Sign of the Times

There is not much to look at, driving south out of Dallas. Some cornfields, cows, horses. Shacks where you can buy fireworks. Churches in shingle houses. After a while, you close your eyes and take a nap, if you are not driving. My daughter and I were heading for camp, south of Austin, north of San Antonio. I would drop her off and then return, four hours each way. After a while, she closed her eyes and took a nap.

I focused my gaze straight ahead. Just south of Waco, I caught a glimpse of George Bush on a billboard. He was in a suit, in a running position. He looked as if he was getting ready to do the high jump. Across the top of the sign, there was a question…”Miss Me Yet?” It was an odd question, I thought, for a President of the United States to ask drivers driving on a highway. It was a question an ex-boyfriend would ask the ex-girlfriend who dumped him, just to annoy her. And she wouldn’t answer. She’d roll her eyes and walk away, or hang up the phone. George Bush was smirking on the billboard.

Underneath the question, there was another question. “Have you had enough of all the hope and change?”

What an idiot. I realize it’s not George Bush who actually asked the question, just a paper version of him, but really, it is the same. He would say that. That is why the people who created the billboard put his running body on it. Anyway, I was annoyed with the sign, with the people who put it there, and all over again, with the fact of this man’s presidency. Not to mention, the buffoons who still claim he is smarter than Barack Obama. I still see “Thank you, George and Laura” placards on Dallas lawns. It is enough already.

My daughter woke up after we passed the sign. We stopped for ice cream and kept going, passing more cows. and baby cows, and places to buy tractors. Finally, we arrived at camp and found the cabin and set up her bed. Looked like it would be a fun week. Hugs and kisses, be safe, wear sunscreen, drink water. I got back into the car and headed north, looking for the rear view of President George Bush but alas, seeing nothing. Vroom vroom.

Ten Hut

Of course, the Bush people who dreamed up and made legal the practice of torturing prisoners should be investigated and prosecuted. 

I think that the underlings who carried out the orders should be held accountable, too. 

For this reason:

“How was school today, sweetie?”

“It was okay. A bunch of boys beat up a kid on the playground.”


“But the kid is usually the one getting into trouble and the playground monitor let them do it before he brought them to the principal.”

Or, at summer camp:

“We put shaving cream in Olivia’s bed.”

“Did the counselors let you do that?”

“They used to do it when they were little and they showed us how.”

Joining in, when you know you shouldn’t, is really a bad thing for kids to do. So, we teach them to be the one to stand up and say that what is going on is wrong, then leave the scene. We teach them not to follow orders simply because they are orders, let alone orders from people who shouldn’t be leaders. I’d rather my child trust her instinct and her knowledge about whether those orders should exist in the first place. Sometimes, it is not obvious. Safety, danger, violence, that’s pretty obvious, even to a kid. We do not want them to say, one day…”Okay, I’ll do it to because someone told me to.” That is Parental Doomsday. Okay, I’ll smoke. Okay, I’ll taste that drink. Okay, I’ll let you do that to me.

I realize that the military functions on hierarchy, on taking orders and not contesting them. I guess that might be useful in combat. This was hardly combat. Prosecute away, I say, sir, yes, sir.