Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Yoga

No yoga yesterday on the penultimate day of a crappy year. Actually, it was crappy for just about everybody but me. The economy of the U.S. and world went in the toilet. Mom died. My sisters took mom's death really hard. There was barely any Christmas. But it was OK for me, because I made progress. Went almost all year without smoking. Recovery from divorce began. I made a yoga commitment -- really it's an education commitment.

So no yoga yesterday, on account of it was a crappy day anyhow. But there was a bright spot: Chris got those letters necessary to our doing business on mom's affairs, so today we're off to the races. I'm washing clothes and doing yoga. Got my Gibson out of storage and I'll try a few tunes.

Woke up at two in the morning -- power was down. It came back on after a few minutes.

And it looks like I'll be able to go to Sunny Caliphornia after all.

So things is notsobad, except in Gaza.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom Committed to the Earth

My sisters and nieces and nephews and grand-niece and I went to Washelli in Seattle today and committed our mom/grandmother/great-grandmother to the cold, damp, earth of the Pacific Northwest. Her ashes will lie right next to dad's.

The day was windy and blustery, with intermittent sun, clouds, and raindrops. "Unsettled" as they say. Ashes to ashes. A short prayer was said.

My sisters took it very hard, Me, not so much.

Other than that it was a yoga kind of day, with 27-1/2 breaths. I'm having problems with my back again, and cannot comfortably assume corpse pose. All the others I can do, although I'm registering some shoulder problems, right side.

On my way home, driving on dear old 99, the lawyer called, and that logjam is freed up. Chris and I can start work setting up the estate, and it will go easily. And I can probably go to California after all, weather permitting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Casas Fabricada De Queso Amarillo

Estoy perdido. El gato es en la cisterna. Mi tio Crispin corres en la sala, y hablas a las policias. En la noche, Godzillo y Godzilla vanen en casa y cocinen comidas, pero ellos no comen. Es muy tarde a comen, pero ellos miran television. Es muy caliente, y ellos cocines los huevos en la calle. Ellos cocinen huevos y bibe cerveza.

Entonces, en la escuela, la maestra dice Ahora, alumnos, aqui es el mapa de Francia, un pais fabricada de queso, donde ellos comen pan y sal y hablan verdad. Y todas las mujeres es con bebe aqui, y todos los hombres es guapo. Y todas las casas es fabricada de queso amarillo. Y el presidente de la pais se llama El Queso Grande. Todos los infantes no tienen las blusas, y los perros tienen dientes sucios. Uno ladron famoso en Francia se llama Sucio Peludo.
Uno dia la nina llama Babosita corre a la casita escuela roja, con agua en sus ojos y manteca en sus ropas interiores. Babosita no tiene lapiz, y es muy mierda porque ella no tiene lapiz en la clase de Ingles libros. Una planeta mala es en su vida, y su luna es en Modesto.

Nicht Rauchen

Yoga yesterday, but none today. Went to Silverdale, but it was kind of a bust.

Drove to Port Townsend for no reason in particular. Came home and farted around.

No smoking. Time to bust out of the doldrums and get on with it.

Feel good. Think I'll eat an orange.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


My thinking when I took up yoga was that it would help me feel physically better, and also would please my daughter, the illustrious dancer and yogini.

But since then, I've discovered that yoga is a lot more than exercise: it's a philosophy, a spiritual discipline, an aesthetic, and a way of life. The thing I like most about it is that it's very old; nobody knows how old, but it's older than the industrial age by maybe a millennium or two.

Anything significantly older than the industrial age, if some remnant of its pure form can be recovered, might help deliver us from the insanity of modern times.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hot Idea from Germany

German architects are building a new type of house so airtight it doesn't require a furnace to stay warm inside, even during the cold Baltic winters.

They stay warm mostly by utilizing the body heat of their occupants.

See today's New York Times for more.

I Left My Home in Georgia

What a fucked up day. Everything's up in smoke again. It's the revenge of the Marlboro Man (1954-1998).

Got mad at my daughter because she got careless and let her tax situation get out of hand, and now it'll cost her lots of time and money to get it back. I had to call her back and apologize profusely. Actually, I didn't have to, I wanted to.

Didn't exercise. Didn't shave. Screw it. Go Away. Don't bother me.

I think I'll see if I can salvage something positive by doing a good job of filling out those monster insurance forms. I wonder how long the insurance company will drag their feet to avoid giving us our money? Actually, if I do a good job on the forms, they'll procrastinate a lot less longer than they'd be able to otherwise.

My new job: do what's in front of you (as Janice always says). Don't complain; stop whining. Eat whole, raw foods, and legumes with vegetables. Put an extra blanket on the bed, either in the winter or in Washington State. Sleep with a light and you got it beat, as long as you remember to turn down the heat.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shake and Take

Christmas day.

Ryan talked about how Charlie the cat defied heredity and several million years of evolution by never landing on his feet.

On a day like this you can choose to either take a shit or shake a tit.

In Transit

Travel day today. Ugh.

Got stuck in the snow but a nice guy with a pickup truck and a tow rope got me out, and I made it to my sister's house.

Snow has slackened now, and is starting to melt.

I don't know if I can handle all the drama here. Good thing I yoga'd this morning.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Accomplishment in Small Things

A good day, begun with a 26-breath pranayama after no yoga yesterday.

Quit smoking again, for the fourth time since October 10, 2007. There is a pack of Marlboro Light 100's in the bowl by the entry way if I should choose to open it and have one. I think I won't choose to do so.

Wrote an ambitious blog post for "Catboxx." It didn't turn out as awesomely as I hoped it would, but it says most of what I wanted to get across, somewhat clumsily in places.

Things are smoothing out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention...
--Paul Anka
"I Did It My Way"

Mainlining nicotine (i.e., smoking cigarettes) is wonderful and terrible. The chronic depression suddenly lifts (and yes, I'm a chronic depressive -- I understand that now). The painful and dangerous attacks of colitis return.

So I quit again today, if I can through the snow and ice get to Target in Silverdale for patches. I'm condemned to the patch for the rest of my days. It's not as good as mainlining, but it gives me enough to get by. And here's another thing: since I started mainlining, I stopped shaking.

And I do have regrets. I should never have ruined D.'s life the way I did. She knew, even before we were committed, that when she played with me she was playing with destruction. She tried to break it off several times, but we were already in too deep.

And now my life is ruined too. "I'll never smile again..."

There are compensations. There's yoga and Rachel, fruit and eggs, optimal health and insight.

D. took my mom's death harder than I did, as if Dorothy were a fourth parent.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Samizdat udder one.

Up in Smoke

Even though I bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday and have smoked about half of them, I did yoga today.

Pranayama was Ok in spite of that, although the intake was a little short and I ended up with 29 breaths as opposed to the usual 25. Asana practice went well, with lots of joint and back popping.

Also, I was able to drive to Hadlock and go to the store. What a relief!

Tomorrow I'll go to Target in Silverdale, God willing, and get back on the patch -- it's kind of like methadone for nicotine addicts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


After 40-plus years living with colitis, diverticulitis, and the kind of intestinal disability that makes life unlivable, I'm happy to say that finally, somewhat late in life, I'm enjoying optimal intestinal health.

I'll spare you the disgusting details, in the hope that you'll take my word for it.

I'm not cured, but this debilitating cluster of illnesses is in remission as long as I follow a few simple rules which consist mainly of (1) staying out of restaurants and (2) eating the right things. The cornerstone of this diet is the fruit, the daily orange and banana, and frequently half an avacado, along with a dose of metamucil. In the morning, a couple eggs with whole wheat toast. In the evening, some kind of beans or legumes cooked with a green or yellow vegetable and a trace of meat. That might be accompanied by some cheese and whole wheat crackers. Sometimes there's a baked potato.

Organic produce is best, when available.

I still drink too much coffee, and still take a little refined sugar in the evening (any of that stuff is too much), but I've cut way back on straight carbs, especially refined white flour carbs. The result of that major change? Goodbye gas.

I need to finish Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food." I'd already begun changing my dietary life before I started reading Pollan, but he's conveniently vindicating everything I've done and that I continue to do. The book in a nutshell says "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

The dietary changes have been accompanied and strengthened by a personal yoga practice which ought to be daily but isn't yet (at this point it's about half time). So I'm going to remedy that by assuming the position right now and commencing pranayama, the breathing exercise that's the prelude to the asanas or postures.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've got such a bad case of essential tremor that I can't write by hand any more. There might be an effective physical therapy treatment, and I plan to investigate.

It's worse when I'm scared, and I'm scared right now. We're going to get a blizzard here tonight, and I fear a power outage.

I did yoga on the 18th, but none yesterday and probably none today. I've been housebound, beset by depression and lethargy. There's tons of stuff to do and I'm not doing any of it. Having the internet in the house is proving to be as much of a curse as a blessing, and I'm going to see if I can break away from it right now and do something to help myself.

Life is very rough at this moment, at precisely a time when I was expecting it to be much improved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Since Late October

Left SoCal October 23 with the house unsold. Arrived here October 26 after a musical interlude in Woodburn and began taking care of mom. House finally closed the next week, and I got the money with no problem.

First three weeks was driving mom to the doctor, test, and procedures, doing the shopping, cooking, escaping the house for internetting 'cause I had no home connection. Nov. 13 I called the doctor's attention to lymph nodes in the lungs he had previously mentioned, went for a CT scan same day, got the lung cancer diagnosis that night.

Next day was full diagnosis (small cell cancer metastasized to liver), decision not to treat the disease, painkillers prescription. Next ten days, 11/14--11/23, saw mom declining rapidly. She began oxycontin, arrived at death's door on Nov. 24.

Next two weeks she was in bed dying, and finally passed on Dec. 7, twelve days ago.

Since then I've been kind of baffled by the enormity of the job in front of me, and also stuck contemplating my own fundamental unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and restlessness.

I'm lonely.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

No Firm Date

I still can't get a firm date from my buyer on the exact day his house closes, which is also the day he'll want to move in here, and also the day he'll pay me, and also the day I'll have to have a rented van loaded so I can head out. Latest word is we're looking at about the 24th of this month.

The one thing I can't deal with is "maybe."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rebirth of Omnem

Omnem is now reconstituted as a personal journal/yoga journal. From now on the private stuff will go here and the public stuff on Catboxx. The reason I'm doing this is because I no longer have enough control over my hands for handwriting.

It's been an eventful month. Started smoking again on Tuesday, 9/23. Sold my house on Monday, 9/29, and will end up taking an $8,400 loss, but that's okay; there's a depression going on.

Will move on either 10/18 or 11/1, depending on when Ted's house closes. Will rent a van, load it, drive it up, offload in Bremerton (Silverdale, actually), drive back, pick up the car, drive back up again. See Catboxx blog.

Mom went into the hospital with elevated heart rate, vertigo, rapid breathing on Wedesday, 10/1. Colonoscopy came up negative. She'll get to go home tomorrow, and she sounds a lot more cooperative now that she's had this scare. Will return to physical therapist to deal with vertigo.

Chris was great through this. It all fell on her, and she did everything that was needed and then some.

Rachel flies home from Texas tomorrow.

All in all, things are pretty good.

Yoga Journal

I'm gonna need a printer.

Did yoga today for the first time since 9/30, pranayama and asana. Pranayama was short -- about five minutes. I started coughing toward the end. Asanas somewhat shortened also, as some of them caused a little shortness of breath.

I quit smoking again on 10/10.


Friday, August 29, 2008

In My Jeezny

by Uncle Feces

The jeezny is in two parts: the awake part, and the asleep part.

Yesterday during the awake part I took a long walk and thought about the past, primarily 1968-1969.

Then last night during the asleep part I dealt with the remnants of an even earlier time, mostly 1967.

God Bless You, WW.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oxo Pip

Omo Bob.


Lil Odo


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Devil's Dozen and End of the Line

That was a nice stiletto-in-the-back move California Senator Diane Feinstein and 17 other Democrats pulled on the American people yesterday by helping the Republicans vote George W. Bush's FISA bill into law. I'm picking on Feinstein, of course, because she's one of my Senators.

To read this entire post, go to, which henceforth will be the only blog published by this proprietor. Omnem Movere Lapidem is now closed, but will remain as an archive.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Game Over

I know it's not a good idea to count your boobies before they're hatched, but it looks to me like Hillary is down for the count, and will probably fold after she loses the primaries in Ohio and Texas.

She's been lending herself money, so as much of a fighter as she is, and as tough as she and Bill are together, they just can't afford to bankroll this thing to the bitter end.

This morning's New York Times pretty much tells the whole story in both present and future tenses, and says in part: Mrs. Clinton held a buck-up-the-troops conference call on Monday with donors, superdelegates and other supporters; several said afterward that she had sounded tired and a little down, but determined about Ohio and Texas.

They also said that they had not been especially soothed, and that they believed she might be on a losing streak that could jeopardize her competitiveness in those states.

“She has to win both Ohio and Texas comfortably, or she’s out,” said one superdelegate who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “The campaign is starting to come to terms with that.” Campaign advisers, also speaking privately in order to speak plainly, confirmed this view.

Several Clinton superdelegates, whose votes could help decide the nomination, said Monday that they were wavering in the face of Mr. Obama’s momentum after victories in Washington State, Nebraska, Louisiana and Maine last weekend.

It would help the Democrats if this war was settled by the time the convention starts. And of course, I'll support Obama, in spite of the fact that I find the mass intoxication surrounding his candidacy ominous and foreboding.

We have too many crises landing on our heads to be celebrating anything. For starters, we're in a war that has made us all murderers and bandits, and the rest of the world knows that and despises us for it. And now we're experiencing the economic meltdown that's an inevitable consequence of this administration's tax giveaways and its refusal to discharge any of its regulatory responsibilites.

But who am I to throw cold water on the ecstasies of Obamamania?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Different Day -- SOS

Look around today and you'll see the same old stuff (putting it delicately). People are passionately and, in some cases, almost evangelically embracing candidate A or candidate B, even to the point of taking opposition to their favorites as personal insults. Such people appear to believe that the cure for our rotted, stinking dinosaur of a political system can come from inside the system.

They must be hypnotized by the eerie glow of the indoctrination machine we all have in our living rooms. That's all I can think of.

Stop listening to a head in a box, even if it's Oprah Winfrey's head, and learn one of the essential, unavoidable lessons of world history: corrupt institutions don't reform themselves. They have to be forced open from the outside.

That's why the revolution is inevitable.

In 1510, Martin Luther went to Rome and got a noseful of the stench of the 16th-century Catholic Church, up too close and way too personal. He saw people like himself giving enormous amounts of money to priests in an attempt to buy God's grace, as if it could be bought and sold.

He didn't intend to start a revolution, and he didn't pick up gunpowder or a sword. Instead he simply nailed some words to a church door, and that's all it took to start the inevitable housecleaning.

Barack Obama is collecting a lot of small contributions from private citizens -- more than any other candidate -- but he is also taking beaucoup money from the same pharmaceuticals company lobbyists as Hillary Clinton, and from the same defense contractor lobbyists as McCain. (So did Edwards, for that matter.) Even more ominously, he and his handlers are making strenuous efforts to hide that fact. See this interesting item in the Washington Post.

You take money from those bastards and they own you. That's why nothing good can come out of this American political system, and why it has to be demolished if we're ever to restore any measure of democracy, equality, and peace to this society.

The past couple days I've been reading that Obama is now hanging out with Colin Powell. For moral guidance, I presume.

Yeah, I'll vote Democratic in November, but it won't be the most important thing I do that day.

You know, some of us remember being seduced by a pretty face and a charming line of talk back in 1960. Kennedy. Remember him? He's the guy who almost blew up the world.

A rotten tree can't bear good fruit, and by their rotten fruit, you know them.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Is Obama Totally Phony or Just Naive?

I really can't figure out if this guy believes his own b.s. or whether he's sold his soul to the devil, which is to say, Halliburton and Lockheed.

It's only February, and I'm already sick of hearing Obama's inspid and quite frankly insulting calls for bipartisanship -- insulting to anybody who knows the score. Does he think he's actually going to sit down with people like Grover Norquist and Duncan Hunter and come to some kind of mutual understanding?

He either doesn't know or doesn't care what kind of people have been running this country for the last seven years. When a strongarm robber sticks a pistol in your face and growls, "Gimme your money," do you say, "Wait, let's talk about this -- maybe we can come to some kind of an understanding..."?

It's true that the revolutionary, Gandhi, actually sat down with Winston Churchill on a couple of occasions, but he didn't do it so they could reconcile their differences. He did it in order to tell Churchill how it was going to be, and to set his intoxicated, fat, pink, English ass straight. Martin Luther King, our own revolutionary, was willing to sit down with his enemies, too -- after he'd won the battle and could dictate terms.

Please, folks, don't make the mistake of thinking that the creeps who stole YOUR money and sent YOUR kids off to fight THEIR war are reasonable people, and that if we just talk to them they'll see the merits of our position. They'll only interpret these wimpy chirps for reconciliation as a sign of weakness.

But they will understand if we tell them that what they've done is now a law enforcement matter.

No wonder Bill Clinton called the Obama campaign "the biggest fairy tale" he's ever seen. Bill's not my favorite person, but he's smarter than your average morally conflicted fork-tongued politician. And that's just one of the reasons I'd prefer to vote for his wife, the senator, this fall.

Everybody around here seems to be sick of contention and hostility. But you know, I'm just getting started, and therefore have nothing but admiration for Jonathan Schwarz at "A Tiny Revolution," who has this "Yes, We Can!" horse crap down cold.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pimping Chelsea

Last night MSNBC's David Shuster, subbing for Tucker Carlson, said of Chelsea Clinton, "Doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

Whyzzat Dave? Because she's been shown on the TV making campaign calls for her mom?

Denials don't do much good in an age of videotape, so instead of trying to deny saying it, Shuster today tried to defend himself by claiming that he'd also said we should "all be proud" of Chelsea, and that everybody "loved her." But he's lying because he never uttered such slovos as them.

At least he didn't call her a nappy-headed hoe.

In spite of that, today he was suspended from his job for I'm not sure how long. MSNBC is not right wing hate radio lite and with pictures, eh.

You know, guys like this are not like Rush Limbaugh. People like Shuster try to hide who they really are, unlike old Rushbo who just lets it all hang out for the world to see and marvel at. But even with oily little slicks like Shuster, the truth will eventually out. It has to. It's impossible to hide forever under those bright lights.

Fascist Rage

Yesterday I had a confrontation with a neighbor, one of those elevated-heartbeat situations that nearly escalates into violence suddenly and unexpectedly. I've dealt with some violent fools in my life, having taught high school a number of years, but I don't think I've ever had to confront another sociopath who behaved so badly as this baboso, and with so little justification.

The guy really had nothing -- but nothing -- to be angry about, but then I'm sure he doesn't need any provocation. He is, as it turns out, one of Rush Limbaugh's little storm troopers, and what I got yesterday is only what you or I should expect.

Suspicions confirmed.

I used to try to convince myself that cheerleading on the sidelines of an imperial war while little kids are getting clusterbombed was "just political," and didn't make fascists "bad" people. But that's not true. These are dreadful, broken people, with murder in their mouths and banditry on their minds, as incapable of empathy as they are of honesty.

"The problem," as Atrios (Duncan Black) said some time ago, "is not that people are calling them assholes. The problem is, they're assholes."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Duper

This is a super week. The Super Bowl was on Sunday, then we got a day off, and now it's Super Tuesday.

Those two things have more in common than you might think. Both are very big TV shows, with sponsors and their own theme music.

It's also Mardi Gras.

It's also the day when they (the stock market people) realized we're going to get a Supersized(TM) recession. The Institute for Supply Management's service sector report came out, and it looks very bleak. The Super Recession of 2008 is also a TV show, but unlike the other two supes is a great deal more besides. It has the distressing characteristic of being real.

This particular ISM survey is a time-honored, respected, and reliable economic indicator.

"But how bad is it?" asks the New York Times's Paul Krugman. "The latest report has an employment diffusion index of 43.9 (50 means no change, anything less than 50 means job contraction)." He also supplies the historial graph, and it's not a pretty picture.

This is going to be very rough. There will be a lot of people out of work, and trying to squeeze by on little or no money. For how long? Nobody knows.

This is the last of the bouquet of poisoned blossoms the Neocon movement, beginning with Ronald Reagan, has cultivated for us over nearly 30 years in the toxic soil of its noxious garden.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Goodbye Britney

The right time for Britney Spears jokes, if there ever was such, is gone now, with the announcement that she'll be in the hospital another two weeks. Doctors and a person the AP describes as a "medical officer" decided she's not ready to leave.

We may never see her again. A Los Angeles judge has put the 26-year-old under the care of her father, naming him Britney's conservator. Both the judge and hospital personnel have drawn the justifiable conclusion that Britney Spears needs somebody to take care of her. Not long ago she was seen sitting alone on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, holding her miniature dog and crying.

This is no joke. There is a lot in this story that's the kind of stuff Greek Tragedy is made of -- the Olympian myth of a demi-goddess, like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, or King Midas who became the prisoner of his own good fortune.

An extraordinarily steep ascent to dangerous heights of fame and fortune at a tender age has worked its mischief. And a wise man once said, "At first a fool's mischief tastes sweet -- sweet as honey. But in time it turns bitter, and how bitterly he suffers."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wedgie Season

John McCain looks like and has the personality of Captain Underpants. That's just one of his problems.

Keep a keen eye out for wedgies. PDF wedgies are the worst.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Cat Boxing

This morning I had forwarded to me an email message from Nancy Keenan, President of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).

She reminds people that John McCain has voted to limit or rescind abortion rights 125 out of 130 times while in the Senate, that Mitt Romney once vetoed Massachusetts legislation making provisions for emergency contraception (his veto was overridden), and that Mike Huckabee has said he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

On the other hand, Keenan advises us that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are pro choice, or not to put too fine a point on it, will work to protect abortion rights.

For those reasons, I plan to vote for the Democratic candidate this fall, no matter who it is.

I realize that nobody has spent more time on this site bad-mouthing the Democrats than I have. I still think we need a better Democratic Party, and that not just the Democrats, but the entire political system, has failed us miserably because it has failed to articulate a foreign policy that acknowledges reality (I.e., that acknowledges that the U.S. does NOT own the world and everything in it), or an economic policy that makes sense.

However, in consideration of the difference between the parties regarding certain domestic issues such as abortion rights, I will never vote Republican and will always vote Democratic.

I still reserve the right to be a pain in the ass among Democrats.

Quit Iraq Now.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Visiting internet discussion groups is worthwhile if for no other reason than you can sometimes learn things you would not have otherwise heard about. For instance, on a visit to my regular political discussion board this morning I found out that the great country-western singer Merle Haggard has forsaken his fightin'-side-of-me persona and, late in life, taken to penning and singing antiwar messages. In 2006, Haggard wrote and recorded:

"Freedom is stuck in reverse
Let’s get out of Iraq and get back on track
And let’s rebuild America first"

You can get all the details of this remarkable transformation here.

I always knew Merle's heart was basically in the right place. Anybody who can move from note to note as smoothly and effortlessly as he does has to have a soul.

He and I both used to live in Bakersfield. I don't know why he moved away, but I suspect for the same reason I did -- the air quality, or lack of it. Like him, I've acquired this little habit called breathing.

And I'll bet he gave up whiskey. Nothing like giving up whiskey to turn a person into a full-fledged mensch.

So there's your sermon for today, boys and girls. Stay away from whiskey and cigarettes, and you too can transform yourself from a belligerent and obnoxious cheerleader for international aggression into a gentle, peace-loving writer of antiwar songs.

And while you're at it, stay away from Bakersfield.

Go Spy on Yourself

The Democratic Congress has refused to give Bush the surveillance bill he's been demanding.

The telecom companies who illegally spied on Americans are not off the hook. There's a very real possibility they'll eventually have to answer to us for what they did.

I'll consider this the REAL Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union speech.

We've been waiting for 13 months for the Democrats to do something right. I'm relieved that they finally showed they've got it in them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Les Tendances Dangereuses

Mitt Romney and John McCain are accusing each other of harboring liberal tendencies.

Men from Uranus

In another solar system of the internet, a certain correspondent, a Democrat, expressed the notion that if we had to live with a Republican in the White House after Dubya vacates it, he'd prefer that Republican to be John McCain.

I guess hard times make people really desperate.

McCain isn't a whole hell of a lot different from Dubya. He speaks better. That's about it.

He's just as divorced from reality.

This is a guy who sings "Bomb Iran" (to the tune of "Barbara Ann") when asked what we should do about Iran and Ahmedinejad. He's now saying that "It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars." See yesterday's article at HuffPo.

He's obviously insane. I don't mean that as a figure of speech or hyperbole. I'm deadly serious.

He's running strong in straw polls against Hillary right now, but that will change when people realize that he's a bullet-headed little fascist who's never seen a foreign intervention he doesn't like. The only reason they don't realize it now is because they're so distracted by the t.v. show called "Horse Race for the Presidency."

This country is yearning for peace, and our financial situation demands it, and this "straight talk" lunatic promises more war. I hope he keeps doing so.

I don't know what it would take for the poltical process in this country to come to terms with the real world. Both parties keep coming up with fantasy solutions like insuring prosperity through supply side economics, or neutralizing terror by establishing democracy in the Middle East, or maintaining our present way of life with alternative energy sources, and reality keeps blind siding us with unpleasant consequences for pursuing such follies.

Maybe a partial solution would be for all the delegates and VIP's at the Republican National Convention this summer to abstain from recreational drinking for relaxation, and take large doses of LSD or psilocybin mushrooms or ecstasy instead.

Democrats are from Mars; Republicans are from Uranus. With a little chemical tweaking of their psyches, they just might relocate to a planet a little closer in.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tragic Frivolity

My friend Eadler says, "There is no sign that any major candidate is willing to discuss this topic (decline of American hegemony). Ron Paul and Kucinich, who have little credibility with the public at large, are the only ones who approach discussing this topic, but in my opinion, they do not have the pragmatic approach required to fix our problems. They are far too ideological in their approach."

To which I reply: That's the biggest tragedy of all. If any of these products of the corporate-bankrolled, lobbyist-directed political system, from Huckabee on the right to Edwards on the left, has considered these kinds of problems, they've shown no indication of it.

A scholar like Parag Khanna, writing on this topic today in the New York Times magazine, can analyze America's position in the world and the pressures exerted on us by significant others and then make suggestions for action based on the analysis, but are any of the candidates capable of acting rationally and proportional to the changes of the last seven years? Are any of them even capable of understanding these things?

Sometimes it appears that our political candidates actually take the t.v. show they're starring in seriously. But unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing so momentous or profound that network executives can't trivialize it, turn it into a sitcom, and then use it as a platform for advertising.

If there was a nuclear exchange somewhere, it would immediately become a made-for-t.v. miniseries, with its own theme music and its own sponsor, on CNN. "'The End of the World,' brought to you by Depends Undergarments."

America's diminished postion in the world is not a t.v. show. It can't be trivialized or reduced to a sound byte. And how our political establishment deals with new realities, and even whether they are first of all willing to accept reality, will largely determine our future position in the world.

Assessing the quality of the candidates for leader of our country, Parag Khanna comments: Turn on the TV today, and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s 1999. Democrats and Republicans are bickering about where and how to intervene, whether to do it alone or with allies and what kind of world America should lead. Democrats believe they can hit a reset button, and Republicans believe muscular moralism is the way to go. It’s as if the first decade of the 21st century didn’t happen — and almost as if history itself doesn’t happen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wising Up

I got my latest issue of the New Yorker (Jan 28) in the mail yesterday and turned immediately to the elections article. The author, George Packer, seems to assume that, as with some NFL playoff seasons, the winner in the "Democrat Division" will be the Superbowl winner, and that we've already reached the division finals. Or in other words, the race for the White House is now between Clinton and Obama.

I soon found myself reading a personality piece, which turned out mostly to be about Clinton. Packer says that the "most important" difference between Hillary and Obama, "whose policy views...are almost indistinguishable," is their "rival conceptions of the Presidency."

You know, their policy views may be "almost undistinguishable," but I don't really have any reliable idea what they are. To find out specifically what either of them plans to do about the war in Iraq or the foreclosure landslide or anything else you have to go to obscure places on their websites. What little both candidates have said about these issues, especially Iraq and the Middle East, is often vague, sketchy, and contradictory.

Maybe personality really IS important and I'm missing something. Maybe considering the facts that Obama sees himself as a "catalyst" while Hillary sees politics as "the art of the possible" is critical to deciding which one will make a better president. Who am I to say that such nebulous distinctions are somewhere between unimportant and meaningless, and insult both the intelligence and the distress of voters?

Why is this election about personalities and insults and vague philosophical outlooks? Why can't these people get down to brass tacks? Is it because they're all show and no substance?

The country is in a very sour mood right now, and we don't need to be patronized by a bunch of phonies. An article in the politics section of the New York Times yesterday laid it out deadpan, and catalogued the reasons for the "darkening of the country's mood," and a "fraying of America's very sense of itself." This article identifies Americans' "powerlessness" over any of the crises afflicting this country -- the war, the economy and our ability to determine our own financial futures, our safety and, especially, our health, the environment, or immigration -- as the root of the malaise.

My question is, how will a personality and beauty contest instead of a serious presidential race help to address this feeling that we're powerlessness? And are we?

Do you seriously feel like you're living in a democracy?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crashing the Gate

Slowly but surely, the corporate news media are beginning to back off some of their most reactionary and outrageous habits. They're having to clean up their act because of the pressure blogs are exerting on them, and because of the growing influence of the internet generally. Network pundits now know that when they say something stupid, they're going to get publicly called to account.

An example of what I'm talking about is provided by an incident involving MSNBC resident loudmouth Chris "Tweety" Matthews. On the January 17th edition of "Hardball," Matthews went on one of his trademarked MCP tirades against Hillary Clinton, saying "the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn't win there on her merit."

This was nothing new for Matthews. Jamison Foser of the blog Media Matters notes that Matthews has referred to Clinton as "She devil." He has repeatedly likened Clinton to "Nurse Ratched," referring to the scheming, manipulative character in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest who "asserts arbitrary control simply because she can." He has called her "Madame Defarge." And he has described male politicians who have endorsed Clinton as "castratos in the eunuch chorus."

Left-leaning and Democratic blogs responded immediately to this gross personal attack dressed up as political criticism. Their outraged howls were loud enough to get picked up by newspapers and other news broadcasts. The upshot of this "blogswarm" was Matthews's on-air apology. There's a full account of the fallout from this incident at Media Matters.

Matthews being called to account and forced to apologize could never have happened even just a few years ago. It was due to the growing power of the internet, documented here in an excellent analysis by the Pew Research Center. The number of people who get significant portions of their news and information from the net has nearly tripled in the last severn years, and whether they're accessing mainly right-leaning or left-leaning sites, they're gaining access to viable alternatives to what until recently was a corporate media monopoly on information. Hundreds of thousands of people are blogging now, and hundreds of thousands more than just a few short months ago are visiting the most popular blogs daily. The internet now parallels the corporate media, which as a result is slowly being forced to curb its most pernicious excesses.

The Seattle blog Orcinus has an intelligent and insightful article on the positive changes the internet is exerting on the corporate media, at [url][/url]. I'd recommend it highly, if for no other reason than to learn why it's now possible to call Pat Buchanan a white supremacist to his face and get away with it.

Sooner or later, the truth will out. And it's about time.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Stock indexes all over the world are falling precipitously as insecurity and fears of shrinking economic activity due to the U.S. recession spread. The first sign of it I saw came late last night when I read the stock market reports from Tokyo. It was Monday, not Sunday in Japan yesterday.

"Investors," the AP coverage says, "...were skeptical that an economic stimulus plan President Bush announced Friday would shore up the economy, which has been battered by housing and credit problems. The plan, which requires approval by Congress, calls for about $145 billion worth of tax relief to encourage consumer spending."

OK, I've been called Chicken Little and "Mr. Gloom and Doom" on this board and in other net places many times. It never bothered me, but I'm here now to tell you that gloom and doom is right as rain, and that this is going to be worse than you think. It's probably going to be worse than I think.

"Went to bed last night and I was feeling fine,"
Woke up and it was 1929."

Hear the words of our contemporary Jeremiah who calls the current crisis "Godzilla with Herbert Hoover's face," and says "the damage could be so colossal globally that Stephen Hawking might have to be brought in to run the Federal Reserve.

"This is going to be a rough week. Fastening your seat belts may not be enough for this ride. Better superglue yourselves to the floorboards and pray for God's mercy."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Romney the Socialist?

Writing at the Atlantic Magazine's site, Ross Douthat points out that Romney won in Michigan at least in part by foregoing the platitudes and generalities that have been the candidates' bread and butter this season, and addressing the state's industrial problems in very specific terms.

"If I’m president of this country, I will roll up my sleeves in the first 100 days I’m in office, and I will personally bring together industry, labor, Congressional and state leaders and together we will develop a plan to rebuild America’s automotive leadership,” Romney said.

Douthat comments, "This is what people like to call 'industrial policy,' and what Jonah Goldberg likes to call liberal fascism - big business and big government working hand-in-glove for the purposes of economic nationalism."

It's also why the Europeans are kicking our asses, economically speaking.

If this doesn't run counter to the unimpeded free-markets principle I don't know what would. And it appealed to Michigan voters precisely because it's to the left of what Huckabee and McCain were saying. McCain, in particular, was going around saying Michiganers can't expect the Feds to bail them out and return Detroit and Flint to what they once were.

Good old Karl (Marx, not Rove), he just refuses to die. But I never expected to see his shadow falling on the likes of the Mittster. It's funny, the way economic necessity savages people's most sacred ideologies.

Spencer Ackerman, as usual, has the best comment of all: "This makes National Review, which endorsed Romney, objectively pro-liberal fascism. The horror! Clearly, when liberal fascism comes to America, it will come wearing a bow tie and freighted with repressed homosexuality."

Phred Phalls Phlat

Thers at Firedoglake has an amusing take on the too-slowly-dying Thompson campaign, "Enjoy the SchadenFred."

The Thompson campaign has been fascinating to watch, as would be any desperate attempt to slap a saddle on Grandpa. Fascinating, but disturbing, like one of those sadistic Japanese game shows. The constant equestrian metaphors alone were enough to make the sane queasy, and they still haven't stopped with them.

Duncan Hunter is officially out of the race as well, so for comic relief I guess there's nobody left but Huckabee.

Enjoy the rest of the game. It'll be over on February 6, and we can resume what passes for normal behavior for a couple months.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Long Shadows

Is that the question? Who is recession? You is, for starters. And me am.

Actually, this is a hell of a lot more than just a recession. This is the sound of the other shoe dropping. The first shoe was called "communism" and that one dropped in the late 80's -- early 90's. And we congratulated ourselves then, because we thought we were the winners. Ha ha. Funny how things turn out. Now it's our turn.

Some winners we turned out to be! Look! There's Konstantin, waving good-bye to us. Now it's our turn to wave good-bye to him. Bye, Konnie.

I don't know if you saw them, but Bernanke and some other high priest of the Finance Sector were on MSNBC or one of those vesches this morning, and I didn't listen to what they were saying, but I noticed they were shaking like a couple of dogs shitting peach pits.

So later on I read that what he was saying was that he expects "slower growth in 2008, but no recession." Uh-huh. That Ben is such a kidder. [url][/url] Meanwhile, as he's saying this cal, the Dow drops another 300. Oy!

Here's the thing about it boys and girls, brothers and sisters; this isn't just the end of the most recent "boom," this is the end of the line. The pattern of housing that's developed since the end of WWII, heavily dependent on the growth of new suburbs and strip malls and highways, that's all over. See the Jeremiah who's been right for years (but few have listened to him) who predicted this very collapse I don't know how many years ago.

And as Kunstler is at pains to point out, it's not just the pattern of housing that's in ruins, but the lynchpin of economic development and growth that's gone as well.

Unregulated free-enterprise, long touted-by Republicans, economistitos, and other challenged types as the answer to all life's problems has now produced nothing but the biggest stinky corpse since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics expired. And this one's even bigger than that one was.

The thing is, you know the pooch is screwed when you can't insure yourself against disaster, because the money is just not there to cover that magnitude of disaster. Atrios points out in a couple of posts today that the major bond insurers may be out of business.

Atrios pulls an item from Bloomberg News Service: Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The risk that bond insurers including MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc. will default rose to a record after ratings firms increased their scrutiny of the companies as the value of mortgage-linked securities they guarantee plunge.


Ambac may lose its AAA credit rating after reporting larger losses than the company previously indicated, Moody's said in a statement yesterday. S&P is examining all bond insurers after increasing its predictions for losses on subprime mortgages.

Then he comments: Ambac and MBIA are the two Jenga pieces which will pull the whole shitpile down. They insure all of the shitpile, allowing everyone to pretend that all of the risky stuff they own isn't risky at all. But that insurance is most likely a complete fantasy as it seems Ambac and MBIA don't have the cash to pay out claims. I should've gotten into the bond insurance business. Lower their ratings, you destroy their businesses. More than that, you wipe out the insurance fantasy, forcing everyone who insured with them to admit they have all this risky stuff on the books. Recognizing, of course, that in this context "risky" is just a euphemism for "shitty."

Ambac is currently down 64%. MBIA is down 26%.

Looks like the way we've been living our lives the past 62 years is coming to a screeching halt. But don't worry, all you hard-core Republicans and free-enterprisers out there. This isn't the end of the world, just the end of a bad business. There is a future, and some parts of the world are already in it. If you want to see what the future looks like, take a European vacation.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Diss Approval

Bush's approval rating has hit a new low in the most recent polls. The disapproval/approval split is now 66/32.

I'm sure I don't have to remind anybody that we're entering the last year of this administration. Bush now stands before us entirely stripped of the cowboy-"regular guy" mystique that clung to him when he first took office. Our diminished power and reputation and his own inarticulation have left him mercilessly exposed as a remarkably unintelligent and insignificant person.

This chapter in our history stands as an indictment of the American electorate and political system, and I've seen nothing in the new political cycle that gives any hope for improvement.

Monday, January 14, 2008

We've Only Just Begun

One of the casualities of the revolution which at this very moment has already begun (they're calling it a "recession," but it's going to be a lot more profound than an economic ripple) is our assumption that the U.S. owns the world, and that all those A-rabs and Persians (for those who know the difference) are sitting on top of OUR oil. The fact is we simply can't afford the military adventurism of the last 40 years any longer. We don't have the money, and we've reached the limit of what the Chinese and the "good" Arabs are willing to give us.

The future is like this: we will not attack Iran, and we will end our occupation of Iraq. We will build no new suburbs or highways or strip malls. We will no longer drive too many miles in inefficient, wasteful vehicles so we can go further into debt buying junk we don't need and shitty food which is killing us. We are now faced with changing the fundamental way we live, and the revolution will affect every aspect and detail of our lives.

It's happening now, and it's happening because we have no choice. And it's a good thing, although it will be quite painful for all of us. I'd suggest you start getting ready and planning your responses to changed conditions.

All this talk of attacking Iran "before it's too late" is the raving of an imbecile who's unable to comprehend what's happened to the world he's living in. For him it's already "too late." Three years from now, his abandoned dinosaur of an embassy in Baghdad will stand as an appropriately-sized monument to the colossal stupidity and cognitive dissonance of the people who have been running this country, this economy, this war machine, for the past 40 years, and especially for the last seven.

And I know I'm repeating myself, but we're going to start doing the right things now, not out of choice, but because we have no choice. People are like that. I'd still be smoking cigarettes if I was physically able to do so.

I guess I'll vote in the California primary today, but it's not really all that important, because as far as I can tell, none of these clowns of the political circus seems to have a clue about what's going on at this very moment, and even if they did, there's not much any of them can do to alter the momentum of the changes already under way.

The revolution is not primarily political. It mainly will consist of changes in the way we live, and political change will follow structural change, the way a wagon follows the horse that pulls it.

Dick Cheney once said "The American way of life is non-negotiable." He was right. See Kunstler this week.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Easy Al

The Wall Street bank Citigroup is desperately looking for about eight to ten billion in foreign investment to try to stay afloat. News today is one of the people they're looking to is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who's talking in the neighborhood of two billion, although the deal is reportedly far from done. The prince already owns four percent of Citi, and this is the same bank that got 7.5 billion late last year from investors in Abu Dhabi, who now own 4.9 percent of the bank.

Citi is also seeking a cash infusion from Chinese government sources.

See the AP's recap of the Wall Street Journal story.

Naturally the prospect of Saudi Arabian interests and other Persian Gulf states acquiring huge portions of American financial institutions raises a lot of very interesting questions about our Middle East policy and the Global War on Terror and 9/11 and so forth, but let's not go there for the moment.

It takes a genius with a comprehensive memory like the blogger Atrios to tie that story to this one: flashback to October 12, 2001.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.

"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."

Prince Alwaleed gave the mayor a check after a Thursday morning memorial service at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks.

The prince offered his condolences to the people of New York, but after the ceremony he released a statement suggesting the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack."

See also Eschaton.

It's not terrorist bombs and Islamofascism we need to fear, it seems to me, but our own ineptitude and inability to face facts.

Once the Arabs and the Chinese own all our banks, what do you think they'll do with 'em?

Friday, January 11, 2008


The good old U.S. of A. had a pretty wild and crazy ride last week. Oil hit a hundred bucks, unemployment hit five percent, and the stock market had its worst three-day start to a new year evah, or at least since 1930. And that combination of ugly events caused the ugy word "recession" to crop up in the mouths of several ugly experts.

So when moderator Charlie Gibson, the famous ABC news anchor gets the Democratic candidates together for a debate, what does he say is the most serious threat facing the country? A nuclear attack against an American city by al-Qaida, of course! So that's what he asked the candidates to respond to.

Instead of debating responses to the combination of disasters already raining down on us, the Democrats were forced to discuss a hypothetical event that hasn't happened and may never happen.

Our first response is to wonder whether they send network anchorpeople to a special school to teach them how to be as stupid as Gibson was that night. But the people who run the corporate media are not stupid, they're devious. They don't want the candidates or the voters discussing real issues. That might empower us.

They assume we're idiots, and they work hard at keeping us that way. For more detail on this story see Tom Engelhardt's

In a related item, Hillary Clinton today proposed a 70-billion dollar emergency spending plan to deal with foreclosure and unemployment, and I could see the shadow of Smart Bill working with his smart wife. Bill was always instinctively healthy enough to take the initiative, and Hillary knows the smart moves too. So they definitely got the jump on whatever Republicans are left in this thing, who no doubt stood around with their mouths open watching the Clintons take charge of the situation.

To the best of my knowledge, Hillary did NOT come up with a plan for heading off or otherwise dealing with a nuclear attack on an American city by al-Qaida.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Supply-Side Economics

"This is the end -- this is the end, my friend," sang old Jim Morrison of the Doors, and a great economist he was too.

Today the stock market looked like a crackhead on opium. Check it out.

It's been looking that way for a while. Every day there's a different reason. Today it's "worries about Countrywide, AT&T." Yeah, lots of people are losing their jobs, like my ex-wife lost hers with an insurance agency, and lots of the accounts they were insuring were these local construction oufits, and, know the rest. And it's that way at a lot of insurance agencies that used to insure these house builders and to lots of furniture stores that used to sell stuff to house buyers and lots of furniture makers, and on and on.

It's because making houses and strip malls is about the only industry that's grown in the last 30 years. The rest have gone overseas through outsourcing or shut down or got put out of business by foreign competition. Now that building houses and strip malls has gone under, what is there to keep the ship afloat?

While the stock market and the dollar are going down, unemployment and the price of gas are going up, and the price of gas going up means [i]all[/i] prices will be going up. We're catching it from both directions. Plus credit is drying up. There's very little money out there.

It's pretty scary. You know, there were some of us who have been telling the "experts" for years that this was going to happen, because the housing mania, along with dangerous innovations in the totally unregulated mortgage-lending sector of the "financial industry," was an obviously dangerous bubble for years, and because oil production is now past peak and prices will inevitably rise. You don't have to be Einstein or anything to figure it out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Stay Home

Diego knew Monday morning was coming, and he dreaded it. He'd had so much fun at home during the holidays that he hated the thought of going back to school. His mind kept running through lists of things he might do to avoid having to go.

He finally decided to glue himself to his bed.

"I remembered my mom had bought a very strong glue," the ten-year-old Monterrey, Mexico schoolboy told reporters, after paramedics and police had spent two hours ungluing his hand from his bed's metal headboard.

"I don't understand why this happened," Diego's mother Sandra commented, as if his decision to apply industrial-strength shoe glue to his problems was a natural occurrence, like a rain shower. "He's a very good boy," she added, then sent him on his way to school.

He was a few hours late.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Portents and Omens

Do you believe in omens? Do you consult astrologers, card readers, or tea leaves?

From DailyKos: "The Ohio National Guard received it's marching orders from the US Military and will be sending 1,600 troops to Kuwait, then onto Iraq. It is the biggest Ohio National Guard call-up since WWII."

And here I thought the soige was over. Or is it? Are we drawing down or ramping up? Did we win or lose? Somebody call Bill Kristol and Matt Drudge; we need clarification here.

What it looks like to me is no change -- status quo ante.

Page toooooooo: Last month Led Zeppelin played its first full live set since 1980 at the O2 Arena in Lundinium. It was Robert Plante, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham's son Jason playing what Plante hoped would be "one last, great show."

See the New Yorker this week.

I know this was happening overseas and all that, but it's significant to me because I remember Led Zep first appearing on the scene in 1969 was the same time the U.S. antiwar movement really kicked into overdrive and started giving the villagers inside the D.C. beltway nightmares much worse than the ones they were already having. It was crunch time, and as a result Nixon started pulling out troops.

It's probably too late for similar things to happen in connection with this war. We'd be better off just electing John Edwards.

By the way, for what it's worth, which is probably nothing, the DailyKos readers' poll shows Edwards winning with 48 percent and Obama second with 27 percent. Others polling above one percent were: Clinton, 7; Dodd, 4; Kucinich, 2; and no effing clue, 2.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Author!! Author!!

How many of us have ever been sure that somewhere in the depths of our suffering souls, there was a book just waiting to get out, a story the world would be eager to devour, and a point of view that judicious and discriminating readers everywhere would find, new, innovative, and refreshing?

Well, the time is at hand, would-be authors (me included), and there are no more excuses. We can no longer say, "I'd probably never find a publisher," or "It would cost too much to have it printed myself." Becuase, the up-to-date fact is, if you can write that book, you can easily publish it at no expense. After that, all that's left is the hard part -- promoting and selling it, or, not to put too fine a point on harsh reality, finding people willing to pay to read what you wrote.

The on-demand publisher, according to an Associated Press story running on Yahoo today, "has churned out 236,000 paperbacks since it opened in 2002, and its volume of new paperbacks has risen each month this year, hitting 14,745 in November."

The A.P.'s Candice Choi goes on to explain what makes cost-free publishing possible: "Publishers produce books only after they're ordered and paid for, which eliminates overruns and the need for warehousing. They charge for printing, or take a cut of sales, and they set up payment systems, online bookstores and Web marketing tools."

I'd encourage all unpublished authors to read the whole thing, then reach deep into that bureau drawer, under the tee shirts, and pull out that yellowing manuscript, and blow the dust off. It's time to go to or Amazon and start working.

I'll be right there with you, since I already have my topic. It's going to be a biography, but I won't say of whom.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year

I'll be moving into my new home in a couple weeks, and spent a significant part of the day going through piles of old magazines and papers, some recent and some which I've been saving for years. One pile got thrown away, i.e. recycled; the rest were finally subjected to a sort of semi-organized preliminary regime of ranks and files.

When I get into the new house, I want to be really totally organized for the first time in my life, sort of like my mom is, or like Ron, or like Dian. Yup. Those are definitely the people I'll emulate when it comes to filing, labeling, and instant, unhesitating retrieval.

A lot of my stuff will be organized by virtue of not being put away, and I'll have enough room that many of my few possessions, like two sets of drums and a couple guitars, will just remain out in the open.

That'll be new, as is getting used to living alone, and even liking it sometimes. Being alone was definitely the hardest part of getting divorced for the first six or seven months. So 2008 will be unique in that respect.

I've been finding out that air is sweet, and that breathing is one of life's great pleasures. Not being able to breathe properly for the last 25 or 30 years was something I just gradually got used to, and I didn't think much about it until chronic bronchitis became painfully severe, 24/7. So my New Year's resolution is to smoke no cigarettes, and I have an 83-day head start.

Will the world fall apart this year? It might. See Jim Kunstler's Predictions for 2008.