Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ahhhh........Finally figured it out!

Austin Kline strikes again.....

This is a pin being handed out at the Texas Republican State Convention....

Sorry, folks......I am trying really hard to write about food. I have been plowing through three new books about food policy recommended to me by BOTH The Economist and The New Yorker.....proof positive in itself that the end is nigh: ......but it is so depressing that I would rather turn compost. (Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel; The End of Food by Paul Roberts; In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan)

My compost is in fine shape.......check out the hollyhocks in front of the Store! Reality is so much more troubling: farmer suicides (pesticide ingestion is the fourth biggest cause of death in India, Sri Lanka and Korea); NAFTA-spurred destruction of the corn genotype in the mountains of Mexico (heirloom corn varieties disappearing week by week....and along with them the Monarch butterfly; for the first time in human history the number of obese people now equals the number of starving people on the planet.....both in the billion person range.

Sheesh. If you want to borrow any of these, give me a call. Trying to read all three at once makes me want to go get a sign and stand on Munras Avenue outside Whole Foods......and I feel like that ANYWAY!

Anyway......back to Politics.

Ever since I got semi-privileged information from former Vietnam era POW's that NONE of them were supporting John McCain I have been trying to figure out why.

I mean.....these guys all come from privilege and money.....very few po' folks in the Naval Academy and West Point, and very few dummies.....American military policy of the last sixty years notwithstanding. These guys all served in a highly structured, privileged environment....and went on to become even richer, more powerful and more privileged. None of the former POW's are CodePink types.....and John McCain seems like the quintessential proto-type. Why the aversion? It did not make sense..... And why the total aversion?

I finally got a whisper in my ear.

John McCain was.....and still is.....a fuckup. Not quite on the George Bush level.....but close. The guy was the descendant of Admirals....so his seat at Annapolis was always guaranteed. Source of friction and contempt #1: almost everyone else has to compete visciously to get in, no matter how privileged they start out.

Once in Annapolis, McCain showed utter contempt for every and all tradition and discipline in an institution whose very essence is tradition and discipline. I am sure the true story of all his fuckups and violations would make hysterical reading.....but his classmates were not amused when his dad and gramps pulled his ass out of the fire time and time again for misdeeds that would have the regular midshipman canned in a heartbeat. McCain eventually graduated in the bottom 1% of his class.

I can relate.......I graduated in the bottom 1% of my class at Cornell in Electrical Engineering......117 out of 118 with a GPA of 1.86. My real major was motorcycles, food, and a beautiful woman. Alcohol may have been involved......but it was French, and aged in oak.

Upon graduation I was barely able to get a job in London making lasers in a lab for fifteen pounds a week. My rent was seventeen pounds a week......but I had both the motorcycle and the beautiful woman, so who gives a shit anyway? Pints of William Younger's Tartan Bitter were 15 pence.

I lasted six weeks as an engineer, wrecked the motorcycle, got the beautiful woman arrested and eventually labeled as a fugitive terrorist.....but that is several other stories. I wound up working in France for eight bucks a day. No one was asking me to run Itel.....or IBM....not even my Daddy.

At Annapolis on the other hand, the arguably most competitive pricks on the American landscape fought each other tooth and nail for four years for the honor of being top dog. The guys at the top of the class got to pick their assignments. In the sixties, the big catch was Naval Aviator.....Top Gun. Only the elite of the elite got to become aviators.....the top couple of percent. The elite of the elite of the elite got to be carrier pilots...

Except John McCain. This bottom-feeder again got Daddy and Gramps to go to bat for him....and got a pilot's seat. Still, he did not focus and finished training at the bottom of his flight. He wrecked three planes: one in Texas, one in Spain (the Spanish press got it right as usual and identified the culprit as the son of an admiral), and one on his unsanctioned way to an Army-Navy football game. Wrecked three planes....and still continued to fly.

Once assigned to an actual fighting unit, McCain got assigned to slow, dependable A-4's....already outdated. The actual real Annapolis aviators got Phantoms and Crusaders. This is not to denigrate A4 flyers. My friend Doug Meador from Ventana Vineyards was an A-4 flyer with a million billion flights into harm's way and as crazy and brave a motherfucker as one could ever find.

Anyway.....turns out there were different ways of being shot down. The best guy could get caught by accident, equipment failure or bad luck. Then there were the guys who were slow, stupid, hung-over or basically incompetent. McCain has never released his military records......so we can only speculate. It is not hard to do.....the form is #180, and all it takes is a signature. John Kerry signed his 180 twenty years ago.

Once captured, McCain enters a fog of silence, discipline and honor of the type that he had heretofore skirted and mocked. The other POW's are not talking. The Vietnamese, however.....from Jeffrey Klein's article for Mother Jones this month:

"The genius of McCain's mythmaking is his perceived humility amid perpetual defiance. Having been a rebel without cause, and often a rebel without consequences, McCain apparently was not surprised when his Vietnamese captors went relatively easy on him compared to his fellow POWs. The Vietnamese military secretly and frequently filmed the American POWs to learn their propensities. Col. Pham Van Hoa of the Vietnamese People's Army Film Department was in charge of the filming. Asked recently for his dominant impression of McCain, the now-retired Van Hoa said that McCain "seemed superior to other prisoners." How so? "Superior in attitude towards them.""

Upon return, with his obvious physical problems related to captivity, etc......McCain was grounded. Once again he used his inherited position to get a plane and take a flight. Guess what? He wrecked it.

McCain has only released 17 pages of more than 600 from his military record. Those 17 pages are all awards. One can only imagine what lies in the other 600.

Now I understand the POW aversion to McCain. Here is a guy who has.... for his entire career....joked, ridiculed, flaunted and abused the kind of real hard work, intelligence and sacrifice it takes to become a United States Naval Aviator by using family connections to cover his many failings. And now, the guy is using the value of everyone else's skill, hard work and honor to inflate further his own inflated self-image and sell it to the American people and the world.

I would be pissed, too. Fuck this guy John McCain for a whiny, burned out, douche-bag wanna-be, spoiled brat fuckup.

And finally........this was largely un-reported. Actually.....it was completely unreported, and I check these things constantly.

In the Media.......the fact that Denis Kucinich put forward a resolution to impeach George Bush was put out as the wacky act of a whack-job lunatic vegan whose taller, younger wife has a tongue stud.

Check it out. Sixty percent of Congress voted for the articles of impeachment to be forwarded. Who knew? Our elected Representatives actually checked their oath of office and voted on the side of the Constitution?

The Kucinich Privilege Resolution

On Motion to Refer
House Roll Call No. 401
110th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 251-166 (see complete tally)
Agreed to refer H. Res. 1258, impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors, to the Committee on the Judiciary by a yea-and-nay vote of 251 yeas to 166 nays, Roll No. 401.

Vote Map
: House Roll Call No. 401
Votes For : 251
Votes Against : 166
Not Voting : 16


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