Monday, November 25, 2013

Phones, Facts, and Latkes

We have phones! It only took 8 days, a dozen or so phone calls...all made on my cell phone which resulted in a certain Junior Son chiding me on my reckless use of shared resources...and a really nice guy named James who came on Sunday, precisely on time, and who, after examining phone jacks in the house and the outside connection boxes, pronounced my situation bizarre at best. Throwing his hands up in the air; he declared, "Let's go take a look at the inside junction box. I have no other ideas."

Bingo. Hanging on the wall right above the junction box was mysterious second modem. In short order, the offending box was removed, the wires properly reconnected, and voilà! a miracle! All the phones rang! Now, I am not a fan of Comcrap by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a fan of James and his online counterparts in the great state of Washington, Janice and Robert who went above and beyond to get this fixed much faster than the expected November 27th date the repair calendar showed as the first available date.

Life is slowly getting back to normal at Chez WP. Grandpa Sieg is going up and down the stairs like a champ. The dog has stopped growling at the walkers, and I've gone back to lobbing comments over the interwall at the NY Times, Huffington Post and other news organs with greater regularity. I have to confess there is a certain satisfaction in doing that, although these days, the commenters seem more polarized than ever.

This bothers me but I’m not sure what bothers me more: the vitriolic stridency or the extreme wing positions. This is a democracy and there are going to be positions taken to which I am vehemently opposed. There are going to be op/ed pieces, like Ross Douthat’s on JFK this past weekend, that seem to defy logic and are just plain spiteful. But just as I do not begrudge Donut’s right to opine, I do not begrudge anyone’s right to agree or disagree with him. That’s not what it’s about. Or at least what it’s supposed to be about. But some of the anger than comes through in the comments! Oh, I suppose I occasionally set my hair on fire…Okay…I did ask if he was functionally illiterate or just unable to discern between real life and fiction. Even so, I don’t think I’m particularly vicious.

Y’know, watching all those documentaries about JFK this past week made me nostalgic for a time when appearance was important. Looking at Mrs. Kennedy, the black veil over her face, holding the hands of her children… her grace and graciousness giving such dignity to our national tragedy, Watching it play out over and over again, and knowing what we now know about JFK, the machinations of his government, and all the rest, I still long for the façade of elegance, a pretense of dignity, and moment of civility.

But that was a very different time. There were secrets in those days. We no longer have that luxury. We have instant info-gratification. We can fact check anything and everything, and heaven knows, there are cameras everywhere. Hiding is no longer a viable option...just ask Mark Sanford about that.

I keep hoping that our ability to fact-check will be turned toward good, and stem the tide of spin and lies. I want a survey to report the raw data, not the extrapolated opinion paid for by some PAC. I want politicians to say, “Look, this is going to help my constituents,” and not worry about what the big pockets will say. I want all this knowledge we have at our fingertips to improve our lives, not give some hack a leg up in manipulating the truth.

In this way, I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am not Libertarian nor Socialist, nor any other kind of “ist.” I am one of We, the People, and as we head into the next election cycle, I want the candidates to just tell the truth about what is going to help and what is going to hurt…not what the deep pockets tell them to say.

Right now, listening to the talking heads talk about which states are working and which states are not, they’re saying Kentucky is doing really well with ACA registration, much to the chagrin of their GOP congressclowns.  I am of the opinion that the GOP is not worried about ACA failing…because it won’t; they are worried that it is going to succeed far beyond everyone’s expectations…and they’re going to end up having to explain why they didn’t want regular people to get health insurance.

The Wifely Person’s Tip o’the Week
Thursday is Thanksgiving and the first day of Chanukah.
Thanksgiving commemorates a shared feast between Native Americans and Europeans.
Chanukah is about the usual Jewish non-harvest-related holiday stuff –
they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.  
Either way, it’s all about survival.


  1. There's something discordant about reviewing past events through the lens of the vitriol of today. I also like your last sentence....a lot.

  2. Tried to contact Mark Sanford as suggested... his fiancé thinks he is out of the country, but she is not sure what he's doing & where. (Maybe you can help her with next week's "Tip".)

  3. Happy Holidays!


  4. You know the ACA rollout is a mess when the most positive thing its supporters can say is that Kentucky is doing really well with registration.

  5. *kof/backstage whisper* First candle of Hanukkah is lit on Wednesday night. :)

    Chag Urim Sameach!