Archive for April, 2012

The Big Campaign pitting Delia Lopez and Ron Green Heats Up

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Oregonian’s endorsement of Ron Green:
Congressmen are not required to live in their district, but it’s the general practice, and 3rd District Republicans should take a close look at TriMet bus driver Ron Green, who’s running on a platform of higher tariffs to protect American jobs — what he calls a traditional McKinley Republican position. Green does, at least, know the district.

Ron Green sets the record straight, and my earlier blog characterization based on this Oregonian endorsement stands corrected:
I believe the characterization of myself as a “McKinley” republican is more the writer’s characterization than mine, although I did agree to it when the interviewer suggested it. But, I also added that I considered myself more a Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt Republican, at least as regard tariffs.  […]  The Republican party understood, as did Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and other founding fathers, that the latter three go together. Sound money is another issue, and should be addressed by a close inspection of the machinations of the Federal Reserve.

This raises the question:  Why in the world would the Oregonian interviewer’s mind jump over to William McKinley?
And to this we get this:
Third district pay attention, this kind or republican might have a chance to win it all.
Er… no.

The Willamette Week endorses Delia Lopez, claiming it was a difficult choice to make.:
Republican voters in this district (c’mon, we know there are a few of you out there) have two weak choices. […]  Her opponent, Ronald Green, is a TriMet driver who preaches the need for full employment. If elected, he says, he will go to Washington and form a “shadow Congress.” With marginal candidates, the very narrow margin goes to Lopez.

Ron Green sets that record straight:
I would like to make a comment that the statement describing my beliefs as  “Ronald Green, is a TriMet driver who preaches the need for full employment. If elected, he says, he will go to Washington and form a “shadow Congress.”  Somehow, the statement, taken as a whole, seems to me to suggest, no doubt unintentionally, a rather alarming degree of eccentricity.
A more accurate statement, as watching the tape should reveal, would be “Ronald Green, an average, concerned, working class American, just like most of you readers and unlike Earl Blumenauer, preaches the need, unlike Earl Blumenauer, to end free trade in order to ensure full employment, thereby driving the wages and benefits of middle class, working class and young Americans upward.  He is so committed to this, yet again unlike Earl Blumenauer, he will even form, if elected, a “shadow” Congress of fellow like-minded patriotic Congresspersons to draw public attention to the need to end free trade.”

I need to watch the 30 minute interview session.   Sounds like it’s must see pointless political viewing.

Ronald Green touts his Oregonian endorsement.
Delia Lopez’s campaign site is stuck in 2010.  I have no idea if she touts her Willamette Week endorsement.  I will note to the claim that she’s sounding like a cross between Occupy and Libertarianism — the former isn’t biting; the latter continues where it left off with her 2010 performance — see here, here (What poll was that?)…

Trotsky bests Jacques Cheminade by 2 to 1 margin; Diane Sare in Break-out Mode

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The bottom most rung of the French Presidential Preliminary elections,  9th and 10th place, came down to a race between The Fourth International v Fifth International.  I could go on and on with old Marxist phraseology — Are the Larouchies Left-wing deviationists from the Trotskyite line? — I suppose one also might say “Social Fascist”.
Anyway, the  Vote results

Nathalie Arthaud (Workers' Party)     0.57%
Jacques Cheminade (Weirdo)            0.25%

The Trotskyites best the Larouchies by a better than 2 to 1 margin.  Though, I suppose, Communists have always had troubles bandying about the phrase “The People” — it looks like the People have spoken.

To review.  We have the headline:  Cheminade in Break-out mode!  Meantime, the public was seen writing such items as:  Interesting analysis:  The direction offered by the Sarkozy camp is the only way forward if you would live in the Star Trek utopia proposed by Jacques Cheminade (currently polling less than ½ of one percent) while avoiding the disaster of the shy, teddy-bear-like anticapitalist, Philippe Poutou (currently polling less than 1% of first round voting intentions).

And we have this write-up following the election results:  Jacques Cheminade obtained an official 0.2% of the vote, which is at the very least questionable, given the patterns of significantly greater support in the population, and some reports of irregularities, which his campaign will be looking into.

In the context of strategic voting anti-Sarkozy and political debate surrounding the failed (see the “debates” on the halal and the driver’s license or the ridiculous campaign videos NPA), facing the pack of watchdogs of the media system, which by the grace of Sarkozyism, now occupy most aggressive public service audio-visual speech with the demanding and against the current that is his, I think nobody in the world could have done better that Jacques Cheminade.
Except, perhaps the Trotskyite.
Sure.  Blame the Media.
 “The vicious slanders against Jacques Cheminade are coming directly on orders from London,” LaRouche declared. “The British oligarchy is terrified of what I represent and what my associates and I are capable of doing to wreck their plans for thermonuclear extinction or a post-nation state plunge into a horrific global dark age. The British imperial monetarist system is doomed, and they are scared to death at the alternative that I offer.”

How Cheminade was pegged:
Insignificant candidates like Jacques Cheminade — a sort of French Lyndon LaRouche.  (Hm indeed).   centrist Jacques Cheminade.  (Hm indeed.)  A LaRouche candidate in the French elections? Seriously?  But not here.

Jacques Cheminade:  Its program combines song learning in kindergarten, the creation of a new currency, the “polytechnic eurofranco” comprehensive reform of the financial system, raising taxes on the wealthy, combat tax evasion and speculation. […]  The man, at once energetic and serene, will stop at nothing, even when reading the laughter in his eyes smarting from their partners who listen to show how the fortunes of the royal family comes from drug trafficking. A Jacques Cheminade also hangs on suspicion of being the guru of a sect hidden in his political party, Solidarity and Progress. It likes to make that question. In 2005, a ministerial mission on the sect said to the party, which he defined as follows: “Under the guise of anti-Bush political ideology with an alternative political movements made, the game plays with the fiber committed and idealistic students.

Well,  THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES!  France will still have Cheminade to kick around a little… if they even notice and are motivated enough to.

Jacques Cheminade Vows to Continue Fight. Rally National Resistance – In overall effect, the effort put in to this campaign has consolidated the S&P network throughout France, at a time when the global financial disintegration is upsetting all the political calculations made until now.
candidates in the legislative elections [on June 10], who will show in the storm ahead, that they are as able as I am to defend our ideas.
“I am thinking in particular to the 585 mayors who presented my candidacy, to the activists of Solidarité & Progrès who fought energetically and to all those I met in our interventions in the streets. I am also thinking to the workers of Petroplus, Schindler, the Fonderies du Poitou, Erhel Hydris, the Fournier Laboratories, PSA-Aulnay and Florange-Mittal, whose jobs are immediately threatened by the looting of the financial system in which we live.
“My determination will go to support our 100 candidates, who will be the reference points in the approaching storm and will show the way out to safety.”

 David Lindsay voices his typical concern.:  Jacques Cheminade, a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche, has managed to collect the signatures of 500 civic dignitaries in order to make it onto the ballot. Next up, a Strasbourg seat. Isn’t the EU marvellous?
We’ve already had that unofficial  look into of the 585 mayors’ motivations.  I imagine if you break it down, the largest share of signators go to something of the order of how Sarzoky is mocked here — “Let voices be heard a bit!”
In Defense of the System as against the charges of The President.
But the Solidarity candidate and Progress was indeed a tree hiding the forest of small candidates who were as much intruders. […]
It seems that the outgoing President, he, like that imagined, since it has long lamented having had to participate in a program between Cheminade and Arthaud.Intervene between these two clowns obviously posed problems as to his ego than our democracy. Chouiner and the fact that they were nine candidates against him, all alone. The poor!
And we leave with the Cheminade based Political cartoons.  No Thomas Nast in the bunch, but these Caricatures will do.
I switch from concern over Kesha Rogers — bidding for the Religious Right hereabouts, filings seen here –  to concern about Diane Sare.  To put it bluntly: yes, I can see this nominating victory happening.  New Jersey Democrats need to get their act together to avoid a 15 minute post primary election embarrassment period, or this will be referenced again:
Diane is the only three of the candidates that have any campaign cash on hand to speak of at the time of this writing, a whopping $793.  Nonetheless there is a following of hers, more like Lyndon LaRouche’s that want to work hard to ensure that she is the nominee and the agenda is furthered.  To see her as the nominee in CD-5 would not be a total shock.
Yeah, there’s Reasons not to fear the Diane Sare campaign: ballot positioning.  And we see the campaign here
How the Larouchies are selling the race:, and the debate between Diane Sare and Jack Castle
This is like Ron Paul Vs. Barack Obama […]
This is like Ron Paul Vs. Barack Obama When Ron Paul wins the Republican Nomination and debates Obama on the issues; this is what it would look like on national TV. It would be great if Ron Paul added these key issues to his platform and discussed them openly with his supporters and in debate with his opponents -Mitt Romney etc.  [follows a list of Larouche platform which is completely antithetical to to the philosophy expoused by Ron Paul.]
Just remember:  A vote for Diane Sare is a Vote for Ron Paul.
To review the big debate:  The Diane Sare campaignAnother funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Paul Eisenman when planning the event initially invited the two commonly known candidates – Jason Castle and Adam Gussen – and he was unaware of Diane Sare’s candidacy. Her LaRouche supporters vociferously demanded that Sare be included in forum. Eisenman said, “It’s a distraction to include her. How on earth can a person who believes President Obama is a clone of Adolph Hitler seek a position on the same ballot with Obama? Nonetheless, as a worshipper of Voltaire’s philosophy, I have no recourse but to welcome her as an equal to the forum.”
From Comments:  Really confused with these LaRouche “Democrats”  Besides believing Obama is Hitler and his healthcare law is his version of sending the Jews into the ovens what do these people believe and why are they Democrats?

With numerous Sare supporters in attendance there were questions about the Glass-Steagall Act and a comparison of President Obama to Adolph Hitler.

One track mind:  Sare also stressed her position on the act when answering questions on other topics, prompting Castle to quip after one of her responses, “I think that was the second question that didn’t come back to Glass-Steagall.”

From the Moderator of the Debate:  As a result of these “Glass-Steagall” tactics, we missed the opportunity to witness a substantive back-and-forth between the candidates on such topics as how to address immigration reform; how either candidate would propose we move forward if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act; what their thoughts are on Citizens United, etc., etc., etc.  Most importantly, because of this dog-with-a-bone Glass-Steagall obsession, we never got a true sense of how either of these candidates would campaign against Scott Garrett in the fall.
From the Comments:   The real problem with the debate, as I’m sure the organizers would attest, was the absence of Adam Gussen. Whether that was unavoidable as he maintains, or intentional as some have speculated, everyone can agree it was regrettable not having all the candidates in attendance.

Kudos to this person.  Important message.  Important push back.Carol Hoernlein · Top Commenter · Licensed NJ Professional Civil Engineer – Specialist in Water Resources at Carol A. Hoernlein, P.E.
I was there last night and Castle did not state that reinstating Glass Steagal would be detrimental. He said that Glass Steagal was enacted in the 1930’s and a lot what brought down the system would have still been legal under Glass Steagal. What brought down the financial system was greed and corruption and eggs in one basket – housing – risk taking on Wall Street and that the financial dealings are much more complicated now. THAT is why Glass Steagal is not a “silver bullet”. Diane Sare wants to eliminate the FED. How did that not get mentioned? A lot of nuance missed this Record reporter last night. If you want to know how nutty the LaRouche position on NAWAPA is – take a look at their website. New Jersey has flooding issues. That means TOO MUCH water. NAWAPA is a 1950’s vision of a for turning the Western prairie int…o the rain forest. (Some background checking on her MISSION would have been good reporting.) It will not have anything to do with New Jersey WHERE SHE IS RUNNING. Their MISSION looks like a 1950’s diorama of the World’s Fair “World of the Future” – circa 1962. I am a civil engineer and we now know that local solutions work best – not Army Corps of Engineers debacles like levees in New Orleans that failed during Katrina. The reporter also missed the huge statement by Sare that it is “arrogant” to blame global warming on man and that it is just a conspiracy used by the US to stop developing countries from developing. Sare never even heard of LEED or Green building when I asked. The reporter must have been swayed by Sare’s soccer mom appearance and polite demeanor. However what actually came out of her mouth last night was absolute vintage LaRouche crazy talk which she has honed over 23 years. I give Jason Castle (who is a HE by the way- nice editing) a lot of credit for facing down hostile questions from the equivalent of Ron Paul supporters frothing at the mouth over bringing back the Gold Standard. Try to give folks a real story so they can vote properly. This was an important story that your reporter dropped the ball on. Absolutely no mention on their positions on the Health Care Reform Act…

A discussion regarding for the most powerful and influential Larouchie in these United States: Alex Jones — is he anti-semitic?  Responses vary, and tend toward things like:  The GOP of today isn’t Eisenhower’s. It’s full of Jews and their goy tools and the like.

This person, our good friend Cliff Kincaid, loses his credibility in blasting the Larouchie Obama Hitler signs (as something liberals tossed to the conservatives when actually Larouche is a Marxist Democrat), than saying of a Catholic Bishop’s Obama Hitler comparison:
Whether you agree or disagree, these were extraordinary comments and certainly worthy of national media attention. But the story remains mostly in the conservative media.
Hm.  Comments:
So what the heck is going on? Could Obama be a super communist or dictator wanna-be? Well, maybe we should have a discussion about this. Why doesn’t the media sit down with Obama and ask him straight out about these questions and see what he says.

Here’s some Conspiracy crap to throw out into Cliff Kincaid’s universe:  There has also been a surge of web activity centered around the LaRouchePAC article “Four Deaths of Obama Opponents a Remarkable Coincidence?” The article questions the statistical likelihood of four political opponents of Obama dying suddenly between the lead-up to the August 2008 Democratic Convention and March 2012.  Er… it’s a “coincidence” that is pretty damned likely, actually.

The people review the 1932 film.  Find it lacking.

Churn, Churn, Churn.
An Internet search reveals there are four main sources of information about the Club of Rome (COR): the Club of Rome website; Lyndon Larouche’s prolific attacks against the Club of Rome; Illuminati and New World Order sites drawing on Larouche’s work; and various climate change denial sites, which portray the entire sustainability movement as an anti-growth conspiracy originating with the COR. The climate change denial movement receives major financial support from billionaire oil barons David and Charles Koch and the Big Coal lobby.1 I suspect many of the New World Order websites also receive a significant chunk of corporate funding, though this is more difficult to trace.

Never trust anything claiming to “Connect the Dots” — EIR’s “influence” is to poke its way into things claiming to do such.

But according to them, he is a force.

1980 Campaign material on sale.  “No comment on content”.
Wire photo:  Earn a piece of history of Lyndon Larouche with his mouth open.
Estate sale.
Janice Hart rally.
Will the Soviets Rule the 1980s?

This is a wrongly placed stock photograph — it’s Jerry Pyenson in 2008 to a story about Republic PACs.


ADL issues alert

Dateline some college or other, from a Recreational Drug User…

These guys came to my campus today advertising Larouche PAC and saying we were all doomed as Obama would become the next Hitler. They even had a picture of him with a Hitler mustache. I tried to explain that this picture was incredibly offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors like my grandparents. They responded saying my grandparents were dumb and had no idea what was going on. I should have beat him senseless, but alas, I didn’t :facepalm:     Anyways, I checked out their site to see what they were really about. They seem like a crazy conspiracy theory group, though some stuff they say is mildly interesting. Too bad they can’t have decent rhetoric and maybe spark an actual conversation.

Likely not a drug user
On my way to class A couple of old people came up to me saying something about how Obama will start world war 3. Saying that Obama has the same views as hitler and they had a poster of obama with a hitler mustache. then they asked what party affiliation i was apart of, and i told them im a republican. Then they started saying some random things about democrats. I understand if you dont like obama, but the **** they were saying was crazy.

Dateline Long Valley
“People hate Obama,” Scialdone said. “But they’re being brainwashed by the media that they can’t change it. That’s what we’re here for. This isn’t about moving pieces around. We need to completely flip over the chess board.”
Scialdone has been a political organizer since 1984, she said, while Burke is new to the game. He left his full time teaching job in February to dedicate his time to the Sare campaign.
 (someone alert that youtube clipper]  Don’t be a BOZO! Join LaRouche PAC.”
Your sentiments are in line with some comments on Long Valley Patch’s Facebook page. And as I explained there, the protest was just as newsworthy as, say, an anti-abortion or pro-choice group supporting their beliefs in town. Two people trying to explain their stance–and publicly sway others–on the current political atmosphere in front of our local post office is certainly newsworthy, in our opinion.
Some people are delighted to see such a competent, profound and impassioned display of resistance against the perpetual and omnipresent Roman circus which our world has become. Some people have a heart and are touched by the Sublime. But, evidently, not Domino!

Dateline willimantic Ct

 Dateline Bloomfield

It rarely gets more controversial than this. […]  (Bleh)
 “This is outrageous … and outside the post office?!  You’re all crazy!” one person shouted.
But the two young people manning the table—who said they were from Bergen County—spoke thoughtfully about their review of the last three years of the Obama administration’s policies, starting with the Haiti earthquake where—against the advice of people on the ground—”Obama chose to do nothing to move refugees out of flood zones and hundreds of poeple died of cholera unnecessary.”
“This madman is putting us on a trajectory toward the biggest of all possible atrocities, thermo-nuclear war, with his rumored agreement that Israel should launch a strike on Iran (which will lead to the annihilation of Israel) and the U.S. Navy will finish the job—leading to war with Russia and China,” the pair’s literature said.
Thoughtfully, eh?

Dateline Mahwah:

This is what seperates this country from the world. People have the right to speak their minds-as long as you are not preaching outright violence.Although the recent case with Ted Nugent seems to say that’s even acceptable. This freedom of speech should not be taken lightly or abused. Let’s hope it never changes.
They have been camping there for years. They had George Bush as Hiltler back in the day. I am a big fan of their outfits. They had a guy there last time who was dressed like he just came in from the Australian Outback.
What a joke these people are. I wish I had gone to the post office yesterday to give them a piece of my mind. They can’t respect the leader of our country?!? You know they can’t be taken seriously when they use a photo of the president as Hitler.
Obama should be impeached, all his personal recorrds are closed. Phony birth certificate, phony social security card and one of his best friends will be collecting the ballets in November over in Spain. Why is Spain collecting our ballots and not the USA.  (Hm.)

Dateline Linda Mar
I was informed earlier today that there were people standing outside the Linda Mar post office with placards displaying Obama with a Hitler moustache. I am sorry to report, however, that by the time I got over there with my camera, the protesters had dispersed.

Dateline Extreme Redskin Fans!!!
I leave work and go to lunch today. Along the way, parked alongside the road I see a white truck. On the tailgate is a “Dump Obama” sign. The hood was also up, with a matching sign stuffed in there. There were several people milling about, and a small table set up with some leaflets and stuff.
Well, suffice it to say, if I was a cat, I’d be dead. I had to stop. (Mind you, at this point, I’m thinking it’s a small group of local republicans trying to drum up support among like-minded people. And I’m certainly not in favor of “four more years.”)
On the side of the truck facing AWAY from the road was another poster, forget what it said honestly, but it had “lpac” at the bottom.
He then suggests that we need to pass something called “NAWAPA” which is going to provide us all with free electricity for the next 50 years. 
OK. Now I know I’m dealing with some real friggin whackos. But I played it cool, and tried to hit on some classic conservative Obama gripes. Try to build rapport, get in these guys’ heads a little bit. I’m kind of demented….no, investigative….that way.
I hammer off Keystone, healthcare, and just for S&Gs, WTF, let’s pretend I’m a birther too.
Guy doesn’t flinch. Not only does he not flinch, he doesn’t respond! He goes back to his flyer, droning on in a monotone voice about this NAWAPA garbage.
Now I’m concerned. Something is just off. I mean way the hell, alarm bells ringing like a clock factory, off. I felt as though the dude seemed “programmed.” Or at least so utterly clueless about world events that literally the only thing he knew was what was in this flyer.
Regardless, I felt like this was something that needed to be investigated, so I spent a few more minutes trying to earn the demented robot’s trust, and left.
Cut to an hour or so ago. I get home. I look up their website.  Whoa. Check that stuff out. These ****ers are WAAAAYYYY off the charts insane. It’s going to take me a while to comb through it, and figure out just how deep that insanity goes, but on the surface, it’s more than a little frightening.
Cumberland is a sleepy little town. We’re full of old, very impressionable senior citizens with money (and obviously, these guys were looking for a handout.) Our younger population is generally under-educated (read again: impressionable.) And we’re, yeah, I have to admit it, a little backward, a little racist, a little stuck in 1950.
Ultimately, I fear that a cult-style group could wreak havoc in this area. We’re just more susceptible to such things. Much more so than a better educated, more progressive (literal definition) community. We’re ripe for the picking. [[[.]
I’ve always wanted to punch a Larouche supporter.
I would strongly suggest keeping a wide berth. What good will come of engaging? Note their existence, report them if you wish, and move on with your life and things that you can positively impact.
I was playing with these guys in his earlier days of growing fame, and the then already well-established John Birchers as my two favorite “funny” political crazies of the day back when i was a teenager. I’ve told the stories here before. He was Ayn Rand-like (followers and all) in general shape of persona/effect. Also reminiscent of L. Ron Hubbard components.
I wouldn’t worry about them. When I was a teenager Leesburg Va was full of these fools. I think most people know LaRouche supporters are full on crazy. Especially in the D.C. area.
Ah, yes. I got into it with a Ladouche wacko during my college days — probably 1995 or so. A couple of them were on campus from time to time, and the head nutjob was completely off his rocker. Honestly I think he was an undiagnosed mental case, which makes the situation more sad than anything, but during the first few minutes of conversation there was little clue (beyond his Larouche sticker) that he was truly in need of help. Only after five minutes or so did his insanity reveal itself.
I told the guy that I was a technical type because I was enjoying the argument but tired of his completely physics-deficient theories about technology. His immediate response was to try to enlist me to “get the word out” about the fact that Newton flat-out stole the discovery of calculus from Leibniz. An idea which is flatly preposterous for a number of reasons.
I half-jokingly put my dorm phone number on a sign-up sheet before getting into it with the head nutjob, and he ended up repeatedly calling me at odd hours even after I told him he was a basket case and I wasn’t going to come to his meetings. It was clear that any rhetorical appeal is in play with those guys: when his pseudo-intellectual appeals went down in flames he started questioning my “personal integrity” because the sign up sheet meant I was “committing to attend meetings.” Truly bizarre. I eventually got colorful with the language and he stopped wasting both of our time.
I used to protest against these guys a bit back when I was at Montgomery College, Rockville.
Besides being pretty damn crazy, they’re basically a bunch of crooks.
(I remember them doing that on 9/11, trying to convince everyone that it was an inside job)
I also heard a lot of complaints from people who had been scammed into giving them money and then were harassed constantly afterwards.
For a while I would read through some of ther crazy **** on their website and in their magazine articles and make sure people knew what these guys were really about.
I think they would set up right outside the student union at College Park too.Oh and I even saw them at the MVA in quince orchard a few years back.

Ohhh, Eric Thomas is still out there doing his stuff.
He was one of the main guys back in the day (and his wife)

During the 1980’s I remember Larouche believed that the Pope and Margaret Thatcher invented and were selling crack cocaine on the streets of America in order to soften us up for invasion. He believed for many years a fleet of ships under the Pope was waiting off the coast of the United States to attack us.

He is Adolf Hitler in 1928 with more money, less charisma, and absent the brown shirts. Race hatred, political message, personality cult, his huge personal security apparatus which he maintained, as well as his dabbling in national politics; Two differences Hitler actually obtained power and exposed his evilness, that and Hitler wasn’t a petty thief.

The National Review answers the question: “Say. Where’s Biden?”

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The cover for the latest National Review caught my eye.

I’m a little curious to read it, but have a gut feeling it would make hugely disappointing reading.  I see a review which PROBABLY would match my reaction.

In polemical writing, we see the equivalent of this approach in Jonah Goldberg’s current National Review cover story on Vice President Joe Biden. The headline: “Big &#%!ing Joker.”
The approach is to take one unfortunate aspect of the Biden persona—his tendency to blurt out unfortunate pronouncements—and hammer away at it over and over until he is reduced to a caricature. Then we can all laugh at him endlessly while ignoring whatever attributes kept him in the U.S. Senate for 36 years, elected by his state six times.
The Buzz does not carry water for Vice President Biden or any other politician. And Goldberg isn’t wrong to suggest that “Biden-speak” is characterized by the use of “the utmost superlative and the exaggeratedly hyperbolic.” But Biden’s Senate career included much more than that, and any serious profile of the man would at least nod in that direction.

Hm.  Biden, I guess, got away with some scrutiny — in the area of late night joke telling — by dent of McCain’s choice for a running mate — the indefensible Sarah Palin.  (Sorry Palin fans.)  I half imagine we can get something somewhere if we make a moral equivalence and he argues about media treatment of Quayle, or something.  BUT… the thing is… here is what is available online right now:

The word “literally” has taken a beating in the Age of Biden. The vice president’s speeches are “literally” festooned with “literally”s, like hundreds of tethers to the hot-air balloon that is his head. But let’s give the poor word some smelling salts and ask it to get back in the ring for a moment.

There was an Age of Cheney.  There is no Age of Biden.  Maybe he sits somewhere just past Hubert Humphrey in influence under his role of Vice President, and his record there may be substantial enough to warrant a critical examination, but there is a reason that public barely remembers he is there.  It’s a little hard to imagine how one can get worked up about the man, but kudos to the National Review and Jonah Goldberg, I suppose.

eggplant versus pineapple

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The Story of the Rabbit and the Eggplant by Daniel Pinkwater

Once there was a race between a rabbit and an eggplant. Now, the eggplant, as you know, is a member of the vegetable kingdom, and the rabbit is a very fast animal.
Everybody bet lots of money on the eggplant, thinking that if a vegetable challenges a live animal with four legs to a race, then it must be that the vegetable knows something.
People expected the eggplant to win the race by some clever trick of philosophy. The race was started, and there was a lot of cheering. The rabbit streaked out of sight.
The eggplant just sat there at the starting line. Everybody knew that in some surprising way the eggplant would wind up winning the race.
Nothing of the sort happened. Eventually, the rabbit crossed the finish line and the eggplant hadn’t moved an inch.
The spectators ate the eggplant.
Moral: Never bet on an eggplant.


The Hare and the Pineapple
by Daniel Pinkwater  Alan Smithee

In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me. One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race.
(I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak too.)
A hare is like a rabbit, only skinnier and faster. This particular hare was known to be the fastest animal in the forest.
“You, a pineapple have the nerve to challenge me, a hare, to a race,” the hare asked the pineapple. “This must be some sort of joke.”
“No,” said the pineapple. “I want to race you. Twenty-six miles, and may the best animal win.”
“You aren’t even an animal!” the hare said. “You’re a tropical fruit!”
“Well, you know what I mean,” the pineapple said.
The animals of the forest thought it was very strange that tropical fruit should want to race a very fast animal.
“The pineapple has some trick up its sleeve,” a moose said.
Pineapples don’t have sleeves, an owl said.
“Well, you know what I mean,” the moose said. “If a pineapple challenges a hare to a race, it must be that the pineapple knows some secret trick that will allow it to win.”
“The pineapple probably expects us to root for the hare and then look like fools when it loses,” said a crow. “Then the pineapple will win the race because the hare is overconfident and takes a nap, or gets lost, or something.”
The animals agreed that this made sense. There was no reason a pineapple should challenge a hare unless it had a clever plan of some sort. So the animals, wanting to back a winner, all cheered for the pineapple.
When the race began, the hare sprinted forward and was out of sight in less than a minute. The pineapple just sat there, never moving an inch.
The animals crowded around watching to see how the pineapple was going to cleverly beat the hare. Two hours later when the hare cross the finish line, the pineapple was still sitting still and hadn’t moved an inch.
The animals ate the pineapple.
MORAL: Pineapples don’t have sleeves

Beginning with paragraph 4, in what order are the events in the story told?
A switching back and forth between places
B In the order in which the events happen
C Switching back and forth between the past and the present
D In the order in which the hare tells the events to another animal

The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were
A Hungry
B Excited
C Annoyed
D Amused

Which animal spoke the wisest words?
A The hare
B The moose
C The crow
D The owl

Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple?
A Suspicious
B Kindly
C Sympathetic
D Envious
What would have happened if the animals had decided to cheer for the hare?
A The pineapple would have won the race.
B They would have been mad at the hare for winning.
C The hare would have just sat there and not moved.
D They would have been happy to have cheered for a winner.

When the moose said that the pineapple has some trick up its sleeve, he means that the pineapple
A is wearing a disguise
B wants to show the animals a trick
C has a plan to fool the animals
D is going to put something out of its sleeve


Hm.  I say throw out the multiple choice questions and make the students compose an essay comparing and contrasting the two versions of this fable.

Daniel Pinkwater: “Nonsense topped upon Nonsense”

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

This is just like Pinkwater’s middle school classmate, fictionalized as Alan Mendelsohn, who caused an uproar by proclaiming to everyone that he is a Martian.

Students across the state are still scratching their heads over an absurd state test question about a talking pineapple.

… Where kids are asked questions about the Pinkwater fable “The Hare and the Pineapple”. (a re-editing of the Pinkwater fable “The Rabbit and the Eggplant”.  Apparently the test-masters didn’t want the kids to get confused in not knowing what eggplant is.)

Daniel Pinkwater: “Nonsense topped upon Nonsense“.

Responding to 8th Grade complaint that he is a sell-out.

Boing Boing: Absurdist kids’ literature hero Daniel Pinkwater is at the center of an appropriately absurd kerfuffle.

Pinkwater Controversy erupts on Standardized Test Question about Borgel.

Flunks the test of Common Sense

When Pineapple Races Hare, Students Lose.:
A reading passage included this week in one of New York’s standardized English tests has become the talk of the eighth grade, with students walking around saying, “Pineapples don’t have sleeves,” as if it were the code for admission to a secret society. […]

While the furor over the test passage seems to have achieved phenomenal proportions in New York — one boy has already posted a picture on his Facebook page of a T-shirt with the motto “Pineapples Don’t Have Sleeves” — it has caused similar ripples across the country.

But students and educators were divided over whether the passage, which is a parody of the “Tortoise and Hare” fable, is amusing or disturbing.
“It was kind of funny and a little weird,” said one student.
“That article about the pineapple and the hare was stupid and absurd,” said another.

NPR story.

More commentary

If ever there was a reason to pull a stop on standardized testing mania, it’s this story

From the mouth of babes: “What the heck,” my kids wanted to know “was Daniel Pinkwater doing writing about a hare and a pineapple? Everybody knows the story is supposed to be about an eggplant.”

Ken Jennings: ) In fact, it reads like one of those random, fill-in-the-blank “Mad Libs” stories that seven-year-olds annoy everyone with on family vacations. A ninja and toothpaste? What does that even mean?


Laughing My @$$ off.

Get to know your 1930s Old Left lineage tree

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

C Hartley Grattan, “Red Opinion in the United States”, Scribner’s Magazine Novemeber 1934

How far Left can one go without ceasing to be a member of His Capitalist Majesty’s Opposition?  That is a hard question to answer, for the gradations around the point where the final step is made outside the capitalist pale are infinite.  […]
Assuming that the fatal steps of which we speak is made somewhere in the socialist ideology we may line up the parties of the Left as follows: (minor additional examples will be cited later):

SP – AWP – CP (Opposition) – CLA – SLP.  What do these mystic letters mean?  They mean Socialist Party, American Workers Party (familiarly known as the Musterites), the Communist Party of the Right Opposition (familiarly, the Lovestoneites), the Communist Party USA (Section of the Third International), the Communist League of America the Left opposition of the CP (familiarly known as the Trotskyites), and the Socialist Labor Party (familiarly known as the De Leonites).  The Right and Left oppositions of the CP are not recognized as such by the CP.  They are built around expelled members of the CP and have connections in other countries with groups ideologically closely similar and standing in the same relation to the CP.  The Socialist Party also has international affiliations.  It is a member of the Labor and Socialist International (familiarly known as the 2 1/2 International) with headquarters at Zurich.  The AWP and the SLP are not affiliated with international bodies nor are any of the minor groups to be mentioned incidentally. […]

Any ardent communist controversialist can give a bourgeois writers lessons in invective.  Nothing like it has been seen in America since the decline of personal journalism in the nineteenth century.  The abuse exchanged by the communist groups far surpasses in violence anything leveled against them individually or collectively by the bourgeois press.  Arnold Peterson of the Socialist Labor Party denies the right of the Communist Party to the designation “Communist” and unifromly refers to the group as the “Anarcho-Communists”, arguing that they are corrupted by the ideas of the Russian anarchist Bukunin against whom Marx fought tooth and nail, and describes them thus:  “They represent a hopeless mixture of pure lunacy, almost unbelievable imbecility, unscrupulous crookedness, brazen insolence and total contempt for the intelligence of those whom (presumably) they desire to reach.”  (Virus of Anarchy p 24).  Not content with repeating this, the SLP again through Peterson, its chief ideologist at present, puts out a pamphlet entitled WZ Foster — Renegade or Spy? recounting Foster’s career, quoting from his testimony before the Senate Committee which investigated the steel strike of 1919 (which is pretty damaging) and developing in general Daniel De Leon’s characterization of him as “a preambulating lump of erratic contradictory foot-in-the-mouthedness.”  Let us look at some Communist Party characterizations of opponents.  In New Masses, February 20, 1934, an anonymous editorialist, writing under the title “Disguised as Marxists,” tried to dispose of a group of Left parties […]

Of course these blasts are returned in kind by the men and parties attacked.  The vigor of the attacks is almost in direct ratio to the power and influence of the men and parties being attacked and they are also tempered or intensified by political necessity.  The Socialist Labor Party, being abjudged unimportant, is rarely mentioned in the Left press, but that only intensified the SLP’s attacks.  The Lovestoneites (Communist Oppositon) temper their criticisms because “The Communist Opposition fights for its readmission into the official party . . . ” (BD Wolfe, What Is the Communist Opposition? p 5), but Wolfe in the same pamphlet can say “Foster writes a book — Toward an American Communism — which might as well have been written on Mars for all the reflection of American realities.”  (17)  This group is also in favor of the readmission to the official party of the Communist League of America (the Trotskyites) but only if they give up a substantial portion of their ideas and in any case it is a pretty empty gesture since the Communist Party and the Trotskyites are worse folks still, “counter-revolutionaries”.  […]

Social-fascism is, then, a term used to denigrate any thing, tactic, or argument which deflects the attention of the working class from the revolution which is alleged to be in the keeping of the official Communist Party.  In America the Communist Party contends that this is true of the AWP, the Socialist Party, and many other groups and individuals.
The proof of the contention is difficult to prove short of an actual stifling of an actual revolution but the Socialist Party certainly does play down the class struggle or tries to, rejects the dictatorship of the proleteriat, and hopes and argues for a peaceful transition to socialism.  Indeed the Socialist Party is jockeyed by argumentation into the position of the “third party of capitalism”.  Under the drum fire played upon it from all sides, for the Communist Party is not alone in attacking the Socialists as we have seen [–]


Pop Tarts messing with space.

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

There seems to be some confusion on the post I did about Shopping for Pop Tarts.    So, to expound on the whole “Pop Tart issue”… and now that  I think about it The Pop Tart issue dove-tails right back to Cosmopolitan.  Let’s compare the two most recent Pop Tart box designs.

I would say the Pop Tart on this box is reasonable in dimensions.  There is no great bending of spatial relations going on here.  The perspective is not surreal.


But now let’s look at this most recent box design.


Forced perspective, I would say.  Watch how the pop tart quickly slides into nothingness as it approaches the “Disappearing” line.

What’s the Cosmopolitan relation here?  Well… we see models getting photoshopped into similarly surrealistic proportions.

Glad I can clear this matter up!



The 2012 Primary is ON

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Time to look through the Multnomah County Voters’ pamphlet and sees whats we gots:

Secretary of State.  Paul Damian Wells, the challenger who will not come close to knocking off Kate Brown.  His voters pamphlet statement has him a single-issue candidate: he likes the Top 2 Primary Election system in place in neighboring Washington and California — top 2 primary vote getters move on to general election regardless of party affiliation.  I’m neutral on this.  But you do have to wonder about his argument — he cites the Libertarian Party losing a lawsuit once — this should get the Democratic Party vote, how?

State Representatives.  Go to the 50th District and Greg Matthews lists his community service background.  Cited in a list: emcee for The Teddy Bear Parade and emcee for a sock hop.  I don’t know that I want that in a state legislator, quite frankly.

The County Commisioner race: surely Wes Sederback could have found a better photograph?
District #3:  Interesting that Patty Burback cites prior governmental experience going clear back to her middle school class veep victory.

The big race, of course, is the mayoral race.  Normally we have it set that the race is decided to a final 2 “real” candidates of viability.  The task in the primary becomes deciding amongst the also runs in wait for a real decision in the general election.  This year, we have 3 “viable real” candidates decided for us.  I suppose one’s vote could go to deciding who to thrust forward and who to sideline in the three, but unfortunately I have to grit my teeth at all of them, and can’t stomach this game.  So it is we go to the list of others and what do we find?  Steve Sung announces himself the “People’s Mayor”; Loren Charles Brown calls himself the “People’s Mayor”.  Michael B Largley draws a laugh with his pledge to “revitalize downtown with more diversified businesses — not just food carts, non profits, and coffeeshops.”  (Hm.  In the new economy, it’s this or non profits and Wal-Marts).  Scott Rose and Howie Rubin make no pretense of their governing approach ala pandering:  the former will “Continue to root my belief in what you say to me”, the latter wants “to enable you to do the things you do.”  Max Brumm makes the funny on the question of his viability ala inexperience (he’s a teenager):  “it’s a knee jerk response, but what do you expect from jerks who’ve brought Portland to its knees?”

Finally, there’s Tre Arrow and Cameron Whitten.  I lump them together for this reason and this reason only: Tre Arrow cites his 2000 nomination for Congress by the Pacific Green Party.  I remember hearing from radio host Rick Emerson about the Green Party Convention in 2000: you get Ralph Nader making a speech, than another veteran of public power causes for a statewide office, and then… you just kind of wince and look away when Tre Arrow comes to the podium.  Anyway, 12 years and I guess the party has come to the same conflusion.  Written in Cameron Whitten’s profile is an endorsement by the Pacific Green Party, as well as the Portland Chapter of the Oregon Progressive Party.  (A Party which formed in 2008 for the transparent purpose of getting Nader on the ballot.  Now that that’s over, I don’t really understand why it doesn’t just merge with the Green Party — but they can do what they must.)

I endorse Cameron Whitten.  Why?  Only because he’s the only candidate who I’ve happened to see and spoken with.  I asked him how his campaign was going — he said he had some trouble at the Lloyd Center Mall regarding his bullhorn.  Sorry everyone else — you just didn’t pound the flesh.