• Office workers make the best husbands. When they come home they are not tired and they already read the paper.
  • Ugliness is superior to beauty, because it lasts longer.
  • If you want to make a living, you have got to work. If you want to become rich, you need to find something else. Alphonse Karr.
  • A bore is a person, who continuously talks about himself, when I want to talk about myself. Sacha Guitry.
  • If you don’t go to people’s funerals, they won’t come to yours. Anonymous.
  • A jury is a group of twelve people of average intelligence, united by chance, who has to decide who (the accused or the victim) has the better lawyer. Herbert Spencer.
  • A bad experience is more valuable than a good advice.
  •  If somebody licks your boots, give him a good kick before he starts biting you. Paul Valery.
  • After the Gladiator fights were abolished, Christians invented conjugal life.
  • Why should you waste your time contradicting a woman ? It is much simpler to wait until she changes her mind.  Jean Anouilh.





Presidential conventions

According to MarylandReporter.com, “Federal taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $136 million to cover the cost of the major political parties’ presidential nominating conventions.”
Well amigos, that’s a lot of moolah… “A million here, a million there… Pretty soon you are talking real money.”

When it comes to politics, like most people, I am a babe in the woods; but I am not a total idiot either. I know that what people see at the convention has been preordained and blessed by the party bosses. So why this big circus on television?

With every institution on the face of the earth begging for money, why waste so much cash talking to people already acquired to the cause? Because after all, it looks like the convention is preaching to a choir of hardcore believers, not to the heathen.

A presidential convention likes to showcase a bunch of ambitious braggarts intent on proving than they are more royalists than the king. The more outrageous their comments, the more the zealots roar their approval. It is not unlike a “corrida” where every oratory pass is punctuated by enthusiastic “olés”.

Personally, I have the sneaky suspicion that a convention is a good excuse for normally straight-laced individuals to booze it up and blow some steam. And partially at the expense of taxpayers, because Congress appropriates $100 million ($50 million for each convention) to cover the cost of “security”.

As a flawed human being I understand that. But we are going through hard times, and wouldn’t be more reasonable to throw a few block parties and do away with this extravaganza? It would save taxpayers money, and the sorry sight of seemingly grown people gone wild.

Incidentally, the hanky-panky (eh eh eh) that happens at the convention stays at the convention! At least that’s what conventioneers hope for.

But ultimately, conventions are about money, and backroom deals.
Many delegates come to the Big Tent to lobby (pay) for a particular project. They are essentially saying, “I’ll give you some cash, but if you are elected, I want a piece of the pie”. And politicians will unabashedly take the cash and make promises that they don’t intend to keep.
But if you long for a piece of that delectable pie, you have got to be willing to pay for the ingredients, n’est-ce pas?

To sum it up, a convention looks like a Roman triumph when a victorious general came home and was heralded as a god after trashing the Barbarians. But in ancient Rome they celebrated after a victory, and not in anticipation of a victory.

As far as I know the Barbarians are massing at the gates and banging their shields with their swords.



The Petanque President

The American elections are about 2 months away and many voters are still sitting on the fence. Barack Obama is probably wondering what it would take to persuade those rascals to keep him in the “Casa Blanca”.

If I were a campaign advisor, I would have only one word for the Commander in Chief: pétanque.
Yes you heard me, I said pétanque! Because a dynamic presidential candidate should strive for innovation and originality.
Most of the former presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, the Bushes, Clinton) played golf, but they didn’t have any choice. A President has got to play golf, otherwise he will look like a stick in the mud.

To garner more votes, Barack should do something different: break away from old traditions and start with new ones.

By embracing pétanque (a plebeian sport), Bama would show the American people that, unlike the other guy, he is really one of them.
He could show everybody that he is a straight shooter while painting his opponent as a wimpy pointer.

A presidential campaign is about scoring points. Just think of what a few elegant “carreaux” could do (especially when shown in slow motion) for the incumbent.
And I already coined a name for the “pétanque president”: CaroBama.
Carreau-Bama, got it? The world would lap it up.

And the president (instead of engaging in useless debates) could challenge his opponent “mano a mano”. After seeing him shooting hoops, I have faith in his athletic abilities, and I think that he could easily whip Mormon Mitt.

Many celebrities (Mick Jagger, Brigitte Bardot, Yves Montand, Johnny Depp, Morley Safer, Konrad Adenauer, Peter Mayle, Georges Simenon, etc.) took up the sport and gained a significant boost of popularity after doing so. And so could Obama.

Bama should build a pétanque court in the back of the White House and (instead of growing potatoes) he could settle many of the world’s problems with a series of “winner takes all” tournaments. I know that “bare chest Putin” for instance couldn’t refuse a challenge.

Hello Vladimir! I am calling about Pussy Riot. Why don’t you release them? Niet? What about a little game of петанк then? If you win, you can send them to Siberia… if you lose, you let them go. OK? Da?
Atta boy Vlady, I’ll see you on the court!

Bashar? This is Bama calling… yes, the guy in the White House…about your pesky problem…

Like in medieval jousts of yore, winning a tournament would indicate God’s will and important matters could then be settled according to the winner’s (and God’s naturally) wishes.
This is just a suggestion mind you, but I think that it is worth considering.

If the Dems needs additional help, I can be found on the Marin Pétanque field, every Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Thank you Ma’am, just trying to help!


PS: To look at pictures of recent events, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.