Saturday September 05, 2015
March 19th, 2015
See, I keep telling you that old-fashioned racism is alive and well in this country. After the fraternity bus sing-along at the University of Oklahoma, do you hear me now?
Frankly, the happy-go-lucky bigotry of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity brothers -- captured on video and shown to the world -- shocked even me. And I was raised in the South, back in the days when Jim Crow was under assault but still very much alive.
There are few organizations that can make a mountain out of a molehill like the NCAA. Believe it or not, the scathing report it issued last week, accusing Syracuse University and its basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, of a pattern of cheating, is a pretty good example.
The groceries bagged, Dale Danahy offers a warm hug on this cold New England Saturday to a woman who has shopped Danahy's store for 30 years. Hugs happen again in frozen food. Over by the bakery and in the meat section, Danahy is saying goodbye to a life inspired by a father who mixed his hard work with fun.
"To the President of the United States," intoned the master of ceremonies. Members of an Army advocacy group and active-duty soldiers stationed in the Buffalo area rose to their feet for the toast. The year was 1962, John F. Kennedy was president, and I was among the active-duty commissioned officers in the dining hall.
It used to be said that partisanship stops at the water's edge. That is, it's fine and expected that our political parties differ on domestic affairs, but when it comes to conducting foreign policy, it should be left in the hands of the president.
This is the time of year when we start to think about global warming. Because the weather is about to get warmer. Please God.
A new angle comes up almost every day. A Harvard professor recently reported that 7,000-year-old mummies in Chile are turning into "black ooze" because the air around them is getting more humid. In California, baby sea lions are in trouble because the ocean is heating up.
We had keggers.
We smoked, cursed and raised holy hell.
There were unseemly hookups. Late-night capers. Lots of failing grades.
So, yeah, I guess I belonged to a fraternity in college.
Open letters are the next new thing, so let's imagine Hillary Clinton sending a simple note to all voters:
Dear fellow American,
I want to offer you what has always been the Clinton deal. You get peace and prosperity. I put up with endless scrutiny, countless attacks and bottomless mistrust. It's a good deal for you, and I can handle the rest.
What's the punishment for treason? Life in prison without parole? Death by hanging? Maybe 47 Republican senators should have thought of that before signing an open letter to the leadership of Iran.