Headlines From Hell

The year is almost up. I am cleaning up by getting rid of the remainder of the Headlines from Hell.

OK, I’m the first to admit there are some things it’s hard to get worked up over.

I’m still trying to figure out how long it took them to come to this conclusion.

I would be more impressed if it was celebrating three historic milestones. You can’t have everything.

I was planning on watching that on my car radio.

OK, readers. This is the case that makes my point. How come there’s is never an editor around when you really need one?

See what I’ve been telling you? They just don’t make miracle cures like they used to.


Sign Posts

Facebook “friends” keep posting these really cute captions with appropriate images. I never can find time to make up my own, so I am just posting a few I picked up from other people. There will be more in the future. Keep reading:

Of course, the 21 December end of the world was just another wild fantasy, joining as many others before it as there are grains of sand on the beach. The Millerites were followers of William Miller in the 19th century, who continually predicted the end of the world, each time saying “oops” when the sun stubbornly rose again in the sky the day after the end of the world had arrived. Followers eventually discarded Miller (possibly because he died), and the Seventh Day Adventist church was formed. This should give you a hint at the origins of various religious sects.

This one is just plain funny. No excuse is necessary.

The irony in this was so striking it was hard to ignore. Of course, a client is not responsible for the actions of his attorney, but if Biron is a sincere advocate of the anti-gay movement, then dabbling in child porn hints at a twisted mind that follows connected paths.

The Tea Party movement is shrill if nothing else. Supposedly founded on some sound principles, like trimming a bloated government and standing up for individual rights, it also carries water for some of our most shameless fringe elements. Yes, Mary Bono, if you want the support of the Tea Party constituency you will need to avoid all appearances of inclusiveness. Xenophobia is a strong current within the Tea Party.

I like this one, because it highlights my impression that there is little difference between the religious extremists in this country and those in the Muslim world. The main difference I do see is the Muslim fundamentalists seem to be more religiously devout.

How to lose an election, Part 24. I titled this one “All American Boy.” That’s my attempt at irony. Anyhow, here is how to lose an election. How would any right-thinking person get up on election day and say to himself, “I’m going to go out and vote the same way this guy votes.” Apparently enough did last month to make the election interesting for the first hour or so, but not enough to win the election. Republicans, if you are tired of watching the inaugural ceremonies on TV, you are going to need to quit welcoming people like this into your ranks. I suggest you broadly hint that these people go form their own party and elect their own swamp king.

A Christmas Story

In Chicago some years back a radio DJ opened his show with an apology. “Listeners, I have a little backtracking to do, so here it is. Yesterday I was in the holiday spirit and I said something like this:”

Well, boys and girls, you can tell Christmas is just around the corner. Down at the YMCA they’re painting the cockroaches red and green.

“OK, that didn’t go over very well. Within an hour I was in the station director’s office, and I was told under no uncertain terms that I needed to undo my remarks. A lot of people, the YMCA not the least, were deeply offended, and a retraction was demanded. So, here it is.
Contrary to what I may have said yesterday, down at the YMCA they are not painting the cockroaches red and green.”


Editor’s comment: There are a lot more important topics that need to be covered this week, but right now I don’t have time to give them the attention they need. So, here’s a quick movie review.

Three days ago I watched for about the third time this year the move Suddenly. As explained in the story, Suddenly is the name of the town, and it got its name from its origins in the California gold rush. In those days things tended to happen suddenly. Not so much anymore. Except on this day.

A few years after this movie Sterling Hayden would be a maniacal Air Force commander in Dr. Strangelove, but in this film he is the level-headed sheriff who has a crush on a pretty war widow with a young son. So, as the movie starts out it’s going to be another boring day in Suddenly, but quickly things begin to pop.

A telegram informs the sheriff the president of the United States is coming to town on the 5-o’clock train, and security preparations need to be made quickly. The plot builds as state troopers and Secret Service agents roll into town. Then, in a dramatic turn, some assassins take over a house near the train station with a plan to kill the president with a sniper’s rifle.

Without giving away too much of the plot, suffice it to say that things go wrong with the murder plot, and a number of people are killed as the plot unravels toward a dramatic climax.

Stop reading now if you do not want any more of the plot to be revealed to you.

The best part of this movie, besides the intense drama, is the stellar performance turned in by Frank Sinatra. He won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in From Here to Eternity in 1954, and the following year he was nominated for best actor in The Man With the Golden Arm. I am surprised he didn’t get a nod for this performance, but the film was apparently too shallow a vehicle to get much Academy attention.

A weak side of the plot is the drama that unfolds after the initial exchange of gunfire in the town. The supposedly sophisticated assassins apparently do not realize that from there on the president will not be stopping in the town. In real life, the president’s train would not even approach the town. This obvious point is glossed over as the audience continues to cling to the specter of a president in danger, the assassins continue their preparations for the ultimate sniper shot, and more people die. Anyhow, it makes for some additional action and a dramatic buildup. Enjoy.

I have the movie on DVD, and you can get it on Blue-ray from Amazon.


Jesus is back in our lives

I never knew Jesus until I moved to San Antonio two years ago. Even so, it was a while before I heard about Jesus. I was working at a job outside of town and was only home on weekends, and it was Barbara Jean who first told me she had talked to Jesus and that he was a most remarkable person. At first I was a bit confused, because Barbara Jean had trouble with the name, but I finally realized it was Jesus she was talking about. What’s more, I was surprised and impressed to learn that Jesus lived just a block away from my new home. Who would have thought it? His house is a very nice house, one of the nicest in the neighborhood. Of course, it would be.

Anyhow, I finally met Jesus and got to know him, and I looked forward to taking walks with him. Of course he is older than I am, and he seems to be quite wise. He’s retired, which I had not known before, and he has a wife who is much younger than he is.

Then one day earlier this year I realized I had not seen Jesus in several weeks, and I wondered if he was on vacation or had moved. I made a habit of checking, when I walked past his house, whether any lights were on, but I could see no sign that Jesus was home. I discussed this with Barbara Jean.

Was it possible Jesus had moved? Maybe he had died. I did mention that he is older than I am. I was beginning to feel a bit gloomy, but I went on with my life.

Then, one day in the autumn, as I was taking my walk around the neighborhood, I saw Jesus and his wive. I stopped and spoke to him and asked if he had been on vacation. Jesus told me no, he had been here all along and was not going away.

I went home and told Barbara Jean, and she was happy, too. We both feel better now knowing that Jesus is back in our lives.

Merry Christmas to all, and keep reading.

Bad Joke Of The Week

This one goes way back.

It was in the time of the now-defunct Soviet Union, and the man and his wife were having a disagreement. “It’s not going to rain,” the man insisted. The wife maintained the forecast was for rain the rest of the day.

The wife said, “I’m going to settle this. I’m going to phone Kommissar Rudolph and get the straight scoop.”

The man was disgusted. “That communist? What does he know?”

The wife insisted: “Say what you want about him, but Rudolph the red knows rain, dear.”

An American Hero Gone

He entered the Army as an enlisted man in the middle of a great war and was eventually promoted to second lieutenant. He died yesterday at 88:

In northern Italy in April 1945 as the war in Europe was coming to an end, Inouye moved his platoon against German troops near San Terenzo. Inouye crawled up a slope and tossed two hand grenades into a German machine-gun nest. He stood up with his tommy gun and raked a second machine-gun nest before being shot in the stomach. But he kept charging until his right arm was hit by an enemy rifle grenade and shattered.
“I looked at it, stunned and disbelieving. It dangled there by a few bloody shreds of tissue, my grenade still clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore,” Inouye wrote in his 1967 autobiography, “Journey to Washington,” written with Lawrence Elliott.
Inouye wrote that he pried the grenade out of his right hand and threw it at the German gunman, who was killed by the explosion. He continued firing his gun until he was shot in the right leg and knocked down the hillside. Badly wounded, he ordered his men to keep attacking and they took the ridge from the enemy.

He did not receive the Medal of Honor immediately, possibly because of his Japanese ancestry. The government corrected this oversight eventually.