Sky Watch #3

I took this facing East down the lane, kneeling and tilting up a bit through some newly flowering goldenrod, harbinger of late summer. I really liked the raying of the sun and the distortion in light to the right. I’m sure a professional would think it quite a lousy picture, but I have the joy of being a total amateur and can find beautiful what I wish!

This was taken almost exactly twelve hours later facing West. I love the colors, especially the deep purpling of the higher sky. Hope you enjoyed them.

If you would like to see a lot more great pics, many from people who are really professional in their abilities, please go to SkyWatch.

Hypocrisy? That’s What I See

In the usual synchronicity that I am blessed to sometimes observe, a couple of things converged that got under my skin just enough that it demanded escape from my brain. Lucky you, you get to be the recipient of it.

Yesterday or the day before, I was busily chasing down my feeds, mostly of friends blogs, leaving comments and then scurrying on to the next. I’ll not identify the blogger, for it was not her post that got me going, but one of the comments. In fact two of the comments. The general issue was politics, and two commenters stated that they were either still undecided who to vote for, “liking” both candidates, or “leaning” in one direction but not firm yet.

Soon thereafter NBC I believe, (I could be wrong since it’s hard to define one of the major news shows from the other these days) did a piece on the “independent” voter. They interviewed a young mother who confessed that she was not clear about the respective stands of the candidates on “economic” issues which were becoming central to her decision. When she determined that, she would, well, decide I guess.

Now I admit, once, yes ONCE in my life I was torn, and thus undecided. At the start of the Democratic primary season I was actually unsure of where I was going to commit. I adored Hillary and always have, thought Obama simply smashingly bright and fresh, and believe Edwards really cared about the plight of the working stiff. Added to that I actually thought Biden perhaps the most prepared, and I have always respected Richardson for his level head and practical diplomatic ability. Dennis, well, Dennis is a cute little leprechaun but he does speak things that need to be said, politeness ignored. Oh, and I had not a thing against Dodd either.

So yes, I am familiar with the concept of being undecided. But you see, I was undecided because we had such a plethora of magnificent candidates, and truthfully as the debates went on, there was not a great deal of difference among them policy wise. I finally decided on Hillary, but in truth, after the pain of losing a chance to see a woman run as the candidate, I was quite fine with Obama, and remain so.

McCain is another thing. I haven’t like McCain for at least since 2004, and I barely did then. I despise him now quite frankly, given his policies and his mean-spirited scorched earth policy of win at any cost. Which all brings me back to the original reason for this rant.

HOW IN THE HELL CAN ANYBODY BE UNDECIDED NOW???????? I mean are you breathing? Just out of a coma? Just returned from a hermitage? Lost on the Island? Held prisoner in a dungeon? I guess I could go on, but I think you might be getting the picture. The only people living and working in America today who claim to be undecided are so totally uninterested and have so neglected their civic responsibilities as to be unqualified to vote.

Seriously, if you watch the evening news, read a news magazine once a week, watched a few debates of both sides, a stump speech, read any news on the internet regularly, how can you freaking fail to see that these two men are diametrically opposed to each other on virtually every issue. Are you so totally issueless that they haven’t hit yours yet? I mean I guess you may not yet have discovered how Obama and McCain feel about kite flying in public parks yet, but that’s about all for creeping sakes.

No, those who claim “independence” are by and large lazy know-nothings in my book, who use the “I vote for the man, not the party,” in some smarmy attempt to cover up the fact that they are civically illiterate and don’t care one whit about politics and the state of their country in the first place.

Before I get flooded with independent voters screaming at me, let me say this, whenever you make a sweeping statement like that, there are exceptions, and I’m more than willing to admit that some percentage of “Independents” are truly thinking reading pondering folks who study assiduously the candidates and their platforms and vote according to which one better fits there philosophy. The Contrarian is one, yet even he admits that most of the time he votes Democratic  at the top, and just reserves a Republican vote here or there for some lesser candidate. For years Jim Leach, was our Representative in Washington, and did a fine job, according I think to most otherwise Democrats. He got our votes, even though we abhorred most of the idiots in his party. He stood alone.

What the true, and I would say real Independent does,  is vote one side most of the time, but is willing to cross over for a good candidate from the other party from time to time should they appear on the scene. The rest of the so-called Independents are nothing more than the great landscape otherwise known as the “tub of spit.” These folks are lucky to find a polling place if they bother at all. They should do us all a favor: stop lying about your so-called independence, go back to your couch, tv and snacks, and leave running the country to us adults.

Which really gets me to my second hypocrisy of the day. I bet I could list a dozen if you have the time, but no, one other will be enough.

David Brooks is a conservative, writes for the NYTimes, the Weekly Standard  neo-con apologetic rag, and at least used to be a frequent analyst on theLehrer News Report on PBS. He’s dopey to a degree, but not a bad person I would say. Until this utter piece of drivel in the NYTimes Op-Ed a few days ago.

David bemoans all the things McCain used to stand for. For instance, McCain used to sit and make fun of the weekly Republican luncheons wherein good soldiers got their “talking” points for the week. He used to step on the testicles of his party from time to time and cross over and join Ted Kennedy and others on important legislation. Brooks makes a long list of these so-called “maverick” behaviors.

He says McCain tried to be that kind of candidate again, and guess what? Nobody cared. Nobody was listening. Nobody liked his ways it seemed. He claims that McCain had “grand ideas” about doing things differently, not like the politics of old, real debates ala Lincoln-Douglas, a bipartisan administration, stuff like that. Nobody paid attention. So where does this leave our intrepid Johnny the POW?

Sanity might say a couple of things to Brooks. But Brooks, it seems is not sane, but has been too bitten by hypocrisy. This state of affairs might suggest that people are not interested in McCain’s message. Tough luck, but as they say, shit happens. Not the right man in the right times. Sorry about 2000, but your time has come and gone. Have a nice retirement in Arizoney or in one of the 10 houses you have around the country/world.

Or, David might have concluded that, dang, I’m ashamed of what he has become, I can’t endorse or speak for this man any more. He’s either Alzheimered to a point that he doesn’t get what he’s doing, or he is not at all the man I thought he was. In either case, I cannot in good conscience support this train wreck of a man and campaign.

Is that what he concluded? No by cracky, nope, not at all. His “kibitzing” style didn’t work with these young whipper-snapper reporters Brooks exclaims, they refused to drink, tell off color jokes and otherwise cover for the gaffes of the Mac. Crap, I say, they pretty much have still, but no matter. Brooks feels the press is letting the old man down.

McCain’s off the cuff, wandering babble about anything that came to mind didn’t work with the press either–they actually wanted substance. Go figure! Brooks claims that the reporters WANTED him to talk about Obama, which is what THEY were interested in. Oh please, give me a break David. So the campaign smear against Obama’s character is the fault of the media now?

He claims that McCain wanted to cross over and invite Joey Lieberman (all round Jewish first portrayer and otherwise turncoat rat) on the ticket, but Republicans are shockingly not buying this approach of non-partisanship either. What is a poor old POW guy to do? (Always mention POW as often as you can.)

Brooks says that the only way McCain can get attention is to “stay on message” and attack Obama. Otherwise they would well, get their own transportation and go find Obama I guess. His advisors tell him he has no choice, this is the candidate the people prefer. A mean old crotchety man who has no ideas of his own that he feels up to defending, but attacks like a pit bull the other guy who keeps trying to talk about issues.

So, it’s not poor John’s fault you see. It’s the media, and the pesky bloggers who keep saying all these nasty things. They don’t ignore his gaffes, his Alzheimer’s moments, confusions aplenty. So the poor guy has to bare his dentures and snarl. People will vote for snarling says Brooks. Oh did I forget to tell you? He’s a hero, Vietnam, POW, 5 1/2 years in captivity. Doesn’t he deserve it?

Is anybody out there thinking these days? Sometimes I wonder.