Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween on a SUNDAY has been something of a big deal here in the fundamentalist upstate. The kids went out for trick-or-treat last night, ostensibly so they would not be out late on a school night. But there has also been a fair amount of fulminating about the fact of Halloween in the first place. (The Protestants officially changed October 31st to Reformation Day, but the rabble never quite bought that, did they?)

The pagan roots of Halloween really RATTLE the fundies. Some totally forbid the kids to take part, others have attempted to co-opt the festival for Christian themes; such as JUDGEMENT HOUSE --a popular Christian "haunted house" where you even visit hell, complete with an over-the-top satan with horns. I once went to one of these, and it was surprisingly professional and well-done. However, it is notable that the heaven was pretty dopey and saccharine, and the music was horrible. The hell, with the Vincent-Pricish satan, was much more entertaining, and far better decorated.


Something to spook you... I have discovered that playing this at night is scarier than during the day, so wait until dark! :)

Courtesy of Hammer Horror's Harry Robinson, this is the opening credits/theme to the British TV series, JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN, which I have featured here at DEAD AIR before.

Used to scare little 10-year-old Daisy to death!

Journey to the Unknown - TV opening (1968)

Hope your Halloween is/was good!

Rally to Restore Sanity

Comedy Central network satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert at the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington DC, October 30th. Photo from Politico.

I'm not sure what I think of today's rally. Except: I wish it had been angrier.

The account in Politico was fair:

Expectations for what Stewart had dubbed his "million moderate march" ranged from the hope of left-leaning groups that the rally would spark the youth vote ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections to the desire for many attendees to enjoy an afternoon of pointed satire inspired by Fox News' Glenn Beck's massive rally two months ago to "restore honor."

For most of the rally, Stewart and his comedic foil Stephen Colbert deftly remained half a step away from becoming serious on the stage at the opposite end of the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial steps where Beck spoke — until the end, when Stewart aimed his wrath directly at the 24-hour Washington media establishment, saying it "did not cause our problems. But its existence makes solving them that much harder."

"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing," he said. "The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we eventually get sicker."

The "Rally to Restore Sanity," which merged with sidekick Stephen Colbert’s “March to Keep Fear Alive,” had been advertised as nonpolitical. Stewart insisted it was “a clarion call for rationality,” and a collective plea for the nation to stop yelling and show more respect to those they disagree with.

The crowd appeared to exceed organizers' expectations, spilling past the boundaries set for the rally. Organizers estimated attendance at about 250,000.

Hundreds of buses, including some chartered by The Huffington Post, began dropping tens of thousands of attendees at the National Mall early in the morning. On Metro's Red Line, trains were full of people headed to the rally.

Katie Shanahan, a 24-year-old who lives in Washington and works at an environmental nonprofit, came with a group of friends. She says everyone in her circle has been talking about the event since early September.

"It must have popped up on 9 million feeds on my Facebook," she said.

Most of those pouring into the Mall Saturday appeared to be younger than 35, and the signs they carried showed a decidedly left-wing bent: "I hope this isn't a trap," "I masturbate to Christine O'Donnell," "Communism was a red herring."
I keep wishing we could put all these young people to work. Why aren't they interested in actual political organizing?

Although the progressives were undoubtedly in attendance, it seems unclear whether this will translate into real votes on Tuesday.
But most people at the rally didn't carry signs and many said they weren't politically active, even if they sympathized with Democrats. Those who were planning to vote said they had already planned to do so before the rally, and none of the rally attendees interviewed planned to participate in the DNC's phone bank efforts.

The atmosphere on the Mall was more like a big early Halloween party. People bounced beach balls as they listened to music and waited for Stewart to take the stage. The wind carried the scent of burning marijuana through the crowd.

The brand of humor that defines Stewart, Colbert and their followers is sharp, satiric, and at times smug. Many of the signs carried were silly ("I am mildly upset by all of this outrage!") and some were nonsensical ("Let's build prisons on the moon!").

If there was politics in the two comedians' performance, it was hard to find.

When surprise guest Yusuf Islam, the British singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, arrived onstage and began singing his hit "Peace Train," Colbert loudly interrupted him and introduced Ozzy Osbourne, who sang his hit, "Crazy Train" before Stewart interrupted him in turn. The two singers then engaged in a musical duel, guided by the two comedians.

Then they all stood aside as the O-Jays sang the Philadelphia soul classic, "Love Train."

“Law and Order” actor Sam Waterson read a poem and Don Novello (whose once played Father Guido Sarducci on “Saturday Night Live”) delivered a benediction. The Roots, Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow also performed.
All this money and star-power, that the left could really use. Instead... well... (?)

As I said, I am not sure what I think. As entertainment, it's just fine. But is that all it is?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Anonymous man does not have sex with Christine O'Donnell

Wow, what an election year... is all I can manage to say.

I wake up and I see Christine O'Donnell in a Ladybug costume, all over the internet. Happy Halloween, yall!

Apparently paid good money by THE GAWKER, an intrepid (but anonymous) fellow writes that he partied with Christine on Halloween and provides ladybug photos. She's drunk!

But... well... that's it.

Wait, what?

Christine and I got cozy on the couch and popped open another beer.

Things got physical on the couch pretty quickly. It wasn't long before we'd moved from the living room to my bed.

I won't get into the nitty gritty details of what happened between the sheets that evening. But I will say that it wasn't half as exciting as I'd been hoping it would be. Christine was a decent kisser, but as soon as soon as her clothes came off and she was naked in my bed, Christine informed me that she was a virgin.

"You've got to be kidding," I said. She didn't explain at the time that she was a "born-again virgin." She made it seem like she'd never had sex in her life, which seemed pretty improbable for a woman her age. And she made it clear that she was planning on staying a virgin that night. But there were signs that she wasn't very experienced sexually. When her underwear came off, I immediately noticed that the waxing trend had completely passed her by.

Obviously, that was a big turnoff, and I quickly lost interest.
Yeeeuck, what an asshole. Can I say I'm very glad Christine didn't give it up for this guy?

He also calls her a cougar, if you can believe it.

One hates to defend a piece of shit like O'Donnell, but this is misogynist and just plain AWFUL. I'm sure we could hear juicier stories about, ohhh, ANY of the male senators. Why is Christine more interesting? Well, she's attractive and unmarried... and female.

But what gets me: Although O'Donnell's campaign is comparing this to Will Folks and his Nikki Haley-SUV tales, it simply is not analogous. WILL FOLKS IS NOT ANONYMOUS and is ready and waiting to be sued, which he won't be. This "anonymous" character can't be sued.

Oh wait, yes he can. The Smoking Gun has tracked him down: Brad Kurisko, 28, is a district executive with a Boy Scouts council in the Philadelphia area.

Boy Scouts? Oh, Jesus H. Christ.

Yes, the Boy Scouts! And as you might expect, Brad's a little upset about that getting around, and claims his roommate stole his Boy Scout uniform:
In a series of phone conversations this afternoon, [Kurisko] acknowledged that “Anonymous” had worn his Boy Scouts outfit, but claimed that he was unaware that the uniform would be seen in photos published with the O’Donnell story. “I have to go home and kick his ass,” Kurisko said of his buddy, whom he declined to identify. He added, “I had no idea that any pictures existed.”

Asked if he was involved in the preparation or brokering of the Gawker story, Kurisko declined comment. While denying that he was “Anonymous,” Kurisko refused to identify the story’s author, claiming that TSG was “asking me to throw someone under the bus.” He also refused to answer a question about whether he received money in connection with the story (Gawker's editor told a Yahoo reporter that the site paid in the "low four figures" for the O'Donnell story).

While Kurisko refused to out “Anonymous,” some online activity this evening may point to the author’s identity. Shortly after his last phone conversation with a TSG reporter, a single name disappeared from Kurisko's list of Facebook friends.

The man with whom electronic ties were abruptly cut is Dustin Dominiak, a 28-year-old buddy who attended Albion College with Kurisko. Records show that Dominiak has previously shared a Philadelphia address with Kurisko. One online posting reports that Dominiak, a Michigan native, has worked as an auditor at the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia. [...]

Soon after Dominiak's name vanished from Kurisko's list of friends, Dominiak’s entire Facebook page (which listed 356 friends) was suddenly deactivated. Perhaps this was Dominiak’s attempt to achieve a greater degree of anonymity.

UPDATE: In a phone interview tonight, a besieged Kurisko told TSG that Dominiak is the man pictured with O’Donnell in the Gawker photos. He said that while Dominiak had borrowed his Boy Scouts uniform, he was unaware of the existence of photos of his roommate with O’Donnell.

Kurisko said that he had no idea that Dominiak was preparing the Gawker piece and only became aware of its publication after speaking with a TSG reporter late this afternoon. He added that he is now concerned about “preserving my job” in light of media scrutiny, which has included reporters attempting to contact members of his family. These contacts, Kurisko added, were triggered by a Village Voice report that erroneously identified him as “Anonymous.”

Dominiak is “well aware of the situation,” said Kurisko, who added, "I was not aware this was going down."
Stole his Boy Scout uniform to party with Christine! This gets better and better.

The Gawker has been attacked by everyone for this story, even liberals from Salon, and this little journalistic stunt appears to have BOMBED OUT big time. They have even earned themselves a brand new Twitter hashtag: #GAWKERFail.

And what do you think? Get rid of her at any cost? Or is this just too much?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lisa Blount 1957-2010

At left: Sid isn't gonna like what Lynette says next.

One of the greatest movie-bitches of all time has passed. She was my age.

Lisa Blount played the evil vixen Lynette, who drove nice-guy Sid (David Keith) to suicide in An Officer and a Gentleman. I also remember her from John Carpenter's creepy Prince of Darkness, which you will hopefully see rerun during Halloween weekend. She was an Oscar-winning producer, as well.

The expression worn on Blount's face as she exits the motel room in An Officer and a Gentlemen, after telling Sid her period is late? (Note: it wasn't.) Priceless, just priceless. Actresses who can convey entire WORLDS OF THOUGHT in their facial expressions, are in short supply... botox is making them obsolete, for the most part.

Goodbye dearest Lisa. People everywhere would remark for DECADES about "that bitch in Officer and a Gentleman," and I hope you were suitably proud of your work. Although the ultra-famous leads overshadowed you, your accusatory shout, "You're no different than I am, Paula!"--was the best line in the movie (and the only feminist line), delivered with the ring of truth, which it was. She wasn't any different than you, but people had to believe she was to enjoy the movie, didn't they? You kicked ass, girlfriend.

Rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Please do not vote for this woman

As DEAD AIR readers can see, I am running out of anti-Nikki Haley blog-post titles in this harried week before the election, and today's title reflects my desperation. In ohhh so many ways!

Just, please, DON'T VOTE for her.

Last night, the party continued over in Florence:

FLORENCE — Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Vincent Sheheen are painting differing portraits of the state's most pressing problems and how to solve them with a week to go before voters choose one as their next governor.

At their final debate, held Tuesday before a crowd of more than 400 at Francis Marion University near Florence, Haley talked of the state's “cultural problems” that she said are handicapping the state's work force, such as a lack of education skills and drug addiction that causes failed drug tests.

She said she would address the problems if elected governor by using a faith-based coalition that would tutor school children, counsel victims of domestic violence and help those in poverty.

Sheheen said the biggest problem facing the state is its 11 percent unemployment rate and said he would spend his time recruiting jobs and industry to the state.
FAITH BASED COALITION? (((gnashes teeth, slits wrist)))

I don't want to talk to any so-called "faith-based coalitions" that likely include the kind of people (considering that this is South Carolina) who don't believe certain populations even deserve charity, okay?
During their hour answering questions from a panel of reporters, the debate's moderator and two student body presidents, Haley and Sheheen disagreed on how to pay for the $2.5 billion Interstate 73 project, healthcare, education funding and each other's jobs.

Each found opportunities to attack the other, with Sheheen drawing both applause and gasps as he told Haley at one point: “I'd rather be a successful lawyer, I'd rather have a successful lawyer as my next governor than an accountant who didn't pay her taxes,” a reference to Haley's late payments in recent years.
(((giggle))) Too bad he couldn't sneak in some Will Folks references; if a totally-accurate tax-evader jab brought gasps, imagine what a little joke about climbing into some blogger's SUV for a late-night party might do.

I say, go for broke, Vince! It can't hurt, at this point.
Sheheen said he has supported I-73and would support tolls on the road as well as the creation of a national infrastructure bank modeled after South Carolina's infrastructure bank to pay for it. I-73 would connect Myrtle Beach to Michigan and run through the Pee Dee and coastal regions of South Carolina.

Haley said she opposes tolls and the creation of the federal infrastructure bank, arguing that as governor she would ask the state's congressional delegation to find the money.

Asked about how they would handle the state's financial troubles, Sheheen said more taxes weren’t the answer and agencies might have to consolidate services. He said he would prioritize economic development and job-related services.
Haley said there was still waste to be cut out of state government, arguing that in most states, an estimated 10 percent of Medicaid funds are lost to abuse and fraud.

She once again pointed at amounts spent on education “overhead” at the Department of Education, insisting the agency has more than 1,100 positions, a figure Sheheen said isn’t true. He said the agency told him the number of actual workers is 883, half of which are bus drivers.

“It's important that we talk truth in these debates,” he said. Haley said her numbers come from the state's budget.

Sheheen then asked Haley what positions she thought should be cut from the agency. Haley said she wants bus services privatized, which she said would save the state money in maintenance services. She said more funding needs to go to the classroom, but Sheheen said Haley doesn’t count principals or cooks as core classroom costs.

“You want the teachers to cook,” he said to laughter.
More jokes like that, Vince!
On the subject of the federal government's healthcare plan, Sheheen said he likes parts of the plan, such as allowing children to be covered for pre-existing conditions or preventing women with breast cancer from having their insurance canceled.

But Haley said Sheheen “can't split the cow,” arguing the plan will cost the state $1 billion, a cost she said the state cannot afford.

One of the evening's most heated exchanges came after Sheheen was asked about his work as a lawyer representing clients before state agencies.

Sheheen said while Haley has accused him of suing the state, his firm has only defended clients whose property the government wanted to take, identifying a couple in the audience whom he represented.

Haley said Sheheen represents workers before the worker's compensation commission, in effect suing businesses, a practice she said has brought him and his law firm a lot of business and fees.

She said lawyer-legislators shouldn’t be on committees appointing members of the worker's comp board.

“We need to make sure they can't have both their hands in both their pockets,” she said. “He has made hundreds of thousands of dollars being a lawyer-legislator. That's one great part-time job."
Ummm, at least he showed up for work!

Do you believe Haley's chutzpah? (She's something else, no?)
Sheheen talked of Haley's jobs after becoming a legislator working as a consultant for an engineering firm that does government work and as a fundraiser for a hospital foundation.

“It gets a little bit old listening to her preach to me,” he said, “when I follow ethics laws, when I recuse myself from voting on commissioners.”

Haley said Sheheen has spent the majority of his ad campaign attacking her and “every director of the Department of Revenue, every ethics commissioner has said I've done nothing wrong...I've never made money off the state.”

She told the audience in her closing statement that she wants voters to “join the movement,” arguing they have a clear choice and should say no to the “status quo political insider hierarchy” and yes to “real people.”

Sheheen closed by saying the race is about having “government you can trust again.”“I'm not looking for a movement,” he said. “I'm looking for a governor.”Asked at the end by the debate's moderator whether they personally like each other, Haley said, “I used to."
Not bad, Vince, but I still think you need to bring the machete next time and talk about the fact that she has never needed to actually APPLY for a job like ordinary folks, and has NEVER found one the old fashioned way (despite her claims to the contrary).

LACERATIONS, please, not little love-nips.

And let me hasten to add that this was not a real "debate" with all sides fairly represented, since Dr Morgan Bruce Reeves, our Green Party candidate for governor, was not included.


As stated above and many times before, please do not vote for this woman.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

The rich get rich and the poor get children

I was awarded a strong cup of coffee about a year ago by lovely Jackie, who is no longer blogging. (We miss you!)

I am hereby using that snazzy graphic to announce: The new "low sugar" variety of Frappucino by Starbucks, simply is not the liquid crack we know, love and crave.

It's not BAD, you understand, it just doesn't serve the addictive personality!

As of yesterday morning, I'm back on the hard stuff.

And speaking of such matters... THIS NONSENSE especially got on my nerves today:

Before Facebook, infertile couples could try to avoid pregnant people at work or social gatherings, limiting their exposure to triggers of bitterness or jealousy. But that was when friendships were forged mainly in person, not via today's social media Web sites, where people can feel ambushed by photos of friends' - or mere acquaintances' - baby bumps.

Now, when more than a half-billion people use Facebook, couples yearning for children say they are trapped: They are unwilling to detach from the social network, but unable to avoid its frequent reminders - fetal sonograms are seemingly ubiquitous - of what might elude them forever.
Aside: Pregnant PEOPLE?! Are we now expected to refer to pregnant PEOPLE?

You know, you can choose NOT to use Facebook at ALL; I am married to a man who refuses to register for a variety of reasons. It CAN be done! ((gasp)) But no, they expect everyone to kowtow to their oversensitivity, rather than disengage from something that hurts them.

Now, whose fault is that?!

As an alcoholic who hasn't had a drink in (((counts on fingers))) 28 years, I suppose I should whine and bitch and moan about the omnipresent alcohol commercials and all the hard-partying I read about on the net? (Whiny voice: HOW DARE YOU PEOPLE PARTY WITHOUT ME!!??!! ) Seriously though, that used to trigger me all the time, and nobody really gave a shit. (Drunks have never been popular, except in literature, or for comic relief.) I had to learn to deal, and I suggest these rich people undergoing pricey fertility treatments, learn the same. GROW UP.

The Washington Post article admits as much:
There's no shortage of people who feel pain while scrolling through Facebook: Chronically single people may envy friends' wedding pictures, for instance, and those who've lost a spouse can feel overwhelmed by friends' wedding anniversary announcements.
And guess what else?!

POOR PEOPLE can be triggered by reading about expensive vacations, houses, cars, clothes and electronic goodies... and even (wait for it!) expensive fertility treatments they can't afford. Are these affluent couples going to stop talking about that stuff because poor and unemployed people are "triggered"?

Wait, this is Facebook we are talking about... they probably don't HAVE any friends like that.
Elisabeth Rivers, 39, who has been trying to have her first child for four years, was recently getting a pedicure in Arlington when she pulled out her cellphone and logged onto Facebook.
I've never had a pedicure. Should I whine and complain I can't afford a pedicure?

She is TRIGGERING ME about the pedicures, goddammit! Stop, stop!
As she scanned her news feed, she noticed that her cousin's profile photo had changed to a grainy image.

"The post said, 'Here's a picture of our little baby.' I felt like I got punched in the gut," said Rivers, of Alexandria, who has spent $80,000 on fertility treatments and leads a monthly support group for infertility patients. "You want to be happy for people, but you take it personally. I was like, 'Why the hell does [my cousin] have a sonogram for her profile picture?' I called my mother and she said, 'Oh, we were wondering how we were going to tell you.' You feel like people are pitying you and they are avoiding telling you things. When they do that, it makes it that much harder."
If you expect me to have sympathy for someone who can spend $80,000 on fertility treatments, think again.

And let's not even ask why the Washington Post is writing about these extremely well-to-do people instead of the people who can't afford computers to access Facebook in the first place. Are the poor TRIGGERED when the mass media incessantly bleats about Facebook and Twitter? (Do you care if they are?)

When the rich fart, we all have to smell the stench. If a poor person farts, they arrest them for stinking up the joint.

Yes, that's an original quote.

If kids were something only poor people had, they wouldn't want them anyway.

Another original quote.


Blog post title comes from the old song, "Ain't we got fun"--my grandmother used to sing it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wikileaks tells the truth at last

If you haven't read the Wikileaks Iraq war documents, at least read the NYT synopsis:

According to the synopsis of the WikiLeaks documents by The New York Times, the death toll in 2006 reached beyond 3,000 one month.

Late last year, [Ellen Knickmeyer] sat in on a seminar at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government led by a former Bush official in Iraq and heard her say matter-of-factly that more than 1,000 people died in one day in the immediate killing after the Samarra bombing.

But as the WikiLeaks documents show, Casey and Rumsfeld must have known that all along, owing to the accounts from their forces. Despite the statements of the top U.S. commanders at the time, it wasn’t the journalists in Baghdad who were lying.
Butchers knowingly lying.

Is there anyone left who will defend this war? (John McCain? Sarah Palin?)

Meanwhile, Wikileaks Superhero Julian Assange walked out on a CNN interview when the subject turned to his personal life. People are currently discussing whether that was the right thing for him to do.

And what do you all think?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steely Dan should have won the Nobel Prize

For some reason, woke up with Larry Carlton's killer riffs from this song all in my head. I think I must have dreamed about it.

I'd like to give him some special DEAD AIR award for playing guitar like that: LARRY CARLTON IS THE MAN.

Loooove this song, and I've played it here before.


Can you hear the evil crowd
The lies and the laughter
I hear my inside
The mechanized hum of another world
Where no sun is shining
No red light flashing
Here in this darkness
I know what I've done
I know all at once who I am


Don't Take Me Alive - Steely Dan

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hanging by a thread

Did anyone see that report last night on MSNBC, about The White Horse Prophecy? It was almost too good to be true.

The White Horse Prophecy is one of those in-group religious things you don't hear about unless you are paying close attention. I would compare it to the Catholic end-times prophecy of The Chastisement, and in fact, I'm amazed how similar all these things tend to be. (During my pseudo-Opus Dei period, I tried mightily to believe in The Chastisement, and couldn't quite get there... but I did enjoy novels about it!)

Apparently, Glenn Beck drops references (dog-whistles) to this well-known Mormon prophecy on his show, and if you aren't already aware of what it is, you are missing it. (I've noticed much of the mainstream media totally misses religious dog-whistling, as they largely missed the antichrist-subtext in that famous anti-Obama commercial.) But this time, they caught Beck quoting it almost verbatim:

"I feel the Constitution is hanging in the balance right now, hanging by a thread unless the good Americans wake up."
The White Horse Prophecy (from link above):
The History of the Church account is an amalgamation of the reports in the Joseph Smith Diary and the Nauvoo Neighbor. The report by Levi Richards is here published for the first time. A reminiscent account of this discourse by James Burgess contains the essential details found in the other three accounts published here, and adds that the "Constitution and Government would hang by a brittle thread."

In the month of May 1843. Several miles east of Nauvoo. The Nauvoo Legion was on parade and review. At the close of which Joseph Smith made some remarks upon our condition as a people and upon our future prospects contrasting our present condition with our past trials and persecutions by the hands of our enemies. Also upon the constitution and government of the United States stating that the time would come when the Constitution and Government would hang by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands but this people the Latter day Saints will step forth and save it.

So this is what Beck believes is his calling, no doubt.

For the record, I am sticking to my prediction, about the flame-out of Biblical (or should I say, Book of Mormon) proportions. He's come close a few times now, but his handlers seem to go in and rescue him at regular intervals, perhaps administering Thorazine. In any event, I am still waiting patiently for the entertaining and massive flame-out I know is destined to happen. Alcoholics with end-times obsessions?! CAN YOU SAY "Mel Gibson"? I knew you could.

:: In other news, mega-rich George Soros just gave Media Matters a million dollars, and Beck said "You're welcome" to Media Matters.


And Politico has just reported that Sarah Palin is a mess, more or less:
According to multiple Republican campaign sources, the former Alaska governor wreaks havoc on campaign logistics and planning. She offers little notice about her availability, refuses to do certain events, is obsessive about press coverage and sometimes backs out with as little lead time as she gave in the first place.

In short, her seat-of-the-pants operation can be a nightmare to deal with, which, in part, explains why Palin doesn’t often do individual events for GOP hopefuls.

It’s not that Palin issues outlandish, rock-starlike demands such as certain-colored M&M’s in the greenroom. At the events Palin does attend, officials say, she’s no diva. Kind and courteous is the more frequent description.

But the high-maintenance aspects of dealing with the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee have angered and frustrated some conservative candidates and aides who once thought highly of Palin and, for more skeptical Republicans, simply reconfirmed their view that she’s self-centered and unhelpful to the cause.
Wow, ya think? Are you people just waking up to that fact?

They can work with her stupidity, but for godsake, no prima donnas in the GOP!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Odds and Sods - adorable grandson edition

Daisy's beautiful grandbaby has just discovered his thumb, and is very happy with it!

Ah, to be so easily satisfied with life...


In politics, as Whoopi Goldberg recently remarked: All you have to say is the word POLITICS and it's a joke, with the punchline already there.

But in case you missed some of the recent funnier punchlines, here is Delaware Senatorial candidate (and Tea Party pin-up) Christine O'Donnell, admitting she never heard of the First Amendment. (Good God, where do they FIND these people?!?) Her now-famous Halloween ad, in which she claims she is not a witch (horror-movie aficionados will easily-spot this goody-goody sounding denial for what it is; oh sure she isn't!)... is some priceless stuff.

Here in the beleaguered Palmetto state, the 2010 election-frolic continues. The talented Mr Greene's interview last week on MSNBC, was utterly painful to watch. (I must hurriedly add, I also find Jim DeMint painful to watch, but for entirely different reasons.) Meanwhile, DeMint has been backing O'Donnell to a fare-thee-well, and it is sorely tempting to tell them to get a room.

Remember, sports fans: VOTE FOR TOM CLEMENTS FOR SENATE!!!!

The predetermined election of Nikki Haley may not be quite as predetermined as I believed it was. The persistent rumors have chipped away at her support, but I'm still fairly certain she will win. Her Democratic opponent, Vincent Sheheen, is a nice guy with little charisma, whilst Nikki (whom my commentariat reminded me looks exactly like Angie Harmon--and it certainly never hurts to look like a TV star!) has oodles to spare. And even more than that, South Carolina Republicans are eager to prove they are NOT racist and sexist, as the rest of the country has portrayed them. Nikki appears a sure thing to me, at this point.

Republican Mama Grizzlies are the (temporary, one hopes) wave of the future.

Our schools are already in the toilet here in SC, and Haley has been bragging about how she is going to further impoverish them too.

Help us Obi Wan Kenobe, you're our only hope.


Speaking of crumbling infrastructures, Lisa at That's Why scared me to death with her post about emergency services being denied to people who didn't pay their fees. And as a result, one guy's house burned down.

FEES?!!? Wait, what?

Lisa's post bears the frightening title Please Put Your Fire On Hold While We Check Your Account:

The internets are full of righteous indignation about Cranick's story. For good reason, I might add. Some of us are pointing out that what happened to the Cranicks is just the beginning. It is the thing that Ayn Rand wrought. Others are saying that society's sponges like Mr. Cranick get what they deserve. In this case, you don't pay for the service, then you have no right to expect the services. And you're an asshole if you think your neighbors should pay for you. It's every person for themselves, personal responsibility reigns! Their thinking can be boiled down to this - if the firefighters make one exception for a deadbeat, then everyone will become deadbeats.

These are the same "thinkers" who believe it's fine to charge fees to individuals for a possibly needed service, but we should cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations who use our common good resources every day. I tell you, I do not get it.
As they say, read it and weep.

This incident reminds me of the Ballardian fiction I've read over the years, and the increasing importance of living in what they call a "compound"... in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, the overpopulated, teeming territories between the "compounds" (run by corporations for their workers to live in, not real estate companies) are known as the Pleeblands.

I read that excerpt, and I see "Pleeblands" written all over it.


In foodie news, I managed to wheedle three free slices of pizza out of these fellows, while they were busy giving a demo in the store in which I toil. They were very friendly and sweet and I promised them a PLACE OF HONOR on my blog, just for giving me pizza. And then I promptly forgot.

They probably think I am an AWFUL PERSON.

Luckily, I am sorting through the mounds of detritus that comprise my Odds and Sods notes, and found their yummy-looking business card: GALLO LEA ORGANICS -- made with love in Asheville.

These are fabulous, flavorful, whole-wheat, organic, 30-minute pizza kits, and I can attest that they are good enough to bribe someone with!

For those of us who never learned to make homemade pizza from scratch, this is MOST ASSUREDLY the next best thing.

Munch munch!


Another new line in the store where I work: Sunbeam Candles, a green candle company from upstate New York. The candles smelled just like honeycombs, they were so amazingly fresh when they arrived. One of their candle-styles looks just like a honeycomb (page down here), and I knew I had to have that one. The bright red beeswax candles would be fabulous for holidays. (They also have heart-shapes and Buddha-shapes.)

Let your light shine!


The Liberace museum in Las Vegas closed on Oct 17th.

It's the end of an era. :(

I guess young folks don't know who Liberace was? That makes me sad. They missed a really great guy, as well as a true original... and the first raving queen allowed into Middle American homes. (My grandmother ADORED Liberace.) Keith Moon was also known for launching into impromptu Liberace impersonations during interviews and could sing entire songs.

I always wondered how all the white-bread, Christian housewives could somehow dislike gay people, yet love Liberace. I am still not sure I understand it, but I know how much I loved him. (How could you not?!?)

Palm Springs Savant hopes his home in Palm Springs will turn into a shrine, now that the museum is gone.


GT Dave's trademark Synergy KOMBUCHA IS BACK! But it's different.

Synergy-fans agree, it just doesn't have the kick it once had. Everyone is joking that it's due to less fermentation (and resultant alcohol), but I noticed immediately that the L-Theanine level is no longer listed on the outside of the label, and it used to be there (100 mg a serving, which worked out to a heaping 200 mg a bottle, significantly stronger than most L-Theanine supplements currently on the market). I would hazard a guess that it was the unique combination of small amounts of alcohol and big doses of L-Theanine, that gave us all that pleasant brain-buzz we enjoyed so much.

At any rate, I discovered some other kombucha-makers in the interim. (NOTE: YES, I am fully aware I could make my own kombucha at home, which is a long, drawn-out process and not my idea of fun. I suppose I could cook more often, too, but have no inclination to do so.) None of these have the kick that Synergy had, but some are very good and nicely-flavored:

Buchi, local from Asheville, tastes magnificent... it's also the wonderful story of two hippie moms who decided to cash in on GT Dave's misfortune in recalling Synergy. YOU GO GIRLS!!!!

Kombucha Wonder Drink is also good, but has an almost sodapop-level of fizz... you may like that or not. The Asian Pear/Ginger is excellent, my favorite of their eight flavors.

I just tried Vibranz for the first time yesterday... not sweet enough for me, but pretty good fermentation and has the tart kombucha-taste I want.

And what's new with you?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Part Two: How white flight brought down the economy

PART TWO of my series, How did the American Left lose the working classes?

I drove down to Woodruff Road and decided to check out the Goodwill Store. (As my regular readers know, I love snooping around in the Goodwill.)

Although I had seen a plethora of DeMint and Haley bumper stickers on my drive down, it is notable I saw none in the Goodwill parking lot. I saw Our Lady of Guadalupe, of whom I am very fond. I saw her about five times, even more than usual.

Keeping this series of posts in mind, I counted. Three white people in the whole place. All three whites were at least over 40; one was a quite-ancient, wise-appearing old man perusing the used book-bin, carefully inspecting the tossed-aside Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum thrillers. The other two had grandchildren in tow and seemed to be shopping for them, too.

The signs are now in Spanish and English, and several announcements were made in Spanish. (The music was a neutral oldies radio station, although I imagine that will also change in the future.) I was instantly reminded of the thrift store I went to in suburban Atlanta last year (see my souvenir photo above), in which I was the only white person in the whole store, the signs only in Spanish. And this was in Newt Gingrich's old district, where some of the houses start at half-a-million dollars (or did, before the economy tanked). Where do these folks live? -- I wondered. And then I realized, they live in one of the many apartment complexes dotting Cobb County, just as I live in a similar one here in Greenville County. They work for the people who live in the half-million-dollar homes, just as I also do.

After my visit to the suburban-Atlanta thrift store, we went over to the Barnes and Noble. I was immediately struck by the fact that these businesses were not very far apart in terms of mileage, but are light-years apart in terms of culture and economics. The Barnes and Noble was practically an all-white enclave, only a few miles from the thrift store, an all-Latino enclave.

And today, after leaving the Goodwill, I drove only a mile or so to Whole Foods.

Again, the shock of leaving a heavily-Latino enclave, driving a short distance, and entering an all-white one.

Why are we segregating ourselves?

I know for a fact (see link above) that poor (and some middle-class and bohemian-type) white people love digging through second-hand cast-offs as much as I do. I have been visiting yard sales and thrift stores my whole life, and white people have always been very well-represented.

So, what's going on?


Today, I saw workers replacing the carpet in another apartment unit in my building. Latino men, speaking Spanish and hammering nails, waved to me as I left. Latino men take care of the grounds, too. (When we moved here, the grounds crew were all black men, and the fellows laying the carpet were also black.)

Me and Mr Daisy often joke we will be the last white people left in the complex. Our apartment faces the woods and golf course, as I have written before, and we like living in this little pocket of quiet that we have been lucky to find in such a busy area. Whenever we seriously consider moving, we are never satisfied with houses that are RIGHT ON THE STREET; we have gotten rather spoiled living back here in our private little spot facing the woods, away from traffic and other suburban hoopla. Even though we are only about two blocks from I-85, we hear the occasional siren or Harley-Davidson, but not much else.

When we moved here, the population of the apartment complex seemed to mirror that of South Carolina at large, which was fine with us. (One of the main reasons we moved here was that the schools were supposed to be the best, in a county where the schools historically have left quite a lot to be desired.) I'd say it was about 25-30% African-American; the state of SC is about 1/3 African-American in total.

But we have stayed, and the other white people haven't. Where'd they go? We looked around one day, and saw that the vast majority of our neighbors were black or immigrants (Asian and Latino). The white people who remain are usually older (like us), or very young and newly employed at nearby Michelin or BMW (the Asian engineers walk to Michelin from here; while the whites all drive). We hardly see any white families with children; I was stunned to see ONLY children of color getting off the school bus in front of the apartment gate recently.

Okay, where are the white people? What's going on?

They bought houses, they got divorced, they moved away, etc. But don't People of Color do all of those things, too?

We are self-segregating.

And here it is: self-segregating costs money.

As I have intently studied the local real estate market, houses-for-sale, condos-for-rent, etc etc etc, the truth hit me with considerable force:

I can tell WHO lives in a neighborhood by the price.

Whiteness runs about $200-300 a month. That is the price of whiteness. The same-size apartment in a heavily-minority apartment complex is about $200-300 LESS than in an all-white or mostly-white complex. In terms of real estate: the same-size house, in more or less the same condition, might run you as much as $50,000 more in a mostly-white neighborhood than in a black neighborhood. Fact.

Me and Mr Daisy joke that the popular real estate expression "Location, Location, Location" is code for "White location."

How much did this whole Wall Street foreclosure-crisis have to do with white flight? Are we allowed to talk about that?

Why WERE people living so far beyond their means, anyway? When we hear the Fox News stories (beware the source), we are given to understand that it's them clueless minorities who couldn't do the math and understand that their mortgage was too high. (((shakes head dismissively in haughty Fox News manner))) Tsk tsk, what do you expect?

But I am officially rewriting that version here:

The mortgage crisis was caused, in large part, by poor white people who were fleeing Mexicans and Blacks in rental properties.
I know this because they moved away from MY apartment complex, bought pricey DeMint-district McMansions, and then went financially belly-up, in short order.

Why should we bail out white people who were running away from The Bad People? I resent doing that, since I didn't run away. Why am I footing the bill for the people who did? (After the Revolution, when I am Minister of Finance, we will be checking up on the REASONS you moved in the first place, before rescuing your mathematically-challenged, now-flat-broke white ass. Ha.)

We have to face the fact that racism is killing the working classes, rendering them/us easily manipulated by real-estate hucksters and Whole Foods and every other damn thing.

And keeping us ALL (of all colors) from joining together to SEE CLEARLY what is going on.

There is a REASON the Tea Party is largely composed of angry white people; they are the ones who did as they were told. They moved away from the Bad People, they moved where they were told to move and bought what they were told to buy... and HEY! They got fucked. How'd THAT happen? No wonder they are damned pissed. But instead of examining the ideology of capitalism (a cornerstone of which is: MUST BUY HOUSE! RENTERS ARE TACKY!), they swallow it whole, and keep on swallowing.

"You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!"--Tony Montana


The American Left, as we established in Part One, is now itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ruling class. It is that segment of the ruling class that is (at best) interested and involved in justice and/or (at worst) wants to FEEL GOOD (even morally superior) about themselves. And a discussion of racism in everyday life, which is what segregation IS, is not something they are eager to have, since it is also part and parcel of the life they lead.

Because affluent liberals have the money to ignore the actual market-price of whiteness I listed above, they don't readily SEE it. To the liberal ruling class, segregation is invisible. It just IS. They want to live in XYZ neighborhood/village/subdivision/condo development because it's a cool place to live and they don't see that as any sort of racist act, and how dare you suggest such a thing. It is simply what they want, the way they want a new car stereo, a new computer, a new car. And a new house. The fact that someone BUILT that house, that computer, that car, is immaterial to them. It's something they must have; their identity depends on it (more about this phenomenon, first addressed by Herbert Marcuse and Christopher Lasch, in future posts).

Thus, segregation is totally invisible to them. Certainly, they don't believe they actively participate in segregation, even if pressed to admit they live in an all-white area. It just happened that way, that's all. Economically, segregation is not something they are forced to think about, so they don't.

And to these white people (to any privileged whites), segregation means: How many People of Color to ALLOW IN. It's already understood that they are coming from an all-white perspective, an all-white neighborhood, an all-white place. They aren't running from anybody. As privileged whites, they are there already. They already occupy the protected place the non-privileged whites are TRYING TO GET TO, the safe place that is sought after and coveted.

And for this reason, the liberal classes did not see the white flight-factor in the economic collapse. If they did, they excused it. But I am of the opinion that none actually realized the impetus for the stampede of cheap mortgages, at the same time anti-immigrant fervor exponentially increased. Because: For privileged whites, immigration is about who to employ as a nanny or yard worker. For non-privileged whites, immigration is about who is going to live next door to you.

Since the American Left ignores their own racial segregation (due to the profusion of leftists from bourgeois backgrounds), they ignore everyone else's, too. They have therefore ignored one of the primary reasons (and one of the primary motivations) for the cheap mortgages.

TO sum up: A bunch of rich industrialists bring in Latinos to work on the cheap. First they bring them in by the thousands...and then, by the millions... all while abdicating responsibility and pretending that these poverty-stricken folks are just hopping fences and swimming the Rio Grande on their own. Then, they find them apartments to live in, right next to white people, while they also employ them (very cheaply) to do upkeep on the grounds and lay carpets. The buildings fill up with spicy, strange odors and Our Lady of Guadalupe on the door; lots of brown-skinned children and women cursing at the kids in Spanish.

Don't be alarmed!--the rich to the rescue again. You don't like these people and their taco-smells? We have a cheap mortgage for YOU! Like magic, you will be transported OUT of that hell-hole, and you will be among people like yourself again.

And yes, the miracle-mortgages were marketed JUST LIKE THAT, only just a tad more respectable.

For years I have received their cheapie direct-mail advertisements for basement-rate mortgages, addressed to everyone in the apartment complex... usually stunning photo-shopped postcards of glimmering white houses that look like they are in Malibu, rather than in the upstate.

These postcards ask, in large dramatic block lettering: TIRED OF APARTMENT LIVING?

Now, why would you be tired of apartment living? Owning your own home makes you far more TIRED than calling up maintenance, let me assure you.

I think they were actually asking something else. Location, location, location.


To be continued!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How did the American Left lose the working classes?- Part one

Yes, boys and girls, that's our discussion question for today. I need explanations!

First, let us study this pertinent excerpt of historic text:

In 1922, the Nikowsskis moved to the Polish section of Chicago, and Dick went to work in a slaughterhouse where he worked six days a week, freezing in winter, sweltering in summer, making just enough to exist on, never enough to save anything. Nikowsski's description of this slaughterhouse in 1922 evokes for me an image of men in hell, condemned to shovel coal onto their own doom-fires.

One of the men who worked in the slaughterhouse was a socialist, a thin, burning-eyed man in his thirties. Dick Nikowsski was twenty years old. This socialist worked beside Dick, and became his friend. He talked endlessly, obsessively about "the bosses" and "the working stiffs." Half the time Dick couldn't follow the socialist, didn't know what the hell he was talking about, thought only that he was going to get them all in trouble. But he liked the socialist because behind the rage he sensed something wild and wounded in the man, and besides, whenever there was a dispute between the foreman and a worker, the socialist was the only one who stuck his neck out for the worker.

Then, one day in summer, when it was so blistering hot in the slaughterhouse the sweat was pouring down into the men's eyes, blinding them, the socialist suddenly turned to Dick and said to him: "Do you know where the owners are now? Right now while you and I are here sweating like pigs?" No," Dick replied, "where?" The socialist took a folded page of newspaper from his pocket. "There!" he thundered. "At the coast!" Dick stared blindly at the picture of a group of men and women lying languidly by the sea. The blue eyes of the seventy-year-old Nikowsski stare at me, fifty years disappearing in their wide gaze. "I didn't even know what the coast was," he says in wonder as fresh as that of the twenty-year-old still alive inside him.

"Something happened to me then. I just stared and stared at that picture. Suddenly it was as if everything that socialist had been saying all those months clicked into place somewhere in my head, and I saw me behind that picture, I saw me knee-deep in blood and shit my whole life so that that picture could be taken. I don't know how to describe it to you, I don't think I even knew what it was that was happening, I certainly couldn't have put it into words, but something came rising up in me, so swift and so strong, it nearly took the breath out of my body. I can still feel it, the way I felt it then. As if it was coming right out of the center of me, as if it had been waiting there all that time, all my life, and now it had--just that fast!--run out of time."
Excerpted from The Romance of American Communism by Vivian Gornick.


I like that story because a similar thing happened to me. Very similar, and although I wasn't stuck in a slaughterhouse, I was doing some nasty work, scrubbing toilets and such. And I was significantly younger than Dick.

I soon learned what else was happening with this corporation around the same time I was working for them. My eyes were opened.

And my question is, why doesn't this happen now? Why has the right-wing Tea Party movement been so successful in cashing in on class resentment?

Where is the Left in these harsh economic times?

I have decided the Left is largely IN ABSENTIA because the American Left now comes from the elite class itself; their political convictions are basically a reflection of the warmed-over liberalism they obediently ingested while attending Good Colleges. They believe what they believe out of a sense of common decency, fairness and goodness. But not because most American Leftists have experienced classism themselves.

In fact, most have NOT.

The Left is therefore doing it FOR the poor bedraggled working classes... not for themselves. (They do not feel personally disenfranchised, they feel they are speaking up FOR the disenfranchised.)

And this is why they keep getting it wrong.

This focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics. We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else's oppression.

--Combahee River Collective, 1977
Keeping this statement in mind, we see why feminism, disability and gay activism (and other types of identity-based activism) has been so successful in the past few decades, whereas the American Left, no longer an actual product of the working classes, can no longer claim success.

The identity of Lefty is now that of the more educated person, someone who can afford to buy organic, who listens to NPR, who has the room to start composting. They read the New York Times, not the New York Daily News.

When an ignorant person is just becoming politically aware for the first time... can they look to the socialist working next to them on the job? No, because there aren't any. So, where do they look? They look to the TV, as always... and carefully segregated on certain channels, they see the people who are like them, and the people who aren't.

They look around and see common working people going to church to pray they can make it through another tough, back-breaking working week, as they watch the televised coastal elites make fun of church-going, ascribing religious belief to simple weakness and stupidity.

They attempt to get hired, and find that jobs have evaporated. Where did they go?--asks the worker. (And who has the ready answer for that? The right or the left?) Why are we bailing out rich Wall Street greedheads when I can't pay my mortgage due to unemployment?--asks the worker. (And who has the ready answer for that? The right or the left?) Why am I working harder and getting poorer, while Paris Hilton has time to make porn and waltz around in designer clothes and officially do nothing for a living? (And who has the ready answer for that? The right or the left?)

People join the group that is most like them. And this means that these days, American working people seem to be joining the Tea Party, the group that most LOOKS like them.

The American Left is no longer synonymous with "the workers"... It was once, but has changed dramatically. I now think of the American Left as the primary participants in identity politics, but not as the workers.


Discussion? Agree? Disagree? Although I'd like this to be a multi-part series, I am unsure of which direction I'd like to take this next... so COMMENTS PARTICULARLY WELCOME. (note guidelines for commenting; trolls will get the trap door!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Will Folks claims to have had trysts with Nikki Haley

Steamy sexual accusations against South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley have once again resurfaced and heated up (haha) in these tense weeks before the election.

FITSnews blogger Will Folks, who certainly knows how to drive up hits on his blog, has now come forward with hot stories of trysts in the back of Haley's SUV.

Tell me more, tell me more, did you get very far? (link to pdf file of Folks' sworn affidavit) Apparently so, sports fans!

Some of the juicier bits:

Republican Haley and I shared our first kiss while sitting in her parked car outside of MacDougal's restaurant and bar in downtown Columbia, SC. This kiss took place in early 2007 following an evening with friends at the nearby Liberty Taproom. After this first kiss, Rep. Haley drove us to the parking lot behind the neighborhood center at Emily Douglas Park where we parked for approximately 45 minutes. There we slid back the seats of her Cadillac SUV so that Rep. Haley could climb on top of me.
(((fans self))) These are Republicans, do you believe?!?!? (Well, after Mark Sanford's lovesick hymn to tan lines, I guess we shouldn't be surprised.)

Folks swears they even got it on in her State House office (this one sounds perilously close to a porn-reel, to me)... as well as in his apartment and of course, more hot SUV action. Phone records confirm many late-night phone calls, and there isn't any argument about that from the Haley campaign. But what might they have been talking about? (giggles)

And it gets better! Folks is calling for a forensic examination of her laptop, if you want the dirty emails between them. (And we DO, oh yes we DO.) But I sincerely doubt a subpoena of Haley's computer is forthcoming.

And BTW, these aren't the only accusations... lobbyist Larry Marchant, who came forward to say he had a one-night stand with Haley in 2007, told The Associated Press he will also provide an affidavit. (from Huffington Post story here)

Not sure what I think of all this. During the primary, it was fairly obvious what was happening, but now? Why are all of these Republicans coming forward now? Are they trying to lose the election? Does that make any sense?

Haley is in political agreement with Folks... in fact, that seems to have been one of the attractions between them.

As Matt Drudge would say: Developing...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nikki Haley lies on her resume

Nah, say it isn't so!

Our esteemed Governor-in-Waiting, Republican Nikki Haley, seems to have had a few, um, issues during her employment with the Lexington Medical Foundation.

Like, you know, not showing up for work.

FITSnews has the goods:

According to emails published Friday by the Associated Press, Haley’s departure from her $110,000 a year job with Lexington Medical Foundation was far from amicable – and nothing like Haley described it in the press. In fact, it was downright hostile – with Haley bringing in an attorney to negotiate a settlement after she was on the verge of being put on leave for failing to show up for work.
Did they say....Lawyers?!

Was Haley threatening one of those awful, unnecessary lawsuits that cost consumers and taxpayers MONEY?!?! Well golly gee, that is the opposite of what her campaign purports to be about.

And there's more fun where that came from:
According to the foundation director, Haley failed to show up at work for two consecutive weeks – prompting his request that she be placed on annual leave.

Haley wasn’t hearing it.

“I do not choose to take annual leave, nor do I consent to ‘being placed on annual leave,’” Haley fired back at the hospital.

Eventually, Haley referred the matter to an attorney and walked away with a $35,000 severance package and an agreement from the hospital not to do or say anything to embarrass her.
Damn, I wish *I* could lay out from work for two whole weeks and emerge $35,000 richer! (As little Linda Manz reminded us in the film Days of Heaven: "The rich have got it figured out.")
As The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper reported last month, Lexington Medical Center created the $110,000 a year job for Haley at the direct request of the hospital’s CEO, Mike Biedinger. This, of course, contradicts previous statements from the hospital claiming that Haley competed “fair and square” for the job and was chosen because of her “connections” and her background in accounting.

Prior to receiving the job, Haley had helped the hospital win approval for its bid to a new open heart surgery center.

When Haley “resigned” her position in April, our founding editor called her campaign manager Tim Pearson. He specifically asked Pearson about rumors he had been hearing to the effect that Haley had been forced out. Pearson assured us that the rumors were false, and said that Haley chose to leave the job so that she could focus her energy on her gubernatorial campaign. Pearson also praised Haley’s work at the foundation.
I am always amazed by the brazenness of politicians' lies. They just look you right in the eye and do it, with nary a single pause or hesitation. (Is it possible this profession attracts sociopaths?)

And PLEASE, can we NOT elect this woman? Pretty please?

Vote for Dr Morgan Bruce Reeves for South Carolina governor!

Fall for Greenville 2010 - Vote for Tom Clements!

There I was, wringing my hands, wondering how I was going to pass out Green Party leaflets for the election.

Fact is, I had no leaflets to pass out. We are a POOR party.

In particular, I wanted a leaflet highlighting Green Party candidate Tom Clements, who I believe may have a tiny shot at the SC Senate seat... or he might, if we could afford a commercial, which we can't. (NOTE: Complaints about SC lefty poverty have been repeatedly addressed on this blog--hint, hint!) But since the Democrats are stuck with the talented Mr Greene, while hard-core, right-wing incumbent Jim DeMint is waaaay out there on a Tea Party limb, I figured Tom might at least score some protest votes. But people must first LEARN HE EXISTS.

And there I was, wondering what to do. Must do something. But I simply had no time to do anything and desperation was settling in.

Think, Daisy. You have to think.

Okay, I thought, what did people do back in the day? How did these things get done?

Well, they called ME, that's what they did.

Wait, WHO called me?

OLDER, ENTRENCHED ACTIVISTS with no time to do anything; people with children and grandchildren called me, since I was often unemployed with bundles of energy to spare.

Light bulb: I need a young person!

I realized, we must get the kidz involved. It's time to pass the torch!!!! The Circle of Life (cue Elton John) and all like that.

And so, like magic, the chosen young person POPPED right into my head. The only young person I know locally who could make the easy connection between capitalism and Green Party values; a vegetarian who gets it. A bit shy, but we can work with that. (But if he should be asked a question by someone after presenting them with a leaflet, I was certain he would be knowledgeable enough to answer it.)

Thus, I contacted South Carolina Boy (herein known as SCB), whom I have only met twice before. And the marvel of youthful energy took over. SCB actually KNEW HOW to make leaflets (on green paper!) and designed and made them for me within two days, pausing only to get a tattoo. He brought them down to our wild and woolly upstate street festival, Fall For Greenville, where we met for our third time. I was dazzled by his efficiency, bowled over by his lefty enthusiasm. (I seem to recall I had some of that, once!) And we then had a delightful time talking about anything and everything, as we sat in front of Quiznos and taped lollypops to the green leaflets advertising TOM CLEMENTS FOR US SENATE ... and then proceeded puttering around... weaving our way through the heavy crowds, offering them to the kids or anyone else who seemed likely to take them. Saturation, was the objective. (I made sure the Greenville News people got two.) One woman donated a whole dollar to our campaign!

Yes, I am quite aware it isn't GREEN to tape suckers to paper that will likely be tossed out, but I knew I couldn't get anyone to take my leaflets any other way. This is DeMint country, okay? (In fairness, I stole that idea from the 90s Clinton-campaigners, who also faced a semi-hostile local electorate.)

The place was packed, but as you all probably know, I ain't shy, and I plowed onward. SCB followed me somewhat tentatively, but jumped right in after a couple of minutes. Everyone likes suckers! Instead of the usual, expected greeting of "Tom Clements for Senate!"--I decided "Would you like a sucker?" was more hospitable. Then I'd say, "You hafta take the paper if you want the sucker," and they would usually laugh and agree. Good humor counts!

I don't know if we successfully spread the word or not, but we rained green paper on the place. Hopefully, people have now heard the NAME of Tom Clements.

As for me, I am doing well in other respects.

I first met SCB when his name was Rachel. For this reason, it's been hard for me to switch pronouns when I discuss him, say, with Mr Daisy. I've noticed when I meet trans people who have already transitioned, I don't have any problem with pronouns. For SCB, it has been more difficult. I think this may also be true because we met specifically in Feminist Blogdonia, which tends to be 'female territory'... I now understand how difficult transition can be for family members and lifelong friends of the transgendered individual; not necessarily due to any disapproval or hostility, but simply out of habit. Gender is very ingrained in our minds, and when we meet people, we file them away instantly as male or female. That habit-of-mind is hardwired over a lifetime and is very hard to break, especially if you're in your 50s; changing something as simple as "he" or "she" can be tough, after someone is already 'established' as one or the other in your mind. Luckily, SCB is very sweet, amenable, and doesn't sweat that stuff, which is good. (At one point, I blurted out, "People probably think you're my daughter!" for example, and then instantly felt like a yahoo.) Actually I did think of Rachel that way for awhile, and now I'm starting to think of SCB as my son, or specifically, as my political son. Both of us talked about how people admonish us "not to get upset" when we address political issues in a detailed, wonky manner. (Here in the south, people think all lefties are crackpots, while right-wingers are regarded as simply concerned and patriotic Christians.) We enjoyed relating stories to each other about that... I hoped I sounded older and wise, but probably not! It was fabulous to talk to someone who is as political in their thinking, and in the way they view and analyze the world, as I am. Here in the upstate, we are an endangered species.

We had a great time, and I think we helped get Tom some votes!

At left, Mac Arnold and his famous gas-can guitar.

In addition, we saw some great bands! On this page, photos of my favorite local band, Mac Arnold and Plate Full O Blues... he was FREAKING GREAT, his trademark gas-can guitar making indescribable sounds while his bad-ass bass player kept up the chunka chunka chunka; too awesome for words.

We also saw/heard: 5th and York, The Calvin Edwards Trio, Plain Jane Automobiles, Dangermuffin and the always-amazing Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, who serenaded our departure. (You could hear em from three streets west.)

If you are in SC, for godsake, VOTE FOR TOM CLEMENTS FOR SENATE!


You've never heard old gas cans that sound like this. I'm sure you haven't.

Mac Arnold and Plate Full O Blues - Blues in a Holler (from Bele Chere video, 2008)