Feeling Calmer, Better and Gathering the Peace

2014-04-24 11.40.05

Those aren’t tears…that’s water on the lens! Uploaded wrong photo. Will replace soon.

Feeling a bit more relaxed over here.  Living amongst murderers and thieves is indeed stressful, but that’s what it means to live in America and I have — at least temporarily — found my peace.  Sans Xanax.  

Today’s rain did it for me, washed away the angry thoughts.  If only it would wash away the sick troublemakers, too.  (You don’t suppose there is any truth to that Noah story, do you?  One can dream and even, perchance, dare a wish.)

So instead of writing angry texts and posts, I am instead looking at pictures I took today.  Aren’t they beautiful?  Kind of?  I am a sucker for pictures like this.  Wet, ragged, once-urban landscapes touch my sweet spot.  Although I think this might have once been a farm.  I like to pretend it was once an asylum, but that sounds like I am trying too hard.

There was a little wildlife to be found, too.  I saw a fox (quick little devil was faster than my camera) and a woodcock which was twice as fast as the fox.  (Missed it, too.)  So I took pictures of things a bit less nimble, things like trees, stone walls, and old, cracked sidewalks.  I cold do this all day…and almost did.

Alas that thing called work.  Now is not the time to be careless.  Not only do I have a bar tab to pay, but…
Speaking of bars, I stopped at Rinata, a lovely little Italian restuarant, for some of their delicious spaghetti with house made meatballs and tomato sugo.  I like this place, but tonight it is quite lively here.  Too lively.  A group behind me appears unaware that others might prefer and even expect a simple sense of decorum.
One loud woman is…well…rude!  There’s no reason to cackle like a madwoman, especially here…or especially anywhere I might be.  First of all, nothing is that funny.  Absolutely nothing.  A laugh like that signals poor breeding or insecurity or both.  I want to punch her.  I glared instead and I am going to glare again.  (Shut the flip up!  Honestly.)

She is destroying the calm easy ambiance of this place and that’s a pity.  I have always enjoyed the cozy, friendly ambiance of this place.  Tonight it sounds like a Klondike whorehouse.  All is not lost, however, there is the beauty of the statuesque waitress/hostess/bartender.  She shines brightly even on this night which crudeness darkens.  We only need her, like a tired swimmer only needs a raft. The crass tackiness behind me will not ruin my visit.  I will just pretend that I really wanted to eat in a room filled with a rafter of screeching turkeys and make the most of it.  I won’t let this work me up.  Nothing tonight will unsettle my calm, nothing will get me back to calling David Webb a nitwit or calling Jordana Green a….

Hey, wait a minute…that cackling maniac….what if that is Jordana Green?!  Indeed, I have heard Jordana cackle on the radio.  Could be, certainly could be…But it isn’t.  Jordana isn’t that bad, not quite.  I did date a crazy woman once who cackled like that, usually at 4:00 in the morning.  I liked her.  Once.  Maybe it’s her.  After all, how many crude, rude, insecure women of poor breeding can one city hold?  Not many, I’ll bet.  But hold your bets; it is always good to know when to move on.
So I shall glare one more time at the loud table, make my point, and then order my spaghetti.  Relax.  Maintain the peace.  Punch the laughter, if necessary, but keep the peace.  And look at the blonde waitress/hostess/bartender in non-creepy ways.


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Getting a Cranky…Just a Touch

Divided States of AmericaBetween sending Jordana Green exasperated texts and calling David Webb an ignorant nitwit, or whatever I called him, I have been getting just a bit cranky.  But I challenge you to tune into conservative talk radio — or otherwise overly opinionated thoughtless blather — and not feel like you are losing your mind.  It’s absurd.  Really absurd.  Scary absurd.

Misleading people and making scandal where one does not exist, is one thing, but on nationally syndicated radio programs, guys like Bill O’Reilly are actually suggesting that people might take up arms to oppose the government!  All this is happening while Americans retreat further and further toward the fringes clinging to their goddamn guns every more tightly.  Jordana Green has repeated for the last two days on her radio shows, which is broadcast on one of the nation’s largest CBS affiliates, that “if you walk into my house, your dead.”

Doesn’t this concern people?

First, what does it say about our state of mind?  Seriously.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, but people like Jordana — and it sounds like that’s most of us –confuse a sense of justice for security and self defense.  So-called stand your ground laws should not bleed into the realm of justice.  We should not be killing people because they break into our house  – or irritate us and then break into our house as seems to be the Bryon Smith defense — unless they are threatening us.

Second, we have seditious talk show hosts and politicians rousing the rabble over soi disant talk about rights, inciting them to take up arms against government agents.  This happens as our country’s citizenry — under a grossly simple-minded misreading of the Constitution — build up an unprecedented personal arsenal of weapons.  This country is dangerously divided and that is destroying our American community and our common good.  Add guns.

We are going for clueless and careless to angry and dangerous.  We are a better nation than this, aren’t we?  Do people who turn to the founding fathers, people who hold them up as a pantheon and patriotic deity, think those men would be proud of how we behave today?  Let’s hope not.  Let’s hope the ideals and values that founded this country are more sane and sound than those that are stirring us up today.


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IRS Employee Bonuses and David Webb

David Webb, I don’t think you are as stupid or as ignorant as you sound to be on your radio show, but perhaps I should give you the benefit of doubt and presume you are.  You tell me.

David-Webb-FoxNewsjpg-283x237Your talk tonight about IRS employee bonuses told me all I need to hear.  The complaint is about IRS employees who owe unpaid taxes earning bonuses.  There is supposed to be an obvious error in this.

First of all you have no idea how these bonuses are offered or awarded.  That should be the end of it, but you imply that they get awarded to employees for finding more money than they should.  How is that germane?  Taxes are what they are.  If the tax is valid, it should be collected.  If someone has the job to enforce those rules, good for them and good for us, the taxpayers.  Responsible people pay their taxes.  (I hope you are paying yours.)

Second.  “Unreported Income” is not inherently deception.  To believe this would argue that anyone ever audited or reassessed had committed a crime.  Taxpayers get reassessed.  Some owe more, some don’t.  It happens.  Furthermore, owing back taxes is not necessarily tax deception.  Sometimes people simply cannot pay.  They may owe more than expected or had other expenses that had to be paid.  Most people eventually pay, whether they choose to pay or not.  Do you know what is happening with IRS workers?  Are they all in identical situations?

Whether a worker owes taxes does not have a necessary impact on his ability to do his job.  If you find yourself owing taxes you cannot pay, should you be fired?  Cutting part of a worker’s compensation certainly is not going to make it easier for him to pay his taxes.  Unless his non-payment is criminal, why would an IRS employee in arrears be treated differently than anyone else, say someone in the private sector?

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What’s Wrong with Defending Byron Smith and Stand Your Ground?

1916 photograph of an execution by firing squa...

1916 photograph of an execution by firing squad in Mexico. Caption: “Executing an Enemy – Just over the boundary such gruesome sights as this have been of frequent occurrence during the last few years and have kept alive the apprehensions of Americans on the border.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lordy, lordy…what has become of us?!

Tonight on Jordana Green’s program on WCCO Radio, the host and a majority of her guests defended — even make excuses for — the violence Byron Smith executed on two teenagers breaking into his home in 2012.  Why?  Well, Jordana reminds us that the kids broke in before, bullied him.  If the kids had not broken into his house, she tells us, they would be alive.  I guess that justifies setting up an ambush and executing unarmed teens.

If what we hear about Nick Brady and Haile Kifer is accurate, they broke into Byron Smith’s home before and he was familiar with them.  As Green points out, Smith had enough.  So he shot them.  Point settled.

Smith himself certainly did not behave like a frightened man.  First of all, if we believe his apologists, he knew the kids.  But he shot them multiple times, several times after they were already wounded.  He even took time to wrap Nick Brady in a tarp and move him so he wouldn’t bleed on his carpet.  Minutes later he shot — then “finished off” — Haile Kifer.

It’s disgusting that anyone could justify and defend this.  If these kids were out of control or otherwise threatening Byron Smith, you might make the self-defense argument.  But even then, if he had wounded these kids, what justifies executing them?

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A Klick Klack Kitty Cat Memory

Klick Klack ChristmasI sure do miss having Klick Klack Kitty Cat around.  It has been a few years since she raced ahead of me and is now chasing birds in Paradise, but we can still keep our memories, right?

Klick Klack and I were quite the team.  Boy, were we ever.  We should have taken our act on the road, but to tell the truth we only had a couple of gags.   They were good ones though.

One of my favorites — and I think one of Klick Klack’s too — was the phone gag.  The Lovely Nona and I had been dating for a long time and we were still dating, but then…well she was unhappy with me for some reasons, I forget exactly which reasons, and whatever the case, I presume she was angry because she moved out to live with her friend Nelly and well…

Anyway, when she would call from Nelly’s I’d answer — “Hello?” — then turn to Klick Klick Kitty Cat who was usually on the couch chewing on something recently deceased.

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Here’s an Idea…

Responding to a Facebook post where I embedded an honest comment about Sean Hannity (“Trust me on this one…that guy is nuts.”)  a friend asked “What’s wrong with Sean?”

It strikes me that this is a great opportunity to write a book:  “What’s Wrong with Sean Hannity.”  If I had even a drunken interest in Sean Hannity, I might consider this.  Alas, I can think of nothing more pedestrian and dull.  However, some people might both find Hannity somewhat interesting and willing to tell us what’s wrong with him.

Maybe his mother has nothing to do.

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Little Updates on A Little Tour

On April 16 I started a 90 day experiment.  Really it is just a commitment to a few projects.

First, I am writing no less than 60 minutes a day on an idea of fiction I have been playing with for too long.  So far I have stuck to that pledge with today appearing to be my first stumble.

United States

Then I am weighing a couple ideas, both of them new blogs.  A website to drive Democratic voting this fall is one option.  If good smart people get out to vote, this country has a fighting chance, and the vote this fall might be one of the most important votes in generations.  Losing more state legislatures to the GOP and — god forbid — the losing the United States Senate would be disastrous.

The second blog idea is a bit less grand.  I simply want to live up to my promise to plan and edit, maybe start something new to compete with local lifestyle or political bloggers…something that gets noticed.  Perhaps I can take a big chance and be the only man in Minneapolis brave enough to ask what’s the big deal about Dessa.

I do have a handful of things working on a Little Tour, but I fizzle.   Slump time.  Maybe a list of what I haven’t finished is enough.  Here they are:

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