Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

An Irishman's View of America

My favorite Irish columnist, Con Houlihan, writes for the Independent in Dublin. I don't think he'll mind if I resort to the Fair Use Doctrine to quote a little of today's column:
"Only America could produce such a roadshow as the OJ Simpson trial and the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. America is a democracy, kind of. Anybody can be president if he or she can come by a vast amount of money.
"The system of nominating the candidate for the presidency goes back to the days of the covered wagon and the log cabin. It made sense then but it is woefully outdated now. It is a blessing for advertising agencies. That is about its only virtue. The amount of campaigning necessary makes it impossible for someone without huge financial backing to even dream about The White House.
"Barack Obama's mantra is 'Change' but there is something he cannot change: the people who are paying the piper will always call the tune. The men in the street that is called after the wall that was built to keep the Indians out will go on having a major say in American foreign policy. If Obama can change that, he will make the world a far better place.
"The Democrats' candidates are in danger of destroying each other and allowing the Republicans an easy run. The war in Iraq will have a huge bearing on the election: if George Bush can make some kind of a settlement or the appearance of a settlement, his party could win the election.
"To make some kind of a settlement in Iraq seems almost impossible: there are three main forces there who are unlikely to come to any kind of agreement -- the Kurds, Saddam Hussein's followers, and the Arabs in the marshes.
"Whom would I choose if I had a vote? I might tend towards Obama. I have my doubts about Hillary: any woman who christens her only child Chelsea is not to be trusted. It might be worse --it could have been Arsenal."
The reference to Chelsea is a joke few Americans would get. Chelsea is the name of a football (soccer) team in that part of the world. Next to Arsenal, it seems to be Con's least favorite.
I enjoy looking over foreign newspapers because it provides an idea of how others see us. The remark about Saddam Hussein's followers refer to the arming of the Sunnis by the U.S. It doesn't make sense to those in foreign lands. The Arabs in the marshes are the Shiites, Saddam's old enemies we now are fighting. Odd, isn't it?


Blogger STAG said...

Yeah....American news is kind of funny. The banner headline reads "Hillary has a hang nail, what effect will this have on the Hangnail bill before the house", and somewhere down on page two or three "half a million dead in Burma cyclone....Bush wants to send in the army." Trouble is, Canadian news is beginning to get like that.

On an unrelated note....I just got back from Antwerp, checking out the comparatively unknown battles of the Scheldt, the Breskens pocket, and the Albert Canal that my late uncle participated in. A side trip to Ypres was sobering. But the war damage in Belgium is pretty much cleaned up.
Did you ever go back and see again the places you visited back in '43 and '44?

10:30 AM  

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