Archive for February 25th, 2008

“We already have.”

Monday, February 25th, 2008


It’s easy to mock and make jokes about people we don’t understand. I do – you may too. One of the subjects of my ridicule has been the Amish – and they are strange – by our standards.

C’mon! Horse drawn carts and little electricity? No television, computers, movies, nor internet – in 2008? Are they for real?

But today I know I can never again joke about these gentle people. Two things have changed my mind. One is an Amish tradition; one is an Amish tragedy.

Rumspringa is an Amish tradition more radical than any religious practice to which I’ve been exposed. When they’re around 15 or 16 years old, Amish kids are given a free pass to the outside world. They may smoke, drink, have sex, do drugs – pretty much anything non-Amish kids do. And not behind Amish parents’ backs. This is encouraged by elders so young people can make a critical decision in life: to be or not to be Amish.

What? Give teens with raging hormones a chance to run free and THEN decide if they want to be just plain Amish? Do you know anybody else who believes enough in his or her religion to allow kids that choice? I don’t. But most Amish families have this kind of faith – and four out of five of the kids return to the fold. Hmmm…..

The second Amish fact kicked me harder still.

On October 16, 2006, Charles Roberts, a mentally-ill milkman from Lancaster County, burst into an Amish schoolhouse. He terrorized and tied up 11 young girls and shot each of them before killing himself. Five of the girls died immediately. Many horrified parents arrived at the school within minutes. In anguish and confusion, they talked among themselves as the dead and dying were carried out of the small schoolhouse. And then a calm seemed to settle on the group.

A pushy TV reporter stuck a microphone into the face of a grieving father who had been told only moments before his own daughter was one of those murdered.

“Will you ever be able to forgive the killer?” the insensitive hack asked.

The father, who had tears streaming down his face, looked at the reporter, and smiled a gentle smile. His answer?

“We already have.”


Hillary the Bitch

Monday, February 25th, 2008


I used to think Hillary Clinton  had a lot more class than her husband.  I used to think she’d be a good role model for young women – whether I agreed with her politics or not.  I thought  she was smart, strong, sensitive, and a great communicator.  And she was all of those things – when she was on top.  But when Obama started winning more delegates, Hillary became a Bitch.  Today she’s sarcastic, whining, crying “unfair”, and stamping her feet like a spoiled, little brat.

Is that sexist? To me, bitchiness has always been gender-neutral.  At times, Richard   Nixon was a bitch and so was Jimmy Carter. In Rochester, former Mayor Bill Johnson became a bitch when reality sank his little boat and High Falls – and Wease used to be a bitch every day on the radio. Bob Lonsberry still is.

How can you tell if someone’s a bitch?  In a loud, whiney, annoying voice, you’ll hear phrases like: “that’s not fair” and “they’re picking on me.”

To me, the world’s ultimate ANTI-bitch is Ross Perot.  When he ran for President in 1992, many journalists and opponents called him ‘crazy’ – for his nontraditional views. Did Perot cry and whine and snivel? Like hell!

For his campaign’s theme song, Perot  adopted “Crazy” by Patsy Cline and danced a slow dance to it with his wife in front of 20,000 cheering supporters – with a big grin on his face!

He might as well have stuck his middle finger high in the air and said, “STUFF THIS, SNIVELERS!”