Political robo-calls aren't over yet

There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is No. 1. Everything else is No. 2.


– Bertolt Brecht


Charlie Williams says my comments about the end of political phone calls with Election Day was premature.

“They’re not over,” he said with the same tone of disgust I have for these unwanted intrusions.

“There will be runoffs ... and then fall elections, so we’ve just trimmed the irritations for now through November,” he said.

I asked him the question I always ask myself: “What candidate with an ounce of sense thinks we look favorably on him or her when we have to answer their recorded phone calls at home all day?”

“They’ve been deceived by media consultants,” he said. “How else could you explain those terrible TV commercials that makes each one of them look like the star of a bad reality show?”

“So what do we do?” I asked.

Charlie paused and said, “Wait for a candidate who provides an advertisement that says this: ‘I’m not going to call you at home and bother you, but if you want to elect someone who can help, here’s my home number. You can call me.’ ”

“That’s pretty good,” I said.

“That’s why it will never work,” he added.


IT’S A SMALL THING: I found Mercury the other night. It’s not a big planet and always hugs the horizon, but the In the Sky feature in The Chronicle said I could see it just after dusk in the west-northwest, and I did.

As the sky began to get dark, I first saw Jupiter, big and white, then Sirius, almost as bright. Then Capella, over in the constellation Auriga, began to glow. So I looked at my chart, figured out the proportions and shortly ... little Mercury showed up. I was so excited, I went inside and got my wife (Dancing With The Stars had a commercial) and took her out to see it.

She says when I retire, she will plan a trip to Arizona or New Mexico or someplace clear and dry, and we can look at stars.


SPEAKING OF THE FUTURE: My darling niece Lauren gets married in Athens on Saturday, and I am happy to share in this family event.

But as we made our plans for the trip (dog sitters are always the first challenge) my wife and I realized that we haven’t been to a wedding in years.

Funerals are another matter. We have reached that age, I guess.


TODAY’S SERMON: A little girl became restless as the preacher’s sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, “Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?”



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