In the old Pink Panther movies Inspector Jacques Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers, had the uncanny knack of bumbling to a successful resolution of whatever case he was on. His farcical approach stood in contrast to his antagonist, Inspector Dreyfus, who was more or less a by-the-book crimefighter. Throughout the movie, Inspector Dreyfus, succumbing to Clouseau's manic assault would begin to crack. It started with a twitch and often ended in an insane asylum.
Fidel Castro gave his two week notice today. He's spent and is turning the revolution over to his younger brother Raul. Rumor has it he's got his eye on a nice piece of beachfront property in Miami.
I've thought the embargo against Cuba a national disgrace for a long time. It's an indefensible relic of the Cold War if not the Monroe Doctrine. The news of Castro's retirement made me think of Inspector Dreyfus. I believe I even twitched. Not because Fidel threw in the towel,(incidentally, it was not too long ago that one of Castro's doctors had pronounced him such a fine physical specimen that he would probably survive to the age of 144, likely something to do with the sea air) but rather, because our own Commandant Bush said, now Cuba might enjoy "free and fair elections". Cuba, as we all know, lays a mere 90 miles from the scene of the crime where the Arsenal of Freedom abandoned the concept of "free and fair elections". This is the place where ancient Jews, including many Holocaust survivors, passed up the opportunity to vote for then-Democrat Joe Liebermann and instead cast their butterfly ballot for Pat Buchanan. This is the place where paid Republican Thugs rushed the county clerk's office to show "outrage" at a possible recount of votes. This is the place where Bush flew in his pajamas (I saw it on TV) to inveigh against the heathens who would allow Terri Schiavo to die. I'm reminded of the line from the movie Chinatown and think the Bush version might be, "Forget about it Jake. It's Florida". Bush invokes virtue. I twitch.
Another twitch-inducer is the orgiastic pursuit of property tax avoidance by certain elements of our community.
News Flash....No one likes to pay taxes.
No one likes to live in a city saddled with rising costs and shrinking services
No one wants to give up essential services like police and fire
No one wants to live in a city where the first question is often the last question as well ,"how much does it cost?"
No one wants the future of their children circumscribed by the fearfulness and penury of our day
No one should enjoy the harvest of savings in our day, while salting the fields of their day.
The anti-taxers seem unable to grasp the concept of the Civic Compact which states that we will provide a City that meets not only our needs and broadens our horizons but builds the infrastructure to pass that on to future generations.
It is only by happenstance that we live now. We are like pebbles dropped into a river. The anti taxers don't seem to care if the stream dries up after they hit the surface. The only way we can truly value the now is to build for the future, which we won't see. That is the only way we have what we have today. We owe no less to the future. Some see running the city as a business, some see it as tending our small corner of civilization.
Two more twitchers from the day's news:
1) A fevered group of Hoosiers worries that we must quickly move toward a Constitutional amendment classifying same-sex marriage as illegal. If quick action is not taken, the amendment may have to languish until 2012. What element of privacy escapes these people's purview?
2) From the Courier-Journal headlines: Smoking Ban Shows Dramatic Results...in the level of unhealthy particulate matter in the air of selected venues. I spoke to my cousin in Minneapolis the other day, she was nonplussed that smoking is still allowed in restaurants and bars here. New Albany will get there some day. Until then, Smoke Gets in My Eyes, and I twitch.
Finally, driving is becoming more hazardous around here. I'm driven to twitching as I see the numerous billboards featuring those creepy androgynes with the doe eyes.