Saturday, May 26, 2012

George McGovern

For those that know me well, what I am about to write will come as no shock; for you others make sure your nitroglycerin tablets are close by and the batteries in you pacemaker or defibrillator are fully charged.
I am, gasp, a George McGovern liberal. Yes it's true. I have been since the sixties

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Dear Friends

We have many dear friends. Some we have known all our lives, some are new, and we treasure all our dear friends. Our deer friends however not so much. Some of our dear friends like to stop by for coffee and conversation. Our deer friends like to stop by for a midnight snack as can be seen in these photos.

Really, Just the Ornamentals?

My biggest complaint is, why do they only eat the ornamental plants? There are plenty of non-ornamental plants to eat; in fact the weeds vastly outnumber the flowering and foliage plantings. I would even be willing to pay them to eat the weeds; even at union scale if they would eat just my weeds. Alas, the union steward, I think he's the one with the antlers, has been unwilling to discuss any terms with me. He actually runs whenever I approach him. I'm almost beginning to think Scott Walker might have the right idea about unions.
It could be that the does with nursing fawns (mommy deer friends) are the ones leading the protest against eating weeds. When I was growing up we drank milk from our own cows. In those days, it was unheard of for a farmer with cows to buy 'store bought' milk. Anyone who grew up on a farm, back in those days, knows that if the cows get into the weeds it will give their milk an off-taste, very bad you know.
Sometimes we would drink it right from the cow, but usually it would first be strained in a large funnel.

I remember one family that had a home pasteurizer from the Sears Roebuck catalog, but they were kind of odd to begin with. Today raw, unpasteurized milk is considered an unacceptable risk to public health. Milk borne diseases like undulant fever and listeriosis once common are now quite rare. On the other hand, none of today's kids will ever get to experience the of taste warm milk fresh from the cow.

A Repulsive Idea

So, left with no other option, we sprayed the ornamentals with "Deer and Rabbit Repellent". This solution comes in a spray bottle and apparently is quite effective. It has only one slight, itsy bitsy little drawback. It stinks. It doesn't just stink a little; it stinks to high heaven. It doesn't just stink on the little plant; it stinks up the whole neighborhood. If the wind is from the West, the elderly lady to the East holds her nose every time she goes outside. If the wind is from the East, my neighbors to the West don't come outside at all. With a North wind the little boy and girl to the South cry all the time they are outside until their mother comes out with a cloth over her mouth and nose to drag them inside. Evidently deer repellent is also very effective at repelling friends, neighbors, children and their parents, little old ladies, as well as deer and rabbits.

A Solution to World Prolems

I think we could probably solve the controversy over funding for contraceptives. A little deer repellent goes a long way; just apply a drop anywhere to your body and no one will come near let alone want to do you know what with you. It would probably be equally effective against assassins, terrorists and invading armies.
The people at the lawn and garden store said it will stop stinking after a while, but then the deer will resume munching.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ida Dunmore

I've been doing a little thinking lately about TV and three recent programs I watched on the old Vizio and about how bad things have become with our government.

The Bailouts

The PBS four hour series "After the Fall" on the 2008 financial crisis and  the bank bailouts wound up on Tuesday May 1st. HBO also aired a movie on this subject, "Too Big to Fail" in 2011; James Wood's performance as the infamous Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers was excellent.
Actor James Wood as the CEO of Lehmen Brothers
The bailouts continue to be roundly attacked by zealots of both right and left wing persuasion.
On the right, bailout critics say that the economy should be left alone, the free market will take care of it. These critics also tend to be the same people who criticize government in general and this country of ours is going to hell in a hand basket. The lefties believe the banks should have been left to fail because they needed to be punished.
The unanswered question is "What if the government had done nothing?" The truth is that no one knows for sure, but it is also true that the riskcalamitous world economic collapse, was too great too ignore.


On Wednesday May second, one year after the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound, NBC ran a one hour piece, "Rock Center with Brian Williams, about the 'Situation Room' at the White House during taking down of OBL. Shortly before that President Obama had spoken from Afghanistan about winding down the war. The Limbaughs and Hannitys and Republican leaders as well as liberal pundits were quick to criticize the White House for "spiking the football". CNN ran a news story called "Obama punks Romney". And many questioned whether it was necessary to kill him or should he have been taken hostage.

The Ugly

My mind went on an 'Incredible Journey' as I sorted through these views/opinions, or notions as I like to call them.

The ugly truth is that none of these people disparaging government really dislike it. They simply disagree with some current leaders and administrations.

True anarchists point at governments excesses such as Nazi Germany, Mussolini or Tojo, feudal and caste systems, slavery and genocide; exclaming that all governments are evil and the world would be better off without government. Anarchists, at least, have courage of their convictions.
So what's the difference?

The Difference is Explained by Someone Making a Difference

For me, the difference is well illustrated by people like Gerda Weissmann Klein. On Wednesday May second's PBS News Hour, Klein spoke with Judy Woodruff about her horrifying years in Nazi captivity and how the experience has inspired her work. From 1939 until the end of World War II she lived in fear and deprivation. She worked in slave labor and concentration camps, finally being forced to walk in a 350 mile death march.
Gerda Weissmann Klein on the PBS News Hour

As a Holocaust survivor, Gerda Weissmann Klein emigrated to the United States where she has championed the values of immigrants and citizenship. Her autobiography, All But My Life, which has been in print for 53 years, in 62 editions and has been read by countless students around the world. A documentary film based on the book, “One Survivor Remembers,” by HBO and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum won an Academy Award for 1995 and the 1994-95 Emmy. 
Gerda Weissmann Klein Receiving the Presidental Medal of Freedom in 2010
"the importance of the Holocaust should only be too illuminate the fact that it -- that hatred and tyranny and all that is not over. It is going on every single day. And I think that we should have more people come from countries where it is happening. To see the type of pictures, you know, when I see pictures of little children holding battered little things for food, when villages are being burned, this is still going on."

The Connection

During the interview, Klein, a champion of the values of immigrants and citizenship, spoke of wanting to give back to this country. 
"I love this country. I love it with the love that only one who has been hungry and homeless for as long as I have been."
JUDY WOODRUFF: "Finally, do you think the United States is handling immigrants, immigration the way it should be today?"
GERDA WEISSMANN KLEIN: "I don't know that -- having had yearned so much for freedom, you can imagine that that's a very difficult question for me. And I hope and pray that, in the ultimate decision of justice, the heart will win over the brain."

Thinking about what Mrs Klein said, I began to understand the connection. She came to this country to find freedom from slavery and oppression. In the United States, the people are the government, the government is the country, the country is the government. Without the government there would be no country, no United States.
Like my 
To give back, in her later years Klein became a human rights and citizenship activist.
As for me, a survivor of kidney failure and a couple near death experiences, at this point of my life, I'm an Ida Dunmore. If I had fully understood how short life is, I would have done more to give back.
Then I thought, wait a minute; Gerda Weissmann Klein, now 87, founded Citizenship Counts ( in 2008. Maybe it's not too late.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bloggers of the World: Unite

Today is May First, May Day, International Workers' Day. Communists, socialists, and sympathizers all over the world, there must be a few left out there somewhere, are parading up and down the streets calling for a new world order and such. Politicians are making speeches extolling the virtue of the working classes. Labor leaders are holding rallies to denounce the oppressive corporate bosses while everyone sings the ballad of Joe Hill. In a former life, I was once a labor leader, but that's another story.
Maypole in Sweden

Gymnsium May ca. 1920
In many countries May Day has a long tradition predating Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In Norway, May Day is a national holiday with parades and speeches, usually by Labour Party leaders. I remember relatives and older family friends talking about May Day in 'the old country'. How girls would dance around May Poles each holding a ribbon fastened to the top. And then there were the may baskets. If you were "sweet on" someone, you would put together  a special basket containing flowers and candies, hang it on that someone's front door, ring the bell and then run. Out on the rural prairie where I grew up however, these May Day traditions were a little impractical. On the windswept Dakota prairie, the ribbons on a maypole would be a tangled mess in two minutes. As for the baskets, they would see you coming a half mile away and would be waiting on the front porch: "So nice of you to stop by, whatcha got in the basket there then?" 
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
On this May Day, retired people like me are just feeling kind of left out. We are old enough to remember, Gus Hall, the Black List, Tail-gunner Joe McCarthy, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; and other icons from the great struggle between capitalism and Godless communism. Now there just doesn't seem to be much point in it anymore. Maybe we should just be thankful that those days are in the past, find a maypole, telephone pole, or flag pole and dance around it, as best we can for a person of our age.