Friday, August 31, 2007

Golfer's Nirvana

If you're a baseball fan, wouldn't it be great to play in a pick-up game at Yankee Stadium? If you're a football fan, wouldn't it be great to get your friends to play a touch football game with you at the Rose Bowl? If you're a basketball fan, how about you and your B-ball buddies dribbling and shooting at Madison Square Garden? Well, I just had the equivalent experience for a golfer - Oakland Hills Country Club, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

This past Wednesday and Thursday, courtesy of a true friend from Mt. Lebanon High School's Class of '62, I played the north and south courses at Oakland Hills, site of the 2004 Ryder Cup Matches (we lost!) and 13 championship tournaments. Among the winners of these tournaments were Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus. And, on Thursday, I had my own little championship round and golfed my ball down the same manicured fairways that these legendary characters did.

It was a perfect day, partly sunny with temperatures in the mid-to-high 70's and a noticable wind. My three partners and I warmed up on the practice range and teed up our balls in the shadow of the huge, magnificent white-columned clubhouse. My first drive found the fairway, and that was the start of a round to remember. There were lots more drives in the fairway, several of them over 250 yards, and a few great shots from the fairway and the sand bunkers. The greens, which were severely undulating and cut short and fast, let me take 35 putts on them during the 18 holes. I also pitched my ball onto a green only to watch it roll all the way across and into the water for a penalty stroke. We played from the blue tees (6,819 yards), and I shot 93 with four pars, six bogies and an eight on one par-five. Golfer's Nirvana.

I've played on just about every kind of golf course in existence - burned out Texas tracks where the ball never stops rolling, municipal 9-holers with wire fences protecting golfers from other golfer's errant shots, a bunch of good and better country club courses, and a few of the big names like Oakmont, Harbour Town, Spyglass, TPC Sugarbush, and Oak Hill. Oakland Hills is the big daddy if you count the whole package - the gorgeous grounds, the luxurious clubhouse, and the difficult, perfectly-maintained golf course. Yesterday was a day for the memory book, and I owe my old friend a lot for giving me an experience to savor for a long time.

Some people may quarrel with the idea of exclusive places like Oakland Hills, places that few ever get a chance to experience. Yet the world would be less beautiful without Oakland Hills, and it provides a huge number of good jobs for people in the area. For me, it provided an opportunity to test my golf skills to the utmost in the company of friends. I bet you even those champions mentioned above would have said "good shot" a few times, had they been watching my golfing dream come true.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wrong, Mr. Archbishop - You Can't Desecrate God!

Kuala Lumpur archbishop Murphy Pakiam recently took on a local newspaper which had published a photo of Jesus with a cigarette in his hand. He called it a "desecration", and he later accepted the newspaper's apology after they suspended the employee who had taken the photo off the internet. Wrong move, archbishop Pakiam!

I'm tired of hearing about "holy cities", "holy places", "holy books", "holy people", and anything else in this world called "holy". Who made this designation? Show me the proof that God has deemed any material thing "holy"! This is just man-made baloney and the source of unending conflict. The truth is that nothing on this earth is "holy", whatever that means.

Archbishop Pakiam should have said, "I'm sorry that the newspaper printed a picture that I believe mischaracterizes Jesus. Let me tell you a few things about him that would indicate he probably didn't smoke. But don't worry about how Jesus would react to the picture...people did lots of worse things to him without making him angry. Jesus just got sad about how we always seem to be hurting each other and forgetting about God."

I'm a Christian, and my religion and personal experience tells me that everything humankind does in this world is imperfect, tinged by our own selfishness or our lack of understanding. Only the creator of the universe is perfect - and also totally impervious to criticism. So we are fools to call anything man-made or man-established "holy". And God, or any manifestation of God, cannot be desecrated or humiliated or lessened in any way. Anyone who thinks so does not understand God at all. What do you think, Mr. Archbishop?

Blame Al-Malaki? No.

So,the Iraq war is not going so well. The root cause, of course, is that there is no political settlement in the aftermath of our invasion. All the other ills of Iraq stem from this one problem. Warring factions who can't agree on a future for Iraq are keeping the country in chaos, each faction holding out for a settlement on their own terms. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has failed miserably, and now is the time when this failure is being explained to Americans.

The administration and several republican senators are floating the proposition that the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, is responsible for the failure of our war effort. Al-Maliki, they say, has been incompetent in getting the factions to agree on a political settlement. He's ruined our government's brilliant idea of Iraqi democracy through his ineffectiveness. He's the problem, they now say.

It's unfair and wrong to make Al-Maliki a scapegoat for our failure in Iraq. Everyone with any understanding of the situation there knows that Iraq never was a "country" in the traditional sense. It was simply a geographic area set up by occupiers and ruled by a succession of tyrants who kept the factions at bay by brutal means. Nobody stated this case better than Dick Cheney in his 1994 interview, which was right on the money. Al-Maliki has simply inherited an intractable mess.

Who is to blame for the Iraq debacle? It's clear that the Bush administration's decision to oust Saddam Hussein rather than keep him in an ever-tightening box was the direct cause of the current situation. This decision was supported and constantly ratified by the republican-led congress. They "own" Iraq.

The campaigns for the 2008 elections will be filled with rhetoric about why our Iraq adventure failed. Pay no attention to attempts to divert blame to anyone other than Bush and his neocon/oil pals and their supporters in congress. They marched in where even angels would fear to tread, and now they must be held accountable for their hubris. A political price needs to be paid, but it's the republicans and not Al-Maliki who should pay it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another "The Teaching Company" Commercial

My friend RWorld just wrote a post about how few people are reading books these days...not even one-third of our population are readers! Aarghhh! But I digress, since I really want to discuss something even more demanding than reading - learning.

The Good Witch and I are now 2/3's through "How to Listen To and Understand Great Music", a DVD course put out by The Learning Company and taught by Professor Robert Greenberg. It's 48 45-minute lectures, so it takes a bit of dedication to stick with it. But Greenberg is definitely the most passionate and entertaining academic I've ever encountered.

I won't bore you with the details. All I can say is that, as a person who has been involved with music of all kinds for many, many years, I have benefitted greatly from all the revelations about what classical music is and how it works. I even listen to "rock and roll" with different ears, since the principles that Greenberg outlines apply to all kinds of music.

The course cost us $180 "on sale". That's a lot of money, but it has been worth the expense.

Take my advice - go to "" and look over the catalog. Don't buy anything that's not on sale. Curse me out if you don't like what you bought, but I don't think I'll get any curses thrown my way.

This has been an unpaid commercial for a company I wish I had discovered years ago. My current quandary is deciding, with the GW's input, which course we will take when this one is done in three more weeks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Impeach Our Cowardly, Dimwitted President

President Bush spoke today in front of another friendly audience of addled veterans,and he went through his stock speech about 9/11, fighting there rather than here, etc. Then there was a surprise; he said Iraq would be like Vietnam if we left Iraq too early, intimating that we left Vietnam too early. Is this man dense or what? Everyone knows we left Vietnam way too late and shouldn't have been there in the first place. Now we're repeating that fiasco in Iraq.

Our commander-in-chief may believe he is brave, but he is a coward who refuses to face a neutral audience, never mind a hostile one. How he manages to keep the support of true and brave Americans on the right side of the political spectrum is beyond me. I guess that a true and brave American doesn't have to be intelligent as well...but the mainstream media is also gutless for not calling Bush a cowardly dunce on the front page and thereby educating the brave and true Americans about their idol.

Bush has more than 500 days left in his term - more than 500 days of opportuntity to further screw up our country. I don't know about you, but I think the risk is too great. Impeach the Dick and the Dunce! Let the republican senators listen to the evidence and vote to keep him in office, to their everlasting shame, if that's what they decide to do. I'm sick of listening to Bush's inanity, and embarrassed as well.
Let it be over.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Playing" Golf

I am a golf nut. Although I have a lot of routine obligations, I have a fair amount of freedom regarding when those things need to be accomplished. Consequently, most weeks I can play 63 or more holes of golf at a lower-tier private club with a challenging, well-maintained golf course, a decent bar, and bare bones amenities everywhere else. In the summer I live for golf.

I first joined this club 12 years ago when I was working full time, but I really started to play a lot after I retired. Slowly my scores improved from over 100 to the low 80's, and I shot two 79's for my best rounds ever. Then, due to over-golfing, I developed so many aches and pains that I had to stop. This year, after a two-year break, I've been playing again and staying healthy. I love it, largely because at age 63 I can still compete with much younger players. My current USGA handicap is 15, and it's going down.

Why is golf such a great game? The #1 reason is that you compete with yourself - everything depends on you alone. Lose your concentration and lose a stroke... make a bad decision and maybe lose two strokes or more... you have nobody else to blame. The #2 reason is that golf requires both power and finesse. It helps a lot to hit a drive 250 yards or more, but it's equally important to correctly read a three-foot breaking downhill putt and put it in the hole. The #3 reason is that you can have a great social time, get good exercise (by walking, like I do), and compete at a high level at the same time. Lastly, the handicap system means that I could play a meaningful match against Tiger Woods, since he'd have to give me 20 strokes or more.

Aside from my own struggles to improve many aspects of my golf game, the thing that most frustrates me about golf is the players who don't have fundamental skills but complain when they hit poor shots. These guys go right from their car to the first tee with no warm-up. They have a poor grip on the club, they position the ball incorrectly, and they swing like they're killing snakes, yet they complain bitterly when they hit the ball sideways. Although laughing at another player's shot is bad manners, I assure you that a full-length comedy could be made on any Saturday at the golf course. I would provide a few laughs myself, no doubt.

My father, who died at 62 from heart problems caused by rheumatic fever, was an excellent golfer. He was strong but he never tried to overpower the golf ball. He often practiced his short game in the back yard and he believed that "scores are really made from 100 yards in to the cup". I can still see him walking to the car on a Saturday morning with his garish yellow pants and a goofy hat, smiling as he waved goodbye while thinking about the fun that awaited him. Only now can I really appreciate all he tried to teach me, and I wonder if he knows I still hear his voice when I step up to the ball. "That's the shot, Dad, just like you showed me!" Thanks for the help, old man.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Financial Katrina - Government Fails!

The sub-prime mortgage debacle has created a world-wide panic and resulted in havoc for individuals, banks, pension funds, endowment funds, and hedge funds. Way too many people were given loans on inflated properties, and often the loans were adjustable or had no down payment. When the properties fell in value or the interest rates were adjusted upward, borrowers could not pay the mortage payment and foreclosure proceedings began. Simultaneously, the value of sub-prime mortgage portfolios fell like a rock, hammering the markets. How could this happen? It happened because government failed us.

Some people believe that the free market should allow people to make stupid decisions such as taking out an adjustable mortgage on an inflated property, and that it should allow investors to buy portfolios of these junk mortgages. That's baloney. That's just like saying the free market should allow people to invest in Ponzi schemes if they want to. There are some kinds of transactions that government needs to control due to the potential harm to individuals and the overall economy, and these sub-prime mortgages certainly meet that criteria. In this case, government's failure to regulate these transactions has resulted in a financial Katrina that government is now frantically attempting to mitigate.

Every newspaper and financial program has been warning for the past two years that these sub-prime mortgages constitute a great risk. There have been many stories warning that the lax credit criteria, the adjustable rates, and the over-valued real estate could cause major problems if the housing market cooled or interest rates increased. Did congress have hearings about this? Did they investigate companies that were not disclosing the adjustable rates to buyers or informing them about the level of risk they were taking? No. Our government failed us, and this financial Katrina is impacting not just those involved in the mortgages but the economy as a whole. Government is supposed to have financial levees to prevent such events from occurring, but it did nothing.

There are many government agencies that could have raised the flag on this or put regulations in place to slow the pace of the sub-prime market. Certainly the executive branch, with the Treasury department and the FTC, had clout here. The congress also has several committees with related responsibilities. They all failed. Apparently those who were profiting from selling these properties and the related mortgages had enough political clout to keep government out of their knickers. So, now that all the cows are out of the barn and trampling the crops, government will punish a few major offenders and pass a few laws. Thanks a lot, you incompetents!

Yes, I do believe in free markets and limited government powers. However, the government's job is to protect the country as a whole from disasters. Just as we need protection from armed enemies, we also need protection from major financial meltdowns. This one was predictable, and we need to hang the failure to get ahead of it squarely on the politicians who didn't have the guts to take on the real estate and mortgage industries. This episode provides one more good reason to go to public financing of political campaigns rather than allowing the fat cats to buy freedom from oversight with their campaign contributions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


George Carlin has a famous monologue about "stuff", which you have probably heard. The idea is that "stuff" can pretty much take over our lives. As we get more stuff we need a bigger house and garage, which then needs an addition since we now have more stuff. Carlin wonders whether our life is really any better because we have all this stuff, or whether our life is just consumed by managing it.

I've just spent three days doing minor maintenance on a property I own and lease in North Carolina. Even seemingly little things take a long time to accomplish. First you scope out the problem - or attempt to - and then you go to Lowe's, Home Depot, or a paint store to buy the stuff you need. Then you go back and start the work, only to find there is something else you need or something you bought doesn't work. Back to the store. If you're lucky, which is about a 50% probability, you are able to complete the work without further complications. In my case, one last item is going to require an electrician.

Talking about this with my mom at lunch today, she said, "These electric things cause so many problems!" I was immediately transported to Haiti where few people have access to all the electric things, or even to electricity in some cases. At least she followed her comment with "We're lucky to have the money to fix them".

Stuff! It's truly a blessing in many instances, but it sure can rule your life if you let it. And fixing it is a pain in the neck. Simplify!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Good Decision

Once upon a time I worked as medic on the ambulance and, late in the shift, got a low priority call for a mid-30's man who told 911 that he had abdominal pain and wanted an ambulance with no lights or siren. We meandered over there to check him out. Forty-five minutes later he was in the ER being evaluated for obvious heart issues.

At his home the man told me that his pain had subsided somewhat after he called the ambulance, and that he might not have called for help had he waited a bit longer. This is called "denial" - we know there's a problem but we are afraid to have it confirmed, so we downplay it. It's usually a bad decision.

This post is written to encourage you to deny "denial". If you ever get an unusual pain in your head, chest, back,or abdomen, and it surprises you because you've never experienced anything like it before, call 911 right away. It's a good decision.

Caveat: I'm not a doctor...just a lowly EMT. But I've had plenty of experience seeing how many "denials" were, unfortunately, life-changing. You're probably not a doc, either. So, if you hurt, let a doc make the decision about whether it's something to worry about or not. Thanks for listening!

Six Time Loser

I'm a good driver. I've had one ticket in my life, in 1978 for 62 in a 55 zone (speed trap), and one minor accident in 1965. I drive the ambulance a lot, sometimes for 10 fast miles through dense traffic with lights and sirens, and my partners are comfortable. But when it comes to reverse gear in my minivan, I'm a six time loser. I've hit six different cars while backing up in driveways, the last time being last night.

Minivans have great forward visibility, but visibility to the rear stinks. The tinted glass windows and large rear quarter panels, together with the height of the metal rear door, make backing up an adventure. If something is there, it's easy not to see it, especially at night. Perhaps all minivans should come standard with back-up alarm devices that signal when you are close to something.

I've twice hit my daughter-in-law's van in my own driveway, hit my best friend's car in my driveway, backed into a curved wall at a cellphone store, hit another ambulance corps member's car in the ambulance parking lot, at last night I backed into my best friend's wife's car in another friend's driveway. In total, I've spent about $4,000 repairing these cars. You'd think I'd learn.

Did you know that 95% of all ambulance accidents happen in reverse gear? That's because the ambulance boxes are so wide and long that rear visibility is almost non-existent. We have cameras in our ambulances now, and we're finally able to see what's behind us.

In my case, perhaps I need to set a new rule for myself - never park anywhere that will require me to back up!

Generally speaking, I'm far from being a klutz. I seldom wound myself doing repairs, I'm pretty coordinated, and I tend to think ahead. Apparently, though, I have one major gap in my mental processes - reverse gear. Could any of my readers have patterns of repetitive stupid behavior like this? I'm feeling pretty silly today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Winning Battles, Losing War

This morning's paper contained a letter to the editor supporting continued war in Iraq. The author, a father of a lieutenant killed in Iraq, claimed that we could win "because we have never lost a battle". That was the same claim made about the Vietnam War, which we lost while (some say) we never lost a battle. Some people just don't understand that the Iraq War is not about battles.

Unconventional warfare, for the aggressor, is all about preventing the defender from achieving its aims. It is not about winning battles. In fact, the aggressor has no interest in fighting battles which it will almost always lose due to its being significantly outgunned and out-maneuvered by the defender. The aggressor attacks in force only when it feels it has a significant local advantage and a good escape route. Mostly, however, the aggressor simply carries out tactics to keep the defender from achieving its aims.

What are these tactics in Iraq? Destroying infrastructure and "holy places". Bombing population centers to create general fear and and a belief that the defender is not capable of protecting the people. Assassinating leaders who might rally the population against them. Disrupting transportation and fuel supplies, thereby significantly hampering the economy. The various fighting factions in Iraq have been successful in carrying out all these operations, and they will continue to be successful because they have safe havens within the country. Consequently, the defender (the U.S.) will be pinned down for the forseeable future and will never "win". The lieutenant's father's hopes are quixotic.

In my view, we should leave Iraq now and let the chips fall where they may. We should not give the Iraqis a single additional weapon with which to kill their countrymen. Will this result in chaos? Of course. And it will be our fault, a blot on our nation that we created this ugly mess and had to walk away from it. In retrospect, having a despotic and sadistic Saddam in power was far better than the current situation. But relative peace in Iraq, which was the status quo under Saddam, will not return until the Iraqis have sorted themselves out and found a new strong man to rule over them.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Infrastructure Panic -VS- Reality

It's not a perfect world, not even in the United States. Today I heard Ed Schultz, commenting on the Minneapolis bridge collapse, state that this was a "systemic" problem and the entire process for reviewing bridge safety needs to be overhauled. One collapse and the world needs to be re-invented. Boloney!

Per Ed, there are 900,000 bridges in the U.S., 115,000 of which have identified structural issues. Listening to him, you'd think that most of them will likely collapse this year. He's wrong by about 115,000 bridges.

Scientists are not perfect. Doctors are not perfect. My spelling is not perfect. Bridge inspectors are not perfect. Even the people who check out the fabulously expensive space shuttle are not perfect. Unfortunately, we have tragedies caused by human imperfection all the time, despite our best efforts. We need to learn to live with them and not panic over isolated incidents, Ed Shultz.

This long bridge was a very complicated structure that was subject to many physical and environmental stresses. Surely it had some corrosion after 40 years of exposure to the elements, and some of the wearing parts, like bearings, had probably deteriorated. I expect the final report on this bridge will conclude that the collapse had no single cause but was the result of a number of interrelated deficiencies and perhaps an unusual stress at the time it collapsed. This kind of "domino effect" failure is extremely hard to predict, since no individual (inspectable) feature of the bridge was deemed a failure risk at the time of its last inspection.

Am I suggesting we do nothing in response to the collapse? No. We need to continue inspecting our infrastructure and writing readable and honest engineering reports about what is found. State governments need to prioritize their infrastructure spending and increase it if necessary. But now is not the time to throw out the baby with the bathwater. If we start getting a major bridge collapse every year, maybe I'll change my mind, but for now let's just grieve for those who lost their lives in a random accident. The bridge inspectors will be on heightened alert, and that is all we need to feel safe.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Traffic Violations and Human Nature

As you may know, I admit to being an accountant. Early in my accounting career an experienced person conveyed this "fact" to me: he said, "One of every 100 employees of a company actively looks for ways to cheat or steal from their employer, and another four will promptly take advantage of an opportunity to cheat or steal if they belive they won't be caught." I guess it's nice that 95 of 100 of us will not cheat or steal even if given the opportunity.

I was reminded of this story when I began to consider the reasons why I'm witnessing so many traffic violations on our local roads. So many more people seem to be running red lights, driving with their cell phones in their ears, or making illegal turns. It's an epidemic of traffic lawlessness, and I've seen the results of it at intersections where my ambulance stopped to pick up the people who've been hit by the latest light-runner.

Things were not always this way on the roads. Traffic law enforcement was once a much more high priority item for government, and traffic cops were everywhere, it seemed. If you were a chronic light-runner you could count on your luck running out and your wallet substantially lightened by fines and higher insurance costs. Now, however, the price of police has gone up and the number of police has declined. Moreover, police have little incentive to write tickets if they have to show up in court to defend them. Consequently, traffic law enforcement in many areas is minimal.

Back to my point, then. Perhaps there always was that one in 100 drivers who would run red lights simply because they were wired to look for opportunities to cheat. Now, though, we are faced with another four of 100 who, due to lack of enforcement, take advantage of the opportunity to cheat because they don't fear being caught. One of these four could kill you, so be wise - check both left and right before you start out after your red light turns green.

Some people believe using cameras for traffic law enforcement is an invasion of privacy. I figure that if we can't afford cops we should use cameras. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words in some situations. The risk of having 5% of drivers running red lights is just too high, and if fear is the only way to get us back to 1%, so be it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Texas Governor Appoints Creationist - What?

My friend ThomasLB ( ) wrote about the Texas governor recently appointing an adherent of creationism to head the Texas education department. Quotes attributed to this guy clearly demonstrate that he's a bonehead. Check out Thomas's post.

I remember being on a fishing boat in Canada with an older gentleman from Ohio. When asked, I said I believed in evolution. He laughed and said, "You believe your granddaddy was a monkey?" The man had no education, so I was not offended. But one would expect the head of a state education department to be educated. Not in Texas.

This surprising development is just one more indication of America's slow march toward mediocrity. When leaders appoint anti-intellectuals to important posts, all learning is demeaned. We are regressing toward a medieval doltishness where priests, now of the Christian fundamentalist persuasion, spout nonsense that sounds good to those who have no learning. Reducing evolution to "making spiders out of rocks" is a catchy phrase, but it's obscene to me.

America does not need foreign enemies. By making decisions like this one in Texas, our leaders are hastening our downfall without any terrorist assistance. They are killing the brains of our children.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Michael Savage", a Hitlerite of the 21st Century

"Michael Savage", born Michael Alan Weiner, has 10 million listeners of his radio program, and I am one of them for 10-15 minutes most nights as I get ready for bed. The man repulses me, but I'm one of those who believe you must understand your enemies, hence I subject myself to short periods of his vitriol, which is leavened by homey little stories of his childhood and life experiences.

I must admit, Michael is a pretty good talker and a bright guy. His Wikipedia biography explains how Michael Alan Weiner was, during the 70's, a consort of some famous liberals in the San Francisco area. However, in the 80's he turned radically conservative perhaps because of some experiences with the welfare system or his failure to get a job interview due, he says, to affirmative action. He has an earned Ph.D. and, at least to me, he's conversant in many fields of study. Yet the guy comes across as bent beyond belief, so I must conclude either that the "Michael Savage" persona is a purely commercial one or he is nuts.

Two nights ago I listened to a rant where he claimed "liberals" are delighted that 75% of African-American kids are illegitimate. He said this situation was reflected their idea of "freedom". I about choked. Of course, his show consists primarily of rants against liberals, homosexuals, and immigrants, so I suppose the great majority of the 10 million listeners get just what they want to hear. In my opinion, it's a perversion of "freedom" that allows Michael Savage to even be on the air. But I don't blame him - anyone is allowed to be nuts or crassly commercial - I blame the whores who put him on the air.

But I digress. Listening to Michael Savage made me think about the recent Einstein biography that I just read. Einstein was in Germany when Hitler came to power, and Einstein saw firsthand how Hitler and his rabble vilified those who they blamed for Germany's defeat in WWI and the depression that followed - Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, liberal democrats, and non-Germanic people. We all know what happened to these unfortunate folks. Some of the farsighted and wealthier ones, like Einstein, were lucky enough to flee Germany before they were rounded up by those who listened to the crap that the Hitlerites were putting out.

Who, today, is putting out the same kind of crap? None other than Michael Savage, son of a Jewish Russian immigrant. He's found the same kind of audience that Hitler did, and he's milking them for all they're worth. Perhaps he was born too soon...he could have become a top Nazi propagandist had he been in Germany in the 1930's, and he would have achieved the national influence he craves in these more modern days.

But what about the sweet, homey stories he loves to spin? Last night's concerned an incident where a nondescript black man came into his father's store and was treated with respect. The man subsequently bought a load of stuff. The moral? Treat everyone with respect. Great idea. Now listen to Savage talk to the callers who have a different point of view than his. Respect? Not. It's probably a good thing Savage doesn't have a gas chamber at his disposal. Like the Hitlerites, Savage gives a kind of "pat on the head" respect only to those who agree with him.

What is the national media reaction to Michael Savage? He's simply a non-person, a malignancy that nobody wants to acknowledge. Perhaps they feel that ostracizing him is more effective than taking him on and giving him even more publicity. They are wrong. Like Senator Joseph McCarthy, Michael Savage needs to be called out and put out. The 10 million listeners need to hear him get a "fair trial" in the media before those who sponsor him are ashamed enough to give him a permanent vacation on his sailboat. Germany did not need Hitler, and America does not need his intellectual successor, Michael Savage.