Archives for October 2011

Is it only me?

The Food Network is advertising a new season of the show Iron Chef that features a “sudden death cook-off.”

What does that mean — will the featured dish be pufferfish?

Guilt trip

Recently I returned to Atlanta to visit my wife. I felt like dirt the entire drive home.

I’ve been in Savannah, helping my mother (in her late 70s) care for my 99-year-old grandmother.

Grandmother has had a wonderful life, but now struggles to adapt to home hospice care.

After she fell and broke her hip about two years ago, grandmother suffered a stroke. She almost recovered completely, but dementia robbed her of the remaining quality in her life.

Conversations with her remind me of the movie Memento.

But she does enjoy her Klondike ice cream bar at lunch every day.

Grandmother must use a walker or wheelchair to get around, else she risks falling.

If she breaks her hip or leg again, it will permanently incapacitate her. Almost certainly she would be confined to bed for her few remaining mortal days.

She fell again last Saturday night and cracked her head on the hard ceramic tile of her bathroom.

I’ve mounted safety handrails around most of the bathroom, but she still managed to slip and fall anyway, almost blocking the door so we couldn’t get inside to help.

Fortunately, she broke no bones nor suffered a concussion. The wonderful people from Hospice Savannah came and checked on her condition that same night. We decided against taking her to the emergency room to confirm there was no concussion.

Because of her dementia, grandmother has become restless.

She struggles to stay in bed but still manages to sleep most of the day.

It’s virtually impossible to monitor her whereabouts 24/7, even with two people doing their best to keep an eye on her at all times.

It seems that if you blink twice, she’s wandering around out of bed.

Because of her dementia, grandmother constantly roams the house without assistance, although she’s not strong enough or stable enough physically to walk without help.

I caught her (once again) going to the front door without using her walker, in the middle of the living room. There was no furniture in the vicinity for her to lean on for support.

When I asked where she was going, grandmother got somewhat belligerent. I suspect it was because she couldn’t remember. She’s bored and frustrated, and responded out of character.

I’ve also become frustrated at being unable to keep her from taking unnecessary risks. I lost my temper, raising my voice.

To my grandmother.

I grabbed her walker and rattled it a little before I pushed it in front of her.

I snapped, “If you don’t use the walker, I’m….telling your mother!”

Her reaction was swift. Immediately, she cowed.

I had uttered the magic words.

Of course, my great grandmother has been dead 50+ years.

But grandmother doesn’t remember anymore.

She just remembers how much respect she had for her mother.

I felt like dirt. I had bullied my grandmother to make her obey me, not unlike I’d done with my children as toddlers.

But at least she did use her walker for the rest of that day.

Grandmother, in better days

Mark Richt’s landmark win

I believe it’s about time to give University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt a long term extension.

He celebrated his 100th victory as Bulldog coach after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville — this following a 6-7 season last year, after which some fair-weather fans grumbled he could no longer coach the team up to win the big game.

The 2011 season opening loss was so disheartening I was tempted to jump on the “dump Richt” bandwagon. The team looked listless and outclassed by Boise State.

Which turns out to be a pretty damn good team.

But after all, isn’t college football all about “what have you done for me lately?”

Though the Dawgs also lost the following week against South Carolina, they looked much more competitive. Arguably, they should have won the game. Too many mistakes by young players, turnovers, and the evil genius of Steve Spurrier led to our downfall.

Those mistakes now appear to have been corrected (three interceptions against Mississippi State not counting because we won the game).

Those two losses were followed with four consecutive “must” wins, the most recent being our domination of Tennessee in dreaded (and deafening) Neyland stadium.

Therefore, by my logic athletic director Greg McGarity should offer coach Richt a long term extension, during the bye week before the Florida game.

Coach Richt (and defense coordinator Todd Grantham) deserve a renewed long term commitment from the university after all he’s done for the school.

Plus, it might even help with recruiting!

After all, every 17 and 18 year old football player in the South decides where he’ll go to school based on the coach, and the coach’s job depends on the player’s production and execution minus injuries, correct?

I know grown men who subscribe to internet reporting services that rank these high school kids announce when one gives a “verbal commitment” (about worth as much as the piece of paper that wasn’t signed).

So give coach Richt a long term extension — immediately after the Vanderbilt game.

Because if we lose to Vanderbilt, Richt’s in serious trouble.

Right?

Occupation protests versus the TEA party

Mainstream television media paints an interesting picture of the “protestors” staging rallies all around the country — from Wall Street to Washington DC, and now Atlanta…

However, the “unsanitized view” of the Atlanta protestors is much more disturbing. What’s up with this echo chanting of the masses, an inculcation of group think?

While I respect John Lewis for his participation in the Civil Rights movement, I’m not the biggest fan of his work as a Congressman from Georgia.

Nonetheless, I’m shocked that a crowd of his admirers and supporters would refuse to let him speak at their protest. It seems that he wasn’t on their agenda.

Seriously — these people had an agenda?

As we learned from “Occupy DC“, the protestors involved are basically clueless.

Their only common goal seems to be the transformation of America into a Communist society by targeting the only real source of wealth generation, the private sector.

It’s rather telling that one man standing next to Lewis at the occupation in Atlanta wore a t-shirt proudly declaring himself a “union thug”.

These misguided angry people bemoan the salaries of “corporate fat cats” but ignore the real cause of economic turmoil in America — entitlement programs, bloated government salaries and excessive government pensions.

You only have to read the Sunday paper in Savannah to learn the local school superintendent’s annual salary paid from taxpayer coffers is $192,147 and “numerous administrative positions make over $100,000 a year.” (Savannah Morning News 10/9/11 pg 14A, letter to editor from Jean Capozzi and Patricia Zureick.)

Where are the complaints about the government “fat cats?”

Oh yeah — the TEA party rallies.

The corporate bosses being demonized by the occupation rallies are the same people who actually create jobs and grow the economy. The occupier-protestors view private wealth as evil and government the mechanism by which they may extract their fair share from the greedy bankers.

The protestors are mainly disgruntled students worried about their future job prospects and union thugs looking to preserve their privileged status and “fat cat” pensions.

In contrast, the TEA party rallies have been loosely organized protests by ordinary American taxpayers intent on preserving the American dream for future generations.

Their agenda was not motivated by racism or elitism, but the dream of equal opportunity for all, not a guarantee of equal misery.

Their mantra was simple and straight forward — we are Taxed Enough Already. But they occasionally resort to spontaneous shenanigans to incite the crowd, demonstrated in the video below.

The attendees of the TEA party rallies have been grossly misrepresented.

In particular, these men and women specifically involved with project21.org give me some residual hope for America’s future.

American education and the myth of social justice

“Man on the streetreporter Adam Kokesh provides some fascinating insight into the current state of higher education in the United States by interviewing protestors at the “Occupy DC” rally in Washington last weekend.

I should warn the viewer in advance that the video seen by following this link is both hysterically funny and seriously depressing.

Saturday Night Live has never been this funny….but when one realizes these young “skulls full of mush” will someday try to lead a future generation in America, depression sets in.

If these protestors represent our best and brightest, America is doomed.

A young George Washington University student/protestor named Doug  decried the loss of American civil liberties — while simultaneously professing to support installation of a more totalitarian government that would enforce his “beneficial” ideas to improve society by force.

Do people ever think before opening their mouth anymore?

Immediately after agreeing the use of force is wrong, with his next breath Doug equivocated his position to Mr. Kokesh.

He tried to sound intelligent, possibly stretching the limits of his vocabulary as he asked,

How do you induce voluntary cooperation on them (the wealthy, powerful “ruling” class”) in order to maximize social justice?

You don’t, as Mr. Kokesh correctly responded. Voluntary cooperation and social justice are concepts that do not go together.

Social justice doesn’t exist anywhere.  It is a myth, perpetuated by advocates of socialism.

Doug seemed unable to comprehend that it’s wrong to force redistribution of wealth. For the time being, he seems a hopeless cause.

But he wasn’t the scariest protestor.

There was also a young lady at the rally wearing a Harvard sweatshirt who claimed she was a junior in college.

She waved a sign imploring motorists to “Honk if you have student loans” while Mr. Kokesh attempted to interview her.

I wish he’d asked a question what her sign intended to accomplish, other than adding to noise pollution. But she appeared vacuous without any leading questions from the interview.

After hearing what this young lady had to say, I decided that she should sue her school for breach of contract.  She obviously hasn’t learned a thing during her first two years of university education that will help her cope in the real world.

When she said “the government is fully privatized”, my head nearly exploded.

A junior in college doesn’t understand that government and privatization are oxymoronic concepts?

Confronted by the unpleasant reality that her world view was starkly contradicted by facts as presented by Mr. Kokesh, she simply said “I don’t agree with your statistics.”

She rambled on for a few more seconds before she volunteered,  “I’m glad we’re out of the war in Iraq…”

But when Mr. Kokesh pointed out we still have soldiers in Iraq and that President Obama actually increased the number of troops, she smugly responded, “And you can thank Bush and Halliburton for that.”

Hunh? Say what?

Kokesh kept hammering at her ivory tower thought processes with uncomfortable weapons — truth and logic.

Frustrated by his questions, she finally asked, “Who are you with?”

He identified himself as an independent reporter making a video for YouTube.  The young lady replied that she no longer wished to speak with him.

Too late. The damage was already done.

Now we may all know just how ignorant college students remain in spite of their “advancing” education.

God help us all.

Is Roseanne Barr a brilliant comedienne?

I’ve never been a fan of Roseanne Barr.

Her voice is grating and quite frankly, she never struck me as funny. Just annoying.

I never watched her television show.

I did see her try to sing (or pretend to try to sing) our national anthem before a baseball game, but her rendition was truly awful, very offensive and literally painful to the ears.

I happen to love the country that gave her the opportunity to earn ridiculous wealth with marginal talent and didn’t find her butchering of the anthem the least bit amusing.

However, I’m beginning to suspect that Roseanne has been a comic genius whom I’ve simply failed to appreciate.

After she pulled off a deadpan delivery of this skit disguised as a live interview in which she suggests we send bankers of a certain income bracket to re-education camps or the guillotine.

I was about ready to ROFLOL, as they say here on the internet.

Something stopped me, though.

Specifically, it was the suspicion she had really been dead serious.

Now if it was a joke, it was a good one.

She really had me going there for a minute — actually, she’s still got me going.

Though Roseanne’s rant wasn’t as funny as Sunny’s take on eating the rich, Sunny had been able to edit out her outtakes.

Without even a hint of breaking a smile, Roseanne calmly called for the confiscation of wealth and decapitation (if necessary) of bankers with accrued wealth in excess of $100 million dollars who refused to fork it over.

It’s kind of scary to believe she might have been serious. But Shirley, she’s couldn’t have been, could she?

With the hue and cry following the execution of convicted cop-killer Troy Davis by lethal injection still echoing in the air, who would call for an old-fashioned beheading — except Roseanne Barr, never a woman known for her taste?

Anyone but me curious why Roseanne picked $100 million dollars as the metric by which we should measure excess wealth?

Coincidentally, it turns her net worth is estimated at $80 million dollars.

From this information one might conclude that Roseanne may be angry and she may be mean, but she isn’t stupid.

She’s pragmatic. She wants to lead the revolution, not become its inevitable victim.

She’s smart enough to realize that robbing only bankers with more than $100 million in net worth won’t begin to satisfy those who want government redistribution of wealth.

Entertainers and professional athletes would surely find themselves on the list of easy targets. Many people perceive they are among those who are grossly overpaid for what they do.

After all, it isn’t hard to wonder — what has Roseanne ever done that was worth $80 million dollars?

What actor is worth what they are paid?

The most accurate answer is: all of them.

If someone offers to pay an exorbitant salary, what fool refuses to accept it?

To hate another human being simply for having more than you do is to fall prey to one of the seven deadly sins: envy.

If you really want bankers, professional athletes or actors to earn less, stop giving them your money.

If you want more money, do something to earn it.

Don’t ask the government to take money from another person in order to give it to you.