Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Sunday Feeling-The Thanksgiving Edition

I got the call a week or so ago that Aunt Ginger was in the hospital in Searcy. She had just undergone emergency bypass surgery. A tiny woman, Ginger had been in poor health for some time due to obstructive pulmonary disease. We didn't know she had heart problems. That was the reason for the quick trip to Searcy from Heber, a trip that got her admitted immediately.

On Sunday, she seemed to be doing better. But by late Monday night the word from the hospital was that she had taken a turn for the worse. I got up there Tuesday morning. I looked through the glass in the little family room there at the hospital where he had spent the last two nights. Uncle Ralph was sitting in a recliner staring into space. I went on in.

" Boy I sure am glad to see you," he said as he stood up to give me a hug. " I was afraid I was gonna have to do this by myself."

"Uh-oh.." I thought. " Do what?"

"What's going on?" I asked.

" I talked to the doctors this morning," he said. " They say her lungs are filling up with fluid. They can drain her off but it won't do no good. They will just keep filling up. And now her kidneys aren't working. They say that they can keep her alive for who knows how long but that she isn't ever going to be OK."

" What do you want to do?" It was mainly a rhetorical question.

" Ginger and I talked about this last week. She told me if she wasn't ever going to get better that she didn't want to be hooked up to a machine. The doctors told me it ain't no use....."

I just let him talk. My Uncle Ralph is not a complicated man. But this was the biggest decision he was ever going to make in his life and so he needed to work it all out in his head. The poor man, being exhausted as he was, must have repeated the substance of his conversation with Ginger at least 3 times over the next 45 minutes. Each time the story began with " Ginger and I talked about this last week...."and each time I acted as if I were hearing it for the first time.

Finally he said, " Let's go tell the nurses." We went back through the electronic double doors to the ICU. As we approached Ginger's room I could see her. Her eyes were fixed at a point in the heavens. She was struggling mightily to breathe, her small chest heaving up and down. Dear God in heaven. It was time.

" I want this to end," Ralph told the nurse. " Ginger wouldn't want this."

" I understand," she said as she squeezed Ralph's arm. "We have to get permission from the doctors to start the process and we can't turn the machine completely off without the doctor being in the room and ordering us to do it."

So back we went to the family room to wait for the call. Ralph collapsed into the recliner. He put his head in his hands.

" You're doing the right thing," I said. " Even if she miraculously survived, she would be in a nursing home somewhere on dialysis. Her lungs have to be damaged even worse now and God knows if her heart would ever get better. You would have to think she would be bedfast even if she survived."

" No. She wouldn't want that," he said as he shook his head back and forth in his hands." No. I promised her I wouldn't let that happen."

About that time, the phone rang. It was the nurse. It was time.

Ralph stood up. He smoothed his hair back and put a plug of tobacco in his jaw. I opened the door.

"Ready?" I asked. He nodded.

We stopped outside the double doors. We looked at each other.

" You got any advice?" he asked.

I said the only thing I could think of.

" Deep breath through your nose." I said. " Hold it. Exhale.'

He did it twice. I put my hand on his shoulder as I hit the button. And we went through the big doors together.


I stayed in the doorway as Ralph said goodbye to Aunt Ginger. The nurses began shutting down the machine. I felt a hand on my shoulder. It belonged to the man who introduced himself as the chaplain of the hospital. I introduced myself as the nephew.

" Bless her heart," he whispered. "Bless her heart."

" I know. This is pitiful," I whispered back.

" Do they have any children that I need to call?"

" No children. They married each other 'late in life' as they say."

" How did they meet?"

" I'm sorry?"

" How did they meet? I'm always interested in people's stories."

" You really want to know?"

" Sure. If you don't mind my asking...."

" Not at all. Get this. They first met when Ralph went out there to do a bushhog job on Ginger's property."

The chaplain's face lit up in delight.

" I'll be. What a wonderful story," he said.

" Yeah," I said. " She invited him back to the house that night for a chili supper. The rest, as they say, is history."

" I'll be," he said, still unable to suppress the grin on his face despite the sadness of the scene before us.

We stood there in silence for a minute with his hands in his pocket. After awhile he leaned over to me.

" I guess he did a good job," he said.

" I guess so," I replied.


And so Thanksgiving 2008 was a sad one. We mourned the loss of a life and it grieved us to see Uncle Ralph in such pain. But I am thankful for Ginger and a life well lived despite her constellation of medical problems. I am thankful to have been a small part of the love story that began after an invitation to come for supper to the guy that cut her yard.

We all hope for a peaceful death. We want to slip away in our sleep surrounded by our friends and our loved ones. Unfortunately, our technology can keep us from a dignified end unless there are people surrounding us in those dreadful moments when we are but an adjunct to a computer to give us back our humanity. Like I said, Ralph is not a complicated man. I am thankful to have been an unlikely witness to his determination to carry out his wife's wishes not to be kept alive by artificial means even as it broke his heart in the process.

And so I will always remember Thanksgiving 2008. I will always remember and be thankful. Because two days before Thanksgiving, in a hospital room in Searcy, I caught a glimpse of the sacred.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shameless Plug II

I was asked to contribute to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's " Best Books of 2008." It will run in tomorrow's Editorial Section. Enjoy!
And buy somebody a book for Christmas, why don't ya?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vox Populi: The Criminal Defense Lawyer

This was forwarded to me from one of my little lawyer friends in Mississippi.

"For those of you that don't do any criminal work, this is what you miss. I was pleading my guy to his fourth felony (narcotic sales, a sex offense and a violent act). I worked out a great deal, no time. He then asked "Is this going to make it harder for me to become a federal marshal? It's my dream."

"I told him this fourth conviction wouldn't help."

This is why I don't do criminal work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shameless Plug

Once again, it was my privilege to read a story for KUAR's "Tales From The South." You can hear the Thanksgiving program live Thanksgiving night at 7pm CST on the air at FM 89 here in town or simulcasted on the website. You can also pull it off the archives.

Go to

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Sunday Feeling

Okay. Going to DC on corporate jets to ask Congress for billions of dollars to bail out the American automotive industry was a really bad idea. Granted, the fact that each of the amusingly named "Big Three" maintain a fleet of corporate jets for the use of its executives is not exactly the biggest problem facing the industry and certainly is not the cause of its present difficulties. Still, it looked like hell and makes you wonder what planet these guys as well as the execs over at AIG are living on.

Given the monumental hubris on display last week by guys who came to Congress with their hats in their hands, it is tempting to say " to hell with them" and urge Washington to turn a deaf ear to Detroit. Indeed, some commentators have opined that the best thing that could happen would be to go ahead and let them fail if for no other reason than it's all they deserve.

Oh, if only it were that simple.

I ran into a woman in the grocery store today that I went to college with. Her mind was much on the economy. She works for a local technology company that does billing and such for many large corporations such as-guess who?- Ford.

" If Ford fails, I lose my job. Period. I have 2 kids in college and my mother is starting to need more attention. Don't people understand that if Ford goes broke it will affect more people than just factory workers?"

And there's the rub. It is easy to think that if the Detroit automakers go down it will primarily affect the arrogant executives and the greedhead union bosses. But this is not true. It will affect suppliers, the gas companies, tire manufacturers, banks and people like my friend thousands of miles from Michigan.

As Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has said repeatedly, the world is flat. Everything is connected up. If the current banking-foreclosure crisis hasn't proven that in spades then, well, you just haven't been paying attention. The ripple effect of a couple hundred thousand people hitting the unemployment line at the same time in an economy that has already been poleaxed would be nothing short of catastrophic without regard to the ripple effect on all of the jobs throughout the country that depend on the American automotive industry to some extent or another.

Either the spendthrifts that ran Detroit into the ground will get religion and come up with a plan of reorganization that the Congress can live with or it will have one imposed upon it by its creditors in Bankruptcy Court. And the guess here is that neither the execs or the unions particularly relish the prospect of a Bankruptcy Judge calling the shots.

But the industry cannot be allowed to fail. Because everything is connected. Ask my friend from college.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Patrik Update

I went by Children's Hospital today. They have started chemo on Patrik. Bill said the staff over there is way aggressive with his treatments. Patrik had a tough day today but they are pleased with his progress. As Bill told me, "His numbers are dropping faster than the Dow. Which is good."

I was allowed to look in on Patrik and Joy. I called out to him. Patrik whimpered back a hello. He was flat out motionless which is not what you usually see out of a 4th grader. It was hard to see. But he will be better. It's just a tough thing.

Bill said that the response to the call for blood was nothing short of phenomenal. Folks from virtually every denomination and synagogue answered the call. Many folks had no idea what their blood type was. Most did not match but donated anyway as long as they were there. Accordingly, Little Rock has enough blood available to withstand a nuclear attack.

It is indeed a win-win situation. The family is profoundly moved and humbled by this.

Hopefully, they will get to go home Wednesday. Until then they are in good hands.

Patrik Update

This is the latest on the little boy with leukemia who needed donations of the rare blood type last week. Due to the outpouring of help from the community they are in a position to begin his chemotherapy. As it stands right now, Patrik is fine and is spending his time in the ICU playing video games. They have gotten his white count down to around zero and so will begin the chemo treatments today or tomorrow as I understand it.

Patrik will not be able to attend school for a year. So, his school is setting about getting the technology together so he can "distance learn" from the hospital and/or the home.

That is all I know. Check back here from time to time for updates.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Sunday Feeling

President-elect Obama has said that his election is proof that anything is possible in America. This is only true in the mathematical sense that everything in life is at least a 50-50 proposition. Either something will happen or it will not.
As adults we tend to bet the under on life. This is not mere cynicism. It is prudent. The economy is in the dumper. The poor will be always with us. There are wars and rumors of war. The Cubs and the Saints will always suck. And the Phillies rewarded their long suffering fans by jacking up ticket prices.
We shrug our shoulders and move on. Somewhere between the house payment and skin cancer most of us have long since lost our capacity to be amazed or to give ourselves over to unbridled hope. It's not the smart play.
The boy in the picture is named Spencer. He is one of our Miracle League kids. Yesterday we had our annual fundraiser. About 9 or 10 Major League players including Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee and All Star pitcher A.J. Burnett showed up to spend the day with local kids. In the afternoon, they played a "game" with the Miracle Leaguers.
Spencer has had a tough year. He spent most of the Spring in Children's Hospital. He spent 3 days there last week when his pneumonia came back. His Dad told me that Spencer bargained with the doctors to let him come out yesterday. And so he did with lines running into his body from his fanny pack. Indeed, he wasn't able to finish his initial attempt at batting because his pack, with all his IV lines started slipping.
No problem. At Miracle League we refer to this as an equipment change.
I don't know if A.J. Burnett knew about Spencer's week. All I know is that when the kid came back up to the plate, Burnett asked for the ball. And the picture above shows Spencer's reaction to the sight of A.J. Burnett coming to pitch to him. And he got the full treatment too. Burnett gave him the back-to-the-plate-right-knee-to-the-chest-hide-the-ball-windup before gently tossing him the ball underhanded. And Spencer stood there thus transfixed for at least the first 3 pitches after which he was gently reminded to try to hit the damn thing.
Yeah, we as adults lose the capacity to be amazed. We also forget that there are good people in sports. We seem to get a steady diet of criminals like Pac-Man Jones or knuckleheads like Manny Ramirez. Now the guys that showed up yesterday would probably scoff at the notion that they were heroes. They all seemed pretty normal to the extent that one can be "normal" when you have as much money as they do at that age. But Cliff Lee seems to get it. When asked by the local paper why he was out there yesterday he simply said that he owed his living to the fact that people like baseball and that he wanted to give something back.
There you go. Screw Manny Ramirez.
Mr. Obama won an election using hope as his platform. But that's politics. Hell, you can't be Spencer or any of those other Miracle League kids without hope.
Look at that face attached as it is to his frail little body. Ask yourself: who had the better day?
You or my boy Spencer?
Get back with me on that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not From The Onion

The headline of the day appeared on Comcast's home page:

"Austrian Incest Dad Charged With Murder."

There's all kinds of stuff here that you just don't want to put on your resume.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Gotta Nikon Camera. I Love To Take Photographs.

Here is 15 year old Jackson Edwards pulling for the old man as Uncle Sam on Election Night. He was seen earlier in the week wearing Ray-Bans and rocking out to his IPod.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Well, maybe the falcon does hear the falconer after all

The Moving Finger is off attending to his charitable works today and so was nice enough to let me post in his stead. Today's topic is (surprise!) politics. Here goes:

Tuesday's election was not just historic, it was different. It might even have redefined the way we go about American politics. For the first time since the Kennedies, the a major party didn't vote as a coalition of factions, but as a unified party. I never thought I'd see it from either side, certainly not from the Left.

Here's the deal: since the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers in 1963 and 1968, American liberalism has been defined more by what it is against than what it is for. We've become a loosely affiliated group of often like-minded people who oppose racism, sexism, handguns, pollution, global warming, limitations on abortion, war, and pretty much everything the second Bush administration ever did. Opposition has been what we're all about, and it's been getting more complicated every election: Johnson ran against poverty and ran attack ads against Goldwater. It worked. McGovern ran against war and racial discrimination, and while I can't remember any attack ads, that may just been because he had no money. Anyway, it didn't work. Carter was against discrimination and pollution and right to work laws and sexism and Republican corruption, and it worked, but once he got into office, each of his constituent interest groups tried to jostle and elbow its way to the head of the line, which pushed his administration farther to the left than the electorate could tolerate, so he cratered after one term. Clinton put Carter's coalition back together and motivated minority voters, but he's not really a good example, because he never could have won if crackpot billionaire third party candidate Ross Perot hadn't siphoned off 19% of the center-right vote from Bush pere. Without Perot, Pere would have won in a walk. Really more of a stroll. Or an amble. Nevertheless, Clinton sneaked into power, and once in, he (personally, as opposed to those around him) seemed to understand that the party needed to stay towards the center to retain the White House. He hadn't really won, after all, and he was smart enough to know it. Here's where the perils of coalition politics took a bite out of his behind. There was never a chance that an outsider like him was going to have much impact on Congress, especially having won only 43% of the vote. Not that he really tried, at least not until it was too late. His people just didn't understand that they were more lucky than good and had no mandate to boss Congress around. Once again, each constituency group made loud demands, and with a Democratic Congress and a Democrat in the White House, they all expected action. Once again, it led to electoral failure, this time in the form of the 1994 mid-term elections.

When the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, a mere two years after Clinton's election (if we'd all remembered that he didn't really win we wouldn't have been so surprised) it wasn't as much his fault as everyone said. Dems had been too vocally partisan about fringe issues in Clinton's first two years. After twelve years of Reagan and Bush pere, by God, House Democrats were ready for a turn, and they demanded quick action on dozens of pet projects and harebrained schemes. Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, got Republicans nationwide to buy into the (mostly never implemented or even seriously attempted) Contract With America so that all of them were running the same campaign. It resonated everywhere in several senses of the word. Democrats dissolved into their various bickering splinter groups and failed everywhere. Newt may have been forming a coalition, or co-opting the Reagan one under his own banner, but it didn't look like it at the time.

During the post-Kennedy years, the Republicans had started their own coalitions, theirs just didn't have as many moving parts. At least not to start. Republicans up through Nixon had run as fiscal conservatives who saw foreign relations as a route to trade, peace and prosperity. In the post-Nixon period, Reagan figured out that there were a lot of "values" voters who didn't think their voices were being heard throughout the south and Midwest. He welcomed them into his tent. He managed to say things that traditional conservatives wanted to hear about balanced budgets, strong defense, and smaller government, and also managed to convince conservative Christians that he shared their views on abortion, gun rights, gay rights, prayer in school and that kind of thing--issues that had never been aired on the national stage before. It's odd that he convinced them, since he never went to church, but such was his appeal (George Will loved him) that nobody ever questioned him on any of this. His voters thought of themselves not so much as a coalition as two groups with a common purpose who were working together.

In reality, though, his voters were a coalition of a complicated suite of Christian conservatives on the one hand and a simple group of fiscal/foreign policy conservatives on the other, two sets that had noting in common but who were sustained in harmony by the charisma of Reagan himself. In the absence of Reagan, the Christian Right was unenthusiastic about Bush pere (unfortunate for history, since he knew how to start a war, which fils did not). It abandoned Pere to defeat at the hands of Clinton/Perot and only found its footing in the nineties when it was united not by previously-acknowledged common purpose but by its newly-discovered hatred of Bill Clinton. When the same coalition was reassembled in 2000 by Bush and Rove, the bickering and infighting amongst different Republican factions reached a volume not heard since the Democrats of the Carter administration.

Whether Reagan believed all of what he said is open to debate, but what he promised bore no resemblance to what happened, except for the tax cuts and increases in military spending. On his watch the government grew, the deficit ballooned, our international standing sagged (Jessie Helms made a mockery of the U.N., and Reagan did nothing), and discretionary spending soared. On the values issues his judges (O'Connor, Kennedy) upheld Roe v. Wade, and he allowed limitations on gun ownership (the Brady Bill). Rove and maybe Bush appear to have learned from Reagan that promising conservatives what they want is important, but actually giving them what they want is less so. Who else are they going to vote for?

So the overarching themes of the last forty years of presidential politics are that (1) governors usually win and Senators usually lose (just think back) and (2) that you can't get elected president except at the head of a coalition, but once elected, that coalition will make it more difficult for you both to govern and to retain power. Your constituents will want to pull your party towards its extremes, and disappointed factions will splinter and complain and develop a sense of frustrated entitlement.

All of this factionalization leads to lots of anger, too. Single issue voters on both sides are so sure of their positions that they have no ability to find middle ground. Anti-abortion Republicans feel justified in protests and demonstrations that seem utterly unreasonable to any outside observer. Pro-environment liberals set fire to Colorado condominium developments and Hummer dealerships. They call themselves "pro-life" and "pro-environment," but they're not. They're not "pro" anything. They're against abortion and against gas-guzzling SUVs. The fact that abortion and gas-guzzling are wrong is what's important, otherwise they'd be working in orphanages and giving flowers to Prius drivers. Being for something doesn't make you angry, certainly not angry enough to commit murder or arson.

There's a lot of anger and impatience associated with the things liberals have been against over the last forty years, and a lot of it is understandable. African-Americans were angry at discrimination and the awful way they've been treated throughout our history. Women were angry at being paid less than men. Environmentalists were impatient with a government that relied on crackpots to turn a blind eye to global warming. Civil libertarians watched with horror and anger as phones were tapped and non-combatents were detained in military prisons. All of that liberal impatience and anger is hard enough to suppress when a Regan or a Bush is in the White House, but it comes bubbling to the surface scalding hot once Clinton or Carter gets elected. "Our guy is in the Oval Office. He promised us he'd do something about this. He couldn't have gotten elected without us. This issue is extremely important to me. Why isn't he doing anything?"

Over time the coalitions on both sides have become increasingly unstable and uneasy, because every member wants to be first. The same coalition that adhered like rubber cement to the charismatic Reagan abandoned the less charismatic Bush pere and blew up like a hand grenade under the awkward Bush fils.

Until now. Everything just changed.

Last Tuesday the board got swept clean. It's all the sudden different. A young man with a soaring message of hope and coalition did not, as all of his predecessors had for forty years, appeal to our fears and feeling that we've been victimized. He did not collect a bunch of pre-existing factions and make promises to them. He didn't even specifically appeal to organized labor or civil rights groups. He appealed to all of us. He identified the major challenges facing our nation: the war in Iraq, the economy, global warning, health care, and energy independence, and told us his plans for dealing with them. He then built a political organization like only a Chicago pol knows how: from the ground up. Volunteers showed up from everywhere, and he used them--he didn't need Clinton's donor list or the Teamsters' volunteer list. He utilized the Internet to raise untold amounts of money--more than they could spend--from millions of small donors rather than a few big ones. When Bill Clinton was in the White House, if Hollywood came calling with requests to extend copyrights beyond the dreams of avarice (and certainly beyond the authorization of the Constitution) Bill had to listen. Not Barrack. When a coalition of big box church preachers wanted to talk to Bush fils or pere about the Biblical implications of tax policy, Bush (either) had to listen. Obama won't. He doesn't owe anybody anything. Several actors in the most recent presidential drama stepped on to the presidential stage tried to reinvent themselves to appeal more to their party's base. Not Obama. He knew who he was and he stuck to it. Finally, a real deal. And finally, no coalition. No special interest except a national interest.

His overarching message is one of cooperation, transformation, collaboration, and hope. It is an inspiring message. The Democratic Party, and I hope the American liberal movement, has suddenly, in the course of just two years, defined itself in terms of what it is for, rather than what it is against. The energy and patriotic pride we're feeling can transform politics into a more productive, more civil, happier future. Without coalition politics and all the jostling and trying to elbow our ways to the front of the line it entails, we can develop priorities as a nation. Without the angry baggage that comes with issue politics, we can address our most pressing needs, rather than the ones with the most vocal protesters.

I think our homework is to get along, to remember that the country is governed from the center, not the left, and to concentrate on what we're for, not what we're against. And that would be wonderful.

I know the election was historic, and wonderfully so. But it was unusual, too, and its unusualness may turn out to be more important than its historicity.

Sorry for going on.

For pieces containing more such foolishness, visit The link to the right containing a similar link doesn't work for some reason.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

That's Show Biz-It's Bad When They Call But It's Worse When They Don't

Can't do the usual Sunday post as I have to work on a story that I will read Monday in front of a live audience to be broadcast later on this month on KUAR's "Tales from the South." The editor gave me the changes FRIDAY AFTERNOON thank you very much. So I will be working on that in addition to shooting NCCJ's "Unity Walk" in the River Market tomorrow.

Perhaps PM or Polycarp will post something in my absence. Details will follow as to when the show will be broadcast.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vox Populi: The Candidate's Wife To Me Early This Morning Outside a Polling Place

CW: Oh, Hi! Thanks for coming out! Here's your sign. Why don't you go back there behind the fire station and wave at folks as they are coming up the back way?

Oh, and whatever you do don't talk to anybody OK?

tmfw: Is it against the law?

CW: No. I just don't want you talking to anybody.

tmfw: Oh.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Sunday Feeling

After Tuesday the long national nightmare will be over. I am referring, of course, to the unending Presidential election of 2008. I am not naive. I know that, in the immortal words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "politics ain't beanbag."
Politicians stretch the truth about their opponents and themselves. Sometimes it is shading facts. Salesman's "puff talk" as the old contracts cases on warranties used to call it. Sometimes it is overt lying.
And they all do it. I know this and most of the time I can survive a Presidential or statewide election by relying on the fact that I still have pretty good hand speed for an old guy and can get to the mute button on my remote in a flash.
My candidates appear on screen, I hit the mute. Their candidates appear, I hit the mute. I treat them all fairly and equally. I refuse to listen to any of it.
Anyway, even though I have pretty low expectations for truth and veracity to come out of your average campaign, still I am amazed at how the Republicans have aggressively pandered to the more paranoid and willfully ignorant of the electorate. PM over at strangepup recently discovered the latest headscratcher recently put out by the GOP's favorite hockey mom, Sarah Palin.
Palin recently said that the "attacks' on her by the 'mainstream media" had dark First Amendment implications for us all.
" If (the media) convince enough voters that it is negative campaigning for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," she told talk show host Chris Plante. " then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and out ability to ask questions without fear of attacks from the mainstream media."
A Catholic priest of my acquaintance likes to say that funerals present opportunities to teach. I think breathtakingly stupid comments such as the Governor Palin's disquisition on the First Amendment provide me with the same opportunity.
The long and the short of it is that the the Bill of Rights-for which the First Amendment bats leadoff- protects the rights of individuals against unwarranted incursion BY THE GOVERNMENT. Not by individuals. And not by pesky reporters asking troublesome questions.
As I have written before, if the Mayor of Little Rock kicks down my door, grabs my laptop, seizes my HP printer, and confiscates my cameras, THAT violates my rights to freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment. My buddy Pat telling me to shut the hell up while he is trying to putt, which happened with some frequency yesterday, does not. And neither do reporters' questions about Sarah Palin's campaign tactics.
Let us pause at this point to give equal time to the irresponsible commentary from the left. We are nothing if not fair around here.
It has been reported that known student of history Erica Jong has stated that if Barack Obama is not elected, there will be a second Civil War and that blood will run in the streets.
Jong's commentary is no less fatuous than Governor Palin's. But Erica Jong is the author of tedious feminist literature, some of which constituted grounds for prior restraint if ever there were any.
That's some First Amendment humor there folks. And it's not a very good joke if I have to explain it. I know.
Back to the script. Erica Jong isn't running for the second highest office in the land. Sarah Palin is. And here's the question you have to answer for yourself. Either Sarah Palin lacks the most rudimentary grasp of civics and constitutional law or she is merely pandering to the lowest and most paranoid denominator of the electorate A part of the strata that neither knows nor cares what the law or the facts are just so long as someone-granted an uncommonly attractive someone-gives voice to those darker assumptions and prejudices.
Tuesday night can't get here quick enough for me. Until such time as I can turn on a football game and not have campaign ads substituted for beer and car commercials, I shall have the remote on permanent mute.
It's my right under the First Amendment.