Sunday, December 11, 2005

Senator Eugene McCarthy

"There is only one thing to do
- take it to the country!"

Former Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D-Minn.), whose surprisingly strong showing in the 1968 New Hampshire presidential primary dramatized deepening public opposition to the Vietnam War and effectively ended President Lyndon B. Johnson's political career, died yesterday Saturday, December 10th. He was 89.

Several years ago I was present at Wells College when Sen. McCarthy read his poetry.

Sitting there in a floral print wingback chair Sen. McCarthy shared his poems with the Wells women and a few men. I recall feeling that I was in the presence of a man who was comfortable in his skin.

While Sen. McCarthy was viewed by peers as something of a ruminator and a curmudgeon. I remember him as a most civil man driven by his conscience.

Robert Kennedy's brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, said in a statement yesterday: "Gene's name will forever be linked with our family. In spite of the rivalry with Bobby in the 1968 campaign, I admired Gene enormously for his courage in challenging a war America never should have fought. His life speaks volumes to us today, as we face a similar critical time for our country."

Sen. McCarthy often proclaimed his dependence on Thomas More as "the first modern man, the first political man."

"He was forced to make a kind of individual and personal choice at a time when there was great upheaval," Mr. McCarthy noted with satisfaction as he tried to explain himself to a nation also in upheaval.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

    Maya Angelou said this:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled
Christmas tree lights."

"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."

"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"Mother, what was war?"

‘... I tell you, war is hell!’

Publishers Weekly describes The March by E.L. Doctorow as “a ... Civil War Canterbury Tales.” In this powerful story, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman is affectionately called "Uncle Billy" by his troops. Nevertheless Sherman's name may still be the answer to the Alex Trebek question, "Who was and still is the most hated and despised man in the history of Georgia?”

Doctorow offers this stunning climactic statement from Sherman's lips: "our civil war . . . is but a war after a war, a war before a war."

Will today's war in Iraq replace the war in the fictitious Sherman's statement? If so, who will history scorn?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sit Still - Just Sit Still

"I got on the bus to go home."

The famous U.P.I. photo
actually taken on Dec. 21, 1956

Robert Fulghum on page 112 of his bestseller, It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, quotes the words heard at the pearly gates Monday evening 24th of October 2005. “Ah, Rosa Parks, we’ve been expecting you. Make yourself at home---take any seat in the house.”

Nearly 50 years ago, Dec. 1, 1955, Parks challenged the South's Jim Crow laws -- and Montgomery's segregated bus seating policy -- by refusing to get up and give her seat to a white passenger.

Impressive - how doing nothing could cause so much activity.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


"to flip-flop, or not to flip-flop"

Did the President accuse the Senator?

Or did the media attack the incumbent?

Whatever! the campaign is over.

But thanks to the the national championship Northwestern University women's lacrosse team flip-flops made it to the White House.

How were we to know that what may have started in a garage with a tire would morph into a pleasant respite from the war, Hurricane Emily, London bombings, Supreme Court confirmations, and other worldly concerns.

Flip - Hooray! for the one of the most comfortable forms of political footwear.

Flop - One recent study showed more and more problems tied to the casual footwear, citing a 15-percent increase in flip-flop-related injuries, such as back pain, knee problems and numbing of the toes.

Our best bet might be to kick the flip-flop habit off every once in awhile. Limiting how often we use flip-flops might save us years of misery down the road.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Act Your Age

Acting Their Age

According to David J. Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas, who coined the term busy ethic in a 1986 paper, there is an expectation that old age should be filled with activity. "Contemplation and inactivity is highly suspect all through life," he said.

Dr. Ekerdt said that when he used to interview retired couples for his research, "The wives would express dismay about their husbands, saying 'He just sits around and reads all day.' " That would hardly seem to be a common complaint now.

Take Jagger and Richards for instance. The Rolling Stones announced plans last week for another world tour. Mick Jagger will be 62 when the tour begins in August, and Keith turns 62 in December. While they may be aging rockers, they are also something else: active seniors.

But it's not just money that drives Mr. Jagger and Mr. Richards - and Charlie Watts, 63, and Ron Wood, the baby of the group at 57 - to keep performing.

"That's what they know how to do," said Nancy Morrow-Howell, a professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. "They're going to continue to do it."

So put your iPod earplugs in and crank up "Satisfaction".

Let's hear it for all those 60+ teenagers who know how to do it.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Fatal Attraction To Sideshows

P. T. Barnum

Tsunami Disaster

Terri Schiavo

John Paul II

Prince Rainier

Has death become a reality show?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kevin Pittsnogle - Mountaineer

Pittsnogle Fever

Pittsnogle, oddly euphonious. Pittsnogle, can you say it without giggling?

Pittsnogle, how many different ways you can use it a sentence?

Pittsnogle, what comes to mind? colorful tattoos? an uneven haircut? a scruffy goatee? a married collegian? a 6-foot-11 junior forward who does not like to play under the basket? a West Virginia player actually from West Virginia?

Have you been Pittsnogled yet?

March Madness. What fun.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Is B.C. history?

You Say Tomato And I Say…Tomahto

Whether the tomato is fruit or vegetable is almost like the story of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Now a new debate - should classroom instructors change B.C. to B.C.E. for Before Common Era and A.D. to C.E., for Common Era?

Just maybe Ira had it right, “Let's call the whole thing off.”

Friday, January 21, 2005

What's it all about, Dubya?

In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush used the word "tyranny" five times, "liberty" 15 and "freedom" 27. What do these words mean to you, Mr. President?

President Bush pledged to reform "great institutions to serve the needs of our time." What “great institutions” do you have in mind, Mr. President?

President Bush stated that "... it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time." If “it” is freedom and liberty, how do you plan to spread these ideals, Mr. President?

President Bush promised that U.S. relations with other countries would turn on how decently they treat their own people. How would you define “decently”, Mr. President?

Let intelligent discourse lead the way and you will find your answers, Mr. President.


What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
what will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
and you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The fellows in the Guinness beer commerical have it right

For the Love of Beer

Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
Babe Ruth

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his
Ernest Hemingway

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Paul Hornung

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.
H.L. Mencken

When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we
fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!
George Bernard Shaw

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Benjamin Franklin

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
Dave Barry

Remember "I" before "E", except in Budweiser.
Professor Irwin Corey

To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a "support group." Salvation in a can!
Leo Durocher