Archives September 2009

Greatest All-time TV Sitcoms?

Finally, a few thoughts on the lighter side.

Most people will call me an old fogey, but the truth remains, I cannot find any modern sitcom shows that match the great writing, acting and humor of by-gone days when many of the shows were performed before a live audience and canned laughter was not always needed to instigate laughter.

I realize Seinfeld, Everyone Loves Raymond and Frasier were all big hits, but I often found myself scratching my head at the sound of uproarious laughter when there was nothing that funny about the dialogue. Rare did those shows trigger a belly laugh to compare to The Honeymooners and All In The Family.

Okay, enough with the rant. Here’s my list of the top ten sitcoms of all time:

 

All In The Family

The Honeymooners

I Love Lucy

The Jeffersons

The Cosby Show

MASH

Night Court

The Golden Girls

Cheers

The Nanny

 

Five Honorable mentions:

 

Taxi

Dick Van Dyke Show

Different Strokes

Three’s Company

The Odd Couple

 

Okay, your choices?

 

MICHAEL VICK VS PETE ROSE

 

Michael Vick, quarterback extraordinaire, has paid his debt to society. After serving 20 months in prison for dastardly crimes, the world of sports, and the media, were eager to forgive and welcome the phenom back into the football field, compliments of the Philadelphia Eagles who offered a contract worth multi-millions of dollars. What ex-con could expect so much?

For six years, Vick had operated an illegal dogfight business in Virginia which involved abuse, torture and execution of underperforming animals, not to mention the presence of drugs and the employment of illicit gambling. On top of that, Vick had denied all the allegations about his ugly business venture until evidence mounted with three of his comrades agreeing to testify against him. For Vick, it was the stain on the blue dress.

Should he perform on the field as expected, he may one day be heralded as a public icon, revered by millions of fans and voted into the Football hall of Fame. He stands as a role model for the young. Who cares about his crimes? He’s Michael Vick.

Some folks don’t want to hear about reality. What he presided over was cruel and gruesome. Man’s best friends are pitted against each other in a small enclosure as the blood lusters cheer on in glee making their bets. Vicious fights can last an hour as pit bulls inflict horrible injury upon one another, cracking bones, squealing, bleeding and ripping flesh. Some breeders cut off their ears so that rivals cannot bite onto them. Teeth are filed to make them sharper. Often, they are pumped with steroids. All this for the joy of watching innocent warm-blooded animals mutilate each other to tortuous deaths.

Two of the government’s witnesses claim that Vick not only gambled, but was personally involved in the brutal killing of at least eight dogs by hanging, drowning and electrocution because they didn’t perform. Nice guy.

Seems to me there’s an overdose hypocrisy here. Sports writers who lionize Vick have, for thirty years, turned up their noses at another sports figure whose Herculean feats far outshine the young Philadelphia quarterback.

Compare this. Pete Rose is the most prolific hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. He holds a host of individual records, some of which may never be broken, including most games played and most hits. His National League record of 44 consecutive games with a hit, is still unbroken. He was voted as an all-star 17 times, one MVP award, and three World Series Rings. Thought he’s one of the most electrifying players in the history of any sport, Rose has been permanently denied enshrinement into the Hall of Fame by many of those same sports writers.

Why? During his time as a manager, Pete Rose gambled on baseball. A crime, to be sure. While evidence wasn’t enough to convict him of illegal gambling, authorities managed to indict him for tax evasion in 1990, for which he served a five month prison sentence. Afterwards, no multi-million dollar contracts awaited him, no hoards of fans, only a few autograph sessions and a couple books that didn’t sell very well.

His crimes were a far cry from the violent, blood-thirsty practice of dog killing for the joy of gambling. Pete Rose killed no one, not even a dog. His crime was a product of gambling addiction, for which people in America are treated by the thousands every day.

Yet, he is banned from baseball for life, by sports writers. Compare that, to the love and forgiveness bestowed upon Michael Vick.

The Cooperstown museum is known as the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Morality. Rose stands beside such names as Ruth, Aaron, Mantle, and Mays as the most famous of the famous ball players in history, and thus it is time he be enshrined into the sacred temple of his sport. That is doable, by the sports writers of America. If they don’t, they should check out their own manuscripts which drooled over the young quarterback despite his acts of animal torture, for fun and money. They might change their mind.

There’s also another reality. Rose didn’t have the right supporters going to bat for him (so to speak) in his corner. From day one, Michael Vick had the backing of an organization called: NAACP.

I guess that does make a difference.

 

 

REP. JOE WILSON, ILLEGALS AND HEALTH CARE

Rep. Joe Wilson (R. SC) was out of line during President Obama’s speech when he shouted, “You lie.” He admitted as much and apologized…not for what he said, but for his impulsive and disrespectful outburst.

Wilson’s point was in response to the president’s reference to illegal aliens, and that safeguards are supposedly in place that would preclude them from accessing free health care.

Many folks, besides Mr. Wilson, simply don’t believe the president. Not entirely, anyway.

As Paul Harvey would say, “…The rest of the story…”

The issue of providing health care for illegals is a major stumbling block for the administration in getting the bill passed. It’s bad enough that foreigners feel they can blatantly break our laws by the millions with impunity, but to be afforded jobs, social services and health care at the expense of American taxpayers is considered outrageous. The bill, as presented by congress and addressed by the president, does exclude illegal immigrants, but does it matter if there is no way to enforce the bill? Does it matter if millions of illegals have phoney social security numbers? Does it matter if millions of illegals have managed to obtain state drivers licenses…which opens the flood gates for their social services?

In a recent article by David Patten, for Newsmax.com, Steve Camarota, from the Center for Immigration Studies was quoted with some interesting comments. Here’s part of the article:

Supporters of so-called ‘Obamacare’ point out that the measures being drafted all specifically forbid illegal aliens from gaining coverage. But conservatives say those stipulations are useless without the normal enforcement procedures which Democrats omitted.
 
“Obama is correct,” Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, tells Newsmax. “The legislation states illegals won’t get the affordability credits [to pay for their healthcare]. But Wilson’s comment is correct in that the normal enforcement mechanism was excluded from the bill. I think that’s the fundamental question.”
 
Camarota’s organization has estimated that due to the lack of enforcement provisions — which were specifically excluded from the legislation when it was being drafted — healthcare reform would benefit 6.6 million illegals at a cost of some $31 billion.

“In that sense it is disingenuous.” Camarota tells Newsmax, “to argue that the bill is excluding illegal immigrants. I’m not going to say lie. It’s disingenuous. It’s not entirely correct. And that’s a big deal.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., had offered an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized healthcare under the proposed plan. The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines.

Many states give illegals drivers licenses, which will be sufficient to get free healthcare under the plan. Critics also contend that millions of illegals already have counterfeit Social Security cards or other fraudulent documents. There also is no enforcement mechanism in the legislation to prevent illegals who use fake IDs from also obtaining taxpayer-subsidized health insurance.

GOP representatives introduced the amendment to provide a way to weed out non-citizens from the program. A description of the amendment on Heller’s Web site states, “The underlying bill is insufficient for the purpose of preventing illegal aliens from accessing the bill’s proposed benefits, as it does not provide mechanisms allowing those administering the program to ensure illegal aliens cannot access taxpayer-funded subsidies and benefits.”

 Here’s another angle to ponder:

 Illegal aliens may indeed be constitutionally excluded from health care benefits, but what about the impending legislation for immigration reform, which is certain to rise its head once again from within the White House and Congress during the next two sessions? Illegals may be excluded, all right, but not after they are given amnesty by new legislation. That, conceivably, will dump 12 to 20 million new legal immigrants into the social service rolls, including health care.

It will also give some politicians a whole new, juicy voting block.

There’s always a method to the madness.

OBAMA'S SCHOOL SPEECH A BIG NO-NO

This will be shorter than usual.
We’ve heard much uproar over the president’s intention on giving a speech which is to be aired in public schools around the nation so all kids, of all ages, can listen to Barack Obama’s message. And despite the objections of millions of Americans, including parents and teachers, the president is moving ahead with that plan.
What’s the big deal, you might ask.
The big deal is injecting politics, however subtle, into the public school arena where every religion and every political leaning are represented in classrooms. The parents of those kids have not been consulted or advised. It doesn’t matter what the president’s words contain, we all know the he is not doing this without a purpose in mind, and few politicians ever have another purpose other than indoctrinating people to their points of view.
In this case, millions of children will go home that afternoon declaring their love for the Messianic president whose words stimulate everyone, even his enemies. Those kids will become future voters, not necessarily for him, but for the ideals he stands for and the party he molds.
Some say the objections are only being raised by Republicans, that it’s just anti-Obama politics as usual. Not so.
Prior presidents have addressed school rooms to impart information concerning threats to national security, or to decry drug use. One in particular was delivered in 1991 by G.W. Bush himself at a public school in Washington D.C. in which he implored children to stay away from drugs. The speech was later aired nationwide. Objections? You bet. Led by Rep. Dick Gephardt, the Democratic side of congress went ballistic, vilifying the new president for using the airways to inject politics into the schoolroom. Gephardt said, ” The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students.”
He wasn’t alone.
Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), chairwoman of the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, said it was outrageous for the White House to “start using precious dollars for campaigns when we are struggling for every silly dime we can get for education programs.”
What’s good for the goose…
That’s just a sampling of those objections from 1991…which, I might add, were just as valid.
It’s not the job of the president of the United States to mold the minds of children. Obama’s current ploy reminds me of nationalistic indoctrination that has targeted kids in other countries of the past. Names like Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Castro and Hitler comes to mind.
Naturally there are teachers and principals who are from all sides of the spectrum, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The degree of support and enthusiasm for the upcoming speech will undoubtedly receive hot, cold and tepid responses. And, in many places, books are already in place for the children to read ahead of time. Please check out this article by America’s Independent Party National Committee, and the books and the short video clip:
Click: two of the books on Obama your kids are expected to read
Time is running short. This is nothing more than the first steps toward initiating a cult of worship. Write your congressional representatives, your school boards and your school principals. This is wrong. This is far outside the proper conduct of an American president. This is mind manipulation. This is using kids — our kids — to forward a political agenda. And, it is an abomination.
 
 

OBAMA’S SCHOOL SPEECH A BIG NO-NO

This will be shorter than usual.

We’ve heard much uproar over the president’s intention on giving a speech which is to be aired in public schools around the nation so all kids, of all ages, can listen to Barack Obama’s message. And despite the objections of millions of Americans, including parents and teachers, the president is moving ahead with that plan.

What’s the big deal, you might ask.

The big deal is injecting politics, however subtle, into the public school arena where every religion and every political leaning are represented in classrooms. The parents of those kids have not been consulted or advised. It doesn’t matter what the president’s words contain, we all know the he is not doing this without a purpose in mind, and few politicians ever have another purpose other than indoctrinating people to their points of view.

In this case, millions of children will go home that afternoon declaring their love for the Messianic president whose words stimulate everyone, even his enemies. Those kids will become future voters, not necessarily for him, but for the ideals he stands for and the party he molds.

Some say the objections are only being raised by Republicans, that it’s just anti-Obama politics as usual. Not so.

Prior presidents have addressed school rooms to impart information concerning threats to national security, or to decry drug use. One in particular was delivered in 1991 by G.W. Bush himself at a public school in Washington D.C. in which he implored children to stay away from drugs. The speech was later aired nationwide. Objections? You bet. Led by Rep. Dick Gephardt, the Democratic side of congress went ballistic, vilifying the new president for using the airways to inject politics into the schoolroom. Gephardt said, ” The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students.”

He wasn’t alone.

Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), chairwoman of the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, said it was outrageous for the White House to “start using precious dollars for campaigns when we are struggling for every silly dime we can get for education programs.”

What’s good for the goose…

That’s just a sampling of those objections from 1991…which, I might add, were just as valid.

It’s not the job of the president of the United States to mold the minds of children. Obama’s current ploy reminds me of nationalistic indoctrination that has targeted kids in other countries of the past. Names like Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Castro and Hitler comes to mind.

Naturally there are teachers and principals who are from all sides of the spectrum, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The degree of support and enthusiasm for the upcoming speech will undoubtedly receive hot, cold and tepid responses. And, in many places, books are already in place for the children to read ahead of time. Please check out this article by America’s Independent Party National Committee, and the books and the short video clip:

Click: two of the books on Obama your kids are expected to read

Time is running short. This is nothing more than the first steps toward initiating a cult of worship. Write your congressional representatives, your school boards and your school principals. This is wrong. This is far outside the proper conduct of an American president. This is mind manipulation. This is using kids — our kids — to forward a political agenda. And, it is an abomination.