Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

A Few Good Ideas Which are not Likely to Ever Happen

Every U.S. Senator and Congressperson makes $174,000 a year which, I’m sure the vast majority of Americans would agree, is at least twice as much as what they’re worth.  They’re seldom in  session, often absent even then, and when they rise to give a speech it’s just to get a sound bite on the evening news and not because the actually believe what is coming out of  their own  mouths.   Most Americans, truly, feel a bit  under-represented.  Some may have, at some point, written to their representatives in  congress, and got a form letter in return, but it’s clear they don’t actually give a rat’s ass what we think.
So, here’s a suggestion.  We should double their number.  It wouldn’t cost the public a thing if we simultaneously halved their salaries.  It would be the instant creation of 535 jobs, and maybe you’d get somebody who would answer your phone call.  It might, with a bit of luck, lead to people with a few more viewpoints than the Tweedle-Dee v. Tweedle-Dum group we’ve got it now.
But, of course congress would never pass anything like that because it would  mean cutting  their salaries, and diluting their power.  So, it goes into  the pile of ‘Good Ideas That Will Never Happen,’ like  having districts drawn by computer algorithm rather than by the party in power, to avoid gerrymandering, ranked voting, automatic audits for all members of congress, eliminating campaign contributions, and campaign advertising, and have the elections done as a series of 20 or 30 debates or so, and maybe tests, like “Aliens have arrived at Earth.  How do you respond?”, with some people eliminated after each round.
Maybe we need a law that congress doesn’t get to pass laws about how congress works.  Oh, wait.  Add that to the pile.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

Bring It On

The DNC (which, I strongly suspect still means Hillary Clinton, although I have no idea why) has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, Wikileaks, and Russia, saying they conspired together to make her lose the election in 2016.

She’s swinging right, left and center, so to speak.

A lawsuit against Donald Trump makes sense.  Charge him with tax evasion, maybe even obstruction of justice.  Make him show his tax  returns.  Maybe get him on  the sex charges, I don’t care.  If you find something to send Donald Trump  to jail, I’ll be happy.  If the whole thing blows up in  her face and she winds up going to  jail her own self, I’ll be happy.  I’ll be happy either way, so knock yourselves out, “DNC.”

In the case of Wikileaks, there are questions with both the charge and the jurisdiction.  First of all, there’s nothing at all illegal (yet) about publishing information which is true, and you don’t even have to divulge where you got it, at least it’s that way in the movies, in real life I’m sure it works a lot different.  Anyway, you shouldn’t have to.

Then, there’s the jurisdiction.  Assange is under virtual house arrest anyway, has been for years over taking perhaps a bit much of a sexual liberty, but that’s not what it’s really about, of course, but unless the U.S. wants to go to  war with Ecuador it should probably leave Assange alone.
But, Russia?  How do you even go about that?  You, DNC, the leaders of a nearly extinct political party which itself is massively guilty of election fraud, are bringing a lawsuit against a sovereign nation, the land of the Bolshoi Ballet, and Dostoyevsky.  The land that put the first man into outer space and a land with enough nuclear weapons to end all life on Earth.  The land of bears and Vodka and hilarious dash cam videos.

But, you know what?  Go for it.  Let’s see how this plays out.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

Stuffed

We just got back from  a dinner party and I’m stuffed, stuffed  to the point that I’m falling asleep while typing and watching a TV show I’ve never seen before, Detective Murdoch (?) ,something like that, it’s a bit interesting because it’s set in Canada in about, I’d guess late 18 or early 1900s, and it’s just not the most common time and place to set a TV series.

That’s one thing that kind of bothers me.  With all the times and places involved in human history over the 70,000 years or so in which we’ve been clearly human, why are there only a handful we focus on in our films and books.  The present, of course.  The near future and the far future.  WWII.  WWI.  The American Civil War.  (Seriously, I do not feel I’ve seen near enough films about the English Civil War.  Or all of the South American Wars.  We see lots of films set in Ancient Rome, and in Ancient Egypt, but there aren’t so many  about Mesopotamia, or Sumeria, or Phoenicia, or Carthage, not to mention the Khmer Empire that built Angkor Wat.
Anyway, I sort of intended to write about the dinner and how it was actually painful  how much food we ate, but it was all very good, but especially the mushroom  salad, and the  very garlicky egg salad  sandwiches.  The cake at the very  end, when I really didn’t want to eat any more but it was a birthday  cake, so  couldn’t say no, was quite awesome as well.  Layers of cream and chocolate,  graced with strawberries.

Good night.  I’ll  write more tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

The Role of Time in Art

Last year, just after we got back from our vacation to America, one of my first blogs was a commentary on an  art project in our neighborhood.  Mostly, I did not approve.  Most of the exhibits  seemed to me strikingly inartistic, cobbled together, ugly, and pointless.  Like a lot of modern art, like a lot of installation art.  I couldn’t wait for it to all  be gone.

And then,eventually,  most of it  was.  I don’t recall the point  at which  it  all  disappeared.  Like a cold or a minor ailment,  like a sore  foot for instance, you  don’t really perceive the moment when it’s gone.  Just, one day it’s not  there and your mind is  taken  up with other things.
But, there are still two pieces  left over and, being as it’s almost  a year later, I guess they’re sort of permanent.  And,  it’s O.K.

One looks like a black leather sofa that’s been  folded over so it sort of looks like a kneeling man, in between our local pizzeria and our local  supermarket, and it’s not leather it’s like  fiberglass or something.  I  think of it as a monument to Colin Kaepernick, although I have no idea if that was the artist’s intent.

The other is in the park, and I thought of it as perhaps the ugliest piece of all.  A bunch of metal containers, cylindrical  in shape and with holes in different lattice patterns.  They looked like some kind of military  surplus item, khaki green with peeling paint to reveal the rust below.  Thing is, though, they are very popular with kids.  It’s like  an instant fort, or a place to play house, I guess, all depending on  the age, gender and inclination of the child.  Empty spaces just waiting to be filled, worlds just itching to be colonized.

So, I guess they had some artistic merit after all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

Rot in Hell, Babs

Barbara Bush is dead, which is something that happens eventually  to  everybody, and she dragged it out longer than most.  I hadn’t really  thought about  her for years.  I still feel  great bitterness toward her son, and will  seriously celebrate the day of his death, and her husband, who  was also a war criminal and the nicest thing that anybody can say about him is that he wasn’t as stupid as his retarded progeny.
Babs, herself, was fair monstrous in her own right, although it didn’t get noticed as much because she didn’t actually hold any office.
But, she said things like “why should I worry my beautiful  mind about  it,” referring to the inevitable dead  Iraqi children who would come to be as a direct result of her family’s insatiable lust for oil, money and power.
She said, disdainfully, of evacuees from New Orleans after Katrina, that they’d never had it so good, while they were sleeping on cots in a stadium with thousands of other desperate souls.
She was, in short, an arrogant piece of shit.
I know it used to be said that one should not speak ill of the dead, but I’m not observing that old nicety any more.  If you spend your life committed to making the world a miserable place, you have to expect that people will curse your name at the moment of your death and far, far into the future.
Still, it was getting awkward.  I didn’t want to argue with everybody on Facebook.  So, I just started unfriending anybody who was speaking nice about her today, except of course  for people who I actually communicate with regularly.

I got rid of 5 or 6 people.  Won’t make  much  of a  difference, but I feel lighter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

Spelling and Grammar for Dummies

In real life, I am generally a non-confrontational, easy going person.  I don’t usually correct people’s grammar, or pronunciation, unless they are actually my students.  Facebook, however, is a different kettle of fish.  I am not there for the small talk and the making nice.   Well, with some people I am, but not with  everybody.
I sometimes correct spelling and grammar mistakes.  Sometimes people get angry about this.  They see it as condescending and sarcastic.  Sometimes, they are right.
In the incident that triggered this blog, people were actually  arguing about the Garden of Eden story, and a couple of them were taking it quite literally.  So, when one of them wrote “Adam and Eve weren’t white, per say,” I corrected him.
He called me a petty motherfucker, but he capitalized petty, for some reason.
There are three common types of mistake when people write  Facebook comments in English.  There are probably more, but three I’m going to write about here.
First, there are typos.  Of course, when people write something like ‘covfefe,’ it’s a  totally  inexcusable typo because you know darned well that they got a squiggly red line underneath it and didn’t even try to find the correct spelling.  Really, it only takes a second, and that helps a lot with words like ‘occurrence’ and ‘appropriate.’  The computer won’t help you, though, if you spell ‘car’ as ‘cat’ or ‘America’ as ‘American,’ which I’ve done a few times.
Second, there are non-native errors.  I’ve been teaching English as a second language for twenty years, so those are not hard to spot.  I leave them alone.  I am constantly amazed at how many people around the world speak English, and many of them, despite an occasional misplaced article, use it more effectively than we do.
Then, there are misspellings like ‘per say,’ ‘loose’ used to mean the opposite of ‘win’ and ‘could/would/ or should of,’ instead of ‘have.’
These mistakes are caused by people knowing the words from conversation,  and not from print.  The same problem can exist in reverse, and it’s rather comical.  I knew a woman who named her dog Keenoo, because she was a fan of Keanu Reeves but apparently just knew his name from the credits and was pronouncing it wrong.
The thing is, people not reading is part of the problem.  I mean, the whole world problem.  People who don’t read don’t really know enough to argue competently on almost any subject more complex than whether Candy Corn is the most disgusting candy ever or the food of the gods.  Yet,  they do.
The scary part is, they do  not seem to realize that people  who do read can recognize them immediately, and then they get angry  when they’re called out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive

Armageddon, Limited

Deliberately provoking a war in Syria is an incredibly dumb move.  It doesn’t have any possible good result, and the bad result – seeing as how Russia is backing Syria – is WWIII.  So, are the people advocating this bad people, or just stupid?

A bit of each, actually, but there’s another factor.  It’s that 30%, or so, of the American people who believe the Earth was created in a literal 7 days, about 6,000 years ago.  The ones who refuse to admit that the story of Noah’s Ark might be metaphorical. The ones who support Israel rabidly even though they’re not so crazy about Jews. The ones who believe that when the end of the world comes (in a giant battle at a place called Armageddon.  (It’s actually Har Megiddo, or Mt. Megido, and it’s about halfway between Haifa and Tiberias, if I  recall correctly) they will all be raptured straight up to heaven while  sinners like you and me will be cast into  the fiery pit where we will roast in torment forever and ever and ever.  There are more of them than there are people who voted for Trump, but most of them voted for Trump, that’s for certain.

They are, I’m convinced of it, actually rooting for WWIII to begin.  Partly for the rapture, but even more just to be proven right.  Sure, they want the Kingdom of Heaven.  But, even more, they would  love the satisfaction of knowing the rest of us are roasting in hell.
Here’s my main point,  though.  WWIII is not going to work out the way they think it will.  Things never do.  They may believe in a prophecy, but prophecies are bunk.  People writing the Book of Revelations may  have  thought Har Megiddo a lovely site for  a battle, but they were thinking  of massed infantry charging down the  hills with swords held high, screaming really loud.  WWIII, if it happens, will take place across the entire planet.  If it kills billions (which it might), it could still also leave billions.  Some blind, some dying of  cancer, some slowing starving because there’s no doubt agriculture will be screwed up for a few years.

Humanity will live on, maybe in a few patches here and there like in “The Stand” or “The Postman,” but humanity will be the equivalent of a suicide chump, who fails to kill himself but spends the rest of their life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down.

On the other hand, if they do  achieve their dream of global annihilation, we won’t go to hell and they won’t go to heaven.  Because those are just made up  things, and we’ll  all  just be dead.  Won’t that be a kick in  the pants.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs' Archive