Archive for June, 2009

Pilgrimage to the Illinois Holy Land

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

     Much like the Pacific Salmon, who return to spawn at the place they were born, I return to my home in Decatur Illinois on an annual basis; however at my age, spawning is not the purpose.  In retrospect, the salmon do not seem to be a viable analogy and I am definitely not even going to suggest an analogy like migrating Robins; that is definitely for the birds!

      At 79 years of age, 53 years of my life have been, for the most part, that of a resident of San Diego, California.  I return to Decatur to accept and to provide the love and devotion of my family and friends that I am so fortunate to have.  Whether or not there is other motivation beyond renewal of ‘belonging’, I am not sure, but there is a personal ‘animal instinct’ that periodically brings me ‘home’.

     My frequent trips to Decatur are in reality more of a pilgrimage than a vacation.  There are only four of us left from our original family: 2 sisters, my brother’s wife who I consider a third sister, and myself.  I am youngest and I am the patriarch.  That is what I keep telling my three sisters, but basically they tell me to “be quiet and eat my broccoli” and I counter by telling them to deal the cards. 

     That is what you do in Illinois; you eat, drink coffee, and play cards.

     There is a certain ritual which must always be observed in my pilgrimages to Illinois.  There is a lot of dogma attached to these trips.  For example there is the ceremony that takes place at Kay’s house shortly after arrival that I refer to as the ‘coconut pie consumption’ ceremony.   I believe the title is self-explanatory.

     There is also the ceremony of finding out how my oldest sister Dorothy is going to join the other three of us in Decatur; Dorothy lives in Quincy Illinois, 150 miles West of Decatur, and it is an interesting challenge to see how she will be beamed from Quincy to Decatur for our reunion. 

     Decatur is an industrial city with a metropolitan population in excess of 100,000 people and a large airport with no airlines serving it; Decatur is the true railroad hub of Central Illinois (Illinois Central, B&O, and Norfolk Southern) and yet Decatur has NO Amtrak passenger service. Quincy is half the size of Decatur, has very little industry, but it has both airline service and Amtrak service but no possible way to get to Decatur from there by plane or train!

      Bus service from Quincy to Decatur is via St. Louis Missouri and takes half a day, more than 12 hours.  Dorothy does drive, but at 91 years of age, she no longer drives that far of a distance.   We did however, ultimately fulfill our destiny and Dorothy joins the Decatur ‘reunion ceremonial services’.

     My little sister (she is 7 years older than me and a foot shorter) is living in the old family home.  She is my alter ego and responsible for making sure that we have a least one ceremonial meal of Heinkel’s bockwurst during my sojourn in Decatur.  Heinkel’s bockwurst are the best bockwurst in the world, even better than those of Münich Germany.

     Another integral part of my pilgrimage is making contact with other ‘high school kids’ with whom I graduated from Mt. Zion High School in 1948.  (Mt. Zion High School is not a religious school, it is a public school in the town of Mt. Zion.)   For getting together with classmates, I contact Eddie Wilking my class President and leader; he makes arrangements for some of my classmates, Eddie, and I to have lunch and reminisce. 

     In reality, my classmates are no longer high school youth to anyone else, including their great-grandchildren.  But having lunch with my high school classmates is a highlight of each pilgrimage for me.  These are real people who have not materially changed over the last 61 years; they are people you have always trusted because they have always proved to be trustworthy.  What great friends!

     It is always my wish that travel to and from Decatur to my home in San Diego is uneventful.  Sometimes my advanced age manages to intervene in my travel in one way or another.  For example, I have metal knee replacements in both knees that must resemble contraband to security surveillance machines that passengers must pass through, before boarding an airplane.  My metal knees are hopelessly uncooperative and naughty, and they signal the passenger surveillance machines that this old fart has something metal that he is hiding from you and my knees bet that you can’t find it.

      Before I get to the surveillance machine I already know that I must take off shoes, belt, and empty my pockets to be scanned by the security scanner.  My body shape is something like an inverted teardrop-shape or a pregnant pigeon and without a belt it causes my pants sans belt to drop down around my around my ankles as I stumble through the surveillance machine in my BVDs and the metal knees are causing the machine to blast off bells and cause lights to flash like hitting the jackpot at Las Vegas. 

     Knowing this is going to happen, I forewarn TSA and they try to be understanding but alas they are required to tell me they have to pat me down with the erotic palms of their hands and I have a right to privacy and they can do it in private (fat chance) and blah blah blah!  This is normal procedure for me every time I board a plane.

      On this most recent trip home to San Diego, I did encounter a another physical phenomenon that created a little excitement while landing in Dallas Texas where I was required to change planes to San Diego.  For some time now, I have developed a ‘bladder problem’ which on some occasions requires that I use the restroom every 5-15 minutes; this is very embarrassing and inconvenient.  This was the case when I boarded the plane to return to San Diego and I tried to carefully manage the problem as my plane came in for a landing at Dallas Texas. 

      We were prepared for landing and the plane was about to touch down and I realized I had a problem.  As we anxiously awaited touch-down, I suddenly arose from my seat jumped into the dark restroom (lights go off while landing) and locked the door; that is where I was when the plane touched down.  Meanwhile, a voice was telling whoever was in the rest room to return immediately to their seat.

     It did suddenly occur to me that the other passengers were totally unaware of my plight, I had no time to explain and did not intend to, and what they observed was an ancient fanatic terrorist jumping from his seat, locking himself in the restroom, and timing the touching-down of the plane to setting off a nuclear device in the Men’s Room.  Some passengers might have remembered that I was the same ‘geezer’ that the TSA agent was ‘patting down’ when they went through security.

     There was a knock on the door just after we touched down and a nervous steward had his ear to the restroom door, inquiring whether or not I was ‘alright’.

     “I apologize,” I told him, “I was experiencing an emergency.”

     Departing the plane, I did don dark glasses.  Hey!  I will never see those people again!

     Thankfully, no FBI agents were there to meet me at the airport

Is Judge Sotomayor a Racist?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

      Judge Sotomayor remarked that she thought a Hispanic female judge might make a better judicial decision at times than a white male judge because her background is decidedly different from that of a white male judge.  For saying this, some white male politicians and commentators have called Judge Sotomayor, a racist; are those white male opponents of Sotomayor saying that her remark is racist because in their opinion, the backgrounds of white males are actually superior to the background of a Hispanic female?  Whew!

      Perhaps Judge Sotomayor’s white male opponents would like to reconsider calling the Judge, a racist; those white guys are decidedly an embarrassment to their gender and race!

Pondering and Pandering 06/02/09

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

It seems strange for me to experience all this stress about the current recession because when I was in elementary school, I so looked forward to recess!

 

If there were any doubts that President George W. Bush’s wars were terribly wrong, consider the headlines of a story in my morning paper, “Marine Corps hoping to stem rising tide of suicides in ranks”.  Don’t let us forget American troops still fighting and dying in America’s unnecessary foreign wars!

 

If the preponderance of American GI  deaths in Iraq were from IEADs, or road bombs, why didn’t President Bush provide helicopters for American GIs instead of Hummers without armor?  Perhaps it was because Vice President Cheney had no financial interest in a company that manufactured helicopters.  Instead of Bush from 2000-2008, America needed someone with the vision of Harry Truman and his ‘Berlin Airlift’ that actually averted war.

 

Why do Republicans oppose every good idea that Obama comes up with; as a Democrat, I would never have opposed any good idea that President Bush had, if he would have had any?

 

What was really wrong with ‘American Protectionism’ and tariffs, in terms of employment of American workers and the sale of American products to American consumers (who are also American workers)?  Is the 2008-9 Depression a better idea?

 

America now is suffering the greatest depression since the Great Depression of the 1930’s because of the free trade agreements that were fostered under Presidents Clinton and Bush (Gee by golly, that’s bi-partisan isn’t it?).  American jobs have gone to India, Philippines, Taiwan, and China amd American workers are sitting on their ass while Republicans and Democrats are fighting over who started the Depression of 2008! 

 

Stimulus-Shimulus, Americans need to buy and Americans need to work.  America forsook the American economy for the Global economy in order for American Corporations to use cheap labor, avoid American taxes, and export their products at a lower cost to foreign consumers. 

 

Republicans and car manufacturers are complaining extensively about how much union auto workers make; let it be made clear that the wages of auto workers are not the reason that no one wants to buy lousy cars that use lots of gasoline!  In previous years, car manufacturers made tons of money selling American cars made by union workers making high wages!

 

Holy Moley!  Yesterday morning I woke up to find that I owned General Motors!

 

Al Franken was right, “Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot”; too bad that Franken is not a Senator or something!

Whither Goes America’s War in Afghanistan in 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

        Does it mean anything to Americans that a handful of terrorists under bin Laden, were able to successfully attack continental USA, killing 3,000people and able to sucker the American President Bush into a war with the God-forsaken, sovereign nation of Afghanistan, a war that has lasted EIGHT YEARS and still rages on?  Worse yet, the war with the desolate Third World Nation, Afghanistan, accomplished nothing; Afghanistan had no part in the terrorist attack on the USA and bin Laden, the perpetrator is still loose!  The United States instead has created a mythical folk hero of bin Laden, who is perceived by America haters, to have defeated the most powerful, atomic power in the world; that should be enough to cause America to want to divest themselves of atomic weaponry.

     A more viable plan for the response of America to the terrorist attack would have been to covertly assassinate the s.o.b. bin Laden; he would have been long forgotten by now.

     An American alternative to the untenable War in Afghanistan today, would be to nationalize the Afghan poppy crop and have the U.S.A. buy the entire crop to use for medicinal purposes and to train and arm Afghan patriot tribesmen, just like America trained and armed the Taliban fight the Russians, so that Afghan’s armed patriots can deal with the hated, sadistic foreign Taliban.  This would allow America to withdraw American troops and save billions of dollars and more important, save the lives of America GIs.

     Would somebody please pass the word on to Obama!

Dr. George Tiller Assassinated by a ‘Fundamentalist Christian Terrorist’

Monday, June 1st, 2009

       On Sunday, May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller a doctor who performed abortions, was assassinated while acting as an usher at his Reformation Lutheran Church.  Previously, Dr. Tiller’s abortion clinic had been bombed and on another occasion Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/us/01tiller.html?hp

     “The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which runs a ‘Tiller Watch’ feature on its website, released a statement condemning the shooting.”

     Media reports said the suspected killer fled the scene in a blue Taurus. Police described him as a white male in his 50s or 60s”

     It is distressing to me that the assassin was not correctly identified as a “Fundamentalist Chritian Terrorist”.

Addendum:
     Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists have been stalking and threatening Dr. Tiller for years.  Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has refered to Dr. Tiller as a Nazi, Stalin, murderer, and O’Reilly has completely misrepresented Dr. Tiller’s professional medical position on television for almost 30 years; yet O’Reilly denies that he encouraged the assassination of Dr. Tiller.  However, the whole purpose of O’Reilly’s TV commentary show, is to sway peoples opinion and encourage them to believe what he believes and behave as he wants them to behave.  Based on O’Reilly’s rhetoric, he would have to be overjoyed at the news of the assassination of Dr. Tiller.  Using the O’Reilly analogy, O’Reilly is the Joseph Gobbels of the Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists Movement; he lies.
     The American Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists defend their assassination of physicians (Dr. Tiller was not the only physician assassinated by Fundamentalist Christian Terrorist for their profession) who perform abortions because, they argue, ‘abortion is a violation of THEIR God’s Law’.  Why is it, after 220 years of the Constitutional American democratic Republic and the Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists having live their entire life in it, that I have to be the one to tell them that their particular god’s law is not and was not intended to be the Law of the Land in America; the United States Constitution is the Law of the Land. 

      Further, under the United States Constitution, Roe v Wade IS the Law of the Land in America.  Anti-abortion groups are not ‘protest groups’, they are instead simply defying America’s Law of the Land.  Anti-abortion adherents have never suffered from an unjust American law and have nothing to protest; NO ONE IN AMERICA HAS EVER BEEN REQUIRED TO HAVE AN ABORTION!

     Based on the fact that Dr. Tiller was an elder in his Reformation Lutheran Church, it is very doubtful that Dr. Tiller approved of abortion for abortion’s sake; Dr. Tiller did, however, take a Hippocratic Oath to treat patients who needed his health care and certainly there are medical needs for abortion including ‘late term’ abortion, to save a mother’s life or for other humanitarian purposes.  Which is the real lawful American Christian, Dr. Tiller or Bill O’Reilly?

     America is becoming a nation of hateful, sadistic and violent people and it appears to be emanating from Fox News. It therefore would appear to be a justifiable and patriotic reason for compasionate American Christians to protest the existance of Fox Fundamental Christian Terrorists News because hate, violence, and saddism is destroying the American democratic Republic.