This Brian Williams brouhaha just defies all reason.
First, humans tend to embellish their stories over long periods of time.
My father went from smoking unfiltered Pall Malls to never having smoked in his life in something like 10 years. I knew better because I used to steal his Pall Malls.
Tell me you don’t know somebody whose stories have gotten better over time. It is what we humans do.
Brian Williams has conflated “shot at” to “grazed” in a dozen years. He probably believed it when he said it.
What he reads in a news broadcast has little to do with him. He may be editor and have the last word on the words he reads, but he has no control over the facts reported to him that he must convey. There are people all around him contributing to the newscast.
There is no correlation between a 12-year-old war story he told in an interview and what he reads on the nightly news.
We shouldn’t act like there is.
Back during the holidays, you remember the Christmas holidays, yes, several of us had a get together. Here are my favorite ladies from the group – Jan Norris on the left, my sister Carol on my right, and Lila Steinhoff. We were celebrating one of my sister’s infrequent trips to the tropics. You know, it takes a really lazy guy to dawdle until mid-February before posting Christmas photos.
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.