A friend of mine worked for a small-town newspaper years ago and had to write the weather report. The county fair was approaching but the prediction was for rain. So the editors, fearing the wrath of local merchants, ordered my friend to change "rainy" to "sunny." That was the newspaper's policy. It has since been adopted by much of the Republican Party.
In the 2014 World Cup, we have seen great scoring, thrilling comebacks, last-second-goals, joyous celebrations and painful defeats. Dramatic matches, and their accompanying Maalox moments, have been numerous. We have even seen a player go cannibal and bite one of his competitors. Now we are out of the group phase of play and we begin the "win or go home" portion of the tournament. Half of the tournament field has been culled. We are now left with the best 16 teams in the World Cup.
If you've ever played chess, you know that an action taken to gain an advantage is called a gambit. Gambits exist in other fields of endeavor, many of which are not games, to include legislating. I'm going to acquaint you with some that I've seen. Many more exist. For the sake of convenience, I'll give them names, but most of those names are just mine.
Let me begin by saying that I regard Randy Vinson as intelligent, articulate, insightful and a sincerely good person, but I never forget Randy is a planner with one concept of how the world should be planned.
Each summer I do something odd by most American standards: I spend one week with my extended family, we sleep in a crowded cabin with no air conditioner and we go to worship services three times per day - alongside of hundreds of others - in an open air structure with a sawdust floor. The songs we sing were written long before I was born and the sermons last much longer than 15 to 18 minutes.
It was a full moon - or moons - in Rockdale Sunday night as two drunk men were arrested for public indecency after being caught pulling down their pants and mooning motorists. One suspect even knocked himself out running into a tree as he attempted to flee.
At the halfway point of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it certainly has that kind of potential. For the most part, the world's biggest soccer stars are living up to their potential. We have had some unbelievable moments of individual brilliance.
This is a splendid time to remember the First World War. It started 100 years ago this month with the June 28 shooting of the Austrian archduke and his wife. By the end of the summer, much of Europe was engaged in a war that lasted about four years, toppled four empires, precipitated the communist revolution, created by fiat the modern Middle East, recognized Zionism, made the U.S. a world power and cost the lives of about 10 million fighting men. Historians are still trying to figure out what happened.