Monday, December 14, 2009

In Hibernation Mode...

Just to let the faithful know that I haven't gone native.

The blog was a good place to vent my thoughts and politics but as in all things, this too must pass.

I'm not done by any means. Just taking a break during the dark of the year. When I return in the Spring, I may have a new outlook or a new direction. I will be stopping by my regular haunts like Ornery Bastard, Monkeyfister, Alternate Brain and a few others just to let you know I'm still drawing breath. Check out the Blogroll for lots of goodness.

The sea is changing for progressives and the weather isn't looking that good. We have been betrayed by our leaders and left out to twist in the wind. All the hard work we accomplished to get a majority in both the House and the Senate and electing Obama was for naught. I'm afraid we underestimated the power of the pundits.

My advice to all...

So Mote It Be...until the Ides of March.
David A.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live..."

A quote from the Old Testament, Exodus 22:18 (KJV) "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

In this climate of radical fundamentalism and utter disregard for reason and logic, it comes as no surprize that born-again Christians are looking to their history for the direction of their future. Present day Christians are bringing back creationism, the Great Flood, even ol' Scratch himself, brick red skin, pointy tail, horns and all. Humanity has sent its eyes and ears into deep space, cured many of the plagues of old, and fed billions of people who would have starved not a hundred years ago. Yet in the middle of all that progress, together with our cutting edge technology, cell phones, iPods, Xboxes, and Bluetooth; we still have to deal with deadly religious ignorance.

This story strikes a chord with me. I've been a practicing Pagan for nearly 40 years. Yes, it's all mythology and the like, but it fits with the spiritual questions I have. I do not speak for anyone else, my faith is mine and mine alone. I could no more convert another to my faith as I could convert their fingerprints to mine. Each person is endowed by basic human rights to have and hold the religious faith they freely choose. The problem - no, the crime - comes when the powerful tell the weak which faith to have, which religion to follow and, more importantly, the consequences that will happen if they do not comply.

Forced conversion from native beliefs to Christianity has resulted in the single most devestating genocide since humankind emerged from the Olduvai Gorge those 3 million years ago.

Here's a short piece of the tragedy...(from MSNBC)

African churches denounce children as witches.
Pastors accuse thousands of children, leading to torture and death.

Sunday Alamba / AP
Accused child witches Jane, left, and Mary, right, stand with other children accused of witchcraft at the Children's Rights and Rehabilitation Network in Eket, Nigeria, on Aug. 18, 2009. Jane's mother tried to saw off the top of her skull after a pastor denounced her and Mary, 15, is just beginning to think about boys and how they will look at the scar tissue on her face caused when her mother doused her in caustic soda
Killing your children because a minister told you to. How can this travesty be condoned? What part of the Holy Bible says kill your children because a greedy fakir wants your money? Oh yeah... Exodus 22:18.

Christianity has become an abomination. There are those who defend the rights of Christians to practice their faith but to this extent? This is more than twisted. I don't care how many 'good' Christians there are out there, if this bullshit is allowed to take place then the whole religion is corrupt.

Each of the 'churches' mentioned in the story have sponsors in the US or Europe. Of course, as soon as the glare of TV cameras are lit up, these 'good Christian people' feign ignorance and claim that the African branch is a rogue.

Hmmm, seems to me that I remember a certain governor of Alaska being blessed by an African evangelical minister and proud exorcist of witches some time ago.

Our friend, Max Blumenthal has the goods from Huntington Post...
"On September 20 and 21, I attended services at the church Sarah Palin belonged to since she was an adolescent, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Though Palin officially left the church in 2002, she is listed on its website as "a friend," and spoke there as recently as June 8 of this year."

Read more at: as recently as June 8 of this year.
As I said...corrupt as a broken sewer pipe.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The War on the Middle Class

The economy is in the toilet. Unemployment is drifting around 10 points with no real relief on the horizon. Good, hard working folks are seeing their paychecks shrink as their employers take more away. Bills are coming fast and loose for people who have two cents for every three that have to be paid out. Food banks, thrift shops, food stamps and free clinics are finding popularity with a whole new batch of customers.

And they tell me that the tide has turned and we are coming out of the recession.

Today, the Dow Jones reached 10,000 pts for the first time in a year and everyone is popping the corks and sparking the bowls. Yippee!! Wall Street is coming back! Bonuses have returned to the Street along with bigger paychecks. Some of these icons of American Capitalism have found ways of getting around the rules and keep some of the worse of the sub-prime mortgages alive and well. Credit card companies are seeing huge profits from the strong-arming of Americans.

This would be a bad gangster film if it weren't reality.

Nothing is going our way. The promise of electing Obama and the Democrats into power has fallen as flat as an old convention balloon. They postured from every soapbox that the days of huge corporations feeding at the trough of American taxpayers is over. Tax loopholes closed, universal health care, new green jobs and a real stimulus package to get the economy kickstarted.

They had their fingers crossed.

The stimulus was too little too late. It did as good a job as it could but was woefully inadequate. If you want to help a starving man, giving him a TicTac isn't going to do the job. Lots of good, green programs that would have provided real, well paying jobs were kicked to the curb because they gave the Republicans fits. Republicans.

After the elections, the American people let it be known that the last thing they cared about was the fucking Republicans. These WATB's have been sniveling about Obama at every turn. In addition, the Handjob Media has courted their every word; words that were mostly blatant bullshit that a high school journalism student could have debunked.

So, here we are. Nearly a year since a landmark historic election and the promise of real change in America. What do we have to show for it? Where's the reward for all of our hard work? Wall Street has made out like bandits...literally. Gov't reps and congress critters have made bank from all the free money on K Street. The shitty situation the country found itself in before the election is worse now and any hope for relief is becoming rare.

When is it our turn?

America the ATM. America the Chump. America the Rube. Wall Street was playing three-card Monte with our livelihoods and we asked for help. What we got was a government that took out hand, soothed our fears then told Wall Street to use a new deck of cards.

The problem is deeper than just getting our pet projects accomplished. Health care reform, environmental reform, getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, new green jobs, etc, etc, etc.... ad nauseum. These are great steps but they rely on too much change, change that is not just hard but near impossible. What we need to do is take back the country for the people. Corporations were established 150 years ago to help finance the Industrial Revolution. It brought America into the 20th century as a force in the world. But leave it to the greedy to take a good idea and pervert it into a pestilence. America does not need the corporate structure like it did in the 1880's.

We have too much wealth concentrated in one spot. Regulations must be enacted to rein in this abomination. Socialism isn't the answer but a more measured approach to capitalism is necessary. Then our agenda will come about like we expect. If you want to plant a garden on the battlefield, you have to figure out how to win the war first.

update: I just noticed that my blog roll was seriously deficient in penguins. The management regrets this oversight and it has been corrected. The responsible parties have been punished.

And so it goes...
David A.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back in the Saddle, Again.

Throughout blogtopia (y! sctp), we hear about stalwart bloggers who swear that this is their last post, that they are hanging up their keyboards for bright, greener pastures only to show up again a month later because of some significant news event or egregious comment by a particularly loathsome wingnut.

That's where I've been the last few months. I love the 'Toobs, been trolling around since the good ol', bad ol' days before Mozilla when we used BBS and 9600 baud modems. But real life has a way of creeping up on you and slapping your ass.

Such is my story. I've been seeing the real side of life lately, particularly the side where you have to go to a doctor every week to keep from buying a wheelchair. Add to that the timely battle with health insurance and the evil bastards one must deal with in that dark hole. I wanted to keep a handle on my time and still give out suspect advice and comment at this hidey-hole of liberal flotsam.

But shit happens and we all have to replace the bullshit with the good shit to keep from falling down the rabbit hole. I let this space lapse for a while. I was so pleased with myself when my Technorati number reached 16 that I treated myself with a beer and a bowl.

Then the real world hit.

No whining. Shit happens and my story isn't better or worse than anyone else's. Suffice it to say, I had to walk away for a bit. Now, as you can see, my Technorati number is 2. There's an ego deflator if ever I saw one.

People I trust and admire tell me my thoughts and words are important and timely. I agree. I feel that all of us have to take a moment to push that reset button just south of our ass to get a fresh start.

And so it goes...
David A.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Treading water in a whirlpool

Perhaps some of you have noticed that I've been a bit scarce on the 'Toobs lately.

In an effort to save a few ducats, I've decided to give up my Internet access and the meager cable that came with it. I've been trolling the internet for more almost 20 years, since the years of Protegy, BBS and 9600 baud modems connected to screaming 286 XT's. (ten megahertz, baby!) It's been a part of my daily activity for a long time. But something has to go.

The faltering economy and abject corporate greed has given me little choice. My employer, who shall be nameless, is not hurting that badly but has found that the public's fear and consternation about the economic climate has given rise to a timely opportunity to make a few more millions. Using the economy as a crutch, they've slashed hours and suspended merit raises. Management is constantly reminding us that for every job they post, hundreds of applicants show up - so watch your ass!

Nervous isn't an apt description. Terrified come closest. Some of my co-workers are barely making ends meet because of health issues, kids, household repairs and transportation grief, etc. This shit isn't news to anyone with a pulse over the last year. I'm certainly not alone. Bills stack up, credit cards get maxed out, phones shut off, and the car breaks down.

Don't look for sympathy from any of the corporate whores raking in the dough either. The banks got billions of our funds to keep their logos on the door and they thank us by jacking up late and overdraft fees. One example: a friend at work paid her VISA bill but transposed the numbers of her online payment. She overpaid by $63 which put her in the hole ten bucks. It went unnoticed for a couple of days, after she had spent money on gas, groceries and school supplies... six transactions for just under forty dollars. Because of the overpayment error, she got hit with seven overdraft charges worth - $240. She called the bank as soon as she realized the error and explained her plight. It was a wasted call. The bank rep did nothing but lecture her about paying attention to her transactions and that maybe this situation will be a lesson to her. She has two kids and a husband that recently was laid off from that same bank.

Fuck that!

Fuck Bank of America, Fuck Chase, and Fuck all the rest. Real people are suffering out there. That error could have happened to me or any other person. Even a math whiz will fuck up a number on occasion. The corporate whores that play with our lives care as much for us as they do for their tennis shoes. Run the shit out of them then toss them to the curb.

The Insurance industry is just as corrupt. The billing clerk from my doctor's office called me to talk about my growing bill. She was cool, but direct. Money needed to start coming in. I explained my situation at work and she was sympathetic. I'm making a small payment every month. But she did say some shit that got me steamed. She was curious why my bill was so high. Other patients with the same insurance were paying a lot less out of pocket that was I. Basically, my insurance was stiffing me for most of the bill. I should be paying 15 to 20 percent after the initial deductible but that's not the case. I'm responsible for nearly 65% of the full cost of my surgery and treatment!

It's part of the game. They know what their supposed to pay but don't. They stiff the doctors for the cost of the procedure and let the patient pick up the tab. If you have the time, the patience, the understanding of the plan and a lot of fucking luck; you can badger the insurance company into paying their share of the bill. Not paying more or going beyond their responsibilities but paying their share....the amount they are supposed to pay anyway.

Stories like this are too numerous to count. Every one of us have them and they all stink. The answer to this shit is sitting in committee in Congress. It's been there so long, it's starting to grow mold.

We have to get this crap done. Fuck the Corporations! Toss out any legislator that puts their needs above ours. Reform Wall Street, break up the big financial conglomerates. Enforce the fucking anti-trust laws. If the laws are too weak, change them. Let the fuckers on the Supreme Court know that a person has a heart and a brain, not a spreadsheet and a bottom line. Corporations are not people. They are blood sucking parasites.

Hope to be around a little while longer...but Comcast will cut me off as soon as the money runs out.
I have a lot to do until then.

Keep swinging!

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Brain Splatter

First off - Happy Birthday, President Obama. August 4th, 1961.

Let's see... what was I up to back then? Well, I may have a bit of trouble remembering since I was only 2 1/2. I do remember getting a bath in the kitchen sink but not sure of the date. Needless to say, I'm not able to do much of that now. They don't make sinks that big. Hell, some lakes are too small for this old hippie's ass.

Time to get your freak on!

Hempfest is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I am looking forward to it. The legs are giving me grief but I'll be out and about regardless. I'll use a cart and two blocks of wood if I have to, to get around. The theme this year is a sustainable hemp industry. Granted, everyone knows my views on Cannabis (see sidebar for my series on Pot Prohibition) but this is the first step. I could wait a couple of years for my smoke to be legal if I could get the hemp industry active first.

I hear all kinds of internet fluff about how much money will flow into our communities if we only legalize the Ganj and tax it. True, tax revenue will increase but I don't think as much as folks think. The part of the equation that will produce a substantial economic boost is the legalization and mass production of hemp. This isn't rocket science. Hemp is not smokable. To get as high as a single marijuana joint, you would have to smoke a hemp joint the size of your leg.

But consider the economic advantage of a new industry that is ready made for our agricultural technology. In my home state of Washington, especially the eastern half, there are farms, orchards, ranches, and vinyards closing down and going fallow because of the horrible economy and over reliance on huge multi-national agri-corporations. Monsanto, ConAgra, Dole, ADM, and other monoliths of greed and corruption have crafted a no-win, sellout and assimilate policy against small farmers, ranchers, and orchardists. The politics of agriculture is fraught with corruption, graft, pay-for-play, and influence pedalling like no other industry with the exception of the health care industry.

The legalization of hemp would allow the small farmers to produce a product that can be used in a myriad of ways. Textiles, food and food oils, fuel, building materials, paper and paper products, the list is as long as my pony tail. These industries need not be shipped overseas. We can build the processing plants, the textile mills, the factories and fabrication facilities within a single state.

For example, in Washington, the growers would be mostly in the eastern part of the state. Shipping and processing can take place in centers like Spokane, Wenatchee, and Yakima which are just a few miles from the fields. From there the processed hemp can be shipped to mills and factories in Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett. Whether it's hemp fabric, hemp seed oil or hemp paper, these products could be sent to fabricators all across the US. Not only that but finished goods like clothes, foods, lotions and cosmetics, paper and packaging products, and building materials could be producted locally as well.

Think of the revenue now. This is much more realistic than charging ten bucks tax on an eighth ounce of Ganja. Don't get me wrong, I want to pay that ten spot as much as the next hippie. Please...let me pay taxes on my smoke! But we have to get to that point through the legalization and promotion of Hemp.

Now, to other things...

Mad Dogs invade Town Halls

This is crazy shit. Pisses me off more than anything. These people are thugs. Protesting is a time honored tradition in America. But your protest has to come from an independent desire for change, reasoned opinions that can stand the scrutiny of debate. This isn't grassroots protest, this is astroturf. These goons are the same mindless idiots that gathered together for the 'tea parties' earlier this year. They managed to gather, thousands...OK, dozens of people to protest whatever their corporate handlers told them to do. Fucking sheep.

They rail against all things government but will wail like pissy toddlers if they don't get their roads fixed, the police don't show up right away or if the fire department doesn't respond quickly enough. Fatheads.

But to me, these goons are no better than Timothy McVey without the bomb. They spout the same garbage he did, demonize the government in the same way, think the same fetid thought of tearing down society as we know it. They are all domestic terrorists without the trigger finger.

Lost and Found

Some of our most respected friends on the Toobs are MIA. Shit happens and not everyone can get a post out six times a day like Skippy or Crooks and Liars. So, when the posts start to drop off and sites go dark, it affects us all. One example is my friend, Eddie at Leftist Grandpa. Haven't heard from him on his site or in the comments of some of our co-conspirators. If I missed a post or if you've heard from him, let me know. If you read this, Eddie, drop me a comment.

The economy has been taking a lot of us down and this may be the case. My best to him and his family and I hope that whatever has taken him away from the Toobs is temporary and not catastrophic. We need to keep our Net family close if we're to get through this bullshit. Eddie's voice is far more important than he realizes and the sooner he can get back on the road, the better for us.

Well, that's the best I can do now. The time to get into the corporate mindset is drawing near and I have to venture out into the gaping maw of my greedy corporate overlords. The recovery can't happen quick enough for me.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birther Bull

OK, I'll step into this cowpie.

The reason... my congresscritter (Deputy Dave Reichert WA-8) came on the You Tube and made an ass of himself. Then the congresscritter from my parents district ( Cathy McMorris-Rodgers WA-5) made a bolt up the steps of Congress to get away from Mike Stark, who was trying to get her comment.

This way to the Pasture!

Let's go all in... Full shoe here.

Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, HI on Aug. 4th, 1961. This event was recorded and documented like all live births at the time and in that state. There was no international conspiracy to alter the birth records of a mixed race baby boy in pre-civil rights Hawaii. But that's not what this post is about. The records are real and verified. No controversy, no mystery, just normal birth records not unlike those of any other person born in the US.

The real reason this is out there was shown plain as day on Rachel Maddow's show on Monday. She called it for what it is - a racist attack.

These cretins cannot fathom that the President of the United States is a black man. It drives them nuts. For decades, the right wing has kept the fires of racism stoked high and hot to keep African Americans from achieving their full potential. They're absolutely terrified to their toenails that black people will emerge from repression to take their place in society. They fear that by allowing minority citizens (IE: real people) to reach their dreams; America will see these racist bastards for the ignorant shallow mouth breathers they are and send them packing to the fringes of society where they belong.

I have no love for racists. Their opinions show a lack of intelligence and compassion. They prove that humanity has a long way to go to achieve any worthwhile improvement in our social evolution. As long as a single racist exists, humanity will always occupy the lowest rung on the ladder of civilization. Intelligent, learned scholars are always trying to construct the perfect society, the Utopian life that will transcend all of our basest needs. Thomas More, Aldous Huxley and William Morris all wrote of Utopian societies where everyone lived in peace and tranquility, no worries or war. Such places are the stuff of dreams and will never be realized as long as racism exists.

And as long as the Republican Party keeps fools like Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck around as their leadership, there will always be a crowded pasture to walk through.

Update: I forgot to include this in the original post. The House voted unanimously to recognize the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood. In the proclamation, sponsor Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii included acknowledgment of the birth of native son, Pres. Barack Obama.

Hee Hee! GOP pwned again!

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Care for the Masses or Your Claim has been Denied!

There's a lot to this whole health care debate that's convoluted and complex, but there's one simple, indisputable fact: Americans that need health care have to pay far too much for it. In other modern, civilized countries, if you need to go to the doctor you can. If you have a broken arm or a case of the Mumps, you get treated by a government approved physician who fixes you up and sends you on your merry.

In this country, the first and most important question isn't what is your medical problem but what is your ability to pay. Forget what the hell is wrong with you, what is the size of your wallet.

"I'm sorry sir, but if you do not have the proper insurance you cannot receive treatment here. May I suggest the Free Clinic in Bartertown? Oh, and sir, I must ask you to stop bleeding on our carpets. Thank you, the exit is to the right. -Next?"

Check out this post from our friends at Skippy.

I love that vid.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Perpetuum Jazzile

Stranger over at Blah 3 ( a necessary stop on all tracks of the Intertoobs Express) posted this video and I thought it was so cool, I'd steal it from him (or continue the theft from his Facebook friend, Bobby)

Perpetuum Jazzile is an A Capella group from Slovenia that performs jazz and popular music. This video has seen 2.8 million viewers as of this posting.

Give it a listen.
(I love the thunderstorm effects)

So Mote it Be,
David A.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Food for thought...

I really need to be more attentive of this site.

Healthy Foods...

We are what we eat - so the saying goes.

Ain't it the truth.

Americans cram pounds of crap down their gullets every day and spend billions trying to get rid of said crap after the fact. We want it fried, dried, fresh or frozen, packed with sugar, racked with salt, high fat, high carb, low fat, low carb, boiled and baked, covered in sauce, bathed in glaze, roasted, toasted, basted, tasted, leftovers wasted, extra foam, no room, skimmed, trimmed, take out the fat, heavy on the cream...three times a day.

We're fat. We're lazy. We love to tell our kids to eat their vegetables then give them a Big Mac 'cause we haven't got time for dinner. Our refridgerators hold six condiments, leftover Chinese, something brown, and a box of baking soda. We haven't a clue.

A single blueberry has all the natural ingredients to save our bacon but we add 2 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fat, dress it up like a work of art, give it a $13.00 price tag and call it dessert.

We give billions of dollars to people to tell us this and make us do something about it. They bend us, break us, pull our muscles, bruise our egos, take us to task, lift that bale, tote that barge, give me $800, now you're in shape.

We live in front of a box of shiny lights that sucks the imagination out of us like a puddle evaporating in the sun. It tells us what crap to buy, what to look for, what is in and what is out. It tells about a new gooey bar of processed sugar and fat that has more unpronouncable ingredients than a medical research project that's just waiting for your gluttonous consumption.

Whole industries have sprung up in the last 50 years that serve no purpose but to fill our arteries with cement. We spend decades of time and millions of dollars to break our bodies down then lament the high cost of fixing them up. No one wants to see to the root of the problem - no, that would be sacrilege. Thou shalt not bite the hand that feeds you this crap. We are a gloriously Capitalist Society and, God willing, will stay that way through every coronary bypass, diabetic coma, liver transplant and 31 flavors of cancer treatments.

And God help us if we run into those who've taken the pledge. Instead of going after the root cause of our food calamity - over-processing - they select certain types of food to rail against. No meat, no fish, no sugar, no milk, no eggs, no carbs, no fat, no dairy, no calories, no way, no how, no left turn, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Vegetables are a vital form of food, one that should be on every table at every meal. But so are meat or fish. The answer is not exclusion of food but balance and moderation. We have to re-learn to prepare our own food in a way that's healthy. Make the time to fix your own damn food. Take the time to feed your children what they need. Give them a reason to eat healthier. Fill them full of nothing but sugar and fat and you make them dependant on that crap like an alcoholic. Fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry because we are too damn lazy to cook the good stuff. Convenience has replaced responsibility. Parents would rather spend 30 minutes and $50 on fat, salty crap then spend $20 and an hour to feed their family a healthy meal.

Long ago we sat at the dinner table and ate like families. We prepared the food, set the table, got all the kids together with Mom and Dad and ate as a family. We discussed the day, asked each other about this or that, got kudos for the good stuff, got reamed for the bad; we saw each other as part of something wonderful. If someone was absent, they had their dinner set aside for their return - provided it was an acceptable reason. Screwing around with friends was not a good reason so no dinner was saved. There was a price to pay for missing dinner. No one could raid the fridge for goodies later, dessert was earned by good behavior not provided pro bono.

But we put all that aside. We enrolled our kids in soccer and ballet and baseball and softball and tae kuan do and boy scouts or brownies or any of dozens of other afterschool activities. Not just one though, we signed them up for two or three sports just to keep them busy so we could work longer at the office, see the girls at the club or finalize the sale of the Johnson house. We have to make an appointment to see the kids or our spouses. Every family member is glued to the cell phone or the blackberry, twittering, texting or talking to a spider's web network of other mindless robots, grabbing a quick bite at Mickie D's or Jack in the Box before heading out to the Mall. Even when we finally get back to the homestead, we plop our butts in front of the Shiny Box to watch the latest and greatest dreck ever conceived by demented minds about something called 'reality' that has no connection to the actual word just a distorted play on semantics about worthless pathetic victims of their own greed and gluttony.

We no longer use the dinner table to sit and eat. We use it to organize our bills, put the laptop down to work, or kept nice and clean with place settings of sparkling dishes in stylish colors that will never be obscured by gravy or spaghetti sauce. We eat standing up, staring zombie-like into dead space while talking into an electronic cockroach attached to our ear. Family members with white strings coming out the sides of their heads run in and out of the kitchen oblivious to everything except the sugary sodas in the fridge or the chocolaty sludge bars in the cupboard. Dinner isn't roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans; it's a chili cheese burrito fresh out of the microwave with a Coke and a Ho-Ho.

We talk about change. We talk about doing what's right. We talk, talk, talk, talk until we can't speak any more. But we don't do.

Eat your own food. Drink real water. Buy fresh. Grow it yourself. Let your belly do all the processing. Spend your time with the kids at the park with frisbees, a ball and glove, or a volleyball. Eat dinner at the table then see a movie. The television isn't a lamp. Talk about what's on TV then decide if it's worth turning it on.

Get to know members of your family, I hear they're kinda cool.

Update: I posted this as a diary on the Daily Kos to see what response I would get. It only got about 3 feet from the line of scrimmage... Oh, well. So much for fame and fortune! I'll stick to my own neighborhood for now.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What does it take?

What is it about the Right wing? They seem to live for hypocrisy. Usually, each of us can be counted on to do something or say something hypocritical – hell, its human nature. But we get schooled by friends or adversaries and shown back to the real world with our egos lowered a few notches. Not the Republicans. They seem to thrive on hypocrisy. It’s not even criticism anymore. They wear it like a badge of ‘honor’.

They speak out of every corner of their mouths, spewing any spurious tidbit of bullshit pulled straight from Karl Rove’s ass without any sense of regret. When called on it, they just wave the flag and accuse you of being a traitorous commie fascist who eats babies with hot sauce. They then smile at you and go on like nothing was out of place.

They speak to groups that they know will sit loyally in their seats without comment or criticism, staring into dead space with all the mental faculties of a dandelion, the attention span of a flea and the curiosity of driftwood.

I weep for America if these are the people that represent the electorate. We put Barack Obama in office but couldn’t defeat right wing crazies like Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor. The current political playing field will look a lot different in 2012, no one will be looking at what’s best for America only what is popular.

Color me concerned, even a bit frightened.

The Democrats are in a position to cement their majority. They can take the lead on the issues that really matter to the ordinary people of America, not the lunatic fringe of the Right. These are inroads that can only reap rewards on those Democrats courageous enough to walk the talk. Courage is the only price they have to pay. Too bad it’s too big a price for many of those we put in Congress.

I watch the news. I watch the sessions of Congress and the meetings of committees led by people I used to admire and respect. All I see is fear and cowardice. The road to recovery is paved and clearly mapped out. All we have to do is put on our shoes and start walking down the road. Seems even that is too much for our leadership.

The Republicans have made their position crystal clear. They will do everything in their power to obstruct and destroy President Obama’s agenda. They will NOT compromise on this. Their leadership has voiced this in every memo and every media outlet right and left. Even the most inattentive backwoods hermit knows that the GOP is not going to help Obama in any situation.

Why do we still seek their support for our legislation? We know their answer. We know that they will vote NO. They may make noises resembling support or acquiesce but, in the end, all of our hard work making concessions will be for naught as they vote it down. So, why try? Leave them to their hypocrisy. The voters made them irrelevant; let’s keep them there. We have loose cannons in the Democratic caucuses that need to be addressed, why waste our energy and resources on a fool’s errand?

We, the progressive activists, put the hammer to nail building this agenda and the voters put their stamp of approval on it. They said, “YES, DO THIS!” Now, we put the message out to our elected officials and they fumble it trying to do this ‘bipartisan’ bullshit. It’s like the kid who gets his lunch money taken away every day bringing extra coin in the hope that the bully will leave him enough to eat with.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing in the same way over and over again but expecting different results?

We have to get a hold of this process immediately before the damage gets too big to fix. The Democratic leadership has to be pulled back into reality before they give away all of our lunch money to the Republicans. We’re bigger than them; we can say, “NO, I’m keeping my lunch money! Get Lost!”

Health care is the big issue dancing in the spotlight now. It’s so big it can affect the lives of every American right away. The only real solution is staring at us with big blue eyes. There has to be a viable, aggressive public option that can effectively compete with the private insurance companies. Too many legislators have accepted bags of coin from the insurance industry for real reform to take place. They are actively working against the best interest of the people in order to satisfy the will of their wealthy overlords. The money is too good to ignore. The smell of greed overwhelms the will of the voters.

This is what we have to fight. This is the face of our enemy.

Firedoglake has taken the lead in bringing some of the senators to task for their connection to the corporate lobbying groups with promising results. However, there are some who are anchored in their ways of greed and graft with their industry sugar daddies. Some of those people chair the very sub-committees and committees that we need to advance the public option. As it sits now, the public option has been watered down to the point of being an easy target for the insurance companies should it become law. It would be forced into obscurity and end up worthless and neutered by the forces it was originally supposed to compete with. Then, we would be back to square one with another failed attempt at reining in the one thing that would do the most to bring us out of this recession/depression. As Obama said, we can’t afford to fail this time. A failure now would doom Americans to many more years of skyrocketing health care costs, millions more denied care or coverage and an economy swirling down the bowl for no other reason than abject greed.

Aren’t we supposed to be better than that? There was a time when I thought we were.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Sarah 'FAIL'in

In an attempt to steal the limelight from Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin committed political suicide on national television yesterday. Pundits from across the spectrum have been spinning this like a set of dishes at a cheap vaudeville show.

There's brewing evidence that a landslide of grief is coming down Mount Wasilla right on top of her new house on Lake Louise. Seems good ol' boy Todd got hisself some sweet deals from a contractor while he and his 'buddies' built their pretty new home on the lake. More like free building materials.

Then, as a way of rewarding good public service, or better put - servicing the public - this company got the prime bid on the Wasilla Sports Complex built while she was mayor. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Wasilla have only a few thousand folks?

WTF do they need with a $13M sports complex? That is unless you have a willing contractor, a corrupt family of political hacks and a ready supply of free gov't money. Then, why the fuck not?

I come from a small town about the same size as Wasilla. They couldn't gather $13 million to build a sports complex without taxing the hell out of the unemployed loggers and orchardists that live there. They couldn't gather $13. I'm also sure that any attempt at such an action would result in mass lynchings of city officials. Why would Wasilla be any different?

Oh, yes... they have Sarah! She's as pure as the driven snow. And you know what snow looks like after it's been driven on.

The clocks are ticking on Sarah Palin's future. Some say she's quitting to prep for 2012. Bullshit, she's toast. She won't even get an invite to the convention by the time the dust settles on her. This scandal is still perculating, not ready to boil over yet, but Shannyn Moore in Alaska says the smart money is on total FAIL!

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome to the Senate, Al Franken!

'Bout fucking time.

Coleman's been nothing but a punk through this whole thing. He was in a close race and that gives him the right to making sure the count was done correctly but there comes a time that when all the agencies involved say there were no problems, no major discrepancies or errors, courts have decided unanimously, and the people have given both their vote and their voice to Franken you just have to bow out and take your lumps. This is a case of a person who has no character, no ethics, and no sense of fairness.

He's an asshole. I can't see where this is a plus. This is a has-been wingnut politician who hopes to make a great big splash on the national scene. Everyone in the world has an asshole and nobody's looking for another one.

So, my man Al has prevailed!

This was at the Senior Prom in 1972
that's me next to him


Now, Harry! You got your 60. Forget the Republicans! They mean NOTHING! Use your resources to keep the Dems in line. Gawd, why does that sound so unlikely? Why does my gut start to turn into knots when I think of Sen. Harry Reid doing his job? See my previous posts!

Can you imagine Chris Dodd in this spot? Or John Kerry? Hell, I would have loved to see Hillary Clinton in this job at this point just to see the heads explode all over Wingnutia! There are at least a half dozen Democratic senators who would take this opportunity to the Moon and back. John Boehner, Eric Holder, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican leadership would be cleaning out their shorts at this point had there been anyone else in the Majority Leader's chair.

We have our 60. It's not herding cats, it's pushing magnets together. They have a natural repellent bred into them. I say call a meeting of the leadership and make it damn fucking clear what the goddamn agenda is. Then work it! No more fringes! Cut them off right now. Corral those Blue Dogs and show them the millions of fucking dollars the DSCC has and how much it can raise. Show them the best primary prospects that are circling the pond in their home states waiting for the chance to feed on the bones of the incumbent. We only need the Republicans to provide stepping stones and doormats to get into the Senate Chamber. After eight of the worst, most damaging years that these sleazy bastards gave us on a silver platter, I wouldn't even clean my shoes before walking on them. Call me petty.

So, what are we going to do about Harry?

Congratulations, Senator Franken!

this just in: Bill O'Reilly got the news while he was in the grocery store. Clean up on Aisle Four!

Update: No, that's not really me in the photo. I kid.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

For What It's Worth 2.0

I do go on about courage. It's not that I consider myself so courageous but I've been in the presence of those who've fit the bill. I try to live by their example, see the bullshit for what it is and not let it force me down a road I don't need to be on. This isn't rocket science, it's common fucking sense. There are standards of conduct that people should be living by, not anything religious or political but responsible. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Simply put, easily said and the most difficult to accomplish.

A standard like that leaves no room for greed, hatred or intolerance. It forces people to look at our neighbors in a new light, a new understanding. It allows us to see people as they really are and go from there. There will be lots of people who won't pass the test. Unfortunately, these people are just no damn good. Rather than go after them or react to them; we should just ignore them. Glenn Beck wouldn't be such a pain in our asses if he had no audience. He would be just another wingnut screaming at the wind.

But you say, how can we ignore these assholes? They infect us with their bile, foster open wounds in society and unravel any progress toward a better understanding between different groups. I say ignore by moving on without them. Cut them off from the discussion. Let them rant! If we engage the people who matter the most to them, their audience, that will leave them without a forum, without a base. Of course, there will always be a fringe who will buy into the poison Beck, Limbaugh, Savage Weiner, and the rest of the hatemongers sell. Fuck 'em. Isolate them by working for the folks who matter - Mom and Pop America. As long as we can engage the mainstream by showing them how important we think they are, they'll abandon the wingnuts like rats from a sinking ship.

For the most part this is happening now. Limbaugh parades his Arbitron numbers around like a gold star, making noise about how popular he is. Well, he has an audience, but a shrinking one. He takes weekly numbers and posts them as daily, his base is declining but becoming more vocal. He has to stir up the rabble, after all, the American people elected a black man as president despite his daily reminders of how awful that would be. As Gov. Schwarzenegger said on the Today Show a few years ago that 'Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant, I am not his servant." There's one Republican that won't be invited to the Tube and Lube party down in the Dominican Republic any time soon.

But Limbaugh isn't alone here. We have Michael Savage Weiner making fart noises about a 'fatwa' against Media Matters like this is supposed to send shivers of cold terror through their spines. Ordinarily this would be laughable, much of what the Weiner says is nothing but manure, however with the recent killings by right wing loonies we have to be aware of what these ass pimples are saying. It's no secret that they've come to realize just how powerful their words are to the Right Wing fringe. Despite the killings, perhaps because of them, the Crap Talkers on the Right are ramping up their vile. They all are counting on that lone listener who will hear the last word and snap. This is the antithesis of courage. A four year old girl touching a worm shows more courage than Limbaugh, Weiner, O'Reilly, or Beck have in their entire pathetic lives.

Cretins like these should play no role in the reconstruction of the American Ideal. They only exist to keep us honest, to reinforce the common threads that bring us together. They show us what happens when you lose all sense of community, all self-respect and get your head permanently lodged in your ass. They are the rats that congregate around our social garbage. If we deal with the trash, the rats will go away.

Talk show idiots aren't the only pustules on our ass. We seem to have developed a few in leadership roles too. The Republicans in Congress are a cadre of hacks, crooks, fools, and cheaters. Just put a camera in front of them and they can't help but prove this to the country. They have show the world they're an idiot. It's like a contest amongst them. Who can be the biggest idiot on the Network News?

Which brings me to the next part of this screed. The Democrats. I've mentioned the bad guys, now I need to bring up the 'good' guys. Who's a bigger fool, the idiot you expect to say something stupid or the one who comes out of left field with it? I expect the Right to be idiots, it's their nature. Can't expect the zebra to walk away from its stripes. But I had hoped to see the people I helped put in the majority show some spine. I thought that the only reason Democrats were so wimpy and soft on the Republicans over the last eight years was simply a measure of power. You can't do much as a minority party.

Boy, was I wrong! The Repugs have a smaller minority than what the Dems had and are hamstringing ever effort at turning this country around. The Dems have a fillibuster proof majority and they are being held up, frozen in fear. WTF?

I mentioned the cowardise of the Right Wing talkers, how disgusting they were. But I have to place the cowards in Congress, my own Party leaders, beneath the likes of Limbaugh and Weiner. They have the votes, they have the people's will, they have a strong leader in the White House and they still crumble like a graham cracker at every turn. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the biggest of the cowards. He's the worst of the worst. Our little girl with the worm could probably make Sen. Reid piss himself. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not as bad but still terrified of the GOP. What are these marshmallows afraid of?

We should be driving our agenda through Congress like a Mack truck through a corn field. Progressive issues would be discussed and debated, voted on and put on the President's desk in record time. The recovery would be in full swing and the people would be reaping the fruits of their vote last November. But, NO! We have a couple of dozen Republican Senators running the show. Sen. Reid spends his day cowering under his desk so the leadership of the Senate is taken over by Boehner, McConnell and the rest of the GOP caucus.

I mention courage. There is no courage in the Democratic leadership. None. When challenged, they always seem to fall back on claims of strategy, chamber rules, and super-secret back room manuvering. Bullshit! The GOP has Reid by the balls, parading him around like a child's pull toy for all to see and laugh at. None of the other Democrats in the House or Senate seem to want to step up and challenge this. The ones that try are shot down in flames by their own party, leaving the Repugs to piss on the wreckage. How many times has good legislation been torpedoed by the Dem leadership, only to have the GOP pick up the pieces, toss it in the bowl and give it a final flush? The Recovery Package, EFCA, Closing Guantanamo, Single Payer Health Insurance, real climate change legislation, energy policy, immigration... the list of casualties goes on.

Who the Hell are these people working for? Certainly not me.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sad day for icons...

This hasn't been a good week for icons of my youth. A few days ago, I mourned the loss of Ed McMahon, someone I watched as a young insomniac with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. He was always the foil to Johnny's antics but was the rock that kept the Master in check. I understand he was destitute at the time of his death. He deserved better.

God Speed Ed. Johnny's got your spot on the couch waiting for you.

Then yesterday, I hear about Farrah Fawcett going back into the hospital. I knew from what I had heard about her illness this was the final time. She passed away a short time later. She was the first poster girl for this old fool. My story about her involved the last day of high school, May 20, 1977. I was wearing a t-shirt with her iconic poster on the front. My classmates and I had just spent the lunch hour in a massive water fight. We went back into the school building only to be confronted by the Principal. I was talking to a couple of my classmates who were drenched by the water fight. These young ladies had forgotten to wear anything under their shirts so, needless to say, they had my undivided attention. The Principal came up to us and without looking in my direction (yes, his eyes were occupied) he ordered me home to change my shirt. The poster of Farrah was, in his opinion, obscene. I said no. He threatened to keep my diploma and I dared him to do it. Nothing came of it. That was the first time I stood up to an authority figure.

Thanks Farrah, your beauty was legendary but it also gave me the courage to stand up for my rights. Goddess Bless You!

Just now, I read where Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack. Lately, I haven't been a great fan. His antics were kinda creepy in the last few years. However, I remember a time when it was just his brothers and he and they were singing as a group. The Jackson Five had lots of hits and yes, I was a fan. Michael struck a chord with me because he was just a few months older. I saw someone my age hit the big time and become an icon. Thoughout the years, I saw him undergo a transformation that concerned me. He seemed to need something that he didn't get as a child in the spotlight. I think this was one reason he strayed from the norm so often. He didn't have the chance to develop an anchor growing up, a stable place or mindset that would give him comfort and security. I don't think he ever had a sense of home.

Be at peace, Michael. At long last.

They say celebrities die in threes. It's a morbid game but we all play it. These were three fellow humans with great talent and creativity. They touched our lives and entertained us. But they were only human. We owe them our blessings and condolences to their loved ones during this painful time.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Senate Democrats...Have I got a deal for you!

Right here, right now... you can be the proud owner of a brand new, state-of-the-art Spinal Column for the low, low price of one vote!

Just take a look at this beauty!

You won't see this kind of craftsmanship anywhere in Washington DC. Be the first in the Chamber to have one, be the first one in your Committee to put it on display for all Americans to see and admire.

* Republicans giving you the jitters?
* Are your nightmares always tuned to Fox News?
* Does the sound of Rush Limbaugh's voice cause you to wet yourself?
* How often has Newt Gingrich taken your lunch money?

You NEED one of these NOW!

They come in all sizes, fortified and strengthened for long term use. No complicated installation, just use your vote correctly and the SPINE will insert itself!

With these babies, you can stand up to the Republicans like a lion to a lamb. No one will threaten a filibuster, use terms like 'weak', 'timid', or 'bipartisan compromise' in your presence ever again!

We're OVERSTOCKED! Ordered way too many after the election of 2008 so our overconfidence is your GOLDEN opportunity!

ACT NOW! These SPINES are top quality but won't last long on the shelf. If not used soon, they'll start to crumble. GET YOURS NOW!

See your local PROGRESSIVE constituent for details.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day - a Tribute

I've mentioned my dad in many comments throughout the Toobs so now I want to put it out there in style.

My dad is a child of the Depression. He was raised in a rural area with few jobs and fewer social services. Back then, you took care of yourself as best you could 'cause there was no bailout, little charity and most of your neighbors in the same boat as you. My grandparents couldn't afford to live together most of the year. Grandpa would be staying at a logging camp and Grandma with her brother and his family. Dad stayed with his other uncle on his ranch on the Colville Reservation. Dad got to know most of the Indian kids his age from those years. Through it all, Dad never lost his perspective that no matter the situation, you always had options even if they were hard to do.

He played basketball in high school, was pretty good too. He held the single season record for points scored for 20 years, until a kid from Spokane broke it by one point in 1970. A couple of colleges wanted him to sign up but there was not much of a scholarship so he declined and went to work at the lumber mill. It was 1950. After a year of working in the mill, Dad got a chance to fall trees. This meant more money and better job security. However, once he got started as a logger, the Korean War came calling. Dad went into the Navy.

He was lucky and didn't see any action. His first ship went to Korea just as he was reassigned to another ship, one that had just come back. He only stayed for one hitch. Then, it was back to the woods.

One has to take into consideration the nature of this kind of work. Today, there are dozens of safety systems in place to protect timber workers from accidents but there are still fatalities. In those days, loggers had little safety equipment save a tin hat, leather gloves and thick leather chaps (if you could afford them). Dad saw many of his buddies succumb to the dangers of falling trees. There's no amount of experience or calculations that can tell you how a tree will fall. You just take a good guess and hope you have a clear path out of the way.

He worked the woods of Northeastern Washington for 50 years. His legs bear the scars of chain saws and fir trees, snake bites and burns. When his woods caught fire, he picked up his McCulloch and went to carve fire lines. A few times he was nearly overrun by fire, but I think Mother Nature had a soft spot for him.

In 1956, he married my mom and soon had a gaggle of kids running him ragged in a two bedroom, one bath house. I have seven brothers and sisters. From 1956 to 1970 about every two years, there was a new screaming poop factory added to the fold.

He and my mom never flinched in taking care of us. There were no vacations but there were day trips and picnics to the campgrounds and backwoods areas Dad knew well. My brothers and I would accompany Dad hunting sometimes but we never got anything. I don't think any hunter got a buck within a hundred miles of my brothers and me, loudmouth little punks that we were. But it was time with Dad. Good time, time to bond and fart and show Dad that you knew the proper way to handle a knife without a trip to the emergency room. We would go fishing with my sisters and catch loads of fish on Conconully Lake even if it meant we had to touch fish guts.

Dad never made more than $30,000 per year his whole career, that was the last year before the mill close. I remember my college financial aid form had Dad's income in 1976 at $18,000. I can tell you as a fact that we were never poor. We always had food, clothes and trips to the movies once in a while. The clothes came from the church rummage sale sometimes, the movies were far and few between but we weren't deprived. The food mostly came from Dad's buddies who bartered with him for meat, eggs, and such. Dad got end cuts from the mill that we chopped up and split for firewood. Cords and cords would be stacked in the back which would go out to his buddies that had ranches and orchards. Dad would get a half beef which would go to the butcher for cutting and wrapping. The butcher would keep the fancy steaks, cut roasts and some steaks and make hamburger out of the rest. Little to no cash would change hands. Dad also would pick apples on the weekend during the fall for a bit of extra cash for my glasses or my brother's football camp. Dad also had a garden. We've always grown our own veggies. Dad's garden took up most of the back yard at first but dwindled in size as he got older.

Now, Dad's retired and living the easy(!) life with Mom and my sister. He still has a garden - Boy, does he still have a garden. If I live to be a hundred I'll never have the talent at growing that he does.

Let me introduce you to my dad and his garden...

taken in 2005, he's 74 here.

the backyard (June 2004)- the grass on the left and behind the building were once garden too.
From someone who had to pull weeds in that garden, I can't tell you how thankful I am that the grass was planted.
In the garden, the beans on the left are on an archway trellis. They grow up the wire and meet at the top.
Then you have a 'tunnel' of beans that we walk through and pick.

Everyone thinks their dad is the greatest and I'm no exception. I've learned a great deal about life, responsibility and honor by his example. I hear lots of guys talk shit about courage and what it means to be a 'man' - well, that's it right there. You'll find no better example of what a man is supposed to be like. Don't take my word for it, I've got seven siblings that'll say the same thing.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
And especially to the one who means the most to me.

Thanks, Dad, for everything!

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Revolution WILL be televised: You can't stop the signal, Mal

The Supreme Leader has spoken. He's thrown down the gauntlet to the Iranian protesters and put their leaders' heads on the chopping block. Mir Hossein Moussavi and the rest of the wronged candidates in Iran's sham election were put on notice that the election is over, Ahmadinejad is president and any 'violence' is on their heads.

This means Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can call out the Republican Guard (wonderful name for a repressively murderous bunch of savage sycophants, eh) crack down on the protests and do a Tienanmen Square on these people then put the blame on Moussavi.

I wouldn't put a ten dollar bet on Moussavi lasting two weeks in this climate. My gut tells me we're seeing the birth of the end of the Supreme Leader.

A lot depends on the reaction to this speech in the coffee shops and rooftops. Are the Iranian people angry enough to defy their Supreme Leader? Will they throw Moussavi to the wolves and accept Ahmadinejad's warped election? If he was unpopular before, he'll be a freaking pariah after this.

Rachel Maddow pointed out some of the most glaring discrepancies in the election last night on her show. She mentions a few Iranian towns that defied logic and posted more than 100% voter participation. One village, Taft, had returns of 141%.

Apparently, the Ayotollah thinks this is God's way of ensuring a landslide for Ahmadinejad.

What brings me to mention this on my blog is the video series I posted a few weeks ago by Rick Steves on Iran. I had the whole series posted but the segments have been removed by YouTube. The video is only $20.

In the video, Steves goes through the cities and talks with the people. It points a big stick in the perception of the great boogieman that Bush's cohorts created about these people. Yes, the Ayotollahs are repressive and theocratic but the Iranian people, as we've seen recently, are not the 'Axis of Evil' that Cowboy George and Prick Cheney made them out to be. It would behoove us to realize this in the wake of what may happen in the next few days and weeks.

The American people have plenty of demons to deal with. We don't need the government telling us lies to gin up support to overthrow another damn country. Our record on this front is dismal to say the least. Many would like to forget some of the bullshit we pulled back in the day, especially in Iran. Sen. Saxby Chandliss, a GOP goon from Georgia, claims that our well-documented involvement in overthrowing the democratically elected Iranian gov't to install the Shah in 1953 is old news and that he's sure that no one in Iran would remember something that long ago.

Senator Dumbass, Gettysburg was 145 years ago and I dare you to find a fourth grader who doesn't know about it. America's involvement in bringing back the worst dictator in modern Iranian history kinda sticks in the mind. Perhaps the fact that millions of people who lived and suffered under the Shah are still fucking alive makes that happen.

Obama is playing this correctly. We can't let the Iranian authorities use our rhetoric to give them reason for a crackdown. Our silence forces them to take ownership of any violent actions they take against the protesters. However, loudmouths like John McCain, Chandliss, and the rest of the GOP clowns give aid and comfort to the Ayotollah and his Republican thugs. (you know, I've written that phrase before!)

My heart goes out to the Iranian people. It's their country and their responsibility to make it right. They don't need and don't fucking want any help from us, other than getting the message out.

You can't stop the signal, Mal.

Update: It's confirmed! 4:00pm local time tomorrow (4:39am PDT) the protest is ON. Also, the Repubican Guard has ransacked Mussavi's office and ordered him to be silent.

Tomorrow is June 20th but will it be the 4th of July for the Iranian people? The clock is ticking...

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Politics, a game for fools, clowns and scalawags

Hope is a important part of how we accept things that may not be great for us. Hope that times will get better. Hope that the bump in the road is short and not too damaging. Hope that our leaders will step up and take us down the correct path to recovery. Hope is the fuel that sustains our patience.

We are running out of gas.

Health care is an abomination in this country. Those who can pay way too much for far too little. Doctors spend as many hours weekly on paperwork than they do on their craft. Hospitals trim essentials from those least likely to afford them just to keep lining the pockets of corporate investors. HMO's, Big Insurance, Big Pharma are doing their corporate damnest to kill the one option in our health care debate that offers the greatest hope for the most Americans. Single payer, or a national public health care plan, offers to cover the most people at the lowest cost for a modest payroll deduction. As I see it, one version has no co-pay, no deductible, and applies to all physicians and health care providers. Contrary to the popular lies of the never-right wing, there is no restriction of doctor choice, or hospital. Paperwork is streamlined to ensure the most efficient process.

Robert Reich, a man I've grown to admire since his days as Secr. of Labor under Bill Clinton has a bit to say about the prospects of the single payer option in the current health care debate. In his words: "Big Pharma and Big Insurance are gaining ground in their campaign to kill the public option in the emerging health care bill."

Hope is becoming a dry hole.

I won't presume to know what each of you think of the different options being considered in the health care debate, but if you're anything like me, you can't afford to shell out thousands of dollars for care that should be a birthright. For-profit health care providers, insurance and pharmaceutical companies only see numbers when looking at patient claims. How much money can we make by culling the claims down to just those who can pony up the pennies? How can we convince Congress to keep the status quo in place so that our profit margins stay the same or perhaps go up?

The answer? Meet Senator Max Baucus, (D-MT). He chairs the Senate Finance Committee which is in charge of the discussion and debate of the health care crisis and possible remedies. He has made statements recently that place the single payer option off the table. He said: "We need a uniquely American result. And that will be a public/private
hybrid. There may come a time when we can push for single payer. But that time is not yet, and so I'm not going to waste my time."

Why would he make such a statement? Why drag our feet with the one issue that concerns the most Americans? How can providing the most coverage in the most efficient way be a 'waste of his time'?

Who is whispering in Sen. Baucus' ear? What reason could he have to delay this? Could it be this?

Schering-Plough Corp$92,200$64,200$28,000
New York Life Insurance$80,400$43,900$36,500
UST Inc$73,950$37,950$36,000
Amgen Inc$70,750$35,750$35,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$62,350$21,350$41,000

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832

Hope is what sustains us. Those of us who rely on our health care providers to give us peace of mind and decent care don't need the added stress of finding pennies under the couch to pay for it. I pay for insurance through my employer. They provide the plan, take 'X' amount out of my check in addition to their contribution. Yet each year I pay more, they pay less and my coverage goes down. Over the last 18 months, I've accrued $8300 in doctor's bills after insurance. Nothing I was treated for was exotic or experimental, just the trials and tribulations of living to the ripe old age of 50.

If Sen. Baucus were to have had the same medical treatments I've had, he would have no bills, no payments to make. He has the advantage of being covered by a public, single payer government health plan.

Single payer is the best hope for all Americans who struggle to pay their medical bills. The big insurance and pharmaceutical compaies will do anything legal and otherwise to keep this abominable situation from changing. To them, it's all about keeping their wallets full; the health of the people be damned.

Support the Single Payer Option.

Update: Nunya, over @ Politickybitch gave me a cool link in the comments. (Thanks!)
"119 million Americans want a public option. Why aren't Politicians listening?"

The easy answer? Because 119 million Americans don't contribute to Sens. Grassley and Baucus' campaigns.

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Afternoon Cartoons for Old Hippies

Here's a few vids to keep the memory cells from going soft. I haven't seen these in years and thought that many of you would get a kick out of taking a step back to those days of running home after school to see these 'Toons.

Big fan of the Herculoids. Not sure why.

This last one is the keeper! The origins of Mr. Peabody and Sherman!

Enjoy the cartoon history lesson, I have to get Peabody's W.A.B.A.C machine back before he knows its gone!

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Time for the Garden

Been pretty serious lately. Lots of anxiety in the Toobs this past week. Through it all, I've been tending my meager garden of veggies and herbs. Net buddies Monkeyfister and the Ornery Bastard, Busted Knuckles have posted about their contributions to the produce aisle, now it's my turn.

I live in a small apartment with limited sun coming from the east and southeast. Trees line the parking lot on my east so the sun doesn't get to shine on my plants until around 10 or 11am. Regardless, I'm growing some tomatoes, peppers and some herbs. I hope to get some potatoes in a planter real soon.

Here are some photos of my progress...

These are the tomatoes. On the left is Sunsugar Cherry and LaRoma on the right. The Roma was moved to this spot for the photo then moved back into the sun. So far, so good. Lots of blossoms and there are bees around.

Here are my peppers. We have Yellow Bell on the top, Serrano in the middle and Super Chili on the bottom. The yellow bell and the super chili have started to bud, the serrano is still thinking about it.

My herbs so far. I have rosemary on the left, basil and greek oregano at right front and hiding in the right rear is lemon thyme.

Mmmm, can hardly wait!

Update! Go forth and take a look at Monkeyfister's place. He's got some damn fine photos of his garden up for all to see. Also, if anyone has pics of their efforts and want some props, I'll be happy to post them here with proper kudos.

Weather Update! Buggers! Came home last night from work to find that the minor lightning storm we had blew my garden from one side of the deck to the other. My poor Yellow Bell was sent careening down two stories to the pavement below. I got everyone back in place, watered and secured them and hope like mad that this didn't set me back. These kids were doing so well! I should have expected the wind but was preoccupied as I was rushing out the door.

Happy Gardening!

So Mote It Be,
David A.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Courage and Cowardice

Courage is a rare commodity in the halls of leadership today. I see faces on my TV box that are supposed to be in my corner giving aid and comfort to the enemy, namely the GOP.

Senator Harry Reid...grow a fucking spine. Jesus H. Christ, Senator, you fold more than an old lawn chair. He covers his yellow streaked ass by making it out that he's a crafty strategist. How can it be good strategy to cave in to your opponents at every turn? What, win the battle by losing the war? I think the reason he's so scrawny is from all the lunch money he had to fork over as a kid. I hear he was a boxer. Well, how many boxers lose a fight with their own shadow?

When I speak of courage, understand the distinctions I make when using a well-trod upon term. Courage is listed in the dictionary as: "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery."

There are aspects of courage that are more observable, more apparent by action rather than attitude, than just a 'quality of mind'. Any one can talk a good game of 'courage' but what happens when they face that insular moment when the talk has to be substantiated? Courage isn't a soundbite, it doesn't exist only in novels and history books. It exists in the actions taken by those who need it - now.

One problem is that we are a visually based society. If we don't see it, it does not exist. We claim the reverse to be true as well; if we do see it, we believe it. Just seeing something gives many of us all the proof we need that a certain condition exists. Conversely, if someone tells us that something doesn't exist because he can't see it, we tend to believe him because he seems to have gone to the trouble of looking for it so it must be true. Seeking out verification for what we claim and what we believe is hard. Too hard for talking heads who make their living on the people's ignorance and the politicians who service them.

I consider most right wing talkers and bloggers to be abject cowards. I say most because recently I witnessed Chicago talk show host 'Mancow' Muller subject himself to water boarding to show that it's nothing but getting wet. He got schooled and schooled hard. He lasted six seconds without interrogation. Afterward, he related an epiphany - "yes, this is torture and I have to admit that"

That took courage. Not only to be subjected to the pain of the water board, but to go on to admit that he (and the rest of his cohorts on the AM dial) were wrong about this form of torture. So, give him props for doing something Hannity, Limbaugh, Fox Nuz, and Newt Gingrich would never do.

I look for courage in my leaders. Sounds sappy and trite but I expect the people elected to high office to have a modicum of courage to accomplish the task of running the country. I see it in the President but it's Deja vu' all over again when he starts backing off issues near and dear to progressives. We saw it during the Clinton years. Lots of speeches, lots of promises, then the aides and advisors come in and pour cold water over the whole agenda. Obama needs real leadership in both the Senate and the House. Instead he got cowards. Reid has to go. For the sake of the nation and the progressive movement in general, Harry Reid must be sent to the Old Washington Home for Cowards, Capitulators, and Compromisers.

The issues that mean the most to the American people are coming to the forefront now. Health care, education, economic assistence, global climate change, energy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan need, no - beg for a radical shift from the status quo solutions. We've done the ol' 'tried and true' and found them to be wholly inadequate for the task. The Repugs want the ship to stay the course. They're on the Titanic and still feasting from the buffet line. Why give up a good thing if it feeds the greed?

Courage. My dad has it in spades. He worked the woods for 50 years as a logger and helped raise 8 kids with near poverty wages. Our troops have it too. They serve with honor and distinction and still get the shitty end of the stick in pay, rotation, and respect. I've seen courage come from little kids, feeble old folks, and young people of all colors and creeds. But we are losing our center by not focusing on making a courageous life the only life we should be striving for. We teach our kids how to get around the rules, how to shirk the responsiblities inherent in life. They enter adulthood with the education to be a con artist, not a responsible human being.

I'm tired of watching my leaders cower under their desks in Congress. Sick and tired of seeing Repug wingnuts give wedgies and noogies to the people I have to rely on to run this country. The Democratic Party better take a long hard look at their leadership and start making some definitive changes while we still have control of Congress. Most of the Dems I see on my TV Box haven't the backbone of a marshmallow Peep.

So Mote it Be,
David A.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is our time

This is our time. Time to boldly take the next step or fall back and let the cowards take over.

We worked our asses off to get here. Through the Reagan years and four years of Poppy Bush, we endured a lot of crap. In the 80's, the GOP came in and started their policies of corruption and greed. Reaganomics was a joke. It was only a scam to make the rich richer and the poor irrelevant. Even some Democrats got caught up it the bullshit 'cause no one can say no to a free lunch.

But we persevered. We got Bill Clinton elected and, although not exactly what we were hoping for, he was good enough to set the ship of state on the correct course. But somewhere along the way, we lost our courage. We became complacent and weak. We elected marshmallows instead of statesmen, chickenshits instead of cougars. Clinton did a lot to further our cause but he fell far short of the goals we needed to accomplish. We didn't take full advantage of the opportunities that were made available to us because we were afraid of what our enemies might think of us. We stopped in the middle of the race because we were winning. Somehow we considered that bad form.

It was this lack of courage that led to the election of the Village Idiot. We even shied away from standing up to the hoards of goons that took away the presidency of Al Gore. We sat back and bitched but didn't fight. The GOP saw that they were losing and pulled out all the stops, left no stone unthrown and snatched our victory out of our trembling fingers. They did it, not because they were stronger or smarter; they did it because they knew we would let them.

We suffered through eight fucking long ass years of an egotistically elitist buffoon as Commander-in-Chief, a megalomaniac as his VP, a cadre of crooks, liars, and thieves running the country with policies that put the United States in the same shoes as a Third World dictatorship. The effects of our cowardice will be felt for years, perhaps decades to come.

Now, we have a new leader. Somewhere, somehow we found the moral cahones to put a man in the White House who has the potential to put us back on track and take us to the Promise Land. Obama is showing all the signs that he has the stuff but do we?

Is this going to be Clinton Era 2.0? Will we lose our spine just as the big decisions need to be made? It happened once, will we let it happen again?

Look at the news running across the 'Toobs today. Everywhere we look we see the Bullshit Media licking the asses of the Republican Talkers for their next big soundbite. The airwaves are full of GOP crap about everything from Speaker Pelosi's torture memo to Obama's yet-unpicked Supreme Court nominee. The wingnuts are doing the same thing they did when Clinton was in office: control the word, frame the speech and make sure the Democrats have a nice, safe table to hide under.

Not this time! Not while I draw breath!

I didn't work my fat white ass off to see a bunch of mealy-mouthed Democratic marshmallows take this victory and piss it away. The time to take a stand is right fucking now!

Many of my friends on the web have a lot more traffic than I and I hope this call to arms sings for them. We have so many tools and weapons at our disposal. Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a Pancake, our troops are light years smarter than they are. We can control the news if we choose. All it takes is for the face of the Democrats to be someone who can fight back, not let the wingnuts shout them down. Put it to them. Make them ask the hard questions. If the Media won't, we should. Ask them over and over on every news talk show until they get it. Above all challenge every lie, every claim, every word that spews forth from the Repugs about every issue.

David Waldman from Daily Kos took a couple of wingnuts to the shed the other day. This is what we should be doing. Every Damn Time. No more Joe Lieberman. No more Evan Bayh. No more Ben fucking Nelson. it's time for the leadership to do what the fuck they're supposed to do. If a Democrat goes rogue and starts backing off the GOP, slap him/her down. This is no time for cowardise. It's long past time for courage. We have to learn how to grow back our spine.

The GOP is in the toilet now. We knocked them around and almost out of the way. Many would say we should back off and let them regroup. It would be the 'sporting' thing to do. Compassion and charity, I guess.

Bullshit! The GOP invaded our space, flaunted our laws, trashed the country, gave our enemies the resources and will to stand against us and pushed this country to the brink of a global economic disaster just to line their pockets and golden parachutes. We don't show compassion after that. The GOP is on the ground, we don't offer a hand up.

We step on their neck! No Mercy! No Quarter! Take the fight to them and never back down!

This is our time! Get off your asses and start fighting back!

So Mote It Be,
David A.