Here is a newspaper story we should pay attention to:
“In an early test of the GOP response to the 2012 elections, Congress is struggling to reach consensus on the Violence Against Women Act after reauthorization of the 1994 law became embroiled in partisan politics last year.
The law, which expired in 2011, provided grants to state and local governments for services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including housing, legal assistance and law enforcement training.”
Now let’s see why any of this should be controversial.
It provides housing for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
In years past, I help organize bicycle rides to benefit Martha’s House in Okeechobee, FL. They provided housing for women and their children who were fleeing domestic violence. Martha’s house was full of women and children. Can you imagine a circumstance where you and your children would share a room with another woman and her children? That is simple despiration. You would only do it if you were fleeing physical abuse you thought would endanger you or your children and you had no money at all.
I say again, Martha’s House was full. I was there. I saw it.
And why would they need legal assistance? Perhaps to keep the men who have battered them away via court order?
And why would law enforcement training be in the bill?
In 2007, about 1 in 8 local police officers were women, compared to 1 in 13 in 1987. Guess who would recognize violence against women?
In other words, we are getting better, but still 7 out of 8 are still men who may or may not be trained to recognize violence against women.
In the context of the social security net we have built, women and children shouldn’t be the bottom rung.
The story went on to say that Marco Rubio voted against it. Why am I not surprised?
If you have a doubt about where you stand on issues like this, go out and visit your local Martha’s House. I’ll bet it is full of women and children who have no where else to go. If you can find one.
I don’t know if you watched the Democratic Convention. I didn’t. But I did TIVO the good parts. I saw the three speeches.
Michelle Obama. How can anyone not fall in love with this woman? And, after that speech, how can anyone not respect the hell out of the man who married her.
Only very recently have candidates wives spoken to the nation.
Ann Romney gave a creditable speech. Michelle Obama put the bar so high that I already pitty the next candidate’s wife who attempts it.
Then came Bubba. Bill Clinton extemporized a full third of his speech, didn’t miss a mark, and held me spellbound for, I’m guessing, 45 minutes. If Bill Clinton had decided to be an astronomer instead of a politician, I think we already would have the answer to God, the universe and everything.
I actually was kind of worried that Barack Obama had been trumped and not with a capital T.
Then came “I am the President.”
Here is a criticism from someone who goes by the moniker of jwb0581.
“I thought it seemed oddly out of place when he delivered that line. It now makes sense that it was lifted from a movie. A speechwriter in inserting the line may have in mind how effective it worked in the movie, but that was under the conditions that were constructed in the movie and those conditions are not the same in a different setting.”
“It struck me as petty and unbecoming — it’s not the type of thing a president himself should need to say.”
I thought completely the opposite.
In the movie, the fictional president was defending his girlfriend when he said the line and it was moving.
In real life, when the real President said it, I basically thought, “no shit.”
This guy got Osama, stopped a depression in its tracks, stopped a totally insane war, and extended medical benefits to millions. He saved the auto industry. And he did it with a Republican congress that voted against him every time not because it was the right thing to do but to try to make our government fail so he would fail.
But what I really wanted to say when I started this screed was that I so much welcome back the art of oratory to our political process.
I thought these three speeches were like chocolate for the mind.
They aren’t like great movies you can watch over and over or like great music that can raise the hair on the back of your neck every time you hear it.
They aren’t like the Gettysburg Address that was occasioned by as many casualties in three days, all of them Americans, as there were in the entire Vietnam War.
But they were literate and finely crafted and, in Michelle Obama’s case, simply stunning.
It makes me proud as an American to know that these three speeches were heard around the world, that they gave a message of hope and resolve, and that there wasn’t a single chuckleheaded “new-ku-lar” in any of them.
I tried to help a 15-year-old Black kid who had no mother and no father.
He lived on the street. He slept at his grandmother’s house when he slept.
Can you imagine?
I tried to teach him computer programming which is what I know.
He seemed to appreciate it.
I showed him a few simple things which he got.
But he walked away into a land where there is no internet.
A land where there are no iPhones or digitial cameras. Not for him.
A land where education is simply beyond his abilities because there is no up side.
This isn’t poverty, my friends.
This is brutality.
This is West Palm Beach.
Until you look into the eyes of a child you cannnot save, you have not looked at your country.
And you have not felt hurt.
Hurt is what it feels like when help is beyond what you can do.
This Facebook think irks me.
Why is it that everyone thinks you should have a Facebook page?
Why is it that some people won’t date anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook page?
I think Facebook pages are great. If I was thinking about dating a woman and all her Facebook page had on it was cats, I would think again.
But I wouldn’t think twice if she did not have a Facebook page. Then I would actually have to talk to her.
And if she had 16 cats, I wouldn’t date her.
I’ve had cats. 16 is too many.
My Facebook page is designed to discourage people from dating me.
I’m having a fine time by myself. I am an athiest radical who thinks the human race doesn’t have a chance until we get rid of God.
I find athiesm about as effective as Deep Woods Off in shooing away idiot women who think some white haired boogey man out there is going to stop her mother’s Alzheimers or bring world peace.
So that cuts down the number of women I could possibly date. So what?
I can’t imagine a relationship with someone as mind-numbing as a Christian.
You have to ignore the history of the world to be a Christian, or a Muslim, or a snake-handling Baptist.
I won’t do it.
But do I think I’ll find somebody on Facebook. Well, I found a dozen or so.
I’ll get back to you.
I LOVE this Secret Service scandal. Not only is it alliterative, but it takes the cake for stupid, which also starts with an “S”.
This is a scandal?
Who do you think smuggled Marolyn Monroe into the White House for JFK?
Do you think President Clinton found a niche in the Oval Office complex where no one was watching him and Monica?
Do you really think they didn’t know that Nixon was overdosing on Scotch while listening to his tapes and otherwise going crazy?
They call it the Secret Service for a reason.
Do you think that, just all of a sudden, 11 Secret Service agents and five people in the military suddenly decided that they could do a few prostitutes in a country where prostitutes are cheap.
I am certainly not saying that all are guilty.
I’m just thinking that one of them, when confronted with a situation, was too stupid to keep it secret. You don’t take your dispute over money with a woman into a hall crawling with agents and hotel security and local police. Especially with a Latina. Bad idea.
You also can’t think that 16 guys are now under the microscope if this is the first time something like this has happened. Two or three maybe.
There was a first guy who did it and the rest covered. Then maybe a few more. Then it became standard, not for all, but for some. After all, it is secret. And it is on their time off.
I love it not because agents are in trouble. I love it because “secret” is in trouble.
Secret as in they can monitor your phone calls without a court order.
Secret as in they can accumulate information on you from all kinds of sources without your knowledge.
Secret as in you don’t know what these guys are doing until they get caught in the hall with an irate Latina.
Ben Franklin said it. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I started my career in journalism in 1972. By the time I got to The Palm Beach Post, the Honda Goldwing had been introduced as the 999cc GL1000 Gold Wing in 1975. It was a naked bike with four horizontally opposed cylinders. It was a BMW squared.
I got my first bike about then – a Honda 550cc in-line four cylinder. It was a great motorcycle.
Some little time after that, I persuaded a salesman to give me a ride on the back of the new Gold Wing. It was awesome. The power was outstanding and the almost electric feel of the bike was a whole new thing.
I’ve kept that in my head for 37 years now.
By the end of the ’90′s, the Gold Wing had morphed into a 1500cc motorcycle that came in two editions. You could get the Gold Wing with faring and bags, much resembling the Gold Wing of today, or the naked Valkyrie.
The other day I was up at my favorite dealership, Florida Motorsports in Stuart FL, and there, sitting a few bikes down from the door, was a 1999 Honda Valkyrie. It is designated the GL1500C and is the Gold Wing without the factory faring and bags and doodads.
This is the next generation of the bike I was on long, long ago.
The bike had 70,000 miles on it and was selling for $4,500.
This bike is the reason I carry an American Express card.
It is now mine and it is totally excellent.
The choke doesn’t work and the brakes aren’t near as good as the Brembos I have on my Ducati.
But who cares?
It has the biggest engine plowing down the road of any naked bike – so much so that even Harley guys give it respect. I wasn’t five miles from the dealership on my way home when a Harley guy pulled up next to me and shouted “That is a great bike!”
The new Kawasaki Concours probably outshines it, but this 1999 bike still has 120 ccs of engine in excess and looks it. It looks all engine.
It is as well balanced as my venerable BMW R-1200-RT. And it blows the BMW away in terms of power.
So here is the best new thing in the world today. An almost collectable Honda Valkyrie.