I mentioned the oven problem last week as well as the ice maker. In addition, the master bedroom shower wants to drip unless I borrow Conan the Barbarian’s biceps to tighten the faucet. Also, the overhead fluorescent fixture in the kitchen has a non-working bulb because the ballast is out, and I have the same problem with the overhead light above the range. I don’t do electrical work, so it’s “Waiting for the Electrician” time, and the Plumber as well.
To top it off the outdoor sprinkler controller’s clock has broken. The thing is set to run for ten minutes in each of four zones around the house. On Friday it went off at 5:00 A.M. as it was supposed to, but then at 7:00 A.M. it was still running, 70 minutes after it should have concluded its cycle. So I turned it off and waited to call the company till today, Monday. After numerous attempts over the phone, we’ve failed to get it to work. So there’s a new expense and possibly a new piece of equipment.
The oven, despite telephone efforts by Sears, also requires a technician’s attention. At least it’s on a long-term maintenance agreement, so there’ll be no charge for that.
Ain’t life fun?
It’s been gray and miserable here all day, with intermittent heavy showers. The Hawai’i Visitors Bureau is not amused. Neither is Abby the Dog.
Brr. It looks like it’s about to snow out there.
Is nothing sacred? I just walked through the family room and found Mom’s tv showing me a talk by this guy, a columnist for The American Spectator and author of a new book called “The War on Football: Saving America’s Game.” And to whom is Mr. Flynn giving this talk? Why, to the Heritage Foundation, of course.
To Mr. Flynn all the data about early deaths, early onset of dementia and even suicides among former NFL football players are false. He rails at the medical doctors and scientists who have found disturbing evidence that frequent concussions have been contributing to the growth of chronic traumatic encephalophaly in the brains of older athletes. He’s convinced that weak-kneed liberals are out to sissify America and they’ll even eliminate football to help do it.
I was unaware that football had enlisted in the culture wars, but apparently from Pop Warner to the NFL it surely has.
Once again, we see the dismissal of science by Republicans if it doesn’t fit their narrative of the world. This time it’s between the lines and end zones of a football field. Mr. Flynn, it should be noted, is not a scientist himself. He appears to be a third-string polemicist. The biography he published on his website seems to bear that out, as do the titles of his other books: “Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America” (ISI Books, 2011), “A Conservative History of the American Left” (Crown Forum, 2008), “Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas” (Crown Forum, 2004), and “Why the Left Hates America” (Prima Forum, 2002). Seeing those, I assume he’s attempting to fit into Glenn Beck/Bill O’Reilly territory and not doing as well at it as they have.
‘Cause you can’t have Turkey Day without Arlo and Officer Obey and the Group W bench and the twenty-seven 8 x 10 color glossy photographs with the circles and arrows on the back of each one.
A query: Shouldn’t Republicans hate Thanksgiving? After all, the myth says the Pilgrims desperately needed the safety net the local Indians provided with their maize and turkey and green bean casseroles. Without that handout from the ruling party in the neighborhood (“government,” we might call it) they’d all have gone hungry. Kinda like food stamps now, and Republicans don’t like those at all.
That story is in the Howard Zinn tradition of truthtelling about history. This one is a little less strident.
Yesterday he said quite clearly (twice!) that the ACA has “death panels” to be used to ration care. This is not true. He knows it’s not true. He tried to walk it back via Twitter, but his problem is that he said it during a radio interview and it’s on tape.
Let’s not forget that this guy is a senior political analyst for Time magazine, Time.com and MSNBC. And he’s so ill-informed or ill-intentioned that he’d parrot Sarah Palin in one of her more egregious lies.
Why do I say ill-intentioned? Well, read:
“It’s clear that at the time of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and in the context of the presidential campaign, the press did nothing like an adequate job in fly-specking and scrutinizing the whole law,” Halperin said.
Not just the provisions that have already become controversial, about which the president was misleading . . . but other aspects.
I would hope that as we chronicle what’s going on now with the political controversy of the law and scrutiny of the president’s past statements on some issues that we all learn a lesson from that.”
So what Halperin is saying is that the law got a free pass from the media. That will be news to the numbers of reporters who read every page and wrote story after story about it in 2009 and 2010.
The fridge ice maker was finally repaired on Thursday of last week and has been producing cubes at a gratifying rate. Yay Sears and Kenmore.
The wall oven, on the other hand . . .
I turned the oven to self-cleaning mode today (to prepare for Thanksgiving, doncha know) and watched as it heated up, ran for about five minutes, and then gave me a code meaning something is wrong with the locking mechanism. Now, a while back we spend about $300 replacing the latches on this door as they’d somehow gotten bent. I was told “never rest pans on the door when it’s open,” something I never have done nor ever will, not when I’ve got a countertop I can reach by pivoting on one foot. The reason we discovered that was that I couldn’t keep the door closed while trying to clean it. When those latches were replaced I ran the self-cleaning function without any trouble, and I’ve done so a few times since, I think.
Now, 10 months after replacing them, I’m getting the same kind of alarm, and I know damned well I haven’t bent the stupid latches. Fortunately we added the thing to our annual maintenance agreement, so any repairs will be free. Unfortunately it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m sure the first appointment I can get to have a tech come is in mid-December.
This is tiresome!
I’m cautiously optimistic about this deal; it’s interim, after all, which means its effects can be reversed if Iran doesn’t live up to its terms. Interim also means the United States Senate doesn’t get a chance to whack at it. Ordinarily that wouldn’t worry me, even though nearly every member of that body on either side of the aisle thinks of him or herself as President-in-waiting and wants to express foreign policy chops. But we have some very extraordinary Senators nowadays, and I don’t mean that in a good way.
The fact that the Saudis and other Gulf states and the Israelis don’t like it (and in fact are very strident about it) doesn’t worry me either. I think Israel’s Netanyahu does think it’s a reduction in pressure on the Iranians, but so what? Again, it’s interim; what part of that word do you not understand, Bibi?
In the Saudi Arabian case and that of their Arab neighbors, it’s part of the Sunni – Shi’a split in Islam, which started 1,400 years ago. Iran is Shi’a and a big country besides; if it gains too much power in the region it might reduce the Sunni Saudi’s influence there. The Saudis and their allies don’t like that.
If Iran can be persuaded that it doesn’t need nuclear weapons then its use of nuclear energy to improve its citizens’ quality of life shouldn’t worry us. As long as they’re signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty they are subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency; they’re also entitled to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. (Note: Israel, India and Pakistan never signed the treaty; North Korea withdrew from it in 2003, and Iran’s compliance is in doubt. Part of this deal says that IAEA inspectors have the right and the expectation to make what are called “intrusive” inspections on Iran’s nuclear facilities.)
In short, what have we got to lose by doing this? We get access to Iran’s nuclear sites, we get a commitment from Iran to continue to work on a permanent deal for six months, and in return we slightly relax sanctions on Iran’s oil sales and some other activities for that same six-month period. Sanctions can be reinstated by executive action; they don’t require Congress to do anything.
The opponents haven’t persuaded me this is the wrong thing to do. The upside of a permanent deal seems to me to outweigh the downside of easing a little pressure on Iran.
The poor Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors lost their eleventh straight game this season and second overtime game in a row this afternoon. I really question running the ball four straight times into the line in your only overtime possession, but I don’t get paid half-a-million bucks a year, so what do I know?
The Arizona Wildcats, on the other hand, crushed the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks 42 – 16 today. It feels even better since the ‘Cats were defeated last weekend by Washington State, which evened its record at 5 – 5 on the year with that win. Arizona is now 7 – 4 on the season. Oregon (9 – 2) was touted as a possible player in the National Championship Game in February, but it’s now lost two of the past three weekends to Stanford and the U of A and needs help just to win the Pac-12 Conference.
(I wrote and posted this ten years ago. It’s one of those memories that hasn’t gone away, as is the sight of the dual contrails in the sky the day Challenger blew up and the crash of planes into the World Trade Center.)
40 years ago today I was a 13-year old 8th grader at Edgar Allen Poe Intermediate in Alexandria, Va. It was an ordinary school day until about 2:20 in the afternoon, when we were changing classrooms, and suddenly a rumor was flying that the President had been shot. That was confirmed about 10 minutes later, and we were sent home early. I got home to find my mother in shock (Dad was in Antarctica), and we spent the remainder of the weekend, as did so many other Americans, glued to the TV screen. We were in disbelief, of course; “this doesn’t happen in America,” we thought. Of course, it had happened before, as we all quickly learned. That weekend I learned more about McKinley, Garfield, Harrison and other Presidential deaths in office than I’d ever learned before. I was fortunate enough to wangle a ride to Arlington Cemetery on that Monday, the 25th, where I stood about 500-1000 yards from the gravesite, along with many many other people. Neither Mom nor I have any memory of who I got a ride with, why she felt it was OK for me to go, or any other details. I just remember standing there among all those people, trying to make sense of it.
Since then this country has had similar national tragedies, of course, from the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. through the Challenger explosion to September 11. In every instance it seemed to me that time just stopped for several days as we all sat in front of television screens trying to absorb what we were seeing. To me, the different thing about the JFK assassination is that it was a double shock; first the President’s murder, followed two days later by the murder of the suspected killer (on national television, no less). I think the Oswald murder was the catalyst for all the subsequent conspiracy theories; to my knowledge nobody has ever seriously espoused similar theories about the RFK or MLK murders. The killing of the principal suspect by a nobody is a plot line we’ve all read in murder mysteries; Ruby had no known motive for shooting Oswald, so he must have been a pawn for a larger interest. I’ve never bought any of the theories; despite the fact that he had been living in Russia for a while, and he had suspicious contacts with Cuba, I think those were incidental. I think Oswald acted alone.