"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead"

"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead"
click pic to reminisce

Enough is Enough  

Posted by howard in nyc


The funny thing about the proverbial last straw of hay that breaks the camel's back.  Knowing when and which is difficult to impossible, even when one knows not much more can be added to the load, without disaster as a result.

I'm talking 'bout me, not the economy.  Specifically, me and the nine wise old white people in black robes (yeah, I said it, Clarence; I grant you honorary whiteness, which I hope will please you and satisfy your long-standing desires.  Sonia, sorry, I don't mean to be rude to you; I was just making a cheap Justice Thomas joke; you still brown.)  I've had enough of the Supreme Court of the United States.

I easily could've reached this point after Bush v. Gore 2000 (instead I yielded to the obvious logic that 5 is greater than 4, hence dubya won the election).  The blow to private property rights that was Kelo v. City of New London 2005 could have easily been my last straw, being such a big fan of government protection of private property rights.  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010 was the relative breaking point for many other progressive-minded citizens, although for far too many folks this served as a bullshit rationale to vote to re-elect the Nobel winning war monger.  We need slightly less horrible Supreme Court justices, so in two or three decades we can get some small return of some of our constitutionally guaranteed rights!  Not even the hilarity of a free market GOP appointed chief justice casting the deciding vote upholding Obamacare, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius 2012 (they didn't even give it a cool, easily remembered name).

No, I continued to pay attention to the joke that the Supreme Court has become.  I continued to behave as if what these esteemed nine people thought and ruled was based on some logic or rationality, other than keep the power flowing to the clowns in the center, keep the wealth flowing from the many to the few.

Until now.  Shelby County v. Holder 2013.  That will be enough, thank you.  You kind folks repealed two aspects of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, despite their continued effectiveness all these decades, despite their recent renewals by votes in Congress.  While you folks are fine and dandy with increasing Federal power over so many other areas of our lives, you gut federal power where it is utilized, successfully (easily demonstrable to anyone who can count), to let people vote.

Yeah, I'm through with y'all.  I should've been long ago, as the rule of law is a joke at so many other levels of the system.  When Jon Corzine is two years later charged with a civil violation for his theft of $1 billion, but a physician who's secretary writes down the wrong four-digit diagnostic code, accidentally overcharging Medicare $12 is threatened with a criminal fraud charge and fucking prison, I persisted in actually reading, paying attention to, and actually caring about Supreme Court decisions.  No más.  You nine are just another bunch of clowns in the show; as relevant to reality or history as was the Tawney court that rendered Dred Scott v. Sandford 1857, which was in turn rendered null and void a brief four years later.  Or the abject joke that was Plessy v. Ferguson 1896--calling something equal somehow didn't magically make them equal--imagine that!

You folks go into that same dustbin, reserved for honored jurists who served entrenched elite interests, until rolled over by history and reality.  Not 'will be' tossed into that dustbin; I'm putting you there right now.  Cause I's hads enoughs; and enoughs is too muchs!

Stop, Look and Listen  

Posted by howard in nyc


People just don't listen.  This simple fact I have had a difficult time accepting, hence I need to be slapped in the face over and over before the fact sinks in.

Yesterday was the most recent slap.  I met a dude in the locker room at the gym (get your minds out of the gutter--anyway, it's consenting adults, dammit!) We engaged in a friendly, amicable politial argument about the direction of the nation, and our objections to the president's five-year reign.

As anyone who knows me or reads this mess of a blog is well aware, I think Barry has been a terrible president.  So did this fellow.  However, his stated reasons for disliking Obama (socializing the whole country, giving away too much to the poor) were very different than mine (ruinous monetary and fiscal policy that favors banks and wall street at the expense of the rest of us, a health care fiasco that enriches pharma and insurance companies at the expense of the rest of us, expanding senseless war and growing security state).

He seemed bemused by our different opinions, and commented (twice) on the beauty of the free exchange of vastly different opinions.  He closed our conversation (or attempted to do so) by saying, "It is good that we disagree; I think Obama is a bad president, while you think he is a great president."

I was momentarily speechless.  I had described my opinion of Obama as a terrible president, as clearly and as vigorously as I typically do; I had clearly stated that what struck me about our argument was our agreement on the conclusion, but our very different reasons for reaching our shared conclusion.  There was no language barrier.

Only a listening barrier.  At some point in our conversation, I have to presume, my new friend had decided 1) this dude disagrees with me; 2) no reason to listen any further to his actual words.

He looked as if he was listening; he responded with the non-verbal and verbal cues typical of someone engaged in a conversational back-and-forth that typically includes listening to one's counterparty.

But had he actually heard and even minimally processed even a fraction of my (voluminous) diatribe, concluding my opinion was that Obama is a great president would've been impossible.

But, a few minutes later, it sunk in just a bit deeper; People just do not listen.

Smart, intelligent, thinking people.  They routinely suspend processing what they see, what they hear, what they read, even what they know to be true.  They do not look, they do not listen, they do not think, because it is so much easier and so much more emotionally satisfying.

Because Amerians have been conditioned to do so, to suspend listening and other higher cognitive processes, in favor of feelings and emotions. Conditioned by literal millions of television ads, entreaties from authority figures their entire lives in school, at work, in encounters with burearcracies and commercial entities engaged in selling and 'customer service'.

Americans are out of practice, this listening and thinking thing.  Just as surely as we are out of practice for this exercise thing.  This eating healthy food thing.

We were taught when crossing a street, we must Stop, Look and Listen.  Somewhere back there, we also were taught to watch, listen and learn.  Think, too.  But, as I get slapped over and over, I need to learn (and accept), there ain't a whole lot of listening going on around here.

I continue to judge the world (and Obama) based on what I see, not what I feel, believe or emote.  Yeah, kinda lonely, this method.  Kinda concerting, too.  Cause I see a lot of bad, weird stuff.  Buildings falling down.  NSA monitoring millions of Americans making billions of phone calls.  Scandals involving the IRS, listening to and intimidating reporters, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, bankers in the cabinet, Holder committing serial perjury.  More and more media emphasis on Justin, Amanda, Paris Jackson, PEDs in baseball and other trivial bullshit.

Things are slowly, yet inexorably falling apart.  I see it; I hear the important sounds they make.  Yeah, it is frustrating because nearly everyone else don't look, don't listen, or don't think enough to be bothered.  I'm getting used to it.  

Giants Tix, June and July 2013  

Posted by howard in nyc


Sorry updates have been tardy.  Just give me a call or email if you want my seats.

Same story as prior years.  I will put the tickets up one month at a time, since my travel plans are usually last minute, and I like to use the seats when i am visiting Cali. so around the last week of each month I will post available dates for the following month.

Tickets can be transferred electronically, instantly and securely, via the giants' web site. you can pay me with Paypal, (even though i hate those fuckers i don't have an alternative set up) or if we have done business before, just send me a check.

The giants use differential pricing, so I will list the literal face value for each date. Face value varies between $37 and $80. Price is always negotiable, up as well as down.

Here are the dates for the rest of June and July.  I'll try to keep the site updated better.

shoot me an email anytime, or comment on the blog.

Tue, 6/18Padres7:15p  $37 SOLD

Thu, 6/20Marlins7:15p  $48
Fri, 6/21Marlins7:15p   $48 SOLD

Fri, 7/5Dodgers7:15p   $80
Fri, 7/19D-backs7:15p $48
Mon, 7/22Reds7:15p  $48
Tue, 7/23Reds7:15p  $58 SOLD 
Wed, 7/24Reds7:15p  $58SOLD
Fri, 7/26Cubs7:15p   $58