Archive for July 2011

Debt Ceiling/Noveling

July 31, 2011


The above is not a political elephant but the logo for my little publishing company called BackStroke Books.

In the midst of the debt ceiling debate, I am finally finally getting my new novel done (the next project of BackStroke Books!) I say new novel–it, like the “resolution” of the debt ceiling debate, is something that has taken far too long to finish.

On the subject of the debt ceiling (how’s that for a segue?): the Left is mad at Obama–for not asserting “leadership,” for not somehow mandating higher taxes on the rich, for agreeing to cuts in social services and entitlements, for agreeing to cuts in government spending during a time of economic crisis. But what I wonder, listening to it all, has the Left expected Obama to do?

The guy (i) doesn’t have the votes to get the deal he might want; and (ii) is already viewed as Trotsky by an alarmingly large part of the population. He’s talked about fairness, obstructionism, the economy, on and on and on. He simply cannot do what a Bill Clinton might have done–mainly, I think, because Clinton was viewed as someone, no matter what he said, with a soft spot for the rich, while Obama, no matter what HE says, is forever suspected of forcing the sharing “Joe the Plumber’s” wealth.

In the meantime, many on the Right have become completely intractable. For some, the attack on the debt seems truly an attack on government in general, the perceived interference of minimum wage laws, food and drug regulation, the separation of church and state, (God forbid) environmental protection….

Writing a young adult comic novel seems kind of trivial in these circumstances. Although there seem to be plenty of non-adults around in politics, the comic part seems to sometimes veer towards tragedy.

And now for the denouement.

Hunkering Down Fluttering Fan Dark Kind of Day

July 30, 2011

It has been a hunkering down kind of day.  Blinds down to block out blinding (and blistering) sun.  Fan fluttering to create the illusion of free cool-dom.  Trying, in my case, to finally finally get a manuscript really finished. (Almost there!)

And hoping too to spread through osmosis, like prayer or meditation, some hunker-down, finally-get-it-done, no-stopping-till-you-do spirit; to send some all the way down to my hometown Washington, D.C.,  where obfuscation and overheated dogmatism still block a resolution to the debt crisis–so much fluttering–so many blinds!

So far, no good!

(PS – I should probably apologize for the video, but I really do love anything variegated, movement in stillness.  Granted, this is not quite sun on water, movement through stream, wind in the grasses.  What can I say?  I’m in NYC!)


July 30, 2011

Please note that my earlier posting quoting Yeats: “The best lack all conviction while the worst are full foe passionate intensity” was not meant to imply that both sides of the debate are equally partisan or unreasonable. I feel that the “worst” definitely belongs to the Republican side here–they are obstructionist and unreasonable and seem willing to damage the country rather than to risk any chance of economic improvement during Obama’s presidency.

Debt Ceiling (“The Second Coming?”)

July 29, 2011







Escapism (With Agatha, Dog, Pepper Jack)

July 28, 2011

Blog Birthday

July 27, 2011







Elephants Are Not Always Great At Yoga

July 26, 2011

So Many Jobs In Champagne (Disheartened over the Debt Ceiling)

July 25, 2011


I’m a bit disheartened to do much of a post tonight. As followers of this blog know, I have lots of things weighing me down lately, but right at this very instant, it’s the impasse over the debt ceiling, specifically the speeches tonight by President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

It’s a hard issue for Obama. He’s not someone who likes to dumb down, to promote a point through manipulative oversimplification. Sometimes, his reticence in this area can make his speeches seem brusque and cold.

John Boehner, on the other hand, goes for the jugular of dumbing down. He carefully omits any/many facts that do not propound his views. He doesn’t seem to mind, for example, characterizing tax increases on the very wealthiest, “taxes on the American People” (as if we all live up there with the top 2%.) He also seems to ignore the massive cuts that Obama has offered, or the fact that the debt ceiling reflects payment for past commitments (as opposed to new ones). Oh, and isn’t it convenient to ignore the fact that the fundamental economic meltdown in the last few years occurred not only before Obama took office, but before he was even elected? And what about that inimitable George W. Bush combination of tax cuts and two wars?

Then there’s the question of how jobs in fact are created? Are they really made through the accumulation of more and more wealth (by oil and gas companies and hedge fund managers) as Republicans seem to assert? Doesn’t demand (that is, money in the pockets of poor and working and middle class people) have anything to do with it?

In the midst of all this turmoil, Reuters reports that LVMH (owns Luis Vuitton/Moet/Hennessy/ Hermes/ Burberry among others), the luxury goods group, is prepared tomorrow to report dazzling first half profits “in the latest indication the luxury sector has been shielded from global economic concerns.”

So many jobs in champagne.

Pure Silliness (With Elephant)(And Bird) (And Beach)

July 24, 2011

Yes, it’s silly and unclear and I’m not sure what’s happening or what the joke is supposed to be.

What can I say?  It’s very hot outside!

Our brains want to understand things

July 23, 2011