A major problem with America is that at any given time between special interest groups and those who refer to themselves as “independents” who vote on inconsequentials or the conditions of their livers (or whatever the deciding factor other than steadfast principle may be at any particular election moment) about half the people want one thing and the other half want the opposite. On very rare occasions three-quarters of us will agree that we don’t want socialized medicine, but in general we don’t do better than 40-40-5-15 on “Do you prefer chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream, or don’t know?”

We have gotten to the point where Brown’s win over Coakley (supposing the Demmies don’t haul out the cemetary vote and disqualify all absentee ballots from those involved in overseas contengency operations, as happened in Illinois to award “Obama’s seat” to Burroughs; it took three re-counts, but sure enough a big difference one way turned into enough to seat Burroughs, the clear looser originally and twice subsequently.) will be hailed tomorrow as a “landslide,” since it will represent a difference of about five percentage points. Those who do not understand mathematics–most Americans, these days–do not grasp that when the difference is 4% (to simplify the math even further) we’re only talking about two votes. A vote for Brown and against Coakley actually skews the vote 2 percentage points. If Joe switches his vote, the result is then 51-49 instead of 52-48. If Alex changes, as well, we’re looking at 50-50.

I should probably go Google an old saying, “That’s a helluva way to run a railroad,” but Google is in such bad odor these days we may all have to switch to Bing or go back to Ask Jeeves, now simply “ask,” I think. On the same tangent, Snopes has been revealed as a mom and pop operation with rather cavalier approaches to determining the truth or falsity of reports, and–surprise, surprise–a decided politial agenda of its own. You could probably deduce quickly what Snopes supports, but for the record it is not God, legally wedded motherhood, and apple pie. Okay, I did it anyway, and Google says “helluvar way” etc. that it means “mostly organized chaos” and that “Sam Hill” is a euphemistic way of saying “hell,” as in “What in th’ Sam Hill are we doing trying to determine what effect elections will have on Mr. Market?”

In some of those bizarre feminine rituals no man would ever subject himself to (far less pay $68 for), I spent two hours today having my toes turned into a foot fetishist’s dream, my nails manicured, and a session that included hot wax and gleeful Vietnamese giggles on one side and discussions of the Geneva Convention on the other. I think I almost got to her when I muttered about “war crimes.” Chuckle…it reminded me of one of the Burma Shave jingles of my youth:

“Wild men pull
their whiskers out;
that’s what makes them
wild, no doubt.
Burma Shave.”

Another odd aside…is it some sort off Mafia or Yakuza thing–whatever the Viet Nam equivalent is–that all nail artists are Vietnamese? And why are the TV sets always set on CNN and can’t be changed because the only phrases those who work in nail salons have mastered are “You pick co-ror.” “You rike shorter?” “You wash hands now.” and “You pay now?” The upshot while being “beautified” was two hours spent watching coverage of Haiti–a real landslide–and Democrats explaining that Coakley was in trouble because (a) “She ran a lackadaisical campaign,” and (b) “Voters do not understand our message; we need to communicate more clearly.” Obamanistas? We understand completely. Even America’s most liberal state is fed up with “hope,” “change,” “audacity,” “transparency,” and “bipartisanship” as expressed by the phrase, “I won,” threats, and bribery.

Had I been watching Fox doubtless I would have been seeing coverage of Haiti and vaguely middle-of-the-roaders explaining that Coakley was going to lose because even true-blue Massachusetts is fed up with Chicago Style Politics but that Republicans must not take this as approbation of what they are doing (nothing much) but as a Bush-style backlash against Obama, both of which are true. Anyone who goes from mid-seventies approval to below 46% in a year is doing a lot of things wrong, Mr. Obama.

In a short week, we wicked, selfish, empire-building Americans have raised over $210,000,000.00 in relief for the Haitians privately–while an international organization has pledged a hundred million (much of it probably gotten from us in the first place.) The Statists are proposing that we adopt the entire nation like stray cats, while a few more sound heads ask what we’re supposed to do with more teeming millions half of whom have no education at all. The rest average 2.5 years of schooling. According to CNN. Since I do not suppose that Haitians are adept at catching mice–although any group that will eat “cookies” made of butter, salt, sugar, and dirt may well eat small rodents for all I know–precisely what would they be good for other than living on welfare, widening the “need” for mandatory health insurance, voting D, and diluting our identity as Americans even further?

Mind, some of them are teachable. I showed someone whose name tag proclaimed him to be “Ben” (“Binh” I would have believed) my signature design which involves a few whisps of white, silver, and silver glitter and a big semicircular swath of almost diamonds on my big toenails and told him I wanted him to duplicate it. Dubious looks. Shaking of head. No can do. Hopeful “You rike frower, Missy?” Noooo, Missy wants what she has right now and, in the kindest possible way, she will not settle for the simple five-petal flower which is the only design I think is taught in nail schools today. Hey, I subscribe to Nail Pro magazine, why can’t they? (I don’t do my own toe nails because I don’t bend in the middle as well as I used to. That and the utter luxury of a deep massage and having my feet whirl-pooled is why I pay them to pamper me.) I didn’t have to get to narrowed eyes and sounding like Madame Chiang Kai Shek on a bad day: “You rook again. You do my way,” because smiles and several repetitions of ”I want what I have now” won the day. The kid (at my age almost everyone is a kid) not only learned a new skill, but he got a nice tip. Ben do what Missy Rady rike, Ben get reward. You judge: if someone has lived and worked in this country for fifteen years, don’t you think some fluency in our language should have been gained? I became quite fluent in German my first year in Deutschland and improved for the rest of a decade.

Where would we put a pack of Haitians, other than Louisiana? The official language is French–remember the ties with Napoleon–but it is spoken only by the upper classes, in general the top three to five per cent. The rest speak their own brand of Creole, and who is to say if their Gumbo is the equivalent of file gumbo? Look, people, I’m not a racist, I’m a realist. You simply cannot bring in even 300,000 homeless and 380,000 new orphans (according to CNN statistics) and plop them down just anywhere in the United States without any ability to communicate and no job skills. I’m certain that is not your idea of compassion any more than it is mine. Although it beats me why we should have to teach an island nation how to fish and grow garlic, ginger, limes, onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes. We certainly don’t need to introduce them to the welfare plantation.

How many of you remember the coverage of the food riots last year which resulted in barricades in the streets of Haiti, robbing tourists, and setting cars on fire? Such may be the stuff of which nations are made, but not any nation I want to live in or give credence to. I think Haitians would fit right in with Nelson and Winnie Mandela, myself. Funny that nobody ever comes up with an exit strategy when it comes to extricating ourselves from entanglements with the “victims” of “disasters.” Christianity is a no-no in America today, but I will point out again that the Good Samaritan did nothing more than the easy, obvious kindness: pick the mugging victim up out of the ditch, patch up his wounds with the first aid kit on your camel, dump him at the nearest Motel 6, promise the manager you’ll be back in a couple of days to cover the delivery Chinese and pizza he ate, and go on about your business. Case closed.

No good will come of encouraging a bunch without character, drive, knowledge, or dreams to treat us as sugar daddies; we’ve been doing that since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I read some interesting statistics, recently, comparing what the survivors of soldiers killed in Iraq and Iran get, as opposed to what the families of those killed on 9-11 got. The soldiers’ families receive burial expenses and less than ten thousand dollars, half of which is taxable. The minimum for being in the Twin Towers on the wrong day was right at fifty thousand, up to a million and a half. No, of course I do not support jihadists, and the sum total of my Arabic is “Allah Akhbar!” “Bada Bukhrah Inshallah!” and “zipper,” an American word which I am given to understand is close enough to a very dirty word in Arabic. (Men never tell your cosseted correspondent things like that.) I’m not for death threats, “eventually, maybe, if Allah wills it,” or vile language. As much as I loathe barbarians who make war on civilians, the fact remains that people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time should not get six to a couple of hundred times what the family of a volunteer member of the armed services does when death occurs. Those caught in earthquakes and mudslides or even “man-made disasters” have no right to the tax dollars taken from American citizens or to succor given at emotiomal cost to our armed forces. Oscar Wilde said it beautifully: “If that’s the way the Queen treats her prisoners she doesn’t deserve to have any.”

We Americans are certainly an odd-ball bunch: we still believe that one side is right and the other is wrong…but most of us have lost the erudition and thinking skills to distinguish one from the other.

My heart is heavy, Shooters, but I’ll make you an offer which will prove either that I am hopelessly old-fashioned or that there are, indeed, guidelines which lead to successful lives. My world is very much black and white. Do your very best to stump me wih examples of “grey” areas in your comments. I hold passionately that pretty much there is right or wrong, with a very tiny number of cases we have to file under “Wrong in most cases, but extenuating circumstances in this one…” “Argue your case before me, that you may be proved right.”

What is the probable outcome of today’s special election? The Statists will continue their full court press, Mr. Brown will learn how to swap favors and behave himself if he wants to be reelected and get good committee assignments and a pension already worth $15,000/month if he serves no more than a year, and the Pollyanna types will suppose great good will come from it. Metal was up across the board, today, not much but the usual .6 to 1% of value…but let’s see how Mr. Market feels about Brown’s win tomorrow. It may be enlightening.

It did my heart good to have Dan Denning tell you the same thing I did about GRA. I’m only Cassandra, but he is Dan Denning! My advice remains the same: remember that throughout history wealth has been measured in gold, silver, goats, and camels. At present, camels probably aren’t a practical choice, but the other three will see you through the worst the Statistss can throw at us.

Linda Brady Traynham

January 25, 2010