Mothers’ Day is rapidly fading in our collective rear-view, and before it is gone completely from mind I am in the mood to reflect on moms. Motherhood sure takes some unusual forms in our culture, doesn’t it? How will the 14 kids of Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez, a.k.a. the Octomom, turn out? How will Angelina Jolie’s international adoptions turn out? Would Madonna be a good adoptive parent for an African child?
One of my favorite “characters” in the Bible is... Read More
It seems to me that 9/11 and the real estate/subprime collapse have left Americans a little paranoid.
The news about flu cases caused by the H1N1 virus, popularly known as “swine flu,” seems to me to be bordering on hysteria. There has been one death in America and as a result schools are being shut down indefinitely. Good grief. The World Health Organization reports that every year 250,000-500,000 people worldwide die of influenza. The Waukesha County health and human services... Read More
Are you a big fan of beauty pageants? Well, I’m not either. I don’t even notice ‘em come and go. But the Miss USA pageant in Vegas the week after Easter sure raised some dust.
It seems that Carrie Prejean, Miss California, was the front-runner until one of the “judges,” the self-styled “Perez Hilton,” asked her if she thought that the U.S. should legalize same-sex marriage. Carrie replied, “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a... Read More
Did your parents pray regularly with you when you were small? Did they make up customized prayers or did they recite a standard list? Here in our home we made up special prayers, but we always ended up with “Dear Jesus, please send your angels all ‘round our beds and keep us safe all through the night time. We love you Jesus very, very much, Amen.” Funny—my kids all seem too big to say that any more…
When I was... Read More
The more I ponder our language and culture, the more surprises I find. We behave in all kinds of ways that we don’t even think about.
Bodily noises, for instance. Why does our culture permit—no, demand!—that we comment when someone sneezes? There are many bodily noises emitted by others that we are supposed to endure in silence. But if someone explodes in a sneeze, we are social lepers if we don’t offer a remark.
There are only two appropriate comments,... Read More
Warren Buffett, the Omaha wizard, the prairie sage, is a legend in the investment world. Shares of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, even during this financial slump, will cost you in the neighborhood of $100,000 a share. Buffett has never allowed the stock to split and just let the share price climb over the years. It was his goal to discourage speculators and encourage long-term investors.
Buffett describes himself as a contrarian. In a recent periodical he counsels American investors to... Read More
In the news recently is the story of a 14-year-old girl in New Jersey who may be prosecuted for disseminating child pornography because she was using her cell phone to transmit nude pictures of a minor. Herself.
Apparently this is a trend, although because of its sensationalism and novelty it might still be a relatively small problem hyped into a national crisis. Teenagers are not yet adults, and they often suffer from an insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to the... Read More
When you’re a really good golfer, you pretty much know where each shot is going to land. When you’re a twice-a-month duffer like me, every shot is an adventure. Know what golf in hell is going to be like? Absolutely the same. No difference at all.
When you don’t play consistently, you can start improving on one aspect of your game and think you’re making progress, but then the next time you’re out some other aspect starts falling apart. Just... Read More
One of the steady pains in my soul is hanging out with my friends with disabilities. “Lesser” ones, like sight and hearing impairment. Big ones, like Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida. I can’t shake some degree of “survivor’s guilt”—why can I see but he can’t? Why can I walk but she can’t? Why does his entire life on earth have to be such a daily struggle just to survive?
I think I got a partial answer in the... Read More
President Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, caused a modest sensation back in February when, in speaking of race relations in America, he accused Americans of being a nation of cowards. From the wider context of his speech, his reference appears to be directed primarily at white Americans.
Cowardice, eh? Hmmm… Possibly. Or perhaps just prudence. Some white folks do well to clam up about other races because their words would hurt, not help. When I was a boy I learned... Read More