Road Trip

The Stiftung conducted a recon in force up the 95 corridor. We clearly have a mole. Someone alerted the Center City, Philadelphia Front. Our arrival was anticipated. Every roadway turned into savage anti-tank traps capable of eviscerating the suspension of the most powerful armored vehicles. Epic gaps in roadway appearing from no where leading into dark, endless chasms. An ambush worthy of July 1943.

One can only imagine the cataclysm needed to generate political will and funding to return the tank traps to civilian thoroughfares. Why, the immense expenditures would need many people working en masse.

The New Jersey

On a serious note, Philadelphia, even more so than Cleveland before it, deserves the semi-ironic “Well, it’s come a long way.” It’s infinitely better off than the day Ed Rendell took over from Wilson ‘Let Me Firebomb Your Neighborhood’ Goode. Public architecture continues to advance and City Hall actually looks beautiful instead of the almost-documentarian shots in Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys”.

We went to attend a social function akin to Hasty Pudding at the invite of old friends. Quite memorable although the social bubble in Philadelphia between Tweety’s ‘swells’ and his own hard working, beer drinking, law abiding, porch sitting, lunch pail set is impressive.

Dear Reader you may know that Philadelphia boasts an ‘avante garde’ (emphasis on the quote unquote) tourist attraction called South Street. It long ago ceased to be a legitimate bohemian, alternative arts scene. Worse than say the East Village in NYC, it’s become an outdoor shopping mall blotted by all the boring brand blight – T Mobile, Adidas, etc. We raise this because within 4 – 5 blocks along its main prime real estate section we counted maybe 14 or 15 empty store fronts. Even a closed Subway, the ultimate slap in the face.

As we recalled our patrols from the Center City Prohorovka tank traps for an encircling action, we noted Ardmore and other pockets of bourgeois reaction suffered similarly. Philadelphia and environs continue to be a conjunction of a wealthy First World City (hey, they even hang foreign flags and label streets in the country’s name along the Art Museum parkway! If that doesn’t say international, you know?) and some twisted genetic and physical blend of a Blade Runner set and the second ‘Resident Evil’ movie – the outdoor urban one. If only someone would think of some means of repairing all that . . . infrastructure.

We’re back in the Bunker glad for the mission. For all of its warts, Philadelphia is without a doubt a city and metropolis in its own right. Surely not the City, but neither it is the inert, narcissistic bloat that is D.C.

We used to say that on 95 by around Exit 13, the asphalt pulsates with cosmic energy, seducing the imagination with all the City can tempt. Not for nothing did one pay a toll to get in, and zilch to flee. If that’s the case, imagine crawling back to the Imperial City in our wounded panzer, suspension ripped apart by the Philadelphia tank traps. Closing on the Beltway conversely one can feel the life force, the energy, well – the Mojo simply begin to fade and die. And that’s something no stimulus plan can ever change.


  1. Aldershot says

    Jindal’s too young to run, and win, next time, so it probably wouldn’t have flown anyway. He’ll need to mature some more. It was an unfortunate speech, but nothing irreparable.

    Re Freeman, his pro-Arab stance seems pretty much beside the point, considering Bibi’s ascension.

  2. Dr Leo Strauss says

    The Stiftung has long had a distant connection with Ambassador Freeman and think the choice ideal. Another sign that Blair is firing on all cylinders.

    Math, science and physics. A recognition that vocational education after high school is socially valuable and accorded dignity. All hard to do when the Baby Jesus lurks behind every textbook. You’re right, of course, but we don’t hold out alot of hope. Would be a nice surprise.

  3. DrLeoStrauss says

    McCain is fundamentally as Obama said, erratic. We could see the above. But equally envision an all night drinking session with Putin and McCain, mano-a-mano. Both begin to reminisce – McCain about napalming the slopes and Putin nostalgic for his contemptuous abuse of his Stasi minions and their anal retentiveness. After the 8th or 9th shot, both realize they are Great Men. The next morning, bleary eyed, declaring hard and tough negotiations, at a presser McCain announces they’re going into a time share together for a Gstaad chalet.

    We could also see McCain receiving a ceremonial head dress of congratulations from a tribe from Borneo. He mistakes it for a decapitation celebration of Cindy and he launches JDAM strikes. Randy et al. announce democratic regime change on the Sultan of Brunei while Bibbi is left perplexed they went after the wrong oil. Etc. McCain would have been whack as they say, especially when Palin launched her attempted coup. “Stick ’em up! Stick ’em up!” followed by “I am, I am”.

    Tweety would have been a horrific candidate and his crash and burn so delicious. Imagine all the sabotage within the campaign, too, as so many ‘friends’ rushed to usher him to the brick wall.

    As an aside, we’re waiting for the Great Speech tonight. A friend of ours pointed out this little gem from Steve Clemon’s blog on ‘Obama’s Covert Language.’

  4. Anon says

    re Tweet/Mudd/Kennedy moment – McCain did know what he was gonna do if he won. Unfortunately for him, it was politically unwise to tell the nation he wanted to combine a Hoover-esque austerity budget, tax cuts for owners of 13 homes and then start a Crimean war with Russia and then attack Iran over non existant nukes

  5. Anon says

    Obama always manages to make Republicans look small when he stages the bipartisan thing. McCain looked like a stringer for UPI when Obama called on him

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