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Life Arts    H4'ed 10/11/13

Political gridlock

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te title="Warning flag" class="wwscontentsmaller">Warning flag by Bob Patterson

A warning flag flew in Berkeley recently. 

Something's happening here but it isn't clear exactly what that is.   There's a group of nuts over there telling us we got to beware of spending limits.   The President isn't providing effective leadership.   Congress isn't legislating.   The Supreme Court seems to specialize in legislating from the bench.   You don't have to read every word on every page of "Project Censored 2014" to realize that freedom of the press is displaying symptoms of   rigor mortis.

The people who died fighting in World War II were told the sacrifices were being made for the Four Freedoms (can you name them?) and Democracy.   They paid the ultimate price for Americans to have the right to vote and the clowns in Washington demonstrating their hypocrisy and cynicism couldn't make their attitude more obvious if they went across the bridge and urinated on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery.  

If LBJ were in the White House this week, he would have called the director of the FBI, gotten the dirt on Boner, and the shutdown would have ended by supper time.   Radio talk show host Norman Goldman asked his listeners last week if they had heard or seen anything in the mainstream media reporting that there are two stealth illicit love affairs that involving a leading GOP spokesman.   LBJ would have tracked down that information and used the threat of announcing it in a press conference to make Boner an offer he couldn't refuse.  

If a fellow who was known for charm and charisma was in the White House last week, perhaps he could have offered Boner the chance to trade his trials and tribulations for a chance to live in the Ambassador's residence in Paris.   Who could resist a chance to have diplomatic immunity in the country that made wine tasting an art? 

Folk wisdom teaches:   "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar" but Al Capone said "A kind word and a gun will get you a lot further than the kind word alone."

There were news reports this week indicating that the shutdown had been engineered by two wealthy brothers and the mainstream media is doing a lousy job of reporting on the political motivation behind the charade. 

We might just as well write a column about the pathetic spectacle of an adult human dragging an itty bitty dog on a sidewalk.   Baron Siegfried L. von Richthofen III was a combination Husky and German Shepherd who weighed more than 80 lbs. and if a person tried to drag him down the street, the effort would soon resemble two opposing rugby teams having a rope pulling contest.

Fifty years ago today, things were about to change radically in the USA but the man in the street didn't have a clue and so went blissfully along without a care in the world. 

The music industry wasn't doing well.   Sales were off.   The folks at Capital Records were preparing to lay off all the workers at their plant in Scranton Pa.    Top secret.   Don't let this get out!  

The layoff notices were to take effect the day after Thanks Giving.   Folks in Scranton could start the Christmas Season (back then, boys and girls, it didn't "Officially" start until the day after Thanks Giving) unemployed. 

President Kennedy got shot and the mood got even more morose.

In anticipation of a TV event the following year, some songs by a British group who had long hair like girls' began to get airplay and sell well.   The songs sold so well that right before Thanks Giving, every one of the layoff notices were rescinded. 

In Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement hadn't started.

A local newscast in New York City, that fall, carried dual leading stories.   Oakland beat the Jets and Heidi married the goatherder. 

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)

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