If there are any stockings hung by the chimney with care in the Oval Office, they were surely blown askew last week by the circular temper-tantrums of the President, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. A life-like statue of harmless Vice-President Michael Pence was also present.
If junior high school students were to misbehave as badly as the leaders of the Republic they would be sent to the assistant principal’s office for a reprimand.
The statue of the vice-president, however, would be taken for the new mascot and draped with a toboggan cap and scarf in school colors.
The cranky old people who reign and rule over us can also nyah-nyah at each other while high in the sky:
The presidential aircraft fleet includes (but is not limited to) two BUFF modified Boeing 747s. There is also a number of helicopters crewed and served by some 800 – yes, 800 – Marines (https://www.airplanesofthepast.com/united-states-presidential-aircraft.htm).
The vice-president has access to two modified Boeing 757s so that the president can say that his is bigger.
The Speaker of the House enjoys, by presidential fiat after 9.11.2001, access to military jets for himself or herself, staff, and family. The once and future Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is well known for her sense of aviation privilege.
The Speaker of the House does not rate a government aircraft, only free rides on commercial aircraft. The current speaker once indulged in the house privilege of calling a flight attendance a b**** (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/plane-rude-sen-charles-schumer-refers-female-flight-attendant-b-word-article-1.436069) for asking him to turn his me-phone off as if he were one of (harrumph) The People.
Officials of the Justice Department and other functionaries also enjoy access to luxury aircraft at your expense (https://www.thoughtco.com/who-flies-on-the-taxpayers-dime-3321451).
Generals and admirals, too, can snap their fingers (or at least their office phones) and summon planes and helicopters for themselves, their families, and their special friends (https://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/06/25/generals-not-disciplined-in-misuse-of-aircraft.html), (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-generals-demotion-idUSBRE8AD06620121114), and (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/petraeus-wife-holly-furious-affair-article-1.1200586).
When commercial flying became popular in the 1950s and 1960s air travel long remained an occasion of decorum – men wore coats and ties, women wore dresses, gloves, and hats, and courtesy was a given.
Flying now is like being shoved into an old bus crowded with drunks and louts and screaming children. Given that Proletarian reality, government officials ought to give up the luxury aircraft and join us in cattle class – they’d fit right in with the other drunks and louts and screamers, and it would help the national budget.
Not much longer now before we and Keats
Must pack up all our impedimenta
Into a photocopier paper box
And after a Wal-Mart-cake reception – leave
No one will notice us, and that’s okay
Thomas and Frost will meet us with the car
Greene will suggest that we go for a drink
The designated driver might be Shakespeare
With Fermor beside him reading the map
Guareschi and Wodehouse laughing in the back
Lewis and Chesterton will bring the beer
And Leonard Cohen will adjust his hat
In God’s name we will sit under the apple trees
And tell merry tales of the lives of kings
And whether we shall meet again I know not. Therefore our everlasting farewell take: For ever, and for ever, farewell… If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why, then, this parting was well made.
-Julius Caesar V.1.115-119
After a year of rumors and contradictory bits of information, the once-busy satellite campus of my community college surrendered the buildings today.
A commitment among several institutions requires me to haunt the mostly empty halls (like Marley's Ghost) for the spring to finish teaching classes, but for the staff, a casual dismissal into unemployment now.
The Psalmist tells us not to put our trust in princes; I would add "...or in elected bodies."
My latest book, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, is available, along with Don't Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, and The Road to Magdalena, from Amazon.com both as a Kindle and as bits of dead tree.
BA in History, University of San Diego, 1976; MEd, Stephen F. Austin State University, 1984; MA in English, Stephen F. Austin State University, 2002. Mr. Hall also accomplished 18 months of field studies in Viet-Nam and Cambodia, once hitch-hiked from California to Texas, and has been rejected by some of the finest publishing houses in America.