Sunday, September 13, 2015

"I just want to show you what my politics are"

Three books. Whoops, I guess there are four. To begin this story, there was a column recently in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press written by a young lady who is just discovering the works of Sylvia Plath. It occurred to me I never have read anything by Plath, either, who is sort of a feminist heroine and who committed suicide in 1963 at age thirty. Plath is just the kind of novelist and poet whose head I would like to have gotten inside of, so I ordered two books, her novel, "The Bell Jar," and a biography, "Pain, Parties, Work -- Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," by Elizabeth Winder. I may (or may not) write a post about Plath after I finish the books. I really am being drawn into them. I also had begun reading (now interrupted), "I, Ripper," by Stephan Hunter. It is a novel revolving around Jack the Ripper (another individual whose head I would like to have gotten inside of) and a reporter trailing him. The book beneath them all is, "Minnesota in the Civil War and Indian War -- 1861-1865." I will skip the subtitles. It was published in 1892 and cost me a pretty penny. It consists of official reports and correspondence, including mention in a few places of one of my ancestors who rode with the Renville Rangers and became an officer with the 2nd United States Cavalry. I have been re-reading it, a bit here and a bit there. The music is the song, "Politician," performed by Cream in Royal Albert Hall, first in 1968 and second in 2005. If you listen to the lyrics, you will understand why it fits in with my words. Cream was the late Jack Bruce, on bass and front man; Ginger Baker, on drums; and Eric Clapton, on rhythm guitar and vocals.

Words spoken by Senator Thomas Jordan
in the novel, "The Manchurian Candidate"
by Richard Condon -- 1959:

"Would I block you? I would spend every cent I own, and all I could borrow, to block you. There are people who think of Johnny as a clown and a buffoon, but I do not. I despise John Iselin and everything that Iselinism has come to stand for. I think, if John Iselin were a paid Soviet agent, he could not do more to harm this country than he's doing now .... If you attempt a deal with the delegates, or cause Johnny's name to be brought forward on the ticket .... I will bring impeachment proceedings against your husband on the floor of the United States Senate. And I will hit him, I promise you, with everything in my well-documented book."

I know, but ....

I know politics are boring to some. They should not be, but they are .... so, if you think the next presidential election to be a boring topic, skip the rest of this post and thank you, for your partial attendance ....

It is a long, long, very long way until the political season in the United States actually gets into the picking and choosing stage. But, it is getting increasingly entertaining, the next debate among contenders for the nomination from the Republican Party is just a few days away, September 16, and I have a few thoughts. First, on the Republican side of the ledger:

Early on, I had been leaning toward Jeb Bush, the son of the forty-first president and brother of the forty-third president, as my "prohibitive favorite." He has been largely invisible since leaving the Florida governorship about eight years ago, and, I guess, I never did have a firm opinion about him beyond hearing a lot of people singing his praises.

After watching him in the first GOP debate, in news conferences and interviews, disappointment is my word of choice. He has been slow, inarticulate, stumbling and stuttering in presenting his positions and viewpoints.

Donald Trump, to me, would be even more ridiculous as president than Barack Obama has been. It would be replacement of one narcissistic, egomaniac with another. Obama has been an outlaw president, which, in theory, could not be without the presence of an emasculated Congress. Trump, no doubt, would be an even greater disaster.

Ben Carson simply does not have enough real-world experience to do the job, but would make an exemplary member of the next president's cabinet. Carly Fiorina falls into that category, too, and her corporate leadership experience could be put to good use.

Ted Cruz might be my man, because of his Hispanic ties and his religious background and beliefs, but mostly because of his intellect and his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. This paragraph, undoubtedly, will be continued as the election draws nearer.

Marco Rubio and (unfortunately) John Kasich are the only others among the Republicans who are of consequence at the present time, although I sort of wish Chris Christie would catch on, too.

Next, on to the Democratic Party side of the ledger:

There are not enough negative adjectives in the dictionary for me to use in regard to Hillary Clinton. Without using too many of them, I believe she is a habitual liar (or should that be pathological ?? .... either way, it seems to be a "politically genetic" trait among the Democratic hierarchy these days), morally bankrupt (she is a good match for her husband in that sense), a coward and .... well, we will stop there.

A while ago in another post, I mentioned that I could vote for Jim Webb. He has good experience in government, as the one-time Secretary of the Navy among other posts, and he has an absolutely exceptional record as a combat Marine Corps officer in Vietnam. In that sense, I think of him as a for-real giant among giants.

Then, too, there is "Good Time" Joe, Joe Biden. (That comes from an old joke about Joe.) Apparently, Biden is considering entering the race. The thought that frightens me most about him is his age, which also frightens me about many of these wanna-be presidents on both sides of the political aisle.

The difference between Biden and his current boss -- Barry, Barack Obama -- is that Biden understands there are many brilliant, dedicated individuals with years of vast experience available to assist and to advise him, while Obama has never learned -- even after nearly seven years as president -- that he is not the smartest guy in the room.

Other than that, Joe, Joe Biden has proven through decades of public service that he is the type of individual who would always put the best interests of the nation ahead of his own wishes or legacy or ambitions -- again, just the diametric opposite of the current resident of the White House.

And, Biden would not abandon Americans to be murdered by terrorists in Benghazi or anywhere, as did the current darling of the Democratic Party. Hmmmm .... I meant Mrs. Clinton, but the words apply to Mr. Obama equally well.

Otherwise, ignore the other current contenders among the Democrats.

I suppose I will be updating this from time-to-time ....


ANITA said...

Interesting Fram!Allthough I do not have the head to politics today..I sure want to read the "Bell Jar! written by pseudenom Victoria Lucas

Very dark book..(about a young girls search for identity) Even when we know she made suicide a month later!Wow!

Nice photo!Like it:))))

Thanx for tip!

About me..

I am reading Roy Jacobsen "Hvitt Hav"( Norway in the 1944..Away up in the north..When germans was shoot down with all their russians prisoners..And a lonely girl living on Barrøy Lofoten..Takes care of the wounded russiansprisoners floating in the sea..even falls in love!

Also my time has gone to set together a new kitchen room..Yes me..A handy woman!:))

Thanx again for wonderful posts Fram!

Hugs in the rain:))

PhilipH said...

Hi Fram.

Have to admit that I have NO idea as to how the long, drawn out Presidential election thing works in America. And I am certainly not along in the UK in this respect.

I knew that when Ronald Reagan was elected I thought that it was a joke and that the world was gasping at the rise of an old film star to the highest office in the States.

Most people in the UK know about JFK, mainly because of his stand-off against Kruschev and the Bay of Pigs head-to-head. A scary time for all the world which, fortunately, saw the Ruskies back down.

I've heard of Joe Biden but know sweet FA about him, other than what you have mentioned. Heard of Hilarious Clinton, mainly because of Dollar Bill, her hubby and the cigar incident ... interesting at the time.

Most of us rely on the media to tell us the ins and outs of the various political candidates both here and elsewhere and we all know how dodgy this can be. But what else is there?

We've just had the election of the Leader of the Labour party in Britain. The runaway winner was virtually UNKNOWN to 95% of the people in the UK until a week or two ago.

JEREMY CORBYN was the 500-1 outsider when this election was announced yet he won on the first ballot with almost 60% of the vote. Unheard of in this kind of election.

It's forecast that he will make the Labour Party unelectable now that he is Leader. Who knows? The media are as much in the dark as all of us.

Politics, to most - including me -, is boring because we have no faith in ANY candidate of any party. They all seem incapable of saying YES or NO to any question. They ramble on, using the broken record system of repetition, or the tired old 'party line' parrot answer. Boring. Boring.

Jeremy Corby seems DIFFERENT. He DOES know how to say Yes or No. He is plain spoken. I like that. He has been a pain in the arse for the Labour party in Parliament. I like that too.

Quite a few shadow cabinet ministers have resigned, they vowed they would not serve under him. Good. Good riddance. You've quite even though you haven't given him a hearing or a trial.

Also, Corbyn seems GENUINE to me. Not in it for personal or financial gain, like the vast majority of politicians in the world. I have not been a Labour supporter ever before. I may now change my views simply because this ONE man rings the bell for me.

OK Fram, I've rattled on a bit here. Politics do not usually cause me to spout forth like this. Your fault my friend. Your fault.

Regards, Phil

Fram Actual said...

The political season is upon us here in the United States, Anita, and there is nowhere to hide from it even if one wished to seek asylum from it. Fortunately, for me, I find politics somewhat interesting so I do not have to hide from it -- only avoid it for a few days from time to time.

After beginning with "The Bell Jar," I have decided to put it down until I have completed the biography, "Pain, Parties, Work -- Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953." I have found it confusing to read a few pages in one book and then a few pages in the other, so I have chosen the biography to complete first. I am not sure if that is the wisest way to read the pair, but that is my decision.

I have a feeling your book selection is both more interesting and more exciting reading.

Good luck, with your kitchen project. Do not work too hard.

Thank you, for your visit and your complimentary words regarding my post, Anita. I appreciated them very much.

Fram Actual said...

Do not feel badly, Philip. I am the same way regarding elections in Britain. There must be an internationally well-publicized election before I will be aware of any details.

I have to confess that I voted for Ronald Reagan the first time around, but could not bring myself to vote for either candidate when Reagan ran for re-election. His opponent then from the Democratic Party was Walter Mondale, who was a Minnesotan. Since I was not living in Minnesota at that time, I did not have to feel guilty for my failure to support the "local guy." (That was meant to be a joke .... Minnesotan or not, Mondale was not presidential material.)

Joe Biden has been part of the national political landscape in the United States since he was first elected to the Senate in 1972, Philip. He has been re-elected six times, run for president twice in the past and been vice-president since 2009. He frequently puts his foot in his mouth and occasionally does dumb/idiotic things, but I do not think anyone would question his patriotism or his general intelligence, coupled with a wealth of experience.

Me, myself and I, however, probably will be pushing for the eventual nominee from the Republican Party, although the GOP has done nothing to earn anyone's vote during the past two years of controlling both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

You have made me a bit curious now with your comments about Jeremy Corbyn. I think I will keep an eye on him and see where he leads Britain. I also will be curious to know if he lives up to your expectations.

Thank you, Philip. I am pleased you made it here and will gladly take the blame anytime you wish to "spout forth" about the political or any other scene.

Kelly J. Call said...

Hi Fram :-)
It seems to me our country has gone to hell in a hand basket. Our candidates a joke, and well, what can I say? It is frightening...truly frightening.
On a lighter note, I had a dream about you the other night. You were a rock star with long red hair. You were up on the stage with a huge audience playing your guitar and singing :-) You were very popular! Then the music stopped, I yelled out "Woo-Hoo Fram!" you looked at me, we smiled at each other, and then off the stage you went. Funny how dreams come out of nowhere, or somewhere or who knows where?
Anyhoo, it was nice to see you in my dream :-)
I hope my note finds you well and happy and your family too!
I send you a big hug and best wishes!
Nite :-)

Fram Actual said...

When I see or hear the word, California, thoughts of San Clemente Island, Pickel Meadows, Twentynine Palms, Hermosa Beach, La Jolla, the "Hotel California" and Great White Sharks often flash through my mind -- but, always the first and the foremost thought is about a tall blonde in Los Angeles.

Hi there, Kelly ....

As for the red-headed rock star, I am too good looking to be mistaken for Sammy Hagar and I have better legs than Axl Rose and .... well, enough of that, but I guess it really must have been me rocking away the night in your dream.

I always am curious about my dreams. I have reoccurring dreams; I have dreams that are continuous, like chapters in a book; I have a variety of dreams which involve a particular building, but the building is always serving different purposes; occasionally, I have a dream in which I am fighting .... and, I constantly am thinking about my dreams and looking for meanings and interpretations.

Too bad that you did not follow me offstage or that I did not come down into the audience to you in your dream. That might have made it even more interesting. I think I will stop there. By the way, drums .... remember ?? .... I am ambidextrous to the degree my left hand and my right hand are always fighting for control, which is not conducive to guitar playing .... at least for me.

I guess I said enough in my post about my viewpoint of the presidential "contenders," so I will not repeat myself here. I agree with your thoughts. I do not think things will be getting better anytime soon. I actually think it will take a catastrophic event to set the country back on course. The United States has evolved into a "me, me, me first" nation, which is media driven and politically driven.

My former wife has been coping with a re-occurrence of cancer and is holding her own now. Everyone else is doing fine. I am always brooding, you might recall, so there is nothing to worry about there.

I hope you and your two kids are enjoying personal happiness, prosperity and good health, Kelly, and I wish the same for your sisters, mother and assorted males in your life, even including your former husband. I cannot recall if your step-father took his gun collection with him to Paris, but if he did and still resides there, maybe someday I will ask for his address and request a visit to his home.

Many thanks for your visit here and for your comment, Kelly. I enjoy your presence and I miss your company. And, the next time you are drifting in the realm of dreams, do not be shy -- come up on the stage with me and will do our Mick Jagger / Grace Potter routine.

Be seeing you more often, I hope ....

Kelly J. Call said...

Hi Again :-)
Your words are warm and sweet. Thank you, Fram. You have placed a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart. You are the consummate ladies' man, always a charmer. My dream is sort of like us, a smile, a psychic embrace, a healthy respect and a fond affection...Distance creates space, but does not diminish presence. You will always be a special friend to me :-)
We shall dance, if only in our dreams...

Fram Actual said...

You are lyrical, poetic in your description of our relationship, Kelly. It is very appropriate, too, I think .... very accurate, and it makes me smile.

In respect to my voice when in the presence of a lady under any and all circumstances, I like to think I speak openly, freely, honestly, sincerely and am essentially reflecting the essence of the individual with whom I am speaking .... which means I will always search to find the appropriate words.

It could be that someday the stars will be in the correct alignment and we might yet find ourselves aboard a paddle wheeler cruising along the Mississippi River on the way to New Orleans or even aboard an aircraft somewhere between the United States and Israel.

Thank you, for your second visit to this post, Kelly, and for your kind words.

A Cuban In London said...

I still have a copy of The bell Jar on my bookshelf. I remember it started on a bright note and ended on a low one. I still don't know what to think of Sylvia and as for feminism... hmm. here's where it gets tricky....

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

The more I learn about Sylvia Plath, CiL, the more I think of her as fascinatingly frightening.

I finished reading a biography, "Pain, Parties, Work -- Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," but I am barely into her novel, "The Bell Jar." At the same time, I have been looking here and there for additional details about Plath's life and learned her husband's lover, Assia Wevill, killed not only herself, but their daughter, in the same way Plath had committed suicide. Add to that, Plath's son, Nicholas, killed himself just a few years ago.

To be a bit melodramatic and comment further through the lyrics of Cream:

Strange brew -- killin' what's inside of you.
She's some kind of demon messin' in the flue.
If you don't watch out it'll stick to you ....

I would greatly enjoy taking a college-level class solely on the work and the life of Plath but, even if I could find one, it probably would be populated largely by women who likely would stone me for some of the questions I might ask and because of some of the opinions I might offer.

It is nice to see you here, CiL. I appreciate your visit and your words. I think you should read / re-read Plath's novel and some of her poetry, too.

Smareis said...

Oi Fram!

Porque interrompeu a leitura, continue e desvende os mistérios da grande Sylvia Plath. Gostei dos livros!
Esse livro debaixo dos outros é bem grosso deve demorar meses e mais meses pra fazer a leitura de todas os capítulos. Deve ser muito importante para você com certeza, já que consiste de relatórios e correspondências oficiais, incluindo referência de alguns locais de um dos seus antepassados .
Bem Fram, a politica não é chata, chato são os que nela estão infiltrados para iludir e mentir para a população. Aqui as coisas andam de mal a pior, a nossa moeda corrente esta desvalorizando devido à péssima administração da Dilma... Se o processo de impeachment não for aprovado, e nada for feito, a Dilma acaba com o Brasil. O PT precisa assumir seus erros ou sumir pra sempre da história do Brasil, talvez assim as coisas começam a mudar.

Gostei do vídeo!

Até mais Fram!

Fram Actual said...

Night turned to morning and morning is entering afternoon for me, Smareis.

I did not notice your comment here until nearly 3:00 a.m. my time, and by then I was too tired to write a remark in return. Morning now has passed, I have just come in from cutting the grass and I will have a sandwich or two for my lunch after I finish writing this note to you.

I did return to reading "The Bell Jar" and I did complete it yesterday evening. I will think about it now for a day or two, and then write a bit more about it.

Yes, "Minnesota in the Civil War and Indian War," is rather large at 622 oversized pages with rather small print. I read it in its entirety about ten years ago, and recently have been trying to refresh my memory about these events by just reading a dozen pages or so every day or two. This is just one of two volumes, and I obtained it because I knew my ancestor was mentioned in it in a few places in regard to the 1862 Sioux Uprising. He was a junior cavalry officer, and was cited for his bravery and leadership during three battles.

I think Brazil and the United States are in similar positions regarding government corruption, malfeasance and incompetence. I noticed your president, Dilma Rousseff, spoke at the United Nations the other day. I did not listen to her, nor did I listen to Barack Obama. It was only Vladimir Putin that I took time to hear. He is the player with the power in these times; all others are merely "extras" on the world stage today.

I am glad you liked the videos, Smareis, and I am more than glad you came to visit me and to write your thoughts for this post. Now, it is time for lunch for me .... I hope you are well and fine, and that the day is being good to you.

Something special ....