It’s the dog days of summer when “nothing” happens, except that, of course, it does. In addition to this month being the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, it is the 40th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders by the Charles Manson “family” and the 35th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon. So please answer one or more of these questions.
1. Susan Atkins is “gravely ill with a brain tumor”. Her release would save the cash-strapped state of California thousands of dollars per year. Should she be released? Should Leslie Van Houten be released? Filmmaker John Waters, who has befriended her, says yes: “Leslie has taken responsibility, and she has followed the rules — the rules that they have told her to follow to get parole. … She’s the poster girl for the California prison system.”
In Atkins’ case, I just don’t know enough to say. Is she penitent? But in Van Houten’s case, I agree with Waters: “I do believe in rehabilitation.”
2. When Richard Nixon resigned, it was with such mixed emotions. On one hand, I was glad he was gone. On the other hand, I wanted him to suffer more for his “high crimes and misdemeanors” as “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Watergate mess. I’m STILL not convinced that Gerald Ford should have pardoned him a month later, certainly not without some responsibility taken by Nixon; I suppose I was looking for some sort of contrition over what he put the country through.
But what say you?
3. There were 104 names on this list of baseball players who, in 2003, tested positive for some sort of controlled substance. The list was supposed to be confidential, as the official MLB ban on these products didn’t take hold until 2004. Yet the names drip out: Bonds. Sosa. A-Rod. Ramirez. Big Papi. All the players of that period, including the ones not guilty of anything, are tainted by suspicion. Should the list be released? Should the Players’ Association agree to such a thing? I think the constant drip…drip…drip of names is so harmful that I hope the association agrees to the release. Your thoughts?
Oh that’s a LIFE magazine pic of Paul and Paul. My father had some Les Paul/Mary Ford singles, as I recall.
I was never much on the use of drugs. I’ve tried marijuana, though not in a very long time, and it generally just made me sleepy. Most other things I was too scared to do at all.
So, I was fascinated to find in my spring 1982 journal’s back cover this short exhortation:
As we all know, most cartoonists (as well as other creative people) often consume mass quantities of dope.
This stimulates the free flow of ideas which would otherwise remain untapped in the subconscious –
Some of the ideas are even good.
Unfortunately, most drugs are illegal.
This seems petty, arbitrary, and unfair, particularly for the cartoonist, since he or she, unlike the business person at a 3 martini lunch, is unable to deduct this purchase as a business expense for income tax purposes.
Why such discrimination? we’d like to see it stopped!
Write to your Congressperson today.
Seriously, I have no recollection of writing it, but it’s in my hand, complete with a correction – I changed the word expenditure to purchase because later in that sentence, I wrote expense.
I mention this as a defense for Barack Obama over this issue. Sometimes, you DO just forget.
Here’s a promise for you: I’m never running for elective political office. You never know what skeletons, or even perceived skeletons, might pop up. Well, maybe when I’m 70, when I will be able to honestly say, “I don’t remember” when asked about my presumably sordid past.
I’m thinking about this because New York’s NEW governor, David Paterson, is caught up in some sexual infidelity. Truth is, I don’t much care because it’s none of my business, and, unlike his predecessor, “I’m a f***ing steamroller” Spitzer, he hadn’t set the morals bar so high that his affairs are major disappointments. Mostly because most people outside of Albany didn’t even know who David Paterson was until a little over a week ago. In any case, he’s likely to survive this politically because he would be succeeded by the Senate Majority Leader, who is a REPUBLICAN, Joe Bruno.
This begs the questions:
1) How much of a person’s personal life should be open to the public when he or she is considering running for public office?
2) How far does one get to dig about someone’s history and place as relevant? I recall that GWB said some years ago that he had not done certain drugs (cocaine, I believe) in the previous 25 years, answered in such a way that it suggested that perhaps he HAD used it earlier than that. As much as I dislike GWB politically – and I mean a WHOLE lot – I don’t much care about an old drug bust.