Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tis The Season To Go Hungry

I saw something, yesterday, that I hadn't seen in a long time. In fact, I'm not even sure I had ever seen it with my own eyes, before and not just in a movie.

I was feeling sick to my stomach, last night. The supper I'd planned wouldn't have set well, and we were out, anyway, so I suggested we swing by KFC/Taco Bell, where my family could get whatever and I could just get mashed potatoes & white gravy. As we waited on our order, I noticed an older man come in and a few seconds later, I heard him order just a cup of hot water. I wasn't really paying attention. I guess at the time, I probably assumed he took it to go and needed it to thaw something on his car or some-such. Our number was called a minute or two later, we grabbed our to-go bag and turned to leave.

As I turned, the older gentleman's eyes met mine and we exchanged warm smiles. He was seated in the dinng room. What he was doing, though, took a couple of minutes to register - he was emptying a ketchup packet into his hot water to make hobo soup. I was so stunned I didn't react as I should have, I SHOULD have given him my meal -- sparse as it was, it was more than he had to eat. I will long regret that I did not react quickly and correctly to offer my meal in trade for his. Perhaps if I had not felt ill, I might have had my wits more fully about me, in the moment. Instead, I wasted precious time processing, over and over, whether what I'd just seen was real.

This gentleman was no bum. His attire wasn't new, but it wasn't shabby. He was clean and shaven. And he wasn't whining or moaning, he was smiling. I've memorized his face - if I see him again - and this being such a small town, it's not unlikely that I will, he will not go hungry that day.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Slang Thang

It amazes me, sometimes, the terms I've heard and used, for years, that are completely missing from Urban Dictionary. Today, while browsing and musing over what they *do* have ("Wow, they even got THAT one!" I discovered a whole family of terms completely absent, that surprised me far more than anything else I've ever discovered missing:

Running and Gunning -- when a cop is cruising up and down the highway, usually between two emergency turnarounds on a divided highway or
interstate, at the legal speed limit (running) and is shooting his speed gun (gunning) at passing motorists.

Stunning and Gunning -- when a cop car is sitting in such a well concealed place that you don't see him (stunning you with his presence) until it's too late (he's done gunning you with is speed gun.)

Stinging Like Bees -- One cop (The scout bee,) guns you, but doesn't pursue you. Just when you've traveled far enough you're sure you're safe, you see more cops (worker bees) - some may have other motorists pulled over, one has his lights and sirens on in your rear view mirror - this one pulls you over & gives you a ticket (Sting!) ALTERNATE USE: When several cops are spaced out along the same few-mile stretch of road, so that if one clocks a speeder & is too busy (busy bee)issuing a ticket to gun you as you speed by, there are plenty more bees buzzing around to sting you. (In this case, the one who scouts you is the one who stings you.)

Barking And Biting -- Usually done over holidays where people are more likely to travel or drink, this is when the police have advertised heavily, (barking - same meaning as in Carnival Barker) ahead of time that they'll have extra forces out aand/or will be operating road blocks and they let motorists know exactly where, when and what they'll be cracking down on (biting)... like speeders, drunk drivers, lack of seat belts, etc. Then they issue tickets (or harsher penalties) to each and every idiot who ignored their advance warnings.

Not the usual snark or commentary, but I thought I'd try sharing something a little different than my usual blog fare. I now return you to your regular Internet, in progress.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

James McMurtry and Occupy

According to the WHIP newsletter, James McMurtry is offering his famous song "We Can't Make It Here" (one of my personal favorite protest songs on the issues of economy and the working class) for free download and encouraging fans to use the song to make videos telling their story and/or supporting the Occupy movement. The best stories and videos will be featured on

Download the song HERE

Send your videos to with the subject line: OCCUPY MOVEMENT or
post them to the James McMurtry Facebook Page:

Excerpted from James' Blog:
In October, the New York City Police Department arrested over seven hundred Occupy protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge. Some were held for hours without charge. Earlier this year, J.P. Morgan/Chase, one of the recipients of the government bailout, derided by both Occupy and the Tea Party, donated 4.6 million dollars, partly in technology, patrol car laptops and such, to the New York City Police Department. This was the largest single donation ever received by NYPD. You can't tell me there were no strings attached.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Petition Smetition

There's a petition making the rounds on the social networks that asks the Republicans to stop sabotaging the economy. It's a noble cause, but there's little point to signing it.

Why? Because Republicans don't believe they are sabotaging the economy. They are successfully shaping the economy they want. This is the economy they've openly legislated for and campaigned on for decades. They haven't hidden this agenda, it's been their party line for as long as I can remember. That so much of the wealth of the working class has been redistributed to and then hoarded by the ultra wealthy is a huge success for them. That profits of major corporations have gone up while wages and standard of liviing have gone down for the overwhelming majority of Americans is a huge success for them. Our 99 problems are their goals. It's what makes them Republicans.

That's why this petition and others like it won't work. Boiled down to its salt, the petition is asking Republicans not to be Republicans. And that's not going to happen.

Are we stuck, then? Are we doomed to live in their modern "libertarian" version of a feudalist society, eeking out survival as serfs to our corporate lords and masters? Is there nothing that will work?

There is one and only one thing that will work -- vote them out. Vote them out at every level from the Federal to State to County/Parrish to Township to City/Village. And never vote them back in, whatever name they might campaign under. But we have to act fast - while we still have the right to vote and the vote of a poor man is equal to the vote of a rich man.