Friday, October 31, 2008

Beware the fairy princess and the puppy dog

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of year, and that's even more true now that I have children. The near-infinite, oft-mysterious possibilities Halloween night offers to imaginative young minds draws me back, strongly, to the days when my two brothers and I would set off with friends down our dark street in search of sugar, however packaged (about the only thing I shunned as a kid was coconut which, thankfully, wasn't found in too many candies). Back in the early 70s, neighbors still gave popcorn balls and caramel-covered apples, and these were eaten with little or no concern for safety.

The only real danger associated with Halloween night in Ukiah, California, where I grew up, was the older kids with their penchant for throwing rotten eggs. I got hit by a few, at least, and needed to run quickly to avoid being hit on several occasions, but this generally added to the excitement of the evening, rather than detracting in any way (never mind the smell of a rotten egg, of course). I hope that my children and yours make it through their trick-or-treating careers as safely as I and my brothers did, and that Halloween still holds some magic and mystery for them when they have children of their own.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stupid effing people

Name your daughter "Sarah McCain Palin" and display your dumb mug for all the world to see:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Highest federal budget deficit EVER!

I'm continually amazed by the number of people (many of them good friends and acquaintances) who vote Republican for one overarching reason: They can't abide "Big Government." Remarkably, Big Government for these people isn't synonymous with a Big Deficit. For a good many Republican voters the deficit represents considerable pork that makes its way directly or indirectly to their tables, but what about rank and file Republicans? Remember so many years ago now, during the Clinton Presidency, when we had a budget surplus? Why isn't everyone outraged by news such as the following?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal budget deficit soared to $454.8 billion in 2008 as a housing collapse and efforts to combat the economic slowdown pushed the tide of government red ink to the highest level in history.

The Bush administration said Tuesday the deficit for the budget year that ended Sept. 30 was more than double the $161.5 billion recorded in 2007.

It surpassed the previous record of $413 billion set in 2004. Economists predicted a far worse number next year as the costs of the government's rescue of the financial system and the economic hard times hit the government's balance sheet.

Some analysts believe that next year's deficit could easily top $700 billion, giving the next president a formidable challenge.

Christopher Buckley's parting shot

Christopher Buckley, the conservative commentator who disclosed he would vote for Barack Obama in November, has resigned from the National Review, the magazine his father William F. Buckley founded. He had the following to say about his resignation and the conservative movement in this country, a movement that grows ever more bowel-like as the election season draws to a Democratic-friendly close:

"While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of 'conservative' government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case."