Friday, June 27, 2008

SCOTUS Version of the Second Amendment

"The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is a part of the Bill of Rights that declares "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed".

I hate to be a historical nudge about the second amendment, I do not see anything about a person having the right to own a gun.

"The right of the people" was to protect their land from foreign intruders such as OH THE REDCOATS.

Why to do folks always leave off the first section of this Amendment.

Activist Judges are a danger particularly if they are right leaning.

I suppose most of these Judges do not live in DC.

Collins Brooks: Married to the Mob

A funny exchange.

Brooks is obviously wrestling with his insecurities around smart pretty women....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mugabe Disgraceful Dictator

Zimbabwe used to be a breadbasket for the Africa. Our equivalent of the Heartland of America.

Now, no food is harvested and the nation's economy is in shambles. Those who could, left. The remaining citizens are afraid to participate in elections, if their vote is someone other than Mugabe.

Unless there is international intervention the madness will continue. On its present course, Mugabe's rule will this nation will be a footnote in Africa's history.

This administration has a burning need to spread democracy. But I guess that is only in oil rich regions.

Oh, Oh Sheila!

Were the trips and furs gifts from a lover or bribes?

Isn't grand a woman politician is getting involved in a sex scandal?

Lieberman must go: Sign the Petition

Brave New Films has produced their finest work with Lieberman Must Go.

I don't know about you, but Lieberman should be returned to the private sector. I have had it with everything he represents.

I am a believer in free speech, but as a private citizen his microphone will be smaller.

Dodd Feingold Fight FISA

These two are REALLY trying to save our Constitutional rights. What a concept!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Frank Rich: Declare Victory and Come Home

There is a big difference between understanding history and getting stuck in the past. Some older folks have a tendency to see the world through their bifocals. Others are sensitive to the past with a full awareness of today's reality.

Frank Rich is dead-on when he points out Iraq is not Vietnam. This is not the 70s and pulling out will not make the Dems weak on defense.

McCain doesn't have the exclusive on these notions, Pelosi, Reid, Clintons, etal are stuck in that time period. They really need to exorcise those demons.

My father will turn 72 in July. He served his country and is a pretty smart guy. He keeps sharp by being engaged with politics, sports and (much to my horror) pop culture. He knows far too much about Britney and Beyonce. He, on occasions, forgets where he puts his keys. 

My daughter one day asked me how old is McCain? 71 I responded. She gave it some thought. "He is the same age as PopPop,  that not so old" she replied.  Would you really want PopPop running the country? I asked. A hearty laugh ended that conversation.

Do we really need McCain looking for his keys to the Oval Office? 

Obama and the FISA bill

h/t to Trakker at Neon Gods for this post.

Obama is a Constitutional Scholar seeking the most powerful gig in our country. His position that he will hand the power better than other mere mortals speaks to his arrogance.

I like Obama, but his position and explanation on this matter is troubling.

Living my Yoga

I guess it was about three years ago the first time I attended a Yoga class at a local Y.

They shifted the cycling machines to make room for our yoga mats. The room did not feel right to me. The energy was off. Maybe it wasn't room, maybe it was me.

After completing the eight week course, I walked away from my practice. A year later I found another class at a different location. I liked the way the instructor conducted the class.  The room felt better but not quite right.

When I moved to my new home. I found a Yoga center and instantly I new I was in the right place. Maybe I was ready.  I would attend class on Sunday mornings. Perfect grounding to face my life each week.

My teacher would offer give a little lecture before we moved into our poses. "Do No Harm" was always the mantra.

In addition to the classes, the school would offer seminars. They were for students in the teacher training program. Most were open to the public. 

Like me, my classmates were weary and looking for something, someway to deal with their lives and the state of world affairs. It was cool and scary at the same time being in a room with other control-freaks and wounded souls.

It was great to see the diversity of ages, cultures and experiences. If only, I would have found this when I was younger? I would wonder at times. I let that notion go, because I am here now.

During the Christmas holidays, I attended a couple of the Wednesday night seminars. After one class, the Head Yogi, my term not his, approached me about enrolling in the teacher training program.

My initial response, was No Flipping Way. With my schedule the last thing I needed was somewhere else I had to be.

With an easy smile, he challenged, "you are attending the seminars now. "

Because I want to, not because I have to"  I replied, trying to hide my annoyance. " Besides, I have zero desire to teach. I have been in leadership roles since ah forever," I continued. "Not a problem" we will tailor the program for you needs."

Corporate had booked my calendar through February. Ugh  "I left him with a we'll see in March."  

There was something tugging at me, that this thing would help me work through my need to injury my former boss, now producer. Why does this man push my buttons? Leaving my job would be easy. But I knew I had to deal with my response to him before I moved to the next stage of my life. The universe has an uncanny way of forcing you to learn life's lessons.

You know exactly where this is going.

I began the program in March. Keeping up with written assignments has been an issue only because of my lack of discipline. (An assignment is waiting to be completed as I am writing about it.)

But this has been very good for me. I have experienced several A-HA moments through embracing compassion and forgiveness.

I am eating better because I have slowed down and listened to my body. I've met some really nice people. 

My family and friends told me I seem to be a peace. Well, maybe because I am, sort of. 

I will be more at peace when I finish this month's assignment.

PS I no longer want to wound my producer.....most of the time.

Harwood, Seib: Pennsylvania Avenue

John Harwood & Gerald  Seib will not win any awards for this book. However, it is like having a nice afternoon snack for political junkies. It reads like a long newspaper article.

It begins how our government landed in it's current ineffectual state.

You are reintroduced to familiar players like Charlie Rangel and Karl Rove and introduced to not so familiar (at least to me) players such as Ken Duberstein and Terry Nelson.

It also hearkens back to the time when stuff got done through bi-partisan efforts. We know getting re-elected trumps managing our nation.

Bush 2 gets all the attention he deserves. 

His brain should not have been given such a free pass. He is single-handedly responsible for our Constitutional Crisis. Since the brain is still close to Bush, I suppose the authors were worried about their White House dinner invitations.

I recommend buying it used. No need to boost sales. The authors/journalists contributed to the current state of affairs for their complacency to the lead up to the war.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Philly Free Skate

At this moment in time, a dear friend of mine is skating through the streets of Philadelphia. He has been skating habitually for a couple of years. 

Recently, he and his merry band of skaters, travelled to Toronto for "a skate".  He loves it.

He has tried without success to get me to engage in this insane activity. The actual skating doesn't concern me but the stopping. 

Because I love him, I have encouraged him to get disability insurance.

Unlike other parts of the country, Philadelphia has four seasons. The cold does not deter him. He just bundles up. 

What I thought was his funniest story took place in the dead of winter. The skate involved a trip to the airport. This adventure included going over a bridge. TWICE. 

On the return trip one of his fellow skaters called a cab. Hooray for him! I cheered. How brave of this man, to check his ego and call it a day? My friend was generally taken aback by my response, but laughed heartily.

On a recent First Friday, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with his crew. Smart, funny and engaging people hailing from different background, brought together by their love of in line skating. 

As we walked through the artists on our way to the restaurant. The guy in the lead was making hand gestures whenever we crossed a street. Noticing my befuddled expression, he informed me they were signals to proceed, stop or turn. 

"We're walking" I said, chuckling by the scene. How about that? he replied amused at the situation he created.

Needless to say, they tried to recruit me. I'll stick to riding my bike on trails or in a local park, thank you very much. (The problem with tooling away in the insurance business, particularly claims, you've seen too much.)

The weather is sunny and hot. I guess that is a good thing. I'm sure my friend is having a blast.

As for me, the pool beckons.

Juice is the word

"Juicing the Game", by Howard Bryant caught my eye in the bargain bin on a recent outing to Barnes & Noble. The book was published in 2005 when the scandal reached its peak.

Being a rabid baseball fan, I am painfully aware of the steroids scandal. It was only 5 bucks, so what the hell. 

I learned about the tiny newspaper and the report who broke the story. I was not surprised the level of collusion from the top down. Nor was I shocked at Reggie Jackson cries of outrage.

Sosa and McGuire's fall from grace was not as disturbing as Barry Bonds. They were average players who needed extra help to make their mark on the game.

What saddened me was how a Hall of Fame bound talent such as Barry Bonds let his ego tarnish his reputation. Did he face challenges? Yep. Were his struggles different than his white counterpart?  Ah yeah. But was his plight worse than his father's, Hank Aaron's, Jackie Robinson? I doubt it. Welcome to being black.

He was born into baseball royalty. He learned the game at the feet of baseball Kings. He grew up in Major League Stadiums. How many boys/men would kill for that opportunity?

 What a jackass.

He will end up in CampFed for lying to the Feds and not reporting his side income to the IRS.

Bud Seilig will go down in history as the WORST baseball commissioner, EVER.

Reaching into baseball's history, Bryant takes the reader to the sad reality of baseball's misguided now.

Hello My Name is Betty

Betty is not her real name. She is in her mid-fifties or early sixties. Her mostly gray hair is sprinkled with black, shades of her youth. No evidence of a visit to any of the salons that dot our community. Her wire-rimmed glasses rest on her nose. No make-up for Betty.

I first encountered Betty on a Saturday morning, picking up my newspaper at a local WaWa (regional version of 7-Eleven). She mustered a smile as the transaction was completed quickly due to the line.

Around noon, I stopped in my local Whole Foods to pick up my groceries. I get to the checkout and there was Betty, sporting the Whole Foods Green apron. She worked efficiently, and asked the mandatory question "Did you find everything you were looking for?"Not waiting for my answer, Betty looked through me as she rung up my order.

After hanging out with some friends, the time is about 11pm, I needed to stop at the Rite-Aid before calling it a night. I grab what I need and head to the checkout. Due to the hour, no one is in sight. The sign at the counter reads "Really, its OK to the ring the bell."

So, I give the bell a ring. Out from aisle four, here comes Betty.

I'm sure I could not hide my surprise. For the first time, we really looked at each other. 

Betty apologized for keeping me waiting. What I felt was sadness, not annoyance.

My God, I wondered, how many jobs does this woman have and why? Was she a first wife? Was she taking care of sick relative? Insurance? Survival? What is her story?

At her age, I'm sure she is not working at these places for the love of the work.

Upon completing the dialogue in my head and the transaction, I looked at Betty and said,"Thank you Betty, have a good night."

She smiled wearily and returned to her duties.

33-Year-Old-Rookie: Chris Coste

My work schedule has been a little nuts. Time spent on trains and planes has been tolerable because of my recent choices in reading materials.

Being a huge baseball fan and sap for an underdog, buying Chris Coste's "The 33-Year-Old- Rookie" was a no-brainer. 

I knew the story. I lived through the games. Every time Coste's name flashed on the Scoreboard, talk in the stands turned to his story. He always receives a hearty Philly cheer. Philly Phans are tough but loyal.  Will Coste land in Cooperstown? Unlikely, but who cares? We love the guy who succeeds against the odds.

That did not stop me from crying and cheering while sucking in this feel good story. 

A must read for anyone chasing a dream.

Everyday is Father's Day

I'm so lucky. I still have my Father.  He has battled two rounds of colon cancer and one round of prostate cancer. Diabetes and blood pressure are his current inconveniences.

Even the wait staff at our favorite diner know what he is not supposed to eat.

My Father's presence in my life was just assumed. I learned so much from my Dad. Hard work, persistence, spirituality, community/political activism, and the responsibilities of parenthood.

My folks were young when they married. Mom was 19, Dad, 23. Trying to raise a family in the turbulent 60s was not easy. What this generation is experiencing is nothing compared to what my parent's generation experienced "living while black."

Dad sat at the head of the supper table, with my Mother seated to his left. My older brother sat at the other head of the table. My kid brother sat next to my Mom because he was "the spirited one." Current events, work drama, politics, community events and our daily activities were discussed during supper. 

A common suppertime lecture from Dad was making babies. "Don't you kids bring home any babies I didn't help make." My mother would sigh, roll her eyes at the crudeness of the message but was supportive of the message. "Get your education before you settle down, " was another frequent lecture. 

Of course these sex talks were more for my brothers because I was never ever to have sex. Period. Since I have just my daughter, my Dad is convinced that I only had sex once and really didn't like. I let him live in that happy place.

I digress.

Mind you my Father & I did not always see eye about many things. But the foundation of my parents love was always there. 

My marriage lasted eight years but my friendship with my ex-husband continues. Our marriage didn't work but his role as a Father did not end with the marriage. I chose well. He lived all over the country but was/is very much a part of my daughter's life. Our values were in sync, much to the annoyance of my daughter. Even if she thought about it, she knew that she couldn't play us off of each other.

His current wife is an angel. She treats my daughter as if she gave her life. Her children are equally loving. My daughter has an extended family.  This speaks to my ex's extraordinary taste in women.

I learned as much by my parents actions as their words. I treasure the time that I have with my folks. When I am not on the road, I share at least one meal a week with my folks. My daughter and her son usually join us. Watching my Dad play with his great-grandbaby is awesome. My Mom just sits back basks in the joy from their laughter.

When my ex and his wife are in town, they are included in the family meal.

Could the schools be better? Yep. Could there be more jobs with living wages? Absolutely. Could the criminal justice system be fair? Yah.

These boys aren't raping these girls. The girls need to value their bodies. If they don't, who will? However, these boys need to understand that it takes a real man to be a Father to the child they made. 

What is critical, is the the expectation of growing old and living accordingly. Too many of members of this generation can't see beyond today.

Barak Obama was raised by a free-spirited single Mom. His grandparents provided the grounding that he needed. He earned his education. He got a job. Married the love of his life.

He waited to become a Daddy which is critical to his story.  He is a living example of life's possibilities in our country. His presidential run does not wipe out the harsh realities of being black in our country but serves a sign of a better now.

Father's Day is a day to celebrate fatherhood. The daily activities leading up to that day should be worthy of that celebration.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Seib: Congress Unloved, Unsupported

We put these respresentatives of the people in office. I have supported a coupleof them with time and money.

It is time to send this gang into the private sector.

Roll Call Hall of Shame

Remember when their terms are up!

Wounded Tiger!

Where were you Monday afternoon around 4?. Confess you were either near a TV or tapped into a internet live feed. A countrywide work stoppage occurred because Tiger was going for the kill.

Poor Rocco Mediate, he played the best golf in his life and it just didn't matter.

There is so much enthusiasm about the wounded Tiger, even Washpo, Eugene Robinson felt compelled to write.........

David Brooks: Newsflash, Obama is a Politician

When did we lose sight of Obama's profession? I am a huge Obama fan, but he is just a man, who has the right to change his mind.

He would be insane to embrace public financing. What changed? We changed. We became part of the process. WE got out volunteered AND sent money.

Like or not, Obama will need the money to counter the 527's. The Clintons and the Republicans have underestimated, the skinny black kid with the big ears.

The public campaign finance issue, is a non-issue.

Return of the Press Secretary!

Funny how the kid who just follows orders, in corner is rendered insignificant. How fitting if Cheney lands in jail based on the testimony of the not so bright loyal one.

We all know, Libby took one for the team. He was just protecting Cheney. I'm sure he has stock in Haliburton or Black Water so his finances are set.

Go get 'em Scott!

Democratic Congress: Republican Lite

It is simply outrageous that our Democratic Congress is rolling over for Bush.

He has the worst approval EVER and he has managed to get what he wanted from Congress. Let him veto the FISA bill.

I'm sure a I will get a solicitation letter from the DLC or DNC in the next day or so, begging for money to fight Bush. What a joke.

Our country did not start with Dems & Republican. When our country was facing a crisis, a third party emerged.

There is no time like the present for a strong third party.

h/t Booman

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A view from the Corner Office

Like it or not Jimmy Carter tried to wean US off of the oilpipe. The oil companies have a ton of lobbyists on K street coupled with our habits have led us to this moment in time.

We as citizen consumers have choices. We can continue down this road or we change our behavior. By slowing the demand for oil, then maybe we will see a reduction in costs.

My staff is a microcosm of society. Recently, I have heard serious lunchroom conversations. Before the 4 plus dollar gas, my staff went out for lunch. Everyone is now bringing their lunch. They are saving money on gas and the actual meal. One clerk boasted that her Caesar salad tasted better than the WaWa version. Another staffer's wife vetoed his plan for a scooter. He commutes from Philly to suburbia. He would save $600 per month in gas.

Bush & Cheney's need to take care of their oil buddies superseded their need to entertain a real energy program. A safe environment; a sane energy program and national security are not mutually exclusive.

Are we at the end of this administration, yet?

Bear Stearn Managers Surrenders

I trust the boys from Enron will assist Cioffi & Tanin's transition to their new environment.

I wonder if MSNBC will have a special white-collar version of Lock-up?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gore: Worth the Wait

It was worth the wait.

A sad reminder of what could have been.

Brendan Calling: Steny Hoyers

Brendan is not afraid to call our leaders on their crap. FISA is serious issue. Hoyers is cutting a deal when no one is watching and having his staff lie about it. 

Not cool.

Gore endorses Obama

Gee, it's about time.

Ralph Cioffi should be jailed

Mr. Cioffi saw fit to move his money in March but turned down investors requests to do the same in April. The best lawyers on Wall Street can't explain this away. 

What these greedy bastards did was criminal.

Father's Responsibilities

Obama's Father's Day sermon/speech was timely. We have lost a generation of young black men to drugs, alcohol, violence and the prison system.

In my family, I enjoyed the company of my grandfathers and my great-grandfather. The women in my family are/were strong but their spouses shared their values. Their presence in my life mattered. My great-grandparents lived across the street. I learned how to tend to a garden from my great-grandfather and how to crochet from my great-grandmother.

They were clueless to the rules of field-hockey but they never missed a home game. They loved baseball. For my brothers games, did not miss a one.

How cool is that?

Maybe this generation of young black men will listen to this message coming from Obama.....

He is amazing!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bush farewell European tour

Not even the protesters have deemed Bush's trip relevant. They are simply riding out his final months.

Maybe the Travel Channel will provide coverage:

Tiger Woods: Yeah he's that good

"If its Sunday, its Meet the Press"

The sudden death of Tim Russert took me and the nation by surprise on Friday. 

I'm not sure when I started watching Meet the Press. Probably when David Brinkley retired.

Like many Progressives, I had a love hate relationship with Russert. At times I found him a little over the top BUT I rarely missed his show. You could just feel with the change of inflection in his voice when an interviewee's words were going to be shoved up their backside. A visit to Meet the Press could launch or derail a political career.

This election cycle, I waited for Russert to jump in the fray on Primary nights. When Russert declared Obama the presumptive nominee on May 6, it stunned everyone. It was picked up in every media outlet.

I was exhausted watching these races. Just imagine the energy required to cover them. What was evident was the joy Russert had for his passion. To call it work would be simply wrong. Also, obvious to the viewer was his love for his family, God and God bless him (or God help him)  his beloved Bills. Russert lived  his 58 years with joy.  How many people wallow in anger, rejects, and bitterness?

Maybe it was that energy which helped him connect with his viewers. 

We are promised a lifetime. We rarely know when our clock will run out. Russert was carried out on his shield. His peers are working through their grief on MSNBC.  

Whether he made you crazy or were a fan, his absence will be felt this historic election cycle.

As his family works through their grief, one thing for sure on this Father's Day, there will be an empty chair at the table.

Peace be with his family.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

GOP Glenn Murphy, Jr

It never ceases to amaze me sheer volume of the members of the GOP who become embroiled in sex scandals. Consensual sex is one thing, performing a sex act on someone who is sleeping is just whacked.

Instead of trying to deny people access to sex education, birth control, or gay marriage, they really need to clean up their house.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh my God: Tim Russert

Five bucks per gallon?

When I'm not traveling to hot spots such as Topeka, Kansas, I have a whopping six mile daily commute. Today my safety director sent me text photos of his final tally at the pump. The realtity of my staff's commute hit home.

Did you know most pumps are programed not to exceed $75? It took two photos to capture the fill-up. He lives 20 miles away and drives a Pilot.

I knew I had to huddle the team to come up with a plan to ease their hurt. Our white board session was revealing. One member of my team commutes 55 miles one way. Several members live near each other. It never occurred to them to carpool.

With technology, my disciplined employees can work from any where.

After kicking around everything from carpooling to working from home we came up with a couple of possibilities.

We settled on a four day work week for most. For the bill processing team, they can work from home.

If my memory serves me correctly, gas was $1.45 when the Supreme Court handed Bush his first term. I'm just sayin'

Supreme Court respects Constitution

As a student of history and a citizen of now, I am still amazed at how much our Founding Fathers got right. By setting up checks and balances, it prevents an power grabbing President and a spineless Congress from suspending human rights. By suspending the rights of a detainee when will citizens whom are deemed a threat subject held to the same standard.

Forging ahead, Obama should mention the Supreme Court every time a camera is present. Judge Roberts and Scalia cemented my worst fears of their ideology. We have an aging Court and the future picks are critical to the protection of our Constitutional rights.

McCaint is on the wrong side of this issue.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clinton Enemies List: Were they ever friends?

We all have friends. My friends are people who love me for me and vice versa. I do not bully my friends by threat of withholding something or retribution of some form. Nor do they....It is not transactional.

How many of Clinton's friends lined up behind her because they were bullied into that role.
You owe me is not foundation of a solid friendship. 

I hope you begin to heal HRC. Amassing an enemies list is not the road to recovery.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Debt: The Great Seduction

David Brooks' article is timely. While we spend an inordinate amount of time on sex, we as a culture fail miserably discussing the subject of money.

Maybe because I grew up in a blue collar environment, money was a dirty subject. It was impolite to discuss money. The good news is that we were taught the importance of saving and not wasting money. It was evident to me that my parents did what they could to stretch a dollar but you could feel the anxiety and tension surrounding that activity.

With parental guidance, I to picked up a high school class that taught me how to manage a household budget. It was a semester long class but one of the more invaluable courses I ever took. We started out with an annual income, fixed monthly costs and were faced with possible purchases brought on my needs or wants. Physically writing out checks and balancing our checkbooks were incorporated in the course study.

As far as credit cards, it did not take the credit card companies long to figure out they could make more money off of the fees and interest rates. What exactly triggers those fees? These folks aren't predatory lenders?

More of my staff seek help from the EAP for credit counseling than other stress related issues.

Greedy bankers, uninformed homeowners are a recipe for the mess that we are in. No money down! Flip that house!Everyone wants to be Donald Trump. People forget that he had to be bailed out of bankruptcy.

What happened to buying a home?

Learning how to create a budget, manage finances and the perils of credit cards should be mandatory courses of study.

But if our government can't restrain itself, what can you expect from your citizenry?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Obama and Mrs. Edwards

Obama reaching out to Mrs. Edwards is billiant move, he doesn't have to deal with HRC and this piece exposes the flaws in McShame's proposal.

Mrs. Edwards may find her way into the Obama administration as the Health Care Reform Czar.

h/t to Think Progress.

Paul Krugman: Yes We Did!

Krugman is correct in saying that we as a nation have changed for the better.

With the focus on terriorists, poor people and black men are no longer the major focus of contempt. Education is critical in order to compete in a global economy.

However, crappy schools in the inner cities and rural America leads to crime and feeds racism.

Racism is alive and well as evidence in the Clinton campaign. I will be interested in Krugman's view after the McCain camp has fun with the Clinton talking points.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Clinton: The Long Slow Goodbye

After another one of my business-related odysseys, Tuesday night, I found myself exhausted and alone in my hotel room. 

Because I couldn't help myself, I turned on the tube expected to see the final chapter of the Clinton campaign. I wondered how gracious she would leave the world stage. Losses are tough. Sportsmanship is honored more than the gifted athlete. How you lose is more important than how you win. You are taught this as a child. 

What was I thinking?

As her non-graceless speech concluded, I found myself exhausted, prancing in just my suit blouse, screaming profanities at the television. Are you kidding me?  So much for my Yoga living. My teacher would have been appalled.

Looking back, it was so Clintonian.  So after a long much needed bike ride yesterday, I watched her speech. To call it a concession speech for the event, would simply be premature.

Six or seven minutes into her event, came the end of her historic campaign and the support for Obama. Better late than never. I held my breath, not sure of how she would conclude her speech. 

There is talk of Obama's cabinet being composed of a Team of Rivals. The question true question is whether HRC will emerge as a friend or foe. 

We forget that Lincoln did not keep them all.............

for more check out Steven D's view on Booman Tribune

Jim McKay: Sports Pioneer fades to black

Growing up, unlike today, TVs were not an piece of furniture found in at least three rooms. Nor was watching TV the centerpiece of entertainment or family activities. However, watching the the Wild World of Sports brought us together. We were introduced to different sports, held in different countries, more poignant were the back stories of the athletes. McKay's style of reporting was carried over to the Olympics. We were Americans rooting for members of our team. How many non-hockey fans sat in awe when the kids from the US beat the Soviets? Or when Mark Spitz collected his seven gold medals?  Jim McKay was wise friendly uncle who brought us these stories without becoming the story. 

I love Bob Costas and the boys from ESPN. But if not for Jim McKay I would have never fell in love the sports shows of this generation. It is a sad day for sports fans.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama makes history

I am pleasantly surprised by my country nominating a man who looks like me as the Democratic Presidential nominee. I never in my wildest dreams thought this would occur in my lifetime. It is ironic, I did not think a white woman President was out of reach. It comes down to perspective.

The Clintons' fought a tough fight. After their collective egos heal, they need to endorse Obama.

This election made people passionate about the candidates in this primary season. An active informed citizenry is good for our country. The Clinton supporters need to be angry until this Friday, then think long and hard about supporting McCain.

We have an aging Supreme Court. Do you really want to turn the next two to three judicial appointments over to McCain? Why would you turn your granddaughter's uterus over to his conservative picks?

No further questions.........

Vote for Obama.

No trespassing......

Greetings from Topeka! I must confess that is a salutation that I NEVER thought I would write. I am here on business. Of course, getting here was a quest. No direct flights. After a rocky transition flight from Chicago to Kansas City, I took a 90 minute shuttle ride to the Ramada Inn. (The choices were limited.)
I was the first to board. I was greeted by a middle-age bespectacled blond Richard the Roadrunner driver. He immediately asked me why I was standing where he picked me up. "Your dispatcher told me to stand outside and just wave when I saw the van." He assured me that he could drive through just about everything including tornadoes and flying cars. I assume he was kidding. I hope he was kidding. The next to board was a middle-aged man dressed in shorts. Richard asked him if he was military. Nope, he replied and retreated to the back of the van. A well dressed twenty something passenger hopped on board. He registered on line. Richard struggled with Raj's name. He looked at him and queried, "visiting our country I will not attempt to pronounce your name." Raj stared at him and said "No" and retreated to his seat. The final passenger was, how can I say this, an older woman. Without skipping a beat, Richard asks her if she is eligible for the senior citizen discount. She glared at him and said "NO." We rode quietly to Topeka with rap music playing in the background. I was surprised by the choice of music. The homes were non-descript. Mostly, browns and grays interspersed with farmland. Billboards advertising bus trips and casinos doted the landscape. The heartland of America.

The welcome to Topeka, Kansas sign is planted in the lawn of the local prison. The prison sits opposite of the State Capitol. Did I mention the other sign in the prison? 
No trespassing.....

When we arrived at the drab hotel, I had to wonder if the prisoners got the better accommodations.