In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
New Thoughts About the Election

Don’t let McCain ask Palin to drop from the ticket. She is the best example we have of McCain’s own lack of judgment. What was supposed to have been a brilliant coup (picking an unknown woman for his vice president because she was a woman and a great cheerleader) was instead a carnival mirror magnifying his complete lack of qualification even for the title which he presently holds.


Horse Tales

When we moved to Wyoming in 1932, we spent the first summer living on a small ranch in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains near the tiny town of Story while our home was being built on our ranch. It has been so long since I have been out of California, or even out of a city, that I don’t know if folksy small towns still exist in the West, but I hope they do. Story was a very folksy tiny town, and as easterners who originally came out as dudes, we loved it. One of our closest friends was a little girl who lived in a ramshackle house with a treasure we did not have—a player piano which only worked with foot power, and a collection of much-used rolls of early century music.

The house we lived in was comfortable except for the bane of my existence, hordes of insects. It was a time of extensive drouth over much of the West, with few means of coping with them. My brother and sisters enjoyed chasing me with grasshoppers, because they revolted me. There were also swarms of Mormon crickets moving across the land from time to time. And we had no electricity, only kerosene lamps, sitting in pans of soapy water, in which the clouds of moths would drown horribly. (It is strange that in my later life I have been able to overcome my revulsion with my compassion for everything living, even rescuing flies and spiders.)

We had a corral and a small saddlebarn for our 5 horses and one shetland pony just over a small rise from the house. The saddlebarn was about four feet off the ground, with two large wooden steps leading up to the room in which the saddles were hung on wooden supports. To the left was one more step down into smaller room where feed for the horses and the bridles were hung.

One day, when we came back from the general store, we went down to check on the horses and found them milling about, apparently disturbed by something. Upon looking around, we found that the wooden steps into the saddlebarn, as well as the small step into the tack room had been destroyed. Upon going back into the corral, we saw that our two leader horses, Tex and Spot, were both looking into the air. They reminded me of two vaudevillians, and I swear to God I could hear them whistling.



Coming to a theater near you!
Do you smell something burning?

Heckuva Job, George

As I sat down to write, I heard Condoleeza Rice dressing down Russia as a failed and dangerous state, having the temerity to sell arms to other countries, acting aggressively against other nations, etc., etc. all truly inspirational as the philosophy of this greatest nation in the world (all kneel!)

But I was, in fact, starting to write about the humdrum matters of American everyday life. As a computer dunce, I want to ask some questions and then let those who know how to find the answers do the heavy lifting for me.

1. Have you noticed lately that almost all of George’s speeches to the public are shorter, a little less rah! rah!, alone, and in the safety of the White House? And he doesn’t even give them with his sleeves rolled up to emulate hard labor! (In this connection, I wish to hell that Obama would stop rolling up his sleeves too, especially because I love him and intend to vote for him.)

2. Money is money in my failing mind. So why doesn’t anyone in Wall Street or in the government mention the various costs of our numerous and upcoming wars initiated by our War President, as Dubyah proudly dubbed himself? Or are those billions in unrelated funds? And if so, can anyone tell me what those funds are, where they came from, and to whom are they going?

Thoughts Brought on by 9/11

The horror of the events of 9/11 will stay with us beyond our lifetimes. Strangely enough, that day and its events have brought to my mind memories widely separated by time and approach, but at the same time connected by violence.

The most recent, of course, is the annihilation of numerous buildings and thousands of lives on 9/11. Our great president Bush, apparently having been forewarned of such a catastrophe, declined to act upon it. Nevertheless, he now takes credit for saving this country from further attack. He is the only president I am aware of who has taken credit and is credited by fathful followers with having saved us from an UNKNOWN SOMETHING THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED.

The second thought, unrelated except by horror, is of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How many people even know those names? Do we observe a Day of Remorse in this country?


Memories and Nightmares

As I recall, Bush invaded Afghanistan in his search for Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11, a search which has come up empty for the past five years to date. And then he invaded Iraq, which turned out to be a harder nut to crack. So he sent to Afghanistan for back-up troops to help out in Iraq.

Now we are told Iraq is said to be getting better, and possibly able to take care of itself. The Iraqis have hoped we’d go away for years. Though a possible success in Iraq is being touted by Washington, it is still tentative. Nevertheless, Afghanistan is going to hell again, so Bush is sending troops from Iraq back to Afghanistan, or at least those bound for Iraq to Afghanistan instead.

Sen. McCain has based his biography and his campaign on his personal courage in the War in Iran, with almost no mention of the courage of his fellow soldiers and prisoners in that war. And he has been applauded by his audiences more for his time in Iran than for any service he has contributed to the nation during his time in Congress. In addition, since war has worked so well for his personal prestige, his entire approach to the world is, and will be based upon the leadership of an empire to whom the rest of the world must defer. His statement that we are presently forced to buy oil “from people who don’t like us very much” is a telling example of his attitude toward the rest of the world, an attitude which we should seek to correct.

McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as a runningmate was and is a truly frightening move against the very base of our Constitution. If he vetted her as little as is said, he himself is not ready to be president. If he didn’t know he was choosing an evangelical, he has unwittingly turned a very possible successor as president into a major threat to this country. And if he did know that she is an evangelical, he has gravely endangered this country by putting it under the control of an extremist sect.

In this connection, sincere nonbelievers have their own individual values, and they do not proselytize because their values are carefully developed by each individual and are valued as such. Yet they are precluded from running for high office.

I Figured It Out

The past week has been one of much to think about. The Republican Convention and McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate have been real shockers. I always thought he was independent, and I had no idea he was so deeply religious. Now I find that he must be very closely related to the evangelicals in his thinking; otherwise he would never have chosen someone from a sect that believes Alaska has been selected by God as the haven for True Believers in the End of Days who might very well end up becoming president of a DEMOCRACY before his term is over! Would he?! Funny he never mentioned this side of his character and qualifications.

It’s also about groups of people who share different ways of looking at the world and the people in it. These characteristics show up very well in the conventions. For example. the Republicans go in for humorous belittling of their opponents. They have had a jolly old time with Obama’s recommendation that we can save gas for our cars by keeping our cars in good repair and our tires inflated. This suggestion happens to be valid, by the way, and would conserve a great deal of gas (as well as animal and human lives if humans could learn to think outside of themselves by also slowing down.) Once again, making fun of Obama for a suggestion with which many others agree is a strange way in which to promote yourself, without bothering to treat the subject seriously.

If you notice how the candidates and their supporters differ in style, you will find that as human beings Republicans are inclined to find humor in sneering at others rather than to find meaning (either shared or recognized) in mature discussion or objective observation.

So far, I have heard Palin talk a great deal about the plane she sold on eBay and Obama’s automobile tires, and she has let it be known that she disapproves of same-sex marriage, birth control, and a woman’s right to choose. On the other hand, with the revelation that her 17-year-old unmarried daugher is pregnant, her campaign has risen to the challenge and said that this was a private family matter and none of our business. Doesn’t it bother you somewhat that as president or even vice president she might very well try to end the rights of same-sex marriage, birth contnrol, and a woman’s right to choose, totally overlooking the fact that they also are private family matters and none of our business?