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John Eby: First it was the polar bear, now this…

Published 7:23pm Sunday, September 26, 2010

On the shelf behind me is a polar bear with a cub figurine, a gift from my own mother because she regards me as an alarmist about climate change.

As this woman sails into the sunset of her 70s, she continues to surprise me.

First, she got a cat.

Then I ran into the original Mama Grizzly at a Tea Party rally.

Sept. 22 she dropped a huge bombshell.

After holding out for 46 years, she “kind of likes” the Beatles.

Guess that makes Herman’s Hermits a gateway drug.

Glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice at twice the rate in 2002 — 400 billion tons a year.

By the end of the century, 153 million people could be refugees.

New Orleans, Miami and Tampa are likely to be underwater, hurricanes and tsunamis more frequent.

I’m thinking of writing new lyrics to the tune of “And Your Bird Can Sing” — “Hope My Bear Can Swim.”
Then there was the clipping she brought me from a Missouri newspaper, the News-Leader, where Lyndon Pitcock of Fair Grove wrote Sept. 12:

rking man and the middle class. This is so blatantly obvious with the former administration, which pushed for and got the so-called ‘free trade’ with every country possible. Republicans want to know where the jobs are? They don’t remember? The jobs are in the other countries, where the only ones to profit from it are the corporations. Meanwhile, the middle class dies … When one cuts through all the misinformation and propaganda which is promoted by Fox News, a sound and sane decision can be made this November on who to vote for, and it’s not for anyone who claims to be a ‘Republican,’ or an insane ‘Tea Partier’ for that matter.”

If I have a hard time taking Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell seriously, it’s not because she dabbled in witchcraft, but because I remember her as a regular panelist on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect.”

Mostly they’re ordinary folks fed up until their rage boiled over in a rebel yell.

The conservative revolt from the moneymen who control the GOP is remaking the Republican Party, with Karl Rove feeling the need to diss O’Donnell.

Time political columnist Joe Klein’s road trip brought him through Michigan: “I’m not finding much of the fist-shaking Tea Party anger that you see on television. People are freaking out, though. They’re frustrated and anxious. They’re not too thrilled with Barack Obama’s policies — although even his detractors see him as sincere and trying his best to turn things around — and they’re not at all convinced that the Republicans are prepared to offer anything better, but the anti-incumbent, anti-establishment mood is palpable … Even devoted Obama supporters are frustrated with the President.”

“This is my full-time job. I do it seven days a week.”

Time pays particular attention to Detroit with a special project, but gave the usual story a twist about suburbs where the “grip on middle-class life has, for some families, become tenuous” with a four-page spread, “Real Moms of Grosse Pointe,” who are “handling reality in their own way” and “fostering frugality without embarrassment. For $35 a year (the Moms Club) offers a weekly roster of playdates and social gatherings. A walking group offers an alternative to gym memberships.”

Meanwhile, over at the Wall Street casino, the two biggest scandals of our time, in the spirit of still too big to fail, merge.

John Eby is managing editor of the Dowagiac Daily News. E-mail him at

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