Friday, February 13, 2009

Gregg Withdrawal Another Republican Ploy

When I heard the news about Republican, Judd Gregg, withdrawing his name for Commerce Secretary, I immediately wondered if it was really "irreconcilable differences." Did Gregg really leave because his philosophy differed with Obama's? If so, he should have known that before he accepted. One has to wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye. This article addresses the effect of the announcement on the majority right wing of the party. I note that those quoted are the far right wingers from Georgia, now the heart of Republican country.

The Republican Party has decided to do everything is can do to obstruct Obama's goals, which is understandable to an extent. However, during this difficult time for this country, too much obstructionism can bring the country's downfall. "Praying" for the Obama Administration to fail is one thing. Actively contributing to the failure borders on treason.

Obama reached out to Republicans, yet the likes of McCain complain that it isn't enough. Obama appointed a Republican for Commerce Secretary, but he withdrew without, apparently, discussing his differences. This sounds very much like another Republican ploy to disrupt the Administration. With the other issues that have come up with nominees this untimely withdrawal simply pours fuel on the fire. One has to wonder what they will come up with next to continue to disrupt the operation of government.

Power corrupts and the Republican Party is a perfect example. The loss of power by a corrupt entity causes even more evil to lurk in the dark recesses of the back rooms as plotting goes on to regain that power. At this point with Republicans, re-capturing power is more important than the state of the country. They will be content to bring down the government, if they think they will be able to rise from the ashes and be in control.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An 1897 Kimball Pump Organ Has Found a Home

Last week in a meeting I learned that an old pump organ was possibly available. The organ had been acquired several years ago by a man, who died before he could get started with the restoration. Beyond the stripping of a few exterior parts he had done little to the instrument. It was in the unfinished basement of his family's old home, exposed to cold, dampness and little critters. The gentleman's wife, whom I have known since the early 1960's, simply wanted the organ out of the house, because she intends to have the house torn down.

A friend and I moved the organ to my basement Tuesday afternoon and I began some initial cleanup and identification of loose parts. It appears that all the necessary parts are here. I have wet sponged every place that I can reach, vacuumed all the loose dirt, mouse droppings and the like, and repositioned all of the parts. The organ will be placed in our basement recreation room until I can get to the business of trying to dismantle and restore it to working order.

These parlor organs were popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's. They were usually quite ornate and made of good hardwoods. The hutch part, which was placed on top of the main body of the organ, often contained a mirror and much fancy wood work. Mine, unfortunately, does not have the hutch. It apparently fell by the wayside sometime during the last 102 years. Nevertheless, this organ will be quite nice when it is restored.

As a child I saw many of these organs in mountain homes that we visited. My father bought one when he was a young man, and it remained in his mother's home, until one of his sisters sold it some 25 or 30 years ago. Another relative had such a parlor organ. They were popular for sing alongs and simply to have music in the home. They weren't as heavy as pianos, so they were easier to ship and to move around.

Time will tell whether I have the drive to do this work. I am excited about having this organ, because I have wanted one for many years. A friend from jr. college collects and restores the old instruments, so I hope that he will be a good resource for me. There are several sources on the web for parts and advice as well. Maybe one day the strains of music will once again emanate from the reeds on this great old instrument, that has been silenced for many years.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Israel?

Please check out this blog post. It seems to confirm many of my feelings about the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel's seemingly bloodthirsty attitude toward their neighbors. If it is only partially true, it appears that neither side of this issue is willing to compromise and that the conflict will continue to smolder and deepen. This may be yet another casualty of the Bush attitude toward the Middle East and the Palestinian issue in particular. The lack of any diplomatic policy and the abandonment of the Palestinians to Hamas with the "no talk with terrorist" rule has allowed the conflict to deepen to an almost unsolvable state.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Maverick McCain

Over the course of the last two years we heard the word "maverick" used by John McCain to describe his personality. He characterized himself as the revolutionary. The one to buck his party's partisan ways and reach across the aisle to Democrats in order to make government work. He promised to be the leader that could work with Democrats to pass important legislation and bring the country together. So...what happened?

John McCain has become the partisan Republican leader, blocking Democrats at every turn, while three others of his party are the "mavericks," trying to work with the other side of the aisle to do pass legislation to get the country's economy working again. McCain, in the meantime joins with his mean spirited comrades, such as "Smiley" Boehner and complains that the man who also promised to work with opposition hasn't done enough to be bi-partisan. Of course, as we all know, there was absolutely no bi-partisan spirit during the last eight years.

The current President has met with Republicans and asked for their help on more than one occasion since taking office. Yet, led by McCain, the Republicans have done little to show that they are willing to be bi-partisan. The spirit on their side of the aisle seems to be more in the vein of "we hope that they fail" or worse, "we pray that they fail" and we will do everything in our power to try to ensure that result.

Obama is right to say forget the Republicans. Let them continue to dig themselves into a hole. I can't forget McCain's comment a few months ago, "the economy is basically sound." Remember that gem? He is acting as if there is nothing wrong that he couldn't have fixed if the voters had just given him chance. His party's policies of the last eight years helped to bring about this crisis. Just as their forebears sat and fiddled in the late 1920's while the economy tanked, McCain and his partners in crime are rosining their bows and tightening the strings.

Note what Steele says in this clip from this morning's news program. They just don't get it.