Friday, August 24, 2012

"...The Only Thing We Have To Fear....Is The Fear That Fearmongers Will Instill Fear...."

First, the main story.

(CNN) -- Texas Democrats are calling for the resignation of a Republican elected county judge who warned this week that the nation could descend into civil war if President Barack Obama is re-elected.
"It's really up to Judge (Tom) Head to do the right thing and resign and stop embarrassing Lubbock County," said Kenny Ketner, who became the county Democratic Party's chief Monday.
"I wish we were getting worldwide attention for something better than a crazy county judge," Ketner told CNN. "But what are you going to do?"
There is no recall process for Head's office in Texas, Ketner said.

The county's Republican Party chief, Carl Tepper, accused the Democrats of "opportunism" and said he had called Head and left him a message offering "moral support."
"I don't agree with him, but everyone has their opinion," Tepper said. "I can respectfully disagree with him and he can still be an elected official."
While Tepper said he had not heard from state Republican Party chiefs, the Texas Democratic Party did weigh in with a statement.
"This nonsense is what passes for mainstream in today's Republican Party," the statement said. "It's not only ridiculous, it's dangerous. It's crystal clear that Judge Head should resign."
In remarks this week, Head called for a well-equipped force to battle the United Nations troops that he said Obama might bring in.
The comments by Head, who oversees emergency planning efforts, were broadcast by CNN affiliate KJTV. He made similar remarks on radio station FOX Talk 950.
Saying that as the county's emergency management coordinator he has to "think about the very worst thing that can happen and prepare for that and hope and pray for the best," Head told radio host Jeff
Klotzman that he believes "in this political climate and financial climate, what is the very worst thing that could happen right now? Obama gets back in the White House. No. God forbid."
Referring to unexplained "executive orders" and other documents that Obama and "his minions have filed," Head said, "regardless of whether the Republicans take over the Senate, which I hope they do, he is going to make the United States Congress and he's going to make the Constitution irrelevant. He's got his czars in place that don't answer to anybody."
Obama, Head said, will "try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations.
What do you think the public's going to do when that happens? We are talking civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war. ... I'm not talking just talking riots here and there. I'm talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms, get rid of the dictator. OK, what do you think he is going to do when that happens? He is going to call in the U.N. troops, personnel carriers, tanks and whatever."
Head vowed to personally stand "in front of their personnel carriers and say, 'You're not coming in here.' And I've asked the sheriff. I said, 'Are you going to back me on this?' And he said, 'Yeah, I'm going to back you.' Well, I don't want a bunch of rookies back there who have no training and little equipment. I want seasoned veteran people who are trained that have got equipment. And even then, you know we may have two or three hundred deputies facing maybe a thousand U.N. troops. We may have to call out the militia."
Sheriff Kelly Rowe told KJTV there had been no conversation about such a civil war scenario. The two have discussed contingencies for emergency management, he said.
The lone Democrat on the Lubbock County Commissioner's Court, Gilbert Flores, described Head with a colorful West Texas saying: "He's a six-pack short of a full case of beer, if you know what I mean."
Now, a little after the story story.
I posted the link to this account on Facebook yesterday, adding the following personal comment:
"...first, it would be nice if this kind of stupidity would just go away...but, at the very least, it would be nice if, once in a while, it came from, say, an Ivy League professor instead of the same old, tired, predictable dumb ass redneck..."
A Facebook, and personal, friend of mine, shortly thereafter, added his comment about my comment.
"...our current prez was an Ivy League professor. a second term for this clown? now THERE'S stupidity..."
My response to that comment, for whatever reason, disappeared about thirty seconds after I posted it to FB. Whether it was a glitch, a burp or somehow deleted, I'm rewriting it here as part of this piece so that the complete "conversational thread" can be offered in its entirety.
"...the electoral process will, as prescribed by the Constitution, render fair and due judgement on the performance of the incumbent in the job he was hired to do as they vote to either extend or terminate his contract in that job....and dissent, disagreement, even outright protest are rights afforded every individual citizen of this country thanks to the wisdom of the founders....that said, for an elected official, let alone a "respected" member of the bench, to, for all appearances, advocate "civil war" as a means to manipulate, even frighten the aforementioned voters is, at best, irresponsible and, at worst, unconscionable....and that would be true if the "clown" was named Obama...Bush....or even Jimmy Carter, for that matter...."
Simply put, the danger isn't so much the "clown".
The danger is the buffoon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"...I Wonder If It Might Actually Be Pre-Election Syndrome...."

Haven't heard a lot, in the current political campaign, about flip flops.

Which seems a little odd.

Especially given, that...

1) It is, after all, a political campaign and nothing energizes one candidate by being able to bitchslap another candidate about their flip flops.

2) It is, after all, still summer and pretty much everybody I know wears flip flops.


Burst of ba dum bump notwithstanding, it is a genuine curiousity that there hasn't been more focus on the he said/he said/you said/then you said part of that wacky and wonderful process electoral.

Then again, it's still summer. There's still plenty of time.

In recent years, though, I've come to realize that we, the people (in order to form a more perfect union...and, by the way, how, exactly do you form something MORE perfect? Isn't perfect as good as it gets?) have our own little annoying tradition during these campaigns.

The pivot.

This little choreography has become more and more evident in recent times as a result of the free access that so many minds (word used loosely) have to offer insightful opinion (term used sardonically) as well as spirited, but always engaging debate (term used with outright sarcasm) on the myriad Internet sites that include that most algae topped, filter clogged gene pool known as the "comments section".

And what, you might be contemplating, exactly is the pivot?

Well, first of all, in order to illustrate, I have to preface.

And offer that I've already re-named it.

The reason being that "pivot" is not only a commonly understood term for a physical motion, most often employed by basketball players, but also a poltical motion as well, most often employed as a strategy by a candidate determined to keep the campaign "on message" and resist, with all their might, the push/pull of media that is equally determined to annoyingly shove aside the candidate's positions on issues of national and global importance in favor of getting to the bottom of that whole "did you actually tie your dog to the top of your car on that vacation trip" queston.

And let's don't even get started on that birther thing that keeps popping up like herpes...or Kardashians.

Six of one.

So, given all those possibilities for both definition and distraction, I decided the best way to go was to change direction and call it something else.

Pivoting to prevent potential problems with pivot, as it were.

I call it The Sylvia.

Some years ago, my circle of friends, at the time, included a delightful, warm hearted, quirky, but sweet and savvy lady. Her range of gifts, talents and, especially, people skills made her a valuable person to know, as well as a wonderful blessing to call friend.

Like many of us, though, Sylvia was, as mentioned, quirky.

And her particular quirk was the source of much affectionate amusement amongst all of us in that friend circle.

Primarily, it was about PMS.

Given the male DNA that has afflicted me during my life, I'm sincerely the last person on terra firma who would minimize or mock the magic of the menstrual, but even the female folk in our group would testify today that Sylvia elevated, apparently instinctively and, to this day to my knowledge, unknowingly, her focus on the flow to an art form.

And she wove it into the conversation, any conversation, with a seamless precision that made those microscopic surgeons look like construction workers in full jackhammer mode.

No matter what the topic, no matter what the tone or texture of the conversation, Sylvia always found a way to bring it back to the sinister syndrome.

To pivot, so to speak.

This lovable personality blip became such an endearment that the rest of us, admittedly childishly but always affectionately, began to "test" her  by purposely, but unbeknownst to her, steering the peer group patter into some uncommon territory, not to wax prolific on the obscure, but to simply put a football down in front of Sylvia and then watch and wait to see how long it would take for her to place kick that pigskin right between the PMS uprights.

For example...

"Hey, guys, did you hear the other day that they think they might have actually found the Loch Ness Monster?"........

Sylvia, unquestionably educated and sophisticated, was always at the ready to engage as lively conversationalist.

"You know what, I did read about that in the paper or something the other day. They were saying that photographers are now using some kind of new high tech, super fast speed film that will enhance the details of the imaging. You know, not like the old Polaroid develop in the camera seemed like we were waiting forever for those to develop, remember? And the smell of that film fluid or whatever that was, it was like...actually, you know what? It smelled exactly like that prescription that the doctor gave me last week for my PMS..."

It was uncanny. She was a menstruation marvel.

A syndrome savant.

As to the readers comments on every blog, news site, web site between here and there?

No matter what the topic, no matter what the tone or texture of the conversation, more and more find a way to bring it back to blame Obama.

"I think this article about inexpensive ways to decorate the home by shoppping the dollar stores is really great. And it would be even greater if I had a home, which I do not, because I'm out of work because companies arent hiring and all because of Obama.."

Politics, like life, isn't really all that complicated.

And it's a natural instinct to blame the manager when the team's win loss record is in the crapper.

And Barack Obama hasn't done himself any favors with his performance.

But I'm pretty sure that he's not responsible for preventing people from decorating their homes by shopping the dollar stores.

Don't take my word for it.

Ask Sylvia.

Just be prepared to hear about cramps.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Five Mistakes Those Who Already Oppose Romney / Ryan Should Avoid Making....."

Number 1....

     ...not researching, studying, learning and/or listening to specific, legitimate details about just exactly HOW Romney/ Ryan intend to streamline, adjust, revamp, et al Social Security, Medicare and any or all of the so called "third rail" entitlement programs.

One of the more insidious ironies inherent in the wonderful wacky demographic known as the "American public" is their seemingly passionate, fervent "hallelujah, amen, brother" manner of agreeing with every new wanna do gooder who comes down the pike with an armload of "the country's gone to hell" and mouthful of "I'm here to change things"...

...only to rear up and scream "now, just hold on there, carpetbagger" when the "change" demanded and offered requires even the slightest adjustment to that particular complainant's status quo.

In other words, "change is first...".

That said, at a time when the American economy is in dire need of rebooting, when the status quo has become a luxury we can, literally, no longer afford, when it is essential that old ideas, at the very least, share the stage with new ideas, it is stubbornness on a seven deadly sin scale to reject, out of hand, any idea that might repair the damage done.

And that includes the possibility of systemic changes in sacred systems.

I'm not pro-Romney Ryan.

Nor am I anti-Romney Ryan.

I am willing, ready, even anxious to hear what specific changes they have in mind that might break up the logjam and get America flowing, and growing, again.

Any unwillingness to, at least, listen to what they have to say is hubris that could very easily result in Greek tragedy.

And that goes for you, too.

Number 2...

...there is no better reason. Read reason number one again.

"...Two For Me And One For You Wouldn't Be So Bad If It's Wasn't Three For Me and Three More For Me..."

Here's a thought that will likely not be a crowd pleaser.

Most of the honest forward motion in American history has been instigated, if not accomplished, by liberal thinking.

Most of the resistance to said forward motion has come from conservative thinking.

Personally, I'm thinking that's why the call it conservative thinking.

But that might be an overly liberal simplification.

For those already tsk tsk-ing, grunting and/or offering up the cream of their four letter word vocabularies in this direction, let me paint a little "what if" picture for you.

"What if"....Ferdinand and Isabella had been dedicated, Fox News fanatic, rabid right wingers who believed that the best way to keep the kingdom happy was to keep the rich rich and the middle class middlin' (as for the poor, let em eat cake, baby, to add a little Antoinette to the gumbo).

Enter liberal Mr. Hey I Got An Idea About A New World Out There But I Need One Hellatious Pile of Pesos To Buy Three Sweet Little Ships I Got My Eye On."

We all know which direction Ferd and Izzy sent their thumbs re' Chris' grant request.

And presto!. Columbus and Company sailed off to discover a land upon which God could shed his grace.

Even if, lately, we haven't been all that good at crowning with brotherhood.

Had Mr. and Mrs. Madrid line item vetoed that voyage of discovery in the interest of kingdom coffer preservation disguised as fiscal responsiblity, though, we might never have known the joys of American ingenuity, American cheese, American Bandstand or American Idol.

And Spanish Harlem wouldn't have been in NYC, USA. It would have been....

...well, in Spain.

All of this, incidentally and evidence to the contrary, is not yet another predictable manifesto on the merits of the liberal, as opposed to the conservative, mentality.

Rants from the extreme left or right being an unfortunate, if inevitable, byproduct of a free society, the next to impossible to refute fact of the matter is that in an ideal situation, moderation (read: the center) is where all the sensible, practical and ultimately healthy solutions are to be found.

And like it or not, that should be our ultimate goal.

("...Clowns to the left of me / jokers to the right / here I am / stuck in the middle with you...")

Gerry Rafferty. Politically astute. Who'da thunk it?

Meanwhile, here's the way all this shakes out as regards the coming election.

Mitt Romney has, by all appearances, indications and/or interpretations from any and all observers of any and all party stripe, made it clear with his choice of Paul Ryan that his pitch for taking away Barack Obama's White House swimming pool keypad privileges is going to laser in on the American economy and his well documented belief that the key to healing the American economy is to put, or keep, in play the time tested philosophy of letting American business grow, American business owners succeed and get rich and, accordingly, provide more jobs for those in need of them.

I call it Rockefellernomics.

Get filthy rich by building an empire, taking advantage of every crack, quirk and/or loophole in the tax system, but creating, as a by product with jobs and good pay and benefits and business expansion (and did I mention good pay and benefits?) , a healthy and robust middle class grateful to have a gig and/or be able to pay their bills.

And just as history tells us, so what if John D and/or John D. Jr. and/or Nelson got filthy rich?

The middle class was healthy and robust and grateful to have a gig and/or be able to pay their bills.

The Rockefellers, among others, were most assuredly primarily profiteers.

But they were also philanthropists.

Fast forward 2012.

Here's the rub, Yorickmeister.

Romeny's success at "restoring America to greatness" (or whatever other bumper sticker worthy turn of phrase the turn of phrase masters conjure up) hinges on today's super sleek, super slick generation of filthy richers being ready and willing to honor both P's of the process.

The philanthropy.

As well as the profiteering.

The Republican Convention is set for September in Minneapolis.

But it might just as well be held in Vegas.

Because Romney/Ryan are about to bet it all that greatness and greed can still be doled out in the equal measure that has kept America in business for a lot of years.

Given the behavior of corporations and CEO's of corporations over the past few years, not to mention the complicity of politicians and cronies who barely have time to shake voter's hands because their own are too busy trading checks and perks with each other, here's a sure thing.

It's a hell of a gamble.

"...Man, And The Electorate, Does Not Live On Bread Alone..."

Today's fun fact to know and tell...

"Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation to English of the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche", supposedly spoken by "a great princess" upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Since brioche was enriched with butter and eggs, as opposed to ordinary bread, the quote supposedly would reflect the princess's obliviousness to the condition of the people.

Today's good news...

Regardless of who'll get the mail addresed to "Occupant" at 1600 Pennsylvania for the next four years, there will, at the very least, one company that assuredly, and mercifully, will finally see a light at the end of the deep dark tunnel of financial despair that has been gripping the country like two women on the opposite ends of the last half price sweater at WalMart.


God bless America.

"...Congress, As Always, Does Another Year Of "Hoarders"..."

Sad day.

The fourth piece of the four piece mosaic that is the 2012 American presidential election has been put into place.

And so, kids, the celebrity cast of this season's "White House Wars" has been finalized.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The former clearly committed to a hard, cold, take no prisoners approach to getting American business back in business at any and all cost, including, but not limited to, taking hard earned Medicare and Social Security money out of MeeMaw and PapPap's wrinkled mouths if necessary.

The latter clearly committed to four more years of trying to figure out exactly how to get the engine on the ship of state started so they can, theoretically, drive us up and out of this mudhole that threatens to sink us out of sight once and for all.

Two very clear choices.

Watching the nation's grandparents driven off a cliff.

Spinning our wheels and going nowhere.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting your "White House Wars" cast.

And, now, please welcome this season's cast of "Survivor".

That would be us.

Sad day.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"...Three Reasons Number Two Doesn't Make Number One Go Any Higher..."

It took Romney a few months.


A couple of weeks, at least.

NORFOLK, Va.--Mitt Romney will name his vice presidential running mate on Saturday.

According to a statement the campaign released late Friday, the presumptive Republican nominee will announce his running mate at an 8:45am rally here on the USS Wisconsin--the first stop of his four-day bus tour of key battleground states. The campaign offered no further details, and aides traveling with Ronney declined to comment.

But Republican sources told NBC News, the Huffington Post, the Associated Press and CNN that Romney is expected to name Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin--reports the campaign refused to confirm. But early Saturday morning, the site,, began referring to a page on Romney's official campaign website touting "America's Comeback Team."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio--all of whom were said to be on Romney's short list--were informed late Friday that they were not the pick, according to ABC News's Jon Karl.

Just last night, I was saying, in response to being asked, that I didn't really have a serious guess/opinion as to who the Republican VP nominee would be.

Which explains, to both those who were wondering and those who couldn't care less but are, for whatever reason, reading what I'm writing here, why I haven't, up until this writing, written about it.

There were three reasons I continued to resist the running mate ramble.

First, I honestly don't think it makes any difference.

At all.


Second, I honestly couldn't care less.

At all.


And third.

See reasons one and two.

Inevitable accusations of cynicism duly noted, let me try to offer you a cogent argument for, at least, the first of the aforementioned three.

Historically, the choice of a vice presidential running mate has been little more than a generic entry on the ticket topper's to do list.

The Contitution requires the nation to have a Vice President.

But let's not kid ourselves.

There's a reason there's no Vice Presidential wing, complete with offices and personal residence, at 1600 Pennsylvania.

"Look, youse guys...dere's only one boss in dis gang, capice'?.."

Much as we would like to idealize and/or think so, the American ship of state might be a magnificent, fully appointed, state of the art marvel, but the cockpit has one, and only one, seat in it.

Co-pilot required by regulation.

But, back of the bus, baby. We'll call you if we need you.

Geography used to be a factor when it came to picking a veep.

Kennedy, in 1960 for example, chose Lyndon Johnson largely because it was believed within the party power tower that Johnson would ease the fears of, and accordingly harvest the votes of, Southern and Western working and middle class folks thinking twice about voting for an uber rich, Catholic, Harvard graduate from New England.

Fast forward to 2012 and in a much, much smaller online world, regions, as such, really arent all that regional anymore.

There is, of course, a valid school of thought as regards the need to pick a running mate who, should the unthinkable happen, would immediately be able to come up from the back of the bus and keep on truckin' with nary a weave or swerve.

In the light of hindsight, Kennedy's choice of Johnson now seems a bold stroke of genius, Johnson's eventual wandering off down the wrong road notwithstanding.

While going a long way towards explaining why John McCain didn't do himself any favors with his choice.

Meanwhile, back to Mitt Romney.

At this writing, the choice has not been announced.

But in a much, much smaller online world, chances that "reliable sources" are in error are that of the proverbial gone south ice cube's.

So, Romney/Ryan will take on Obama/Biden.


Neither of the names following the "/" gave me the slightest surge of adrenalin, either.

Let alone hope or inspriration.

And that's why it took me at least two weeks to muster up the energy to write about VP.

See reason one.

Not for nothin', by the way, but something useful did, in fact, come out of all this.

For the first time in a life of dealing with pretty solid male DNA hard wiring, I think I finally understand, even empathize, with the heretofore incomprehensible feeling that women have when they stand in front of thousands of cubic feet of stuffed full closet space and lament that they have nothing to wear.

I hear ya, sistas.