The view from my front door....
....and ten other twisted observations.
I live in Orange County in a town exactly sixty miles north of New York City's Lincoln Tunnel. The town, Goshen, is arguably the finest in the county (It is in serious competition with Warwick for that title). I grew up here and moved back eighteen years ago. Unfortunately I live in the lousiest area of the nicest town - on a busy two-lane highway, smack dab across from a tattoo parlor and an "adult" book store. Lovely.
Here's how bad the area is: I moved into the neighborhood and property values actually went up! Still, the house is beautiful - a lot nicer than my previous residence. That place once made the front cover of Better Homes and Atrocities. My new landlord, whose name is Cliff Ryan, is a real gent. Despite the location, if I keep the blinds shut, I could be in my chalet on Lake Geneva for all I know. But I have a roof over my head, plenty of food in the fridge and all the water I can drink. There's more than enough room in this house for gratitude, thank you very much.
From "The Rant", Sunday, January 27, 2008....
"Am I missing something here? What the hell is wrong with the Democrats? For the first time since George McGovern thirty-six years ago, we have a Democratic candidate for the presidency who actually sounds like a Democrat. There's nothing vague about John Edwards' message - you know where he stands on every issue of any importance to average Americans. Unlike Barack Obama, whose heart is in the right place but who talks in poetic generalities, and Hillary Clinton - who is heartless - John Edwards has a definite, tangible vision of the new direction he wants to take America. Why isn't he catching on? Why are the American people so easily led - like sheep - by the corporate media? What in tarnations is goin' on here?"
Someone please shoot me.
Did you know that Adolf Hitler was a Liberal? So was Joe Stalin! In fact, these guys have more in common with Al Franken and Russ Feingold than you might expect. This bit of historical nonsense comes to you courtesy of Glenn Beck in his new FOX Noise "documentary", Revolutionary Holocaust.
The very idea that a half-witted little Thought Nazi like Beck is able to hijack this country's political dialogue is indicative of the speed of our downward spiral as a culture. The right wing's attempts to rewrite history in the last thirty years was at first amusing. Then it became ludicrous. Now it is merely riotously funny. More on this subject on my next posting. I already have the title for it - Adolf Hitler: The Fightin' Liberal.
The entire country is focusing it's attention this morning on President Obama's State of the Union address last night. I have nothing original to add to the discussion other than my view that it seems the prez is trying to jump start his faltering administration. A lot of "the experts" are at the moment dismissing this White House as dead in the water. If they had any concept of history they would know better. Many presidents in the past got off to a bad start. If George W. Bush were judged only on his first year in office, he would today be remembered as one of the worst Chiefs Executive in American history....
[LONG, AWKWARD PAUSE]
Okay, maybe that's not a good example. Let me try again....
Jack Kennedy had a fairly shaky start in his first year (Remember the Bay of Pigs?) and yet he turned out to be pretty good at the job. A year from now will find us at the half way point of Obama's first (I hope) term. Let's see what happens between now and then. NOTE TO THE LIBERALS: To abandon all faith in this president now would not only be foolish, it would be a half-step away from insanity. Chill!
Last week the voters of Massachusetts told pollster after pollster that they gave the late Ted Kennedy's seat to Republican Scott Brown because they wanted to send a clear, unmistakable message to Washington. Well now! They certainly did that, did they not? Their message has been received loud and clear:
"WE'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!!!"
Good for you, Massachusetts!
With all of the jabbering going on out there about ways to cut spending, only Bernie Sanders of Vermont (God bless him!) has had the common sense to state what should be blatantly obvious: We need to make drastic slashes in military spending.
"In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of power, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties and democratic processes."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
January 17, 1961
We could cut our military budget in half and still have enough really cool bombs in our arsenal to destroy the world three times over - and then some. The Cold War is over, folks. Why on earth are we still pissing away our national treasure on these military contractors? Could it possibly be that our very economic survival depends on our stockpiling the entire planet with weapons of mass destruction? That is the question we all should be asking.
"Blessed are the peacemakers;
for they shall be called sons of God."
Jesus of Nazareth
This is not really an observation but a question - Could Michelle Bachmann possibly get any stupider?
Historically speaking, the party of an incumbent president almost always loses in the mid-term election. The pundits are telling us that 2010 will be no exception. I wouldn't be too sure of that. The Tea Party jackasses are already claiming responsibility for last week's Massachusetts upset and have every intention charting the GOP's future course. When the powers-that-be within the RNC deny them the ability to set the agenda, they'll splinter off into third and fourth party uprisings.
How can I be so sure of this? It's quite simple, really. These people are not only crazy, they're also dumber than doggy dung - and, thus, very easy to predict. It's only a matter of time before their mad house of cards comes crashing down.
The ten months between now and Election Day will only see the continued implosion of the "party of Lincoln". Count on it.
Regarding Harold Ford's quest for a senate seat from the state of New York....I like Ford. I really hope he will be able to pull this off - but I think he may have gotten in over his head. There are so many powerful forces aligned against him (particularly Chuckles Schumer) that getting the nomination will be a herculean effort. But if anyone can do it, he can. He's a smart guy and a good one.
Carpetbagger? New York has a bit of a history there - Bobby Kennedy, Hillary Clinton - I really don't think it's that big a deal. Is he merely a corporate shill as some are implying? We shall see.
Real, meaningful health care - for the foreseeable future anyway - is dead as a doornail. The Republicans will only continue to obstruct and the Democrats are impotent cowards. Someday we'll have it. Someday the people will rise up and demand it - but they need to wake up first. Until then....
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and say a prayer that I don't get sick. Cheerio! Pip! Pip!
From my home across the road from ye ole pornography shoppe
A People's History of the United States
by Howard Zinn
Howard died suddenly last night of a heart attack in California where he was visiting. This was a good life, well lived. We're a better country because of him.
Photograph at the top of the page by Chris Pennings.