Monday, June 27, 2011

McMurtry's Blessed Curse

Right now, I'm a-wallering bad. Tears are streaming down my cheeks and all cuz of a Lonesome Dove. I can't remember how many times now I've seen it, but it ain't enough. God, I wished I knew my favorite characters in real life: Gus, Loree, Newt, Jake, Clara.

I love 'em all so so much...except that I cannot stand the character of Woodrow Call.
Now, I loooooooovvvvvve Tommy Lee Jones. Just the thought of him makes me stand a little taller to be a Texan. But that character was a lowdown nasty butt who pushed every one of his friends to their deaths all because of his gall dern stubborn so-called "vision". And he got to live in the end. I hate him. Always have. Always will.

Aside from that, though, Jones did a grade-a perfect job portraying him. That and Larry McMurtry are why I hate Call so much. He is just too vivid to be ignored. Some of the best dialogue is the small talk between Woodrow and Gus. And then there are the daily gems of Gus's, like "Mornin', Girls" and "Loree, Darlin'".

The more times I see it, it gets shorter and shorter. That's because there are certain parts that I just can no longer watch. So, I take breaks. And there always another scene that gets added to the no-watch list. First always comes to mind -- when the mess of snakes kill the O'Brien boy crossing the river, when Gus dies of gangrene, when Blue Duck kidnaps and tortures Loree, when they hang Jake, lots of breaks for me. The last scene between Gus and Woodrow...oh, God, I cry like a baby. Duvall and Jones are just perfection perfected. But I always have to watch the end, because I have a gutteral need to scream out at Woodrow, "You MURDERER!" as the credits roll.

It was Larry McMurtry who first taught me why book jackets are useful at all: to cover up book spines so badly broken from reading that the title can no longer be read. This is my Texas section on my bookshelf, and it is pretty near holy. As you can see, every book has a jacket and now you know why.

You regular readers will notice that I even got into character to write this. That's what old Larry does to folks who read him. McMurtry is one of the finest writers to ever put pen to paper. He writes Texas. His characters are Texas. Sometimes it takes my breath away to think one man wrote The Last Picture Show, the Lonesome Dove trilogy and Terms of Endearment.

Just how does it get much better than that? xoxo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Liberty...and prosecutors

Behold this axiom of our American justice system:
"Better 10 Guilty Men Go Free than to Convict a Single Innocent Man."

Now, many folks today use this as logic why we should not profile at airports or road checkpoint stops, etc., but I want to apply it to a specific process, one that it was originally intended to address: a courtroom, a trial -- the proper context for it (as opposed to profiling people for safety against terrorism, where no conviction is even a possibility at that point, just a way to look at certain people in more depth who fit the profiles).

I believe this was one of the BIG things our founders believed in; therefore, I have always tried to believe in it as well. It has its seminal roots in Blackstone, which is a cornerstone of our legal system. It is why we make a prosecutor prove a case beyond reasonable doubt in order to convict. And I further believe that we all need to remember this, especially those of us chosen to sit on trial juries of our peers, but also those of us watching trials and rendering judgments in the marketplace of culture.

Once, back in 1978, I sat on a capital murder trial jury. I admit, I did not want to be chosen, but I was. A baby had been beaten to a point where it had developed abdominal peritonitis and had died. The boyfriend of the mother was on trial for the murder. But, as testimony later showed, during the time period that the baby was supposed to have incurred the fatal injury (because untreated peritonitis causes a slow, painful death), several members of the mother's family had custody and were alone with the baby.

Another thing about peritonitis in a baby: the pain and sickness causes a baby to be a pain in the ass. It cries and cries, screams in pain, and never quits. I'm sorry you have to read this, but you do need to know the picture painted to the jury. It was, needless to say, an agonizing job we all endured just listening to the testimony.

When it came time to deliberate is when I learned the hard way about this axiom of legal justice. It was explained to us ad nauseum throughout the trial that this was a case entirely based almost completely upon circumstantial evidence. This basically means in practice that all evidence other than direct eyewitness testimony of the crime is indeed circumstantial, and that the way the jury navigates this is to logic out what happened using the evidence. But also given equal weight is where another result can be equally inferred using logic and the evidence. And in the end, somehow, we must arrive at a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt in order to convict.

This is where I found myself as a juror in deliberation. Sure, I could clearly see where this boyfriend, left to babysit, could have gotten ticked off at this baby and hit it. But I could also see some other scenarios involving other family members alone with the child that could yield the same result, and the prosecution never helped me dispel the likelihood of those happening with the same odds.

In other words, it began to look increasingly to me that they picked the person to indict who was the easiest in their minds of convicting. Especially when the mother was given immunity to testify against the boyfriend, thereby shielding herself from accusation, and by omission of her own testimony, her family from being accused of similar guilt.

Which was a problem, because they did not have any evidence against the boyfriend, other than he was one of several alone with the baby during the critical period of probably injury. So, my friends, as much as that baby's injury and death sickened me, I hung that jury. And it was because the prosecution had not proven its case against this one person.

Because I was sequestered and admonished not to read or see news about this, I did not know that the press was saying the same thing about this boyfriend being railroaded just to get a conviction. So while that later made me feel a bit better, I am here to tell you that it is a very hard thing to hang a jury, meaning that if it truly be your conviction to force the prosecution to prove a case, you had better cling to that tightly because you will need impressive strength. The likelihood is great that other jurors are going to be prone to just believing whatever the prosecution asserts. Getting the job done and going home is a huge motivator.

For 5 days, the other jurors went through all kinds of nasty behavior because of my stubbornness. If you have ever seen the 1957 movie Twelve Angry Men, then you might remember Henry Fonda, Juror #8. Honeys, I know know know what his character went through. There was even another juror who could have been Lee J. Cobb's disgusting character, Juror #3. If you have not ever seen this movie, I can also tell you that it is one of the most accurate depictions of what it is like to be on a jury where you are the only one to believe in the above axiom throughout. Even down to the immense sweating...

I was angrily insulted, shunned, patronized like a child, for the first 3 days...whatever anyone else thought would change my mind to the majority. But beginning on Day 4, a few others spoke up that they had begun to see what I was saying, and it was later said that my backbone and clarity of thought gave them the courage to see it as well. Without that and the time it took for some to actually think on their own, they had been just agreeing with the status quo: the prosecution's charge and then the outspoken bossy jurors who wanted to obey the prosecution and go home pronto.

During the trial, I kept a diary of it. In it, I wrote down all the names -- the accused, the mother, the other family members, the prosecution team, the defense team, the judge, the witnesses, the jurors. And I even added to this diary in the years following the trial. After the trial, I would refer back to this diary as I read news about people that triggered my memories of those names.

About 4 years later, I noticed a news story about a man who was charged with the exact same crime, except this time, the poor baby was his own child. I looked back at my diary, and the accused turned out to be the mother's brother, who was one of the family members in my trial who was alone with the baby. This time, there was no immunity and family members came forward to testify that they witnessed a beating of the child that experts then testified was such that could and probably did cause the fatal injury. There were also 3rd parties who witnessed it (and this time, the family took the baby to the hospital immediately, not weeks later). It came out that this brother had a long history of violent erratic behavior. The boyfriend? Long gone from this family.

If I ever needed to see justification that I'd done the right thing, this probably would qualify. But, in fact, I never really needed it. I had no sleepless nights over it. I never once questioned what I'd done, and that is huge, for I tend to devil's advocate most everything. To me, to my own little mind, I knew I had done what was right. I knew I had used what tiny power I had as a citizen to honor the principles we were founded upon. And, I always felt like I'd do it again if I had to.

So, why am I talking about this now? Well, it is all flooding back to me these days, whenever the Casey Anthony trial is on TV. Let me just say this: I do not think much at all of Casey Anthony as a person. Casey is a proven liar and a spoiled brat of a daughter. She is 2 years older than my own daughter, and so my sympathies go often to her parents, who, although they had a hand in creating this diva, also had to deal with the Frankenstein they created. And my heart cries for that sweet little Caylee.

But I find myself increasingly concluding that Casey's murder trial is another case of the prosecution not adequately proving its case for the specific charge of first degree murder. Further, the media has convicted Casey based upon her despicable personality and her abhorrent behavior in other areas that are not what she is accused of here. IOW, it's like, she had to have killed this child knowingly and premeditatively because she is a slut, a bitch, a liar, a cheat, a thief and hopelessly insensitive.

Believe me, I'd love to know that she indeed did as she is charged. But, my mind goes forward to the jury deliberation room, as I know firsthand what that is like. And my first question is, just what is she charged doing specifically, exactly? The prosecution says, she did it, but they cannot tell you how, or when, or why, or where. In my mind, there is a hug hole in this case where an accidental death can easily sit. Why didn't the prosecution go for that lesser charge? Maybe it is because they wouldn't even be able to prove that, so they went for broke. At any rate, there is just too much here that is unresolved, unprovable, and open to reasonable doubt.

Had the state kept first degree murder out of it, I could go there. The probability is about equal to lightning striking that there was a kidnapper or Zanny the Nanny. I think they have proven that whatever befell Caylee, it was directly or indirectly at Casey's hand or in her custody. But, they have never proven that she was a bad mother. In fact, there has been much testimony directly or indirectly addressed that proves otherwise. So, I keep asking myself, why would a proven loving mother suddenly and knowingly and premeditatively kill her child? And has the prosecution proven that?

I think a lot of folks out there trying this case in emails, on their blogs, on Facebook, in chat rooms and forums do not let themselves accept is that Casey was an attentive, loving mother who never once put her child in any testifiable harm prior to the death. That's the testimony that a juror must accept. And so should we out here in Public Opinion Land. Could she have accidentally killed Caylee by over-chloroforming her in order to see a boyfriend who banned Caylee from his home? Yep, definitely. And here is where my logical mind rests most of the time. This is what I think probably happened. The testimony is there to back this up as one logical conclusion.

Lord knows why the defense brought up accidental drowning, and I do have a rough theory developing in my mind, but feel compelled to assert that because we are not given a proved case, we in PO Land must now delve into alternate theories as to what happened. And that is the prosecution's fault. So, shall we?
Of course, one such theory IS the prosecution's, that she decided one day to finally be rid of Caylee for good and killed her, probably with the chloroform (although, again, we have no cause of death, just chloroform residue found in the trunk and Caylee's remains that no longer give medical examiners the proper clues).  I'll not get into this theory further, as it is being played out as we speak and they can prosecute from her to eternity, but as I've said, their case is missing some key elements that lacks proof beyond reasonable doubt, in part because they have gone for broke as to the charge.
Another theory is the theory the defense described in opening statements, that Caylee accidentally drowned in the pool, and that her grandfather helped to dispose of the body. I find this HIGHLY improbable, as George Anthony is a cop. And again, having gotten to know both George and Cindy Anthony enough by their statements prior to the trial, there is no way that had George been somehow persuaded to cooperate in this, Cindy never would. And the two are still together like glue. Nope, doesn't pass the smell test, just like the abuse accusation.
The prosecution's chloroform scenario brings up a third theory. This is the one I am inclined to believe more than any other. Casey, told by her boyfriend (who had a picture of a girl with a caption that read "Win her over with Chloroform", on his myspace profile) that Caylee was banned from his home, began chloroforming Caylee and would leave her to sleep it off in the car trunk while she visited the boyfriend. This, to me, reconciles two important things I cannot otherwise dismiss: that she was basically a good enough mother that she would never be able to willingly murder Caylee in cold blood, and this also sounds plausible as to why she would leave the child's body in the trunk long enough for it to decompose and smell.
Think about it: Casey is messed up in the head, to be sure. I'm thinking she could easily see chloroforming as simply medicating. She researched it on the computer thoroughly, and the boyfriend was an advocate of it. Perhaps he'd even given it to Casey before, and she lived. Hey, some people would find that proof that chloroforming can be controlled. There is no accounting for taste and intelligence.
Now, think about it again. If she'd meant to KILL Caylee with chloroform, as the state asserts, she could have found out the right amount just by asking the boyfriend. She could have also have given the child a humongous dose as well. Why do 84 searches for chloroform? find how much one could give a child of a certain weight in order to NOT kill her? Bingo!
So, if you are still with me, think about if you had medicated your child that you do indeed love, and she died? Do not focus on what dumbass would have done this to begin with! Would you not be in a state of shock, no matter how stupid or selfish or immature you were? I propose that she was struck dumb by fear and remorse and shock, but selfish and scheming to the end. She needed time to think, what to do, what to do.
Casey is, to put it nicely, a grand schemer. Her lies have shown that she goes big and then doubles down. In fact, some of the lies that she has been shown to tell are what I grew up calling "super whoppers", yet people in her life often believed them. In fact, many a liar and many a philosopher as well has reflected upon the irony that the bigger the lie, the bigger the acceptance of the lie. So, she thinks up kidnapping and Zanny the Nanny was born. Casey struggles to let as much time go by, to cover up what really happened, and so her scheme to deal with the fantasy kidnapping and *find* Caylee on her own developed. And it worked for 30 days of time, before her mother finally forced Casey's disclosure by calling 911 about the car smell. And then another call to report the kidnapping. And more time was gained while Casey stonewalled and continued to stick to the fantasy whopper.

And that tattoo she got, La BellaVida, The Good Life? Hey, that is no proof to me of her killer mind, as many just too easily conclude. For instance, Judge Jeanine Pirro said last week that the tattoo incriminates Casey because it obviously was not a commemorative tattoo, because if it was, it would say something like Caylee and her dates of birth and death. Uh....HELLO Judge. At the time that Casey got the tattoo, the child had not even been discovered missing! My Lord, couldn't you have thought that one out before speaking, Judge? Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Let me suggest that it was a melancholy choice by Casey and had little or nothing to do with Caylee's death, other than a way to pretend it never happened. I can see that just as much as I can see it being a brazen statement like, I'm free now! Let's party! And as to her uber-partying during that time, I can also see that as a way to escape from pain. Maybe it comes from my many single years of nightlife in bars: not that many people there are happy. though many smile and laugh. Most are there to wash away and party away emotional pain of some kind.

Let's now talk about Casey's lawyer, Jose Baez. Boy, he looks like an incompetent boob, but have you considered what information that he has had to work on? Who knows what stories he has been told, what wild goose chases he has been led on?  To Casey, lying is like her own skin. Baez is new to the Anthony's world. Maybe he believed things she'd told him. There are two reasons I can think of as to why he could be (unwisely in my opinion) asserting during opening statements that Caylee drowned and that George was an accessory to it. One reason would be that Casey told him this was the truth and he believed her, and realized it couldn't be disproven as well. But then, he also had to realize that if he presented an alternate theory, he would have to prove it later. Surely? Well, what if Casey told him she would provide proof, but after opening statements, he found out she was lying about it.

I sure hope that is what happened, because if not, he appears to be more than a bit stupid for not just keeping his mouth shut and rightly challenging the state to prove its case. And that brings me to the other reason, that he is just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, that his gameplan is to assert enough doubt and chaos in the mix to get her off the murder charge because he has no fricking idea what really happened. Again, not a good way to do it, but the trial is not over yet. We've yet to see how he resolves it all.

It is possible that in Baez's closing arguments, he may tell the jury that he proposed the pool accident to show them that it is as plausible as the state's argument, because the state has no proof behind its murder charge. Just today, Cindy Anthony added more fodder for doubt. She testified that she looked up chlorophyll and chloroform on the computer for some of those searches. I just now googled "chloro" and stopped, and google did have chlorophyll as a clickable choice in the box that opens up. IOW, if you have programmed for google to finish words partially typed in, this will pop up. And Cindy laid a little more chaos in her testimony when asked if she googled the word 84 times, replying that she didn't but she didn't know what the computer did (meaning on its own).

As I type this, CNN is reporting that the Anthonys now believe Casey is guilty, when in fact, her lawyer went up to the CNN reporter earlier today to clarify some other things that he felt the reporter was exxagerating. He told the reporter that the Anthony's were in fact not decided on Casey's guilt, they were wondering if she did it or not, not convinced either way. The reporter then translated that into them believing her guilty. This is just amazing that it was caught as it was in real time. A wonderful example of just how badly the media has handled this whole thing. And I have to wonder: what else have they added their own cynical interpretation to and then presented as fact?

Do you know? Cuz if you want to convict this woman based on what you have learned from the media, you'd better know. If you are giving odds as to if she did or not, that's fine. Not what I'm talking about. If you are thinking the state has proven its case, though, and basing it on said media, well, I do not want you judging me especially if I am innocent.

Now, if you can see the logical arguments I have offered here and find them to be credible, and if you want to avoid believing the trumper-uppers in the media, I can advise a couple of things. First, Bill O'Reilly is, as he is on most topics involving children and drugs, a Catholic evangelical reactionary activist. IOW, he cops an attitude and will not budge on it. (Ditto to a lesser extent as to Hannity on these kinds of issues.) Bill gives no credence whatsoever to anyone suggesting Casey should not be convicted of first-degree murder.

Second, Judge Jeanine Pirro has been reporting on Greta Van Sustern's show and has been really pro-prosecution. Yet, last weekend, on her own show, she laid out with her version of proof what she thinks really happened. Curiously, it's the same theory that I put the most stock in. Why she defends the prosecution so much is strange to me, but maybe she has orders to color it that way while on Greta, or else she may just be pro-prosecution in general. Not delineating her views on each crime Casey is convicted of, though, paints her as just a believer of media kool-aid and not worth my time.

Greta and Geraldo are the two commenters that have given the most even coverage and discussion in my mind. Greta is pretty much saying now that the state's holes are too big to prove the murder case, which is the case they are bickering over. Geraldo has said from the start of the trial that the state's case has fatal holes in it. These are the only two commenters that I have heard who seem willing to look at this thing fairly and with a similar burden to prove belief as mine.

Are they right? Not saying that (although as of now, I think they are). Just saying, those are two places to go for the other side. From what I have seen from CNN, they are pretty much in the tank for conviction. I have not seen much from MSNBC beyond reporting the daily bits of the trial.

Another bit of advice: listen to the guest commenters' intros, as to whether they have defense or prosecutorial backgrounds. Then, weigh what each says in the appropriate light.

This BOOK I've just written is in response to emails received asking me what I thought about the Casey Anthony trial and her guilt or innocence. To reiterate, my gut says she caused the death of her child, but the state's case does not prove first degree murder. She is also charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer, and I've no problem with her being found guilty of any of those charges.

I thank those who stayed with me to the end for reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Republican Senator: 'F**k It,' Gays Should Marry
6/17/2011 11:24 AM PDT by TMZ Staff

Republican New York State Senator Roy McDonald has SHATTERED party lines in support of gay marriage -- telling reporters, "F**k it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing."

The battle rages on in New York to legalize gay marriage -- but McDonald threw his hat in the ring earlier this week ... with the greatest statement of all time, claiming, "You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing."

"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f**k it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing."

"I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

With McDonald's support, the gay marriage bill is only ONE vote shy of being made into law -- which would make New York the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.

Now, I was just impressed with this guy's courage. He realizes, we have got to compromise. Both sides. And, I'm reading into his decision when I add this: I think he also sees that this issue pits religious teaching on one side against inalienable rights on the other. Yup, I said, who believes that all of us who are married need to be legally bound by civil unions, and that marriage needs to be a religious rite that can then be defined as between a man and a woman.

So, I am against marriage defined any other way. That comes from knowing that marriage is a holy sacrament that was eventually co-opted by the legal system because then there was no other kind and it was easy to codify the religious. But really, that breeches the wall of separation. Civil union would correct that. Apply it to everyone, gay and straight.

So, I probably should be against states voting to allow gay marriage, like New York. And I should be against what McDonald's decision. But, I'm not, because no one is changing marriage laws to civil union laws, and this is a basic issue of your inalienable rights. Think of it this way: the issue of *choice* over one's sexuality just obfuscates the real thing, which is that no man can be free unless he has free will. How does that work in protestant Christianity and not here? My beliefs about marriage are in part a compromise because I realize how important and sacred this act, this label, this name, means to religious Americans.

And, I also like to call them like I see them. Regardless how any of us feel about gay marriage, this Roy McDonald deserves 15 seconds of kudos because he stood up and voted his conscience -- a mixture of religious and secular. He dared to compromise. I say, bravo to that.

Look, in my spare time when I read, I have been lost deep in the 18th century for the last few months. I have absorbed everything I can find written from that period and about it. And what I come away with is pretty scary. So many parallels in the people's attitudes and fierce partisanships then compared to now. So many lost opportunities to have compromised a solution to the Civil War and disunion, when we came within a hair's width of losing it all in mutual destruction. It is quite romantic and idealistic to conclude that some things are just gonna go that way, or to propose that nothing could have stopped it. Read the details and you know that is not true.

Earlier in the month, when I wrote about the somber mood of Americans, increasingly I wonder if it is because many of us are beginning to see finally that we are in virgin territory. Nothing in our history has been quite like what we are going through now. That is pretty scary, too. And couple that with (my belief, anyway) the realization of more and more people that Obama is in over his head, and that makes it scarier still. (Either because of the virgin territory or because of his remedies, take your pick...even if you still insist on believing it to be Bush's fault...the end result is still a bummer). And then, it is getting hot with summer setting in. It's just one big snotball of fun (not), as a friend of mine used to say.

I don't know, but to me it is shaping up to be a somber summer. I wonder if the 10th anniversary of 911 coming up might can unite us any or at least help the word compromise be more palatable.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I've been reading

One thing I've been reading (here's my review on Goodreads):

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I unfortunately lack the time presently to do this book justice, so please be warned: this will be a stream-of-consciousness review. hehe First, it was totally worth my time, all 757 pages of it (not including notes, bibliography and index which makes it 916 total). As a story, it reads gorgeously. I read it in a week. And at one point, I was reading a few chapters with David Donald's Lincoln biography open alongside it (explained later). The author, heretofore identified as DKG, used a novel theme twist that added richly to it: Lincoln's bio was the main thrust throughout, but she weaved in Lincoln's 2 eventual Repub rivals for the 1860 nomination and 2 eventual members of his Cabinet into the chronology, so that before Lincoln's presidency, it was 5 bios and their interactions. Once he was elected though, the events were the major character thrust, as they are in most every book covering the Civil War era. Approaching the book's end, the it's almost like the events were propelling the narration to move faster; and in reaction I read faster and more dedicatedly. The ending is unforgettable in its construction of the storytelling and startling overall. I learned much more because of this theme choice and her plentiful research and quotes. I have 2 dislikes about the book. The smaller one was that I really needed more maps and charts. It would have helped greatly. The larger dislike of mine concerns her sly, beguiling, persistent need throughout the book to sell Lincoln's saintly status. I constantly found myself running my hands through my hair and asking, Doris, could you PLEASE let me make up my own mind about Lincoln????? I will conceded that in the last third of the book or so, she held this annoying habit down to the last paragraph of each chapter, so I was thankful for small favors. I borrowed the hardback edition of this book from my dad and I believe if I was faced with buying it or not reading it, I would buy the Kindle version if that helps anyone. A physical book this big can be a pain to read.
View all my reviews

Something Else I've been Reading:Your emails! There has been a temporary spike in them, caused in part by my comments concerning Sarah Palin. All who wrote think I dissed her. About half think I was wrong and the other half thanked me.

Oy. The truth is, I wasn't dissing her. I didn't mean to, anyway. I was trying to be frankly honest in my criticism of her. See, in my mind, Hillary is the presidential female leader Prototype, the one model made to sell the thing. I see Sarah as Version 1.0 of the real thing. And the first version, much like software, has all the bugs. It is rarely the version people remember fondly, like the version that finally clicks with the masses in the end. But the biographers later on, they *get* how revolutionary Version 1.0 was. They tend to see the good things and force others to acknowledge, this is necessary for the evolution. I admire her. I respect her. I think she did a good job in Alaska and think they made the best choice all around when she resigned. I would probably not vote for her for President, but she has never made me physically ill or want to gag and I really haven't ever thought her stupid at all. She has a perfect right to be who she is like everyone else and be taken seriously like everyone else. And, honestly, I look at people who react to her so vehemently and wonder what is up with that? My mind is entirely open to her, say, down the road given she does something to elevate herself to above what is her official weakness in many eyes: education. I've no ideas about how she would go about obtaining that in proveable form, but the point is, she is young and smart and time fades negative passion. I might add, the most passionate I am about her is on two things: her right to be respected and taken seriously, and why does she evoke such visceral negativity in some people? I wonder if I will ever know.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Back into the Routine...

Well, golly. I've been gone from here awhile, eh? I have to admit that it was even longer because I got so out of the blog habit towards the end of my absence that I put my re-entry off even longer! I dunno, I think it really all boils down to my meds and me not wanting to accept the fact that they make me pretty introverted when I have to take a big dose.

Several times a year, I get my arthritis meds intravenously, which the latest was the week before my last post. Sometimes there is not much of that effect, but other times, wham. The mimic symptoms of ADD hit me, and along with that is just not being able to communicate a lot like I normally can. So, just know that for the future, and I will likewise try to remind when it's that time again.

So, okay, then. Wow, May was very active for me. There were a few family birthdays, Mothers Day, graduations, company dinners, and a visit from my Arthurs a couple times. I have planned for June to be a non-working vacay at home to rest up. I'm taking a couple of much-needed online classes in art, but otherwise I plan to do a lot of reading and resting and photo organization and painting of backgrounds.

However, I've developed an annoying habit this week...cannot quit giggling "Weiner's weiner!" like some 7-year old kid. Man, I've never liked Anthony Weiner that much and will definitely never forgive him for his atrocious bullying of Meghan Kelly on her noon Fox show a few weeks before she went on maternity leave(which she graciously endured, much to her credit, as it really showed him to be the ass we all now know he is).

So, I really have zero empathy or sympathy for him in his current scandal. He acts almost all the time on TV like some pubscent pimply-faced teenage know-it-all, and I think David Letterman should be his bff, quite frankly. However, I don't particularly think I'll be angry should he not resign, and I'm not holding my breath as I would say if I had to predit that he's not gonna go voluntarily. The whole thing is just *ick*, though, and then tonight we hear that his wife is pregnant and the ironic icing on the cake is that she is one of Hillary Clinton's aides. Oh geez, it just never ends (and on both sides of the aisle as well).

There has been a multitude of contentious and major issues that I could have blogged about, but I do not dare to unearth any of them right now as the new ones keep coming. Remember that Lucy episode where she and Ethel were on that chocolate candy assemly line? Yeah. That. But what has struck me as appearing all of a sudden is the real wave of pessimism and fatalism in the American spirit lately. People are scared and trying to act like they aren't. Scared or nervous...something like that.

I devoted a little time earlier this evening to thinking about this, and had to stop as it was bumming me out (as I guess it logically would, right?). And I lucked out with a feel-better escape as it happened. I surfed onto Piers Morgan interviewing Jack Welch. And that was all I needed to feel better. Weird? Probably. But that Welch can make you buy swampland in a desert. His enthusiasm is so contagious. How old is he? 75, I believe. Amazing. And hey, Piers Morgan does a great interview. I don't know why he gets a bad rap cuz I think he is better than Larry King. I always try to check out whose on his show.

About the country's bummer mode, what I do know is that the Lamestream liberal media is not even trying to sweep it under the rug this week. Guess too many unemployment numbers and negative polls came out to allow them to downplay it (which it turns out they have been doing for weeks now -- Fox has been the exception, was bumming me out, so I've been watching a greater amount of CNN and MSNBC for awhile I know.).

I am even hearing predictions of another dip, this time worse than the first one. And that with no QE3 to soften it, look for even higher prices for everything, in particular commodities and interest rates. Yeah, that's good if you have a lot of savings and don't drive a lot. Or use electricity. Or water. Add in that housing is calling out "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up." winkwink

Now, my empty nester Hubster and I do happen to be sitting on a lot of cash savings, and you know that evil Exxon feeds and clothes us, so I could just say lettem eat cake. But that's not my style, plus I'm superstitious. Say it and watch it catch in the wind and go splat back in your face. I am hoping actually that this is just a short-term adjustment for the adults in Congress cutting the spending strings. I mean, even though they haven't successfully passed any huge cuts, you can bet your bottom dollar that Bernanke would be begging for some QE3 money and Obama would already have proposed another bail-out by now, but the message is frugality + no tax increases. So we sit and make the economy struggle to right itself. We rely on capitalism to save the day. It will be a long wait.

Personally, I don't think it hurts most of us to do without some things. I know that we are watching things, choosing just a few faves and not doing everything we like. I do worry about those who fall apart because they were week to week and then lose a job or incur big unexpected expenses. All I can say is that I hope those folks run to the govt safety nets we do have in place and if they get screwed then yell at the top of your lungs and don't quit til we pay attention. In bad times, you want these systems to be running on all cylinders and not need a tune up. I mean, I know they are the subject of debate over continuing to fund them, but while they are here and now, they should be used. I don't know what upsets me worse, a gov't program that is not absolutely necessary, or one that is and under-utilized.

Not really firing my sparkplugs over any of the GOP prez candidates, but I really do wish that Sarah Palin hadn't opened her mouth to opine on Paul Revere. See, I know exactly what she meant. I think I can figure out what she says because I have kind of the same problem she has. I call mine verbal dyslexia. And I consistently score a 151 on Mensa's IQ test, so don;t be calling ME an idiot. Likewise, I doubt she is, either.

But, this latest gaff of hers gets replayed over and over. And after awhile, I'm like, cringing. I really hope she doesn't run for prez. I mean, I like her and admire her, but she is like version 1.0, full of bugs. Essential to the evolution, but at times really uncomfortable to live with.