Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 October 2012 No candy for plutocrats

Today, there are two opinion columns I’d like to see widely circulated.  Both can be found in the Washington Post:

A vote for the future or for the past?

By Harold Meyerson, Published: October 30

The 2012 presidential election is fundamentally a contest between our future and our past. Barack Obama’s America is the America that will be; Mitt Romney’s is the America that was. And the distance between the two is greater, perhaps, than in any election we’ve had since the Civil War…”

Warfare waged by the upper class

By Katrina vanden Heuvel, Published: October 30

“The Republican vision is clear — ‘I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.’ Republicans say they don’t believe in government. Sure, they do. They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. After all, Mitt Romney is the guy who said corporations are people. No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people
Cassi Creek:
          Meyerson writes about the inability of the GOP and its teavangelist core to move forward into a more diverse society.  He points out the efforts made by George W, Bush to bring about immigration reform and to encourage minority participation in the GOP.  Due to the rabid anti-immigrant nature of the teavangelists, the GOP is fully fueled with a new load of bigotry, racism, and fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity that will allow the figureheads and demagogues to steer the GOP’s ship of fools straight onto a bank of shoals and reefs guaranteed to rip its belly out. 
          The end, says Meyerson, is inevitable.  Failure to accept the changing nature of the U.S.’ demographics will sink the GOP.  The only uncertainties are how rapidly it will sink and how many of the teavangelists it will carry down with it.  The sooner and the more, the better.
          Vanden Heuvel   looks directly at the frequently denied class warfare that sits poised to split the nation apart on economic lines.  The GOP owners are so blinded by their own self-designated indispensable nature that they can’t see the potential to find their selves riding a tumbrel toward the public square for a quick acquaintance with mob rule and justice. 
          I’m not a fan of vigilante justice or mob rule – after all the teavangelists are mob-borne and lack the collective intelligence to spell “justice” with the aid of a dictionary.  I see no difference in a lynch mob and a vigilante/kangaroo court.  America doesn’t need to return to public hangings, particularly now when the Romney-Ryan supporters would demand that the public be charged admission to view the event.  That, I think, is one of the very real dangers of a Romney-Ryan win next month. 
          However, the upper class financiers who stole billions and manipulated the bailouts that kept them from prison by dumping the cost of bank solvency directly onto the American working and middle classes, need to be given a taste of the personal damage that they brought down upon our citizenry. 
          The good thing about the reign of terror was the terror it engineered and delivered.  The banking/investment giants, hedge-funders, and the rest of the Wall Street denizens who think that their stolen wealth will always exempt them from harm need to be taught a harsh lesson.  This class war will become much more real if the plunderers suddenly are plundered.  Gated communities are not proof against a determined mob with a sapper or two working for the mob.  A week or so of kangaroo courts with justice for the people who lost their savings to the new robber barons being carried out at the long ladder and short rope should provide a new respect for banking regulations. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

30 October 2012 Smile and say ouch

I've noticed that this medication seems to be causing a bit of fatigue. I can live with that.
            As of 1635 we've had only snow flurries, some pellet snow, and moderate winds here at 1804 feet. Thirty miles away the Roan Mountain area has 8-10 inches.

            Drove into Johnson City this morning for my bi-annual ophthalmology appointment. Drizzle and snow flurries driven by stiff winds made it an interesting trip. The medical drill was dilation, followed by lots of flash photos, followed by long visual inspection of both eyes.  Driving back home with both eyes protesting the grey clouds that blended down into the highway  surface like an imminent white-out just waiting to pounce on anyone foolish enough to be out and driving. 
            While the drive in was shy of other traffic, the drive home was much more a shared event.  There was a pack of trucks, log haulers, honey wagons, dump-trucks all demanding their half of the road from the center.  They were all local haul trucks, badly rusted, tires bald, and they all appeared to materialize out of an accelerating wind. 
            The trip into VA was marred only by the presence of Fox News playing on numerous televisions.  I kept my mouth shut as the middle-aged vats waiting with me pumped out lies and invective about Obama.  I was looking for the right time to bring up the Romney-Ryan hope of privatizing disaster relief for natural disasters
            Corned Beef and cabbage for dinner tonight.
It is extremely hard to read and write this evening.  Previously I’ve been able to function better after beking dilated and examined.  Fginig eyes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

29 October 2012 Who better to administer a GOP/teavangelist health plan

Cassi Creek:
          The GOP/teavangelists’ endless complaint about Government participation in health care delivery has centered around their fear that their access to health care will somehow be decided and delayed or denied by a “bureaucrat” working to keep the cost of health care down.  
          I’ve had to listen to that song and dance many times, as it has been repeated by people with employer-funded insurance, people with privately purchased insurance, people with no insurance, and people who could and have bought their own insurance company.  Everyone of them believes that they will be overcharged for health care with the overage being used to pay for “the 47%,” illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants children and families, and any other group they can single out for blame. 
          They’re right.  They are being overcharged.  They are being overcharged to pay for the uninsured – all categories. 
          They are at risk of having their badly needed health care delayed and/or denied.  But, not by a government bureaucrat.  Rather, there is a cubicle dwelling clerk who matches policy numbers, cost of procedures, and factors in the amount necessary to be milked from the pool of premiums in order to pay out the bonuses and other rewards that the company executives have voted for their selves.  That’s who , and that’s where.  And most of all that’s why the insurance companies want the GOP/teavangelist base to remain at the mercy of  propaganda factories, misinformed congressional candidates, and other fear mongers who are happy to shift the blame for anything to anyone for the right fee. 
          Take note of the Wilkinson cartoon above.  What a perfect scapegoat for botched care, for care that was authorized too little and too late, and for care that was denied to provide another round of drinks at a tropical resort during a insurance companies sponsored junket for legislators from solid red states.
          Now, with the teavangelists blocking rational thought throughout the red states, it has become acceptable and convenient to blame any medical mishap on a supreme being, one which is claimed to be omniscient and omnipotent.  That outbreak of shingles could have been prevented with a cheap vaccine.  But you wouldn’t want a politician or an insurance executive to attempt to ignore the directives of a deity that punishes with pregnancies and dispenses diseases to enforce dogma. Even better than the faceless government bureaucrat is the invisible deity that rewards executives who hear “his” (was there ever any doubt) pronouncements and relay them to the grievously ill and the merely morbid.

          What then, for the rational who trust double-blind studies and who place their trust in the careful, repeated collection of data and the application of the conclusions drawn from such scientific methodology.  Who do they blame when the universe pokes them in the eye with a dirty conclusion?  If they are honest, true observers who reach the same conclusions in every application of their hypothesis against their observations; they accept the conclusion and begin looking for a palliative procedure, a golden fungi, a vaccine or a treatment – did we say palliative? 
          The things we know about the herbicide called Agent Orange include its long incubation period in human bodies, it’s extremely heavy usage in the area of South VietNam called III Corps, and its apparent capacity to induce Parkinsonism decades after exposure. 
          The things I can apply to those observations include my presence in III Corps during that period of heavy defoliation, and a disturbing number of symptoms that strongly suggest “atypical Parkinsonism.”
          These facts and questions generate a real conundrum for the GOP/teavangelists.  One hand, they wish to appear supportive of veterans with service related injuries and illnesses.  On the other hand, the Ryan budget includes some large cuts in funding for veterans medical concerns.  Given my utter contempt for the GOP/teavangelists, I’m of the opinion that they would like to assign me to the “get sick – die quick” ranks.  Given my  absolute willingness to write letters exposing such treatment of veterans, and my belief that such neglect is suffered at the hands of other humans, not at the random displeasure of a fairy tale deity; I find no reason or rationality that lets me blame anything but chance for the diagnosis “atypical Parkinsonism” on my chart.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

28 October 2012 Outrage doesn’t quite suffice

Republicans Filibuster Everything, Romney Blames Obama for Not Working With Congress
The Romney campaign released a shockingly Orwellian commercial over the weekend, which perpetuates something Romney himself has been saying for months now. Honestly, there's a book-length analysis to be written here, but I'll keep it as brief as possible given the depth and breadth of what the Republicans have been able to accomplish on this front.
The new ad blames President Obama for not reaching out and working with congressional Republicans to get things done. Yes, really. It also ballyhoos Mitt Romney's claim that he was able to work with a Massachusetts legislature that was 85 percent Democratic.
“I don't know whether to be brutally outraged about this or to congratulate the Republicans on an outstanding execution of political obstruction and subsequent projection. For now, let's go with brutally outraged…”
What bills have the Republicans filibustered? To name a few:
H.R. 12 - Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 -- Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 - Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 - Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 -- National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 - Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 - Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 - Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 - Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 -- Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 -- DREAM Act
S.3985 -- Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 -- Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 -- A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 -- Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 -- Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 -- American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 -- Veterans Jobs Corps Act
What else?
Here's an astonishing one. The Republicans filibustered the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act -- basically, healthcare for 9/11 heroes. Every Republican senator voted to filibuster this bill. I suppose the Republicans are only interested in 9/11 heroes when they're used as political props.
On the House side, every single Republican, including Paul Ryan, voted against the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, which forces Congress to pay for new legislation through either budget cuts or revenue increases.
You'd think that by helping to pass these bills, Republicans could boast a solid record on fiscal responsibility, job creation, veterans affairs, anti-terrorism, senior citizens and, hell, 9/11 workers. Instead, they blocked all of it. Jobs for military veterans, tax cuts for small businesses -- you name it. Why? So President Obama and the Democrats could be accused of failure.
And it's working.
Cassi Creek:
          Outrage, in fact, falls far too short.  What I feel for the GOP/teavangelists is contempt and disgust that they would jeopardize the lives and futures of millions of American citizens so that they could hamper the legislative efforts of a POTUS duly elected and properly inaugurated in compliance with the dictates of the Constitution.  These petulant bigots are so unable to accept the political, cultural, and demographic changes that have taken place in these United States that they have hired a number of lobbying firms to mount an advertising campaign, which releases nothing but lies and slander in order to confuse their electoral base.  Their base, given its willingness to listen to  and to inhale the vile output of Fox News, Palin, Limbaugh, Huckabee, and Beck, collectively the linear descendants of Herr Goebbels, incapable of thinking in a rational manner is already sufficiently confused.
          There is a tremendous winter storm/hurricane tag team event which will likely create high levels of havoc in the eastern U.S. over the next two or three days.  Large amounts of infrastructural damage are forecast along with similar amounts of property losses to private citizens.  The GOP/teavangelists, when faced with a similar storm last fall, tried to delay emergency relief programs until they could demand tax cuts to offset the cost of cleanup and repairs.  The timing of this storm is close enough to the election that any such malfeasance on the part of the GOP/teavangelists will show them for the hateful liars they are. 
          Romney will have no authority to help anyone during this storm and its aftermath.  Obama will and should be marshalling his efforts now.  It will be amusing to watch the right-wingers demand services while complaining about big government.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

27 October 2012 Medicare Advantage and the missing $700 billion

          The back and forth character assassinations and other miasmic misinformation that has migrated to the top of the simmering stew of attack ads often centers around $700 billion that is somehow being “stolen” by Obama, from Medicare, to fund Obama Care. 
          The teavangelists, following hard behind the campaign of lies that was the GOP primary, assert that the sum of $716 billion has been “stolen from Medicare.” 
          The Obama campaign, with no need to produce any lies about health care – the reality is bad enough – provide an answer that Politico reports as true.  There was, indeed, a shift in allocation of $716 billion.  It will be used to help fund Obama Care rather than funding a previous component of the current Medicare program.  To that slight extent, the teavangelists are correct.
          The missing $716 billion is being carved from the Medicare advantage programs.  Essentially, Obama and friends are stripping a huge chunk of change from the health insurance companies, who were being rewarded by Congress for campaign support by letting the insurance industry feast off a scheme they concocted to add to their profits.
          Medicare Advantage programs are paid for by the government but administered by insurance companies.  They bill Medicare for additional expenses and services that are often not indicated for or used by the patient.  These are marketed to the patients as “freebies or extras.”  They include gym membership, some small reductions on drug costs and other services if the insured remains entirely within the restrictions of “the plan.”  While this may be somewhat practical for healthy seniors in up-scale urban areas, once into the more rural and less well-to-do regions of the country it becomes harder to remain “in-plan.” And the “freebies” that originally enticed the patient to shift to an Advantage program become “unused” or impractical to take advantage of. 
          The Insurance companies continue to be reimbursed at the higher compensation level they negotiated as if everyone and everything was as intended by the lobbyists who wrote that portion of the law. 
          What is taking place, being referred to as theft from Medicare, is the removal of the extra compensation, the Advantage plans, that the Insurance companies were using fraudulently to increase profits while stealing from patients and Medicare.  They’ve had their hands in the cookie jar for a long time and they don’t like having them removed from a source of legally fraudulent revenues. 
          Obama’s administration is taking money from the insurance company’s slush funds and applying it to providing insurance for the currently uninsured.  Where’s the advantage in that?  Right where it should be.

Friday, October 26, 2012

26 October 2012 hide the truth, lie, and divide.

Cassi Creek: 
          The concept of class warfare being waged by Americans against other Americans has become a major factor in the 2012 presidential election.  The Democrats are still afraid to stress the nature of the war and are unwilling to take their gloves off an utter the words that may restructure the electorate.  The Democratic Party has, since the days of FDR supported working class Americans, union members, the disenfranchised, many immigrants, and public education.  The party lost its way in the VietNam era and has lost much of its base by trying to be too inclusive, and by wandering away from the place it held in the Civil Rights era.  It abandoned the core platform that produced the Civil Rights act, Medicare, the Peace Corps and Vista in order to oppose the GOP’s southern strategy without identifying that despicable bit of hatred and bigotry for the evil it has been and is still today. 
          The democrats have spread their actions too thinly and let the GOP/teavangelists lie, slander, and manipulate their way into power.  They have allowed theocrats, televangelists, and teavangelists to force their religions into public and civil affairs while suppressing any religion not willing to swallow the brands of hatred forced upon the majority by cultists who believe they have the right to violate the 1st amendment routinely. 
          The GOP/teavangelists, speaking from gated communities, closed religious events designed to prevent anyone of another faith to take part, seeking to supplant science and history with fairy tales and lies intended to write anyone but WASPs out of the time line, deny the existence of a class war.

The GOP/teavangelists intend to reverse the accomplishment of four generations of American women struggling to reach equality in pay, in healthcare, in education, and in political representation.  The 2012 campaigns have exposed the depth of misogyny evident in the American political system and in daily life in America. 
          The repeated assurances by Romney that he has no intention to eliminate abortion, are simply put, tremendous, repeated, lies.  They are designed to induce women to vote against their own self-interests by electing males who will keep women subjects in breeding stables, while stripping from them the gains that other women sacrificed to establish; workplace and political equality and access to modern healthcare not driven and directed by religious fanatics.
          Lukovich’s cartoon brings back the risk of an American inquisition conducted by men like Romney and Ryan who will use their offices to reverse the needs of women in the health care delivery system, and will support petty little hatemongering theocrats and teavangelists who will happily force women to submit to unwanted and unwarranted pregnancies.  The GOP/teavangelists deny any such plans.  I am no more likely to believe these lying fanatics than I was to belief Yasser Arafat.
          There is a class war happening in America today.  The GOP/teavangelists will do everything in their power to suppress and disenfranchise any voters who they believe will not follow their party line. 
          The Democratic Party must accept that it needs to restructure, incorporating Latino and black Americans into its ranks with white Americans and the other minorities who can prevent the GOP/teavangelists bringing about a theocracy with non-believers forced to participate under extreme duress.  There is a class war happening in America.  You and all of us must do everything we can to break the stranglehold that threatens the nation. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25 October 2012 Six years ago it snowed

          Six years ago, we took possession of this house.  An early morning legal meeting, lots of signatures, and we set out from urban to rural Tennessee.  It was nearly noon when we arrived, both SUVs loaded from floorboards to no rear vision available. 
          As we unfolded ourselves from the vehicles and stepped onto the driveway, it began to snow.  Not a heavy snow; not even a wet snow.  It lasted only a few minutes and did not accumulate on any flat surface. 
          It was just enough snow to reinforce the fact that we had moved from Florida with hurricanes to the Appalachian edge of Tennessee with snow, ice storms, and four seasons.
 Today, we have highs in the 80 s with the promise of a hurricane exiting the Caribbean then turning into the Atlantic coast of N. America.  It may be an eventful end to October 2012. 
          That day, G.W. Bush was in his last term, our troops were dying in Iraq, and dying neglected in Afghanistan.  There was hope that we might withdraw from Iraq but no guarantees of any cessation from the Bush-Cheney wars. 
          Now, six years later, the economy that Bush-Cheney allowed to be gutted is in danger of being further gutted by a pair of men who believe that the best way to help the poor is to let them die quickly.  Romney-Ryan, if left unchecked, will make the Bush-Cheney recession look like a bed-time story.  They will destroy the former middle class and sell the nation’s resources to the highest bidder.  They will continue the process of off shoring and outsourcing every job left in America. 
          If we had known 6 years ago what we know today, we’d have driven a bit longer and further.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

24 October 2012 Send Texas back to Mexico

Posted at 05:04 PM ET, 10/23/2012
Romney's flawed ‘apology tour’ rhetoric
By Jonathan Bernstein
“If Mitt Romney believes what he said during the debate last night, in his latest iteration of his “apology tour” nonsense, forget about whether or not he’s a liar: He should be nowhere near the White House…”
Cassi Creek:
          Growing up, I read a lot of history.  While most of what I read was that of the northern hemisphere and the Euro-centric nations, I read enough, African,  Asian and Latin American history to make me aware of the manner in which the “New World” and other soon-to-be colonies of European states, were invaded and subjugated by the Conquistadors and other armies of colonization. 
          Under the loving care of the Conquistadors and the Roman Catholic Church, Latin America became a group of colonies that preserved the Church’s grasp upon civil life, science, medicine, and culture.  The countries existed in poverty, the priests encouraging and demanding uncontrolled reproduction. 
          Reading these histories I knew that theocracy, poverty, and lack of education with what little education was available tightly controlled by the remnants of the Inquisition, made Latin America a place I did not want to visit, never mind live there. 
          Flash forward to the present.  The priests have lost their hold, the counties encourage birth control, and education is encouraged.  The various countries are climbing out of their historic repressions and enslavement.  They are surprisingly liberal when compared to red states America and particularly Texas.  Texas is nearly ready to create its own Inquisition, followed closely by several other American states that are as eager to suppress science, as they are to suppress voters. 

Here’s the real kicker for the day.
Posted by
(CNN) – Richard Mourdock, running for U.S. Senate in Indiana, said at a debate Tuesday that pregnancies resulting from rape are intended by God.
The Republican candidate was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest when he made the remark.”
          Perhaps someone should inform the candidate that Erectile Dysfunction is direct retribution for forcing rape victims to undergo a pregnancy resulting from rape. Therefore, if he and others like him are so sure of their direct line to a supreme being, it should not surprise them when their insurance carrier decides to save money by denying their current prescriptions for ED drugs.  After all, the pious sob’s wouldn’t want to annoy the god of unrestrained profits.

           Both Romney and Ryan have endorsed this teavangelist ass.  It should come as no surprise that Romney-Ryan will do everything in their power to take this nation backward in time to the Inquisition,  But it will.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23 October 2012 Romney whines.

Posted at 12:36 AM ET, 10/23/2012
Bayonets and horses! The Lynn debate
Washington Post
                ““t was a little snarky, especially the explanation of aircraft carriers and “ships that go underwater,” but it did the job. Nothing like suggesting that your opponent wants to return America to 1916 levels of military readiness to set the Internet aflame.
                “Horses and bayonets!
                “In fact, the idea that Romney’s foreign policy had been imported from the past was one of the president’s key themes of the evening. “The 1980s called,” he essentially said at another point earlier in the debate. “They want their foreign policy back.” And when you’re done with it, they’d like that joke as well. Also, Ronald Reagan wants to say hi…”
Cassi Creek:
          Frankly, the third POTUS debate rapidly became boring.  Obama has a reasonable foreign policy history to lay out before any rational audience – that excludes teavangelists and GOP base voters – while Romney has no foreign policy experience and no real idea about developing one. 
          When Obama was handed the first shot at a question, Romney tried to rewrite the President’s program with himself, Romney, as the hero.  When Romney received the first opportunity to speak to a question, he spent his time floundering around, looking for a pathway to throw his 5-point plan before the audience.  One almost expected herald trumpets and a fanfare along with the plan that was named but not defined or described. 
          Obama finally showed some righteous indignation when Romney called him an apologist.  Romney displayed his dislike of being challenged and whined to the moderator about being attacked. 
          Personally, Romney demonstrated his lack of capability to my eyes.  Reworking an Olympic games is not foreign policy experience.  Out sourcing and off shoring jobs is not foreign policy experience.  Emulating Ronald Regan, poorly, trying to relive the Cold War is not foreign policy experience.  His solution to Syria, pouring weapons into a conflict that is highly likely to repeat the anti-American nature of other Middle East wars reminded me all too strongly of Reagan denying culpability and knowledge.  That was not then and is not now foreign policy. 
          It’s been a horrible, four-year long campaign with Obama the target of bigotry, hatred, and lie after lie after lie.  Romney, far from being the best the GOP had to offer the nation, the cream risen to the top, is actually the droppings of the herd that tried for the nomination.  Ryan, let’s not forget the fanatical component of the ticket, is the scum at the bottom of the bucket. 
          I’m ready for this election to be over.  I expect that there will be no clear decision, although I hope I’m wrong.  Expect some sort of replay of the 2000 process with voting machines rather than punch ballots at the center. 
          What ever your hopes please vote.  And if you live in Tennessee, please write in Park Overall for U.S. Senate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October 2012 Buying the presidency for daddy

Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern

“It’s 3:00 a.m. on November 7, 2012.
With the painfully close presidential election now down to who wins the battleground state of Ohio, no network dares to call the race and risk repeating the mistakes of 2000 when a few networks jumped the gun on picking a winner.
            “As the magic boards used by the networks go ‘up close and personal’ on every county in the Buckeye State, word begins to circulate that there might be a snafu with some electronic voting machines in a number of Cincinnati based precincts. There have already been complaints that broken machines were not being quickly replaced in precincts that tend to lean Democratic and now, word is coming in that there may be some software issues.

            “The network political departments get busy and, in short order, discover that the machines used in Hamilton County, Ohio—the county home of Cincinnati— are supplied by Hart Intercivic, a national provider of voting systems in use in a wide variety of counties scattered throughout the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Colorado and Ohio.
            “A quick Internet search reveals that there may be reason for concern.
            “A test conducted in 2007 by the Ohio Secretary of State revealed that five of the electronic voting systems the state was looking to use in the upcoming 2008 presidential election had failed badly, each easily susceptible to chicanery that could alter the results of an election.
As reported in the New York Times, “At polling stations, teams working on the study were able to pick locks to access memory cards and use hand-held devices to plug false vote counts into machines. At boards of election, they were able to introduce malignant software into servers.”
            “We learn that one of the companies whose machines had failed was none other than Hart Intercivic…”
Cassi Creek:
          I rarely read “Forbes.”  I’m don’t follow the financial markets beyond a casual nod during the evening news.  I am, however aware that “Forbes” is widely respected and maintains a strong presence in financial circles.  “Forbes” is one of the resources that is generally trustworthy   I don’t consider it unimpeachable but when it voices concern I at least look at the evidence they lay out. 
          There were rumors in 2008 of flawed software programmed into the machines that record, collate, and upload election results; and allegations of fraudulent results skewing Ohio’s results for local, state, and national contests.  Diebold denied any such flaws and fraud.  Given the GOP\teavangelist insistence that voter fraud is rampant along with the arrest of GOP minions for destroying voter registration forms in several locations, there may very well be a teavangelist effort to suppress or block every vote for a Democratic candidate in the 2012 contests. 
          I’ve voted using paper ballots many times and felt comfortable that my vote would be recorded and added to the totals for the candidates I preferred.   I’ve use mechanical voting machines, punch ballots, and optical scanning machines to cast my votes and never really doubted that my votes would be counted, at least falling into the range of statistical probability.  But here in Washington County TN the machine used seems to be a combination push-button \ touch screen system.  At the polls, a paper trail documents my presence.  There is not, however, any paper record of how my votes were assigned and cast.  Since I’ve experienced several recount situations in my voting life, I’m of the belief that a paper trail should be generated and maintained by the local election commission. With the machines we used today, Infinity voting panel sold by “Microvote General Corporation voting solutions “ There seems to be ample opportunity for the generation of spurious, fraudulent votes in a manner that does not necessarily require local officials to be aware of or create those votes.    
The machine I used today in early voting is described by the manufacture as follows.                    
          Infinity Voting Terminal
The Infinity Voting Panel is a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting device for use in governmental elections. It incorporates an LCD panel to display the ballot, individual buttons for operator control and voter selection, memory card technology for activation control and data collection/transport, integral battery operation capability and the latest embedded computer technology.”

A Clarksville TN article documents the generation of 1500 spurious votes in one instance.
          I don’t know any of the officials and/or volunteers who staffed early voting today.  I have no reason to distrust them.  Most likely, if they became aware of a scheme to allow fraudulent voting they would rise up as angrily as would I. 
          But given the history of this machine, the hatred of the teavangelists/GOP for Obama, and the built in opportunity to insert malicious programming with every voter’s results, I have a discomfort factor about this election that I have never encountered before. 
          I’ve never encountered a situation before where a candidate for elected office can find a means to purchase the machines used to cast and record votes.  I find it a grievous and illegal conflict of interest that should be sufficient reason to delay the election in those states using machines made by Romney-owned corporations until paper ballots can be printed and distributed.  If this sort of conflict, potentially permitting a direct generation of false votes, were to take place in Iran or Iraq, Romney-Ryan would be pointing their fingers at the event as an indication of political inability to hold a legitimate election. 
          I don’t trust Romney-Ryan, the GOP/teavangelists, and the machines mentioned above to generate a legitimate election.  I believe that on 7 November 2012 we will be pointing our fingers at Romney-Ryan and watching evidence of organized election fraud unfold.  I sincerely hope I am wrong.  But buying the voting machine company as a present for Daddy is beyond the Pale.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

21 October 2012 How far to the border?

          After the 2000 elections, the internet was crawling with people promising to immigrate from the U.S. because they were worried about the coming Bush II administration.  Many celebrities promised to leave for Canada or Europe. 
          As it turned out, the Bush II presidency was disastrous for the U.S.  However, I don’t know of any major celebrity who renounced U.S. citizenship and left for better political climes.  When one considers that the media celebrity, actors, and other prominent public figures can afford to fly to other nations for lunch or a long weekend, and often do; does it honestly matter if they choose to reside in a smaller vacation home or apartment while demonstrating their discontent with the political and social situation.   Bush II did indeed involve us in two undeclared and unpaid for wars while allowing financial manipulation that nearly destroyed the world’s economy.  I can’t however, recall any celebrity who immigrated or in any manner changed my life.  The names Robbins, Baldwin, Sarandon, and Streisand come to mind but caused no concern for me.   We survived the Bush II years, incurring horrid damage to our nation
          When Obama Replaced Bush II the same threats to leave the U.S, came pouring out of right wing celebrities and religious fanatics.  Huckabee, Limbaugh, Nugent and a host of others whom I would not recognize on the street if they carried a large ID banner, and whom I would not miss for one instant, routinely display their pettiness and bigotry on what seems to be a weekly basis.  Like their more left wing analogs, they have not fled the country and most likely will not. 
          During the Bush II years, Gloria and I often expressed out displeasure with the course set by the theocons, neocons, cronies, and those who became the teavangelists.  We did not threaten to leave our nation of birth for another place more in concert with our views of how life should be and how the nation should be governed. 
          When my older son decided to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen, both Gloria and I felt it was a good thing for him to do.  His wedding allowed us to see a bit of Vancouver and to meet my cousin Danny.  Both of us are quite intrigued with the Vancouver region. 
          Now the electoral cycle has the nation in turmoil again with people backing both candidates while promising to leave the nation if their preferred candidate is elected.  This year, Gloria and I are truly worried.  If Romney-Ryan wins the election, we are worried that this nation will be shoved back in time, culture and social safety nets to the 1900s.  It is not difficult to see a theocracy replace our republic.  It is not at all difficult to see every social and political gain such as Medicare, Social Security, and women’s suffrage stripped from existence. 
          For the first time in my life, I’m seriously thinking that immigration might be the best course for Gloria and me to follow.  This is not a promise or a threat, not a prediction or a plan.  We think that we might be better able to enjoy the next part of our life without the threat of religious fundamentalism hanging over us.  We don’t want to see our access to medical care vanish; we don’t want to be governed by financial houses and greed.   I’ve never feared the results of a presidential election as much as I do this one.  That pronouncement even includes the 1968 election that directly concerned my personal safety and longevity. 
          For the time being we will vote, watch the returns, and hope for an outcome that doesn’t hand the nation over to the oligarchs, theocrats, teavangelists, and thieves. 
          Just for useless information, as the crow flies, it is 3 miles to North Carolina, it ca. 709 miles to the Canadian border. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

20 October 2012 How many Carrier Battle Groups equal a secure United States?

 How much of the Cold War can we still afford to fight?  How many pirates, in which oceans do we need to destroy?
The foreign policy debate we should be having
By David IgnatiusPublished: October 19
As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for Monday night’s debate on foreign policy, they could do some useful last-minute cribbing by reading an article titled “The Risks of Ignoring Strategic Insolvency.” It’s one of the best summaries I’ve seen of an urgent problem they should discuss honestly…
Despite the ongoing insistence of the GOP/teavangelists, the United States no longer needs to be the world cop and maintain a two ocean plus one brushfire capacity to wage war. 
          Like all empires, the U.S. has reached a point of overextension and is unable to afford the continual updates that we paid for during the Cold War.  Those enemies are gone or have changed their courses in concert with the rest of the world. 
          For the time being, we should maintain our navy at current levels so as to maintain the capability to project power toward other nations and to carry out anti-piracy duties.  Beyond those roles, we no longer need to beggar our nation in order to die with the most toys.

Friday, October 19, 2012

19 October 2012 Texas Taliban strike again

          Currently, many of the citizens of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and, oh yes, Texas are opposed to those groups of religious terrorists and oppressors commonly called “Taliban.”  These Americans find fault with the extreme nature of Islam practiced and promoted by the Taliban, which prohibits any religious faith other than Islam in Afghanistan.  The same religious tyranny exists in Iran, Pakistan Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern nations. 
          The apparently more civilized regions of the world are joined in condemnation of the attempted execution of a 14-year-old woman who knowingly risked her life in order to promote education for young women in Pakistan. 

          However, many of the same Americans who loudly condemn the Taliban for basing the culture of millions upon the narrow, bigoted, and exclusive interpretation of Islam.  Millions of people live in nations, which are trapped under a legal system derived from the harshest interpretation of Islam.  Our good Americans find this offensive to the point that they often demand our government export democracy and religious freedom to these nations.  They seem willing to overlook the reality of governmental change; it has to happen from within or it is only a cosmetic effect. 
          While a 14-year-old Pakistani woman, demands that her government guarantee the right for women to become educated, our citizen are demanding that they be allowed to institute a theocracy, oppressing religious minorities.  It shouldn’t surprise me that this is happening in Texas It shouldn’t surprise me that there is a lateral link to football and cheerleading.  It shouldn’t surprise me that the Texas version of the Taliban is involved.
          A group of cheerleaders from a public high school in small east Texas town has claimed that they have a legal right to display Christian Bible excerpts at football games on public property.  They are claiming that not being allowed to do so will generate irreversible pain and suffering.   They are being supported by the Texas governor, Rick Perry. 
          The school system should be blocking this under the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.  But Texas is home to as any religious extremists as is Afghanistan.  And Texas apparently cares no more about the quality of education for its females than does Pakistan or Afghanistan. 
          In Pakistan, young women fight and die for the right to become educated.  In Texas, they demand the attention of a deity at a local athletic event, never realizing what the loss of a game actually demonstrates. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

18 October 2012 Its October, time for back channel weapons deals by the disloyal opposition

          In 1980, during the POTUS election campaigns James Carter struggled to win re-election.  He was hampered by inflation, gasoline shortages, and a failed attempt to rescue Americans held hostage by Iran in the wake of their Islamic revolution. 
          Despite those factors, the greatest damage to his re-election bid was caused by the back channel interference by the Reagan campaign, which negotiated with the Iranians to keep our personnel in captivity until Reagan had been sworn in, replacing  Carter.  There are many who disagree with my belief in Reagan’s actions; whether or not he was directly involved in the deal, whether or not his staff kept the action from him as well.  There is also the question of his mental status due to Alzheimer’s’   I will always believe Reagan knew and acted in his own self-interest.
          To my manner of thinking, any action by a U.S. citizen that results in the extended captivity of service men and women and/or diplomats, for personal gain, is treasonous.  While others may think highly of Ronald Reagan, I regard him as a traitor, willing to trade the freedom of our citizens for personal gain.  Iran later repaid Reagan by sponsoring a series of highjacking and terrorist strikes against American troops in Lebanon and Europe. 
          Romney wants to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against Assad’s regime.  He should learn from Reagan’s experience.  No gratitude on behalf of Syrians will come his way. Only Syrian and other jihadists using U.S. purchased weapons will result.  It would not surprise me to find that Romney-Ryan have already engaged in back channel negotiations to transfer weapons to Syrian rebels. 
          Romney makes much of his draft-dodging missionary work in the wilds of France.  He may be assuming that arming the Syrians will open the door to modifying their political and religious nature.  Like Eagan, any payback he garners will be most unwelcome.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17 October 2012 Hey, Trotsky! Watch me pull a revolution out of my hat!

          Oh, Lenin, that trick never works.
          95 years ago, on a calendar most of the western world had put behind them, the Romanov Empire breathed its last and the Soviet Union crawled up from the primordial compost that was once Czarist Russia.  The “Russian Revolution moved Russia from a non-industrialized nation to a heavily industrialized nation able to contest with the United States for the first lunar landing.  After being nearly gutted by Nazi Germany during WWII, the USSR became a world power, engaging in a decades-long “Cold War” with the U.S. and its NATO allies; fighting a series of proxy wars and using client nations to test the military hardware both sides were developing and selling.  
          Until the destruction of the USSR, there was an annual celebration in Red Square involving a review of armed forces by the political leaders who controlled the product of the peoples’ labor.  New weaponry, intended to use against NATO forces, was often displayed without further comment at such parades. 
          Yesterday’s Presidential debate took on the character of two Kommisar’s posturing and arguing before the people who are intended to rubber stamp the eventual successor.  I found Romney’s incessant bleating that his career in business makes him better able to restore the current economic recession to a functioning system once more becoming rapidly annoying and tiring.  Further, I believe it to be patently untrue.  Just as the Soviets were unable to build a functional, non-corrupted, workers’ paradise, Romney would be unable to craft laissez-faire economy that would not rapidly begin to further deplete the remaining resources of the former middle class.  That outcome is inherent in the laissez-faire concept. 
          The modern history of  American politicians with business backgrounds is thoroughly discouraging and markedly frightening.  The men most steeped in business , Hoover, Harding, Carter, and G.W. Bush, have all but destroyed the national economy and thrown the world’s economy into disarray despite doing well in the private sector. 

          Hey,Teavangelists, help me pull 12 million jobs out of my hat
          Oh, Romney, that trick never works!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16 October 2012 In one ear, out the other

          MRI on tap for the afternoon.  Not my favorite way to pass the time. 
          My last encounter with the giant magnet was at Bay Pines when they were looking at possible treatments for my C-spine injuries.  Today’s study is slated by the neurology department.  I had the wrong time on my calendar, Gloria, who took the time change by phone, had the correct time.  I called to verify the appointment time.  Gloria was correct, of course.
          The drive into Mountain Home was pleasant, little traffic, great scenery.  There is still a bridge repair ongoing that forces traffic from a narrow state highway onto an even narrower county road for about 25% of the trip.  I really dislike the county road. 
          The procedure began about 25 minutes behind schedule.  I answered all the screening questions and crawled onto the patient carriage.  I’m dealing with allergies and those generate a lot of post-nasal drainage that makes lying on my back with my head in reverse-Trendelenburg rather unpleasant.   With my head restrained side-to-side, when they placed the cage restraint over my face, I was reminded of “The Man in the Iron Mask.”  Surprisingly, the cage alleviated some of the incipient claustrophobia.  I’ve undergone 4-5 MRI exams.  I’ve never had an overt claustrophobic episode, but I’m never quite comfortable with my head confined and restrained.  The thought hit me today that the crewmen’s berths in the U.S.S. Nautilus probably had little more if any space for the torpedo men, who shared living space with their explosive little pets. 
          The left side of the patient carriage was positioned against the edge of my left scapula, sending echoes of pain down my left arm.  Unable to reposition, that kept me from objecting to the noise in the scanner.  I’m curious now as to what the various sounds indicate. 
          I was home by 1600.  The scan will probably be signed out tomorrow.   I, most likely won’t hear anything until my follow up neurology appointment on 29 Oct.  One of the horrible things about being just a patient now is the lack of access to data that I know is ready to report.  I hate being out of the loop.

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012 The vandals stole the handle.

          One of the joys of rural living is the lack of a monthly water bill.  Instead, we pay tribute to a well system that requires frequent appeasement with 40-pound bags of salt pellets.  We also serve the pump and other components that deliver potable water to our home. 
          We’ve replaced much of the hardware in the system during the last six years.  Such repairs and replacements involve crawling into the crawlspace beneath the house and applying tools, special skills, and knowledge peculiar to the well drilling and maintenance trades while working mostly in the dark.  We have a working relationship with a well-respected well company that we trust. 
          Periodically, the water becomes cloudy and we begin guessing whether a service call is necessary, or whether the water will clear in a day or so.  Yesterday afternoon, the guessing game began.  Today, it appears that studied patience was the popper course of action. 
          We noticed this morning that Arlo Guthrie’s wife died yesterday,   How very sad for Arlo and their children. 
          The drive into town this morning was filled with striking images of low, dark clouds lying halfway down the mountainsides.  At random, intervals the sun would break through and we could see how rapidly the clouds were being pushed by the higher winds aloft.  Colors are starting to become quite bright and prevalent as the trees prepare for the coming winter.  It is a good time to be here.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

14 October 2012 Throw another bean into the soup. but don't feed the poor

          The 2012 presidential election, like many before it, will most likely be decided by how gullible the voter base for the GOP/teavangelists remains. 
          The 1968 and 1972 elections were thrown to Richard M. Nixon based upon his “secret plans to end the war in VietNam.  That war ended in 1975 but no one knows what his “secret plan” was.  It might have been saturation bombing campaigns but Nixon never explained his plan. 
          Reagan sold his base the bullshit known as trickledown economics.  There are still millions of people who are patiently waiting for largess and money to ooze downward from the sainted Reagan’s disciples.  They’ll be waiting a long time since Bush; the younger convinced his base that more money was needed at the top in order to prime the trickle down pump. 
          Now, Romney-Ryan is selling “secret plans.”  They promise a balanced budget while cutting taxes for the wealthy yet not burdening the middle class.  Sound too good to be true?  Take these magic beans…
          If anyone seriously expects to get a straight answer from Romney-Ryan they are sadly deluded.  Secret plans to end wars and balance budgets exist only in the minds of the liars who invent them and in the dreams of the voters who still believe in the tooth faerie as a means of restoring jobs to America.