Friday, February 17, 2012

Bread, Circuses, And Bare Reality


A NASA memo I received yesterday announced:

WASHINGTON -- Feb. 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the day in 1962 when U.S. Sen. John Glenn piloted his Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first U.S. orbital. In the next two weeks, NASA Television will broadcast a series of live events and special programming to commemorate 50 years of Americans in orbit, including the premiere of a new documentary and special interactive online features.

Upon reading that, my first thought was Fifty years later and we can't even get a man onto the moon again. Why not? Have the temperament of men and goals of governments changed so much in that span of time? Is mankind on the down slide? Has the dream of future meaningful and affordable manned space flight proven to be beyond human capability after all?

So it seems.


A Washington Post article regarding The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau caught my attention. It begins:

Consumer agency wants oversight of debt collectors, credit bureaus The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday sought to bring debt collectors and credit bureaus under its purview, marking the first time the often controversial industries would be subject to federal supervision.

This reminded me of the problem I've been having with some telephone collection agency for the last few weeks. My telephone rings (every day six days each week) and when I answer it a prerecorded voice says, "This is a message for (a mechanical three toned voice pronounces Wendy -- Kvyltz??- - Dreese") followed by the instructions: "If this is (repeated but garbled name) please press 1. If (same repetition of name) is available but must be summoned to the phone, please press 2. If (same repetition of name) is not available please press 3."

Pressing the 2 or pressing 3 does not switch me to a human being -- 2 merely repeats the instructions for a short time then hangs up, and 3 just hangs up. I never press 1 because that would be falsely (and maybe dangerously) saying that I am the person being called. What can a guy do?

Well. a couple of days ago I again got a call for that person, but it was different this time. The electronic voice said that this was a call from a collection agency for Wendy -- Kvyltz?? -- Dreese. -- To talk to a human please press 1."

I immediately pressed 1 and was connected to a lady who listened to the explanation of my dilemma, that I am a 72 year old man who lives alone in a small one-bedroom apartment and that I had never heard of that person, and that I had had this phone number for less than a year and that I was contemplating going to the telephone company to stop the prerecorded harassment.

She turned out to be a very nice lady who apologized for the mistake and assured me that my number would be erased from their system.

I thanked her kindly and hung up.

Time will tell what happens (or does not happen) next.

Here is the link in case you would like to read the aforementioned article regarding government control over debt collection.



Born February 17, 1963


I don't understand why there is such a flap-doodle about contraception. If a woman wants to assure herself that she can have sex without becoming pregnant then why should anyone think they have a right (under the power of law) to stop her? That makes absolutely no sense at all. And, to proclaim that one's religion condemns contraception is not only incorrect, it is downright foolish.

The Christian bible does not teach that it is forbidden to keep oneself from conceiving a child. Period. And anyone who says that it does is preaching a falsehood. Even if that misinformed preacher mistakenly believes it to be true.

Jesus himself in Matthew 17:17 of the Christian bible despairs at how his supposed faithful followers themselves so often misunderstand when he says to them, "O unbelieving and perverse generation, How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?"

Instead of acknowledging the simple truths before their eyes, men persist in twisting words to perversely reflect back their own ingrained but erroneous beliefs.

A New York Times article reports that Liberal women’s health and rights groups point to evidence, including a New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday, indicating that most Americans, including a majority of Catholics, support requiring religiously affiliated institutions to provide contraception coverage.

The people themselves are able to see the common-sense truth that contraception is a blessing for the human race, and is not a sin, no matter what today's perverse generation of vipers with their pointy pontifical hats and flowing golden robes or their white clerical collars try to foist upon us.

Of course, not being as naive or as stupid as I sometimes make myself out to be, I realize that all this to-do and hoop-la is not really about contraception or religiosity... it's about power, about getting power, getting more power, and holding on to power.

Oh well. I have to write about something. Have to get my homespun views and corn-pone insights on record somehow.

La, de, da.


"In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one."

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