Saturday, March 30, 2013

Confederates of America

What are they thinking? Flying the Confederate flag at the Capitol? Whether the old or new doesn’t much matter. How “old” if the gubernator still lives there?  So, we dump an office devoted to providing information to Latino populations, but simultaneously fly the dreaded flag. Nice, Republicans, way to go on that expanding your communications to minority voters thing. So, how’s that working out for you?  I’m thinking that maybe the Germans deciding to fly the Swastika over the Reichstag building would be similar—just history folks . . .

So our gubernator and his republican buddies are chalking up quite a nice record. Getting rid of anybody on regulatory agencies that knows anything and replacing them with cronies, increasing the charter schools, while simultaneously reducing the qualifications to teach there, and promising to rid the state of income taxes while replacing them with sales taxes, so as to shift the tax burden from the rich to the middle and lower classes. All of those initiatives makes for great teabagger hallway conversations.  And I’m assuming that your “playful” attitude vis-à-vis voting districts and voter registration, aimed at reducing the Dems voting, is your version of overcoming the peoples’ aversion to republican officials and policies.
Finally, I’m wondering how many of you attended the funeral of the Republican Party. I know that Reince Priebus and Sarah Palin (how fondly we remember Bimbo-Sarah) dazzled at the official autopsy of that grand old party.  But it occurs to me that maybe they failed to uncover the real cause of death. They seem to think it was a "failure to communicate”, whereas it seems obvious that the party was asphyxiated by its dumb-ass leadership. When faced with choice of conspiracy or ignorance, the simplest explanation—stupidity—is generally best—Occam’s Razor.
And on that other exo-planet, it is rumored that the Supremes, led by Justice Scaliathomas, have reached a decision on that defense of marriage thing. Turns out they have uncovered the real threat to the institution of marriage--heterosexual weddings. So, they are going to dump the bans on gay marriages, but institute a strict ban against heterosexual weddings.  Seems heterosexual weddings are the primary cause of divorces, which, as we know, constitutes the main threat to the sanctity of marriage.  See, everything works out for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Prez in Israel

So Prez Barack has finally landed in Israel. Seems like the hopes are high, but the expectations are low.  I keep wondering whether there are any hopes to be had at all.  The Palestinians seem a hopeless lot, but a major hurdle to peace may now be Bibi. He is not exactly Mr. Peacemaker. Bibi may be afflicted with what I might call the “Absolute Power Delusion”.  What’s that you might ask?

Well, we all know (or imagine) that:
“Power Corrupts, and
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”.
So, who’s got Absolute Power? Well, my theory is that Bibi is a true delusional right wing politician,  sort of like, oh I don’t know, maybe Newt Gingrich. So, Bibi knows that Israel is pretty strong, courtesy of the US and European powers who have been arming them for decades.  But Bibi thinks, courtesy of right wing political rhetoric, that he will be backed up in any encounter with the Arabs. So, Bibi gets to thinking that he is Invincible . . . aka he has “Absolute Power”.  Or, in other words, he can do whatever the hell he wants.  He claims to have a limited tolerance for Iranian “nucular” ambitions (ahh, Shrub, you were such a funny dude).  And he says that, whatever Our Red Line might be regarding Iran and nukes, Bibi has his own Red Line. When and if Iran crosses his Red Line, Bibi plans to take them out, whether we like it or not, cuz we have said that we have his back.  See that’s how Absolute Power works. The guy with it can do anything he wants whenever he wants (unlike the US, which has to proceed with at least some caution).
Now, the Palestinians aren’t exactly free spirits either. They have all the right wing crazies roaming around their territory, periodically tossing bombs at Israel, which predictably pisses off the Israeli’s.  See, they aren’t really a Nation-State. They’re just a geographic region with a bunch of pissed off people living within.
So, where does that leave Prez Barack? He has to talk to a seriously right-wing Power-Absolutist and a pathetic group of nomads who are not in control of their geographic region. Wow, that’s a real deal—sort of one of the lower circles of Hell in the diplomatic world.
So, best of luck to you Prez Barack. Maybe you need to figure out a way to quietly, in some back room of the Israeli Cabinet, smack Bibi across the forehead with a 2 x 4, just to let him understand that his Power-Absolute thing is a delusion, every bit worthy of Newt Gingrich’s moon base. He needs to come to the table, like all the other  actors in the region. He’s just another pol after all. No More No Less.
And in that other alternate universe occupied by North Carolina republicans, Governor Pat is planning on eliminating all State income taxes, to free the rich to go out and "create jobs" (or move some more money to the Caymans), and taxing the poor and middle class instead through a series of sales taxes.  Way to go you neo-cons.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beyond Spring Color

Yes, yes, fresh new color certainly identifies the onset of Spring. However, nothing says Spring like the following two images. The first is  a clean pond, sitting by the pond with a glass of wine, and tossing some food to the fish, with the realization that . . . the fish are biting . . . which means that the water is just warm enough for the fish to become lively. When the water is too cold, they hibernate, like bears, except that they don't literally fall asleep for the winter.  They just kind of . . . hang out. So, this image tells us that Spring really is on the way.

And then there's a second but equally important signal that Spring has entered our consciousness.
It is when our increasingly ditzy cats are allowed to sit by an open window and breathe in the warm air, and hear the sounds of Spring, the rustle of leaves as a warm spring wind blows through the trees, and to see a squirrel wander through the garden, or to observe an interloper cat invade their territory. We watch them run from one open window to another as they seek to guard their territory from harm. Ah yes, that is Spring . . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

Color of Spring

So, amidst all the political nastiness our political parties can throw at each other, and of course at us--the fools who elected them, we must really take pause every now and again for the things that matter in the universe. Rand Paul and his endless nattering doesn't matter. Paul Ryan and his nasty little piece of business he calls a budget, doesn't matter.
But the onset of Spring matters. So, I wandered around our mostly bare garden this morning, finding little spots of color beginning to emerge. And I splashed them together into one grand look at one couple's Color of Spring. So, what color is your Spring Garden??

And one neighbor and, dare I say reader, followed with his picture depicting how one might pay attention to Spring, and, in this case, the longer lighttime that accompanies Spring. His view is:
I fully appreciate this approach. We require varying ways to celebrate. A sparkling glass of wine is a splendid acknowledgement.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Less is More

So, we have apparently a new marketing approach.  It might be called, "Less is More".  As seen in a friendly, neighborhood grocer, we give you . . . ta da!!!

Beefless Beef:

I ask you . . . what could be better . . . a whole new trend in marketing things that may be less than good for you.  For those who are not of the alcoholic pursuasion, we already have non-alcoholic beer, and lately, non-alcoholic wine. So, how about

Wineless Wine
Beerless Beer

And for folks who are wheat intolerant, we could market . . .

Breadless Bread

What could be better than "sliced bread"??? Well,
Sliced Breadless Bread . . .
Markets beware. We're coming for your money . . .

Monday, March 4, 2013

Boehner Says He’s Stupid

John Boehner admitted this morning that he’s really too stupid to understand Sequestration, so he intends to sit on his ass until its effects subside—sort of like sitting out a hurricane in your Baron’s estate house basement, til the fury ends.

Then he intends to take on Medicare. While acknowledging that Medicare is going to consume a larger share of the Nation’s Federal budget, as more and more seniors become eligible, and as more and more private insurance companies figure out how to fleece the system, he also says that he really doesn’t have a clue how Medicare works, or why it’s so expensive.

So, Mr. Boehner is going to do what all good republicans do when faced with a situation they don’t understand—punt.  His form of punting the ball away is the same one always used by republicans—give the system away to the private sector and hope that makes the problem go away.  He wants to “privatize” the system, by giving seniors a voucher, and wishing them luck in converting the voucher into adequate health care. 
It’s the same approach republicans want to use in education—they have no clue how public education works, and what set of actions and conditions lead to high quality learning and which lead to inadequate learning.  So, they punt that issue away by doing, guess what—establishing “charter schools”, which are private schools using public money, but without any accountability to the public for results.
It’s all part of their new Election Slogan, just designed and released in time for the 2014 elections—

“Vote for us

We don’t have a clue”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sequestration by Any Other Name


1)      a legal writ authorizing a sheriff or commissioner to take into custody the property (e.g., Congressional Budget) of a defendant (e.g., Congress) who is in contempt (well, yeah . . .)until the orders of a court (or the US Constitution) are complied with.

2)      a deposit whereby a neutral depositary agrees to hold property (funds to pay for laws already authorized by Congress) in litigation and to restore it to the party (the people) to whom it is adjudged to belong.
Rhymes with:
abdication -- to renounce a throne, high office, dignity, or function
aberration -- the fact or an instance of deviating or being aberrant especially from a moral standard or normal state
abjuration -- to abstain from or avoid, as in avoiding responsible pursuit of office.
 abnegation --  Denial, especially self-denial, as in Congressional denial of any responsibilities for carrying out the lawful duties for which the people elected them.
abrogation -- to treat as nonexistent <abrogating their responsibilities to the people.
So, we can surmise that Congress purposefully decided to pass this budgetary provision, infamously named “sequestration”, precisely because they assumed (incorrectly as it turns out) that no Congress could/would be thoughtless enough, careless enough, or malicious enough to allow it to become law.   Amusing huh? Congress passes a law under the assumption that some future Congress would suddenly acquire brains and a social conscience.
What a joke, huh?
But who’s the joke on . . . well us of course. So long as we continue to vote for people with neither brains nor conscience, sequestration is the best we can hope for . . . welcome to our world people. See, and we laugh about the Italians’ inability to govern themselves . . . well, folks, they’re probably rolling on the ground laughing at us.
In fact, the whole world is laughing at us.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Scalia & The Pope
So, what does Justice Scalia have in common with the Nazi Pope?
They're both global jokes.
Cartoonist Toles for the Washington Post captured Scalia perfectly with his recent take on the Justice's inane commentary on voting rights.

Justice Scalia sat on a wall
Justice Scalia had a great fall
All the Pope's Horses
and all the Pope's men
Couldn't resurrect the Justice's reputation again . . .