Friday, October 24, 2008
Friday Night Miscellany
No Showgirls tonight, darlings! They're putting a wrap on their report - yes, I know - there are still 4 more games scheduled, but all GM Anand has to do is garner 1.5 points from those games in order to win the WCC Match outright. The Girls aren't bucking the odds and yes, they are hearing the Fat Lady Sing. Now, down to the business of the ridiculous and the sublime. There's lots to choose from, but I'm tired and Katherine Neville's "The Fire" is calling out to me, along with the fireplace and a glass of wine. Tomorrow it's running errands to get ready for the winter here, which may visit us with the first snow of the season Sunday evening, eek! It's buy mulch, bulk ice melt, bulk bird seed, bulk sunflower seed, bulk dog food (for the crows and other critters), one last 2 gallon container of gasoline (which optimistically looks forward to at least 1 more warm enough weekend where the grass can be cut before winter descends), bulk wine time, cuz I don't want to be lugging this stuff home once it drops below zero and the blizzards blow like they did last year! In the sad but sublime column, Barack Obama quits the campaign trail for a day or so during a crucial time period to visit his gravely ill grandmother. The generation that fought in and were adults during WWII is fast dying off. Obama's grandmother worked in an airplane factory during WWII and his grandfather fought in the war. My own dear father, a WWII Marines veteran, died at the age of 80 in November, 2002, just a few days before Veteran's Day. He was wounded in action and was awarded a Purple Heart. It wasn't until years later, as we all grew up that we realized he also suffered other lingering injuries from frostbite suffered in 1944. He had other medals and ribbons too, but I don't know what they were - he never talked about them. Dad's funeral was featured in a Journal/Sentinel article in 2002 close to Veteran's Day, that talked about the decreasing number of veterans available to play taps at Vets' memorial services. Now, many veterans have a taped "Taps" played at their memorial services. We were fortunate, we had a live bugle player, and as a Vet, Dad received a 21-gun salute. Dad is buried in a Veterans' Cemetery in southeastern Wisconsin, and there is a place for mom next to his grave. I have a rose carefully preserved from that service, in a glass-enclosed bookcase that houses my most precious mementos and books. I see it every day and remember the man it represents. Mom, who has had a few health scares over the years but takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin', is either 85 or 81, depending upon which date of birth she uses :) I think she'll live to be 100, at least. That's what I plan for myself, by the way. Mom is from tough Polish stock, stubborn as hell, and while I got my coloring and build from my father's French-mixed ancestry, I sure got more than my share of mom's unbending neck! My oldest brother went into the Army out of high school in the mid 1970's and served his time in Germany, was honorably discharged, and went into the Wisconsin National Guard. He eventually earned the NCO rank of Seargent - don't ask me what level because I don't know, it's not something we've talked about. My brother was still in the Guard when his unit was called up in 1991 to go serve in Desert Storm. My brother did not, however, travel with his unit, though he threw a big fit about it! He wanted to go but, you see, he was recovering from chemo- and radiation-therapy for a certain form of cancer that often strikes young men in the prime of their lives. While the cancer was pronounced eradicated, his lungs had been severely weakened by the treatments he received and his doctor refused to release him to go overseas to a desert climate which, so the doc said, would probably kill him. My brother would have gone anyway, but the government said no. So, he swallowed his disappointment and continued to serve at home. He married his long-time girlfriend, who was already a sister-in-law de facto if not de jure! She was one of the family even if there was no wedding ring. She's black, we're white. Oh, pardon me, she's African-American (she'd laugh if I ever called her that to her face, LOL!) Another mark against us, I suppose. My brother continued in the Guard until a few years ago; I'll have to check with him for the exact number of years, I believe he served 25 years in the Guard before retiring. It really yanks my chain when Sarah Palin stands up and implies in her speech that because I am a Democrat from a family of Democrats, that because I - and my family - support ideas that she doesn't agree with - we are not REAL Americans, we are NOT patriotic, we are somehow LESS than human and beneath contempt. She has crowds cheering her when this filth and calumny flows from her mouth. That tells me all I need to know about Sarah Palin, John McCain and the party and people who support this kind of "campaigning." Are we living in Germany during the 1930's - geez! Let's move on to the ridiculous, shall we? How about getting yourself and your family a brand new wardrobe to the tune of $150,000 courtesy of the Republican National Committee? (Notice the source - a British newspaper, lol!) We're not talking Walmart, baby, nosiree! Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom's, Designer Labels and exclusive designer boutiques. I want to know what happened to the hockey mom from Alaska. Oh, I forgot - she's the one caught out charging the state of Alaska for per diem expenses when oops, she was actually at home and, oops, her kids traveled on the state's dime as part of "official business" and oops, she's got a $500,000 house on a reported income that doesn't support the mortgage payment. Hmmmm.... Oh, maybe she doesn't have a mortgage. Maybe she and First Dude came up with $500,000 in cash to pay for the house in full. Gee, maybe we should all move to Alaska and cash in too! Darlings, I'm in the wrong profession. I should have gone into MAKE-UP. The McCain Campaign has paid a make-up artist over $22,000 for TWO WEEKS WORK on Sarah Palin. That's just about half of what I make in a YEAR. Nice work if you can get it. But what the hell, the McCain Campaign is funded by OUR TAX DOLLARS (public campaign financing) - Mr. McCain has made a BIG POINT of that, like he took the High Road. What's the difference between Sarah Palin dipping into taxpayer dollars to cloth herself and her family so they all look good while traipsing around the country trumpeting a bigoted, narrow-minded campaign that seeks to divide the country along racial, economic and religious lines, and the dudes who master-minded the taxpayer financed bail out Wall Street to the tune of $700 million and counting, the bail out AIG to the tune of $122 million and counting, the bail out of various large financial institutions to the tune of $250 million and counting. So who cares if Palin spends a measely $150,000 for clothes the likes of which 99.5% of Americans will never be able to afford, right? Chump change. But, John McCain says that Obama's proposed tax cuts for the working poor and middle class are SOCIALISM and modest tax increases to the wealthy and rich - in reality, just peeling back the gigantic giveaways to the rich and richer given out during the Bushite years - is well, gaddummit, just plain wrong! We've got to balance the budget! We've got to pay off them Commies over in China, hell, we owe them $500 billion. You want soup lines darlings? The Great Depression ain't got nothing on what will happen in this country if McCain wins the election. The rich will eat their cake and continue to quaff their French champagne, while setting up trusts that protect their millions and billions from any liability while putting their handicapped and mentally ill children on the public dole (it's only against the law for the increasingly disappearing middle class in this country to "divest" assets when a spouse has to go into a nursing home; it's not illegal for a billionaire to put his mentally incompetent or physically handicapped child into state-funded Medicaid programs once they reach the age of majority in their state), and everyone else will just starve to death while McCain fiddles in the White House during intermittent bouts of hysteria and Sarah impatiently taps her $400 shod foot, waiting for him to croak. Gee, a great prospect, aina hey? Just remember, the guys who are bitching about SOCIALISM are the same guys who want to put your Social Security taxes to work in the "Free market." These are also the same guys who are the first with their hands out to collect their Social Security when they hit 62, and the first who try to find a way to prevent the Social Security benefits payable to their moms and dads drooling away in nursing homes from going to the state, while mom and dad are on Medicaid (taxpayer funded) because son and daughter can't be bothered to part with their parents' hard-earned millions to pay for their care. Let the stupid frigging taxpayers do it, the say! It's all legal too, and all rigged for the rich and uber-rich to get away with this kind of b.s. Irony of ironies, working class and poor people actually BELIEVE that McCain and Palin have their best interests at heart. If nothing else, this definitively demonstrates the abject failure of "No Child Left Behind", one of the shining examples of legislation left behind by the Bush Years. Cough cough. P.T. Barnam sure was right. Anyone earning less than $250,000 a year in income in this country who votes the Republican ticket is voting against his or her own self-interest, and yet they're happy to do it! Just goes to show - there are suckers born every minute, boooyah! Or brain-washed Borg. How sad. Why not just take a big knife and slit your own throats while your at it. I'm sure the Wall Street guys will get a big kick out of that. From the sad but true department, a white female campaign worker for the McCain campaign was caught out in a big lie when she said that a big black man (BOOOO!) attacked her and carved a backwards "B" on her cheek when he discovered she was a McCain supporter. I'm surprised she didn't also say he sported a turban and flowing "Arab" robes. Turns out the lady carved up her own cheek. She's not sure why... Unfortunately, I'm sure that some folks read the initial reports but have not seen the follow-up reports - and will go away thinking -- well, you can fill in your own blanks about what they'll be thinking. Pathetic. And really Pathetic. Time to go read Katherine Neville.