Monday, December 31, 2012

Coming Attractions

Well, looks like we made it through 2012. It was a tough year in some ways and a really good one in others. Anyone out there care to make a prediction about things that might happen in the world during the next 365 days?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Maybe the Best Deal is No Deal

I'm starting to think maybe we should just go over the fiscal cliff. We know tax revenues would be increased and spending cuts would be enacted. If we're ever going to hope to make any progress on getting the deficit under control those are the two things that need to happen.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hope you all are having a nice holiday season. I really value your friendship!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tunnel Vision

"I only know what I hear on Fox News"...one of the scariest quotes ever.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/20/mosque-arsonist-tells-court-i-only-know-what-i-hear-on-fox-news/

Who's That New Guy With The Long Hair?

A lot of religious folks are saying we should put Jesus back in the schools. I'm sure the NRA would go along with that as long as He's packing heat.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Freaky Friday

Every big occasion in life demands a soundtrack...here's the New Yorker's Mayan Apocalypse Playlist!
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/12/the-ultimate-mayan-apocalypse-playlist.html

Out of Touch

The public increasingly thinks the GOP's views are too extreme. The numbers will only get worse if they blatantly defend the gun industry and take us over the fiscal cliff.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/republican-poll_n_2337757.html

Quick Spins: Movies of 2012

It's funny how there seems to be three seasons when it comes to movies. The months January through April are generally pretty lousy. May through September perk up but are largely filled with escapist fare like comic book adaptations and comedies. Then the last three months of the year we finally enjoy a banquet of smart, visually stunning, creative endeavors.
The first few months of 2012 were really rough for me movie-wise. I actually started lamenting to my friends how much better television (especially cable programming)was these days. But then Wes Anderson's charming comedy "Moonrise Kingdom" finally broke the ice.
Here's a list of the films I've enjoyed the most this year: Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, Lincoln, Cloud Atlas, Looper, Chronicle, Rock of Ages, Prometheus, Silver Linings Playbook. I'm really looking forward to seeing Skyfall, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, This is Forty, Les Miserables.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is a Real Ad

This ad makes a more eloquent statement about the relationship between guns and male egos than a university professor with a PHD in psychology ever could.

Change is Possible

Sometimes I feel like we're so proud of our country we feel like we can't learn anything from other humans. Maybe it's time to alter that thinking and look at the gun death numbers in two other countries we have a lot in common with...
http://world.time.com/2012/12/17/when-massacres-force-change-lessons-from-the-u-k-and-australia/

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Definitions and Death

One thing the pro-gun folks need to understand is that the rest of us don't really care all that much about the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons. All we care about is what size clip will work with the weapon and how fast it will fire the bullets in that clip.

Waiting Period

When you ask a Republican politician if they think there's a possibility we should rethink what kind of guns and ammo are available to the public they invariably say, "Well, we don't have all the facts yet." Translation: Let's not really talk about this issue for a while and hopefully the public will calm down and get complacent again.

It Has To Come From The Ground Up

I think David Frum makes a really good point in this article. It's not wise to demand that the president take the lead in the gun control discussion. Conservatives have been always been wildly (and incorrectly) paranoid that he wants to disarm them. The pressure needs to come from a sad and angry public that's sick of hearing breaking news bulletins about the latest bloody episode.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/17/opinion/frum-leadership-newtown/index.html?

Monday, December 17, 2012

The NRA is Suddenly Silent

Wow, not seeing a lot of courageous NRA folks on the cable talk shows right now. I guess they must be holed up in their bunkers eating cold beans and listening to Ted Nugent's Greatest Hits. They should be aware that every mass shooting will reduce their influence in Washington that much more from now on.
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/17/1343111/five-things-every-elected-official-should-know-about-the-nra/

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Death Row Nation

This piece from the Onion pretty well sums up how I'm feeling right now. The pro-gun lobby has decided the best course of action is for the rest of us to just sit quietly and wait for our emotionally troubled excutioner to arrive.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/right-to-live-life-in-complete-stunned-horror-adde,30749/

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Derelection of Duty

It seems like the bodies weren't even cold yesterday before know-it-all religious pontificators like Mike Huckabee and Brian Fischer were proclaiming that mass shootings occur because we've taken God out of schools.
Which leads me (and lots of other intelligent folks)to wonder why tens of thousands of American children have been sexually abused inside churches. Shouldn't that be the one place we can absolutely count on Him to protect our kids?

Friday, December 14, 2012

F**K the NRA

I'm feeling numb and sick. This is such a stupid country in some ways.

Quick Spins: My Favorites of 2012

In my humble opinion, there was an abundance of really good new music this year. Some of it was produced by older artists I've enjoyed for decades and some of it came from exciting new folks.
Best albums of the year: 1. Joe Walsh- Analog Man 2. Rush- Clockwork Angels 3. Ben Folds Five- The Sound of the Life of the Mind 4. Daryl Hall-Laughing Down Crying (came out in late 2011) 5. Tame Impala- Lonerism 6. Shoes- Ignition 7. Kathleen Edwards- Voyageur 8. Aimee Mann- Charmer 9. Joe Guido Welsh- Nothing Left To Say 10. Heart- Fanatic
I also saw some great shows this past year. Kathleen Edwards was down to earth and funny. My Morning Jacket had the most amazing light show I've ever witnessed. And three acts came to town that I never thought I'd be lucky enough to see: World Party, Joe Walsh and UK.
Some singles I enjoyed a lot all on their own: John Hiatt- Damn This Town, Strangeways-Run, Saint Etienne- Wouldn't It Be Nice?, Pond- Elegant Design, Kenny Wayne Shepherd- Never Lookin' Back, School of Seven Bells- The Night Van Halen- Tattoo (about the only song on the album I liked), The Shins- Simple Song, Dawes- Time Spent In Los Angeles, Flaming Lips- Ashes In The Air, Steve Earle- Waitin' On The Sky, Donald Fagen- Weather In My Head, Joan As Police Woman- The Ride

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who Exactly Are The Republicans Listening To?

The GOP is a really strange political party these days. You have regular people voting against their own interests and politicians ignoring polls that show even their own supporters are more interested in raising taxes on the rich than hacking away at entitlement programs.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/13/how-republicans-are-duping-members-of-their-own-party.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Finally!!!

Rush, the amazing progressive hard rock power trio from Canada has finally been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This honor was way overdue.
Here's a cool video somebody did as a tribute to the band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obrqmB1t2JU
I was also really happy to see Heart is being indcted this time around. Like Rush, they've hung in there over the decades and made a lot of great music. I will always consider Ann Wilson the female vocal equivalent of Robert Plant.

Travesty

I liked what one Michigan legislator said yesterday..."good legislation gets debated, bad legislation gets rammed through in the middle of the night."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/harold-meyerson-unions-still-matter-in-michigan-just-as-in-china/2012/12/11/d77d9948-43c9-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Numbers Don't Lie

Makes you wonder if maybe we should be talking about LOWERING the age people can get on Medicare...

Monday, December 10, 2012

So Many Words, So Little Time

Just published my first novel. It's about two brothers who live in Seattle...one has a union job at a telecommunications company and the other is a conservative radio show host. Lots of political talk but also some laughs and the occasional sex scene to keep things lively.
http://www.amazon.com/We-All-Have-Our-Heaven/dp/1480273848/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355162323&sr=1-1&keywords=we+all+have+our+heaven

Buying Power

Thing are tough all over...
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/12/billionaires-warn-higher-taxes-could-prevent-them-from-buying-politicians.html

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One of My Favorite Quotes

We still miss you, John.

The Misunderstood Obama Voters

Who would ever have thought blacks would get out and support the first black president? Who would ever have thought women would shy away from the party of transvaginal probes? Who would ever have thought gays would work against a party that treated them as immoral and subhuman? Who would have ever thought young people would desert a party that ignored science and hectored on social issues? Who would ever have thought Latinos would scorn a party that expected them to finish up their chores and self-deport?
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/dowd-a-lost-civilization.html?src=me&ref=general

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hit and Run

The GOP sent a strong, symbolic message this week about how little they care for people with disabilities. I guess it's all part of their ongoing effort to make the party smaller and more efficient.

Beginnings and Endings

It's fine if some people believe the planet was created within the last ten thousand years. However, I'm really nervous about letting those same people lead us into the future.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/opinion/blow-dinosaurs-and-denial.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1354986133-KNRK5dUwAZ4w0iobg18MqQ

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Taxing Matter

Have you ever wondered how something that was supposed to be temporary turned into a matter of nearly fanatical Republican obsession?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-the-shifting-line-on-tax-cuts/2012/12/04/e50bd63e-3e46-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html

Tax Payer Malpractice

Wonder why the government has to spend so much on health care? The policies of companies like Wal-Mart have a lot to do with it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/01/walmart-health-care-policy-medicaid-obamacare_n_2220152.html

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Cracks Are Beginning To Show

John Boehner and his crew are starting to crack down on the Tea Party true believers. Could it be the folks in charge of the GOP have decided extremism hurt them in the last election?
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/12/tim_huelskamp_and_the_tea_party_post_2012_election_john_boehner_strips_outspoken.html

Fox's Annual Christmas Hysteria

I love it when Jon Stewart says that Christmas is getting so big it's starting to eat the other holidays...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/jon-stewart-fox-news-war-on-christmas-video_n_2237279.html

Cliff Dwellers

I like the fact the president and other Dems are willing to play hardball when it comes to the fiscal cliff. Nothing like giving the other side a taste of their own medicine.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-morning-plum-gopers-expect-to-cave-on-tax-rates-for-rich/2012/12/04/73f57484-3e1c-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_blog.html

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Think I Know Where Bubbles Come From

Something to consider...

Stop Funding the Problem

Future generations are going to look back on the history of climate change and will have to assume we were all really, really high.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-02/fossil-fuel-subsidies-of-rich-nations-are-five-times-climate-aid