third parties?

I saw folks handing out flyers for Ron Paul in Union Sq this afternoon. That reminded me about the Giuliani lead… I am quite weirded out that Rudy is still considered a front runner, since his positions are in many ways more moderate than Ron Paul, who I had thought was sort of middle road (but who is hard core especially in his lingo about things like health freedom, to the point where it sounds like 1984 – he is anti choice, for instance, but reconfigures the language to be about the freedom of the fetus rather than the woman, somehow…)

Anyway, Giuliani even maintains a semi-pro-choice position, certainly more so than any previous republican candidate, which is potentially a problem, although I suppose at this stage it isn’t clear exactly how necessary the Christian Coalition is… Especially if the dems go with Hillary, since they’ll lose a load of middle-roaders off the bat that way, just because a)she’s female b)she’s married to bill and, maybe merely a sum-up of the previous two, c)people find her annoying.

Obviously there’s the post-9/11 aspect of this, which gives Giuliani a boost, but if it lasts, that would be significant in another way. I don’t know if the members of the Repub party are so fearful of terrorism they’re ignoring other things, or if they are just using that excuse to choose a more moderate representative, like the Ross Perot moment. The Repubs have needed the Fundies but not all of them are the Fundies, and maybe they think they can do it without their extreme branch now… It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

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14 Responses to “third parties?”

  1. rushmc Says:

    I think people perceive a lot more negatives in Hillary Clinton than the three you cite (not that the first is really a negative, of course, and the second is arguable). She seems overtly political and complicit with the status quo–perhaps more than any other candidate. Equally importantly, she seems to base her positions on polls and the direction of the wind rather than on strongly held conviction (a change, perhaps, from her earlier career), which is strongly offputting to anyone looking for more of a statesman than another self-serving politician. And, of course, there is her support for the invasion, which for many is an instant disqualifier.

    As for Giuliani, he seems by all accounts (including an examination of his history) a greater authoritarian than Bush himself, surely the last thing the country now needs. He may waffle a bit on certain social issues, but it seems likely that he’ll tighten up his positions as his base demands it, and, if elected, would enthusiastically continue the work of dismantling the Constitution.

  2. drinkme Says:

    She seems overtly political and complicit with the status quo–perhaps more than any other candidate.

    I dunno, I know people make claims like this about her, but it’s difficult for me to distinguish how she is remarkably different from most politicians in this way. They are all political, and they all are interested in maintaining the course of things more or less in its current incarnation. Sure, there’s talk about some hope for change, but no one with any hope of actual election is looking to make radical changes… I honestly think she is hated more for secondary qualities than truly for her political vices, because I think her political vices are pretty mundane.

    Giuiliani is a weird case though. On the one hand it could seem positive he didn”t bend to the predispositions of his usual votes, the way the supposedly “libertarian” candidate did, for instance, but on the other it’s pretty easy to just see that as his huge ego and comfort with authority, and imagine him reinterpreting executive powers as he saw fit, etc.

    Basically politics has that eternal problem, that you just don’t really want to trust anyone who is interested in the job… I tend to agree issue-wise more with the edwards/ obama end of the spectrum, but I can’t say i’m really excited to vote for anyone.

  3. rushmc Says:

    I’m not prepared to document the case against Clinton just now, though it is definitely my sense of her (I wouldn’t vote for her, and I’d probably have voted for Milosevic against Bush), but it doesn’t even have to be true to be fatal to her—just look how much traction the Republicans got against Kerry “the Flipflopper” in the last election.

    Here is an interesting article on how Giuiliani is surrounding himself with neocon advisers.

  4. Dennis Osborne Says:

    Bob Woodward wrote there came a time in Clinton’s presidency when he decided winning political victories was more important than advancing his own ideology. So he essentially began fighting for Republican issues, such as ending Welfare and pushing for globalism. I can’t think of anything he did beneficial for liberal causes, unless it be balancing the budget which used to be a conservative goal. In his new book, Alan Greenspan wrote that Bill was the best Republican president he ever worked with. Still, Clinton was a good speaker and after Bush that doesn’t seem like any small thing.

    To my mind, we haven’t had a president advancing liberal causes since Johnson. And that was a very long time ago. Meanwhile, the ruling power has shifted to corporate heads. Just as it’s rare to find anyone who doesn’t claim to have been holding their noses for anyone they’ve voted for president in their lifetimes, I think the same holds true for politicians when they vote for themselves. So, I agree, it’s not just Hillary. To be funded and win, successful politicians have to make a lot of compromises. Someday we should surprise corporate heads by voting for those, their television employees tell us are unelectable. Those are the ones who haven’t sold themselves out, because never believing they were going to win, anyway, they didn’t find it necessary.

    Here is one piece of evidence for corporate control you might watch for. Likely, only about 20%, at most, of Blacks in the general population are conservative. But have you noticed about 80% of Black television commentators are? My guess is, corporate heads are assigning their inclusion in pseudo news shows with a hope of creating intelligent role models to encourage Black viewers to vote Republican.

    So I guess I believe, no matter who you vote for, that’s not really the person. They’ve sold their souls to lobbyists, hired by corporate heads. In reality, your vote goes to people unseen. And most major changes these days are not voted upon. Globalism and moving manufacturing plants overseas, for example, represented a huge alteration to our economic system. But do you recall any major debates over its implementation? And even if we had one, now, economists are bought off as well and no one is paying to have one speak against globalism. So I can’t tell whether it’s been a good thing or not. I do like low cost goods but sometimes I wonder what the ramifications might be. For example, it seems to me, part of the reason we won WWII is because of the manufacturing plants we had. We’ve helped China so much, they’re now, along with Social Security, loaning us money to occupy Iraq. We’ve moved our manufacturing plants to that nation. What happens if they turn against us and launch upon worldwide expansion, say, a dozen years from now? Just as the North, with a more advanced Industrial complex, prevailed over the South in the Civil War, what position would we be in against China, where our old plants have moved? Are corporate heads capable of looking that far ahead or are they just interested in lining their pockets, now?

    Life is pretense. I heard Mike Wallace’s son, Chris, of Fox Television, ask Nancy Pelosi whether she prays for Bush to do well as president and for us to win the Iraq War. There is no option for a politician to say, “I don’t pray,” or “I tried it and found it didn’t work.” You have to profess praying, to hold a major political office in America. I think it likely Chris Wallace doesn’t pray all that much either. But he likes his fancy house that Fox pays for and so asks what questions he’s assigned from above. And of course, Nancy must dance to their tune, as well. It’s an old cliche but true. All we see is the tip of the iceberg. That’s politics and that’s news these days, as well. Like it or not we live under an Oligarchy where secrecy and manipulation reign. And our politicians don various Greek play masks as their masters command.

    Even now, with a majority of Americans crying out for universal health care, we see politicians donning masks with expressions of “Let them eat cake.” I hope for once we can crack one of those fixed, assigned images and actually succeed in making the kind of social gain that was more common years ago. It’s tragic so many are dying for lack of care or almost as bad, made slaves to their jobs because a precondition in themselves or a family member will not permit their leaving. Whatever happened to freedom? And what became of the kind of charity that goes beyond the moment to fix a problem, such as to make an improvement a right rather than a temporary gift of the moment, like handing out a free turkey on Thanksgiving, followed by hunger the rest of the year? Pensions, retirement health plans, and good paying jobs have been lost by many hard working Americans to job migration overseas, so that a few of us may become wealthy. And have they ever! It’s not at all unfair to demand some payback. Forget the politicians. It’s time people took command, to tell them who is boss and demand universal health care.

    And I pray that’s not illegal to say. These days, I don’t know anymore. America has changed so much. . . But that’s what I pray for, Chris.

    One last thing. There are too many college educated people these days, I fear, who when told something is impossible, look to prove their intelligence by acknowledging it so. I miss the days when less educated people responded, “To Hell it is!” That’s when real things were accomplished because more often than not, they were right.

  5. rushmc Says:

    I was with you up until your last paragraph, Dennis. I’d beware of even inadvertent complicity with the Conservatives’ mission to equate education with “elitism” and wrongheadedness. Real education is the cure for ignorance and shouldn’t be correlated with it (of course, not all education serves this purpose–or is intended to). I don’t think functional fixedness is correlated with education, in any case. It is trivial to find many people who never went to college who assume the limits of their peers or of society in general. I think independent-thinking exists prior to one’s education as a personality trait, although I do think that education can encourage and develop it. A bad “education” could also stunt it, I suppose, but it’s hard for me to see the argument that greater exposure to different ideas and methods would ever result in greater ignorance or in a more rigid worldview.

  6. Dennis Osborne Says:

    Well, I’m delighted you agreed with me to the extent you did. Actually, upon reflection, I don’t agree with what I wrote in that last paragraph, either. It was a misstatement to say they were less educated who led us out of the oppression that accompanied the industrial age to give Americans higher pay, 40 hour work weeks, safer working conditions, an end to child labor, and pensions that included health care protection.

    It is my belief that high school graduates of the first half of the 20th Century had superior reading comprehension and writing skills to the average college graduate of today. They were more likely to have completed advanced mathematical courses, such as trigonometry and calculus. And they knew more about history and geography than most present college graduates.

    I think most of what we know at the moment is from stuff we’ve taken in during the past five years. In times past, high school graduates continued reading in their off time, throughout their lives. Writers like Faulkner, Hemingway, Hardy, Austin, and Mark Twain could make a good living selling thoughtful books. Today it would be tougher because former college students don’t tend to read much. They turn on the television when they get home.

    I have copies of all of England’s ‘Gentlemen’s Magazine’ from 1737, which was the first magazine ever published. It included poetry, essays, short stories, and even advanced mathematical calculations. Frankly, I don’t believe most college graduates of today would find such reading of interest. But I think high school graduates from 70 years ago would have.

    I do grant that college students have been influential in social movements. They were there to support the advancement of civil rights. It’s they who helped launch environmental protection laws. I’m uncertain whether early feminists had college backgrounds but no question, the movement of the ‘60s was college centered. There is energy on a college campus. That’s obvious. Unfortunately, it’s left behind, once former students mainstream into society.

    Here is the thing about college graduates. Most of them shelled out the bucks to attend, not because they felt learning was worth buying without financial recompense but rather because they desired to make more money than others. I think the proof of that is they resign their learning to 24 hour, pseudo-news shows after leaving schooling behind. And the primary question, then, becomes, “Are you a Fox, NPR, or MSNBC devotee?” rather than, “What are you reading these days?” Many great writers of old would have a tough time surviving, now. You’ve got to be a formula writer to sell books. Being a celebrity certainly helps, too.

    So, again, I was wrong in saying they were less educated who improved labor conditions and helped create a Middle Class in America. I’d say, rather, they were studious, thoughtful, and had a lot going for themselves. College graduates, on the whole, would be in opposition to them, now, though. After all, having paid their dues, they, like factory owners of old, would feel it their right to enjoy the fruits of labor at other workers’ expense. It’s why they went to school, after all.

    To be compared to a conservative who is doing a brilliant job at looking out for himself or herself, I’d say, is not a bad thing. If only that same selfish desire for one’s own best financial interests could be spread throughout the land, we’d see a redistribution of wealth that would take us back to the ‘60s and ‘70s, when on the whole, Americans were doing much better. And by the way, there are a lot of college graduates who aren’t doing so great, either.

    But any time a major change is accomplished, what’s required is a cessation of trusting experts. They are hired hands, paid to say what they do by corporations desirous of moving money into a few pockets. College teaches us to trust a chosen few. We come to feel it a mark of intelligence to be in agreement with those in the know. True, there may be a few choices. But there is a general fear of obtaining to thoughts out of the realm. You might stray into the role of Pierre in ‘War and Peace,’ of being laughed at for not adopting the general beliefs of higher society. Blue collar workers didn’t possess that concern. They knew they could never mingle with higher echelon folk, anyway. And I believe it was from such independent disregard, they were able to be skeptical, challenging, independent thinkers in a way most college graduates, today, are not. If it were otherwise, all of the 24 hour news propaganda shows and plethora of conservative radio talk shows would not be tolerated. At very least, there would be a demand for a wider distribution of views. Also, there would be a desire for what existed prior to having so many college graduates about and that was of seeing foreign correspondents stationed around the world, presenting news reports from diverse locations every evening. It would seem, rather, an influence of college education has been lack of interest for anything outside and putting one’s head in the sand where buried speakers whisper only to believe in which restricted possibilities must be.

    Again, I say, give me those high school graduates of old who spat back at experts. “We don’t trust what you’re telling us.” Time has shown they were accurate in that challenge. Here is one piece of evidence for lack of trust of experts. How many do you see criticizing politicians for having passed a half trillion dollar Medicare prescription plan as unscrupulous? I mean, how could you think otherwise when only weeks after passage they began saying Medicare was in greater danger of going under than Social Security? It’s obvious their goal was to help its demise along. But I don’t hear many college graduates or otherwise speaking out on that. I have no doubt high school graduates of old, in their prime, would have seen through the scheme. And it’s likely because, unlike too many present college graduates, they kept their minds alive.

    Finally, I enjoy visiting this site occasionally because I find the recommended links interesting and detect life here of continued study and interest, which as you, now, know, I find atypical, especially of college grads. Also, I tend to have a reverence and admiration for those of you who love and study philosophy. It’s a sense, I feel, of inferiority on my part, that I greatly appreciate. It’s the same feeling I have for advanced scientists, too. I could never achieve what they have and yet love hearing what they have to say.

    Thanks for letting me visit.

  7. rushmc Says:

    I agree with your restatement of the issue as “independent thinkers” vs. “followers of authority.” Again, though, I must part with you when you say “College teaches us to trust a chosen few. We come to feel it a mark of intelligence to be in agreement with those in the know.” Some people may take that away from their college experience, and some colleges may promote that type of thinking (since many of them are largely about career preparation anymore rather than education), but I don’t think that such a narrowing of thought is in keeping with the spirit of college, which should teach us to trust a sophisticated PROCESS of data collection and assessment rather than any given authority.

    At the end you seem to revert to the college graduate/non-college graduate dichotomy, which I just don’t see. What you seem to forget is that most (though certainly by no means all) Fox viewers and other single-channel data collectors are those with less education, not more.

  8. rushmc Says:

    Some interesting information on Hillary Clinton as “insider candidate”: http://politicalinquirer.com/2007/10/19/hillary-clinton-receives-the-largest-number-of-military-donationsfrom-the-defense-industry/

  9. Dennis Osborne Says:

    I’d hoped to make clear I was comparing high school grads of old to college graduates of today. And obviously, too, I’m speaking statistically and not of particular members of either group. I think I omitted my belief that high school graduates of old would have been more likely to have studied chemistry or physics than college graduates of today, too. I don’t know about in this country but in many, Latin would have more likely been studied in lower grades, as well, than by most college graduates of today. And of course, I’ve already mentioned other areas, previously, where high school students of old were more advanced in certain areas.

    I regret you thought I was comparing high school graduates of today to college graduates. That would be a silly thing to do since college students have graduated from high school, too. I’ve seen ‘Outfoxed,’ so I know where you’re coming from in comparing knowledge of Fox viewers to that of the general population. Still, I think you err in considering the opposition less smart than liberals. That accusation of stupidity of the opposition is sort of playing the Fox game, too, isn’t it?

    Though I disagree with them, I think those in the lead of my opponent’s conservative side tend to be brighter than most of those representing mine. They’re superior to me, too, I readily confess. I mean, come on! How could you think otherwise? They’ve pulled off a coup and I still don’t understand how or, precisely what they’ve accomplished. I only know what they’ve done has usually been unspoken in public and performed by individuals we often know not of. Even in overt politics, I see Republicans making advances during their reigns while the best I can usually expect, at least since Johnson who initiated Medicare and Civil Rights advances, is for my guys to protect me from further Republican advances for the time we’re in control. Obviously, in the long run, we’re losing ground all of the time.

    While much is hidden, I see enough to feel politics is like Quantum Mechanics. What we observe is completely altered from what is occurring when we’re not looking. Evidence indicates electrons apparently go from one location to another without traveling anywhere in-between. But, as they only do so when we’re not looking, there is no way of comprehending, since worldly knowledge from observations available to us would say it’s impossible to behave like that. Likewise, I’m convinced there is a hidden reality we have to overcome in politics, too. I don’t believe our politicians are capable. Nor is our news media. They may even be complicitous partners with a surreptitious oligopoly. Somehow we’ve got to find it within ourselves, again, to do our own research in an attempt to make sense of things, that we may more intelligently resist those who would oppress us.

    Here is a link that I believe reveals much of an ultimate plan by corporate owners to return Americans to a time when the Industrial Age was reducing many to having little time for anything else but work and minimal sleeping. It basically states that our price of goods will be on the rise as workers in other nations demand a larger slice of the pie. As in science, there is a tendency toward equilibrium. Our wages won’t be rising enough to compensate the increased cost of goods. And our only alternative for survival will be working even longer hours.

    There is deception in the statistics this Fortune Magazine author, Geoff Colvin, is using. I’ve never known so many people working two jobs as I do, these days. And yet he insists, as if we’ve done no observing ourselves, that we’re actually working fewer hours these days. Nevertheless, he inadvertently reveals much of what has thus far been kept secret and that is the Global economy’s short term benefits of cheap goods will soon fade and all that will be left is low wages and longer work hours in a desperate effort to keep up. See what you think if you have a chance. http://talkback.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2007/08/22/are-americans-a-bunch-of-lazy-bums/

    I did a comparison to see what non-fiction books topped the charts in the 1940s vs the turn of this century. Presumably, since college graduates were few back then, the majority of readers were only high school grads. Today, I’d say they’re college grads. I whittled down the books of the 21st century to what I felt were the ten worst best sellers. Can you find ten books as bad from the 1940s as in the 2000’s? I looked to see if Aynn Rand’s, ‘The Virtue of Selfishness,’ was listed as a best seller in the ‘60s, when it was first published.. Happily, I can report it was not. But that’s consistent with my assertion that people had more common sense and a more expansive view, back then, than now. Compare the depth of their movies from the ‘40s to now, too. But we do have better special effects. I’ll give you that.

    1940’s
    1942
    The Last Time I Saw Paris by Paul Elliot (Random House) – August 9, 1942
    They Were Expendable by W. L. White (Harcourt) – August 11, 1942
    Victory Through Air Power by Alexander de Seversky (Simon & Schuster) – August 16, 1942
    See Here, Private Hargrove by Marion Hargrove (Holt) – August 18, 1942
    The Coming Battle of Germany by William B. Ziff (Duell) – September 13, 1942
    1943
    Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough (Dodd, Mead) – January 17, 1943
    Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis (Random House) – March 7, 1943
    On Being a Real Person by Harry Emerson Fosdick (Harper) – April 25, 1943
    One World by Wendell Wilkie (Simon & Schuster) – May 9, 1943
    U. S. Foreign Policy by Walter Lippmann (Little, Brown) – August 29, 1943
    Under Cover by John Roy Carlson (Dutton) – September 12, 1943
    1944
    Good Night, Sweet Prince by Gene Fowler (Viking) – March 26, 1944
    Yankee From Olympus by Catherine Drinker Bowen (Little, Brown) – June 18, 1944
    I Never Left Home by Bob Hope (Simon & Schuster) – July 30, 1944
    The Time For Decision by Sumner Welles (Harper) – August 28, 1944
    Brave Men by Ernie Pyle (Holt) – December 17, 1944
    1945
    Black Boy by Richard Wright (Harper) – April 29, 1945
    Up Front by Bill Mauldin (Holt) – August 5, 1945
    The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (Lippincott) – December 23, 1945
    1946
    Peace of Mind by Joshua L. Leibman (Simon & Schuster) – October 27, 1946
    1947
    Inside U. S. A. by John Gunther (Harper) – June 29, 1947
    Speaking Frankly by James F. Byrnes (Harper) – November 16, 1947
    1948
    Sexual Behavior In the Human Male by A. C. Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin (Saunders) – May 23, 1948
    How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (Simon & Schuster) – August 2, 1948
    The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill (Houghton Mifflin) – August 9, 1948
    Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert E. Sherwood (Harper) – December 19, 1948
    Crusade In Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower (Doubleday) – December 26, 1948
    1949
    Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (Crowell) – March 13, 1949
    The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler (Doubleday) – May 1, 1949
    White Collar Zoo by Clare Barnes (Doubleday) – September 4, 1949

    2000’s
    2000
    Life On the Other Side by Sylvia Browne with Lindsay Harrison (Dutton) – August 6, 2000
    The O’Reilly Factor by Bill O’Reilly (Broadway) – November 12, 2000
    2001
    The No Spin Zone by BIll O’Reilly (Broadway) – November 11, 2001
    2002
    Slander by Ann Coulter (Crown) – July 14, 2002
    2003
    The Savage Nation by Michael Savage (WND/Thomas Nelson) – February 2, 2003
    Who’s Looking Out For You? by Bill O’Reilly (Broadway) – October 12, 2003
    2004
    Deliver Us From Evil by Sean Hannity (ReganBooks/HarperCollins) – March 7, 2004
    2005
    The Fairtax Book by Neal Boortz and John Linder (Regan Books/ Harper Collins) – August 21, 2005
    2006
    Godless by Ann Coulter (Crown Forum) – June 25, 2006
    2007
    Power to the People by Laura Ingraham (Regnery) – September 30, 2007

    Don’t kid yourself. Some Fox viewers were formerly movers and shakers on college campuses. Many were ‘60s activists before their minds shut down. I’m not saying colleges aren’t great for stimulating many students beyond themselves. But that inspired yen for knowledge doesn’t often persist. Work demands and distractions do not allow for easy continued learning. It’s become much harder to sit down and read a book than it was in the ‘40s. And, of course, television has been no small culprit. But longer working hours and driving times have been significant factors, too. And, then, there are all of the propaganda shows. Life is forcing us into resigned, victim-like mentality. Only we’re too tired to notice. And worse, I fear we haven’t yet reached our nadir unless we wise up and finally stop cheering our own demise.

    There was an article in the local paper last week about how if Social Security runs dry, kids will be sued for parental support. Well, you didn’t think the wealthy were going to pay for other people’s care, did you? I think with that shifting of responsibility, we’ll move into a fixed class society with two thirds of us buried in debt and passing that on to their kids while the other third continue to move ahead to make life easy and certain for their children to assume. And, then, it will be assured the America we knew will be no more.

    There have been times when people have stolen away power from politicians and the press to become their own movers and shakers. That’s what I’m hoping will happen again. But, wisely, our government has put so many of us into debt, beginning with college loan times, I fear we’ve become too self-absorbed and even embarrassed with the seeming isolated problems we have, to join into any group action. Avoidance rather than interaction is the end result of deep indebtedness, unfortunately. I suspect that’s partly why many Americans have become so television driven. It’s an escape much needed, even if at the cost of one’s own life. And the circle continues as corporations pump the airwaves with thought control for acceptance of what once would have been considered outrageous advocacy for the rich and famous; and for their own low paid servitude. Weary and full of stress, Americans surrender daily, more of what they once had, as too many find their college degrees good for not much more than a debt of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to their government. And then they learn their degrees were, in the end, for a kind of indebted servitude burden that allows no further time for study, thereafter.

    Of course this is just hypothesis. If I’m accurate about debt playing a part in killing curiosity and explorative learning, it should prove true that Germans do more reading than we because I’ve heard their education expenses are pretty much covered throughout college. I guess I’ll have to do some research on that.

    I will say Ron Paul is right about one thing even if I disagree with him about everything else. Our desire for empire is costing us much. We are becoming Spartans in view, narrowing our focus and sacrificing ourselves, that Athens may live. Europeans should be very grateful. And we should be, too, that they are blocked from view by our media, lest we have our noses rubbed in seeing how those in more advanced nations live enlightened and secure at our expense. It would seem they are living much closer to the America that De’ Toqueville described than we, now. And we who led the world toward democracy and respect for each individual, now divert to recreate an ancient Egyptian-like society of drudgery, close observation, long working hours, and little to show but indebtedness passed on to our kids. We’re not there, yet. But that seems to be an empire we’re aspiring toward, as increasingly, we become Middle-Easternized in outlook. Torture, occupation, disregard for our own and even letting fellow citizens die for lack of care. . . Europeans have every right to look down on us. Our one virtue is, we don’t care. And so we look away. And look away. And look away. . . until there is almost nothing left to see.

    I’ve lost touch. Music was always one of our greatest sources of influence in both good times and bad. Do we still have that or is that another loss that comes with becoming an invading colonizer and a nation more mindful of Wall Street than its own people?

  10. Dennis Osborne Says:

    What does Larry Craig say when he wants to break things off with a lover? I wash my hands of this.

    I walked into an Idaho public restroom the other day and found myself thinking of Larry Craig. I’ll bet I’m not alone in that. What a legacy, huh, to be thought of in such a place? Too bad his first name isn’t Jimmy. Then when he leaves office we could write on bathroom walls, “Jimmy Craig porn and I don’t care. The Bastard’s gone away.”

    So I started considering potential Larry Craig jokes that may be written on bathroom stalls in the future.

    Here is one: What does Larry Craig do to ward off overly aggressive lovers? He uses stalling techniques.” Now, please, there are better ones yet to come.

    “How did Larry Craig lose his marriage certificate? It got stuck to his shoe.”

    Or another. What did Larry Craig purchase to help him in restrooms after an accident forced him to wears casts on both legs? A shoe horn. . .
    Like Letterman, I’m putting the worst, first. Hang in there.

    Why did a young Larry Craig never drink behind restroom walls? He feared he’d be carded.

    What’s it called when Larry Craig shows his wedding ring to a prospective new lover? Underhanded.

    How can you tell Larry Craig is into bondage? He wears handcuffs around arresting, young men.

    What song was played when Larry Craig’s political career ended? Taps

    Why did Larry Craig buy up so much land? He thought having the biggest spread around would impress potential suitors.

    What payment agreement did Larry Craig negotiate with a bordello for his various bills? An installment plan.

    What do you buy a Larry Craig who has everything? Toiletries

    How is it known that Larry Craig is a bit of an elitist? He’s attracted to guys with some polish.

    How can you tell when Larry Craig has gotten into a scuffle in a public restroom? There are black marks all over the floor.

    What did an irate Larry Craig say to a famous Southern General who’d pretended to come on to him in a public restroom? “Shoe, Lee, you jest.”

    If a foot slides away in rapid, serpentine flight from Larry Craig’s, how does he feel?
    ‘S’ shoed.

    If you’re still with me, this is likely the only joke I should have included from that lowly Craig mire above. To my mind, this pun was not so bad (as the others I invented may have been.) In fact I’m proud of it.

    What might the charge be if Larry Craig was arrested again?
    A Re-public can violation.

    Thanks for reading. I’m grateful. And be assured, you’ve groaned on me for that.

  11. rushmc Says:

    Another link: http://blog.nj.com/njv_murray_sabrin/2007/10/neocons_love_rudy_and_hillary.html

  12. rushmc Says:

    :::snorts, then chuckles at the puns:::

  13. Dennis Osborne Says:

    Thanks for chuckling in the end. It’s more than I would have hoped, though I still think a rearrested Craig, charged with a ‘re- public can offence,’ wasn’t bad. I still chuckle every time I think of that one. As for the rest, though, I wish I could say I was affected by a wild night on the town. But I fear, rather, I can not use being out of my head as an excuse for being so out of my head when I wrote those.

    I would say ‘snorts and chuckles’ bring to mind an indulgent Richard Pryor of years ago with a sudden craving for sugar. But I guess that’s not supposed to be an after-effect. And I’m not even certain Chuckles is still being sold, anyway. So I fear the joke wouldn’t gel.

    I looked it up, though, and discovered the candy can still be purchased. Also read something of their history and learned that ‘Chuckles’ sponsored Evel Knievel’s leap, here, locally, over the Snake River Canyon. Now, that seems a perfect team for that event. http://www.oldtimecandy.com/chuckles.htm

  14. Dennis Osborne Says:

    I saw former Russian chess great, Garry Kasparov, interviewed last week. Related to the Hillary, Rudy article you offered a link to, he was saying Putin loves it when we create turmoil in Iran, despite what he may say publicly, because such disorder leads to higher oil prices, and that’s what keeps Russia afloat. I found it interesting Kasparov, here in the states, felt free to blast his president, (and he did, believe me). I couldn’t help considering how we’re told, as Americans, now, that it’s against the rules for us to ever speak ill of our leaders when overseas. And I felt somewhat embarrassed that here was Kasparov, in the States, demonstrating that he, as a Russian, was freer than us in being able to speak his mind anywhere. I couldn’t help remembering, too, how, at a time when we were assisting Bin Laden’s troops by supplying them with arms, including shoulder launched heat seeking missile systems, President Reagan was permitted to visit and chat with college students in a Russian University auditorium where he chatted in the aisles with them, at their level, face to face. Yet, here, many argued that Ahmadinejadd should not be permitted to speak at Columbia University because, like Reagan against the Russians, he was offering resistance to our troops who have invaded and are colonizing his neighbor.

    I never thought I’d see the day when it seems Russians are freer in some ways than we. Of course, I don’t know whether a president would still be permitted to visit with students, there, as freely as Reagan was. We’ve sort of set a new example of behavior since then, more imperialistic and less free, in manner. One of these days I intend to write a paper on how it was our hippy movement more than a military buildup that brought the Soviet Union down. I’d say the height of our peace movement influence was shown the day tanks went rolling into Moscow to bring back the regime of old when millions took to the streets with Yeltsin, as if at Berkeley, to peacefully say, “No you don’t!” But, now, we’ve changed and, thus, so have they. I doubt, if tanks again arrived to install a new government, the public wouldn’t be persuaded to stay out of it. I’m beginning to wonder if the same wouldn’t hold true, here, too, if we were told by our media sources there was a national emergency and military control was necessary. We’ve grown accustomed, after all, to change being forced upon us, when we’re not looking. That tends to strip us of a feeling we can do anything. So we learn to look away and divert ourselves with distractions, as they do in China for example. Don’t think they don’t also keep themselves stimulated, there, even with all the restrictions they have. I know I like to chat with women there on occasion, and except in relation to their government, they speak freely. In fact, sometimes I forget there are any restrictions at all, because a lot of people here don’t like talking politics, either. Still, personally, I love to complain, on occasion, and by God, I’m going to miss that if things get much worse here. But if they make use of precedence to start threatening us with torture, too, I promise, it’s not worth it. I’m going to learn to keep my mouth shut, or at least be very careful.

    I agree with Murray Sabrin that our two parties are merging in many ways. One I’m concerned about is related to globalism. Both democratic and republican politicians have pushed strongly for it. And that makes me uncomfortable. There has never been any loudly expressed political resistance to this drastic change in economic philosophy. We the people have been left out. And millions have paid by being fired from good jobs and suffering monetary losses when assuming lower paid replacement jobs. And, yet, that they are employed, again, is touted as showing what a great economy we have. And, years later, when people who once had $30 an hour jobs, demoted to $15 an hour, it can be said their incomes are rising when their salaries go up to $16 or $17 an hour. “Oh, isn’t it wonderful?” our media questions. And, therein, is created an underground, because Americans know better. They, after all, have to live in a world, our overpaid media sees only from afar.

    Our news-people, by the way, report the last election was all about the Iraq War. But I think exasperation for how tough it is for so many Americans to get by these days, played no small part in democrats winning overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, the public will learn, soon, that democratic politicians are no more willing to help these days than republicans are. They are all globalists to the core. Well, maybe Senator Rangle may be an exception. Now that’s a guy with old time democratic values, I wish we could elect. He would be a fascinating president to observe. To my mind, he makes Obama look like a sputtering, hesitant, and uncertain thinker. But, then, he does that with many others, too.

    I suppose the one thing I’m hoping from our next president is some sort of universal health care system. But I’m not holding my breath. I don’t know if such a change could even be allowed these days. I mean, our World Bank and IMF have killed off thousands of people in Africa by insisting they stop socialized medicine in exchange for loans they were desperate for. Given that, how could we not continue killing thousands of our own fellow citizens and kids, here, too, yearly? Wouldn’t we be hypocrites if we sought to save American lives, given that we’re willing to sacrifice others for the sake of untainted capitalism? http://www.africaaction.org/action/sap0204.htm

    The thing about the World Bank, their leaders sound so wonderful at first glance. I heard its former president, James Wolfensohn, saying how we Americans, long, had too big a piece of the world’s pie. And it was time we started spreading the wealth, so that starving people elsewhere might live. I know Bill Clinton bought into this. I recall his saying in a State of the Union speech that it was a race between making those in underprivileged nations feel included in enjoying the fruits of labor and a nuclear bomb explosion resulting from someone who feels left out.

    But what I’ve noticed is, those who speak loudest about spreading our wealth, are also those who are making bundles of money and are not personally sacrificing at all. It’s factory workers who are losing their jobs to China and relinquishing their prosperity. And they were never consulted about that, either. But, then, how can I question the philanthropy of our World Bank leaders? After all, until recently, our noted philanthropist, Paul Wolfowitz, was president of that fine institution.

    Nevertheless, I continue to maintain, it’s not really our politicians, any longer, who are in control. They are captured servants of think tanks, overseas corporations, and organizations such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank. It’s all a great adventure. But at who’s expense? Seattle residents launched a major protest. I’ve mentioned, I think it was New York’s Greenwich Village that lit a spark back in the ‘50s that ignited in the ‘60s. I wonder if the next Renaissance in America will come from Seattle. Something must be going on, there.

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