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Things are different now — but Lodians are still blessed

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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 8:58 am, Tue Jul 31, 2012.

In the past week, I have been confronted by at least three people a day berating me about the fact this column has not appeared in the News-Sentinel of late. It isn't funny, but I have been telling people that I am being published only on Mondays. They nod and walk on. The paper isn't published that day during the week as an austerity matter, and it will go back to normal as soon as everything else does.

I am a confirmed conservative and do a reasonable amount of research, and I discovered things started changing on Nov. 5 about three years ago. I won't enumerate what I found out — most of you know what caused the change, and if you don't, that's OK too; sometimes things change because things change. We are used to the fact some people won't take the rap for anything awful no matter what happened.

This morning, at breakfast, I talked to some people I had never met. They were joshing about the high-speed train from no place to no place else at a cost of about $85 billion, which will break down to a million bucks a seat. You can get from Merced to Modesto, seated pretty much by yourself, in a super jiffy. The Guv signed the bill to build the conveyance because he was deluded with the notion that California was suddenly as well-off as North Dakota.

I was publicly chewed out by a curmurdgeonette some time ago because I referred to the dingbats in Sacramento as numbnuts. I apologize for that, I didn't say what I was actually thinking because, after all, this is a family paper and deserves to be written in a pristine way because children have been known to read it even though it is not written on a hand-held cellphone screen.

I do apologize to the North Dakota squarehead lady I lied to about not writing this column about how things were here in Lodi in the early days when we were kids. I told her I was too busy these days to write ... the truth is, I was fighting with myself about what to say. When I was hired on this gig, Marty Weybret said he would have to put an editor on me because (as he said it): "You can be too much of a loose cannon." (Moi?!!)

It is interesting to note that, since I know so many squareheads here in Lodi, I seldom find I have to defend what I said.

You do have to admit that things are different in 2012. Not long ago, another insane maniac shot over 70 people, killing 12. I looked it up. In North Dakota, the last mass murder took place in 1920; a guy killed a farm family and their hired man.

Compared to the unrest in the Middle East, we are downright peaceful and serene. When a guy goes goofy over there, he puts on a dynamite corset and goes to a wedding reception.

So, all in all, we are still absolutely blessed as Americans, and Lodians in particular. It pays to live a long time in a blessed place. Lodi has weather that is the envy of every town in the world. I have lived here for 75 years and we are so spoiled we think three days in the 90s is a suffocating hot spell. Imagine wearing a burka and more in Iran during a 100-degree month. (Or worse still, being in a crowded elevator at a time like that!)

Reminds me of the time a guy in Fort Worth stepped in an elevator on a sweltering day. He sez: "Whew! Somebody's deodorant isn't working." A guy in the back replies, "Couldn't be me ... I ain't got none on!"

Bob Bader writes this irritating piece. You can reach him at bobbyo@softcom.net but be nice.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:09 pm on Sun, Aug 5, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Apples and oranges, Mr. Kinderman. Really ridiculous of you to even contemplate comparing ethnic slurs to abortion, let alone make a comment here.

    Interesting that much of the smallminded in this forum always compare abortion to just about anything else with reckless abandon.

    It so happens that I sincerely dislike ethnic slurs, no matter how "cute" or insignificant anyone else thinks they are. I believe they are harmful to society and to the individual because they reinforce stereotypes that are taken very lightly by people like yourself. I imagine your attitude is much like those of pre-WWII Germany - no harm, no foul - until people finally understood that Hitler was "kidding" or being "cute."

    Go out and start picketing abortion clinics, join an evangelical hate group, think about performing other extreme measures to assuage your anti-abortion principals.

    Just don't compare those convictions to unrelated issues and demean others' convictions unjustifyably.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:01 pm on Sat, Aug 4, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Yes indeed, we’ve become a very “sophisticated” society! Moaning and groaning over the use of the derogatory term “squarehead” was “wrong then and [is] wrong now.” Just when will we cease “stoop[ing] to [such] nonsense?”

    Well, I suppose those of us unsophisticated types here in these United States would like to know when the killing of our unborn might be determined to be “wrong then and [undoubtedly] wrong now?” Or is such moaning and groaning over such nonsense out of date and unrefined?

    May God have mercy on our “sophisticated” but clearly worthless souls.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:39 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Bader may still believe that "squarehead" is a cute, quaint, and appropriate term to use for his special brand of North Dakotans of German decent.

    Would he still feel the same if we still called Germans "Jerry," "K.raut," "B.oche," "Fritz," or "H.eine?" Or even "H.eine-kaplotz," the name my British grandfather, who served in both WW's, loved to use?

    All of these terms were quite acceptable during WWII, as was J.ap and later "z.ipperhead," or "s.lopehead" during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

    "Squarehead" was a derogatory name that was frequently used on the East Coast for individuals of Scandanavian descent who were populous in the area where I was raised. I found it offensive then and still more offensive today.

    Having attained the age of 70 or 80 should not be a license for being able to use derogatory terms. I don't care how long or how fondly they have been used. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. We should consider ourselves a more sophisticated society that does not stoop to this nonsense.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 2:43 pm on Tue, Jul 31, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Mr. Bader,
    I have always enjoyed your column as it has been a reflection of who you are. Those who push being "politically correct" use it to demand that you do as they say. They seek to deny history and the lessons it teaches. You are a living example of a point of reference for freedoms we now enjoy. I will not deny you of your valuable input of sharing your life with it's languages and feelings as it would be denying your life ever existed. It was a part of my life as well as your generation taught my generation teaching the next. Boy that makes us feel old - doesn't it?
    "Squarehead" has never bothered me because you have always used it with a term of endearment intention and a justified direction from which you come. I love John Wayne movies too not that he would be "politically correct" now a days but that he is an example of his time for strenghth and no nonense.
    Your "grit" is obvious and your standards are admirable.
    As an example of generational word differences-
    The term used for a negro back when the n word was not intended to be anything other than what word was used for -Negro- by the white people for today's generation means something very derogatory for whites to use but not the black people . - Go figure. I would also not deny the use of it for someone from that established generation. However - in comes the new generation with that new vision.
    On the flip side the f word comes along. My conversation with a person recently has put me on a blackball list. They haven't used it on Facebook again though since my words were said. I had heard it before when someone tried to justify it's everyday use because " it doesn't mean what it used to" excuse . As long as I am alive it does! It's one repeated adjective that continueously displays a dirty and negative attitude as far as I'm concerned. History reflects that the word has been around a long long time.

    You are indeed a personable person and well worth the read.


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