Thinking Right’s weekend free for all. Pick a topic:
● Al Gore and those who attended the Copenhagen conference on global warming should have read Atlanta-based Grier’s Almanac, continuously published since 1807 and once a bible of farmers: “No mathematician or astronomer can possibly cipher out the weather. When such predications are seen in almanacs, they should be regarded as near guesswork entitled to no confidence and as likely to fail as succeed. As with the influence of the Zodiac, however, we put forth the best guesswork for the benefit of those who believe in it.”
● A man robbing the SouthTrust Bank on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive says he needs the money to pay the mortgage. All who think that to be the actual reason the bank was robbed would be very disappointed to know the truth about Santa. Yes and the men who stole 30 cases of beer from a truck making a delivery to Kroger on Monroe Drive were merely thirsty. Ah, Christmas.
● Headline: “Crime falling in recession.” A shock, no doubt, to those who believe that robbery, theft and burglary crimes are committed for economic reasons.
● People who do good deeds for which they expect no reward — and there are many who come forth in this holiday season — are good Samaritans, not heroes. Heroes are people who risk their lives in a specific act of valor to save others. Firemen, policemen, teachers, athletes and others who deserve our appreciation for the jobs they do are often praise-worthy, but almost never heroes.
● Headline: “Health bill deals strain House, Senate.” That need not be. In the spirit of Christmas, find common ground. Compromise. Let this monstrosity die.
● My Christmas wish is that no more stories in 2010 like the one that appeared three days before Christmas. The lender, GE Capital, acquires a 90 percent stake in the company that publishes newspapers in Thomaston and LaGrange and in eight states outside Georgia. Bankruptcy. Newspapers and family-owned ones especially, were the love of my professional life.
● The same AJC that dampens the spirits with the Thomaston and LaGrange newspaper story lifts them with the announcement that Chip Caray will be back broadcasting Atlanta Braves games as the play-by-play voice for 105 games on Fox Sports South and SportSouth. He’s professional, informative and pleasant to the ear.
● “No Country for Old Men” tops the list of the decade’s best movies, as assembled by Associated Press movie critic Christy Lemire. When the day’s news reflects so much inhumanity and brutality — the stepfather who jabbed 42 needles into the body of a two-year-old boy in Brazil, for example — how can anybody enjoy seeing evil on the screen? “No Country…” is unrelenting evil.
● Self-centeredness — as in, for example, the couple that crashed President Obama’s state dinner — is one unattractive quality the nation should resolve to leave in 2009. No chance, though. The parents of a 4-year-old Texas pre-k tot are fighting the local school district, refusing to trim the boy’s long hair, which violates the school’s dress code. It’s amazing how many people in this country believe all institutions should bend to the wishes of the individual. No rules for me.
● In truth, though, the joy of Christmas cannot be suppressed in my world, no matter the frightening course chosen by this Congress and administration or the disappointments and personally destructive behavior witnessed under the Gold Dome. Politics go away. This Christmas we are basking in the beautiful star of Bethlehem that shines in the eyes of our first grandchild, Stella Ann Faur, born Dec. 4. Like her mother, she comes into this world with red hair and a face that steals the hearts of all who gaze upon her. Life is good.