Friday, October 29, 2010

Vital Voting

"This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order."
P. J. O'Rourke

Next week, the majority of Americans will vote as though their lives depend upon it. In many ways, that's true. Furthermore, at least this time, the majority of American voters will probably vote Republican. In vibrant detail, P. J. O'Rourke sums up the reasons why.

Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 2. The life of America does indeed depend upon it.

4 days to the 2010 mid-term elections

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ego on Display

Jonah Goldberg, whose wry observations rarely fail to make me smile, has done it again with his NRO article, "Obama's Outsized Ego." Even for his supporters, it's hard to avoid the fact that President Obama's high opinion of himself is contributing to our national woes. A good example is this public reprimand to him from a hardworking U.S. citizen, someone who supported and voted for him.

Even Victor Davis Hanson, usually the most serious of analysts, scores well with a satirical review of the president's policies and how they are pounding us into further difficulties. "How to Turn a Recession into a Depression" is more truth than poetry.

Both articles boil down to the fact that the president will force his will upon the country because he is convinced that he is the smartest man in the universe and the voters are just too stupid to realize his magnificence.

We Americans have many big problems on our hands, but perhaps none more potentially damaging to the country than Obama's ego.

Election countdown:

17 days to the 2010 mid-term elections

751 days to the 2012 presidential election

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Crisis Remembered

This month marks the 48th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. For anyone with a memory of those tense days in October 1962, it was a terrifying time.

In today's world, it is difficult to describe the fear generated by the threat of nuclear annihilation. Personally, I have never been more frightened in my entire life than in October 1962--and that's saying something. Older baby boomers such as myself can recall in vivid detail the drills at school, when we were taught what to do in case the Soviets launched a nuclear missile attack on the U.S.A. My teachers didn't fuss around with under-the-desk routines; students in my school were marched downstairs into the dark and dingy basement of my middle school. Quadrants of this yawning cavern were marked with huge chalk numbers on the concrete walls, showing where each corresponding class would hunker down to wait out the nuclear storm.

Many of my classmates started to cry, a few of them hysterically, calling for their mothers during this "safety drill." (I sometimes wonder what the ACLU might have done with this situation in our modern times.)

I suffered my life's worst nightmare during this period, and I can remember it as though it occurred last night. In this awful dream, my younger siblings and I lay huddled in my parent's basement. A radio announcer was screaming for everyone to take cover. Just as the missiles fell, lighting up my home's basement with a blast of heat and fire, I awoke with a gasp and a start, heart racing and face burning.

For anyone who has ever wondered "What's her problem?"--well, there you go.

During my recent visit to Boston, my daughter and I visited the JFK Library, where there is an extensive exhibit on those 13 days of international crisis. I recommend the tour to anyone, but especially to those Americans who can remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. The fact that JFK brought us safely through it is a hallmark of courage and leadership in our history.

We could do with a bit more of that today.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Guardians Unseen

Today is the feast of Guardian Angels, as I noted here exactly one year ago.

Since my most recent post was about the archangels feast day, I was planning to move on to a new topic. But, the storm came.

On September 30, San Diego underwent an incredible battering by Mother Nature. Forked lightening, booming thunder, screaming sheets of rain, even hail--the perfect storm of "global climate disruption" attacked the county with unfettered fury.

My 7-year-old Labrador, Riga, does not like noise. Ever since puppyhood, she has quaked at any loud or sudden sound. On July 4, during the neighborhood fireworks display, Pete and I would find her burrowed far back into the well of space under the computer desk. In recent years, Riga favors her garage bunker, behind the washing machine, during fireworks.

But on Thursday morning, the interior door to the garage was closed. Matt, Nicole, and I were at work. And the thunder was deafening. So Riga tried a new solution--she jumped the fence and ran.

Matt arrived home from a 24-hour shift at around 9:30 a.m. and found Riga missing. He began to drive and search for her. He phoned Nicole, and she left work to help him search. Wisely, my kids did not notify me of this crisis. I can only imagine the wreckage I might have caused on the freeway as I raced home in the tempest. Riga is my bridge to Pete, who unabashedly doted on her. She's my living link to better times, a walking furball of fun memories.

I arrived home in the evening blissfully ignorant of the days events. Matt informed me and said that in the afternoon, about 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., a woman called. Matt happened to be at home, preparing to begin a new round of searching, and he answered the phone. The woman told him that Riga was at her office, about two miles from our home.

Matt went to collect Riga. She was wet, scared, and tired. Who knows where she had traveled during those many hours of raging storm? I only know that she had to cross one of the busiest thoroughfares in San Diego to reach that business park. The thought of it still makes me shiver.

You may be wondering what Riga's dangerous flight and happy rescue has to do with the feast day of Guardian Angels. Well, I find it somewhat relevant that I had just posted on the archangels the very day before.

But another fact is more noteworthy. You know that woman who phoned Matt, to tell him she had Riga safe and sound? Her name is Angel.