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Being one of the most extreme of tea party candidates, incoming Congressman Allen West (R-Fla) is not known to be a funny guy. But in an appearance on Meet the Press a week ago while discussing intrusive airport patdowns, he had me laughing when he said the Transportation Safety Administration had done a poor job of explaining new security procedures to the public and that they
“...should have put out some type of feelers.”
Host David Gregory and other panelists seemed not to notice. You can see that portion of the program at Talking Points Memo.
NEVER TOO OLD TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
Twenty or more years ago, I decided that hip-hop music was something I could ignore. And so it has been. Then, last week, in her glowing New York Times review of Jay-Z's autobiography, Decoded, Michiko Kakutani made reference to the “soaring beauty of the chorus” in the author's “Empire State of Mind.”
Not one to let anything wonderful about my former home slip by me, I ran right over to YouTube to watch the song's official video and in a whole new way, I got teary about the city I love so much. Here it is – a duet with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
THIS IS JUST WONDERFUL
In an earlier Interesting Stuff, I told you about a group of bikers who revved their motors to drown out the despicable members of the Westboro Baptist Church who travel the country to disrupt family military funerals with obscene shouts and signs.
A week ago in Harrisville, Kansas, it happened again at another military funeral when thousands of townsfolk gathered to keep the protesters at bay:
By 9 a.m., an hour before the funeral of Army Cpl. Jacob R. Carver, an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people, many of them waving American flags, lined nearly a half-mile of the street in front of the church, making sure Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church/family congregation were crowded out, peacefully kept far from shouting distance of the funeral.
You can read more here.
AND THIS IS JUST AWFUL
Most states outsource a large part of their Medicaid services to private insurers and when one in Florida denied a liver transplant to 37-year-old Alisa Wilson, she died.
”After 'scores of e-mails and…the help of a Florida state legislator,' the HMO, Sunshine State Health, finally gave in and approved coverage for Wilson two weeks ago. Yet her health was too severe for surgery by then. On Friday evening, Wilson passed away..."
Tell me again, Congress, why private health coverage is superior to government-run health care. You can read more here.
A DOG'S TROUBLES – AND MINE
It seems to me that television commercials aren't what they used to be. Most are loud, irritating and poorly conceived. But every now and then, there's one that catches my interest, and in our troubled economic times, I know just how this dog feels. (The song is Trouble by Ray LaMontagne.)
DO YOU REMEMBER THESE?
Mary Jamison sent along the link to this site with a nice little movie set to the song, Do You Remember These?. It's packed with images from our childhood and teen years. Oh, and some Burma Shave signs too. You can see it here.
SIMON'S CAT – LUNCH BREAK
I've been a Simon's cat fan from the first video several years go. It's cat behavior as every cat owner can recognize. lilalia of Yum Yum Cafe alerted me to this newest episode.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT ON OLD AGE
Time Goes By's Saul Friedman sent along this item – a 50-year-old photograph of then-former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt carrying her own luggage at La Guardia airport. Accompanying the photo is this quotation from her:
“When you reach my age, it is better to care less about being in fashion and more about being inconspicuous.”
I greatly admire Mrs. Roosevelt, but I don't agree with the second half of the quote. However, we live in different times now and things change. Go see the photo. Given our celebrity culture, it couldn't happen with a contemporary former first lady to be alone at an airport.
STEVE AND MILLIE GARFIELD
Many of you know Millie Garfield of My Mom's Blog and, perhaps, her son Steve who has produced so many funny videos at Millie's blog. Marion Dent sent this instructive video of Steve showing how he made a book for his mom – a real, paper book – of her blog. The video is two years old – I don't know how I missed it.
FACING THE PROSPECT OF DEATH
One of the first people I met online is Ian Bertram who blogs at Panchromatica. This week he sent along the following from Laurence Demarco, a founder of Senscot, an organization in Scotland that supports entrepreneurs who work to alleviate poverty in that country. The quote strikes me as the only way to live in our late years.
"In October 1959,” writes Demarco, “Carl Jung was interviewed for the BBC Face to Face programme. He was 84 - I remember seeing the programme. Near the end, John Freeman asked him what advice he gives to older patients regarding the prospect of death. This is what he said:
“'I have treated many old people and it's quite interesting to watch what the unconscious is doing with the fact that it is apparently threatened with a complete end. It disregards it. Life behaves as if it were going on, and so I think it is better for old people to live on - to look forward to the next day, as if we had to spend centuries - and then we live properly.
“'But when we are afraid, when we don't look forward, we look back, we petrify, we get stiff and we die before our time. But when we're living on, looking forward to the great adventure that is ahead, then we live - and that, I think, is about what the unconscious is intending to do.'"
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, D. Sugar: Q and No A's