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Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 10,124

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Not Such a Wonderful Life

The Green House Project looks promising.

The Green House Project envisions "homes in every community where elders and others enjoy excellent quality of life and quality of care; where they, their families, and the staff engage in meaningful relationships built on equality, empowerment, and mutual respect; where people want to live and work; and where all are protected, sustained, and nurtured without regard to the ability to pay."

For more information, see:

Who can possibly be undecided about

this choice? It just boggles my mind every time I think about it. Who the hell are these swing voters??

I keep hearing "Elections are won in the middle," "The only voters who matter are the swing voters," "Obama has to win the toss-up states," blah blah blah.

How about this? "We must get out the progressive vote so fucking hard that the idiots who can't decide between toxic, regressive cruelty versus honest, diligent competence become completely irrelevant."

I'm calling for a new federal bill that would give the President the power to set gasoline prices

I mean, since the Republicans keep saying Obama is responsible for high gas prices, why don't we codify it and make him actually responsible for gas prices? The law would be very simple:
"Gasoline prices in the United States will be set at the sole discretion of the President, with no oversight from anybody."

So then the President could actually guarantee that gasoline would cost $2.50 a gallon, or 3 cents a gallon, or 15 dollars a gallon -- whatever he feels like. Simple.

The discussions of such a proposal in Congress and the media could be most enlightening. We might even see some reporting about the real reasons for high gasoline prices.

I know, I know -- but I can dream, can't I?

Oh, give me a break.

I am a White Southerner, the descendant of several generations of White Southerners, born and bred in the deep South. And I can attest that there is definitely a time and place where the use of "Redneck" as a derogatory term is justified.

You know exactly what I mean, and don't pretend you don't.

"Redneck" in this sense basically means "Dumbass and proud of it" -- you know, the kind of moron who has a "Hell No, I Ain't Fergittin'" tag on the front of his Camaro, complete with the caricature of an old Johnny Reb with Confederate flag.

The kind of dickhead who flies a Confederate flag from the porch, just daring the neighbors to try and stop him.

The kind of pissant pseudo-Libertarian who thinks "reverse racism" actually oppresses him and his family.

The kind of worthless pond scum who'd use his power and privilege to get his son off a charge of murder because the victim is "just a N_____."

I've seen Rednecks like this all my life, and I look forward to the day when none of them exist any more, if I'm luck enough to live that long. And yes, there are states where there are so many of them that the term "Redneck State" is justified. I am ashamed that here in Georgia, despite the presence of many decent and intelligent voters, we have a redneck crook like Nathan Deal in the Governor's Mansion. I'm sure many Oklahomans, for example, are equally ashamed at the kind of regressive laws that have come out of their legislature.

And I'm not talking about class here -- some of the finest people I've ever met were poor country folks whose mannerisms and appearance would make them the laughing-stock of many a Yankee sophisticate.

I'm talking about the willfully backward, bigoted assholes who continue to thrive in this region and really wouldn't be able to live anywhere else.

But while we're on the subject, let me add that I detest the South-bashing that sometimes goes on here on DU. There are posters who assume that ALL of us down here are Rednecks, that "Fuck the South" is the only attitude a Real Liberal can have. I will defend this region against anybody who tries to paint us all with that brush.

So pass the collards, and let's do what we can, here within the Belly of the Beast, to help get President Obama re-elected.

I recommend "Eye in the Sky"

It happens to be the first P.K. Dick novel I read, but that's not the reason I recommend you also read it first. It's a really interesting read -- the story of a round-robin series of extremely subjective worldviews shared in succession by a group of characters, and is orderly in structure. This one is an excellent introduction to Dick's fascinating kind of psychological surrealism.

Another one I'd recommend highly as an introductory Phil Dick novel is "Time Out of Joint." The delirious disorientation I felt as Ragle Gumm saw a lemonade stand shimmer and disappear before his eyes, and found himself standing with a scrap of paper in his hand reading "lemonade stand" was a hint of the delights to come in this strange story.

"Man in the High Castle" is also a great story, one in which the U.S. has lost World War II and the country is divided between Japanese (west of the Mississippi) and Nazi (east) occupations. The character of Mr. Tagomi is one of the most interesting and complex in Dick's writing. It's also fascinating to know that Dick consulted the I Ching (completing with tosses of the yarrow sticks) for guidance as he began each chapter. Dick once wrote that as he was working on this novel, he was so immersed in his own fictional creation that he took a break and walked out on his driveway one evening, and had a conversation with what seemed to be a very real Mr. Tagomi.

"Ubik" would also be a good first choice -- the humorous "ads" at the beginning of each chapter are a nice treat. (Dick had a sardonic wit, something that's not often as appreciated as it should be.) And in "Ubik" you have a story that's simultaneously a mystery, a wild surrealistic ride, and a heroic struggle.

I've read a lot of his stuff, so I could give you more, but these are excellent first choices.

I envy you as you embark on the many fantastic discoveries that await you in the worlds of Philip K. Dick!

To further poison the national discourse

The more debates they have, the more they can talk up privatizing everything, sucking the life out of every government function except the military, putting foxes in charge of every henhouse, turning back the clock on every good thing the Democrats have done, removing any and all environmental protections, throwing everybody but privileged white males under the bus, etc. etc.

Then these destructive talking points and lunatic ideas get discussed with gravitas on "news" programs and written about on editorial pages and web sites, and they gradually become part of the landscape of what is possible.

The idea is to make their sick "ideology" seem normal to Americans, so that even as the most extreme candidates slough off one by one like so much worm flesh, their toxic ideas burrow further into the national cranium.

So, for example, maybe abolishing the Department of Education doesn't happen, but diverting more public funds to private institutions does.

Fantastic Sonny Rollins tribute at Kennedy Center Honors!

OK, for a jazz fan, the tunes were way too short -- but what a treat to see Joe Lovano, Ravi Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, and Benny Golson on stage together... and with all those other all-stars: Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Christian McBride, Jim Hall, Roy Hargrove... am I leaving anybody out? So cool to see these incredible artists paying tribute to one of the founding fathers of modern music.

And it was cool to see who was really digging it in the audience -- Sonny himself (although you could tell, especially when they played "St. Thomas" at the end, he really wanted to be down on the stage with all those other monsters!) -- Meryl Streep transported on wings of song, Yo-Yo Ma listening intently with eyes closed, the President and the First Lady grooving in synch with the music, and Bill Cosby no doubt remembering the early days when Sonny was just getting started. And look at him now!

Couldn't have picked a more deserving artist. Sonny Rollins, American hero.
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