Chip WoodIt’s no surprise that Al Sharpton and his fellow rabble-rouser, Jesse Jackson, are doing everything they can to stir passions to the boiling point regarding the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. That’s been their modus operandi for more than 20 years. Does anybody remember Tawana Brawley, the fake rape victim Sharpton used as his first stepping-stone to national fame (or should I say infamy)?

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men — George Orwell.

Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die — Saint Benedict.

 I'll never make the mistake of being 70 years old again — Casey Stengel.

As usual, the Old Professor was onto something. Casey Stengel uttered that memorable line about the futility of growing old in the fall of 1960, when he had been "no doubt discharged" by the New York Yankees after winning 10 pennants and 7 World Series in his 12 years as manager of the Bronx Bombers. Management had decided it was time for a younger manager. All glory is fleeting, and for even the most successful of men, there comes a time when their time is up.

No posse of morality cops ever smashed Bob Dylan's skull with concrete blocks when he changed America's music from "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore" to " Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, you'd know what a drag it is to see you.”

In trying to find out about your child’s school, the most important thing is to ask the right questions. But first you must understand that teachers and principals don’t like to be questioned by parents. Of course, if your questions are about school hours or bussing schedules they will gladly answer them. But if you ask questions about the credentials of the teachers or what goes on in the classrooms, you will be considered a troublemaker. But whether you get the answers or not, this is what you should try to find out.

The decision to become a cultural commentator or pundit, like any other decision, comes at a cost. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, scarcely any commentator has thought to comment on the danger to one’s moral character that this decision imposes.

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