Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Concept Car, 007 With an Aston Martin, and Three Beautiful Mercedes

The Presidential Horse Race

It looks like Hillary by a nose!

Or maybe not.

Obama by a hair?

Or McCain by a tooth!

Do we really have to endure another 8 months of this?

Spur someone on, and get this thing over with!

Just take over, somebody, anybody, and spare us!

Lava Flow



Stranger In A Strange World

YouTube was kicked off the net by Pakistani authorities inadvertant disabling of the normal path to the site, which was meant to stop Pakistani's from accessing it, but ended up stopping everyone on the world from accessing it for about two hours.

People are primarily talking about how this could be used by hackers/jokers/terrorists to slow or stop some other crucial sites on the net.

People should be talking more about the pandering and shameless behavior of the Pakistani government, and other governments, in reverting to base motivations such as this - the reason they took away the path to the site was because it contained a clip featuring a Dutch lawmaker who has said he plans to release a movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence.

While a number of other videos featuring the politician, Geert Wilders, would remain visible to Pakistani Internet users, the one which was removed had been "totally anti-Quranic ... very blasphemous," said Pakistan Telecommunication authority spokeswoman Nabiha Mahmood.

This may have been done in part because of the unrest and protests that followed the publishing of cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2006 that featured Mohammed and that apparently many Muslims found offensive. Recently those cartoons were reprinted.

It is so amazing that entire governments can be driven to such actions based on statements, cartoons, ideas about a religion or a long dead, historical religious leader.

In the West some say if anyone talked that way about Jesus, there would be mass protests, unrest, violence.

But there have been many opportunities for such reactions, and they don't lead to much real violence, nor to any governmental calls for censorship.

They don't lead to any beheadings or jihads.

People balspheme in the West all the time. We let others speak their mind on religions, or their lack of it as the case may be, without getting militant about it.

Do we in the West (and those in Asia who simlarly don't get up in arms about supposed insults to Buddha, the Dali Lama, or Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva) care much when someone insults God?

Some of us get a little righteous, but we allow free speech, we respect other's religious beliefs, and we tend to leave others alone about it for the most part.

We do see some of our citizens get all pissy about some things as a result of their beliefs, such as shooting abortion doctors, but they don't do this about insults to Jesus himself.

Some Muslims seem to have no sense of humor, proportion or religious humility.

What a drag.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some of my favorite Seattle restaurants...

Rays Boathouse at Shill Shoal, my favorite in Seattle

The view from Rays

Queen City Grill, downtown Seattle

Canlis, up on a hill looking South towards downtown Seattle,

elegant, expensive, sublime.

That view.

Sunny Saturday In Seattle

I'm in the Seattle area for the weekend. We are actually staying in Bellevue with a friend. Her home is in the hills just south and east of downtown Bellevue. This is the view this morning out her big living room windows.

Seattle is one of my favorite cities. It is cosmopolitan, with a very wide array of activities, entertainment, and excellent reataurants available all over the greater metro area.

There are a lot of intelligent, interesting people here, and the city feels vibrant, and lively. Hard to adequately explain a place like this, but fun to experience.

It helps that it is only about a three hour drive from home in Portland, so we can come up here frequently.

Farther up the hill is the Newcastle Golf Course and Country Club. The restaurant there has the most fantastic views of Bellevue, the lakes around the metro area, downtown Seattle, and the Olympic Peninsula farther west. You can see for miles! It's really beautiful.

Brunch at the restaurant out on the patio with some house recipe Bloody Marys is a great experience. Good food and drinks, great service, and those spectacular views, which may be the best in the entire Seattle area.

Today it is clear, sunny, and already over 60 degrees. Not LA hot, but warm enough to enjoy doing something outside.

Very nice.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but it's almost always nice when I am up here, and we come up several times a year, in all different seasons.

If you don't live in the Northwest, you just hear about the rain.

When you live in the Northwest, you don't usually see the rain as often as outsiders expect.

There are always a few weeks in Winter full of dark, cloudy wetness. And a week or so like that from time to time in Spring and Fall.

But most of the year it's not raining, and it's pretty decent.
We have four real seasons, and we can get sun, rain, hail, snow, ice, and occasional windstorms, all in the same winter month. None of them are extremes, but it provides a good variety.
May or June through October are very good, with sun almost all the time from July through mid to late October.
We always have several sunny weeks in the middle of winter, to cheer us up.
There is a lot of green even in the winter with all the evergreen trees, with a lot more colors in the spring, summer and fall.
I live fifteen minutes from water skiing, an hour from snow skiing, a bit more from the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia Gorge, and Central Oregon's High Desert. In Central Oregon you get mainly sun or snow, almost no rain.
Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge are an hour and a half away, Multnomah Falls is even closer.
Scenery, activities, restaurants, art, music, theater...

It's a good place to live.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Microscopic Images

Microscopic thing that looks like an alien head.
Microscopic image of vitamin C.

Something blue...

I just think these are cool.

Star light, Star bright...

The US Navy will attempt to shoot down from orbit a dead spy satellite that carries 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, a toxic rocket fuel.

They say this fuel can become a poisonous gas in the earth's atmosphere or on the surface of the planet.

Kind of like when Rep. Bob Barr gave speeches while in Congress.

Although Barr is a staunch Libertarian now and, surprisingly, not as crazy sounding as he once was. I actually like the guy a little more now than I did then.

Anyway, the Navy will use 14 inch diameter rockets made by Raytheon to try to shoot down the cold hunk of metal and junk that otherwise will likely survive partially intact after coming through the atmosphere.

The fuel tank is built so strong that it will survive the re-entry.

Analysts looking at the current path of the
satellite say the most likely locations of impact are Trump Tower in Manhattan, the Trump Casino in Atlantic City, or Britney Spears.

Reports have surfaced, however, saying that the trajectory may in fact take the debris to a secret location inside Area 51, where it will be introduced to ET and given access to the truth behind the Kennedy Assasination.

Each missile costs $10 million dollars, but the Navy gets three tries for $25 million. If the Navy is successful, they will win a life-sized stuffed toy aircraft carrier, and an all-day pass to the carnival for their whole family.

The Chinese government has expressed concern about this attempt, and Russian officials have charged that it is a veiled missile test, but the rest of the world was too busy watching American Idol to comment.

In Other News...

Where's The Beef? It's all been recalled due to ickiness.

The space shuttle has returned to earth to a resounding silence after delivering the first space lab to the space station. No one really noticed.

ClintObama keeps fighting with itself all over the country.

And Michelle O. decides it's better to keep your mouth shut than to open it an remove all doubt.

Fidel Castro decided to retire, and put his brother in charge. Okay, kind of like if Your Name Is Earl, and you put your brother Randy in charge. That'll stick.

And in the latest NewsFlash:

Britney still crazy as an outhouse rat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time For Another Chrome Mercedes !

Birth Of A Nation

Or Maybe A Universe

Graphic Demonstration of Presidential Candidates Substance

It's All A Neon Gleam

The Great Enlightenment

Want A Great Idea?

Here It Is!

Roundup On The Already Dusty Campaign Trail

McCain is trying to be nice, Clinton is trying to be liked, and Obama is trying to be wise.

Great, now we have to endure the search for the "winning factor".

What will get the masses to vote for each of the candidates?

How about the candidates be who they really are, and tell us what they really want to do?

Since Presidents have usually had limited power (current President's grossly greedy power grabs notwithstanding) they are more of a figurehead until they convince the country of a particular idea, ideal or policy.

Sure they can suggest legislation, and they can veto legislation, but generally their effect on citizens is somewhat removed - such as appointing judges and (occasionally) Supreme Court Justices.

They do control who heads all the Cabinet positions, and those choices do have ramifications for all of us in some way or another, but until they put us in a war, they can have little direct effect on the mass of Americans.

They do, however, have a lot to do with our reputation and standing in the rest of the world.

These are things we must look to when deciding who to vote for in November.

So we need to know more about what they believe, what they want to do, and why.

But that is always the case.

Sound bites have replaced most substance, and debates do what little can be done to try to change that fact.

Clinton, Obama or McCain would likely all be decent Presidents.

One has to believe any of them would be better than our current one.

But what are the qualities of the leader we want, the leader we need, and the leader we deserve?

And can those be found in the same person?


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Summarize...

McCain will win the Presidency on November 4, 2008.

Democrats will retain and increase their majority in the House and the Senate.

Americans will get their preference, a party-divided government.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will make it more likely that a black person and/or a woman will one day be elected President of the United States.

McCain will govern as he wins, from the center of the Republican party.

He will get us out of Iraq as gracefully as is possible, and he will put more emphasis and manpower into the hunt for the real instigators behind 9/11.

Very conservative extreme Right Republicans will either stay against him and be the lonely voices in the wilderness, or flip-flop and cynically try to cozy up to him to curry favor.

And the Band Plays On...


Blah blah blah-blah,
blah blah,

` - = J L ; '
Z X V B N M , . /

Webdings say it better than I ever could...

McHuck vs HillaRama

John McCain is gathering delegates quickly, and yet Mike Huckabee vows to stay in the race until McCain has enough to get the nomination.

It appears that won't be a problem for McCain.

What does appear to be a problem for him, at least to many pundits, is the lack of support from the Evangelical Right.

What the pundits don't realize is this:
The lack of support from the Far Right is what has gotten McCain this far.

Voters are not being drawn to the polls to elect a candidate who shares or goes beyond their religious beliefs, nor one who claims to be intent on practicing those beliefs as a matter of public policy.

That has not worked out so well with the current President, and there is a growing backlash against the religious leaders and self proclaimed media opinion leaders of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

McCain has tapped into the greatest width of the party, not the narrow slice of extremist belief.

Most people, Democrat and Republican, do not share the beliefs of the fringes on the sides.

Most people want a candidate they can believe in and can trust to do the right thing.

The Conservatives who have spoken out against the McCain candidacy, sometimes vehemently, inlcude Laura Ingraham, conservative radio host Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. James Dobson, and Ann Coulter among others.

Before he recently appeared in front of the 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference, the crowd was urdged to not boo him (though he did not attend the 2007 conference, when his name was mentioned it generated boos). He was more warmly received this year, but he doesn't need those 6,300 votes in the least.

Not enough of these Conservative religious and "opinion" leaders spoke out against the war in Iraq, or against Guantanamo, or against the question of torture, nor did they support campaign finance reform. But most of America is on the side of McCain on these and many other issues.

McCain spoke out firmly, several times against the wishes of the President and the national Republican leadership.

The religious and opinion leaders were all overwhelmingly against stem cell research, campaign finance reform, and allowing illegal aliens to pay fines and get worker visas.

McCain is for all those things, even co-sponsoring campaign finance reform legislation.

His support among so many regular Americans comes not from the fact that he did or did not support specific issues or pieces of legislation, but that he sticks to his beliefs and his principles.

He is perceived as being much more principled and consistent in his beliefs than so many of his detractors.

And he acts on his beliefs, rather than just using them as props.

McCain does not change his positions to garner support from the few in the Far Right.

Most Americans have much more respect for that than for extreme beliefs and views only held to get votes from the most conservative of Evangelicals.

McCain is ahead simply because he is seen as the most consistent, the most straight talking, the most mainstream of the Republican candidates. He is still considered by Americans to be conservative.

He does not need to win over all the social conservatives, nor even all the most conservative Republicans to win in November.

He just needs to stay true to his principles, as he has for so long, and remain exactly where he is in the spectrum of Left to Right; a fiscally conservative, principled, thoughtful Republican.

He is seen as a straight shooter, strong on national defense, and if he has a bit of a temper at times, most Americans think that's a minor issue, as long as he isn't seen as going off on someone unfairly or with malice.

The rest of the country is just now catching up with McCain, and they will stay with him through November and into the White House.

And it really doesn't matter who gets the Democratic nomination, because McCain appeals to more of our needs as a country at this time, and has neither of the major flaws of Senator Clinton (unlikeablilty) or Senator Obama (inexperience).

Clinton also has to contend with the dynasty issue, and Obama has to contend with rednecks who will never vote for any black person.

Clinton and Obama both also have to fight the "first time" barrier, which is the tendency of voters to be attracted to a candidacy that is historic or unique in some way, but to not actually be willing to pull the lever for that unique or historic candidate on November 4, 2008 when it counts.

Voters say in opinion polls and interviews they support Senators Clinton and Obama, and they are voting for them in the Primaries, but when the voters reflect on what is at stake, and on the challenges we still face, many of those same voters will hesitate, and will instead decide to vote for the known quantity, the strong leader with actual military experience, the only candidate standing who can appeal to the wide center of both parties.

The fact that this candidate is a white male is not his fault, but will ultimately be to his benefit.

Clinton and Obama are both extremely intelligent, hard working, perceptive people. They know what their hurdles are, and they are doing everything they can to overcome them. But even together on one ticket, they will not be able to overcome this reality.

Neither of them will slow down until the results are crystal clear, nor should they.

But I believe that on November 5, we will all look back and congratulate both of them on breaking barriers, rather than on winning the Presidency.

As much as I, like so many others, would like to see real change, it really looks like it will have to come from McCain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And More News

The largest national home mortgage lenders have agreed to slow down foreclosures that are in progress for a whole...

30 days !

This is to give homeowners more time to get a workout plan put together.

Well, it's something.

The US Senate has passed a bill that preserves immunity for the big telecom companies that assisted in the surveillance / wiretapping the Bush Administration ordered, started and continues to use. The House has not passed it yet in this form, so it may change, but don't bet on it.

There are not enough angry Democrats to outweigh the Republicans who still want to pander to the President's whims on "Nash-nul Seekyurittie".

For some unknown reason, all the same Republicans who want the President to just stay out of the way in this coming election are continuing to slavishly follow his lead on this issue, regardless of his track record on locating and going after the real threat to us in the Middle East.

They appear to have blinded themselves to his shortcomings and weaknesses by their own timidity.

Or something like that.

General Motors Corporation is offering 74,000 experienced, higher paid workers, a buyout offer of up to $140,000 to quit. The 74,000 workers GM is trying to induce to retire represents its entire U.S. hourly workforce.

To try to cut huge losses that have dogged the company since 2005, the company is making offers, up to cash payments of $140,000 to the remaining 74,000 GM workers represented by the United Auto Workers union.

The goal is not to reduce headcount but to bring in new workers at a lower cost.

About 46,000 GM employees are eligible to retire today and they can take pension incentives worth between $45,000 to $62,500 to retire.

In addition there are inducements for those who are within five years of retirement to leave early and receive benefits.

Those who leave and agree to sever all ties with the company - including giving up lucrative pension and health care coverage - will receive a lump sum of $140,000 if they have 10 years of service. They will receive $70,000 if they have less than 10 years of service.

Brilliant move, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner !!!

Spend short term cash to cut wages and benefit costs by getting rid of all your EXPERIENCED workers int he U.S.

What a sad day in America...

GM, which used to be the largest and most profitable corporation in the world, actually thinks it will be better off with inexperienced workers in all of its U.S. hourly positions.

The answer has been for years, even decades:

Cut Costs
Add Buyer Incentives to Move Boring Vehicles
Reduce the Workforce
Fight the Unions
Oh Yeah, If We Have Time, Create Better Designs Eventually

Instead of:

Build Better Cars
Create Great Design
Increase Reliability
Improve Quality
Give Customers Better Value

We are rapidly moving towards the day in which we will have lost all our manufacturing jobs to low cost producers and high quality producers because we could be neither.

We will lose those high paying jobs and will be replacing them with service jobs, many of those service jobs substnatially lower paying than the jobs they replaced.

We will one day not be known for producing anything...

But we will increasingly be known for financing everything, including our expanding debts.

This is an approximation of how Holland, Spain and England lost their economic, political and military leadership in the world.

But it may be that there is nothing to be done about it.

I am not sure yet, but I am thinking about it, reading, talking to those who have other points of view.

I will add to this blog what I learn.

I think it is important enough to keep at it.

And In Other News...
A hockey player was attacked by Count Dracula On Ice,
Amy Winehouse moved to a dry county,
Paris Hilton's brother shows he is learning the family trade,
Hollywood writers got over their block,
Roger Clemens says "Jose CanYouSeco, by the dawn's early light, that I never went to that party last night...?"
Shuttle astronauts were supposed to deliver a new lab to the space station this week, but there were only enough funds for a Labrador Retriever,
Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were placed on probation by NASCAR authorities for engaging in a tizzie over who had the prettier uniform.
BestBuy endorsed the new DVD format, "BlueDeathRay".
In all the fuss, the Presidential Election was held early and we missed it.
Oprah is now our President.
Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan is missing today, possibly kidnapped as a reprisal for the wounding and capture of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, brother of Mullah Dadullah who was killed last May, and who is survived by...oh forget it.
Trouble in East Timor, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, Turdmenistan, and San Francisco, as Berkeley secedes from the Union.
And in Great Britain, a head official from the head official Church is in hot water for suggesting that at least some Islamic Sharia law will inevitably be incorporated into English law.
Now if you steal a cup of tea, they cut off your crumpet.

And so it goes...

A New Skill

Okay, so I figured out that right when I post, I can go back and make a couple of corrections if I spot them immediately, but I'm not sure how far back I can do this.

And it would sort of be contrary to the spirit of a blog anyway, wouldn't it?

I don't know...I'm just a goober.

And In The Latest News...

So, what is the world up to today?

Protests about the Anti-War, Anti-Marine-Recruiter statements made by the City of Berkeley have set off more protests.

Pro-Marine-Recruiter protests have ignited more Anti-War protests.

Everyone has to protest the protesters who are protesting against everyone else.

Does anyone really believe that Berkeley, California, which is probably the most liberal city in America, could do anything but this?

They don't like military recruiters in their midst because they do not support the War in Iraq.

At this point, who does support the War?

And no. I don't mean who supports getting it over as quickly as is reasonable and getting our kids out of that hell-hole, but who still really supports invading Iraq for the reasons we were all told we had to do it?

Who still thinks it was a good idea, as presented?

I will tell you who:

George W. Bush
His dog
Donald Rumsfeld
Dick Cheney
Lynn Cheney (probably)
Paul Wolfowitz
3 more guys at the Pentagon
A dimwit at the State Department
Richard Nixon
Mao Tse Tung
Vladimir Putin
Eva Braun
The Third Reich
The Khmer Rouge
The Red Army Faction
Bullies Everywhere

Those who think it was a very bad idea:

Laura Bush
Barbara Bush (both of them)
Her sister
George H. W. Bush
Everybody Else

So why is anyone surprised that Berkeley is finally sounding the call to stand up and shout about this?

The only surprising thing is that it did not happen earlier.

And Berkeley is only saying what almost all of us actually feel:

Why are we sending our young people over there?
What is the purpose, except to try to clean up the current Administration's giant mess?
These kids don't deserve to be shipped to the quagmire, to endure such great chances of getting severely wounded, physically or mentally or both.

A good point to be made is that they are volunteering.

Okay, if those kids really want to volunteer, I have every confidence that they can find their government in the phone book.

The Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy are all listed.

It is not that hard to track them down if you really want to talk.

So why do we even need Military Recruiting offices?

Because not enough people are calling up the government and saying they are ready to enlist.

So...this means...




And Berkeley just doesn't want to be part of that sale if they can avoid it.

Would those who are protesting the Berkeley City Council's stand like to show that they are willing to act on their beliefs?

If so, then this is what they need to do:


If one really believes Berkeley is wrong,


Live with the action to back your convictions.

Protesting the City Council is easy.

Sending a kid off to the desert is much more difficult.

Look in their eyes, tell them it is the right thing to do, and wonder how they will return...

But then, this only works on those who think through the consequences of their actions. And on those who have a conscience.

So it's clearly not for everyone.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And In Internationall News...

It was reported today that a top Taliban commander, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah was wounded and captured near the Afghanistan border in Pakistan.

Mullah Mansoor Dadullah and five other Taliban militants were all injured in a firefight and taken into custody, either when entering Pakistan, or while hiding in a compound near the border. Reports were contradictory at the scene.

Mullah Mansoor Dadullah is the brother of the late Mullah Dadullah. Mullah Dadullah was killed last may in Southern Afghanistan, in an Afghan and NATO military operation against the Taliban.

Mullah Dadullah is survived by his nephews, Jabullah Dadullah and Ratullah Dadullah, his neice, Katullah Dadullah, his uncles Zapullah Dadullah and Fafullah Dadullah, his aunts Kajullah Dadullah and Mamullah Dadullah, his grandparents, Patchullah, Makullah, Bafullah and Jargullah Dadullah, his parents, Mahullah Dadullah and Padullah Dadullah, and his wife, Falullah Dadullah and his eleven children, seven of which are named Walullah Dadullah, and four of which are named Yalullah Dadullah.

The entire town of his home and birth is grieving still, and will hold a ceremony for the slain warrior later this month, at the annual "Dadullah Dadullah Village Zamboola".

The town of Dadullah Dadullah is located in the Framjullah region of the Zarbullah province of the lawless area on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I meant -

This as national commentators continue to blast McCain for not being good enough to deserve any Conservative's vote.

Or maybe -

This as national commentators continue to blast McCain for not being God enough to deserve any Conservative's vote.

Yeah, that's more like it.

There Will Be Much Wailing And Gnashing Of Teeth

Republicans are having a tough day.

Giuliani is gone.
McCain is clearly in the lead.
Romney is suspending his campaign, just as we all had to suspend disbelief when he tried to pose as a real Conservative.
And Huckabee is getting almost nowhere fast.

Bush is now saying (without mentioning the name John McCain) that he thinks all Republicans should rally as a group behind the nominee, and not fracture like a herd of wild cats at a Pit Bull convention.

This as national commentators continue to balst McCain for not being god enough to deserve any Conservative's vote.

What do they want?

They want complete adherence to their version of The Republican Party Line.

They want absolute conformity to their ideas of the party's ideals.

They want the power that comes with control.

Influential members of the Conservative media and political cadre don't want to allow the ascent of a Republican Presidential candidate who is not in lock step with them on all the issues they deem to be curcial:
Gay Rights
Gun Policy
Strong Defense Policy Including:
Torturing Whoever We Want and Invading Any Country We Please
Secrecy in Everything
Eavesdropping on Everyone
Limited Government
Balanced Budget
Tax Reduction
Personal Initiative
Personal Responsibility
Morality Standards Set High in All American Life
(Except For Politicians)
Health Care For All Who Can Afford It
Thivery, Thuggery and Lies For All CEO's and Politicians Who Can Get Away With It
Prayer In Schools
God In Government
Complete Freedom of Speech in All Campaigns, But Not Necessarily Everywhere Else
(No Campaign Reform Allowed)
No Dissent, No Deviation, No Independent Thought Allowed
War Is Peace
Freedom Is Slavery
Ignorance Is Strength
History Is To Be Concealed, Rewritten, and Scorned

Hate Is Love

But they're not really bad guys, they have just been handed too much power and it has corrupted them in too many ways.

The Democrats will inevitably do the same thing when they get their chance.

The Pendulum swings.

But back to the race!

McCain is not pure, so says all the pundits, talking heads, fire and brimstone preachers and Right wing nutcases.

This is still a good thing for McCain.

When all the fringe Right hates him, it can only mean more votes from the vastly larger middle ground.

Now the Moderates of both parties can vote for him.

The Right Fringe is so small compared to the middle ground, there is no question what McCain should do:
Exactly what he has been doing!

He is known as a straight shooter, a guy who doesn't bend much with the wind.

The very few times he has done so, he has been castigated for it much more than other politicians who practice such behavior regularly.

And it is ironic for Bush to be pleading with the Far Right to get behind "the nominee" (without mentioning McCain by name) because Bush at the very least let his supporters smear McCain in 2000 horribly, grossly calling into question McCain's service record when Bush was such a pansy-ass he skipped actual service completely. Bush may even have known about it ahead of time. It likely came from Rove, as it seemed to bear his hallmarks, but that is not known for certain.

Anyway, now Bush wants unity. After he divided the party to win in 2000.

Policitican can be so two-faced it turns the digestive system.

I actually like the way the party has used coercion, intimidation and power plays to force a Far Right agenda on the party at large, and now it is backfiring on them.

They all forced Bush on us because he was the most rigid Conservative Right Republican. He fit the mold the best. He is Born Again Evangelical. God told him he wanted him to be President.

Too bad God didn't want Bush to be a good President, or even average.

So Republicans are harvesting that which they have sowed.

The lesson?

The Fringe can hold power for only a short time. When those in control think they know what's best for everyone, and other views be damned, they will and do abuse power. When those abuses of power are brought to light, the vast middle of America loses it's fascination with that minority and looks elsewhere for different leadership.

Although the Republican control of Congress ended, the citizens still want and need a strong leader.

We will not vote for a Jimmy Carter (who is a much better ex-President than he was a President, and who is al much better ex-President than Bush is a President).

We want and need strength to face some serious issues that have the potential to damage our country even more.

We want and need honesty and straight talk.

And for some time now, we have apparently been happier with a divided Federal Government than with one party rule.

We like the President to be from one party and the Congress to be in charge of the other.

It keeps them from doing too much for or to us.

When it comes time to cast our ballots in November, the most likely outcome is that we will keep Democrats in control on Congress, and make McCain our next President.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Hong Kong, Seattle, and the Subway (as far as you know).

Useless Acronyms

Most of these we could do without...in one way or another.
But these I like...in one way or another.
(not strictly an acronym, I know)


Time For A Chrome Mercedes!
Hey, shut up! It's an E-Class.
It might run on biodiesel!
You don't know that it doesn't!
Oh go away and leave me alone.
I like it. I like it ALOT!


What an egotistical title I have chosen for this blog.


Great, now I have an ego as big as all outdoors, just like Donald Rumsfeld, Hillary LorenaBobbitt-Clinton, Catcher's-Mitt Romney, Barack O'Mama and just about every other political figure that appears regularly, haunting us like ghostly car salesmen, on our televisions.

What kind of doofus names their blog after themselves and the earth? MyGod, what Have I Done? Letting the days go by...water flowing underground...letting the days go by...

Uh...short break for a Talking Heads moment there.

Anyway, I guess that is not as bad as it could be.

I could have named it "BradleyKingOfTheEarth" blog, how about that?

Man, I am such a yutz.

Facts, Reality and Truthlessness


Every vile, disgraceful, moronic, hateful lie you can ever imagine is true, because you can find it somewhere on the Internet.

So Remember To Firmly Believe Every Piece Of Crap
You Read Online.

Oh, Wait, You Already Do.

Wow... Doesn't anyone have a brain anymore?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fractal Schmactal

Timothy Leary would be proud.

Execute or Compensate?

Okay, it's really not that simple.

Nothing important ever is.

The Big Question:

Should someone wrongly convicted of a crime, and later fully exonerated, and found innocent, be owed any compensation when they are set free?

There are many cases now, in many states, due to DNA evidence showing innocence, especially in regards to cases of accused murder, rape and kidnapping.

These individuals have been in prison from a year or two, to sometimes twenty or thirty years.

They have no real hope of getting any decent job, they have to start all over from scratch, and in some cases, they were never trained or given any skills in prison.

Florida is one state which does not do any rehabilitation whatsoever. Prisoners coming out of Florida penitentiaries learn nothing about any skill or occupation. They are not even taught how to use a computer. NADA.

How do you decide what is right for these innocent individuals, wrongly convicted, often by pushy police or prosecutors looking to close a case, even when they suppress evidence that may exonerate, or actually make up evidence that is not there.

It is not only highly unlikely but for all practical purposes it is impossible to go after those police officers or prosecutors.

Gathering the evidence of what was done by whom is enormously difficult after years, and then the official in question has only to declare bankruptcy and they are not paying anything to the newly freed person.

There is no single standard across the country.

Some states have minimum amounts in programs meant to repay these people, some states have nothing in place and routinely pay nothing.

Some states pay $50,000 per year served, and sometimes double that for time on death row, some less, some more, some $0.00

Some offer a certain number of hours of job training, some 0.

In at least some states, the newly freed can go to court to try to get money, or more than the state offers. There is no guarantee they will get some, or any compensation, but they can try.

And most of the states that do have programs in place have what is called a "clean hands" clause.

This means that for any prisoner released due to being found totally innocent, there can be restitution in the form of money for time served, unless that freed person was ever convicted of a previous crime before they went away for the one they did not commit.

In other words, if a newly freed person spent 1 year in prison, or 25 years in prison, they can be due some compensation, UNLESS they EVER committed a previous crime before they were put away falsely.

Some states distinguish between previous crimes that were Misdemeanors or Felonies in deciding to award compensation.

The reasoning is that the citizens would be in an uproar if their tax dollars were spent compensation someone who, before their wrongful conviction, were convicted of (especially) one or more felonies.

Here is the argument:

"I am willing to use my tax dollars to compensate someone for time served for a crime they did not commit, unless they committed earlier crimes."

But what the hell sense does that make?

If a person committed a crime, or more than one crime, and was convicted of that crime, and served their time as required, what is it we have all heard from police and prosecutors?

They have - What is it? - What is it? -

Paid Their Debt To Society.

The argument should really end there.

Remember, they did not commit a previous crime and get away with it, they did not take off and stay on the lam until they were put away for the one they did not commit, they did not bribe the judge to skip out on serving their time.

Once they have paid their debt to society, they do not by definition owe society anything more for that transgression, that crime.

They have done their time.

People who want to give compensation only to those who have never committed an earlier crime are attempting to put their own frustration, fear and anger ahead of what is right, and what makes common sense.

Like so much public discourse currently, it is an emotionalk response masquerading as a practical one.

But please, be honest, you just want to hit them where it hurts. This has nothing to do with justice or fairness or right and wrong.

It has everything to do with retribution, and sanctimonious attitudes.

If you want to get retribution, go after the police or the prosecutors, or both, who wrongly put the individual away.

Crap! They are the ones who made this situation!

The individual who went to prison did not convict themselves, they did not want a vacation at the grey-bar hotel, they did not sneak in the pen just to waste taxpayer dollars!

Does Anyone In This Country Have A Brain Anymore?

Think about what causes things, and not just about an end result that makes you uncomfortable.

Why is there an individual who spent 10 years in prison for a crime they did not commit?

The person who was imprisoned falsely deserves compensation no matter what they did before, as long as they PAID THEIR DEBT TO SOCIETY.

If they did not pay their debt for previous crimes, they should get nothing.

If they have paid their debt for any previous crime, they should get the following from any state in which this happened:

$50,000 per year for time served
$100,000 per year for time served on death row
State college or university hours paid for to enable a 4 year degree
Housing assistance and fod stamps until the cash is paid.
Re-entry into society training, for such things as using a computer, maintaining a bank account, applying for a job, taking a driver license test, etc.

It's the least we can do.

Or, we can just execute them all in the dead of night so we don't have to face uncomfortable decisions like this.

Bright, Pretty Object

When You Wish Upon A Star...

The Big Day...Maybe

So now we find out what the major direction of the Presidential Campaign will be, at least for a little while, until something else changes the race.

Former Senator and Presidential contender Bob Dole has sent a letter to Rush Limbaugh trying to get him to ease up on John McCain.

It's just a Republican who is not a screaming partisan freak, trying to help another non-freak Republican, by attempting to moderate a radio talk show host who IS a screaming partisan freak.

But the radio host is not as freaky as Ann Coulter. She may get the prize. She's the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of American media. Soon she could be called Ann Qaeda. Don't laugh, she is just as willing to listen to another side of an issue as our insane asshole enemies. She hasn't killed anyone herself (at least I don't think she has) but her intolerance of differing views sounds just as harsh as an Islamic extremist.

But at least she's an entertainer and not an actual politician. Same for Limbaugh.

When politics really heats up, these two, and several others in the national media, on the Right and the Left, jump to attention and start wailing and shrieking to get more attention.

It almost doesn't matter what they are talking about. Although they try to craft a veneer of intellect and seriousness onto their rantings, they display a surprisingly base groveling for listeners, with ever more extreme and seemingly controversial statements and positions. Their intent soon becomes all too obvious; to pump up their ratings to pump up their income.

But what the hell, I would probably do it too, if it meant that much more money in my pocket.

The only thing I regret about these loud talking heads is that there are so many people in this country who listen to them with the idea that they are hearing the truth.


All the truth, only from one or a few of them, with no interest in ever listening to another side of the story.

Whatever Bill O'Reilly or Juan Williams or Sean Hannity or Al Franken or Ann Coulter or Randi Rhodes or Rush Limbaugh says is totally true! Those lying sacks o' shit on the other side aren't even worth listening to, much less considering.

Whenever I meet someone who gets all their news and views from one source, or from one far side, I avoid them.

I would rather spend an evening in a good discussion with Newt Gingrich than a rabid fan of Bill O'Reilly, because even though he is Conservative, Newt sees both sides, and so many who listen to Billy don't.

What the hell has our country come to, that partisanship now infects so much of the populace, that they aren't even interested in hearing differing views?

Well, they did learn well at the feet of Bush and Cheney, andf Newt does bear some responsibility, as well as the Clintons, Karl Rove, Linda Tripp, et al.

One can only hope it is a phase, like believing everything one reads on the Internet, or reality TV shows.

If not, we are in way more trouble than we realize.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Two's Day

Tomorrow we will find out if anyone is really paying any attention at all.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, February 8, 2008.

Deos any one know the importance of this date? But of course...

February 8, 1622 King James I disbands the English parliament.

Would that it were so in this country...aaahh, the wisdom of that King James...

And later...

February 8, 1861 Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama

Secede from the nation, Southerners, SECEDE I say!

And of course, of considerably less importance, tomorrow is also Super-Duper Tuesday in the United States of Embarassment.

I append that misnomer the terminus of our republic's nomenclature primarily in jest, but also to illustrate a theorem. Or whatever.

You see, we are all looking at this Presidential Primary as a race, when that is what it actually is not.

Here is why there should be little doubt of the outcome of the Primary and of the General Election for President of the United States (barring the death of one of the leading candidates, or similarly their arraignment for murder or rape of an underage nun.)

1 - The War in Iraq continues.

2 - The Economy is now behaving like a slow motion airplane crash (we all know what is going to happen, and we dread it, but we keep watching faithfully).

3 - America is still populated by an astounding number of rednecks.

Ipso Facto Ad Infinitum...

We do not have to wait until tomorrow because...

Today, already, the election is over for Romney, Clinton, Huckabee and Obama.

The Primaries will leave either Obama or Clinton on the Democratic ticket (and maybe even both, if one will consent to accepting the nomination to run for Vice President this time around).

Huckabee will fall out as he just hasn't gotten enough support from the middle of the road Republicans or the Independent Democrats. He is sneered at by the major party leaders more than he is supported. Even the Evangelicals are not all for him, and he's their single best ticket to get what they want from the White House.

He is the closest thing to the Evangelical Christian Republican Conservative in the entire race, and the religious leaders have almost shunned him. But they all regularly show themselves to be complete nutbags anyway.

Romney will fall because he is just not Christian Right enough. He can never convince the majority of the Evangelical Christian Right of his alignment with their cause, because they almost all have a singularly negative attitude towards the Mormon Church.

They simply do not believe Mormons are real Christians, primarily because of the formation of the Church in modern times by a man. There are many other problems with the Church as well, in the eyes of the Evangelicals. They simply will not vote for him in numbers sufficient to win.

It is well past a foregone conclusion, and he has been fighting uphill towards these voters the entire time. In the privacy of the voting booth, they will not choose him.

And it is a funny thing, because the religious leaders who are now trying desperately to push him on their followers are the same religious leaders who have made it abundantly clear for decades that Mormons are not real Christians, they are not saved, and they are not going to heaven.

What happened to these people's memory? Okay, now it's different, NOW they want the flock to vote for one? Not going to happen.

McCain will be the Republican left standing, against either Obama or Clinton, and it really doesn't matter which.

In the privacy of the voting booth, on November 4, 2008 there are simply too many individuals in this country who, when it comes right down to it, in that moment of truth, will not elect a woman or a black person as President.

Many of us (not all of us) claim to be past the racist and sexist attitudes that gave us slavery, segregation, no voting rights for women, the glass ceiling, and so much more.

But deep in the hearts of so many, in dozens if not hundreds of small ways, it lingers still.

And no matter what the polls say, no matter what voters tell others, and even, surprisingly, no matter what voters do in the Primaries.

Voters will not necessarily lie on purpose to pollsters, friends or family. And many are and will continue ot vote for Obama or Clinton in the Primaries.

But the General Election is different.

In the voting booth, on that day, many votes will shift.

This is not a place where I am going to preach, or try to change anyone.

I am just stating what is. Not what I wish were the case.

Since the Economy is flushing, we want a leader who seems experienced enough to get us back on track.

Since the War in Iraq continues, we want a leader who can command the troops, and get us out in some reasonable way. We do not want to cut and run now. We all know that Bush got us into this on false pretenses, and we all know we should not have even gone in there, but now that we are there, we want a little dignity while leaving.

Obama would get the change vote, especially from the young and truly independent, but there is more to the story. He hasn't faced many real challenges in his government tenure, and he is largely an untested candidate. Change feels really good in the Primaries, but it can fail to deliver in the General Election if that is candidates only real asset.

Hillary would get a lot of votes from women and supporters of women's rights, and she might get more support for the Clinton record on the economy, which is pretty stellar, and which is yet another reason the Right hates her, since they wanted a budget surplus and never got it, but Bill did (as if the Right even needs any more reasons to hate her).

Both would get far Liberal / Left votes, with Obama likely getting the most.

McCain gets support from those who want politicians to tell us the truth, which he has done more than the average politician on key issues such as Torture and Campaign Finance Reform, among others, or at least it is perceived that he has done this more.

McCain gets support from those who feel at heart that since we are still at war, we need someone strong to get us out without making us look like even greater fools to the rest of the world.

McCain also gets support from those on the right who just will not vote for a Democrat.

McCain served in Vietnam, and was a prisoner of war for years. Our most recent leaders ditched the draft by way of family connections or other methods. And even though Bush let his supporters crudely smear McCain on his service in the 2000 race, McCain didn't go after Bush on dodging the draft via National Guard service at home.

Stunning omission, or beyond the pale gentlemanly conduct, I am not sure which.

We are so weary of politicians who have never gone to war pushing us into the hell of it. When will we ever learn?

We know there are still threats out there, and Al-Qaeda still wants to hurt us somehow. This is another reason McCain will win.

In the voting booths across the country, the Evangelical Christian Conservative Right is fragmented, but will come together not for Romney in the Primary, nor for either Obama or Clinton in the General Election.

Most of those votes will go to McCain, in defiance of the Evangelical leaders who don't want him and the Republican Media dickheads who mistrust and hate him.

Rush Limbaugh can't stand him. Ann Coulter said she would sooner vote for Clinton, she hates McCain so much. But then, she is just another flavor of nutbag anyway...

So the Evangelical / Conservative vote will largely go to McCain for another reason;
The voters are really tired of all the crap we have had to deal with as a result of voting for whom those same so-called leaders told them to vote for last time.

Seriously, the backlash vote will be very large this time.

It is so obvious to everyone that the choice of the Evangelicals and Far Right Conservatives last time, George W. Bush, picked a lousy team, made monumentally stupid decisions, fantastically increased the level of incompetence and cynicism in government, and is now leaving us all with a giant pile of shit to clean up.

Not that he isn't a swell guy. He actually is. Just a terrible President.

So the Right hates McCain, which will get him extra votes from the middle.

And the Right will not vote for Clinton or Obama, they will vote for him.

And those who want a strong leader to get us out of Iraq with dignity will vote for him.

And those fearful of more terrorism attacks will vote for him.

And those who want a more honest President will vote for him.

And all those who just cannot vote for a woman for President will vote for him.

And all those who just cannot vote for a black person for President will also vote for him.

There is still the economy, stupid, but McCain can capture the votes of those for whom that is most important simply, and with a few well placed phrases, such as,

"I will work hard for more jobs, more opportunity, and more Americans living the good life!"

"I promise to Put America First!"

"More jobs, better educations, cheaper health care!"

"Less War, More Jobs!"

"Less War, More Education!"

"Less War, More Health Care!"

Okay, those might be a stretch for McCain, but some well places, repetetive phrases signaling his willingness to increase job oportunities, provide better educations, and expand health care coverage to more Americans can get him over this particular hump.

I would like to see Obama and Clinton have a real chance, and right now the media and a lot of citizens are acting like they believe those two do have a real chance.

We all are playing along, pretending that we are not living in a country where a substantial minority will never vote for any black person except Bill Cosby, nor any woman with the possible exception of Barbara Bush senior.

That minority will vote for McCain, and that is all he will need to win. Even though he is likely not looking for a result driven by those factors.

I would really like to help elect a Woman as President one day, and a Black Person as President one day.

Either would show the world something new about us, and that could help us start to get respect back, and get us back on track working with real coalitions of nations, on the serious problems that we all are facing.

But in this election the two long shots do not have:

A - Enough experience (Obama) or,
B - Enough positive ratings among (Conservative) voters (Clinton)

And even if those realities were not the case, I'm not sure I could yet see a low enough redneck-effect to actually believe they could get enough votes to win.

Someday it will happen, just not this time.