It may include a dark storm and some thoughts about supply side and taxes on the rich.
Wifey and I are up here in this spectacular spot. Both of us have been ill, so we spent all day yesterday in bed, except for venturing out for food at dinner time. We got spaghetti at Ivano’s in town. Both my wife and I noted how the alley behind the restaurant was so welcoming and homey it felt as if we had been there before. An alley, mind you. But clean and safe and charming. An alluring alley. Why? Who knows. Wooden siding on the houses behind Ivano’s. Wooden ships on the water, very free. Rosebud. A beautiful brunette waitress sitting on a curb smoking. Blow some of that my way. Who knows why things move us?
After dinner, we watched a documentary about the Nazis that had so many factual mistakes that I cringed. My favorites were about how the German girls who went off to the Bunde Deutscher Madchen (I may have that spelling wrong) even as teenagers, usually returned from their summer camps pregnant even in the '30s. I am dubious about that. If someone out there has some data, please let me know.
But the real whopper was that wealth seized from German Jews financed about one-third of the Nazi war effort. That’s just impossible. Jews were one percent of Germans. They might have had ten percent of the wealth, tops. But each year of a full scale war, Germany would have spent an amount equal to the total wealth of the nation in say, 1938. So, in six years of war, they would have spent roughly six times the total German wealth in 1938 (very roughly), but Jewish wealth was only ten percent (tops) of one year’s war effort. So Jewish goods and money stolen by the Nazis would have been 10 over 600 at most, or less than two percent. Still insane, but not remotely what the show said. I wonder who fact checked this show, “The Rise and Fall of the Nazis” for The History Channel. (I might add that in many ways it is a spectacularly good documentary.)
Anyway, we went to sleep. I awakened at about 2.30 to have some toasted English muffin. The Amtrak that passes through at 2.30 was outside our window huffing and puffing so mightily that it made the building shake. It is a sleek, stainless steel train but it always reminds me of the ancient train that arrives in the small Italian village to take away a young man to find his future in the big city in Fellini’s early masterwork, I Vitelloni. (“The young calves.”) That is a much sadder version of one of the greatest American movies, American Graffiti. Coming of age is a big thing. What the heck do you do to stay cool and make a living?
At last I stopped looking at the train tracks. I stared at my wife for a long time as she slept. A goddess. Just divine. The perfect profile. The perfect heart. Then the train huffed and puffed again and left the station.
In the morning, I slept late, did a conference call, slept more, then went out into the hot, smoky afternoon. There are forest fires in Montana, apparently. Maybe in Washington State, too.
I went to the post office. I was the only customer although sometimes it is jammed. The clerk was friendly. I went to the bank. Everyone friendly. One woman stopped me to tell me I should go to Overeaters’ Anonymous. Hmmm. Then to buy a backup can opener. At a locally owned, super-helpful hardware store called Merwin’s. (The owner is my neighbor, Terry Merwin, a super-nice guy.) Then to buy a Wall Street Journal at Vanderford’s. Again, everyone at that store friendly. Then to buy some placemats at the Scandinavian store, where the manager was possibly the friendliest, most helpful woman I have ever met in my life.
Then to Starbucks to buy iced lemonade for me and cranberry scones for wifey. Again, everyone friendly. Every single person I pass says, “Hello,” and smiles. Many ask my opinion about the election. Better left unsaid. I don’t want to get in trouble with the Thought Police. Then to the Safeway to buy a cake. Ha-ha. So much for OA. At the Safeway I met two 19-year-old girls who had dropped out of high school and were working at a fast food place for $7.25 an hour. “You have to go back to school,” I told them. “You absolutely have to.” They looked contrite.
Then, to City Beach to the concession stand to buy popcorn.
Just before I got to the stand, a sweet little girl came up to me. “Are you Ben?” she asked with a shy smile.
“Yes, I am,” I said.
“I’m Emily,” she said. “You know my sister, Hailey.”
“Very good,” I said. “What grade are you in?”
“I’m going into 7th,” she said proudly.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?