Quote of the Day: “It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.” –George Washington
As many of you know, TB has been on hiatus for a week now. I was fortunate to spend most of a week in Washington D.C. covering much of the same ground I did 17 years ago with Sweet, but seeing it with a different perspective altogether. With my girls alongside, and Flyin’ J and the G girls, we walked to, over and around all the monuments, visited the zoo, toured the Capitol and hiked the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The highlight of our trip was an afternoon on the south lawn of the White House attending the annual Easter Egg Roll. We visited with an old, dear friend, and occasional blog visitor RMac, a co-equal highlight of TB’s visit. And we ate enough to outpace the calories burned traipsing all over the District.
Sadly, I was unable to report on all this during my trip as the Air Force bases we stayed on didn’t offer internet service in the otherwise well appointed, tidy and above all extremely cost effective accommodations procured by Flyin J. I will endeavor over the next few days to post a recap of the highlights and of some of the thoughts that percolated during our walks and visits, especially during our peaceful visit to Arlington. It was purely coincidence that the subject of the South’s previous secession from the Union was on my mind at the same time secessionist rhetoric was being warmed up by various states and news networks. In fact, I was surprised to read about all this foolishness when I got back online at home last night.
It was quite a week for news, some I was aware of and some more I learned after the fact. Pirates and rescues and Fox and friends’ asinine pre-rescue comments, a sword fight duel in Indiana, a woman leaping into a polar bear exhibit, major Obama policy announcements, the torture memo release, state’s rights declarations and of course Teabaggin. Parenthetically, on Wednesday I was visiting the Air and Space Smithsonian and had to leave at one point to feed the parking meter on our car. I heard chanting from the Capitol building grounds across the way but could see nothing until a bus in the distance moved. Quite pleased to be witness to an historic event, I stopped to watch the Teabaggers and tried to make out the substance of their chanting. Then another bus pulled up and they disappeared from view. I stared blankly, fed the kitty, and returned to the museum to revel in the heroism and sacrifices of the true patriots honored at Air and Space.
A few random thoughts on all this–
Fox television constantly criticized the President in the days preceding the fantastic Navy rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama. I found it patently absurd that they were questioning the President’s resolve to protect Americans in general and of these sailors in particular. It was clear to me that many were hoping the President would “fail” and the hostage situation would prove him to be “just like Jimmy Carter.” Here’s my view. Obama would have deserved no blame if things had turned out differently. But, P.S., I also think he deserves no special credit for the fact it resulted in a rescue, other than that he correctly left it to the professionals to deal with and otherwise kept his mouth shut. And finally, how ’bout those marksmen drilling the pirates in the dark with one shot in heavy seas? Wow.
Does anyone besides me think its a bit ironic that the Teabaggin tax protests took place in a year when taxes were cut? Yes, taxes on upper incomes are likely to rise in the coming years, but not this year. The teabaggers I think are guilty of, uh, premature jocularity. Then I came home and found out good ole Haley and his gang are on the cusp of letting the tobacco tax die but also allowing the car tag credit we’ve come to know and love to expire. So our taxes here in the sovereign state of Mississippi will be going up, again.
I love the Obama administration’s plan to aggressively implement high speed light rail across the United States. I am hopeful it takes place without undue delay and that it spreads rapidly beyond the ten corridors so far proposed. The proposed route leading from Houston to Mobile will be a huge economic boon to the Mississippi Coast and I was very pleased to see it on the list. High speed rail will cost a lot of money, or to put it more accurately will require a large up front investment. But the likelihood of a highly profitable return on capital makes it a no-brainer in my opinion.
Courtesy of Stone, I bring you news and observations on the fatal fencing duel that took place in Indiana and resulted in the death of a bystander trying to stop the fight. If you are unaware of this, it seems two men, ages 39 and 69 respectively got into a bit of a disagreement and decided to settle the question of honor in the swashbuckling fashion of the 17th century European nobility. They drew swords, crossed them, then began carving up one another not to mention the 77 year old female relative who tried to stop them. Both senior citizens are now dead and the younger man is in custody. Is anyone surprised he favors D’Artagnan just a little bit?
As Stone astutely observed, the gentlemen handled this matter all wrong. In duels of honor it is necessary first to procure seconds. The seconds establish ground rules before the fight commences. Rules such as, no hitting in the face or the groin. No tripping. No hitting girls. First blood drawn wins. It is advisable for seconds to divide the body into thirds–the innards, blood, and the skin–all attacks beyond the outer 1/3 are forbidden. Actually, the longer the seconds discuss the finer, umm, “points” of order, the more likely the umbrage taken by the offending party will begin to fade and the whole thing might be called off altogether. But if not cancelled, the seconds also ensure the fight takes place in a forest clearing and preferably at the crack of the ‘morrow’s dawn. This keeps the girls away. And the seconds give the challenged party choice of weapons. In this case it appears both sides would’ve been better off if they had selected, say, marshmallow guns or water balloons. They should’ve at least had the chance to select something other than samurai blades. Finally (fourth?) such a conflict must never take place until the participants ingest a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and copious amounts of wine. In addition to fortifying their spirits, the wine can be strategically spilled on clothing to simulate drawn blood or at possibly regurgitated in the heat of battle to the same purpose. In this way, no loss of life is likely to occur while honor can be preserved. If a suitable bottle of wine is unavailable, participants might freely substitute a fifth.
I’m still pretty worn out after our trip and my office is predictably a mess after a week’s neglect, so that’s all I’ve got today. I’ll have a couple of posts inspired by our trip over the weekend and I’ll post a few snapshots. So who won The Master’s anyway?