Random Musings

Random Musings:  Sometimes a waste of time. But not always.

From time to time I muse randomly. I imagine everybody does. But for some reason my musings get stuck in my brain until I write them down somewhere or record them on an old mini recorder – you know the kind, it still has a tape.

Well, anyway, when you’re in the mood to read someone else’s thoughts of no real consequence, you can meander over here and suffer through some of mine.

Be glad to read some of yours by the way.

File:Auguste Rodin - Grubleren 2005-02.jpg

The Thinker by Rodin.


Republicans want to destroy Social Security and create an alternative profit retirement system. No doubt such a profit program would cause a collective Wall Street orgasm heard round the world.


Have you noticed that corporate goombahs in Congress practice an artful form of propaganda that would make Joe Stalin proud. Maybe even put him to shame.

For example, legislation intended to curb the financial crimes of Wall Street was referred to as reform. Also, during its long journey through the gauntlet called Congress, the health care law was repeatedly referred to as reform. And when members of that notorious body put forth ideas to dismantle Social Security and destroy Medicare, what word do they use to describe their subterfuge. Yep, that’s right. They’re going to reform the programs.

That brings to mind two of the great propaganda campaigns of the late twentieth century. The Dr. Jekyll of diabolical legislation Phil Gramm created two of the most monstrous pieces of pernicious legislation in American history.

What sneaky word did this master of monsters use to describe the laws? Why modernization of course. Here are the perverse titles of the two laws most responsible for causing the current meltdown of the U.S. economy: The Financial Services Modernization Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.

As we all know, Bill Clinton, one of the worst presidents of the second half of the twentieth century (NAFTA was one of his other tragic blunders) signed into law these two Gramm nurtured monsters at the behest of a couple of Wall Street consiglieries, the Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

But who could resist when the gist of the laws was modernization.

So when you hear the words reform and modernization regurgitated by Congressional goombahs, you can be pretty certain you’re being flimflamed once again.

By the way, goombah may be Italian slang for crony but you don’t have to be Italian to be chummy with corporations and their lobbyists.


There’s a book out entitled The World’s Stupidest Politicians. It occurred to me that this subject is one with unlimited source material. (If you’re interested in reading it the authors are B. Karg and R. Sutherland).


You’re getting old if you remember that swipe meant steal.

Have you ever dialed a phone number? Most people alive today have never done so.

Do you remember phone booths? If you do it’s probably from a Superman movie.

Olivetti and Smith-Corona once made typewriters and adding machines.

The old supermarket refrain – paper or plastic – is long gone. The paper shopping bag has passed into history.

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A brown paper shopping bag.

Do you remember drive-in movies. Or when petting meant fooling around in the back seat of a car. And when heavy petting was a more passionate form of just plain old petting. When getting to first base wasn’t a baseball term. Nor was scoring big.

By the way drive-ins were once called passion pits – for obvious reasons. Some time in the 80’s they began to vanish and became shopping malls.


Now just about everyone has run into this nonsense: Thank you for calling Bullshit Corporation. How may I direct your call?

I’ve always wanted to reply: “You may direct it straight up your boss’s ass.”

Alas, I missed my chance. If I said it now I’d be speaking into a voice mail recording. Just wouldn’t bring the same satisfaction.

There’s a reason for that little ditty by the way. First it is supposed to make the customer calling Bullshit Corp. grateful that the company is grateful for the call?

Second it eliminates unproductive chatter by the operator so she can get back to work stuffing envelopes at the switchboard. Basically, the direct your call question means hurry up and tell me what the fuck it is you’re calling about you so I can get you out of my hair and return to stuffing all these goddamn envelopes.

It’s hard to believe that companies actually paid management consulting groups hundreds of thousands of dollars to come up with such nonsense. No doubt the owner of the consulting firm was the CEO’s brother-in-law.


I’ve always believed that hard work trumps IQ – as does laziness. To wit, a person of modest intelligence can achieve much through hard work. On there other hand, an exceptionally bright person who is lazy can fail. Of course the truly bright who work hard are the creators who advance the cause of civilization one inch at a time. And last but not least there are the dull witted and lazy who achieve through the good fortune of birthright. Some recent presidents bring to mind individuals in the latter group.


Want to end the dispute over closing Gitmo? Let’s employ that sneaky Congressional method we mentioned above and apply the time tested method of propaganda by changing a few words to make the Gitmo experience sound more pleasant.

In the future, prisoners will be referred to as guests. Chow delivered on metal platters through small openings in the guests cages will be called room service. And the cages themselves will become suites.

So if you wanted to call a cousin who is a guest at Gitmo, you might hear something like this:

Thank you for calling Guantanamo Hotel Resort and Conference Center, Jewel of the Caribbean. How may I direct your call?

The prisoner in cage 46, please.”

You mean the guest in suite 46? One moment please.”

Hey, if Congress bullshits us everyday, why not give the Marines an equal opportunity.


On that word changing train of thought, have you ever wondered what happened to swamps. You never here about them anymore. Have they suddenly vanished from the face of the earth?

Uh, no they haven’t vanished. They’ve become wetlands. Gotta admit that sounds a lot better than swamp.

How about jungles? Where have all the jungles gone? Disappeared? Wrong again. They are now rain forests.


Well, I’ve just wasted another perfectly good hour. One nice thing about rain on the weekend: No yard work. Of course, if you’re down at the beach….

2 Comments to “Random Musings”

  1. Your home is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  2. Your “getting old” section made me feel really, really old!

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