Quote of the Day

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell

“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Monday, February 29, 2016

AP Poll: Cal Bears to #25

The new AP basketball poll came out this morning and Oregon is slotted at No. 9, which sounds about right to my learned basketball brain.

The PAC has four in the top-25: Arizona, Utah, and Cal join the Ducks in the poll.  Those teams are shoos-in for the Madness, while several others rest on the so-called "tournament bubble."  Among them, Colorado might have the best shot at breaking in, but OSU is close as well.  I think six will go.

Cal is ranked 25th, which is low for the talent on that team.  Cal is a team you simply do not want to play at this stage, as its crew of mega-talented freshmen has moved comfortably into the D-1 scene after a predictably slow start.

Cal has won 8 in a row, and like Oregon finished unbeaten at home--18-0.  One of those wins came against Oregon in the Ducks' worst loss of the year, an 83-63 rout that was over at tipoff.

That game signaled a warning for everyone else.  Do not hibernate on the Bears.

In fact, I predict Cal will go farthest of the six PAC teams likely to be picked for the Madness.  As much as I like Oregon and Arizona, both with more experienced players, I don't think either has Cal's pedigree overall.

I'm gonna call my bookie this evening.


TS

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pow! Whamm!

Oregon beats Washington 86-73.

Gosh, it's always good to get a win in anything over the Huskies.

Oregon finishes its home schedule without a loss this season.  Two to go in the regular season, down in LA against UCLA and USC.

Won't be easy, but I think the Ducks will battle hard and hopefully pull one out.

One game in front of Utah, Oregon needs one more victory to clinch at least a tie for the Pac-12 title.

Then of course there's the conference tourney in Las Vegas.

Looking good.


TS

Day 7

At the moment, my antiviral drugs seem to be working.

The pain has abated somewhat, reduced to a 4 or 5 on the pain chart, but the disfiguring arc down the right side of my face--linked like an atoll of ugly scabs from my forehead, encircling the right eye, in my ear, down my cheek to my chin, and rampant over that side of my lower lip and tongue--is ghastly.

I'm worried about losing the eye.

I'm used to looking sexy all the time, so you can imagine how rough this is for me.

I am constantly fatigued and have a persistent, grinding headache. I'm unable to concentrate, and sleeping only slightly better than in recent days.

I'm finally able to eat some without intense pain.

I'm scaring the young female volunteers at the senior center lunch line who look away, unable to control their disgust.

I'm watching basketball.  Oregon plays at 5:30.


TS

Friday, February 26, 2016

Now we're having fun

I haven't been doing shit.  I'm sick.

What I suspected was a tooth abscess turned out to be something else.  After struggling to find a dentist who didn't want a small fortune to take me in on an emergency call (Medicare doesn't cover dental; imagine that, what a great nation) I finally hooked up with a county service.

X-Rays revealed that my teeth were in good enough shape that abscesses were ruled out immediately. In the mean time my tongue had became further ulcerated and the dentists (three of them by now oohing over what they saw in my mouth) all guessed a viral attack of some sort, a herpes strain maybe, and ruled out mouth cancer.

One of the dentists made up a prescription of lidocaine viscous, with a couple of other drugs mixed in and sent me home.

The solution, a mouthwash in effect, numbs the mouth briefly, but doesn't do much for the pain, which has been excruciating.

I was back at my regular clinic this morning, a week after having my flu shot, with new ulcers by now having grown on the right side of my face from my forehead down to my chin.

The arc, like a half-moon on my face, was suspicious and my two clinicians mulled over the possibilities, and then held a phone consultation with some dermatological pros.

The consensus for now is that I have Chicken Pox II, aka, shingles. A doc took a scraping from my tongue for the lab.

Shingles are extremely painful, and frequently a problem among elders with broken or damaged immune systems.

The prognosis?  Six weeks of pain and scabrous wounds, swollen and ulcerated tongue, under a drug regimen, and I should be good to go.

OxyCon will help with the pain.

Maybe.


TS

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

He's Mad

Trump wants to punch somebody's face, and who can blame him?  Everybody is all riled up these days.

Back in 2013, Mitch McConnell wanted to bloody the Tea Party's nose.  Not a bad idea.

But now it is Dooley's turn.  He's ready to punch both Trump and McConnell out like a couple of worthless light bulbs.


TS 

Troubles

Tooth abscess that hurts like hell and no dentists who'll see me without the moolah upfront.

(Fuck I love American greed.)

Canker sores that are uncomfortable and annoying.

Sneezing and coughing, watery eyes.

Perfect day.


TS

Monday, February 22, 2016

Should have said no

I had a flu shot Friday.

Now I'm sick.  Itchy eyes and throat.  Headache.  It is said the shot can't make you sick.

I wonder if that is true?

Sheesh...




TS

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Loony Tunes















 via Gify


TS

Big Game

Can Oregon bounce back in the second leg of the Civil War with Oregon State tonight in Eugene?

The Ducks lost to the Beavers in both teams' Pac-12 opener in Corvallis. The home court advantage is huge this season in college basketball, particularly with the balance being demonstrated throughout the country.

The Ducks flew down to the Bay Area last weekend and laid two giant eggs, getting routed by Cal and then losing to Stanford after playing like stiffs until the final minutes, when they rallied and almost pulled the game out.

OSU can't afford to lose many more if intent on playing in March Madness.

Oregon is likely assured of a berth, but could cement a higher seeding by winning its next three, all at home, before closing out the regular season in L.A., where the pattern suggests the Ducks will lose two more.

The Ducks need to rebuild their confidence and get players beyond their star, Dillon Brooks, untracked.

OSU is building something nice in Corvallis, led by Gary Payton II and the Tinkles, a rare father (coach) and son (frosh forward) combo in D-1 hoops.

Tonight's game ought to be as entertaining as heck.


TS

Friday, February 19, 2016

Scene



I haven't seen this, but Willie being Willie is damn cool.


TS

Your Weekend


After much thought, and through a terrible, self-inflicted caterwauling, I have arrived at a decision regarding your weekend reading.

You are not disciplined enough to do this on your own, so you must follow my directions:

The lead story by Andrew Levine at CounterPunch.  Read it, and please disregard the Clinton machine.  I implore you.

Bernie is not the answer.  He is only the beginning.

Secondly, the luminous Henry Giroux on casino capitalism.  If you don't think he's onto something, think again.

That is all.  A light assignment.  Enjoy your weekend.


TS

Goodbye, America










They get you coming and going.

You're in debt when you're born, or your parents are, inasmuch as they must pay for you somehow. A lot of parents will take that out of your allowance when you turn six, and suddenly you're the poorest kid in grade school.

Everybody is in the same boat, but you don't know that.  This is your first taste of victimization.  It will last a long time.

You live X number of years and you pay, pay, and pay some more.  If you're lucky, you come out a little ahead.  If you goof around, you lose.  The truth is, "cradle to grave," you pay.

Everyone knows it can cost a fortune to die, and the act bankrupts tens of thousands annually. Hospital bills can add up if you choose to fight a deadly disease.  Your insurance will cover some of it, but you'll pay out-of-pocket as well.

If you decide to walk into the mountains to kill yourself, you'll need to buy gas for the trip and a silver bullet for the job.  If someone finds your body, the family will have to pay to bring you back to civilization.

To avoid that burden on your family, you'll try like hell to find the best spot to do it and stay hidden in the brush forever.

Then once you're gone, if you have not done the job right, the funeral home, the casket, the burial plot, the urn, the crematorium, the crypt, or the tombstone will cost you plenty.  If you didn't pay for it in advance, your family will have to pick up the tab.  Specify a pauper's grave and the taxpayer pays through the nose.

But let's say you don't like America for some reason.  You're looking for a better tax deal or you want to exile yourself because the U.S. insists on electing nitwits into positions of power and you've had enough embarrassment already.

So you renounce your citizenship.  It makes sense because your spouse is a foreigner, and everything is better in her/his homeland.  You've lived there for years.  Most importantly, you're happy where you are. America has become as burdensome to you as it is to the poor Iraqi who just had his house knocked down by an American bomb.

Renouncing your citizenship will cost you a pretty penny, and the price is skyrocketing.

You can do nothing but pay, because America gets you coming and going.


TS

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Mitch McConnells

He'd be right at home at The Onion.





TS

Found Poems/Mystery


I must have copied these two poems to my Notepad without attribution.  I wonder who wrote them. Seriously, the first one sounds like something I could have written, but if I did I don't recall doing so. Not a good sign, but also indicative of the poem's theme. The second one is an even larger mystery.  It doesn't sound like me, and it is the better poem, albeit perhaps unfinished.  Neither was titled. Anyone out there recognize them? Hmm...


I walk now because I see how life is.
One day the walking will end and I will
know with certainty that I have lived unconsciously.
My existence hurried past me like these people,
sitting, eating, walking like myself.
It is too easy to ignore the world.

               ***

What if you
woke up one morning
and realized you
were unconscionably wealthy?

All the advantages
were yours, a warm bed,
a roof over your head,
your hand in everything.

Waiting for you;
a trust and a free education
bought and paid for by
a grandfather of means.

You learn over time
your family was comprised
of industrialists and
political players from ago.

It had seized the land
from the indigenous people
and erected woolen mills
enough to clothe England.


TS

The Reactionary

As the Obama administration begins its struggle with the Republican Senate over the appointment of the next justice to the Supreme Court, it’s worth reflecting on the teachable moment that is Antonin Scalia’s passing. The late Supreme Court Justice is being lionized in the press, and the myth of Scalia is now beginning to emerge. Much has been made of his alleged commitment to “judicial restraint,” implying that Americans should be mourning the passing of a great legal mind.

Unsurprisingly, Antonin Scalia was no friend of "We the People."

TS

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rockslide















Tues., near Sutherlin, Oregon.

No reported injuries.


TS

Wow

Yes, he really did this.

He's even dumber than I imagined.





TS

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Funny



Little late with this, but I missed it earlier.  What's new?


TS

Gaseous

Two of the most over-used and misconstrued phrases in the American lexicon today.

"We the people," as Cruz and Bundy utter it, quite apart from the original intent of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.

And, "we won't/will stand down," as every militia crackpot, wannabe soldier in America uses it to reinforce his/her criminality.

Fuck, what a mess...


TS

The PAC


With minutes to go, Arizona is leading USC.

The winner ties Oregon for the PAC lead with five to go.

The Ducks blew it this weekend, losing in the Bay Area to Cal and Stanford.

The Cal loss, a blowout defeat, was almost understandable because of the Bears' great young talent.

The loss to a mediocre Stanford team, not so much.


TS

Yep

To identify with the success of the rich, and subsequently using it as a decision-rule for one’s own politics (as well as the broader economy and one’s own personal economic circumstances) is the worst type of false consciousness...

The United States is drunk on absurdist political theater and the politics of disorientation. A society in crisis, where people are unmoored and confused, often turns inward on itself. Unfortunately, in that moment the poor, working classes and struggling middle classes often look at their peers as constituting “the enemy.”

Preach it, brother...


TS

I'm Anti-Sanders, Because Hillary is Way Cooler

Then he lost me. Not all at once, but, by now, thoroughly. And along the way, Clinton impressed me more than she ever had. 

Poor girl.  Go right ahead.  Vote for more of the same.

Good lord.

BTW, education in the U.S., like medical care, needs to be democratized. Is Hills ready to fight for that?  Hardly.

Personally, I don't see any difference between her and Trump, except he's louder and more obnoxious.

Here's the real deal.  Sanders has little cachet, but Hillary has even less.

As the other kids say, LOL.


TS

Danger Zone

Just cleaned my French press for the first time in too long.

Can't believe I've been drinking coffee out of that mess.  No wonder I occasionally feel ill...

I'm the laziest swine I know.

It's a dreary Sunday here.

Ugh...


TS 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Doc of the Day



TS

More Paralysis, More Hunting


I'd laugh if the Republican-controlled Senate managed to block any appointment Obama makes to the Supreme Court to replace Scalia, only to have the Senate pass into the Dem's hands next year with Bernie as President.

There would be real justice at last!

Here's what the Mitch McConnells want.  For SCOTUS to vacation for a year, collect their taxpayer-generated salaries and do nothing to get on with the business at hand--a mirror image of Congress itself.

Perfect.  More obstruction, more rightwing ideology, more wasted time, more nonsense ruling the day.

More dude ranch hunting excursions in Texas.  Get the women to go next time.

Just what America needs.

What dipsticks!  But they were voted in by a horde of like-minded dipsticks.

So what can you say?


TS

The Return of Russ

Walking past the Central Library on 10th Avenue yesterday, I heard my name called.

I turned around and there was Russ. He was seated in front of the library on one of the sturdy concrete benches engraved with the names of dead authors that encircle the building on three sides.

Russ, plump and long-necked and bundled against the wind, was sitting on George Eliot.  Next to him, Henry Fielding was unencumbered, but I didn't feel like sitting down.

No offense, Henry, if you can hear me.

I hadn't seen Russ in years, but I flashed on something immediately. The last time I'd seen him before yesterday he was sitting in that very spot, smoking a cigar.

The library's benches have for years served as landing zones for the homeless and eccentrics, and often times the eccentrically homeless, to be sure. Russ would qualify as an eccentric, but I knew he wasn't homeless because he had once told me he lived just a block from the library, on 10th and Salmon St.

Besides, Russ had a job and a small business that did well.  Or so he had informed me several times. He was--he told me years ago when he was starting out in the profession--a dental lab technician.  He made dentures.

I'd learned that about Russ long after our first meeting in the Goose Hollow Inn, the well-known tavern where I worked for a couple of years soon after arriving in Portland--so, counting it up here, it seems I've known him for forty years.

My, my, time does fly.

I didn't know what line of work Russ was in before he told me about his dental lab training, and I'd never asked.

What I did know about Russ, from my bartending experience, was that he could be irascible, argumentative, opinionated and as contrarian as they come, and he drank a lot of beer but never seemed to get drunk.

I always suspected he was a Republican, but I never asked him about that either.

Seeing Russ in his old spot surprised me.

Russ wasn't smoking a cigar this time, but he was curious about a distant cousin of mine who had been a friend of his.  Had I seen James lately?

That reminded me of all the times Russ used to ask me about James, whom, like Russ, I'd never known well at all.

No, I said, not lately, which was true.  I used to run into James and say hello on occasion, but as with Russ I hadn't given him much thought of late.  A couple of years ago, maybe, I said.

Russ told me he'd retired and moved to San Diego six years ago.  He bought a house to live in, but he grew unhappy there, he said.

No kidding, I said, thinking to myself.  San Diego is pretty nice.  Nice weather.  The beach.  The Padres and Chargers.  I didn't mention it to Russ, but I've frequently thought about the advantages living in San Diego might offer.

I've been there just once, on Christmas Day in 1986.  I was on my way to Mexico and it was 92 degrees outside.  I liked it.

But here was Russ, telling me a man could grow tired of San Diego, even grow unhappy there.

Forever the contrarian, Russ.

He told me he is 74.  I was surprised by that, too.  I didn't think he was a full decade older than myself.  Russ doesn't look his age.  One of those guys, he's obviously been taking care of himself.

Must of cut out the cigars, and likely the beer.

He told me he is from San Diego originally, which I didn't know either.  In all those times I'd served beer to Russ I'd never asked him about his roots, his home town, or his line of work. Imagine that.

Russ had returned to his home town and discovered it had changed drastically. Too many Mexicans, he said.

"Oh?" I said.

"Yeah," he said.  He shook his head.  The Mexicans were obviously bothersome to Russ for some reason, but I didn't ask why.  I didn't have to.

"I wonder if it's because that area used to belong to Mexico," I told him, offering all the sage logic I had available to me at the moment.

"They're back," he said, clearly chagrined by the unwarranted injustice he'd confronted.

I didn't mention that the border was near there because I didn't want to start any trouble with Russ. With him being as contrarian as I remembered him to be, I figured why bother?

He'd tell me that was the problem, the border.

"I've got to get going, Russ.  Good to see you."

"O.K.," he said. "If you see James tell him I'm back in Portland."

"I will," I said.

Seeing Russ sitting on his favorite bench was like seeing a long-lost street preacher returned to his favorite street corner.

Yes, I'm almost certain Russ is a Republican, but I'll never ask.  Not in these volatile times.


TS

Friday, February 12, 2016

Guitar Player



TS

Final Word












TS

Lunch

I've been having lunch at the senior center across the street recently, when the meals look decent.

Quiche made with broccoli and tomatoes today.  Really good. The chicken noodle soup wasn't bad either.

The price is right, too. A small donation suffices.

TS

Winners and Losers

My short essay at CounterPunch, "Bernie?  Why Not?"

CP got a minor detail wrong in my bio.  The piece is not an excerpt from my memoir.  I wrote it a few days ago.

Who "won" the debate last night?  I don't know, I was watching basketball, but unsurprisingly the NY Times says it was Madam Clinton.

Well, what do you expect the freakin' NYT to say?  As mild as he is, Sanders just might resemble a threat to the status quo.

I don't like Clinton, but then I don't like neoliberals in general.  Any friend of Henry Kissinger is a loser by default in my mind--such as it is.  Someone determined to piss me off.  No debate needed.

Besides, how anyone can take this Wall Street-coddling, dishonest figurehead for empire seriously is something I'll never understand.

It's the America I live in, I guess.  In all of its mythological glory.

Just below the sheen of her polished phoniness lies a killer fully capable of  taking over the universal church of our disastrous American exceptionalism, with all the blowback such thinking generates on a global scale as well as at home.  She proved that as SoS.

Madam Clinton is far more than a myth-maker.  She is part of the problem, and far from the solution.


TS

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ducks Lose









Had to miss this to watch my Ducks get blown away at Cal.

Anyone say something noteworthy?

Probably not.  O.K.


TS

News of the Day

Good news today on a couple of fronts beyond the relief I and most other Oregonians feel about the Harney County bandits finally being hauled away from the national wildlife refuge outside Burns.

No shots fired, thank you.

It was a nutty, nasty six weeks.  A few more weeks of forensics and cleanup at the scene and we'll be over it, hopefully.

I've been informed that I'll have another piece at CounterPunch tomorrow, a short essay I published here first and revised somewhat before submitting. Unless it gets bumped for space or the sudden appearance of a Pulitzer-worthy piece instead, it'll appear in the Weekend Edition in the morning. Love the publication, and really pleased the editors respond to my work.

CP comes online in the wee hours, so set your alarm clocks, heh.

The other good news:  The Oregon Ducks (MBB) go for their seventh straight win tonight at Cal, where the Golden Bears seldom lose.  Cal has some super young talent, so it'll be a real test.  Hope my Duckies can pull off the mild upset and enhance their lead in the PAC.

The game is on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.

I am, of course, streaming it at a pirated site that isn't always reliable, but I have my radio on standby.

Another note, just as an aside.  I've been reading "Underworld" by Don DeLillo for the first time since its publication 19 years ago.   Man, why does anyone even attempt to write the Great American Novel any more?   DeLillo clinched the deal in 1997.  Just amazing.

Of course people said the same thing about Dos Passos back in the day...

TS

Fry Walks Out/It's Finally Over

It's over.  The last holdout, David Fry, the Ohioan and media wiz-kid decided to live.  Just walked out.

Next.


TS

Good Morning, America

Links to the live stream of the surrender in progress.

Moving slowly.

Why?  Waiting for their ride to Portland.


TS

Conclusion?

I listened to part of the negotiations last night.

The reporter calls the scene "surreal."  My own word for it is bizarre.

I hope the "deal," brokered somewhat by the whacked-out Nevada legislator, holds up and we can move on.  Like the holdouts themselves, she seemed confused about what to do.

The only reasonable option was to quit, but at times Fiore and the web broadcaster both seemed resigned to bloodshed with their prayers and anti-federal rhetoric.

It was indeed chaotic, but sort of riveting at the same time.

I missed the singing, fortunately.


TS

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bad Situation/Right Answer












Count me among the leftists who thought Bernie was crazy to run as a Democrat.  I was wrong.

Historically, we know realistic malcontents are more comfortable and perhaps better off with an independent run, though seldom successful outside local elections.

That tact has been "problematic."

My best memory of the outsider phenomenon occurred here in Portland, when tavern owner and mayoral candidate Bud Clark knocked off a supposedly unbeatable Frank Ivancie in 1984 and served two terms.

Clark stunned the establishment and ended up on the Johnny Carson Show.  Fortunately, he didn't let that go to his head. (I did see him in a national commercial the other day, playing a friendly and spry old waiter.)

I was wrong about Bernie's chances, but my type suffers from the flashbacks of Nader's campaigns in the old days, and Jill Stein's every electoral season.

We didn't "get it" this time concerning Bernie, and essentially misread the citizenry.

Too much is wrong, and people know it. People disagree about what exactly is wrong, but few are napping through the troubles.

Thus Trumpism...and the rise of Bernie.

Many of us didn't think Bernie could touch Queen Hillary.  (We're yet uncertain that he can, but things are looking up.)

Never mind that Bernie's politics are half-assed much of the time. Everybody knows that.

Everybody also knows that the bought and sold ideas in America's political store are becoming increasingly tawdry.

The pols always lag behind the people.

Bernie, as weak as he is, understands this.


TS

Conflict

The ACLU of Oregon isn't convinced independent broadcaster Pete Santilli, who has been detained pending trial on a federal conspiracy charge in the takeover of a Harney County wildlife refuge, is a danger to the community and cautions the court against using his broadcast statements against him.

I'm not so sure...

TS

Joke

"What's the first thing Trump is going to do when he becomes president?"

Waterboard Cat Stevens.

Thanks to CP.




TS

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dream Scenarios

Looks like I may have to revise my one-act play-in-progress about the Clintons' expected return to the White House.

It's a shame because I have a big part in mind for a Lewinsky-like character frolicking in the Oval Office with Bill while Hills is out of town.

Well, the work is never done.  Scribble, scribble, scribble...


TS

Marty/Reading




TS

Poems/Marty Christensen














LORNA

You are a plum tree moving
towards the mountains.
Liberated, you are a jade flute
used only in the highest
mayan ceremonies. I guess
you are
about the only american
whose tastes are truly French.
you could be a jukebox.
I could be a dime.

PROSE POEM

Scientists, working for Adolph Hitler,
succeeded somehow in transforming 500

pineal glands into one enormous freak, who
to this day lives on, above the Alps, where

he lies bleeding in a thousand languages.
Recently, carried by a southern wind, globs

of his spit dropped onto Texas lawns whose
owners swore the “blobs” were still growing

hours later. Isaac Asimov, scientific expert
called in by the government, was heard on tv

to make this remark…Oh my God, Oh my God. For
nestling in the phlegm was something enigmatic.

THE WRONG PROFESSION

I am tired of being an insane poet.
I want to drive around in a big cigar.

IN THIS POEM

There is an imaginary ocean. Not a
merely magical lake: a vast exhausted ocean
which can barely even undulate
its aches and pains around much anymore.

Overhead the pockmarked corpse of the moon
is starting to shed dandruff. Almost all
these specks of manna will disintegrate
into that unsteady lawn of spindrift tears.

But, some of those flakes may crystallize
and harden into diamonds sparkling like dew.
Only by then they could be a million fathoms down
so even if you did find one you probably would drown.

Marty Christensen (1942-2012)


TS

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fraudster

Hillary Clinton has not “fought for racial justice” her entire life — she has disrespected and betrayed Americans of color.

Furthermore, Clinton has flip-flopped on a myriad of issues including immigration, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, gay marriage, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, NAFTA, the Keystone pipeline, and gun control, always becoming more liberal as time goes on, and evolving, rather than fighting, “every step along the way.”

On foreign policy, Clinton is often called a war hawk — not exactly a progressive thing to be.

Poor Hillary is getting beaten up by the know-nothing ideologues on the left.

She's no Emma Goldman.  That's the latest rumor, anyway.

Ted Rall doesn't think so either.

Nor does Lauren McCauley.

Meanwhile, Katrina vanden Huevel has some advice for Benie.

Ha, ha, what a season.


TS

My Favorites














TS

Sunday, February 7, 2016

L

Denver is up on Carolina at the half in the Stupor Bowl, and boy is that the correct handle!

I'm here, rather than there, and I refuse to watch the halftime show, the unpalatable extravaganza which is the epitome of over-hyped excess in this show every year.

So this year the powers ditched the Roman numeral for the game.  I didn't realize that was on the ticket until recently.  I lost track of the numerical designation after Super Bowl XXX because I never bothered to memorize the entire old system, so it was probably a good thing for me.

I guess "L" looked too lonely for the top brass.  Next year the powers will risk confusing LI with the old poet Li Po, won't they?

Gotta kill some more time until halftime is over.  Should take a long walk like Billy Lynn.


TS

Before Bundy and His Boys















This is a good historical perspective, with some amazing old photographs, on the Harney County debacle.

TS 

Nice Day


















Man, is it ever a beautiful mid-winter day here in Portland.  A little spring in the air, if not in my step.

Talk yesterday of today reaching a record high temp.  We'll see about that.


TS

Pencil/RP Thomas












I like this.  Very subtle and unforced.  The discrete blue on the vase in the lower corner is a kill shot.

TS

Super Bowl Sunday












I like football, but I hate the hype, pompousness and disingenuous militarism that surrounds the game.

Come to think of it, the military and pro football do have something in common.  Both use people, right up to the time they become damaged goods, and then do as little as possible to take care of them after the fact.


TS

Trump Fans














TS

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ha!














Duh troof.


TS

Poem of the Day



















Thirteen Ways of Looking at the American Flag

As a sari while scrounging
For food in America’s dumpster.
As down payment on a hospital death bed.
As promise to suspend habeas corpus.
As camouflaged team uniforms in the “war on terror.”
As message from God.
As wistful memory of the imaginary American Dream.
As dubious plot to make all men equal when they
Are surely not, never were, and never will be.
As walk-off home run in a nuclear war.
As jealous amateur in a chili cook-off.
As highlight film in a vacuum-sealed
Plastic container in Baltimore.
As ideology before common sense.
As the silly advancement of technology.
As Bob Hope’s nose.

from Cello Music & Other Poems
by Terry Simons

TS

Good Advice

From CD's blog.

I agree 100 percent.  Do something, Bern.

Early in his campaign I would write back to his media team and bitch about his inadequacies whenever they sent me an e-mail and donor request while castigating the billionaires.

I hate billionaires as much as the next guy, but it's not their fault that Americans are mainly stupid and buy all the shit they sell.

That is on you, America.

I would write things like, "Get a foreign policy clue, Bernie."  And, "Free Palestine!" Just to annoy the team.

I was fucking with them, of course, and then one of his media guys disappeared in the scandal awhile back when Berns had to fire people for their campaign transgression against Hillary's private parts!

Er, mailing list.

I think that guy joined the D.C. Patriot Movement and took up arms...

I got on the radical communist's list by volunteering for a paid position, didn't get hired, so all I can really contribute is a vote for Bernie.  If you're not paying me, KMA.

I don't write them anymore, but I still like the Bern.  I agree with CD that Liz ought to jump on Bernie's boat.

But I wonder...Will it sink or float?


TS

Post-Mortem














I'm unhappy when my friends and relatives die of gunfire as well.

My friend Ricky Bloomquist died accidentally when the hunting rifle he was "cleaning" discharged when we were in the fifth grade.

My cousin Steve Farber died when his hunting partner, another cousin, shot him accidentally during a trip into the Cascades.

My childhood and high school buddy Rick Brown was shot in a drug deal gone bad, in 1977.

A friend of mine may have committed suicide by cop in 2005, or he may have been killed in cold blood by a Portland SERT.  We don't know.

Here's the deal about armed revolution and weaponry.  If you do not surpass the "enemy" in terms of strategy, firepower and sheer numbers, you will be defeated.

In the US we have a glimmer of hope that change might come through the ballot box.  That is all.

If you don't like the America you live in, change it by organizing your people into a legitimate force that can strike back.

The armed cowboy militia isn't a viable option.


TS

Good Job


Far across the field the Cowboys cheerleaders have formed a kick line, and even at this distance, through the haze of sleet and fireworks smoke, Billy’s eyes go straight to Faison, his groan a mere drop in the ocean of sound. Destiny’s Child is mounting the stairs, pausing every few steps to throw sassy looks over their shoulders, T&A bait for the TV cameras. Billy doesn’t so much as twitch when they pause on his tier, a fulmination of animal heat roaring at his side. For as long as they pose he doesn’t move, but once they’re gone he raises his eyes to the sky, then lifts his face a few degrees to get the weather’s full effect.

This was a good book and it's even better that the Guardian has hired Ben Fountain to cover the presidential race this year.

TS