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Mira's Journal
Mira's Journal
October 29, 2013

I'm cracking up about my mother. 89 in 1 month. And funny without even trying.

Here she is, a couple of months ago, soaking up sun.

So I have this wonderful alert ancient mother, whose body is falling apart while she learns more to sharpen her mind all the time. She lives in Germany. Thanks to a company called Tel 3 I can call her once a day and let her talk as long as she wants and it never costs me more than about 25 bucks a month total.
In our daily talks our subjects run the gamut of EVERYTHING,
and as she is in a room living alone in a supervised facility she has a lot of time to read. So I make suggestions. She is known in her neighborhood bookstore as the old lady who comes in and inquires about American books and if they have been translated. They love to assist her. The clerks, as are the clerks in most all German stores, are highly trained to assist customers. They go through long term training, get accredited, and then make a liveable wage.

I do say this to show up what we are NOT DOING here, and to prove that these guys like their work, and don't just thumb their nose at an ancient lady on a walker who requests the unusual.

Having set you up, here is what happened in the last two days.

I started reading "The Hunger Games". I told her that it's way out there when it comes to her reading experience, but why not try something new and futuristic? Plus, there is book one. And if she does not like it she does not have to buy books two and three. And if she does like it there is more to look forward to.

So I spell " Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games - (say, maybe it's called Hunger Spiele) and let it go.

Next day she says she's got it.
That the clerks thought that it may not be her cup of tea, that it's kind of a children's book. But she stiffened and said her daughter was no longer a child and said America was crazy about it. All ages. And she wanted to read it now.

Here comes what cracked me up.

She said,

"I put down the book and was really happy to get started reading. But first I picked up "Der Spiegel" and what did I see? A two page spread on that a woman named Susan Collins, a Republican, and another woman, Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, helped solve the crisis that shut down the government in America.
Now I want to know the utter co-incidence of a woman who wrote such a best seller like this Hunger Games, and then solves America's most current problems too. She must be a Genius. That's an incredible thing. I could not believe my eyes."

I could not believe my ears, and had to set her straight. She was disappointed, but had to laugh, too.

I hope you find it funny to participate in a little levity between the continents when things aren't so funny/chummy between our countries for other reasons.

October 28, 2013

Sarcasm about Gov. Rick Perry and some of his pre-occupations rather than governing

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was calling another special session so that the legislature could “pass a ban on the corrupt teaching and practice of gynecology, as well as banning women being licensed as doctors.”
Gov. Perry said that he was disappointed at the resistance he got for the abortion ban in June and July, and that he felt that it would’ve gone smoothly “if women’s heads weren’t filled with nonsense by women doctors and gynecologists.”
In a statement released by his office, he called on the legislature to:
• Ban the corrupt teaching and practice of gynecology.
• End the practice of licensing women as doctors in the state.
• Require the Board of Education to eliminate all mentions of female anatomy or biology from textbooks in the state.

Gov. Perry said that this was another step in his plan to “protect women and their health from any any behavior which might anger God and lead to their eternal damnation in Hell. You’re welcome, ladies.”

October 28, 2013

This line-up of future Presidents would make some heads explode. All over the place.

It makes me smile to see this bumper sticker. I just might have to make some of those (I can, you know

October 25, 2013

Make time for Bill Maher tonight / HBO 10 pm / repeat at 11: look who's on

Guest List: October 25, 2013
October 24, 2013

The Interview:

Maajid Nawaz is the author of Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism and co-founder of Quilliam, the world's first counter-extremism think tank. In 2011 he gave a TEDGlobal talk on developing "a global culture to fight extremism."

Twitter: @maajidnawa

The Panel:

Michael Moore is the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind such documentaries as 'Capitalism: A Love Story, Sicko, Fahrenheit 9/11,' and 'Bowling for Columbine.' His book, Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life is available in paperback.

Twitter: @MMFlint

Valerie Plame is a former C.I.A. covert agent and co-author of a new espionage thriller, Blowback. She is also heavily involved in the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons as a movement leader at Global Zero.

Twitter: @ValeriePlame

Rev. Al Sharpton is the host of MSNBC's 'PoliticsNation' and author of The Rejected Stone. In 1991 he founded the National Action Network, one of the nation's leading civil rights organizations.

Twitter: @TheRevAl

Richard Dawkins is a scientist, author and world-renowned humanist thinker whose latest book is An Appetite for Wonder: the Making of a Scientist. He founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to "support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering."

October 24, 2013

First thoughts are Nosferatu / Herzog and Kinski / and Dracula. Second thought: RATS

All of those thoughts are quite wrong. Here is what's really going on:

Photographer captures haunting beauty in abandoned buildings

Andre Govia has explored more than 800 locations to document what we've long forgotten
Haunting scenes from abandoned locations — hospitals, schools, houses, hotels, asylums and more — are what Andre Govia photographs. The London film-and-TV professional documents these buildings’ off-limits (and sometimes guarded) premises throughout Europe and often captures them exactly the way their occupants left them: cluttered, dusty, silent and honestly creepy.
He shared some of his beautiful and haunting work with Yahoo News this week.



October 24, 2013

Color and fun were served up in the Appalachian mountains this weekend

Some years the color is spectacular, others it is muted. It depends on the amount of rainfall and the varying temperatures. But always at the peak of the fall season the Appalachian mountains are overrun with folks looking and enjoying themselves.
This was a couple of days ago near Asheville, NC

October 20, 2013

Refreshing and Smart suggestion for Republicans. A LTE in my paper today/ from a person in the South

A different approach

I’m a liberal Democrat, but I believe in our two-party system and would like a strong Republican Party to serve as a check and balance against the worst indulgences of my own party. The recent shutdown could end any such hope, though, as conservatives continue to discredit their ability to legislate and act rationally and threaten the very existence of their party.

But I’ve got a solution. The Republican Party could regain its momentum – and, incidentally, destroy Obamacare forever – by advocating a single-payer health-care system like the rest of the civilized world – including conservatives – has and endorses.

Just think about it: It would be pro-business, removing the burden and cost of health care from business owners. It would contain costs and thus be a boon to the middle class. And while it would have the handicap of repudiating the conservative claim that the federal government can’t do anything right, it would be the exact kind of care that our veterans and Medicare recipients receive, which conservatives support.
Doubters could be schooled in the “American exceptionalism” that would make it work better here than anywhere in the world. And it would eliminate the stereotype of Republicans as regressives who care about no one but themselves. Indeed, it would be far more progressive than anything Democrats ever offered.

If the Republicans did this, they would draw many new recruits to their ranks. And they would perform an inestimable service to the country.



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