The Fruits of Colonialism

July 26, 2007

Happy Thursday! I’m getting sadly close to the end of my stay in the cabin in the pines of Medford Lakes. Am thinking of offering terms for long term maintenance of this place to keep a spot in the rotation of guests!

More pictures posted today. Mostly from my quick trip to Colonial (and commercial) Wiliamsburg. I visited here in the mid-70’s as a high school student taking part on the first iteration of the Bicentennial Debates to commemorate the Bicentennial. Great experience and a real ego boost if I recall. Spent a week touring at the cost of one debate a day or so. Had just come from three days of hectic debating at Emory University in Atlanta with my partner. We didn’t make the cut at Emery but we were happy, if I recall correctly, to get an early flight into Patrick Henry airport for the Williamsburg event. The tournament was almost like a vacation senior year. We even had a rare Virginia snow storm to great us on the first day. Memory recollects a spontaneous snow ball fight involving myself, my partner Al (totally out of character for him as the smart one) and the “ladies” from Sr. Brendan’s High School in NYC. Must have been good for us as we made the cut and checked out in the semi-finals (Sorry I can’t recall the team that mastered us. My memory tries to scrub those “insignificant” details ;-).

Ah…Glory Days! Anyway, my revisit to Williamsburg wasn’t as debatable. Beautiful day and a great walk down Duke of Glouchester Avenue. The area is equally divided between the excellent restorations of the old colonial town and the new, matching architecture of the commercial section. Big souvenir season as a result of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Nice crowd by not unbearably huge. Lots of moms/dads and kids checking out the College of William and Mary for admission in 2008. The College is woven through the historical district and is very unique as a result. A complete contrast to WU or SLU for about the same price (or less).

The photos were limited as I chose to “go cheap” and skip the admission ticket (priced at over $20) as I was only planning on an hour or two “in the past.” Didn’t have access to the interior exhibits but the Courthouse and the Colonial Legislature were clearly favorites with visitors.

A special note on pictures: As a rule (and with a careful exception or two for narrative purposes), I have chosen not to show real people, especially kids, or identifiable locations in the photo collection. Privacy is a value worth being protective of and the net has was too many pictures of young kids as it is (my apologies to nieces and nephews for reducing their Google “hit score.”). I did make an exception in the collection in showing both my brother’s “platantion” in Virgina and my sister’s lake home in Indianapolis. Both homes are as special as the owners and are wonderful in their own ways. I’m also quite proud of my sibs as they all have done well for themselves and their children in spite of beginnings that were nothing short of true trauma and challenge. “Dysfunctional” just doesn’t get it. !Bravos, Mis Hermano and Hermanas!

As I wind down my days in the Pines I find myself “pushing paper” for personal reasons this week. Medical forms, health insurance payments, annuity transfers, unemployment “this and that,” and another attempt at working out a “non-working” working personal budget. On Saturday I head for Pittsburgh for a one night stop over with my sister Gerri followed by a one night stay with my sister Mary in Indianapolis. All this stopping to make it to St. Louis on the 30th for multiple doctor visits and record collecting. My thanks to Larry for access to his coach for a night ot two. After getting what will hopefully be a good report from my physicians (excluding the back and nerve issues). My heart, troublesome bugger than it is, will get a good listen from the good doctor Klearman before she heads off to greater glory on the left coast with Genentech. Sadly this is probably a case of a dysfunction health care system driving out an exceptional provider. Today’s political message: if any of us wants good health care, we better fix the system NOW.

After attending my last “physical” encounter with the good Lady Klearman, I’ll be back to Indy for a few days to finally get the mass of job applications pooled and posted. My sister and her husband have been very tolerant of my comings and goings. This should be the last “fly by” until the holidays as I will be headed south after a August 8th appointment with the pain doctor. I am ever hopeful that this will be the LAST visit with this particular specialty. Fry that last nerve bundle and be done with it! I’m prepared for cane walking and other incoveniences related to ablating nerves. Chronic nasty pain is (oops, whining again here)…a pain.

After a successful treatment in STL, I’m headed for Little Rock for some interviews at Heifer International (I may have mentioned this…don’t you hate it when bloggers repeat themselves!) and perhaps a little hot spring treatment. Need to find the good, former Sara Adamson for some employment advise. Sara…if you’re reading…drop me a note.

The title of this entry had something to do with possible ramblings on the contributions and costs of colonialism. The topic is currently under some active discussion in academic circles. Looks like I’ll have to save my contribution to the topic for later.

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A Summer Fit for Impeachment

July 7, 2007

It’s a simmering Saturday night in Medford Lakes, the Starbucks is in slow mode, and I’ve awakened from a sleepy day to hold forth on something in this blog. My email sometimes provokes me. Today I received mail from two social active groups related to impeachment; one supporting House Resolution (HR) 333 to impeach the Dick Cheney and another suggesting that Commando-in-Chief Geo. Bush’s commutation of “Scooter’s” sentence for his part in the Valerie Pflame is grounds for impeachment (amongst a dozen other “high crimes and misdemeanors.”) The order of removal is probably important in the grander scheme of things; Cheney before Bush would give us our first female president, Nancy Pelosi. The other way is too frightening to consider. Dick Cheney ascending to the most powerful job in the world is nightmare material for many an American ally and citizen. Seems VP Cheney serves as the ultimate protector for his boss regardless of what branch of US government he really thinks he runs.

Is impeachment of either likely? No but not for the reasons suggested by most Democrats and pundits. The focus on the future, no time for revenge, get out of Iraq course of the democratic leadership is certainly sane. No long hearings, expensive investigations, pompous presentations on Presidential purpose and image, or fashion shows of Brooks Brothers suits marked with the sweat of late night energy scam sessions and “Kill Sadam” rallies in the West Wing. Sigh…were are you Monica when we need real entertainment? Howard Dean is obviously on his meds as he should be in fever pitch for a fight to remove…somebody. Some of us took personally the attempted lynching of Bill Clinton and the obscene parade of lies about lies, sickening self-righteousness, and Henry HYDE! Some of us want a little “hide” from Henry’s party for its hypocrisy and willingness to derail a properly elected President from office for private moral failings. Have you been to Washington recently? Glass houses on every block and personal moral failing abound. Right, Henry?

No there won’t be an impeachment because most Democrats and Progressives see the White and control of Congress as a strong possibility of the 2008 elections. Twice as many Republic seats are open in 2008 than in 2006. The field of Democratic candidates is finally strong (and potential vital for at least the next 8 years).  I suppose this is reason enough to control my own lust for a little revenge and maybe, just maybe, upcoming hearings on everything from unconstitutional wiretapping, firing of federal prosecutors, war profiteering, energy manipulation, and personal financial gain will satisfy the desire for public accountability. Maybe. But I really want to see some of these people in jail. Long terms. No Paris Hilton accommodations. No commutations. No criminal book deals. Just gray walls, bars, bad food, and a right living Muslim cellmate named Osama. Yeah, that’s definitely better than some old impeachment.

Think positive thoughts!

Post Script, July 9: I’ve added a new link to the “blogroll” in the right column. “Truth Out” is an easy to read news service of “alternative media” and  columnists that may be of interest to some. I was scanning the site today and caught an news piece detailing the surprising upturn in sentiment for impeachment. A recent poll found that 45% of Americans beleive the House should commence impeachment hearings as a result of the Libby commutation and other issues.


Medford Lakes, NJ June 2007

June 26, 2007

For all you picture junkies, selected photos from the secret retreat and Medford Lakes.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jtholste/MedfordLakesJune2007

Hot, lazy day. Heat advisory and 95 degrees! For this I came to New Jersey?