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03/22/19 02:01 PM #5064    


David Mitchell


the "tax cut"?

I make very little, and my income went way down last year. Yet I owe $900 more than last year.

Tax cut only in the higher brackets.

03/22/19 02:19 PM #5065    


David Mitchell

Oh yes, HBTY to our favorite yard care challegned left-coast correspondent.


03/22/19 03:20 PM #5066    


James Hamilton, M. D.


We, of course, have different views of what President Trump's successes are as you may see many of them as a negative and I see them as a positive.

Chipping away at the Affordable Care Act is, IMHO, a good thing that was thwarted by Sen. McCain and others.

Renogtiating NAFTA, guiding us to energy independence, decreasing job killing regulations, increasing employment for many minorities, bringing back some manufacturing segments to the country, strengthing our military, getting us out of the Paris Climate accords, moving our Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem, recently issuing an executive order regarding free speech on campuses, appointing constitutionalist justices to the Supreme Court and federal courts
and other things that are of a conservative nature. A number of his failures have been the result of Congressional opposition on both sides of the aisle.

These obviously are viewed negatively by many on the left and are certainly not often covered in a good way by the press.

As for building the wall his opposition has been highly vocal (and yet a lot of his success in the election was based on that campaign issue) and funding keeps getting blocked or reduced by Congress.

Hatred against this man has never been so intense, even before he took office, by those who supported other candidates. One comedian said that if he found a cure for cancer the news headlines would be "Trump Puts Oncologists Out Of Work!" (I like to throw in a little medical humor.)


03/22/19 04:01 PM #5067    


David Mitchell

I'm interupting this debate to share a personal bit of fun personal news:

Since I shared a bit of this story before, I thought I'd hit you with an update. You mihgt recall that I told you about my favorite (and most regular) "Observer" in my Loach cockpit in Vinh Long. And I shared a few photos of Clint Hunt from "Kintucky". 

While away on a retreat last weekend I met a guy who makes regular use of a tracking service for locating people. He sent me information on the name I had been wondering about for 50 years. All I gave him was the name and the State of birth. To my amazement, he sent me an accurate number and address. I could not bring myself to call him for three days, but finally made the call a few minutes ago.

I just had a wonderful phone conversation with Clint Hunt, pictured twice in one of my earlier posts. Wow! What a fun conversation. He is retired on his small cattle farm near Lexington KY, and I am one of only two guys to ever contact him from those days. He, like many, has avoided all this for years, but he was thrilled to hear from me. We reminisced and shared some memories, but also could not both remember certain things.

Funny what we both did remember and what we didn't. He reminded me of our first time we ever took a (strange) hit from what we later thought was a tree-mounted grenade, but could never find the projectile inside the hole in the back side of the ship. We never could figure out what had hit us? All we knew was that we heard this soft thud (not a bang) and instantly lost all of our electronics and instruments - no sound, no radios, no intercom, nothing but our magnetic compass (whcih is not connected to our electronics). All we could do was abort ourselves from the mission and fly back the few minutes to little "Ben Tre" ( a place on the Mekong) staging airfield and stare at this strange lemon-sized hole in the aircraft skin. When we opened the "cowling" panel, we saw the gathered set of electrical wires all completely severed. He rememberd details that I had long since forgotten. 

And this is kind of funny. He was a backwoods hillbilly with a strong accent then, and he is still. His accent was thicker than I remebered it and he has no cell phone and no email address. I just happened to catch him in the house on a break.

The world is still a wonderful place!

03/22/19 04:07 PM #5068    


Mark Schweickart

As much as i would love to jump on the Trump-bashing wagon, and as much as one does not want to stifle freedom of expression,  I think it is fair to assume from the political back-and-forths we have seen so far that no one is budging  an inch by the opposing side. Therefore this all seems to accomplish little other than to perhaps leave a begrudging feeling towards those former classmates who are lined up on the opposing side. I suggest we go back to our efforts to curtail political posts as best we can.

03/22/19 04:34 PM #5069    


David Mitchell

Hear! Hear! Mark

and again my apologies for flipping the switch - I just can't keep my mouth shut sometimes

03/22/19 04:58 PM #5070    


Lawrence Foster

Re:  The Current Political Discussion

Thank you Mark for your post. It is well said.  Three times I have written something but deleted it because I was uncomfortable with all this.  When I want to hear this I can turn on any of the many opinion talk shows that the news channels constantly have running   

But people should be allowed to express their opinions.  I suggest that these subject matter posts be put on the User Forum page. On this Message Forum page one can announce that they have made a post and if folks want to read it they can go there to do so.  

Also by doing that the poster will see the number of readers that they get.  That can be usefull feedback to each of us about the value of what we put up here.  I have used that information when I post my fictional stories over there.  

03/22/19 06:08 PM #5071    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

John, it is not quite accurate to say that nothing has been done on the border wall.  It is more accurate to say that under previously passed legislation, contractors are still being paid to pay replace sections of spotty or insufficient fencing with bollard style walls.  These bollard walls are harder to get over, harder to get through and harder to go underneath.  In addition, at the Rio Grande, a reinforced-concrete levee wall will be built with the installation of 18 ft of steel bollards which will be placed atop the concrete wall.  Along this zone, new detection technology, lighting. video surveillance and a new patrol road along the levee are being installed.  Perhaps this is all not as grandiose as our President likes to boast, but the Border Patrol Agents say they need all available means, including border walls, in order to deter what is truly becoming, out of control illegal border crossings. And so it would appear that at least some of the border wall is getting done..

There is just one more issue that I would like to comment on and then I will refrain.  The issue is Obamacare.  Obviously, I did not read the entire 2,000 page law, but I did read many parts of the law, probably way more than the legislators who passed it into law. I had several conversations with my primary care physician in the aftermath of Obamacare's passage.and  he spoke of how the new regulations were infringing on his ability to put his patients' medical needs first. Two of my daughters work at Riverside Hospital and echo my physician's frustrations.  On their units they say that it is difficult to keep good nurses and patient care aides as they are increasingly burdened with endless charting and tedious and unnecessary administrative tasks which remove them more and more from direct patient interaction.  Overall, healthcare seems to have increasingly become entangled in a bureaucratic nightmare.  I can remember raising my kids in the 70's, when we only had catastrophic health insurance and so we paid out of pocket for most of our yearly medical expenses because, fortunately we rarely met our deductible.  It was Obama who told the American people over and over that, "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor", "if you like your health insurance, you can keep your insurance", and, "you will see premiums reduced $2500/yr".  These were all outright lies and Obama and everyone around him knew it.  It was Johnathan Gruber (Obamacare's architect) who let the cat out of the bag when he admitted that it was the purposeful lack of transparency in the 2.000 page bill that was a huge political advantage.  He mocked that bascially they counted on the "stupidity of the American voter" who wouldn't know or care to learn about what was in the bill to insure little pushback.  Gruber also said that the bill was written in such a "tortured way so that the CBO would not score the mandate as a tax or it would die."   So there is that.  Tort reform and insurance reform alone would have been a much more reasonable and moral way to provide the means to help to bring medical costs down and still keep the patient/doctor relationship as it was meant to be. I have read enough about the health care system in Great Britain to understand that the administration of health care should never be placed in the hands of central planners and bureaucrats who are far removed from persons who are in need of a doctor's diagnsosis and his professional prescription for cure. 

03/22/19 06:17 PM #5072    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Sorry guys, I have been writing my response with multiple interruptions today, and just finally submitted my post response .  What is done, is done.  Don't worry you won't hear anymore from me .....I'll be watching NCAA favorite time of year!

03/22/19 09:40 PM #5073    


David Mitchell

Mary Margaret, thank you for the perfect segway.....

Ahh, yes, there is a time of year when words creep into our vocabulary like. "regionals". "top seeds" and that one word that strikes fear into every gambling bookie's heart - "Brackets"!

I have a story that fits under my serial heading of "Scarlet and Gray Memories", but is NOT football related. No, as we are deep into the bowells of NCAA basketball tournaments, I will take you back to the days of one young lad from Middletown, Ohio, by the name of Jerry Lucas.

Chapter One:

We had a next door neighbor girl about one of my sister's age and good friend, who went to North High, and dated J.T. Landis (Landess?), a co-captain of North's basketball team. This would be about 1957 or '58 (Fred?) and North had gotten all the way to the Final Four in the State Champoinship at St. John Arena. I forget the 4th team, but North was to play Middletown in the Semifinals and correction - Cleveland East Tech was the third team, playing...I forget who?  No matter.

Even at my age (about 10 or 11) I could tell this was a big deal. I seem to recall that Jerry Lucas had never lost a game in all of his school years and was gaining such attention that they could not hold games in their own gymns but had to use some larger gymnasiums (like U. of Dayton, etc.) and even had some games televised (before that became commonplace).

Everyone knew he was phenominal and North High had little chance agaisnt them. But, as they say about life, stuff happens. North put on a gem of a defensive game and defeated the undefeated Jerry Lucas to move on to the finals. I want to say that North may have had the magnificnet leaper Jimmy Dowdy, (Doughty) who although 4 inches shorter than Lucas, could out jump and out rebound him. I can recall watching this game with (I beleive) Jimmy Crum calling the action. 

And BTW, the next night "East Tech" took North HIgh behind the proverbial "woodshed" and the dream season was over for the "Polar Bears". So off went J.T. Landis to become an obscure reserve guard at North Carolina (or N.C. State) and Jerry Lucas was headed into our very own back yard to become the stuff of legends. And what was to come gets more interesting............ to be continued.

Correction: It was J.T. Landes (not Landis) and Cleveland East Tech did NOT beat them badly - they only managed to beat North in sudden death overtime. I found a cool article from the 2008 Columbus Dispatch titled "Iron Men" about that 1958 State Finals.


(footnote; my Mom and Dad met and fell in love at North High. She was one of those "older women" that our parents warn us about. Many, many  years later, my Dad became the oldest living member of the monthly "Old North High" Luncheon group - and he had a ball going to those! )

03/23/19 10:44 AM #5074    


John Jackson

Mary Margaret, I think you raise some valid details about wall building but my main point is that we should de-politicize this topic and leave decisions about the best strategies for border protection in the hands of the experts.  I disagree strongly about the health care topic but will follow Larry’s and Mark’s wise advice and let you have the last word on this Forum (which is only fair because I started this).  But I’ve been communicating with Jim privately on the health care topic so maybe I’ll post something on the User Forum and the two of you can gang up on me...

03/23/19 01:17 PM #5075    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

John I love a good debate.....see you on the User Forumsmiley

03/23/19 04:17 PM #5076    


David Mitchell

Miracle Men

* I found this Dispatch article from March 12, 2008 (retold from 1958)

A bit detailed, but interesting if you're into this stuff. 

This is Not the end of my story

An aging mind holds only so many memories, leaving recent experiences -- what did we eat for dinner last night? -- to spill out like water from an overfilled glass.

Only the remarkable recollections remain, deep in the glass, endlessly swirling, occasionally rising toward the brim but never escaping completely. When these deep stirrings do surface, it is as if champagne has replaced the water, tickling the senses.

Details don’t always dovetail in the euphoria of those distant moments. Facts get fuzzy. One man recalls that six seconds remained on the scoreboard clock when the winning shot was made. Another remembers it as three. The devil can be in the details -- and a bitter Lucifer still lurks there for Middletown, 50 years after the Middies went through hell in St. John Arena. But for those on the side of Columbus North, the memories are like a slice of heaven.

Eddie Clark still considers it a miracle -- the shot, not the victory over Middletown, which ended the Middies’ 76-game winning streak that spanned three seasons. Knocking off Jerry Lucas and Middletown 63-62 in a 1958 state tournament semifinal was amazing, but no player or coach from North ever thought it an impossible task.

“I didn’t know anything about Middletown, about those giants,” said Clark, 67, whose winning layup with six seconds left -- some say five, others four or three -- is the miracle that still plays out in his mind.

Quite simply, Clark struggled to make layups even when no one was guarding him, much less when Lucas filled the lane.

“I would go down a lot of times and embarrass myself because I’d go up and put the ball off the bankboard and it would be like a rocket coming off the other side,” said the former guard, now an assistant girls basketball coach at Independence.

By the time Clark dribbled past Lucas, however, North already had shown itself to be in the miracle business, having taken mighty Middletown to the wire.

Impossible task?

The Middies couldn’t be beaten, so it was said. Never mind that North was 24-0 despite playing in the brutal Columbus City League; Middletown was 76-0. The two-time defending state champions had the 6-foot-8 Lucas, generally considered the best high school player in the nation, plus four other starters who went 6-6, 6-5, 6-4 and 6-3. North’s tallest player stood 6-4.

Tickets were hard to come by for the two state tournament games, which featured North against Middletown and Zanesville against Cleveland East Tech. The semifinals featured several firsts, including four teams reaching the state tournament with spotless records (24-0) and the first time the tournament was televised in Columbus.

But mostly the crowd of 13,872 came to watch Lucas, the Ohio State recruit who owned a 44-point career average in state tournament play. Lucas was expected to put on a show, maybe even break his tournament scoring record, set in 1956 when he totaled 97 points in wins over East Tech (53 points) and Canton McKinley (44), which had defeated North in a semifinal that year.

“I would say that was the greatest high school team I ever saw, when (Lucas) was a sophomore,” said Charles Rossiaky, 68, of Pataskala, whose defensive assignment in ’58 was to front Lucas while teammate Jim Doughty guarded from behind.

But North coach Frank Truitt made sure his players understood these were the 1957-58 Middies, not the 1955-56 version.

   * * Didn't Frank Truitt become Fred Taylor's assistant coach?  Fred?

“It wasn’t like the night before the game I gave them a pep talk,” said Truitt, 82, who lives in Upper Arlington. “I told them in practice one day, ‘Somebody is going to beat Middletown this year and I’ll tell you what kind of team it will be -- good on defense, a good shooting team that can make its foul shots.’

“I said there was only one team in Ohio who could do that. ‘And that’s you guys.’ It got their attention.”

Clark doesn’t remember it quite that way -- details, details -- recalling that Truitt purposely did not talk about Middletown, except during the week of the semifinal game when he coached the players to slow the tempo.

Credit Truitt for knowing the character of his team. The Polar Bears had won 19 of their games by five points or fewer, so he knew North could win if it could keep the score close through three quarters.

North did, trailing 48-43 entering the fourth quarter and then rallying for a 59-54 lead when Rossiaky converted a three-point play with 1:02 to play.

“Our starting guard, J.T. Landes, sent me a tape of the game in black and white about 10 years ago, and as I sat and watched it I thought, ‘Darn, we were good,’ ” Rossiaky said. “We didn’t make turnovers. That was one thing Frank was obsessed with. No turnovers.”

Oops. Middletown guard Tom Sizer trimmed North’s lead to one point with a steal and layup and then made two free throws to give the Middies a 62-61 lead with 10 seconds left, setting up Clark’s heroics.

After Lucas deflected a pass out of bounds, senior captain Dan Wherry inbounded to Clark, who slashed past Lucas for the go-ahead basket with six seconds left. Or was it three?

Details are sketchy

More mental fuzziness: Truitt remembered Middletown forward Larry Emrick taking the last shot from about half-court rather than passing to an open Lucas for a short jumper or possible layup. Emrick remembers it differently.

“I looked for Lucas and he hadn’t crossed the half-court line yet,” said Emrick, who for years shouldered the disappointment of “letting the whole town down.”

The town was down, but also dubious. Middletown fans swore something was wrong with Lucas. It’s not that he scored only 25 points, well below his average, but that he had only 17 attempts.

“Lucas wasn’t shooting. It could have been the defense, but he was passing up shots,” said Jerry Nardiello, the retired sports editor of the Middletown Journal who covered the game.

“Lucas was always unselfish,” Emrick said. “But this was different. Something happened. Something hurt his feelings.”

Those seeking an explanation have had a devil of a time getting the details in the past 50 years. One suspicion is that Sizer’s mother chose the week of the state tournament to complain that Lucas was receiving too much attention, and when Lucas found out he shut down his game.

Lucas and Sizer repeatedly have denied anything happened, but Middletown still cannot accept that their monstrous Middies finally lost.

“North had a pretty good team,” Nardiello said. “But whether they were good enough to beat a Middletown ... ”

One thing is for certain: North wasn’t good enough to beat East Tech the next day in the state final, losing 50-48 in sudden-death overtime -- another detail that becomes muddled in many minds.

“Frank tells me that people would come up to congratulate him on winning the state championship and he would say, ‘No, we didn’t win it.’ Now, he just overlooks it and doesn’t say anything about it,” Rossiaky said, chuckling.

In the championship game, East Tech’s Jim Stone hit a half-court shot to force overtime, which lasted three minutes and ended without either team scoring. Under rules of the day, amended soon after the 1958 tournament, games that remained tied after the first overtime went to sudden death. The winner was the first team to score two points, either by a basket or foul shots.

North got the tip in sudden death but turned the ball over near the East Tech basket. East Tech ended it quickly on a 10-foot jumper by Gerald Warfield, giving the Scarabs the first of back-to-back state titles.

The loss is one memory Clark would rather forget.

“We never once thought we were going to lose that game,” he said.

North’s fans probably thought the Polar Bears would be back, but the school never again advanced as far as the semifinals. North closed in 1979 and today serves as a temporary home for East, which is being renovated.

The stunning loss to North -- it still ranks as the biggest upset in state tournament history -- also foreshadowed the end of the Middies’ dynasty. They also lost in the state semifinals the next season.

“Fans stopped going to the games” after the loss to North, Nardiello said. “We had those 76 wins and got another 10 straight the following year. We would have had about 90 wins in a row.”

North fondly remembers why they didn’t.


03/24/19 12:21 AM #5077    


Michael McLeod

Meanwhile, in the "time marches on" department:

Last week I was reading a story out loud to a class so that I could talk to them about sentence structure and show them a few examples of what works and what does not work.

And in this randomly selected story the name Nikita Krushchev came up. On a whim I looked up at this class of roughly 20 students and said: "You all know who he was, right?"

Silence. Blank stares.

Then I said: "Ok, raise your hand if you recognized that name."

Wanna guess how many hands went up?

I'll give you a big hint:


Wanna guess how many knew what I was talking about when I explained the Cold War?

Yep. Same same.



03/24/19 10:49 AM #5078    

Timothy Lavelle


I think I read something about your experience on the internet...wasn't the really sad part where your neighbors came in to your house and found you had a make believe classroom in your house? Where you were teaching a make believe class? 

03/24/19 11:55 AM #5079    


Michael McLeod

Stuffed animals have feelings too, Tim.

Plus the teddy bear is ten times as smart as you and certainly better behaved.


03/24/19 01:59 PM #5080    


David Mitchell


You really hit one of my "hot buttons" about our society - and our education system.

This reminds me of a post I made way back about my kids in a very good Catholic grade school in Denver years ago. One year my son had been asigned four papers on the dangers of drugs, but when I quizzed him with our desktop globe, he could not find the Amazon River or the Nile. Could not find the Equator, Argentina, or Japan. Didn't now the Atlantic from the Pacific. Years ago they merged History and Geography into "Social Sciences" and it seems to me, basically threw out both subjects.

I saw a video of some random campus interviews with college students about five years ago. The kids didn't know what country we won our inedependence from, who fought in the Civil War, (or who won), who the first President was, or who the currrent sitting Vice President (Joe Biden at the time) was. But they knew every character and personal details of the entie cast of th TV series "Jersey Shore".  

And now we no longer teach them to write in "longhand". That one really bothers me!

And my grandkids watch TV shows with angry unicorns and fighting Ninjas - but no clue what a Cowboy or an Indian is, or Knighs in armor or a Pirate? Kind of frightening.

When you think about it, all the shows about angry chefs (are you kidding me - my, what serious issues!),voting people off the island, or who will get to sleep with who have replaced any semblance of well writen drama with any historical or literay content.

p.s. But of course, if I had Hollywood's money, I could have someone else learn it for them - Ha!

03/24/19 03:19 PM #5081    


Michael McLeod

Actually it bothered me more that none of them had heard of James Baldwin. Which happened in the same class.



03/24/19 04:28 PM #5082    

Timothy Lavelle


Do you own any suit that doesn't have red hot buttons?

03/24/19 04:34 PM #5083    


David Mitchell

Yea, but I can't fit into the pants any more.

03/24/19 10:51 PM #5084    


Michael McLeod

Please. Anybody who uses the phrase "good clean coal" has been bought off and is in no way someone I want intelligently handling the energy needs of our country and our planet and its citizens -- that is, those who are not energy industry millionaires with a president in their pocket.


03/25/19 01:59 AM #5085    


David Barbour

03/25/19 02:18 AM #5086    


David Barbour

California superbloom won't last forever!

03/25/19 03:13 AM #5087    


James Hamilton, M. D.

David B.,

Springtime flowers! Looks like they are real traffic stoppers!

One of the professional landscape photographers whom I follow is Michael Frye from Mariposa, California whose latest blog was on that very subject. You might want to take a look as he names many of the blooms that you included in your images :


03/25/19 10:27 AM #5088    


David Barbour

Thanks, Jim, I subscribed to his blog!  The superbloom as it is known is just desert flowers that don't

bloom every year only when conditions are right.  Gas is cheap, go look in person!  I did!  DB

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