Monday, October 18, 2004

Better Red Then Dead

I'm beginning to wonder if John Kerry really wants to be president. I'm starting think the ubiquitous October surprise will be John Kerry doing a Howard Dean impression. That'd be nice. I might actually pay to see it. I've had it up to here with John Kerry (hand to chin). I'm serious. He's just pissing me off now. Yesterday was a kicker. He was in Florida and he said "Its George Bush's fault that there isn't enough flu vacine!" Huh? If you going to blame any one blame the British. They are the ones that shut down the factory that manufactures the stuff for safety reasons, maybe we should be thanking them for looking out for us. Then John Kerry went on to say "If Halliburton made flu vaccine there would be more then enough." That's when I decided John Kerry was swinging at pitches that were in the dirt. He also insinuated that the flu vaccine was something else that George Bush outsourced. Actually, there isn't any profit in flu vaccines. They can't be kept for very long and the ones that don't get used have to be destroyed, however lets not forget that American companies are afraid to make the stuff... why? Because of people like the marionette John Edwards, trial lawyers. They afraid they'll get sued.

Here's something I saw in the Indianapolis Star on Saturday. It comes from the editorial page. I have a certain interest in this one, too, particularly since I'm a bookseller and I'm on the "front lines," if you will of the literary (and I use that term loosely) slobberknocker in the current affairs section. Anyway, here it is:
Here's a fun experiment: Drive to the nearest mega-bookstore and look for the tables and shelves stocked with new nonfiction. Because this is an election year (and one divisible by four) these displays will be top-heavy with politics.

You'll find books advocating a Republican sweep as well as treatises on why we should toss the bums out. You'll find books attacking the president for everything from gross incompetence to corporate corruption to environmental neglect. What you won't find is a great number of books critical of Sen. John Kerry.

The imbalance is striking -- so much so that I approached the help desk of the local Barnes & Noble and asked if I was missing something. On one side of the scales, you have a mountain of anti-Bush titles from authors great and small.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has brought out "Bushworld," a collection of her increasingly incoherent columns. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has written the book "What We've Lost," with the wonderfully chatty subtitle: "How the Bush Administration Has Curtailed Our Freedoms, Mortgaged Our Economy, Ravaged Our Environment, and Damaged Our Standing in the World."

Sen. Robert Byrd's thoughtful side is on display on the cover of his "Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency." The grand old pork barrel king of the Senate poses for the camera, his hand obscuring part of the grimace on his face so as to give readers the impression that these are Grave Concerns.

Former congressman Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has written the book "Crimes Against Nature," which accuses the administration of, well, must I really explain?

These are part of the new eruption of anti-Bush books, which are basically indistinguishable from the previous flow of books on the subject. Last year's "Stop Bush in 2004" has given way to this year's "Stop Bush Now!"

Even to many liberals, this is getting tiresome.

Matthew Yglesias, staff writer for the Washington-based progressive monthly American Prospect read seven anti-Bush books last year for a large review in the magazine. By the time he was done he joked in an e-mail that he wanted to write a book titled "Not So Bad: Why George W. Bush Is a Bad Guy But Hardly the Worst Guy In Human History."

There are few anti-Kerry books to balance against these. WND Books has published David Bossie's "The Many Faces of John Kerry" and Regnery Publishing has brought out the blockbuster "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," but that's about the end of the list.

According to Regnery executive editor Harry Crocker III, the publisher has printed 850,000 copies to date, and the book is near the top of most bestseller lists. When I asked him why there weren't more anti-Kerry books for sale, he took the remarkably contrarian stance that there isn't a market for them, unless they're very well done. Crocker explained that for an anti-Kerry book to sell, it has to be exceptional, because liberal authors have something going for them that conservative authors don't: the frustration that comes with being out of power.

But it isn't clear that all the anti-Bush books, or the dearth of anti-Kerry books, will help swing the election against the president.

By bringing out so many anti-Bush books, the publishing industry has done three things that its mostly Democratic voters may soon regret.

First, it has boosted the president's stature: If this many people are attacking him, some voters are sure to reason, he must at least be effective.

Second, by airing so many frequent, sometimes over-the-top criticisms of Bush, publishers help color the opposition as a bunch of obsessives and crazies.

Finally, the shortage of anti-Kerry books helps to reinforce the senator's image as the candidate of a certain social class, and a lightweight to boot.

The suspicion is that the smart set refrains from criticizing Kerry because they can't stand the thought of a Bush victory, and also because they aren't sure he could take it.

And what post on politics would be complete with out a Gart Varvel cartoon. Again, from the Indianapolis Star.

I'm so ready for Election Day.

Friday, October 15, 2004

and then in other news (as if you thought i would really leave this alone?)


my dad came home from the hospital. he has new medications that will hopefully keep the plaque in his heart and and the heart muscle itself beating nicely for a bit while longer. it felt so good to see him when i came home from work today. really, it did, i almost cried. he has some restrictions and he has been put on an excercise program-- very low risk (for example he has to walk back and forth from end of the house to the other three times a day for five minutes)-- he will do these excercises, if i have to beat him.

in other news: i sent my application in for grad school last night. we'll see, i'm not so sure i'll get in, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

it rained all day. it was cold.

i got a fifty cent raise last week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Father's Heart

My father is in the hospital. I took him to the emergency room on Friday morning at 0230. He was complaining of chest pains and indegistion, typical symptoms of a hearattack. He has had two heart attacks already in 1980 and 1989. We talked to a heart surgeon about the possibility of surgery, the verdict? He is not a candidate for open heart surgery. The surgeon said that he wasn't sure my father's heart would start up again after surgery. My father's heart is badly damaged from his early heart attacks. He has scar tissue, but he also has bad heart heredity. His father, grandfathers (paternal and maternal) as well as great grandfather all died from heart attacks or heart related illnesses.

The doctor told us that his heart is doing as well as it can, he is not in eminent danger of death, but his heart isn't going to be as strong in the next few years as it is now (in this case that word is a relative term).

So we will continue to monitor his health. I know he won't live forever, but I hope he'll have a great life for as long as he is allowed. My father is a very strong man. He has an incredible faith in Christ and he knows that he will have home when it is time to leave this one, its just that his room hasn't quite been finished yet.

I ask for you prayers for good health for my father. His name is Ernie.

Monday, October 11, 2004

poem es fini

i thought that


i’d write a poem tonight
while listening to music

my window is open &
the temperature is slowly


but as (per usual) the poem
i saw in my head has flown the
coop and gone south

i tried to chase it down
& make it submit to my


but a poem is like
a feral cat i

have to get used to that
& except it:

the poem
is lost to me

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Maybe They Won't do too Much Damage If We Send Them There

I've grown weary of it all

I heard something on the radio yesterday that bummed the hell out of me. I was listening to Tavis Smiley on NPR. He was interviewing two lawyers and, of course, they were talking about the presidential race (and as Tavis always does it became about the race of and for the presidential campaign), but he asked a question that basically went like this: "Will the election decide it? Will it be over on November 2nd?" Sadly, both lawyers said no. They both felt it was going to be thrown to the Supreme Court to decide that matter. I let out a groan. I have turned the corner on the whole presidential race thing. I am still voting for who I am voting for, but I have just gotten so damn tired of it all. And the thought that the election might be drug out for many more weeks after election day is something I am not really excited about. It is my sincere hope that whoever wins wins in a decisive manner. I do not think the country needs another 50-50 vote.

I watched the Vee-Pee debate the other night. I thought it was a good one. I heard a great quote that was written in the Washington Post: "It was like watching two pitbulls fight." How true. I thought it was more like watching two very angy prize fighters duke it out. Both got some good shots in, I didn't hear anything new and I kept hearing Edwards say that they have a plan for this and that and the other, but he didnt say anything about what those plans might be. I had to give Cheney props for nipping the your-daugher-is-gay-so-you-must-support-gay-marriage personal attack that Edwards mounted in the bud pretty quickly. Edwards seemed a bit upset that Cheney did not run with it or attack back. I think Cheney scored a good point there. I would call the debate a hard-fought draw.

Sadly, I have to work tomorrow so I won't be able to see the second Presidential debate. I may tape it so I can review it later. I think Dub-ya is going to come out swinging this time. He got took the first time, it is my sincere hope that he does not let that happen again.

I had to bite my tongue last night at work. There is this group that meets in the cafe at work. They started out as a "meet-up" group for Howard Dean, but when he self-destructed back in the primaries they kind of lay low for a few weeks until they could figure out who was going to be the "go to guy" for the Democrats. After Kerry became the front runner they started showing up again with their little buttons and placards touting Kerry/Edwards. Well last night they met again and there were two women who were preparing to pay for some things and they were busy having a political conversation about how wonderful John Kerry was and how angry they were and my blood really started to boil. I wanted so much to engage them, but i was afraid of a couple things: 1. I'm on the clock, company time and all. 2. It wouldn't be a discussion so much as a heated argument. 3. I didn't want to offend them telling them I thought they were pretty much wrong across the board (this goes back to number one, as well). So I literally chewed on the inside of my cheek. As they left I said quietly under my breath "See you November 2nd."

I realized the other day that I am so disgusted and my mind is so prejudiced again Johnkerry that I've become almost irrational. I do not hate the man, that's a loaded and evil word, but I just do not like him, at all. I get the same reaction to Johnkerry as I do soggy bread and mushrooms... I gag.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


The other day, while when I was driving to work, I passed an R.V. that was built on a bus chasis. It was beige and had some chrome on it. It was a beautiful creation: long, shiny, and looked like it was a very comfortable thing. It was pulling an H2 Hummer. I did a double take, and then I did some quick guestimation math and decided that I was looking at approximately (at the very least) 300,000 dollars on wheels. I thought to myself Wow, that guy has too much money. Maye he did. Then I chuckled to myself and said if the RV runs out of gas, he can just move the hummer to the front and tow the RV.

A coworker and I went out and had drinks after work yesterday. We drank four beers apiece over approximately two hours and we stuffed ourselves with chips and queso (which was very good, by the way). I hadn't done that in a while, just gone out and had a relaxing drink with a friend. I could of stayed and imbibed more, but the fact that I had to drive weighed on my mind. The other thing was this: even at 2.24 a pint it adds up pretty quick. I don't know if its a result of the drinking, butI just feel relaxed right now. Just comfortable. Chilled. So, right now, I am drinking a cup of coffee (the second of the morning) and listening to Diane Reims on the radio.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Senator Flip-flop

Politics, again

I just finished watching the "debate," if you can call it that. Who won? I'm not sure, but I'd say that George Bush drew first blood. It was about 20 minutes into the thing when I heard John Kerry mutter angrily "I'll scrap the rules if you want." John Kerry got angry, quick and I really don't think he ever quite recovered.

Neither Bush, nor Kerry said anything new. Kerry said he had a "better plan" for everything, yet he was very, very vague on specifics. He did say that he would bring in help and allies for the Irag-thing. I'm not sure who, though. The French or the Germans? Does he think that just because he's elected he'll be able to ge them to get off their collective European asses and help? Yeah, right. I'd rather the French stick to wine and the Germans to beer. I'm quite happy to have the Brits. Of course George kept coming back to the "we must stay the course," and "we are safer now then four years ago." Maybe we are and maybe we should, I don't know.

I listened to part of the debate on the radio on my way home from work. John Kerry sounded like someone on stage waiting to recite, by rote, something he worked very hard to memorize. Bush on the other hand sounded like he was prepared, but a bit nervous. He stammered a bit, but that's the way he talks. Once he got going he was tough.

I got home and watched the rest of it on television. Was it me or did you get the impression that Bush and Kerry really don't like each other. I'm serious.

I'm still voting for Bush on November 2. Matter of fact I've been thinking about registering in Chicago so I can vote early and vote often... lol. I'm kidding. The only problem I'm having this election year is who to vote for govenor. I'm leaning towards Mitch Daniels, the challenger to Joe Kernan. I'm not real happy with Kernan, but I realize he inherited many of the problems when he was sworn in after Gov. O'Banion died. (O'Banion was a schnook). But I'm thinking it might be time to clean statehouse and give Daniels a try. (Oh, Daniels is Republican and Kernan is a Deomocrat). The problem with Indian Democrats and Indiana Republicans is very thin hairs. Drives me nuts.

I must appologize to the whole two people that read this blog with any regularity about being so political here. I'm not generally a political guy. I don't talk politics. But I've found myself needing to vent and its safer here in cyberworld then in the realworld.