Doesn't it just figure that tough economic times would arrive just as the Boy has discovered the true (american) meaning of Christmas. His list is long - very long - and for some inexplicable reason now includes a goat.
Pete Williams of NBC has pointed out an interesting problem. According to Article one, Section six of the constitution, Hillary Clinton is effectively barred from becoming Secretary of State. That particular section essentially says that you can't take a government postition in the Cabinet if during your term in congress the position received a salary increase. Cabinet Secretaries got a raise last year, while Clinton was a Senator. So she can't take the job without violating the constitution. This is bizarre, but it's hard to imagine it not having occurred before.
The family budget will require serious revision now that the Girl has begun unfurling rolls of toilet paper with the same unbridled glee that accompanied the painful dental impressions she used to leave in her brother's forearm (that was potentially even more costly).
I just assaulted myself - with a razor. I have my annual physical this morning and had to shower for it. As if the plastic bag and duct tape arm wasn't bad enough, the post-shower ablutions were messy beyond imagination. I've never tried to shave with my left hand - the blood at my throat evidence of that fact - I could be an extra in Sweeney Todd. Then there was the otherwise simple act of applying deodorant - not pretty.
If I ever lose my right arm I will have to remain bearded and malodorous.
Typealyzer will analyze your blog and determine its "type". Mine is:
The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generelly prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.
All apologies for the brevity (or complete lack) of posts. I had surgery Tuesday night on my right wrist to repair torn cartilage and my typing ability is substantially hindered as a result. I should be somewhat back by next week. Hey, you're probably happier without my musings.
I don't bang the drum often, but it is one of my issues. Male Genital Mutilation now has the beginnings of financial incentive. The newly lopped off foreskins of babies are being tested in a cosmetic procedure to make the vain and rich look younger. The ghastly is now absurdly tasteless as well.
People, stop cutting your little boys' foreskins off. It is unnecessary, brutal, and amounts to little more than child abuse for the sake of cultural aesthetics.
Weird. Strange maps correlates the cotton bale production from 1868 (dots) to the 2008 Presidential results. The key of course is African American population. Interesting that in nearly a century and a half the population has changed little.
Obama won't take office for another two months and already he's done us a world of good. The Economist conducted a very unscientific online poll from around the world and found that 90% of the global population supported Barack over McCain. McCain inched Obama out in Congo, Algeria, Cuba (huh?) and Iraq. For fun they assigned electoral votes to the polling - Obama got 9115; McCain 203.
Christine Amanpour addressing the ICF awards dinner over the weekend said the world reaction to Obama's win was akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
We are back. We have returned to the Mormon controlled state of California (more on that later), with our flesh a lustery golden brown and our spirits a mellowed hue, as well. The fiftieth state, birthplace of our fourty-fourth president, was kind to us, allowing our cares and tensions to be set adrift on the waves that break upon its shores.
Having been through, but never to, the isle of Oahu we opted for its charms, such as they were. The paradisical Kauai has nothing to worry about. Since Oahu in general and Honolulu in particular are so reminiscent of urban California I was left wondering what could possibly entice anyone to suffer the hassles and costs to live there. Nastiness. The west side of the island, where we stayed, was less problematic as developement is only now busting out. However, the enormous vacant space next to our resort (even that word is unpleasant) was breaking ground for the latest Disney hotel. Welcome to misery.
The national economy will make the island state pay for its single industry reliance as even now bookings are down 30% and as we flew home the telling sign was all too clear: while First class was full, economy was an echo chamber - not even half the seats occupied. It will be bleak for all but the most upscale of destinations in Hawaii. The middle class is staying home.
But enough of this, here's an anecdote...
Upon our return, while preparing to pass through the airport security in Honolulu, I dutifully removed my shoes and placed them in the bin. I turned to the Boy and took his shoes from his feet explaining that they needed to look at them and then would give them back. As I loaded the bin with my accoutrement I heard my name shouted in panic by my wife who stood behind me with the Girl in her arms. I turned to discover the Boy removing his pants and underwear - by now at his ankles. He apparently believed security required a strip-search. Cue embarassed dad smiling at the long queue behind as he attempted to re-robe his son.
I will violate Boyd Reed's copyright, but I feel compelled to share all of this. If this doesn't get to you, nothing will.
I Didn't Vote For Obama Today November 4, 2008, 9:37AM
I have a confession to make.
I did not vote for Barack Obama today.
I've openly supported Obama since March. But I didn't vote for him today.
I wanted to vote for Ronald Woods. He was my algebra teacher at Clark Junior High in East St. Louis, IL. He died 15 years ago when his truck skidded head-first into a utility pole. He spent many a day teaching us many things besides the Pythagorean Theorem. He taught us about Medgar Evers, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis and many other civil rights figures who get lost in the shadow cast by Martin Luther King, Jr.
But I didn't vote for Mr. Woods.
I wanted to vote for Willie Mae Cross. She owned and operated Crossroads Preparatory Academy for almost 30 years, educating and empowering thousands of kids before her death in 2003. I was her first student. She gave me my first job, teaching chess and math concepts to kids in grades K-4 in her summer program. She was always there for advice, cheer and consolation. Ms. Cross, in her own way, taught me more about walking in faith than anyone else I ever knew.
But I didn't vote for Ms. Cross.
I wanted to vote for Arthur Mells Jackson, Sr. and Jr. Jackson Senior was a Latin professor. He has a gifted school named for him in my hometown. Jackson Junior was the pre-eminent physician in my hometown for over 30 years. He has a heliport named for him at a hospital in my hometown. They were my great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively.
But I didn't vote for Prof. Jackson or Dr. Jackson.
I wanted to vote for A.B. Palmer. She was a leading civil rights figure in Shreveport, Louisiana, where my mother grew up and where I still have dozens of family members. She was a strong-willed woman who earned the grudging respect of the town's leaders because she never, ever backed down from anyone and always gave better than she got. She lived to the ripe old age of 99, and has a community center named for her in Shreveport.
But I didn't vote for Mrs. Palmer.
I wanted to vote for these people, who did not live to see a day where a Black man would appear on their ballots on a crisp November morning.
In the end, though, I realized that I could not vote for them any more than I could vote for Obama himself.
So who did I vote for?
I didn't vote. Not for President, anyway.
Oh, I went to the voting booth. I signed, was given my stub, and was walked over to a voting machine. I cast votes for statewide races and a state referendum on water and sewer improvements.
I stood there, and I thought about all of these people, who influenced my life so greatly. But I didn't vote for who would be the 44th President of the United States.
When my ballot was complete, except for the top line, I finally decided who I was going to vote for - and then decided to let him vote for me. I reached down, picked him up, and told him to find Obama's name on the screen and touch it.
And so it came to pass that Alexander Reed, age 5, read the voting screen, found the right candidate, touched his name, and actually cast a vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Oh, the vote will be recorded as mine. But I didn't cast it.
Then again, the person who actually pressed the Obama box and the red "vote" button was the person I was really voting for all along.
It made the months of donating, phonebanking, canvassing, door hanger distributing, sign posting, blogging, arguing and persuading so much sweeter.
So, no, I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I voted for a boy who now has every reason to believe he, too, can grow up to be anything he wants...even President.
Though I doubt any readers here are going to do any differently, it is time to do the right thing. Today is our day.
Take history by the reins and meet the moment. Whomever is elected, they face a daunting future; we all do. There is but one candidate that grasps where we are, from whence we came, and what we must do. If you do nothing else in your lifetime of consequence know that what you do today is fundamentally important. This is the end-all and be-all of choices. I do not exagerate. It's in your hands.
Do the right thing.
My family and I will bed down early tonight in order to catch a plane tomorrow morning. It will jet us to a tropical paradise for a week or so. Depending on what happens today, we may or may not return. So our dogs are depending on you.
At a Palin rally today in Florida, all the official campaign signage featured Palin's name. From banners to hand held placards, all of them said "Palin". Interestingly, not one of the signs anywhere during the event said anything about McCain - not one.