Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baron's View

I found this revolting image on Baron's View a Canadian who normally posts photos culled from around the Internet. I don't generally read his blog owing to the lack of original content but I saw the image in bobskoot's web list (the list includes pictures). Why Baron's View thinks it's okay to denigrate our efforts to improve a health care system that denies coverage to 50 million Americans when 30 million Canadians enjoy socialized coverage I couldn't say. To use this image to do that is appalling, and I am not a huge fan, to put it politely, of President Obama. This is not funny, it's not witty and it doesn't advance the debate over the now defunct health care reform one iota. Indeed, now that health care reform has been derailed by one election and the medical industry had already won every concession it ever needed in that unhappy debate, this piece of filth isn't even relevant to political debate in the US.

Having said that I am not a fan of this President I should point out that it is his lack of action that has exhausted my patience, not his "socialism," for which I do not see one iota of evidence. God knows the insurance industry cheered when he proposed his health care reform and their stocks went through the roof. Socialism indeed! If the right opposes any change to the current health care delivery system then give us rational reasons. If the right thinks current health care delivery methods need no change say so. They can't say that because we all know the current system is an impossible unfair mess. So they call the President names, they attack his citizenship and they call him a Communist. And the Republican leadership goes along with that crap. I call that sort of behavior morally and politically bankrupt and it contributes to the sense that our country is no longer governable. Tea Partiers want change, they say, but they support this kind of racist immoral behavior so when they say they want change to "Save the Republic" I dread to think how much worse they will make the current mess if they ever got enough support to influence our democracy. As long as they are a bunch of sidelined know nothings we can keep stumbling along in the hellish twilight world of Republican versus Democrat.
I want a President that really does stand for change for the better and I just wish President Obama were that leader. On the other hand we learn today that stimulus efforts may have created at least 1.8 million jobs, maybe more according to the Congressional Budget Office and Bloomberg reports housing may be more stable and industrial output may be in the black. It all seems rather feeble but one can only hope it's the start of something better. No doubt the Republicans will redouble their efforts to convince their followers the President is a Muslim.

Under The Kapok Tree

My wife and I had a Badboy burrito lunch, with cafe con leche (one sugar), in front of the courthouse at Fleming and Whitehead. A woman was throwing tennis balls for her small dog, Cheyenne was in the car parked round the corner. All was well with the world.
And the farmyard animals were wandering around cheering up the visitors, who like to see chickens on the streets. My wife thinks I am odd in that I find it odd that other people think the chickens are an oddity on the streets. "You grew up in a small village and chickens were normal," she says in mitigation of my odd-ness.

So we finished our burritos and went to the movies. I left early and my wife called my cell phone when she left the cinema, arranging to meet back at the car. I went back to the picnic table at 500 Whitehead Street and waited. Cheyenne rooted around. Then I realized I could see the back of the Mile Marker Zero sign at Fleming and Whitehead from where I was sitting...Everyone wants their picture taken next to the end (or the beginning) of US Highway One. Well, lots of people do. Some just buzz by on their rental scooters in a blur of speed:

For some people the 500 block of Whitehead Street is just the way home:
I was enjoying sitting and watching the world go by. One of the things I like about Cheyenne is that she likes doing the same, sitting next to me sharing the moment:
Overhead the mixture of clouds and blue sky was framed by the almost leafless kapok tree. An acquaintance of mine used to call it the "flying buttress tree" thanks to the extravagant projections at the base of the trunk. He said they reminded him of a cathedral's walls. And then it was time for the family to be reunited.
We sat together a little while longer as we had time to spare before our next appointment. More family fun at Mile Marker Zero.
I find the traditionally Southern architecture of the county building to be a little surprising in a small town as urbane as Key West. Yet it speaks of solidity and represents just one more piece of history in this historic little southern town.
Evening was falling making the grass and the brick buildings and the flags and the palm trees more evocative than ever in the growing darkness.
The Green Parrot Bar was down there at Southard Street gearing up for a another night of fun, fun, fun.
And the family photograph had moved to the flying buttresses of the kapok tree from the Zero sign.I enjoyed the action of the figures clambering but Dad wanted everyone frozen in a crisp still life, faces looking at the camera. They obeyed killing all spontaneity."You'll see these trees in Guatemala," Dad said.
"They think God lives at the top, but I've not seen him," I said.
"Keep looking," Dad said shortly.
"We're staying in Marathon," Mom said. "Luckily there's lots to do in Key West on a gray day like today." I figured these were not people who would remain unfazed by an encounter with a drag queen on the street. Marathon is a good refuge for people who don't like surprises. "We couldn't go fishing in these winds," Mom added, "so we decided to come see Key West..." and get out before darkness fell bringing with it all sorts of unsavory, unChristian rascals. That sounded like the unspoken thought of a concerned mother from somewhere conventional. Dad finished posing his little stick figures and off they meandered. I have never really thought of myself as particularly radical but I saw this bumper sticker later and thought that "Sleeps With Dogs" might sound quite racy in some places.I'd like to think my Labrador is smarter than most honor students but I hope that's not the case otherwise the future for us all is probably bleaker than expected.