Tag Archives: humor

Thanksgiving Dinner After Action Review

No one has ever accused me of being handy in the kitchen. But still I decided that preparing Thanksgiving dinner for some of my college friends was a good idea.

The results were, well, mixed.

Since I rarely eat salad, the healthy one which had been prepared remained in the refrigerator until I suddenly remembered it mid way through desert. There were no takers by then. Same with the rolls, which sat, forgotten, in the oven until long after dinner was finished.  By then the soft rolls were the consistency of hockey pucks.

One of my friends really likes cranberry sauce so I made it–organic, from scratch with fresh cranberries.  Now, in this household when adding ingredients to any recipe, to prevent spills on the floor or counter, everything is measured out over the mixing bowl. (What could go wrong?)  Since I’m hopelessly clumsy at this whole measuring thing, nothing ever comes out exactly as specified in a recipe.  And, to exacerbate the cranberry sauce mis-measurement, the 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon was unlocatable so the 1/2 teaspoon one was substituted.  Half, fourth, how much difference could it make?

Turns out, a lot.  Doubling the amount of allspice, and adding in the ubiquitous overspill kind of overwhelmed the cranberry taste–and that of the other ingredients as well.  Apparently my friend is not all that fond of allspice sauce, which is what it turned out to be.  He ate one bite and skipped the rest of it.  But it was a beautiful cranberry red and aesthetically pleasing.

Because one of my friends has diabetes, palm sugar was substituted for half the cane sugar in the pumpkin pie.  Coconut flour tastes better than wheat flour so that substitution was also made.  And, of course, organic pumpkin pie filling was a must.  The manufacturer apparently subscribes to the axiom that organic food should taste like hay, though, so that was less than epic.

Unfortunately, the Wholly Wholesome pre-made organic frozen pie crust fell apart as soon as it was unrolled.  There are two crusts in each package and two pies were planned but the first crust was not salvageable no matter how I tried to club it into submission.  It wound up in the trash.  Even by piecing the second one together and rolling the hell out of it with a rolling pin, the crust was awful.  The trick to flaky golden pie crust, Mom used to say,  is to handle it as little as possible.  But by the time this crust was put into the pie pan it had been brutalized into the right shape but the consistency turned out a bit differently.  It could easily have been made into shoe soles if there’d been a utensil that could cut it into the right shape.  Yep, after I was through with it a pair of pie crust sandals would not have been an impossibility if only there’d been a bandsaw handy.

When it came out of the oven the pumpkin pie looked as if it had some sort of hideous skin disease.  Apparently the substituted items do not have the same blending properties as the original recipe items.  However, by cutting the slices very selectively it was possible to get a couple of pieces which looked deformed but not diseased.

The turkey was roasted in one of those oven bags.  That was after opening the first package of oven bags only to find it contained the instructions and the ties but no bags.  A half hour trip to the grocery store to get new ones ruined the carefully planned cooking logistics.

The instructions say to be careful that the bag doesn’t touch the oven sides or the oven’s heating element.  So it was tied extra tight to prevent that.  Unfortunately that made the plastic bag meld to the turkey because it melted tight against it.  That made it impossible to separate bag and turkey so what was put on the table was a naked turkey.  The fused, plastic encrusted skin was in the trash.  The turkey, therefore, wasn’t golden brown, it was sort of grayish white. It had a faint aftertaste of burned plastic too.  That probably wasn’t intended by the bag makers.

On the upside,  it did go well aesthetically with the skin-diseased-looking pumpkin pie.  Cravenly I pretended that the mottled look was what I’d been aiming for all along, although no plausible reason presented itself as an explanation for doing so.

Too bad I forgot the chocolate chip cookie dough made the day before.  It was still in the refrigerator after everyone left.  So there were chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven for breakfast the following morning.

For some reason my little hand held mixer wasn’t up to whipping the potatoes, which had been steamed to a fare-thee-well to make them whip up extra soft.  They turned out chunky instead of whipped even though I beat those little buggers for 15 minutes.  They didn’t even make it to the lumpy phase!  Still, butter and gravy can fix almost any potato misstep.  Almost. 

There was still the fallback garlic butter as a hedge for the potatoes should the gravy fail.  There was plenty of that since the rolls had been forgotten in the oven.  Unfortunately, the garlic turned out to be eye wateringly stronger than anticipated.  The butter couldn’t be tasted at all.

About the gravy.  Well, the best that could be said was that it matched the gray in the turkey and the mottled pumpkin pie.  Now, I know how to make gravy and do it all the time.  So there’s no explanation for the consistency and color.  And the consistency?  In this case that gravy could have been used for mortar to hold a brick wall together.

The veggies and rice looked beautiful.  But none of us eat rice and veggies so that was a pointless entry in the eat-a-thon that is supposed to be emblematic of Thanksgiving.

The one thing that came out okay was the made from scratch organic calamondin pie with real whipped cream.  Well, except, because of the aforementioned structural deficiency of the first pie crust that went in the trash, I had to get a pre-made non-organic graham cracker pie crust.  And that absorbed a lot of the fruit juice, ultimately making the baked pie filling the consistency of Gorilla Glue.  But it was edible.  More or less.

So dinner was a great success.  There was no overeating and no one went home stuffed.  Not even the turkey.  (Let’s skip the dressing review and just leave it that it was something less than memorable or edible.)

At least my friends could see that a lot of effort went into the failed enterprise and, being easy going guys they probably cut me some slack on the edibility of the dinner.  They also probably headed for Cracker Barrel on the way home



Conquest — What’s in It for the Conqueror?

Since we seem to be heading back into the Middle Ages, I’ve been reading up on the history of those grim centuries.  William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, King of England, invaded Britain in October of 1066 and won the Battle of Hastings, and the country of England.  (The Welsh took a lot longer to be subdued.)  By Easter of 1067, William, having been crowned William I, King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at nearly new Westminster Abbey, returned to the family home at Fecamp, Normandy and had a huge party.  (Earl Harold Godwinsson had also been crowned in that abbey, on January 6, 1066, succeeding Edward the C0nfessor and totally pissing off William, Duke of Normandy who was pretty sure that damn crown was supposed to be his.)

Various historical sources provide details.  This one below, from Orderic Vitalis’ “The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, Vol. 2” (Forester translation) speaks volumes about the luxury to which William was quickly becoming accustomed.  Supposedly he brought everything he’d captured in England with him when he returned for the Easter festivities at the small Northwest French harbor town–even people whose number included many nobles who were not specifically called hostages, but were.

…The feast of Easter was kept at the abbey of the Holy
Trinity at Fecamp, where a great number of bishops, abbots,
and nobles assembled. Earl Radulph, father-in-law of
Phillip king of France- with many of the French nobility,
were also there beholding with curiosity the long-haired
natives of English-Britain, and admiring the garments of
gold tissue, enriched with bullion, worn by the king and his
courtiers. They also were greatly struck with the beauty of
the gold and silver plate, and the horns tipped with gold at
both extremities. …

So that’s what it’s all about?  Snazzy duds, including “garments of gold tissue” and  “horns tipped with gold at both extremities”?  Is that like, the emperor has no clothes?   One has to wonder–was gold tissue to be worn over more substantially woven clothing?  It sounds, well, itchy.

The Hastings invasion sounds pretty much like the Vikings’ original 793 invasion of England at Lindisfarne.  By the time of William II, Duke of Normandy that country was wealthy, fat and soft, ripe for another round of plundering.  William II, Duke of Normandy was only five generations removed from his gr gr gr grandfather, Rollo the Viking.  (The succession was; from Rollo’s son, William le “Longue Epee” styled Duke of Normandy,  to his son Richard I, Duke of Normandy, “Sans Peur” (“the Fearless”) to his son, Richard II, Duke of Normandy (“the Good”) to his son Richard III Duke of Normandy who was succeeded by his brother Robert I, Duke of Normandy (either “the Devil” or “the Magnificent” depending on who’s doing the talking,) who was the father of William (“the Bastard” or “the Conqueror” depending on who’s doing the talking).  William’s conquest was just another Viking invasion.  You might say it was sort of an “apple not falling far from the tree” kind of thing.  It was often speculated that Robert (“the Devil”so called because of suspected fratricide, or “the Magnificent” because, well, I don’t know why) had his brother bumped off so he could have the Duke of Normandy title, but this was never proven.  William,the Conqueror, gr gr gr grandson of Rollo the Viking, conquered England just 273 years after the Vikings first came a-raiding at Lindisfarne.

It’s common knowledge that when William I of England died, his servants stole everything they could carry and left him, basically, lying in his underwear.   Then his corpse wasn’t attended to in a timely manner and it swelled up, then burst during the attempt to inter William.

What isn’t such common knowledge (I think) is that at William’s funeral, before he popped, someone spoke up with a claim to the patch of ground he was to be buried in.  Turns out William had ripped off the land from this guy’s father years before.  So the knights and family retainers had to take up a collection to pay off the gravesite claimant in order for the ill-fated funeral to proceed.  (Can’t ya just see them looking at each other, rolling their eyes and waiting for someone else to cough up some cash.)

Apparently, after the Conqueror’s corpse popped open there was an unbearable stench and the services were hastily concluded.  That would be by the clerics whose livelihoods had been provided for generously by William for decades but who wouldn’t even endure his stinking corpse long enough to provide a moment or two of dignity for the much abused dead king.

Yeah, generally there are plenty of assets in it for conquerors.  But in the long run, the second he (or she) is vulnerable, supporters and sycophants will take all their stuff and leave them lyin’ dead on the floor in their underwear.  They can’t even count on a decent burial.

Humans are such a mystery!  They seem smart but keep making the same mistakes over and over again.




“Lock Her Up” “Have him flogged” “Lock Her Up” “Have Him Flogged”

To the humor impaired:  This is satire.

Q.  What Do Donald Trump and King Henry II of England Have In Common?

A.  They both made remarks that were construed as hinting that they’d sure appreciate it if someone would get rid of a political opponent, and then gave passive aggressive responses to the resultant firestorm of criticism.  (”Whaaat?” “Was it something I said?” “I was just kidding.”)

Maybe King Henry II’s voluntary penance (flogging) for his faux pas of seemingly wishing for political assassination could be extended to Mr. Trump as well.   Think of it.  It’d be a huge media event that would entertain millions.  The Donald would get tons of attention, which he seeks as resolutelyly as Diogenes, the ancient Greek with the lantern who was unendingly searching for an honest man.  Maybe the pros would outweigh the cons for the ever-surprising Mr.
Trump and he’d agree to the gaudy spectacle.

Henry II was famous for his rages when anyone opposed his will.  After his best bud, Thomas a Becket became Archbishop of Canterbury the two had a falling out over the separation of Church and State.  They had a huge fight about it and in 1164 Thomas ultimately had to scoot to exile in France, where he remained for six years.  (King Henry was really pissed off!)  Eventually, in 1170, Henry and Thomas were reconciled and the archbishop returned to England.  But it was an uneasy truce.

Only a few months after Thomas returned to Canterbury, the two were again at
loggerheads.  The precipitating issue was whether Church or State had judicial authority over clerics.  Apparently many monks had been overly frisky, some even murderous.  Thomas believed only the pope had any authority over religious matters and denounced some bishops during his mass on Christmas Day, 1170, which was interpreted as him excommunicating them.   Henry wanted them reinstated, because he maintained that the clerics’ misdeeds were up to the State to punish (or not).   Thomas said no.

Henry was, as usual, enraged when he didn’t get his way.  He was, in France at the time,  and huffed “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” or something along those lines.  Four of his knights were only too happy to oblige their liege lord.

The knights crossed into England and raced for Canterbury.  On December 29, 1170 they caught Becket at the cathedral saying Vespers.  They carved him up. Literally.  The crown of Becket’s head was cut off.   One of the knights delivered a crushing blow to the prostrate Thomas’s head, spilling his brains out right in front of the altar.  Ick!  Even for a king having an archbishop’s brains squashed out at a cathedral’s altar was way too over the top.

So Henry was forced to agree to do penance, which included being publicly flogged by the monks of Canterbury, in the cathedral.

Even though, fortunately, no one took the Donald up on his provocative solicitation of violence, there are plenty of people who’d still love to see him publicly flogged.  It could be done at St. Edward’s Catholic church in Palm Beach–there’s plenty of parking behind nearby Green’s drugstore. (Finding parking is a real problem in Palm Beach.)

Mr. Trump ‘s handlers could sell the idea to him by focusing on the linkage between him and a king.  Yeah, the Donald in sackcloth and ashes, the Catholic priests whaling on him (the Episcopalians at Palm Beach’s Bethesda by the Sea church might go too easy on protestant Trump) cameras rolling, media flacks gabbling like excited geese–it would be the event of the election season.

Maybe some RNC members could be induced to join the floggers.  Catholic Paul Ryan would go for it, and Reince Priebus might be all in as well.   Maybe it could be a bi-partisan fund-raiser for charity.  MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and
Mika Brzezinski could be the fair and balanced moderators. (Or maybe Stephen Colbert would be a better fit–he’s Catholic.)  It would be awesome theater.

And it would give Democrats an answer to the Republicans’ chant of “Lock her up”.   Dems can start start chanting “Have him flogged”.

Somebody, please, start a petition to have the Donald do penance the Henry II way.   Pretty sure it would garner the number of signatures required for the White House to address it.  President Obama, always a good sport, would probably be okay with it.

What would Jesus say?  “Flogging doesn’t sound so bad compared to what I had to do to save your damn souls.  Go for it.”

Say Hallelujah.  This is an idea whose time has come.

Newt’s Nuts, No?

No, the title’s not referring to Newt’s seemingly overactive, pure brass ‘nads, it’s a reference to his seemingly impaired mental health.  Newt sure seems to be flat out delusional about more than just his vaunted intellect, which, because it’s being compared to some of the gibbering fools in congress, may appear more robust than is warranted.  That whole, “he’s so smart” thing is more of a “one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind” phenomenon than anything else.  Just because he seems nominally aware that there is such a thing as scientific inquiry, not to mention technology, that doesn’t make him smart.  He constantly makes errors of historical fact while claiming that he was paid millions for being a historian to, among others, Fannie Mae.  And there’s no demonstrable proof that he actually understands any science at all, only that he knows enough to drop a few buzzwords, probably provided by Frank Luntz or Karl Rove.  Newt doesn’t seem all that smart, but ya gotta give him high marks for self promotion.  He’s relentless at that.

How is it no one seems to have noticed, except possibly Rick Santorum, that Newt Gingrich appears to be nuttier than a fruitcake?  Apparently there are no mirrors in the Gingrich household, either.  While he fancies himself a ladies’ man, face it, Newt’s a tubby, unattractive old man who seems an improbable choice for Lothario.  How has it been forgotten that he was a complete failure the one time he was given a chance at a national leadership position, yet he seems to view himself as akin to the second coming.  Yeah, hit the showers, Jesus, Newt’s on deck.  (What would Jesus say?  “Zip it, Newt.”)

Have ya paid attention to the number of truly important historical figures with whom Newt equates himself?  January 21 on “Morning Joe” someone read a long list of Newt’s imagined equivalent luminaries.  Mind boggling is probably not an extravagant enough description to convey just how truly stunning the delusional narcissism that list revealed, is.  He says he has grandiose ideas but they seem more like delusions of grandeur to a less biased audience than he.

Speaking of his delusions, ol’ Newt’s been going on about how he wants to “bloody his nose” and he’s “the only one who can go toe to toe” of/with the president.  Brave words from a guy who hasn’t lifted anything heavier than a pork chop in many a decade.  The president seems pretty fit, about a foot taller than Newt, and probably has a lot more IQ points as well.

And leave it to the darn republicans–who seem to be determined to bring the country down so their corporate masters and donors will no longer have any rules to constrain them–to insult our collective intelligence by proffering a raging nutcake to us as a viable presidential choice.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, for a change, republicans actually sent us a candidate with empirically demonstrable qualifications for national office?  In Newt’s case, I wanna see the psychiatrist’s report before I have to listen to one more blast of bombast, blowhardery, self congratulation, or delusional rant.  Gimme certification that he’s not certifiable.  I used to be a republican but those people are way too far out for normal people today.

His performance at last week’s last debate was hilarious.  Gettin’ all up on his high horse when asked a perfectly reasonable question which speaks to his character or lack thereof, i.e. wife number two’s allegations.  All that huffing and puffing by Newt managed to keep wimpy John King from pursuing a perfectly sensible line of questioning.  If Newt would betray two wives–and a wife is presumably a husband’s best friend–what do ya s’pose he’d do to us for whom he has such obvious contempt.  Not to mention another obvious, but–he was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for adulterous behavior with an intern back while he, Newt with a spouse, was banging a staffer.  Give the man an “A” for hypocrisy.

As far as wife number two thinking her awful revelations would damage Newt, my guess is most people, taking note of her role as mistress during wife number one’s health crisis, thought she pretty much got what she deserved.  That Newt is a hound to have treated either of his wives so badly seems to have gotten lost in the blitzkrieg of his affronted protestations of shock that someone would dare to ask of him the same level of comportment as he demands of others.

Aside from the trust and character issues, can ya imagine what a Newt presidency would be like?  That’s an ego that’d be wanting a lot of propping up, based upon his own words and behavior.  It’s too dreary to contemplate.  His main talent, other than self promotion, seems to be rooted in his demonstrated perfect pitch for dog whistle politics.  Yeh, wow, to repeat a cable news flack’s observation, he put both the media and a black journalist in their places in one week.  Golly!  That sure proves that he has the ability to run the collective affairs of 310 million people.

And speaking of not all that bright, wasn’t it Ron Paul who was asking just the other day why government has to get bigger and bigger?  Ooh, ooh, lemme guess.  Because we add several million new citizens to the population every year?  Because prior years’ budget obligations don’t necessarily hit the books for a year or two, (which means “W” programs are just now winding down BTW)?  Because the ninnies in congress can’t do math?  Because donors and cronies tell congress what programs to allocate funding for and in what amounts?

Let’s forget fiscal reality, put it aside for more substantive considerations.  Entertainment possibilities.  Isn’t everyone tired of the debates?  Instead how about a consultants’ cage match?  Frank Luntz, Newt, and Karl Rove, mano à mano in the cage, all oiled up in front of a frenzied crowd of martini fueled screaming tea baggers.  Maybe toss in Rush Limbaugh at the last minute to raise the blood lust level.  It’s be a ratings smash.  Democrat or republican, wouldn’t you watch it?  Yeah, I thought so.

How much longer ‘til election day?

Bits and Pieces

Someone just has to tell the TV “news” people, enough with the minute to minute election coverage.  In 2008 it was like an incredibly exciting Breeder’s Cup horse race.  In 2012 it’s more like the pig races at the county fair where monkeys dressed up in little cowboy outfits serve as jockeys.  Jeez 24/7/365 coverage is soooo not warranted.  Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot at stake, and all this coverage only serves to remind us that we have no national leaders who are competent to do anything other than beg for money and yap interminably about fake issues while ignoring any of the serious problems confronting our country.

Despite the overkill, there was an interesting tidbit tucked away in all the news drivia (drivel + trivia) about candidate Mitt Romney though.  Bain Capital was started, in part, with seed money from Latin America.  Yeah they do that here in South Florida too.  Except here we call it money laundering.

Remember portly Newt Gingrich bitching about black people?  (“Demand a paycheck not food stamps.”)  Isn’t that a bit disingenuous?  Okay, hypocritical.  He’s out there every day beggin’ for donations–which BTW is NOT the same thing as working for a paycheck, it’s free money–while copping free meals from the faithful.  A few days ago there was something in the news about ol’ Newt having two campaign dinners and a luncheon in one day.  Yeah, he’s  stuffing his fat face with free food and castigating black people about food stamps.  Do as I say, not as I do, eh, Newt?  Take your own advice pal.  First go home and take a shower, wash those gravy stains off your chin then go get a job.  Cuz beggin’ for money is not a job, nor is selling bogus awards–as abundantly reported by Rachel Maddow and others–at $5,000 a pop.  Yeah, get a real job you hypocrite!

Thirty seconds or so of clips of the republican debate seemed oddly familiar.  Then it became clear.  The great comedy movie, “Dr. Strangelove” was on TV the other day.  These kooks in the republican field could have come straight from that script.  Rick Perry = George C. Scott.  Newt Gingrich = Dr. Strangelove as played by Peter Sellars.  Rick Santorum = Keenan Wynn.  Mitt Romney = the British colonel also played by Peter Sellars.  It was a hilarious movie but it’s kind of unsettling when the characters from it turn up running for president.

So, instead of watching the news, the other day I turned to an old cowboy movie, the one with Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid.  But nooo, ya can’t just spend a couple of hours watching a shoot ‘em up, some genius had decided to insert “story notes” right into the movie.  Uh, isn’t the whole purpose of movies to create an alternate reality which draws the audience into the story?  The story notes were like having an annoying viewer in the row behind ya explaining every detail loudly while you’re just trying to get a little entertainment.  Totally ruins the show.

Moving on to another topic, we have some real dumb asses in Florida.  Some guy tried to bribe a cop with Dolphins tickets.  Seriously?  Isn’t the salient point of bribery to give something of value in return for illegal behavior?  Somehow I don’t see Dolphins tickets as much of an incentive.  Has anyone actually watched them play?  What idiot would risk jail time for bribery by so insulting a cop as to suggest that he’d roll over for Dolphins tickets?  Jeez!

Marines urinating on corpses?  Of course it’s not okay but wasn’t there a recent incident where an Afghan woman was brutally tortured, killed, skinned and her naked body thrown into the street?  And there’s no guarantee that she was skinned after being killed either.  Hamid Karzai is so offended by our Marines but was there a single peep out of him at this outrageous act?  No.  That’s different.  The victim was a woman.  That was perfectly okay with the Afghanis.  Shut up about our Marines.  Yes, it was an egregiously disrespectful act by them to piss on the bodies.  But we don’t know what those bodies had done to incur such behavior by our guys.  As far as I’m concerned, given what the Taliban do to women, they deserve no protection whatsoever.  The only reason to sanction our Marines is because they lower themselves by behaving this way but, make no mistake, in my book the Taliban deserve no respect.

Jesus Plays Ball & Battle of the Lilliputians

Has anyone been paying attention to the fact that, at his advanced age, Jesus has taken up pro football?  Apparently he favors the quarterback option play which, again, is surprising for a man of his age.  You’d think he’d be more reliant on the passing game than the running one but, noooope, he can scramble.  Or one might think that  he’d opt for Lou Groza’s career extender, the kicking game.  Btu heck no, he has no trouble leaving the pocket and taking off on a broken field run at the drop of a hat.  But at least he has the manners to stick with pro football, thus avoiding any possible contests against his Mom’s college team from South Bend, the Fighting Irish.

And speaking of Jesus, all the media scrutiny of the republican hack pack running for president revealed something new about one of the stellar front runners for the GOP presidential nomination.  When it was his turn to serve, Mitt Romney opted for draft dodging not bullet dodging just as his predecessor, “W” did.   (Funny isn’t it, how hawkish these guys are when it’s somebody else who’ll be doing the bullet dodging?)  But Mitt wasn’t skulking around in Texas or hiding out in Maine while dodging the draft.  Nope, according to the ever-factual TV news media, his deferment was for being a missionary in FRANCE!  France?  Do they need missionaries there?  Didn’t they have a fairly substantial religious infrastructure  to handle all faiths and belief systems already?

Seriously.  A missionary in France.  And he’s gonna send other people out to die while when it was his turn he kicked back in France until the heat was off.  Yeah, while other kids were getting blown away in the godforsaken country of Vietnam, that SOB Romney was kicking back ministering to the faithful in that heathen country, France.  Culling the faithful over a robust Bordeaux and a plate of escargot?  Nice work for a man of such faith.

And is it just me or does the video of Ron and Rand Paul together put one in mind of Bilbo and Frodo sharing a moment?  Has anyone looked at their feet to see if they’re actually hobbits?  Because they sure look like ‘em.  Maybe Ron Paul should play up that angle–there are so many Lord of the Rings fans out there, he might be able to tap into a whole new demographic.

Newt, of course, has bragging rights.  No, not for actual accomplishments, he’s just the best braggart in the race.  He modestly places himself in the same league with Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill, despite being a sleazy huckster who makes a living selling bogus awards at $5,000 bucks a pop.

And he’s also a great lecturer.  Right now he’s busy lecturing black people about their sense of entitlement.  He’s referring to the fact that they seem to feel entitled to eat.  Newt, who appears not to have missed a meal ever, tells them to just demand paychecks, not food stamps.  Yeah, man, just get a job.  As if they haven’t been trying.  Here’s a tip Newt, since you obviously know nothing about the process of going hungry.  It takes awhile to get a job, and get paid for the first time.  In the interim, people, and more importantly, their minor children, need to eat.  Granted, it also takes awhile to starve to death, so maybe those pesky poor people could hold out long enough to be able to buy food.  But it’s supposedly pretty painful to be seriously hungry.  I would suggest someone locking Newt in a room for a week with only water, then see how he feels about it.

And don’t think for a moment this is an endorsement of Obama.  That cynical opportunist pitched the right to due process overboard and signed the defense bill that was the vessel for that travesty.  And then issued a signing statement that he had reservations.  Yeah, reservations, but not a shred of principle which might have caused him to act on those reservations to protect civil liberties.   Nearly 800 years of established legal principle and he tosses it overboard because it’s necessary for his re-election not to be seen as weak.  Too bad the only thing he’s not weak about is pursuing his own ambition and self interest.

Obama’s turned out to be not much more than a good marketing campaign.  On the upside, after he’s done being president maybe he can get a marketing job.  I can see him, with his verbal skills, being very successful writing ad jingles for TV commercials.  He might even be able to come up with something as iconic as “leggo my eggo” or maybe “please don’t squeeze the Charmin”.

What a bunch of dogs we have running for president. Although actually, it’s disrespectful to dogs to compare them to the seedy lumps of protoplasm we are being served up for our presidential choices.  Ugh.  It’s a real battle of the Lilliputians.

But meanwhile, there are dolphins hunting in the river, and manatees trying to stay warm, all sorts of wading birds and shorebirds are foraging daily on the flats and eagles and osprey ARE snatching fish from the river too.  it’s a nice distraction from the unhealthy and pestilential goo that is our presidential election.

What’s the Thinking?

Well, time to get back to carping, uh, I mean commenting on the mystifying times in which we live.  Everyone knows we humans are supposed to be rational animals.  So, whenever I observe something mystifying, I try to envision the process which led to that thing, condition, event, etc.  Sometimes I write about it despite the empirically verifiable fact that no one seems to be clamoring for my opinion.  With humans, backtracking a thought process can be a complex undertaking.  How to explain Callista Gingrich’s “look” is an example.  What choices led to that?

But something far more amazing deserves attention.  There is a new fascinating technology that has driven all else from mind.  It’s the repair-in-a-can goo I see on TV.  Jeez, a guy sprays stuff on a screen door, puts it in the bottom of a boat and floats it around.  Instead of, as the announcer points out, wasting thousands on repairing your most valuable asset, instead of hiring licensed subcontractors, if your structure has leakage issues, why don’t you people seeking to renovate, buy a couple of cans of building fix-a-flat instead.  That’s the marketing message.  Yeah, why bother to get a problem diagnosed and repaired by a professional when ya can get spray cans of rubberized liquid to stop up holes in roofs, drains, pipes, etc ?  Who cares what might be causing the problem, just spray until the visible dripping stops.  Good plan.  The guy touting it’s floating around in a boat with a screen door for a bottom, for Pete’s sake.  That’s gotta be the gold standard for proof of efficacy.  Case closed.  Stop wasting money on competent professionals, just spray the hell out of whatever seems to be leaking.  To quote Christopher Walken from an unrelated context, “Zowie!”.

Well, Iowa is over.  The feeding frenzy of drivia overkill surrounding the caucuses is over.  Or just beginning.  Sigh.  With months of blowhards venting to look forward to, I confess to being daunted by the hyper-excited state of election media coverage.  If only the actual voters and stakeholders had the energy the media does in pursuing the non-stories that are the republican candidates.  The only rational explanation for the dead pan demeanors of the media reps reporting on this travesty of a presidential candidate field is–botox.  How else could they all refrain from laughter or disdain being evidenced by a frown, a sneer, a tongue-in-cheek smirk, other than by paralysis of facial muscles.

After all the hyperventilating over Iowa, turns out, the votes aren’t binding and it’s not winner take all, and the total number of votes toward nomination are relatively insignificant to begin with.  It was, essentially, meaningless.  Millions spent, for…uh, what?  The thought process here is…what?

It was daunting watching the interviews of caucus goers.  One woman opined that she thought one of the candidates had “good family values” and, since she has a family, she voted for him.  Seriously?  That’s the criteria?  Espoused family values?  Come on!  This is a country of 310 million people who own a bunch of valuable stuff, have a lot of conflicting interests and have complex businesses to be taken care of.  It requires a pretty rarefied set of innate talent, intelligence, education, ability and skills to manage the collective affairs of 310 million people.  We need a far more restrictive set of required qualifications than that someone espouses family values.  Come on people, focus.  This is a job interview for CEO of the free world–at least for the moment–and ya can’t be voting for every gonzo goofball that pops up on the TV screen.

And since the media is obviously starved for real news, why has there been no outcry over the president’s signing of the defense spending bill that included the nullification of the right to due process?  How is that possible anyway?  To repeal a constitutional amendment without, no pun intended, due process?  How can that be?  Isn’t there a required process for repealing a constitutional amendment?  And how is President Obama looking himself in the mirror after that?  The right to detain people indefinitely without due process goes against accepted legal principle and practice that has been firmly rooted in English and United States law for nearly 800 years.  President Obama taught constitutional law.  He knows better.  And for him to say, well, don’t worry, I won’t detain American citizens without due process is silly.  How long will he be in office?  And then what?  Who might possibly follow at some point downstream?  This is really dangerous stuff and the media has barely a peep to say about it.

Yeah, Mr. Pres, how about Clause 39 of the Magna Carta?  Remember that?  Clause 39 read “No man shall be taken ,imprisoned, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.”  That was the basis for the sixth amendment to the constitution, part of  the Bill of Rights.  The forerunner of the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution–you remember that, no?

Remember Maud DeBraose and her eldest son, William, walled up in Corfe Castle by King John?  Starved to death in the early thirteenth century, without trial, representation or even formal charges.  That was one of the events which lead the Barons to compel King John to sign the Magna Carta in the first place.  That was what they were referring to, among many other incidents, when Clause 39 was included.

Clause 39.  800 years.  And our president signed the damn defense bill that pitched it overboard.  That’s not exactly the change I was hoping for.

Election 2012.  Clowns at the circus or a cynical president who will sacrifice any principle to get re-elected.  Hardly the battle of the Titans, no?  What’s the thinking here?