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Swine flew?

Because once a pig has successfully flown is about the time I will subject my family to a swine flu vaccination. I’m not fundamentally opposed to vaccines – Lord knows how many people were spared polio because of Jonas Salk – I simply have a hard time trusting a government that chooses to address high-profile issues by spreading more shit than a dairy farmer. And there’s precedent for unrequited worries about the swine flu.

I ran across an archive at the L.A. Times’ site that featured an article about the swine flu ‘debacle’ of 1976 and tought it would be appropriate to post the link.

It also reminded me of a video someone sent me sometime back of former Packers Johnnie Gray (S, 1975-83) and Steve Luke (S, 1975-80) doing a PSA promoting the vaccination for the swine flu in 1976.

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Never Let You Go

If this image doesn’t touch you, you have no soul.
Paige Bennethum, 4, clutches Daddy one last time before he ships off to Iraq last July from Fort Dix, N.J. She said she “didn’t want to let go of him.” Leave it to a small child to say what a lot of grown-us don’t know how to express.
May God bless your daddy, Paige, and may as many other daddies as possible get home in one piece.

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RIP, Adrian

Patrick Swayze succumbed yesterday to pancreatic cancer, a disease that normally claims its victims within about six months but that Swayze held off for a remarkable two years.
While he’s best known for his leading roles in ‘Dirty Dancing,’ ‘Roadhouse’ and ‘Ghost,’ many of us will remember him best not for his solo acts but for a duet of sorts he did with another man who left us too early.
Swayze and Chris Farley squared off in an October 1990 skit on ‘Saturday Night Live’ that will immortalize both men.
Now both are gone.
Enjoy.

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Cornelius Timberlake

For some reason, I’ve had SNL’s ‘Immigrant Tale’ skit stuck in my head for a long time. Gotta love people – especially celebrities – who can make fun of themselves.

 

(Can’t seem to embed this on WordPress and it’s ticking me off.)

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Forever Young

What can I say but that I’m thinking about my son?

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Teddy and the Brett

Busy news cycles lately. No sooner did Michael Jackson moonwalk off this mortal coil than Ted Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer, on Aug. 25, at age 77.
It was easy to roll one’s eyes at the liberal love-fest and glossy record-polishing that was sure to follow, but nearly two weeks later, I’ve found the media portrayals to be pretty fair. Chappaquidick was not glazed over; rightfully so. And for all the talk about Kennedy’s accomplishments, it stayed fairly loose. This too is fair, considering liberals themselves have been critical of some of the higher-profile programs in which Kennedy played a significant role, including No Child Left Behind, for which Kennedy was a key champion during George W. Bush’s first year.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time waxing about Kennedy’s record or legacy, as plenty of better writers than I have done so over at RealClearPolitics.com; folks who know more about both than I.

While Ted departs, Brett Favre returns. Again. This time for good. Unless his arm hurts too much.
About three weeks after telling the Minnesota Vikings he was done, Favre publicly changed his mind one more time, kicking his legacy ever-closer to the curb of late-night comedic punchlinedom.
Favre looked rough in his first game with the Viqueens, though granted he’d only been in camp about three days. Incidentally, this apparently didn’t play well with the guys who’d been busting their humps for the weeks leading up to that point – go figure – as reports surfaced that there was the infamous “schism” infecting the locker room.
He’s since looked better, though he obviously has yet to hit the wire-to-wire grind of the regular season.
He has his excuses all set; his supposed damaged biceps tendon and now allegedly cracked rib ready to serve as the fallguys should his age-eroded skills prove unworthy of an NFL starting role.

The Packers looked very strong in three of their four preseason games, hammering Cleveland, Buffalo and Arizona before falling to Tennessee. The starting unit for the new 3-4 defense forced a number of turnovers – turning some directly into points – and the offense scored on 10 of its first 11 drives. It’s all preseason, where O’s and D’s show nothing but vanilla packages, so we can safely assume neither of the Packers’ units will look as sharp in the regular season, but anything resembling that should help them compete for the NFC North championship.
They’d better look sharp, as they open the season on NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ against the Decatur Staleys.

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RIP, Michael Jackson news

On June 25, 2009, the world changed.
At least that’s what the non-stop news coverage of the death of the ‘King of Pop,’ Michael Jackson, would have us believe.
From the day it was announced that he’d passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles, CNN and other news channels have been wall-to-wall coverage of Jackson’s death. And I imagine the tabloids are just getting started.
Speculation about why he died runs rampant, and it appears the coup de grace was his insistence on taking a drug called Diprivan, which is used to put people under for surgery. It isn’t so much a ‘pain killer’ as it is ‘death in a bottle’ for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. That any physician would hand this to him and say, “Well, all right, Mr. Jackson, whatever you say,” is itself worthy of investigation.
And make no mistake, Jackson gave us some great music:

Jackson 5
ABC
I Want You Back
Solo
Thriller
Beat It
Billie Jean
Bad
Man in the Mirror

But it also seems criminal to have so much attention paid to someone who, in 1993, paid more than $20 million to a 13-year-old boy in an out-of-court settlement after the boy had alleged that Jackson had molested him. While that doesn’t necessarily mean Jackson was guilty, it was inevitable for such a situation to arise given Jackson’s penchant for allowing young boys to spend nights at his Neverland Ranch.
Jackson’s memorial service was today (Tuesday), so while we’ll be subjected to the teary image of his daughter squeaking to the world that she loved her daddy (really? We HAVE to drag his previously secluded children into this now?), the news spotlight should now shift toward more worthy topics.

RIP, Farrah Fawcett, who had the misfortune of dying, of cancer, on the same day as Jackson. She was 62. Her unfortunate timing reminds me of poor Eddie Matthews, a Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Brave, who likely would’ve gotten a couple of days of good sports coverage … if he hadn’t died on the same day as Dale Earnhardt.

Meanwhile, former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was shot four times early on July 4. His 20-year-old girlfriend, an Iranian national named Sahel Kazemi, lay dead on the couch next to him with a gunshot wound to her head. McNair had a wife of 12 years, as well as four boys.
Police haven’t yet ruled it the murder-suicide that it appears to be because of some fishiness on the timeline as to when his buddies discovered the bodies and when they called 911. Apparently a friend of McNair’s walked into the apartment and past the bodies, which had been dead for several hours, into the kitchen, then back again, noticed the bodies and then … called his buddy. About 35 minutes elapsed between his discovery and when they called 911.
What else is fishy, at least to me, is that McNair was shot twice in the chest and twice in the head; not a bad grouping for a young lady who’d just purchased the murder weapon two days prior.

Finally, RIP to the seven soldiers who died in Afghanistan between the day Jackson died and the day of his memorial. Networks devoted about one-20th of the time to them as they dedicated to Jackson, even a week and a half after Jackson died. I wouldn’t expect a full biopic on every soldier who is killed in action, but for Anderson Cooper to spend nearly three times as long on the ‘Wife Carrying World Championship’ as on their deaths is simply inexplicable.

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