Friday, November 12, 2010


Rush Limbaugh is the undisputed King of Unbearable Crap. 

Do you listen to Rush? I don't, usually, and here's why: Every time I tune in to Rush, he's lying and deceiving the American public with half truths and unsubstantiated rumors.

This qualifies as crap. His income qualifies him as the King of Crap.

Limbaugh makes more than $58 million a year and is the most influential media personality in the USA, according to Newsweek (Nov. 8, 2010).

This morning (Nov. 12, 2010) Rush said the federal government owns way too much land in the USA. He made it sound like some huge land grab. If we are serious about reducing the size of the government, he said, we should do something to reduce the percentage of land owned by the Feds.

Of course, he didn't bother giving us the facts.
Perhaps he thinks the facts would confuse the message.

If Rush or one of his minions had spent five minutes on the Web and done a Google search, he could have found an article entitled "How Much USA Land Does The Federal Government Own?"

Here are the facts: The feds own large parts of the western states, mostly for military bases, military testing, wildlife reserves, Indian reservations and land leased for mining and agriculture.
But the feds own very little of the eastern states. You can see why.
Huge areas of the west are deserts or mountain ranges and forests.
In the east, more of the land is farmed.

The federal agencies that manage government lands include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Does that sound like a big scary land grab to you?
It doesn't to me.
It sounds like government doing what it should do.

When my son was about nine years old, I took him on a trip across the southwest, and we camped out in National Forests, every night for three weeks.
I'd find a little two-track road and drive our VW bug off into the boonies until we found a place where people had camped before, with a flat place cleared for a tent and a circle of stones for a fire ring.
We'd set up the tent and get out the Coleman stove.
It was great: Stars over head, the sounds of coyotes in the distance, and the magnificent silence of the great outdoors.
In the morning, we'd have breakfast and pack up the tent and find a Forest Service campground and have a hot shower.
It was a wonderful trip.
We could not have done it without government land.
If that land had been owned by ranchers or oil companies or mining companies, we would have had to stay in motels, and that would have been a shame.
Did you know you can camp anywere in National Forest?
Well, you can.
No thanks to Rush.

The state with the most federal land is Nevada, at 84.5%, and the states with the least are Connecticut and Rhode Island, at .04%.
In total, federal land makes up about 30% of the USA.

On the radio today, Limbaugh made that sound horrible, like an outrage.
What do you think?
Is it horrible?
I don't think so.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

This is typical of Rush, who wants you to Rush to judgment without knowing the facts.
All hail the King of Crap.

Copyright 2010 by Roger R. Angle

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Praising weak writing is almost as bad as publishing bad writing. Here is an example of great writing:
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Leo Tolstoi

Later we'll talk about weak writing. In this space I usually talk politics. I complain about our leaders and the fact that they don't listen to me. Hell, they don't even call me.

But here is a different issue, and it is fundamentally important: literature. This art form helps shape civilization, and helps shape our society, and helps shape our concepts of good and evil, and our ideas of moraltiy, and our notions of cause and effect. Indeed, literature helps create our very concept of self.

Since literature is so important, I wonder why it has fallen on hard times. I am tired of seeing praise, in newspapers and magazines, for weak writing, for literature that doesn't fulfill its mission to enlighten us.

Recently (Oct. 21, 2010) I wrote a letter to the managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, in reaction to a book review of his:

Dear Davan Marahaj:

I was surprised when you wrote, in the Book Review Oct. 17, that the following line [from V.S. Naipaul] is famous and is from a masterpiece:

"The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it."

Of course the world is what it is. What else could it be? That is so obvious it is not worth mentioning. Indeed, it goes without saying. And many men in the world are nothing, because they lack the courage or motivation or family connections to become something.

Here, Naipaul is a keen observer of the obvious. The sentence is bland and boring and offers no insight into the world or into human nature.
So why is the line famous?

Roger Angle

Of course, I have received no reply. I didn't expect one.

Now, let's compare the V.S. Naipaul line, the opening of "A Bend In The River," with the Tolstoi line above, the opening of "Anna Karenina." Tolstoi gives us some insight into human nature right off the bat. He tells us the truth, and probably a truth that we had not ourselves observed. So he fulfills the first mission of literature, to give us insight into ourselves.

The Tolstoi novel that follows this line is one of the great novels of modern civilization. Someone once asked William Faulkner what three novels one should read, to learn how to write novels. Faulkner, argubly our greatest American novelist, answered, "Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, and Anna Karenina."

Where are the great writers now? Where are the Tolstois and the Faulkners? I read widely and I don't find them.

What we get instead is praise, in a major American newspaper, for weak writing. I have also seen such praise in the New York Times and in The New Yorker, two of my favorite publications.

I don't think these editors are stupid.

So why do they do it? Has literature come to this?

Praise for weak writing is another form of crap.
Perhaps it is bearable, but it should not be.

Copyright 2010 by Roger R. Angle

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Lying to the American people about anything is a form of Unbearable Crap. Especially when the topic is terrorism.

Here is a bit of truth from Michael Moore: "Terrorists aren't trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They are trying to kill us because we're in their countries killing them."

I wasn't going to bring this up, but have you ever actually read the writings of Osama bin Laden? What he wants and has always wanted is for America to get its troops out of the Arabian peninsula and out of Islamic countries in the Middle East.

The right wingers in the USA would have us believe that even listening to or reading Bin Laden amounts to "appeasement," and they compare that to Neville Chamberlain trying to make peace with Adof Hitler.

Wait, isn't there a difference? Who invaded whose land? In the 1930s, after big business in the USA stopped supporting Hitler, our former ally led Germany in trying to take over Europe and the world. Hitler was the invader.

In modern times, we invaded Iraq. We invaded Afghanistan. Are we the invader, or not? I don't think we went in there to take over those countries. Ostensibly, we went there to spread democracy. In his gut, W knew it was the right thing to do.

Was it the right thing to do? If so, what have we gotten out of these invasions?

Dick Cheney said that oil in Iraq would pay for the invasion and occupation. Has it? Yeah, right. Sure. If you believe that, I've got a bridge I want to sell you.

That is another piece of Unbearable Crap.

Copyright 2010 by Roger R. Angle


A shark attack off Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California recently (22 October 2010) was all over the news. What they don't tell you is that about a mile off that shore is an area of the ocean where Great White sharks raise their young.

Those waters are teeming with Great White sharks. They don't often come in close to shore, but those "silent gray gentlemen," as surfers call them, are always hungry and always feeding. As one expert said on ABC News, a shark could easily mistake a boogie boarder for a seal, which is its prime source of food.

That shark was estimated to be about 18 feet long, which is almost full grown. The attack took place about 100 yards from the beach, according to the Website My guess would be that this shark was exploring the area to find food. According to the Website,"This shark commonly patrols small coastal islands inhabited by pinnipeds (seals, seal lions and walruses), offshore reefs, banks and rocky headlands where there is deep water close to shore. The white shark usually cruises either just off the bottom or near the surface."

My family and I often go camping just south of Vandenberg at Jalama Beach, and one of the life guards told us about the Great White sharks in those waters. Often, marine biologists visit that area to study the Great Whites.

My advice: If you don't want to be mistaken for a seal, don't act like one. Don't splash around on the surface of the water wearing a dark wet suit that makes you sound and look like a seal.

If you surf or boogie-board, be aware that once in a while, one of those silent gray gentlemen may come looking for a meal, and you could be it.

They don't appear in real life like they do in the movies, with dorsal fin sticking out of the water. They come up from under the water, so they are often a surprise.

Friday, October 22, 2010


OK, so NPR "senior analyst" Juan Williams got fired for saying he fears Muslims dressed liked, well, Muslims. Of course, his comment illustrates only that he shares many Americans' unfounded prejudices and irrational fears.

It's too bad Faux News jumped in and offered him $2-million to keep being a fool on Fox. He could have gone to work for New York candidate for governor Carl Paladino, who hates gays but loves Lesbians, or for Delaware candidate for the U.S. Senate Christine O'Donnell, who said that evolution isn't working because she can't see monkeys changing before her very eyes.

What no one is saying is that Juan Williams has always been a horse's ass. His comments and so-called analyses have always been lame. Remember him as a moderator of a presidential debate some years ago? He's the one who asked the stupid questions. When the reporters on NPR have had to ask Williams for "analysis," he has always said something obvious or stupid.

The truth is that Juan will fit in just fine at Fox, not known of its overall IQ. Of course, Fox made its offer as a comment on NPR. Analyze that, Juan.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Dear President Obama,

During the last presidential election, in 2008, I was an Obama telephone volunteer (in Los Angeles, on Motor Avenue). When we finished instruction, our trainer said, "Let's go change the world."

I still choke up when I say it. We were excited, thrilled, and charged up with the possibilities, and with our role in history. We dared hope for a better world. About 200 of us made, they told us, some 30,000 phone calls that morning, many of us on our own cell phones.

Apparently we didn't make as much difference as we thought. We helped you get elected. But where is that change?

Please stand up and do the right thing on healthcare (Medicare for all), on Iraq and Afghanistan (should have been police actions), on Latin America (combat drugs by legalizing them, controlling them, and shutting down the profit system; stop supporting dictators) and on the economy (get the Wall Street foxes out of the government henhouse).

If you don't, I may leave the Democratic Party and join the Greens. I believe thousands of Democrats may do the same. I would hate to jump ship. I've been a lifelong Democrat, and I believe in basic Democratic values.

Please, Mr. President, show some courage.
Let’s see that change we believed in.

Thank you.
Roger R. Angle