KingMidget's Ramblings

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Movie Stars at the Texas Roadhouse

I had dinner tonight at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Elk Grove, California.  While we waited for a table, a woman walked in.  I looked at her and then looked at her again.  She walked by and then back again.  I thought she looked familiar.

We got our table and some time later, the woman walked by and sat at the table on the other side of a partition from us.  I looked at her again and then it hit me.

It was Scarlett Johansson.

So, let me just say that if there is an actress that I would drop everything for, it’s likely Scarlett.  She’s the one I can’t take my eyes off of when I see her in a movie.  She’s the one I … well, I think you understand.

The woman in the restaurant wasn’t this version of Scarlett Johansson.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this version of Scarlett Johansson.  There’s nothing wrong with any version of her as far as I’m concerned.

No, the version of Scarlett at the Elk Grove Texas Roadhouse tonight was this one.

That’s from Lost in Translation, her movie with Bill Murray.

I’m absolutely convinced the woman who sat mere feet away from me was her.  The very normal, girl-next-door, un-made-up version of Scarlett Johansson.  The one that is 100 times more beautiful than the glamor version. After looking at her and then looking away and then looking again and again and again, I finally leaned over to my wife and told her what I thought.  She looked and rejected the idea.  A few minutes later, my wife than pulled up one of the Scarlett glamor shots on her phone and said “See.”

I just shook my head.  It wasn’t the glamor girl at the table next door to us.  It was Scarlett Johansson as a normal, living, breathing human being.  At a Texas Roadhouse in Elk Grove on a Saturday night in October.  And she was right there.

Can I have my dreams?



Donald Trump’s First Priority

I saw a short clip of Trump’s speech yesterday.  The one in which he outlined what he would do in his first 100 days as President.  If I heard it correctly, he indicated that the first thing he would to is seek a constitutional amendment that would provide for term limits for members of Congress.

I know this is a popular idea, with wide appeal among not only the conservatives among us, but also plenty of liberals.  I get it.  There’s a certain amount of “throw the bums out” mentality that makes sense.  The system is dysfunctional, politicians don’t seem responsive to the American people.  They don’t fix the problems our country faces.  Therefore, we must do something different.  Term limits.  Throw the damn bums out.


But what if that actually makes the system worse?

California has had term limits for all statewide officials and for all members of the Legislature for 20 years.  It is a system that has failed to make things any better than they were and as far as I’m concerned have harmed our political system.

Without term limits, many politicians get elected to a body (city council, board of supervisors, state Assembly, state Senate, etc.) and can remain there — developing expertise and a sense of loyalty to the institution of which they are a part.  They do not need to concern themselves with what will be the next office they run for.  They can establish themselves in that body and use their developing expertise in one place with consistency and stability.  Because of the power and influence they obtain by remaining in that body over the years, they can compete with the power of special interests and lobbyists.

With term limits, those politicians are always looking to the next office they need to aspire to if they want to continue their career in politics.  They don’t develop loyalty to the institution because they will only be there for a few years — instead, they develop an interest in what the institution can do for them for the next office they aspire to.  They don’t develop an expertise that they can then use in that body for years to come … because they won’t be there for years to come.  Instead, they end up relying more and more and more on the unaccountable special interests and lobbyists to feed them information and tell them what they should do.

In a world of term limits, it is the special interests, lobbyists, and consultants who hold the power.

If you think the point of all of this is that we don’t want professional politicians, than you’re ignoring that that is a battle that has been lost.  There have always been and will always be a group of people who desire to make their mark in the political arena — and I’m not sure why that is viewed with such negativity.  And ultimately, with the role of money and special interests in our political system, something I’m not sure is a desirable objective.  Politicians who are ultimately answerable to the voters every two, four, or six years, or special interests and their consultants and lobbyists who owe the voters nothing.

If, like Trump, you support term limits, you stand for the latter instead of the former.  I really wish we could get rid of this idea of term limits once and for all.  They have made things worse in California, as they would in Congress.



The Ignorance of America

A real conversation at the dinner table tonight with relatives, who will remain nameless and unidentified — except that these relatives were in the category of in-laws (and, by the way, not even quite in-laws — kind of one step removed from being actual in-laws) so there is no genetic connection to me.

“Mexican guacamole has gotten more expensive because of the shortage of water,” said individual A.  “A friend of mine bought a carton of guacamole at a store for $50, $60 and then went back the next day and it was $100.”

“Yeah,” responded individual B. “I knew when NAFTA was passed, American farmers would stop growing avocados.”

* * * * *

This raises a few questions for me.

What is Mexican guacamole?  And how does one know when one buys a carton of guacamole … well, let me back up for a moment.

Start over.

What is a carton of guacamole … sorry, Mexican guacamole … that would coast $50, $60 or $100?  Maybe it’s somebody who owns a restaurant?  Maybe?  And they buy it in bulk?  Well, that’s not a restaurant I’m going to anytime soon.  So … mystery of the $50 – $100 carton of Mexican guacamole is somewhat unresolved.

Back to the start.

What exactly is Mexican guacamole?  And how does one know when one buys a carton of guacamole whether it is Mexican guacamole or … American(?) guacamole?  And who the hell refers to guacamole as “Mexican guacamole”?

More importantly.

NAFTA was signed in 1994 — 22 years ago in case you struggle with the math of that.  And apparently it has caused the cost of Mexican guacamole to spike this year.  Am I understanding that correctly.

But, here’s the problem.

U.S. production of avocados, which apparently has never been a hugely significant part of world production has been pretty damn consistent over the years (to the extent a crop that is dependent on weather and water can be consistent).  What has changed is America’s eating habits and guacamole has become a very popular food item in America.  But NAFTA caused American farmers to stop growing avocados?  Ummm … no.

Another right-wing myth debunked.

You’re welcome.

A Song For Today

A Song For Today

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