Baseball

Ken Burns’s 18 Hour “Vietnam War” PBS Documentary Coming Sunday, September 17: A Worthy Successor To “Civil War” Documentary Of 1990.

Ken Burns, who gave us his legendary documentaries over the past 30 years on such topics as “The Civil War”, “Baseball”, “National Parks”, “The Roosevelts”, “Prohobition”, “The Dust Bowl”, “Jazz”, “Jackie Robinson”, “The West”, ‘The War” * (about World War II), and other documentary jewels, is about to give us a 10 part, 18 hour documentary on “The Vietnam War” on PBS, starting Sunday, September 17.

This documentary is much needed, as a way to heal and unite the nation about its most divisive war since the Civil War.

The Vietnam War came about because of the Cold War propaganda, and it caused troubles for five Presidents of both parties from Harry Truman to Richard Nixon.

It caused the deaths of more Americans, except for the Civil War, World War II, and World War I.

It divided families and it caused mass loss of life, close to three million in the thirty years since 1945 until 1975.

Now, however, despite its Communist government, Vietnam has been friendly toward the United States, and veterans and others have visited where their compatriots died.

The Vietnam veterans who have survived often have mental and physical issues nearly a half century after the war ended, and all Vietnam veterans are now senior citizens.

This is well worth the investment to watch on PBS, and to purchase the book and the DVD.

Ken Burns’ New PBS Documentary On The Vietnam War Due In September

Ken Burns, the brilliant documentary producer, is about to present to America what may be his most brilliant series yet, on the Vietnam War, scheduled for 18 hours on PBS in late September.

Burns, of course, produced series on the Civil War, Baseball, National Parks, Jazz, The Roosevelts, The War (World War II), The West, New York, Prohibition, Jackie Robinson, and other creative films, many of which have been seen as the best documentaries ever produced.

No one can accuse Burns of not tackling difficult subjects, and this new extended series, will be exhaustive in covering all angles of the impact of the Vietnam War on Southeast Asia, as well as the United States.

With the Vietnam War now part of the past for 42 years, since its ultimate end in 1975, it is time for a thorough study of that war which divided America like no event since the Civil War, and Ken Burns does a superb job!

The President of Vietnam was greeted at the White House last week by President Trump, with nary a mention of the fact that we fought there for a decade, and lost 58,000 military personnel. As I watched, I wonderered why there is still so much tumult over Cuba, with the hint that Trump would cut back on the advancements in the relationship between America and Cuba made under Barack Obama, a nation where we lost no combat troops.

Washington Redskins’ Name Needs To Be Changed!

The controversy over the Washington Redskins football team name has become one, many say, of political correctness!

But actually, that is NOT the case at all!

The word “Redskins” is an offensive term to Native Americans, the original Americans, and it should be deleted as a name for any team anywhere in America!

It is really no different than the derogatory terms used toward other racial and religious groups.

The author will apologize ahead of time on the use here of these derogatory terms.

Would it be acceptable in today’s world to use the term “Nigger”, or “Spic”, or “Kike”, or “Mick”, or “Guinea”, or “Wop”, or “Dago”, or “Chinaman”, or “Jap”, or “Gook”, or “Cracker”, or Honky” or “Redneck”, or “Hick”, as the name of a team? The obvious answer is NO, and therefore, the term “Redskins” is totally uncalled for!

We must all work to end ethnic hatred and discrimination, and there is no excuse in the modern world for the use of such derogatory terms in naming sports teams at any level of competition!

There are those who will say, well then, the Cleveland Indians baseball team, the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and Chicago Black Hawks hockey team names must be changed, but none of those are considered derogatory names, as “Redskins” is considered!

Barack Obama Advice From Yogi Berra: “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over”!

There will be the tendency for Barack Obama supporters to feel good after Super Tuesday, and feel that Barack Obama has a second term in the White House in the bag.

That would be the worst assumption possible!

On paper, yes, things are looking good as the GOP race for the Presidential nomination continues, and Mitt Romney looks in trouble, and Rick Santorum, who most logical people cannot see having any chance to win the nomination or election, continues to do well, particularly in the heartland of the nation.

Eight months to go until the election, and the world can turn upside down and inside out, in less than that amount of time.

We could have a major war in the Middle East against Iran, or another economic downturn, which could be triggered by that war with Iran.

Unforeseen circumstances we cannot imagine could occur, and the tides could turn.

Remember that Thomas E. Dewey was ahead of Harry Truman in 1948; Richard Nixon ahead of John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter ahead of Ronald Reagan in 1980; Michael Dukakis ahead of George H. W. Bush in 1988; George H. W. Bush ahead of Bill Clinton in 1992; and Al Gore ahead of George W. Bush in 2000 to the end, but not considering the electoral vote issue that would help Bush in the end.

There is plenty of work ahead for the Obama team, and they cannot afford to be cocky.

They need to remember the admonition of Yankee great, catcher Yogi Berra, who is famous for his line about baseball games: “It ain’t over till it’s over”!

No more true statement can be expressed regarding politics, as well as sports!

Two Deaths Of Note: Frank Buckles And Duke Snider And The True Arrival Of History

Yesterday, February 27, was a day where the nation lost two significant public figures, one who had no desire to be, and one who was in the headlines for many years.

Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, which he entered at age 16 in 1917, passed away within a month after his 110th birthday. He sought no fame, but testified before Congress last year for a World War I Memorial on the level of the Vietnam, Korean, and World War II Memorials already on the Washington Mall, to honor veterans of those wars.

Buckles never actually came close to war duty itself, being at least 30 miles from the war trenches in France, but he came to represent the nearly five million Americans who served in World War I, and the two million who actually went off to the war front.

He became nationally known in 2007, when he was named grand marshal of the National Memorial Day parade in Washington, DC. He also was a guest at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day 2007 for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. He also was honored by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon, and met with President George W. Bush at the White House in 2008.

He was a prisoner of war in the Philippines in World War II, due to his work for a shipping company in Manila, and the seizure of that country by the Japanese, surviving 38 months of harsh imprisonment and finally freed by an American rescue mission.

Buckles will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with a traditional white marble headstone, the last living memory of the Great War, the war to end all wars, which did no such thing, regrettably.

Also passing away was a famous baseball slugger, Duke Snider of the old Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the favorite players of the author as a child growing up in New York City, and being a fan of “dem Bums”!

Snider had to compete with Willie Mays of the New York Giants and Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees as a center fielder, and was often thought to be just number three when compared to them, but to many, he was simply “the Duke”!

Snider had 40 or more home runs five straight years, something not achieved by Mays or Mantle. He helped the Dodgers to win their only World Series in Brooklyn in 1955, and was seen as the super star of the team, even as compared to Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, and Carl Erskine, among others.

Snider managed to hit 407 home runs lifetime, batted .300 or better seven times, had a lifetime batting average of .295, and had over 2,000 hits, and was among the leaders in runs batted in numerous times.

With his death, the last significant player on the old Brooklyn Dodgers has passed away, age 84, and makes the Dodgers truly a part of history, just as much as Frank Buckles’s death marks the true end of World War I for America!

This is a sad time for those who realize how history has truly taken over, not only with Buckles and Snider, but also last month with the death of Sargent Shriver, marking the true end of the Kennedy Presidency and its entrance into history, much the same as the First World War and the Brooklyn Dodgers!

Baseball And Politics: How They Affected The NY Yankees Under George Steinbrenner! :)

George Steinbrenner, the controversial owner of the NY Yankees, overall the best team in Major League Baseball history, died this morning at age 80, leaving behind a legacy of 11 American League pennants and 7 World Series victories under his ownership since 1973!

Of course, any fanatical baseball fan, as the author is proud to say he is, knows that the NY Yankees, love them or hate them, have the unbelievable historical record of 40 American League pennants and 27 World Series victories! This is over a period of 105 World Series years, not including the two years there was no World Series (1904 and 1994), but counting from 1903 through 2009!

But as a political fanatic and junkie as well, the author finds fascinating the history of Steinbrenner, the Yankees, and the political parties in power during the years he owned and controlled every decision of the Yankees!

Steinbrenner became embroiled in legal trouble for giving a political contribution to Richard Nixon in 1972, and was later pardoned for this by Ronald Reagan, both Republican Presidents!

But his seven World Series victories were under Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama (all Democrats), while his four losses were under Presidents Ford, Reagan, and George W. Bush (all Republicans)! πŸ™‚

The Yankees won in 1977 and 1978 (Carter), 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 (Clinton), and 2009 (Obama), while losing in 1976 (Ford), 1981 (Reagan), and 2001 and 2003 (George W. Bush)!

For a baseball and political and historical fanatic and junkie, today is a very special day, and this trivia is fascinating! πŸ™‚ LOL