More Jackson County Opinions...

FEBRUARY 25, 2004


Column

By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
February 25, 2004

Just some odds and ends
How many columns did I do about my Daddy? Three? Four? I believe I told you that if I did five pieces on the Adams boys, I would not run ‘em all in a row. Here I’ve done three or four already, and they’ve all been about the senior member.
Lest I bore you with family talk even more than you are already bored, we need to take a break. But Big Brother is on the way — probably next week. In the meantime, I need to get some odds and ends off my chest.
* * *
Have you noticed that politics is heating up? Here’s my wish list: Wanted: politicians who tell the truth, even when it is not in their best interest.
Whoa! When is telling the truth NOT in one’s best interest? Didn’t I read somewhere that the truth will set you free? Free from what? Free from the vicious cycles of lying. You won’t have to keep telling lies in the future to cover up those you told in the past.
Besides, it will help your politics and take the stink out of the air.
Wanted: politicians who can admit they are wrong. We don’t need perfect politicians. We need honest politicians.
Wanted: politicians who don’t justify or downplay their own stupid decisions and actions by dredging up the stupid decisions and actions of politicians past. For the life of me, I don’t understand why the current crop can’t let go of Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Ford, Carter, Nixon, JFK, Johnson, Truman, FDR, Hoover, Lincoln and Washington — and move on.
Wanted: politicians who don’t try to build themselves up by tearing others down.
Wanted: politicians who can say they are sorry and who can give — and receive — forgiveness. I don’t know which is the greater blessing. The therapeutic value of both — to heart, mind, body and soul — is truly amazing. How do I know? From experience.
* * *
And then there is Dr. Phil. Would he make a good president? The guy is everywhere. But some folks say they have gotten their fill of Dr. Phil.
Shirley bought his book, “The Ultimate Weight Solution,” the other day. I read the first nine pages. My impression?
The guy is the greatest, absolute best, most confident, cockiest, most sure of himself, most positive individual on the face of the earth, and the second best hope for savior of the human race.
Either that, or he is the most egotistical con artist on the face of the earth. What do I think? I think the man is for real. Whether you are fat or skinny, read the book. The first nine pages convinced me that he could sell igloos in Florida and air conditioners in Iceland.
By the way, Dr. Phil is also on television. His show comes on at 5 p.m. on WXIA, NBC’s Atlanta station. Watch it.
Anybody who can get a cheating, lying, abusive, adulterous, dysfunctional family to come on national television and air their dirty laundry before the world has got to be good.
Or is this just another cheap, fake Survivor show? Surely not, Dr. Phil!
* * *
There is just one think I don’t understand. Millions of people spend millions of dollars on Dr. Phil’s book. (Even my own wife contributed big bucks to his sizable fortune.) Millions of Americans spend billions on pills, fads, spas, diets, tasteless foods and an untold number of bogus gimmicks in an effort to lose weight.
Yet, to the best of my knowledge, only one person picked up on my surefire plan that guarantees weight loss and doesn’t cost a penny. In fact, it will save a bundle.
Thank the Lord for Bonnie McQuiston, who lives way down in Florida, at Santa Rosa Beach. She wrote two — TWO — letters to The Jackson Herald praising my foolproof system.
It is so simple. Cut in half the amount of food you eat and double up on your exercise.
You can’t get much more ultimate than that, can you, Dr. Phil?
* * *
Which reminds me. Here it is February 25 and I haven’t broken any New Year’s resolutions. The reason? I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. This is another of my great ideas that won’t cost you anything and will contribute to your peace of mind and a stress-free life.
You probably won’t lose any weight, quit drinking and smoking, stop beating your spouse, start telling the truth, love your neighbor as yourself, be kind to animals, and quit cheating on your income tax. But you won’t feel guilty for having broken any New Year’s resolutions.
That’s something positive, isn’t it?
* * *
Now, let’s hear it for Kathy Cox. The state school superintendent admitted she made a mistake when she suggested that “evolution” be replaced in the biology curriculum by “biological changes over time.” Either that, or she couldn’t take the heat.
Either way, she’s still on the hot seat. The evolutionists are ecstatic that she backed down. The creationists are livid that she did. Those of us who can take either side are amused at all the fuss. You can’t win, Kathy.
Your “biological changes over time” would be fine with me. Kids who wanted to learn all about those changes would have learned them. Kids who didn’t want to would be left behind — where they belong.
The good kids would have made great grades in “biological changes over time.” They’d earn Hope scholarships to the University of Georgia. Some would be accepted at Harvard and Yale and Georgia Tech. They’d sign up for Biology 101, confident they would ace the course. They’d be on top of the world. I mean, they had mastered “biological changes over time.”
They rush to class on day one, and the professor decides to test their knowledge right off the bat. He passes out the exams. First question: “Define evolution.”
“Duh.”
“Evolution? What’s that? Never heard of it.”
Next semester, they’ll be back home, flipping burgers.
Virgil Adams is former editor-owner of The Jackson Herald.

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column

By: Oscar Weinmeister
The Commerce News
February 25, 2004

Not Time Yet For Spring Fever
Yes, we’ve had some really nice weather recently, but I’m not letting myself get all worked up with Spring Fever yet, since after all, it is still February. For the time being, I’m content to take a sunny day as it comes, reminding myself that the grass still doesn’t need mowing, the wisteria hasn’t begun its annual march across my back yard, and our son Jack’s head hasn’t yet swollen remarkably from a mosquito bite.
And with our 6-month old, Turner, we have a whole new host of warm weather terrors to discover. Is he also allergic to mosquito bites? What else is he allergic to? Unfortunately, we learned this weekend that if he’s exposed to the sunlight for more than eight minutes, he burns, not unlike a vampire, but apparently because German, English, Scottish and Irish genes don’t carry a whole lot of instructions for the production of melanin. I guess we’re going to have to put him in a sack when we take him to the beach.
But that’s far off. Just like my prospects for fishing. I’m not excited about spring this year, in particular, because the last two years have proven very disappointing from the angling vantage point. I only had time to get to the water two or three times last year, and I was so desperate to make those fleeting minutes count that it was difficult to relax and fish, instead of obsess about catching one (or ten).
Another reason I’m not looking forward to spring is I can’t find my sunglasses. With imminent sunshine, I’m going to need them, and the folks at Peerless Cleaners will tell you I have a hard time keeping track of them. I’ve also depleted the sunglasses fund at our house, so the chances that I’ll be able to shop for replacements are dim, at best.
On top of that, I’m headed to Chicago for a conference soon, so even if I liked the odds of promising weather here in Commerce, my mood would surely freeze and crumble the moment I stepped off the plane at O’Hare.
Nope, it’s not time to start thinking the cold weather has left us. It’s not even a good idea to think it won’t be here much longer. I’m much better off hanging around inside for a couple more months, holding “whose stomach is the whitest” contests with my sons, smelling the heat kick on, and drinking coffee for more than the caffeine.
Yep, that trip to the park this weekend was an anomaly. As residents of the northern hemisphere, we are not meant to stroll comfortably through the sunny woods in February. We are not meant to hear Sacred Harp singing, we are not meant to have fantastic food served outside, and we are not meant to digest that lunch by rolling around in the grass wrestling with our kids. Still, I’ll take a sunny day as it comes.

Oscar Weinmeister is the assistant administrator of BJC Medical Center. He lives in Commerce.


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