Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I can do anything
Better than you.
No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!
Any president you can be
I can be better
I can be president
better than you
No, you can't. Yes, I can.
No, you can't. Yes, I can.
No, you can't.
No, you can't.
Some leaders are liars
And dishonest at will
To deal with'em I've got the skill
Don't forget I'm married to Bill
Hey I'm not a dope
Won't stumble or grope
With them I can cope
With audacity of hope
No, you can't. Yes, I can.
No, you can't. Yes, I can.
No, you can't.
No, you can't.
A little bit of doggerel to show my opinion of the Democratic contender's debates.
Hillary is getting nasty and petty. She needs to spend more time on why we should vote for her and not so much on why we shouldn't vote for him.
I just hope Obama's string of victories don't go to his head. Tall guys have a harder time noticing those loose shoelaces that trip you up.
In the meantime, the New York Times, desperate for something new to write about, puts out the McCain & comely Lobbyist story, with little actual evidence of wrongdoing, financial or coital. Hey, he's an inspiration for old farts. 'Course most of us don't have the fame and power he has. Kinda leaves us trying to get dates on the strength of our good looks. Which we probably don't have much left of.
In the meantime it's snowing again. Just when I was worried that we might run out of it too soon. Yeah. People are going around trying to cheer each other up by talking of spring, but you can see the tears in their eyes.
Goodnight. I gotta get up and shovel in the morning.
Friday, February 22, 2008
All of this is foofaraw. Occasionally they get around to something substantive. But I find the condensed version I get from the media is enough.
As I recall, JFK didn't have much of a resume either. But he knew how to pick good people.
Sometimes I think the debate thing is a little overblown. This has been a big deal since John F. Kennedy out-charmed Richard Nixon (who we don't have to kick around anymore). How much substantive talk can you deliver when half the time you're trying to look and sound more attractive than your opponent and the other half trying to shoot him/her down.
As I recall, and my memory is a little hazy here, JFK and Nixon did have more to say than "I'm better than you." If Poor Richard didn't sweat under the studio lights the outcome might have been different.
Another downside is that competent unattractive people are eliminated from the contest at the very beginning. There must be a chubby, homely politico somewhere who would be just as good a presidential candidate as the more attracive Hillary/Obama/McCain. Okay, I'm stretching it a bit with McCain. But for 71, he's pretty handsome. And he does seem to have personality.
And you'd think that someone with poor debating skills and a less polished grasp of the English language might also be able to be a good pres…Oh wait, forget that. Time to move on.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The problem here is that computers are logical, their creators aren't. I spent a couple hours this afternoon trying to do something in Appleworks, even using the help menu, which was not easy to use, unless you were already a spreadsheet and word processing wonk (the problem is, these are the kinds of people who create these programs.) Granted, Appleworks is not the most sophisticated program, but it's not bad and I expected better from the company that produces the most elegant computers and operating systems in existence. Except maybe for Leopard. I'll get to that later.
One expects that when one follows directions, one will get what one expects. Nuh-uh. I'm sure the programs would work right if only the people explaining them were as smart as the programs themselves. More than once, I've been told to go here and do this, only to find that there wasn't any this to do, or there wasn't any here to do it in. Programs get updated and changed, but oops, someone forgot to change the help.
(If we ever create computers which can write their own programs, we are doomed. They will take over the world. By the way, don't anthropomorphize your computer. They hate that.)
Help. What an oxymoron. Created by morons. And what is it with this lack of manuals? I know that people often ignore the ones they have (hence the expression RTFM-you know what the "F" stands for), but manuals do have useful information in them, and you only have to pick them up and look in the index. I guarantee you that you can do this more quickly than if you were on line and trying to find the same thing thru "help".
Even Steve Jobs has bought into the Micro$oft idea that we are heading to a paperless universe. What a crock of excretion. Everywhere I've worked in the last 15 years has used more paper than ever with computers. Why? Because you CAN'T TRUST the bloody things to produce what you see on the screen. Even in places which go direct-to-plate, the graphic art trolls are always proofing their stuff on paper and sending a final proof along with the electronic files.
I really think that Jobs goes along with this just to save on the cost of printing manuals. Which not only makes him brilliant but also extremely cheap. There's a reason he's always smiling on those Macworld keynote addresses. He knows the kool-aid drinkers are ready to pull out the plastic for everything he offers. Apple has a very high profit vs. expenditure ratio, you'd think they could afford to send a little information along with those OS disks. But they'd rather put in a little puff piece about how easy it is to get started (very true) and pointing out all the neat features of the new OS or program. But NOTHING ON HOW TO USE IT. Of course, everyone else does this too.
With Micro$oft products it's even worse because they don't do what they are supposed to do anyway. I've heard that Apple computers using Bootcamp or Parallels run Vista better than PCs. Wouldn't surprise me.
Leopard. Has a lot of neat stuff. Some day I may actually use all of it (I'll not dwell on the fact that I paid $129 for it and DIDN'T GET A MANUAL). In the meantime a lot of little things on my computer are acting screwy. Nothing major, now that I've resolved the missing permissions problem (only took three days). OSX Tiger was so nice and smooth, oh Tiger, burning bright, where art thou? I suppose Leopard will be smooth some day too. I was looking forward to the latest upgrade, but my computer informed me it would take 31 HOURS to download (on dialup-which is what i have up here in the backward hills). Uh, no thanks. It is huge and it is growing.
Praise the Lord, I'm not on a PC and having to use Windows. This is a picnic compared to that.
In the meantime, I have tuned out of the political situation. Hillary's acting tough, Obama's in danger of getting smug. The Democrats still have a chance to stumble over their own feet.
And what is with the Senate Democrats, voting to keep going with the Bushman's spying program? What a bunch of wimps. Knuckle down to the scare tactics. If enough of them had the ba-, I mean fortitude, to go public and denounce scare tactics for what they are, and point out that giving up our liberties is not a useful way to combat terrorism, then the Bushman would be stymied. Why aren't Billary and the Obamarama weighing in on this? If either one of them come around here, boy I have some questions for them.
Good for the Representatives (so far) not being intimidated by the bullfeathers.
I may switch to Ron Paul yet. Just for the absurdity factor.
In the last six years, how many of us have been killed by terrorists, and how many killed by deranged college students? Hmm? Hey FBI and NSA, I want to be able to go to the mall or to the local community college to buy some jeans or to study Egyptian hieroglyphics or existentialism without getting my ass blown away. Whatya doing about that, may I ask?
Frankly folks, for all the wiretapping and waterboarding we can do, we can't do any more to stop terrorists or crazy college people than we already are. As Bruce Schneier, security expert, says " Since 9/11, approximately three things have potentially improved airline security: reinforcing the cockpit doors, passengers realizing they have to fight back, and -- possibly -- sky marshals. Everything else -- all the security measures that affect privacy -- is just security theater and a waste of effort." http://www.schneier.com/blog
We might be able to do something about crazy college people if only congressmen had the ba-, I mean, fortitude to buck the NRA on all gun issues.
But theater is what we all really love. Make a big noise about what you are doing and people will believe it's true. And love you. And vote for you.
Geez, this is a crazy place. ALIENS, TAKE ME! I'm ready!
Good night. Get outta here and go to sleep.
Friday, February 15, 2008
What else? Hillary seems to be doing well in Ohio. Yeah, big surprise there. Obama got the Virginia-DC government worker zone. It's going to be neck and neck all the way. Like I've said before, i hope these two don't cripple each other to the extent that McCain gets the nomination. McCain is the Energizer Bunny of politics. Not to be underestimated.
More shootings at a college. These things are becoming an epidemic. When are people going to realize that the second amendment wasn't meant to allow any and every diseased mind the ability to own firearms? We need more control.
This is a boost to Internet businesses and schools. Study and shop at home. Leave the streets to the crazies. If you spend anytime on the Massachusetts Turnpike, especially around Boston, you know this has already happened.
It's late. I'm running out of venom. Good night.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The last couple days have not been pleasant weather-wise. Lots of wind yesterday. All day, with force. That drives me crazy. I have been given to understand that in some Mediterranean countries they have a wind that goes on for weeks or months. It would turn me into a monster. That constant whooshing of the wind— I'm getting nuts just thinking of it. Fortunately today no wind. but still cold. I have a model who comes over so I can practice my figure drawing. Today it was chilly enough (I'm too cheap to really crank the heat up) that I told her to just keep her clothes on. First time I ever said that to a woman.
There goes all the points I earned for defending women in my previous posts. Hey, were you expecting consistency? This is earth—nothing and no one is perfect here.
Looks like the Obamarama circus is pulling way past the Billary train. I actually like Hillary, usually, but i think she and Big Bill went a little too far with their attack ads. Just a little too much same-old same-old. No "change" there.
I just have a problem, as a child of the sixties, with getting to like someone I'd like to like too much. We seem to lose them too painfully. I liked JFK, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King. All dead before I graduated college. All murdered. Not to mention Medgar Evers, the Kent State Students ("Four dead in Ohio"), Viola Liuzzo, and Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney. If you don't know about any of these folks, look them up. It's the history of your country written in red. Red as in ink, we owe, oh how we owe, and in blood. Real, painful, messy American blood.
I'm afraid some asshat is going to get all upset about an (only half) afro-american being president. It could happen if we have a woman pres also. Too many guns and too many whackos. And too many media people salivating for a good story to batter us with over and over again.
We really don't need another assassination of a hopeful popular figure in our culture. Especially when you think of how it would bend the minds of those not "White anglo-saxon" peoples of the world who look for ways to hate us, if we had a "person of color" leading this country. Just that fact alone would change people's perception of America. Hey, i don't care how much less experience he has than another candidate. Can he be any worse than George Bush? I don't think so.
Gotta stop. It's going to be snow-blowing time in the morning. (there's a song there for someone skilled in musical composition).
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Alas, all new things wear out after a while, get barnacled by old customs and need constant renewal. And the emphasis in "renewal" should be on the "new." It's not about totally repudiating the past and throwing away all old customs. It's about remembering both the good and the bad of what once was, and moving beyond BOTH. After all, what was good, or even what just worked, a thousand years ago may be good or workable no longer.
My understanding of Islam is a little weak, and I invite correction from anyone who knows better, but I don't believe that some of the things I've read lately are part of the actual doctrine.
For instance, the idea among some groups that if a woman is seduced or raped by a member of a different family or clan, she has to be killed to preserve the honor of the family. I've seen a couple articles and news reports about this. My response is "huh?"
An example of blaming the victim in neon lights, fer pete's sake. The reason behind this is clear. If the men of one clan responded by killing the man of another clan who was responsible for the offense, then a tribal warfare would break out, lasting for generations. Think Hatfields and McCoys. So kill the victim, and then the vendetta won't be given life. This probably saved a lot of MEN'S lives. Too bad it cost a few women's lives. And, in fact, is still costing a few women's lives.
Those who indulge in this behavior justify it by Islamic thought and practice, but my information is that this is not supported by the Koran.
On the Christian side there is similar, if less lethal, equivocation. Jesus didn't have any women apostles (so it is said) so therefore women shouldn't be priests or ministers. Fortunately any early texts which suggested anything different have been destroyed or declared heretical, or both. The Catholic church (and folks, your curmudgeon grew up in the Catholic faith so I reserve all rights to bitch about it as much as i can while hiding my dirty secret that I see a lot of good in it) still maintains, in the face of multiple scandals involving sexually ignorant and sexually vulnerable priests, that women should not be in the priesthood, and that priests should not marry (lest women interfere with their spirituality). Really, this is no different than the (so-called) Islamic prohibition against women having any significant say in their society.
The underlying sentiment is fear of women.
C'mon, guys, give me a break.
Women are great. You don't have to be afraid of them. Just enjoy. If you don't want them sexually (or even if you do) enjoy their intelligence, their views on the world and it's workings, their hu(wo)manity.
The idea that it is weakness to consider women important and worthy of consideration is in itself a sign of weakness.
Grow up guys. Especially you guys who are popes or imams.
Its a new world, and God (or Allah) created it. Get used to it.
(I said that)
Thursday, February 7, 2008
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Conservative clerics and elders demanded Thursday that the Afghan government not interfere with a controversial death sentence handed down to a young journalist convicted of insulting Islam for distributing a report questioning polygamy.
Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, 23, was sentenced to death on Jan. 22 by a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for handing out a report he printed off the Internet to fellow journalism students at Balkh University.
The article questioned why men can have four wives but women cannot have multiple husbands.
Kaambakhsh has appealed his conviction.
More than 100 tribal and religious leaders convened Wednesday in Gardez, the capital of the conservative eastern province of Paktia, and demanded that the government support the sentence.
"Kaambakhsh made the Afghan people very upset. It was against the clerics and Islam. He has humiliated Islam," Khaliq Daad, head of the Islamic council of Paktia, said Thursday. "We want the Afghan president to support the court's decision."
Further evidence of the bankruptcy of populist Islam. These religious leaders are following old tribal custom and pretending that it is Islamic. I really think Islam is better than this.
Alas, this will be what it'll be like in Huckleberry's America if he gets elected. It'll be my way or the highway, or maybe the stake. There is bankruptcy in American Christianity also. And I say this as a deacon in my church.
I read in a Psychology Today mag at my therapist's that societies where men can have multiple wives are better for women because it's the rich guys that can support them. So they get better lives as part of a team with a rich manager than if they were going with a guy who could only afford one wife. The downside, the article said, is that this leaves a lot of poor men with nothing to look forward to, romantically, so it becomes easier for them to be suicide bombers. Looking to enjoy those 72 virgins. (What is it with this virgin business? Best sex is with someone experienced, male or female, in my opinion).
We can't just run out of Afghanistan either. That was always more important than Iraq, no matter how bad Saddam was. Geez, how many nasty dictators have we let live, even supported in the past? I still think the only reason we're there is because George got mad that someone tried to off his old man in Kuwait that time.
In the meantime, even tho he's in hiding, Bin Laden is still a hero just because he got away.
This is a toughie. I don't know if the Obamarama movement can sweep past Soldier McCain and his troops. Hillary can, if the Dems can stick together like the Repubs will when they have the Billary show to hate. What are the chances of that? If Ralphie Nader jumps in, the Birkenstock crowd will lose all sense of proportion and write him in on their ballots. Hello, President McCain. Do we really need another Republican Pres picking Supreme Court justices? It wouldn't matter so much if the Democrats showed some gumption in Congress. What a letdown they've been.
Aargh. Tired of politics. Unfortunately it's everywhere. Bad economy, yrs truly laid off, paying medical bills. Running out of enough scratch to keep the single malt flowing. The only thing out of Scotland that actually tastes good. Sorry jayna, you can keep your haggis. Anyhoo, we're all (except that top 1/2 of one precent that's hogging all the dough) suffering the effects of bad decisions and weak-minded legislation.
All the politicos yap about the founding fathers at some point or another. I wish we could clone a few of them, the founding fathers, that is. Especially Ben Franklin. Smart, funny, and not running for office. Also irreverent.
Hey, I got things to do. So do you. Get outta here.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Mitt the haircut is determined to throw away a couple more millions to try for the nomination. Good luck, hypocrite.
Huckleberry Huckabee is just in it to make sure he can influence the party platform with his platitudes, his so-called Christian platitudes. I wonder, did Jesus think the world was only a couple thousand years old? Did he give a rat's ass?
Now it's up to the dame and the colored gentleman to fight it out without crippling their party. I'm being un-politically correct facetiously, of course (hold those angry comments) but I'm really excited that we have a choice between a woman and a black guy to be president. Assuming that either of them can bring down the war hero. That oughta shake up the nation and the world a bit. it's about effing time. I hear some guys are thinking of the "white guy" as being the only group it's safe to make jokes about. Sorry guys, it's your day in the stocks. Live with it and get over it. Pretty soon things will settle down, you'll just have to get used to not being the natural heirs to power.
Just recognize that it is really hard to feel sorry for you.
I just can't figure out if dealing with a woman or having to recognize that America can elect a black man to president will frost the shorts of those Middle-easterners who hate us most. (English majors, parse that sentence!) Whatever, it will give America an entirely new face. And boy, do we need it. It's going to take years to erase the damage the Bushman has done.
I'm getting bored with politics (until tomorrow), what else is there to complain about? Health care. Hillary, if you get in, you better follow thru on this and give us a good program. Don't be afraid of being called a socialist. That'll happen no matter what you do. Ditto Obama.
It sucks to be in colonoscopy/heart problem age and seeing what the medical bills are even with a "good" insurance policy.
Christ, it's more cost-effective to die these days.
I'm off the meds (alas they weren't the kind that gives one a good buzz) and now I can drink again. Praise the lord for single malts. Good scotch is Scotland's penance for unleashing bagpipes and haggis on the world.
Isn't it funny how poverty-stricken diet needs become some kind of special food for modern people. I mean would you eat pig stomachs filled with god-knows-what unless you were starving? Or rabbits. That's a French thing as I understand it. C'mon, who really wants to eat Peter Rabbit? Besides those cute little bunnies pick up parasites in the wild. Now rabbits are special in French diets, haggis a special treat in Scotland (thank God it mostly stays there). They can have it.
My Eastern European family was big on pickled pigs' feet. That's right up there with haggis in the barf zone as far as I'm concerned.
OK, bedtime. Get your sleep while you can folks. Ya never know what tomorrow will bring.
I'm wondering why so much classical music isn't anymore inventive or engaging than contemporary rock. Late night radio. Love it or hate it.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
As of 11:30 PM, no definite winners.
Huckleberry Hucklebee seems to think it's between him and McCain. His little speech tonight had a real populist-fascist feel to it. He's another disaster in the making. Smiles broadly (but in real regret) as he condemns non-believers to hell.
Mitt the Haircut put on a brave face, he carried all the states he's lived in, he said. You'd think those would be people who would know better. He got the Republican vote here in Massachusetts, but Massachusetts Republicans are a sorry group. I don't know how long it's been, if ever, that they had a majority in the state government. We only elect a Republican governor once in a while to show we're not prejudiced.
McCain's talking now, whoops, they cut off the old guy to go to Obama's talk. He and Hillary are both sorry for the victims of the storms in the mid-west. How sweet. He and Hillary are both certain they will go to victory.
The Billary Machine and the Obamarama are still running neck and neck. This may start to look
like the chariot race in Ben-Hur. It's not too late for the Democrats to fall on their face, and leave room for the Republican nominee to pull ahead. Pray that they keep their heads about them.
Gotta admit, Obama does a good speech.
Eight more months, dear lord, to hear these people trying to one-up each other. Aliens, where are you? I'm still waiting for that abduction. Just remember to leave some food out for the cat.
I'm outta here. Read about it in the papers tomorrow.
Monday, February 4, 2008
So since I was last here we have had the Stupor Bowl. Too bad Pats fans. They just couldn't hold it together for one more game. I'm glad I had it on the radio in the background. I would've hated sitting thru all those commercials just to see New England lose. Yeah, I know some people look forward to watching the Superbowl commercials. They are idiots.
And they will probably be voting tomorrow. Another Superbowl of a sort. A ridiculous mash-up of 22 states all trying to have their influence on the selection of a nominee. We ought to have a national primary vote. Let everyone vote on the same day. Thin out the herd, then a second primary to select the two finalists. Or maybe we should go back to the old smoke-filled room idea that prevailed when the curmudgeon was just a little grump. Oh wait, smoking isn't permitted. Kill that idea.
This event will be more exciting than a superbowl at least. Will the Obamarama finally charge past the Billary bandwagon? Will Ron Paul's internet-geek supporters drag themselves away from their computers long enough to vote and keep him in the running? I hope so. Now that U.F.O. Kucinich is out we need someone else to provide a little humor. Will Mitt the Haircut finally get the come-uppance he deserves for his cynical flip-flopping? Praise the Lord, we are spared anymore of Rudy Nine-eleven. What a disaster he would have been.
I'm sort of sorry Edwards is out. If he and Romney were the candidates, we would have the war of the competing haircuts.
Anyway, whichever one of these characters gets the job, s/he had better do something about health care. Yrs truly has had a few little incidences lately which leave him gasping at what he has to pay, even tho he HAS insurance. Socialized medicine? Bring it on. It would be more useful for the government to be spending money doing things to help it's own citizens rather than spending money to send troops overseas to trouble others.