Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blog #90: A Memorable Week Indeed!

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The Week that Was!

Politically it was a week not to be forgotten. Republicans kept right on with their self-destructive ways, thanks to the untiring efforts of Grand Old Party Poopers Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. And let’s not forget that charming hangover from the Clinton years, Newt Gingrich, who insists on piping in his voice of little consequence. Colin Powell refused to let the tag team of Cheney and Limbaugh read him out of the Republican Party, reminding the world of his moderate bonafides, in spite of what the last Republican administration required him to do in calling for the invasion of Iraq in front of the United Nations using fictitious evidence.


Newt Gingrich, ever the political chameleon (he turns from brown to black, and back to brown again), shifted from his call for Nancy Pelosi’s resignation to join House minority leader Boehner in calling for a mere apology. I guess that’s what he would call progress. His Divine Weaselness probably felt lonely, he being the only voice this side of Limbaugh calling for her resignation. Perhaps, gasp, gasp, the Republicans are finally coordinating their offense.


But then Tuesday rolled around, and with it the announcement of President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee. And the country’s future has never looked brighter.


At this point I have a confession I would like to make. This time last year I was an out and out Hillary Clinton supporter. I supported her because she is brilliant and especially because she rankles the Republican opposition. I supported her because she is a woman, and after the mess men have made of this country for the past uncounted years, I thought it was high time we put in a highly qualified woman to clean up the mess. I wasn’t her only supporter, lots of old fogies like me supported her. Jack Nicholson even made a YouTube video using various characters he has played in films to support her candidacy.


However I would like to be the first to admit that the democratic process worked out for the best in the end. The Democratic primaries finally caused the most qualified candidate to rise to the top like so much fresh cream. And Barack Obama went on to win not just the Democratic nomination, but the election itself. The American People, the voters of the good ole U.S. of A., pushed their inherited prejudices out the window and voted to put in power the first black man in the history of the republic. Amazing what?


But most amazing is the man we put into power. A man who instead of running from, or at best ignoring his campaign promises, from day one has been busily putting them in practice. Very un-politician like. We could quite easily get used to this.



Judge Sonia Sotomayor a Supreme?

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All of which leads us back to President Obama’s first Supreme Court nomination. Unless you’ve been in, like, a coma, I’m sure you are aware, that on Tuesday morning, May 26, President Obama announced his first appointment for a justice in the Supreme Court. And it was Sonia Sotomayor, an hispanic female of Puerto Rican descent, who was raised in the projects in the Bronx, N.Y., in the shade of Yankee Stadium, and who graduated at the top of her class at Princeton, and went on to edit the Yale Law Review. She was first appointed to the federal bench by George H.W. Bush, and promoted to the Appeals Court by Bill Clinton. In short she is the American Dream personified. And her story happens to mirror President Obama’s own rèsumè, and so it is easy to see why after only an hour long conversation with her he felt comfortable in choosing her as his first court nominee.


And you know President Obama’s doing something right by the color of the opposition to her pick. Rush Limbaugh is fang and claw against her, and he’s joined in this, and this is guaranteed to bowl you over in shock, by Newt Gingrich. His Royal Snideness has never seen an Obama pick he couldn’t snarl at. And with opposition like that you just know her candidacy is blessed and should sail right through the Senate. Not only have the Democrats an overwhelming majority and can run her nomination right through, but she was first put on the federal bench by President George H. W. Bush, and several Republicans who voted for her confirmation back then are still in the Senate today, and it would be awkward for them to go back on their confidence now.


But the main thing her candidacy has going for it is that she is a member of America’s fastest growing political group, hispanics, a group Republicans will desperately need should they ever get serious about increasing their voting numbers. It is a group already turned off by the stance of many Republican on illegal aliens. A Merry Band of Daily Beast Bloggers wrote an all inclusive reaction to President Obama’s first Supreme nominee, which you can access by clicking your cursor here! And finally we urge Ms Sotomayor to pay particularly close attention to this article by Ken Duberstein, who shepherded several nominees through the process during Ronald Reagan’s administration, and who has some particularly compelling advice for the nominee here!


The consistent advice to Republicans among the BeastOsphere’s blogging community is that the GOP would be smart to lay off giving harsh interrogation to this candidate, at the risk of offending women in general and hispanics in particular. Will Republican Senators take their advice? TIme will tell, we do believe.


And Friday our question was answered. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called as “terrible,” Limbaugh’s and Gingrich’s publicly expressed opinions calling Obama’s pick “racist.” "I think it's terrible," Sen. John Cornyn, told NPR's "All Things Considered" Thursday. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent.” I’m sure the esteemed Senator from Texas can see Latinos the country ever visualizing the Democratic party lever at the polling booth as they react to the Limbaugh, Gingrich calls of racism. But oddly enough. if the truth be told, few can rise to the level of racism as daily demonstrated by both Limbaugh and Gingrich. Of course they are both on the WASP side of the racial divide. But they are racists pure and simple. And it takes one to know one, as we used to say.


Damn, what in the world could possibly be any better? In spite of the lousy economy I can’t find words to express how good it feels to actually have a president leading our country who is uniquely intellectually qualified for a change, and who on top of that extraordinary talent has the empathy to feel our pain, and who is devoting the resources of the federal government to among other things help improve our lot. What a refreshing addition to the office of the president. Hang on everybody, Little Eddy predicts a most interesting and productive ride ahead.§


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Above you see the cover for the June 1st edition of the New Yorker Magazine. The artist, Jorge Colombo, stood outside Madame Tussaud’s Wax Musem for an hour, creating the cover on an iPhone, using an iPhone application called Brushes.


In his own words, “I got a phone in the beginning of February, and I immediately got the program (Brushes) so I could entertain myself,” says Colombo, who first published his drawings in The New Yorker in 1994. Colombo has been drawing since he was seven, but he discovered an advantage of digital drawing on a nighttime drive to Vermont. “Before, unless I had a flashlight or a miner’s hat, I could not draw in the dark.” (When the sun is up, it’s a bit harder, “because of the glare on the phone,” he says.) It also allows him to draw without being noticed; most pedestrians assume he’s checking his e-mail.


There’s a companion application, Brushes Viewer, that makes a video recapitulating each step of Colombo’s composition. Check the starting arrow below to watch Colombo creating this week’s cover.§



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This article used material culled from the N.Y. Times which can be accessed in its unvarnished entirety here!

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Microsoft’s New Search Engine is called Bing

Microsoft Head Honcho Steve Ballmer announced to the world that its search engine’s new name is Bing. This happened at the All Things Digital conference on Thursday. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak seemed very impressed with Balmer’s demo, and said he’s eager to try the new product himself, which is not yet on the web, but which is supposed to make its appearance sometime next week.


Most of the world doubts that it will be a Google killer, or even make that much of a dent in Google’s market share. Meantime people are speculating what impression the name Bing brings to mind. Many old timers will think Bing Crosby. But for Monty Python fans it will remind them of the birth sketch in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. A mashup of that sketch, nowhere near as funny as the original, but right to the point here, is available on YouTube, and will be available to you by simply clicking the arrow below.



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Milbank Tells it Like it Is

As the week wound down one of our favorite writers, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, summed up the approaching Sotomayor nomination conflict in terms of what it really means. A chance for conservative groups who oppose her nomination, to fund raise on the strength of it. Wrote Milbank:


Perhaps the most honest statement was from Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com, who celebrated the arrival of the "first major ideological battle since the early Clinton years." He wrote that "win or lose, we will reap major benefits in the 2010 and 2012 elections."


For the entirety of Milbank’s report, which covered all sides of the dispute, direct your cursor and click here!

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The Holy Trinity of Computing


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We worship gods of rock and now it’s time to kneel before the gods of personal computing. This epic piece of original art was uncovered during a gallery walk through New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, appropriately captured using Apple’s Jesus phone.


“The Trinity” is painted on plexiglass then back lit for a dramatic stained glass effect. It features Linus Torvalds credited with creating the Linux OS on the left, Microsoft’s Bill Gates who’s forced to share his esteemed place with Steve Ballmer popping out from his tie on the right, and finally at center the mega-deity of the computing world, Steve Jobs, who’s immortalized holding his beloved iPhone.


The Mac power button symbol inserted as a halo behind Steve Jobs’ head is a classic touch that will please the most devout Apple faithful. The depiction of Ballmer as an angelic being is perfectly sarcastic though it could have been true comedy if he was painted more accurately as a big chubby cherub baby.


Lit candles are always present near this divine shrine for proper prayer and reflection while visiting “The Trinity” up close and personal. Kneeling is optional.


For the original story go here!


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A Not So Tragedy That Struck in the Wee Hours

Well, don’t let our headline scare you unduly. It’s not the sort of tragedy that makes a damn bit of difference out here in the real world. Probably most visitors to this page aren’t even aware of it’s existence, as you have to click your end button to even see it. But if you do click end at our page’s bottom there appears a page counter which until Monday was showing a page count at 3400+. Then suddenly Monday it disappeared.


I clicked on the remains of my dead page counter, and got a link to a new page counter. I guess the company that had supplied my original one was bought out by another company. This company too offered me a free replacement, which I hastily took them up on. Copying the embedding data to the clipboard, I returned to my page and replaced the embed data from old counter with that of the new. And B-I-N-G-O it worked. Only problem, it started me at zero. Flushed all of our myriad hits down the digital toilet.


I sincerely hope the creators of my brand new page counter can devise a way where we can carry over our data in cases where we have to replace the counter. It is a drag to go back to zero. I tried refreshing the page but the counter remained frozen on 000012. I tried going to the Washington Post, then returning to Little Eddy. Still 000012. I did it again, this time remaining on the Times long enough to read the teasers for a couple of stories. Then back to Little Eddy. And guess what, the counter’s still on 000012. I even quit Camino for awhile, then reopened Little Eddy and checked below, and what did I find? 00012. What in hell is it going to take to move the damn thing? Or are we doomed to live in 000012 hell throughout Eternity?


Well, to make a long story interminable I went to Google and searched for page counters, and installed a new one which let me start somewhere’s near where we left off, This one let me start at 3499, and after several returns my page is showing 5003. And yet another return brought up 5004, so at least this one seems to be moving. However, even with the lower number, our showing is pretty pathetic.§


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Hoisington Posts Part II of Wynter and Brinkley

And as we tiptoe our way out of here, we would like to call all of you grownup’s attention to what we feel was a major publishing event. Russell Hoisington, author of the Wynter series, released part two of Wynter and Brinkley the other week. It does not complete the volume, but it does carry it far along the way. And best of all, it proves to us that Hoisington is alive and well, and working on his legacy, and it is a legacy filled with the warmth of humanity, and the foibles of the human experience. To access Wynter and Brinkley direct your cursor and click here! You will have to register with the site before you can obtain access, however, as Russell’s writing is classified as adult.


If you haven’t yet read the other stories in the series click on Russell Hoisington’s Page underlined at the top of this page. The stories are best read in the order they were written. Wynter, Wynter and Jimmy, Wynter and Cinnamon, Wynter and Hailey, and finally Wynter and Brinkley. Enjoy. And thanks a bunch for stopping by.§


The Real Little Eddy

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blog #89: CNN – A Cracked Channel of Record?


Graphic from 4chan.org

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Piranhas Circling the CNN Newsroom

What in the world was wrong with CNN last weekend? John King’s State of the Union spent far too much time giving Rep. John Boehner the CNN megaphone to spout his tired, mostly meaningless message to the American people. John King, I hate to tell you, you’re the experienced newsman and I’m very possibly a no-nothing fool, but John, the Republicans are losers. They lost last year’s election decisively and it was a well deserved loss. They have earned every one of the deflections they have suffered by their conduct in the running of this government over the preceding eight years. And to assist them in their rehabilitation by turning over the CNN megaphone to them is in our opinion a lame exercise in futility.


There is a new time in American alright. Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America has finally dawned. And guess what, it’s a Democratic morning, with not a meaningful Republican in sight?


And here’s real breaking news, Newt Gingrich favors the resignation of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. No? What a shock! Could’ve fooled me. Putting such an announcement on once or twice could be loosely termed reporting the news, even though the quality of such news is pretty lame since Gingrich had to resign in disgrace, and naturally he would like Ms. Pelosi to share his fate.


But airing it two or three times an hour day and night? Does that mean CNN really considers Gingrich a serious spokesman for the Republican Party? The Catholic Church may have annulled his previous marriages and absolved him from all of his past sins, but does that mean the rest of us have to join hands and sing in the choir. We hate to disappoint Newt but we don’t sing We Shall Overcome on behalf of used Republican has-beens with axes to grind.


Of course Gingrich would like to bring down the Speaker just as he himself was brought down lo those many years ago. And I’m absolutely sure that nothing would please him more than to be a key part of her dethroning. So what else is new? Whereas the airing of his quite unsurprising views once or twice could possibly be construed as news, when you air it two or three times an hour, day after day and night after night it becomes shameless promotion. CNN is not being the News Channel of Record that it would pretend to be when it mindlessly promotes something it ought to be smart enough to know is wrong. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth CNN. Are you really hoping that someone in the Gingrich – Boehner mold will be elected our next president?


You have a full complement of newspeople. In the interest of fairness and balance, where was this story? From Politico on Wednesday we learned that Senator Arlen Specter seems to be siding with Speaker Pelosi in her spat with the CIA over harsh interrogation methods, saying the agency has a history of being less than forthright with Congress. “The CIA has a very bad record when it comes ... to honesty. It goes back a long time,” Specter said in a speech before the American Law Institute at a Washington hotel.


The Republican-turned-Democrat listed a handful of examples in the past where the CIA has withheld key information from Congress. “During my tenure as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the 104th Congress, there were repeated instances where we didn’t get information that was there,” Specter said. "It's a real problem as to how you get the information."


After his remarks, Specter said he spoke about the controversy because it fit into his speech's theme about the growth of executive power. Still, his comments were consistent with arguments that Pelosi and her lieutenants have been making for days.



Not a word about this did I see or hear on CNN Wednesday. What’s the matter, CNN? Is Arlen Specter no longer newsworthy because he’s now a Democrat? Or is it you’re not interested in any authoritative backing of the Speaker’s position? I learned of it by reading the Daily Beast which reported it and had a link to Politico for the story. Funny how CNN missed that. We have been treated to Gingrich’s opinion of the Speaker’s future ever since the weekend, rolling by at least twice an hour, day and night. But not a word about Senator Specter’s remarks to the American Law Institute which would tend to be a rather authoritative backing of the Speaker’s position. Virginia, can you say bias?


CNN’s correspondents do report that Democrats in Congress are backing the speaker, but none that I have heard have reported what a single one of those talking points might be. The infestation of piranhas swarming the CNN newsroom seems to only be interested in promoting the Speaker’s ouster, not in reporting on any backing of her position. For the complete account of Sen. Specter’s remarks go here!



the baby Dick Cheney at feeding time

graphic from 4chan.org

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It is inconceivable to me that CNN cannot see that whatever the Speaker of the House knew or didn’t know back in 2003 is completely irrelevant? That it is a Republican sideshow, a cheap diversionary tactic to keep the country’s mind off of what really matters. But CNN presses on, seemingly gung ho in its support of the Gingrich line.


As you well know the fact is that it matters not a tinker’s damn whether or not the Speaker knew that torture was being used. What matters is that in 2000 the regime we had elected to lead this country (Strike that, the regime the Supreme Court anointed to lead this country by stopping the recount in Florida before it found out that Al Gore really won Florida) were the ones who broke our national and international laws by using torture and calling it “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And it turns out that waterboarding was being used not just to gain intelligence to prevent another 9/11 so much as to try and prove a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein so the administration could justify its senseless invasion of Iraq. Which was why the man who is credited for masterminding 9-11 was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA’s own count.


Why isn’t CNN going after the former Republican leadership on that score, instead of serving their Republican masters by broadcasting the GOP’s diversionary line against the Speaker of the House? That my dear Virginia, is the question of the week.


It was these very same tactics that CNN and the rest of America’s media used which allowed the invasion of Iraq to take place in the first place. You media guys swallowed the dictates of the Republican leadership hook, line, and sinker. What is it going to take for you to learn? Or I guess the real question is: are you going to learn? Ever? Judging from what I saw on CNN last Sunday, I’m afraid the answer to that is a flat out no.


As that inspiring Republican leader of olde, Tricky Dicky Nixon, used to say, “Let me make myself perfectly clear.” Of course, that was always followed by the further muddying of the waters, but what else could he do? Truth is the very last weapon in the quiver of the charlatan.


But in my own words, let me make myself perfectly clear. As you may have noticed, I am a Democrat. Proud and unashamed. Quite possibly a left of center one, but these days being left of center is a term of pride, not shame. Move_on.org may be a rallying point for evil in the world of Republican politics, but in my opinion move_on.org it has been right a lot more often than it was wrong, and the things it shined its light on needed the world’s attention.


Democrats believe in a strong federal government, but they believe in one run with competence by honest individuals who know their jobs, an administration that is being run not for the benefit of the rich and the powerful, but as a strong check and balance against the excesses of those very same rich and powerful. I believe the federal government, which takes our money, should serve the needs of all of its people. Republicans have vilified the terms liberal and left of center since the 1980’s, and look what their various regimes have done to the country after getting themselves in power. Here’s why I am a Democrat, and PROUD OF IT!



Souvenir of 2004 – from 4chan.org

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Republicans say what is wrong with the country is the federal government. They claim that if we just cut the number of regulations and restraints that have been put into place in the banking and business communities, then everything will be hunky dory. And in virtually every case they stocked the federal bureaucracy with knaves and incompetents. Think back, how many in Ronald Reagan’s regime ended up serving jail time? It was in the hundreds. Republicans are nothing, if not hard of head. Time and time again they have tried a weakened federal government and it has not worked. The extravagances of the twenties were followed by the Great Depression of the thirties. It was during this period that many of the regulations which were deemed necessary to put checks and balances on the economic system were put into place.


Ours is a system of checks and balances. Strong businesses need strong unions to protect their workers, and a strong federal presence is needed to regulate and protect both business, unions and the public. I’m sorry to disillusion all of you Supply Siders out there, but business cannot and will not regulate itself. Bernie Madoff”s lurk under every financial stone. There needs to be a strong federal government to protect both our workers and the public.


Phil Gramm, the so-called economics professor from Texas A&M, spent his latter years in the Senate deregulating the banking industry. After which he left his Senate seat for a cushy job with UBS, the giant Swiss Banking firm which had taken advantage of Gramm’s weakening banking regulations to enter the American banking market. And guess what, lo these many years later, the banking industry has fallen on its face thanks largely to Gramm’s deregulation, and it had to be bailed out by government taxpayer money. And what was it that Phil Gramm called Americans who dideth protest loudly at the collapse of the financial markets? “Whiners,” was it? Let’s hear a cheer for Phil Gramm and banking deregulation. Friends, every last regulation that was put into place was put there for a damn good reason. And when the Republicans claim otherwise they are whistling Dixie, which they seen to be doing a lot of lately.


Republicans believe in the power of the rich, and see themselves as the servants of the rich. The reason they are always screaming “tax cuts” and decrying the tax money Obama is investing in bringing back America, is because they are trying to save their money, and ours, for the Rich for whom they would serve. Their only use for the ordinary voter is when election time rolls around. Then they need us, but only then. All other times they operate in secret behind closed doors. And when that is pointed out to them they take the position that what they do in our name is none of our damn business.


To me the most dangerous and destructive side of the recent Republican regime has been in the way in which they have weakened the quality of the federal bureaucracy by staffing it with incompetents, while at the same time strengthening the power of the executive branch to a frightening degree. This was done post 9-11 in an atmosphere of fear under a cloak of post-traumatic stress syndrome. The level of incompetence of the Federal Government under Bush/Cheney was unbelievable. The way they ran the war in Iraq in the early days and the cleanup after Katrina would give them F’s in almost any reasonable person’s grade book. Is that what CNN really wants as it seeks to support a Republican comeback while doing their bidding in trying to bring down the Speaker of the House?


On the same weekend that State of the Union turned over its televised megaphone to Representative Boehner President Obama had one of his finest moments with his talk to the graduating class at Notre Dame. But every time CNN went there it seemed to do so primarily to emphasize the demonstrations which were largely the work of outside groups, and which had the backing of very few actual students or faculty. In fact many of the demonstrators were arrested if they came onto the campus. An overwhelming majority of the students and faculty wildly supported the appearance of the President, and why shouldn’t they? He gave an excellent speech, not giving an inch in his own position, but making the plea that we all try harder to understand each other’s irreconcilable positions. He didn’t quote L.A. beating victim Rodney King, but he might well have as he pursued King’s theme, “Can’t we all get along?” In my opinion this country is profoundly fortunate to have a leader of such intelligence and charisma in this time of our dire need following eight dreadful years of Republican misrule. It seems to me to be a damn shame that CNN seems hellbent to join Fox News in disparaging, or at the very least downplaying the accomplishments of this president.


My advice, CNN, in the immortal words of the Beatles, “Git back, git back, git back to where you once belonged.” Let owner emeritus Ted Turner give you guidance in fairness. Listen to David Gergen, he is the ranking voice of reason and experience among your so-called experts. Silence that piranha in the newsroom that makes you smell blood and makes you try and influence the news, rather than simply report it. Forget trying to be competitive with Fox, no matter what you do, Fox is probably going to lead you in the ratings for the same reason that Rush Limbaugh leads the radio talking heads. That doesn’t mean either of them is right, or is God. It simply means that they have found their audience and are feeding it what it wants to hear. You should stick to your guns and feed your listeners the news, untrammeled, and from as wide a number of viewpoints as possible. You can do it, CNN. You did it for years. Report the news, forget trying to make the news.


Obviously John King leans heavily to the Right, whereas Wolf Blitzer is one of your more balanced anchors. But that’s alright, we all have one viewpoint or another. But keep a balance. Troll for those piranhas swimming around your newsroom, and cast them out before the smell of blood overwhelms the lot of you. Make sure all viewpoints are represented fairly at all times. And most important, avoid being a shill for any one party as you were perceived to be doing for the Republican Party last Sunday and during the week that has followed. At all costs avoid letting CNN become a 24 hour Lou Dobbs channel. One Lou Dobbs is quite enough, thank you very much.


I will admit it, CNN. I am a news junkie and am addicted to your channel, which I leave on most of every day. I have been watching it ever since I first got cable in the mid 1980’s. I remember Wolf Blitzer’s first appearance on CNN, on a show featuring correspondents of foreign publications. If memory serves he worked for the Jerusalem Post back then.


However I was so distressed watching CNN amplify the administration’s nonsense during the lead in to the invasion of Iraq that I quit watching the news altogether and spent my days and evenings with the NBA channel. I came back to CNN only after the Democrats won back Congress in 2006, and I became re-addicted during your excellent election coverage in 2008. You deserved that Peabody Award you won for your election coverage. Think back on that honest, balanced coverage as you review this past week of giving Gingrich a platform to shill for the Speaker’s removal. Honestly what kind of award do you think this week would bring you? In what might be the words of Michael Phelps, put that in your bong, light up, and toke your troubles away.§


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In Other News . . .

In other news, the ars technica website reports that Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson is getting himself involved in several suits concerning the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) He is advising one of his students who is handling the retrial of Jammie Thomas, which we reported on last week. But, and this is where it really gets interesting, one of the cases he is advising demands that the RIAA return all of the money it has collected through fraudulent means since their suits against college students and others began. Ouch, that could deliver a well deserved hurt to the recording industry. For the full story go here!

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And finally, from the New Republic comes the news that today there’s one less waterboarding advocate. Conservative radio shock jock Eric “Mancow” Muller decided to prove that waterboarding isn't torture by subjecting himself to it on the air.

"The average person can take this for 14 seconds," Marine Sergeant Clay South answered, adding, "He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this."


With a Chicago Fire Department paramedic on hand, Mancow was placed on a 7-foot long table, his legs were elevated, and his feet were tied up.


Turns out the stunt wasn't so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.


"It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."


"I wanted to prove it wasn't torture," Mancow said.


Perhaps Mr. Cheney and some of the other proponents of waterboarding would care to take this little test. For the full story on Mr. Muller's experience point your cursor here

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Image from 4chan.org

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Little Eddy’s Blog was created on an Apple iMac computer, which glows with the effervescence of creativity. We also pay homage to the Almighty Google for making the massive world wide web a manageable commodity, and therefore a useful one. And we are also grateful to Google for freely offering us a place where we can write and share our views with whomever may stumble upon us. We fervently believe and hope that CNN can get over its mindless pursuit of partisan irrelevance and remain once again a place where people of all bents and persuasions can congregate for free, unbiased news coverage. And we hope you may find you way back here again next week for more Little Eddy raves and rants. Bye, bye.


The Real Little Eddy

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blog #88: A Deflection and a Coming Out Party

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A Quickie Republican Lesson in Deflection

It’s elementary, my dear Watson. It is the staple of Stage Magic. A Magician deflects your attention with his left hand while his right sets up his trick. The same basic technique is used by politicians. The heat is intensifying over the issue of torture and the Bush Administration is in the crossfire, but although President Obama is at the heart of the disclosures, his popularity is too high (and the Republicans popularity too low) to take a chance on using the President for the deflection. So what to do?


The problem: deflecting the heat from any possible public outrage at a Republican administration which threw centuries of tradition to the winds in their attempt to make torture legal, primarily as a tool to extract information in hopes of linking Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein and thereby justify their senseless invasion of Iraq, a link that didn’t exist by the way. What to do? Why deflect the attention being given torture to their ranking favorite villain, Nancy Pelosi. Let the accusations fly. When did she know? And if she didn’t, why didn’t she know? As if her knowing or not knowing made a damn bit of difference to the prisoners being waterboarded.


And damned if their deflection doesn’t seem to be working? At least at this moment. Even Leon Panetta, Obama’s newly appointed head of the CIA, is getting into the act, piping up with a memo to the CIA claiming that the CIA doesn’t lie to Congress. Wouldn’t dream of it? It seems the poor CIA has a morale problem, and Leon wrote that to cheer them up. But seriously, show me a spy agency which doesn’t lie to Congress and to the world, and Little Eddy will knight you.


However Republican political piranhas are smelling blood. Even formerly disgraced ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich is throwing his 2 cents worth into the fray, and you will be happy to know that it’s worth every bit of 2 cents. Poor Speaker Pelosi, by being defensive she seems to be playing right into their hands. Ignore them, Madame Speaker. Deflect back at them. It doesn’t mean a damn thing when or if you heard about torture. The fact is that it was the Bush Administration which used torture and tried to justify it using spurious legal fantasizing. It is they who should get any credit or blame that might result.


Beware Republican deflectors, your founding leader had a message for all America when he wrote: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time . . .but . . . you can’t fool all . . .well you know how the rest goes. Honest Abe Lincoln said that. Did that make him the last truly honest Republican politician? What do you think?§


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Firing Up the Correspondents

President Obama was the highlight of the White House Corespondents last week, and he proved himself quite the stand up comedian, and we bring you the video proof below. However he was followed by comedienne Wanda Sykes, who among other things, stirred up a certain amount of ire on the part of conservatives and certain of the news media by making note of the fact that Rush Limbaugh has joined Osama Bin Laden in publicly stating a desire to see President Obama fail. How dare this “liberal” comedienne link the Limbaugh name with that of Bin Laden said Fox News. And even CNN posed the question. Of course, Limbaugh seems to have license to broadcast any fiction that crosses his drug inflamed mind, presenting it as news and truth. But no fair anyone else daring to do likewise. That’s a Limbaugh prerogative, and a Big No No for the rest of us!§



Graphic from 4chan.org

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From Undisclosed Location to 24 hour newscycle

President Barack Obama made change the theme of his run for the presidency. And real change has accompanied his presidency like no other administration in recent memory. But speaking of change, what a change unemployment seems to have made in our beloved ex-president of vice, Dick Cheney. I don’t think the man said ten words during the entire eight years he was in office. We didn’t even know where he was half the time, he was the first president of vice to serve most of his term going from one “undisclosed location” to another.


And while at those undisclosed locations he was letting the likes of the late Enron head honcho Ken Lay shape our nation’s energy policy, all the while making sure that not a word leaked out as to his dealings. He even took the matter of protecting his appointment list to the courts, as he continued his refusal to disclose the names of those who were instrumental in shaping the nation’s energy policy. When Hillary Clinton tried to keep the makeup of her Health Care group a secret in the early 90’s, Republicans screamed to high heaven. But in the 2000’s not a peep out of the ruling party over Cheney’s reticence. In Cheney’s view, it was none of the public’s damn business who got to shape the nation’s energy policy.


But talk about change, now that Dick Cheney has finally come out of hiding there seems to be no stopping him. He’s talking 24/7, he’s become his own 24 hour news channel. Free and footloose he is too, he’s freely taking political sides. Words can’t express the true depths of our enthusiasm over this new Dick Cheney. The movement Cheney and Limbaugh are leading is just what the country needs right now, a Republican Party which currently is voiceless, restrictive, directionless, distracted, stuttering in its impotence, the Party of a Thousand Voices Speaking the Only Two Words They Know – Tax Cuts. How could a red bloodied, astute American not support the party of Cheney and Limbaugh? We here at the Little Eddy Blog are proud to be behind them one thousand percent. We wish them all the luck in the world and godspeed on that bumpy highway to oblivion.


Way to go, former vice president Cheney. Form the Cheney/Limbaugh branch of the Republican Party. Make it ideologically pure. Cut out those silly moderate Republicans that Colin Powell represents and who are fast becoming our nation’s newest endangered species, America’s Political Homeless Generation. Show no mercy as you drive them from the party. Make them become either Democrats or Independents. That’ll make them pay for their heresy.



Rush Limbaugh Peeping out of the Famous
Cheney/Limbaugh Republican Pup Tent

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Finally trade Ronald Reagan’s Big Tent in for a Pup Tent. Admit only those who see only one side of a given story, YOUR SIDE. Show any who might see another side a quick exit. Hold up the “Our Way or the Highway!” signs that point to the exit. A new Dixiecrat Republican Party. How Sweet it is!§


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President Obama’s Stand Up Routine

President Obama made a real impression at the National Press Club the other night. He would have made a fine stand up comedian if he hadn’t run for, and then gotten elected our president, and thereafter became constantly weighted down with a crush of problems like the nation’s economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention being the recipient of Rush Limbaugh’s best wishes. What was the title President Obama gave to Dick Cheney’s post election memoirs? “How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate Enemies.” This president has a serious comedic bent, and we thought it would be fun and instructive to bring back these National Press Club memories, or if you missed them, present them to you for the first time. Enjoy!§



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The $328, 835 Photo Op

What would you pick for the greatest faux pas of Obama’s presidency thus far. A lot of us would pick the picture of AF1 flying over our Green Lady of Liberty. See below:




Photo from 4chan.org

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Check it out. Air Force One (at least its called that when it is carrying the President), overflying our Green Lady of Liberty. A beautiful sight, what? Only a couple of things wrong with it. The man who dreamed up this photo op is a military man, and although he notified the City of New York in advance that it was going to happen, he deemed the operation secret and refused to let the City publicize the mission beforehand. And so what do you suppose happened when New York’s financial district looked up in the sunny late morning shy and saw an unannounced fly over by a large jet being escorted by two fighter planes. Flying over that part of New York which just eight years ago had experienced our nation’s financial district can you say Panic?


You have to ask yourself, what the hell was whoever dreamed this up thinking about, ordering this low flying jet over lower Manhattan just eight years after 9-11? Then insisting on keeping the matter a secret? Is that an idiocy of a previously undreamed of level or not? I ask you.


Of course President Obama was furious when told about it. How could he not have been? Who orchestrated this disaster, and how much power does he exercise in the Obama administration? For the story we travel to the Guardian, UK:


Emergency phone lines were jammed, and there were scenes of pandemonium as people tried to flee the area. To compound matters, Caldera's office had ordered that no information about the fly over should be given out to the public ahead of the shoot, on the grounds that this was a "classified" mission. New York police and the mayor's office were told in advance, but expressly told to keep it secret.



As the final straw, it was revealed that the photo shoot had cost taxpayers $328, 835. When Obama learned of what had happened, he is said to have been furious and ordered a review of the matter to ensure such an incident never happens again.


The lucky man who dreamed up this project, then kept it secret, is named Luis Caldera, and he headed the White House Military Office. In his resignation letter to Obama Caldera said that the controversy around the aerial photo shoot had made it impossible for him to lead the military office. "It has become a distraction to the important work you are doing as president."



A distraction it certainly was. Again you have to ask yourself, what could the man dreamed up this travesty have been thinking? Ah well, as boondoggles go Caldera created a doozy. One that will live long in legend. It’s just that, what organization is going to step forth and hire someone who created such a gigantic faux pas. “Sir, I orchestrated the famous fly over of Air Force One over lower Manhattan, all the while insisting that the project be kept secret. Wouldn’t somebody out there like to hire me?”§


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Browser Wars Heat Up

This is the age of the internet browser. What Bill Gates of Microsoft had envisioned when in the nineties Microsoft used their monopoly to shoot down Netscape, has finally come about. The operating system that our computers use is mostly irrelevant as these days finds us spending most of our time on the internet sending email, visiting social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, twittering friend and foe alike, or otherwise searching and/or downloading the stuff which makes up our interest. And the killer ap in this age of browser dominance is the search engine. Hence the dominance of Google, so much so that its name has become a verb meaning internet search.


And so our interest shifts from operating systems to browsers. Microsoft which has been dominant since it captured much of the market by including its browser as part of its operating system, has seen some major slippage of late as Firefox, the open source successor to Netscape, has grown its market share into the twenties. And Apple’s Safari browser, which originally worked only on Macs, but which was later expanded to Windows, has roughly 10% of the browser market. And finally Google itself has entered the browser field, giving birth to Chromium


Apple Hits Back

Microsoft has been running an ad campaign intended to inform readers they are paying an “Apple Tax” when they choose to buy a Mac over a Windows computer. The campaign offers interested persons a certain amount of money with which to buy a computer, indicating that they will be able to keep the difference if they choose a lower priced machine. It started its campaign with a young lady (who it turns was out a part time actress), next it used a so-called tech expert, even though after his choice several real tech experts pointed out that the machine he picked failed to meet two of his criteria, whereas the Mac he passed on met all of his specs. Then a mother and her son. After four of these Microsoft ads Apple has replied with a commercial of its own. It lies below:




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Google Finally Gets into the Act

And finally Google, the little Search Engine that Could (AND DID!), joined the fray with its Chromium browser, so far only available for Windows computers, though versions are planned for the Mac and Linux. Google is a minimalist browser, and is still in development, but Google Japan put together a fun commercial which Google has decided to share with the rest of us. It, too, lies directly below:



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And so the new browser wars begin. Microsoft, years behind in getting IE up to date, has dropped close to thirty points, Firefox picking up most of those these days comes in at around 20, and mark Apple’s Safari for about 10%. Also in the running, but not so’s you would notice, is Google’s Chrome browser, which it describes as a minimalist browser, with few of the optional bells and whistles that you can find on the others. For some people it makes up for this by being wickedly fast.§

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Jammie Thomas to be Retried

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New Trial Date Set for Thomas

Jammie Thomas, the Native American mother of two who was the only American ever to be convicted of offering part of her cd collection for downloading, only to have the case thrown out by the original judge who cited an incorrect jury instruction on his part as the reason, and who also objected to the excessively high penalties that had been attached to the verdict. Wired reports that the Recording Industry Association of America on Tuesday failed to settle the infamous Jammie Thomas case, setting the stage for a retrial of the nation’s only file sharing case to have gone before a jury.


Thomas’ lawyer, Brian Toder, and RIAA lawyers met privately in a Minnesota federal court for two hours haggling over the case. No conclusion was reached. Thomas has maintained she would never settle. A retrial is set for June 15.


“What they wanted to do, my client did not want to do,” Toder said in a telephone interview. He declined to disclose the RIAA’s financial demands.


A Duluth jury in 2007 dinged Thomas $222,000 for infringing 24 songs on the Kazaa file sharing program. But months later, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis declared a mistrial, saying he falsely instructed the jury that copyright infringement amounted to merely making available copyrighted works on a file sharing program – regardless of whether it was proved anybody else downloaded the content.


Davis ruled it was unclear whether jurors found Thomas liable because she made the songs available or downloaded them from another open share folder. The RIAA, in arguing against a mistrial, said the distinction did not matter. Her attorney Toder successfully argued that the error was so egregious that a new trial was indeed warranted.


How Ms Thomas will do in her new trial is anybody’s guess, however, it is pretty standard these days for the courts not to convict on a folder dedicated to posting Mp3’s. Proof is required that someone actually uploaded the music for the charges to stick, and to date the music industry hasn’t been able to prove any exists. And Jammie, bless her heart, said she would refuse to settle with the Record Industry on their terms, and she has evidently stuck to her guns. Good luck to you, Ms Thomas. We wish you the best.


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Rockets Make a Game of Game 6

And finally a few words celebrating a basketball team which has spent a season playing with a constantly shifting group of players, as key members of the team succumb to injury. If ever there was a team comparable to the children’s classic, “The Little Engine That Could” this year’s Rockets would be that team. Tracy McGrady, it’s high scoring star, out for the season due to surgery. The Rockets went on to place fifth in the Western Conference anyway and entered the playoffs playing Portland in Portland. They won that series in six, just in time to face the West’s highest scoring team, the Los Angeles Lakers. The history of this series follows: GM 1 May 4 Houston at L.A. a WIN, 100-92; GM 2 May 6 Houston at L.A., a LOSS, 111-98; GM 3 May 8 L.A. at Houston a LOSS, 108-94; GM 4 May 10 L.A. at Houston a WIN, 99-87; GM 5 May 12 Houston at L.A., a LOSS, 118-78; GM 6 May 14 L.A. at Houston a WIN, 95-80.


Note: the May 10 win at Houston was without Houston’s star center, Yao Ming, who went out for the season with a fracture in his foot after the May 8th loss in L.A. Game 5 on May 12 was a blowout on the part of Los Angeles, who won it by forty points, 118-78. Everybody oohed and ahhed, and patted the Rockets sympathetically, figuring the Lakers would follow Game 5 with a blowout in Houston and snatch the series in its eager jaws. But they neglected to run that game plan by the Rockets, who as a result followed their 40 point Game 5 loss with one of the best managed basketball games I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. They started hot and never gave up their lead (even though at one point it had shrunk to two points), and they finished the game with a well deserved fifteen point win over the arguably superior L.A. Lakers. And so the Rockets are off to LA for a Sunday afternoon Game 7 at 2:30 CDT on ABC television, which should settle the matter of superiority once and for all. The Lakers-Rockets series established cornerstones in the present Rockets lineup. Aaron Brooks was its star and top scorer, but essential groundwork in scoring and rebounding was laid by Luis Scola, along with Ron Artest and Carl Landry, and the defensive assignments went to Artest, Shane Battier and Chuck Hayes.


Following a sports team vicariously can be a gut wrenching experience. You take each loss personally, and you stand up straighter after each win, even though you personally had nothing to do with either one. It’s unreal, but true. ‘Tis the nature of sports in this day and age of television I guess, a case of intensified identification. At any rate, we will follow our regular Saturday morning posting with an additional Sunday afternoon tweet to my blog to let you know how Game 7 came out. The world is expecting a Lakers’ win, of course, but after Thursday night’s game, who in their right mind would dare predict an outcome.


Incidentally, we would like to salute Kenny Smith, ex-Rocket and current TNT analyst, for wearing his bright red Rockets jacket during TNT’s post game coverage Wednesday night. Kenny was the only analyst who gave the Rockets a chance in games 4 and 6, and he turned out to be the only analyst who was correct.


The Little Team that Thought It Could . . . Didn’t.

The Houston Rockets, after nailing the Lakers by 15 points in Game 6, in game 7 fell to those same Lakers 89 to 70.


It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Methinks no one outside of the Rocket’s locker room really expected them to pull off yet another miracle. And over their dead bodies were the Lakers going to lose. The Rockets played good defense. The Lakers were stuck on this number or that for minutes at a time. But the Rockets could not score at their end. They got somewhat better in the second half, but by then it was too late.


But at least the Rockets didn’t roll over, they played as hard as they reasonably could, and the miracle of this year has been that they had gotten as far as they had after first losing Tracy McGrady in mid season, and then, in the second round of the playoffs, losing both Dikembe Mutumbo and Yao Ming. That was simply too much of a loss. They could, and did, tighten their belts, pulling off two wins without Yao. But three was asking the impossible.


And so the Rockets end their season far ahead of where anybody expected them to be. And they are fine-tuned for next year. If only general manager Daryl Morey can reel in some offensive firepower over the summer. Or T-Mac returns raring to go with a brand new surgically repaired knee. Ah, well. Summer hoops dreams, there’s nothing quite like them.§


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And that’s where we’ll have to leave this week’s posting. As much as we hate to admit it, when your time’s up you’re out the door. Anyway, there’s always next week with one more chance to redeem one’s self. We do hope to see you then. Bye now.


The Real Little Eddy

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Blog #87: A Rice Delusion, An Obama Addiction

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Condoleezza’s Delusions

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Isn’t the so-called real world wonderful? The other day Condoleezza Rice was with a group of fourth graders and when she was asked by a student if the Bush regime authorized torture, she evoked classic Nixonian (As expressed to David Frost it goes: “When a president does it, it’s not illegal.”) in her attempt to try and justify President George W. Bush’s policies towards the use of torture and her own authorization of same. With a perfectly straight face she told the students, “If George Bush approves it it isn’t torture.” She added, “President Bush would never authorize torture.”


Never mind that “waterboarding” has been deemed torture since the Spanish Inquisition, and was used by China against American flyers downed in their territory during the Korean War. And never mind that a prisoner will say anything to escape the pain and fear which accompanies waterboarding, consequently what he reveals is likely to be highly suspect. The Bush Klan is up in arms at those charges of torture being leveled at them after the release of their attempts to legally justify the unjustifiable, and like those prisoners they “waterboarded,” they will say anything to deflect the charge of having authorized torture on their watch.


And so Condoleezza Rice dredged up the so-called Nixonian Defense, “If George Bush approved it it wasn’t torture,” and is running with it. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it? A ring of delusion, perhaps, but a ring none the less.§


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Sharpton+Gingrich met with the president

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From our Strange Bedfellows Department

A strange group met with President Obama on Thursday. The group is promoting the improvement of the nation’s education system, and particularly in regards to the disadvantaged. The group consisted of black activist leader, the Reverend Al Sharpton, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Needless to say such an unlikely meeting produced reams of speculation, especially on our part.


Our take is that Newt joined that unlikely group as a first step in orchestrating an image makeover. Gingrich is obviously hungering to enter the 2012 presidential campaign as the Republican nominee, but after his all but disgrace in leaving his House Speakership, he has ahead of him the formidable task of completely re-working his image. As a result come his occasional sage suggestions as to which direction the Republican Party should go in. Note the look of sweet innocence he conjures in the photo above. Such an innocent old sweetie. Why he looks like someone you might actually trust to take your 13 year old sexpot daughter to the Mall.


Suddenly being for education, and especially for the education of the disadvantaged, would probably seem to Gingrich to be a good place to begin a rehabilitation, so long as his super conservative friends don’t take too much notice. I suppose celebrating motherhood and marriage between a man and a woman can’t be too far behind.§


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Ray’s Hell Burger Restaurant

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A Presidential Hamburger Addiction?

Want to know why I am so cheered at the antics of our new president? It is because in spite of that Harvard education and the fact that he has incredible smarts and he’s articulate, he seems to be primarily first and foremost a genuine human being. One with his feet well positioned on the ground, perhaps, but just like the rest of us he can give in to occasional cravings. For instance last Tuesday he and v.p. Biden succumbed to a virulent hamburger jones. What happened next was reported in a story in the N.Y. Times.


Tuesday’s N.Y. Times reported a strange case of a hamburger addiction in the White House. The craving evidently struck President Obama and Vice President Biden simultaneously. To satisfy their jones they took a wholly noticeable motorcade ride from D.C. to Virginia where their motorcade pulled into a small, independent Burger house called Ray’s Hell Burger. There they stood in line until they reached the ordering counter, where they ordered their burgers, and paid for same with their own pocket money. Then they stood with the rest of the crowd as they awaited their numbers being called, at which point they were seated at a table and consumed their feasts. The restaurant, which prides itself on premium aged 10-ounce burgers, sits in a small strip plaza. The burgers sell for $6.95. Note the illustration below. Fries are not served at Ray’s. Instead you get an ear of corn and cut of watermelon, although perhaps this is seasonal and will change in the fall.


Does having the prez and veep sashaying off to a Burger Palace sound particularly strange? Imagine Herbert Walker or George W. Bush ordering in a burger joint and paying for same with their own pocket money. Those two who were so removed from the world most of us live in that neither knew the price of a dozen eggs, a half gallon of milk, or a gallon of gasoline. Bill Clinton, now there was an ex president who knew his way around fast food, and I’m sure he carried pocket money sufficient to pay for his every culinary desire, no problem.


We assume Obama’s and Biden’s burgers were first rate. We wonder how they were cooked, rare, medium rare, medium, or well done, and what all came on them for their $6.75 price? Our mouth watered upon reading the story as we remembered the many delicious hamburgers we have consumed over the years, in the 60’s at the Cock and Bull Restaurant in downtown Houston, and in later years at Fuddruckers in Northwest Houston. At a really superb hamburger place your meat is served exactly to your order, and you decorate your hamburger with just the fresh fixings you crave. And the great thing about the Obama presidency, as this story indicates, is that he and Biden are human beings first, and president and vp second. If you get an itch, the secret service be damned, you scratch it.§



A Genuine Ray’s Hell Burger

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Shilling for a Hopeless Cause

What a change the Obama Administration is from the arbitrary secrecy and egregious behavior of the last administration. Yet dedicated Republicans cannot bear to give up the dream. Good luck to you, Canter and Romney, but hopefully the American people are far too wise to your ways for you to make any substantial inroads in corralling votes for your backdoor attempt to rejuvenate the Republican Party. The present day Republican irrelevancy is well earned, believe me, and it has been eight long years in coming. One in five Americans call themselves Republican these days, do they? How sweet it is!


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Senator Kerry Wants to Save Newspapers

Senator John Kerry is chairing an interesting hearing on the future of American newspapers, and Arianna Huffington gave a fascinating treatise in her opening remarks, which her site has video of and which you can access by pointing your cursor and clicking here! In a second video on the page she answers Senator Kerry’s questions more specifically.


Senator Kerry’s interest is no doubt peaked by the N.Y. Times Company’s announcement recently that if the unions did not back off of their demands the Boston Globe will shut its doors in 60 days. That announcement did get the unions attention, and reportedly they have backed off their demands somewhat, and hopefully the Times Company will continue to operate the Globe.


However, Arianna Huffington was right on in her testimony. No matter your good intentions you cannot put the genie back into the bottle. People are letting newspaper subscriptions die daily, and for good reason. Most of the newspaper contains stories and features and advertising which probably is not of interest to the reader. Also the printed newspaper is so dreadfully behind the times in this day and age of instant news on 24 hour cable news networks and the internet. Some recent stories are so timely they are first covered on the micro-blogging service Twitter by people who are actually experiencing the news. Most notable case was that downed airplane in the Hudson River recently, where people standing on the airplane’s wings awaiting rescue were actually Twittering their stories to a waiting world in real time. (A Twitter is a message not to exceed 250 characters including spaces.)


As you fret over the fate of that Boston institution, the Boston Globe, we here in Houston feel your pain. Once upon a time we had just such a storied newspaper. It was called the Houston Post, it was founded in 1840, the short story writer O. Henry wrote for it in 1895 and 96. It was operated for many of its years by the Hobby family, who also opened Houston’s first radio station, KPRC am in 1925. In its later years it was sold to a Canadian company, who operated it until they finally sold it to the MediaNews Group led by William Dean Singleton, who had earlier closed down The Fort Worth Press. The Houston Post was closed down permanently, with the final edition printed on April 18, 1995. Its assets and liabilities were acquired by Hearst Corporation, the publisher of the Post's rival daily, the Houston Chronicle, which then proceeded to fire nearly all of the Post's employees.


I remember that dreadful day very well. The closing of the Post had an impact similar to the death of a dear friend. Well, lots of dear friends, for there were communication highlights throughout the paper. It brightened our lives with the cartoons of Jules Feiffer and Gary Trudeau, and columns like those of Texas political icon Molly Ivins. After the Post’s demise it was a long time before I could bring myself around to subscribing to the Chronicle, and several years ago, thanks to its excellent online version, I was able to drop my daily subscription altogether. The trash pickup guys thanked me for that, I am sure.


But, Arianna is perfectly right about our getting our news through links on the web. Now I brighten my mornings not only with the online version of the Chronicle, but also with that of the Washington Post and the N.Y. Times, and I go to the web aggregator The Daily Beast, as well as having the Huffington Post at my fingertips. And I wouldn’t trade this way of accessing the news for all the tea in China, as we used to say.


So whereas it is perfectly true that we at Little Eddy have no solution to the problems of present day news organizations, on the other hand they are not our problem. They have their own problems and must create the people that solve them. Our job, if you can call it that, is to poke our nose into all the news that interests us, and aggregate that which we feel might be of interest to you, our reader, along with our own take on whatever it is we are writing about.


Are we stealing the news? Stealing is done for gain. We don’t get a cent of money from the Little Eddy Blog. Google publishes our weekly rants for free, and will do the same for you if you so desire. We write our Blog for love, and to give me something of meaning to do with what time I have left at this stage of my life. News organizations will find a way to monetize their news, or they will go out of business. Such is the way of the business of capitalism. It is also the way of nature, it’s called the survival of the fittest.§


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Clash of the Titans

Monday, May 4th. Speaking of the survival of the fittest, after the Houston Rockets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western playoffs last week the Rockets found themselves matched up against the West’s highest scoring team, the L.A. Lakers, in the second round of the playoffs which began Monday evening on TNT. Word from those in the know: the Lakers would roll over the Rockets, probably sweep them. I’m sure no serious fan gave the Rockets a shot in hell. Even the Rockets’ injured star Tracy McGrady predicted that the Lakers would take the series.


In spite of the world’s disbelief and against all odds, the Rockets won that first game 100 to 92. And in the post game interview when asked how that had happened with a twinkle in his eye Rockets’ center Yao Ming quoted the league’s current slogan, “the N.B.A. is where ‘amazing’ happens.”


And amazing it certainly was. Even though they had lost all four regular season games to the Lakers, the Rockets had come close in those games, letting each one get away in the fourth quarter. And what real basketball aficionados realized, but most experts ignored, is that the Rockets match up very well against the Lakers. Shane Battier played excellent defense on the Laker star Kobe Bryant, playing him like he was attached to him, thereby making Bryant work dearly for his points. And when Battier wasn’t on him, Ron Artest took over. (Kobe had 32 points in Monday’s game, but he took 31 shots to get them.) The match up in the middle was between Lakers’ center Andrew Bynum and Yao Ming, and Bynum was no match for the 7’6” Rockets center, and was soon in foul trouble. Meanwhile, Yao had a night like the one he had in his first game in the Portland series, where virtually his every shot went in, and he got all ten of his free throws. Even after a painful knee injury after a basket bound Kobe Bryant ran into him, Yao refused to stay out of the game, arguing with the Rockets trainer until he was allowed to return to the floor. And upon his return the ball was swung to him, and from a distance of about nineteen feet he tossed in a swisher that was nothing but net.


As we said upstairs, the Rockets won that first game 100 to 92, and Yao had 28 points, Ron Artest had 21, and Aaron Brooks, our streaky little waterbug of a point guard, had 19. Of course, one game does not a series make. There will be games Wednesday and Friday nights, and we will report on each of those by the time our Saturday morning upload rolls around. So stay tuned. But we can report that from a Houston prospective, that first game in the series got off famously.



Ron Artest in Kobe Bryant’s Face – Kobe, “Who Me?”

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Lakers Take Game 2 in a Dogfight

Wednesday, May 5, 2009. It came as no surprise that the Lakers turned Game #2 into a dogfight and won it 111-98. Yao Ming got into foul trouble, blood flowed freely and although the Rockets stayed right with the Lakers for much of the way, they finally fell behind in the fourth quarter after Ron Artest got tossed for challenging Kobe Bryant for giving him an elbow to the throat. Artest in no way harmed, or threatened Bryant. What he did do is walk the length of the court to confront Bryant about the elbow to the throat he claims he suffered.


Although he was tossed, since Artest did not in any way threaten Bryant he should not be suspended for Friday’s game 3 in Houston, at least Houston so hopes. Houston would hope the league fully investigates the incident though, and takes what further action they deem necessary. Derrick Fisher on the other hand, who sent Luis Scolla flying flat on his back with a deliberate flying elbow to the head, in addition to being tossed from the game, might well get a one game suspension over that incident, depending on what the study of several tapes of the incident brings to light. Derrick is a veteran of the league who should certainly know better than to take the action he did.


The league did indeed suspend Fisher for one game, but both Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest have been cleared to play in Friday night’s game. After reviewing the tapes, Stu Jackson of the league did assess Kobe with a Flagrant one for that elbow to the throat that the refs evidently did not see. Although Ron Artest got himself ejected for striding over to Kobe to protest that elbow, he undoubtedly realized that the game was basically lost by that time, and his confrontation was an insurance policy for games down the line. He surprised everyone by not being confrontational (everybody knows he is a loose cannon and expected the worst.) But his action should serve to draw the referee’s and league’s attention to Kobe, which may or may not slow him down in future games. Artest made his point in front of the referees and the league, and in future games Kobe is going to have to be on his good behavior for the refs will be watching him like a hawk, whereas Artest came out of the incident getting kudos for his patience and poise. All in all, on Ron’s part it was a masterful case of thinking on your feet in the thick of the battle. And along with excellent defensive play, it might just slow Kobe down enough to make a difference.


Game 2 was a lively dogfight, as the now desperate Lakers weren’t about to fall two games behind in their own arena. Now the series is even at 1-1 with Friday’s game in Houston looming ahead in its heightened importance. Many an expert has predicted the series will go the way of the winner of Game 3. The Lakers turned it up effectively in Game 2, but the Rockets met them most of the way. If Ron can stay on the court for the entire four quarters, and von Wafer can rein in his temper and retain his poise, our Rockets are expected to make a game of it on their home court on Friday. How it will end is anybody’s guess before the fact. But you can be sure of one thing, we will report on it as we upload Saturday morning’s blog, and so you will be able to read about it here. We can’t wait.

Lakers Take Game 3

Friday, April 8, 2009. Damn! I guess the Lakers really are the best team in the west. They took game three handily, not without a lot of effort, but with poise and skill. And with the play of Ron Artest in doubt for game 4 (he was ejected after being called for a flagrant two, which is usually followed by a one game suspension) and with Yao Ming limping noticeably, I’m afraid things don’t look good for game four. Oh well, we had a beautiful game one . . . and there’s always next year!

Rockets Stun Lakers in First Game Without Yao

The Yao-less Rockets came out and stunned the Los Angeles Lakers winning fame four 99 to 87 in an afternoon game at Toyota Center broadcast nationally on ABC. Pint-size point guard Aaron Brooks was the star and high scorer of the game, scoring a career high 34 points, while moving effortlessly in and out of the Lakers defense. Shane Battier had 23 points including five 3-pointers, while helping keep LA high scorer Kobe Bryant to 15 points, on 7 for 15 and Luis Scolla had 13, as second guard Kyle Lowry had 12.


“The energy level was through the roof,” Lowry said. “We got the crowd into the game and just played all the way through. Everybody was telling us they would count us out, but we played for each other.


“This team, we’re just resilient. We have that grit and grind. We don’t want to ever lose.”


The next game is Tuesday night from the Staples Center in L.A. One presumes the Lakers will be more ready for the Rockets than they were Sunday afternoon.§


Spike Lee Captures Kobe on film

Meantime film maker Spike Lee has made a documentary film about Kobe Bryant’s basketball skills for ESPN which is due to be shown in mid May. In a Daily Beast interview with Lee Beast Blogger Tourè writes:


The film is a collage of visually stunning shots from all sorts of angles edited beautifully (including gorgeous black-and-white stills that leap out from the moving color images). It’s shot on film of such rich texture that even Kobe’s missteps look astounding. And though the fourth quarter is a wash from a basketball standpoint, that’s when we get to see a different dynamic: Kobe on the bench, watching the game, talking to his teammates — including jabbering with Slovenian Sasha Vujacic in Italian and, after Vujacic goes back in, gently dissing him in English when the small guard presses his luck, drives overaggressively for a dunk, and ends up committing a sloppy foul. “God blessed him with a sweet shot,” Kobe says, “but he ain’t blessed him with jumping ability.§”


Kobe Doin Work airs on ESPN on May 16, at 7:30PM EST. A preview of the film lies below.



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California’s Governor suggests pot study

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Arnold Thinks the Unthinkable

And finally in cash strapped California, governor Arnold Swartzenegger says it’s high time to study whether or not to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. I’m quite sure the editors of High Times second the motion with a resounding “Aye!!!


The Republican governor does not go so far as to support legalization quite yet — and the federal government still bans marijuana use — but advocates hailed the fact that Schwarzenegger actually endorsed studying a subject that was once politically taboo.



“Well, I think it’s not time for (legalization), but I think it’s time for a debate,” Schwarzenegger said. “I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I’m always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?” More can be found here!


There is nothing like financial desperation to make one carefully study that which was once unthinkable. As anybody who has used marijuana for any period of time can testify, marijuana gets a bad rap from the Feds and the DEA in particular. It is no sin to lie about a drug, and the powers that be lie about pot with every breath they take.


For one thing, contrary to what every establishment spokesperson incessantly claims marijuana is not addictive. No way does it have the hold on you that a hard drug such as heroin or cocaine has, or for that matter softer ones like nicotine or tobacco. And its casual use does nowheres near as much damage to the body as does the thoroughly legal smoking of tobacco or the drinking of alcohol. In addition drinking alcohol mixed with driving an automobile often causes collisions and injuries and death to oneself and to others, for alcohol dulls the brain and measurably slows reaction times.


On the other hand in the only presidential ordered scientific study of the effects of the drug, marijuana was found to actually improve the driving skills and reaction times of experienced users when driving while high. Those results were so shocking to the politicians that had assumed that the opposite would be found to be true, that the president who ordered the study, Lyndon Baines Johnson, immediately denounced it and had his science advisor to do likewise. If they don’t reinforce our stereotypes, so much for presidential studies.


Back in the Michael Phelps infamous Bong incident, we wrote the following about marijuana, which we feel bears repeating. Any of you with lingering doubts about the basic harmlessness of pot should just think back to the Woodstock Music Festival, held August 15 to August 18, 1969 at Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm near the rural town of Bethel, New York. Upwards of 500,000 young people spent a rainy, stormy weekend in a large field together listening to rock music. Think about that, that’s a small city’s worth of people. What was worse, at least from the standpoint of straight America, was that an overwhelming majority of those kids were smoking pot. Morning, noon and night.



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What do you suppose would have happened if 500,000 beer drinkers had spent the weekend together in a big, open field? Not to mention half a million Jim Beam aficionados? Alcohol fuzzes the brain, and makes many people belligerent. Fights would have sprung up like weeds, and blood would have flowed like rivers in springtime. In contrast marijuana seems to sharpen the brain, and is symbolic of peace and love, the preferred herb fueling the peace pipes of the world. And among the half a million youths camping out at Woodstock that weekend, at times under horrific conditions, not a single fight happened. Can you believe that? Not one.


Marijuana epitomizes peace, and in spite of common myth, it is neither addictive like heroin or cocaine nor is it hallucinogenic like LSD. Whereas any substance, even water, can be abused with overuse, what is certain is that many more lives are ruined each year by tobacco smoking and/or the drinking of alcohol than will ever be ruined by even excessive marijuana use. However the legal establishment is reluctant to give up any criminality, no matter how harmless or benign it might happen to be, and so of course cannabis remains illegal. And even though its medical use has been made legal in several states, the feds will not recognize those state’s right, and continually threaten to arrest medical sellers.



If our country was guided by pure scientific reasoning rather than rooted in myth and prejudice, we would study the Rastafarians, the religious group to which marijuana is an integral part of the ceremonies. Rastafarians have distinctive codes of behavior and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks, the smoking of cannabis, the rejection of Western medicine, and adherence to a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk. They smoke pot day and night, in extreme excess, and any government entity really interested in studying the effects of marijuana on the human body could not in their wildest dreams hope to find a group more suitable for study than the Rastafarians.



Which of course, is the reason such a study will never be made, for politicians would never accept an honest study. If it should happen it would most likely be loudly denounced as was the study during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.


These days the marijuana community seems to have its priorities set correctly. Get marijuana recognized for its medicinal powers first, then gently push for its recreational use while highlighting its tax revenue potential. As an illegal substance marijuana currently only benefits sellers and users. But it is a weed, it is easy to grow, and it could solve many a state’s money problems if only it was legalized and taxed.§


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And so Blog #87 is down to stems and seeds. And all evidence of our dalliance is busy blowing in the wind. We couldn’t be more pleased that you visited with us this week, and we hope you will find you way back here next week. In the meantime, as they used to say in the union movement, “Take it Easy, but take it!” Bye now.§



The Real Little Eddy

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blog #86: A Happy 100 Days!

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Photo from 4chan.org

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Welcome to a Truly Open US Gov!

As the conservative Republican minority continues to piss and moan at the release of still more of those legal memos which authorized torture, and their pleas for their further withholding rises to a crescendo, we Americans need to ask themselves a very straightforward question: Why shouldn’t this administration release this information? For one thing, it is insurance against it ever happening again. And for another, why should the creators of this policy not receive the full credit they deserve for this affront to humanity and to the American psyche. What’s with this Republican penchant to govern in secrecy, anyway? Are they perchance ashamed at what they have done. It was the theorizing of these made-to-order legal weasles which turned 200 years of American traditions on its ear, and as a result they well deserve whatever credit or blame might be coming to them from down the pike. But folks, let us not allow those who ordered those opinions in the first place to go scott free. If there is punishment for the legal weasles, those who ordered that advice deserve whatever punishment their legal counterparts might receive for asking them to come up with legal justification for their use of torture and then blindly accepting it when it their orders bore fruit. We broke centuries of tradition by punishing Nazis and Fascists who broke the Geneva accords after World War II. Why should we let our homegrown crop of criminal minds get away unpunished.


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The Obama Pause that Refreshes

How refreshing it is to have the country led by a leader calling for transparency, instead of one who wraps his machinations under wraps of secrecy far from the public view. Republicans must surely love secrecy as they have made a religion out of it, using it as an attempt to mask their true motives and movements under its cloak. After all, when you stop and think about it Republicans do seem to have a helluva lot to hide. But clearly the American people are taking to this new mood of openness, which is why the President’s approval numbers are in the mid sixties, in spite of the monumental challenges facing his presidency, including two wars, a bankrupt economy, and the threat of a world wide pandemic, among many other things. Oddly enough, CNN on Wednesday night had its listeners grade the president by way of its website, and on the economy the President scored, would you believe, an A? Would you imagine that, in this complete mess of an economic time he garners an A?


Republicans may scream and holler about Obama doubling the national debt in his first hundred days, but they conveniently forget that their guy was the first to do that, and his doubling the debt benefitted only the very wealthy and the big corporations. The rest of us were left to pay the bill. As are our children, and our grandchildren.


Obama’s use of the stimulus is to create jobs, to get Americans working again, and at the same time rebuild America’s long ignored infrastructure. And what is really important here is that according to all indications the public does get the fact that Obama is truly working for us all, and according to the marks they gave him in CNN’s 100 day poll they indicated their approval and wished him well.


The Daily Beast on President Obama’s 100 Day Press Conference:


Obama Was Neither Surprised, Humbled, Enchanted, Nor Troubled by the Question. You could hear his colleagues laughing at him, but give Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times credit: he posed the most original (and perhaps only four-part) question at a press conference in years. And note President Obama, ever the perfect student, answering each part in full.



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Arlen Specter Makes Our Day

Tuesday was a mile high day on the political front. Arlen Specter, the reluctant Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, switched parties on this day, thereby bringing the total of Democratic Senators to 59. And after Al Franken’s election in Minnesota makes its long and winding way through the Minnesota legal process the Democratic Party’s majority will be a filibuster proof 60.


Not that that will guarantee anything. Democrats are notable individualists, and their rank and file shows nowhere near the dedicated lockstep marching with their leadership as that exhibited by their Republican counterparts. Only three Republican Senators defected to allow President Obama’s stimulus package to come up for a vote in the Senate. And in the House the party showed even stronger leadership, not one Republican crossed over to vote in favor of the stimulus package. However Sen. Specter’s defection is still sweet music for Obama’s ears. And in our view, sweet music for the ears of all Americans.


Republican’s view of Sen. Specter’s reputation as a not-to-be-trusted maverick dated back even before that stimulus bill when he was one of three Republican Senators to reject the GOP hard line opposition and crossover to stand with the Democrat majority. Republicans of the extreme right welcome Sen. Specter’s move, for they wish for a party of “pure” principles, which of course is going to limit the party even more. They are trading Ronald Reagan’s call for a Big Republican Tent into a call for an ideologically pure Pup Tent. Which of course suits most of America to a tee. With only 20%, one in five, of today’s voters calling themselves Republican, that Pup Tent does indeed seem to be small and shrinking.


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100 Days and Flying High!

Wednesday, April 29, was President Obama’s 100th day, a big deal in the judging of a Presidency since Franklin Roosevelt’s ascension in 1933. And everybody, and his brother, is offering their opinion. So I guess it would be appropriate for Little Eddy to offer his.


Of course 100 days is nowhere near far enough along to affix any kind of meaningful grade to the new President’s job history, especially in areas which really matter. But having said that, what a charming change it is to have a president who can think on his feet, who is both articulate and honest, and best and most importantly, who does exactly what he had promised he would do when running for the office? How unique this is after eight years of a Republican Administration which paid no attention to what the public wanted, and was Proud Of It? To have a president who actually cares about the country, and the people in it, rather than turning his full attention to games of foreign policy is indeed a heady combination which could carry us anywhere. A president who is going to work full time in the interests of our country and its general population, and not just in the interests of the rich and well connected. A president who is going to be transparent in everything he does. No secrecy from this president. Absolutely first rate. What grade do you give the President after the first 100 days? We give him an A for both effort and execution.


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Flying Piglet from 4chan.org

President Obama’s Swine Flu advice: cover your mouth while coughing, and wash your hands!

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Mother Nature Still in Charge

Houston, Texas, Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Last night, during the night, the old lady who is really running things on this earth showed those of us in Houston who is still the boss. It’s Mother Nature I’m talking about, and she proved her continuing control over our situation by dumping 1.76” of rain during the night. This left my neighborhood in near flood conditions with the waterline well above the sidewalks.

Fortunately all of the houses in this neighborhood are built at least six feet above the street level, and as a result no houses were threatened by the water. Transportation was severely curtailed however, school was cancelled for the day, and few if anyone from the neighborhood attempted to go to work.


At eleven a.m. although the sun was out, and although it hadn’t rained in several hours, the water level remained well above the sidewalk level. While observing the situation from the front yard, I saw an electrician walking down people’s front yards just above where the sidewalk was hidden. Upon my remarking that it is a mess out, he grinned and announced that there was no way he was going to drive in here.

According to the Weather Bureau the record for this day dates to 1957 and stands as 2.72”. The afternoon forecast reads: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some thunderstorms may be severe with locally heavy rainfall possible. Highs around 80. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent. The forecast turned out to be wrong, there was no more rain that day. And by four p.m. not a trace of the water could be found.


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Graphic from 4chan.org
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Piglets are among the most lovable of baby animals

The child in the picture above licking the hog’s snout is not in the least bit out of line in situations where children live in close contact with farm animals. In the three camps I worked for one of the most lovable things in camp for both campers and counselors alike were the camp pets. And these ranged far and wide beyond the usual pet dogs and cats. For some unknown reason horses and horseback riding came first with a number of girl campers. But camp also had a number of baby farm animals we would rent from a neighboring farm for the summer. These included chickens, sheep and goats, and most definitely a young piglet or two or three. Piglets are charming animals, they are clean (they don’t seem to acquire their gross habits until they gain the majority of their growth), and they are both warm and affectionate. In short they are all you could possibly ask for in a pet. If only they didn’t grow up.


At Blueberry Cove Camp in Maine one summer we had a ten year old camper named Tony who got a most intense crush on our littlest piglet. I don’t really remember whether this piglet was male or female, it wouldn’t have mattered though because it’s sex had nothing to do with Tony’s attraction to it. I’m not sure how it started, but the piglet roamed free, and after a few times of Tony cuddling it, the pig began following Tony around to his activities. Soon counselors could expect the piglet to be cuddled up with Tony. And by the time the parents’ visiting weekend rolled around Tony’s parents discovered that Tony and the piglet were a super item. His parents thought the relationship very cute, if not truly beautiful, and I must say I and most of the rest of the staff agreed. There was nothing quite as charming as the sight of Tony and his piglet friend lying nose to snout, as it were, freely trading kisses and snout lickings.


Tony’s mother quietly inquired of us privately what was likely to happen to the pig after camp. We explained as how we rented the animals from (here we’ll call him Farmer Brown) for the summer, and after camp the pig would probably get some fattening up over the winter and then be sold next spring for slaughter. (Such is the fate of virtually all farm animals in our civilized society.) To her credit Tony’s mom racked her brain to try and think of a way that her son’s pet could escape the inevitable, but she could come up with nothing. For as downright beguiling as a piglet can be, it will sure as hell grow into a large, smelly, obnoxious grown animal in a matter of months. It is only a matter of time. And dealing with an adult hog would be impossible in a city situation. And so Tony’s mom’s options were limited to none. Tony’s pet would undoubtedly be up for slaughter the next spring and Tony was encouraged not to think beyond the summer for his favorite pet. And his mom assured us she would find a dog for Tony after camp.


A strange night for camping

My favorite part of working in camps as a counselor was in taking the campers on trips. These trips were meant to offer a challenge to the kids, either climbing a mountain, paddling a canoe, or riding a bicycle, among many other things. It was a chance to get a small group of kids away from the entire camp, and allow them to experience living close to nature. But for me, it was a chance to test my own mettle against the forces of nature.


Not that nature ever really tested us. In the three camps I worked for we never had an accident on a trip, and we had very few in camp. On the contrary, I had many really vivid experiences on trips. There was one trip in particular which had a profound effect on me. We were camped out in an open field, with a spectacular view of mountains in the background. I had a tiny Sony shortwave radio, hardly larger than a deck of playing cards, and after a campfire and stories, and the kids were safely in their sleeping bags, I slipped on the earbuds and prepared to surf the shortwaves.


It was an extraordinary night. The Northern Lights were crackling in the northern sky. (The Northern Lights are white, while the Aurora Borealis consists of colored lights, red and green. I saw Northern Lights several times in Maine, but I never saw the Aurora there. It I saw several times while visiting Pete Seeger after camp in Beacon, N.Y.) I feasted on this visual for at least five minutes before I started exploring the shortwave bands. I finally settled in on a Canadian station which was giving a newscast. As I listened the newscaster went on about a story from Montana, where two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were camped out in the Montana wilderness when their tent was torn into by a bear, who proceeded to bite a chunk out of the young man’s buttock, which was evidently bare and moving rapidly. What a strange story to be listening to, out in the wilderness with northern lights crackling in the sky. That night was seared into my mind, a totally unforgettable experience.


Imagine my surprise in talking with two of our camp parents at the end of that summer, and hearing the same story told by them. It seems that the lad that was attacked by the bear was in one of those traveling camps that would experience the west driving by day and camping by night. The boy was the nephew of our parents, and she told me that the boy’s parents were surprised to learn that he had been in a tent with a girl. The girl was not hurt. The boy managed to fend the bear off, then was driven to a hospital where his wounds were taken care of. Aside from losing a chunk of his gluteus maximus and being somewhat sore, he did recover fully, although he left the camp after the accident and returned home. Where one assumed he had a most subdued rest of the summer.


Talk about a small world. As those parents discussed their nephew’s fate, I couldn’t help reliving that night when I first heard about it, the Northern Lights crackling in the night sky, as the Canadian newsman painted quite vividly the story of that camper in Montana suffering the bear attack. What a small world it is indeed, to have this far flung incident somehow related to one of our own campers? And to first hear of it while camping deep in the wilderness during a crackling display of the Northern Lights.


Gluteus maximus indeed. Our time doth hereby ticketh away, leaving us with nothing to say beyond a cordial goodbye, and an invitation to return next week. We’re very glad you came. We do hope you will come back again. Bye now.


The Real Little Eddy