Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brilliant comment

In a post referring to Gavin Newsom's incredible offense of drinking bottled water, This commenter hits the nail on the head:

Religions have plenty of arbitrary rules.

The modern environmental movement has it all: sins (including original), heretics, commandments, ostracism, confessions, indulgences, tithing, prophets, high priests (of unquestioned authority), blind faith, and guilt by the sackful.


By God, I wish I'd said that!

Courtesy of James Lileks.

Two may keep a secret...

if one of them is dead.

Good luck with hiding the details of the defense budget--or anything in Washington.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New California dream

People are leaving.

The buffoonish current governor and a legislature divided between hysterical greens, public-employee lackeys and Neanderthal Republicans have turned the state into a fiscal laughingstock. Meanwhile, more of its middle class migrates out while a large and undereducated underclass (much of it Latino) faces dim prospects. It sometimes seems the people running the state have little feel for the very things that constitute its essence — and could allow California to reinvent itself, and the American future, once again.


I understand a popular destination is Seattle. If they reproduce the government which led them to leave in the first place, Seattle will be California without the sunshine.

Mother and the courthouse

Mother never separated her private life from her professional life. One of the most annoying things about life with her was the incessant stream of phone calls from her clients. There was no such thing as Caller ID or voice mail, so we always picked it up. One of the conversations, related to me later:

Saturday night caller: Miz Goldie, my husband's in jail! Can you get him out?
Mother: When did this happen?
SNC: Last Thursday.

If it was possible to get him out, mother would often do it. To make herself presentable, mother would put on a coat over her nightgown, cram her feet into shoes, and put a hat atop her head. She was then perfectly groomed for a Saturday night jail visit.

We often tried to discourage her clients from calling at all hours. We didn't understand that her profession was like crack to her, that she needed it to feel alive. Her clients, black and white, were poor people such as you never see nowadays, uneducated and working at menial jobs. They loved her and trusted her completely, and she never let them down.

I went with her to the courthouse on more than one occasion, and saw how she relished the milieu: the stew of clients, judges, clerks, policemen and lawyers, the peeling walls and worn out stair treads, the statue of justice with a blindfold on. Phones rang, people shuffled to and fro, doors opened and closed. She was at home there; that was her place and she flourished there, like a fish in an aquarium.

Once, during a blizzard, mother drove through the town, stopping at about 90 traffic lights, from the extreme east side to the center of Columbus, a large, spread out city. When she got there, the court was closed: the judge was not there, neither was the prosecutor, nor the clerks and secretaries. Only mother had come to court. She was about 70 at the time.

Wifeswap doesn't work out

The striking thing about this couple is that they actually make money at their respective professions: he as a "biofuel entrepreneur" and she as a--wait for it-- "weight loss lifecoach." Only in California would you find anyone who would trust either one of them with a potted plant. And yet, they earn a living! a comfortable one!

According to the male half of this caring, concerned couple: "I probably make more in a week than you make in a year."

Take that, you proletarian redneck.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Too much fuss?

The assimilated Negro thinks so.

These images [of monkeys and other simians] strike me as racial Rorschach tests; they reveal more about your own personal racialized perspective, than actual objective truth on malicious racist intent.

Also, in the post I didn't get to include my two scientific nits on this matter:

1. monkeys and chimps aren't the same. check the wiki.

2. monkey scientists are telling us there's only 2% difference between the DNA of chimps and humans, so technically, the insult wouldn't be that far off from the truth. And is universally applicable to blacks, whites, asians etc.


But the Reverend Al needs something to fuss about, or he will be out of a job. Since Al can't pass as a Muslim, being a Christian Rev and all, (where's his church?) he has to settle for the next best thing, resenting unintended slurs as an offended African American.

Income tax

All week I have been grappling with my income tax, and I believe I've got it beaten into submission now. I e-filed it all. Every year, at tax time, there is a problem with the printer. It's not always the same printer, either. A gremlin must visit the corner where my printer resides at about this time every year. One year it declined to download the proper version of Adobe; this year the roller doesn't pick up the paper properly, so I have pleated sheets of paper, suitable for making Japanese fans but not much else.

Doing your income tax online is not an intellectually challenging task. It is more like something tedious and detailed, boring but demanding full attention, like cleaning the bathroom grout with a toothpick while standing on one foot. I'm not sure that sentence is grammatical, but I'm going to let it stand anyway.

However, I am happy to be getting a refund. I was praying some money would descend on me somehow, and the Almighty came through handily. Unfortunately I cannot use it to stimulate the economy because I already owe it to the guy who installed a new bathroom floor, and the plumber. Sorry, Barack. Better luck next time.

Speaking of Obama, does the man ever let a day pass without making a speech somewhere to a group of adoring fans? He zigzags across the country, going back and forth in it, like the devil in the Book of Job. I can't figure out whether he is running for student council president or King of the World.

Advice to BHO: put in some time at your desk. You might like to read some of the legislation you have signed, are signing, or are going to sign. How about simplifying the tax code, so Tim Geithner and I can understand it?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moderating comments

On the whole, I think moderating comments works well. For one thing, no house cleaners in Iowa comment on my ideas, which is on the whole a good thing. Another good thing--someone linked to a blog which is obsessed with what my grandson would have called doody and I erased it without a qualm.

The best kind of comments are favorable. If you disagree with me, try to be polite, at least. Telling me what a contemptible person I am is unlikely to change my views, nor is calling me a dirty Jew. Why would I publish nasty unpleasant comments? I myself only read blogs the authors of which are witty and funny or agree with my ideas, which makes them witty and funny. I don't pay much attention to those who have different opinions, as my mind is made up already about a great many things.

But someone made a point of disagreeing with me about the New York Times and its celebration of those who wish to save the planet. Their pretentiousness made me want to go out and burn some tires, just out of spite.

Actually, I don't get much pleasure out of squandering electricity or gas. Would I hang my newly washed clothes on a clothesline? No. Would I turn off the refrigerator, putting my eggs and milk outside in winter? Again, no. I believe all these conveniences exist because they are--erm, convenient. And there is no way I would plunder someone else's garbage--that's nasty.

I'm not going to put myself out because I have lived long enough to learn something I didn't know when I was young. Here it is: You can buy anything, gas, electricity, refrigerators, cars, houses. All you need is money, which you can get if you want it badly enough. The one thing you can't purchase at any price is time. And time goes by swiftly. Where, for instance, are the snows of yesteryear?

Instead of wasting my time over something which makes no difference at all in the great scheme of things--contra Al Gore, I don't feel responsible for global warming--I would rather spend my allotted hours reading, blogging, listening to music, playing with my grandson, or just hanging out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do I care about the big three automakers?

Some little mean part of me doesn't. None of their dealers ever gave me a break when I brought the car in for servicing. Or when they gave me an "estimate" that cost $150. Or when the diesel Oldsmobile--yes, they made one-- wouldn't start and they could never find anything wrong. Or when I ordered a part that took three weeks to come in. Or when they told me replacing the side mirror was "body work" and I'd have to leave the car for three days. Or during the good old days before Japanese cars took hold when they would sell any damn poorly functioning thing because we didn't have a choice....

US Steel went under didn't they?

Curses on you, Brogan Cadillac!

Hopeless situation

Stuck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Watch out who you mess with

There's life in the old girl yet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our new president preaches

Obama is starting to sound like one of those preachers who warn you that you will go to hell if you don't accept Jesus. Or the stimulus bill. Dire.

The tides have risen

Thanks, Barack Obama.

Scores of people had to be evacuated from their homes in Essex as the Environment Agency issued a sever flood warning for the Rivers Chelmer and Can at Chelmsford.

Head of flood defences, Craig Woolhouse, said a combination of heavy rain, snow melt and "tide-locking" of rivers caused by high tides off the southern coast of England had come together to create the risk of floods.

Now if you could just get them to recede the tiniest, little bit?

Monday, February 09, 2009

The New York Times does it again

More bullshit from the planet saving crowd.

I managed to control myself after the Times published an admiring story about people who dived in dumpsters for sustenance, despite living in one of the richest cities in the world, with marketable skills they could have easily used to earn a decent living. My mother told me that garbage was full of dirt and germs, but if they don't mind being exposed to disease, my hat's off to them.

Then there was the family who tried to live sustainably in a New York apartment eating local produce and avoiding the use of toilet paper. If concerned citizens want to eat locally grown food, they can dig up potatoes in Central Park during February--that's the only locally produced food available in Winter. I would rather have fresh fruit flown in from Chile, but that's just me. As for the toilet paper, I'm just going to draw a curtain on that one.

But I have blown a gasket over the refrigerator deniers, who are saving about $40 a year on the average by inconveniencing themselves and being sanctimonious about it.

All these folks are like the aristocrats in Louis the Fourteenth's court, dressing up as shepherdesses and playing at being poor, humble peasants. They make a mockery of human beings who live in poverty, filth and hunger because they have no choice.

The game doesn't cost them anything; they can plug in the fridge, buy food--even toilet paper--at the supermarket, even go on welfare and food stamps if they need to. Poor people in other countries don't have those choices.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Who in the world...

 


Can these people be? I think thy're from the 1930's, judging by their clothes.

Label your photographs!
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This deal is only available for a limited time!

Obama's urgency about the stimulus package reminds me of nothing so much as a used car salesman warning you that the deal is going to slip through your fingers if you don't act immediately. With the added threat that if he doesn't get his way right now, the World as We Know It will come to an end.

Or perhaps he more closely resembles one of those television pitchmen selling a gadget that will cut your hair, trim your toenails, and put out the cat. And if you call this toll-free number right away, you get a free ginsu knife and a month's supply of Nutrisystem. Just pay shipping and handling!

But act now!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A new tax cheating record

Seventeen states! His parents must be so proud of him; Daschle and Geithner only cheated the federal government. Pikers!

What happened to AIG

The two cows explanation.

Unfair to Caroline Kennedy

I think the press is being hard on this poor woman. She hasn't got anything wrong with her that many of our most prominent statesmen don't have.

In many ways, she has had an unfortunate life. Yes, she has money. But she lost her father when she was six, and her only brother died an untimely death in the flower of his youth.

The quality she lacks is shamelessness, or effrontery. My bubbe would have called it chutzpah. Call it high, or unwarranted, self-esteem. Without this attribute, Barack Obama would never had run for the presidency. Nixon lacked this attribute, and that is why he slunk away from the presidency like a whipped dog after Watergate.

Bill Clinton has it in spades. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal came along, I, for one, thought he would resign. He determined to brazen it out, and rightly so. When Ted Kennedy got caught in a scandal that would have ruined most political careers, he had the brass balls to fight, and win!

In fact, most of the Kennedy family have high self-esteem. Look at Patrick, a man who should have sought obscurity long ago--still a Congressman. Look at all that bunch of Kennedys in Massachusetts, one or more of whom-I can't remember who at the moment, there are so many of them--put themselves forward as worthy candidates for higher office, despite lack of intelligence or accomplishments.

For God's sake, look at Rod Blagojevich!

On the other side of the aisle, there is plenty of arrogance to go around. Larry Craig and Duke Cunningham spring to mind, and there are plenty of others. All of Abramoff's buddies.

But I digress. Poor Caroline! Modesty, or shyness, held her back. When interviewed, she could not boast of any accomplishments, because she didn't have any. She had had a couple of books ghostwritten for her, and had never been arrested. She had raised children, none of whom are presently in jail. She wasn't kissing up to Hugo Chavez. For a Kennedy, that's a sterling record. But she lacked the gigantic ego and total lack of shame which would have carried her to victory. The one man whose vote she needed, David Paterson, was not impressed.

Friday, February 06, 2009

We're going to lose 500 million jobs!

Every month! According to Nancy Pelosi, a woman with not too firm a grasp on arithmetic--or reality.

Pelosi says that if legislators don't move quickly to pass President Barack Obama's stimulus package, "500 million Americans lose their jobs". According to her, this sobering scenario will occur every month without proper government action.

However, according to the US census bureau, the current population of residents in the country stands at about 305,000,000....

[T]there could be many a wayward American (almost 200 million of them) in other parts of the globe, who soon will lose their jobs just because of the simple fact that they're American. And everything that goes on within US borders will always affect them, no matter where they dwell.

But basically, all Americans (and then some) will be unemployed if the Senate doesn't get moving on this legislation.


We'd better encourage both legal and illegal immigration ASAP if we want to meet Speaker Pelosi's quotas.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another old photo

 
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There goes the image of the United States!

Oy vey! I've set foreign relations back at least a decade.

I just noticed that a bunch of people on a Polish social networking site called Grono are visiting this particular post. I hope they are not taking this as gospel. How do you say "It's a joke" in Polish?

I wonder what people in Warsaw and Bialystok think of it.

In related news, I am still getting visits to my post, Miriam's porn site. I'm wondering if I should take it down? It must be very disappointing.

Welcome, Polish readers!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Defiling the environment

I happened to mention today in art class that I don't like fluorescent light bulbs, and they all looked at me like I was Mussolini come back to life. I mentioned that incandescent bulbs give a nicer light, and they all protested. I do have one fl bulb, and it makes everybody look like one of the pictures in the post office.

Case closed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I've been losing sleep over this

Whew! Foreigner who teaches at a mediocre local university reassures Americans:

America's tarnished star got some needed polishing overseas last month, thanks to recent actions by President Barack Obama, according to foreigners living in Delaware.

From his visit to the U.S. State Department and his first formal White House interview with Arab news agency Al-Arabiya to reversing several policies of George W. Bush's administration, he helped the United States regain the credibility it lost over the past eight years, said Muqtedar Khan, an international relations professor at the University of Delaware.

"You can argue that Obama's election has caught most of the world on the wrong foot, and so right now they are much more positively predisposed to the United States," Khan said, noting an international perspective that thought Americans' prejudices would prevent them from sending a black person to the White House.


You can also argue that he is full of s--t. The article certainly gives us no reason to believe that he knows what he is talking about.

Who is this guy? What is his area of expertise, that he can bloviate over how the world sees America? What are his associations? For that matter, since he is a foreigner, what is his country of origin? Is he a member of a terrorist group, for instance, like Sami Al-arian? And why are his vaporous musings printed above the fold in a Delaware newspaper?

Just asking.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Octuplets--should there be a law?

This woman is crazy, not to put too fine a point on it. She has certainly taken advantage of "the right to choose," although Gloria Steinem probably would not agree with her choice.

This is one of those instances when hard cases make bad law. The situation is deplorable. Her children's future looks bleak. The government's options are all bad. But meddling with the rights of women to conceive and bear children by legislating or regulating or harassing doctors would make matters worse.

Fortunately, very few women will be inspired by this woman's example. I don't think there are going to be too many imitators of a woman who can certainly be classified as a breeder, if anyone is.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blogroll Amnesty Day or weekend, whatever

Jon Swift and a bunch of others have declared this weekend Blogroll Amnesty Day.

We little tiny blogs are supposed to link to five really really wee blogs that we really like and want to list on our blogroll.

Truthfully, I don't know of any little blogs because I don't know what the traffic of other blogs is, being obsessed with only my own traffic. But I do like and regularly read lots of blogs. I don't read blogs that don't agree with me politically; since I've already made up my mind, I find that skipping the insights of left-wingers saves time and keeps my blood pressure on an even keel.
I'm going to recommend two bloggers, since it's late at night and I'm tired. Maybe later I'll think of more.

My first pick is a fellow librarian who calls himself Akaky Bashmachkin, but I have always suspected this an alias stolen from Gogol. Anyway, he attended the same library school I did but managed to get out without totally muddling his brain, which is more than I can say for myself.

You've got to like a fellow who writes a line like this:

After all, Barack Obama probably doesn't hate white people no matter what 20-years in the pews of a racial separatist church suggests. It's just far harder to see a bunch of white people against ice and snow.

At least I do. But I'm breaking the rules, I don't believe he's small. I suspect he has more readers than I do. So what? A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

And so to bed.