Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anniversary's Over, Now Back to the News

Almost a week since my last post, not that there weren’t things to write about but I chose to take some quality time to enjoy a long family weekend celebration of Gilda’s and my 40th wedding anniversary which officially was Monday. This last year of our four decades together has been quite eventful—Ellie married Donny, and Donny started a new job; Dan and Allison produced their second child, Dagny, they moved into a new home and Allison started working outside the home again, as a kindergarten teacher in a town near their new residence; Gilda’s spine surgery medical practice shifted to a new hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan; and I earned my real estate salesperson license. Lots of good things to be thankful for. 

The festivities over, time for some thoughts on current events ...

As the national debate on immigration reform is propelled forward by pronouncements from President Obama and a plan from a bi-partisan group of senators, I’m reminded of a Forseter family story of illegal entry into the United States by one of our cousins (for the record, my mother beat the quota in 1921 when she came from Poland, while my father arrived in 1939 from Poland, half a year before the start of World War II).

My father’s cousin Jack Fürsetzer snuck into New York in the early 1920’s, I believe. Hearing that a roundup of suspected illegal immigrants was about to happen, he asked around for a good place to hide. He was told Minnesota, so off he went to the hinterlands, settling in the Twin Cities area. He changed his name to Brushman. In the 1930s there was an amnesty for illegals, which explains why some of his six children have his assumed last name and some have his real last name. 

About 20 years ago I met with my cousins during one of my trips to Minneapolis, but sadly I did not keep up contact. ...

Immigration is but one of the hot topics being debated these days. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun control has been topic one. Sadly, during a forum last night in Hartford, pro-gun advocates heckled the father of one of the young victims as he called for stricter gun control measures. 

Even if tighter laws on guns, especially on assault rifles, are passed, the chances of a meaningful reduction in deadly firearms availability is unlikely. As Dave Ross explained in a recent commentary I heard on CBS Radio, gun runners are already passing along ideas on how to get around any potential ban. Read his short commentary: http://mynorthwest.com/813/2184540/Just-calmly-getting-ready ...

Less than a week to go before the Super Bowl, a time to ponder why we are so enthralled with watching athletes, from high school age through their late 30s, abuse their bodies in pursuit of glory and, at least on the professional level, financial gain, however fleeting that might be. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching my New York Giants as much as any fan relishes rooting on his or her preferred team. I will watch some pro games in which I have no rooting interest, mostly out of curiosity or lack of anything better to do. After all, I do want to be able to be up to date on trending sports news and conversation, even if I don’t have a water cooler to hang around at work. But given repeated revelations about the medical complications football bequeaths its behemoths, don’t you wonder why so many parents permit, nay even encourage, their children to take up a sport that will torment them for life, or possibly even lead to their suicide?

The other day, president Barack Obama indicated if he had a son he might not let him play football. It’s a sentiment expressed increasingly by many parents, including sportscaster Michael Kay on ESPN Radio. Kay and his wife recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter. I remember when Dan was a tween and interested in catching a football in our yard, Gilda let him know in no uncertain terms he would not be permitted to play organized football. He pouted for a while, but soon got over it. 

He played soccer, instead. Goalie. During one game he blocked a hard, close-in shot with his head. Down he went. The game stopped as the referee and coaches tended to him. On the sidelines, Gilda had to be restrained from rushing out onto the field. In her frustration she asked, “What type of game is this where a mother can’t go out to her injured son?” Dan quickly recovered and finished the game, but Gilda rarely went to see him play soccer again. She did, however, enjoy watching him play Ultimate Frisbee. ...  

Want to be truly scared? I’m not talking some creepy Nightmare on Elm Street/Freddy Kruger horror flick. I’m talking real world, red and blue state election results. 

While Democrats savor Barack Obama’s second term, and his progressive inaugural address, there’s mayhem underfoot, as Republicans wax up their plans to put the skids on any future possibility of a Democratic president. In states where Republicans control the legislature and the governorship they are exploring changes in the way Electoral College votes are allocated. Here are two links worth taking the time to explore. Unless you’re a bedrock conservative, they'll have you quaking in your boots: