Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Manners? Yeah, right.

Last week I was disgusted by the blatant lack of respect for authority evident in the objections to the Presiden't message to school children. But this week.... I'm saddened and despairing.

The outburst on the floor of Congress by Joe Wilson, the foul-mouthed tirade by Serena Williams during the US Open, Kanye West's drunken show of boorishness at the MTV video awards, the trash-talking at the "Town Halls" accross the country, the "pastor" on you-tube telling anyone who will listen that God hates the President.... the list goes on and on and on....whatever happened to common courtesy and having respect for yourself and others?

Don't these people understand what my mother-- and probably yours-- tried to drum into our heads as children? That behavior like this says more about the person throwing the tantrum than it does about the situation that incited them to misbehave?

Adults who respect themselves don't throw tantrums like 2-year olds. They don't lip off to the folks in charge because they didn't get their own way. They don't disrespect others who are trying to do the right thing-- even when they disagree with them. They don't bully, or demean or threaten.

These high-profile examples of bad behavior make headlines and get sound clips and make noises heard- literally- around the world in this era of instant news.

As Forrest Gump's Mama would have said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

And this week the political, entertainment and sports worlds hit the trifecta of bad behavior.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I'm ashamed and embarassed by my country this week

The uproar over President Obama's address to the school children of the country mortifies me.

I'm a parent and a grandparent. I read the text of the message. It was perfectly appropriate, particularly as a message from a real-life father with children of school age.

When did Americans get so cynical and stupid? The President asked kids to work hard, study, take responsibility for their futures, wash their hands, and respect themselves and others. It told them that their circumstances are just that-- they are not excuses for not caring, not trying, and not believing that they are capable of shaping their own futures.

It's called self-respect and-- dare I say it?-- old fashioned patiotism, people.

Personal and civil responsibility.

It was a concept that John Kennedy invoked with his famous "Ask not what your country can do for you. . ." (which I clearly remember hearing live--and being inspired by-- when I was a student) and other presidents from Ronald Regan, George HW Bush, FDR, TR, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and so many others from all sides of the political aisle have espoused for as long as we have been a country.

What happened to us?

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