Some random thoughts on some random subjects

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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A flag-waving salute to the United States Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels who roared across Georgia’s skies in tandem last week, paying tribute to our state’s heroic first responders. The event was an example of everything that is good about this great country. Hopefully, we stopped being intransigent political partisans for a brief moment and became Americans.

Meanwhile, back on the ground, COVID-19 rages on. Good people are being taken from us on a daily, almost hourly, basis but the virus seems to have skipped the idiots driving 100 miles an hour on our freeways. If the virus doesn’t get them, hopefully the police will.

On the other hand, have you see the pictures of the crystal clear skies in places like Los Angeles and New Delhi and the deep blue waters of the perpetually muddy canals in Venice? It is too bad that it takes a pandemic for us to see how we have mucked up the environment.

It looks like the Soybean Queen squishes from one cow patty to another. The New York Times has reported our newly-minted senator, Kelly Loeffler, got a nice going-away present from her former employer, the Intercontinental Exchange, which is headed by her husband, Jeff Sprecher. Even though she had resigned from the company months earlier to accept Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointment to the U.S. Senate seat held by Johnny Isakson, who retired due to ill health, the company rejiggered her compensation package to allow her to cash in her stock options and walk away with an additional $9 million. This, after trying to explain away stock transactions made on her behalf in the immediate aftermath of a senators-only meeting on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. I get the feeling gazillionaires play by different rules than do We the Unwashed.

It will be interesting to see if women’s groups show the same level of righteous indignation about the sexual assault charges that have been leveled against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden as they did when Brent Cavanaugh was nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Don’t hold your breath. If they turned a blind eye to Bill Clinton’s zipper rippers, you can bet they will see no evil in Joe Biden’s purported peccadilloes.

On a personal note, a good man passed away recently. John L. Clendenin was chairman and CEO of BellSouth Corporation from the company’s inception in 1984 until his retirement in 1996. He promoted me to vice president and then made sure I earned the job every day. He was not an easy man to work for but he made me a better person for the experience. John Clendenin was a man of the utmost integrity, proving that you could run a big public company and do it the right way.

Watching Donald Trump and the national media go at it reminds me of my fly fishing days. It wasn’t hard to spot the trout. The trick was to get them to take the bait. You could float it by them 10 times and on the 11th try, they would finally bite. So it is with Trump and the Inside-the-Beltway media. They seem less interested in gathering the facts than in goading the president into a diatribe. It may take several confrontational questions to get him to bite but when he does, that becomes the news. I find the whole thing tiresome. The media need to quit goading and Trump needs to quit biting. Take your fight to the schoolyard playground, boys and girls. We have a pandemic going on.

Finally, among the fan mail I received last week was one castigating me for my less than complimentary opinion of that noted statesman and philosopher, Colick Kaperdoodle, and another one informing me that he deliberately ignores my writings but knows for a fact tha I am an ardent supporter of (naughty word) Biden. (How does he know that if he ignores my writing? It is probably wise that I not ask.) Even worse, an émigré from the land where it snows 10 months a year and all their buildings are rusted thinks I am humor-impaired. That’s like being called ugly by a warthog. Strong opinions begat strong reactions and no pandemic can change that fact, thank goodness. Please stay safe and stay well and keep those cards and letters coming.