Will The Real Jackass Please Stand Up?
In today’s New York Times, a fascinating account of the man who created the sensationalized rumors about Barack Obama – Andy Martin. Mr. Martin, himself, it seems has the sordid past. A law school grad who was denied by the Illinois Bar due to obvious mental stability issues, Martin turned to filing “a prolific” number of frivolous lawsuits as a way to gain some notoriety with the news media. He also failed three times in efforts to achieve public office. In spite of his failures in life, he successfully used his access with the news media to begin a contrived and mean-spirited attack on Senator Obama. He professes Obama is Muslim, which of course he is not. But, as gossip and rumors will do, the Internet has helped Martin spread his lies – reaching the outlying areas of U.S. creating fear, uncertainty and doubt among our very own family and friends and neighbors. Here in Minnesota, many living in “greater Minnesota” – the rural areas and exurbia, especially retirees and skeptics – buy Martin’s slander hook line and sinker.
I encourage each of us to reach out to our neighbors who have heard the Senator Obama stories and accepted them as truth. They don’t have to vote for the Democrat next month if their ideals don’t mirror this candidate’s concepts for rebuilding America. But they should hear from someone they know and trust who can help quell their fears that Obama has anything but America’s best interests in mind. It’s our right to vote and our civic duty to learn and discuss the facts with our friends and neighbors – and to be informed as best we can when we cast our ballots.
Autumn’s longevity in Minnesota seems to get shorter each and every year. For the past decade I’ve lived here, Fall’s fleeting weeks have turned into what seems like a few days. Thanks to Mother Nature’s great invention – photosynthesis – and an adequate amount of rain through the summer months, the spectacularness of Autumn has been particularly eye-popping this year. But, even after a balmy weekend in October in which the colors of the trees were more than photo worthy, today (this morning) Fall seems over. Leaves have piled in the yards and in the streets, on the lakes and streams and rivers – stacks of yellow and red – blankets just begging children to leap into the massive bed and roll around in laughter. Back in my childhood, one annual game conducted by the neighborhood kids each Autumn was to build a leaf house. Rakes in hand, we architected rooms, hallways and furniture – all carefully carved out with leaves in patterns on the ground. In our imaginary houses, we lived for the afternoon and as evening fell we’d shut the windows and doors of our “homes” only to wake up in the morning and realize the wind had literally blown our leaf houses into the neighbors yard. Today heavy rain drops strike the remaining leaves still hanging on to their branches with all the strength left in them, which isn’t much. One strong northerly wind yet to come and this year’s Fleeting Fall will be a memory.