Who’s That Growling Under my Bed?

Mama said one night when she was a little bitty girl the grownups were talking politics and had sent her off to beddy-bye when she came running out crying, “Help! There’s a big bad dema-crack under my bed!”

That’s just the way I feel. And it could just as well be a big bad publican or a librarian under my bed! The fear mongers are out! Hard times are coming, the worse that ever was. It strikes fear to my very soul. You think things are bad? they say. Just wait, if you vote for them, you haven’t seen bad yet. Vote for us, we’ll save you and the whole country!

My gosh! My heart’s pounding, my blood is running cold. I’d better run out and vote for our libelators. Except it’s not Election Day yet. I can’t. Darn. But wait a minute, the other side is saying the same thing.

Oh, politics as usual.

A Boil on the Presidency?

If you’ve ever suffered from boils you know how painful they are. They have to be lanced and drained in order to heal.

Although I don’t remember the following family story as I was only a toddler, an older brother told me about the days when we lived in poverty due to the early death of our father.

The trouble began with an outbreak of boils. To bring the boils to a head and give relief from the pain our mother applied hot compresses, probably from a solution of Epsom salts, and/or soda and boric acid powder in boiling water.

But more boils continued to break out. Finally, Mom sought the advice of a wise old hill woman who told her we were all suffering from an evil in the blood. She said to have the older boys gather burdock, a weed that was plentiful in the hills, and make a tea from it. Everyone in the family should drink the tea and it would soon remove the evil that was tainting our blood. At last we found relief.

I researched and found that burdock has been used since the Middle Ages as a blood purifier and treatment for boils. As well as a host of other ailments. Interestingly, the article’s advice was: “Do not gather burdock in the wild.”

Evidently because “The roots of burdock closely resembles those of belladonna or deadly nightshade”. Now was that a narrow escape or what? One mistake and the solution to our problem might’ve killed us. Not unlike, I think, some treatments for cancer today that kill the good cells as well as the bad.

What a mixed-up world we live in! Everything appears to come down to trial and error. Pure luck appears to determine the outcome.

I can’t help but wonder what evil force has infected the blood of our country. Rising like a boil to the surface with hate messages running amok.

I can’t help but wonder if there is a boil on the presidency.

From Hope to Nope

An editorial in the New York Times this morning calling the Republican party “The Party of Nope” tickled my funny bone. 

It reminded me of the story of the little girl in Arizona who prayed for snow for her birthday.  Her parents, afraid the child may lose her faith in God, asked her how she felt about God not answering her prayer.   “He did answer my prayer,” she said.  “He said no.”

God has answered the prayers of more than half the country by sending us a representative to just say no to an administration that has come to believe it is now sitting in God’s seat.   Wrong assumption.

Robin Williams as The American Flag

Financial Crisis and Cashmere Hats

“I don’t like to be in this position, asking for things and, you know, answering to the American taxpayer,” Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson informed the Senate banking committee yesterday.”  I Come to You, Cashmere Hat in Hand  Dana Milbank

Some of the blame for the financial crisis obviously lies with the cult of “positive thinking”  which encouraged people to buy houses they should’ve known they couldn’t afford.  The greedy lenders did know better, but didn’t care.

I’m a strong believer in the power of positive thinking, but it only works if we’re also in touch with reality. It’s okay to have my head in the sky as long as my feet are still in touch with the ground.

The word “cashmere” in the title of Milbank’s column in the Washington Post immediately brought to mind a recent experience of mine (I, thankfully, still have a home with my daughter and her family while awaiting repairs to my own house, caught in the recent flooding in Cedar Rapids). All of my winter coats were sequestered in the basement waiting for fall, and of course they are now in the city dump.

Last week I happened into Goodwill, which has become one of my favorite stores, and a few winter coats had come in. One fit me perfectly and was in a color I like, and was also a perfect fit. The label said “manmade cashmere” which obviously means fake. But that’s okay, since I’m not used to real cashmere anyway and the cost of the coat fit my budget.

I’m now ready for cold weather and the leaves have begun to change to gold and brown. I’m watching for the red leaves, my favorite, to begin highlighting the foliage, as I walk Winston.

And while I walk Winston I think about things. Like what in the world is this country coming to, and what is going to happen on November 4th, after all the mud-slinging is at an end, and we have to make a – Gasp! Choice!

I’m merely a retired woman with hopes and dreams for my grandchildren and their future. Thankfully, my own children have done well – on their own, I might add–and are great parents. They will handle whatever comes up in the future. My own time will be drawing to a close so I’m resting from my labors, and just trying to fit the pieces together.

My children were born in the Sixties, during the Uranus conjunct Pluto generation, and, like Palin and Obama, are in their forties. I’ve always been amazed by them, their independence and involvement in the larger world, and always enjoyed listening to them debate at the dinner table, sometimes heatedly, exchanging ideas.

But I’m getting away from my subject. The “cashmere hat in hand” to cover Paulson’s bald head, I presume, speaks eloquently to the current crisis created by greed. I have no gripe with anyone preferring and/or being able to afford a cashmere hat. I even enjoy shopping at Goodwill. But I’m glad to see a little humility expressed, at least in a small way, by one of the greedy.

To Vote or Not to Vote, That is the Question

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. – Winston Churchill

I’m stumbling my way towards the voting booth. Will I or won’t I? If I don’t vote I’ll be neglecting my duty as a citizen. If I do vote I’ll be helping to choose which brand of horror the country will face as we move further into mass hysteria.

To vote or not to vote, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler -. If only Shakespeare were here, he could point me in the right direction. How come so much of our wisdom became lost in the past? Are we getting dumber every year or are we just clinging to our illusions and puns because we can’t face the real world?

Once I got past the contradiction between the image Obama projected of leading us to the Promised Land with his twirling baton and his blatant use of the race card (or having it invoked for him by the media and others while he assumed the cloak of an innocent man of virtue) and once I got past my awe and appreciation of the valiant hero McCain who sacrificed so much for his country, I realized they both present us with distorted images.

Who is the real Obama, the one who hides beneath his cloak? Judging from his past actions and the company he’s kept for the past twenty years why do so many people still trust him–simply for what he says? Which, you might notice, has also changed from one extreme to the other on important issues.  It is lofty rhetoric he excels at, until you listen to it enough times to realize how empty it is. Do we have to wait until it’s too late, until he’s in office, to see what he will do?

McCain has more to recommend him through his past actions, true heroism without the accompanying grand gestures of Kerry’s short heroic stance. But what has John McCain become? Somehow, the man we knew before 2000 seems to have disappeared and the one who took his place is looking more and more like George Bush, just older.

As for Hillary, the media accused her of feeling entitled to the presidency, yet it wasn’t Hillary but the Democratic Party that felt entitled. This was to be their year so they helped the media shoot her down, many of the party leaders believing Obama’s charm is the magic ingredient that will enthrall the country into voting the Democrats back into power. Once they fixated on Obama, the Democratic Party  stubbornly persisted in supporting him despite revelation after revelation of his lack of judgment.  They have foolishly shot themselves in both feet.

While the Republican Party, who only have half a foot left, is hopping its way towards the finish line.

The Only Thing Wrong with America

What is wrong with America, in the eyes of the intelligentsia? The same things that are right with America in the eyes of others. – Thomas Sowell

Many years ago I worked in an office with a young German woman whose father had been an officer in Hitler’s air force. During the war, she said, her father’s plane was shot down by Americans but he survived and was incarcerated in a prison camp in Oklahoma. Oddly enough, after the war her father became a US citizen and was employed by a Jew.

She described the life of luxury Hitler had provided for them due to her father’s military position, prior to his being shot down of course. Hitler had even provided the family with servants, she said: maids, nursemaids, even a cook and a butler (none of the help were German but she thought they hailed from either Poland or Holland). I got a chill. Obviously, she’d been a child and didn’t know these people were foreigners who’d been brought to Germany against their will and enslaved. But what she added next stunned me. “The only thing wrong with Hitler was his idea about the Master Race.”

I was nonplussed. It was like hearing someone say the only thing wrong with Satan was that he was evil. That phrase, “the only thing wrong with” would follow me through the years, rising suddenly to confront me, even when I’d chastise myself for a blunder I’d made. “The only thing wrong with you, Amanda, is you’re a stupid idiot.”

The only thing wrong with a serial murderer is that he kills people.

As Thomas Sowell, who happens to be a black author, says in an article in Capitalism Magazine on May 6, 2008.  “Sometimes unrelated events nevertheless tell a coherent story.”

Following is an excerpt from that article:

Like everyone else, I have also been hearing a lot lately about Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of the church that Barack Obama has belonged to for 20 years.

It is a difference between upscale demagoguery and ghetto demagoguery, playing the audience for suckers in both cases.

Both men, in their different ways, have for decades been promoting the far left vision of victimization and grievances — Wright from his pulpit and Obama in roles ranging from community organizer to the United States Senate, where he has had the farthest left voting record.

Later, when the ultimate political prize–the White House–loomed on the horizon, Obama did a complete makeover, now portraying himself as a healer of divisions.

The difference between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright is that they are addressing different audiences, using different styles adapted to those audiences.

There are those who don’t feel right about Obama. He just makes them uncomfortable. Some even question themselves because the media is accusing them of being prejudiced in an effort to shame them. But the media itself is prejudiced against working class whites (they throw all blacks into a separate category regardless of education or income) considering them uneducated if they don’t have college degrees and also racially prejudiced, as if that naturally follows.

In another article written by Sowell in December 2007 he says:

Of all the presidential candidates in both parties, Barack Obama is the best performer on stage. He has the most presence, the most command of his words, the most quietly dramatic style. What he actually says, however, is mostly warmed-over 1960s ideas that have been failing ever since the 1960s.

But the media fawns over these same speeches.

While Sowell points out that “–the Tooth Fairy’s approach has gotten more politicians elected than any economist’s analysis.”

So there you have it. The only thing wrong with America is the media, who can’t tell crap from fairy dust.