Letters to Holly

Thursday, June 18

A Collage of Blah-Blah

Your Sister re-potted all her classroom plants and was finishing when I arrived home. We dumped old potting soil into the compost bin, and I straightened my fence posts. She made arrangements to fly to main next month to hang out with a high-school friend, and she'll get back a few days before I leave for Chicago. The new communication company is running lines along the roads, and a new conduit is right outside our house. I suppose this will help us next week when we get high-speed online internet. We're trying to contact the local piano tuner, and we're pursing installation of a gas stove in the big living room.

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I made stir-fry while Your Sister watched The Poseidon Adventure. I wonder if she'd be interested in the other dozen or so big-budget '70s disaster movies. There's an entire franchise of airport disaster films, and they led to the Airplane! spoof movie. Poseidon is a lean engine of character decimation. The small pack of survivors scrambling through the overturned cruise ship are picked off one-by-one by fire and gravity, and new viewers always try to guess who will survive. There has to be a name for this theme of survival suspense stretching from war films to disaster flicks to horror genres. Poseidon is driven by Gene Hackman's performance, and I will always watch a Hackman film.

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I ran 17:46 this morning, five seconds slower than yesterday. I blame stupid trucks at intersections. As I got halfway through an intersection, a stopped truck pulled out to turn. Near the end of the run, a second truck pulled halfway into the road, forcing me to run around him and dodge the traffic coming from the opposite direction. This town has more than its share of bikers and runners. I'm not the rare figure confusing the populace. I somehow managed to start this morning-run business right as school let out for the summer. I don't have to dodge schoolbuses, and Your Sister can sleep right through my clock alarm.

In the News
Iran's conflict sparks the inevitable political posturing here. The administration is adamant that it won't get involved in the election, so political opponents are obliged to take the opposite view. References to Reagan in the Cold War and how he handled the Polish Solidarity movement bubble to the surface. But the Iranian administration already accuses us of getting involved. Something I have not heard yet is the suggestion that Bush's Middle East policy created this. It's an argument that could be made easily, and the reform movement can be packaged as a direct result of our Iraq strategy.

For instance, one could argue that the reform movement is afraid that the current president will bring down American military into the country. Or the reformers are inspired by the open Iraq elections and want the same. But again, I'm not hearing this, and I'm surprised. I don't agree with it, but I'm still surprised not to see it offered anywhere. The argument that our current administration inspired this reform has been made, citing the desire for change in the election campaigns. Also, it's been posited that Obama's light tough with Iran has encouraged the young populace to perceive us differently than their president would prefer. If we play nice, he can't stay in power by displaying us as invaders and usurpers.

The protest marches seem poised to continue indefinitely, and rumors say the supreme mullahs are gathering to debate a direct involvement. It's even possible the Grand Ayatollah could be replaced via a Vatican-like assemble of Islamic clerics. The ayatollahs who have spoken out at least tacitly support the reform protests, and the presidency could lose the religious blessing of the mullahs. There's debate about whether this qualifies as a revolution like that of 1979, and the consensus is "not yet" mixed with "but it's not far from it. As I heard on TV last night while everyone expects this to end like Tienanmen Square, what if this instead is another Berlin Wall destruction?

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The push to reform healthcare meets the standard opposition: it's socialism, bureucracy will kill the sick, it will cost too much, it will bankrupt small businesses forced to provide coverage. I work for a small company. We have six office employees. I pay for my coverage with a medical reimbursement on my paycheck. I've worked for other small companies that offered healthcare, and even on minimum wage -- in high school -- I had some form of coverage. Colleges and universities provide free minor medical care on campuses via student fees. It seems like a feasible model to follow.

Think of it as club membership. For, let's say $50 a month, you join a local health company, and when you need aid, you go in and get fixed up. It's not a cumulative accoun; everyone pays into a pool. Seems like even a small town like where we live can support a profitable health club that cares for minor ailments. Possibly, on the side, one could pay for health coverage for big-ticket care, maybe for $50-100 more. That's $150 a month. That's less than what I pay no for blanket coverage based on deductibles.

I have to develop this. Let me put on my pondering pants.

Picture of the Day
A left-handed Wookie is probably where we get the term "southpaw."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah! i got to read up on a week's worth of your posts now that I am back in town. Huzzah! love the starwars photos as well as the written posts.