Friday, August 24, 2012

A little of this ... and a little of that

More potpourri as we await for one of the last weekends of the summer (sniff!)

I'd feel a lot more comfortable about Lance Armstrong's demise if any of the people who  have hounded him and accused him of doping had produced on shred of tangible evidence.

Armstrong may or may not be guilty of doping, or taking PEDs, but as long as the proof is still out there in the wind, this whole thing becomes a witch hunt. As it stands now, I can go out and accuse you of almost anything ... keep at it for years ... harass you until you break ... and then claim I was right all along.

I'm not sure I like that. And neither should anyone who has any respect for the laws governing slander, libel and due process.


Mitt Romney decided it would be a cool thing to tell a birther joke at his rally in Michigan. I think it would be a cool thing if Mitt Romney would just shut up. President Obama has been subjected to coded racism, both during his presidency and this campaign, that borders on unconscionable.

There's no greater proof of this than the birther movement. Is it any coincidence that the one non-white president has had this issue dogging him, in one form or another, since the 2008 campaign?

Argue all you want about the merits of Obamacare, Obama's handling of the economy, and whether the president has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the people who want to defeat him. All worthy subjects to tackle. But the minute anyone starts this stuff, the masks come off and the real reasons why people who oppose some of the things he does and says are fairly apparent. He's one of THEM ... he's not one of US.

I guess anyone (and that would include me) who thought we'd risen about this was sadly and hopelessly naive.


Someday, I'd like to propose my own Fantasy Biology the way Todd Aiken has. I'm sure lots of people are with me on this. For example, I'd imagine anyone who's had the experience of losing his or her self control in the throes of Saturday night passion only to find out, a month or so later, that the baby's due next spring is with me on this too.

Seriously. If the female body is so finely tuned that it can direct sperm from an unwanted depositor to bypass the egg and skip the whole process, then why can't it do the same thing with sperm produced via teenage lust? Unplanned pregnancies, teen parenthood, and single-parent households would all be rendered obsolete.

So how about it, Rep. Aiken? Can you work on that in your next chapter of "Fantasy Biology."


Of course, this also begs the question, "what is illegitimate rape?"


Am I the only one who wants to scream when anyone's first reaction to incidents such as today's shooting in New York City turns political? While the event is still unfolding?

We all know where we stand, by now, on guns. But while tragedies are unfolding, wouldn't it be better, just out of respect for those going through them, to wait before we start hopping on the soap box?

This doesn't mean guns and our attitude toward them aren't legitimate issues. But there is such a thing as respect too. And one of the worst aspects of this country -- and one of the reasons why the whole political process is going to hell -- is that thorny issues that ought to stop us in our tracks and make us think are instead immediately turned into fodder for demagogues to use to incite and rile people up.


I don't think the issue is whether all 25 members of the Boston Red Sox didn't go to Johnny Pesky's' funeral. I think the issue is that there were guys on that team, by nature of their stature within the organization and their association with Pesky, who should have been there ... even if it wasn't required.

Perhaps that's not the entire team. But it's sure more than four.

If you spent any time around Johnny Pesky you knew what a decent man he was. You knew how much he cared about the team, and how much he cared about the players on it. If you wore "Red Sox" across your chest, you were his guys.

There are some people in that clubhouse who should truly be ashamed of how short they came up in all this. I hesitate to indict everyone. But if Nomar Garciaparra can jet in from out of town to be there, then any of the players who perhaps should have made going to his funeral a priority could have easily grabbed a few hours of sleep and made it to St. John's Church in Swampscott by 1 p.m.


Here's a question: Which will stir up more wind gusts next week in Tampa? Hurricane Isaac or the Republicans?


Today, we saw film footage of a shark devouring a seal. Why? What's the news value? Sharks eat seals. In fact, sharks eat seals the way we eat chicken and beef. If you want to know why there are so many sharks swimming up and down the east coast, it's because there are twice as many seals.

That's what predators do ... they go where the food supply is. Otherwise, they don't eat and starve to death. But when some news broadcast breathlessly announces "dramatic new footage, shark eats seal," it's like saying "dramatic new footage ... dog barks."

It's the same reasons we've seen such growth in the coyote population ... even in cities. It's because deer are everywhere.

We need to make choices in this country. On one hand, we bemoan the fact that deer are hunted, or that baby seals are clubbed. Which is fine. It's far more humane to be concerned for them than it is to kill them. But you can't have it both ways. You can't be mindful of the barbaric aspects of hunting and be totally oblivious of nature's balance. To wit: if you put wolves in Yellowstone, they're going to find, and kill, livestock for food; fix it so deer roam around in your backyard (and even encroach on the habitats of wildlife) you're going to find coyotes. You populate the ocean with seals, be prepared for sharks.


Finally, there is nothing quite so humiliating as a colonoscopy. And nothing quite as necessary either. It's worth remembering that while you're going through all the parts of the procedure that strip you of just about every shred of dignity you ever had.

Just an unsolicited observation ... not a personal experience! At least not for another year.

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