Thursday, March 30, 2006

Free Speech In Retreat

I'm a big free speech buff. But then again, who isn't? It's sort of like being for a clean environment. Sure, everyone is for it. It's the execution that counts.

Want some examples? Here you go.

Want to burn the flag? Go ahead. Want to burn the flag on Memorial Day? Go ahead. Want to burn the flag on Memorial Day at Veteran's funeral? Go ahead.

Want to have an anti-war protest outside Walter Reed Naval Hospital? Go ahead.

Want to protest outside an abortion clinic? Go ahead.


I do think that when you do those things you upset people a whole lot and if you get your ass kicked, the kicker shouldn't necessary be punished.

This video is the best example of my free speech stance. Want to flip off a cop for fun? Go ahead. But when the cop does what any man - cop or no - should do, don't get upset with the cop.

So I'm a bit nervous when religious zealouts scare Walden and Borders enough that they won't carry a magazine with a picture of Mohamed. Pee your pants all you want about the religious right, but if you've ever driven through Bible belt Georgia, you can hit a strip club every 2 miles, buy porn mags, and even a Koran and no body really cares enough to do anything more than cluck their tongues.

This September when Banned Books Week comes around, I know I'll see a table with plenty of Huck Finn and Fahrenheit 451. I just hope they'll also have a copy of the April edition of Free Inquiry magazine.

On the government front, it looks like Republicans are going to cave into more speech restrictions by appling the facists McCain-Feingold law to 527s. From the link:
Adds Cleta Mitchell: “The thing that is so discouraging is that my party, which opposed McCain-Feingold, has become the party that throws in with the guys who want to regulate everything. It just gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.”

At least it's not a US thang. In Canada, the Muslim's get government funding for suing a newspaper for publishing those cartoons and in if an evangelical Christian says that homosexuality is wrong...he may be going to jail.

Anybody going to stand up to this? Anybody?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

From Moonbatty and Alli

Appropriate since I could be considered a BNL fan.

Howard McEwen will have to write:

I will not lie in bed just like Brian Wilson did

'What will you have to write on the chalk board?' at
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Marianna Vardaka

I want to know more about this story. The female head of gynecology at Jewish Hospital - one of Cincinnati's finest hospitals - storms the house where her former married lover - a car salesman - and his wife were holed up.

Tops in her field and undone by that ol' green eyed monster. This part I loved.
The Amberley Village [think: cha-ching] woman - who stands 5-feet-3 and weighs 104 pounds - also struggled with a deputy. While handcuffed in the back seat, she also tried to kick out a door window of the cruiser, deputies said.
Call me crazy, but I think if more people went all Glenn Close when they're screwed with, then there'd be less people screwing with each other. I don't see enough street fights anymore. If you're rude, somebody should take a poke at you.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Morality of Public Schooling

I'm a libertarian conservative type of guy...and soon to become a hypocrite.

For reasons enumerated here and a couple kept between my wife and myself, our daughters will be attending public schools next year. I think this public school - at least with the current administrators - will be a better place for them to learn and grow up. I think they'll be happier here.

However, it is a public school. I believe in my heart that it is wrong that the two old ladies who live on each side of me and the childless twenty something couple across the street and the two middle age men living in the house down the street will be paying property taxes for my kid's education. Sure, I'm paying them also, but not nearly enough to cover the cost.

I think this is just as wrong as when others make claims against the government - odl people's medications, social security disability, bridges to nowhere - that I think are unconstitutional and wrong and that I'll have to pay for. What right do I have to demand that they pay for my kid?

I don't have any right...but I'm going to do it anyway.

Too long ago, I read Machiavelli more than a few times back to back. One of his lessons is that the Prince can't make his subjects suffer because of his morality. For example, if the Prince believes in non-violence, his position as Prince dictates that he give up his beliefs and protect his people with violence if it is so warranted. He can't make his subjects pay for his morality.

I am the prince of my household. I am responsible for these two little girls. It would be more wrong of me to let them attend schools not right for them and adhere to my precious moral beliefs than to sacrifice that part of my ego - my beliefs - and place them where it best suits them.

It makes me a hypocrite and uncomfortable. But it also makes me a good father. I've mulled it over in my head for awhile now. After remembering that passage from good o' Niccolo, I'll sleep better.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Morning

A friend of mine from high school once took a bad combination of prescribed and non-prescribed medication with a quarter of something else. She described a peaceful wonderful feeling of contentment. A dreamy happiness. A effemeral world where she was loved and loving.

Then the adrenaline hit her system and she came to in the ER. The nurses and doctors were cutting off her clothes, putting needles in her veins and trying to get a tube down her throat. Everyone was screaming, lights and noises were going off, her mother was crying in the corner and the bed was cold as ice. She started crying wanting to get back to the happy albeit unsustainable and untenable world.

That's what my Monday now feels like after Wine Festival Weekend.

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Wine Festival Weekend - The Aftermath

We're home. got in Sunday from the hotel about 12:30 - packed off the grandparents about 2:00 then reclined in a prone position watching various teleplays until it was time to wander off to sleep.

The wine festival was good. We actually found an ohio wine that we enjoyed. I've always wanted something close to home to know (no, I don't remember the name, but I took a pic of the label and the Divine Mrs. M. wrote it down.) anyway. they had a good white and a very nice ice wine. More details about wines later - maybe.

We weren't blittering drunk this time. I didn't even cop a buz until the last hour. Yes, we're a bit more sophisticated - or else that early dinner at Margarita's helped.

After the festival we headed back to the hotel so The Divine Mrs. M. could change. Then back out again to the The Havana Martini Club for - get this - dancing! Salsa dancing! or at least a close proximity offered up by my very non-salsafied ass.

It's a nice place. An grown up place. Meaning there weren't too many "kids" hanging around. And by "kids" I mean more people our speed who actually dance on the dance floor and don't dry hump their way out of the slow rise jeans or have the now ubiquitous two girls about to make out on the dance floor but never do - not that there's anything wrong with that. But we felt like being around grown ups. As the Divine pointed out - not one backward baseball cap in the entire place. Of course, they had a great screening process - $10+ martinis. You gotta be grown up enough to afford the drinks. We'll be heading back.

As for today, a slight delayed hangover has set in. A couple of meetings, one at 6 tonight. Just going to take it easy and load up on the ibuprofen and caffiene.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Bellevue's Adopt-A-Unit

Here's an article that from close to home. My city of bellevue has adopted the 526 FSB of the 101st Airborne. They're based in Ft. Campbell Kentucky. Soft piece, but the city is trying to do something nice. My oldest daughter was one of the ones that sent valentines back in January. I thought that must be weird. Some piece of childish kitsch that my daughter drew is sitting in some dump in Iraq - or stuck up someone in a building or tent. Who knows. Either way, the fact that it was sent is kind of cool.

I was given about 100 pictures to choose from. I sent 7 over to the Enquirer. I don't know which they printed since I haven't seen a paper version. But here's one. I don't know what she's doing. Re-elisting?

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

My First Serious Girlfriend

It was at college - over Christmas break. Everyone had gone home for the holidays but I was working nights as a security guard. One early evening before my shift I was walking through the dorm halls reading the crap that everyone put on their doors to express their unique personality. It was eerily quiet. Sort of like those scenes from The Shining except I wasn't riding a Big Wheel tricyle. I was wearing flip flops, shorts, and a Led Zepplin swan song concert shirt I stole from my room mates closet.

I rounded a corner and heard some music. "Somebody else is here I thought." I came up to her open door. The Cure was blaring from her mini-rack system. She was dressed in black and was writing the lyrics to the song on the wall in her own blood squeezing a large cut on her left index finger.

I stood there watching for a while and then she sensed my presence and - without turning - told me to come in.

I stepped in two feet and the smell of her Cloves cigarettes clouded my conscious. The music was pounding into my head. The blood nauseated me. I didn't realize that she had pinned me to the wall with a fericious kiss that didn't let me breath. My tongue was being ripped from my skull. We made out for a few minutes - hours?

Suddenly she pulled away. "Let's get some tacos," she said.

We walked in the cold down to the village where the restaurants were. She talked in a low monotone murmur. I didnt' interrupt. She had a theory about Satre and Faucault and how this all influenced some obscure lyrics written by that bald guy from Midnight Oil. She seemed to need to get this out and off her chest. I listened in a haze. A residual contact high.

A pizza place was open and a mexican spot. At El Conquistador, they sold tacos out the front for $1.30 and weed out the back for slightly higher prices. I was too keyed up for the weed. She didn't ask. She ordered 7 tuna tacos with pico de gallo and walked away from the counter leaving me to pay. Cisco walked back to fetch something from the kitchen before I could pay.

"We he brings the tacos don't pay," she whispered. "Huh?" was all I got out.

Cis' rounded round to the front counter. I saw a blur in my clove burned peripheral vision.

"Starkweather ain't shit," she screamed as she hurled herself over the counter and took down Cis'. He didn't know what hit him.

I stumbed back a bit against some gum ball machines. One tipped over and colors rolled across the floor. She popped back over the counter, grabbed the tacos and told me to move it. She quickly bent down and picked up a purple gum ball popped it in her mouth and squeezed it between her teeth so that her saliva stained purple and covered her teeth.

"So what's your major?" she asked.

"I haven't decided," I replied.

"Really? That's not good. You gotta have a major. I don't go for that 'trying to find yourself crap'. If you don't have a direction in life, you'll never get anywhere."

I nodded agreement and followed her out to the parked lot where we stole a VW bug.

We dated for three years.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cincinnati International Wine Festival

Can you feel the excitement? The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is this weekend and The Divine Mrs. M. and I have tickets again.

Here's the tasting guide. Beginning on page 16 is the rating guide. There are 120 booths with 3-6 wines per booth. Last year - go see our pics in the March 13 archive - we focused on Spanish wines. What to try this year? What to learn about? What do you suggest?

I'm thinking of going back to basics. French chardonnay. But we prefer reds.

I'm just too giddy to think about it!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Heavy On My Mind

Growing up until I was about 12, my family moved around a bit - Detroit, Charleston, Nashville, Atlanta (some twice) schools and new houses.

It's not like there was deep emotional scarring, but I did grow to value consistency in a child's life. There's a certain wariness in making friends and connections that I have that I'm sure derives from that.

There's also a loss of memory. Memories have to be triggered every so often or they are lost - a sight, a smell, whatever. A scratch on a wall, the laugh of an uncle, the way a neighbor walks all triggers memory every few years for people so that the memory soup is stirred up and kept fresh. I can't remember floor plans of homes I lived in - or exteriors - or people since I haven't had that memory bump every few years that many people have.

That's why it has been so hard to finally decide to change schools my oldest daughter goes to. I want things consistent and I want her to keep those memories fresh. (I'll get to the political later). But change schools we must.

Next year, both girls will be going to the local public school. There's a few reasons.

First, tuition is taking a jump. We can afford it. However, the jump wasn't brought up to the school board (from which I've just resigned) until November - not alot of time to plan! Anyway, our concern is that it just didn't show much regard for the parents who are borderline. The school serves an urban area with more than it's share of working poor. Some parents of 8 year old are only 24 or 25. They're doing their best, but a few extra grand a year to pay in tuition will really hurt these people. These are the people the Church should be most concerned about. Right?

Second, the parish priest got caught up in an abuse allegation. No opinion on him. Seems like a nice guy, but his removal wasn't announced except in a few masses. Since I'm not Catholic, I heard from a reporter about it. I asked the principle who said she wasn't allowed to talk about it. She was gagged by the attorneys. To me that begs two questions: 1) What else isn't she allowed to tell me about that doesn't end up on the nightly news and 2) in the four days between his departure and my finding out about it, what did my daughter learn about sexual abuse on the playground.

Third, there seems to be deep distrust between the parents and administrators/teachers. It's just so negative. Also, I don't think the kid is being challenged enough.

there's more to the story, but that's all I'm willing to share in a public format where I (mostly the Divine Mrs. M ) am still going to bump into these people everyday.

So I swallowed my own desires and we will make the change for their education. It's just a school. The public school is within walking distance of the former school and our house. It's not like we're moving to a new city. Consistency will be maintained as much as possible. Memories will still be triggered. Childhood intact.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Life at 35

This weekend I went on a trip to Ft. Wayne for my father-in-laws 70th birthday.

I loaded up some new stuff on the iPod to be played for all four of us. It included Happy Days Jukebox (for the kids), The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (for me, best album of the 90s), Christina Aguilera's Striped (for The Divine Mrs. M.).

We drove the 3 hour trip in my fire engine red Monte Carlo listening to all three.

Who am I? How did I get here?

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543 E. 4th St., Newport, KY

Today's Enquirer has this article I did on a home rehab in Newport, KY. Nice pics. The home is here. (Our house is on the far righthand side of the map - the street running parrellel on the south side of Cleveland.)

It's nice to see people living in, staying in, and investing in the urban areas. Guthrie/Heil have three kids growing up in that massive house - must be fun.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Disaster Drill

I didn't sleep well last night. My stomached bugged me all night. I'm tired. I'm at someone else's house which means the soap towels and shampoo are never where I want them. I have a long day ahead of me.

Here's a profile that appreared today in the Enquirer regarding DMAT Commander David McClure. They had a drill on Friday and yesterday. He was heading to NYC by the late afternoon of 9/11/01. He was drove into the storm during Katrina. He leads one of the top disaster response units in the country.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friends of Bellevue

Here's an article I did yesterday that I missed. It hits a little close to home.

My wife and I will be joining the "Friends of Bellevue" soon. Seems like a nice proactive group.

Bellevue is the perfect town for me. As you can read from the article, Bellevue has about 7,000 people in it - 1 square mile. But it's connected (see map) with larger neighbors Cincinnati, Newport, KY and Covington KY. I can walk to Reds and Bengals games. A world class art museum can be seen from my back window. It's in Eden Park (see map) with a few more downtown. Convenience of a larger city with the government (and responsiveness) of a small city.

Here's an article for the Enquirer someone else did. The accompanying picture is classic Bellevue - all the back alleys look like that, but its not a great ad for a B&B.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Batman Blech

Watched Batman Begins on TIVO the other night. I remember when the first one (modern one) came out in 1989. So slick, so cool.

Don't get me wrong. I liked this Batman also - and I'm not one to like these sort of movies, but the casting bothered me. Specifically, Katie Holmes.

In 1989, Michael Keaton's Batman had Kim Basinger. Last years Batman had Katie Holmes. Woman v. Girl. True, Basinger was 36 in 1989 and Katie was 24 or so last year, but I think this is indicative of what Hollywood wants...maybe America.

It seems more and more female actresses and models look like girls instead of women. When katie Holmes turns 36 she'll be a 36-year old girl. When Basinger was 24, she was a 24 year old woman. God bless women.

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Family Relations

I believe this is my great uncle. I only met him twice. He's my paternal grandfather's brother. My paternal grandmother also had a brother named Howard who was also a physician - Howard Armstrong. My father was named after both of them. Thus I inherited the wonderful name Howard as a diminutive "Jr."

My wife found this profile while trolling the net. Her question after reading all the guys credentials and honors and whatnots was, "And this is the side of the family you decided to loss touch with? Not the other side."

Good point....depressing point...but good point.

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Take A Little Break

Worked on Police reports for 1+ hours. Need a little break - and another cola. I'm also eating a grimy sticky granola bar.

I read Daniel Henniger's column:

But look a little closer. These religious wars are about one thing: sex.

After the 2004 "moral values" presidential election, Pew Research surveyed public attitudes. But the only explicitly identified determinants of moral belief named in their questionnaires are abortion, gay marriage and gay rights (and belief in God).

Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, ignited a 33-year war over sex, bowdlerized for political discourse as "privacy." Pew collapses all moral life in America down to abortion and gay rights because the political class believes those issues move votes. And the result is that anything else important, like what Messrs. Bonds or Fastow represent, is ignored.

There seems to be a theme developing to today. Back to work,

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In By 6:00

I've got a deadline today...and a regular job to hold its in by 6 a.m.

I have to loosen a little running in place...before I start using those mental muscles. I exert myself to throw myself out of bed but after that its all falling foward downhill until I get to the office. Out of my control but going in the direction I want...until I do my mental stretches.

Scan the Enquirer for an article I'm expecting. Not there.

Read Krauthammer. He's on today. Big Love is the first step in the acceptance of polygomy. It's the next logical step in the gay marriage debate (Like I've always said), but don't blame the gay guys or nutty Mormons.

Marriage has needed no help in managing its own long, slow suicide, thank you. Astronomical rates of divorce and of single parenthood (the deliberate creation of fatherless families) existed before there was a single gay marriage or any talk of sanctioning polygamy. The minting of these new forms of marriage is a symptom of our culture's contemporary radical individualism -- as is the decline of traditional marriage -- and not its cause.
Read lileks. Why? I still don't know why. Quality writing, I think. But would I read anything if the writer had a little bit of style?

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

My New Voice Mail System

It now takes me 17 key strokes on my phone to access a new message. Whoever designed this system needs to be stabbed in the eye with a corkscrew.

Double Arghhh!

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General Warning

If one more person tells me tells me they can't do something simple because they are just too busy....I will stab them in the eye with a corkscrew.


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Monday, March 13, 2006

College of Informatics

I like new things. I have an I-pod. When I read about blogs, I started this one. When I wrote my book, I choose to self publish with a print on demand outfit so all profits would be mine and all marketing would be mine and….there’s still 7 here on my desk and four at the mega-Barnes and Noble that I guilted the branch manager into buying that no one has bought yet. I'm positive about the future. I like new things.

However, I’m highly suspicious of universities. Look, they’re nothing but large corporations and have the same inherent problems. However, they cloak themselves into some higher calling b.s. so everyone gives them a break.

I bring this up because of this article I did on a new dean and new college at Northern Kentucky University. College of Informatics?

I have a general rule that I apply in my business. When someone comes to me with a new idea, concept, or product, if they can’t state what it is or does in, say, three sentences, and make me comprehend the basic. It must be b.s.

I asked three people in higher education what "Informatics" is and I still haven’t a clue. B.S.? I’m leaning that way.

Accounting degree? Got it. Understand. Management Information Systems? Got it. Understand. 17th Century French Poetry? Got it. Don’t understand. But got it.

Informatics has the feel of something that NCAA basketball players major in. Communications. Sociology - that kind of thing. But then again, maybe I'm creeping into old fogey-dom. Damn kids and their damn colleges of informatics, by gum.

Although I’ve told my daughters that they will get a degree. I have also become high suspicious of the “No-child-left-behind” concept that everyone needs a college degree or they are condemned to unhappiness and poverty. I’ve met too many people that are successful and happy because they got some tech training and then just did it as opposed to (much like myself) get a degree, high GPA, and expect the offers and money to start rolling in.

I do want my daughters to get a degree. Something in the liberal arts. Something to make them appreciate the world. But I do need to instill in them that they have to know how to make a buck also.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Coroner/Pub Owner

This story for the Enquirer about a local pub owner winning an award from the local police chief's association was culled mostly from a press release. It was edited heavily. Seems like a nice guy. I went into detail on several cops that were also honored at the same time. Maybe that will be seperated into another story.

Mark Schweitzer is my coroner. Here's a profile I did on him. The story is fine, but here's the lede I submitted:
The brick house on North Fort Thomas Avenue is full of life. There’s the five young kids, the two cats and two dogs, the young mom. It seems a contradiction that the 39 year old father is often the last public official many Campbell County residents deal with. He is Mark Schweitzer, the county’s coroner.
Yes, the guy has all that in his house...and he seems like the most mellow guy ever. He also coaches his kids basketball team. I think Daughter #1 plays them tomorrow.

I met Mark about 10 years ago when we were first becoming active in politics. He obviously moved up and I got out, but we've stayed in touch by waving as we pass in cars, or at the grocery, or at some local event. He replaced the legendary - at least around here- Doc stine. Doc is still alive in his 90s. I said hi to him at a Chinese place a couple weeks ago. Doc Stine is legendary because of his handling of the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire which took place about 1/2 mile from my house and killed about 165 people. A former military base mess hall served as a morgue. It's now a popular hall for wedding receptions. Sad event.

When you get caught up in national politics remember the people who will really have a huge effect on your life. Sure, fiscal policy and the direction of the judiciary are important, but more so by many magnatudes is the cop who has your neighborhood as his beat, or the fire chief that's going to manage the guys that come to revive your kid, or the coroner who is going to sign your death certificate. If you don't think a coroner's important, then you don't remember Cincinnati's last one. Here's what he let go on.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Gayest Show On Earth

Apologies to Ringling Brothers for the post title but I'm still psyched from taking the girls to the Blue Tour last Friday night. At 35 I find the trapeze artists - now referred to as "Sky Surfers" and the high-wire walkers - now "wire runners" the more boring acts. Give me clowns and Chinese Acrobats!

On to business ....

Moonbatty just won't shut up about gay this and gay that. As noted by others, Wilde's "the love that dare not speak its name" has become "the love that just won't shut up." But I did promise her that I'd name and discuss the gayiest TV show ever aired. Not only was it the gayiest but it's also lauded as an exemplar of family programming.

It was April of 1997 when Ellen Degenerate's sitcom went uberqueer. The Bible thumpers were rending their garments in despair over the decline of tv (you can't decline from rock bottom) and the Up-With-Gay-People crowd was trying to foist Ellen ever higher on their shoulders as a trail blazer - as her rating were diving.

Watching all this I thought, this is no big deal. Hell, back in 1960 a twangy hick launched a gay revolution with a show full of so many limp-wristed lisping characters that I don't see how it got past the censors.

Of course I'm talking about Desilu's The Andy Griffith Show.

Surprized? Your surprize is only testiment to the fact that you've been brain washed by our culture to think it's a "family" show. It is a "family" show, just not a traditional family.

My Proof:
On the show there are no "traditional" families. In fact the only regular character that is married is Otis the Town Drunk. Other "traditional" families include episode only characters that are quarrelling and need the gay-patriarch Andy to come help them work it out with his ah-shucks charm and homespun gay advice. Traditional families are always represented as dysfunctional and needing assistance from the gay characters. They were pulling this crap in 1960 and getting away with it.

Andy's own family of course suffered the loss of Andy's wife. The show is silent on that. Now that's a love that dare not speak it's name! Sure a traditional family is cobbled together with the addition of Aunt Bea, but a greying house frau does not a mom or Oppie make. A gay guy living with a strong mother figure - go figure! Besides, Aunt Bea doesn't even have a southern accent - that upstate New Yawk if its anything.

Sure, I know that Andy had Helen Crump and Barney had Thelma Lou, but those are obvious beards! The relationships were never consumated. The sexuality was toned down to zero degrees Kelvin between the characters. Whenever they did go out to dinner, Barney (never coming to terms with his sexuality) always managed to find a reason to drag himself and Andy off into some misadventure (i.e. some gay rendevous).

Often times the male characters were yearning for the movie house of Mt. Pilot. The movie house is, of course, the thinly veiled bathhouses of Mt Pilot.

Other evidence of the shows strong embrace of a homosexual lifestyle would be these stereotypically gay (and single) support characters: Gomer Pyle (whose own spinoff was a slight to the military's homosexual exclusion in putting an actual homosexual in the USMC), Floyd the barber, Goober Pyle, and the gayiest of all - Howard Sprague!

Again and again during the show, plots involve these single characters with flamboyant traints are brought in to help out the straights. Other common plots involve bitch fights between two of the male main characters. The only guys to give that much of a damn about what another guy thinks is a gay guy.

I just don't have the time to delve into the symbolism of Barney Fife's Andy imposed single bullet allowance and the occasional shooting of himself in the foot. However, I think with these observations to jar you from the group think that made you believe this was a great family show, you can work it out for yourself. Now, with this knowledge, you'll know the show isn't black & white or color, but always lavender and rainbows.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

South Dakota Destroys the Republican Party

There's two facts that I know for sure.

1. There's not nearly as many people animated against abortion as they say there are. They know it's wrong, but they really don't want it to go away.
2. Middle class America loves it's own welfare benefits (mortgage interest deduction, child care credit, public schools, public universities) and wants more of them.

How does this tie in to South Dakota destroying the Republican party? Easy.

Roe v. Wade has given many of the American people political cover to be pro-life. It's easy for middle America to say it's pro-life, donate occasionally to some church group, vote Republican when there doesn't see a chance in hell of any infringement on abortion.

They can have abortions for their 14 year old daughter if the case ever arises while also feeling morally superior for saying their pro-life.

If SD's recent law outlawing almost all abortions makes it's way to the 9 supremes who then overturn Roe v. Wade, the abortion issue will be tossed back to 50 state legislatures. These folks are closer to the people than any congressman (I saw my state rep at a Burger King the other day). After a few sessions of rancour, most states - even the bible thumpingest - will allow most abortions. Sure partial birth will be gone - but can anyone defend it? There will be a clause in each state's law like SD's that allows for abortions in the case of the mother's health or mental anguish (a child that's wanted brings mental anguish).

The pro-lifers will look at their shoes and claim victory...and the same amount of abortions will continue.

With the Republicans not providing political cover anymore, there's one less need for them.

That goes to point 2 above. The dems will shine on this buy reverting back to pre-1973 times when they effectively labeled Republican's the stingy party. Dems propose something, the Repub say yes but not so much, the Dems say "You're stingy" and the measure passes. It is then increased the following year.

If the Dems could only be taken seriously on national security, they would then run the table.

Personal Note: I am against abortion. I do believe it's infanticide. I am puzzled why it's such a big issue when I can look out my office window and see 4 places that I can pick up some kind of contraception.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

VFW Teacher Award

Here's a story from yesterday's Enquirer I did about teacher Mark Oberst winning a state wide award from the VFW.

He's been teaching at Newport Middle school since 1971. I find that incredible. I was born in 1970 and this guy looks in better shape and has less grey than I do.

This is particularly incredible because Newport isn't a nice clean suburban school. It's here. The kids that go here are typically white and working class poor.

Life the Hot Sexy Fireman from my last post, Mr. Oberst seems genuinely happy and pleased to be teaching. I grudingly accepted this because I never like teachers.

To me, in pre-college days, teachers were always either indifferent or just plain mean. They always seemed burned out and frustrated and were going to take it out on me. There was one teachers - so vicious - that I could stomp her today if I ran into her. Arrogant and condescending and cruel. I never really wanted any trouble. I was obnoxious at points but never out of line. But for some reason she just hated me.

I sometimes speak (mostly e-mail) with friends from high school who refers to a particularly inspiring teacher and I think, "Him? He was kind of a dick or an a--hole," or I think. "No - she was a bitch!"

But maybe it was me. I didn't have any robin williams type telling me to tear out the intro to my poetry book or have me march around in the school yard to teach me the dangers of group think. No. Just a bunch of teachers who complained about how they were underpaid for their 9-month year with 2 weeks off a christmas and a week in the spring and every other holiday their union could get them off.

It wasn't until college that a teacher really got me thinking. Mostly profs in the economics department.

Dr. Santoni who filled the little business school hallway with pipe smoke. He scared the crap out of me. He told us to pretty much forget the book I just paid $60 for because he'd let us know what we needed to know. On the first day of Econ 451 Principals of Monetary Policy, he let us know our grade would consist of class participation, a time or two he'd call on us at random to stand in front of the class to ask us questions (no warning) and an all essay final.

Prof. Cheng who taught two classes I took on third world economics. Yes, I did. He'd escaped the ChiComs and moved to Munice Indiana. I could only imagine the life he must have led. His English was inpenetrable.

Dr. Moehring (I can't find him, but here's his google search) who looked too cool and always looked like he'd rather be out fly fishing.

Whoops gotta get to work.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Hot, Sexy Fireman

Yes, this post's title is trolling for google hits.

Larry Atwell, the fire chief of the city next door to mine is retiring. I did this profile for the Enquirer. I didn't ask his age, but he became a fireman in Louisville during the Eisenhower administration.

No, he's not a Hot, Sexy Fireman, but he is a man and seems like a happy man. Unlike alot of people I have to interview, he appeared to love his job and didn't seem happy about having to retire. Damn spinal cancer!

Even though he is old and in a wheelchair, I felt a bit unmanly around him. He's charged into fires and lead men. Cool guy.

That got me thinking about manliness. I don't feel like a manly guy. I've never gave thought to playing football or basketball in school. I've never been in battle. As the Bard put it:

"hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us"

There is a type of guy where I do feel very manly. Rush Limbaugh a few weeks ago read this post about the neutered male. That voice. The voice of the passive teacher's assistant or the ideal male non-profit social service employee. I can't think of any good examples right now. The dad from Family Ties had it to a certain extent...and now chest. I know these guys and had been unable to put into words what's wrong with them. This guy has.

So I ask the question. Do women notice this voice? Do they like it? It makes me want to smack hell out of the guys who use it. Or at least steal their lunch money.

The only problem with the post is that the Joel Stein in the picture looks exactly like me at 17. Ewwwww!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lunch With My Editor

Ok, that headline just sounds nice. "What'd you do today?," the wife asked. Oh, not much," I replied. "Lunch with my editor." Call me silly, but that sounds cool.

But Tricia is my former editor and it's not like I was contributing to the New Yorker. It was the Sunday Challenger, a now defunct news weekly for the 500,000 people in Northern Kentucky. But the paper did make the Enquirer focus and cater to NKY more. At least I feel a difference. Before it felt what I assume Rhode Island feels or New Jersey. Media dominated by Boston or NY or Philadephia news. Always an inside section.

Tricia gave me her thoughts. Nothing shocking really. Just ran out of money. The big money pulled the plug to stop the bleeding.

The editor Tom Mitsoff posted a nice piece on his website (not IE friendly) with a pic of some of the editors and reporters. Tom's in the back in the blue shirt, Tricia's in the red shirt. They were pretty much the only two I dealt with. Nice folks. Tricia has already got a job at the Taft Museum downtown. Cool place. An old home on some greenspace. It's downtown surrounded by concrete and skyscrapers. I hope Tom lands somewhere where he can throw me some more work.

Since they're nice people, the Divine Mrs. M. and I have invited them along with several other folks to our April 1 Gin & Tonic Party in Support of General Foolishness. I'm trying to figure out a way to live blog the event and not be a dick host.

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