Friday, October 28, 2011

De-nice way to respond to De-lay when we De-ice

            As our plane sat on the runway, awaiting for take-off from Akron-Canton the other day, passengers grumbled about the delay as the pilot requested " de-icing of the wings".


            It was a very cold morning. 


            Tanker trucks appeared out of nowhere and drenched the plane in a greenish grey fluid designed to eliminate ice. 


            More grousing from the cabin.


            "Do we really need to do that?"  complained the woman in front of  me.


            I was immediately transported back to January of 1982. 


            I was in my old 1978 Chevy Impala on my way back from law school at Georgetown University in Washington DC.   The snowfall was pretty heavy.


            I was a half mile from crossing the 14th Street Bridge into Arlington, Virginia when traffic came to a halt.


            We were stuck in a tunnel on the George Washington Parkway so we couldn't see what was ahead.


            After a delay of about an hour and a half, we were rerouted completely away  from the bridge, which I never really got close to.


            Air Florida Flight 90 took off from Washington National Airport at 3:00 p.m. that cold January day in 1982. 


            The pilots noticed ice building up on the wings but  felt  they could power their way through takeoff, expecting that the ice would blow off as they gained air speed.


            They were wrong.


            Flight 90 couldn't achieve the lift needed.  That front edge of the wing is designed to create upward pressure needed for ascent.  Ice on the wing compromises this lifting effect.


            The jet crashed only two miles from the airport, smack into the 14th Street Bridge, killing numerous commuters who, like me, traveled that bridge into Arlington daily.


            The aircraft collapsed into the frozen Potomac River where some passengers were plucked from the icy water by brave rescuers who dove into danger as the fuselage began to sink into the murky waters.


            This river made famous by the father of our country  allegedly tossing a silver dollar over its depths now became famous for another reason more menacing.


            The video of the horror and carnage on the news that night put me on my knees in prayer of thanks that I was spared. 


            Seventy-eight soles were lost in this disaster. 


            I looked at the crabby passenger ahead of me as my mind refocused on the current moment.     


            Calm down, sweetheart.


            De-ice all you want to, baby.  Take a bath in that stuff.


            I would say it's worth the delay, wouldn't you?



David M. Lynch

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cervenik's Profile in Courage Warrants Admiration and Support

In 1955, John F. Kennedy published the now world-famous Profiles In Courage which described decisions made by politicians who realized that their actions constituted political suicide. President Kennedy tells us that they did this simply because they wanted to do the right thing.


Ohio proudly noted that Edmund G.  Ross was one of these profiles.  Ross hailed from Ashland, Ohio and attended college in Sandusky. Kennedy describes his fortitude as he goes against his own party, casting his vote against the conviction of President  Andrew Johnson facing impeachment.


There is another profile in courage right here in Euclid, Ohio in the form of incumbent Mayor Bill Cervenik.


A few years ago the Mayor fought to preserve the zoning rights of a church in the face of ugly opposition. This resulted in a recall election in which the citizens of Euclid affirmed the Mayor's brave actions despite political pundits who said that his stand-up approach to decision making would be his downfall.


 In another matter, recent rancor within the police department caused him to intervene, Cervenik appointing new leadership and commissioning a study regarding changes needed at police headquarters. Again, these moves made Cervenik a lightning rod for criticism. Despite this, the department has begun to heal as a result of his response to the problem.


Over the last four years, Mayor Cervenik has shepherded the city budget like no other Mayor in Northeast Ohio. While other communities are facing layoffs in safety forces, Euclid's budget keeps our neighborhoods safe because of the Mayor's  foresight in protecting against a downward turn in the economy. He, along with the City Council, passed unpopular measures in order to ensure our safety.

         On April 23, 1910 President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France where he said the following:

                It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly… but who does actually strive to do the deeds… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

                A terrific film released in 1995 features Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen in the film called The American President.  In one scene, President Andrew Shepherd turns to his closest aide, that aide never having placed his own name on the ballot.

                 In response to the aide's criticism, the President snaps, "Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats?"

                That's how I feel right about now.

                The man that's been willing to go into the arena   is  Mayor Bill Cervenik.

He has quietly been our community's profile in courage and I hope that the voters in Euclid have the good sense to reward his unwavering efforts to make Euclid a better place by returning him to office in the November elections.

David M. Lynch

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Columnist that admits when he was wrong...almost

            Even a columnist can be wrong, especially me.


            I'm just grateful I kept digging for the truth before I splashed the ink of  indignancy  all over this newspaper.


            Here's what happened.


            J. Christian Adams, a former attorney with the Obama Administration's Department of Justice is on a book tour.


            His newly published tome is portrayed as an insider's view of Attorney General Eric Holder's abuse of the justice system.


            Adams' book contains  this outcry: can you believe  they are doing these ridiculous things in the Justice Department?


            One item featured by Adams in his PR tour is as follows, and I quote, "They have sued a school district in upstate New York to accommodate so students can come to school dressed as transvestites…"


            Well…that got me pretty fired up.


            In my head, I wrote a column about Obama sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, trying to override a school board's right to enforce a common sense morally based dress code.


            Those of you who read this column know how I'd have made mince meat of this alleged maneuver by Justice.


            I decided to confirm the story before I wrote the column.


            Lucky  thing.


            J. Christian Adams is lying.


            The case in upstate New York involves the Mohawk County School District.


            A high school student embracing a gay lifestyle (his right) was subject to bullying in school in clear violation of the district's anti-bullying policy.


            The victimized sophomore finally sued the school because they wouldn't enforce the anti-bullying rules when it came to him.


            Obama's Justice Department joined in the suit, claiming Federal law required equal enforcement of the anti-bullying regulations.


            Bullying is wrong in all instances.


            I thing the gay lifestyle is harmful and immoral but that does not justify other students abusing this victim.


             The Mohawk School District must enforce its own laws to protect all students from bullying.


            I don't know if this case calls for the U.S. Attorney to intervene as it did.  However, Obama's lawyers were certainly on the right side of the argument.


            If I hadn't done the research, I'd have repeated the lie Adams' book disseminates.


            Obama did not send lawyer's out to destroy a school district's sensible dress code.  He sent lawyers to ensure fair treatment of a mixed up kid.


            The laws must protect all equally.


            The kid in New York was right.


            And I was almost wrong.



David M. Lynch

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Names Have Been Forgotten to Protect the Guilty

            My Dad introduced me to the mysteries of life.


            These mysteries, for my Dad at least, almost always involved things and places.


            How do things end up in the wrong place … all by themselves?


            In my Dad's case, tools, the cherished symbols of his manhood, flew through the air by themselves out of his tool box and into some strange spot where he would discover them when he got home from work.


            One day he found a screwdriver on top of the piano.  Another time his prized ratchet set appeared all a jumble in the middle of the driveway.


            The most amazing was the disturbing encounter with his new Craftsman drill out on the picnic table in the rain. Unbelieveable.


            How mysterious.  Nine children living at home, yet not a single witness could testify as to the cause of the items apparating away from their home.


            Pop struggled with these mysteries his entire life, children ignorant of the truth replaced by grandchildren equally unable to explain the phenomena.


            I once read about the legend of Sir Edmund Hilary finding a worn theater pass on Mount Everest.


            How did it get there?  Maybe an eagle dropped a piece of trash intended for insulation in the nest.  Who knows? It's a mystery.


            Recently I came upon a mystery in my own house  involving, if you'll excuse the word, poop.  Here is what it entails (bad choice of words).


How did a trace amount of fecal matter end up on the toilet seat?  I mean right on the seat where you sit!


In the normal course of things, it doesn't have any way of landing on this spot.


I, too, like my paternal predecessor, have confronted my own children.  They profess no knowledge of the events that led to my making a commode commotion.


How can you not notice if you've left dark brown on a field of white enamel? 


Clearly another mystical event.


Dear Dad, I get it now.


Sometimes we have to accept that gremlins are about and objects or substances will appear where they don't belong.


Either that or there is a genetic trait in our family that blocks out memory of heinous acts committed by siblings.


I'd just as soon leave it all a mystery.


Here's to ya, Dad. 


The torch of tortured fatherhood has been passed on to me.


I promise not to leave it out in the rain on the picnic table.




David M. Lynch

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Find the file marked "Family Grudges" and hit the delete key

            There is a great scene in the movie Home Alone in which a little boy inadvertently abandoned by his family during the holidays has some advice for the grandfatherly neighbor down the street.


            Eight year old Kevin McCallister tells the  octogenarian to set aside his differences with his estranged son and reconcile after years of angry silence between them.


           Wise beyond his years, Kevin explains that life is too short to allow anything to keep him away from his son and the granddaughter he adores from the other side of a wall erected by stubbornness and pride. A wall covered by dark and lonely decaying vines.


            Granpappy heeds the suggestion and Christmas is ushered in by a tearful,  joyful reunion.


            That's why I'm asking you to take inventory of your suspended relationships.


            Are you still standing on questionable principle?      


            Here's what I'm talking about.  Are you so disgusted by your daughter's husband that you shun them?


            Did your brother-in-law once commit an unforgivable  transgression?


            I basically want to know if there are family members you've dealt out of the hand in the family card game.


            Whatever the problem, I want you to know this.  It's not worth it.  


            This Holiday season, put the welcome mat out for all family, good and bad, in-laws included.


            Grudges, especially the family variety, are like a cancer in your heart.  It grows inside of you, robbing you of the joy God meant you to experience.


            Forgive all unconditionally and never bring up the offense again.  Even if you never hear an apology or an admission of guilt.


            Your forgiveness will be the greatest gift you've ever given to yourself.  Bury that hurt and resentment in the fertile garden of forgotten offenses.


            In that garden grows the most beautiful bouquet of memories yet to be experienced,blossoms  of laughter spectacular in color, and exquisite loving moments  of poignancy. 


            You unite yourself this way with the greatest forgiver of all – God.


            Uncle Frank got wasted at your wedding and you've never forgiven him.


            This Christmas, don the gleeful jacket of goodwill that Scrooge wore on Christmas morning.  Uncle Frank is a child of God like you.


            Imperfect and undeserving  like you.


            How many times do you forgive?  Seven times seventy, at least.  Sound familiar?


            Anyway, it's only October so you have time to plan.  Might shock a few folks but rev-up yourself for a few repaired relationships.


            Scrooge had three ghosts to motivate him.


            You've got this column, so get going.


            The heavy boulders of a grudge make it difficult to ride a puffy cloud up to heaven.


            There's still time, Ebeneezer.   



David M. Lynch