Monday, May 02, 2005


Even though he was a grown man, when we first met this neighbor, he seemed like a boy to me. There was an older man, a neighbor I respected, who was really good at working on houses. It was his profession. I paid him, when he would let me, but sometimes he would just come over and help me with my house for the fun of it. This was when I was repairing the dry rot. And at those times he wouldn't let me pay him. When the boy man neighbor heard this, he seemed to get quietly agitated. His eyes kept darting around. I tried to bring it back to my point, that the older neighbor was quite a character. A few months later, the boy man neighbor told me with a smile, and some relief, that they had gotten the older guy to do a bunch of work on their house for free. As if it were some kind of accomplishment. Like he was back in the ring now. The boy man neighbor was in sales. They had to sell their house when the market went sour and he was the last fool. They moved, and later I heard he divorced his wife, a good woman, and dealt this unto their two young kids. It was for some reason I don't remember, but it was an immature, flighty thing, a thing that a boy would come up with.

There comes a point that every seemingly impenetrable edifice of deceit cracks and then rapidly crumbles away. One mark, but not the only mark, of virtue is that it stands the test of time. Like Bill Clinton. A lot of the apparent support for Bush may seem inexplicable, until you really look at it. It's a mixture of stupid people, hateful people, and smart people who are neither stupid nor hateful1, but who have been snared by just the right formula. While there have been signs of weakening in the Bush support, my main reaction to this point has been amazement at the the incredible, enduring nature of his support, even despite losing a war, despite the apparent willingness to let two of the three 'axis of evil' countries go nuclear (while invading the only one that was not about to), even despite putting his foolish monkey paws on Social Security. Still though, I would like to now call out my hunch. My hunch is that this whole DeLay affair is the event that will start the crumbling of the Bush edifice. It's simple enough for even stupid people to understand. There is a lot that is stupid about our national news dramas, so much that someone like myself who loves America cringes at the volume of it. This stupid scandal and the White House's stupid willingness to go to bat for DeLay strums those strings. They're good at reducing complex, subtle issues to simple dramas, now matter how factually cavalier. Here, the Republicans have created for themselves one of those simple dramas over a single individual that they have used so adeptly to build their support. Only this time, they have cast themselves in the losing role. The DeLay issue won't crumble the edifice, but I have the hunch that it is the beginning of the end. (Unless, of course, the Republicans win.)

Left grip is 46 pounds (40, 46, 45), right grip is 92 pounds (92, 91, 92), left leg balance is 5.22 seconds, and inhale volume is 4750 mL.

For a long while I have been "cheating" on the one-legged balance test by allowing myself as many tries as I wanted. Today I'll change the rule to allow six tries.

But rather, the only person smart enough and kind enough to solve my chess puzzle.
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