd seen often before. Usually from untalented directors and writers who managed to always get work in front of other more talented people. The kind of musicians and filmmakers who could get work despite a string of desperate flops.
X - The Man With The X-Ray Eyes There was an agenda in her I couldn't figure out.
I couldn't discuss it with anyone because she was much admired for her hard work and I had nothing to go on but that uneasy feeling. I put it out of my mind.
Today I got an email. This woman has snagged herself a job. A paying gig on a State Board over seeing the care and disposition of animals . . .
Her agenda, politics? Probable.
I think its sad that this is the best we can hope for nowadays. Someone who cares a lot about their job is an excellent choice. Someone who wants the job for other reasons raises flags for me. She'll do a good job, I'm sure. To a point anyway. The person who mollifies can't be trusted to stand and make the tough calls. The person who cares more about how others perceive them instead of putting their charges safe and protected behind them bothers me.
I don't think that compromise works when you're talking about children or animals. For some jobs I want people who care more about the job then they do their image.
I guess this is similar to what bothers me about the current crop of presidential candidates. They want to mollify me, occasionally inspire me instead of seeing a world that they know they can change for the better. And then be willing to fight for that vision at all costs.
Well, at least I know what it was that bugged me about this woman.

There was a software update for the Apple TV this week.
I wish I hadn't installed it.
It makes the menu's a tad snappier. It improves the Genre filter Odilon Redon
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Stephen Youll
(a feature I could care less about) and it allows you to add favorites in YouTube (a feature I could care even less-er about. I don't care much for YouTube due to the quality of the videos. Of course if I do go blind the quality will be fine. I learned how to make and host and serve my own video files to avoid having YouTube mangle the pictures of my puppy).
It also took away a feature I really liked and used. It no longer does a two way communication with iTunes! Part of this is simple anal stuff on my part. I liked when I played a track and iTunes would update adding 1 to the play count and changing the "Last Played" date.
That was anal I know but when watching a Serial it was tres cool in marking which chapter I had just watched. It saved me energy and kept the hardware software transparent to my enjoyment.
I hope they fix this.
You know I'm squawking.

April 13, 2008

Got leukemia 14 years old looked like 65 when she died
Jim Carroll

Sacred Fire II by Michael Parkes
Click images for desktop size: "Sacred Fire II" by Michael Parkes
I can still see. Its difficult at times. Not getting any worse. Not getting much better.
Massage, heat. Not rubbing my eyes but the muscles around them gives me temporary relief.
I can close my eye. Mot of the time it closes all the way. With the Mac's zoom feature I'm functioning.
Mutant Chronicles It snowed last night. This is spring?
Bleakness in extended winters.
I keep wondering if America's time at the top of the pile as ended.
Eight years of of an unmitigated bloodthirsty prejudiced blood monger idiot has pretty much insured the decline of America. The rest we're all responsible for. Me and you.
Look at out candidates. Though there is something cool about a rich white woman calling a black candidate "elitist" my sense of humour wears thin.
These 3, Obama, Clinton and McCain are the best this country has to offer? We're screwed.
Maybe China is going to pick up the pace, take over from Japan and become the next big deal. America will just become customers.
Why not? What have we done to deserve better. Where have we stood?
We started a war based on lies. Supported it and kept the young over there to die.
We haven't caught Bin Laden and haven't fired the sheriff.
We've let China rewrite human rights policies, host the world's biggest party and just stared into space.
We've protected our own individual rights and watched patiently while others oppressed others. Hey, so long as its not me, right?
You know I respect the right people have to believe that God will come down and save the believers and damn the rest of us. I even respect it when guys pay lots of money to believe that God will come in a spaceship and you have to book your ticket now.
Ali Babba by Maxfield Parrish
Click images for desktop size: "Ali Baba" by Maxfield Parrish
I don't respect when some bully thinks he can make me or you believe that. And a government that allows that to happen is not a government but a virus that needs destroying.
We've been doing it here since we elected Bush and tried to set Fundamentalism as the State Religion so we really have no right to criticize the Chinese. But we should. We've shouldn't let the moron's we were foolish enough to elect destroy what we are. Let them represent themselves and let the warriors, men and woman, stand in a country we can believe in, even when it only exists in our hearts.
We boycotted the 1980 Olympics and dashed the hopes of a lot of young studs like Kurt Thomas and Bruce Baumgartner because the Russians invaded Afghanistan. And now . . .
I'm sputtering and shotgunning, violent core dump.
I'm sick. At least its an excuse.
At least I'll get better. And I've got a greeat puppy and a blind dog who cares about me. And a friend and a whole lot.

March 28, 2008

For all the people here this is the loneliest place in the world

Far Away From The City by Yannis Angel
Click images for desktop size: "Far Away From The City" by Yannis Angel
I like to give my dogs treats. It pleases me to see them all excited.
They all sit around me, as close as possible, to show they are ready. If I don't pass the treats out fast enough my puppy will stand and sit down ever closer, eventually she'll just poke me in the leg with her nose, just to make sure I know she is there, being a good girl and worthiest of treat getting dogs.
Monolith Monsters 1957 Even my little blind dog jerks his head around if he hears me going to the treat table.
Because I like to give my dogs treats so much my puppy keeps having to go on near starvation diets.
For everything we do that gives us pleasure there always seems to be someone who suffers for it.
In this movie, "Welcome To The Quiet Room", a girl in a mental hospital because of her eating disorder says, "I can't eat because I know that for every meal I take there is a valuable person somewhere else in the world who goes hungry. I don't like the system but I am powerless to change it."
Before you start sniping that I'm quoting mental patients to bolster an argument, remember it wasn't a mental patient who wrote it, it was a man putting words into a characters mouth.
If I can see this and some weak writer can see it why can't those arrogant people who hold national office see the same thing.
There's been a lot of proof lately. Four thousand American kids dead in Iraq. Four thousand . . . we killed Saddam Hussien because he was helping kill people. I don't think he killed four thousand with all his pogroms and genetic cleansings. Bush, our congress, the slime that support these liars and fanatics did.
There's proof, better proof than made up Weapons Of Mass Destruction.
All these congressmen and Bush had to take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. They swore to protect my Liberty, my Freedom and my pursuit of happiness. All of our Freedoms. That's a big job, kind of awesome in the responsibility.
When these guys just ignore their sworn oath shouldn't they be tried? Shouldn't they be held accountable? Dark Factory by Ru Port
Click images for desktop size: "Dark Factory" by Ru Port
Shouldn't every cretin in Homeland Security and every President, Vice-President, Congressman and Senator, every executive at AT&T who work to take away my freedoms, my liberty, my happiness be tried for treason? Why not?
They're persecuting Barry Bonds for perjury about whether or not he took steroids. This is a big deal? Compared to some dopes who, as a group, accept bribes, create laws to help their buddies and to hurt us, who take away the very things that they are sworn to protect, why isn't that a big deal? A much bigger deal. Shouldn't we hold law makers to at least the same standard we hold our baseball players?
Did George W Bush ever play football? I don't think so. Maybe that's why he's such a creepy little coward leading a bought off constituency of cowards who slink around in the night and try and steal the things that make us a great people.
There's this incredibly unattractive woman. She was convicted as a soldier for torturing her prisoners. The Four Hundred Blows There's the famous photo's of her smiling and looking like a vile creature pointing at the remnants of her handiwork.
What a monster. She came out and said that those photographs were responsible for at least a thousand US deaths. That the pictures of an ugly woman getting pleasure from harming her prisoners created thousands of new terrorists.
I can't fault that logic.
But instead of being contrite and accepting the responsibility for causing the needless deaths of her comrades she blamed the media for printing the pictures and went on to say that what she did was right and that it was an invasion of her privacy that these pictures were published . . .
And this woman isn't in prison being rehabilitated, isn't in prison for her crimes of torturing human beings. She isn't even in a mental hospital being cured of her deviant sick behavior. And no one has repudiated her. No one has come out and said she's wrong . . .
Maybe Bush didn't read comic books as a kid. Maybe he doesn't know that America is a great country filled with a great and magnificent people. Maybe he's so lacking in imagination he can only see us as being as small and stupid as he is. Maybe he's so inured to people and just so used to having his own pleasures that he can't bear the thought of any of us succeeding and getting ahead to achieve our rightful goals.
The bad guys torture people.
We used to be the good guys. We got our intel because we were smart and clever and because we were right. We were right because we were protecting our liberty, Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: "Frankenstein" by Universal Pictures
our freedom to travel and to come and go as we please and not have to account to anyone for our actions so long as we obeyed the laws that said our actions weren't allowed to harm other people like ourselves.
We had a right to privacy. Our Social Security cards used to say in nice red letters, "NOT TO BE USED FOR PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION". Now our letters, out conversations are stolen from us and some sniveling group of self proclaimed brain police sift through them to decide if we are alright to use our god given rights. And the congress and our president pat us on the head and lie to us and tell us, "this is good, this is for your good."
Torture is to cause pain to the near point of death. It is to create fear, fear of death.
Torture was never an American option before. It probably happened. There have always been a cadre of weak cowards, sick sadists who manage to avoid criminal detention.
LSD, sodium pentathol and the like were all tried as ways to get people to tell us what we wanted to know, Hell In The Pacific but we didn't torture or waterboard or give sickening government lingo about the way to torture.
Our enemy's stuck needles under our fingernails and we laughed and spit in their faces. Our enemies used water torture to get brainwash and distort us. We laughed at them and the few unfortunates who couldn't take the torture and broke we scorned and detested.
Now we're the bad guys.
And nobody has the guts to stop us.
The election is coming and we have an man who acts too old who wants to step up the torture. A woman who misremembers being shot at, a youngish man who talks about hope but still wants to keep people out of our country.
I have to vote. Its a privilege and an obligation. I still don't know who can save America from the hell the cowards have thrown us into. Fully Alive By Velvet Dreams
Click images for desktop size: "Fully Alive" by Velvet Dreams
Who can save the economy, save our freedom of religion, save our souls.
We need a Superman.

My cold is hanging on but Vitamin C massive overdoes have kept the worst of it away. I feel rotten but functioning.
My little blind dog walks around honking and wheezing, but he's still eating and still having some fun.
My puppy thinks I need to scratch her butt more. She's convinced that that is my only hope for salvation.

February 6, 2008

Better start right now, feeling sorry for the one you love
The Rooks

Men In Hats - Dimage
Click images for desktop size: "Men In Hats" by Dimage
I love my dogs.
Out shoveling snow early this morning, a nasty heavy snow with an 3 inch undercurrent of re-freezing slush. I was shoveling because there's a promise of freezing rain (is that what I thought of as sleet?).
Snow Creature The pups were all out with me, gallivanting and having a wonderful time. The only problem I had with that is that they have to always be within the 3 X 3 area I declare as my personal space.
So fascinated with the idea that I might actually do something interesting that they had to be as close as possible. Clearly I've never done much interesting but if I ever should they can't bear the idea of missing it.
I liked their enthusiastic curiosity, even if it did make a drudge task longer and harder.
While laughing at them dogs made me think of Fifo and the old Fidonet. The fore runner of email.
Back in that ancient time of 14400 baud dial up modems it took a person to set up an electronic Bulletin Board, (BBS). Sometimes they were set up by lonely kids or lonelier men and women, as a way to talk to people somehow. Some guys were a bit more far seeing. The internet didn't exist but they conceived of an idea to build a network from from the disparate BBS's.
You joined Fido and your commitment was that you logged in at least 4 times a day and downloaded the Fido Mail. Then I, as a guy who logged into your BBS could go in and pick up my mail . . . at its best this meant I could get an email in less that 4 hours . . . In the days before the Bell break up, before MCI and Sprint this seemed rather incredible. When local calls were always free and snail mail took about a week from NYC and 2 weeks from Europe to get a long letter in four hours for FREE was, well, the start of something bigger.
With the internet came email, which was my personal favorite, and USENET, which I still adore (and enjoy the fact that it is, for the most part, pretty much ignored and neglected) and the WWW. So much information and it was just there. So cool. It was a kid who told me about it, how I could find almost everything on "the web".
Old
Click images for desktop size: "Old" by Unknown
It was easy to imagine a new world, a world with information freely available to anyone, to everyone. All that information naturally led you to an informed opinion.
What goods an opinion unless you can lay it on somebody.
This led to a whole lot of personal "web pages". Just like in "real life" the opinions expressed were mighty extreme. And it always seemed that the more extreme the stand, the more out there and the insane the logic the more it was supported by links to other web pages written by similarly uneducated people. So you had uneducated distillation of facts being used to support another uneducated illogical distillation of facts where each of these peoples take their opinion and through some alchemy transform their opinions into hard facts.
The Strange Woman (I do put a lot of value into education. I have degrees, sure, but mine are in the arts which puts their value, especially when considering complicated matters, slightly below a trade school diploma. In fact I consider that a trade school diploma would be a better investment than an MFA. It takes training of a kind I don't have to absorb conflicting and sometimes con-contiguous info and pare it down to a single seed of truth. I don't have it and neither do any of the pandering jerks on TV and radio who sell cock-eyed opinions for sponsorship dollars.)
There was no way to comment on a web page. So the only thing to do was to create your own web page to refute the other guys claims. It was a lot of fun. It got so big that they invented the Web Log, like this one.
With a web log you didn't have to learn html you just started posting your opinions. And it just keeps growing.
Its freedom. I like that a plenty. You need no credentials you just need to get it out there and you're on the same footing, the same distribution level as the New York Times. (Same goes for music and books too!)
Superman - Jim Lee DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: "Superman" by Jim Lee & DC Comics
Anyway, that's what I was thinking about while I shoveled the snow and watched the dogs while they looked to see if I did anything interesting.

The primaries are sort of drawing to a conclusion.
I didn't get to vote. I still don't feel that strongly about anybody running to register with a party. There's not even anyone I hate enough to vote against them. That is a sorry state of affairs when with all this mess we're in no one can even rise vitriol. Sorry for me and the country. I'll vote for the candidates I guess after someone else decides who they should be.
I thought the primary results themselves were pretty interesting, and some of them even horrifying.
Fo the Democrats it looks like a dog fight between Clinton and Obama. You can see how this can only help the super underdog Republicans.
As a guy who once voted for Jerry Brown for Governor and then Mike Curb for Lt Governor I get kind of evilly wry at the idea of a Clinton/Obama ticket. It also seems like a sure loser somehow.
Suspiria I did notice that in the states Obama won, he won huge - landslide type figures. While where Clinton won she won by decent but hardly overpowering margins (except in New York and Arkansas where she cleaned up big time.)
For me the biggest shock was that Clinton took about 60% of the hispanic vote!
While I find something distasteful about Obama's plans to handle immigration I find Clinton's record to be disgusting. Maybe the guys already over the border don't want anyone else coming cross.
On the Republican side McCain seems like a slightly less evil Bush. I like that he's despised by for being too moderate a conservative. Only a declared racist idiot like Rush Limbaugh would take someone to task for being rational.
What has to be keeping the Democrats happy is that Huckabee too enough delegates to broker himself a position of power at the Republican convention.
Huckabee seems like a reasonable enough guy. And his opinions aren't lunacy when applied to a family but they seem mad dog theocracy when you take them and inflict them on a nation, especially a nation so deeply wounded by Bush and these same Republicans.
Huckabee seems one of those things I run into but can respect, a good man with wildly divergent opinions on life.
So that is my wildly uneducated but well informed opinion on the nation's politics.

I'm considering using Lightbox for the images here. Its a javascript that opens up a separate translucent window when you click on an image. I'm not sure if you can still grab the image and drag it to your desktop. I'm still experimenting.

March 19, 2007

I love you as much as my automobile
Gene Maltais

Chrisnimtz Pounds 1440X900-1
Click images for desktop size: "Pounds" by Chris Nimtz
Its the fourth anniversary of the War In Iraq.
If you remember back when they started the Fundamentalist Jihad, lied to us and the world to justify it, used it as a way to enforce a draconian Stalinist totalitarianism on us, they all said "the boys' would be back in 90 days, then it was 6 months and then a year and then everybody stopped caring. At least they stopped asking.
I don't like war.
Why should I?
This war is worse than most because of the people running it. I mean us.
Now I'm an American. Everywhere I've gone in the world I am always recognized as an American just from the way I walk and carry myself.
I think maybe I'm not an American anymore. I'm sure not one of the screw-your-buddies all-that-matters-is-what-I-get, kind of Americans that seem pretty proliferate.
I'm not the kind of guy who could vote for a President who already proved a certain high level of incompetence by running a beautiful thing like a baseball team into the ground and into the perennial cellar of the American League. I mean if you can't run a baseball team to the point where it can win 90 games where's your credibility in claiming you can win a war?
Nah. I'm the kind of dumb American who thinks we have a duty to protect the downtrodden, that the TriLateral Commission are a bunch of oafs who don't understand we can take in the refuse of the world and have turn them into something great by being great ourselves. I believe in freedom and in being strong and never bullying and that we are all equal.
Villageofthedamned X01 (1960) I believe in capitalism but I think that when companies set themselves up as mini governments they have to be slapped down and slapped down hard. I don't think that "trickle down" profit is as important as a worker who might benefit in a small way from that profit.
I don't believe in war for profit. I think that is a war crime.
I think that when you use a massive propaganda campaign to induce young men to go and fight for what they believe is their country we have a duty to embrace and care for those men. I think that you have a duty to prove to them and the world that this truly is their country and their government.
That doesn't mean putting a magnetic "guaranteed not to damage the finish" bumper sticker on your car. It doesn't mean that you get elected by vehemently promising to end something and then failing on that promise and suddenly using terms like "compromise". Not when the compromise is in human blood. It means that after they've left their blood, brains, guts and limbs on a battlefield where they believed they were protecting their families and loved ones and us, the strangers who make up the country, we have an obligation to try and put them back together as well as we can.
America has seemed to forgotten it has any obligations to others and each other. Its forgotten it has an obligation to itself. Its forgotten that America is not the sum of its corporate life but the sum of the millions of people who are here and the millions who dream of being American. (This doesn't mean the people and the companies who just want our money.)
But for a soldier cajoled by his government to fighting a war to come home and face the hell that has been described in Walter Reed Hospital is old school bully cruel.
The other tactic this government seems to adore is saving money for the rich by taking it from the poor. See, after a wounded soldier has fought off the rats and the filth of the Army Hospitals, and he is lucky enough to still be alive he is dumped on to the VA.
Now you'd think this would be a simple matter - wounded soldier goes to the VA hospital to continue treatment.
It doesn't work that way.
Presently from the time the wounded soldier is discharged from the Army hospital until he is accepted by the VA hospital to continue his treatments is 5 years.
This way instead of paying the already inflated prices for sub par care the government can channel the funds to research programs . . . there's a woman in this town who is funded to try and make a pill that will "melt away the pounds"; a fat pill.
I don't quite see how this is going to help a shattered veteran but I'm sure that the 10% private vs 90% VA funding for this project is all perfectly legal or else they'd get fined a good 5% of the profits.
David Puffer Decored 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Deco Red" by David Puffer
I've never lost a limb or my mind so I can't say for sure that my thoughts wouldn't go to getting those 2 inches off my waist line. Maybe. I doubt it but maybe . . .
Besides if these were "important" people they wouldn't be soldiers. And if they were important wouldn't the President go visiting them and stuff. You never see photos of Senators consoling wounded men from his district at the hospital. Senators and Presidents have more important things to do then worry about the 3,200 dead and the untold wounded. I mean Bush finally got to meet the Football National Champs today. they are important. He hasn't visitied a wounded vet or a homeless person shattered by Katerina. They're not that important.
In the 5 years they get to wait we can forget about them, maybe even curse them for trying to remind us of the debt we owe them.

Where I work I have a customer. When they were grad students at divinity school they started up a soup kitchen sort of thing. Every Sunday and Monday they fed the homeless. Around here the homeless tend to live in tents off in the woods.
They beg and the city has sold all the homeless "Pan handlers licenses." (The New America)
I like the couple who started the feed the homeless program. They're a bit too enthusiastic for my tastes but I admire enthusiastic people in general. I figured that when they got their degrees the little program would dry up. But its a good thing.
Nearly a year ago they both came in and proudly showed me their new dog collars, the outside symbol that they'd gotten their grad degrees and were full on ministers.
Whateverhappenedtobabyjane(1960) They've just had a child. She has her own church about 90 miles away and he works for a small group of churches.
Funny though, every Sunday and Monday they still trek down here, set up the tables and chairs and feed the homeless.
Today they came in to show me the baby and how much he's grown.
They thanked me for my help and support. As I couldn't think of any thing I'd done to merit thanks and being a product of the big cities of the world when someone thanks me like that I'm always waiting for the, "If we could just ask for one more thing . . . "
Funny they didn't have an addendum. They were done when they finished the thank you's.
After a moment of embarrassed shuffling from me I said you're welcome, for lack of anything better. I was relieved when we were interrupted by one of their clients. An Iraq war vet who got mangled by a rocket. He's the impetus for my impotent rant. Three years and waiting to get treatment for the burns and oozing sores. Still waiting to get a prosthetic arm and the surgery to remove the swollen wad of flesh they accidentally still left in place.

I went to a dog showing yesterday with my foster puppy. A place to display the puppy to try and find her forever home.
I always feel like a used car salesman caricature at these sort of things. Or at best a canine pimp, trying to foist a puppy I think to be the second best dog off on someone who really doesn't deserve something as great as she is.
The once timid little puppy was great. We had to take a couple of breaks but she did fine, accepted rough petting and fast movements from strangers with no flinching or remark. A couple of people have already filed out applications for adopting her. We'll see. I get a vote in who her new parents will be.

I got an email taking me to task for my opinion on "300". they pointed out, correctly, that this movie wasn't history but a comic book adaption that was based lightly on history.
I keep forgetting that Comic Book is now a genre.
I should have known that when I saw Time Burton's "Batman" and the audience cheered the plane more than anything else in the movie.
I used to like comic books. I like a few Graphic Novels now.
I think the only thing that saddened me was seeing a big splashy movie being made by a guy who I regret hasn't shown me much in the way of story telling abilities retelling a story I think is beautiful.
It really just jealousy because the story in my head is so much more enjoyable to me than this movie. I forget sometimes that people read this stuff. I still think of the words as just interesting frames for the pictures.

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