Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thoughts on Illegal Aliens

There are by most estimates at least 11 million illegal aliens living in America. They are breaking the law.

Moreover, the people who are hiring them are breaking the law, as well. (Oh, a few of these employers get their hands slapped, but the law is widely being broken nonetheless.)

Isn't such massive lawbreaking a form of of legal and social anarchy? Wild west lawlessness: "rules" and the law are only what people have the will (and power) to enforce?

And now, with the newly proposed health care legislation, a question arises: are we going to be asked to pay taxes to provide insurance for the illegal aliens? Are they included in the statistics about "40 million uninsured"? No one tells us. I assume they are. After all, legal Americans are already providing education and emergency room care for illegal aliens through taxes.

Illegal alien supporters will retort, illegal aliens pay taxes...therefore they are paying for these social services.

But couldn't one consider the money they pay into the tax system a form of bribery: "I will give the government 'x' amount of money if the government turns away while we get the health and education benefits from our illegal presence in America?" By the way, employers are complicit and benefit in that bribery/theft: they would have to pay legal workers higher wages.

In the final analysis, aren't legislator/politicians (including Obama) who do nothing about the anarchy with their legislative and enforcement aiding and abetting lawlessness?

Yet they ask me to respect and honor the other laws they pass?

A conundrum.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More on Sofia; June 2009 Visit

The night before my Granddaughter, Sofia, aged five, was to leave my home in California to return to Washington, DC, she approached the rocking chair in which I was sitting and reading, threw her arms around my neck, kissed my cheek firmly four times, looked me deeply in the eyes, said, "Remember, you're mine", kissed me four more times, punctuated her words with another look, then moved on to the next room.

A short time later she crawled onto my lap. "Ask me if I'm going home tomorrow? she said. I said "Are you going home tomorrow?". She said, "Yes," nodding her head; then "No," shaking her head. Then "Yes," nodding her head, then "No," shaking her head. A few more times. "That's what's called a mixed message," I said. She said, "I'm staying all summer," settling in my arms.

She left the next day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Memories of Sofia

There once was a girl named Sofia
who said to DC friends 'I'll see ya'
and flew on an airplane with Popi and Mommy
through three thousand miles of air that was balmy

to visit her silly old Grammy and Grandpa
at their home in sun-filled California
near mountains and beachfront so sandy
and a pier that had ice cream and candy.

She brought toothbrush, swimsuit and suitcase
Sally her doll, and dresses made with lace
and books, CDs and Baryshnikov tape
"DVD!" to Grandpa's mistake, mouth agape.

She did many things in the ten days there,
visiting Rogers and Rustic Canyon park, where,
the pool had no water, which made Sofia sad,
Grammy said later (in July) water would be had.

They went to the Annenberg pool
Where men worked long with a very loud tool
and Grammy complained but manager said:
"There's the quiet ocean, a few feet from your head."

Pacific Palisades swing park was a favorite stop,
Twenty fifth street too, filled with sand...plop!
Sofia took off her shoes right away,
and run around, swing, fall, jump and play.

They went to the pier and merry-go-round so dear
that Mommy used to ride when she was only a year
round and round both mother and daughter went
memories returned and new ones were bent

and people clumped and creaked on boardwalk of wood
but no one heard no matter how long they stood
because loud music, talk and noise generally mixing
from so many people vacationing and visiting.

Then when walking Sofia saw waves down below
smash the shore with a very strong blow
while the Ferris wheel whirled high above
"Daddy, ride with me. It's you that I love!"

She climbed on his back which was strong
and secure, fifty pounds of legs that were long
father/daughter walked to colorful ancient ride,
that moved round and round in rhythm to the tide.

Sofia rode the rides in the children's section
around and forward she went, a special connection
she made on a favorite up and down ride,
with a boy and his sister who cried and cried.

And the ride had to stop to let sister off,
which made Sofia and friend seem to doff
their hats to thank the worker for giving them
a free extra ride; an unexpected gem.

A full day was spent at Marina Del Rey
though not in a particularly calming way
which started in AM with Grandpa not in bed,
when Sofia wanting to bring a new day to his head

With her daily wake-up call of cock-a-doodle-do
and everyone always saying "We love you!"
But waking up Grammy in bed was not enough
for Sofia to feel she had done her stuff

Disappointment trailed into breakfast as well,
pleasantness of food lasting but a spell
until Grammy got kicked "in fun" a bit too strong
And Sofia refused to say "I'm sorry; I'm wrong."

It took an hour more for total peace to resume
and we all headed off to Venice, without a fume
So many people and sights and bicycle, too
At first was fun, but 'cock-a-doodle-do,

Not fully absorbed turned to whining discontent.
Not all the nastiness by Sofia was meant
It's hard to be five and perfectly dear
Until finally ice cream created a final good cheer.

Then home for a rest, and "Cinderella" DVD
snuggled in bed with Grandparents just we
then dinner, toys on the floor, reading time,
another happy day, with thoughts and /our faces sublime.

But then came the shock, ten days had just passed,
time for Mommmy/Popi to resume packing at last
with promises from Sofia to make the phone ring
and return in August to do her special thing.

"I love you, Grandpa,", she said, arms around his neck,
and hugs and kisses "a bushel and a peck,"
a final good night Grammy reading a story
And tucked in bed; then a million kisses; "no worry";

August was soon, Grammy's heart would survive
the end of Sofia's 10-day visit so alive.
The ride to the airport was quiet and calm,
Memories of a perfect time a sufficient balm.

Through security Sofia went, at the window she stood,
we waved and she waved and a vacuum withstood
traffic parting from her sight; a silence ensued
But happiness too, a promise...no one would brood.

Monday, June 22, 2009

There's never enough time (and money) to do it right; but always enough time (and money) to do it again.

Art and Science

My daughter asked me, on returning from the doctor's: "The art of medicine; or the science?" I answered, somewhat cynically, but true to myself: "All knowledge, and it's application (based on cause/effect experimental replication and predictability), is an art; never absolute science. At some lower levels (some percentage) of predictability, we call it and art; at higher levels we call it a science. But: what that cut-off level (percentage) is, is arbitrary. 99.9%? 43%? 87%? Remember, even the absolute 100%'surety' of the pre-20th Century Newtonian universe was thrown in disarray by Einstein's theory of relativity.

Judging Professionals

I believe the following formula is operative in all professions: 3% of any given craft are excellent; 47% are okay, the rest are for shit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Squished with Sofia

Sofia, my five-year old granddaughter, visiting my wife and me in California, lay in bed last night waiting for the three of us to watch "The Nutcracker" (for the thousandth time). She sat near the edge of the bed, leaving little room for me to sit. Her Grandmother said: "Move over, Sophie...leave a little more room for Grandfather." Sofia stared at her Grandmother: "But I like to sit 'squished'!" Grandmother gestured her move. She finally did; only a little bit though, and I crawled in the bed next to her. She snuggled into my arm pit, and we turned the TV on. As Sofia and I watched, contentedly 'squished' together, she stared at the TV and simultaneously and unconsciously put her hand up and stroked my my face, then my neck, finally settling on the soft bottom on my earlobe, which she continued to flip back and forth. This gentle repetitive motion of easy fingers stroking my earlobe continued on and on, for minutes on end, until it became nothing. Except:

There is a God.
Goodness exists.
Happiness is possible.
'Squished' is the answer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

US: Stay Cool About Iran

All this agonizing over Iran is silly. Culturally they are more like the US than any of their neighbors. This "mullah" phase they are going through is just a passing stage. The US was pretty puritanical in its early days also. And this election chaos they are going through now: what; they can't have a defining 'civil war' about which way they want to proceed as a nation? Trust me: in thirty years, when the dust settles, Iran will be America's greatest ally in the Middle East.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stupid and Smart People

Representative Democracy (for example, the USA) is based on the idea that stupid people cede decision making power to smart people (SEE disproportionate amount of leadders educated at Harvard, Yale, etc.); the rationale being, the smart are more likely to act smartly over time than the stupid.

Generally, this holds true.

But, when the elected and presumed smart people get elected and act as stupid as the stupid, the stupid are left not only with the residue of the smart people's stupid decsions (the smart people having been insulated from most of the effects of their former stupid decision-making...SEE Swiss Bank Accounts, etc....that's why they are called smart people), the stupid people must now choose a new set of smart people, generally from a group who were part of the same and old smart people who made the stupid decisions in the first place, but that is another issue).

The stupid people chose new smart people with enthusiam, not because the smart people have gotten any smarter in the interm, but because stupid people's confidence has been bolstered by the fact that the old smart people recenly being rejected proved to be as stupid as them. They elect new smart people, and instruct these new smart people how to govern, with referendums and polls and "tweets". The stupid triumph. Representative Democracy has been replaced by Pure Democracy.

Now things will get better. We can all be stupid together (exemplified by the fact that the bureaucats...generally not educated at Harvard or Yale, thus part of the stupid people) will run the nation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


There will be no easing of strife in the world until the 'have-nots' are convinced that their lower economic and social status is a product of their own inherent deficiencies, bad luck and/or their lesser effort and not the result of the 'haves' self-aggrandized power, greed and refusal to share.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

When Less is Less

Tweets, emails, blogs...are they mere wading pools of information...a few facts to cool off with, a place for children to get accustomed to the water, before they grow up and learn to swim in deeper places.

Newspapers, magazines, journals, the stuff of deep investigative reporting and analysis, the larger and deeper pools of information where adults used to swim, are drying up; fast.

Nobody seems to want a full, rich swim anymore? Are we just a nation of grown up children, content with getting our ankles wet but reluctant to dive deep and get our full heads immersed in the water? Has attention deficit grabbed the whole nation? Doesn't anyone want the 'truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'?

The extended question: Can a nation, a culture, a people survive using and dispensing 'sound-bites' (text-messages, 'tweets') as their information nutrients, the fast food of knowledge, and maintain its long-run health?

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I have been absent too long from my own blog.
Illness intruded; in particular, a severe liver infection (source undetermined) which developed into two large abscesses in liver, causing pain and eventually hospitalization.
All is well, now.
Patient improving rapidly.
Back to blog.