From Ernie Pyle To Polls To Scott Rolen . . .

By: Tim Timmons

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Joe Besser . . .

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AUG. 3, 1900 was the day Ernie Pyle was born. For those who know, no explanation is necessary. If you don’t, Ernie was born just up the road in little Dana, Ind. and became America’s most famous World War II correspondent. He was beloved by the reading public and GI’s alike. He wrote stories from the front lines – not of battles and statistics, but of the guy in the foxhole or on the beach and what they were feeling. His work was so good that he was followed by millions . . . and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Growing up, my dad who served in the U.S. Army revered Ernie and Bill Mauldin (creator of the cartoon Willie and Joe) and taught me respect for the military and the flag. Thank God for that. If you get a chance, go to Dana and see the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum and his birthplace. Granted, it’s a long drive and truth to tell, it doesn’t take all that long to tour the facilities. But it’s worth every second.

By the way, Ernie lost his life when he was shot by an enemy machine gun in the Pacific in April of 1945, just months before the end of the war.

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THE POLLS show . . . are you kidding me? If there is anything that symbolizes the insanity running through our country right now, it’s political polls. Has our memory grown so short that we don’t remember how far off the political polls were in the last few elections? Remember that sizable lead Hillary had over the Donald? Or the one Trump had over Biden?

I don’t know which is worse, the media for continuing to report such drivel, or us for paying attention.

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SPEAKING OF insanity, what in the world is the fuss over a country song from Jason Aldean? I can’t say I’m a fan of Aldean. I couldn’t name one of his songs if you paid me. But after the buzz surrounding Try That In A Small Town, I wanted to see what the clamor was all about. I googled the lyrics and I watched the video a couple of times.

Critics claim the song is racist. Country Music Television yanked it pretty quickly. And the (maybe this is the theme of the day) insanity ensued.

I’m no music expert, but here are a couple of observations. If you watch the video, it sure looks like an awful lot of the idiots shown in random acts of violence are white Maybe Aldean doesn’t like white people?

There’s a TV show called The View – if you’ve never seen it, don’t waste your time. Some of the women went off on Aldean and the song. Their take – it’s like a dog whistle that’s meant to be heard by racists everywhere.

Just one man’s opinion, but hogwash.

A lot of Americans – yours truly included – are sick and tired of some of the crap going on in big cities. But bigger than that, A LOT bigger than that, is the idea that folks like those on The View can take something and twist it into what it’s not. Think that’s wrong? Watch the video. Listen to the lyrics.

We can argue all day, but the facts are pretty simple. Racism is wrong. It’s not just a little wrong, it’s a lot wrong. But arguing or agreeing isn’t going to change history. It’s not going to make some stupid people suddenly wise up and respect their fellow man. It’s not going to change bias – which goes way beyond race.

There are enough real examples of bias and racism in this country. Let’s stop inventing ones that don’t exist because that’s only making things worse.

We all get to have our own opinions. What we don’t get is our own set of facts. Enough.

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WHILE WE’RE on the subject of our own “facts,” did you catch the recent news out of Arizona where Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes defied the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortions and set their own standards?

This is not a pro or con argument on abortion. This is about elected officials deciding which laws they like and which ones they don’t – and making the enforcement of those contingent on that. What if it happened all across the country? Essentially, we’d have 50 governors ruling the U.S. Or what if it went to the county level? We have about 3,100 counties and equivalents in the U.S. What if each one decided which federal laws and rulings they wanted to enforce . . . or not?

Pretty sure that’s called chaos.

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STAYING ON the theme of insanity. Ever sat in a long line of stop-and-go traffic only to watch someone ahead of you let a car out from a side street? Here’s a question: Are they being nice to that driver, or penalizing those behind?

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YOU KNOW, I had a list of other things to bring up this week – chestfeeding, Hunter Biden, Donald Trump, cocaine in the White House, Mitch McConnell . . . talk about insane. It’s just too depressing. What’s it going to take to get this country back on the right track?

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LET’S END on a bright note, shall we? For sports fans – and non-sports fans alike – you won’t find a better example of what’s right with the world than Scott Rolen’s Hall of Fame speech (google it). Rolen, a Jasper, Ind. boy with connections to Southmont and Wabash grad Dave Taylor, talked about his upbringing more than his career. He credited his parents for teaching him the important things in life. All too often we are reminded of athletes and their me-first attitudes. Not so with Rolen. He’s exactly what a role model should be.

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JOE BESSER? Three Stooges fans will remember him as basically the fifth of six stooges. He was the one who came along after Shemp died. You may recall him saying things like, Not so haaaaard.” By the way, Moe Howard and Larry Fine were the two who appeared during the decades-long run of the comedy geniuses. Curly Howard, Shemp Howard, Besser and Joe DeRita were the other four.

-Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at [email protected].