Best Teachhr

Tomorrow we’re off to one of Isabel’s street dance competitions, in the lovely town of Pisek so we might do a bit of sightseeing, although we have been there before.  It’s a lovely town, but not that big.
Had a nice day today, my bigger kids prepared a sort of crossword (very easy) but, it was an English game and they’d taken the  trouble  to  figure it out beforehand, well, at least one girl had, and she’s the one  that likes puppets and isn’t very good at learning by the usual means and takes 15 minutes to draw a house.  I figured something was up when I saw that the letters down (with no clue) spelled ‘best teacher,’ although they didn’t actually, she’d put the elephant too far to the left so it  spelled ‘best teachhr,’ which even the other kids caught, and  the she flipped open the blackboard  and she’d written ‘Wili is _________.’
Then they expected to play “Hangman” for the rest of the hour, and I wasn’t having that.

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Wrong, Wrong, My Whole Life Long

I had always thought that  Thanksgiving fell on  the last  Thursday of November, so I was a bit confused this year.  Did the powers that be try to move it  back a week to add more shopping days before Christmas? (as FDR tried to do, as a measure to jolt the economy out of the depression, but the Republicans screamed ‘tradition!’ which meant ‘We hate Roosevelt because he’s a Democrat and helps poor people’ and, for a few years  in the 30s, there was actually a Democrat Thanksgiving and a Republican Thanksgiving, but the Republicans won that battle, in the end)
No, it the 4th Thursday in November.  Fair enough.

It kind of boggles  my mind, though.  As an American, I have been celebrating Thanksgiving since before I had teeth for  the Turkey, and yet I had the date wrong.  It makes me wonder, a bit, whether I know the things I know or whether I’ve got some of them wrong.    A couple of months ago, I posted something on Facebook, something about an evil corporation, or  at any rate a large one, which wasn’t true, but I thought it  was.  I got a reply, which sounded a lot like  it came from somebody inside the company, which  was a bit flattering, although  they completely debunked what I said.  (Our name, at that point, was X, and the company you are confusing us with was Y), and I felt a bit stupid but also relieved, because  I like their food.

The way I see it is this.  I true to tell the truth, but I can’t be expected to run to google every 10 seconds because nothing would ever get written.  So, if I’m wrong about something, feel free  to let  me know and I’ll correct  it.  Until then, I’ll assume I’m right.

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No, Thank You

As I was leaving Malaysia in ’99, I was detained by the authorities… a minor thing, I thought, a bit of confusion about  a stamp in the visa, or rather the lack  thereof, when I had entered the country, just about a week or two earlier.  I hadn’t come into the country secretly, or anything.  I’d come across my border, had my luggage inspected and everything.  Not my fault they didn’t give me a stamp.
Well, I spent a night in jail, and the next day they moved me to a detention camp.  A hell hoe of a place, 2 pit toilets for a couple hundred  of us, two meals a day which  consisted of a couple of pieces of white bread and some really thin soup with a small dead fish, rather on the bony side, floating in it.
I was there for 8 days.  I  knew I  had it better than most of the people in there.  The majority were Indonesians, who had come looking for  work.  They would be detained until there were enough to fill  a boat, and then sent back.  Some were not on  the  first trip.  Some were Thais, and it  was a similar situation.  One poor guy, from Burma, was stuck.  If  they sent him back to Burma, he would  be executed, but they weren’t going  to let him out unless it was to Burma.  There was a guy from Iran,  who seemed to be kind of nuts, but I could understand that.
I fell in with  a group of Africans, partly as they were the only ones who spoke English.  Anyway, one of the other prisoners had a phone, he let me call  the American embassy, and a very nice lady there worked hard  to get me out.  Once I was out, I did pop in at the embassy to say thank you, and bring her flowers, but it was voluntary.  I wouldn’t have been berated in public if I had failed to thank her, or the president at the time, who  was Bill  Clinton.
Donald Trump’s tirade at LaVar Bell  is ridiculous.   Sure, he’s happy  his son’s home from China, but that’s kind of the State Department’s  job, and there’s no evidence that Trump was involved in the process at all.   As Ball said “If I  have to thank anybody, it’s the president of  China.”
Also, though, and this is really the problem with  Trump, one of the things that Trump does not understand:  if it is obligatory to say ‘thank you,’ then it doesn’t actually  mean ‘thank you.’  It means something else.

 

 

 

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86ed.

For quite some time now, probably  about  a year, I’ve  been  a member of a Facebook group called Berniecrats.  Well, visitor  to the page, anyway.  Saying member of the group conjures up an  image of us all meeting for tea and cookies on  Thursday  afternoons, or something, instead of a group of strangers with a political conviction in common.

Anyway, a month or two  ago, things got a bit out of hand, with the excessive number of trolls, and the admins pretty much threw up their hands.  A lot of people  left, I guess you could say the smarter ones.  I hung on, figuring it didn’t matter  if trolls were present, we outnumbered them and, besides, that gave us someone to argue with.  It does  get rather boring agreeing  with people all  the time, and that’s not at all the reason  I’m on Facebook.
Anyway, it has recently become clear  that the admins themselves are a huge part of the problem.  Either the whole thing has been an  elaborate trolling ruse from the start, or they have honestly come to the political opinion (as they claim) that Bernie betrayed the movement he started by supporting Clinton, that he should have run as an independent, or maybe a Green, or  something equally futile.  I tend to the elaborate ruse theory, since most Bernie fans are still  Bernie fans, and support him in the fights he’s waging, on our behalf, right now.
Anyway, I’ve been arguing with a couple of  them, and now find myself kicked off the site.  It’s O.K., I’ve been kicked off other sites before (including one poetry page, but I’m pretty sure politics was the reason), and I suppose what I said might have been construed as an ad hominem attack, and usually I would agree that cheap puns on people’s names are lame (as much as I  despise her, I  get real tired of people thinking they’re clever calling  her Killary, or Shillary), but Claybell Dumbfuck (the troll’s name is Collin Daybell) just tumbled from  the tips of my  typing fingers.

Whatever.  I belong to a few other Bernie sites, so this will reduce the clutter a bit.

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How to Spot a Witch Hunt?

If I’m not already on the record as thinking this whole #metoo thing has become a bit of a witch hunt, let this blog be considered as such.
I just saw a friend’s update in which she said men should  stop posting in support of women because we should have been speaking up for women all along .  I saw another one earlier who listed as enemies ‘anyone who uses the word witch hunt.’  So, we’re not supposed to criticize (or mansplain, which seems to be a word now for anything said by a man), but we’re not supposed to agree and offer support, either.  We’re not being given a lot of options here.

But it’s the Al Franken case which makes me think it’s a witch hunt.  There was an article the other day in the New York Times, which is still inexplicably in existence, saying that ‘it  might not be fair, but Al Franken should resign.’  Let me repeat that.  Even if Al Franken turns out to be completely innocent (which  I  think will happen, despite the 2nd accuser – her charge doesn’t sound much more serious than the first one), the New York Times still thinks he should be forced to resign.
Then, there was a guy (Yes, a guy) who was berating me today for being sufficiently anti-Franken, saying we shouldn’t be questioning whether the charge is serious enough or not, since he has been accused and we must believe the women.
This is insane.  When the accuser is automatically believed because if someone is accused, we must assume them guilty, then it’s a witch hunt.

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The Words in our Heads

In the ‘learn something new every day’ category, it was pointed out to me today that “Mr. Mojo Risin” is an acronym for Jim Morrison.  Well, a quick second to look and check and sure  enough, yes, it is, and my view of rock history is changed somewhat and I can imagine the etymology of the song, everybody sitting around making acronyms of  their names, who knows what they  came up  with out of  Ray Manzarek (Kraazy Namer?), Robbie Krieger (Beer Keg Robir?) and John Densmore (Modern J. Shone?), but when they got to Mr. Mojo Risin, Morrison, vain and obsessive as he was, probably just started saying it over and over again, louder and louder, and the lads, being exceptionally talented and  spontaneous individuals, just started playing along.
It could be more thought went into  it than that, but I’ll bet not.  That’s how songs (and poems) get written.
One of my  favorite rock etymologies is from Paul McCartney, who apparently wrote “Yesterday” one fine morning while he was taking a poop, at least that’s  how  I  remember hearing it.   He’d just woken up and, in that hazy state of mind when you’re still adjusting to being in  the real  world rather than the dream world and things in your head are not  too fixed and rigid, the song came to him.  He said it came to him so complete that he thought he must have heard it before, and asked several people ‘where have I heard this song before?’ before admitting that he’d written it himself.
I am not a religious person, not a believer at all, but our minds are all  vessels for something, they have access to all the collected knowledge of all human history, and all the imagery and sensation of the whole world around us, and they are just turning it around and around and trying it from every different angle and, if you’re lucky, something great will pop out.

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No Surprise

Well, the  Dakota access pipeline, which so many brave people fought against, is leaking.  We are not surprised.  Pipelines leak.

Five people shot down by a crazy man with a gun in California.  Police had had  lots of warning signs.  We are not surprised.

Trump says something stupid.  We are not surprised.
There are predictable things.  The cycle of day and night, increasingly cold weather as  we move into winter, increases  in price.  Oil pipelines leak (It’s not automatic, I  suppose.  If they were actually being constructed for people who are concerned about the environment and conscientious, by people who have a clue what they’re doing, then there would be no leaks, but you can never be sure about the latter and the former is just obviously first.  If they gave a shit about the planet they wouldn’t be in the oil  industry in the first place.

Mass shootings are carried out by crazy people with high powered weapons.  This is pretty much the definition of a mass shooting.  Since we know there will always be a supply of crazy people, the only way to stop them  would be to eliminate the guns, but we know that’s not  going to happen so when the next mass shooting  happens, it will not be a surprise.

And, of course, Trump does and says stupid things every day.  It’s what one expects of a stupid person.  The surprise is when he occasionally says  or does something not  completely stupid.
It is unthinkable that the Democrats could lose to him in 2020, and yet…certainly Hillary Clinton would lose to him.  Liz Warren, hated on both the right (for her positions) and the left (for  her betrayal) would probably lose to him.  In fact, anybody who is hated by the Berniecrats (takes corporate cash, does not support universal health care) would probably lose to him.

And it won’t even be a surprise.

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