Thursday, October 30, 2008
You may have come away from the show thinking how professionally it was produced, how calming and rational our candidate sounded and how glad you were that he seems to understand the plight of the beleaguered middle and working class in America. You may have....
You might even have been impressed with how seamlessly the taped portion meshed with the live rally and how his final words felt like a call to get out the vote and end the republican rule that has nearly ruined our country. You might have....
All the above may pertain to you if you're an Obama supporter and even more if you're like me and have already cast your vote for the man.
If you're on the other side though, I don't think his spot changed your mind.
If you're a die-hard republican, or worse, maybe a right wingnut religio-theocrat, then the slickness (professionalism) of the program probably offended you. If you watched it. And if you watched it you might have made notes about the promises of universal health care, lower taxes, and going after Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. With the idea of rebutting them in the days remaining till the election.
While envious of the money to make and broadcast the spot, the opposition must have been happy to see that program in no way lured any of their base toward Obama. The supporters of the McCain/Palin ticket will not be moved by the stories they saw and the words of Barack. Those will all be background noise to the fear, prejudice and ignorance behind the republican ticket.
The high road only works on those willing to lift themselves up to see it. There is a segment of our population willing to believe the most astounding lies, innuendos and smears about Democratic candidates. These folks are not going to be impressed by the 30 minute segment last night.
I was moved by the spot last night. It spoke to the condition of our middle class and the struggle to make ends meet these days. Because it moved me, I can be pretty sure it did not move many republicans.
I am very hopeful that Barack Obama will be our next president. That said, he will face a country more divided than when George Bush took office, an economy in shambles, a foreign policy nightmare and the knives of the politicians and pundits, ready to pounce on his first false step, miscue or mistake.
He impressed me with his answer to Jon Stewart's question last night about having any mixed feelings about the presidency now. When he started his campaign the country was not in the miserable shape we find it today. The senator replied that he looked upon our situation as an opportunity to change, in basic and big ways, the way this country operates. God I hope that can happen.
He will need every bit of luck, help, cooperation and fortitude he can muster to make something good of the total ClusterFuck the Bushies have made of our government.
Last night's show was part infomercial, part politics and part theatre. I hope it was worth it to the campaign. I would like to have seen more of an appeal to the right wingers to take a chance on something new, better and different than the fear and continuing crisis management mode of BushCo. Maybe some of that came through. Maybe......
Monday, October 27, 2008
While I doubt they will agree with a lot of my opinions on politics, I applaud their citizenship and effort. How refreshing to see people participating in our political process.
This comes about due to my continuing foray into the world of Starbucks. The elite and decidedly overpriced coffee houses provide a place for discussion, interaction and caffeine intake.
I have been fortunate to meet a good number of interesting and delightful folks at our local "Bucks", which makes the high-priced java worth it.
If nothing else comes from this election, I am hopeful that a sincere interest in citizenship is taking root among the younger generations. If that is truly the case, then perhaps we can look forward to better government and more electorate involvement.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
From a secular point of view I feel we might have actually gotten the leaders we deserved for the last 8 years. I mean, we were dumb enough to vote them into office, weren't we?
Now I wonder what the pastor thinks is the proper person from God's point of view to help us down the righteous path in this time of travail and turmoil. He didn't mention a candidate or party, so I'm glad for that at least.
Still makes me wonder; are churches throughout the land contemplating the election in biblical terms and ignoring the so-called Christianity of the last president?
I recall a quote attributed to Martin Luther.
"Better to be ruled by a wise Turk than a Foolish Christian. "
Perhaps the "necks" interviewed in the south will come across this little gem. You know the ones I mean; those folks that still think Obama is a closet Muslim and semi-terrorist. Those ignorant and scary angry people who believe electing a black man to the highest office in the land is worse than the dumbass Texan wannabe pseudo cowboy dipshit that has held the office for the previous 8 years. AAAGGGGHHHHHHHHH!
A large portion of this country lives is constant denial.
In spite of the election or maybe because of it; our voters have seemed to forget that what we are experiencing now is the culmination of several administration's worth of crummy governance and loose to nonexistent regulation of the least trustworthy parts of our society and economy; namely the financial sector which includes insurance firms, banks, credit card companies, brokerages, rating firms, real estate companies and many other types of support industries created to intervene in basic transactions. A large porton of these companies are more parasite than expediter.
If only we'd get a clue as to how modern financial companies really make money, we might stop being so gullible. Think how insurance has foisted its way into everything today. The majority of the credit default swaps that are now worthless are a form of insurance. We have been sold fear and doubt, then insurance as the cure. Really? How secure do you feel today?
Which brings me around to the point. If we were to get the leaders we deserved, we'd be well and truly screwed, wouldn't we?
Leaders we deserve? I am willing to settle for a leader for whom I voted. It's been some time since that has happend.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Three Dozen Wordzzles!
Troop on over to the Raven’s Nest and get all the scoop. Read all the great stories. Then, if you think you can take it, read the ongoing story below.
This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: build-a-bear workshop, man bites dog, opulent, disparaging, lipstick stain, preponderance, smoky quartz, clothes pin, meticulous, falling leaves
McCool hung up with Johnson and looked at Jean. "Well, the preponderance of the evidence given to us by Claude checks out" he stated. "There is so much forensic data to be processed that it will still take months before there are any indictments" he continued. "Every lipstick stain, smudge, down to the last clothes pin will be analyzed in these suspects' opulent homes before the FBI is done" he finished. "They are meticulous in their evidence gathering."
"I'm glad something good came out of this" Jean replied. "From what you told me, you were in quite a bit of danger with this man Claude" she stated worriedly. "Really not as bad as it sounds" McCool added "and I'm sorry I waited to tell you about it till I got here, but I didn't want you to be more worried or upset than necessary." "Oh, thanks a bunch for that" she said with a disparaging look in his direction. "I'm always relieved when my husband escapes with his life from a dangerous terrorist."
"OK honey, I get it" McCool retorted. "The most dangerous thing I will be doing in the near future is picking out the proper moisturizing cream to bring for you on our trip to the spa." "You don't bring your own cream, dumbass; the spa provides it" she laughed. "This is a perfect example of why you need this spa trip." "Oh, right, I knew that" he replied a little too quickly. "At least you're thinking of something besides serial killers" she laughed again.
McCool looked out the dining room window at the falling leaves. Fall had snuck up on him during this case and he hadn't even gotten his feet wet in crime consultation. What would a full time career of this feel like? He wasn't about to flip-flop on his decision to return to investigation, but his recent experience reminded him how rusty he had become. Not since the incident in Chicago in 1974 had he been caught this much off guard. Though it was no "man bites dog" story during that year of turmoil, the story had made the local papers and given McCool a reputation as lucky and clever, in spite of the way he had gotten caught up in it.
Now he just needed to relax, stay in contact with Sgt Johnson and help with any investigation stemming from the forensic data.
While McCool was helping Jean unpack the last of the boxes in their new house, Claude was working on bringing his plans to fruition. Debaucherrie knew that operations failed when they became too complex and depended on too much critical timing. That being said, he also knew if you had enough time and resources (meaning money and connections) then most anything could be accomplished in time. Claude's plan had been taking shape for over a decade and his finances and connections were first rate. Few who looked at him would know he had access to millions of dollars and access to arms and military hardware that few countries could obtain.
Only two things had critical timing and these he would oversee himself; the rest would fall into place or more accurately, be discovered, in natural order. The G-20 conference would provide both a diversion and a key factor in putting enough pressure on the authorities to make quick assumptions and investigations. The pieces were or would be in place to lead them to the inescapable conclusions that Claude wanted them to come to. Like the pieces in the 'build a bear workshop", Claude had put together a compelling fiction (that would seem so real) to incriminate a large group of individuals in a startling conspiracy. The current economic crisis had provided the optimum time to make it happen. And the political climate in the US would insure that the public would believe the worst of their financial barons.
The pickles that the Lords of Wall Street would soon find themselves in would be their downfall. And as an added bonus, would probably help the general populace as well.
He would miss this secluded workshop he’d leased in the name of one of his victims, but it was time for it to go. Claude closed the smoky quartz cover on the console of the Limo. The small EMP device was secreted below the console compartment and would come on with a simple radio signal; provided by one of the Baron's cell phones. He let the seat belt back into its holder which armed the device.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
While reading the Huffinton Post today I made myself read an article by ex-Senator Fritz Hollings. The only thing I remember about this guy is that when he spoke I immediately thought of the cartoon character "Foghorn Leghorn". "Son, I say son, I am not a chicken" or something to that effect.
Anyway......... Turns out old Fritz knew a thing or three about keeping manufacturing jobs in the US; something the rest of our corporations and public officials have proven themselves to be sadly defecient at. (yea, I know about ending in a prepostion, but I'm just too damb lazy this morning to turn the sentence around)
Here's a quote from Sir James Goldsmith when he testified before the commerce committee in 1994.
"It must surely be a mistake to adopt an economic policy which makes you rich if you eliminate your national workforce and transfer your production abroad, and which bankrupts you if you continue to employ your own people."
Funny how that sounds today, 14 years later, isn't it?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
General Powell served in Nam the year before my tour and the year after. He was a second lieutenant in the army in his first tour. He saw the dissolution of our armed services, the drastic drop in moral and the waste of human life through the lens of a professional soldier. Unlike me, who just wanted to survive and get the hell out of the Marine Corps, Colin Powell dedicated himself to rehabilitating our bruised and battered military. He accomplished the task and was rewarded by being named Head of the Joint Chiefs at the end of his military career.
He was severely used by the Bushies as Sec of State and made to front for them at the UN with a bogus dog and pony show about Iraq WMDs. It killed his career in politics and I believe a little of his heart as well.
The modern day neo-con warrior wanna bes have no respect for those actually tried and tested in battle. They're all about the bullshit they've been feeding us for 8 years.
So I guess it should come as no surprise that a prize moron like Rush Limbotomy would attempt to spin a line of crap for his mindless and financially and politically ignorant fans. The "necks" and right wingnuts eat it up no matter how fatuous and dishonest his line might be.
The only war Rush Limpdick ever fought was the impulse to pop the 45th pill, to inhale the 15 Burrito (and from the looks of him the fat bastard lost that war) or the tiny, tiny squeak of outrage from his tiny, infinitesimal conscience to shut the fuck up and let the real world get on with it's business. The concept that someone as odious as the Rushter could have a national platform to spew his bigotry and ignorance is a testimony to what can happen with the right of free speech.
I think of his ramblings as a very sordid sort of political porn, one which millions seem addicted to. No self serving or evil thought ever stays in his tiny brain. There are no limits to the gall of this big candy ass. To so much as put the name of Colin Powell on his lips: much less pretend he could start to understand the thinking of a real American hero and a decorated soldier is an insult to every man and woman who ever wore the uniform.
Rush, the reason you endorse Bush is because of race. There I said it.
You might as well call your fat bigoted bastards the way you see them, don't you think?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This week's Ten Word Challenge is: blinking, cellulite, crescent, ship-shape, homonym, suffering, packer, wind chime, scissors, necklace
This week's episode: trains, planes and automobiles
Justine tried on the floppy hat at the Cinnamon Crescent, a small boutique in the Silver Springs mega mall. The shop was complete with a new age wind chime, blinking strobe lights and a charming array of jewelry. She found a stone necklace that looked well with her skin tone and hoped Claude would like it on her.
Justine asked the clerk to cut the tag off with scissors. She checked herself out in the mirror and decided the floppy hat would work too. Now if she could just get a little time with Claude during this trip all would be well. He had promised to be back to the B & B by dinner time.
For Claude's part he knew his schedule would be tight. He changed to his surfer/biker look and headed back towards Silver Springs on his Harley. His plan depended on the FBI taking his eyes off of him for the next few days. If it worked out as he planned, then he would have time to execute it to perfection.
While his actions wouldn't alleviate the suffering he had experienced at the hands of the corporations, they might help others. It would have to be enough. He had made up his mind to make this his last operation. Should all go well, he and Justine would be out of the country by next week and a lot of big wigs would be somewhat smaller in stature.
Senator Hugh Montgomery (1st term republican from the great state of Texas) was looking forward to the coming AIG dinner. He'd been instrumental in helping them obtain the billions needed to stay afloat and now they would celebrate in style. Of course this little shindig would not get the unfortunate publicity of a previous outing. What an idiotic idea; the fools had held a quarter of a million dollar spa weekend and liquor bash right out in public. He hoped the executive's wives had actually gotten rid of $250,000 worth of cellulite. No. this one would be much more exclusive, including some of the best prime poontang his old buddy from Houston could provide. No wives, no press, no hassle and lots of fun and games; that's what Hugh liked.
He had sent his senior assistant to meet the girls at the train station (no one looked there anymore and especially not the press). What an interesting homonym he thought to himself, "Press." This group of weak kneed media types had all but bowed down to the Bush administration. There was no "press" to there investigations and little real journalism left in the whole group. Well, they couldn't have accomplished what they had in the last 8 years without the complicity of the 5th estate, so it was just as well. He got the real info on Iraq from the daily briefings and heard all he needed to hear about domestic events from the HomeLand Security daily brief and that he usually sent an aid to attend.
Technically a developmentally disabled person, Duncan Winter Jones was in reality a brilliant computer engineer, programmer and a very progressive thinking individual. He looked at the alphabetical list given him by the biker dude Charlie. His task was simple; all he needed to do was input account information for the names when he received the signal from Charlie.
The program he had created to install the files where they needed to go he put on a flash drive labeled "Penguin" and put that in his pocket. When the word came it would take him less than 15 minutes to load the files. His great accomplishment in all this was not the installation of the files, but what was on them. There would be great surprises for those on his list.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
As I previously noted we have moved and are on the road at present. This post was started in Arkansas and is being completed in Enid, Oklahoma. We’ll be here a few days with our middle daughter and her family. So I’ll do two and get caught up. Here’s the one that should have posted last week and the one for this week.
If you're new to Wordzzling then please go by the Raven's Nest and get all the scoop.
The words for last week's ten word challenge are: tattletale, homogeneous, flighty, cornucopia, plethora, militant, lovelorn, myopic, digitalized, mute
And for the Mini Challenge: washing machine, cholesterol, blatantly, Birdman of Alcatraz, poltergeist
Sgt Johnson was surrounded by a cornucopia of hi-tech law enforcement technology and still was unable to locate McCool. The FBI's plethora of blatantly overpriced equipment, including digitalized video of the entire area and crime scene, remained mute on McCool's whereabouts. Missing were the tattletale forensic clues so much in vogue with CSI viewers.
There had to be something he was missing. Johnson called his video tech over and asked to see the area video. A non-descript white van was leaving the area just as they set up the perimeter. "Can I have a close-up on the van?" Johnson asked. "We missed getting the driver, but we have a good shot of the plate." "Run it" Johnson ordered.
Sure enough the plate came back stolen. Some local activist militant group had reported it missing just a few short hours ago. "It will be stashed somewhere by now, but we need to look for it." It's our only lead."
Now McCool understood what the metallic leotards were about. He could see the wires leading to what looked like an old washing machine motor, but he knew it was something else entirely. "Do you understand now Thomas?" asked Claude. "You're going to take a lie detector test and the results will determine if you live." "Look at it this way; you won't have to worry about your high cholesterol killing you." I'm going to apply the leads to you now."
For the next hour Thomas was interrogated about the investigation. Since he believed that Claude wasn't the perpetrator he told the truth as he knew it right from the start. He was not interested in seeing how Claude's contraption worked. At one point he did prevaricate a bit about timing and the resulting shock was agonizing. He did not repeat his mistake again.
McCool would be happy to report back to Sgt Johnson that he was alive, had evidence about the murders and had successfully eliminated their chief suspect.
“Thomas, it’s been good seeing you again.” “Give my best to Jean” Claude said as he left. “Your bonds will deteriorate in a couple of hours; I’ve treated them with acid.” “Don’t move till you can break them or you’ll get chemical burns” he added over his shoulder. McCool looked after Claude with a chagrined smile and then a grimace. It would be embarrassing to have to admit how easily Claude had taken him. At least he had learned who was responsible for the "Alley Cat Murders."
The halls of the French secret service were a homogeneous cluster of doors with no information on them except small plates with numbers. Like all the myopic bureaucracies of the world it never occurred to them to actually label the rooms with information about their purpose. So 3rd grade clerk Evian Laflagrantien missed room 411-B-112 the first time he walked by it. When he finally found his way back to the dusty room, it was if poltergeists or vandals had been through it. Files were strewn from end to end.
He found trivia from a French translation of the Birdman of Alcatraz to a declassified file on America's area 51, but no file on Debaucherrie, at least not the first day. But third grade clerk Evian was no flighty air head; he was determined to accomplish his mission. In addition, his recent separation from his long time paramour left the lovelorn clerk with little else to do. He threw himself into the search for the Debaucherrie file. It would only take him two weeks to find it; 10 days too late to matter.
Now for volume two of the twofer.
This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: bluebottle, puppy love, livid, misanthrope, torrid, apathy, erudite, catalyst, hockey puck, parakeet
And for the Mini Challenge: totalitarian, moronic, boondoggle, tycoon, insipid
Surprisingly the white van was found outside an abandoned warehouse just 15 miles from the storage facility. Within a short time McCool was found; bound, dazed and for the most part unharmed. He knew enough to not argue with the paramedics; Jean would be livid when she found out anyway. Best not to make it worse by refusing care. He should be able to break it to her easy in conversation if he was lucky. Sure, she might call him a hockey puck for his carelessness, but it would be with relief and love. He knew that his lack of preparation for this rendezvous was moronic. It had just never occurred to him that if the message’s writer was indeed Claude Debaucherrie, that he would want information and assurances from him. Go figure!
While no misanthrope, McCool was beginning to dislike his fellow man as instances like this occurred. This would look like another law enforcement boondoggle, with the FBI coming up short again; if word about the incident got out. Thomas prayed that would not happen. Perhaps modern media’s apathy would actually help this time. The last thing he wanted to do was to be interviewed by some insipid reporter from Fox News or the like.
Well, he would look at it this way: Like a coal miner uses a parakeet to check for poison gas; he had been used to monitor the veracity and danger of the alleged “Alley Cat Murderer.” Fortunately he had survived. Besides the one-time shock from Claude’s gadget the only damage sustained by McCool were some scrapes and scratches he’d gotten being dragged after he was gassed at the storage facility. The bluebottle flies that had feasted on his wounds had been an annoyance and potential infection source that the paramedics now eliminated with topical antibiotics. The good news was that he would not need stitches.
Sgt Johnson waited for the paramedics to finish before he spoke with McCool. “You don’t look much worse for the wear Thomas” he said as an introduction. “Thanks Paul.” “Have you looked at the tapes yet?” McCool asked. “Yea, while you were being attended to.” “I’m going to have to find someone at DOJ to go to with this and I will have to be careful who sees this in the FBI as well.” The response from the administration will be torrid once we start arresting their people.” “We’ll need all the evidence we can get to fight the totalitarian regime that the current administration had become.” Sgt Johnson finished.
“Neither of us saw this coming Paul.” “This information could act as a catalyst to ignite outrage against the administration.” “Civilians murdered as a cover up, not going to go down well with the public, is it?” McCool commented. “What are our chances of finding this Armistead character or the female operative?” Johnson asked. “Not good” McCool responded. “We’ll have to use the other info and names given us by Debaucherrie” added McCool. Both knew that it would take time and finesse to pull this off. And both knew that though Debaucherrie wasn’t the Alley Cat Murderer, he had most likely done away with Armistead and Glenda the operative. And both wondered why Debaucherrie had been so interested in clearing his name.
In Paris the lovesick 3rd grade clerk, Evian, was busy searching for the Debaucherrie file and convincing himself that his infatuation with the sweet Jilliane was simple puppy love.
In Arlington Virginia Claude Debaucherrie was finalizing his preparations for a little surprise he had cooked up for some of the corporate world’s leading tycoons. These erudite minions of the new world order were going to get their comeuppance.