voice of the people
Farting Through the Fence
Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now.
Knowledge Comes In Unexpected Ways
My old girlfriend, Linda, emailed me recently. She had heard I’d written a book about the shag. “I am totally shocked that you of all people wrote about the shag and beach music. I just cannot believe it!”
She had reason to be astounded. In the early 1980s when she and I hung out, the shag was beginning its comeback from the infamous Dark Ages and she and I mocked the older shaggers as they twirled, dipped, and slid across the dance floor. We had no idea how they had suffered and how they fought to rescue their dance. It was part of the story I would write.
The cookouts and fireworks of July (hope you didn’t eat those deviled eggs that were left in the sun too long) have given way to the box-fan-in-the-window dog days of August.
It’s a time when lifelong memories are made, some beautiful. Others will forever stain that beauty like ink on your favorite blouse.
Making A Difference
The recent Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act brought back memories of an experience I had in 2008. That July I volunteered for a Rural America Medical (RAM) event in Wise County, Virginia. RAM is an event organized by Stan Brock, a former television host of a nature program and a world adventurer. These events provide free medical, dental and vision services for attendees. Hundreds of doctors, dentists and optometrists perform their services free of charge over the course of three days.
Lernen aus Deutschland
One of the greatest things this nation has ever done was to rebuild Germany and Japan after the Second World War. Our former enemies are now models of functioning democracy and industrial might. It wasn’t just a magnanimous instinct on our part. We had learned the hard way that retribution against Germany after World War I only paved the way for Hitler, who came to power by exploiting the empty stomachs of Germans.
Once, when asked if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in rock ’n’ roll, John Lennon quipped with characteristic, cruel impudence that his band mate “wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.” Which of course is not true, as anyone who’s heard some of Paul McCartney’s clunky solo drum tracks can attest. What is true is that Ringo is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of rock percussionists. He hasn’t always gotten the respect he merits.
Bridge Between 2 Nations
Spanning the miles. Reaching across the centuries. The United States and Canada – two countries that share the world’s longest undefended border – have stood as staunch allies in times of War and peace. On July 4, 2012, the establishment of the southernmost Binational Peace Garden in St. Marys (next to historic Oak Grove Cemetery) further united these two great nations.
From the autumn of 1969 till three years later, I was the news editor of the most militant black newspaper in Atlanta .This city lays claim to be the most race conscious city in the nation. It was the hub of the great revolving wheel of the Civil Rights Movement. Atlanta provided the generals and the grunt troops to the great push to put Ol’ Man Dixie back into his wormy box built by slavery and sustained by segregation.
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Until about a week ago, everything in my world was fine. In fact, you might even say it was exceptional. I had a nice job in the jurisprudence game, a late model car, good looking wife, smart kids and great standing in the community…
Nora Ephron was forever young and forever funny. And all of a sudden, she’s gone!
So many of us could relate to her writings, musings, movies and books – not to mention a failed marriage or botched film that made her really human to her fans. When I was starting my own writing career in Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s, she was writing essays for Esquire that were always pithy, self-effacing and spot on. If you never read, “A Few Words about Breasts” check it out.
SCROTUS v. POTUS
Breaking News: CJ Roberts tacks left to uphold mandate and Affordable Healthcare Law; then to the right to allow states not to expand Medicaid.
America must have some of the stupidest, least informed and most gullible people on earth, but that is another story. Today the Supreme Court finally announced their ruling that there will be comprehensive reform of our badly broken healthcare system during our lifetimes.
We learned that the 6 percent among us who don’t have insurance and don’t want it are required to have it or face a penalty*; and if the other 10 or so percent who don’t have health insurance, but want it can buy it.