Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kickin' it In Kentucky

Now, God knows the election here in California is weird enough, what with Meg trying to buy the governorship, Carly trying to act senatorial, and the ten dwarves running for mayor of Oakland.  But at least nobody is stomping anybody.

I learned about this from Facebook via a chain of blogs, but here's the link to the original report of this atrocity, from the local Fox News station:
Woman stomped outside Conway-Paul debate

The brief summary, from talkingpointsmemo.com, is that a MoveOn.org supporter tried to approach Paul and a group (more than two) of Paul supporters threw her to the ground and held her down while one of them stomped on her head and neck.  TPM has video if your stomach will stand it.

This is criminal assault and battery, folks.  Assault and battery with bodily harm is a felony in California, folks; I wonder what it is in Kentucky?  And yeah, reports indicate the woman had a concussion and multiple sprains; that's "bodily harm" in my book.

I hope everybody considering voting for Mr. Paul remembers the behavior his associates seem to think is appropriate.  The MoveOn.org supporter was going to give him an "Employee of the Month" award from "Republicorp", which MoveOn invented to point up the connections between business and the GOP.  In refusing that award, he's just won the newly created Gestapo award for Sleaziest Supporters since Adolf Hitler.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Things You Remember

Having Sirius XM Radio in my car leads to some interesting coincidences.  Listening to the classical Pops channel (I think it's 80), is kind of like listening to an iPod Shuffle full of classical music:  they play single movements of things, short overtures etc.  The other day, they brought up a lovely, lilting piece, and I thought, I know that music, what is that?  I looked at the dash - the label said, Ovt to Donna Diana, Reznicek.  Never heard of it, I thought, but I know that music.

Then it hit me.  Wait - that's the theme to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon!  I used to watch that show religiously, but I haven't thought about it in (gasp) over 50 years - Wikipedia reminds me it went off the air in 1958!  (I was 12.)  Still according to Wikipedia, the Donna Diana overture is mainly remembered because of the Sergeant Preston show, and its predecessor on radio, Challenge of the Yukon (1947 - 1955).

For the music history buffs, the Wikipedia article on Reznicek has a tidbit that I just love.  Reznicek had a sense of humor, apparently not shared by his friend Richard Strauss.  Reznicek wrote a symphonic poem he called Schlemihl which is apparently a direct parody of Strauss' Ein Heldenleben.  You have to love any composer who can write a piece called Schlemihl!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Pollution and Regulation

One of the GOP's constant complaints, especially in California, is that government regulations are too onerous.  It's too hard to do business here.  We're ruining the economy.  Et cetera.

From Hungary this week we have a classic example of why we have those regulations: 

Hundreds flee threat of new toxic sludge spill in Hungary

I chose this account in the Telegraph, from the U.K., to avoid any implication of American bias. 

We're ruining the economy and driving business away because we cannot trust business to keep the public welfare in mind.  Business is only interested in maximizing profit.  This is what happens when business is allowed to operate without safety requirements and pollution controls.  No irksome government regulations in Hungary led to a million cubic meters of toxic red sludge bursting out from behind a failed dam, destroying villages, livelihoods, and lives; and it now appears that this appalling reservoir may spring another leak, any day now.  It has gotten into the Danube, one of Europe's major waterways; and they're saying the Danube isn't seriously damaged, but I don't think the whole story is told yet.

The next time you hear businessmen complaining about annoying regulations, remind them of this spill.  Oh, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the gas pipe explosion and fire in San Bruno, too - those happened here, where we have regulations, which obviously failed.