Tuesday, June 19, 2007



Lisa over at http://journals.aol.com/mlraminiak/ComingtotermswithMiddleAgehas been chronicling her attempts to hire a reasonably competent crew for her café. There isn’t a lot to choose from in a small town. But, heck how can you expect a responsible work ethic from the young people when you can’t find it so many older adults including the elected hired help.

The man Garrison Keillor calls the Current Occupant wouldn’t have his New England/Texas hybrid ass behind the Oval Office desk if his last name wasn’t Bush. Heck, if his name wasn’t Bush, I’m betting the party hierarchy wouldn’t have touched him with a ten foot pole. His beleaguered and barely competent attorney general wouldn’t have the job if he wasn’t an ol’ buddy of the shrub. And Rumsfeld with his famous “you go to war with the army you have.” That may be true if you’re attacked and have no choice. In that case you hang on as best you can, choose your battles and build the army you need. This administration CHOSE to invade Iraq with “the army we had” and the best set of rose colored glasses our tax money could buy. On the way to Baghdad and the “rose petal” welcome they trashed the reputations of anyone who dared to disagree with them.

Story after story is coming out the offices charged with rebuilding Iraq of loyalty to Bush and the Republican Party being placed far ahead of any kind of competence. The mess in the Attorney general’s office is rooted in placing loyalty above ability. Bush appointees have edited reports by government scientists to make sure they toe the party line. Even though the people doing the editing have little or no expertise with the material they’re rewriting. It’s like hiring an experienced auto mechanic and telling him/her their next job is baking a seven layer wedding cake. Ain’t gonna happen, girlfriend.

Anyone else cut back on their meat and fish intake because of contamination by bacteria or pollution only to wince over the stories of contaminated vegetables or drinking water. I guess the advice for eating and drinking in third world countries holds true here, too. Boil the water, wash the fruit and veggies, and make sure the meat is well done.

How many of us have purchased something that looked good in the store and got it home to find it falling apart when we use it or wash it. How many talking heads have we seen on the news explaining the latest meat, vehicle, or drug recall with “we’re doing it but we aren’t taking responsibility for the problem.”

I suspect that I’m not the only one looking at the current crop of presidential hopefuls and going “is that all there is?” Actually the emotion is closer to “IS THAT ALL THERE IS!!!!!!” Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

One of my favorite films is Apollo 13. For a lot of reasons if only to hear “tell me this isn’t a government program” when the flight director finds out that the CO2 scrubbers in the command module and the LEM are not, repeat, not interchangeable. There is an attitude of we can do this. Of taking what could be a disaster and doing what you can with it. Fueled with courage, optimism, training, large amounts of coffee and a lot of cigarettes. And you can make a square peg fit in a round hole, if you have enough pieces to work with.

There’s a wonderful scene that starts with a large box of stuff being dumped on a table followed with “we gotta make this fit in the hole meant for this, using nothing but that (indicating the pile of equipment on the table), ……….ok, let’s build a filter.”

Of course this is a story about NASA in the early seventies. Remember the stories of the space craft that crashed on Mars because somebody forgot to check whether the ship board computer was measuring distances in meters rather than miles. :-P While the computer on the ground was programmed in the opposite system. Big difference between a kilometer and a mile. Big crash, red faces all around and no real explanation for who was responsible for checking the details. Probably the same guys who didn’t make sure scrubber components were interchangeable.

Failure is still not much of an option.


tenyearnap said...

"Is that all there is?"  Yeah, really...that's all. We're in deep doo doo. --Cin

toonguykc said...

And now 88 of 112 White House staffers' email histories have vanished....mysteriously.  SIGH


ereading7 said...

Russ Feingold was my preference, but he dropped out very early.  Sounds like Ron Paul is ok.  I wouldn't give you $50 bucks for the whole lot of the rest of them.  How about someone GREAT for a change??

mlraminiak said...

I tend to agree with you about the presidential hopefuls.  It is not so reassuring when we hear weekly reports on NPR---not about the candidates' plans or stands on the issues, but about how they stand in the money-raising race.  *Sigh!*  Lisa  :-]