America’s Dad shoulda listened to himself

“A word to the wise ain’t necessary — it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.” — Bill Cosby

Wag the dog?

“For I am the Lord. I change not.” — Malachi 3:6

Many Christians believe that we can shape scripture to conform with our contemporary society.

That’s the easy way.

Other Christians believe that we must shape contemporary society to conform with scripture.

That’s the hard way.

What we need to ask ourselves is whether, with our eternal souls in the balance, we should take the easy way out.

Please pray for all delegates to the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church, coming up February 23-26 in St. Louis. I for one pray that they will not seek the easiest path, but the right one.

God DOES NOT change. Life is not a popularity contest. And maybe, just maybe, we are not meant to order ala carte from the 10 Commandments.

Wrong issue?

Kudos to the feds for cutting future funding for Jerry Brown’s California bullet train boondoggle.

“Good luck with that” to the feds as they seek a 2.5b refund.

But this begs the real issue: Why in the name of the Golden Spike were federal funds ever allocated to this ignorant Golden State pipe dream in the first place? Ole’ Jerry may have fooled California voters, but when exactly did the rest of us jump on his Fruits and Nuts Railway?

Kudos to new California Governor Gavin Newsom for making the biggest no-brainer of a budget cut in history. But shame on him for trimming back Brown’s San Diego to San Francisco route when he should bury the project altogether.

OK, I admit the name Merced to Bakersfield Express has a magical ring rivaling the City of New Orleans and Orange Blossom Special. Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing the Moon over Merced on Amtrak? But the Moon is a lot closer than completion of this steaming pile of pork.

Artist depiction of Brown’s Bullet.

If we don’t need/can’t afford San Diego to San Francisco, do we really need to spend many more billions than promised on a Central Valley corridor connecting — get this — 2.5 percent of California’s population?

The Central Valley is a hard-working place where much of our food originates … in years all the water isn’t diverted to golf courses and estates with walls that work. All but 37 people in the valley have pickup trucks or SUVs, and when they want to go to Chowchilla, Clovis, Visalia or Tulare, they climb in and hop on Highway 99 or Interstate 5.

They don’t need no stinkin’ train that saves an hour but leaves them in Merced without wheels.

Gone and too often forgotten

With all the time we spend complaining about those we share air with, perhaps we should spend more time remembering those who have gone before. A smattering of folks who confirmed life is terminal from February 20-22 …

Feb. 22, 1512 – It’s camp to consider early navigators and explorers despicable biological agents of death. I personally think Amerigo Vespucci was a pretty brave dude. It doesn’t hurt that he had such a rad name, either.

Feb. 21, 1513 – Rex Harrison. Strike that, I meant the Warrior Pope, Julius II, portrayed  by Harrison in The Agony and the Ecstasy.

Feb. 20, 1895 – Frederick Douglas passes. In my book he and Abraham Lincoln stand as the giants of their times, and his path was a lot tougher. Both were born in humble cabins, but Abe was born free.

Feb. 20, 1920 – 99 years after the death of Admiral Robert Peary, and contrary to Al Gore’s predictions, the North Pole still has not melted. Peary reached the pole in 1909 and was celebrated as the first man to do so, but Frederick Cook fans contend he got there in 1908.

Feb. 21, 1965 – Malcolm X assassinated. Maligned by many, revered by many. Mad at the world? Yup. Justifiably so? Yup. Complicated man.

Feb. 20, 1966 – They don’t name aircraft carriers after just anybody. Admiral Chester Nimitz is among those so honored. He was the Eisenhower of the war in the Pacific.  

USS NIMITZ: How’d ya like to have this bad boy mad at you?

Feb. 21, 1974 – Canadian hockey player Tim Horton dies in car crash. Yep, that Tim Horton. He co-founded the popular eatery bearing his name.

Feb. 22, 1976 – Supremely gifted, singer Flo Ballard died much too young.

Feb. 22, 1987 – The inventor of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, Andy Warhol, survived an assassin in 1968 but still died young, at just 58.

Feb. 22, 1995 – Character actor” is defined by guys like Ed “St. Elsewhere” Flanders. His death came at his own hand at age 60.    

Ed Flanders: Talented but tortured.

Feb. 20, 1999 – Rotten Tomatoes? Who needed them when there were Siskel and Ebert? Revered movie critic Gene Siskel died at 53 following brain surgery.

Feb. 21, 1999 – Gert Elion. I didn’t know who she was either. Never made the cover of People magazine. But she did win the Nobel Prize in Medicine for groundbreaking work on leukemia and herpes cures.

Feb. 22, 2002 – It’s an ugly world. Danny Pearl, noted journalist for the Wall Street Journal, was murdered by Pakistani terrorists. He held dual citizenship in Israel and the USA.   

Born to Blog No. 1, Feb. 2019


Bruce Springsteen was Born to Run. Steppenwolf Born to be Wild. Matt Damon Born to be Bourne. And me? Born to Blog. Allow me to introduce myself…

I arrived in 1951 in Louisville, Kentucky, long before Al Goreinvented the Internet. Now, at 68,  I launch my Born to Blog World Tour ’19. Never mind that I’m an old fart who knows squat about blogging. Come along, and we’ll figure it out together.

Born to Blog will circumnavigate the English language and American society, from politics to pop culture and from spin to spirituality. We’ll nod knowingly and shake our heads in disagreement. We’ll whisper, shout, laugh and cry. And I promise you, I’ll pull no punches and waste your time only for amusement purposes. I also promise that the instant this blogging thing begins to feel like work, I’m outta here.

I have a penchant for addiction with world-class proficiency in destructive habits, which I seldom escape without taking on another. I was the kid you didn’t want your daughter to date. If Jimmy Carter hadn’t pulled the plug on the Moscow Olympics, I was a lock for the Beer Guzzling Gold Medal. I chain-smoked Winstons on Moto Guzzi cycles at 80mph, covering 1,000 miles in a day for the heck of it. Think of the worst addictions confronting our society: I’ve either been there and done that or I’m too darn old to try.

Italy’s finest.

Today, though, I’m bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and giddy with my recent victory over Mark Zuckerberg’s highly addictive Facebookjuggernaut.  I don’t miss FB already, but it leaves a hole in my schedule. The familiar urge to do something to excess is calling with the urgency of Ben and Jerry at 3 a.m. Hence, Born to Blog. Zuckerberg can keep his billion-minus-one customers. I’m motivated by friends, not customers.       

I quit drinking 31 years ago. It was difficult. But when you’re older than the single malt that’s ruling your life and corroding your esophagus, it’s time.

I quit smoking 30 years ago. That was simultaneously easy and near impossible. The habit was slowly killing me, endangering others, and yellowing my pearlies, which made wanting  to quit easy. But stone-cold addiction to R.J. Reynolds’ damned nicotine was a formidable foe.  

I quit subscribing to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy (solely for the articles) 25 years ago. When your kids are older than Miss February, harboring a crush on Barbi Benton gets a little creepy. 

Barbi Benton.

And now I‘ve gone cold turkey on Facebook.

Some people recreate in their garden or on the golf course. They paint and collect things. They read Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon. They play Fortnite and Minecraft and binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS on Netflix and Hulu. Me? I dig words. God’s most generous gifts to me, after watermelon and chocolate chips, were consonants and vowels. I learned words with my nose in books, and He blessed me with a modest knack for assembling them.

Writing has always been important to me. Since childhood, I’ve never wandered from my crayon, fountain pen, essay book, typewriter (clanky Royals, clunky Smith Coronas and classy IBM Selectrics), word processor (groundbreaking Commodores and Radio Shack  100s), or computer. I celebrate that writing tools may evolve, but the composition process is eternal.

Facebook’s attraction, while it lasted, was twofold: Sharing warm and fuzzy moments with family and friends is terrific. A forum to air opinions is nectar for a journeyman wordsmith. But Facebookoccupied 90 minutes of my typical day, which was absurd:  I’ve had relationships and open-heart surgery that were more time-efficient. Odds are, Born to Blog will have the lifespan of a Tsetse Fly, but come along and we’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

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Published by Bill Amick

Claims to fame: Survived 67 years with open eyes and ears. Opinionated wordsmith. Unapologetic Christian conservative. Warrior exposing failures of Baby Boomers, aka GenMeMeMe. Quote: You break it, you own it.VIEW ALL POSTS BY BILL AMICK


Cardinal sin

After several centuries in the shop, The Vatican’s 1402 model Defrocking Carriage is out of the shop. It was sighted near St. Pete Square today, repeatedly backing over the hierarchal remains of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

McCarrick was badly disfigured, but tentatively identified based on the hopelessly soiled red vestments, complete with Pope Francis’ fingerprints and bootprint on the back. There were suggestive photos of the former Cardinal wearing a brilliant red speedo with the lettering “Let me be your Teddy Bare.” And a one-way Spirit Airlines ticket to Perdition was also found.

That McCarrick clown is giving us a bad name!

Any lingering doubt as to the identity of the deceased was erased when phone numbers for lawyers representing Bill Cosby and Jerry Sandusky were found on a note containing only the inscription John 11:35.

Weiner Roast

Lock up your daughters. . .

Among right wingers, conventional wisdom is that late-night TV hosts always Pillory (v., to vindictively villify and villainize) conservatives, and Hillary (v., to poop piles of praise upon) liberals.

But now that the infamous Anthony Weiner is out of prison, look for Jimmy and Seth and the boys to make an exception. Can you blame them? Comedy fruit hangs (sorry) no lower than a disgraced Democrat Congressman with a record of Tweeting his treats to teens.

Fifteen? Sorry, Your Honor. I had no idea she was that old.

Welcome back from prison, Tony. This time, please keep your pants up and your selfies on the shelf with the lost emails. Our courts have more important scum to scrape off America’s hull.

VJ Day icon passes

And they didn’t come back til it was over over there.

The most iconic photo capturing the ebullience of a nation when Japan threw in its World War II kamakazi bandanas is this one of a Navy enlisted man kissing a young nurse in New York Times Square.

The same kiss would probably constitute attempted rape these days, but in 1945 it made for one heck of a Life Magazine cover.

The nurse kissee, Greta Zimmer Friedman, passed away in 2016. Kisser George Mendonsa died this week in Rhode Island at 95.

Feel the Bern

Vermont Senator and self-professed political revolutionary Bernie Sanders is taking another run at the presidency. He’ll again make the effort as a Democrat, and apparently has gotten over DNC shenanigans favoring Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mindful that he will be 80 years old on inauguration day, Sanders acknowledged that age could be an issue. Also mindful of complaints from female staffers of abusive behavior in the Sanders camp in ’16, Bernie reportedly is developing a list of “young chicks who can take a joke” for potential running mates.

Among contenders are Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dianne Feinstein, both 85; Gloria Steinem, 84; Maxine Waters, 80; and Nancy Pelosi, 78.

Candidates from the celebrity left fringe include Jane Fonda, 80; Barbra Streisand, 76; and Billie Jean King, 75. Sanders has asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to an upcoming Capitol Hill Mixer, and admitted she was his first choice as a VP candidate.

“She’s old enough to drive, drink and vote,” he said, “but that silly damn piece of paper we call a Constitution is clearly discriminating against her youth. Heck, I forget more about government every day than she learns.

“I’d be crazy not to take advantage of our Democrat youth movement,” Sanders told an AARP member he mistook for an AP reporter. He then abruptly ended the interview.

“Sorry, but Meals on Wheels is here, and it’s Taco Tuesday,” he explained. “With a little ketchup, they’re pretty tasty…and I need those Spanish lingo voters. Comprendo, fraulein?”


Celebrating Annies

A pair of Anne’s, one famous, one not, both beloved, celebrate birthdays this week in the rare air of their nonagenarian years. Annie Glenn, widow of famed Astronaut/Senator John Glenn, turned 99 on Sunday. Anne Davin Zeller, my maternal aunt and our family’s last surviving member of the Greatest Generation,  will be 97 on Friday. They have more than a name in common.

Long before his Mercury 7 NASA fame and distinguished Senate career, John Glenn flew combat missions against Japan in World War II. Aunt Anne’s husband to be, Herman Zeller, served in the Army Corps of Engineers and helped build and maintain airfields for Allied forces fighting their way across the Pacific and to VJ day, 1945.

The odds are long that Glenn, a hotshot Marine aviator, and Zeller, a mild-mannered, behind-the-scenes soldier, ever crossed paths. But both were heroes in their own right. They left the comforts of home and loving families behind to serve in one of the bloodiest theaters of war in recorded history. To the good fortune of our country and my family, both came home.

Herman Zeller, South Pacific, circa 1944

During the war, Aunt Anne and my late mother were among millions of women providing essential support to the war effort. For Annie, that meant employment at Indiana’s Jeffboat Shipyard, which produced scores of LSTs for the war effort. 

Annie and Senator John Glenn

Newlywed Annie Glenn would have been hard-pressed to believe what would follow the war. The Glenns enjoyed 73 years of marriage, mostly on the world stage. Uncle Herman passed away relatively young, and the Zellers barely eclipsed 25 years of marriage…but they packed a lifetime of love into a story-book romance.

Herman and Anne Zeller

Happy Birthday, ladies, and thank you from your grateful nation and lucky families.

If you’re so inclined, drop a birthday card to a lady who, trust me, you would love to know.

Mrs. Anne Zeller

Episcopal Church Home

7504 Westport Road

Louisville, KY  40222

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