08 October 2008

Silliness; Observations; Pique; and a Great Sadness This Evening


Comments betwixt Rosa & Melissa remind me of an old saying ‘round the Marion County Palais d’ Justice: Sometimes you get Justice. Sometimes you get Just Us.


Balto trip for this weekend to move lotsa stuff. However, to secure my continued position as the apotheosis of The Easy Way, I’ve gotten Bro. Dave’s son to go along (great guy), and HE will drive the damn truck. Mind you, I did a lot of furniture mover/driver work while I was in school, and moved a lot of folks who couldn’t drive either something large or something with a manual transmission. (I think rental trucks mostly have slush-boxes these days, for the plethora of wusses who rent them.) But the drive to Baltimore is a pain in the ass, and if I can go as a passenger and read, etc., by golly that’s what I’m going to do.

Government by Machine Shop

I spent the morning in the Governor’s offices on business. There are two parts to the offices, one of which you’d expect and one of which you wouldn’t. The reception and public areas are spacious (spacious, hell, you could park a blimp in there), graciously decorated, and staffed by ultra-polite, well-dressed and efficient folks. It’s the working areas in the rear that really fascinated me, though. All of the folks back there are also well-dressed and ultra-nice (men, women, all in business wear), but it’s not plush offices with people sitting on their asses sipping cappuccino and thinking weighty thoughts. It reminded me more of a neat and orderly machine shop. There are work stations all over the place, and you have to be a touch of a gymnast to weave around the work stations, and everyone is busy. You can tell that it’s a focused and happy place. People aren't relaxing, but they are smiling when nobody's looking. And it’s not artificial. My dad would refer to “working boats” as those that had equipment on deck, neatly arranged but still there on deck. There is simply no show about the place, it is a place of work and accomplishment. Governor Manchin is one of the most genuine guys I know. He won’t say it if he doesn’t believe it. Particularly my friends in other states, google his uncle, A. James Manchin. I loved that guy. He was flamboyant, and that fact made some people fail to take him seriously. He talked about “Mother West Virginia,” and when he was head of an environmental clean-up program, he referred to the plague of junk cars as those “jaded jezebels of junkery.” He talked like that all the time. But he was sincere, and he believed every word. Governor Joe Manchin is like that, only with less alliteration. Even when I don’t agree with him, I respect the hell out of him. He is the most effective and most honest governor in my lifetime.

There my thoughts go back to Governor William Marland. That guy was absolutely brilliant, considered the best student ever to go through the WVU College of Law (and since Dean John Fisher is in the running for that distinction, Marland had to be legendarily great). He was elected Governor in the 50's when he was quite young, but he developed a serious addiction to alcohol. His administration ended as a disaster and he faded into obscurity. In the mid-60's, a news reporter found him driving a taxi in Chicago, and published an interview, where he described having found some peace.

The Perfect Political Speech - If the Sublime Elu returns from his world tour, he's running in '12.

(I do not claim this as totally original. I have heard or seen it or something like it somewhere, but it must have been a long time ago, and I forget where it was.)

My fellow Americans - My programs are simple and workable. They are fair. They will restore safety and prosperity to our beloved country.

YOUR taxes will be reduced to nothing. However, THEY have been shirking their responsibilities to support the Nation which has granted them succor for far too long, and THEY shall bear their fair share of taxes.

Wasteful government programs which give OTHER people benefits to which they obviously are not entitled will be ended, and these citizens will be required to work for their daily bread. The necessary government spending which benefits YOU will be expanded to reflect fair recompense for the contributions which you have made unselfishly to your country.

No longer will the police be shackled by antiquated notions of warrants and technicalities which merely let the wrongdoer avoid the heat of the forge of Justice. And, my friends, my law-abiding loyal friends, YOU shall not be inconvenienced by a search made without probable cause or a warrant, and you shall never be arrested or placed on trial for something for which there is no clear video evidence of your doing. As to YOUR children who, in their youthful enthusiasm, may stray over the boundaries of good sense and legal behavior, the law will deal with understanding and mercy. But make no mistake: The OTHER youth, the hooligans, shall find that attaining the age of adulthood gives them the responsibilities of adulthood and the punishments for failing in those responsibilities.

I pledge that your mortgage interest rates shall be less than 3%, inflation shall be less than 3%, and that the average passbook savings interest rate paid to you shall be no less than 12%. You deserve no less.

YOUR second amendment rights WILL be enforced, and NO ONE who will commit a crime with a firearm will be permitted to obtain or possess a firearm even for a moment.

YOUR first amendment rights will be enforced, and YOUR CHILDREN shall not be exposed to pornography, strong language or situations of which you disapprove in any media. Moreover, academic freedom shall prevail, in libraries swept clean of the filth and controversial writings that pollute America. You will be free to worship as you wish, and there will be prayer in school.

I strongly support freedom of choice.

Every human life is precious, from the moment of conception.

No longer will we be bound by a corrupt system of benefits and costs, of trade-offs, or of comparisons. We shall, from this day forward, deal only in absolutes, never questioning, never doubting, and never, never thinking.

Thank you and God Bless America.

And please hurry, Lord.

Great Sadness

Friend Janese is on the brink of that passage from this life to the next tonight. Remember her, please. She has walked a steep and stony path in this life by her own choosing, because she has been strong and capable and could do so; she has been a gruff and effective supervising nurse in intensive care settings, and has seen and done things that had to be done which were nevertheless most unpleasant and which most of us would recoil from. She is facing this transition with faith and class and courage and acceptance. As I write this, the hospital tells me that she is now in a coma. God bless this beautiful person and friend and grant her peace.

I have been thinking much tonight of our group at Parkersburg High School, class of '71, and it is surreal to know that she is leaving us, if only to await us down the road in a little while.

Pippa passes.


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