Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for January 20th……

--President Obama is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the Union speech before a joint session of congress tonight. Unlike most years, we have not been subjected to days of leaks about what the president will say. All that information is buried under constant reports of who is going be there to hear him talk in person. This is because each member of congress is allowed to take one guest. And it’s the guests which seem to be attracting all the attention.

Here in Rhode Island, newly-former Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts is going. She’s free to take that trip to Washington because she’s between jobs right now. But there is another Lieutenant which has received national attention for being invited. The last known survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese Empire, 98 year-old retired career Navy man, Lt. James Downing of Colorado Springs will be there. And to share it with him, his daughter, who lives in Hawaii, has been given a guest ticket to attend by her congressman. Now that’s nice.

And I’m sure Mr. Obama will say something important tonight as well. We can argue about what he says tonight, tomorrow.

--From our “you can do it in church, but don’t do it at the game” department. Hundreds of fair-weather fans who attended the beginning of the Seattle Seahawks football game in the rain on Sunday beat it for the exits early to get a jump on the homebound traffic. What a shame! These people paid good money to see a football game and felt the home team would lose, being behind by twelve points with only minutes left on the 4th quarter clock, and gave up. You and I know their team did not give up. And we also know that what happened after there were only 3 minutes left in regulation time was worth the whole cost of the ticket itself to see in person.

Like I say, you might get away with it some places, but not this time.

--Is anyone surprised that enrollment numbers in the Boy Scouts have plummeted since the organization cried “uncle” to liberal funding sources like The United Way which financially forced the Scouts to encourage enrollment by openly gay people. Remember, now, the Boy Scouts of America never prohibited homosexuals from their organization, they simply felt that the parents of their members would not accept the Boy Scouts promoting an openly gay lifestyle to their sons at a very impressionable age. Finally, after some 15 years of attacks, the Boy Scouts relented and it would appear what they feared for so long has happened. Parents are deciding to remove their children from the organization. Very sad.

We were all hoping that it was an unfounded fear. It appears we were right in the first place. This is what happens when tolerance for the minority morphs into an intolerance for the majority. I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is we need to work on finding one because the Boy Scouts of America have done more good in this world than many other organizations you can name.

--There are times when tolerance is constructive and not destructive. The Miss Universe Pageant will be broadcast this weekend, and as the contestants from around the world gather in Doral, Florida, Miss Lebanon has taken a “selfie” photo of herself and Miss Israel and posted it on Facebook. That’s nice. But not everyone thinks so. Israel is considered an enemy state by Lebanon and contact between the nations is prohibited. I’m not sure that an act of friendship between two people who probably profess to wish for “world peace” is destructive.

--Our final story of tolerance comes straight from the newswires and is ‘stranger than truth’. An 18-year-old woman was estranged from her biological father for 12 years and has recently been reunited with him after he reached out to her on Facebook. That’s nice. We like to hear stories like that. Now comes the controversy.

They love each other. But not as father and daughter. They have already begun a sexual relationship with each other and now father and daughter plan to be married and raise a family. This can’t happen, you say? It’s got to be illegal you say? You’d be right in some jurisdictions. However, adult incest is legal in the State of New Jersey, and the two say after the wedding they are pulling up stakes and moving to Jersey. The story does not include a comment from the girl’s mother and the fathers ex-wife, but I can only imagine what that woman is thinking right now.

It’s at times like this that a real newspaper columnist would come up with some clever and memorable quote or point of view. Unfortunately, I am but a humble radio and TV broadcaster and the best I can come up with is a head-shaking………


--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to dave@onworldwide.com or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.


This blog changes each Monday evening.
The column runs in the Editorial section of The Call each Tuesday.
Click here to return to our home page.