Friday, May 09, 2008

I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape.

I was going to write a long post detailing why Mike Erickson would be a horrible choice for Oregon's 5th district but I just finally asked my self "what's the point?" Erickson's a conservative ass. Not that his opponent Kevin Mannix is much better.

So instead I'll simply make the quick observation that Erickson has the head of a Russet potato with the eyes of a brain-damaged ferret.

Some of you may disagree with me. You may think he has the head of a Yellow Finn potato with the eyes of a rabid stoat. Hey, it's America. Your right to your own opinion is sacrosanct.

I will, however, have to draw the line on those of you who think he has the head of an Oca potato with the eyes of a ferral ermine. That sort of talk is just crazy and way too rude for me to entertain.

You using the whole fist, Doc?

I hope Lieberman made sure his hand was warm first.

“I just want to report that this morning I personally checked John McCain's bearings. He has not lost any of them," said the white-haired Connecticut senator. "They are all in really great shape."

Hey, you know you're kind of a handsome man.

Happy Friday!

Regarding Tweety's new hair color...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No. I'm a vegetarian

Just because I haven't posted it in a while- Chaplin's wonderful speech on democracy from The Great Dictator.

For fun here's his famous ballet with the globe scene from the same movie.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

What's important to us?

That's the question we've all had to ask ourselves again and again for over a year now as this presidential primary has dragged on longer than a Bergman film. It's the question we use to check ourselves against the candidate we support to make sure they conform to our own values in the leadership they espouse.

I don't think it's too much of a leap of faith to say that most of us who consider ourselves progressives answer that question with some more nuanced and detailed version of the following --

  • Ending the war in Iraq and focusing on the projection of influence through diplomacy and the return of our international prestige.

  • Appointing progressives to the federal courts, especially the Supreme Court.

  • Working to fix our broken health care system.

  • Returning the role of science and education to the forefront of our national priorities.

  • Tackling the economic challenges of the middle and lower classes of the United States.

  • Taking seriously the threats to our environment and enacting appropriate energy policy to save same.

  • Returning some sense of a constitutional government to the United States.

These are just some of the things we as progressives hope will come to pass under a Democratic President. These are our dreams.

My list of progressive dreams is by no means comprehensive. For example; on our side of the aisle there are those whose biggest dream is that we will someday have a woman or a black man sitting in the Oval Office. To these progressives all the other progressive dreams are secondary to seeing this worthwhile goal realized.

How can we take issue with that? The hope that someday a woman would break the through the ultimate glass ceiling in the Oval Office or an African-American would put the final nail in the coffin of Jim Crow by taking the oath of office of the presidency has been at the forefront of the the progressive movement since this country was founded. I would go so far to argue that this is why this country was founded, even if our leaders have spent every day since then denying that truth.

It is to our great shame as a nation that these final barriers to the presidency still exist in the 21st century. We lag behind Pakistan (PAKISTAN!) in our gender bias towards who will lead this country. It's been thirty years since the other great English-speaking democracy has had a woman at it's helm. For all of our talk about the great melting pot of the United States the portraits of the faces of our U.S. presidents since the inception of this country are embarrassing in their lack of diversity.

In his wonderful speech on race in Philadelphia Barack Obama returned again and again to the idea that "my dreams don't have to come at the expense of your dreams." For the most part I agree with that sentiment.

But there is a blind spot to Obama's formulation. The biggest dream of the grandchildren of suffragettes and slaves cannot both be realized in this presidential election. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can't both have the nomination. Somebody's going to have to set aside their dream for now.

In a year where the Democratic candidate for the presidency is a virtual shoe-in, you could see why this idea is doubly difficult for many of those who see their dream just out of reach. This could go a long ways towards explaining why this campaign has gotten so ugly these last few months.

This idea became clear to me in an exchange with the the fabulous BAC last month. She's fought tooth and nail for Hillary Clinton this primary season and you couldn't find a bigger Clinton booster on the net. In her comment section I glibly wrote something to the effect that "we'll see a woman as President in our lifetime." BAC responded something along the lines of "in your lifetime, maybe. I'm getting up in years."

This broke my heart. I realized that in arguing for Obama, I was asking BAC not just put her dream on the back burner but in a sense to give up that dream. At least the opportunity to see it fulfilled with her own eyes.

As this primary winds to an end I would ask you to please keep BAC in mind in your discussions with friends and family, or your posts to your own blogs. It behooves those of us who supported other candidates to demonstrate a bit of magnanimity in light of the gravity of what we're asking of Clinton supporters. By all means celebrate Barack but don't tear down Hillary. She represents a hell of lot more than a gas tax holiday to millions of people. Please remember that.

Ask yourself what's important. Most of us as progressives, Clinton and Obama supporters, would answer with the same checklist of dreams. We want to fix all the garbage from the Bush years. We want to heal this country.

Monday, May 05, 2008

But Yogi, the Ranger's not going to like it.

Wild bears of the D.C. wilderness with their Latin names.

This isn't the real Mexico.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

If you're not too busy celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the worthless frogs or working your way towards the worm at the bottle of a bottle of mescal, I'd point you towards the following diversions--

* Today is also anniversary of the sole lethal attack by the Japanese during WW II on American civilians on the mainland of the United States. It happened right here in Oregon.

* Swinebread, my kids spent Saturday watching Iron Man and partaking in Dim Sum and Free Comic Book Day. Once in a while my kids will tell me how cool I am. It's really not me. I just have cool friends like Swinebread.

* I caught Gordon Smith's new tv ad this weekend and it really gave me a chuckle. Smith doesn't have a challenger to his seat until after our primary on the 20th. Rather than wait to see which of the two democrats will be running against him he instead ran an ad attacking them both. This doesn't exactly exude quiet confidence on his part. Good.

* I'm going to pick-up Mario Kart Wii next weekend. Now if I can just figure a way to keep the missus away from it and the television. I can't afford to replace another flat screen.

* I continue to be scared by the growth of ocean dead zones. Besides the other side effects of global warming this is one that hits home for me directly. We going camping and crabbing off the coast every summer and the areas where coastal sea life can survive are shrinking at an alarming rate.