Sunday, September 25, 2016

TPP Exemplifies Why I No Longer Respect the Democrats

Ten Reasons the TPP is not "Progressive"
This link gives some good reasons to stand against our government in the matter of this and other trade agreements.

After TPP goes into effect there are not going to be enough politicians with the integrity to overturn it for a long time. Many will make excuses, but the bullying and bribery will prevail, based on the history of these things. 

I used to laugh at the conservatives who railed against one world government. Now I see big business as constructing a global network beyond the power of governments to contain their expanding wealth and power. TPP is one of the most ambitious programs they have come up with. When the network is complete, resistance will be futile.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Spiders - Attempting Coexistence

When I worked at the apartments an exterminator told me that instead of trying to poison spiders, the way to deal with them is to remove their webs every time they put one up. They get tired of it and go someplace else. My experience: For years, every time I walk around the house, I have to remove a spider's web. Sometimes it moves a small ways, but invariably returns to the same spot. Also, in my kitchen, a spider took up residence under the wooden shelf I fixed over the sink. Every night, I run a damp cloth over the area and every morning I still feel a spider web against the back of my hand when turning on the water. But I can never spot the spider. This has been going on for months. I don't intend to kill any of them. I do wish they would heed that exterminator's advice.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Robert Reich Plea for Your Vote

Robert Reich
Can we have a word? I continue to hear from many of you who say you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because, you claim, (1) she’s no better than Donald Trump, or (2) even if she’s better, she’s still corrupt, and you refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or (3) you don’t want to reward the Democratic Party for corrupt primaries that gave the nomination to Hillary instead of Bernie Sanders.
Please allow me to respond.
(1) Anyone who equates Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton hasn’t been paying attention. Trump is a dangerous, bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies who could wreak huge damage on America and the world. Hillary isn’t perfect but she’s able and experienced. There is simply no comparison.
(2) Even if you see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case (if you see the choice in these terms) is seriously evil. You've probably had occasion in the past to vote for someone who doesn’t meet your ideals, when the alternative is someone who falls much further from those ideals. This doesn’t mean you've sold out or compromised your principles. You've just been realistic and practical. Realism and practicality are critically important now.
(3) I understand your frustration with the Democratic Party, and your reluctance to “reward” it for its bias against Bernie in the primaries. But anything you do that increases the odds of a Trump presidency isn’t just penalizing the Democratic Party; it’s jeopardizing our future and that of our children and their children. All of us must continue to work hard for a political system responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans. The movement Bernie energized must not and will not end. But Donald Trump, were he to become president, would set back the cause for decades.
There are just over 7 weeks until Election Day. My request to those of you who still don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton: Please reconsider. It is no exaggeration to say the fate of the nation and the world are at stake.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reminiscing the old Western Movies and TV Shows

In earliest childhood I developed an affinity for cowboy movies. The cowboys I idolized were pure of heart. They only fought when necessary and rarely shot to kill a man. Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry stood out for me. Roy Rogers was overly glitzy and did not match my notion of a real cowboy. Hoppy often took time during one of his adventures to have an inspirational talk with the kid in the movie. It was quite a thrill to see him, Windy and Lucky, riding in from the Bar 20 Ranch, getting involved in righting a wrong. 

As my early heroes faded there was no shortage of new ones. Gary Cooper in High Noon. Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter. Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda as Frank and Jesse James.

Westerns had grown more complex. In my opinion, the greatest western of them all was the radio and early television versions of Gunsmoke. William Conrad and Parley Baer as Matt Dillon and Chester Goode were totally believable as the tough marshal and deputy team in uncompromising tales of old Dodge City. I was disappointed in James Arness in the TV version, as being too young and smooth, but at least the early shows were faithful to the radio scripts. It gradually evolved into a soap opera. 

Gunsmoke has been touted as the ultimate in westerns for so long that the true quality of the others has been dismissed, even by fans of the other films and series. There were "adult" westerns before High Noon and Gunsmoke. They just never had the hype that made them so commercially successful. 

Then there are the spaghetti westerns. Most of them are crude and not so well told. I don't even like Once Upon a Time in the West. But, The Good the Bad and the Ugly rests atop the heap as one of the best westerns I have seen. 

I watch the reruns, daily, and pick out the bit players and lesser stars these days, often surprised at who they turn out to be. I have gained new respect for many of these actors and have learned the names of some I never even noticed when the shows were new.

I am a fierce gun control advocate, but I will love these gun toting good guys and outlaws as long as I live.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Those Nasty Red Wasps

Day One
Tomorrow I am going to caulk up the facia board and flashing for my neighbor. The holes and cracks are not so large and it's for a run less than ten feet long. It's just that red wasps have nested behind the board. She has been spraying them for at least two weeks, but they have an operation in there that produces offspring by the dozen. These are the most aggressive wasps in our area. Sometimes they go berserk for a reason nobody can decipher. I recall an incident some years ago, when I was doing make readies at the apartments. I went on the patio and began sweeping the deck. It was mostly dirt and a few leaves, nothing major. No wasps were in sight. Suddenly they began pouring out of a crack in the siding, heading for me. I jumped inside and shut them out. They continued flying and attacking everything on that patio. Even spots of paint. The front door was within three feet of the patio, so, leaving to fetch back some poison was out of the question. After a long wait I called my work partner and got him to bring some cans of spray and rescue me. I don't anticipate such a reception tomorrow.

Day Two
I must have looked like King Kong getting buzzed by military biplanes this morning. I caulked the boards and metal among the crazy wasps and I also ran up and down the ladder to avoid getting stung. A few brushed my face and arm, but none stung me. My neighbor told me she could paint it later, but I kind of doubt she will. I told her I would not mind coming back if she needed me to do it for her.

Day Four
Red wasps are incredibly resourceful. Strong, too. They breached my line of caulk at one point and they had to push up the metal flashing a bit. I resealed the area and continued the line of caulk all the way to the end of the facia. I had initially wanted to do the entire crack, but the neighbor lady had instructed me to stop in line with a window's edge. Her roof material is standing seam and it is above my work, with no filler strips in the holes where the roofing passes over the wall. I am waiting now to see if they find a way through any of those holes.

Day Six
Today I saw the wasps go inside again, through the standing seam roofing. The neighbor says he is through fighting, at least temporarily. I wanted to buy the filler Lowe's sells for that. Or even use expanding foam.

Working at the same apartments, I once pissed off a bumblebee. Never knew how. It stung me and then hovered above me, signalling it was not yet done. It chased me from the retainer pond all the way out on the parking lot. Somewhere in there it stung me a second time. I went to the shop and got four cans of spray poison and set out to murder that thing. I figured where it possibly lived and used up a lot of poison, but never did find it. The sting was no worse than that delivered by a red wasp.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Okay, I admit I am old.

I have not gotten used to being an old man. I still do the same things I always did, just not as fast or gracefully. It irritates me to be viewed differently because I don't look so fresh. I feel sheepish owning up to this little story, but, a few weeks back, while awaiting our turn to be checked out in the grocery store, I tilted my head back a bit so that I could see the covers of the varied publications that fill the rack near the checkout station. Then went straight again. A minute or two later, I repeated the action, because I wanted to verify that I recalled a headline accurately. At that point a checker about twenty five feet away paused in her checking and looked directly at me, as I righted myself the second time. Because I am not used to thinking like an old man, I felt flattered that she looked at me. Imagine my secret embarrassment to realize she actually was fearing I was about to pass out on the spot and was debating the options.