Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Political Response

Yesterday I read a blog from one of my regular feeds... a nice, extremely smart guy from Florida that is of Minorcan descent. As a 9th generation member of one of the oldest ethnic groups in Florida, he's a strong defender of the Old Florida... people that know what a coontie and a datil are.

So it was with trepidation that I contemplated responding to his blog, I've had it... It's the final straw. What set him off was the story about the girl who had a "B" carved into her face because she was a McCain volunteer... which has turned out to be false. I don't know... what was their first clue? That it was backward?

Anyway, he is concerned about voters being unable or unwilling to note Obama's general failings as a viable choice for President. On the one hand, I wish I was HALF as politically motivated at his age.

But on the other, I'm concerned that his arguments, from my perspective, are based on some fairly spurious innuendo by Republican leadership.

So I had to respond... and I tried to do it in a way that does not negate his political views. I welcome people that think differently than me because it makes me really examine why I'm voting. I think we will have to agree to disagree on most things, but want the argument to be substantive.

You're obviously intelligent... I've been reading your blog long enough to pick that up. But I can't understand why you're regurgitating half-truths about Obama.

There are lot of things I don't know about either candidate.

Regarding #1

McCain was, at one time, an amazing legislator. He broke with the party line when he felt that his constituency would not be served by their policy. Frankly, I think McCain is a little too aggressive in his foreign policy. But where it really broke down for me was his choice of running mate. Palin had little business being Alaska's Governor, much less next in line for the Presidency. She has proven time and again that she has little ability to think beyond the confines of her own stunted belief system and she thinks government can be run like the PTA. It was a clear message to me that McCain's interest was doing what he thought could get him elected, not what was good for the country. I don't care how much experience you have, once you start acting incompetent in the present, you negate any claims to experience in the past.

So what we are left with is a questionably senile old man and a poorly informed, hypocritical "hockey mom" or an "inexperienced" U.S. Senator and his 5 term, middle of the road Senator VP nominee. Choose. Now. You’ve got four years to live with your decision.

Regarding #2

The things that I've questioned about Obama, I've actually taken the time to read about... you know, from unbiased sources. What do you disagree with that ACORN has done? Its work to ensure low to middle income families have access to health care and affordable housing? Its work to help Hurricane Katrina victims?

I know... it’s their work to register voters, isn't it? Because you believe that ACORN is involved in massive voter registration fraud, right?

What do you know about it... really? Tell me what they've done. Because everything that I've read that bothers to go beyond the fact that ACORN received fraudulent registration forms notes that they have followed the legal requirements and flagged them as problematic. They have been upfront with the issue that fraudulent registrations have been taken and possibly even submitted by their employees. Yikes! and then they fired them... and cooperated with prosecutors and the FBI. Where does and organization's responsibility for the actions of its employees end?

And what about Bill Ayers? What was the connection to Obama? Bill Ayers is a douchebag. We agree on that. But the connection between the two was tangential at best, and that is obvious to anyone that knows anything about how politics work in the real world. They served on the boards of two non-profits together. Ayers hosted a meet and greet for Obama's first run for Illinois Senate. The Ayers connection there was more with Alice Palmer than with Obama.

If this kind of connection is enough to link someone to another's nefarious past, then I have no doubt that both you and I could be tied to child molesters, the Klan, drug dealers and jack-o-lantern smashers.

As for Wright... I don't really know much about him. I've heard bits of some sermons that I don't necessarily agree with. There are statements that he perpetuated (like the US government made HIV) that are pure craziness. But I've heard sermons in my own church growing up that I didn't agree with and would disclaim today. But if you read some of those sermons about American foreign and domestic policy... the ones that got everybody up in arms... he was largely right. The US government does do a lot of things that make us look overbearing in the eyes of the world. And the US government has treated Native Americans, minorities (probably even MINORCANS) and women as second class citizens in our history. The really funny thing is that McCain defended Obama and his connection to Wright during the Democratic primary when Hillary was beating up on him.

"I think that when people support you, it doesn't mean that you support everything they say. Obviously, those words and those statements are statements that none of us would associate ourselves with, and I don't believe that Senator Obama would support any of those, as well."

Regarding #3

"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

What don't you agree with? Do you equate everyone participating in a healthy economy to be socialism?

I understand that there are policy issues that you might have with Obama. But please... argue the real issues and not the fake stories that get thrown out there to confuse things and play on our fears.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Halloween is my favorite holiday and yesterday was punkin' pickin' day. We went to a new place...
From Kids
Fletcher Farm in Easthampton, of course! We took one of Fletcher's friends from school.

They had some nice pumpkins...
From Kids

...and we made some new friends.
From Kids
Ham, Sausage...

From Kids
...and Bacon.

One of us even kissed a cow.
From Kids

We selected our pumpkins and made for home.
From Kids

I'm taking suggestions for what to carve in them.

A note... don't worry about making the hay ride. There wasn't much to it. We circled one empty field, crossed the road and circled another. Unless you happen to catch a college cheerleading team , Playboy playmates, or a group of librarian fetishists having a weekend outing in Western Massachusetts, it's going to be a boring, dusty ride.

Apple Pickin'

I forgot to post last week's outing... apple picking.

We went to Clarkdale Orchard up in Deerfield.
The last time we were there, Blythe was only two...
...somebody has grown a bit.
Looks like it's time for some apple pie.

While we were there, I saw my second favorite car, the MkII Jaguar... in British racing green, like it should be.
After that we headed down to Old Deerfield Village for their colonial chocolate exhibit.
It was interesting to have hot chocolate prepared as the colonials did. The recipe called for many spices, including star anise and pepper. I never realized how much chocolate was used in colonial America. As a matter of fact, Ben Franklin sold chocolate out of his Philly print shop and British soldiers were given a chocolate ration during the French and Indian War.

The exhibit was sponsored by Mars, Inc. and you can order chocolate made with an original colonial recipe from their website, American Heritage Chocolate.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Small Beer Press

I first met Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press when he brought the original cover art for The Mount into the gallery for framing.

Cover art by Shelley Jackson

No explanation... just a painting of a dude with a bit in his mouth and a saddle on his back.

When he picked it up I asked him about it, and he told me that he was the editor and publisher of an insane little private press with his wife, Kelly Link, an interesting author in her own right.

Over the years I've crossed paths with them at various events in the area... most often at Holly Black's infamous annual New Year's party. Please... no pictures... I might want a career in politics one day.

Well, for October Gavin and Kelly decided to make their entire catalog of 26 books available for the low, low price of $249 and are giving 20% of the proceeds of all sales to the Obama campaign. So... if you have an interest in some good literary fiction, stop by the Small Beer Press website and see if anything looks good. Everything is on sale... up to 60% off in some cases.

And if you're voting for McCain/Palin, suck it up and buy something anyway. At least you'll have something to throw on the fire when Palin starts burning books.