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IT’S ONLY MY OPINION: Why Oprah Winfrey is my hero

My Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary tells me that definition number 1-C of the word ‘hero’ is “a man (or woman) admired for his achievements and noble qualities” I have several heroes. Some are in politics, others in sports, and still others in the sciences. The heroes I respect the most are those that give part of the earnings of their triumphs back to the community. I applaud Bill Gates for his charitable donations not only here in the United States but around the world. My heroine these days is the successful talk show hostess, Oprah Winfrey. Miss Winfrey donated some $40 million for the construction of a 28 building school for girls in South Africa. Good for her. I applaud her for this recent philanthropic effort. It is sad that there are some here in America that do not. Those that criticize are asking why she did not provide this noble deed for American children. Her stinging response appeared in a very recent edition of Newsweek. “I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools (in the US) That I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there. (In America) if you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.” Hey there. Before you sit down to write me a nasty letter about that quote, those are HER words and she’s putting her money where her mouth is. They’re also pretty much what Bill Cosby said. Come to think of it, I, as a member of Community School Board 18 for twenty years, saw pretty much the same thing and I’m not just talking about black youngsters. There were many whites and Hispanics that showed up daily for free lunch as well. I don’t get it. We should not be criticizing Miss Winfrey. We should be giving her a standing ovation for her charitable efforts both here in the United States AND around the world. After all, aside from the very large dollar amount, what is the difference between her gift to educate some impoverished young black women in South Africa and my gift of one hundred dollars to a Yeshiva to educate some young Jewish men in Jerusalem? Theoretically they are pretty much the same. ******* Mark McGwire has a reputation of being “a real nice guy.” Those are the words that a sports commentator used to describe him after the results of the voting for the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown were announced. Since his retirement from baseball the home run slugger has been spending a lot of time doing charity work. His many appearances have helped raise funds for several worthwhile causes and he is the head of the Mark McGwire Foundation For Children. Does being “a real nice guy” get you voted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, the sport’s highest honor? Obviously not. In what several call the first of the many referendums to come down the pipe about steroid use, McGwire received less than one-third of the votes needed to get into the HOF. It seems that he was turned down because of his alleged (must always remember to use that word) use of bulk building steroids. OK, gang. Lemme see, by a show of hands, how many of you truly believe that Mark McGwire did NOT use steroids? I rest my case. The Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown should build a wing for those that did use chemicals. Vote for him in a special ‘substance’ election along with all the others that deserve asterisks next to their names. That should satisfy everybody. ******** Why are some people compelled to swipe Sweet N Low from restaurant tables? Of all the items we buy for our pantry this artificial sweetener is about the least expensive. Buying it in any economy size brings the price down to less than a penny a piece. Yet, at that low, low price, there are women who fill their handbags even before ordering. Ask any waitress anywhere. ******** In recent weeks our Senator Hillary Chicken Ca-ca has been making some very important announcements. One was that the former first lady would be running for the Presidency of the United States. SURPRISE! We didn’t know that she wanted to run. What a bombshell. We’re SHOCKED! Another of her announcements was that she really was NOT named for the famous conqueror of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary. WOW! Another shocker. This is another astonishing disclosure. A revelation. Hallelujah. For at least a decade, and maybe a lot more, President Clinton’s wife has been telling the world that she was named for the world famous mountain climber. This phony tale has been repeated countless times, verbally and in print. It has appeared in her biography, her husband’s biography and in the ultra-reliable, macro-trustworthy New York (All the news that fits.) Times. The problem with her bubba mentse is the timing. The always honest, never told a fib, Mrs. Clinton, was born in 1947. Sir Edmund Hillary didn’t become famous until he reached the peak of Mt. Everest in 1953. How could she have been named for the man six years before anybody in this the world ever heard of him? This blundering, boo-boo has been pointed out to her countless times. Looking for a way out she continued with her faux pas. Until now, that is. One of her staff came up with a great PR shtick. She was told to tell the truth and cast the blame of it all on your mother. And cast the blame she did. Being the consummate politician she is, blame problems, no matter what the problems are, on somebody else, even if that somebody else is your mother. ‘It’s mommy’s fault. You hear? That’s what she told me. It’s mommy’s fault.” I am STANGERSHBEIN@BELLSOUTH.NETblaming all of my problems, no matter what they are, on poor toilet training. ******** All letters and Emails are the property of this newspaper and may be published. For verification purposes all correspondence must contain your real name, address and telephone number.

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