Sunday, September 09, 2007

Getting to Ivan's blog is half the fun--Rafting on the Medusa

My intention had been to reproduce Francesco Goya's "Burial of the Sardine", in which there is an uncannily prescient image o "Ben Layton", emblazoned on a pennant.
I went to my picture file to bring up the Goya painting.

What came out instead was another brilliant painting by a Frenchman named Theodore Gericault.
~Whoops. Here, finally is the picture I wanted. I have the two paintings now.

It has just struck me, a man who doesn't usually think in pictures, that "The Raft of the Medusa" could well be a tableau of of the Republican administration right now
And the scary thing is, "Ben Layton" knows it.
Osama bin Laden's recent tape may well have been a State of the Union adress, with Osama as anti-President. How is it that he can still do this?

You listening out there, Tomcat, the political guy?
I'm sure you have a take on all this



EA Monroe said...

Ivan, hah. We could use a raft in OK today with all the rain! said...

Hi Liz,

You guys still gettin' the rain?

It is a total drought in Ontario, at least in the Toronto area.
I checked out a farmer's parched field and all I could see was wildly seeded artichokes--which I immediately plucked forth and put in my garden. Artichokes seem to thrive in drought and the produce a beautiful miniature "sunflower".
Come on green thumb!

I can almost hear that Fifties commercial, "In the valley of the Jolly Green Giant."


Anonymous said...

Hi Ivan,
(please forward this message to your pro-life, pro-family list)


If you live in one of the following areas and can help our candidate collect the 40 signatures from your riding and bring them to your Returning Officer, you may have an FCP candidate to vote for... otherwise, our Candidate may not be able to run.

04 Barrie (Rob Sales)
20 Eglinton-Lawrence (Rina Morra)
25 Etobicoke North (Theresa Ceolin)
71 Peterborough (Paul Morgan)
81 Scarborough Centre (Tom Lang)
104 York Centre (Marilyn Carvalho)
107 York West (Julia Carvalho)

In the following areas, we may be able to run a candidate, if you live there and are willing to help:

14 Chatham-Kent-Essex
18 Dufferin-Caledon
19 Durham
21 Elgin-Middlesex-London
35 Kenora-Rainy River
40 Lambton-Kent-Middlesex
43 London-Fanshawe
44 London North Centre
45 London West
54 Niagara Falls
55 Niagara West-Glanbrook
56 Nickel Belt
57 Nipissing
58 Northumberland-Quinte West
78 Sarnia-Lambton
80 Scarborough-Agincourt
86 Simcoe North
90 Thunder Bay-Atikokan
91 Thunder Bay-Superior North
92 Timiskaming-Cochrane
93 Timmins-James Bay
96 Trinity-Spadina
98 Welland

Please respond ASAP if you can help.

Giuseppe Gori said...


Ah, it's the silly season in Ontario.
Elections four weeks away.
And me wanting to go first class and vote NDP.
But I am a fellow traveller of the Family Coalitiong Party.

I so identify. Your chances of getting in are about the same as my coming out hardcover through Knopf Borzoi Books.

But hang in there, and good luck to you.

Ivan said...

Well, there are some Italian guys I really like.

I saw Giuseppe Gori on TV and he kind of rocked me.
He is, among other things, a computer guru besides being a good talker. Sort of impressed me.


Josie said...

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.

Americans need to stop bashing Bush. They're preacing to the choir. It's now time to start building the Democratic party, instead of tearing all the candidates down all the time.

Americans eat their young, and then wonder what happened. said...

Totally agree with you, Josie.

I just wish it were Bill running instead of Hillary.

She appears somewhat two-faced.


Josie said...

Am I the only one who is not completely naive? Bill IS running. Vote for Hillary, they'll get Bill. What is so hard to figure out about that? That's why they keep getting it wrong. Those cagey Clintons figured out how to get the Clinton administration back into the White House. And people are too stupid to see it.

*sigh* said...

Hillary is representing New York and not Arkansas.

...And that's another kettle of fish internationally. I think they've yoked her to an agenda.


Josie said...

Agendas were made to be discarded. Get the Clintons into the White House for crap sake. Who cares what state they represent? What's so difficult about that to figure out?

Oh, sometimes I despair at the stupidity of people... Everyone is so obtuse. They spend so much time analyzing their navels and they never see the big picture.

Vote for Clinton.
Vote for Clinton.

But I know they won't, and they'll get another Republican (Thompson because he once played a President in the movies...) or Guiliani. They don't have any strong Democratic candidates.

I now relinquish the podium. said...

Much as I'd like to be sophisticated and slick, it is my opinion the New York City (like Toronto before the current
TIFF-Hollywood thing)--is a party pooper town and Mayor Bloomberg is showing his incompetence at cleaning up the post-911 mess; he's not Rudy.
Mayor Bloomberg is projecting the image of great competence, but face it, the man's a dick. Firefighters are dying every day and the Environmental Protection Agency is lying through its teeth when it says there is no toxicity on the 911 site.
Oh yes, the EPA has made us quit smoking...But what about the smoking toxic ruin?

I think with Hillary in, you'd get more of this.

(And that's me out of cigarettes and booze).

(Like his Vietnamese captors used to say about Sen John McCain, "He in tiger cage all day. Come out very cranky.
"Very cranky").


Josie said...

No, Ivan, I think with Hillary in, she would pretty much thumb her nose at New York. I should say the Clintons would thumb their noses at New York. The Clintons are a force to be reckoned with, and they are the only ones capable of cleaning up the mess Bush left behind.

My prediction? Fred Thompson by one of the biggest landslides the Americans have ever seen. All the in-bred, trailer-dwelling folks will vote for him because he looks like a president. I don't think the Democrats have a snowball's chance in hell unless they get their acts together very soon. Even the unpopular Iraq war won't keep a Republican out.

And you know something, Ivan? It's very bizarre, but I am never wrong about these things. I have a lapel pin with a voice recording in it, I press the button and it says, "Toldya so..."

Heh, heh.

TomCat said...

Hi Ivan. Believe it or not, I have nothing against the Republicans, per se, but their party has been hijacked by the neocon/theocon wing, and it's going to take a near complete loss of political power for the moderates in that party to regain influence. Until that happens, the GOP is indeed a sinking ship.

The Democrats are by no means perfect, but cleaning up our own party is a drain the swamp issue, while we are still up to our arses in alligators, getting the GOP out of power.

The energy in the Democratic party is in its progressive wing. The candidate (with half a chance to be nominated) that best represents that wing and offers the clearest alternative to the Bush Reich is John Edwards. I'd make Barack Obama my second choice. Among the top three, the candidate who most represents corporate money and government as usual is Hillary Clinton. I fear that, if she is nominated, voters might say, "What's the difference?" Nevertheless, she's better that anything in the GOP stable, so I will support her, if nominated. said...


It's what I meant to say to Josie, but wouldn't say right on. Yes, Hillary does represent corporate America--I could go further, but I won't.
But yes, she would be an improvement. And first woman president would prbably try harder to do a good job.

Ivan said...


Fred Thomson has a good head on his shoulders, and though a media figure, he is not prone to hyperbole or bullsh"it. His views on Orwellian government and Homeland security are right on.
Is the GOP big enough to nominate him ?
He has an about 11 per cent rating right now.
...Stranger things have happened.


EA Monroe said...

Obama has Oprah on his side now raking in the $$$.

Me? I'm still voting for Christopher Walkin! ;-) said...

Yes, yes!

Christopher Walkin for President.

I can just hear his acceptance speech:

"Good afternoon, Douchebags!"

(Only Mr. Walkin could get away with that). said...


Liz, We're such good fans of Chris we didn't realize he spells his name Walken.

We're all walkin' for him anyway.


Donnetta Lee said...

Well, I just usually don't make political comments. I will say, those are certainly "dark" pictures. Walken for president? Could do worse, I suppose.

I think Liz' side of town may have had more rain than we have, but it's been overcast and sprinkling here. I want the sun to shine!

Donnetta said...

Oh Donnetta,

Send us some of that weather.

I've got arichokes because they have a beautiful yellow miniature 'sunflower".

My artichokes are "chokin". My crocuses have long since croaked.

But my Salvia Farinacea is up, bright blue...Oh oh...quite a sentence!

Well, it's called Victoria Blue.

Ah, Victoria.

Makes me think of Austalia.


Sienna said...

You raaang...

So we have had Bill Clinton visit here....very smart, very clever...great communicator.

Al Gore not that long ago...seems also very switched on, really enjoyed listening to what Al (and Bill when here) had to say.

Last week we had George. I think he enjoyed his time in Austria.

No snow tho' :-)

Pam said...


Oootang! (Like Borneo?).

No, like Australia. Wooomera!

We're going to Australia!

Everybody was either there or is there.

I was glad Mr. Bush was able to attend the OOOhpec Conference while in Austria.


Anonymous said...

Clinton to Return $850,000 Raised by Hsu

Email this Story

Sep 10, 10:28 PM (ET)


(AP) Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic forum hosted by...
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign said Monday it will return $850,000 in donations raised by Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, who is under federal investigation for allegedly violating election laws.

Clinton, D-N.Y., previously had planned only to give to charity $23,000 she received from Hsu for her presidential and senatorial campaigns and to her political action committee, HillPac.

The FBI is investigating whether Hsu paid so-called straw donors to send campaign contributions to Clinton and other candidates, a law enforcement official said Monday.

"In light of recent events and allegations that Mr. Norman Hsu engaged in an illegal investment scheme, we have decided out of an abundance of caution to return the money he raised for our campaign," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a statement Monday night. "An estimated 260 donors this week will receive refunds totaling approximately $850,000 from the campaign."

Wolfson said the Clinton campaign also will vigorously review its fundraisers, including thorough criminal background checks, in the future. "In any instances where a source of a bundler's income is in question, the campaign will take affirmative steps to verify its origin," he said.

The amount that the campaign identified as raised by Hsu would make him one of her top fundraisers. During the first six months of this year, her presidential campaign raised $52 million from individual contributors, second to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who raised $58.5 million.

While Clinton will return the money raised by Hsu, Wolfson said the individual contributors could make new donations.

"We will accept their contributions and ask them to confirm for our records that they are from their own personal funds," he said in an e-mail.

Since 2004, Hsu has donated $260,000 to Democratic Party groups and federal candidates, and raised hundreds of thousands of additional dollars. He was regarded as a top party fundraiser until recent reports surfaced that he was wanted on a warrant in California in connection with a 1991 grand theft charge.

Federal authorities are examining whether Hsu leaned on investors to contribute to political candidates after paying them big earnings from a shady business venture he was running, the law enforcement official said. Such a scam - using conduit contributors known as straw donors - is a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which limits how much money individuals can give to candidates and political committees.

The FBI may be looking at other potential charges as well, according to the law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

In addition to the $260,000 he contributed to federal candidates, Hsu also contributed at least $330,000 to state Democratic candidates and state party committees and ballot initiatives during the 2004 and 2006 election cycles. Among the state officials who received money were New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Both have said they would divest their campaigns of the donations.

Additionally, last week Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said he would donate nearly $40,000 in contributions, and Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said he had donated a $1,000 contribution to a charity that helps soldiers.

The purpose of Hsu's business venture was unclear. The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that it was an investment pool that had recently drawn the suspicion of associates who questioned its legality.

An attorney for Hsu did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Hsu remained hospitalized in Grand Junction, Colo., where he has been since failing to show up for a California court hearing last week. It was unclear when he might be returned to California to face charges.

Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to accusations that he defrauded investors of $1 million. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his sentencing in 1992. He finally surrendered to the arrest warrant Aug. 31, but disappeared before last week's hearing where he was expected to turn over his passport and ask a judge to cut his $2 million bail in half.

Wolfson said the Clinton campaign was "unaware of Mr. Hsu's decade-plus old warrant," despite what he described as a thorough review of public records.

Since Thursday, Hsu has been at the Colorado hospital, when he was taken from an eastbound Amtrak train for treatment of an undisclosed ailment. He'd failed to show up for the hearing a day earlier. He is expected to be taken to the Mesa County Jail in Colorado to await extradition proceedings in state court once he is well enough to leave the hospital.


Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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You got good radar.

Talk about corporate.

(I just picked up the above story from DRUDGE).


benjibopper said...

Maybe not an anti-President so much as just a fallen angel. But the heads of the hierarchy always need the fallen heads to make themselves look pristine. Only next to an uber-terrorist could Bush come off as a good guy. Only next to Bush could Osama look reasonable. They need each other, and that's why Osama's still alive.

-Conspiracy Sam

benjibopper said...

and, apparently, only next to hillary could bill look like a straight shooter.

part of me does hope for Obama just for the Obama v. Osama possibilities. said...


Oh you are so right.

There are days when I think the whole Bush-Osama thing was scripted by George Lucas (no slight to the great director).

Ivan said...

I think I was the first in Canada to sort of canonize Hillary as a secular saint, especially when she suggested a more equitable Middle East solution to Bill, the President. I wrote about the lady at length in a magazine hereabouts called The Town Crier.
But a look at near-Tammany Hall politics in New York of late--has really soured me.


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