Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman, 1925-2008

We've lost yet another bright light and a class act, in every sense of the term. Paul Newman was an inspiration, both on-screen and off. Through his nearly 50 year career in film, television, and on the stage, he celebrated the underdog in us all, no matter from what part of this thing we call life. He also did the same through his "Hole-In-The-Wall Gang" camps for children and other charitable contributions. With actress and wife, Joanne Woodward, he maintained that rarest of feats, the so-called "Hollywood marriage". Even in light of the tragedy of losing a son, he continued to persevere and do some of his best and, what will continue to be, memorable work for years to come. I can't say that I've seen all of his films, not because I never wanted to, just haven't yet and hopefully will sometime--I can say, without hesitation, that he was always someone who delivered in his performances, whether it was one of a pair of outlaws on the run in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; or one of a pair of con men devising a major revenge scam in "The Sting"(both films he co-starred with another wonderful and handsome actor, Robert Redford); an alcoholic lawyer on a major case in "The Verdict"; or a much older version of his classic performance of pool hustler, Fast Eddie Felson, in "The Color Of Money". His work as an actor will and should probably be studied by every young and up and coming actor in a class somewhere; one can only hope that his philanthropy will enjoy the same scrutiny and hopefully, emulation, for there can be nothing better in this world, than to make sure that a child endures a little less suffering and is given an opportunity to see that there is beauty in this world and that someone does care. Paul, you were part of that beauty and that someone who cared and you will be missed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thought For The Week

"They who live humbly have angels from heaven to carry them courage and strength and belief."


I like to think that I try to live humbly, sometimes against my own will to live otherwise. I hope that the above statement, written by an anonymous poet, is true, because I certainly am fresh out of courage, strength, and belief.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Free Troy Davis

An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thought For The Week

"I've had enough of somebody else's propaganda. I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole."

--Malcolm X

This is an addendum to the above thought, speaking of propaganda and the truth. The following was sent to me by a friend, who wasn't aware of the author of this, but I post it here because I think it speaks volumes. Let me know what you think.

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight...

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while
raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're
not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

* If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama's Full Speech to the DNC

For those of you select few who may have missed out on this historic speech, I present Sen. Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, in its entirety. Enjoy!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Thought For The Week

Although I think, given that we're in the last leg of our presidential race, the following thought might be appropos for the next two months. Let me know what you think.

"But the American electorate doesn't do resumes. If it did, William Seward would have been elected president in 1860, when the country was in its greatest moment of crisis, not some lawyer from Illinois nobody had heard of(sound familiar?--italics mine), and a century later John Kennedy, a senator of arguably less substantive accomplishment than Obama, would not have defeated the more seasoned Richard Nixon."

--Steve Erickson,
Los Angeles Times,
August 31, 2008

On a slightly different note, though not altogether irrelevant, something to be considered regarding the date of August 28th in terms of the best and worst of our nation's history.

---On August 28th, 1955, Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago, was horribly murdered while visiting family in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

---On August 28th, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his now famous, "I Have A Dream" speech, standing before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

---On August 28th, 2008, Senator Barack Obama, of Illinois, became the first African-American to accept his party's(Democratic, for those of you not paying attention) nomination for president.

In the words of that great black philosopher, Arsenio Hall, things that make you go, hmmmmm!!

We've made a lot of progress in the last 53 years in this country, standing on the shoulders of such people as Emmett Till and Dr. King, to see such a moment as what occurred at the Democratic Convention in Denver just a couple of weeks ago. Here's hoping we can continue to progress forward to what will be an inevitably historic and necessary moment in our nation's history. 'Nuff said!