Sunday, October 28, 2012


October 28, 2012


I guess I'm just a pessimist. I don't see a rosy future for our country and our people. Our high school students know less and less and seem to be proud of that. I've lectured in a university near here and I can testify that the freshmen/sophomores are often woefully unprepared for university studies, at least so I believe. The present recession promises to hang on for at least another four years - not surprising since the Great Depression did not end in the U.S.A. until 1942. And like the aftermath of the Great Depression, our economy is changing, in what direction I know not, but it is re-aligning, reacting to the new pressures of a global economy. All this means that unemployment will remain at historic highs with the concomitant decrease in tax revenues, which means even less money for schools, roads, sewers and other infrastructure.

Yes, the future does not seem rosy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The M-C Virus

I wrote this short letter to a friend, who was down and needed a laugh.

Dear _______, You told me that you were depressed, fatigued, and blue. I know that you watch a bit of TV so let me ask you some questions.

DO you watch "The Mentalist" and enjoy it?

DO you watch movie trailers and jot down the release dates?

DO you find yourself thinking about the "real choices in toilet paper?"

DO you walk around your house sniffing, then thinking about Glade air fresheners?

DO you spend time thinking about the best way to mop your kitchen floor?

DO you think that "Boniva" ads are cute and/or informative?

DO you believe that using Ambien ([high pitched voice] "that cute little butterfly") is a better sleep remedy than a bottle of MD 20-20?

DO you believe that NBC Nightly News with Brian Anderson represents TRUTH, RIGHT, JUSTICE, and the AMERICAN WAY?

DO you consider the contestants on "Survivor" to be a stunningly accurate cross-section of sober, earnest Americans?

DO you get up in the morning and immediately turn on the TV to get the "latest in late-breaking news?"

If you answered "yes" to ANY of the above ten questions, you have been infected with the far-feared M-C virus!

This virus, aka as the Mindless-Clueless Virus, was discovered by Dr. Prolegomeous Vagina after interviewing selected adults and high school seniors in Bumfuck, Idaho. He immediately noted the vacuity, the witless stares, the repetition of simple self-serving ideas, i.e. I hungry, I need a Coke, where are the drugs?, and what he called "general moral laxness".
The virus manifests itself around television sets and is spread by the breath expelled in useless, stupid talk. The disease vectors seem to congregate in Walmart, K-Mart and Target stores with minor outbreaks at McDonald's and Burger King. Several analysts have suggested staying away from especially dumb movies because of the frequent flare-up of the pest in their vicinity. For as yet unknown reasons people who use cell phones while driving are also at risk.

Some common strategies to avoid the M-C virus

Read a book in public (not the Bible or the Rapture series)

Spread a rumor that any medicine advertised on TV causes crotch warts.

Avoid Walmart, K-Mart, and Target stores and any fast-food outlets.

Avoid any TV show whose advertising includes the sentence, "I can't wait for the glamor."

Tell people you are no longer listening to any "batshit" crazy politicians, e.g.
Michelle Bachman, Paul Ryan, Ron Paul.

Disinfect your cell phone with a flame thrower.

And, lastly, before his commitment to the Sweet Home Medical Institute for the Benefit of the Sick, Insane, and Drooping Poor, Dr. Vagina recommended the use of fire to eradicate the virus: first,napalm; then, atomic weapons.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Short Note to George F. Will

Today I sent a short email to George F. Will at the Washington Post.  I've mailed him comments before and he hasn't replied. 

To George F. Will: 

In your column of October 5th, 2012, you stated:

"America can be the society it was when it had a spring in its step, a society in which markets — the voluntary collaboration of creative individuals — allocate opportunity."

Could you apply this statement to the defense budget of the U.S., which is an allocation of resources to defense contractors and their supporters. It does not have free markets but it does have creative individuals, not the least of which, for example, is Senator Orrin Hatch, who makes certain that taxpayer dollars flow to Thiokol in Utah. Whether or not this vast expenditure contributes to the safety and security of the U.S. is problematical, vide the unending war in Afghanistan and the truly wretched situation in Iraq. While these foreign adventures may or may not have put a spring in the step of defense contractors, it does contribute to the ever-increasing national debt (remember that?).

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Attack on Benghazi

The Attack in Benghazi

October 1, 2012

On Thursday, September 27, 2012, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial pointing out the inadequacies of the Obama administration in dealing with the attack on the consulate of Benghazi. First, it was inadequately defended, second, U.S. intelligence organs had received clear warnings of planned attacks, third, the administration tried to cover up its mistakes... You get the picture.

But the penultimate paragraph was a revelation: basically it was one long whine about how the media, and by extension, the American people, strain to make the efforts of Obama both legitimate and appropriate, but, by implication, hold Republicans to a higher standard. It's worth quoting.

"Imagine the uproar, if, barely a month before Election Day, the Bush administration had responded to a terrorist strike - on September 11 no less - in this fashion. Obfuscating about what happened. Refusing to acknowledge that clear security warnings were apparently ignored. Then trying to shoot the messengers who bring these inconvenient truths to light in order to talk about anything but a stunning and deadly attack on U.S. sovereignty."

During the first seven months of the Bush administration, it received numerous warnings of a pending attack. It only released one of those intelligence briefings, saying the date and time of the attack were not specified. I guess the administration couldn't act unless it knew exact date and time, which the Arabs most ungratefully had not provided. This may be viewed as part of their evil, demonic natures.

"Obfuscating about what happened." Bush and his coterie then blamed the attack on Islamic fundamentalists who were envious of American virtue, justice and love of truth. To thinking persons around the world it was obvious that this was a direct consequence of America's unswerving support of Israel. Those planes, tanks, bombs, and other weapons which are used with such deadly effect on Arab populations were sent to Israel by the Americans. What is really surprising is that this attack on America, a privileged sanctuary (read: arsenal), didn't occur sooner. And this obfuscation continues.

"Refusing to acknowledge that clear security warnings were apparently ignored." One American intelligence group, frustrated by Bush's lack of attention and sense of urgency, thought about a mass resignation, dismissing the idea only after considering that there were no replacements.

"Then trying to shoot the messengers who bring these inconvenient truths to light in order to talk about anything but a stunning and deadly attack on U.S. sovereignty." The single intelligence briefing that was published was released only in 2004, only after public pressure. The Bush administration didn't want anybody, let alone messengers, to learn of its incompetence. And then, of course, remember Valerie Palme? For that "Scooter" Libby had to fall on his sword.

With this paragraph the Wall Street Journal has published a powerful indictment of President Bush and his advisers. The editors may have aimed their blow at President Obama, but it is Bush they struck.