Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Centennial Salute To The Babe

Lost amid all of the swirling problems arising from the Middle East and the Ukraine, among others, and the many scandals engulfing Barack Obummer, er, Obama, is the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s breaking into major league baseball. Babe Ruth is one of the great athletes produced by this country. His feats deserve some recognition in this centennial year.

It was 100 years ago, 1914, that The Babe, as a 19 year old, jumped from reform school into the major leagues. Enrolled at St. Mary’s School for Boys, Baltimore, Maryland, since he was about 6 years old, in and out since then but mostly in, he was signed to his first professional contract with the then minor league Baltimore Orioles. Later that year he was sold to the Boston Red Sox.

Hidden among his many batting feats is the fact that Ruth was a premier American League pitcher for many years. He won 89 games for the Red Sox from 1914 to 1919, including 23 wins one year and 24 another. He also pitched 29 consecutive scoreless World Series innings during that stretch, a record that lasted for many years.

In 1919, after recognizing Ruth’s value as a hitter, Ruth became an every day player, playing as a full time outfielder for Boston. It was a momentous year for Ruth as he hit 29 home runs, setting a new major league record. No one had ever hit that many home runs in a single season before. But the best was yet to come.

Following the 1919 season, Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees. Harry Frazee, who owned the Red Sox, was also a Broadway producer and he needed money for a new show, “No No Nanette.” The sale of his biggest star helped to ease his financial strain.

In 1920, his first year as a Yankee, Ruth hit 54 home runs, an astounding feat, and another single season home run record. Ruth thus virtually single handedly helped the world of baseball awake from its lethargy following the Black Sox scandal of 1919, as fans clamored to get a glimpse of this budding new star. And then in 1921, as if to prove the previous year was no fluke, he hit 59 home runs, yet another single season record, the third year in a row for new home run records, a feat never since duplicated, as he led the Yankees to their first American League pennant. It was the first of many to come.

The 1920s was to see Ruth continue to hammer out home runs, including 60 in 1927, a record that stood for many years. In 1925, he was joined in the Yankee lineup by first baseman Lou Gehrig, who batted fourth, right behind the Babe. Together they became an integral part of the famous “murderers row” as the lineup was to become known, a lineup that was to give headaches to many pitchers in the coming years.

Ruth retired in 1935, finishing with 714 career home runs, a record that stood until finally eclipsed by Henry Aaron many years later. He was one of the charter members of baseball’s Hall of Fame, being one of the first five players elected in 1936.

Babe Ruth was truly a giant among baseball players. No one else in the annals of baseball has been both an outstanding pitcher as well as a great hitter. Ruth did a lot for the game of baseball. His accomplishments should be remembered as long as the game is played.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Versailles 1919 – Planting The Seeds of Middle East Discontent

Recently I attended a luncheon which featured a university professor speaking on the current repercussions of the 1919 Paris peace accords. Notably absent from his comments was any reference to what effect the Versailles Treaty had on the Middle East, specifically, how this region was affected by the peace treaty drawn up by the victorious Allied Powers. This was a major omission, considering the ongoing chaos in Iraq and surrounding areas today.

I explained in a blog on June 13,2014, that the central feature of the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” depicted an army of arabs crossing the desert to attack the port town of Aquaba from the rear, completely taking the Turkish garrison stationed there by surprise. This army was led by Colonel T.E. Lawrence of British intelligence, portrayed brilliantly by the late Peter O’Toole.

The point to be remembered here is that the arabs had been promised a free and independent arab state by Great Britain and France, in return for their cooperation against Germany and the other central powers during the war. These promises were never kept and instead the vast arab lands once controlled by the Ottoman Empire were partitioned by Great Britain and France into what is today Iraq and Iran. A minority sect, the Kurds also petitioned for the establishment of their own country, Kurdistan, but this plea was also disregarded.

These promises are discussed at great length in Margaret MacMillan’s fine book, “Paris 1919,” especially in the chapter entitled “Arab Independence.” Much of the discontent existing in the region today can be traced to these broken promises.

If there is to be peace among the warring factions today there must be some form of representative government. Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds must all be equally represented. This is the first issue, to get agreement on this point. Next is the question of how to implement this agreement. Also to be considered is the question of what countries are to be involved in the decision making. None of this can be achieved without a cease fire and some form of crisis conference to establish an interim government including an election date while all of the details are worked out.

Strong American leadership will also be required. This may be beyond the capabilities of the current president, Barack Obama, but the effort must be made. The idea must be imparted to the warring factions that all interests will be appeased in a representative government and that the current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will not be supported by the U.S.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Lets Not Elect Another Unqualified President

It has been said before but bears repeating: Unless we learn from the lessons of history, history will repeat itself.

The chaos in the Middle East today, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, is a direct result, in my opinion, of broken promises arising out of World War I. These promises, made by Great Britain and France, were to help the Arab people have their own independent free state. You may recall the movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” where Col. T.E. Lawrence of British intelligence, played brilliantly by Peter O’Toole, led an army of arabs across the desert to attack the port city of Aquaba from the rear. It was a highly successful surprise attack aiding greatly in the allied powers war effort. But arab cooperation had been gleaned based largely on promises to provide an independent arab state if the allied powers were successful, which they were. But the promises were broken, no such state was provided. Instead, arbitrary boundaries were drawn to divide what was then Mesopotamia into what is now Iraq and Iran. The existing turbulence is an outgrowth, I believe, of those broken promises.

But the main point to be made here is that there is no one in Washington capable of dealing with this crisis. Obama was inexperienced and unqualified from the gitgo to be president and is incompetent and a liar. He should never have been elected in the first place. He is eminently unqualified to lead the country and hasn’t a clue as to how to deal with the current crisis in the Middle East. But the country felt compelled to elect its first black president. It was a mistake, not because of his color but because Obama was, and is, unqualified for the job.

But now, are we gearing up to repeat that mistake? Golden girl Hillary Clinton appears to be the Democratic front runner. She has no measurable accomplishments but would be the first woman president if elected. She is also firmly entrenched as a world class liar, a “congenital liar” to quote the late William Safire. Her tenure as secretary of state produced no accomplishments despite her protests to the contrary except for the deaths of four Americans, deaths for which she has to date failed to take responsibility.

It is simply a flaw in American politics that anyone, qualified or not, can run for president. It’s the price we pay for being a free country. But lets not elect another Obama. One is enough. Hillary would be a disaster for this country. The country deserves and needs to elect someone with measurable accomplishments at leadership, in other words a proven leader. Hillary is far, far removed from being that person.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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The Jane Fonda Saga Continues – Is Her Apology Acceptable?

When is an apology acceptable? When someone betrays her country and then apologizes for the misdeed, is the apology acceptable? Now that UCLA has invited Jane Fonda to speak at commencement, according to Fox News today (June 3), the whole issue of her alleged lack of patriotism comes into focus – again.

For those of you who do not remember, Jane, who was opposed to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, went to Hanoi during the war, giving aid and comfort to the Viet Cong, and was seen having her photograph taken while manning a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. She earned the sobriquet “Hanoi Jane” for her anti-American behavior and betrayal of American interests, a name to which she is still linked in many quarters, perhaps permanently.

But many years later Jane apologized for her anti-American behavior during the war. Does this apology wash away her traitorous conduct? Apparently some are willing to forgive and forget, others not so willing.

On a different issue, I am quite unsure of what her accomplishments are in life are that justifies her role as a commencement speaker. Certainly making a movie or two is not what I would call justification. In the same vein, the University of Pennsylvania once had Jodie Foster as a commencement speaker. On the other hand, Condoleeza Rice, who withdrew her name from consideration as commencement speaker at Rutgers University in the face of opposition to her from a small group of misguided students and professors, would have much more to offer. Recall that she is on the faculty at Stanford University as well as having been Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under President George W. Bush.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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