Sep 142011
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Its rain for Christmas where this Coot lives although it means lots of snow just a few miles up the mountains.  You might expect to hear Bah Humbug but today I’m mellow after getting sprung from a holding cell at the hospital.  This was my first hospital stay for over 50 years and I have to say that things haven’t improved.  Hospitals were a medieval institution 50 years ago and they are still medieval today.  You would think somebody would have had an idea about treating sickness in 500 years but apparently not.  Still this Coot is happy at being sprung (no mean feat even when you are healthy, I learned).  I was hoping for some encouraging news this week but it’s the usual lot.  Before we dive into the news, however, Merry Christmas from all the Coots.  And now the headlines.

U.S. Postal Service Ready for Busiest Mailing Day

The Post Office doesn’t get much appreciation these days but you have to admit they cope pretty well with their big season.  Monday is expected to be the busiest day for the Post Office this year as everyon rushes to get their Christmas mailing done in time for delivery before Christmas. 800 million piecers of mail are expected to enter the system on Monday which is 40% higher than the average daily traffic. Since the Post Office depends on revenue to support its services, they have to hope that this seasonal load stays strong as people forget how to write letters. This means it is probably time for this Coot to mail his Christmas cards.

Amazing Spectacle: Total Lunar Eclipse Monday Night

Too bad we can’t get a rain delay because Monday night a total eclipse of the moon will be visible from about half of the earth. North and South America as well as Western Europe and Eastern Asia will be able to view the earths shaow cover the moon in a 3 hour spectacle. This coot will miss it because of a series of storms pelting the west coast of the US. If the weather is good, however, everyone should check out the times and plan to watch. Unlike eclipses of the Sun, lunar eclipses are visible from everywhere the moon s above the horizon. Don’t miss it if your weather is good.

For $250M, Nigeria drops bribery charges against Cheney, Halliburton

Of course bribery, corruption and scandal are never seen in Africa which is known for the honesty and public service of its government officials so it is easy to see that attacking Halliburton was a no brainer. We all know that Halliburton never does anything honorable so they make an easy mark. Since we all know how evil Hallburton is, they must have corrupted some naive Nigerian official to be albe to complete a bribe. The only recourse for the Nigerian government was to sue in order to recover some of the funds which would otherwise have gone to the official. Just another victory for the Nigerian people.

Arizona, Nevada accuse Bank of America of foreclosure fraud

These states say that B of A deceived homeowners who thought they were getting their home loans modified and then foreclosed anyway. B of A cries foul claiming that they were trying to negotiate some better arrangements. As far as the Coots cam tell, the TARP buyout has so corrupted the process that banks like B of A even if they weren’t inherently evil get no benefit from refinancing loans so they prefer to foreclose. What makes them evil is the attempt to appear to work with the home owners while getting the loan off the books. Where is Barney Frank when you need him?

191 inmates flee Mexican jail near Laredo, Texas

Coots are in a quandary here. We don’t know why it is newsworthy that people want to break out of Mexican jails even when they are close to Loredo Texas. We believe that Mexican jails are all equally unpleasant places no matter where they are located. We wonder what the message is here. Is the security worse close to the Texas border? Maybe it is just the lure of the border that seems to capture all Mexicans these days. With the border so close, they just can’t control themselves. The story doesn’t explain their motive or how long it took them to cross the border to safety in the US where nobody will bother them.  Whatever happened to reporting the news.  I learned that you needed to have the five W’s.  What, Where, When, Why and Who.  Step it up guys!

Laura Bush speaks by phone to Suu Kyi

The government of Myanmar has release pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Now we learn that Laura Bush has talked to her by telephone. We don’t know what was said or if she has been invited to the ranch. In fact this story reveals only two previously unknown facts. We now know that it is possible to reach residents of Myanmar by telephone and also learn that it is apparently ok to call Myanmar Burma. Neither of these makes much difference to this Coot. I’ve always called Burma Burma.

Chicago voters back city casino, poll says

In a stunning blow to the Daley machine in Chicago, voters now say that they no longer trust the Daley family that has run Chicago for over 50 years to keep the lights on and the politicians greased. They now want casinos to pay the bills instead of the Daley bosses. This Coot still has fond memories of the first Daley who was mayor when he attended college in Chicago. The man was a master of everything except, perhaps the English language. I remember him telling us that the City had achieved a new, high platitude of success. As a smart-assed undergraduate, I thought he misspoke. After watching Chicago for nearly 50 years, I am reconsidering. Maybe he was right on.

WikiLeaks founder charges ‘smear campaign’ against him

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder was finally caught in Britain and is fighting attempts by Sweden to extradite him  to Sweden to face rape charges. Apparently the national security of the US and it’s allies is unimportant because the US government seems unwilling to make any charges despite serious damage from the leaked documents. The Swedes are apparently unable to tolerate a little friendly rape.  Interviews with the reclusive Assange safely ensconced at the estate of a supporter, reveal why he has staked his career on leaking documents. The man is incapable of thinking an independent thought. He explains his activities thusly:

“We must remember that this is not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning,” he said.

It is indeed, Mr. Assange. It is indeed unless , of course it is the middle of the middle.

Now enjoy your Christmas season without worrying about those annoying headlines.  Nothing important is scheduled to happen over the next week and even if it does you will be powerless to stop it so just relax and overeat.  You need to have something to make a New Years resolution about.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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