Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Older and Better

As I get older, naturally, so does the complement of my friends. In fact, I believe most of them are getting older a lot faster than I am.

Something I've noticed, which you probably already noticed long ago -- I tend to be intellectually slow -- is that some of those friends make a genuine effort to live in the world as it changes. They give modern technology a chance, are open to the changes that society manifests, are capable of focusing on new notions of things, and are tolerant of people, especially young people, who appear Bang! into our midst with their strange styles and persuasions.

On the other side, some of those who get older, do not seem to grow at all. They appear to withdraw into their formerly established attitudes, become fearful, intolerant, and introverted. Some of them get to be downright selfish. Please, let me be not be destined to become one of those.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I hear on the talkies lately that Sarah Palin, far from being a mere flash in the pan, is still a clear font-running contender for the Presidential nomination next time. I'm not surprised. Fascist demagogues do not just disappear, especially when they're getting rich.

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a memory

This is the Italian hilltop town of Sienna, a very ancient city that Pat and I visited a few years ago after our friend Gigi convinced us to go on tour with her and her friends. I liked this town a great deal, in part because of the history which permeated its every street, but also because it bustled with the business of being friendly and welcoming and ancient.

Someone else took this photo, but I came upon it online, and I decided to share it.

There toward the center of the picture where the white awning spreads, we had lunch -- Italian pizza. I would return to Italy gladly and see more, but would want to go back to Sienna and walk its wonderful pathways again. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

welcome to crazy land

I get some real satisfaction in knowing that most of the really crazy wackos are now in the Republican Party, and they have been very busy accumulating to the cause of their adoration and follower-ship, most of the stupidest people in America.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cartoonist: Matt Bors CLICK and CLICK 2
Click on picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

annoying -- and dangerous


" ... the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending record amounts on lobbying and in election battlegrounds, elbowing into the nation's politics in unprecedented ways for the business community.

"The country's largest business lobby has pledged to spend $75 million in this year's elections. That's on top of a lobbying effort that already has cost the organization nearly $190 million since Barack Obama became president in January 2009.

"Those numbers alone, together with what chamber officials say is a network of online backers that can amplify the pro-business message, give the group clout as a virtual third party and a powerful voice in what laws are made and who's elected to write them."

It's Caturday

In these dog, or rather cat, days of summer,
a reminder of things to come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Does anyone know what these are? If you don't know, take a wild guess.


Oh, by the way: We ended a war last night. I guess we won it.

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Goodbye James J. Kilpatrick

"He was a hell of a guy!"

Although I rarely agreed with your politics, I almost always agreed with your language lessons.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

on religion building

The big mouths on cable news channels seem unable to decide whether the Moslems (Muslims?) want to build a mosque or a community center or a dance studio, or whether it is or is not "at Ground Zero," or whether it is or is not on "sacred ground."

Lucky you, you've come here and I have the answers. This construction is not at Ground Zero. It is not intended to be a Mosque, and it is not on sacred ground. I've been in Manhattan, and I can personally testify, without any possible shade of confusion, that nothing on that island is sacred.

What the would-be Muslim builders have done is to expose the hypocrisy and outright unchristianity of many "Christians." Where the "Christian religion" is unable to control its own bigotries and hatreds, or to practice its own precepts having to do with forgiveness, the government steps in with a document called "The Constitution." This document tells us that the Moslems, just like the Rastafarians, the Coptics, the snake handlers, or the Gnostics, can built a house of worship anywhere they want. (Have you seen the location of many Catholic Churches? They're seemingly everywhere, except in ghettoes or other poor places in the country, which they have mostly abandoned for nicer sites in the suburbs.)

You should not think that I am defending any branch, sect, or persuasion of the Muslims, because I have as scornful an attitude about them as I do about any lockstep religious group. Faith is one thing. I'm sure that most people have discovered foundations of faith somewhere in their lives which sustain them in happy and sad moments and bring them closer to God. But to suppose that they therefore have the answer for everyone else to every perplexity confronting life is absurd.

This is why there is a Freedom of Religion in our Constitution. This is why there is a Separation of Church and State in our Constitution. We have to protect those ideas as assiduously as we can against the organized forces of intolerance. Otherwise, we will eventually end up with one "faith" that satisfies no one, just like in Saudi Arabia or Mississippi. There are millions of people in dozens of places and in many different styles of architectural religion, who believe they have the answer for everyone else. They're wrong.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The Detroit Lions were handily defeated by Pittsburgh in an "exhibition" game, yesterday. What exactly was it they intended to exhibit? Because somehow I missed that part of it. I suppose I'm hoping Dashmann will have an answer for me

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Noted without comment

August 14, 2010

NEW YORK --- A right-wing New Jersey blogger was convicted at his third trial Friday of making threats against three federal judges in Illinois in retaliation for a ruling supporting gun control.

A Brooklyn jury deliberated less than two hours before finding Hal Turner guilty of making death threats.

Contemplate this

Here's a fact I find fascinating. More people die on California's "death row" from suicide than die of execution.

It's Caturday

We have no new lap cat pictures

Friday, August 13, 2010

Right Wing insecurity

SPARTY has written to me some ideas about the U.S. budget deficit and the so-called crisis of Social Security. We both agree that these are simply fear factors which the unpatriotic and evil far right uses to terrify middle class voters before the next election.

Everyone would a like balanced budget, but that ship sailed a long time ago when Bush got his tax cuts; and I do not believe that Social Security is going broke or that it will ever go broke.

There is a lot of talk lately about forcing people to work until they're 70 before they can collect Social Security. This seems to be what the Republicans (or some of them) have in mind. However, in our modern society, there is no work for most people to do after about 55 anyway. All this talk has the effect of discouraging workers and voters, making them believe that no matter what they do, they will never be financially secure.

It's demagoguery, it's pernicious and it's anti-American.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I'm not surprised to hear that ethics charges are being brought against two Democrats in Congress. I am surprised to learn that it is only Democrats and that it is only two! Congress these days seems to me so slimily corrupt that a hundred of them could probably be appropriately charged. I know the crookedness is ecumenical.

Monday, August 9, 2010


On the one hand, I think that the Wall Street bailout, which was engineered and passed in the Bush administration was what saved the world from an economic collapse. It also saved capitalism in the United States, which is to me, a negative. If the Republicans argue, as they seem to be arguing now, that Obama's economic policies were terrible, it is only because there is nothing so ungrateful as a rich white man. He always thinks that everything good which has befallen him is because of his own initiative, and that everything bad that has befallen him was caused by others.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

our next governor

It looks like we're set up for a real left-right contest for governor in our state: Bernero vs. Snyder. I suppose Snyder is infinitely rich with money he made off other people's money, so there should be lots of creative slander.


Here is part of the statement from the governor of Connecticut after 9 people were shot to death:

Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell issued a statement of condolence to the victims' families. "It was a senseless act of violence that has left us all shaken and reminds us just how precious and fragile life truly is."

If Jesus reappears, no doubt, she'll find fault with the timing. In truth, there's a great deal which could be said about racial harassment, the lack of civility in modern society, the easy availability of lethal weapons. And, it seems to me, the murderer was acting in the very best traditions of those who honor the 2nd Amendment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cost of Iraq War: 800 billion

Mr. Obama has just stated that the American combat role in Iraq is ending this month, just as he promised.

Now let us take stock. What have we accomplished? The help of my readership would be appreciated on this one.