Notes on the Passing Scene…

I’ve been thinking about “a lot of different stuff,” as the kids say.

  • It appears our elected officials are doing their level best to prove they are interested more in themselves than in governing. This is nothing new, of course, but it’s reaching epic incestuous proportions – at present, the House is wrapped up in whether it should have an Ethics Committee to investigate itself or not; the Senate is bogged down in endless debate and frequent press potshots on whether it should change its rules on the filibuster; the administration is ga-ga over Social Security “reform”, although it has no actual plan. Meanwhile the rest of us are thinking about–hold on to your hats–the actual issues facing the country.
  • I hear teenage girls are now using steroids to “tone up” or win at sports. Why girls would want to raise their testosterone levels is beyond me, but somehow I’m not surprised. The whole country seems to be on a de-evolutionary binge, trying to become less civilized and more…barbaric. Violent entertainment, violent pastimes, increasingly violent personal interactions, “aggressive” business tactics, a foreign policy based on instigating wars–it goes on. It’s as though we’re all in basic training, toughening ourselves and putting our “game” faces on to get ready to…what?
  • The Republican party appears to have become the official political wing of the religious right. In case anyone wanted to know.
  • Some people don’t take compliments well–inferiority complex. The Democrats don’t take to political advantage well, retaining the politics of “shrill indignation” even when they’re gaining ground–fear of success? Or just plain dumb?
  • I heard some “experts” talking today on why the U.S. cannot seem to find Osama bin Laden, who is, incidentally, living quietly in a condo in northern Pakistan with his two cats. The one expert, an apologist for the government, said essentially that we don’t need to find him–that to spend all our energy trying to capture one man who is not directly involved in current threats to the U.S. would sidetrack more important anti-terror efforts. Funny–that sounds like the case not to go after Saddam Hussein.
  • In a little town out here on the Plains, a teenage girl burned her house down, killing two siblings in the process. She was trying to kill her dad, who was sexually abusing her and taking pictures of the rapes for his personal collection. She’s only about 16, but she’ll be tried as an “adult,” because…well, I guess because no one will stop them. Dad survived–he’s in jail now on child porn charges. Oh, and the attention of the case led authorities to arrest mom on outstanding bad check charges. Just one all-American Iowa family.
  • Around here, folks like to hunt Morrell mushrooms in the spring. This year, they’re getting shot at by nervous farmers who think these folks are setting up meth labs. Three words: know your enemy. One more word: relax.
  • Speaking of meth, a local grade school teacher was just busted for dealing it (though not to her students, apparently). She’s claiming hardship because she couldn’t survive on her $31,000 annual salary–which is about 1,000 times the average Guatemalan’s annual salary.
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