Saturday, August 30, 2014


They even criticized him for appearing in a tan suit!
        No matter what happens, good or bad, the Republicans find some way to fault President Obama. In all but one respect they are consistently inconsistent, the exception being their rigid determination to see him fail. To that end they consistently misrepresent his words, quote him out of context, and impugn his motives, while in so doing they often contradict their own previously held positions.
        This has certainly been true regarding foreign affairs. Instead of cooperating with the President in dealing with the highly complicated and extremely challenging situations that have arisen, including especially the ISIS menace, they second guess and criticize the President's every move, every word, what he says as well as what he doesn't say. They blame him for what is happening in Iraq, conveniently forgetting that it was not Barack Obama who got us involved in Iraq in the first place.
        They jumped all over him two days ago for saying we do not yet have a strategy for dealing with ISIS; that obviously did not mean he and his military advisers have not been seriously weighing their options. It is understandable that they have not yet come up with a way of assuring that the Syrian and the Iraqi governments will be able to assume responsibility for gaining and maintaining security in their respective countries. That has to happen before permanent peace can be established in the region. With Syria engaged in a civil war and Iraq involved in a recent change of government any strategy on our part is highly complex and demands the most careful thought. We have to be prepared, moreover, to bear the consequences of our actions. This is not a time to shoot from the hip, as some hawkish politicians would do without counting the cost.

Monday, August 25, 2014


        Some people talk too loud in public places.
        My wife Margie insisted our children use what she called their “restaurant voices,” wherever we happened to be dining. It meant projecting our voices just across the table and no further. People in nearby tables or booths would have had to strain hard to eavesdrop on our conversations. Table manners were important to Margie.
        For fifteen years we spent our summer vacations participating in national conferences of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, thirty-one in all. Margie and I and our four children would travel back and forth across the country in our station wagon to Estes Park, Colorado, and Ashland, Oregon, and wherever else a conference was held throughout those years.
        My parents could never understand how we could enjoy being cooped up in a car with four young children for so many days, but for us those were really happy times. We loved being together in the car, playing games, singing, telling stories, and enjoying the scenery along the way. Believe it or not, there was never any fussing. The children enjoyed each other immensely, and the whole experience was always memorable for them. Staying in a motels was a daily highlight (there had to be a pool, of course!), as was exploring the towns where we spent the night. Often we would go bowling, or play miniature golf, or find an appropriate drive-in movie. The trip itself was our family vacation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


        Last Friday night, August 8, the Baltimore Orioles and their fans (43,743 paid) had a huge celebration at Camden Yards, marking the club’s 60th season in the American League.
        As the Orioles’ first Public Relations Director and the last surviving member of the original front office executive staff, I was given the great privilege of throwing out the first pitch before the game between the Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and my family, all four generations of us!
        My sons and grandsons captured the moment on their cell phone videos and cameras, including the two photos to the right. After being anxious not to embarrass myself by throwing an errant pitch, I somehow managed to get the ball over the plate. That was a great relief, and from then on I could relax and enjoy the game.
        The Orioles obliged with a resounding 12-2 victory over the Red Birds in an offensive tour de force featuring six home runs. The O’s are currently leading the Majors in that category. The post-game show was spectacular, as the largest group of  Orioles’ Hall of Famers ever to gather were introduced and their exploits dramatically displayed on the big screen and even more amazingly on the wall of the famous Camden Yards Warehouse. Among the legendary diamond heroes were the five living Orioles in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson, and Cal Ripken.