Sunday, April 25, 2010

How You Can Help

[Better than salty cheese?]

Some Unworthy Sentiments

According to the NY Times --

The European Union, specifically the Eurozone, is on the verge of an economic crisis. The Greek government has been running budget deficits that proportionally dwarf ours. The current rate of government budget deficit is 13.6% of gross domestic product, that is of the whole economy. Which means that the Greek government has been falling headlong into debt. Debt which it can no longer finance because the main lenders, France, Germany, and Switzerland won't lend them any more.

Greece is on the verge of default. It is generally thought that a default, euphemistically called a "restructuring" would have calamitous effects on other credit markets. Unlike th US, which can print dollars, Greece cannot print Euros since they are the currency of the entire Eurozone, not just of Greece. The Eurozone includes all of Western Europe plus Austria, Slovakia, and Greece. It excludes the UK, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe.

If Greece defaults it will be the first time ever that sovereign (government) debt in Euros has gone down the toilet. It would make lenders less willing to lend, and the interest rates at which they are willing to lend, higher.

Which would in turn put the governments of Portugal and Spain at risk because they are also deeply in debt. They might not be able to service their debt if interest rates rise and lenders become reluctant. They might default too.

If they do default, especially Spain which has a much larger economy than the other two, all euro-denominated assets everywhere would plunge in value as would the euro itelf.

How can you help? When somebody, like Greece, is hanging on by their fingertips, that is the very best time to kick their fingers loose. I recommend boycotting feta cheese, ouzo, retsina, kalamata olives and anything else Greek you can think of. Go someplace other than Greece on your vacation. Forget Spanish and Portuguese imports too. No sangrilla, port, or sherry for now.

Why would we do such a dastardly thing? Three reasons. Remember all the help the EU gave us when the dollar was in a tailspin against the Euro last year? I don't either. They did absolutely zippitydoodah to help us when our economy was falling into difficulties. Instead they offered pious hypocritical advice. We should return the favor.

Second is that Greece has been the most persistently anti-American country in Europe, followed by guess who? Spain.

The third reason is simpler. Take a dollar out of your purse and look at it. The very dollar you are holding was worth 66 eurocents a few short months ago. Because of the uncertainty in credit and exchange markets caused by the prospect of Greek default, the dollar you are looking at is now worth 75 eurocents. And that is without anything having happened yet, just on fears it might.

If you do your part, however small, to screw Greece and Spain, and they go into default, that very greenback you have in your hand right now could be worth as much as, or more than a euro by next year or even this fall.

Contrary to what you may read, that does not mean that the sky wil fall. What it will mean is that those fancy cholesterol-bomb French cheeses will become affordable again, and most of all that vacations in Paris, Tuscany, Vienna, the Algarve, the Austrian Alps, the Greek Isles, the Costa Brava, will all become affordable again.

That's worth doing without a little feta for a while isn't it?

As One Might Well Imagine....

from my lengthy stomping of my pal Abood, I remain stuck in a motel in Osseo, Wisconsin, waiting for the return of clear weather tomorrow. Waiting is booooring. I am leaving tomorrow no matter what, rain or shine.

By the way, don't take my verbal fisticuffs with Abood too seriously. I probably shouldn't say this aloud, but he is actually a secret Jew and an Israeli agent. We just pretend to go at each other to improve his cover story and fake identity.

We won't even mention where he was at the time of the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. But it did sound sooo realistic when Abood called out, "Room service!" to get al-Mabhouh to open the door.

Smashing a Gnat with a Hammer

[Ferdinand, Isabella, and Chris Columbus planning a homeland for the Jews]

Abood writes,

The Jewish people do not belong in Palestine, we support the rights of Jewish migrants to live in Arab lands but not support the existance of a racist state which discriminated and murders muslim minority. I welcome Jewish migrants back to Arab lands they left when Israel was created by Western imperialists, I hope the Jews help sustain the brilliant Arab culture they did before the second world war, I weep for their sufferings but what they do now is tantamount to a new apartheid against my muslim brothers, I cannot accept that, i hope you apologise for your conspiracy to kill my muslim brothers by supporting the filthy imperialist military outpost that is the state of Israel.

It is interesting that Abood should think that. The "racist state which discriminates and murders Muslim minority" happens to be the only place in the Middle East where Arabs can vote freely. The Israeli Arabs number 1.2 million people, one sixth of Israel's population. They are full citizens, have the highest standards of education, highest level of health care, lowest rates of infant mortality, of any Arab population anywhere else in the Middle East. They also have the highest earned incomes of any Arab population, far higher than Saudi Arabia's, for example.

So far from being discriminated against, let alone murdered, they have the benefit of Affirmative Action programs copied from American models. So that isn't quite true about Israel being racist murderers of Arabs is it Abood?

As to Israel being created by Western Imperialists, that is a strange description of the UN which created Israel in 1947. Doesn't that seem like a strange description of the UN to you, Abood?

Or perhaps you mean the British Empire which, under the Colonial Office's 1936 White Paper in deference to the Arabs, forbade any more than a handful of Jewish refugees into the Palestine Mandate? Such that refugee ships like the "Exodus" were turned back to DP (Displaced Persons) camps on Cyprus by the Royal Navy. Like the British Army which provided officers, training, and weapons to the Jordanian army preparatory to its invasion of both Israel and Palestine? Do you not know these things Abood?

So far from Western imperialists supporting Israel, the first diplomatic recognition of the new state came from the Soviet Union, not from the West. But of course you didn't know that either, did you Abood?

"I welcome Jewish migrants back to Arab lands they left when Israel was created..." Really Abood? Do you know the difference between "left" and "were expelled by Arab governments and Iran", usually on 48 hours notice? And that their homes and property were confiscated without compensation? And that they and their children are the Israelis politically least friendly to the Arabs? It is said, because they know you best?

Do you know that after the American invasion of Iraq, before the elections when the Iraqi government was a complete puppet of the American military occupation, the Iraqi prime minister still refused to permit Iraqi Jews from Israel to even visit the places where they grew up? In spite of American insistence. Did you know that Abood?

Do you know that no Jew is legally permitted to set foot in your Saudi Arabia? Is that your welcome Abood? Or is your welcome the howling mobs in Arab and Iranian cities screaming, "Death to the Jews! Death to the Jews! Death to the Jews!" as recently happened in Teheran? Here neither one of us can pretend you don't know Abood. Here you are simply a liar.

"brilliant Arab culture before the Second World War"? What brilliant Arab culture would that be, Abood? The great days of Arab culture in the Middle East ended for good with the destruction of the Abbassid caliphate by Tamerlane's Mongols in 1258. The last important center of Arab culture in the West ended with the expulsion of both Muslims and Jews from Spain in 1492. (In the Louvre's excellent Middle East galleries, everything worth looking at after 1258 is from Turkey or Iran. Not a thing of note is from any Arab country.)

Since then Arabs have been a cultural backwater ruled by a series of Mameluke, Seljuk and Ottoman Turkish empires, and then by the British, French, Spanish, and Italian empires. Even the brief heyday of Mehmet Ali in the mid-19th century was based on his Westernization of the Egyptian army, not to any indigenous Arab accomplishment.

What cultural accomplishments there were since the fall of Baghdad and of Granada have been largely religious, not secular. And we certainly see the value of that today, when religion has become a yoke around the necks of Arabs everywhere, a barrier to modernization and social progress.

And thank you, Abood, for bringing up apartheid. Do you consider it apartheid that the Jews of Israel accept that 1.2 million Arabs live among them? Or is it apartheid that the Palestinian Arabs are willing to fight apparently to the death to prevent Jews from living anywhere on land they claim? The Jews permit 1.2 millions of Arabs to live among them. The Palestinians consent to no Jews living among them. Are you sure you have your charge of apartheid directed at the right people, Abood?

"i hope you apologise for your conspiracy to kill my muslim brothers". In 1947 when Israel was created by the UN, there were fewer than one million Muslims living in the Palestine Mandate. Today there are over seven million Muslims living in the same area. As the Israeli joke goes, "That's what happens when you let Jews manage a genocide."

Tell me more about your brotherhood with your fellow Muslims, Abood. In 1991 when the Kuwaitis drove 300,000 Palestinian guest workers out of Kuwait for
having treasonously sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iraqi occupation, how many of them did Saudi Arabia take in? Indeed, with the Palestinians languishing in camps generation after generation, how many has Saudi Arabia taken in? Or Egypt? Or Syria? Or any Arab country? Since Abood seems not to know much, I will help him out. The answer in each case is zero. None. Nada. Zip. Bubkes. In the US, we have a saying, "Put up or shut up." Perhaps now it is time for you and your fellow Arabs to shut up. Don't you think so Abood?

And all but finally, "The Jewish people do not belong in Palestine". Abood, where are you right now? If it is not Saudi Arabia, how do you belong there? Shouldn't you get the hell out right now? Shouldn't every Muslim get out of Michigan and New Jersey and California and New York? All 700,000 of you? You don't belong here. Shouldn't every one of the millions of Muslims get out the United Kingdom? You don't belong there. Shouldn't every Muslim get out of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia? You don't belong in any of those places. Get out.

Unless you are willing to acknowledge that Muslims don't belong in Europe or America and should get out, then you should shut up about where Jews do or do not belong. And you yourself should go back to Saudi Arabia right now and stay there. Shouldn't you, Abood?

As to Israel being a filthy anything, that is just a stupid insult. To which I reply in the friendliest and politest sense of the word, fuck you, Abood.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trip Report #3

[William of Occam's weapon of choice]

While the rolling terrain is a pain in the ass, it is also the perfect dose of exercise - never too much nor too little.

Yesterday was the first day I have been in good enough shape to mess myself up. I rode from Menomonie at 9:30 and got to a motel in Osseo at 8:30 in the dark. I started to do this or that in the motel room and then involuntarily passed out for a couple of hours. After I came to I went to bed at midnight but was awake long enough to get a muscle spasm in my leg. Which didn't hurt any more than having one's leg sliced open with a dull razor. After that I slept until 11:30.

There was thunder last night and it is raining today and expected to rain all day. Which is fine since resting today is somewhere between a good idea and a necessity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trip Report #2

[Wisconsin skeptic]

From Menomonie

I came here under the illusion that Wisconsin would be flat. It isn't. So far it is an endless expanse of stubbornly rolling country. Tiring and slow work on a bicycle.

When I rest by the side of a country road, cows gather to curiously stare at me. They are all thinking, "Moron! Who told you it was flat?" but they are too polite to say anything.

I am also learning the limits of Herb Caen's dictum, "When traveling, always drink the l0cal stuff. It is likely to be the best you'll get." In Wisconsin the local stuff includes Pabst Blue Ribbon, Busch, Keystone, and other such brews mainly useful for poisoning neighborhood dogs who have overturned your garbage cans once too often.

Speaking of dogs, I am here without my dog-bashing club. On two occasions today I drove away aggressive dogs by staring at them with a steady unfriendly glare and advancing toward them. Both times they ran away. I hope I won't run into any dogs who are not such pussies as those two.

I don't know how long it will take to ride across Wisconsin except that it will be considerably longer than I anticipated.

I have been listening to "Murder at the Vicarage" by Agatha Christie, a Miss Marple mystery. Delightful stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trip Report #1

From near Baldwin, Wisconsin

Monday night - Redeye from SFO to Minneapolis-St.Paul via Atlanta.

Tuesday - finished assemblng new folding bicycle in Minneapolis-St. Paul airport
Spent whole rest of day trying to get out of Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul thicket of suburbs and exurbs.

Wednesday - discovered that the Mississippi is NOT the Wisconsin state line. Twenty more miles to St. Croix River which IS the state line. I was roughly and unambiguously apprised that my vision of Wisconsin as flat cornfields was flat wrong. It is rolling, partly wooded country which is tiring and slow to bicycle through. I got about half as far as I expected today. I expect no better tomorrow.

My stamina and muscle tone are both poor but greatly improved from a month ago and already improving on this trip.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Ross Sisters 1944 - Watch to End

[Click on the 4 outward facing arrows button for full-screen]

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thanks to Abood

[Hajj al-Amein al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, leader of the Palestinians, was "uncle" to Yasser Arafat. Here he is seen reviewing Nazi SS troops.]

Abood wrote:

"Please apologise for the deaths of milluons you sionest dog."

Abood provides as good a teaching example as one could ask for.

War Deaths Since 1948
The best estimates I have read, compiling and comparing six different sources, are that in the entire history of the Israel-Arab conflict since 1947, there have been some 43,000 to 70,000 deaths on all sides in all the wars between Israel and the Arabs. The wars included are the War of Independence 1947-48, the Suez War 1955, the Six Day War 1967, the Israel-Egyptian War 1967-70, and the Yom Kippur War 1974.

TOTAL for these wars:
  • Israel: 6,800-11,100
  • Egypt: 23,700-40,000
  • Syria: 5,000-11,500
  • Jordan: 7,100
  • TOTAL: Adding the above gives us 43,000 to 70,000 military (and up to 51,000 civilians, but we only have Eckhardt's estimates on this.) Other estimates for the total:
    • [TOTAL of MEDIANS, above: ca. 48,900]

Note that the big loser in these exchanges, though Israel has been attacked repeatedly, is Egypt. Half of all deaths have been of Egyptians. One could well argue, as many do, that proportionate to Egypt's enormous population, now exceeding 79 millions of people, that that is a lower percent of their population than of other countries. Perhaps, but as to the individual Egyptian dying in the war, the percentage killed was 100%.

In what is politely called "civil strife", as distinct from wars, another 14,000 are estimated to have been killed since 1948. Making a total best estimate of 57,000 to 84,000 killed overall on all sides since 1947.

This total does not include the Jews killed by waves of Palestinian terrorism and rioting mainly in 1929 and again in 1936, but also sporadically at all times. No estimate is given for these pre-1948 deaths.

Muslim war against the Jews a continuation of Nazi war against the Jews
It is easy to think that Abood is just a childish and ignorant man who speaks wildly and doesn't know what he is talking about. But even fools have their reasons. Somewhere in his falsehood and denial is the image at the top of this page. It is Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, "uncle" of Yasser Arafat, working for the Nazi "cause" among Muslims in the Balkans.

The people of whom millions were killed in the 20th Century were not Muslims, but Jews. They were killed in exactly the same cause Muslims like Abood pursue to this day - hatred of Jews. They are the part of the Nazi world that was not defeated by the Allies.

Like the Nazis who rationalized their hatred of Jews as having something to do with race, or banking, or Aryan women, or this or that, so too Muslims rationalize their hatred of Jews as having something to do with this Israeli policy or that. It doesn't.

Abood and his fellow Muslims can only explain their despicable racism by inventing fantasies, of reversing who killed millions of whom. It is Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, leader of the Palestinians, giving the 'Seig Heil!' Nazi salute in the picture. It is he and his fellow Palestinians who did what they could to help the Nazis kill millions of Jews.

THAT is where Abood and his fellow Muslims get such claims - by reversing in their twisted and guilty imaginations what actually happened - by denial of their participation in the movement which killed millions of Jews, their participation in the greatest crime in history.

So much are they invested in their fantasies that they overlook the vast massacre that actually did take place in the Middle East, the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. The best estimates I read are that the Iranians killed about 300,000 thousand Iraqis, mainly Arabs, and that the Iraqis killed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iranians, mainly Persians.

It was a war of mindless aggression on the Iraqi side and of religious and nationalist fanaticism on the Iranian side. Lives were thrown away by the respective governments with a heedlessness and indifference to life and suffering not seen since the First World War. As in the First World War, poison gas was used against troops and civilians alike.

Even if we split the difference in the uncertainty about Iranian deaths, more than a million people died for nothing, for the instability and irresponsibility of military dictatorship and for the instability and irresponsibility of revolutionary religious fanaticism. That million of brutal deaths is not the brainless palaver of a child like Abood. That really happened.

It shows how childish, dishonest, and irrational the Muslim wall of hostility to Israel really is - claiming millions of deaths where no such thing happened, ignoring a million deaths where it really did happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Tunnels

[Ismail Haniyeh]

According to today's Haaretz, Hamas has ordered the indefinite closure of the smuggling tunnels underneath Gaza's border with Egypt. These are transport routes both for weapons and for goods. Hamas made no statement about the reasons for the closure.

One possibility that comes to mind is a grim one. They may have intelligence that Hezbollah intends to use the SCUD missiles rumored to have been given them by Syria. If that happens, the Israeli response will make Operation Cast Lead look like a march of toy soldiers. If any missiles come out of Gaza at the same time SCUD's are being launched from Lebanon, Gaza will be leveled along with all sites associated with Hezbollah.

Haniyeh may figure that Hamas does not have sufficient control of all the factions in Gaza to prevent that directly. The way to prevent rocket fire from Gaza is to preclude a supply of rockets being smuggled through the tunnels.

It is possible that Haniyeh figures, perhaps correctly, that if SCUD's fall on Tel Aviv as they did from Iraq in 2003, then Israel will not give a damn about Arab civilian casualties and kill whomever they have to kill to make the bombardment of Israeli cities stop.

We know from statements made by Nasrallah after the war in Lebanon that Hezbollah miscalculated what the Israeli response to the kidnapping of soldiers would be. Haniyeh may figure that Hezbollah are about to miscalculate again.

It is hard to believe that between any two parties, that Hamas could be the saner and more restrained, but it may be so this time.

Israeli government officials have already said that if Hezbollah has SCUD missiles that the situation will have fundamentally changed. Syria has denied giving them to Hezbollah and Hezbollah has denied getting them.

The closure of the tunnels suggests that Haniyeh does not believe them.

John Arbuckle once said....

[John Arbuckle once said, "You get what you pay for." Just not at the ballot box.]

According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, our government is pressing the Chinese government to revalue the yuan, which the Chinese are only slightly and grudgingly doing.

The purpose of it is to make consumer goods more expensive in order to benefit the owners of factories. It is direct class war against American working people. This is the "liberal" Obama administration that is doing this. It is the identical policy pursued by the Bush administration. If we change politicians but get the same policies, is it really change we can believe in?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No no, let me do it for you

It is actually pretty easy to be superior. Or so it would seem. If one is so much as average in brains and morals, one is smarter than half of all people. And less of a scumbag than half. So right away one is a better person than 3/4 of humanity. If one is so much as of average rationality and saneness, one is in a minority of an 1/8. And so on for each of the virtues.

The problem is with glibly assuming one is average in everything. For instance moderation is a virtue and has been since the time of Aristotle. I like saying moderation is a virtue, but I don't believe it and don't practice it.

Moderates in morals are compromisers without consciences or values. Moderates are pussies who won't take a stand. Moderates hang back and temporize though the cause is just. If some is good, more is better. A whole hell of a lot is better still. Bigger is better.

My intended epitaph, which I want on my gravestone, is, "Only too much was ever enough." I had thought of, "Too much was never enough" but I didn't want to sound extreme. :o) So I don't cut it as average in moderation.

One has to honestly go through the virtues and be sincere and insightful about oneself. I think that we will find that we are only average or better half the time. Which is why being superior is so much harder than thinking one is superior.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Groaner

I had my shapely English girlfriend turn around and sing 'Danny Boy' so I could admire her 'Londonderry Air'. :o)


Toyota CEO on Letterman Show

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Out and About about Sexagenarianism

[Bob Marley]

I am going to out myself here in this blog. Right now. I have been in the closet too long.

I am a sexagenarian. There, I said it. If you are offended or can't tolerate it, that is your problem not mine. I have a right to be who and what I am. Every sexagenarian has that right. Society must accept us for who and what we are. Sexagenarianism is natural and, I insist, completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

Sexagenarians should have the right to practice sexagenarianism in the privacy of our homes between consenting adults. We should have the right to marry both other sexagenarians and non-sexagenarians. We should also have a right to practice adultery with other consenting adulterers as well, but that is a separate topic and still the source of much heated controversy and litigation within the sexagenarian community itself.

I feel like a huge burden of secrecy has been lifted off me. I feel free to flaunt my colors now that I have declared it openly to the world. I am now openly sexagenarian. Free at last! Free at last! Great G_d, a-mighty! Free at last!

And I will tell you a little secret. A lot of my friends are sexagenarians too. There are sexagenarians in almost every walk of American life. But there is much that needs to be done before we can be free. The rigid exclusion of sexagenarians from enlisting in the military is well-known. Sexagenarians are as patriotic as any other group of Americans yet are forbidden to enlist even though many high-ranking officers are themselves sexagenarian. No sexagenarian is permitted to play on any professional sports team in the country. We are excluded from professional boxing and professional martial arts. Most grievously we are flatly precluded from representing our country as Olympic athletes.

Workers and professionals of every kind are often forced into retirement when their sexagenarianism becomes too pronounced to pretend not to notice. Others are given financial incentives to coax them out of their jobs.

Sexagenarians are mocked and sneered at if they marry or even mate with people completely outside their own community. Sexagenarians are charged more for their health insurance than all but a few non-sexagenarians. We are made invisible. Sexagenarians eat an hour or two earlier than non-sexagenerians presumably to spare the non's even having to look at us.

And worst of all, the most unthinkable and unspeakable of all, are the death camps, many of them in Florida. Sexagenarians in these camps are seen to wear distinctive white shoes and belts to distinguish them from the ruling elite of non-sexagenarians. The percentage of unemployed people in the death camps is staggering, in some places reaching a hundred percent or more. It is the subject of a lot of grim humor about these places that people enter as sexagenarians and all eventually leave feet first. This has to stop.

It is time for revolution, for fighting in the streets. Radical non-sexagenarians already admit privately that they find sexagenarians revolting.

So there it is. Sexagenarians, as Bob Marley said, stand up for your rights! .....As best you can....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

How It Works

I noticed when I saw 'Avatar' at the Metreon IMAX a few weeks ago that if I tilted my head even a little sideways the 3D effect broke up. Unlike in the old days when the lenses in the 3-D glasses were one red, one blue, neither was colored this time.

I wonder if the 3D effect doesn't have more to do with polarization than with color separation. I assume one lens is polarized horizontally and the other vertically. Which would make one of the two images on the screen visible from the left eye and invisible to the right eye, and vice-versa for the other lens.

If the two images were separated more for foreground objects and less for background objects, it would produce the appearance of the foreground objects being closer and the background objects further away. Which is just what one sees.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Faded Blue

[Where the 2003 tax cut money went. You use one of these to carry your money around, right?]

I am formerly blue. I drove to Grand Junction to campaign for Obama in 2008 and worked on the campaign full time for two weeks. Even though I told myself at the time not to expect too much and that he would turn out to be just another Democrat.

My main concern was and is that the distribution of incomes in the United States has been steadily shifting in favor of the rich since the late 1970's and was exacerbated by Republican tax policies and Reaganomics. The United States now has by far the least egalitarian income distribution of any developed country.

Countries like Sweden, France, Italy, Australia, and Japan, have GINI indexes in the twenties. More conservative countries like the Netherlands, the UK, and Canada edge into the low thirties. The liberal democratic egalitarian United States of America stands alone in being well into the mid-forties.

The majority of the huge growth of incomes during the boom 1990's wound up in the hands of one tenth of the population and half of that in the wealthiest one percent. We continue to undergo concentration of wealth, a social de-democratization. In that context, the worst possible policy was the 2003 tax cuts for the rich.

That is why I drove to Colorado. In each of four debates Barack Obama argued that the tax cuts were unfair and a strain on the treasury. In each of the four debates John McCain replied that "the middle of a recession is not the time to raise taxes". That exchange took place four times in nationally televised debates.

Sixteen days after the election, sixty one days before they took office, the Obama transition people dropped the repeal of the tax cuts. They said, and I quote, "the middle of a recession is not the time to raise taxes".

So the actual choice was to vote for McCain and get McCain or to vote for Obama and get McCain. Later, in musing on the betrayal, it occurred to me that the two were not quite the same. The difference was that McCain had told the truth about his tax policy, and Obama had lied about his.

I was also willing to campaign for Obama because his announced position was staunchly supportive of Israel. And because he selected as Vice-President Joe Biden, a sophisticated foreign policy expert and strong supporter of Israel. Well we just saw how that worked out.

He said publicly that he would fight to the death for the public option. Then abandoned it rather than campaign for it in the fall elections. Whatever one's opinion about the issues themselves, there is no debate whatever that he went back on the policies he announced in the campaign. The words 'betrayal' and 'cynical liar' come up again and again.

Now one also understands anew the contretemps about Canadian tar sands oil. Candidate Obama announced that we would seek more environmentally friendly energy sources than Alberta tar sands oil. There was a report, never followed up in the press, that he personally, not just somebody in his campaign, had privately assured the Canadian Prime Minister, Harper, that it was just campaign rhetoric and not to worry about it. I assumed at the time that the report of the conversation with Harper was Republican disinformation because I couldn't believe the Obama campaign could be that cynical nor stupid enough to let it leak. I now realize I was wrong on both adjectives.

It was a ploy to appear environmentalist when in fact he had no intention of restricting imports of Canadian oil. And of course his administration has made no such move. Which means that the Greens were also cynically lied to and betrayed by the Blues.

These are not questions of whether one supports repeal of the tax cuts or Israel or tar sand oil or the public option. These are questions of campaigning under false pretenses, of saying whatever it takes to get elected and having no intention of doing what one said. How can one support somebody when one has no idea what he actually stands for, what he intends?

And to tell the truth, when one no longer cares. This year and for sure in 2012 the first week in November, I am going hiking in the Sierra. No more.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April First

The news is that a Negro has been elected President of the United States. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! April Fools! No, wait....

The United States, the richest country in the world and the citadel of world capitalism, is broke and in hock up to its hocks to China, a poor over-crowded Communist country that is rolling in money. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! .... Oh Damn!

The Nobel Prize committee awarded the Peace prize to a president engaged in fighting two wars because he promised to widen only one of them. Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja!

The two best movies were both directed by the members of the same divorced couple and they went head to head for Best Picture at the Oscars. Oh, puhleeze darling... What a silly story lne - who plays them? The Muppets? Reallllly. Tell me another. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

In that perennial hotbed of humor, the Middle East, the son of the founder of Hamas has admitted to being an Israeli agent. He converted to Christianity and moved to the US and now lives in Fremont. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ....Oh....Wait, bear with me.

A blind man is governor of New York and an Austrian weightlifter is governor of California. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! What? I screwed it up again? On both? Geeze.

The Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people entitled to free speech. Even though they don't have mouths or brains? Let alone souls or consciences. Apparently having mouthpieces and managements are close enough. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm wrong? Again? Dustin Hoffman as Ratso in 'Midnight Cowboy' - "I can't unnerstan' it. I keep gettin' beat."

A woman infamous for her tactlessness is Secretary of State, our chief diplomat. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I blew it again?

The Pope Benedict XVI found complicit in priests buggering choirboys. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Like that could happen. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! It did?

France elected a pro-American president. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ... Zut! Alors! Sacre bleu!

I called a Japanese company for help with the Chinese-made cellphone an American phone company sold me. A guy in India answered the phone. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Come on, Festus, you gotta do better than that.

Oh, to hell with it - I give up. Welcome to April.