Thursday, January 24, 2013

Republican Worm Holes

As I sat watching Downton Abbey the other night, a thought struck me—the series is like gaining a window into republican delusions about the world in which they wish to live; it is akin to traveling through a wormhole into a brave new republican world, in which there is no middle class, only the rich, the poor, and the wannabe rich. In this case, I assume the republican middle class fits the model of the rich wannabe’s.

And then the program ends, and the wormhole disappears. I can find no other reasonable explanation for the republican assault on the middle class.  They wish to rid the world of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment insurance, oh and public schooling. They do so love charter schools—which are really just public schools without the bother of government interference.
Listening to them chatter about Obama’s speech is also amusing, and annoying at the same time. The right wing accuses the president of failing to cater adequately to his right wing opponents—the ones who refuse to cooperate with anything he wishes to accomplish. They are the same ones who prattled on endlessly about how Secretary Clinton should have been fired, and even how impeachment must remain an option for this president.
They continue to moan about how we have entered that twilight zone of a socialist state, and unless they maintain their vast hordes of guns, the government will arrive to take away their liberties, and presumably their jobs. I assume they believe that Obama wishes to nationalize most of the current economic systems in the country—banking, energy, certainly hi-tech, automobiles, clothing (oops, we gave that away to China, didn’t we) and . . . and what else. Oh, I keep forgetting Obama must have given away everything else to China, since we seem not to make anything any longer.
The only thing not entirely clear to me is how the republican lords of the Downton Abbeys of the country expect to make their money . . . you know, so they can hire all those servants. Maybe they will all become investment bankers, and each will have his own hedge fund (or is it Ponzi schemes they want to run)?. It’s all so confusing, this big money stuff. See, I’ve never really had to worry about big money and gambling with other people’s money.  I just worked for someone else from about the age of 13, until I could no longer stand working for someone else and started my own tiny business, which I held tightly to until I retired.  So, the Mitt Romney way of business—buying and flogging other people’s businesses-- never entered my brain—stupid, I guess.
Well, anyway, I think I will keep watching Downton Abbey to see what clues I can gain into the dark minds of the republican 1% wannabe’s.
And in other news, it is rumored that Rand Paul has advocated the official adoption of the Mayan calendar, since it is about as scientific as his colleagues are comfortable with. We understand that they now predict that the world has already officially ended.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Republican Ignorance

The commentary coming from the right wing in response to the President’s inauguration is truly stunning in its ignorance and delusional character. The commentariat, both paid and unpaid have been yakking away about the “socialist” state being pursued by Obama and the Democrats. How Obama is killing the incentive to start businesses by offering free goodies—money, food, whatever it takes, to keep people tied to big government, instead of freeing people to pursue the true freedom of capitalism.

First, all this incoherent talk about how we are becoming a socialist state is so absurd that I wonder about the mental state, or perhaps just the brainpower of the assembled cast of characters now criticizing our country. To my knowledge neither the President, nor any of his Democratic allies have proposed nationalizing a single corporate entity, not to mention whole industries.  Had he proposed nationalizing our banks, or our energy companies, I might have understood his logic, but I would also have better understood the cries of socialism. As it is, the President continues to tolerate the fools who have brought this nation to its economic knees through greed and stupidity. That our financial system is run by people a few beers short of a six pack when it comes to intelligence and that no bankers are currently in prison continues to amaze.
What I cannot tell from the idiotic commentary is whether the writers actually believe their own foolishness, or they are simply mouthing the tale told by their owners—the Koch’s et al. I understand that the Faux News Network espouses idiotic rhetoric. They are highly paid actors who read their scripts. But why the pseudo-intelligencia of the right continues to mouth such inanities is quite beyond me . It seems clear that the right wing demonstrates willingness to allow this Nation to slide off its fiscal cliff, even though they have not yet pushed us off the cliff.
I keep wondering . . . isn’t it time for the right wing to once again regain its place in the country as thoughtful advocates of the American system? Back off guys. You sound too reminiscent of the 1930s. Remember the 1930s . . . that period called the Great Depression . . . that you also created?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

But I Just Grew Out My Bangs!: A Cancer Tale

Katya L: A Love Story
Our good friend Katya Lezin just published another book, this oneBut I Just Grew Out My Bangs!: A Cancer Tale” recounts her life during her battle with ovarian cancer.  Actually, to be fair, Katya recounts the lives of her entire family, as she and they do battle with this often mortal enemy.  My take on her book is that it could have been titled, “Katya: A Love Story”.
Her tale, and it is a tale, hard to put down, wonderfully written, witty, sarcastic, awful in her details of the battle, is as much about love as it is about cancer. I was trying to understand how such a book was possible. It’s kind of like a book about climbing Mt. Everest, while simultaneously falling in love with your climbing team captain. You get all the details about just how hard it is to climb Everest, but you come away thinking, “wow, they really fell in love.”
Katya is unsparing in her detailed descriptions of her surgeries, and, most especially, her chemo, which provides much of both the horror of the treatment, but also the successful outcome—spoiler alert: Katya has survived and is now free of the cancer.
Katya is a special kind of person. She is someone who would make the best multitasking people in the world seem like slackers. If she isn’t doing six things at the same time, she is unfulfilled.  Her love for life, and her love for her family—a devoted husband and three wonderful, loving children, is what makes this book very special.  Throughout her battle, they are there, surrounding her in the glow of their love.  But her network of friends and medical partners also contribute heavily to her tale. Collectively, they help to assure her passage through this hellish period. 
Having seen her after her hair has grown back and after she has finished writing her book, we are amazed. She remains Katya, and that says a lot.
A wonderful tale, told by a very special person.  Her books are available at bookstores and at

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First News of 2013

Headline: ALABAMA wins title as Number One Football Factory in the US of A!!! Yay!!!

And in other news, the President has nominated John Brennan to head the most dysfunctional agency in the US Government, the CIA, aka the Counter Intuitive Agency.  The CIA is perhaps best known for missing the fall of the Soviet Empire; other biggies include failing to give hints as to the takeover of Iran by religious terrorists in the late 1970s, and for being clueless about the guys planning to crash into the World Trade Center.  So, Mr. Brennan will have his hands full as soon as the dysfunctional Congressional republicans  finish sucking their thumbs in the corner of the Senate floor and get on with his confirmation process. With Mitch (one-term) McConnell in charge of the Republican senators, it is at best uncertain when republicans will be allowed to rejoin the Congress.  Mr. McConnell is still smarting a bit after he failed in his effort to push his colleagues over the fiscal cliff without parachutes.
The nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of War will also engender some hate mail from the republican chicken hawk contingent, but that surely cannot be regarded as news, in any sensible definition of that term.

And this just in. Global giant Bank of America has just announced formally that it is getting out of the banking business altogether. Willie Sutton III, the company spokesman, laughed as he made the announcement. " Yeah, we finally realized that we have no clue how to run a bank any more. So, we are planning on focusing instead on what we do best--on-line gambling. We have applied for a gambling license, so Las vegas, watch out."