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.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"...Honest, Your Honor, The Breast Simply Leaped Right Into The Palm of My Hand...."

There are times that composing cogent thoughts and insightful observations here requires a lot of effort.

This time, not so much.

(CNN) -- A lawyer for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner criticized the city for not providing sexual harassment training to the mayor, saying its failure to do so violated the law.

In a letter to the city attorney, Harvey Berger wrote that Filner might never have been sued for sexual harassment had he been properly trained.
"If there is any liability at all, the city will almost certainly be liable for 'failing to prevent harassment,' " Berger wrote in a letter dated Monday and obtained Wednesday by CNN from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
An intent of Berger's letter was to urge the city to pay Filner's legal fees associated with a sexual harassment filed against him by his former spokeswoman, Irene McCormack Jackson. The city is named as a co-defendant in that lawsuit.
Filner never received sexual harassment training while serving in Congress from 1993 to December 2012, Berger wrote. He was set to get such training -- which is required within six months of one's start date -- after becoming mayor, but the trainer canceled the session and never rescheduled, according to the lawyer.
"There is very, very good reason for mandatory sexual harassment training," Berger said. "If nothing else, it makes people think about the subject and how they interact with fellow employees."
While the mayor has admitted unspecified inappropriate behavior in the past, he denies the allegations against him by Jackson.
"This is not a request for the city to agree to pay any verdict; it is simply a request for defense against unverified claims being brought against the mayor -- claims which are denied," Berger said.
Jackson isn't alone. Seven other women have said they were subjected to "crude and disgusting" comments and inappropriate touching -- including groping and kissing -- by Filner. Many of the alleged incidents of which he's being accused took place during his five terms in a U.S. representative, before he was elected mayor last year.
Berger contended that those alleged incidents took place so long ago that the accusers likely wouldn't be allowed to testify as part of Jackson's lawsuit or in their own lawsuits.
Nonetheless, the wave of accusations has put tremendous pressure on Filner. His chief of staff quit, the Democratic Party of San Diego voted to call for his resignation and even his fiancee left his side.
Earlier this month, Filner admitted "I need help," adding, "I'm clearly doing something wrong." The 70-year-old later announced he would take a two-week hiatus for "intensive counseling."
Still, he has fought Jackson's lawsuit and for the city to pay his legal fees.
The City Council believes San Diego shouldn't be part of the Jackson lawsuit in the first place because it had no role in the mayor's behavior and because of the city's zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment.
In fact, the council decided Tuesday to file suit against Filner and seek from paying any damages should Jackson win her lawsuit.
"Bob Filner can't pay back San Diegans for the damage he's done to our city's reputation, but he can and should repay the city if there are any taxpayer costs as a result of this lawsuit," Faulconer said in a statement.

Assorted talk radio and television news shows will, bet the farm, blather on about all of this for days and or weeks.

Can't blame em', given that the Zimmerman trial is over and they're all starving for the next blather opportunity.

As for me, I'm on a blather restricted diet, so I'll just offer this.

In a tragic story from our news center, common sense, a once loved and respected member of every family everywhere, died today in San Diego. Death came after a long period in which the virtue had been in critical condition. Experts involved expressed regret that the passing was unavoidable but, as one observer eloquently put it, "once it was announced that the mayor of San Diego blamed his impulsive kissing, groping and requests for female members of his staff to lose their panties on a failure of the city to properly instruct him as to what constitutes sexual harassment, there was little we could do but watch our loved and cherished common sense take its last, wheezing breath."

Services are pending. Rumors persist that one speaker already booked to eulogize will be George Costanza from New York City.

While Mr. Costanza's eulogy was still being composed at press time, one excerpt has been leaked...

 "Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I have to plead ignorance here because if anybody had told me that that sort of behavior was frowned upon..."

Common sense, born sometime before the birth of Christ, is survived by rationalization, justification and absurdity.