Friday, October 29, 2010

"Chuck for" Done? Probably So

I was going to address Michael in comments, and moved it here once I saw the thing exploding in size.

We're contemporaries then. That being so, we've both watched the same slide right in this country. Bill Clinton was the best Republican President this country has had since Eisenhower. Now that this has resulted in what we've got today the voters propose to not only go back to the crew responsible, but go even nuttier.

Four years of Democratic dominance in Congress and two with the WH results in this? People who don't think enough was done haven't bothered to look at the historic GOP crap in the Senate much less the House nitwits. I have no reason to think the GOP will take the Senate, but consider the mess that exists with their minority now and add 6 years worth of more nut cases than now with the Democrats having more seats up in 2 years than the GOP.

I was pretty left in the 60's, and I don't mean anything near the center of the time. Over time I've moved rightward from there and the result of that drift on my part is to find myself defined as a part of the very left, yet. In respect to future outcomes I was probably more correct then, but realism intruded. It hasn't escaped my notice that the House has passed bills nor that the Senate Democratic Caucus contains forty some liberal or progressive members. I gave up a long time ago the idea that things aligning with my thinking would happen but it is nice that so many in Congress will at least glance in my direction. The outcome of that is something like the health care bill that passed GOP muster as an alternative to Hillarycare. The Democrats managed to do what the GOP proposed doing over a decade ago - huh? I'm not throwing rocks at Democrats, just pointing out the reality.

I'm beginning to view myself as the 'enabler' in an alcoholic family, always justifying while trying to swim upstream against futility. It doesn't seem reasonable to continue as one of the exceptions in the electorate who stays informed and takes an active part on behalf of candidates when the electorate is what it is. This doesn't really reflect the outlook of a decade of crap policies driven by nutcases, it is a matter of the continuation of St Ronnie's crap and that involves a lot more than a decade and it isn't just about Teabaggery. The teatards aren't something new, it is the same 27% that's been the guts of the GOP since at least Nixon so it isn't about them. It's about the other mid-20% who'll go their direction. It just plain and simple isn't about the nuts who have always been amongst us.

Short of the GOP actually taking the House or Senate I don't see any real significant outcomes nationally though governors will mean more in a census year. The legislative stranglehold of the Senate won't change and what the House does means squat in the face of that. There is a (D) President for at least another 2 years (who may understand now what "bipartisan" actually means). In the face of real evidence for many decades I've held on to the belief that what I've tried has a point, now I'm just tired and disgusted.

I was attracted to blogging because I saw it as a method of not only publishing alternative opinion and analysis but also having a public dialogue about that. This blog is pretty much a failure at that. Before my posting became sporadic readership of current posts had fallen to less than thirty per day and comments were virtually non-existent. With the only real feedback to my efforts being taking a look at Sitemeter, and that declining, bothering with this got a hell of a lot less interesting. It is also pretty obvious that I'm not very interesting to read anymore, I can bump a daily number by blogwhoring on something like Balloon Juice, but that doesn't carry over into readership. There are a few folks who've stuck around for a long time and I thank them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


In the previous post I wondered how it will be possible to govern this place with things like FauxNews taken seriously. That aspect is bad enough, and the prospect of GOP gains (any) this fall may seem to have serious outcomes like gridlock. That exaggerates a future that exists now. The House has passed a lot of bills and you may have noticed that only a few have made it through the Senate. What the House gets up to means next to nothing if it can't get past the Senate. It certainly is true that if the Senate balance shifts at all (it will) the room for compromise moves away from two or three GOPer Senators to enough that anything a Democrat can live with can't be done. (except maybe start a damn war) ((well, give the show to the wealthy and corporate))

Some of this is thanks to the Democrat's own inability to sell anything they do. Some of this is thanks to the theme of "having a Democratic majority" in Congress. This is true in the House but what the Senate's composition and rules mean is that no such thing ever actually existed. That means that bills got stupidly compromised to appeal to people who wouldn't vote for them if hell froze over and what the public got was a ration of shit involving the bills and the process; and Democrats got the blame.

The fact that the public is too stupid and self-involved to take time to understand what has been done and why it was done as it was really only means that we will get the government we collectively deserve. Yes, for the foreseeable future the government of this nation is going to really suck. Boys and girls, the House terms are only 2 years but lost Senate seats are worth six years and the existing GOP seats are pretty safe and a look at the replacement candidates ought to really scare any sane person.

The lack of posts on this blog reflects a growing feeling on my part that continued activism is meaningless in regard anything I'd want to accomplish. Not letting the GOP do what it wants for the next decade isn't much of a goal for me. Part of the problem is too many decades of me watching this shit and the give a damn button is about worn out. Oh, I'll vote against the GOP and in some cases, like Wyden and Merkley, vote for Democrats but I'm beginning to feel like "so what." As for posting anything on this blog, it's getting pretty doubtful and the couple readers will easily find something better to do with their time if this goes away. I feel pretty bad for some sizable chunks of our nation - that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

The Children At FauxNews

Maybe nobody who listens to FauxNews gives a damn, but a little clipping here will get you something different than what was said. This quote may not quite be what FauxNews bothered to show:
He said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, "we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

You don't suppose these stupid children bothered to actually watch an entire clip and would have caught the idea that the children get to ride in the back seat of the car and not drive? It really is funny to watch these clowns trying to cover the racism of themselves with made up racism from the Pres.

Their viewership, being what it is, will swallow their crap hook, line, and sinker. This kind of junk makes you wonder how the hell this place can be governed when a third of the electorate takes this as a source of news. The future is bleak.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juan More Victim

Juan Williams was fired from NPR for making comments on Bill O'Reilly's shout fest on FauxNews. The gist of the complaint was Williams agreeing with BillO's assertion that Muslims attacked the US on 9/11 and stating that Muslim garb at airports scared him. There has been outrage, primarily from the Right.

I got home from playing designated driver and pool partner in time to catch the PDT issue of Morning Joe and hear Mika complain that this creates fear amongst journalists and Joe note the liberal bias of NPR. Joe might need to ask a liberal about that so-called bias, though it is surely left of Limbaugh and Beck and in his mind might on that basis qualify. Mika's complaint is a bit odd coming as it has from someone who certainly didn't complain about the firings of journalists who said controversial things about Israel, something that might also be considered as chilling but about a "socially approved" group.

It seems it is political correctness run rampant when Williams is fired but good policy to fire those critical of Israel in the same sort of manner. A couple of things need to be remembered in this context, Israel and by extension Jews form an important voting bloc and political economic interest while Muslims are important for oil and nothing as a voting bloc.

The Right and by extension the GOP has spent decades trying to fix fear as the politically correct attitude. If you do not engage in fear driven politics you are accused of "political correctness." If that seems a hypocritical attitude and are surprised you haven't been paying attention. You could take about any Confederate Party of Republicanism stance and find them immediately violating that tenet if the results don't match their ideology. I give you Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law and State's Rights as one particularly egregious example.

I frankly couldn't give a rat's patoot about Juan Williams as a political analyst. The few times I've given him any attention I did not come away feeling at all enlightened or improved. I got banal talking points dressed up as analysis. The fact that Williams stepped in a dog pile on BillO's shout fest is no surprise to me and why, working for Faux and intimately familiar with that mess, he would have expected any different results doesn't seem reasonable. I won't pollute this site nor offer link credit to FauxNews by putting up the segment but fairness demands viewing the entire 8 minute or so clip to judge Williams fairly.

Williams attempted to serve the dual masters of FauxNews and Muslim-bashing and still keep some credibility as being something other than a bigot. The results were predictable and stupid. To talk about fear engendered by Muslim dress in the face of the dress of any of the terrorists is ludicrous, sorry Juan - they wore typical middle America clothing. It seems pretty sad that someone as pants wetting as that was considered an asset at NPR - or hell, any place other than Faux or Clear Channel.

Anyone who claims to be entirely free of prejudice hasn't engaged in much honest introspection. Prejudice is an emotional response to another emotion, fear. Fear is one of those types of things that help keep humans alive. Being afraid to fall from a high place is rather important in general terms. Being afraid of a sabre tooth tiger isn't a bad thing for a species. That doesn't mean that reason and emotion coincide - as Williams purported response to "Muslim garb" exemplifies - it would be as reasonable to be afraid of the Sabre Tooth Tiger in a Museum of Natural History. Dress does not equal behavior, particularly dress of cultural import, I will give gang inspired dress a second look and then rationally analyze behavior. Droopy drawers don't equal a gun stuck in my face. I might think that such dress is a silly thing that I wouldn't wear, but it does not pose an immediate threat. This is where Williams went on air and publicly endorsed bigotted behavior. His employer didn't like it since they also engage in the business of airing public statements. CNN didn't like it when Rick Sanchez did it and neither did other employers. That's one of the things about blurting out emotional responses to situations that require rational thought, stupidity will out and an employer may just not care for it.

The Right will look out for Juan, no fear *** $2M Faux contract???

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

US Chamber Of Chinese Commerce

Go ahead Chamber and explain to me how the money in the same bank account doesn't pay for your GOP attack ads, or so what, any ads? Are these smart dollars that know where they came from and religiously (heh) stand apart from those other dollars?

I'm never surprised when business looks out for itself regardless of the consequences to others and I'm not real surprised when they lie. I guess I'm not surprised at all.

Funny how Commies are in DC and not in China in this iteration of "reality."

Suicide - Your Best Thinking Got You Here

I know something about suicide, once as a practicing alcoholic I tried it and failed and I've lost a son to it. I can't make a moral or value judgement on the subject, I have no right to do that and no ability to read minds. What I can tell you is that succeeding is final and partial failure may turn you into something worse than what you were dealing with. I can also tell you that the innocent suffer; those who would help and who do care have a piece of their life torn away from them.

If your goal is to make someone else suffer for your situation, then I have little I can say because I have no understanding of the value system that would lead to that. It seems to me to be the ultimate in selfishness. Now you may believe that no one gives a rat's patoot if you draw breath or not, but that is highly unlikely. It is much more probable that you simply can't see it thanks to your situation.

This gets to the title and it isn't some jokey thing or snark. It is quite literally the truth. If you're seriously contemplating suicide you've gotten there by giving your life some pretty serious consideration. In no way am I minimizing what has gotten you to the point of thinking taking your own life is a good choice. I will state that such a decision ought to be given a bit more thought than what has led you to that point. There is a very serious reason I propose this, your life at any given moment is a culmination of your best thinking and that thought process has led you to reach for a final solution to the difficulties you face. If your thinking is faulty there is no fixing it once it has been acted on.

I do not have much belief in the idea that people are persuaded to a course of action. I've pretty much noted that people do what they do for their own reasons, what you can do is offer new or different information for consideration that might lead to different outcomes. Those other people are looking at things from a different place and perspective and what they have to say might be of value to your decision process. The process of being you may be unique but it is made up of components that others have in common and have dealt with. No matter what your situation is, you are not alone. You are not because this world is so large and so complex that others will have shared experiences with you.

It may seem that absolute finality presents a real relief; there also may be real relief from other courses of action. I cannot tell you with any assurance that you will find that but you surely will not if you just end it all without experiencing the other courses. Regardless of current events, things change. That is the nature of reality; it is not static it is a process of events and thinking. All that is brought to a halt by suicide.

You may have noticed that there are no moral or ethical arguments being presented here. If I have any, they apply to me and that's the end of that. I can tell you that others do have to deal with the fact of suicide and that may be quite difficult to do with any success. Regardless of how you feel or think it is almost a certainty that there are those who care very deeply about you. I am not a professional or therapist and I'm not qualified to do much more than give a damn that someone doesn't waste their life by missing something helpful. That is why you need to talk to someone who doesn't reside in your own head, someone with different thinking. If I turn out to be full of hooey, nothing has been lost by trying what I'm suggesting and a great deal may be gained if I'm right.

Please, see what there is beyond your best thinking.

A Bored 24 Hour Media

Today I watched HLN do some self-analysis regarding hoaxes. They were worried about cynicism about tragedies and their attention to happenings. We were endlessly inundated with "balloon boy" stories and then "acid girl" stories and other such stories. "Too much?" they asked.

"Judas Priest, yes!" I say and no kidding, Michael Jackson is still dead. Meanwhile there is no time to cover the lies politicians tell or to unpack the convoluted inaccurate representations they make. No, there's plenty of time to go on and on about a dead pop singer or a kid who wasn't in a balloon and no time to do more than play stenographer to politicians.

A dead singer has some impact on society - there are those who care that there will be no more of that music, but in the reality of the world what happened with health care reform will matter much more. The "balloon boy" story had all the elements of low theater and not one iota of the impact of "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

I do not propose that the media ignore the profit potential of eyes on stories like "acid girl" but there is quite a range of response that doesn't include going crazy. Yeah, well good luck with that.

Respite From The Day - Link

I know the world today can put you into a state of complete ... ARRRGHHHHH!!!! ... and that is just how it is. Rather than poke those buttons this evening I'll offer respite:

Hyperbole And A Half

If you don't laugh, really hard, you need to see a doctor. So, after a hard slog through the political insanity of the day, go see Allie. If you forget to bookmark it, it is now on my blogroll. Really, you need this.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Fiction Experiment

The other night I had some time and an idea for a story. I stayed up pretty late putting together a couple character studies and one that developed into an episode which I'll present to you. I'm honestly too close to it at this point to do an edit or even tell if it's any good, so I'll just toss it out to you. Since it is about 2500 words I've put it on what started out as an "after the jump" site. I'll put a paragraph here to save you time if you think it stinks.

Fawn David made a deal with the devil or perhaps not that but a twisted fallen angel. There is no simple way to make the acquaintance of such a being, the route to an encounter with such an entity by needs be complex and unlikely – it might even involve a cardboard refrigerator box moving of its own accord and a heart too soft for its own sake. The box was twitching and rustling as Fawn rounded the corner into the alley that held the door to the staircase leading to the upper story of the unsuccessful appliance store housing her mean apartment. She had a gait that was not quite a waddle, a heavy set woman of a light chocolate color remarkable only for a smile that expressed sweetness to any on whom it was bestowed and soft eyes that could deny no injured creature they held in their gaze.

Feel free to comment here rather than there.

This will get you to Fawn

Teabaggery Newsflash - Sorta

Yes, I mock these people fairly often. They are quite possibly the most hypocritical political outfit in existance. Um, and gee - they are the GOP base and have been right along. If you've been in doubt, somehow, this outfit actually asked.

Well now, how the hell do you like that? They white, they're the X-tian Right, and they're homophobes. Do you remember the 22% who backed GeorgeII to the bitter end?