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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
March 29, 2014

I bought a car from a used car salesman a couple of years ago.

True story, but since I don't intend to tell you anything about who the guy is, you are free to assume I am making it up. You'll just have to refer to your own experience.

I saw the guy's ad on-line. He runs a small car lot out on one of the local highways. He had what looked like the perfect car I wanted at a good price. So I made an appointment with the guy and later drove out to look at the car.

The guy was maybe late thirties, early forties. Very big, very muscular. He told me he was a dedicated bodybuilder. I'm not, but I work out (sometimes), so I know it takes a hell of a lot of work to look the way this guy looked.

We talked some about our families and then I took the car out for a test drive. It drove great.

I had a couple of minor problems with the finish on the car, and I told the guy about them. I said I wanted to make an offer on the car, but I couldn't unless I was sure the minor problems were fixable. He told me to give him a day and the problems would be fixed. He wanted me to make the offer before I left, but I told him no, I wanted to wait until I was sure. He was fine with that.

I came back the next day to look at the car, and sure enough, the problems were taken care of. So I made him an offer, and he made a counter-offer. We settled somewhere in the middle. I bought the car. He sold it.

It has been an excellent car. I have had no problems with it. I'm very glad I bought it.

It bothers me when I see "used car salesman" used as a putdown, and not just because it is bad writing. I think a lot of good people make a living selling cars to people who want them. They then take the money and buy groceries.

March 26, 2014

Snowden: "Congratulations to me!"

"Now the world's children can once again grow up knowing what it means to have private thoughts! Once again, people have the power to control their own lives. The great night that had descended on the human spirit, the hobnailed boot on the neck of all mankind, the helpless, hopeless abysses of terror into which we were heretofore plunged...all past. We are free again. All I can say is, World, you are welcome."

March 22, 2014

GOTV Enemy #1: "The Democrats must earn votes."

Imo, the idea that the Democrats have to earn voter turnout from left-leaning voters needs to be demolished. It is one of these "easy-to-get-backwards" ideas that someone should catalog some day, like trickle-down economics, or requiring payment for higher education, or the drug war. The idea that voter turnout should be earned is somehow so apparently obvious that people don't question it. They keep chugging the rotgut and blame something else for the blindness that follows.

If there is more Democratic power, there is more Democratic power to go around. Create the power, then your share of it will grow. It really is that simple. Vote first. Vote always.

But how do I trust? How do I get past the hopelessness and feelings of pointlessness? How do I get past the hopes of easy escape, and the cozy, upright, and proud feelings I get when making my stand for inaction? How do I get past the anger and disgust?

That stuff is all complete and utter bullshit. It's the Zeno's Paradox of the motivation-afflicted. There is a subtle difference between standing your ground and resolving to stay in bed under your warm blankies. If farmers only worked when circumstances made them feel like working or only did the chores they enjoyed, we would all starve. Farmers just get it done.

Always vote Democratic in every election for every office. Do that once in 2014, and the bullies will back down. Do it twice, and we get Roosevelt-era, human-centered governance. We need to get this right, because it is all that is keeping us at a fifty-fifty standoff with the Koch's payola and the brutally misguided folks on the right.

March 21, 2014

Where the Buck Really Stops

So some obviously able-bodied guy cross-parks his Escalade over two handicapped spots in front of a hospital entrance. He gets out, and tosses an empty coffee cup into the window of the car next to him. Then he spits on a seeing eye dog, trips an old lady, and cuts in at the head of the line. "I need to get someone to look at this finger," he says. "I'm teeing off in twenty minutes, so make it snappy."

That guy is still a better person than a non-voter.

When we get to the point where we look down on non-voters rather than sympathizing with them, when we no longer tolerate their learned helplessness, depression, and "political consumerist" whims, when their excuses fall on deaf ears, we will be on the right track.

March 11, 2014

He's desperate for new asylum, I think.

All this noise from Snowden lately makes me think he's been getting some less-than-positive signals from Russia on his asylum renewal. To me, he sounds like someone trying to convince any third party country who will listen that he really has character. Everything he did was for the best intentions, following the rules, etc. Good luck.

He really blew it by putting down the United States and making juvenile rants like the one he made last December. That sank him. No country wants to be the base of operations for the tween hearthrob of libertarianism now that he's past his sell-by date. Gotta wonder what Putin is making of Snowden now.

I'm feeling about a 61% probability Snowden is in prison in August.

March 8, 2014

As usual with Obama

As usual with Obama, things are just going to work out with Ukraine. There won't be any catastrophe. There won't be a new war, cold or hot. Americans won't kill or be killed. We won't be throwing away hundreds of billions of dollars. It will just work out. Somehow, whatever it is Obama does just works out.

The media will definitely give him credit—for being lucky. Where's the story if things just work out? Obama may be technically President of the United States, but he is sure no protagonist. The Putin character is just being wasted. Give us back Chance the Great.

The Republicans will have found no hint of arrogance or hormone-releasing recklessness in Obama's performance. No catharsis for them. Just more of this Libya-Syria "careful" crap. They will have to kick their dogs again.

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