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Free at Last – Free at Last

Judge Roger Vinson apparently has an insatiable need to be well known, not an unusual need for a Federal Judge. It’s been my experience that most Judges, especially those in the Federal Courts, have far more ego than common sense. By that standard, Judge Vinson fits the stereotype.

Vinson is the guy that pandered to the Tea Party by declaring the health care act unconstitutional. Like other simple minded myopes, e.g., Arizona buffoon in chief, Jan Brewer, Vinson says the Constitution somehow prevents the government from forcing people to buy health insurance. He justified his logic by announcing in his written decision, “It is difficult to imagine that a country which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in American would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”

What the hell is this guy talking about? He’s a judge; surely he understands the concept of non-sequitor. As the Tea Party’s chief intellectual, Sarah Palin, calls them, this was clearly a WTF moment.

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Who Shot Gabrielle Giffords?

I was in the middle of writing a column on the Republican grandstanding surrounding the idea of repealing the healthcare bill or as they call it, ObamaCare. That’s when the news flash arrived saying Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been shot. My heart dropped much like it did on that fateful day in 1963. I was saddened, disgusted and shamed to be a member of a society that breeds the kind people that can perform such heinous acts.

Giffords was a supporter of universal healthcare. She cared for her constituents, rich and poor. She answered to her conscience and used her strong intellect to make the decisions she felt were best for America. As I write this, the identity of the killer hasn’t been released. His motives remain a mystery.

As I do my best to resist anger and frustration, I ask “Who shot Gabrielle Giffords?”

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The Lieberburger – Lots of Fat, but Short on Meat

For those of you inclined to ask the rhetorical question “Where’s the beef?”, here’s your answer: The Heart Attack Grill. Our friend Tommy was kind enough to visit us briefly in Scottsdale during our recent visit to that beautiful city. Tommy was good enough to come by and allow me to severely trounce him over the course of two rounds of golf and yet he won money from me. It sounds like Sarah Palin economics to me, but that’s what happened. Had he relieved of my money in such a manner anywhere but on the golf course, Tommy would have been charged with larceny or given an honorary degree from the Harvard Business School. Once he had thoroughly fleeced me, he then attempted to kill me.

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Lon Cheney and Jon Kyle’s Brain

I grew up in that time period when television was still a luxury. I still remember the small, black and white sets where the “vertical hold” was a critical adjustment. A slight deviation on the setting and the picture would roll up or down and drive my father whacky as he’d scramble to adjust it as he missed Bobby Lane’s long pass to Jim Doran as his Lions beat the Cleveland Browns on the way to the NFL championship in 57. My dad used to tune the TV with his right hand; he’d slap the side of the box until the screen finally held still for another minute or two.

It was a magic period in the land of television as the studios experimented with equipment, techniques, scripts and even shows broadcast in color.  Not many people could afford the color sets, but the color wasn’t too hot anyway so it was no big deal. It was a time when many of the shows were broadcast live.

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A Dirty Word

What happened to the Art of Compromise? Has it fallen on hard times, sucked under by the quicksand of obsolescence much like magazines, newspapers and, to hear Amazon tell it, books? “Compromise” has become a dirty, ugly word. If we can’t have everything we want when we want it, we don’t want anything. And all of this time I thought half of a biscuit was better than no biscuit given that half would stave off hunger until you could scrounge up a meal.

Perhaps compromise should be the jumping off place, the first step on the path to agreement instead of the last. The car mired in the mud stays mired in the mud until people work together to free it and send it on its way to its destination. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t take the first step. Sitting on one’s fear-mongering butt spewing idiotic non-factual comments at the top of one’s lungs only irritates the throat and elevates the blood pressure.

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Plagiarism – The Highest Compliment

Rare as it may be, every once in a while someone lifts a line or two from something I’ve written and uses it without permission.  Some people suggest I should be offended my work has been stolen without consent.  On the contrary, I’m usually flattered and honored.  Just think of it.  Someone thinks enough of your work to actually go to the effort of pirating it.  If the thief makes a wheelbarrow full of money with it, I’ll reconsider.  But until then all I can say is “Thanks for the compliment.”

Hopefully, the author of this little piece feels the same way.  I would ask permission if I only knew the source.  It came to me via one of those circuitous email forwards that winds its way through email list after email list, some blind, some public.  Regardless of the source, it was just too cute to not steal.  I’m not the author.  I wish I was the author.  If enough time passes without the author stepping forward, maybe I’ll pretend to be the author.  But for now, I’m offering it to you like I’m peddling a set of hot hubcaps.  Take it and run.  (Incidentally, I stole the image too.  Once a thief – twice a thief.)

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