I said to myself, “Self, forget blogging about current events and work on that short story.” So I did. Slogging away I piled up 13 pages in a story and ground to a halt. After reading it over, I determined that I was telling the tale all wrong and needed a different approach. Six pages into that, I happened to stop by a book store and buy a book on ‘how to write a short story.’ Big mistake. I had never thought about this stuff before and had just been doing it by feel or instinct. I wondered if it was like over-analyzing your golf swing when you step up to the ball? If you think about it too much, you can’t do it.
Meanwhile, some news items on which I have strong opinions were passing by and blogs were writing themselves in my head on my daily walks. But I resisted while the six pages of the new approach to my story languished. For example.
Two women that I admire died on the same day, April 8th. Margaret Thatcher, famously called “The Iron Lady” died on that day at the age of 87. Also passing on that date was Annette Funicello at age 70. The two women could not have been more different. Thatcher, strong willed and determined, rose to political power to be the Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990 despite the rough and tumble all-male politics of the time. Sticking to her conservative principles, she reversed the economic decline of her country at a time when her philosophical soul mate, Ronald Reagan, was doing the same thing in the US following the disastrous Jimmy Carter.
Funicello was simply America’s sweetheart and came on the scene in the middle ’50 as a youthful star on the Mickey Mouse Club. This was about the time we got our first TV set and young fellows of my vintage were getting our first shot of hormones. Walt Disney was a bit of a prude but he knew marketing. Those tight sweaters on the blooming Mouseketeer girls were no accident. Of course, her later movie career did not distinguish her as much as her determined and classy battle with MS. Maggie and Annette, RIP.
Another story that caught my fancy was the petulant tantrum of the child dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. While his people starve and only 26% have electricity in this impoverished country, he spends lavishly on weapons and his million-man army. To get attention, he decided to declare war on South Korea and the US. It appeared he might be crazy enough to do it and then he disappeared from the news with the coverage of the disgusting bombings at the Boston Marathon. The tales of tragedy and heroism and the subsequent search and apprehension of the two Islamic Terrorists (there, I said it; the President and his minions can’t seem to get those words past their lips) took Kim Jong-un completely out of the news. Without the spotlight, he lost interest in his own threats and we have not heard a peep out of him since. Not much to be said about Boston, the coverage was wall to wall.
A couple of other related news items crossed my field of vision that may not have been so obvious to your average news junky. First, the April 22 issue of “National Review” had a cover story on the “miracle of the Canadian oil sands” called “The Quiet Gold Rush” by Charles Cooke. He actually visited the various oil sands projects and saw first hand the process, the restoration of the mined areas and the extensive emission controls. Every “environmentalist” should read this article.
The second piece was in the “Financial Post” on April 13th The FP is the Canadian “Wall Street Journal”. It is called “Hedge fund billionaire leads donors in pushing Obama on Keystone XL”. Tom Steyer who made billions running a hedge fund now has taken on the task of saving the world from global warming. Nearly all rational people are now forced to admit that temperatures have not increased a bit in at least the last decade. I don’t know what it is with these hedge fund guys? They must all feel really guilty about making obscene amounts of money in a business that does nothing but make bets with rich people’s money. Steyer, like George Soros, another absurdly wealthy hedge fund player, all feel they have to remake the world to conform to their own prejudices.
Steyer has decided that his enemy is the Canadian oil sands and has lined up like-minded liberals to pool their money and blackmail Democrats and Obama to veto the pipeline. Not satisfied to sabotage the Keystone XL to the Texas coast, they also are funding the opposition groups to stop the Canadians from building a pipeline to their own coast where they would ship the oil to China. Why don’t they go fund groups in Saudi Arabia to oppose the oil industry there? Or maybe Iran?
The American public overwhelmingly supports the construction of the pipeline (65%) and the Democrat controlled Senate does too (62-37) and well as the House. Now the unions are protesting in favor. Still Steyer and his fellow limo liberals plan to fund Democrat senate challengers against senators who support the pipeline. Great idea, Tom. Go for it.
The news that really got me fired up was that the FAA planned to stick it to the flying public by furloughing the air traffic controllers to meet a 4% cut in spending instead of cutting some other less critical expenses. This was part of the Obama Administration’s cynical attempt to make the sequester cuts as painful as possible so that they could gain political points on the GOP. They were petulant that the Republicans would not agree to raise taxes again after doing so in January and their first action was to cancel White House tours for school kids on spring break. Really? Out of a $3.6 trillion dollar budget the first place you are going to go to find cuts of about $40 billion is tours of the White House for school kids?
The cuts to the air traffic controllers delayed 6700 flights for a couple of days before the Democrats realized they had mis-calculated and they, not the Republicans, were getting blamed for this obvious boondoggle. They quickly passed a bill to allow the FAA to restore the controllers, something they really could have done without congressional action. Whew! Just in time for the congress to fly home for a much needed break.
Note: WSJ article on 4/24 called “The FAA Strikes Again, the FAA Brags”.