Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Last Smart Nail in the Coffin......

The most conservative economic magazine on the planet has just endorsed Barack Obama.

The Economist of London.

The Economist is pro-globalization, anti-regulation, pro-free markets.......

And pro Obama.

I have been working on a long letter to my Kind Christian friends.....who are voting McCain because they are pro-Life.....and for some demented reason are voting for a guy who spends less time in churches than me..... over a declared born-again Christian.

You are dissing a guy who actually goes to church with his first wife and his actual children every Sunday......over a guy who only goes to church if there are cameras, or if the choir girls are really hot and his second wife is out of town at a beer convention with her daddy.

I have been reading the Economist since 1970, when I first hit England. It was already a hundred years old at that point.....and given to rational, dour, scientific and calm analysis of any given situation.....regardless of the politics.

If the Economist endorses Obama.....and you are still a McCain person and not a Kind Christian.....it means, I am very sorry to break this to you......

You are fucking stupid.

The most conservative newspaper in the world is supporting the centrist black guy over your fuddy-duddy with the dipshit squeaker side-kick.

My dark side would ask you to shoot yourself and save our precious gene-pool the affront of your obviously polluted DNA....but this is a kinder, gentler world. We are supposed to be inclusive and diverse.

And we are catering the McCain victory party on Tuesday.

I would rather ask you to actually go to a computer, or a library.....and check some actual facts about the candidate's positions.

Or go to the Economist.

One guy has a plan.....the other guy is trying to extend his priapic schoolboy run through our most sacred institutions and values. Why he dragged perfectly intelligent Republican folks with him is beyond me, and worthy of study by someone smart.

No wonder David Foster Wallace hung himself. Really. That is not a flip remark.

I am sorry if the black guy scares you.

Sometimes wisdom comes in strange packages.

Hey....the Three Wise Guys were black, Asian and Semitic.....and it worked for Jesus.

That was some serious Change.

Here is the Economist's conclusion:

He has earned it

So Mr Obama in that respect is a gamble.

But the same goes for Mr McCain on at least as many counts, not least the possibility of President Palin.

And this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait.

He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen.

But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

Flip side.....

The following was sent to me by a person with no health insurance, and who had been unemployed for more than five years until a few weeks ago. Her entire income during that period came from her father's social security check.

*'Twas the night before elections*
*And all through the town*
*Tempers were flaring*
*Emotions all up and down!*
**
*I, in my bathrobe*
*With a cat in my lap*
*Had cut off the TV*
*Tired of political crap.*
**
*When all of a sudden*
*There arose such a noise*
*I peered out of my window*
*Saw Obama and his boys*
**
*They had come for my wallet*
*They wanted my pay*
*To give to the others*
*Who had not worked a day!*
**
*He snatched up my money*
*And quick as a wink*
*Jumped back on his bandwagon*
*As I gagged from the stink*
**
*He then rallied his henchmen*
*Who were pulling his cart*
*I could tell they were out*
*To tear my country apart!*
**
*' On Fannie, on Freddie, *
*On Biden and Ayers!*
*On Acorn, On Pelosi'*
*He screamed at the pairs!*
**
*They took off for his cause*
*And as he flew out of sight*
*I heard him laugh at the nation*
*Who wouldn't stand up and fight!*
**
*So I leave you to think*
*On this one final note-*
*IF YOU DONT WANT SOCIALISM*
*GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!*

Vote, dammit......

We are all getting crazy amounts of emails as the campaign grinds down to the last few days and hours.

Whack job racist emails about Obama (thank you, Newspaperwoman.......), kind and concerned emails from both sides, internet rumors, a zillion pleas for money.....the whole ball of wax. Or whacks.

I am more and more disturbed by my former party's descent into deceitful demagoguery, spiraling down to encourage the worst, most vicious facets of our national character.

That is why it was really disturbing to get an email about Obama voter fraud from one of the Kind Christian Cult.

The Kind Christians (I have identified about a dozen) seem to exude actual Christian values: concern for others, tolerance, lack of judgemental ideology......and that whole kindness thing. Do unto others, etc.

We Catholics have a few ourselves: the nuns at the Monastery by Point Lobos, and the monks at the Camaldoli Hermitage. Bruna Odello. The Bereavement Ladies at the Carmel Mission.

All these folks share what I call the "Goosebump Power": when they say "God Bless You", you have a more than passing feeling that there really is a God......and you just got blessed.

Anyway.....there is no such thing as voter fraud anymore. For instance: my middle son got a great job in Seoul, Korea (as opposed to Seoul, Indiana?) and couldn't figure out the absentee ballot thing in 2006. He called up his brother and asked if he could vote for him at our local precinct.

These guys look enough alike that they have used each other's passports.....and we won't talk about the whole "older brother driver's license to get in the bars three years early deal." (A favorite moment of mine was when my UC Santa Cruz son was in the 41st Avenue Safeway buying beer. In the line with him was the son of my college roomate from Cornell....a kid who had worked for us a bunch of times. Both boys were using their older brother's driver's licenses. Another day at college).

Anyway, the boys figured it would be OK for one to cast the other one's ballot....by proxy, sort of.

Yeah, well.....guess who the poll worker was?

Grandma.

Out here in the country, we not only all know each other and talk shit about each other....but we bring the poll workers cookies, and ceviche and smoked salmon. I can just see me walking in pretending to be my dead friend Robert. Right.

There is registration fraud, though. A different critter.

Here is my letter to my Kind Christian friend, Sally in response to her email.

Baby.......

There is a difference between voting fraud.....and voting registration fraud.

Six years ago I did a registration program to try to register everyone in Cachagua to vote. The Store was the polling place and we tried to get everyone to participate. We did semi-legal stuff like give away free beers to voters......Coors to Republicans, Newcastle to Democrats. It was free, so it was kind of legal.

I paid some locals to distribute and collect registration forms......I paid by the form.

My purpose was not to start the next Socialist Atheist Abortion Front of Cachagua........it was mostly to encourage the nearly dead feeling of our little valley as a community again. Yipes! There is that word! Commune! Aaack. Sorry.

The other reason was simply that the higer the number of registered voters in a given precinct the more attention you get from the local pols. I didn't care if people registered as Democrats, Republicans or KKK members. I just wanted everyone to register......and vote in whatever whacky way they wanted. Then, when I call up Dave Potter to fix the damn road....he would have to pay attention. Or when I call Abel Maldonado to cut us some slack on the private winery thing....he would pay attention. Or when I call Sam Farr to help us out with the water or the ESL classes or steelhead poachers or Cachagua Fire.......he would have to pay attention.

We got all kinds of weird shit back on the forms: many famous Goth musicians registered to vote in Cachagua. Adolf Hitler registered. Timothy Leary registered.

An ex-hitman for the Irish mob registered as a member of the Penis and Freedom Party.

This is what I get for paying crack-heads to register folks. They were very busy!

Even though I knew it was bullshit.....I still had to send in the forms. The voter registration form is the third most sacred and important piece of paper in our democracy, after citizenship and the actual ballot itself. I highlighted the ones I thought were bullshit....but I could not shitcan them.

If I censored the forms, I would not only be breaking the law.....I would be open to people saying that I was trying to influence the electorate by tossing opposing view points. Like Democrats tossing Republican registrations....or vice versa. Even though I knew they were nuts, wrong, and potentially illegal.

I am fairly sure that Adolf Hitler, Tim Leary and Kurt Cobain did not attempt to vote in Cachagua......but I paid two bucks for their registrations anyway.

Get it?

xxoo,

Chef Michael

Here is the North Carolina version of my problem.....written by a Daily Show writer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

David Rees.......

Hands across the aisle......

Why is English humor funnier than American humor?

Well, except Chris Rock......

I look forward to Graham Norton and Ricky Gervais making fun of President Barack....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random....

Normally, when weirdos or advertising penetrates.......note the verb......the security of Blogger.com I trash the crap immediately.

We just got a post from Collier....an anonymous substance.....on my "My Sarah....." post from a couple of weeks ago. It is all about Cialis being better than Viagra.....

The irony is too delicious.....

What is the code that detects "Sarah Palin" blog posts.....and who wrote it? Who did the demographics? Why Cialis? If your candidacy lasts more than 72 hours....call Pat Buchanan?

Or is it something in my Blogger profile. Probably listing "Princess Bride" among my favorite movies.......Hey, Robin Wright Penn was hot! And all those swords.....

Or is it a Sarah thing? That $150k on clothes and the $20+k on makeup in a month to get the juices flowing in the altekochers. (I have no idea how to spell "old farts" in Yiddish, but it is a great word).

Meanwhile......the butterfly in Burma is flapping its wings. Our local progressives have no worries come next Tuesday, but there are important battles being fought elsewhere. Jill Derby in one of my many home states.....Nevada...... fighting an old-school scumbag. Darcy Burner against another in Washington State. Sheriff Reichert, Darcy's opponent, could show Mike K some douche-bag tricks.

Imagine having a dumbfuck like Mike Kanalakis as your representative to Congress instead of Sam Farr.

Talk about sepukku.

MB from Port Angeles points out that Christine Gregoire......the governor of Washington is in a tough battle as well. MB says that if Christine loses, emigration is the only answer.

Tina Fey has gotten a lot of press for her Saturday Night Live take on Our Sarah. Sarah is very nice to everyone but the wardrobe guy.....no surprises there....but Tina says that if Sarah wins, she has plans to leave the planet.

Awright, people.......I know that times are tough and the shit has hit the fan. We got our first economic cancellation last week.

"I am sure you are getting a lot of calls like this....but we really can't afford to have a party in times like this......"

"No....actually. You are the only one, ma'am."

People use any kind of panic or shortage as an excuse to act like pinche fuckheads. Caterers take it in the shorts while people try to squeak by with micro-waved mini-quiche from Costco served by that friend of their cousin's maid from El Salvador .....or one of those other dark and servile countries where people clean really well.

Restaurant guys are the same. When was the last time you got served water automatically in a restaurant? 1975?

Probably, because the last Big Drought was 1976-78, and we all stopped handing out free water back before my pizza guy was born. And he is kind of old.....

Our response to the collapse of civilization is three-fold:

One........I fucking told you so. Go listen to James McMurtry again. Send all the jobs overseas, kill local industry as a trade off for higher stock dividends and cheaper T-shirts at Wal-Mart....and let a bunch of drunken frat-boy golfers make up all the rules. Where is the mystery when the entire country goes to hell in a handbasket?

Those faggots in Europe have been pointing this shit out to us for a decade....but fuck them and pass the freedom fries....and hand me another globally warmed Belgian-owned Bud-Light.

Two: "If you give a shit....you ain't worth a shit." Wisdom from Jack the Plumber from Horseheads, New York in 1976. Jack moved to California with us and ran a solar business in Napa back before it was fashionable.....and is probably back in Horseheads now.

When the wheels come off....throw money around. Well, we don't have money, but we have our labor and our skill.

Money: all the bills I never sent to clients who will probably now never pay me cause me to sign up for every fundraiser I can find. This month we have worked overtime for Big Sur Land Trust, Ventana Wildlife Something Something involving Condors, John Laird, Sam Farr, the Forest Theatre, Cachagua Volunteers.

I feel like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike......

Maybe that is why we get the Cialis mail........I should switch from finger to.....well, never mind.

Tomorrow we are working for Bill Bates for free. Poor bastard had a heart attack and was dumb enough to go to Community Hospital......which place, in our experience, is sort of "Burning Man" for exotic MRSA-style incurable staph infections. Sure enough, the poor guy is still there....with the meter running.

Fuck CHOMP.... we are not paying that bill.

Tomorrow we are raising money to pay his wife's rent. Picture Sheriff Macho Mike Kanalakis coming round with his Macho Boys to evict Bill Bate's wife while Bill languishes under crushing debt in a private hospital he can't check himself out of while being treated for a disease he caught because he picked a hospital where they don't have both skates on the ice, ever.

I guess we don't have to worry about that scenario. Kanalakis will probably use the old Avis map that shows Carmel as being on Highway 101 north of Gonzales.

We are catering the Republican Victory Party at the Carmel Women's Center on Election Night. All our vehicles have stickers that say "Mike Ain't Right....Recall Sheriff Kanalakis". No worries about any awkward moments. I doubt he will find the place. Carmel, that is.

Mrs. Bates can rest easy.

My Spanish chef who is here for 90 days used to think we Americans were insane for having voted for George Bush twice. The more he finds out about our health care.......he thinks George Bush is the least of our problems.

He is right, more's the pity.

Three: "When in danger, or in doubt: run in circles....scream and shout!"

This was Captain Queeg.

No matter what else is happening around us...... you all each and every one still have twenty bucks credit left on your MasterCard or Visa.

Supposedly the next big thing after bad mortgages will be bad credit cards...so you really have hundreds left on your card. Thousands.

Don't rent videos this week....watch Keith Olbermann instead. Send the money to our people.

My Burmese Butterfly is waiting in the wings....and feeling stronger all the time.

If YOU send twenty bucks, a thousand other folks will also......and there is still some chance that we can save ourselves.

And, as Jack the Plumber says: "If you give a shit........."

Fuck it. Just send some money. It will take five minutes.

Help Darcy, Jill, Christine......

And come by on November Fourth and I will buy you a beer......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Other Candidate......

Election Night......

We will be having a vigil at The Cachagua Store on November 4th.

Micah's pizza. A nice buffet.

Bring a Japanese sword for ritual seppuku. In case McCain wins.

Bring your Irish passport and copy of one-way tickets to Dublin. In case McCain wins.

Bring a receipt for donations to John McCain that pre-date March of this year.

Bring a receipt for donations to Cachagua Fire after today.

Bring a receipt for donations to Jill Derby in Nevada.

Bring a receipt for donations to Darcy Burner in Washington State.

Bring a receipt for donations to defeat Proposition 8.

Otherwise....bring a bottle of local wine, and some cash to donate to our fundraiser for Antero, the assistant winemaker at Heller who is facing a $15,000 bill for kidney stones.

If you contribute to all of these folks......we will have the best massage person in Northern California ready to relieve that stress for you.

Got it?

Get to it.

And don't think you are gonna slide in because we like you or know you.

I subscribe to the butterfly flap in Thailand causes the West Wing of the White House to develop cracks.

Workers, clients, friends, relatives......

All of us have twenty bucks.

Hook up some of my friends.....or hang in the parking lot with the douche bags.

Or you could go to the Carmel Women's Club on Tuesday. We are catering the Republican victory party.

Really.

The Elitists......





$18,000 a week on clothes from Needless Markup?

OK, America.......which is the Real American?

Which one do you want pitching relief for you in the ninth inning with men on base and the score tied?

I mean......

Really.

The Undecided....

From The New Yorker......David Sedaris writes:

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?

I wonder if, in the end, the undecideds aren’t the biggest pessimists of all. Here they could order the airline chicken, but, then again, hmm. “Isn’t that adding an extra step?” they ask themselves. “If it’s all going to be chewed up and swallowed, why not cut to the chase, and go with the platter of shit?”

Ah, though, that’s where the broken glass comes in.

Reality check....

As the hate-based, negative ads and speeches continue to pour out of the McCain campaign, I find myself more and more turned off to the whole process.

There was a politico on the radio yesterday who pointed out that this is the whole point of the ugliness and divisiveness: turn off the voters, especially young voters, to the process.

And it is working to some extent. One of my guys, a young father who was a Kucinich guy and doesn't like McCain or Obama......now probably won't vote at all.

Personally, if I eliminate all policy questions from my decision-making and think just about character......I cannot understand the support for John McCain.

I want a calm, rational President.....someone with core principles, whatever they happen to be.

And a President concerned with elevating the national discourse.....not appealing to the worst aspects of our national character, just to get elected.

I fear the damage Sarah Palin and John McCain are doing is going to take a long time to repair.

Colin Powell is thinking along the same lines.....

This photo was the straw that broke the camel's back for Colin.....and brought the Republican former general in charge of the entire United States military to back Barack Obama.




Kareem Khan was a month from finishing his tour when he was killed. That is his mom in the photo.....not his girlfriend. The photo was from a series in The New Yorker.

On Sunday, General Powell said that Khan's sacrifice and service had swayed him to discuss the way that Muslims have been portrayed in the presidential campaign, and the contention that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama "is a Christian," Powell said. "He has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, 'What if he is?' Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That is not America." He added: "I am troubled that within the (Republican) Party we have these kinds of expressions" suggesting that Obama is a Muslim, and that if he is, he likely associates with terrorists.

Powell said that he felt strongly about the issue after he saw a photo of Khan's tombstone in the New Yorker magazine. In the black-and-white picture, Khan's mother is resting her head on her son's tombstone. On each side of the stone are flowers, and in between is a copy of the Quran. On the face of the tombstone is a crescent and star, indicating that the soldier buried there is a Muslim.

"He was an American," Powell said.

I wonder if Sarah Palin would consider him a Real American.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Authentic Experience...

What would that be like.....to feel life as it actually exists in the world at large?

This is my first day off since early August....so you are spared a long diatribe because I am exhausted.

Suffice it to say that Sarah Palin would not consider me to be a Real American.

Yeah......

The main reason that Amanda and I trip off to Spain each January is to immerse ourselves in a culture that is still intact: a society that still has manufacturing jobs and honors labor, where families are still intact for three or four generations in all directions, and where the connection between industry, family and culture is seamless.

Sort of like America.....before Ronald Reagan.

After six hours in Spain, Sarah Palin would be sobbing into the toilet at the Bilbao Holiday Inn.....Where is Moose Poaching Daddy?

Picture culture that cannot be manipulated......because it is 5,000 years old.....the new version. The Beta version goes back tens of thousands, and is kinda the same.

Still.

Oh....and medical care there, including helicopters.....is free. They have this weird idea that their citizens are their most important asset, and deserve help and protection in time of need.

Oh....and they educate them for free as well.

Oh....and help pay for their room and transportation while they are getting smart enough to start manufacturing businesses that hire actual neighbors.

Example:

In my friend's restaurant there is a chef...and old fart like me... his actual chef daughter....a maitre d'hotel, and a designer/scientist. There is a kitchen and a lab. Lasers are involved, as is science about neurotransmitters.

When they design a new dish....everyone participates. The taste, the texture, the presentation, the service......the dish that the food is placed on.

They have a CAD program (computer aided design) that lets them design their own plates for the new dishes they come up with. They have a live feed to the ceramic factory in the gorgeous valley 15 km away.

Admittedly a ceramics factory that would never be allowed in any gorgeous valley in America...but in Spain noise, pollution, ugly visuals are balanced with being able to walk to work, have three hours off for lunch and being able to have sex with your wife and walk your dog every day when the sun is out.

Anyway......the CAD program shoots to the factory, which has computer controlled manufacturing, and the dishes are delivered within days.

The factory then gets to market the dishes as "Super Cool Fancy Restaurant" dishes.

A whole different thing than "Martha Stewart at K-Mart".

Anyway........

If you are depressed about the state of America, or the state of your finances or retirement.....I have a suggestion.

Go to Stokes Restaurant after work. From 5:30 or so on is friendly.

Longtime locals at the bar.......lawyers, chefs, social folk, workers.

Great food and great beverages at reasonable prices.

Actual conversations....amongst friends. Amongst strangers who become friends.

A chef who brings his dogs to work.

An owner whose Santa Catalina daughters work charmingly as hostesses in the summer.

More child abuse.

A barman who makes time for his son after school in the restaurant every day. (I am sure that there are folks that would consider this child abuse).

We have a young chef from Spain living with us for three months. He is from the highest hierarchy of Spanish cuisine. Upon arrival at SFO I whisked him off to six days of 20 hour work shifts.

Forget Jet Lag....how about Cater Lag? The kid is money......completely unfazed by a 120 week....where he is a volunteer.

Today was our first break, and I took him to Stokes.

Wonderful food. Kind, attentive, ironic service. Great conversation.

Borja....my new hotshit chef from Spain.....saw the plate of roasted chiles that Kirk and Brandon offer for less than five bucks......and immediately got homesick. He loved the fried green tomatoes, was wowed by the house made mozzarella, and vacuumed up every bit of everything offered.

"Lo mismo que en Espana! Hay corazon!"

The real deal.

"Corazon" means "Heart" for you dumbfucks.

In my mind.....fire the shrink and the therapist. Money pissed away.

Hay corazon....and it is the heart that matters.

Spend two hours a week at Stokes. OK, ninety minutes.

The world would be a better place for your attendance and attention to this matter.

The Unthinkable........

This post comes from way out in left field.

Come to think of it.....all my posts come from way out in left field.

Unbeknownst to all of us.....there is no longer a Trauma Center on the Monterey Peninsula.

So.....if you fuck up, the EMT's call an Air Ambulance and you are flown to either San Jose or Stanford.

A girlfriend of Nike's fell off her horse last week and hurt herself pretty badly. Well, on the brutal chef scale of injuries....not that bad.

I could have used her last weekend. Broken ribs, sprained wrist, broken arm....cracked vertebra. She could have made crab cakes and olive balls. We already have the Vicodin.

Still.......Horses are really tall....and the ground in Cachagua has big accumulations of silica we call rocks.

The Cachagua Volunteers responded....diagnosed the broken back thing among the other problems and called for the airlift.

No local Trauma Center, see.

They made the right call. I would stick a 9mm in Donald Trump's eye-socket if one of my people fell off a horse. Donald, gimme the cash......just steal it from Leona Helmsley's dog.

The cost of the flight? $26,000.

Dad of course has no health insurance. But he has........had....... a house.

Cachagua Fire just bought a new engine with the funds that eventually trickled down from the Basin Complex fire. One of the highlights of the whole six week nightmare was when Callie got a ride in one of the red helicopters (different from the black ones that are coming for me after embedding Al Jazeera earlier today).

I say we get Gerry Paddock to buy a fucking helicopter. Callie and Gerrit can drive it.

Helicopters....the most visually exciting and the most practically useless tool in the fire-fighting shed....bill out at $2,000 an hour sitting around, 24-7. Their action fee is something crazy. Throw refrigerator magnets at your Frigidaire......$20,000 per hour? $40,000 per hour?

In the meantime.....you can go to the CalStar website and become a member.

At $26,000 a rescue....they are a non-profit, 501-C3. Insuring me, Amanda, Brendan, Dylan and Nike cost me $45 for an entire year just now.

It takes five minutes......and $45 barely buys a tank of gas to drive to CHOMP.

Or you can wait until I convince Gerry Paddock to buy a chopper......and Cachagua Fire to train Callie and Gerrit to drive it.

Gerry is a nice guy......but so tight he squeaks when he walks.

I would join CalStar.

Oh....and I would send Cachagua Fire some love at the same time.

Think about it.

You fall off your deck. You call 911. They call everyone including Cachagua Fire. This require radios, a fire station full of cool shit, a vehicle maintained and ready to come and save your dumbass, and a bunch of folks carrying a ton of stuff they use to save you and have to throw out later.

Each rescue costs thousands and thousands of dollars.

You might pitch in twenty bucks a month.....against the odd chance.

Believe me, these guys are not spending the money on cool uniforms......

Cachagua Fire.

Here come the black helicopters.......


I can't believe they left the Diet Coke out of our insignia.

Meanwhile, if you were trying to figure out who all those McCain folks in Ohio are......here is a sample.

Yes, it is from Al Jezeerah. That ought to bring on the black helicopters to Buck Mountain. Believe it or not, when traveling in Spain each year we find that Al Jezeerah has a balance, rational outlook. They are not sword-weilding jihaadists by any means. Yeah, right. Tell that to the guys in the Blackwater van that just pulled up the driveway.....



Oh.....and here are my thoughts.....channelled through John Stewart:


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Health, Schmealth......Choice, Voice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Sarah.....The World's Sarah.....

I know that no Real American with a hurricane of testosterone flowing through his or her veins.....not to mention the Costco size jar of Cialis on the nightstand.....would even think twice what the Rest of the World thinks about American politics.....

Here are two views.....from The Guardian, a commie pinko faggot Brit fishwrap:



And another:

From Michelle Goldberg of The Guardian.....read her other stuff, even scarier....


Sarah Palin winks during the vice-presidential debate on Thursday in St Louis, Missouri. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

At least three times last night, Sarah Palin, the adorable, preposterous vice-presidential candidate, winked at the audience. Had a male candidate with a similar reputation for attractive vapidity made such a brazen attempt to flirt his way into the good graces of the voting public, it would have universally noted, discussed and mocked. Palin, however, has single-handedly so lowered the standards both for female candidates and American political discourse that, with her newfound ability to speak in more-or-less full sentences, she is now deemed to have performed acceptably last night.

By any normal standard, including the ones applied to male presidential candidates of either party, she did not. Early on, she made the astonishing announcement that she had no intentions of actually answering the queries put to her. "I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also," she said.

And so she preceded, with an almost surreal disregard for the subjects she was supposed to be discussing, to unleash fusillades of scripted attack lines, platitudes, lies, gibberish and grating references to her own pseudo-folksy authenticity.

It was an appalling display. The only reason it was not widely described as such is that too many American pundits don't even try to judge the truth, wisdom or reasonableness of the political rhetoric they are paid to pronounce upon. Instead, they imagine themselves as interpreters of a mythical mass of "average Americans" who they both venerate and despise.

In pronouncing upon a debate, they don't try and determine whether a candidate's responses correspond to existing reality, or whether he or she is capable of talking about subjects such as the deregulation of the financial markets or the devolution of the war in Afghanistan. The criteria are far more vaporous. In this case, it was whether Palin could avoid utterly humiliating herself for 90 minutes, and whether urbane commentators would believe that she had connected to a public that they see as ignorant and sentimental. For the Alaska governor, mission accomplished.

There is indeed something mesmerising about Palin, with her manic beaming and fulsome confidence in her own charm. The force of her personality managed to slightly obscure the insulting emptiness of her answers last night. It's worth reading the transcript of the encounter, where it becomes clearer how bizarre much of what she said was. Here, for example, is how she responded to Biden's comments about how the middle class has been short-changed during the Bush administration, and how McCain will continue Bush's policies:

Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? ... My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

Evidently, Palin's pre-debate handlers judged her incapable of speaking on a fairly wide range of subjects, and so instructed to her to simply disregard questions that did not invite memorised talking points or cutesy filibustering. They probably told her to play up her spunky average-ness, which she did to the point of shtick - and dishonesty. Asked what her achilles heel is - a question she either didn't understand or chose to ignore - she started in on how McCain chose her because of her "connection to the heartland of America. Being a mom, one very concerned about a son in the war, about a special needs child, about kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills?"

None of Palin's children, it should be noted, is heading off to college. Her son is on the way to Iraq, and her pregnant 17-year-old daughter is engaged to be married to a high-school dropout and self-described "fuckin' redneck". Palin is a woman who can't even tell the truth about the most quotidian and public details of her own life, never mind about matters of major public import. In her only vice-presidential debate, she was shallow, mendacious and phoney. What kind of maverick, after all, keeps harping on what a maverick she is? That her performance was considered anything but a farce doesn't show how high Palin has risen, but how low we all have sunk.

Not so long ago......Message to Sarah Palin

"Let us dedicate ourself to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago, `to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.'"

This is Aeschylus.....Robert Kennedy's favorite poet.

After watching the ugliness of the Palin/McCain rallies of the last ten days, it was calming and refreshing to hear these words on my way to town on KUSP.

It was from an interview with Max Kennedy.....the ninth child of Ethel and Robert Kennedy.....about his Dad.

There was a time when politics were uplifting.....but then, I am old.

And many of the up-lifters were shot in the course of their up-lifting.

Here is the transcript.....but you can listen to it here.

Interview: From 1998, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy on his father Robert Kennedy

June 4, 2008 from Fresh Air

TERRY GROSS, host: We're remembering Robert Kennedy. He was assassinated 40 years ago. We're going to conclude with an excerpt of an interview I recorded with his son Max on the 30th anniversary of the assassination. Max Kennedy was three when his father was killed. When we spoke, he had just edited a collection of his father's speeches. I asked Max to read what Robert Kennedy said to a crowd in Indianapolis after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Mr. MAXWELL TAYLOR KENNEDY: These words were spoken. I don't know if you know, Terry, but my father was scheduled to speak in Indianapolis that evening; and while he was on the plane, he got word that Dr. King had been shot and was going to die. And this announcement had not been made public, so it fell to my father to give this terrible news to the people of Indianapolis.

And he was scheduled to speak in what was then called the ghetto. And as his escort drove into one of the poorest areas in the city, the police who were escorting him pulled away and refused to drive in.

My father's car continued, but the car carrying his speech followed the police officers. So he found himself that night in this very poor area with no speech.

And he started by saying: "I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens and for people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight."

And at that point, on the recording, there's a terrible gasp from the crowd.

And then my father picks up again and he says: "Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black, considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible, you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred and with a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another--or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.

"For those you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times."

And then he quoted from memory his favorite poet, Aeschylus. And he said: "My favorite poet was Aeschylus.

He wrote:

In our sleep,
pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop
upon the heart until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God."

And he finished that speech by asking the people there to go back to their homes and to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King and also to say a prayer for the United States.

And the remarkable thing is that, that night there were riots across the country. I think there were riots in 186 cities and towns in the United States, and Indianapolis was quiet.

GROSS: Max Kennedy, did that speech give you any clues on dealing with your father's assassination?

Mr. KENNEDY: Yes. I think it definitely did. It's really a remarkable speech. I think that when a violent act occurs like that, the temptation is immediately to respond with hatred and with anger and with a vengeful heart.

And the lesson that my father tried to give is to, you know, the old Christian ethic, which is to try to respond with love.

And, in fact, I took the title of this book from something he said later that same night in that same speech. He said to this incredibly poor audience, who had every right to be unimaginably angry, he went back and he quoted the ancient Greeks again, which I think is a remarkable thing.

And he said:

"Let us dedicate ourself to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago, `to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.'"

And, I mean, in the final analysis, my feeling is that this world could still use a lot more gentleness.

GROSS: Max Kennedy, talking about his father, Robert Kennedy, in an interview recorded 10 years ago. Robert Kennedy was assassinated 40 years ago after declaring victory in the June 4th California Democratic primary.

A word to the wise....


From Truthout and Sari Gelzer:

Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. believe that the 2008 elections have already been stolen. What's an American to do given these circumstances? They suggest: "Steal it back".


Palast, an investigative journalist, and Kennedy, a voting rights attorney, paired up to create a nonpartisan voter guide that illustrates the six ways that American votes will be stolen this election and seven ways to steal them back.

You may ask who's stealing your votes. Palast and Kennedy believe that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), created in 2002, is one of the main reasons votes are systematically being stolen. Secretaries of state attempting to comply with HAVA are purging voters from the registration rolls and blocking new ones from registering. The purging occurs if a voter's name does not match a government database.

Those who are at most risk for having their vote stolen are new voters, people of color, low-income, elderly and swing state voters, Palast told Truthout.

In 2006, Palast says that 40 percent of citizens who were purged from the voter rolls in California had Islamic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Hispanic names. These names were at most risk for misspellings.

The Steal Back Your Vote Guidelines promote the importance of going to the secretary of state Web site for your state to confirm that you are registered ahead of the election.

The New York Times appeared to confirm Palast and Kennedy's findings on mass voter purges in its report last week titled "States' Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal". The newspaper found that tens of thousands of eligible voters were being illegally purged ahead of the 2008 elections.

In the crucial swing states of Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, The New York Times reported that Social Security databases are being used to verify voters, as opposed to more accurate state databases. Federal law requires Social Security databases to be used for verification only as a last resort.

The swing states of Michigan and Colorado are also violating federal law, according to The New York Times, because they are removing voters from the registration rolls within 90 days of the presidential election.

When a name has been purged from the voter rolls, election workers will hand out a provisional ballot. However, Palast points to 1.1 million provisional ballots that went uncounted in the 2004 elections as proof that provisional ballots often go uncounted.

"Once you sign that provisional ballot, the chances are officially one in three that your ballot will be thrown in the garbage can," said Palast.

In their guide, Palast and Kennedy write that a provisional ballot will most often render a vote uncounted. They suggest seeking adjudication on the spot, by calling a voter's rights hotline instead of accepting and signing the provisional ballot.

"Don't go postal," says Palast, urging voters not to mail in their ballot.

Palast told Truthout: "All you need is the most minor error, like you didn't use your middle initial in your registration; not enough postage cost a third of a million votes in the US the last time around because most ballots are two stamps, not one. There's a million ways to not count your vote on a mail-in; don't do it."

The other suggestions in the "Steal Back Your Vote" guide include voting early, getting involved in voter-registration and get-out-the-vote organizations, and pursuing legal action if disenfranchised.

Palast and Kennedy will be following the 2008 elections as they unfold, including publishing reports in Rolling Stone and BBC news.

A Rose is a Rose.....is Rachelle

The name of the restaurant tonight was "Pinkie CNA Roadhouse"....

Our Rachelle, formerly known as "Rose" in blogland....graduated with her first nursing degree. CNA....Certified Nursing, whatever.

Rose first started working for us when she was 14.......long before any normal legal standard.....along the lines of those kids sewing soccer balls in Pakistan for the Taliban......50-60 hours, along with high school.

We immediately saw that she had many gifts: completely unflappable under pressure, no matter how severe; great visual sense; superior organizational skills; an ability to function at high levels no matter how long the hours and how weird the situations.

By the time she was 15 she was directing crews of college grads; by 16 she was running the appetizers at big parties routinely. Presidents of corporations, Senators, Governors.....whatever. Each platter had to be perfect, and had to get out quickly.

Her parents fell into the Bible trap.....and thought her business success was a threat to something something involving discipline. They sent her to Bible Camp....and she was sent home.

They sent her to Christian High School.....and was sent home after her editorial in the school newspaper about abortion and pre-marital sex.

There are horrible things that I cannot tell you right now that she experienced.......Really bad.

She responded with a wry smile....and kindness steeled with irony and forgiveness......She actually had absorbed all the Christian lore she had appeared to reject.

Her parents responded by dialing down the knobs and turning up the pressure.

She was at least once grabbed, restrained and hustled off to the Garden Pavilion at CHOMP because of acting out.

She texted me from the psych ward....under the covers....and I was such a dumbshit that I called her back and got her busted when the phone rang. She was shipped off to San Francisco for evaluation and repair.....and caused insurrection in every ward she was placed in. Sort of "Pink Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".

Meanwhile.....Rose is not a rebel. She is a kind, sweet, hardworking girl....completely unafraid of taking responsibility for each and every one of her actions.....and all of those of her friends as well. She just was born with a very low tolerance for bullshit.

When she graduated from Carmel High, we planned a big party......It had to be abandoned because her parents evicted her from their house on the afternoon of her graduation. We had to get our van to go up and retrieve all her girlhood possessions before they were thrown out. She left her bed in her room in case her cousin came to visit.....and the parents charged her rent for the space on the floor that the bed absorbed.

Rose is an athlete....and endurance horse rider. 5o miles, 100 miles, 150 miles.

After she met Medea Benjamin, Rae Abileah and her crew at Code Pink....she adopted Pink as her color....and sprayed her competition horses pink for every ride. Rose has pink Croc's.....she had a pink car.....and if you bring her a present, it better be pink in some way.

Meanwhile, she picked up odd jobs as a nanny......and wound up flying back and forth from Salinas to Seattle, watching out for kids in a nasty divorce.....and working for Child Protective Services one or two steps removed.

All the while continuing to work Monday Nights and catering for A Moveable Feast.....where her skill, kindness, and low tolerance for bullshit are legendary. One fine local chef one Monday perhaps inadvertently condescended to her because of her age. When she brought him his dessert, at the phrase "Happy Birthday, You Asshole!".......she lit his hair on fire instead of the candle.

Do not mess with Rose.

Matt.....word to the wise.....if the nurse's aid who comes in to place your catheter if, god forbid, you wind up in hospital.......check her shoes.

If there is any pink......run.

Last year, she decided to load on Nursing School on to her already scary load.....Working as a volunteer at old folks' homes and at the Garden Pavilion with the whack jobs, many of whom are our friends, neighbors and colleagues....changing bed pans, doing catheters, enemas....the whole joyous end of life ballroom dance.

Long story short.....she graduated last week with her CNA

I tried to introduce her to a board member of Salinas Valley Community Hospital tonight.

Rose passed.

Salinas Valley does not have a psych ward. She really wants to work with the whacko's....

I have three great sons....who have far exceeded any expectations I could ever have had for them.....I have stopped being proud, because it is boring to everyone else.

Rose.....Rachelle..... is the same kind of daughter.

And not even mine.

I am continually amazed that one needs a license to drive a car......and still anyone can have a child with no training or monitoring.

And the kids still manage to succeed despite the worst of the worst.

There may be some hope for us after all.......

Here's to you, Rachelle.

I am proud to be your friend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

That Pesky Constitution

Word to my Scumbag Fuckhead Republican neighbors....

The Scumbag Fuckhead Republican is a different branch from the regular sort of Republican....you remember: Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower....all those guys.

There was a time when Republicans stood for the rule of law, individual responsibility and all those kind of corny, old-fashioned values.....many of which were written down way back in the 18th century and encoded in a thing called The Constitution of The United States.

The old boys did not get it exactly right the first time around, so they made some adjustments.....they called them amendments. I call them the Fuck-Ups.

The First Fuck-Up of the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In the past two hundred and twenty some odd years many, many of our people have died in defense of the various aspects of The First Fuck-up.

The Free Speech part especially.

We have gone to war with folks whose first order of business was knocking down Freedom of Speech.

Nazis.

Communists.

Gangsters.

Facists.

Right-wing lunatics.

Criminals.

One of the many beauties of our country is that we allow wide open public discourse about all subjects....kind, simple, happy, crazy, viscious, insane, intelligent, weird....whatever. We take it all in, process it.....and come up with something that we call America.

When I put an "Obama/Biden" sign in the access right-of-way of my property, I am expressing my Constitutional rights as enumerated in the First Fuck-up.

As it turns out.....I am not a fan of Obama. I fear that he is a weasly fuckhead only a short breeze short of the ultimate Democratic whore, Diane Feinstein.

But....he has not lied to me yet. He does not cheat on his wife. And he has earned everything he has gained in his life.

Unlike, John McCain......he doesn't think that just because he is on third base, he hit a triple.

My Obama/Biden sign is really a "Lord save us from another eight years of lying, theiving, cocksucking, drunken, whoring fuckheads like John McCain" sign.

Just because you were an early investor in Apple, and I am a silly, working-class groveler does not give you the right to take away my sign from my property.....just because it offends your sensibilities.

There was a time when Republicans were the defenders of the Constitution and free speech and freedom of religion and all that.

Tonight I actually got invited to a party as a guest. A sweet, kind client....who was surprised by her husband with the event....and took time out to speak kindly to me and smooth over the obvious weirdness of the worker hanging out with the white folks without his white uniform....

I did have some nice conversations with the guests.....

The most memorable was one with a fan of the blog....poor soul.

We chatted for a bit about politics, and fun and games.....and he turned serious for a second.

"I think the most serious problem facing America right now is the reform of the Republican Party....."

Bingo.

Competition used to be cool. The fight and struggle made us all stronger....we did not actually try to destroy each other in any manner necessary.

Republicans used to value the Constitution....and be against big government. Still, the government they were for was actually competent. They were against crazy spending....not in favor of lining their friends pockets at public expense. Public expense used to be a dirty word.

But, still......the entire American ethic was all about discourse. I say this, you say that. We go away and think about it.....and we both wind up at this-and-that.

Rich Republicans are not supposed to be sending their illegal immigrant Mexican gardeners to steal the Obama signs from their neighbors in Carmel Valley.

Really.

The airwaves have been full of an old 60's radical, Bill Ayers....who Obama supposedly knows or knew.

Ayers was what the real guys knew as a coffee table pussy hound. Politics as a way of getting laid. You definitely would not want him packing your 'chute, loading your clips, or remembering where the blue wire was supposed to go.....

Like John McCain, come to think of it.....

I hark back to actual 60's radicals from Chicago. I drew a major life lesson from one of The Chicago Seven: Abbie Hoffman.

In his anthem diatribe "Steal This Book", Mr. Hoffman has at least one nugget in the dross:

"What you own is only what you can defend."

Think about that Mr. Sign Stealing Early Apple Investor Neighbor Man.

The increasingly bitter.....non-American...tone to our political discourse is actually scaring me.

Kill Obama! Traitor! Terrorist!

Us soccer people know that competition is good....it makes you stronger. Differences and diversity are good......

Here is a repeat for long-time blog people.....I apologize to them.

In 1972 I found myself in the odd situation of having to hitch-hike between branches of Chase Manhattan in Europe...trying to track down funds supposedly sent to me by a former Hitler Youth boss of mine named Karl Demler.

I picked Chase Manhattan because I was a Hemingway fan.....and my dad was a banker. Chase owned the house across the street from us in Chatham, New Jersey....and they would rotate through various European execs. One of them was an awesome Austrian named Herr Judar. Herr Judar had a box at the Staats Oper in Vienna and should have been a diplomat, not a banker. Smooth, kind, erudite, capable, devious.....

Herr Judar was also a literary nut, and turned me on to the fact that Chase Manhattan handled all the financial and literary affairs of the ex-pat Americans between the wars......and ever since: Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Alice B. Toklas, Henry Miller, George Plimpton, etc.

Hemingway used Chase as a post office. All his mail was sent to Chase, and he would collect both his money and his mail at Chase in Paris in their office behind the Opera. The poor shlubs in the Paris office would forward around his mail and money to the various Chase branches and keep old Ernie afloat while he was transforming modern literature.

I immediately opened a Chase bank account......even though I was a home-bound junior in high school in New Jersey.

When I moved to Europe, I assumed that Chase would be there for me just as they were for Hemingway.....and I was right. They collected my mail, and my pathetic few shekels, and organized and collated them for me....and made them available to me wherever I found myself.

Just like your account at WaMu, right?

At one point, due to the deviousness of the Hitler Youth.....I found myself trying to track down my money from Chase branch to Chase branch. Paris. Zurich. Munich. Vienna. Trieste. Athens.

I had to hitchhike between the branches......and rapidly my small funds became no funds. The pot at the end of the Hitler Youth rainbow was Athens, and I was in Trieste....so I set out.

I had to work my way south.

I got a job with the Dubrovnik City Orchaestra as a roadie by virtue of being stranded with them in a downpour in Split, Croatia waiting for a ferry.

I would ride on the bus, and pack and unpack all the instruments and baggage and crap, and help set up....and they fed me and kept me warm and relatively dry and moved me relatively south towards Athens.

Split, Rijeka, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Budva, Titograd.

I am one of the few folks on the planet who can put Kosovo on his CV. Pec. A town that means five.....my only word in Serbian. I always got five of whatever I pointed at in the bakery...and it always cost....pec.

The thing about the Dubrovnik City Orchaestra was that it was totally eclectic and diverse. We had Jews, we had Slovenians, we had Croats, and Serbs, and Fucking Commies, and Bosnian Muslims....and at least one Irish Catholic from New Jersey.

And they made gorgeous, inspired music. The fights on the bus were all about composers and musicians I had never heard about. One night the bus broke and we all spent the night in a train station in Skopje drinking slivovitz with Russian soldiers, sleeping on piles of military equipment, staying out of the rain....

This was during Tito.....it was Jugoslavia, and it was Communist.

The only difference between the Jews, the Catholic Croats, the Orthodox Serbs, the Muslim Bosnians, and the random Commies was that the Jews relished pork sausage, and and never went to Temple, the Commies told horrid Tito jokes, the Croats ate meat on Friday and never went to Mass on Sundays, and the Serbs went along with all of it with a laugh and another shot of slivovitz.

The conversation was constant, though......We argued, we fought, we laughed.....there were some fights, but mostly over booze or women....or men. It was an artistic and creative environment that took the best of humankind and raised it up to a new level.

Ten years later, 99% of my friends were dead.....killed by ethnic cleansing and violence. Croat killed Serb, who both killed Bosnian Muslim....and they all killed the Jews and the Commies.

It is hard for Americans to understand. In 1972 our differences in Jugoslavia were like that of Golden Retriever people vs. Jack Russell people.....or Carmel High vs PG High......or Liverpool vs. Manchester United......

Murder was not part of the program. Mozart was.

Hatred, intolerance, and lack of respect for freedom of speech is the canary in the coal mine of free society.

I bought a lot of Obama signs.......

One is going back on the corner of my property tomorrow.....

Take that Apple-Investor Man.........

I mean that in a very loving way.......



"You can mind your p's and q's.....and still spell "Bullshit"....

Following up on South Coast Kate's comment.....

Here is Helen Philpot......an 83 year old Citizen.

My Mom is considerably younger......she was born in 1927.....and still runs the English as Second Language program in Cachagua, driving herself back and forth over roads most folks from Carmel fifty years younger pale at.

I am hiding out from Mom because I ran over her landlady's fence behind too much work and definitely too much after-work champagne on Saturday. In my avoidance of Mom I seek to avoid the kind of wisdom and truth Helen speaks below:

Sarah Palin is a Bitch… there I said it.

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

Well it’s NOT you girl…

Look. I am going to say what everyone at CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC is thinking but is afraid to say. Governor Palin is a stupid, conniving bitch. And it’s not because she is a strong woman - I like strong women… worship them… It’s actually the opposite. She is a weak, pathetic woman who thinks big hair, winking, baby talk and self deprecation is somehow becoming of a woman who wants to lead the free world. My god, where is Margaret Thatcher when you need her!

But what really makes me mad is the hypocrisy. She claims to be a Washington outsider and yet is the worst kind of politician. She will say anything and avoid answering any question instead choosing to spout whatever line or soundbite some adviser put into her mouth a few hours earlier. And exactly when did sounding like a hick make someone “more like us”. Last time I checked we were a country striving to educate our children to be intelligent and honest. I think I would die if my daughter came home from school and said something like “I gotta tell ya. Change is a comin’.” At the very least I would remove the Beverly Hillbillies from her approved TV viewing list.

And then there is Alaska. Have any of you been to Alaska recently? Although the largest State geographically, it has less than a million people - about 700,000. (The city I live in now is bigger. )Fewer population issues exist for lawmakers to address. And because they make so much money from the oil companies, the Alaskan government actually gives it citizens an annual dividend check (this year $3,200). Exactly what Governor wouldn’t be popular under those circumstances? No wonder they can afford to elect a governor who ony has an undergraduate degree in journalism and a few beauty pageant awards. By the way, when you got that journalism degree did they teach you that some journalists actually ask hard questions like what newpapers do you read?

Fact: Sarah Palin is stupid. Maybe not stupid by Alabama standards but stupid enough that she managed to get herself elected Governor while never bothering to educate herself on little things like the Constitution, foriegn affairs or appropriate debating practices. She is stupid enough to have accepted a VP nomination for which she is completely unqualified and stupid enough not to admit it - even though the future of our great nation could be irreversibly damaged by the decision.

When exactly do we all get to call “bullshit”?

She loves to talk about being a mother but the last time I checked, having your newborn on national TV at 11PM instead of in bed wasn’t considered “good muthering“. Neither was making your child’s unexpected teen pregnancy the talk of the nation because you desperately wanted to be a politician in Washington DC - or isn’t that exactly what you said you didn’t want. From where I sit, it appears you would sell your soul for the position. Kind of the way that Elizabeth girl on The View sold her soul for fame. Please god get her off the airwaves - she became famous because she ate a rat… but I digress…

Oh and my favorite - my husband Todd (the first dude) and I sit around the kitchen table wondering about the cost of college like many of you… oh really. Your oldest son went from high school into the military. Your next oldest is pregnant with plans to be married to some hockey jock at age 17. Seems to me you’ve got lots of time before you have to worry about college tuition especially being college doesn’t seem to be a priority in your family.

You refuse to give live interviews and then whine when your taped interviews get edited. Then you have a chance to be live in front of the nation during a debate and you respond by not answering the questions (proudly not answering the questions I might add) but rather by reading the cue cards given to you by a group of white old men who sold their souls to the political system when you were in…. I don’t know - 2nd grade maybe. Your insulting to a United States Senator who is so respected that his home state has elected him to office 6 times. And while I am on the subject of the debate - shame on Gwen Ifell for not making her answer the questions. Damn I miss Tim Russert.

Sarah Palin is an ignorant, ranting, whining bitch. There I said it. But lots more are thinking it.

Please take your ridiculous hair, your over lipstick-smacking mouth, your Lenscrafter look smarter glasses and your poorly fitted designer jackets back to Alaska. And when you get there, shove a piece of the pipeline up your considerable ass. I’ll be damned if we’ll put our children’s future in your hands. And the same thing goes for McCain - the ass wipe who gave her this national platform effectively pushing the woman’s movement back into the dark ages - knowing McCain that might have been his plan all along.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Folks like us.....

Our Fellow Citizens......

These people actually breathe the same air as you and I.....

Thanks to Fish Wars on Cars .

This billboard has appeared south of Mustion Creek on the west side of U.S. 63, according to the West Plains Quill [south central Missouri in the Ozark region]. The paper said it was unable to determine who is responsible for the sign.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Abstinence......


Yeah....well.

Despite the pregnant teen-age daughter....

Maybe now I understand Sarah Palin's whole defense of abstinence as a really good contraceptive technique.

Maybe we really DO need federal money to stop this kind of wanton reproduction.......

Simpsons as Reality......

Kasey's 2009.....

For those of us in Carmel Valley Village.....

Especially Melody.....and Mike, Diana, John, David.......and all the souls who study English As a Second Language with my Mom at The Store on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Viva La Raza!

video

The World Votes.....

Because I am a dumbass.....I can't figure out how to copy these two files from the Economist.

Thursday October 9th 2008


If you are not familiar with The Economist.....it is a super-conservative weekly magazine out of England....full on supporters of globalization, etc. You find The Economist on Clay Larson's desk......President of our local bank.

And.....I want to point out that our bank......First National.....will still be going strong when everyone else is playing around with Monopoly money by the campfire in the canyon behind Whole Foods.

You find The Economist in the office of your stockbroker.....if he or she has her shit together. It ain't cheap.....my teacher subscription runs $120 a year.....

The wise men and women at The Economist have created an world-wide electoral college to track the American Election of 2008. They have invited their readers......among the most conservative folk on the planet.....and folk with their hands, livelihoods and lives involved in business and finance.....

Here is the World Map.......

Here is the table of results.

I wish I could get the graphics and save you the trouble......

The whole world is Blue for Obama.

Except Georgia.

"We are all Georgians!" John McCain, Aug 2008.

The margins are not even close. Based on the voting of the banking, business and finance world, and taking in to account population......as does the US Electoral College......

Barack Obama 8,489 World Electoral College Votes.
John McCain 16 World Electoral College Votes.

England went 87%-13% for Obama. France was 91-9. Vietnam was 89-11. Bahrain, Jordan, Mozambique and Mauritius were 100%.

In 2004, the Republicans spun the fact that John Kerry could speak French into a negative. Freedom Fries with your burger. Freedom Toast for breakfast.

Really, if America fucks up this time.....it means that we have as a nation turned our backs on the Eisenhower/Kennedy model of leading the world in science, medicine, literature, and maybe the arts.....and have devolved into a howling mob of nigger-hating Bud-Lite drinkers who can no longer afford to buy the hamburgers we flip for each other down at the Burger King.

The conservative goal of wrecking education will have been achieved. By destroying the ability of Americans to think critically at an early age.......the place will be wide open for financial rape and pillage. As if it is not already.

Your recourse in that event?

I really like the Thompson. Semi-auto, but cheap .45 caliber ammo. Iron sights, so good in the woods..... or a crowd, of.....say dumbass patriotic NASCAR fans swarming Laguna Seca to enforce the new McCain/Palin edict against ever turning right in a car race.

Heavy.....but compact. The paratroopers at D-Day jumped with them. Surprisingly accurate out to 200 yards. Legal 20 round clip.

And best of all.....it harks back to Warren G. Harding and Prohibition......

The last time Americans were dumb enough to let the Republicans fuck up our lives for real.
v>

Who you callin' Maverick?

From The New York Times.....by John Schwartz.

Who You Callin' Maverick?

There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”


BRAND Samuel Augustus Maverick

But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

Rolling Stone Rocks The Many Houses.....

Yeah, I know.....subscribing to Rolling Stone for the articles. Right. In college I used to subscribe to Playboy for the articles. Really.

Whatever.......Tim Dickinson writes in Rolling Stone about John McCain in the new issue.

This is a long article......but devastating. It takes everything Phil Butler says in his letter and runs without out in to a world so weird and so wrong it makes me actually sick......

If you are playing catch-up......Phil Butler was McCain's commandant at The Hanoi Hilton. Shot down three and a half years before McCain. Do a search of this blog for "Phil Butler" and his famous letter comes up from last March.

Or......watch Phil Butler's video.

Phil lives in Monterey. I will see him tomorrow.....he is on the Board of Big Sur Land Trust. A former Angel....still on the side of the angels.



Anyway....back to Rolling Stone.

Here is a taste....the opening of the article:

At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation's capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It's the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.

There's a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam - call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a "confession" to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn't survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service's highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as "one of the toughest guys I've ever met."

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you going to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio."

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

"I got a better chance of getting laid."

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."


The upshot of the letter was that Phil points out that not a single surviving POW from Vietnam will endorse McCain. They won't say why.......but something happened either at Annapolis or in Vietnam to cause all 600 former POW's to despise this man.

From the article:

To watch the Republican National Convention and listen to Fred Thompson's account of John McCain's internment in Vietnam, you would think that McCain never gave his captors anything beyond his name, rank, service number and, under duress, the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line. His time in Hanoi, we're to understand, steeled the man - transforming him from a fighter jock who put himself first into a patriot who would henceforth selflessly serve the public good.

But the subsequent tale of McCain's mistreatment - and the transformation it is alleged to have produced - are both deeply flawed. The Code of Conduct that governed POWs was incredibly rigid; few soldiers lived up to its dictate that they "give no information ... which might be harmful to my comrades." Under the code, POWs are bound to give only their name, rank, date of birth and service number - and to make no "statements disloyal to my country."

Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital," he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," he insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."

Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain's service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot's behavior as heroic - "he wasn't exceptional one way or the other" - has a corrosive effect on military discipline. "This business of my country before my life?" Dramesi says. "Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably."

It gets worse.

Sorry, folks......John McCain is not just more of George Bush, he is much, much worse.

George Bush was a better pilot......and much less of a fuckup.

And.....like it or not.......George Bush has stuck to his principles, however misguided.

John McCain could not define "principle" with five dictionaries and a running start.

Read the article......then try not to go outside and kill something soft and furry.