Saturday, January 29, 2011

Indoctrination?

You decide.

My blood pressure is elevated and still rising when I read this stuff, from the Delaware Jewish Voice:  (link?  Don't be silly!)

Jewish Teens Learn about Political Involvement

On Sunday Dec 12, Congrgation Beth Emeth's 9th and 10th Graders had the opportunity to study with Joshua Schoenberg, Executive Director of the Delaware Democratic Party.  After studying text with the synagogue's rabbinic intern... the students learned about the importance of community and political involvement from a Jewish perspective....

This one is not so bad, considering that Coons is a Senator:
On Sunday, Jan 9, Senator Chris Coons and Hailie Sooifer, his foreign and defense policy avisor, came to Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington to address Jewish teens and their parents on Israel, advocacy, and the importance of confirmation.  [Obviously Jewish confirmation is something Coons is an expert about.]

The thing goes on about Coons' love for Israel and the Jewish people, yadda, yadda and is of no further interest to anyone except possibly his mother.

Does the indoctrination have to start this early?  Are these kids going to be turned into automatons at the age of 16?  Will they consider Republicans as beyond the pale, possibly eaters of human flesh who moreover never take showers?  Will they ever meet a Republican, or anyone who thinks differently from themselves?  Just asking.

Friday, January 28, 2011

photo and painting based on photo

 

 
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geography lesson

The president seems to have an obsession, or what we would call "a bug up his a**" in reference to a less august personage, about high-speed rail.

Can you say high-speed rail? The president can. He mentioned railroads six times, because how else are we going to win the 19th century back?

I suggest the president get out a map of the United States and measure the immense distances from coast to coast and from north to south. I know high-speed rail works for Joe Biden--he even found his way here to report for jury duty, for God's sake--but it works for him only because it is highly subsidized. It would never pay for itself.

Obama may have forgotten, he's so used to flying around in Air Force I, that there are things in this country known as "airplanes"--and you don't even have to build roadways for them! All you need is a place for the things to take off from and land in. These are called "airports." Airplanes need no expensive right of ways, no land acquisitions, no eminent domain condemning taxable property. They fly in the sky! They can get you from NY to CA in 4-5 hours, and vice versa. The toughest thing about flying is getting to them through the roads built by President Eisenhower in the 50s and not expanded to meet the needs of the citizens of today.

Suggestion: Instead of high speed rail, why don't we expand and maintain our highways, bridges and tunnels? You know, the ways most people get around!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Students learn little or nothing?

Oh well, they have spent four--make that five--fun years.

I don't believe it. it's my theory that the professors hold the little darlings down and remove knowledge from their heads, so that they leave college stupider than they were when they started.

Shoveling

 
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Paint chips

 



I have been looking at paint samples, trying to make up my mind about a color for my en suite bathroom. I wanted rose, but do not want my bathroom to be the same color as the inside of someone's mouth. So maybe I'll take the coward's way out and use up the turquoise paint I used for the other bathroom. Any suggestions?
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These prom people just won't leave me alone

Coca-Cola Prom
230 Lyndhurst Road
Lyndhurst
Johannesburg
South Africa
2192
We wish to notify you that your email address was generated during the FIFA Soccer world cup finals in South Africa and has won you $1,220,000.00 USD (ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) to claim prize (Tel) 0027-71-578 -9360, email or sms your contact details to (SMS) 0027-78-774-8482 or Email: gracejones@bol.com.br
Contact Person. Shawn Zulu (For your Payment Process)
Your Ref No: FIFA2010/00453EURO.
Kindly email us the below details.
Full Names:
Sex:
City:
Country:
Direct Mobile Number:
Age:
Email:
Ref No:
Note: if ever you are under 18, you will be automatically disqualified unless you provide us with the information of someone who is above 18 years of age.
We Congratulates you on behalf of FIFA and its Partner for making FIFA2010 successful.This is brought to by the FIFA Partners below:
·
·
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Congratulations,
Ms. Grace Jones
FIFA2010 LOC TEAM

Even though I have decided to continue my humble existence as an obscure Delaware blogger, they keep pestering me!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More about Jewish mothers

When I was a teenager mother and I drove by the place where she and her brothers had grown up. It's no longer there; it was torn down to build a highway, which was the best possible thing that could have happened to it.

Will Alley was squalid, dirty, cramped, mean. You did not have to enter the premises to see this. I had been in places like this before; some of mother's clients lived in similar places. I accompanied her to one or two of them to witness a will, or to visit a client who was sick.

Seeing this place and places like it opened my eyes to how bubbe succeeded in motivating her children. Of course, since they were Russian Jews, they indulged in a good deal of shouting, arguing, and dramatic pronouncements. But it was all theater and understood by everyone as such. Also understood by the children was how serious the stakes were. It was like God setting two choices before them, life or death. Only in this case, life was represented by learning the piano, going to Ohio State, and becoming doctors or lawyers. Death could be understood as growing up to live in Will Alley, toiling all your life without reward, and going to bed hungry. . It was never explained in so many words. The children learned this lesson by looking around them.

So bubbe pushed her children to practice the piano. It must have been an immense sacrifice to have a piano and pay for piano lessons. But the piano, like the lace curtains which bubbe also insisted on, was a symbol of aspiration.

How different from my coastal relatives, who also make their children practice the piano and want them to go to Harvard, or at the very least, some small and selective college in New England or Pennsylvania. It's not that they admire dear old Harvard's long and honorable history and rich traditions. Admission to Harvard is a mark of validation. It shows you have arrived. You are a member of the elect. You also meet the right people and doors are opened for you. You are admitted to a fancy law school or hired by a prestigious bank or an influential Congressman. In short, you've got it made.

My father demonstrated how important the right college was to him when my brother was admitted to MIT. For the first time in his life, he paid attention to a son he had never had much time for.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why I am anonymous

I'm sure that anybody with half a brain could find out who I am if they cared to, so why do I blog anonymously? Mostly because I want to be under the radar. I want to be obscure, unfamous, unknown. I prefer obscurity. If I were famous, someone in my family would consider themselves duty-bound to check my blog out, and that would be the end of me. No-one in my family even knows about my blogs, and I want to keep it that way. If they really understood my political views, they would read me out of the family. Truly.

You might say, why live a lie? Why pretend to be something you're not? I actually try not to express any political views if I can, and if some heinous Republican activity causes family comment, I respond with a neutral monosyllable and attempt to change the subject.

I do it because they would expel me from the family! Or sit shiva for me, if they weren't atheists. And they are the only family I have. Only one to a customer.

Taking surveys

I never take surveys.

People who willingly take telephone surveys are either: (select one of the following options)

1. People who have time to waste;

2. People who want to make their opinions known, or

3. Crackpots.

Return this survey within 24 hours and you will be entered in a drawing for $100.00.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The view from the ivory tower

One of the most entertaining periodicals we receive here at Charm House is the Columbia Magazine. Mr Charm attended this bastion of learning so we get the magazine free. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

A citizen of the future could re-create 2011 liberal Ivy League civilization, urban style, just by reading it from cover to cover.

It features an article about death and how much better they do it in France, a short piece about a display of corpses in various stages of decay, and the requisite photographs of wistful Third World people in quaint settings.

But the most typical article is an objective discussion of the recent election by a typical political science professor:

The Tea Party movement, which, despite endless speculation by the punditry about its origins, has never been anything other than a Republican Party faction, tapped into the populist, antibailout mood, while the mainstream media gave voice to far-out accusations aimed at the president: He was planning death panels; he was driven by an “anticolonial” mentality; he lied about his religion; he hated white people; and he probably wasn’t really American anyway. The Democrats’ initial response to these unfathomably strange assertions was to view them as fringe opinions and ignore them.

On some level, given just how absurd these accusations were, this approach made sense. However, by not pushing back, the Democratic Party made it possible for these charges to gain traction among voters. A constant media repetition of these claims made them seem less strange and more plausible to voters with each passing day.

The Obama administration seemed to assume, in spite of increasing evidence to the contrary, that politics could be based on reasonable debate, and that groundless rumor-mongering had no place in the national discussion. Yet the political environment during the first two years of Obama’s presidency showed otherwise. Political debate was replaced by name-calling; any allegation, no matter how baseless, ended up on Fox News and other outlets and Web sites; and epithets like Nazi, fascist, Stalinist, and communist, formerly the refuge of the most marginalized political factions, were more or less accepted as part of the political debate. Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate and now U.S. senator from Kentucky, for example, compared President Obama to Hitler apparently because they both came to power during economically bad times and were good public speakers.

The Rand Paul quote is a boldfaced lie, worthy of Paul Krugman at his finest. The assertion about the Tea Party movement is baseless and backed by no evidence. In fact there is no evidence, not even anecdotal evidence, for any of these confident assertions. Every word of the rest, dripping with condescension, is the gospel according to the Church of Morningside Heights, where no-one has ever met anyone who voted for Nixon. Or Reagan. Or either President Bush.

Thanks ever so for explaining the doltish American electorate to us elect.

War of the super moms

Chinese vs Jewish mothers square off.

I confess I am left at the starting post by these two over-achievers.

The last super-mom in my family was bubbe. Her children were ordered to excel in school. They did, all except Uncle Doc. Bubbe believed one should be either a doctor or a lawyer; nothing else was worthwhile. Accordingly, she turned out two doctors and a lawyer, batting 1,000. My mother also learned to play the piano very well, but gave it up because it was not compatible with the practice of law.

Bubbe did it all by strength of character. I can only attribute it to that Jewish hypnotic power which makes terrorists piss in their milk. She did not shout. She did not tear her own (or her children's) hair. She had all the dignity of George Washington. She simply expected--and got--excellence. It took a bit of work to get Uncle Doc in line, but he was the baby, and he still became a doctor.

Mother was a weaker character. My brother was a genius; he didn't study, he learned quite effortlessly and only applied to one college, MIT, which accepted him. As for me...that is a story for another day.

I was a complete marshmallow as a mother. It goes without saying, both my girls were smart. Daughter A loved school and loved to do her homework. She stayed in on Sunday afternoon to do special reports for extra credit. Her idea, not mine. Daughter B drifted through school, sitting quietly in a corner looking out the window. I certainly tried to get her to apply herself, but she was slippery and evasive, and I couldn't pin her down. Vague as she was, she proved to have a stronger character than I did.

They both learned to swim well, though, so don't I get credit for that? It's a more useful life skill to be able to swim than to play the piano. Nobody ever saved their life with a piano, or any other musical instrument for that matter.

Giving up blogging Part II

I am going to be so rich! As per this letter:

Dear Associate,

How are you doing my friend, great I guess… Now I know this mail will definitely Come to you as a huge surprise, but please kindly take your time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will probably go a long way to determine my future and continued existence. First,let me introduce myself. I am Capt. Michael Scholl,assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, western Anbar Province in Iraq. I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $10,570,000 (Ten million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand USD) to the States or any safe country, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.

SOURCE OF MONEY: Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam Hussein's old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money Be shared amongst us. This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hellhole. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a German contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity) I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative. I have now found a secured way of getting the package out !
of Iraq for you to pick up.

I do not know for how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive two suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention. This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavor to contact me and we would work out the necessary formalities but I pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship.

For more details please contact me via my private box: capt.michaelscholl01@usa.com

Respectfully,
Capt.Michael Scholl.
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ.

I am sharing this with my readers, as it is the best way to keep the matter confidential, as no-one reads my blog.

I may have to give up blogging. Divine Intervention strikes again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A nice appreciation of Dr King

and his support of Israel.

Trouser talk

Tim Blair has an interesting story. The Jews put a spell on a Gitmo inmate, causing him to urinate in the milk.

Uh-huh.

If we Jews have so much power, why don't we force them to cut their own throats?

Better yet, why don't we exert our power over our enemies by forcing them to congregate en masse on a desert island and blow themselves up? If we're so powerful, why stop at a silly trick like pissing in milk?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Me at three (?)

 



I have been told that I still look like this. However, I don't have blonde hair any more.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Political discourse

I've just finished Joseph Ellis' biography of George Washington, "His Excellency." Talk about political discourse! Washington was venerated until he became president, and then his troubles began. Thomas Paine prayed that he would die. And that was just for openers. All the founding fathers loathed one another. Madison had no use for Jefferson, who hated Hamilton, John Adams essentially disliked everyone, and so it went.

When Washington was president, many of the above and others not yet mentioned suggested that the old man was senile, if not corrupt. He was accused of just about everything evil except being connected with Halliburton.

So political discourse wasn't so terribly civil in the early federal period. Moving right along down the corridors of history, in 1856 Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina attacked Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the floor of the Senate with a cane, grievously injuring him. The difference of opinion which motivated him was the issue of slavery.

If anything, political discourse has calmed down in modern times.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

This makes me mad.

Crazy people are crazy, do crazy things.

This makes me sad

Closing libraries.

Jewish Congresswoman shot

That's the most important fact about Gabrielle Giffords? If she had been a Presbyterian, would that matter?

It reminds me of a tale told me by am old newspaper man. When Lindbergh made his heroic flight, the headline in the Bronx local newspaper said: LINDBERGH FLIES OVER BRONX.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Happy New Year!


Lights at Longwood Gardens, January 2011.
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Friday, January 07, 2011

My head is exploding

Could this be true?

I witnessed an accident leaving work and stopped because it was obviously someone running a red light that hit someone turning green on an arrow. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion---I knew the red light runner would hit the other person because she honked her horn from way back, and the other driver hesitated too long before turning. I was sitting at the opposite intersection, first car at the line, and witnessed the whole thing and even glanced at the opposing light in disbelief as the person ran the red. Anyway, in Tucson our police don't come out for accidents unless there is an injury (yay, city budget cuts) so I passed along my name and number in case there insurance company wanted more perspectives than those of the drivers. People drive crazy here; I have been in and witnessed so many accidents since I started driving.

Pray tell, what do the police come out for?  Payday?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My new career

I retired as a librarian a few years ago, but I have found a new career in retail. Not retail, in the usual sense; my new career is as a consumer.  And how easy it is!  I don't even have to leave home.  I can buy over the Internet, and I do.  Electronics, cameras (I have three), an iPhone, books, clothing, furniture, dishes.

Don't blame me for the state of the economy--I'm out there, doing my best to be a one-woman stimulus program, but I can't do it alone.

Why the public admires Chris Christie

Have you noticed how Conservatives hem and haw, compromise, sympathize with their opponents' objectives, act defensive,  and  how ambiguous their remarks are?

About global warming, aka climate change, for instance:  you just know that President Bush knew in his heart that it was bullsh**, or at the very least, that it was unproven,  but he didn't want to take a stand because it didn't matter.  Much.  He wanted to be a good guy and meet the fanatics halfway.  And that's how we got fluorescent light bulbs, front-loading washers, barely wet showers, and unflushable toilets.  Senator McCain also genuflected to the God of Global Warming.  It was clear during his presidential campaign that he hadn't given the matter any thought, so to be safe, he paid obeisance to this totally phony issue.

On the other hand, the Left  bloviate with glib certainty that they are on the side of the angels.

As William Butler Yeats said: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

What a relief Chris Christie is.   He  says what he means. In simple declarative sentences.   Instead of beating his breast about the recent snowstorm, he made it clear that cleaning local streets was the responsibility of local government, not of the State.  The message was short enough for Twitter.  Rather than go on at great length about the proposed tunnel he decided not to fund, he stated that the State couldn't afford it.  A case could certainly be made against him in both these instances. But instead of refuting his reasoning, his critics  make nasty personal remarks about his weight.  That seems to be their notion of reasoned argument. 


 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Diane Keaton movies explained:

Now you don't have to see them.

What a relief.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Poor people's food

Do poor people still eat the food we ate when we were poor?  Difficult to say.  I no longer know any poor people.  But I was one myself once.

Mr Charm was a graduate student, with the mandatory accessories:   a pregnant wife,a toddler, a student loan, and two jobs.  Our refrigerator was so empty we kept our glassware in it.  At least we always had chilled glasses.

We ate graduate student food:  spaghetti, with cheap hot sausages or canned clams for protein, tuna noodle casserole, hot dogs and beans, ramen noodles.  For a treat, we had Chinese takeout or maybe a hoagie once in a while.

We haven't needed to eat like that for a long time, but Mr Charm still likes most of that stuff.

It's my impression that nowadays poor people like junk food:  Kentucky fried chicken, McDonald's and its imitators.  I've noticed that poor people are generally fatter than rich people these days.

My mother knew real hunger, growing up.  Sometimes she and her two brothers shared a can of sardines while their parents ate bread and tea. They grew up to be shorter than average.  My father, on the other hand, had rickets and grew up bowlegged but was six feet tall.

Mr Charm was a child during the depression.  His mother was a single mom and lost her job at the worst possible time.  He was the youngest and used to cry because he was hungry.  They fed him pancakes made of flour and water to shut him up.  His older brother stole bread from people's doorways.  His mother refused to go on welfare--she considered it a disgrace to live on charity.  People thought that way then, I guess.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

recipe for happiness

Paint your bathroom turquoise. Add pictures of birds. In gold frames.
Hang a few more pictures, also with gold frames.
, . al;
Add sculpture of bird.

The color is really, really turquoise. As in the top picture, only brighter.
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