Monday, November 29, 2010


It appears time to update Emma Lazarus’s sonnet on the Statue of Liberty as we have
certainly revised our concept about immigration.
Let’s just take the last part of the poem:
....”“Bring, ancient lands, your storied pomp for our Empire” cries she with silent lips
“Give me your fired-up, your super rich, (Keep your fucking poor) your educated
masses yearning to earn more and usurp our scientists, their white collar criminals of
your teeming shore. Send these, the world travelers, luxury laden to me, I lift my lamp
beside the golden door!”

As the old saw goes; We can land a man on the fucking Moon, but can’t get a box of
Kleenex to give up a sheet of tissue without ripping it all to shreds! Maybe we can give
NASA a contract to see if they can overcome this incredible problem. Now an engineer
would know enough about the tensile stresses in paper to align the fibers in the proper
direction that would give the strongest tissues and not disintegrate when you pull it out
of the box.

Why do we Americans have such an antipathy to innovation and science? If we allow
cell phone towers at all (Bodega Bay has no service) we have to disguise them into a
fake tree or something . A tower in itself is just a clean artifact that is pretty innocuous,
but these trees, they must cost a fortune, which of course, we will pay for in our service.
They do not appear to be anything like the nearby trees, they are the wrong color, the
wrong shape, and a totally wrong idea!
We have become the keeper of the flame of fake shit, e.i. every local tourist bus is a
terrible reproduction of a SF cable car, every little tourist train is a crappy little white
replica of a choo choo train. (Although I have to admit, they have the same damn train
in Marsielle).

Bourgeoise = Commercial Class, a Capitalist, that’s us, folks!
Bolsheviks = The majority who seized power (Bush II)
Proletarian = Workers of the World, Unite!

There are rumblings from the White House that to reduce spending we may even
take a look at our Defense Budget of 700 Billion a year. What? Reduce our hundreds of
bases around the world? Stop building our Posh Palaces of Embassies around the
world? What madness is this? How are we to keep our Empire together if we reduce
the massive spending? What kind of crazy ideas would we use the money for? A health
care system similar to most of the other developed countries? Maybe we could increase
But let’s be real, we are so embedded in a Military-Industrial Complex our citizens
would never go for it. Why? Because we have too many citizen workers who make a
good living off military spending. Why are we still building zillion dollar aircraft carriers,
zillion dollar nuclear submarines? How is it that these giant machines help in door to
door guerrilla fighting which is the closest thing we get to fighting these days. I know
why we build super fighter jets, so we can sell them to other countries so everyone can
stay on a war mentality. I believe we don’t count the money it takes to care for our
wounded, amputees for the rest of their lives, which may be 50 years as most wounded
are about 20 years old. Bush didn’t include the costs of his two wars in the budget, at
least Obama includes it. How do we justify we spend nearly 50% of the entire world’s
defense spending? That’s a pretty big stick, isn’t it? And if you believe we can impose
a republican government on a middle eastern country that has been killing each other’s
clans and tribes for thousands of years, you’ve been smoking the good stuff.

I’ve just finished (for the second time) THE SABRES OF PARADISE by L. Blanch. It’s
the story of Shamyl, an incredible warrior and leader of the fight against the Russians
in about 1850 who wanted to wrest the Caucasus from the mountain people. I guess
we never learn as the fight is reminiscent of our current wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. The
Russians had unlimited fighters with all the latest technology (Cannons, guns, etc.)
while the Tchechins had only sabres & old rifles but an indomitable spirit to defend their
towns in nearly inaccessible mountain country. Of course, the biggest help was they
were driven by a fanatic religion called Islam. This incredible war went on for 25 years,
during which hundreds of thousands died on both sides, (some very painfully) including
women and children. This was called collateral damage. Sound familiar?
I also learned the word “Bistro” came from the Russian officers who were in a hurry
when stopping at a small café and hollering “Bistro” which means “hurry!”. This should
get me a free glass of wine from Mathew of Underwood bar & Bistro here in Graton.