Friday, October 21, 2016

Pissing Matches!

A roundup of pissing matches that you may have overlooked:

India and Pakistan have been in a pissing match for nearly 70 years, focused on Kashmir and other issues.  It has now spilled over into Bollywood, where filmmakers and theater owners are being threatened with violent protests if they use Pakistani actors.

The NCAA, a holier-than-though organization that dictates behavior to colleges, is going after Rick Pitino and the Louisville basketball program for allowing or not knowing their players were misbehaving.  The NCAA masquerades as a protector of virtue in college athletics.  It’s really about money, how much and who gets it, and these mandarins of propriety know it.

Mahmoud Abbas wants to be reelected head of Fatah and is fighting with fellow Palestinians in a struggle for control.  This pissing match has been going on for a long time and is about power and personalities, not what’s best for the Palestinian people.

Trump and the Republican establishment.  No need to comment on this one.

Progressives and moderates on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are in a never-ending pissing match for control of the city.  There are 25 propositions on the ballot this time around (that’s not a misprint, there are 25) and a quick look at who is for and against most of them reveals the split and how it plays out in a lack of governance.  And oh, by the way, there are an additional 17 state propositions on the ballot.  Ballot propositions are a growth industry.

Predictably, not everyone loves that Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.  True to form, we don’t even know what he thinks about it.  But the pissing match between traditionalists who object and others (like me) who see his work as poetry and deserving, goes on.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Lunacies for today:

The State of Nevada choosing to spend $750 million of public money to build a football stadium in Las Vegas – ostensibly to lure the Oakland Raiders to a site near the Strip. 

Republicans thinking that Donald Trump is going to change.  Hey guys, the fat dude is 70 years old.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Arrogant human beings who think they can control new machines that are smarter than we are.  Some day in the future we’ll become extinct.  Before that we’ll become irrelevant.

Assuming that the basic operating principle for rich people who give megabucks to politicians is something other than “what’s in it for me.”

Thinking that religious extremists, whether they be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu or any other such group, can be beaten on the battlefield.  A war of ideas cannot be won with guns.

Underestimating the current wave of right wing populism that is sweeping through the world.  The idea that it can’t happen here is as valid as the conclusion of those who dismissed Hitler as ‘not likely’ in the 1920’s.

And related to this, thinking that the people who are at the low end of the growing income disparity we see everywhere are going to meekly accept their fate.  Beware!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate #2

No clear-cut winner.

Won’t make much of a difference either way.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Should I Care?

As I went through the news this morning a recurring question kept coming up: Should I Care?

Should I care about the endless stories exposing Trump’s business history?
Or whether Salesforce buys Twitter?
Or that oil has gone up to $50 a barrel?

Should I care whether Cam Newton plays on Monday?
Or about the statistical comparison between the Giants and Cubs?
Or how bad the Niners were?

Should I care about Hurricane Mathew?
Or ratification of the climate treaty?
Or flooding in Bangladesh?

Should I care about horrific killings in Aleppo?
Or Kunduz?
Or Kenya?

Should I care about horrific killings in the Bronx?
Or Washington?
Or Chicago?

Should I care about Nat Turner and “Birth of a Nation?”
Or the new show, “Divorce?”
Or whether the case against Cosby gets dismissed?

Should I care about the latest election polls?
Or who won the last debate?
Or who will win the next debate?

It’s endless, isn’t it?  I don’t have the time or the interest to care about everything.  So do I care about what I think I “should” care about?  Do I care only about what calls to me?  Do I let cynicism rule and care about nothing?  Or should I just be grateful that I have these choices?  I like this last one best.  Gratitude wins!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Home Sweet Home!

It’s good to be back.  About traveling: I’m happy to be someplace once I’m there.  But the getting there is an unpleasant, tiring, best-forgotten experience.  Am I yearning for a past that never existed, or has it gotten worse in recent times?  I vote for its gotten worse.  The hordes of people on the move are all the evidence I need.

They’re everywhere en masse.  At the gates in the airports.  In line at tourist attractions.  On the trains and busses.  At passport control.  Everywhere.  And almost without fail, screaming kids add to the challenge.  I shall resist telling you what my solution would be to solve this last bit of unpleasantness.

So now it is time to catch up.  What have I missed while I was away?  In a word, very little.  That which had people’s attention a few weeks ago still have their attention.  Politics.  Sports.  Violence at home and abroad.  Dysfunctional government.  The more things change the more they stay the same.

It’s enough to make one cynical.  But even the cynics continue to play the game of staying up to date.  They may not believe the world is going to change for the better, but they are addicted.  We all are.  It’s part of the human condition.

I hate traveling, but I have a plan.  I’m beginning to put together my next trip – back to India in February.  Is there something wrong with this picture?  Probably, but it won’t stop me.