Friday, October 31, 2008 is sponsoring a vice-presidential debate that might not suck.

"Christina M. Tobin, President of Free and Equal Elections, announced this afternoon that Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate, Wayne Allyn Root, Constitution Party vice-presidential candidate, Darrell Castle, and Independent Ralph Nader running mate, Matt Gonzalez, have formally agreed to a three-way vice-presidential debate to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada this Sunday November 2, 2008."

Especially interesting as the first actual "debate" debate of this season, as opposed to the Lehrer-style love note passing, the first debate where any subject may be covered, and the participants are not constrained say anything. I hope it goes well. Will watch for on utube, I guess. I would be pleasantly surprised if it were on CSPAN.

Oops, I should have checked freeandequal before I replied. I didn't watch the Nader debate, because I can't watch Nader and I was pissed and mystified by Barr not attending. (that convinced me to "support" Baldwin [I had already contributed to the Barr campaign {and I'd like my fifty bucks back}]) So this may be the second interesting debate of this season. I'm withholding judgement until I see the video, if I'm wrong I'll admit it. I still hold a grudge against Nader for killing the Corvair, and for introducing Joan Claybrook to the world. Dude makes me squirm.

I finally watched the Nader-Baldwin debate as far as I could; the two, two-minute introductory speeches. Shorter version Chuck Baldwin, "We support the Constitution". Shorter version Ralph Nader, "We want to do a whole long list of Unconstitutional things". I couldn't watch anymore. Sorry. It may have been interesting, but what I meant was "the first actual 'debate' debate of this season that was actually watchable". We'll see.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raimondo Recommends

My comment concerning Ron Paul and Justin's endorsement of Nader over at Taki's

Justin - I agree with your choice, but I don't think Ron Paul should be a factor in how you reached your conclusion. Ron Paul was right to dissolve the coalition when he did, because the Revolution was obviously unstable and only held together because of one Man. We need a stable coalition base and at least a handful of Pauls, some of whom may be the Congressmen of both parties that voted twice against the bailout bill. (Incidentally, if you're going to vote, take the trouble to find out how your Congressman voted on this at RP's Campaign For Liberty. Some of these "public servants" in both parties need to be sent on their way; now's your chance.)

We were enthusiastic and cooperative largely because we were getting attention. The point of the money-bombs was the money-bombs, for instance. Since no one, even at the highest point of enthusiasm expected to win (and if they did they were delusional) the goal was to expose the corruption in the system and the complicity of the media, which he did in blazing triumph. The Republicans made a major mistake (from their POV) by including him in the debates.They gambled that RP would make a fool of himself and fizzle out early, like Tancredo, which would have happened if he hadn't gone out swinging. Suddenly, this "nut" is telling the whole country, in detail, about the scam, and counter-punching hard when idiots Guiliani and Mormon boy whazziz name took the bait. At least McCain was smart enough to shut up and smirk instead of getting bitch-slapped like he would have. And later, the depantsing of Hannity. Mwah! Mission, (as far as it would go) accomplished.

My point is, however unfortunate, the Paul campaign is over, he is not a candidate and I respectfully submit that you should have left him out of your calculus for this piece. My conclusion is that Nader is a better choice than the Tweedles, and an acceptable third choice if Baldwin or Barr are not on your ballot, McKinney is head and shoulders over the Tweedles on foreign policy and no worse on domestic. What we're really looking for is a high percentage of protest votes. Then we all (together) need to start pulling up the rails in front of the Obama express.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Senate Races - the Good, the Bad and the mostly Ugly

"good " Senators up for re-election
names in bold are at risk and could use some extra help, donations, etc.

John Barrasso (R-WY) (safe)
Thad Cochran (R-MS) (safe)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)(no clear favorite)
Michael Enzi (R-WY) (safe)
James Inhofe (R-OK) (favored)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)(safe)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (leaning safe)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) (safe)
Roger Wicker (R-MS) (no clear favorite) "expected to be quite close"
*Mark Udall(D) v. Bob Schaffer(R) for Wayne Allard's (Retiring "good guy)
     Mark is House "Good Guy" Polls show Udall way ahead
*Tom Udall (D) v. Steve Pearce (R) for Pete Dominici (R-NM) (retiring "bad guy")
     Tom is House "Good Guy" "NRSC...concede the seat to Udall"

"bad" Senators up for re-election
names in bold have a good shot and are worthy of extra support

Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (heavy favorite) opposed by Bob Tuke(D)
Joe Biden (D-DE) (safe) opposed by Christine O'Donnell (R)
Max Baucus (D-MT) (safe) opposed by Bob Kelleher
Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) (close) opposed by Jim Martin (D)
Norm Coleman (R-MN) (vulnerable) opposed by Al Franken (D)
Susan Collins (R-ME) (vulnerable) opposed by Tom Allen (D)
John Cornyn (R-TX) (vulnerable) opposed by Rick Noriega(D)
Dick Durbin (D-IL) (safe) opposed by Steve Saurberg (R)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (safe) opposed by Bob Conley (D) Ron Paul Democrat
Tom Harkin (D-IO) (safe) opposed by Christopher Reed (R)
John Kerry (D-MA) (safe) opposed by Jeff Beatty (R)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) (safe) opposed by Dick Zimmer (R)
Carl Levin (D-MI) (safe) opposed by Jack Hoogendyk
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (vulnerable) opposed by Bruce Lunsford (D)
Mark Pryor (D-AK) (unopposed)
Jack Reed (D-RI) (safe) opposed by Bob Tingle (R)
Pat Roberts (R-KS) (favored) opposed by Jim Slattery (D)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (safe) opposed by Jay Wolfe (R)
Gordon Smith (R-OR) (vulnerable) opposed by Jeff Merkley (D)
Ted Stevens (R-AK) (vulnerable) opposed by Mark Begich (D)
John Sununu (R-NH) (vulnerable) opposed by Jeanne Shaheen (D)

info from

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Constituent Response Team

I'm really getting excited about this site, and I hope they can really get the word out before the election. I intend to send a donation; I've been looking through the site to see how much is there and I'm liking it a lot.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Capitalism with a Human Face?

A response to another good Lindsay post - East Germans Getting Nostalgic for Socialism

I had a friend in the mid-80's that had escaped from Poland before the Solidarity thing. He was pretty apolitical but thought there wasn't much wrong with Communism in principle. My question to him was how they got anyone to do the shit work and hard labor if everyone was equal?

His answer was that it was done by prisoners and this was really the biggest problem, because they had to actually generate enough prisoners to fill the needed slots - curfew violations, improper documentation, drunkenness, trespassing, black-marketeers etc. because there wasn't enough actual crime to supply the manpower and the real psychos weren't suitable. This was very convincing to me, and today I look at America's gigantic prison-industrial complex with a wary eye.

It would seem that human nature works against any system, and that greed is probably a better basis for society than compulsion where everyone is either a prisoner or a guard. Equality can be a two-way street and it's much simpler for everyone to be equally poor than rich, or for some to be more equal than others.

I meant to mention. although it goes against my theory of the general evilness of all governments, the dozens if not hundreds of guys that worked to bury the reactor after Chernobyl blew up, even though they knew the were taking amounts of radiation that would inevitably lead to a slow and agonizing death. Not to mention the firemen that voluntarily went into and died in the WTC. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have, it's just a mystery to me. Maybe ideology only goes so far, y'think?

On Poetry

I personally cannot read/understand poetry without being told by human or annotation what I'm supposed to be seeing. Without help, I might as well be reading a rock wall. I don't think it's a lack of intelligence or knowledge; I would guess it's something like riding a unicycle - quite difficult and without obvious benefit beyond the skill itself. I have noticed that I use a lot (too much) of metaphor in my own writing, which is probably just a rookie writing error, so I think I have the capacity to read poetry, but lack something crucial (training, persistence, imagination - I dunno).

I'm somewhat of a hermit, and most of my family is either non-literate or non-communicative, but I can only recall one person in my adult life that spoke of an interest in poetry and I don't how extensive her interest was. For most Americans it's teevee, movies and popular music, which is a large part of why I'm the aforementioned hermit. I'm to the point where the noise has died down enough for me to receive the signal, but I still don't know how to process it.

Which brings me to my final point. Poetry should probably not be taught to most kids. It almost seems like it's designed to turn them off. The esoteric seems like gibberish and the accessible is either trite (e.g. rock lyrics) or doggerel. I think that
Seuss and Silverstein are popular because they were illustrated, which helps focus the attention on a sufficiently small piece of the universe for the imagination to work with. See also greeting cards. I think this may be key to popularizing it. Good poetry stands alone, but most people need help with it. There are also a lot of graphic artists (and musicians) who are also not making any money, so it shouldn't be hard to find collaboration if the poet isn't too concerned about purity.

I'm going to have to stick to short non-fiction myself. I have a lot of ideas, but none are original, I'm afraid. Anecdote; I recently got a phone call from a girl I went to high-school with that still has some of my poems, which I mercifully don't remember, that I had given her. She asked me why I quit writing, and I told her that when I found out there were four billion people in the world I came to doubt my uniqueness.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Campaign for Liberty - Vote the Bums Out!

I've been looking for some organized effort to penalize the Congressional thieves that voted for the BBBBB, without much luck, when, miraculously, comes a solicitation from Ron Paul's own Campaign for Liberty for just such a program. I was thinking about wasting my time picketing my polling place, but my own Thieves, Tom Davis (R-Pentagon) and John Warner (R-Hell), have wisely chosen not to run again, in the teeth of what should have been (before the bailout vote) a Democratic hurricane. For some strange, counter-intuitive reason, Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the big ripoff to help the guilty billionaires that caused the mess rather than the poor SOBs that got caught up in it. Whatever, dudes. None of them deserve a penny of taxpayers money, and the weasels that voted for it need to be voted out. From the press release...

"To do this, Campaign for Liberty plans to:

Produce and distribute slim jims specifically tailored to districts/states that tell how each Congressman and Senator voted. These will be available soon on the Campaign for Liberty web site for every district and state in the country.

And we will also print and distribute these pieces in as many of the key districts as funds allow.

Send a series of email blasts into many key districts and states, urging our members and supporters to contact the candidates and demand they oppose any further "bailouts."

Run hard-hitting newspaper ads in as many places as funds allow.

Run radio ads and hold news conferences announcing the votes cast on the bailout.

Flood key districts with tens of thousands of phone calls letting people know where their Congressmen and Senators stood on this very important issue."

Please contribute here.
My previous posts listing the good congressmen here
and the good Senators here

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get Exile(d) Right Now

OMG - the new Exile is on fire lately, especially Eileen Jones. She snarky! Go there right now and read everything. then come back, y'hear?

There Al Loosers

Attention blog commenters, here and especially elsewhere; Spellcheck is necessary but not sufficient. Heck, I couldn't spell necessary without it. Please be more attentive when using the following words, the misuse of which makes one seem less intelligent than one would prefer to seem, especially when commenting on Serious Political and Economic Matters. I'll be adding more as I see them.


Also, if it's not to much trouble, please avoid LOL, OMG and the like. I don't really know why it irritates the crap out of me, but it does, so knock it off. If you're a teenage girl, you can do it on your phone, I guess, but if you'd stop and pay attention in class, instead, you might not end up calling someone a moran on line.

* This one is especially painful, and I see it constantly. Unless your name is Cletus, be careful.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Robert Lindsay is the Coolest Commie - Part III

The following is comment to a good post on Lindsay's blog. It's very surprising how often I agree with him in light of the fact that I detest Socialism and he hates Libertarians. I would try to explain to him that what he calls neo-liberalism is not the free market, but I've never had much luck pursuading True Believers. If Rothbard couldn't convince him, I doubt if I could. I'm pretty confident that if he pays close attention to how the present market chaos is made even worse by government interference, he'll probably figure it out for himself. Obama is getting handed one of the biggest shitcakes in history and failure is baked in. If he's lucky he won't get blamed for the whole mess, but that looks like the script to me.

What really surprised me, though, was Lindsay reporting that he's a fan of Catholicism, (albeit the liberation theology version, which seems to me to combine the worst aspects of both socialist economics and Santeria. But I try to be tolerant). Previously, he almost had me convinced that Mugabe was just a misunderstood patriot, but that was my own fault for being a Lindsay fan. As Norm McDonald said in a joke where he had been fooled into killing his family by a friend posing as the Devil - "That's one for you, Bob."

Robert - a cliche but you truly never cease to amaze me. Am I surprised that you're not an atheist? Yes but, Catholic? Wow! I was raised a Catholic but you get to quit when you're eighteen. I believe in God in a very nebulous way, but I can't stand any of the spooky shit, mysticism, miracles, angels, trans-whatever, souls, guys in robes, etc. It's always been for the rubes and children of all ages.

That said, I'm 100% in favor of everyone else being religious, as long as they leave me alone. I kind of like Judaism minus the burning bushes and what not, but it was and is geared to preserving God's chosen people, which I'm not. So there you are.

Did you see that other Mel movie, Apocalypto? I don't think I took the ending the way he intended; after getting captured, enslaved, pursued and almost murdered many times, the dude makes it to the sea in time for the arrival of the Spanish, and just knows IT'S ABOUT TO GET EVEN WORSE, gathers up his family and heads for the hills. However comforting, religion is the eternal curse on humanity. It's not the opiate of the people, it's the 100% pure smack. I just believe in me. Yoko and me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Senate Good Guys

The following Senators voted against the BBBBB (Dodd amendment to HR1424).  Again, you should vote to defeat any Senator who is NOT on this list.

Allard  Barrasso  Brownback  Bunning  Cantwell  Cochran  Crapo  
DeMint  Dorgan  Dole  Enzi  Feingold   Inhofe   Johnson  Landrieu  
Nelson, Bill  Roberts   Sanders   Sessions   Shelby  Stabenow  Tester   
Vitter  Wicker  Wyden

Most of these deserve to be defeated because of their support for the Iraq war, but that was then. We have an opportunity to link the next election to this vote and send a clear message that unconstitutional theft under the color of law will be punished.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mr. Peabody Helps Jesus Save Capitalism

"Put down that beaker of Ephadadrine, Sherman, and follow me to the WABAC Machine. Jesus needs our help!"
"But, Mr. Peabody, I think I've found a way to pay our electric bill.  And then some!"
"Never mind, my boy. Thanks to the miracle of time travel, we'll be back literally before you know it."
"Very well, Mr. Peabody. What settings shall I use?"
"Naples, Italy; Jan.25, 1962."
"But Jesus wasn't in Naples in 1962."
"Don't be so sure, Sherman, but in any case we're going to visit one Charles Luciano.  He's ill and may be more inclined to the truth than previously.  I need some information about the olive oil business and Prescott Bush."
" 'Lucky' Luciano, the heroin king? Olive oil? Prescott Bush? Mr. Peabody, I believe I've found the answer to that missing case of Bronkaid!"
"Never mind that now, Sherman, just set the dials and initialize.  Besides you know how my asthma has been acting up lately."

"Well, here we are, Mr.Peabody.  How will we find Mr. Luciano?"
"Quite simple, my boy; although many of these houses have several burley watchmen at the gate, very few also have American Cadillacs with CIA agents waiting out front. Ah, here we are! Signor Luciano?"
"I'm Mr. Peabody, and this is my boy, Sherman. I'd like to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind."
"Ha, you and everyone else! Hey, I've seen you on TV! You're a funny guy. 'Chicken-catch-a- Tory'! Haha! C'mon in!"

"What did you find out, Mr.Peabody?"
"Never mind, for now, Sherman, we need to move on. Set the WABAC for Florence, Italy, June 20, 1527.  We're going to see the great Niccolo Machiavelli."
"Gee, do we have to go right now? The girls here are so friendly!"
"Sorry,  Sherman, but even though we've got all the time in the world, paradoxically we're in a bit of a hurry right now.  Those bills aren't going to pay themselves, and you can always come back 'later'."
"Okay, Mr. Peabody. Hang on! Not the leg! Bad boy!"
"Sorry, Sherman. As you know I sometimes forget my manners when the quarry is afoot."

"Here we are. Florence.  How will we find Signor Machiavelli?"
"As you can imagine, this place is crawling with paranoids, but "Lucky" showed me the secret hand signal. You'll have to give it, though. What with my paws and all.  Here's a picture."
"Gosh, that's the same as the Dogtown Crips! See, LA roxx! It's funny that they all use the same sign. What a coincidence!"
"A coincidence, to be sure. There's a likely-looking ghoul. Try it out."
"Is that the right counter-sign, Mr. Peabody? Like he's stroking his beard. Which he doesn't have."
"No, but we'll probably see it a lot.  Try that guy."
"Yo! Yo. Whazzup?"
"Nicollo Machiavelli?"
"Who want's to know?"
"I'm Mr. Peabody and this is my boy, Sherman. I need to ask you some questions about "olive oil".
"Walk with me. Leave the kid."

"What did you find out, Mr. Peabody?"
"Patience, my boy.  For now, set the WABAC to Tel-Aviv, June 9, 25."
"But there was no Tel-Aviv, or for that matter, June in 25, Mr. Peabody."
"Shutting up, now.  Here we go!"

"Wow, look at those dinks! Looks like San Francisco in '67."
"How do you know? Our series ended in '64."
"I meant 1667, but I did look around when we were in  syndication.  Ever heard of the Cockettes? the Fugs? What a stink! Man, when did they invent deodorant?"
"Just start flashing the sign, my boy. There's a likely-looking pair."
"I see you are a sailor. Step into my tent and all will be revealed."
"Pardon me, sir, it's far from my mind. I'm just looking for a good friend of mine. Calls himself Jesus, among other things.  He's mc'ing a wedding party. Five wise virgins...five foolish. Ring a bell?"
"Yes, I know him! Follow me. And all will be revealed"
"Wait here, Sherman, and keep those kids out of the WABAC."

"How did it go, Mr.Peabody? Did you see Jesus?"
"Just for a second, he said he was headed out to the desert to be tempted.  He winked at me. He didn't seem to be surprised to see a talking dog; evidently there's a lot of that around here.  I saw the other rabbis, though; straightened them out.  If they listen to me, no more oil problem, no cruxifiction, no fall of Jerusalem, no diaspora, no crusades, no dark ages, etc."
"But all those things happened, Mr. Peabody!"
"We can but try, my boy."
"What did you tell them, Mr. Peabody? About the oil?"
"Well, as you may know, the five wise virgins had enough lamp oil to last for the entire feast, but the five foolish virgins were short by varying amounts.  'Lucky' told me the thing about olive oil is that it can be all different quality as well as quantity and needs to be mixed right to burn right.  Of course, he was talking about "olive oil", but the same principle applies; to make everybody a winner you got to give a little to get a little, and you always want to have another wise virgin around.  I got that from Niccollo.  Smart cookie, knows human nature. Even Rabbi Paulson got it, I think."
"But, I don't get it, Mr. Peabody.  How does another Virgin solve anything?"
"Sherman, do you mean you've never heard of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?"

The Big Billionaire Bastard Bailout Bill

These ladies and gentlemen voted against the bill both times.
HR1424 "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and HR 3997
You should vote against any incumbent except...

Aderholt Akin Altmire  Bachman Barrow  Bartlett(MD) Barton(TX) Becerra    Bilbray   Bilirakis Bishop(UT) Blackburn  Blumenauer Boyda  Broun(GA)   Brown-Waite, Ginny   Burgess Burton(IN) Butterfield  Buyer  Capito  Carney  Carter  Castor   Cazayoux  Chabot Chandler Childers  Clay Conyers Costello Courtney Culberson Davis(KY) Davis, David  Davis,Lincoln Deal(GA) DeFazio Delahunt Diaz-Balart,L. Diaz-Balart,M.   Doolittle  Drake   Duncan English(PA)    Feeney  Filner  Flake  Forbes  Fortenberry   Foxx  Franks(AZ)     Gallegly   Garrett(NJ)   Gillibrand Gingrey  Gohmert Goode Goodlatte  Graves  Green,Gene   Grijalva Hall(TX)  Hastings(WA)  Hayes Heller Hensarling Herseth-Sandlin Hill  Hinchey Hodes Holden  Hulshof  Hunter Inslee  Issa  Jefferson  Johnson(GA)  Johnson(IL)  Johnson,Sam   Jones(NC)  Jordan  Kagen  Kaptur  Keller King(IA) Kingston  Kuchinich   Lamborn    Lampson   Latham   LaTourette  Latta  Linder Lipinski  LoBiondo  Lucas  Lynch  Mack  Manzullo Marchant Matheson McCarthy(CA) McCaul(TX)  McCotter   McHenry  McIntyre    McMorris-Rodgers  Mica  Michaud Miller(FL) Miller(MI) Moran(KS) Murphy,Tim  Musgrave  Napolitano Neugebauer  Nunes Paul Payne  Pearce  Pence Peterson(MN)  Petri  Pitts   Platts  Poe Price(GA)  Rehberg  Reichert  Renzi Rodriguez Rogers(MI)  Rohrabacher Roskam Rothman Roybal-Allard Royce Sali Sanchez,Linda Sanchez,Loretta Scalise Scott(VA)  Sensenbrenner Serrano Shea-Porter Sherman  Shimkus  Shuler  Smith(NE) Smith(NJ)   Stark   Stearns  Stupak Taylor Thompson(MS)   Tiahrt   Turner  Udall(CO)  Udall(NM) Visclosky  Walberg  Walz(MN) Westmoreland   Whitfield(KY)   Wittman(VA)   Young(AK)    Young(FL)