Saturday, November 29, 2008


Recently I was involved in an archaic form of entertainment(?), the telethon. A telethon, in case you've been in a coma on a distant planet without cable for the last seventy years, consists of people begging and screaming at you to donate money between musical or comedy acts that make you wish they'd get back to begging and screaming at you for money.

Telethons differ from pledge breaks on Public Television in that the pledge breaks interrupt nothing entertaining, just the usual BBC documentaries and dreary BBC costume dramas where as nothing stops a telethon.

In the past these endless juggernauts of entertainment mediocrity aimed to wipe out diseases, cerebral palsy, arthritis and muscular dystrophy spring to mind. I have participated in telethons for Muscular Dystrophy, Arthritis and Easter Seals although I never understood why a concerted effort against piniped aquatic mammals was necessary or how they ever became associated with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. And let me say with added emphasis I have nothing against the people fighting cerebral palsy but they never asked.

Lately with Arthritis apparently eradicated and Easter Seals exterminated I help out on the MDA or Jerry Lewis Telethon and a relative new comer on the Telethonic scene, the Armenia Telethon. It is a valiant and successful effort to raise money to pay for infrastructure and educational facilities in impoverished areas of Armenia.

Armenia is a small country in the Caucasus that has a view of Turkey (The Country) from every window, this would be less distressing if the Turks hadn't spent the best part of WW1 trying to exterminate the Armenians. To put it in perspective the Armenians regard their occupation by the Soviet Union as more or less benign, Stalin and Communism were apparently less lethal to the average Armenian than a determined Turk so we are talking some hard backed persecution vets here. At any rate, for 12 hours on Thanksgiving they raise money in prodigious amounts for their homeland, paying for new roads and schools so the Russians and Turks will have new things to destroy next time they decide to go Genocidal.

All this Telethon talk has reminded me of the time I did an Amish Telethon. We had to go door to door but we raised eighty seven dollars and a barn.

You see the Amish don't have telephones or television, so they'd have to go next door to a Mennonite family that had those things to call in. I'll explain the Amish in a latter blog.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Bye Columbus

As the Holiday Season draws to a close and by Holiday Season I mean the one between Halloween and Veteran's Day, my friends and I like to reflect on the various civil liberties and protections against unwarranted government intrusion that have fluttered down the old memory hole like a non-person being excised from history.

There is a curious universality to this, my right wing and lefty friends agree that secret government cadres are working against their particular political wing by compiling dossiers on their Internet porn preference and listening in on the politically dangerous telephone conversations they have with their Mom. I think this is a promising trend, it shows the government is using foresight and will be in a good position to help the right or left wing, which ever one wins, round up their Kulaks of choice.

The black helicopters, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, Illuminati, the Masons (either Pamela, James or Perry and possibly Mason Reese and Mason Williams) Tri-Lateral Commission and Skull and Bones are stipulated by both right and left wingers as bete noires of their personal liberty, although I must have missed the passage of The Personal Liberty and Freedom Act since I still have to pay taxes and I 'm still not allowed to shoot my neighbors. My Commie and Wingnut friends are never the less convinced that the above stated groups' purposes are diabolical, that their given public raison d'etre is duplicitous and they're really dedicated to taking away the same liberties and freedoms that the left and right wings are so fond of taking away from their opponents.

Somehow the Rockefellers and the Jews are at the center of this universe of conspiracy, either as creatures of the United States government or the United States government being a creature of theirs. Since the Rockefellers are sort of the Beverly Hillbillies of World Domination with Nelson or David in the Jed Role and Happy Fitler (The trampy Philadelphia girl Nelson married after he divorced Mary, although not as trampy as that Megan chick who was blowing him the night he died.) as Granny I'm thinking maybe they've been in charge all along although judging by some delicatessens I've been in, it takes a Jewish mind to master chaos.

I had very serious doubts that our Government would be able to take away very much in the way of personal liberties, the Patriot Act, the Library Snooping Enabling Act and the We Want to Know How Many Times You Downloaded "Opps I did it again" And Shared It With Your Cousin Act not with standing. So far they haven't they haven't been very good at taking away Personal Liberties even from Al Quiada (This is America damn it, a Q its followed by a U no matter what the stinkin' Arabs say.) of the five hundred we caught and released about 450 have turned up fighting us again in either Afghanistan or Iraqu.

I thought we had little to fear that our poor incompetent Liberal democracy would turn into the soul destroying oppressive nightmare depicted in Orwell's 1984 unless Americans suddenly became law abiding. (By the by, I did put on my INGSOC jumpsuit the morning of January 1, 1984, faced the Telescreen and participated in two minutes of very satisfying hate over the continued sabotage of Oceania's war effort by the followers of Emmanuel Goldstein, just in case.) I always figured lefties were better at that sort of thing, since the giants of their pantheon, like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and the guy in charge in China that had tanks run over all those students over in Tienanmen Square, are all giants because they are standing on mountains of dead Kulaks, the sine qua non of consensus left wing government.

But I would be wrong. Behold the new face of Big Brother, the nice lady in the lavender but business appropriate suit at the top. She's Helen Jones-Kelley and she just got thirty days of unpaid quiet time for peeping at Joe the Plumbers records with out a legitimate reason. She is head of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services and like any good bureaucrat she was just exercising due diligence, investigating a private citizen that happened to ask Barack Obama a pointed question. She was particularly concerned that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher owed child support, received public assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes. Although Inspector General Tom Charles disagreed Ms Jones-Kelley denied her search of Joe the Plumber's records was politically motivated since she did the same thing to any Ohioan who happened to surface on national media. With past practices and precedents like that that guide her she dumped the whole weight of government on the poor dumb idealistic shmoo.

She's probably back at the state capital by now, investigating anyone she feels she has a good reason to investigate because she's a good person that wants to do the right thing. So she's busy doing the right thing and poking around in lives that have done nothing wrong except attract her attention letting the ends justify her means as she goes along.

I love Big Brother.