Blog Archives

Favorite Television Shows?

Since I’ve been forced to stay pretty still most of the day I have been watching a lot of television (and thanks to Infinity I can go back and see many shows I’ve missed over the months) and have developed a list of shows I don’t want to miss. Act6ually, I’d repeat watching many of them several times (I often fall asleep before the end due to my condition and I want to find out what happened.)

Yesterday my daughter Cassandra and I discovered we liked a lot of the same shows. Oh, there were differences, but so many of the major ones were on both of our lists that I was sure I had had a child who was just like me.

I know you probably have favorite shows, too. Here is my top seven:

  1. The Mentalist – I don’t know what it is about this one, but I am totally hooked on it. It’s Cassandra’s number 1 show as well.
  2. “Corky” Corcoran, my favorite “Copper” Cop

    Copper – Have you seen this one on BBC America? It’s the story of NYC cops in the 1860s during the late Civil War era and the conflict between the Irish slums of Five Points and the rich folk on 5th Avenue… not to mention the Confederate conspiracy to burn down New York with an explosive called “Greek Fire.” This one has finished it’s 10 shows of the season and is now running repeats. I guess the new season starts in January.

  3. Suits – New Episodes start in January, but you can see all the older one’s on USA Network‘s web site.
  4. White Collar – waiting for January for this one to come back for another season… really miss it.
  5. Covert Affairs – the current season is just ending, but I LOVE this little CIA girl and the stuff she gets into.
  6. Big Bang Theory – Got to have my favorite comedy in there.
  7. Burn Notice – which just came back for a seventh season last week. Watching Mike, Sam and the folks at work is sooo exciting.

I like “Vegas” on CBS, but the rumor is running around that it will be cancelled for low ratings. Too bad.

So, what are yours? Do you have the same esoteric crime and conspiracy lust that I do? If they had more shows like PBS’ Broadway Musicals (from 2004) which I have been watching the re-runs from, I’d be watching that stuff more.

I get most of my news from MSNBC and PBS. What’s life without starting the day with “Morning Joe?” or Sundays with CBS “Sunday Morning?”


New Antietam Museum Room to open on Friday.


Antietam National Battlefield announces the opening of a new museum exhibit room in the park visitor center. A ribbon cutting will take place on Friday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m.

The new exhibits highlight the impact of the battle on the nation that occurred 150 years ago… and the families that lived on the battlefield. The exhibit includes wartifacts and photographs of veterans returning for reunions and the creation of the park by the U.S. War Department.

According to Park Superintendent Susan Trail:

Sharpsburg was a farming community for one hundred years before the battle was fought. Now we are able to tell a broader story through the artifacts and images of those who lived here. We are extremely pleased to have our new exhibit opening just in time for the 150th Commemoration.”

Some of the artifacts that highlight the new exhibit include a gold watch owned by the Mumma family whose farm was destroyed in the battle; furniture from the Roulette farm; a hand carved headstone that marked a soldiers grave just after the battle; and numerous reunion medals and ribbons.

For more information call 301-432-5124.


Mother’s Day

Some historians will tell you that Mother’s day is traceable back to pre-Judeo/Christian goddess worship. One of the earliest historical records of a society celebrating a Mother deity can be found among the ancient Egyptians, who held an annual festival to honor the goddess Isis, who was commonly regarded as the Mother of the pharaohs.

The same chroniclers of the past then site the pre-Easter custom of family members taking on Mother’s housework as a Lenten penance.

During the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe called for a peace to honor Mothers who had lost sons on the battle field. This started a brief Mother’s Day movement that had pretty much faded by the 1890s.

The first official Mother’s Day was then held on May 10, 1908 in Grafton West Virginia, after a campaign by Anna M. Jarvis. It would take a few more years of political action and Jarvis working full time to have federal legislation pass, but in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed the official National Observance of Mothers Day for the Second Sunday in May.

Today, Mother’s day is one of the major income holidays for restaurants, greeting card manufacturers and florists. But at least we still celebrate our Mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, Elly, Penny and Cassandra, my family’s mothers. Have a nice one.

In Case You are Gearing Yourself Up for Michelle Bachmann’s Personal Response to Obama’s State of the Union Message, Maybe you should take a look at her grasp on history…

We started learning about the Civil War and the ending of slavery around the fourth grade or so, and certainly we knew about Lincoln freeing the slaves by the time we entered high school. I thank Anderson Cooper for presenting this astounding look at Bachmann’s understanding of our history on CNN last night:

Are there conservatives out there who still support this dindong for the Presidency? She claims to be a leader of the Tea Party Movement and, frankly, I believe her.

The Holiday Is Here…

In 1860, American artist and illustrator Winslow Homer did a cover for Harpers Weekly depicting “The Two Great Classes” at Thanksgiving, the Rich and the Poor. This was made when the country was getting over the Depression of 1857 and rolling inevitably toward what would become the Civil War. I’m not sure Homer was very impressed with Thanksgiving where some had “more Dinners than Appetite” and some had “more Appetite than Dinners.” In a way, we are there again.

And Speaking of Civil Wars…

Thinking this morning (see prvious post) of our insertion into Afghanistan which is in the midst of what can be seen as a Civil War, I started to ponder the “Intellectual Civil War” we are currently experiencing right here at home. While it is not the bombing, kidnapping, house-to-house shooting kind of Civil War, ours has elements which spell out an equally destabilized future for those of us who grew up in the Post WWII Middle-Class environment.

Starting about thirty years ago, the Conservative Right set out to weaken and then, most recently, to destroy or at the least enslave the Middle-Class to be the exclusive tax-supplying funding source of an Upper-Class dominated economy. The fact that it was stretched out over three decades (a slow, slow war) made it almost invisible to the majority of Americans who were convinced that there was something called a “trickle-down” advantage to stopping the taxation of the top 2% or so of the economic population. Then, when it was too late to really make a change without unattached politicians who were not paid off by the corporate creations of that top 2%, we discovered ourselves in a world where a ratio of one Dennis Kucinich was put up against 50 or so “identified-as-liberals”… or, as I would like to call it, the “false democracy.”

This “Intellectual Civil War” has battles, too, only they have taken on names like “Tea Parties” and have been controlled by outside players acting as puppeteers, and we have done little to cut the strings. Those of us in the American 98% that are being economically destroyed, robbed of affordable health care, impoverished by bankruptcies of government supported financial institutions and forced to see possibilities of our world turning around for the better dashed against the whining wrinkles of Joe Lieberman… we are left not knowing who to turn to, who we can actually believe is acting in our interests.

Look… I want to believe that Nancy Pelosi is going to do something to really get the Insurance Companies disabled when it comes to health care. I want to believe that Obama will see what’s going on in the Middle East and issue the order for everyone to come home… now… and forget the crap about how many years it will take to get our weapons and ships and other facilities dismantled… bring the armies home NOW, have them pull out in the middle of the night on Wednesday (and if Karzai’s government complains, tell them you’ll be back IF they really have a fair election and IF they handle their own military and police actions… frankly, we’ll never have to go back.) I want to believe that Republican leaders like John Boehner will actually call up Pelosi this morning and say “we’re ready to help and compromise for the good of the country… what do you want us to do?” I want to believe that the sun will shine and the sky will be blue and everything will get better (and employment opportunities will turn up so I can be at work instead of sitting here at the computer bitching about everything)… I want to believe it. I’m just not able to given current conditions.

I want to see an end to our Intellectual Civil War. I want to see the opposing generals like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin and Michael Steele decide that they have enough and can ride off into the sunset.

Fat chance.

Karzai named winner in Afghanistan by Karzai appointed election officials after Abdullah pulls out…

…so where does that leave us?

We’ve been waiting for Obama to make his decision on what to do with troops going into Afghanistan to attack Al Qaida (who aren’t in Afghanistan any more) after the rerun of the election which was proven to be fraudulent and allowed Karzai to win.


I’m really sick of our playing games in the world. With Karzai’s brother accused of being a top Heroin Chief, with General McChrystal calling for more troops (while being criticized for his dealings with the Pat Tillman controversy), with a Civil War going on amid the Afghans that WE CANNOT CORRECT (just ask the Russians)… we are perceived as Occupiers and we should get out.

We won’t.

The world is turning into an increasingly bad place where the interests of the United States are not served, security or otherwise, and where we continue to get in up to our necks. And Republicans and Democrats will fight with each other to see who can get us ending up in a worse position.

David Brin ponders if stupidity is leading us to another Civil War…

This long essay was found in the new Open Salon blog section. David Brin, a prolific scientist, lecturer, science fiction author and television commentator (The Universe, Life After People) has taken a view that the radical right has debased conservatism and is leading us into a very poor repeat of 1861.

Here’s a quick section:

But all right, Rush and Rupert and Sean and Glenn and Tafik. Go ahead. Push hard enough to finally wake up the real United States — the “Blue America” that seems all mushy because it always tries reason first. The citified sophisticates who have, for generations, sent vast net-flows of their taxes toward the red counties that then bit that generous hand with rants about the “decadent cities…” even though those cities have proved to be more moral, by far. (Compare rates of divorce, domestic violence, teen sex, STDs and yes, even abortion!)

Even though those cities are the front lines in the modern war on terror. Even though it was city folk who proved their courage and resilience, standing up for their country on 9/11.

Remember what finally happened almost a century and a half ago, Rush. Pushed too far, and as a last resort, those “decadent” Americans rose up. They donned that color blue and wore it proudly to defend the Union — and the dream — with their very lives.

If that has your curiosity going, you can read the whole article (and a lot of thoughtful comments) HERE.

Cartoon of the Week

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:


Why on Earth don’t we remember the WHOLE 20th Century which became a Century of War? Why on Earth do we make the deaths of young Americans the basis of public policy? We have the technology to DESTROY THE EARTH without putting one soldier on the line, yet we send thousands more to face enemies we don’t even have a direct conflict with (Afghanistan, Iraq, all the Middle East war areas seem to be in pure Civil War. Why do we have to be the camp counselor?)

Perhaps we can remember Viet Nam. I know that there are millions of younger Americans who do not even know one fact about that stinking conflict that we got caught up in because we were against Communism!

That wall in Luckovich’s cartoon really should be visited by every politician in America and they should be forced to read EVERY NAME ON IT. Then they could think about the kind of world that could have been achieved if so many thousands had served America as LIVING CITIZENS!

My Uncle Butch (Irving B. Tchakirides) is a name they would have to read on that wall. Certainly everyone reading this, through the six degrees of separation process, will connect with someone else that they were related to or were close to.

If we think, maybe we can stop.