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Showing posts from June, 2010

THE SPARTAN AND THE PRESIDENT: SECOND THOUGHTS

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--Sweetheart, you’re talking to yourself again.
--I was dressing myself down. I was taking myself out to the woodshed.
--Please don’t tell me you forgot to turn off the coffee maker again. We don’t need any more caffeinated tar.
--Nope, on top of the coffee maker.
--But you needed dressing down. Discipline.
--That’s it, I lack discipline. Toughness and grit. Those are the qualities in short supply with me. But not with General Stanley McChrystal. I just read his discipline level allows him only one meal a day.
--Well, he’ll have lots more time for the gym now. Maybe he can add a snack.
--He will, that’s true. Although they run a pretty tight ship at these cable networks. I imagine he’ll be spending lots of time there soon.
--You see him doing color commentary on the war in Afghanistan?
--Almost certainly. After all, TV has welcomed back Elliot Spitzer. Notice how they’ve been rehabilitating him lately? He has his own show now. I see the same thing figuring for McChrystal.
--Ah well. Life goes o…

A DAY AT THE RACES

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In recent days, BP CEO Tony Hayward has taken what few rational Americans would begrudge him—a break back in England from the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Except Mr. Hayward has a gift for getting it wrong. He took his break in a way guaranteed to dig his Stateside public relations hole even deeper: racing his 52-foot yacht Bob. From the position of average Americans, the most telling feature of this latest gaffe, and others by BP’s Swedish board chairman, is simply this: it underscores that in the new millenium, class distinctions in the Old World remain firmly rooted. So much so as to blind corporate plutocrats to any idea of how their words and deeds are perceived by those who don't belong to their "set." If any of us thinks European society no longer maintains sharp divisions based on privilege, the toffs at BP have set us straight.

--Tony! My God, what a surprise.
--Trevor! When was it last, Ascot? Boxing Day? I hope not, I was rather in my cups, I should think…

LEARN AND EARN + DENIABLE CREDIBILITY

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--What are you reading?
--A Free Press story about Samantha Ivory, fifteen, of Detroit.
--Let me see. Nice picture. Samantha is hard at work at her computer.
--She’s going to Cass Tech.
--I know Cass, my dad went there. What’s this? The Freep for May 25. Today is June 18.
--So?
--Well, honey, we’ve talked about your memory “issue.” I don’t actually think there’s a problem, but seeing you reading a three-week-old paper…
--Leads you to conclude my issue has finally set sail for real.
--Not necessarily. I’m sure you have your reasons. The Freep’s not much of a paper anymore, and June 25 might have been a good issue. You could be saving good ones to reread on rainy days.
--Nice catch. If it will ease concerns about needing to tether me before letting me outside, please understand I set this aside to look at later. Intentionally, on purpose. I promise I am not reading a three-week-old paper for the second or third first time.
--Good. And what’s Samantha’s claim to fame… “Searching for a fix: should …

RETHINKING THE BABY SUBSTITUTE

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Today’s post focuses on dog fanciers and their object of interest. Or, from the FBI and the dog’s point of view, person of interest.

Often, dogs and cats are thought of as baby substitutes. Those of us suffering from one or more of the diagnosed disorders related to dog obsession would be more comfortable with children classed as puppy substitutes, but it’s best not to go there. Not if the writer wants to avoid harsh email from parents and grandparents.

What might serve everyone better is to dump the substitute idea and replace it with marriage. Or, in the case of those actually hitched, with extra-marital relations. If you own a dog or cat, you can ponder this idea in terms to your own experience. If not, please consider the writer a fairly reliable source.

Honest people know that the concept of 50/50 marriage is nonsense. It’s the sort of thing dreamed up by counselors, encouraging couples to believe that a few dozen more sessions will ultimately lead to a finely tuned, symmetrical equ…

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

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Anyone not on life support will by now know what happened last Wednesday night at Comerica Park in Detroit. Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game when veteran umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called the twenty-seventh batter safe at first.

Understandably surprised, Galarraga did not need to be restrained by his teammates as we have come to expect in such moments, struggling with vein-popping rage to get his hands on the ump. Instead, the pitcher reacted with a bemused half smile as the crowd went crazy. After seeing the instant replay umpire Joyce, obviously tormented by his mistake, apologized to the pitcher. Later, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said simply, “I make mistakes, players make mistakes, umpires make mistakes.”

This would be a big enough story in any case, but it has gone viral or nova or whatever current jargon applies. It has captured people’s imaginations. The reason I think must be understood in terms of those pictured above, people who represent so many oth…

RETHINKING THE BABY SUBSTITUTE

Image
Today’s post focuses on dog fanciers and their object of interest. Or, from the FBI and the dog’s point of view, person of interest.

Often, dogs and cats are thought of as baby substitutes. Those of us suffering from one or more of the diagnosed disorders related to dog obsession would be more comfortable with children classed as puppy substitutes, but it’s best not to go there. Not if the writer wants to avoid harsh email from parents and grandparents.

What might serve everyone better is to dump the substitute idea and replace it with marriage. Or, in the case of those actually hitched, with extra-marital relations. If you own a dog or cat, you can ponder this idea in terms to your own experience. If not, please consider the writer a fairly reliable source.

Honest people know that the concept of 50/50 marriage is nonsense. It’s the sort of thing dreamed up by counselors, encouraging couples to believe that enough sessions will ultimately lead to a finely tuned, symmetrical equality. We …