Monday, November 27, 2006

Workable Website

IMDB may well be the best engineered and designed web site on the Internet. The search IMDB program is probably unique on the Web. I just entered, "Shulze finds the Blues" in the search box and up popped a page with options that included: "Schultze Gets the Blues (2003)."

I don't know of any other search engine that can take an entry with so many miscues and still come up with the right answer.

In addition, it's motion picture and television resources and service opportunities are majorly satisfying.

We all spend so much time floundering around poorly designed sites, it's worth compimenting a good one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

American Blacks

Three items in today's San Francisco Chronicle reflect on the economic imbalance between Whites and Blacks in America. Race disparity and tactics of failure are displayed in two of the articles. The other inadvertently reveals one of the causes. I am referring to the almost universal subjugation of the Black culture to fundamental Christianity and Jesus worship.

The Rev. Martin Luther King hasn't accomplished much that I can see for the status of American Blacks. He might have done better if he were Mr. Martin King, a good man with a dream and a purpose. The same thing might be said about Mr. Jesse Jackson and Mr. Al Sharpton. The idea that only a religious person can lead the Black culture to success in America is the very idea that holds them back.

There is no god. Only a pathetic idiot can still believe in this day and age that there is a caring god to be prayed to and be thanked for scoring a TD or a TKO, or a job or the respect of one's peers.

Jesus was an important man of his time and a precursor of Existential behaviorism. But he was not a god or a son of god. If his mother truly conceived him out of wedlock then he is more accurately a son of a bitch. Take that, reverends and padres!

Religious subjugation has been a tool of control by Establishment Power since the beginning of recorded history. It is interesting that the records and/or fictions that we now call the Bible were designed to coerce and control the unruly nomads of old Judea; and now those same records and fictions are willingly embraced by contemporary adherents who are too timid to stand on their own character and qualifications.

Until the Blacks abandon their churches and the comfort of irresponsibility, as Jesus himself did, they will continue to suck wind in a losing race.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Senior Slippage

Not about me -- this time.

I spent a couple of hours with Jinny at Laurel Creek in Pleasant Valley. Actually, I may have spent a couple of minutes with Jinny, and I'm not sure about that. There was no indication that she spent even a second with me.

She was asleep in her bed when I got to her room, turned away from the television set playing a black and white British war movie. The nurses said it was fine to wake her and get her up. It took two of them to get her up and out of bed and into some simple garments, her wheel chair and her wig. Arthritis, old age and senility have taken away any personal control over her body and its functions.

She sat easily in her chair, facing the TV set and seeming to see what some of the characters were doing, but her quiet and occasional comments did not, to my mind, relate to anything I was seeing on the screen or had any knowledge of or reference to. She mentioned Postie in the present tense, but I didn't get the context and was reluctant to pursue her thoughts and respond as if, I too, thought Postie were still alive.

Her soft chuckle after a couple of her comments was the only sound she made that carried a hint of the sound of her earlier days. I could look closely and directly into her pale eyes and blank face, and she would shift her gaze back to me from the TV with no sign of interest or concern.

The doctors may know what is the state of Jinny's mind; it was well beyond my comprehension. But she did reply to my questions that she was content, comfortable and without pain. Scientists and philosophers have long discussed and debated both the essence and value of life. Most of us have referred to a quality of life that would determine our choice of how long to live and when to die. And most of us would rate Jinny's current status as below an acceptable and livable standard. And maybe, at some earlier point in time, Jinny would have agreed to that standard.

But now, Jinny seems content in some place beyond our reach. And as long as she stays comfortable in that place, I can only wish her well. It would seem that what she doesn't know, can't hurt her.

About the time the British Navy saved the world from the threat of the marauding Hun, the nurses carried in Jinny's lunch tray. She invited me to join her. I lifted the lid over the main course and saw three different colored dollops of pureed nutrition. Curiosity did not get the better of me so I thanked her, kindly, exchanged a good-bye kiss and eased my way out of Pleasant Valley, probably never to return.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sunshine and drizzle

Peter and Stacy went to Chile and I came to Berkeley to stay at their house for a week and ease Indy's transition from them to the Citizen Caninery. We've been having some good walks, but I get him going on a good pace, and then I have trouble keeping up. He is supposed to be older than I - in dog years - but his dog legs are definitely younger than mine.

George surprised me by cooking up a delicious trout dinner last night. He has a gourmet's touch.

I see the Dems did very well on Tuesday, but the California bonddoggle also prevailed. Oh well, let the rich get richer, I say. As the poor get poorer they can fantasize that they are sharing in the wealth they are giving to others.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


There are some fairly seductive propositions on our California ballots this election. They read appealingly about improving our infrastructure, schools and housing. In reality, they are bond issues that mostly benefit contractors and wealthy investors. The money that did find its way into works described would eventually have to be paid to the bond buyers at roughly twice the cost of the original solicitation. And twice the price, in other words of what it would cost to simply raise the money through taxes.

Unfortunately, most Americans have a negative knee-jerk reaction to that word--taxes, which causes them to pay more more in the long run for decent services to the community.

Look carefully at your propostions descriptions and don't contribute to the bonddoggle.

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