Friday, October 29, 2010

Decisions, decisions.

Mike Fitzpatrick is going to fight against crime ... Tom Corbett is going to look after our senior citizens and ensure that the lottery money is used properly ... Patrick Murphy served in Iraq, fights for jobs and values hard work ... Pat Toomey asked for special treatment for China and wants to send American jobs overseas and is "not for us." ... Congressman Fitzpatrick lobbied Harrisburg for property tax increases ... Jon Runyan wants a tax cut for millionaires ... Adler voted against $1.1 trillion in spending and supports Social Security ...
Millionaire Runyan keeps donkeys on his property, lives in a mansion and calls it a farm to get property tax breaks ... Pat Meehan puts our families at risk by allowing assault rifles on the streets ... Bryan Lentz wants the tax cuts to go to middle class families and wants to cut the deficit and balance the budget ...
Only one movie in America has over 100 4-star reviews ...
Career politician John Adler has "wrecked the economy." Jon Runyan doesn't want to do that ... Dan Onorato wants to hurt senior citizens ... We need jobs in Pennsylvania, yet Mike Fitzpatrick sent jobs to Honduras ... Tom Corbett has never produced a job, but Dan Onorato has produced 10,000 jobs.
"How I Met Your Mother" continues on TV, yet we have still to find out how it happened...
It's local TV, and it's election season. I wonder how an undecided voter could be watching these ads and make an informed decision on whom to vote. Maybe they think that having us make an informed decision would hinder their chances to get elected. I also think that the "How I Met Your Mother" producers have strung us along just as the politicians have for so many years.
Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The same old song and dance.

It's election season. Specifically, it's something they call "mid-term elections," which must be insulting to the people whose terms are coming to an end - or just beginning - in a couple of weeks.
The ads and attacks are running fast and furious, and my mailbox has been loaded with stuff from the local candidates who think they can save the world one township at a time. I hate to tell them the truth, especially since they probably wouldn't recognize it.
What they rely on most is our short memory and the idea that we like whatever is not happening now. The latest thing is the old cry of "less government and lower taxes," two ideas that would seem to go together unless your memory is long enough to remember the elections of the late 1980s when the idea was the same. Since then, we have endured more government and higher taxes, which clearly indicates that politics have failed us. Surprised?
Since Barack Obama was elected a couple of years ago, we have been hearing that he is ruining our lives and has plunged the country into Marxism or Socialism or whatever "ism" we can be told is bad for us. That's a remarkable transformation for such a short time. It's similar to turning a cruise ship. It would seem to be too big to more so quickly, but if we are to believe the opposing party, that is precisely what has happened.
As a result, the current strategy is to tell us that we need less of what we have been given, and since we always want the opposite of what we have, that is a viable strategy. Consider:
Military lifer Dwight Eisenhower was followed by youthful liberal John F. Kennedy. His administration (and the subsequent Johnson inheritance) was followed by the more conservative Nixon. Nixon's criminal behavior was followed by the overly honest Jimmy Carter. Carter's high inflation administration gave way to Reagan, who convinced us of the "get government off our backs" routine. That ideal lived for a little while, and we even elected his vice president once.
Old, stodgy G.H.W. Bush was followed by young, vibrant Bill Clinton. When he proved to be too vibrant, the conservative George W. Bush was elected (twice - so there's a hole in the theory). That made us want the change that the younger and more intelligent Obama gave us. Now, we are being sold another grand vision, and we are seeing the emergence of the conservative "Tea Party," led by Bible-loving conservatives who tell us that they'll give the government back to the people. Around and around it goes.
What is also remarkable is that the challengers are telling us that the same people we elected two or four years ago are now suddenly incompetent and are stealing our money. These are the same people who told us that the ones they were running against were incompetent and were stealing our money when they ran against the last group. Is it possible that they're all incompetent and are stealing our money?
And they wonder why only 40 percent of registered voters vote. I'd bet that the longer one is registered, the less frequently they vote. It's just a guess.
So go ahead and vote.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The things we do for the furry ones.

My buddy Thor just went in for his yearly physical exam, and it turns out he has gingivitis. I wanted a second opinion, and the vet said, "OK, he's fat, too."
A year ago, when I brought him home from the shelter, he weighed 14 pounds. I thought he was big then. Now, he tips the scales at 19 pounds 13 ounces. That's a good meal away from 20 pounds. It's time for him to go on a diet.
I'm switching him from regular cat food to "indoor" food, which is cat food terminology for "lite." That, plus a little reduction in quantity should get him down from fat ass to big cat.
The gingivitis is the bigger issue. He can't eat if he doesn't have any teeth, and having bad gums could mean he'll start losing his teeth. But I'm not sure whether the treatment is worse than the disease. For me, anyway.
Veterinarians exist in a different world than the rest of us. They want us to give animals pills and other things that animals don't normally consume. They'll send us home with stuff and say "give this to him," thinking that the animal will understand. The big problem is that the cat doesn't understand what's going on, and the disconnect between what we know is good for him and what he thinks is happening is as wide as a canyon.
The treatment for gingivitis is to smear some gel on his gums once a day. The trouble is, the teeth he still has are really sharp, and cats don't like us putting our fingers in their mouths. Try smearing gel on a cat's teeth if you think I'm kidding.
God forbid they give me something to add to his water or food that he might actually - enjoy. No, here's a tube of gel for me to smear on his gums. Nice.
So, if you suddenly find that I've stopped typing or can't snap a photo anymore because I've lost a finger (or three) you'll know that Thor and his bleeding gums are to blame.