Archive for the ‘people’ category

Does America need Don Imus?

June 24, 2008

Imusonair.comShock jock Don Imus is back in the news for making what most sensible people believe to be a racist remark on his WABC radio show.

Imus made national headlines, when he made some racist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last year, which subsequently led to his termination from WFAN and MSNBC.

This time, Imus’ statement was less specific, but the interpretation is still quite transparent.

According to a Daily News article:

On Monday’s show, sportscaster Warner Wolf was talking about how (NFL player Adam) Jones had been suspended for a season and arrested six times.

“What color is he?” asked Imus.

“He’s African-American,” said Wolf.

“Well, there you go,” said Imus. “Now we know.”

In his own defense, Imus says the statment was meant to suggest that African-Americans are wrongly targeted by police because of their race.  Imus didn’t make this clarification on his show, though. 

What Imus said last year was unconscionable and his firing was the right move.  Many people believe Imus should never have been given a second chance.

After this recent remark, is there any other conclusion than to presume that Don Imus is indeed a racist?

And, in a society trying desperately to overcome centuries of prejudice, do we really need a guy  like Imus on the air?

Movies and media blamed for suspected teen pregnancy pact is

June 23, 2008

Seventeen high school girls allegedly created a pregnancy pact in Gloucester, Mass.  Although she woudn’t confirm that such a pact to become pregnant actually exists, the mayor of Gloucester, Carolyn Kirk, was quick to lay blame for the creation of such an absurd pact. 

According to Kirk, the movie industry and media coverage of pregnant teen celebrities, like Jamie Lynn Spears, creates a “glamorization of pregnancy,” which ultimately led to 17 girls at one Gloucester high school becoming pregnant; all of the girls are under 16.

Kirk also took a shot at President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, arguing that too much time and money are dedicated to NCLB, leaving little for health programs that might teach young girls about safe sex.

One must wonder if Kirk left those most to blame unscathed. 

What about these girls’ parents? 

Are parents ever to blame for America’s wayward youth?

Edgy George Carlin took the edge off of the daily grind

June 23, 2008

Some people found him a bit too baudy, even vulgar, but for most comedy fans, George Carlin helped take the edge off of the grind of many frustrating and stressful days.

Carlin died yesterday of heart failure, after a long and celebrated career of stand-up comedy, television and movie appearances.

What separated Carlin from most comics was his ability to take sensitive subjects, like abortion and obesity, and make them funny, even to pro lifers and overweight people.  Carlin understood who he was and believed his devout fans also got him.

“I have a kind of identity that I’ve carved out as my own, and people know that,” Carlin told the Daily Press in 2002. “I have this theatrically angry voice some of the time in my show, an aggressive tone, but I think people still see me as a kind of vulnerable person — an open, honest person laying it all out for your inspection.”

No critic could have put it better.


U.S. strike on Iran is not the answer

June 21, 2008

The Science Christian Monitor’s John Cooley seems like he’s right out of Hillary Clinton’s camp, which in the case of handling Iran is not necessarily a bad thing.

In a recent article on Iran, Cooley, who claims that two U.S. Senators have received information about a planned strike against Iran, which has been warned by the Bush Administration numerous times about nuclear proliferation, suggests an alternative plan — diplomacy.

Incidentally, the aforementioned senators, Diane Feinstein and Richard Lugar, deny plans of a U.S. strike.

Sounding a lot like Hillary Clinton, Cooley wants the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia to join forces and work with Iran to create nuclear-free energy sources.

Check out Cooley’s insightful prose.  It makes a lot of sense.

Immigrant naked in sauna questions American democracy

June 17, 2008

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Phillip Morris tells a fascinating story about a Russian immigrant, who was arrested when he refused to stop taking saunas in the nude at a health club. 

Considering that the nudist is a 78-year-old man, the nudity itself isn’t what makes the story fascinating.  Now, if the column were about a 21-year-old Swedish bikini model. . . well, we better not go there.  What makes Morris’s article interesting is that the man, Lazar Balshen, who refused to put clothes on when told, is questioning the freedom that America provides.

This, too, might not seem shocking, until you learn that Balshen came here at 62, never worked a day in the states and has been receiving $677 in monthly Social Security since arriving.  Many of Morris’s readers were in an uproar over America’s generosity, far more than over Balsen’s nudity.

Anyone reading this space knows by now that I’m certainly in favor of civil rights and civil liberty.  The complaining Balshen, though, is taking things a little too far.

Obama talks Fathers Day, basketball and more with Jimmy Kimmel

June 16, 2008

One more demonstration of Barack Obama’s charisma. If November comes down to a popularity vote, McCain is in trouble.

Feinstein’s bill shows Democratic creativity and sympathy, too

June 16, 2008

Thanks to Sen. Diane Feinstein, Arthur Mkoyan can unpack his bags, indefinitely.A Dream Deferred

Mkoyan, a 17-year-old illegal alien from Armenia, recently graduated from Bullard High School in Fresno as the school’s valedictorian.  Shortly after his commencement, Mkoyan was to be deported back to his home country, along with his family, which includes Arthur’s U.S.-born younger brother.

This family has been here most  of Mkoyan’s life, making Arthur as American as most of his high school friends, save for the fact that they are U.S. citizens and Mkoyan isn’t.  So, valedictorian or not, it was back to Armenia, American immigration law said.

Enter Feinstein, a senator who demonstrates the kind of creativity that is emblematic of the Democratic party, when it comes to protecting those in need.

Although most political pundits will tell you that the new bill Feinstein recently introduced has virtually no chance  of becoming law, her bill, which gives people like Mkoyan the right to avoid deportation, can be introduced yearly until Congress finally resolves the issue.  Knowing how fast Congress moves, the next we hear about Mkoyan may be when he applies for his AARP card.

Meanwhile, at least for now, young Mkoyan is off to college and, hopefully, medical school.

And Diane Feinstein has struck another blow for civil rights in America.


Sports notes: Bolt, U.S. Open, Celtics and more

June 15, 2008

I hail from the sports writing world, so ocassionally, I like to take the liberty of commenting on sports.  It’s a bit self-indulgent, I know, but isn’t blogging the most self-indulgent form of writing?

On that note, here are some observations about major sporting events.

A sprinter called, bolt: Does anyone else find it too ironic that the  new world record holder in the 100 meter dash is a guy named Bolt?

Hating Tiger Woods: While the world slobbers over Tiger, like a teenaged girl drools over Chris Brown, I find it difficult not to hate the monotone, whiney (“Oh, not in my backswing”), fake toothy-grinning Woods.  Strangely, I always find myself rooting for him on Sundays in major golf tournaments.  Can someone explain this, please?

Celtics over Lakers: The so-called NBA experts were calling this Finals a battle for the ages, recalling the glory days of Larry Bird’s Celtics and Majic Johnson’s Lakers.  Through four games, it’s been nothing but a snoozer.  At least, it’s fun to watch Kobe Bryant lose.  I hate Kobe even more than Tiger.

Desormeaux should have slapped Dutrow: Just days after Big Brown jockey, Kent Desormeaux, pulled his horse up in the Belmont Stakes, realizing he couldn’t win and not wanting to hurt the Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown trainer, Rick Dutrow, ripped Desormeaux on national television. “I don’t see the horse with a problem,” Dutrow said, “so I have to direct my attention toward the ride.”  Desormeaux has won five Classics and two Breeders Cups, along with 35 other major wins in his illustrious career, yet according to Dutrow, he suddenly forgot how to race a thoroughbred.  Desormeaux is far too classy, but he should have slapped Dutrow for that unforgivable comment.

Tim Russert embodied professional politics and journalism

June 15, 2008

As a young journalist, I aspired to be like Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and eOnline photoDick Enberg.  Growing up, I found these three to be articulate, intelligent and awe-inspiring. 

As the years passed, and my writing broadened into politics, I sought the person who embodied all of the aforementioned reporters and announcers.  Tim Russert was that person.

I first encountered Russert on a Sunday morning TV magazine show.  He and other pundits kicked around political ideology and often “kicked” the behinds of politicians.  Russert, though, always did it in the classiest of ways.

His election coverage was always on the mark, and when he interviewed presidential candidates, he never pulled a single punch.

Russert could hammer away at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama during a 90-minute debate, then be seen with his arm around Obama, laughing gleefully afterward. 

A beloved son, loving father and international face of policical journalism, Tim Russert will be dearly missed by millions.


Duke rape accuser Crystal Mangum gets degree — in police psychology

June 12, 2008

Educators have been given a new model for teaching irony.  Duke rape accuser, Crystal Mangum, graduated recently from North Carolina Central University with a degree in police psycology.Fox News photo

Mangum, who gained national fame for accusing three lacrosse players from Duke University of rape, is a known drug abuser and suffers from psychological issues far too many for us to list in this space. 

Now, she can begin evaluating other criminals.

Sounds about right.