Saturday, August 24, 2013


the cat sat tightly on the bed, her legs tucked up under her like a spider - she stares out the window (big yellow eyes round) and she knows.

what exactly is that smell?  hot when i went to bed, at some point i pushed off the blanket over and me and dug down under the comforter.  the morning is cold and these are the final days, everyone recovering from summer sickness.  it's a crispness, a clarity, but also a wetness that aromatically heralds autumn's approach and underscores the mornings of many oregon summer days.

it's a break from the sinking sewers, their contents dried and decomposing in the stretch of rainless days in the past few months.

how do you feel about the summer sickness?  it seems as if the rate of infection has been low, the symptoms mild this year.  john said, summer was over long ago, even as he continued to drink through the afternoon into the evening and through to the next day.  but we're all okay.

i hear some friends long for the cold wet days of oregon winter.  having grown up in alabama, i thought i had had enough of the sun - summers in the south are brutal, hot, humid, unrelenting.  but here, i think all year of the summer, long for the long hot days when we'll stay up too late and drink too much and bike about it and dance and go to the river and go camping and feel the vitamin d build up under our skin.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the hand of god in the patent wars

this is also the story of another obama disappointment - which will only further the lie that i am secretly a republican.  i promise you, though, i have no plans to vote republican.  i have no sympathy.  i am just at times disappointed in obama's decisions.  i think you can still be a democrat and criticize the official you helped elect.  i can still want something more.

let me tell you why i'm disappointed now.

president obama overturned a decision by the united states trade commission to ban sales of older model apple iphones and ipads in the country.

the trade commission had determined that apple had infringed upon patents possessed by samsung. "Apple argued that Samsung had committed to licensing its patents related to wireless technology standards, but was refusing to keep that promise. Samsung said Apple refused to pay licensing fees for its patents."  this is a war that apple started and now that the courts and the trade commission are ruling against apple, apple had run to the president.  this reeks. what does the president have to do with patent infringement?  does he really believe that the american economy could collapse if apple cannot sell its older products after a federal body of experts have determined that apple continues to act unfairly?

here's what i think happened.  apple approached the president as a friend and a large american company.  apple, a company that hardly pays any taxes in the united states.  and the president was convinced he needed to help this huge behemoth of a company out, to keep him on its good side.

this past friday, the same trade commission decided that older samsung products had violated apple patents.  the president has sixty days to overrule the freeze placed on samsung products.  but will he?  will he show the country that apple and samsung and other corporations need to end the childish brinkmanship over patents?  will the president overrule the trade commission for the benefit of american consumers and for the sake of fairness and competition?  or will the president ignore this development because apple is an american company with friends in high places.

seeing this ugly feud that apple started, president obama needs to chastise apple and other companies to behave civilly and fairly and not reward unruly companies that make plenty of money on americans on products exported from foreign factories and paying hardly anything in tax to the american government.  let's get real.

now we're still waiting for obama to act.  he could overturn the decision against samsung as well, fairly saying "enough" to all the companies in america currently fighting the patent wars.  this would be a wise move, though i am not sure it would completely cut the competitiveness between these companies nor do i think it would do much to quell apple's aggression.  but it would be a step in the right direction.