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Off the Wall

August 4, 2011

I am pushing the envelope of life, liberty, the pursuit of better tee times and age 61 (age 60…that’s 16 Celsius, which sounds a whole lot better). And I have opened the envelope to monthly USPS missives on the ravages of COPD, AARP life insurance and my friends at the Neptune Society. Yes, we have become something of a Cremation Nation. Keep those cards, letters and email submissions coming. After all, my personal spam filter sucks and I don’t feel so good myself. I can’t remember s#*t, nor can I hear it (sorry, honey—I am deaf and it is selective hearing after all these years and micro beers). And why did my beloved Chia Pet take advantage of that introductory offer on Depends and buy more life insurance on me? Why do you think? It’s called grieving in Jamaica, mon. With Jamaica, it all Depends. But in Washington D.C., we are certain that the excrement of sloth, lethargy and general ineptitude has hit the fan of government. Okay, we have an 11th hour deal—sort of on the Debt Ceiling Crisis. Washington—where the elitist Republican Snots have been battling the elitist Democratic Snots and another President Without A Clue (PWAC) in some classic partisan bickering and a game of “Chicken” that makes our alleged leadership look like a bunch of idiot children. I can still remember enough these days to fear for our nation’s future. Yes, that sucking sound you hear is the future of our nation being flushed down the porcelain bowl of desultory despair and incompetence by a bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism and self-serving rhetoric too concerned about their personal wealth and approval ratings. Our nation’s leaders have already defaulted on their responsibility to serve the public good and the people who elected them to this life of privilege. We are up to our eyeballs in debt, Roger Clemons is smiling again, Lady Gaga is the new vision of American Normal and the contemptuous cretins we call leaders still can’t figure out that we are all supposed to be in this together. This is our country you clowns are fighting over, not some overstuffed game of Monopoly. There is more collegiality, solidarity and intelligence manifested in any kindergarten class that what we find in Washington D.C. (District of Chaos). I’m no ego-centric, underworked and handsomely overpaid public school superintendent, but I still possess enough cerebral acumen to realize that a U.S. default would result in more panic than the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008 or the revelation that Lance Armstrong might have been working the performance enhancement card during some or all of those Tour de France wins. Yes, right now it all looks more like Ringling Bros., deal or no deal. Sorry, Mr. President, and Speaker Boehner (rhymes with Boner), neither of you guys get the yellow jersey. Democrats and Republicans, oh my! Just the sound of those two words makes me want to run to that porcelain bowl of despair and hurl a few vitriolic barbs. And what the hell good is adding to a debt ceiling that speaks to trillions and numbers I have no working knowledge of? Raise the debt ceiling and we’ll probably still see higher interest rates and a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. Yes, I’m Moody about Standard and our Poor economy that is only going to get worse. I’ll believe that the economic recession is over when the Mariners can score more runs than your basic, run of the short season Class A team. No growth, no jobs and no help from Washington, which seems hell bent on self-emulation and wondering why nobody called 911 along the Beltway. Maybe they didn’t know how to dial 911. So, whose default is it? Does it all mean that I should be learning the Chinese language anytime soon? Sure, we can ascribe blame here. It starts on Wall Street and in Washington, where greed is the name of the game. Corruption at the core and some inbred dalliances between the financial sector, regulators and politicians. It has all meant that John Q. Public is pretty much screwed by the skewed tilting of our economy toward the greed mongers on Wall Street and away from the bedrock that once ran the engine and still should--Main Street. We seem to think we need to spend billions a month on military and wars in countries where not playing nice has been de rigueur for centuries. Thank you, George Bush Jr. for the most incompetent presidency in the history of the Union. You set the limbo bar of Presidential cluelessness and arrogance inordinately high. Chubby Checker could do better than the misfits and self-serving malcontents we have running our country these days. No, it has only gotten worse since your reign, Dubya…I mean administration. But hey, corporate profits are skyrocketing and 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of the outstanding stock in the market. How bad can it be? It’s all about GNP, ATM, chronic ED and GOP, PAC-12, my CEHP (Chronic Ear Hair Problem) and disconcerting disappointment that I could have done so much more than to collect a company stipend and rail against a lack of collective common sense in this country. But if you have regular access to ink and a printing press… Yes, maybe if I had studied harder in school, I too could have been a politician and made a difference…or made decisions based on deference to my political party. Failing that, maybe I could have become a public school educator and eventually realized that teaching is a thankless, selfless and admirable exercise that is remunerated, well, about as well as a small town newspaper publisher is. After all, when public school teachers get into administration, it certainly is all about the money. They are compensated very well for what they do—and what they don’t do. It’s a great gig if you can get it. The same can be said for our Washington politicians, who worry more about pandering to their cesspools of special interest and posturing for re-election than serving the public interest and public good. But alas, as far as school was concerned, I did pretty damned well I thought, particularly if you didn’t count the learning part. There was also a big problem—summer vacation. Maybe that short-term memory loss I think I suffer from now has actually been a life-long issue. During summer vacation, I tended to forget everything I thought I knew about anything school-related. Would that make me a good Republican or Democratic politico…or school administrator? Would it make me want to own a Cadillac or attend Ted Nugent Is Still Relevant Concerts? Would it get me better tee times or make me realize that tea parties, tee times and anything tee to shining tea is pretty much irrelevant. I always thought that being a Republican meant that you’ve probably argued and believed that poverty could really be abolished if people were allowed to keep more of their minimum wages and you’d never have stock in Birkenstock…after all, Birkenstock was that hippie rock and roll concert at that farm in upstate New York back in ’69, wasn’t it? Now I realize that politicians and political parties are all pretty much the same shade of gray and wallowing in the same dogma. Maybe it’s just my own personal gloaming, but if you’ve seen one inept party animal, you’ve seen them all. Like Cialis and Viagra, there are some nasty side effects ascribed to both party animals that have put our nation on the brink. Now, where did I put that Metamucil highball? I think I’ll make it a double.

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