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Palomar Observatory

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Fricassee


Hi ho the carrion crow fol de rol de riddle, Hi ho the carrion crow bow and bend to me. 
Mountains of the moon - Robert Hunter

Another day, another store on Main Street crumbles into dust. Ho Hum. One of our very best, Scott and Amy's Wee Little Sprouts. They were a fulcrum of our block, a store that sold great toys and clothes for children. Outstanding people who couldn't keep losing money any longer. Like At Home on Main St., another dearly departed store that brought traffic down town for the rest of us and ultimately couldn't make it.

You may say that Brick and Mortar is so passe. You might be right. Why shop locally when you can get all of your stuff made in China and buy it at Target and Walmart? Then you can look the same as every other muggle out there and watch the cheap crap fall apart and then you can do it all over again.

Fallbrook can be the town that you sleep in and call your home, god forbid that you support the merchants or restaurants. When company comes to town you can always drive in on Alvarado and bypass downtown so that you can fend off questions about why every store is vacant. "Oh," you can say (pick one) " they are too expensive, never open, don't ever have what I want, etc." Guess what, they are never open on Sunday or Monday because you never wanted to shop, so we would wait in our stores all day for nothing to happen. Sorry that we can't continue to amuse you. It's a retirement community after all, so feel free to retire and expire.

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Continuing my happy theme, I was struck last week by a story in the Wall Street Journal about a guy in the midwest moving into his newly purchased foreclosed home, only to find the previous occupant dead in his garage, an apparent suicide victim. No one thought to ever check. I googled elderly, suicide, foreclosure today and the returns came fast and furiously.  

The elderly, as I have written about many times prior, are having a real tough go of it in this downturn. Senator Simpson castigates them as the greediest generation but the reality is many of them can't keep themselves in cat food. It is almost impossible to get a job over the age of fifty these days. Why should someone hire an older person when they can get a twenty something on the cheap?

They tend to be quiet about their pain and misfortune and now you read about them doing themselves in just about every time you open the paper. One step ahead of the man from the bank who wants to change the locks. There are so many of these stories and they are all so depressing.

I remember the movie Wild in the Streets from the sixties where people over the age of thirty were sent to concentration camps for extermination. You have outlived your useful productivity so will you please make way for the new generation? It's sickening really but we are not that far off. Cut Medicaid, privatize Social Security, stop cola's for a generation that is already on the ragged edge.

I was thinking about the shame of it all, a country where the top 1% realizes a 66% percent income boost, while the very young and elderly and middle class gets shunted off to oblivion. The corporatists are still fighting FDR and that damned New Deal. Because it is sink or swim, social darwinism at its finest and if you can't cut the mustard you can always reach for your revolver.

I had a minor epiphany the other day while cogitating on this subject. The conservative right is always trying to reduce government "handouts and safety nets" while extolling the virtues of the church, and voluntary donations. Big George Bush talking point. And I thought, maybe they don't have any real piety either? Maybe the very rich use religion as a way to triangulate what has been a progressive tax system that places a greater burden on the wealthy. So if we make the whole thing voluntary we can make even more bank. Demonize the aged and the minorities and all the other weights on the system.  Old Warren Buffet said the other day that the rich don't pay enough taxes. He is wealthy enough to speak the actual truth. He said the other members of his class will always bitch about the unfairness of it all because it's just never enough. 

Of course a true libertarian will tell you that it is your god given right to not only racially discriminate but to starve your mother or grandmother if you are inclined to do so. Lord save us from our nasty selves.


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Jimmy Carter, the man who never met a terrorist or dictator that he didn't really love, is at it again. Did you catch this Washington Post opinion? Reward those lovable North Koreans for their consistent message and institute direct talks with Pyongang. Because we care. Never mind that they just bombed South Korea in the second escalation in as many months. Please Jimmy, go build some more houses or maybe club some rabbits. Your pious, sanctimonious message of tolerance is a bit hard to take.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man o man I don't think I want to get of bed now. Dios mio! Close the blinds. Cover up to save energy. Eat soup made from boiling the turkey carcass and some old root vegetables thrown in with kosher salt.

Barbara said...

Good old Warren Buffet. Too bad there aren't a few more like him.

So sorry to see Wee Little Sprouts leaving. I was just in there recently and bought something I didn't really need just to keep some money flowing downtown. I better do that more often but will enough of us do it?

Anonymous said...

Good one again, but bad news. I've bought so many nifty presents for our grandchildren and now our great grandchildren from Wee.
Damn Sam. Neill

grumpy said...

hopefully it won't be replaced with another tattoo parlor...

grumpy said...

say what you want about President Carter, but would direct talks with the North Koreans really hurt? perhaps i'm being naive but surely it's worth a try at least; and preferable to going to war.