Monday, August 27, 2007

It Takes A Village (Idiot) Or Two

Comment of the day is from Nouri Al-Maliki, the embattled Prime Minister of Iraq who was recently on the receiving end of criticism by Democratic Senators Carl (Ben Franklin) Levin and Hillary Clinton. Sensing that any and all upheaval in Iraq favors Hillary’s chances for the presidency, Clinton and Levin have both called for Al-Maliki’s resignation. Al-Maliki feels that Clinton and Levin have but a tenuous grasp on the political realities of the region and bluntly said so. He wished that certain WALL Democrats would “come to their senses” and stop treating Iraq like “one of their villages.”

Perhaps the time is right for Hillary to come out with the sequel to her book about child-rearing entitled “It Takes A Village.” The sequel could feature a cover picture of herself arm-in-arm with Levin and the title: “It Takes A Village (Idiot)” Or two of them.
(Photo credit to, the best source for books.)

A Litvinenko - Politkovskaya Connection? Ten arrested for the journalist's murder...

The dying man is struggling to say something. With the last bit of strength in his body, he grabs at the hand of his friend, pulling him closer so that he can hear.

"Putin....It was Putin who did this to me..."

The voice withers away finally and completely, as does the man.

Was that how it will happen in the movie? Probably not, and it's not exactly how it happened in real life either. Alexander Litvinenko died in a London hospital on November 23, 2006. Near death, former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko offered a written statement condemning the Russian president and blaming him, among other things, for his own impending death.

Three principals in this grim tale were all ex-KGB. The Soviet KGB was legendary for its intrigues, its subterfuges, its diabolical cold-war activity in a game of spy upsmanship with the Central Intelligence Agency and the British MI6. KGB tactics were the stuff of James Bond films as victims were felled with pinpricks from poisoned umbrella tips or dispatched with bullets fired from fountain pens.

It's grimly like that old folk tale of Hansel and Gretel leaving a breadcrumb trail through the dark forest. Instead of breadcrumbs, however, these Gretels left behind lethal doses of Polonium 210, a radioactive substance to which few could gain access. Traces of the powerful poison were left from Moscow to London.

Litvinenko became mysteriously ill after a meeting in a London restaurant with Dmitri Kotvun and Andrei Lugovoi, both former spies and Russian intelligence agents turned businessmen. All three men had known each other during their days with the KGB. Litvinenko had become a bitter critic of current Russian president Vladimir Putin, also a former KGB agent.

After months of investigation, British prosecutors charged Andrei Lugovoi with being a participant in the murder. Russia refuses to hand Lugovoi over to British authorities and says it is conducting its own investigation. Putin's critics say that his dismissive attitude toward public suspicions and his disdain for domestic critics is part of a grand scheme of consolidating power in the hands of a powerful few.

It is not uncommon in modern-day Russia for business people, news reporters, and political critics to meet violent ends. Litvinenko was himself concerned with investigating the death of a Putin critic, journalist Anna Politkovskaya, executed by point blank gunshot to the head as she entered her Moscow apartment. It was just announced August 27, 2007 that ten people had been arrested for Anna's murder and the details have yet to be released.

Friday, August 24, 2007

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Scattershot: Legal Marxism and the Deutsche Bank Building

The road to hell is patrolled by lawyers. Legal Marxism penetrates to the very core of our existence, overturning the electoral and democratic processes we prize so highly. Europe long ago reached the choke point of modern bureaucracy, something that Kafka prophesied in his book called “The Trial.” No matter what decisions are reached, there is always another layer of bureaucracy requiring approvals, committee meetings, fact-finding missions until you attain Legal Nirvana in the form of a perpetual motion stalling machine at public expense, fact-finding studies at public expense, impact studies at public expense, court challenges at public expense.

To those fanatical believers in Legal Marxism, we are all useful idiots. Why? Because we believe in clean water, clean environments, clean energy, safe cars, clean air, clean, better and newer everything. And because we do, we allow our society and its best interests to be strangled by chokeweed parasites who make millions of dollars by focusing on one single aspect of it which, by its rightness and our general acceptance, is able to thwart all necessary action for the overall preservation and protection of constitutional liberties and freedoms and the larger good.

Well, don’t you believe in “due process?” Of course I do, idiot, and I believe in the snail darter too, and the little rivulet minnows, and the disappearing frogs, and OSHA and the EPA and the tons of regulatory slag which unnecessarily killed three firemen in New York City within the past month.

What’s set me off on this rant was the tractor I use for mowing and other outdoor things. I went to a John Deere dealer to get advice about getting new blades—the others were no sharper than a baseball bat and worn to nubs. This was in Pennsylvania farm country. Think farm people. Think tractors and silage and grain and machinery and people accustomed to being independent and free and doing much for themselves.

“But these new blades are dull! “ I exclaimed.

About three farmers looked at me with that special glint in their eyes reserved for the uninitiated. They waited and stared, too reserved to disillusion me. Then it came to me, the Great Revelation of modern existence: lawsuit! So the damn John Deere Company has to ship dull blades to its farm customers because one moronic person (or an entire group of them) found an equally moronic lawyer (or entire group of them) to sue the corporation because its tractor mower blades were as sharp as the farmers needed them to be.

Lest you think the problem is a rural one, think of the Deutsche Bank building in lower Manhattan, New York City. Several of the major East Coast newspapers carried the story of the sixteen trillion layers of bureaucracy spawned by OSHA, EPA, the Downtown Development Dunces, the Committee for Dissolute Resolution, the Citizens Representatives for the Advancement of Recycled Toilet Paper, etcetera.

Look, I’m for all that citizen involvement and for worker protection and for all of those handy one concept banners about which everyone nods their head approvingly because they’re too busy to think of the consequences. Apparently, there was only one company which was willing to put up with all that (for the paltry sum of 150 million). It also cost two brave firemen earlier this month when the building, which should have been down about five years ago, caught fire and burned. And almost cost another life when an equipment hoist dropped about thirty stories and landed on another fireman or worker who thankfully survived. Now that company has been fired and there will follow a New Series of Dropped Materials Accidents. And lawsuits added to existing lawsuits.

The lucky lawyers—just imagine! We are not quite yet at the moment when every breathing individual is ensnared in one lawsuit or another but we are fast approaching it.

We voted for a government to chart a new direction American energy independence but would-be successful efforts are stalled in a miasma of special interest group lawyering.

Our coffee is served warm to us at McDonald’s.

America can no longer conduct surveillance of its enemies without barreling through the flak generated by a Democratic Congress hell bent on governing not by democratic processes but by legal fiat.

Am I getting warm? Are we a healthier society or are we laboring in the fields of national self-delusion? Shakespeare was a smart guy and he had it right long ago. Pondering the question of how to create a truly utopian society, he said:

“The first thing to do is kill all the lawyers.”

Or something to that effect.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chris Dodd, Mario Bartiromo, Erin Burnett Redux


Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd held a meeting in his office with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and sidekick Henry Paulson. Is it a bit strange that the Fed Chairman and his deputy should have to humble themselves by appearing at Dodd’s office instead of neutral turf? Yah, I know… government officials are the servants of the people, yada, yada, yada….except for elected officials who are only pimping the people. The Bernanke meeting was a great photo op for Senator Dodd, a bright fellow, bright enough to calculate the political points added to his flagging presidential campaign. Behind this politics of the dollar is the hit on the economy posed by the mortgage credit crunch and fallout. Dodd has to appear to be doing something about all those people who risk losing their homes, and for all those others who want mortgages on homes costing more than $417,000. Dodd’s position is suitably triple-fold:

• He must chastise the lending establishment for “predatory” practices in the granting of sub-prime loans.

• He must support sub-prime loans as a means of getting poor people who could not otherwise afford homes without sub-prime lending practices.

• He must create the impression that it is within the Democratic Senate’s power to engineer a fed rate cut even while just about everyone else knew (except me) that, by his public grandstanding, he made the Fed’s job a great deal more difficult by undermining its credibility.

It’s true that I discovered just last week that economics was at the root of so much human activity, but you’d expect someone like Chris Dodd would have discovered it a few weeks (or even months) earlier. Apparently, this sub-prime lending has been going on for quite some time. Erin Burnett mentioned “years,” I believe. This was confirmed by Maria Bartiromo later in the day on CNBC. Mark Haines and David Faber acknowledged the truth of it. I think it was Bob Pisani who called Dodd’s after meeting presser statement a reflection in a “hall of mirrors.” Could it be?

I close this extended missive with high hopes:

• We hope Fed’s recent move of pouring liquidity (money) into the economic by lowering the “discount window” rate will continue to work. It does seem to have stabilized the markets, at least for the past few days.

• We hope that politicians like Chris Dodd will not meddle and play politics with what the Fed does best.

• We hope that the poor will buy nice houses for their families and be able to support the obligations associated with that by participation in a strong and vibrant economy.

• We hope that no one ever takes a loan deal that carries “prepayment penalties” and offers “interest only” loans.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Choose: Chris Dodd, Erin Burnett or Maria Bartiromo

Don’t hold any of this against me—I just discovered that money rules the world. It’s all about the Benjamins. I should have paid attention to it a little sooner. Economics and Finance 101, I mean. You’ll have to take whatever I say about it with a grain of salt, as they say. Two grains if your blood pressure can handle it.

A while back people were talking about a “housing bubble” and I thought they were talking about the inflated price of housing. I discovered just yesterday afternoon that what they meant was not a “housing bubble” per se, but a housing bubble caused by a mortgage financing bubble. Personally, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t call it a bubble at all. I’d call it rubble inside of a trouble.

Sometimes things don’t sink in if you’re not affected. Once in a while I wondered why nobody got put in jail for offering interest only mortgages with incredibly low monthly payments. And I always believed that nobody was stupid enough to sign something carrying a “pre-payment penalty.” I used to live in a neighborhood where that type of thing would get you aerated.

But last week I decided to study economics and financing because, while happy, I felt there was something missing from my life. Mario Bartiromo and Erin Burnett had something to do with that for sure. Both women are brainy market watchers you can really appreciate even when they’re wearing Wallstreet-smart outfits with conservative jewelry. Neither of them are glamorous women in the Hollywood tartlet sense of the word, yet both are alluring and classically beautiful. And smart. Smart lights up beauty and naturalness with nearly radioactive brilliance and these dolls glow like the Bikini Atoll before the Test Ban Treaty.

Who else could hold you in thrall with stories about Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd making the grandstand play with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke or the euphemistically titled “mortgage crisis” which pulled the Dow down 1000 points from its 14k high? Now I will go to look for some pictures from my files. It’s too late today but tomorrow, you will have your choice: Maria Bartiromo, Chris Dodd, or Erin Burnett. You decide.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The "Conspiracy of Fear"

WALLs are frequently heard saying on cable tv and sat radio that "right wing" conspirators are trying to manipulate American opinion by an excess of zeal in pursuing anti-terrorism strategies. They sure weren't doing that prior to Sept. 2001 and one wishes there were a spasm of attention getting anti-terrorist rhetoric at that time. Perhaps someone would have noticed Mohammad Atta sweating or trembling when he boarded that plan in Boston. The WALLs, of course, have convinced themselves and now try to convince others that 9-11 was a one-off deal. Anyone with a contrary view belongs to a conspiracy of "right-wing nuts" trying to terrify the country for political reasons. I think the WALLs are the real "wing-nuts." The WALLs would have you believe that anyone with a view differing from their saccharine one-world-hold-hands-and-dream are trying to put one over on us.

That would include FBI (government conspirator) Robert Mueller who was recently interviewed by NewsMax Magazine (also part of the right-wing conspiracy):

FBI Director Robert Mueller said al-Qaida's paramount goal is clear: to detonate a nuclear device that would kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

John Edwards' Sub-Prime Lending: Su Casa es Mi Casa Ahora

It was the Wall Street Journal which first reported the story of John Edwards supposedly unwitting foray into the murky world of sub-prime lending. It seems Edwards had a spare 16 million dollars he didn’t know what to do with so he put it into an investment company he consulted for. Edwards’ former employer and investment firm Fortress Investment Group LLC has sent out thirty-four notices of foreclosure on New Orleans Katrina victims, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Fortress Investment Group LLC is the parent of other sub-prime lending institutions which are foreclosing on the homes of poor hurricane Katrina victims. Edwards says he worked for Fortress to learn all he could about international finance, and says he didn’t know anything about the sub prime business Fortress and its affiliates were conducting. Wouldn’t you like to have him for your lawyer?

The Wall Street Journal article gave a few examples of what sub-prime lending was all about. Apparently, it’s a sort of ass-backward way of getting the hard-working poor like the Monteses (depicted in one of the Journal articles) into housing they can’t afford at high interest rates, piggyback loans, and prepayment penalties.

Common sense tells you that poor people should have lower interest loans, one at a time, and with no prepayment penalties. What’s the purpose of a prepayment penalty except to provide a windfall to greedy mortgage brokers and lenders? You should be financially punished for paying off your debt early?

Right now, just about everyone in government wants to crack down on the “deceptive practices of predatory lenders”. The irony of it is that the same people who want to crack down on sub prime lenders are the same people who have pressured government and banks to relax responsible lending practices to help the poor buy houses. Their constituents in the banking, investment, and financial areas were all for it so long as they were making money. Now that the bubble has burst, you have candidates like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton proclaiming their renewed fervor as “champions of the poor and downtrodden”

To avoid the appearance of bottom-feeding, populist candidate Edwards has now promised to assist all the homeowners being foreclosed due to involvement with the company Edwards consulted for. Part-time work at Fortress Investment Group LLC provided Edwards with a salary of approximately $476,000 for the year 2006. In addition, Fortress Investment Group personnel were heavy contributors to the Edwards presidential campaign to the tune of $150,000.

Clearly, populism has rewards that are both political and financial. However, when brazen hypocrisy masquerades as populism, people are rightly disgusted.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Heart of a City: The Newark Murders

In a Newark, NJ neighborhood recently, a trio of college bound post-teens are told to kneel down facing a brick wall and executed with bullets fired point-blank into their brains. A female companion, shot first, survived and bravely pointed out the murderers to police from a hospital critical care ward. The story was slow to get wheels but then it began to get wider circulation. Will it lose momentum just as quickly when a violence benumbed television audience begins to rationalize and dismiss it as just another case of thug life in the ‘hood.

The classical liberal answer is to decry gun violence. Nobody should doubt the sincerity and conviction of Mayor Cory Booker in trying to rid his city of people who are destroying it but he’s got to do better than to recite the customary bromides about hangun proliferation. Doesn’t New Jersey already have some of the toughest handgun laws on record? There’s no point in emulating New York’s Mayor Bloomberg who faults neighboring states for selling handguns to the thugs who, Bloomberg suggests, would not be committing violent crimes at all if the guns had not fallen so easily into their hands.

Tough gun laws, like tough drug laws, don’t work. You’ve got to change the human equation and that’s a little bit more difficult than citing convenient anti-gun slogans to please the liberal electorate.

Booker knows exactly what he’s up against but he’s painted himself into the liberal corner paved for him by Democratic stalwarts like Governor Jon Corzine. Sure, Corzine will play the great humanitarian, appearing at funerals to wring his hands and say predictable things like the murders were "cold-hearted and cowardly." Or that the murders were “beyond comprehension.” Really? Beyond comprehension? Perhaps in Corzine’s neighborhood, but not in the heart of the city Cory Booker swore to clean up.

If Corzine really wants to help Booker help the city, he might want to get real about his support of the “Sanctuary Cities for Illegals Who Commit Violent Crime.” Newark is one of the cities where cops are told by their Governor not to get involved with issues involving illegal immigrants. I’m referring to one Jose Carranza, who had been previously arrested in separate incidents for assault and for rape of a five year old. Corzine should answer for why this guy was out on the street and for why there was no attempt to notify Immigration authorities he was on the streets.

Another wizard is Essex county prosecutor Paula Dow who offers the specious argument that she didn’t direct ICE to be notified because she feared that Immigration officials would whisk Carranza off to the deportation dock. That’s about as screwy a story as you’re likely to hear. Immigration’s not going to deport an accused rapist and murderer with a prosecution pending. How stupid does Dow think people are?

It’s all some screwy politically correct shell game and people are rightly angry. Cory Booker’s a guy who wants to do the right thing but he needs help from the Honkeys on High and that means the governor. Bust chops. Kick the tires and light the fires. Tell the cops they must report illegals involved in violent crimes to immigration authorities. Is the weak drivel offered by the political pimp-daddies of political correctness worth even one hair of those murdered kids heads?


Friday, August 10, 2007

Changing Tastes

I can remember the number of near traffic fatalities I was involved in while driving fast rolling metal during the reckless days of my youth. Spinning out and surviving at speeds in excess of 100 mph is a kind of message that it took me a while to decipher. This happened more than once, more than twice, and I thought it was just a matter of time before my guardian angel got fed up and decided to walk.

I still like fast cars but not on the highways where I'm putting other people at risk. My tastes for highway driving these days can be summarized in two words: safety and dependability.

On the dependability scale, I was glad to read in the Wall Street Journal that GM's American Buick scored as high as the Toyota Lexus in the JD Power study of dependability.

As a personal matter, though, I do take issue with the JD Power generalizations about the Ford line. I know Ford has its financial troubles (and I think Mulally will succeed in taking care of those) and I know that Ford has had its dogs, but it also has had its great cars, some of which were indestructible. I drove my 1968 Shelby Mustang across country from New York to San Francisco several times in the same year with pedal to the metal and no holds barred. The only problem with that one is that the heater fuse blew out on a cold day in Wyoming. The Ford I have now is a bulletproof throwback with adequate power, decent mileage, and five-star crash ratings from every angle. It's nearly impossible to flip, according to law-enforcement types I've talked to. Guess what.

Another automobile review (Wall Street Journal by way of Russia) by a Russian auto research company appeared also in the Journal, that one about a Chinese car which....well, see for yourself.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hot Air Blasts Northeast: Another Democratic "Debate"

The hot air blasting the Northeast could be coming out of Chicago where the Democratic Presidential candidates “debated” under the friendly auspices of the AFL-CIO confederation of labor unions. Newt Gingrich might not be your type of guy but his comments at a recent National Press Club talk were right on the money. How could anyone call this kind of format a “debate”? Gingrich suggested a mano-a-mano “direct conversation” of leading candidates over a 90 minute format.” A conversation. A frank back and forth would eliminate a great deal of the bilious clouds of smoke applied to just about every issue as the candidates play to the camera under the solicitous attentions of their handlers.

Joe Biden was booed in that crowd for mentioning some compelling facts, the most compelling of which is that they are no easy answers. Telling hard-core union types the truth apparently causes the popularity meters to go down, not up. Biden was undeterred as the other candidates huffed and puffed popular generalities about health insurance, trade, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The distinguishing characteristic of the August 7 “debate” was that important “questions” were skirted, bloviated, panegyricized, circumvented, ignored or any other adjective describing political minds rendered dead or inoperative in the face of hard realities.

Somebody asked the question: “If you get out of Iraq and Al Qaeda takes over, what will you do?”

I imagined a silent scream from the behind-the-scenes puppet-masters shouting “NO!... DON’T ANSWER THAT!”

Richardson was astoundingly clueless. Obama wandered aimlessly without answering the question and revisited the possibility of bombing Pakistan. For Dodd, the answer was diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Edwards said he’d get right out of Iraq but if “genocide breaks out…(he would)….prepare for that.” Thank goodness! Biden, at least, pointed out the bitter results of any course of action. Hillary, as usual, placed herself squarely on all sides of the issue, ending with Aunty Nanny’s perpetual all-purpose bromide: “Stay focused and keep them on the run.” Gee, isn’t that the Bush doctrine? Was President Bush there? I must have missed that part.

The “post-forum” analysis with Chris Matthews provided a high moment of the ridiculous when Chris Jansing explained the boos that followed on one of Hillary Clinton’s comments as “voicing displeasure with the Bush policy.” Was President Bush even there? I didn’t see him, did you?

Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter blanched at Jansing’s comments and quickly moved to reign her in. He said that Hillary’s comments presaged a lack of “openness about foreign policy” and that Americans expected that transparency from their leaders.

What was most transparent about this sorry offering of candidates (with perhaps the exception of Joe Biden) was that they were more concerned with exploiting dissatisfactions in order to gain power than with dealing with the harsh realities of leadership.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?

I think one could make the case individually that the Democratic candidates are just as interesting as any others but, in the debate format, there is a tendency to see them as a sort of collective. As if they’d all lived at the same kibbutz or commune. Or were embryonic companions of an enormous Democrat incubator. A mass of undifferentiated verbiage. Boring.

Fortunately, Hillary is a woman and does not have to don the same uniform as Messrs. Kucinich, Dodd, Biden, or that third-place guy with the great hair. Hillary can distinguish herself from the pack in a variety of ways unavailable to other Democrats. Hillary can wear pink, signaling femininity and a veiled feminism in one single brush stroke. One could make colorful remarks about Barak Obama but Democrats are fond of saying that America, especially Democrat America, is color-blind. Settling the nomination upon a white woman from a privileged background can be explained as the only kind of revolution worth making to a constituency concerned more with winning than with telling the truth.

Perhaps the Democrat candidates are consciously contributing to the uniform geopolitical view in marching lock-step on the War on Terror and chanting anti-Bush slogans to a choir of similar thinking people. Hate the Republican candidates or love them, at least their debates are not as boring as the Democratic contender’s debates.

Having settled on McCain early for a variety of sound personal reasons, I had scarcely looked at the other Republicans vying for the nomination. Of course, how could any person living in the Northeast not have ingested a little bit of Giuliani? The guy that saved New York. The guy that married his nurse. The guy who made New York habitable again after a decade of pious and studiously empathetic mismanagement. Imagine my surprise last night when I returned from a harried road trip and discovered there were other candidates standing alongside my man McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

Mitt Romney looked the charming stalwart and exhibited a wit to match in describing Senator Obama as a guy “willing to have tea with our enemies while bombing our friends.” Or something to that effect. A combination of “Jane Fonda and Doctor Strangelove,” he said. It might be fun to hang out with him for a couple of hours sometime. So far as Mormonism goes, I think all the world’s great religions are mostly good and a little bit spooky, too.

That Tancredo guy looked tough and smart. I don’t think a guy that tough could be elected. Remember Bob Dole? Dark, dark, very dark. I’m afraid that the difference between Dole and Tancredo may be that Tom only looks and talks tough whereas Bob Dole was for sure the kind of guy to give somebody a much needed smack down.

Sam Brownback was just perfect, so perfect that I couldn’t be sure just what he was thinking. If I had to hang around with that guy, I’d feel I’d have to wear long sleeves to cover my tattoo. Keep away from beaches and swimming pools.

Huckabee? What a likeable man! I would be comfortable with him as my doctor but not in hunting down Al Qaeda.

The Big Surprise for me was the California Representative Duncan Hunter. Surviving California means you’ve got to be a player and a hitter and a nut-buster, too. But being a House Rep has not exactly been a springboard to the presidency—it happened maybe…once?

I guess there were some others, too. Ron Paul was entertaining and had the most amazing face, a natural and not unpleasant caricature of itself. So far as faces go, Tommy Thompson has a great face, too. Thompson has a Jake LaMotta ex-pug’s face. He’s an unfancy man who knows that Presidential debates are merely superficial but essential beauty contests required by the Fourth Estate.

Will the real slim shady please stand up?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In Search of a Culture War Correspondent

I've decided I need a Culture War Correspondent and have begun interviewing. Blogs need variety. Moeursalen has a strong tendency toward solipsism. It would be nice to have a Left Coast Culture War Correspondent. I received a brief resume from a candidate named "Amy" who lives alternatively in Nevada and California. She calls that a "full spectrum living arrangement." I would like to know what readers think of her resume offerings:

Dear Mr. Moeursalen:

I've replied to you in some format approaching sequential, but my usual format in any expression is non-sequitur. English teachers refer to this as "rambling.” Psychologists call it "Attention Deficit".

Believe what you want to believe, see what you care to see, think what you think is righteous, ethical, harmless. Nothing is harmless.

I'm good with 2-word expressions only. I'd be okay working for a teenage tee shirt company. But I usually don't like to complete the ESSAY so to speak. It is very boring and futile to make attempts at completion in Life. Nothing gets DONE.

I remember prayers- and use them in Emergencies. The saints must have a huge backlog of rantings from people, huh? They just aren't jumpin’ in like they used to...

My husband likes to visit California Mexican Padre Missions. But you can't get him inside of any church. He's good at praying in emergencies though.

My dog, Mia is here with me. She has just ripped her latest toy (stuffed animal) to bits. David calls Mia's stuffed animals "dummies". I told him that is a little offensive and politically incorrect. He still calls them "Dummies".

You may think I have forgotten the original intent of my application as Left Coast Culture War Correspondent, but I haven’t. Drifting is merely the usual form of conversation in a state divided by the San Andreas fault. Should you give me the job, I’m sure that your perverse politico-literary pretensions would be requited. Nobody in Hollywood today can lose a train of thought like I can!