Amici:The Children In the Woods ... one of author Frederick Busch’s several short story collections. I’m reading this collection for my first semester MFA course and I’m feeling quite the putz again for having never heard of yet another great author. My semester mentor mentioned a short story by Busch to a group of us and I jotted down the title (Ralph the Duck), then searched for it on Google until I found it in this collection. I consider myself a double putz for not only not knowing of the author or his works, but for learning he was from Brooklyn. This collection is as close to Raymond Carver brilliant as I’ve found. While not as economical as Carver’s works, the stories in this collection are every bit as powerful. From a brother-sister trying to organize their lives along with their parents house one week after the parents died in a plane accident (Bread), to the college custodian taking a night class and having to witness people taking life for granted while trying to deal with the loss of a child of his own (Ralph the Duck) to the infidelities of their parents children are left to deal with (The Lesson of the Hôtel Lotti) ... it is often the perspective kids and how they deal with the familial stress of being part of a family (dysfunctional or not). Very highly recommended.
The Wall Street Two Step ... A year after President Barack Obama signed into law the most extensive financial regulations since the Great Depression, Wall Street so far is putting its political money elsewhere.
Wow, so if you screw up the economy, then get bailed out, but the guy who bailed you out suggests some regulations in an attempt to keep you from doing something crazy again, you throw him under the bus for a better chance to screw up again?
You know what’s funny about this? There are people, conservatives mostly, who claim this is not a free market ... government regulations have crippled the free market and ruined it for big business. Really? It seems to me big business gets to do whatever it wants whenever it wants and always at our expense. I mean, I don’t see many CEO’s filing for unemployment ... and Wall Street has NEVER DONE BETTER. Maybe for small businesses government regulations make a difference, but for corporations? Are yous kidding me?
Think maybe Obama would like to walk back some of his ill-advised support of them now? After all, Goldman Sachs WAS HIS BIGGEST CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTOR IN 2008.
Or it could be that having a used car salesman (Romney) in the white house would pretty much guarantee they don’t ever have to fly up to D.C. again to snub Congress, the Senate and the President with the same arrogant, obnoxious smirks they plied when they were handed $700 billion of our dollars and had to put on a dog and pony show to justify it.
Last week Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the following: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
If that isn’t bad enough, he actually went on Fox to defend his statement (i.e., the country can go to hell so long as we can blame it on Obama).
Sink the ship so we can change captains? Hmmm ... interesting concept, although saving the ship (and all its passengers) might work too. See, then you could change captains anyway. How’s that for a novel approach?
And remember, these geniuses get lifetime healthcare and benefits besides all the graft they get from special interest groups while in and out of office.
And trust me, Mr. Obama needs nobody’s help looking like a loser. He’s done that from day 1.
Bachmann on the Founding Fathers ... Seriously, does this broad have a friggin’ clue about anything?
Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann created a stir recently by insisting on television that America's Founding Fathers "worked day and night" to abolish slavery. When asked to identify one of them and say what he did on behalf of this noble cause, the only name she produced was John Quincy Adams. He was all of 9 years old when his father, John Adams, persuaded the Continental Congress to vote for independence in 1776.
Ms. Bachmann's historical gaffe notwithstanding, there is surely a legitimate question here: Was slavery a day and night preoccupation of America's top leaders during the founding era—1775 to 1800? Dismaying as it may be to many admirers of our revolutionary past, the correct response is: no.
But let’s go out on a high (C) note, shall we?