Dumb People

We all know them.  We work with them, they are our family and friends, and sometimes even our spouses.  (Often, they tend to be in-laws; but that’s for another topic altogether).  The Dumb People I refer to are the worst kind: otherwise normal, clear and level headed individuals; hard-working and good people who usually think…except when it comes to politics.  These are the very same folks who vote both Democrat or Republican; watch either MSNBC or Fox as their primary source of news, and in a political discussion spew forth nothing but the latest talking points show to them throughout the day.  They neither read nor can name any newspaper outside of The New York Times, The New York Post (which they claim they read because it has a great Sports Section, but I’m inclined to agree here), The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe.  Heaven forbid a weekly news periodical crosses their doorstep, or they stray from the bookmarked blogs of their political persuasion…if they even get as far as the Internet.

These are the Dumb People who send you endless e-mails of humor that you just don’t want (or see the humor in), even though you’ve told them (under pain of death in some cases) a thousand times to cease and desist.  The same people who send you the political e-mails in the hope that you “may see the light”, and come over from the “Dark Side” to see the world through their clouded eyes and lack of vision.  Yes, we all know Dumb People, there is no escape from them.  It’s pretty scary to be around them in the first place, but here’s an incontrovertible fact and an even more frightening reality:

They run The Planet.

Even Plato knew this, which goes to prove that either stupidity transcends time or it’s in the gene pool.  Is it just me, or have you ever wondered if there actually IS a stupid gene in the DNA strands or the chromosomes?  I know plenty of people who have Dumb People as their parents, or they themselves produce a little Dumb Person on their own despite the fact that they themselves do not fit into this category.  Now, I’m not stating that those of us who are CLEARLY not Dumb People are “Smart People”.   There are much more layers of nuance for the rest of the populace; but we tend to think outside of the box.  Let’s just call ourselves “The Others” for the rest of this exercise.  The Others read multiple sources of information, watch different News Networks (and as much as it often pains me to do so, I’ll watch Fox…but only after I’ve downed a Xanax or two).  The Others don’t spew forth talking point after talking point like some crazed automaton.  We will actually respect authors and columnists on both sides of the aisle (I often cite the late William F Buckley and more recently Andrew Sullivan as favorite Conservatives).  While we will argue with conviction, we will rarely go at it with physical force…unless threatened by the same by a Dumb Person.

Since we’re at that Joyous Time Of Year where we get to spend time with and give gifts to Dumb People (some of whom we REALLY DO LIKE outside of political differences), I just thought I’d remind you of something.  When that perfectly delicious Holiday Dinner is about to be ruined (like it usually is) by that Dumb Person spouting off at the mouth the latest talking point after having WAY too much Merlot and being WAY more vociferous than usual, remember one very important thing:

They think YOU are a Dumb Person.

“Just imagine politics with its dumbbell element subtracted. There would be no Republican candidates. There would be no Democratic voters. The whole system would collapse.” – P.J. O’Rourke

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein


Houston, We Have A Problem…And So Do You

Almost 600,000 were added to Uncle Sammy’s breadlines last month…SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND.  We have TWO wars going on in the Middle East.  We have a Lame Duck Administration that is laying very low publicly in order to push through various laws, decrees, and regulations of surreptitious repute to assist their High and Mighty Patrons (please see Rachel Maddow’s “Lame Duck Watch” for her nightly laundry list of nasty Bush Administration goings on).  President Shitforbrains got on TV today and said something about the economy which was pretty much akin to saying absolutely nothing…something he did on a regular basis for the past eight years anyway.  The American Auto Industry is at its knees and Congress won’t lend them a dime, while Corporate Giants are squandering money the taxpayers gave them in a so-called “Bailout” in order to pay their stock dividends and corporate bonuses.  What happened to freeing up credit so that Americans could borrow to purchase goods and services and get the economy moving again?  I dare you to walk into Hank Paulsen’s Office and ask for a spreadsheet showing even a high-level accounting of where just over a third of that $700 Billion went, and you’ll probably get something hastily strewn on construction paper in Crayola.  Herbert Hoover was the President who brought you The Great Depression; and James Buchanan was the President who brought you the Civil War…and I firmly believe that they are no where near the level of disastrous leadership than one George Walker Bush has been.

He came into office stating he was a uniter and not a divider.  Well, he achieved one thing: the American public is united in their complete lack of trust and contempt for this man and the rest of his abominable Administration.  His approval ratings have been the worst of any modern President and that includes Richard Nixon…the guy who RESIGNED from the White House in disgrace.  Even Bill Clinton who was IMPEACHED but not removed from office didn’t have ratings this low, and neither did Lyndon Johnson who was pretty much forced not to seek a second full term because of his handling and escalation of the Vietnam War.  We may have been drawn into a war by being attacked on 9/11, but this guy prosecuted a strategy that involved going after the wrong guy.  So while the real culprit merrily strolls his way across the rugged (yet scenic) landscape of Afghanistan or Pakistan dialysis machine in tow, we were busy killing innocent civilians and bringing complete instability to a country that had no connection with the attacks at all.  This Administration has spent BILLIONS on the Iraq War, deregulated the Financial Industry so that it now borders on complete and utter collapse, ruined our country’s reputation and standing with the rest of the world, and stood by lining the pockets of the rich while sending more Americans into bankruptcy in the process.  THIS is the legacy of George Walker Bush, and in 40 odd days…he’s all yours Houston!

Yes, the very same man that brought this country to the edge of the abyss is moving into your very neighborhood!  Apparently, he and Laura (she REALLY needs to be canonized) will be settling down in a nice tony little piece of property at the end of a cul-de-sac in an exclusive gated community.  No brush to clear here, just a nice manicured lawn which I’m sure George will mow himself on his John Dere.  He’ll have plenty of time to drink…er…think about his time in office and write his memoirs.  The memoirs that no publisher will touch for at least ten years, and no sane reader would even pick up for at least twenty.  “My Pet Goat” will be on the best-seller list long before Dubya’s follies will.  This is the nice comfortable lifestyle that he will be retiring to.  While much of America is jobless and penniless, the man who lied us into war and almost single-handedly destroyed our economy will be living on a 2 acre estate (complete with servant’s quarters, by the way).  This is the way a war criminal will live, just like so many others have (Klaus Barbie in South America had a very nice estate) when they are not brought to justice.  One day, there will be a reckoning…be it by our Justice system or that of The Universe; but right now there is too much going on for the Obama Administration to get through first before even addressing the questions surrounding just what the hell was going on over the past eight years both here and abroad.  Like so many infamous characters in history and those people from our own lives who do wrong, he has lucked out.

So until we can clean up the mess of mortgage foreclosures, bank failures, bankruptcies, two wars, millions of people out of work, and an entire economy ready to collapse…he gets away with all of it.  He gets a nice pension for driving this nation into the ground, trashing the Constitution and our civil liberties in the process, and he’ll get away with that too because we’ll be much too busy trying to save our own asses and keep our heads above water while he lives very nicely in a gated community.

Houston, YOU have a problem.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass

The Never Ending Kitchen Chronicles

So Thanksgiving came and went.  We ate out for dinner.  So, I went through the rest of the weekend secure in the knowledge that sometime this week my counter tops will be delivered, and the exodus of my feline friends would be over and our lives could return to normal.  I could then celebrate by cooking a huge dinner on Sunday…a nice roast beef (medium-rare), homemade pan gravy with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and green beans almondine.  Hold those thoughts…hold the phone…hold…(well, I’m trying to keep this clean here)…well, hold the project.

My appliances were scheduled to arrive on the 22nd of November, they came on the 17th, from fucking GERMANY for Christ’s sake.  You know, the guys we defeated after World War Two, and helped rebuild their nation so that not only do their trains run on time, their people do as well (and you should just see some of those German drummers, talk about syncopation…but I digress).  We’ve had the flooring and the tiles for the backsplash for a while.  The two barstools took 24 hours to order and arrive from Amazon and they came today.  All of the pieces are here…except for the counter top.  The counter top that has already been bought and paid for, the counter top that was templated and measured on November 18th, whereupon I was assured by a representative of The Counter Top Company that it should be ready by 7-10 days after measurement.  I assumed business days, and factoring in for a long Thanksgiving Weekend, i pretty much figured some time today or tomorrow.

WRONG!  Thank you for playing our game, we have some lovely parting gifts for you!

It seems that some genius between The Counter Top People and the Very Large Home Store didn’t manage to either: a) send my template to the company on time (impossible, because the Counter Top Company was the ones who MEASURED for the counters); b) decided to “check out” for a few extra days before Thanksgiving (entirely possible in either Company); or c) began to come up with flimsy excuses why THE OTHER GUY SCREWED UP.  If you guessed “C”, congratulations…you get a part on the back and a few kind words from me regarding your elementary deductive reasoning.  The bottom line is, the Very Large Home Store who had my money for several months (via my contractor who presented me with a completed supply order in September) waited from the 18th until the 1st of December to submit so-called “approval” for my order.

OK…now, the scary part is this: why show those as Accounts Payable when they can be held in Abeyance and not reported on the monthly financials, thus gaining whatever infinitesimal “float” you can on the money?  You do this for several hundred thousand customers throughout the country and guess what?  In addition to your store going “in the black” after Thanksgiving, you can even prop up those numbers even more by delaying Accounts Payable until the following month…like, oh say December 1st.

Bottom line: I’m fucked.  Sure, we’re working around things: the floor and molding will go in tomorrow and Friday, the dishwasher will be installed, and whatever tile work that can be started will be.  Unfortunately, the stove definitely cannot go in until the counters are installed…so two more fucking weeks of fucking frozen fucking dinners here.  (I’m from Brooklyn originally just in case you couldn’t have guessed).  In theory the counter tops will be here by the 15th.

If you see a pig flying out your window on that day, then you know that somewhere in New Jersey, there is a very happy man throwing every single TV dinner in his freezer out into the street.

“The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escape all responsibility.” – Brooks Atkinson

The Day The Blog Stood Still

Why?  Well, because my remastered and restored print of the original 1951 classic “The Day The Earth Stood Still” arrived in the mail today.  I plan on watching it as soon as Keith and Rachel are off the air.  Another big reason is because the two bulging and degenerative discs in my back are doing their utmost to cause me exceptional pain this evening, so I’ll be under the influence of some very nice painkillers…not exactly the best way to write a blog.  Unless of course, you’re expecting a sequel to “Alice In Wonderland” or “Alice Through The Looking Glass” called “Alice Doesn’t Live Here In Wonderland Anymore Go Check The Looking Glass”.  (As you can see, the pills are having their desired effect).  Another impediment is the fact that I have a 24″ iMac desktop and not a Mac Book laptop, and sitting in the same spot gets a bit rough after a while.

So, I will post a new installment tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to the movie, a comfy couch, and a nice cup of tea.  Now if Santa could only brink me a shiny new Mac Book Pro…