- Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:09
- Published on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:09
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As I write this I am looking at one of the most unusual and now most treasured gifts I could have asked for. It’s a small, finely detailed model of a ship. And no, it’s not an aircraft carrier, a battleship, a destroyer, or a minesweeper. It’s a survey ship called the U.S.S. Sumner. My Dad served on it during World War II and his memories of that ship, and his time as a member of its crew, were some of the most precious of his life. My Dad died 25 years ago and I have tried over the years to keep some of the memories of this quirky, but beloved little ship alive.
Of course, there isn’t much left to go on. The post war draw down was fast and the Sumner was scrapped in 1946. Save for some photos, and a wonderful ship’s
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00
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There is one stark reality about our current economic situation. Namely, that you don’t have to be out of work to be living on the edge. And what’s more, the number of people teetering on that edge seems to growing larger and larger. True, the economy may be recovering, but for many, the normal sense of security that comes with an improving economic situation remains elusive.
For some, living on the edge has been “situation normal” for most of their working lives. Often, they’re simply called the working poor. Most are hard to count since few are on any kind of relief or assistance. Many work at jobs that pay more than minimum wage, but not much more. They
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 00:00
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Like most boys in the early 1960s I loved westerns. And, oh by the way, at age 52, I still do. But in days gone by my affection for the genre was rather intense. I was very proud of my toy six shooter and its accompanying Winchester rifle. I wore my cowboy hat everywhere and I had a host of “Johnny West” action figures. I was hooked and fortunately the major television networks were ready to comply. In 1965, while Peyton Place may have brought in record audiences, it was the TV western that dominated network programming. And at the top of the list, as something of the jewel of the TV westerns of the era, there was Gunsmoke.
It starred a strong-willed, straight-talking sheriff named Matt Dillon, his love interest, but not quite love interest, Kitty, the always wise “Doc,” and of
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:00
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During the debate over health care reform, one of the cries from its opponents, and at times, from its supporters, was that we simply couldn’t have a direct payer system. Words like un-American, anti-free enterprise, and oh yes, dangerous, were repeatedly tossed about. But many Americans are often surprised to know that America has had a classic, almost European style direct payer system for 46 years. It’s Medicare and it’s the primary source of medical coverage for Americans over the age of 65.
It’s a complicated system, and I don’t begin to fully understand it. Most recipients, as I have found, don’t understand it either. And doctors are only a
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:00
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The Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, separated by only a couple of weeks, are less than eight months away. Both of these critical events set the stage for who is going to be the nominee of the major parties. This year, the Democratic choice is already settled. Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. However, what’s truly disconcerting, and seems to be breaking the mold on all the conventional wisdom, is the run up to the Republican nomination. So, far, it’s a race, that well, is barely a race at all.
By this same point in 2008, Hillary Clinton was already engaged in what would turn out to be an epic contest with Barack Obama. Their campaigns were fully staffed, each was already stumping Iowa, New Hampshire, and a host
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:00
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The death of Osama Bin Laden has been talked about, studied, rehashed, and dissected so many times that coming to any new conclusions or insights is almost impossible to do. What we do know, at least so far, is that a resolute US Navy SEAL team staged one of the most daring raids in history. They found the architect of 9/11, not to mention a half dozen other mass murders, and dispatched him.
Sadly, few men have impacted the world like Osama Bin Laden. Thanks to this evil man our entire view of the world has changed. As a nation we are far more nervous about the threat of attack than we were ten years ago. We’ve made massive investments in security,