Sunday, September 26, 2010

A hit and a miss

I believe that in my lifetime, the Civil Rights Movement (and other movements for human equality) have been America's greatest achievement. These movements have resulted in greater freedom and acceptance for millions of people, in particular black people and women. In one generation, thousands of barriers have been torn down.

I believe that in my lifetime, the greatest failure in American life has been the liberal effort to move the country toward greater economic fairness and less oligarchy.

These conclusions are subject to debate, and I wouldn't be averse to being corrected. Feel free.

Todays Strangest Story --- Australia of course

Boy fined for standing on whale

Published: Sept. 26, 2010 at 7:43 AM

ALBANY, Australia, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A western Australian teenager faces a fine after being photographed standing atop a beached Southern Right Whale, officials say.

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation Albany district manager Mike Shephard said the teenager could fined up to $10,000 for "harassing wildlife"

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Caturday!

Wash your hands After every meal

Based on Cat's Little Instruction Book (Rutledge)

Add to your day -- reminiscence

CLICK for a reminiscence of the 1950's.

The Loyal Opposition

Another offering from a Tea Bag

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

some stuff

Here are some things I found on the web that I liked, and I saved them to the desktop, and in a housecleaning move, I give them to you!

FDR signs Social Security Act

Click on cartoon to enlarge it:

Monday, September 20, 2010

birth pangs

(SARCASM warning: The following item is wrought with scoffing and scorn.)

I have applied for my very own OFFICIAL Kenyan birth certificate.

I understand that you can purchase the fake ones anywhere. In fact, there's a right-wing underground industry turning them out by the millions.

But, I want mine to look like the real thing, just like Obama's.

(NOTE: If you do not understand the sarcasm, feel free to email me for an explanation.)

What we value

Click on cartoon to make it larger.
Cartoon by Barry Deutsch CLICK

Sunday, September 19, 2010

speaking of crime

In Bozeman. Montana this week:

"An officer was flagged down at about 4 a.m. by a man on South 23rd Avenue who wanted to tell the officer that a football team won."

Music and Peace

New Maestro, Brett Mitchell

In the company of my wife, and Gigi, Julie, Alice and Anne, I enjoyed supper and the Saginaw Bay Orchestra last night. Despite all the talk about crime, we all went into downtown Saginaw last night and escaped with our lives.

I hear that actually, many of the victims of crime are criminals themselves, such is the justice of the universe. Also, I see that crime stats are rising in the townships and falling in the city.

But, you know, great music helps to put all those unhappy thoughts away for at least a while.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Yesterday, Sept. 16 was the first day that really felt like autumn around here. It was dark, windy, and rainy, perfectly reminiscent of a scene out of "Salem's Lot" or "Nightmare on Elm Street." Speaking of streets, we are sure sick of the disruption of roads around us. That they're being worked on is terrific, but there are many days they just sit there, unworked on and closed.

TRASE: A wonderful mom and expecting again.


IISH MIKE : This is the car Irish Mike was driving, soberly and legally with three friends with him, when it was broadsided by an alleged drunk who blew through a stop sign. Were people hurt? Yes. Several went to the hospital and some stayed a week. No life was in the balance, and all are recovering.
And oh yes, several things of value disappeared from the scene during the rescue, including money and iphones. Bastards!

ALICE: I don't go on Facebook because I will probably say really stupid stuff and the whole world will think I'm an idiot.

GRANDDAUGHTER: Don't worry Grandma, there are already millions of idiots on Facebook.

ALICE: Gee, thanks for the encouragement.

Friend LARRY who took the picture above.

SANDY - has been in California again. Who can blame a Grandmother? Who can blame her, with such a great family there. She reports that it looks like the trip to Spain next year is definitely on and definitely open to more folks. Wanna go?

In this Picture: MARSHA is still thinking of conquering the world:

She and PAT and BUD are planning a trip to the beach in Carolina, and plan to see S. CAROLINA football defeat TENNESSEE. This could be a big year for the Gamecocks.

LIAM- the now and future monarch of our hearts.

This is CLANCY: He is so cute, handsome, and adorable, depending on your point of view.

LINDA - our friend, high on caffeine.


Today is SKUZZA'S Birthday. If you know her, congratulate her.
DASHMANN and SKUZZA and friends recommend "The American" -- a very good film.


FRIENDS on JEFFERSON: Pat, Dawn Gigi, Bob.


SCOT: This is where he loves to be -- hanging out over a cold one. He is now an official soccer ref and as he says, "gets paid for getting exercise!"



One tends to the baby and keeps the house going while one goes fishing. Which is which?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sparty writes

from Sparty, concerning the "pastor" in Florida who threatened to burn Korans on 9/11:
(Feel free to comment, to agree or disagree, or add to the discussion.)

Now that I have a few minutes to think and send emails ... this "burning the Koran" thing really interests me because of what it says about where we are as a country, and where we may be heading ...
First, any damn fool can call themselves a reverend and conduct a church service in his garage - it's what the free exercise clause is all about. That also means any damn fool can call himself a Christian. If that means following the philosophy and practice of Jesus then many of those who call themselves Christians don't have a clue. But, then, there are a lot of people who think they are patriots who don't understand our values, either.
Second, we really haven't figured out how to deal with what's happened to the traditional role of the press as the gatekeeper of news. The multiplicity of media sources has led to "who's the nut of the week" style of "journalism" so that there are no editors who have the power (for good or ill) to determine what's legitimate news and what isn't. The flood gates are open. Objectively, this guy didn't deserve any attention outside his little community but the cable folks made him an international celebrity. Of course, the cable people say if they had ignored him and he'd carried through on his Koran burning ceremony somebody would have posted it on YouTube and it would have been seen by millions anyway. In my opinion that would have been far preferable to the way the media handled it. He would have been quickly lost in the postings of people falling off ladders or dogs singing in the shower.
Third, the fabric of this society has always been fragile and this incident shows one of its fault lines - ethnic and religious hatred of the other. There is in this country right now more hatred and anger than at any time in my lifetime. It's always been there, but usually it's confined to small groups of wackos. It's much more widespread now and it is being encouraged by a national cable network. Unfortunately, this is happening when whatever skills people need to sift through half truths and outright lies are no longer being enouraged. At a time when fewer and fewer people read anything they are easily influenced by talking heads with graphics and edited film.
I know the reason behind all this is democracy, but that doesn't make it healthy. This wouldn't be the first democratic society to implode because of its own internal contradictions.

from Bud:
I would like to add a thought to this, also. I don't believe that the media are the only blame-worthy interests engaged in blowing this incident up into an international flap. I think there are lots of Christian groups out there, and individuals as well, to whom this clash between Islam and Christianity is considered a good thing, that a showdown must come, and that perhaps the showdown is the violence that ends the world. That out of this, Christ will come again.

On the other side are many Moslems who want to encourage the conflict.

I have concluded that neither the Christian nor the Islamic religions (as a force on earth) is, or deserves to be called, "a religion of peace."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

home is where the gun is

NOTE: I've consulted with my Second Amendment advisers and wish to report that the consensus opinion is that the gentleman in Eastern Kentucky who shot all those people to death was, in fact, observing the very best traditions of gun ownership. He was protecting his home, which his landlord was in the process of foreclosing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

LINDA writes

This is LINDA's list of the country's main political wackos.
Would you care to comment?
Anyone you think should be added?

Sarah Palin

Sharron Angle
Michelle Bachmann
Rand Paul
Ben Quayle
Carly Fiorina

Two notes about shopping on Labor Day

1. My wife took me to a couple of women's departments at the mall on Labor Day. There were a lot of young women/girls fingering the clothes and filing through the racks. I suppose they were school shopping. I did not see one of them I would consider well dressed. Here is how I would categorize the feminine shoppers:
group A. Those who looked like streetwalkers.
group B. Those who looked like football players in their favorite jerseys or sweatshirts and tight pants.
group C. Those who looked like they had been turned out of bed, still in their bedclothes, with not even a chance to comb.

2. In Sears, at the tool department where I went to get a lawn mower on sale, I noticed that the first Christmas merchandise was being put on shelves. Is this a record for premature consumerism?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


One of the things I've more or less stopped doing in recent months is to identify Wackos, or Wackos-of-the-Week. The reasons for this are not important. Now, two of our friends, MARI and IRISH MIKE, have told me that there is a guy in Florida who ought to be made Wacko-of-the-Week, at least. Maybe Psycho of the week!

This is "Pastor" Terry Jones, a cretin who imagines himself as a religious leader. If you can start a church and collect enough sheep to make money off, you are apparently a religious leader.

Since I happen to agree with my friends that this asshole is a deserving candidate for such a title, I hereby proclaim him Wacko-of-the-Week.

It really makes no difference what anyone says. There is no argument that exists, there is no Bible passage, there is no train of logic that could persuade this man from doing one of the dumbest things he could do. He has managed to snag the international media into a debate over whether he should or should not burn a Koran (or many, for that matter) on Sept. 11 in order to commemorate the mass murder in New York on that date. This is a fool who believes it pays to advertise.

I would also like to say that all persons who agree with him, that a good Christian thing to do would be to inflame relationships violently among the peoples of the world, are hereby designated Assistant Wackos-of-the-Week. Let us hope that such violence as you may stimulate will come to rest against your tote-cards in whatever heaven you eventually find yourselves.

being foolish

I know this to be a fact. The older I get, the more foolish I get. Soon I will become too foolish to take care of myself. Or have I already arrived?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Dashmann sent this letter that was printed in the newspaper. Dashmann says it's a better statement on "right-to-work" laws than any of us could have written.

False promises in right-to-work laws: "This state of ours is on its knees with the national economy and, compounding it, the manufacturing collapse that has devastated the families of Michigan. We have politicians who think this a good time to blindside the workers and the un employed of this great state who might vote for right-to-work laws if the politicians can paint a picture of prosperity for all.

"Don’t believe it. The only ones who benefit from right-to-work laws are corporations and their executives, with huge profit increases for them. You never will hear of the top executives of our state’s companies taking 40% salary cuts, joining with rank-and-file employees for fiscal belt-tightening, sharing the burden equitably as we go forward.

"The real statistics are proof: 21% lack health insurance in right-to-work states, workplace deaths are 51% higher, infant mortality is 16% higher.

"Research the states that now regret voting for this law — it only brought the standards of living down for the majority."

Matt Turner, Birch Run

Monday, September 6, 2010

Republican'ts and anti-Social Security crap

Look, friends, to paraphrase an economist or two or a hundred: Where is the logic in claiming that we should screw up Social Security because, if we don't, someday it will be screwed up? Everyone knows the Republican'ts, as a party --- but not necessarily as individuals --- want the program killed and their excuse is that if we don't kill it now, it will die in 40 years.

I'm glad my doctor doesn't work on that line of thinking.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Despite my previous remark about the commercialism of college sports, I watched the Michigan game and part of the Michigan State game.

Is this hypocrisy?

Friday, September 3, 2010

loose ends

A car I once owned and loved
'68 Plymouth Fury convertible

1. I have decided to mourn the loss of Pontiacs, Plymouths, and Oldsmobiles. I'll be saying a prayer. My prayers are always so influential.

2. (sarcasm warning) It occurs to me that now the state is planning to enact (if the polls are to be believed) a "right-to-work" law, we really should also be able to end this foolish Labor Day weekend, that causes so many deaths on the highways. I've also noticed that when Labor Day comes, school seems to come right after it. Maybe we can do away with that also.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald is supposed to have said that, "The rich are different from the rest of us; they have more money." (Or, something to that effect.) I have also concluded that the rich are unpatriotic, unprincipled, unethical, and unappreciative. (Is that a stereotype? ) I'm thinking in particular about the news that they are sitting on their money these days instead of investing in the economy of the nation that kissed their ass and saved their rotten capitalist system. What could possibly be their motive? Hm-m.

4. Personally, I am disturbed even more these days by the rampant commercialism of college sports. I am thinking about the "new" Michigan Stadium and the new soccer complex. It just grinds on my sense of appropriateness. There is a sentimental connection between alums and teams, it's true, and I'm always happy when my school's teams do well, but if we cannot stand back and realize what has happened to the "athletics" of the college experience, then we are pretty cold people.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


SARCASM WARNING! Because some readers claim they do not know when I am serious, this is a preemptive warning that there could be a small bit of insincerity or snarkishness in the following comments. If you don't get it, feel free to email for an explanation.

I did not like the tie Obama was wearing yesterday when he made his speech. The red color made him appear to be a know-it-all. When he seems to know it all, he cannot possibly connect well with the average American viewer. Americans don't like to think their presidents are too well informed. You'll notice, for example, that on BIG BROTHER, the men do not wear ties, and the actors have a much higher popularity rating as a result. But if they did wear ties, you can be sure they would not be red.

A much better color, if he insists on wearing a tie at all, would be yellow. Or, if he's wearing his turban, white would also be a good color. Yellow and white both complement his natural coloration and make him appear to be humble. These colors also accentuate his best quality, his teeth.

I am surprised that Michelle lets him appear on camera looking like that. I believe the whole speech should be done over with better artistic values employed by everyone concerned.

Oh, by the way, I didn't actually see the speech.