Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Laugh For Starting The New Year

My Mom sent this to me, thought you could use a laugh to start 2021

Ole's car was hit by a truck in an accident. In court, the trucking company's lawyer was questioning Ole.

'Didn't you say, sir, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine, ?' asked the lawyer.

Ole responded, 'Vell, I'll tell you vat happened. I had yust loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into da.....'

'I didn't ask for any details', the lawyer interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?

Ole said, 'Vell, I had yust got Bessie into da trailer and I vas driving down da road... ..

The lawyer interrupted again and said, 'Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.'

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Ole's answer and said to the lawyer, 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie'.

Ole thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Vell, as I vas saying, I had yust loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into da trailer and vas driving her down da highvay ven dis huge semi-truck and trailer ran da stop sign and smacked my truck right in da side. I vas trown into one ditch and Bessie vas trown into da other. I vas hurting real bad and didn't vant to move. However, I could hear Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape yust by her groans'. 'Shortly after da accident da Highway Patrolman, he came to da scene.. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he vent over to her'..

'After he looked at her and saw her fatal condition he took out his gun and shot her right 'tween da eyes.

Den da Patrolman, he came across da road, gun still smoking, looked at me and said, 'How are you feeling?'

'Now vut da hell vould YOU say?

Ron Paul - There Is A Difference

I've been hearing lately about some "liberal" love for Ron Paul. I don't know about this, I hear things that frequently sound like something but have no weight. Just to act as though there is something to this, I'll go to the heart of some of the nonsense.

Yes, Ron Paul is against the Federal Drug War and that somehow puts him to the left of Obama and maybe the Democratic Party. I don't like the Federal Drug War but I don't propose the having the States wage it is some kind of improvement or somehow Left of any damn thing. I don't see where there are benefits to be gained from being executed in Mississippi for smoking pot and taxed in California.

I don't like wars of adventurism, or frankly - any of them. I can actually be persuaded that it has to be done, but the operative word there is "has." I don't propose that the way to avoid foreign wars is to disengage. I'll agree that the US is stupidly reflexively supportive of Israel and quick to forgive that nation's anti-democratic and theocratic behavior while bashing its neighbors for the same things but it is an entirely different matter to propose its abolition as a state.

I'm not in the least in favor of indefinite detention or other of the National Security tomfoolery but that doesn't put me in the camp of opposing the Civil Rights Act as though entire states and a region didn't use law to treat citizens as a despised second class. Ron Paul would have you believe it was an un-necessary infringement of liberty to make people stop doing that. He'd love to have the Civil War undone.

As for his "consistency" I'd have to question that in regards to the professed Libertarian view of not interfering in citizen's lives in view of his stance on abortion and actual Federal legislation he's written to interfere with it. He's perfectly fine with mucking around in a women's uterus as a Federal agent, but then men don't have such a thing. Maybe more to the point is that white men don't have them...

It matters how you get to a position. Let's say you and I agree to meet at a parking lot at noon. I leave early and drive carefully arriving at noon. You leave late and arrive at noon with your car beat to hell and smashed cars and run down pedestrians in your wake. We're both in the parking lot at noon, but you're a criminal asshole and I'm not.

Ron Paul is not to the left of anything other than Ghengis Khan.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The ABMs Are Gonna Be Pissed

It wasn't a real surprise when the Establishment GOP and its hangers on started to pile on to Newt. It may have surprised Newt, but it shouldn't have. Once Perry's head exploded publicly those folks had no place to go but MultipleMitt. Be assured, despite the endorsements and the Newt kicking they didn't want Mitt either. Well, he's one of them, you say - nope. Mitt is a Mormon Robot from corporate raiderhood. First of all, the candidate is supposed to be a Christian and second - you don't let the marks in on the scam, no broken companies, layoffs, and gadzillion profits doing it. No, rich is fine, a plutocratic tool desirable, but a shape shifting ruthless job raper with the personality of a board is not fine.

Three years ago they had no hope of winning, now that they've broken government's function of governing they do actually have a chance and they want to badly. They're seriously hamstrung with MultipleMitt but Newt was a ticking time bomb. They are, of course, scandalized enough by R Paul to keep real quiet and they pay no attention to the other loons, but Perry was supposed to do the job after all their first choices bailed on the idea. Newt as the last to rise and near IA Caucuses had to be stomped even though Mitt would be the beneficiary.

The ABMs are pretty screwed. Despite the racism and assorted bigotry, forced birthism, god-bothering and general screw the poor that Paul packs around with him - he misses real big on war and dope. Bachmann and Santorum are crazy enough, but just the wrong crazy. Perry should have been it, then he opened his mouth. Newt is getting cannonaded from all sides by the Establishment; so where have they got to go?

I don't know, but the ABMs are gonna have some real resentments when they start going to the polls. It might dawn on them that they're being played for the rubes... again. Mitt can go on all the TV shows in the world and even "poke fun" at himself and the result for the ABMs will be ... nnaaahhh.

Yeah, if Perry doesn't rise and Newt keeps sliding it will be Newt, the possibly electable one, and the ABMs will feel about like Democrats would have if Hoe LIEberman had been the 08 candidate.(not real unreasonably) I just shake my head.

(It would pay to think about Newt being hit with 2400 negative ads mostly from SuperPacs in the last 2wks in IA, of all places - CU Decision)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The House And The XL Bill

The GOPers in the House are beating the drum of a one year extension of the UE/FICA Pipeling thing versus the sixty day one the Senate managed. The crux is that the Senate couldn't figure out how to pay for the thing longer than sixty days and the House isn't satisfied with that. Now maybe you're thinking sixty days is a bit of underperformance and I'd agree.

My guess is that the House wants to poison the thing so badly that they can get an optics switch into the Democrats sinking the thing. I'll be real frank, though they could have done that next year it is probably a lot more politically efficient to poison the thing before Christmas. It is probably their hope that it won't be noticed that in order to deliver the present some other poor group must get coal in their basket. That and that pesky Pipeline thing must be fixed - the Prez might say no...

OK Democratic Party, they're going to put the ball in your court once again. They're going to try real hard to stick you with choices that you don't want to make and you're not going to get to jamb your choices down their throats because the flatly don't care about the hostages. You care, they don't, now what?

You know that poison beyond Pipeline is going to be in your future and you'll have to make some decisions regarding what you'll give up. Or not.

Heh.

Some Of My Best Friends Are Democrats

Yep, really...(there's also a not so nice joke there) Despite the outcomes of Democratic votes in the Senate and the House there are actually a pretty fair number of them who are to the left of Geo HW Bush. Some more than others, but that does include some some who are pretty far left of Ole George I. They don't get much acknowledgement, thanks to the contingent of plutocratic buttkisser who wear the same (D) and their fellow travelers who are scared spitless somebody will notice that St Ronnie the Never Existed wouldn't approve.

You really should have some admiration for these folks laboring under the shadow of the cretins who'd faint if a GOPer yelled "boo," and it isn't fair in the least to blame them for the actual outcomes of Democratic votes. It isn't so easy to forgive the collegiality that keeps them quiet in the face of a ... Max Baucus or especially a LIEberman. It isn't cowardice that makes it happen, partisanship is part of getting votes and coralling support for projects. The plain fact of it is that if you want to get even some watered down POS passed you can't have Mary Landri...whats her face... going off in a huff because you called her quite accurately a corporate whore. So they're stuck with making nice with someone they'd walk across the street to avoid because homocidal maniacs are running the other side. (exaggeration you say? well, bomb bomb Eyeeeran)

These folks (I'm being nice) are going to exist as long as the NABA GOP holds true. I'm not kidding, you'd rather live next door to a shoplifter than Gengis Khan so you let the thief into your neighborhood. Well, there is that and the endless pursuit of the imaginary middle (I)s. There's a bunch for you, despite the media pretense it is only homogenous in its label. That masquerade consists of:
Democrats too left/right
GOP too left/right
I'm busy don't bother me
They're all the same
They're all crooks
They should all get along
Don't rock the boat
I don't know anything and I'm proud of it
and a few other critters with their special hobbyhorse nobody pays attention to.
who could forget the Libertarians and their special world - though they may have jumped the corral.(I amost did forget them)

Sometimes it is really difficult to make a case to them that holds water and that is especially true for Democrats. If one of the best cases you can make is we're not as bad as the loons and your outcomes range from St Ronnie to GHWB and that leaves you crying in the corner because some GOPer called you a socialist you've got a tough sale. For pete's sake, I've been a Democrat since like forever and it is hard to get me to see past voting against the horror show that is the GOP. I'm not voting my interests or the well-being of the nation, I'm voting against its destruction. That's a choice? Really, in the end run, I'm not voting against the destruction of the nation, just the pace it progresses at. It would be nice to vote for something, but that would involve the risk of running on clear principles and advocation of clear actions...

Ah well, thanks guys for existing, anyhow.

The Elite Liberal Media

The Erin post got me thinking, well reflecting, on that frequently abused seldom verified creature and its hydra-headed clique. Sooo, how many practitioners of that dark art are there in major print and broadcast media? I started counting and so far I haven't had to take off my socks. If I were to get real loose in the definition I might have to take one off.

The really sad part is that I don't really care to have that imaginary creature (GOP hobgoblin) as a media. I would, however, appreciate some fact checking and a bit of questioning when Pols spout stuff for their edification. (regurgitation is more apropos) The job is supposed to involve a bit more than just giving a Kyl or even an Obama a platform to just say any damn thing. Maybe the job is even to tell some of the things that wouldn't make your Corporate owner's friends real happy for the rubes to know.

I know print is bleeding money like a ink on paper in a thunderstorm and the internet is cutting into their advertising, but they're also approaching bad internet in their credibility. Broadcast is in competition with shrieking "reality" shows and whatever the hell you'd call the Nancy Grace type thing. But honestly you jerks, I can go to any Party/Candidate website and get their take without all the damn commercials and I'd really like my news a bit more newsy than a Whamo commercial and maybe a bit more... truthful?

If there's a service MSM has provided in recent years it has been to run the GOP clowncar Primary show, despite the fawning softball questions and horse race foolery involved Americans have actually gotten to see them on display. I don't know what the much vaunted vigorously courted (I)s will make of it. Considering the '10 new hires a ballbat to the head wouldn't make much difference to the thinking processes involved.

How about just a little news to break up the commercials?

Hey Erin Burnett, Anybody Home?

Maybe they all went Out Front into the yard when your show came on. If a lovely, vapid, Wall Street pimp was supposed to put CNN into a good ratings place, well, maybe not. It only takes a little exposure to this Bidness Shill to wear out anybody that knows anything not put out by Rupert's outfit. I really have to applaud this bold move into the toilet by CNN. Somebody had to replace Beck and the IMMIGRANT!!! GUY (ok Dobbs) who could manage stupid without being homely or scary crazy. Well, she is pretty and if you turned the sound off she might be interesting to watch for a couple minutes... the problem is that you'd get about as much information that way (maybe more with the crawler).

If you're thinking CNN just sort of wandered into this consider that her entire work life is tied to working for, fluffing on air, and even getting engaged to bankster.greed.crooked/unindicted. I have heard that there are those who think much of the criticism is sexist... now how the hell could sex have any bearing on a CNN hire of a bathing beauty bidness carney barker for a news program? I know the GOP and Big Bidness ain't getting a fair shake anywhere other than from the Murdochians...and WaPo...and ABC...and well hell everywhere other than a couple MSNBC programs and never seen Current and FSTV. (yeah, you probably have to ask - Free Speech TV)

Damn CNN, you're supposed to keep at least a veneer of not being a Corporate Propaganda Arm Network. If you keep it up you're gonna let the marks in on the scam.

*if you think I'm piling on poor widdle Erin with two posts close to each other, somebody asked me about her and I wondered about her ratings and got way more info than I wanted so I thought I'd share overload with you all... oh yeah regarding her sympathies she's supposed to be worth somewhere north of $12M and $2M/year. You surely wouldn't want her to be a class traitor in the War On Capitalism that's being waged... uhhh maybe that's not quite right? Let me call the GOP. Yup, class warfare aimed at the JOB CREATORS.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kim Jong Il Shuffles Off This Mortal Coil

Dead is what I mean, you know - checked out, permanently. It seems Kim Jong Un the third son of the third...marriage is now the boss. He's twenty eight or nine and last year was appointed a four star general. He looks a lot like daddy and may have daddy's diabetes along with high blood pressure. Daddy thought a lot of him apparently and he seems to have spent the last year cementing his position - essentially scaring the military into obeisance.

Not a heck of a lot is known about the guy, reports are that intelligence agencies have very little to work with. I'd be willing to guess that since daddy was into him his grasp on reality might be a tad bit loose. I suppose that what governments that have to deal with NK are hoping is that he isn't more cracked than the block he was chipped off of.

I suppose it's too much to get the pants wetters minds off Iran to point out that NK has actually managed to make a bit of an atomic bang. As you might guess, NK is suffering through a cold winter and has food shortages - just no shortage of Kim Jongs...

The XL Pipeline Bill & Other Crap

Oh, sorry - the UE, SS/FICA, Medicaid Bill with some fancy non-descriptive title bill has bit the Boner, er Boehner. It appears that the Prez won't have to sign the XL Bill as written. It does seem he'll be signing the Indefinite Detention Bill - er, NDAA Bill as re-written with its life in prison without trial provision.

Wait...it only says INDEFINITE, that's not the same thing. Well, if you have a "War" that isn't one and is never going to end it certainly is. The same applies to the "POW exists" appologists.

No, I never expected different. There is a real cost to constant fear mongering and that cost has been getting paid for a lot longer than since even the miscreant GWB held office. It is always pretty much the same crap, fear stoking and it's only about 'them' and it'll never come to haunt you and... well can't afford to hurt "our guy" whoever the hell that is. The GOPers used to make quite a stir about "slippery-slopes" and then the Dems were quite outraged and then... well none of it really meant spit - civil liberties are just disposable to the fear of the moment. Terrorist, Mafia, Guns, whatever.

Really people? We can expect the '12 elections to be run by democrats making the point that they're NABA. Just not quite as bad as is the accurate part. You surely aren't expecting someone to set out clear principles and goals are you? (well other than the clown car GOPer Primary bunch) ((well other than MultipleMittens, er - Newt))

Yeah, I'll vote for Obama - not in the interest of something positive, just in preference for a slower route to hell than the Clowncar Express. That is about the entire Endorsement. I don't expect that indicates much of an interest in making donations, knocking on doors, voter registration, or other propagandistic endeavors. I no longer see much point in pushing at Democrats, they know I'll (or like me) will vote for them out of horror at the consequences so they'll do policy that mirrors the previous decade or so GOPerism and feel safe. The thing is that one day the horror may over-load and result in the REAL GOP having both Houses and the Presidency and the rest of the SCOTUS. Do you REALLY think the GOPers can't be completely crazy and get there? Do you REALLY think there is some line the Dems can't cross in pursuit of not offending the rightward shift?

Maybe there is a line, but it sure the hell isn't going to get drawn without absolute revolt from the Democratic Voters and I don't see any sign of that - just a whole lot more capitulation. Here's the thing about that revolt - it will mean GOP dominance because pols sure aren't going to get the idea as long as they get VOTES.

Hell, they'd get the wrong idea if they didn't get votes...
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So why keep blogging? It's bad for my digestion to keep swallowing bile.

Secure The Borders

The GOP has spent quite a bit of rhetoric on securing the borders. Now their emphasis seems to be on the illegal immigrants crossing for jobs. Given that a border is the edge of a nation there is some reason to think it being an actual edge ought to mean something, even if it is just a line on a map. There are some issues with borders that aren't disputed, the biggest one being some form of smuggling, whatever that is including terrorism.

The job stealing aspect is another thing entirely and the most obvious consequence of porous borders. Well, thinking a border won't be porous is pretty damn optimistic and if the most obvious thing is jobs then why aren't you addressing jobs and employment? Let's be clear, legal hiring and illegal hiring are two completely different things.

Even if an illegal hire has proper taxes with-held they have essentially no recourse with an employer. Thanks to their legal status they cannot afford to stick their heads up and they're easily replaced by another. The consequence is low wages and a second class work force. Because business is profit driven a further result is lower wages in surrounding employment. In virtually every business endeavor labor cost is the one variable, material costs of whatever sort are pretty even as well as regulatory costs. The outcome of legal hiring is that prices on some products will rise, the real question is just how much. The crux is that labor costs are a much smaller piece of the cost of an item than most people realize and the real costs of illegal hiring aren't too easily quantified and some are not measurable by dollars.

The aspect that isn't dollar oriented but that has huge consequences is the creation of a second class group of residents. Try real hard to comprehend the soul crushing mind bending results of having your life in a place depend on never attracting the notice of the government. Throw in the disdain or even hate of large portions of the legal residents and tell me this is an outcome this nation can afford. And... the driving factor is cheap labor.

The point where correction can be made is at the root, not the border but at the employer. Employers do not care because the costs of infractions are so low. It is easy enough to claim Americans will not do the work, which is entire nonsense, what they will not do is that work for that wage. No, businesses cannot survive when there is a large wage differential amongst competitors. If the farm next to yours, or across a state line, has significantly lower labor costs; your goose is cooked because you do not have the margin to cover it. You cannot address this by "securing the borders."

This issue is entirely separate from the reality dealing with people who have been in this country for quite some time in large numbers. The only possible way to make any form of amnesty work, whatever the qualifiers, is to lock down employment into legal compliance. It will absolutely not work without that just as St Ronnie's amnesty didn't. It is simply an invitation to enter until the problem is once again unmanagable. You will not be able to do a thing about the greedy cheating employers unless they understand that they will be caught and the costs will be unsupportable and that the playing field is even, that 'my' legal hires will not be undercut by 'your' cheating.

This matter cannot be left to States to sort out, they will not do it well and the results will be entirely uneven. This matter cannot be left to simmer much longer, the American public already is getting unreasonable in its temperment and willingness to scapegoat. It is time to stop with the idea of a Berlin Wall around this nation and do something real. If the employment issue is fixed the qualifiers for staying will be met or unemployment will be the result.

I do not have the time or energy to start trying to set out what qualifiers need to be, other than that we have a moral and ethical responsibility to do something right by those who've tried to do the right things without that work visa.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back To Serious Business - Skyrim

I doubt anybody will be stopping around looking for something new at this time so I'm going back to my second go-around with Skyrim on the XBox 360. If you're a gamer you know or ought to that this is a First Person Shooter (FPS) involving a fictional medieval sort of Norse country with dragons and magic and assorted bad guys and good guys. The thing is massive in scope and complexity of story, characters, build options, and serious eye candy.

I think it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that the thing will be Game of the Year just like it's predecessor Oblivion. Its Bethesda cousins are Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas and it is properly a part of the Elder Scrolls.

If you're used to the idea of video games being a fig leaf of a story to move killing around this isn't it. There is a deliberate and mostly successful attempt to involve the player in the story and to further complicate his life by making some major choices one of ambivalence or outright distaste. Beyond the major theme of the return of dragons there is a civil war raging requiring taking sides along with the day to day decisions imposed by gods, demons, asassins, theives, and general difficulties imposed by residence in a fantastical world of magic, arms and armor, and even marriage in an open access world map.

The game is stand alone, one need not have played any of the Elder Scrolls to deal with it, but I would strongly suggest Oblivion as an introduction - especially with its bargin price now and all the down loads available. Be prepared for games that will have around 200+ hours run time, I kid you not. (no I don't mean time involved in having to re-run sequences for getting killed - actual forward progress time)

There have been some kinks and Bethesda has made up-dates but I don't know how thoroughly all issues have been addressed.

Hmmph?

How do you like that, a couple people are actually reading my new content...

Maybe I ought to do it a bit more often.

Sometimes it's damn hard not to be too depressed by the news before I get to it to actually have any desire.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Erin Burnett???

Why the hell did CNN hire a CNBC corporate buttkisser for a news show? Is this a competition with FauxNews to get to the lowest possible denominator in reporting/news reading? Who the hell writes her scripts, Lehman Bros?

I just watched her take big swipes at Fannie and Freddie in the light of investigations/charges for officers and not bother in the least to mention who the hell sold the paper to them - hint, hint = her former buttkissed buds at Banksters.greed.crooks/unindicted...

My low opinion of CNN is scrambling to find new expressions. (ones that don't involve inventive physically impossible profanities)

Childish Pursuits

You might not believe it, but once I was young. A couple things that are relevant to this blog were a part of being young, one is that I was raised by professional middle class parents in an environment that stressed broad education and striving. You might not think that as a white boy with those advantages growing up in smaller to mid-sized cities in Ohio that I'd take on the ideas that some people in this country are given nothing resembling a fair shake and that manual labor was honorable, valuable, and even attractive and even odder, that Religion was over-rated.

As a youngster I didn't find myself ostracized or odd for holding these ideas, despite having prayer in school and this being Ohio. Since I was born in 1953 a bit of math will tell you my age as things like Civil Rights and other happenings were going on. I can tell you that I found myself riveted to the reporting of the events surrounding the Civil Rights struggle, including kids in dikes, fire hoses, white German Shepards, all the stuff. Given my feeling that there were some who were actively screwed by our own governments and their neighbors the stuff happening burned into me a fierce anger.

I was always interested whenever some kind of work was going on, I'd be there if a tree was being cut, street work was going on, something was being built. No doubt I was a nuisance, always trying to see, asking questions, and trying to scavenge lumber for my own "projects" and, you know, I don't remember a worker ever getting mad at me. I thought it was amazingly cool that these folks were out there using their hands and tools to get something done that needed to be done or making something out of a bunch of bits and pieces. It never occurred to me that they were failures who'd not managed a better education or something. I thought they were an example of what to do.

I fell out of religion as I learned it and watched its "practitioners" in action. People talk when there is a kid around if they think their talk is over that kid's head. They will say things that don't begin to square with their "Book," not realizing that that kid is there measuring the two. More information about the Books started to poke me in that part that didn't think people were getting a fair shake and the idea that God was the instigator sat very poorly. I couldn't quite square the part where a good person of another faith got screwed by ... God. It sure looked a lot like those folks being beaten by police or spit on by their neighbors for nothing other than not being them.

I was young and there was quite a bit I didn't know about law or other religions or how people wind up cleaning a house. I know a lot more about it now - I haven't changed my mind. I will tell you right now that this country and its wealth are built on the labors of people who do things and that the screwing of people hasn't diminished (minus the cops and shepards out front) and that "Books" aren't the problem, but their readers sure the hell are when they take them too seriously.

If you think I'm FOS that's alright, but I do have to tell you that we are mortal enemies because I want to see your viewpoint stomped into the dust of history. I'll even admit that I've done what I can to ensure it. Sadly, I might as well yell at clouds for being there.

Awww, Ron

I can get along with the idea that insurance companies are not the only devil in escalating medical costs and that Medicare will run into financial trouble at some point if its difficulties are not addressed. I can almost get along with the idea that there might be a GOP Congressperson who isn't batshit insane and who a Democrat could possibly work with... providing said Dem didn't expect to get his fingers back after reaching across the aisle. I can actually manage to swallow, with lots of choking and complaining, quite a bit - see ACA...

What has me spitting bile and finding my veins standing out on my forehead is any Democrat putting his name anywhere near that POS Paul Ryan. I'll just stop right there so I don't start spewing profanities that would upset my dear mother. The rest of you can fill in that big blank space following this sentence with as many convoluted references to ... well, you get the idea and think CONSTRUCTION SITE.

Extension Packages?

Now that the details on the funding, UE, and payroll tax break extensions look like and what Democrats seem to agree to go along with; it might be time to start considering what is going to happen when the BushCo Tax Cuts expire.

Ron Paul Almost Right

I'll have to paraphrase ole Ron because I don't have a transcript but anyhow, when asked if he could win in the General Election he answered 'Anyone up here could.' That wasn't quite right, but what should frighten the hell out of anyone with two live brain cells that talk to each other is that it isn't quite right.

Any one of the cretins on the stage with him would poll in the 40s in a General Election against Pres. Obama. Now you can play with intellectualizing reasons for that all damn day but it does not change the fact that such a percentage of voting Americans would look at the election in such a manner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Scrooge

I'm not in the mood but here's your damn Christmas/Holiday Card. No pictures of over decorated trees or white stuff on the ground or cutsie family portraits. You get Harley because, well because I like 'em.




No, I don't know why the picture is cock-eyed, operator error...

Taken near Glacier Nat Park.

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly...?

Now that the NAR has admitted to inflating pre-owned home sales since around 2007 it would seem that maybe housing is and has been in worse shape than the currently abysmal condition... I let my contractor's license expire this fall after subsidizing it for 2 years so I'm not a, umm, fan.

Congress is what it is, something as apparently functionally useful as extending unemployment benefits is going nowhere and a really good sized number of people are going to suffer - along with the people who sell the stuff they'd buy. The GOP is willing to go along if they can poison it, the Democrats along with the GOPers are bound and determined to pay for it, despite the fact that neither is willing to pay for it in any way the other would.

Once again we're playing at DEADLINES in terms of government funding. The GOP makes the calculation that the 'gubmint loving' Democrats will go along with eating a poo sandwich in order to keep their thing going. Evidence seems to be on their side but there might be a limit to the size sandwich they'll eat. If that is the case and things shut down, a pretty good sized chunk of money that would get spent isn't going to be. I haven't seen much debate that business isn't hiring because people aren't buying. (well, that and it isn't made here anymore, anyhow)

Americans are getting dis-enfranchised without committing an offense - other than maybe not being reliable GOP voters. In fact without evidence of offenses against the system that is purportedly being defended.

The catalogue is pretty long and depressing and it sure looks as though Santa is going to deliver out of it. I know that some of you who are left of George Wallace are getting some 'jollies' out of the GOP Primary - I'm not. I'm not being a sour-puss here or some seasonally depressed spoil-sport. That mess over at the GOP is a symptom of this nation's condition. Unless you're willing to propose a 70/30 election in 2012 and get along with the high 40's for the other side no matter who the heck pulls it out; then you're getting laughs at nearly half the nation being barking at the moon crazy. This doesn't begin to address what space the President/down ticket can get into without trespassing into their territory.

No, I am not full of cheer and I give a rat's patoot if it is a White Christmas and Merry HoHo to you to.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mitten's Bain

You'd think that a Romney might figure out that Newt and Fannie (jokes write themseleves) would bring on a Bain hit. That it didn't seem to dawn on him (them) kind of points up their view on capitalism. There was a time, a long time ago (before I had a furry face), that business thought corporate raiders were akin to pond scum though a bit lower in elevation. The words "bankruptcy, out-sourcing, lay-offs are a big easily documented piece of Bain type "business." It is plain amateur hour to go after someones business when your own has big capital letter STOP signs all over it.

You know I think they're both sad pieces of work, but for such a shapeshifter of political conveniences as Romney to not get this is stunning in its incompetence. Keep in mind that this is the guy that the Media portrayed as the inevitible smart candidate - now they've got their Newt toy, so we'll see what they come up with.

The GOP is the Party Of Business, think about it. I don't know exactly what that says about "business" in the US, it doesn't seem kind.

Lowe Down Cowards

TLC is running a show called "American Muslim" about ordinary Muslims living in Dearborn, MI. An outfit in Florida, American Family Association pressured Lowe's to pull its advertising because the show is some sort of stealth attack on Americans. This AFA's problem would seem to me to be one of projection - they figure the evil Muslims are gonna put religious law onto Americans because that is their agenda. Theocrats are just exactly that, religious law is their thing and it must also be everybody else's thing.

The divorcement of overt religion from public institutions isn't simply a matter of keeping an arm's distance between the two - it is Godless Atheism winning a religious war. The vastly majority religion in the US is under attack and being persecuted because... well because they don't get to drape their version of religion in the mantle of government.

This is what Lowe's caved to, a pissant organization with theocracy at its core...

I don't much care for big box stores and I do like locally owned business so it isn't much of a deal for me to not shop at a Lowe Down Coward Store. I don't care about the "Muslim show" what I do care about is giving these cretins power.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Appeasement

I've been thinking about the Mitt "appease, appease, appease" speech the other day. The root of this seems to be the base's idea that Barack Obama is weak. I might agree that the President has been a bit weak on economics and a bit on Civil Liberties. What they, GOPers, seem to have mental lacunae about is that this guy has done things as President, some of them damned aggressive in foreign policy and he has faced ludicrous lockstep opposition from the GOPers and still managed to get some things done.

Maybe, when they get ready to trot out this junk, they just completely miss what it means to be black in this society. If you look at the complexions of the actors it is pretty clear that they've not had to personally deal with the (at best) whispers, the profiling traffic stops, above the mean requirements to succeed, and ... This guy never has gotten to forget it, every morning that mirror restates the condition. The work Obama did before his political office career was a constant reminder. Somehow this man not only managed to run for offices but to actually win a nomination against the presumptive nominee and beat an angry old white guy war hero POW.

Playing at 'weak appeaser' is factually stupid and politically extremely risky. Flying in the face of facts this way only gets the stupid vote and gives the target a chance to make you look ridiculous while touting his own record. It isn't as though almost anybody reading this doesn't know where this theme comes from or know what sliver of the electorate Mitt was reaching out to. The question is why such a candidate thought it was a good idea since even FauxNews was likely to run the President's response.

As this Primary goes on the GOPer clown show just seems to get more broadly stupid, despite the seeming unreasonableness of such an occurrence.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Cain Legacy?

I honestly did hear this mentioned, the phrase, on a national "news" cast. Then I stopped to think about it - for a couple seconds...

I suppose that if there is a Cain "legacy" it would be one of the warning sign - big yellow curve sign - variety. There are serious risks to Palinism. Knuckle-heads with big problems on their resume probably ought not get near National Politics. As suck-up and stenographic as mass media is, there are limits to what they'll ignore or justify as "both sides do it." Even Mt Everest is a bit hard to miss for the paid equivocators... well, maybe...

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Stupid Man's Idea

Krugman doesn't thnk much of the GOP "IdeaMan"
“It was his time, the Republican base doesn’t want Romney and they keep looking for an alternative, and Newt — although somebody said ‘he’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like,’ but he is more plausible than the other guys they’ve been pushing up.”


This would be fun other than what it says about the state of our two party system...

The President, "No"

So who was that guy on my TV? He looked a lot like Pres Obama.

I assume he means it, "No," you don't get to just bypass your "Super Committee" deal. I found the whole "Super Committee" thing ludicrous on its face and political buck passing by the GOPers. Now lets see if Americans get straight in their heads who has what role - Congress passes laws and the Pres signs or vetoes them. His actual power is that and it begins to look as though the GOPers walked into a massive trap.

My affection for the Pres veers around quite a bit and it is based mostly on what he is willing to tolerate and some of that I don't like one damn bit. He is a hugely better choice for President than anyone the GOP is promoting, but that is also a pretty back-handed compliment.

I've heard people say that if in 2012 we'll have won if we re-elect the President in regard to things like OWS and rightwing nuttery. I disagree. Rather than making actual progress we'll have marked place or slowed the descent to hell. We won't have won spit and we won't until this nation ceases to tolerate positions where Obama seems anything other than moderate right.

You can love this President and still agree with me...

The GOP's Deep Bench?

It has been an article of faith amongst Democratic activists that one thing the GOP has done is to develop a deep bench. There sure the hell are alot of candidates "running" in the GOP Presidential Primary but if this is a bench it surely is an egg sucker of one. If you look at MultipleMitt as the presumptive front runner/nominee it looks as though the quarterback ought to be playing tiddly-winks and his back-ups can't get out of the sandbox. Now, lots of GOPers go with the claims that there are those not running who ought to be, but that sure begs the question of, "why aren't they if they're so good?"

One of the "conservative" favorites is Mitch Daniels, but he appears to have some kind of family problems and a close national look at Indiana politics ought to blow right up in his face. Then there's Chris Christy, who might be just plain too mean spoken to appeal to somebody other than the angry right and he's just way too damn NE Liberal GOP to do spit in the Confederate Party of Republicanism. Jeb Bush, um - Bush? I'm really at a loss to come up with replacements from whatever bench it is proposed to exist.

The bench is composed of GOPers, after all. That does mean they adhere to the GOP idiotology and that has gotten so far out of hand that reason is one of the last things they have to offer to voters. It looks as though they'll have to fall back to their old standbys of fear and hatred. That will work with a certain percentage (27% seems to be it) but that should be short.

I'd say it is up to Democrats to offer something that looks like a real alternative other than "not as bad as."

(hmmm, I think I'll coin a new tag - NABA)

Can’t we do better than this?

John Cole at BalloonJuice asked that question, in a post regarding the violence at UC Davis:


Which leads me to what bothers me the most, which is the failure of leadership in every institution in this country. Can’t we do better than this? Can’t we do better than pay 400k to someone who doesn’t have an instinctive gut rejection of the idea of macing a bunch of kids sitting on a sidewalk. Can’t we do better than that? Shouldn’t we be able with that kind of money and benefits and perks to find someone who would immediately recoil at the thought of sending riot police with batons and chemical weapons to go thump the kids paying 35,000 a year for the privilege to sit in that public space? Can’t we find people whose immediate response to everything is not the application of force and a reliance on police brutality? Are we really this lost as a nation that our academic institutions are run by sociopaths with no problem solving skills? It’s just fucking amazing, whether it be UC Davis or Penn State or Wall Street or the Catholic Church or, well, wherever.

I like BalloonJuice and I think Cole is a really good writer, but...

Maybe there's an age difference or maybe some different choices in reading American history between us, but the tone is one of offense taken to a violation of an accepted standard that I don't see as having existed except theoretically. I do understand that if you stay within the bounds of what the establishment finds acceptable in belief or values you should be fine. You won't have done a damn thing to better the system, but you won't get pepper sprayed in your Teabagger costume of 'Ladyliberty.' It was quite well understood by the cops and their directors that the Teabaggers were the GOP and quite within the bounds of belief that the plutocratic state approves. The same cannot be said for OWS, it is a direct assault on that plutocratic state.

It has been said that history is just the story the victors tell. That was much more true of periods when literacy was uncommon than it has been from the time literacy was fairly common - at least for something other than "popular" history. The actuallity of the history of anti-establishment movements and protest in this nation is that they've been met with state approved violence with numbing consistency. On occassion this violence has backfired by engaging the general populace in matters that 'were not their concern.' (see Civil Rights or Labor) At those times, as today, most media was complicit in demonizing the protesters and scoffing at their cause.

No John, we're not better than this; this is what we do and what we have done from the time Declaration of Independence signers were still holding office. I am scarcely suggesting that we shouldn't do better - I just want it understood that this establishment protection behavior is deeply engrained and it involves one hell of a fight to do something about it and the natural tendencies of police too ... well act like ... police.

EDIT
(in case anyone think I'm bashing John as ignorant - I think the failing is more one of POV, he wants to trust our establishment and I flatly do not. I think history is on my side. The civics lesson of the run up to and process of the Revolutionary War was quickly forgotten by a hell of a lot of the leaders - the Establishment protects itself whether it be George V or Citibank.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Not Mitt Of The Week

I'll save myself the blood pressure hike of analyzing every body's favorite lizard Newt, and you the boredom of repetition. This week or last week the leader is/has been the NotMitt. I can certainly understand the NotMitt sentiment on their side - what they've got is an opposition field that completely sucks eggs. The NotMitts consist of grifters running performance art projects ... and Rick Perry. The Perry Problem is that he's managed to look dumber than a post next to ... posts. (no I didn't mention Huntsman - nobody does)

The GOP adopted a proportional delegate selection process which may cause them some real heartburn this time out. There certainly are smaller areas where MultipleMitt will do well on the basis of not being barking at the moon crazy but that leaves plenty of smaller areas where that barking will be the compelling narrative. MultipleMitt just doesn't create what you could call enthusiasm - well he does in a negative sense. Enthusiasm of some form is what gets people to go out and actually vote for a candidate in something like a Primary and Primaries are notoriously low turnout elections. (even amongst GOPers)

When the voting does start, if somebody is in the position of the NotMitt of the Week they could benefit from Mitten's lack of appeal. If that translates to a loss or very narrow win for Mittens those NotMitts will get a bump with Primaries starting to stack up. Proposing to use logic and reason to analyze how things shake out is a real iffy project with the crazy/stupid. Reason would tend to favor somebody who has run in at least statewide elections and done well and who has money - Perry. There is a reason US House members are under-represented as Presidents. Playing to a small electorate with narrow interests isn't the same thing as appealing to the public at large.

The Administration apparently has decided that the eventual nominee will be MultipleMitt. I don't know, they're pros and all, but I do wonder if that disqualifies them from figuring out how this will go. The professionals and establishment keep beating the drum about Multiple being the only one with a chance against Obama and thus getting the final nod. One could point to some '10 elections and scratch his head.

This could give me a headache... OMG, I just realized I'd spent all these words to tell you nothing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mitt, 'Idiotology Trumps Facts'

Oh for gods sake, Mittens...


“Sometimes you wonder, would there be someway to introduce some private sector competition, somebody else that could come in and say, you know, each soldier gets X thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose whether they want to go on the government system or the private system and then it follows them, like what happens with schools in Florida where they have a voucher that follows them. Who knows.”

We must help those poor veteran victims of socialization...
Steve Benen bothered to take a look at what actually happens at the VA. Quoting Philip Longman:


An answer came in 2003, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that compared veterans health facilities on 11 measures of quality with fee-for-service Medicare. On all 11 measures, the quality of care in veterans facilities proved to be ‘significantly better.’ … The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study that compared veterans health facilities with commercial managed-care systems in their treatment of diabetes patients. In seven out of seven measures of quality, the VA provided better care.”

This surely needs Mitten's grubby profit hands all over it.

Facts entirely optional GOPers...

I'm not suggesting that health care isn't (rude word) up.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How Long Mitt? (edit) NOT LONG)

How much time will elapse between the elections last night and Mitten's refutation of his support for Zygote Citizenship and Union Busting? Suppose it will be some nuanced, well those were sorta like what I want but not quite and ... Obama, anyhow - or will he just forget he ever had anything to do with such things?

Most of the rest of them were too far into that camp to switch gears and besides their voters won't tolerate any ... back-sliding.

I don't know that OH2 and MS26 signal any political re-structuring but they certainly give The Administration a Romney Ballbat. That is useful...

I do have to wonder how a debate on a "business" channel is going to work out in MI with previous anti-auto bailout rhetoric laying there like a large ... dogpile. That and the approval of the State subsidized foreign auto makers in ... ooops ... The Confederacy. Er Mitt, Michigan was pretty proud of the number of troops it sent into the Civil War Meatgrinder. Maybe in the rarified Romney surroundings you missed the monuments in every town?

Oh hell, there is that safe 27% of the electorate is safely ... CPR*.

*see tag

****UPDATE

So it took until this afternoon for the Romney campaign to state that he never was on they Zygote Bandwagon. Ummm ... video tape Mittens? Mike Huckabee and the word "Absolutely"? Honestly, this makes the crumbiest choices Democrats have had look like a choice between saints.

Gotta love it...

In Ohio and Mississippi Stupidity Loses

The first order of business is to acknowledge all the smart hard work done by volunteers and congratulate them on the outcomes. Ohio's 2 and Mississippi's 26 went down by large margins. The issues at hand managed to essentially offend a broad spectrum of voters and failed thanks to that. Well, that and some actual organizing and pushback that amounted to more than whining.

There has been a lot of happiness on the leftish side about the overfall results of the off-season elections. It is nice to have something to be happy about but over reading the elections isn't smart. I don't have much to say about MS26 because it was patently stupid and obviously a step way too far. OH2 was a bit of a different thing, it was a GOP wet-dream and something they really wanted - a mechanism to break unions. The GOP's problem is that they struck at something important to people, more important than "god, gays, and guns." The GOP didn't just play the division game, they played an actual issue. That is the crux.

The GOP does pretty well with emotional division bullshit, and have for quite awhile. OH2 turned on something else and blew up in their faces. This ought to be considered in any leftish celebrations. OH2 isn't a repudiation of the GOP, it is a repudiationn of their stepping out of their baliwick of emo-stupidity. If you're thinking the GOP hate and division machine is mortally wounded then you're just not paying attention to what voters get up to. There is a difference between smacking a broad coalition in the face and kicking the small and impotent around. The GOP miscalculated the amount of "the other" factor involved with unions - it just isn't the same thing as ... gay. There are just way too many people involved, especially if you include friends and relatives.

The other side, loosely called Democrats, can learn something from this - especially the part about giving a broad spectrum something to get excited about. Sure, go ahead and hold your breath...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sexual Harassment

Just to be real clear, I don't think sexual harassment is a joke or mostly made up. I don't have much of anything like experience with it at a personal level for a couple reasons, I work construction and I was boss and I would not tolerate any crap that broke the relationship of being a crew.

Doing something that makes the work place a hostile environment is wrong and if done from a position of power even more unacceptable. I just don't give the least bit of a damn about Cain.

The Cain Game Fun

The Media, even David Gregory, have been busy analyzing the Cain situation ... no really ... not just stenographing. This is a pretty funny thing to see. Any GOPer you can think of is allowed to make fact free assertions on their programs that flatly contradict actual, ummm, facts without even a bit of questioning.

What could possibly be different here? Well there is the sex aspect of it. The sex aspect has driven some stories before. Here is one thing that certainly is true in this case - Herman Cain is not the Establishment's candidate. That "NOT" is important, the Establishment does not want the candidate of their Party to be an actual clown - as opposed to a multiple choice Mittster type.

I doubt that Mitt's weaknesses please them, but they certainly don't have a real problem with his current momentary positions. Cain is certainly in line with them, but Cain as GOP candidate for President is a joke and that's known by everybody other than the twenty some percent who say they'll vote for him.

I'm not saying anything about the veracity of the women's allegations. People have been known to lie and they've also been known to tell the truth in extremely difficult situations. I could care less about Herman Cain, what I care about is what this says about our political process and the media's part in it and the plutocratic control of the whole damn mess.

Hold onto your hats ... I just heard David Gregory, no kidding, state that Cain has no facts to back up his assertion that OWS and the Democrat-machine ramped this up. "NO FACTS" from David Gregory??? Honest-to-pete when these people go this far out of character you have to know something is going on that isn't ordinary.

Don't forget that for the Establishment to have a Cain type as candidate could allow a Democrat to say something Progressive and not get hung for it... That certainly would not do.

*Edit
Just to be clear about harassment

Caligula's Horse

Pierce at Esquire had this to say about voting for GOPers in, say, Ohio:

You knew what they were when you invited them in. You might as well be surprised and offended when your dog licks his nuts in front of the vicar.

I know some actual liberals/progressives from the various states that elected Kasich types to "responsible" positions who vehemently did not vote for them. To be sure, it is unfair to paint with too broad a brush but the election results speak for themselves. Maybe the polling shows that voters would do something different and you'd like to think they've learned a lesson. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn...

If lessons were learned in this way you'd think there would have been second thoughts about putting the cretins who wrecked the economy back in charge. You'd think that what some random woman does with her uterus is less important than ... gads, fill in the damn blank.

I pretty much grew up in Ohio and got a good education thanks to their system and had some other fair opportunities - along with the privilege of watching some of my peers get shot by the National Guard under another GOPer. That was also a point where a significant portion of the public figured those kids had it coming. I never saw any good reason for the large percentage of Ohioans who were members of the Northern Confederacy; but they certainly do exist.

That bunch would elect Caligula's horse if it wore an (R). I have no idea what the rest of the Kasich voters' excuse is. Well, they do say things, but...

I'm really glad there are people out there who have had the nerve and energy to push back - it shouldn't have been necessary. THAT is the whole point of voting.

***Just a note in fairness - I live in OR-02 and they've proven they'd elect that horse... er have done it, at least the back portion of it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

GOP ABM* Strikes

*Anyone But Mitt

With Huntsman deep in the weeds, Mitt seems the only "establishment" candidate to the GOP. That is just plain unacceptable and thus:
Trump Bump
Bachmann Bump
Perry Bump
Cain Bump

And now ... MSM is on about a Newt bump. A bump for the tired old idea (I use that word extremely loosely - fantasies) man; a guy whose personal behavior most of them would loath and whose campaign is transparently about self-promotion. The Media Pundits may ignore this stuff but even if Newt moves up some I strongly doubt he can strike any emotional chords with the ABMs nor does he have real money to sustain himself without a real connection to emotion. I think the Media is playing the "it's his turn" theme rather than looking at Newt and the ABMs.

The sex stuff isn't going to do huge damage to Cain, but he will implode at some point with that group and never ever forget that he is ... well, black. What I do think is that if Perry can stop doing things the way he has been he's going to be their guy. He's white, he's from Texass, and he's ... hmmmm ... pretty ... and he's white... Oh yeah, he does have some real money. And even if he is stupid he might be able to stop doing it in front of voters.

When something is operating in a mode like ABM, an entire negative, staying power helps - that and an ability to not do something stupid. You've got people looking for someplace to land, not an actual enthusiasm for, and about all that requires is an ability to stay in front of them and some sort of "charm." Charm is another of those words I'm using loosely since it can easily include a 'go for the nuts' type persona they wouldn't want as a dinner guest - supposedly a Perry characteristic.

I'm not presenting this as some sort of prediction - it's silly to do that with crazy people; not that I like Mitt a bit, either. The Obama Campaign seems to think Mitt will be the one but I'm less sure. They may well have fallen into the trap of using reason in regard to craziness. I'm inclined to think an ABM could pull it off, especially considering Mitt's consistent 23%.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Sure, It's Fun Laughing At The GOPers...

I know a lot of my readers (using the words 'a lot' is hyperbole) get some real fun out of what the GOP has to offer this time around. They're so easy to mock and so full of s**t on a regular basis that...

Here's the thing about that; this has something to say about the state of the nation that isn't in the least reassuring. There are two Parties in this country and one of them is producing what the GOP is. What that means to the "other" party is yet to be seen. Running against lunatics/multiple choicers leaves that "other" party with a hell of a lot of options to be ... stupidly almost GOP. How will the Democrats read the public? Will they read the election as really being between Right and Righter? They have done that previously.

The most open question today is whether the electorate can understand that fiddling around at the margins of the system is inadequate and that the failure to recover falls on the heads of those fiddlers and the total obstructionists. There is discontent, how deep and how reflective it is I can't begin to measure. If the "Middle" is still stuck on the "fiddle around" with the status quo position we are going to see candidates and policies that reflect that and the same failures. Politicians aren't generally known as risk takers and expecting them to move more than marginally from the status quo isn't reasonable if the "Middle" hasn't already been there for some time.

I don't think the Democrats generally are so stupid as to not realize that being the Party of the GOP's previous decade or so isn't going to address what's wrong with the nation. That particular intellectual "accomplishment" doesn't mean spit in regard to what policies they'll advocate or support. I'm not ignoring the percentage of Democratic legislators that would do something, I'm flatly aware of what the outcomes are.

OWS may mean something, but in regard to actual useful policy it won't mean anything unless that "Middle" is truly pissed off. I don't have polite words for the outlook of that group other than status quo at all costs. Accurate adjectives involve swearing and words like ... nah, not gonna go there. If that's where you stand - I have no appologies to make.

No, I'm not in the least optimistic.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

OWS, I Appologize - Sort of

From the start OWS garnered my emotive support and my intellectual dismissal. I understood what OWS was unhappy about, in fact I figured it was about thirty years late in coming. What my intellect dismissed was its staying power and the reach it could have into political discourse.

I didn't believe the plutocracy would allow its reporting or physically allow them to stay. I never thought the lack of a narrow political agenda was a problem, but I did dismiss their chances of pushing the economic dialogue anywhere in their direction.

I don't think the GOP is real impressed yet, they still see it as a target of convenience. I have an utter disbelief that Democratic outcomes will show any particular effect any time soon but I am actually impressed to see the President and a few other speaking in more openly populist terms. Lacking OWS I strongly doubt the President would have adopted his current ... confrontational? ... style.

I don't think it is so late that flaming mansions are required to get some sort of relief within the halls of government, though thinking something realistically effective is coming soon is pretty damn optimistic. It isn't as though we lack models that have demonstrated their utility through practice, it is true that those models are nowadays considered radical.

Facts are blatantly on the side of OWS, that has never proven a decisive factor in politics. People are actually starting to make a fight out of something that should have been settled business a half-century ago. No, I don't really expect the plutocracy to let much happen and they certainly own sufficient law-makers to ensure not much happens. Sides are being picked ... what that means is still an open question as are the consequences for being on the wrong side from the American people.

I cannot afford to do a damn thing to help keep OWS going beyond typing this handful of words but if you've got even a couple bucks with nothing to do there are ways to help out, even if it is just ordering a pizza to be delivered to their site, it would be something.

Oh yeah, about that appology ... sorry to be too quick to dismiss.

I Know,

I quit politics. Addiction is a powerful thing.

The Perry Saviour

You can look at the current GOP field and find something interesting at the most optimistic and if you were a GOPer - appalling. It is pretty obvious that there exists a rather sizable and wealthy "Anybody But Mitt" segment of the GOP. This is where the Rick Perry campaign came from.

Now, if you cannot understand the sizable "ABM" sentiment because you aren't a GOPer you could try this one on to see how you would react - Joe Lieberman For President (D). If the mere concept makes you throw up a little, you can start to "sympathize" with the "ABM"s. I may have found Barack Obama, the primary candidate, a bit lacking in leftism but supportable as intelligent and generally in agreement with my concept of a Democrat - something Joe Lieberman totally fails. It is reasonable to assume that the GOPers who put forward Rick Perry were at least astute enough to understand that the rest of the clown parade were ... well, clowns and never going to get anywhere in a General Election. In shorter terms, not completely stupid.

Before his entry, I was somewhat familiar with Rick Perry by reputation. The reputation of not losing elections, the reputation for being a 'hardnosed' candidate, and someone the handful of thinking Texans I know of, loathed and considered stupid. It has taken his entry into "Presidential" politics to acquaint me with the levels of incompetence he has, a Texan who makes GWB look able and Sarah Palin a speaker of the English language. It isn't as though he wasn't good at debating, a shy child would have out-performed him. His speech in New Hampshire ... well, jeeze. His failure at the persona of candidate isn't even the crux of the issue.

This guy's campaign looked at a demographic that thought the tax code is a mess and decided to add a voluntary additional layer to the current mess. Never mind that the voluntary chunk would screw them and aid the oligarchy - even the factually impaired will quickly grasp that it is just another layer of complexity.

What you're looking at in this little snapshot of Rick Perry is what the ABMs came up with, their best shot. This is the cure for Mittism. Imagine that you are a GOPer and this is what a bunch of your movers and shakers came up with as Party Saviour.

I find it real damn difficult to feel sorry for the GOPers, but there's an actual twinge.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2004 Chevrolet SSR For Sale By Owner/Sold

Right click pics for full size






This truck has 43,000 miles and is in excellent condition. It is the 1SB option pack without chrome wheels. This option pack includes carpeted and "wood" stripped bed, side saddle bags, cargo net, storage bag for toneau cover, and hide away hitch and 6CD Bose stereo and gauge pack. This is the 5.3L 300HP w/4 speed OD auto and 3.73 "Posi" rear.

Serious inquiries contact cbutcherATbakervalleyDOTnet

$20,000

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where Now, Libya

It would appear that the Qaddafi era in Libya is drawing to a close, not done but ending. It will probably close messily, but with that guy out if not dead. The immediate challenges are to keep the necessary infrastructures functioning, electricity, garbage collection - the stuff that keeps the place from being unlivable. There may be no real political structure within Libya but there is a structure that supports the day to day life support system. It will be a challenge.

The piece that has pundits and pols disturbed is the political outcome. There doesn't seem to have ever been any sort of political system in Libya, political in the sense of opposing points of view being somehow accommodated. There certainly has been a system of cronyism, propaganda, repression, and militarism but nothing properly called politics. This lack of traditions or actual systems has folks in an uproar.

You would think to hear them that they are regarding a pack of monkeys or something as informed as that. Despite all the propaganda and the rest, Libyans seem to have been able to figure out that not only was something wrong but that there is something to replace that wrongness. It is repeatedly pointed out that Libya is tribal and regional, as though that means that none of those folks have had to get along with each other and competing ideas and agendas. That is flatly ridiculous. What they do not have is the experience of an established political system.

I'm not so sure that is an actual drawback. They do not have the experience of a history of, say English Common Law to fall back on but they do have an idea of fairness violated. Putting together a system doesn't mean you have to a previous system you've lived under to use as an example. What you need to do it successfully is to understand that your point of view isn't the only one to be considered. (Maybe our government could learn that) It is also necessary to understand that not everything is open to consideration. Another Qaddafi is not open to consideration, for one example. Government has to be able to change, it has to be able to meet new conditions with new answers. It also has to leave all its inhabitants feeling as though they have a stake in its continuation. (another consideration for our own) It is not all that difficult to keep a privileged few from taking over the place with the examples of others to look at (ahem).

I think it will be much more difficult for a place like Egypt to overcome the faux political system than it is for Libyans to create one. There certainly are those who have a lot to lose without Qaddafi to keep them on top and they certainly won't like it. The absence of a faux system to keep them protected could easily turn into an advantage - or a bloodbath - or both.

I'm not silly enough to predict any outcomes in Libya but I would like to stand up to the doomsayers. I'd also like to stand up for people, actual people as opposed to the elite who seem to think they're destined to run any damned place that exists. I've found that people in general seem to be able to figure things out when they're not stultified by generational bullshit.

NO - this is not a foray back into goddam politics.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Oh No, I've Had A Relapse Into Politics

Damn blast it, I've had a slip and paid attention to politics. I could feel it coming, shoot, saw it well before the collision. In point of actual fact, I picked up the remote and pushed the button that brings up the channel menu and chose ... holy cow ... Rachael Maddow. Sure, I think she's a sweetie, but it wasn't for her personality - it was the damn politics that I went for. My blasted drug sucked me back in and what did I get for my trouble? Things like the FAA shut down.

Should I really re-think my decision to get the hell out of that addiction on the basis of politics that shut down an agency like the FAA and cost $200M/wk put 70,000 people out of work and involves things like ... for pete's sakes ... going through the skies at hundreds of miles an hour in a metal tube and putting it on the ground at 3 or more times the speed limit in any state?

The hell with that noise; and it is noise - there is no crisis of any magnitude beyond the GOPers desire to break unions.

Oh hell, there is other stuff on the show that is about as stupid but if I think about it too much there'll be no going back so the menu got pointed at the Sirius Network's BB King's Bluesville and clicked. Jimmy Burns is now bopping my night and making way more sense singing about a "train" he'd like to "ride." Euphemistic sex beats political jabber and I'm back on the road to recovery. (for now)

Blue Collar Prejudice

* Posted previously and I thought maybe it needed saying again...

I bet you're thinking, 'What???' Let's take a look at this like it might actually exist.

Name a television entertainment program with a blue collar male that is something other than a dolt, an "Archie Bunker." Or try to find one where such a character isn't based around sloth and irresponsibility. I can think of 2 programs, "Made In America" and "Dirty Jobs" both of which are "reality TV." Regarding sloth and irresponsibility, productivity has increased virtually every year for 20 years. Workers today are getting more done in a work day than in the "good ole days."

Here's some reality to go with TV mindlessness, over a 20yr period most blue collar job wages have remained static or declined. Yes, working harder and better and making less. In that same period corporate profits have increased over 700%. Working for the same employer for an extended period is increasingly unlikely. Blue collar jobs are relentlessly dangerous and harmful to health, lower income health problems are frequently blamed on poor lifestyle choices, the reality is that the nature of the work is frequently the base problem.

A large percentage of skilled blue collar workers require a 2 income household to keep a family of 4 above the poverty line. This is not about extra income to buy expensive toys, this is about reliably keeping a roof, food, and transportation and these people are one health problem from disaster, if they have health insurance (unlikely) they face deductibles nearing 1/2 year wages which is very nearly pointless to have.

Blue collar workers face increasing employment competition with illegal hires. This competition takes two forms, one is direct hiring competition and the other is wage depression. This competition is largely ignored in any debate regarding illegal workers. The divorce between blue collar workers and their fellow citizens is increasingly evident. Debates arise concerning product pricing at market and the legality of the employees producing the product, statements are made to the effect that produce prices would skyrocket if legal hiring were in place, which ignores the fundamental fact that labor is one of the smallest portions of a product's price at market and that the associated costs of illegal employment far exceed the savings of illegal hiring. The educated "progressive" elements commiserate with the plight of illegal aliens and ignore the steady depredation on legal blue collar families. Apparently the ignorant buffoons of TV land are unworthy of concern.

No doubt voting patterns have influenced this trend. There is an apparent disregard of their own economic interest by blue collar voters as they have trended Republican. While this conflict in interest is obvious, many of its roots are not. There has been no evident economic policy benefiting blue collar over the last 20 years and that period is not all Republican. It is not difficult to see blue collar workers regarding their economic best interests as a hopeless case and voting some other interest that feels close to home. When a person has very little, perceived assaults on the few things they do hold are taken very seriously. One of the side effects of the gun control debate was to tell the blue collar worker that he is too ignorant and too irresponsible and too criminally inclined to own a firearm. His "betters" disapproved of the gun owning lifestyle. Accurate? Possibly not, politically potent? You bet.

These people trade their time and their bodies for income, they work long hard hours and get little for it. Little pay, little respect. Many jobs that 30 years ago were held in high esteem are now little regarded. It is not as though the work has changed, it is the point of view that has changed. Maybe it's time to give it a re-think. Maybe it's time to look around and see the things produced with the hands and backs of your fellows and give some regard to their value, all those paper assets and banknotes are derived from those things.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sometimes You Out Grow A Thing, Like A Bike

I previously mentioned my friend Phillip and his 650 one lunger. What I didn't mention was that he just got his motorcycle endorsement late last summer and it is the bike he learned to ride on - sort of. Phillip started riding with me in late spring and there was a lot he needed to learn and in the process of nearly 3,000 miles up to now he did. He also found that the bike wasn't designed for hundreds of miles at highway speeds and that he'd gotten all he could from it.

Soooo... we took a ride over to High Desert Harley Davidson in Meridian, ID - the folks who've taken care of my bike. This is Phillip's 2011 Wide Glide, 96 inch six speed in Burnt Sienna and Black.

***click to enlarge


Our bikes make a pretty colorful piece of scenery. Better yet, it does everything Phillip needs in a bike, it is stable and powerful - also loud and beautiful.



I've always considered the Dyna frame one of the nicest rides Harley makes and the Super Glide family one of the best deals. The Wide Glide with the rake on the forks looks like it should be going a million miles an hour sitting still. Phillip is a pretty understated kind of a guy, but this thing is breaking that mold. He uses Phillip in place of his Chinese name and he was born and raised in Hong Kong and owns, big surprise, a Chinese restaurant and lounge. He is a friend and has turned into a great riding partner ... and he now has an extremely cool motorcycle.

A Dinner Run, A Long One

My friend Phillip and his wife Gina, myself and my wife Scottie took a little ride for dinner. This involved OR7 to the Dooley Mt Hwy OR245 to US26 east to Ontario, OR and Mackey's Irish Pub and great food. Dooley Mt Hwy has a huge number of curves and this shot is on one of them and the blue grey bike is Phillip's 650 Suzuki Savage one lunger. It sure isn't much of bike but it is something to learn on, which he's done. Yes, my Harley is that much bigger.

***click pic for full size


From Ontario we took OR201 to Weiser to I-84W to Cement Plant Rd (old US 30) into Baker City. This shot is one I've tried to get for years, sunset over the Elkhorn Mts above Baker City. Really, click it to enlarge.


Oh yeah, 218 miles round trip.

One Of My Favorite Short Rides

Union Oregon is north of Baker City and it is the mid-point of one of my favorite shorter rides. Just outside Baker City north is OR203 known as Medical Springs Hwy. This picture is taken on the plains outside Baker City.

***click pic for full size


This picture is shot north east into the Wallowa Mountains and was taken in early July. At Union you will find Poppa's Steakhouse and Saloon and on Thursday night you can get smoked prime rib and Friday smoked ribs and the smoking is in-house and beyond excellent. The route is OR203 to Union from Union south on OR237 to North Powder and US30 back to Baker City. It is a round trip of 85 miles with a really swell meal in Union. The roads are excellent and the traffic light to non-existent.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Now That I Know What It Means To Be A Democrat

As I stated previously I was quite willing to hold fire about bills regarding debt ceiling bills, I have done so. I now know what it is that defines Democrats at the national level with control of the Senate and the Presidency. Knowing that, I'll say what it is, it is the slower path to GOPer wingnuttery. It is a matter of getting to today's version of TeaParty stupidity and plutocratic agenda in a decade rather than a couple years.

I'll be blunt - I'll not be a party to such horseshit, I'll let those who love excuses and cowardice take the reins, or load, or act as though they give a good goddam. I simply cannot continue to divide my thinking between what works and is right and what isn't "as bad as." You like "not as bad as" you can help yourself to as much as you please.

I've had a (D) behind my name since 1971 and I was of that persuasion from time of Kennedy and Nixon, well previous to being able to register anything. I've watched what happened to the "Democratic Brand" for all those decades and I've done what I could to affect the direction of drift - including being willing to try for the US House so things could be said. I'm stubborn about such things and I've been stubborn for a damn long time in the face of all evidence.

The so-called middle has won the day, it has made itself clear that GOPerism is the way. I'll let that go if not actively help it happen. By rights I ought to be a part of advancing the GOPer way and get done so people can see what it means. But what I can't do is be an active part to harming my fellow citizens so I'll just let it go. I don't know if I'll even bother to vote, that's well up in the air, but I do know that if the public wants what the GOPers offer, they ought to have it and get to live with it. That certainly means that I'll have to struggle a lot harder to support the Plutocrats in the manner they desire and have a lot less left for me and mine. What I can do is join the great unwashed ignorant masses in not giving a damn and ignore and be unaffected by the scoffing middle-way Democrats in their self-satisfied "not as bad as" theme.

This blog thing has become immaterial and irrelevant. Maybe I'll post pictures or
stuff but look elsewhere for politics because I simply can no longer stand to give a damn. My affiliation with the Democratic Party is at an end, I probably won't even bother to change the registration seeing it as further exercise in pointlessness.

I'd like to thank the political readers I've had, take care and do whatever seems right to you.

Good night and good-bye.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Outcomes Matter

I know there are actually a pretty fair number of "progressive" US Senators and a good percentage of House Democrats are as well. This, of course, depends heavily on what progressive means (or hell - Democratic). I'll get along with some generic generally understood "progressive" rather than a named Caucus, still a doubtful exercise, but one has to start somewhere. Anyhow, I'll just postulate that there is a pretty large percentage of national Democratic legislators who could be called progressive. Now that's thrashed out...

You might think that would have some meaning. You'd be FOS if you did. Take a look at legislation passed. What the Democrats managed to do was to pass a previous decade or two GOP legislation. Now, the Democrats only control the Senate and the Presidency. The President manages to advocate for the stuff of one or two decades previous GOPerism. Sure, I have the luck to live in Oregon and having 4 of 5 House members as Democrats and passably progressive to go along with Sens Wyden and Merkley and all that means is ... well, what we've gotten.

It is easy enough to see that President Obama is far less harmful to Democratic ideas than any of the GOPers and I suppose that can be presented as a reason to vote for him. There is a problem with that, the Democrats tried that in 2010 and to a significant extent it didn't work (a whole bunch of Bluedogs found out). The President I worked for and voted for in the Primaries and General has turned out to be the best of the bunch and about what I expected (a bit more of what I expected, maybe). When you toss the reality of LIEberman, Bauchus, and Nelson you get something that you have to try pretty hard to call Democratic. It comes down to the most important people in the room are hardly recognizable as Democrats and you get what we've gotten.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The President and Speaker Spoke

And what did we get? The President almost kicked the GOP in the teeth all the while proposing GOP policy. The Speaker managed to start out with lies and then a major FU. It seems that the GOPer policy of holding the economy hostage will either succeed or kill the economy. Somehow we're supposed to believe that something Democratic will be included in this while the President takes the GOP approach called the Reid plan with no revenues.

Maybe you can start to understand that we're not talking about pissing off the Left, we're talking about doing the GOP dirty work and calling it compromise. It is not compromise to do what the other side wants, period. This was a speech by a Democratic President? This is a proposal by a Democratic Senate Majority Leader? I won't call compromise a dirty word, but I'd call this a dirty deal by cowards.

Where the hell does that leave most people who'd call themselves Democrats? (I don't mean my lefty friends) As this plays out I am assessing my affiliation. I don't like what I'm watching.

Wanna Make Any Bets?

So after all the bullshit around the debt ceiling ends, what will that look like? I have no faith that anything that looks remotely Democratic will be the outcome. If that is how it goes, who gets blamed?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bachmann And Migranes

The Daily Caller (no link, ever) published a bit of a hit piece on Rep Michelle Bachmann's migranes. Of course this went all over the internet. It seems she controls this debilitation with medication, as do many others. If you're new and drawn in by the 'google' let me assure you that I think Bachmann is a clown with an attitude - no I don't like her.

The "Caller" is a GOPer organ so one has to wonder to whose benefit this story was designed for. I don't think those enthralled by Bachmann's craziness would be much put off by such a story, but considering the publisher and their agenda it is obvious that it is supposed to work to some one's benefit. It is pretty safe to doubt that Mittens is their guy, and Pawlenty is a bit too soft for them. I'd guess this is an opening salvo for the TexAss godliness governor Perry. There is no way Perry and Bachmann can share the same oxygen in a GOP Primary - they simply split that god-botherer vote and marginalize each other.

Tucker Carlson's vanity publication going after Bachmann says something about the state of the bunch running as of now and how the GOP feels about it. The shapeshifter Mitt doesn't do much for the GOPers other than to assure the monied interests that somebody will look out for them with some modicum of sanity. Pawlenty has proved he couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag and the rest are just jokes. This means Bachmann, in the absence of someone else, starts to look like a credible player in the Primaries. Barring a serious mishap for Obama, Michelle looks so poor against him as to cost the GOP not only in a General Election in 2012 but in future elections and that might be the why of "migraines."

If the idea of this is to benefit Perry, you really have to feel pretty amused by what passes for the GOP in today's world. Oh hell, you have to be amused by them or be horrified - anyhow.

Debt Ceiling Resolution?

Since I've managed to carp pretty strongly about this "budget" resolution to the debt ceiling I'll go ahead and step up with my predictions of how it actually goes from horrid to just bad and unlikely.

Horrid is the one where House GOPers manage to put us into defualt. I'm sure the plutocrats don't want that, but how much leverage they have with the lunatics is open to question.

The next one in the steps up from lunacy is where Democrats let all the pain fall onto those who can't take much more resulting in nothing in results to deficit - essentially a cave to House GOPer near loons.

The least likely outcome is a ceiling increase without strings, or one that makes it appear that the President is responsible (McConnell). The only way this happens is if the plutocrats make it clear to the loons that they'll crush them flat for not letting it happen - and making them believe it. It might be best for the nation of all alternatives, even if it is correct.

Oh hell, I'll be more clear. If it would be good for the nation as a whole it has no chance and if it is good for corporatism and plutocracy it is likely. Without a major shock to the electoral system that is the course set for us. Since Congress and the President have managed to kick the can of the BushCo tax cuts down the road this day has been coming - quicker and quicker - and at some near point reaching this kind of debacle for the simple reason that the US was spending way too much without revenue.

Look, between wars, corporate swilling, and waste the tax revenues have been way short for quite awhile and this recession pushed the whole show over the brink. I have never been and am not much in the line of a deficit hawk but everyone saw this coming and it can't go on and ... we'll continue to pour money into Middle Eastern Wars as though nothing else matters. Even raising taxes won't do the job any more so stuff has to be cut. The question is whose ox gets gored in the cut regime. The answer, my guess is, whoever can't afford lobbiests and doesn't vote regularly. There ya go, we're really screwed and the recourse seems to be handing the tiller over to the lunatics or more of the same GOP policy dressed up as Democratic policy.

Chambliss And Nelson ???

So John King of CNN has Chambliss and Nelson on as champions of the "Gang of Six" plan? That is just wonderful, Right and Righter as champs. Maybe you can figure out why legislation today winds up to the right of '70s GOPers. You got a health care reform plan right out of the GOP opposition to Hillary Care that is now Obama sCare and banking reform that is that in name. Go down the damn list and tell me why I should listen to a single thing Nelson has to say as a Democrat.

Democrats will define themselves for pretty much a generation with what they do. Wanna make any bets?

If you think the plutocrats will be in the least inconvenienced by anything Chambliss and Nelson won't oppose or that the poor and working class won't get the knife in the process you are an optimist of real proportions.

OK, I'll hold fire ... for awhile. I know DC gives a damn if I just up and quit.

BTW - "Gang" is probably charitable as an appellation.

GOPers And Debt

The GOPers seem to be in hostage taking mode or in the position of dead hostages don't matter. Either position works for opposing Democrats. Now it does seem as though almost all economists are scared spitless of default and yet a good sized piece of the GOPers are stating publicly that it just doesn't matter. Another piece simply don't seem to be able to follow the numbers from the BushCo tax cuts sufficiently to have reason get into play.

The dead hostage bunch likes to make the case that the President has the ability to decide who gets paid, which is true. The problem is that a ten percent whack to the GDP will result in a serious crash no matter who gets paid what. They will tell their ignorant true believers that the crash happened because the President made the wrong (ie socialist) choices. They win with their nut-base no matter what when the crash comes.

The hostage takers are betting that the President and Democrats will blink (or more correctly swerve in the game of chicken). What they ignore at their peril is that Democrats would be committing electoral suicide to swerve. Not just some, but almost all of them, and the polls are real clear. They also manage to ignore that doing anything about the deficit without taking back some of the gifts to the plutocrats is impossible. Electorally the consequences to them depend on whether they can continue to successfully play their "job killing tax increases" mythology to their base and some "middle" voters in the face of what history says since BushCo did it.

It is my guess that the President and a bunch of Democratic legislators believe some sort of reason will seap into the ranks of the GOP. I see a complete lack of evidence of such a thing. Most of us have zero ability to do anything to prepare for the consequences of a failure of that optimism. It seems the results will be either a car crash involving a tree or a long fall off a cliff depending on default or cave in and the same 27%ers* will be cheering - despite what happens to them.

*Those who'd be crushed by drastic cuts will also continue to not vote - either from GOP disenfranchisement or apathy. The GOP** knows it and counts on it.

**So do the "Ben Nelsons" of the Democratic world.

'Faux' :News Corp And Murdoch In Trouble?

You'd get the feeling from watching the news lately that 'News' Corp might be in a bit of difficulty over the junk they got up to at News Of The World over in England. It certainly has stirred up the Brits to find out just exactly how corrupt the relationship between their government and Murdoch's Empire has been. Now, it certainly is a valid question to ask just how it is that it has taken this long. Consider that they have published headlines claiming credit for the election of a party?

The Brits and their political parties have pretty much just plain ignored real obvious evidence that something has been broken for some time. Once you face up to that, you find that what broke things loose was a specific piece of wrong doing - not the fact that the system was flat out corrupt. It just isn't a problem that Rupert Murdoch runs their political system, it is about a dead girl and hacking.

According to Murdoch, himself, the problem was with 1% of his empire. He's shut that down and shifted the business to one of his other papers at the cost of 200 some jobs. Pretty much meaningless in terms of business. The BSkyB purchase may be off the table for now; and that is now. At this moment politicians are running away from their buddy Rupert, but neither he nor his empire have gone away, the back door to 10 Downing or whatever will still be open once the furor dies down. Keep in mind that everyone is looking right now and that won't last.

The horrifying consolidation of media in the US continues, essentially unopposed by anyone with actual power. Only the most blindly stupid don't consider NewsCorp a defacto GOP enterprise - or possibly the GOP a defacto NewsCorp enterprise. GOPers and FauxNews fans still consider the NYT and WaPo and ABC, CBS, and NBC to be liberal news propaganda - despite their corporatist fluffing exercises and stenography as balance.

Short of some memo from Rupert approving bribes and hacking the "I had no idea" crap will carry the day. Too many politicians in this and other countries owe NewsCorp big time and the public doesn't want truth or fact based analysis since that might challenge their ideological mythologies. The masters of the universe know that control of information is the trump card in dominance and the public flatly doesn't give a damn as long as they're not challenged or crushed in one fell blow.

Rupert and NewsCorp will be just fine and will continue to win the GOPer hearts and the rest of the media will continue to be useless to informing the public because those who care about it have power and money and those who'd oppose it have squat. Maybe if everything just completely crashes...

Not even then, bet ya.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Motorcycle Service Fun (Sarcasm)

Some of you know that I own an FXSTSSE3 and that I ride - a lot. (in English that's a 2009 Custom Vehicle Operations Screaming Eagle Springer Soft-tail) Riding a lot means that Harley-Davidson's 2 year unlimited milage warrantee expired this mid-May and the bike just rolled over 40K miles. That expiration means that I feel free to do my own maintainance. I know a company can't make you use their service centers to honor warrantees, but I also know that this is an expensive bike that gets way more miles than Harley anticipated and conversations that start and end with "your people are the only ones who ever touched it" cut a lot of wiggles out. Yes, I own the actual Harley service manual for that motorcycle.

So, back to my tale. I am mechanically adept, I am damned good with tools and with reading, understanding, and following instructions. I cannot do anything with the computerized bits but that is outside the perview of service. Some of the service is complex, partly because the bike has a springer front end but it isn't beyond me or anyone competent. The last service was done while I was on the road back from FL and it seems that somebody managed to not understand torque specifications. To change the oil in the primary case you pull the drain plug in the bottom and then remove the primary cover to replace the oil. The drain plug was no problem, the #27 torx head screws in the primary cover were an issue, well ... two of them were. The specification are 84-108 inch pounds which isn't a lot. The top two screws refused to move with a hardened tool steel socket and 1/4 inch rachet. The torx grooves on the top one simply started going away, even with tapping with a light brass hammer and that is what it took for the next one left to it. The top one took being driven loose with a chisel, a bad thing, but I did get the cover off and the oil replaced. I will have to replace those once I can get to a dealer. I was not happy.

The next problem point was the oil filter, no filter wrench I could put on it would budge the damned thing. Not the light rubber strap wrench which should easily have removed it, and not even the Harley wrench borrowed from a local motorcycle shop. This filter is to be torqued 1/2 to 3/4 turn from gasket contact by specs. That is a bit more than you could manage with your bare hand, but it isn't a heck of a lot. I wound up driving a screw driver into the filter and cranking on it - not once, but three times for a total of 3/4 turn and then the Harley wrench barely got it off. At that point the gasket was squealing as it turned. I don't know how much beyond gasket contact that thing was turned but it was a lot and with holes through the side of the filter a lot of oil ran out on the engine.

The engine and tranny in these bikes go through a very wide temperature range, they get darned hot and they are subject to vibrations and that is a consideration whenever messing with one. But way tighter is not way better. This is what Harley publishes torque specifications for, that difficult environment. By the time I was done with these problems I was pretty unhappy - swear words were involved.

The oil all looked good which in nice and having nice fresh oil in the bike is very good - and better yet, I won't have this mess again.