George Carlin, RIP

June 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm (Life & Death)

If Mr. Carlin turning 70 last year was a mind fuck [and it was] for me, his death the other day was a real crusher.

I got off a stage on in Modesto California [circa ’92] and an audience member told me that I reminded her of George Carlin. “Just a little,” she smiled. I glowed for a week.

Gawd I’ll miss that man.


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Kittatinny Camp Quiz

June 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm (Kittatinny Camp)

Did any of your children or grandchildren ever get into camping? My son Phillip, who recently turned 18, would have “none of it” when the opportunity was presented.

Any stories to tell?

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Great Scott, You’ve Got The Answer

June 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm (Alameda, News & Politics)

Scott Gilpin, Esq. of Alameda may just have the answer.

Regarding the presidential election: Now it’s basically down to 2 leading candidates; McCain & Obama. At first glance they may seem quite distinct. Although both of them are considered basically soft spoken, they do have a seemingly different approach to some issues. However, a careful examination of the actual policies they each promote will reveal how much they truly have in common.The distinctions between them do not make much difference in what happens in the long run.
The nasty Internet campaigns that personally malign Barack Obama (and now his wife Michelle as well) are truly disgusting; but even so, I do not support Obama’s politics; nor do I support John McCain’s politics; and I do not support Hillary Clinton’s politics either.

Some friends share some of my views, but have nevertheless decided to “hold their nose and vote” for “the lesser of two evils.” To those who have resigned themselves and plan to choose between the candidates offered by the Democrat or Republican parties, I say: “Regardless of who you select, prepare to be disappointed.”

Any candidate of the twin parties of Big Business is predestined to disappoint the man or woman on the street. That is because neither of these parties offers genuine solutions to the problems you and I confront. Their differences in approach are superficial and essentially just differences in degree. The Republican and Democrat parties are basically ‘flip sides of the same coin.’ They are the twin parties of war and big business.

There are numerous examples to illustrate this reality. The most acute travesty that troubles the world and besets the nation serves as a typical instance: Bush & Co. lied us into an illegal and immoral war, but Hillary and the Democrats went right along with White House war aims. If memory serves, only one politician in the entire Senate and House of Representatives voted against the war at its inception (Barbara Lee: D-Oakland). Every other senator and congressional representative voted to invade Iraq!

Many of these same politicians now alibi their craven capitulation to the Texas Oil Patch gang; saying they were misled by faulty intelligence. But the real “faulty intelligence” was in their own brains. It resulted from lack of principle and good sense; not from flawed CIA and military assessments. The leading Democrats chose to deny the reality that Saddam Hussein‘s military was effectively hog-tied after the first Persian Gulf war, when the elder President Bush invaded Iraq more than a decade ago. In the aftermath of that invasion, Saddam’s military was essentially consigned to the role of a brutal domestic police force. It lacked the capability to invade another country. Saddam Hussein posed no viable military threat to anyone.

Reports of Iraqi “WMDs” and terrorist connections were known at that time to be bogus by those with eyes to see and ears to hear. There was no reputable evidence of “WMDs” — or of collaboration between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Still, Democrat politicians in Washington were content to “get with the program” and sponsor the invasion and occupation of Iraq anyway. In this they reveal that they haven’t even an ounce of principled opposition to immoral military invasions. Had they been leaders with principles they would have worked vigorously to stop this invasion which, as most of us now know, was a ‘war for empire’ and oil profits more than anything else.

Barack Obama gets a pass only because he wasn’t in office at the start of the war, but he belongs to the same party that votes every year to renew the war budget. In truth, the Democrats share Bush’s war aims, even if they think he bungled the job. Today some of them jump on the anti-war bandwagon, attempting to curry favor with voters who now see through the lies that sent their sons and daughters across the sea to fight and die in an unjustifiable war for empire.

You’ve heard it said, “If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” Well Barack Obama is lying with a howling pack of political hyenas, but the results are similar. He is easily the most articulate, charming and gentlemanly presidential candidate, and the personal slurs he endures are most assuredly undeserved. But his party is every bit as unprincipled and corrupt as the Republicans. It offers no program of real progressive reform, and it is program that matters; not personalities.

Some might be inclined to say, “If you don’t vote for either leading candidate then you can’t really criticize the outcome.” We hope to be forgiven for saying, “we told you so” once the inevitable disappointment sets in after the preferred candidate takes office. I will vote “yes” or “no” on the various ballot measures (school funding referendums, etc.) because those votes might actually matter. As for the Republicrat & Demopublican races, I’ll vote with my feet….. up on the coffee table….. and say, “A pox on both your houses.” The greatest power of democracy is in the streets.


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Great Uncle Ralph

June 13, 2008 at 10:21 am (Family & Friends)

My sister-in-law emeritus Debra is a grandma for the second time. I’m thrilled for her and her terrific daughters. Here’s a picture of the fab five.


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Thank Gawd Hillary Woke Up And “Smelt The Coffee”

June 8, 2008 at 10:48 am (News & Politics, Unzipped Thoughts)

It occurred to me earlier in the week that the former 1st “Lady” may break away from the party and run as an Independent [Joe Leiberman like]. This would have assured “President McCain,” which would not be a pretty picture. The hard fought campaign brought out the worst in both Clintons, and now that it’s over, we Democrats can point the proverbial gun at a Republican’s foot for a change…

… So, congratulations Senator Obama. It’s yours to loose. I might advise that you worship [or not] in your own living room on Sundays. This avoids the annoying, costly “middleman to gawd” whose spin doctor doesn’t hold a candle to yours. At least until after the election? Give it some consideration, won’t you. As I see it, separating Church and State would solve the majority of the world problems. Start now, avoid the rush.

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Mets All Time Best Catchers

June 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm (Baseball, New York Mets)

In their relatively short history my beloved Mets have been blessed with three terrific catchers.

Jerry Grote who played during the Johnny Bench [arguably the best catcher ever] era, was the better of the two defesively. He had a gun for an arm. Couldn’t hit much, but showed spurts of punch.



Mike Piazza was the best hitting catcher of all time. Not that  great glove man, however.




The best all around catcher in Metropoltain history was clearly Gary Carter.



I was amused by Gary’s former teammate Keith Hernandez’s [no small egomaniac, himself] remarks regarding Carter’s huge ego. “Gary Camera” was [is] a trip. He may someday, alas, be the Mets manager.

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