12 February 2009

A Patchwork of Melange

Science in Action

I've actually had two people decline to schedule things for next Friday because it's the 13th.

Thomas Jefferson Quoted:

“I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make be the difference in price what it may.”

Screwing Up

Two of President Obama's cabinet designees bailed out this week due to tax payment issues. Part of the President's response was "I screwed up." Compare this with the reaction of President Reagan when the Iran/Contra mess came to light: "Mistakes were made." Now, I really admired President Reagan. He was a decent person who made some policy choices that have continued to work out badly, as well as some that have continued to work out well. This assumption of responsibility does not guarantee particular success of the current administration. No one thing does. It is refreshing, though.

Dull, Uninspiring Cars

Talking to my buddy, who is driving to Michigan. He says that he’s taking the dull car. And he recognizes the humor of that. Why do we need interesting cars? What, after all, is the purpose of an automobile? How many models do we NEED?

Freedom Fighters

In a couple of blogs, I’ve seen declarations by the minority party that some parts of it now see themselves as “freedom fighters,” conducting a guerilla war against Obama-ism until the Next Coming of The Great Paler Hope. Others (e.g., Rush) express hope that Obama fails miserably. Hey, if you’re going to go for your Truth, really go for it. Call down Satan and the demons of Hell on America until the Ungodly are chased out of Washington.

How can these guys call themselves loyal Americans? "I can do better" does not mean that the other guy has to fail miserably.

Theodore Roosevelt Abandoned

TR spoke strongly in favor of open immigration and adoption of and assimilation into American society.

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native" before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.”

TR is wrong! I’ve done a 180˚ turn on hyphenation. I’ve found a way that I, too, can be a hyphenated American, be a victim, be entitled to sympathy, be entitled to whine.

I am an Appalachian-American! I live in a deprived area, deprived, I tell you!

Oh, hell, this is boring and stupid. If you want to be a fill-in-the-blank-American, drag your ass back to Fill-In-The-Blank.

Lonely Old Lady

LaG and I were at Ruby Hospital so she could get some outpatient medical testing done last week. (The hospital is named after Wes Ruby and Hazel Ruby McQuain. Wes was a friend of my Dad’s. I don’t recall how he made money, but he made a lot of it and both before and after their deaths, the money did a LOT of good in the community.) As we were sitting in a waiting room in one of the cardiopulmonary testing areas, a cardiac surgeon came out to talk to a dignified but very fatigued old lady who had been sitting quietly since we’d gotten there. Perhaps the doc should have taken her aside, but he didn’t, and he gave her pretty negative news about a procedure just done on her husband. He did start out “He’s alive,” which was the first thing she needed to hear. He was going to be in some recovery room for a good while, so we sat and talked a while. Ssure, everybody has problems. It’s fair to remind ourselves that, yes, others do have it worse.

And we are all in this together. Why is that lesson so hard to get?

A Significant Goof

Last Saturday, the County held a school bond election. For you “foreigners,” operating bonds are a major way that schools are funded. When news schools need to be built, yet other bonds need to be approved, which is a much dicier proposition. In any event, I had some clue that this was coming because I’d walked by the open-voting station at the Courthouse over the past couple of weeks. But I didn’t remember the damn election. And so, for the second time in my life (something like 80 elections), I missed voting. That is stupid.

There is a disturbance in The Force.

Pippa passes.



Anonymous said...

when I read your rich vein of gold mind musings I always end up asking myself, how did we get so lucky? You're a very thought-provoking pal

Anonymous said...

as a Native- Foreign-American, that lesson you mentioned always sticks in my craw. No idea why we never seem to be able to get it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a New Jersian American!

I have a friend who is white, but is from Africa, who likes to go around saying he's African American because it really pisses people off to hear a white guy saying that.