A city loses its innocence in increments — not in batches. I was alarmed to learn my hometown — Lincoln, Nebraska — recently had an incremental loss of its innocence blared in headlines and broadcast in frightened feelings. The incident happened between two strangers caught in the February chill on a Lincoln Public Schools bus. The city was irrevocably changed.
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I thought the whole reason we are slogging through the war in Iraq is to keep the Terrorists “there” and not “here?” That, at least, is the war drum President Bush has been beating and still beats. In a 2003 interview — published on the White House website — Bush makes it clear the Terrorists will remain “over there” as long as we stay there engaging them in Iraq (emphasis added):
Q: Well, what about the suggestion from your critics that while you won the war, the peace is being bungled? THE PRESIDENT: They’re wrong. We’re making great progress in Iraq. We’ve got a pretty steep hill to climb. After all, one, we’re facing a bunch of terrorists who can’t stand freedom. These thugs were in power for awhile, and now they’re not going to be in power anymore, and they don’t like it. And they’re willing to kill innocent people. Their terrorist activities — we’d rather fight them there than here.
Are you aware in the early-to-mid 1900’s it was illegal to be “found ugly” on the streets of some mainstream American cities like Chicago, Illinois (Chicago Municipal Code, sec. 36034) and Omaha, Nebraska (Unsightly Beggar Ordinance Nebraska Municipal Code of 1941, sec. 25) and Columbus, Ohio (General Offense Code, sec. 2387.04)? Your punishment for being caught in public ranged from incarceration to fines of up to $50.00 USD for each ugly offense.
The political prosecution of eight United States Attorneys by Alberto Gonzales’ Depart of Justice is blowing up the Bush presidency more than the immoral war in Iraq ever could because this issue is something everyone can understand and rally against as being un-American in its core. The Washington Post reports Gonzales’ days are numbered as Bush’s loyal legal lapdog because Republican support for the president’s pernicious policies is finally aching away:
If we insist on looking for something of value in this war, then maybe it is this: Maybe we finally have the painful knowledge that we can never again believe everything our leaders tell us. For years they told us one thing while they did another. They said we were winning while we were losing. They said we were getting out while we were going in. They said the end was near when it was far.
Maybe the next time somebody says that our young men must fight and die somewhere, we will not take their word that it is for a worthy cause. Maybe we will ask them to spell it out for us, nice and slow, nice and clear. And maybe the people in power will have learned that the people of this country are no longer willing to go marching off without having their questions answered first…. If we haven’t, then we are as empty and cold as the intersection of Madison and State.
Do you believe your local government exists to protect you? Does your local government have the right to decide what you eat and how you eat it?
On Tuesday, New York City announced plans to require all trans fats gets cut out of your diet when you eat out whether you want it that way or not:
The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously yesterday to move forward with plans to prohibit the city’s 20,000 restaurants from serving food that contains more than a minute amount of artificial trans fats, the chemically modified ingredients considered by doctors and nutritionists to increase the risk of heart disease. …
If approved, the proposal voted on yesterday by the Board of Health would make New York the first large city in the country to strictly limit such fats in restaurants. Chicago is considering a similar prohibition affecting restaurants with less than $20 million in annual sales.
The New York prohibition would affect the city’s entire restaurant industry, by far the nation’s largest, from McDonald’s to fashionable bistros to street corner takeouts across the five boroughs. …
Officials said that the typical American diet now contains 5.8 grams of trans fats per day, and that a single five-ounce serving of French fries at many restaurants contained 8 grams of trans fats.
At 14-years-old I started in radio in Lincoln, Nebraska as the host of a weekly 10 minute interview show called Unique Youth. I would celebrate kids in the community who were making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Rick Alloway was my mentor and defender. Unique Youth aired on KFOR 1240 — the number one station in the city — and on their FM sister station X103 (now known as KFRX 102.7 after the advent of digital stereo tuners) at 5:30am Fridays.
I was quickly able to move up to weekend air shifts and I steadily worked in radio at KFOR and X103 as well as KLMS 1480 (the call letters at the time were pronounced “Kay-Elle-Aim-Esh-ah!” on air in an old-time classic boss jock performance) and KBHL FM. Later I added television to my resume when I became the teen movie critic on Kidding Around — with hostess Leta Powell Drake — for broadcast powerhouse KOLN/KGIN-TV and those stations had a coverage map the shape and size of the entire state of Nebraska.