All posts by James DeVol

9/11 is not a politcal prop…

Well…since it’s 9/11 today, I have a few thoughts about how the right has used their fake reverence for the losses on that day to score political points at every turn. If they had any true feelings, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin wouldn’t be staging political rallies in Alaska today to further their crazy brand of patriotism that cynically uses the wrongheaded fear of Islam to stoke the fires of hatred for their own financial gain. If the right’s feelings were true, you wouldn’t have had Giuliani running for president with his only stump speeches consisting of a noun, a verb, and 9/11. Of course, you’d have to be a hermit to have missed the pandering the right has done to score political points with the opposition to the Park 51 project in Manhattan…and before you say it, no, the left has not been involved to any comparable degree.

What has happened to the integrity of the Republican Party? Of course when you have people like Newt, Palin, and Beck considered leaders, this is what you get. What happened to the GOP of old that didn’t protest the building of Shinto shrines in Hawaii where the sneak attacks by Japan on December 7th killed almost 4,000 soldiers and sailors?

Who is going to restore the reverence for a day that is still fresh in the collective memory of our country? Don’t count on it being the right….and every time they sow dissension using the 9/11 attacks, they are giving Osama bin Laden just what he wanted; disruption in our society and moving it toward his vision of the world. Is this what they want? Geez….

I don’t get the media…

Well…as you are aware, the narrative that the media has taken up about the mid-term elections is that it is going to be a landslide for the repubs and Boehner is already working with lobbying groups since it is all but assured that he will be speaker of the house when the election is over. Let’s just wait a minute before we anoint the tanned one as the winner….what the media is reporting was the Gallup poll from last week that showed that a general repub candidate was almost 11% ahead of the general Dem one. But where is the reporting on the same Gallup poll from this week that shows the two general candidates in a dead heat at 46% each? Where are the stories about the erosion of this huge repub lead? Where are the stories that the ideas that Obama has set forth in speeches in the last week have started to gain traction with the electorate? Why has the media become so lazy that once they have a story they can lead with, they stay with that story and it becomes the general wisdom that is unchanging?

We all have to remember that in August of 2008, McCain led Obama by about the same 11% as the general repub candidate led by last week…and that McCain’s lead started to evaporate just as quickly. So let’s not write the epitaph for the Dems just yet; you and I still have to vote and if we all get out I think there can be a surprise for the conventional wisdom in November.

Trail weirdness…

Well….saw some things out on the trails that puzzled me and thought I’d pass them along….the first is the top of weirdness to me…why would anyone discard the box for a pregnancy test out on the trail miles from nowhere? Did they use it out on the trail? Did they just take the box out there to dump it so no one would know? I’m sure someone using it is not something that I want to see when I’m on my bike…might even fall off. Then there was the guy that was running 50 ft up the trail, then turning and running back; this cycle repeated for about four times while I was in the area…was he an ex-con that was used to the exercise yard? Did he think he had to pay by the foot? Or, was that just his favorite part of the trail?

As I said, trail weirdness, but fun, too…I had a smile on my face the whole way today since I feel so good…and I have to remember that most 57 year olds can’t do what I take for granted everyday. I promise that there will be something topical today…don’t know what it is yet but something…more later.

September 10th

Well….a strange start to the day…sorry I’m late but I have been musing on a few things that still haven’t really formed but there are a couple of things that I want to share….if I wouldn’t have been axed at SC, today would have been 34 years….don’t really think about it much anymore but when the anniversary comes, a flash always comes about how things would have been so different if it wouldn’t have happened. But, I feel good today, three days of being a good boy have made me feel quite a bit better and I am looking forward to working out for a fifth day in a row and then getting on the bike to enjoy this extremely crisp, clear day that is really starting to look like fall here in Michigan. My heart sank when I heard from T this morning telling me she had been rear-ended taking her son to school…just glad they weren’t hurt but why can’t people just drive and do it right? I’m a professional speeder and somewhat assertive on the road but haven’t had a ticket or accident that I caused since 74…and it is because I pay attention for everyone else along with myself….I wish the rest of the people on the road would do the same. I’m sure I’ll have more later today since I seem to becoming more lucid as the effects of taking it easy grow daily…

Oh, did the math wrong…it would be 36 years today…

Finally some fire…

Well…just a short comment on the speeches that Obama gave over the last week…it’s about damn time! It’s about time he finally stood up and said enough to the repub smear machine and called them out on the economy. What was Boehner’s response? More tax cuts and slashing spending is all the economy needs to get going again…and believes that the policies that did not work for the 8 years when the Bushies were in power have magically changed and will work now. If the Dems can’t beat these know nothings, they deserve to lose and if Obama can’t clearly relate the differences between the Dems and repubs and highlight the good work that has been done; maybe he doesn’t deserve our support anymore. But, then, I put my thinking hat back on, tamp down the emotions, and remember what this country was like when the repubs were running the show and objectively see that the Dems couldn’t screw this country up as much as the repubs if they try….and, at least they have the integrity to not try….geez…

September 9th

Well…an interesting day yesterday…had a great lunch with T and then out to Ada and won at pool, again. I was a little flummoxed and out of sorts (thanks for the neat word T) out in Ada, though, and I think part of it was the lack of sleep with being up and down all night. And, last night was a repeat of Tues night so I’m pretty exhausted today. At least I was a good boy and took it easy…maybe it’s my body adjusting to the changes…who knows. Today is another try with the new slow cooker…going to make some pork loin chops with potatoes and carrots…and I may add some portabellos to the mix but I decide that when I go to the grocery store this morning. so…that’s the plan for this morning…not much else to do today…meeting up with C for a beer or two later so that is something to look forward to….more later…yeah, I know, I promised that yesterday, too, but the early one kind of made up for it, didn’t it? Hope so…I will try to get more out today so come on back….

September 8th

Well…was up early this morning as you can see from the previous post and don’t feel too bad…maybe there is something to be said for taking a day off from beer and trying to sleep without any aids. I do have this weird heartburn that started last night and continues this morning but that may be from the acid rich foods that I had yesterday and the fact that I’m still not eating enough. You’d never think that to look at me….still carrying about 10 pounds too much but I guess I’ll have to live with it. It might be a fun day today…T might be able to go to lunch and I haven’t seen her in a while so that would be nice. And, as you know, it’s Wed and that means out to Ada for pool later….

I think there may be more topics for later, too, but you know that depends on how the news hits me when I go out for coffee…I’m going to try….

This is what freedom looks like…

Well…it’s about 5 am and I haven’t been able to sleep, and part of the reason is this idea that came to me last night when watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The story that was the catalyst dealt with the Koran burning that a Florida church is proposing for the anniversary of 9/11 as some sort of protest against radical Islam. The story had the normal hand-wringing about the effect this would have on our standing in the world, especially on our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. and was the theme of General Patreus’s remarks yesterday saying that this may put our troops in more danger. The consensus being that the church should not do this; ignoring the fact that it is not Christian-like to spew hate, I think the answers we are giving to the world are wrong. What we should be saying to the world is “This is what freedom looks like”. Freedom is loud, freedom is vulgar at times, but it is also wonderful and brilliant. Freedom gives everyone the right to say what they think and we should all be standing up for that right. We should be living what Voltaire felt; that I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.

That is the message the world needs to hear; that the repressive societies need to hear. Our leaders need to say “this is what freedom looks like”, it’s messy, stupid at times but it’s also what makes this the greatest country in the world and we won’t apologize for it, but will hold it up to the rest of the world and say let’s see you do better!

I just don’t understand…

Well…have been reading the polls lately and one thing strikes me as a great example of the schizophrenia that the US electorate suffers. Why is it that the Democrats are always held responsible for everything, even things that are out of their control when the repubs can screw the whole country and preside over the greatest redistribution of wealth upwards in history and no one cares? I think it may just be ignorance since the leaders of the repubs proudly display the lack of “book learnin’” and exhort their followers to demonize those who have advanced degrees and who can think. If they could, think that is, they would remember their 11th grade economics that taught that employment is a lagging indicator in any recession; especially one this severe. I am kind of hoping that the repubs take control of the House so people will have their memories refreshed on how bad their policies are for the working people of this country…geez….

It’s those changes again….

Well…it’s been a weird morning…decided to go out to GH to see the waves and even wanted to go swimming but the temp of Lake Michigan has dropped about 10 degrees and it just wasn’t worth it. The Moday funday yesterday was a somewhat melancholy affair, at least for me, because it marked the acceleration of the changes that will shortly take us quickly into the fall. I do like autumn but it is much easier for me to lie to myself that I’m not getting older, that time is not passing when all of the days seem the same. I could see the first small markers of that change in some of the leaves that I saw turning on the bike ride and lining the road to GH. The problem is, you can’t do anything about it; but it is still hard to accept, especially when you know your are closer to the end than the beginning. I guess I’ll just have to try to ignore it again….but that never works….maybe just revel in the melancholy, let it have me for a couple of days and then get up and go forward…..