Thursday, April 26, 2012

Drawing the line

There are times when a line must be drawn. I drew one this afternoon. From my upstairs office, I heard my partner call me for help, no "please," no pleasantries.

I found him on his back at the foot of the stairs to the lower level. He should have had a cane, but it was some distance away. His cell phone was on the main level. The house phone, with intercom, was out of reach. Shouting was his only option.

He wanted help getting up, which I was disinclined to provide without more detail. I asked whether he needed paramedics; he declined. After some discussion, I provided him a cane, and he arose, slowly, and climbed the stairs. I walked behind him, experiencing that particular fragrance which only accompanies those who have gone four days or more without bathing. I described my senses aloud in very direct terms. He responded immediately and appropriately, taking an immediate shower.

So, that's where we are at the moment. He just came out of the bathroom, normal speed, cane in hand, clean and fragrant, and sat down in the easy chair. When I attempted to complete this blog, he arose and left. He was not as unsteady as he appeared thirty minutes ago.

What am I to do with this? This week, I am attempting to impress upon him that I am not his valet, nanny or nursemaid. I proposed to him that he consider registering with a rehab center. He has not honored that proposal with a response. This will be a lengthy rehabilitation exercise for our partnership, I suspect.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Venality in action

It has come to my attention that H.R. 1505, sponsored by Rep. Bishop (R-UT), would stop all enforcement of several landmark environmental and conservation laws that the National Park System uses to manage and protect our national parks and forests, which annually serve millions of park visitors.

Our national parks and forests are, collectively, my property, which I look forward to visiting and enjoying as often as I can. As I understand this bill, it would eliminate any and all environmental, historical and cultural protections now afforded properties under the control of the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, permitting for-profit companies unfettered, unregulated access for their own personal gains. The purported national security objective is a poor excuse for this legislation, because we have no hostile countries on our borders.

There was a time when "conservatives" were champions of conservation. Republican President Theodore Roosevelt was a staunch advocate for preserving natural treasures for future generations of Americans. H.R. 1505 is a frontal assault on this concept, a blatant example of Congresspersons willing to sell our priceless heritage for a few campaign contributions.

In 2001, Taliban militia leader Mulla Mohammed Omar in 2001 ordered the destruction of all statues in Afghanistan, including ancient relics and an ancient and priceless statue of Buddha dating back some 2,000 years. His religious ideology drove him to such grotesque lengths. By sponsoring H.R. 1505, the Republicans in the House have shown themselves to be the American Taliban, squandering billions of dollars of priceless real estate for their own ideology, that for-profit companies cannot do wrong and government cannot do right. Garnering a few thousands of dollars from private companies for their re-election campaigns is not incidental to their objectives. Indeed, I submit that this re-election funding is central to it.

Sponsors of this legislation can be found here. Call them, write them, e-mail them, pester them to death - well, not actually to death, but until they understand how awful this legislation is. If they stand by their support of H.R. 1505, work actively to elect their opponent in the fall.