Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blog #62: What are we doing here?

Well, the election is finally over, although our new age won't really begin until January 20th. And so this is a period of breath holding, and hoping against hope that the outgoing administration does nothing to muddy the waters of the incoming one. We have to admit, it is looking positive. In spite of early reports that Bush was rushing through a lot of last minute executive orders that would require much undoing by an Obama administration, the president did invite the new first family over to check out their new digs, and he did promise to aid the new administration's transition.

Jan. 20 will be a red letter day for sure, the day our new president, Barack Obama, gets formally inaugurated as the next president of the United States. Has a ring to it, doesn't it? Barack Obama, who would have thought a man of such a racially mixed heritage could actually be elected president? A man who come January 21, we can dare to hope will begin to make things markedly better not just for the rich, but for all Americans. From the looks of things so far it promises to be like the difference between night and day.

What made Bush 43's tenure the worst presidency in our nation's history? The list seems too long for the telling. Perhaps that is not the way you see it, after all twenty something percent of Americans look upon his presidency in a favorable light. And forty seven percent of you voters chose his anointed successor, John McCain for the job of president. Of course the other seventy plus percent of us did see things quite a bit differently. Why? What made this once likable man go so terribly wrong? Well, for one thing he took to heart the famous saying, “before an election a typical politician promises one thing and then when gets into office does quite another.” George Bush, bless his heart, tattooed that philosophy into his head and soared to heights as yet undreamed of by us mere mortals. Tell me about it. I'm sure he got continuing reassuring counsel from his veep of vice, Dick Cheney.

Bush ran for office claiming that he was a compassionate conservative who had worked with Democrats in Texas while governor, and who solemnly promised to do so again as president. However, once in power that promise went down the tubes along with all of those sought after White House emails which have magically disappeared. Democrats were not only ignored by the White House, in Congress they were actually barred from the meetings where legislation was to be worked out, the Republicans in power turning over the writing of said legislation to the interested big business lobbyists who magically appeared to write the legislation. Will the Democratic leaders in Congress continue that tradition by barring Republicans, or will they open up their legislative meetings in the spirit of true bipartisanship and democracy. The real strength of America lies in people in both parties participating equally in government. It was the way it used to be until the so-called Republican revolution of 1994, after which Republicans began playing the game, “Winner Take All” with a vengeance. We will be waiting breathlessly to find out which way the newly elected Democrats will swing.

In my opinion Bush 43's greatest sin was in totally ignoring America's voting population once he got us into his war. Vice president Cheney made no bones about their ignoring the polls when the polls were running 70 to 80 % against the war in Iraq. To the ABC reporter he said words to the effect that he does not sully his thinking by considering polls, as if he had risen above following the will of the people who had elected him. We as a people are well rid of that bunch of rascals and we take solace in the fact that they have so damaged their party of choice that it will likely to be years, if not decades, before it reemerges from its ashes.

In my opinion one of the most costly and destructive things the Bushies have done to the fabric of American society is how they have handed off responsibilities for duties the military have traditionally performed to private corporations, and especially those sanctioned by Halliburton. KBR, at the time owned by Halliburton, performed services like laundry and meal preparation for the military paying their employees astronomical salaries as compared to what the military would have paid to its own. Security Services such as Blackwater replaced what were formerly Marine guards securing State Department and other diplomats. I trust the incoming Congress will hold hearings on these excesses in the War's costs, and take remedial action, such as at the very least punishing the responsible parties.

Best news for me (and probably lots of other Houstonians) is that Bush's post presidency move will be to Dallas, Texas rather than Houston. We already have the Bush 41 family in Houston, adding the 43 branch would tilt the balance further askew. Thankfully Dallas is a long way from Houston. And Dallas is a less progressive, far more conservative town. Maybe up in Dallas with a lot of time on his hands George W. can finally teach himself how to be that “compassionate” conservative he always claimed to be. Naaaah! No way!
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Word comes that Barack Obama had a meeting with Hillary Clinton on Thursday during which she was sounded out about the possibility of serving as Secretary of State in an Obama presidency. Nothing came out of the meeting for publication, but the fact that she flew to Chicago to talk with him shows a certain amount of interest on her part.

Friends of hers are counseling her to remain in the Senate to further her future presidential ambitions. However, we wonder how appealing that idea really is. For one thing, if Obama is half as effective as it seems he will be then he will surely run for reelection in 2012, which means Hillary wouldn't have a realistic shot at the presidency for eight more years, and that's a long ways off. By then she'll be approaching John McCain's age. However, she is uniquely qualified to be Secretary of State, and this could relieve Obama of worry about the rest of the world, as he focusses in on the economy.

Husband Bill Clinton is wildly popular throughout the world, and especially Europe, and he could undoubtedly be persuaded to accept a special title of Ambassador to the World, which would go along very nicely with his wife as Secretary of State. And between the two of them, they should be able to go a long way towards rebuilding the U. S. image world wide. It's just a thought, but it seems to me it would make a great deal of sense from both sides.
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To blog or not to blog? That is the question. What will there be to write about now that we have voted in a reasoned and responsible leader for real Change? Just like comedians are at a loss as to how to make fun of the new president, so the opinion makers are going to have to go easy until President Obama gets his feet permanently aground and up and running. The cultivation of power in the Bush 43 White House is unprecedented in modern America, and the occasional acquiescence of Senator Obama to Bush initiatives like voting to make the telephone companies immune from prosecution for turning over their networks for non court sanctioned NSA spying on American's web traffic gives one pause. Power corrupts, and ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

However, we must stay calm and give the new president a chance, and hope that the incoming administration will begin undoing the multitude of government corruption that we experienced under Bush. And most heartening is the information that Obama will keep his campaign database together, and will use it to continually keep in touch with his followers. Maintaining such a list is unprecedented in modern government and if utilized it shows much promise as it will serve as a continual reminder of the wishes of the people whose efforts got him where he is..

I'm all for giving President elect Obama all the slack he needs to learn to effectively govern the country. I just hope for quick examples of Obama shedding the excesses of power foisted on us by the Bush administration. Hopefully that army of supporters he built up during his campaign will remind him of his duties and obligations to the rest of us.
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And from Reuters' Daniel Flynn, comes news of the origins of: "I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it." Remember that Monty Python routine?

For those who believe the ancient Greeks thought of everything first, proof has been found in a 4th century AD joke book featuring an ancestor of Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch.

The 1,600-year-old work is entitled "Philogelos: The Laugh Addict," and it's one of the world's oldest joke books. It features a joke in which a man complains that a slave he has just bought has died. "By the gods," answers the slave's seller, "when he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

The English-language book will appeal to those who swear that the old jokes are the best ones. Many of its 265 gags will seem strikingly familiar, suggesting that sex, dimwits, nagging wives and flatulence have raised laughs for centuries.


In many of the jokes, a slow-witted figure known as the "student dunce" is the butt of the jokes. In one, the student dunce goes to the city and a friend asks him to buy two 15-year-old slaves: "No problem,' responds the dunce. "If I don't find two 15-year-olds, I'll get one 30-year-old.'

In another, someone asks to borrow the student's cloak to go down to the country. "I have a cloak to go down to your ankle, but I don't have one that reaches to the country," he replies.

The manuscript is attributed to a pair of ancient comedians called Hierocles and Philagrius. Little is known about them except that they were most likely the compilers of the jokes, not the original writers.

The multi-media e-book, which can be purchased online (, features veteran British comedian Jim Bowen, 71, reviving the lines before a 21-century audience.

"Jim Bowen brings them back from the dead. It's like Jurassic Park for jokes," Richard Stephenson, CEO of digital publisher YUDU, said in a statement.

For Bowen, much of the material seemed very familiar: "One or two of them are jokes I've seen in peoples' acts nowadays, slightly updated: they put in a motor car instead of a chariot."

Other one-liners in Philogelos may baffle a modern audience, such as a series of jokes about a lettuce, which only make sense in light of the ancient belief it was an aphrodisiac.

In the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, first aired in 1969 and regularly voted one of the funniest ever, Michael Palin, the pet-shop owner, says the parrot, a "Norwegian Blue," is not dead, it's just "resting" or "pining for the fjords." To which John Cleese replies, “the bird is dead, deceased, it is a late parrot. The only reason it was standing up was that it's feet were nailed to the cage.”
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Where the hell is Ed Badeaux? Who knows? Who cares? Well, one person with a very long memory put that question on the message board of Mudcat, which calls itself a digital cafe with a message board dedicated to the blues and folk. My morning Wednesday began when I got the following email from my cousin Nancy in Ecuador.

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 10:28 PM, Soc. Victor MaridueƱa| wrote:
Hello Ed, this is Nancy. Victor Googled your name and we found your tracks on Folkways and also this Mudcat Cafe blog page. You probably saw it long ago but we send it just in case. How are you feeling? Well we hope. We are both under the weather but thankfully nothing serious. Elyssa is coming for Christmas and that will be great. Wish we could see all of ya'll. Please give everyone our love.
All our best,
Nancy and Victor

The Mudcat Cafe
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Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?

Zorro 03 Aug 01 - 09:14 PM
katlaughing 04 Aug 01 - 12:22 AM
katlaughing 04 Aug 01 - 12:28 AM
Rick Fielding 04 Aug 01 - 01:00 AM
georgeward 04 Aug 01 - 02:36 AM
katlaughing 04 Aug 01 - 02:38 AM
Zorro 04 Aug 01 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Jessica 25 Sep 08 - 06:17 PM
GUEST, Ed Badeaux 12 Nov.

Subject: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: Zorro
Date: 03 Aug 01 - 09:14 PM

In the early 60's I took guitar lessons from a guy named Ed Badeaux. He taught at the Jewish Community Center in Houston, Tx. Later my buddy and I took private lessons from him. When he left Houston he had accepted a job to tour some southern schools and do folk music workshops. At the time he was big in the Houston Folkmusic Society. It's still alive and well and someone there suggested he was working for Sing Out Magazine. I talked to someone up there last year and they haven't heard from him in many (30) years or so. Has anyone run across him? He cut an lp that I still have. My buddy and I got to talking about him last night and I was wondering if anyone knows him, where he might be??? Z.

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 12:22 AM

Sorry, Zorro, I don't know if this is the right Ed, but if it is, he passed away last year. Here is the obituary I found on google: (Now that I look at this, it seems this Ed might have been too young to be teaching back then. Maybe there is some connection?)

Friday -- December 08, 2000

Ed Badeaux

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday following cremation at St. Hilary of Poiters Catholic Church in Mathews for Ed Lee Badeaux, 54, a native of Lockport and resident of Houma, who died Dec. 6, 2000. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time at the church.

Burial will be at Holy Savior Cemetery in Lockport. He was the husband of Margaret Bascle Badeaux; son of Francis J. Badeaux; stepson of Lilly Badeaux; father of Robert Ledet Jr., Jennifer and Jessica Badeaux; stepfather of Dawn Lagarde and Vicky Parfait; and brother of Barbara B. Arabie and Mary B. Roussel. He is also survived by nine grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Vida Lee Badeaux; and stepson, Mark Ledet.

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 12:28 AM

Wait a minute, maybe some good news! If you go to Yahoo People Search, several come up, but the first one is an Ed Badeaux in Houston! 'spose it's him? There is a phone number and addy. Just click here


Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 01:00 AM

Ed was the editor of Sing Out for a few years, during the Vietnam war. Other than his album of traditional songs for Folkways, he's probably best known for a famous editorial he wrote, condemning the US's involvement in the war (he was a former soldier) and informing the Government that he would no longer pay the portion of his taxes that went to support it.


Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: georgeward
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 02:36 AM

I worked with Ed and his sister Mary for several years as a summer camp counselor in Vermont (late '50s-early '60s). He later became involved with a camp in Maine for a number of years.

He's not the Ed Badeaux who's obit Kat found.

He was alive and (I believe) back in Texas quite recently. Mary is gone, I've been told. If you have no luck from anyone else here, let me know. I can probably find out more.

-George ::-.--O

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 02:38 AM

Oh, then maybe the one listed in Texas, at Yahoo, is him?! Hope so.

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: Zorro
Date: 04 Aug 01 - 07:06 AM

Thanks much, George, Rick and kat, I know the Houston Folklore society will be thrilled that he is still around and maybe closer than we thought. I have been out of pocket recently and haven't visited Mudcat much in over a year. I'm always amazed at the quick responses. Ed's approach to folk music was so straight forward and simple that you couldn't help but be impressed. Thanks again, Zorro

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: GUEST,Jessica
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 06:17 PM

He's definitely not the Ed Badeaux listed in the obit. That's my father who was born and raised in Louisiana. Good luck with your search.

Once I emailed my thanks to cousin Nancy I added the following to the Mudcat Cafe thread:

Subject: RE: Ed Badeaux; Do you know him?
From: GUEST,Ed Badeaux
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 12:14 PM

Wow! My cousin Nancy sent me this thread. Her husband Victor googled my name and came up zorro's Mudcat inquiry. Since I'm not in the habit of googling my name (I'll admit I did do it once) I had no idea of zorro's interest. For the record: Yes, I am Ed Badeaux, I'm 82 and still chugging along. I did teach guitar at the Jewish Community Center, and I was managing editor of Sing Out! magazine for a couple of rocking years when folk music (or a kind of hoked up version of it) was the pop music of the land. George Ward, it's good to know you're still around, Mary unfortunately left us by way of breast cancer a couple of years ago. And thank you Rick Fielding, for remembering my couple of years at Sing Out!, and especially my editorial condemning the Vietnam war, and withholding that portion of my taxes which paid for it. Of course, the IRS came and found me, and helped itself to that portion of my taxes I had withheld. The agent they sent to extract it was polite and even respectful, although the minute we finished the conversation he went to the bank and extracted Caesar his due. It felt good that I tried though.
If anyone is interested, I write a weekly blog at Google's blogspot, called Little Eddy. In it I mouth off on Iraq, and express my avid support for Barak Obama, Apple Computers, and other things I believe in. The URL mispells the word littlle, and is as follows: Thank you all again, it is really wonderful to know that someone out there remembers you enough to want to know what happened to you.

Bless you all, Ed Badeaux, , aka The Real Little Eddy.

And so went my day on Wednesday.
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And so goes the first post election edition of Little Eddy. Little Eddy's blog is a failure by most any blog standard. It draws about a hundred hits a week according that damned truth telling counter at the bottom of the page. And more importantly, we have yet to draw our first comment, and comments are always the liveliest part of any true blog. And my initial motive for writing it is a complete failure too, for it was begun as a way to communicate with my family, my sons and grandchildren, only it turns out that my none of them read it. How is that for futility?

In contrast to the hundred or so hits a week the sexual fantasies Uncle Pan used to write for mrdouble's site, and later for storiesonline, would get closer to 1,500 hits a week, and drew some really nice email comments. As I ponder what to do with my time, I will at least for the time being continue on with Little Eddy's blog, however, it will probably be somewhat shorter as I will do less aggregating and try to write more original material. I will also be looking towards doing a website where I can offer my Nightsong podcasts to what I'm sure will be an anxiously waiting world. I have done sixteen Nightsongs so far, and for the bulk of the time I was churning them out weekly.

Perhaps I should start a contest. Who will be the very first person to leave a comment on Little Eddy's blog? You can comment on anything, even tell me just where I can go, though I don't guarantee I'll go there. I'll even offer a prize. I'll send a CD of the first Nightsong, which has the new Sea Mix on it, among other things, to the very first person who offers up a comment. Be the very first to leave a comment and receive this unique CD at no charge. Just be sure and leave your name and mailing address if you want the CD. And now, (to borrow a phrase from Walter Cronkite) that is the way it is for the week which ended Nov. 15. We are glad you dropped by (surfed in?), and hope you'll check us out again next week. Until then, bye now.

The Real Little Eddy

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