These days, what Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Michael Vick and many other celebrities seem to forget is that the step from fame to infamy is a very small one. What often makes them fail to see that they’re about to take this step is the fact that they frequently seem to be wandering around thinking about no one other than themselves which is the equivalent of wearing behavioral blinders. The results of this are pretty much what we’ve seen.
Recently, while sitting at a stoplight in the middle of a rainstorm, I watched a young man try to cross the street. He was attired in the currently fashionable oversized coat, oversized t-shirt hanging loose, oversized hat pointed at some gawdawful angle, yards of pants at mid thigh, and untied shoes. Just as he passed the hood of my truck, those pants fell below his knees and tripped him. He then became one with a fairly large puddle of water. This incident reminded me that belts had, indeed, been invented for a reason. I also may have chuckled at his self-imposed predicament for a moment or two before I remembered my manners.
In his recent speech at Columbia University, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (call sign: "Wingnut") told the world - among other things - that there were no gays in Iran. This, of course, indicated to that same world that Mr.Ahmadinejad was about two feathers short of a duck and most assuredly off his meds.
In a related incident, an Iranian reporter later asked Mr. Ahmadinejad if he really believed that because, if he did, she knew the names of a number of gays in Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad said that that was interesting and asked if he could have their addresses so that the government could "find out more" about the situation. Note to gays "not" in Iran: This guy is scary on a number of levels. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The chickens seem to be coming home to roost in the home mortgage melt down. That would be the one wherein a caboodle of money was lent to those who really couldn’t afford to borrow it. That same money was then used to buy houses whose prices had been inflated into someplace beyond the stratosphere and now can’t be re-sold to pay off those loans. Congress is considering asking those who stayed away from such loans (under the old-fashioned theory that they couldn’t afford them) for the use of more of their tax money to pay for this mess. Note to congress: "Go fish."
On a related matter: Having watched property taxes climb like a Saturn booster rocket while all of the above was going on, one wonders if - as property values decline – property taxes will do the same. OK, sorry, just dreaming there.
What I’d like to tell all of the Internet scammers out there is this: If you guys would spend the same amount of time trying to do something useful and productive, you’d likely have something to be proud of at the end of the day. And, as an aside, you might want to run a spell-checker on your e-mail "proposals" every now and then.
I think it’d be best to take the stated benefits of any government-run health care plan proposed by the current presidential candidates with just a touch of skepticism. Given the government’s track record in such matters, the best thing to do with such proposals would be to triple (at a minimum) the quoted costs; double the longest waiting times noted; get a scale to weigh the forms we’ll be required to fill out; and resign ourselves to the fact that, once such a program is born, it will never die.
Locally, a recent story concerning a young lady who almost died from raging infections after having her tongue pierced reminded me of one of my first biology courses. There, the professor (who even railed against earrings) said that skin is our body’s first line of defense against all that’s ugly out there. Putting holes in it, to his way of thinking, was on a par with punching a hole in the hull of a ship. I think that, were he alive now, he’d take one look at all of the piercing going on and go apoplectic. Given that recent story, such might have been the most appropriate response.
Biography - Larry Simoneaux
Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.