Flashbacks: On Good Stories, Good People

All of us recognize that news is full of bad news. However, many good stories and good people exist. Enjoy, visit as many as you want, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 93

Announcing

  • Another special weekend edition tomorrow – thus I hope you return.
  • A Frank Angle is on FaceBook.

On Political Shorts
“High five” to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for calling on Donald Trump for deciding to promote birther issues over issues of substance. Mr. Trump’s actions have earned him the tile, Donald the Ronald McDonald.

I’ll give Tim Pawlenty credit – I like the music in his campaign videos.

My governor, John Kasich, just endorsed Haley Barbour for the GOP presidential nomination. Crank up the Pointer Sisters I’m so Excited … NOT.

As the spin continues to determine the political losers and winners in last week’s possible government shutdown, I continue to believe two things: our politicians went into it as losers, and come out of it as losers. … plus tougher, uglier fights are on the horizon.

Have you noticed how quiet Sarah Palin has been lately? I hope it stays that way.

I’m not sure which was worse: Sen. Jon Kyl’s highly inaccurate quote about Planned Parenthoods budget or his office’s pathetic after-the-fact explanation. Nonetheless, Stephen Colbert’s take is priceless and worth your time. Thanks Melissa.

On Short Shorts
PC Reigns as Seattle School Renames “Easter Eggs”

I’m currently reading The Evolution-Creation Struggle by Michael Ruse. Very interesting, especially for those who believe that history has much to tell.

The University of Cincinnati is suing the owner of the Bearcat Café for trademark infringement. Interestingly, the business (though different owners) has been there for 50 years. Surely, UC attorneys have a better way to invest their time and talent.

As the NFL faces labor strife, here’s an interesting perspective from a NFL player’s wife.

Roger Ebert provides this wonderful post to explain the effect the Hubble telescope has on him and his beliefs.

On Quiet Heroes
Many heroes are quiet, non-attention seekers who believe in simply doing what should be done. This report by NBC’s News is a wonderful tribute to such a person. Thanks Padre Steve for this.

Thanksgiving for Brendan

Earlier in the week I posted a short tribute to Brendan Foster, the 11-year-old boy from Seattle who a short time ago was taken from this world by leukemia. That post included a CNN video about his dying wish.

In memory, honor and respect to Brendan on this Thanksgiving Day, I provide this ABC video about the impact of his legacy. In his short life he accomplished much more than many (if not most) long-living adults do in their lifetime.

For this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to the Brendan Fosters of the world with hopes that their examples spills onto each of us not only during this holiday season, but in all the days ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A Tribute to a Meaningful Life

The past election was consuming; let alone partisans of both sides have behaved ever since. The final weeks of the college football season is also consuming because it’s the time for many rivalry games and the race for the BCS rankings. This short post isn’t about neither politics or college football, but a story that places politics and college football into perspective about life.

Not that long ago I learned about Brendan Foster, a boy suffering from leukemia. The touching story delivered a powerful message to all of us and for all of us. This past Friday I learned of Brendan’s passing.

I thought about including this in a mish-mash of topics, but Brendan Foster deserves so much more. As we enter the holiday season, not only remember Brendan, honor him by doing something that fits his spirit.

A Weekend with the Greatest Generation

Although the election brought us history and plenty of political fodder, the election isn’t everything. As a matter of fact, Veteran’s Day could be the perfect day to step away pause and reflect. Heck, it may even give us insight for the challenges ahead.

Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation is composed of those growing up in the depression and fighting in World War II, Korea, and even Vietnam. This generation worked hard, served as business leaders during years when small town America had thriving downtowns, and led all levels of big industry and business. This generation created the baby boomers, and work hard to insure that they would have it better than them.

This generation knew how to be frugal because they lived it; then learned how to be prudent as their wealth accumulated. Imagine predicting to this generation about the day of $4 coffee and $1 bottled water.

On a weekend in September I got a chance to be with many from this generation. My dad was a soldier in World War II, and then re-enlisted in the 1950s. Although Korea had started, knowing the Italian language helped him get assigned to the Free Territory of Trieste. This particular weekend served as a reunion for the Blue Devils division that patrolled Trieste following WW II, thus essentially the beginning of the Cold War.

As their numbers dwindle and getting around becomes increasingly difficult, these proud men have yearly reunions. There’s no set program, just time for them to reacquaint, reminisce, and laugh. They came to St. Louis from allover the country; heck, even two came from England.

Interestingly, many of these men married Triestine women, so these ladies are also an integral part of the story of this time and place in history. I was captivated by the stories they share about growing up during the height of Fascism, encountering war, dealing with occupations by the Nazis, the Communists, and eventually the Allies. Their pride for their city was evident, as was their appreciation for freedom.

Since I was born in Trieste during this period, this served as a personal renewal of my roots. Even more so, it was a chance for me to more fully understand the impact of this generation. Their stories, personal bonds, and their ties to history bind their pride into one.

This group lived the depression. Some participated in world war that was truly about freedom while all of them lived the post-war cold war period. These are the people who built America with their hands and minds. These are the people that gave baby boomers like me the chance to have a better life than they.

We baby boomers got the education to advance. We baby boomers got the chance to experience many material things better than our parents. We got to experience freedoms for which they fought.

A better life? – I’m not so sure. Since life is shaped by the experiences one lives, there’s no way we experienced the magnitudes of their life. To fully experience where you are, you must know where you’ve been. But yes to a better life because we got a chance to experience of the benefits you preserved.

On this Veteran’s Day, thank you to all veterans for your time and sacrifices; but a special thank you to the Greatest Generation for significantly changing life for so many.