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Month: November 2015

From the archives: A Thanksgiving story of secret generosity

From the archives: A Thanksgiving story of secret generosity

I have to post this again because it looms large in my memory every holiday season.

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Another year, another Thanksgiving and holiday season begins. Another year of having the burden of deciding whose food and liquor I can consume without lifting a finger to make any meaningful contribution.

It’s that time of the year when those “New Yorkers of the Week” loom large on NY1. Committing selfless acts, being generous and basically putting themselves out, not just at the holidays but all year long. Man, I hate those people. Don’t get me started on the “Student/Athlete of the Week.”

On top of all that, the City just released stats on how the use of food pantries and soup kitchens have spiked in the last year. Every borough has seen an increase since last year with Staten Island leading the way with a 100% increase.

But that’s not what I what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a few years…er… decades, back when I was a teen. I want to talk about Pinhead Bomberger.

My father owned a small grocery store in small town Pennsylvania. Each year around this time, he would personally make certain grocery deliveries. He made me go with him to help. The groceries were full meals for a family, all the fixin’s, turkey included. It was food for people who couldn’t afford it.

It was weird that the old man was making these deliveries personally. It was even weirder that he dragged me along. I asked on more than once occasion what the deal was, but he would always brush it off saying that it was someone who gave him money and a list of people and said to deliver the groceries.

To this day I can vividly recall the faces and emotions of those people, mostly single mothers, when we showed up at their doors with the food. They were sure there was some mistake. My dad assured them it wasn’t a mistake. When they asked who was responsible my dad would just say, “Santa Claus.” (It worked better when we did the Xmas deliveries, but what the hell?)

They were really thankful to get the food they otherwise wouldn’t have had for the holiday. I remember a few mothers, kids hanging on them, who got tears in their eyes.

Years later, while visiting at Christmas, I decided to ask my dad what that was all about. He said that since the guy was dead, there was no harm in spilling the beans.

This is where Pinhead Bomberger comes in. Bomberger was the German teacher at our high school. He was a real miserable prick. Everyone hated him. His unfortunate moniker “Pinhead” was due to his tiny head.

Dad said that one year Pinhead came to him with a list. It was a list of poor people, about a dozen or so. He wanted to buy them holiday dinners. My father was sworn to secrecy. Under no circumstances were these people to know where it came from. Dad didn’t know where he got the list. Then, as was his way, the old man decided to chip in and sweeten the deal. He added to Pinhead’s list and threw in more food.

Pinhead did that on Thanksgiving and Christmas until he died. The list was always different from year to year.

I asked why he made me go with him when he made those deliveries. He said it was a personal thing and he wanted to have me with him. He also wanted me to know how good I had it; to not take for granted my good fortune. Oh, by the way, did I mention dad was a Republican?

So, what do we take away from this? Is it that you never really know people? What made Pinhead do what he did? He knew he was hated. He could have easily made a big deal out of it, but he didn’t. He insisted on secrecy and the old man took that secret to the grave. I was the only one he told and it was only because I asked.

There are people like us who want to be liked, yet we probably haven’t done very much to help those less fortunate. And when we do it, we make sure people know it. It seems to me Pinhead was a real hero… a real human being.

And speaking of real… his real first name was Harry.

I’m pretty much done with the GMO fight

I’m pretty much done with the GMO fight

There’s a reason this blog has been quiet for a while. I just can’t do it anymore. The idiocy out there is unstoppable. There is a very sad strain of anti-science based on world views on the progressive side that is so ingrained that it is impossible to change.

It’s sad. A technology exists that can benefit the world and all these imbeciles can see is Monsanto.

It’s a campaign run by lefty, anti-science miscreants. “Oh, but I believe in climate change. That doesn’t make me anti-science.”

Yes it does, you fuckwit.

Science is not a democracy. You can’t pick and choose what science you want to believe. Science is based on facts, evidence and repeatability. That has been done with GMO technology.

Progressives are very regressive on this issue. They see it as corporate thing which is how the anti-science miscreants have hustled well-meaning progressives.

There is nothing honest about the anti-GMO groups. They are liars.

The FDA just approved the AquaBounty GMO salmon and already the Center for Food Safety has filed lawsuit that claims it hasn’t been tested. It’s been in the pipeline for 20 fuckin’ years. Hasn’t been tested in 20 years?

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. Andrew Kimbrell is a menace. He is leading the charge. Fuck him and all those anti-GMO fuckwits.

Science is progress. It is what has cured common diseases by creating vaccines and therapies. It has helped us. Because some company uses the technology that makes it bad? That’s bullshit.

I have friends who wonder why this issue is so important to me. It’s important because these anti imbeciles can hinder a useful science, not just for food but for medicine. If they can successfully demonize it in food, it can hinder research into the areas.

And finally, I think I’m burying the lede here, they have tried to discredit honest public scientists by using FOIA. Fuck Gary Ruskin. He’s an ideological weasel. He has more in common with the right-wing than he does the honest left.

I’m fighting for a solid science and I am up against a heavily funded anti-science contingent and those groups are coming from the left, not the right.

I can’t fight against it anymore. I just can’t.

 

 


My new podcast: Mr. Haney’s Truck

My new podcast: Mr. Haney’s Truck

MrHaneysemptytruck

So, I decided to create a podcast which is totally different than this blog. It will be wide ranging conversations from the curious to the kooky to the actually sane. I am working on getting it up on iTunes and getting the blog to resolve correctly, so because I want it up and out, I have posted the first episode on YouTube and here.

I’m new to the whole audio thing and haven’t sat behind a microphone in decades. There are some audio issues involving volume in this first episode and I am always open to helpful hints and criticism.

The first episode is the first part of a two-part conversation with New York City novelist Arthur Nersesian whose 11 books use NYC as a backdrop. We are old friends and he agreed to be the guinea pig for this first episode. The second part will be uploaded next Sunday Nov. 22nd.

I have a feeling it might freak some people out who like this blog since some episodes, which I have planned are going to talk about stuff that is, is well, can we say, “high strangeness?”

When it all gets sorted out the podcast site will be www.mrhaneystruck.com

 

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