Thursday, August 21, 2008
Yesir We've got trouble
Right here in (no) River City
Trouble with a capital "T"
and that rhymes with "D"
and "D" Stands for Deer.
But I think I've found the perfect solution....
Monday, August 18, 2008
Last year I worked on a really good sub-committee on governmental-to-public communications. We talked about various communications models that could be implemented to improve the two-way communications between government and its different audiences. It was a good experience but the recommendations almost completely died...as we prepared another one of "those reports" You know what I'm talking about...a report written by 20 and read by 3....a report that gathers dust on the shelf, and (this is my favorite) is referenced to justify a political position one way or another regardless of whether the position was supported by "the report of the committee on communications"
So a new "strategic planning initiative" takes place and lo and behold, they decide that "communications" is our problem...or at least one of them.
So they form a sub-committee (again)
Hold a meeting
Here are the solutions to our "communications problem":
" Picnic in the Park with the Mayor;
Posters in the downtown area with pictures and testimonials about “why I’m in XXXXX from area businesses;
"great way to dress up vacant buildings etc".(sic)
Discussion also followed on the idea of “Branding” our community and its inclusion as an objective that should be considered in the prioritization process. A contest could be conducted to involve the citizens and create excitement. This will be further explored at the next meeting.I think I've finally figured it out....we're practicing GOVERNMENT BY GIMMICK...
Yeah...that's the ticket...give the public enough gimmicks and they'll ignore that you're f-ing up....royally...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The subject is the killing of a Democratic Party Worker in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Obviously, our heart goes out to the family of the victim. That should almost go without saying.
The motivation for the killing is still under investigation and yet a few of our friends have already written screeds to the likes of Michele Malkin, Sean Hannity, and maybe a few other of the more virulent Conservative bloggers to blame them for inciting the shooting through their writings which seem to encourage such violence against "liberals".
I've personally thought of freedom of speech as a pass/fail situation. That is, either you believe in it completely, or you don't. However, I am beginning to suspect that there is some kind of line which can be crossed from actually practicing free speech to committing or inciting to commit a crime.
It goes beyond the famous (alleged) Ann Coulter quote about the Arab States, "We should kick their ass and take their gas!" That's a pretty generalized threat. What I think crosses the line is when followers of particular writers or political figures are told specifically to target individuals; as Michele Malkin did by publishing the names, addresses and phone numbers of liberals she savaged in her blog and invited her readers to "contact" them. The "contacts" were, quite naturally, death threats. Did she cross the line by publishing the personal information? Or, is it still "freedom of speech"?
Concerning the Little Rock situation, I'm not as quick to jump on the Conservative punditariat as some of my colleagues might be. I don't think there was any commandment from them to go kill a specific individual in Little Rock, Arkansas. I do believe there was, and continues to be, an attempt to whip people into a frenzy of hatred against "liberals" in general and that attempt itself may eventually spawn more violence like we saw in Little Rock...and I believe there was another incident where a crazy gunman said he was told (by _od?) to "kill Liberals"....
It's got to stop somewhere and if it doesn't then I am afraid that Congress will yield to the old "necessity if the mother of intervention" routine and enact a piece of really bad legislation over this issue.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So consider this proposition:
14 years later, George W. Bush has left the nation in shambles economically, militarily and diplomatically. It would seem incumbent on the remaining few avowed conservatives out there to start pleading for bipartisan collegiality in both houses of congress (just like the crocodile tears they shed after the Democratic victories in 2006?) in order to preserve some remnants of their precious "Conservative Revolution".
But they aren't....via our friend Digby
She cites that Obama is actually practicing "post-partsianship" as opposed to just speaking about it. She claims that Obama needs the good will of the right/conservatives/Republicans in order to straighten out the mess they have created over the past seven (going on eight) years.
The mess is outlined starkly in Thomas Franks book...here's a snippet via Digby
Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we have seen is not an accident, nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction; it believes in entrepreneurship not merely in commerce but in politics; and the inevitable results of its ascendance are, first, the capture of the state by business and, second, all that follows: incompetence, graft, and all the other wretched flotsam that we’ve come to expect from Washington. …Get that? It will require years of political action...but Digby points out:
… The conservatism that speaks to us through its actions in Washington is institutionally opposed to those baseline good intentions we learned about in elementary school.
Its leaders laugh off the idea of the public interest as airy-fairy nonsense; they caution against bringing top-notch talent into government service; they declare war on public workers. They have made a cult of outsourcing and privatizing, they have wrecked established federal operations because they disagree with them, and they have deliberately piled up an Everest of debt in order to force the government into crisis. The ruination they have wrought has been thorough; it has been a professional job. Repairing it will require years of political action.
That's not going to happen through compromise because they don't want it repaired and will do everything in their power to stop it. The nature of the opposition makes compromise and consensus impossible, even if it were desirable, which I submit that it is not since the amount of repair that must be done is so enormous that there literally isn't time to play these games.
By the time these guys are done, the only acceptable bipartisanship will be the Republican kind --- the kind that results in more wars and tax cuts and deregulation. The "compromise" is that we might not have quite as many as we have under a Republican.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
all of the mf-ers.....
What set this off was just a few, short minutes of viewing the two premier Sunday morning talk shows: Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopolus.
The pundit class has their narrative and they will not deviate from it no matter what the truth happens to be. In this case, the pundits have two narratives they want to play out over and over again.
First, Barak Obama is an elitist. I mean he MUST be because St John McCain says so all the time and did you know that McCain is a war hero (he was shot down and held captive so that makes him a hero AND imminently qualified to be commander-in-chief) and if he says so, then it is certainly true.
Which one of the two candidates owns nine houses and flies around in his wife's private jet?
Which one was a "legacy" appointment to Annapolis and which one had to fight his way into Harvard?
Second Narrative: Obama is only 5% ahead of McCain. He should be ahead by 20%. Run for the Hills! The Obama Campaign is in BIG TROUBLE.
Never mind the state-by-state which show Obama winning by good margins in even the so-called "Red States". Never mind the internals showing that Obama is ahead or tied in all the GOPs best demographics.
No never mind....just TRUST the Punditry....Obama is in trouble.
But even with these two narratives playing out, there are some signs that the public is not listening. I think the media might have lost its credibility with people. People are tired of being told what to think...what narrative to believe...they seem to be taking their cues from the quality of life happening around them and that seems to tell them that conservative leadership has failed.
They don't want any more of it.
I am disturbed because I had an encounter Friday with two people whom I consider to be quite intelligent but who are, in fact, conservatives who told me how Obama was a "Muslim sympathizer"
I can't believe this crap is still going down...
Tomorrow...or maybe the next day....I'll write about what I think is going to happen next in my little 'berg'.....
We've Got Trouble
We've Got Trouble right here in River (less) City
And it starts with T
And it rhymes with D
And D stands for DEER!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why, oh why, anybody would pass such a stupid ordinance. .....but there's a lot of history to this....so let's review....
First, this post from November of last year...during the budget
The battle calmed down until about February of this year when one of the main characters in the budget debate, (who's husband incidentally, was one of the city employees eliminated) proposed that before the next budget cycle and presumably before each budget cycle the council conduct a "staffing plan" and that plan would preclude elimination of staff positions during the budget cycle. The sub-committee looking at it decided that it was impossible for the council to conduct a staffing needs analysis without assistance from a consultant. The council didn't want to engage a consultant. Further, there was concern expressed (by me) that relying on "staff" to justify reducing "staff" wasn't a good idea and so the subject was dropped.
Or so we thought
Late in May, a new aldperperson, the one who took the place of the one suggesting the staffing plan, introduced an ordinance to force any personnel decision to go to the finance, budget and personnel committee before for recommendation before the council could act on it. An alderperson suggesting a personnel cut would have to submit justification and data supporting that justification and defend it before the committee and the City Administrator would provide the "counterpoint" to the recommendation.
In addition, the ordinance was written so that the "justification" had to be submitted to the City Administrator first but there wasn't any time limit on when or how or even "if" the City administrator had to present it to the Committee.
In other words, it would be impossible for the common council to eliminate positions or even order a staff reduction in the budget process.
It's the slickest bureaucracy protection scheme I've ever seen.
I wasn't worried about the ordinance at all. I couldn't imagine that any of my friends on the council would vote for it so I expected it to fail and didn't pay much attention to it.
But somebody got "flipped" and the vote came out 5-5. The Mayor "proudly" voted AYE and this piece of excrement passed.
With over 64% of the budget involving "personal services" that means that if the costs increase to the point where we are forced to either layoff individuals or raise taxes, the option to layoff is taken away. It's an automatic tax increase proposal and gives the city administrator, an unelected official, almost carte blanch control over the budget.
A good friend of mine told me over coffee the morning after that he thought the whole executive floor had been drinking out of the stupid fountain.
I think he's right.
Who in the right mind would even propose taking away the discretion of the elected officials. Some alder persons think they were elected to represent only the interests of the city staff....they are mistaken.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
A lot has happened since I last posted and most of it hasn't been good.
The new Mayor has turned out to be a bigger nightmare than I thought.
My candidate for Mayor took a position with another City Agency and resigned from the Council, leaving us with a vacancy to fill ...more on that later...
One of our allies went over to "the dark side" and we can't seem to find out why, so this leaves (at present) the council deadlocked at 5-5 with the Mayor supporting "the dark side".
If there is anything positive it is that the replacement for my friend on the Council is an excellent alder person. He's bright. He's progressive. He's creative and has a natural curiosity that will serve him well on the council. My friends and I were able to get him elected as a replacement and we drew a ton of heat for it, but I think the Citizens of his ward are well-served by this individual.
Personally, I think the new guy is Mayor material.
The new Mayor seems to think his job is to protect the City Staff. Almost all his actions point to making the City Staff comfortable, and, he seems to be constantly talking in "bullet points" which I think may be coming directly from the City Administrator's office.
I don't think there's any doubt about it. With a Cabal of four friendly votes, the Administrator and the Mayor are holding the Citizens of the City hostage to the whims and wishes of an unelected, unaccountable despot.
I remember saying when I was first elected that the situation was even worse than I had imagined and there was a need for "fundamental change" in the way the city does business. It has only become worse and we need to keep putting the pressure on. The only thing that bothers me is that while I get nothing but "attaboys" from my constituents, nobody is willing to march on City Hall with the proverbial pitchforks and torches that it will take to make things change.
I feel like I'm tilting at windmills...............again.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I went up to the local newspaper's opinion blog this morning and noticed that my candidate's opponent's supporters went on-line and posted the last word on every positive post about my candidate...mostly smears against him but occassionally, CONGRATULATING their candidate for running a CLEAN CAMPAIGN....
Do they really think people are that stupid?
Let's hear it for "plausible deniability"...
Let's hear it for "surrogate attacks"....
I'm so glad it's over....whatever the outcome, that will be the reality I will deal with for the next two years....
Why do I even try?
Monday, March 31, 2008
My sainted better half called something to my attention last week that I should have had the wisdom to realize but obviously was too close to my friend's campaign to realize what was going on.
In short, I was so "into" the campaign that I watched every word our opponent said like a hawk and devined "conspiracies" in every detail. If the opponent said "when" instead of "if" then I was ready to surmise that the outcome was pre-ordained....in some fashion or another. I was "reading tea-leaves" that weren't really there and operating in the full-blown "crisis mode" that most local campaigns rely on in the closing days of a really close campaign....or what we THINK will be a close election...there were only 18 votes different in the primary and both campaigns went after the defeated third parties 911 (ironic no?) votes with a passion.
I heard from our candidate's blog/web guru yesterday who said that he was editing an entry to change ONE WORD at the request of one of our opponent's supporters. ONE STINKING WORD out of probably two dozen posts because they felt the term was "prejudicial" to their candidate.....whew.....
I guess I'm not the only one who was operating in "crisis mode".
Since I'm personally unopposed, I don't have much to worry about other than making sure that at least my wife and I vote for me. My friend has to "sweat it out".
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The net effect of all of this is to make the electorate exquisitely sensitive to constant prodding and poking by media stimuli, and what people don't notice is that that prodding and poking is tirelessly moving them in the same direction, toward a safe, inoffensive middle, away from anything that
smells controversial. The endless onslaught of tiny scandals trains the
electorate to be hyper-responsive to temporary, superficial outrages while
simultaneously chipping away at their long-term memories, their inclination to
look at the big picture, their ability to grasp subtleties of opinion and
We're getting to be the same kind of people. We can't focus for more
than ten seconds on anything at all and we're constantly exercised about stupid
media-generated non-scandals, guilt-by-association raps, accidental dumb
utterances of various campaign aides and other nonsense — while at the same time we have no energy at all left to wonder about the mass burgling of the national
budget for phony military contracts, the war, the billion dollars or so in
campaign contributions to be spent this year that will be buying a small
mountain of favors for the next four years. And we... shit, I don't even know
what I'm saying anymore. I'm just tired of this tone that's always out there
when these scandals break, like we can't fucking stand the existence of this
Wright fellow for even a minute longer, not a minute longer! — when we all know
that come Monday, or Tuesday at the latest, Jeremiah Wright will be forgotten
and we'll be jumping en masse in a panic away from the next media-offered shadow to fall across our bow. What a bunch of turds we all are, seriously. God help us if we ever had to deal with a real problem.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Things are also getting very nasty on the thread that XXX's (name deleted) letter to the editor started. The check cashing issue and marital infidelity are the topics of the day. Fun stuff. I'm surprised more people don't run for public office.
Yep...that's about it...nasty stuff on an unmoderated newspaper website. But my friend has it exactly right.....this is why people don't run for public office.
Now, certainly, I'm not going to blame my favorite candidate's opponent for these things because he has personally behaved in a gentlemanly manner. But his supporters are scum of the earth and they have given him all the "plausible deniability" he can handle. He won't come out and condemn people who spread rumors, he'll just quietly sit back and tsk, tsk his way through it hoping some of the crap his supporters are throwing will stick to my candidate. It's an old political trick and he won't disassociate himself from it.
How do we move beyond this?
I've often wondered if I'm too idealistic to be in this job......just for the record, I have, indeed secretly held thoughts of retaliation and "tit-for-tat" blog entries on this issue, but I've never been able to bring myself to do them.
Maybe someday we'll all grow up and knock this S$$T off......maybe
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
But in the enthusiasm for deregulation that took root in the late 1970s, flowered in the Reagan era and reached its apogee in the second Bush years, we forgot the lesson that government needs to keep a careful watch on what capitalists do. Of course, some deregulation can be salutary, and the market system is, on balance, a wondrous instrument -- when it works. But the free market is just that: an instrument, not a principle.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I have to meet with supporters and people I'm trying to convince and they all say the same thing:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I would like to post more about the local issues involved in this campaign but I noticed on STATCOUNTER that a computer that could only come from the opposition camp has been very frequently visiting this blog...or at least was a week ago... I am closely associated with one candidate and I certainly don't want anything I say here to be used in a campaign speech, news release, newspaper advertisement, or campaign blog against my preferred candidate. So I'll be a bit cautious. I wish I could be more candid but unfortunately it would be counter-productive to do so.
About that ad...
By now I'm sure almost anyone with even the most minute bit of interest in the Democratic Nomination campaign has seen or heard of the Clinton Campaign's ad entitled "It's 3 AM and somewhere in Washington, a phone is ringing." Of course, the surface implication of the ad is that only Hillary Clinton has the experience to answer the "red phone" in the White House at 3 AM.
As you might has also seen, the ad has been attacked on several different levels and parodied on an even larger number of levels. James Wolcott of Vanity Fair writes about a particularly
..The uneasy professor "ha[s] spent [his] life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery." Another person might have put that sort of work to good use, but Patterson is left with "scenes from the past" that come to his mind—with things he "couldn’t help but think." Of course, fools that we are, we all have things we’re inclined to think—reactions we're inclined to have, thoughts that instantly pop into consciousness. But to the extent that we have trained our minds, we then subject such reactions to analysis. Sorry, but Patterson doesn't go there much. Later on, he again reports the things he "could not help but think." Soon, he’s throwing the r-word around quite a bit, based on things he "could not help but think."
Patterson offers interpretations of this ad that are, simply speaking, inane. For that reason, it's sad to see him boo-hoo-hooing about the way some people "may" or "could" be "trading on the darkened memories of a twisted past Obama has struggled to transcend." Part of our history with which Obama has struggled (quite brilliantly, in our view) is the requiremen--lodged in the brains of many professor--that every incident in the world must be given a racial reading. Obama has struggled against that quite brilliantly. (It's a shame that he's had to do it. Just think of the other social problems this brilliant man might have solved.) But race men like Patterson have played this dumb card ever step of the way in the past four months. They've played this card inanely befor--but never as inanely as this.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
That isn't possible with today's conservative leading lights, the Straussians who philosophically believe it's their obligation to determine what you should think and then tell you whatever they need to in order to get you to believe it. Do they really think the surge is working? Fuck if I know, but it doesn't matter -- they think you should. If it keeps the fundies in line, big ups for intelligent design.
and, as usual she brings it home:
Buckley's honesty, even in the defense of an ideology you might not embrace, was a whole lot easier to deal with than the intellectual hairballs being coughed up by the right today.
I'll be back with some local issues later today...I finally have time to breathe.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
He died at the age of 81 last night.
My memories of him go back to the 60's and watching him debate on TV in 68. I was just a President of a Young Republican's Club back in those days and I remember watching Buckley with a sense of shame that eventually evolved into a resolve.
The shame was because the man was so incredibly eloquent and this small town, wrong-side-of-the-tracks boy who was determined to make it successfully across the tracks felt small and feeble in comparisom to the man's brilliance. The resolve was that someday people would be in awe of my eloquence also. Well, that never actually happened. But then again, I never went back to the wrong side of the tracks either.
I've disagreed with Buckley's philosophy over the years but admired him nonetheless...much in the same way I now admire Gore Vidal and always admired Kurt Vonnegut....
Rest in Peace Mr. Buckley.
I think the country would be much better off if the Republican Party had a worthy successor to him.
From experience, I totally expected it to be an extravaganza because it contained two of the public's favorite topics: Zoning and Disabled persons. It didn't disappoint me either.
I could have mailed the script in and, in truth, probably the outcome too because it is all so predictable...and all so stupid and childish.
Here are the facts:
A person purchased a home in a very nice (not exclusive, but nice) upper middle class neighborhood and then proceeded to get it licensed as an Adult Family Home. The neighbors knew nothing of this. He didn't check the zoning before he bought the home and if he had he would have discovered that he needed a "Conditional Use Permit" in order to operate the home. Without knowing this he advertised that he was "open" and would take not only the customary Alzheimer's patients and Developmentally disabled (which would have been okay with the neighborhood) but also "AODA and Mentally Disturbed". Of course, the neighbors went crazy. What else would you expect them to do?
A hearing was scheduled before the plan commission and sure enough, in the research done by the neighbors they found that the owner had misdemeanor convictions and had recently (two years ago) changed his name. Obviously this raise their suspicions even higher.
The next thing we local yokel elected officials know, BOTH sides have engaged legal counsel and the Plan Commission hearing featured: the two lawyers for the opposing sides, the City Attorney, a resident of the neighborhood who is also an attorney and an Alderperson who is also an attorney.....let's see that makes 5, (count 'em) attorneys in the room. Guess how many opinions there were....well, actually it boiled down to two....after you discount the nuances of the law.
Charges flew back and forth and the Attorney for the Group home charge that we were violating ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and AFAA ( Fair housing something....I'm lost in the alphabet soup of group living arrangements and I'm USED TO IT!) The staff, the Zoning Administrator and the Planning Director became ADVOCATES for the owner...it was ugly but predictable
The Planning Commission denied the Use Permit and all hell broke loose....
The Mayor accused the plan commission of trying to get the city sued....the City Administrator jumped into the act and got a ruling from the City's liability insurance carrier that said if the City deliberately broke the law the insurance company would refuse coverage. The Owner went on the radio and accused the neighborhood residents of telling the "elderly" to GO TO HELL" and the radio station let him get away with it. The radio station also played the Mayor's dire warnings every hour on the hour along with a quote from the City Attorney, which, in essence laid out the Owner's case for him.
At the council meeting last night the fruits of a full week of mobilization of the forces for the disabled showed up in full force even handing out badges at the door (to their supporters) to HOMES FOR THE HANDICAPPED". Owners of other group homes came to microphone in rapid succession to sing the praises of group homes, some even came up to say how ASHAMED they were of our city for even questioning the permit. And, of course, a disabled person stood at the mic and tearfully sang the praises of the owner.
The neighborhood residents spoke only to the fact that they were appalled to be treated like they "kicked puppies" and were furious that they were called "selfish" "bigots" "elitists" and even worse.
Only three attorneys got into the act. And the threat of a lawsuit wasn't veiled in any way shape or form. The City attorney was left with the position that anybody could sue anybody and that if we couldn't provide an "affirmative defense" our likelihood of prevailing would be slim.
In the end?
The fear of being sued prevailed.
More later....I have appointments to keep....
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Liberals believe in clean air, diplomacy, stem cells, living wages, body armor for our troops, government accountability, and that exercising the right to dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
Liberals believe in reading actual books, going to war as a last resort, separating church and hate, and doing what Jesus would actually do, instead of lobbying for upper-class tax cuts and fantasizing about the apocalypse.
Liberals believe in civil rights, the right to privacy, and that evolution and global warming aren’t just theories but incontrovertible scientific facts.
Liberals believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment that (1) prohibits another Bush from ever occupying the White House, and (2) prevents George W. Bush from ever becoming baseball commissioner before he does to our national pastime what he did for America.
Liberals believe in rescuing people from flooded streets and rooftops, even if they’re too poor to vote Republican.
Liberals believe that supporting our troops means treating our wounded vets like the heroes they are, and not leaving them to languish in rat-infested military hospitals under the outsourced management of incompetent cronies who think they’re running a Taco Bell franchise.
Liberals believe in pheromones, sex ed, solar panels, voting paper trails, the common good, and that, no matter how fascinating a story it may be, a president should never sit around in a state of total paralysis reading "My Pet Goat" while America is under attack.
And above all, liberals believe that it’s time to come together as a country and put a collective boot in the ass of shameless conservative fearmongers, hate merchants, and scapegoaters who are sucking the freedom out of all our souls.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Yesterday morning the local radio station gave the Fire Chief a full hour to harange the actions of the City Council. I suspect that the Mayor will be given the "golden microphone" tomorrow morning.
The station has been incredibly sympathetic to the current administration.
I suspect that vetoes will be announced over the radio tomorrow.
This winter has been long and tough...even the snow is unrelenting.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
(on edit: That was ANOTHER 3 + hour meeting last night)
Last night's meeting was worse than last Tuesday night's meeting. One Alderman attacked the character of another Alderman who is running for Mayor. It was inappropriate and bordering on slander...in fact, I think it was slander. It was a scripted attack and the Mayor, acting as Chair let it go on without interruption. This comes on the heals of a candidate's forum in which a "concerned citizen" (ahem...Mayor) asked the candidates what they would do about the "lack of respect on the Common Council"...yeah....right.....
In addition, the "Professional" Fire Chief let his ruby-red slippers stray from the yellow brick road and jumped headlong into politics. I don't think I'll ever have any trust or faith in this guy again.
My "side" prevailed last night on a lot of votes but I think at least one of the issues will be vetoed and maybe even two issues will be vetoed. I'm trying to decide if I will take a chance that the election in April will cure the problem or, if not, if I need to "up the ante" on the veto situation. Two more months of these sophomoric temper tantrums and ego trips is going to be pure hell and the reason the current administration can get away with it is because they have no political price to pay for doing so. I think I need to extract a price for this bad behavior....
I'm beginning to sound like one of them....
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A note about the picture...that's myone of our all-time favorite locations Florida State University...specifically near Westcott Fountain where I took an un....ummmmm....unintentional dunking during my mis-spent youth. The Statue is the Grandson of Thomas Jefferson who founded FSU.....who knew? Everybody thinks it's just a "party school"....
I'll post more later.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Oh, Lord, let me find my true love, an earthbound angel worth my undying, obsessive, all-too-willingly gullible devotion! An individual without provable flaw, an individual so clearly more inspirational, more trustworthy, and more compassionate over all others that I can -- nay, must -- make them my own! A candidate I can have true passion over, can woo, can obsess over to my friends until they find me so insufferable that they stop inviting me places -- a lover I can fantasize over, obsess over, can chronicle the every flittering act of, secretly building inside myself towards that fateful day when I eventually become jaded and bitter and resentful over those same quirks and foibles! A candidate whose marginal policy differences are worth the destruction of any friendship, and whose reparsed record can support any foolhardy action! That sort of love, the sort of love that makes the world go round and never, ever ends in sorrow of any kind!
Monday, January 14, 2008
This from Newsweek via The Huffington Post, entitled:
In public, President Bush has been careful to reassure Israel and other allies that he still sees Iran as a threat, while not disavowing his administration's recent National Intelligence Estimate. That NIE, made public Dec. 3, embarrassed the administration by concluding that Tehran had halted its weapons program in 2003, which seemed to undermine years of bellicose rhetoric from Bush and other senior officials about Iran's nuclear ambitions. But in private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. "He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views" about Iran's nuclear-weapons program, said the official, who would discuss intelligence matters only on the condition of anonymity.
Ignoring the obvious double entendre' of "bothersome intelligence", the story is equally disturbing as the headline.
I find this troubling because we are stuck with two equally unacceptable interpretations of Bush's remarks to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
There is the distinct possibility that Bush is blowing sunshine up Olmert's pant-legs. That is, he is telling the hawkish Prime Minister exactly and precisely what the Prime Minister wants to hear. Namely, that Bush is ready to attack Iran on a moments notice and thereby eliminate what Israel sees as it's most serious remaining threat in the region. Bush is known for pandering to his audience of the moment and that, often, while he appears sincere and earnest in telling the audience that he's "on their side", he doen't mean a word of it and forgets and ignores promises or statements as soon as he sets foot inside Air Force One again.
In this case, this is a dangerous game. By signaling Olmert that Bush is "really on his side" vis-a-vis Iran, Olmert may get the impression that America would support an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear power industy. In short, Bush may have given Olmert a "green light". That's disturbing.
The other equally depressing possibility is that Bush really believes what he says and that, sadly is always possible. How many times have we heard Bush say that, facts notwithstanding, he had to go with his "gut" feeling..... (cue John Cusak from High Fidelity:" If you think with your gut you've got shit for brains") That being the case, Bush may believe that it is his destiny to attack Iran before he leaves office and will continue to promote provocations in the Straits of Hormuz in order to justify such an attack....like the silly "speedboat" incidents last week.
I sided with Congressman Dave Obey when he said that impeachment wasn't a practical matter about a year ago...now, I'm not so sure that Dave...nor I were right. This dude is dangerous....either way...whether he meant this or not....
Friday, January 11, 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
You know, it's appropriate to put those memories up here now because of what happened in Iowa last night.
It's the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare...
Yeah, I voted…..so what?"
I feel empowered when I leave that booth,
My civic duty done with pride.
I’ve made my mark, spoken my truth,
And it will count, or so it’s implied.
Now Gore, now Bush, now too close to call.
And Florida holds the keys.
Buccanan gets votes and hanging chads fall,
Protesters show up in Rvs.
Now count them, no don’t, and judges decide.
Yes you can, or not, if you like..
Palm Beach tries, Dade says, “nah, let it ride.”
And Al’s finger slips out of the dike.
Now Bush has the lead. WE WON !
They demand.Stop the count! Katherine Harris complies.
And call up the highest court in the land.
In case they see through all our lies.
The supremes agree they haven’t a clue.
They kick it back to the Sunshine State.
And a judge named Saunders knows what to do.
He bangs his gavel and cleans the slate.
Now the Supremes see their way clear
To prevent harm to the elder Bush son.
The recount must stop now or, they fearIt will reveal who actually won!
It’s over now! They exclaim from the ranch where he hides.
And most admit that it’s true.
But it feels all wrong deep down inside,“We the people” were not me and you.
They were judges and lawyers and spinners.
And the news folk of course had a hand
.We could only watch as they picked the winners.
With sadness I watch Al’s last stand.
Al fought on with honor and lost with grace,
He was a better man in the end.
Dubya got a big boil on the side of his face,
And called all his Daddy’s men.
Well, at least it’s over, though we had no say.
Judge Rehnquist always knows best.
Those who own this country will now have their way
.And a new chance to feather their nest.
Now twice has Florida caused this fiasco.
I suggest we cut it off, set it free!
Maybe it’ll float on down to Castro
And little Elian can go back to Disney."
Thanks for sharing that .....