Friday, October 26, 2007

your homework, while I'm gone


posted without comment

this video

um, does anyone else find this headline disturbing?

It's been a while since I took Biology in High School, but aren't we primates?

Dawn in Portland. I let the dog out, then walked outside in my bathrobe. To the east, I see the outline of Mt. Hood, surrounded by a glow of very early-morning light. To the west, I see the extremely full Moon. It's very quiet.

Karen is still in bed, and will sleep late. I woke up around 4, and turned on my little bedside radio, listening to NPR and Air America while dozing in and out, until 7. I am mostly packed, of course - still a couple of very minor decisions to make.

Plane doesn't leave for six hours, and my work projects are under control - must resist urge to tinker this morning.

I know Karen will go into a last-minute frenzy of house-cleaning, which, considering that a teenager, with many priorities other than house-cleaning, will be in charge for the next week, seems on the verge of pointless.

I know I've been derelict in not posting a photo of the kittens upstairs. Here's one:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

my fellow Americans

heading off for the cruise TOMORROW!

Yes, a giant ship transporting 2000 over-fed people in a large circle for a week, after most of them arrived and will depart by jet airplanes.

I am part of the problem , and the problem is getting worse.

Beautiful, peaceful Fall day in Portland, where the living is good and easy. It's all so unreal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

getting ready to head out again

We leave Friday afternoon for Florida, to cruise around the Caribbean for a week with family. It's not our favorite kind of vacation, but Karen's 96 year-old Mom has limited mobility and eye-sight, so this is what we do.

In the past, on cruises, I spend hours researching shore activities, to maximize the experiences to be had in each port. This time, there's been little of that. Karen's brother did arrange for one cave tour in Belize (where he had gone some years ago), but, other than that, we have no plans.

On my iPaq, I have two PG Wodehouse novellas, a bunch of O. Henry short stories, and a dozen political/cultural essays by George Orwell, plus a bunch of music. There will be Internet access on the boat (overpriced, as always), which is a mixed blessing.

My mother in Wisconsin is clearly declining - her (even older) brother and his wife are flying there from Phoenix next week, for what they all surely realize is their last visit together. In Portland, Edie, our siamese cat who gave birth to 4 kittens three weeks ago, was ill yesterday, and I am just now waiting for a call-back from the local vet, about what to do.

Meanwhile, we've had three days of spectacular weather, which is greatly disappointing. It's always better to escape to a warm, sunny place, if you're not leaving a warm, sunny place that's your home!

So, my duffle-bag is out again, piles of clothes are being assembled and rethought, and I pulled our 20 year-old snorkels and fins out of the cellar closet. Two client visits today, to turn over recently-completed stuff, and a computer-guy meeting tonight at our synagogue. Busy day - wonder how I'm going to fit a visit to the vet in there?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Accepting Hillary

Gore is not going to run - he's made it quite clear. It's going to be Hillary - she has been annointed by The Power - and pretending that it ain't so is a waste of energy.

She has the cash, she has the zeitgeist, she has the name recognition.

Obama as a VP makes sense - a Democratic ticket that couldn't be better designed to bring out the worst in the die-hard rednecks, many of whom are still blind as to who has been picking their pockets since 1980.

It's going to be ugly.

Hard to believe that we are still over a year away from the next election, if it is permitted to happen. Easier to believe that a GOP that sees itself doomed to ignominious defeat will pull some stunt out of their voluminous bag of magic tricks (standard election fraud, The Fear, and martial law, in some combination, ought to work fine).

And, if Hillary does make it to Innauguration Day, what kind of a world will she be tasked to manage? Yikes.

Seems to me her best strategy is to say to the other Democratic candidates, "give it up, acknowledge that I'm going to be in the top slot, and I'll put you in the Cabinet position of your choice, announcing that slate after the last Primary."

I surfed thru the TV channels last night, before heading off to read my current book, and was struck by the profoundly-sad heights of human triviality that the networks present. 'Beauty and the Geek,' while it does offer many opportunities for cleavage-comparisons, seemed to say that those women are little more than great hair, great skin, and did I mention cleavage?

Gore will emerge as a the first global leader in history, who is not holding political power. There have been UN General Secretaries that approached this status, but Gore will redefine the category.

Hillary may do OK. We could do much worse. On Cheney's dying day, he will still be convinced that everything he did was right and necessary.

Bush will fade into permanent disgrace - the National butt of jokes, reduced to celebrity golf tournaments and sports commentary. He will find this wonderful.

Have you sensed that I have not had any coffee this morning? Must address this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Randi Rhodes hospitalized

Apparently the victim of a violent mugging in New York. Details are sparse, other than her losing some teeth and being out of commission for a few days.

Meanwhile, read some of the comments ('Anonymous', of course) from the compassionate conservatives. Sickening.

I listen to Randi every day, and was somewhat surprised when a guest hosted yesterday's show. Now it becomes clear.

By the way, no money or jewelry was taken from her. Too soon to know what/why this happened, but I can't help wondering if the assailant was wearing a brown shirt.

UPDATE: there are now conflicting stories about the incident - might NOT have been a mugging. Hold off on further speculation until we know more.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

why isn't this story on every front page?

So, former Qwest exec Joe Nacchio says that the Bushies wanted Qwest to engage in warrantless wiretaps 6 months BEFORE 9/11/2001?

Um, that would be 1 month after the 2000 Coup d'etat.

Doesn't this qualify for a collective 'WTF' moment? Hello?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I disagree with Wesley Clark

I respect him, but I think this petition campaign to get Congress to dump Rush from Armed Forces Radio is dead-wrong. Go ahead and sign it, if you think it's the correct action. However...

Free Speech is Free Speech, no matter where it comes from. The antidote to Bad Speech (which Rush certainly is) is NOT to censor it, but to publicly criticize it.

I know this goes against the George Lakoff approach, which says that ridicule is ineffective with Those People, but I still maintain that making it clear that Rush is an unacceptable boob is more effective, in the long run, than purging him from the airwaves (which makes him a martyr).

Just finished reading a wonderful biography of George Orwell, and then read 'Animal Farm', for the first time in 40 years (just takes a couple of hours). Great writing - relentless in its portrayal of the arrogance of power and privilege.

Time to make coffee and get to work. John Dean is on Air America in one hour.