Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good..."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fifty Years Ago

I was eleven years old, and I was at school. My classmates and I had just gotten settled at our desks for English class. But our teacher, Mrs. Nussbaum, was uncharacteristically distracted. She stood at the door, her back to the classroom, whispering intensely with another teacher. 

The bell rang, signaling the beginning of the period. Mrs. Nussbaum spun around and shouted, “Take out a piece of paper, now!” We all grabbed a sheet of loose leaf paper and slapped it on our desks. “Write a100-word essay on the importance of the presidency!” And she turned back to her hallway discussion.

I started writing. “1964. A president will be chosen...” Suddenly the classroom door slammed. We all looked up and watched our teacher walk to her desk. She sat down slowly, as though in pain. We waited, hardly breathing. Mrs. Nussbaum folded her hands on the desk and announced, “The president has been shot.”

We all gasped in unison. As she began to explain that we didn’t know too much about it yet, the public address system crackled to life. The school principal, Mr. DeGennaro, expressed his sorrow in informing us of “the assassination of President Kennedy today in Dallas, Texas.”

“So he’s dead, then,” Mrs. Nussbaum remarked in a dull voice, as if to herself. The principal asked for a moment of silence. As I mentally raced through a “Hail Mary,” I looked up at Mrs. Nussbaum. She was still sitting at her desk, head bent, eyes closed, hands folded now in prayer. Her lips were moving, and she was whispering strange words. As I strained to listen, I realized she was speaking Hebrew. My teacher was saying Kaddish for President Kennedy.

A silent minute passed. The PA system crackled again, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” began to play over the school’s loudspeakers. Mrs. Nussbaum jumped to her feet and slapped her right hand over her heart. As if connected by wires, the entire class immediately did the same. As we stood at attention during the national anthem, we could see the school’s American flag being lowered to half staff through our classroom windows.

When I rushed home that afternoon, it was surreal to find my father already there and in his “Saturday clothes.” Dad told me that he couldn’t concentrate at work after he heard the news and just came home. I sat with him throughout the evening and weekend, both of us glued to the grim black and white images that would fill television screens worldwide.

The entire country was wounded, grieving, staggering with sorrow. The assassination was all people could talk about for a long time. I was old enough to feel shocked and sad over President Kennedy’s assassination, but not old enough to grasp the countless implications of this dramatic turn of history.

It was the beginning of the end of innocence for our country. I remember so much of it. But my most vivid memory of November 22, 1963, is the image of Mrs. Nussbaum, deep in prayer for her dead president.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Color of Clueless

Oprah's recent ranting against "racist" America is more pathetic than enraging. She's got her gifts, but intellectual heft certainly isn't one of them.

Here is a multi-billionaire woman, one of the most famous people in the world. She happens to be of African American descent, but the majority of her fans aren't. As an American, Oprah built her fortune in the free market capitalist system that made this country great. She enjoys all the benefits and advantages of being a rich American woman, and she leveraged her wealth and influence to help elect the first African American president. Good for her. That's what free countries are all about.

It took a lot of non-black votes being cast for President Obama to be elected. And it takes a lot of non-white dollars being spent to keep Oprah at the pinnacle she has reached. It's a shame she's too ignorant to recognize how well both she and the president have succeeded in this "racist" hellhole called the U.S.A.

Oprah opines that the old racists will "just have to die" before things change in the U.S. Really? What about the 60% of voters under age 30 (of all colors) who voted for Barack Obama in 2012? More than half of them now view the president negatively. I doubt his skin color has much to do with their disapproval.

Why would Obama voters turn against him? Could the problem be shoving bad healthcare policy on us? Telling too many lies? Covering up multiple scandals? Insulting our longtime allies? Kissing up to our mortal enemies? There's a virtual smorgasbord of reasons why President Obama's approval rating is down to a mere 37%, and his race isn't one of them. Oprah needs some new talking points as much as she needs to face facts.

Incompetence is an equal opportunity deficiency, and it has no color. The nation's trouble right now is that our president is doing a bad job. That's the truth---in black and white.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Great Fall

President Obama, as is his wont, made another sweeping adjustment to "the law of the land," as we've so often been reminded his Affordable Care Act is. He said insurers should reinstate the canceled health insurance policies of millions of Americans, just for one year. Just like that. Really.

Forget the "born in Africa" theory--I want to know what planet this guy is from. The insurance industry has been shifting gears for years to accommodate the "Obamacare" law. They've implemented new software systems, rewritten health insurance plans, invested huge amounts of financial and human resources into being ready to meet the new legal requirements as of January 1, 2014. But now, because the president is being forced to admit that he screwed up, he wants a do-over. As Rhett Butler once remarked, "It's not that easy, Scarlett."

With his airy directive, Mr. Obama continues to ignore the fact that his tinkering with our personal health care since he was elected in 2008 is unconstitutional. He once again displays his shocking ignorance of how business works. Not to mention that this is another example of government by presidential decree, not by congressional legislation--more unconstitutional nonsense. It seems "the law of the land" is anything the president decides it is on any given day. At this chaotic
moment in American history, we're the biggest banana republic in the world.

You can't unscramble an egg. This mess will only get worse. It's time to flip the switch on the garbage disposal and start over on a clean counter.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Taking Out the Trash

Information Technology, or "I.T." as it's popularly called, has transformed all of our lives. Where we used to make a call, write a letter, or drop in, we now just log on to a website and do our business (and let the NSA take it from there).

I've had my current computer for almost five years. It's a Mac that I bought for the photo and DVD functions, also the iPod application. Having grown up, technologically speaking, in the Microsoft universe, Apple's document programs are worthless to me. But I do like the photo features, both for personal use and for blogging.

Besides the blog, my other social media platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. That's a lot of keyboarding, a lot of cutting and pasting--and a lot of deleting. Lately I've noticed that web pages have been loading slowly and then crashing, which makes it very tough to blog successfully. So I decided to do some basic maintenance. Remember, I'm a PC person, not an Apple gal. I've never paid too much attention to the trash bin on the desktop.

When I hit the button to empty the trash tonight, I had 48,957 items in it. That was an hour ago. It's down to 45,002 items now. Looks like I'll need to leave the computer running for awhile. And they say Macs are easy? Ha! Lesson learned. This would never happen with a Dell.

Next time I buy a computer, it's back to PC-Land for me. I prefer my Apples to be the edible kind.