FROG HOSPITAL -- August 25, 2019 -- unsubscribe anytime
In My Life
By Fred Owens
I woke up at four-thirty this morning and heard the owl hooting, so softly, so gently, so soothing -- to me, that is. To a mouse it's a sound of sheer terror.
The Amazon is burning and Trump doesn't care. Putin in Russia doesn't care, Xi in China doesn't care and the Amazon keeps burning. This is the Age of Tyranny.
I don't object to the conservative agenda of lower taxes and less regulation. It is at least worth discussion. But if the conservatives need Trump to accomplish these goals, then they are compromised in the most serious manner. I oppose him and I oppose them with all my might.
If you have a Jewish friend and you are mad at him for some reason, then call him a dick-wad or a crap-face or anything vulgar that comes to mind. But don't call him disloyal. Never say that. And if you grew up in Queens like Trump did, then you know that. Calling a Jew disloyal is hate speech. You don't have to be nice. Call him shit-for-brains if you must, but not disloyal,
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is picking up steam on the campaign trail. She's growing in stature and getting comfortable with that. That's what I have been looking for -- the candidate who can grow into the job, because it is a very big job and if she wins and walks into the White House she will find that all her plans and all her preparation amount to nothing because the job of President becomes your life.
It's like having a baby. When my two children were born I had plans on how to raise them. I had beliefs about certain methods of childcare. I chose paths that we would follow as a family. I was firm in my knowledge of what I would do as a father.
Thank God I threw that all out when the babies were born. Babies poo on your plans, they drool on your cherished theories. They simply take over your entire life. So have a laugh and do whatever you need to do.
To continue my thought that becoming President is like having a baby, let me give this advice to Senator Warren. "Think big. Be a leader. Leaders give direction and they hire people to make plans."
In Your Words. This is a new direction for Frog Hospital. You are going to contribute to this durable email newsletter by doing some of the writing. I am asking readers to help me out and send in their stories. It's wide open -- you know that, but it will be in your words, not mine. So, to Susan in Florida, Alan in North Carolina, Harvey in Boston, Virginia in Toronto, Andy in Ohio, Cynthia in Chicago, Katy in Denver, David in Washington and others -- I will be contacting you with a direct appeal. Write 500 to a 1,000 words. Political opinions are welcome. I even run a few conservative views, but Frog Hospital has always tilted left -- you all know that.
This week we have a newsy letter from Maureen McCue in England. Maureen and I are from the class of 1968 at St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto.
A Letter from England.
Fred, I hope you are well.
You asked about the Queen, she is constitutionally meant to be neutral which she adheres to, never taking political sides but recently it slipped out that she is disillusioned with the current politicians who are meant to govern the country. One thing I always admired about England was its good governance with Ministers on top of their briefs but Brexit seems to have made everyone loco. There is a big showdown coming in early September between remainers and leavers in Parliament and the remain side is trying to rope the Queen into stopping the proroguing of Parliament by the PM in order to deliver on the Brexit referendum, ie slip moorings from the EU under cover of darkness by running down the clock until Halloween when we are due to leave. Then hold a general election. Needless to say the Queen is trying to stay out of this. Behind the scene she counsels and warns. All Prime Ministers have said she is wise and fair.
I think having a Prime Minister and a Head of State is a good idea and I have come to admire Constitutional Monarchies which work like England, Spain, Holland and Scandanavia. Day to day governance is down to the PM and Cabinet. The country can coalesce around a Head of State. The US hit a brick wall with Clinton and his sex scandal where a President combines both roles and drags the country down. France separates the two roles but often the PM is from one party and the President from a diametrically opposed other one. De Gaulle made the President more important than the PM which I do not think is ideal.
I have an Irish passport and owing to the very generous settlement back in 1922 with the Crown after the Civil War in Ireland, I can vote in UK elections provided I am a resident and I can travel to the Republic of Eire without a passport. I follow the US elections but I cannot say who grabs me at the moment. I have always liked Biden but worry about his age. I have not been impressed by Beto O'Rourke who has no discernible qualities as a statesman. I don't know Kamala Harris at all.
What is worrying is the growth of autocratic populism around the globe. Clearly the center left/right post war consensus has evaporated and taken the Liberals/socialists by surprise. The Democratic party in the US has failed to respond to this in a way that will enable it to win the next Presidential election with certainty. So it looks like another four years with Beelzebub. Pass the bare bodkin as Will the Wordsmith once said.
I need to go to London next week to see a specialist for a second opinion re my messed up and painful knee. Then I am off to NY in mid September for my nephew's wedding and my High School Reunion. Also, I will be going to Philadelphia to see Cynthia Tehan who is still employed and volunteers at a vegetable garden trust where she minds the goats who eat the weeds and poison ivy. We remain close friends. Life staggers on, literally.
We have had floods of rain here in the last few days and I have had the heating on in the fireplace at night. August is a bit chilly here in Cornwall. great place to be when global warming really gets its claws in.