Like many other people, I consciously avoided Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. My Smirking, Deceit, Half-Truth, Misdirection, and Obfuscation detectors would most assuredly have suffered overload had I been exposed to more than ten or fifteen seconds of Bush’s speech. As it was, the excerpts that appeared in the newspapers the next day were bad enough to set off many of these same alarms. Bush’s supposed health care initiative is a joke. Canada seems to do well enough with single-payer health-care. Bush/Cheney attacked this idea by stating that single-payer doesn’t work and pushing some sort of crazy health insurance scam. Of course, we’re all sure that the lawn and leaf bag full of cash bestowed on Bush/Cheney by the insurance industry had nothing to do with that policy decision. Bush’s justifications for war with Iraq were predictable, and predictably weak. Beyond the easily foreseen topics of the speech itself, I can only watch so many television close ups of various people applauding spuriously. Sarah and I finalized our reservations this week for a trip to Brazil in March. Friday, I went to the doctor to get immunizations for the trip. After getting three shots (tetanus/diphtheria, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B), I informed Sarah that our trip to Brazil was no longer a vacation. We were now on a Mission To Have Fun in Brazil. Any trip that is preceded by multiple immunizations is not a vacation, it is a Mission. We drove to the Stoughton Opera House last night to see the Ribbon Highway–Endless Skyway Tour. The tour is a Woody Guthrie tribute tour that has a rotating set of singers. The show was fun and well done. The performers sang some five and six part harmonies, which is always delightful to hear, as well as many smaller solo numbers. For once, the backing band wasn't too loud, and the singers were not overpowered by the merely serviceable drummer. We have attended too many concerts of late where the sound system apparently was installed and calibrated by a deaf person and we could only hear and understand the vocalists in between ham-fisted attacks on the snare drum and cymbals. My favorite picture that was displayed at the show last night was a picture of Woody Guthrie’s guitar on which it was written, "This Machine Kills Fascists."