November 2008


I’m going to get this out right at the beginning…I would do anything for my dogs! That’s right, I’m unrepentent! I love my dogs!! I don’t have human children; my wife and I weren’t blessed with any. But we did sort of go overboard on the quantity of canine children that we share our lives with.

We have five small terrier dogs: Three Wire Fox Terriers (WFT’s), a Miniature Schnauzer and a Yorkshire Terrier. The oldest WFT, an older gentleman named Asta, is 15 years old. Over the past few months he has begun to show his age a little more and more…he has arthritis, his eyes are getting cloudy and he’s plainly going deaf. He’s also not as strong as he used to be.

Asta Dundee!

If you know anything about dogs, you will know that the WFT as a breed is a combination of the Terminator and a court jester! They have a singlemindedness and inquisitiveness that keeps their owners on their toes. Asta has been a notable exception in that he is super-inquisitive and super-stubborn, as well as highly intelligent. And trust me, nothing has changed as he has aged!

Being a stubborn fellow, he constantly tries to do the things he did when he was younger — jumping on furniture, dashing up the stairs and running full-tilt on the hardwood floors. But he doesn’t do a very good job, though his intentions are good. Spills and falls are common, and it isn’t uncommon to find him somewhere on one of the hardwood floors, his legs splayed to his sides like an insect in a cup of water, trying to get back on his feet. He does this because his body is heavy (he’s perhaps a tad “Rubenesque”), his legs are getting weak and his foot pads are worn to a polished, slippery finish from years of darting, digging and skidding.

My first solution was to “moisturize” his foot pads; using almond-scented body cream, I massaged his little “toes” until they were soft and less slippery. This technique works, BUT…his feet leave little paw prints wherever he walks and his little feet pick up the most god-awful junk and debris. His spills and falls were definitely lower in number, but he aquired dirty feet (and did I mention he sleeps on the foot of the bed at night?). And the treatment had a definite useful life, so he needed new foot massages ever three days or so.

So, enter Plan B! My wife noticed these dog “booties” called “PAWZ” at the pet store. It’s a little bit of a stretch to call them booties, as they look more like small, very thick, deflated balloons. They were fifteen bucks for a package of eight of these beauties, and the only color in his size is fire engine red. I thought they might work, so what the heck…they would get me out of my moisturizing chore.

So, for about a week now, Asta has been clopping around the house like a deranged frogman with these balloon-looking booties on his hind feet. But they work! He doesn’t have the problem with poor traction on the hardwood floors any more, and he looks quite smart in his bright red boots!

I hope that I have to put those boots on in the morning and then take them off again at night for many years to come!

Yes we can!

Apparently 53% of Americans were sufficiently loathing of President Bush and enamored by the smoke-and-mirrors of a new, boutique candidate that they suspended their disbelief in this candidate’s lack of experience and political philosophy and voted him into office.

Congratulations Barak Hussein Obama, you won the election! Now we’ll all see what you’re made of. There will be no hiding and no getting by on the thinnest of experience. They’ll be no suspect associations — you will live under the white hot klieg lights and the magnifying glass of objective media scrutiny (if there are any objective media types left out there). Voting “Present” just isn’t going to do!

Change!

I almost can’t type I’m laughing so hard. So far, the “change” that I’ve seen and we’ve been shown is simply more of the same except fronted by a pastel, robin’s egg blue placard. Already Obama has signalled to the political world that his administration is going to be a hard-bitten, partisan outfit. His selection for chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, is a veteran of Chicago politics. His brand of politics will make Karl Rove look like a Teletubby. And the list of possible candidates for cabinet and advisor posts looks like a who’s who of Clinton administration lackeys. And, excuse my typing again, I can’t stop chuckling, the “bipartisanship” extends to two Senators — Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel. Two “Republicans” who made it a constant habit to abandon the platform and views of their party, and vote with the Democrat majority.

Another change portended is the change in the use of executive orders to “undo” those of president Bush. It has been floated that Obama will use executive orders to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, reverse the ban on embryonic stem cell research and stop oil exploration and drilling in “environmentally sensitive” areas in Utah. The Guantanamo Bay closure brings the specter of hard-bitten terrorist criminals being brought to US soil for trial, and many will simply be released. I’m not laughing now, but I’m absolutely sure that our Al Qaeda and Muslim extremist enemies are smiling and laughing.

Another change being aggressively pursued is the reapplication of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Rather than the stated purpose, which is to promote all viewpoints on the radio…it rather is being pursued to punish the “right wing” talk radio and those who listen. It is a very partisan way to attenuate or end any political or ideological opposition: Except the Democrats will do by decree or legislation what they couldn’t do in the marketplace of free and open exchange of ideas. It wasn’t by accident that conservative talk radio succeeded…people listened! When given the chance to listen to liberal talk radio, the prime example being “Air America”, apparently no audience in sufficient quantity showed up! This preoccupation with the “Freedom Doctrine” should scare rational, thinking citizens who may not even agree with conservative talk radio — as any time the government wants to interfere with the free exchange of ideas in an effort to promote other ideas is a dangerous time indeed.

More change is also on the horizon — mandatory public service for all middle and high school students (a plan which by the way has magically morphed recently into a “rewards” public service program. Kids who perform community service NOW will get a $4,000 tuition credit. Talk about your CHANGE!!) And the most scary change of all — civilian security forces. What’s up with that? We don’t really know the details, because they’ve never been revealed. But idea and mere mention of civillian security forces by a president makes me want to think “neighborhood snitches”, “ideological officers” and “truth squads”, as well as armbands with odd symbols on them. But maybe that’s just me and my quaint old Constitutional view of society.

What is “Change” without CHANGE?

And what would change be without a website? Obama must be a student of P.T. Barnum, because he is going to shamelessly self-promote every aspect and facet of his presidency. Obama has begun this complete indoctrination (or is it “Obamafication?”) with his new website, www.change.gov. The stated purpose of this site is to keep Americans informed. I see it as a way to keep his cheerleaders cheerleading now that the 4th quarter has been played. In an effort to extend his White House time to 8 years, you will see Obama keep his ardent supporters on a short leash over the next years. We are going to witness a revolution in presidential propaganda…and the assembly of a “cult of personality.” Some of this already exists now, with the still-fresh afterglow of the election in sight. People are elated about the change, the candiate and the new direction. We’ll see how many feel that way in 10-12 months, when reality hits both the chief executive and the electorate. The intersection of his campaign promises and reality will determine his future support, and a lot of smiling “changers” will have long faces when the promised “change” takes a back seat to political expediency.

So, when we celebrate the newly-proposed “Obama Day” — when “Obama cake” will be served at McDonalds, of all places…I can’t help laughing again! The symbolism is just too stunning.

“Let them eat cake!”

YES we will!