Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama '08

Kuchinich dropped out, but he had a snowball's chance in hell. Edwards dropped out, but he was always going to finish a strong 3rd. Gore won't run unless Clinton really badly stubs her toe. So it's down to Clinton and Obama.

This is not a stunning endorsement at all. I haven't the enthusiasm some of my friends have for Barak Obama, but I do like him better than Mrs. Clinton. I do know he believes in building coalitions, and bringing people together in the best sense. But reality leaves me jaded. We have devolved into a one-party system and we have, as a nation, become as insulated and xenophobic as we were in the 1950s. We are a nation that prefers to watch trash, that searches for palliatives and sound bites. We don't investigate issues, and we let others shoulder responsibility. I'm not immune, I'm not above this, I am not sitting in my Ivory Tower pointing fingers - I am as addicted to junk as the next person, I admit it.

But I really want a Democrat as President, because I do think of the Supreme Court. At issue are health care; the environment; Roe v. Wade. We need to recreate discourse in America, we need to raise the bar on conversation rather than belittle intelligence.

So, there it is. I'm voting Obama on Super Tuesday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

I like to change Elmo's diaper but he doesn't like it because he likes to use the potty I see it on his DVD and on his website and he sings.

Bye bye I have to play now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Delicate Balance

L to R: Earl (of Old Town); U. Utah Phillips; Tom Dundee

Coffee Messiah asked me if I knew Tom Dundee. I heard Tom play a lot over my years in Chicago; an old friend of mine used to rent out his Condo on Juneway Terrace because he was on the road so much and so I met him, hung out with him a bit in the late '90s. He was a lovely guy, and a terrific singer/songwriter. I had no idea he'd died - motorcycle accident in April 2006. Two years before, his friend Fred Holstein died - another staple in the Chicago music scene. And before that, Mike Jordan, and before that Steve Goodman. It is all so fleeting.

"And its all such a delicate balance
Takes away just as much as it gives,
To live it is real,
to love it is to feel
You're a part of what everything is.

And its all such a delicate balance
As it turns through the circles of air,
To worry does nothing
but steals from the loving
And robs from the pleasure that's there."

A Delicate Balance, by Tom Dundee

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Western Wall

My cousin recently went to Israel for the first time. I call her my evil twin, which, oddly, is what she calls me. We constantly egg each other on to adorable levels of snarkiness and we laugh till we drool or have to run to the loo. She's hilarious.

During her trip, she got to go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Wall was part of the Second Temple, and is a holy place for Jews. People go there to pray, and they put prayers on notes and stuff them into the cracks between the stones. She managed to get this amazing, spiritually loaded, photo:

"Yo, God? This is Phil. Can I have mustard on that Pastrami sammich? Hold the pickles, they give me gas."

Monday, January 07, 2008

You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way The Wind Blows

Hat tip to
Dusty for getting this information out.

The SDS is waking up after a 40 year nap. Pat Korte, a sophmore at The New School in Greenwich Village, is a co-founder of the newly revived group. He feels that the new incarnation of SDS benefits from hindsight: the original SDS was highly factionalized and eventually fell apart because of that factionalization.

And while the new incarnation of SDS has not come up with anything as compelling as The Port Huron Statement of 1962, Mr. Korte does recognize that while revolutionary change is essential, "blowing up buildings is not going to get us anywhere. Nor is joining the Democratic Party.”

We lack a sense of urgency today which we had in the '60s. Perhaps this rebirth of student activism is lighting that essential sense of urgency. I hope so. We need social change. The original Port Huron Statement said "A new left must start controversy across the land, if national policies and national apathy are to be reversed." I do not advocate blowing up buildings, but I do advocate blowing up old ideas. Like Dusty, I was a member of SDS in the 60s. Perhaps it is time to rejoin.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

My other blog!

Okay, I've done it. I now have a second blog, Luxury Adventures, strictly devoted to travel. That way I can keep politics and personal away from selling adventure travel, and this makes all the sense in the world to me.

So visit. I've JUST started it.

I Think It's Going To Rain Today

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Let's tell Betsy Ross how good we feel

Not bad for a guy who used to be a postal worker in a Chicago suburb, eh? I love John Prine.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

Okay so but I like to paint and it is more fun than watching the Iowa Caucus which is really starting to scare me because if someone who doesn't believe in science might be President then maybe they will make me have to be a Christian and I don't want to be a Christian I want to paint and eat cookies. Its a funny name, Huckabee. Didn't they make a movie called I Heart Huckabee? and it wasn't really very good, my Gamma didn't like it much, but she did like No Country for Old Men but I didn't see that movie because I'm only almost three. I like Finding Nemo. Okay, I have to go play now. Bye bye.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Election Coverage

Given The Wall Street Journal's incisive take on Dennis Kuchinich (with a very big hat-tip to Dusty), I thought I would provide the following election coverage:

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Imagining the Iowa Caucus

Reading about the escalating violence in Kenya, I can't help but envision this kind of tribal fighting wending its way toward our shores. What stops us from killing each other when our chosen candidates don't win? What stops us from burning down buildings, or upending automobiles?

Yesterday, as an alternative to football, some of us went to a movie. In the pre-movie onscreen noise, there was an infomercial for TruTV: "it's not reality, it's actuality." Huh?

I wonder, at the end of the day, what possible difference it's going to make who wins the Iowa Caucus. What difference does it make? I'm still going to face gasoline prices that are inching toward $4 per gallon. I'm still going to have drug copayments of $50 a refill. I'm still going to get up and go to work every day.

No answers, just more and more questions.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

May 2008 bring peace, joy, and the fulfilment of our wildest dreams. Thank you all for remaining readers while I got re-grouped. It was an odd year for me, with some painful losses. Ellie Bean is a joy, and I adore her. As for politics, I think I am going to endorse Donald Duck for President.

Peace, love and joy to all.