Blowing In The Wind

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Blowing In The Wind

Blowing In the Wind

Today, the first day of Spring, labeled a “Four-Easter” by weather channels in the Northeast, is a fine day here in Florida.

The air is crisp and a strong sun relaxes my shoulders as a gentle breeze rustles among the trees, a perfect day for drying sheets . . . . outside.

I remember fondly the  sound of sheets snapping in the wind outside a kitchen window in New Jersey and that fresh air scent once our heads lay to rest in bed that evening as Nirvana. However, although Florida is the Sunshine State, clothes lines are prohibited in many communities, ours included, evidently clean clothing swaying in the breeze is offensive or someone might shoot a pair of socks to the ground, I am not sure which,  it may be both.

Consequently, I have a folding laundry rack purchased at IKEA and although the sheets do not blow in the wind exactly .  .  .  .  they will acquire a nostalgic fragrance and help me avoid thoughts of:  Mark Zuckerberg,  Facebook, the twenty-two hundred-page$1.3T federal spending measure, or whether Trump should or should not have congratulated President Putin. 

I ask Alexa to play “Blowing in the Wind” the Peter, Paul and Mary version, and load my smart washing machine, wishing it was not that smart and let me decide how much water was needed, then hum along.

How many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man
How many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand
How many times must the cannonballs fly, before they are forever banned
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

Returning to the bedroom, I see a pillowcase inadvertently dropped on the floor, pick it up and rush back to the laundry room hoping to cancel the start cycle before it “locks” and water flows into the washtub. Otherwise it will become un-lockable, a safety feature designed to protect humans unable to determine the hazard of putting one’s hand into a spinning washtub. Stupid is not included in the on-line owner’s manual simply implied.

I make it in time and consequently will have matching pillowcases to remake the bed then continue humming with Peter, Paul and Mary.

How many years can a mountain exist, before it is washed to the sea
how many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free
how many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see
 

However, the refrain, The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind, sticks in my throat.

When it comes time, I fold the sheets careful to match the edges and strategically drape each linen to catch the wind humming:

How many times must a man look up,
before he can see the sky

How many years must one man, have before he can hear people cry
How many deaths will it take till he knows
too many people have died

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

Today, the first day of Spring, labeled a “Four-Easter” by weather channels in the Northeast, is a fine day here in Florida. The air is crisp and a strong sun relaxes my shoulders as a gentle breeze rustles among the trees, a perfect day for drying sheets . . . . I grab a cup of afternoon coffee and sit outside.

 
Read more: Bob Dylan – Blowing In The Wind Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowin%27_in_the_Wind 

 

The Donald Returns America to Greatness

820592a9792b5034dc2223bd0b012dac2eefb03aAging & Attitude

Although surprising, it is true. Donald Trump continues to lead in polls for Republican Presidential candidates.

Kathleen Parker, a Washington Post columnist, referenced last week’s debate as the first in a “political survivor series” and said it looked like a police lineup after a “Mad Men” bachelor party.

She is right. Except for The Donald, we all had hangovers. Trump does not drink, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed lashed out at Megyn Kelly, the morning after.

Kelly opened the debate with a raise your hand question obviously targeted at Trump and later defended her style of questioning Trump that highlighted his derrogative comments about women, as good journalism. I differ.

I don’t dislike The Donald. I read “The Art of the Deal” and watched Celebrity Apprentice until Omarosa was invited back. As a matter of fact, he and I have more than thinning hair in common. We were both born on June 14th, Flag Day, although he is two years older. Like myself, I am sure he imagined the Flags were flown for his birthday. Today I know the difference and can refrain from teasing my hair.

Going into the debate Rand Paul commented on CBS Morning News that Trump’s appeal is because 90% of Americans are dissatisfied with Washington. Do you think? Rand Paul wined; Trump benefited from free Media coverage and called him an empty suit without ideas.

The debate was entertaining as most candidates were on the fence about being politically correct and thankfully went off message. The exchanges between Rand, Trump and Christie were revealing as they interrupted each other and yelled across the stage.

Rand Paul shot himself in the foot with comments about Trump not thinking like a true Republican. Implying the only  way to think if you are Republican is the party’s way. Then insisting ideology trumps national security and that he saw Chris Christie hug the president. Lots of people saw them hug.

Christie aggressively responded to Paul’s philosophy like the fighter he is and consequently now labeled as not presidential. I think the media forgot about Trump’s hair during their exchange.

Jeb Bush announced that he would wear Big Boy pants, but obviously had not gone shopping. I yawned through questions answered by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and cringed when Mike Huckabee talked.

The sleepers of the night were retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Both out shone the favorites by level headed intellectual responses. It was a tease for viewers who thought the media might focus on issues and policy debate.

But no, the big brew-ha-ha is Trump saying Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes” when she asked him inappropriate questions. Now the latest summer sizzler is who should apologize to whom.

Although flags were not flown, Trump declared himself the winner of the debate and egotistically took credit for the soaring numbers that registered close to 70 million viewers. Can anyone argue him wrong?

But let us go back to the issues. So what do we know about the leading candidate? He is rich, really rich and has bad hair.

Trump says he has lots of ideas, good ideas, but is not putting all his cards on the table and looks forward to discussing them at the next debate. I’m guessing these are the things he is tossing about.

 

• Immigration – Negotiated with Iran for Iranians to patrol the Mexican United States Border

• Health Care –  Out source all medical coverage to the Canadians and or Scotland

• Gun Control –  Engage with stock market buddies in a  hostile take-over of Gun Manufacturing Companies

• War on Poverty – Give a tax credit to all employers who pay above minimum wage to employees

• Equal Pay for Women –  Have  Omarosa head  a task force.

• Abortion – Make Planned Parent-Hood a subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company

It is a lot to think about, no wonder there is no time for a presidential hair cut!

. . . . just saying

The Big But!

 

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The Big But!

According to Avjobs, “Today’s airline industry is radically different from what it was prior to 1978. At that time, the industry resembled a public utility, with a government agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), determining the routes each airline flew and overseeing the prices they charged. Today, it is a market-driven industry, with customer demand determining the levels of service and price.”

The effects of Deregulation Act of 1978:

• Increased Competition
• Express Package Delivery
• Discount Fares
• New Carriers
• Frequent Flyer Miles

 

Although airline travel has had challenges over the past thirty-six years, passengers get where they are going in a reasonable amount of time, for a reasonable price, with reasonable discomfort. In other words we fly cheap and have next day delivery without fighting.

Now the industry is shifting from market to profit driven. Seats are smaller and closer, and the aisles narrower. Michael Henny, Delta’s director of customer experience explains the new profitability plan nicely saying, “Increasing density is a priority for us from the perspective of maximizing revenue, but the Slimline seats are great because they allow us to do that without sacrificing customers’ comfort,”

Increase density! The phrase applies to a can of sardines or salmon swimming upstream and I  imagine their new tag line; Delta Delivers Density.

Moreover, please define customers’ comfort, keeping in mind the American butt is wider, and the extra roll is now spilling on to a neighbor’s seat. 

But, let us not pick on Michael Henny, I am sure he is not the only highly paid airline executive who believes the general public is stupid, other airlines are refurbishing planes with the “Slimeline” seat.airline-seats

The Slimline is 17.3 inches wide, just an itsy- bitsy bit smaller than the 17.6 seat we currently sit in, which has been shrinking from the popular 18 inch seat during the wide body 1980″s.

Passengers are already sitting in seats that are too small without a pillow or blanket.

However, the Slimline cuts back further. Passengers sit one inch closer allowing for additional seats or revenue.

Experts predicted passengers would not notice the sardine can has gotten tighter.

But we have, and are now fighting. 

A United Airlines flight, from Newark to Denver, was diverted because of two passengers who were fighting over legroom.

“A woman and a man — both seated in the “Economy Plus” section of the aircraft, which already comes with extra legroom — were at each others’ throats because the man attached a “knee defender” device to his seat, preventing the woman in front from reclining, according the Associated Press.”

Passenger fights involving reclining seats diverted flights, one in route to Paris from Miami made an emergency stop in Boston and the other headed to Palm Beach out of NYC landed in Jacksonville to settle the dispute.

Why the fighting? People think it is about reclining seats and leg room, but it is really about invasion of personal space. If you raise your arm to scratch your head your elbow will hit your neighbors face. And think carefully about the logistics of using to the bathroom, which by the way is rumored to be the next “for-fee” service.

The new seats are 1,200 pounds lighter and will reduce fuel cost; but not if you have to divert planes, and rebook passengers on other flights.

“United says, the new seats make each A320 1,200 pounds lighter. Southwest says the weight savings is cutting about $10 million per year in fuel spending. In addition, the extra seats allow Southwest to expand flying capacity 4 percent without adding any planes, says spokesman Brad Hawkins, while also collecting more revenue from the additional passengers.”

When I complained to the airlines a customer service person responded, “You people wanted deregulation.”

Is  Ralph Nader still alive?

. . . just saying

 

Red, White and Blue/The Silly Poem Series

adbdbb06-7ba9-4aac-8787-0af095d59a5bThis photo inspired the poem. I saw a bug colored red, white & blue, and hope you do too!

Red White and Blue

 

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
His red, white, and blue symbolic,
A political view
Understand freedom . . . be equal too

Like a school age kindergartener
Raise his hand to hold the flag
Chosen, glad with honor
Knows to say a prayer

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
Puff his chest, recite the pledge
Listen to a voice within
Battle for the helpless, or let the bullies win!

Stand side by side with those who care
Silently and stare
Misty eyed while taps is played for those who dare
Think America is beautiful

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?

. . . . just saying

Previous post, “Bored On The Fourth of July”

 

Bull Dogging Net Neutrality/The Silly Poem Series

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   This poem was written after viewing John Oliver’s  you-tube video about net neutrality.  Oliver is hilarious explaining how important things are often boring and consequently do not receive our attention.  I myself, missed the initial boo ha ha. You may need to view his rant first, the link is below as well as embedded in words John Oliver.

 Bull Dogging Net Neutrality

 

Heard Tom Wheeler, former  NCTA dealer, has gotten the FCC chair.
Now, overseer of what he previously planned.
A new net neutrality game of slow lanes and fast lanes

Proposals for hyper speed highways, to avoid traffic jams.
Fix something John Oliver claims is not broken
Just boring . . . Nobody cares!

A quiet Mob shakedown by Comcast and Verizon
Millions invested in the scam
A drug cartel takeover, forget about creating bans

What are you talking about. . .
Keep equal access, equal.
The internet is already one speed

The proposal called . . . differentiation             
Double talk for better faster service,
Other countries already have so don’t need!

The FCC seeks public comments
Your opportunity to vent
Or write a politician,
Mozilla Firefox will make sure your letters are sent.

 

. . . just saying

 

Still Politically Stupid

 

25politics-master675-v2   The clock reads 8:35, it is Sunday morning, and I have slept in. We had friends for dinner last night and the extra rest feels good.

Mr. Wonderful, awake since 7AM, is sitting on the living room couch doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

The glass doors to the patio are closed, the outside soaked with water. Long streaks wet the surface as though sprayed with a hose.

“Did it rain?” I asked him.

“No, it’s condensation,” he answers remaining focused.

The overnight surge in humidity is spoiling the outside view, and the air is heavy with sweat. I make an Italian Roast k-cup of coffee, grab the newspaper, and join him on the couch. However, our good life is short-lived once I start reading.

An Associated Press headline, “Pre-book tour, GOP tries to define Hillary,” demands my attention. The article is beside the Thomas Voting Report, “How your U.S lawmakers voted,” giving the appearance that the topics are related, they are not.

image01   Florida Representatives, Corrine Brown, Ron DeSantis, and John Mica, voted in all eight bills that address some serious public concerns, i.e., military budget, minimum wage & equal pay, climate change spending, and spying.

   I am optimistic thinking they increased the  minimum wage, got serious about climate control and ended civil service job protection, not.

After everything was said and done the House voted to:

  • Approved a 1.8% pay increase for troops effective in 2015
  • Continue to contract with companies that pay less than $10.10 an hour
  • Prohibit the Defense Department from spending funds on climate change
  • Keep Presidential authority of indefinite detention
  • Keep Guantanamo Bay Prison open
  • Curb National Security Agency collection of bulk data
  • Fire any federal executive culpable in VA scandal
  • Fund water projects

   At least they did something or did not seem to do nothing, and on paper Republicans passed five of the ten bills and had time to discuss the publication of Hillary Clinton’s book, “Hard Choices”  and her up coming book tour.    

   The newspaper article discusses Republican efforts pre-book tour to stop Hillary Clinton from running for office. There is a Stop Hillary Pac, organized by Garrett Marquis who claims to have raised $500,000 and have 250,000 supporters.

   Once again feeling politically stupid, I wonder, can that be legal? Forget that these activities, previously done behind closed-door, are sleazy and unethical, attempts to prevent a woman from seeking political office can be construed as  sex discrimination.

    Talk is the book tour is part of Hillary’s plan to front questions about her competency while Secretary of State and her handling of Benghazi. It probably is, however, it is common practice for world leaders to write memoirs and there is even another book titled Hard Choices by another Secretary of State. Evidently book titles are not copyrighted and it is the perfect title.

  House Republicans plan to further probe the Benghazi attack, is included in the article, as is Senator Lindsey Graham insightful vow, “I’m not going to quit until I can prove to people that story was manufactured through gross incompetence or willfully misleading the public six weeks before an election.”

   What is he talking about? I thought Benghazi was about the loss of lives not political get elected strategies; though politically stupid, what do I know.

. . . . just saying

 

 

The Eraser Law vs The Golden Rule

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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Albert Einstein

 

Alexander McCall Smith is a favorite author of mine, although it is hard to say why. He is a series writer, “The #1 Ladies Detective Agency” being his best well-known. I am currently reading “The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds,” one of “The Isabel Dalhousie Novels.”

The composer Mozart is the subject in the first page of the book, and compared to Srivinase Ramaniyan, another child prodigy, in the next few. Not a page turner since I have little interest or knowledge of classical music, and never heard of  Ramaniyan. Yet, I am compelled to keep reading, fascinated by McCall Smith’s ability to make the mundane important.

The story unfolds slowly as Isabel Dalhousie, the protagonist, shares her wisdom and concerns as a philosopher and editor of “The Review of Applied Ethics.” It is dull, but I am entertained by her thoughts.

It is Isabel’s description of another character as offensive, minus social clues and lacking social judgment, that reminds me of my third grade teacher, Miss Pendergrass and The Golden Rule.

Isabel feels badly when she offends another, even a stranger and strives to change her behavior.

 The first day of school, a Tuesday after Labor day, Miss Pendergrass instructed us to open our composition notebooks and on the inside cover write, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Fake orange and yellow leaves decorated the bulletin board and the eraser monitor’s name was written on the black board. A class discussion on the matter followed. 

 Now jump ahead to the year 2015, when the “Eraser Law” will take effect in the state of California. The law will protect minors by giving them the right to delete comments on social media. There is debate about the message; say or do what you want, you can erase it, without consequences.  There is no provision for treating others the way you would want to be treated.

The Eraser Law evolved in reaction to a court decision not to protect the public from their own stupidity, but to coddle the young, in lieu of teaching them the Golden Rule.

In November of 2009, the disgruntled staff of B.J. Roberts, sheriff of Hampton, Virginia liked the Facebook account of his opponent during the election. Despite his staff’s lack of support, Roberts won reelection, and decided not to employ his detractors. These actions became a court matter when the unemployed protested, and claimed firing on grounds of a “Facebook Like” was a violation of their First Amendment Rights.

The court said, you don’t quite get it, grow up!

They were forced to look for new jobs.

I think about Miss Pendergrass and wonder what she would tell third graders about the Eraser Law, while she has the misbehaving write 500 times; “I will not talk in class.”

. . . . just saying

Faulty Thinking

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                     “That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change.
                                      But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”

                                                                                                  Chinese proverb

   The fiftieth anniversary of JFK’s death, and the infringement on the Thanksgiving holiday by retail has me pondering. Yep, noodling, contemplating, and ruminating about life. Americans are busy shopping and have forgotten Kennedy’s words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.”

What is happening in America?

Why trash Thanksgiving? There are 363 other days to shop.

Black Friday, I selected two ornaments hung on a community Christmas tree requesting gifts for children. The child’s name, age, item requested, and instructions, were typed on the paper Christmas bulb. Michael, a seventeen year old, hopes to receive earphones and Timber, a sixteen, pants and a top. Children’s Home Society of Florida sponsors the gift giving event.

I drove to Old Navy and selected several items for Timber, however, the line looked to be two or three hours long so left. People had wagons full of clothing.

What is happening to America?

We are not keeping up with the Jones, we are stepping over the poor, to bash the entire family on their heads.

Nevertheless, polls show people are more dissatisfied and most believe the next generation’s future is bleak. Fifty percent of Americans say “No!” when asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Regan raised the question debating Carter in 1980 and won the presidency. Consequently, politicians and media believe the inquiry is a barometer on how to get elected. Unfortunately, Romney shot himself in the foot asking the question. The advertisement showed a white, most likely stay at home Mom, polishing a granite counter top, with custom drapes hanging in the dining room. The woman looked “better off” to me and definitely “better off” than others are. Guess it depends on defining better off, and who is to blame if you are not.

I call this faulty thinking. The focus is on who is at fault, not fixing problems.

Republicans smile and point their finger at entitlements. Democrats respond, “The people are starving,” and Republicans counter; “Let them eat cake.”

However, there is another type of faulty thinking that also is of concern, attaching events to the wrong outcome.

The Health Care debacle is a recent example of this type of thinking. Obama is to blame for a program that will not work and fingers point at him as not trustworthy because he said, “Americans will be able to keep their health care.” There is no mention of congress and insurance company foul play, talk about trustworthy.

I am reminded of a ten-year old who thinks his parents divorced because he did not floss his teeth. It is true his parents fought about his flossing, but they fought about everything. They had no resolution skills and did not get along and then there were the affairs.

Regardless, the kid never did floss, and now an adult suing his dentist because he has gum disease. Rumor is he is running for office and needs the money.

. . . .just saying

L is for Limericks and Lobbyists – The Alphabet Series

New Thoughts on Words

shannon

Aging & Attitude

The words limerick and lobbyist make me laugh.  A limerick is a nonsense poem that follows a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA). The intent is to be humorous and obscene, many consider a clean limerick an oxymoron. Edward Lear is credited with popularizing the amphibrachic meter.

A limerick needs to be bawdy if not dirty.  This video Grandma Sis’s dirty limerick  captures the art form wonderfully. Please note the yellow sectional couch wrapped in plastic they are sitting on.

Competing with Grandma Sis is not easy, but I hope my first attempt (using L words) will bring you a chuckle.

There once was a lady who worked in Londonderry

She was lazy, lascivious and ordinary

She dressed in the nude

And was extremely rude

But somehow was paid anyway

    Lobbying is the practice of trying to influence decisions made by government officials. President Ulysses S. Grant’s  frequent visits to the Willard Hotel lobby to enjoy a cigar and brandy popularized the term. The hotel is a short walk from the White House. Washington wheelers and dealers knew where to find him and  pay for his drinks.

I have come up with this ditty.

There once was a President who had a hobby

He liked to hang out in the Willard Hotel lobby

When he was there he’d collapse in a chair

Light up a cigar and blow smoke into the air

And listen to political folly

My next limerick hopefully captures more recent shenanigans.

In 1995 Congress strengthened lobby laws

Although compromised, registration still has flaws

With a flick of a pen, Super PAC’s are in

Lobbyist’s spend a fifth of their time drinking gin

We still hear politicians clapping their paws

If you would like to try writing  a limerick click here limerick poem.

Please share your efforts in the comments section. It was fun but harder than I thought.

….just saying

F is for Flummoxed Filibuster

  The Alphabet Series –  New Thoughts on Words

First-Senate-Debate--304

Things looked good for Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, this week when he announced he would filibuster the confirmation vote of John Brennan as Director of the CIA, the old- fashioned way, by talking and said, “I will speak until I can no longer speak.”

Evidently, the old-fashion filibuster has lost popularity and there is a non-talking version making a filibuster like phone sex. You do not need to moan, and staying on the phone is optional. Rand Paul could declare a filibuster and kept his mouth shut. Then, sixty votes would be necessary to break the gridlock and clear the floor for vote.

Visions of Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” came to mind, and a general impression of Paul as a man of consciousness prevailed.

Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul, said he did not oppose the confirmation, but this was an opportunity to make a point and find out for sure if the President’s policy on international use of drones includes shooting American citizens on United States soil. Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter did not eliminate the possibility.

Paul said in a statement, “The U.S. Attorney General’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening – it is an affront to the Constitutional due process rights of all Americans,”

Not everyone agreed and in the morning, people were flummoxed, you know confused bewildered and baffled when Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized Rand Paul calling the filibuster “a political stunt that cheapens the serious discussion about US policy to the realm of the ridiculous.”

Paul held his ground, would not admit to shooting himself in the foot, and considered Eric Holder’s letter of clarification released later in the day, a surrender.

You can agree with Paul, the government’s drone policy needs discussion.

Is that all this was about? Because it was a flummoxed filibuster.

…. just saying