Have been lax in keeping my so-called "daily" blog up to date. At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I plead illness for most of last week as I had a bout of stomach flu.
Last week I got a surprise telephone call from my friend Bill Neiderberger. Bill and I first met while we were in the National Guard together way back in the 1960's. He is an excellent accordionist and he informed me that he would be coming up to Eau Claire on sunday to do a half hour performance for his grand daughter Emily's fifth grade class at Northwoods Elementary School on monday - and wanted to know if he and his wife Judy could stop to say hello on their way into town.
They did, indeed stop for a short visit and while they were here i volunteered to come with him and back him up on acoustic guitar for the performance.
So yesterday we met at Northwoods at 11 AM and ran through a few tunes prior to performing for the fifth graders. The performance went well - the half hour zipped right by. We finished the set with one of my tunes "The Nose Song" and I was impressed with the fifth graders willingness to learn and sing the chorus throughout.
After the performance, Emily, her mother and dad, both of whom teach at Northwoods, Bill, Judy and I sat down to a sack lunch in the music room.
The BP oil spill has me really boiling! It has gotten so I cannot even bear to watch the news. And the fact that the damn Republicans and Teabaggers are trying to proclaim this to be "Obama's Katrina" is just insane!
My friend Linda Gruen who currently is still dealing with the massive flooding in Nashville, sent me a blog written by a blogger who goes by the handle "The Rude Pundit". As Linda says, he pretty much hits the nail on the head:
"Tell you what, when dead people are left to rot in the sun because of the incompetence of the federal government, when corpses are floating in the streets, when the President passively ignores the pleas of the governors of Gulf Coast states, when entire neighborhoods have been physically destroyed, when the federal government strands tens of thousands of people without food or water, when the federal government starts to blame the local governments, when the President praises the work of a failed, incompetent bureaucrat while a major city rots, then you can say that this is Barack Obama's "Katrina."
But until this happens, good, sweet conservatives who need so desperately to drag this president down, the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a corporate-created disaster, and it actually serves to demonstrate, starkly, as if the ocean floor is in the midst of a prolonged sweet crude eruption, the utter failure of deregulation and the bullshit notion that capitalistic enterprises can police themselves when it comes to safety and environmental standards, whether it was, in this case, BP or Transocean or whoever. In other words, once again, as with so many things, this is about your ideology belly-flopping, much like, you know, when Katrina showed how years of neglect of the levees would lead to a nightmare.
So now Bobby Jindal, formerly of the "states can solve problems" crowd, is coming to the federal government with his hands out like a New Delhi beggar with leprosy. Hell, Haley Barbour already knows the routine. Bob Riley's about to discover that money from the fed ain't so bad now. Bow and scrape, assholes, as an environmental catastrophe that's coming your way is gonna destroy jobs, tourism, and wetlands.
Right now, as the Rude Pundit writes this, the booms that were set up to protect the beaches in Alabama and Mississippi are failing. They're being blown onto shore by the winds, by the waves. Dead things are washing up, too. The fishing's been halted. Pretty soon, the white, white sands, the Aryan beaches of the Redneck Riviera are going to get dingier and dingier looking, even more than when swarms of UA kids head there to vomit in the sun on spring break.
Yes, some day soon, a man with his Gulf Shores timeshare, probably a proud and loyal teabagger, will look out over his balcony during the two weeks a year he takes his family on vacation and see the bits of black that are rolling up onto the shore. And he'll wonder, even if they do everything they can, why the feds couldn't clean it up sooner. Then he'll go inside and watch Hannity or listen to Limbaugh tell him that his taxes are too high and that business, not Washington, can solve all his problems.
Whose door does this oil spill darken?
The NY Times thinks that President Obama has not responded aggressively enough to this spill. Let's be clear:
No way is this oil spill Barack Obama's fault.
The fault lies with the ideology and mores of the Republican party and its theory of government. Their solution to this country's energy's future is to drill anywhere and everywhere. In their theory of government, government has no right to control who, what, where and how the natural resources of this country or this planet are exploited or not exploited, resources that are needed by us all and are needed to protect us all. Like my friend Jim Gilliam said in a private email, government is supposed regulate corporate behavior not just be their willing partner/follower. This is a lesson that we all need to keep in mind and that includes the president.
In the Republican theory of government, government regulation is inherently evil or at least counterproductive. So under George Bush et al, the only regulation in the Gulf has been self regulation. This oil spill is the fault of Republican ideology.
And the Times is wrong again in saying that if BP lied to Barack Obama and misled him that is not his fault. The spill itself and even, at the moment, the seemingly futile attempts to stop the spill is the result of Republicans, down to using Halliburton's technology over another technology that is more successfully employed in Europe.
While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, 'I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.'
As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them.'
Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. 'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now. Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway.'
Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day, I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle. 'No, no, no!' she screamed. 'Lizzie,' scolded her mother, 'that's not polite behavior.' With that, the girl yelled even louder, 'No, thank you! No, thank you!
On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson innocently said to my son, 'Dad, I know babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?' After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust, 'You don't have to make up something, Dad. It's okay if you don't know the answer..'
***** Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. 'I'm going to be away for a long time,' I told him. 'I'm going to Iraq ..' 'Why?' he asked. 'Don't you know there's a war going on over there?'
Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS, and blood diseases. One afternoon, he and is wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids. A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn't know Newman was a famous movie star, explained, 'That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?' Blank stares. 'Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.' An eight-year-old girl perked up. 'How long was he missing?'
God's Problem Now.
His wife's graveside service was just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The little, old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, 'Well, she's there.
I got this from my friend, Jill Merrill. She works at a church-based daycare.
Thought you'd all enjoy it!
Oh, here's a cute religion story (happened today at work) for you to share with Larry and John:
Ruthanne was talking with one of our two year olds at daycare and he mentioned that his mom was at work. Ruthanne said of course and did he know where his mom worked. He said she works at the hospital. Ruthanne said that's where her mom used to work too. He asked Ruthanne where her mom is now. She told him that her mom is in heaven with God and Jesus. He said, "Hey, I know those guys!"
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO WIL DENSON!!!