Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Help for veterans

One party likes to send our troops to attack countries that don't threaten us, but likes to treat them like garbage when they come home.

The other party doesn't like to send them into harms way, but when they do go to war, want to make sure they have the resources they need, both in theater and at home.

The Party of No

The Party of No...

No Class

No Brains

No Heart

No Decency


Nice to see Obama call out the SCOTUS for its 5-4 stupidity last week.


Too bad the SCOTUS 86-ed the line item veto.


Glad that Obama has raised the issue of childhood obesity. Let's hope that this issue is treated as the complex issue of socioeconomic class that it really is.

Spending one-sixth of our economy on health care is insane. Maybe we should stop subsidizing high fructose corn syrup.

Community Colleges and Education

Look who doesn't like helping community colleges, and who doesn't like more money for Pell Grants.


One party's idea of a world-class education is taking standardized tests and reading about "heroes" like Pat Robertson and Phyllis Schlafly.


How many of those jokers would be applauding if it was a GOP president lying through his teeth about reasons to bomb another country?

Drill, baby drill

Look who doesn't like clean energy...

Financial reform

We need to undo decades of neoliberal deregulation that led to the housing and financial services bubbles.

Full employment

Full employment is a worth goal.

Outsourcing jobs

Seems like the GOP DOES like outsourcing jobs.

Small business

Judging from their lack of applause, the GOP doesn't like helping small businesses, either.


The GOP only likes "stimulus" if it benefits the rich.

The GOP is filled with socialists. They like redistributing wealth upward, not downward.


Judging from their lack of applause, it's obvious that the GOP is in favor of the taxpayers not getting paid back from bailing out Wall Street.

It also seems they don't like tax cuts for the working class, either.


Anyone who likes conservative (neoliberal) economic policy should go see how it has destroyed the economy in this once-vibrant town.


It's too bad that Obama has had to be the custodian, cleaning up the puke that the neoliberal neoconservatives like Cheney, Bush, Rove, etc. spewed all over the world.

A few facts

Who was president the last time the federal budget was balanced? Clinton.

What president caused the deficit to balloon? Bush.

Who was president the last time we were not in two wars? Clinton.

What president got us into two wars, one of which was a pre-emptive war of choice? Bush.

So, who is most to blame for being in debt and two wars?

State of the Union

OK, I'll be blogging on Obama's State of the Union speech.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here's some info on diabetes, a problem we must treat as both a health challenge and a function of socioeconomic class (there, I said it).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Short recesses and shorter musings

I'm back after a short recess (compared to last time, anyway).

All I have to say is this:

1. Bureaucracy steals from student learning;

2. Ozzie Guillen is an insane fool for continuing to play Rob Mackowiak in center field instead of Brian Anderson;

3. Can we please, pretty please, devote federal dollars toward an Apollo project to wean the U.S. off all fossil fuels? We can even put Halliburton in charge;

4. Patriotic Americans need to turn out this November and sweep the rotten, warmongering Republicans out of Washington.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bush's foul mouth

What do George W. Bush's most dedicated supporters - especially those of the fundamentalist Christian conservative variety - think of his foul mouth?

I've often heard it said that what comes out of one's mouth demonstrates the quality of that person's character.

Based on his record as President, Texas Governor, failed businessman, and "Daddy's Boy" at Yale, it's clear that Bush is full of the very term he used when speaking with Tony Blair at the G8 summit.

The Renaissance of Paul Konerko

In the past I have been among the most vocal Paul Konerko critics. But I am willing to admit when I am wrong. While Paulie still has a knack for the inopportune GIDP (often a function of his ability to hit the ball hard, his slow speed and the slow speed of recent Sox #3 hitters), he's on pace for career highs in virtually every statistical category. In the past I have said I expect Paulie to put up a consistent .900+ OPS, a .300+ average, and clobber at least 40 homers. Well, he's duplicating his now customary power numbers while hitting for a higher average and OPS than he ever has before. He's even hitting better on the road this year than at home! And he's getting the job done at first base. He's been overshadowed this year by Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye, and there's no doubt that by batting between those two he gets better pitches to hit, but he still has to hit the ball and is doing so with authority. There is no doubt he's justifying the contract the White Sox gave him.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Discovery launches!

Thank goodness Discovery lauched safely. Getting the astronauts home safely remains the big challenge.

It's quite amazing there haven't been more tragedies in NASA's history - especially with the shuttle. They basically strap the orbiter to a bomb and use two missiles to rev them up to ludicrous speed.

It's even more amazing that the safety record is what it is, given the pervasive carelessness among NASA bureaucrats and administrators and the extent to which they ignore the engineers. Even on this flight the engineers implored the managers to give them more time to study and fix the foam problem, but the managers overruled the engineers. Twice this very mentality led to the deaths of seven astronauts. Let's hope these brave explorers make it home alive in spite of the bureaucratic idiocy.

Obligatory post on "Civil Unions"

I guess I have to chime in 20 months late on this issue. Here's my solution:

1. "The state" must STOP issuing "marriage" licenses entirely.

2. "The state" must START issuing "civil union" certificates to any two sentient, consenting adults who wish to confer domestic benefits upon one another. If the voters in a particular "state" will not grant such "civil union" certificates, then "the state" at least must recognize the rights that the couple has obtained by having one issued in another "state."

3. Those who wish to be "married in the eyes of God" should seek out a religious leader to obtain the spiritual blessings the couple deems necessary and appropriate.

The bottom line for me is that I DO NOT believe that "the state" - or even the majority of the population - has the right to infringe upon how two consenting adults choose to define their relationship and assign domestic benefits to one another.

But I also do not believe that elected or appointed officials - or the majority of the population - have the spiritual authority to decree that "God blesses" a particular relationship.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Obligatory post on music

I do not listen to much contemporary music of any genre. I do not have an iPod or an mp3 collection. When listening to the radio, I prefer so-called "classic" rock and all that that term implies to so-called modern rock. But I'm just as likely to have NPR, sports-talk radio, classical, jazz, smooth jazz or techno/dance/trance on in my car. I got an XM radio specifically to listen to major league baseball games, but also tune in to some of their music channels. But I almost never listen to any of XM's "rock" channels.

I have a very short list of bands who I will pay money to see in concert or purchase a new release from: Killing Joke, Iron Maiden, The Cure, Type O Negative, Fear Factory and ELO (Electric Light Orchestra). There may be a few others but right now that's about the extent of it.

Someday, I'm going to start playing bass guitar again. I still have my two bass guitars and amps, but don't have time to devote to it. Yet I have time to waste telling no one in particular (and no one in general for that matter) all about it. Go figure.

AL v. NL

The American League absolutely destroyed the National League in interleague play this year, going 154-98 (.611 winning percentage). The AL now owns a 1,249-1,202 advantage in interleague play all-time.

It's not just large market economics and spending wars between Boston and New York, either. Perennial AL dregs Kansas City and Tampa Bay each posted winning records in interleague play. Colorado was the only NL team to have double-digit wins in interleague play (11). Only two NL teams - Colorado and San Francisco - posted winning records in interleague play (Florida was 9-9). Eight AL teams had 10 or more wins (two AL teams went 9-9). Four AL teams had losing records in interleague play. Nine NL teams had double-digit losses and 13 had losing records in interleague play.

AL teams have SWEPT the last two World Series.

AL teams have won 15 of the last 22 World Series (dating back to 1983) and 10 of the last 14 (dating back to 1991). Even though the Yankees won four in that span, nine other AL teams have won at least one World Series - Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota (2), Oakland, Toronto (2), Anaheim, Boston and the Chicago White Sox.

The last three NL World Series winners - Arizona (2001) and Florida (1997 and 2003) didn't even exist in 1990. What an embarassment to the so-called "Senior Circuit."

The AL has won the last three All-Star games. Prior to the infamous tie in 2002, the AL had won five in a row. Since 1983, the AL has won 16 of the last 23 All Star games.

Does any doubt remain that the vast majority of the better hitters, pitchers, fielders and teams are in the American League?


Is there any doubt remaining that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be impeached?

Please watch this PBS frontline special, "The Dark Side," located at this URL:

Here is my dream scenario:

1. Democrats win control of the House and Senate this November;

2. The Democratic House impeaches Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld;

3. The Democratic Senate convicts both of them, immediately forcing them from office and into prison;

4. George Bush remains in office and without Cheney and Rummy running the show behind the scenes, bungles and bumbles and leaves the Republicans hopeless for the 2008 election.

As much as some want to see Bush impeached, leaving him in office to twist in the wind without his two most powerful inside operators would weaken the GOP even more, while still giving the American public a visible Republican figurehead to blame (rightfully, I might add) for many of the nation's woes.

Why anonymity is a virtue in this day and age

I've seen a spate of news stories recently about people getting passed over for jobs or promotions because of content they have on their myspace pages or blogs.

Rest assured you will not find any compromising photos of me here, but with the proliferation of data mining operations and crackdowns on free speech, one never knows when even a comment about politics might come back to bite one in the rear end.

Those who know me know what I think anyway. Also, the message (even though it is utter foolishness) is more durable than the messenger.

All-Star selections

The White Sox will send at least six players to the All-Star game.

Pitchers Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Bobby Jenks, right fielder Jermaine Dye, designated hitter Jim Thome and first baseman Paul Konerko will join Ozzie Guillen in Pittsburgh next week.

All six deserve to go. Buehrle has been the Rock of Gibraltar in the Sox rotation since 2001. Contreras has not lost a game since last August. I consider Jenks - the "tall, wide guy," as the most fearsome closer in the game today with his 101 mph fastball and wicked 12-6 curveball. Dye had the most homers of any regular right fielder in the AL last year and this year he's already got 20 and leads the league in slugging percentage and average with runners in scoring position. Thome leads the AL in homers and should set a club record for homers if he maintains his current pace. Konerko is putting together the best season of his career. With Thome in front of him and Dye protecting him, Konerko has been hitting over .300 for most of the season while still hitting plenty of homers.

Two more Sox deserve to go: Tadahito Iguchi and Joe Crede. Iguchi has been among the best all-around players, doing nothing spectacularly but everything very, very well, from rock-solid defense, to clutch hitting (seven RBI in two innings to send what was a blowout into extra innings against the Astros), to doing the dirty work of sacrificing himself to put runners in scoring position.

But Crede deserves the honor even more. For several seasons he has played Gold Glove-caliber defense, drawing comparisons to Robin Ventura and even Brooks Robinson (from Robinson himself!). But after showing tremendous clutch hitting last September and October (in which he deserved the World Series MVP just as much as Jermaine Dye), Crede has continued to produce at a high level, hitting over .300 while clobbering more clutch home runs. Inexplicably, fellow AL players chose Toronto's Troy Glaus to back up fan favorite Alex Rodriguez. Glaus has more homers but a worse average and does not flash the leather nearly as well as Crede.

A.J. Pierzynski also has an opportunity to get into the game, as fans can vote for him as the "32nd man" in online-only balloting. Pierzynski himself ought to merit serious consideration, as in any other year in which Joe Mauer wasn't chasing George Brett's postwar batting average record, Pierzynski's .320+ average would be leading all MLB catchers. Although he's not great defensively, he is the unquestioned emotional leader of the World Champs and works very well with the Sox pitchers.

Overall, the All-Star selection process makes a mockery of the game. Fans have been indoctrinated through years of ESPN (East Coast Propaganda Network) exposure to recognize and vote for members of the Red Sox and Yankees. Only Ozzie Guillen's presence gave the Sox six players on the team this year. For example, Robinson Cano certainly does not deserve to have been voted onto the team as he's nowhere near as good as several other AL second basemen, including Iguchi. Cano's only "redeeming" quality is the logo on his cap.

Sox v. Cubs

I'm quite surprised I didn't post anything last year about the Chicago White Sox winning the World Series.

Imagine a world in which the White Sox and Red Sox are the two most recent World Series champs. Wait a minute, that's reality!

Too bad for the Chicago Cubs. Their poor fans have to take solace in taking the third of three games against the World Champs by pouncing on an uncharacteristically poor Mark Buehrle outing. The Sox made it close, but as we should expect, Cliff Politte poured kerosene and gunpowder all over the field, then lit a match and broke wind on the mound.

In the Saturday game, A.J. Pierzynski got sweet revenge against the Cubs and Michael Barrett, who punched Pierzynski in the face after Pierzynski scored during their first series back in May. Pierzynski clubbed a two-out, three-run, ninth-inning, game-winning homer onto Sheffield Avenue. Pierzynski's not known to be much of a power hitter - he's more of a contact guy who hits for a decent average but rarely walks - but he demonstrated he has silver and black ice water running through his veins.

Pierzynski is sort of a Dennis Rodman character. He won't kick camera operators in the groin, but he will step on an opponent while rounding third and if given the choice, will take out an opposing catcher while trying to score a run (even Dusty Baker admitted that Pierzyski made a clean play when he knocked over Barrett) if that catcher is blocking his path to the plate.

Welcome back

Maybe I only write for and to myself. But at least it proves cathartic. I've re-started the blog just to give myself an opportunity to practice writing; I hope to hone my craft for the dissertation I eventually must do.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New Orleans

A few quick thoughts on New Orleans:

First, my thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families and friends.

Second, since there's plenty of blame to spread around, for the moment I'll choose to blame Grover Norquist and the anti-tax lobby he leads for helping to make this "the worst natural disaster in American History." Norquist has boasted he wants to shrink the government to the size where he can "drown it in a bathtub." It's fitting that the failure of our government's "leaders" to authorize the funding to fortify the levees in recent years has helped to cause thousands to die in a giant sewage-infested "bathtub."

Third, we Americans ought to be ashamed of ourselves because we are the ones of have stood by and allowed our (s)elected leaders to spend $2 billion per F-22 fighter and hundreds of billions of dollars to make war in the Middle East. Imagine the levees Halliburton and Bechtel could have built in New Orleans for that kind of money. "Fiscal conservatism" indeed...


In this blog the reader shall find such "durable foolishness," otherwise known as my rantings, ravings and pontifications about whatever strikes my fancy, but usually American History, politics and culture; the intersection of faith and culture; Chicago White Sox baseball and the mass media.

A note about the name "Frater Perdurabo:" I AM NOT A FAN OF ALEISTER CROWLEY. I am not a hedonist or atheist. I am a Christian (more on that later). Frater, of course, means "brother." Perdurabo generally could be translated as "enduring," "persevering," or "durable." Because I'm a reliably (durably) foolish (we're all fools but for the Grace of God) brother (genetically, metaphysically and spiritually), I've titled this blog "Durable Foolishness."

I initially came across the name "Frater Perdurabo" in a Crowley quote called "Onion-Peelings" in the liner notes of Killing Joke's 1986 album, "Brighter than a Thousand Suns."

Here's the quote:
"The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General at the Expense of the Particular, quoth Frater Perdurabo, and laughed.

But those disciples nearest him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow. Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.

Below these certain disciples wept. Then certain laughed. Others next wept. Others next laughed. Next others wept. Next others laughed.

Last came those that wept because they could not see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought it safe to act like Frater Perdurabo.

But though Frater Perdurabo laughed openly, he also at the same time wept secretly; and in himself he neither laughed nor wept.

Nor did he mean what he said."
This sums up well how people act both on the web and in public life, don't you think?