Friday, July 25, 2008

Response to a PUMA

I read this blog tonight with interest. And I laughed several times. But the endgame of the blog's author is questionable. For your reading pleasure (or nausea), this was my response to that author:


I liked the wit and constrained vitriol in your blog. But while I am no more the zombie-minded minion of Obama than you are, I am befuddled by your comments:
“But, just because I'm not voting for Obama, doesn't mean I've lost my

So, just whom are you voting for? Ralph Nader? Bob Barr? Cynthia McKinney?

I sympathize with the need to have a strong third (and fourth and fifth and sixth) party. But in the meantime, a McCain presidency could well spell the end of our society. Do you mean to indicate that you would actually welcome that?

I wrote with barely controlled fury when Obama voted “yea” on the FISA bill. In a moment of pique I even threatened to campaign against him.

Talk about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

FDR did not run on a progressive platform. He was born and bred to privilege. But the times, and more importantly, the will of the people, transformed his presidency into the most progressive of the last century. And please don’t parade out Japanese internment camps, and other war-time limitations of liberty. The net result put millions of our parents, aunts and uncles through school. It resulted in an infrastructure that, until Reagan started abandoning it, was the industrial envy of the world. In short, FDR’s programs, incited by the masses and perfected by a great intellect, ended the first great depression and initiated the greatest middle class this world has ever seen (until, yes you guessed it, Reagan decided to end that too).

You may idealize one of the third (or fourth or fifth) party candidates. I myself idealized Dennis Kucinich. And I still do. But I realize that even if we really truly had free and honest elections, my hero, Dennis, would likely not be a strong president. He doesn’t lack intellect, nor tenacity. He lacks the ability to pull people together toward the achievement of a common goal. Oration has been dismissed at Hillary Clinton’s peril. And the McCain campaign is attempting to dismiss it now as well. But when the people of a nation, or of a planet, have the need to come together under a common cause (perhaps for our survival), oration comes in mighty damn handy. And it can’t hurt one bit to have a predilection for even moderate progressiveness.

So what practically executable vision do you have?



Thursday, July 24, 2008


I know that in itself, rhetoric is insufficient as a means of enacting social progression. I know Barack Obama shocked and dismayed many of us as he first announced his intention to say "aye" to the unconstitutional FISA bill, and then followed it up with an "aye" on the record in session. And all this when his vote didn't even count, as that awful bill passed far too easily.

I know many of us have chafed at Barack's promise of expanded "faith-based initiative" programs. The word on the liberal street is that Obama is drifting all to swiftly towards the center. And we who put our hearts out in front of our sanity to vaunt his advance over Hillary's juggernaut campaign, have had our sanity severely challenged as a result.

But damn, that man can give a speech. His soliloquy in Berlin today was one more amazing call to action and awareness for those of us who find no value in life except that we confront head-on the human tradegy.

In his speech today, Mr. Obama decided to include the entire world. He did so in a manner that would have elevated John Kennedy. And he managed to bring me to tears. He went beyond his own ambitions; he dispensed with the ambitions of the Democratic Party; he left the ambitions of the United States, and those of Europe, far behind. And he challenged the world. He challenged the world in a way that did not unfairly burden those least able to provide answers, and in a way that fully burdened those who could, and who must, be so burdened. But he included us all as brothers and sisters, and offered a vision, and an obligation, for us all. He acknowledged that we face an hour that is as fraught with peril as it is implicitly positioned for hope. And yet his vision holds out for that hope.

I am no fool. But I will vote for this man and I will pour my strength into securing the success he has dared us all to envision.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flickr Pics

At a friend's recommendation I started this Flickr account. I've loaded 120 photos to date. Some are good I think. The remainder are filler.

Northumberland Manor Window 2

July Sunset

Torri Del Benaco

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Visiting Swallowtail

This beautiful specimin visited our backyard two evenings ago.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Here is a very good opinion piece from the Philadelphia Daily News. Written by a conservative with a brain.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blogs | Tom Udall for Senate

Blogs Tom Udall for Senate


Yesterday's Senate vote on the FISA bill, which passed 69 to 28, was a very dissapointing blow. The vote didn't come as a surprise; the direction the wind has been blowing on this bill has been evident for some time. But that very wind direction is what is surprising. One would think that current public sentiment would be sufficient for this awful direction to change.

However, I am writing this not to complain about this horrid situation. I do that enough (and I'm not getting anywhere near quitting). I am writing to commend the Democratic Senator from my state, Jeff Bingaman, for his nay vote. Two weeks ago when Congress voted, the Democratic Congressman from our state, Tom Udall, also voted nay.

I have not considered New Mexico's Democratic Congressional delegation to be particularly progressive. But I am changing my opinion on that. Sure, Bingaman isn't currently up for re-election, but Tom Udall is running to replace Pete Domenici as our other Senator. So his nay vote was not without risk to his career.

I'm not often particularly proud to be a New Mexican (and we still have only a 40% Democratic Congressional delegation), but I am proud now. Viva la Revolucion!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Bonnie and I are watching a movie we got from Netflix. It's a very offbeat (and very well acted) film from Scottland called "Breaking the Waves."

We're on our second night of viewing this film. It isn't a fast moving thing and it takes some attention.

But here's the really cool part: I haven't heard the song "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen in decades. I couldn't have told you it was by somebody named Leonard Cohen. In all likelihood you couldn't have either. But the song is simple, haunting and beautiful. It's beautiful in the way Donovan songs were. It's over there on the right side of this blog now for you to hear.

Is it familiar?