Friday, October 31, 2008
This question popped up in my mind as I was reading through some blogs that I follow. For several of them, when I see that there is a new post I get excited, well not that kind of "excited", but more like interested in seeing what the blogger has written about this time. Often it is about something personal happening in their lives. It is like I am following them around through the internet. Is that stalking?
I read in the paper today about how cell phones are becoming the new way of hooking up with new people. Is that happening with blogging also? I am new at this blogging stuff, so I don't really know what is happening.
I don't want to be a stalker. I guess everyone is voluntarily putting their lives out there for other people to read about, so maybe it is not really stalking. But even so...
People voluntarily walk down the street too. That doesn't mean that I have a right to follow them around from one public place to another. So...
I just hope that if someone feels that my comments are inappropriate or just bothersome, they will tell me.
And I will go away!
Because I am NOT a stalker!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So, let McCain call Obama a socialist. If indeed he is, then so is McCain as explained here.
So there. Nay nay nay-nay nay!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The painters are in the midst of painting the inside of our house, so it is "eating out" time for the next few days. Last night we went to a nice, but not very expensive French restaurant. The bill came to:
Split a salad $12
2 entrees $34
1 bottle Wine $27
1 Dessert $7
2 Coffee $6
Total before Tip $93
The previous night we had dinner for about half the price, but it was at a little, but terrific, Mexican place. Dinner was enchiladas and burritos. Total still came to almost $50.
It also appears that the number of diners is way down. Both of these places are normally busy on the weekends. This weekend they were not busy at all.
It is a very tough time for restaurants.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Her answer was in response to a pretty easy question. She was asked if she felt that abortion clinic bombers were terrorists. Rather than giving the politically correct answer "yes", an answer that the vast majority of Americans would agree with, she went off on a rant about Ayers, and then said that
"Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to... I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there,"
So, I guess only a left-wing fanatic is a terrorist. A right-wing fanatic may be unacceptable but not a terrorist.
Is this the type of thinking you want a "heatbeat" away from the presidency?
Friday, October 24, 2008
I don't really understand the extreme, and sometime violent, reaction to gay marriage. This is an activity, or maybe better, a group of activities or life style, that has very little impact on people other than the two involved in it at the time.
The most common reason for objecting to gay marriage seems to be religious. But the religious argument does not make a lot of sense to me either. I am fine with organize religion opposing gay marriage. That is not where my questions lay.
I am puzzled by the people's reaction, not the religions' reaction. There are many things that religion opposes, but people choose to ignore. And if they don't ignore it, they certainly don't react to it with the viciousness that they do toward gay marriage. For example, divorce, adultery, hate, etc. There are a multitude of behaviors that religion frowns upon, that people engage in all the time without provoking general hatred and proposed constitutional amendments to ban.
So what is the problem? Repressed "gayhood"? Maybe we protest the strongest against that which we fear in ourselves the most.
To give it a political spin, republicans are by far the most vocal against gay marriage. Yet it is mostly republicans that have had to deal with gay scandals.
It is conservative, evangelical religious leaders that are by far the most vocal against gay marriage. Yet it is mostly conservative, evangelical religious leaders that have had to deal with gay scandals.
What does that tell you?
Coming back to the California constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman, it seems that their biggest argument for the passage of the amendment is to prevent the teaching of gay marriage in the schools. That is a very weak argument and it means that they have no real basis other than their own fears of who and what they are.
I feel sorry for them. It must be very depressing to have so much self-doubt.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
OH MY GAWD! The world will end!
Not just marriage, but the dreaded "gay marriage" will be taught. The argument is just bullshit. But you know what? I wish it was true. I think we would have a better society.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Our eyesight is much better than dogs. They are pretty good at movement, but not so good at the actual object. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than we do. Much much better. So we began to wonder if dogs "see" with their noses like we see with our eyes. Are they able to create a mental image of what they smell? Can they distinguish different, but very similar objects by smell like we do by color?
Taken a step further, if we could develop a sense of smell like a dogs, would it change the way we perceive the world around us? We would see and smell an object in great detail. How would that change our perception of things.
Maybe we would become great bullshit meters! That would be useful around election time.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Shortly before the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Paul Weyrich — a principal architect of today's Republican Party — scolded evangelicals who believed in democracy. "Many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo goo' syndrome — good government," said Weyrich, who co-founded Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell. "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." (I added the emphasis)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Kennedy and Palast are accusing the republicans of such things as:
- at least 2.7 million new voters have had their applications to register rejected
- a Republican secretary of state blocked 43 percent of all new voters in Los Angeles from registering in early 2006
- states reported scrubbing at least 10 million voters from their rolls on questionable grounds between 2004 and 2006
- Colorado holds the record: Donetta Davidson, the Republican secretary of state, and her GOP successor oversaw the elimination of nearly one of every six of their state's voters.
- In 2004, a third of all provisional ballots — as many as 1 million votes — were simply thrown away at the discretion of election officials [as a result of caging operations].
- Add up all the modern-day barriers to voting erected since the 2004 election — the new registrations thrown out, the existing registrations scrubbed, the spoiled ballots, the provisional ballots that were never counted — and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And he is right!
Where do we get off thinking that Muslims are bad? There are bad individuals who happen to be Muslim. There are bad individuals that happen to be Christian. There are bad individuals that happen to be Hindu. You get the idea.
I remember way back in my college days. It was after a party and a group of us went out to get a bite to eat. We were sitting around waiting for the food to arrive and started discussing politics. An election was coming up and we started to talk about the importance of voting. I made a comment about voting being voluntary and that I was considering not voting at all.
Well, you would have thought I had just insulted on one of the guys' mother. Bob became irate. He said that I HAD to vote. And then as the ultimate insult to me, he said that I was a (n-word). Not that I was LIKE one, but that I WAS one. [I am going to be politically correct and not write the word out. You all know what I mean and I really don't want to offend any reader if they happen to be offended by that word.]
Today, he probably would have called me a Muslim.
So back to Obama. So what if he was a Muslim? Should it really matter? I say "NO". Unfortunately, in this day and age, I don't think he would be where he is, poised to become the next President of the United State, if he were. Sad!
America, it is time to grow up. Our shit does stink sometimes!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I don't know why they don't just say back upper right second from the end. I guess number 2 sounds more professional, but it doesn't really mean he is any better, which reminds me a story.
Long ago, back in the beginnings of my working career, I worked for a very conservative engineering company. They were very concerned with appearance. Everyone had to wear a suit. Not a sports jacket. The pants and jacket had to match.
I was at lunch with some colleagues and made the remark that I wished I could come to work in cutoffs and a T-shirt. They looked a me like I was crazy. Why would anyone want to do that? We were all professional people and we should look the part. I said it didn't really matter how we looked as long as we did a good job.
One fellow said "Let me explain it to you this way. What would you think if you were on a plane waiting to take off and the pilot walked on the plane in a T-shirt and cutoffs?"
I said that I didn't care what he was wearing as long as he could fly the plane.
His reply was "But how would you know?"
How would you know, indeed!
People in uniform seem to carry more authority than normally dressed people. Well-dressed people get more respect than poorly dressed people. I think we are all guilty of making judgments based on appearances. We assume the pilot can fly the plane because he has a uniform on. We assume the guy asking for help is legitimate because he is dressed nice. We assume the bum is just looking for money to buy a drink.
I wish we had a better way of making quick determinations about the intentions of people other than just their appearance.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Well, check out the graphs below from the New York Times.
$10,000 invested under Democratic rule since 1929 will have grown to $300,671 while if it was invested under republican rule, it would have grown to only $11,733. That's right - only 11 thousand dollars. Even if we exclude Hoover, it only grows to $51,211.
So much for the republicans and their superior economic policies!
I said to myself, "Yes. I have arrived." Wearing jeans and a shirt is dressing up! I think the only time I put on a tie now is for either a wedding or a funeral.
Monday, October 13, 2008
"I'm very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that."
--Sarah Palin, phone interview with Alaska reporters, October 11, 2008.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
THIS IS HOW FASCISM COMES: REFLECTIONS ON THE COST OF SILENCE
by Tim Wise
For those who have seen the ugliness and heard the vitriol emanating from the mouths of persons attending McCain/Palin rallies this past week--what with their demands to kill Barack Obama, slurs that he is a terrorist and a traitor, and paranoid delusions about his crypto-Muslim designs on America--please know this: This is how fascism comes to an ostensible democracy.
If it comes--and if those whose poisonous, unhinged verbiage has been so ubiquitous this week have any say over it, it surely will--this is how it will happen: not with tanks and jackbooted storm troopers, but carried in the hearts of men and women dressed in comfortable shoes, with baseball caps, and What Would Jesus Do? wristbands. It will be heralded by up-dos, designer glasses, you-betcha folksiness and a disdain for big words or hard consonants.
If fascism comes, it will spring from the soil of middle America, from people known as values voters but whose values are toxic, from simple folk whose simplicity, far from being admirable, is better labeled ignorance, from "all-American" types whose patriotism is a dagger pointed at the very heart of the national interest, for it so forsakes all the best principles upon which the republic was founded, choosing instead to elevate and ratify the narrow-mindedness, the bigotry, and the intolerance that also marked our country's origins.
If fascism comes, it will be ushered in by tailgaters at the big football game, by Joe Six Pack, who, upon finishing his sixth beer and belching forth the stench of a mediocre life lived, will gladly announce its arrival, so long as it comes with a steady supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon and hot dogs on the grill, and giant foam hands with a "We're Number 1" finger, some Mardi Gras beads and a good titty bar.
If fascism comes it will dress like a hockey mom, or a NASCAR dad. It will believe Toby Keith to be an artist, Larry the Cable Guy to be a comic, and that the world was made in six literal days less than 6000 years ago.
If fascism comes it will come from the small towns; the ones Sarah Palin, quoting a famous racist and Jew-hater, said "grow good people," and which occasionally do, but which, just as often grow provincial, isolated, fearful and superstitious ones.
If fascism comes it will come from faux populism, from anti-immigrant hysteria, from persons who have more guns in their homes than books, or whose books, when they have them, are principally volumes of the Left Behind series, several different copies of the Bible, and a plethora of romance novels.
If fascism comes it will be welcomed, lock stock and barrel by persons who pray at every meal to a God they visualize as white, whose son they also think was white, and who they believe is going to rapture them all into the sky upon the blowing of some heavenly trumpet, after which point all those who don't think as they think will be burned in an eternal lake of fire. Their vision and version of God is itself fascistic--to love a God who would do such a thing is to love an abusive, sadistic and evil deity after all--so it should come as little surprise that their conception of the state would be equally authoritarian or worse.
If fascism comes it will be at the behest of those who hold a contempt for what they call "book learnin," who prefer Presidents who mispronounce basic words because they make them feel smarter, and who are looking for nothing so much as a commander-in-chief with whom they would enjoy having a beer, or two, or twelve at some backyard barbecue.
If fascism comes it will be interviewed, lovingly, on talk radio, by hosts whose cerebral inadequacies are more than made up for by their bellicosity, their bombast, their willingness to shout down those with whom they cannot argue, for argument requires knowledge, and this is a commodity with which they have not even a passing familiarity.
If fascism comes it will come wrapped in red,white and blue, carrying a crucifix and a shotgun, projecting its own sexual confusion and insecurity onto others, substituting volume for veracity and rage for reason, and landing on the New York Times best-seller list as a result.
If fascism comes it will have a pajama party at Ann Coulter's house, pop pills with Rush Limbaugh, and go gay-bashing with Michael Savage, all in the same weekend. And it will refuse to learn another language or get a passport, because doing either of those would make one cosmopolitan--which is just another word for "faggot."
If fascism comes it will come because a lot of people who aren't like the folks I'm talking about here, won't stand up to the ones who are. Because we're too busy, don't want to make waves, don't want to lose friends, or alienate family. It will come, in other words, because those who know better are cowards, more concerned with getting along, making nice, and being liked than with telling the truth, calling out evil and saving their country.
If fascism comes it will come because of the silence, and thus, collaboration of those who think themselves good, and certainly superior to the knuckle-draggers they can see on YouTube at the McCain rallies, but who in the end are no better and in some ways worse than they: after all, at least fascists stand up for what they believe in. They are telling us, in no uncertain terms what kind of United States they want and are willing to fight for, and maybe even to kill for. But many "progressives," many liberals, many of the so-called enlightened are doing nothing at all.
If fascism comes it will come because those liberals thought voting for Barack Obama was all they needed to do; it will come because they allowed themselves to believe that politics is what a person does every four years, but not at work, and not in the neighborhood, and not at the dinner table. Meanwhile, know-nothings filled with hate, nurtured on racial and religious bigotry and who have overdosed on the kind of hypernationalism that has always proved fatal to those places foolish or craven enough to allow it a foothold, talk of their visions for America at every opportunity. They raise their kids on that sickness, they build churches whose very foundation is rooted in that cancerous rot, and they will think nothing of steamrolling those who get in their way.
So when, exactly, do we fight back? When do we say enough? When do we stand up to our relative or friend who sends us the e-mail about Obama being a Manchurian Candidate or al-Qaeda sympathizer, or the one about the decency of Midwestern flood victims as opposed to those stranded after Katrina, or about how God was punishing New Orleans because of its tolerance of homosexuality, and tell them what we think: namely, that they are a bunch of racist, heterosexist loons, whose friendship or familial connection we neither want nor intend to pursue unless they get help. When do we decide that we love our country and humanity too much to allow these people one more day of decent sleep, one more day of self-assured confidence in their craziness and the willingness of the rest of us to just take it? When do we decide that every irrational, Jeezoid, racist thing that comes from their mouths will be attacked, will be rebutted, until they can no longer take for granted the ability to say any of it in mixed company without being called out?
Why, in the face of the fascism they would surely introduce if given the chance, are we intent on being so nice? Why are we not more offended? Offended not merely at what such persons say about others--like Obama, or Latino immigrants, or whatever--but even about we who look like them? After all, their open exhortations of racism presuppose that they are speaking for us, and that this kind of brain-dead ventilation is something to which all white folks should aspire as though it were virtually the essence of enlightenment.
If fascism comes it will come because we did not see in their actions a sufficient threat, or because we allowed ourselves to believe that it couldn't come, that our institutions were too strong, our people too good, for that to happen. If it comes it will come because we allowed ourselves to believe the rosy and optimistic version of America spun by Obama, without tempering that optimism with a clear-headed appraisal of the way that (sadly) a still huge number of Americans actually think: because we allowed the vehicle of our hopes to outrun the headlights of truth; because we convinced ourselves that we actually lived in the country of our aspirations, rather than the nation we have at present.And if fascism doesn't come--if, rather, democracy does--it will come because good people said no. It will come because we saw in this moment the opportunity to demand the full measure of our humanity and to pour it forth upon the national soil. It will be because we understood that democracy isn't what you have, it's what you do. But if we are to issue that demand, if we are to stand straight and fulfill the potential we possess to do justice, we had best exercise the option quickly, for the opponents of justice are on the move. They are preparing to enter on the winds of our silence and indifference, and complacency. Let them find no quarter here.
I sweated for 30 years working for large corporations. I did well, established a reputation with their major clients, and then I quit and went into consulting -- for these major clients. I've had a lot of help along the way and hopefully all those involved feel that it was a fair exchange.
Yesterday, my wife wanted to go to a craft show. It is a fair way from our house and she does not like driving that far alone. So, I packed up the laptop and a couple of folder of papers and said "let's go".
She enjoyed herself at the show and I sat outside in the shade of a large tree working -- also enjoying myself. It was 75F outside with a light breeze. The sun was out and the sky was mostly blue. My ipod was plugged into my ears.
People walked by and nodded. One guy said "Now that's the way to work".
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Margaret And Helen
Helen really nails it! She says it like it is in words that everyone can understand.
"To Senator McCain I say, with love in my heart, sit down and shut up. You’re beginning to look like an ass and your answers sound like a cross between Barnie Fife and Floyd the Barber."
You got to love it. She is 82 years old!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
What I found interesting was that he said that he had voted for Hillary in the primary. I replied that I did not understand how someone who voted for Hillary could possible vote for McCain. His answer was "experience". He thought Hillary had the experience to be president, but that Obama does not.
When I tried to point out that McCain and Hillary had very little, if anything, in common and did he really want 4 more years of what we have had for the past 8 years, he came back with:
- Since the Democrats have controlled the House and the Senate for the past 8 years, they are as much to blame as the republicans. (Yes, he really said that and would not believe me when I said that they have controlled the House and Senate for only the last 2 years and the Senate control is by only the slimmest of margins.)
- The Democrats and the republicans both had the same information on Iraq, so they are both equally responsible.
- Hillary should have gotten the nomination and that there was something funny going on with the Democrats. Obama stole the nomination from Hillary.
- Very stupid.
- A racist.
Based on some of the statements I have heard from the McCain camp, I think they are trying to exploit this hidden racist in our society.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Watching McCain, I kept thinking he sounded like a snake oil salesman except when he sounded like an evangelist. He spoke more in generalities and tried to appeal to peoples emotions rather than their intellect.
Unfortunately, I have seen statistics that say something like 80% of people pick a candidate based on emotion and only about 20% pick a candidate based on the issues. So...
Beware if you are a burglar, however. The two German Shepherds will go right through the gates to get at you.
Everything was fine until about 5 am Saturday morning when "My Alarm Clock" decided that everyone wanted to go outside. She started banging on one of the gates. I got up and went out with them. Once outside the decided that since they were up, everybody in the neighborhood should be up also and started barking at I don't know what. So here it is, 5 am in the morning. The dogs are barking and I am yelling at them to be quiet. And it was a Saturday morning on top of it. Those that worked all week and thought they could get some extra sleep on the weekend were sadly mistaken.
I finally got everyone quieted down and back in the kitchen. I went back to bed and got to sleep until about 7:30 am when the "Alarm Clock" decided it was time for breakfast.
Dogs run you life as much, if not more, than kids!
Monday, October 6, 2008
We cannot allow 4 more years of this mentality!
Friday, October 3, 2008
"Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.
Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch.
WOW! That alone should be enough to decide who to vote for.
She showed that she can do what the average person could do after 5 weeks of intensive training - answer the question with a "canned" (memorized) response, or pick out a word or phrase from your opponents reply and respond with a "canned" (momorized) response, or if all else fails, respond with any "canned" (memorized) response. Also drop a few "g's" along the way and throw in a few colloquialisms to sound folksy.
We already know what we get when we elect an average or below average person to the most powerful position in the world. With McCain - Palin, or Palin - McCain as she once said, we are getting two average (or below average) people. McCain finished 4th or 5th from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. Palin went to 5 different colleges to get her degree. Any of us who have gone to college knows what that means. It means you were not smart enough, or partied too much, to stay in one college. That was evident in the debate last night. I don't think she gave an original answer all night long.
The two debates so far have made it very clear that we will get a continuation of the Bush policies with McCain-Palin. They offer very little, if any, that is different. Palin even likes Cheney's intepretation of the role of the vice president -- the man that Biden called the most dangerous vice president we have ever had.
The republican leadership must think the American voter is really stupid putting up these two people (bozos). At least with the Bush adminstration, you could see that the real power behind Bush was Cheney. Who will be the power behind McCain? Certainly not Palin!
God help us if she (and he) are elected.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
We are kind of slow in getting things done around here. About 3 years ago, the window in the left panel of our patio door cracked. The dogs were playing and one of them banged into it -- HARD! The patio door is big. It is three sections each 4 feet wide. The slider is in the middle. So, we are replacing 12 feet of window, 8 feet high.
The existing door is metal. It is probably 50 years old. I am sure it was installed when the house was originally built, back in the early 50's I believe. Over the years it had rusted some and so when one of panes cracked, we decided to replace the whole thing rather than just replace the glass.
Like I said, this all started about 3 years ago. First off, I decided that the new windows and door had to be double paned. From an energy point of view, and now I think building code also, double pane is the way to go. What took the time, besides both my wife and I being great procrastinators, was deciding what the design should be -- french doors, slider, vinyl, wood, window grids, no grids. We kept changing our minds. Not me so much. I pretty much defer to her on such matters, as long as I don't hate it.
Things finally got to the point where we decided it was time to get a bunch of things done, so the patio door was added to the list. So far we have painted the kitchen, painted the outside of the house, replaced the front windows and now replacing the patio door and windows. What we got is not so important. The fact that we are doing it is.
We keep saying "why didn't we do this sooner?" I don't have a good answer for that, but I do see one advantage in waiting. We are having no problem getting workmen to do the work. Craftsmen are just not as busy as they use to be. They return your calls. They come when they say they will. And we are getting quality work from them. And we are paying with inflated dollars.
So sometimes being a procrastinator can work to your advantage
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Here we are again trying to throw money at the top again hoping it will trickle down to the bottom.
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.
It is also possible that the republicans are only trying to stall off disaster until after the election. Then they can blame everything on the democrats. And it is also possible that the democrats are not smart enough to recognize it or do anything about it!