Saturday, November 17, 2012
Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Nov. 17 & 18, 2012
Here's a small gift to you... for some a memory... for all something to consider...
You may know that the late, great Sammy Davis Jr. died of throat cancer.
Did you know that when he was first diagnosed he was told that with surgery to remove the cancer it was quite likely that he'd survive and recover... except for his voice, that is.
He felt that his voice... being able to sing with "his" voice... was the key to his livelihood and even though no doubt his friends in the entertainment world would have ensured his continued access to enough non-singing gigs to "get by" (by Hollywood standards) he refused to surrender the "tool"... his voice... by which use he was judged a star.
Money. Pride. A willingness to throw caution to the wind and bank on beating the odds... all in pursuit of his dignity and self-worth as a man.
Sammy Davis Jr. was a man... was an American... was an inspiration to others... and yet in many ways he was "the norm" in terms of his generation's expectations of themselves and their willingness to pursue their dreams regardless of the cost.
I often think of men like Sammy Davis Jr., men like Frank Sinatra, men like my father and the fathers of many of my friends growing up. I think of The Greatest Generation, not just the stars, but the ordinary men and women who came through the Great Depression, fought and won World War Two, went on to raise America up to heights which would have been unimaginable to our Founders...
In 1969 Americans walked on the moon... they planted our flag.
Forty-three years later... Americans in the affluent suburbs of New York sit for a week or more without power because of a storm.
Forty-three years later... close to fifty million Americans are on food stamps...
Forty-three years later... close to have the families in America pay no federal income tax and take more than they give from an over-sized, out-of-control federal government which needs to borrow 43-cents of every dollar it spends on normal operating expenses!
Sammy's dead. Frank's dead. John Wayne is dead. Ronald Reagan is dead. My father is dead. My uncles who like my father served in combat during World War Two are dead.
Folks... if you don't believe America is dead... I hope you understand that she's dying.
This blog isn't just my hobby... my excuse for taking up space...
This blog... my newsbites... my commentary... it's an "Every Man's Guide" laying out the continuing decline and slow fall of the America our forefathers left us.
I know some of you refuse to believe this. I know there's nothing I can write, no event or series of events that will push you to share my... er... pessimism... my cynicism... but I have no doubt that in years to come my analysis (and fears) will come to pass and that from the vantage point of 50 years in the future if anyone stumbles upon any remaining record of this blog and studies it... or even browses it... he or she will nod and say, "yep... that Bill Barker guy was usually right!"
Melancholy... that's what I feel.
Forgive me for sometimes dwelling in the past... it's just that the future holds little hope for me... for my America.
Oh... don't mistake this for self-pity. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have a damn good life and compared to any one of my good friends I'm an absolute professional failure!
You know me... eat, drink, sing, and be merry... to love life is to live life...
No. The bumps and potholes on my personal stretch of "road" are few and far between compared to most human beings on the planet, and believe me... I'm well aware of that and thankful for my blessings.
Anyway... I'm rambling now... so... off to this weekend's newsbites! (Or... "What Bad News Do I Have To Share With You All Today?!")