Thursday, May 27, 2010

Days of Yore

"Good things come to those who wait..."

"Something worth doing is worth doing well..."

Platitudes? Maybe, but once upon a, seemingly, very long time ago, these were the sort of phrases people lived by...values they taught their children.

It seems as though we, as a society, have forgotten these types of "rules to live by."

We are in it for ourselves. What's good for me. And worse, what's good for me RIGHT NOW!

We have no patience and don't seem to have any ethics anymore either.

Sure, there are people out there possessive of the qualities that we had when we were building this country; help thy neighbor, be honest, be faithful (Semper Fidelis...Marines), work hard, be prepared (Semper Paratus...Coast Guard), be careful, do the right thing the first time, set a good example for others.

But those people are not in charge. What we get instead is a group of people with no scruples and less intelligence.

We consistently elect the worst of the worse, the bottom of the barrel. We are impressed with wealth and pop culture resumes. We look up to people who have not accomplished anything other than having gotten into the spotlight.

Mrs. Palin exemplifies this. She is an average woman of average intellect, reasonable looks and a gift of gab. She seems to act opportunistically and seems to say one thing while doing another. She doesn't seem to care at all about anyone but herself. She purported to care about Alaska and the country but ran faster than a moose at the first sign of the God Almighty dollar. And she wanted it RIGHT NOW!

The hell with waiting until the recognition was earned and then the justifiable wealth that would follow.

Imagine giving someone the Nobel Prize for something they hadn't earned yet. Oh...well...I guess we don't have to imagine that one.

Give it to me NOW! I want it NOW! I don't want to wait! I want profits from oil wells without doing proper due dilligence. I want super stardom without playing the gin joints along the way. I want to be a Senator without having learned the ropes from my elders. I want to be a war hero without EVER HAVING BEEN TO WAR (just can't let that one go...can you!?)!!!!

When will we become the adults we claim to be?

Any time soon?

Maybe we should listen to our kids. After all they are the only ones who can program a VCR.

They must know something we don't know. I think they know a lot that we don't know.

Remember the wonderful story...?

A truck gets stuck under a bridge. The experts gather and discuss the options. Dismantle the truck? Dismantle the bridge? Dismantle the road?

A kid rides up on his bike. He looks at the truck and the adults surrounding it.

He looks at the tires. He tugs on a grownup's coat. Impatiently the grownup says "what!?"

"Why don't you let some air out of the tires Mister?"

Hey BP...Hey President Obama...Hey...!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What The F#*%!

I think I speak for the entire thinking population when I ask,

"What the F#*% is going on?"

In the past year or so we have had the near collapse of the financial market, the near collapse of Iraqistan, the total collapse of several politicians and the tragic collapse of the oil rig in The Gulf of Mexico (11 dead...or didn't you know that...)

But what are our "leaders" doing you might ask?

Not a damned thing.

Well, that's not altogether true. They are holding meetings and talking to subject matter experts and commissioning studies and making decisions.

The trouble is that none of what they are doing is helping the situation(s).

They put on a very good show though, you gotta give em' that.

They bluster and pontificate and hold forth in wonderous fashion. But they are all "full of sound and fury, signifying NOTHING!!

We have given control of the ship to a bunch of selfish and, in some cases, hopelessly ignorant idiots.

They parade about as people with great concern for "The American People."

Which "American People" are they talking about, exactly?

The "American People" like you and me? The hardworking schnooks who get up every morning and struggle their way to work in order to "bring home the bacon" (never mind that the bacon itself is too expensive to, in fact, "bring home"...)and provide for their families. The poor slobs just trying to have a decent life with a few moments each week to enjoy themselves.

Or is it the other "American People?" The ones without a care in the world. The ones who bought and sold derivatives and who own stock in Big Oil and Big Money and Big Pharma...who get richer by the minute because the system is rigged in their favor...because our "leaders" are really being led by Big Lobby down the road to the Big Toilet.

Obama was elected on the promise of "change." But what seems to have changed is only the life circumstances of most of the people who voted for him. Sure, there has been a lot of change in their lives...but mostly for the worse.

What hasn't changed is the game that is played in Washington. The same people who brought us the mess created in the Cheney/Bush years still seem to be in charge.

President Obama doesn't really need to worry about what happens in November or even in '12.

He should be concerned about the great hereafter. I hope he lives a long and healthy life.

But Kharma is a real humdinger.

The President and all the others in Washington should be concerned about the afterlife.

If they're not careful they may come back as in Louisiana...near the shoreline.

Fill 'er up!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Buyer's Remorse

Is it too late to return Texas to Mexico? Can we get our money back? Will they take it back even if we don't have a receipt?

What the hell is going on in Texas? We get Lyndon Johnson (Viet Nam) and The George Bushes (Gulf War, Iraq, Wall Street, BP, Katrina, Abu Ghraib)

We get Rick Perry and The Dallas Cowboys and speaking of Dallas we get "Dallas" and Dealey Plaza.

But, to be fair, we also get Ann Richards and Molly Ivins and Bob Wills and Asleep at the Wheel.

But the pros hardly outweigh the cons.

Texas gives us arrogance and narrow-mindedness and medievality...

Why can't we progress into the 21st century? Why do we have to live in the past...the ancient past of superstition and discrimination and ignorance?

The recent changes in the Texas school curriculum requirements represent a head-in-the-sand approach that ignores the realities of the world in which we live. Do the board members who voted for the changes think for a minute that the information that is available in the Internet will not be available to the students they wish to influence?

We can continue to base our lifestyles in tired and outdated philospophies or we can step, willingly, into the present and see it as a prelude to the future and rejoice in knowing that progress offers hope.

Hope that we can change our ways.

Hope that we can grow and evolve.

Hope that things will ameliorate.

Hope that we can coexist amicably...even in a state of love.

Hope that we can continue to hope.

"It ain't over 'til it's over."

Gracias Yogi.

Gracias means thank you in Spanish, the official language of Texas...uh, Mexico...sorry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OK...Now What? the big day is in the past.

Voters went to the polls and...

Well, what did they really do yesterday?

They decided to exercise their constitutional right to "throw da bums out!"

But on behalf of what, really? Do we think, for an instant, that anything will really change in Washington simply because we have a few new faces?

It's not the Senators or Congressmen who matter. It's ultimately the lobbyists and the corporate titans who control everything.

And as far as I am concerned, the only way to create real change in this country (and therefore in the rest of the world...) is to really change the system.

That doesn't mean electing a new bunch of idiots to replace the old bunch of idiots.

It means sending people to Washington who only care about one thing; fixing the mess we're in.

And the only way to have that happen is to take the status quo incentive out of the equation.

TERM LIMITS!! But not legislated term limits...that's a non-starter. We need people who want to go into elected government who are willing to stand up and declare, before God and country that, if elected, they will only serve one term. The President, both houses of Congress...everybody. Just one term.

Then the lobbyists would have absolutely no power. They wouldn't be able to influence our elected officials because our elected officials wouldn't care if they got re-elected. The lobbyists money would be meaningless. And the NRA would shrivel and die...

And the elections should be funded only by the people. No corporate money. Just small donations and individual donors. And ads should only be on the radio. And the "debates" too.

Who cares what they look like? We should only give a damn about their ideas...regardless. Right wing ideas, left wing ideas, moderates, radicals...whatever. "What's your idea about how to fix this problem sir?" "I think we should...blah, blah, blah"

If you like the idea, elect the man. So what if he's fat or bald or wears clashing patterns...or sleeps with his secretary or his secretary's husband. Do you like the idea? Yes or no...period. Now vote. Gorgeous almost got us John Edwards and we now know that he is a liar. Would not have been a good choice. Virile (?) got us W.
Look how that turned out. Beautiful got us...well the jury's still out on beautiful...

Self imposed term limits. Individual donors. Radio.

Otherwise the Merry-go-Round will continue to turn and we'll be tossing out the new guys in a couple of years.

Meanwhile the Gulf will be on fire, Goldman will be exploding with profits, our schools will be crumbling and we'll all be dying of diseases that we couldn't afford to prevent, either at the hospital or by virtue of research.

Oh, and by the way, we'll all be wearing gas masks made in China.

Hope you like Moo Shoo...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I don't mean to rant go on about AG Blumenthal's Viet Nam record...but...I just can't help myself.

He "misspoke"...


Here's a Harvard educated lawyer and the articulate Attorney General of one of the sovereign states of the Union.

You are going to stand there with a straight face and try to persuade me that you misspoke?

Not buyin' it...not for a Hartford Minute.

You worked the system in the 60s and got out of going to Viet Nam. Why? Because you didn't want to DIE!!!

Got it. You did what a lot of guys did back then. You did what you could to prevent yourself from going to war. Some guys went to Canada and some guys went to prison. Some guys faked being gay or crippled (the word back then...)or being concientous objectors.

Some guys got married and had a quick child. Some guys went underground and some guys joined the National Guard (and ended up being President...)

Some guys used their fathers to influence the decision and some guys paid other guys off or paid them to lie and go in their places.

And some guys just went. Some guys even enlisted because they believed in something larger than themselves.

Fine...whatever. You gamed the system and ended up in the USMC Reserve. Thanks for distributing toys and teaching inner city kids. I feel much better now. And then you worked for Tricky Dick (hmmmmmmm....) Thanks again.

But to now refute the notion that you played fast and loose with the truth when it served your ambitious purpose is ludicrous.

Why didn't you just say it the right way in the first place? Why didn't you correct the misimpression that you were a hero?

Why? I'll tell ya...

Because you liked being thought of as a big man. A warrior. A patriot. A hero.

You knew that would sell better than the idea that you may have been a draft dodger.

But as Lloyd Bentsen said...I know heroes and, Mr. Blumenthal, you're no hero.

The Heroes are the ones whose names are etched on Maya Lin's awesome memorial.

The Heroes are the ones who left an arm or a leg or a life in the paddies of Viet Nam.

The Heroes are the ones who fought and died so you can run for the Senate (and I can write this blog)

The Heroes are the ones who don't talk about their service. They just live with the awful memories of what they went through giving it.

The Heroes are not opportunists attaching themselves to nobility after the fact and basking in the reflected glow of others.

Sir, you may be a lot of things...but a hero isn't one of them.

You should be ashamed. One of the real tragedies of this "teaching moment" is that you're not.

Here comes Memorial Day.

Ten HUT!

Thank You Jesus!

(CNN) –Rep. Mark Souder, R-Indiana, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, after acknowledging that he “sinned against God” by engaging in a relationship with a member of his staff.

The 59-year-old married father of three, who just won a competitive primary, said he will leave office at the end of the week.

"I believe it is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana, and our country,” an emotional Souder said at a news conference in his district. “I will submit my resignation to Speaker Pelosi effective this Friday.”

Souder, politically a social conservative, made the stunning revelation that he had an inappropriate relationship outside of his marriage but offered no more details.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Semper Dishonestus?

I had the pleasure of interviewing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for a piece in ABC's "World News Tonught."

He was gracious and charming, well-spoken and very intelligent...too intelligent, by half.

It now comes that he may have been less than frank about his service in Viet Nam. (The New York Times 5/18/10)

Let me tell you one thing if you don't already know it. Someone who actually served in a war is someone to be respected and appreciated. They deserve our heartfelt gratitude.

I am no "hawk" by any stretch of the imagination but as Jack Nicholson's character, Colonel Jessop, famously says in "A Few Good Men", "You need me on that wall. You want me on that wall!" You bet I do...!

Soldiers put their lives on the line and are irrevocably changed by the experience of war.

I lived through the Viet Nam era. I didn't go, fortunately, but I've had friends who in particular; a Marine Sargeant who served two tours near the DMZ. He was involved in unspeakable acts and has never been the same since his return in the late 60's. Thank you my friend.

War is horrible. War changes a person. War devastates families and countries and topographies like no other force of humankind.

War is no joke.

And when someone who asks for our support at the polls to go to Washington to take a seat of power in the decision-making process may have fudged his record of service during a war...he deserves our scorn and definitely not our votes.

Some other version of this story may come out but his own words seem to damn him. And his actions at the time.

I went to prep school and I knew way too many rich men's sons who played the "Daddy Card" to get out of everything...from failing grades to punishment for rules violations to service in Viet Nam.

Richard Blumenthal impressed me as being different...a cut above.

But it seems as though he may be just another one like all of the rest...especially like the one he hopes to replace...Mr. Dodd.

"Where have all the heroes gone? Long time passing. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"

My apologies to Pete Seeger but you get the point.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Warning: Something written all in capital letters means that the writer is shouting...




NONE OF THEM (hyperbole...)





Phew...I feel much better now (hyperbole...if pronounced a different way would sound like "Hyper Bowl"...which could be a tournament in which the politicians go up against the lobbyists and always lose..."Hyper Bowl" sounds like "Tidy Bowl" which is more applicable...and might help...)

And you? How you feelin' NOW?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Human Nature vs. Mother Nature...and the Winner is?

Why are we surprised at the behavior of industry executives at the Senate hearings into the BP oil spill in the Gulf?

They are just being human. I don't know anybody who doesn't try to deflect responsibility when accused of wrongdoing.

We start early, us humans. "I didn't do it!" "It's not my fault!" "He did it!"

Who hasn't said those words at least once during their lives...or more than once?

We see it all of the time. In sports, in Hollywood, in home.

It's always someone else's fault.

And the amazing thing is that it never, ever works. It seems that when someone is caught with their hand in the cookie jar they knee-jerk a response. Their first act is to deny. They defer the reponsibility, regardless. And they always get into more trouble because of the denials than if they had accepted responsibility in the first place.

Now, to be fair, sometimes, you really didn't do "it."

But usually, you did. Why else would you be accused? Somehow, you're involved.

In the case of BP, the buck stops with them. While it might be interesting to determine what, in fact, really happened, it is irrelevant. BP is responsible because it is their gig.

They are all too happy to take the credit for discovering the oil or bringing it to market or reaping wonderful, if not obscene, profits for their shareholders.

But where are they on the other side of the coin? It was was Halliburton...not us...never us.

Well maybe it was all three of you. Maybe you all contributed to the mess. And let's not forget the government. Let's not forget the Interior Department and the "regulators." They are just as much a part of the story as the oil industry. Maybe more importantly so.

It would be refreshing to hear someone take responsibility for something. To hear the words, "I did was me...I'm sorry."

Don't hold your breath. It's not in our nature.

Our nature is covered with slime...both human nature and...unfortunately Mother Nature.

And by the way...since oil and water don't mix why can't they just pump the Gulf through some filters and salvage the oil...?

Not a bad idea...but don't hold your breath there either. Our "leaders", whether in commerce or government, seem to be out of ideas.

Let's just all take a holiday to Greece. I hear the rates are pretty good. But just don't forget your gas can double when you go snorkelling...which you should hurry up and do before the oil slick gets to the Aegean...

And it that case, definitely hold your breath...lungs and water don't mix either.

Toodle oooooo...!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Other Side of the Coin

Think of it this could be worse...

War in Iraq
War in Afghanistan
Bombs in Times Square
McCain, Lieberman, Cornyn et al
Lawrence Taylor
The N.R.A.
The Tea Party
Sarah Palin
Lyme Disease
The BP Oil Spill
Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al
Gas Prices
Goldman Sachs

And the list goes on...

But the antidote is just outside the window.


The air is clear and fresh.

There's no humidity.

The flowers are out and fragrant.

The garden is ready.

The smell of newly cut grass hangs in the breeze.

The beach is open.

Shorts and sandals are in the closet.

You can smell the suntan lotion.

The soft serve is perfect.


We are blessed by the changing of the seasons. We suffered through the winter and the rain of the early spring (may get more of that still but it's great for the tomatoes...)

The ability to be outside and to run, barefoot, in the grass or the sand is a cure-all.

To inhale the sea air or to breathe on top of a mountain or in a meadow refreshes the body and more importantly...the soul!!

Thank God (g-d) for the change. Obama talked about change in '08. It was all the rage.

But Mother nature delivers on her promise every year...year after year...generation after generation.

We are continually given the chance to start all over again...tabula rasa.

Maybe the solution to our problems is to herd all of the above into a dry riverbed in early April and just wait for the rains of Spring to come down and wash it all away.

We could stand there too...just above on the bank...with a bar of soap...and get clean in at the same time.

We need that. We need to get clean. To start all over again.

Heaven knows that we're dirty. Filthy with the scum of thousands of years of greed, jealousy, hypocrisy and lies.

Bring on the rain...just not on Game Day...any day but that...let 'em tarps (no TARPs either...let em' fail, the bastards...)

Batter up!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jew...Not a Jew...

What the hell is wrong with Joe Lieberman? And while I'm at it, John McCain?

Take away Shahzad's rights? Are you out of your motherf***ing minds? And just when the rest of the world thinks we're getting back to our moral roots...?

During World War II millions of Jews (and others) were deprived of their rights, simply, and only, because they were Jews. They were seen, by the Third Reich, as a threat to German society.

John McCain, during the Vietnam Conflict was deprived of his own rights simply, and only, because he was an American, seen by the North Vietnamese as a threat to their society.

Faisal Shahzad is an accused criminal. He is an American Citizen and is seen as a threat to American society.

He allegedly placed a would be bomb in Times Square (I was a few blocks away at the time, incidentally...)that, had it detonated, would have undoubtedly killed many bystanders.


We live, in this country, under a system of laws designed to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. We, supposedly, don't live in a dictatorship where people are stripped of their rights and dignity simply because the rulers don't like what they do...however egregious or antisocial.

Lieberman and McCain, again for seemingly political purposes, appear to have abandoned their own personal heritage and formerly good sense.

They should be ashamed.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

--Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

Hey Joe! Hey John!!


Monday, May 3, 2010


Eureka! I just got it! I have just figured out what our political problem is.

We continually elect people who need to be approved of. We nominate and then send into high office folks who need our approval to feel okay about themselves.

Never mind that most of them are devoid of imagination and have no real ability to think creatively.

They simply say what they think we want them to say and are wholly reactive and poll-driven.

We choose people who seem to fit a sterotype...religious, physically attractive, amiable enough, able to speak enthusiastically and with an over sized ego that needs to be endlessly stroked.

I made myself watch the video of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's speech in which he announced that he is running for the Senate as an Independent.

If anyone thinks that he is doing this "for the people" he said over and over again...than they are as delusional as he is.

He was an automaton. He had no original thoughts and a delivery as dry and unimpressive as the Mojave in July.

Yuck! Our political class is made up of uninspired hacks all pandering to one ideology or another because it is politically expedient and may allow them to retain power (money).

Have you noticed that the "best and the brightest" are the ones behind the curtain...or not even in the political game at all?

Derek Jeter...extraordinary baseball player...not in politics.
Jim Bunning...average baseball player...idiot politian.

Dustin Hoffman...brilliant actor...not in politics.
Arnold Schwarzenegger...average action figure...average governor.

Jerry Seinfeld...funny as hell...not in politics.
Al comedian...sure to be an average Senator.

Warren Buffet...very rich businessman...not in politics.
Mitt Romney...very rich former businessman...opportunistic former governor.

Our politicians are just that. Politicians. Concerned about perception not about providing leadership. Most of them are without integrity or individualism...
although they will clothe themselves in their resumes to prove to us how honorable and individual they are...military "hero" this, sports star that, celebrity whatever.

Just idiots, the lot...and starved for attention and love.

Maybe they weren't breastfed as babies (hence the sex scandal angle...maybe...) They were bullied in school possibly (hence the blowhard war rhetoric...) They were the middle children (hence the perfect families with the trophy wife and 3.5 blond children...and Golden Retriever.)

Why can't we just realize that our political process is a popularity contest and that the contestants are all vying for Mr. Congeniality?

Intellect is irrelevant...critical thinking a and frank discussion seen as a weakness.

Let's just keep electing the buffoons we are putting in office. Yeah, that's a great idea!

Or we could offer free psychological treatment for everyone and encourage breast feeding.

That way we may get a class of politicians less concerned about what everyone thinks of them and more concerned about what we need to do to fix this broken system we are living in.

Lactose intolerance is not an's a stomach ailment.

But then...I guess that explains all of the hot air and gas in Washington.

Milk of Magnesia anyone?