Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Getting Killed Might Not Get Your Bill Passed...But It Can't Hurt..."

Old spin.

God is love, love is beauty, Jennifer Aniston is beautiful, Jennifer Aniston is God.

New spin.

Perception is reality, we each have our own reality, our reality dictates our politics, politics is perception.

Award winning songwriter Bobby Braddock posted a personally created poll on Facebook the other day and the results are interesting.

For both obvious and not so obvious reasons.

From Mr. Braddock's page:

Here are the results of my Favorite President Poll. There were 73 who chose to participate. Your #1 choice gets five points, #2 gets four, etc. etc. That's fifteen votes per respondent, making a total of 1,095 votes. I'm listing these by Top Ten, first from the overall vote, then the demographic breakdowns. There were 22 Democrats, 14 Republicans, and 37 independents (I classified those indicating no party preference as independents). There were 48 born in the South (the eleven states of the old Confederacy), 25 born outside the South. There were 41 males, 32 females. A few replied by private message. Okay, here it is.

1 Abraham Lincoln Republican
2 George Washington Federalist
3 Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat
4 John F. Kennedy Democrat
5 Ronald Reagan Republican
6 Thomas Jefferson Democratic Republican
7 Bill Clinton Democrat
8 Theodore Roosevelt Republican
9 Harry S. Truman Democrat
10 Barack Obama Democrat

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
3 John F. Kennedy Dem
4 George Washington Fed
5 Bill Clinton Dem
6 Barack Obama Dem
TIE 7 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
TIE 7 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
TIE 7 Harry S. Truman Dem
TIE10 John Adams Fed
TIE10 Jimmy Carter Dem

1 Ronald Reagan Rep
2 Abraham Lincoln Rep
3 George Washington Fed
4 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
TIE 5 John F. Kennedy Dem
TIE 5 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
7 Harry S. Truman Dem
8 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
9 George W. Bush Rep
10 Richard Nixon Rep

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 George Washington Fed
3 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
4 John F. Kennedy Dem
5 Ronald Reagan Rep
6 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
7 Bill Clinton Dem
8 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
9 Lyndon Johnson Dem
10 Harry S. Truman Dem

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 George Washington Fed
3 Ronald Reagan Rep
TIE 4 John F. Kennedy Dem
TIE 4 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
6 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
7 Bill Clinton Dem
8 Harry S. Truman Dem
9 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
10 Richard Nixon Rep

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
3 John F. Kennedy Dem
4 George Washington Fed
5 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
6 Bill Clinton Dem
7 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
8 Barack Obama Dem
9 Harry S. Truman Dem
10 Jimmy Carter Dem

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 George Washington Fed
3 Franklin Roosevelt Dem
4 John F. Kennedy Dem
5 Ronald Reagan Rep
6 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
7 Bill Clinton Dem
TIE 8 Theodore Roosevelt Rep
TIE 8 Harry S. Truman Dem
10 Barack Obama Dem

1 Abraham Lincoln Rep
2 John F. Kennedy Dem
3 Franklin D. Roosevelt Dem
4 George Washington Fed
5 Ronald Reagan Rep
6 Bill Clinton Dem
7 Thomas Jefferson Dem-Rep
TIE 8 George W. Bush Rep
TIE 8 Barack Obama Dem
TIE10 George H.W. Bush Rep
TIE10 Jimmy Carter Dem
TIE10 Dwight Eisenhower Rep
TIE10 Harry S. Truman Dem

Having been an amateur student of political science through the years, I found Bobby's poll intriguing for a couple of reasons.

First, his use of the term "favorite".

Often, when it comes to opinion polls, people mistake the word "favorite" for the word "best".

Hats off to Bobby for, intentionally or not, steering clear of that speed bump by asking people to choose their "f" word.

"Best" immediately creates unnecessary issues, given that the word calls for a judgment on the part of the responder, an obviously subjective judgment since we all can agree to agree that one person's best is another person's fair to middlin.

"Favorite", on the other hand, simply asks for the responder's personal preference.

And while a lot of people would be, and likely are, shaking their heads and offering up an energetic WTF? at the idea of, for example, Barack Obama, showing up on any list of "best" Presidents (chances are those would be people who have just received, or are about to receive, "Dear John" letters from their health insurance carriers), there can be no reasonable retort to anyone who opts to pick him as a favorite.

Hey, some people, believe it or not, actually think the Kardashians are cool, you know?

What caught my politically slanted attention, though, was a name curiously missing from the list.

Any of the lists.

Lyndon B. Johnson.

Neither a fan nor an apologist I, it was still noteworthy to me that LBJ was nowhere to be found as anyone's choice of favorite.

Choices that not only included the aforementioned, much polarizing Obama, but also history's favorite black hearted varmint, Richard M.

And not that it matters, because, again, this whole exercise is obviously just a fun facts to know and tell kind of thing,  but the OCD in my DNA can't help but be a little activated by the omission of the tall Texan.

Because a simple Google search of Johnson's accomplishments would provide a pretty formidable and laudable list.



The Civil Rights Act.

Immigration and Nationality Act.

The creation of Public Broadcasting.

Not to mention the historically applauded, even revered, manner in which he grabbed securely hold of the wheel and kept the ship of state sailing safely through the horrific days and nights following the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Who, by the way, shows up pretty often on a number of the aforementioned lists.

Actually, in the top five, overall.

Number four, to be precise.

(The temptation here, of course, is to wax witty by offering "number four with a bullet", but, even after fifty years, it still seems a little too soon.)

Kennedy who, while certainly charismatic and, ultimately, near mythological, had really seen very little of his own legislative agenda succeed in the less than three years he held the office.

And any reading of any good book of the period will show that the Civil Rights Act, one of the most iconic of legislations in American history, was, in fact, put forward in the Kennedy administration but was stalled, moved forward and realized only by Johnson's skillful combination of his wheeling and dealing ability and his strategically brilliant method of invoking Kennedy's assassination as a means of offering legislators the chance to pay tribute to the fallen passing every bit of law that sat stuck in the "in" box right up to the moment the limo turned onto Elm Street in Dallas.

Fifty years later, though, Lyndon is nowhere to be seen on any of the lists.

Lists that include Jimmy Carter, who almost made Barack Obama look like a get it done kind of guy.

And Bill Clinton who did not...have sexual relations...with that woman....Miss Lewinsky.

And, of course, history's favorite black hearted varmint, Richard M.

What all of this comes down to, I think, is simply this.

In the grand scheme of things, especially when the grand scheme is seeking public office, it matters next to nothing what you stand for as opposed to what people think you stand for.

And, sad but true or not, how much voters like what you say, or even do, matters, if only a little, less than how much voters like you.

That says a lot about the political process.

Not to mention the quality of the government that results from that process.

But, what do I know?

I just like to read polls and wonder why people think the way they do.

It's not necessarily the best use of my time.

But it's one of my favorites.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"...The Best Home Run Hitters Also Strike Out The Most..."

I don't like labels.

And we're not talking those things badly glued to boxes and jars that require complete destruction of said box or jar to remove.

Although, I'm not all that jiggy with them, either.

I'm talking about political labels.

I have a fluid mind, a reasonable ability to change my way of thinking about some things and I try to listen to all, or most sides, before I make a decision.

So I don't think of myself as a this or a that.

But, for the sake of this piece, if labeled I must be, then labeled I shall be.

I am, by nature and habit, more liberal than conservative.

I am, by nature and habit, more Democrat than Republican.

I am, by birth and nature, more heterosexual than homosexual.

Way more.

All of that said, here's a thing.

Obamacare should be repealed.

And here's the why pertaining to the should.

First, best intentions aside, it has the outward appearance, after three weeks of operation, of a world class fubar.

And, as best as I can determine, not being privy to every little behind the scenes thing involved here, it seems to me that calling it a failure and going back to square one can't possibly be any more "costly" than what carrying on and trying to make a lame horse run is going to cost.

Finally, if the sole reason the Obama administration is sticking to its guns (and deductibles) is a hesitation to step up and own the fubar for what it is, then that's just a bad strategy.

And here's the why pertaining to the that's just a.

History has proven, time and time and time again, that when a President screws the pooch, inadvertently or otherwise, and finds the Oval stones to step up and own it, the result is renewed and/or increased respect for said President.

And when they try to step away from the step up, they inevitably step in it.

John F. Kennedy took the blame for the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and his popularity rating went through the roof.

Jimmy Carter took the blame for the botched Iranian hostage rescue attempt and his popularity went through the roof.

Richard Nixon tried to stonewall his participation in Watergate and it cost him the gig.

Bill Clinton tried to stonewall his preferred method of enjoying cigars and almost got impeached, stepped up and owned his "inappropriate relations" and is, today, ten times more popular than anyone within ten miles of Capitol Hill.

Unasked, this "temporarily allowing labels" American citizen offers the following opinion to the current resident at 1600.

Mr. President....from all appearances, the Affordable Health Care Act is, at best, a shabby and shoddy excuse for the kind of health care program in which most Americans believe.

Allowing the repeal of this act and, essentially, starting over would prove, not only to the political opposition and naysayers, but to the rest of the country, and the world, that when Americans make mistakes, we don't lie, deny, dodge, thrust, parry, obfuscate, parse or perjure, rather, we step up, take our hits and get it right the next time.

It has been widely reported that you believe that the Affordable Health Care Act will be your primary legacy when you leave office.

A lot of us who have no political or personal axe to grind with you believe that you, and we, deserve a much better version of that legacy.

And if it can't be done before you leave office, then let your legacy be that you were the kind of President who had the courage to say, out loud, "we were wrong...and next time, we'll get it right."

In that way, we'll know that we got it right when we twice gave you the keys to the building.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Grammar....It's Not Really The Past Tense of That Music Business Award..."

We'll be right back with more endless, mindless blather about the government shutdown, wild bunch biker gangs and Miley Cyrus but, first, let's talk a little irony.

We are living in the year 2013.

There are, at this writing, accounting for the various technologies, softwares, social media, etc., available to us at this time, approximately seventy gazillion ways for us to communicate with one another on a minute by minute basis.

And yet, ironically, our ability to communicate correctly continues to hover somewhere around the elementary school level.

To wit, and on behalf of those dedicated educators who continue their valiant efforts to hone the grammatical skills of a generation growing up in an LOL OMG WTF culture, we present "the eight most common mistakes made in the modern day use of grammar."

  1. Affect vs. effect. The easiest way to remember the difference between the two is that "affect" means "to influence." So if you're going to influence something, you will affect it. If it's the result of something, it's an effect.
  2. Impact. Impact is a noun, not a verb. A plane can crash on impact. You can have an impact on something. But you cannot impact something. (When you are tempted to use "impact" as a verb, use "affect" instead; see #1.)
  3. Their, they're and there. You'd think everyone would have learned this rule in fourth grade, but it's a very common mistake. Use "there" when referring to a location, "their" to indicate possession, and "they're" when you mean to say "they are."
  4. Care less. The dismissive "I could care less" is incorrect. If you could care less about it, then you're saying you could care less about the topic, and you've lost the impact you meant to have. To use this phrase correctly, insert the word "not" after the word "could," as in, "I could not care less."
  5. Irregardless. This word doesn't exist. The word you should use is "regardless."
  6. Your and you're. Another mistake you'll often see in people's social media profiles or other content they create is the incorrect us of "your" and "you're." If you mean to say "you are," the correct word is "you're." Use "your" when referring to something that belongs to "you," as in "your business."
  7. Fewer vs. less. Another common mistake, "less" refers to quantity and "fewer" to a number. For instance, Facebook has fewer than 5,000 employees, but I got less sleep than you last night.
  8. Quotation marks. Among the great debates, people ask all the time whether or not punctuation belongs inside or outside of quotation marks. Let's set the record straight. The period and the comma always go inside quotation marks. The dash, the semicolon, the exclamation mark and the question mark go inside when they apply to the quoted matter (if it's not the entire sentence) but outside when they apply to the whole sentence.

It should be noted, and this might be, but bet the farm its not, a coincidence, that these all too common grammar glitches tend to show up most often in certain, specific demographics.

1.  Middle aged to senior aged Americans who, for one reason or another, never had, or never took advantage of, educational opportunities beyond, say, sixth or seventh grade.

2.  Young Americans who can name each and every member or the Jenner/Kardashian family, flawlessly recite current sales figures on Grand Theft Auto 5 and who are incensed that the Duck Dynasty folks continue to be overlooked by the Kennedy Center Honors folks but who couldn't correctly conjugate a verb if you put their own legally owned by Constitutional guarantee AR-15 to their heads.

3.  Americans across the complete spectrum of age who cannot use the word Obama in a sentence without including the word, or some variation of the word, "impeach".

4.  Morons.

Which, come to think of it, pretty much functions as an "all of the above" categorization.

Irregardless of the affect that bad grammar has on our overall presentations, one can easily see how poor communication skills can impact our daily lives.

And though most people could care less as long as Khloe and Lamar patch things up, Grand Theft Auto 6 rolls out on schedule and Uncle Si and Jace and company eventually get their duck due, it needs be said and resaid that the less mistakes we make in our day to day interactions with each other, the fewer our frustrations with each other can ideally be.

Their you have it.

Your welcome.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"...Bus Stop, Wet Day, She's There, I Say, Please Share My Umbrella...Because There Will Be No Access To The Rotunda, Today...."

Once again, when it comes to criticizing our system of government and those who inhabit it, we have missed the point by falling victim to our own intellectual dyslexia.

Ready, fire, aim.

The fundamental issue at the heart of all this is not Obamacare.

It is not the debt ceiling.

It is not Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell or even Barack Obama.

The issue at the heart of all of this is busing.

Clarification coming.

(CNN) -- The Senate for a fourth time rejected a spending plan by House Republicans that included a provision to undermine Obamacare, also spurning a GOP call to set up a conference committee that would seek a compromise in the stalemate that caused the government to shut down Tuesday.
The game of chicken failed. Neither side blinked. Now millions will pay the price.
Americans watched a colossal failure by Congress overnight and the shutdown of their government.
For weeks, the House and the Senate blamed and bickered, each claiming they're standing up for what the public wants.
In the end, it led to the one outcome nobody wanted -- one that will stop 800,000 Americans from getting paid and could cost the economy about $1 billion a week.
"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," the Office of Management and Budget said in a note it sent to federal employees.
This is the first time the government has shut down in nearly 18 years. The last time it did, the stalemate lasted 21 days during the Clinton administration.

If memory serves, childhood was a time of not only frolic and fancy, but of learning life lessons.

Included among those lessons were instructions in simple acts of etiquette.

Holding the door for someone.

Opening a door for someone.

Picking up something that someone has dropped.

And in the case of a lady or a child or someone obviously in need of it, giving up one's seat when there are no other seats available.

It's tricky business offering up short punch line type platitudes about the whys and wheres of the pitiful performance of the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States government because pundits and politicians will offer up, before your platitude has finished leaving your lips, that these things are complicated and there are no simple answers.

But just like the vast, intricate complicated system of veins and arteries that make up our circulatory systems, there exists something at the center of it all that either performs properly or does not.

In the case of our blood flow, that would be, of course, the heart.

In the case of what's going on in D.C. this time around (and isn't it sad to say that an event like a shutdown of the Federal Government has become so un-unusual that it can be referenced with a phrase like "this time around"?), the center of it all is, simply, this.

Self interest, once a prominent member of the chorus in the little off Beltway production known as "Washington D.C", has shoved, bullied and intimidated its way to the center of the spotlight, unyielding in its ego, unwilling to even consider sharing the stage with anyone or anything.

And, mixing of the metaphors duly noted, the audience, rather than being transported to new and exciting opportunities of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are pretty much being thrown under the bus.

Just as well.

There's no room inside the bus right now anyway.

Nobody in our nation's capital has the slightest intention of giving up their seat.

And while we traditionally bitch and moan and swear and threaten, we never seem to force them out of it.

Because we don't recognize the real issue at the heart of all of this.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"...Climate Control, Self Control...Not So Different As You Might Think..."

It's hot in here.

Man, it's so hot.

It's hot in here.

I think it's hot in here.

Don't you think it's hot in here?

It's hot in here.

Sound familiar?

This temperature tirade, the being human being what he and she is, is a pretty common occurrence in the warmer parts of the year in whichever particular parts you call home.

And even in the chillier parts of both year and place when "baby, it's cold outside" is augmented, thanks to frugal (read: cheap) office management and/or menopausal co-workers with keys to the thermostat lockbox, with some form of whine, bitch and/or moan directly addressing the attempted indoor adjustment to the outdoor atmosphere.

Damn, it's cold out there.

But, don't you think it's hot in here?

At some point, inevitably, even the most accommodating personality types grow weary of the drip, drip, drip of the complainer's Fahrenheit frazzling and wishes, even verbalizes, that said complainer  agree to a quid pro quo.

We will acknowledge that the temperature leaves a great deal to be desired.

In return, you will shut the hell up about it.

That seasonal sensation has been on my mind for the last few weeks as I wander around cable channels listening to the "discussions" focusing on the Obama administration and its performance to date.

Most recently, of course, in the past week or so since The Affordable Health Care Act inches closer to becoming a legislative reality.

That's Obamacare, by the way, for the three people left on the planet who might still be interested in calling something by its correct name.

Fox News, to no one's surprise, is doing round the clock programming trumpeting one, simple primary theme.

Barack Obama is an abject failure as president and the day can't come soon enough that his second, and final, term expires.

I have a problem with their approach.

But not necessarily for the reason you might knee jerkingly suspect.

The problem with finding nothing, ever, that is positive about anything or anyone is that, invariably, your credibility begins to show signs of wear.

It is a fundamental bedrock principle of humanity that, with the exception of Satan (and, well, okay, maybe Miley Cyrus lately),  there is always, no matter how infinitesimal it might be, something good to be found about something and/or someone.

If you're not a follower of the Fox, spend any idle fifteen minutes you have and give them a look/listen.

What you'll hear will make you question whether there really is a shred of good in everyone.

Miley and Mephistopheles excepted.

And you'll also, from time to time, be entertained by a new dance sensation that is sweeping the right wing nation.

Fox trot?

Ha ha.

We're talking the Obama Pivot.

It goes like this.

You put your right hand up /you put your other right hand up

Then you lean to the right / then you lean further to the right

And no matter what the subject / or the attention people give it

You lay the blame on Barack / doin' the Obama Pivot

From that basic choreography, you simply add in a little variation on the old Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon game that was all the rage a couple of Congressional election cycles ago.

Here's an example.

The line at the local DMV was very long today.

It seemed like there were even fewer employees there to be of assistance than usual.

There are even rumors of cutbacks in the staff.

Most likely because of the health costs to the Department of Transportation caused by Obamacare.

Even when you think there's no connection, this terrific two step finds one.

My friend didn't get the deal he was looking for in a new truck.

The dealership just couldn't give him the note he could afford.

They offered him a smaller car with better mileage, but he wanted the big pick up.

Unfortunately, those 8 cylinder super cab jobs are gas guzzlers.

And gas is close to four dollars a gallon.

Twice what it cost before Obama took office.

Here's my problem with the dance and the approach to fair and reasonable dissent that it doesn't even pretend to attempt.

It doesn't even attempt fair and reasonable dissent.

And, at some point, it makes anyone with a thread of reason in their brain see the agenda for exactly what it is.

Blind, passionate hatred.

Hatred for Barack Obama.

Hatred for, at least, his presidency, at most, even his existence on the planet.

Old human truth.

When you truly love someone, no matter what, they can do no wrong.

When you truly hate someone, no matter what, they can do no right.

If you have no personal feelings one way or the other for somebody, but disagree with the way they handle their job, you try to express your disagreement without automatically doing it disagreeably.

Those who dance the pivot fall into the second category.

And in place of reasoned dissent and any attempt at contributing sensible, practical suggestion for solutions to what they perceive to be the problems at hand, they simply repeat the mantra.

It's his fault.

Man, it's Obama's fault.

It's Obama's fault.

I think it's Obama's fault.

Don't you think it's Obama's fault.

It's Obama's fault.

At some point, inevitably, even the most accommodating of those who are unhappy with the man's performance in office grow weary of the cha, cha, cha of the pundit's pivoting and wish, even verbalize, that said pivoter agree to a quid pro quo.

We acknowledge that the performance of the man who, barring impeachment or passing, will be in the job until January 20th, 2017 leaves a great deal to be desired.

In return, you will offer reasonable, measured, civilized suggestion for solutions to what you perceive to be the problems at hand.

Or you will shut the hell up about it.

We all know it's hot it here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"The First Step To Talking About Guns Is To Shut Up About Guns...."

Old joke.

"It ain't the's the principal of the thing."

New spin.

Coming up.

Speaking to reporters in Washington D.C. in the wake of a deadly attack on the Washington Navy Yard on Monday which left at least 12 people dead, Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, went off on gun violence in the United States. She said that "there is something evil in our society" that Americans must "try to eradicate."

"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," Orlowski said after decrying what she called "senseless trauma."

"There's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries," she continued. "There is something wrong."

"I would like you to put my trauma center out of business," Orlowski added. "I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots ."

One inevitability amongst all the tragic inevitabilities that result from events like this is the ramping up of the rhetoric on the issue of gun control in this country.

Let's get to the chase by way of cutting.

Rhetoric, debate, even discussion about gun control in this country is a waste of time.

Because in order for discussion, by its nature, to take place, argument must sit in the corner and shut up.

And the emotional barnacles unshakably attached to the good ship Second Amendment all but guarantee that argument will be the boom box blasting away at our psyches for a long time to come, drowning out any calm, thoughtful NPR like sounds of discussion.

It occurs to me, though, that we're all still missing the real point.

The point that was so eloquently, and spot on, expressed by the doctor from D.C.

The evil.

Not the means, loaded or other wise, of acting out that evil.

Truth be told, this isn't a new revelation.

The pro-gun folks in America have long been bleating that the guns aren't the issue.

Usually in the form of that oldie but goodie, "guns don't kill people...yada, yada".

The thing is that that's the thing.

But the energy being consumed in order to keep the bitching and bickering and bleating going are taking away all the energy and attention and focus from finding a way, any way, to accomplish the goal set forth by Dr. Orlowski.

Eradicating the evil in our society.

Or, at the very least, that particular evil.

Concentrating, for a change, on somehow changing the end.

Instead of foolishly advocating for or against the means.

Janis Orlowski has, in her weariness at the horror of it all, hit the nail on the head.

Or the bulls eye dead center for you right to bear arms enthusiasts.

It ain't the school, it's the principal of the thing.

And it ain't the gun in the hand at the end of that arm..

It's the evil residing in the brain at the other end of it..

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"...Hearts and Minds of the People...Mouths of Babes....."

Lots of words, and not just a few tears, flowing today.

Which is, of course, to be expected given the date and what it symbolizes.

Interesting thing about words, though.

In even the most horrific of times,  the most poignant expressions can consist of just a few.

Words, that is.

Twelve years ago, I experienced that.

As we sat around the flat screen, transfixed by the images of that September morning, my eldest granddaughter went about the business of being a few months shy of three years old.

That business, in large measure, consisting of assorted wanderings around the room, attentions focused, and then just as easily unfocused, on various and sundry toys, books, games and/or household furnishings, accented by the occasional comments that likely seemed crystal inside their commenter's thirty two month old head but, in order to be understood by the elders, requiring just a little more attention than any of us were equipped to offer, distracted as we were by collapsing towers and badly damaged odd shaped military buildings and talk of airliners disappearing from Pennsylvania skies.

Until one comment caught both ears and hearts in a single, simple, excruciatingly exquisite moment.

"A bad man flew an airplane into the building."

On this twelfth remembrance of that clear, blue morning, that granddaughter has long ago moved on to other pastimes, having become a fine student, a loving and caring granddaughter, daughter, sister and friend. Gently finding her way to her fifteenth birthday, full of ideas and opinions, articulate and thoughtful, provocative, even philosophical at times, as she ponders the world around her.

And, as these things happen, probably experiencing today's commemorations through the same, hazy filter of time long passed with which her parents viewed Dallas and Dealey Plaza and her grandparents viewed Pearl Harbor, even Ford's Theatre.

Yesterday's headlines having evolved into today's history lessons.

And she will, as many will, likely hear hundreds, even thousands, of words shared on a day filled with words.

Words of pain, words of sadness, words of anger, words of sorrow.

Words of hope and optimism and freedom.

And, just as likely, will not remember a few simple, excruciatingly exquisite words that she, herself, spoke twelve years ago today.

"A bad man flew an airplane into the building".

Just a few words.

And not just a few tears.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"...It's Dana Perino's God Given Right To Stand Up For God Fearing Folk Who Are God Awful Fed Up With Godless People Who Want God To Go Away, By God...."

Dana Perino doesn't know me from Adam.

But, apparently, we see some things equally.

(CNN) – Fox News pundit Dana Perino said she's "tired" of atheists attempting to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, adding, "if these people really don't like it, they don't have to live here."

The co-host of Fox's "The Five" was referring to a suit brought by the American Humanist Association in Massachusetts, where the state's Supreme Judicial Court heard a challenge to the pledge on Wednesday.

The group's executive director, Roy Speckhardt, called the suit "the first challenge of its kind," but Perino begged to differ.

Perino, who was White House press secretary for George W. Bush from 2007-2009, said she recalled working at the Justice Department in 2001 "and a lawsuit like this came through."

The former Bush spokeswoman added that "before the day had finished the United States Senate and the House of Representatives had both passed resolutions saying that they were for keeping ‘under God’ in the pledge."

"If these people don't like it, they don't have to live here," Perino added.

David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, called Perino's comments "bigotry."

"I, for one, am tired of those Christians, like Ms. Perino, who think that equality is somehow un-American," Silverman said. "If Ms. Perino doesn't like being only equal, it is she who will have to leave America to some other country that doesn't value religious liberty."

In 2002, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with atheist Michael Newdow who argued that the words "under God" in the pledge amounted to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Congress added the words "under God" in 1954 amid the red scare over the Soviet Union. In November 2002, after the Newdow ruling, Congress passed a law reaffirming "under God" in the pledge.

Greg Gutfeld, another co-host on "The Five," continued the discussion after Perino, saying the Pledge of Allegiance "is not a prayer, it's a patriotic exercise. In a sense, it's basically saying: Thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist."

The Massachusetts case, which was brought by an unidentified family of a student at a school in suburban Boston, will be argued on the premise that the pledge violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution.

It is the first such case to be tried on the state level: All previous attempts have been argued in federal court on the grounds that "under God" was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state.

In keeping with my recent opine that judging another's opinion as "right" or "wrong" is, by the nature of opinion, an inappropriate action, here's my two pennies on Perino's position.

I agree with her.

And I share her feeling of fatigue.

Probably even a little more weary, if only because, given what I've learned from Wiki, Google, et al, about Ms. Perino, I've got about twenty years more used up on my life-o-meter and have seen twenty years more of the kinds of things in life, like this thing in life, that will wear'a body out.

This particular thing being that most slippery of slippery slopes, "equality".

The humanists think that reciting a pledge to the American flag that includes the term "under God" robs them of their equality.

Well, I suppose you can't blame em'.

After all, they're only humanists.


Those whose knickers are twisted by Dana's comments (and bet the flag, baby, there's a whole big crowd of villagers, torches and all, already making her life a little hectic) are no doubt invoking that oldie but goody argument that the Founding Fathers were very clear about the separation of church and state.

Here's a thing, though.

The Founding Fathers founded in a time, and in a fashion, that was very God centered.

To this day, we have In God We Trust on our currency.

The song that still brings tears to some eyes is "God Bless America".

Not "Almighty Being Of Your Particular Choice Or, As The Case May Be, No Single Entity Bless America."

And, not for nothin', but the Constitution, itself, is not without its mention of deity.

Article VII reads, "done in Convention … the Seventeenth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America."

Gutfeld perceptively points out the Pledge Of Allegiance is not a prayer, but a "patriotic exercise".

That people are free to speak as written.

Or not.

Put less philosophically...

If atheism is your thing and you still want to give a shout out to Old Glory, then knock yourself out.

And just stand mute for the 1/9th of a second it takes everybody else to say "under God".

But, for the love of God, stop trying to get God taken out of everything on God's green earth that mentions God.

Because that's not advocating for equality.

That's misappropriating the use of the term "equality" to make things go the way you want them.

And there is no "u" in equality.

Well, okay, there's a "u".

But, not a "you".

God only knows.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"...The Bill Of Rights Don't Make It Right To Be Wrong...."

Random thought while perusing various and sundry news and social media sites.

A lot of people seem to lack understanding of the critical, but obviously missed, difference between freedom of speech and implied expertise.

A lot of people, in news sites comments sections, on Facebook, on Twitter, et al seem to interpret their freedom of speech as a license to inform professionals what they should, or should not, do in a given situation.


Anthony Weiner.



Pick a situation, any situation.

In this country, the Constitution guarantees each of us the right to speak our minds without fear of retribution.

There's nothing in that sacred document that protects us from looking like morons.

And when civilians with no political education, experience or credentials offer up their "right to speak" in the form of "what they should do" in any given situation (they, of course, being whatever governmental or political figure is in the crosshairs), the end result, many more times than not is the inevitable glow given off only by the truly moronic.

For example.

Freedom of speech:

"I am not satisfied with the way our government handled the incidents in Benghazi  and will express my dissatisfaction both to my representatives via email and at the ballot box next time around.

Implied expertise.

"The way things were handled in Benghazi was a travesty. Our ambassador and other personnel weren't given sufficient security and they should have been removed from the area days, if not weeks, before their lives were put into jeopardy."

In the former case, a citizen has freely expressed the opinion to which they are, by law, entitled.

In the latter case, a citizen has offered reasonable proof that they are, at best, unenlightened and/or uneducated and, at worst, that they are a moron.

Put in a way more easily understood by the latter group...

If you weren't there, if you aren't a high ranking, decision making member of the Federal Government or the military or the intelligence community, how, on God's green Earth, could you possibly know what they were or weren't given, and what should, or shouldn't have been done at that time in that place?

Hillary was trying to say that when she bobbled the ball with that "what difference does it make?" think that has her in hot water.

What I think she was attempting, albeit sloppily, to do was bitchslap the second guessers.

When the question I think that would have served her better, in that moment, was...

"If you weren't there, how the hell could you possibly know anything?"

A question that is ready made for every "expert".

News site comment sections, Facebook, Twitter, et al have a fair to middling representation of those expressing their Constitutional right to free speech.

But they're outnumbered about a thousand to one by the "experts".

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"...Funny...I Always Kind of Figured That Armpit Guy Ended Up In Politics...."

Today, I figured out who Seth MacFarlane is.

Having done more than my fair share of ragging on "Family Guy" and "American Dad" and the other very ironically tagged "family entertainments" that the "MacFactory" has been cranking out to great commercial success for some time now, I still, every now and then, give one or the other a quick look see.

For a couple of reasons.

First, I do continue to endeavor, even at this AARP qualified, Social Security eligible phase of my life, to avoid being the fuddy duddy, old fart fogey that a lot of my generational peers seem to naturally become.

Second, despite my sardonicism, I never discount the possiblity that I will find something genuinely entertaining, witty or even redeeming about the brand of comedy that MacFarlane shovels out to his adoring legions of fans and/or followers.

Today was one of those every now and thens as I surfed my way to some movie or news program and came across an episode of "American Dad".

Here's what I experienced in the four or so minutes that I hung in there.

One character explained to another that a third party, female, was going to have a "Tom and Jerry procedure" which he described as "they shove a mouse up her woo-hoo and let it scurry around and then send a cat in after that to bring the mouse get's a little messy..."

A young man in his underwear apologized for being late by confessing "I stopped for a burger after I choked it."

And then that same young man force kissed a young lady in the classroom they shared, grabbed her by the hand and dove, with her in tow, out the window, yelling something about being able to fly.

Only to land on the ground with a crash, impaling and killing the girl.

All of that in less than four minutes.

I moved on.

But not before it finally dawned on me who Seth MacFarlane is.

That kid in the back of my seventh grade class who was constantly yearning for attention, perpetually in search of approval and, more importantly, on an endless quest for the laughs that come from providing whatever audience is available with whatever quips, stunts and/or slapstickery might score him those laughs.

All he really had to offer in the way of comedic gifts were an armpit fart noise of considerable volume.

And an occasional booger flick meant to appeal to those who like their comedy more cutting edge.

He got laughs.

From thirteen year olds.

Some of the time.

A not inconsiderable acheivement considering his total and absolute lack of actual talent.

Eventually, we left junior high and went on with our lives.

Never really knowing what happened to that armpit farting booger flickerer.

Until today.

He created, produces and voices TV shows called "Family Guy" and "American Dad".

And gets laughs.

A not inconsiderable acheivement considering his total and absolute lack of actual talent.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"...Think Of It This Way, Without Both A Right Wing AND A Left Wing, The Damn Plane Ain't Goin' Anywhere But Down...."

Getting old can make you tired.
But not necessarily in ways you assume.
Later this month, I will be sixty two years old.
In some ways, I am still twenty.
In other ways, Moses looks like a teenager to me.
But, as you might imagine, I am tired.
Physical fatigue?
Well, sure.
I need to lose weight, my blood pressure wanders around from okey doeky to "hmm, we might want to keep an eye on that".
And any professional baseball player would kill for my cholesterol number as a batting average.
But, I still manage to walk (semi briskly) a mile and a half a day.
That's outside in the fresh country air and doesn't count trips back and forth to the refrigerator later in the day.
And, in spite of my family pre-disposition for assuming that every little chest cramp is the onset of the big one, every test I've had on purpose or by routine in the past year indicates that I am in, basically, good health.
See, there's that family hypochondria thing again. I simply couldn't bear to say good health and had to qualify it with the word "basically".
Once again, though, I am tired.
Here's something that was once easy for me to handle that now exhausts me.
What follows is a recent post on FB from a professional peer/acquaintance.
And what follows that are five "comments" regarding said post.
Each comment is from a different FB'er.
And, out of respect and courtesy, all names have been excluded. 
Political rhetoric aside, can anyone explain why this nutty Fort Hood shooter is not being tried as a terrorist?

  •  One word OBAMA
  • ?
  •  btw...he is still getting a paycheck
  • Cause us right wingers R the terrorists now,
  •  He is obama's kind

First, I got a kick out of the idea that a subject so soaked in patriotism, not to mention the partisan feelings, would try to "disclaim" any political rhetoric.

But, A for effort, there.

And as for the replies, well, let's agree to agree that whatever else they are, or aren't, this is still a country that allows freedom of speech.

As it should and, God willing, always will be.

But, here's a thing.

And rather than fan flames on Facebook or take up the valuable time of other Facebook friends who have better things to do than read more incendiary blather back and forth between warring political factions, I'm offering , here, what I would have posted there had I been inclined to fan flames on Facebook or take up the valuable time of other Facebook friends who have better things to do than read more incendiary blather back and forth between warring political factions.

And I quote (myself)...

"To those whose knees jerk and lips hiss 'Obama" in response to any and every question that has anything, even remotely, to do with America in the year 2013, spitting and snarling and spewing, never missing an opportunity to express their arguably pathological hatred for the man, please allow me to draw attention to something....we get it....we all get hate him....and you want him gone. And if that's not clear, allow me again....we fucking get it...we all fucking get fucking hate him and you fucking want him gone...truth be told, there, spitters and snarlers and spewers, I haven't been all that knocked out with the job the guy has done, but I have this freaky character quirk that seems to limit the amount of spitting and snarling and spewing I do....I really endeavor to listen to the question being asked and consider some sort of reasoned, if passionate, response to said question and not simply and merely jerk my knees, purse my lips and hiss "Obama"......

"...there's a couple of reasons.....first, it's entirely possible that, all of his failings notwithstanding, his name might simply not be the correct answer to the question being asked....second, if I puke out the word "Obama" as the answer to every question that gets asked, my credibility as an answerer is going to inevitably go where the aforementioned puke goes, right down the crapper.....and, finally, answering every question with that same single word will, deservedly, categorize me as one of two things......a Tourette's sufferer.....or stupid."

"so, please, for the love of God, stop. Stop spitting and snarling and spewing. Stop jerking and hissing and listen to the fucking question before you answer. Stop showing yourself to be a one dimensional, uneducated, ignorant fool wasting everyone's time and taking up space in the places where honest, tough, sincere discussion can take place and might actually accomplish something."

"maybe even some of the problems that you seem so anxious to solve but seem to lack the vocabulary to offer any assistance in the effort".

There was a time in my life when I would have made, at least, some small effort to coat my criticisms in a more civilized, socially palatable lacquer.

But that was a long time ago.

And I'm totally exhausted trying to figure what nice words to use in place of the simple words.

If you recognize yourself anywhere here and are offended by my criticisms of you.

Tough shit.

I'm inclined to be cranky.

Because I'm getting old.

And I'm tired.

Of stupidity.

"...Every Pendulum Swings From Left To Right...And A Lot Of Comics Do, Too...."

The most brilliant, if not most universally embraced, humor tends to be that out there on the ol' proverbial cutting edge.

One current wielder of the blade is Louis CK.

Funny stuff.

Depending, of course, on the usual number of variables including, but not limited to, your age, your race, your political preference, your sexual preference and your core ability to recognize funny when the humor tweaks your tickle bone but comes perilously close to inadvertently setting off your moral indignation alarm.

Me, I think it's funny stuff.

But I have a pretty hair trigger tickle bone and I've changed batteries in my smoke detectors at least a couple of dozen times since I changed those in my moral indignation alarm.

All of that said, though, I had an interesting and unexpected experience while scanning this satire.

I realized what it is that Jay Leno will do once he finally leaves The Tonight Show.

And by finally, I mean that he will leave, hand it off to Fallon and not show back up at any time in the future announcing his determination that he realizes that he really wasn't ready to leave and would very much like Fallon to get his smart ass ass out from behind that desk.

(Those unclear on the plot here can gain clarity by simply doing a quick Google on the career of Conan O'Brien)

Meanwhile, back at the desk.

Enjoy, if you will, or like, the pointed observations of the currently comedically worshipped Mr. CK.

Then watch the clip again but, this time, watch Leno and his reactions more closely.

Here's what I saw.

A guy who's uncomfortable.

On a couple of levels.

First, a comic who, in the presence of another comic, recognizes a faster gun and, instinctively, feels the need to compete.

Second, an "older" guy who seems to want to appreciate the edginess of what's being said, but can't seem to mask the prickliness that occurs when one feels the barbs of pointed humor.

And, third, a guy who is, if only subconsciously, realizing that he has, somewhere along the way, himself silently, even unknowingly, moved from the edge to the center.

And even a little right of it.

Maybe it's just me, but I got the distinct impression that Leno was fighting a powerful temptation to ask CK to stop saying black and start saying "Negro".

It's okay, Jay.

We all get older.

And we all, no matter how hip or groovy we want to try and remain, end up doing a little "tsk tsk"-ing at those who are coming up behind us on the life ladder.

And, since your days are, supposedly, officially numbered (again) as host of what was once considered the pre-eminent late night television talk show,  you needn't worry about having to maybe go back to comedy school and learn about all the advancements that have been made since you graduated back in the 70's.

In fact, there's some good news.

Given what Louis CK had to offer and your reaction to most of it, I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about having to totally give up TV when you finally leave the Tonight Show.

(And by finally, I mean that you will leave, hand it off to Fallon and not show back up at any time in the future announcing your determination that you realize that you really wasn't ready to leave and would very much like Fallon to get his smart ass ass out from behind that desk.)

Nope, from the look behind the look on your face, I'd say there's another nightly TV slot just waiting for you to show up and claim ownership.

Weeknights between 8 and 10 eastern.

Sandwiched comfortably in between Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Two guys whose moral indignation alarms get fresh batteries pretty much every day.

And who probably respectfully believe that Louis CK is the anti Christ.


On Fox News Channel.


Don't delay, Jay.

Over there, your sense of what's funny, and appropriate, would practically be cutting edge.

And, best of all...

There's no Conan.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"...It Ain't Ralphie and Scut Farkus Anymore, Kids....Not By A Long Shot...."

Old saying.

You learn something new every day.

True enough.

CNN) -- The windmilling fists and stomping feet rain down blows on the 13-year-old boy.

Trapped on the floor between the bus seats, he cries out as he receives fierce punch after vicious kick from the three bigger, older youths.
As the relentless assault unfolds, the driver of the Florida school bus alerts the dispatcher, pleading for aid.
But he doesn't physically step in to help.
The bus driver, at least according to his school's policy, did nothing wrong.

The attack took place July 9 in Pinellas County, Florida. But the horrific cell phone video -- and the surveillance video -- came out only recently.
As the boy is pummeled, the bus driver John Moody yells at the assailants to leave the boy alone.
He also asks dispatchers to send help.
"You gotta get somebody here quick, quick, quick, quick," he says. "They're about to beat this boy to death over here."
"Please get somebody here quick. There's still doing it," he adds. "There's nothing I can do."
Moody, 64, says he was too afraid to step in.
"The three boys just jumped on him and started pounding on him. And I did all can," he told CNN affiliate WFLA. "I was looking. It was like I was in shock. I was petrified."
Could your child be a bully?
The ferocity of the attack left the 13-year-old with two black eyes and a broken arm.
"There was clearly an opportunity for him to intervene and or check on the welfare of the children or the child in this case and he didn't make any effort to do so," Chief Robert Vincent of Gulfport Police Department told the affiliate.
According to Pinellas County school policy, the bus driver isn't required to intervene, only to call dispatch.
He can step in, if he feels it's safe.
Other counties actually forbid drivers from physically stopping fights.
Prosecutors say they have no grounds on which to charge him.
"It wasn't like he was looking out the window cleaning his fingernails or something like that," said Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett, according to CNN affiliate WFLA.
Police said Moody could have given first aid to the victim after the attackers jumped off the bus.
But Bartlett said the 13-year-old didn't hang around.
"The kid gets up and skedaddles out the door," he said.
The three 15-year-old boys have been arrested on aggravated assault charges.
Police say the youths attacked the 13-year-old after he told officials at their dropout prevention school that one of them had tried to sell him drugs.
Moody, who retired two weeks after the attack, says he's still haunted by it and has had sleepless nights.
"I wanted to help him so bad," he said. "I wanted to help him."

Old saying.

You learn something new every day.

True enough.

Happened to me today.

I learned that a deserted island is no longer required to experience "Lord of the Flies".

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"....Say As I Say, Not As I Say..."

Since being offended seems to be the new cultural pastime, I've decided that, being a tax paying member of said culture, I'm entitled to my shot at it.

So, I'm offended.

The controversial saga involving Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper's unfortunate use of a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert took an interesting turn on Friday. According to a statement released on the Eagles' official website, Cooper has been excused from team activities to seek counseling for the incident:

"...As we have said, Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities. This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way.

He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates...."

This isn't the first time I've done a little wailin' on the subject of lamentable language.

For those who enjoy the prequel approach, here's a link to that piece.

I've long been a believer in what I call the displacement substitution theory.

Yeah, okay, it's a pretty uber-nerd name for what actually boils down to a simple intellectual premise.

That when we cannot, for whatever reason, find a way to control the things in life that we wish we could control and might, even, be reasonably said to be in need of controlling, we go in search of things that we can control, no matter how banal, inane, superfluous and/or superficial those things might be.

For example, the general manager who can't actually manage his or her way out of a wet paper sack who zeroes in on those in egregious violation of the policy regarding the use of bottled water in the break room.

I once actually worked in a place where a sign  posted on the bottled water dispenser warned,  "Do not use for making coffee", the apparent goal being cutting down on the weekly water expense.

My anarchistic response was "...uh, okay, so we're allowed to drink the water,  we just cant first run it through a paper filter with coffee grounds it it, is that the deal...?"

My irrefutable, albeit rebellious, logic was not, as you might imagine, particularly appreciated.

The suddenly fashionable, even fanatical, obsession with turning those who use the word "nigger" in conversation into social pariahs reminds me of bottled water.

For a more detailed explanation, I refer you, once again, to the earlier blog.

Not being of African descent, I can only imagine the emotion that this word stirs up in the hearts and minds of people who have experienced, first hand, the viciousness and cruelty in generations past, resulting in mistrust and suspicion and hostility

And anyone naïve enough to think that mistrust and suspicion and hostility have been overcome,  giving way to wisdom and understanding need only think back to just a few days ago and the bile flowing up and out during the Trayvon Martin trial.

So, there's no lecture coming, or worthy, from this writer on the heat the word generates.

For me, it's not about the heat, its about the hypocrisy.

Yes, Riley Cooper obviously put his pinkies in his pie hole.

And considering that a lot of the guys he shares his days with, both on and off the field, are of African descent, he certainly didn't do himself any favors by showing his dark side.

But, again, I can't get past the nagging question that no one seems to want, or be able, to answer to all parties satisfaction.

How many of those very same teammates who are showing their contempt at Cooper showing them disrespect by using that word have addressed another or each other with that very same word in the last few weeks?

Or days?

Or even as Cooper was talking trash to his fellow bubbas there at the Chesney concert?

How many celebrities of African descent, in any celebrated profession, are not only casual users of the word, but continue to profit from the usage?

The ever classy, highly regarded role models Jay Z and Kanye West and their recent offering "Niggas In Paris" comes to mind.

Oh, the printed title reads "Ni**as", but I don't think a Rhodes scholarship is required to read between the vowels, not to mention the actual recording itself.

So while Jay Z drops by the White House to have a nosh with Barack and Michelle and the girls and Kanye and Kim cuddle little Nori for the exclusive People Magazine photo shoot that will put little Nori through a couple of colleges, Riley Cooper is in the doghouse, off the roster and on his way to counseling.

It's this kind of deafening double standard that continues to give life to mistrust and suspicion and hostility.

In every community.

Of every color.

And, I won't speak for you, but...

that offends me.

"...Clearly Performance Enhancing Drugs Only Work On The Field, Not At Press Conferences..."

A-Rod's days are numbered.

But not, necessarily, for the reason you might think.

(CNN) -- Alex Rodriguez says his record contract makes him an attractive target for a baseball ban or suspension, and may play a major role in his current woes.

The slugger with a stellar batting average faces allegations involving the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). ESPN reported he is in negotiations with Major League Baseball over a possible suspension of his contract, the largest in the history of American sports.

"There is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field -- and that's not my teammates and it's not the Yankee fans," Rodriguez said Friday night at a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey, following a minor-league game that was supposed to prepare him to rejoin the New York Yankees.
He would not specify the parties that stood to gain from banning him over the PED scandal, but he said, "when all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that's concerning for me."
Rodriguez, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, and the Yankees signed the 10-year deal for $275 million in 2007.
Rodriguez, 38, has missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing hip surgery. He could return to the Yankees after a second rehab game in Trenton on Saturday.
He has admitted in the past to using performance-enhancing drugs, but he also has denied taking any after 2003. He has never been suspended by the league for a drug violation.

 The temptation, when reading about the trials and tribulations of this generation's sports stars, is to overly romanticize the sports stars of generations past.

A lack of good news tends to inspire a lot of "good old days" reminiscence.

But sentiment can be a slippery slope.

Every generation has had its share of famous, but flawed, professional sports heroes.

Mickey Mantle was revered in the fifties and sixties.

While pretty much always battling simultaneous addictions to womanizing and alcohol.

Pete Rose was a baseball superstar for decades.

All the while keeping hidden his compulsion to bet on everything and anything.

Ty Cobb was a megastar in the baseball world of the early 1900's.

But his reputation for aggressive, even physically threatening,  play was well known and not exactly an endearing quality.

And, when it comes to fallen sports heroes, everybody else can sit down when O.J. walks into the room.

Whenever O.J. is finally freed to actually walk into a room.

The only real difference between the fallen idols of yesteryear and those who fall today is the awareness we have of their various flaws and foibles, sometimes even as those flaws are showing themselves.

Imagine the You Tube, Twitter, Facebook technology dogging Pete Rose every time he got within a C note of a bookie.

None of this is meant to endorse or condone the kind of behavior that, ideally, we deserve when we spend our hard earned dollars to watch these people make a very, very, very good living at what is nothing more, or less, than playing a game.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I think Alex Rodriquez is a punk.

Overrated, overpaid, spoiled beyond measure and a disgrace to the idea, if not the reality, of what the game of baseball is supposed to, ideally, be about.

But it's not his flaws as a human being that turn me off.

My own house is constructed of sufficient amounts of glass to prevent that.

And its not his use of banned substances that make me think he will, inevitably, become little more than a sad footnote in the history of a once great American pastime.
No, my belief that A-Rod's days are numbered is based on the comments made in that news conference described above.
And the accompanying revelation that there's a physical issue that is very likely going to turn out to be a career ender.
Alex Rodriquez ,obviously, and sadly, is no longer limber.
lim·ber 1  (lmbr)
1. Bending or flexing readily; pliable.
2. Capable of moving, bending, or contorting easily; supple.
And the loss of this bodily skill is catastrophic to someone trying to excel at the very physical game of baseball.
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I have no formal medical training and no credentials that would allow me to offer a professional opinion.
I'm going with a gut feeling based on what Rodriquez is saying in defense of his behavior.
Unmistakable evidence that he no longer has the ability to bend his arm...
...enough to allow for pointing the finger of blame at himself.