Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Client: You can see from this grade card that my husband shouldn't have our daughter she is getting "F's."

Me: F's? It looks like she's got A's and B's.

Client: Look here an F in grammer.

Me: Grammer, where?

Client: There you see the box.

Me: Oh there?

Client: Yes right there:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Odds and Ends

Down in Florida and every time I come down here and make the turn to go down the street that leads to my parent's (my Mom's now) condo I remember the first time I turned down that road, in the early 70s, and there running beside the car was a wild boar. Now at that same corner there are some doctor's offices, a gas station, a city building, and more offices. I have to continually remind myself how much time has passed.

One of the first times I was down here I went to the local liquor store (locally owned, now there is a large ABC Liquor store in the mall) to buy some champagne for some holiday or the other. We were getting some Moet and the guy told us his story. During World War II he and a platoon that he was part of had liberated the baron (?) Moet and had spent the next week or so drinking and partying at the chateau. Since then (up to that time) he and he figured all the other guys in his platoon had gotten a case of champagne from the baron (?) each year for VE day. The guy had a nose that looked like he drank at least a case much more frequently than once a year.

I finished Screening History by Vidal. Although he is a wonderful writer, in the end his vision is incredibly dark and depressing. Essentially, his argument is simply that the United States is owned by a ruling class. If you are lucky enough to be born or to be adopted in one way or another into that class you can, if you choose, decide to run the country no matter what the rest of us want.

He has argued for years that we live in neither a real democracy nor a real republic. Rather it is a true oligarchy of power and wealth. Of course, like any oligarchy that expects to last more than a generation it does find it necessary to let in the odd sycophant (hi Misters Obama and Clinton) in and their families, after all there is enough money to go around, if you count around as the top 5% or so. He would I think agree with my frequently made point that the democrats will fight to the last to keep abortion safe and legal for the wealthy woman.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Political Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis of the political mind.

I do need to watch what I'm doing and what I'm writing. I've been reading two books skipping back and forth between them. Lost and Found by Alan Dean Foster and Screening History by Gore Vidal. I've also just finished reading Williwaw also by Vidal.

Lost and Found treated me to some very interesting nightmares last night, but reading Vidal is much more dangerous. I end up attempting to write like him and since I possess neither his wit nor his facility with language the results can sometimes be a little less than inspiring.

I continue my attempt to differentiate between my own deterioration and hardening of my very own arteries and those of my country and its people no matter how young.

Today the local paper's headline (as it will be every day this week) told us about speed week, but never fear the secondary headline assured us that the president is "Chipping Away at the Deficit." On the other hand the republican's do not think that he has screwed the middle class enough and demand more cuts to what we laughingly call social services in this country.

I remember as a conservative teenager who was very interested in politics reading the rants which appeared in my local rural paper (a real paper at the time) about how the deficit was destroying our country and how it needed to be cut back and the country needed to be run as a business. Else we would be doomed. It came to me at the time that we were (then) the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world and had gotten that way while running a massive deficit. So began my economic education. I have been provided no facts that might cause me to change my mind since then.

In the meantime the right whose mindless twaddle merely clogged some minor blood vessels in my childhood seems to have managed to completely block the major arteries to the brain in my senior years so that we now all live in a kind country controlled by senile dementia.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On the Road Again

Scary Brown Guys Doing Scary Stuff

Out and about. Down in Florida and using an unsecured Internet from some condo around here. It claims to only have about a fifth of the connectivity possible, but it is faster than then mine at home. Hmmm.

Following Egypt and the strange goings on, not in Egypt, but in America's reaction to it. Today apparently we are happy with the democratic revolt as evidenced by the military over throwing Mubarak to replace him with, who? I'm a little behind, are we still backing the 25 year secret police and torturer as the last best hope for democracy in Egypt? I've been following the whole thing by reading headlines in the various newspapers that are on sale next to the Interstate in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Interesting points (or in reality should I say point) of view. In Daytona the secondary headline of the local Sunday paper was that Israel felt safe with the Egyptian Army taking control. That says it.

Egypt and the revolts in Egypt and the other countries in the region are pretty much the most important things going on in the world right now. I keep thinking of the revolts of 1848 and 1968 and wonder if this will be another round of very brief liberal flowerings followed by generations of repression and reaction, or I guess not. At least I don't get paid a lot of money to say things like that. I'm just a hick from the middle of the good old U.S. of A. who has never been there so I have to rely on the news media to tell me what is happening and we know that the news media mostly make up what is happening. Hell, they mostly make up everything about Egypt.

I mean isn't Egypt a county that is moving toward the middle class life style we are all aspiring to be a part of with a mostly free, although slightly (ever so slightly) authoritarian government which the people when given the opportunity are happy to vote back in? Or is it all hooey?

I kind of feel the way I feel when people try to get me into a discussion of a film or book that is very controversial and I haven't seen or read. Like say The Passion of the Christ. Of course in that case I guess I could have seen the movie, but I really didn't feel like it.

So as far as I know it is entirely possible that the entire thing only is a fiction designed to raise my gas prices.

The one thing I can say for sure is that the reaction of Americans is something to behold. Listening to NPR last week on the way to work I listened to a woman who claimed to be a student who had been in Egypt for only a couple of weeks when the revolt broke out. He area of study was middle eastern studies. She was desperate to leave and was waiting at the air port for a plane out to anywhere. How sad. Had I been in her shoes at her age there is no question that no matter how stupid it might be I would have stayed there and watched history unfold. What could she teach if and when she gets her degree?

There was another NPR commentator who seemed to be surprised that the demonstrators would stay in the streets even though it was possible that their pay checks for that week might not be available.

Mostly of course, it was how this might affect the American Empire, although no one called it by that name. Empire is not a word that is used in polite society. We are merely worried that the people in Egypt might not be mature enough to elect a government that would adequately protect the interests of the average person and hold those in power to the same standards as the average citizen.