Alexandria (Burning Man 11)

Blankly she stared at the traffic below rushing away on 395 even though it was almost 3 am. The news had hit her hard and was totally unexpected. She had listened to the recorded message from the Paris hospital three times. She truly regretted never giving her father her cell phone number and now he was gone. A stroke had taken his life. Never again would she be able to defend her politics to the expat.

Margaret’s father was a veteran of the Korean war. He had been in the United States Air Force. He was a lieutenant and had served as a B-29 navigator in many bombing missions during the conflict. He was a stubborn man with strong political convictions. When she was young she loved to listen to his rambling stories of the decent republican president, good old ‘Ike’ Eisenhower. Her Father had worked as a defense contractor when he returned. A civilian consultant for the defense industry. Plenty of work fighting the cold war in those days. Lots of money to be had for the military industrial complex as it was known around their house in McLean Virginia.

Shortly after Margaret had been born the Watergate scandal occurred. This and maybe all the antiwar protests had changed her Father for good. When she was four she remembered her Mother and Father having world war three in the parlor. It was sadly one of her earliest memories and as far as she was concerned the beginning of the end of her parents’ marriage even though her Father had stuck it out until she was thirteen. Their political battles were never ending. Her Mother ever increasingly Republican and her Father a liberal Independent. Not surprising in fact because her mother had come from old southern money and her Father had come from a New Hampshire farm.

In 1982 her Father had moved to Paris to work for UNESCO. It was a change of pace for him but something he truly believed in. She had stayed behind in McLean. After graduating high school she had been accepted at Georgetown. In fact although she had traveled extensively her home had always been in the nation’s capitol. She knew the city well. K street was her domain. The American Petroleum Institute payed her grandly. Her Mother was very proud, but her Father had disagreed with her decision from the very beginning. She had turned down an offer from the CIA.

She reached down for the bottle of Pinot on the glass table and refilled her tumbler. The pack of Benson & Hedges was half gone already. The first cigarette had tasted okay and took the edge off the bad news but now she was smoking and trying hard not to think about the pain that was building inside her. It was her first cigarette in seven years. The first time she had listened to the message she had run downstairs to the Korean market at the base of the apartment building and bought wine and cigarettes. The owner, whom she had know for years knew this was not the regular Margaret. The wine was relatively normal but the cigarettes meant something was wrong. He had sensed the pain in Margaret’s face but he had kept his silence in the intuitive fashion of the orient.

She wondered about the funeral arrangements. Since her Father was a veteran would he be buried at Arlington? She wasn’t sure he would’ve gone for it. She had remembered one time when he came to visit he befriended the store owner downstairs. Despite the fact his Korean wasn’t very good he still managed to have a decent conversation making friends for life in the process. That was her father. He could make friends standing on the platform at the train station. He was too friendly for DC. She wiped a tear from her eye. So much to do now. She dreaded the call she would make to her Mother. Had she heard already? She just wasn’t sure.

She closed the sliding glass door to the balcony and sat down on the couch carefully placing the bottle and glass on the coffee table. She had left the cigarettes outside. She might be smoking but she detested the smell of smoke inside. The big screen TV blared the endless news of the day. Something about the missing plane, maybe it had been found. Tomorrow she would make plans to fly to Paris. She had the name of her Father’s attorney on her cell phone. She scrolled through her extensive address list. There it was, Marcel Lemieux Avocat. She began to sob gently. She still couldn’t believe she hadn’t given her father her cell number but here she had his attorney’s number at the ready.

Australian authorities had maybe located the plane. The blaring TV had jolted her out of a half sleep. She grabbed the remote and turned it off. Her mind drifted. Australia, just the name stirred something inside her. She didn’t know why. Tomorrow was another day. She fell asleep on the couch. A siren wailed down 395.

“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.”                 — Geronimo

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

“Catfish Republicans” in the “Dark Vein” of Muddy Water

Recently we have seen the rise of a new breed of Republicans. They are clearly out of their league and are quite obviously bottom feeders, spurred on by the rank and bulbous Rush Limbaugh a man known to feed on stink bait normally used to hook Missouri catfish. So caught up in their own realities and afraid to ever admit the error of their ways they continue to waste the taxpayers money every single day. Not unlike the Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o who claims to have been spoofed by a fake internet girlfriend these Republicans are spoofed by selective perception and their avarice, greedily feeding on morsels found in the dark recesses of human nature.

Shunning the more important issues facing the nation they made it a point to grill the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today in her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This is par for the course in our sad Senate lately as closing the barn door after the horses have run off is their stupid solution for just about everything. You don’t have to have a degree in Political Science to see these boobs just stall for time and point a finger to justify their blatant hatred for those more adept at diplomatic situations than they themselves could ever hope to be. Bravo Senator Ron Johnson Republican Senator from Wisconsin for proving just how downright rude and ill informed you can be. The only credit you deserve is your ability to convince the population that voted you into your position that you actually had something of value to bring to the table in Washington D.C.. Unfortunate for them your import is only further evidence that Colin Powell was correct in stating: “There is a dark vein of intolerance in this (Republican) party. They still sort of look down on the minority.”.

Where were all these ruthless fact finders during the decision to start a war in Iraq  proclaiming that Saddam Hussein was harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction? Where were you Senator John McCain Republican from Arizona? You stated Tuesday Senator McCain that: “It’s (Benghazi) been a cover up from the beginning.”. Why didn’t anyone consider having a National Security Council meeting as is procedure before starting the war in Iraq? How can a war be started based on a brief by Scooter Libby and not an actual intelligence assessment? The Iraq war cost in excess of three trillion dollars. Four thousand four hundred and eighty seven service members lost their lives, thirty two thousand two hundred and twenty six were wounded not including the psychological damages making the actual cost of this war inestimable as you cannot place a value on a human life! Outrageous to believe that the current breed of “Catfish Republicans” can continue to roil in the dark vein of muddy water and feed on the stink bait of their collective delusion!

“It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!” — William F. Buckley

“We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It’s overrun with sheep and conformists.” — Bill Maher

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Thanksgiving Stew Washington Style

What a new mess was cooking this past week in D.C. right before a welcome thanksgiving break. We’ve got Republicans sizzling up a serving of dyspepsia over the incident in Benghazi. Can you imagine they have to treat President Obama like the sous chef who mishandled the entire incident and gave the media a bad case of the trots with some terrorist plot misinformation? Funny thing is they had the same exact ingredients he had and they cooked up the same dish. Blaming the chef seems to be the easy way out of this one. The irony is Senator McCain’s and Graham’s short memory. Seems like just yesterday when Chefs Veep Cheney and President Bush cooked up a whopper over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That gave many people grief, heartburn, a huge national deficit and in all seriousness many good people died over that tomfoolery. One just can’t cook with that kind of oil. It just isn’t edible at all.

Add to that rumors we have of a couple of Generals muddling over the stuffing of some birds. Must have been a difficult recipe if it took an apparent thirty thousand emails to explain. “All In” seems to be a strange title for a cookbook but then these birds demanded a different kind of stuffing. Tampa Bay and Centcom and a tush of MacDill Air Force base is sure to spice up any dish. This dish is sure to simmer for quite some time. Probably won’t be near ready by the time turkey day rolls around. But surely it will be a turkey. Not surprising this type of dilemma would arise. Generals do worry about their privates and rightfully so. Let’s just hope that the giblets weren’t left out so long that they spoiled.

As far as Christmas is concerned the pudding pot is due to boil over on December 31 of this year. If that deaf dumb and blind cook, Senator McConnell has his way the pot might just explode. Why anyone ever ate at his restaurant to begin with is quite a mystery. As a cook he has absolutely no imagination whatsoever. Its grits, more grits and business as usual. The same bland food day after day and year after year, served up with a dose of hate and rancid butter. This intractable cook just can’t seem to get it through his diminutive mind or palette that a different dish might be in order and quick! This is what happens when a cook doesn’t even call their own shots. They live in a bland world of tasteless choices. Let us hope that Representative John Boehner can convince old Mitch to stick a sausage or two into his dish before the whole pot explodes! Stay tuned for the suspenseful conclusion of this pot of boiling fat.

“Damned Beaver/Jeremy is the War, he is every assertion the fucking War has ever made–that we are meant for work and government, for austerity: and these shall take priority over love, dreams, the spirit, the senses and the other second-class trivia that are found among the idle and mindless hours of the day….Damn them, they are wrong. They are insane.”— Thomas Pynchon, “Gravity’s Rainbow”

“My Mother gave me a real kick toward cooking, which was that if I wanted to eat, I’d better know how to do it myself.” — Daniel Craig aka James Bond

“Romney says Obama won because he promised his base ‘extraordinary gifts’. But what about the gifts the GOP gives to the rich every time they get elected? Like the crazy tax cuts President Bush gave while starting 2 wars?” –
— Jake Shween

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween