Sunday, February 23, 2014

The strange world in which we live - Part II

Today a Russian court convicted eight people for participating in an anti-Putin protest in 2012 on the eve of his inauguration for a 3rd term as president.  So far as I know their sentences have not yet been decided.  Following that event in 2012, Mr. Putin set up stiffer laws regarding protests in the new, "democratic" Russia.

It looks as though that kindly Russian bear we see at Sochi has a big bite!

What I learned from reading a golf instruction book:   Adam Scott, the wonder golfer from Australia, wrote that one must keep the head level during the swing.  Then he noted "Hovering the clubhead prevents jerks."  Oh, if only it were that easy.  I've tried keeping my head level, almost missed the ball, and some jerks standing nearby starting laughing.

On to Miley Cyrus.  What to do about Ms. Raunchy?  She's currently on her Bangerz tour and she does some fairly raunchy things in her act.  Pay your money and you can watch her "straddle a flying hot dog, stuff a thong in her mouth and simulate oral sex on a Bill Clinton impersonator while accompanied by mom and dad."

Some parents find this vulgar and upsetting and unsettling and want the Bangerz tour to go away - permanently.  Said parents and other protestors have caused some U.S. arenas to consider dropping Bangerz and Ms. Miley on her pert, little backside.

But, hey, if you don't like her show, don't go.  Lock your kids up at home.  Ms. Cyrus does nothing for me.  I think she's a sad little person who's probably in over her head and perhaps not too sure of her singing talent which is why she includes the raunchy stuff, but I don't have the need to shut her down.  If enough people don't attend her shows, she'll have to shut down on her own.  But I don't think that's going to happen no matter how many pious parents piss on her.

John McCain.  You may remember him.  He's the guy who flew a plane over North Vietnam although ordered not to do so, got shot down and spent five years or so in a North Vietnamese prison camp where, although he was treated pretty well, somehow came back a "hero" and parlayed that old "wounded hero" bit into one hell of a long political career.

There are two other notable things about Sen. McCain.  One is his involvement in the old Savings & Loan scandal.  Although deeply involved he came out of that smelling like a rose, too.  Well, a damp, wilted rose, but a rose nonetheless.  The other is his failed candidacy for the presidency known mainly for his monumentally stupid decision to cast Sarah Palin in the role of his running mate.

McCain down through the years has been on the wrong side of history over and over again which isn't surprising since he is a Republican.  He championed our disastrous adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He thought we should have sent boots into Syria.  He's agitating for U.S. military action in Syria.

This week he also called Mr. Obama "the most naive president in history."  McCain was unhappy with the way Mr. Obama treated Mr. Putin and because Mr. Obama has used restraint in reacting to the crisis in the Ukraine.

McCain really has no itch to scratch.  Obama shut down the war in Iraq and brought (most of) the troops home.  It's complicated, thanks to the bunch of morons who ran the country from 2000 to 2008.  Obama is also in process of extracting our troops from Afghanistan.  Mr. Obama, contrary to Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain, does not find it necessary to engage our military wherever in the world a violent conflagration pops up.

Mr. McCain sits on his hands and complains.  And if ain't one thing, it's another.  It doesn't matter what our President does, McCain will not like it.  But what can we expect?  You can't make a statesman out of someone who lacks the character and intelligence of a statesman.  Remember he's the guy who signed on Sarah Palin.  Ha!

I read yesterday that according to a Gallup Poll, North Dakota is our happiest state?  What?  North Dakota?  The state with the climate that makes Alaska look positively balmy?  Gallup based its assessment on "work environments, health and access to food and water."

At first I thought this was a crock.  I thought Florida has to be the happiest state.  But then I remembered that Florida is inundated with grumpy old retired folks who hate cold weather and complain about the heat, go out to eat every night jamming up the restaurants, drive like ignorant maniacs and leave a dollar tip for a $50 meal.

But it is sunny here.  That's why they call Florida the Sunshine State.  I'd like to see the sun shining on the rear ends of a lot of these folks heading back north - to North Dakota, maybe.

My grandmother lived on a farm in northern Minnesota.  The house had no indoor plumbing.  When we went to visit her we had to do our business in a stinky, old wooden outhouse across a driveway from the main building.  And yes, the only toilet paper available was most often pages torn from a Sears Roebuck catalog.  It was a crappy situation.

But we've come a long way since those primitive days.  There's a new company starting up in New York city which will offer members luxury toilet facilities.  These facilities are very fancy schmancy with private privys, showers and even a special room for mothers with young children.  Members will pay $6.00 and up per day for the privilege of doing their business like the One Percenters.

Boeing, you may recall, is a big airline company.  It's been manufacturing airplanes in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State) for many years.  But Boeing thinks it does not need to pay its way because, I suppose, it provides a number of jobs for people in that area.

Boeing, however, is a taker not a giver.  It gets a huge number of federal contracts every year.  In fact, 4.4% of ALL federal contracts go to Boeing.  Last year the company made $5.9 billion in pretax profits, which is pretty good considering Boeing paid NO federal income tax.  It had a federal tax rate of -1.4%.

Not only so, but Washington State, which believes Boeing to be a great asset to the community, has given the company $8.7 billion in tax breaks through 2040 to get the company to build a new manufacturing plant in Washington.  That was after Boeing threatened to build elsewhere and then went on to break the back of the union.

Pakistan has a lot of trained monkeys who entertain people in public or private places by doing tricks while held on a leash.  When I first read that story I thought immediately of the U.S. House of Representatives and how much fun it would be to find out whose leash was holding whom!

If you see an ad that promises to show you a special trick which in a few easy lessons will add 20 yards to your golf shots, don't believe it!

If you see an ad that promises to save your soul, especially if it comes from a religious institution, don't believe that, either.

Meanwhile, keep smiling and watch out for the jerks.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

Boeing: yet another example of corporate kleptocracy.

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