Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Here's the problem: America is just so damn big that Americans never actually go anywhere else in the world except in uniform. I'm talking about Europe, boys and girls, not Iraq and Afghanistan, where, let's face it, nobody wants to go anyway.  And when we get there in our uniforms, we tend to spend most of our time on base, because on base we feel almost at home. We never have to step out of our comfort zone, never have to deal directly with the indigenous populations. The PX is like Wal*Mart., the base movie houses play American movies...all is set to live a sequestered life while we wait for the Russians or North Koreans to come over the line. Then when our tours of duty are over we come home unchanged and unaffected by where we've been.  Your average American tourist is just a big ole provincial asshole who goes to Cancun and thinks he's seen Mexico.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A LETTER (apparently from Australia)

Dear Danny
The wind industry employs 75,000 Americans. And right now, a bill to protect those jobs isn't going anywhere, because Speaker of the House John Boehner -- who sets the calendar for the House of Representatives -- doesn't want to schedule it for an up-or-down vote.

Hey Boehner -- what are you waiting for?

These good-paying jobs for skilled workers in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance

are critical for helping our country move out of the outdated energy economy of previous decades. If anything, we should be adding jobs in this and other renewable energy industries. But instead, we're letting these jobs be lost.

Tea party pressure is causing John Boehner and other House members to let the wind industry die. But what does that mean for the future of this country? We must prevent the House from playing a game of chicken with our economy and our future. It's time we put as much pressure on Boehner as the tea party has! Please sign the petition now.

Thank you for taking action,

Emily L.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Dear Emily
I'd be the last guy to support John Boehner. But I don't think the wind energy proponents have researched the downside of windmills. 400 feet tall (think forty-storey building), blades more than a hundred feet long, the ends of which are moving at well over 100 mph. Constant whoompf-whoompf of noise 24/7, harmful to the physical and psychological health of those living near them. Tons and tons of concrete poured to make the pads on which they are anchored. You seem to be writing from Australia, which has a lot more unused and unusable space than America.
I have only one horse in this race... the health and well-being of not 75,000 workers, but 350 million (and counting) Americans. Let's put 75,000 people to work on Solar.
panama red

Thursday, September 20, 2012

or if I'm so smart why ain't I rich?
Finance, especially of the high kind, has always been a mystery to me. I blamed my lack of a Harvard MBA, or something, anyway, for my lack of understanding.
But over the last few months I have come to understand how Bain Capital worked under Mitt Romney. And now I know why I ain't rich. And probably why you ain't, either.
Wanna get rich? Here's how to do it:
Put together from a bunch of investors a couple of million bucks. You can do this, when you have the confidence to know that it's gonna work. So, then you take that couple of million bucks and you go see a bank, and based on having a couple of million bucks and a four thousand dollar suit, you borrow, say, a hundred million bucks. The bank will lend you this because you let them in on what you're gonna do.
You have found a company that is in trouble financially. Taking that hundred million bucks, you buy a controlling interest in the company. Now the company owes YOU a hundred million bucks, because it's a debt of the company now. So now the company has to pay you (and the bank) back. Sometimes the profit/loss ratio of the company is such that the only way the company can make the payments on the debt is to begin to sell off its assets. Or to raid the retirement accounts of its employees. Or a combination of both.
So as the assets are sold off and the funds raided, the company and the people who depend on employment there now have squat.
Do you care? Not on your life. Because your goal is to make money, not continue to pay a labor force to produce goods on machines you have already sold off. So the company tanks, but only after you have your hundred (and two) million bucks back, plus whatever you've paid yourself for managing the company into the ground.
The original investors profit from letting their money “work” for them, and the bank gets its principal+interest. Some guy in China gets equipment to continue to manufacture whatever. Everybody's happy. Except the people who used to have jobs at the company.
Now, assuming that you really could put together the original couple of million and then the hundred million, would you do it?
Me, neither.
So where we fall down in this scheme is the part about putting people in a failing company out of work. Why? Because it may be slick money management and it may turn a profit, but at heart it's immoral.
And that's why you and I may be smart but we ain't rich.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



JFK's death and the World Trade Center.
I was in a bar in Amsterdam when the first plane smashed into the World Trade Center. And I saw the second one crash into what was left ten minutes later in the same bar on television.

Dazed, I went out into the street, where my friend Mohammed pleaded with me not to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few.

As it turns out I only blame 19 Muslims for the World Trade Center. I don't even blame Osama bin Laden, or at least I only hold him as accountable as I do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and others, who all at least had foreknowledge that this was going to occur.
I believe the whole thing was rigged. I do.
These guys were spoiling for a fight, and they were gonna have it no matter what.
I'm not going to go through all the reasons yet again for why I believe what I believe. Nobody who reads this is going to care anyway. They haven't yet.
Except that I may get disappeared I don't either.
See ya.

Thursday, September 6, 2012



people keep writing me asking for money.
I mean, ME, of all people
I think it all started with my wife.
Yeah. That's the ticket, I'll blame her.

We used to get these pleas for money from
an Indian school and perhaps orphanage out west somewhere.
One time they offered us an Indian blanket
if we gave them $100.
I mean, who could pass that up, so we did.
We got this fleece kinda thing that was made in China.

You know the charity with the kids who need cleft palate repair?
Well, Patty used to fork over ten or twenty bucks every time she got something
from them in the mail.
Turns out the guy who runs the charity makes about 800K a year.

It seems that Barack, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson,
Truthout, MoveOn, and organizations I haven't even heard of
are totally gonna lose their elections or go under if I don't
come up with at least $25 apiece for them. I've never been this important.

So Patty weaseled me into writing a check to Michelle
for enough to pay for the brake job I need on the old Volvo

But that's it. No more mister nice guy. I'm gonna start direct emailing
these people and asking them for money.
But I ain't voting for Romney no matter how much superPac money he spends.

Why? Because then I'd REALLY be a sucker.


Squirrel is home.  Poor little guy.  I'm sure (I mean SURE)that he thought that when he came home it would all be okay, that he'd be able to eat again just like always.  It's gonna take some doing..he has to go back for another operation(to remove the wire that is currently holding his lower jaw together) and then he's gonna have to learn to eat all over again.  Currently we have to feed him with a syringe.  But it's better than being dead, and it's certainly the choice HE made.

And the other kitties don't know what to make of it...the dumber more forgetful ones don't remember him and are thus put out by this interloper...his little sister YumYum growled and hissed at him the first night, ran outside and wouldn't come back into the house until next feeding time the evening after.  She's not stupid, but she IS jealous, you see...all through this she's been the little princess, laying up on the bed and eating bon bons and being told how very very special she is, and now, suddenly here's THIS guy getting all the attention that should rightfully be hers.
So now we're not letting YumYum out until she adjusts and forms a working relationship with her bro.
Opie, the old yellow cat, is mellow as always about everything.  I wish I knew his yogi.  So that's what's up with Squirrel.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I know that life is trouble
Know that life's a bitch
Rich man never happy
Til a poor man make him rich

Ain't got much time left in this trouble
Got to speak before I go
Lived for much too long here
And only wonder, never know

Saturday, September 1, 2012


My cat Squirrel got hit by a car. He got hit in the side of his head, which pushed his maxilla over to the right, and broke his mandibular synthesis.
In people talk this means that his face was smashed and his lower jaw broken in the front where it normally comes together. Also in people talk this means that he is a mess, and lucky to be alive.

But after he had dragged himself across the field and through my lawn and up the steps to the deck and up the steps to the kitchen door and through the door to flop helplessly on the floor, bleeding from every orifice in his head yet still wanting to live, and knowing that the people here would take care of him, what choice did we have?

He is lucky to have us as friends. I am lucky to have a couple of understanding vets who will front me their services for a limited time and keep him pumping.
So we raced through the night to the Murfreesboro Pet Emergency Clinic, after talking to our usual vet, who had vouched for us financially I'm sure, and we arrived to find competent kitty trauma docs waiting to take whatever action we decided.

So: put him down, or go for the big bucks treatment and try to bring him back from the edge? “How's his brain?” asked my wife the RN. 
 “Well, he's still in there. He's hurt but he knows where he is and who he is, if that's what you're asking,” said Dr Stevens.
 “So all of this trauma is physical and he's not gonna be a rutabaga?” 

She turned to me. Having spent a lot of time with crazy cat ladies, I knew my line. “Okay,” I said.
Patty said, “Do what it takes to save him, then.”
Okay,” said Dr Stevens.
And so they did. And they patched him up and cleaned him up and took x-rays and got him high enough to get through the night. For a little more than the price of a good Mexican Telecaster.

The next morning, I got out of bed at 7 and took him to Dr. Kinard, his usual vet and one of the kindest souls I've met here. “It's going to take some doing,” Chuck said. “But we'll beef him up and get the inflammation down as much as we can for a few days and then we'll try to rebuild him.” I mentioned the bill. “Don't worry about that now. I know you and I know this cat.”

It's been a week now since the asshole going sixty though our thirty clipped my little cat, flinging him into the field next door. Last Monday Dr. Kinard wired his mandible back together, but afterward he said there was scant little he could do about Squirrel's upper jaw, which is sitting about a quarter of an inch further right than it should. All those delicate little facial bones crushed or displaced are impossible to restore to their former relationship to each other. 

This morning, Saturday, I went to visit Squirrel at the vet's. One or both of us has gone every day.
Squirrel still has to be fed with a syringe, but when the vet's assistant brought him into the room where I was waiting, he began to act like the Squirrel I know so well. Bunting my face and purring, making biscuits while I loved on him. I put him down on the floor and he started doing figure eights around my legs, and like most bobs, talking a blue streak.

I know it's not prudent for a guy in my income bracket to throw money away on a cat.  I have other obligations.  But his determination to stay living and his trust in us to help him do that trumped every consideration of prudence. Had I just put him down two weeks ago, I would not have had the joy of this morning, with my little bob-tailed friend, now so glad to be alive and so glad to see me. Am I a sucker? You bet.

I've had a talk with Squirrel in an attempt to get him to reconcile himself to his new condition. I've explained to him that being a leading man is off his agenda. “But you know, you can still get a lot of juicy character roles. Character actors have longer careers anyway,” I say.
I mean, look at Luis Guzman. Guy works all the time.”

Squirrel, with his little lopsided face, only purrs and bunts me again.  He'll come home Monday.