". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, October 31, 2008

Signs That Too Many Still Haven't Figured It Out

Running errands this afternoon on Halloween, I walked past Dave's Army-Navy Surplus store on 8th St. all bedecked as usual with American flags and other U.S.A. patriotic bunting. It was about 2 p.m. and it was crowded with customers, customers actually standing around waiting to get in. Trust me folks, it is never like this otherwise, particularly not at 2 pm on weekday.

The customers were all young white males in suits frantically buying up military uniforms and fake arms for the expression tonight of their fantasy selves. Of course, these uniforms were all of the "Special Forces" sort, not yanno, privates in the Army or anything so, well, mundane. Surely these clowns are all extra sooperdooper snipers and assassins. They're all probably pretending to be Matt Damon pretending he is Jason Bourne ....Scary.

If they are so enamored of the soldier's life why the frack are they being all pudgy and out of shape, wearing expensive suits and coats, all excited about playing soldiers? Really. They are too old for this. Blech.

I used to like Halloween a lot. But as the annual Village Halloween Parade began attracting 4 million viewers, and that the parade gathers on my street and jumps off from here, not so much. We get either locked in or locked out. We can't eat out or buy beer, and the level of people peeing in our doorway is way too high. So maybe we need to make allowances for the foxie feeling cranky today. Besides, Vaquero is very sick, and he is cranky too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Duty of a Good Revolutionary In This Election

This is provoked by Ren's comment on the previous entry. But in no way is this to be construed as a snark or a slap against Ren and what he believes, stands for and struggles for.

The duty today, as I see it, for anyone who cares about this nation and democracy and the future of everything, including the planet, is to vote for Barack Obama in this election.

He is not a messiah. He is not the one answer to all questions. He is not perfect. He also is not a scatter-shot anger spreader, who can barely hold it in and can't wait to start throwing things at anyone and everyone.

What Barack Obama is, is a start. To rolling back this latest assault upon voter rights, upon many, many things that have disenfranchised pressure, persuasion and politics for a generataion the least left-leaning or progressive thought.

We all have a duty to be active, locally, if nowhere else, as well as to vote. And he is trying to lead the way. He's willing to take on that burden. But most of all it's about us, us doing the work, having a portal to having a stake in this nation again.

And he is kind and he has a soul. He not angry with that scatter-shot, never know when it will explode, and it always wants to explode, that is there in McCain and in the blood lust mobs that adore Palin. He doesn't blame others for mistakes. In that he's so different from almost all politicians whether Lenin or Clinton or Bush.

He has at helped us to clean a pane in the political-D.C. inside-the-beltway, so we can at least look in and a get a sense of where to apply pressure.

His nature got concerned citizens of all ilks off their asses and into the streets, the diners, the suburban cul-de-sacs, the back roads and DOING SOMETHING, other than blogging and sneering at How Stupid They Are.

Another Line of Work That Didn't Used to Be

"Personal Music Stylist" -- hired to ensure the music fits the decor of your home.

[ Though they consider clients’ musical preferences, stylists said they are paid to be the final arbiters of what songs work in a space. “When clients hire me, they are buying into the Coleman brand of taste,” Mr. Feltes said. Stylists typically charge between $50 and $250 per hour of music, which they usually download onto iPods but which can also be delivered on CDs.

Joe Wagner, 50, a commercial real estate developer and investor, hired Mr. Feltes last year to provide music for two homes with very different styles — a rough-hewn stone, wood beam and stucco lodge in Aspen, Colo., and a white brick colonial in Palm Beach, Fla. “I wanted music for both places that set the mood and reflected the environment,” Mr. Wagner said.

Mr. Feltes compiled about 48 hours of music divided into playlists particular not only to each residence but also the activity and time of day, like, for example, Latin jazz tracks for a lazy afternoon floating in the pool in Palm Beach or opera selections for a morning reverie while gazing at snow-capped mountains in Aspen.

“When someone walks in and hears great music, it’s like looking at a wonderful painting on the wall that gives you certain emotions,” said Mr. Wagner, who gets his playlists updated quarterly. “I love that I don’t have to think about what to put on. It’s already done for me.”

With so many genres and artists, it’s hard to stay on top of everything that’s available. ITunes, the online music store, has a catalog of over eight million songs. And there are countless new performers whose work is not so widely distributed.

“Our clients are the type who send people all over the world to find the perfect spoon, or doorknob or type of marble,” said Jeffrey Reed, a club D.J. and a founder of Audio Sushi, a custom music service in London with an international clientele. “My job is to find the perfect music.”

It's puzzling that I find this maximumly offensive. Why should I be bothering my pretty little head with it at all?

Monday, October 27, 2008

McPln Meets Bollywood

I'm not so crazy about spreading video -- there are so many, and many blogs seem to prefer YouTubes to writing -- because it takes a lot longer to look at a video than to read, at least for me, and so much is so repetitive.

However, thanks to Nancy Lebovitz on Making Light, here's one you really want to see. There are no words to describe it, but the video itself is filled with words.

Does it feel to others like it feels to me, that the entire world -- not to mention myself -- is just holding its breath through the Election Day for POTUS? As if until we really know who is going to be POTUS we cannot sensibly plan ahead for anything?

Vaquero says that everyone he talked to in Barcelona, whether from South America, Europe or Asia, is feeling like this. Even at this enormous arts and literary and cultural festival (that the Jazz Festival was a part of), everyone was talking about this U.S. election. He did not encounter a single person supporting the other ones. If nothing else would, this has to be the overwhelming evidence that this nation has lost its mind. The whole world is pulling for us to recovery our sanity.

In some ways I'm cautiously experiencing a flutter of a coming lightness of being of the sort I haven't felt in many, many years. Rather I've felt an ever weighty sense of repression and oppression and pessimism. This flutter is caused by the elegance of the Obama campaign, which has given one a glimmer of hope, that if he and his people get to run this nation we all, together, can turn things around, and not just turn them around, but do as with the FDR era, actually make the nation better for a lot people than it was before, at the best of times.

That's a hell of a burden of expectation to put on one person, it seems to me. But as Vaquero and I discussed this morning:

Joe who isn't Joe and isn't a plumber compared Obama to Sammy Davis, Jr. (who was, btw, one hell of a tap dancer), and today Stanley Fish compared Obama to both Fred Astaire and Jesus vs Satan in Milton's Purgatory -- talk about over-the-top rhetorical excess! But Vaquero thinks what Obama really is, is the Mozart of politicians.

Vaquero says, "It effortlessly poured out of Mozart. He didn't have to puzzle over it, or tinker, he just knew. His musicality was so deep, and so was his undestanding of instruments and instrumentation, that he knews just what fit where to create not just good effect, but the best effect to carry out the master vision. Thus the elegance. Obama's the Mozart of politics."

I don't want to get symbolic about this election. I support Obama, not because of skin color or in spite of skin color or any of that. I support him because I genuinely think he's the superior candidate. He worked damned hard to get me to think this way. I'm not much of a bandwagon person. However, symbolically? This terrible mess the nation is in? We want Obama to be POTUS because we believe, we hope, that with our help, he can clean it up. Isn't that just the history of this nation? When things are a wreck, we need a black person to show us the way, you could say. Considering the history of this nation, how much throughout its history, events and economy depended on the efforts, so unrecognized, so exploited of African Americans, it is above and beyond time we have an African American POTUS.

BTW, Bruce Sterling was the star this last week at the festival, with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson -- but while Bruce and Reed were actually there and doing what they were supposed to do, Laurie literally phoned in her part. She probably had a dog agility competition that her appearance was unfortunately scheduled against ....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vaquero -- Encores and Standing Ovations

Ned's concert in Barcelona (the never-ending arts festival, literary festival, Jazz Festival) just concluded.

The room was filled 20% over capacity. Encores. Standing ovations. No journalists present, though. Dang.

Nevertheless, from both professional contacts and recognition, and financially, this was way worth doing. Of course, the euros aren't as strong against the dollar as they were just a few days ago (the dollar's recovering, evidently still seen as the safest currency as everyone's economy of financial smoke and mirrors blows away). Ain't it always like that? Still, one cannot complain!.

Why yes, I am proud of him. I request indulgence, since I can't help it.

Whew! Not so easy doing all these presentations, moderations and performances in these past 4 days on jetlag and so little sleep

Hank Williams's Breakfast Club Recordings

Hank Williams's daughter, Jett Williams, born 5 days after he died, was put out for adoption. But 3 months before she was born, Hank Williams had filed a paper with a court stating this baby born to Bobbie Jett was his child.

Jett Williams and Time-Life have put out the acetates of the singing spots he pre-recorded for the local home radio program, his early fifties Breakfast Club radio show, on Nashville’s WSM-AM station. He talks about the songs a bit, and patters with his Drifting Cowboys band. The boxed set is called The Unreleased Recordings of Hank Williams.

WSM-AM moved. The acetates were in boxes and discarded. A station employee, Les Leverett, rescued them, and later gave them to Jett Williams, as belonging to her.

Polygram and others, via chain of title claims, sued.

The courts, eventually, ruled these recordings were personal property of the family because they were not made with commercial, for profit, release in mind.

These are as moving as Hank Williams can be. I'm hearing "On Top of Old Smoky" now. It was one of Mom's favorite songs. That she actually got to the top of Old Smoky on a winter vacation driving south with Dad and an another couple when I turned 6 was always a meaningful memory for her.

Jett Williams says:

[ "In addition to Williams' best-known material, the recordings include 40 songs he was never known to have performed and others he never recorded commercially, including "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Cherokee Boogie" and "On Top of Old Smoky." ]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Happy Vaquero

He's being taken care of personally, by the Jazz Festival's director, since Vaquero's the one who is writing it up for Downbeat, I guess.

He jetlags really hard -- he hallucinates. This despite our attempts to turn our schedules around before he left, and no alcohol or caffeine for 24 hours prior to flying. He was met at the airport. His luggage was taken to the hotel and he was checked in, but he was taken off immediately to a press conference with Bebo and Chucho Valdez.

This is the hotel's music room.

4-hour, multi-course dinner last night, that concluded, as you can see with a dulce called "The Six Textures of Chocolate."

The dinner was marvelous, he says. He was sitting with Bebo and Chucho and father and son, between them, incarnate the history of Cuban music in the 20th century. They talked nothing but Cuban music the entire time. He was in heaven. He thus managed not to sleep until a reasonable bedtime hour. He woke feeling like a normal person.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A friend of Vaquero's put the concert press release into Babelfish so she could read it in English and here's what she got:

[ "Turned from this year into official lodging of the festival, the Alexandra Hotel adds to extensísima jazzística musical supply with a stimulating Saturday proposal. Gratuitous concerts of around little more than one hour, to taste taking a beer (Voll-Damm, by all means). Ned Sublette, that two days before will have dictated to a conference in the Institut d'Estudis Nord-americans, will alone give the pistol shot of exit with a recital in which it will show to the connections between diverse Latin styles (tango, bachata, bolero) and the poetic one of the south of the United States (a sort that it calls Cowboy Rumba). It will follow the ambitious canary bear to him Brown Charlie, who - with the collaboration of the vocalista Esther Ovejero- it will offer the same concert that left recently overwhelmed the great Richard Bonn . . . " ]

There are other gigs as well these few densely packed days, but this is his concert.

Monday, October 20, 2008


In Colombia Books profoundly matter. In today's NY Times.

[ “I started out with 70 books, and now I have a collection of more than 4,800,” said Mr. Soriano, 36, a primary school teacher who lives in a small house here with his wife and three children, with books piled to the ceilings.

“This began as a necessity; then it became an obligation; and after that a custom,” he explained, squinting at the hills undulating into the horizon. “Now,” he said, “it is an institution.”

A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, Mr. Soriano’s Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Colombia. ]

This is a mission filled with a danger and sacrifice, which is not untypical of a librarian's mission, one way or another.

The slide show is not to be missed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Matter That Is The U.S.A. Is

profoundly, African.

A long time ago, maybe at the end of the 80's, I declared to many people that whereas the Matter of Britain was Arthurian, the Matter of the U.S. was Africa.

Periodically since my Other Blog came into being some have kindly participated in discussions about what, culturally, that is our nation, could endure, could sustain us, keep a sense of identity vital, if we were we were as riven from our homes and all we knew, as were the millions transported out of Africa to the New World. Whether people realized it or not, with hardly an exception, everything invoked came out of African American cultural roots.

Here we see popular UK historian, Simon Schama, underlining with his personal experience, one that so many USians and others alike have experienced -- what entrances him, exhilarates him, about his nation is -- black.

[ Why should the blues make you feel so happy? This is what I remember asking myself as the student ship MS Aurelia sailed under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, on its way from New York back to Britain. Maybe it was an American thing, this peculiar mix of loss and desire; the need to get away and the certainty you’d be back. Maybe I, a first-time summer visitor to the United States, was already an American thing?
A few weeks earlier, on a sultry August night, I’d sat in a piano bar in one of the funkier streets in Washington DC, listening to a fat, black bluesman do Muddy Waters and Leadbelly: Mannish Boy, Hoochie Coochie Man. For such a big man his voice was high and sweet, and as he moaned and chuckled and did the little soul gasp, you felt as if all the troubles of the world poured away, along with the sweat beading on his cheeks and dripping onto the keyboard.
In the red-lit shadows, I took pulls at my Lucky Strike, put my mouth to the open-necked beer bottle and fancied that with each drag I was closer to becoming the Hoochie Coochie Man myself . . .
. ]

Even Lee Atwater, who was Reagan's campaign strategist, famous for employing racist dirty campaign tricks, loved the blues, and fancied himself a blues guitarsman (another form of that endlessly mutating performance paradox of Blackface and minstrelsy).

That we may have, hopefully have, our first black president in a few weeks, in the light of who this nation is, is only right.

That is what THEY are terrified of. THEY cannot accept that African Americans are at least as much of this nation as they are -- and in many cases, so many family histories reaching back to the 16th and 17th centuries, maybe even more so.

My Car's Balls Are Bigger Than Your Car's Balls

Out of Touch With The Real America R Us.

"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, the NPR News Quizz Show" is running a compilation of some of its funnier parts of shows run this year because our local station is doing one of its many annual fundraisers. This is true:

Evidently in recent times drivers of SUVs, pickups and other such vehicles have found their manly wheeled advertisements of their virility not sufficiently adequate. They have taken to fastening ersatz testicles -- some are even glittery! -- to the back of their Great Big Automotive Means Of Choice. The governor and legislature of Florida conducted a lively debate about banning these personal accouterments so pleasing to drivers.

Alas, I did not learn whether or not the ban was enacted into Florida law. Do any of you know?

Friday, October 17, 2008

'Grant and Lee in War and Peace'

This is the exhibit that opens today at the New York Historical Society. This looks to be an exciting show in so many ways.

Additionally the Society has put up an exhibit featuring the New York Times special supplement that commemorated the Civil War 50 years after.

You can read about and view a slide show here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

California Official GOP Website Promotes Violence and Racism

This is appalling.

[ Sacramento County Republican leaders Tuesday took down offensive material on their official party Web site that sought to link Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden and encouraged people to "Waterboard Barack Obama" – material that offended even state GOP leaders. ]

[ The Bee asked MacGlashan about the content after seeking his reaction to hate-filled graffiti that was spray-painted over an Obama display on a fence at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.

In recent weeks, MacGlashan, an attorney, joined local Democratic party officials in condemning vandalism to political displays.

The vandalism to the Obama display appeared to have been done overnight Monday. A racial epithet, profanity, "KKK" and the words "white power" were clearly visible from the roadway. Six of the nine fence panels were defaced.

"What you are describing to me is not free speech, it's vandalism. We don't condone it," MacGlashan said.

But he defended his Web site. "I'm aware of the content," he said. "Some people find it offensive, others do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things." ]

Campaign Sports Update

An old and dear friend fills us in as to the whole story of who, what, when, and where, plus why as to that event. You really need to read it, because it reveals a narcissism and cold-heartedness and a well of lies that is bottomless.

[ Speaking as a native Philadelphian, with relatives who are Flyers fen, let's tell the truth and shame the Devil.

Palin was trotting around publicly in a NYRangers jersey a couple of days before. (The Opening Game of the Season was against the Blueshirts.)

She delayed the opening of the game because Ed Snider (owner of the Flyers) is a major Republican/McCain supporter.

She uses her daughter the same way Martin Sheen tries to use Brooke Adams's kid at the end of The Dead Zone.

She made several of us feel sorry for Scott Effing Gomez (which a Devils fan would have told you, before this weekend, is almost an impossibility), because he got used as a prop in the entire charade.

The upshot of the whole thing is that—in an area where most of the hockey fans would think six or seven times before voting for a black man and then probably still not do it—the stunt probably cost the Republicans a few thousand votes in PA and southern NJ.But, of course, Powerline assures everyone that the incident didn't actually happen and that there were mostly cheers, with a few scattered boos, for Palin. ]

Even I, who know nothing about hockey, and care even less about hockey, would know better than to do what K describes the self-described Hockey Mom as having done. Evidently she actually knows as much about hockey as she does about field dressing moose.

Now, let's compare and contrast that with this:

[ Video gamers who have recently played the racing game Burnout Paradise may find it offers more than a high-speed driving simulation: advertisements for Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, above, have begun appearing in the game. Players of Burnout Paradise who are connected to the Internet are also connected to an in-game system that allows real-life sponsors to place advertisements on billboards and other surfaces in its digital world. Jeff Brown, vice president of communications at Electronic Arts, which publishes Burnout Paradise, said Mr. Obama’s campaign had purchased ads to run in the Xbox 360 version of the game, which he said is most popular among male players ages 16 to 30. The ads will run until Nov. 3 in 10 battleground states. Mr. Brown said Senator John McCain’s campaign had not purchased in-game advertisements, but added, “There’s still three weeks before the election.” ]

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sports News

You don't see "sports news" written by Fox very often.

Story in LA Times, plus YouTube, plus a link to a local Philly sports writer's eye witness account, which is far softer in tone than the LA Times.

[ The world's most famous "hockey mom" can now join the ever-growing list of icons booed by Philly fans. Move over, Santa Claus and Mike Schmidt, Sarah Palin was booed tonight in front of Willow and Piper as she was introduced to drop the first puck at the Flyers' home opener against the New York Rangers.

Despite pleas from the scoreboard at the Wachovia Center, which read "Flyers fans, show Philadelphia's class and welcome America's No. 1 hockey mom, Sarah Palin," ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that the booing was so prevalent that the music had to be cranked up to "deafening" levels in order to compete with the fans from the city of Brotherly Love.

Although Pennsylvania is often considered a swing state, the jeering is easily heard in the video above, and one can clearly see a few Obama/Biden signs in the stands. ]

You can also see down there, in front, people jabbing 'thumbs down' while others are displaying Obama signs. Hockey fans will behave like hockey fans when they don't lagree with a play.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This Is Happy, This Is For Dancing, This is Obámonos

Put on your dancing shoes, turn on your speakers.

Amigo José Conde, who is quite a good singer, has made a video for his tune "Respóndele a Obama," a charming salsa number aimed at motivating latinos to vote. The best line:

"hasta mi madre republicana está votando por obama"

Tell your Florida amigos.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sticking Around After the So-Called Debate, Town Hall, Whatever

Sticking around, talking to the people who had to sit there under all those lights for who knows how long -- surely much longer than what can seem an endless hour and a half, without cell phone, text message, internet, no talking -- no BEER! while having to listen to so much blather, and having da mavrik basilisk topple up to you and fix you with his baleful eye.

Who do you think immediately went talking with them, one on one when it was over? Why, yes, it was Barack Obama AND Michelle Obama. People took pictures with their little disposable instamatics (no cell phones, no digital cameras allowed obviously, but this little sop they were given).

Michelle was there immediately engaging with members of the selected Tennessee viewers and questioners., even as her husband was still engaged with his oppponent (who it seems refused to shake hands with him) and stooge Tom Brokaw. Then Barack was there also -- and I gotta say, about 3/4 way through the event he was seeming a little tired. He's been engaged a very tough campaign for two full years already. I suppose that will tire someone somewhat. But with the voters though, he was fully present and engaged.

So, howz bout that other team? As usual, Cindy trailed at least 3 steps behind John. At one point it seemed somebody TOLD him to put his arm around her, which lasted of a nano, while not even looking at her. She spoke to not a single voter and shook hands with none. And then, they were gone, in less than two minutes.

Whereas Michelle and Obama, and Brokaw too, for all the minutes post the event the CNN feed kept the cameras streaming. All three of them were chatting with all the audience members, still at it, even as the streaming came to an end because, after all the talking heads couldn't wait to tell us what we saw and heard.

In terms of style, presentation, ideas, information, I give it all to Obama. But then, I probably would, wouldn't I? But then -- I didn't the first time around, but the wider audiences and bloggers, and then, thus the primary media, disagreed with me.

Da mavrik wandered aimlessly about the staging area, verbally as well as physically. His runnning mate appears to be Joe Lieberman -- who knew? Lieberman is the guy mavrik kept referring to -- his rock?

Mavrik lied so much of the time. He poured out blather, almost matching his actual running mate much of the time. What was that "That one," huh? Like not shaking hands?

Da mavrik looks and sounds like Bella Legosi in one of his most slimeball villain roles. He wandered the stage and stared at the audience. You waited for him to rub his hands, and he would have except for that pesky mic. He ducked his head into his neck and whistled at the audience, "My friendsss, I am going to solve the entitlement crisis (um last I heard and hear from everyone who knows about SS and medicare is that they don't have problems) by taking them away from you and giving it to the Pentagon. And our friendssssssss in Big Finance who take $400,000 junkets as a just award for the stress from begging $700 billion of YOUR money to bail out their freakin' incompetency and greed." Of course a 5 thousand dollar tax benefit is going to give me so much health insurance here in NYC -- but that's OK. If that doesn't work for me I can drive to Arizona. "And, why yessdssss, I lurve our people in service, which is why I voted against every benefit that's come up to help them out."

Obama, hands down, thumbs up, whatever.

How come nobody talks about the place of the arts in a Great Nation?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lynch Rallies

Just like the gop nom con was a lynch mob -- their howling wasn't cheering, but blood lust and hatred.Why is this not being reported more, one wonders. It's on the Ron Paul website and others, and now the huffpo has reported it.

It has been reported in the New Mexico papers, according to those who live there. It was absolutely chilling, they have said.He and she are howling at their rallies that Obama -- HUSSEIN -- is a terrorist, a traitor, a muslim and not an American, and he's supposedly startled that his audience that he's whipped up these people (that begs to be whipped up) to lynch mob state, to where a member can howl "Kill him!" How can he be surprised, and how can he not be held responsible? Just. Farkin'. How. Can. McCain. Not. Be. Responsible.

[ Judging by McCain's slightly startled reaction, he clearly didn't anticipate that reaction, and McCain's in no way responsible for the utterances of anybody in his audience. But he must have some idea of how deeply this fear/outsider/other meme has spread. A tripartite strategy isn't needed. ]

Even now the media cuts him undeserved slack. Je chooses to target such words to describe his opponent to people like that and then is surprised by the reaction? Then why use those terms?

No, this is what he wants to happen. There large elements of belief and behavior in each of us here that he could characterize in such a way to these same people and get the same response. Remember there were some white people lynched too during that long century of lynch seasons in this nation post the Civil War.

He chose to fly missions to bomb innocent people because it would advance his career. That was a choice just like this one. He was not ordered to fly those missions. And just as he was no war hero he's not fit to be dog catcher, much less POTUS, a judgment made on the basis of the choices he has made all his protected and indulged and entitled life.

His lynch mob mentality is also part and parcel of palin's displays.

Both of them are doing it. She doesn't flinch, not even the first time. This is who she is. You saw it at the gop nom con -- she reveled in bringing up the howls.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not New Info Re da mavrik

I've been reading this information for years in various places. Counterpunch and the Daily Kos have published it. But for whatever reasons, no one, not even the dems I know, would take it seriously, until now -- when it is published in Rolling Stone. This is more than annoying.

When I'd speak of da mavrik's treatment of his planes -- exhbiting a great deal about his character, and how he behaved in the POW prison -- people would gasp, cover their ears and run away. Metaphorically, sometimes, but sometimes literally.

In contrast In the WaPo.

This article which was in their Sunday magazine is about Michelle Obama, taken from a book about to be published about her. She refused to be interviewed or to comment about the book for the article, for who knows what reasons. There's nothing negative in the article.

[ So when Barack came over for dinner, the whole family felt sorry for him, assuming he wouldn't be around for long. "He was very, very low-key," Craig, the head basketball coach at Oregon State University and a former star player at Princeton, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I loved the way he talked about his family because it was the way we talked about our family. I was thinking: 'Nice guy. Too bad he won't last.' "

Not long afterward, Michelle asked Craig to take Barack out on the basketball court to test his character. He obliged her, and emerged from that game with a positive report: Barack was self-confident but not a ball hog or a hotshot. ]

And this:

[ When Craig asked about his career plans, Barack replied, "I think I'd like to teach at some point in time, and maybe even run for public office." Craig assumed Barack wanted to run for a post like city alderman, but Barack let him know that his sights were set higher. "He said no, at some point he'd like to run for the U.S. Senate," Craig recalled. "And then he said, 'Possibly even run for president at some point.' And I was like, 'Okay, that's great. But don't say that to my Aunt Gracie.' I was protecting him from saying something that might embarrass him." The Robinsons tended to be cynical about politics and politicians. ]

There's another photo gallery. Michelle's just so much more interesting looking than Cindy (not mention just plain more interesting, period). Some of the photos of her, and of her family, are early and older than the current campaign period. One is of Barack's swearing in on Capitol Hill in 2005 -- with Cheney. Woo.

There's also a WaPo mag story on McCain and his first marriage. His first wife has remained loyal. He sure as hell hasn't been to her. Even Nancy Reagan turned against him because he turned against Carol. Woo.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Must Share, Must

This is so good, so filled with fail, you simply must read -- from the Think Progress blogsite:

[ At an Americas Conference panel discussion today, McCain adviser Richard Fontaine argued that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) affair 50 years ago with former Brazilian beauty queen Maria Gracinda Teixeira de Jesus illustrated “the long experience he has had in the region — in the most positive terms”:

”Talking a little about his personal experience, he was famously born in Panama and has traveled all over the hemisphere for many years.” Fontaine said. “In fact, I saw, I guess it was last week, that his old girlfriend in Brazil has been found from his early days when he was in the Navy and was interviewed. She’s a somewhat older woman now than she was then, but it sorta speaks to the long experience he has had in the region — in the most positive terms.”

Asked afterwards if he was suggesting that the fling “counted as Latin America foreign policy experience,” Fontaine responded, “‘The only thing I was trying to convey was that his experience goes back a long way.” (HT: Ben Smith) ]

If you are in the mood for some quality laughter, read some of the comments, which are on the level of: "McCain is another those immigrants from south of the border who came here for a lifetime of government provided healthcare!"

Not so easy catching up online. Particularly when this seems to be a period of people who were significant to me personally in the long distant past have somehow managed to track me down via the books, and reappear. Today is the third one in 4 weeks. And friends visiting from Miami. And Events happening all over, because, despite the crises of economy, this is October and it is NY, and the Social Season and Openings Season is in swing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Michelle Obama -- One of Our Fundamental American Stories

"A Family Tree Rooted In American Soil"

In today's Washington Post, is a short sketch of Michelle Obama's ancestors, from a plantation in South Carolina, up to Chicago, and hopefully, the White House. There is also a slide show.


Personally? I think her family story is at least as interesting as her husband's.And both their family stories are fundamental stories of who we are, we who live in the U.S.A.

Now I must get back to writing my slavery and manifest destiny essay, chapter, or whatever it is.