Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ordinary day. Neighbor Bob O. came over with Jasmine (cocker spaniel) to chat with Pat. Tried to web cam the Tokyo Two, but they weren't on-line. Various and sundry other stuff.
But when I'm dying, will I remember that day and this day and the day Mike cut his forehead and wish I could re-live them? Yes, sure, so I'm glad to be hale, healthy, and reasonably happy on this day of November 30, 2008.
Wider Note: This, from a reader's comment on a blog in The NYTimes regarding the Mumbai tragedy:
"Ah, here we go already. The racist name calling and anti Islam rhetoric. The problem isn’t Islam, the problem with most (but not all) terrorism is religious fundamentalism, of any colour. Tarring Islam alone demonstrates an astounding lack of historical perspective. It is only a decade ago where the longest running and bloody terrorist war was Northern Ireland. Prior to the 911 attack the single largest and deadliest terrorist attack on US soil was the Oklahoma bombing. A vice presidential candidate who refuses to label a Christian religious whack job who guns someone down in cold blood as result of a religious belief as a terrorist is not a good start.
Fanatical Islam is a serious problem. However when a significant element of its roots lie in the unholy alliance of the US and the Saudi royal families mutual support mechanism, and a major part of the arming and training of the Jihadists is rooted in the US funded anti-Soviet efforts in Afganistan, one would hope, that just maybe, some parts of the conservative US political groups might recognise where a large part of the blame for the current crisis lies. As you sow, so shall you reap."
--Francis
These words ring so true that I can't help but wonder what bitter harvest awaits us.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nothing of note yesterday except that we saw the two little angels in Singapore. Pat came into the study to participate and precious Vivian "read" us her book about butterflies. Mike held darling Violet up to show us, and she gazed at us obligingly. There was an article in yesterday's NYTimes grandparents and children keeping in touch that way. Well, yes, we've been doing it for almost a year and maintaining the illusion that they're closer helps a lot. Missing them, I mean.
Other than that, it was a wash/dry/fold and put away day. Did four loads (as I've remarked before, the two of us are either incredibly dirty or the cleanest folks in town). Put the Thanksgiving plates, napkins, and so on away.
Later: Went to WW to find I've gained 2 pounds, presumably a result of the birthday party and Thanksgiving in the same week. Uh-oh: next week, I meet Viv for dinner on Monday, have the Women's Club Christmas luncheon on Wednesday, the League's party on Thursday, and a baby shower on Saturday! Well, I'll try to hold the line at my present 127.4, with 72.2 pounds off.
Wider note: This from Robert Scheer, of Truthdig.Com:
"Maybe Ralph Nader was right in predicting that the same Wall Street hustlers would have a lock on our government no matter which major party won the election. I hate to admit it, since it wasn’t that long ago that I heatedly challenged Nader in a debate on this very point.
But how else is one to respond to Barack Obama’s picking the very folks who helped get us into this financial mess to now lead us out of it? Watching the president-elect’s Monday introduction of his economic team, my brother-in-law Pete said, 'You can see the feathers coming out of their mouths' as the foxes were once again put in charge of the henhouse. He didn’t have time to expound on his point, having to get ready to go sort mail in his job at the post office. But he showed me a statement from Citigroup showing that the interest rate on Pete the Postal Worker’s credit card was 28.9 percent, an amount that all major religions would justly condemn as usurious."
And so on and ominously on...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Had a neat Thanksgiving with just the five of us. The turkey was done to a turn, veggies were just right, and the desserts were delectable. I'm just not sure if the time and effort it took for the gravy was justified, but it was pretty good. Other children all called/web cammed, although there was some problem with my end of Skype.
The company left a bit before 9:00 and I got to bed by 10:00. There's still some straightening up to do, but the bulk is finished.
Wider Note: An essay by Doug Bandow at Anti-War.Com ("Foreign Follies," sub-titled "A Return to Liberal Warmongering? Peace Advocates Must Continue The Battle") unfortunately, rings true:
"But Barack Obama never presented himself as a candidate of peace. Rather, he used his prescient opposition to the Iraq war to create an image that attracted most people on the foreign policy Left...."
In other words, those who wanted to believe and needed to believe--as I did until Biden was picked--kidded themselves that Obama was anti-war and would work for peace. He isn't and he won't.
Bandow's piece should be read in its entirety. It's at
http://www.antiwar.com/bandow/?articleid=13827
On a different topic and written with humor (but almost as scary), see this piece on hyperinflation by Tom Charlier in Lew Rockwell. com:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/chartier/chartier117.html

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Spent the day cooking up a storm again. Made the stuffing and pie crust, sliced the apples for the crisp, made the sweet potatoes sprinkled with lime, and assembled ingredients for the other dishes. I still have to stuff the bird, roll out the crust and make the pumpkin pie, mash the potatoes, bake the pie and crisp, etc., etc.
I was horrified at the bombings in Mumbai--even more because of the real possibility Mike and Paula were there. I e-mailed and he called; they weren't, but one attack was at a hotel is where they stayed a few months ago. Mike sent a spectacularly beautiful cornucopia with fresh flowers, plus a lovely about-to-flower Christmas cactus, from Calyx where he always orders. They're about the best flower company there is--pricey, but everything arrives perfectly and lasts a long time. I found them outside the door and opened them while he was on the phone. They're both gorgeous and the cornucopia will grace our Thanksgiving table tonight.
Wider note: From Anti-War. Com on Obama's appointments:
"It's now likely that not one of those posts will be filled with someone who either voted against the war in Iraq as a member of Congress or who, from outside Congress, vocally opposed the war. Not one."
Oh, there's a lot more, but it's too depressing to record. How disturbing, ominous, and disheartening that the Great Black Hope is just a warmonger like all the rest. Where do we go from here? To oblivion, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enjoyed kitchen duty again yesterday. Succeeded in finishing the turkey gravy without burning the house down, baked two loaves of banana bread, and picked up a few more supplies at the store.
Got an invitation from Susan for a "ladies luncheon" on December 17, plus Vivian asked if I could meet her for dinner on Monday. With those and a few more plans, the holiday season is shaping up nicely.
The nurse practitioner, Lorraine, came and what a neat person! She gave Pat a flu shot and checked him out. We both liked her a lot and look forward to her visiting again.
Wider Note:
Got an e-mail from Gerri B. to the effect that the repubs have "stolen" the Catholic church, because of the abortion thing--thanks, of course, to its leadership. Wrote back that when the church is as vehement about killing children in other countries, I may go back to my birth religion. Then again, maybe not.
And this, from Justin Raimondo at Anti-War.com:
"I never fail to smile when I read contemptuous references in American news outlets to the "state-controlled media" of, say, Russia or China. This from the same crowd whose news "reporting" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq might have been written by someone in the Pentagon press office – and probably was!"
Be sure to click on the references. Then weep for your lost country.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yesterday was a cooking-and-preparing-for-Thanksgiving day. I was determined to make the turkey gravy myself and found a recipe in the NYTimes. Overall, it took nine hours, but most of that was just simmering in the pot. Also, I almost burned the house down, but got the fire out right away. I haven't even made the gravy itself yet, just the stock. I was a bit disappointed it didn't make more, but it still may be worth it. I may even use the same general idea to make chicken gravy one of these days.
The nurse is coming today to give Pat a flu shot. Other than that, nothing to report except doing mounds of wash, about four loads. Oh, how exciting is Mimi's life!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Great family birthday party. If I say it myself, the food was superb. Had a pork roast I dressed with a rub, then added a spiced apple topping. With that, served peas, baked potatoes and gravy, my crystal pickles, plus a veggie casserole a guest brought. The cake--chocolate with mocha icing--was delicious as ever. It was wonderful to have the little boys here--we were eight in all--everybody had a good time. Now looking forward to Thanksgiving.
Wider Note: I just saw a caption on the Comcast homepage: "Cabinet picks puzzle liberals." But why would liberals be concerned about their candidate stabbing them in the back? Don't they assume that? Anyway, for me, "puzzled" doesn't exactly cover it--I feel more like "furious," betrayed," and "empty."
Oh, but I forgot; I voted for Nader. He, at least, remains true to his beliefs against child murder.
Later Wider Note: Just looked at Comcast's video, now entitled "Obama picks confuse liberals." (Why the word switch? Who knows?) It's basically just "neutral" talking heads acting as apologists for the administration-to-be. The more things change...
Blood-chilling Note: Please read yesterday's (Nov. 23) entry in "A Tiny Revolution" if you don't believe the ruling class would engineer events--up to, and including, murder--for political gain. And not in some banana republic--it's clear the machinations were on behalf of our own fair land:
http://tinyrevolution.com/mt//
Blood-curdling Note:
Want a peek at the new world order, as conjured up by the neocons? Go to:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4689061169761152025.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Had a lovely evening at the concert at St. Teresa's last night. Went as a guest of the D.s and Dennis and Leslie came with us. Several performers were Westminster grads and they were all superb.
Didn't get to bed until almost 10--practically the middle of the night for me. Looking forward to the birthday party today. We'll have eight, including the kiddies, in honor of a mysterious somebody.
Wider Note: Please click on the video "below the fold" from "The Old Hippie's Groovy Blog." I defy anyone to view it without horror, disgust, and unutterable sorrow.
http://oldhippies.blogspot.com/2008/11/quote-of-week.html#comments

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reports are that Clinton has accepted the secretary of state job. She'll join Emmanuel and the others, all smiling and nodding and congratulating each other: "Hey, good job! Welcome to the club!" But soon, the talk will turn serious: "Okay, now let's get down to the business of killing children." Naturally, there will first be a solemn prayer led by a man or woman of the cloth, to call down a blessing on the slaughter. The clergy are too genteel to actually say, "Kill the baby infidels!" but we know what they mean.
Hear that noise? It's a war drum. It's been just a faint rumble in the background for many years, so we didn't have to notice, but now it's getting louder and louder. Soon, it will drown out the cries of the children.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quiet as ever yesterday; going to Acme was the high point of the day. I have a dozen or so Life magazines from the forties and pulled them out to read.
I was--again--struck with the "all in this together" tone that ran through the ones during WW II. Many of the articles concerned the war and and a number of ads emphasized the fact that there were shortages because of
"the war effort." From a pacifist point of view, I'm not sure whether this is good or not. Is it better to be oblivious as we are now concerning the slaughter we're sponsoring around the world? That allows the hawks to pretty much call the shots. On the other hand, when war seems more a joint venture involving most of the population, maybe our insane nationalism is solidified and more of us will hold out for "victory." Not sure about this; I only know it was a different era--and a different country.
Related to that huge change of focus in my lifetime, here's another quote from Chris Floyd in his "Empire Burlesque":
"...the government has spent more on saving the rich from the consequences of their greed than it spent in winning World War II: more than $4 trillion so far, with much more to come. This astonishing theft – the largest gobbling of public loot by a rapacious elite in the history of the world – will only further cement the powerful in their entrenchments on the commanding heights of society. The nation may rot beneath them, may be roiled by storms of blowback; but that is not their concern, it is no defeat for them. You can lose; they do not. This is not to say that our elites don't tell themselves any number of flattering, self-justifying fairy tales about the boundless nobility and righteousness of their intentions. They can do this because they identify the interests of the system of elite rule (and the comfort, power and privilege they personally receive from the system) with the common good of the nation, or the world, as a whole. This allows them to pursue truly monstrous policies without regarding themselves as monsters. It allows them to order actions, such as the escalation of the destructive, destablizing conflict in Afghanistan, which they know, with absolute certainty, will needlessly murder innocent women, children and men -- and still talk earnestly and sincerely about their hopes for peace, their concern for humanity, their deep, abiding faith in a loving God. But again, as we have said over and over here, what matters are not the rhetorical justifications of power or the stated intentions of power -- or the charisma, likeability or compelling story of the wielders of power; what matters are the operations of power, its actual effects on the human beings on the receiving end of its machinations. Like love, power is what it does, not what it says." (Emphasis added.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Enjoyed a visit to Barb H.'s yesterday afternoon, while her Ray came here to chat with Pat. Barb showed me pictures of their trip to Europe last month (sigh; what I wouldn't give...), including the Czech Republic, Germany, and Hungary.
Other than that, nothing much. Am planning a birthday party for Sunday, then Thanksgiving a week from today. Cousin John will be coming for the latter, to there'll be five of us.
On a wider note: From The Nation, a note of alarm (and why I voted for Nader):
"Antiwar groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama's national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues.
"The activists are uneasy not only about signs that both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could be in the Obama Cabinet, but at reports suggesting that several other short-list candidates for top security posts backed the decision to go to war. 'It's astonishing that not one of the 23 senators or 133 House members who voted against the war is in the mix,' said Sam Husseini of the liberal group Institute for Public Accuracy (emphasis added). Clinton, who was Obama's chief opponent during the Democratic presidential primaries, appears to be the top candidate for secretary of State...(She) voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution, and despite pressure, she never said during the primary campaign that she regretted that vote."
Get the picture? More of the same, wrapped up in a liberal shroud.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The lab tech came about 8:40 while Pat was still asleep. I woke him, but the tech said he didn't have to get out of bed. She drew the blood in about two minutes, he went back to sleep, and she left.
What a contrast to the chore it was for both of us to get Pat to Lab Corps for the same thing! That's not even to mention the 3-hour round trip when we had to got to Fort Dix for blood-drawing. So glad we found this Visiting Physicians outfit.
I went to my own doctor for the blood pressure thing. It was 134/85, not bad, but higher than she and I want it. She cautioned me again about my over=use of salt and now I'm going to get serious about cutting down on it. It was gratifying to discuss the election with her, as she's a liberal like me; maybe I should have kept my mouth shut about voting for Nader.
Later, the oxygen guy came for regular maintenance. He was here for quite a while, as Pat had a lot of questions and requests. (I think Community Surgical has a phone, but he would never dream of calling them--too proactive, I guess.)
On a wider note: From an article onTruthdig.com:
"(Obama's) policies are drawn from the same centrist Democratic Party sources as those of Bill Clinton, and Obama’s admirers might even find themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state—which makes no sense whatsoever." The writer suggests "...there are no significant differences of view on war and peace between the two of them."
This is an ominous sign, it seems to me and it prompted my vote for Nader.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finally got to Santori's in the afternoon and regaled myself with a car full of goodies: green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, acorn and butternut squash, lemons, and feta cheese. Was able to get to Shop Rite after, then to the liquor store for my Taylor Country Red. Was gone about two hours, and Pat was okay.
Talked to the Visiting Physician outfit and arranged to have a podiatrist here. A technician will come draw blood this morning and a p.t. will come next week or so. Called the V.A. and was relieved there shouldn't be any problem (financially or medically) with this new arrangement.
On a Wider Note: I'm getting more and more concerned about the war mongers with whom Obama seems to be surrounding himself. Now Hillary is poised to be his secretary of state. Oh, great, a Caucasian Condi coming up.
And this--don't we all know it's true?--from Ron Jacobs at Anti-War.com: "Imperialism is the order of the day in Washington, D.C.: velvet glove or iron fist, trade agreement or shock and awe. George Bush or Barack Obama, Washington will do whatever it takes to expand its hegemony. If we want to change this fact we must rebuild a vibrant and massive antiwar movement. Within that movement there needs to be an understanding of the nature of U.S. imperialism. It's fine to oppose one imperial war, but it's even better to oppose the system of imperialism itself. That is our continuing task."

Monday, November 17, 2008

We had a glorious day at the hike yesterday. I guess we totalled about 3 miles. Followed the red trail a mile out, then back, and after that, hiked around the lake. It was overcast part of the time, pretty cold and very windy, but not bad hiking weather over all. The three children, ages 4, 5, and 6, were wonderful fun to be with; they took turns holding my granddog, a cockapoo, on the leash, and were full of energy, curiosity, and high-spirits.
I left at 1:15 after getting Pat settled in the living room. Expected to be home about 4:00, but didn't get back until 5:45. Everything was okay, though. Just had a great day.
On a wider note: Saw the Obamas on 60 Minutes and was struck by the contrast between his easy, intelligent, civilized manner and the crude, illiterate, trailer-trash demeanor of the sitting president. Also thought of Palin and her vapid and false "down home" style--an ignoramus who's proud of being ignorant.
Oh, it's hard, so hard to avoid being blinded by Obama's great gifts and our relief at getting a solid leader. It's so tempting to forget that little boy in Iraq with both legs and an arm blown off, courtesy of the U.S. The glaring omission last night was the complete and utter absence of a single question about foreign policy. "Tell me, Mr. President-Elect, will you continue our program of murdering children? Oh, never mind, we don't want to get off our knees at your shrine long enough to press you on that. Now, about the doggy for the girls..."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Donna came in the late afternoon and we had a wonderful visit. She brought a box of incredibly delicious chocolate-covered pretzels of various kinds. Will bring two over to Susan when we walk.
Mike called on the web cam and I saw the adorable little girls. Vivian showed me various objects, then started what I think children have loved since cavemen grunted: echoing what her daddy said. He, of course, pretended to be annoyed, then starting saying, "I don't want anything for Christmas" and "I deserve a spanking," which she repeated, giggling.
I delighted in this: my precious granddaughter playing the same joke my son did, and I did, and my mother did, and her mother, on and on. Guess it's one of those "we're human together" things.
I wonder if the children in Iraq play that little game. Oh, no, I'm sure not. Otherwise, how could we murder them?
Current The New Yorker came. This edition is devoted to the election and oh, how I wish I could join in the Obama rejoicing! I keep trying to push out of my mind what I'm afraid will mark his regime: more of the same in foreign policy, only better disguised--endless war. And we fall for it, over and over again.
A quote from that ever-quotable celeb, Herman Goering:
"Naturally the common people don't want war...But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." (Emphasis added.)
And what happens to "humanity in common" then?



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Got to BJ's early and stocked up on supplies. Galvanized myself later and actually cleared out, washed, and re-arranged the refrigerator. After that, I did the same to one half of the linen closet; will do the other half today. It's incredible the of amount of medication, plus inhalers, bandages, and other medical stuff we have--we could open a drugstore.
Sister Betty called about noon (9 am her time), thinking I was worried about her, as she lives in Santa Barbara where forest fires are raging. Worried? I didn't even know about the fires, as I don't watch television aside from "Countdown" from 8 to 9 pm. Get most of the news from The NYTimes, which I read on-line, but at the time, they were running only a small piece I didn't notice. Anyway, Betty's okay and is at daughter Carolyn's for the duration.
Was pleasantly surprised when good neighbors Dennis R. and Bill G. stopped in to chat with Pat for a bit and change our furnace filter. Just another "we're so lucky to live here" incident.
Got a nice message from son Mike, who announced that 4-year-old darling Vivian has now mastered use chopsticks! She said she's "going to teach Nana" to use them, a skill I've been incapable of inquiring. Of course, if I had such a capable little instructor nearby, I would probably be able to pick it right up.
Note: Darn, now I can't remember what "code" I was going to use for my weight. The hell with it: just got back from WW; lost 1.8, for a total of 74.2 off and a current weight of 125.4. Yipee!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, it's up and down, down and up when it comes to good and bad days around here. Yesterday was a washout--literally and figuratively--as the rain came down in torrents most of the day. Pat slept a lot and I was at loose ends; didn't feel like doing anything productive, such as cleaning out closets and just toyed with the computer and brooded. At 2:00 pm, I suddenly realized I had missed my 1:15 doctor's appointment I called to apologize and reschedule, but was furious at myself.
Pat didn't get up until almost 3:00 and I was still in a sour mood. Gave him lunch, saw him settled in the living room, then--because I had to get out--went to Manahawkin in the driving rain. Picked up his prescriptions ($3 for one, $124 for the other--that's for 10 pills!) and got some cute shirts for the little boys.
By the time I got home--the rain even heavier--I felt much better. I must remember that when I'm low, I can snap out of it by changing my venue or doing something different to re-focus my attention.
Rest of evening was pleasant and after my popcorn and wine, went to bed and slept like a log.
On A Wider Note: The following is from the blog "A Tiny Revolution," illustrating the writer's (Jonathan Schwartz) belief that wars are consciously sought and promoted by those in power. The first quote is from 1984:
"It's not a matter of whether the war is not real or if it is. Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous...The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia but to keep the very structure of society intact."
Then this from a memo by White House Counsel Clark Clifford to President Harry Truman:
"There is considerable political advantage to the Administration in its battle with the Kremlin. The worse things get, up to a fairly certain point—real danger of imminent war—the more is there a sense of crisis. In times of crisis, the American citizen tends to back up his President."
(Also see War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges. I have this book and have read its hair-raising truths several times.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good day yesterday. The "home physician" came early--about 10:30 and I liked her a lot. Pat wasn't up yet, so we got the paperwork (archaic term--it's really "computer work") done over a cup of coffee. Later, she examined him, explained the program, said she "didn't like" the color of his mucus (I can just hear my legion of readers go, "Ee-w-w!), and prescribed another antibiotic and a steroid. She said we'd next have a nurse practitioner or P.A. visit him; she also mentioned therapy to help in practical solutions to problems.
A. came in between her appointments and I was able to go to Kohl's I was astounded when I got home and was told the X-Ray technician, after calling first, had already been there and taken Pat's X-Rays! Home Physicians also do blood work, EKG's, and Echo grams in the home. I think this will be a good help to have, although he'll still have to go to the surgeon's office, for instance.
Otherwise, enjoyed hearing from good friend, Lynne; niece by marriage, Robyn; and friend Gerri by e-mail, as well as Pat's niece, Donna, by phone--all people of whom I'm fond . D. will visit on Saturday, which will be such a treat for both Pat and me.
On a wider note*:
Gerri sent a long article by Paul Waldman, in The American Prospect, which is so exactly what I (and evidently, millions of others) feel about the Bush departure, we could have written it--but not in such intense and elegant prose. It's called "Goodbye and Good Riddance" and I strongly recommend finding it on line (dated November 11) and reading the whole thing. For laying on the line the Bushies' inanities and inhumanities, it can't be beat. Here's an excerpt:
"Goodbye to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war. Goodbye to the lust for sending off other people's sons and daughters to fight and kill and die just to show your daddy you're a real man. Goodbye to playing dress-up in flight suits, goodbye to strutting and posing and desperate sexual insecurity as a driver of American foreign policy. Goodbye to the neocons, so sinister and deluded they beg us all to become fevered conspiracy theorists. Goodbye to Guantanamo and its kangaroo courts. Goodbye to the use of torture as official U.S. government policy, and goodbye to the immoral ghouls who think you can rename it "enhanced interrogation techniques" and render it any less monstrous.Goodbye to the accusation that if you disagree with what the president wants to do, you don't 'support the troops.' Goodbye to stocking government agencies with people who are opposed to the very missions those agencies are charged with carrying out. Goodbye to putting industry lobbyists in charge of the agencies that are supposed to regulate those very industries. Goodbye to madly giving away public lands to private interests. Goodbye to a Food and Drug Administration that acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry, except when it acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the fundamentalist puritans who believe that sex is dirty and birth control will turn girls into sluts. Goodbye to the "global gag rule," which prohibits any entity receiving American funds from even telling women where they can get an abortion if they need it."
*Decided to alert readers to political material with "on a wider note," starting now. Those who wish to read it can do so; those interested only in my mundane little day-to-day stuff can skip it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yesterday, I did a whole lot of nothin'. Am now just waiting to wake Pat to prepare him for the home physician's visit. Got a welcome call from sister Betty (the nun-ha!). She said Steve is home and recovering. I've been back and forth with her daughter-in-law, Robyn, whom I love and respect, on political stuff. Trying to explain why I voted for Nader isn't easy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

While Pat took his after-breakfast nap, I drove the mile to the post office to mail a package. When I came out, the damn car wouldn't start. I assumed it was the battery. Called Frank B. from next door and he came, but tried it and it did start. He had me turn on the lights and step on the gas; lights didn't dim and he thinks it's something other than battery. Must get the car to Mastercraft before long.
Took Pat to the plastic surgeon in Toms River. Ear doing all right, but the graft doesn't seem to have taken well. We received this information with a kind of numb acceptance. Can no longer get excited about bad medical news--it's all bad. Made an appointment for a month from now, but who knows what the situation will be then?
Told Pat about the "home physician" coming tomorrow and he thought it was a good idea. Relieved about that.
Note: Re Bush and ilk: Ever wonder how these gibbering numbsculls came to dominate Washington? Here's a link to a Brit piece that rings sad, but true:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/28/us-education-election-obama-bush-mccain
Oh, and this just in--what The Washington Post calls "a quiet windfall for banks":
"With virtually no public attention, and without the input of Congress, Treasury made a change in an obscure tax provision that benefited banks to the tune of well over $100 billion."
My friend, Gerri B., sent this piece in its entirety. The quote above is from Bob Herbert's column in The NYTimes.
You think we're not screwed? Tell me we're not screwed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stayed in just about all day, aside from morning walk and tiny trip to get cottage cheese. (Posterity will be thrilled to know this!) Tried to put the cover on the air conditioner outside, but couldn't get it tied. Will ask one of the guys or A. to help.
Pat seems to have rallied slightly, in that he got up earlier--about 10 am--and his appetite is strong. Breathing is still very poor.
Had contact with the outside world via phone, Internet, and web cam: Pat's bay buddies, John and old George, both called. Had a good long conversation on the web cam with Ellen. When A. called, she said she'll come after work several days this week, as she has parent conferences in the evenings. Always happy to see her.
The "home physician" called and we made a date for her to come and examine Pat on Wednesday. I haven't yet mentioned it to him; will after we get over his trip to the plastic surgeon today.
Got a wonderful message from old friend, Gerri B., who's just back from Egypt. We have similar political views and I'm glad to have picked up with her after 50 years. Hope one of these days to be able to meet her for lunch.
Note: Lest I be accused of recording only minutia in this entry, here' something from Arthur Silber's blog, "Once Upon A Time":
"...a huge swath of our economy is now devoted to preparing for war, making war, and cleaning up after war. To one degree or another, most members of Congress are beholden to the economic powers that drive the obsessive concern with war, and its cornucopia of economic opportunity. Both parties are enmeshed in the War State, and the current corporatist war making apparatus devours almost all those who go into public service."
And this, written by Barack Obama in an op-ed piece in The NYTimes on July 14 (quoted in the "Winter Patriot" blog):
"Ending the (Iraq) war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan..."
Want to read between the lines? "our broader stratigic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan" = endless war.
Wow. Maybe I'd better stick to minutia.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Still rainy. I was able to run some errands in Manahawkin while Pat slept. Made an apple crisp. Puttered around otherwise. A. called, as she does daily. Mike and Paula, plus adorable little girls, called on the web cam. Mike then called his Dad on the phone, as he can't get into the study.
Speaking of adorable little girls, there was a piece about the first daughters on a news show yesterday. (I don't watch T.V. news, but Pat had it on.) I must say, much as I'm aggrieved at their father following along in the imperialistic ways, they really are darling. I'll enjoy whatever news of them Michelle allows, the latest being their search for a puppy.
Note: I haven't yet had a chance to check out a blog called either "Will Wilkerson," "The Fly Bottle," or both, but was struck by this quote in an essay on Obama's win:
"...frankly, I hope never to see again streets thronging with people chanting the victorious leader’s name."
I first thought, What? Why should that be disturbing? After all, a dark horse (God will forgive me) has won the presidency and the populace wants to show its excitement and joy. Then I started to think about it. Oh.
I hope never to see that again, either.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Finished the reference letter for Leslie, brought it down the street to her, and spent a nice half-hour chatting. She told me about a Mennonite-inspired movement for a "peace tax fund," founded during the Vietnam war. The idea is that people could specify that their federal taxes not be used for the military. Groups are still active in this movement and I looked into several web sites explaining it.
I was astounded to find that--guess what?--a huge percentage of your taxes go to murder children. (Yes, I'm going to keep repeating that phrase.) If, say, y0u pay $5000 in federal taxes, $2100 goes for past and current military expenses. What's left funds all other social needs-- for education, the infrastructure, health care, and so on and on!
Here's a web site that puts our monstrous war budget in perspective, using Oreo cookies, of all things:
http://www.truemajorityaction.org/oreos/
Later: Went to Weight Watchers. From now on, will use code for my weight saga: +1.4--dn.72.4--w.127.2.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Enjoyed a late lunch with Mary Ann Van O. We just went to Dynasty in town (that's Tuckerton, the booming metropolis with a population of at least 5,000). A. came down to be with Pat. She borrowed two crock pots and a few other things for her party tomorrow night.
Talked to Betty and son, Steve, who's having surgery tomorrow. Pat about the same. His appetite is okay, but the breathing is very bad. Awaiting a call from the "home physician" today. Am still not sure whether he can make it to the surgeon's to get the ear checked.
Just a little heads-up from Anti-War.com:
"Perhaps the greatest failure of the political system today is the lack of leaders appealing to the large number of Americans opposed to a policy of empire."
And this from from Chris Floyd:
"While America continues its giddy, self-congratulatory celebration of 'change,' Afghans find themselves mired in the tragically familiar: yet another round of mourning for yet another massacre of innocent civilians in yet another blind, bludgeoning air strike by American forces.This time almost 40 people, including 10 women and 23 children, were ripped to shreds of bone and viscera when an American missile struck a wedding party in the remote village of Wech Bakhtu, according to Washington's own hand-picked native satrap, President Hamid Karzai."
Ominously, Obama has emphasized his determination to turn his military sights and war preoccupation to Afghanistan. Hey, we're just priming the pump here, folks--getting the electorate used to tearing babies limb from limb in yet another country.
Okay, okay, I'll stop--but first this from Dennis Perrin:
"Let's not forget whose interests (Obama) truly serves, that Wall Street chose him over McCain, and worst of all, that Joe Biden is a heartbeat away. I know -- better Biden than Sarah Palin. Scumbag trumps psycho, one of liberty's many blessings. Again, you gotta work with what's lying around."
Love that "scumbag trumps psycho," Dennis!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pat seemed improved yesterday. He got up before 10:00, and we were still at the breakfast table when Jack B. came over. Among other things, we talked over old times at Holy Spirit and Pat seemed more "engaged" than he has in days.
Rest of day routine--for us, that is. (The phrase, "the new normal" always comes to mind.) Looking forward to lunch with Mary Ann today.
But:
In the delirium over Obama's ascendency--and, believe me, I'm not immune--I hate sounding this note, but it's legit. From Justin Raimondo, at Anti-War.com:
"From the perspective of the antiwar activist, there are many dangers that lurk just around the corner, and the most insidious and least obvious is the consolidation of economic power in the state. This centralization will make it easier for the federal government to mobilize all the resources of the country for military purposes: indeed, the economic crisis will give the government cover to further consolidate and rationalize its growing power and increase its ability to punish "anti-government" critics. From what we have seen so far, the Obama administration is almost certain to abuse its power in this way."
And more:
"Another danger that looms large on the horizon of Obama World is the prospect of a lovesick media corps, one so enamored of their Messiah-in-the-White-House that, while failing to examine his policies overseas, they swallow his explanations too readily. It is all too easy to imagine our besotted press corps capitulating to a new era of political correctness in Washington, where all criticism of the Dear Leader is deemed "reactionary" and implicitly racist.
Finally, please, please read the entry "WIBDI" ( Oct. 5) on this blog:
http://www.chris-floyd.com/

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Well, Obama is in and we'll see what happens now. After voting for Nader, I've more or less lost interest in the political show. Naturally, being a helpless liberal (helpless in the sense that I'd cut off my right arm before I'd debase myself as a conservative camp follower), I feel some satisfaction in the rejection of McPalin, but it's at a remove. The old whores will be leaving Washington, and the new whores will move in. However, I can understand the joy of those who voted for Obama. When it seemed apparent a few days ago that he would win, daughter Ellen wrote: "There'll be time to be disappointed in him in the future. Now, I just want to be hopeful."
Pleasant day yesterday. Pat slept very late and I busied myself with chores. A. stopped in to show us her medal, marathon shirt and jacket, and the sign Jeremy made her. I took pictures and sent to various relatives. She took some time off and will come down to be with Pat while I go to lunch with Mary Ann Van O. tomorrow.
And here's why I voted for Nader:
Imagine being a young mother in Afghanistan. You're--say, 24, and your soft-spoken, easy-going husband is a mechanic. You have two little children. Rashid is 5 and wants to do everything his daddy does; Kashir is almost 2, with curly hair and a real talent for patty-cake.
Somebody shows you a translated excerpt from an editorial in the New York Times:
"Mr. Obama’s challenge will be to manage an orderly withdrawal from Iraq without igniting new conflicts so the Pentagon can focus its resources on the real front in the war on terror, Afghanistan."
Would you realize that allowing the Pentagon to "focus its resources on...Afghanistan" actually means the possibility of seeing Rashid screaming in terror and the brains inside your little curly-head spattered on a wall?
"Focusing resources" sounds a lot better, doesn't it? Let's always go for the soothing words so we can pass over what they mean.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

(I wanted to add this link below my domestic entry, but for some reason, it messed up the Nader one, so I put it at the beginning.) It's a column from "Fred On Everything" that scares the hell out of me--because it rings so true:
http://www.fredoneverything.net/FOE_Frame_Column.htm

Welcomed Frank and Marybeth about 11:30 and had a wonderful day. Pat didn't get up from his morning nap until 1:00 and after helping him wash and dress, I served lunch about 2:15. Pulled together the meal with just had what I happened to have in the house: tuna salad, a big green salad, crystal pickles, sliced hb eggs and tomatoes, and three kinds of bread. Made an apple crisp for dessert, which went over big.
Naturally, we talked and talked. These Californians ooh and aahed over the glorious color of the trees so beautifully displayed in the big windows at the back of the house. They've been here several times before--the last time in June for our anniversary, but never in the fall. They left a little after 4:00 to get back to Baltimore before dark. What a neat day!

Later: Here's a column by Chris Hedges in "Truthdig" that delineates all the reasons I voted for Ralph Nader for president a half hour ago:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081103_only_nader_is_right_on_the_issues/

Monday, November 03, 2008

We followed the NY Marathon on T.V. and with the computer alerts daughter A. had signed us up for. She finished! Yay! We're so proud--not bad for a grandmother of two. Her cousin, Joan, called to say she and Jim were spectators along with son Jeremy, who had made a sign; A. ran past them and saw it. After, they were able to meet up with A. and M.
A. called us later, happy and proud. Joan called us after they had gotten home and we had a nice talk.
Also talked to sister Betty, friends Barb D. and Mary Ann V., and via the web cam, the-highlight-of-the-weekend, daughter Ellen.
Put together an apple crisp and tuna salad for today, and will add a green salad, bread and crystal pickles for lunch with Frank and Marybeth. As things stand now, they'll go with us to the doctor's; we'll have to leave for Toms River by 3:30.
Then there's this, from Nance Greggs on Democratic Underground.com aimed at the made-up idiot dolls of the mainstream media:
"Tens of thousands dead in a war you promoted like a ratings-grabbing miniseries sure to bring in the viewers and the bucks, Constitutional rights torn and tattered while you made a spectacle of shredding the once-noble profession of journalism with your stunning displays of ignorance, a middle-class that all but disappeared while you discussed missing teenagers and the fading careers of the once rich-and-famous, a government that tortured, imprisoned, raped, and plundered with abandon while you busied yourselves with looking the other way.
We.Are.So.Not.Listening."
Yes...yes! That's exactly the fury I feel every time I'm subjected to the boob tube (that appellation seems to have fallen out of favor--maybe because it's such a truism?), which I can't always avoid, although I try.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November 1 yesterday and it felt like high summer. Very warm, but I didn't go out much, aside from my morning walk and the supermarket. Made Pat a beef stew for dinner, but he ate very little. He is sleeping a lot now. Standard time is better for me, as we "gain" an hour. That means I'm not over-sleeping (which for me is waking as late as 6:30). Susan will be back from Canada today, so I'll have my walking companion back tomorrow morning.
Talked to Frank. He and Marybeth will be here tomorrow and will go to Pat's doctor's appointment with us--if Pat can go, that is. He was in distress yesterday, so short of breath he could barely function.
A. called. We'll be following her progress in the New York Marathon today. She said she was assigned number 34,ooo and something--there are 40 thousand running. (That's more than the population of the town where I grew up.)
Here's some food for political thought:
"I hear constantly now about (the president as) 'our commander in chief.' The word has become a synonym for “president.” It is said that we “elect a commander in chief.” It is asked whether this or that candidate is 'worthy to be our commander in chief.'...But the president is not our commander in chief. He certainly is not mine. I am not in the Army." (Garry Mills)
Wills emphasizes that the president is not c of c of civilians. The U.S. constitution makes that clear (but God help us if we rely on politicians to uphold the constitution.
This militarization of the highest elected office in the land is important--and ominous. Biden recently referred to the populace being on the verge of electing Obama as "commander in chief." NO! We don't elect anybody to that office; he'll be c in c only of those in the armed forces.
WORDS MATTER!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Slept until 7:30, very late for me, then stayed in all day. Had several good phone calls, including from sister-in-law Regina. We had a long talk. Having married brothers, we enjoy commiserating with each other on what we go through with them. (As to what they go through with us, well, no such thing--we're perfect angels). Later, Cincinnati cousin, M. called and we also talked and talked. Very satisfying and, as ever, it was good to realize what a big, warm, and sympathetic extended family I have. Still later, Mike and darling Vivian called on the web cam. Vivian had on a darling "fairy" headdress that her mother had made. She then showed her beautiful costume, also made by her mother. What talent! And what a lovely little girl she has!
Received this from another cousin, and watched part one. It's mind-boggling and sickening. Always thought the U.S. was just a tad superior to other countries? Watch this and you'll want to slink away in shame:
http://www.metafilter.com/75687/Torturing-Democracy
"Torturing Democracy" is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. You can watch it online or on some PBS affiliates, but PBS won't run it nationally until January 21, 2009. Scott Horton suspects that may be because PBS is afraid of political retaliation.