With about 500 pages to go

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

“Time wasted also has its beauty.” — Dorothy S.

Now that it’s our turn to be in Afghanistan perhaps it’s our opportunity to lose our wealth, as the Soviets discussed in Charlie Wilson’s War.

Last Saturday, after having some repair work done on my car, I set out for Eau Claire to pick up Casey and to enjoy the drive through an hour or hour and a half of Wisconsin where the roadway is not cluttered with road signs, where it’s quiet and peaceful. It’s kind of like not watching TV, or going around with a cell phone requiring your attention.

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Crossing the River Bridge, we returned to Minnesota and as usual we stopped at Cliffs new and used books. The proprietor was wounded from missing a step the day before coming to work. We left with a copy of “Vintage Hughes.” where The Philadelphia Inquirer said: “Langston Hughes is a titanic figure in 20th-century in American literature…a powerful interpreter of the American experience.” They say he was ‘arguably the most important writer to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ‘30s.

When leaving with the little brown paper bag, it also held Charlie Wilson’s War. It was a movie that demonstrated a part of our actions in Afghanistan and the assistance America provided to make it happen with Charlie Wilson’s help.

Charles Taylor writes “[Crile] has told of a story here that everyone has missed…an extraordinarily entertaining piece of reportage that has much to tell us about how the United States armed a group of people who are now using the weapons we provided them to kill us.”

I’m currently on page 31 with about 500 pages to go. This will take a while. The forward mentions a quote of Rudyard Kipling, The Ballad of the King’s Jest “Four things greater than all things are, —Women and Horses and Power and War.”

I think this book ought to be required reading in high school for students and teachers.

Then there is the recent comment of former vice president Cheney, who called the war in Iraq an “enormous achievement” that should “go with a healthy dose of ‘thank you, George Bush.’ ” What about the flying shoe?

Again I will mention what I’ve mentioned before that a personal friend described the time he spent in Baghdad and how calm things were when he walked freely without fear before our threat of weapons of mass destruction that resulted in our war against Iraq where up until that time the Sunni’s and the Shiites’ coexisted.”

And now look, only a small proportion of candidates accused of being loyalist to Saddam Hussein’s regime successfully fought an order banning them from running in Iraq’s national elections next month. Now we have access oil.

Monday, Mark Dayton stopped by the Coffee House on Main to hear concerns from local folks. I wondered if the weather would keep him away but at 11:30 am., the time he was expected, he came in from an earlier event in Albert Lea and spoke of the number of cars in the ditch on the way down to Albert Lea and the two cars in the ditch on the way to Austin.

I wasn’t sure why I was there, but I was grateful for what he had to share and his plan to serve the state as governor.

Mark mentioned in his presentation, a book “The Death of Common Sense.” He himself vacillates from liberal to libertarian. He shared words of Paul Wellstone: “We all do well when we all do well.”

His thoughts for Obama would be to get the best economic minds, and you go into a room and are advised you can’t come out until you come up with a solution. Regarding big companies, he said “more is never enough.” He also spoke to a national single payer program. He pointed out that Blue Cross Blue Shield increased cost 39 percent this year, and Canada spends one fourth less then we do.

Marv Repinski paid a tribute to all that Mark Dayton has stood for and his concern for common folks while coming from a prosperous source. Mark made mention to the “scare technique” of Michele Bachmann. Finally, with a smile, he alerted one of his aids at the table for not calling him a name that keys him to let him know he’s talking too much.