Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They Just Don't Get It

Yet another forward landed in my in box today attempting to show that President Obama isn't really a citizen and therefore not entitled to hold the office to which he was elected. These things don't annoy me any more because they're so pathetic. The folks who originate crap like this can't seem to get it through their skulls that things have changed and cooler (read rational) heads have prevailed-fortunately. So I'll simply take my own advice: keep calm & carry on.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Enough Already!

I turned on TV after a long afternoon of yard work to watch the GHO tournament and guess what was on? You guessed it! Yet another special about Michael Jackson. Look, let's all agree he was a pop icon who was enormously gifted. He made a great contribution to musical culture. But let's be clear. He was also a freak show. He abused drugs and alcohol, admittedly slept with little boys and dangled babies over balconies. Please. Can we say a final silent prayer for him and move on already?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Word from a World War II POW

Yesterday was my day to meet with my Men's Group at a local assisted living facility. As I wrote in a previous blog (June 16th), all the men in this group are WWII vets. A new resident joined the group yesterday and he, too, was a foot soldier in WWII. But this story isn't about him. This story is about Verne. Verne was a tail gunner in a bomber. His plane was shot down on his third mission in 1944. He spent the rest of the war in a German POW camp. He told me that as the war drew to a close and the allies were closing in on the Germans, it got especially difficult. The particular camp he was in was in the eastern part of Germany. As the Russian army advanced further and further into Germany, he was often moved from one camp to another deeper within Germany. He said these moves were very hard because they were done by foot in the winter time. He told me it wasn't unusual to have to walk as much as 600 miles at a time! Many men died along these moves from exposure, starvation and disease. He, himself, is partially disabled. Liberation finally came in April, 1945, when on yet another forced march they heard the advancing U.S. 8th Army. He told me when the German guards spotted the advancing troops, trucks and tanks way off in the distance they simply laid down their arms and surrendered on the spot. Thus the captors became POWs and vice versa but they were too sick and exhausted to do much of anything except wait so there they were, two opposing groups of soldier & airmen, sitting quietly, waiting. Incredible, isn't it? Verne spent the next several weeks recovering at a coastal hospital in France. Then he came home. Verne is 92 now and moving very slowly these days but he's enjoying life and carrying on. Everyone sat very quietly and listened as I asked questions and he told his story. Next week, we'll hear from others so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I'm sure my reaction of shock and disbelief was no different than that of tens of millions of other Americans this morning when Meredith Viera somberly presented the news of Jon & Kate's announcement. For weeks there had been rumors of a divorce but to have it become a reality was just too much to bear. I mean, like everyone else, the first thing I thought was how are we ever going to get through this but then I heard their show is going to continue anyway. Thank God for small favors. It will certainly be interesting to see how it all works out, won't it?? Thank goodness we have morning shows like GMA and Today to keep us abreast of what's going on in the country and world. Well, I have to go. I'm too upset to write any more!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Civil Unrest in a Dictatorship

Message to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and (alleged) President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Stop blaming the West in general and the U.S. in particular for news leaks from your dictatorial country. With the age of the World Wide Web, Twitter, Facebook, mobile phones, etc, etc, you can't possibly be stupid enough to think you're going to keep your country's civil unrest to yourselves. You both preside over an oppressive regime that has absolutely no regard for the freedom, liberty and individual rights of its citizens. It's only a matter of time before the people in countries like yours rise up and demand to be given what is theirs. This could well be the beginning of a great revolution. Run now but don't worry. The French will give you refuge.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Got An Opinion with No Facts? No Problem!

This morning on the Today show the results of yet another opinion poll revealed that President Obama's presidency is losing some of its luster. It seems people are upset or at least concerned about Obama's health care proposals to which I reply, 'what proposals!!!' It's amazing how so many people will have an opinion on something based on so little information. I fully understand the Republican's concern. They're determined to be obstructionists so they're simply doing what they do best. But the general public? I read Newsweek, the daily newspaper, watch news programs and generally stay informed and I've seen little or nothing in the way of details about Obama's health care reform. Here's what I do know: He's all for letting people choose their plan, doctors and general decisions about health care. He's NOT in favor of government making decisions for you. Some folks complain about government health insurance. But guess what? I'm on medicare and it's great! So what's the problem. Amazing isn't it. How about waiting to see what the guy has to say, folks. Then make up your mind.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Good Trip

Today I accompanied a group of residents from an assisted living facility to a local military museum. They were all men and all veterans of WWII. Frankly the museum wasn't a particularly good one but that's not the point. The trip got the men out for a while and it brought up a lot of memories for them-many of them not very pleasant i.e, one of them was in a German POW camp. When I posted on Facebook that I had done this, several people asked if I was writing down some of the stories they had to tell. Unfortunately, I haven't but starting next week that will change. I plan to bring a notebook with me to my men's group and start journaling their stories. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them but I am sure that from time to time I'll have something to say on this blog so stay tuned. This is a work in progress.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Flag Day

Happy Flag Day, Everyone. I display my flag every day in all kinds of weather. I probably shouldn't be doing that but who wants to go out there every time it rains or snows or something and take the flag in. I know it represents our great country and it should be respected and cared for but it's not a baby. It's a flag! Our country continues on in spite of enormous adversity so I really don't see why I can't display the flag 24/7. I'm hoping to get a 20 foot flag pole for my yard so it can be seen by people as they drive up the driveway. Father's Day is coming up. Hmmm.......

Friday, June 12, 2009


Sarah Palin was on the Today show this morning. I had almost forgotten how obnoxious she is. Matt Lauer started off talking about some government boondoggle project she's promoting with the Canadian government (remember, this is the lady who rails against big government). But then the conversation predictably moved on to the remarks David Letterman made about her when doing his top ten list. Yes, they were insensitive. Yes, they were crude. Yes, they took a shot a Palin, her family and her so-called 'family values' position. But you have to admit they were funny-at least to a sicko like me. And that's exactly who Letterman appeals to-sickos like me. So why should anyone expect him to be Mother Teresa?? Come on, Sarah. Lighten up. Sell your project, close your mouth and go back to Alaska-and please, please, stay there!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a very good day with my two little grand daughters. We painted, played school, played a board game, and they helped me with my stretching exercises. On the way home the younger one (almost 3) proved herself to be quite the backseat driver. While sitting at a green light, I couldn't proceed because of on-coming traffic. She promptly reminded me that I can go because I have a green light. I said I had to wait but she said 'why aren't you listening to me? I said you have a green light'. I patiently explained that I would rather try to get through the day without a head on collision. She thought about that for a while and apparently agreed because there were no further directions. And so it goes with a very smart, determined little girl!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How Great Is This!

Awww...poor Sarah. It seems she was invited, uninvited, reinvited and finally uninvited to speak at an important Republican National Committee fund raising function. Why all this confusion? The organizers didn't want to upstage the Republican's de facto leader, fat gas bag Newt Gingrich. Isn't this great stuff? I'd love to see Gingrich emerge as the guy who eventually runs against Obama for his second term. By then it will be clear Obama's aggressive policies worked and someone somewhere in the news media will have dug up all the sordid stuff in Gingrich's past revealing him to be the lying dirt bag he is. The election will be over by the summer of 2012. But that is 3 years away so we can't get ahead of our selves, can we? So stay tuned. The Republicans have plenty of time to damage themselves even more!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Changing Times

If you got to this blog through my website then you already know about the big things going on this weekend for 5 year old Brooke. If you got here from http://gstockwell.blogspot.com/then you don't in which case I urge you to check out http://georgeswebpage.com. Watching Brooke at her preschool graduation and then her recital brought a great deal of pleasure for her grandmother and me. And to think, we have three other grand children who will be doing most or all of these things as well. It brings back all the good memories we have of when our own kids were little. Unfortunately, we did not have the technology available then that we have now. We have no video whatever of our own kids and the various things they did-plenty of pictures though. And what's even more interesting, if you go back to my generation, you could put all of my childhood pictures in your shirt pocket without anyone noticing. One reason is because my father wasn't big on taking pictures with our one old Poleroid camera and the other is that my first graduation wasn't until 8th grade! So things change-lots of times for the better. That's why I never really understand people who are always whining about how they miss the 'good old days'. Very often, the 'good old days' weren't all that good.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

And..They're Off!

Here we go, ladies and germs. They're off and running. The sound waves carrying Obama's choice to replace Justice Souter had barely reached our ears and the two leaders of the Conservative Republican cult were lining up slinging mud and promising a fight. Fat gas bags Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh went so far as to call her a racist. Now Gingrich has backed off of that, allowing how maybe his words were not very well chosen. Well, well, well. How decent of him! Little do these two jerks realize how much they're hurting their 'cause'. The rest of the Republican party needs to separate itself from these guys (throw in Cheney too for good measure)if they have any hope at all of exercising some influence over the future course of events. They should listen to Colin Powell. He is a voice of reason and moderation. But the party is so desperate now who knows what they'll do. Kind of fun to watch, isn't it?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Becky

On June 5th, 1975 Rebecha (Stockwell) Sullivan arrived on the scene. Thirty four years later she is well educated; married to a great husband and father; and has two precious little girls. Not a bad record of accomplishment for one so young. I hope it's a great birthday for her.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

An Olive Branch VS the Big Stick

Wasn't it nice for a change to hear a president offer calm, peaceful, non threatening remarks to our friends overseas? Obama managed to assure the Muslim world that we are not interested in waging war with them. He did this while also acknowledging that there is a significant extremist group that needed to be dealt with. There hasn't been much Republican reaction as yet but one can only imagine Bush, Cheney, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Coulter and the rest of the lunatic fringe foaming at the mouth at Obama's words of peace to the Muslim community. The over whelming majority of the Muslim people want peace in this world as much as we do. All they want is to be left alone to run their lives as they wish. Unlike the previous administration who insisted on ramming their ideals done EVERONE'S throats (including ours), Obama has made it clear that so long as the terrorist element of their culture leaves us along, everyone can get along. Nevertheless, it's going to take more than this one speech to build trust. So my advice to Mr. Obama (as though he needs it, right?) is what you see at the top of this piece: Keep Calm & Carry On.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Death Takes A Holiday

The CT state legislature just passed a law prohibiting capital punishment. The measure passed by just 2 votes. The governor has stated that she will veto the bill but she's under intense pressure to allow it to pass into law so we'll have to wait to see what happens. This issue has been making headlines recently usually because someone on death row is exonerated due to modern technological advances such as DNA testing. This is very often one of the two reasons that capital punishment opponents want it outlawed. The other reason is based on the religious belief that the Bible teaches us that it is wrong to kill. Both reasons lack substance. First of all, let's assume that the only time CP would be administered is when there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that the person is guilty of a heinous crime such as sexually assaulting and killing a child which is all proven by DNA and all the other stuff. In that case there's no possibility of a mistake so there goes that argument. The second reason is based on a misinterpretation of the Bible. The correct translation from the original Hebrew is 'thou shall not murder'-not kill. An important distinction. In fact it goes on to say 'an eye or an eye', etc. There goes that argument.

Now let's turn to the pro CP people. They say CP deters crime. Wrong. It doesn't. The crime rate hasn't changed one bit in CP states as opposed to the 15 or 17 (I forgot the number) states that don't have it. They also argue that it costs more to house a convict than it does to kill him. Wrong again. When you take into consideration the cost of appeals, etc. it comes out to be more costly to administer CP. Finally, pro CP people say that the punishment should fit the crime. But is it appropriate for a civilized society to handle crime in this fashion? Isn't that a contradiction?

All the reasons put forward by both sides are wrong. Complicating all of this is the fact that the Supreme Court has already ruled that CP does not constitute cruel or unusual punishment-but it leaves it up to the states to decide on their own. On top of all that is the emotion involved. For example if someone killed one of my family and was convicted by overwhelming evidence, I would happily push the plunger-or push the button-or pull the trigger-whatever. But it wouldn't be just for vengeance. It would also be to make sure that once and for all that person would never be able to do it again. Ever. For that sole reason I think under certain rare circumstances, capital punishment is appropriate. So there you have it. Now you can stop agonizing over the issue.