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Real Life is hectic lately.  I’m doing some real estate type things and there are some other things that have come up.  Will fill you in one of these days.  It’s been interesting in a Chinese proverb kind of way.

In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts on current events.

Re: Pope Francis- Meet the new hardass, same as the old hardass.  Really, what else did we expect?  The old pope is still hanging around and probably made a big stink about picking his successor.  Nothing was going to change.  So, he’s from Argentina.  So, he probably knows how to tango.  BFD.  Given that it’s a 2000 year old institution run by a bunch of guys, this choice is no real surprise.

I only wish I could write these people off as irrelevant bunch of medievalists as they are.  Funny how the men of the world don’t have to pay any attention to who the new pope is.  It’s only the women.  Hmmmm…  It looks like Freedom of Religion doesn’t apply to everyone in this country.

Re: Paul Ryan and the Republicans.  They’re all cracked.

Re: More rail service.  I’m for it.  I’ve been a fan of public transit, and trains in particular, since my first trip to Europe in the early 90s and wrote about my experiences with the French train system when I was back on DailyKos.  In fact, my question to Hillary Clinton in 2007 in Chicago at the second YearlyKos was specifically about trains and other infrastructure.  I’m glad to see Atrios, Krugman and Lambert weighing in on trains lately.  Can we get a posse on broadband?  That was one of Hillary’s main focuses when she answered my question- bringing American broadband into the 21st century.  What a wasted opportunity.  {{sigh}}

Re: Kim Kardashian.  I don’t get it.



22 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed now and then that American men comment on how direct Russian women are. By direct, they mean that they do what they want without all the equivocation and self-doubt that is all too customary for American women. I’ve been thinking that maybe what they are seeing is the difference between women who have been domesticated by religion, like us, and Russian women who have been spared the experience.

  2. Once I figured out the schedules, I became a huge fan of train-hopping. It is incredibly easy to get places, even cheaply, in Europe. Too bad we don’t have anything comparable (well, except maybe in the Northeast).

    • I used to think about visiting Knoxville after all these decades and discovered that Tennessee and the neighboring state-zones are a Train Free Zone. Amtrak barely touches the western end of the state at Memphis and otherwise zero rail connection of any kind. Not to Chattanooga or Nashville or ANYwhere. If I want to get there, it will have to be by Greyhound.

      • Rail free, reason free, and teeth free … Southern Living.

        • Many threads ago on Sic Semper Tyrannis, Colonel Lang and others noted how many teeth free people were/are to be found in Maine, New Hampshire, etc. And I remember almost everybody I met or dealt with in Knoxville, Tenn for the first 15 years of my life when I lived there as being fully toothful. ( Though of course if
          people are kept in deep enough poverty long enough without any money for/ access to dentists, they will lose some or all teeth. In places like Appalachia . . . America’s Tibet).

          Amtrak runs where regional subsidies and support allow it to run, and so far there has been none of that into Tennessee or surrounding areas. Would the money be found if reason were found? I hope so. Train travel there would be a good thing.

          Where rail is concerned, reason-free thinking can be found all over. I believe just recently Gov. Cuomo the Younger of New York obstructed efforts to make the Tappan Zee Bridge rebuild rail-ready. So it will be rebuilt without the possibllity of running commuter rail across it when people are ready. And the thought of putting money into some pet presitge High Speed Rail Lines from a few places to a few places . . . . rather than fairly fast normal rail from place to place all over the country . . . beskeaks a surplus of reason-free thinking all over the non-South. It is certainly reason-free thinking to ram a High Speed Rail Line from Nowhere, California to Nowhere Else, California through the whole Central Valley in order to destroy hundreds of thousands of acres of America’s very best farmlands, for example.

          Reason-free? Oh yah, you betcha!

          • Look at the grades on the Northeast corridor right of way. Then look at a map of the rail line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh the Horseshoe Curve wasn’t designed as a tourist attraction.

            Rail travel from Chicago to Memphis or Pittsburgh to Knoxville would be possible on existing right of ways.

          • I am not a rail road expert to be sure, but my understanding is that Amtrak owns very little of the trackage it runs on. It owns the Acela line trackage and some trackage elsewhere, but very little. Otherwise, it is forced to run its trains for rental prices unknown to me on the privately owned freight lines owned by spiteful and hateful freight rail roads. Amtrak trains are always shoved off the freight railroads lines onto any old siding at any old whim of whatever hateful and spiteful freight railroad whose lines any particular Amtrak train happens to be running whenever the freight railroad decides to sideline the Amtrak train.

            I suspect all those lines you speak of running into Tennessee are also owned by the spiteful hateful freight railroad companies. If the states and regions those lines run across don’t come up with huge enough bribes to the freight lines to graciously permit Amtrak trains to run there, then Amtrak trains don’t get to run there.

            One of James Kunstler’s commenters on Clusterfuck Nation recently offered some details about freight railroads’ spiteful hateful obstruction of rail improvement which would benefit Amtrak in some way. I don’t have the time or energy to go hunt for it now. It was very recent, perhaps in the latest one or two threads over there.

      • BTW, yes, the buzzards have returned to Hinkley!

        • Good. It may feel like come-and-go winter till May, but the season is advancing.

  3. [quote]Funny how the men of the world don’t have to pay any attention to who the new pope is[/quote]

    I’m not sure what you mean by this and how it relates to freedom of religion.

    • Oral contraceptive coverage? American catholic bishops? Hello?? Where have you been in the last year? If you’re a guy, is there any catholic bishop or pope standing between you and your healthcare options? If you are male, you have true freedom of religion. If you’re female, you’re automatically catholic.

  4. Priceless!

    “Re: Pope Francis- Meet the new hardass, same as the old hardass. Really, what else did we expect? The old pope is still hanging around and probably made a big stink about picking his successor. Nothing was going to change. So, he’s from Argentina. So, he probably knows how to tango. BFD. Given that it’s a 2000 year old institution run by a bunch of guys, this choice is no real surprise.”

  5. Are little boys what drop the soap safe, yes or no?

  6. We will have improved passenger rail infrastructure as soon as Obama’s masters on Wall Street figure a way to squeeze more money out of our pockets.

  7. Trains. A great idea. Hope all is well. Two days till St. Paddys. Maybe it’ll get better. Getting to point where looking at news is just WTF? On just about everything.

    • St Paddy’s, when ERs are flooded with green puke and battered wives. you can keep it. Me, I wear an orange ribbon.

  8. A link at antiwar.com led me to this fine column on counterpunch.org about the “progressive movement”.


  9. FWIW, the bishops seem to have lost a lot of their “following” in the US and Western Europe. Too much of the “religion” seems centered in a condemning manner on sex: anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, against women in leadership positions. I saw recently that 26% of Catholics attend church at least weekly vs. 30% for “others.”

    Catholics may be over-represented in U.S. politics with 137 of 435 members of the US House (31.5%) including 76 House Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and 61 House Republicans including John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Catholics comprise 26% of the Senate with 17 Democrats and 9 Republicans, not counting the Presiding Officer, VP Joe Biden.

    The actual members are split both by party and ideology.Only 1 of the 44 US Presidents, JFK, was a Catholic but the catholic hierarchy in the midwest played a big roll in denying a second Catholic, John kerry, especially in Ohio. Cardinal Spellman of New York City was a long time major proponent of US intervention in Vietnam and had a running feud with Eleanor Roosevelt terming her position against aid to catholic schools “not worthy of an American mother.” So the hierarchy have been jerks for a long time.

    Republicans frequently state that government funding of railroads is against free enterprise and various claptrap. Governments subsidized the building of the railroads in this country for a long, long time and have since subsidized their operation. Lincoln ‘s land grants made the construction of the transcontinental railroad possible. It’s not a railroad, but the state of new York built the Erie Canal. Nineteenth century railroads operated primarily as land sale companies picking what they considered a suitable locale and advertising big time to encourage immigration from Europe. The reason that the Dakotas are loaded with Scandanavians is that the railroad advertised there.

    Medicare was modeled after a long time successful program for railroad retirees and deliberately excluded those workers from the program. “Railroad Medicare” pays identical benefits and payments to the doctors and hospitals but is administered separately. I don’t know if this is true nationwide, but in the east , the administrator is “Palmetto.”

  10. Lmabert finds a crack at Clutch, which is an online magazine for “today’s young, hip, progressive Black woman” the comments had me rolling.


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