Monday, June 24, 2013

Just wanted to congratulate Carly Mathis of Leesburg on winning the Miss Georgia title!  She is an awesome lady and I want to wish her good luck in September!

I'll just say it, I'm pretty ticked about all this hoopla around Paula Deen.  Quite frankly, it stinks.

I've known Paula for many years and think the world of her.  I watched her scrape, scrounge and fight to climb out from a black hole, both financially and mentally.  What a great American success story!  You can look her up on Wikipedia for details as I won't go into them here.  But I saw first hand and watched her battle and am so proud of her.

I first met Paula when she lived here in Albany through the radio station and would run into to her at social events.  After her divorce, her sons used to deliver lunch with some of the best sandwiches you've ever had!  I ran into her again in Savannah and visited her then new restaurant.  What a change I saw from a demur housewife to a successful business woman!

I saw first hand her encouragement and support of friends and coworkers and her wonderful charity work.

Now we disparage her?  All because of the use of the N- word years ago brought to light by a disgruntled money grubbing former employee's lawsuit?  Give me a break!

I watched a new program the other day when a reporter was asked if he had ever used the N- word and he said he could honestly say no.  Bully for him! That makes me feel a lot better about the state of racial discrimination, however, for those of us who grew up during the 60's and 70's that was not the case.  It was a time of turmoil and unrest as the fight was to changes in attitudes and discrimination.  The South in particular had a lot of changes to make, especially.

Have I ever used the N- work.  I am embarrassed to say, yes.  I can only remember once as it was in a classroom situation where the teacher then immediately took me to task over the use of the word.  To her credit, she pulled me aside and I got a pretty good lecture about how degrading it was and was not nice.  I still remember to this day how bad and embarrassed I felt and vowed never to say it again.

Even then, I was taught to be afraid.  I grew up in a town that had no African-American families but was always told stories.  Most of it rumor and innuendo.  We did not have the resources we have today to dispel and of that.  And watching the riots in Watts and other places in the 60's only reinforced any fears I had.  It was only when I was a sophomore in h.s. that the first A/F family moved to town.  The dad was a coach for the local school and the family included a girl my age.  Getting to know them, surprise, they were just like us!  A typical American family trying to find their piece of the American dream.

My point of all this is that us older folks have had to evolve over the years from so many archaic attitudes and "learning" that was shady at best and some that were downright wrong.  We have all said and done things we are not proud of and, speaking for myself, embarrassed.  Hopefully this new generation is one we have taught well but can be forgiving and tolerant for our failings in our youth.

The Food Network has decided not to renew her contract and QVC is now hedging on selling her great line of pots and pans.  She has made both of these companies a lot of money with the Paula Deen brand and waiver over her personal reputation.  I find it spineless and really a bad business decision. But that is their's to make.  Good luck to them but for me, I won't watch their channels and take my business elsewhere.

I am proud of my teaching that being American is not white or black, asian or hispanic, Christian or Atheist, gay or straight or our heritage.  We are bound together as one by ideal, a common belief of freedom. equality and acceptance.

Paula is a survivor and I have no doubt that she will come through this stronger and better than ever.  I hope we all learn a lesson that being sanctimonious is not the answer nor a good quality for any of us to have.

Take care,


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I've been doing a lot of soul searching about this and have mixed emotions about the NSA monitoring everyone's phone calls and emails.

On the face, we do have to protect ourselves and in the process give up some of our freedom or have it imposed upon - like having to show id to write a check (for those of up old enough to remember writing checks) or taking your shoes off and subject yourself to a possible search when boarding a plane.  But just how much freedom do we have to give up?

I don't mind having my metadata looked at (ip address, phone numbers I call or call me, etc.) but have qualms about someone listening in on an intimate phone conversation.  Where do we draw the line.

My problem is not with the law as there are some in place to protect our privacy, it is with the oversight to insure laws are not broken.  As seen with Edward Snowden, the recent leaker of NSA programs, and others one person can take it upon themselves to violate them.  Or an administration(s) that have ulterior motive(s).  We have seen it in just about every administration from the use of the IRS to the bugging offices to undermine ones opponents or those suspected of having adverse positions.  I experienced that myself.

As a young Republican and a stanch supporter of Nixon, I became disillusioned after Watergate and after seeing many intolerant policies.  I opted out of the party to become an independent.  Within weeks, my high security clearance to become an FBI agent was revoked. I was followed for many weeks and although there is no proof, I heard many unexplained "clicks" on numerous phone calls.  My short form tax return was audited two years in a row.  You read it right, MY SHORT FORM!  My name even, as I am told, ended up on the infamous "hit list".  Now at the time I really didn't care as I had nothing to hide but it just ticked me off to no end.  It was a little scary though.  There is an old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely.

In my mind, I was a nobody just starting out a career in radio and small potatoes. I mean, come on, what damage could I do?  In many ways, I feel complimented to have been on someone's radar that they were worried enough to think I had the power or means to be a factor in

Now we are faced with the same dilemma. I don't mind anyone keeping tabs on me or our movements (via your cell phone, Facebook, 4 square, etc.) but I am concerned about who or what uses it and for what purpose.  And to expect the government to monitor and control the programs is like the fox watching the henhouse isn't it?

Just a few thoughts.

Take care,


Monday, June 3, 2013

I felt compelled to write about this as it was a sobering event to say the least.  It was an example to me that someone does watch over us.  I thank the Good Lord.

Last week as I was driving to work I was surprised when I came up on a man walking along side the road.  Not exactly along the side, but on the white line and about 3 blocks from the store.  I did not see the guy until I was right up on him as he was wearing a dark grey shirt and black pants.  I swerved and missed him.  It was a scary moment and a close call.  It took several minutes for my heart to stop racing as I pulled into the parking lot at the store.

It was a few minutes later that I heard sirens a block away and saw the blue lights of emergency vehicles blocking traffic.  One of the customers informed me of a bad accident.  It turns out the guy I almost hit was later struck down about 10 minutes later as he tried to cross the street.  Wow!  I'm torn between feeling lucky and sorrow at the loss of life.

As I write, the news is showing a Cheerios commercial of biracial couple that is causing so much controversy.  For the life of me I can't understand why?  I thought we were seen the last vestiges of racism and had moved beyond that.  I guess we still have a way to go and I take my hat off to General Mills for taking a stand to let the ad remain.

Thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma hit not once but twice in the past couple of weeks.  I met and interviewed Tim Samaras, a the tornado chaser who lost his life in one of the storms, many years ago.  He was a true pioneer and we owe him a debt of gratitude as his research helped us understand the storms and how they form.  Through his dedication, hard work and inventiveness weather forecasters were able to increase the warning time from mere minutes to at least a half hour.  That doesn't sound like very much and on the face, it isn't.  But every minute counts and has saved countless lives.  Having grown up in an area where tornadoes were very common I remember the fear at feeling so helpless depending of friends and neighbors calling each other to get information. Thanks Mr. Samaras and R.I.P.

Until next time, take a moment and count your blessings!

Take care,