Saturday, October 25, 2014

Obituaries, News, and Whatever Else

Obituary: RFK press aide, one-time NPR president, and journalist Frank Mankiewicz, 90, died on Thursday.

The cause was heart failure.

Yes, he was a family member of "THE" Mankiewiczes of Hollywood fame. His father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, who with Orson Welles co-wrote the celebrated 1941 movie Citizen Kane. His uncle was a famed Hollywood director, Joseph Mankiewicz, best remembered for his work on the equally acerbic film All About Eve. Frank's son Ben is a host of Turner Classic Movies. His brother Donald is a novelist and screenwriter. Another son, Joshua, works as a journalist for NBC.

After all, the last name isn't that common, so of course people are going to think there had to be a connection between Frank and the others.

Frank, though, was very famous in his own right:

He became a journalist and lawyer and, inspired by the Kennedys, went to Washington at the dawn of the New Frontier and took an executive position at the Peace Corps, full of idealistic hopes. What he encountered were assassinations, the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandals.

His face became familiar to the nation in 1968 as a spokesman for Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign for the White House, conveying the euphoria over the senator’s triumph in the California Democratic primary and then, within hours, grimly announcing Mr. Kennedy’s death by an assassin’s bullets in Los Angeles.

Four years later, joining a ragtag crew of eager young faces from Massachusetts and South Dakota, Mr. Mankiewicz coordinated Mr. McGovern’s all-but-hopeless presidential campaign, laced with moral outrage against the war, undermined by the selection of a running mate with a history of nervous disorders, and ultimately flattened under President Richard M. Nixon’s re-election steamroller.

The Time piece on Vergara doesn't go far enough to condemn the forces trying to take over public education and destroy what few protections teachers have.

The cover doesn't help the magazine's credibility, let me tell you. What the cover should have labeled it, based on the article, is the "War on Teachers by Billionaires." That would be more accurate.

Just where the hell do these filthy rich people get the idea they have the right to gut the public sector when they themselves are not accountable to the voting public?

As noted by the blogger, the reporter didn't question those "statistics" supporting the plaintiffs. When it comes to "firing" teachers, school districts pull all kinds of semantic games in order to claim they "fire" "few" teachers when in fact teachers are dumped and forced out all the time.

The fact is "school CEOs" already have total control of their workforces to the point of abusing the law in order to ruin workers' lives.

Oregon should repeal that utterly wrongheaded "assisted suicide" law naively approved by voters.

It's yet another case of "libertarianism" that doesn't think through the implications of using third parties to actually murder patients or be accessories to murder and how easily that can be abused. All these people care about is the "right" for a patient to die, to hell with using third parties to do the dirty work the patient is too chickenshit to do himself or herself.

The disability community isn't persuaded, let me tell you, that "assisted suicide" is anything benign.

It is NOT ethical whatsoever to have the medical profession killing patients, either directly or indirectly.

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