Sunday, September 29, 2013

29 September 2013 Tyranny of the minority

Cassi Creek:  I’ve had it up to here wherever “here” is.
          The U.S. Constitution is intended to prevent a minority grabbing political power and oppressing the majority of citizens.  Equally, it is unacceptable for a majority subset to oppress minorities. 
          The Affordable Care Act was intended to provide greater access to health care for the working poor, the unemployed, and even some former middle class citizens.  It is intended to curb the abuses used by insurance companies such as denying care for pre-existing conditions and for trumped up causes that somehow manage to funnel more revenues into the bonuses paid executives.
          Today, we have the tea party faction constructed largely of anti-tax, anti- Obama, and anti-intellectual voters who are funded by various ultra-wealthy business owners and corporate clowns who can buy and fund lobbyists and Legislators.  These supposedly grass roots groups are actually bought and paid for by the anti-Obama factions. 
          The result is a slight majority in the House of Representatives that does not have an equal percentage in the overall voting base.  Despite some added seats in the House in 2012, there is no mandate for the teavangelists.
          Unfortunately, the GOP has been engaged in a war with Obama since 2008.  They are determined to do anything possible to negate his presidency and anything possible to negate the ACA. 
          The GOP has not recognized the singular fact that American voters voted against them and against the Romney-Ryan platform in 2012.  The GOP platform was soundly defeated by a majority of voters in a majority of states.  This election indicated that the ACA is approved of by a majority of voters whether the GOP/teavangelists like it or not.  But the GOP House members have wasted nearly $65,000,000 holding symbolic votes to overturn the ACA.  Each time the Senate has rejected the action.  The Supreme Court has declared the ACA to be constitutional. 
          Here’s the deal, you arrogant idiots.  You do not have the license or the reason to shut down the U.S. government.  You were elected to behave in the best interests of the nation, not of a core group of lobbyist for Corporations that are now largely based overseas, evading taxes, and creating ever-larger unemployment rolls.  You have created a tyranny of the minority and it is time for you to be removed from office.  Immediate recall for every teavangelist bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and other greedy example of oligarchs should take place now. 
          In addition, the 2nd amendment nuts claim that their firearms collections are intended to protect the U.S. from its government.  Well, all you militiamen playing at being real soldiers need to take notice.  The event you all scream about in nightmares and wet dreams is taking place.  The tea party minions are stealing your nation for the ultra rich who support them and feed their ignorance.  So when will you gun folks realize that the threat you claim you can overcome is based in the right wing nut communities rather than the left wing of American politics.   We’re not being invaded by foreign troops; we’re being captured from within by the teavangelists, the American equivalent of the Taliban. 
          Shutting down the government is not a desirable action.  It will cost the nation millions that need not have been wasted.  Forget the 65 million dollars wasted on repetitive symbolic votes, the coming shutdown will waste real money.  Even more critical, the refusal to honor our debt obligations in another attempt or destroy the ACA will have global economic repercussions.  This plan to intentionally damage the U.S. economy is clearly malfeasance in office and is being staged by corrupt members of Congress.  Enough is enough.  Send the tea party members home, now.  Put them in house arrest; take away their electronics and their salaries.  If they deprive the majority of citizens of economic stability, they have no right to a penny of their Congressional salaries.  Recall, Now!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

28 September 2013 Looking for a circuit that will take the amp

Cassi Creek:  Surprisingly, the action on Mike’s Squire Stratocaster is heavier than the action on my Ibanez acoustic.  I’ve spent almost none of my musical life playing anything primarily electrified.  The basic concepts are the same but I’ve developed, or had, a style of finger picking that let me play for my own amusement but which still could be utilized when playing with others. 
          Any electric purchase would require a lighter action and a basic re-orientation in style and technique.  I might enjoy something with both humbuckers and single pole pickups.  But I might find it horribly frustrating. 
          We’ll have to see what shakes out over the next week or so. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

27 September 2013 wrapped in silver chords

Cassi Creek:  Mike, our downstream neighbor, loaned me his Fender Squire electric guitar today.   This will provide me with the time and tool needed to see if I can recover some of my former ability and skill.  If this proves positive, I can look further into acquiring a use instrument. 
          Four days until a possible government shutdown andn the House has recessed.  Any member who leaves DC should be recalled at once. 
          Bachmann is evidencing her complete divorce from reality by claiming that the ACA will “kill children and seniors.”  In reality, lack of health care, housing, food and other safety net features that Bachmann has repeatedly voted to abolish will kill Senior and children, 
          She exemplifies the unqualified legislator elected by the GOP/teavangelist mob.  The sooner she is out of office and convicted of the campaign financing and ethics violations leveled against her, the better.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

26 September 2013 Around Good Hope or cruzing to nowhere

            “It remains to be seen whether major commentators and news orgs will clearly and forthrightly reckon with — and convey to readers — how insane the GOP position here really is. I laid out the reasons for this yesterday, but the short version is thatDemocrats are not asking Republicans to give up anything in requesting that they support a debt limit hike. They are not asking Republicans to agree to more spending. They are not asking for new taxes. They are simply asking Republicans to join them in making it possible for Congress to pay obligations it has already incurred, and in so doing, avert economic catastrophe for the whole country. There is no rationale for giving Republicans anything in return for this…”
            “… GOP SENATORS RAGE AT CRUZ’S DISHONESTY: The New York Times has a fun look at GOP Senators who are criticizing Ted Cruz for misleading conservatives into believing Obamacare can be defunded, making their lives miserable because voters are demanding they help Cruz make it happen. Here’s Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson:
Mr. Cruz and others who insist that they can prevail in defunding the health care law, Mr. Johnson added, are misleading voters who are looking to them for leadership that the party has lacked lately. “They just want anybody who offers them a path, whether it’s realistic or not,” he said.
            “..After years of misleading folks about Obamacare, the GOP is finding they can no longer control the monster all that dishonesty helped unleash. Going forward, though, what this means is that these anti-Obamacare voters will keep demanding GOP lawmakers pursue the futile quest to stop the law outside normal electoral channels.

            “* AND THE TEA PARTY CONTINUES SHRINKING: A new Gallup poll finds that only 22 percent of Americans now identify themselves as Tea Party supporters, close to an all-time low. Even the “intensity gap” no longer favors Tea Partiers, with the amount of “strong” Tea Party opponents outnumbering strong supporters. And yet, the Tea Party still wields outsized influence over the GOP agenda — underscoring, if anything, how disproportionate this influence remains.

Cassi Creek:  We may be actually entering a period when the lies and right wing propaganda begin to overwhelm the GOP’s base voters.  It’s possible that the tea party may have finally become so obviously rabid that they present a real danger to voters who recall when Cruz, Palin, and friends were objects of widespread derision and disgust.  In the days before drug-addicted blowhards like Limbaugh could sell their particular brand of snake oil to enough non-readers to affect the GOP’s policies, there still existed moderate Republicans who understood that conservative did not mean mentally deficient, and knew that destroying the national economy was equivalent to declaring war upon the U. S. and its citizens. 
            Perhaps, just perhaps, there may be a glimmer of hope breaking through the ugly scud and wrack that the winds of ignorance and pettiness blow toward financial warfare as a national policy.  We can hope.
 “Light a candle curse the glare!” 

Other miscellany:  As my left hand grip diminishes and my left shoulder refuses to hold the neck of a guitar without demanding a huge ration of discomfort,   I’m considering acquiring an electric guitar.  I’m wondering if the lower pressure demanded of the strings on an electric might bring me back into the realm of still trying musicians. 

            I don’t want to sink money into a new instrument.  I’d like to find a decent used guitar that isn’t too expensive or too beaten up.    Research time now.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

25 September 2013 Idiocy abounds

Cassi Creek:
The news today is filled with various examples of Congress ignoring the job it was elected to so that they can waste time placing the desires of their separate parties over the needs of the nation.

After more than 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, John Boehner and his House Republican caucus have taken their crazed obsession to a new level: They have actually passed a bill that could lead to a government shutdown unless Obamacare is defunded.
Conspicuously absent from that bill, however, was a promise that Boehner and the Republicans pushing it would forgo their own salaries in the event of a shutdown.
House Republicans aren't doing their jobs as it is. Why should they still get paid if the rest of the government is shut down?

The very notion that the government might be shutdown without harming the nation is so alien to me as to be unthinkable.   It is one thing to reduce spending.  It is quite another to waste time repeating votes that have not value but symbolism for the most fanatical of the elected.  And it is entirely anathema to engage in such behavior when we have troops at risk in multiple conflicts. 
            It must be remembered that the GOP, currently yelling against engaging in Syria, is the party that fell all over itself to help Bush 43 start the wars that we are currently fighting.  There is not a congressperson alive who deserves a cent of their salary if they allow the government to shut down. 
            Even if they avoid shutdown, the GOP intends to apply deep cuts to the SNAP supplemental food program that many military families require in order to keep food on the table.  If I were currently deployed and Congress delayed my salary and benefits by creating governmental shutdown,  rendering my family unable to pay its bills, while taking much need food off my table.; I know what my first response would be the minute I returned to CONUS. There are many things Congress needs to hear from our troops, none of which they will like to hear.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

24 September 2013 Gasoline and groceries

Cassi Creek:
          Several errands required our presence in Johnson City today. Driving in through Jonesborough is the longer route but taking that longer route allowed me to buy gasoline at $2.93.  That’s cheaper than I’ve seen in this region in a year. 
          We stocked up on some items at Earth Fare that are not available at the chain groceries we use for many canned goods and household items.  We found some pasta made of quinoa and corn that Gloria may be able to eat in small amounts without blowing her glucose level.  It will be interesting to explore how it turns out.
          I was offered the chance to taste a chocolate-covered fig today.  It was interesting but the chocolate outer layer reminded me of the chocolate syrups poured on frozen custard or soft-serve in rode-side stands.  Brittle, thin and somewhat lacking in chocolate flavor.  Given that initial impression and the cost per package – in excess of $8.00 – I declined the purchase. 
          We came home with some decent seafood and some sushi.  Should be an enjoyable dinner.

          If there were American expatriates caught up in the Al Shabab terrorist group, I’d support a drone strike or two to eliminate them from any future activity. That probably sounds extreme to many people I know.  Taking up arms against this nation – there were American casualties – is grounds for extreme response on the part of our government.  While it is a violation of some constitutional rights and privileges, waging open warfare against this nation and its citizens for ideological differences is, in my view, a definite renunciation of American citizenship and the rights and protections such status affords.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

23 September 2013 Terror Firma

Cassi Creek:        
          Terrorist activity happening in every direction.  Too much to sort out today.  The most frightening aspect is the ongoing and apparently successful recruitment of American citizens to join such groups as al-Shabab.
          No film at 2300

Sunday, September 22, 2013

22 September 2013 Trouble ahead, trouble behind

Cassi Creek:  The likelihood of a government shutdown brought about by the Tea Party faction of the GOP, the idiots willing to crash the economy again, is growing imminent each day.  The last recession is still not over for most Americans and these fools can’t wait to deepen and extend it.
It is hungry out there and it is going to get to starving times for many Americans.  The House has voted to cut food stamps $39-$40 billion from the SNAP funds that keep many of us from starving in what is still a recession for many of us.
          This is just a further extension of the class warfare now occurring as the GOP targets the working poor, the former middle class, and the unemployed poor for economic destruction. 
          That this nation’s legislator should become bent upon destroying our social safety nets is intolerable.  That even a small fraction of the targeted Americans should still find any reason to elect or re-elect GOP and teavangelist candidates and incumbents is proof of a marked decline in intellectual capacity. 
          We aren’t ready for open revolution now.  However, we are much closer to it than I ever imagined we would be. 
          BTW, two Democrats voting to repeal Obama Care is not a bi-partisan action.    
          The next few days will serve to point out the inability of Boehner to control his caucus and the unfortunate capacity of the teavangelists to destroy any economic recovery that we have been able to bring about.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

21 September 2013 The days grow short when you reach September

Cassi Creek:  Today began with gray overcast and evidence of light drizzle.  It has progressed to wide spread rain with more rain moving in with a cold front that is now about halfway across the state to our west. 
          There is an autumnal feel to the day.  Since tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, that is appropriate.  We’re already seeing leaves falling from the larger trees.  The color changes should be happening in the high country before long. 
          We’ve been trying to get the new guttering finished and the leaks fixed.  The better business bureau in Green County was unable to get a response from the company.  We need to call in someone to do an estimate for finishing the job and then contact the county sheriff and/county attorney.  This is going to wind up in small claims court and the company will either have been dissolved or have no assets and want more money to finish the job.  They won’t get it from us. 
          I don’t understand why it is so difficult to get people to complete jobs and to do what we hire them to do.  Poor and incomplete work seems to be endemic to the region.  It’s about time to move on to the next repairs we need to have completed.  Getting the trailer remnants out of the wooded property is the most needed task and will definitely require contract help. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

20 September 2013 Gypsies in the palace

Cassi Creek:
          I find myself becoming more and more angry at the idiocy coming out of the GOP/teavangelists.  There has been no budget action all this year and we are now within 10 days of a forced government showdown.  This is an intentional effort by the teavangelists to hold the nation hostage while they destroy the American economy.  The House has just passed an interim funding bill that includes provision for the “defunding of Obama Care.  The Senate will not pass the bill as long as that provision is included.  We are headed for a shutdown and a 2nd recession that will have worldwide implications.
          If the ACA should be defunded, only the health care benefits would be interrupted.  While millions of people would be deprived of health care, the regulations, record keeping, and all the ancillary administrative functions that are part of the ACA would continue.  The taxpayer would be paying but receiving no benefits.  The GOP continues to deal in half-truths and deliberate misinformation.
          These are the people who jump up and down proclaiming “American Exceptionalism.”  There’s nothing exceptional about being stupid enough to cause another recession/depression.  In fact, it’s simply sad that a highly vocal minority funded by billionaire industrialists has been allowed to overturn the orderly governance of this nation.  Without the GOP propaganda machine and the frighteningly large pool of poorly educated that make up their base, this might never have happened.  The nation is being held hostage by a tyrannical minority of right wing extremists who serve only the ideology they have been spoon-fed by the Koch brothers.  They complain loudly and continually about the supposed conversion of the U.S. into a socialist nation by Obama.  They fail to understand that they are helping to destroy the republic and replace it with a combined theocracy and oligarchy. 
          That’s what happens when the idiots vote other idiots into office.  We should probably prepare for ensuing third world status.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

19 September 2013 A blunder of morons a stubbornness of rhinoceri

Cassi Creek:
          Congressman David Phillip Roe, R 1st TN has introduced another attempt to overturn the ACA.  The first part of the proposed bill is the immediate repeal of the ACA.  The last part of the bill is a redundant anti-abortion inclusion that already exists in other federal laws. 
          The end and beginning of Roe’s “Healthcare Flexibility and Choices for Families Act, (there’s the magic incantation – Families) are another attempt to overturn the ACA and to make abortion even more difficult for women to obtain.
          The middle portions of the bill are familiar GOP territory.  The bill promises a cap on insurance at 200% of the average premium for the state.  It proposes a system of tax refunds and tax credits.  Those people with pre-existing conditions can supposedly obtain coverage while moving from job-provided coverage to other insurance groups if there has been no break in insurance coverage.  The huge joke on the working poor, who need the ACA is that too many of them are working at jobs designed to make them ineligible for employer provided coverage.  It does such workers no good to offer them a tax cut in order to purchase health insurance when they earn so little that they owe no income taxes.  Tax credits are equally specious and frankly offensive. 
          This bill is standard GOP/teavangelist policy.  The bill will simply eliminate insurance coverage for the working poor, the unemployed, and some of the former middle class, leaving the health insurance industry determining who gets care and who is denied after having paid decades of premiums. 
          As a physician, Congressman Roe may be better equipped than many elected officials to recognize problems in health care delivery.  I have no doubt that he wants to see a system that provides health care, which is decided upon by patient and doctor.  Unfortunately, he has adopted the “get sick, die quick” approach to health care that is the goal of health insurance companies. 
          What this nation needs is a health care system as envisioned by Harry Truman and later by Richard Nixon, a national health care single payer program.  Socialized Medicine?  Exactly.  I’d much rather my taxes go to pay for a national health insurance than to further enrich people paying their selves multi-million dollar bonuses made possible by denying health care to people.
          And by the way, Congressman, If the government is shutdown because your party thinks it is smart enough to destroy the economy so that the GOP/teavangelists can point to President Obama as the cause, please understand that millions of Americans will do everything that they can to make certain the blame is placed exactly where it actually belongs. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

18 September 2013 Got some things to talk about

Cassi Creek:

It is official.  The VA determination is that I do; indeed, have Parkinson’s and that it may well be caused by exposure to Agent Orange while serving in VietNam.  The compensation for this was set at 30% disability.  I’m pleased they acknowledge some culpability on the part of the U.S, government.  I think the disability rating is too low.  Yesterday I submitted the notice of disagreement allowing me to appeal the rating.  Digging in for another 1-3 year trip from the top of the backlog pile to the bottom. 
          This morning’s hike with Mike was nothing abnormal.  Mike is perturbed over the “demonization of AR’s” by the media.  The Navy Yard shooting reporting upsets him.  The media reported the possible use of an AR-15 or M-16 during the shootings.  The witness who appeared on television indicated that they might have heard automatic rifle fire.  Most civilians cannot identify firearms by sound, particularly when afraid for their own lives.  Following the NRA dogma, Mike insists – somewhat correctly – that there were no automatic weapons used in the recent killings.  It makes little difference to the wounded and dead whether or not the newsreader reports that an AR platform rifle is not full auto while the AR platform rifle built into the M-16 or M-4 rifles are either full auto capable or three round burst capable. 
          During my time in service, we called the full-sized, full auto capable rifle an M-16.  The smaller carbine was called a CAR-15, indicating its size and origin.
          The NRA and its minions are using a failure to distinguish between a fully automatic M-16 military weapon built upon the AR-15 platform from the semi-automatic civilian rifle built on the AR-15 platform as a tool to keep gun owners fired up over points that truly have little bearing on the realities of these mass murders.
          The U.S. needs to deal with the NRA’s intentions to keep any changes in gun sales from being dealt with in Congress.  It has been only hours since the Navy Yard murders.  Congress, at least the GOP/teavangelists faction has already made it clear that it will follow the NRA in every effort to prevent such events in the future.  Congress is willing to destroy the nation’s economy but unwilling to anger the NRA and weapons manufacturers and arms dealers who hand them hidden money for their re-election campaigns. It’s time to remind the U.S. population that the various militias organized to “prevent a tyrannical government are largely composed of men who are self-deluding their selves into believing that these rat-tag imitation soldiers will never be in a position to defeat the U.S. government’s forces or any other real military unit. 

Come hear Uncle John's Band by the riverside,
Got some things to talk about, here beside the rising tide.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

17 September 2013 Airbags deployed without success.

Cassi Creek:  We dined in Jonesboro Saturday night.  The drive home was pleasant, with good weather, good visibility.  We returned home about 2000. 
          About 2200 Gloria began to hear distant sirens and commented on their apparent approach.  I went out to listen but heard only backing alarms.  We both went to the front deck but neither see nor hear anything unusual.  Then the helicopters arrived and began circling.
          The problematic neighbor who lives across the street has a 19 year old son.  We are unsure where the son lives we assume he is in residence when we hear gunfire at odd hours, as if someone is playing at movie or video gun use.  Too many shots to fast to be aimed at anything is the marker we use. 
          Said son, about 4 years ago was involved in a head-on collision.  He, in daddy’s truck met someone’s larger truck head-on while driving too fast for conditions.  Conditions were defined as very narrow county road with lots of intersecting driveways and some blind curves.  No insurance, of course. 
          Four years later, said son has girlfriend and child.  Employment unknown.  Girl friend has 1999 Buick. 
          To return to Saturday night, keep reading.  Said son is driving 1999 Buick south toward home.  As is habit, he is speeding.  Elderly couple – both 73- turn onto the road from their drive to motor north.  Said son crosses road and hits elderly couple in their neon head on.  One fatality at scene, one fatality at hospital.  Offending driver may have concussion.  All were wearing seat belts according to the police report.   Criminal charges are pending. 
          I’d like to think that such a tragedy would somehow begin to alter the way people drive on these Tennessee mountain roads.  But realistically, half the people driving around here are driving while impaired with revoked licenses and no insurance.  The other 50% think that they are NASCAR drivers who have yet to be discovered.  There is an intersect between the two groups. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

16 September 2013 Of all possible worlds we’ve only got one, we need to ride on it.

Cassi Creek:  We can run
          The flooding in Colorado has shut down many public services that are necessary for health and safety of the citizens.  Drinking water, sanitation, and any other services are offline. 

For those cities, towns, and rural dwellers not at risk of washing away in the current floods, the risk of forest fire still remains possible.  To see the current distribution of major fires,
          After fires have been controlled and extinguished, the risk of land and mudslides is greatly increased.  Steep mountainsides, denuded by fires, will reach saturation points and slide down hill with the lethality of a carpet-bombing mission. 
          We are currently dealing with increased ice cap melting in the Arctic and Antarctic.  The sea level rise that will result from continued ice cap loss will flood many cities around the world. There are also island chains that will become reefs as they are swamped by rising sea levels.

In the search for profits by energy companies, the danger of damaging aquifers looms large.  Surface streams and well water have been contaminated by toxic wastewater from fracking sites.  In some locations, injection of high-pressure liquids has been linked to earthquakes.  This has been recognized since deep well disposal was first used at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. 
          Solid waste disposal by humans runs the gamut from landfills that are designed and managed to minimize impact to individuals dumping whatever they wish to discard wherever they happen to be.  The families living up valley from us discard fast food and beer containers in such amounts that we fill about 3 33- gallon trash bags each season from a 0.3-mile county road.  Down valley below our property, the problem is worse due to greater traffic.  This littering and dumping is a nationwide problem.  We are a long way from solving it. 

“We can run, run, run, but we can’t hide.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

15 September 2013 They’re all on the chart

Cassi Creek:
Shamelessly lifted from the “Daily Kos” 
Corporate Con
Sarah Palin
Pat Buchanan
Mitt Romney
Bill Kristol
Pat Robertson
Ron Paul
Purpose of Government
Hands off my Medicare!
Stop change
Make me money, bail me out
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran...
Impose my god on everyone else
In one word
Biggest ally
Biggest rival
Corporate Con
Corporate Con
Corporate Con
Pet concern
Legislating god
No laws
Cheap labor!
Bring 'em
Don't care
Is there oil?
Bomb already!
Spark the rapture!
Make trade, not war
Fight gov't tyranny!
For shooting doctors
The more, the merrier
Ban it!
Bomb the clinic!
Who cares?
I'll pretend to care
Shoot the doctor!
Not my problem
Anti. In theory
Anti. In theory
Raison d'être
Gotta build bombs
Über alles!
We've got Herman Cain!
Whites Only
Target practice
Obama is Atheist Muslim
No racial entitlements
Free wars!
Outsource to Norquist
Worse than Hitler
No special rights!
ixnay on the igotrybay
Sodom and Gomorrah
Who cares?

          I found this amusing enough to include in today’s ramblings.  There’s got to be a song or two hidden in the repetitive words, I just can’t see it clearly right now. 
          I’m equally certain that somewhere in a right-winger propaganda center a minion is busily composing a parallel chart attacking anyone opposing Grover Norquist’s desire to destroy government.  However, as I rarely expose already fragile neurons to revisionist/reactionary autolysis, I can’t provide the right-winger response to the chart above. 
          Use it; pass it on with credit to the source.  Do not make light of it or ignore it.  It displays the presence of a badly mutated body politic, which should it remain, will prove injurious to the formerly supposed United States. 
          That “united” is a very questionable point in today’s version of the nation that began self-identifying in 1776.  We’ve never truly been united politically and likely never will be.  We’ve fought two wars on our soil centered on self-determination.  We’ve fought a devastating civil war based on preventing the use of humans as slaves and freeing the already enslaved.  We’re still fighting that civil war.  Most of the continual conflict falls along the same geographic parameters as the initial four years of battles.  Although the Confederacy’s defeat demonstrated that secession was not allowable, we hear or see some rabble-rousing politician demand that his state leave the union at once.  I’m at the point of letting them with the proviso that we strip the departing states of all military hardware, establish an immediate air/land/sea blockade, and give them to Mexico, France, or Russia.
          Have fun with the chart.