Friday, January 28, 2011

The Jig is Up?

Escaped Arizona convict
wanted to overdose on
heroin and let bears eat him.

The jig is up…maybe. That is, the United States somewhat hypocritical long-term attempt to control the Middle East may be about to come to a dramatic and perhaps fitting end. For far too long we have said one thing and done quite another. While claiming to promote democracy we have at the same time supported dictatorships, all in favor of the goal of stability, but dictatorships nonetheless. With the ouster of the Tunisian dictator by popular demand, that already caused a great deal of concern in the Arab world, we now have the real possibility that Egypt may follow suit. Mubarak, who Vice-President Biden naively claims is not a dictator, who has ruled for 30 years, is now seriously threatened. This puts the U.S. in an interesting bind, on the one hand claiming to want democracy for the Egyptians, but on the other hand wanting to continue to support Mubarak who has been a dependable ally for such a long time. And remember, Egypt is the only country that has signed a peace agreement with Israel. No one knows at the moment how this revolution may turn out, but if Mubarak goes most anything might happen. This revolutionary moment is not only being seen in Tunisia and Egypt but also in Yemen and other Arab countries as well. You might well say the Arab world is “fed up and not about to take it anymore,” “it” being most of the wealth concentrated in the hands of a few and poverty, unemployment, and exploitation for the rest. I wonder if the 2% of Americans with most of the wealth in the United States, and the corporate giants, are listening. Yeah, I know, it can’t happen here. Of course I have no idea what will happen but it is impossible to deny that something is happening, and I don’t think it bodes well for the already fading American empire.

Now for some not very important domestic news. I went to the dentist. Don’t laugh, this is serious business. You may or may not have read one of my earliest blogs having to do with wisdom teeth. I still have two of them in spite of many attempts to make me give them up. I was told in my twenties that I had to have them removed as they were non-functional, would get infected, would ruin the rest of my alignment, to say nothing of cause me untold grief. Dentists, I determined, hate wisdom teeth and insist you have to have them pulled. They are quite adamant about this. As I was very cowardly as a boy when it came to dentists I managed to eventually spend a fortune getting my teeth fixed, while at the same time refusing to give up my two remaining wisdom teeth (having the first two removed was for me extremely traumatic). So over the years I have had many dentists, both male and female, sadists and not so sadistic, but all seemingly enraged because I still had two wisdom teeth. This has been a battle between me and dentists that has raged now for about 60 years. I would like to tell you that just now, after 60 years of no problems whatsoever with these two fine molars, one of them has finally shown a bit of decay and needs to be filled. Ordinarily trying to get a wisdom tooth filled is an impossibility, dentists are a stubborn bunch and they want wisdom teeth out! However, my current dentist, who I believe is the finest dentist in the entire world, also, for whatever strange reason, has read my blog about wisdom teeth. Thus when he discovered this decay he approached the subject with great delicacy, advising me there were two possibilities, having it pulled (he virtually whispered this as he didn’t want me to either faint or fall into a rage), or filling it (he quickly told me that he was confident he could fix it). My gratitude at hearing this made me want to kiss the hem of his trousers, but thinking that undignified I merely floated out of the office on a cloud of euphoria. You might think it strange that the greatest dentist in the whole world practices his profession here in remote North Idaho, but it’s true. So, if you ever need a dentist brave enough to defy dental tradition and sensitive enough to care about you, drop me a line.

The other domestic news of note has to do with cooking. There is a new contest starting, world-wide, but allowing only 200 contestants. This contest has to do with charcuterie, that is, salting, smoking, and curing meats such as bacon, pancetta, corned beef, prosciutto, guanchiale, sausage, and such. My wife, who is a super cook, will be one of these contestants. Every month they will be asked to make some special kind of processed meat. This month’s challenge is pancetta (Italian bacon). Not only do they have to make the product, they also have to explain how they have used it to make other dishes. If you have any interest in such goings-on I refer you to her food blog: http://inlinda’

The internet is truly a wondrous thing, it allows you to communicate and interact with people from all over the world, even if you live in Podunk.

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
Woody Allen

Domestic geese cannot fly, although with considerable effort they can momentarily get airborn.

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