Often times, a speaker trying valiantly to make a point or to rouse his supporters will allow his reach to far exceed his grasp. Yesterday that happened to a gentleman named Christopher Shelton. It was that or Mr Shelton is woefully ignorant of 20th century American history or he just doesn’t care what he says is it makes his point.
Mr Shelton is the District 1 vice-president for the Communications Workers of America and spoke at a rally in Trenton, New Jersey yesterday. The purpose of said rally was to protest New Jersey Gov Chris Christie’s pension deal that would cut pensions and benefits for public workers. Mr Shelton apparently was so focused on firing up the crowd that he employed the most hateful imagery he could imagine and then made it worse.
He compared the governor to one Adolph Hitler, yep that guy, as my grandson might say. Warming to his task as any speaker will do when faced with a cheering crowd, he went on to compare the New Jersey pension fight to WWII and to say that there was a need for WWIII to get rid of Adolph Christie. Rally attendees responded in what way do you think? Believe it or not they wildly cheered Mr Shelton’s remarks.
Now, of course since this information became public Mr Shelton issued an obligatory apology to the governor and anyone else he offended but also stressed the affected workers had every right to be angry. Not really much of an apology from my perspective.
I am unsure what bothers me the most about this. It could be the analogies Mr Shelton made, the cheering response or the half-hearted apology. I think it probably r is all three. Besides, how many members of his audience even heard the apology or paid any attention to it. Perhaps he still accomplished what he set out to do . But it just seems he really damaged his own cause and gave more credence to those who think union leaders always “demagogue” issues or people to make their case. I certainly that the leadership of my union never resorts to such tactics. The whole incident gives me a very negative feeling and sounds like it could have come from the playbook of a Saul Alinsky. Unions need friends to make their point, they certainly need not create any more foes.
Conventional wisdom has often said that it doesn’t matter why one is famous, only that one is famous. Sad to say, I believe that Rep Anthony Weiner(D, NY) would hasten to disagree. Until his lewd and salacious actions were made public, the majority of Americans would have been unable to identify him by name or picture. Now, he probably holds the title of our most well-known congressman.
But my interest is not so much with what he did but rather the reactions, both pro and con, that have ensued. Part of my reasoning is that I am not very surprised with what he did. The internet has greatly facilitated these types of behavior in and secondly, he is not the first politician to be caught.in some type of compromising position.
On to the reactions. Some are almost funny, some surprising (considering the sources) and some are inconsistent. However, I have tried to avoid comments that are lewd or suggestive in. This mess has even divided prominent Democrats with Reps Rangel and Clyburn offering support; Rangel even saying that after all he did not go out with little boys. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has urged him to resign, probably the first commonsense statement she has made since taking the job. And former speaker Pelosi gravely concurred.
New York’s top elected Democrat Chuck Schumer is appalled and disappointed. Besides Weiner is taking over his spotlight. The Clintons are furious and probably for the best reasons of anyone other Weiner’s wife, the former Huma Abedin. You will remember that Bill officiated at their July 11, 2010 wedding. Besides Huma has worked for Hilary for quite sometime and that the entire fiasco conjures up memories of Bill’s escapade(s). So far there has been no public comment by the Clintons but one can only imagine what they are thinking.
And then we have the celebrity comments which for me fall under the class of what were they thinking and don’t they have people to forestall these public comments. Television journalist Rachel Maddow said that Weiner exhibited “bad manners.” Barbara Walters said that the pictures she had seen were “flattering.” Joy Behar opined that the pictures were not the congressman, implying a frame, even after he confessed that they were. And that paragon of virtue Alec Baldwin said that works in a very highly stressful environment and was just letting off steam.
Finally, some comments that alone. They originate with MSNBC host, Chris( Tingles) Matthews. He has made frequent comments about Weiner that express his disgust, wonder at what he was thinking,etc. And then he proceeds to hold Mrs Weiner partly responsible. And finally ne bemoans the political consequences. If Weiner does not go away the Democrats will “never” again control of the House. And see if you recognize yourself in the last statement.
” Because the people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian, conservative, culturally-you can say” backward” if you want-they don’t like this stuff.”
Thank goodness I didn’t hear Bill Maher and Jane Lynch give a dramatic? comedic? reading of Weiner’s text messages. Wonder what Paul Harvey would have thought?
- Anthony Weiner Adds to The List of Infamous Politicians (socyberty.com)
At first glance one would think that the two numbers have very little in common. And I wish that they did not. But in the world of NASCAR star Kyle Busch they have very much in common. It seems that just a few day ago that Mr Busch was clocked by some North Carolina sheriffs deputies ( probably in either Cabarrus, Iredell or Mecklenburg counties) at a speed of 128 mph in a 45 mph speed zone. Just ponder those numbers for a moment and then wonder what speed you were driving when you got a speeding ticket. I am certain that almost all of us would be in that category.
Busch, who was driving a borrowed Lexus at the time, has made the obligatory apology and stated that he showed poor judgment. Duh!
Ever since I first heard about that this I have been quite perturbed. One of those levels is thinking about what could have happened had just a little something gone wrong, major traffic accident or traffic fatality come quickly to mind. And the second thought is what consequences will there be?
After having talked to a few people today I feel very disheartened about their being any consequences at all that really mean anything. Take his driver’s license, he can still drive a racecar since he doesn’t need it. Levy a large fine, say $150,000. To a professional athlete of his stature that doesn’t mean much. Remedial driving course, public service announcement about the evils of speeding, right.
And think about these last two items. What if you were caught speeding at just twice the legal limit, not almost three times. What do you think might happen to the next speeder caught in whichever county Busch was caught? Bet that the person’s lawyer will have a field day.
Oh and as for this damaging him in the eyes of fans, not very likely.
One hundred twenty-five years ago today, in Atlanta, Ga, a momentous event took place. The after effects are still with us in ways that could never have been envisioned by James S Pemberton or the customers of Jacobs Pharmacy. For those untold millions whose thirst has been quenched by a ” Co-Cola” as my wife famously said after the birth of our first child, and Mello- Yello lovers everywhere, it should almost be a holiday. Yep, it was the day in which the first Coke was served.
I don’t really care much about the secret formula or if somebody has actually published it somewhere. I have very little interest in knowing that the beverage actually had cocaine for a time. I just know that there have been many times that nothing but a Coke would satisfy or quench my thirst as jingles have proclaimed. It has settled my stomach many times, has smoothed the way for many a hot dog and hamburger and still does. In the interest of disclosure I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Mello-Yello shares the top spot now. But it is a Coke product, of course.
It is interesting that an NC native, the home state of Pepsi, would be such a loyal Coke consumer, but there you have it. I well remember in my hometown of Leaksville, NC as it was known then, watching the Coke bottles go round and round at a bottler? or distributor and thinking how cool that was.
But in the interest of history as I remember it I recall that while living in Columbus, Ga in the late 70′s and early to mid 80′s that there was the John S Pemberton house located on a brick paved street near the Chattahoochee River where I often indulged my then affinity for running. There was a plaque on the grounds identifying that house as being that of one John S Pemberton who concocted the formula for Coke and then rushed off to the big city.
Actually he probably refined the formula after moving to Atlanta where the product was not well received until being bought by Asa Chandler with the rest being history. Ironically for me, Dr Pemberton, a pharmacist by trade, was actually born in North Carolina and buried in Columbus. Finally I have an NC connection for Coke. Have to go now, it is time for a Mello-Yello!
- Coca-Cola Company Illuminates Headquarters to Celebrate 125th Anniversary (shoppingblog.com)
- Coca Cola inventor, John Stith Pemberton was a Morphines (fmiyar.com)
This holds true whether there is an actual train involved or if one is describing a person whose life seems to be spiraling out of control. Sadly we seem to be seeing one of the later before our very eyes in the case of Charlie Sheen. I have not followed his career all that closely although I did enjoy the movie Major League several years ago.
Most of us are more familiar than we care to be with his bizarre behaviour of late accompanied by interviews and statements that are perhaps even more bizarre. Of course the tabloids and celebrity magazines such as People and Us are having a field day. I can hardly imagine the wealth of material that all this is providing for Letterman, Leno and O’Brien. Sheen is proving a gold mine for all these media outlets.
I read one quote from Sheen that basically said if I am insane I have no problem with that. This is not an act. Another one that is already becoming too popular is the reference to himself as having tiger blood. But are those statements any more disturbing in the long run that people saying they know they shouldnt be watching this but cannot turn away? Or how about the 1 million people who become his followers on Twitter within hours after his account was opened? Are there that many folks who care that much about what outlandish thing Sheen might do next? And if there are, why do they care?
Perhaps even more disturbing is that this latest batch of actions is something that could almost have een predicted. If one looks back at his past actions, it is not too hard to see a pattern. Or maybe one could just have asked Denise Richards. And just think about his children. I doubt that they will say about their father what almost inexplicably Martin Sheen said about his son, you are my hero.
One can only hope that as much as he has recently trashed programs and methods of help that Sheen will actually avail himself of competent , professional help, away from the media glare, far away. And mercifully may the third or fourth time for such treatment actually work.
- Guest post: Charlie Sheen, why do we care? (timesunion.com)
I have heard it said that a sign of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result. Based solely on that criteria I may be crazier than I sometimes seem to be. I shall attempt to illustrate my situation by virtue of three examples, two of which can be grouped together.
From time to time while delivering mail, I will stop at a fast food establishment for some refreshment. Today was one of those days. My mistake, alas, was in the place I chose. Hardee’s and I have not had a very good relationship in recent years primarily due to the excruciatingly service that seems to be their trademark . And so it was today. Here I am,the only customer in the building and I waited almost 5 minutes, finally departing with no beverage. Having had these experiences several times, it begs the question, why do I continue to subject myself to this? See title.
Exhibits B & C
Our next two examples fall into the same category. In our little town of Elizabeth City one is frequently encouraged, nay admonished to shop at home. The multiple benfits to the local economy are extolled, etc. However, although I agree with this sentiment to a point, I have had two instances withinh the last severral days that are changing my opinion, On the verge of runbning out of ink on our computer printer, we went to our local Office Max only to discover that they had every kind of Dell ink cartridge imaginable save the one we needed. Wal-Mart, same result, Ordered it from Dell, got it in 2 days. The secpnd example concerned my faothful companion, The World Almanac and Book of Facts, which I have bought the last few years. Lo, and behold, no one locally seems to have it, Yet another, aarrgh!!!
So, do my behaviors indicate a problem severe enough to require me to never shop again? Or, do I resort exclusively to the online world( except for food)? Yet another unfathomable dilemma.
The tragic events that took place in Tucson, AZ about two weeks ago have garnered much attention and have generated a lot of commentary and analysis. Sadly, the event draws our attention, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not. There are an almost innumerable number of ways to discuss the event and I have pondered just how to do that. I have noticed that at least one media source focused on just one aspect of the tragedy(Sports Illustrated) and I shall attempt to do so as well.
Having said that, it is still exciting to see the great progress made by Rep. Giffords who headed to rehab today. Our prayers go with her as well as for all those adversely affected by the shooting
But the aspect that I want to focus on is a person who has been quite visible and quite outspoken since the event took place. That is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Like most people outside of Arizona and probably law enforcement circles I had never heard of the sheriff until a few days ago. But now methinks I have heard far too much.
But, first a little background. Sheriff Dupnik was first appointed to his post in 1980, then elected and re-elected six more times. He is a native Texan, aged 75. Although I heard him say that he graduated from the university( presumably Arizona) with a degree in psychology, he actually got his degree from Keeler Institute in Chicago which is probably a fine institution even though he failed to mention it by name.
Until being silenced by the local district attorney’s office a couple of days ago, he has been the “face” of the investigation or maybe the voice would be more accurate term.I haven’y been fortunate to hear or read all of his statements but some of which I am aware have been real humdingers. Before elaborating, this makes one wonder about his media experience. It would seem that in a county as large as Pima, there would have been a number of somewhat high-profile cases, requiring his interaction with the media. Admittedly, there were probably none this high-profile. But with someone who has been described as fond of the limelight, how he could he say some of the things he has said.
This statement came on January 8, the day of the shooting when he opined that Arizona was the “mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” Bet the chamber of commerce and tourism people cant wait to use that one. Or, a comment that the Bush-era tax cute and their recent extension (which Obama favored) was some kind of motivation for violence. In the same interview with Sari Horowitz on a Washington Post blog he maintained that rush had published his office’s email address, nearly crashing the system. Only problem, Rush didn’t do it. Of course, he had had already blamed Rush by name, before it was learned that the shooter was an apolitical guy.
There are calls for his recall(no pun intended) but I think there are misguided. The voters of Pima County have voted for him 7 times, they surely should get their money’s worth. Makes one wonder how that happened, huh?
- “Comments from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik via the AP:” and related posts (scaredmonkeys.com)
- Bummer: Pima County Attorney muzzles Supercop (hotair.com)
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