Don't Piss Down My Back & Tell Me It's Rainin'


I'll lead off this blog with a great quote by a fine actor in a wonderful film; John Vernon, playing Fletcher, in "The Outlaw Josey Wales:"

Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'. In other words, cut the bullshit and get down to the real heart of the matter. In America, it's rainin' cats & dogs these days, and it all has the rancid smell of urine. Cases in point:

My way or the highway
The worst case of piss as rain comes from the looney-tunes on the far edges of the political spectrum. They demand their candidates, conservative or liberal, take their uber-extreme positions on the issues. If not they will not vote for them in the primaries, and every politician knows that you have to get through the primary to make it to the general election and only the political extremes vote in the primaries. Voter apathy has created far-right loons like Michelle Bachmann. If the general public would get out and vote in the primaries, perhaps our candidates would once again begin to resemble everyday Americans, or at least address the real concerns of  the nation rather than a paper-thin percentage of the electorate's concerns. Politicians are first and foremost in the business of getting votes. It's how they keep their jobs. If you don't vote, they won't pay attention to you. Simple math.

Only union jobs count
Before you go running off accusing me of engaging in anti-union screed, let me state categorically that I have no problem with unions. They've done a lot of good, and were in large part responsible for America's post-World War Two prosperity. Having said that, I have become increasingly impatient with those who believe that unless you are in the business of building cars for a living, or some other organized labor pursuit that you don't have a "real job." I remember conversing with an old auto assembly line worker as I served him drinks at a local saloon. He threw off the comment that I didn't have a real job, to which I responded what in the hell did he think I was doing as a bartender. In the hot riveted and welded steel box of his narrowly defined world my bartending job didn't qualify as real work because I wasn't engaged in the manufacture of a product. Never mind that I worked long hours, busted my hump to deliver food and drink and made enough money to pay my bills and enjoy a night on the town now and again; I didn't tighten nuts on bolts, therefore I didn't have a real job. The sad fact is that this moron was in the majority, looking down on people like me. I was the help. I fetched his food and drink, had to stand still and listen to his bullshit petty problems. He was the massa, I was his nigger. This attitude prevails to this day, and contributes greatly to our inability to respond to the current economic crisis. Until we accept  the fact that all work is noble, from the grandest CEO to the most humble of shit shovelers, we will continue to be mired in the muck of economic malaise.

FDR as a working class hero
Jackasses who don't know or comprehend their history are constantly referencing FDR as some sort of white knight of the working class. Patrician Roosevelt did not enter the Presidency with an aggressive social agenda, but rather with a series of programs intended to blunt and eventually end the Great Depression. The WPA, NRA, CCC, et al, were all instituted to get people back to work, and not all were government jobs. In fact, portions of the National Recovery Act were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. You may see "Obamacare" suffer the same fate once it becomes the law of the land. FDR was a depression-era President with depression-era solutions. A great President, to be sure, but holding him and his ideas up as the gold standard for today are not only wrong, they are wrong-headed. I've included an informational link referencing the fights between the Roosevelt administration and the Supreme Court:

The evil corporations, bankers, media types, progressives, Tea Partiers, etc., etc, etc.
If you have to resort to these examples to further your arguments, please read no further. You are an intellectually lazy knucklehead and I and the nation have no use for you. However, I harbor a secret fear deep within my soul that this may be most of you.

Corporate America creates the majority of American jobs
They do not. SMALL business is the great engine of American prosperity; joints like the saloons in which I was employed, small diners, clothing stores, legal firms, machine shops, hot dog stands, book stores, frame shops . . . the list is endless, and each and every one of these businesses represents the dreams of their owner(s) and pay wages, taxes, social security, unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid and local property taxes that fund cops and firefighters, as well as public schools. 70% of all jobs in America are created by these entrepreneurial efforts, so stop fixating on the big guys and start focusing on the real engine of the American economy. Then again, the guy who runs the corner grocery store isn't good copy for the national talking heads.

All parents are worthless losers
No, most parents are hard-working moms and dads who care greatly about their children. They are also parenting with great trepidation these days, wondering if a parental decision might result in a trip to the pokey, or worse. The social engineers and second-guessers are always looking over their shoulder, ready to apply any penalty they feel is necessary to get parents to toe their happy-planet agenda. They have the elected officials in their pocket because they vote. You want to get them out of your life? You have to start voting. In great numbers.

Reading is dead
If that's true, then what are doing here? Reading isn't dead, it's just found another pathway. Like blogging on the internet and e-books. It's human nature to fear change, and how this dynamic will shake out will be fodder for future generations. Our great sin is that we have not adjusted well to it and because of that our children now speak a language foreign to us and the gulf between us and our young people is so deep and so wide and I sometimes wonder if it cannot be bridged. Times change, and we must change with them, or risk being left in the backwash of history.

Lenny Palmer 9/4/2011


Napoleon's Quest

I walked out of the room and into the kitchen and fetched the two of us beers out of my battered refrigerator. On the way I grabbed a chair from my vintage 1950s vinyl kitchen table and chair. A long-ago artist girlfriend called this kind of furniture "kitschy." I just call it "junk." But I got it for nothing and it serves its purpose when I every once in a while sit down to a sandwich and a beer at home. Broguth the beers and the chair into the living room,set the chair down a few feet across from her and handed her the beer. She popped the tp and chugged it down in one long gulp.


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