copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
I was in the Silver Sweetness, what most think of as a metal means for transportation. I just pulled into her little house. I was about to turn the radio off, and place the mechanical being into park. Suddenly, the broadcaster announced homage to Tim Russert would be forthcoming in the program. "Tim Russert?" I asked myself why might a story on the Journalist I saw on a television screen hours ago be the featured essay. Then, the newscaster said what I did not wish to hear, Tim Russert had passed.
copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
It was February 14, 2008, Valentine's Day. Love was in the air. However, the expressions of appreciation offered were mournful. Doctors informed the family and his friends, Lawrence King, 15, was removed from life support. Two days earlier, young Larry was in the computer lab at E. O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, California. He sat with 24 other students when Brandon McInerney walked into the room with a gun. The armed classmate, fourteen-years of age, approached Lawrence with intent. Brandon aimed his weapon, pulled the trigger, and shot Lawrence in the head. Without hesitation, the shooter ran from the building. Circumstances led observers and police officers to conclude the act was intentional, calculated, and a conscious choice. Brandon committed what is commonly defined as a "hate crime."
© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
Today, the thirty-three fatalities are memorialized. It will not be the first time we honor the passing of these glorious souls; nor will it be the last. The entire world mourns with the Hokies, their families, friends, and all those touched by the loss of lives. Cyberspace communities have come together. Dedicated boards are offered so that each of us might write a word of remembrance.
I present an opportunity to connect with those that we love, who sacrificed their human souls so that we might live and learn.
I recall when I was younger, and still, the same today, women would say 'I am looking for a man with a sense of humor.' Perhaps, I do not have one for the possibility bores me. In truth, it concerns me. I think it offensive to laugh at others, or at the expense of others. Sadly, more often than not, these are the dynamics involved in what people think hilarious.
I want to share with serious spirits, persons of substance. I long for a reciprocal reverence. Rarely, what passes for humor is an homage to humankind. The sacrifice of any entity, I believe scars the soul. Thus, on this the day of April 1 I offer no jest. I share what for me is profound. It is not that I object to laughter. I subscribe to the words of Horace Walpole.
© Copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
No matter what her age, she was forever young. No matter how celebrated, she was always feisty. Molly Ivins was quite a woman, quite a person, and even those that did not agree with her opinions thought highly of her. Her fellow high school classmate, a man she not so affectionately labeled "Shrub" or "Dubya" eulogized the spirited Miss Ivins by saying
Molly Ivins was a Texas original. She was loved by her readers and by her many friends, particularly in Central Texas. I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion. Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed. Laura and I send our condolences to Molly Ivins' family and friends.Mister Bush respected the person some considered his foe. Perchance, we all did, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. She was, she is quite a woman.
© copyright Betsy L. Angert
Economist Milton Friedman has his day. This controversial fervent "free market" advocate is being widely received.
Dr. Milton Friedman was perhaps the most influential economist of the 20th Century, and the impact of his ideas will extend far into the future. To honor the man, January 29th is declared as Milton Friedman Day – a celebration of the economist’s positive impact on American life and business, and the spread of the benefits of free markets to nations around the globe. Milton Friedman Day will include a host of activities, including a “Day of National Debate” at universities across the country, a live online discussion on The Economist’s Free Exchange blog, and the premiere of the PBS special, “The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman” (check local listings), among other events.This man passed only months ago, in November 2006. Yet, this nation is quick to embrace the individual and his economic views. Friedman was influential during his lifetime. The effects of his economic policies are not diminished, even after death.
The same is not true for all men of great standing. Might we wonder why this is.
Author, writer, Art Buchwald, the most widely read humorist of his time has passed. The columnist physically departed from this planet on Wednesday, January 17, 2007.
The New York Times realizes people's lives make the best stories. Therefore, the Times asked many memorable individuals to share their personal reveries on tape. Thus, the author narrates his own eulogy. In an interview aired with Mister Buchwald, I learned more of the man than I might have in any reading. Biographies are nice. However, I prefer to listen to an oral history. I think it is a far superior means for getting to know an individual. To hear the hear, soul, and cadence is a delight.
Sadly, I am unable to locate a direct link to the audio-visual presentation. My hope is that The New York Times will continue to provide this presentation for your viewing. I am offering a link to the accompanying article. Perhaps, the video will be accessible within, Art Buchwald, 81, Columnist and Humorist Who Delighted in the Absurd, By Richard Severo.
You may wish to view the CBS News premiere. Please pardon the prologue advertisement. Art Buchwald Dies At 81
On this day of mourning, we must not forget to give thanks to the man, the person, and the insights of Martin Luther King Junior.
Although he spoke of a war, not Iraq, his sentiments still sing to us, or at least to me. I will say little more in this sharing. I invite you to contribute. Please ponder the parallels and compose as you will. I welcome your wisdom. I am presenting portions of a speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence delivered Dr. King delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City. Please reflect and share your thoughts. For me, the similarity is stark. I am shaken as I ponder the possibility; we could have learned from the past. However, we did not. Will we now? Might Americans consider their own silence and rise above the accepted view, the people have no power.
Former President Gerald R. Ford was laid in memorial last evening. The absence of two prominent officials seemed odd, almost foreboding. Perhaps, something terrible was about to happen, or for President George W. Bush and former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld it had. Days earlier, after the well-loved Gerald Ford passed the content of embargoed interviews was released. There was much controversy. Mister Ford did not approve of the war in Iraq. Given the same circumstances, Ford would not have gone to war; and he said so.
"I don't think I would have gone to war."The former President was also critical of a staff that was once his.
The ex-president, he said, "felt strongly" that the administration erred in justifying the war based on a threat of weapons of mass destruction.