Sunday, June 17, 2012

Money Considerations, and The Court

I'm actually holding off on certain purchases and adventures because I wonder how I will handle it if the law goes forth which makes me a criminal if I do not have health insurance. I do keep a little set aside so I could pay a homeless guy to take out my appendix, should the need arise.

These are matters which do affect me.
edited to eliminate a bunch of blablabla

Who's Our Bagdad Bob?

This is the mug I gave a friend long ago, shortly after the Iraq invasion thing. I have to say, I was somewhat torn when that effort began. I've never been a fan of nation building wars or much of our foreign policy since at least the late 1940s. I wondered if maybe I was wrong, but I didn't go to the WhiteHouse and make them clear the thing through me. My bad.

OK. Forget all that because you most likely think I am wrong anyway. The cool thing was that during the invasion the Iraqi Information minister was on the airwaves assuring everyone that the US was being defeated and he had many memorable quotes about how they would roast our stomachs and such. Real name, Mohammed Saïd al-Sahaf, aka Bagdad Bob.
(Not too far from the time when Sean Penn visited what of Saddam's ministers would grant him audience, and seemed to feel that Hussein was a dandy guy. If scrutinizing Sean's efforts there and elsewhere doesn't crystalize the term 'useful idiot' for you, then nothing ever will. It was one thing to oppose the invasion, another to pretend it was a lovely, happy, free, peaceful place run by your kind, benevolent uncle.)

This is one of BB's quotes that applies to much of life and many of my days: "I must inform you that you are too far from reality". I chose the mug with that quote for Chuck because I knew he could relate. Besides, it was a somewhat ironic statement.

***Oh geez, I hope my idea of ironic is correct or the English majors will flog me. Flog away. I'd rather be educated than not. Because he implies that he is the spokesperson for what is reality, I feel justified in using the word ironic in the above context***

There were websites dedicated to his quotes. One site was called "we love the Iraqi Information minister"--all one word.

He became somewhat of a cult icon. People in the West loved him for his blatant disregard for fact and his colorful, confident manner. I think he ended up defecting to UAE or somewhere. My friend still enjoys starting the day with this celebrity.

Clearly he had to spin truth and lie if he wanted to survive, but he was great at it. I wonder if we aren't getting our official info from American versions of this guy. But who is closest to him in delivery, nerve and blatant purveyance of fiction as truth?

This guy could fill the bill were he more in the limelight. David Axelrod's Mr Potatohead eyebrow work when he talks puts him in the running.

The typical choice is always the White House Press Secretary, and Jay does deserve an honorable mention in our search for America's Baghdad Bob. But we have so many others in the media who spin things beyond reason, and have some air of officialdom about them, that they tend to make him seem mild.

Heck we have a congressman who, not so long ago, seriously asked a general in a House hearing whether moving troops to Guam would cause the island to capsize. Hank Johnson of GA. He was re-elected after this demonstration of his intellect was widely publicized. Go Georgia! If he were the press secretary, I'd say he could give Baghdad Bob a run for his money.

If Obama loses the election, more candidates for this prestigious title will surely surface. To be seriously considered, one must have some connection to officialdom, and considerable press time. Right now, since Rahm Emmanuel went back to Chicago, my money is on Jay or Mt Potatohead. When David explains things his eyebrows and mustache dance in an incongruous manner. It is as if they have a life of their own. I wish he was press secretary because then I'd watch more press conferences. As it is I can't really stomach them.

The somewhat peculiar thing is that most people know they are being fed lies from officialdom, even when being told what they want to hear. And they suspend disbelief because it is easier, all things considered. Where it takes us will be an interesting tale. A dark comedy, I suppose.

Deja vu, in an odd if-I-knew-then sort of way

So, now my youngest nephew is married. He and his excellent mate are a bit outside of tradition and mainstream, yet both manage to deal with civilization admirably. She's got a good graphic artist/industrial design gig, and he's an engineer who designs machines that build gigantic airplanes.

They did not want a big wedding with all the trimmings. They are more of the elopement school, so they announced a big party to be held in Oregon in August, informing everyone that they intended to "make it legal" sometime in the spring. And they did. They dressed up, went to the Seattle courthouse and got hitched. There is a photo of them on the courthouse steps leaping into the air. Whoever said white people can't jump was an ignorant, misinformed racist. (God, those people are everywhere, usually ferreting out imagined racism in plant names, the behavior of atoms and who knows what, in order to somehow pad their pockets or make people think they are cool)

We knew of this plan as far back as last Christmas. Now, people from all over the country will show up at a campground they rented for the first week in August. Some will tent camp, others will bed down at nearby hotels, and others will pile into the semi-cabin structures. I'll be prepared to tent it. ny date I may have thought of bringing is going to be far far away. Unless, of course, an unknown entity enters the picture between now and then.

This particular nephew has lived his life, from some point in his early twenties, very close to how I would have lived mine had I the sense at that time. He curbed his habits before he fell off the edge, totally nailed it in his last years of college, and ended up working for a very cutting edge, yet avant garde sort of a firm. The owner has had his differences with Boeing and actually managed to survive very well. Now the big boys secretly use his products, and he gets paid.

I won't belabor the culture and way of this company other than to say, sometimes an engineer decides he can make more in one of the larger outfits, then after a time returns because the bureaucracy of the large outfits drives them nuts. An employee at my nephew's place gains more hands on experience in a year than you would at a place like Boeing in ten years.

So, not only did he make the sane decisions at the same point when I fell off the edge, he held out for the right woman. They are natural together in a way that I've never known, but wished I had. I have always tried to be different or am just too nuts. Little of both, I think.

So, that part is always strange, watching my dear nephews thrive and realizing that I've had little to offer them since they were maybe 16. Perhaps my influence helped them avoid the pitfalls of being blitzed and missing out. I think, though, that things are as they should be. My brother and his wife set the example, and did so much right that their kids, while very independent and self supporting, love having their parents visit and maintain contact. They even seek their advice on issues of import to their lives. I don't think my brother or I ever did that. I avoided family for many years just to stay slightly sane.

It is good to see that the chain of dysfunctionality of the type that takes out the fun out has been broken in my family. Kudos to my brother. I am not sure I'd have managed it, although I originally wanted as many children as my hypothetical wife was willing to crank out. I discovered after divorcing my not so hypothetical wife that she wanted zero kids. Odd, considering I babbled on about that quite a bit, before and after we were united. Oh well. I still question the wisdom of divorce. I always hate to see anyone go that route.

So, here we are. Recently it dawned on me that seeking the fighter pilot thing, for which I'd passed all tests and was slated to go when an opening occurred--Florida Air Guard, may have been a bad move, had I not scrapped that plan. I'm not sure certain physical/neurological syndromes might not have proven troublesome. In my life now, when such things arise, most of the time no one's the wiser.

They are planning to play live music at this event. It will be played by people there. You can bet I'm bringing my amp. My brother is actually planning to perform a song and wants me to play along. That will be cool. He spent decades of playing but never played with anyone, or for anyone, and never sang. His middle of nowhere Montana neighbors fixed that. Now he does everything but dance. Perhaps that is next.

Just contemplating, and making no real point here. So to make a long story longer, that's it.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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