by Andy Weddington
Friday, 03 February 2012
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Henry David Thoreau
Tidbits from the week that struck a nerve or two...
First, another word about the USS Murtha (Tuesday's Commentary titled: Mutha of a Warship Named Murtha?). Many comments back with vows to write a note of displeasure to the Secretary of the Navy. Follow through, it's important. Why? Lots of reasons but fundamentally I know Marines and Sailors, some junior and some senior, who wrecked their lives by making poor choices when in uniform. Courts-martial with award of BCD (Bad Conduct Discharge) for enlisted and Dismissal for officers not an uncommon outcome. But none of their breaches, some not even crimes in the civilian world, came close to the deplorable behavior of Congressman Murtha. There won't be anything named for those Marines and Sailors. A warship, to be manned by Sailors and Marines held to a higher standard of personal and professional conduct than a congressman, named for a congressman? Are you kidding? Conclusion: Ridiculous. Write those notes.
Astronomers are fascinated by the moon. Americans have walked on the moon. One American popularized a moon walk (the day that fellow died, as light-hearted tribute, I spent an hour or so teaching myself how to do it). Singers of all sorts have wailed about the moon. Songs titled 'Moon River,' 'Moondance,' 'Moonshadow,' 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' 'Harvest Moon,' and 'Dark Side of the Moon' first come to mind. Now a politician running for president wants to colonize the moon, and vows to pursue that lofty goal if elected. Conclusion: Newt's is an excellent idea. It's a Capitol idea. And in that light (moon or otherwise) may the first shuttle be filled with all 535 members of congress. And more. Set up shop on the dark side, please.
Speaking of presidents, how and why is it we end up with losers time after time after time after time, and men of the ilk of John Wooden (yes, I know he's dead) do not run for high office? Simple. They refuse to compromise their standards of personal conduct or the caliber of people with whom they associate. Conclusion: Unless there's radical change to how we do business sending folks to Washington, we're screwed.
A bite of big news this week is that sugar is bad for us. Somehow scientists have linked sugar to obesity, and all sorts of not-so-good medical conditions. Really?! Now there's a revelation. As analogy sugar was demonized as unhealthy as tobacco and alcohol and maybe worse (critics are calling it "Junk Science"--bahahahhaha). After hearing that news all I could think about was all the moon pies-- banana, chocolate, and vanilla--I ate in my elementary school days; a standard in my lunch box. Thanks, Mom (seriously, they were great and still are). Then I checked sundry packaged goods in our pantry and refrigerator--sugar, in some form or another, is in practically everything. Conclusion: I am not going to stop eating and drinking things I like. Concepts like healthy choices, moderation, and exercise are important. And, by the way, why isn't sugar spelled with "sh"?
Tuesday night my wife and I attended a Gilda's Club seminar on advancements treating breast cancer. From the ages, genders, and races in attendance breast cancer does not play favorites. The focus was on the field of molecular science and target-based cancer treatments. Amazing the progress in the less than four years since my wife's diagnosis and treatment. Some of the big takeaways--a baby aspirin a day reduces the risk of breast cancer; excessive sugar is not a good thing (duh); healthy choices, moderation, and exercise are good things (duh); and there's a new drug coming along called CLEOPATRA (no hair loss; no neuropathy; no nausea). Conclusion: Brilliant people are getting closer and closer to a magic pill or elixir for killing cancer. And they are getting closer because a lot of brave women battling breast cancer volunteered to partake in clinical trials. Five of our friends started chemotherapy during January. And most likely some folks you know did too. Prayers for them all.
I received a robo telephone call the other day informing me it was my "Final Warning." It was my final warning to act--to take advantage of an Obama program designed to stimulate the economy. After pressing one and laughing hysterically, I hung up. Idiots. Conclusion: There is no escaping morons. Did you notice if removing the "r" from morons you have moons?
The Super Bowl is Sunday. I challenge you to approach ten strangers, today or tomorrow, and see how many can tell you what number this year--in Roman numerals and the conversion. I have no idea. Too many Roman numerals--they lost me after combining more than two. The only reason for watching in past years was to catch the commercials and see the halftime spectacle or who would make a spectacle of themselves. Thank you, Janet Jackson. Sorry, don't remember the number. This year the commercials are hitting the Internet ahead of the game. Conclusion: Super Bowl? Frankly, I don't care anymore. But if you partake in the partying, remember moderation with the sugar, tobacoo, and alcohol. And exercise for at least 30 minutes the day after. And the day after. And the day after. Et cetera.
That said, I think this year's Super Bowl is XLVI--46. The only one I cared about was Super Bowl III (officially, the first one called "Super Bowl"). The NY Jets, led by cool Joe "Willy" Namath, beat the Baltimore Colts 16 - 7. It was an upset of mega proportions. I was just shy of 12 and won 50 cents from Bill S.--our adult neighbor. He paid. I'll never forget it. I wonder if he remembers? No bets this year.
On the rich and famous front, Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire (maybe one day a gazillionaire)--the Facebook IPO incredible considering the company's start; Donald Trump's hair still looks silly, and he's silly; Madonna promises no wardrobe malfunction (see Janet Jackson) during her Super Bowl halftime show; and Eric Holder is in deep do-do.
Most disturbing tidbit of the week, Mr. Obama using our Navy SEALS as a campaign tool. Shameful. Conclusion: Desperation. Despite what some pols and polls say, his gig is up and he knows it. I've predicted it in this forum before and will again. His ejection from office will be even more impressive than his election--an overwhelming mass of sanity (controlling their anger) is quietly laying in wait. The 2010 mid-terms, in comparison, to look like child's play. I could be dead wrong but don't think so.
In closing, I don't make this stuff up; really.
Enjoy the game!
Next full moon: Tueday, 07 February. Step outside that evening and take a good long look. Wow!