Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quick Hits For August 22, 2010; End of the Summer Clearance !!!!!

Summer heat, drought, mosques, yellow jacket attacks, troop withdrawals, and FOX-es....all kinds of stuff, big and small.

Time for some Quick Hits!!!

(1). I really enjoy blogging. I only wish there was less typing involved.

(2). Beautiful, damp, delicious, glorious RAIN! I love it. For some of you reading this from cooler climes in the United States (is there such a thing in August?) and in foreign countries, it's been an exceptionally hot and dry summer in the Mid Atlantic states. I'm guessing that we've had more than 40 days of 90 degrees plus days this year (as opposed to nine all of last year), and for this summer we're at minus six inches in rainfall for the past three months; front lawns crunch when you walk on them, and there has been some limited water rationing.

This morning we woke up to some much needed rain, and there's a 100% chance for more during the day, and 60% for tonight. I don't think I've ever experienced a summer when it's been such a struggle to keep plants, herbs, vegetables, shrubs, and flowers alive...we've lost some, as have many other people. And in trying to keep the greenery from dying off other projects get sent to a back burner for another year, not to mention the toll all of the heat takes on you physically and even psychologically by the end of August. By the time evening rolls around you're gassed.

As much as I love summer (in most years) it will be a relief to see September roll in; they'll be cooler temps, and tropical systems churning up the coast to break the drought.....unless the climate change we're told is "only a theory" proves to be anything but.

(3) Rallies were held today in support and in opposition to the building of as Islamic Center two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. The rallies were separated by police by several blocks, and as I type this no incidents of violence were reported.

One pro center supporter held a sign that said...."We don't care what bigots say, religious freedom is here to stay.".

And opponents sang patriotic songs and held banners as well... "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists were Muslim."

Many of us have noted and asked the "why?" regarding Glenn Beck's Rally To Restore Honor on August 28, the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, mere blocks from where the first African American President and his family reside. Now I have a question as to the lack of judgment of BOTH sides of the "Ground Zero Mosque Issue" having opposing rallies on anniversary of the day of one of the worst Christian on Christian acts of religious genocide in history. Namely, today at St Bartholomew's Church we celebrated the The Feast of St. Bartholomew The Apostle. Technically the feat is Aug 24, but today it was celebrated because he's the church's patron saint.

In France, 1572, on St. Batholomew's Day a massacre of epic proportions was set off by Catholic King Charles IX's supporters on the French Protestant population. The Huguenots were not only a religious minority who were gaining in numbers, but were part of a political movement as well. Civil war had been waged for three years between Catholics and Huguenots, but peace had been agreed upon, and the sister of the Catholic king was engaged to be married to a Protestant prince.

The anti-Protestant factions in the strongly Catholic city of Paris objected to the peace and the marriage. Tensions boiled over on the St. Batholomew's Day....Catholic troops and mobs attacked unsuspecting French Protestants.....the carnage went on for weeks. Men, women, and children were killed, and estimates of the murdered range from a low of 8,000 to a likely 30,000 dead.

Two years before French Protestants were granted freedom to worship by their King; two years later he ordered the same people slaughtered.

And on this St. Bartholomew's Day, 2010, we see Muslims at one rally asking for the same freedom of worship with no restrictions as other religions.....and at another rally there is opposition that says they respect that right, but don't agree with their judgment and perceived lack of sensitivity.

I'm not making a case that these situations distanced by hundreds of years are the same. I only make note of the irony. We pride ourselves as being a republic that treasures freedom; but at a certain basic level just how different are we from those we left behind in Europe, or from any other land of our ancestry?

(4). A further comment on one sign that was against the construction of the Islamic center....

"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists were Muslim."

It reminds me of a quote from a classic American television show.

"(Serial killer) Joel Rifkin was adopted. The Son of Sam was adopted. If you're adopted you'll become a serial killer"..... Cosmo Kramer, Seinfeld, The Masseuse,
November 18, 1993.

(5). And while we're at it....St Bartholomew the Apostle. We Roman Catholics have a patron saint for everything. Tradition says Bartholomew served as an apostle to the east, into Parthia, Ethiopia, and even to India. He was said to have met martyrdom in Armenia....we are told that he was executed by being flayed alive.

And old St. Bart became the patron saint of a bunch of professions and conditions....remember, he died by being skinned alive!

He's the patron of butchers, tanners, cobblers, leather workers, trappers.....and plasterers, bookbinders, and Florentine cheese merchants. No, I didn't make that up.

Bartholomew is also the patron saint against for all of you nervous people out there, he's the guy you pray to for intercession.

Maybe he should become the patron saint of offensive line try anything to prevent false starts.

(5). Kathleen O'Brien of the Star-Ledger wrote a front page story about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his confrontational attitude towards New Jersey's teachers and the New Jersey Education Association. One of the main questions explored is...... does Christie have a vendetta against the state's teachers? And the answer is: it all depends on who you ask.

O'Brien interviewed some of Christie's high school and junior high teachers in Livingston, some for, some against, some angry, some hurt, some see a politician playing politics.

Here's a sample from two of them.

"We’re all puzzled by the attitude, more than by what he’s trying to do.....I agree with most of what he’s saying — I hope he has success, because we’re all going to benefit — but not how he’s saying it."..... Anthony Hope, a Christie supporter and his former baseball coach.

"It’s (Christie's barbs at New Jersey's teachers) over the top. It does nothing but create animosity. It’s going to hurt him......the people you diss and antagonize are the same people you’re going to have to deal with later."....Ed Hill, retired social studies teacher, a lifelong Democrat who voted for Christie.

And those, ladies and gents, are what a couple of friends and supporters say about New Jersey's governor.

This is a fascinating story, more of it here.

(6) According to The Huffington Post, Fox News spent less than ten minutes on the withdrawal of the last combat brigade from Iraq last week while MSNBC spent the entire night on the event, with Keith Olbermann in studio, Rachel Maddow with Richard Engel (embedded with the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division), and Chris Matthews commenting while on vacation.

While MSNBC, and to a similar extent CNN, gave the story a lot of coverage, FOX chose to ignore the story or marginalize it. Rather, it was given second tier status by both Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. Their shows continued to present the story of the "Ground Zero Mosque" as the most significant story of the day.

Years before his death, Walter Cronkite was asked "What is the purpose of network news?"

Cronkite answered...."To inform the public of the things they need to know".

I wonder what Mr. Cronkite would have said of Fox's decision?

Are they a news organization, or a propaganda machine?

(7). Suppose there was a fictional cable company with a fictional on air host on it's relatively small news network; call him Cable Host. And pretend there was a fictional news organization, a giant in the industry, with a fictional host who might be the top dog at the News Giant; he's News Giant Host. And suppose Cable Host was critical of News Giant Host, and made that fact public. So News Giant Host leans on cable company, about what's in the best interest of cable company; he has the muscle and he uses it. And suppose cable company blinks....and Cable Host is first suspended, and then fired. He then sues cable company for wrongful "termination".

But this scenario may not be fictional.

Barry Nolan, former host of CN8's Backstage With Barry Nolan, was appalled that Bill O'Reilly was to receive the Governor's Award at local EMMY AWARD CHAPTER in Boston in May, 2008. Nolan protested in the lobby of the Boston Marriott Copley Place at the precise time O'Reilly was to receive his award. In less than two weeks, Barry Nolan was out of a job, first suspended by and then fired by COMCAST. And Nolan has suspicions who was behind his firing.

Terry Ann Knopf tells the story in her piece from Columbia Journalism Review, "The O'Reilly Factor". As you may or may not know, COMCAST is purchasing NBC-Universal, including NBC, MSNBC, BRAVO, Telemundo, and it's entire cable menu. Here's Nolan in the article's last paragraph.

"I don’t think they had the F-ing right to tell me what I’m allowed to say. In the end, I think they were trying to suck up to Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and Bill O’Reilly in a way that’s spineless and appalling for a company [Comcast] that aspires to run a major network news operation [NBC]. What happens when Keith Olbermann goes after O’Reilly? I think that’s scary.”

Yes Barry, it is scary.

Click here for the complete article .

 (8). In they say, at the end of the world, after the Apocalypse, only two things will survive; cockroaches and old pictures on the Internet.

Well....not really. I just made that up. But anyway.....look what I found!

The two ladies pictured above have logged thousands of hours on American TV in the past two decades, and both were contestants the same year (1992)  in the Miss America Pageant.....they didn't win. But they shoulda....coulda.....

One went on to make a name in news, and is currently the lead anchor on HLN's Morning Express. Yes ladies and gents, pictured above is Robin Meade from her days as Miss Ohio. and no, Robin does not lack for pictures (more than 40 pages) and attention in many choices, but somebody had to do it.

Also competing that year from Robin's neighboring state of West Virginia was Kim Parrish, who was a host on QVC for years, and later went on to become a clothing designer on HSN and ShopNBC.

She also serves as president of Miss America's Outstanding Teen, which holds it's scholarship competition in Orlando this week.

Truth be told.....I prefer the the 2010 editions of these two talented and quite beautiful women....but that's just the opinion of one Manly Man.

Don't laugh! I've still got it....but it just takes a lot longer to get it.

Got it?

That's all....time to get ready for MADMEN!


Sue said...

So much happening!
I'll start with Kim Parrish, why did she leave QVC and go to the horrid HSN?? I hate HSN!!

I'll skip the mosque story since I'm mosqued out.

Don't know a thing about Catholic stuff so I'll skip that too.

Chris Christie hates teachers and he's a buffoon...

My favorite subject FALL! Aaaaah it feels very much like fall here tonight and it looks like I'll be able to turn off the AC for the first time almost ALL summer! I hate summer and this one gave us NO breaks in the heat!

Gotta go watch Keith, have a good week Hugh!

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue....answers, answers answers. HSN may be horrid, but the weather is better in Tampa than in West Chester PA.

I don't know about the Catholic stuff either, though my late great uncle was a priest and missionary....maybe I was channeling him.

Chris be played by Kevin James in the movie version.

The mosque....everytime I think I'm out THEY PULL ME BACK IN!!!

(New Post about Ron Paul and mosque, sigh!)

I did check out a biography of Muhammad from the library, written by a professor from after "they" take over (so say the whackos), the transition will be easier for me.

Gotta nite!

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