Sunday, November 17, 2013

50 Years On, The Best Tribute to JFK Is to Face Reality

The number of people who can actually remember where they were on November 22, 1963 has grown ever smaller as the years roll by. But unlike the murder of any other American public figure, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy continues to fascinate and sadden us even as the actual day of his death retreats further in the rear view mirror of history.

Kennedy was not the first of our presidents to die at the hand of an assassin. Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley were murdered in office. And attempts have been made on the lives of numerous other presidents - all in all, there have been more than 20 incidents in which sitting and former presidents were targeted for death. Sadly enough, violence has always been part and parcel of our political history.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Forget the N Word, Condemn Paula Deen For Showing Her Ass

I have to admit - I find the groundswell of condemnation engulfing Paula Deen for admitting to using a racial slur decades ago to be a bit... well... stupid.

Look, folks, she's from Georgia. In case you're not familiar with Georgia, it's a state in the deep South. As you may recall, the deep South was and still is a pretty bigoted place. Deen grew up when segregation was law and the moronic Ku Klux Klan held sway. She was a child of the times, and during those times the N word was tossed around by southern whites without a second thought.

That doesn't make it right to use such a terrible word, but in Deen's defense she has stated that she's changed. Why can't people just accept that? Alabama governor George Wallace, a poster child for bigotry if there ever was one, in later years renounced his past and begged for forgiveness.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Limping from Point A to Point B: Memories of Childhood Vacations

I am really due for a vacation - it's been a year and a half since my last one and this old boy needs some down time. This fall, I fully intend to fly to San Diego to visit my parents.

Thinking about that recently, I was suddenly flooded with memories of vacations the family took when I was a kid. Sadly, the majority of these recollections weren't good ones. That's not to say we didn't have a good time once we actually reached our destination... but often just getting to the destination (and returning home afterward) was somewhat problematic.

We never flew anywhere for vacation; it was always a road trip. Automotive air conditioning was an add-on item back then, and I don't believe any car we owned ever had air conditioning. One memory that's consistent across all my recollections of family vacations is that it was always hot in the car even with the windows down at 60 mph. Mom and Dad always planned vacations for summer, and when you pack five people into a car with no air conditioning on a summer day, things get a bit sweaty.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Sky Is Falling! The Homofication of America

It seems like this is the only country in the world where people are so fascinated with the sexual orientation of their fellow citizen. Rather than focus on our own personal foibles and issues, we'd rather obsess over what two consenting adults in love with one another are doing behind closed doors, and whether it violates some arcane law laid down by an invisible man who lives in the sky.

Ancient Book Written By Grouchy Old Guys be damned... homosexuality has been around since the grand designer, whoever it is, decided the world needed two separate sexes. Sometimes the genetic wires get rerouted and a man or woman decides they like other men or women. No big deal, no harm done. It happens amongst the lower animals all the time. It was prevalent among more than a few past civilizations in the Old World.