Friday, April 22, 2005

Today's Miscellany

Michael Jackson: I decided long ago that I was going to ignore the Michael Jackson trial. I figured that was about all the attention it was worth. But it's been hard to do, given all the breathless speculating on cable news, for me mostly CNNi. Eugene Robinson wrote a column that pretty much sums up my attitude: A pox on all their houses. He said:

If half of what the prosecution witnesses say about Michael Jackson is true, he deserves to go to jail. But so do some of those witnesses. Once the whole lot is behind bars, the rest of us ought to work on taming the monster of celebrity before it devours us all. ...

Lock all of them up, but save the "punishment" cellblock -- dank, windowless chambers and snarling guards who whip out the baton if you don't call them Mister Bubba -- for the parents who gave their children to an exceedingly strange middle-aged man who wanted nothing more than to get young boys into his bed.

Mistreated Detainees: I've never had much time for the ACLU and other bleeding hearts who weep on behalf of the detainees at Guantanamo. For one thing, the conditions of their detention are apparently better than inmates endure in some state prisons in the U.S. For another, most if not all are enemies who took up arms against our forces. Now this, from the Washington Times' Inside the Ring by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough:

A detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is vowing to kill his American guards. This excerpt from a new Pentagon report:

"A detainee, who fought as a Taliban soldier at Konduz, stated to the MPs that all Americans should die because these are the rules of Allah. The detainee also told the MPs that he would come to their homes and cut their throats like sheep. The detainee went on to say that upon his release from GTMO, he would use the Internet to search for the names and faces of MPs so that he could kill them."

What say you, ACLU?

Remembering Pan Am: Wesley Pruden wrote a nice piece about the old days of flying Pan Am around the world. I remember well:

Travelers dressed like grown-ups for the adventure they expected to get for the price of their ticket. Men took baths on the day of the trip, shaved, and put on clean shirts, long pants and leather shoes. Women felt no compulsion to look (or smell) like men, and dressed accordingly. ...

Nobody looked as bold, as bright or as buff as the crew. The pilots had the look of command authority, and the stewardesses (who would have considered it an insult to be called an "attendant," which is what hospitals call bedpan technicians and restroom superintendents), were the best looking of all. None drew the admiring glances like those aimed at the young women of Pan American World Airways.

It was sad to see Pan Am die the death of a thousand financial cuts, finally succumbing to bankruptcy. When that happened, we lost not just an airline but a highly visible symbol of the American spirit that paved the way for worldwide airline travel. Pan Am changed the world, and Pan Am was us. I've also never forgotten the services Pan Am provided to American forces in Vietnam, often with little profit. Read the article for more, plus information on a reunion being held in Virginia by Pan Am veterans.

Pax vobiscum, Pan Am.


Blogger Bill O. Writes said...

Pan Am:

I remember those days. To look like a stewardess meant something. It seems like a different universe now.

My veiwpoint is considered unpopular these days. Maybe I am a dinosaur from the old school. I just can't get accustomed to backward caps, baggy pants almost falling off, men with earrings, and women with tattoos. Body piercing..ugh.

In my youth men with earrings, and women with tattoos were to be avoided. A boy with his cap on backwards, and his pants falling off in public risked being considered "mentally challenged." I won't even touch the last.

Right now the idea of getting spiffed up, and riding on Pan Am sounds nice. Thanks for reminding me. They will never know what they missed.

6:02 PM, April 22, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Bill, you crack me up.

Tom, dead on with Michael Jackson. Those parents should be in jail for giving their kids to him. Shame on them! And I'm with you on the Detainees too. No thoughts on Pan Am, but always fun to read what you have to share.

6:30 PM, April 22, 2005  

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