Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Milestone for H-SC's Class of '86

I was pleased to learn today that a classmate and long-time friend has been named as the Publisher of the Virginian-Pilot.

Maurice A. Jones, H-SC '86, a Rhodes Scholar and former Commissioner of Social Services in Gov. Mark Warner's administration, assumed his duties on 14 April. It makes the Virginian-Pilot the nation's largest daily newspaper with a black publisher. Nevertheless, Maurice commented on the significance of that fact about as I would have expected:
"I hope that in whatever period of time I have to do this job, I won't be remembered as just the first black publisher," Jones said. "I hope people will say, 'This guy made a positive contribution to this place.' "
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Maurice graduated at the very top of our class, and was therefore our Valedictorian. He's just about one of the hardest-working guys I know. The Virginian-Pilot could have done a lot worse and, to my mind, couldn't have done much better.

Congrats, Maurice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another First (And Perhaps Last)

For the first time in history, the winner of a major Indy-car race is also appearing in Sports Illustrated's famous (or infamous) swimsuit edition.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Absenting Myself Briefly

As my friends know, I've had other pressing professional matters commanding my attention of late, and precluding my avocation here.

However, a few random comments:

On Obama's Attribution of Bitterness to Small-Town Pennsylvanians --- I'm from a small town in Pennsylvania, and maybe it's because I "escaped," but I am pro-gun, religious, and not bitter. No, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, I'm not. In fact, speaking for myself, and probably a goodly number of my fellow small-town Pennsylvanians, I can honestly say that we "cling" to our religion and our guns through good times and bad, the former, because it has stood the test of time, and it is not a mere faith of convenience, and the latter, because unlike you, we --- like the Founders who walked the streets of a then-small Pennsylvania town over two centuries ago --- don't put our faith in government. And we dislike you for what you represent, and what you believe. It has utterly nothing to do with your skin color.

Most of the time, it has to do with your Typical. Liberal. Arrogance.

On the Other Hand --- Obama's smear did give us the spectacle of Hitlary! Champion of the Faithful and of Gun-Owners!

Anybody who actually believes that is actually stupid enough to vote Democrat.

And Yet Another Reason to Dislike Hitlary --- Was actually in Philadelphia for most of last week, in trial in Federal court. Walked through the bar on Thursday night, and noticed a few guys with ear pieces standing between the bar and the restaurant. Sure enough, caught a rear view of a fat-a**ed bottle blond. Yep. Hitlary! was there. Not quite within spittin' distance.

Next morning, tried to get off my 18th floor room, and had to wait 15 minutes for an elevator, finally being relegated to a freight elevator.

So thanks, Hitlary. Now I have reason to personally dislike you.

Happy Earth Day!

Join the celebration.

I plan to set the appropriate tone by enjoying a fine, imported, hand-rolled tobacco product while driving home in my gas-guzzling SUV.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Far-Left Idiotic Whining, Vol. 4357

It seems that "Howling Latina" has discovered that Presidents no longer receive lifetime Secret Service protection, courtesy of --- according to her --- "Republicans [who] ran Congress [when] President Bill Clinton was president."

The implication seems to be --- she describes it as "skimpy security thanks to Republicans" --- that Republicans wanted to deny protection to Bill Clinton.

Oh, those wascally Wepublicans.

Of course, Clinton still receives lifetime protection, as the law only applies to "presidents elected to office after January 1, 1997 will receive Secret Service protection for 10 years."

And Clinton signed the bill. Well, OK. I couldn't find a reference for that. But it doesn't appear on a list of his vetoes.

And oh, by the way, it was introduced by Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.

Perhaps this is yet another "problem" that the Dems who now control Congress can "fix."

Unless, of course, it's only a "problem" if the concern is "skimpy security" for Democrats.

Then again, I guess there's no more basis for that accusation than for the silly whining of Howling Latina.

NOTE: I would have left a comment on HL's website pointing out these inconvenient facts, but HL is one of those far-Lefty blogs which shrinks from truth like a vampire shrinks from sunlight, and does not allow comments from other than registered users.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston, RIP

I first became aware of Charlton Heston when I was probably about 10 or 12, and the CBS Friday late movie would frequently be something like Soylent Green, The Omega Man, or Planet of the Apes. I liked his science fiction work in the late 60s and early 70s, and became something of a fan.

During a brief flirtation with high school theatre, I even had the privilege of attending a workshop with his wizened acting teacher, held at Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University). My recollection is fairly fuzzy, but I do remember the impression that this credential was pretty impressive among the teachers accompanying our group.

It wasn't until somewhat later that I learned that he had played Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's remake of his silent classic, The Ten Commandments, and much later that I finally saw Ben Hur. What a great actor.

In the early Nineties, I had occasion to meet the elderly actor from Hollywood's late Golden Age, when he came to Washington to aid in the Right to Work cause at a press conference near the Supreme Court. I met him briefly, and was impressed by his accessibility and friendly touch. He was the first "celebrity" I had ever met, and I found that I liked him. I remember telling him that I enjoyed his work, and he seemed pleased to hear it.

A few years later --- and before he became President of the National Rifle Association --- he lent his name to an award given by the National Right to Work Foundation to one of my clients, Terry Orr, who I had the privilege to represent in his successful effort to vindicate his Right to Work when the NFL Players' Association was attempting to force him and a number of his teammates on the Washington Redskins to pay union dues.

Once again, I was impressed. Since I was Terry's attorney, I got to speak with him at a little more length. I thanked him for his efforts on behalf of the Right to Work movement, mentioning that I had just returned from Alaska, where I had another case. As I recall, we spent the rest of our time together commiserating about jet lag. I suspect he was more acquainted with it than I.

I confess: I had become a fan. I bought three of the books he subsequently authored (two about his career; one devoted to lessons he wished to impart to his young grandson), and learned much about him. A devoted family man, Heston was clearly a Renaissance Man in many, many ways. Yet he was also a product of America's Heartland, hailing from Michigan, and never lost touch with his roots. Perhaps that explains his popularity among the movie-going public, why so many --- during the Clinton Interregnum --- put bumper stickers on their cars declaring "Charlton Heston is MY President."

I saw more of his older movies, and was impressed by his range and depth as an actor. I particularly remember one passage about his brief role in True Lies, Arnold Schwarzenneger's spy picture: he had apparently been picked for the role as one of the few men who could credibly intimidate Ah-nold, playing his grizzled boss.

Yeah, that worked, and worked well.

In one of his last roles, Heston recreated the role that won Paul Scofield an Oscar: that of Sir Thomas More, in a cable remake of A Man for All Seasons. Yet another role which Heston, among few, could credibly play.

So when I read last week that he was in the last stages of Alzheimer's disease, I was deeply saddened that a great voice, a sharp mind, was in decline. And when I turned on the television this morning, and learned that he had passed away, I was deeply saddened.

Of course, the deepest sadness is for his beloved wife of more than sixty years, and his children and grandchildren. Hopefully they can take some solace in the fact that their mourning is shared by legions of fans of all ages, and among those whose life he touched in so many positive ways.