The whole family spent five Kafka-esque hours at the airport yesterday until it became obvious that nearly all flights (and certainly ours) had been canceled due to weather. Trying now to get in touch with Delta and figure out why they have re-booked us on dog-leg connection that will triple our travel time — if we make the laughably short 23-minute connection. One of Springy’s competitions is toast but hopefully we’ll make the other. She has the right (positive) attitude about it and I’m proud of her for that.
Making contact with a real person at Delta now is worse than calling a radio station contest (something I haven’t done in over twenty years). Every third call is busy. The other two end in dead lines (too many callers to even warrant a busy signal).
I imagine some poor, lonely, tortured, underpaid soul sitting at an old, beaten-up desk with a pencil and paper taking calls one at a time. Sitting here re-pressing speed-dial, I can’t help but surf and blog! Call it a nervous tick and assess the quality and accuracy accordingly.
[Finally got through... to the hold queue(!), with bad music and endless promotions... after forty-five minutes and over 100 attempts. Now (thirty minutes later), I'm finally talking to an agent... whose headset seems turned to faint and scratchy and who can't see even the basics of what I was able to pull up on their website two hours ago. Another ten minutes on hold and she informs me that I won't make my connection... which I knew from the web -- my motivation for my calling in the first place.]
If it weren’t for everything else about him — a pattern of bullying Israel and, one must surmise, secretly wishing, like a ‘you won’t feel a thing’ Jack Kevorkian version of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the state of Israel and it’s people would just shut up and quietly slip away — I’d chalk this item up to simple bureaucratic oversight. Yet it seems that when something is important to him, he gets right down to it and no delay or objection is deemed acceptable (e.g., deathcare, abortion).
The Obama administration has failed to name an envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism around the world as mandated by US law since the previous ambassador was relieved of his duties at the start of the president’s term more than six months ago, officials said Thursday. The failure to name a new envoy for the post raises questions about the importance the new administration attaches to the fight against anti-Semitism, said Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington DC-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
And speaking of passive and active death wishes, does anyone else find it disturbing that we’re promoting (and debt-funding) a poorly thought-out and grossly misadministered government program, the goal of which is to kill a perfectly good working machine… to turn the sweat of someone’s brow and the fruit of God-given human innovation, labor and enterprise into useless junk destined for a dump (and verify that the created thing is dead, dead, dead before we pay)?
The program requires that the clunkers be put out of service for good, so dealers must destroy the engines on cars that are traded in. We watched this process yesterday at the DCH Paramus Honda in Paramus, N.J. It is quite laborious and potentially dangerous. And it certainly is final.
Nick Clites, who is in charge of used cars for the dealership, was prepping a 1988 BMW 535IS, with 214,000 miles on the odometer, for its death. He drained the oil, then donned a silky blue protective suit, goggles and gloves and poured a sodium silicate solution into the engine. He revved the car, and within a few seconds, the solution hardened into a glass-like substance, the engine seized up and the car was dead.
So here is one question: With the program now on shaky ground, even with a new infusion of money, what consumer and what dealer will risk rendering an engine irretrievably unusable? Well, as it turns out, a lot of them are doing so, because unless the dealers can prove to the government that they have killed the engines and scrapped the cars, the government will not reimburse them for the $3,500 or $4,500 discount that they have given the customer on a new, more efficient vehicle.
Does it raise the hair on the back of anyone else’s neck — this idea that we think it a positive thing to demolish and destroy what two-thirds of the world’s poor, walking, cycling, sandal-clad and barefoot population would practically kill to have? Does it raise any larger questions that we think it good now to be moving (even paddling swiftly) with the current of chaos and decay rather swimming against it and creating order? Does it seem like that big a step from this to doing the same with people?
UPDATE I: Sometimes God closes door after door and it becomes clear that something wasn’t supposed to happen. We can bang our head against those doors and scream and wail “why me?” …or we can spend time prayerfully looking for the good He had in mind for us when He shut them. Because He is good and He has plans to prosper us. We must trust that promise, even when it doesn’t seem so.
Springy woke with a fever this morning and so we have made the very painful decision to scuttle our trip. Some tears have ensued, but Springy knows it is the right decision and I’m busting with more admiration for her for that than I might have had if the competition had gone well for her. The fact that Delta advised us that the only itinerary available in the next 24 hours (the one they put us on) is an ‘invalid’ connection they thought would likely strand us in our connecting city played into that decision. Though we were prepared to scuttle it either way (health is paramount), I must say, in Delta’s favor, that they’re giving us a full refund.
UPDATE II: On the Israel thing, Elliott Abrams’ piece in today’s WSJ (‘Why Israel is Nervous’) is well worth reading.
Tension is escalating between the U.S and Israel. The problem: The administration views the Israeli-Palestinian issue as the root of all problems, while Israel is focused on Iran’s nuclear threat.
If the administration sees the Israel-Palestinian conflict as the root of all problems… And they see the nuclear threat as not credible or all that dire… And if history shows that the neighbors to the Jewish people have been openly hostile to them for oh, the last 5,000 years or so… And if there are a lot more non-Jews than Jews in the region… Then one or both of two things logically follow:
1) The administration thinks it can obviate 5,000 years of history by its cleverness, firmness and wisdom and/or, 2) Helping to ‘disappear’ Israel would be advantageous in their eyes. Chilling individually but especially in combination, as it plays into the anti-Christ end-times template — again. And that’s even more true in light of a fact Abrams notes which I’d previously only conjectured:
…nearly 80% of American Jews voted for Mr. Obama
UPDATE III: Not only has OBH failed to fulfill the law and appoint an envoy for anti-Semitism but he has created a new “Office of the United States Special Representative to Muslim Communities”. Not countries. Communities. Can it get any clearer what ideological filters inform his priorities? (H/T: Eowyn)