Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 November 2011 Do as I say, not as I do

(Follow me back to the McCarthy Days of yester-year)
My Man Newt
Published: November 29, 2011
Follow up concerning boomer spawn’s spawn
Take their phones away from them until they understand that they are not the center of the universe.
Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 11/29/2011
Cain can’t White-wash affair with Ginger

Cassi Creek:
            Maureen Dowd does a great job of pointing out the innate hypocrisy that is Newt Gingrich.  His determination to shove our nation back to the pre-TR days is going to be a major concern.  He’s enlisting southern evangelical churches to help him defeat Romney (the Polygamous Mormon).  Combining racism with religion is as evil today as it was in the post-Civil War era.  Gingrich obviously has no qualms about wage a campaign of hatred from the pulpits of churches he doesn’t even believe in strongly enough to prevent his own proscribed behaviors. 

          Herman Cain has apparently torpedoed his own campaign for POTUS.  Forget his desperate need for economic, national political, and foreign policy knowledge that renders him absolutely unsatisfactory for the position.   The Teavangelists/GOP base doesn’t seem to care about its candidates being intellectually capable of understanding such matters.  The base has next to no knowledge of the, why should the people it chooses to represent it?
          Cain’s campaign wrecking sin of commission is the same as Romney’s when we dig to the bottom.  Cain has managed to have a wife and a mistress, as well as who knows how many other reminders that Mormons and politicians belong to social structures that have previously and to some degree still approve of polygamy.  Cain apparently has followed where many French politicians led the way and where Brigham Young pointed.  The teavangelists can’t condone other males having more access to sex than they do.  Therefore, neither Cain, Romney, nor Houseman is going to be the teavangelist candidate. 
          Cain has not only doomed his candidacy by sexual escapades, he has put his self into a position from which he cannot escape intact as a candidate or as a male.  He is prevented from seeking absolution in the form of a jailhouse conversion by his own religious position as a preacher.  He has already played the Jesus card.  And other absolution mechanisms are unavailable because Gingrich has played alcoholism and patriotism as reasons for his philandering.  That leaves Cain only the “loving family” card.  He’s played that now; perhaps a bit too early.  That card is going to change his life in a manner more drastic than even winning the Presidency might have. 
          Never again will Herman Cain philander freely about the nation.  His “loving wife” is going to have him chained and confined more securely than Prometheus.  Cain is going to wish it were only an eagle tearing out his liver.  The final cost of Mr. Cain’s “loving family” gambit is slightly less than a pound of flesh, flesh that will from this point forward be only decorative in function.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

29 November 2011 No files named “my___” no toys named “I anything”

          Once upon a time computer file names could only use 8 characters.  There was no reason to have a file named “my” anything.  We all knew who owned the files we were working with.  We named them with some combination of characters that meant something to us.  Some imagination could be required.
          Microsoft Windows led the idiocy by insisting that personal computers be required to save and contain personal files in directories (folders for the young among us) named “My ____.”  I’ve never felt the need to name a file “My” anything.  I doubt I ever will.  But every version of Windows I’ve ever used insists on putting those files on my hard drive.  I ignore them and change the default “save to “destination.  However, it’s a pain in the ass and I object to it. 
          With the decrease in attention span among the spawn of Boomers, the stage was set for Apple to provide the audio-visual equivalent of Ritalin to those customers who don’t mind paying an i-tax for every bit of media they listen to or view.  They may find some internal comfort in having their toys download a day’s audio files as if anything which was around yesterday is not worth listening to.  I prefer to choose what I listen to and view.  An over-driven bass and lead track poorly mixed with a muddy vocal track does not equal listenable music.  But Boomer Spawn are busy and willing to allow Apple toys to choose what they hear and to pay Apple for the privilege. 
          I received a catalogue in yesterday’s mail.  That’s right, a hard-copy paper and ink device displaying pictures of electronic toys with a text description of each toy to entice me to purchase the toys.  However, I found it less than useful.  Every single device described was designed to dock or otherwise interface with an i-something.  Since I have no i-any things I simply discarded it.  I don’t plan to buy any i-any things. 
          What is so annoying about this occurrence is that marketing has decided that they need not market to anyone older than Boomer spawn.  We Boomers have been collectively discarded, left to live out our lives using devices that require us to think and read before using them.  We will demand that written text be just that, not a sometimes intelligible collection of digits, letters, and other characters crammed into a 140 character transmission in which ever more poorly educated Boomer spawn’s spawn voice their misunderstanding of the world outside their i-selves. 
          When a humongous CME renders their smart phones inert lumps of conductors, chips, and plastic, my slide rule will still work. 
          I may be mostly dead, but I ain’t dead yet.

          Yesterday’s rain has moved on, the temperatures are tracking toward freezing.  There is a prediction of light snow for this evening.  The mountains have that gaunt gray look of winter now.  We’ll light a fire in the wood stove tonight.

Monday, November 28, 2011

28 November 2011  Weather or not snow problems
          Yes, it will.  Well, it might.  No, it didn’t. 
          The promised rainfall didn’t fall last night.  The wind has continued, unabated, all night and into today.  The potential for branch and tree fall is a constant gnawing concern. 
          Tuesday night is now the target date for snow to arrive at the lower levels and in the foothills.  The temperature is predicted to fall to 18°F Wednesday night. 
          Currently, there is precipitation on three sides of us and the proximity is decreasing.  If it once begins pouring into the notches and down the valleys, there will easily be an inch dumped onto already wet ground in the region.  There is a lot of potential for damage and much reason for concern.  There is no perfect place to live.    This, however, is beautiful and tolerable 6 months of 12. 
Cassi Creek:
          The reliability of Pakistan as an “ally” is being demonstrated once again. 
Pakistan says NATO ignored its pleas to hold off during attack that killed 24 soldiers
While the United States is widely disliked in Pakistan, the army has accepted billions in American aid over the last 10 years in return for its cooperation in fighting al-Qaida. It has been accused of fomenting anti-American sentiment in the country to extract better terms in what is essentially a transactional and deeply troubled relationship with Washington.
Saturday’s deadly incident also serves to shift attention away from the dominant perception of the Pakistani army in the West over the last five years — that of an unreliable ally that supports militancy. That image was cemented after al-Qaida’s chief Osama bin Laden was found to have been hiding in an army town close to the Pakistani capital when he was killed…
          The reliability of any claims that Pakistanis were attacked without provocation seems lacking to me.  That they did call for a cease-fire when attacked is highly likely. 
          We don’t see Pakistan as a partner in any process, but as a necessary participant due to geography and a containment problem due to their possession of nuclear warheads.  It is unlikely that their army will improve in ability or reliability.  It is unlikely that they will suppress the militant forces harboring in and operating from Pakistan.  It is entirely possible that they will leak nuclear weapons technology to Iran. 
          It behooves us to complete our operations in Afghanistan and to pull our troops out of both Afghanistan and Pakistan ASAP.  This should be the thrust of our foreign policy along with nuclear containment.
          Now back to watching the wind blow.  Film at 2300.

Live film of wind at 2300

Good night!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

27 November 2011 “THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees

          This is, of course, the opening line to Alfred Noyes (1880-1958) poem, The Highwayman.    The wind described as a “torrent” probably has less of a sense of reality to urban dwellers than it does to people living at the end of the power distribution network. 
          I’ve lived much of my life in tornado-prone regions of the U.S.  I’m familiar with down drafts, microbursts, gust fronts, and tornadoes.  Gloria and I spent 14 years on the Gulf Coast of Florida and became familiar with lesser hurricanes.  In those 14 years, we suffered only two short hurricane-caused power outages and only suffered property damage one year, when two storms hit us from opposite directions. 
          I’ve written several times about the down valley wind patterns we experience here.  The next four days and nights are forecast to be windy. 
          We woke up this morning to the sound of the Boothbay harbor and Camden Reach buoys ringing.  These are large wind chimes that hang on the front side of the house and require a good push to start their ringing.  Listening underneath that the sound of the wind rushing down valley was drowning out the sound of the creek rushing down valley. 
          When I took Loki along to pick up the newspaper the wind was fast enough to moan through the utility lines. 
          In the past, I’ve catalogued wind and water patterns mostly from a point of interest in the phenomena.  Since 27 April this year, the wind is no longer just an interesting thing to write about.  I’ve played and sang many songs with lyrics referring to wind and storms over the years.  Living away from the hurricane paths and from the primary tornadic region of the country has allowed me to forget that the wind is never just an interesting physical factor in the day’s series of events. 
          The wind is a torrent, a river of air that has immense power hidden in its transparency.  Its moans and screams are not to be ignored or diminished by complacent familiarity.   Send it pouring through the trees and listen for the conquest of wood by wind.  On days such as today, we are reminded once again how far from the main transmission lines and from phone and internet access we are.  I have a fire ready to light in the stove and we’ll listen for the wail to become a bellow as a cold front moves eastward across the Appalachians bringing wind through the notches and cold rains.  The gales of November are knocking at the door.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

26 November 2011 Where does the battlefield begin and who polices it?

          The ACLU has organized an on-line petition aimed at the defeat, or at least the modification of, S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. 
                The bill is extremely controversial.  Part of it authorizes some practices currently in use to deal with battlefield captives who are not members of an opposing armed force.  Part of it recognizes the necessity of dealing with citizens of other nations who are actively working within our borders or those of our allies to damage the U.S., to harm its citizens.  Part of it is meant to deal with those U.S. citizens who were already, or who have become radicalized secondary to religious and/or political indoctrination via internet, media, or other means. 
                I can see the dangers involved in allowing what seems to be a shift to warrantless arrests and to holding prisoners in an undocumented, undisclosed manner in secret prisons.  There is some concern over changing authority for these prisoners to military detention centers and to military courts.  I find these shifts potentially unconstitutional.  Yet our justice system is not always well designed to deal with combatants and terrorists. 
                What needs to be firmed up is who is a combatant, who is a terrorist, and where the battlefield begins and ends.  We are at war with a religion-driven ideology that recruits its cannon fodder and higher-level operatives from all over the world.  While some of our allies are willing and able to work in concert with our armed forces and our national and internal police agencies, not all nations are so willing or cooperative.  If an attack upon our military or upon our citizens and infrastructure is being planned in a nation that will not render intelligence or police assistance to prevent such an attack and to capture the planned attackers, how do we prevent such attacks being planned and executed?  Are we obligated to proceed with a military solution as we did in Pakistan to kill bin Laden?  If our internal police agencies discover and foil such a plan, should the military receive custody of the suspects?
                These are all gray areas to my mind.  I recognize the need to prevent attacks and to protect our citizens and soil.  I recognize the danger to our established legal system and our civil liberties.  I tend to think that a military trial may be the best solution to avoid the circus-like atmosphere that now takes place around celebrity trials.  Certainly, an orderly, business like trial with no chance to recruit from the prison is in order. 
                Gloria is adamantly opposed to the bill as it now stands.  I find that I can stomach it with the Udall amendment.  However you may feel, it would be good to follow the link above and read the ACLU web site.  There you’ll find a link to the petition.  I’m interested in knowing your thoughts and how you instructed your senator.

Friday, November 25, 2011

25 November 2011 Another friend in the fight

Home » Christian Right Watch » The Republican plan to nullify the courts and establish Christian theocracy
The Republican plan to nullify the courts and establish Christian theocracy
Posted by N4CMChristian Right Watch21 Nov 2011
By William Saletan | 21 November 2011
                “Is the United States sliding toward theocracy? That’s what Republican presidential candidates have told us for more than a year. Radical Islam, they’ve argued, is on the verge of taking over our country through Sharia law. But this weekend, at an Iowa forum sparsely covered by the press, the candidates made clear that they don’t mind theocracy—in fact, they’d like to impose it—as long as it’s Christian.
Cassi Creek:
                I’ve always considered the Southern Poverty Law Center an ally in prevention of a Christian theocratic coup in this nation.  There are too few other groups who are willing to point out the imminent danger this nation faces at the hands of the Christian evangelicals.  Network for Church Monitoring is a welcome addition to the protective band of people who wish the United States to remain the secular nation it was intended to be. 
                We revere our histories that relate the voyage and tribulations of the Puritans as they searched for a location where they might practice their religion without suppression by the Crown or by the Church of England.  Those histories have been revised, as has much of our foundation mythos.  In fact, the Puritans were hounded from England and from Holland because they were so intolerant of other faiths that no one could live along side them.  Those Puritans were the evangelicals of their day, insistent upon forcing their neighbors and everyone else they might dwell near into practicing their “purified” uncompromising practice of Christianity. 
                Today’s evangelicals are the linear descendants of those smug, petty, and highly intolerant puritans.  They are the American Taliban; ready to return to the Inquisition, witch trials, blue laws, and to exclude science from our educational programs. 
                We’ve used the Afghani Taliban as a reason for ten years of foreign war.  Yet we harbor the American Taliban even as they are instrumental in beginning and extending our war with Afghanistan’s fundamentalists.  Corner our Taliban and many of them will admit they wish to wipe out Islam as a faith wherever it exists.  Push them farther and they will admit that they believe no other religion but evangelical Christianity should be allowed, practiced, or protected in the U.S.
                Pogo famously stated that the enemy is ourselves.  In this case, our enemy is among us and we’d best begin to realize that fact.  We’d better read the un-revised history about religious freedom and religious persecution in the foundation of our nation.   In addition, we’d better understand that the 1st Amendment guarantees us freedom from religion, but only if we recognize and work to overcome those internal threats that continually gnaw away at our Constitutional right to avoid being forcibly converted and forced to practice a religion we neither want nor believe in.  Those who demand prayer in schools, Christmas pageants, and other such displays can find them at private schools.  They should not expect public funding of their religion.  If they want, Christmas light displays on private property, subject to zoning and safety.  However, we should not use any public funds to pay for Christmas displays or those of any other faith on public lands.  Christmas, and Easter should be removed from the list of federal holidays.  Of course, this post will seem to some as another round in the “War on Christianity/Christmas.”  It’s not.  It is another battle in the war against mandatory Christianity.  Join it at will.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24 November 2011 Distract them with football and lines to stand in

Counting Really Small Blessings
Published: November 23, 2011
This year I am giving thanks for the Republican presidential debates.

Main course:

                The Poor, the Near Poor and You

Published: November 23, 2011
                                “The worst downturn since the Great Depression is only part of the problem. Before that, living standards were already being eroded by stagnating wages and tax and economic policies that favored the wealthy.
                “Conservative politicians and analysts are spouting their usual denial. Gov. Rick Perry and Representative Michele Bachmann have called for taxing the poor and near poor more heavily, on the false grounds that they have been getting a free ride. In fact, low-income workers do pay up, if not in federal income taxes, then in payroll taxes and state and local taxes
                “A study by Martha Bailey, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, showed that the difference in college-graduation rates between the rich and poor has widened by more than 50 percent since the 1990s.
                “There is also a growing out-of-sight-out-of-mind problem. A study, by Sean Reardon, a sociologist at Stanford, shows that Americans are increasingly living in areas that are either poor or affluent. The isolation of the prosperous, he said, threatens their support for public schools, parks, mass transit and other investments that benefit broader society.
                “The poor do without and the near poor, at best, live from paycheck to paycheck. Most Americans don’t know what that is like, but unless the nation reverses direction, more are going to find out.”

          Toles speaks quite well of the immense disparity our populace now faces daily.  The long-predicted revolution is still unlikely but more and more people are realizing how they have been shunted to the sidelines by corporate greed and Congressional fealty to the rich.
          What passes for dessert in our home is the still available freedom to turn off the seasonal movies and the endless football games.   I’ve never been a fan of football or basketball, never will be.  I’d sooner watch frost form on Newt Gingrich heart after he’s powered down for the night than watch over-paid professional jocks or their supposed student precursors stage a game around a plethora of commercials for bad beer and other items I neither want nor need. 
          Dessert also includes the knowledge that I have absolutely no need nor desire to enter a mall, a department store, or a big box store between now and 1 January in 2012.  
          Therefore, I wish us all a happy thanksgiving and would very much like to see all our troops at home by this time next year. 
The actual menu for the day is as follows.
Organic hard cider
Deviled Brussels sprouts with chestnuts
Baked sweet potatoes with butter, cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg
Roast duck with cranberry pistachio chutney
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Apple pie with Cabot extra-sharp cheddar.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23 November 2011 More reason to recall Norquist's minions

      “Jon Kyl’s search-and-destroy mission

By Dana MilbankPublished: November 22
                “Jon Kyl is different from you and me.
                “In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the nation was reeling over the death and destruction in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. But Kyl, now the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, saw opportunity: According to a voice-mail recording left at the time by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Kyl and Sessions were hoping to find a business owner killed in the storm so they could use that in their campaign to repeal the estate tax.
                “It was vintage Kyl: cold and ruthless.
                “So when the Arizonan was named as one of six Republicans on the debt supercommittee, Democrats feared the worst — and they got what they feared. It exaggerates little to say that Kyl thwarted agreement almost singlehandedly. While some Republicans on the panel — notably Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton — were, with House Speaker John Boehner’s blessing, prepared to strike a deal, Kyl rallied resistance with his usual table-pounding tirades.
                “The tragedy here is that Kyl, who has announced his retirement at the end of his term, could have risen above political pressures to strike an agreement to right the nation’s finances for a generation. Boehner’s House Republicans, aware that voters will hold them to account for inaction, were willing to deal. But Kyl’s Senate Republicans, hoping voters will evict the Democratic majority in the Senate, had no such incentive.
“…The sabotage began on the very first day the supercommittee met. While other members from both parties spoke optimistically about the need to put everything on the table, Kyl gave a gloomy opening statement. “I think a dose of realism is called for here,” he said. That same day, he went to a luncheon organized by conservative think tanks and threatened to walk (“I’m off the committee”) if there were further defense cuts.
When Democrats floated their proposal combining tax increases and spending cuts, Kyl rejected it out of hand, citing Republicans’ pledge to activist Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. Kyl’s constant invocation of the Norquist pledge provoked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to snap at Kyl during a private meeting: “What is this, high school?”
                “Kyl’s defenders say his motives were pure because he had every incentive for the supercommittee to succeed: He never has to face voters again and he desperately wanted to avoid the automatic Pentagon cuts that now loom. But there’s little doubt that he was doing Norquist’s bidding in killing any notion of higher taxes.
                “Norquist, who worked to defeat a compromise, brags about his control over Kyl. When Kyl made remarks in May that appeared to leave open the possibility of tax increases, Norquist called Kyl and adopted “the tone of a teacher scolding a second grader as he recalled the conversation,” Politico reported. Norquist boasted to the publication that, after he upbraided Kyl, the senator “went down on the floor and he gave a colloquy about how we’re against any tax increases of any sort. Boom!”
Cassi Creek:
          This is an extreme example of a lobbyist circumventing the Constitution for the benefit of a select few members of the ultra-wealthy class, and to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans in the former middle and former working class.  Grover Norquist has managed to co-opt elected officials by means of an “anti-taxation pledge” that has no legally standing and is unconstitutional in nature. 
          In this case, a Senator has been rendered subservient to a lobbyist and the people of the Senator’s home state have lost his services and representation.  The same statement applies to the citizens of every state and every Congressional District if the elected office holder has succumbed to middle high school popularity contest bullying. 
          Looking at and listening to Norquist, it is easy to picture his decided lack of popularity in middle and high school.  He must have spent all his time sucking up to the popular crowd and hiding from the jocks.  Now he has stayed in pattern and sucks up to the very rich by coercing elected officials to break their oaths of office. 
          In keeping with my recent pattern, I called Roe’s local office today to demand that he refute the Norquist pledge.  I also e-mailed his office with the same demand and an accusation of oath breaking and pledging fealty to a lobbyist.  His office received this message.
          “Signing the Norquist anti-tax pledge places you in fealty to a lobbyist who has no residency in TN.  You were elected to represent the citizens of North East Tennessee, not a lobbyist who operates inside the beltway.  I sincerely believe that your signature on this pledge violates your oath of office as a member of the House of Representatives.  Please recall who pays your official salary and benefits.  It is not Norquist.  Refute the anti-tax pledge and stop performing as a puppet for a petty little lobbyist who brags about how many elected officials he controls.”   
          The 2012 elections will be here before we know it.  Each of us needs to begin contacting our Senators and Congresspersons to demand that they break ranks with Norquist.  Mail bomb them, overload their phones, make the message heard.  Grover Norquist is a hired puppeteer for the very wealthy, all too eager to sell out the nation and its citizens for the benefit of the very rich.  He can be rendered useless to his masters.  Help neuter him, beginning today!
          Remind your elected officials that Norquist believes he has them on a leash and will brag about how well trained they are.   Thanks for the attention, please join the effort!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

22 November 2011 A duck in the oven is worth many in the freezer

          The combination of falling plasma levels of pain medication, blocked sinuses, and other discomforts woke me up at 0500 today.  By 0515, I knew I was not going to be able to doze off before the alarm began beeping.  So I’m beginning the day with a sleep deficit.  More and more of my days begin that way now.   This diminished quantity and quality of sleep are the reason I initially requested a PTSD consult.  I’m sitting in the system waiting for some response from VA beyond the initial intake appointment. 
          It’s difficult to read and assimilate technical information when sleep is more important than knowledge acquisition.  I wonder how I used to manage during my clinical rotations.  Reading astronomy this semester has become increasingly difficult.  While I’m learning some of the material and retaining it, I’d like to be able to read and retain it as I previously could. 
          I’m planning to roast the chestnuts tonight so that I will have them for Thursday’s meal.  I shelled about a pound of pistachios yesterday evening for inclusion in cranberry relish.  I imagine I will thaw the duck in water tomorrow so that there is no need to deal with a still-frozen duck.   
          I’ll also bake two pumpkin pies for Gloria tomorrow.  One will be frozen, the other consumed while fresh.  This will be our 14th duck if I recall correctly.

Monday, November 21, 2011

21 November 2011 100 Super ways to announce Super Committee Super failure

Cassi Creek:
          It comes as a surprise only to those who believe in the genius level intellect of Sarah Palin, the honesty of Rush Limbaugh, and the accuracy and integrity of Fox News, that the Congressional Super Committee has failed to carry out its single purpose for existence.  A committee handpicked by the various chamber leaders to vehemently oppose any cooperation with members of the opposite party was certain to fail from the moment of inception. 
          The intransigence of both sides has played a major role.  However, the refusal to even consider any tax increases that might anger their rich lobbyist financial backer combined with fear of being targeted by the Norquist pledge to avoid reality and thus defeated in their bids for re-election by the teavangelist minions of Norquist and other lobbyists who wish to roll the calendar backward for their robber baron employers, has rendered the GOP members able only to vote for those plans that further beggar the former middle class.
          Now, the Super Committee members sit and argue about how to announce their failure to the American citizens that the GOP no longer truly represents.  They are, in this as in all things Congressional, unable to provide honest and concise answers.  To simply announce, “we failed to reach a compromise that was fair to all being taxed.” Seems easy enough.  Yet we’ll never hear that from Congressional lips. 
          Nor will we hear the truth of the matter as explained below.  The teavangelists must provide another huge lie to convince their base that the GOP plan is not destroying the middle class and abandoning the American working class to a life of minimum wage slavery. 
          The best way to announce failure would be to hear the GOP members admit the lie in their position and then to hear them all resign for breaking their oaths of office when coerced by lobbyists, Norquist in particular. 
          Perhaps refusing to accept their salaries for the rest of their terms in office would be a small acceptable beginning.  So would be the loss of all their benefits, their retirement funds, and their personal homes as has happened to so many of their constituents whom they ignore so that they may continue to serve Norquist. 
          I’m sure that some of the less modernized nations in the world have other methods of dealing with elected officials who break their oaths of office and fail to represent their constituents honestly.  But the Secret Service has no sense of humor so you may have to think of those methods for your selves.    The images of Giraffe, Mussolini, and Hussein come to mind. 

Posted at 08:21 AM ET, 11/21/2011
No, `both sides’ aren’t equally to blame for supercommittee failure
Here’s why the supercommittee is failing, in one sentence: Democrats wanted the rich to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction, and Republicans wanted the rich to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20 November 2011 Time to brand Gingrich of Babylon

GOP candidates court conservative Christians in Iowa

By Perry Bacon Jr., Published: November 19

DES MOINES — Looking to court this state’s critical voting bloc of evangelical Christians, Republican presidential candidates sharply attacked secularism and the Supreme Court while calling for greater restrictions on abortion and gay rights at an event here on Saturday
To limit abortion, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, one of the leading candidates in polls here, proposed a federal law defining “personhood” as starting at conception, similar to a provision backed by abortion opponents that was rejected earlier this month by voters in Mississippi. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he supported provisions that would limit the ability of gay couples to adopt children, while businessman Herman Cain called for changing provisions in the tax code that restrict churches’ involvement in politics if they want to keep their tax-exempt status.
Several committed to supporting state same-sex marriage bans and eventually a constitutional amendment to prohibit it, although libertarian candidate Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) said the issue should be dealt with by churches and families instead of the government.
“As long as abortion is legal in this country. . . we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God’s law,” said former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

Cassi Creek:

          The teavangelist game of choosing a favorite has resumed with Gingrich being the apparent front-runner.  Gingrich is stressing his changed view of things; brought about by reading two AA books although he is not an alcoholic.  He’s admitting to being a highly paid consultant for any corporate interest that will retain him and pay him in the millions of dollars range.  The new and improved Gingrich has no scruples about who or what he will consult, or about who or what he will subsequently attack despite having consulted for whom or what.  He makes no apologies for such behaviors.  He is, of course, playing the Jesus card and asking us to believe that his jail-house-like conversion has healed his previous excision of any particles of morality and ethical behavior. 
          Only an idiot would trust or believe that Gingrich has now begun to place the good of the nation and the citizenry above his own self-interests.  A Gingrich presidency could well eclipse those of Harding and Reagan in overall levels of corruption. 
          Looking at the laundry list of items to be used in luring the teavangelists of Iowa into voting for any of the current crop of candidates, it is easy to see that Gingrich, Cain, Perry, and Santorum are willing to direct this election toward installing a theocracy in place of our republic.
           Since these worthies will behave as if above all laws they are not worried about being forced to live in an America ruled by extremists that would make Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia seem modern and moderate.   There is no doubt that Cain believes in his right to use his pulpit to increase his fortune.  Santorum should be reminded that “God” did not sign either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  In this nation, civil law is the authority, not canon law, or the opinions of evangelical sky pilots. 
          However, of the candidates mentioned in the article above, the obvious winner for the Ms. “whore of Babylon” crown is Gingrich.  Brand him and send him back to whichever deep red state will have him. 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

19 November 2011 Sunny, chilly, and paying the price for pleasure

          Last night we drove into Johnson City for dinner and entertainment.  We left home at 1800 and returned today.
           Dinner was Japanese food at Miso Teriyaki.  We had soup at our places within 2 minutes of sitting down to dine.  Bento boxes and sushi provided an excellent dinner.  Every time we have eaten at this restaurant, it has been prior to a concert.  The location is convenient to the path we take to hear acoustic music.  Coupled with excellent service and a fast kitchen, it has become an easy choice.
          Entertainment was “Disappear Fear,” Gloria’s somehow cousins from Baltimore, Sonia and Cindi Rutstein.  Sonia has just published a new CD, “Get Your Phil.”  She covers an album’s worth of Phil Ochs’ songs very well.  Last night was a release concert, one of three that have been scheduled with both sisters performing together again.  The new album and others can be heard at the website linked below.
          We didn’t leave The Down Home until after 2400 and we’re still awake at 0200.  Gloria had a great time meeting Cindi, exploring family ties with both Sonia and Cindi.  I was more of a seat holder than anything else.  The parts of the night’s performance I could hear were excellent.  But unfortunately those parts were too many, too frequent, and sadly, all too likely to become the norm. 
          Slept in until 0730 today.  Getting older hurts. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

18 November 2011 Snow on the mountains ice on the deck

          I woke up this morning to find a thick, heavy frost on all outside surfaces, patches of clear ice on the deck and steps, snow on the mountains down to about 2500 feet, and… one of my letters to the editor in the Johnson City Press. 
          To be accurate, the snow was there yesterday afternoon as week drove into the valley around 1600.  It was an incredibly beautiful view.  The ice was also on the deck by 2200 last night.  The letter was submitted 6 November.  The frost, however, was new today.
          The letter was written attacking Rep. Phil Roe for his submission to the Norquist no taxes pledge.   I’m looking for an angle of attack that will somehow resonate with the GOP/teavangelists who make up the bulk of the voter base around here.  Perhaps pointing out that their choice of elected representatives has effectively sold them out will trigger some response.  They’re all anti-taxation voters.  But they have effectively had their right to representative government sold out from under them by means of Roe, and other GOP/teavangelist legislators’ submission to Grover Norquist. 
          I would be thrilled to see a valid opponent to Roe, someone who might actually draw more than 1% of the total vote, on the ballot in 2012.  I’m not an acceptable option, no question about that.  But I’m willing to work against him and for a viable alternative.  The local Democratic Party leaves me almost at cold as the official Republican Party.  And the teavangelist populace here is truly something to be eliminated from Congress and any other government body.   I may have to hold my nose and visit the Democratic Party.  At least they oppose Roe already.  
          If anyone wants to use this anti-Norquist device in his or her local elections, I wish you success.  Please let me know if you do, and what the outcome is. 
Added below is the letter printed in today’s Johnson City Press.

Recall Roe, eliminate Norquist
          Rational voters and recognized economists understand that in order to begin paying down our national debt requires both judiciously applied spending reductions along with revamping and implementing our tax codes to increase taxes for the ultra wealthy.  That entails political compromise that the teavangelists and GOP are unwilling to agree to.  Many of the GOP/teavanagelists have signed a “no tax” pledge demanded by a lobbyist/self-appointed authority named Grover Norquist.  David Phillip Roe is among those who have sworn fealty to Norquist.  Norquist does not live in Tennessee.  However, Roe has chosen to represent Norquist rather than the people of Tennessee’s first District.  He’s made it obvious that he serves Norquist’s interests in Congress. 
          Very well!  This is sufficient reason in and of itself to recall Roe or to vote him out of office at the earliest opportunity.  He no longer works for the people who pay the taxes that fund his political career.  Let’s vote him out of office and let him ask Norquist for a job. 

James S Lenon

Disappear Fear is playing at The Down Home tonight. 
Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

17 November 2011 Roe lacks concern for Vets

This was written in response to a local citizen’s letter praising Congressman Roe and his immense concern for veterans.  I doubt it will see publication, but I can’t stomach the teavangelist practice of screwing the troops as soon as they are out of uniform.

          Letter to Johnson City Press, Editor
          Regarding the letter from Fred Phillips published 17 November 2011:
          Mr. Phillips, apparently a long-time acquaintance of Mr. Roe, believes that Roe understands the needs of veterans.  I disagree. 
          While Mr. Roe may have served in Korea, he was stationed at a hospital and suffered no hardship in concert with the average GI.  His other duties kept him in hospitals until he left the Army.  He lacks any common connections to combat troops, especially combat medics.
          As for his actions in Congress, he follows the GOP/tea party party line.  He recently demonstrated his concern for veterans by voting against a bill that would increase funding for suicide prevention among veterans.  He also voted against an increase in hazardous duty pay for active duty troops.  The only things he seems to have supported are bills that “encouraged people to visit cemeteries” and “making it a federal crime to deface a veteran’s grave marker.”    This behavior goes along with the usual GOP pattern of sending our troops off to war and then ignoring them when they return.
          Mr. Roe will, no doubt, support the proposals to roll veterans’ health care into Medicare and then hand Medicare over to the health insurance companies which will reward us for our service to the country by denying benefits and services as they are already doing with privately insured Americans. 
          Spare me from legislators like Mr. Roe who demonstrate their concern for our veterans by making lofty speeches on Veterans Day while doing their bests to gut the VA hospitals and other services to veterans.  Speeches are cheap, veterans priceless. We can never repay the debt we owe our men and women who serve in uniform But Mr. Roe and the GOP no longer pretend to care about them.