Sunday on ice; Keillor on the radio

I looked out the door this morning to see my car totally covered in ice and surrounded by driveway as slick as a skating rink.
I was in Albany, having stayed overnight with one of my women friends. My five long-time friends and I had gotten together on Saturday and expected to head out for brunch today. Uh. Uh.
Years ago, I broke my ankle badly slipping on a patch of black ice. Needless to say, we missed brunch.
Instead, after I eventually and carefully slid out and started the car while my hostess chipped away the layer on my windows, I hit the yarn sales. I’d been thinking that I’d better start using a lighter weight yarn for my projects, since we don’t seem to be needing heavy sweaters much around here these days. (Knitting is the one thing I can easily do while sitting for hours in front of the television with my mother. She is scared to be alone.)
I listened to NPR on the foggy, rainy drive back down the Thruway. (Driving outside the interference of the mountains is the only time I can get NPR on the radio.)
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion were on, and he did a great bit about Nancy Pelosi bringing a blindfolded Dumbya to a defunct but well-equipped “men’s club” In San Francisco, where he was told he was being kept safe in a bunker, and from where he could continue to plan out his Iraq strategy. He minions were also brought there, all being wined and dined and treated royally while they were kept out of Pelosi’s way. Of course, Keillor and company delivered it all brilliantly, cleverly, and irreverently.
Keillor also published a wonderfully irreverent article in the Baltimore Sun entitled “Time for the Father to Chat With the Son, “ which includes the following:

Meanwhile, in Washington, memoranda are set out on long, polished tables, men in crisp white shirts sit at meetings and discuss how to rationalize a war that was conceived by a handful of men in arrogant ignorance and that has descended over the past four years into sheer madness.

Military men know there is no military solution here, and the State Department knows that the policy was driven by domestic politics, but who is going to tell the Current Occupant? He is still talking about victory, or undefeat. The word “surge” keeps cropping up, as if we were fighting the war with electricity and not human beings.

Rational analysis is not the way to approach this administration. Bob Woodward found that out. The President Bush who burst into sobs after winning re-election when his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., said, “You’ve given your dad a great gift,” is so far from the President Bush of the photo-ops as to invite closer inspection, and for that you don’t want David Broder, you need a good novelist.

Here we have a slacker son of a powerful patrician father who resolves unconscious Oedipal issues through inappropriate acting-out in foreign countries. Hello? All the king’s task forces can gather together the shards of the policy, number them, arrange them, but it never made sense when it was whole and so it makes even less sense now.

American boys in armored jackets and night scopes patrolling the streets of Baghdad are not going to pacify this country, any more than they will convert it to Methodism. They are there to die so that a man in the White House doesn’t have to admit that he, George W. Bush, the decider, the one in the cowboy boots, made grievous mistakes. He approved a series of steps that he himself had not the experience or acumen or simple curiosity to question and that had been dumbed down for his benefit, and then he doggedly stuck by them until his approval ratings sank into the swamp.

He was the Great Denier of 2006, waving the flag, questioning the patriotism of anyone who dared oppose him, until he took a thumpin’ and now, we are told, he is re-examining the whole matter. Except he’s not. To admit that he did wrong is to admit that he is not the man his daddy is, the one who fought in a war.

Hey, we’ve all had issues with our dads. But do we need this many people to die so that one dude can look like a leader?

Keillor also wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sun last week about banning smoking in Baltimore. He cited the following stats, which only go to support what I was ranting about here. He said:

One wonders if our legislators are aware that secondhand smoke is the third-leading cause of preventable deaths in Maryland, claiming the lives of 1,000 people every year.

Or that the economic costs of exposure to secondhand smoke in Maryland are nearly $600 million per year.

If leaders are serious about improving health and saving lives in Maryland, they will make limiting exposure to secondhand smoke a priority.

Moreover, while statewide legislation is the goal, smoke-free initiatives present a great opportunity for local officials to show leadership even if state officials will not.

Baltimore loses more than 150 people to secondhand smoke every year.

Well, my car defrosted rather nicely on the not-so-nice drive home through the rain as the sheets of ice flew off its top and sides. Ooops.

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