Happy Fourth of July!
I would like to provide a brief history on the intent and origin of the 2050 Plan that I think is important as we begin the public input sessions on the Base Line Ordinances (BLO).
I wonder how Leroy Jones, the black Chairman of the Essex County Democrat Committee, looks at himself in the mirror. I wonder how he looks at his family and the members of his community. I wonder how he feels as he sits in the pews of the black church he attends, and how he feels while sitting in the black barbershop. More specifically, I wonder how the people of Essex County, New Jersey as a whole, feel about Jones.
We declared our independence from Great Britain 238 years ago this week. It was a declaration long in coming, brought about by the overreaching rule of King George III and Britain's insistence on taxation without representation.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
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.
With trouble brewing big time in the Middle East again, it got me thinking of a time when we had similar issues in Asia.
Many view America's education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it's been a success - a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, "Williams, that's insulting! Explain yourself." OK, let's start with a question or two.
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.
It's an off-year election, and the White House is securely in the Democratic camp for two more years. That means the focus is turning instead to down-ballot races.
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.
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) - or in more simple terms, a homemade bomb - that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
ROME - Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family. When I was growing up, the birthday girl (or man, in the case of my father) would be regaled with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" during breakfast. The special attention continued throughout the day and included letting the honoree choose the dinner menu and being the center of family conversation. Birthdays were not about presents, but about being the center of attention.
For We the People, Obama's time in office has thus far been tantamount to a march through hell with the complete deconstruction of America strapped to our backs, and with despair and immiseration clinched in our teeth. And for the privilege of being unwilling participants in this death march, Obama believes we should be grateful. Obama has usurped and overrun Congressional authority in less time than it took for the Kudzu vine to overrun the South.
Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq? It could be Nouri al-Maliki's since he is the country's strongman and has alienated the minority Sunnis. It could be George W. Bush's because he started the whole thing off with possibly the stupidest war in history, the Children's Crusade exempted on account of youth. The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current president of the United States. Like Millard Fillmore, he has kept us out of war.
Sensational stories about the application of Sharia (Islamic) law are easy to find. The vast majority of the stories aren't really about Sharia but about abuse of Islamic law. Every time I read one of those stories, I am glad the Sharia isn't being enforced in the United States.
Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.
Ronald Reagan was always good for a funny, dry, wry or totally off-base comment. Even if he got facts or history wrong, he kept on smiling. "Politics," he said, "is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Take that, Dick Cheney, who's self-aggrandizing new book may do little to rehabilitate his image as a cold-hearted, vengeful warmonger, among other things. Reagan would seem to have been remarkably prescient.
I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.
A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.
It takes a lot of guts or a lot of stupidity to bring up the topic of women's panty hose; but I'm going to do it anyway and address a simple wardrobe question to the ladies. "Women, how do you feel after you buy a brand new pair of panty hose and get a ruinous run in them before they're even a day old?" Has that happened to you, before? I hear that's a common experience you ladies face. You spend five or six bucks, you go about your daily business, you snag something, you look ...
Just in case you missed this, the escaped monkey from Yerkes is still on the loose and officials have called off the search for the elusive creature. It has not been officially determined if the animal could be found hiding under the Gold Dome.
It's late summer, almost Labor Day, and for those with school-age children, it is time to get back to school, back to activities and back to routine. After 11 weeks of vacation, routine sounds more welcoming and stable than oppressive and stifling, as it did at the end of this past spring.
Another one bites the dust. It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Muammar Gaddafi has fallen from power in Libya. Not that I knew him or thought that he was good for Libya or the world in general. Rather my regrets are for the manner of his passing from the world stage.
The movie "A Few Good Men" in 1992 starred Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise as Marines facing off in the courtroom. Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) is defending two Marines accused of murder at Guantanamo Bay. Col. Nathan Jessep (Nicholson) is the Base Commander. In a pivotal scene, the gruff Jessep is the witness, pressured by the inexperienced Kaffee who is demanding a truthful answer from Jessep. In a full Jack Nicholson over-the-top roar, Jessep scorches the screen with his answer: "You can't handle the truth!"
Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2-years-old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout.
The story in last week's News about the groundbreaking for a new building for Newton High School brought back many memories of the quirks of the old building.
I love science fiction, but I've noticed the genre often misses some obvious elements of the future. The authors write about space ships, ray guns, teleportation and aliens, but they seem to blow it when it comes to three common themes: tailoring, trash and tattoos.
This spring and summer have found me doing a lot of walking as I break in a new knee and hip joint from Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta. My long time pharmacist, Bob Richardson, correctly advised me to stick with walking since I couldn't run a lick in high school. Newton Drive is a favorite route and I made 50 miles in July, not bad for a gimpy, 62-year-old pudgy guy.
It's vast, it's crowded, it's fattening and it's fun. "Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair." The slogan is aptly deserved.