Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

GOP Purity Test … World Prestige … President Fredo … The Fountainhead … Print the Legend … DOC says


GOP Purity Test … Oy-vey, vey iz mir … the GOP has gone and shot themselves in the foot once again. They want their candidates to support the following: oppose President Barack Obama’s health care and cap-and-trade proposals as well as his stimulus plan; reject government funding for abortion; vote “no” on legislation to help unions organize; and support keeping the Defense of Marriage Act.

Okay, we’re against them on 4 of the above six and would want serious modification of the those we do support but knocking labor back another peg after the government sellout of the American worker (bailouts supported by both parties and something Republicans don’t get to make believe they weren’t a HUGE part of) is going way too far for Knucksline. Defense of Marriage is so silly at this point, we don’t want to address it (and we can only hope that Independents won’t either). We can live without cap and trade and would want serious oversight of future stimulus plans because we still aren’t happy about some of the pet projects Congress rewarded itself with at our expense. While we’re not sure about federal funding of abortions, because it remains a sticky issue for us, we continue to support a woman’s right to choose. Healthcare (after serious reduction of corruption) is a must, as is undoing all the damage these bailouts caused American Labor.

What continues to amaze me about the two major parties is how determined both seem to get in their own way and always at our expense. Deregulation brought about the crisis that has crippled the bulk of middle class Americans and the GOP wants to further inhibit workers from getting any form of a decent break. Unions didn’t form because big business treated workers fairly. While some unions are as corrupt as those who would corrupt them, for better or worse, there’s no way American workers can afford having their ability to organize precluded by legislation. While this government (both Republicans and Democrats) has done everything it could to bring labor back to the dark ages (including outsourcing our jobs, reducing benefits, taking away sick and vacation days, stopping cost of living increases, raises and bonuses for WORKERS (while they permitted CEO’s to stuff themselves with the same like pigs), any further union busting will result in a free-for-all employment situation whereby workers will be at each others throats for the sake of survival. You’d think the GOP would be thinking of ways to be more inclusive while Obama continues to accomplish nothing … but you’d be thinking wrong.

World Prestige … ooops, looks like the guys we’re fighting for weren’t as impressed with the Nobel Peace Prize as some of us might’ve thought. Afghanistan, where we’re currently fighting the “necessary” war and about to send 30,000+ more American troops to protect a corrupt government’s hold on the drug trade ABSTAINED when it came to joining our push for sanctions against Iran’s nuclear development (the six that abstained were Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey). Okay, so it was just a nonsense vote when all is said and done, but really, you’d think Afghanistan would at least make believe they give a fuck our kids are dying to protect their drug businesses.

President Fredo … I don’t like calling Obama President Fredo just yet but it is becoming more and more tempting. This week he’s flying to Denmark while Rome continues to burn. I guess because we all know how important climate control is while so many of us remain unemployed (and others of us await the dreaded pink slip). And who cares that we’re still bogged down in the “wrong war” and about to escalate the “necessary” war. The national health reform we were promised (along with all the rest of all that change rhetoric) is about to go through the dilution process that will guarantee the middle and lower classes nothing essentially different than what we have now while Wall Street continues to thrive to the tune of giving themselves bigger bonuses than they did before they extorted all of us.

And those banking regulation safeguards we were promised? Well, they remain another broken promise.

Fredo Corleone was a screwup due to what appeared (in Godfather II) to have been an infant illness. Obama, on the other hand, seems afraid to act with any authority from fear of being held to his words. So far he’s buried himself with campaign rhetoric he can’t (or has chosen not to) address (the wars, the change, etc.). His 130 “present” votes in the Illinois Senate may well have been prophetic. As Wikipedia puts it (regarding Fredo): In a pivotal scene in the novel and film, Fredo attempts to immediately retaliate after the attempted assassination of his father on a New York street by men working for drug kingpin Virgil Sollozzo (Al Lettieri). However, he fumbles with the gun, drops it, and is unable to return fire.

I sure hope our President enjoys his trip to Denmark.

The Fountainhead … The first of the epic Ayn Rand novels about individualism vs. altruism was a mostly interesting read that eventually turned lecture (the last 100 pages or so). It seems as though Rand couldn’t hold to the clever nuances she used to develop a few of the major players in the novel and eventually used a three page monologue by her protagonist’s (Howard Roark) nemesis (Ellsworth Toohey, a columnist and socialist) to convey what author Rand believed was the evil intent of statists (eventual power over all; that a population indoctrinated with the theory of serving a greater good would lead to slavery). It isn’t that Toohey wasn’t giving clear hints as to his goals throughout the novel, but getting hammered with it the way the reader is (so close to the end) may have served the author’s dramatic intent but it lost this reader when it most counts (so close to the end).

Roark is the author’s perfect man; he has principal he’ll place nothing above. He can’t be bribed or bought. He will never make himself a slave to others nor make slaves of others (except that isn’t so easy to accept no matter how much the author tried to explain how those who eventually worked for Roark seemed so overtly beholding to him). Perhaps with different motives (as I imagine Rand wanted for Roark), I saw him as the ultimate existentialist; a person living without any fear of any consequence for the sake of moving from one day (or goal) to the next.

A woman (Dominique) comes into his life early in the novel and a possible rape scene takes place (unless one is willing to accept the author’s inference that Dominique was the perfect woman for the perfect man and that she should live her life in subservience to him).

There’s a lot of implied subservience in this novel.

While Rand makes some valid points regarding objectivism and how man “should be”, she paints a somewhat dishonest picture of man as is; an arrogant picture that requires absolute intolerance of contrary opinions. Ultimately, it is this apparent requirement of subservience (still making slaves of so many, I’d argue) that sometimes made me uncomfortable.

Was The Fountainhead worth the investment in time it took to read (it is a lengthy read)? Absolutely, but I will be putting off Rand’s Atlas Shrugged for a few weeks while I read some other books on the pile.

Print the Legend … and the next book up is one I’ve been waiting a while for, Craig McDonald’s 3rd in his Hector Lassiter series; a revisit with some of the most fascinating Americana. Head Games was first, Toros and Torsos second and his new one about an investigation into Ernest Hemingway’s suicide (to be released in February 2010), promises to be the best of the bunch ... Print the Legend.


And the DOC says ...

And what kind of new weasel move is this, Chaz?

"I don't like calling Obama President Fredo". Oh no, you'll just post up pictures and videos of Fredo and wait for the old Docster to come in and take the bait. What the hell, you think, that old fool is probably on the Homeland Security watch list already anyway.

Nice going, old pal of mine.

And why is Fredo going to Denmark anyway? After "Climategate" it's pretty clear that all the global warming data is manufactured crap. Although, I have noticed that all the media coverage about it is from the U.K. Is this going to be another story, like ACORN corruption, that our mainstream media just ignores?

And I withdraw my question about why Fredo is going to Denmark. He would go to a midget, mud wrestling event if you would let him make a speech.

You're thinking that the Bamster is ignoring the unions? The head of SEIU has been to the White House 20+ times since January. For General McChrystal to get one audience he had to wrap a note around a brick and throw it through the window of the Lincoln bedroom.

There was a time when unions were necessary, but that time has passed. The unions of today are an example of the flea killing the dog they live on. To be successful, every contract has to stipulate that the worker work less and make more. This can't go on forever.

A worker starts today at GM at age 20. After 25 years of work he retires at age 45 and receives 80% of his salary for the next 40 years. Sorry, Chaz, the math just doesn't work. I'm not even calculating full medical for the worker and his family, for life. This system only lasted as long as it did because our parent's generation had the decency to retire at 55 and then have a massive coronary at 57. This might have been helped along by the government telling them that dairy products, eggs and red meat were at the top of the food pyramid and should be eaten every day.

On a personal note, Chaz, where are you getting these ideas from? You used to be normal... well, sort of. Have you become a pen pal of Susan Sarandon? Are you Tweeting with Barbra Streisand? If this is your mid-life crisis why don't you just buy a Harley like everyone else?

Your pal,