- If you’re a history buff like me, you will notice a pattern in minority rights in this country. The military racially integrated before any and all other institutions and it was due to the constant cry of black soldiers asking to fight in combat. As one reader of Sully notes: “Combat is the crucible that proves military – and, often, social – status. Without the 54th Massachusetts, without the 369th New York, without the Tuskegee Airmen, we would not have had the landmark desegregation of the US military for God knows how long.” Likewise, women have been begging to fight and unofficially did so. Then necessity unofficially prompted their inclusion in combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? Because conservative Muslim culture demanded that women be used to communicate and calm Muslim women in their communities. It appears that necessity is not only the mother of invention, she is also the mother of minority advancement through combat, of all things, in our culture.
- There was conservative hollering about the fact that the First Lady rolled her eyes at a comment by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, during the inauguration. A lip reader has indicated that his comment was actually a question about whether Michelle had allowed the President to go out and sneak a smoke. Now what is so wrong with that? Nothing so far as I can see. Michelle gives a darn about her husband and has been trying to get him to quit smoking for years now so that the length and quality of his life is better and so they can be more assured of growing old together. Why the heck wouldn’t she show irritation at such snark from a man like Boehner who has openly been such a dick to the President and clearly doesn’t have the President’s best personal interests at heart? Besides, don’t conservatives have anything more serious to worry about like getting us out of Afghanistan, preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, containing North Korea’s aggression, coming to a compromise on the debt ceiling, improving the rate of our economic recovery, finishing the clean up and aid after Sandy, etc, etc, etc?
- Have you heard about the Heisman Trophy nominee at Notre Dame, Manti Te’o, who was fooled into thinking he was in a real relationship with a girl online when it was only a young man engaged in a “catfishing scheme”? Well, I can’t help but think, why would the con artist engage in such behavior–what does he get out of it? Certainly not money, so it has to be something psychological. And how sad that the football player fell for it. Although it doesn’t surprise me. In our incredibly busy modern lives, connecting with other people in meaningful ways is so difficult and fraught with risk. Finding someone online probably seemed safe, particularly if he never really met “her”, and he possibly found the idea intriguing. Make fun of the guy if you want, but I actually feel sorry for him, for how incredibly lonely he was to fall for such a trick. Then again, I’m a shmuck with a soft heart.
- Did you know that many Hurricane Sandy victims are still homeless, living through the Northeastern winter in tents? We should be ashamed that our country has a five minute attention span. But then again, we should have been ashamed after Katrina and a dozen other natural disasters that we’ve responded to inadequately over the past decade.