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Friday, December 13, 2013

SKIMMING THE NEWS, WINCHELL STYLE

Comical headline of the week ending December 6:  “U. S. Unemployment Hits 5 Year Low.”  Obama’s poll numbers are tanking and he just won the Politifact “Lie of the year” award for his infamous “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” comment so why not try to cheer us up with phony employment numbers.  Seasonal part time jobs, hiring of the navigators for Obamacare, and returning workers laid off because of the government shutdown are skewing these numbers to give a false sense of improvement.  Also, 762,000 more people have given up looking for work so they are not counted as unemployed and 41% of the 818,000 new workers were hired by the government.  For the week just ended 68,000 more individuals applied for unemployment benefits, the largest increase in more than a year…..Pro football is already to the point where the next safety rule will probably include the players wearing skirts.  They have basically eliminated kickoff runbacks and tackling has been restricted.  Baseball is joining the same mentality as there is a new rule being considered for 2015 where a runner trying to score can’t barrel into the catcher at home plate.  Pro athletes make millions; if they are afraid of injury risks that come with the job they should try another line of work…..In a February, 2013 survey of 1,000 employed and retired Americans aged 50-70 with $100,000 or more in investable assets, 90% said they had experienced a “retirement derailer” which was a specific circumstance that seriously impacted their retirement plans or reduced their retirement saving (Source:  Ameriprise Financial).  The derailers included taking Social Security too soon, having a career or job loss, having to spend a lot on home repairs, and my favorite:  not getting an anticipated inheritance…..Too bad Hugo Chavez died too soon to see more bowing and scraping by Obama to a foreign despot.  I imagine Raul and Fidel had a good laugh over O’s schmoozing incident in South Africa.  Once again it is proven that common sense can’t be taught; you either have it or you don’t….. As long as we are discussing BO, I’m sure you remember his 2012 declaration that if he “had a son he would look like Trayvon.”   He got the FBI involved and also said of Martin’s parents that “They are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”  Fast forward to the present and listen to the comments by BO concerning the “knockout games” being performed mostly by black youth gangs who sucker punch white strangers just for the fun of it.  Go ahead, BO, tell us your opinion of those atrocities.......go on……Uh, hello?……(I hear crickets).  Why am I not surprised?.....I don’t know about anyone else but I just don’t get the new Sprint TV ads with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell.  If you know what their point is please leave me a comment explaining what point these two great actors are making.  Thanks!  
James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell:  What
are these guys talking about?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

"A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY"


On December 8, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the empire of Japan."

With that statement describing the attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, this nation was thrust into World War II. The first wave of Japanese aircraft attacked at 7:53 a.m. and by the end of the second wave at 9:45 a.m., the U.S. had suffered casualties of 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians, while 1,178 were wounded.

Of the dead, 1,177 were men stationed on the USS Arizona, which was destroyed when a bomb hit the forward magazine, starting a series of explosions. Eight Arizona residents were listed among the dead on the battleship, which was moored near Ford Island on that dreadful morning 65 years ago.

Today the remains of the Arizona still lie in the same shallow water where she sat helpless during the attack. In 1962, the ship was declared a national shrine and a memorial was built across her remains. A room within the shrine lists the names of the dead crew members, and regular memorial services are performed to respect their memory. A new U.S. flag is raised each day above the site, and at the end of the day is folded and given to various dignitaries.

Time has taken its toll on the memorial and in September, 2005, Governor Janet Napolitano toured the site and pledged Arizona’s help in raising $34 million to build a new visitors’s center. ("Napolitano to help raise $34 million for USS Arizona," The Arizona Republic, Oct. 20, 2005).

"It’s Arizona’s battleship," she said in the article. "When it was commissioned (1916), they broke not just a bottle of champagne over its bow, but a bottle of water that had just come from the newly created Roosevelt Dam. We’ve always had a close connection with the USS Arizona."

Napolitano also declared 2006 as the "Year of the USS Arizona Memorial."

Many of the dead from the Arizona are still entombed within its hulk. Oil still seeps from the wreckage after 65 years and is sometimes referred to as "the tears of the Arizona." Each year the number of survivors decreases and many of them have made arrangements to be cremated with their ashes placed by their fallen shipmates at the site. Many of these men believe that the oil will continue to leak until the last survivor dies.

                                        This column originally posted on December 7, 2011

                                       (The New Pearl Harbor Museum Opened on 12-7-2010)