Its been too long since I last logged on and commented on what's on my mind.....and we'll catch up soon.
Lately I've wanted to give my thoughts on the Occupy Movement, and why its necessary. Needless to say, those souls occupy Wall Street (despite the efforts of His Worship, Michael Bloomberg) because Wall Street occupies America.
But here's a man who said it better than any of us ever could, and he did it back in 2005. The late George Carlin talks about who owns America.....and it's not you and me.
Steve Jobs, possibly the greatest innovator in the history of communications technology since Thomas Edison, sadly passed away at age 56 yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Much has and will be written about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. But let's go back to nearly the beginning of his story for the commercial that announced the arrival of the Macintosh, Apple's computer that sparked a revolution. The commercial was shown only once, during the Super Bowl in 1984, and was directed by future Oscar winner Ridley Scott. It is generally regarded as the greatest commercial ever made.
I took the absentee ballots from my Mom and Dad, and sealed them....and I did help my father in filling out his ballot....and filled out the proper spaces on the ballot acknowledging that I did assist in filling out the ballot, and that I would be transporting the ballots to the post office.
And then I drove to the US Post Office to pay the postage for each of my parents ballots. In a sense, they had to pay for their inalienable right to vote in the United States of America. The absentee ballots for Middlesex County, NJ were not postage paid for 2011's election of New Jersey state senate and the assembly.
Last year I took my parents ballots to the post office for the 2010 midterms....I had to get extra postage for those ballots. I thought the principle of an individual having to to pay any amount to vote in an election was unfair and un-American, but I kept my mouth shut. But that was last year.
And this is now.
Last year the ballots were heavy, and one stamp wouldn't cover it....so I paid the extra 20 cents, or whatever it was. This afternoon the price was only 44 cents each.....but the question remains; why should some voters have to pay to vote by mail while those who vote in person do not? The board of elections pays poll workers and for use of facilities in elections....shouldn't they be required to pay postage for those who may not be able to get to the polls without extreme physical difficulty?
I'm not asking for an entitlement, but I am asking about the right of a truly free election- the amount of money for the postage is not the problem. The fact that it must be paid in order for some of our most vulnerable citizens to vote is the issue. Where is Grover Norquist, he who hateth all taxes, on this one? And the Tea Party, in their Colonial Williamsburg outfits, complete with Brown Bess muskets, waving the Constitution in the air like it's a winning lottery ticket? I know.....it's the Ayn Rand thing, isn't it? Social Darwinism....the old folks paying to vote are just a bunch of dinosaurs on their last legs....put 'em in a corner and move on, right?
Back in the 1960's the poll tax was done away with in the Jim Crow South. It was a weapon to suppress and nullify the African American vote. Paying to vote by absentee ballot is not in the same ballpark as the poll tax....but in principle, it is just as wrong. Some citizens must pay in order to have their votes counted, and others don't.....and that is simply wrong.
Absentee ballots for all elections on all levels should have postage paid by the board of elections. Its the right and fair thing to do.
Chris Christie- "It's not my time (to run for President)".....Dang! I already had a campaign slogan already for him if he wanted to get into the Republican Primaries;
"Vote for Chris Christie- at Least He's Not Crazy"
Yeah, he's a brash loudmouth, and a bully.....but he's not a Mitt Romney "what flavor am I today?", or a yahoo like Rick Perry, or a total whack job like Michele Bachmann. But at least Christie has a charisma that goes a long way. Now that doesn't mean I've flipped and have become a Christie supporter- you can have a certain amount of charm and likability but still have a personality traits that repel and even disgust you- kind of like Tony Soprano.
You know what you get with Chris Christie....that is, if you live in New Jersey. I don't think the national media really gets it with the guy- yes, Christie got bipartisan support in getting his agenda passed, and then he threw the Democratic State Senate President and Speaker of the Assembly under the bus in front of their base in a power play. And he did the same thing to his first Commissioner of Education in the "Race to the Top" fiasco- Christie screwed up, and Brett Schundler, his commish, had to pay for it.
The alleged "tough guys" in the media, like Chris Matthews and Piers Morgan, either throw Christie softball questions or seemingly swoon over him like they have a man-crush....and Chris Matthews, do you really think that a guy with Christie's ego would ever want to become Vice President and preside over the Senate for at least four years? Chris, start talking to guys in the New Jersey media, like Tom Moran, Michael Aron, Paul Mulshine, or Kevin Manahan before you start that crazy talk. For 10 reasons Chris Christie will never be president, check out this column by the Star-Ledger'sKevin Manahan.
Oh, and did a mention....the Republican Party has moved so far to the right with it's Tea Party wing they could never stomach Christie's appointment of a Muslim to a judgeship. And that's just for starters.
Now, can we please stop this Christie for President nonsense....like, right now?
Hank Williams, Jr.- When are people going to realize that using Hitler as an analogy for all individuals and things they hate is a bad move?
Last night I was flipping back and forth between Monday Night Football and the Yankees-Tigers Division Series, and was surprised that there was no "All My Rowdy Friends" by Hank, Jr. on ESPN. I figured there was some kind of glitch, or possibly I just missed it when I stayed with baseball for a bit longer than intended.
But there was no Hank Jr.
And it wasn't until after the game was over that I saw that ESPN pulled the song, a fixture for more than 20 years, because of comments made by Williams on (where else?) Fox and Friends to the usual suspects.
Hank equated President Obama to Hitler.....and notice how Doocy, Carlson, and Kilmeade jumped to POTUS's defense IMMEDIATELY?
You didn't see it? Funny...I didn't either. And Joe Biden, he's the enemy too, in the Gospel according to Hank, Jr.
Maybe it's just me....but doesn't he appear to be in the bag, even at that early hour?
Isn't it odd how Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks got hate mail and death threats for their 2003 remark about being ashamed to be from the same state as George W. Bush (not to mention being ostracized by the country music establishment), and Hank Jr. seemingly gets a pass (Hank being Hank) for calling the current president "the enemy".
One last thing.....Hank said he might run for the Senate in Tennessee in 2008.
Who knows...maybe he'll be the VP candidate in 2012.
And in closing....Eric Foster's injury on Monday Night Football
It was tough to watch the terrible injury to Eric Foster of the Indianapolis Colts in last nights 24-17 loss to Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. Foster appeared to have a dislocated ankle, that twisted horribly and unnaturally, causing even hardened NFL players to wince and even shed tears for a fallen member of their fraternity. Surgery was performed on Foster's ankle, and he will be flown home on owner Jim Irsay's private jet. Eric Foster will be placed on injured reserve- his season is over.
Eric Foster was always one of my favorite players when he was at Rutgers. The big defensive lineman was a captain and the heart and soul of that incredible 11-2 team from 2006 that just barely missed winning a BCS bowl bid. Foster became a You Tube star in 2006 after a win against South Florida made the Scarlet Knights 5-0....Foster led in this locker room chant.
Ironically, the locker room chant took place in the same stadium- Raymond James- as the one Eric Foster was carted off from last night.
Get well, big guy!
And it was a bad week for former Rutgers NFL players. In a span of eight days Foster, Colt teammate Gary Brackett, and Tennessee Titan Kenny Britt all sustained season ending injuries.
After taking sometime off from blogging for the past several months (see previous posts), I thought it would be a good idea to cover briefly what's been going on in this little corner of the world. Admit it, you still care, dontcha?
Hurricane Irene- Lost power for twelve hours, a little bit of water in the basement. The only damaged property was the lightweight mop I used to cleanup the mess- the handle broke. All things considered, we were very, very lucky.
The Earthquake of 2011- The house shook, but I thought it was from the tree removal guys who were working across the street and up the block.....plus I was installing the software for my new printer and couldn't get the drivers installed! "Yeah, yeah...a friggin' earthquake....I've got problem with my computer and the house is shaking...STOP IT RIGHT NOW, dammit!!!".
The Debt Ceiling Debacle- A disgrace. No other word for it. The rest of the world is laughing at America and our dysfunctional government. And we, the people, keep allowing this lunacy to continue.
Rick Perry- That's right America......we need another shittkicker from Texas in the White House. Please read my comments about the debt ceiling.
Michele Bachmann- Had she been a man and this were 1789, she might make a reasonable presidential candidate.....but then she would start screaming about the world being flat and get all Christine O'Donnell on us about witchcraft....oh, nevermind. On second thought, she's indefensibly nuts. Let's move on.
Barack Obama- A brilliant mind and orator who needed to develop an inner Lyndon Johnson- the Republicans never cared about bipartisanship, it was all about beating Barack in 2012. The jobs bill is something I support.....but he should have presented the plan two years ago.
Best Political Line I've Heard- From Bill Maher on politicians who feel they MUST wear an American flag pin at all times..... " If you've won the election, we have a pretty good idea who's side you're on".
Best Line (Non Political/General Use)- "The distance between a halo and a noose is about 8 inches".....former Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden.
College Football Chaos- The Big 12 has only 10 teams and may soon be down to five. The Big East lost Pitt and Syracuse and as I type this the AD's and presidents of the remaining Big East schools are meeting to see what's next. The two conferences may merge, but it would make little geographic sense, and would not be cost effective for non revenue sports. Much depends on what Texas and Notre Dame decide to do. I see Rutgers and UCONN to the ACC, Notre Dame to the Big Ten, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State to the Pac 12, Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC.....and after that who knows? And that scenario could change at the drop of a hat.
Charlie Sheen- As Joan Rivers said yesterday....." Why are they roasting Charlie Sheen tonight? He's been fried for years!"
In Closing....What's Happening With Dad. Dad's condition is fairly stable...he needs some help doing routine things now, like getting dressed sometimes. He seems to be able to retain new information for about two weeks, and then it's gone. He doesn't remember having an oral surgeon yank out a molar about a month ago.....and he also had a cancerous skin lesion excised in July, leaving a hole in his forehead the size of a half dollar. I cleaned the wound and dressed it everyday for six weeks until it healed; he doesn't remember any aspect of the surgery, not the doctor, the office, the surgery, the recovery, or me caring for his wound.
It breaks your heart a little everyday....but you have to go on, look for a reason to smile and laugh. And try to keep hope alive.
Tomorrow Is Alzheimer's Action Day- Check out the Facebook page for the Alzheimer's Association. September is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, and if you have a few minutes, please read about the good work the Association is doing. And above all, care for and be kind to your aging loved ones.
To those of you who may just be checking in, I took some time off to to try to come to grips with my father's medical condition. Rather than rehash everything, you can check the story in the previous posts.
Things are relatively stable, not good, but not awful either......just time consuming.
My original intent was to relaunch this blog in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of September 11th, but as an old Yiddish saying goes, "Man makes plans and God laughs".
At any rate, The blog will be back in a more scaled back form....the days of my daily commentary and immediate comments are gone for the foreseeable future. But I feel a need to write again.....I don't want to turn this into a "living with a loved one with Alzheimer's" diary, but it is the 800 pound gorilla in the room everyday, so I'll be sharing some of that with you on occasions.
It will take awhile.....I need to do some housecleaning and simplification of some of the things I set up on these pages.
But it's time.....I'm back. Just a little quieter and not as frequent.
I was among the last people in the New York- New Jersey megalopolis to learn of the death of the mass murderer- mastermind of the 9/11 atta...
Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in the Rutgers- Army football game. To send Eric a "Get Well" message click his photo.
Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund
Click the picture for more information on the Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund, established for the longterm care and rehabilitation of this seriously injured Rutgers Football player. Thank You!
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. "
Ten From Nick Drake
Welcome To My Neighborhood!
Its called "Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants". That's because I adhere to the principle that you can't please everyone, nor should you try to please everyone....so before anyone else rips this blog for being a waste of time or having faulty logic, I thought I'd beat them to the punch, and zing just a bit of self deprecating humor into the title....hey, some people think that's an endearing quality.
Seriously....I hope to entertain and maybe inform, and even teach the reader about a few subjects. And don't be alarmed by the political trappings you may see here. I'm upfront about my political beliefs and affiliations, but I don't wear my politics on my sleeve, and have and always will refuse to be locked into a rigid dogma. This is not really a political blog; its just disguised as one.
My model is probably CBS SUNDAY MORNING, a magazine format. I'll talk about news, sports, TV and films, about music, literature and pop culture, and about the famous and the infamous....and about some people who are out there trying to make a difference in a world that seems to get just a little tougher everyday.
Oh yes...there will be some politics as well.
So pour a cup of coffee, cut a piece of cheesecake.....and stick around for a few minutes.
Occupation- If you believe my conservative friends, I'm a pinko commie socialist out to destroy the very fabric of America's core beliefs.
Liberals think I'm an old school moderate Democrat, and that a guy my age needs to get his hair cut more often.
Just put away that broad brush....
I'm just a "Blue Jersey Guy" who happens to "Bleed Scarlet".