Sarah Palin, please grow up, shut up, go away or learn some English

Sarah Palin (on loan from
Sarah Palin (on loan from

In a blog post yesterday, Ms. Palin is quoted as saying:

I would think we all tear up during the national anthem at the beginning of a baseball game, don’t we? That’s an alikeness between Alaskans and New Yorkers.

Sigh. I think she meant to say something like “common bond” or “the bonds that united as as a nation” or even “similarity.” I am beginning to suspect she makes up words as she goes. She reminds me of Damon Wayans’ malaprop character on In Living Color. Malaprop is a big word, so I linked it up, in case Ms. Palin is reading… oh, never mind.

It really is time for the smart guys to be in charge. The beer-drinking buddies, the “Joe the Plumbers” are not the future of this country, they are its past. It is not cool to be dumb. It never was.

In recent decades, we’ve seen the damage one dumb man can do. We’ve also seen the damage a highly provincial man can do. Neither was good for this country as one led to high inflation and a hostage crises and the other led to wars, loss of a moral compass and submission to mob fear.

I’m not sure how many bloggers remained “anonymous” about their feelings on Sarah Palin. That women created a blog wake so deep and fast that if you didn’t attach your name to it, your blog was a waste of time to write or read. There was nothing about anonymity or boredom in that ride.

We’ve had a taste of what a smart Sarah Palin would be like. We call her Tina Fey. And the real thing pales in comparison to the imitation.

Joe Mamma?

First, just watch the video. All the way to the end.

I know Alaska is part of these United States, but how ignorant of racism is Sarah Palin? It is almost as surreal to watch as John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys tune! Before she can lead America, she needs to understand that Real America is made up of many different cultures. And what works as a long-standing line to a “knock-knock type” joke by African Americans is used as a slam by whites to demonstrate how ignorant and inarticulate Blacks are.

For those of us who perhaps did not grow up in the ’60s-’70s when Black culture was taking hold, the joke goes something like this:

“Hey man, Joe was looking for you.”
“Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

Or alternatively,
Hey man, I was getting it on with Joe last night”
“Yeah? Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

The sign was not cute, adorable or in any way clever. It was racist. By not really knowing that, Sarah Palin has once again demonstrated her inability to learn and lead.

The $3,000 lawn mower

I brought my Snapper lawnmower in for service and Quentin, my lawn guy, writes me up a ticket, says that will be $99.00 for the pre-season special, including engine tune up, blade sharpening and balance, oil, gas, timing, etc, etc, etc. Probably all the things I should be doing myself, but just don’t have the time or the expertise.

“When you sold me the mower,” I said, “you said that it would last me thirty years.”

He says with smile, “If you take care of it, give it a tune once a year, it will probably last you that long.”

I thought a bit and did some addition in my head. At $99.00 a year for 30 years… “that is almost $3,000” I blurted out.

He smiles a little and says, “Sometimes, it just isn’t the right thing to look at the big picture.”

That got me thinking a little bit about stuff we produce and how our American economy is put together. We make stuff as cheap as we can and sell it for as little as possible. And it almost always breaks shortly after we just get used to the way it works, with the best repair option being to get a new one. It really doesn’t matter what it is; lawn mower, weed-whacker, car, computer, dishwasher, kitchen mixer.

What if instead, we built durable stuff that was repairable and maintainable. Then, instead of always selling more stuff, we sold services to maintain and fix the durable goods. Would we then be able to sell a lawn mower for $3,000? Quentin did and I didn’t even know I was going to pay that much. And since we would not be throwing away as much, we would have less need for land fills. Since quality goods would cost a little more, we might not be so careless with the way we stored and treated things.

Skilled service jobs can’t be outsourced. When they are in demand, skilled jobs are respected. Anyone who has screwed up a plumbing jobs knows that no matter what the plumber charges you, it is probably worth it.

If we want to move into a service economy, perhaps making less stuff — but higher quality stuff — and focusing on the “service plan” might be the way top go. Probably a flaw in the thinking here somewhere, but deserves some thought.

A conundrum of massive proportion

My paper shredder just crapped out on me. In this economy, I can’t afford to buy a new one. But, in this economy, I can’t afford to have my identity stolen either.

Barack and John, these are the kinds of things that we “Joe the Dog” living on “Main Street” have to worry about. And while we are talking paper shredding, please quit mailing me stuff. I got the Internet, I know what your positions are on issues. I got it, I got it.

But, if you could swing a paper shredder, send it on over. You already know my address and since I live in Ohio, a paper shredder for me means a vote for you!