Jack Mabley's Web Log

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Mind Blowing

A basic of political intelligence is to get inside the mind of the enemy. Picture what he or she is thinking, planning, vulnerable to, ignorant of, prejudiced toward. Terrorists, organized or free lance, know this. Their heads contain the same tools for reasoning as the rest of us have.
Who would the terrorists rather see in the White House, Bush, who is said to believe God is directing his actions, or Kerry, who advocates working with the UN and NATO and accredited and dependable agencies in the common cause toward peace?
There is widespread speculation that the terrorists will strike at the Republican convention in New York, which has resulted in unprecedented security. I suggest that danger is minimal because it would strengthen Bush and his role as commander in chief in a time of terrorist attack

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

My First Blog

I’ve had no experience with this method of delivering a column, but I understand it is much more personal. So I begin with the first person singular.
I’m given unlimited space. What writing talent I possess is to say as much as possible with as few words as possible, and being sure that every word is the best word for the message.
Now I have to adjust to "let it flow."
I’m still a print writer, but the mechanics of delivery have changed. Access to the Internet is necessary. This column, or blog, or weblog, or whatever you want to call it, will be delivered through this website. Not all Daily Herald readers have computers, but I think most do, and most use the Internet.

The Flavor of Columns
A word about columns. They are the salt and pepper of newspapers.
I have always tried to be informative and provocative and fair. There is a cliché that "doctors bury their mistakes." But a factual error in the column, or a really stupid line of reasoning, is out there for everyone to see. Readers let us know.
The Daily Herald covers the whole spectrum, from how the latest bombing in Iraq affects a family in Naperville down to the week’s menu at local schools. And everything in between.
One can be well informed on state, national, and world affairs by reading the Herald. You can be better informed by adding the Chicago papers and even better informed by adding the New York Times and one or two of the weekly news magazines.
But no medium comes remotely close to the Herald in local coverage. There a journalistic cliché that "all news is local," but that isn’t entirely accurate. What is unchallenged is that you can’t have too much local news. A major reason why the Daily Herald is one of the few newspapers in the U.S. with a growing circulation is that we swamp the competition with our local coverage. We have 28 different local editions.

That’s "laugh out loud" in Weblog talk. No matter what devices circulate my column, I’m always going to cover serious subjects and always work in some fun. Fred Arenas of Arlington Heights and I have become personal friends through the Internet. When he isn’t flying big airliners on charter flights, Fred indulges his voracious appetite for fun and philosophy. Here are some of the most recent he relayed to me:

  • "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce." — Mark Twain
  •  "I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap." — Bob Hope
  • "My doctor’s advice—if it tastes good, spit it out." — J. H. Hogan
  • "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and have the two as close together as possible." — George Burns
  • "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury." — Groucho Marx
  • "What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy money." — Henny Youngman
  • "Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50. But…everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out." — Unknown.
A Political Observation
Democrat Barack Obama is almost certain to be our next U.S. senator. The political gossip is that whoever serves as sacrificial lamb against Obama will be rewarded with the nomination for governor, where he or she will probably lose.
Illinois is a Democratic state. White House strategists are making it a special target to convert to a Republican state.
All that stands in their way are Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Rod Blagojevich and whoever the GOP finds to run against Obama.

One Last Thing
The spellchecker for this blog doesn't recognize the word "blog." It suggests "bloc."