Bad Things Happen
Venting about politics and world affairs with occasional Dodger and Laker rants as well as a movie review here or there.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
complacent Obama fans
There are many WASP-y Obama supporters out there for whom the election of President Obama was not particularly significant insofar as he represented a rebuff to the insular, secretive, big-business friendly W presidency but too much, because he wasn't George W. Bush. Too many people voted for President Obama simply because they were so (understandably) sick of the increasingly brazen corruption which typified W's leadership.
However, voting for someone because they aren't the worst guy ever isn't much of an endorsement of the new guy. It's not saying much to remove us from the seventh circle of hell and improve things a little bit. If those are the standards by which we define success, well, our "leaders" will continually fail to reach the standards of ethical, responsible leadership which the people of America should expect. But worse than the damning with faint praise is the fact that President Obama has doubled down on the secrecy of the Bush administration by abrogating his promise that he would veto any bill upholding telecom immunity. Obama has empowered the same financial advisors who facilitated the treasonous too big to fail bailouts at the end of Bush's second term. And we continue to bomb our "ally". With friends like that, who needs enemies? That brings me to this. Too many of my nice, urbane, yuppie college friends are not sufficiently upset, if they bought into the claims of Obama that he would change things, that he is much too content with same as it ever was. He hasn't empowered people, but is run by the same interests that have run politics in the US for a long time. Fine, if you want to criticize Bush, totally reasonable, but is Obama living up to the hype? When you promote yourself, and win awards for a campaign promoting change, you should be more than just talk.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
in spite of the name of this blog.....
sometimes good things happen. I guess since it was Thanksgiving yesterday, this is as good a time as any to post a more upbeat post. I am, believe it or not, an optimist. I'm just a hard-nosed one. This quote from Oscar Wilde sums up my outlook fairly well: "We are all laying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." It seems too many people take pleasure in the shortcomings and failures of their fellow man and use man's many failures to validate their own failure to try and make the world better. People see people's failures but not their successes? Why is that? Sure people screw up, but they also do things right, and well. Why can't people focus on those things rather than the negative?
Anyway, I was at the airport the other day, flying back to the States for Thanksgiving and we had a starter problem on one of the engines, discovered only when we were taxiing down the runway to take off. So while the captain learned of this problem, we of course sat there helplessly, in the plane, for about an hour and a half or maybe even two, until they learned that the replacement part would have to be shipped from Japan. Finally we were told that because this part wouldn't be arriving any time soon that we'd have to go back into the airport. So back everyone trooped, having to return THROUGH customs because we had cleared once. It was a long, winding trip back to the terminal and at one point we had to descend an escalator to wait in a small area in front of an automatic double doors so that we could take a shuttle back. So as people came down the escalator, they naturally didn't move particularly quickly forward, away from the escalator. People would move a little ways and then stand there, because...well, why bother? However, it became apparent that if we didn't all move a decent ways forward from the bottom of the escalator after coming down it, that people coming down it would bump into the people who'd just come down and there could potentially be a bit of a build-up of people. Some people noticed this fairly early and said quite clearly and forcefully that people should move forward. There were probably 150 or so people waiting in an area around 20' by 30' and so it was imperative that people did move once they got down the escalator. Once folks got down to the bottom, we had to stand around for about 15 minutes, having sat on the plane for a couple of hours with no water, many folks having connections put in jeopardy or having missed them altogether.
However, there at the bottom of the escalator, folks stood around, joked, people were polite to one another, no one pushed or dissed anyone, and everyone was a good human, just waiting for our shuttle bus to take us back to the terminal so that we could make new reservations for our flights to wherever we were going. And there were people of every race-black, white, Asian, Latino. It ain't much, but it's something.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Meet the new boss
Saturday, November 21, 2009
15 Signs of the Unraveling of Society
Friday, November 20, 2009
Immorality of Republican Senators
As if there were any question....but here is further evidence. According to Roll Call magazine, the Republicans accept that the health-care bill will not be substantively altered and that they will attempt to obstruct the passage of the bill. That this country desires that people should have healthcare and that these Republicans are ensuring that people will die because of an absence of such healthcare, really speaks to the hypocrisy of those Republican Senators who support such obstructionism.
failure of the media
Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks nails the shortcomings of the national media in failing to clearly state What Happened. As he says, the national media likes to say that there are two equal and different sides to every story and that People Just Disagree when in fact, on many issues, a clear majority of the evidence suggests one side is right and the other is wrong. The media, however, likes to encourage talking, regardless of how inane or mindless. So they downplay the fact that the truth might be clearly on one side. This is truly demoralizing to those of us who follow the news quite closely and place great value on judgments being made on the basis of evidence, rather than pretending that there are two equally valid claims as to what happened. Uygur and The Young Turks are perceptive-and funny-commenters on the American scene.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
the economic recovery continues
I'm glad to see that people are able to eat satisfactorily and that delinquencies on mortgages are decreasing. This is wonderful news. Yes, stocks are at a 13 month-high so I guess everything must be right with the world. Now off to finish my polo match before a brief stay at my Bali estate.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On this Veteran's Day, thank you to all you who gave your time and energy and passion to serve your country. It is much appreciated. It's a shame when our "leaders" use your goodwill for their own nefarious ends. Here's a poem by Wilfred Owen taking harsh, scabrous stock of some of the false reasons given to poor, ill-informed young young folks, to risk their lives for their country. Here's another take on war.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Israeli settlers taking over Palestinian homes
This video is heartbreaking, but maddening at the same time. That the US continues to play possum regarding Israel, and fund Israel when Israel is a strategic liability for the US, is an embarrassment to the United States. Unfortunately, most Americans are so ill-informed about events in Palestine and Israel that they will not be fully aware of the scale of humanitarian catastrophe which continues to persist in the West Bank, until another particularly audacious Israeli land grab occurs again, as it did in '08 and '06 most recently.
Meantime, these sorts of steady, grinding thefts of Palestinian property will continue, until the US tells Israel that its ongoing financial sponsorship is contingent on Israel evidencing some sort of regard for Palestinian human rights.