Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Coming along

I went to the office of the surgeon who replaced my knee yesterday. The waiting room looked like the reception area at Lourdes--the pre-miracle one. Walkers, canes, crutches. Mute suffering. Except for me.

I was called in by the nurse, and she seemed surprised that I didn't have a cane or crutches. The doctor, too, couldn't believe it when I rose from my seat and walked out. It was almost like a stunt--like walking on water.

I just don't like using crutches and stuff. I had been warned not to go out without my cane. So I went to Macy's with the damn thing. I felt like an idiot. What do you do with it when you're not walking? How can you simultaneously open your purse, stow your sunglasses, find your reading glasses, put them on, and fiddle with the cane, while trying to determine the price of a sweater?

And when I came out of the store and stood at the curb, all traffic halted while the entire population of northern Delaware waited for me to dodder across the street. I got the feeling that the drivers were willing to wait all day for me to make my way s-l-o-w-l-y out of the path of traffic. I felt like a fraud.

So now I just walk wherever I go. I guess my legs are just too ignorant to know they aren't supposed to work, so they do. Like bumblebees, which theoretically cannot fly. Go figure.

Robert Redford contributes to global warming...

by disseminating hot air:

Holidays again. Forgive me while I dodge the rumble of the million footed throngs that have succumbed to the marketing ether for Christmas and its days.

Holiday. can we, without disappointing the children and others who long for the surprise of gift giving, just look to a different value to digest, wherever you are? These details that are natural and sometimes hidden?


This as intro to a catalog full of overpriced gifts and underweight models, from Sundance.

Bob,--I call you Bob since we are obviously intimate friends-- if you don't want me to buy anything from your catalog, rest assured. I promise it won't happen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A map of the soler system

 
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by my 6-year-old grandson.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How much is a stamp nowadays?

i know I could google it and find out, but I'm too lazy.

I hate to write letters so I hardly ever do. Actually, I hate to write cursive and never have been good at it. I'm not even sure I learned how to do it. When cursive came up in school my father gave me an old typewriter from his office so I taught myself keyboarding instead. I went to a progressive school, and no one noticed.

I must have taken written tests as a child, so I did learn cursive, but my handwriting was awful and has become worse with disuse.

So: stamps. When did they stop putting the price on them? Whenever I buy stamps I buy a book of them so I won't have to buy them again soon. So now I have Ella Fitzgerald and liberty bells. Neither says "U S Postage --cents." I think liberty bell was 41 cents last time I looked, and Ella was less.

So when I absolutely have to write a letter or send a birthday card, I just put two Ellas on the envelope and send it on its way. They haven't doubled the price recently, have they?

So the Post Office--sorry, Postal Service--is making money on me. I think I spent $20 last year and sent three letters.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Old clam found

Unfortunately, it's dead.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Get your own blog and get out of mine

I've been moderating comments, and boy am I glad! I've been visited by a nutcase who is fascinated by Rudy Giuliani: I'm talking everything Rudy, all the time. Rudy in a dress, Rudy and 9/11, Rudy and the Jewish problem--wait a minute, maybe not that one!

My advice: if you want to comment on my blog, stick to the topic. Or else just shower me with undiscriminating praise, that will do the trick. You know: "Love your blog, etc."

I am informed that this is still a free country, at least as of 9:24 on a Saturday evening. Not only that, there are free blogs out there for the taking. Start your own!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dumbledore is gay?

This is a question that is stirring up the large nothing-to-think-about-American community. It is not very interesting to me. Why?

Dumbledore. Does. Not. Exist. So he can be anything you want him to be. A gay American? Fine. Likewise, a gay Brit. Unlike a historical character like Julius Caesar, he does not, and has never, existed. So, if I prefer to picture him as a Middle East Studies Professor at Columbia University, I am free to do so.

Got that? Dumbledore, fictional. Julius Caesar, historical.

If, after writing seven bricklike books, JK Rowling has not adequately conveyed the essence of one of her main characters, she is pretty inept.

I believe that what is revealed about a character during the course of a work by the author's artistry is what is important. It does not enhance my enjoyment to learn a lot of humble background stuff. A few bold strokes are what is needed, and more just cheapens the work.

Each reader brings his own interpretation of a character to the book. That's how fiction works. We are free to think what we want, or nothing at all, about the characters.

A new type of tv news star





She has straight, really blonde hair, which she shakes around like a pony trying to get rid of a fly; she has a law degree, speaks with a simper and dresses and makes up like a hooker. It helps if she spells her name "cute." Megyn instead of Megan, Kelli instead of Kelly.

Fox News generally features them in pairs, like salt and pepper shakers: one is conservative, one is liberal, and they take turns in uttering banalities from, respectively, the right and the left. They interrupt each other and the newscaster and both talk at the same time, so no one can understand a word either of them is saying.

Somewhere in the Fox News Studio dressing rooms, there is a vat of really shiny lip gloss. Light actually bounces off these women's lips. Just to keep you confused, there is an occasional dark or short haired one.



By a triumph of will, even the lovely Harris Faulkner is transformed into an honorary blonde bimbo. Her lips actually twinkle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I have been told that hospitals love to turf people out...

Not so. True, the surgeon says he sees no reason I should stay. The cleaner has stripped my bed. I found my clothes and put them on. Packed my toothbrush. Looked through the 8 New Yorkers someone kindly gave me and threw out 7. My ride is present.

Still, a strange languor seems to have come over the staff at this juncture. No one will say what we are waiting for, but we wait. Finally a nurse comes into the room and says she hasn't made reservations for a rehab in Delaware. I say, forget it, write the prescription and I'll find the rehab. After a shortish delay which she spent scratching her butt, she appears with a generic prescription, for outpatient rehab. No, I say, I am supposed to have home care. Well, she wouldn't know how to do that. The mean hospital gremlins don't want anyone to leave New Jersey, so they have deprived this poor soul of Internet access. Al Gore, where are you now that I need you to access your Internet?

She implies that she will have to work a long, long time--a lo-o-o-ng l-o-n-g time, for her to arrange this. So we grab the presciption and escape. At least I didn't have to fill out a survey telling them how much I enjoyed my stay.

Ladies and gentlemen, I did not enjoy my stay. First there was the pain pill mess. One of the nurses mentioned that I could ask for pain medication soon. How soon? In 15 minutes I could ask for it. Why don't you just bring it every 4 hours? No, the patient has to ask. But if you ask before 4 hours have elapsed, you receive bubkes. Never mind--this is how we do this here.

Then there's my roomie and the eternal party she appeared to be giving. A varied cast of 10-12 people were sitting standing, draped over the furniture or the bed at all times. They brought in potato chips, candy, cookies, popcorn and flowers and sat eating them (Not the flowers.). They stuck their legs, arms, canes, coats and other belongings all over the place, generally right under my bad leg, while I was trying to learn how to use the walker. It was good practice for me in learning how to overcome obstacles. It builds character.

I finally demanded another room, so they moved me into one which was empty. Why wasn't I put into the empty room in the first place? Then she and I could both have had private rooms, and her guests would have had room to spread out? I'm sure sharing their space with me was trying for them. But no-one cared about their comfort. Callous of them.

In my new room, I listened to the silence for a while, then read 7 New Yorkers. I'm here to tell you that the New Yorker ain't what it used to be. The wit is just a tad too heavy-handed.

I'm back now and catching up with all my bloggers as well as my e-mail. No Nigerian left behind! If I hurry, I can get a really good buy on a penis extender, as well as a partial scholarship for the Professional Cashiers' School. And Macy's. They're having a one-day sale.

I go to the hospital





I escape from same.

So I'm back. Get used to it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How about an amnesty?

For those of us who don't want to hear any more about Anna Nicole Smith? Have mercy, Fox News. Just 24 Smithless hours would be glorious.

BTW--she's still dead. Even deader, if that is possible.

Al Gore, meddler

wins the Nobel "peace" prize. So called because it has nothing to do with peace, but might irritate George W Bush, and that would be fun for the committee.

I don't see why we should respect the views of a bunch of lefty Norwegians, who are wrong 75 percent of the time. Yassir Arafat, anyone? Ho Chi Min? The Kellogg Briand pact? Oops, make that 90 percent of the time.

If anything, Gore's proselytizing is an excuse to be distracted from more important things threatening our civilization, like the possibility of being blown up by Muslim extremists. Granted, it serves as a substitute for religion, provides a fantastic way to seize control of governments economic and energy policies, and unites the world as only a global commitment to ideology really can, but its not as though we are dealing with Catholic theology, or some sort of belief in a world community here. We're talking about a group of people who enjoy telling others what to do while cheating at their own guidelines, and a committee that is spending the hard-earned gross domestic product of a majority of world nations discussing plans to impose environmental sanctions on First World nations who do not comply with their every whim while ignoring the majority contributors to 'Greenhouse Gas Emissions,' Third World pre-industrialized nations.


May I point out that the United States Senate, in more enlightened times, refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty, 98-0. Gore was a senator at the time. It would kill our economy and do about as much good as a blood transfusion would do a corpse.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I hope no alcohol was served at this party

We don't want to get the terrorists mad at us.

In the “moderate” Islamic state of Indonesia, the monsters who perpetrated the Bali nightclub bombings were treated to a Ramadan cookout at the home of the head of Indonesia’s “anti-terror” unit: Bali bombers feast at cop barbie.


I hope the Australians take note of this and go otherwhere for their vacations.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Send Michael Moore to this hospital

as a patient.

On Wednesday, the report from the Healthcare Commission into the C.diff outbreak in Kent found a catalogue of failings. The hospitals had filthy wards and vulnerable elderly patients were told to soil their beds because nurses were too busy to help them.

Targets and financial problems within the health service led to staff shortages and overcrowded wards which contributed to the spread of the infection, the report found.

Between April 2004 and September 2006, 1,176 patients contracted C.diff at the three hospitals and 345 died. Some patients with curable conditions died after contracting the bug.

The commission found the bug definitely or probably caused the deaths of 90 of them and was likely to have contribu ted to the deaths of another 255. In only 14 cases was it felt the bug had not been a factor in the death.


If he survives, he may change his mind about socialized medicine.

A tale of two cities

In the first city, people with no business having guns have them anyway:

CLEVELAND - A 14-year-old suspended student opened fire in his downtown high school Wednesday, wounding four people as terrified schoolmates hid in closets and bathrooms and huddled under laboratory desks. He then killed himself.


In the second, restaurant owners are given tickets for using trans fats:

October 11, 2007 -- Margarine was the main culprit for the cluster of Big Apple eateries that were the first to be hit with fines for violating the city's new ban on trans fats, The Post has learned.

Twenty restaurants were issued trans-fat violations between Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, the first period of time when the city Health Department began fining restaurants.


I'm beginning to believe there really are two Americas: One where lawlessness reigns, guns and narcotics are everywhere, and life is brutal, nasty and short; and the other, where innocent people trying to make a living are hampered by idiotic laws, and possession of margarine is a capital offense.

I don't want to live in either one.

I fear I am too late

to celebrate the Annual Do Something Quite Rude with a Friend or Close Colleague Day.

Damn! A day late and a dollar short, as usual. I will mark my calendar so that I won't overlook the occasion next year.

For it was the massive worldwide success of Worldwide Admire Your Own Genitals Day that led to the governments of the world - at their last International all-expenses paid shindig summit – to get together to create another international holiday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Portrait of Bubbe

 





I have this photograph hanging over my desk. It's a rare shot of Bubbe, my grandmother. She didn't hold with having her picture taken; not because she was vain, but because she had no use for this kind of narishkeit. In her view, a woman her age should look neat, clean, and unadorned. Lipstick, permanents, hairdye, high heeled shoes--all out of the question. She did wear a corset though. With strings that were pulled.

Today I noticed that she was probably younger when this picture was taken than I am now. Look at her hands. They are quite smooth, and this was a woman who had done plenty of work with her hands. Her hands are just like my hands, only hers are nicer. And I do use lipstick, etc.

How times have changed!
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The Department of really, really bad gifts

 


This replica of Lucy and Ethel in cowgirl outfits can be yours for only $50 (plus shipping).
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Haveil haveilim #135 is up

And your humble correspondent is there.

Thanks, and a happy and healthy new year.

The family creed

(recycled)
My coastal relatives believe they are atheists, but that's not really true. Leftism is actually the family religion, along with getting good grades in school and getting into the right college. They are smart people, truly. And nice. So how can they parrot "Bush lied"? Typical exchange:

Beloved relative I: Capitalism is inherently corrupt.

BR II: (Pained look) But what is there that's better?

BR I: Communism!

BR II: But--I mean, look at Russia...it didn't work for them, surely?

BR I: It's never been tried.

BR II: ? (Silence, look of disbelief)

This sort of thing is what I had to contend with, when the discussion turned to politics. In the hopes that other topics would be explored, I walked as through a minefield.

Some tenets of the creed:
Drug companies are greedy and bad. Big corporations are greedy and bad. Anyone with more money than me is greedy and bad, and probably stole the money anyway.

The un-health-insured are many, all of them sick with potentially fatal diseases, and are being turned away daily from the life-saving treatment they need by hard-hearted capitalists, mainly George Bush. Many of them are little children, by the way.

More money is needed for public transportation, whether anyone wants it or not.

The environment is in imminent danger. We might wake up tomorrow to find we have been globally warmed to death. Or frozen by nuclear winter. Bad either way.

If the environment doesn't get us, the pollutants currently being poured into the rivers out of sheer spite by evil manufacturers will poison us all.

The Christian right has taken over the country. Our civil rights have been trampled. Anyone who speaks his mind will probably disappear into a secret prison, never to be heard from again.

Bush should be impeached, censured, or at least sent to his room until he learns to behave.

The Iraqis were happier under good old Saddam Hussein.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Our family go-to guy

(recycled)

Every family has one. In our case, it is my cousin Bernie. Need a lawyer? Call Bernie. Ditto help with your income tax. But his one irreplaceable function is as the family death and funeral person.

When someone dies, for instance my mother, Bernie takes over. He talks to the rabbi, the funeral director, picks out the casket, decides on the pallbearers, and calls everybody who needs to be called. I was very grateful to him and so was my brother, for sparing us these necessary but unpleasant tasks.

When his sister's husband was killed, she immediately called Bernie, and he was on the next plane. He then called the funeral director, the rabbi, etc. I believe he even identified the body, a gruesome task since the man was hit by a car.

Bernie has become a really great judge of casket quality and price by now. He's good on the phone, too. Except, by now, a phone call from him is bad news. When you answer the phone and it is Bernie, your heart sinks to your boots.

The last good news phone call I got from him was when his last daughter was born, and she's a mother herself by now.

But what really gets me going is this: who's going to do all this stuff when Bernie dies? And who will be the next go-to guy?

Odd couples

(recycled)

There are two kinds of people: people who like to be prompt, who would show up for their own hanging ten minutes early in case there is some last minute paperwork; and the other sort.

I myself am a promptie, as you can guess. My son-in-law is a promptie, too. My daughter, his wife, not. This leads to some interesting exchanges.

My mother was definitely of the non-prompt sort. My Uncle Moe, her brother, was compulsive about being, not on time, but early.

So Moe would tell my mother to be ready by say, 7:30. He would arrive at 7:15, to find she had just gotten into the bathtub. The more he fumed, the slower she got, as she stopped getting dressed to discuss the subject with him. Then she would have to: leave a note for the cleaning lady; find her glasses; find her other glasses; find her purse; and call my brother to tell him she was leaving now. Then she got into the car, but discovered she had mislaid her keys and rushed back into the house.

This sort of thing only went on for about 50 years. Neither one adjusted or compromised. He was early, she was late, until she died

Are Republicans the stupid party?

Possibly. An interesting post on how to talk to a toddler elicited the following comment:

I certainly wouldn't recommend for President Bush to speak toddlerese to the Left, since they would just assume this was his natural mode of speech. Media both in America and allied nations faithfully portray Bush as severely retarded, a man who cannot watch TV and eat pretzels at the same time, much less understand the speeches he reads.


I can remember the days when Eisenhower was president. The press generally considered him stupid because he was not a polished speaker. So did the Democrats. Everyone who was anyone knew he was stupid. He barely had enough brains to pick up a golf club. Adlai Stevenson (remember him? I didn't think so) a C student if there ever was one, was considered an intellectual. We mourned when Ike defeated him handily.

The only people who didn't consider Ike stupid were the voters; somehow the stupid had enough low cunning to manipulate the general public.

It took me years to emerge from the fog of lefty superiority and ask the simple question: How did Eisenhower manage to win the war in Europe if he was so dumb?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The latest Carnival of the Insanities

Hot from the press.

Thanks for the link.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Bunch of old farts get together to grouse

because the people doing the work today aren't doing it their way.

W

hen about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.

Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners’ cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them. “We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.


It's tough to watch these young whippersnappers, isn't it? Things were obviously better in the good old days.

Note to interrogators:
Learn to play chess! and all your problems will be solved.

Justice triumphant

A good wrap-up of the now infamous Duke lacrosse case.

Our system of due process worked in this case.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The trouble with Hadassah

Hadassah is a (mostly) women's Zionist organization to which I belong. I even give them money. They built and continue to support a wonderful hospital in Israel where care is given to everyone, regardless of ethnicity.

Remember I said Zionist? As in Israel?

Then why is Hadassah advocating for "women's reproductive rights?" Aren't there other organizations devoted to that cause?

In the past few years, Hadassah has joined a number of amicus briefs concerning many important topics, including reproductive rights, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and government aid to religious schools.


The organization also publishes a very nice periodical for its members, concentrating very broadly on topics of interest to Zionists and Jews. One feature is called "The Jewish Traveler," and focuses on places of interest all over the world where Jews have lived. That, in case you're wondering, is just about everywhere. The article goes into the history of the Jewish community--in the latest issue it is Saravajo--the synagogues, libraries, community centers, museums, etc. which the local Jewish community built and patronized.

In almost every instance, there is a sentence in the article which says, and I'm paraphrasing: "There used to be a vital Jewish community of 20,000, but Hitler killed most of them and there are only 35 left." This sentence applies to almost every tourist destination, with exceptions for countries of the former British Commonwealth and Latin America. In Arab countries, they were driven out by Arabs, not Nazis, but you get the idea. The figures are different, but the gist is the same. Used to be Jews here, all gone now. The synagogues, etc, they built are wonderful museums, well worth visiting. If the remaining Jews want to celebrate a Jewish occasion, it takes place in someone's living room. A rabbi can be summoned from another country by request, if needed.

Does a people whom the world is determined to exterminate need to champion the cause of abortion? Is this what Hadassah was designed to do? Does this bring glory to the membership? Why don't we stick to Hadassah Hospital?

Important Notice received, contents noted

The Important Notice I got in the mail today--with first class postage--looked very Official and said this:

Our records indicated that you have not returned the enclosed Form and therefore, you have not been approved for coverage under this program. Please complete and return the enclosed Form to apply for valuable term life insurance.

I received this from a bank I do business with, not from some scammer in Nigeria. I guess Wachovia is hard up for business if they have to resort to these tactics.

So--I have failed to complete a form applying for life insurance which would pay off my mortgage loan to this bank in the event I die. In other words, they are giving me an opportunity to pay a premium to them so that they won't be left holding the bag.

I have decided to pass up this wonderful opportunity.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm going to save the Republican Congressional Committee $11

The committee is deeply interested in my opinions. Now, there are occasions when I take leave of my senses and fill out a survey. In fact, just yesterday I filled out one sent by the Philadelphia Orchestra and gave them my opinion of undead composers. I only like music by composers who are certifiably dead. If they are not dead, and happen to be present when the orchestra plays one of their boring and pretentious works, they might notice me departing through a fire door. That would be rude of me.

But I digress. It is the National Republican Congressional Committee that is at issue here. They wanted my opinion--my valuable opinion, in their estimation--on such topics as the war on terror, taxes, and social security.

I was about to fill out the survey when I found out from the small print that they wanted a donation. Now I don't donate to political campaigns; I like to give my money to organizations where I assume it will do some good for someone, like the Salvation Army. Anyway, I've learned from bitter experience that for me to give money to a candidate makes him a sure loser. I dare not risk it. If I gave them money, the next Senate would contain 99 Democrats and Joe Lieberman.

The NRCC has an answer to that one: they request that I send them $11 to defray the cost of processing my painstakingly filled-out survey.

So I saved them $11 and threw it in the trash. It was the least I could do for the party.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

In love with death

I was listening to a CD of the Clancy Brothers in the car. To you who are too young to know who they were, the were Irish folk singers back in the day, and are very well worth listening to now.


G] O see the fleet-foot host of men, who [C] march with faces [G] drawn,
From farmstead and from [C] fishers' [G] cot, along the [C] banks of [D] Ban;
[G] They come with vengeance [C] in their [G] eyes. Too late! [C] Too late are
[D] they,
[G] For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the [C] bridge of Toome
[G] today.

Oh Ireland, Mother Ireland, you love them still the best
The fearless brave who fighting fall upon your hapless breast,
But never a one of all your dead more bravely fell in fray,
Than he who marches to his fate on the bridge of Toome today.

Up the narrow street he stepped, so smiling, proud and young.
About the hemp-rope on his neck, the golden ringlets clung;
There's ne'er a tear in his blue eyes, fearless and brave are
they,
As young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome
today.

When last this narrow street he trod, his shining pike in hand
Behind him marched, in grim array, an earnest stalwart band.
To Antrim town! To Antrim town, he led them to the fray,
But young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

The grey coat and its sash of green were brave and stainless then,
A banner flashed beneath the sun over the marching men;
The coat hath many a rent this noon, the sash is torn away,
And Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

Oh, how his pike flashed in the sun! Then found a foeman's heart,
Through furious fight, and heavy odds he bore a true man's part
And many a red-coat bit the dust before his keen pike-play,
But Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

There's never a one of all your dead more bravely died in fray
Than he who marches to his fate in Toomebridge town today;
True to the last! True to the last, he treads the upwards way,
And young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

I especially like the line about his golden ringlets curling around the noose round his neck. It's a great song, but it glorifies death. Conor Cruise O'Brien pointed out, somewhere in his voluminous writings, that the Irish love funeral processions, sometimes appearing to prefer death to life. He was referring to the madness in Ulster specifically, but also to the rebellion of 1916. But as in Ireland, so it is with Palestinian suicide bombers. O'Brien spoke out against this romanticizing of death.



I once read the memoirs of Frank O'Connor, an Irish writer (also well worth looking up and reading) who took part in the 1916 war and was briefly jailed. It happened that he was in prison when one of the rebels was hanged, and he referred to this song and said the hanging did not resemble the song. The young man was not smiling and proud. He was terrified and wept as he was dragged to his place of execution. Perhaps at the last, he did not feel romantic to be giving up his young life.

I'm not a pacifist.



Those buried here died for a worthy cause. They died in the Normandy invasion, June 1944, liberating France from the Nazis. It is very sad to think of their young lives being cut short, but they died honorably.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Daughter with hair

 


This was an elementary school class photo, maybe 6th grade. I just want to show what thick, wavy hair the people in my father's family have. We all have lots of hair, but this one has the most of all.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Dear Columbia University

Thanks, but no thanks.

The following letter is translated, first from Italian into Polish, and then into English, so it's a little rough around the edges. However, it gets the job done.

The former president [of Italy] writes to " old-fashioned racialists"

Rome,Italy - september

In protest against the invitation of the president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University, former Italian president Francesco Cossiga gave back the title of the doctor Honoris Causa of this University. Senator Cossiga wrote that he was indignant organizing the lecture of the Iranian leader by the chancellor of UC , [whom] he called "a threatening neonazi and a Islamic terrorist".

The former Italian president reminded in the sharp letter to the rector of the University Columbia that Ahmadinejad expressed the thirst of the destruction of Israel.

"Regardfully for six millions of murdered Jews whose you - old-fashioned racialists, and today also advocates of Islamic terrorists - I, a Catholic, return the title granted to me of Honoris Cause and I burn the toga which you gave to me" - declared Cossiga.

His letter finished with words: "without respect -- Francesco Cossiga".

Were you ugly and unpopular in high school?

Is that what made you become a librarian?

[Librarians tended to be the unpopular kids growing up and as adults the job becomes their 24/7 identity, hence the offense at any slight and the need to tell the whole blinking world that they are a LIBRARIAN. Yeah, whatever............."
 
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Is this reader correct? Are all those self-promotional library bloggers compensating for being unpopular geeks as children? Is it sort of like all those novels and movies that seem to have spindly unpopular writers as romantic leads?


In a word, no. I was an ugly little toad, two years younger than my fellow high schoolers, and this rather isolated me. My parents were getting a divorce so I probably had an air of neglect, like an unmade bed. Long smooth hair was the fashion, and I had an unruly curly mop. And I was lousy at sports, being extremely near-sighted. Gym class was agony. People were always throwing balls at me and I never saw them coming.

But I always knew there was a world beyond high school. I always thought it pitiful that some kids thought these were the best years of their lives--who wants to feel that their eighteenth year was the pinnacle of their existence, and it's all downhill from there?

Mother finally got a grip during my senior year and took me to an optometrist, who fitted me for corrective lenses.

Did I want to be a librarian? Hell, no! I wanted to be an actress, writer, artist, singer, or any combination of the above. My plans included hanging around European capitals acting jaded and sophisticated.

College provided the opportunity to try all the above things (sadly, not the European capitals), so I loved it to pieces. I also loved being away from home. Sixteen and grown up at last!

Fast forward ten years. I am now somebody's mom, two somebodies in fact. When the children went to school all day, I needed a job. No one would hire me. I did get the local newspaper to print an article of mine about how to run a garage sale, but that was about it. So I sought further education. I did not actually dread the idea of working in a library, so I went to a library school that the State of New York had conveniently placed about a mile up the road. The die was cast.

Socialism at work

According to the Telegraph:


The degree to which new immigrants [in Britain] rely on benefits and council housing has been revealed by a survey that looks at how much foreigners contribute to the economy.

The league tables have been compiled by the Left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research on behalf of Dispatches, to be shown on Channel 4 tonight. The figures come from the census and the quarterly Labour Force Survey.

Somalians rely heavily on benefits, according to the statistics - 80 per cent live in social housing and 39 per cent claim income support.


Nearly half of newly-arrived Turks - 49 per cent - rely on social housing, 52 per cent do not work and 21 per cent claim income support. However, 35 per cent are self-employed.

Excuse me, is there something I'm not getting here? Britons welcome people to their country, half of whom don't work and who are--I don't know a better way to put it--on the public tit?

I guess they're worried that the Somalis will get jobs as taxi drivers and refuse to transport blind people with dogs?

Then there's all the carry-on about the Palestinians--the EU is refusing to give them money, Israel won't give them money or electricity, and it's a humanitarian crisis. Why can't they get jobs, pay taxes, and support themselves? Who gives us money? No-one. Yet the United States has managed to stagger along for 213 years on the earnings of its own people. Even with the burden of Congress on our shoulders.

I'm really curious. When did it become okay to subsist on other people's money for generations, and to yell like a wounded steer when the others don't want to pay?
Does the world owe everyone a living?

Well, I'm a little old geezerette, and if anyone deserves to be supported by other folks, it's me. Forward checks or credit card payments to my Paypal account.

I eagerly await your response.