One of modern Israel’s last Founding Fathers is gone. For much of the past two decades (until Netanyahu returned), I thought he was the country’s last good prime minister as well.
Leive and I went out to lunch and visited her favorite Asian grocery store this afternoon. Still, with the kind of heat we’re getting, she said she wished it was wintertime already. I never thought I’d hear THAT from her!
Throughout this heat wave, let’s not forget to thank a group of Americans who have it worse than we do:
We’re now finishing the second day of a record-breaking heat wave. For the first time since August 2007, temperatures in Kentucky are in triple-digit figures. Both yesterday and today, the highs reached 104 degrees, and the weatherman is predicting more heat like that at least until Monday. And no rain in sight during that time either; it’s definitely our turn for a drought.
Even so, here in Lexington we’re the lucky ones. I also heard that it got up to 107 in Louisville, and 108 in Nashville. And 109 in Bowling Green, an all-time high temperature record for that western Kentucky town.
According to what I heard on the radio, once the ground is hot and dry, droughts become a self-perpetuating cycle. The air and the ground keep each other hot until something comes along to break the cycle, like a cold front or a hurricane. Therefore we could see more of the same in July and August.
For now we’re in survival mode. I have gone outside a little bit, but Leive won’t go out at all. In fact, she is spending a lot of time in the basement, the coolest part of the house, because the air conditioning upstairs isn’t working as well as it should. Normally she’s a stranger to the basement, and our parrot Brin-Brin knows it; he thinks she belongs upstairs, and makes a fuss when he hears Leive downstairs.
Fortunately we got a break this evening. Some clouds at sundown caused outside temperatures to cool rapidly; as I write this, it is now 79. I opened the windows to get some fresh air indoors, and now we’re hearing neighbors shooting off fireworks. How foolish and impatient can you get? Not only is the Fourth of July nearly a week away, but those fireworks can be a fire hazard, if they land on all the brown grass I saw in the neighborhood.
The Left thinks it won a victory because Chief Justice Roberts sided with them in today’s Supreme Court ruling on healthcare. Now if the Right wants to get rid of Obamacare, their only option is to vote both President Obama and Senate Democrats out of office. But is it REALLY a victory, now that Obamacare has been declared a tax?
10 Political and Economic Imponderables that Should Drive You Crazy
(from GODFATHER POLITICS)
1. Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $40,000-a-plate campaign fund raising event.
2. Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and a federal workforce that is roughly 18% black when the black population is only 12%.
3. Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code — Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means Committee — turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.
4. Only in America can we have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.
5. Only in America would we make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just become American citizens.
6. Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as “extremists.”
7. Only in America could you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.
8. Only in America could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of what a company that manufactures sports shoes and apparel (Nike) makes.
9. Only in America could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more than it has per year for total spending ($7 million PER MINUTE), and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.
10. Only in America could the rich people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.
In my opinion, that kind of programming constitutes cruel & unusual punishment, making this the best quote of the day:
"Today the Supreme Court ruled that TV networks can show momentary nudity. So, by popular demand, ‘The View’ is now a radio show." –– Conan O’Brien
Today was cooler than usual for this time of the year; the temperature only got up to 81 degrees. By contrast, it was in the 90s on Sunday, and we’re expecting it to maybe even reach 100 on Thursday. Therefore it looks like my prediction of a hot and dry year is coming true. As far as the dry part goes, I haven’t had to mow the lawn this month; the grass isn’t getting enough moisture to grow, and even the weeds are starting to look unhealthy.
It’s just as well we’re getting a bit of relief. In the last few days the air conditioning hasn’t been working well upstairs. Though I hear the A/C running almost constantly, it’s not getting any cooler. Perhaps we’re out of coolant; my in-law Gene is supposed to come look at it tomorrow, and we should know for sure after that. Earlier today I also thought the water heater had failed, but it turned out Leive had bumped the switch, turning it off accidentally.
Since I last wrote about our Kentucky adventures, we had a brief visit from my Aunt Sue and Uncle Rich, my relatives from Chicago. They called last Saturday to tell us they were coming, and arrived on Monday. The visit was to see the neighborhood Leive and I now call home, and to see the retirement home where my father is now staying. They weren’t even here 24 hours, because they wanted to head on to see their new grandson in Maryland, but altogether they had a delightful stop here.
Also on Saturday I received a tip to visit the unemployment office in Georgetown, because they give better service than the (Lexington) office near me. Boy, the friend who told me that was right. For a start, there are no hordes of applicants there. In fact, I only saw one job-seeker besides myself, and the folks working there were much more helpful, so I was in and out of there in only ten minutes. They also gave me the good news that I am still qualified to receive 16 weeks of leftover benefits from last year, if I am not working by the time the Connecticut benefits run out. By contrast, on one of my visits to the Lexington office last year, they kept me waiting for half a day, just to answer a single question! It’s hard to believe both offices are run by the state government. In the future, I think I will only go to the Georgetown office, though it is twenty miles away.
One of the things I like about Kentucky is that there are no cockroaches here. Well, there weren’t — until today. Just now I was in the garage and I saw a one-and-a-half-inch-long palmetto bug come out of a cardboard box and run under the car. We have some boxes in the garage containing my father’s belongings, which my brother brought up from Florida last March, and my guess is that the roach stowed away in one of them. The only other place in Kentucky where I have seen roaches is at the army helicopter base where I used to work, and because we did a lot of work with a base in Fort Walton Beach, FL, I figured the roaches came in crates from there.
Leive agreed it was probably a Florida stowaway, gave me a can of bug spray and told me to go and get it. I went back in the garage, and as soon as I started stepping around the car, pop! I had accidentally stepped on the roach, killing it instantly with my University of Kentucky slippers.
End of problem, end of story — I hope. In Florida there is no such thing as one roach; where you find one, there are always more. Now we are wondering if there are any more in the boxes. If so, and I miss them, I hope our cold weather gets them, six months from now.
Is this the world’s oldest city?
Here’s a Palestinian Moslem I fully agree with. He sees Jordan as the ultimate Palestinian state, and a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River just isn’t viable.