Month: February 2010

Stuck Like Congress, or Stuck in Philly With a Wandering Mind

Here I am, stuck in Philadelphia…literally. Another Nor’Easter has blown in with a vengeance, and I am a shut-in at the Homestead Suites. Stuck. One might see the way recent weather has brought much of the Northeast, including Washington DC, to a grinding halt as a metaphor for our government. So many decry the gridlock, the inability to get anything done, the lack of a consensus as such a terrible, awful thing. I don’t. I rather appreciate the fact that there is more than one side of the aisle in the American government. I am glad there are divergent opinions, incessant argumentation, varying philosophies on how things ought to be—and how they ought to be done. Why should our government be in harmony on issues about which Americans are not in harmony? Do they not represent us? Is that not what we sent them to Capitol Hill to do? If you want government that is in lock-step, in one accord, in unison, like a well-oiled machine with a singular focus, you might move to Iran or North Korea.  There seems to be little argument inside the hallowed halls of those regimes…and woe be to the ones who would argue outside them. Stuck. A seven-and-one-half hour summit on health care only served to show how far apart the Republicans and Democrats are on health care reform. The conservatives won’t jump...

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Doctor Love’s Valentine’s Day Advice for Girls

Let me begin by saying I dislike Valentine’s Day and always have. I think an act of love on a random day for no particular reason has far more meaning than a bouquet of flowers, a box of candy, and a mushy card given on a day when you have no real choice but to do it. That said, every girl loves a good valentine and my girl is no different from the rest. She loves roses, assorted chocolates and sentimental greeting cards just as much as the next girl. It is a genetic predisposition for the female of the human race. Every girl wants to be loved. She wants to be someone’s “prettiest girl in the whole wide world.” She wants to be the apple of some man’s eye. She wants to be the princess. But too many princesses end up with fat, selfish, warty toads. They live the fairy tale in reverse: they kissed the prince and he turned into a toad. Your main man Dr. Love is here to make some suggestions for avoiding a life with a lily-pad squatting toad… Beware of the “hot” guy. It is a rare thing indeed for a pretty boy to be faithful and true to one girl for a lifetime. If a guy is overly impressed with himself, he will never be overwhelmed by you. Monogamy is a difficult...

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Sarah Palin and the Advancement of Political Correctness and Gotcha Politics

Say it isn’t so, Sarah. Please tell me you are not turning the Political Correctness cannon on the party that created it. I know that Rahm Emanuel’s use of the term “f—ing retarded” was insensitive, calloused, and hurtful to many, but was it really worth calling for his job? Must we continue to play this never-ending game of “Gotcha”? Before any of my readers— especially any with disabled children— get up in arms, let me clarify and qualify my stance here. I am not saying the word “retarded” is not a hurtful word to many. I am not saying that its careless use shouldn’t be culled from our every day language. I am simply saying that the man did not mean anything by it when he said it. He didn’t mean to offend the disabled or the people who love them. He meant, in fact, to point out that some of the very people who helped elect Obama— namely, the extreme left— were thinking of running attack ads against the moderate members of their own party, and that was “not a very good idea.” He simply chose to use a little stronger, more unfortunate, wording. I, too, am the parent of a disabled person. (I cannot say “disabled child,” because she sometimes reads this and she will call for me to be fired if I do.) Through the years,...

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Worship is More than Good Packaging

A week or so ago, I received an email from the Editor-in-Chief of an Internet sports site to which I contribute. It was addressed to all of the Featured Columnists. He admonished us to think more about packaging and less about content when we put together our articles. He talked about using multimedia presentations, slide shows, and other creative means of packaging our work to increase interest and drive traffic. This editor talked about how the days of just writing a great article and letting it stand on its own merits are forever gone. He held up the newspaper industry as proof positive that the game has changed. Across the country, once-mighty traditional newspapers are dead, dying, or reinventing themselves to survive. It all made sense. It also struck a rather sad chord somewhere in me. I know I have heard all of this before…not in another secular industry, but in a sacred one. Have ministers not been told for a decade or so that the packaging has become paramount? Sure, we give lip service to the message, but you can tell that too many believe that if they have enough sizzle and pop in their presentation, the message could be in Na’vi (no, I haven’t seen Avatar, but I don’t live under a rock, either) and the congregation— I know that is an old-fashioned term: let’s call them...

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They Call Me Mr. Brightside: Finding the Positive in the Negative

Apparently, I am in danger of losing my membership in the Eternal Optimists Club due to my recent less-than-cheery communications. This is an attempt to correct my course. I have decided to list 10 negative things and look on the bright side of each. (I know I can do this.) So here goes… My truck was stolen, BUT at least no one was in it at the time. I have not been deployed to a storm since November, BUT my own house has not been hit by one either. My grandson lives in Colorado, so I cannot just see him any time I want. BUT, I have a grandson and he lives in Colorado. I am still carrying around 30 pounds more than I want, BUT I am eating well. I sometimes cannot think of a word I want to use when I am writing, BUT I can usually think of a suitable synonym. The bright red Chevrolet Cobalt I am driving looks like a blood blister and feels like (after driving my roomy four-door Dodge Ram for five years) I have moved out of a sprawling estate into an economy apartment, BUT the heater and radio work fine, so I can keep warm and listen to the Ticket. The Cowboys, once again, are not in the Super Bowl, BUT Jerry Jones has decided if we cannot go to...

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