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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, May 02, 2009

More Meditations on Change or Whatever

I guess that some  of the first things that come to mind relate to ecology or maybe just to nature.  I was wandering through the plant section of Lowes today and found, for sale, sweet gum trees. We all know that there are plants to avoid like poison ivy and poison oak, and there are plants that we shouldn’t eat like rhododendron, 

Now I am sure that somewhere in the great scheme of nature there is a place for the sweet gum tree, as there must be for poison ivy, but anyone who would sell a sweet gum tree to an innocent customer or any customer who knows anything about  the tree and buys one anyway should be placed together, barefoot and fenced in on a piece of property shaded by a sweet gum tree.  Hidden among the leaves that fall from a sweet gum are one and one half inch diameter porcupines that, no matter how careful one might be, will attack the bare foot, and sometimes even the shod foot viscously, oftimes drawing blood.  Evil tree that must have been created to punish the guilty in the “place down there”, and the name “sweet gum” is not accurate as is “poison oak.

Another non-nature observation:  Note if you will the number of times when an on screen TV anchor or reporter will bring in an on scene reporter who, regardless whether a question was asked, or was asked for a description, or for that matter anything else will give, as his first statement, the word “Absolutely”, usually as a total non sequitur.  “Now to Norman Numbut with the Governor/  Norman.”       Norman, “Absolutely!”

“Norman, what do we know about the accident on I 16?”  Norman “Absolutely”

Not related in any real way to nature or to the darn privet hedge (May privet be located in the same place to which I would like to locate sweet gum) I have been trimming all day, I came in the house just after dark and popped on the TV.  I found  a rerun of a Friday broadcast by Glen Beck designed as a rejoinder to the main stream media coverage of the “Tea Parties” on April 15.  My friend Patrick the “Redneck” has ranted a bit about Beck, but after listening to this program I have got to say that Glen Beck has a knack for asking the right questions and if he gets a bit emotional, he has none of the ranting arrogant jingoistic absolute generalizations of Sean Hannity (Did anyone watch him trying to shout down Geraldo –who is gradually turning into a real reporter and analyst- the other night) or the aggression of  O Reilly, he just has the right questions, and I think he may turn into one of the really formidable media forces.

I had some other things to say, but exhaustion has taken over, and I will try to put my mind back in gear tomorrow or the next day.  I was sad to hear of the passing of Jack Kemp who was an interesting and passionate advocate of some good stuff.


At 8:53 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Beck is a much nicer man than Hannity or O'Reilly. My problem with him is he is adding another hysterical sounding voice to the right and we already have enough. Where are the calm sane voices?

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

I heard one speech by Obama (Iowa Primary) and publicly stated that with his communication skills, and the way he touched people, he was going to be President. (I believe that was followed by a soft expletive). I have watched Beck a number of times (more when he was on Headline News/CNN) and was somewhat impressed, but I saw this program, sensed the reaction, and I think that he is going to make an impression that goes way beyond anyone's current understanding, and probably beyond his own expectations. Watch him.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Regarding the Sweet Gum tree, that's information I didn't know, so thank you for it. Thankfully I have not purchased any sweet gum trees and now I never will. :)

On the subject of Glenn Beck, I join you in your admiration. I think he's going places too. He started the 9/12 project and it's growing by leaps and bounds. I joined it and am glad that I did.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

In addition, I don't mind the conservative talk show hosts like Beck, Hannity or even Rush Limbaugh sounding hysterical. The socialism being pushed down our throats is something to be hysterical about. We are presently going down the toilet faster than anyone can flush.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I'm surprised, Richard. You've several times chided me for being overly reactive - a criticism for which I was grateful.

And now you're going goo-goo ga-ga over a breathless panderer to hysterical populism. Is it because he's an ex-alcoholic Mormon convert?

Like my brother, I see Beck as a "dry drunk" and prefer watching Gunsmoke after lunch. It's easier on the digestion than Beck's pandering to the lowest conservative common denominator.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Patrick, different strokes for different folks. I'm not going to argue with you about this. I am not goo goo ga ga about anyone, I just evaluate communication on a set of criteria that have served me well for forty professional years.

I think, regretfully, that your attack on my intellectual honesty by implying that my judgement is based on religion is unfortunate. Harry Reid is a Mormon too, and I defy you to find anything affirmative that I have written about him.

That, and your personal attack on Beck's character, I'm afraid, reflect more upon that basis for your selective perception than upon either Beck, his audience or me...

I admit, he goes through a lot of snorting, chuckling and ad hominum schtick at the beginning of his program, but he did the best interview of Art Laffer (who has been going from talk show to talk show peddling his new book) that I heard, and he made mincemeat out of the Acorn rep that came to see him. His summaries at the end of each program lack any of his schtick that he uses in the beginning and are probably the most cogent summary analyses of our problems on the air.

You don't like him, that's okay, I suspect you haven't listened beyond the snort- snuffle introductions, but no one has to agree with me, with you, or with him who doesn't want to.

I don't get goo goo ga ga about anyone (remember that my judgment about Obama was less than enthusiastic, but it was accurate), not even you, but I will alwways read your stuff, because I usually find it useful and interesting and I think that if we knew each other personally we would be friends, even if we shouted at each other once in awhile. In addition, I won't imply any personal attack at all, or accept it, on your thinking.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Richard, I didn't regard my comment as an attack on you. More like a tease. The trouble with the Net is that you can't see the twinkle in someone's eyes.

And actually Beck is quite likable. It's just that I don't like any talking heads.

Enjoy Washington and Alaska.


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