Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scattershooting


This is what I call my blog in honor of the late sportswriter Blackie Sherrod who was for sports journalism in Texas, what Molly Ivins was for politics.
Today’s blog really is a scatter-shot of odds and ends.
Funny is funny no matter which side it comes from. This from Paul Begala: “Trump is living proof that hairspray causes brain damage.”
My cousin tripped and broke her foot. Through a series of events I’m sure I have mostly wrong and don’t understand, she is without health insurance. So she went to Parkland Hospital in Dallas (in fact exactly 49 years after JFK was taken there) where she waited from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. to be seen by a doctor or treated. I’m sure there is an obvious answer but please explain to me how this will get better under the ACA?
Finally today I moved our cows for the first time to new pasture. They jumped and ran like a bunch of kids (goats that is!) and then proceeded to walk the fence-line from front to back and side-to-side. Glad they didn’t test my un-electrified electric fence on the east side. I really must replace some broken insulators!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bone picking



With Obama visiting Myanmar, of course it’s going to be in the news once again. NPR makes a point every time they mention this country to say “Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.”
Now I sometimes find this helpful but also wonder why they do this? I can’t recall ever hearing them do this for any other country.
There’s along list of countries who have changed their names for a variety of reasons:
Serbia and Croatia – used to be part of Yugoslavia. I don’t hear them saying “The Czech Republic, formerly called Czechoslovakia.”
They don’t say Taiwan, formerly Formosa.
How about Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia?
We didn’t hear “Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan” when the Tsunami hit years ago.
How about Sri Lanka? Ceylon is much easier to say but nobody uses it anymore.
Unless you are familiar with the King and I, we forget Thailand used to be Siam. “We are Siamese, if you please.”
And let’s not even try to list all the countries that were “formerly part of the USSR.”
If we are going for accuracy then whether we like it or not, we should use their current names. I kept wanting to say Peking for years when the rest of the world moved to Beijing.
If the goal is to help people recall a little bit of history then lets teach some history.
Syria used to be considered a part of Egypt for a while. (some 20th century Arab alignment thing.)
Iraq and Jordan were a combined entity for a time. Anybody remember TransJordan?
Geographically and otherwise our world has changed a lot in the last century or so. Naming is just one part of it. Good luck if your World Atlas was printed last century. Good luck if you are still using a world atlas.
Anybody remember Guanahani? Me neither. In 1492 Columbus christened it Isla Juana. We now know it as Cuba.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2016


I saw a graphic on TV this morning that said “Ryan front runner for 2016.”
Can I say “Puh-leaze!” on two levels?
1 – do we have to start now? Can’t we all just breathe easy for a bit?
2 – this is more complicated but bottom line when the pundits and pollsters are all finished crunching numbers for yesterday’s votes, I think they will find this:
Ryan may not have hurt Romney but it likely didn’t really help him. It helped him shore up the conservative vote that might have been squishy early; those people who weren’t quite sure they could vote for a Mormon or who worried about Romney’s flip-flopping on some issues. But in the end he should have gotten those votes anyway. They may not really like/trust/accept Romney, but these folks are ultimately going to vote for the most conservative person on the ballot.
But when you look at the red and blue areas on the map, I doubt that Ryan helped in any of those so-called battleground states that turned this election for Obama. Ryan couldn’t even deliver his home state of Wisconsin. But then Romney couldn’t (deliver adopted home state) either.
I wrote a blog years ago saying that a certain young man from Chicago was a name to know for the future. I think the GOP will finally have its own changing of the guard after the dust settles on 2012.
Look for Latinos and women to take more prominent roles in the party. The party needs them! That and a move toward the center is what it is going to take to win back the Senate and the White House. More stringent tea-partiers are not what the GOP needs to win more seats anywhere.
Both sides have their base. Like it or not, the next elections will be won (or lost) mostly in the middle. Romney didn’t reach far enough.