Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only Law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited….What a paradise would this region be!
~~ John Adams, 1756 ~~
We call it “modern times.” We’re up-to-date, we’re high tech. At the cutting edge, the leading edge, smarter and brighter than ever before. We’re enlightened! We have the Internet, and much of the world’s knowledge right here at our fingertips. In so many ways, we are a truly blessed nation.
Some say they don’t care what the older generation thinks. After all, what do they know? Others quote the Founding Fathers to validate a point, usually political, while at the same time ignoring the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe those same founders wrote and spoke so much about. Continue reading
There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth. ~~ Dorothy Thompson
Ethics in Journalism is dead my friend. You hadn’t heard? Tragically and sadly it’s so. There was no announcement, no obituary, no funeral, no day of mourning, no closure. It just happened. Ethics you see is gone, you can be sure of that.
The Fourth Estate once stood for something. It used to be an honored profession, a free-agent, independent of outside influence. At one time a watchdog and guardian over governments and politicians gone astray. It’s now just the opposite. That once great institution stands now as a facilitator, a protector, an enabler. Journalism’s hatchet men have become manipulators and endorsers of the worse that government, and the governed, has to offer. All at the cost of ethics. What was once revered should now be feared. Journalists have become no less than secondary parties to a crime. You and I, our posterity, and our country have become — many of us — its unwitting victims. Continue reading
Pfc. Bradley Kritzer
Today* would have been his 27th birthday. An all-American boy from small-town America. Bradley G. Kritzer, like many from the small boroughs of central Pennsylvania’s Clearfield county loved the outdoors and someday hoped to work there with an organization like the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Brad is a lot like many of my cousins with hunting and fishing a favorite pastime. It is said that he grew up with a rifle in hand, hunting turkey and deer with his father and going fishing every chance he got. Brad is a distant cousin whose life I was drawn closer to by the tragedy of his death. Continue reading
Thanksgiving and the controversy surrounding premature Christmas music and Black Friday taken to the extreme is now behind us. Lately, it seems there’s been an onslaught against Thanksgiving. One day meant to be spent with family and friends has become little more than looking ahead to a late night/early morning/next day venture to the malls and big box stores. All to take advantage of so-called door-buster deals, among the maddening crowds and frenzied shoppers. Thanksgiving should come first! More about this… next year.
I received an email a few weeks ago. You know the kind that are sent en masse to all our contacts. The same I’m guilty of sending occasionally myself. It was a message I thought worth sharing which I did among those on my personal email list and now with you. It turns out its been widely distributed, not only in email, but among newspapers, blogs and other web sites, even on Facebook. You could definitely say, Its gone viral!
If its message doesn’t make sense during these tough financial times for American families and business — especially during the holiday season — then I don’t know what does. If we were to start this tradition it would make a huge difference making this year one of the most memorable Christmases ever. I have no idea who originally wrote this… but I’ve edited and added to it to fit my own style. My apologies to readers living outside our borders. This is all about America. Continue reading
It was two weeks ago today, the morning of November 3rd. Walking through a Walmart and what did I hear? The all-too familiar strains of …
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring ting tingling too
Come on, it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you
That’s right… sing along with me! It was the song Sleigh Ride. Christmas music a full 52 days before the blessed day. And it’s been running non-stop ever since at the world’s largest retailer! People tell me they heard it in other stores the same week as well. Here at my local Starbucks — as I write this — you’ll hear an occasional Christmas song, that’s all. Much better than wall-to-wall Walmart.
Now we’ll be hearing two months of Christmas music. Last year I noted it was still playing in stores well beyond January 1st. And what for?
To celebrate the birth of Christ? I don’t think so…. Obviously it’s for the proverbial almighty dollar. The only ring ting tingling dancin’ in the retailer’s heads is the ka-ching of their cash registers. While a tingling feeling fondles the back of their neck with the thought of big profits and hopes for a banner shopping season! Retailers, wanting to spread the good cheer, dear reader want you — Walmart shoppers et al — to begin thinking of the holidays and start the spending early. As if we need reminded of any of it. Continue reading
We find it easier to believe that our differences are more important than what we have in common. Bill Clinton, State of the Union Address, 28 January 1998
I’ve mentioned before that I try to avoid posting here on the subjects of politics and religion, but have fallen to the temptation within these pages on a few occasions. I probably will fail again in the future. They are after all controversial and important aspects of many people’s lives. Facebook, with all its social networking, is the place where I usually get my occasional fix… of the political kind.
This past Tuesday in response to a Facebook status update, in which I alerted my Facebook friends about my latest post, Root’s Kunte Kinte, Fact or Fiction?, the proverbial race card was played. It was not my intent, the posting be racial in any fashion. I would have written it even if Alex Haley were a white man, but that’s the way things go within the open medium of ideas and opinion like Facebook. It could happen here too. A long-time friend in a short but succinct message used the “N” word and added his racist opinion. After some deliberation on the subject I decided to not delete it. But I did write the following reply with emphasis added. (The names have been removed.)
Like many women my age, I am 28 years old. ~~ Mary Schmich
Mary Schmich is a lot smarter than me. She was born in Savannah, Georgia and went to high school in Phoenix, Arizona. She would go on to get her B.A. from California’s Pomona College. Then, after three years working in college admissions, and more than a year in France, she attended journalism school at Stanford. She worked as a newspaper reporter afterwards and in 1985 went to the Chicago Tribune. Later she became their national correspondent in Atlanta.
In 1992 she started writing a column for the Tribune but after a year took time off to attend Harvard on a Nieman Fellowship for journalists. Like I said, Mary’s a lot smarter than me. From 1985 until January of this year she authored a comic strip Brenda Starr. She’s also a ragtime piano player. Multi-talented I’d say.
Schmich who is still writing her columns for the Tribune wrote her most famous in 1997. She started with a simple admonition and continued with advice for living without regret. In time that advice would be spread around the Internet and, as often happens, has been falsely identified as a commencement address given at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by author Kurt Vonnegut. The author was once quoted by the New York Times as saying, I would have been proud had the words been mine.