Nashville is still singing

May 17, 2010 The circle may be a little waterlogged but it’s unbroken. Floodwaters in Nashville earlier this month have certainly dampened the city but not its spirits as news reports highlight Music City’s efforts in pulling itself up by the bootstraps. This is a perfect example of the American spirit, as it is anytime tragedy befalls on American soil and I know Nashville will come back strong, just as our great country does whenever put to the test. A telethon last week hosted by musician Vince Gill and others raised more than $1.7 million and another on Sunday evening helped to do the same.

Getting sued for laughing

May 14, 2010 What is it about humor that all too often results in situations that decidedly are not a laughing matter? Free speech in comedy attracts controversy as well as belly laughs, and in the case of two “South Park” television episodes this season that attempted to feature the Prophet Muhammad, even death threats.

A frightful despotism

May 14, 2010 In her infancy, or at least throughout the term of her first President, the United States maintained an aura of non-partisanship. George Washington avoided association with political parties. Now I’m not saying that parties, or factions, didn’t exist. They most certainly did, along similar, but not the same, principles to those of the two major parties today. A basic contention existed over the size and influence of central government. Seems those battle lines have remained throughout each ages of our nation’s history.

Damage control needed

May 13, 2010 Damage control is needed now for some of the theories about matching the famous immigration that went through Ellis Island to the present problem of immigration. What hit me this Saturday AM was a financial advisor on TV claiming that amnesty for the present illegal people would be like having a new Ellis Island. I think that he has lost history.

Move to the right

May 13, 2010 President Barack Obama has chosen Elena Kagan to fill the vacancy left by Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement. Sadly, Kagan cannot fill Justice Stevens’ mighty shoes. Obama took the cautious route in nominating Kagan, who, like Harriet Miers, has no record of judicial opinions and no formidable legal writings. Since Kagan was handily confirmed as solicitor general, Obama probably thinks her confirmation will go smoothly. After the health care debacle, however, he should know that the right-wingers will not be appeased by this milk toast appointment, but will oppose whomever he nominates.

Hey big spenders

May 12, 2010 I don’t know who they are, but I’ve got to hand it to them. I’m too cynical to do what they do. I speak of the Americans who, every year, donate money to pay down America’s national debt. The Bureau of the Public Debt — part of the Treasury Department — began allowing such donations in 1961. According to Title 31, Chapter 31 of the U.S. Code, any citizen is free to give a “gift” to Treasury, under the condition that the money will be used only to pay down the debt. Last year, the government received $3 million in such gifts. Who are the gift-givers? Nobody knows for certain.

Inspiring others leaves legacy

May 12, 2010 I’ve never met her, which is, maybe, a little sad since my mother credits her for saving her life. Not having met her, however, does not mean I do not know her as mom has spent the last few years talking about her and the last few months talking about her aggressive illness. She has not shared her struggle publicly and very few people know the details of her health situation, so excuse me for being vague with the details, but they are not mine to share.

Brainless Pinheads

May 11, 2010 They’ve tried fire and robots and domes and booms and drones and boxes and rosary beads and even pantyhose stuffed with human hair, but so far nothing has slowed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from creeping towards our Southern Coast like a drunken lobbyist staggering towards a free seafood buffet. And almost as ugly. This maritime miasma promises to be the most monumental attack of sludge to hit American shores since Ann Coulter’s most recent book.

Pooling together a battle plan

May 11, 2010 It wasn’t exactly the Clash of the Titans, but it was still a battle. This weekend we crossed proverbial swords with a large inanimate monster: the pool tarp. My dad had an in-ground pool installed nearly 20 years ago, the year I graduated high school in fact, and every year he has tried to find the perfect tarp for his imperfectly shaped pool. It’s not that the pool’s shape (an L) is imperfect, it’s more like he can’t find the right cover for it.

Getting off the couch first step to exercise

May 10, 2010 Growing up I guess I was fortunate that I could eat anything I wanted without worrying about gaining weight. That “good fortune, if it can be called that, however, has made me one very lazy adult now that I’m finding it harder to be so free willing with food. Gone are the days of sitting down and eating a package of Oreos without abandon.