Sunday, April 23, 2006

Laura and Martha

I consider Condoleeza Rice the most romantic woman on the political scene since Jackie Kennedy. Jackie had style, of course, but Eleanor Roosevelt had substance. Eleanor was a crummy mother and a worse lover. But when Franklin fell to polio, she became his eyes and ears, and then he became the brains of the United States. As for George and Laura--apparently what they really had in common was alcohol. Did she kill someone while driving intoxicated? That's when she gave up the bottle. George and Laura were thoughtless Texas golden youth, and her intoxication was swept under the rug. Too bad George has no brains.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Are we a matriarchy?

As a Roman Catholic atheist, I know what I know. I read that Islam is a patriarchy; but I don‘t know. When I was a graduate student at Columbia in 1971, Kate Millet’s dissertation was published as Sexual Politics. My advisor John Unterecker told me for drill to apply for a teaching position but, he said, I wouldn’t be hired because Columbia had been ordered by the federal government to hire women. Remember affirmative action? Feminism also made dating difficult. I did teach for a few years but I have found a more free lance and entrepreneurial life.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Taxes and Death

Dad: Over the years I have opened three UGMAs (Uniform Gifts to Minors Account) for my son. My ex-wife noticed that my social security number is on one or more of them. She says I should pay his income tax. Should I?

Bean Counter: Probably not. Do you pay child support?

Dad: Yes.

Bean: Then she is responsible for the income tax on an UGMA. Both your social security number and your son’s social security number are on record at the bank. It is his money. If she insists you pay the income tax, close the UGMAS, and put the money in your own accounts. When he turns 21, you can, if you wish, give him the money.

Dad: Do you recommend that?

Bean: No. If you die, he will have to pay inheritance tax. He might also want to use the money for college.


Dad: For the last ten days my son has had fever, headaches, vomiting, fatigue. No matter how much he sleeps, his eyes are bloodshot. For the last two or three months he’s been taking Doxyclicline and Clindamycin. What should he do?

McDoctor: He should stop taking the drugs and consult the physician who prescribed them.

Dad: Both my son and his mother insist that because he’s been taking the drugs for almost three months, they can’t cause his problems. Is this true?

McD: No. Although it makes an allergic reaction seem less likely, such a reaction to prescription drugs can occur at any time. The dosage may have been too high. In any case, for some reason, he has stop metabolizing the drugs.

Dad: Should I have his mother arrested for endangering his health and welfare?

McD: No. That will rupture your relationship. Furthermore, since it cannot be shown for sure that these symptoms have caused permanent harm, she can counter-sue you for false arrest.

Dad: According to PDR (Physicians’ Desk Reference), an allergic reaction to Clinamycin can be fatal.

McD: It expresses as a stroke or heart attack.

Dad: What should I do if he has a stroke?

McD: Sue her.