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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Will It or Won't it? "Sandy" I Mean

These are especially exciting times!   In less than two weeks two enormously important decisions will have been made, the first by voters in the American elections on November 6, and the other about a week earlier -- maybe just a day or two from now -- and that one will be made by an unusual convergence of different weather events over the ocean close to the East Coast of the U.S.

Sandy, sometimes a hurricane and sometimes a tropical storm, is chugging northward over the unusually warm and therefore storm-building waters of the Atlantic toward some point that will most likely be just offshore from New Jersey -- where else? -- upon which it will either turn left and head directly for the land, where it will meet up with a trough that is waiting for it and become hybridized into a third kind of storm that will create all sorts of havoc, or it will stay out at sea while only drenching a few places as a reminder of how once it passed by.

All the models created by supercomputers predict that the former will happen -- the left turn that will cause Sandy to hit Boswash head on with storm surges, high winds, knocked-down trees galore, power outages everywhere, floods, snow farther west, two weeks of ice cream that will suddenly have to be eaten in two days, and other disruptions aplenty -- the "Storm of the Century" some are predicting, while others say that it is just a modest forerunner of even worse to come, due to climate change.

That left turn is not unprecedented but it is unusual -- there have been a number of other named hurricanes this year about which nothing much has been heard, because they've all kept leaning to the right far out into the Atlantic where eventually they've fizzled away, so that in general, for humans if not for the fish, it's been a quiet hurricane season ...till now.

One of the main things I've been wondering is whether or not the Republicans have found a way to blame Sandy on President Obama.   There can be no doubt that they've been working hard on such a proposition, and it couldn't have helped their dispositions when Hurricane Isaac threatened to disrupt their convention in Tampa a few months ago.   This is certain because they've been so unstinting in blaming Obama for everything else that they can even remotely portray as being disastrous, not only under the Sun but also even under the most distant stars.

If Sandy lets itself be pulled harmlessly out over the ocean, the Republicans will loudly and uproariously give Romney all the credit, most likely by having stood at the base of the Statue of Liberty and blowing at the clouds.   If on the other hand Sandy turns westward and goes on to violate man's works bigtime, then they will trumpet it as being not at all the work of the jet stream but all Obama's doing instead, accomplished by his having directed his admirals in Norfolk to send all their ships out to sea, under the pretense of riding out the storm but really to get behind it and push it shoreward to do the deed.

And millions will believe them.  How rotted out on the inside by their own bile are many men today!   They all live under the elephant's rump.

(Posted on Daily Kos yesterday as my fourth diary there.  Changed this version slightly.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Palin on Obama

After the third and last debate between President Obama and M. Romney this past Monday, which focused on foreign affairs and in which Obama is widely considered to have far outdone Romney, S. Palin is quoted as having tweet-tweeted this amazing example of numbskullery:

"I think President Obama certainly showed his desperation tonight with not only his mannerisms, with all of his interruptions and seemingly angered responses, but his false charges.  And he is trying to make up for lost ground, of course, because the president’s lies are catching up with him. It’s unfortunate that Gov. Romney didn’t have time to answer all the false charges. I made a couple of pages of a list of the false charges."

She certainly petted the wrong end of the horse on that one!

Palin has demonstrated over and over again that if anything, beyond shooting large, unarmed animals, she knows even less about basic subjects familiar to ordinary informed citizens, such as history, geography, and situations overseas, than even Romney does, beyond his country club and vulture capitalist circles of friends.

I would very much like to see that list of "false charges" compiled by the woman who claimed that Paul Revere made his famous ride to warn the British, not the American patriots.   So far, however, it doesn't seem to have escaped the privacy of her feverish little hands.   Or should I say her "Fox News rhetoric?"

How pitiful -- and also almost unbelievable -- it is to see a woman so admirably constructed, physically speaking, suffering so badly and all unawares from total mental and spiritual corruption.   Instead of showing her off so much, the Republicans should be sifwasped for what they have done to the former Ms Heath, by having showered her so liberally with fame, power, and money.   And she should be, too, for having swallowed so much of those grossnesses, whole hog.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

About that Second Diary

After almost as much difficulty as I had with the first diary, in finding my way around Dkos's ways of doing things, I finally managed to post the second one there, about A. West, without any snags.

The main problem was that DKos shows two boxes where you can put your diary.   The first, smaller one is called the "Intro," and the second is called "Extended (optional.)"   Lacking any instruction to the contrary, when I was trying to post the first diary, the "Money Mooning" one, I assumed that the Intro was supposed to contain the first two or three paragraphs of the diary, while the Extended was for the rest.   But what happened was, first, that, probably because of my fumbling, only those three paragraphs that I put in there could be seen when it was published, while nothing of the rest of it ("Mooning" is on the longish side) appeared.

But it did appear that there was one comment, my own, in something called the "Tip Jar." and in the tip jar, which usually doesn't contain anything at all, was the whole diary, including those first three paragraphs.  That arrangement didn't strike me as being cool at all, but I didn't know what to do about it.   I couldn't even find out how to delete that diary so that I could start over.   I found instructions on how to, but it involved hitting buttons that were nowhere to be seen.

On top of that, after more fumbling, maybe by bringing up the whole diary anyway from that tip jar, "Mooning" appeared as hoped for, except that between the first three paragraphs and the rest was a large and unsightly gap.   Meanwhile the diary then did appear in Dkos's list of newly published diaries.   But, after only getting one comment, a favorable one, that mention of it disappeared along with everybody else's new ones, except the instant winners, as is the way of things, with dozens of new diaries there appearing every day.

But things went differently with this second one, mainly because I discovered that a whole diary could be stuffed into the Intro box.   And then, next, lo and behold, the next  night after I posted "Cash Cows," it was the second entry in a roundup of election-oriented diaries that appeared on DKos's very first page!   And along with that they had included the first 4 or 5 lines from the diary, with a couple of minor changes in what I had written.

However, it was late at night and I was so tired that I had no energy or the will to look into this further, and naturally a few hours later that version of the first page was long gone.   Things move very fast and fluidly at DKos, and you have to have a really bigtime diary for anything to stay visible there for long.   Maybe if I knew something about Lindsay Lohan or Kim Kardashian that nobody else knows.....  

Since then, however, I have seen nothing more of this second diary either, by not yet having mastered the art of navigating through the site.  But I did see, in one place, that it had gotten 3 comments, and in another that it had gotten the much-prized "recs" from 5 people, which doesn't quite line up, but never mind.   I am happy with that, and maybe later I'll try to see if I can find how many comments were really made and what they were.

These things take time, you know.

Second Diary

. . .And here is the second diary that I posted on Daily Kos, just a few days ago.  With quite a few changes it was originally the second half of the other post about West that I published here two or three weeks ago.

The Cash Cows of Allen West

Allen West (Ahrah of Fla) is enraged.   After all the hard and unflagging work he has put into becoming one of the biggest topsails of the super-remunerative hate industry, and in record time, according to Politico he has been shortchanged on the amount of  the proceeds that have been solicited and received in his name.   In fact he could even be angrier at the scam pacs and what-not that are supposed to be supporting him but are instead stuffing their own pockets with a large part of all the $25 and $50 donations, than he is at the Sun, the Moon, goldfinches, and everything else that is good and decent in the world.

Too bad.   It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, right?   And guess what?   To call these outfits to account he has complained to the FEC, the Federal Election Commission.   Isn't that a part of the Government that he would nevertheless like to cut down in size to nothing more than a cash box for the war industry? -- that same government that is also still handing out to him benefits that in a just world would have been denied to him because of his bad behavior while he was in the military.

But West need not be dismayed.   Racial hatred, as it has been so stirred up into sight from America's lowest depths by the Repubs in the current election, has created more cash cows than they can shake their stick at, so that West has as many resources at his disposal as any blackguard could ever want.   He need only snarl.

If the main reason that the Republicans and their admirers are so hell-bent on disposing of B. Obama is not really because of his domestic record and is not really because of his foreign policy and is not really because he has evaded their blind bull rushes with all the grace and dexterity of a skilled matador, but is instead mainly because of his skin color, coupled with the failure of the U.S. to go to the dogs during his presidency despite all their best efforts to see to that, it could be that by now the Repubs have started wondering if it's not too late to focus on  saving A. West with the same intensity that they have spent on trying to unseat Obama.

I don't know how the polls are going in West's try for another shot at poisoning the national well.   As of a couple of days ago, if you googled that, you would get a jumble of reports like nothing you've ever seen, half saying that West is ahead of his opponent, Patrick Murphy, by something between 9 and 14 points, while the other half will claim that Murphy is ahead by exactly the same huge margin.  Whatever the case, West has been the very model of the bugaboo that the Republicans always like to trot out when they are in need of fresh material with which they can humiliate rainbows (i.e, "black people" in my language if not in yours, and never mind the gays -- American so-called "black" people sport all the colors of the human spectrum) in the Repubs' all consuming drive to shove rainbows and all other visible minorities back into the inferiority cage and this time lock the door for good.

This practice started when the Repubs, along with some badly misguided Democrats, foisted the supremely unqualified Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court, where, as they hoped, he has been nothing more than a dark lump of mute, petrified wood.   And as there is never a shortage of such rainbow opportunists, because the pay is so good, Thomas was soon followed by people like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who, as a result of the affiliation they chose, are lucky that they, along with GWBush, aren't sitting up in the Hague right now, defendants in a mass trial for war crimes, because of Iraq.

   In the Far Right's eyes, A. West has done a heck of a job, he really has, and so we should not be surprised if very soon now -- if they haven't already -- the Repubs will start thinking that maybe just a few tens of millions of those dollars intended for the two "R" boys would be just as well spent on trying to buy West’s re-election, since the spectacle that he has made of himself so starkly and truly facilitates the One Big Thing that feeds all their criminality during this election, and that is racial hatred.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

That Diary

Here, for the record, is the diary that I posted on DKos a couple of days ago, or rather that I seem to have thrown down a hole of total oblivion.   Nevertheless I still think it's accurate and that it says things that were worth saying.  I believe that, even as I post this here, the second debate has just finished, and quite possibly Obama performed much closer to everybody's specifications.

Money's Mooning of America  

   I don't get it.   Seemingly everyone and his brother, as if having drunk out of the same Rev. Jimmy Jones-type Kool-Aid trough, is saying that M. Romney won that first debate against B. Obama, and by a lot.   Even people who will then turn around and speak about all the misleadings (less courteously called "lies") in which Romney engaged, will look up from the trough and blithely and blindly make that assertion of his "victory" and then go on and on about Obama's "failure" as if there can never be any doubt about it, thereby giving new meaning to the old saying, "With friends like this, etc."
      You will rarely hear those people saying why Obama's "failure" should be so, other than stuff such as he was "passive," and he kept his eyes directed downward too much.   What on that stage was so splendid that it merited the President's steady attention?   Surely not M. Romney's strangely glossy, red-eyed, blustering aspect.   But the most common criticism is that the President failed to do what they, his attackers, say they would have done, in his place.
     That strikes me as being a very simple-minded and even dangerous line of attack, first because none of them are anywhere near being in his shoes and can't really know what it's like.  Also none of them have managed to accomplish anything near the incredible miracle that this man managed to pull off a few years ago and that was completely unprecedented in American history, namely managing not only to be elected the U.S. President, an accomplishment so rare that only about a dozen men ever get to occupy that office during the average American's lifetime, but also doing so while being that otherwise most hideous of beings, a male nigra!  Gott im Himmel!
       So I would think that, as uncomfortable as many Americans are with giving a man of color credit for having any smarts at all, no matter who he is, B. Obama's ways of conducting himself and his tactics should always be given great respect and a lot of pause, as unfathomable as they may be at times.   He has the successes to demand that.   From Day Before One he has had to fight hard just about every day and also almost single-handedly it sometimes seemed (going by the scarcity of reports about what his allies were doing, compared to how often you heard about him), against an army of Repubs, all aching to bring him down no matter what the cost to the country's well-being.   Yet he and the country are still very much afloat.   --Such a man should never be sold short.
     This widespread complicity in buying the ridiculous reminds me of what you hear all the time about bombing Iran.   Even those who are against that idea will still support other measures to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but seldom if ever will they give even a halfway reasonable justification for why that needs doing..    And do you know why?   It's because no such justification exists.
     Iran is a sovereign nation, just like Britain, the U.S., or Israel, only with considerably less blood on its hands -- scarcely any, in fact, relatively speaking -- and there is no good reason why Iran shouldn't be left alone to do whatever they please and can manage, to defend themselves.   And with someone like B. Netanyahu running around loose in its neighborhood like a raving, yapping pit bull, Iran definitely needs some nukes, for their normal and only feasible use -- the  beating of the national chest, gorilla-style.
     Meanwhile the three nations that I just mentioned have long had nuclear weapons coming out of their ears, yet they have the effrontery to tell Iran, a nation of 68,000,000 normal, dues-paying, hard-working people, nearly nine times as many as Israel can boast and about as many as Britain, not to mention much more contiguous territory and that most valued of all natural resources, oil, that it can't have any such lethal goodies.   And almost never does anyone question those powers about this all too obvious hyoocrisy.   Instead people just follow the "party" line, or what could better be called, the "thoughtless line."
      We can see the same thing at work in the chatter about that first debate.    Maybe those who haven't really thought about this and have accepted that verdict that Romney won and Obama lost as good coin are going by the principle that the popular perception is that Romney won because he was loud and assertive, and Obama was neither, and so the "Presidential disaster" bit must be true.   But my question is, how can it be true?   By what standards is Romney perceived as having outdone Obama?  On what basis are the winners and losers of debates even determined?   How are the points counted and what are they?
     Debates are highly subjective things.  The final verdicts on them are just matters of opinion and little else.   No matter how the media would have it, debates are not like contests such as basketball, football, or baseball, where you end up with baskets, touchdowns, or runs that can be tallied.  Debates are not even like their closer relatives, chess and prizefighting.   In chess the winner is very clear.   It's the player who has forced his opponent's king into a position where that king is in check and it can't get out of check.   In prizefighting, where the pugilists openly go for inflicting maximum physical damage, admittedly things get no better than in debates on those unsatisfactory occasions when so little damage has been inflicted that the winner has to be determined by referees and judges instead of by the ways for which that bogus "sport" is most often loved and revered -- a knockout punch or an opponent so battered and bleeding that he can no longer get back off the floor or the ropes.
      By contrast Obama ended up far from being unable to move out of check or to get off the canvas or the ropes (that he was never on to start with).   Instead the very next day, visibly unbattered and not bleeding in any way, he made a magnificent speech in Denver just as if he had never been anywhere near the likes of M. Romney in that same city the night before.   And the next day 30,000 admirers flooded a campus in Wisconsin, with more thousands in the outlying areas, to hear him speak, and the day after that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment percentage had dropped to 7.8, its lowest number since the newly inaugurated Obama was obliged to begin his term in office by trying to do away with  the enormous economic quagmire that had been left to him by the Republicans.   Yet now, not even four years later, far too many Americans, out of little more than undying resentment of his skin color, are ready and willing to let that same party take right back over again, even though GOPers created that mess in the first place and thereafter bitterly resisted every measure that Obama tried to take to turn things in better directions.
      If nothing will do nevertheless than having a scoreboard and tallying something,  then merely the number of lies told by the two sides should be as good a basis as any for saying who wins a debate, and I think you will find any number of articles enumerating Romney's lies, while there are few if any mentions of falsehoods told by Obama.   In fact, in this respect Romney can be thought of as having at least performed a valuable service, by making his lies so numerous, egregious, and easy to spot.   That would settle the question of who won or lost this debate right there, and the winner wouldn't be Rmoney, by a truly lopsided margin.
      But if that is conveniently set aside to keep the popular fallacy, the hoodwinking, and the lemming march going, then the standard must instead be the amount of wolfing that was done.   But is that what a political debate is supposed to be, especially in a Presidential race?   A wolfing contest, with the winner determined by seeing which contestant dished out the most bullpoop in a limited amount of time, a tactic also known as doing the "Gish Gallop?"   Then by that criteria Romney surely won.  But in that case it wouldn't have been a debate at all, that is, a contest of ideas and facts, but instead would be only a one-sided shouting match or a poop-shoveling competition,  with Romney's bullpoop having been by far the most toxic and noxious because it was so soaked with falsehoods, aka lies.
      The standard that I like most, however, and the one that I would think would be the most important when you are choosing a U.S.  President, because it pertains to so many matters,  is which person would you prefer having access to the likes of the famous nuclear "suitcase?"   Which person takes time to look  before he leaps?   Which person has a better feeling for the world beyond his several houses, his boats, his car elevators, and his huge bank accounts?
      During any big emergency, not just of nuclear war but also of any disaster that calls for Presidential leadership and assistance, would you want that leader to be cool, calm, and unflappable, as Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he surely is?   Or would you prefer the person who shows up at a mere debate so intent on deluding people with an impression of his being the one with the biggest stick, that his appearance and behavior suggest that he dropped something potent on his way there, and who comes across as being extremely hyper, with his performance consisting mainly of torrents of verbiage delivered with little or no semblance of careful, consistent thought behind them.   And Romney ended up descending to being absolutely picayune and mean-spirited when, after having a few months earlier said that he likes to fire people, he threatened the moderator of this debate, the venerable Jim Lehrer, with termination, by being unable to resist sounding an old Republican war cry that in this case was the same as saying, Oh, and by the way, Jim ol' snort, I will make sure that the U.S. government will no longer give funding to one of the country's finest cultural achievements, your PBS.   I want to give that drop-in-a-bucket money to my people instead, the already filthy rich.   They might not need it in the least, but they definitely want it, and that's all that matters, at least to me.
       Romney's general demeanor was the clincher for my contention that he, not Obama, was the big loser in their first debate, in more ways than one.   He resorted to schoolyard-type bullying, complete with cutting off Obama several times and Jim Lehrer repeatedly, as if he himself, the big cheese on that stage, was setting the rules for the occasion then and there.  (He must've struggled mightily to avoid calling the President "Boy.")   But maybe this is why so much of a nation that takes such great pride in being the one so-called "superpower" and therefore superior to all others in the world thinks that Romney won.  Haven't they heard of the dangers of hubris, or overweening pride?   But I guess not many Americans take Classics or the Humanities in college  though that should be required reading everywhere.   Believe it or not, the Greeks figured all this out as many as 3,000 years ago, yet today here we are, with people going for that same old disastrous red-eyed dodge yet again, the same as in countless times in the past and in countless places around the world.
      All that I could observe Romney accomplishing during those sad two hours is that, figuratively speaking, he exposed the vast expanse of his behind, by sticking it out a window of his blood-red bus and thereby mooning the country that he nevertheless thinks is obliged to choose him in less than a month from now as its next chief executive.
     If people do not know when they're being mooned, or if they enjoy being subjected to an experience like that, it's time for them to take some long walks through the woods and get themselves together, right now, while swearing off the "Kick Ass Joy Juice."
    (I apologize for the length of this diary, if you got this far, but that is what happens when you make a person wait for a week before he can post his first diary ever, as this one is.  :)  )

Monday, October 15, 2012

Okay. Did it.

I did it!   Tonight, at just about midnight on either the 14th or the 15th, I finally got myself together and I hit the Publish button, and now my first diary is out there, somewhere, on the Daily Kos.   And it is still titled "Money's Mooning of America," under the name that I use here, Sofarsogoo.   They said it's published to a new blog that I seem to have gotten there just by becoming a member, and I gave that one of my old trivia-playing names of years ago, Elderly Child.

The diary is on the longish side, and not just because I had to wait a week between becoming a DKos member and being able to publish a diary, during which time, naturally I thought of more things to add or to change.

I hope I didn't get too many facts -- or any -- wrong.   I kept trying to think of what could be wrong.   Anyway, it is more my usual side-off-the-wall and somewhat strong opinions anyway, than it is anything else.

Update: Three hours later the diary got its first comment, a favorable one! 

Meanwhile my mind, which never gives me a break at times such as this, keeps reading and re-reading the thing, trying to make sure it's still okay.

I guess this means that I'll be spending the rest of today dropping in there every once in a while, to see if anybody else read it and had something to say.   

Friday, October 12, 2012

My First "Diary"

On discovering that I could not post a comment on Daily Kos without being a member, four or five days ago I joined that site, mostly because I also had in mind posting some "diaries" there, including one in particular. But after I joined I then found that I could only post my first diary after a one-week waiting period.  That period should be over in another day or two, and then I will have to cross another Rubicon of sorts.

I said "another" because actually I've had quite a lot of these moments.  Even I am surprised at how many there've been, on my particular scale of things.

Quite naturally that first diary will be a shot at the biggest threat facing the U.S. today: the candidate for President named M. Romney. I've been through several titles for it. The first was "M. Romney's Mooning of America," but then I saw that DKos does not allow titles of "an inflammatory nature." So I changed it to "The Mooning of America." That was okay for a while, but another came to mind that I like even more, and I think I've decided to go with it.  It is "Money's Mooning of America." In progressive circles Romney's name is often spelled "Rmoney," for obvious reasons.  That shouldn't set too many big britches on fire, at least at first.  A little later it will be too late.

Other DKos diarists though not a lot have already covered the same ground as mine, but I figure you can't have too many on that theme, and also I take a slightly different and somewhat more detailed approach.   The theme is that Obama, not Romney, was the "winner" pf their debate last week -- if any debates can be said to have true winners, which I question, seeing that as a matter of a test of faith more than anything else.

I don't know how I'm going to fare with this diary business, because of the comments thing.   I've noticed that Dkos diaries, even those by newcomers, attract a lot of them, a huge lot, again on my scale of things.  Twenty or thirty are not unusual, and mine might draw that many or even more, seeing as how the stand I take is not a popular one and so could be a good target for quick, cheap shots.

Even Obama himself has bowed to the popular perception a little, by saying that he might have tried too hard to be "nice."   That could be seen as having punctured my case ahead of time, a little, but again I don't see things that way.   It wasn't Obama's behavior in the debate that concerned me.  From where I stand, it was Romney's conduct that made him the loser, by far.

I don't know how I would handle a situation that got anywhere near that many comments, because I've been spoiled by so many years of comfortably writing this one, which hardly anyone knows even exists. I have made a virtue of total obscurity, not only in this weblog but also in the way that I have led my entire life, and it's not easy to release one's grip on that kind of complete freedom. 
The biggest question, though, is not how many comments my diary will get.  It is instead what will I do if more than one comes my way.  My extreme distaste for confrontations of all kinds always causes me, in my own commenting, to post one and then go on off, usually without returning to see whether or not it got any reaction.   Though the other day I definitely did try to return to one place, with verbal mayhem in my heart.  But try as I might I didn't have a clear memory as to where I had put it, and I never did find the spot.   So the pompous dummy who set himself up so badly by stating baldly that Richard Nixon did more for civil rights than any other politician he could think of has been left to wend his merry way through his ignorance without being challenged, at least by me.

That experience very well could have built up my resolve to go ahead with this diary.

I have noticed that some diarists at DKos don't take part in the comments either, but others stay there and defend their views point by point. I can't see how either approach is that much superior to the other one, and so I tell myself that it won't matter.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Email to Bartcop

Below is a comment that I just sent off to Bartcop, an interesting and rambunctious entity and site that I've been reading since long before I got a weblog myself and that's  been 8 years already.   He just might print it on his site somewhere or put a link to it.  He likes showing emails critical of him.   He was so livid about Obama's conduct in the debate that he could barely control himself.   But then, though he is almost always on the decent side of matters, he suffers from the impulse to kick Democrats every chance he gets, and I just thought that, right now at least, he should know better.

With a bunch of changes, I could've sent off this same message to others who in my opinion should also know better, including the Pitt guy at Alternet, but I don't feel like it.  And anyway, it all seems so obvious to me.   As so often, I just don't understand how the differences in perception can be so stark!

Sorry, Bart, but in your zeal to pin petticoats on Democrats, one of your favorite activities, next to drinking Chinaco and playing Texas hold-up, which I think I can say as one of your regular readers over quite a few years, you have once again grabbed the sow by the wrong teat by so roundly condemning Obama here.

In so doing, in the midst of your many right-on-the-mark verdicts, here you have joined with a vengeance all the dummies who have been so ignorant of the importance of never rushing to make snap judgments -- or paying attention to snap polls  -- instead of waiting a few days to see which way the wind is blowing, and also for your mind to snap back to a more sensible shape.

Right now, a little over two days later, what I see are strong indications that Obama is coming out of this smelling pretty rosy.   So far what little we see of the polls indicates that he isn't any worse off now than he was before.  In fact he could be better off.   He is still drawing huge crowds with much more faith -- and good judgment -- than you're showing (did you see the picture of those 30,000+ that swarmed to see him in Wisconsin?), the unemployment sank to 7.8, Romney mainly showed his behind in the debates by his feverish and schoolyard bully behavior that couldn't have sat at all well with that biggest proportion of the electorate, the ladies, the biggest buzz that is going around is about all the lies he told, and above all, Big Bird, Kermit, Oscar, and all the others are on his case!

Maybe you need to get out of the mind-blipping air of Oklahoma worse than you think.   Meanwhile you also need to drop the dumb poker and instead start playing the game that really sharpens the mind, my game, chess, though, if you insist on coming out with lapses like this anti-Obama garbage, it's too late.
      --Carl, aka Sofarsogoo

Friday, October 05, 2012


Attribution: unknown

Narrow-Mindedness on the Rompage, starring Rmoney

During the debate the other night, M. Romney indicated that if elected, as part of his program of improving things for all Americans, he would stop all government funding of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which includes NPR, National Public Radio.   Now a large public outcry is in the making, mainly in regard to Big Bird.  Yet today some in the media are saying that in the debate Romney signaled that he is suddenly switching from being a conservative extremist "back" to the center and being a moderate.   Killing PBS, not to mention Big Bird, is moderation and a step toward improving things for all Americans?

Hurting PBS in all ways possible has been a goal of all good Republicans all along, but how many recall that the moderator of that debate, Jim Lehrer, has been a longtime fixture of PBS?   So it's easy to think that Rmoney thought that he was also striking back at Lehrer for the utter gall of trying, however modestly, to keep him from conducting himself in the debate in any way he pleased, since that is what Romney has always seen as being his God-given birthright.

I know about Big Bird, at least in the form in which he existed in the 1970's, which I assume has changed hardly at all since then, and I have to reveal that, while I didn't mind him in those days when I was in the small-child-raising business, by the end of it I felt that I had gotten a thorough overdose of him and his buddies, and I haven't missed them or the rest of Sesame Street.   But there can be no doubt that they are doing the same good work that they have done for many generations of families -- especially in that all-important role of holding the attention of 3- to 8-year-olds while they are incidentally getting a letter or a number or two slipped into their knowledge banks, when otherwise they would be using the bookcases as if they were climbing to the top of a sliding board and thus causing their parents to climb the walls.

But I hadn't realized that Big Bird is synonymous with PBS.   Instead I've always associated PBS more with great cultural programs like "Masterpiece Theater," and with great information programs on NPR like "All Things Considered."   And in my book they add greatly to improving things for all Americans.

But I guess that even the relative pennies that helping with the funding of PBS costs the Government are sorely desired by a wealthy guy like Rmoney and the constituents that he invites over to compare car elevators.   After all, they must have not just most but all of it, and meanwhile in their minds the rest of America can be thrown back to the barbarians.   Rmoney's kind of people don't care, except to the extent that the servant pool is kept large, deprived, uninformed, and handy.

It would be a very fine thing if, throughout this next month, Rmoney gets a big overdose of Big Bird, though in a different fashion, from irate parents past and present, as well as those many millions of other Americans who got their first educational experiences from the likes of Big Bird, Kermit, and the especially cool guy in the trash can.   What was his name?  Oscar?   Yeah.  Him.  Oscar.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

There Are Many Explanations

Today President Obama is being criticized from several quarters.  He is accused of having been too passive and in general giving a lackluster performance in last night's debate, with the result that Romney is being widely seen as having been the "winner," even among some of Obama's still steadfast supporters.   But at least the constraint is such that you don't see much about why that should've been.   That's because, without any way to have been in Obama's shoes or in his situation or inside his mind, nobody can know just what was going on with him during those painful two hours, and we can only take our best shots at conjectures.

To do this a certain amount of imagination would be helpful, especially if you've already spent considerable time trying to picture what it's like to be in his shoes, and subsequent verifications and refutations would help you stand on firmer ground and feel more confident about your conclusions. There can be many explanations for the approach he took.

The most obvious and understandable of those could be that of all the places on earth, that debate hall was one where at that moment he least wanted to be, because it might have seemed to him to be too close an approximation of having at last had to do the long-dreaded thing -- stepping inside the ultimate, final exam room.   It could have occurred to him that he is, after all, the President of these United States, and as such reputedly the most powerful man in the world.   So was this ordeal nevertheless what that job had come down to?   Having to take a test for which he had been, like any ordinary, desperate, university scrounge, cramming for the last three days and filling his head up with all sorts of facts and figures for which he couldn't even enjoy the ordinary college anticipation of their use, because everything would depend somewhat on the questions he would be asked but even more on what his opponent would do.

Or maybe the trouble was that Romney disappointed Obama. 

Not having personally seen anything of M. Romney for a while, maybe Obama had come there at least expecting to see a restrained, cultured gentleman of sorts, only to sense with his first glance that he was face to face with the very model of the worst element that he was up against in the elections -- the angry euro (i.e. "white") man, which, in the person of this Romney character, had appeared in its worse form, the moneyed, conservative type who from birth has had only one way to look at the rest of humanity, and that is downward. So it could have been that Obama had no stomach for being essentially shut up in there, alone, despite the millions of eyes and ears watching and listening, with the likes of an M. Romney -- a common feeling, I have the impression, that is experienced by anybody who has to be around that guy for any period of time. 

Or maybe, also from just his first perusal, Obama noticed his opponent's general appearance, followed by the man's behavior, both of which strongly suggested that Romney had dropped some sort of strong substance before entering the hall.  It is reported that Romney's eyes looked unnaturally red, and that his face sported an unnatural sweatiness and sheen.  Then there was what others called a smirk but to me was more like a twisted sneer, that he was able to keep on his face for such sustained periods that it would seem he could only have done it with chemical help.   And that was accompanied by how he kept emitting a constant torrent of words that could not be cut short even by the quasi- and experienced moderator, Jim Lehrer.  True, he cut off Obama just a few times, but he ran over the aged Lehrer repeatedly and did not respect the previously agreed-upon terms of the debate.

For whatever reason Obama, the illogical persecutor of pot availability, has been illogically attacked for having found little occasion to look at Romney directly and instead generally kept his gaze pointed purely into the inner sanctum of how he must stick to the program that he and his people had decided was the one best followed, that is, to stay calm, cool, collected, and Presidential.

Or maybe his subdued demeanor was due to discoveries that Obama made during the debate itself, when, still tenaciously holding on to what he obviously regards as being the highest of ideals, he increasingly came to see only at that moment that things he had been told about the opposition but had never been able to buy in full were really true.   One of the most painful of those discoveries had to have been that, just in the short span of his own, not yet completed first term, Romney, Boehner, Limbaugh and Co. had managed to strip the prefix in the word "bipartisan" of all its original meaning, so that now, at least among that sizable numer of Americans still under the Republican thrall, "bipartisan" means doing things in strictly the Republican way, while "partisan"means doing things in the totally unacceptable Democratic way.

These are just a few of the ways that I can come up with, to account for what Obama did and did not do in the debate last night.   I am sure there are many others as well.   Yet all in all I think he did exactly what he came there to do, no more and no less.   He strikes me as always being that kind of dude.   And it is my belief that soon enough the method in his madness will be clear enough, and I am far from the only person that thinks that.  

To illustrate that idea I am tempted here to try to turn around a racist joke that was popular way back in World War I.  (Yeah, somehow things have been arranged so that I go back almost that far.   I was born only about 11 years later.)

   When the U.S. finally entered the fighting in France, among the American soldiers were a number of all-rainbow regiments.   And the joke went that during one moment of intense hand-to-hand combat, a German soldier and a rainbow American G.I. found themselves facing each other, and both reached for their weapons of choice, the German for his bayonet, the American rainbow for his straight-edge razor.

The rainbow, being faster, got in the first blow with a mighty swipe at the German's neck.

"Ha!" the German said in triumph as he steadied his grip on his bayonet.   "You missed!"

"You think so?" answered the American rainbow soldier, smiling, while leisurely closing up his blade.   "Okay.   But just don't shake your head."

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The First Great Debate

Well, today is the Big Day, at least in this part of October 2012.   Tonight the long anticipated First Great Debate will be held between B. Obama, the current President of the United States, and M. Romney, who is bitterly aspiring to take Obama's place and deny him an absolutely necessary second term in office.   At least 60 million Americans are expected to view the debate on television.

I will not be one of them, even though I couldn't anyway because of the way my technical gear is set up.   We have a television set and a big one, if a 27-incher could still be called big, but we have no working tuner to go with it.   I suppose there is a way that I could get it live on our computers, but I don't want to go to the trouble of finding out.   So I plan to content myself with "live-blogging" on the Daily Kos site, while wife will probably accept an invitation by one of her fellow political workers to view it at her house elsewhere in the county.

I am not afraid of the outcome.   I don't see how the debate could come out badly for Obama.   He's cool, while Romney obviously is not.   But I am concerned about one little thing, and that is "the Reagan Shot."

I can recall all too vividly how back when he was running against W. Mondale, R. Reagan used a schoolyard-type taunt that was familiar to me from days of old, and it turned out to be amazingly and also distressingly effective.  In answer to nearly everything that Mondale said, Reagan would keep saying, "There he goes again."   And he coupled that with never saying Mondale's name.   And, much to the country's detriment, Reagan won that election by a landslide, and that allowed him to go on with  -- as someone said at the time, nearly bankrupting the U.S. while preparing for nuclear war, by quadrupling the National Debt.

Reagan's behavior in that election sickened me in a way that has still never completely subsided, especially because I still haven't thought of a destroying return shot that I could use if I were in Obama's shoes. though I haven't tried very hard either.   I'm sure I could if I put my mind to it.  There was something so childish about that that I thought was completely unfitting to a Presidential race, and it was made all the worse because it seemed to have worked, though that of course wasn't the only thing that helped Reagan in that election.   In obscenity it compared to the way that the Iranian ayatollahs had cooperated with him and therefore had worked against another good Democrat, J. Carter, four years earlier, by delaying the release of the American hostages till the day after Reagan's inauguration.

Romney has already said that he might use Reagan's "There you go again" at least a couple of times, and it is the general impression that instead of disclosing what he would do as President, he will instead spend most of his time trying to act as a fact-checker of whatever Obama says -- a 2012 adaptation, I guess, of the Reagan Shot.

Naturally Obama and his people have long been aware of all this, and so it will be interesting first, to see what Romney will do, and second, to see how Obama will deal with it.

But even then, it won't be quite as interesting to me personally as it would have if N. Gingrich had prevailed over his fellow Republicans instead.  Gingrich was so successful in debates against the rest of the "Crazy Eight," including Romney, most of the time, during the Republican primary, that his supporters kept licking their chops in anticipation of him debating Obama.   They kept assuring us that this meant that Gingrich would wipe the floor with Obama.

That was so starkly unlikely that I badly wanted to see him try,  in addition to how, in all his nonsense, the Newt is so much more interesting a character than Romney.  But such was not to be.  Obama, as I said before, is way too cool for all that kind of stuff anyway, and he, as we used to say in the days of preparing for racial equality at long last, is ready.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Allen West -- a Grand Champion Disgrace

I would guess that many if not most of us have been in settings that are endlessly desecrated by people who make things so difficult for everybody that when a way is finally found – finally! -- to see the last of them, even the atheists in the group find themselves thanking God over and over again.  Yet, in our more generous moments, after we have re-learned how to breathe easily and not have to come to work or wherever anymore with a sinking heart, we think of how such monsters could not have just vanished from the planet, never to be seen again, like a puff of snot-green smoke.  (Thank you, James Joyce.)    Instead we remind ourselves that they must be somewhere else making things just as intolerable for others, and we wonder where that could be – hopefully not anywhere closer than about 2,000 miles.  

One answer is supplied by the career of an ex-Lieut-Colonel, who despite having been booted out of the U.S. Army, hopped like a giant, flatulent flea from torturing Iraqis into, a few years later, "serving" – I use that word with reservations galore –  as the U.S. Representative of Florida’s 18th District.  This man’s name is Allen West, and his pugnacity and his character are so inexcusable that just the sight of him suggests that he has managed to make new contributions even to the already bad name of military haircuts.

But at least we can say that because of West, we can get an idea of where some number of those who make life so difficult for everybody -- and take sardonic delight in doing so -- go.

First they seek refuge in indiscriminate outfits like the Army, which, in addition to spending a lot of time with them, asks mainly that some day, somewhere, the recruits will stand ready to take lives as well as forfeiting their own.   Then, when that institution takes its turn at realizing what pitiful pretenses for human beings these rejects really are, and kicks them out, they next head like angry, rogue, giant bell hornets for what they now see as having been their only true home-sweet-home after all.  They run for Congress.

If they are shrewd enough they take care to set up in a district that is in such a state of temporary mental collapse that once in a while they even win!  That’s why today we can find so many of those total baboon-butts babbling away in those fabled marble halls, nearly all of them--   No, hell no, and forget that equivalency bullpoop.   ALL the several dozens of them are Republicans.  That party is their party of choice, just as with racists, rapists, and all other unsavory types.

However, here I will concede one thing.   Few of these miscreants have talents for abusing everything in sight, including themselves, that match those of A. West.   He is in a class by himself --though it’s not too much to say that he definitely has a true soulmate in the House, in the person of Michele Bachmann, the even more notorious euro virago from Minnesota, and a mating between them would definitely be a match made in Heav -- no, in Hell, and she is only saved from being his equal in unbearability first by being a woman and second, by being in dire need of a complete mental examination.

Usually, when a man is in his first term in Congress, he keeps a low profile while he feels his way around in hopes of not doing anything that would keep him from serving a second and a third and a twelfth and a thirteenth term down the road, so addictive are the many perks and the sensation of power of those offices, especially if he doesn’t have anything better to do in the meantime.  But not this guy.  A. West, who, as of this writing, has not yet finished his first term, and if a merciful God does exist, will not get a second, came roaring in there eager to get on the cases of the large number of people who don't snap to attention and salute whenever he walks by.  His aim also was to get into the news as often as he could while he was busy vying to become Chief Infuriator of the House, and to that end his energies have rarely flagged.  Ask the Congressional Black Caucus, though -- in appearance only -- he is of that ancestry himself.  And while you’re at it, also ask all liberals, progressives, Democrats, and others who are the least bit non-regressive and therefore decent and non-Republican.

In the process he has become so successful at being sensationally thuggish, ignorant, and unpleasant that he is the most famous of that huge number of Tea Party freshmen who came storming into Congress in 2010 as if, in my wife's words, they owned the place.

West strikes me as being a guy who, in his nearly 50 years, has left behind him an enormously long string of people who are just as happy as they can be that they’ve seen the last of him – except in the cursed news -- and not least of those must have been the Army, despite the haircut.  So how did he get elected to Congress?   Who gave him references?  Who endorsed him?   The KKK?   Al-Qaeda?   The International Torturers Guild?  Who would want to live in a district represented by such a chronic dipstick?

The answer to that can only be that the Tea Party has found a way to fence in and hold prisoner an entire Florida Congressional District without enough of them realizing it.   Or either the baggers have managed to keep that district’s several good people drugged out of their skulls through the past two years with an especially potent libation that thankfully has not yet found its way much past that district’s borders.

A. West, wrapped in everything he stands for (and the U.S. flag would not want to be included in that), is a world champion disgrace to …what?   The expression used to run, “a disgrace to the race.”  But he is so endlessly disagreeable that I can't see how a race of any kind in existence today would want to claim him.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Butch Yellow Cake and the Red Line Kid

B. Netanyahu's performance at the U.N. the other day was eerily reminiscent of another, equally inglorious (and slightly comic if the subject weren’t so serious) day at the same location on the same kind of occasion, when the distinguished General Colin Powell stripped himself of every last bit of what remained of his credibility, by standing up before the nations of the world and declaring that Iraq was making weapons of mass destruction, and as proof he displayed some aerial photos that could’ve been of anything (and later proved to be even less).   Also he brandished a tiny phial that contained what he purported to be something called "yellow cake," presumably a mineral, in this case mined in Niger, from which material could be extracted for making nuclear bombs.

At that moment I felt sorry only for the credibility of the United States government, and not at all for that of the celebrated rainbow general, for I had never been able to see what Powell had that had caused him to be so widely admired.   At one time he was seriously thought to be a good possibility for becoming the first rainbow U.S. President -- by the Republicans even!  From where I stood, if he had ever been admirable in any sense, he had set that aside permanently the moment he stepped onto the national stage – on the side of the Republicans.   Anytime a rainbow does that, I instantly see him or her as being a Judas goat, a traitor to the cause in which they had been members from birth, until such time as they later turn their coats or backs on their birthrights, and later events almost never prove that wrong.   From the first, despite all his medals and his distinguished military service and such, it was perfectly clear to me that Powell was only a poster boy, a mascot, a water carrier for his people of choice, the Republicans, and that continued to be true regardless of all the prestigious posts with which they showered him, one after the other -- until...

Until that day when he stood up before the UN holding that little phial, the perfidy of which has been shown by how next to nothing has ever again been heard from or about Colin Powell, or "Butch Yellow Cake."

One would hope that the same could be said about Netanyahu, after he stood up before the UN a few days ago and showed a little placard on which someone had drawn a fat but narrow-neck bomb with a fuse showing.   It looked like something from one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons of the 1940’s and ‘50’s.   He said the bomb represented Iran’s work on developing a nuclear weapon, and across the base of the bomb’s neck, he scrawled a red line that he said represented the point, which would come sometime next year, when it would be absolutely necessary to  forcibly stop Iran from going any farther.

Netanyahu didn't say so openly, and later he made some apparently warm remarks about President Obama, but still it was all too plain that he had drawn that red line not to show what his own forces would do – they have shown an obvious distaste for the whole idea -- but instead for instructing the U.S. on when it should step up to the plate on Netanyahu’s behalf and at his bidding and do exactly the same as a previous U.S. President had already done, at the urging of the same parties, in the case of the tragic and totally unjustified attack that rained so much death and destruction on Iraq, a carnage that has still not ended, and that was almost 10 years ago.

But there's no hope that the same will happen with Netanyahu,  I mean, fading out of sight completely and forever after this latest big kink in his spotty career.

Powell at least has shown a sense of shame -- a quality that has never been detected in the Israeli prime minister -- and, wherever he is now, Powell would not be amused by noting that the "Butch Yellow Cake" persona that he so disastrously draped on himself at the UN in 2003 has at last been exactly complemented by Netanyahu's getup today.    By now Netanyahu is a proven keeper when it comes to being bad news, and after being removed from the scene he just keeps coming back -- the "King of Bad Pennies," he could be called, though now he has proudly put himself into a position to become even better known as "the Red Line Kid."

I thought the UN was founded to prevent those mass slaughters called wars, and not at all to allow guys in their Bolivia moments to justify starting new ones, and in the process butchering badly overmatched and essentially innocent nations.