I am sitting here in Command Central. They are fun digs with a simple desk and my big old leather chair. One is for reading and writing. The other for sleeping. In this module they are mutually interchangeable. Big windows give me a bird’s eye view of the corner at 7th and Williams.
There are several shelves with plenty of books I have never read. There are stacks of papers begging to be put away. I have a large stack of hymns that have to be cataloged for my new choir career. And of course there is nautical and golf memorabilia strewn every which way. Don‘t you know these are all characteristics of a creative mind? Okay maybe of a severely dysfunctional personality. Hey, it’s too late to change.
Then there are boxes of toys. The grandkids hang out here to get away from their parents. There are dolls, LEGOS, water guns and boxes of craft stuff which inevitably get disbursed in equal mayhem all over the room. They tell me I am nuts and I tell them they are creepy kids. We all get along fine. They like my rules. There are none except when it comes to bodily harm. Pain is okay but when it becomes near death it has to stop.
My buddy Yeoman tells me I look at the world from 30,000 feet.
Actually I vary my altitude depending whether or not I contemplate landing. I circle several times but inevitably choose to stay airborne. Actually I should have been on the stick of that Asiana flight at SFO. I would never land at anything other than full speed.
Maybe I should buy a drone. I could equip it with sanity bullets. As my unmanned aircraft prowls the skies I could control it right from here. I would have to be careful with my target coordinates. There is a very good chance I would mistake the floor of Tahrir Square for the floors of our legislatures. Sunnis. Shiites. Muslim Brotherhood. Democrats. Republicans. All the same crackpots except for their garb.
I would opt for Preparation H suppositories rather than heat seeking missiles. I would take care of every pain in the ass in the universe. In Viet Nam we used to carry 81mm rounds with little darts in payload. I would probably try to find some old ones and use them as ego deflators. Target wall Street and DC. On second thought maybe not. I would have to expend a lot of ammo in this man’s world.
Up here in the stratosphere you see a lot of crazy things. Over the Capitol rotunda last week I watched a magic show called the Farm Bill. Now the boys and girls took out direct payments that we make to farmers every year whether they plant crops or not. That’s right we just sent it to them monthly like Social Security. That came to $17.5 billion. But the vast majority of recipients are large corporate farmers. Our brazen and bold pols stood up for us and took out this waste. An illusion befitting David Copperfield. Sort of.
Instead we have now put in price supports that kick in when wheat, corn etc go down a certain amount. Very cool except for the fact we are pegging the base point at near record prices today. So if they approach anywhere near normal they get propped up. Oh yes you should also know that the US government also pays 62% of the premium for crop insurance that farmers have to pay. The insurance companies are also guaranteed a 14% return. This all is predicated on failure of these green pastures but last year only ½ of 1% of the number of farms failed. Is it me or do you smell manure even in my aerie?
At the same time I am watching everyone bitching that SNAP (new name for food stamps) should be cut by $10 billion. Now, now, I hear the restless natives down below. Understand these programs take care of 50 million of our fellow Americans. These people live on less than $18,000 for a family of three and amount to about $3 per day. I can blow that with a VENTI Starbucks.
I know some buy booze and cigarettes but the cheat rate is actually very low. Now I know you all pay all your taxes. No one accepts cash for payment. Docs don’t pad Medicare. Rigging LIBOR? Really? You know that casting the first stone jazz. Now this is dysfunctional. But I digress.
Up here you get the big picture. It’s not your street but a city, a state and a country. You realize the diversity and sheer expanse of this place we call home. Up here people look very foolish. Their hamster pedaling and frenetic life style belie the real meaning of life.
This world is nuts and none of us have a monopoly on the insanity. The past few weeks I could probably use one of those PITA(Pain in the Ass) shots. I have been a grouch of sorts. I am also gloating because my handicap dropped two points so here come the darts.
But I also hope I have some manner of civility and compromise.
No, I don’t like your left or your right wings. You are crazy if you think it’s your way or the highway. Too bad, with your intransigence you have really forgotten how to fly. Being grounded isn’t as smart as you think it is. You don’t know what you are missing.
Major Ted over and out.
Ted The Great
Ted The Great started many years ago. I had a friend who was the head of world wide operations for a major financial institution. I knew him in his other life so when I called his office with the requisite irreverence his executive assistant asked in a rather haughty voice who was on the line? I said, “Ted”. Indignantly she asked, “Ted who?” To which my only reply could be, “TED THE GREAT”. And now you know the rest of the story.
July 14 was Bastille Day but some Francophile has been walking by my window whistling the French National Anthem since Saturday. Vive La France!
To make $18,000 a year you have to make just under $9 per hour for a forty hour week. Approximately one in four work at that wage or below. That is the poverty threshold for a family of three and what it takes to get food stamps. Bon Apetit.