Friday, June 22, 2018

I'll Miss You Charles

Actually I've been missing him ever since he took leave of his place on FOX's Special Report panel.

My heart was broken when he told his followers he'd not be back.  The end was near and inevitable. To me his absence created a huge hole in my sources for critical thinking on all things political.

I didn't always agree with him but I could never fault his manner.  I noticed a lot of moist eyes among his colleagues who reminisced about him yesterday after news of his death emerged.

How fitting, in a way, that it was on the first day of summer for one of his passions was baseball and the boys of summer.

There is nothing to be said about him that hasn't already been said.  He was a good man, a kind man and a fair man.  Who can possibly take his place?  At this moment the Right, the so called Conservatives have no one.

What about the Left?  Who have they ever had, really?  They do have someone who is trying to have his voice heard. A Democrat who like Charles finds his party leaving him.  I cannot imagine him embracing the Conservative cause; he's an academic after all.  He is also an attorney of some renown and an avid Constitutionalist. I listen to him whenever he is on air - or try to.  Again, I don't always agree with him but he's also honest and forthright.  Just like Charles.

Who might this be?  Alan Dershowitz. The Left and the Right would do well to listen to what he has to say.

Who knows, maybe FOX will add him to Special Report's panel as a contributor on a regular basis.  They could do far worse.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Who Death Selects

I sit here, the day before my birthday, and wonder why I will be celebrating it and so many people far more accomplished than I wont' be around for their next one.

It has been a tough week for the well known beginning with the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain followed by the announcement from Charles Krauthammer that he has but weeks, if that, to live.

The causes are different.  Suicide for Spade and Bourdain.  It is heart wrenching wondering what demons within drove them to it.  What angst is going on inside a person's head that would lead them to such a horrendous finality?  More than that, why don't they reach out for help?  Why do they suffer in silence?

After the fact there are always indications to be considered but it's too late. In so many cases it's a waste of a valuable and productive life.  Of course all lives are valuable, each in their own way, but some are more exceptional than others. It's especially puzzling to me now when so much is being said about suicide prevention.  Maybe we just aren't looking far enough.  Maybe we're looking too much for those who appear troubled and not enough at the potential in all of us.  I don't know.

Then there is Charles Krauthammer who has lived an exemplary life while over coming extreme adversity as a young man.  He is bright, oh so bright, and compelling to listen to.  I don't always agree with him but more often than not I do.  It pains me that such a man is about to leave us because of that godawful cancer.  Again, why a man like him?  A man who contributes so much good.  There are so many who contribute nothing more than self-serving chaos yet they seem to go merrily on forever with nothing consequential happening to them until a more normal lifespan has run its course.

Is it the times?  Are we too stressed out that something snaps and we don't even know it?  That seems too simplistic to me, but again, I don't know.  I've thought about what would drive me to end my own life prematurely.  Even with dread disease, I'm not sure I could tie the knot, pull the trigger or even take the pill. Maybe one day I'll find out.  Maybe not.

All I do know is it has been a dreadful week.

Friday, June 01, 2018

CBS - Say It Isn't So! Keep Jeff Glor!

So CBS is thinking of dumping Jeff Glor as anchor of the evening news yet they're willing to keep Samantha Bee?  What a perfect example of a skewed set of values.

After a long day of doing whatever has occupied my time, I do like to sit down and catch the news.  I'm not crazy about any of the networks.  Forget cable unless your a glutton for hyper repetition.

I've accepted that network news is liberal centric.  That being said, I've chosen CBS mainly because I find Jeff Glor a pleasant, mild mannered anchor.  I like the fact that a good heart wrencher will actually make his eyes mist.  I think I'd like him.

I don't give NBC much credibility and while Lester Hold is okay,  I can't help but think he's their acclamation of political correctness.  ABC's David Muir is just too frenetic for me when all I want is calm.  I can get my fill of that a bit later on FOX beginning with Hannity.

It's all ratings of course.  After the initial spike in ratings after the oh so boring Scott Pelly moved on, he settled right back down to the same old, same old. With Pelly I wanted to pull the next word out of him.  There's soothing and there was Scott.  Jeff seems to be a nice balance.

Of course the advertising dollar figures into it also.  My demographic isn't the most highly sought but one thing for sure, my demographic watches news far more often then might be thought.  Especially news on television.  I don't know many contemporaries who stream anything on their devices if they even own one. I know my eyes couldn't handle watching much of anything on a tablet for very long and forget my phone.

All I can do is hope they come to their senses.  Let Samantha Bee and her foul mouthed attempt at humor go and keep Jeff Glor.

I fear, however, such hope is wasted effort.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Memorial Day - A Grave Situation

Look at all those grave markers. Every one belongs to a man or woman who stood for the National Anthem.  Every one of them stands for a man or woman who would never have dreamed of not standing for the National Anthem.

You know who they are.  Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers. Our friends. Our neighbors. You know what they did?  They gave their lives so that those aggrieved athletes who think that because they want to make a personal statement in public they somehow should be allowed to  dis-honor our flag, our anthem and those who gave their lives to allow them their "right".

Free speech?  Fine.  Say what they will but if they want their jobs and the backing of the fans they would be better served by being more selective in choosing their venue.  The owners, too, and the players union would be better served by considering the depth of feeling behind the backlash that was witnessed last season.  Obviously it went in one ear and out the other for many of them.

I'd like to blame it on the brain damage so many have suffered but that wouldn't apply to the owners now would it.  In their case, and the union's, it would help a lot if they had a brain and actually used it.

Just think of what would be if those men and women and their leaders, in military uniforms - not football uniforms, had passed the buck under some absurd notion it was their right. There would be no National Anthem, nor flag nor any rights what-so-ever.

Nor would there be football. Perhaps that wouldn't be so bad.  Think what all that money could be used for that would welcomed by more than a pampered few.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bullying = Gun Volence? No! Try Lack of Parent/Teacher Cooperation

Anyone who thinks this anti-gun movement is anything other than politically driven has been brainwashed into believing.

Go back a step to bullying being the cause of a lot of gun violence. Of course so does the lack of a father figure, a broken home, kids making fun of you or so perceived and being forced to eat oatmeal for breakfast.

Go back another step to what leads to bullying.  It has been around as long as I can remember.  Kids can be incredibly cruel to one another.  I experienced my share of it from older girls on my street. And I'm ashamed I dished out my own fair share. I have never been able to pin point why I have that particular flaw.

That being said, it was considered misbehaving.  When found out I was duely punished and believe me, my parents had a way of finding out.  When I was on the receiving end I talked with my Mom.  She always made me feel better about myself.  It does drain your confidence and hurts terribly.  She told me to just stay away from them.  In time I was able to do just that - with her support and encouragement.  She knew it wasn't easy for me. But she was always there for me.

On into school there were the usual cliques.  Mine was the band kids - most of us were nerdy at the time but we stuck together and did our thing.  Made music. Frankly, most of those oh so popular kids were popular for a reason.  Of course they were pretty or cheer leaders or football players but they were mostly pretty nice kids and they too had parents who cared.

There was, too, always the loner. They were strange to the rest of us and caused the teachers consternation. I never remember them being violent or unusually angry.  Just sullen.  But they coped and so did the rest of us.

The foundation for the majority of my high school acquaintances was sound parenting reinforced by teachers more than willing to work with both parent and student.  That's what the PTA  (Parent Teachers Association) was all about.  Do they still have them today?

I'm thinking if more emphasis was put on cooperation between teachers and parents in identifying problems and finding solutions for them, kids would be better served than after the fact prayer vigils and protests.

Nope.  Kids just aren't given the basics for coping.  Safe spaces, running to authority figures when someone looks at them funny or makes a snide remark doesn't cut it. A restructuring or elimination of time on social media would certainly help but again, that involves parenting and cooperation with teachers.

Don't have time to parent?  Don't have kids.  Don't know how?  Common sense is a good place to start.  My Mom didn't have a study guide either yet she and my Dad did a pretty darn good job.  They were both there for me, gave me a fair shot at an explanation for wrong doing while also listening to a teacher or another parent.

Isn't this the crux of it?  Back to the basics?  Guns are a last ditch cry of anguish, not the cause of it