Monday, December 27, 2010


I am multi-tasking and multi-computing like a melonfarmer today.* The streets are piled high with mattresses of snow, so I only have to go outside if I want to tromp. Working from home, so I've got my workplace IM and mail up on the big computer, along with Photoshop Elements 9 - a big step up in usability from Elements 6. Time goes so fast - I can't keep track of when relatives died or I last updated software. I'm just learning how to use the Elements Organizer, so while it labors to remove the year 2010 tag I erroneously applied to every single friggin' pic on the computer, I can update here from the iPad.
Sounds like much boasting about little, but I have been feeling like an outdated toy, a 20th century boy, and recent upgrades are making me feel more like I haven't reached the end of my tech rope.
Noose of the day - the incoming Repubs are making big staff hires straight from the lobbying firms. I have to start watching the Tea Party blogs to track when they start realizing they've been farmed over.
*Melonfarmer - a word much bandied abut in the bowdlerized version of Die Hard 3.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

and anOther thing

Sorry about the short posts. Doing much catching up with myself this week.

In the meantime, you might want to ask your internet service provider if it's okay to say what you're saying.


Gail Collins in the Times, reasonably positive about recent Obama.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Apropos of nothing except those MetroPCS ads, when does the backlash begin against stereotyping South Asian men as simpering fools? Can't be too soon for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

O no

But, but, but maybe he will only put the tip in. Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake:
“The only trade agreements I believe in are ones that put workers first – because trade deals aren’t good for the American people if they aren’t good for working people. That’s why I opposed CAFTA. That’s why I oppose the South Korea Free Trade Agreement." - Barack Obama on the campaign trail, 11/13/2007
Three years later, Obama is taking bows for that very same South Korea Free Trade Agreement, negotiated by George Bush in 2007.  He made a couple of changes that could potentially net the automakers a few hundred more jobs — but got no guarantees, and at the cost of hundreds of thousands of jobs. And all the things he said he opposed in the deal, that were bad for American workers and the environment, like limiting our ability to regulate banks and forcing American taxpayers to submit to judgments made by World Bank [and IMF - mr] and UN tribunals? He didn’t touch those.
Which makes me think of the scariest prospect at all. Not only is he a liar/politician, but that he knows exactly what he's doing now and I'm the one who's kidding himself. That this is a long program of billclintonian triangulation to establish himself in the new center and for the Repigs to hurl themselves off the right edge of the Earth just in time for 2012.
Thoughts very much influenced by this from Laurence Lewis at Daily Kos: "President Obama is neither weak nor stupid... nor a progressive"

my O my

Maybe I'm making too much of all this, maybe it's all very simple: Obama is a politician, he lies. It's all a matter of lying.
This is a vexed matter because of the indiscriminate smearing of Obama by vile, pig-ignorant Repugs. If/when they happen upon a legitimate criticism - individual mandate - it's swamped in their political puke.
But OK, maybe he's a liar. Maybe he is a liar. That would account for any questions I might have about his principles. But it wouldn't account for his seeming inability to recognize his enemies when they stand around him shouting "Me! Me! I am! Me!"
Unless... he wants to be a one-term president. He's in it for the money. He services the Corporatist States of America for four years and retires to immense wealth as a board member for pharm and insurance.
Nah, doesn't suss. The ego that drives a man to the Presidency doesn't allow for one term and out.
I ran into a politically acute friend on the street and asked her what's the story with O. She came back with one word: Zelig. It does crystallize the appearance of chameleon morality in one handy image. But Zelig blended to survive - this theory won't hold unless O spends the next two years renouncing his first two and zapping far right or far left. The right will never forgive him for existing and the left will never trust him, again, would I?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who is O continued?

---------- continued from previous, see, some people know how to keep promises, sometimes

It's hard for me to write about Election Day. I certainly felt that historic jubilance - something good that I thought I'd never see in my lifetime had happened - something that didn't mean everything was better but that some things could get better.
And I had a positive opinion of the man I'd voted for, the man who'd won. [I've never been able to decide if this private joke is racist, that Obama was such a good candidate I would have voted for him even if he was white.]
At the same time, I had a bad feeling... the country was in a bad place economically... he was a politician... would he do the right things, which seemed needing more than ever since the thirties... we needed another FDR, but O was a Democrat... would he snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (this once a quip but now a trope about the Dems)?... would he fold?
I didn't join the celebration in the streets. I regret it somewhat, missing the unique, once in a lifetime and all that. But I had a nagging feeling that I was setting up for a disappointment, that O was no FDR, that no leader was that brave or desperate now, and that one day the memory of celebration would make me feel all more the fool....
When I think of all that I thought good about Obama, an image immediately comes to mind, of, I think, his first press conference as president. I was happy to see my country represented by the man who'd campaigned, quick and smart. The image that summons up all the good for me of Barack Obama is him standing at the presidential lectern, lightly gripping the sides, with one foot tilted up behind him and resting on its toe. Gracefulness married to intelligence - a Fred Astaire of the mind.
Where did this O go? What happened to him? When did he become so dumb?
I think it was the announcement that he had conferred with the pharmaceutical industry and taken their demands as given in health care reform that broke me on him. Somewhere around that time my friend Richard loaned me his copy of Dreams from My Father, and I returned it unread. I could tell from flicking through it that the prose was interesting and involving, but I just couldn't bear to be engaged with sympathy in this guy I had a feeling was going to be a terrible, terrible disappointment. I had already stopped watching his media appearances - too painful.
I swore I'd keep the faith until the fate of the public option was decided. And when it was, I gave up hope that this guy was anything like the leader I thought we needed now more urgently than ever.
Let me skip policy for the moment, and maybe for good.
This intelligent, graceful man, who I am convinced is neither evil nor traitorous nor foolish, has enemies. His enemies defame him, threaten him, lie about him, with no regard for previous standards of decency, courtesy or truthfulness. They have said that there is nothing more important to them than causing Barack Obama failure and turning him out of office after one term, if not sooner. They said it again today. Why does Barack Obama still declare and act as if constructive cooperation with these people is possible? Not desirable, but even possible? They would not applaud him even as he cut his own throat.
So who is this guy? I'm baffled. My next book up is David Remnick's The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. I would just hope to get some idea of what the man is thinking.
It's a library copy. It happens that it has been bound with the jacket inverted and reversed from the body of the book. It raises an interesting problem. How shall I read this book during quiet times at work or on the bus? It will look to others as if I am very carefully reading the story of our President upside-down. I could make a paper cover, but what am I to say if somebody peers over my shoulder and wonders why I found it necessary to hide that I was reading the President's biography? I don't think this accident says anything about Barack Obama, but I do wonder if it says anything about me.

Who is O?

Our president, Barack Obama, baffles me.
My first impressions of Obama, before the NY primary in 2008, were general and positive. I remember reading about this Senator who had written an interesting autobiography, which I hadn't gotten around to reading, and now he was making a run for the Dem nom, which struck me as premature. He was a young guy with no national rep that I could detect, running against Hillary Clinton's powerful, moneyed, and long-prepared machine. Maybe in four or eight years....
(Good to keep in mind when you're trying to forecast 2012 that few people would have predicted an Obama run, much less a victory, at this time in 2006.)
By the time of the NY primary, I simply could not choose between O and HRC. I thought of Hillary as the more establishment, corporatist candidate, and the more hawkish. O seemed closer to my
[y'know, it's kind of interesting - it seems natural to refer to one candidate by her initials or her first name, yet the other by his full or abbreviated last name. Some of this has to do with choice of branding, informal and not-associated-with-her-husband-except-in-a-good-way for one candidate and professional and maybe-it's-not-Arab-maybe-it's-Irish for the other. Maybe not, maybe nit.]
Averaging out my impression of Barack's politics made them seem closer to my own than Clinton's, so I liked that, but there was no substantial thing I could point out that could convince a theoretical friend that he was the one to back instead of C. But I was still steamed at Hillary's backing Big Boy Bush's Iraq Adventure, and certain that she had already arrived at her detente with the corporate state... but O was in many ways an unknown...
I didn't vote in the primary. I couldn't find a dot of difference to throw the balance one way or another.
I was sorry soon after that I hadn't voted for O. I thought Hillary's post-NY campaign was disgusting and destructive, enough to feel squeamish about voting for her should she win the nom. And not only did Barack show notable grace in maintaining the high road, the manner in which the younger campaigner was out-organizing and out-maneuvering the Hillary Machine became the substantial difference I hadn't seen before the primary. By the time of the convention I was a Barry fan - not a Kool-Aid drinker, but an admirer of a strong, intelligent man who just maybe had the fortitude and skills necessary in what was becoming a desperate time. I knew he supported continuing the wars on Iraqis and Afghanis - I thought this was a mistake, but perhaps he would find a way to conclude them quickly (if he was wise enough to come to agree with me). Remember, too, he was campaigning for health care reform that included a public option. At last! Not like Hillary with her tender concern for the insurance-pharma-industrial complex....

---------- to be continued shortly, I swear, not like the Marina Abramovic or trimming the cat's claws