October 18, 2009 archive

I’m a Good German …

“Be excellent to eachother … or else”, or so says Docudharma. Seems that it applies more liberally to some than others, but such is life, right? I’ll do my best below, but if I deserve the “or else”, then “or else” it shall be …

Over the past couple of days, me and the other 250,000+ protestors here in PR who have been participating in peaceful civil disobedience, have been scathingly referred to as Nazis, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Fascists, Chavistas, Terrorists, Unpatriotic, Dangerous to our Way of Life, as well as the more friendly, Worthless and Laughable, ad nauseum … and these relentless screeds by the far right administration and their 30% +/- dead-enders mean … absolutely nothing! Doesn’t even get a rise out of me more than a laugh or two … what else do they have but to hurl insults, attacking and distracting with scary language … anything to stamp out the growing clamour againt this callous administration.

But when someone on the left, supposedly one of the good guys, someone I’ve read for years … when someone here starts going all Godwin on me … well, let’s just say it’s produced a bit more than a rise … and then came his immediate ex cathedra, and just the inherent arrogance and authoritarianism of even using such a phrase … even in jest – which it wasn’t – was enough for me. I’ve stewed and chewed it over for a few days, dialed back my anger … tried to find my better angels … closed my eyes and just started typing. A couple of hours and around 5,000 words later … this is what came out.

Then a little bit more editing and deleting, as best I could, any really over-the-top or angry rhetoric, and a bit of formatting and here we are. In any case, it’s been a great catharsis for me … a few may agree with my perspective, I suspect many more will not. And that’s ok. I’m not here to impress, but to express. I’ve also tried to express myself in my own quirky, sometimes funny way, at least to me … but there’s really nothing funny about it.

After all’s said and done it’s a bit of a read, I apoligize in advance for its’ length … so if you’re not into spending / wasting 15 or 20 minutes, or would prefer a lighter essay on this fine Sunday, then this probably isn’t for you. Thanks for clicking over anyways … hope to see you around if I’m allowed back in … you can all cast your vote in the poll at the end.

So … back to what’s been gnawing at me … oh yeah …

I’m a good German … well, at least that’s what I’ve been told by someone “important” around these parts … and before it slips my mind, I’m also a torture apologist coward, too! I know, it’s ridiculously redundant, aside from being utter bullshit. But what the hell … I’m a good German, and I can endure whatever oh so impassioned redundancies as well as the next good German! Besides, if the Pope says so, I guess I should really, really take it to heart, right?


Now … I’m pretty new over here … so we can move right along past the “well, that’s obvious, who the hell do you think you are, mr. highest UID on the block?” … but I’ve really enjoyed what has become my daily hour or two participating in a relaxed, open, and for the most part, respectful atmosphere. I’ve really come to look forward to it, and find myself checking in over here more and more as time permits. After a few years hanging out at la gran naranja, finding this place was a breath of much needed fresh air.

I’d been thinking about writing something short and sweet, just to introduce myself … don’t get me wrong … I’m nobody special or important, I’m not a writer or a reporter, I have no “inside connections” with the “powers that be” on earth or in the proverbial heavens … I’m not a lobbyist or paid political activist, nor do I participate online to change or save anyone – from themselves or anyone else.

I’m just a regular mo who really likes this place. I spend my limited time here reading some of the essays, trying to engage in conversation, learning whatever I can, donating what little extra money I have to anyone I believe deserves it, when I can afford it … and getting to know others in a way that’s practically impossible in the packed beyond capacity orange stadium. For the most part, I only let out a shout from the nose-bleed seats over there whenever time permitted … but with a quickness it became clear that it wasn’t worth the rise in blood pressure I increasingly experienced, witnessing the blind followers, the predictable ass kissers and the total and unapologetic smack downs of any kind of constructive criticisms … that was then, and this is now …

Because, lo and behold … one of my attempts at dialogue here unwittingly introduced me to the Pope himself … wow, someone I’ve seen around plenty of times over the years at the big orange … and though only a couple of very short sentences emerged from my keyboard, with his great and inspired insight he pierced right into the depths of my heart and mind, crowning me as a coward! … good German! … torture apologist! among so many other heart warming words of welcome that are too ridiculous to mention … and just like that, I had my motivation to finally write an essay … Who says the Pope can’t inspire?

So for my second post here (actually I’ve been chewing on this for a few days, and it was going to be my first essay … but real life stuff like organizing and marches and general strikes kinda got in the way) … and I really had to weigh whether it was even worth the effort to say anything at all … hell, everyone knows that in whatever situation we might find ourselves in, it’s always much safer to just keep silent and stay safely below the radar … and even this newbie has seen enough to know that nothing I say will ever affect anything the Pope says or does … he’ll always have plenty of folks behind him, patting him on the back no matter what …

But speaking out when the urge really hits me finally won out, as it always does … consequences be damned. And even though the Pope promoted my General Strike essay yesterday, my first here, and I gave him the obligatory shout of thanks for doing so … I ultimately decided I would plow ahead and not pass up the opportunity afforded me by his holiness to finally introduce myself as candidly as possible, and respond to his kind and compassionate pronouncements …

So, here it goes … umm, I’m kinda shy … errr …

Hello everyone, I’m Bobby … and I’m a good German.


Polly … I’m in danger girl

Well, you already know I was christened Roberto Miguél de la família Sánchez by my now deceased parents may they rest in peace … but what you almost lost a few feathers over, sweet Polly, is that I was quite unceremoniously re-christened Rupert Michel of the Third Reich by Pope ek the First himself! So in honor of that proud occasion, I put together this short note of deep appreciation for the kind consideration of taking time out of his tremendously busy online schedule to address this mere commoner personally …

My most esteemed Grand Poom Bah,


With deepest appreciation, Bobby

Now where was I? … oh yeah, a brief glimpse into the life of this good German … and I’d also like to include, if I may, a long distance hug and some long overdue first aid supplies for Miep … due to quite a violent electronic beating at the holy bat wielding hands of the Grand Poom Bah himself. And after introducing myself, I have a few questions for his holiness, rhetorical of course … that is, if anything his holiness decrees can actually be questioned or even whispered by such an unworthy layperson such as myself …

Well, getting on with it … besides being a really good German, I need to admit up front that I’m also a good bit tired, too. You see … for me, each near sleepless day has become something of a determined, caffeine-induced continuation of the day before. And to dispel any invincible master race misconceptions, even a good German gets tired …

So how does the day of this good German usually get started? Well … my first pot of espresso gets started at 4:30am, and then after a quick shower and a couple of double shots, I let the dogs out, and then kneel in front of my altar and chant for an hour or so … just as I’ve been doing for around 24 years … you know … so that I can really get in touch with my inner good German. You see, this good German is a Nichiren Buddhist, and though some may wrongly believe my inspiration comes from Mein Kampf, what I secretly cherish is the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of a radical monk who always seemed to be getting himself into trouble by speaking out … attempted beheadings, multiple exiles, that sorta thing … all due to his persistent remonstrations against the government and propagation of what the majority in his day considered heresies … I guess that was a big no no in 13th century feudal Japan …

After morning gongyo, that’s where I recite portions of the Lotus Sutra in good German Sanskrit after chanting for an hour or so, I’m off to get started on my daily chores before my better half gets up … taking care of our 19 rescued dogs and 5 cats … my morning mucking and feeding and everything else that goes along with taking care of my 3 horses (with one on the way) and 6 goats (with 4 on the way) … and this should have been a dead give-away even to me – everyone knows that good Germans just love their animals. Especially those wonderful shepherds… perhaps I should get a couple just so that I can keep up my good German creds for the Pope

Once my morning four-legged family chores are taken care of, usually around 9am or so, it’s time to make another pot of espresso and scramble up a few eggs for my partner who’s usually stirring around the house by then … on good days. And after cleaning up the breakfast dishes it’s time for this good German to try and make a few deutsche marks …

I spend about 6 hours a day mixing up a couple of birthday cakes or tres leches when I have orders, baking a cappuccino or chocolate cheesecake or two, a few cheese, guava or coconut flans, a couple of lemon and pistachio pound cakes, and the occasional anniversary, wedding or quinceañera cake … so I’m always ready with a good recipe or ten if the Pope so decrees

You see, after my restaurant finally went belly-up in January of this year (still can’t figure out where all my customers went … what recession?), and my once financially secure and stress-free balance sheet existence came to an abrupt end … I’ve just had to do whatever it takes to maintain some sort of hold-my-head-up, pay-my-bills life … find and then keep a new roof over our heads, keep food on the table and in the bowls and buckets, gas in the truck … I suspect a few of you guys know the drill all too well … ’cause during these no-good-job-to-be-found times me and so many others are living through, and being the good German that I am and all … I just gotta do whatever it takes.

A few of my old customers, good Germans of course, have been just great by regularly ordering my desserts. Hard times or not, folks are still celebrating special occasions, so every time I can get someone to order from me and not take the quick and easy and chemically laced Wal-Mart / Sam’s / Costco route, then it’s a win for the home team. Then I haul my not ordered confections down the mountain and into town a couple of times a week, hitting the office buildings where I have a few friends so I don’t get run off for ‘solicitation’, and I go back and forth between the truck and elevators for a few hours until my goods are sold …

And if it wasn’t obvious before now … us good Germans really love to bake us up some cakes, and decorate them, too … and then market our goods out of the trunks of our good German cars… wait, scratch the good German car part … past but not quite forgotten life intruding … then again, a well-used Toyota with balding tires that I obtained by bartering with one of my final activities at the restaurant … well it could be code for German as well… I’ll have to check with the Pope so I can keep my head straight… well, going in the right direction at least

For the most part, the rest of my days are spent calling on fellow Buddhist members in my area, planning our weekly discussion meetings my partner and I host here at the house … going out to the barn and playing my trumpet for awhile … getting a short nap in when I can … and the rest of my afternoon I spend dropping in on a few of my neighbors – I try to stay in touch with my neighbors here on the mountain every day … sorta my own community outreach thingy. But I’ve been especially busy over the past few weeks. You see, this cowardly good German has been organizing and reaching out to my friends and neighbors to make sure we’ll all be ok once our General Strike and continued civil disobedience gets underway here in PR …

Things like making sure we all have enough food and water, checking out our electric generators that haven’t been used much over the past few years (I guess I should offer a shout of thanks to the Pope for no hurricanes) and making sure we all have enough gas to run them … making sure we all have enough dog and cat and even bunny food for our pets, my partner driving a few of our senior neighbors to the pharmacy to refill prescriptions, and me organizing transportation for those of us that really want to keep marching in the ongoing daily protests against our local clusterfuck of a right wing, trickle down, “give me privatization or give me death” administration …

Our civil disobedience will continue until the governor reverses course … and no one’s predicting how long it will take – a few days, weeks, months? He says he was hired to do a job, and he’s gonna do it – no matter what the people say … well, Mr. Decider … thanks for finally being honest and letting us all know who you really work for … and it sure as hell ain’t us! But we always knew this, didn’t we?

I can’t help but be excited … it brings me back 8 short years ago and participating in day after day after day of massive peaceful protests, which eventually lit a fire under so many supporters stateside into joining us as we took on the vaunted US MIC and their republican tools … especially Oklahoma’s Inhofe and Virginia’s Warner. The island organizers, of which I wasn’t a part, did an incredible job of uniting everyone here of all political parties, which successfully led to getting the Navy and their use of our sister island, Vieques, as a live-fire practice range from hell. ¡Ni Una Bomba Más! Not One More Bomb …

Then again, maybe that’s just crazy ass Puerto Ricans, and this good German, of course, who continues to stand with family, friends, neighbors and strangers in the streets, speaking out and actually confronting “power” … but, what the hell do we know about effective, sustained civil disobedience? …

Sure do wish we woulda had the Pope back then to help us organize … teaching us the finer art of internet rants and online quick n click, no effort needed petitions … or my personal favorite, that much used community building papal technique of firing off electronic explosive devices from deep within his Vatican compound … what the fuck could we have been thinking? It’s not like the intertoobz were non-existent back then… We wouldn’t have had to get all hot and wet and bothered by marching or striking or camping out on the live-fire beaches of Vieques during blistering heat and the inevitable downpours that seem to bless our tropical island … yeah, it rained a lot during those 300 continuous days of peaceful protests in the streets

Now, I don’t believe our civil disobedience will have to last anywhere near 300 days … but even if it does, so be it. Whatever it takes … at least that’s what this good German believes. And like all good Germans, we really like to get up close and personal with our dear leaders, telling those that are unwilling or unable to actually represent the interests of the people who elected them ….

Jódete, ‘Pa FueraFuck You, Get Out!


You see, dear Pope … this sometimes foul-mouthed, but good-natured good German believes that the only way to slowly, but surely, combat the rampant evil in this world – and yes, that even includes torture among so many other evils – is to get out of my comfy chair, get out of my comfy house, step out of my ‘comfy zone’ and get on with the not-so-comfy task of doing right by my neighbors and the actual community in which this good German lives … right where I am … right now. I don’t know what it’s gonna take for my fellow stateside citizens to actually decide they’ve had enough and take matters into their own hands … it’s almost as if they’ve forgotten what civil disobedience is … I can only shake my head in bewildermet, ’cause I’ve got plenty to do right here where I am …

Stepping out of my comfort zone may not be sexy … nor will it earn me the prized ponies and anonymous adulation that his holiness appears to thrive on – this good German prefers my real life ponies and our rides through our real life countryside, anyways – but what does seem to be effective is doing my best to create an extended family with those within my community … creating bonds of the heart with my neighbors … making friends even with those who I know don’t share my beliefs or passions … anyways, that’s what this good German believes …

And this good German also believes in taking the fight against injustice where it belongs – directly and loudly to our elected officials who actually have the ways and means to wield the “power” we’ve placed in their hands … and don’t get me wrong, phone calls and all are ok, even lots of phone calls if that’s the best you can muster … but having the villagers at the palace gates, so to speak, sorta makes our ‘shouting louder’ actually heard and much more difficult to ignore by those that most need to hear it … just sayin’

And, Pope … doing good, at least to this good German, does not include taking to my keyboard and proudly, enthusiastically, hasta con ganas beating to a bloody pulp anyone with even a perceived difference of opinion … especially with words that would actually start a fight and have the Pope or anyone else uttering them eating chiclets in my real world … but what the hell … you’re the Pope, and aren’t subject to that bothersome “be excellent” mantra,right?

Anyway, to begin wrapping up this ‘day in the life’ of this good German, and I’ve been waiting to slip this in hopefully unnoticed towards the end … don’t want the old Pope having a conniption and going all opus dei on my ass … but … I have this little pink triangle sewn very discreetly into the lining of my SS uniform … I guess that would make me a self-hating good German? … but a good fucking German, nonetheless!

You see, one of the main reasons for my sleepless nights not only has to do with enjoying a few hours of quiet time, or searching within for a way through these interesting times I find myself in … but also caring for my partner of 18+ years … he’s been living with HIV since a few years before we met, 1986 to be exact … and this past year has been pretty hard on him … and it’s always worse at night.

After so many good years of good health despite the virus, he had a bout of shingles this past March and his health took a definite turn for the worse. Knock on wood, his heart and determination remain as expansive as ever and he’s still around fighting to see another day. His new meds are having a positive effect, but they haven’t done much for his frequent nightmares … or constantly calling out – whether it’s just for water, or to empty his piss jug, or more often than not, he just wants a hug so this good German can let him know it’s gonna be alright …

I just can’t shake the overwhelming sense of responsibility in my gut … his doc as well as his psychologist says the shingles were brought on by stress … and I’m kinda going out on a limb here by guessing that the stress of me having no choice left but to finally close our restaurant … earning ourselves a couple of hundred thousand in debt … losing our houses both in Tennessee and here in PR to foreclosures, as well as my F-150 and his Mercedes getting repossessed … then trying to find a place for us and all of our rescued animals without any money or credit left to speak of … well, I guess it was a bit stressful … and our financial debacle precipitating said stress falls squarely in my lap. I decided to keep going beyond the point of no return. I’m the one who clung stubbornly to hope beyond hope … believing with all my heart that things would somehow turn around if I could just hold on for one more day … and pray just a bit harder. And an oops, sorry just doesn’t cut it … not by any stretch of the imagination. I’m responsible. Completely. So I had my work cut out for me …

Nonetheless, after I finally got us all settled in the new, much more humble place and the animals all safe and happy, he was bouncing back pretty well until his colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago. The test revealed he had a mass that shouldn’t have been there. Thankfully both biopsies came back benign, but the doc still wants to check him in, run more tests and then remove the intruder … but any kind of hospital visit has him oer the edge stressed-out again, frightened, and still refusing to submit himself to any kind of operation … but hey, he’s a good German, too, and together us good Germans will just have to do what we have to do … of course his doc and psychologist are raising holy hell with him, and I guess dragging him kicking and screaming is always an option … but since the biopsies were benign, I’ll give him a little bit more time to figure things out for himself … but not much more time …

And getting back to the bright side, being the eternally optimistic good German that I am, at least I still have one good ‘customer’ who really appreciates my skills in the kitchen, so preparing dinner and supper are things this good German also really likes to do. Then after cleaning up the dinner dishes, feeding and letting out the dogs and a couple of very vocal if-you-don’t-open-this-damn-door-right-now cats, we both kneel in front of our altar and together end this part of the day just as mine began … chanting and then offering evening gongyo … sorta builds good German character, or so I’ve been told.

After my partner heads to bed with a good many of our dogs and cats – just gotta see it to believe it – my personal “quiet time” finally descends … no matter how many people I encounter in my daily life, or how my friends and neighbors or animals I have … this is my time when I’m completely alone … alone with my own thoughts and plans and dreams … and I cherish it. No fretting … no ‘oh woe is me’ bullshit … and I’d much rather cut short my sleep than ever do without this time… no matter how tired I get.

When alone, I read a lot, especially the letters of Nichiren again and again, or the works of T’ien t’ai … and even more than reading I love listening to some of my favorites … Shostakovich, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky … you see, this good German actually prefers the Russian masters … and of course salsa … old school, new school, any school. Soy salsero, or cocólo as my Abuelita sometimes not so affectionately called me … she always said salsa was like listening to sex … and boy how she disliked salsa – almost as much as she disliked any and all politicians. So she lovingly introduced me to her favorites … boleros and danzas … and I still love to listen to them, almost as much as I love and miss her.

And even after all these years I’m still a drum corps nut … can never get enough … my collection starts with the 1978 championships, the first albums I ever bought with my yard-cutting money… and fulfilled a childhood dream by finally getting to march and perform in the mid eighties … and my collection goes right up through today … yeah, I’m still a drum corps nut … those kids are beyond amazing.

While listening to whatever I’m listening to, and when I’m not reading, I’m usually online checking my email for any responses to the hundreds of résumés I’ve fired off, or chatting with my sister in Tennessee for a while if she happens to be around … and then I invariably hit the home button on my browser and see what’s going on over here on DD. You see, I changed my home page from la gran naranja about a month ago … haven’t missed it a bit … and only visit there when someone over here suggests that I just have to see the latest b.s. being pushed by one or another of the rabid gangs … nah … I haven’t missed it one bit – just as I’m sure the gaggle over there hasn’t missed me … it’s just not important in the bigger scheme of things … not important at all.

And once I just can’t keep my eyes open, I try to get a bit of sleep … until my alarm goes off again at 4:15 … and this good German’s day begins anew. At the very least, I hope you all agree – I’m one hell of a good German!


And now on to giving a shout to a new friend …

Miep, I’m so sorry for your recent episode with the virtual domestic violence you experienced at the hands of his holiness … and though I possess no papal directive to speak on his behalf, wouldn’t want to even if I could … I’m truly sorry. You haven’t been around quite as much since then, especially after his ex cathedra. I wish I could give you hug and soothe your bruises, especially it having been your birthday. Though I believe, having only taken a glimpse of your character, anonymously and from a very long distance … your commitment to the homeless, and the suffering of those in prison, I can tell you without reservation that you’ve really touched my heart. I suspect your beating may have affected others much more than you … but of course, I could be wrong. But what’s not a question in my mind is that the Pope certainly felt no remorse … he actually seemed to rejoice in it … now there’s a shocker! Well, not so shocking really …

Perhaps he was just nostalgic for his once oft-used orange frock … maybe he just had a bad day, or let his king of the hill demeanor get the best of him … who the fuck knows? But, then again, I can’t really expect much from any kind of Pope … whether self-proclaimed or of the white smoke variety.

And hey, Pope … Big Cheese … Grand Poom Bah … it’s not a matter of whether or not torture has taken place in our names – the entire fucking world knows that our government has orchestrated, implemented and condoned torture for decades – and continues to condone and cover-up torture and the crimes of war criminals … what’s your point? Screaming it louder into an echo chamber accomplishes what exactly?

What exactly do you expect to happen from another public disclosure, beyond their eventual admittance in a court of law which happens to be the case, of any new 8×10 glossies that you seem to be salivating over compared to what did, or more specifically did not, occur with the pictures that have already been released?

Do you believe more and better online rants or another online petition will make any difference at all in the court of public opinion? Do you think these efforts will change even one mind or affect the actions of anyone in D.C. or Langley?

What exactly do you expect from your online mostly anonymous, sometimes adoring public, besides ponies? And if you can grant me one tiny papal favor, please try to avoid answers that hint at blind faith in your ‘leadership’ on the torture issue … you see, I’m more of a results oriented good German … and I tend to shy away from wasting my time whenever possible …

And finally, and to me most importantly … have you, with an equal gusto as you’ve so courageously shown on the anonymous tubes, publically, as in – in person – consistently wielded your rhetorical bat against any elected officials, justice department appointees, CIA, contract or military personnel who actually do have blood on their hands? … or do you reserve such passionate, consistent courage for the anonymous online community member or two who happens to cross your path?

When I actually see you, and your loyal following taking it to the streets and making the evening news, actually taking the fight where it belongs … then I’ll give ya a huge Hell Yeah! I’ll even find a way to get on the next flight off the island and link arms with ya and fight till the bitter end. Until that time, if or when that time ever comes … I guess I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m sure you’ll keep doing whatever it is that you do, however reluctantly … and more power to ya…

Am I off base, being disrespectful, or have I misjudged your character or your efforts? I don’t know … I tend to call it as I see it. If you do feel that way, Pope … grab one of those bejeweled papal mirrors you have lying around the palace and take a good long look … ’cause you don’t know me either …

End of rhetorical questions … in the spirit of good clean meta fun, of course!


In conclusion … and please forgive me, everyone, for this being so long … once I got started I just didn’t stop …

If anything I’ve written here causes me to get banned, if I’ve crossed the line of not being excellent to another, or what I’ve essayed makes others here think less of me … then so be it. I’m not here to request, nor offer apologies, I’m also not here to break windows or torch the place. I hold no grudges, I’m not making demands, I have no manifesto, hidden agendas or any such nonsense. People are free to be who they are and say what they want to say … including me, imagine that … and I’m beyond clear that I’m not responsible for anyone’s karma but my own … I’m only responsible for my own reactions to another’s karma – for good or for worse. My causes, my effects. No guilt, no excuses.

And speaking of banishment … you see … as a member of the Soka Gakkai, a real live Grand Poom Bah … former High Priest, Nikken Abe … very much the one time and very real “Pope” of my faith as a Nichiren Buddhist … excommunicated all 12+ million lay members around the world one fine November day, and proceeded to give in to his inner authoritarian by arrogantly claiming that we could only attain ‘buddhahood’ by following him – the self-proclaimed reincarnation of the True Buddha or some such shit – and demanding that we stop following our Sensei and the organization that actually introduced us to our practice – not a local Buddhist priest anywhere around these parts far as I can see … never has been. What a funny little guy that Nikken is! Completely whacked … but oh so funny!

Well, being the good German that I am, together with my fellow brother and sisters in faith, we turned to the East, raised our hands with middle fingers firmly and proudly extended, and sent a collective ‘Fuck You’ to the delusional High Priest and his corrupt priesthood. Then we proudly declared that wonderful day, November 29, 1991, our Day of Spiritual Liberation! … our very own Independence Day! … and joyfully, with no regrets, have never looked back …

So, forgive me if I won’t be even slightly impressed if another ex cathedra emerges from the confines of yet another Pope’s anonymous head temple’s bunker that exiles or excommunicates this poor mo …


But I would like to give praise where praise is due … and agree wholeheartedly with one of your recent papal meta proclamations … “I am not Magnifico”

For me, you could have also substituted, Estupéndo, Fantástico, or Orgásmico … my bi-lingual inner good German really got a kick outa that one, Pope … though I am sad to see Magnifico go, just as I stumbled through the door … just as I’ve been sad to see Miep step back a bit, or sad to see anyone leave … decreasing numbers sorta defeats the purpose of any kind of coalition building, don’tcha think? nah, you’re not magnificent … at least not to me.

So, Pope ek the First … I humbly pray that you forgive me for not kneeling and kissing your ring as you’re apparently accustomed to … although I have been known to get on my knees on more personally satisfying occasions  =P …

What I can do, your holiness, is make this meager effort to give you my back … bend slightly forward … all the better so you can kiss this newly arrived layperson’s ass … all in good fun, of course … just as I’m sure your Linda Blair impersonation was all just in good clean meta fun, huh Pope?

¡Ni Una Bomba Más! … and to hell with real life or online violence and bullies – no matter who, how passionate they seem to be, or how many loyal subjects they have … this good German’s not impressed in the least with anyone who holds even a perceived position of responsibility causing harm.

So happy 5,000,000 DD … and may the next 5 be overflowing with a bit more mutual respect, openness, friendship, sense of community and calls to action that actually lead to positive results for all … even if I’m not around to celebrate with ya!

Sorry I have to cut this short … I’ve got some phonecalls to make … or something like that…

Where DOES the Democratic Party stand on Lobbyists?

Since Lobbyists are the “REAL agents of Change” in most of our Legislation, since Lobbyists practically write much of the Legislation, that they Lobby for, insuring that it will Benefit ONLY their Benefactors

I’ve been wondering WHEN will the Democratic Party take a stand on this “non representative” process, which contaminates so much of The People’s Business, that SHOULD be taking place in Congress?  Why is it, that Congress mostly caters to Corporate Business concerns, putting OURS off until some unknown Future date?

SO, I went to the source,


to find out

Where DOES the Democratic Party stand on Lobbyists?

Truth Revealed!: Balloon Boys True Identity (With new Photos)

I’m sure everyone is fully aware of the Balloon Boy incident that has been unfolding for the last couple of days. The incident has been widely reported as a ruse concocted and played out by the Heenes family of Colorado. Well not true!  We have now obtained indisputable evidence that this was in reality a cover-up of unimaginable magnitude. The most massive hoax of all time has been perpetrated on the American people. Please follow the story below:

The balloon shown blowing aimlessly with the wind. Nothing new yet, right?

The Balloon lands as the world holds its collective breath, wondering what fate has befallen “Balloon Boy”. Still nothing new, so what’s the shocking new evidence?

This photo shows what appears to be an unidentifiable spot of some sort. It was initially reported that this anomaly could possibly have been Balloon Boy falling from the balloon. Oh! The humanity!!


The “Truth” is below the fold…

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

32 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Revolutionary Guards generals among 35 killed in Iran attack

by Jay Deshmukh, AFP

41 mins ago

TEHRAN (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday at a meeting in southeastern Iran of the elite Revolutionary Guards, killing seven commanders and 28 other people in an attack Tehran said was plotted on Pakistani soil.

Several tribal leaders at the meeting in Sistan-Baluchestan province — a hotbed of Sunni insurgency — also died in the blast while 28 people were injured.

The attacker set off his explosives belt as the meeting got underway around 8.00 am (0430 GMT) at a gymnasium in the city of Pisheen, near the border with Pakistan, the state broadcaster said.

Tenets of the Great Peace

(Yesterday I was challenged to provide a workable set of agreed underlying principles of existence on my “The Core” essay at my home blog, The Wild, Wild Left. Here’s my attempt)

In order to establish and maintain the Great Peace, provide that this Earth on which we reside shall flourish and affirm Humanity’s continuity, set forth these tenets as Undeniable:

The human race is one race, and so it shall be taught as established Scientific Fact; as such we revere our Unity, but shall not deny our place as just one of many species in a Greater Ecosystem that must be nurtured and preserved.

That Man must serve one another, with full autonomy balanced with social duty to survive as a species, and that only through a commitment to Peace shall this come to bear.

No affiliation by nationality, clan or religion shall ever be held above the Principles of the Great Peace that unites us as One.

In order to promote the Great Peace, no standing armies shall be maintained, nor weapons of mass destruction be created or held.

In order to promote the general welfare of our species, it is held that every individual has equal and full rights that shall be impugned by no other for any reason.

The Council of the Great Peace shall represent all People’s using fair courts, just laws and tempered reason and will be the Universal Law accepted globally. There shall be no local laws created by any Peoples.

Reflections on Ballon Boy

As I watched a report again about impending charges on the ballon boy family I went the other way.  I looked up the lift capacity of 20 foot diameter helium ballons.  Could such a volume lift say 60 pounds of six year old.  Calculations say yes even if the visual observations of the ballon from news reports show the thing is not really “full”.  The basket appears to be made of the same mylar the ballon is made of and does not indicate the depression a small boy would make.  

Why did nobody think this way.  Even I didn’t until this morning.

What to do? Let’s use the spoiler affect against corporate democrats.

This is partially a response to John Emerson’s “What is populism? III” http://openleft.com/diary/1557…

Let’s side step the issue of populism

since the groups that dislike it aren’t going to change by knowing more about it, and since, by your own admission, they have an interest in maintaining their hatred of it.  I just would like the country to be governed in everyone’s best interests and not just the interest of business.  Do the tea baggers offer this.  Nope. They are dogmatic free market fundamentalists in most cases so I am not interested in them.

I know third parties cannot do anything more than spoil, but the spoiler affect can be used strategically against bad democrats.  If the 10 percent nader affect were utilized against the worst corporatists,in 5 years, the corporatists will be exercised from the democratic party.  Let’s start something like a “strategic liberalism party” and use the spoiler affect to purge the democrats of corporatist candidates.  The problem with the greens is that they ran even against good dems like Paul Wellstone!  A “strategic liberalism party” or a “real democratic party” wouldn’t make that mistake.

Docudharma Times Sunday October 18

Sunday’s Headlines:

Small Group Now Leads Closed Negotiations on Health-Care Bill

For Argentines, a Coach Is a Legend and a Letdown

7 Months, 10 Days in Captivity

States suing federal government for unclaimed war bonds

Northern Italy’s battle cry flops at the box office

Secret tunnels that brought freedom from Berlin’s Wall

Pakistan launches all-out assault on Taliban with an extra 30,000 troops

Armed riots threatened as Karzai scorns election inquiry

Awakening leader’s tale illustrates Iraq’s volatility

Talks on Iranian Reactor Deal Show Divisions on Sanctions

Return to Somalia”s pirate coast

Police helicopter shot down in Olympic city Rio de Janeiro

Ken Kesey quotes plus music!

Just for a bit of early morning uplift:

I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.

Listen, wait, and be patient. Every shaman knows you have to deal with the fire that’s in your audience’s eye.

Loved. You can’t use it in the past tense. Death does not stop that love at all.

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

Nowhere else in history has there ever been a flag that stands for the right to burn itself. This is the fractal of our flag. It stands for the right to destroy itself.

People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.

Ritual is necessary for us to know anything.

Take what you can use and let the rest go by


Blogging the past, with thanks to brainyquote.com.

Now, some music.

About those foreclosure snobs, “It couldn’t happen,

oh no, it couldn’t happen to ME,” snobs.

The “It’s all those stupid borrowers fault!” arrogant snobs.

The “I have no problem with them being put on the street if they’re not paying,” snobs.

Here’s a few questions I have for them, red-hot off the griddle of my righteous indignation about the foreclosure fandango:

Dear Mr Snob,

Haven’t you heard interviews with some of these people? Did you listen up when you had the chance?

Attacks In Iran

Report: 20 die in blast targeting Iran troops

Five commanders of elite Revolutionary Guard are killed in suicide attack

TEHRAN, Iran – At least five senior commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guard have died in a suicide bombing that killed 20 people in southeastern Iran, Iran’s official news agency reported Sunday.

The IRNA news agency said the dead included Gen. Noor Ali Shooshtari, the deputy commander of the Guard’s ground force, and Rajabali Mohammadzadeh, the Guard’s chief provincial commander. IRNA reported that about 60 people were either killed or injured.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Two For The Price Of One

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