Archive for November, 2010

Not Quite Clear….

November 16, 2010

I have  written about my roommate  and   his cultural confusion on some  occasions.   Some of  what he doesn’t understand  has to do with language.   He confuses the ‘r’ & the ‘l’ sound.  This is very common  among a lot of language groups.

One day he was vacuuming, and I told him he wasn’t doing a very good job.

“Look here!” I said.  “You’re missing all the crumbs!”

“I don’t see any crumbs,” he replied.

“What about these?” I said, pointing to crumbs  in the cushions.
You mean like clam chowder?” he asked.

I was so taken by surprise I didn’t know what to say.  I just  started laughing. and he didn’t have any idea  why I was laughing.  So, I then had to explain the difference between ‘crumbs’ and ‘clams’.

A lot of what he observes about American life baffles him.  He often asks me about ‘The God’ and why  this happens or that that happens.

He has a lot of questions about Christianity, and I’ve told him that he is asking the wrong person…because I am a Jew, and none of what they do makes any sense to me.  & it’s not like the Jews have the market cornered on what makes sense. We do plenty that doesn’t make sense in the modern world. As my own father says, “Making things Kosher is a racket.”

I’ve asked my roommate about his religion, and he’s told me that he was raised without any religion.  However, it appears  a lot of Japanese culture is intertwined with Buddhism.  He told me that  after World War II, much religious practice was discouraged.  He also told me that the Japanese were not big consumers of whale meat until after World War II, when the American occupiers encouraged it.  Interesting to know.

Well, the other day I was going through the mail, and there was a postcard addressed to Kunihiro that was thanking him for a donation to a  church mission.

I said to him, “You donated to a church mission?  Why?”

“Well….he is my colleague, and…”

“Hon, why didn’t you just give him a gun to shoot us with?  They want to wipe us out!”


“Sure!  They want to force us to believe what they believe or they will kill us!  I don’t believe you did this!”  I said to him.  I was sort of incredulous.

“Well,  he’s going to take a bunch of teenagers down to Texas to build a house for homeless people, and I think it may be a good idea to get the teenagers off the street, so it’s not like he’s doing anything  bad, really.  But I do wonder about one thing, ” Kunihiro observed.

“What’s that?”  I asked.

“Well, who would want to live in a house built by teenagers?”

We had an election, and all we got was a RECYCLED SET OF RASCALS

November 11, 2010

I have to admit it. I was getting pretty frustrated by the lack of progress we were making in terms of economic recovery.  I mentioned this to a friend & she send me a link to Rachel Maddow’s op/ed piece on what Obama had accomplished. She actually said, “The last time a president had  done so much, booze was illegal.”

Really?  OK.  It’s got to be true.  I took money out of savings and had the house rewired.  I invested in my house, banking on it not being a teardown (even though , were I to buy it now, I’d knock down a few walls).  Also, partly because of where I work, business is pretty good.  it is a pet hotel (the owner reminds me to not call it a kennel).

is the link to  view how it is set up.

What does this have to do with the election?  Nothing , really. That’s the point. What Obama has been doing has been working! However, in this  Twitter Age, where all the inmates  (I mean voters & non voters)have shortened their attention spans, it’s all for naught.

They  forgot the last 8 years of  the gradual crumbling the Republicans gave us, and sent the wrong message—& the media is making a more garbled mess of that message!

I can’t believe the hubris —-actually, I should say chutzpah of the Republicans who got elected. They actually   believe that  Americans want a rollback on the gains made.

‘Take, for instance, health care—which they are  calling  obamacare.  I went to my doctor for a wellness visit (that’s what a check up is called these days by health insurance companies) & neither of us noticed how either health care delivery or cost has changed.  No change.  I may be required to  pay for insurance in the future, and more may be covered.  Maybe not.  The Republicans insisted in no single payer system.  What are they possibly going to do to  fix or change or  remove this?  They had  8 years & they did nothing—because they are in the pockets of the health insurance industry.

Remove  cap & trade & other environmental safeguards?  So far,  the environment is really not more protected.  They also had 8 years to address energy  security, & did nothing.  Our energy situation has affected the economy.  So how can they make it better now?

The best  thing is the economy. They saw us sliding into this morass. It was no real surprise. Many  of those involved with both real estate and the banking industries were warning for several years that  how things were  were untenable.  But they were making money. Everyone was. No need to  make more government regulations.

The only place where the Republicans  seem to think more government is better is in the area of reproductive health and abortion. They can’t make enough government controls  to make sure your own beliefs  can’t be used to decide when  life begins.

Finally, our foreign policy.  Seems both parties are in agreement. We have to do the same old same old & give money to corrupt regimes, including Israel and Egypt.  Keep supporting lack of respect for human rights,  lack of government transparency & either respect for rule of law  or development of rules of law.

The only consolation is that if they don’t do anything, or make it worse, in 2 years, we can throw these rascals out & get a different set of rascals.